Saturday, April 18, 2009
This is a Youtube clip from the WFMU NY RECORD SHOW. I think it is one of the largest reoccurring record sales in the nation. A great resource for records shows in your area is this website.
The site is pretty basic...a bit old school...and has lots of flashing things (annoying)...BUT it has great information on upcoming record events and seems to be updated frequently.
Check it out. Happy Record Store Day!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
"I can hear my mother call. . . Father, father it's for the kids...any and every thing I did. Please, please don't judge me too strong. Lord knows I meant no wrong.."
FUNKADELIC "COSMIC SLOP" 1973
I love this song about an impoverished mother with five children who has resorted to prostitution in order to support her family. Although she tries to shield her children from the knowledge that they are poor and she is a prostitute, every night the narrator hears his mother beg God for forgiveness and understanding for doing what she has to do for the sake of her children.
* Lead Vocals: Garry Shider
* Guitars: Garry Shider, Ron Bykowski, Eddie Hazel
* Drums: Tyrone Lampkin
* Bass: Cordell Boogie Mosson
This is one of the most popular P Funk songs among fans of the group, and is often played in live shows. George Clinton later compared himself to the subject of the song(a woman who becomes a prostitute to feed her children) because he was forced to use his celebrity-status in commercials due to severe financial difficulties.
I think we can all relate to this in some way.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I will start out by saying I am a huge fan and a admirer. I can also say that for the rest of this piece you will here nothing but unadulterated "Christa love"! This wont be one of those times where somebody passes of "cheeky" cynicism and "two dollar" words as a scholarly artist critique--that sh*t is tired. No...you will on see the true admiration for a fellow artist...and my prideful promotion of the mix I made to honor her. I figured I should put all my biases out on "front street".
Well...to start, she is national slam champion, educator, a spoken word artist; a true “mystic” of sorts. Christa Bell's performances are a display of her mastery of the rendering of emotions from sounds and words. She deals with subject matter that is common place within the spoken word circuit; society, misogyny, self-hate, spirituality, sex, and love. With each of these subjects she is able to paint new portraits and vivid landscapes upon a worn canvas of spoken word cliche with palette of “virgin” metaphors and a "ancient" messages in her delivery that is as if it was channeled from the spirits of all things “divine”. I watch the videos of her interacting with the crowd and was equally amazed. Folk are interacting with her energies as she performs. The effect of which is like an "Immaculate Conception", as her words impregnate her audiences; giving birth to new thoughts, that may be crucified at first, but will be canonized as they become memories.
Now that I think about it, I am not exactly sure where I first met Christa. That should be pretty hard for one to believe because she is impossible to forget. Its crazy...we have like 45 friends in common on Facebook (* not said like that is some new kinda bench mark for closeness). It is just funny to me that we know so many of the same artist and creative folks here in the Northwest, yet did not have any direct dealings until now.
I love that she has a Goddess like command over every social situation I have ever seen her in. My experiences over the years has shown me that she is the "real deal"; that her stage personality is pretty close to her everyday person. I am sure that their are more intimate layers; petals upon her flower that only bloom if given the right "light". I can say for myself that dealing with her is far less formal than having tea with the Queen; but to me she holds a similar type of majesty...both on stage and off.
Taken from her artist bio: She is the recipient of the CD Foru's Creation Project Grant (funded by the National Endowment for the Arts) for her one-woman show, CoochieMagik: A SpokenWord Mucical Comedy, the founder of WordMedicine Press & Records, the author of three collections of poetry and the creator and producer of two spoken-word albums, WordMedicine and Bitchualized (to be released fall of '07).
In 2006, as Seattle's Grand Slam Champion, and after placing third in the Individual Competition at the NationallPoetry Slam (NPS) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Christa headlined her first international spoken-word poetry tour, WordMedicine 2006, where she was invited to perform by over 80 venues across North America. Since taking to the stage in 2004, she has shared stages with many notable artists, scholars and activists including Angela Y. Davis, Saul Williams, Ursula Rucker, Bill Frissel and Muta Baruka, to name just a few.
SOUNDS FROM THE INNER SANCTUM
Sounds From The Inner Sanctum is an audio/video podcast (or just a DJ mix with pictures for vol. 1) that feature the spoken word artistry of Christa Bell with interpretative deejays and other audio collaborators. I haven't thought of all of the visual possibilities...but I am still mind boggled on what I was able to accomplish with Youtube audio as the source material. I would love to have studio recordings or a good digital live recording (oh boy!!!) .
I took recordings from streamed versions of Christa performing four of her poems. I started working on the audio and visuals about 12 hours before posting this entry. I truly started the mixes in my head about two days ago when I first brought the idea to Christa. The idea of the mix was to match music to her word that were complementary either harmonically, rhythmically, or in intensity. I did not originally think that I would be "remixing" her works but rather programing a podcast with music based on them. Once I started experimenting with layering her voice over some of the gritty tracks...man, I was "stuck".
Funny, the whole idea to work together just occurred a few days ago. I had recently been talking with Christa about doing some projects at the Electric Tea Garden. I figured with Record Store Day coming up, I would ask her if she would like to DJ a set at our event. I asked and her answer was an ecstatic yes!!! So now we are planning to meet to make a play list for the upcoming event.
While thinking about her DJ set (I was going through some vinyl from my own collection that I was going to play for the event on April 18th) I went to You tube and started listening to her works. I had never really heard her spoken word performances (well...not in full as I was usually working at the same events I seen her at). This time I was at home with my headphones on and had the full spectrum of her words and powerful voice as if she was speaking right to my ears the "wisdom of the ages". The fact is I just loved the energy that was coming from her and from the crowds during those live recorded events.
Having listened to the Youtube performances many times, back to back; I went to the record bin and started digging. I ended up still using some digital files to make things easier...but the core mix was worked out in vinyl first. I even looked around on some old Readers Digest records I had (from the '60s I guess)...just looking for some cool sound effects or warm pad sound to lay beneath her vocals in spots where there would be no music. What I found was a host of sounds and ethnic textures that gave many ideas for the transitions; the intro and the outros. I was looking for sounds that were identifiably "non western" but not exactly belonging or seeking to represent as any specific group. I went in this direction to sorta manifest my perception of Christa as a woman that has balanced her "cultures of origin" identities with a masterful understanding of and connection with the world at large. Her artist imagery as well as her personal style seems to be a synthesis of concepts and ideas that are identifiably African, Asian, Pre-Christian European and defiantly American (with her connections and references to Gospel, Hip-Hop, Soul, Rock 'n Roll...)
A 30 Minute Audio "Orgasm"
I liked the challenge of pairing music directly with Christa's words, like on the tracks "If She Don't Come" (mixed with MF DOOM's "My Favorite Ladies"), "Too Much" (layered over Squarepushers "The Exploding Psychology"), and "Wangari Maathai" (mixed with NOMUMBAH "ELA"). I initially feared pairing her with some of the Drum and Bass and Hip-Hop tracks. I thought it would be too "masculine" or would over power the delicate aspects of Christa performances. Christa has "muscular prose" and had delivered passionate performances that when mixed together; were never compromised by the grit and rawness of the Squarepusher and MF Doom tracks. I especially loved the pairing of "Wangari Maathai" with the tribal house track, "ELA". I had to manipulate the EQ pretty aggressively to make room for her vocals as there was not a long enough clean break for me to naturally slip in her performance. I had trouble getting that vocal both warm and clear...so I took the middle (and leaned abit towards clear).
**I love the RANE TTM-56 mixer that we have because the EQ's are unreal! I can pull out bass...mids...re-shape the sound in real time...all without the music losing to much sonic integrity.
I really loved the custom sounds I created for the song transitions. I used African women chants and yells with reverb and cross faded them forward and backwards. I cut up harmoniums and Indian violin sounds and added phase and other effects. I cut up random sounds and stretched them, warped them and played with their stereo panning to make it feel like ones head was swirling with intensity. Finally I used an Anime sample to aid the simulated "orgasm" effect at the end of "if She Don't Come". I liked it because of the mounting intensity it added to that transition.. It was "sexy" to have that pulsating sound pan in; slowly developing while it builds up.Then have the sound cut out to a brief silence, then go right into a smooth track like EWF's "Clover".
In hindsight, I will admit that it really wasn't the most attractive "orgasm sound". You know, I'll accept a little self criticism for the moment. That sequence is the only thing on the mix I would seriously consider changing...but not by much. As I think about it, the file sounded natural and pretty good until I had to change the pitch; thus speeding it up to make the sequence work. If I were to put more thought into the sound, I would have tried to find a more human ..."womanly" sound than the typical little girlish whine or the violent primal screams that Anime cartoons and main stream porn tend to showcase as a "parody" of when a woman is experiencing intense sexual pleasure. To be honest I didn't want to spend that much time on it as I did not think it was all that important (*Um....I hope you know I meant the sound ....not orgasms!). I spent a lot more time thinking about the sound effects and digital signal processing I was going to use to create that sequences in Sound Forge 6.0 on my PC.
Once I got all that stuff completed and out the way, the other songs for the mix were chosen almost "divinely" after I had listened to Christa's performances over and over again while listening to many different records at the same time. I had some guidance as I knew some of Christa favorites, like EW&F and Me'shell NdegeOcello. I also knew she wanted to experiment with electronic styles ( like Techno, D&B, House). So with that small of a "lead", I wasn't really getting anywhere until an hour or so later, I just took off the head phone and listened to the words on Christa's works with more intensity. It was at that point that the "magic" of the project kicked in and I sat in front of a computer and turntable; quickly finding songs that matched in some way the messages that Christa was gifting to us the listeners of her works. For fun I even found a "chop'd & screw'd" Mary J Blige track. "My Life". I thought it rhythmically matched the track before it so I chopped it up even more in some spots, but decided to speed it up from the original. Screwing (or slowing down a track to a "bounceable" tempo, named fro the late DJ Screw) was popular in the '90s when I was living down South...way back in the day. I dig it...way slow...droned out style. But when it comes to low beats per minute songs, folks either feel it or they don't. Besides the fact that i was playing with "Ms. Mary's voice"?!?...folk might get upset!! So I cut the track a bit short as well.
Blah, Blah, Blah....
I hope you enjoy listening to the mix as much as I enjoyed making it. Hopefully you will come to the Electric Tea Garden (1402 E. Pike) to see Christa spin her own set on April 18th.
Songs mixed and remixed by Bujiblak
Track listing below:
SOUNDS FROM THE INNER SANCTUM [Vol. 1 ] Length - 30 min., 58 sec.
Emile de Leon - Gong and Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation (sounds used for intro and outro) Christa Bell - If She don't come (acapella) *MF DOOM - My Favourite Ladies (instrumental) Earth Wind & Fire - Clover Christa Bell - 1001 Holy names for coochie Me'shell NdegeOcello - Andromeda & the Milky Way Mary J. Blige - My Life (Skrew'd & Chop'd) Lyn Collins -Think Christa Bell - The Too Much (acapella) *Squarepusher - The Exploding Psychology (instrumental) *NOMUMBAH - ELA (YORUBA SOUL DUB) Christa Bell -- Wangari Maathai *These songs are mixed with recordings of Christa's acapella performances.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RECORDHEADZ HOST WEEKEND RECORD STORE DAY SALE AND DJ EVENT! APRIL 18 - 19
Local record collectors to host a National Record Store Day celebration on Capitol Hill at the Electric Tea Garden (Gallery ~ Tea Lounge). There will be 1000’s of vinyl records for sale as well as local DJ’s of all levels and styles performing at this “open tables” event. Proceeds of vinyl records sold will benefit local youth music projects.
Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 as a way to link independent record stores, the artists they represent and the communities they serve. Record Store Day offers exclusive vinyl releases and social events to help invite customers to come celebrate the fun to be found in independent record stores and with listening to music in the vinyl format.
Recordheadz, a project started in March of 2009 by record collectors Patrick Mouton and Shomari Shanks (DJ Shonuph) which takes donated or unwanted records from within the community—saving them from being tossed into landfill. These records are cleans and sold at various sites and a portion of the proceeds are gifted to community organizations and individuals that work with youth on music related projects. Recordheadz also maintains a blog: Recordheadz.com which features reviews of vinyl records, record related events, and information about its community projects.
Electric Tea Garden has been a site for the previous Recordheadz vinyl sales and will host a mini record store within its gallery space. Recordheadz is inviting the community to come join them at the recently opened tea lounge / event space, to celebrate Record Store Day with a record sale and free DJ event! Come enjoy Electric Tea Garden’s selection of organic teas, locally roasted coffee and shop a huge collection of vinyl records being sold to support Recordheadz community music events.
Open Tables: We are also inviting DJ’s of all levels and styles to come down and spin an “open table” set. Turntables and mixer will be set up on site. Just bring headphones, needles, your own vinyl records and of course lots of friends to watch you spin.
Details for Recordheadz Record Store Day Sale and DJ Event to follow:
Saturday, Sunday April 18th – 19th
Electric Tea Garden
1402 East Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98122
10am – 6pm
Free, All Ages
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The album is Luis Gasca "For Those Who Chant" (1971 Blue Thumb --BT37).
This is by far the best album headed by Latin jazz trumpeter Luis Gasca. This recording features a host of early 70s heavy hitters:Carlos Santana, George Cables, Stanley Clarke, Coke Escovedo, and Lenny White with a sound that is a great testament to its west coast Latin influences! The performance is airy, laid back and open -- with long thoughtful solos from Gasca (on trumpet) and Joe Henderson (on tenor sax).
The sound set is about half electric and half straight ahead. This project is very rhythmic with stellar performances on guitar, organ, keyboards, bass, and of course the Latin and Africanesque percussion. The album features 4 long tracks -- "Spanish Gypsy", "Street Dude", "La Raza", and "Little Mama". This is a must have for '70s Latin Jazz lovers. I will post a recording as soon as I get a new needle. *Click the photo and it will take you to an audio sample.
*Also check out the Luis Gasc review at Breath Of Life: an online discussion about Black Music.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
SoulStrut.Com forum regular Disco Che concocted an impressive mix from records he dug up on holiday in Munich, Spain and France last summer. Music genres include Latin, 90s Rap, Disco, R&B, French Pop, the moon. The result is 58 minutes that go by very quickly.
1. Animation Vocale – Yannick Chevalier & Fabrice (Musidisc 1980)
2. El Yoyo – Cortijo y su Combo (Tropical ca. 1962)
3. Quimbo Quimbumbia – Celia Cruz & Tito Puente (Tico 1969)
4. Barumba – Tamba Trio (Philips 1964)
5. Candy – George Roos et son Orchestre Carabalis (Vogue ca. 1954)
6. Money (That’s What I Want) – Barrett Strong (Motown 1960s)
7. It Was A Very Good Year – Della Reese (Stateside 1967)
8. La Mouche – Michel Polnareff (Discs AZ 1972)
9. Home Is Where The Hatred Is – Esther Philipps (Kudu 1971)
10. His First Room-Mate – Faruk Green (Deck 8 1999)
11. Africa Yama (Instr. Re-Edit) – Les Chakachas (Biram 1974)
12. Shorty Rides Again – Eddie Harris & Les McCann (Atlantic 1971)
13. Leave The Kids Alone – Crown Heights Affair (RCA 1974)
14. You’re Lying – Linx (Chrysalis 1981)
15. Shaking It Down – War (RCA 1983)
16. Dance All Nite – Poison Clan (Effect Records 1990)
17. Wordy Rappinghood – Tom Tom Club (Island 1981)
18. At The Dance – Hint (Tru Thoughts 2007)
19. Under The Skin – The Brothers (RCA 1976)
20. You’ve Got Me Dancing In My Sleep – Frisky (Vanguard 1979)
21. You Can Get Over – Stephanie Mills (20th Century Fox 1979)
22. Au Revoir – Yannick Chevalier & Fabrice (Musidisc 1980)
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
vinyl records sold in the United States 2007
projected sales for 2009
compact discs sold last year
increase in new LPs shipped from 2006 to 2007
percentage of teens who didn't buy a CD last year
percentage of consumers who illegally downloaded musicSources: Nielsen SoundScan, Recording Industry of America, NPD Group
Best Buy will be adding more vinyl records to its stores in late 2009. Amazon.com has begun used and new vinyl sales. Target and Costco are selling new turntables; one of their most popular holiday item. Is this the beginning of a full scale vinyl comeback? Well...read these articles:
Monday, March 30, 2009
I really enjoyed this set. I liked the way Dj Johnny Francois took us on a "trip", mixing multiple genres. As a plus, he was spinning mostly vinyl 45's. He would have done an all 45 (or 7" Record) set except for the fact that we had just lost our 45 spacers for the Technics 1200 turntables. The video excerpt is about 12 minutes of an 45 min set. I kinda caught it right in the middle. He was warmed up; switching from rare groove to neo-soul and hip-hop head bangers.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Anyone that has ever went "crate digging" at a used store, book store, or yard sale knows that their are a sh*t load of Cosby , Stills, Nash, and Young ( or any combinations of these artist) used albums in this world. These guys have a huge discography with lots of great music. They also have some pretty dated recordings as well.
Just as I was about pack away anything and everything with these guys name on it, I bumped into a cool podcast that is over an hour of song from these artist. I really enjoy listening to Kirk Degiorgio mixes on RED BULL MUSIC Academy. This one, Volume 20 really showcases what is good about these artist and the many groups they were involved with.
*Check out the Mix*
Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth - Atco
Buffalo Springfield - Four Days Gone - Atlantic
Neil Young - The Loner - Reprise
Neil Young - String Quartet From Whiskey Boot.. - Reprise
David Crosby - Laughing - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu - Atlantic
Buffalo Springfield - Questions - Atco
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Wooden Ships - Atlantic
Stephen Stills - Love The One You're With - Atlantic
The Byrds - Renaissance Fair - Columbia
The Byrds - Tribal Gathering - Columbia
The Byrds - Dolphin Smile - Columbia
The Byrds - Draft Morning - Columbia
David Crosby - Traction In The Rain - Atlantic
Buffalo Springfield - The Hour Of Not Quite Rain - Atco
David Crosby - I'd Swear There Was.. - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Long Time Gone - Atlantic
Graham Nash David Crosby - The Wall Song - Atlantic
Buffalo Springfield - Rock and Roll Woman - Atco
Manassas - Johnny's Garden - Atlantic
Buffalo Springfield - Pretty Girl Why - Atco
Manassas - Both Of Us (Bound To Lose) - Atlantic
Neil Young - The Old Laughing Lady - Reprise
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Guinnevere - Atlantic
David Crosby - Orleans - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills & Nash - All Along.. (Live) - Unreleased
Crosby, Stills & Nash - You Don't Have To Cry - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Carry On - Atlantic
David Crosby - Tamalpais High (At About 3) - Atlantic
Neil Young - Don't Let It Bring You Down - Reprise
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Find The Cost.. - Atlantic
David Crosby - Song With No Words - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Taken At All - Atlantic
Stephen Stills - Do For The Others - Atlantic
The Byrds - Everybody's Been Burned - Columbia
The Byrds - It Happens Each Day - Columbia
Neil Young - There's A World (Live) - Reprise
Neil Young - Old Man - Reprise
"Ms." David Oliver 1977
"Moskow Disco" Telex 1979
"Bamboo Child" RYO Kawasaki from the album "Juice"
It is amazing what I put into storage. I am wondering why I didn't keep some of these records in my home collection. Most of the music I purchased in the early '90s were records I was buying to "sample" for original hip-hop tracks or just cool stuff I wanted to use in mixes.
The David Oliver record has some cool sexy vocals with a nice "disco" beat. It is some of the better stuff from that era (late '70s Disco).
The song by Telex was one of my brother's records...he passed away over 10 years ago. At first I did not want to sell the records I got from him. He was older than me and had lived in Europe during the mid-late '80s. He was in London when a whole lot of cool things were going on...Soul to Soul...Acid Jazz...beginnings of Jungle and D&B styles. He was also there when house was the center of electronic music. "Moskow Disco" is some fun Electro-boogie stuff...reminds me of Kraftwork.
Now this Ryo Kawasaki LP, "Juice" is a BANGER!!!! It has lots of cool, moody tracks on it. I remember this guy from Tarika Blue, a late '70s jazz fusion project from New York (I think). This record has one of the coolest covers I have seen in a long time.
I hated to part with these records: they all sold at today's sale. I have one more copy of "Juice". I may need to hold on to it. : )
Its early Sunday morning; just me and the birds are awake. I am sure that church folks are getting dressed to go and pay homage to their faith, community, and such. In some ways I guess I am doing the same thing. Records and music have been sort of a 'religion' for the last 2 weeks or so. You know that in all matters of faith, there is this fine line that separates the fanatic-the perversion of what was once sacred. I stand here in the Electric Tea Garden, surrounded by undeniable proof that I am a fanatic; the boxes and crates of records spread out across the room. It is both awesome and embarrassing.
Awesome becasue I think I have owned more records than most folks I personally know...except for maybe Vitamin D or Supreme La Rock. To be honest, I envy their collection. These are true digging collections...bought mostly piece by piece. I started out that way and quickly got into buying collections from other folks, book stores, etc. Yeah...I guess it is incredible that a guy could own and maintain a collection of 30,000 + records.
It is also embarrasing becasue aside from some eBay sales I haven't really done anything with these records...until now. They have sat in storage or mom's basement for a decade or so. I have 10,000 of them that are packed into a storeroom in the back of my cafe (Brewhahacafe).
That is where the Recordheadz.com projects come in. I have worked for over a decade in non-profits around town (Youthcare, Ryther Childcare, Central Youth & Family...) and I have also ran a few small businesses. I see this project as a way that I can do both in a sustainable way. I realize that I am "mission minded" and promoting music in schools, community programs, etc is a issue that goes "deep" within my soul and my psyche.
The big sales are lots of work and can be expensive with all of the manual labor needed to sort, set-up, and move around a collection of this size. It seems that it is hard for 'regular folks' to get to the big sales. I guess I wanted to make something that was more stationary and had more hours where records would be availible for purchase and listening.
With all of that in mind, it felt logical for us to create a 225 sq. foot 'permanent' record section in the back of Electric Tea Garden (1402 E. Pike Street). I am not sure about the details...they are still being developed. I do know that they will be availible from 3pm till 9pm Tuesday till Saturday.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
About 7 or 8 years ago Sho and I started working on music projects and record digging. Since that time I have learned so much about music, hip
Here is Sho doing his thang:
DJ Sureal and Shonuph of (206) Zulu on the Serato "ones and twos". It is cool that true "recordheadz" can adapt with the times and technologies. I haven't personally used Serato or Final Scratch but I plan to get into it soon. I just loaded the software on my laptop and need to get some cool mp3's.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
We sold lots of records last week and we are not looking forward to hauling scores of record boxes (at 50-60lbs each) down a flight of stairs and into a storage unit. I am going to sell like I am one of those crazy used car guys..."NO PRICE IS TOO CRAZY for 'Mr. 12 Inch Johnny' (er...that would be me) ... push pull or drag your wallet down to Pike Street and we'll give ya a deal".
Look at the events calendar to see our weekend schedule.
*NOTICE: If I got your email address at the first sale...give it to me again. I have misplaced the sign up sheet from that day. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This way you will know about our sales, events, and community projects.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I was hoping to design an actual curriculum that could augment an existing music class or operate in place of one. The cultural phenomena that is "deejaying" has spanned five decades...from the radio station personality just putting on a record--one after another to the modern DJ, working with laptops, samplers, two turntables, and the "kitchen sink".
Shomari (Shonuph) and I have both worked extensively with kids in various community programs. Informally we have used our knowledge of music and hip-hop culture as a bridge between the programs objectives and the interest of the kids. The need and desire is there...but not the funding or the time. Most school classrooms past the 9Th grade are crammed full of testing based activities that leave little room for outside music programs to come in and borrow the teachers precious time.
I think that for now, our targets will be:
- After school programs within the community
- Group homes and youth centers
- Middle Schools and Alternative High schools
- Late night programs
I will be updating this idea as I learn more. I have been contacting the DJ's I already know and have also made contact with many new ones on Facebook and Myspace. I am asking folks to share their knowledge about DJ and music production curriculum.
Another focus I have is how to outreach to women (of all ages) and get them involved with Deejaying and musical production. Just think...if 10% of all producers and deejays were women...what would music (especially Hip-Hop) sound like? What if that number was 50%? As women seem to be 50% of the subject matter in today's hip-hop and R&B music (the other half being the latest dance moves, high priced intoxicants, cars, clothing, self praise, and the need to "represent" for various crews and neiborhoods) I think that they should be better represented in all forms of the music industry. Even if 25% of the deejays were women, I think that it would have a dynamic effect on what is popular...what is played...and what is acceptable for men to say within the hip-hop culture.
We are planning to have a once a month class at the Electric Tea Garden sometime in April. I would like to do some weekly classes in the summer when school is out. We will probably find another location for that...Jefferson Park Community Center...Miller Community Center are the first that come to my mind. Right now we are trying to collect equipment: turntables, mixers, headphones, needles, and of course vinyl. It helps if we have music close to the type that the kids are already listening to...my hip-hop crates stop at about 2004-5.
The questions I have are:
- What is the skillset a begining DJ needs to have to get started?
- What is the basic vocabulary?
- Who are the iconic DJ's that should be used as an example?
- Should digital DJ formats (CDR or Serato) be introduced right away?
- How log should each session be?
- How often should a class meet?
- What are things a student can work on WITHOUT a turntable at home?
- Should they learn basic audio (signal path, cabling, routing, eq'ing)?
- When should scratching be introduced?
- What is the best way to teach mixing, beat matching, and blending?
Monday, March 23, 2009
I have read several blogs and seen the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) reports that show that the vinyl music format is coming back. Sales are up 20-30% from previous years. Many new artist are opting for vinyl pressings of their singles and remixes...instead of CDs.
Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired.com blogged about this and wrote:
"According to the RIAA's recently-released 2007 sales report, the American music industry sold 36.6 percent more Extended Play (EP) and Long Play (LP) records than it had in the previous year, increasing vinyl sales revenue by 46.2 percent. CD unit sales, on the other hand, declined 11.7 percent with revenue dropping 20.5 percent during the same period."
You can go to Wired: Listening Post to read the full article. Or google "RIAA VINYL SALES" and a host of information will pop up...20 or so articles at least. I'll give you the summary...they mostly say that VINYL IS BACK !!!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I let them go for a "song and a smile". I was glad that others get to enjoy them; they sat in a dusty box for years. I especially love the song "Headless Heroes". Just listen to the words for a moment and think about today's politics. It is a trip that this record was written and recorded back in the early 1970's.
The Enoch Light records are often "slept on" but have really great recording quality and some cool licks. Check the classic Beatnut's sample on "A little fugue for you and me".
Saturday, March 21, 2009
First Day Of Weekend Record Sale.
One down...one to go. Our two day sale seems to be a hit judging by the scores of collectors, deejays, and music lovers that stopped by to support our cause (or just get the best deal in town on records).
Our co-founder, Shonuph had a lot to do with the success of this day; passing out handbills, hanging posters, and texting his wealth of contacts within the Hip-Hop, D&B and Dub-Step worlds. We had other volunteers that came through and really made a difference to our success as well. Ato Kambui; Hannah and Liz Fretz, we could not have done it with out you. *DJ Man-At-War spun one of the best old school hip-hop sets I had heard in a long time...thx.
I have to admit that I was surprised at what sold and what didn't. I spent lots of time working on my 80's and 90's hip-hop 12" crates...the cool 80's MTV generation stuff....classic rock staples (Beatles, 'Stones', Clash, Doors). Yeah?!? I sold some of that stuff indeed. It was a surprise how many people wanted 80's R&B...Soundtracks...Lounge... even K-Tel records were being sold today. Man...I was like "what da
F#@?" Somehow I thought that I was the only music "nerd" that liked that stuff.
It was no big surprise to me was how many folks brought our 45's. I didn't put anything on the market that was super rare. If you we willing to dig, there were quite a few boxes of good condition 80's pop, soul, disco, and R&B standards that were selling for as low as $1.00-2.00 a disc.
I am sure some cool stuff slipped by me. No sweat...its tuition if learned something. I feel like I am still a "baby" at this record game compared to the talented customers I learn from. Yeah...there are the the known deejays, producers, and hardcore music collectors that came by and shared their knowledge but what impresses me the most are the seemingly "ordinary peoples" that turn me on to "new music" from my own record collection.
They will walk up really excited and hand me a record that I thought I knew all about. I am thinking... O.K, what's so cool about [blah, blah, blah] then they will tell me about that "one" track...with the bass player from [blah, blah, blah] the one they did before they were [blah, blah, blah]...or this drum break was sampled by [blah, blah, blah] and was used for that new hit song....you get the picture. I am excited to learn about records from anybody as I am a true "recordhead".
Important notice: I had told folks that I was bringing in 1000s of new records for Sunday's sale. That didn't happen as planned. My apologies. I had only managed to bring in a box or two of new music. If you come...I hope you find something you didn't see on Saturday.
The Universal Zulu Nation, or UZN is a pioneering force that has been in effect since the inception of Hip Hop itself (1974) and continues to represent and innovate while striving for worldwide peace, equality and empowerment. The four main elements of Hip-Hop are deejaying, emceeing, b-boying/b-girling, and graffiti.
We were bless to have two of Seattle's top "record heads" spinning and helping with the record sale (March 21-22nd @ ETG) We were "chopping it up", talking about records, breaks, and the state of hip-hop today. I am impressed with Seattle's chapter of Zulu Nation because of the work they do with in the schools and the positive presence they maintain within the hip-hop community.
Right now, we are looking for a way RecordHeadz.com and (206) Zulu can work together on a project. Hit me up on my email...email@example.com....I am interested in folks suggestions. Feel free to educate me about your programs or community groups if you work with youth in some sort of musical or artistic project. I am trying to assess the needs out there and how a couple of guys selling off an insanely large record collection could help.
@ Electric Tea Garden
1402 East Pike Street
March 21st - 22nd
10 am till 6pm
$3.00 suggested donation at door
1000s of records of all genres have been carries up a flight of stairs...out of basements, attics, and storage units; cleaned and prepared for their new life in your record collection. Well, that's how I like to think about it. I am excited about this sale...and at the same time I have the morning of jitters as I have forgot to do a bunch of things because I was away in LA right before this sale.
I hate the idea of this sale being so disorganized; the tables I ordered are not coming as well as some of the volunteers I had lined up last week. Booo hooo hooo!!!
No need to cry. This sale is going to be great despite all of my stress. The records are there! Deejays from (206) Zulu have agreed to come and spin with DJ Sho-nuph (one of Recordheadz.com founders). I just need to "chill out".
Songs on my "Mindpod": Organized Konfusion "Stress" and EPMD "You gots to Chill"
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
One of the ones I may part with at our next sale : (
Karma released the album "Celebration" in 1976 on the Horizon label. The LP has a "soul jazz" feel, but with some real complexity in the compositions as well as the performances. Overall "Celebrations" has a bunch of stunning moments but was not a hit commercially. When you consider the all star talents that was on board; saxophonist Ernie Watts, trombonist George Bohanon , trumpeter Oscar Brashear, and vocalist Syreeta Wright and Denice Williams...the project was only missing a solid danceable song that could double as a radio single.
Great at balancing Jazz's thoughtful complexities and Funk's playful simplicity, Karma has a lot to offer. The group had a sound that was identifiably mid-70's and "big-urban", much like the same era's music from coastal city soul jazz bands like LA's Earth, Wind, & Fire and NYC's Tarika Blue. Similar to those bands 1970's works, you will hear the rhythm section play its "gradient" layers of soul, Latin, and funk in the background with jazz and rhythm and blues of various "shades" in the foreground. I brought this record for a $1.00 at a T.E.S.C. record sale, maybe 10 - 15 years ago. Listening to it today, I realized that I didn't really listen to it much. Maybe because it was lost for awhile. I had just found the record in a box of stuff I moved from my mom's house. Checking around on the web I see that this record is out of print, but not to hard to find. Compact disc of "Celebration" are available as well. If you see this record at one of our August 21st and 22nd Record Sale...definitely grab it! *Hmm...Let me make sure I have an extra copy ; )
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This week I had to fly to LA. My best friend had a wedding to go to. I had practically forgot that I agreed to go until the last minute. I am glad that someone else handled most of this or I wouldn't of had any tickets. Originally I did not want to go...I am preparing for a huge record sale and I have hundreds of records on the floor and thousands of records in boxes. I was convinced that I needed a vacation so with that I went to LA...not much arm twisting needed.
Off the subject...I think LA was a great place to go and think about records as they have some pretty cool shops. I have to remember that parking in LA is different than here in Seattle. We drove around for a while to find parking at every stop we made. All that driving and walking was a good "meditation".
Monday, March 16, 2009
Steve Davis "Lalune Blanche" 1970 RAC Records
This is one of the best record I have heard by a guy I've never heard of. Sonically this project is mature, fat, but never crowded. The songs are varied in style, dancing in the space between the major genres (rock, soul, country, jazz) without ever really landing on any one of them long enough to be branded.
The hip-hop duo Gangstarr sampled the cut "It's All Because You Are Gone" on Daily Operation. I am surpised that other groups have not taken riffs from this gem. Every song I heard had something good...either a breakdown, a fat bass line, or some cool horns. This LP was made to be sampled--with the drums and bass being isolated to the left stereo channel and the horns and vocals landing moreso on the right. It is easy to gram clean snipets.
The song in the video clip, "Lalune Blanche" has been featured on many rare groove compilations. As for the other great songs...I have only really heard them played on the LP I had bought at a yard sale years ago.
The Cover is simple, yet very artistic. There is lots of information on the back...just not enough for me to figure out who the hell Steve Davis was and what other projects he had during the same period. The search continues.....
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Dorothy Ashby's "Dorothy's Harp" 1968 Cadet Records
This Dorothy Ashby album is one of my favorite records and one of the best jazz works of the 60s. Backed by groovy yet lushness string arrangements from Richard Evans this record is unusual that it features a harp as a soloing instrument! It also features Odell Brown on the Fender Rhodes. Evans and Ashby efforts and talents are seemlessly mixed together as bits of R&B, jazz , and psychadellic soul in this late 60s Cadet Record.
As songs go, "Truth Spoken Here" and "Tornado" are great. The gems on this album are "Cause I Need It", and "Just Had To Tell Somebody". The Brazilian numbers "Reza" and "Canto De Ossanha" are sexier as transformed by Dorothy's intersting syncopation and cadences. I also enjoy the covers like "This Girl's In Love", "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", and "Windmills of Your Mind".
For the last 5 years the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has reported steady increases in vinyl music sales. This is remarkable considering that records were pulled out of most major music outlets more than a decade ago. Despite being regarded as a "dead" music format, vinyl has been kicking the Compact Disc ass up and down the street, as its sales have decreased by single and now double digits every year since 1997.
So why has the record held up so good against the CD, MP3, and other formats? For some it is the superior sound quality or the cover art, for others it is the nostalgia of reading liner notes, and for folk like me, its just simple: they are just cooler than all the other formats (yeah try to get into a lengthy conversation with folks about the CD format...without talking about the music on it....good luck).
Just as records are making a bonafide come back, the global economy is going haywire and folks are cutting back on there luxuries...records included. I am going to go around to local record stores and ask them whats up. I know that on EBay, this is a great time to buy records as folks are parting with the good stuff, and selling it cheap. I also know that a whole new generation of record buyers are buying up lots of cool 80's and early 90's stuff that I couldn't give away just 4 years ago. This group is really caring about the economy because of the constant Mom and Dad stimulus package they get on the regular.
Used records may fair pretty well with the change in economy when you consider that $1.00 will get you one song from Itunes or some other cite, but it will get you a whole LP at most used stores (*10 LPs if you catch one of our record sales...and you like older music). You can always sell or trade your records, sometimes for close to what you paid for them. I like to think that I am pretty good about getting more for my records than what I had paid. I shop mostly in the dollar record sections...after doing some homework. : )
Sometimes I like to get an Enoch Light album or an old Sesame Street LP. That stuff is fun to sample and scratch with. I just hate going record digging at garage sales and used stores because there is usually too much junk to sort through.
Our sale should be fun for most types of collectors because of the diversity and volume of records on site.
We have priced the records to move. Even the classic Hip-Hop singles and well known rock LPs are going for "buddy" prices. Our goal is to raise enough money to start the first crop of RecordHeadz projects in the community. I have talked to many groups, deejay's, and promoters in town and they are excited about this new project.
One of the first projects will be digitizing some of the classic records and 12" singles, saving them to *.mp3 files so that we can use them with Rane's Serato Scratch and other software programs. This is very labor intensive and time consuming...but will allow us to share files with music programs that we are working with. I am checking with the RIAA to see what are the legalities and if we qualify for an educational exception. Stay tuned.....