Friday, December 11, 2009
I'm back!!! Yeah yeah I ain't been bloggin, I've been on the youtwitface and in the lab and in the cluuuub... But we had a big show last week at Highline Ballroom so know I made a mix! Here's the highlights that have never appeared here on minimum selects...
I've been told New York Parasite sounds like the Dead Boys. Thank you to that! I think its all the chugga chugga guitars and the fuck new york attitude. This is Sonic Reducer, their first single from 1977. Nihilism + Sci-Fi = punk rock classic.
Track numba two is from Seattle's now-defunct Blood Brothers. I have no idea what We Ride Skeletal Lightning is about, but I imagine it must have hurt.
One Day As A Lion is the first proper release from Zack De La Rocha since Rage Against The Machine. Its a two man collaboration between Zack and John Theodore (ex-Mars Volta). Supposedly there's a full album of unreleased music from the band, let's hope Zack lets it get out. And then lets hope he gets back with Rage to make a new record... sigh...
Re-ignition is a lost Bad Brains gem from the 80's, it sounds like the Bad Brains from the 1970's mixed in with Michael Jackson's Thriller and Van Halen. And the Dead Boys. The riff here is so good I can even enjoy the cheesy 80's sounding bridge as I await it's return underneath Dr. Know's shredding guitar solo.
Sly Fox is a dig at Fox News and the "idiot box," from Nas' 2008 album Untitled. The real title and album cover is in the photo to the right, but he was censored and refused to re-name the album. Its a pretty decent modern rap album until you get to the song where Nas spends 64 bars comparing fried chicken to a woman and then Busta Rhymes appears and starts talking about buttering thighs. Ewwwwwww, check please!
We follow one anti-TV rant with another: Public Enemy's She Watch Channel Zero?!?! Terminator X spins the grimy hard rock sample while Flav and Chuck D call upon a nation to pull its head out of it ass... "You blind baby, you blind from the facts of who you are from watching all that garbage..."
I recently saw the FELA! musical on Broadway in NYC (yeah that's right I went to a Broadway show) and one of the best sequences is where Fela Kuti explains his musical "recipe" while the band plays the various styles and the dancers break down the moves. They went from traditional Yoruba drumming to Jazz Shuffles to James Brown chicken picking and Nigerian Highlife, which all culminated in his "Afro-Beat". (stay tuned for some Fela down the line). I bring all this up as an example because here I give you in 2 short steps, the recipe for Rage Against The Machine:
Public Enemy + Black Sabbath
It's that simple folks! (or is it???)
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Allright, this week may I introduce to you a new series here on Minimum Selects: Uncle Jesse's Cuts, brought to you by my main main Monkeygrip AKA Manitas AKA Big Red AKA Jesse Williams Massa, my soul brother numero uno and basso profundo in Outernational. Jesse knows just about everything about everything in pop culture past and present, but this dude loves some UK rock and soul and early garage psychedelia.... check it out!
Nick Lowe is most famously known for producing the first 10 Elvis Costello records, and he's actually an awesome singer/songwriter. Here's So It Goes, guaranteed to be stuck in your head all day.
Next up is The Yardbirds, the 60's rock band who birthed three of the biggest British guitar heros: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. 1966's Shapes of Things was inspired by sci-fi novelist H.G. Wells' The Shape Of Things To Come, and features Mr. Beck with a very early and explosive example of fuzztone feedbacking electric guitar. Far out man!
Esther Phillips was a lesser known Texas soul singer, signed by the great Johnny Otis in 1949. She had a 4 decade career, even putting out some country albums before the deadly combination of heroin and alcoholism took her life in 1984. Home Is Where The Hatred Is is a haunting junkie's lament, penned by poet Gil Scott-Heron in 1972.
Next up is Jimi Hendrix, the most tragic of the ill-fated dead maestros, dying from pills and alcohol in 1970, in the middle of creating his fourth album, the double LP First Rays of the New Rising Sun. This is Pali Gap, released posthumously in the Rainbow Bridge soundtrack (and dozens of other releases since then), a rare instrumental jam that every guitarist needs to listen to. It's not how fast you play, it's what you sayin', bro.
Uncle Jesse loves Santogold as much as me! I asked him why, he said its the "punky reggae". I think its the love of New Wave and punk, the Diplo collaborations, the Clash covers, the Bad Brains vocal influence (check out her cover of Right Brigade), the "F@$# you" to genre borders and the rebel attitude. She's good, people.
Raphael Saadiq is mostly know for his 80's/90's R+B albums and his founding role in Oakland's Tony! Toni! Toné! Big Easy is from his 2008 comeback and 60's soul/Motown throwback album, The Way I See It. It's a tragic tale of searching for a lost daughter in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
The Mars Volta are today's bearers of the trippy torch, with a slight emo twist. This is Agadez from their fouth LP and psycho-psychedelic funky masterpiece Bedlam in Goliath. This was their first album with new drummer Thomas Pridgen from Oakland, CA, the king of the gospel choppers.
Chicago underground rockers Jai Alai Savant play some weird trippy post-punk, they've toured with Ted Leo and they are awesome. This is a strange song called Scarlett Johannson Why Don't You Love Me?
The Small Faces were a british mod/garage/psychedelic group that never really made it to the States and are pretty unknown round these parts. "Faces" was slang for Mods and they were all pretty short guys, thus the Small Faces. Later on, Ronnie Wood (from the Rolling Stones) and Rod Stewart joined. Being both over 6' tall, the name was changed to simply The Faces. Now you know.
Not much is known about The Smoke from York, UK, except this was their biggest hit, 1967's My Friend Jack. I'm not sure what they mean about eating sugarlumps, but I'm sure it must be illegal. And man, even the Temptations sound like they've been taking acid in this 1970 Motown jam Psychedic Shack.
We close things out with Dusty Springfield, most famous for Son of a Preacher Man, here with the lesser-know You Don't Own Me from 1964. A white British soul singer, Dusty worked hard to popularize Black American soul singers in the UK, inviting the Temptations, the Supremes, the Miracles, Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder and all the Funk Brothers to her UK television show in 1965. Check it out below:
So It Goes - Nick Lowe
Shapes Of Things - The Yardbirds
Home Is Where The Hatred Is - Esther Phillips
Pali Gap - Jimi Hendrix
Find A Way - Santogold
Big Easy - Raphael Saadiq
Westbound Train - Dennis Brown
Agadez - The Mars Volta
Scarlett Johannson Why Don't You Love Me - Jai Alai Savant
Itchycoo Park - Small Faces
My Friend Jack - The Smoke
Psychedelic Shack - The Tempations
You Don't Own Me - Dusty Springfield
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
We start things off with a version of the greatest rock and roll song of all time, La Bamba, actually a Mexican folk song, flipped with an Afro-American rocking rhythm by young Mr Ritchie Valens of Los Angeles, California in 1959 (17 year old Ritchie would die later that year in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly in the infamous "day the music died") Here we enjoy a nice Haitian Kompa version of La Bamba by none other than Wyclef, from his awesome globe-trotting album, "Welcome to Haiti: Kreyol 101".
From Haiti it's just a quick jump across the islands to Trinidad where Soca is the music and Soccer (I mean football) is the sport. Here is the official anthem of Trinidad's national team, Soca Warrior. Try to catch some of the lyrics: "We will defeat dem by de feet... Every net a get a riddled..."
From Trinidad we catch a quick flight to West Africa, Cote D'Ivoire in particular, and check out Magic System with their international superhit Premiere Gaou, which my by calculations, translates to "number one dude". Magic System recorded a follow up to the song, Gaou A Oran, a collaboration with French-Algerian rappers 113. Oran, of course is a city in Algeria, homeland to many immigrants living in France alongside other french speaking Africans. What do they call that Arabic Algerian African music again? Rai! And here's Cheb Mami, the much more refined counterpart to my favorite Rai singer, Rachid Taha, to tell you what its all about. (although Mami's actions seem not so refined, he's currently incarcerated in France for assaulting a pregnant lover)
And speaking of African unity, here's Somalian rapper K'Naan with a tune sampling Nigeria's Fela Kuti. The song comes from the upcoming J.Period/K'Naan mixtape featuring samples from strictly three sources: Fela, Bob Marley, and Bob Dylan. Damn.
Allright, allright, wasn't this supposed to be about rock and roll this week? Fine, let's get back to the roots! Here's Otis Redding, premiere soul man, paying tribute to Britain's finest soul men, the Rolling Stones. You see, the Stones were one of those british blues/R+B groups that actually supported and acclaimed the Black American artists they stole from (not so Led Zeppelin, Elvis) and they were well respected by Black artists for doing such. Well done, fellas!
Up next are two jams from The Sonics, all the way from the Pacific Northwest early 60's garage rock scene. Have Love Will Travel was written by Richard Berry, the same dude who wrote Louie Louie, made famous by The Kingsmen's 1963 version, also straight outta the Seattle garage rock scene. Strychnine is an original, and some might even call it... punk rock?!
And further blurring the punk/rockandroll distinction is the infamous Misfits. Originally fronted by crooner Glenn Danzig, they take all the themes of 50's rock, the balladry, the horror films, and smash them all together making such a nice sazón. Oh yeah, and he kind of sounds like Jim Morrison from the Doors.
And who said I don't like Indie Rock?? Arcade Fire are one of the most passionate bands out there and they way they pack 20 people on a stage, all freaking out together is inspiring. This ain't no shoegaze music. Here's a jam from their breakout concept album Funeral, this is Neighborhood #2 (Laika).
Speaking of inspiring, let me tell you about The Equals. They formed in 1965 in the UK, with a multi-racial lineup and some bold lyrics. Eddy Grant (of 1980's Electric Avenue fame) was the main songwriter. And they wrote this anthem, Police on My Back, covered by the Clash on their Sandinista triple LP. (You know I had to get my dudes in here somehow this week!!)
We ride out this edition with a track from Mulatu Astatke, Ethiopian Jazz that sounds like a mix between a Pharoah Sanders/Alice Coltrane record and Santana. Check out the entire Ethiopiques Vol 4 album, its beautiful.
Allright that was a lot of travelling, next stop: New Jersey! See you there?
La Bamba - Wyclef Jean - Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101
Soca Warrior - Maximus Dan
Premiere Gaou - Magic System
Cheb Mami - Cheb Mami
Let's Start (fela kuti tribute) - K'naan and J.Period - The Messengers
Satisfaction (Live at Monterey Pop) - Otis Redding
Have Love, Will Travel - The Sonics
Strychnine - The Sonics
We Are 138 - The Misfits
Whiskey, Mystics, and Men - The Doors
Neighborhood #2 (Laika) - Arcade Fire
Police On My Back - The Equals
Tezeta (Nostalgia) - Mulatu Astatke
Monday, August 24, 2009
I'm in a sentimental mood, gonna miss the musty basement at Mehanata and all the good times we had there. The original mixtape from the show was a little different (see the full list below). Most of those songs aren't showing up online, but the artists are, so I've made a special mix just for this blog which pulls at the heartstrings...
MIA's 20 Dollar always sounded familiar, but it took me dozens of listens to figure it out - she's partly covering The Pixies' Where Is My Mind?!? Below is MIA's version, and the Pixies are track one of this week's mix.
More nostalgic vibes from Johnny Appleseed, a beautiful folk song by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. "He's the only hero I ever met who wasn't a disappointment" says our next artist, Manu Chao, about the Clash frontman. "He was a great teacher for me - like an uncle. I remember meeting him at a festival in Japan. He had a campfire and it was six in the morning and he was still playing his little mix tapes to keep the party going. I looked at him and thought 'I want to be like that'. Mr. Bobby is Manu's call to another global music hero (not bob dylan, the other bob), who answers with I Know a Place.
Salón Victoria are another great ska-punk band from Mexico City and Sol de Medianoche (midnight sun) is a tearful drinking song "estoy borracho, y estoy cansado". Follow that with a Bachata (Dominican Ballad) by Frank Reyes and you too might be llorando.
J Dilla aka Jay Dee was a hiphop producer who worked in the shadows making classic beats for A Tribe Called Quest, the Pharcyde, the Roots, and even Janet Jackson. His solo albums show his skill at making bugged-out soulful and hilarious masterpeices from cutting and pasting sampled records. He's a tragic story, passing away in 2006 at age 32... Check out his final album Donuts, released just days before his death.
Dilla is sampling Dionne Warwick in Stop!, which leads us to two girl groups: Motown singers Martha Reeves & The Vandellas and The Bodysnatchers from 2 Tone Records. 2 Tone was home base of the Specials and the 2nd wave ska movement, which kicked off in Britain in 1979, inspired by a certain punk band who broke the color line by playing reggae.
Speaking of punk rock, even dudes with mohawks write sad songs: check out Journey to the End of the East Bay, Rancid's ode to their first band, short-lived legends Operation Ivy (1987-89). And I actually found Avail online!! These guys had so much heart, here they are with Taken.
Culture's Joseph Hill wrote Two Sevens Clash after a premonition of chaos and disorder striking in 1977. He may of been picturing a biblical scene of fire and brimstone, but I can't think of a better ode to that certain punk band, whose first album was deemed "unfit for human consumption" by CBS Records and came out in 1977.
We slow things down with Dennis Brown, named "The Crown Prince of Reggae" by the aforementioned king, Mr Bobby Marley. DBrown's voice is incredible, he started recording at age 14 in Jamaica at Studio One, one more of the hundreds of ridiculous talents to come from that Connecticut-sized island just south of Cuba.
Closing this week is the Hypnotic Brass Band from Chicago, which if you're lucky, you can catch performing on the streets of NYC in the summertime. 8 of the 9 dudes in this band are sons of trumpeter Phil Cohran, famous for his work in the Sun Ra Arkestra. Peep Phil playing his invention, the Frankiphone:
Where Is My Mind??? - Pixies - Surfer Rosa & Come On Pilgrim
I know a Place - Bob Marley - Lost treasures of the ark
Ciudad Sin Guerra - Salón Victoria - Locos Y Rucas In Retro
Mutiny introducing Mush One - King Django & Lonely Boys - Version City
Si Lo Amas A El - Frank Reyes
Improvisando - Fruko & Sus Tesos - Colombia!
15th Brigade - Joe Strummer
Breaking The Girl - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Mr. Bobby - Manu Chao - Proxima Estacion: Esperanza
Stop! - J Dilla - Donuts
[Love Is Like A] Heat Wave - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Away - Swinging Cats - The 2 Tone Collection (A Checkered Past)
Right Brigade (Bad Brains cover) - Diplo & Santogold - Top Ranking
Predictable - Avail - Satiate
Banned In D.C. - Bad Brains - Attitude: The Roir Sessions
Staayyyle - Spazz - Crush Kill Destroy
Crush Kill Destroy - Spazz - Crush Kill Destroy
You'll Find A Way - Santogold - Santogold
Three Meals A Day - Dennis Brown - The Promised Land 1977-79
Black Star Liner Must Come - Culture - Two Sevens Clash
Tumbao Fregao - Salón Victoria - Locos Y Rucas In Retro
Hong Kong - Michi Sarmiento y sus Bravos - Colombia!
Awungilobolele - Udokotela Shange Namajaha - Indestructible Beat Of Soweto
War - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - New York City Live
Monday, August 17, 2009
We begin with some Sahara Desert Blues from Tinariwen, playing Toumast. You can hear the similarities with Mali's blind singing maestros Amadou et Miriam, appearing further down this week with Chantez-Chantez.
Omar Rodriguez from The Mars Volta puts out a solo record every couple months it seems, here's an old one that you can actually dance to! I think that's his father or his tio singing and playing the guitar on Deus Ex Machina aka Reina De Mi Vida.
There's a lot of Reggaeton haters out there, this should shut them all up: Calle 13 with this reggaeton-cumbia jam.
Maldita Vecindad from Mexico D.F. was one of the first Latin Ska Punk bands. They are still one of the best, I have never seen a circle pit so big than at their Summerstage show a few years past. It was like a whirlpool in the middle of a hurricane composed of mexican luchadores wrestlers riding on each others shoulders and backflipping. This band is so versatile; they were messing with african-punk fusion since the 80's. Pato De Perro is an example, but its not showing up online, so here's Morenaza instead.
I saw TV on the Radio last week in prospect park, it was an expensive ticket, but if you're not afraid to climb a tree you can actually see pretty good from outside the barricades. Here's a jam from their new record: Dancing Choose.
Is that MIA? Isn't that the Clash? No, it's actually Esau Mwamwaya from Malawi via the UK, with his version over the Paper Planes/Straight To Hell riddim: Tengazako.
I have some ill Brazilian artists this week missing from the online stream: Nação Zumbi with Arrancando As Tripas, an aggro Samba Punk/Rap song played on drums that sound like mortar shells and Mundo Livre S. A. with Roendo os restos de Ronald Reagan, the first Brazilian-Punk Fusion I've ever heard pulled off in an passionate raw way. Hit me up to hear these rare tracks, in the meantime peep Mundo Livre S. A. covering Manu Chao's Minha Galerha in the online stream.
Allright all you crusties, skins, skaters and wankers, you know I got some straight up buzzsaw guitars and bonehead drumming each week: Subhumans, Buzzcocks, Dead Kennedys, Bikini Kill, Arctic Monkeys, Circle Jerks and the Ramones are all here, as well a rock and roll classic by The Misfits. Isn't Glen Danzig such the romantic? (see photo)
It's a damn shame that I can't find The Tossers song Mad Riot, an Irish Punk anthem that makes The Pogues sound like sentimental old men and Flogging Molly like sugared up school-children. In searching for Mad Riot I stumbled upon Riot in Paradise by Mad Sin, a surprisingly awesome Psychobilly track which I've included for your listening excitement. Bo!
Closing out this week is the Algerian Rachid Taha, playing... how do you call it? Rai music. And lastly, Victor Jara, the legendary Chilean activist poet and singer, murdered by the US tool General Augusto Pinochet, who took power Sept 11, 1973 in a violent CIA-sponsored coup. Jara was arrested the next day and publicly beaten and shot to death 3 days later. Damn. Don't ever forget what good songs can do. Art is dangerous.
Here's how to hear what's missing: Send me an email at leo at outernational dot net and I can send you some tracks. (to the FBI/RIAA, obviously this is just a joke)
Toumast - Tinariwen - Aman Iman
Deus Ex Machina - Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - A Manual Dexterity: Soundtrack, Vol. 1
Atrevete - Calle 13 - Residente Calle 13
Pata de perro - La Maldita Vecindad
Dancing Choose - TV on the Radio - Dear Science,
Tengazako - Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit - 'The Very Best' Mixtape
Train In Vain - The Clash - Live: From Here to Eternity
arrancando as tripas - Nação Zumbi - RÁDIO S.AMB.A.
Roendo os restos de Ronald Reagan - Mundo Livre S.A. - Guentando a Ôia
Brianstorm - Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
Dog Bite - Dead Kennedys - In God We Trust, Inc.
Rah! Rah! Replica - Bikini Kill
Blood One - Bikini Kill
It's Gonna Get Worse - Subhumans
La Bamba (punk cover) - Rancid
Wild in the Streets - Circle Jerks
Mad Riot - The Tossers - Long Dim Road
Pinhead - The Ramones
Last Caress - Misfits
I Don't Mind - The Buzzcocks
Baracunatana - Aterciopelados
Chantez-Chantez - Amadou Et Mariam - Tje Ni Mousso
Tekitoi? - Rachid Taha
Que Alegre Son Las Obreras - Victor Jara
**Muchos gracias to DJ Shoghi for letting me dig thru his library for this week's mix! He's got punk and dance and latin music for days, look for him spinning around NYC...
Monday, August 10, 2009
Starting things off this week with a tribute to my first musical infatuation and number one rock guitar hero, still performing at age 82... Chuck Berry! We start with Peter Tosh's version of Johnny B Goode, followed by Maybelline by the godfather himself and then X's exposure of the dark side of the old boy-chasing-girl rock and roll story, Johnny Hit and Run Pauline...
The Meat Puppets wrote the now classic Lake of Fire, made famous in Nirvana's cover from the MTV Unplugged album. Enjoy the original here. Other underground 80's/90's gems this week from Devo, Hüsker Dü, Descendants, Gang of Four, Econochrist, and Propaghandi with Fuck the Borders. And on that note, enjoy Sukshinder Shinda with some North Indian Bhangra, Diplo with some Brazilian Baile Funk, Maldita Vecindad with some Mexican chilango ska-punk, Toro Mata from the african depths of Peru, Truth Don Die by Femi Kuti from Nigeria, and another anthem from Argentina's Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
Missing from the stream this week: Ted Leo's awesome track Paranoia's Never Enough, part of his Rapid Response EP, written, recorded, and released in a couple weeks last fall after the RNC protests in Minneapolis and the fascist military police crackdown... benefits from the EP went straight to detainees legal funds... pick up a copy and support here!
Also missing: Машина Времени with Odanazhdy Etot Mir Pgognetsya Pod Nas, a classic rock song a la Neil Young sung in Russian. I can't even pronounce it, good luck finding it!
Odanazhdy Etot Mir Pgognetsya Pod Nas - Машина Времени
Johnny B. Goode - Peter Tosh - Honorary Citizen
Almost Grown - Chuck Berry
Johnny Hit And Run Paulene - X
Paranoia (Never Enough) - Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Rapid Response
I Want To Help You Ann - The Lyres
It's Alright with Me - Zombies
Something I Learned Today - Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade
Suburban Home - Descendents
Straight Edge - Minor Threat
Pay To Cum - Bad Brains
Fuck The Border - Propaghandi - Today's Empires, Tomorow's Ashes
Meteor Of War - Rancid - Rancid 
Lake Of Fire - Meat Puppets
Uncontrollable Urge - Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Fa Cé-La - The Feelies
Too Much Too Young (Live) - Special AKA - The Singles Collection
matador - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs - vasos vacios
13 Dias - Manu Chao - LaRadioLina
Baile Funk One - Diplo - Piracy Funds Terrorism - Volume 1
Haan Dey Mundey - Sukshinder Shinda - Strictly Punjabi 9
Toro Mata - musica negra del peru
LLego La Banda - Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe y Yomo Toro - Asalto Navideño Vol. 2
Pachuco - Maldita Vecindad & Los Hijos Del Quinto Patio - El Circo
Bullet With No Name - Econochrist - Ruination
What's My Name (live) - The Clash - Live: From Here to Eternity
To Hell With Poverty - Gang Of Four
Truth Don Die - Femi Kuti - Shoki Shoki