stageright…stageleft


mark ronson / johnette napolitano – music i fuckin’ dig.
May 24, 2007, 10:12 pm
Filed under: music

this.is.the.shit.

seriously, i’m so f’ing in love with this re-working of the smith’s classic (by way of some killer horns and a bit of the supreme’s thrown in for good measure)…

if your not familer with mark – this bio from his website sum’s him up/funny as shit:

I’m a bit sick of looking at that stock-form bio (no offense, gabe), so i thought i’d just write something else….. I was born in london, and then my mum (she’s great, you would love her) moved us to new york when i was eight. before she moved though, her and my dad would throw tea-parties at their house in st. john’s wood and i (3 or 4 yrs old at the time) would sit, eating crumpets & playing air-drums next to the stereo speakers. drums was my first instrument, i have since laid them to rest…… skip to nyc, I started a band in high-school (playing guitar) and i listened to alot of good music (not to be confused with g.o.o.d music–g’day ‘Ye). then the brand new heavies came along and i found the funk aswell….. i started dj’ing in ’93 in downtown NY clubs, for whomever had five dollars. at some point, i got good and started to build a nice rep. around the same time, “urban music” (i borrowed that term from one of my college textbooks) got very fabulous, so alluvasuddden, it’s like well-blinging. then, the fashion world decided hip-hop was zuper-cooo-el, so i milked that for a bit, dj’ing gucci parties in milan (where i got in a shouting match with charlize theron–i’m usually a very peaceful person, like jehovah’s witness-peaceful) and a pair of puffy parties in paris (try and say those last seven words 10 times fast)….. then i hooked up with nikka costa (thanks dom), and me and her husband justin produced her criminally slept on debut album (“like a feather”, respect game). that led to my debut album on elektra (rip), “here comes the fuzz”–which kind of bombed in the US, but gave me a nice top 10 around the world with “ooh wee” (top of the pops, thanks for the memories)……. hooked up with rich kleiman and started Allido Records, which will release chicago superstar Rhymefest’s record this summer and australian wunderkind Daniel Merriweather next year. we’re also putting out the soundtrack to “Half Nelson” (a really good movie with Ryan Gosling) and a series of rocking compilations for the Hard Rock….. i still love dj’ing (and you can hear me most fridays on my east village radio show (hello Echo) but i’m mostly producing records right now. i have some of my best stuff yet coming later this year–robbie williams, lily allen, amy winehouse, christina aguilera, rhymefest, domino etc…. and, of course, my upcoming album “VERSION” featuring the radiohead cover (hello, alex greenwald–may i have a call back, please?) and many many more joints……Stay Tuned

so there you go; mark’s a musician-producer-dj; triple threat…. what i love about the above (and the other two songs thus far released in the u.s.; “no one knows” featuring domino & “god put a smile upon your face” featuring the daptone horns is that, while being terribly respectful to the original’s, he funks up the joint with old school r&b – the kind of r&b that kicks ass every which way from sunday (not the modern r&b…. the stuff the kids are listening to – that’s rubbish). 

i’m so psyched for the full record (out in the u.s. on 7.10)…. this is what music should be – full of power and joy and beat’s that kick your ass.

in other musical news; johnette napolitano, she of concrete blonde, pretty & twisted & vowel movement, is about to release her first proper solo album (‘scarred’) next tuesday.  word’s can’t sum up how jazzed i am.  she’s also playing minneapolis on june 4 – james & i are going…. i’ve seen her everytime she’s played my fair town for the past 15 years – i’m so gonna get my geek on that night.

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to hear the first song (as well as the rest of the album) ‘amazing’ go to: johnette napolitano.  no need to do anything, the song starts automatically.  it send’s chills down my spine (honest). 

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miss grace jones
May 19, 2007, 10:47 am
Filed under: blogging, dating, hair show, music

hi all – so much to say, but nothing really to say you know?  i’m off to phoenix in a few hours and already miss james – more work yesterday on my arm sleeve…. pics soon.

in the meantime until i have a real post to post, gotta send a out a bit of love… today is grace jones’ 55th birthday.  she is the shit.  in everyway.

enjoy a bit of grace:



great news saturday
May 12, 2007, 6:55 pm
Filed under: music, tattoo

it was reported that siouxsie, whom i have a huge, long-standing relationship with has a new album coming out this fall (the first branded solely under her name and not as either the banshees or the creatures):

11.05.07

Siouxsie’s new album is due to be released September 2007, and a single called ‘Into a Swan’ is set for release in July/August time. A new dedicated microsite will be launched over the coming month will the full story, and release dates when confirmed.

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(it should be noted, the above vision of loveliness, will most likely be my next tattoo – when my arm is finally done, oh yea, i had more work done on my arm today…. this sleeve is gonna be fuckin’ killer when it’s done)



superfluous prince; the naacp version
March 8, 2007, 9:27 pm
Filed under: art, awards, minneapolis, music, superfluous prince

local homeboy makes good – prince won outstanding male performer at the 36th annual naacp awards (of course, they also gave isiah washington best male actor – not sure how they can support such a homophobic pig, but at least they got prince right) last weekend.

here’s a killer clip (part 2 of a longer jam session) of him, sheila e, morris day and jerome benton performing a medley – the highpoint would be shelia’s bit in the middle.  ray, this one’s for you:



here we go; snow, holly cole, the prestiqe and mustard plug
March 4, 2007, 11:32 am
Filed under: hermit, movies, music, random bits

very random saturday.

yesterday was spent digging out from the storm (removing a foot of snow from the top/sides/under [how the fuck did it get under??] side of your car sucks.  really, really sucks.).  once i got out of the parking lot and alley i ran a ton of errands that i had avoided for the last few days; bank run, barnes & nobel (italian phrase book for my trip to milan at the end of the month) and a couple of record stores (3 of ’em) and to best buy. 

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i had lost of of my favorite albums of all time: holly cole’s temptation and had to go on the whirlwind tour of minneapolis record stores before i found a copy.  sure i could have just downloaded it on itunes, but there is something special about having your favorite music in a real, physical, tangible way.  from removing the celophane from the case, to sliding the shiny silver disk smoothly into the slot.  it’s just something a mp3 can never be (don’t even get me started on how much i love vinyl).

temptation is an entire album of tom waits tunes, reconstructed for piano, bass and voice (with the odd horn section and snare drum thrown it for good measure).   this is the album that started my love affair with holly cole – her smokey voice wrapped sinuouslyaround the beat and punctuating tom’s lyrics in a world-wary way.  from the very first moment on the album where holly wispere’s “here we go…” – you know your off for a visit to the dark world on the other side of the tracks.   so happy to have this record again.

from there, i was off to best buy to pick up a copy of the prestige on dvd.

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words really can’t come close to describing how much i loved this film last year – it was most certainly in my top 5 and i was all excited to curl up with a beer on the couch and melt into the world this movie created – but…. alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

around 7 my friend vicky phoned me up to see if i wanted to join her and some friends down at the triple rock social club (a dive bar if ever there was one) for a drink or two and to see a band.  now, i have a tendency to be a bit of a home-body, but as cb had indicated earlier in the day, i was going a lil’ stir-crazy from being in the house for the past few days, so i said what the fuck and went down.

the triple rock is divided into two sides, the bar side and the club side – over on the club side was an all-age night of ska bands (non of which i had ever heard of).  so we made our way over to the bar side for a few drinks, then back over to the club side to catch the headliner: mustard plug.  i gotta say, they were pretty fuckin’ cool.  great ska is something that doesn’t happen too often (too frequently, it’s just messy) – but the boys in mustard plug did a pretty damn good job.   after the show, we made our way back to the bar side, where we hung out for about an hour with colin, the guitar player – a very cool guy (not however, as cute as the lead singer; who, alas, we all decided was straight and married).

as referenced in the “it is done” post – i do love the random cell phone pic at a concert (especially the blurry ones)- it’s been a long time since i’ve posted a pic or two (it’s pathetic how few live music events i’ve been too as of late).  so here you go – i wasn’t too close to the stage (hello, mosh pit), but you get a sense of it all:

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help
February 19, 2007, 11:44 am
Filed under: music

“when i was younger, so much younger than today, / i never needed anybody’s help in any way. / but now these days are gone, i’m not so self assured, / now i find i’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.”

-the beatles, help

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(no, this isn’t some veiled call for help – just been humming this lyric all day and was struck by it’s brilliance and had to share.  the beatles were the fucking shit, that’s for sure.)

 



god bless imports
February 14, 2007, 6:14 pm
Filed under: music

i’ve been in a terrible funk music-wise as of late.  there’s just not much that’s out right now that i find interesting, or challenging, or hell, even fun.  even diversions such as jt’s sexyback are boring after more than 2 listens.

as my friend ian was coming to the states from london for the show (he was a guest artist at this past weekend’s show in des monet), i sent him a pleading email a couple of weeks ago asking him to bring me new music from london & europe.

i would have been more than happy with one or two cd’s (or even a mix-disk), but ian out did himself – he brought me ten (count ’em 10) cds of new (at least to me) music.  some of it quite trendy (in that u.k. flavor of the month sort of way) and some of it looks to be quite cool and unique and different and fun.  i’m like a schoolboy on christmas morning.

it’s going to take me a while to get through all of this, but i’m more than up for the challenge.  i’m giving myself one proper listen (not in the car, not at work) with each disc before i start repeating.

first up; the divine punk-rock jazz singer amy winehouse(http://www.amywinehouse.co.uk/).  i was super giddy about this one when i opened up the pack from ian.  i’ve been reading a lot about amy and can’t wait to give this a proper listen.  the punk-rock tag was given by the u.k. rock press – i’m not sure it fits.  sure she has wild hair, old skool tattoos & is a lil’ drunk and trampy (according to the tabloids), but this girl can sing.  dark, smoking voice wrapped around cool as shit old skool 70′ rhythms that will become modern classics.

next up we have cicada (http://www.myspace.com/cicada1).  i know nothing about this other than they are former re-mixers, doing their own thing now.  a quick look at the uk websites says they are doing something interesting.  anxious to hear this.

the klaxons with myth’s of the near future (http://www.klaxons.net/) are the latest and greatest thing to make the uk press fall over themselves with adjective upon adjective.  i’m only 3 tracks in, but i’m diggin this – musically it’s all over the place.   this’ll be a headphone album i think (or something that begs to be played loud in a theatre during a hairshow).

anthony and the johnsons’ i am a bird now (http://www.antonyandthejohnsons.com/) is a few years old now (2005) and something my friend vicky has been trying to get me to listen to for a while now – ok, ok, i give – if both ian and vicky are digging it, i should be too.

pet shop boys fundamental (http://www.petshopboys.co.uk/).  i’m the worst when it comes to psb.  i’m  a casual fan.  i always like what i hear, but never really follow the boys (unless of course, they’re working with robbie williams, ha!).  i read good things about fundamental tho’ so i’ll give this a good once-over.

mylo destroy rock & roll.  (http://www.mylo.tv/).  i know nothing about this other than it’s a few years old and the album cover is fucking brilliant (yea, i judge books by their covers too). 

alright, still by lily allen (http://www.lilyallenmusic.com/).  this is the one i’m most resistant to and i have no idea why – no real valid reason other than sometimes the hype tends to push me in the other direction (which is odd, ’cause traditionally i’m a huge hype whore).  i’ve got the single ‘smile’ and i like it fine.  must clear mind before i give this a spin.

mika’s life in cartoon motion (http://www.mikasounds.com/uk.php) is another that i know nothing about – but again, great fuckin’ cover, don’t you think?

and finally, 2 disks from nouvelle vauge: bande a part & self titled.  (http://www.nouvellesvagues.com/)  i was vaugely (🙂) aware of this band and am excited to give these a spin.  nouvelle vauge takes songs you know and turn’s ’em on their ear – bossa nova style.  always fun for a laugh – ya gotta love the french.

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update; i’m about 8 tracks into the klaxons and fucking loving it. i’m two for two (amy winehouse kicked my ass too).