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Category Archives: Music, From Way Back When to Now

Great finds around the WWW – with videos where possible

Al Jarreau…

One of the truly greats passed yesterday… Had seen him in concert at least half a dozen times through the years. His voice had a range and versatility beyond anyone else in the Jazz and Fusion arena.

My personal favorite song by Al Jarreau –

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Lapse of Judgement…Jennifer Holliday

Hmmmmm… What Time Capsule you been in, Jennifer? Seems to me there are a few other folks you need to apologize to.

Jennifer Holliday Backs Out of Trump Inauguration

Singer Jennifer Holliday has pulled out of performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration and apologized to LGBT fans over what she called a “lapse of judgment” made clear to her by a Daily Beast article. The Grammy award-winning singer released an open letter on Saturday apologizing for being “uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.” “In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I will not perform for the welcome concert or for any of the inauguration festivities!” she wrote.

 

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Well Wishes for Tower of Power’s Garibaldi and Van Wageningen

Two members of the Tower of Power band were hit by a train this morning, and are hospitalized. Prayers and well wishes for a recovery.

Two members of famed R&B group Tower of Power hit by train

Two members of Tower of Power, a group that has been an R&B institution for nearly 50 years, were hit by a train as they walked across tracks before a performance in their hometown of Oakland, but both survived, their publicist said.

Calling it an “unfortunate accident,” publicist Jeremy Westby said in a statement that drummer David Garibaldi and bass player Marc van Wageningen are “responsive and being treated at a local hospital.”

Garibaldi has been with the group since 1970. Van Wageningen is substituting as bass player.

“We are monitoring their situation directly with the hospital,” band manager Tom Consolo said. “We will update everyone tomorrow but for tonight we ask that you send your prayers.”

Without identifying them, the Oakland Fire Department said that two pedestrians were hit by a passenger train at Jack London Square about 7:30 p.m. Thursday and taken to a hospital.

The accident was near Yoshi’s, a jazz and R&B club where the group had been scheduled to play two shows Thursday night. Both were canceled.

Yoshi’s General Manager Hal Campos told CBS San Francisco Bay Area he called 911 and stayed with the two injured men until help came. They were both unconscious and appeared to have broken bones, Campos said.

“We don’t know if they didn’t hear the train. We don’t know how this tragedy happened but we’re very, very sad about this. The band is emotionally destroyed … all of us worked with them for days now and many years, it’s really sad,” Campos said.

It wasn’t clear why the men were on the tracks, but pedestrians often need to cross them in the area with trains running across and in between streets, including right outside Yoshi’s.

Tower of Power, a band of about a dozen members, most of them horns, has been beloved members of the R&B and pop communities since forming in Oakland in 1968. The group and its rotating cast of musicians have recorded behind many far more famous names including Elton John, Otis Redding, Aerosmith and Santana.

They were also a national TV fixture in the 1980s with frequent appearances on “Late Night With David Letterman.”

Tributes and well wishes were quickly emerging on Twitter, including one from pop star and drummer Sheila E., who tweeted “Pleez pray for my frenz.”

From back in the day….

And live in 2012 –

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now, News

 

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KKK Members Renounce Membership After Meeting Black Musician

The amazing story of Darryl Davis, a well known black musician who reached out to KKK Members – and through taking and developing relationships has caused a number of KKK Members to renounce the KKK, and their racist beliefs. Proving you can deprogram bigots from the constant stream of racism from Fox News and Brietbart by showing them the truth.

 

Darryl Davis, a renowned black American blues musician, took the initiative to reach out to members of the Ku Klux Klan, the US white supremacist organisation, which has led to more than 200 leaving the group.

Klan members leave the KKK after befriending black musician

He has travelled across the country, sometimes with ex-KKK members, to give lectures aimed at curbing racism.

Davis has written a book on the KKK called Klandestine Relationships. And an award-winning documentary about his unique efforts to combat racial hatred – Accidental Courtesy – is set to be aired across the United States in February.

Hate acts have been on the rise in the US since president-elect Donald Trump, who made many statements against minority groups during the election campaign, saw a drastic rise in popularity last year.

Davis talked to Al Jazeera about his journey in confronting the KKK, and what Trump’s election means for the country.

Al Jazeera: What inspired you to reach out to the KKK? Davis: My parents worked in the US foreign service so I was an American embassy brat. I spent a lot of my youth in the 1960s living overseas and when I attended schools abroad my classmates were from around the world.

At that time there was not that kind of diversity at home in the US. When I would come back to the US I would be in all black schools or black-and-white newly integrated schools.

When I was overseas I felt like I was living 12 to 15 years ahead of my time, and when I came back home I did not understand why people had a problem with skin tone.It was the norm for me, but not my country.

One time I was attacked because of the colour of my skin. And that made me ask: How can you hate me when you don’t even know me? No one had been able to answer it.

So who better to ask that question than those who hate others that do not look like them? I reached out to Klan members all over the country. Right here in the state of Maryland where I live, I would put out these questions, but was never set out to change anybody and never under the impression they could be.

I wanted to know why they made a judgement on my ability to learn and work … and why they assumed we all sold drugs, raped white women, or were on wellfare.

Over a course of time, a number of them began shedding their racist ideologies and left the Klan.

I have changed a number of hearts and minds by having these conversations. They started to see me as a human being, as someone who wants the same as them.

If you sit with your worst enemy for five minutes, you will find out you have something in common and if for 10 minutes, you will discover more similarities.

If you build on those commonalties, the things you do not have in common matter less and friendship can be formed. Even if you disagree – and this has to do with all matters, whether its about abortion or whatever – when two enemies are talking they are not fighting.

They may be yelling and fighting to make a point. But without talking the ground may be fertile for violence.

The problem is that in the US media, people talk about each other or at each other but not with each other. People refuse to do that. Many will hide behind social media, but they will not sit and meet with the person.

 Al Jazeera: How many KKK members left the group because of your efforts? Davis: I know that I have directly been the impetus for up to 40 Klan members leaving and indirectly for about 200 others.

I continue to get emails from those who I don’t even know after they hear me speak or read my book.

The leader of the KKK’s Maryland branch and I became friends. After he and his top members quit, their group fell apart here.

There is no more organised racist organisation in Maryland.

Al Jazeera: What type of conversations would you have with them and what did you learn from that? Davis: I would find out why the joined the Klan, what their goals were, and what their educational background was.

And what you find out is this that the common thread is hatred and ignorance. In terms of education and jobs, they are all over the board.

They come from all walks of life: college dropouts, lawyers, and doctors. We even had presidents who were KKK members.

Al Jazeera: What do you think about Donald Trump’s impact on racism in the country?Davis: I think Donald Trump is the best thing that happened to the country. He is not the best choice for the presidency.

But as a residual effect of the election all these racist people are coming out and making themselves known.

America is hypocritical because we deny racism exists. Now they can no longer deny it. Now we are seeing “KKK” spray painted on peoples cars. Talks on racism have been taboo, but now more conversations about it are starting.

You can not solve any problem unless you see it and then you can talk about it. This country did not want to address racism. Well, now they are seeing it and are obligated to address it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIrmHV_xqKE

 

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Letting You Mouth End Your Career – Kim Burrell

The rather cruel thing here is Gospel singer Kim Burrell was speaking to a congregation of folks who probably believe just as she does.Her is her rant about the KGBT community –

Now, Kim makes her living by singing Gospel music. A living which depends on people who can advance her career, and are willing to buy or sell her music. A lot of those folks are gay. Her tirade here was two days before she was scheduled to appear on the Ellen Degeneres Show, Ellen being one of the most prominent Lesbian performers and activists in the country.

So, Kim your hypocrisy is the excuse of religion in wanting LGBT people to all die, but its OK to try and make some money off that group of people and advance your career…before they do.

What I would call a “Career Limiting” performance. Obviously you missed the assembly station …Where God passed our brain cells.

And to be brutally honest – Kim didn’t do too well at the “Singing” station either.

Gospel singer canceled by Ellen after she was caught in homophobic rant now loses radio show

Kim Burrell’s career took another hit Wednesday after it was announced the gospel singer who was recorded in the midst of a homophobic rant is losing her radio program.

Texas Southern University canceled Burrell’s program, “Bridging the Gap,” which debuted on KTSU in June 2016.

“The Kim Burrell show is no longer airing as part of KTSU Radio programming,” Texas Southern University said in a statement.

A video of Burrell surfaced on New Years Eve featuring the singer—who’s performed with the likes of Pharrell and Frank Ocean—railing against “the perverted homosexual spirit” at the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston.

“That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women,” she said. “You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted. You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.”

Burrell was supposed to appear on Ellen Degeneres’s show Thursday, but the comedian—who was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in part, for her courage to come out in public almost 20 years ago—told fans the singer would not be attending. She was slated to perform “I See A Victory” with Pharrell.

Instead, Pharrell sat down with Degeneres solo and issues a powerful rebuke of Burrell’s remarks:

“There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on … We all have to get used to everyone’s differences and understand that this is a big, gigantic, beautiful, colorful world, and it only works with inclusion and empathy. It only works that way.

Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you feel like it doesn’t pertain to you because you may not have anything to do with that, all you got to do is put the word black in that sentence, or put gay in that sentence, or put transgender in that sentence, or put white in that sentence, and all of the sudden it starts to make sense to you.”

“I’m telling you, the world is a beautiful place but it does not work without empathy and inclusion. God is love. This Universe is love and that’s the only way it will function. And I get it that sometimes some of the divisive stuff works. We learned that lesson last year that divisiveness works. But you have to choose what side you’re on. I’m choosing empathy; I’m choosing inclusion; I’m choosing love for everybody just trying to lift everyone. Even when I disagree with someone, I’m wishing them the best and hoping for the best because we can’t win the other way.”

 

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The Heart of Motown in the 60’s

Probably the most prolific and successful song writing team in history was Holland-Dozier-Holland.

MOTOWN’S TRUE VISIONARIES

The brothers Brian and Eddie Holland and their friend Lamont Dozier created the Motown Sound, and an unusual sort of love song.

Motown was headquartered in Detroit, and so the Motown metaphors are industrial: the record label was a machine, a factory, an assembly line fitting songs together, part by part. But the heart of the company was human, and much of the art it produced can be traced to the exertions of two brothers, Brian and Eddie Holland, and their friend Lamont Dozier. With all due respect to Smokey Robinson, the Motown Sound as we know it was created by Holland-Dozier-Holland. “Heat Wave,” “Baby Love,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” and all the others: looking over a list of their best songs is like reading a snatch of pages from the American Songbook.

In the eighth or ninth grade, when I decided to be the kind of person who “knew about music,” I listened to those songs over and over—and developed a reputation for singing them, too loudly, in student lounges and on playing fields and in hallways between classes. I filled my Discman with greatest-hits compilations and my notebook with hand-drawn charts, trying to glean what I could from these songwriters, whose names I didn’t yet know. Sometimes, I learned, you start a major-key piece with a blaringly gloomy minor chord, as in “Stop! In the Name of Love.” Part of love’s allure is its capacity—its threat, its guarantee—to someday let you down. Maybe I picked up more about love than I did about songcraft.

Between 1963 and 1967, almost fifty of H-D-H’s singles topped the pop or R. & B. chart, and occasionally both. In their hits, they found a way to express, through the subtleties of song structure, a strange vision of love. All three of them were church boys, and that vision has a faintly religious cast—a union of two lovers, one praising and pleading with the same fervent breath, the other mysteriously mute. H-D-H always wrote and arranged the music first, and even without lyrics their compositions speak of romance that is wrenching and helpless, though not always sexual. There’s certainly little foreplay to be found: the chorus often leads an H-D-H song, a bit of anti-magic that reveals the big trick at the outset but somehow manages to build on that foundation a structure for suspense. This is another thing I learned: to “show your cards,” in art or in life, isn’t always an act of total honesty.

My parents met in a church choir, and I was always enthralled with the voice. But through these songs I came to see how a good band, artfully choreographed, could surround a singer like a circle of friends, working to assure her success before she ever entered the scene. The arrangements are intricate but restrained—low, husky horns; strict drums; a daydreaming underlay of Hammond organ—leaving a surprising amount of space between instrumental layers. There’s enough for the melody and its accompanying harmony parts, and also for a curious interplay between grandeur (often pushed, chromatically, toward joy by James Jamerson, the bassist for the Funk Brothers, Motown’s legendary backing band) and a sweet sadness, framed cursively by strings or a chorus of flutes.

Then came the words. Eddie Holland used to go around asking women for the secrets of their relationships—inner thoughts, hidden hopes, deepest fears. “I always thought that females were the most interesting subjects,” he once said. This goes some way toward explaining why, although H-D-H wrote for almost every classic male Motown act, their most riveting work came with the Supremes, and through the odd instrument that is Diana Ross’s voice. That voice: it had little range or depth, none of the outright power of Martha Reeves’s or the athletic movement of Marvin Gaye’s, but there was something literary—a quiet clarity and a way of delivering phrases that made them sound half-remembered, as if they’d been plucked right out of a dream. Eddie’s lyrics had the same partly precise, partly mystified quality: “Where did our love go?” he had Diana ask, and the question made you turn your head and join the effort to locate that lost jewel.

The resulting mood—an unlikely alloy of experience and naïveté, innocence and fatigue—is what drew me to Motown. Even today, as I try to fit the parts of my own work together—paragraph after unwilling paragraph; always failing to make of myself a machine—I am in some way striving to describe the kind of love that Holland-Dozier-Holland conveyed, the kind that lavishes its object with overwhelming light, then swings and bops away, impossible to keep for long.

Several of my favorites –

The reverb on this one is set too tight , but…

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Skipland Redefined – Radio Garden Lets You Listen to Radio Around the World

Those of you old enough to remember AM Radio, will remember when just after nightfall you could get literally hundreds of channels from nearly halfway across the country at night. This was before radio became homogenized and MTV-ized into the same pablum top 40 or so format in every city. So listening to radio from NYC or Philadelphia was totally different from that in Charlotte or Atlanta. As a kid I would sit with my transistor radio and listen to the big hits and latest music from what were then to me far away locations. The ability to do this had to do with AM Radio’s physical property that the radio waves bounced off the Troposphere at night, and based on weather conditions could land hundreds, and in some cases a thousand or more miles away. Sometimes the connection would last for hours – sometimes only a few minutes. We called it “Skipland” because the signals would move around based on weather, and it was unpredictable where they would land. As such you might get a perfect signal at your home, but lose it in a trip to a friends house a few miles away.

A new ap lets you do just that now, only it covers just about the whole world.

The Map That Lets You Listen to the Radio Everywhere

Radio Garden is a meditation on connectedness and what broadcast technology does to local culture.

Radio Garden, which launched today, is a similar concept—a way to know humanity through its sounds, through its music. It’s an interactive map that lets you tune into any one of thousands of radio stations all over the world in real time. Exploring the site is both immersive and a bit disorienting—it offers the sense of lurking near Earth as an outsider. In an instant, you can click to any dot on the map and hear what’s playing on the radio there, from Miami to Lahore to Berlin to Sulaymaniyah and beyond.

The project, created for the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision by the interactive design firms Studio Puckey and Moniker, was built using an open-source WebGL globe that draws from thousands of radio stations—terrestrial and online-only streams—overlaid with Bing satellite imagery.

The result is the best kind of internet rabbit hole: Engrossing, perspective shifting, provocative, and delightful.

The Golden Record is now more than 12 billion miles away from Earth, somewhere in interstellar space. Here on Earth, Radio Garden allows you to travel not just through space, but through time—or at least time zones. So when it’s 5:08 a.m. in Nome, Alaska, and the local radio station is playing “Mercy Came Running,”—a song by the Christian trio Phillips, Craig and Dean—it’s also 5:08 p.m. in Moscow, where Haddaway’s 1993 hit “What Is Love” is on the radio.

At the same time—as in literally at the same time—you might find Bruno Mars’s “Grenade” playing in Rome, where it’s 3:08 p.m., and Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” playing in Honolulu, where it’s 4:08 a.m, and The Talking Heads’s “Wild Wild Life” playing in Buenos Aires , where it’s 11:08 a.m. (That’s in addition to all the songs in languages other than English playing everywhere from Ghana to Egypt to Mexico.)

Looking at (and listening to) the planet this way can leave you feeling paradoxically detached while still connected—like an omniscient observer finding familiar sounds in unfamiliar places. For one thing, radio as a medium often has a similar sound. That’s not just because American pop music in particular is a global export, but because of similarities in how radio is produced around the world. Local stations, wherever they are, often broadcast a mix of music, ads, traffic, and weather reports—and deep-voiced announcers adopt a similar tone across cultures. The aesthetic of the Radio Garden site—which uses satellite imagery rather than maps with political borders—helps further promote this feeling of connectedness. That was deliberate: Jonathan Puckey, who runs the interactive design firm Studio Puckey, told me that he and his colleagues wanted to leave people with the sense that “radio knows no borders.” (Besides, he points out, click around enough and you’ll find you can “tune into an Ethiopian spoken station in the middle of Kansas and an American station in the middle of South Korea.”)…

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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