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My Funky (In)Disposition´╗┐

The LF soul music blog run by music-mad Imran Mirza, in conjunction
with his Starpoint Radio show, 'The Blue-in-Green Sessions'.


Thursday
Sep272012

The 6/13 show...

I hadn't realised it had been so long since my last post - how embarrassing!  What can I update you on?  Loads, actually. 

My absense has partly been attributed to LF's Sci-Fi month, which we're days away from approaching.  Bernice has done such an amazing job in putting everything together for a fantastic month of articles, treats, news, podcasts, etc.  I think it's something you'll all get a kick out of.  And, I'm happy to say, it's something that I've contributed to as well.  I wrote this loooong article about sci-fi and music and how their themes can have such a huge impact on each other.  No easy article to write - it felt like having to prepare coursework for uni again - so much research and time, so I hope you guys will enjoy that when it's unveiled some time in October.

There are discussions about some artists who embrace the 'other-wordly' - obvious candidate is obviously David Bowie - but I also wrote a large chunk about George Clinton and how, well... you can't really get more 'other-wordly' than him! :)

Another artist, who isn't included in the article but who was on my mind when writing it, was r&b artist, Kelis (and The Neptunes).  Huge portions of her first two albums were so focused on space and aliens, and what they would make of us, and the quesion of life outside our planet.  Actually, remember when The Neptunes were obsessed with space - along with Kelis's albums, their own N*E*R*D debut, 'In Search Of...' asked many of the same questions.  Even their music was initially tailored to that theme with heavy synths, electronic whizzes and whirls flying all over the place.

Aside from that though, The Blue-in-Green Sessions celebrated its THIRD birthday on Starpoint Radio!  (The show actually started on air in 2006 but we've been aligned with Starpoint since 2009.  Can't believe it's been that long!?!)

Have I told you guys about the eerie start dates for my show?

No?

Well...

The very first station I ever played at was Invincible Radio.  My debut date was initially scheduled for the 6th January 2006.  Due to technical problems that night though, I was unable to go on air so it was postponed to the following Friday, 13th January.

The second radio station was Elete FM.  Again, the debut date was set for 6th April 2008, but due to (I genuinelly can't remember what!), the debut was postponed to the following Friday, 13th April.

Noticing any patterns yet?

Which then brings us to Starpoint Radio... obviously we're broadcast live on a Sunday so that removes the eerie Friday connection, but which day of the month my start date was: initially scheduled for 6th September 2009, due to issues with keys (they couldn't get me keys in time), so... can you guess what happened?... That's right, we were postponed til the following Sunday, 13th September.

My biggest fear would be if I were to start at another radio station and for them to suggest a start date of the 22nd of the month.  I'd turn them down flat. :)

Thanks for anyone that's ever tuned in to the show.  In a few hours from now, I'll post up the 2012 Birthday playlist to whet your appetite for future shows.  Thank you.

 

Tuesday
Sep042012

Hal David, R.I.P.

It's with great sadness that we heard of the news of Hal David's passing last weekend.  Hal David, perhaps not a name instantly recognised by many people but his music I guarantee you do know.

Known as the songwriting half of the legendary two-man music factory, along with fellow writer and composer, Burt Bacharach, their immaculate and timeless pieces have soundtracked our lives for decades. 

Passing at the age of 91, David's achievements include countless songwriting awards, including an Oscar nomination, as well as being the Chairman of the National Academy of Popular Music, Songwriters Hall of Fame and President of ASCAP.

His work with artists including Dionne Warwick, The Carpenters and Dusty Springfield are legendary, and the below are just a few of our faves from the incredible Hal David.

We'll also be tipping our hat to his brilliance this Sunday morning on the Blue-in-Green Sessions, so feel free to tune in from 8-10am.

Tuesday
Aug212012

Robert Glasper Recovered: The Remix EP

The Robert Glasper Experiment's 'Black Radio' has already stormed our list to the best release of the year so far, so as to give us more than our musical palettes can handle, Glasper is planning the unveiling of 'Robert Glasper Recovered: The Remix EP', due for release on the 9th October.

It's certainly a hugely welcome release, particularly seeing a list of the names involved (below), but being honest - and this is intended as a compliment - I think I would have really loved the idea of the remix EP handled by Glasper et al themselves as opposed to handing the reigns over to other names.  They just completely nailed 'Black Radio' perfectly, I just doubt anyone can bring anything *better* to the table than what they themselves could.  (Having said that, I'm particularly looking forward to Questlove's remix of 'Twice' as well as Glasper's own mix of 'Letter To Hermione'.  The closing number, 'Dillatude' (presumably an ode to iconic hip-hop produce, Jay Dee (J Dilla)) also raises expectations.)

If you've yet to read our very own review of 'Black Radio', click here for the full text.  In the meantime, bring on 9th October!

1. Afro Blue feat. Erykah Badu / 9th Wonder’s Blue Light Basement Remix feat. Phonte
2. Black Radio feat. yasiin bey / Pete Rock Remix
3. The Consequences of Jealousy feat. Meshell Ndegeocello / Georgia Anne Muldrow’s Sassy Geemix
4. Twice / ?uestlove’s Twice Baked Remix feat. Solange Knowles & The Roots
5. Letter to Hermione (feat. Bilal) / Robert Glasper and Jewels Remix feat. Black Milk
6. Dillatude

Tuesday
Aug072012

Dojo Cuts

Following on from the band's coveted '2from1 @ 9' feature spot on the Blue-in-Green Sessions, Sunday 5th August, this fairly well-timed post highlights the excellent, brand new video from one of Australia's hottest funk properties - Dojo Cuts.

Certainly on the show's, and this blog's, radar over the past year - since I heard their previously unreleased track 'Ain't So Low' on their label home's compilation album 'Mo Record Kicks: Act Two' from last year, Dojo Cuts seemed to have struck gold on their second release by garnering themselves a considerable amount of attention and solidifying just how much of a force they really are.  In a roundabout way, we've actually had a little bit to do with Dojo Cuts in the past, well with Nathan Aust at least who started a side project called The Liberators, another release from Record Kicks in 2011, and although, a considerable amount of the Dojo Cuts falvaour was brought along, that self-titled release dealt far more with afrobeat than anything else.  (To read our previous interview and feature with Nathan from The Liberators, please click here.)

Anyway, where were we...?  Oh yes, the brand new video from the band, 'Easy To Come Home'.  Aside from the fact that it's a great song, I really wanted to give some attention to the lead vocalist, Roxie Ray, who - in all honesty - looks unbelievably fantastic in this video.  Sounds a bit cliche, but I really think Ray is going to go on to do amazing things, not just with Dojo Cuts, but as a soloist as well.  Already contributing vocals to outside projects including Ray Lugo's LES Express, The Underbelly as well as The Liberators, Ray's in-the-works solo album could propel her to stardom. 

I really can't help but say it again, Roxie Ray looks captivating in this brilliantly put together video, so Dojo Cuts... The Blue-in-Green Sessions and the My Funky (In)Disposition blog salute you! 

Tuesday
Jul312012

The Greatest (music) Ever Sold!

I used to drive a red 1992 Nissan Micra called Jemima.  I’ve had two cars since then but this one was by far the most reliable car I’ve ever owned.  Jemima’s problem though was she couldn’t help but attract interest from other fellas, so imagine how I felt coming home one day to see that someone had bent the top of the passenger door open with a crowbar just enough for them to slip their hand in and simply unlock it.  I wasn’t overly worried about it in as much as there was nothing in the car for anyone to take.  It literally consisted of an A to Z and three cassette tapes for the car stereo.  There was a Sade album (the name of the album escapes me, but I think it was ‘Love Deluxe’), there was a modern jazz compilation tape, and Prince’s (although, officially, New Power Generation’s) ‘New Power Soul’ album.  Thankfully, none of the tapes were taken in this instance.  However, when I walked past Jemima around three weeks later, and saw the door bent in exactly the same way… I feared the worst. 

That’s right.  The swine came back.

And took the tapes.

There’s something about being a Prince fan that can drive you to the point of obsession.  I like to think that that young hoodlum, who broke into Jemima, soon afterwards met a young female hoodlum who he found was a huge Prince fan.  In a bid to impress her, he did the only thing he could, and that was to go back and take my Prince tape.  In a strange way, I like to think ‘New Power Soul’ brought those two lovebirds together and I’m glad to have had a hand in that.  It’s hard to specifically be able to put your finger on it – but I’m sure we all know someone in our lives who pledges allegiance to the Purple Majesty.  And for everyone that knows me, I’m that person.  Through all the music I’ve purchased (hunted and tracked down), through the books I’ve read, through the arguments I’ve had with people about the greatness that they’re completely blind to – if there’s one thing my obsession has taught me, is that I don’t think Prince likes me very much.

Before I expand on that, I should just say that I’ve recently finished reading ‘Chaos, Disorder and Revolution’, an unauthorised biography of Prince.  It’s a good read, and it’s funny that I talk about obsession from the fan’s perspective to Prince’s music, because bizarrely he seems to be as obsessed by it as the most die-hard fan is.  I can’t think of a more single-minded artist that I’ve read about who went to war with his label because he wanted to make more music than they wanted to release.  It’s usually the other way round – artists holding their product for ransom, but certainly not in this case (although it actually was with his album, ‘The Gold Experience’).  It’s a very simplified way of assessing his ‘discontent’ with Warner Brothers, but at the crux, I’d say it’s still an accurate assessment.  Normally a label can look at an album of having a near 18-month shelf life, when you factor in the album promotion, releasing the three/four singles, touring, etc.  But for Prince, the album that would have kicked off our 18 month cycle, would now be old news and he would have created another two albums in that time he’d want released, before Warner Brothers had recouped everything from album number one.  It’s a fascinating perspective for someone whose prolificacy knew absolutely no boundaries. 

That ‘obsession’ for ‘more, more, more’ could only affect his fans in the same way.

I remember having a chat with someone once who asked the excellent question of ‘What are your concert fails?’ (i.e. what did you miss that you would have liked to see, what was particularly bad, etc.).  For me, my top three concert fails are Prince gigs…

There’s the time I flew out of the country for a three week extended honeymoon with my wife, which is the same day tickets for Prince’s 21 night residency at the O2 was announced (me subsequently returning having missed out on all the tickets); there was the time that I secured tickets to a Prince aftershow performance, that he decided not to show up to (as I suspect he was actually hanging out with Alicia Keys instead, truly); and, the time we bought tickets for Prince’s Croke Park performance in Dublin (which had involved booking flight and accommodation), that he decided to cancel with less than a week to go before the gig.  Yes, friends, I’ve suffered my fair share of Prince let downs, so how could I not take it personally :)

But it’s not all bad – I have had the fortune of seeing Prince perform twice and there’s something fulfilling about actually seeing Prince perform ‘Purple Rain’ bathed in purple stage lighting, singing to thousands of people waving lighters and mobile phones illuminating the darkness.

I referred to ‘Chaos, Disorder and Revolution’ as a good read, and it is, but, thinking about it, there’s little that would be new to the die-hard fan.  Stories surrounding his numerous side projects, including The Time, Madhouse, Vanity 6, etc are fascinating, and the background stories behind certain albums being put together, are equally enthralling, but I really got the impression that the author’s feelings echoed those of millions of others who relegate Prince’s best material to the 80s and subsequent releases have involved him attempting to recapture that glory through albums that will never live up to darling releases like ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘1999’.  I don’t think I’d particularly agree with that but the one thing the author does give credit for is his innovation when it comes to realising the potential power of the internet (before he would later go on to completely turn on it), and the ground-breaking ways he would go on to release albums.  His last four album releases have been released via newspapers (‘20ten’), released through a singular music store (‘Lotus Flower’), accompanied in books (‘Indigo Nights’) and given away with concert tickets (‘Planet Earth’).

In fact, the genius of Prince can best be summed up by the following extract from the aforementioned book…

Prince might just be the most successful artist ever to walk the planet.  He hasn’t self-destructed or died, and he hasn’t allowed himself to age disgracefully or descend into self-parody.  Despite not having a genuine hit record in years, Prince can always claim he’s Number One at the bank.  He shows no signs of stopping.  Having changed the way music sounds and industry operates, he can rightly claim to be the most prolific and inventive artist of modern times, without having lost sight of his first passion.  After more then 30 years in the business he still maintains that “music to me is a life force.  It’s not what I do.  It’s what I am.”
‘Chaos, Disorder and Revolution’ by Jason Draper. Published by Backbeat Books, 2011