Friday, July 31, 2009

Give me the night with Gloria Gaynor (dedicated to everyone at Cork City FC)

Give me the night on RedFM-let's get out there and support the lads at the Cross! btw don't front on this tune no matter how overplayed it is! Great version from Chantay Savage too for the Back bar crew feat Common

Steve "Silk" Hurley on the boards! Stevie G

Monday, July 27, 2009

Give me the night with Guy

Man i love New Jack Swing Teddy Riley is a genius

Tune of the day! Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

A couple of classic vids from Kim Chi from their second performance at Jam, last Novemeber, at the Pavilion in Cork! Watch out for their return in October 09!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Kanye West rocks Jam at the Pavilion with Kid Cudi at the N.A.S.A. gig

Kanye West suprised loads of Cork music fans by turning up last night to my Jam night in the Pavilion in Cork and performing alongside fellow rapper Kid Cudi at an intimate gig by hot U.S. supergroup N.A.S.A.! Earlier Kanye had rocked Live at the Marquee in Cork for the 3rd time but the 300 strong crowd at the much smaller Pavilion couldn't believe it when he took to the stage just after 1a.m. and rapped on his own "Gifted" track from N.A.S.A.'s "Spirit of the Apollo" album, which features guests such as Kanye, Tom Waits, M.I.A, George Clinton and more.
I was tipped off only shortly before-hand, and made sure that Kanye's visit was kept slightly under wraps. He was basically unwinding after his show and our staff made sure he was left to mind his own business. He is friends with Sam Spiegel of N.A.S.A. and he wanted to hang out and see the show. Most of the people in the club didn't know he was there till he jumped on stage! I warmed up for Kanye on his previous two visits to Cork but this was his first time meeting him properly. Kanye was well cool, very laid-back and down-to-earth, a million miles from the public persona to be honest. I was pretty happy that he came down to our club but when he got up and performed I nearly hit the roof! Kid Cudi joined in too and they sane his "Day N Night" number and it rounded off a terrific night for everyone who was there. Kanye's performance at the Marquee was a much more mature and rounded one this time, and everyone at the Pavilion could see the passion that the guy has for his music. Respect!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Michael Jackson-the final word

I've compiled a few of the articles i've written since the passing of Michael Jackson together, basically dealing with his music legacy. I've posted loads of vids aswell, most of which are down at the end of my post!

Download my tribute mix to his soulful years here

Darling Dear
It's Your Thing
Don't Let It Get You Down
The Young Folks
People Make The World Go 'Round
We've Got A Good Thing Going
In Our Small Way
Got To Be There
La La (Means I Love You)
Good Times
Rockin' Robin
That's What Love Is Made Of
Corner Of The Sky
Sugar Daddy
One More Chance
When I Come Of Age
Call On Me
Maria (You Were The Only One)
I'll Bet You
It's Too Late To Change The Time
Who's Loving You
Music And Me
Everybody's Sombody's Fool
Ain't No Sunshine
Break of Dawn
We're Almost There
I'll Be There
Human Nature
I Can't Help It
Don't Know Why I Love You
I Wanna Be Where You Are
Get It Together
It's The Falling In Love
Liberian Girl (Giuliodj Edit)
Girl You're So Together
I Want You Back
Take Me Back
Make Tonight All Mine
Love Song
Mama's Pearl
Who's Looking For A Lover
Girl, Don't Take Your Love From Me
Lonely Teardrops
Maybe Tomorrow
Never Can Say Goodbye
Medley: Sing A Simple Song/Can You Remember
You've got a friend
The Lady In My Life
One Day In Your Life
She's Out Of My Life
All I Do Is Think Of You

Michael Jackson-The hip-hop influence

Written for the Evening Echo last Thursday

There have been millions of articles written about Michael Jackson in the past 7 days but today I'm gonna take a look at his music from a hip-hop perspective. Michael Jackson's role in hip-hop is on the surface not blatantly obvious but Michael himself had been making hits for long before hip-hop was born and in many ways he showed hip-hop music that there were endless possibilities as he became the biggest pop artist in the world.

Like hip-hop or indeed any music, Michael owes a great debt to those who went before and he never hid his admiration of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and James Brown, artists who's moved inspired him to develop his own incredible style as he made the break from the Jackson 5 in the late 70's. All of these artists were quick to acknowledge Michael's talent too and despite all of the questionable facets of his personal life, no-one could ever question his ability as a great performer.

James Brown is the most interesting comparison really, as he had pretty much everything in his locker that Michael had, and in many ways he blazed the trail for Michael and co in far more difficult times. James Brown was pre-MTV though and his sound, even though it created hip-hop and defined funk, was never gonna hold down the same mass appeal as Michael's. James Brown could knock out a soul ballad with the best of them, but he was never gonna release the syrupy middle of the road soul that Michael periodically released throughout his careers, particularly his mainstream stuff. Michael and James though were the two best artists of at creating dance-floor killers, though again, even though his music formed the backbone of 30 years of hip-hop, James did not cross over to white audiences in such a way.

James was staunchly proud to be pro-black and quite unrelenting in his almost militant stand as the boundaries slowly broke down in the 60's and 70's. Michael Jackson's music broke down the race barrier on MTV but he was far more vague on the issue of black pride and in later years many black musicians found it ironic that he attempted to play the race card against Sony only when faced with a difficult period of his career. Michael's appearance had of course changed completely too from the fresh faced kid of his youth but i don't think this made a major difference to his success. He was a global superstar ever since he unveiled the "Moonwalk" and with classic albums such as "Off the Wall" and "Thriller" by the age of 25, he was well deserving of the accolade the King of Pop.

Michael Jackson videos became huge cultural events years before hip-hop acts utilized the format for the same purpose, despite the best efforts of some of the old skool rap artists. His influence on the sonic evolution of hip-hop and more particularly modern r&b was immense, and in an era of big budget production values and producer driven rap and r&b hits, it's fair to say Michael was again a huge influence. Many hip-hop artists of course have sampled him too and while he will never rival James Brown in that regard, his early 70's material with the Jackson 5 has been the source of many a good hook for modern acts.

Ultimately though, his legacy in hip-hop was about attitude. He took James Browns can-do attitude to a level that even the Godfather of Soul could not have imagined, and he became even more well known than Elvis Presley and the Beatles in doing so. In his own words, it suddenly didn't matter if you were "black or white", and even though I preferred his music back when he was blacker, i doff my hat to the music of an artist who has been with me for every inch of my own long personal musical journey. At Jam tomorrow at the Pavilion we will pay tribute to Michael Jackson in a Motown special that will feature classic soul music from Michael and other great artists such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations and all the others who helped define one of the greatest labels of all time.

and another article I wrote, the day after he died

Michael Jackson-The Global superstar

Amazingly he was only 50 years of age. For me he had secured his legacy by the age of 25 having already released his best album ("Off the Wall") and his most popular one ("Thriller"). The ground-breaking famous "Moonwalk" appearance at the Motown 25th anniversary celebrations took place months before his own 25th birthday in 1983 and ultimately this and the release of "Thriller" made Michael the biggest pop star on the planet.

Michael had not only restored faith in an industry and in album and singles sales, he had also done so earning an unprecedented royalty rate and had broken through and used the full capabilities of an MTV network that had previously ignored black artists. Even the making of the "Thriller" video was a huge event and money spinner and pop music would never be the same again. For me, this was the moment where it all started to go horribly wrong. The second half to his life would feature many great musical highlights but sadly this soon took a back seat as his appearance changed almost in tandem with how the world perceived him as the 80's deepened. Like many of the great artists of our time, it is impossible for us to truly get to the heart of these personal demons, but we can certainly make an accurate call on his music and it was more than just numbers that made Michael Jackson the King of Pop.

The extent of his superstardom cannot be over-estimated and by when he hit Cork in 1988 the whole City seemed to stop. Even as a pale shadow of himself years later he was box office though I'm glad I'm not one of the promoters of the forthcoming London shows all the same! The circus surrounding Michael Jackson meant that his music increasingly became misunderstood in later years and personally I thought even his last album 'Invincible" contained some amazing tracks. He had always worked with the best producers and recently Rodney Jerkins and Teddy Riley were very much in this vein, but it's the aforementioned Quincy Jones era which will rightly define his legacy.

You only have to turn on the radio today to see how influential Michael still is and pop stars such as Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, The Black Eyed Peas and Timbaland rightly worship at his musical altar every time they hit the studio. The amazing thing is that his brand of pop music retains it's credibility too and up to and including "Thriller" you will find very few people in the fields of hip-hop, r&b and house music questioning his status as one of the greats. Disco went and became house but Michael Jackson created what is my mind the perfect dance album in "Off the Wall". He and his team had achieved the impossible really, the creation of an album which sounded as good on radio as it did dance-floors; just ask the hundreds of top class house producers in 2009 how difficult it is to make top quality music work in an album format. As a DJ for me his music has represented the ultimate get out of jail card in times of difficulty for over 15 years, quite simply, every generation loves his music. Indeed, like most other people under 40 I can't remember any moment where his music was not part of my life!

The period before "Off the Wall" was the critical time for me though. It's worth remembering now that he and his brothers had been written off as a novelty act by that stage but in hindsight their music stands up really well. Michael was the main man though and the last great global pop star has left us with decades of music that will last forever. To my eyes and ears, James Brown was unparalleled as a performer and Michael openly admits that the Godfather of soul was his hero as he sat in front of the TV as a child studying his moves. But James was very pro-black black and uncompromising and far too much of a threat for the mainstream really. Even before the days of MTV it is unlikely he would have crossed over to the extent that Michael Jackson did and for me only Bob Marley, The Beatles and Elvis Presley came close to matching his worldwide status, although it is far to say that possibly only Marley could rival Jackson as an artist who's music touches parts of remote Africa and South America even today. Marley was no pop star though and like the others mentioned his performing career didn't last as long as Michaels. Even the Sinatras of the world, who's careers spanned longer, were not on top for so long and were certainly not as famous throughout the world.

The fame and celebrity and notoriety and controversy will come come and go but the music will live forever and Michael Jackson will continue to rock dance-floors for years after you and I have passed. When you are up to your ears in hearing his music everywhere in the next week or so and when it is all proving too much, i urge you to take some time out to listen to "Off the Wall" in it's entirety. For a man who supposedly wanted to be perfectly good looking and who's subsequent imperfections have been laid bare for everyone to see, it is worth remembering that in just over 40 minutes at the age of just 20, Michael Jackson had achieved a musical perfection that can never be taken away.
Stevie G

Spme of my favourite Michael records-I can safely say that I wouldn't be working in music without him-Thanks for the great music, the happy memories and the ultimate get out of jail records that worked every single time no matter what the crowd, from teen discos to underground soul and hip-hop nights-Respect

My favourite Jackson 5 track and my favourite hip-hop producer sampled it. R.I.P. Michael, and R.I.P. Dilla

I'm not gonna front on you, this song breaks down all my defences and I was quite emotional as I ended my tribute mix with it last Saturday

Free download here

The Jackson 5

J Dilla

The Roots

and a famous sample which was also massive

One for the late night crew! Nina Simone

One of the greatest artists of the 20th century

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Impressionists on Black on Red!

One of my favourite bands in Cork joined me for a chat tonight on Black on Red ahead of their "Back to Basics" E.P. Party at Jam on July 17th in the Pavilion

Check out their myspace here, the music is amazing. I've been putting these guys on for years and love their stuff

Thursday, July 02, 2009

50 years of Motown numbers 21 up to 14!

Loads more anthems ahead of the big party tomorrow night! I haven't time for descriptions just enjoy!

No.21 The Supremes-"You Keep me hangin On"

No.20 Marvin Gaye-"What's Goin On"

No.20 The Spinners-"It's a Shame"

No.19 The Undisputed Truth-"Smiling Faces Sometimes"

No.18 Stevie Wonder-"Sir Duke"

No.17 Smokey Robinson "I second that emotion"

No.16 Mary Wells "My Guy"

No.15 The Temptations "Ball of Confusion"

No.14 Gladys Knight & The Pips "Didn't You Know (You'd Have To Cry Sometime)"

Death of Auto-tune = Rebirth of hip-hop?

Jay Z has released the biggest hip-hop tune so far this summer with "Death of Auto-tune". It's been massive since it first leaked a few weeks ago and it has provoked loads of debate in hip-hop, which is a good thing. The last time something like this happened was when Nas released "Hip-hop is dead" a couple of years ago but the Jay Z track is far superior and likely to shake things up more.

Nas has always been acclaimed as one of the best modern day rappers and his legacy was secure from the day he released his stunning "Illmatic" album 15 years ago. Jay Z came out the same time with "Reasonable Doubt" and though both went through dodgy periods before their own rivalry helped bring back the hunger, it is safe to say that both are still two of the finest rappers in the world today. Jay Z has undoubtedly got a bigger profile at this stage though and this is one of the reasons why it is good that he is behind this incredible new tune. There are hundreds of rappers bringing out tracks with similar sentiments every year, but when the likes of Jay Z lambast the entire hip-hop industry people tend to sit up and take notice, especially since he is a respected business player now too.

Musically, it's an impossible track to ignore which helps. The distinctive horn samples come from "In the space" by French film composer Janko and it will stay in your head all day. The bridge is inspired by Steams "Na na hey hey kiss him goodbye" and it is a banging production by No I.D. Kanye West, who recorded a whole album using auto-tune last year, is being heralded as a co-writer and producer in some circles but it seems likely that this is not the case. Kanye will hold down some production duties on the new Jigga album though and it is fairly likely he had given Jay Z his blessing for this track, since he himself has more-or-less left auto-tune behind since last year too.

Auto-tune is a pitch correction vocoder that's use has exploded in hip-hop over the last few years and the likes of Kanye and T-Pain have been using it very heavily in commercially successful hip-hop and r&b tunes. Even though it echoes some of the great sonic vocoding sounds that Roger Troutman made famous with Zapp nearly 30 years ago, the use of auto-tune became very fashionable within modern day music and it is far to say that Jay Z is right to attack the over-kill we are experiencing. He is in fired-up form and starts with rhymes that leave is in doubt that mainstream hip-hop is his target, proclaiming "This is anti auto-tune, death of the ringtone, this ain't for i tunes, this ain't for sing-along". Jay Z proceeds to basically tear it up over a few minutes that will certainly make many rappers think twice before they hit the studio next time out. The tune is everywhere and the different versions are already coming out too; hopefully Jay Z's tune will result in many other big name rappers stepping up their game because at the moment mainstream hip-hop is very poor.

Jay Z and Nas have both been guilty of watering down the genre themselves but overall it is fair to say that they are hip-hop fans at heart. Kanye too is is an innovator who still has respect and as a fan of hip-hop I hope that all of these big names inspire others to get back to what Jay Z is saying are the basics of the genre. There are too many guest producer driven albums featuring too many guests spots and too many gimmicks. I'm not nostalgic and moaning that the old stuff was always better and I'm certainly a fan of the best modern day stuff but I do hope that Jay Z's influence helps create a situation where we can turn on MTV in 12 months time and hear plenty of quality hip-hop rather than generic ringtone rap!

50 years of Motown no. 22 and one for the late night crew-Stevie Wonder "My Cherie Amour"

Motown classic number 22 and one for the late night crew! As a bonus have John Legends classic, which nods to Stevie at the end and indeed throughout

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

50 years of Motown numbers 27, 26, 25, 24 and 23!

48 hours to go to a huge celebration of Detroits great label! We are running a big night in Jam Friday at the Pavilion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the best record labels of all time. I'm counting down 50 of my favourites and here's five more

Download my Motown mix for here

No.27 Martha Reeves and the Vandellas-"Nowhere to Run"

Stomping tune with an amazing vocal

No.26 Marvin Gaye-"Let's Get It On"

Another turn in Marvin's career, from another classic album

No.25 Smokey Robinson-"Going to a Go-Go"

As fresh as ever I love this

No.24 Rare Earth-"I Just want to celebrate"

Norman Whitfield again showing the rock side of Motown

No.23 Edwin Starr-"25 Miles"

Northern soul classic

50 years of Motown no. 28-The Isley Brothers "This old heart of mine"

Two days to go to the big night! Unreal legends of Black music who had close ties with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to the Beatles and there is still an incarnation of them out there making music!

Yo this is my blog that's updated pretty much every day before 1pm Irish time

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    I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays also you can catch me at