domingo, agosto 27, 2006

Candi Staton 25/08/2006 @ Petrol

I’m a lucky fella. Last friday a Soul legend visited my hometown for a memorable concert. The lady in question was Candi Staton [pronounced Stay-ton], Queen of Country-Soul and former Disco diva. She was in good shape and backed by an ace band. The music in overal was pretty standard – a revue of her big hits – but they showed what Classic Soul is all about and how it should be played and performed.
They played funked up versions of all her standards but with just the right attitude and skills and in support of the song. It was a great concert with lots of interplay. Candi Staton has a past in Gospel and as a minister, so she knows how to play and please a crowd. When and how to keep the groove going and when to stop.

The next lines are taken from the site divoted to Diva’s no matter what genre of music. It sums up nicely the ups and downs of the hazardous life and career of Candi Staton.

The story of Candi Staton is truly the story of a soul survivor. Born Canzata Maria Staton in Hanceville Alabama, in 1943, Staton grew up helping her parents pick cotton and tending to the chickens. When not lending a hand on the farm, she could be found singing with the local church. At the age of four, Staton sang her first solo in the church and, by the age of five, she had been singled out, along with four other girls, to sing as part of a smaller vocal ensemble. ‘The crowds would get very emotional’, Staton related to the ce newswire in 1997, ‘at the time, I didn't really know why they were crying. Once, I remember, the audience got so emotional, throwing their pocket books at my feet and so on, that I got really scared and ran off to my mother’. When the relationship between Staton's mother and her alcoholic father reached the breaking point, they moved, along with Staton's older sister, to Cleveland, where the oldest of Staton's siblings already lived. Candi and her sister, Maggie, attended Jewel Christian Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, where their new pastor asked them to join another young singer, Naomi Harrison, in the Jewel Gospel Trio. ‘ I was eleven or twelve, when I came to the Jewel Christian Academy’, Staton recalled in a 1997 interview with the tennessean, ‘The grounds there were just beautiful. I remember it very fondly. I lived in Nashville for the next six years’. The trio enjoyed relative success on the gospel circuit, touring with future gospel, r&b and soul luminaries Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson and the Staple Singers, and recording singles such as ‘Jesus is listening’, ‘I looked down the line’ and ‘too late’, all for Nashboro Records.
Though Staton was performing Gospel music, she was not treated with much ‘christian charity’ within the music industry, rarely being paid for her performances and often having to rely on the compassion of more senior members of the traveling ensemble to get by. When Staton turned seventeen, she left show business for a relationship with the late Lou Rawls, but the relationship did not last long and Staton soon married another man, by whom she became pregnant. The two married and had three more children, but the relationship ended when Staton could take no more of her spouse's violence. Having witnessed the rise of her fellow gospel circuit performers, Staton, who had been out of the music scene for some seven years decided to relieve her itch to perform by gigging at local clubs. It was at one such performance that Staton met the blind soulster Clarence Carter who married her and secured for her a recording contract with Rick Hall's Fame Records. In 1969, Staton foreshadowed her 1970 Muscle Shoals release, ‘I'm just a prisoner’, with the single ‘I’ rather be an old man's sweetheart (than a young man's fool)’. The single went on to become Staton's first platinum record and the album sold nearly as many copies in its first six months of circulation. For the next three years, she returned to her southern roots frequently, transforming classic Country such as ‘Stand By Your Man’ into soul-stirring r&b hits. Staton explained the appeal of Country music to the tennessean, ‘Country music tells stories…the lyrical tradition is so rich. A Ccountry song always has a beginning, a middle and an end’.

After the birth of her last child, Staton reports that husband Clarence became a fillanderer whose womanizing ways she could not abide. The two divorced and Staton came to be romantically linked, in the press, with Al Green, Johnny Taylor and Eddie Levert. In 1974, Staton signed to Warner Bros. and, two years later, released one of her signature songs, ‘Young Hearts Run Free’. With the release Staton was catapulted, once again, from a genre which she had already conquered to a genre that she would quickly come to dominate. Alongside Disco Divas as Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Cheryl Lynn and Evelyn King, Staton became a club staple. The little girl who'd once been frightened by the religious zeal of her congregational audience now stood under a mirrored ball with throngs of gay and straight disco denizens writhing at her feet, entranced by the beauty and power of her voice. Performances at churches were replaced with spots on American Bandstand and the still steady going Soul Train. Staton described her third husband, Jimmy, as ‘a pimp and a hustler’, to the big issue's Tina Jackson, in 1999. ‘It was the worst mistake I ever made in my whole life…he was a big cocaine user and carried a gun. I was often frightened that he would kill me’. Though Staton's career was riding high, her troubled love life and a growing dependency on alcohol threatened to ruin everything. ‘Alcohol became my husband, my lover, my kids, my comforter, my god. I worshipped alcohol. Ii couldn't get up in the morning without a drink’, she admitted in her interview with the tennessean. A fourth marriage – this time to Diana Ross’ drummer, John Susswell – seemed to be the straw that would break the camel's back. Himself, a serious cocaine user, it seemed unlikely that Sussell would be able to provide the stability that Staton so badly needed in her life. The two, however, were able to turn their lives around, abandoning their respective addictions, and re-dedicating their lives to their religion. The pair became pastors at an Atlanta church and, to reflect her recent lifestyle change, Staton stopped singing ‘secular’ music in 1982.

Having come full circle, Staton threw herself into Gospel music and managed to rekindle the magic she'd created as a young gospel sensation. ‘I've always liked to be real’, Staton explained to jet magazine in 1997. ‘When I was singing the Blues, I had the Blues. I was for real. I was living it. When I got saved, I changed my lyrics. I grew up in the church and returned to my roots’. In 1986, she began hosting a cable program called say yes!, which focused on ministering to at-risk youth. ‘What I'm trying to do is offer inspiration message music because we've let rap go too far with its message’, Staton explained in the atlanta journal, ‘wee need songs like 'respect yourself' out there, for the children’.

In 1991, however, Staton was thrust back into the international spotlight as a remix of a bootleg recording she'd done five years earlier (‘You Got the Love") found its way to the dancefloor. Interest in Staton's ‘secular’ music was reignited by the single and a biography of her life published in 1994. In 1997, ‘You Got the Love’ was remixed, again – this time by the Source – and made its way to number one on British Dance and Pop charts. In response to the positive reception her club hits were garnering, Staton released her first non-Ggospel album in seventeen years in 1999. The Former label Warner Bros. also capitalized on Staton's recent boom, with the release of a compilation of many of her long out of print classic recordings.
having suffered through trials and tribulations rivaled only, perhaps, by those of Tina Turner and Etta James, Staton has recreated herself as often as needed to keep her head above water, each time successfully tackling new challenges and winning legions of new fans. With a voice that spans genres from Gospel to Soul and Dance, Staton is truly one of music's most overlooked treasures.

At the concert she summed up her philosophy clearly by reffering to what her mother used to say to her way back, at the porch of her parents house in Alabama... No matter what happens keep on living. If you fall, get up, brush yourself off and keep moving. Don't wallow. You have to get up and sometimes go against the wind. You can't always go with the flow and succeed…you have to swim upstream.

026 Young Hearts Run Free
027 Bobby Womack & Candi Staton – Stop Before We Start
028 I’m Just a Prisoner (Of Your Good Lovin')
029 I'd Rather Be an Old Man's Sweetheart (Than a Young Man's Fool)
030 The Best Thing You Ever Had
031 In the Ghetto

032 Candi Staton and George Jackson - Too hurt to cry

033 Video of The Source feat. Candi Staton – You Got The Love

quinta-feira, agosto 24, 2006

Bitter Sweet Melodies

I'm experiencing bandwith problems at the moment. Not enough credit. Anyway, in the mood for Bitter Sweet Melodies.
I’ve been trying to post this kind of stuff for a long time now, but I couldn’t find an appropiate title to go along with it. Where I come from, there’s a new name for this type of music which refers to a popular radio programme which promotes it. That name is Duyster, named after the host of the radio show. It runs almost every sunday night. For two hours you get some fine moodmusic. A soundtrack of Alternative Country, Postrock, young Singer Songwriters, Rootsoriented Pop and Folkrock, Sleepyheaded Indiebands and Minimal Electronics just in order to relax, take some time to contemplate the week that is about to come to an end and dream about the one that’s comin’. It’s usually a moment that evokes mixed feelings. Pleasant ones but also the more unpleasant ones. The bitter and the sweet.

01 Suicide Is Painless [MASH theme song] – Lady & Bird
02 Blood Bleeds – The Helio Sequence
03 Headlights Look Like Diamonds – The Arcade Fire
04 Reservations – Wilco

terça-feira, agosto 15, 2006

Apostrophe (‘)

Yellow Snow Suite

Don't Eat The Yellow Snow / Nanook Rubs It / St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast / Father O'Blivion

Talking about Frank Zappa. I suddenly realised that up until now I never made a post with his music which is a shame because he’s my alpha and omega, what music is concerned. I came in contact with the man and his music at a rather early age [16] and since then, music was never the same again.

I was overwhelmingly burried in a world of experimental jazz, classical and electronic music, worldmusic avan-la lettre, pop and all sorts of black music, guitar extravaganza and weird sexually twisted cabaret, I can go on and on,... The man has it all.

A good introduction is the Nanook medley from 1974’s Apostrophe, which follow the adventures of Nanook the Eskimo as he battles against an evil fur trapper, who ends up being blinded when Nanook rubs a ‘dog doo snowcone’ into his eyes. He seeks a cure at St. Alfonzo's parish, which is overseen by Father O'Blivion, master pancake chef. Yeah, the lyrics are completely ridiculous, but they're basically just an excuse to tie together some fantastic funky musical ideas. The high-speed Father O'Blivion is incredible, and especially Ruth Underwood's percussion is amazing throughout. Usually a repeated hearing of a joke makes the joke wear thin but I never get tired of this one.

What the Apostrophe is all about, beats me, but the answer should be 'easy to see, since the crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe.' Dixit Zappa. He himself never elaborated on it, though I have read a theory that on a variety of Gaine's dog biscuits [only on sale in America], the apostrophe in the brand logo is located directly at the center. Obviously, this is all very deep stuff.

Nevertheless over the years it has proven it’s merrits as a good introduction to Zappa’s music. I hope you enjoy it and may you go on plonging his music.
Pop Is Not Dead, It Just Smells Funny.

Frank Zappa once replied to someone, pointing out that according to him there wasn’t anything happening in Jazz these days, that Jazz was not Dead. It just smelled funny.

The same goes for Pop music. Times change but great songs with just the right sound and really gorgeous, catchy stirring or ever winding mesmerizing melodies are still beeing made but with another approach and sensibility.

Electronica changed a lot. At first it was an odd one out [those old robot sounds really sticked out] but now it’s the dominant soundscape of our time. Even artists that are not linked to Electro incorporate electronic sounds, rhythms or stylistic aspects in their music. As a result there is plenty of music out there that can’t be filed as strictly electronic or strictly pop, or rock or dance music. It‘s a kind of hybrid. A mix and match.

So here’s a nice [ever growing] but random [I will sort them out later on] collection for ya of vocal popsongs in an electronic era.

Télépopmusik – Don’t Look Back

Mirwais feat. Madonna – Paradise (Not For Me)

Enon – In This City

The Knife – Heartbeats [Rex The Dog Remix]

Lucien-N-Luciano – Madre, Mother & Mère

Midaircondo – Perfect Spot

Soul Coughing – The Idiot Kings

Kelley Polar Quartet – Here in the Night

Stereolab – Strobo Acceleration

Gus Gus – Believe

Tiefschwarz feat. Chikinki – Artificial Chemicals

Le Tigre – Tell You Now

Bel Canto – Im Best N Beihs

Frou Frou – Let Go

Björk – All Is Full Of Love [Erotic Cosmos Mix]

Magnus – Buttburner

Télépopmusik – Breathe

Bauer & Spinvis – Dancing Bear

Roisin Murphy – If We're in Love

Bran Van 3000 – Astounded

Barry Adamson – Can't Get Loose

Golden Boy feat. Miss Kittin – Autopilot

Clinic – Distortions

Spoon – Paper Tiger

Herbert – Foreign Bodies [Plaid remix]

Felix Da Housecat feat. Devin Drazzle – Ready 2 Wear

Blonde Redhead – In particular

Fischerspooner – The 15th

Moloko – Day For Night

The American Analog Set – The Postman [Styrofoam’s Just Like The Ninties Never Happened Remix]

Ralph Myerz and The Jack Herren Band – Clouds

Llorca + Lady Bird – My Precious Thing

Röyksopp – Remind Me

Kotai – Sucker DJ

The Knife – Marble House

Stereolab – The Free Design

Gorillaz – Dirty Harry

Stereolab – Cybele's Reverie

Roisin Murphy – Sow Into You

The Shortwave Set – Is It Any Wonder

Scissor Sisters – Comfortably Numb

Skeletons & The Girl Faced Boys – Git

Air feat. Beth Hirsch – All I Need

Gramme – Like You

Lalalover – On The One

Golden Boy feat. Miss Kitten – Rippin’ Kittin

Colder – Wrong Baby

Clinic – Come Into Our Room

Architecture in Helsinki – Do The Whirlwind

Mouse On Mars – Send Me Shivers

Enon – Monsoon

Thievery Corporation feat. David Byrne – The Heart’s a Lonely Hunter

Dzihan & Mkamien feat. Ma. Dita – Drophere

Buffalo Daughter – Great Five Laks

Stina Nordenstam – Parliament Square [The Knife remix]

Coloma – Transparent

The Notwist – Trashing Days

The Notwist – Pilot

Herbert – The Audience

Sia – Breathe Me [Four Tet remix]

Clinic – The Second Line

Yo La Tengo – Saturday

Oi Va Voi – Refugee

The Notwist – Consequence

Télépopmusik – Love Can Damage Your Health

Terranova – Chase the Blues

ESG – Talk It

This Mortal Coil – Song To The Siren

Fischerspooner – Emerge

Goldfrapp – Number One

Clinic – Harmony

Static – Headphones

The Baldwin Brothers feat. Miho Hatori – Dream Girl

Lo-Fi-Fnk – Wake Up

Herbert – Moving Like A Train

Barbara Morgenstern –
Quality Time

feat. Tracey Thorn - Damage

Playgroup – Hideaway

Ada –
Blindhouse (each and everyone)

Louie Austen – Hoping

Zero 7 – I Have Seen

Spoon – Stay Don't Go

The Postal Service – The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

Who Made Who – Hello Empty Room

King Britt vs. Michelle Shaprow – If I Lost You [Scuba mix]

Schneider TM – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Das Pop – You

Air – Alone In Kyoto [Lost in Translation OST]

The Angkor Wat Gallery

Also check out the blog of a friend of mine who's going away for 10 whole months!! to visit and explore parts of Asia and Polynisia.

quinta-feira, agosto 03, 2006

The Latin Section

I'm opening a new shop, dedicated to everything Latin and it's called The Latin Section.

You can find it at or with a seperate link down below.

quarta-feira, agosto 02, 2006

O bird

A while ago I posted some tracks from around the globe. One of them was from Fairuz. Fairuz is one of the more seminal figures of Arabian music and still very popular. Knowing that she's born in Beirut, it’s only appropiate enough to repost it in order to reminiscent about what’s going on right now in Lebanon. After so many years of war it seemed that Beirut was finally becoming the city of light again, with it’s grandeur and glamour which gave it it’s nickname of the Paris of the Levant.
You never can take anything for granted.

O bird flying on the tip of the world
If you would only tell the beloved about me,
O bird.

Go ask the one who is alone
and wounded, all remedies of no avail
pained and not telling
what pains him
and in his memory recur
nights of childhood.

O bird, who carries
the color of trees
in which there's nothing but boredom
and waiting
with the sun's eye I wait
on coldness of stone
the hands of reparation shake me
and I am troubled.

I beseech you by your teachers
which are equal to my days
I beseech by the thorn-rose and the wind
if you are going toward those
whom I love and were love to erupt again
take me even for one minute
and return me.