Melting Pot

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It was our great pleasure to welcome Jungle Fire into the KPFK studios for a suitably fiery set of live tunes plus an interview. We did things a little different than we normally do, deciding to not break up the songs and instead just let Jungle Fire get fully into the groove and play for the people. The band played five songs, “Tropicoso,” “Culebro,” a medley of “Firewalker” and “Village Hustle,” Fela/Phirpo’s “Comencemos” and a mini-medley featuring a bit of Ray Barretto’s “Together” mixed with Jungle Fire’s version of the Luis Santi song “Los Feligreses.” During the interview that follows we talk about how the band got together, how they describe the unique blend of styles that is the Jungle Fire sound, recording their debut album, Tropicoso and their plans for the future. We’d been trying to bring the band in for a while, but as we discuss in the interview, it was probably for the best that this was the moment they were able to come in, now that they have a really fully realized sound, combined with the release of their new album. Enjoy!

Jungle Fire Recorded Live on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 09-24-2014

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Last show of September and that means we’re all on vinyl. Since we just changed seasons to Autumn, the show begins with our traditional choice for this time of the year, Lee Hazlewood’s “My Autumn’s Done Come,” before moving to a variety of places including music from Chris Connor, Jon Lucien, Gal Costa, Cut Chemist and Edan and more. Just about the whole second hour belongs to Jungle Fire, who came into the studio and recorded a fantastic live set and interview at KPFK (separate post to follow). This will be the last Melting Pot in a little while as I’m taking a hiatus to focus on grading at CSU-Long Beach. We’ll be back in a few weeks with LOADS of new music, in the meantime, enjoy the show and keep checking here for more music and also some giveaways!

Melting Pot on KPFK #179: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #179: Second Hour

Playlist: 09-28-2014
{opening theme} Boris Gardiner – Melting Pot – Is What’s Happening (Dynamic)

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Lee Hazlewood – My Autumn’s Done Come – The Very Special World Of Lee Hazlewood (MGM)
Chris Connor – Everytime – Chris Connor (Atlantic)
Tim Buckley – Drifitn’ – Lorca (Elektra)

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Gal Costa – Namorinho De Portao – Gal Costa (1969) (Philips)
Cut Chemist – The Lesson Pt. 6: The Lecture – J5 12” (Rumble/Pickininny)
Edan – Echo Party – 12” (Traffic Ent.)

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Jon Lucien – Would You Believe In Me – Rashida (RCA)
The Advancement – Stone Folk – The Advancement (Philips)
Andrew White – Who Got De Fonk? – Fonk Update (Andrew’s Music)

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Jungle Fire – Performance & Interview – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)

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Jungle Fire – Snake Pit – Tropicoso (Nacional)
Juan Pablo Torres y Algo Nuevo – Son A Propulsion – Super Son (Arieto)

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

Albert

The Albert – Pity The Child
The Albert – Misery
The Albert – Been So Good (For So Long)

As best I can gather, the Albert were a rock & soul group out of New York. They released a couple of records for the Perception label, which both appear to have come out in 1970. The debut record is even rarer than this one, their second album, even though many of the same songs are on both records (though apparently in different arrangements). To my ears they remind me of a smoother, less psychedelic version of Demon Fuzz. This was another record that I got at the September 2014 Beat Swap Meet, also from Andy of the Record Jungle. When I arrived there were already at least 10 people going through the records in Andy’s spot. Directly in front of me, a guy was browsing through the records and picked out this one to take a look. A buddy of his shared the news that it was a good record and that it had breaks on it, but for whatever reason, the guy didn’t decide to hold on to the record…as soon as he left that box, I swooped in and grabbed it quickly. I’d been aware of this record for years, but had never actually run into a copy of it. With the more than affordable price of $10, there was no way I could let it slip by.

When I got a chance to listen to the break-laden early parts of “Pity The Child” and “Been So Good,” I was very pleased with my decision to pick this one up. A full listen to “Pity” caused me to realize that I’d heard the song sampled before, as it reminded me immediately of Gonjasufi and Gaslamp Killer’s song “Made.” Interestingly enough the sample for the song is listed online as belonging to Wanda Robertson, who also recorded for Perception. Many many moons ago I used to own a copy of that record, but couldn’t remember any of the sounds on it. Turns out the Robinson track is essentially an instrumental version of “Pity The Child” just with Robinson’s spoken word layered on top of it. I think the bad loses a bit of their verve the more upbeat they get, but when they keep it slow and low, it’s a special mix of sounds.

Cheers,

Michael

SOMAY

Souls Of Mischief w/ Adrian Younge – All You Got Is Your Word

Word hit late last year that Adrian Younge, fresh off of collaborations with Ghostface Killah and William Hart of the Delfonics, was working with Oakland’s Souls Of Mischief in a musical match made in heaven. All year long we got bits and pieces of information but finally here in September the fruits of that partnership were released. There Is Only Now is a concept record that takes initial inspiration from an actual event that occurred to the members of the band in 1994 where someone came up to them outside a club and began shooting. The first real track (not including the Warriors styled interlude featuring Ali Shaheed Muhammad that begins the album), “Time Stopped” is the closest to a “real” account of that incident, but the rest of the album unfolds like a thriller with Busta Rhymes showing up as the villian “Womack” and an assortment of other characters being added into the story. “All You Got Is Your Word,” is one of the few tracks that could stand on it’s own, in some ways as the perfect statement for the Souls Of Mischief and the greater Hieroglyphics crew. 20+ years in the game and still breaking the boundaries of the genre and exceeding expectations, Souls Of Mischief does not disappoint. Nor does Adrian Younge, whose legend continues to grow with each record. One of the finest releases of 2014.

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It was truly an honor to interview Souls of Mischief at KPFK. Having spent 8 years in Oakland, I know how much the Hieroglyphics crew means to the city and to the Bay Area’s Hip-Hop scene. Like so many, I first became a fan of the group some 20 years ago, when their indelible classic “93 Til Infinity” was released. Unlike many groups that emerged in the early 1990s, but haven’t been able to stay relevant, Souls Of Mischief have always managed to balance their creativity and integrity in bringing new sounds to their fans. Their latest release is a collaboration with LA’s Adrian Younge, who is making quite a name for himself after providing sounds for Ghostface Killah and being sampled by Jay-Z. Originally, we had hoped to have Adrian’s band come into the studio and play with the group, but things didn’t quite work out the way we planned. We were able to spend time with all 4 MCs from Souls Of Mischief and we spent close to an hour discussing this new album, going in deep on a few of the songs (the discussion connected to time that bridges “93 Til Infinity” with “There Is Only Now” is one of my favorite exchanges in my entire career) and talking about their views on the current state of Hip-Hop. Enjoy this one, it’s one of the best we’ve done on the show thus far.

The Souls Of Mischief Interview on KPFK’s Melting Pot: 9-05-2014

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With the Souls Of Mischief interview (separate post to follow) taking up the entire second hour, we only had one hour to work with, but made the most of it with new music from Los Hacheros, Moses Sumney and Jungle Fire, plus some classic material from DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist, Mark Hollis, Caetano Veloso. As mentioned, the second hour features music from the new Souls Of Mischief collaboration with Adrian Younge, There Is Only Now, and also an interview with the group. We’d hoped to have the group perform along with Adrian’s group Venice Dawn, but weren’t able to make it happen (at least not this time), but I think if you’re a fan of Souls Of Mischief and the Hieroglyphics crew out of Oakland, I think you’ll appreciate the chance to hear them talk about their art.

Melting Pot on KPFK #178: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #178: Second Hour

Playlist: 09-21-2014
{opening theme} Booker T & The MGs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

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Eddie Bo & the Soul Finders – We’re Doing It (The Thang) Pt. 2 – 7” (Bo Sound)
London Experimental Jazz Quartet – Destroy The Nihilist Picnic – Spiritual Jazz 5: The World (Jazzman)
Caetano Veloso – Tropicalia – Caetano Veloso (1968) (Philips)
Petch Asia Band – Lam Plearn Tua Yaang – The Sound Of Siam Vol. 2 (Soundway)

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Jungle Fire – Firewalker – Tropicoso (Nacional)
Cut Chemist & DJ Shadow – Product Placement (Excerpt) – Product Placement (Self-Release)
Electric Wire Hustle – Look In The Sky – Love Can Prevail (Okay Player)

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Lewis – Summer’s Moon – L’amour (Light In The Attic)
Mark Hollis – Westward Bound – Mark Hollis (Polydor)
Moses Sumney – Alchemy – Single (Self-Release)
Los Hacheros – Tintorera – Pilon (Daptone)

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Souls Of Mischief – Interview – Recorded Live At KPFK (KPFK Archives)

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

ScottSource

Jimmy Scott – Exodus
Jimmy Scott – (Sometimes I Feel Like A) Motherless Child
Jimmy Scott – Our Day Will Come
Jimmy Scott – This Love Of Mine

When Jimmy Scott passed earlier in the year, I know only felt a great deal of sadness, but also deep regret. I had a chance to see him perform in both the Bay Area and in LA and didn’t take advantage of it. As I’ve started to pick up more of his music on vinyl, I’m struck by how listening to his vocals makes you feel like he is right there, singing near you. I’d been trying to pick up a solid copy of this album for a very long time, never running into it in the field. At the most recent Beat Swap Meet, I managed to score this copy (in addition to some other choice LPs) from Andy at the Record Jungle. The Source finds Scott’s voice matched with a number of pop hits and a few standards. There are quite a lot of albums like this from singers who’s best days were already past them by the time the 1960s were closing. The unique beauty of Jimmy Scott’s voice allows him to rise above and soar through these tunes. Few artists can stop me dead in my tracks with a single note. Hearing Scott’s voice on this album certainly has that power.

Cheeres,

Michael

Lewis

Lewis – Romance For Two

Being swamped by all the work associated with a new semester, with a new schedule and a new class meant that there was quite a bit of music that I was a bit late on. This is one that virtually everyone was late on to begin with. Lewis porduced this private press album in the 1980s. Very few copies were pressed, very few people paid any attention. As is often the case, crate-diggers came to rescue of this album, championing it informally until it finally ended up into the hands of some of the peeps at Light In The Attic. I haven’t checked to see if they’ve fully solved the mystery behind Lewis, but there ain’t no mystery about how good this music is. I’ve taken to describing it as what would have happened if John Martyn had recorded with Mark Hollis, very very very late at night. When it’s good, it’s REALLY f**king good, as is the case with “Romance For Two.”

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Spent most of my Sunday over at the Beat Swap Meet in Chinatown, where I got a chance to spin a jazz only set just before making my way to KPFK for the show. We begin with a couple of the records I picked up, including a few that will make their way up here shortly. Fair amount of new tunes, from Electric Wire Hustle, Astronauts, ETC., Jungle Fire, KING, and Spain as well as some new older music from Lewis, Hoyt Axton, Philip Cohran and the amazing sound of Rome Sithammarat out of Thailand. In the second hour we did a short tribute to one of my fave LA DJs, Gaslamp Killer, who had a show dedicated to him at the Mayan in September. Enjoy!

Melting Pot on KPFK #177: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #177: Second Hour

Playlist: 09-14-2014
{opening theme} Booker T & The MGs – Melting Pot – Melting Pot (Stax)

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Jimmy Scott – Our Day Will Come – The Source (Atlantic)
Cecil McBee – A Feeling – Mutima (Strata East)
Cymande – Promised Heights – Promised Heights (Janus)
The Albert – Pity The Child – The Albert (Perception)

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Electric Wire Hustle – Blackwater – Love Can Prevail (Okay Player)
Rome Sithammarat – Sao New Look – The Sound Of Siam Vol. 2 (Soundway)
Philip Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble – The Minstrel – Philip Cohran & the Artistic Heritage Ensemble (Zulu)

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Meshell Ndegeocello – Tom – Comet, Come To Me (Naïve)
KING – Mister Chameleon – Single (Self-Released)
Tim Maia – Reu Confesso – Tim Maia (1974) (Polydor)

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Gaslamp Killer feat. Adrian Younge and MRR – Dead Vets – Breakthrough (Brainfeeder)
Gaslamp Killer – Helio X GLK (Excerpt) – Helio X GLK (Now-Again)
Flying Lotus feat. Gaslamp Killer – GNG BNG – Los Angeles (Warp)
Gonajsufi feat. Gaslamp Killer – Kobwebz – A Sufi & A Killer (Warp)
Asha Bohsle & Suresh Wadkar – Yeh Hawa Yey Fiza – Sadma: Original Soundtrack (CBS)
Gaslamp Killer – Nissim – Breakthrough (Brainfeeder)

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Jungle Fire – Tropicoso – Tropicoso (Nacional)
Hoyt Axton – California Girls – Country Funk Vol. 2 (Light In The Attic)
The Savage Resurrection – Talking To You – The Savage Resurrection (Mercury)
Adrian Younge – There Is Only Now – There Is Only Now (Instrumentals) (Linear Labs)

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Lewis – Like To See You Again – L’amour (Light In The Attic)
Spain – The Fighter – Sargent Place (Dine Alone)
Astronauts, ETC. – Gravity – Sadie EP (Hit City USA)
Caroline Peyton – Brister – Intuition (BBQ)

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

Weston

Randy Weston – Little Niles
Randy Weston – Nice Ice
Randy Weston – Let’s Climb A Hill

Been on a major jazz kick this year, might have doubled my whole collection in the past nine months. It’s strange spending most of my DJ career been associated with jazz, playing it exclusively on “The Blue Note” in Atlanta and “Stompin’ Grounds” in Madison, but since moving to LA, it hasn’t been a major part of my show at KCRW or KPFK. I’ll be working to change that in the future. Ran into this lovely album at Atomic in Burbank during a pre-birthday jaunt. Weston’s Uhuru Afrika from 1960 is one of my all-time favorites and so when I noticed a lot of the same personnel, particularly Melba Liston, one of the truly unsung geniuses of modern jazz, I had a feeling it would not disappoint. As an added bonus there are some gorgeous words on the back from legendary poet Langston Hughes…gorgeous words to match the gorgeous music.

Cheers,

Michael

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Rome Sithammarat – Sao New Look

Sound of Siam Vol. 1 was a complete revelation when Soundway released it a few years ago. I didn’t really expect a follow-up, nor did I expect that the follow-up would be even better than the original…but it is. If “Sao New Look” doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what would, this one is highly necessary.

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Originally planned to have Mike Watt return to the station for another interview and a guest DJ set (kind of a “the Watt from Pedro” at KPFK sorta thing), but he wasn’t able to make it to the station in time after picking up the other members of his Il Sogno Marinaio project. So, I packed a big bag of records, burned a couple of little CDs with new tunes and kept it loose. Quite a few long tracks, including a birthday tribute to Sonny Rollins with the all-world “The Eternal Triangle.” High anxiety getting it together, but mostly mellow moods on the air.

Melting Pot on KPFK #176: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #176: Second Hour

ByronTight

Byron Lee – Psychedelic Train
Byron Lee – Chin to Chin
Byron Lee – Singer Man

Despite not being on the blog for basically the last month, I was a busy boy over the last couple of months to close out my summer of record therapy. This record is one of a number classic exploitative covers, one owhich I’d only rcognized as belonging to the Trojan records collection of the same title. Had a chance to pick up a relatively cheap copy and jumped at it. The vinyl itself has a lot of “personality,” but not so much as to take away from some classic early reggae sounds from Byron and the gang.

Cheers,

Michael

Hacheros

Los Hacheros – Toma Tu Pilon

{I know it must have seemed like I just retired after that Minutemen tribute, but I’ve just been insanely busy with the start of this new semester teaching at Long Beach. Things have calmed down, so her comes the flood of posts to catch us back up}

Quite a number of retro-styled bands around these days that if you didn’t do your due diligence, you’d mistake them for the “real” thing. Los Hacheros are a latin combo out of New York with a fantastic sound that draws upon some old-school styles ala Arsenio Rodriguez. It’s that guitar sound that really makes you pay attention but once you get into everything Los Hacheros have to offer, you can easily see why Daptone swooped them up.

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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

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