Monday, 3 January 2011

...and it's goodbye from him!



Single wise 2010 highlights for me included...

Aloe Blacc- I Need A Dollar

Midnight Magic- Beam Me Up

Jay Electronica feat Jay Z, The Dream and Charlotte Gainsbourg- Shiny Suit

Visti and Meyland- Stars

DJ Nature- Everyone

Kaine featuring Kathy Diamond- Love Saves The Day

Alphabet City- Lowdown

Smith and Mudd- The Surveyor

LP of the year was without a doubt Jenny and Johnny “I’m Having Fun Now”.  Maxmilllion Dunbar’s  “Cool Water”, Erykah Badu’s “New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)”, Janelle Monae’s “The ArchAndroid” also got played a lot.
Mixes that got a lot of play included live mixes from the do-over, Madlib’s medicine show #10:Black Soul, and the amazing  a mix by Jaz.

Personal highlight of the year was a few days at the big chill, I hadn’t planned to go but a very kind offer of a guest pass from Mr Scruff was too good to pass up. I had been there about an hour when I ran into Alice Russell and crew...who took me under their wing and looked after me providing the most wonderful of refreshments. Mr Scruffs' tea tent had a lovely line up of DJs over the weekend but it was Kelvin Brown (Eyes Down/Electric Chair backroom resident) who made me dance till my feet bled.  Reggae, Dub Step, House, Jazz, Hip Hop, Disco and stuff I couldn’t describe then and still can’t now. A lovely soundsystem, a warm summers eve, a lovely location and dancing outside to “Over and Over” by Sylvester and a few classic Tribe Called Quest tracks. Here is a mix from Kelvin:

Sunday saw Terry Callier and Alice Russell play, both were fantastic and it was lovely to see an empty tent fill to capacity for Alice and co. It was a big band show with horns, backing singers, dance moves, the lot; and it was nice to see a band as happy as the crowd. Friday was a moan fest with Massive Attack and Thom Yorke playing, both great but maybe not ideal for the main stage on the first evening of a three festival with several thousand over refreshed punters wanting instant thrills. Here is a little Alice Russell, this acoustic version I find lovely:

Inversely to Alice Russell, Terry Callier and band played to a tiny crowd in a massive tent. Rather than this take away any atmosphere or sense of occasion I felt it made things better. After a few days of no sleep, mischief, and constant crowds, a little sit down in a big tent out of the sun was welcome. Terry played from the heart and sang beautifully. For the entire time he was performing I felt a warm glow and I feel lucky to have seen the great man again. Here is a little Terry Callier for you:

The very, very best bit and without the doubt the best thing to happen to me ever was getting to meet Kelis very briefly. I love Kelis, and her performance was ace - she came on stage to the Beatles “All You Need Is Love”, did a cover of Madonna’s “Holiday” that segued into “Milkshake”. She played “Trick Me” and I was a happy boy, as much as I’m keen on the direction she took with the last lp, even “Accapella” was ace. Being as I was, smitten and drunk AND having a guest pass with access all area privileges... As she came off stage I legged it to the back of the stage and gave her a bottle of champagne (chilled from a cool box with ice) and she gave me a kiss. That box was a bugger to carry but it was well worth the effort

Other highlights this year were Pavement, and Jenny and Johnny live in Williamsburg. It was lovely outside by the river with a view of Manhattan and Brooklyn Brewery Pennant Ale on tap. The following evening I visited Francois K’s Deep Space night. I had seen FK at various festivals over the years but with a big crowd to entertain and a two hour slot, it was a little too much “big room” house and techno for my liking. However at his own long running weekly night, playing to his regular crowd his selections were very varied.  I arrived an hour or so into proceedings and it took me a little while to find my groove, but once I had it was incredible. It was lovely to hear a GangStarr track dropped in the middle of a tribal house selection, and despite the obvious tempo drop the dancers stepped up. After the GangStarr was a Roy Ayres jazzfunk gem and this led into a little disco section of the evening that led back to house and dub step and reggae. FK blending, cutting, eqing, and showing how the space echo should be used, was joined by MC Infinity the dub poet.

The last half hour of the evening was the Blade Runner theme echoed to the max, and played for the benefit of the three of us left in the building. Myself, another tourist and a voguing transvestite. Now it’s said that New York is the city that never sleeps, however at 4.30 AM nowhere in the West Village was open. After wandering about for ages we were accosted by a helpful young man and his friends who said they knew where we could get a beer. So a cab ride later I find myself in a crackhouse with earlier tranny, arguing with armed crackheads because i don’t want crack, I want beer and I was promised beer. After an eternity I was escorted off the premises and walked towards a taxi, as the taxi drove over the Brooklyn Bridge and into the familiar territory of Bed-Stuy I felt like a king. I have an unshakable belief that nothing bad could happen to me in Brooklyn (my lucky cat/Brooklyn tattoo protects me), so I got dropped off at the far end of Nostrand Avenue and walked the last mile or so home watching the sunrise and drinking from a paper bag (I’m all class me).

I’m not a regular visitor to the cinema, but i love disco so went to see a screening of “Love Is The Message” the documentary about the Gallery Nicky Siano’s club. I just had a look a Nicky’s website and the film is available to stream from there, and if you like Disco you should enjoy it.

Hello 2011...

I am looking forward to more great things from Claremont 56 especially the Dog Eat Dog LP. I have heard some of the forthcoming Main Stem material and am looking to more from them. I shall be keeping my ears open and hopefully getting out a bit more. Most of all I am looking forward to finishing renovating my boat and spring arriving.
Cheers to you for reading and may you have a happy and healthy new year


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