Melting Pot

Archive for the ‘Be Our Guest’ category

MeAndMikeWattKPFK

It was a dream come true and a complete honor to interview Mike Watt at KPFK this Summer. For several months I’d been thinking about doing a tribute to the Minuteman’s album Double Nickels On The Dime, and the thought crossed my mind to interview the remaining members, Mike Watt and George Hurley, about this classic record. In a perfect world, it would have been great to have brought in George Hurley too, but I had no way of contacting him. Thankfully, I was able to get in touch with Mike Watt and after a couple of attempts, I was able to get him to come into the studios at KPFK. From the moment I shook hands with him to the moment he said goodbye, we talked about this band and about this record. There was probably about 30 or 40 minutes of conversation before I even had the bright idea to turn on the microphones and record. What followed was a far ranging roughly 75 minute interview discussing the band and the recording of this landmark album. On the tribute that aired live on KPFK, I had to edit large sections of the interview in order to be able to make enough time to play the entirety of Double Nickels. It really pained my heart to have to cut out so many of the stories, so here is the full interview, unedited and uncensored. Some of these stories Watt has shared before, but there were a few that a hardcore fan like myself had never heard. Absolutely one of my favorite interviews I’ve done in my career and I’m really thankful that I was able to do it and that I get to share it here.

Mike Watt Interview on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 7-31-2014

KahanKPFK

It was truly an honor to talk with Adam Kahan, director of the remarkable new documentary on the life and times of Rahsaan Roland Kirk entitled, The Case Of The Three Sided Dream. As many of you know Rahsaan is a personal hero of mine and one of my all-time favorite musicians. When we recorded the interview I hadn’t seen the film, but I have since and in all honesty, I think it’s one of the best music documentaries I’ve ever seen, truly a film worthy of Rahsaan…Bright Moments!!!

Adam Kahan Interview on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 7-24-2014

Please make sure to check out the website for the film, and if you haven’t seen the trailer, make sure you check it out below:

Charnett

Charnett Moffett on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 07-10-2014

I first saw Charnett Moffett at Yoshi’s when he was playing in McCoy Tyner’s band. I knew his name and likely had heard a few records with his playing, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw that night. Pretty much from the moment he played his first note I was completely transfixed, such is the power of Charnett Moffett’s virtousic talent. A little less than two weeks ago, I had the great fortune to bring Charnett into the KPFK studios to record an interview and performance. He was in town performing at the Catalina Jazz Club and was good enough to come to the station shortly after arriving in Los Angeles. The experience is one I’ll treasure for the rest of my days. We spent almost three hours together, working on the sound of his two basses, taking a lunch break, collaboratively discussing the structure of the interview and changing course, in a true improvisatory spirit, when either of us felt it might be good to go a different way. It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience, especially because while he was performing I was essentially only a foot away from him. In the interview we discuss a bit about his upbringing and the influence of his father, Charles Moffett, quite a lot about his most recent album Spirit Of Sound (the interview features 5 songs from the album, and two live performances on piccolo and fretless bass of the tracks “Spirit Of Sound” and “Overpass”) as well as his general philosophy on making music and how it connects to the lives we lead. Many many inspiring words and sounds from a true master of his instrument and one of the all-time greats in my opinion on bass. Big thanks to Mary Ann Topper for her help in setting this up and of course to Charnett Moffett for his generosity, patience and exuberance while sharing the gifts of his time and music with us.

NDiggs1

Natasha Diggs was our guest this weekend on Melting Pot. Though she’s been a DJ and collector for over a decade, I only recently find out about her. In the last several months, it seemed like I kept hearing about this incredible DJ based in New York, first from Seano of KPFK’s Soundwaves, where she did a Guest DJ set in May of this year (and also in June 2013) and especially in the run-up to the latest edition of Danny Holloway’s Blazing 45s series, which occurred this past Friday with Natasha featured as one of the many fantastic DJs on the bill. On the regular you can find her in NY as one of the residents for Mobile Mondays at Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery @ 2nd St, along with Just Blaze, Joey Carvello, Misbehavior, Operator EMZ and others. NDiggs2 It took me all of 5 minutes of watching her skills in the mix in some videos online for me to feel deeply sorry for missing out all these years, and also to immediately contact her to try to bring her into the studio for a chat and guest DJ session. Thankfully she was able to come in and spend sometime with us, despite a weekend where she was busy spinning at Amoeba Hollywood, The Echoplex and The Ace Hotel.

In our short interview (Natasha was a bit under the weather and losing her voice, next time she’s in town we’ll dig deeper into things) we discuss a little bit about her background and how she came to collect and mix primarily 45s. We also talk about her approach to spinning at a variety of venues. One of the many things I appreciate about Natasha is that when you watch her DJ, aside from the top-notch skills and selection, it’s really clear that she absolutely loves this music and loves playing it for people who also love to dance. Her mix is almost a full hour long, featuring all vinyl and all 45s, and moving through a variety of genres and styles in that space of time. Throughout the guest set she showcases her great ears for tunes and also battle ready skills to match, especially on some classic breaks like “Hot Pants,” “Impeach the President,” “The Handclappin’ Song” and “Cold Feet.” She didn’t let on too much about upcoming plans, but I have a feeling there are big things in store for Natasha Diggs in the next year, including hopefully a return trip to LA. Don’t make my mistake…do not sleep on this one…she is a mighty mighty force with those tiny records.

Natasha Diggs Interview on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 07-12-2014
Guest DJ Set from Natasha Diggs on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 07-12-2014

NickWater

One of the best months we’ve ever had on KPFK ended with one of our best Guest DJ sets, courtesy of Mr. Nick Waterhouse. Nick spent a little time talking to us in the first hour of Sunday’s program about his early days as a DJ and Musician. We also talked a bit about his approach to creating his signature sound. Freedom45Nick is known as a big time fan of raw, gritty rhythm & blues, and his guest DJ set certainly did not disappoint. For the most part he kept things mid-tempo and extra smokey, with some particularly choice cuts from Junior Wells, Ronnie Hawkins, Sonny Til, Lonnie Sattin and brand spankin’ new music from the Boogaloo Assassins, recorded by Nick himself. One 45 in particular I flipped out for was the Civil Rights inspired “Ride Freedom Riders from Harold Jackson & the Jackson Brothers. This might just be the best non-jazz Civil Rights song that I’ve ever heard, even though I’d never heard it until Nick played it on the show. Turns out this is a LA record, and Nick actually learned a bit more about it from Allen “Charmin’” Larman of Folkscene, who actually had met Harold Jackson. Deeply soulful set from Mr. Waterhouse, well worth many many listens for fans of this kind of music. Big thanks to Nick for coming on down with his big box of 45s and to Tenni Gharakhanian for setting everything up. Enjoy!

Nick Waterhouse Guest DJ Set on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 06-30-2014

Playlist:
Ronnie Hawkins – Southern Love – Roulette
Miles Grayson Trio – You Were Wrong – Hill
Ray Agee – Leave Me Alone – Kratton
Jackie Shane – My Tenament – Sue
Boogaloo Assassins – One and Only – Pres Records
Sonny Til – Hey Little Woman – C/P Parker Records
Dee Dee Sharp – Comin’ Home Baby – Cameo
Barbara Dane – I’m On My Way – Trey
B.B. King – Think It Over – Bluesway
The Clovers – One More Time – Porwin
Junior Wells – (I Got A) Stomach Ache – Vanguard
Jimmy McCracklin – What’s That Part 2 – Mercury
Harold Jackson & the Jackson Brothers – The Freedom Riders – Edsel
Jackie Ross – Hard Times – SAR
Young Jesse – Brown Eyes – Vanessa
Lonnie Sattin – Sweetheart – Sunbeam

Zara

Our 5th year at KPFK has gotten off to a rather stunning start and it continued this past week when we welcomed UK vocalist Zara McFarlane into our studios. Earlier in the year McFarlane released her second album, If You Knew Her, on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood record label, and she’s garnered just about every accolade you gain get since then. The album is a collection of songs inspired by the women in McFarlane’s life, as well as a call to dig deeper and move beyond the stereotypes for Black women in particular. At KPFK she performed three songs from this album, accompanied by pianist Lincoln Cleary, “Open Heart,” “Her Eyes” and “You’ll Get Me In Trouble.” With just the piano backing her, there’s a much stronger emphasis on McFarlane’s voice and her songwriting, both of which are simply fantastic. In the interview we talked about her background, how she found her way into Gilles Peterson’s ears and on his label, a bit about the differences between her debut and this follow-up as well as some discussion about several of the standouts from the record, “Open Heart” and two covers of Jamaican songs, “Angie La La” and “Police and Thieves.” Big thanks to Stan Misraje for his production work on the sound and to Jessica Weber and Yolanda Martinez for helping set things up. Most of all, thanks to Zara McFarlane for spending this time with us.

Zara McFarlane on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 06-16-2014

AmaranteKPFK

I’m still in disbelief that this session actually happened. It all seems like a dream, too beautiful to have occurred in real life. I’ve been a fan of Rodrigo Amarante’s music since 2008, when I first heard his song “Evaporar” from the Little Joy record. His music is deeply affecting and moving, particularly when it is performed as it was for our session, acoustically with just guitar and Amarante’s vocals. When music is this intimate, it almost feels like you’re experiencing something that you shouldn’t, as if you’re trespassing in someone’s back yard as they play their music on their back porch for the ones they love. Thankfully that is not actually the case, Amarante writes songs and performs to be heard by all who care to listen.

For us, Amarante plays 4 songs, “I’m Ready,” “O Cometa,” “Mon Nom” and “The Ribbon,” all of which are on his new album, Cavalo. However, on record there are added elements, and while all of the songs on record are very nicely put together, this session presents a stark contrast with them. Here in this performance you are left with Amarante stripped down to his essence, and the effect is stunningly beautiful. While the songs are certainly a treasure to behold, I’m also appreciative of Amarante’s openness in discussing the themes of the album, how they relate to his personal life and his personal beliefs about the nature of songwriting, performance and the role of the artist in society.

I still don’t have the proper words to describe how exceptionally powerful this music is. Every bit of praise I come up with still seems unable to full capture how I feel about Amarante’s songs. I’ve been blessed to have been involved with some remarkable artists over my 20+ years in radio, but I’m not sure if there’s a better session that I’ve done than this one. It was truly an honor and I feel profoundly privileged to have taken part in it. I hope those of you who listen to this session will share it with your friends and loved ones, and that you all appreciate it as much as I do. These songs and these sentiments are works of a rare and profound beauty, brought to life vividly by a remarkable musician, a true artist, Rodrigo Amarante.

Rodrigo Amarante on KPFK’s Melting Pot: Recorded 06-13-2014

DJ 671 KPFK

Beat Swap Meet is quite possibly the best record fair I’ve ever been lucky enough to attend. Certainly, there are plenty of records, but you can find quality records anywhere. What the Beat Swap Meet has that other record shows do not is personality and a culture. DJ 671, one of the organizers of the Beat Swap Meet joined us for a short chat about the event and also dropped a very “Melting Pot” kind of Guest DJ set, with a variety of styles, all mixed together expertly (and with some subtle politics and Father’s day tuneage thrown in). Due to time constraints we weren’t able to bring the entire set to you yesterday on-air, but here it is in its entirety. I’ll see you at the next Beat Swap Meet, (I should be spinning some tunes around 2-ish) coming this Sunday, June 22nd…just in time for the official start of Summer!

DJ 671 of the Beat Swap Meet Interview and Guest DJ Set on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 06-13-2014

Playlist:
1. Intro – The Musical Story of the Streets of Laredo (Aim)
2. Zero 7 – When it Falls (Elektra)
3. Bill Cosby – Section 9 (Capitol)
4. A Bird On a Poire – Mirabelle Mirabeau (Labels)
5. V/A – Papa Was A Rolling Stone (Analog Burners)
6. The Cool on Notes – You’re Never Too Young (Abstract Dance)
7. Pedro & Capricious – Superstition (Atlantic)
8. Break: Veterans Administration Public Service Announcements – Rehabilitation Qualification
9. Latimore – Yes We Can (Glades)
10. Jimmy McGriff – Sky Hawk (Lester Radio Corporation)
11. Brian Ellis feat. Egyptian Lover – Love Is (7″) (Voltaire)
12. The X-Man – That Body (Peoples Potential Unlimited)
13. Frank Zappa – I Come From Nowhere (Barking Pumpkin Records)

EilonKPFK

For the past three years I’ve been trying to set up an interview with Eilon Paz, the creative force behind one of my favorite websites, Dust and Grooves, only to strike out at the last minute. After years of unsuccessful attempts, I was finally able to bring him in for an interview to talk about his project and especially the recently released and absolutely fabulous book, Dust & Grooves: Adventures In Record Collecting, which features photos and stories Paz has accumulated over the past 6+ years. As you’ll hear in the interview, though we only had 30 minutes, we discussed a broad range of issues, including the origins of the project, how he chooses collectors, the gender dynamics and politics involved in collecting, the experience of bringing together communities of collectors in ways that they never had been before and his plans for the future.

One of the more interesting aspects of this project we discuss, and something that I really only fully realized once I got a look at this book, is how ultimately what is most interesting about a collection isn’t it’s size or the rarity of the records, it’s how that collection often connects to the individual’s life in unexpected ways. DustGroovesMix Some of the pictures really act as windows into the soul of these indivdiuals, as Paz gains access to perhaps their most personal space, the room where they keep and listen to their vinyl. Talking about these collections and getting a chance to view enlarged versions of the photos at an exhibit/book launch/vinyl party that took place after our interview inspired me to think about some of the stories behind some of the records I own. We’d originally planned on having Paz put together a guest DJ set, but ran out of time (next time for sure!) and during Sunday’s show my thoughts had only started to form around this set, so I decided to add the 45-minute mix (titled Collected Memories) to this post, and also share the stories behind these 10 records, how they came into my collection and what they mean to me.

Eilon Paz of Dust & Grooves Interview on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 06-05-2014
Collected Memories: An All Vinyl Mix Inspired By Dust And Grooves

Collected Memories: Tracklist and Notes

Mtume Umoja Ensemble – Alke-bulan: Land Of The Blacks

{I was first exposed to the music of the artist controlled label Strata East while I was hosting Stompin’ Grounds on WORT Madison. The station had something like 20 albums from the label and every single one of them was amazing. This copy came into my hands while looking through records at a store in Oakland called House Of Soul. I noticed that in addition to the records in the bins, there were 45s and LPs stacked haphazardly underneath the bins. Didn’t take long to dig up this rare double LP of spiritual jazz. The cover was in poor shape, with some severe water damage, but the LPs looked decent. I asked about buying it and the clerk said he didn’t know since it didn’t have a price tage and he’d have to call the owner. The first response from the Boss (who I later found out used to own one of favorite stores in Atlanta, Red, Beans & Rice) was something to the effect of “That records not supposed to be there,” but after a bit of sweet talk from me he decided to sell it and it’s been a prized possession in my collection every since.}

Jorge Ben – From Brazil (O Bidu Silencio No Brooklin) & Wilson Simonal – Wilson Simonal

{These two don’t follow each other in the mix, but they’re very much linked together as I’ve detailed before on this blog, here and here. Short version of those longer stories is that I picked up the Jorge Ben album at Amoeba in Berkeley, loved it dearly, but it was one of many records I sold in 2004. It was years and years before I broke down and decided to by another copy of it, opting to get the Brazilian version. I was shocked to discover that the music was completely different than what I remembered, I then bought the US version of the same album and the music was the same as the Brazilian copy, but still different than what I remembered. Listening to dubs of the original songs I finally put two and two together and realized that I had a mis-press which featured a collection of music from Wilson Simonal on the album instead of Jorge Ben. My guess is that these two records were pressed up at around the same time and so maybe there are a few mis-presses out there, or maybe that copy was unique. Both albums are stellar and I’m thankful to have solved the mystery}

Jean Kassapian – The Snake

{This one slithers it’s way into the mix between Jorge Ben and Wilson Simonal. Earlier this year I bought a 45 from an Ebay dealer who happened to be local and willing to hand off the 45 in person instead of sending it in the mail. When I arrived I noticed that there were boxes and boxes of 45s just lying around the place. He told me that the 45 I had bought had come from this collection and I convinced him to allow me to look through them to see if there was anything else I’d be interested in buying. Took a couple of days but I pulled out a few nice 45s, including this private press belly-dance shaker (I’ll actually be featuring this and a few others from this dig in a post in a couple weeks). When I showed the guy the ones I was interested in, he immediately took them to the back room and returned with prices based off of quick internet searches. Some of the prices must have been based on what some of these would have gone for in 2001, but were way inflated for today (for example, he wanted $100 for a Shadows Of Knight 45 that you can find for $10 or less), but through some intervention of the record gods, he wasn’t able to find information on this 45 and a couple others. It’s not that the information isn’t there, he just missed it. So, this one is one of my best digs, a super rare 45 that I got for $5, though it’s probably worth over $200.}

Booker Little – Booker Little

{If the Jean Kassapian is maybe my most recent steal, this record from Booker Little was the very first one. I started really seriously collecting vinyl in 1994/1995. One of my favorite dealers was a guy out in Brookhaven by the name of Bill Wolfe. He always had amazing records, stuff no one else ever had and they were almost always in perfect condition. His store was the one that nobody told anyone else about and you’d give a sideways glance if you ran into someone you knew when you were there. One Saturday morning he had a $1 record sale outside his store, with records that he clearly didn’t think were worth much and wouldn’t mix in with the gems he kept inside. Digging through those brought me this album from an artist who now is one of my all-time favorites. The cover had a major seam split and some other damage, but for the most part looked really good. The record itself looked beautiful. There’s just no reason this record should have been $1, even in this condition these days it would likely fetch $100-200. This Time record is the second rarest record in Little’s catalog and features work from the legendary Scott La Faro on bass, both artists tragically dying in the same year 1961, about a year after this was released. I don’t have a lot of stories digging up steals, nothing else as rare as this record and Kassapian mentioned above, these were definitely moments where good record Karma came through.}

Arnold Bean – Cosmic Bean

{This is a record I’ve featured here before, and one of the few records I’ve just gotten for free. I was expecting some crazy price, given that the store where I found it, Action Records (aka As The Record Turns aka A-1 Records), has some serious heavyweight pieces. Every time I’ve gone in there though, the owner has just thrown in one of the records I brought up to the counter. It’s not something he generally does when you see him at the PCC record swap, so I wasn’t expecting it at all, though I’m really thankful for it. “I Can See Through You” is one my favorite songs from this period of time.}

Cactus – Cactus

{As I’ve mentioned, “Can’t Judge A Book” was a song that I originally heard on WREK’s Stonehenge over 20 years ago, which was one of many shows I used to record on cassette while in High School. The tape ran out before the hosts mentioned what it was, so in those pre-Google days I was just left to wonder what the song was. I stepped up my efforts after getting to KALX Berkeley, playing it for other DJs (one of the rare times I stumped Matthew Africa) and even playing it on the air and asking listeners if they knew what the song was. Eventually I figured out two or three candidates based off of a industry book that listed song titles and the artist who had recorded them. The mystery was finally solved at The Record Man, which had all of the albums on the list and with a listening station allowed me to figure out which one it was. Remains one of my all-time favorite slices of brash and bloozy Rock’n’Roll…I especially love that the back cover suggests playing the album at a “high” level.}

Ohio Players – Ecstasy (Matthew Africa Edit)

{Probably the single most personal record in my collection is this dub plate that I made as a tribute to my friend Matthew Africa. Close to his death, Matthew was doing some of his best work as DJ, in terms of mixes and edits. This perfectly edited version of the far too short “Ecstasy” retains all of the charm of the original while expanding it into a 4 minute epic dance floor burner. One of the best moments of my entire DJ career was playing this at Funky Sole earlier in the year and having the response be just as ecstatic as the song itself.  Through another moment of good record karma, I actually ended up with two copies of this due to an imperceptible pressing issue on one. No other record in my collection means as much to me as this one.}

Leigh Stephens – Red Weather

{It doesn’t happen too often, but every know and again I’ll walk into a store and walk into a fantastic record that I’ve never heard before but immediately desire. One of the places this happened several times was at the “old” Records LA (The owner Scott Craig has essentially moved everything to the Last Bookstore in DTLA) but my favorite was walking into the store and about 30 seconds later Scott dropping the needle on a reissue of this album from former Blue Cheer member Leigh Stephens. I really dig psychedelic rock, have since growing up listening to Hendrix and making cassettes of 96 Rock’s Psychedelic Saturday. When all of those washes of feedback and those heavy drums came through the speakers, I couldn’t even concentrate on looking at the other records, I had to know what the album was. When I found out it was a reissue, I immediately went about tracking down an original. I trip out that if I had left home later, or gotten stuck in traffic and arrived at the store 15 or 20 minutes later, or hadn’t even bothered to have gone that day, I would have never known about what now is one of my favorite psych records of all-time.}

Billy Harper – Capra Black

{Another record I’ve talked about here and how this is one of many records that reminds me of Matthew Africa, since Harper was one of our favorite Saxophonists and we discussed him at length and saw him perform in the Bay Area. What I didn’t mention is that this was actually the very first album I ever bought off of the internet. At the time Ubiquity/Luv’n’Haight records had an online storefront that not only featured their music, but also rarer things. Having heard this album through the aforementioned WORT Library, when I saw it listed online I snatched it up immediately. What I didn’t realize is that I had bought the album from Cool Chris of Groove Merchant, until he mentioned it during a conversation we were having years after that. This record symbolizes not only the friendship I had with Matthew, but it also highlights just how important this music and these records have been in shaping my life. When I was admitted to Berkeley, the #1 thing I was excited about was being able to go to Groove Merchant. Chris was actually the first person I knew in California, even before I moved there for Graduate School. As mentioned above, when I started to think of the records I have as not only music that I enjoy but as a source of collected memory, memories of finding the albums, memories of conversations about music, of friendships built around shared passions for music, it is really true that our collections tell stories about our life, big thanks to Eilon Paz for digging up those stories and thank you all for listening to mine.}

Bart Davenport Performs at KPFK!

Bart Davenport Performs at KPFK!

Mr. Bart Davenport was our guest this past Friday at KPFK and it really was one of my favorite interviews I’ve had at the station. Though this is the first time we’ve actually met, Bart and I have crossed paths a number of times over the past 20 years. I first became a fan of him, without knowing it was him, when I heard “Wishy Washy Woman” from one of his earlier groups The Loved Ones. When I moved to the Bay Area in 1999, I became friends with several DJs and musicians because of my time at KALX, including a couple who were close friends of Bart, Kitty English and Sean Sullivan. Somehow though, through all those years, Bart and I were never formally introduced until this past week. Over that time, Davenport has released music with several groups, The Loved Ones, The Kinetics, Honeycut and Incarnations, as well as releasing a half dozen solo releases, with Physical World being his most recent one. Davenport performs four songs acoustically, three from his most recent record, “Dust In The Circuits,” “Wearing The Changes” and “Every Little Step,” as well as a cover of Prefab Sprout’s “Lions In My Own Garden.” During the interview we talk about a variety of things including Davenport’s songwriting sensibilities, how moving from the Bay Area to LA has affected his music, and some of the themes and stories behind the new album Physical World, particularly my favorite song on there and an early candidate for “song of the year,” his anthemic “Fuck Fame.” Davenport and his cohorts are currently touring Europe, but will be stateside in the summer and you shouldn’t be surprised if he makes a return visit back to the station with the full group or to play some records in the near future.

Bart Davenport on KPFK’s Melting Pot: Recorded 04-18-2014

DeanoSoundsKPFK

It was hard sitting on this one as long as we had to, but I’m finally glad to be able to share this guest DJ set and interview with Deano Sounds of the Cultures Of Soul record label. Clifton from Funky Sole had suggested to Mr. Sounds that it would be a good idea to swing by while he was in town doing a guest set at their funky soiree. Due to the fundraiser we weren’t able to broadcast it when he was in town and with the past couple weeks of special programming, we just had wait a little longer. I think you’ll find that it was very worth the wait as Deano Sounds mixes together a collection of things that have been (or will be soon) reissued from Cultures Of Soul, with a few choice cuts from elsewhere (JJ Julian!!!!). Matter of fact, having that extra time between when we recorded the set and broadcasted it on-air worked out for us all, because it gave him time to write down a full playlist of all the tracks. Enjoy the sounds and good luck digging for these!

Deano Sounds Interview: Recorded 10-11-2013
Guest DJ Set from Deano Sounds for KPFK’s Melting Pot: Recorded 10-11-2013

Playlist:
Stevo – Pay the Price
Evans Pyramid – No I Won’t Can’t Get Arrested
CS Crew – Doing the Good Thing
Afro Kelenkye Band – Jungle Funk
Mighty Mo and the Winchester 7 – The Next Message
Pearl reeves – Cool with A Groove
Cuppy Records Studio Band – I Keep Forgetting
Darling Dears – And I Love You
Jade – Siesta is Over
Emanuel Taylor – You Really Got A Hold On Me
Vashonettes – A Mighty Good Lover
Everyday People Unlimited – Soul Living
JJ Julien – 100 Pounds of Pain
Roy Roberts – So Much In Love

Haitus Kaiyote Performs At KPFK

Haitus Kaiyote Performs At KPFK

I’ve written before how enamored I am with Australian group Hiatus Kaiyote, and when the opportunity came up to have them in the studio I jumped at the chance. Due to the fact that the fundraiser was still ongoing and we couldn’t use our usual performance space, we weren’t able to accommodate all the usual audio requirements, but that actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Haitus Kaiyote KPFK (3) Since they knew ahead of time that they wouldn’t be able to present their “usual” sound, the band worked out a more stripped down performance style, that according to them, was the first time they were playing like this. The group performed 4 songs, 3 of which, “Mobius Streak,” “Malika,” and “Lace Skull” are featured on their EP Tawk Tomahawk, as well as a song that is as of yet unreleased, “Borderline With My Atoms.” This stripped down approach produces a very different sound than fans might be used to but as singer/guitarist Nai Palm mentions in the interview it allows you to hear the music in a different light and take note of elements in the songs that you might not have noticed with the full production (It was only after I mixing together everything later that I realized I missed an opportunity to talk to Nai about the influence of Jeff Buckley on her singing style, something that really comes through on the performance of “Lace Skull” here that I hadn’t picked up on originally). In the interview we talk about how the group came together, how they feel about their sound and the reception they’ve gotten back home in Australia and worldwide, and they provide some insights into their processes of making music, a bit of background to their song “Nakamarra” and also discuss the work that is yet to come. Big thanks go out to Angela Barkan, Scott Barkham and Brian Kelly for their help getting everything together behind the scenes, as well as Mark Maxwell of KPFK for the splendid sound. Wherever you are, if you get the chance to see Hiatus Kaiyote, don’t sleep on it, there is some serious talent on display here and we were lucky to have them in and honor us with this unique performance.

Hiatus Kaiyote on KPFK’s Melting Pot: Recorded 10-29-2013

HannibalKPFK

Robin Hannibal towers over most every producer in 2013 and not just because he is in fact quite a tall fellow.

It was our great pleasure to bring Robin Hannibal in for an interview this past Sunday on Melting Pot. We’d been in contact most of the summer with the hope of bringing in Quadron to perform, but things never quite panned out. Given the year that Robin has had, with highly acclaimed records from both Quadron and his other “main” project Rhye, it made good sense to just have Robin in to discuss both of these bands as well as his own side project Bobby. The interview with Robin and Coco in 2010 stands as one of my favorites that we’ve done, and I think this one is a nice sequel that definitely doesn’t disappoint. We spent essentially the entire show focusing on the music that Robin has created with Quadron, Rhye, Bobby, Owusu & Hannibal and Denmark’s Boom Clap Bachelors, spanning the last 7+ years. As you’ll hear, we cover a lot of territory with these multiple projects, get more insight into Robin’s creative process and approach to orchestrating the sound of his groups. We spent so much time talking that we didn’t have time for a guest DJ set that we’d originally planned on. But hopefully we’ll be able to bring him back sometime in the near future. Until then, enjoy the interview!

Robin Hannibal Interview on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 10-06-2013

Music played during the Interview:

Rhye – The Fall – Woman (Innovative Leisure)
Quadron – Neverland – Avalanche (Vested In Culture)
Bobby – Tame The Shrew – Single (Quieres Chicle)
Rhye – Last Dance – Woman (Innovative Leisure)

{In addition to an almost month-long hiatus from the radio show, I’m going to take most of the next week off from the blog. I’ll be back here next week, until then enjoy the music, especially THIS one!!!}

Ruben Molina of the Southern Soul Spinners was our guest this past Sunday.  Molina has been a collector since the days of his youth in 1960s Los Angeles, and much like KPFK’s Bill Gardner is truly a living encyclopedia when it comes to soul music.  Ruben Molina KPFKIn addition to having written two books, The Old Barrio Guide To Lowrider Music 1950-1975 and Chicano Soul: Recordings and History of an American Culture, Molina is recognized as a true historian when it comes to these sweet soul sounds.  This style of music, whether we call it “Lowrider Music,” “East Side Soul,” “Souldies,” “Firme Rolas,” “Sweet Soul/Funk” or “Deep Soul,” always seems to hit the spot.  The idea for asking Molina to come in was related to conversations with Soul-Sides Oliver Wang and with my Wife over the last several months.  Molina was more than happy to come in to talk about the music and spin some tunes. I’m not sure there have been so many records that I knew nothing about but once I heard them I instantly, obsessively wanted to have in my collection, than you’ll hear in this set.  I have a feeling you’ll be feeling that way too as soon as you start listening to it.  There are some slight tech issues, twice the power cut out on us, which causes the sound to drop out and then start back up at 33 rpms, but that’s just to prove to you that the set was all on original vinyl! Don’t worry, I’m sure Ruben will be back in the near future to play even more music, but for now…Enjoy!

Guest DJ Set from Ruben Molina for KPFK’s Melting Pot: 07-28-2013

Passionettes – My Life Depends On You – Soul Burst
Desciples of Soul – Peek-A-Boo – GV
Masqueraders – One More Chance – La Beat
Enchanting Enchanters – No One In This World – Ben-Mo-Keith
Dimas III – I Won’t Love You Again – Clown
Mandells – Think Back – Trans World Sound
Doc & Sal – Cry and Wonder Why – Dynamic
Dream Team – There He Is – Gregory
Wasters – Accept My Love – UNI
Reggie Soul & the Swingmasters – World Of Ecstasy – Capri
Voice Masters – Two Lovers – Frisco
Kickin’ Mustangs – Take A Miracles – Plato
Little Janice – Since You’ve Been Gone – Pzazz
Three Stranges – I’ll Be Alright – ABC-Paramount
Magic Tones – Nothing Better Than Love – Mah’s
Cheryl Williams – I’m Your Fool – Bengee
Coronadas – You Can Do Me Some Good – Bright Star
Deceptions – Of All The Hearts – Brooks
Royal Chessmen – Beggin’ You – Custom Fidelity
Wendy Rene – After The Laughter – Stax

Matthew Sweet (6)

This year has really been good to me. Here’s another interview from an artist who had a major impact on my youth and influenced how how I hear music and pushed me to discover a variety of artists that I wouldn’t have sought out if not for the work they did with him. Matthew Sweet ‘s Girlfriend came out when I was 16 and a Junior in High School, Altered Beast was released just as I graduated and was about to enroll at GSU. I’ve worn out CDs and cassette copies of both of these records over the past 20 years, they’ve been required listening on road trips all over the country and been the soundtracks for new love and heartbreaks alike. These records also led me to other cherished groups that included the featured gutarists Robert Quine, Richard Lloyd and Ivan Julian, such as Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Television and John Zorn, as well as cementing my great love of harmony and in the process opened up my musical tastes in ways I’m not sure I even fully grasp.

I’d tried valiantly to bring Matthew Sweet into our studios in 2011 when his breakthrough album Girlfriend was celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. With another anniversary for the equally fantastic album Altered Beast slated for 2013, I reached out to his people and this time the stars aligned and we were able to set things up. Matthew performed four songs acoustically, two each from these classic albums (“I’ve Been Waiting” and “Winona” from Girlfriend plus “Ugly Truth” and “Time Capsule” from Altered Beast), along with his friend Paul Chastain on harmony vocals. From almost two hours chatting together about his career we have these two hour-long interviews, filled with music and stories from both albums with part one primarily focused on Girlfriend and part two focused on Altered Beast (this is the uncensored version that includes a few words I had to clean up for broadcast because of those sensitive ears over at the FCC). I hope you enjoy hearing this as much as I enjoyed putting it together, this was truly one of the highlights of my entire radio career. Big thanks to Joe Stahl and Rebecca Cayce for setting things up, Stan Misraje for his sound engineering and most of all to Matthew Sweet for his candor and generosity in sharing his time and all of his music with us.

Matthew Sweet on KPFK’s Melting Pot: Recorded 07-10-2013 Part 1
Matthew Sweet on KPFK’s Melting Pot: Recorded 07-10-2013 Part 2

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