(Written by Eso Tre: one-half of Los Angeles Hip Hop duo, Substance Abuse. Check them out!)
If you are a true Hip Hop fan, chances are, you know of the legendary NY-based underground rapper, Percee P. Gaining notoriety in the underground scene thanks to years of success and perseverance, as well as legendary battles with Fat Joe, Eminem, and Lord Finesse (among many others), Percee P is one of the innovators and originators of today’s DIY Hip Hop scene. Read a fantastic interview by Substance Abuse’s Eso Tre, and learn a little about the origin of old-school Hip Hop: Underground style!
Most artists struggle to master one genre. Since the late 1960s, Steve Gadd’s been consistently tackling them all. Gadd is a professional drummer, perhaps one of the world’s most well-renowned players of the instrument. He’s appeared on albums with Joe Cocker, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney Kate Bush and hundreds of other popular and critically-acclaimed artists of various styles and ages.
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An easy play on words to describe NYC rock group The Shake is that the band inspires people to do just that: shake (as in, dance). Terrible puns that require too much explanation aside, The Shake is a group with a sharp ability at crafting danceable music without sacrificing their harder, rougher rock edge.
This skill is evident on Sweet n Sour: Vol 1, the group’s recently released two-track EP. Still an independent group, The Shake are in the process of releasing a trilogy of two-song EPs with the Sweet n Sour title in hopes of gaining more exposure and recording a full-length in 2012 (the band’s last release was in 2009: an eight song LP, entitled The Shake Go Crazy). The first in the series, aptly named Sweet n Sour: Vol 1, consists of two tracks falling under the 4 min mark, “Débutante” and “Hippo.”
On this day in 1970, Ray Davies flew from New York to London and back in one night, just to change one word of The Kinks’ hit song, “Lola.” The word— “Coca-Cola”— was deemed inappropriate for broadcast by the BBC, which had established a strict, no advertisement/musical product placement policy.
In order to appease the network, Davies interrupted his band’s U.S. tour for the monumental round trip flight. “Coca-Cola” was changed to “Cherry cola,” and the BBC was pleased.
You’ve seen it on black t-shirts (often worn by young kids who have no idea what the shirt means). You probably heard about it when it was getting shut down. You may have even been there, but the acronym CBGB will soon hold meaning in the world again. According to various sources, a biopic about CBGB is set to be created sometime in the near future.
Although CBGB stands for Country Bluegrass & Blues, it’s commonly associated with the “birth” and emergence of American punk through bands like The Ramones and Patti Smith. Characters based on those artists as well as musicians from bands such as The Talking Heads and Television are rumored to appear in some form in the film.
While the film will likely include the iconic bands that got their start at the club, it will primarily focus on the now-deceased and widely beloved owner of the club, Hilly Kristal. His daughter will co-produce the movie.
It’s great to see that CBGB will be officially honored through a film likely to be seen by many throughout the world. Some of the best bands of the mid-to-late 70s and early 80s began their careers in the New York club, and the music world was sad to see it shut down in 2006. Although the club has technically closed, it hasn’t seemed to have truly died yet. And kids keep wearing those t-shirts.
Before We Get Started…
When I began writing this column, I had no idea if anyone would ever read it, let alone respond to it. I’m still not sure how often it gets looked at, though Joey over at earbits.com assured me about 50-60 people read “Notes” each week. I hope they are not counting the times I check it myself – that may account for about 30% of those hits! I did take it upon myself to post the link to my writings each week on facebook and a number of friends have responded saying they actually read my stories, which is encouraging. I especially like the response I got from fellow guitarist Sebastian Noelle, who responded with a fairly odd New York experience of his own:
We’ve all heard stories about the darker side of living in New York City – muggings, attacks, cons, and the like. In the pursuit of my music I’ve had my run-ins, some which have left an indelible mark on me.
The Story of Eyeglass Man