DJ Schedule Saturday 11/19 I Love Vinyl @ Louie & Chan 10:00 p.m.–4:00 a.m. 303 Broome Street NYC
Monday 11/21 Friends @ Kinfolk 8:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. 90 Wythe Ave, BK 11211

Archive for November, 2008

Bonus Track 3
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (Blog, Myspace)
New York City Live, 2007 (H.B.E. on iTunes)

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (originally from Chicago) has been making the rounds in NYC for quite a while. They play on the street, in subways, and at a concert near you. I saw them last summer opening for Leela James in Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem (picture below). I was impressed by their cohesiveness but put off by their attitude. There was a lot of one hand trumpet playing with the other hand on the belt buckle just so…a few of them seem to think they’re sex symbols. Hey, what do I know, maybe they are….yeah, probably not though. I was also a little put off that they were selling homemade slim-case CDRs for $15. I support the arts but I think 1000% ($10) is a fair profit margin on something with such a lack of production value.

I recently got my hands on all three CDs through the generosity of a friend and, well…this one is pretty incredible. I gave 10 of its 12 songs three or more stars in my iTunes, which is almost unheard of for me (and the other two got two and half). Unfortunately it’s the only album that’s not currently on the iTunes store. It’s the newest album so it may still yet appear. Next time I see them I plan to buy it (what? I don’t have a guilty conscience).

Here are some tracks that are available on iTunes that I can recommend: Todd (In Memory of), Jupiter, Birthday, Paradise, Balicky Bon.

Songs are available for two weeks.

Funny
Mpho Skeef (Amplified, Myspace)
Don’t Like You EP, 2005 (available on iTunes)

Sounds like I have another british new-soul voice to dream about (sorry Eska, you’ll always be my first). I knew her name sounded familiar but it wasn’t until I got into this EP that I realized I had already been playing music that she’s featured on, namely “Wait A Minute” from Ty’s 2004 album Upwards and “La Bougie” from Spacek’s 2003 album Vintage Hi.Tech. (She’s also the voice on Bugz In The Attic’s “Booty La La”…but I don’t play that).

I feel like there are a lot songs (including songs I like) where the vocals are doing battle with the drums and with the other instruments. This is one of those songs where everything works in harmony and each layer added draws you in more and surrounds you. It actually reminds me a lot of this Joi song I posted back in 2005.

Whoa…I just realized that I’ve been doing these weekly mp3 posts for four years as of this week. I guess I didn’t run out of songs I love as was my main fear when I started. (I also haven’t gotten a cease and desist letter from a record company or a single request to take a song down). Yay to four years! Ok, back to the program…

So, Mpho is allegedly pronounced “Mm’poh” according her profile on a site called Live Demo. I’ve definitely been butchering it on the last couple of week’s radio shows. She’s from South Africa but has lived in Brixton area of London since she was 4.

There is a brief interview with her on the beyond jazz site.

A full length album, To Spite My Face, seems to have been forthcoming for a while now (what tense is that? the past future?). Hopefully it materializes, I bet it’s good.

Songs are available for two weeks.

Something Better
Beatconductor
A Collection Of Reworks, 2005

Ben and I volunteered on Cleveland’s predominantly-black east side Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and it was an awesome experience. My favorite story was from the first day when we were knocking on doors. The info sheet that we got from the campaign included the ages of the people were targeting. We knocked on the door of a 96 year old man, who answered. As directed, we first asked if he had already voted (using Ohio’s new early voting system) or whether he planned to vote on Tuesday. He replied quietly and matter-of-factly that he had voted by mail. We asked if he had already mailed the envelope back and he replied that he had. Then we asked if he minded if we asked if he voted for Senator Obama. When we said Obama’s name, his face lit up and he said “that’s my man” with palpable pride. For me, it was a very similar moment/emotion to the 106 year old woman that Barack talked about two days later in his victory speech. As I stood there, I imagined all of the things he had seen through his life which is pretty much evenly divided into the pre-civil-rights and post-civil-rights eras.

As we were driving to the airport we saw a gas station with “Obama for President. God Bless and Protect Him.” painted on the side. Amen to both.

Songs are available for two weeks.

Photo: Damon Winter/The New York Times

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