Melting Pot Radio Hour – Episode 1


At the start of the year, I really had the best intentions of doing a monthly radio show from home, but as the semester started, I got busier and busier and more and more disconnected from the contemporary music industry. At some point during the Spring, I realized that while I loved a lot of new music, I wasn’t really that in love with newer music. My passions lie with the dusty more than the digital, and the things I’m most excited to share to friends, online and on this website tend to be records that I’ve dug up. So, as I get things started anew here at Melting Pot, I’ve resurrected the Melting Pot Radio Hour and this month’s “first” edition highlights a few of the records that I’m likely to feature on this site in the near future.

The show does begin with a quick comment on the current situation in the US, and the first song is connected to that, something that I had (roughly) mixed together from the Hip-Hop For Respect album recorded in the wake of the Amadou Diallo killing by Police in 1999, “A Tree Never Grown.” The metaphor seemed apt, and the chorus from Mos Def/Yasiin Bey is timeless in it’s beauty. From there, things go all over the place, as I’d expect you’d expect if you were a fan of the all-vinyl radio shows I used to do. Now, I do have to admit, playing these records in this show isn’t a guarantee that they’ll make there way here soon (though the Marinho Castellar will definitely be in the next week), more like “soon-ish” for some, the music on them is more than interesting enough to share. Most frightening thing is, I barely even made a dent in the vinyl I’ve bought in 2016, and by the time I get around to the next one in August, I’ll likely have a whole other show (or two) worth of “new” vinyl to share. Such is the way of the vinyl addict. Enjoy the show!

      Melting Pot Radio Hour: Episode 1

{opening theme} Boris Gardiner Happening – Melting Pot – Is What’s Happening (Dynamic)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Hip Hop For Respect – A Tree Never Grown (Stripped Mix) – 12″ (Rawkus)
Elephant’s Memory – Piece Now – Take IT To The Streets (Metromedia)
Marc Hamilton – Je N’ai Jamais Raison – S/T (Trans-Canada)
Mashmakhan – I Know I’ve Been Wrong – Mashmakhan (Columbia)
T. Swift & the Electric Bag – Expo In Sound – Are You Experienced (Custom)
Ananda Shankar – Streets Of Calcutta/Cyrus – Ananda Shankar & His Music (EMI)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Pau Riba i Om – Voste – Dioptria I (Edigsa)
Eduardo Conde – Memorias De Marta Sare – S/T (1969) (Philips)
George Marsh – Interview/Music – Music Makers (Percussion)* (Chevron Research Co.)
Bobby Paunetto – In Time’s Time – Paunetto’s Point (Pathfinder)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Marinho Castellar – Verde Dara – Marinho Castellar e Banda Disrritimia (Novo Mundo)
Bill Plummer & the Cosmic Brotherhood – Journey To The East – s/t (Impulse)
Kijana – Did You Really Choose Me – The Soul of Kijana Unfolds In Music (Mahdi)
RD Burman – Title Theme – Shalimar (Polydor)
Los Jaivas – Pregon Para Iluminarse – Los Jaivas (EMI)
Los Flamas – Solamente Una Como Tu – La Ensalada De Los Flamas (Dicesa)
Chris Spedding – You Can See – Backwood Progressions (Harvest)
Gap Mangione – Diana In the Autumn Wind – Diana In the Autumn Wind (GRC)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

{closing theme} Gap Mangione – Long Hair Soulful – Diana In the Autumn Wind (GRC)

Melting Pot’s 7 Year Anniversary Mix!

In addition to completely blowing up the old site and starting over, I really wanted to do something extra special after surviving seven years. The idea was to choose my 7 favorite tracks from each year of Melting Pot’s Dig Deep series and then to pass them on to a significantly more talented DJ to create a mix with those raw materials. I gave no instructions, set up no parameters, except that the mix had to end up being 77 minutes.  DJ Frane took up the challenge and created a masterpiece.


I had hopes and dreams about how this idea might end up, but nothing at all prepared me for the mix that Frane put together. Somehow he found a way to fit at least a part of every single one of the 49 tracks I gave him. In some cases tracks are layered on top of each other, sometimes Frane allows a whole song to play, sometimes he only brings in the break. In the process he creates a truly special mix. This isn’t just a collection of songs, it’s a 77 minute musical journey and every single second is absolutely amazing. Enjoy this to the fullest!

      DJ Frane - Melting Pot 7 Year Anniversary Mix

Glowin’ In The Light: Life Philosophy Courtesy of Dr. John


      Dr. John - Glowin'

A character in a classic movie of yore once said that “every Hero needs their theme music,” but I think that adage works for regular folk too. With all of the changes that have happened in my life in recent years, I’ve done a lot of soul searching…about how I’m living my life and what kind of life I want to live. Several songs I’ve shared previously have worked as my theme music, particularly Erasmo Carlos’ “Minha Gente” and Rotary Connection’s “Life Could,” and served to ground me at times I felt unsteady. But I’m not sure if there’s a better vision of how I see things and how I want things to be than this song from Dr. John. “Glowin'” is featured on his second album, Babylon, and presents a way of living that is centered on what a “good” life should be. For me, it’s not about being the best, having tons of money, winning massive amounts of awards, personal wealth and personal glory. Instead, it’s about creating something that I am fully proud of and fully responsible for, finding spaces and places that allow me to fully be myself and to enjoy this life I’ve been privileged to live. Particularly at times like right now, when the horrors of the world seem insurmountable, I know my part to play and know what is right and how to live in love and light. As Dr. John says, “with good understanding and a lot of patience, you can make it yes you can, beyond your wildest dreams.”


Welcome to Melting Pot!!!

{As with any “new” enterprise, there are likely to be more than a few changes over the next month or so. I can tell you that this new look is definitely temporary, I hope to have my own theme set by August 7th. As a way to challenge myself with a brand new website and nothing really here, and in honor of how much I love vinyl, I’m going to attempt to post on the daily for the next 33 1/3 days. Since there isn’t really a way to post on a 1/3 day, this first day will include 3 posts, and then I’ll roll with 33 straight after that! Thanks for coming along…Onwards & Upwards my people!}

Seven years ago, July 7th, 2009, I began this website. After seven years, I’ve decided to essentially start all over again. For most of my life, I’ve worked as a radio DJ and much of the “old” Melting Pot reflected a certain philosophy connected to being on the radio. I did my best to keep up with as much new music as I could and felt it was part of my duty to do so. Of late, now that I’m no longer on the radio, my posts were infrequent, partially because I felt handcuffed by that mentality and some of the original parameters that I set up for Melting Pot. This new version is a reflection of somewhat of a change in philosophy in regards to sharing music, now with an emphasis on music that is apart of my collection, virtually all of it on vinyl. The only feature I’m holding over from the previous site is “Dig Deep,” which was always my favorite section and sharing rare records is a major part of why I enjoy doing this.

Because I’m a firm believer that even when you make a break from the past, you can never really leave the past behind, every single post from the first seven years is still available, but now on a “classic” website, easily accessible from the menu as “Classic Material.” I’ve added a Mixcloud account as an additional place to house my mixes, and have (finally) joined Instagram where you’ll be able to often get some Insta-exclusive content from me. Our facebook page remains the same. If you want to get reach me via e-mail, write me at eljefe[at]

Thank you to those of you who have been with us over the past seven years and thank you to all of the new people who’ve come through since. It is a pleasure to share this music with you and to spread some beautiful Bright Moments to all who will listen.


About Michael Barnes:

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Michael Barnes has worked as a DJ at non-commercial radio stations around the country since 1993, including WRAS-Atlanta, KALX-Berkeley, KCRW-Santa Monica and KPFK-Los Angeles. Barnes holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and is presently a lecturer in Sociology at CSU-Long Beach. He currently resides in the Los Angeles area.