Melting Pot

Archive for the ‘Breakdown’ category

DoubleNickels

Earlier this Summer, Double Nickels On The Dime, the classic album from the Minutemen, celebrated it’s 30th anniversary. Double Nickels is one of my favorite albums, something I’ve listened to hundreds of times over the years. It’s an album that has deep personal meaning for me, along with a handful of others, because it’s something that really changed the way I hear music and informed my personal and political sensibilities. When the idea for a tribute show came to mind, I knew I wanted to play the entire record, from start to finish. I wanted to include some information about the Minutemen and the recording of this album and considered using clips from the documentary We Jam Econo. Thankfully I was able to get a hold of Mike Watt and he was extremely gracious with his time, driving up from Pedro on a traffic filled hot summer weekday and spending almost two hours with me about the band and this album. Given the constraints of time, I had to edit down that conversation for the on-air program, but you can find our full conversation right here. All together this was truly a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. One of the shows that I’m most proud of in my 20+ year radio career. Enjoy this one to the fullest.

Melting Pot on KPFK #175: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #175: Second Hour

Playlist: 08-31-2014

{opening theme} Booker T & The MGs – Melting Pot – 7″ (Stax)

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Mike Watt – Interview – Recorded Live At KPFK: 07-31-2014

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The Minutemen – Side D. – Double Nickels On The Dime (SST)

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The Minutemen – Side Mike (Part 1) – Double Nickels On The Dime (SST)

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The Minutemen – Side Mike (Part 2) – Double Nickels On The Dime (SST)

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The Minutemen – Side George – Double Nickels On The Dime (SST)

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The Minutemen – Side Chaff – Double Nickels On The Dime (SST)

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{closing theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

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First “real” show in a real long time, and this one is a doosey. When we have fundraisers and special programming, the music really piles up, plus I’ve been buying a ton of vinyl of late so there were all kinds of sounds that I’ve been waiting to share with you. Also, last week I went to New Orleans for a small-time getaway just before my birthday and the start of the new semester here at Long Beach, so there’s a few of my finds in the mix too. The show begins with a recently released protest song from Lauryn Hill, connected to the ongoing injustice in Ferguson, MO here in the states. The show also features a lot of anniversary music, a couple albums celebrating 20th anniversaries, Brother Sister from the Brand New Heavies and Grace from Jeff Buckley. I also play a Minutemen track that a different version is featured on their landmark album Double Nickels On The Dime, which I’ll be paying tribute to next Sunday for it’s 30th anniversary. Speaking of anniversaries, there’s also a couple songs dedicated to Chicano Batman’s Bardo Martinez and his new wife Laura in the second hour.

Finally, I also play some new music from Joanna Gruesome in the last set. The band played a couple of shows here in LA over the weekend and only deepened the heavy music crush I had on them, especially lead singer Alanna McArdle. I ran out of time, so I wasn’t able to read the amazing statement she posted after recently having to cancel a concert to take care of her mental health. It’s so incredibly rare to have a statement like this, here’s the link to it, please read it when you have a chance. If Alanna and Meredith of Perfect Pussy ever join forces in the same group, I’m not sure my heart could bear it, we’re lucky to have these fierce rock’n’rollers with us right now. Enjoy the show, next week it’s allllll Minutemen folks!

Melting Pot on KPFK #174: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #174: Second Hour

Playlist: 08-24-2014
{opening theme} Booker T & the Mgs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

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Lauryn Hill – Black Rage (Sketch) – Single (Self-released)
Eugene McDaniels – Headless Heroes – Headless Heroes Of The Apocalypse (Atlantic)
Jungle Fire – Comencemos – 7” (Colemine)
Dr. John – Where Ya At Mule – Sun, Moon & Herbs (Atco)
Sidney Bechet – Blue Horizon – Jazz Classics Vol. 1 (Blue Note)
Antibalas – Tattletale Pt. 1 – 7” (Daptone)

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KING – Mr. Chameleon – Single (Self-Released)
Brand New Heavies – Back To Love – Brother Sister (Delicious Vinyl)
Ed Motta – Dried Flowers – AOR (Dwitza)
Erasmo Carlos – Mane Joao – Sonhos E Memorias (Polydor)
Louiz Banks – Song For My Lady – Spritiual Jazz Vol. 5 (Jazzman)

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Oy – Marketplace – No Problem Saloon (Crammed Discs)
Los Hacheros – Toma Tu Pilon – Pilon (Daptone)
Jeff Buckley – Dream Brother – Grace (Columbia)
Ismael Lo – Tajabone – All About My Mother: Original Soundtrack (Universal)
Lost Midas – Archetype Forgotten – Off The Course (Tru Thoughts)

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Electric Wire Hustle – Look In The Sky – By & Bye (Okay Player)
Betty & Angel – Everlasting Love – 7” (Every Day)
Chris Connor – Try A Little Tenderness – Sings Lullabys Of Birdland (Bethlehem)
Dirty Three – Ashen Snow – Toward The Low Sun (Drag City/Anchor & Hope)
Chicano Batman – La Tigresa – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)

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Souls of Mischief & Adrian Younge – Panic Struck – There Is Only Now (Linear Labs)
Angkanang Kunchai – Lam Plearn Mee Mia Leaw Pai – The Sound Of Siam Vol. 2 (Soundway)
Allah-Las – 501-415 – Worship The Sun (Innovative Leisure)
Gales of Joy – Oh Yes – 7” (King)
Bo Rhambo – Two For The Blues – Enchanted Evening (imperial)

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Joanna Gruesome – Psykick Espionage – 7” (Slumberland/Captured Tracks)
The Minutemen – Little Man With A Gun In His Hand – Buzz Or Howl Under The Influence Of Heat (SST)
Louis Prima – Oh Marie – The Wildest! (Capitol)
Kasai All-Stars – The Chief Enthronement / Oyaye – Beware The Fetish (Crammed Discs)
Chico Hamilton Quintet – Siete Cuatro – Chico Hamilton Quintet (Pacific Jazz)

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Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

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Really nice to be back on the air again, I’ve been waiting and waiting for this one for what seemed like months. In the first hour of the show we have an interview with Adam Kahan (separate post to follow) the film-maker behind the truly beautiful documentary on Rahsaan Roland Kirk, The Case Of The Three Sided Dream. The second hour of the program is an hour long tribute to one of the greatest and funkiest drummers to have ever walked the planet, Idris Muhammad. I’ll write a bit more later Monday, enjoy the sounds for now!

Melting Pot on KPFK #173: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #173: Second Hour

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Took a bit of a hiatus here at the start of August, but I’ll be back full-time here on the blog for the rest of the month. Here’s the fundraising special we did a couple weeks ago, we’ll be back with a new show on August 17th! Thanks to everyone who supported Melting Pot and KPFK!

Melting Pot on KPFK #172: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #172: Second Hour

Haden

This was a very special show. I wasn’t on the air last week, so I wasn’t able to share the Charnett Moffett interview or pay tribute to Charlie Haden. With Haden’s passing, Moffett is without a doubt the best bass player walking the earth. We recorded the interview on Thursday, the day before we found out about Haden’s passing and so we don’t discuss him, and instead focus solely on Moffett’s exceptional career. It’s truly an honor to be able to pair this interview and performance with a tribute to Haden, as these two players (along with Mingus) are my favorite bassist/composers in Jazz History.

In the week since we learned of his passing, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on Haden’s legacy and listening to all of the fantastic tributes on KPFK. I’d pretty much known what songs I was going to play featuring Haden within a couple of hours of hearing of his passing. I’m struck that with an entire week of programming, from 5 or 6 different shows on our station, there was very little overlap in the songs people played. Charlie Haden’s career was so long and so stellar that we likely could have dedicated the entire week to him, 24/7, and never once repeated ourselves. In my case, I focused on songs that I had deep personal connection to. 10 years ago, I had a much more extensive collection of music that featured Haden. Over the last decade as I’ve started to rebuild my collection, I’ve often had to focus on the music that I knew I loved most. That is certainly the case with the majority of tracks I’ve played here, many of them recorded from around 1970 to 1973, a period of time where Haden was particularly associated with two large ensembles, his Liberation Music Orchestra and the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra. The sound of these pieces is certainly within the avant-garde, but it is marked by an extraordinary soulfulness and depth of emotion that isn’t always found within this particular branch of the creative music we call Jazz, but was always found in the music of Charlie Haden, regardless of what ensemble or style of music he played.

Each of these songs, as well as the recent collaboration with his son, Josh Haden and his band Spain, “You and I,” testify to the extraordinary beauty of Haden’s playing. As I’ve mentioned before, truly hearing Haden’s music affected me in profound ways, not just in terms of how I approach music, but also politically, emotionally and spiritually. I am a better man and more capable of recognizing the wonders of life and playing my part to increase beauty and love in this world because of the work of Charlie Haden. I will be eternally grateful to him for the many gifts he gave us all.

Melting Pot on KPFK #171: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #171: Second Hour

Playlist: 07-20-2014

{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – 7″ (Stax)

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Charnett Moffett – Interview and Performance – Recorded Live at KPFK (KPFK Archives)

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Charlie Haden Tribute:
The Liberation Music Orchestra feat. Charlie Haden – Song For Che – Liberation Music Orchestra (Impulse)
The Liberation Music Orchestra feat. Charlie Haden – Els Segadors – Ballad Of The Fallen (ECM)

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The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra feat. Charlie Haden – Trans-Love Airways – The Relativity Suite (JCOA)
Joe Henderson feat. Charlie Haden – Earth – The Elements (Milestone)

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The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra feat. Charlie Haden – Hotel Overture – Escalator Over The Hill (JCOA)
Spain feat. Charlie Haden – You and I – Sargent Place (Glitterhouse)

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{closing theme} The Liberation Music Orchestra feat. Charlie Haden – We Shall Overcome – Liberation Music Orchestra (Impulse)

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2014 has been another really solid year for music, especially new jazz artists expanding the boundaries of the genre. Quite a few records from 2013 that slipped under my radar find their way into the show as well…we’ll see what the second half of the year has in store for us, but for now enjoy the “Best So Far”!

Melting Pot on KPFK #170: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #170: Second Hour

Playlist: 07-06-2014
{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

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Karol Conka – Caxambu – Batuk Freak (Mr. Bongo)
BadBadNotGood – Can’t Leave The Night – III (Innovative Leisure)
Spain – Love At First Sight – Sargent Place (Glitterhouse)
Perfect Pussy – Interference Fits – Say Yes To Love (Captured Tracks)
William Onyeabor – Body and Soul – World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who is William Onyeabor (Luaka Bop)
Stanton Davis – Delta 6/Brighter Days – Isis Voyage (Culters Of Soul)

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The Internet feat. Tay Walker – You Don’t Even Know – Feel Good (Odd Future)
Ned Doheny – A Love Of Your Own – Separate Oceans (Numero)
Chicano Batman – Magma – Cycles Of Existential Rhyme (El Relleno)
Asha Bhosle & Chorus – Koi Lutera – Bombay Disco (Cultures Of Soul)
Los Macuanos – Iglesia De San Miguel Canoa – El Origen (Nacional)

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Grace Jakcson – Gonna Get U – 7” (Ximeno)
Anthony Valadez feat. Bird – Good Looking – In Search Of… (Plug Research)
Bart Davenport – Every Little Step – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)
Michael Bloomfield – Hymn Time – From His Head To His Heart To His Hands (Legacy)
Sun Kil Moon – I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love – Benji (Caldo Verde)
Ikebe Shakedown – Rio Grande – Stone By Stone (Ubiquity)

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Joanna Gruesome – Secret Surprise – Weird Sister (Slumberland)
Nick Waterhouse – It #3 – Holly (Innovative Leisure)
Ana Tijoux – Rio Abajo – Vengo (Nacional)
Soul Jazz Orchestra – East Flows The River – Inner Fire (Strut)
Zara McFarlane – Her Eyes – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)
Kris Bowers – Vices & Virtues – Heroes + Misfits (Concord)

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Charnett Moffett – Bassland – Spirit Of Sound (Motema)
Unwound – Plight – Rat Conspiracy (Numero)
The Beta Club – Freak Beat (Cinematic Mix) – 7” (Cartel)
Warpaint – Go In – Warpaint (Rough Trade)
Madlib & Freddie Gibbs – Shame – Pinata (Madlib Invazion)
107th Street Stickball Team – Barbara With The Kooky Eyes – Let’s Boogaloo Vol. 6 (Record Kicks)

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Miles Tackett & the 3 Times – Just What I Need – The Fool Who Wonders (Root Down Records)
Hokis Pokis – Nowhere – The Magic Of Hokis Pokis (Luv n’ Haight)
Rodrigo Amarante – Mana – Cavalo (Easy Sound)
Debruit & Alsarah – Alhalim – Aljawal (Soundway)
Nedelle Torrisi – Can’t Wait – Nedelle Torrisi (Self-Released)

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{closing theme} Takuya Kuroda – Green & Gold – Rising Son (Blue Note)

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Closed out June in fine style with our usual all-vinyl affair, but with a not so usual guest DJ, Mr. Nick Waterhouse (separate post upcoming). In the first hour I got a chance to spin a little bit of vinyl, in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and also short tributes to a couple of dearly departed soul men, Teenie Hodges & Bobby Womack. Also got a chance to play some newer vinyl, reissued sounds from Danny Holloway’s Ximeno Records from Underground Vegtables (another version of Melting Pot!) and Grace Jackson plus new sounds from the Beta Club. The rest of the time we spend with Nick Waterhouse, talking about his music and style in the first hour and then a 40+ minute Guest DJ set all on 45 vinyl in the second hour. The show ends with a very short song dedicated to WRAS Atlanta, Album 88 and the continued struggle to return the station, now that it has switched over to its new “format,” to being 100% student run and operated. “Come Sunday” is one of my favorite all-time songs, a song that focuses on the struggle of life and the optimism that things will be better as long as we keep holding on and keep pushing on. Next week it’s our “Best So Far” of 2014, and as good as June was, we’re hoping July will be even better! Thanks for tuning in!

Melting Pot on KPFK #169: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #169: Second Hour

Playlist: 06-30-2014

{opening theme} Underground Vegetables – Melting Pot – 7″ (Ximeno)

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SNCC Freedom Singers – Woke up This Morning With My Mind On Freedom – Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement (Smithsonian)
Al Green feat. Teenie Hodges – Old Time Lovin’ – Let’s Stay Together (Hi)
Bobby Womack – Looking For A Love – 7″ (Collectables)
The Ronettes – Walking In The Rain – 7″ (Philles)
Booker Little – Victory & Sorrow – Victory & Sorrow (Bethlehem)

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Grace Jackson – Gonna Get U – 7″ (Ximeno)
Los Tainos – Amor Mio – Los Tainos (Arieto)
The Beta Club – Freak Beat – 7″ (Cartel)
Keno Duke – Too Late, Fall Back Baby – Sense OF Values (Strata East)

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Nick Waterhouse – Interview – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)

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Nick Waterhouse – Sleeping Pills – Holly (Innovative Leisure)

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Nick Waterhouse – Guest DJ Set – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)

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Duke Ellington feat. Ray Nance – Come Sunday – Black, Brown & Biege (CBS)

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So much going on in so many different places, but this show really helped me bringing everything together and it turned out into one of my single favorite shows I’ve done at KPFK. First there’s the music, which includes a bevy of tributes, to recently passed away Gerry Goffin and Horace Silver, to the season of Summer and the end of Spring with Love and Dungen, giveaways and new music from Lee Fields, Foreign Exchange, Miles Tackett, The Beta Club and others…highlight of the show is certainly the interview and performance from Zara McFarlane (separate post coming). Back to back weeks of some of the best interviews in our short time on the air and we’re just getting started here in Year 5 on KPFK. Next week it’s the end of the month, so we’re all on vinyl and should have a guest DJ set from Nick Waterhouse!

Melting Pot on KPFK #168: First Hour
Melting Pot On KPFK #168: Second Hour

Playlist: 06-22-2014
{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

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The Monkees – Somewhere In The Morning – More Of The Monkees (Rhino)
Love – The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This – Forever Changes (Elektra)
Dungen – Soda – Skit I Allt (Kemado)
Eric Dolphy – Tenderly – Far Cry (Prestige)
Rodrigo Amarante – The Ribbon – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)

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Lee Fields & the Expressions – Still Gets Me Down – Emma Jean (Truth & Soul)
Nick Waterhouse – Let It Come Down – Holly (Innovative Leisure)
King Khan & the Shrines – Tell Me – The Supreme Genius Of King Khan & the Shrines (Vice)
Captain Beefheart – Tropical Hot Dog Night – Shiny Beast (Virgin)
The Beta Club – Brassa Nova – 7” (Cartel Records)

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Foreign Exchange – Right After Midnight – Love In Flying Colors (Foreign Exchange Music)
King – In The Meantime – Recordedd Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)
Ned Doheny – Get It Up For Love – Separate Oceans (Numero)
Blu – The Return – Good To Be Home (Nature Sounds)
Quantic feat. Anibal Velasquez – La Callejera – Magnetica (Tru Thoughts)

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Zara McFarlane – Interview & Performance – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)

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Zara McFarlane feat. Leron Thomas – Angie La La – If You Knew Her (Brownswood)
BadBadNotGood – Triangle – III (Innovative Leisure)
Miles Tackett & the 3 Times – Everything – The Fool Who Wonders (Self-Released)
Horace Silver – Senor Blues – Senor Blues (Blue Note)

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{closing theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

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Haven’t had too many shows like this, where we have two guests, but I’ve learned over the years to take the opportunities as they come and so for Father’s Day we had an interview and guest DJ set with DJ 671 of the Beat Swap Meet AND a interview & performance from Rodrigo Amarante! (separate posts to follow for both) Both are fantastic and are great representations of what I hope makes this show so special and are only possible because of the grand freedom I have to produce this program at KPFK. With 90+ minutes devoted to those two guests, my direct contribution is minimal, but very potent. The show begins with a tribute to one of the most unique male vocalists of all-time, the recently departed Little Jimmy Scott, a non-traditional Father’s Day tune from Tim Buckley perfectly complimented by Zara McFarlane at the end of that first set. I end with a track from guest Rodrigo Amarante’s debut solo record Cavalo, along with a song from Containe that popped into my mind after not hearing it for 15 years, and closes up with a George Jones song for my own Father, who’s love of Country music I refected when I was young, but appreciate now that I’m an adult. There are also some subtle Father’s Day elements in both the guest DJ set from DJ 671 and the performance from Amarante…all in all, one of my best shows since coming to KPFK, hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it together!

Melting Pot on KPFK #167: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #167: Second Hour

Playlist: 06-15-2014
{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

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Little Jimmy Scott – This Love Of Mine – The Source (Atlantic)
Tim Buckley – Dream Letter – Happy Sad (Elektra)
Zara McFarlane – You’ll Get Me In Trouble – If You Knew Her (Brownswood)

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DJ 671 – Interview & Guest DJ Set – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)
The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble – I.B. Struttin’ – 7” (Self-released)

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Rodrigo Amarante – Interview & Performance

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Rodrigo Amarante – Nada Em Vao – Cavalo (Easy Sound)
Containe – Only Cowards Walk Like Cowards – Only Cowards Walk Like Cowards (Enchante)
George Jones – Sometimes You Just Can’t Win – Trouble In Mind (United Artists)

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{closting theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

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This past week’s show was actually the first “regular” Melting Pot I’ve done in a really long time. The fundraiser took up most of May, and since then we’ve done some special programming on the show. There was quite a bit of new music to get to, including Rodrigo Amarante, Zara McFarlane and Brownout covering Black Sabbath, as well as a slew of new releases from Los Angeles based artists E. Arenas (of Chicano Batman), Miles Tackett & the 3 Times and a couple of local records I really should have been playing much more much earlier from Moonchild and Nedelle Torrisi. We began the show by paying tribute to a couple of people who recently passed. “Phenomenal Woman” begins the show, as a tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou’s extraordinary life. At the close of the first set I pay tribute to a collector out of Chicago whom I never met, but in learning of his passing I also learned of the indelible mark he left on all those who knew him, Bob Abrahamian. The second hour begins with an interview from Eilon Paz of Dust and Grooves (separate post to follow) where we talk about his amazing photography project documenting the collections of vinyl enthusiasts from around the world. This interview kicks off what I hope will be a very eventful summer for Melting Pot, if everything I have lined up actually comes through. For now enjoy the show!

Melting Pot on KPFK #166: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #166: Second Hour

Playlist: 06-08-2014
{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – Melting Pot (Stax)

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Dr. Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Woman – In Their Own Voices: A Century Of Recorded Poetry (Word Beat)
Zara McFarlane feat. Leron Thomas – Angie La La – If You Knew Her (Brownswood)
Dolores Gibson – I Got A Feeling – 7” (Ultrasonic)
Syl Johnson – Soul Heaven – The Complete Mythology of Syl Johnson (Numero)

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Rodrigo Amarante – Tardei – Cavalo (Easy Sound)
Jessica Lea Mayfield – The One I Love Best – With Blasphemy So Heartfelt (Nonesuch)
Miles Tackett & the 3 Times – One More Time – The Fool Who Wanders (Self-relesed)
The Rock*A*Teens – Cry – Cry (Daemon)

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Brownout – Into The Void – Brown Sabbath (Ubiquity)
Black Sabbath – Tomorrow’s Dream – Vol. 4 (WB)
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Moonland – Dig Lazarus Dig! (Mute)
E. Arenas – Passaro Atado – Nariz (El Relleno)

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Funkadelic – Everybody’s Goona Make It This Time – America Eats Its Young (Westbound)
Phonte feat. 9th Wonder, Evidence & Big K.R.I.T. – The Life Of Kings – Charity Starts At Home (Foreign Exchange Music)
Helene Smith – True Love Don’t Grow On Trees – Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts of Deep City (Numero)

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Black Star feat. Vinia Mojica – K.O.S. (Determination) – Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star (Rawkus)
Moonchild – I’ll Make It Easy – Please Rewind (Self-Released)
Nedelle Torrisi – I Love Thousands Every Summer – Nedelle Torrisi (Self-Released)
Ned Doheny – Get It Up For Love – Separate Oceans (Numero)

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{closing theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

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On the personal side of things, this has been a really difficult year for me, much of that has affected how often I post here on the blog and might have also affected the show as well. I’d started the year with the hope that I’d be doing more performances and interviews than ever before, but we ended up with about the same amount as Year 3. What we didn’t have in quantity, we more than made up in quality, with sessions from Dom La Nena, The Summer Twins, Matthew Sweet, Hiatus Kaiyote and Bart Davenport, as well as guest DJ sessions and interviews with Robin Hannibal, Myron & E, Deano Sounds and LA’s very own Ruben Molina. All of these are archived here in the “Be Our Guest” section. In our anniversary show, I changed the format a bit, choosing two interviews to highlight, in this year’s case Dom La Nena and Bart Davenport, and with the rest of the time, I decided to play you the songs from the other sessions, but presented, more or less, as they were actually recorded in our studios. With Matthew Sweet and Hiatus Kaiyote, you get a little taste of the chatter between the musicians as they perform at our studios. I love these little moments and though I edit them out for the finished interview that we broadcast, they are some of my favorite moments of these sessions. Enjoy the show and we’ll see what Year #5 has in store. Now that my personal life has started to stabilize I’m putting even more time into Melting Pot and hopefully you’ll be hearing a variety of guests shortly on our show.

Melting Pot on KPFK #165: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #165: Second Hour

savewras

A few weeks ago, in the midst of grading papers during the final week of classes at Long Beach, I heard news that was unbelievably shocking. Georgia State University, in my home town of Atlanta, made a deal with Georgia Public Broadcasting that effectively spells the demise of one of the largest and most respected college radio stations in the entire country, WRAS Atlanta, Album 88. I got my start in radio at Album 88 from 1993-1998, hosting a variety of shows and serving as an Assistant Program Director and Music Director. There is no way to quantify the effect working at the station had on my life. When I arrived at GSU I was convinced that my future career would be in radio. Unable to continue playing the sport I loved, baseball, I thought being a sports broadcaster would be a nice consolation prize. I didn’t waste much time getting on the wait list to be trained at Album 88 and while I thought it would be a great learning experience, I got so much more out of it than I ever could have possibly dreamed. Working at Album 88 completely changed my life, opened me up to music I never would have experienced otherwise, gave me my first real experience teaching and training others and brought me into contact with some of the most creative people I’ve ever known. It made me a better person and made me realize that I didn’t need a degree in order to be in radio, and I’d be much happier NOT going for a commercial, mainstream radio gig. It got me to really focus on what was most important to my life, changing my career path to focus on teaching, while continuing to champion music that was rarely heard on commercial/mainstream stations. The experience started what has now been a 20 year career in non-commercial radio, spanning four other stations. There’s no telling where I would be without Album 88.

So, when I heard that GSU had sold the station out, waiting to announce the deal until essentially all of the students had left campus at the end of the school year, even though they had been secretly working things out for at least 6 months prior, I completely freaked out. In recent years we’ve seen college campuses outright sell their radio stations away, KUSF in San Francisco and Vanderbilt’s WRVU being just a couple of the notable examples. But surely WRAS would be safe, the largest student run station in the country, with 100,000 watts, a 40+ legacy that includes being THE place where Bob Geldof got the inspiration to write “I Don’t Like Mondays,” exposing R.E.M. and the Athens sound in the 1980s, being the first place to play Outkast, Goodie Mob and other Hip-Hop artists that put Atlanta on the map…it couldn’t happen to WRAS! But it has, and in a deal that makes no logical sense Georgia State sold out the students for a paltry $150,000 over two years and “access” to GPB that the Journalism and Communications departments likely already had. The whole deal is fishy and while students are still “allowed” to broadcast on-air from 7pm – 5am, the rest of the time has been taken by GPB, which already broadcasts material elsewhere in Georgia on dozens of stations and carries the same NPR shows that every other NPR station in this country plays.

Album 88 isn’t just any station, it’s the crown jewel of College Radio. If WRAS can be stolen from the students, any station, including KALX Berkeley or KXLU here in LA can be taken away too, and that should scare the hell out of every single person who cares about non-commercial radio. Thankfully, the students and alumni of the station have organized are doing whatever they can to halt this deal. The administration must have really thought that WRAS stood for, “We Really Are Stoned,” to think that students wouldn’t go down without a fight! I wanted to do what I could and chose to dedicate this past Sunday’s show to my experiences at Album 88, playing music that I never would have found or heard if not for the station. The five years I spent there were so rich that there’s no way to do it justice in 2 hours, but I had to do something. I may not be able to protest in person, but I can add my voice, and since the students can’t do it themselves on their own airwaves, I’ve tried to bring attention to it here on my show.

As I mention at the end of the show, I don’t want to imagine a world with Album 88, that some kid born in 2014 will grow up without the opportunities that I had, opportunities that changed my life, is something that I just cannot accept without doing all that I can to protect the station that means so much to me and to so many others. If you care about non-commercial radio, especially college radio. Please take time to learn more about the situation at WRAS and join the “Save WRAS” campaign:

SAVE WRAS website: http://savewras.com/
SAVE WRAS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/savemywras
SAVE WRAS on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaveWRAS
Change.Org Petition To Stop GPB’s Takeover of WRAS:  click here

Melting Pot on KPFK #164: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #164: Second Hour

Playlist: 05-25-2014
SAVE WRAS Tribute Show

{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – Melting Pot (Stax)

{You can thank Album 88′s Daryl “G-Wiz” Felker, the most skilled live DJ I’ve ever known, for introducing me to this b-boy classic, which took me a few years to really appreciate. I remember first hearing it and thinking, “Where’s the Break?” Thankfully I kept listening and it serves as the best theme song I’ve ever had in my 20+ years on radio.}

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Talk Talk – Ascension Day – Laughing Stock (Verve)

{My first distinct memory of Album 88 was connected to this song, which I had recorded on a cassette during my sophomore year of high school. By senior year I exclusively listened to Album 88 on the radio}

Max Roach – Garvey’s Ghost – Percussion Bitter Sweet (Impulse)

{One of my proudest accomplishments at Album 88 was bringing jazz back on it’s airwaves through the Blue Note (a show that still occupies Sundays 12-2pm on WRAS, though that will change along with all the other daytime programming if this deal goes through), along with James Diggs and Daryl “G-Wiz” Felker. That jazz show eventually led to the extraordinary privilege of interviewing Max Roach, one of my favorite musicians and activists, spending hours with him, from the ride over to the station to the interview itself is one of the greatest moments of my life, along with interviewing Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers, also at Album 88}

Booker T & the MGs – LA Jazz Song – Melting Pot (Stax)
{Before I came to Album 88 I mostly bought CDs and cassettes. Hanging around skilled Hip-Hop DJs like G-Wiz, Randall Moore,Talib Shabazz, Jaycee and Applejac pushed me to start digging in the crates and gave me a greater appreciation for music in general and Hip-Hop in particular, my ears have never been the same}

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Dr. John – Mama Roux – Gris Gris (Atco)
{One of the first shows that I worked on at the station was a blues show called “Crossroads” with Yancy Yohannon. I had a decent amount of knowledge about the blues, but my appreciation of that genre and especially for the music of New Orleans was deepened by having access to the amazing library of music at Album 88. One of the first discoveries was the music of Dr. John, like a lot of the artists in this program, someone who now is one of my favorite artists.}

Ivan Boogaloo Joe Jones – Sweetback – Bag Of Goodies (Luv’n’Haight)

{the second show I worked on at Album 88 was Soul Kitchen, which I took up after Crystal Jaudon. She’d fought hard to get Soul Kitchen as a monthly program and I took a lot of pride in being able to keep the show going (a show that also has become a regular fixture of the WRAS schedule). At a time when there wasn’t much on the internet and ebay hadn’t kicked off yet, there wasn’t nearly as much awareness of rare soul and funk. Labels like Luv’n’Haight started reissuing out of print works and kept us digging for the rare and funky, something I clear keep up to this day}

Dat Bu – Village – 12” (Self-Released)

{Rhythm & Vibes was the legendary Hip-Hop show at WRAS, in high school like a lot of Atlanta area youth, I made tapes and listened in cause it was the only place in the early 1990s where you could hear “real” Hip-Hop. They also made a consistent effort to bring attention to Atlanta’s Hip-Hop scene, ultimately breaking groups like Goodie Mob and Outkast. Dat Bu was Atlanta group that along with Mass Influence was one of my faves. I actually ran into DJ Kemit, who produced the band at a record show and got to interview him for my dissertation on Hip-Hop years later}

24 Carat Black – 24 Carat Black Theme – Jazz Dance Classics Vol. 1 (Luv’n’Haight)

{Another track that got serious play on Soul Kitchen, from the collection that introduced me to Matthew Africa}

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Gil Scott-Heron – Must Be Something – First Minute Of A New Day (Arista)
{I never would have heard of Gil Scott-Heron if not for Album 88, I remember doing a day-time regular rotation slot and someone requesting Gil Scott-Heron and we had this record on the wall. The caller requested “Ain’t No Such Thing As Superman” and I when I dropped the needle on it I was mesmerized and became a fan for life. “Must Be Something” just seemed to fit this moment better.}

Cymande – Getting It Back – Cymande (Janus)
{I heard Cymande on WRVU, while driving back to Atlanta from a trip to Wisconsin. It’s quite possible that I heard on the radio show that Egon from Stones Throw/Now-Again did at that period of time. I actually pulled over to the side of the road and used a pay-phone to call the station to figure out what the music was and tracked down a CD reissue of it within a week to share with the listeners on Album 88. WRVU on-air presence has already been taken away from students there, which makes the fight at WRAS even more pressing.}

Pharaoh Sanders – Astral Traveling – Irrepressible Impulse (Impulse)

{Part of what we tried to do on the Blue Note was to play jazz that other stations didn’t play, jazz-funk, avant-garde, rare hard-bop and spiritual jazz like this work from Pharoah Sanders. In Atlanta there was a jazz station WCLK, but on Sundays they played Gospel, so we were the only place for people to hear Jazz at that time.}

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Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Got A Mind To Give Up Living – East West (Elektra)

{In 1994 I did my first freeform at WRAS, a 25th anniversary program on Woodstock. The preparation for that show led me to becoming a fan of the Butterfield Blues Band, several records of which I found at the station stacked up in piles above the regular CDs and albums. Butterfield’s band was a gateway into a lot of incredible 1960s music, much of which I continue to share on this blog.}

Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Kirk’s Work – Funk Underneath (Prestige)

{Rahsaan Roland Kirk is my single favorite artist of all-time and the patron saint of Melting Pot. I didn’t learn about Rahsaan because of WRAS, but I did hear his music for the first time while I was at the station during a period of time of music discovery that never would have happened if I hadn’t worked at the station.}

Tom Waits – Diamonds On My Windshield – Heart Of Saturday Night (Asylum)

{While at Album 88 I started to really get into the Beat writers like Kerouac and through that I got introduced to the music of Tom Waits, initially through this Beat inspired song from his second record. Waits music was a constant presence on my regular rotation shows at Album 88. Whenever I moved to a different slot during the day I would end with “Anywhere I Lay My Head,” which also was the last song I played at KCRW before moving to KPFK here in Los Angeles.}

T-Bone Walker – The Hustle Is On – Classics Of Modern Blues (Blue Note)

{Another discovery due to the library at Album 88, where there was an incredible two-disc set of Walker’s legendary sides for Imperial in the early 1950s. I was a major fan of Jimi Hendrix from an early age and clearly saw and heard the influence Walker had on him. Hearing Walker’s solos and seeing pictures of him playing his guitar behind his head or swaying to the beat with it as he sang made me rethink what I thought about pre-1960s music and broadened my appreciation of music in general.}

Charlie Musselwhite – 4PM – Stand Back! (Vanguard)
{I didn’t get a chance to interview him, Yancy did, but it was through a partnership with a local record store who did underwriting for Crossroads that I came across this record, which introduced me to one of my favorite guitar players, the king of sustains, Harvey Mandel.}

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Fela Kuti – Sorrow, Tears & Blood – Black President (Arista)

{Back in the early 1990s very few people, in the South at least, had heard Fela’s music. Every time I played it, people would call up wondering who the artist was and how they could get the music, which was really difficult to get around that period of time. I remember Andrew Barker of the Gold Sparkle Band, a local Jazz outfit, being a big fan and talking to him about the music, eventually leading to getting music from his band and collaborations he did with Charles Waters. Both joined me in the studio for the Max Roach interview, that kind of immediate connection to listeners and local musicians through sharing of cherished music was just one of the many special joys of working at Album 88, and one of the biggest reasons we should defend it and all non-commercial radio stations.}

Reflection Eternal – 2000 Seasons – 12” (Rawkus)
{This 12″ came out towards the end of my time at Album 88, and what we now know was the end of the “Golden Era” of Hip-Hop. Along with the flipside “Fortified Live” this might be my single favorite 12″ from the 1990s. Something that DJs on the Bomb and Rhythm & Vibes played frequently. Once Hip-Hop went mainstream in the 1990s, the music got narrowed as is generally the case with commercial radio. Non-commercial and college stations like WRAS continue to champion the true diversity of Hip-Hop and other genres, a lesson I learned first hand.}

Jimmy Smith – Root Down – Root Down and Get It (Verve)
{One of my proudest moments was finding this record in Bill Wolfe’s crates at the Atlanta Record show. Back then I had a policy of not playing the same song twice on any of my shows, but since I was doing three or four different shows when I found it, I’m pretty sure I played it once on each show, maybe even the punk rock show as background music.}

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Lois feat. Elliot Smith – Rougher – Infinity Plus (K Recs)

{Album 88′s legacy was mostly built as a college rock station. In that capacity they broke artists throughout the 1980s and 1990s, even as “Alternative” music became commercially viable. During those “Heroic Years” of independent music, a lot of artists came into the studio for interview and perform, several of them, including Jeff Buckley and Elliot Smith are sadly no longer with us, which makes a station like WRAS that recognizes talent long before the rest of the world catches up is so vitally important.}

The Louvin Bros. – Just Rehearsin’ – The Louvin Bros. (Capitol)
{My good friend Christopher Simony, who I was a co-music director with in 1996-7, started up a classic country show called Cowtippers Delight while we were at the station. At the time I was one of those, “I like everything but Country” kind of people, Chris changed that and I’m pretty sure him playing the Louvin Bros. was the thing that made me rethink things and I’m sure that show expanded a lot of people’s minds, with sounds that are exceptionally rare to hear on the radio.}

The New York Dolls – Bad Girls – The New York Dolls (Mercury)

{The New York Dolls are one of my favorite bands, and I owe it all to Christy and Brian Montero’s show the Outer Limits. Because I was always doing free-form shows highlighting artists or styles of music, I often would be getting ready to go on the air as their show was ending. At some point they were playing the New York Dolls, and I flipped out for the band that Brian described as the “Single Greatest American Rock’n’Roll Band.” I’ve been a fan ever since and haven’t found a reason to argue with him yet.}

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{closing theme} Canned Heat – Marie Laveau – Boogie with Canned Heat (Liberty)

{I discovered this particular album from Canned Heat in another one of those ubiquitous stacks of records that were just all over the station in the early 1990s. “Marie Laveau” was often the theme song to start Crossroads when I did that show, during my last broadcast in 1998, I used it as a closing theme, which it seems to fit a bit better. It seemed like the right way to end this tribute show, though I sincerely hope it’s not closing time for WRAS.}

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Honestly I don’t know what happened with this fundraiser show at the start of the month. Maybe personal matters on the homefront just messed with my vibes, but this was one of the worst fundraising performances we’ve had at KPFK. I try not to take it personally, but being on non-commercial radio as a DJ is such a profound privilege for me and not being able to fully do my part to the degree I’ve been able to at other stations is tough. As always though, the music is top-notch, particularly the Mike Bloomfield Box set that I highlighted in the 2nd hour. Because of all the problems at Pacifica I’m sure we’ll be fundraising before the end of the Summer, next time I’ll try to get even more premiums for subscribers and I hope if you’re a listener of the show, you’ll consider supporting KPFK.

Melting Pot on KPFK #163: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #163: Second Hour

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{Sorry folks to have gone MIA yet again, this time it’s mostly due to the end of the semester, I’ll be back full force later this week!}

Everything was a bit more whirlwind-y than it has been lately, with Donald Sterling’s racist comments providing the backdrop to a fantastic victory from my favorite NBA team, the Oakland Warriors, and FC Barcelona coming back in thrilling fashion the day after learning of the death of their former coach, the brilliant Tito Vilanova. Both of these set the tone for this all-vinyl show, beginning with a tribute to Tito, “Els Segadors” is the national anthem of Catalunya and it seemed an appropriate tribute to him. The last set closes with “Ain’t No Sunshine,” which I appropriate into a protest song and re-title “Ain’t No Sunshine [Until Donald Sterling is Gone]. An opportunity I missed was a chance to talk about the amazing response to racist taunting during the Barcelona game from Dani Alves, especially since I closed the show on “The Monkey Thing” from Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Sonny Boy Williamson (a collaboration that still completely blows my mind). With these shows I never plan anything except the first song, so it’s always incredible the kind of connections that do come out. Got a lot of calls on this show, seems quite a few dug the mix. Hopefully that’s a good sign for our fundraising that will begin next week. If you dig the show, and can support us, please do, if not not, thanks for the support with your ears, your hearts and your minds…enjoy the sounds!

Melting Pot on KPFK #162: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #162: Second Hour

Playlist: 04-27-2014
{opening theme} Boris Gardiner – Melting Pot – Is What’s Happening (Dynamic)

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Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra – Els Sagadors – Ballad Of The Fallen (ECM)
Grupo Folklorico y Experimental Nuevayorquino – Cuba Linda – Concepts In Unity (Salsoul)
Cymande – Getting It Back – Cymande (Janus)

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Lenny White – Sweet Dreamer – Big City (Nemporer)
Weldon Irvine – Music Is The Key – Sinbad (RCA)
Tim Maia – Musica No Ar – Tim Maia (1973) (Polydor)
Rotary Connection – I Must Be There – Aladdin (Cadet Concept)

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The 4th Coming – The Dead Don’t Die Alive – 7” (Alpha)
David Axelrod – The Fly – Songs Of Experience (Capitol)
Dr. John – Black John The Conqueror – The Sun, Moon & The Herbs (ATCO)

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Max Parker – Si Me Quieres Escribir – Al Tocar Diana (Folkways)
King Crimson – Trio – Starless and Bible Black (Atlantic)
Nelson Angelo e Joyce – Hotel Universal – Nelson Angelo e Joyce (EMI)
Johnny Hodges – I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good – Memories Of Ellignton (Norgran)
Freddie Hubbard – Coral Keys – The Black Angel (Atlantic)

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Lyn Collins – Mama Feelgood – Black Caesar: OST (Polydor)
Miles Davis – Black Satin – On The Corner (Columbia)
Pacho Alonso – El Upa Upa Del Chambelon – Pacho Alonso (Arieto)
Rufus Harley – Malika – Evolution (Luv’n’Haight)

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Harlem Underground Band – Ain’t No Sunshine [Til Donald Sterling Is Gone] – Harlem Underground (Paul WInley)
Barry Goldberg – I Think I’m Gonna Cry – Reunion (Buddah)
Rahsaan Roland Kirk feat. Sonny Boy Williamson – The Monkey Thing – Kirk In Copenhagen (Mercury)

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{closing theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

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I know many of you thought I must have given up posting on this blog for Lent, but naw…I’ve just been exceptionally busy with personal matters that I think have more or less stabilized and (hopefully) should allow me to get back into my usual rhythm and you can get used to music being available here on a regular weekly basis. Spending most of the day getting things back on track and so there’s gonna be a mountain of new posts up tonight! Yesterday’s show was a special affair, with a double holiday, one very conventional and traditional, the other the opposite of both of those, with Easter and 4/20. I am a catholic, but as to the other “holiday,” I don’t partake, but appreciate the fact that clearly many of my listeners do, so we start with a couple of songs that bridge the two holidays together. From there we have a little bit of new music in the first hour, from Karol Conka, Debruit & Alsarah, instrumental Madlib, Peppered throughout are a few songs that feature Bart Davenport, who is our guest during the whole second hour (separate post up momentarily), performing a few songs and talking about his career and his most recent record Physical World. We haven’t had a lot of interviews this year, but I’m hoping that this one will change our lucky and the second half of 2014 will have more than a few guests. Thanks for hanging in there with me, enjoy the tunes, next week we’re all on vinyl.

Melting Pot on KPFK #161: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #161: Second Hour

Playlist: 04-20-2014

{opening theme} Booker T & The Mgs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

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US Apple Corps – Get High On Jesus – Let The Music Take Your Mind (Plantation/SSS)
Ada Richards – I’m Drunk & I’m Real High – Good God!: Born Again Funk (Numero)
Tower Of Power – Social Lubrication – East Bay Grease (San Francisco)
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Karol Conka – Caxambu – Batukfreak (Mr. Bongo)
BadBadNotGood – CS60 – III (Innovative Leisure)
Madlib – Robes (Instrumental) – Pinata (Instrumentals) (Madlib Invazion)
Incarnations feat. Bart Davenport – I Didn’t Know – With All Due Respect (Lovemonk)
Bobby Wade – Can’t You Hear Me Calling – Eccentric Soul: The Way Out Label (Numero)

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Debruit & Alsarah – Alrahal – Aljawal (Soundway)
Greyboy Allstars feat. Bart Davenport – To Know You Is To Love You (Ubiquity)
Asha Bholse & Chorus – Koi Lutera – Bollywood Disco (Cultures Of Soul)
Fania All-Stars feat. Cheo Feliciano – Anacaona – Our Latin Thing/Nuestra Cosa: 40th anniversary edition (Fania)

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Bart Davenport – A Young One – Palaces (Antenna Farm)
Bart Davenport – Interview & Performance – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)
Bart Davenport – Fuck Fame – Physical World (Lovemonk/Burger)

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{closing theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

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