Currently Listening to Jacob Banks THE BOY WHO CRIED FREEDOM

I absolutely hate the fact that some musicians are only releasing their music in streaming MP3 compressed format. It is such a disservice to a musician and music lovers not to have that music on Gatekeeper free, high-quality, well mastered full range CD. It’s a crime, especially with a singer of the strength of Jacob Banks. Go ahead and discover him like I did, courtesy of MP3 or streaming, but hold out for a full range CD to buy.

Some standouts from this musician…

MONSTER 2.0 his single from 2015 PARADOX release.

And the five songs on his latest from 2017 THE BOY WHO CRIED FREEDOM. Includes the sterling CHAINSMOKING and the smokey PART TIME LOVE. A top notch singer deserving of a top notch mastered CD.

Until then, sample him here:

The Paradox [Explicit]

Another great discovery of 2017.

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Currently Listening to Rag N Bone Man’ s HUMAN

So I’m listening to the album HUMAN, which is a phenomenal album, the calling card of a towering Negro voice, that happens to be coming out of a 32 year old, 6’5, Anglo Saxon Britisher named Rory Graham.

It’s am amazing, soulful album, complete with hymns pulled from the land of dixie and cotton and blood. But it is that delivery that really elevates this album. A familiar delivery that comes to me the third listen through, it is the King of Soul I hear, the late, great Solomon Burke even to the pacing and phrasing, and the unbelievable power.

Rory Graham is channeling the great Solomon Burke, but with enough of his own spin to make it not mimicry, but I would like to think homage. Toss in some of the storytelling chops of Nick Cave (Burke himself was a fantastic storyteller) with just enough pop sensability to galvanize the younger, indie crowd, and you have an album deserving of its praise.

A new musical discovery for me, as 2017 winds to a close. And well worth seeking out if you haven’t heard of him.

And make some time to become aquainted with the source of such abundant soul, the source for all of us… the lengthy discography of the late, great, Solomon Burke.

Human

SONG OF THE DAY: HEY GIRL by Sonny Knight and The Lakers

The spirit of Motown is alive and well in the groovings of Sonny Knight and the Lakers. Listen here to the title track ‘HEY GIRL’.

Courtesy of Minnesota Public Radio’s excellent web presence THE CURRENT and their song of the day project.

And for more on Sonny Knight and great music in general go to today’s Site of the Day: FLEA MARKET FUNK!

Album of the Day: TASSILI by the band TINARIWEN.

In an age of bits and bytes I still like having the CD (still bits & bytes, but more of them :)). The physical item, the liner notes, the process, Plus MP3 is not the music, it is an approximation of the music. A compression of the music. A whole generation raised on the lie of music, rather than its truth.

Something the NO APOLOGIES podcast said about kids raised on their mp3 downloads and American Idol, realizing when they go to a real concert, that till then… they had never actually heard music before.

Today’s recommended CD is TASSILI by the band TINARIWEN.

Tassili:Price the CD Here


“Just as it took a bitter, misguided war to kick-start the Summer of Love, Tinariwen was born out of refugee camps in North Africa in the early 1980s during a prolonged period of unrest.

This band of genuine nomads turned rebel fighters might never have made it out of the desert and onto the world stage if French band Lo’Jo hadn’t caught Tinariwen performing at a festival in Mali in 1998 (eight years after it had returned to its homeland from exile) and invited the musicians on tour. Since then, championed by the likes of Robert Plant and Carlos Santana, the band has received numerous awards and accolades, and stands at the forefront of desert blues.

Not bad for a band that didn’t acquire its first acoustic guitar until 1979, and for years after would perform for free for anyone who had a blank cassette and was willing to record the performance to share with others — basically YouTube without the Internet.

Tinariwen — which means “empty spaces” or “deserts” in its Tuareg tongue — has grown into an ever-evolving collective with a handful of core members, which helps its sound stay fresh. On its fifth studio release, “Tassili,” the band expands its horizons further with guest artists Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio), Nels Cline (Wilco) and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. All are musicians at the top of their creative game.”
—-By K. D. Kelly Amazon Reviewer

The Most Interesting Movies Spring 2012 April Update!

What strikes me, in looking at the upcoming movies for the rest of the Spring is there is a shocking lack of films that are not stupid mean-spirited comedies or stupid mean-spirited 'thrillers'. There is also a staggering lack of diversity, as with the exception of Samuel Jackson, and one Blair Underwood film, you can pretty much slap the label "All White" on every single film coming out this spring and be not far wrong.

Films or television shows that recall the 70s where you could have numerous characters of color in significant roles (that's key) both in front of and behind the camera are few and far between.

That said, movies with characters of Color in lead roles, not just as tokens or secondary characters, get made all the time, both domestic and foreign.

You can see them at the film festivals. Unfortunately they just don't get picked up for distribution.

Brilliant ones such as the Cuban made EL BENNY, which is one of my favorite films of the last ten years. And the fact that most of you have never even heard of it, much less seen it says volumes about everything that is wrong about America's monopolized and color conscious theatrical and DVD distribution system. "Oh this film has more than two people of color and it's not a comedy or a 'mama drama'? Nah, we're not distributing that movie."

Of course not. That would take away theater space from films such as the umpteenth AMERICAN PIE idiocy. 🙂

So if that's what I'm not looking forward to, you may ask "what, that is making it to theaters, looks interesting?"

Good question.

Answer: a few look intriguing. Not necessarily good, but perhaps because of Director or Star or in the case of KEYHOLE premise… at least interesting.

Here are the posters of ones I'll be keeping an eye out for this Spring:

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KEYHOLE- Genres: Drama Thriller Language: English, French
Synopsis: After a long absence, gangster and father Ulysses Pick (Jason Patric) arrives home to a house haunted with memories, towing the body of a teenaged girl and a bound and gagged young man. His gang waits inside his house, having shot their way past police. There is friction in the ranks. Ulysses, however, is focused on one thing: journeying through the house, room by room, and reaching his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini) in her bedroom upstairs. The equilibrium of the house has been disturbed and his odyssey eventually becomes an emotional tour, as the ghostly nooks and crannies of the house reveal more about the mysterious Pick family.
Haven’t seen a trailer yet, but the description/premise intrigues me. Seems a bit experimental and potentially original.

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS- Written and produced by Joss Whedon, this film looks to be a genre bending flick from what little I know of it. Count me interested enough to find out for myself.

SAMARITAN- This looks like a nice little crime thriller, but the trailer gives away pretty much the entire film. But that aside I’m still interested in seeing it. I would just urge people to avoid the trailer.

If you think I missed a film worth seeing this spring, feel free to put in your two cents. But I don’t think I missed any. :).

DVD OF THE DAY : PASSING STRANGE Greatest Rock Opera EVER!?!

“I Wish we could talk about how the means will not prepare you for the ends.
how your epiphanies will become fair-weather friends.
how death will make you lower your defenses.
The only truth of youth is the grown up consequences”
—PASSING STRANGE

“I will see her again. Because life is a mistake, that only art can correct. I will see her again.”
—PASSING STRANGE

I just saw one of the most brilliant things ever.

Simply devastating.

PASSING STRANGE is a DVD that I picked up today. Directed by Spike Lee it’s a filmed play, that I had never heard of before, but has by all reports been a smash hit sensation on Broadway. I’ve passed on this DVD a couple times, mainly because 1/I’m not a fan of filmed plays and 2/Spike Lee has been on my bad side, ever since his awful mangling and failure that was MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA.

But today I decided to give the dvd PASSING STRANGE a try.

Man.

Man.

Stunning. Simply stunning.

Created by singer/songwriter Stew, PASSING STRANGE is a semi-autobiographical Rock Opera, that takes you on a journey of one man’s search… for the real; that becomes all our journeys and all our mistakes. Highlighted by a phenomenal cast, avant-garde and stunning script/design, and brilliant music and direction. It is the tale of coming of age, told unlike any I have seen before. A minimalist play/tale that spans LA to Amsterdam to Germany, and spans distances not measurable in miles, and times that can not be captured in years. PASSING STRANGE devastates With humor, hunger, poetry and pain. And Love. And Love.

And raw effing POWER and ENERGY.


“I’ll live in vans crammed with guitars.
I’ll sleep on floors and play in bars.
I’ll dance to my own Metronome
Till Chaos feels like Home!”

“You know what’s weird? When you wake up that morning and realize your entire adult life was based on a decision made by a teenager.”
—PASSING STRANGE

Words just do not do it justice.

I have got to see anything this playwright/troupe ends up doing in the future.

Brilliant.

Been a long time since I’ve been to a concert or a play, several months, long time since I’ve felt… moved. Art when it’s good, when it is really, really good; can change the contour of your soul and the breadth of your reality.

At 14 it would have changed my soul, and at 400 :), I find, much to my surprise, it still has the power… to change my soul. 🙂

It can make you reevaluate your status quo.

And make a change.

PASSING STRANGE is art.

And Spike Lee manages to capture, brilliantly, the last night, and by all reports one of the greatest nights of the play.

Highest Recommendation.