There are loads of strings on this record. I think the best strings that have ever been recorded are on Ocean Rain. Everything Must Go has been a big influence on us – we always look inwards to our own records when we record. The idea that melancholia and rage can be harnessed into something euphoric – that’s the key to some of our best records. They’re angry but they lift you up. The Beatles have been a big influence, it’s the first time we’ve given in to them, Magical Mystery Tour and Abbey Road have been a huge influence. Primal Scream’s Dixie Narco period – the idea of adding a slight modernity to a classic sound. Paul Weller’s Wake Up The Nation. Sometimes it feels like he’s the only one able to have a critical eye. The lack of new bands with anything to say makes it feel more and more like he’s the only eye surveying the universe.
He’s also the only person with a similar work ethic…
I’ve grown to love him and respect him more and more. 22 Dreams and this one. You’re not going to get better records from a fifty year old are you? The fact that he’s so full of rage. That’s one thing I haven’t denied on this record. Injustice and anger are in our DNA, there’s no point suppressing it. It’s not a Richey-esque Nihilist rage, that clinical, genius dissection of things. With me it’s almost a petty rage at times. The Dennis Wilson Pacific Ocean Blue reissue. Biffy Clyro believe it or not. Out Of Time by REM has been there in the background.
This was an interview conducted by Gabby Logan on BBC Radio 5 Live this lunchtime. It was done just after the Mercury Music Prize list was announced .. on which Weller is second favourite to win (Dizee Rascal is favourite).
Modfather and veteran of the Brit scene Paul Weller returned in 2010 with a critically acclaimed solo effort in Wake Up the Nation. Packing a cracking pace throughout, the album was deemed a return to form for the musician who could be a sentimental favourite to take home this year's prize.
[As you know it yet, I'm not so keen to publish legal material but this Sunday times edition was free and not available in store. The Specials want to be back in the (rat) race! Thanx to my good friend Simon who has been kind enough to send it to me from England. Check The 30 th anniversary tour dates. Have a thought for Jerry Dammers! Look at this very excellent and funny video. Can't embed it here, follow the link.] The Special Aka / Girlfriend
"He has maybe been the bassist who played where he should play, The Kinks have never been as graceful when he left in 1969. Pete Quaife died on June the 24 th. This Ray Davies' childhood friend has tried to keep on playing with another folk band (Maple Oak) but he stopped all music activities in the mid seventies to become a graphic designer. Live in Glastonbury Ray Davies dedicated "See my friends" in memory of his childhood's friend. "
I had a dream last night, a vip A&R from a big major label (a woman of course) told me she was in love with my "Best of the month" series and would like to release a summer compilation, collecting my fave contemporary funk, soul and r&b tracks. So I did it for her: played again all 6 episodes and selected some singles, some album tracks, some oddities, hot stuff. Imho a great soundtrack for the long hot summer 2010. I suggest you to find the way to move the file on your iPods, iPads, iMods, but play it with real loudspeakers and sing and dance with your friends all together. The name is "inspired" by the glorious "Motown Chartbusters" of course. Support the artists and real record labels, the small and indie ones expecially, who still produce and distribute such wonderful music in our days, god bless Daptone, Record Kicks, Hammondbeat, Acid Jazz and so on. Hey! Support Mod Radio Uk too! Enjoy.
Just like keyboardist Neal Evans’ two hands—simultaneously pumping out the low end and reaching for those oscillating high notes—organ trio Soulive has spent the last decade balancing a reverence for the past with a conviction to push music into its own funky future.
When brothers Neal and Alan Evans first invited guitarist Eric Krasno to get down at their Woodstock, NY studio (a session that led to the trio’s break-out record Get Down! in 1999), it was out of mutual love for the great soul-jazz organ trios of the ’60s and ’70s (Jimmy Smith, Groove Holmes, Brother Jack McDuff). Now, a decade into the band’s career, which has seen forays into hip-hop, reggae, R&B, blues, rock and soul, eras featuring horns and a vocalist, and collaborations with artists as diverse as Derek Trucks, Joshua Redman, Robert Randolph and Talib Kweli, it was another shared love that brought the trio to drummer Alan’s Playonbrother Studio to record their latest, Rubber Soulive.
“We’ve always been big Beatles fans,” says Krasno, who had been working on an arrangement of “Get Back” for his recent solo record Reminisce when all those remastered Beatles records came out last year. The stuff was on heavy rotation in the van when the band found itself with four days off mid-tour. For Halloween, they’d made a crazy show at the DC zoo even crazier by trying out an all-Beatles set and decided the material was so fun it had to be put to wax. “We thought about doing all of Rubber Soul,” Krasno says, “but that band has so many great tunes. We picked the ones that lent themselves well to our sound, and others where we could add the Soulive flavor.”
The first two cuts, “Drive My Car” and “Tax Man” sound like they were written for the group, deep-pocket grooves featuring dirty drum parts and Krasno’s buttery guitar leads. The process, Krasno says, was pretty spontaneous. The band would consult the song’s lyric sheet to get the feel right and then track the whole thing live for that up-in-your-grill energy. “Something” and “In My Life” are deft instrumental interpretations of the sentimental balladry Lennon, McCartney and Harrison were famous for penning.
“Eleanor Rigby” is the big surprise though, with Alan pushing charging syncopation into the backbeat and Neal covering a full string section with his two hands.
Handling most of the melodies on guitar, Krasno’s all over the record, but he tears the whole thing open on tracks like “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and, naturally, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Covered in what Krasno calls the “great crunchy, dirty sound” of Alan’s digital/analog studio, Rubber Soulive takes its place in a lineage of funky Beatles tributes, including those by George Benson and Booker T. and the M.G.’s.
Following last year’s Up Here, Rubber Soulive finds the band pushing on with its original trio formula. After 2006’s No Place Like Soul, which saw the addition of vocalist Toussaint Yeshua, Soulive decided to scale it back again and focus on the trio. This doesn’t mean, though, (to paraphrase Ringo) that the three don’t still get high with a little help from their friends. Their new artist run label Royal Family Records is home to plenty of the band’s longtime coconspirators like the Shady Horns (Sam Kininger and Ryan Zoidis) and Nigel Hall, and all the Soulive side projects, including Lettuce, Fyre Dept, Chapter 2, and Adam Deitch’s Break Science.
Creating Royal Family Records was like coming home for the band, who has spent years jumping from one legendary label to the next. On the heels of 1999’s Turn It Out, Soulive was signed by Bruce Lundvall to esteemed jazz label Blue Note Records, where they took their place in a legacy that includes Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. Doin’ Something and Next followed, featuring collaborations with Fred Wesley, Dave Matthews and Black Thought. Jazz heavyweight, Concord Records nurtured the band’s love of R&B with 2005’s Break Out, a record that found the band backing soul legends Chaka Khan and Ivan Neville. And when celebrated Memphis soul label Stax Records (Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave) decided to get back in the game in 2007, Soulive was the first band they signed. Now, with Royal Family, Soulive has been as prolific as ever, releasing Live In San Francisco last fall and Live at the Blue Note Tokyo this spring.
One decade young, Soulive is not a band to look backward, but when they do they look way back. With a quiver full of Beatles tunes and the lineup that put them on the forefront of the soul jazz revival, Soulive is grooving harder than ever. And with a fall tour on the horizon, it looks like things are starting to, ahem, “Come Together” right now all over again.