Friday, August 6, 2010

minimum selex VOL 11

Back home in nyc after 6 months on the road, culminating in 2 months touring with GBH! This playlist mixtape is dedicated to them....

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G.B.H stands for Grievous Bodily Harm and these are some bad mofo original gangsters. They've been playing non-stop hardcore punk for 3o years, touring the states every couple years, gigging in europe or japan or south america every month and releasing a steady stream of albums. Their new record "Perfume and Piss" is a jam, and you should all check it out, especially "Kids Get Down" and "Cadillac One". Its no wonder these punk rock warlords are so revered. Badass musicians, songwriters, and some of the realest people you will ever meet. MAXIMUS RESPECT!

Every night G.B.H closed with a certain Clash cover (White Riot). Afterwards we could usually be found backstage or in the parking lot avoiding loading out while jamming on acoustic guitars and ukelele. Here's three jams that sound splendid on the uke... English Civil War (the Clash), Rave On (Buddy Holly) and I Fought The Law (the Clash or Bobby Fuller, take your pick)

We met up with Lars Frederickson in the south bay and just as the ghost of Joe Strummer was along for the ride on this tour, it often felt as if Rancid was only a few miles behind. This song often made an appearance on the tour, be it from a jukebox, a DJ, or just the echoes in someone's head spilling out their mouth... Here's an acoustic version of Olympia, WA, a punk rock soul ballad to tug on your heartstrings...

I asked Jock from G.B.H what were some of his favorite bands and first inspirations and he said The Damned... pure burning rock and roll. I listen to them and hear that plus so much more: the Clash's experimentation, the Misfits crooning, the Dead Kennedy's weirdo guitarwork, and even a Santana-esque jam?! Plus they have names like Rat Scabies and Captain Sensible. Here's 3 songs from their terrific third album, Machine Gun Etiquette.

Some nights on the tour I'd hear 3 Clash covers by 3 different bands. I told you Joe Strummer was along for the ride! In Ft Lauderdale the local band To Be Hated played Complete Control, in Atlanta Face To Face played Tommy Gun and almost every night Outernational played Guns Of Brixton. Peep here the Arcade Fire's haunting version. (Extra credit: how many other versions of Guns Of Brixton can you find? I've got a bossa nova version up my sleeve for the future)

All tour long we heard about Whole Wheat Bread, the Florida "Dirty South Punk Rockers" that toured with G.B.H in 2008. They do some crunk stuff with Lil Jon but mostly they are a wild pop punk band with mad energy and grooves. Dig it then watch all the silly videos on their myspace page.

We close this edition of MINIMUM SELEX with some serious fast and loud take-no-prisoners hardcore punk from Los Crudos. Juancho, bassist for the band, was along for the tour slanging merch and damn his band is raw! Political anarcho-speed punk en espanol for a world with no borders! Enjoy, but be careful in the pit! Don't get punched in the face, or in the groin as it so happened to me in Toronto...

Until the next round!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Photo Essay: MAY 29, 2010, Alto Arizona Protests

May 29th, 2010: Phoenix Arizona.
Below is my photo gallery from the actions against the racial profiling “show me your papers” law (SB 1070) in Arizona.

See more artwork from the event here, very cool stuff:

Over 100,000 people came out to Phoenix to march against injustice and racism. We performed 3 different times at the protests, playing Deportees, Fighting Song and Que Queremos, sharing the stage with Los Jornaleros Del Norte and the Mexican banda pop star Jenni Rivera. It was very important to be out there with a message of “No Borders, No Nations” as too many well-intentioned folks opposed to racism and fascism were out there with signs asking Obama to stop the law. Obama's response to this has been to send 1200 federal troops to "secure" the border. These are the same soldiers trained to kill accross the globe and putting them on the border is no good for the people. We need a whole other way.

Friday, February 5, 2010

minimum selex VOL 10

beats rhymes life keytars

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Just got back from tracking some guitars for my man Captain Planet. He's got a great new mixtape of vintage Haitian music, which he's giving away when you show a receipt for a $5 donation to Partners In Health setting up clinics and treating people in Haiti. Its super easy and a good small way to help out Haiti, the star of the caribbean the ONLY SUCCESSFUL SLAVE REVOLT IN THE MODERN WORLD. LONG LIVE HAITI, and tell the US to get the fuck out and let go of the airport. Now for the music...

Track one goes out to Ohio! Outernational is coming thru Toledo March 5, and this is my anthem for the drive down I-80. Yeah the subject matter is wack - slanging drugs, bragging and talking about women like possessions... but I dig this jam because of the sttyyyyyylllleeee - somewhere between east coast hard, west coast smooved out and down south swag...

Number 2 is from Timberlee, new dancehall queen from JA. Check the bugged out beat and the dude yelling on the chorus with the cartoon voice.

Los Pibes Chorros are from Argentina and play a drunken form of Cumbia known as Cumbia Villera. These songs have a swagger that even classics like Andres Landero can't touch. The way the keytar and casio saxophones stretch and snap around the beat just makes my neck hurt. In a a good way.

Uproot Andy is NYC's greatest DJ. He's got an album in the works and is doing remixes for people like Theivery Corporation and Outernational. Here's a cumbia mash-up straight from the Brooklyn Zoo.

Thanks to Uproot Andy for putting me on to Los Jaivas. Formed in Chile in 1963, they fled to Argentina and then to France in the 70's, after the CIA overthrew Chile's government on Sept 11, 1973. SEPTEMBER 11! Thanks CIA, you've now caused two horrible crimes on that date, forever changing each respective countries histories (not to mention the subsequent wars in afghanistan, iraq, pakistan...) Anways, Los Jaivas mix Andean folk music with psychedelic rock and echoes of Santana. When I hear this music I imagine soaring on the back of a condor somewhere in the smoky mountains of south america...

The Coral are a new band from the UK. Great songwriting, eerie vibes and vintage sounds without nostalgia or corniness...

Major Lazer is a new reggae project from Diplo. The album has some of the worst mysoginist lyrics I've ever heard and I'm not feeling it. Except for this jam by Jahdan Blakkamore, the black sheep of the Major Lazer album, the only roots tune and good lyrics too!! Last week I had this song on straight repeat for about 3 days. Thanks Jahdan for getting it right on this song!

Dr Blum gave me this track from Franki Valli and the 4 Seasons when he learned it for a soul gig. Beggin' is a hypnotic lover's lament that grooves like Nina Simone with a fuzzy guitar riff that sounds like its from a Wu-Tang beat...

We finish up with a song by Imani Coppola. I just discovered her music, but she's been making records since 1997, playing violin and guitar, making tracks and singing with the voice of a bird flying over woodstock in an acid haze... This tune is from her latest album, Free Spirit, a mix of rarities, b-sides and home recordings that highlight her raw songwriting, beautiful arranging and devastating honesty. You can download the whole thing free here.