This track is faux old-school hip-hop created for the TV show "The Get Down". It's a good fake, though. It sounds like it could have come out in the late 1970s. This show has done a great job of mixing older funk, soul and hip hop with newer tracks that fit right in.
The show's Get Down Brothers and their DJ Shaolin Fantastic are modeled on the Furious Five and Grandmaster Flash. It's best to not think too hard about that though, because Flash is also a character in the show, as Shaolin Fantastic's mentor. And since this track mixes in some old Flash tracks, even though the show's Flash had previously gotten on Shaolin Fantastic's case over a bootleg recording.
Or maybe Shaolin Fantastic, like Flash himself, is mixing up Freedom's "Get Up And Dance" (and I always thought the Furious Five were just playing kazoos, as weird as that image is).
In this show they play fast and loose with the musical connections, plainly having fun and including in-jokes and making it all work. Another track, the new "Set Me Free", becomes a disco anthem in the show. In the middle is a short drum break that Shaolin Fantastic works into his mix, to great effect. A religious-inspired song with a drum break the DJs love? Can anyone say "The Amen Break"? I knew you could.
Back in the mid 1980s Robert Palmer had a new song. It was intended as a duet with Chaka Khan. But he and Khan were on different record labels, and couldn't record together without permission. Permission wasn't given. Ah, those recording companies, always looking out for the musician's interest. Palmer went ahead on his own. Andy Taylor of Duran Duran played guitar. "Addicted to Love" was a hit, almost as well known for its music video featuring mannequin-like models mechanically pretending to be Palmer's back up band. One can only dream of what might have been.
Skip ahead a few decades and The Hot Sardines remade the song in their distinctive jazz style. Miz Elizabeth leads the band through a very different take on the song. Cover versions like this are the best-- where the artist puts their own mark on the song so completely that you don't at first realize they're doing someone else's song. As a cover recording this ranks with Devo's legendary remake of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction". The first time I played this version of "Addicted..." on the air someone called in and went into a monologue about how the song so closely matched up with a book they'd been reading about codependency. I don't think they knew it was a new version of an 80s hit.
This week's new addition at KRCC is the soundtrack album from "The Get Down", Netflix's new TV series that dramatizes the origins of hip hop and rap in the 1970s. I did the first hour of the show with music from and inspired by the soundtrack.
If everyone believed in peace the way they say they do, we'd have peace.
Here in the USA we recently passed the 15th anniversary of our state of National Emergency. That's right. For 15 years now we have been officially in a state of emergency, continuously, 24 hours a day for 15 years. And counting. Gil Scott-Heron recorded this song more than 20 years ago and unfortunately it's as relevant as ever.
They took the honour from the honourary,
they took the dignity from the dignitaries,
they took the secrets from the secretary,
but they left the bitch in obituary.
After the September 11 attacks, this was probably justified. For a while. Fifteen years later it's business as usual. It's an emergency situation, everywhere in the country, all the time. "Terrorism" has replaced the old USSR as the excuse for unending, unlimited military spending. If one opponent falls, it's no problem, they'll find another one. Don't worry, the bombs will keep on falling, and it doesn't seem to matter where. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, and now Syria. Maybe we'll beat ISIS into the ground, maybe not. If we do, rest assured that some other enemy will be presented as the next target. Iran maybe? North Korea? There's no shortage of possibilities. Ever since Bush's cronies went to the UN and lied to the world to start a war this has been just how things are around here.
Peace is not the absence of war,
It is the absence of the rules of war and the threats of war and the preparation for war.
Gil Scott-Heron is probably best remembered for "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". It's an amazing and powerful song. But he wrote and performed a lot more that was amazing and powerful besides, so have a listen. I first encountered his music watching reruns of Saturday Night Live many years ago when they re-ran his live performance of "Johannesburg". In his flowing, poetic, often jazzy style, he pioneered political rap. He was a powerful, inspiring voice, sadly gone too soon.
Nobody can do everything,
but everybody can do something,
everyone must play a part,
everyone got to go to work, Work for Peace
This summer I've subbed several times for other people on the Brick House at KRCC. I'm thrilled to say that I've been added as a regular member of the Brick House team! This show has long had a group of DJs who take turns hosting, and now that includes me.
It was just over a year ago that I first went on the air at KRCC, and the Brick House was my favorite show on the station. Getting to be part of that team is just amazing.
Here's my playlist from the Brick House for Monday September 19.
M83's album Junk is great all the way through but this song stands out because it's the theme song for my early 1980s TV show, "Tom Swift, FM". In it I'm a radio DJ who also solves music related crimes (and I don't mean busting kids for downloading songs because this is the 1980s and what is that internet thing you're talking about anyway?) all while inexplicably driving a Ferrari. My catch phrase is "Swift real swift". Filmed before a live studio audience, except for the chase scenes. Theme by Mike Post M83.
This is the extended "full" version of the theme song that appears in the pilot episode. After that it gets edited down to 30 seconds for regular episodes.