Wu-Tang: "8 Diagrams" (webisode) Video
Today is the 19th anniversary of Enter the Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers), so today we're broadcasting as our Shaolin pseudonyms Inspectah Jeff, JYu-God, and Ol' Dirty Nunez.
So who is Gnarls Barkley? Diligent pen pal to Bangs, soul giant Isaac Hayes, and Violent Femmes ringleader Gordon Gano? Well-kept romantic consort to pop stars Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson English teacher to synth-rock legends Kraftwerk? Croupier at a mysterious annual gathering in the Bay Area that allegedly draws members of the Wu-Tang Clan and Britian's Stuckist art collective? It seems that, in the music world, Gnarls Barkley is always nearby yet impossible to find. The membership rolls of both the Atlanta hip hop collective Dungeon Family and Athens, Georgia's psychedelic enclave Elephant Six list Barkley as an affiliate, but mention him to either group and they'll shoot each other frightened looks and start talking basketball. The rumors fly hard in every direction and remain defiantly unverifiable.
Hip Hop and Weed go hand in hand. This DVD is a 60 minute documentary that explores weed through the world of hip-hip. It follows around some of the most respected names in hip-hop including Wu-Tang Clan, MF Doom, Black Moon, Smif-N-Wessun, Afu Ra, High & Mighty, Defari, on various weed related adventures. It includes interviews, live performances, videos and behind the scenes footage. This package also includes a bonus CD that contains various rare or unreleased tracks.
Music video with live footage of Chi-King and 12 O'Clock live in downtown Orlando. Snippet of a song called "Get It How You Live" on the upcoming album by Cra-Z 88z, the newest group from the Wu-Tang family tree, also featuring 12 O'Clock from Sunz of Man and Brooklyn Zu.
?You are the best. You are the worst. You are average. Your love is a part of you. You try to give it away because you cannot bear its radiance, but you cannot separate it from yourself. To understand your fellow humans, you must understand why you give them your love. You must realize that hate is but a crime-ridden subdivision of love. You must reclaim what you never lost. You must take leave of your sanity, and yet be fully responsible for your actions.? -Gnarls Barkley, in a letter to the legendary rock critic Lester Bangs
So who is Gnarls Barkley? Diligent pen pal to Bangs, soul giant Isaac Hayes, and Violent Femmes ringleader Gordon Gano? Well-kept romantic consort to pop stars Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson? English teacher to synth-rock legends Kraftwerk? Croupier at a mysterious annual gathering in the Bay Area that allegedly draws members of the Wu-Tang Clan and Britian's Stuckist art collective? It seems that, in the music world, Gnarls Barkley is always nearby yet impossible to find. The membership rolls of both the Atlanta hip hop collective Dungeon Family and Athens, Georgia?s psychedelic enclave Elephant Six list Barkley as an affiliate, but mention him to either group and they?ll shoot each other frightened looks and start talking basketball. The rumors fly hard in every direction and remain defiantly unverifiable.
Clinton Jacks works as a cook in a Waffle House restaurant near the South Carolina coast. ?One night back in the year 2000,? he recollects, ?I saw Danger Mouse come in here. Cee-Lo was with him. And they had this other dude with them, dressed up like H.R. Pufnstuf. Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo ate big meals, but H.R. Pufnstuf only wanted hash browns. Then they left, Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo, but H.R. Pufnstuf stayed around for hours. He must?ve had twenty cups of coffee. I went in the bathroom, and when I came out, he was gone. But he left a $500 tip on the table. And he left a little note that said, ?Compliments to the chef. Gnarls Barkley.??
Danger Mouse, a/k/a Brian Burton, produced the infamous Grey Album, a full-length blend of the Beatles? music and Jay-Z?s raps that became a cult classic after it was suppressed by EMI. He recently garnered a Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year for his work with the ?virtual band? Gorillaz. Having recorded with enigmatic rapper MF DOOM, not to mention a cast of voices from ?Adult Swim?, Danger Mouse is no stranger to outsized characters. He admits that he helped out with St. Elsewhere, the first album credited to Gnarls Barkley. ?A lot of people ask me about him,? says Danger Mouse when the topic arises. ?He found one of my Pelican City records, which was this downtempo experimental stuff I did in college, and I started getting letters from him. He?s not [Blur frontman and Gorillaz co-creator] Damon Albarn ? I can blow that myth out of the water for you. A lot of people think he lives in South Carolina. Personally, I think you?d be more likely to find him in Europe.?
From beneath his shroud, Burton's spiritual adviser, the usually silent ?Dr. President?, murmurs something unintelligible and then??Not that I know where he is.?
Cee-Lo Green, a/k/a Thomas Calloway, is a Dungeon Family alumnus, once-and-future member of Goodie Mob and a wildly eclectic solo artist. His music is steeped in the gospel and blues traditions of the Southeast, merging timeless soul with experimental funk and hip hop. He confirms reports that his dramatic voice and soul-rummaging lyrics appear on portions of St. Elsewhere. ?Yes, I believe that I sang on at least some of the Gnarls Barkley record,? he says. ?But we are not the same person. I am Cee-Lo. I am a humble trumpet, and the wind of God blows through me. You might consider Gnarls the spit valve on the trumpet, were you inclined to consider him at all.? As he walked away, Cee-Lo could be heard to mutter, ?You want to know who he is? He?s the dude who owes me thirty-five dollars, that?s who he is.?
Does St. Elsewhere shed light on this mysterious personage, or does it further obscure him? It?s a complex record, to be sure. It employs the full spectra of pop music and human emotion. The warm, breezy single ?Crazy? and the spry finger-snapper ?Smiley Faces? recall "Songs In The Key Of Life" and ?Good Vibrations? in equal measure. ?On Line,? a lament for the lonely and ambitious, could be a tricked-out G-funk holdover. Often dark and unpredictable, St. Elsewhere nevertheless retains its sense of joy throughout. Even Cee-Lo?s darker moments, his introspection on ?Necromancer?, and the chilling ?Just A Thought,? on which our hero fights off suicidal ideation, flourish in their lush, funky surroundings. It constantly shifts its shape and never sacrifices momentum. And it contains a mess of contradictory clues about just who Gnarls Barkley actually is.
?I?ve made him my life?s work,? says Milton Pawley, a Los Angeles music writer widely considered the world?s leading Barkley scholar. ?And even with all the evidence I?ve gathered, I?m still not sure he really exists. Maybe Gnarls Barkley isn?t a person. Maybe he?s out there in the wind. Maybe he?s inside of all of us. Like ?Bob? from Twin Peaks, only more funky and less evil.?
Perhaps Gnarls Barkley will never fully reveal himself. But if St. Elsewhere is any indication, his music bears Marvin Gaye?s depth of feeling, Jeff Buckley?s emotive theatrics, and wild courage not seen since Prince?s prime. Behold the most exciting debut of 2006. A psychedelic soul masterpiece. Gnarls Barkley may not be easily located, but he won?t be a stranger.
Last week, a video of an sign language interpreter working at a Wu-Tang show had plenty of music lovers wondering about the job. We'll investigate today on the woman behind the signs.
As Kelly Willis planned to go into the studio last fall, she really didn't know what to expect. She had spent the four years since co-producing her 2002 album, the lovely, laid-back Easy, on family matters: her oldest son Deral, born in 2001, got three siblings -- twins Abby and Ben born in 2004 and baby Joseph, whose birth followed in early 2006. "This time around, I had absolutely no time or energy to be involved in the producer role at all," Willis recalls. So she called a guy "who lives and breathes music," whose instincts she loved and who she felt "really comfortable around": Chuck Prophet, the edgy singer-songwriter who contributed guitar to both Easy and 1999's acclaimed What I Deserve. Together, they would create the most sonically adventurous album of Kelly Willis' seventeen-plus-year recording career, "Translated From Love."
Atlantic recording group Jet has revealed the first details of their eagerly awaited second album. Dubbed "SHINE ON," the Aussie rock sensations' follow-up to 2003's RIAA platinum-plus debut, "GET BORN," is set to land in stores on October 3rd. Produced by Dave Sardy - who helmed "GET BORN," as well as recent efforts by such bands as Oasis and Dirty Pretty Things - the album sees Jet again putting their own contemporary stamp on classic guitar-fuelled rock 'n' roll. The album's first single, "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is," will impact multiple radio formats on August 7th. The Melbourne-based band spent much of 2005 and 2006 writing and demoing "SHINE ON" at a variety of studios around the world, including Barbados, Massachusetts, and their home country of Australia. The sessions wound up this spring with a marathon burst of creativity at Sardy's Hillside Manor Studios in Los Angeles. Coinciding with the release of "SHINE ON," Jet will embark on a whirlwind tour of the U.S., slated to run from September 18th through October 6th. Dates will be announced shortly. The band will return to the States in late-November for a full-blown tour of North America. * * * * * Jet came together in 2001, united by a mutual passion for straight-up rock 'n' roll in all its many guises, from blues and garage to punk and psychedelia. Their goal from the outset was to give new life to their inspirations, invigorating classic sounds with fresh fervor and dollops of contemporary energy. Raw, direct, and instantly irresistible, Jet's vibrant sonic style and heartfelt devotion to exuberant songcraft caused a frenzy in their native Australia and soon caught fire around the world. Released in 2003, "GET BORN" proved an international blockbuster, with worldwide sales exceeding three and a half million units. Driven by a fistful of massively successful hit singles - including the #1 smashes "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" and "Cold Hard Bitch," as well as "Rollover DJ" and "Look What You've Done" - the album instantly established Jet as one of the most potent and popular rock outfits on the planet. In the U.S., both "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" and "Look What You've Done" earned RIAA platinum digital single certifications. The band also earned a rep as an electrifying live outfit, blowing up stages everywhere they played - as headliners, festival showstoppers, and special guests of such like-minded superstars as Oasis. Jet has received a long list of international awards, highlighted by an MTV Video Music Award for 2004's "Best Rock Video," for the "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" clip. Also included on the band's honor roll are an American Music Awards' nomination as "Favorite Artist - Alternative Music," and a triumphant six trophy sweep of 2004's ARIA Music Awards in their home country. Jet is: Nic Cester - guitar, vocals; Chris Cester - drums, vocals; Cam Muncey - guitar, vocals; Mark Wilson - bass.
"Real Gone" is the unpredictable follow-up to the atmospheric and conceptual "Alice "and "Blood Money," two albums that TOM WAITS released simultaneously in the spring of 2002.
In an exciting departure from the critically acclaimed Alice and Blood Money, Waits? fevered imagination has spawned a new musical hybrid, grafting together worlds both sonic and ethnic from musical traditions both old and new. The 15 track CD features: primal blues, Jamaican rock-steady grooves, rhythms and melodies both African and Latin, what Waits calls ?cubist funk.?
In that sonic cubism, Waits ingeniously finds common ground with hip hop?s cut and paste aesthetic and incorporates some of its elements into his approach. Many of the tracks on Real Gone were built on Waits? ?human beatboxing? on a cassette recorder in his bathroom and bringing those tapes into the studio to have the band play over them. As a result, there are no drums on many of the most driving tracks as his voice provides all of the necessary propulsions. And for the first time, there is no piano.
Pocket Symphony is their fourth studio album proper and the follow up to 2004?s Talkie Walkie (although if you include their Allessandro Baricco City Reading collaboration, the Virgin Suicides soundtrack and their recent Charlotte Gainsbourg production 5:55 they could claim seven). It?s also the fourth album they have done in conjunction with English producer Nigel Godrich (?he?s so cool, he could be French,? quips Air?s Nicolas).