FREE MP3 DL: “An Adventure To Pepperland Through Rhyme & Space”

If you read the title and know what Pepperland refers to, then you know it most likely has to do with The Beatles, and it does. Now you look at the graphic and are saying “but wait, I see Ol’ Dirty Bastard here. What’s going on?” In this case, it’s a remix project where Beatles samples were used to create new instrumentals for hip-hop songs. Look at all of the people who are on it, it’s insane. Here’s the track listing:
Part 1
Hello Hello – Edan
Mr Mustard – Big Daddy Kane
Second To None – Rakim
Taxman – The Notorius B.I.G.
Gentle Thief – Nas
Where I’m From – Large Professor
Country Grammar – Talib Kweli & Bun B
Parlay – J-Live
Twist – Salt-N-Pepper
Birthday Dedication – Busta Rhymes
Open Mic Session pt. 1 – Masta Ace, Percee P, Lord Finesse, Frankie Cutlass, Easy Mo Bee & KRS-One
Number Nine – YZ
Self Titled – Heltah Skeltah
Bang Bang – MOP
Pepper – Kool G Rap
Bring Your Friends – Public Enemy
Interlude / Bridge – MC Shan
Last Forever – Artifacts
For The Children – Freddie Foxxx
Ringo’s Big Beat Theme – Spoonie Gee
Hold Poppa’s Large Hand – Ultramagnetic MC’s
Open Mic Session pt. 2 – Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane & Rakim
The End – Run DMC & Afrika Bambaataa
Circles – Wu-Tang Clan
Brooklyn Walrus – Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Buckshot , Masta Ace & Special Ed
Part 2
Secrets – Slick Rick
Beneath The Diamond Sky – The Genius/GZA
Within Tomorrow – Busta Rhymes
The Beginning – Sunz Of Man
Gentle Drama – The RZA & Rugged Monk
Becausizm – KRS-One & Channel Live
Mary Jane – Tha Alkaholiks
Bong Water – Viktor Vaughn
Hold On
Love In Summertime – Ghostface Killah & Beyonce
And I Lover Her Crazy – Jay-Z & Beyonce
Ruffneck Soldier – MC Lyte
Hey! – Beastie Boys
Get Back To The City – Large Professor
Hard To Leave Home – Nas
The Flyest – AZ
And Who? – Heiroglyphics
Lonely Thoughts – The Notorious B.I.G.
Can You Dig It? – Gravediggaz
How To Smile – 2Pac & Scarface
A Day In New York – AZ, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah

Stream it in full above or if you just want to download it and carry it with you on your travels, head to

AUDIO: Kanye West, Paul McCartney & Rihanna’s “FourFiveSeconds (Christian Rich Rework)” (excerpt)

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You may have already heard Kanye West’s new song, or perhaps you may have read too much news about the song’s co-producer, Paul McCartney, or the fact that it also features Rihanna. If you stayed away from the song due to personal morals, I would suggest listening to this remix of the song, or at least an excerpt of the remix. It was done by a duoo named Christian Rich and I am nicely surprised at how this is presented. You may click here (2.2mb) to download the song.

(Audio file courtesy of Kathryn Frazier. Used with permission.)

BOOK REVIEW: Glyn Johns’ “Sound Man”

 photo GlynJohns_cover_zpsdf6c2566.jpg If you have bought any rock albums in the last 50 years, you will have come across Glyn Johns’ name a number of times, as he was responsible for producing and/or engineering some of the music that has become a part of your life. He has been mythologized due to the work he did with The Rolling Stones and The Beatles but Sound Man (Blue Rider Press) tells the stories direct from the man himself, from his childhood tales to joining a choir that would lead him to become not only part of the recording studio, but part of the record industry.

As someone who is known as a producer and engineer, I had wondered (and perhaps hoped) that he would get technical about some of the projects that has made him someone to work with. It doesn’t get too technical or “over the head” at all but instead, he touches on meeting and working with the artists, his interaction with everyone involved and the experiences he may have had during a recording session or live shows. One is able to read about certain equipment from time to time but Sound Man isn’t a gear essay. Instead, Johns speaks from the perspective of someone who was there, yet at times he also writes as he was just a fly on the wall, observing what’s going on while putting together the process of what was and still remains his work.

The bulk of the book focuses on what he did in the 60’s and 70’s, which means extensive work with Led Zeppelin, the Stones, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, and so many others. It’s a chance to find out about the negotiations for artists, doing a lot of traveling from England to Los Angeles or New York and back, and seeing everyone pass him by as if it he was just taking a stroll through a school building and saying hello to old friends. Johns does reveal a few facts that may have been overlooked, such as certain musicians that played in well known songs and why, so if you loved Charlie Watts’ drumming in “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)”, you’re actually listening to Kenney Jones behind the kit.

The tales from the Sound Man are that from an employee and a fan, which makes it a pleasant read. By the last third of the book, we get to the 80’s and 90’s and the changes of the music industry as a whole and despite the setbacks, he moves forward and sticks with his job, occasionally having a bit of self-doubt but realizing his ears and expertise still hold a lot of value, as it has since the early 1960’s.

COVERED: The Beatles vs. Keith “Wild Child” Middleton

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We all know about Abbey Road, the 1969 album by The Beatles that has been honored, homaged, parodied many times over in the 45 years since its release. Now there’s a new album that pays tribute to the cover in its own way. This time it’s a new release by Keith “Wild Child” Middleton called Transitions, released last month but I only became aware of the release a month later. Middleton portrays each member of his “group” in the photo, while the Ringo spot seems to be energetic and jumping up proud. Middleton raps but also explores some spoken word into his music too so if you’d like to have a listen, the Bandcamp page for the album is below.

BOOK’S JOOK: The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”/”Revolution”

  • Book’s Jook is a column dedicated to placing a record within my dream jukebox, if I were to have one. The Seeburg jukebox shown below is similar to the one I have wanted since I was a kid. To read more on why I started this column, click here.

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    August 26, 1968 marks the 46th anniversary of the release of the first Beatles record on their own Apple Records label, “Hey Jude” b/w “Revolution”. When I discovered this record, I was getting into the music of the group for the first time, which meant I was still in the single digits, which meant it was the late 1970’s. Paul McCartney’s and George Harrison’s music were all over the radio back then, same for The Beatles, and what I found interesting was that Beatles songs were played along with what was considered new. Pop music was just pop music, the wide divisions of music genres didn’t exist back then. If you wanted country music, hard rock/heavy metal, or jazz, you did have distinct stations but for the most part, you could hear a bit of everything on the right radio stations. I got into hearing The Beatles that way, enjoyed what I was hearing but once I got into who they were, what they were about, I wanted to know why this music moved me.

    When I got my 45 for “Hey Jude”, it would be a catalog number that I remember to this day: 2276. I loved the fact that the A-side was a full album while the B-side was a slice. I loved how the A-side had a song that was 7 minutes and 11 seconds, perhaps the longest song I had ever seen on a “little record” up until that point. However, my copy of “Hey Jude” was the purple variation on Capitol, so it would be a few years before I had my own copy on Capitol, but no matter.
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    What I loved about the song was how it started off calm and mellow, and when it made its way about three minutes through, it had a four minute fade out. Yes, it would take four minutes for them to fade the song out, with McCartney sounding the closest to gospel he has ever been, bluesy yet happy at the same time with wild screams as if he was letting loose and didn’t want to stop. With each listen, I found myself wanting to remember every scream, every ad lib, it was incredible to hear and feel a song that felt as if it would never end. I loved the string section, the background vocals of the other Beatles, and how Ringo Starr would change up his drumming every few bars. What I also loved was how the band change into a slightly funky groove in its last 15 seconds, but by the time it reaches that point into the song, you have to turn it up very loudly because it’s close to the end.

    If “Hey Jude” was McCartney’s song, “Revolution” is of course a true flip side in that it is John Lennon’s song. I had heard my share of hard rock and heavy metal before, it was and is one of my favorite types of music, but to hear this guitar crunch right off the top felt explosive, as if the stereo was going to go on fire, then followed up by a mean scream from Lennon himself. The song was mid-tempo and while I didn’t know about the song’s meaning at first, it seemed that they were all about wanting to feel good and to “be…alright”. Once I started learning about the song, I realized Lennon was touching on everything from war to personal struggles. It was vocally, musically, and aurally loud, and it remained that way all the way until the end. The bluesy piano, played by Nicky Hopkins, sounded like it was meant to be there, not something foreign or weird, and not only did Hopkins have a solo during the moans and grunts Lennon provided, but he was able to play until the end as Lennon screamed “alright”. Once the song reached its conclusion, it felt as if you were exhausted and just worked up a sweat.

    As a kid, who didn’t want to experience more? “Hey Jude” is my favorite Beatles song of all time, and this record stands out as a solid masterpiece from start to finish. It is glorious, no one can tell me otherwise.

  • COVERED: The Beatles vs. Cat Rapes Dog

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    The last album released by The Beatles was actually the second to the last album they recorded, but when Let It Be was released in May 1970, it was indeed the end of the group.

    Cat Rapes Dog released a new album a few weeks ago called Life Was Sweet (Artoffact). The Swedish electropunk band have existed since the early 1980’s, but this is their first album in 14 years. By honoring The Beatles with their album cover and giving it the Life Was Sweet title, one wonders if this will become the group’s last recording. Only time will tell.

    FREE MP3 DL: Kanye West & The Beatles’ “What’s A Black Beatle”

    It is not the first time there has been discussion of a fifth Beatle. Eddie Murphy once created the the character of Clarence Walker for Saturday Night Live, whose claim was that he added the word “man” in songs such as “I Want To Hold Your Hand, Man”.
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    In reality, one of the true “fifth Beatles” was the late Billy Preston, who jammed with the group in early 1969 which lead to him not only sitting in with the group, but being the only “extra” Beatle to receive a credit on their records for “Get Back” and “Don’t Bring Me Down”.
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    As for Kanye West, what business isn’t he getting himself into as of late? This is also not the first time West has come close to being within the Beatles circle, as he put together the Late Orchestration: Live At Abbey Road project.
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    Now, with the help of the Tutankhamun Brothers (Mr. Troublesome & UveBrother), The Beatles and West have united again, at least in spirit.
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    The Brothers have put together What’s A Black Beatle, a new mash-up project putting together Beatles instrumental portions with Kanye West’s verbal portions, and what you get is something quite nice. Even though The Beatles multi-tracks have been made available since the release of their Rock Band video game, where the possibilities of remixing and edits have been endless, this is brand new and quite nice. Stream and listen, or download it for free before the man takes it away, man.

    For other Tutankhamun Brothers projects, click here.

    RECORD CRACK: Kamehameha Drive-In and bootleg records

    Kam Drive-In
    On my website, I have referred to the Kamehameha Drive-In a number of times as a hot spot for me in my pre-teen years, as a young music loving vinyl junkie. I will now explain why with the help of this aerial shot.

    The photo you see is the remains of what was the Kamehameha Drive-In (or Kam Drive-In for short) out in a part of Honolulu called Aiea. I have itemized sections of the photo by numbering them, and I highlight it for a specific reason.

    1) This is Pearlridge Shopping Center, which remains to be the only place on Oahu to catch any level of a monorail system, at least for now. I was a kid who was raised “in town”, which meant Honolulu proper, which meant “closer to downtown”. Going to Aiea meant driving west in what felt like 15 to 20 miles, when in truth it’s eight to ten (then again, I was a kid with no car, any time in a car seemed like “forever” if it wasn’t a visit to the beach). According to Wikipedia, Pearlridge is the second biggest shopping center in Hawai’i, the first being Ala Moana.

    2) Kam Drive-In used to be a single screen drive-in for years, and this is where it was positioned.

    3) When the second screen opened in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I definitely remember seeing Clash Of The Titans (1981) on screen #2.

    4) This is where the snack bar and concession stand was. Burgers, grease ass fries full of ketchup, extra buttery popcorn, and ice cream malts were mandadory in our visits to Kam, and oh did that cheese smell so good. Even in 1981, it seemed incredibly dated but cool. If that food was made today, I might not find a liking to it but who knows, I might like it a bit too much. Then again, maybe those ingredients don’t exist anymore, so it’s a mixture of nostalgia and longing for what was.

    This leads me to the section in the photo that is:

    5) This was a wall, a border that separated the Kam-1 and Kam-2 sections. Anyone could walk around it or drive on the sides, there were no chains or police blocking anyone from walking back and forth if needed, but sometime in 1980, I witnessed something I hadn’t seen before nor have I seen since. As a kid getting into The Beatles for the first time, I had discovered a type of a record called a “bootleg”. This was a bit new to me, and the idea of someone random pressing up records of live recordings or studio outtakes seemed cool to me. One day in 1980, there was a dealer who was selling records by the truckload, and I mean a literal truck. Boxes and boxes of records in white covers with covers with pieces of paper that served as their covers, with weird colors although you could still see the photos and song titles. Oh, those song titles. I may not have known the Rolling Stones catalog deeply, but I knew that some of those song titles were incorrect on those sheets. It featured photos of the band I had never seen before, and it wasn’t just one or two Stones bootlegs, but at least 20. It seemed a good amount of them consisted of recording sessions from Some Girls and Black And Blue, as that would have been considered “current” for the time. I don’t remember if there were any boots in support of Emotional Rescue, but there were also albums for live concerts. I had never held a bootleg in my life, but I decided to browse through. As I did, I also saw Beatles titles I had never seen, along with one or two Bruce Springsteen records, an artist of which I knew little of but knew he was the “it” man at the time.

    My parents were frequent visitors of the Kam Swap Meet, my dad looking for car parts and magazines, and my mom looking for some bargain involving dresses or nick-nacks. As a young kid with my own record player, the swap meet was my first sense of finding great music at prices much cheaper than I would find at Woolworthy’s, Sears, or GEM’s, although as was the case, I didn’t get a record with each visit. When I did, I’m sure I promised that I’d never want another record for a long time, or I didn’t need a present for Christmas, anything to “get my way”. As I was looking in the bootleg section, I noticed the price: 10 to 15 dollars for each record. WHAT?!? These were much more than the album I could get at a regular store for $5.99 to $7.99, and these were singles. I was exp… well, my mom was expected to give me $15 for a single record? I dare not even ask for one, but I was blown away at the site of these illegal records of unknown origin. “Do they make them here in Hawai’i?” I’m sure I asked myself. Did someone from Asia ship them here? Are the sellers the bootleggers? I’ve never found an answer, nor did I see the bootleg dealers at the swap meet again.

    However, at record stores like Froggy’s (when it was next to Cinerama movie theaters), they sold bootleg albums like crazy. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and of course Bruce and The Beatles. They also sold counterfeit pressings of albums, and that’s when I had obtained a copy of The Beatles’ Christmas Album. Again, I’m a young Beatles fan who wanted to hear as much music as possible, and here was the album, THE ALBUM, sitting at Froggy’s. I remember telling my mom “I must have this, I must have this.” How much? $15. WHAT?!? There was no way she was buying it. I waited a few more weeks. I pleaded, asked her about it and said she wouldn’t have to buy me anything for the rest of the year. I had good grades and thus my mom bowed down and allowed me to have The Beatles Christmas Album. When I got it home, the first thing I noticed was that the label was a bit blurry. I found out later that that was definitely a counterfeit pressing, as no used record store would sell an original for under $100. I had the songs though, and I was very grateful.

    The bootlegs in the used record bins lasted for about two years or so before they were removed, although I would eventually purchased Beatles bootlegs like Sweet Apple Tracks I & II, Yellow Matter Custard and Indian Rope Trick, and Jimi Hendrix’s Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window, many from a great record store that used to be on King Street called Strawberry Fields Forever.

    To my eyes, seeing a swap meet dealer with boxes of bootlegs felt like I was looking at someone who worked at the bootleg factory, and while seeing boots at used record stores became part of the norm for me, it never topped the vision of those white covers in 1980.

    RECORD CRACK: New Beatles box set is ready for the holidays

    To say that this holiday season will be a treat for Beatles fans both old and new is putting it lightly. With heavy discussion about the remaster of the film Magical Mystery Tour, talk about a forthcoming Beatles remastered vinyl box set from EMI began as soon as it was a mere rumor. Now it’s a reality, which means Beatles fans will be buying this up like crazy, despite its $399 price tag.

    The different between this and previous Beatles vinyl box sets? Most of the albums are the digital stereo remasters released on CD and digital in 2009, and they make their vinyl debut with this box. EMI are using Sir George Martin’s 1986 mixes of Help! and Rubber Soul, which is causing a bit of concern among Beatles fans and collectors who are looking at the bit-rate of those masters compared to the 2009 remasters. Some feel that the Canadian CD pressings of Help! and Rubber Soul, both of which used the original masters and not the 1986 mixes, could have been used, but as with anything Beatles, one path of discussion leads to an endless pool of other discussions. If your listening preference with The Beatles is vinyl, you may want to consider this one.

    This new box will feature their entire UK album discography, along with the American Magical Mystery Tour album (released in the UK as a double 7″ EP, the US decided to make an album from that EP and add on the singles the band released in 1967), and the U.S. compilation Past Masters, created as a means to feature songs released in other forms and not on the proper albums. The box will also feature new versions of various inserts that were in the original albums, including the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cut-outs and inner-sleeve, the booklet in Magical Mystery Tour, and the posters in The Beatles (b/k/a The White Album).

    You can pre-order the stereo Beatles remastered vinyl box set directly from Amazon. EMI does plan on doing a mono box set for 2013.