funk

EP74: Garth Trinidad on the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band's "The Serpent's Mouth" (2018)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Garth Trinidad

The Album: The Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band: The Serpent's Mouth (2018)
Steel pan/drum music emerged out of Trinidad and Tobago over the course of the 1950s. Its tinny yet melodious timbre was unique and it soon became a signature style within the diverse soundscape of Afro-Caribbean music. The tourism industry compelled steel drum bands to adapt pop hits into their repertoire and by the late '60s and early '70s, it was common to hear soul and funk tunes being given a steel pan makeover. Even Morgan's stepfather, Bob Sharpe, got in the action as part of the Salt N' Pepper Steel Band, whose lone album includes covers of the Jackson 5 and Johnny Nash (and Oklahoma too!). 
The Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band, formed by Germany's Bjorn Wagner after a few years living in Trinidad & Tobago, is directly influenced by that earlier era. Across their two albums, 55 (2016) and last year's The Serpent's Mouth, Bacao tackle any number of surprising hits, many of them drawn from hip-hop as well as soul/funk, plus their own original compositions. If you ever wanted to hear Gang Starr deep cuts get the steel pan makeover, you came to the right place. 
The Serpent's Mouth was the album pick of DJ Garth Trinidad, whose been a radio fixture in Los Angeles since the mid-90s, when he first started at  KCRW and rose to fame on his weeknight Chocolate City show. He continues to hold down a 8-10pm slot when he's not busy music supervising or hosting concerts at the Hollywood Bowl
More on Garth Trinidad

More on The Serpent's Mouth

Show Tracklisting (all songs from The Serpent's Mouth unless indicated otherwise):

  • Xxplosive
  • The Original Trinidad Steel Band: Cissy Strut
  • Salt n' Pepper Band: My Way
  • Bacao Steel and Rhythm Band: Round & Round
  • 1 Thing
  • Jake Shimabukuro: Dragon
  • 79.5: Terrorize My Heart
  • The Poets of Rhythm: What You Doin'
  • Bacao Steel and Rhythm Band: Dog Was A Doughnut
  • Burn
  • All for the Cash
  • Burn
  • Crockett Theme
  • I Love You
  • Maracas Bay Boogie
  • Hoola-Hoop
  • The Katzenjammers

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there.
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP72: Lyrics Born on Curtis Mayfield's "Back to the World" (1973)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Lyrics Born

The Album: Curtis Mayfield's Back to the World (1973) In 1973, Curtis Mayfield had already become one of the biggest soul stars in the world thanks to the success of his Superfly soundtrack. He could have doubled-down with another album of lurid and cautionary street tales but instead, he wrote an album that many think of as a soundtrack to a movie never made, chronicling a returning Vietnam War veteran who finds America to be a different kind of war zone. Back to the World showcased Mayfield at his best — as a musician, composer, arranger, singer, producer, guitarist and songwriter — and decades later, we can still hear some of its influence reverberating in the dozens of artists who sampled from this album's lush music. 
The Bay Area's Lyrics Born brought this album to us to talk about. As part of the Solesides/Quannum crew that dates back to the mid-90s, LB has represented a much admired indie hip-hop ethos and he's been embraced by fans around the world. In our conversation, we talked about Mayfield's commitment to social issues, his gifts as a songwriter and whether or not "Right On For the Darkness" is, in fact, about a blind person. 
More on Lyrics Born

More on Back to the World

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Back to the World unless indicated otherwise):

  • Back to the World
  • Future Shock
  • Mac Mill: Straight Dangler
  • The Impressions: Keep On Pushing
  • Curtis Mayfield: Eddie You Should Know Better
  • The Impressions: I've Been Trying
  • Back to the World
  • Keep on Trippin'
  • Right On For The Darkness
  • Wiz Khalifa: Glass House
  • Right On For The Darkness
  • Gang Starr: Take A Rest
  • Mase: What You Want
  • Filthy Phil: The Payback
  • Willie Wright: Right On For The Darkness
  • Future Shock
  • Can't Say Nothin'
  • If I Were A Child Again
  • Curtis Mayfield: So In Love
  • Cissy Houston: Warning-Danger
  • Aretha Franklin: Something He Can Feel

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP67: Mayer Hawthorne on Parliament's "The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein" (1976)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Mayer Hawthorne

The Album: Parliament: The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (1976)

In the 1970s, no single artist was as influential in transforming the sound of funk as George Clinton. If the funk of the late '60s was embodied in the sparse, frenetic rhythms of James Brown, Clinton filled out and polished the sound across the '70s, with beefy banks of horns and raucous guitars. By the time The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein came out in the mid 1970s, the P-Funk sound was in full flower and that's when a young DJ from outside Detroit crossed paths with The P.

Mayer Hawthorne, back when, was still known as DJ Haircut but a move to Los Angeles in the 2000s lead to a transformation into the smooth crooner we know of him today.  Besides the four solo studio albums he’s recorded, he’s also one-half of the retro boogie team known Tuxedo (alongside Jake One) as well as half of the post-punk n’ funk duo, Jaded Incorporated, (alongside 14KT). Fun fact: Jaded Inc’s 2014 album The Big Knock was released by Casablanca Records, long-long time home to Parliament’s recordings, including The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein.

More on Mayer Hawthorne

More on The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein

Show Tracklisting (all songs from The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein unless indicated otherwise):

  • Prelude
  • Parliament: Body Language
  • Digital Underground: The Humpty Dance
  • Dr. Funkenstein
  • Ice Cube: Steady Mobbin
  • Parliament: P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up
  • NWA: 1-900-2-COMPTON - Interlude
  • Disco D: Ghettotronics
  • Funkin For Fun
  • OutKast: Funky Ride
  • OutKast: Liberation
  • The Parliaments: All Your Goodies Are Gone
  • Parliament: All Your Goodies Are Gone
  • Rose Williams and George Clinton: Whatever Makes My Baby Feel Good
  • Parliament: Whatever Makes Baby Feel Good
  • Gamin on Ya
  • Dr. Funkenstein
  • The Ohio Players: Funky Worm
  • Mayer Hawthorne: Lingerie and Candlewax
  • Do That Stuff
  • Yo-Yo: Mackstress
  • I've Been Watching You (Move Your Sexy Body)
  • Getten to Know You
  • Children of Production
  • Funkin for Fun

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP 56: Women Behaving Boldly #3: Joi on Betty Davis' "They Say I'm Different" (1974)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Joi Gilliam

The album: Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different (1974)

As part of our "Women Behaving Boldly" series, we decided to re-air the episode that launched Heat Rocks: our interview with future soul trailblazer and architect, Joi Gilliam.

This was one the pilot episodes we recorded in the spring of 2017 and when we left the taping, we turned to one another and knew this show had potential.

The pairing of artist and album came from Morgan and it was inspired: the undersung Betty Davis, one of the most original and fascinating figures of the 1970s, being feted by future soul artist and Dungeon Family-affiliate Joi, an artist very much cut from Betty's cloth but a generation later. We had a fantastic conversation about the importance and uniqueness of Betty and what she's meant, especially, to waves of Black women artists who've followed in her path in the 40+ years since.

On a personal note, this also meant a lot to Oliver because he's written three sets of liner notes on Betty Davis albums (including They Say I'm Different) and interviewed her extensively as part of that. He forever holds a torch for her.

More on Betty Davis:

More on Joi:

Tracklisting(all songs from They Say I'm Different unless indicated otherwise):

  • They Say I'm Different
  • Joi: Sunshine & The Rain
  • Bone Crusher: Never Scared
  • Joi: Fatal Lovesick Journey
  • Don't Call Her No Tramp
  • Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
  • Ice Cube: Once Upon a Time in the Projects
  • They Say I'm Different
  • 70's Blues
  • Special People
  • Joi: If I'm in Luck I Just Might Get Picked Up
  • Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
  • He Was a Big Freak

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there.

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP35: Cut Chemist on Cymande's "Cymande" (1972)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Cut Chemist

The Album: Cymande: Cymande (1972)

"Say go DJ, cause that's my DJ..." - Weezy

Cut Chemist is nice with the wax, nice with the loops, nice on the decks. A central figure in West Coast hip hop (Jurassic 5, Ozomotli) and the art of turntablism, both he and his record collection are legendary. While he joined us to talk about British funk pioneer Cymande's 1972 self-titled debut, our conversation covered a myriad of topics including Cut's journey as a crate digger, a record he may or may not have pilfered in 1987, the influence of Chuck Chillout and DJ Red Alert on his development as a DJ, Cymande's seamless genre-fusing and the band's relationship to hip-hop. Needless to say, we went in.

About Cut Chemist:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8225523/cut-chemist-i...

About Cut's latest album, Die Cut 
https://daily.bandcamp.com/2018/03/13/cut-chemist-die-cut-interview/

Oliver's Rolling Stone interview with Cymande:
http://rol.st/1U3YpYS

Cymande website:
http://www.cymandeofficial.com

Show Tracklist (all songs from Cymande unless indicated otherwise):

  • "One More"
  • Cut Chemist: The Audience's Listening "The Garden"
  • Harlem Underground Band: Harlem Underground Band "Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba"
  • "Bra"
  • "The Message"
  • "Dove"
  • DJ Chuck Chillout: clip from 98.7 Kiss FM show from 1986
  • Clip from the 1983 film "Wild Style"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik "Give It Away"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "The Message"
  • Assagai: Assagai "Telephone Girl"
  • "Dove"
  • "Listen"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "Zion I"
  • "Rickshaw"
  • Hielo Ardiente: El Original Ritmo Ardiente "Mensaje"
  • The Meters: The Meters "Cissy Strut"
  • "Rastafarian Folk Song"
  • The Fugees: The Score "The Score"
  • De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising "Change in Speak"
  • The Doors: L.A. Woman "Riders on the Storm"
  • Tune Yards: Nikki Nack "Water Fountain"
  • Alice in Chains: Facelift "Man in the Box"
  • Cymande: Second Time Round "Bird"
  • Kaidi Tathem: Feed the Cat "Armz R Deh"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP30: Egyptian Lover on Cameo's "Cameosis" (1980)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Egyptian Lover

The album: Cameo: Cameosis (1980)

Egyptian Lover is one of the pivotal figures in shaping the sound of Los Angeles funk and hip-hop beginning in the 1980s. As a teen, he became a core member of the all-powerful Uncle Jamm's Army party crew and by the mid-80s, he was an artist in his own right, releasing a series of key electro albums that would help pave the way for the emergence of other L.A. groups like the Dream Team and N.W.A.

For our episode, Egyptian Lover wanted to take us back to the formative moment before all that had happened, when he was still in high school, hustling pause tapes of the latest funk jams to his classmates. Cameo's Cameosis was the group's fourth album in three years, the first to finally hit #1 on the charts, and the source of the monster hit, "Shake Your Pants."

During our discussion, we got into everything from the genius of Cameo's Larry Blackmon to what made the group different from other funk outfits (hint: the horns) to how one properly programs a slow jam within a mix of party funk songs.

More on Cameosis

More on Egyptian Lover

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Cameosis unless indicated otherwise):

  • "Cameosis"
  • Egyptian Lover: On the Nile "Egypt, Egypt"
  • "Why Have I Lost You"
  • Rick James: Come Get It! "Mary Jane"
  • "Shake Your Pants"
  • "We're Goin' Out Tonight"
  • Diana Ross: Diana "Upside Down"
  • George Benson: Give Me the Night "Give Me the Night"
  • Zapp & Roger: Zapp "More Bounce to the Ounce"
  • One Way: Who's Foolin' Who "Cutie Pie"
  • Cameo: Secret Omen "I Just Want to Be"
  • "Shake Your Pants"
  • Cameo: Secret Omen "I Just Want to Be"
  • "On the One"
  • Parliament: Mothership Connection "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)"
  • "Why Have I Lost You"
  • "I Care for You"
  • The Sugarhill Gang: Sugarhill Gang "Rapper's Delight"
  • Cameo: Word Up! "Word Up"
  • "Please You"
  • Egyptian Lover: Back from the Tomb "I Need a Freak"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP22: Ishmael Butler on Lightnin' Rod's "Hustlers Convention" (1973)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Ishmael Butler

The album: Lightnin' Rod: Hustlers Convention (1973)

Ishmael Butler aka Butterfly of Digable Planets aka one-half of Shabazz Palaces joined us to take us on a trip back to the blaxploitation era and one of the greatest soundtracks-in-search-of-a-movie: Hustlers Convention, the spoken word/funk album by Jalal Nuriddin of The Last Poets. Backed up musicians that included Kool and the Gang, Eric Gale and others, Hustlers Convention took listeners on a trip into the world of pimps, players, police and other street characters in a vivid, cinematic story that would go onto inspire rappers the world over.

More on Lightnin' Rod and Hustlers Convention

More on Ishmael Butler

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Hustler's Conventionunless indicated otherwise):

  • ”Sport”
  • Digable Planets: Reaching’”The Rebirth of Slick”
  • Curtis Mayfield: Superfly “Superfly”
  • ”Hamhock’s Hall Wa Big”
  • ”Spoon”
  • ”The Shit Hits The Fan Again”
  • ”The Break Was So Loud It Hushed The Crowd”
  • ”Sentenced To The Chair”
  • ”Brother Hominy Grit”
  • Shabazz Palace: Lese Majesty “Forerunner Foray”
  • Dr. Dre: Deep Cover “Deep Cover Feat. Snoop Dogg”
  • Raekwon: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx”Heaven & Hell”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Heat Rocks EP16: Bahamadia on the Kay-Gee's "Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan" (1974)

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Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Bahamadia

The album: The Kay-Gee's: Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan (Gang, 1974)

 

We invited Philly hip-hop star Bahamadia to join us and she kept things tri-state by picking the 1974 debut album by New Jersey's The Kay-Gee's, originally an off-shoot of Kool and the Gang. The Kay-Gee's may not be household names in the same manner as Kool and the Gang or the Ohio Players but especially on this debut, they cooked up an impressively diverse and surprisingly eclectic set of tracks that defy simple expectation. What other band ends their album with their own "greatest hits montage"?

More on the Kay-Gee's Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan

More on Bahamadia

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Keep On Bumpin' & Masterplan unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Who’s the Man (With The Master Plan)”
  • Bahamadia: Kollage “Wordplay”
  • The Trammps: Disco Inferno “Disco Inferno”
  • MFSB: Love Is The Message“Love Is The Message”
  • James Brown: Getting’ Down To It“Cold Sweat”
  • Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band:Express Yourself “Express Yourself”
  • Parliament: Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome “Flashlight”
  • “Wondering”
  • “My Favorite Song”
  • The Floaters: Float On “Float On”
  • Cameo: We All Know Who We Are “Why Have I Lost You”
  • “Aint No Time (pt 1)”
  • You’ve Got To Keep on Bumpin”
  • “Who’s The Man (With The Master Plan)”
  • Madlib and J-Dilla: Champion Sound Jaylib (The Official)
  • Tom Browne: Funkin For Jamaica “Funkin for Jamaica”
  • “Get Down”
  • “Anthology”
  • Double Dee and Stein: Lesson 3“History of Hip-Hop Mix”
  • “Hustle with Every Muscle”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Heat Rocks, EP 1: Joi on Betty Davis' "They Say I'm Different"

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Betty Davis/Joi
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Joi Gilliam

The album: Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different (Just Sunshine, 1974)

This was one the pilot episodes we recorded in the spring and when we left the taping, we turned to one another and knew this show had potential.

The pairing of artist and album came from Morgan and it was inspired: the undersung Betty Davis, one of the most original and fascinating figures of the 1970s, being feted by future soul artist and Dungeon Family-affiliate Joi, an artist very much cut from Betty's cloth but a generation later. We had a fantastic conversation about the importance and uniqueness of Betty and what she's meant, especially, to waves of Black women artists who've followed in her path in the 40+ years since.

On a personal note, this also meant a lot to Oliver because he's written three sets of liner notes on Betty Davis albums (including They Say I'm Different) and interviewed her extensively as part of that. He forever holds a torch for her.

More on Betty Davis:

More on Joi:

Tracklisting:

  • Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different
  • Joi: Freedom (Pendulum Vibe, 1994)
  • Betty Davis: Git In There
  • Brides of Funkenstein: Party Up In Here (12", 1979)
  • Vicki Anderson: Message From the Soul Sisters (7", 1974)
  • Betty Davis: 70s Blues
  • Betty Davis: Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
  • Ice Cube: Once Upon a Time in the Projects (AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, 1990)
  • Betty Davis: He Was a Big Freak
  • Joi: If I'm In Luck, I Might Get Picked Up (Amoeba Cleansing Syndrome, 1996)
  • Betty Davis: Don't Call Her No Tramp

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: The Pointer Sisters and Bootsy Collins

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
The Pointer Sisters
Guests: 
Bootsy Collins

New to Bullseye? Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcasts or with your favorite podcatcher to make sure you automatically get the newest episode every week.

The Pointer Sisters on going from being mid-size R&B stars to huge, mega hit makers

[r]The Pointer Sisters ruled the 1980s with hits like "I'm So Excited" and "Jump (For My Love)." Growing up in Oakland, California, they had a reverend father who taught them that rock and roll was "the devil's work." But when their parents were not around, they snuck in listening sessions to Elvis, The Supremes, and James Brown.

Bonnie and June Pointer were the first to form the group in 1969, and they were followed by Ruth and Anita in later years. They recorded their debut self-titled album in 1973, and the single "Yes We Can Can" became their first hit.

Ruth and Anita joined Jesse in 2014 to talk about their vintage style, forging their own musical path, and mixing family with business.

Learn more about the Pointer Sisters by visiting their website.

Listen to The Pointer Sisters' interview!

Bootsy Collins on funk, LSD and more

Bootsy Collins is a funk legend. A bassist by happenstance, in his teen years Bootsy was discovered and hired by James Brown to be part of the band The J.B.'s. At only 19, Bootsy was on the rise and made the move to play with another inventive and pioneering funk artist, George Clinton, as part of Funkadelic-Parliment up until the formation of his own band Bootsy's Rubber Band.

In 2011, Bootsy spoke to Jesse about sharing the stage with James Brown, experimenting with LSD, the freedom he felt with the Parliament-Funkadelic collective and his solo career.

Bootsy is currently working on his 14th solo album, World Wide Funk. Keep up with the latest on Bootsy by visiting his website.

Listen to Jesse's 2011 interview with Bootsy Collins!

The Outshot: The Muppet Movie (1979)

Say what you want about the Muppets. Maybe you didn't like the new movies, maybe you missed the TV show. Jesse tells you why the original Muppet Movie is still a classic.

Listen to this week's Outshot!

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