Categories
Hip Hop Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (BLM): Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message

Day 11. Old School. Oldest School. Released in 1982, The Message was the first successful Hip-Hop tune to address social issues rather “self-congratulatory boasting or party chants of earlier hip hop” (The Message, Wikipedia). Lyrically, The Message addresses issues of inner city poverty, drug addiction & homelessness.

Lead rapper, Melle Mell told an NPR interviewer “we didn’t actually want to do ‘The Message’ because we was used to doing party raps and boasting how good we are and all that.” Thankfully, they did decide to make The Message & other rappers, taking notice, decided to write about their own lives, hardships & politics.

It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

Broken glass everywhere
People pissin’ on the stairs, you know they just don’t care
I can’t take the smell, can’t take the noise
Got no money to move out, I guess I got no choice
Rats in the front room, roaches in the back
Junkies in the alley with a baseball bat
I tried to get away but I couldn’t get far
Cause a man with a tow truck repossessed my car

Don’t push me cause I’m close to the edge
I’m trying not to lose my head
It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

Standin’ on the front stoop hangin’ out the window
Watchin’ all the cars go by, roarin’ as the breezes blow
Crazy lady, livin’ in a bag
Eatin’ outta garbage pails, used to be a fag hag
Said she’ll dance the tango, skip the light fandango
A Zircon princess seemed to lost her senses
Down at the peep show watchin’ all the creeps
So she can tell her stories to the girls back home
She went to the city and got so so seditty
She had to get a pimp, she couldn’t make it on her own

It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

My brother’s doin’ bad, stole my mother’s TV
Says she watches too much, it’s just not healthy
All My Children in the daytime, Dallas at night
Can’t even see the game or the Sugar Ray fight
The bill collectors, they ring my phone
And scare my wife when I’m not home
Got a bum education, double-digit inflation
Can’t take the train to the job, there’s a strike at the station
Neon King Kong standin’ on my back
Can’t stop to turn around, broke my sacroiliac
A mid-range migraine, cancered membrane
Sometimes I think I’m goin’ insane
I swear I might hijack a plane!

It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

My son said, Daddy, I don’t wanna go to school
Cause the teacher’s a jerk, he must think I’m a fool
And all the kids smoke reefer, I think it’d be cheaper
If I just got a job, learned to be a street sweeper
Or dance to the beat, shuffle my feet
Wear a shirt and tie and run with the creeps
Cause it’s all about money, ain’t a damn thing funny
You got to have a con in this land of milk and honey
They pushed that girl in front of the train
Took her to the doctor, sewed her arm on again
Stabbed that man right in his heart
Gave him a transplant for a brand new start
I can’t walk through the park cause it’s crazy after dark
Keep my hand on my gun cause they got me on the run
I feel like a outlaw, broke my last glass jaw
Hear them say “You want some more?”
Livin’ on a see-saw

It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

A child is born with no state of mind
Blind to the ways of mankind
God is smilin’ on you but he’s frownin’ too
Because only God knows what you’ll go through
You’ll grow in the ghetto livin’ second-rate
And your eyes will sing a song called deep hate
The places you play and where you stay
Looks like one great big alleyway
You’ll admire all the number-book takers
Thugs, pimps and pushers and the big money-makers
Drivin’ big cars, spendin’ twenties and tens
And you’ll wanna grow up to be just like them, huh
Smugglers, scramblers, burglars, gamblers
Pickpocket peddlers, even panhandlers
You say I’m cool, huh, I’m no fool
But then you wind up droppin’ outta high school
Now you’re unemployed, all non-void
Walkin’ round like you’re Pretty Boy Floyd
Turned stick-up kid, but look what you done did
Got sent up for a eight-year bid
Now your manhood is took and you’re a Maytag
Spend the next two years as a undercover fag
Bein’ used and abused to serve like hell
Til one day, you was found hung dead in the cell
It was plain to see that your life was lost
You was cold and your body swung back and forth
But now your eyes sing the sad, sad song
Of how you lived so fast and died so young so

It’s like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under

Looking for some great music? Why not check out the Song of the Day (BLM) Spotify playlist?

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Categories
Hip Hop Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (BLM): Blackstar – Definition (feat. Common)

Day 10. Blackstar is Mos Def & Talib Kweili. Respiration, with guest raper Common, Blackstar adress the issues of violence within the Hip Hop community.

Known for intelligent, thoughtful lyrics, Blackstar are often credited as one of the first handful of Alternative Hip Hop acts. They were initially active at the very end of the ’90’s, when Hip Hop production was gearing more & more towards slick, Pop radio friendly productions. Alternative Hip Hop gained popularity with the underground fans. It’s raw, old school inspired productions reached out to old Hip Hop fans who were disenfranchised by the glossy, corporate aesthetic of the mainstream.

“What’d you do last night?”
“We did umm, two whole cars
It was me, these, and Main Three right?
And on the first car in small letters it said
“All you see is” and then you know
Big, big, you know some block silver letters
That said “crime in the city’ right?”
“It just took up the whole car?”
“Yeah yeah, it was a whole car and shit…

“Escuchela, la ciudad respirando
[Listen to it, the city breathing]

Escuchela

The new moon rode high in the crown of the metropolis
Shining, like who on top of this?
People was hustling, arguing and bustling
Gangsters of Gotham hardcore hustling
I’m wrestling with words and ideas
My ears is picky, seeking what will transmit
The scribes can apply to transcript, yo
This ain’t no time where the usual is suitable
Tonight alive, let’s describe the inscrutable
The indisputable, we New York the narcotic
Strength in metal and fiber optics
Where mercenaries is paid to trade hot stock tips
For profits, thirsty criminals take pockets
Hard knuckles on the second hands of working class watches
Skyscrapers is colossus, the cost of living
Is preposterous, stay alive, you play or die, no options
No Batman and Robin, can’t tell between
The cops and the robbers, they both partners, they all heartless
With no conscience, back streets stay darkened
Where unbeliever hearts stay hardened
My eagle talons stay sharpened, like city lights stay throbbing
You either make a way or stay sobbing, the Shiny Apple
Is bruised but sweet and if you choose to eat
You could lose your teeth, many crews retreat
Nightly news repeat, who got shot down and locked down
Spotlight to savages, NASDAQ averages
My narrative, rose to explain this existence
Amidst the harbor lights which remain in the distance

So much on my mind that it can’t recline
Blasting holes in the night til she bled sunshine
Breathe in, inhale vapors from bright stars that shine
Breathe out, weed smoke retrace the skyline
Heard the bass ride out like an ancient mating call
I can’t take it y’all, I can feel the city breathing
Chest heaving, against the flesh of the evening
Sigh before we die like the last train leaving

Breathing in deep city breaths, sitting on shitty steps
We stoop to new lows, hell froze the night the city slept
The beast crept through concrete jungles
Communicating with one another
And ghetto birds where waters fall
From the hydrants to the gutters
The beast walk the beats, but the beats we be making
You on the wrong side of the track, looking visibly shaken
Taken them plungers, plunging to death that’s painted by the numbers
With crime unapplied pressure, cats is playing God
But having children by a lesser baby mother but fuck it
We played against each other like puppets, swearing you got pull
When the only pull you got is the wool over your eyes
Getting knowledge in jail like a blessing in disguise
Look in the skies for God, what you see besides the smog
Is broken dreams flying away on the wings of the obscene
Thoughts that people put in the air
Places where you could get murdered over a glare
But everything is fair
It’s a paradox we call reality
So keeping it real will make you casualty of abnormal normality
Killers Born Naturally like, Micky and Mallory
Not knowing the ways’ll get you capped like an NBA salary
Some cats be emceeing to illustrate what we be seeing
Hard to be a spiritual being when shit is shakin what you believe in
For trees to grow in Brooklyn, seeds need to be planted
I’m asking if y’all feel me AND THE CROWD LEFT ME STRANDED
My blood pressure boiled and rose, cause New York niggaz
Actin spoiled at shows, to the winners the spoils go
I take the L, transfer to the 2, head to the gates
New York life type trife the Roman Empire state

So much on my mind I just can’t recline
Blasting holes in the night til she bled sunshine
Breathe in, inhale vapors from bright stars that shine
Breathe out, weed smoke retrace the skyline
Yo don’t the bass ride out like an ancient mating call
I can’t take it y’all, I can feel the city breathin
Chest heaving, against the flesh of the evening
Sigh before we die like the last train leaving

Escuchela, respirando ?

Yo, on The Amen, Corner I stood looking at my former hood
Felt the spirit in the wind, knew my friend was gone for good
Threw dirt on the casket, the hurt, I couldn’t mask it
Mixing down emotions, struggle I hadn’t mastered
I choreograph seven steps to heaven
And hell, waiting to exhale and make the bread leavened
Veteran of a cold war It’s Chica-I-go for
What I know or, what’s known
So some days I take the bus home, just to touch home
From the crib I spend months gone
Sat by the window with a clutched dome listening to shorties cuss long
Young girls with weak minds, but they butt strong
Tried to call, or at least beep the Lord, but didn’t have a touch-tone
It’s a dog-eat-dog world, you gotta mush on
Some of this land I must own
Outta the city, they want us gone
Tearing down the ‘jects creating plush homes
My circumstance is between Cabrini and Love Jones
Surrounded by hate, yet I love home
Ask my God how he thought traveling the world sound
Found it hard to imagine he hadn’t been past downtown
It’s deep, I heard the city breathe in its sleep
Of reality I touch, but for me it’s hard to keep
Deep, I heard my man breathe in his sleep
Of reality I touch, but for me it’s hard to keep

So much on my mind I just can’t recline
Blasting holes in the night til she bled sunshine
Breathe in, inhale vapors from bright stars that shine
Breathe out, weed smoke retrace the skyline
Yo how the bass ride out like an ancient mating call
I can’t take it y’all, I can feel the city breathing
Chest heaving, against the flesh of the evening
Kiss the Ide’s goodbye, I’m on the last train leaving

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Categories
Indie Rock Shoegaze

Seventeen Years Old And Berlin Wall – No Paradise

Japanese Shoegazers, Seventeen Years Old And Berlin Wall, release new single No Paradise today.

It’s a marked departure from the huge wall of sound productions of their previous work. No Paradise sees a much cleaner, Dream Pop orientated sound. Ultra-melodic guitars pick out pretty melodies over understated synth pads. The drumming is downbeat & natural. Vocals still occupy the reverb-drenched midrange that you’d expect of a band with roots in Shoegaze, dreamy vocal melodies behaving as another layer of lush, comfort blanket-like instrumentation. There’s an almost twee feel to the melodic simplicity used here.

If you’re unfamiliar with Seventeen Years Old And Berlin Wall’s earlier work, check out the great video for their 2017 single Prism (at the bottom of this post). You’ll hear why No Paradise is such a departure, production wise, from their earlier work. I actually like the gentler sound palate used here. It still creates a huge, cavernous warmth which almost seems to envelop the listener.

There is a theory that Shoegaze & Dream Pop’s popularity lays in their warm, surrounding qualities. The emotions of comfort & safety which this gives the listener is thought to be womblike.

No Paradise is out today in all of the usual places.

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Categories
Journalism Politics

David Bowie grills interviewer on why MTV doesn’t play black artists (1983)

I apologise for publishing three posts in such a short space of time, but I absolutely had to share this wonderful video.

Watch as David Bowie turns the tables on MTV’s MArk Goodman in 1983. Bowie expertly questions him on why the music video network doesn’t play black artists. Watch as Goodman squirms his way through an explanation which sounds completely ridiculous (even, Im sure, to himself). Makes you realise that Bowie would have made an excellent journalist if he’d chosen to go that way.

Just another reminder that David Bowie was one of the good guys & he thought that Black Lives Matter.

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Categories
Indie Rock

Perspex – A Horse Named Useless

York Indie Rock oddballs Perspex pedal a unique style of Lo-Fi Indie Rock. They describe themselves, on their Facebook page, as “the plastic band for the decadent listener,” which seems to sum them up way better than it should. Their sound somewhere between Velvet Underground & The Fall. Unlike many bands, they revel in their York accents, which is refreshing.

A Horse Named Useless is a downtempo voyage through alt-country minimalism & abstract lyricism, which feels like it may have been put together with Burroughs-esque cut-up techniques. Profanity-laden references to sexual deviance (“wanking off a horse named useless”) bring Burroughs comparisons into focus. There are shades of Neil Young & Wilco to the chord progressions. I’m particularly reminded of Heart Of Gold in the gently strummed acoustic guitars.

A Horse Named Useless is available to stream now on all good streaming platforms.

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Categories
Indie Rock New Wave

The Vat-Egg Imposition – Sheriff Of Nottingham

Sheriff Of Nottingham is a humorous slice of lo-fi melodic New Wave. Sonically it’s pitched somewhere between the College Rock of US bands like The Replacements & Scouse comic Folk-Punks Half Man Half Biscuit. Deadpan lyrics about hating & wanting to kill Robin Hood & sending money to his ex, Maid Marian.

B-side Get My Green Mug Back Again is sonically similar. Edgy, funny New Wave Pop. Upbeat & celebratory, Get My Green Mug Back Again is a deceptively happy tale of losing a favourite mug to a neighbour who borrowed some sugar, only to subsequently move house.

Sheriff Of Nottingham is available to stream today on Bandcamp. Fans can also preorder the forthcoming cassette release on Safe Suburban Home.

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Categories
Funk Metal Politics Punk

Song of the Day (BLM): Rage Against The Machine – Down Rodeo

Day 9. Rage Against The Machine, particularly guitarist Tom Morello have been in the news quite a bit this week. As a revolutionary socialist band who have been burning Stars & Stripes & wearing Hammer & Sickles since the early ’90’s it is quite surprising that RATM have any right-wing fans at all. Somehow they do. And these right-wing fans have been getting very upset about Tom Morello expressing his opinions about the current revolutionary actions of the Black Lives Matter movement. This is one of them.

Needless to say, Morello’s response was both witty & humorous. A true Twitter professional.

Check out this equally brutal Twitter putdown from a couple of years ago. Just glorious. Textbook.

Down Rodeo is a scathing blast of metallic funk. It’s lyrics deal with systematic racism, the shameful legacy of slavery & forward looking revolutionary ideas. A personal highlight for me.

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

Bangin’ this bolo tight on this solo flight can’t fight alone
Funk tha track my verbs fly like tha family stone
Tha pen devils set that stage for tha war at home
Locked wit out a wage ya standin’ in tha drop zone
The clockers born starin’ at an empty plate
Momma’s torn hands cover her sunken face
We hungry but them belly full
The structure is set ya neva change it with a ballot pull
In tha ruins there’s a network for tha toxic rock
School yard ta precinct, suburb ta project block
Bosses broke south for new flesh and a factory floor
The remains left chained to the powder war

Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So make a move and plead the fifth ’cause ya can’t plead the first
Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yes I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

Bare witness to tha sickest shot while suckas get romantic
They ain’t gonna send us campin’ like they did my man Fred Hampton
Still we lampin’ still clockin’ dirt for our sweat
A ballots dead so a bullet’s what I get
A thousand years they had tha tools
We should be takin’ ’em
Fuck tha G-ride I want the machines that are makin’ em
Our target straight wit a room full of armed pawn to
Off tha kings out tha west side at dawn

Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
Make a move and plead the fifth ’cause ya can’t plead the first
Can’t waste a day when the night brings a hearse
So now I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun
These people ain’t seen a brown skin man
Since their grandparents bought one

Yeah I’m rollin’ down Rodeo wit a shotgun

The rungs torn from the ladder can’t reach the tumour
One god, one market, one truth, one consumer

Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance!
Just a quiet peaceful dance for the things we’ll never have
Just a quiet peaceful dance for the things we don’t have

While looking for the YouTube video for Down Rodeo, I came across this excellent video of a man reacting to it for the first time. His enthusiasm is so infectious that I just had to share this with you as well. I was especially interested that the line he picked out as a stand out was one of the most revolutionary, “Fuck tha G-ride I want the machines that are makin’ em.” We don’t want the shitty scraps from the capitalists tables, we want the means of production.

Looking for some great music to listen to? Why not check out the Song of the Day (BLM) Spotify playlist.

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Categories
Philosophy Politics

Momentum, autonomy & censorship

I feel as if the Black Lives Matter protests have started to make some real advances in a relatively short period of time. This is the third week of protests & so far, for the first time in history, the defunding, demilitarisation & eventual disbanding of the police has entered mainstream political discourse. Several states have agreed to it in some form, even if not completely. The main thing is that it’s currently being negotiated & that would have been unthinkable a few short weeks ago.

Another positive step taken in this last week is the widespread disgust at statuary of rich, white men who participated in, & became rich from, the Transatlantic Save Trade. Confederate statues across the states were either torn down or defaced by protesters or removed by concessions made by local authorities. On Monday, the statue in Bristol, UK, of vicious slave trader (& Tory MP) Edward Colston was pulled down by protesters, defaced & thrown into the river. Across Europe more statuary was taken away by local authorities, who finally acknowledged the offensive & insulting presence these monuments to brutality had in the first place. Right-Wing freaks & headbangers waste no time accusing protesters of “erasing history.” You can’t help but wonder where their love of history was when the Tories were closing Libraries & Schools, defunding museums & generally wreaking havoc with our societies cultural fabric.

We’ve also seen the debate about the legitimacy of wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill as a figure of worship. This came about after some protesters sprayed “was a racist” beneath his name on a statue of him. Many on the right worship him & attribute defeating Nazi Germany directly to him. There is also a mass cognitive dissonance in people saying things like: “I know he was a racist but he was still a great man.” When speaking to rational people, this is easily countered with teaching about the many failures (Gallipoli) & war crimes (Bengal Genocide, Black & Tans etc.) he was responsible for. Another common counter is that Alan Turing should be the one worshipped this way, & perhaps the Churchill statues should be replaced with Turing states.

Back in the States, the sport of NASCAR announced that it would be banning the Confederate flag from its events. This is the flag flown by soldiers fighting to the death for the right to profit from human misery. The flag of a defeated upstart nation which failed to survive past its formation. A failed nation. A flag of failure. Racist fans, & even drivers, came out on social media decrying the decision. “Well done for ruining the sport,” said the detractors. Well, fuck them. They’re racist.

One of the most exciting developments is the formation of Free Capitol Hill, or the Seattle Autonomous Zone. After ten days of clashes with protesters, the Seattle PD abandoned their East Precinct & quit their barricades around the neighbouring streets. Protesters wasted no time in turning around & reinforcing the barricades, closing off a large area in the heart of Seattle & declaring it the Seattle Autonomous Zone. We are a few days into this now & it is unclear how it is going to pan out, but so far it has remained peaceful & communal. Trump has made some rumblings on Twitter, but WA Governor Jay Inslee told him, figuratively, to fuck off. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also told Trump to “go back to your bunker.”

This situation is obviously on a knife edge & no one is quite sure how it is going to be resolved but the protesters in the Autonomous Zone are, according to The New York Times, in talks with the Mayor. Its a beautiful omen, & more than a coincidence, that it has remained peaceful since the Police have left the protesters alone.

The final point I wanted to make is about the various TV programs & movies which have been removed from streaming services over racist or racially insensitive material. The reactionary right-wing, & so called liberals, have erupted in apoplectic fury at this. Screams of “freedom of expression”, “free speech” & “Stalinist censorship” have reverberated around social media. Going under the block were the slavery glorifying Gone With The Wind, & several British comedy shows which have used blackface insensitively. Raging right-wingers & closet racists are demanding, literally demanding, to be told why the blackface in unfunny sketch show Little Britain is racist but the comedy movie White Chicks (which features two black actors playing undercover cops disguised as white ladies) isn’t. Never mind that the show’s creators have admitted to the insensitivity & stand by the decision to pull the programs. I’m hearing that League Of Gentlemen & The Mighty Boosh have also been pulled.

An overlooked issue with this is the right-wing complainants sense of entitlement. They have become so used to having what they want to watch at their fingertips, at the push of a button, for so long that they’ve become incandescent with fury over this decision. Questions of censorship & freedom of expression are moot unless you completely disregard the streaming services right to choose what they do & don’t want on their services. These streaming services regularly rotate shows out of their lineups anyway, so there was no guarantee that any one show would be available to stream permanently. Suck it up, act like an adult & watch something else. If you absolutely must watch Little Britain, buy it on fucking DVD, you entitled pricks.

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Categories
History Punk Rock

Proto Punk at The Rowing Club, MC5 in York, 1972

MC5, 1969

During the research for my series of articles about the near-mythical Pink Floyd gig at New Earswick Folk Hall, it came to my attention that Michigan Proto Punk legends, the MC5, performed at a venue in York which I had preciously not heard of.

As a fan of Punk, music & its various offshoots, I am a fan of the MC5. They are held as a foundation of the genre. A semi-militant, anti-Vietnam, furious live band, their debut album was recorded live at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom on October 30th & 31st 1968. You’ve probably heard Kick Out The Jams & it’s incendiary, profane intro, if nothing else. That perfect moment of rebellious Rock and Roll energy is seared into the history of Rock music.

So, my first inkling about this gig was a letter printed in the York Press, dated 24th July 2006, by Roy Hughes. You may remember he was the DJ & compere at the Tinned Chicken Club, the club night at the Folk Hall in New Earswick, which hosted ’60’s Psyche bands like Pink Floyd & Procol Harum. In the letter, which is titled Definitive Record, Roy confirms that MC5 did perform at The Rowing Club in 1972. He has some other interesting information in this letter:

The following day they appeared at Wembley Stadium with Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry.

The bass player was a member of York band Gideon’s Few, who joined MC5 in Germany and remained on tour with them throughout Europe and USA for nearly a year. He is, incidentally, my brother Derek!

So Roy’s brother was Derek Hughes, who replaced original bass player Michael Davis, who was practically forced out of the band for Heroin abuse. Derek Hughes played with them for the majority of 1972.

a poster for Syd Barrett’s band, Stars.

In other Pink Floyd related news, around this time MC5 played a gig in Cambridge with Syd Barrett’s band, Stars. Barrett had left Pink Floyd in 1968.

After reaching out to the same York Past & Present Facebook group that provided me with so much information about the Pink Floyd gig, I have received account from group member Mike Stewart.

He recalls that the gig was “Loud!” & that it was “quite a coup for the venue.” He thinks that the band added the York date at last minute to fill in a spare night while travelling up and down the country. The Rowing Club apparently held “progressive/heavy rock discos every Saturday night.” He remarked how “not many bands performed with such high-octane energy in those days.”

Edgar Broughton Band 

Mike also remembers seeing Psychedelic Rockers, the Edgar Broughton Band at The Rowing Club. I hadn’t heard of Edgar Broughton Band before, but I am listening to them now & their sound is a heavy, psyched up Blues Rock. Shades of Black Sabbath. I’m interested in listening further so expect a review in the near future.

The York gig is not listed in this fan managed gig guide on the Concerts Wiki, but it looks like the gig probably took place in the June of 1972. Other gigs in the local vicinity, Leeds & Scarborough, seem to bear this out.

Listed June gigs from 1972, Concerts Wiki

Another York Past & Present member, Brian Walker, recalls how he could not believe the MC5 gig was happening at the time. There was no advertising, as such, and the news of it was spread by word of mouth. He believes it may have been a warmup gig before they played a few other dates, so perhaps it could have taken place at the end of May, before the Leeds City Hall gig on June 1st.

As for the venue, I assume it was the same building as houses the York City Rowing Club today (pictured above). Though I am not sure. York Past & Present user says he took over DJ responsibilities in 1976 from predecessor, Paul Blitz. So the Saturday rock nights must have gone on for quite a while. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has more information about the venue, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you remember it.

For now, that is all I have been able to find out. If anything else significant comes up about either the gig or the venue, there may be a follow up to this blogpost.

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Categories
Hip Hop Music

Song of the Day (BLM): Fugees – Zealots

Day 8. I actually wanted to choose a different Fugees song for this, Rumble In The Jungle (feat. A Tribe Called Quest & Busta Rhymes), but it isn’t actually available on Spotify & I feel that the blogposts & the Spotify playlist are intrinsically linked.

Instead, I have chosen the song Zealots, which is easily my favourite tune from Fugees critically & commercially massive 1996 album, The Score. Every MC on this track gives top tier performances but my MVP would have to be Lauryn Hill. Her verse is ridiculous, her rhyme scheme is incredibly sophisticated & complex.

I haunt MCs like Mephistopheles, bringing swords of Damocles
Secret service keep a close watch as if my name was Kennedy
Abstract raps simple with a street format
Gaze into the sky and measure planets by parallax
Check out the retrograde motion, kill the notion
Of biting and recycling and calling it your own creation
I feel like Rockwell, somebody’s watching me
I got no privacy whether on land or at sea
And for you biting zealots, your raps are cacophonic
Hypocrite, critic, but deep inside you wish you had the pop hit
It hurts don’t it, a refugee come to your turf
And take over the earth

See my rhymes, are the type of fly rhymes
That can only get down with my crew
And if you try, to take lines or bite rhymes
We’ll show you how the refugees do

Yeah, yeah behold, as my odes, manifold on your rhymes
Two MCs can’t occupy the same space at the same time
It’s against the laws of physics
So weep as your sweet dreams break up like Eurythmics
Rap rejects my tape deck, ejects projectile
Whether Jew or gentile, I rank top percentile
Many styles, more powerful than gamma rays
My grammar pays, like Carlos Santana plays “Black Magic Woman”
So while you fuming, I’m consuming mango juice under Polaris
You just embarrassed cause it’s your last tango in Paris

And even after all my logic and my theory
I add a “Motherfucker” so you ignant niggas hear me
Crew remember take notes, as I sow my rap oats
And for you biting zealots, here’s a quote

Another MC lose his life tonight, Lord
I beg that you pray to Jesus Christ, why
Oh Lord, father don’t let him bury me, whoa

You can try but you can’t divide the tribe
These cats can’t rap, mister author I feel no Vibe
The magazine says the girl should have went solo
The guys should stop rapping – vanish like Menudo
Took it to the heart, but every actor plays his part
As long as someone was listening, I knew it was a start
For me to get my chance, grab my pen and revamp
Do a cameo while everybody do the dance
Quick now, cause you running out of luck-a
Playing Mr. Big, I’m gonna get you sucka
While you munching at your luncheon
I’ll be planning your assassination, then hit you like the Dutchman

I compress sound sets with my rap DBX
Then drop vocals on my 456 Ampex
Bring terror to the shop of horror
As she cry, “mi amor, ” the phantom dies in the opera
And to the younguns who carry gadgets
And kill six days a week, then rest on the Sabbath
Violence ain’t necessary, unless you provoke me
Then get buried like the great Mussolini
And for you biting zealots, your rap styles are relics
No matter who you damage, you’re still a false prophet

As a bonus, here’s the excellent Rumble In The Jungle (feat. A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes & Forte):

Looking for some fantastic music to listen to? Why not check out the Song of the Day (BLM) Spotify playlis?

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