Here, as a postscript of sorts to my feature with Ned Raggett, is Ned discussing ten tracks which are "markers" or "signposts" of his life as a music fan. Chosen chronologically, his selections begin with a popular seventies soundtrack and end with a modern day -- and somewhat divisive -- r&b sensation, with much else in between of course. I like almost all of Ned's choices (particularly inspiring: Shaun Cassidy and Ethiopian songstress, Hirut Beqele), but more to the point, it's his rationale for each selection that resonates... So much so that I'd like to approach my own personal version of this at some point, and perhaps survey some other folks for theirs as well.
Thanks again to Ned for partaking in all this. Was great fun chatting with him.
In this third segment of my discussion with Ned Raggett, the conversation turns to Ned's My Bloody Valentine essay in Marooned, "Not Just the Ticket" (Ned's blog series regarding his years of concert-going), and writing about cooking ("Carrot greens -- what can you do with them?"). Tomorrow we wrap it all up with an addendum of sorts to the series -- "Ned's Bonus Beats." Proof that it's all really just about the music, man...
And this would be Numero Deux of my sprawling interview with Ned Raggett. As I mentioned yesterday, my own introduction to Ned was through the message board I Love Music, and a fair bit of the discussion in this segment is focused around that (if ever a message board could be said to be dear to my own heart...). As well, Ned delves, quite eloquently I might add, into what I perhaps glibly labelled the "various crises afflicting music criticism." "Glibly" because it's not as though I really knew what I was talking about with that inquiry, frankly -- that's why I asked Ned! It's really good stuff... check it out.
I'm pleased to present Part One of my three-part podcast/interview with music critic and (self-described) "freelance gadabout" Ned Raggett -- proprietor of Ned Raggett Ponders it All (the "all" implying not just music, but cooking, movies, politics, life, etc.), poster/moderator extraordinaire at the I Love Music and I Love Everything message boards, Twitterer, Tumblrer, Flickrer, All Music Guider... you name it, Ned's there. (Me, I first became familiar with the name "Ned Raggett" through the almighty ILM.) Also of note here, as these both come up in our discussion: Ned's recent participation in a PopMatters roundtable of various music critics; and an excellent case put forth a couple years back regarding the non-imperativeness of making year-end lists -- a case I've heard many times before, but rarely so convincingly.
Ned and I begin our chat by discussing his beginnings as a writer and music fan, before veering off into all sorts of writing and web-based subjects. This portion of the interview took place in person, in Toronto, during Ned's recent jaunt to the east coast (he's currently situated in Costa Mesa, CA). Part two and three of our chat will commence later this week (with a "bonus beat" to follow).
The second part of my Dave Newfeld interview is here and here. In this part we talk about record producers (and engineers and mixers) - from Trevor Horn to Jam & Lewis to Mutt Lange to Phil Spector to Arthur Baker to Steve Albini etc. etc. etc.
Dave Newfeld is a friend and mentor, a brilliant producer and musician (best known to the world, perhaps, as the man behind the board for Broken Social Scene's 2002 album, You Forgot It In People), an awesome wedding DJ, an electrifying personality, a speed-of-light talker -- an all-around inspiring dude with a mind I've been envious of since first meeting him in 1983, the year we both entered Ryerson's Radio & Television Arts program. I've been wanting for a few years now to bend Dave's ears for a podcast -- to try and capture, as it were, his unique perspective on pop music -- and I was finally able to get him to commit to an interrogation of his brain via a few rather lengthy phone conversations between Toronto and Trenton, Ontario, where Dave currently resides in a magnificent old church which he has converted into a recording studio and personal living quarters.
The first part of my interrogation deals with Dave's 20-year career as a DJ, during which time he provided party tunes at more than 800 wedding receptions and office parties, and played 500 nights at Toronto's not-particularly-legendary Dufferin Gate. In our chat, he delves into his personal aesthetic as a maestro of the dancefloor, revealing some of his favourite set lists ("I worked in a wunderbar era for pop DJs," he notes), and recollecting some particularly memorable gigs (some of which would not be out of place in a John Ford western). I knew Dave would have some great stories to tell about all this, and he certainly doesn't disappoint.
I've edited this discussion into two MP3 files -- click here and here to listen.
In the second part of my interview with Dave, we delve more specifically into issues of music production... stay tuned.
A 63-minute aural exploration of Daft Punk's 2001 masterpiece, "Digital Love." What started out as a simple idea for a podcast with a few interviews and a few music clips evolved into a pseudo-documentary, before finally taking shape as a sort of critical mashup. Give it a listen (though be forewarned: some of the mp3-derived sound quality is negligible-bordering-on-terrible... some of the messiness is deliberate too, of course). (Available as an MP3.)
Big thanks to the following participants -- these brave souls who followed my wacky (mostly indescribable, even to myself) hunch and made this entire operation feasible. (Not to mention a heck of a lot of fun to compile.)
TRACKLIST (In order of appearance) -Eric B & Rakim, "Paid in Full" (Coldcut remix) -Elegants, Little Star" -Madonna, "Nobody's Perfect" -Miracle Fortress, "Digital Love" (cover) -Musical Youth, "Pass the Dutchie" -Mad Mix Mustang, "Is this Digital Love" (Bob Marley vs Daft Punk) -Beastie Boys, "Hold It Now, Hit It" -Algeronics remix of "Digital Love" -Gattobus, "Digital Love" (cover) -Alphabeat, "Digital Love" (cover) -George Duke, "I Love You More" -Grandmaster Flash, "Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" -Derek & the Dominoes, "Layla" -The Orb, "Little Fluffy Clouds" -Gary Wright, "Dream Weaver" -Keri Chandler, "Digital Love Affair" -Red Hot Disco Express LP (feat. Gino Soccio et al.) -Pure Power! LP (feat. Sylvers et al.) -Kraftwerk, "Ohm Sweet Ohm" -ELO, "Strange Magic" -Olivia Newton-John, "Magic" -Pilot, "Magic" -Heart, "Magic Man" -10CC, "I'm Not in Love" -Air, "Remember" -CJ Connection, "Digital Love/September" (Daft Punk vs. EWF) -Earth, Wind and Fire, "September" -Schoolly-D, "Get Your Filas On" -Sku, "Digital Love" (cover) -DJ Shoe, "Digital mashup" (Fifth Dimension/Peter, Paul & Mary/Everly Brothers/Sugababes) -Majors, "A Wonderful Dream" -Mayhem, "Digital Love" (talkbox cover) -Vocaleers, "Is it a Dream" -Fred Astaire, "Dream Dancing" -Drastic Harmonic Sessions, "Digital Love" (cover) -Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder, "Together in Electric Dreams" -Giorgio Moroder, "The Duel" -Lali Puna, "Together in Electric Dreams" -Hell Electric remix of "Digital Love" -unknown [via Youtube], Daft Punk vs. Kylie Minogue ("Wow") -Buggles, "Video Killed the Radio Star" -Les 100 Plus Grands LP advertisement (feat. Village People) -Steve Winwood, "The Finer Things" -Shangri-Las, Give Him a Great Big Kiss" -Zapp, "Computer Love" -Supertramp, "Dreamer" -Supertramp, "The Logical Song" -- Piano breakdown mashup featuring: Hell Electric/Miracle Fortress/DJ Nicky T (DP vs. Sean Kingston)/Hatsune Miku Kagamine Rin/Drastic Harmonic Sessions/The Situationists -Tommy Edwards, "It's All in the Game" -Hall Starz, "Digital Love" (cover) -Peter Frampton, "Do You Feel Like We Do" -Daft Punk, "Robot Rock" -Daft Punk, "Digital Love"