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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good Times! (Something Else! on for 9/03/09)

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I just got back a few days ago from a great trip to London during the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival! It is a great way to celebrate the end of summer with all the great food, festivities and most of all... ...MUSIC!! I got a chance to hear the Good Times sound system featuring the
legendary Norman Jay MBE (inventor of term "rare groove," discoverer of Gilles Peterson and, along with his brother Joey, the FIRST sound system @ Notting Hill Carnival to play something OTHER than reggae!) He's so dope the QUEEN had to give it up (MBE = Member of the British Empire -- he's not a knight, but he's received official recognition for his contribution!)

The Something Else! Intro starts us off on our own "musical carnival" leading into "Change" by Daniel Merriweather featuring Wale. My first exposure to Daniel came with his guest vocals on the Mark Ronson cover of "Stop Me" (Morrissey, ex-Smiths vocalist/lyricist) so I thought maybe he was English--turns out he's an Ozzie! "The Jersey Devil"by Tony D references a (sub-urban?) legend about a creature who roams about New Jersey terrifying unsuspecting people. "Maracana Madness (Jon Carter's Brazilian Dollar Man Mix)" by E-Klectic is one of my favorite carnival-style remixes with great percussion and body-checking bass. "Space Lady" by Lonnie Liston Smith is another one of those atmospheric jazz-funk tunes from the 70s I tend to be a sucker for. "Jersey Devil," "Space Lady" & "Baseball Fury" by Rae & Christian are all from CDs I got while in London -- "Space Lady" is from Mellow Mellow 2: The Feeling Keeps On Coming and the other two are from Grand Central Recordings' Central Heating vols. 2 & 1 respectively. "You Can't Hide From Yourself" by Teddy Pendergrass is a dance classic and also leans toward the music I was playing at my Inspiral Lounge gig in Camden--what I like to call "disco breaks." Some of you might remember that I often refer to music that has been sampled as "breaks" (a hiphop term) and much of that music is drawn from jazz, funk and soul. There is also quite a bit of it that comes from disco! I got a really good response when I segued into this music from the jazz-funk I was booked to play (a lot of the disco I was playing was jazzy, so it wasn't that much of a stretch.) "Space Funk" by Manzel, "Life On Mars" by Dexter Wansel, "Groovin' You" by Harvey Mason and "All Night Thing" by Invisible Man Band are for the people who were at the gig and might be listening to this show. As you can hear, this disco isn't the gaudy-glasses, fake-afro-wig stuff -- it's good music aimed for the dancefloor. "Love Is the Message (Danny Krivit Re-Edit)" by MFSB/The Salsoul Orchestra is a great way to end a set like this -- musical continuity along with a great message that's not preachy.

I hope this set is as enjoyable for you as the music I heard in the UK. I am sure that the next few weeks will be influenced by my trip, so prepare for more good stuff. I think next week might have a bit more "bass" -- you have to see the speakers for the dj setups at Notting Hill, they are INSANE! I will post carnival photos for those of you not on Facebook ( -- watch this space.

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