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SnC 233 – Wed 18 August 2010

As quirky a selection of tracks as you could possibly want with music predominantly from artists in California and New York but a couple of interesting tunes slipped in from France and Spain.
Suffolk is getting damned noisy this week with harvest in full swing. 
It’s been a crazy fun week with friends visiting and frantic travel planning although I don’t think this duck is going anywhere fast.
Going down to Louisiana – Marshall Lawrence (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
Not many blues artists can call themselves “the Doctor of the Blues” without a whole stretcher-full of the idiom’s winking big talk. But Marshall Lawrence can, and with only the slightest bit of irony. The award-nominated Canadian bluesman actually holds a doctorate in psychology, and he knows how to use it—just as he knows how to use his slashing guitar, stinging, lightning-fast slide, and pleading, mournful moan: Marshall’s prescription for a maximum blues remedy.
War within – Kira Fontana (LA, CA, USA)
I played a track or two from The Inner Revolution, her stunning 2007 debut album mixed by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire). The new 3 song EP “Seek the Light” is recorded and mixed by Grammy-award winner Ryan Freeland (Aimee Mann, Ingrid Michaelson). 
Full credit for the production and amazing layered string playing. In fact this is one of those recordings where full credit is due to everyone and especially to Kira. That voice is getting more and more expressive. Love it.
Kira Fontana: voice, piano 
Cosima Luther: violin 
Eric Wuest: violin 
Jerome Gordon: viola 
Alisha Bauer: cello 
Sidney Hopson: vibes 
Kaveh Rastegar: bass guitar 
Scott Seiver: drums 
I’m Feelin’ Good – Janiva Magness (CA, USA)
From her CD, The Devil Is An Angel Too, (on Alligator Records) co-produced by Magness and Dave Darling (Brian Setzer, Meredith Brooks, Dan Hicks), is a hard-hitting collection of material that explores the depths of good and evil, with Magness’ glorious, soul-baring vocals burning their way through twelve powerful songs. I also played One Heartache Too Late a month or so ago on 228.
Adnams distillery taking shape
One of the side effects of the brewery being right in the centre of Southwold is that they have to be particularly creative (not to say cunning) with the use of space. There simply isn’t room to sprawl. Judging from Sean’s pictures, some serious engineering going on there. 
Put your hands up high – Gangstagrass (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
In the summer of 2007, Brooklyn based producer, singer, and songwriter Rench was at such a crossroad. He had been producing honky-tonk infused trip-hop albums of his own material for several years, and had also developed a stable of NYC emcees that were recording at his studio.
All along he had an idea in the back of his head that just wouldn’t go away – take rap vocals, add beats, along with classic bluegrass for all the instrumentation and call it Gangstagrass.
You see Rench had always had a love for both country music and hip-hop. As a kid growing up in Southern California, Rench spent recess breakdancing to Run-DMC on cardboard boxes and evenings hearing his father’s country and bluegrass records.
Although country music and hip-hop are perceived to be diametrically opposed music styles, the appeal of Gangstagrass is easy to understand. Gangstagrass was born out of a sincere love for good music and an “I just don’t give a fuck” attitude towards sonic boundaries.
You’re Great – The Roast Beef Curtains (Long Island, NY, USA)
Inspired by tight reggae rhythm sections & thrashing punk bands, Three Hofstra University graduates birthed The Roast Beef Curtains. Taking a DIY approach, Andrew, John, & Mike evolved The RBC into the best live reggae, dub, & punk experience on Long Island. Since 2005, the trio has played well over 200 shows, creating a buzz from Manhattan to Montauk.
On stage, each band member works double and sometimes triple duty playing their instruments while controlling live dub effects, transforming every concert into an eargasmic experience. Whether it’s reggae, dub or punk you’re after, The Roast Beef Curtains deliver it with pleasure! Pleasure EP is the long awaited debut release from The RBC. A Full Length Release is scheduled to drop in 2010. 
For a feel of how they produce the dub sound live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myvzN2Rf_PQ
If you enjoyed the Lee “Scratch” Perry track last week, you might enjoy Marisa Aveling’s review of his show at The Highline Ballroom in New York last night.
The 2010 CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival is happening in New York October 19-23.
I’ll be there for at least a couple of days of it. Meet up?
Down the Drain – Alexis Foxe (New York, NY,USA)
Alexis Foxe is a musical provocateur. Every song on “To Have and Want More” has a flavour all it’s own. From the 1940’s Big Band feel of the title track to the futurist pop synth style of “Revel Without a Cause,”
Alexis Fox was born to a Cuban mom and a Colombian dad. As a child, she lived in Buenos Aires and Madrid and Spanish was her first language. She started playing piano at an early age and says, “I grew up dancing ballet and flamenco, writing and making films. My parents really encouraged my individuality and creativity. But I didn’t sing a note until I was 20 years old. Can you imagine? Not a peep until I was 20.”
The family moved to New York when Alexis was 11. Her mother worked in the music industry, so she spent her adolescent years doing what a lot of teens would dream of; listening to music demos and going to concerts. Alexis soon fell in love with US Cinema. She says, “I learned to speak English by watching films. I became fascinated by how language was manipulated and began to notice how exquisitely music could be used to enhance the story. I started to think of music as the second language of the film. I knew from an early age that I wanted to do something with music and film.”
With the help of top notch musicians like the Pizzarelli Trio, the album, “To Have and Want More” was born. “To Have and Want More” is a collection of stories from an international girl trying to find her way in the world. “Down the Drain” will appeal to generation of people who are used to living on credit cards. This is a brassy, energetic tune that has the feel of a 1940’s big band. The lyrics are sassy and insightful, “My mother tells me that my spending habits, are as wild as copulating rabbits.”
August 31, 2010 – 11 pm – Pete’s Candy Store – Brooklyn, NY 11211 Info: (718) 302-3770
September 4 – Medalla Light – San Juan, PUERTO RICO
September 7, 2010 – 10 pm  Crash Mansion – NY, NY 10002 Info: (212) 982-7767
September 23, 2010 – Piano’s – New York, NY 10003 Info: (212) 505-3733
www.myspace.com/thealexisfox (yeah this one is without the e)
EMI (via Hypebot.com)
“In its report to investors this morning, EMI detailed a net loss of £512 or US $802 million. The company also wrote off another £602 million ($943M USD) in 2009-2010 and despite a recent round of refinancing still has £3 billion ($4.7B USD) in outstanding debt.
Just in case investors think that things can’t get much worse, EMI also forecast that it may need another cash infusion as early as next year and that it will fall short of its banking covenants (the financial requirement of its lenders) every year until at least 2015. “EMI Music continued to be challenged by the overall decline in physical sales, which has not yet been fully offset by growth in digital sales.”
There follows a very positive bit of spinning from EMI from which you’d think everything was hunky dory.
Read the full article on Hypebot at http://ht.ly/2rqTZ
Stereophonic Motor Club – Juanitos (Chambéry, France)
“No need to go underground to explore the African American ghettos to find the ultimate soul nugget. In Chambery, in Savoy, 60’s soul and garage have more exotic mystery to Juanitos. Based on fun, chili and mint jeep, the music is Juanitos spontaneous dancing, for a maximum of groove on the intersection of the easy-listening funk of James Taylor Quartet and the punky fury of Seeds.
The rhythm and blues, samba, rock’n’roll and reggae are the appointment in good spirits and was a nice mess, I must say!
These “soulmen” Spanish Savoyards, a bit dark in the soul, while returning to base clapping and singing Charleston depraved humor and energy … fast a volume 3!”
¡Cógelo! – Sundayers (Madrid, Spain)
At the end of 2009 they began the recording of their second album “Cógelo”. This time with Ferni Duhalde as sound engineer (El Tio Calambres, Eureka, Outro Jazz), and a very creative music production – with thirteen tracks full of energy and a crucial fusion of styles and the consistence and strength of the songs. In March 2010 they published the album for free download on Jamendo.
This Spanish collective plays an energetic music, a mix between reggae, ska, funk and all the styles each member will bring out. Always ready to party, you could see them everywhere in Spain and maybe in Europe in the next months.
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