WOOZradio: 2007 New Release Watershed

2007 is gonna be something else for us music freaks. While I hesitate to itemize Top 10 lists (inevitably I will, as I did last January), I’m lukewarm on 2006’s best — many of my faves were released in late 2005 — and truth be told

2007 is gonna be a monster!!!

To avoid confusion, I’ll be migrating all music/WOOZradio posts to a new site, but until that happens, I beg of you these indulgences.

WOOZradio is netZoo’s Internet radio station. It has existed solely online since 1999, broadcasting via Live365. Currently, my top 100 (or so) of 2006 are in rotation, along with nearly 100 cuts from upcoming 2007 releases — Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Bloc Party, etc. Click here to listen ad-free (and help me pay for the space), or Click Here to listen free (w/ ads).

Coming in 2007:

The Bees (formerly A Band of Bees) are coming strong with Octopus. (Thanks Rory for first turning me on to them back in the day)!

listen to Got to Let Go

Field Music will appear with their finest record ever on January 22.

listen to In Context

!!! is expected to drop “Myth Takes” on March 4. listen to A New Name

And that’s just a taste. Check here for upcoming releases.

And, just for the hell of it — Dengue Fever kicked ass a few weeks ago on KEXP. Listen to the set.

Jesus Christ! Local ‘News’ or Over-Cautious Infotainment?

Light posting lately as I take some time away from all things computerized and work on some other projects. But I can’t seem to get this one story out of my head. Thanks to Tony Pierce at LAist for the tip-off.

On Christmas Day 6pm newscast on KNBC Channel 4, NBC’s Los Angeles area affiliate, neither newscasters Ted Chen nor Kelly Mack uttered the word “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ” despite referring to “Christmas” 30 times.

This is among the most perverted reactions to the so-called holiday/christmas quasi-conundrum on the airwaves. If nothing else, it’s practically journalistic blasphemy to highlight a particular event without giving it’s historical, traditional, ideological, or fanciful background. Even if one could assume that the majority of Americans know what Christmas celebrates, (personally, I always forget whether it’s the birth, death, or rebirth), local broadcast news is drops the ball by failing to provide brief historical context — even if its “this is the third time in four days that Paris Hilton has gotten a DUI.” We Americans tend to forget very quickly (we re-elected George W. Bush, remember?).

HERE’s the Kicker: On the following day’s (12/26) 11am news, KNBC thoroughly and very appropriately explained Kwanzaa:

African-Americans are beginning the celebration of Kwanza. A parade gets way at noon in LA’s Crenshaw district. The seven-day long Kwanza holiday was founded back in 1966 as a way for African-Americans to reflect back on their ancestry and culture. It involves seven daily principals of unity, self-determination, work, responsibility, knowledge, strength, purpose, creativity, and faith. Participants in today’s Kwanza parade will march down Crenshaw Blvd. from Adams to Vernon.

Predictably, right wing bloggers are slamming the “liberal” media for all of these things and other instances of censorship that clearly violate First Amendment rights. But, seriously, this all makes me think we may be heading towards a bipartisan attack on Atheist fundamentalists.

Click here and listen to On the Media’s segment on reporting Atheism — it’s an eye-opener.

James Brown, R.I.P.

The Godfather of Soul, James Joseph Brown, Jr., died overnight. He was 73 years young. Brown was initially hospitalized with pneumonia this weekend in Atlanta, and as recently as Sunday, his agent said he would be ready to perform at a scheduled concert the following Saturday. The cause of his death was uncertain.

James Brown performs inChina, February 2006, APJames Brown will be remembered as one of the greatest bandleaders, performers,and tastemakers in modern music. As the man himself once said: “Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown; you know what I’m saying?” Like Elvis, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Prince, redefined and influenced the role of the frontman with raw emotion and a frenetic stage presence.

Little Richard, Sam Cooke and Ray Charles and their gospel-cum-R&B stylings were notable influences on James Brown, who started performing in 1955 with the guitarist Bobby Byrd and The Famous Flames.

Brown made his name in the mid-60’s, with the classic funk-soul hits, including “I Got You (I Feel Good),” and “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” James Brown in London, June 2006By the late ’60s and early ’70s, Brown struck a groove with his backup band, the JB’s, which included now-legendary musicians such as Bootsy Collins and Fred Wesley, recorded “Number One Soul Brother,” “Sex Machine,” “Funky Drummer,” and the social-rights-themed black power anthem, “Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” His brand of funk and swagger combined with an irresistible vibe produced a string of Billboard hits through the 60’s and early 70’s that helped build a bridge to funk, soul, disco, and modern R&B.

That “James Brown Sound” spread infectiously across the music spectrum, and directly influenced Miles Davis’ 1972 “On the Corner,” the music of the Jackson 5, The Rolling Stones, Sly & the Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, Parliament, Etta James, Kool & the Gang, Cameo… and later, Outkast, the jazz/funk fusion sounds of Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Galactic, and Charlie Hunter, and today’s direct descendants of the Godfather, such as Breakestra, !!!, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings. The list goes on and on.

James Brown had run-ins with the law, drug problems and health issues in recent decades, but his death came suddenly and early. His Web site lists tour dates that were scheduled to begin December 27 in Waterbury, CT and included gigs through August 2007.

The most recent interview I can find was last week, with Hour Magazine, previewing Brown’s planned January Canadian tour. Read it here. Read on for more intriguing interviews, etc…
Listen to JB’s “Christmas in Heaven” (MP3).

Have yourself a Soulful Christmas.

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