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Category Archives: dinner and a song

music to cook to: C.O.L.O.U.R.S. mixtape by Fonzworth Bentley

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fonzworth bentley presents colours

Summer is officially over, but here in Georgia we’re still in that weird phase between summer and true fall that I call ‘second summer’. We’ll continue to see temperatures in the 70s and 80s during the day (without the stifling humidity, thank god), and we’ll really only notice it’s fall when the sun sets and temps reach a more autumnal range of 50s and 60s.

As always, I tend to find metaphors for life in nature. As I approach my mid-thirties, I kind of feel like I and all of my peers are entering into our own ‘second summers’. We still have the youthful exuberance and silliness of our 20s, we still like to party and dance like we used to as younguns but, thankfully we’ve traded the stifling atmosphere of the club for the more comfy atmosphere of house parties and private venue shindigs. Our priorities have shifted from student loans and changing majors to mortgage loans and major changes in career, marital, and social status. And though we may still like to booty-shake and drop it like it’s hot, we know better than to do so in public, for fear that someone from the office or the PTA might see.

While cleaning out some files from my digital library this week, I happened upon an obscure and almost-forgotten track I’d saved a couple of years ago. The light party track, “Everybody”, was an unexpected yet effective collaboration among Fonzworth Bentley, Andre 3000, Kanye West, and Sa-Ra Creative Partners. And as you can tell from the video, these guys had a lot of fun working together on it.

As it turns out, “Everybody” is just 1 selection from a 17-track mixtape entitled, “Fonzworth Bentley Presents C.O.L.O.U.R.S. by Derek Watkins”. The mixtape features Fonzworth’s musical collaborations with several heavy hitters, like U.G.K., Faith Evans, Lil’ Wayne and Anthony Hamilton – all artists who came into their own in the 90s. The mixtape obviously never received a lot of press or any airplay; I hadn’t even heard the entire playlist until this week. But as I listened, I realized that the C.O.L.O.U.R.S. mixtape was the perfect ‘second summer’ soundtrack, especially for us Georgia born and bred folk. Once you have a listen, I think you’ll agree that it conjures up all the good times and the party-days of southern summers past, and would make a worthwhile addition to your next house party or an appropriate backdrop for your next “remember when we used to…” conversation.

This musical selection is ideal for:

Georgia representers, A-town stunnas, anybody who ever yelled ‘yeek’ at the club or the talent show, those who partied and/or studied in the AUC in the 90s, and everybody who knew Fonzworth Bentley when he was a Morehouse student named Derek Watkins,

This musical selection pairs perfectly with:

A late afternoon weekend barbecue featuring turkey burgers, veggie skewers and portobello mushroom caps instead of the pork ribs, mystery-meat hot dogs, and beef burgers we downed without consequence when we were younger. Serve with a nice pinot noir or craft beer – not the Icehouse and Arbor Mist that were more appropriate for our as-yet-unexpanded drinking palates and budgets. Okay, okay. You can bring back the old school hunch-punch if you want, but just this once. 😉

Stream the C.O.L.O.U.R.S.  mixtape for free

Download free tracks from the C.O.L.O.U.R.S. mixtape

Purchase the mixtape on Fonzworth Bentley

cheers y’all,

k

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i'm listening to: jill scott – the light of the sun

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Buy on The Light of the Sun (Deluxe Version) - Jill Scott | Buy on Amazon | Listen (Grooveshark)

Album: The Light of the Sun (Deluxe)

Sounds Like: The official 2011 soundtrack of the ‘grown ass woman’

Makes Me Wanna: laugh, dance, sing, cry, and stage a one woman lip-synch show in my living room

Filed Under: r&b, new / progressive soul

Favorite Tracks: Le Boom Vent Suite, So Gone (What My Mind Says), Shame

I am currently obsessed with this CD. Once again, our girl Jill has found a way to put words to the silent songs I sing about love, life, relationships and black womanhood. How does she do it? I don’t know. Don’t really care. Just glad that she does, and glad that she does it so well. I think you will be to. Cop. Now.

cheers,

k

end dependence day playlist – a collection of freedom songs

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a sign reading welcome to independenceIs it just me? Even though Independence Day has come and gone, I can still sense a distinct feel of freedom in the air. Several of my acquaintances are making bold choices, breaking with normal patterns of behavior, becoming a little more daring, a little more liberated, and a lot more in touch with the little voice inside that often urges us: Just do it. Just be you. Tell your story. Dance your dance. Sing your song.

For this past 4th of July holiday, I compiled a personal collection of songs about freedom and independence that I thought captured the spirit of the holiday while not necessarily being all about American patriotism. I decided to call it the ‘End Dependence Day’ playlist.

I hope you enjoy this selection of 20+ tracks that convey the importance of freedom of mind, body, heart, and spirit. More than that, I hope that in some small way, this playlist might inspire you to: make a fool of yourself for a good cause, to tell fear to go take a long walk off a short bridge, or to flip yourself the finger in the mirror – partly to symbolize defiance of your own unrealistic expectations, but mostly to see how badass you look doing it.

End Dependence Day Playlist on Grooveshark
http://grooveshark.com/widget.swf

End Dependence Day Playlist on iTunes
http://widgets.itunes.apple.com/itunes.html?wtype=4&app_id=0&country=us&partnerId=30&affiliate_id=http%3A%2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.com%2Ffs-bin%2Fstat%3Fid%3DRYSZS50ccxc%26offerid%3D146261%26type%3D3%26subid%3D0%26tmpid%3D1826%26RD_PARM1%3D&ww=325&t=End%2520Dependence%2520Day%2520Playlist&d=Freedom%2520songs%2520for%25204th%2520of%2520July%2520and%2520beyond.%2520Enjoy%252020+%2520%2520independence%2520day%2520songs.&pl=0,341536477,193049646,189259133,213034840,325981837,264572795,110855,406804,15810899,251898270,300585029,40457861,298326068,287101697,214146105,16433881,16433993,255838002,266365542,217503670,344804293
cheers,
k

Photo: Welcome to Independence by taberandrew

dj kai alce remembers house in the park

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For the past five years, Labor Day weekend in Atlanta has signaled the arrival of House in the Park, a family-friendly outdoor music festival for lovers of house, afrobeat, and soulful dance music. Though it continues to swell each year, House in the Park is still a largely under-the-radar event in Atlanta, mainly because it caters to such a niche audience.

Loyal fans of Atlanta DJs Ramon Rawsoul, DJ Kemit, Salah Ananse, and Kai Alce – the fantastic foursome behind House in the Park – have been there since the beginning. House in the Park 2010 promises to be the largest yet, as word about the good vibes and sounds the event unfailingly delivers continues to spread beyond Atlanta’s close-knit house music family.

I sat down with DJ Kai Alce to get some insight on how House in the Park has evolved since its genesis, and what’s on tap for House in the Park 2010.


So, how long have you been a DJ? How did you get your start?
Aw, man. I bought my first turntables in ‘83. But I’ve been DJing professionally since ‘92. I’ve always been into music, though. I listen to a little bit of everything. My parents were Haitian, so I grew up listening to soca and all that. Growing up in New York at that time, it was like during the creation of hip hop and disco. My Dad was a jazz aficionado, and he was really into audio hi-fi equipment. So I guess that’s where I got an affinity for both the music and the equipment.

Was this something you always knew you wanted to do?
Not really. It just sort of evolved that way. The first time I DJed for a party, it didn’t go well.

I used to work at this place called The Music Institute. I worked there at 16 years old – Chez Damier got me in there. It was like the Detroit version of Paradise Garage. Then I moved to Atlanta to go to school at Morehouse. I started getting gigs and started making money, and thought, “hey, I could do this professionally.”

Where did the idea for House in the Park originate?
Ramon Rawsoul asked me about it. At that time I was working at Satellite – a record store in Little Five Points. We might have already been doing The Gathering then.
The Gathering is a monthly house music event featuring DJs Kai Alce and Ramon Rawsoul. The duo has been hosting The Gathering for over 5 years.
The first House in the Park was at Candler Park in 2005. There was another group called Earthtone that used to do an event out at Piedmont. They used to do it real renegade style, though. You know, they’d just go out there and they may or may not have a permit. I told Ramon that (getting a permit) was gonna be an issue. But we went through the process and got what we needed. The first year, we had about 200-300 people, just from the crowds that supported each of us.

What Atlanta DJs were involved that first year?
It was me, Ramon, Kemit, and Salah.
What was funny was… I think I had to DJ or promote the night before – anyway, I was out late. And you know there’s always that riff of who goes on first and who goes on last. I remember I was like, I’ll go on early. And I got there, did my set… and fell asleep. So I said – I’m definitely not doing that again.

How has House in the Park changed from that first year?
Well after the first year, we moved to Perkerson Park because of better amenities. Candler was very DIY all the way. We had to bring in port-o-potties, and everything. That first year, the crowd at House in the Park was mostly people who knew us from the nighttime sets. The second year House in the Park became more family oriented. And it just took off from there.

Did you ever think House in the Park would become as big, or continue for as long as it has?
No. Never. ‘Cause it’s getting bigger every year. More people, more problems. The more people you get, the more things they (city officials) ask you to have. Like ambulances, extra cops, then after a certain number of cops you have to get a police sergeant.
Now we’re at the point where we’re gonna have to start getting sponsors. Whole Foods has been on as a sponsor since the first or second House in the Park – they donate water. The neighborhood is one of the sponsors. Others are people who have known us, who are blessed enough to hook us up.

What is it about House in the Park that you think makes it so popular?
The good feeling and the music. The music aids in people letting go and letting down their guard. So far in the five years since House in the Park has been going, we’ve had no fights, no arguments. We’ve had a couple of lost kids, but they get found before the end of the evening.
People have said that when they leave House in the Park, the positive energy they leave with rides for a while. Even some of the kids, they don’t see some of those other kids until that event. So they look forward to playing together while their parents enjoy themselves. I had one guy come up to me -his daughter is in her teenage years – and tell me that she asked her dad to dance. He says that’s the first time she ever asked him to dance with her.
At House in the Park, you can see anybody from age 3 to 55. My dad’ll be here this year. He may have been here at least 4 times now. I had my whole family come out one time.

What can people expect this year? Are there any other DJs are on deck?
The House in the Park lineup will stay the same until it ends. I don’t think anybody knows our town better than we do. We try to keep it amongst us here. We may have a guest DJ that shows up some years.

How many attendees do you average or are you expecting for House in the Park this year?
Well, last year it was about 3,000. So we definitely hope to meet that.

Where can people get more info about House in the Park, purchase House in the Park gear, make donations, etc?
They can go to http://www.houseinthepark.net. People can buy CDS and House in the Park T-shirts at the event. That’s what helps us pay for the event. So be sure to bring cash with you. CDs are $5-10. Tees are $10-12.

What other projects are you working on? Where besides House in the Park can people see or hear you?
Well, I have my record label – NDATL. It stands for New York, Detroit, Atlanta – three places where I’ve lived. We just released a new single called “I Got Life” by Kemetic Just. Kemetic Just is DJ Kemit and Justin Chapman, but this track is just Justin Chapman with Terrance Downs. That just got released this summer. It’s doing well in the charts here and overseas. You may even see him perform this year at House in the Park. You might also see a performance by a girl named Cayenne. She has a song called ‘Someone’, which I produced along with Phil Asher. It hit # 1 on the house charts.
I’m also continuing a monthly here at The Sound Table. It’s called Distinctive. It’s usually every third Saturday, this month it will be on the fourth Saturday. We’re having Omar S as a guest in October.

And people can check out my site http://www.kaialce.com. That will let you know about the upcoming events and projects.

House in the Park 2009 photos courtesy of John Crooms Photography.

House in the Park 2010
Sunday, September 5 ; noon – 8pm
Perkerson Park – Pavilion Area
770 Deckner Ave. SW; Atlanta, GA 30310
Free. Open to the public.

i'm listening to: skin, is my by andrew bird

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I hate Pandora. Ok maybe hate is too strong of a word. Really, it’s a sort of missplaced hate. Who I really hate is MySpace, since it is the reason behind the demise of the online music service, Imeem, that I was such a loyal fan of. Listening to music on Pandora is much more restricted, so it’s taken me a while to get adjusted to it.

The one ‘sunny upside’ though, is that I get exposed to all kind of music I might not normally find otherwise. Like this track, “Skin, Is My” by Andrew Bird. Found this one while listening to my Zero 7 station on Pandora. It’s groovy, funky, and cheerful all at the same time. What a lovely sound!

 

Purchase Track on Amazon

Purchase Track on iTunes

cheers,

k

before and after: golden brown by the stranglers and omar lye-fook

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I first heard the song ‘Golden Brown’ in Guy Ritchie’s iconic caper flick, Snatch. Ritchie has a way of sneaking obscure musical classics into his films that leaves me scrambling for a copy of the soundtrack. This particular obscure classic was originally recorded by English rock band, The Stranglers. The song – when it was first released in 1981 – had a little bit of controversy attached to it because it was said that the lyrics referred to heroin usage. While there’s nothing in the Stranglers’ original video to suggest that, English soul singer Omar Lye-Fook’s 1997 version of Golden Brown – well at least the video – makes heavy visual references to ‘chasing the dragon’.

In my opinion, the song’s lilting melodies and day-dreamy lyrics are enough of a drug. Have a look and a listen for yourself. I promise, you will get addicted.

The Stranglers – Golden Brown Video

Omar Lye-Fook – Golden Brown Video

cheers,

k

i'm listening to: DJ Kut Presents the GangStarr Foundation Mixtape

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As most of you already know, Guru (born Keith Elam, aka, Gifted Universal Rhymes Unlimited) passed away after battling cardiac arrest, a coma, and ultimately succumbing to cancer on April 19.

Since hearing the news, I’d been scouring the interwebs for a respectable collection of Guru’s music to reflect on the talents and musical legacy of one of hip-hop’s pioneers. All of my Guru / Gangstarr collection is on cassette tapes that I’ve had since the early ’90s, so that really wasn’t any help to me.

Thankfully, I came across DJ Kut Presents Gangstarr – The Foundation Mix late last week. The mix is cleverly divided in to 5 parts: ‘the cement’, ‘the water’, ‘the sand’, ‘the dirt’, and ‘the gravel’ (get it? a foundation mix), each of which covers a set of timeless hits from Guru and that god-sent collabo known as Gangstarr – the group consisting of Guru and DJ Premier.

I can definitely tell that DJ Kut was excited about this particular mix – there’s quite a bit of yelling throughout. But once you get past that, I think you’ll agree that this is a solid collection of Guru and Gangstarr hits that will have you going back in time and reminiscing on when hip hop was… well, in its foundation stages.

Thanks to Twitter fam @fuseboxradio for sharing the link to the mixtape. Get yours: http://www.mixtapetorrent.com/dj-kut-gangstarr-the-foundation-mix 

rest in power,

k