Happy Sunday! This post is inspired by my recent introduction to Alice Clark. It all happened one sunny spring afternoon at a record store. She peered at me in a disinterested, though compelling way. I tried to ignore her, but found myself back at the records store two days later trying to find out more about this woman and her music. What i learned about Alice Clark’s music made me an instant fan! Even better, she introduced me to some other singers. This post provides a brief intro to some of these new additions to my playlist!
– Much Love
Alice Clark – “Looking at Life”
Jo Ann Garrett – “A Whole New Plan”
Candi Staton – “Stand by Your Man”
“the first records that i played never played me, and i can still play them today because they stay true”
I’ve been thinking a lot about 90s hip hop… partially because i’ve had Tribe’s People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm on repeat for the last few days, but also because i often look to the “good ol’ days” of Hip Hop for inspiration. (Disclaimer: i don’t believe that Hip Hop culture or rap music were “pure” during the 90s. In fact, i believe that many artists promoted the exact same stuff i dislike now, only in baggier clothes. I do, however, think that there was more variety than there is now. There was Tribe and Bahamadia to balance out some of the more violent and misogynistic elements.) Because of that, i’d like to share some tracks that crossed my mind and entered my ears in recently. They remind me of why and how i became so passionate about rap music and Hip Hop culture. I play them today and they don’t let me down!
A Tribe Called Quest — “Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts)”
Heather B — “If Headz Only Knew”
BlackStar — “Definition”
Sometimes the best mixes come from selectors who aren’t necessarily interested in playing at all the biggest night clubs while doing some absurd pose waiting for all the camera phone to capture the moment. In fact, i’ve learned time and time again that the best mixes offer a selection of music that i can’t get elsewhere. They typically aren’t accompanied by a gimmick. Instead, they filled with deep love and appreciation for the music. That’s what captures my attention and has me searching Soundcloud for countless hours each week. It’s the love!
With that said, i present the scholar, vinylphile, and music lover, Afrekete. Afrekete’s mix, ”Tribute to Seeco Guaracha,” filled me with incomprehensible joy when i gave a listen. I could tell that she was happy to present the music in this mix. Her happiness made it nearly impossible for me to do anything else as i listened. You can check the mix out here:
After listening to this mix, be sure to give Afrekete a holler. Here’s a little about her to help you establish the connection. In her own words:
Afrekete wants to restore relevance to the music, artists and activists of yesterday, which is why her eclectic themed mixes combine the political, historical, playful and soulful. Based in a small Florida city, she keeps up with the world by record shopping, mix-making and occasionally playing out. A first generation African in the Americas, she’s an out queer butch. During the day she is a professor of Africana literature and visual culture. Her only hope for humanity is the preservation of Africanity and she works at it every damn day. Reach her at email@example.com to suggest music that should be on her radar—or to just say hello.
I hope that you enjoy the mix and communicating with Afrekete as i much as i do!!!
– Much Love
Happy Bearthday to Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949). This short mix is comprised of three movements, each based on a song i’ve been listening to a LOT in recent weeks.
I hope that you enjoy this project and that it inspires you to (re)discover Gil Scott-Heron’s collection (Pieces of a Man & Midnight Band: The First Minute of a New Day are my faves).
Movement 1: “Intro Peace”
Based on “Peace Go With You, Brother“ (1974)
Movement 2: “Be No Rain”
Based on “I Think I’ll Call It Morning” (1971)
Movement 3: “Troubles Away”
Based on “Lady Day & John Coltrane” (1971)
This edition of Mixtape Monday features one my favorite DJs when i was living in Chicago! Check out Sonny Daze’s vintage vinyl mix and enjoy your week.
– Much Love
I listen to a LOT of music (duh statement of the year, right?). I’m constantly amazed by the innovative and soulful musicians out there. I recently had the chance to check out Josiah Wise, whose limited body of publicly available tracks is in heavy rotation right now!
I don’t even want to try and explain what this music is, besides positive and aurally pleasing to my ears. You can give Josiah’s sounds a listen below. If you like it, don’t hesitate to share!
- Much Love
Big shoutout to Philly DJ-Emcee, John Morrison. Brother-man put together this mix for Black History Month, which i’ve been rocking non-stop! It features classic tracks, more recent cuts, and soundbites from one of the pioneers of African history, Cheik Anta Diop. Give it a listen and share it with your peoples.
- Much Love
More Black History Month mixes by John Morrison: http://www.mixcloud.com/john-morrison/
These are some of my first experiments with making music. I’m definitely drawn to the aural aesthetic of Afro Futurism, which (to me) is where Hip Hop and Octavia Butler (and Science Fiction more generally) come together to imagine new sounds and create alternate realities!
I’ve been listening to a LOT of jazz recently… primarily Max Roach & Abbey Lincoln, Ornette Coleman, Alice Coltrane, and Pharoah Sanders. I hope to drawn on them in the music i plan to make in the very near future. For now…
Danny Mekonnen is a co-founder and leader of Debo Band. In this interview he talks about his musical roots and journey, Debo Band’s music, and more!
You can check some of their sounds and press at the following links:
NPR Music’s Bob Boilen’s 243 Favorite Concerts of 2012 – Debo Band Ranked #3!!!
Interview on Philadelphia’s WXPN, with David Dye/World Cafe
KEXP Bumbershoot Lounge – Live Video
NPR – 50 Favorite Albums of 2012
NPR – Top Ten World Music Albums of 2012
WNYC Soundcheck CMJ Showcase – Live Video
YouTube Debo Band Album Stream
Debo Band Spotify
Happy Sunday, EVERYONE! As the new year gets going, i am excited to share some great events with you. One of them is a concert and dance party with the Zimbabwean pop star, Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits who will be whose Philadelphia debute is January 12, 2013! I have the honor of playing this show alongside DJs Lil’Dave and Junior of the Eavesdrop Radio crew!
As i begin preparing for this event, i’m listening to and channeling the vibe of some of my favorite Tuku tracks (see below), as well as many other great Zimbabwean artists, including Thomas Mapfumo, Netsayi, Audius, and Joseph Garakara & Mbama Express! If you’re in Philly, you will definitely want to attend this event! For now, please enjoy a few selections.
– Much Love