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Bill Withers Interview on the Sound of Young America

Posted by Miss Ess, July 7, 2009 05:08pm | Post a Comment
Have you, like me, been wondering where Bill Withers has been for the past few decades, and what he's been up to? If so, please check out this fantastic, brand new interview with Withers by Jesse Thorn on his consistantly awesome radio show, The Sound of Young America. You can listen to the show right here!

The Sound of Young America


Bill Withers' songs are timeless, achingly beautiful and some of the very best out thbill withersere, as far as I'm concerned. In the interview, among other things, he describes his involvement in the upcoming concert film Soul Power, documenting a 1974 Zaire music festival, where he got to hang out with the likes of James Brown, Muhammad Ali and Don King!

Withers' notable albums include Just As I Am (1971), Still Bill (1972), +Justments (1974), and several others.

There is something so simply powerful about his songs, particularly watching him play live -- an undeniably excellent, unique songwriter. Please check out "Grandma's Hands":


and here's another favorite, "Use Me":

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Cypress Park

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 7, 2009 05:00pm | Post a Comment
In this installment of the Los Angeles neighborhood blog, we visit Cypress Park. To vote for the neighborhood you think I should visit next, go here or to vote for a Los Angeles County community you'd like to see covered, go here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.

Cypress Park
The western entry into the neighborhood

Cypress Park is a neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles hemmed in by Mt. Washington to the northeast, the LA River on the southwest and Lincoln Heights to the south.
Map of Northeast LA Map of Cypress Park
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Maps of Northeast Los Angeles and Cypress Park

At Division and San  Fernando, it shares a short border with Glassell Park. At Marmion and Figueroa, it shares an even shorter border with Highland Park.

A view of Cypress Park from Frogtown with Mt. Washington in the background

Michael Jackson's Funeral - Tell em That Is Human Nature

Posted by Miss Ess, July 7, 2009 01:50pm | Post a Comment
I found myself more emotional than I expected watching Michael Jackson's funeral today.

michael jackson

Basically, Stevie Wonder's performance shredded me, with a combo of "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer"/"They Won't Go When I Go," one of his most powerful songs.

Watching the service made me think about nostalgia, and in spite of myself and my own feelings about the circus known as Michael Jackson, mainly reminded me of something I was surprised to have forgotten: the power of music to unite, to heal and to inspire. The service presented in some ways (and in some performances) portraits from a different time not only culturally, but also in the music industry, when music had that power to unite, to surprise and delight us on a grand scale.


I hadn't listened to Jackson that much, really, since the early 90s. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of his music, but like everyone the world over, his music was nonetheless the soundtrack to my life. In my case, it was Thriller, then Bad and Dangerous, but his work stretched amichael jackson thrillerll the way back to "ABC," and though he had been much maligned over the last few decades, his music and its influence have both been undeniable and inescapable.

Continue reading...

HOMOHOP'S ROLE WITHIN HIP-HOP: JUBA KALAMKA INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, July 7, 2009 12:12pm | Post a Comment
Juba Kalamka
     Juba Kalamka performing at Amoeba Music San Francisco's recent Pride '09 in-store celebration with Pick Up The Mic stars. Also performing were JenRO and Dutchboy (6/25/09).
All photos from the event by Kaitlin Layher


Juba Kalamka was recently part of the Amoeba Music San Francisco in-store Pride '09 Celebration, which was also a DVD release party for the seminal "homohop" documentary Pick Up The Mic. Juba, along with fellow Bay Area queer rap artists JenRO and Dutchboy, who also performed that day at the Haight Street store (view all the pictures here), is one of the many talented stars of the must-see, Alex Hinton directed film. Although the film first screened a few years ago, it is only very recently available on DVD.

In early 2000 Juba Kalamka (aka Pointfivefag), along with Tim'm T. West (aka 25percenter) and Phillip Juba KalamkaAtiba Goff (aka Lightskindid) formed Deep Dickollective (D/DC), which also featured member Ralowe Ampu (G-Minus). The seeds for D/DC were sown a year earlier after Kalamka and West met at Stanford following a 1999 screening of black gay filmmaker and scholar Marlon Riggs' film Tongues Untied. I personally first heard of and met the guys from D/DC about a year into their career, and, most impressed with their hip-hop skills in combination with their refreshing take on a genre traditionally drenched in homophobia, I invited them to be included on one of the Amoeba Music Compilations.

THREE DEGREES SINGER FAYETTE PINKNEY DIES

Posted by Billyjam, July 6, 2009 03:30pm | Post a Comment
The Three Degrees perform "TSOP" and "Year of Decision" live on BBC (1975)

The music world lost yet another star recently when Fayette Pinkney of the Three Degrees died last The Three Degreesweekend in Lansdale, PA, a result of acute respiratory failure according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. She was only 61 years of age. Pinkney, who was an original member of the Philly soul trio, lent her powerful voice to the 1970s soul hits “When Will I See You Again?” (see video below) and “T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)” (aka the theme song of the TV show Soul Train).

The video clip above was recorded for the BBC in 1975 for a special that aired on the UK channel in July of that year. The above excerpt from that special includes the group performing the aforementioned Soul Train anthem, "TSOP," and also their first big UK hit, "Year of Decision."

When the Three Degrees first formed in the early 1960s Pinkney was still a student at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia. As a part of the Three Degrees she contributed to helping define "the Philadelphia sound." In their time the Three Degrees were considered by many to be a Philly version of the Supremes.
 


The Three Degrees "When Will I See You Again"
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