Queen of Funk is back. Rock me Chaka Khan

Great new tune from Chaka Khan still keeping the hardcore funk alive in 2019.

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‘Hello Happiness’ is an album which sets Chaka Khan’s timeless vocal to an empowering collection of songs with cutting-edge production.  With an eye on the future and a respect for the past, Chaka Khan has delivered an album with the contemporary edge to entice newcomers to her world class talent and the quality to excite long-term fans.

That’s exactly what the title track and new single ‘Hello Happiness’ achieves. A tribute to the life-affirming power of music, it combines the sass of ‘I’m Every Woman’ with the invention of ‘I Feel For You’ while also feeling precisely in tune with the current zeitgeist.

The single is accompanied by an ambitious official video that was directed by the award-winning Sam Pilling (The WeekndRun The JewelsMajor Lazer). It depicts a series of characters whose true intentions are revealed as their individual stories gradually merge into a plot in which they’re all interconnected. FIlmed in Los Angeles, its grainy, washed out palette recalls some of the classic ‘70s movies.

The strength of the single hints at the quality of the rest of the album. The soaring ‘Like A Lady’ feels like Switchhas been teleported back to the great late ‘70s New York disco scene, while Chaka rolls back the years with one of the most powerful performances of her career. That’s something she also demonstrates with the swaggering strut of the sultry R&B anthem ‘Too Hot’‘Isn’t That Enough’ and particularly ‘Don’t Cha Know’ find her embracing bold new elements to her sound, while the laidback, minimalist groove of ‘Ladylike’ gives her the space to prove that her vocal has clearly grown in stature over the years.

Chaka Khan first collaborated with Switch and Ruba Taylor as a potential featured artist on a different project. Inspired by the power of both her voice and personality, the duo suggested working on an original Chaka Khanalbum – something which she didn’t have in mind.  But she was soon convinced when she heard some of Switch and Ruba Taylor’s songs, which coincidentally were influenced by Chaka Khan but written for their own project.

Chaka chose her favourites and stamped her identity all over them, with her inimitable vocal gift and dynamic energy taking each track to new heights. Switch and Ruba Taylor also provided the groundwork so that Chaka Khan could concentrate on making her first set since 2007’s ‘Funk This’.

‘Hello Happiness’ is now available to pre-order from ChakaKhan.lnk.to/HelloHappinessPR with ‘Like Sugar’ and the title track both provided as instant downloads. It will be released on vinyl, digital, CD and cassette.

Chaka Khan is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians. A songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, Chaka has influenced generations of recording artists. She has the rare ability to sing in multiple genres, including R&B, pop, rock, gospel, country, world music, jazz and classical. Throughout her legendary career, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up 10 US #1 singles; seven RIAA certified gold singles; and ten RIAA certified gold and platinum albums. Her list of high profile fans and collaborators, past and present, includes Miles DavisAretha FranklinStevie WonderPrinceQuincy Jones and Mary J. Blige.

After forty years in music, ‘Hello Happiness’ celebrates a lifetime in music and proves that Chaka Khan is as inspiring as ever.

Classic Chaka
 
 

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SGR’s Favorite Albums of 2018

Some of Spool Going Round’s favorite Albums of 2018.

Greta Van Fleet
Anthem for a Peaceful Army

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The ruckus these young rockers make is so satisfying to my old-rocker ears. Yes, they sound like Led Zeppelin PLEASE GET OVER THAT!! You are basically getting new Led Zeppelin songs from a band coming into their prime. You will never hear the original Led Zeppelin play together again. You will never see Led Zeppelin tour again. Greta Van Fleet is coming to a theater near you with a great new album and you can afford the tickets. These are not cover tunes, they are incredibly original within a proven framework. Win, Win, Win, Rock!

Johnny Marr

Call the Comet

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Johnny Marr has been getting more comfortable being his own front man with each release and this one proves to be perfection.   His guitar playing is incredible without any flash or self masturbation.  He is the King of the Tone.  The tone, the mood, it all leads to 12 songs that have a fun 80’s groove but never sound the same.  Johnny is also secure enough now to embrace his years, he understands his importance with The Smiths and is bringing that into his new music as well, we are all the better for it.

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Echo & The Bunnymen Past and Present (1987-2018)

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As Spool Going Round gets ready to see Echo & the Bunnymen this week at the Moore theatre in Seattle, I was reflecting back on the past times I had seen the boys.  An internet search on the very special show I saw in my teens at Poplar Creek brought up this great article written by Dan Dinello and published on Chicagoreader.com

The lightning and power outages made this outdoor concert one for the history books.  I had forgotten about the lawn becoming a muddy water slide for concertgoers.  What a night.  This was at Poplar Creek, which still remains my favorite concert venue, outside Chicago on the tour that had Gene Love Jezebel opening and New Order closing.  I remember the New Order set more fondly than this reviewer but it really does take me back.

Credit : https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/sunday-night-poplar-creek/Content?oid=871014

A sea of black flowed from the lowlands to the Poplar Creek hill. Black dresses, black pants, black T-shirts, black leather, black jewelry, black hair, black fingernails, and black lips; black on black on black.

Gene Loves Jezebel, Echo and the Bunnymen, and New Order had been rained out on Friday and now–despite predictions of more rain–they were playing on Sunday, at the same time as the Bears’ first preseason game. We brought a Walkman.

Settling into position on the lawn, we listened in dismay as the Bears’ first drive ended in an interception. Gene Loves Jezebel began their performance to an indifferent audience, many of whom were still struggling up the hill while balancing overpriced beers and nachos and hot dogs. I got bored during the first song and returned to the game. Another drive ended in an interception. The sky was getting dark. Things looked bleak.

Gene Loves Jezebel is fronted by a couple of pretty boys with multicolored hair. The music is sort of new-wave Bon Jovi, pretentious and limp. Finally they finished and left and nobody cared. Out of the whole crowd, only two pimply-faced guys had felt compelled to waste $16 on Gene Loves Jezebel T-shirts. They were clapping.

The night was hot and humid with an occasional warm breeze. Powerful black clouds gathered overhead as Miami drove into Bears territory and drew first blood with a field goal. This was very bad.

The stage lights went out and a Gregorian chant emanated from the heavens. It was Echo and the Bunnymen’s introduction, making explicit their shrouded religiosity. Until their most recent album, I hadn’t thought of them as being particularly religious, despite earlier songs like “Heaven Up Here,” “Thorn of Crowns,” and “Gods Will Be Gods.” But the new album seems quite obviously Christian.

I had seen the Bunnymen on their last tour–seven years ago–at the old Tut’s (now the Avalon). They were sloppy and wild and explosive. Lead singer Ian McCulloch was possessed. At the time they spearheaded a new psychedelia.

Tonight they were subdued and professional, with lovely synchronized lighting effects. The music was tight and low-key with only an occasional outburst of rave-up musical madness. But the tension of the approaching storm complemented and dramatized the performance. The sky filled with continuous lightning strobes behind and above the stage. The wind kicked in ferociously as the Bunnymen burst into a great version of the Doors’ “Light My Fire.” Suddenly the rain started and thunder exploded as they were playing a new song, “Bedbugs and Ballyhoo”: “That’s the way the thunder rumbles, that’s the way the thunder rumbles. Rumbles . . .”

People were yelling, more in exhilaration than fear. A black garbage bag blew into Laura’s hands. She tore arm holes in it and wore it like a tunic. I had brought an umbrella but the wind was blowing too hard to use it. We stood up and I held the blanket over us. We watched the show until the wet blanket got too heavy, and then we just listened from under our wet tepee. Thunder cracked and people screamed and the Bunnymen sang “Seven Seas.”

The people in the pavilion seats were dry and comfortable, but the real fun was on the lawn. Some people huddled in groups under huge sheets of plastic, watching the show from within a protective bubble; many others simply ignored the storm and danced maniacally in the downpour.

One woman was upset. She’d come dressed to the teeth, and when the rains came, she stumbled pathetically through the mud in high heels, her elaborate hairdo completely corrupted. “It’s worse than a nightmare,” she screamed.

We left for a little shelter in the bathroom and returned for the Bunnymen’s encore–a strange, off-kilter version of “Twist and Shout.” We stood behind the pavilion seats under the roof. The guards kept shoving us back, protecting the aisles. The crowd, if organized, could have easily surged past these guards and gotten shelter from the storm as well as an excellent view of the stage. But there was no organization, just docile acceptance of authority.

Echo and the Bunnymen left and so did the rain. We got out our Walkman. The Bears led 10-3, with only four minutes left. They ran out the final seconds for their first 1987 victory. Things were looking up.

A couple of crazy guys began sliding down the hill, creating a corridor of mud. The idea caught on, and more and more guys and gals attempted to outdo each other. The crowd at the bottom of the hill cheered the most imaginative and daring slides. One guy came speeding down head-first, his arms at his sides and his head thrust out like the prow of a sailing ship. As he reached the bottom, he frantically struggled to brake his descent before hitting the cement. The crowd fortunately cushioned the blow.

This was great rock ‘n’ roll entertainment; even better than SPK at Metro last week, when the guy ran a buzz saw over an oil can, spewing blinding sparks into the eyes of an enthralled audience.

Anyway, after the Bunnymen, the deluge, and the human bobsleds, New Order was somewhat anticlimactic. I like New Order and their depressing dance music, but their live show is pretty dull. It was mostly impossible to see them, from where we were standing. My occasional glimpses revealed nothing as they stood in the virtual darkness of purple light. I couldn’t distinguish who was playing what, if anything. The music was carried off with mathematical precision. I have a hard time associating particular New Order songs with their names, though I think I recognized computer-perfect versions of “Shellshock,” “Blue Monday,” and “Perfect Kiss.”

I had seen New Order a while back at Metro. It was one of my worst concert experiences. I remember an extremely long wait in a crowded, deathly hot room. They finally appeared, but never got technical problems fixed. They couldn’t play without their drum machine and they were frustrated and then irritated at the crowd’s impatience. They finally left in a huff without completing their set.

Tonight the show was technically smooth and perfect and cold. The singer was occasionally impassioned, but mostly depressed. They were detached from the crowd, not saying anything between songs. Still, the audience danced and yelled for more.

We left before the final encore, romantically soaked to the bone. The Bears had survived two interceptions and won; and, with the rock ‘n’ roll grace of Echo and the Bunnymen, we had survived a vicious storm as well as Gene Loves Jezebel. Things weren’t so bad after all.

by Dan Dinello

Here is to hoping they are still as dynamic in 2018 on Thursday night.  The set list hasn’t changed much.  Oh yeah, and the Bears will be in the playoffs this year too.

Mike @ Spool Going Round

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I Still Can’t Believe Seattle doesn’t have its Mountain

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Some days when I am driving into Seattle, I still go to the radio dial to change it to 103.7 fm and then the sad reality sets in. Oh yeah,  it’s no longer there and that is a hard pill to swallow.  Not only do I love The Mountain because I worked there and it was the first commercial radio station to take a chance on me, but it also WAS PERFECT FOR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST!

I don’t think there has ever been a radio station so perfect for an area.  The Mountain was Seattle.  The sound, the imagery, the staff, the name, it all fit perfectly.  I did overnights which meant I got to welcome John Fisher and Mike West every morning as they came in to wake up Seattle with humor, wit, and great taste.

Seattle Radio History – 103.7FM (KMTT – The Mountain) from Twisted Scholar on Vimeo.

I remember the supportive late night calls from Boeing workers on their night shift, doing stage announcements from Concerts on the Pier and WOMAD, and the Phish album release party at the Seattle Aquarium!  Working and learning from Fisher and West, Marty Riemer, along with specialty show hosts for Blues, Folk, and World music, allowing me access to each individual’s musical passion. Chris Mays, Jason Parker, and Dean let me sit in on their music programming meetings and I learned so much from them. They could tell I knew music and how to put it together. After leaving The Mountain, I went on to be an interim program director myself. And today, I still program my own music on KPTZ.

I look back with great fondness for KMTT The Mountain and I am very thankful to have had that experience in my life. I’m actually sorry for people who never had the chance to hear this great radio station.

Mike “Wade” Sierociuk @ The Mountain 1997-1998

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Mike from Spool Going Round in full Cubs gear at Seattle’s KMTT in 1997

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You’ll want a dog that’s into cool tunes

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Favorite Tune?

“Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

Spoiler alert….it’s meat. You don’t happen to have any on you, do you?”

Raina “records” @Spool Going Round

Mutts for Moz even though he is against eating meat

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Spool Going Round Radio on KPTZ 10/22

Here is what I came up with.  Quite good I think.

Listen back HERE

Playlist

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Genius at work, well at least a Mix-Master. King of Segue 

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Putting Together the 10/22 Show

Spool Going Round is back on the air on 10/22.  New music from Hozier, Greta Van Fleet, King Tuff, The Lemon Twigs, and more. 

Tune in at 8 am pacific time on KPTZ.org

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Genius at work

Mike @ Spool Going Round

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Is this the best 90 minutes on radio?

SPOOL GOING ROUND RADIO ON KPTZ

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The music selected is incredible. Mike Sierociuk once nicknamed “king of the segue” works hard to bring a mix of old and new music with the pursuit of the perfect segue from his music selections, the largest in the Pacific Northwest.

Listen back here by clicking on the Monday calendar at 8am.

Check out prior playlists by clicking here

Here is today’s playlist

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New music from Spool Going Round favorite, Richard Ashcroft

Very powerful tribute to Nina Simone and all activists by Hozier with Mavis Staples, Nina Cried Power

Love,
Mike @ Spool Going Round  KPTZ radio

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It’s Time we all Joined Greta Van Fleet’s Peaceful Army

I just received a text from Ticketmaster that I am in for Saturday night in Seattle!  Let’s rock!  I will never stop believing that Rock n Roll can change the world for better.   Thank you to Greta Van Fleet for keeping the Fire Burning and the Black Smoke Rising.

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“A simple lyric can unite us all”  -Greta Van Fleet

“Bringing the world together through music” -Mike @ Spool Going Round

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Spool Going Round back on KPTZ with a BANG!

Another great show from the mind of Spool Going Round. Listen back for the next two weeks and catch another live show on Monday morning at 8am pacific time.

Listen ON DEMAND 8/20

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