Music lovers can now be immortalised when they die by having their ashes baked into vinyl records to leave behind for loved ones.
A UK company called And Vinyly is offering people the chance to press their ashes in a vinyl recording of their own voice, their favourite tunes or their last will and testament. Minimalist audiophiles might want to go for the simple option of having no tunes or voiceover, and simply pressing the ashes into the vinyl to result in pops and crackles.
Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe, Norman René, Peter Hujar, Ethyl Eichelberger, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Cookie Mueller, Klaus Nomi….the list of New York artists who died of AIDS over the last 30 years is countless, and the loss immeasurable.
A heartwrenching tribute to New York City painters, writers and performers who died of aids, Last Address is composed of images of the exteriors of the buildings where the artists last lived. The video was shot by Ira Sachs and if you visit the film’s websiteyou can read about the artists featured in this bittersweet poem of a film.
In the first half of this video mix, Elvis sings the sultry tune “Crawfish” (written by Ben Weisman and Fred Wise) from the movie King Creole. Part two is Johnny Thunders and Snatch’s Patti Palladin doing their take on the song. Both versions are ultra-groovy and share a similarly soulful vibe. Elvis got out of New Orleans alive, Johnny did not.
Abbey Lincoln died today at the age of 80. She mattered in the world because she was a female jazz singer who stood up and became active in the civil rights struggle in the ‘60s when she could have remained neutral and safe.
She made great art. Nat Chinen wrote an excellent obit for her in the New York Times.
The always-smiling rhythm guitarist started a band called the Pacemakers in 1968 and were soon scouted and picked up by James Brown to back him up. The brothers would record such classics as “Super Bad,” “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine,” “Soul Power,” and “Give It Up or Turnit a Loose” before it became too much to deal with the Godfather. Then it was on to a wonderful decade with Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy’s Rubber Band, lacing masterpieces like “Flashlight” with his brightly sparking chikka-chikka. Phelps spent most of the past 20 years away from music, surfacing occasionally to play with groups like Deeee-lite and on soundtracks like Superbad.
He got some here at the famous L’Olympia with the JB’s in 1971, just before he and Bootsy said bye-bye to the Hardest Working Man…
After the jump: the bad-ass sounds of Phelps and Bootsy in ‘71 in between their tenures with the JBs and Parliament-Funkadelic!!
Derf Scratch, a founding member of Los Angele’s punk pioneers Fear, died on July 28. Derf (Frederich Milner) formed Fear with lead singer and vocalist Lee Ving in 1977.
Fear was one of the best punk bands to come out of L.A. They were musically solid, intense and had an outrageous sense of humor. Their songs were confrontational, nihilistic, lewd : throwing satirical jabs at the punk scene, political correctness, feminism, gays, Christians, anything that moved.
Derf left the band in 1982 shortly after Fear released their debut album on Slash Records. It was not an amicable split. He and Ving had fallen out over work habits, drugs, ego. He sold his Fender bass to Mike Watt of The Minuteman and dropped out of the music scene.
Derf died of an undisclosed illness.
For a thoroughly entertaining interview with Derf check out citizen mag
Melvin Bliss, singer of one the most sampled songs of all time, 1973’s “Synthetic Substitution,” has died. The list of artists who’ve borrowed from the track is long and overwhelming: Ultramagnetic MC’s, Public Enemy, De La Soul, Naughty By Nature, Gang Starr, Wu-Tang Clan; it goes on, pretty much forever.
Zach Baron of the Village Voice has put together a sweet video tribute to Melvin. Check it out at Village Voice
Heartbreaking news has come out of the death at 54 yesterday of the well-loved reggae singer, songwriter, producer and promoter Lincoln Barrington “Sugar” Minott. Born and raised in the ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica, Minott spent his teen years in the city’s sound system scene and recording for Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s legendary Studio One label. The albums he released at this time, like Live Loving, Ghetto-ology and Roots Lovers—along with singles like “Herbman Hustling” and “Rub a Dub Sound Style”—laid the groundwork for the gritty, soulful dancehall sound that reggae would work into for the next 20 years.
Minott was best known for breaking with Jamaica’s soul-singer tradition, which saw many crooners brandishing a refined style that aped American artists. Sugar was sweet, but not slick. Minott would eventually leave Studio One to start his Black Roots label and Youthman Promotion sound system in order to help out young singers also coming out in Kingston’s ghettos. He’s responsible for early recording or performances of legends like Ranking Joe, Barry Brown, Tenor Saw, Little John, Tony Tuff, Barrington Levy, Horace Andy, Nitty Gritty, Junior Reid, Yami Bolo, Daddy Freddy and Garnett Silk.
You’ll see evidence of his popularity below, as Minott can’t get through his first tune at his first Reggae Sunsplash in 1983 without the crowd demanding he pull up and bring it again.
But you got the best of Sugar in his element, singing with the youths in the dancehall—or in this case, Maxfield Park in Kingston, where his Youthman Promotions sound regularly performed:
Detroit techno soldier Monty Luke hepped me to this rather remarkable clip from an unnamed American music show in 1969. It seems apropos since last week marked the 39th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, and his ghost still haunts what once was the Doors Workshop in Los Angeles. Below, the LizKing notes that music in the future “might rely heavily on electronics and tapes” and feature performers “using machines.”
You think he figured that electronic music geniuses like John Oswald a.k.a. Plunderphonics would have such a blast blowing out the Doors, as shown in the fan video after the jump?
The wonderful Tracii Macgregor at Gargamel Music hepped me to this latest project put together by New York hip-hop DJ/producer/scene-vet Rich Medina. Like any device, the mash-up/remix can yield a good amount of garbage (Gaga vs. Bieber, etc.), unless the sources are well-chosen and assembled.
It hardly gets better than pop king Michael vs. Nigeria’s Afrofunk prez Fela Kuti—much has been made of how Fela and James Brown mutually influenced each other, so the R&B/Afrofunk connection is hardly a surprise. Medina’s put together 10 rounds of it for The King Meets the President in Africa, which is downloadable for free. Unfortunately, the videos below are uncredited—if Rich did these as well, I’d consider him even more of a badman talent than I already do.