WMM Playlist from Feb. 24, 2021

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Spinning Records With Marion Merritt

Mark welcomes Marion Merritt, of Records With Merritt, who joins us as “Guest Producer.” Marion Merritt is our most frequent contributor to WMM. For nearly 17 years Marion has been sharing her sonic discoveries and information from her musically-encyclopedic brain on Wednesday MidDay Medley. Bringing music that is just not played on other radio stations. Marion grew up in Los Angeles, and St. Louis. She went to college in Columbia, Missouri. She studied art and musical engineering. After nearly two decades of managing Kansas City’s largest music department store, Marion left the corporate world and went Independent. With her partner Ann Stewart, Marion is the proprietor of Records With Merritt, a minority owned business at 1614 Westport Rd. in Kansas City, that features new vinyl. More information at: http://www.recordwithmerritt.com

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
    [WMM’s Adopted Theme Song]
  1. Dimitri From Paris – “Prologue”
    from: Sacrebleu / Atlantic / 2001
  1. Morgan Delt – “Some Sunsick Day”
    from: Phase Zero / Sub Pop / August 26, 2016
    [From SubPop.com: The invocation of classic west coast psychedelia that permeates Morgan Delt’s Sub Pop debut LP feels like a continuous sunrise, never concealing its influences yet perfectly putting its songs through a gauzy lens that blurs and obscures. Is such a thing even possible after witnessing umpteen reverb-jockeys creating their own take on the genre? Can anything truly different be done in the realm of being both original and reverent, wearing favorite records and artists’ moves on one’s sleeve? Definitely the case with our man here. After releasing a 6-song cassette in 2013 followed by a full length for the Trouble In Mind label, the California native now fine-tunes his sound world outwardly rather than honing in on a specific trajectory, allowing all of said influences to coexist together in a unique yet undoubtedly Californian vision. // The resulting 10-song collection, performed entirely by Delt, recorded in his Topanga Canyon studio and then mastered by JJ Golden, is a home-fi construction with a more subtle, braintickling character than its predecessor, and somewhat reflects a realist take on the flower power fantasy of 1967. Doused in echo and haze, slow chords lap in like Pacific waves, flanked by gentle whispers of multi-tracked, cooing vox, phased guitars and fuzz that calmly surrounds the listener’s head less than it jabs at the cortex. Opener “I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside” is almost the sharpest-sounding number on the record with jittery, choogling guitar that makes its dry solo run upfront, appearing mid-song out of a fog. The sense of home experimentation amidst the lo-fidelity and oozy layers of vocals almost brings to mind Christine McVie’s lush pacification of Lindsey Buckingham’s deliberate New Wave pot-stirring on Tusk, but unlike that record, Delt’s futurism fog can’t help but nod to Sunset acid of days of yore. One doesn’t need to listen close to extract healthy doses of Notorious Byrd Brothers, Curt Boettcher, Terry Riley, and Buffalo Springfield in the stew with a solid line of fluttery electronics that fizzle in and out of the floaty arrangements. “Sun Powers” hits the deck like a lift-off from a ‘70s UK sci-fi TV show, sunny tremolo zipping in circles around warm Zombies-like vocals coming out of some kinda cave, lovely melodies and words overriding any turbulence or background FX. // The great thing about Delt’s approach to such history is (and sorry to sound harsh) that unlike too many of his so-called L.A. psych-rock peers, there’s no costume involved, no application of a conjured identity to match a specific image. He’s no psychedelic Civil War re-enactor, so to speak. It’s subtle and tactful revisionism without using psychedelia as a crutch/easy marketing tool and letting the sounds come out and make their own case. So many ideas and levels of activity move around the ascents and descents of songs like “Age of the Birdman” (an ode to the survivors of Easter Island’s environmental collapse) and the flowing “Another Person” that you’re just asked to lay down and let it all cover you over rather than contemplate much else. Yet there’s a certain acknowledgement that the beauty must be preserved by proactive consciousness/action in the world. // It takes a creative mind to hone in on a song like “Escape Capsule” without wearing out well-trodden use of tablas and electric drones. More often than not it all traditionally can fall into Beatles or Spacemen 3 terrain, but on this song Delt can transport what would normally be a dark-n-druggy blanket into a much more optimistic and friendly listening experience. Despite his voice being channelled through hallucinatory effects, it’s warm and inviting, projecting a sense of hope (particularly in “Some Sunsick Day,” which evokes the hopeful “We’ll Meet Again” as the world explodes at the end of Dr. Strangelove, later covered by the Byrds). It’s more or less just an invite to watch the sun rise too.]
  1. Arlo Parks – “Collapsed in Sunbeams”
    from: Collapsed in Sunbeams / Transgressive Records / January 29, 2021
  1. Arlo Parks – “Hurt”
    from: Collapsed in Sunbeams / Transgressive Records / January 29, 2021
    [Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho was on August 9, 2000. She is known professionally as Arlo Parks, is a British singer-songwriter and poet. Her debut studio album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, was released in 2021 to critical acclaim and peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart. // Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho was born on 9 August 2000 and raised in Hammersmith, West London. She is half Nigerian, quarter Chadian and quarter French. Her mother was born in Paris. Marinho learnt to speak French before she did English. // Parks chose her stage name in the manner of King Krule and Frank Ocean. In 2018, she began uploading demos to BBC Music Introducing which caught the attention of BBC Radio 1 DJ Jess Iszatt who distributed these demos to Ali Raymond of Beatnik Creative, who soon began managing Parks. She made her solo debut when she released the song “Cola” through Beatnik Records in November 2018, and announced the release of her debut EP, Super Sad Generation. She told Line of Best Fit that the song is “a reminder that betrayal is inevitable when it comes to pretty people that think flowers fix everything.” Olivia Swash wrote that the vocals on the song “flourish thanks to [Parks’] creative writing background, with her delicate tone taking centre stage against the gently plodding guitars and soft crackle of vinyl.” By November 2019, the song had amassed over three million streams on Spotify. // Following the release of “Cola”, Parks signed to Transgressive Records. She released the title track of her upcoming EP, Super Sad Generation, in January 2019. Robin Murray told Clash that the song portrays an “astute, nuanced creative control that also utilises word-play that speaks of youthful emotions spinning out of control.” Her third single, “Romantic Garbage”, was released in March 2019, before the release of the full four-track EP, Super Sad Generation in early April 2019. The EP was recorded in her home in South West London and an Airbnb in the Angel district of London. // Parks performed her first-ever gig at The Great Escape in Brighton in May 2019, and has gone on to perform on the BBC Music Introducing stage at Glastonbury Festival in late June 2019, as well as at Latitude Festival in July 2019. She embarked on her first tour supporting Jordan Rakei on the UK leg of his tour in September 2019. Throughout the last half of 2019 Parks released the songs “George”, “Second Guessing”, “Sophie”, and “Angel’s Song” ahead of her second EP, Sophie Sean Kerwick told DIY that the five-track EP “oozes with the hang-ups of heartbreak and mortality; a topic that seems to overshadow many gen-Z musicians.” // Parks embarked on her first headlining tour of Europe in February/March 2020, but could not complete it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May 2020, Parks released the singles “Eugene” and “Black Dog”, which were well received during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, the latter of which became BBC Radio 1’s Tune of the Week. Parks made the front cover of NME in late July 2020. She won the AIM Independent Music Award for One to Watch in 2020 in August 2020, after losing the same award to Georgia a year before. Parks and Moses Boyd made the front cover of Music Week for the publication’s indie takeover special following the AIM Awards ceremony. Parks released her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams, on 29 January 2021. // Parks is openly bisexual and is based in London. She was educated at Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith and completed her A Levels in early 2019. In her auto-biographical blurb on her Spotify profile, Parks claimed that she spent most of secondary school “feeling like that black kid who couldn’t dance for shit, listening to too much emo music and crushing on some girl in her Spanish class.” // Parks has named Sylvia Plath and Joni Mitchell as among her influences. More info at: http://www.arloparksofficial.com]
  1. Masego & FKJ – “Tadow”
    from: Lady Lady / EQT / September 7, 2018 [Released on Caroline Record 2019]
    [Lady Lady is the debut studio album by Jamaican-American singer Masego. In an interview with Billboard, Masego refers to the style of this album as TrapHouseJazz, and also said “my previous projects have different energy, and I feel like I’ve graduated to a more mature version of myself — my beard’s almost connected, my man body’s comin’ in.” The album guest features production from FKJ, SiR, Tiffany Gouché, and De’ Wayne Jackson. Production was handled by Masego, Kojoa Asamoah, Jasper, Jah, Justin Bryant, Oliver Jonas Bergqvist, Sounwave, and French Kiwi Juice. // Micah Davis was born June 8, 1993, He is known professionally as Masego (ma-seh-go), is a known for incorporating the saxophone into his music. Masego released two EPs in 2016, The Pink Polo EP with Medasin, and Loose Thoughts. He gained widespread attention with his collaborative record with FKJ called “Tadow” in 2017. In 2018, he released his debut album Lady Lady. Micah Davis was born to a Jamaican father and an African-American mother. His father was in the U.S. Air Force and his mother was an entrepreneur. Both his mother and father were also pastors and he was raised in a non-denominational Christian home. The military travels eventually led his family to Virginia. At a young age, the drums became the first instrument he learned how to play without formal lessons. Davis has spoken about learning the piano, sax, and various drum machines. In high school, Davis adopted and translated the name Little blessing to Masego as it was given to him as a church name and it is related to South Africa. Davis attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia before leaving to focus solely on his musical career.In 2015, Masego released the collaborative extended play, The Pink Polo EP with Medasin, spawning the single “Girls That Dance”. The next year, he released his EP Loose Thoughts. On November 13, 2020 he release the EP Studying Abroad. More info at: http://www.masegomusic.com]
  1. Sarathy Korwar – “Elephant Hangover (feat. Upaj Collective)”
    from: Night Dreamer Direct-To-Disc Sessions (feat. Upaj Collective) / Night Dreamer / November 27, 2020 [Released on Vinyl in 2021]
    [Sarathy Korwar is a US-born, Indian-raised, London-based drummer, percussionist, composer and bandleader. He works predominantly in a jazz and Indo jazz field but also incorporates elements of hip-hop, and other fusions. // Born in the US, Korwar grew up in Chennai and Ahmedabad in India and began studying tabla aged 10. He later moved to Pune to study Geology from Fergusson College, Pune before making the decision to dedicate his time to music, continuing to study tabla with Rajeev Devasthali as well as translating his skills to the western drum kit and playing as a session musician. He then moved to London and continued his studies with Sanju Sahai at SOAS. // In 2016 Korwar released the album Day To Day on the Ninja Tune label. This record incorporated field recordings of the Siddi people of Southern India blended with his own compositions drawing from contemporary jazz and electronic music. // He leads the UPAJ Collective, a collective of Eastern and Western musicians formed play a residency at London’s Jazz Cafe. The group recorded the live album My East Is Your West at London’s Church Of Sound, released on Gearbox Records on 9 November 2018. The group performed compositions by jazz musicians Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Joe Henderson as well as Indian classical music and Indo jazz. // On 26 July 2019 Korwar released his second studio album, More Arriving through The Leaf Label. Recorded over three years in Mumbai and London, the album incorporates rappers from Mumbai and New Delhi with spoken word and his own Indian classical influence and jazz instrumentation. The album featured the Jamaican-Indian rapper Delhi Sultanate, the London poet Zia Ahmed and the Abu Dhabi writer Deepak Unnikrishnan among others. Korwar describes the album as a protest record and said: “This is what Indian music sounds like to me right now, and that means incorporating multiple brown voices. If anyone has a problem with that, they should be questioning what they think Indian music should be.”[ // Korwar has collaborated with Shabaka Hutchings, clarinettist Arun Ghosh and producer Hieroglyphic Being, as well as groups Penya and Ill Considered. He has toured with Kamasi Washington, Yussef Kamaal and Moses Boyd. // In 2016 Korwar was selected for the Steve Reid Foundation’s mentorship programme, a charitable foundation set up by Gilles Peterson.]
  1. Hallelujah Chicken Run Band – “Kare Nanhasi”
    from: Take One: Hallelujah Chicken Run Band /Analog Africa / December 11, 2020
    [From http://www.analogafrica.bandcamp.com: In 1972, the country of Rhodesia – as Zimbabwe was then known – was in the middle of a long-simmering struggle for independence from British colonial rule. In the hotels and nightclubs of the capital, bands could make a living playing a mix of Afro-Rock, Cha-Cha-Cha and Congolese Rumba. But as the desire for independence grew stronger, a number of Zimbabwean musicians began to look to their own culture for inspiration. They began to emulate the staccato sound and looping melodies of the mbira (thumb piano) on their electric guitars, and to replicate the insistent shaker rhythms on the hi-hat; they also started to sing in the Shona language and to add overtly political messages to their lyrics (safe in the knowledge that the predominantly white minority government wouldn’t understand them). From this collision of electric instruments and indigenous traditions, a new style of Zimbabwean popular music – later known as Chimurenga, from the Shona word for ‘struggle’ – was born. And there were few bands more essential to the development of this music than the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band. // The band came into being when a young trumpet player named Daram Karanga offered to assemble a group to entertain the workers at a copper mine in the town of Mhangura. The original line-up – which included legendary singer Thomas Mapfumo, who would bring the sounds of Chimurenga to the world in the early 1980s with his band the Blacks Unlimited, and Joshua Hlomayi, one of the pioneers of mbira- style guitar – started out playing the Rumba and Afro-Rock styles popular in the capital. Although this was a hit with the white owners of the mine, the workers greeted it with indifference. But when they started adding electric arrangements of traditional Shona music to their repertoire, the audience went wild. // With the addition of “Zim” sounds to their arsenal, the HCR Band became unstoppable. Their reputation spread quickly and, in 1974, they were invited to the capital to compete in a national music contest organised by the South-African Teal label. Not only did they win the competition, but they also attracted the attention of famed producer Crispen Matema, who quickly organised their first recording sessions. On their first day at Jameson House studios, they recorded half a dozen songs, including “Ngoma Yarira” and “Murembo”, two singles that would alter the course of Zimbabwean popular music. // During the next five years, the band would relocate from their small mining town to the capital city, go through numerous line-up changes and pay a few more visits to the recording studio, without ever losing the raucous urgency that had transformed them from popular entertainers into titans of Zimbabwean culture. Take One collects the HCR Band’s biggest hits along with several rare tracks recorded between 1974 and 1979, all painstakingly remastered from original master tapes and vinyl sources; originally released on CD by Analog Africa in 2006, this essential music is now available on LP for the first time since the 1970s. More info at: http://www.analogafrica.com]

10:33 – Underwriting

  1. Swamp Dogg – “Sleeping Without You Is a Dragg (feat. Justin Vernon & Jenny Lewis)”
    from: Sorry You Couldn’t Make It / Joyful Noise Records / March 6, 2020
  1. Swamp Dogg & John Prine – “Please Let Me Go Round Again”
    from: Sorry You Couldn’t Make It / Joyful Noise Records / March 6, 2020
    [Jerry Williams Jr. was born July 12, 1942. He is generally credited under the pseudonym Swamp Dogg after 1970, is an American soul and R&B singer, musician, songwriter and record producer. Williams has been described as “one of the great cult figures of 20th century American music.” // After recording as Little Jerry and Little Jerry Williams in the 1950s and 1960s, he reinvented himself as Swamp Dogg, releasing a series of satirical, offbeat, and eccentric recordings, as well as continuing to write and produce for other musicians. He debuted his new sound on the Total Destruction To Your Mind album in 1970. In the 1980s, he helped to develop Alonzo Williams’ World Class Wreckin’ CRU, which produced Dr. Dre among others. He continues to make music, releasing Love, Loss & Autotune on Joyful Noise Recordings in 2018, and Sorry You Couldn’t Make It in 202. // Williams was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. He made his first recording, “HTD Blues (Hardsick Troublesome Downout Blues)”, for the Mechanic record label in 1954, when he was aged 12, with his parents and uncle and backing musicians, and was regularly hired to play private parties. From 1960, he released occasional singles for a variety of labels, including the self-written “I’m The Lover Man” in 1964, which was first issued on the Southern Sound label and was then picked up by the larger Loma label, almost breaking into the national Billboard Hot 100. He also wrote successfully for other musicians, including “Big Party” for Barbara and the Browns. // As Little Jerry Williams, he had his first national chart success in 1966, when “Baby You’re My Everything”, which he co-wrote and produced, was released on the Calla label and rose to #32 on the R&B chart, again just missing the Hot 100. He released several more singles on Calla through to 1967, by now credited simply as Jerry Williams, but with little commercial success, although some of his records such as “If You Ask Me (Because I Love You)” later became staples of the Northern Soul movement in the UK. // By late 1967 he started working in A&R and other duties for the Musicor label in New York. In 1968 he co-wrote, with Charlie Foxx, Gene Pitney’s up-tempo hit, “She’s a Heartbreaker”, which Williams also claimed to have produced, saying: “I produced the motherfuck out of it… [and] Charlie Foxx put me down on the label as “vocal arranger.” What the fuck is that? When they took out full-page ads in Billboard and Cashbox, there was a picture of Charlie on one side and a picture of Gene Pitney on the other and no mention of me.” // Later in 1968 Williams began working as a producer at Atlantic Records with Jerry Wexler and Phil Walden, on artists including Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles, though he found the administration frustrating.[5] He established a songwriting partnership with Gary Anderson, who performed as Gary U.S. Bonds, and the pair wrote the R&B chart hits “To the Other Woman (I’m the Other Woman)” by Doris Duke, and “She Didn’t Know (She Kept on Talking)” by Dee Dee Warwick. He also recorded a single, “I Got What It Takes”, in a duo with Brooks O’Dell, and released two singles under his own name on the Cotillion label, a subsidiary of Atlantic. // Swamp Dogg Williams later wrote:I became Swamp Dogg in 1970 in order to have an alter-ego and someone to occupy the body while the search party was out looking for Jerry Williams, who was mentally missing in action due to certain pressures, mal-treatments and failure to get paid royalties on over fifty single records…. Most all of the tracks included were recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and Macon, Georgia, which brings me to how the name Swamp Dogg came about. Jerry Wexler, Atlantic Records v.p. and producer/innovator second to none, was recording in the newly discovered mecca of funk Muscle Shoals, Alabama. He coined the term “Swamp Music” for this awesome funk predominately played by all white musicians accompanying the R’n’B institutions e.g., Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, King Curtis… I was also using the same “swamp” players. I was tired of being a jukebox, singing all of the hits by Chuck Jackson, Ben E. King, etc., and being an R’n’B second banana. I couldn’t dance as good as Joe Tex, wasn’t pretty like Tommy Hunt, couldn’t compare vocally to Jackie Wilson and I didn’t have the sex appeal of Daffy Duck. I wanted to sing about everything and anything and not be pigeonholed by the industry. So I came up with the name Dogg because a dog can do anything, and anything a dog does never comes as a real surprise; if he sleeps on the sofa, shits on the rug, pisses on the drapes, chews up your slippers, humps your mother-in-law’s leg, jumps on your new clothes and licks your face, he’s never gotten out of character. You understand what he did, you curse while making allowances for him but your love for him never diminishes. Commencing in 1970, I sung about sex, niggers, love, rednecks, war, peace, dead flies, home wreckers, Sly Stone, my daughters, politics, revolution and blood transfusions (just to name a few), and never got out of character. Recording in Alabama and sincerely singing/writing about items that interested me, gave birth to the name Swamp Dogg. // Having adopted his moniker before Snoop Dogg was born he has claimed to be “the original D-O double G.” // In 1970 he emerged in his new Swamp Dogg persona, with two singles on Wally Roker’s Canyon label, “Mama’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe”, again co-written with Bonds, and “Synthetic World”. He also produced the first Swamp Dogg album, Total Destruction to Your Mind. The album sleeve showed Williams sitting in his underwear on a pile of garbage. Williams’ new direction apparently followed an LSD trip, and was inspired by the radical politics of the time and by Frank Zappa’s use of satire, while showing his own expertise in, and commitment to, deep soul and R&B music. According to Allmusic: “In sheer musical terms, Swamp Dogg is pure Southern soul, anchored on tight grooves and accentuated by horns, but the Dogg is as much about message as music…” Although not a commercial success at the time, Swamp Dogg started to develop a cult following and eventually the album sold enough to achieve gold record status. Record critic Robert Christgau wrote that “Soul-seekers like myself are moderately mad for the obscure” album and has called it “legendary”. It was reissued in 2013 by Alive Naturalsound Records. // Around the same time, one of the songs Williams had co-written with Gary Bonds, “She’s All I Got”, became a top-ten R&B hit for Freddie North, and was recorded with even greater success by country star Johnny Paycheck, whose version reached #2 on the country music chart in late 1971. In a later interview on NPR’s Studio 360, Williams stated he was raised on country music: “Black music didn’t start ’til 10 at night until 4 in the morning and I was in bed by then… If you strip my tracks, take away all the horns and guitar licks, what you have is a country song.” However, he also continued to write and produce deep soul songs for other musicians, including Z. Z. Hill and Irma Thomas. In 1971 in collaboration with co-producer and writer the legendary George Semper he released “Monster Walk Pt. 1 and 2” by the Rhythm ‘N’ Blues Classical Funk Band on Mankind Records label. Produced for Jerry Williams Productions, Inc.and in spite of modest sales the record once again demonstrated his entrepreneurial skill as an artist. // As Swamp Dogg, he was signed by Elektra Records for his second album, Rat On! in 1971. The sleeve showed him on the back of a giant white rat, and has frequently been ranked as one of the worst album covers of all time. Sales were relatively poor, and he joined Jane Fonda’s anti-Vietnam War Free the Army tour. His next albums Cuffed, Collared and Tagged (1972) and Gag a Maggott (recorded at the TK Studio in 1973) were released on smaller labels, though his 1974 album, Have You Heard This Story??, was issued by Island Records. In 1977 he had another minor R&B hit with “My Heart Just Can’t Stop Dancing”, credited to Swamp Dogg & the Riders of the New Funk. He continued to release albums through the 1970s and into the mid-1980s as Swamp Dogg, on various small independent labels and in a variety of styles including disco and country and maintained a healthy cult following. He also set up his own publishing and recording company, Swamp Dogg Entertainment Group (SDEG). // In 1999, “Slow Slow Disco” was sampled by Kid Rock on the track “I Got One for Ya”, sparking a revival of interest in Swamp Dogg, who began performing live gigs for the first time. Several other of his recordings were sampled, and in 2009 he released two new albums, Give Em as Little as You Can…As Often as You Have To…Or…A Tribute to Rock N Roll, and An Awful Christmas and a Lousy New Year. He also released some further singles, and a compilation album of the best of his work as both Little Jerry Williams and Swamp Dogg, It’s All Good, was released in 2009. Most of his early Swamp Dogg albums have also been reissued on CD. // Swamp Dogg released a full-length album of new songs in 2014, The White Man Made Me Do It, which Williams described as being a sort of sequel to Total Destruction To Your Mind. Shortly thereafter, Swamp Dogg teamed up with Ryan Olson from Poliça to produce the tracks for his 2018 album Love, Loss & Autotune, Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) fine-tuning the vocal tracks. The song also features instrumentation by Guitar Shorty. The music video for “I’ll Pretend” premiered at NPR and was later featured at Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Spin and elsewhere. Swamp Dogg described the song as a character study about “a guy sitting in a restaurant by himself losing his fucking mind because he’s hoping his woman is gonna walk by, but she’s at a Ramada Inn somewhere fucking somebody else to death.” // In 2020, he released the album Sorry You Couldn’t Make It, a country-styled record recorded in Nashville with producer Ryan Olson and musicians including Justin Vernon, John Prine, and Jenny Lewis. More info at: http://www.theswampdogg.com]
  1. Tune-Yards – “SIGNS (Detroit’s Theme)”
    from: Sorry To Bother You (Original Score) / 4AD / April 19, 2019
    [Tune-Yards (stylized as tUnE-yArDs) is the American, Oakland, California–based music project of musician Merrill Garbus (born March 3, 1979), with long-time collaborator, bassist Nate Brenner. Garbus’s music draws from an eclectic variety of sources and utilizes elements such as loop pedals, ukulele, vocals, and lo-fi percussion. Tune-Yards’ 2011 album Whokill was ranked the number one album of that year in The Village Voice’s annual Pazz and Jop critic’s poll. // The album Nikki Nack was released in 2014, with its first single, “Water Fountain”, being picked up by Google Pixel in 2016 for an advertising campaign. The album I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life was released in January 2018. At the same time, the Tune-Yards provided an atmospheric score for the sci fi film Sorry to Bother You. // Garbus was born in 1979 and was raised in New York City and in New Canaan, Connecticut. She attended Smith College. She was a puppeteer for the Sandglass Theater in Vermont and lived in Montreal where she played ukulele in the band Sister Suvi with guitarist Patrick Gregoire and drummer Nico Dann. Merrill’s sister Ruth Garbus is also a musician who has played solo and in the band Happy Birthday. After releasing her first Tune-Yards album in 2008, she moved to Oakland, California, where her partner in Tune-Yards, Nate Brenner, also lives. // The first Tune-Yards album, Bird-Brains (stylized as BiRd-BrAiNs) was originally self-released by Garbus on recycled cassette tape. It was recorded using only a handheld voice recorder. A limited edition vinyl was released in June 2009, via the Portland-based imprint Marriage Records. In July 2009, it was announced that Tune-Yards had signed to 4AD, and a limited edition pressing of Bird-Brains was released on August 17, 2009. A full worldwide release followed on November 16, 2009 (and November 17 in North America). The autumn 2009 pressing was remastered at Abbey Road Studios by Christian Wright, and includes two new bonus tracks: “Want Me To” and “Real Live Flesh.” // A second album, Whokill (stylized as w h o k i l l), was released on April 19, 2011. A single from it, “Bizness”, came out in February 2011. It was produced by Garbus and engineered by Eli Crews at New, Improved Studios in Oakland, California. Applying the live approach to Garbus’ studio work for the first time, Garbus works with bass player Nate Brenner, who co-wrote some of the album’s songs. Comparing the act to Sonic Youth, Frontier Psychiatrist said, “if Bird-Brains was Garbus’ Evol, a record bursting with musical ideas that attempted to subvert the notion of song, who kill is Garbus’ Sister, a record that embraces the traditional pop song as a vehicle to convey those ideas.” The album as well as singles “Bizness” and “Gangsta” received mention on many top 2011 album and song lists, including Time, Rolling Stone, Spin, and the New York Times. In early 2012, the Village Voice’s annual “Pazz and Jop” poll of critics named Whokill the No. 1 album of 2011. The song “Fiya” is featured on a 2010 commercial for the Blackberry Torch, while the song “Gangsta” has been used in the television shows Orange Is the New Black, Letterkenny, Weeds and The Good Wife and the song “Bizness” was used in Season 3 of Transparent. // Garbus started recording material for her third LP during the latter half of 2013, with a working title of Sink-o. A May 6, 2014 release date was later announced with the title Nikki Nack. The album spawned three singles, including “Water Fountain”, which was featured in the soundtrack for EA Sports video game FIFA 15 as well as in a 2016 commercial for the Google Pixel. // A 4th album was released on January 19, 2018, called I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life. The album showed more of an electronic influence. The single “Look at Your Hands” was released earlier, in October 2017, followed by “Heart Attack” in January. // The Tune-Yards scored the satiric sci fi film Sorry to Bother You (2018). The film was shown at Sundance in January, then began a theatrical run in July. Its soundtrack songs are performed by the Coup, fronted by the film’s director, Boots Riley. Riley said he started working with the Tune-Yards in “early 2015” to create the film’s score, with demo tracks already available before the script was complete, and before the start of principal photography. Riley said he was attracted to Garbus’s voice, and to the band’s “unorthodox use of percussion and vocal layering. More info at: http://www.tune-yards.com]
  1. Sharon Van Etten – “On Your Way Now”
    from: On Your Way Now – Single / Jagjaguwar / February 12, 2021
    [Sharon Katharine Van Etten was born February 26, 1981. She is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She has released five studio albums, the latest of which is Remind Me Tomorrow (2019). // Van Etten was born in Belleville, New Jersey, the middle child of five. She lived in Nutley, New Jersey, then moved to Clinton, New Jersey as a pre-teen. She attended North Hunterdon High School, at which she participated in the chorus and performed in stage musicals. // Later, she moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to attend Middle Tennessee State University and studied recording, but dropped out after a year. She ended up working at the Red Rose, a coffee and record shop and music venue in Murfreesboro for about five years. She fell into an abusive relationship with a rock musician who discouraged her from writing songs. After five years, she left in the middle of the night with whatever she could carry. She showed up to her parents’ house on Thanksgiving Day and her mother answered the door, holding the dishes she’s about to put on the table, to find her black-sheep middle child, who hasn’t spoken to her in ages, standing on the doorstep. // In 2004, she moved back to New Jersey, where she worked at Perryville Wine and Spirits, then moved to New York City in 2005. She lived in Brooklyn for a number of years, in the suburban neighborhood of Ditmas Park. // Van Etten self-released handmade CDs until 2009, when her debut studio recording was released.Before her studio debut, she worked at Astor Wines and as a publicist at Ba Da Bing Records. // Van Etten’s debut, Because I Was in Love, was released on May 26, 2009, on Language of Stone, and was manufactured and distributed by Drag City. Because I Was in Love was produced by Greg Weeks at Hexham Head studio in Philadelphia. // On September 21, 2010, Van Etten released her second album, epic, on Ba Da Bing Records. With no set band at the time, Van Etten called on friends Jeffrey Kish, Dave Hartley, Jessica Larrabee, and Andy LaPlant of She Keeps Bees, Cat Martino, Meg Baird, Jim Callan, and Brian Christinzio. The first song recorded for the album was “Love More”, recorded in December 2009 by producer Brian McTear for Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through documentary video series. The remainder of the album was produced by Brian McTear with engineer Amy Morrissey in May 2010 at Miner Street Recordings in Philadelphia. NPR described it as possessing “a fuller sound compared to the super-spare arrangements on her first two self-produced albums, but epic still feels incredibly intimate, with lots of room to breathe and unfold.” // Van Etten’s third studio album, Tramp, was released on February 7, 2012, on Jagjaguwar. Tramp was produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner and recorded in his home studio in Brooklyn, New York. Additional recording took place at Miner Street Recordings in Philadelphia, where the album was also mixed with Engineers and Mixers Brian McTear and Jonathan Low. The album features musicians Doug Keith, Thomas Bartlett, Bryan Devendorf, Bryce Dessner, Matt Barrick, Rob Moose, Julianna Barwick, Peter Silberman, Logan Coale, Clarice Jensen, Ben Lanz, Zach Condon, and Jenn Wasner. // May 2014 brought about the release of Van Etten’s fourth studio album, titled Are We There, on Jagjaguwar. Van Etten produced the record with Stewart Lerman, with the guidance of bandmate and manager Zeke Hutchins. Most of the recording was done at Hobo Sound Studios in Weehawken, New Jersey, with piano tracks being recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The record features musicians Zeke Hutchins, Doug Keith, Heather Woods Broderick, Dave Hartley, Adam Granduciel, Marisa Anderson, Stuart D. Bogie, Mickey Free, Mary Lattimore, Little Isidor, Jacob Morris, Torres’ Mackenzie Scott, Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg, Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter, and Efterklang touring member Peter Broderick. The EP I Don’t Want to Let You Down, a compilation of songs that were not included on Are We There, was released on Jagjaguwar in 2015. // On October 2, 2018, Van Etten released a new track entitled “Comeback Kid” and announced her next album Remind Me Tomorrow, released on January 18, 2019. On February 28, 2019, Van Etten appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to perform the single “Seventeen”. // On April 22, 2020, Van Etten played bass and sang harmony as the three surviving members of Fountains of Wayne performed in a televised benefit with various New Jersey-affiliated musicians to raise funds for COVID-19 relief. She filled the role left vacant by the COVID-19-related death of Adam Schlesinger a few weeks earlier. She and the other three members of the band played simultaneously from remote locations. The band played the song “Hackensack” from the album Welcome Interstate Managers. // On May 15, 2020, Van Etten dropped a cover of (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? with Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme. // Van Etten’s music is characterized by a heavy use of harmonies. Pitchfork described her songs as having “echoes of folk tradition.” NPR Music asserts: “Her songs are heartfelt without being overly earnest; her poetry is plainspoken but not overt, and her elegant voice is wrapped in enough rasp and sorrow to keep from sounding too pure or confident.” With “Comeback Kid” and Remind Me Tomorrow, she introduced electronic sounds into her music. // Since 2016, Van Etten has appeared in both seasons of the Netflix drama The OA as Rachel, a fellow abductee along with Prairie in Dr. Percy’s basement lab/terrarium. Rachel and the other captives are subjected to after-life experiments while conspiring over a period of years to possibly escape, and at one point, Rachel sings a song of remembrance. Van Etten also appeared in episode six of the 2017 Twin Peaks series on Showtime. // Van Etten made her feature film debut with a supporting role in Never Rarely Sometimes Always directed by Eliza Hittman, for which she also wrote and performed the original track ‘Staring at a Mountain’. // Van Etten had her first child, a son, in 2017 with her romantic partner Zeke Hutchins. Hutchins used to be her drummer and then became her manager. After living in New York City for 15 years, she moved with her family to Los Angeles in Sept 2019. More info at: http://www.sharonvanetten.com]
  1. Sia – “Courage to Change”
    from: Music – Songs From and Inspired By the Motion Picture / Atlantic / 2021
    [Sia Kate Isobelle Furler was born December 18, 1975. She is an Australian singer, songwriter, voice actress and director. She started her career as a singer in the acid jazz band Crisp in the mid-1990s in Adelaide. In 1997, when Crisp disbanded, she released her debut studio album, titled OnlySee, in Australia. She moved to London, England, and provided vocals for the British duo Zero 7. Sia released her second studio album, Healing Is Difficult, in 2000, and her third studio album, Colour the Small One, in 2004. // Sia relocated to New York City in 2005 and toured in the United States. Her fourth and fifth studio albums, Some People Have Real Problems and We Are Born, were released in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Each was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association and attracted wider notice than her earlier albums. Uncomfortable with her growing fame, Sia took a hiatus from performing, during which she focused on songwriting for other artists, producing successful collaborations “Titanium” (with David Guetta), “Diamonds” (with Rihanna) and “Wild Ones” (with Flo Rida). // In 2014, Sia broke through as a solo recording artist when her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear, debuted at No 1 in the U.S. Billboard 200 and generated the top-ten single “Chandelier” and a trilogy of music videos co-directed by Sia and starring child dancer Maddie Ziegler. Since then, Sia has usually worn a wig that obscures her face to protect her privacy. Her 7th studio album, This Is Acting (2016), spawned her first Billboard Hot 100 number one single, “Cheap Thrills”. The same year, Sia gave her Nostalgic for the Present Tour, which incorporated dancing by Ziegler and others and other performance art elements. Her eighth studio album, Everyday Is Christmas, was released in 2017 and reissued in 2018 with three bonus tracks. In 2018, she collaborated with Labrinth and Diplo in the group LSD, and they released their self-titled debut album in April 2019. // Sia wrote and directed a feature film, titled Music, which was released in early 2021 alongside an album, Music – Songs from and Inspired by the Motion Picture. Among the accolades received by Sia are nearly a dozen ARIA Awards, 9 Grammy Award nominations and an MTV Video Music Award. // Sia Kate Isobelle Furler’s father, Phil Colson, is a musician, and her mother, Loene Furler, is an art lecturer. Sia is the niece of actor-singer Kevin Colson. Sia said that as a child she imitated the performing style of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Sting, whom she cites as early influences. She attended Adelaide High School. In the mid-1990s, Sia started a career as a singer in the local acid jazz band Crisp. Sia collaborated with the band and contributed vocals to their album Word and the Deal (1996) and EP Delirium (1997). In 1997 Crisp disbanded, and Sia released her debut studio album, OnlySee, on Flavoured Records, in Australia, on December 23. The album sold about 1,200 copies. Unlike her later albums, OnlySee was marketed under her full name, “Sia Furler”. It was produced by Jesse Flavell. // After Crisp disbanded in 1997, Sia moved to London, where she performed as a background vocalist for British band Jamiroquai. She also provided vocals for English downtempo group Zero 7 on their first three studio albums and toured with the group. On Zero 7’s 2001 album Simple Things, Sia contributed vocals to two tracks including the single “Destiny”, which peaked at No. 30 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2004, she provided vocals for Zero 7 on “Somersault” and “Speed Dial No. 2” (from the album When It Falls). In 2006, Sia again collaborated with Zero 7 for the group’s third album, The Garden and hence she is regarded as the “unofficial” lead singer of Zero 7. // In 2000, Sia signed a recording contract with Sony Music’s sub-label Dance Pool and released her first single, “Taken for Granted”, which peaked at No. 10 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2001, she released her second solo album, Healing Is Difficult, which blends retro jazz and soul music and lyrically discusses Sia’s dealing with the death of her first love affair. Displeased with the promotion of the album, Sia fired her manager, left Sony Music and signed with Go! Beat, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group (UMG). At the APRA Awards of 2002, Sia won the Breakthrough Songwriter category alongside Brisbane pop duo Aneiki’s Jennifer Waite and Grant Wallis. // In 2004, Sia released her third studio album, Colour the Small One. The album employs a mixture of acoustic instruments and electronic backing to her material. The album spawned four singles, including “Don’t Bring Me Down” and “Breathe Me”, the latter of which charted in the United Kingdom, Denmark and France. // Dissatisfied with Colour the Small One’s poor marketing and the album’s struggle to connect with a mainstream audience, Sia relocated to New York City in 2005. During that time, “Breathe Me” appeared in the final scene of the U.S. HBO television series Six Feet Under, which helped increase Sia’s fame in the United States. Consequently, Sia’s manager, David Enthoven, set up a tour across the country to maintain her career. // In 2007, Sia released a live album titled Lady Croissant, which included eight live songs from her April 2006 performance at the Bowery Ballroom in New York and one new studio recording—”Pictures”. A year later, she left Zero 7 on friendly terms, replaced by Eska Mtungwazi as the band’s frontwoman. Sia released her fourth studio album, Some People Have Real Problems on January 8, 2008. The album peaked at No. 41 in Australia and was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association. It charted at No. 26 on the US Billboard 200, becoming Sia’s first to chart in the United States. Some People Have Real Problems yielded four singles, including “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine”. It peaked at No. 11 in the Netherlands and No. 12 in Spain; it additionally reached No. 8 on the US Hot Dance Club Songs. Another single from the album was “Soon We’ll Be Found”. // In May 2009, Sia released TV Is My Parent on DVD, which includes a live concert at New York’s Hiro Ballroom, four music videos and behind-the-scene footage.At the ARIA Music Awards of 2009, Sia won the Best Music DVD category for TV Is My Parent. She also received a nomination for Best Breakthrough Artist Album for Some People Have Real Problems. // In 2009, American singer Christina Aguilera approached Sia about writing ballads for Aguilera’s then-upcoming sixth studio album. The final product, Bionic, includes three songs co-written by Sia. Later in 2010, Sia also co-wrote “Bound to You” for the soundtrack of the film Burlesque, which starred Aguilera and Cher. The song was nominated for Best Original Song at the 68th Golden Globe Awards. In May 2011, Sia appeared on the inaugural season of the U.S. version of The Voice as an adviser for Aguilera, who served as a vocal coach and judge. // In June 2010, Sia released her fifth studio album, We Are Born. The release peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The release of the album was preceded by three singles: the lead single, “You’ve Changed”, was released in December 2009 and charted at No. 31 in Australia. The follow-up single, “Clap Your Hands”, peaked at No. 17 in Australia, No. 10 in the Netherlands and No. 27 in Switzerland. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2010, We Are Born earned Sia two categories won: Best Independent Release and Best Pop Release. Meanwhile, at the 2011 APRA Music Awards, Sia received a nomination for Song of the Year for “Clap Your Hands”. To promote We Are Born, Sia embarked on the We Meaning You Tour, which visited North America and Europe in April–May 2010. She followed this with the We Are Born Tour, which visited Australia in February 2011 and North America in July–August 2011. // Following the success of We Are Born, Sia became uncomfortable with her growing fame. She later told The New York Times: “I just wanted to have a private life. Once, as my friend was telling me they had cancer, someone came up and asked, in the middle of the conversation, if they could take a photograph with me. You get me? That’s enough, right?” She refused to do promos for her tours, began to wear a mask on stage and became increasingly dependent on drugs and alcohol on the road; she considered suicide. Sia fired Enthoven and hired Jonathan Daniel, who suggested that she write songs for other artists. // Sia retired as a recording artist and began a career as a songwriter. She soon penned “Titanium” for American singer Alicia Keys, but it was later sent to David Guetta, who included Sia’s original demo vocals on the song and released it as a single in 2011. “Titanium” peaked within the top ten of record charts in the United States, Australia and numerous European regions. However, Sia recalled: “I never even knew it was gonna happen, and I was really upset. Because I had just retired, I was trying to be a pop songwriter, not an artist.” From 2011 to 2013, Sia also co-wrote songs for many recording artists, including Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue, Flo Rida and Rihanna. Her collaboration with Flo Rida, “Wild Ones”, peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the tenth best-selling song of 2012 globally. In March 2012, Sia released a “greatest hits” album, Best Of…, in Australia. // In October 2013, Sia released “Elastic Heart” featuring The Weeknd and Diplo for the soundtrack of the American film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013). Sia executive-produced Brooke Candy’s debut EP, Opulence, released in May 2014, and co-wrote 3 songs on the EP. In July 2014, Sia released her own sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear. She again collaborated with Greg Kurstin. The album debuted at No. 1 in the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 52,000 copies. By October 2015, it was certified gold by the RIAA denoting 500,000 equivalent-album units sold in the United States. The record peaked at No. 1 in Australia and reached the top ten of charts in numerous European regions. It was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry and gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association. By early 2016, the album had sold 1 million copies worldwide. // 1000 Forms of Fear’s lead single, “Chandelier” was released in March 2014. The song peaked at No. 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming Sia’s first entry on that chart as a lead artist. Elsewhere, the song experienced similar commercial success, ranking in the top ten of the record charts in Australia and numerous European regions. As of January 2015, the single had sold 2 million copies in the United States. “Eye of the Needle” and “Big Girls Cry” were released as the second and third singles from the album, respectively, in June 2014. In January 2015, Sia released a solo version of “Elastic Heart” as the fourth single from 1000 Forms of Fear; it eventually reached the top 20 on the Hot 100. At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards (2015), Sia received four nominations for “Chandelier”: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video. // For performances of songs from 1000 Forms of Fear, Sia chose not to show her face, either facing away from audiences or hiding it behind oversized platinum blonde wigs. In videos for the singles “Chandelier”, “Elastic Heart” and “Big Girls Cry”, choreographed by Ryan Heffington and co-directed by Sia and Daniel Askill, and in many of the promotional live performances, child dancer Maddie Ziegler performed as a proxy for Sia in bobbed blonde wigs similar to Sia’s familiar hairstyle. The three videos have received a total of more than 3 billion views on Vevo. Sia explained to Kristen Wiig in an interview in Interview magazine that she decided to conceal her face to avoid a celebrity lifestyle and maintain some privacy: “I’m trying to have some control over my image. And I’m allowed to maintain some modicum of privacy. But also I would like not to be picked apart or for people to observe when I put on ten pounds or take off ten pounds or I have a hair extension out of place or my fake tan is botched. Most people don’t have to be under that pressure, and I’d like to be one of them.” The video for Elastic Heart “courted controversy and plaudits in equal measure”, with some commentators perceiving it to have paedophilic undertones due to the relative ages of the dancers. Sia explained that the two dancers represented “warring ‘Sia’ self states”, but she nevertheless apologized on Twitter to anyone who was “triggered”. Gia Kourlas wrote in The New York Times in 2016 that Sia’s collaborations with Heffington have “done more to raise the standards of dance in pop music than nearly any current artist integrating the forms”. The “Chandelier” video was ranked as the 10th “greatest music video” of the 2010s by Billboard. // In 2014, Sia contributed to the soundtrack to the 2014 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Annie. Sia, along with producer Greg Kurstin, wrote three new songs for the film as well as re-working songs from the musical. Sia, Kurstin and Annie director Will Gluck were nominated at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards for Best Original Song for one of the film’s original songs, “Opportunity”. // In an interview with NME in February 2015, Sia revealed that she had completed the follow-up to 1000 Forms of Fear, entitled This Is Acting. The album was another collaboration with producer and co-writer Greg Kurstin. Furler said that she released 1000 Forms of Fear to free herself from her record deal and had planned simply to write for other artists, but the album’s success spurred her to continue writing her own music. The same month, alongside the digital deluxe release of 1000 Forms of Fear, she released a mobile game, Bob Job. “Alive” from This Is Acting was co-written by Adele and had originally been intended for Adele’s third album. // In November, Sia collaborated with composer J. Ralph on the soundtrack of the environmental documentary Racing Extinction, co-writing and singing the song “One Candle”. She also released two more songs from the album, “Bird Set Free” and “One Million Bullets”. “Cheap Thrills” and “Reaper” were subsequently released as promotional singles for the album. Eventually, the single “Cheap Thrills”, featuring Sean Paul, reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Sia released two videos for the song, one of which features Ziegler and two male dancers, while the other, featuring Sean Paul, shows a 1950s style teen dance party; it has accumulated more than 1.4 billion views. // In April 2016, Sia gave a widely acclaimed performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that went viral online. Her performance received an effusively positive critical reception as “one of the greatest moments in Coachella’s 17-year history”, and it was consistently noted as one of the best performances of the 2016 festival. The performance was her first full concert since 2011. In May 2016, Sia made a surprise appearance on the finale for Survivor: Kaôh Rōng where she donated $50,000 to contestant Tai Trang. She donated another $50,000 to an animal charity of his choice, noting that the two share a mutual love of animals. // In June 2016, Sia gave a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, featuring Ziegler. From May to August, Sia performed in nearly a dozen festival and other concerts in America and European and Middle Eastern countries, including Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Poland, the United Kingdom, Russia, Lebanon and Israel. In September 2016, she released a single, “The Greatest”, with vocals from American hip hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar. A video was released the same day featuring Ziegler – the dancer’s fifth video collaboration with Sia and Heffington. The two performed the song with several other dancers, and also performed “Chandelier”, live the next day at the Apple annual fall event, drawing media attention. The videos that Sia has posted to her YouTube channel have accumulated a total of more than 9 billion views, and the channel has more than 17 million subscribers. // Sia gave her Nostalgic for the Present Tour in North America from September to November 2016, featuring Ziegler. As at Coachella and subsequent live performances, Sia appeared at the back of the stage with her familiar wig covering her face, while her dancers performed Heffington’s choreography synchronized with prerecorded videos played on big screens. The tour received a warm reaction: “She let her dancers own center stage, carrying out one skit/performance after another as Sia delivered the soundtrack. … It defied all the regular rules of pop concerts, which are usually designed to focus every ounce of the audience’s attention on the star of the show. Yet, Sia’s bold gamble paid off, resulting in one of the most daringly original and wholly satisfying shows of 2016.” Ed Masley of The Arizona Republic described the show as “part performance art, part interpretive dance. … [Sia] sounded amazing. … There’s so much raw emotion in her songs. And you can definitely hear that in her voice, but it becomes more visceral when you can also read it in the faces of her dancers, especially Ziegler. … The entire performance was brilliantly staged, with one song flowing seamlessly into another”. Sia released the deluxe edition of This Is Acting in October 2016, which includes three new tracks, a remix version of “Move Your Body” and a solo version of “The Greatest”. She was nominated for three 2017 Grammy Awards. Sia co-wrote and performed on a platinum-selling single, “Dusk Till Dawn”, by Zayn Malik. // Sia performed in concert at the close of the Dubai World Cup in March 2017, together with her dancers, led by Ziegler. They gave a second leg of the Nostalgic for the Present Tour, her first stadium tour in Australasia, in late 2017. // In 2017, Sia moved from RCA to Atlantic Records. She released a new album, Everyday Is Christmas, on Atlantic and Monkey Puzzle in November 2017. The album features original songs co-written and co-produced with Kurstin. She promoted it by releasing the single “Santa’s Coming for Us” and the track “Snowman”, which she performed during the finale of the 13th season of The Voice and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show together with Maddie Ziegler. In November 2018, Sia released the deluxe edition of the album, containing three bonus tracks, as a Target exclusive. // In 2018, Sia collaborated with English musician Labrinth and American DJ/record producer Diplo, under the name LSD, to release four songs, which were then released as an EP called Mountains on Spotify. The group released an album, Labrinth, Sia & Diplo Present… LSD, in April 2019, containing the same four songs, five new songs and a previously released remix of their track “Genius” with Lil Wayne. Also in 2018, Sia was one of the narrators of Australian animal rights documentary Dominion, and shared in a 2018 Award of Excellence from the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards. // Sia’s ninth album, Music – Songs from and Inspired by the Motion Picture, was released in February 2021 in connection with the release of her film, Music. Sia also plans to release her tenth album, Reasonable Woman, in 2021. // At the start of her career, with the bands Crisp and Jamiroquai, Sia performed “acid jazz” in Australia and later in London. With her first solo single, “Taken for Granted”, she experimented with trip hop. When she joined Zero 7, she sang downtempo numbers. // With Colour the Small One (2004) and Some People Have Real Problems (2007) she moved into jazz and folktronica, although the album’s biggest hit, “Breathe Me”, is described as alternative rock and a power ballad. Some People Have Real Problems expanded her connection with indie pop. Sia stated, “Colour the Small One … couldn’t be more derivative of Kings of Convenience and James Taylor and the things that Zero 7 were playing on the [tour] bus. I’m very easily influenced.” // In 2009, after leaving Zero 7, Sia dedicated herself entirely to her solo career. We Are Born (2010), incorporated various pop styles, including synthpop and R&B, with introspective themes accompanied by more insistent and livelier rhythms. 1000 Forms of Fear (2014) consolidated her connection with pop (with traces of electropop, reggae and hip-hop) This Is Acting is mostly composed of songs written by Sia with other female pop artists in mind, but the artists did not include the songs on their albums. Sia described songwriting for others as “play-acting.” The Guardian’s Kitty Empire commented that the latter album “provides an obvious counterpoint to Sia’s more personal album of 2014, 1000 Forms of Fear, whose stonking single, “Chandelier”, tackled her intoxicated past. This Is Acting makes plain the fact of manufacture – a process akin to bespoke tailoring.” // This Is Acting (2016) alternates more reggae and electropop with more introspective themes. In her 2016 live performances, Sia’s music is part of performance-art-like shows that involve dance and theatrical effects. For an MTV News writer “Sia’s throaty, slurred vocals are her norm”, while a The Fader contributor noted “In the Billboard Hot 100 landscape, Sia’s songwriting voice, which deals with depression and addiction, is singular—her actual voice even more so.” Everyday Is Christmas (2017), Sia’s first release of Christmas music is a pop album that gives old-fashioned holiday music “some 21st century pop gloss”. National Public Radio called Sia “the 21st century’s most resilient songwriter”. // Sia has received an array of accolades, including ARIA Awards, an MTV Video Music Award and nine nominations for Grammy Awards. // Sia lent her voice to the show South Park in its eighteenth season. In episode 3 entitled “The Cissy”, she portrayed Lorde in a parody song in the episode entitled “Push (Feeling Good on a Wednesday)”. In 2016 Sia covered “Blackbird” by The Beatles for the Netflix original series Beat Bugs. She appeared in the 2017 animated film My Little Pony: The Movie as the voice of “pop star” character Songbird Serenade. She also contributed an original song, “Rainbow”, to the film’s soundtrack. // Sia wrote the songs for the soundtrack to the 2018 musical film Vox Lux, with a score by Scott Walker. She wrote a screenplay, based on a story that she had written in 2007, for the 2021 musical film, Music, which stars Ziegler, Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr. Sia also directed the film and wrote its soundtrack. The film was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 78th Golden Globe Awards. // Following the disbandment of Crisp in 1997, Sia decided to move to London to follow her relationship with boyfriend Dan Pontifex. Several weeks later, while on a stopover in Thailand, she received the news that Pontifex had died after being in a car accident in London. She returned to Australia, but soon she received a call from one of Pontifex’s former housemates, who invited her to stay in London. Her 2001 album Healing Is Difficult lyrically deals with Pontifex’s death: “I was pretty fucked up after Dan died. I couldn’t really feel anything. I could intellectualise a lot of stuff; that I had a purpose, that I was loved, but I couldn’t actually feel anything.” Sia recalled the effect of his death in a 2007 interview for The Sunday Times: “We were all devastated, so we got shit-faced on drugs and Special Brew. Unfortunately, that bender lasted six years for me.” // In 2008, Sia discussed her sexual orientation in interviews and revealed her relationship with JD Samson; they broke up in 2011. When asked about her sexuality in 2009, she said, “I’ve always dated boys and girls and anything in between. I don’t care what gender you are, it’s about people. … I’ve always been… well, flexible is the word I would use.” Sia identified as queer on Twitter in 2013. // Sia has suffered from depression, addictions to painkillers and alcohol, and had contemplated suicide, going as far as to write a suicide note. In 2010, Sia cancelled various promotional events and shows due to her poor health. She cited extreme lethargy and panic attacks and considered retiring permanently from performing and touring. She stated that she had been diagnosed with Graves’ disease – an autoimmune disorder characterized by an over-active thyroid. Later that year, in an ARIA Awards interview, Sia said her health was improving after rest and thyroid hormone replacement therapy. In 2019, Sia revealed that she suffers from Ehlers–Danlos syndrome. // Sia married documentary filmmaker Erik Anders Lang at her home in Palm Springs, California, in August 2014.The couple revealed their separation in December 2016. During a 2014 appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Sia was asked if she was religious, to which she responded, “I believe in a Higher Power and it’s called ‘Whatever Dude’ and he’s a queer, surfing Santa that’s a bit like my grandpa, so yes.” In the same interview, she stated that she is a feminist and that Whatever Dude divinely inspired the lyrics she wrote for Rihanna’s song “Diamonds”. One of Sia’s tattoos, on her hand, reads “Whatever Dude”. Sia is a cousin of Australian Christian rock musician Peter Furler. // In 2019, Sia adopted two African-American boys who were ageing out of the foster care system.In July 2020, Sia announced that she had become a grandmother when one of her two 19-year-old sons had fathered twins. // Sia “has long been an advocate for animals”. She has participated in campaigns to protest against large-scale pet breeding and encourage people to spay or neuter their pets. She performed her song “I’m in Here” at the Beagle Freedom Project Gala, in 2013, and wrote the song “Free the Animal” for public service announcements supporting “cruelty-free … fashion” in 2015. For her 2016 Nostalgic for the Present Tour, Sia partnered with various rescue organisations to conduct a dog adoption fair at each of her concerts. In 2017, she released another PSA[buzzword] to encourage pet adoption. She is a narrator of the animal rights documentary Dominion. More info at: http://www.sismusic.net]

10:59 – Station ID

  1. Calvin Keys – “B. E.”
    from: Shawn-Neeq / Black Jazz Records / 1971 [Real Gone Music / December 11, 2020 / 2021]
    [Calvin Keys is an American jazz guitarist, known for the several albums he released for Black Jazz Records. Keys has performed and recorded with Ray Charles, Ahmad Jamal, John Handy, Bobby Hutcherson, Eddie Marshall, Sonny Stitt, Pharoah Sanders, Joe Henderson and Leon Williams. From: http://www.amazon.com: Calvin Keys’s 1971 debut album for the Black Jazz Records label announced the arrival of a new star in the jazz guitar firmament. Keys had spent the ’60s backing up the crème de la crème of jazz organists’Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes’but for his first record as a leader, he was eager to play with a piano player instead. So he recruited one of the best’Larry Nash, who, besides being a member of the L.A. Express, played with everybody from Eddie Harris to Bill Withers to Etta James. Bassist Lawrence Evans, drummer Bob Braye, and flautist-songwriter Owen Marshall rounded out the group on Shawn-Neeq, which might remind some of Pat Metheny’s early work (Metheny acknowledges Keys as an influence), or Grant Green. But what gives Shawn-Neeq extra depth is that it comes from the heart; as Keys says in Pat Thomas’ liner notes, which feature an interview with the artist: ‘My thing was, I write about some of the experiences that I’ve had in my life.’ Keys has since become a fixture in the Bay Area jazz scene; this is the album that started his journey. Another gem from the celebrated Black Jazz catalog, freshly remastered for CD and vinyl by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision and ready to be savored!]
  1. Roland Haynes – “Eglise”
    from: 2nd Wave / Snow Dog Records / 1975 [Real Gone Music / August 27, 2020]
    [From: http://www.amazon.com: This 1975 album is one of a kind in lots of ways. First, it’s keyboardist Roland Haynes’ only album. But more importantly, Second Wave has a sound’and line-up’unlike pretty much any other jazz fusion album to come out before or since. Anchored by a fantastic rhythm section of Carl Burnett (Cal Tjader, Vince Guaraldi and most notably Gene Harris and The Three Sounds) and Henry ‘The Skipper’ Franklin (leader on a couple of Black Jazz titles still to come, plus Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Hugh Masekela, and many others), the album features dueling Fender Rhodes tickled by Haynes and Kirk Lightsey, who played with everyone from Chet Baker to Pharoah Sanders to Sonny Stitt, not to mention a bunch of Black Jazz dates. The cascading sound of the two electric pianos, one (Lightsey’s) often driven through a wah-wah pedal, gives Second Wave a special vibe all its own; there are not horns or guitars getting in the way of these mindblowing keyboard jams. Some folks might hear a little ’70s-era Miles Davis when Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and/or Herbie Hancock were in the band, and Hancock’s own Head Hunters album comes to mind (as well later fusion dudes like Jan Hammer and Bill Bruford), but Second Wave is sui generis. Our Real Gone reissue is remastered for CD and vinyl by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision, with LP lacquer cutting by Clint Holley and Dave Polster at Well Made Music, and features new liner notes by Pat Thomas, author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975, that include a couple of quotes from drummer Burnett and bassist Franklin. First ever time reissued on vinyl!]
  1. Rudolph Johnson – “Sylvia Ann”
    from: Spring Rain / Black Jazz Records / 1971 [Real Gone December 11, 2020 / 2021]
    [From: http://www.amazon.com: Columbus, Ohio’s Rudolph Johnson drew comparisons to John Coltrane during his career; like the jazz legend in his later years, Johnson eschewed drugs or alcohol and spent his time every day either meditating and rehearsing on his horn. You can definitely hear a little bit of Coltrane in Johnson’s playing on this, his 1971 debut release for the Black Jazz label, the first of two he recorded for the imprint and the first he recorded as a leader after some sideman work (most notably for organist Jimmy McGriff); his ability to explore the upper registers and overtones of his tenor sax while retaining control is quite striking. Of course, this being a Black Jazz release, along with the bebop sounds of ‘Sylvia Ann’ and the mid-’60s Blue Note stylings of ‘Sylvia Ann,’ there’s the soul jazz of ‘Diswa’ and the groove funk of ‘Devon Jean,’ all played by, as is typical on Black Jazz releases, by top-notch sidemen including drummer Raymond Pounds, who’s played with everybody from Stevie Wonder to Pharoah Sanders to Bob Dylan, and pianist John Barnes, whose work is very familiar to Motown fans (Supremes, Temptations, Marvin Gaye). Bassist Reggie Jackson, who appeared on the Walter Bishop, Jr. Coral Keys record we previously released, rounds out the quartet. First vinyl reissue of another stellar Black Jazz release, remastered for CD and vinyl by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision and featuring liner notes by Pat Thomas, author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975!]
  1. Eugene McDaniels – “Outlaw (Edited)”
    from: Outlaw / Atlantic Records / February 1970 [Reissued Real Gone Music / 2020]
    Eugene Booker McDaniels was born February 12, 1935 and died July 29, 2011. He was an American singer and songwriter. He had his greatest recording success in the early 1960s, and had continued success as a songwriter with songs including “Compared to What” and Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love”. // Born in Kansas City, Kansas, United States, McDaniels grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. As well as singing gospel music in church, he developed a love of jazz, and learned to play the saxophone and trumpet. After forming a singing group, the Echoes of Joy, later known as the Sultans, in his teens, he studied at the University of Omaha Conservatory of Music before joining the Mississippi Piney Woods Singers, with whom he toured in California. // In California, McDaniels began singing in jazz clubs, achieving recognition with the Les McCann Trio, and came to the attention of Sy Waronker of Liberty Records. // After recording two unsuccessful singles and an album, McDaniels teamed with producer Snuff Garrett, with whom he recorded his first hit, “A Hundred Pounds of Clay”, which reached number 3 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1961 and sold over one million copies, earning gold disc status. Its follow-up, “A Tear”, was less successful but his third single with Garrett, “Tower of Strength”, co-written by Burt Bacharach, reached number 5 and won McDaniels his second gold record. “Tower of Strength” reached number 49 in the UK Singles Chart, losing out to Frankie Vaughan’s chart-topping version. // In 1962, McDaniels appeared performing “Another Tear Falls” in the movie It’s Trad, Dad! directed by Richard Lester. He continued to have hit records, including “Chip Chip”, “Point Of No Return”, and “Spanish Lace”, each in 1962, but his suave style of singing gradually became less fashionable. In 1965 “Point Of No Return” was recorded by the British R&B band Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames on their UK Columbia EP Fame At Last. Also in 1965, McDaniels moved to Columbia Records, with little success, and in 1968, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, he left the US to live in Denmark and Sweden, where he concentrated on songwriting. // After the late 1960s, McDaniels turned his attention to a more black consciousness form, and his best-known song in this genre was “Compared to What”, a jazz-soul protest song made famous (and into a hit) by Les McCann and Eddie Harris on their album Swiss Movement and also covered by Roberta Flack, Ray Charles, Della Reese, John Legend, the Roots, Sweetwater, and others. He returned to the US in 1971 and recorded thereafter as Eugene McDaniels. // McDaniels also attained the top spot on the chart as a songwriter. In 1974, Roberta Flack reached number 1 with his “Feel Like Makin’ Love” (not to be confused with the Bad Company song of the same name), which received a Grammy Award nomination. McDaniels also received a BMI award for outstanding radio airplay; at the time of the award, the song had already had over five million plays. // In the early 1970s, McDaniels recorded on the Atlantic label, which released his albums Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse and Outlaw. // In the 1980s, McDaniels recorded an album with the percussionist Terry Silverlight, which has not yet been released. In 2005, McDaniels released Screams & Whispers on his own record label. // In 2009, it was announced that McDaniels was to release a new album, Evolution’s Child, which featured his lyrics, and a number of songs composed or arranged with pianist Ted Brancato. Some of the songs featured jazz musician Ron Carter on concert bass and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums. McDaniel’s “Jagger the Dagger” was featured on the Tribe Vibes breakbeat compilation album, after it had been sampled by A Tribe Called Quest. // McDaniels also appeared in films. They included It’s Trad, Dad! (1962, released in the United States as Ring-A-Ding Rhythm), which was directed by Richard Lester. McDaniels also appeared in The Young Swingers (1963). He is briefly seen singing in the choir in the 1974 film Uptown Saturday Night. He was the original voice actor for “Nasus”, a champion in the computer game League of Legends. // In 2010 he launched a series of YouTube videos on his website, featuring his music and thoughts on some of his creations. // McDaniels lived as a self-described “hermit” in the state of Maine. // McDaniels died peacefully on July 29, 2011, at his home, survived by his third wife and six children. More info at: http://www.genemcdaniels.com]
  1. Roberta Flack – “Compared to What”
    from: First Take / Atlantic / June 20, 1969 [Reissued 1995 / Atlantic]
    [Roberta Cleopatra Flack was born February 10, 1937. She is an American singer. She is known for her No. 1 singles “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, “Killing Me Softly with His Song”, “Feel Like Makin’ Love”; and “Where Is the Love” and “The Closer I Get to You”, two of her many duets with Donny Hathaway. // Flack is the only solo artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in two consecutive years: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won at the 1973 Grammys and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” won at the 1974 Grammys. // Flack lived with a musical family, born in Black Mountain, North Carolina to parents Laron Flack, a Veterans Administration draftsman, and Irene Council Flack a church organist, on February 10, 1937 (some sources also say 1939 – 1940 Census states Roberta was 3 years old) and raised in Arlington, Virginia. Growing up she often accompanied the choir of Lomax African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church by playing hymns and spirituals on piano, but she also enjoyed going to the “Baptist church down the street” to listen to contemporary gospel music, such as that performed by Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke. // When Flack was nine, she started taking an interest in playing the piano,[6] and during her early teens, Flack so excelled at classical piano that Howard University awarded her a full music scholarship. By age 15, she entered Howard University, making her one of the youngest students ever to enroll there. She eventually changed her major from piano to voice, and became an assistant conductor of the university choir. Her direction of a production of Aida received a standing ovation from the Howard University faculty. Flack is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and was made an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma by the Eta Delta Chapter at Howard University for her outstanding work in promoting music education. // Roberta Flack became a student teacher at a school near Chevy Chase, Maryland. She graduated from Howard University at 19 and began graduate studies in music, but the sudden death of her father forced her to take a job teaching music and English in Farmville, North Carolina. // Before becoming a professional singer-songwriter, Flack returned to Washington, D.C. and taught at Banneker, Browne, and Rabaut Junior High Schools. She also taught private piano lessons out of her home on Euclid St. NW. During this period, her music career began to take shape on evenings and weekends in Washington, D.C. area night spots. At the Tivoli Club, she accompanied opera singers at the piano. During intermissions, she would sing blues, folk, and pop standards in a back room, accompanying herself on the piano. Later, she performed several nights a week at the 1520 Club, again providing her own piano accompaniment. Around this time, her voice teacher, Frederick “Wilkie” Wilkerson, told her that he saw a brighter future for her in pop music than in the classics. She modified her repertoire accordingly and her reputation spread.[citation needed] Flack began singing professionally after being hired to perform regularly at Mr. Henry’s Restaurant, on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC in 1968. // The atmosphere in Mr. Henry’s was welcoming and the club turned into a showcase for the young music teacher. Her voice mesmerized locals and word spread. A-list entertainers who were appearing in town would come in late at night to hear her sing. // As restaurant owner Henry Yaffe recalled, “She told me if I could give her work there three nights a week, she would quit teaching.” He did and she did. // To meet Roberta’s exacting standards, Yaffe transformed the apartment above the bar into the Roberta Flack Room. “I got the oak paneling from the old Dodge Hotel near Union Station. I put in heavy upholstered chairs, sort of a conservative style from the 50s and an acoustical system designed especially for Roberta. She was very demanding. She was a perfectionist.” // Les McCann discovered Flack singing and playing jazz in a Washington nightclub. He later said on the liner notes of what would be her first album First Take noted below, “Her voice touched, tapped, trapped, and kicked every emotion I’ve ever known. I laughed, cried, and screamed for more…she alone had the voice.” Very quickly, he arranged an audition for her with Atlantic Records, during which she played 42 songs in 3 hours for producer Joel Dorn. In November 1968, she recorded 39 song demos in less than 10 hours. Three months later, Atlantic reportedly recorded Flack’s debut album, First Take, in a mere 10 hours. Flack later spoke of those studio sessions as a “very naive and beautiful approach… I was comfortable with the music because I had worked on all these songs for all the years I had worked at Mr. Henry’s.” // In 1971, Flack participated in the legendary Soul to Soul concert film by Denis Sanders, which was headlined by Wilson Pickett, along with Ike & Tina Turner, Santana, The Staple Singers, Les McCann, Eddie Harris, The Voices of Harlem, and others. The U.S. delegation of musical artists was invited to perform for 14th anniversary of African independence in Ghana. The film was digitally reissued on DVD and CD in 2004 but Flack declined permission for her image and recording to be included for unknown reasons. Her a cappella performance of the traditional spiritual “Oh Freedom” retitled “Freedom Song” on the original Soul to Soul LP soundtrack is only available in the VHS version of the film. // Flack’s cover version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” hit number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Her Atlantic recordings did not sell particularly well, until actor/director Clint Eastwood chose a song from First Take, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” written by Ewan MacColl, for the sound track of his directorial debut Play Misty for Me; it became the biggest hit of the year for 1972, spending six consecutive weeks at #1 and earning Flack a million-selling Gold disc. It finished the year as Billboard’s top song of 1972. The First Take album also went to #1 and eventually sold 1.9 million copies in the United States. Eastwood, who paid $2,000 for the use of the song in the film, has remained an admirer and friend of Flack’s ever since. It was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1973. In 1983, she recorded the end music to the Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact at Eastwood’s request. // In 1972, Flack began recording regularly with Donny Hathaway, scoring hits such as the Grammy-winning “Where Is the Love” (1972) and later “The Closer I Get to You” (1978), both million-selling gold singles. Flack and Hathaway recorded several duets together, including two LPs, until Hathaway’s 1979 death. // On her own, Flack scored her second #1 hit in 1973, “Killing Me Softly with His Song” written by Charles Fox, Norman Gimbel and Lori Lieberman. It was awarded both Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female at the 1974 Grammy Awards. Its parent album was Flack’s biggest-selling disc, eventually earning double platinum certification. In 1974, Flack released “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” which became her third and final #1 hit to date on the Hot 100. That same year, Flack sang the lead on a Sherman Brothers song called “Freedom”, which featured prominently at the opening and closing of the movie Huckleberry Finn. Also in that same year, she performed “When We Grow Up” with a teenage Michael Jackson on the 1974 television special, Free to Be… You and Me. Then, in her only film role, she served as the narrator for The Legend of John Henry. // Flack had a 1982 hit single with “Making Love”, written by Burt Bacharach (the title track of the 1982 film of the same name), which reached #13. She began working with Peabo Bryson with more limited success, charting as high as #5 on the R&B chart (plus #16 Pop and #4 Adult Contemporary) with “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” in 1983. Her next two singles with Bryson, “You’re Looking Like Love To Me” and “I Just Came Here To Dance,” fared better on adult contemporary (AC) radio than on pop or R&B radio. // In 1986, Flack sang the theme song entitled “Together Through the Years” for the NBC television series Valerie, later known as The Hogan Family. The song was used throughout the show’s six seasons. In 1987 Flack supplied the voice of Michael Jackson’s mother in the 18-minute short film for Bad. Oasis was released in 1988 and failed to make an impact with pop audiences, though the title track reached #1 on the R&B chart and a remix of “Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes)” topped the dance chart in 1989. Flack found herself again in the US Top 10 with the hit song “Set the Night to Music”, a 1991 duet with Jamaican vocalist Maxi Priest that peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and #2 AC. Flack’s smooth R&B sound lent itself easily to Easy Listening airplay during the 1970s, and she has had four #1 AC hits. // In 1999, a star with Flack’s name was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, she gave a concert tour in South Africa; the final performance was attended by President Nelson Mandela. In 2010, she appeared on the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, singing a duet of “Where Is The Love” with Maxwell. ” In February 2012, Flack released Let it Be Roberta, an album of Beatles covers including “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be”. It was her first recording in over eight years. Flack knew John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as both households moved in 1975 into The Dakota apartment building in New York City, and had apartments across the hall from each other. Flack has stated that she has already been asked to do a second album of Beatles covers. She is currently involved in an interpretative album of the Beatles’ classics. // At age 80, Flack made her most recent recording, Running, the closing credits song of the 2018 feature documentary 3100: Run and Become with music and lyrics by Michael A. Levine. // Flack’s minimalist, classically trained approach to her songs was seen by a number of critics as lacking in grit and uncharacteristic of soul music. According to music scholar Jason King, her work was regularly described with the adjectives “boring”, “depressing”, “lifeless”, “studied”, and “calculated”; AllMusic’s Steve Huey said it has been called “classy, urbane, reserved, smooth, and sophisticated”. In 1971, Village Voice critic Robert Christgau reported that “Flack is generally regarded as the most significant new black woman singer since Aretha Franklin, and at moments she sounds kind, intelligent, and very likable. But she often exhibits the gratuitous gentility you’d expect of someone who says ‘between you and I.'” // Reviewing her body of work from the 1970s, he later argued that the singer “has nothing whatsoever to do with rock and roll or rhythm and blues and almost nothing to do with soul”, comparing her middle-of-the-road aesthetic to Barry Manilow but with better taste, which he believed does not necessarily guarantee more enduring music: “In the long run, pop lies are improved by vulgarity.” // Flack is a member of the Artist Empowerment Coalition, which advocates the right of artists to control their creative properties. She is also a spokeswoman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; her appearance in commercials for the ASPCA featured “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. In the Bronx section of New York City, the Hyde Leadership Charter School’s after-school music program is called “The Roberta Flack School of Music” and is in partnership with Flack, who founded the school, which provides free music education to underprivileged students. // Between 1966 and 1972, she was married to Steve Novosel. Together, they had a son, Bernard Wright, who became a successful funk and jazz keyboardist and producer. Flack is the aunt of professional ice skater Rory Flack. // According to DNA analysis, she is of Cameroonian descent. // On April 20, 2018, Flack was appearing onstage at the Apollo Theater at a benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America. She became ill, left the stage, and was rushed to the Harlem Hospital Center. In a statement, her manager announced that Flack had suffered a stroke a few years prior and still was not feeling well, but was “doing fine” and being kept overnight for medical observation. More info at http://www.robertaflack.com]

11:29 – Underwriting

  1. T.P Orchestre Poly Rythmo De Cotonou – “Aiha Ni Kpe We”
    from: Benin Vol. 4 –Yehouessi Leopold Batteur / Acid Jazz / 2021 [Orig. release Jan. 1, 1978]
    [Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou is a band from Cotonou, Benin which plays afrobeat, funk, soukous and other styles, often based on Vodun rhythms. The group is sometimes referred to as “Tout Puissant” (French for “All Mighty”) Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou first formed by bandleader Clément Mélomé in 1968 under the name “Orchestre Poly-Disco” in the coastal town of Cotonou, Benin. Their debut album was originally released in 1973. From the late 1960s through the early 1980s, the group recorded around 500 songs in a variety of musical styles for various Beninese record labels. A compilation of their back catalogue released on the Popular African Music label in 2003, followed by The Kings of Benin Urban Groove on Soundway Records the following year. A series of compilations released by Analog Africa beginning in 2008 brought the band to greater global attention. This interest led the band to reform and tour internationally in 2009, and release two new studio albums: Cotonou Club, in 2011 and Madjafalao in 2016. In its heyday the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo released several dozen LPs and singles. The following discography refers only to the publications of recent years.]
  1. Femi Kuti and Made Kuti – “Stop the Hate”
    om: Legacy + / Partisan Records / February 5, 2021
    [Son and Grandson on Afrobeat pioneer and prolific Nigerian artist Fela Kuti. // Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti (born 16 June 1962), popularly known as Femi Kuti, is a Nigerian musician born in London and raised in Lagos. He is the eldest son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and a grandchild of political campaigner, women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.// Femi Kuti began his musical career playing in his father’s band, Egypt 80. In 1986, Femi started his own band, Positive Force, establishing himself as an artist independent of his father’s massive legacy. // Femi Anikulapo Kuti was born in London to Fela and Remilekun (Remi) Ransome-Kuti (née Taylor; 1961–1985), and grew up in the former Nigerian capital, Lagos. His mother soon left his father, taking Femi to live with her. In 1977, however, Femi chose to move in with his father. Femi started playing the saxophone at the age of 15 and eventually became a member of his father’s band. He studied at Baptist Academy and Igbobi College. // Like his father, Femi has made commitments to social and political causes throughout his career. Femi’s grandmother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, was a political campaigner and women’s rights activist. Though Femi is the son of an international icon, he considers his mother, Remilekun Taylor, to be his greatest influence. // He created his own band, Positive Force, in the late 1980s with Dele Sosimi (Gbedu Resurrection), former keyboard player of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. His international career began in 1988 when he was invited by the French Cultural Centre in Lagos and Christian Mousset to perform at the Festival d’Angoulême (France), the New Morning Club in Paris and the Moers Festival in Germany. // In 2001, Femi collaborated on his album Fight to Win with a number of US musicians, including Common, Mos Def, and Jaguar Wright. // Also in 2002, Femi contributed a remake of his father’s classic song “Water No Get Enemy” to Red Hot & Riot, a compilation CD in tribute to Fela Kuti that was released by the Red Hot Organization and MCA. Femi’s track was created in collaboration with hip-hop and R&B artists D’Angelo, Macy Gray, The Soultronics, Nile Rodgers and Roy Hargrove, and all proceeds from the CD were donated to charities dedicated to raising AIDS awareness or fighting the disease. // Femi Kuti’s voice is featured in the videogame Grand Theft Auto IV, where he is the host of radio station IF 99 (International Funk 99, described as “playing a great selection of classics from West Africa, the US and elsewhere”). // In similar fashion as his father, there have been complaints of Kuti’s criticism of his homeland Nigeria, specifically in the song “Sorry Sorry” along with “What Will Tomorrow Bring” and “97”. // Femi has been nominated for a Grammy award four times in the world music category in 2003, 2010, 2012 and 2013 but has never won. // On December 19, 2014 a management deal between Chocolate City Music Group and Femi Kuti was reached. The news was announced via the Chocolate City Music official Instagram account, as well as Audu Maikori social media accounts. // On February 5, 2021, Femi Kuti and his son, Made Kuti, released their two-album project, Legacy+ under Partisan Records. The project includes Femi’s eleventh album Stop the Hate and Made’s debut album For(e)ward. // Femi, the son of Afrobeat singer and political activist Fela Kuti, inherited his father’s zeal for both music and activism. He started playing the saxophone and keyboard with his father’s band when he was 16 and stepped into the spotlight, writing and singing after his father’s demise. Femi remains politically inclined grooving to high energy funk, jazz and traditional African-fueled songs about political corruption, poverty and primitive living conditions suffered by most inhabitants in Nigeria’s oil-rich nation. // Femi Kuti’s album Africa for Africa emphasized “Bad Government” as a problem in Africa. Before the 2011 elections in Nigeria, he reached out to the people that there was “no difference between the three candidates contesting for the presidential seat in Nigeria”. He added, “we could say we’re moving in the democratic process. And it’s probably better than going to war, but corruption is still very rampant. The people are hungry and sick. And the government controls the media, so it can’t be critical”. // Kuti also said: “It’s a very hypocritical situation. People settle for putting a meal on the table, but they don’t know that the rest of the world doesn’t suffer every day from power outages and water shortage. Nigerians don’t even know about the history of African slavery, because it’s not included in the text books.” He echoed the same sentiments in the 2015 elections by releasing a remix to the song “Politics Na Big Business” featuring Tuface Idiibia and Sound Sultan through his management company, Chocolate City. // Kuti’s song “Make We Remember” calls on people to remember the words of his father and “great black people”, who fought for the emancipation of Africa. For a very long time, Femi has been using music to inspire, change and motivate African people. More info at: http://www.femikuti.com]
  1. Ghost Funk Orchestra – “Fuzzy Logic”
    from: An Ode To Escapism / Karma Chief – Colemine Records / November 13, 2020
    [Where will you hide when the world around you is closing in? On their latest LP, GFO invites you to close your eyes and take a dive into your subconscious. Strings and horns float around from ear to ear while their three sirens explore themes of isolation, fear of the unknown, and the fabrication of self-image. It’s a soulful psychedelic journey that picks up sonically where “A Song For Paul” left off. The drums are heavier, the arrangements are more intricate, and the vocal harmonies soar over a bed of odd time signature grooves. This is an album that’s meant to be listened to in the dark. So won’t you join them? You’re not scared…..are you? // Composed, arranged, and produced by Seth Applebaum; vocals by: Lo Gwynn, Romi Hanoch, and Megan Mancini; horns by: Brian Plautz on flute), Billy Aukstik on muted trumpet), Rich Seibert on trumpet & baritone), James Kelly on trombone), Stephen Chen on baritone sax & b-flat clarinet), and David Valbuena on bass clarinet; strings by Ally Jenkins on violin 1), Gokce Rem on violin 2), Tia Allen on viola, Andrew Borkowski on cello 1), and Sam Qqiggins on cello 2; voiceover: Alba Ponce De Leon; guests: Julian Applebaum on guitar on track 9, bass on track 17, Kam Franklin on vocals on track 16, Sean Pastorok on additional cello on track 5. ‘little bird’ voices: Matt Gibbs, Jennifer Kennedy, Chris & Gina Marksbury and Pet Mazza. Recorded at GHOSTLOAD SOUND & STUDIO G. Vocals recorded at SEIGEL. More info at: http://www.ghostfunkorchestra.com]
  1. BeBe & CeCe Winans – “You’ve Got a Friend (feat. Aretha Franklin)”
    from: Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King / Atlantic / 1995
    [“You’ve Got a Friend” is a 1971 song written by Carole King. It was first recorded by King and included in her album Tapestry. Another well-known version is by James Taylor from his album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. His was released as a single in 1971 reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The two versions were recorded simultaneously in 1971 with shared musicians. // “You’ve Got a Friend” won Grammy Awards both for Taylor (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and King (Song of the Year). Dozens of other artists have recorded the song over the years, including Dusty Springfield, Michael Jackson, Anne Murray and Donny Hathaway. // James Taylor and Carole King at the 2010 Troubadour Reunion Tour. “You’ve Got a Friend” was written by Carole King during the January 1971 recording sessions for her own album Tapestry and James Taylor’s album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. King has stated that “the song was as close to pure inspiration as I’ve ever experienced. The song wrote itself. It was written by something outside myself, through me.” According to Taylor, King told him that the song was a response to a line in Taylor’s earlier song “Fire and Rain” that “I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend.” King’s album was recorded in an overlap with Taylor’s, and King, Danny Kortchmar, and Joni Mitchell perform on both. The song is included on both albums; King said in a 1972 interview that she “didn’t write it with James or anybody really specifically in mind. But when James heard it he really liked it and wanted to record it”. // Taylor’s version was released as a single, and reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The James Taylor version also spent one week at the top of the Easy Listening charts. Billboard ranked it as the No. 17 song for 1971. // During the recording process, Taylor also offered to his Apple Records labelmate Mary Hopkin a chance to record the song, which she turned down, a decision she later said she strongly regretted. // James Taylor and Carole King performed “You’ve Got a Friend” together in 2010 during their Troubadour Reunion Tour. In 2015, Taylor performed an acoustic rendition of the song at Hôtel de Ville, Paris at the invitation of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo in tribute to the victims of the January 2015 Île-de-France attacks // This song was also recorded by Aretha Franklin for her 1972 live gospel performance Amazing Grace, although it was released on that album as part of a medley with “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”. This version of the song became known to a wider audience with the 2018 release of the documentary featuring film of those concerts, also titled Amazing Grace. Rhino Records released Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings on 4 LPs and 2 CDs in March 2019. // BeBe & CeCe Winans are an American gospel music brother and sister duo. BeBe and CeCe Winans are the seventh and eighth of the Winans family’s ten children, most of whom have had gospel music careers. Together, they have received several awards, including three Grammys. // While BeBe and CeCe were in high school, four of their elder brothers formed the successful gospel group The Winans. Initially known as The Winans Part II, BeBe and CeCe first appeared in the public eye when they debuted in 1982 as part of the singing group The PTL Singers on the Christian television show The PTL Club. They were introduced by Jim Bakker, and recorded their first album Lord Lift Us Up as a duo for PTL Records. // BeBe and CeCe left the PTL Singers in 1987 to pursue a musical career and that same year, Sparrow Records offered the two siblings a Gospel recording contract. Their mainstream debut release was the self-titled album BeBe & CeCe Winans. It was produced by Keith Thomas, who would go on to produce Amy Grant and Vanessa L. Williams. The debut record gave them their first R&B hit, “I.O.U. Me”, which topped R&B and inspirational charts and generated Grammy nominations, and Dove and Stellar Awards. CeCe also earned a Grammy for “Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female” for the song “For Always.” // They were one of the first African American artists to receive significant airplay on contemporary Christian music radio stations and the second African American artists to receive the Dove Award in the Group of the Year category. // With the release of their second LP Heaven, they remained steadily popular with R&B audiences, spawning 3 R&B hit singles including two No. 1 singles. The pair became the first Gospel artists to see their album reach No. 1 on the Billboard sales charts in 1988. The title track also reached No. 12 on the Billboard R&B singles chart. // Other hits from the album included “Lost Without You” and “Celebrate New Life,” one of two album tracks featuring superstar and family friend Whitney Houston.The album reached the R&B Top Ten, went to No. 95 on the Pop Charts and was certified Gold. // The release of their 1991 album Different Lifestyles brought their biggest success to date. It featured the singles “Addictive Love” and a cover of The Staple Singers’ “I’ll Take You There” featuring Mavis Staples. Both singles topped the R&B chart. Rapper MC Hammer was featured on the single “The Blood” at the height of his career. In 1992, the song peaked at No. 8 on Billboard’s Christian Adult Contemporary chart. // A holiday release titled First Christmas followed in 1993. This album showcased BeBe’s production skills and led to him doing production work with Whitney Houston on the soundtrack for the movie The Bodyguard as well as production and writing music for artists such as Gladys Knight, Bobby Brown, The Clark Sisters and his younger sisters Angie and Debbie Winans. // 1994 saw the release of their studio album Relationships, featuring the notable singles “If Anything Ever Happened To You,” “Love of My Life,” and “Stay With Me.” This album conveyed a more personal approach, in CeCe’s words: “A lot of people think we’re supposed to be perfect, but we’re people too, we go through hurt [and] pain. We get songs through experiences and as we reveal these things, people are touched.” // In 2009, Still was BeBe & CeCe’s first album in more than 15 years. Premiering 12 new songs, the album’s lead single was “Close to You”. The album won two Grammy Awards: Best Gospel Performance (the song “Grace”) and Best Gospel R&B Album. // As a duo, BeBe and CeCe Winans’ accolades include three Grammy Awards, nine Dove Awards, two NAACP Image awards, two Soul Train Music Awards, numerous Stellar Awards, three Gold albums, and one Platinum album.]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
    from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Next week on Wednesday, March 3, we welcome guests: singer songwriter David Luther, Hip Hop MC and producer Cuee, and host of Sonic Spectrum now on 90.9 The Bridge, Robert Moore.

Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:
http://www.kkfi.org,
http://www.WednesdayMidDayMedley.org,
http://www.facebook.com/WednesdayMidDayMedleyon90.1

Show #878

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