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Friday, September 06, 2002

What's become of soul music? It didn't die with Otis Redding; it didn't stop when Al Green quit; it didn't fade with James Brown’s voice--it's been in Los Angeles the entire time, under the astute and faithful stewardship of Solomon Burke. Burke, the King of Rock & Soul, the Bishop, is a big man with an even bigger talent, a revered vocalist whose mastery is unmatched by any other proponent of the style he largely originated. Burke embodies deep soul, with a forty plus year career that's produced a series of records consistently profound in emotional, artistic and spiritual gravity.

Early hits like "Cry To Me" and "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" (both covered by the Rolling Stones) are blueprints, soul music essentials, and Otis Redding's choice to re-make Burke's "Down In The Valley" points to the man as a powerful influence. As Peter Guralnick noted, Burke has served far too long as "The King In Exile"; despite a towering reputation among peers and fans alike, and his 2001 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the singer remains somewhat of a mystifyingly under-appreciated figure. With the release of Don't Give Up On Me, his Fat Possum debut, the widely acknowledged King of Rock & Soul is liable to ascend to a height equal to his glorious 1960s reign at Atlantic Records.

He has sold over 17 million records, and has 21 children. Don't Give Up On Me was recorded live in the studio over a four day period. I've heard it and listening to Burke deliver a lyric is mesmerizing. Fav songs: None of us are free and Step Child (Hell all of em are great)

. @ 8:24:00 PM -

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Some things take longer than others to click. Take Noonday Underground's "Self Assembly" album for instance. It was originally released as an indie in March 2000. Two years later, it is just starting to get some commercial recognition.

Do how do I describe this sound? Imagine what Everything But The Girl would be if they were around in the 60's. Imagine if there was house music in the 60's blended with go-go. Imagine if the powerful hippy voice of Grace Slick was around today. Noonday Underground simply cross pollinate sounds and eras. No wonder it has taken people so long to click to them.

Noonday Underground is the classically trained Daisy Martey molded with the house meet pop influences of Simon Dine in equal proportions. You know, these guys would be perfect for an Austin Powers soundtrack. They are equal parts Bacharach with Massive Attack.

All this means you might have a few listens to get it but when you do, it is dynamic. Fav tracks: London & My Metallic Boy.

. @ 6:17:00 PM -

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Hell I have been really slack and haven't written in ages, I haven't even updated the Album of the Week on the Extreme RRR website. Music, music, music, heck there has been so much stuff I've been hearing, I just never seem to find the time to write it all down. I promise I'll keep it more up to date! Let's give it a go.

Lee Scratch Perry & The Mad Professor are currently on tour. The two are from different generations and continents, yet both Professor and Perry walk the same twisted line. Both are passionate for electronics (Professor built his own mixing board as a teenager while Perry pushed four track recorders beyond comprehension), both built their own record company from the ground up (Ariwa / Black Ark), and both have produced music for a surprising range of artists including Massive Attack, U-Roy and the Orb (Professor) to The Skatalites, The Clash and the Beastie Boys (Perry).

But personality and style distinguish their unique talent. Mad Professor, a.k.a. Neil Fraser, is modest and straightforward, while Perry is one of the most slippery, beguiling characters in modern music. His outlandish character and studio trickery has long been rife with myth and titillating humor, but Perry's contributions to reggae, hip-hop and popular music are without question.

Appearing in Melbourne, Australia Wednesday 16th September @ The Prince Of Wales Hotel. Special Guests International Observer (NZ), Chantdown Sound + DJ Uptight. Tickets on sale now from Gaslight / Polyester / Greville, Blue Moon / Raoul and P.O.W ~ Call: 9536 1168

. @ 7:28:00 PM -