James Brown Throws Down in Zaire

In 1974, a DC-10 took off from the U.S. en route to Kinshasa, Zaire. The Rumble in the Jungle was about to go down – a heavyweight fight between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. It was Don King’s first big fight as a promoter. To precede the fight, a music festival was planned. So aboard that DC-10, not only were Muhammad Ali and his crew on board, but all of the musicians too. And their gear. And their wardrobe. Making the flight were Bill Withers, B.B. King, the Pointer Sisters, the Jazz Crusaders, Sister Sledge, James Brown and his crew (Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, and others), and even more musicians.

Brown and his gang were headlining the festival, and as you’ll hear, he and his great band were in prime form. The musicians spent a couple of weeks in Zaire, staying for free in luxury hotels, soaking up the nightlife, and having a great time. As Fred Wesley said in this article he wrote for the Seattle Times, “I think maybe some of the economic problems Zaire is experiencing today are a residual effect of that 1974 music festival.”

James Brown
Live in Zaire
September, 1974


1. Intro – The Payback
2. Soulpower
3. The Boss
4. Make It Funky
5. Doing It To Death
6. Bewildered
7. (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine
8. Cold Sweat – I Can’t Stand It
9. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag
10. Gimme Some More
11. Get On The Good Foot
12. Zaire Soul
13. Sax Solo (Maceo)
14. Try Me
15. For The Love Of Money
16. The Payback (reprise)
17. My Thang
18. Say It Loud, I’m Black And I’m Proud
19. Please Please Please

TRIVIA: Do you know who won the Rumble in the Jungle? Ali (32 yrs old) or Foreman (24 yrs old)? Well, one of ’em went down in the 8th round. You can watch Round 8 here to find out…

DVD: I just Netflixed an Oscar winning documentary about the Rumble in the Jungle, which not only documents the fight, but the music festival as well. It’s called When We Were Kings. You can find out more about it by clicking the DVD cover. I’ll be watching it soon.

Foreman vs. Frazier (1973) -Before George Foreman faced Muhammad Ali in Zaire, he had risen from from the ranks since his gold medal victory at the 1968 Olympics. In 1973, he faced Joe Frazier, completely dominating, with the fight being called in the 2nd round. Check out George Foreman, before the Grill ®.

First Listen: The Great Outdoors

You'll Never Put A Better Bit Of The Great Outdoors On Your Knife.

What is it about the changing weather that has inspired musicians throughout the centuries? I’ll admit to not being too familiar with the folk-rock ensemble The Great Outdoors prior to receiving their new EP Spring, but that’s something that I hope to remedy soon. There is a simple, gentle yet urgent beauty to the three tracks that make up the EP that captures the renewal and rebirth of its namesake season. I’ve got the first track “Spring Flower” available below and you can hear the entire EP at the group’s official site.

The Great OutdoorsSpring Flower (MP3)

Links: Official Site | on Last.fm | on MySpace

Oval Room, by Blaze Foley

Written about Ronald Reagan in the early 80’s by the late Blaze Foley, “Oval Room” sure is just as fitting today as it was 25 years ago, isn’t it?

Blaze FoleyOval Room (mp3) from Oval Room [buy it]

→ 265 days left.

Oval Room

In his oval room, in his rockin’ chair
He’s the president, but I don’t care
He’s a business man, he got business ties
He got dollar signs in both his eyes
Got a big airplane, take him everywhere
Got his limousine, when he get there
Everywhere he goes, make the people mad
Makes the poor man beg, and the rich man glad

He’s the president, but I don’t care
Ooh, Ooooooh, Ooh

At the factory, never been so slow
Got a big fourth down, ninety nine to go
And down on the farm, nothing growing there
But the debts they owe and their gray hair
In the desert sand, and the jungle deep
He thinks everything is his to keep
He’s a real cowboy, with his makeup on
Talks to kings and queens on the telephone

He’s the president, but I don’t care
Ooh, Oooooh, Ooh

He’s a movie star, if you stay up late
And he’ll search your car, if you don’t look straight
In his Oval Room, in his rockin’ chair
He’s the president, but I don’t care

He’s the president, but I don’t care
Ooh, Oooooh, Ooh

He’s the president, but I don’t care
Ooh, Oooooh, Ooh

Blaze Foley.com

Review: Friday at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival

When you show up to at a music festival to pick up your press credentials, and you’re handed a VIP pass with 12 free drinks ready to be punched, at a Sierra Nevada-sponsored festival, well – you just know it’s gonna be a great day. Nine hours later – after seeing and hearing the likes of Gov’t Mule, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, the subdudes, Steve Reynolds Band, and Mikel Lander, Meridith Moore & Friends – I was right, it was great.

This was my second straight year at the Friday offering of Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountain Music Festival. It’s a young festival (this was it’s 5th annual), and with the impressive lineups, the great organization, and so much room at the Westworld venue to expand, it’s going to pick up steam and continue to grow each year. So on this Friday, my partner in crime was my friend Greg. Let me take you through our day…

Scarlett’s New Album (Scar-Jo’s No Ho Yo)

You know, after hearing this Listening Party stream of Scarlett Johansson‘s album, color me impressed. Not that I expected her to release a pile of garbage like Paris Hilton, but you never know what to expect with the actress turned singer debut album (did I just call Paris Hilton an actress?). But ScarJo’s got a lot of impressive things going with this album: first of all, Anywhere I Lay My Head is essentially a Tom Waits cover album – 10 of the 11 songs are Waits songs. Secondly, it was recorded here, at Dockside Studio, deep in Louisiana bayou country. And thirdly, she brings in quite the supporting cast: David Bowie sings on a tune, TV on the Radio producer David Sitek produces, and also appearing are Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zimmer, and Sean Antanaitis from Celebration.

Anywhere I Lay My Head is released on May 20th. You can pre-order the album by gently yet firmly clicking the album cover…HEY! Gennntllllle.

Album Stream Playlist [hear it]:

1. Fawn
2. Town with No Cheer
3. Falling Down
4. Anywhere I Lay My Head
5. Fannin Street
6. Song for Jo

Clay Pigeons – John Prine on Austin City Limits

I was catching up on some recorded episodes of Austin City Limits this afternoon, and came across a goldmine: a repeat of the John Prine / Amos Lee episode that aired about 2 years ago. It was John’s version of “Clay Pigeons” that really affected me, and led me to the original songwriter, Blaze Foley. I wrote about that day here.

I checked YouTube back then for the Prine ACL version, but no go. And today, after seeing John’s amazing performance again, I checked again, and lo and behold, here it is. I trust there’ll be a few of you who are just as affected as I was.

For good measure, here’s Blaze Foley’s equally brilliant original…

Blaze FoleyClay Pigeons (mp3)

Prince’s Big Weekend in SoCal (Coachella, Leno)

Looks like our boy Prince had one his best weekends in a while – since last year’s Super Bowl Sunday at least. Friday night he debuted a new chicken scratch funker called “Turn Me Loose” on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (vid below). And last night, as Saturday’s Coachella headliner, what does he go and do? Brings out Morris for “Jungle Love” and “The Bird”; brings out Shelia E. for “The Glamorous Life”; and debuts a live cover of – get this – Radiohead’s “Creep”! Wha-wha-whaaat?

I hope the DAT recorders were rolling (don’t tell the purple one!)…

Set List (thanks T.):
The Bird (performed by Morris Day) /
Jungle Love (performed by Morris Day) /
Glamorous Life (performed by Sheila E.) /
Instrumental Jam /
1999 /
I Feel For U /
Controversy (with snippet of “Housequake”) /
Little Red Corvette /
Musicology /
Cream /
U Got the Look /
Shh /
Anotherloverholenyohead /
Creep (Radiohead cover) /
The Arms of an Angel (Sarah McLachlan cover performed by backup singers) /
7 –> Come Together (Beatles Cover) /
Purple Rain /
Let’s Go Crazy

[redlasso id=’e5a48730-b64b-4791-ab0e-ceae86507fb4′]

Ickmusic’s Friday Five: April 25, 2008

It's A Bit Of A Shuffle.

While I’m doing my best Tim Allen impression (the TV version, not the reality version) I’m again going to have to phone in the very late edition of the Friday Five.

As I had mentioned last week I’m in the midst of a home remodeling project and have had the tunes on non-stop to get me through the trying experiences of being a non-handy type being handy. That said, here’s what came up the most during the last 7 days of home ownership bliss. Last week the Fivers played along with the playlist theme and no one seemed to have a single tune with improvement in the title (yours truly included). We’ll do more themed weeks in the coming months and perhaps a guest feature or two! Due to the lack of time, this week will be an all-video edition but never fear, we’ll be back to the random MP3 format next week.

Now, on with the show!

Here are this week’s tracks:

1. Jason Mraz – I’m Yours (from We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things)

I’ve made my no secret of appreciation for Mr. A-Z, and this tune in particular happens to have a wonderful video that reminds me very much of my Honeymoon in Hawaii. This has been in heavy rotation for weeks and I think that everyone should get his new record when it comes out May 13th.

2. Beastie Boys – Shadrach (from Paul’s Boutique)

Aside from being a damn funky record, this is one of my default ‘working’ albums.

3. Rolling Stones – Paint it Black (from Forty Licks)

Apparently this is my son’s favorite song as he’s played it on his iPod 20 times in the last few weeks and so it worked it’s way into my playlists more often as well. It could be worse, he could be listening to Miley Cyrus.

4. Pearl Jam – Black (from Ten)

Another one of my default ‘working’ records. Even over 15 years later it stands as one of the best records I’ve ever heard.

5. Billy Joel – A Matter of Trust (from The Bridge)

Billy came up a whole lot this week for some reason. I don’t know why… this has always been one of my favorites.

Now it’s your turn, what’s helping keep you sane?

New Tunes: Bridges and Powerlines

I hadn’t heard of NYC’s Bridges and Powerlines until they hit my inbox. But it’s a great sign when a song grabs me by the 00:03 second mark, which this one did. After the intro, a “Road to Nowhere”-like rhythm eases in, and what ensues is four minutes of quality power-pop.

The band formed back in ’05, and is made up of singer Andrew Wood, bassist Keith Sigel, guitarist Jon Crockett, and drummer Pete Mucek. Their first full length album, Ghost Types, was released just yesterday (April 22). I haven’t had the opportunity to take in the whole album yet, but if this very strong opener is any indication, you’re gonna want to dig a little deeper into these guys.

Bridges and Powerlines Uncalibrated (mp3)



Buy Ghost Types on: emusic, itunes, insound, tonevendor

Review: In Tucson with David Hidalgo and Louie Perez

This past Sunday, I jumped on I-10 East and headed down to Tucson for a Dave & Louie show. Dave & Louie being David Hidalgo and Louie Perez, two members (and the main songwriters) of Los Lobos. The atmosphere and show format could not have been cooler: two 45 minute sets of music followed by a Q&A session – where audience members could step to the microphone and ask questions. Did I step to the mic? But of course! More on that later.

Sunday’s Tucson show was the final stop on a short seven city tour of the West, celebrating almost 40 years of writing songs together.