"Yacht Rock": Part 5 Video
With Steve Perry's encouragement, Kenny Loggins forsakes his smooth past for a rockin' future, while Michael McDonald mourns the loss of Koko.
Click here for more Yacht Rock.
In the fourth brilliant installment of our favorite series about smooth, rockin' tunes, a desperate Toto attempts to shanghai McDonald's career into a new age.
Click here for more Yacht Rock.
More of the stories behind those smooth-sailing hits of yesteryear.
Click here for more Yacht Rock.
Let Hollywood Steve Huey take you on a magical journey back to the period of yacht rock--the smoothest period of rock--so you can learn the story behind the Doobie Brothers' "What A Fool Believes".
Click here for more Yacht Rock.
In a very special, and very serious, episode of The 404, we sit down to reflect on the many ways Michael Jackson changed the world. From his music to his dance and music videos, MJ's ubiquity is undeniable. Heroes come and go, but legends never die! Rest in peace, Mike!
The 2007 America's Cup yacht race will draw entries from across the globe. One of these will be the BMW Oracle team, which is building a pair of boats using all the tech it can muster. Here's the publicity video the team produced disclosing the less secretive parts of its work.
?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.
A sampling of the past week's best videos, brought to you by the Download.com Video team. This week we have a a hip-hop beach party, light-rock karate, and the righteous hammer of God.
1.) "Good Night, and Good Luck" trailer
2.) The price is totally right
3.) "Matador" trailer
4.) Tom Slick
5.) Drug Abuse
6.) "Yacht Rock": Part 4
7.) Ying Yang Twins featuring Mike Jones & Mr. Collipark: "Badd"
8.) "Flying the Fish"
9.) Ying Yang Twins featuring Pitbull: "Shake"
10.) "Derailed" trailer
11.) "Jarhead" trailer
12.) "Yacht Rock": Part 4
Click here for the Week in a Minute archive.
Formed in their entirety in 2000 five piece Latino dance funk band KINKY have emerged from relative obscurity in the desert city of Monterrey, Mexico to a phenomenal worldwide success. With two triumphant albums under their belt and many more tours, soundtracks and award nominations (including not one, not two, but three Grammys) to date, the boys begin 2005 on a very high note indeed. The original KINKY line-up comprised of Gilberto Cerezo, Ulises Lozano and Carlos Chairez who experimented with alternative genres. Three became five when Omar Gongora and Cesar Pliego joined in early 2000 and everything clicked into place. With such diverse influences as traditional Samba beats to techno and rock 'n' roll, KINKY tapped their resources of rich talent and varied musical styles, to create their distinctive new sound. By mid 2000 they were gaining a reputation for their unique blend of Latin rock and when Chris Allison, British record producer of Coldplay and the Beta Band, heard them, he decided to sign them to the his Sonic360 group of labels. The deal lead to a licensing agreement for the U.S. and Canada through Nettwerk America and BMG Mexico for Latin America. The rest, as they say, is history. Aided by the production skills of Chris Allison, by 2002 KINKY had recorded and released a fine self-titled debut album, received by critical and public acclaim. Following the band?s effervescent SXSW appearance, critics from highly respected International press described KINKY?s music as ?feverishly danceable,? ?groovy electro-pop? and even going so far as to proclaim their unique blend as the ?future of music.? As an album, ?Kinky? combined the stylishness of discerning American and European dance grooves and straight-ahead rock ?n? roll, with traditional rhythms from throughout South America. Their fresh new sound and extensive touring attracted fans and supporters all over the U.S., Latin America and U.K. With live performances so well received, KINKY played over 180 shows in the year, travelling the world while working on their next album ?Atlas?. KINKY changed location for the recording of ?Atlas?, heading to a secluded ranch in Quintana Roo, Mexico. In the serenity of the isolated jungle, they found both creativity and productivity, composing seven of the album?s eleven songs. ?It was vacation and hard work at the same time,? remembers Gil, ?and when we were in the jungle we were surrounded everywhere by insects and animals. One time as I was recording vocals, a bug came directly in to my mouth .... It was fun to have that kind of interaction!? For the remainder of the album, KINKY travelled to Los Angeles to work with venerable engineer Thom Russo (System of a Down, Audioslave). Russo helped the band bring out a more raw and rock-driven sound in comparison with their electro-pop dominated debut; ?The approach for this album was different from the first in that on this one we wanted to focus on a live, organic band sound,? says Ulises. ?In the first album we recorded ourselves and made loops. On this record we didn?t use as many loops or samples. It was more like a live session where we?d record the whole track on tape [too], rather than just digital. You can hear all the organic sounds like guitar, drum, bass and vocals all sounding live.? ?Atlas? has enjoyed huge success and confirmed KINKY?s status as the Mexican demi-Gods of the music world. With singles ?Presidente? and ?Headphonist? A and B listed on radio playlists worldwide and many high profile performances, including the MTV Latin Music Awards, and supporting the almighty Vasco Rossi on his Italian arena tour, KINKY are in an amazingly good place right now. To keep up to date with all the exciting KINKY news as and when it happens, keep your eyes and ears open and alert on the Sonic360 web site.