Daily Archives: July 13, 2017

The Last Word: Carlos Santana on Turning 70, Trump's 'Darkness'

Fifty-one years after the Santana Blues Band played its first shows, Carlos Santana never fails to surprise. He’s one of the spiritual founding fathers of the Sixties counterculture but currently lives in, of all places, Las Vegas with his wife, Santana drummer Cindy Blackman. “I’ve never had that gambling bug at all,” he says, “but everything I said I would never do is in front of me. I didn’t realize that some of the most gifted musicians, like Nat ‘King’ Cole and Sinatra, did [Vegas]. So I rearranged my position.” He records with modern pop acts and has covered AC/DC and Def Leppard – but reunited an early lineup of Santana last year and is about to release Power of Peace, his first-ever collaboration with longtime friends Ronald and Ernie Isley. Here, Santana shares life lessons from his five-decade cosmic journey – the beliefs that keep him going, how he’s trained his inner child and the times when he’ll defend himself.

What are the best and worst parts of success?
I get to meet like-minded people like Harry Belafonte and Desmond Tutu. I also got to meet Dr. J and Wilt Chamberlain. You ask Wilt, “Hey, how’s the weather up there?” He says, “Which state?”

Sometimes you also get to meet a knucklehead. If I’m out at a restaurant, I’m more than happy to take a photo with someone, but if they get a little too intense or drunk, I tell them, “I need you to honor my wife and honor me because you may have to call an ambulance for you and the police for me.” They say, “Oh, I thought you were spiritual.” I say, “I am, and I’m trying to stay that way.”

What was your favorite book as a kid, and what does it say about you?
Anthony Quinn’s autobiography The Original Sin. He had an inner child who was always putting him down. Everyone has some serious inner child that can be a demon and make you feel like crap. I learned to train that child to respect me and honor me.

What’s the most indulgent purchase you ever made?
A fire-engine-red Excalibur car,
 around 1970 or ’71. I didn’t know how
 to drive, so after 15 miles on the free-way, the police pulled me over. The guy 
says, “You’re Santana, right? Don’t even try looking for your license because I know you don’t have one. We’re gonna help you.” He gave me a card for someone who would pick me up and teach me how to drive. People have always been very, very gracious and accommodating to this Mexican.


What album do you put on to chill out?
John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. That music could compel a person who is strapping themselves with bombs to cry like a woman cries when she gives birth. They’ll think, “What was I thinking?” Coltrane’s music corrects a twisted and crooked mind.


You’ll turn 70 on July 20th. You used to say you would retire around this age.
I’m retired from retiring. We just recorded our next album, with Rick Rubin. It’s mostly African rhythms, and I’m going to call it Global Revelation. Rick doesn’t know that yet.


For a period in the Seventies, you followed the Indian guru Sri Chinmoy and renamed yourself “Devadip.” Does anyone still call you that? 
Only certain people who are still in the spiritual path. I’m really grateful for those 10 years 
I spent with that spiritual master. I don’t believe I will be lost in the evil ocean, because what I learned was very much like a West Point discipline, like a Marine.


How does one age gracefully?
Some people get their face done. All I did was become conscious of what I was thinking. I said to myself, “When you get on the freeway, someone’s going to flip you the bird. So don’t do like you used to do. Let the person have their energy, and five seconds later you won’t remember this person.” All of a sudden, all that emotional investment is not haunting you. You go, “I passed the audition.”

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Pay accountants and lawyers by the hour. Don’t pay them a percentage. You have to show me how much you work in that hour and what you did.

Does the state of the world shake your belief in God?
When Hitler was in power, there was the Resistance, and from there it went to the goatees and beatniks, and then to Bob Dylan and Greenwich Village, and then it went to San Francisco and the hippies. There’s always a new wave. We’re in that process.

“I want to see Trump’s light. I already know about his darkness, his fear and his greed.”

Given that you were born in Mexico, what are your thoughts on Trump and his wall plans?
Frankly, man, as soon as I wake up in the morning I thank Nikola Tesla, because he invented the remote control. I use the remote control to tune [Trump] right out of my house. So he has no power or no attention span from me. I just turn him off immediately. We should learn that we’re at that point as humans to make the table bigger and not the wall taller.

Given your spiritual beliefs, do you think Trump is redeemable?
I want to see his light. I already know about his darkness, his fear and his greed. And it’s redundant to speak over and over about that, but the man might have some light because he is a child of God just like you and me. And if we concentrate on that, hopefully one day he might shock everybody. Starting in New York he can start fixing schools, invest all that money he has, or at least some of the gravy money, to institutions right there in Manhattan.  

What memories does the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love trigger?
For me, ’67 means something that’s not happening right now that should be happening, which is more people taking LSD, peyote and mescaline. More people discarding plastic values. Even Cary Grant was taking LSD. It’s therapeutic. Under supervision, people will be better.

We’re two years away from the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. If there’s a reunion concert, would you participate?
I plan to do something with [his current band, with his wife], hopefully part of the original band, and also with Larry Graham. So I might be coming to Woodstock with three bands. Fifty years went fast, but now I feel even younger and more clear, and I have more energy and more conviction than back then. That [1969 Woodstock] was basically some of the highest I’ve been in front of so many people. To peak with LSD or peyote in front of 400,000 people, you almost have no control of anything.

I don’t imagine you’ll be doing peyote at the Woodstock 50th.
I’m not afraid. Seriously, I’ll do it if you do it.

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Ben & Jerry's To Phish Fans: Step Into The Freezer

Phish, "Freezer Reprise" | Ben & Jerry'sSOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Ben & Jerry’s fellow neighbors from Vermont, Phish, are gearing up to kick off a historic 13-night run of shows — dubbed the “The Baker’s Dozen” — at Madison Square Garden in New York City. What better way to celebrate the…

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Library of Congress Music Division Picks LAC Federal For Archiving, Preserving American Treasures

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — LAC Federal, a provider of mission-critical outsourced library, information, and knowledge management services for the U.S. government, has won a contract from the Library of Congress Music Division to archive an historic music collection at…

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Read Kesha's Poignant Essay About Celebratory New Song 'Woman'

Kesha asserts her independence on “Woman,” a funk-laden new song from her upcoming Rainbow LP. The Dap-Kings horn section anchors the track with a sassy horn strut, as the singer boasts about her paying her own bills and “driving around town in [her] Cadillac” during a night out with friends. She even bursts into laughter at multiple points, cementing the song’s free-spirited vibe. 

The musician co-directed the video, shot at Delaware’s Oddity Bar, with her brother Lagan. “It was one of those projects where I knew exactly what I wanted and it was just easier to do it ourselves than try to explain my vision to another director,” she tells Rolling Stone. The clip features the singer and her band rolling up to and taking over the bar.

In an exclusive Rolling Stone essay, the singer retraces the winding creative journey that resulted in this “female empowerment song” – from embracing her true rock and soul influences to recording with the Dap-Kings horns.

Kesha enthused that Rainbow, out August 11th on Kemosabe Records/RCA Records, taps into the “raw, organic” vibe of her true musical influences, including Iggy Pop, Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, T Rex, James Brown, the Beatles, Sweet and Dolly Parton. (The country legend makes a cameo on the LP, singing on “Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You.”)) And a crucial first step in pursuing that sound was touring with her backing band, the Creepies, last year. “We did away with many of the big pop gimmicks: no dancers, no screens, no backing vocalists, no backing tracks,” she writes. “It was just my band and I letting it all out on stage.”

From that visceral stage experience, Kesha gained a confidence that propelled the album’s recording sessions. Recording “Woman” was a huge turning point: She brainstormed the song’s core lyric – “I’m a motherfucking woman” – while driving to the studio, developing the track during a “hilarious,” rejuvenating session with co-writers Drew Pearson and Stephen Wrabel.

“It was such a beautiful experience to write such a strong female empowerment song with two men … because it reinforces how supportive men can be of women AND feminism,” she writes. “That day was one of the best writing sessions of my life. It was pure raw joy. I have never had such a wonderful and hilarious work day as I did that day. It was one of those days I’ll remember forever, because it brought me back to why I wanted to ever start making music.”

After finishing the demo, Kesha joined the Dap-Kings horn section in their Brooklyn studio to finish off the track with their soul-funk “special sauce.”

“It was such an experience to come into their world and see the stacks of reel to reel tapes of Sharon Jones and Reigning Sound records that I love along the walls,” she writes. “The vibes are real in between those walls and a thick layer of soul seems to cover everything in those rooms and it bleeds into the music. It felt like recording in another era – like how I imagined my heroes recording in the Sixties and Seventies.”

Read Kesha’s full essay below:

Musically, I really couldn’t be more proud of this record. I think that this album sonically sounds more like the music I listen to than anything else I’ve ever done in the past. I love the music I have made before, but it was funny to me that I would go play huge EDM festivals and then I’d go onto my tour bus and get out my record player and put on Iggy Pop, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, T Rex, Dolly Parton, James Brown, Beatles, The Sweet; any of those records. They all couldn’t be more different sonically from what I was doing, even though the same wild spirit was there.

I realized that for most of my life I was intimidated to even try and run in the leagues of the people I look up to. With “Woman,” I hope my fans will hear that wild spirit still strong inside me but this time it was created more raw, spontaneously and with all live instrumentation, which I found was a huge reason I loved the records I did love. There were one or two or 12 different people playing real instruments together, and all that real human energy is exciting and very fun to listen to. I wanted this song to capture that organic, raw, soulful sound and keep the imperfect moments in the recordings because I find the magic in the imperfections.

“I wanted this song to capture that organic, raw, soulful sound and keep the imperfect moments in the recordings.”

A huge turning point for me was my recent tour with my band, The Creepies. On that tour, we did away with many of the big pop gimmicks: no dancers, no screens, no backing vocalists, no backing tracks – it was just my band and I letting it all out onstage. Even though I didn’t have new music out in the world I was sick of waiting around, and I had a lot of raw crazy energy and wanted to reconnect with my fans. It was a sink-or-swim situation – it was either me sing my ass off or sound like shit, because it was just me singing. No safety net, nothing to help out or distract from anything if I hit a fucked up note. It put the pressure on me in a good way. I had to rise to the occasion and take control of my voice and in the process I gained a lot of confidence in my vocal ability I’ve never had before. When I went back to finish recording “Rainbow,” I had a whole new confidence in my voice because I had just gone on an entire tour and carried the whole thing with that voice.

I was really feeling that conviction one particular day while I was stuck in traffic on my way to the studio and out of nowhere I felt the urge to scream, “I’m a motherfucking woman.” By the time I got the the studio, I was chanting “I’m a motherfucking woman.” The two men I was writing with that day didn’t quite know what to do with me. I proclaimed again: “I’m a motherfucking woman”! Then Drew Pearson got on the piano and Wrabel started laughing. I told them, I’m not fucking with you – this is the mood I’m in – and this is the song we are writing today.

That day in particular I felt like I had earned the right call myself a motherfucking woman. I have always been a feminist, but for much of my life I felt like a little girl trying to figure things out. In the past few years, I have felt like a woman more than ever. I just feel the strength and awesomeness and power of being female. We hold the key to humanity. We decide if we populate the Earth, and if so, with whom. We could just decide not to have any more kids and the human race would be over. That is power. I just really fucking love being a woman and I wanted an anthem for anyone else who wants to yell about being self-sufficient and strong. (Yes, men, this song can be for you too.)

It was such a beautiful experience to write such a strong female empowerment song with two men, Drew Pearson and Stephen Wrabel, because it reinforces how supportive men can be of women AND feminism. That day was one of the best writing sessions of my life. It was pure raw joy. I have never had such a wonderful and hilarious work day as I did that day. It was one of those days I’ll remember forever, because it brought me back to why I wanted to ever start making music. 

We were just making it up as we went. Wrabel and I got in the booth together singing vocals together and I sing “I do what I want” and he sings “she does” and I go “say what you say” and he goes “aahh” and I go “work real hard every day” and he starts laughing. It was one of those songs that just happened as much as it was written. We were like three little kids going fucking crazy. We were just giddy, singing in the vocal booth until we realized that we had somehow (Drew!) gotten ourselves locked in the vocal booth … we had to call a handyman who helped remove a window so we could crawl out before we died of asphyxiation.

“I just really fucking love being a woman and I wanted an anthem for anyone else who wants to yell about being self-sufficient and strong.”

We were delirious and laughing through the whole rest of the writing session. At one point, we were supposed to be doing vocals and Wrabel and I just lost it and laughed for an entire vocal take – we called that the laugh track – and when we were putting the song together, we sprinkled in the psychotic-sounding “laugh track” of us just yelling and laughing at each other throughout the song. It’s my favorite because it really captures the joy of this day, this collaboration team and this song. I really have to thank Stephen Wrabel and Drew Pearson for helping me through the past few years and making writing songs a beautiful thing again. Both of those men made my art/work safe and fun, and every session with the two of them was so healing.

Once we had that original demo, I had one of many “dream come true” moments on the making of this album when the Dap-Kings invited me into Daptone studio in Brooklyn to put the finishing touches on the track with them. I knew we had a good song but since the day we wrote it I had wanted that Dap-King special sauce to take it to the next level. It was such an experience to come into their world and see the stacks of reel to reel tapes of Sharon Jones and Reigning Sound records that I love along the walls. 

 The vibes are real in between those walls and a thick layer of soul seems to cover everything in those rooms and it bleeds into the music. It felt like recording in another era – like how I imagined my heroes recording in the 1960s and Seventies. I was honored to work with Saundra Williams, who spent years singing with the legendary Sharon Jones in addition to being an amazing artist herself, on the background vocals as well as the Dap-Kings horns and it took the track to a whole other realm.

For the video, my brother Lagan Sebert and I threw the shoot together in about a week and shot it while I was on tour in Delaware. We found a bar appropriately named the Oddity Bar and called upon my Creepies to emerge from their lairs (and my touring crew from their hibernation chambers) and we pulled the shoot together last minute. Saundra Williams came down to Delaware to be part of the party. It was one of those projects where I knew exactly what I wanted and it was just easier to do it ourselves than try to explain my vision to another director. Sometimes when things are so organic and visceral they just come together and this song and video are a product of that. I was going from dancing around and screaming to checking camera angles. I loved it.

To me, the thing I’m most proud of is that the song and video never lost the pure joy from the day it was birthed. I really hope people enjoy this song because I had the best time making it. I hope that energy passes through people and the fun is infectious. It’s important for me that people know that there are a lot of emotions on my new album Rainbow – but the wild fun energy that first inspired me to perform has not, and will never, go away. I’m still a motherfuckerrr.

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http://www.rollingstone.com/

Upside-Down Announces Debut with Michael Calfan at Sound Nightclub

French DJ Michael Calfan is coming to Sound Nightclub LA, Aug 17th 2017!LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — On August 17, Upside-Down — a new large-scale underground music event brand providing quality curation from the best that deep house music has to offer — will make its debut with Michael Calfan at Sound Nightclub on Thursday, August 17th.
Pur…

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Richard Holbrook's Benefit Concert To Give All Proceeds to The Bruce Paltrow Oral Cancer Fund

The Bruce Paltrow Fund (PRNewsFoto/Oral Cancer Foundation)NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., July 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Acclaimed cabaret singer Richard Holbrook will be performing two benefit concerts at the Metropolitan Room in New York City on Friday, September 8, 2017 at 7:00pm and Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 4:00pm as a benefit for The…

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