We seem to have moved past the age of mashups, those early experimentations in remixing. But the past few months have seen a couple of brilliant mashups via Amerigo Gazaway, mashing Mos Def and Marvin Gaye (hunt it down, you wont be disappointed).
The mashup of Smokey Robinson and Oasis at the top of this post works pretty well too.
Barbara McNair was signed to Motown, stripped for Playboy, was frioends with Lenny Bruce and also had a family-oriented variety show! She was a pioneer black woman in the entertainment business. She's sort of forgotten or at least overlooked. This song was popular in my Northern Soul days but it never went mainstream.
I went to a club last night for a DJ event, headlined by Flume, a 22 year-old Australian producer/DJ/musician, who began his career at age 13 with some technology that was offered free in a cereal box! I must admit to a very scant number of experiences with live DJ stuff and I wasn't sure what to expect. What I really didn't expect was the incredibly young age demographic in the audience, it was a very young crowd, but they sure were into this guy and his music.
It was a revelatory experience for me, I enjoy electronic music and dj created stuff, but I am not sure I was expecting such a rich live musical encounter.
Club music like this feels a long way from the roots of rock and roll and seeing a stage with simply a raised platform a couple of computers and some decks doesn't signal 'wild musical encounter' but that's what was served up. Flume's music, like the other djs last night, is complex and yet simple at the same time--it's a slave to the groove, and the particular groove he conjures up creates a compelling spirit in the room. He was a masterful controller of the audience and was brilliant at building momentum and changing the atmosphere in a few moves on his equipment.
There is so much in a mix--anime voices, auto-tune, beats, spoken word, noises, ethnic instrumentation, lots of effects, bits of songs you might know, and when you combine these elements with high quality visuals and pristine sound that captures the deep, deep bass notes, as well as all the highs and you get one amazing night of musical encounter.
The lesson of a night like this is that one can always stretch horizons and take in new sounds, new eperiences, new music and
When David Bowie's performance of Starman was beamed into living rooms around Britain in 1972 it ignited something. That singular pop music moment not only launched Bowie into the new level of fame and socio-cultural influence, it also had a profound effect on so many people I know, myself included. It has produced at least a couple of really interesting books over the years including a recent one from UKGQ magazine editor Dylan Jones called, When Ziggy Played Guitar, and the latest book from philosopher Simon Critchley, simply called Bowie.
I read it from beginning to end in one sitting, it's less than 200 small pages--essentially short, one or two page encapsulations of Bowie's work, his impact, some philosophical engagement and canny insights from someone whose work I connect with. Critchley, gets Bowie completely, or at least he captures the Bowie I have connected with for years.
For me there were no Beatles or Rolling Stones, the only music I listened to before DB was from the blues/r+b/soul/reggae world of my musical youth-bowie shifted the ground beneath my feet, gave voice to my particular coming-from-nowhere-in-britain frustrations and desires and opened up just about everything to me, including the way I thought about and engaged with the world on many levels. Over the years Bowie has been a constant (even the Tin Machine years!!) and I waited for a decade like many of his fans for new work, convoinced that all the stories were false and that eventually post-reality, post-heart problems, the man would once again deliver music, and out of nowhere (where he seems to reside) came The Next Day and it's plaintive single, Where Are We Now? and we were off again.
Critchley takes snippets of Bowie's lyrics, personnae and reflects on them via his canny philosohical lens--he undoes our fascination with narratvie idea, what he calls the 'lie that stands behind the idea of the memoir,'--disconnects fact from truth and argues that falsity and inauthencticity are necessary to truth-telling-speaks of bowie's ability to 'deworld the world-and so much more.
It's a fan's book, but much more. If you are not a fan of Bowie, and they exist of course (how I fail to understand but there you go!!), you could still get a lot about life from this little book and i highly recommend it.
"For in truth, it's the beginning of nothing /And nothing has changed
Everything has changed/
For in truth, it's the beginning of an end
And nothing has changed/ Everything has changed"
A trailer for the movie that is soon to be released about Nick Cave. I am still processing the amazing experience of seeing Cave and the Seeds this past weekend at the Shrine. Truly one of the more compelling musical experiences I've had in a long time--they are simply spell-binding in live performance.