Top 40 radio played the instrumental “Grazing in the Grass” to death in 1968. Many adventurous music fans got to see South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela the year before right here. Masekela and his band were featured performers at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. He also provided the trumpet solo for The Byrds’ “So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star”. Fast forward to an incredibly diverse career – helping to free Nelson Mandela, joining Paul Simon on the breakthrough world music of “Graceland”, working on the Broadway musical “Sarafina”, writing his biography – and you begin to see what a treasure Hugh Masekela has been to the world of music and South African culture. Join his 75th Birthday Celebration at the intimate Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz Monday, March 24th. Showtimes are 7 and 9 pm; best get tickets in advance for this birthday party.
Scott Hansen, also known as synth ambient electronic music producer Tycho, has just released his second LP. Once strictly a solo project, Tycho has now evolved into a three-piece band providing plenty of energy and euphoria at their live shows. Their debut performance in Santa Cruz will take place at The Catalyst on March 19th. Showtime is 9 pm…or so.
How can you go wrong with a name like “Pour House” on today’s holiday? They will cap off your St. Patrick’s Day with a variety of Irish songs, jigs and sing-alongs, adding a fresh twist to tunes from Irish artists like Van Morrison, The Pogues, Waterboys and others tonight at special Crepe Place gig. The revery may begin sooner, but the pour from Pour House will start around 9 pm.
In January 2004, Luisa Cardoza (aka DJ LC) started spinning music on The Great 88. It all started when she enrolled in our broadcast class while working at the UCSC Ticket Office. Luisa loved our Friday afternoon “Not So Distant Relatives” program so when host DJ Abel graduated, she and DJ Soul Patch (Ben Kutcher) took over. LC also did a great job as part of the longest running women’s radio collective in the world, Breakfast in Bed (Sundays 9-noon) and subbing on “Jazz Kitty” (Saturdays, noon-2). Luisa has recently moved to San Francisco, where she’s hosting the show “Tapestries” on KCSF Radio every Wednesday as part of SF City College’s Broadcast Media program. The station streams live via TuneInRadio with programs also archived on Mixcloud.com. Even though LC is now on a different spot on the dial, she’ll always be a loyal fan of where she got her radio start, KZSC.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata (Madlib Invazion)
Gary, Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs is set to release his fourth collaborative project on March 18 with critically acclaimed producer Madlib, known primarily for his work with MF DOOM (Madvillainy) and J Dilla (Jaylib). Freddie Gibbs was originally signed to Young Jeezy’s label CTE World in 2011, but due to contract disputes Gibbs left CTE and started his own label called ESGN last year. Their previous 3 EPs Thuggin‘, Shame, and Deeper, have shown Freddie Gibbs talent to rap over Madlib’s unorthodox style of production. With Piñata, we can expect more of Gangsta Gibbs’ street-inspired rhymes.
Kevin Gates – By Any Means (Bread Winners’ Association)
Kevin Gates will be following up a very successful 2013 with his new mixtape By Any Means, set to release March 18. The Louisiana rapper’s 2013 releases Luca Brasi Story and Stranger Than Fiction showcased his ability to incorporate the Southern rap style popularized by Master P and T.I., with very well-thought out lyricism. Kevin Gates has found much popularity in his home state, but has yet to fully break into the national spotlight. Perhaps By Any Means will be the release to change that.
Future – Honest (Epic/Freebandz)
Future has gone from being a one hit wonder to one of the biggest names in the rap industry today. He kills the hook game. Following up his 2012 debut, Pluto, the self-described “Astronaut Kid” looks to bring more extra-terrestrial sounding, infectious rhymes on Honest, set to drop April 22. Future has already taken advantage of the rising fame by starting his own label called Freebandz, on which has signed several up and coming rappers. Future is the cousin of Rico Wade, member of Organized Noize, the producers behind countless hits by Goodie Mob, TLC, and Outkast. So it is no surprise to see a rare Andre 3000 verse featured on this. Honest also includes guest appearances by Pharrell Williams, Pusha T, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, and Freebandz affiliates Young Scooter and Casino. You can play the video game accompanying his new single “Move That Dope” at MoveThatDoh.com.
The Ides of March turned out to be a bummer for Caesar, however it also marked the beginning of the new year for the Romans. It’s a new season of world music releases at KZSC including station favorites from the experimental fusion group Beats Antique, internationally acclaimed Tuareg guitarist Bombino plus the collaborative work of Sudanese vocalist Alsarah with French electronic artist Debruit. A modern, haunting take on Sudanese music heard through the sonic lens of French electronic, I can’t tell you how much I’m loving “Aljawal Soundway”. And we just received one by Pink Martini with The (“Sound of Music”) Von Trapp Family. Theatrical world music? More on this one next time. Here’s a quick look at 10 new world recordings worth hearing:
1 BEATS ANTIQUE A Thousand Faces, Act I Beats Antique
2 BOMBINO Nomad Nonesuch
3 DEBRUIT AND ALSARAH Aljawal Soundway
4 OMAR SOULEYMAN Wenu Wenu Ribbon
5 LAS CAFETERAS It’s Time Self-Released
6 VAADAT CHARIGIM The World Is Well Lost Burger
7 DIDI FAVREAU Deal With It Didi Favreau
8 BOSSACUCANOVA Our Kind Of Bossa Six Degrees
9 ALSARAH AND THE NUBATONES Silt Wonderwheel
10 JAMES WHETZEL Beats For Venus