Showing posts from April, 2007

Afro Beat Electro Groove

I wanted to let you know that one of the most amazing bands from the Congolese is coming to Portland. Konono No.1 has been mesmerizing crowds around the world with their unorthodox instrumentation and trance-inducing rhythms. Konono No.1 has often been compared to avant-punksters The Ex from the Netherlands who dedicated a song to Konono No.1 on it's latest album Turn. Beneath the power and distortion of the amplified likembes and distorted basslines lies beautiful African harmonizing that recalls Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be than at the Aladdin theater tonight. This show is going to be too good to miss. I have posted two songs from each record to give you an idea of what they sound like in both a live and studio environment.

Konono No.1-Lufuala NdongaandKule Kule Congotronics [Crammed Discs, 2005]
Buy It Here

Konono No.1-ZeyisalangayizamaandKu Hollande Lubuaka [Terp Records, 2004]

Variety is the Spice of Life

Johnny Jenkins- Ton Ton Macoute, 1970, Capricorn

Johnny Jenkins recorded this legendary funk-inflected swamp blues album in 1970 at the ripe age of 31. Jenkins was a huge influence on the playing of Jimi Hendrix and on Ton Ton Macoute, Jenkins concocts a heady brew of Hendrix-flavored psychedelia mixed with gospel, delta blues and swamp rock. Beck liked the sound of his rendition of the Dr. John classic "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" so much that he sampled the infectious drum beat for his hit song "Loser". On "Sick and Tired" Johnny really funks it up with an infectious mix of wah wah guitar, tight beats and gutsy vocals that really make you believe in the power of soul. Other standouts include the psychedelic gospel soul of "Voodoo and You" and the wonderful organ and slide guitar driven "Leaving Trunk". Check out this underappreciated classic in all it's glory while the getting's good.
Get it here

Apryl Fool- S/T, 1969, Label Un…

Myths of the Deconstruction of Rock

I have been so busy in the past couple months that I haven't had time to update. I have a billion thoughts rolling around in my head about what to post next, but I want to know what you guys want to see on this blog? Do you have any requests? Your comments are what keeps me going when traffic is slow, so give me a shout. I have some great stuff in store for this blog that will hopefully be just around the corner. To tide you over until the weekend, here is a great introduction to the Drag City band US Maple.

US Maple

US Maple are an enigmatic band that began it's aural assault on this unsuspecting world in 1995. They have only recorded five albums during the past decade, but each note on these records is well thought out and meticulously constructed. In fact, even though it seems like they are improvising during their live performances, it couldn't be further from the truth. They practice endlessly to create a live experience which emulates the sound and dynamics of their r…