Gil Scott-Heron – “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (1970)

May 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm (Music)

In tribute to the great Gil Scott-Heron…

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Gil Scott-Heron, Revolutionary Poet and Musician, Dead at 62

May 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm (Life & Politics, Music, Reviews & Articles)

Sadly, Gil Scott-Heron, the legendary and influential jazz poet-singer, who was sometimes called The Godfather of Rap (for being, along with The Last Poets, an early influence on the genre) has passed away at the age of 62.
This news story comes from Rolling Stone, May 28th. He will be missed…

Revolutionary poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, best known for his 1970 work “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” died May 27th at a New York City hospital. The exact cause of death is currently unknown, though he had been battling a severe drug addiction and other health problems for years. He was 62.

Many hip-hop artists cite Scott-Heron as one of the forefathers of the genre, but Scott-Heron refused to take any credit. “I just think they made a mistake,” he told The New Yorker last year. He also feels that people misinterpreted “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – a biting, spoken-work screed against the mass media and consumerist culture.  “That was satire,” he told The Telegraph in February of 2010.  “People would try and argue that it was this militant message, but just how militant can you really be when you’re saying, ‘The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner’? My songs were always about the tone of voice rather than the words. A good comic will deliver a line deadpan – they let the audience laugh.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Weekly Address (w/ Vice President Biden) (May 28, 2011)

May 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm (Life & Politics)

Vice President Biden fills in for President Obama while he is in Afghanistan visiting the troops.

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Steve Cartwell – “The Cleaners from Venus” (1987)

May 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This article comes from issue #10 of Scene and Heard, Nov/Dec 1987. The Cleaners from Venus were one of the unsung bands from the 1980s English pop underground thanks to Martin Newell’s excellent songwriting…

Over the last seven years or so The Cleaners from Venus have been almost synonymous with the independent cassette ethic. Their main songwriter, Martin Newell, has appeared in print on numerous occasions promoting the cause of music unafflicted by the manipulations of the music business. Thus it was rather a surprise to meet him at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire promoting a new vinyl LP, released by a record company. Whilst the record (Going to England) has been issued by major record companies on the Continent it has been done on a licensing basis thus ensuring that the Cleaners have total artistic control.

Naturally enough much of the interview was spent justifying this apparent ‘sell out’. Martin: “For the past five years I can honestly say I haven’t been to a record company, record companies have come to me, and I’ve turned several of them down. But there’s also something I call the reasonable starvation clause and that is that I don’t have a place of my own, no place to demo and up until very recently I was existing on about £38 a week. So I just think if somebody is Read the rest of this entry »

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Squarepusher – “Ultravisitor” (2004)

May 26, 2011 at 6:58 am (Electronica, Music)

This lengthy title track from his 2004 album comes from drum ‘n’ bass legend Squarepusher.

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The Beastie Boys – “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two” (2011)

May 25, 2011 at 7:12 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

Another take on The Beastie Boys’ new album, this review comes from Crawdaddy!, April 29th, and written by David MacFadden-Elliott…

A couple summers back, Beastie Boy Mike D told music blog Drowned in Sound that Hot Sauce Committee Part Two would be released in “more of a 2009 style.” “You could get in the shower one day and, boom, all of a sudden you’re showered with mp3s.” After a lengthy delay due to Adam Yauch’s ongoing battle with cancer, and the possible shelving of Hot Sauce Committee Part One, the Beasties’ morning assault was finally unleashed.

On Saturday, April 23rd, at approximately 10:35am, EST, a Sasquatch wandered onto the brightly lit floor at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and pressed play on a gold-plated boombox. Hot Sauce Committee Part Two poured out, echoed through the cavernous Garden, and was sucked through microphones, siphoned through, and finally delivered to the 4,000-plus fans that had glued themselves to their computers. Read the rest of this entry »

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (May 21, 2011)

May 23, 2011 at 6:19 am (Life & Politics)

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Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – “Rome” (2011)

May 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles)

A review of this excellent new album by Jon Falcone, from the MusicOMH website, May 16th…

Danger Mouse, aka Brian Burton, is certainly no stranger to treating music as a self-contained environment, a place that doesn’t exist but which sends the listener to another realm for a while to escape. His new album Rome is as Ennio Morricone might have dreamed it; an expanse of marble vistas with cowboys shooting around fountains and coliseums. With the music co-directed by composer Daniele Luppi, the arrangements throughout are spot on Morricone tributes, from the rousing strings and voices of his work with Sergio Leone to the clinking xylophone that made The Untouchables bearable, the supporting orchestration adds gallons of sumptuous depth to Burton’s ever-loving retro guitar twangs and organ pushes.

A supporting vocal cast deliver with surprisingly rousing results as well. Maybe less surprisingly Jack White scratches his voice with aplomb to the tone of the outsider. “Two Versus One” sets him firmly as the impending Read the rest of this entry »

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ESG – “Dance to the Best of ESG” (2010)

May 21, 2011 at 9:27 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This review of the recent 2-CD compilation of ESG’s influential, singular skeletal art-funk comes from the Pitchfork Media website — written by Joe Tangari, Jan. 31, 2011…

All their mother wanted was to keep them off the streets. The Scroggins sisters came of age in a South Bronx eviscerated by Robert Moses’ Cross Bronx Expressway — a neighborhood carved up by projects and abandoned by government. Their mother bought them instruments in the hope that her girls might devote themselves to music and stay out of trouble. And they did. Her deal with them stipulated they had to give her a performance every week, and the band the teenaged sisters formed (with occasional minor assistance from a few neighborhood guys) became ESG. The “E” and “S” stand for emerald and sapphire, the birthstones of Valerie and Renee Scroggins. The “G” is for gold, which is what they wanted their records to be certified.

The gold records never came, but something even more unexpected did: The band developed a sound unlike any other and quite by accident became a major influence on hip-hop, dance music, and dance-punk, fitting right in with New York City’s arty downtown scene and the UK’s vibrant post-punk explosion. Their 1981 debut EP, recorded by Martin Hannett after the band Read the rest of this entry »

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (May 14, 2011)

May 18, 2011 at 8:27 am (Life & Politics)

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