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MADNESS SONG BAGGY TROUSERS IN TV AD CLEVER, NOT CRASS

Posted by Billyjam, February 18, 2009 09:25am | Post a Comment

Madness song "Baggy Trousers" in TV ad for Colgate toothpaste
madness absolutely

Sometimes when artists license their music for use in a TV commercial you feel compelled to cringe, oft feeling like they have somehow betrayed you (the dedicated music fan) by selling out and discrediting all the sincere association you once had with said song. But then in other instances the use seems perfectly fitting. Such is the case with the early 80's use of the great ska/pop song "Baggy Trousers" by the ever-distinctly British band Madness in a UK TV commercial for Colgate's (then new) Blue Minty Gel line of toothpaste.

The song is taken from the 2Tone band's 1980 album Absolutely and was written by lead singer Suggs (born Graham McPherson). Its lyrics reminisce about school days and the song's accompanying music video was partly shot in a boys school, hence the madness baggy trousersuse of the song in the TV spot featuring school boys (who do a fun spot-on imitiation of Madness) seems most appropriate, with their re-appropriation of the lyrics into a ditty promoting dental hygiene coming across as clever, not crass.

Above is the UK television Colgate spot and below is the Madness video for the original song, released as a single in September 1980, which peaked at number 3 in the UK singles chart that year. Note that the song was also featured in the 2001 film soundtrack to Mean Machine and was additionally used continually throughout the play The History Boys. Reportedly the inside joke is that baggy trousers are one of the initial signs of madness.


Madness video for "Baggy Trousers"

THE HISTORY OF FUNK BY RICKEY VINCENT

Posted by Billyjam, February 17, 2009 12:51pm | Post a Comment
rickey vincent
Rickey Vincent
literally wrote the book on funk. The college professor, writer, and radio DJ, who resides in Berkeley CA with his wife and two sons, is the author of the acclaimed music history book Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of The One (St. Martin's Press) which won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. If you don't already have this book, with a forward by George Clinton, I highly recommended it since it is the most comprehensive study on funk.

In addition to being an author & journalist, Vincent has taught at City College of San Francisco and SF State University where he taught a course entitled Protest Music Since 1965: Funk, Rap and the Black Revolution. Rickey is also a longtime Bay Area radio DJ at stations KALX and KPFA, where he still hosts his popular weekly funk show The History of Funk, Fridays at 10PM on 94.1FM.

The widely respected funkateer's musical knowledge (and music collection) is unmatched. I recently caught up with Vincent to talk about the funk/hip-hop connection and the impact of funk and black music in general on both American and global cultures, among other things. The conversation inevitably turned to godfather of soul / funk pioneer James Brown a few times during the interview. 

Vincent is currently finishing up last minute details on his next book Party Music -- a fascinating historical account of the Black Panther Party's own funk band, Oakland's The Lumpen, who took popular funk songs and rhythms but substituted more revolutionary lyrics. (Look for a future interview with him about this upon its publication.) For more information on the author, you can visit Rickey Vincent's website or his MySpace. You can also read his book or check out his show on KPFA.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 02:16:09

Posted by Billyjam, February 16, 2009 09:01am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: 02:16:09
rza afro samurai resurrection: the soundtrack
1)  RZA Afro Samurai Resurrection:The Soundtrack
     (TVT) 

2)  Madlib Beat Konducta 5 - 6: (Stones Throw)

3)  Kayne West 808s & Heartbreak (Roc-A-Fella
    Records)

4)  Foreign Exchange Leave It All Behind (Hard Boiled)

5)  Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)

Thanks to Inti at the Telegraph Avenue Amoeba Music store in Berkeley for the latest Hip-Hop Top Five, a weekly chart of best selling hip-hop full-length CDs. RZA, who recently rocked it in San Francisco at Mezzanine, where he headlined last Sunday night, scores the number one chart position with his wonderful Afro-Samurai Resurrection: The Soundtrack on TVT for the ultra-violent Spike TV animated show. This latest release k-the-i yesterday today and tomorrowfrom the prolific WU warrior, who nowadays lives in LA, is also selling well at the other two Amoeba stores. Meanwhile, another SoCal resident, the even more prolific, endlessly talented and highly influential producer Madlib, who considers himself a "DJ first, producer second, and MC last," continues to dominate the Amoeba top 5 (and near every other hip-hop chart) -- this time with his latest installment in the Beat Konducta series on Stones Throw Records.

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MY FUNNY VALENTINE

Posted by Billyjam, February 14, 2009 11:44am | Post a Comment
chuck mangione my funny valentine
Long a jazz standard, the beautiful song "My Funny Valentine," which originally was unveiled to the world as a show tune in the 1937 Broadway musical Babes In Arms by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, has remained a most popular song for musicians, especially vocalists, to cover ever since-- the song has reportedly appeared on over 1300 albums to date, and still counting.

Artists who have covered the song over the years include Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Costello, Nico, Rufus Wainwright, Sarah Vaughan, Chuck Mangione, Chaka Khan, Stan Getz, Dolly Parton, Chet Baker (who scored the first major hit with the song), Miles Davis (who in 1964 released the live album My Funny Valentine recorded at a concert at Lincoln Center, NYC), Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Van Morrisomy funny valentinen (off his 1994 LP A Night In San Francisco), Carly Simon, and Etta James (Kanye West sampled her version on the song "Addiction" on his album Late Registration).

Although the song was first performed in 1937 in Babes In Arms on Broadway, where it ran for an impressive 289 performances, it wouldn't be recorded for another 8 years when the first record release of the song by Hal McIntyre with vocals by Ruth Gaylor briefly charted in 1945.

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Dick Conte on Black Orpheus 50 Years After Its Release

Posted by Billyjam, February 12, 2009 09:00pm | Post a Comment

The 1959 Marcel Camus directed film Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro in Portuguese) is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with a special screening on Saturday night (Feb 14th) at the Culver Plaza Theaters as part of the ongoing Pan African Film Festival which Amoeba has been promoting. If you can, you should attend this screening. I have already seen the film about black orpheusa dozen times, but never on the big screen where it is meant to be seen. What I love most about Black Orpheus, even on the small screen, is the music, which is a seemingly never ending percussion based track that plays throughout the entire film as everyone moves to its rhythm. It is like one long dance.

Beautifully shot, it is a love story based on the play Orfeu da Conceição by Vinicius de Moraes, which is an adaptation of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice only set in (then contemporary) late 1950's Rio de Janeiro during the Carnaval festivities. If it were not for this film the whole Bossa nova (which is Portuguese for "new trend") movement would not have taken off.

The film influenced many people in the US upon its release and in subsequent years. One of these was longtime jazz musician and Bay Area jazz radio DJ Dick Conte who, as a jazz piano player/keyboardist, has long fronted his own trio and as a radio DJ has been on such Bay Area stations as legendary jazz station KJAZ where he started his radio DJ career in 1962 and worked on-and-off until 1983, KMPX, KSFO, KKCY, KKSF (where he worked for over 20 years until last month and where he hosted the Sunday night jazz show that included the popular feature "A Taste Of Brazil"), and KCSM 91.1FM where he hosts the Saturday afternoon jazz program from 2-6PM.

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