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Watch teenage MF DOOM speak on behalf of Rock the Vote in the Senate, 1991

MF DOOM — September 27, 2014 | Comments (14)

Registering to vote in the U.S. is easy. You have many options. voteplz, which has a nice voting guide, vote.gov, the official government site, hello.vote, which works via SMS, vote.org, or rockthevote.com

The idea behind Rock the Vote was simple: get young people to vote for politicians who wouldn’t censor music.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, facing a wave of music censorship that included Parental Advisory stickers on records to the arrest of rap performers in Florida, political operative Steve Barr and Virgin Records exec Jeff Ayeroff launched Rock The Vote.

The organized movement behind Rock the Vote focused on the “Motor Voter” bill, which would allow people to register to vote at the DMV when they got a driver’s license, and to register by mail. In short, they wanted to encourage young people to engage in the voting process by making registration easy and welcoming.

After a successful petition drive in 1992 (with help from REM), the Motor Voter bill passed Congress, only to be vetoed by president George H.W. Bush. Bush’s opponent in that election year, Bill Clinton, took up the cause of the Motor Voter bill, and signed it into law when he became president as the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Here is video from committee hearing for the National Noter Registration Act in congress, April 17, 1991, showing 19-year old MF DOOM (Zev Love X) with his partner Onyx from the group KMD. They’re sitting with Rock the Vote co-founder Steve Barr, speaking to Sen. Wendell Ford of Kentucky.

Video: http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4513596/kmd-rock-vote

THESE ARE THE JB’S – Previously unheard album by James Brown’s backing band led by Bootsy Collins.

Now-Again — September 9, 2014 | Comments (11)

IN THE SHOP: THE J.B.’s – THESE ARE THE J.B.’s (second edition)
IN THE SHOP: THE J.B.’s – THESE ARE THE J.B.’s SOLD OUT

Previously unreleased and unheard 1970 album by James Brown’s backing band the JB’s, led by Bootsy Collins. Release date: “Black Friday,” November 28, 2014. ?First edition: 3000 pieces, vinyl only. SOLD OUT.

LP with booklet, full annotation, liner notes by James Brown historian Alan Leeds, and never-before-published photos.

In 1970 James Brown perfectly captured a definitive moment in modern music when he called Bootsy Collins into the studio to record the tracks that would be These Are The J.B.’s, a title given to a King Records test-press LP that was never released, and only rumored to exist.

This album is the epitome of funk music, Brown’s innovation that influenced everything that came after it, from Afro-beat to disco to hip-hop.

If there is any funk ensemble as influential as Brown’s in the post-“Cold Sweat” musical landscape, it’s the Bootsy Collins/Parliament/Funkadelic contingent. Those two streams, as Grammy-winning James Brown historian Alan Leeds details in this album’s liner notes, converged for the first time here.

This link between Brown’s funk and all that followed features Bootsy and his young band running through twelve-minute instrumental take of Marva Whitney’s “It’s My Thing,” replete with blues chord changes, alongside interpretations of the Meters, Kool and the Gang and none other than Jimi Hendrix. This is a young band’s James Brown-turned-on-his-head style of funk that they nail in a one-minute vamp that embodies the essence of the psychedelic-flavored music that would propel them into the orbit of George Clinton’s mothership.

This is the first commercial issue of this album, overseen by Now-Again’s Eothen “Egon” Alapatt alongside Leeds and Universal Music Group’s James Brown expert Harry Weinger. It was mastered specifically for vinyl by Elysian Master’s Dave Cooley, from the original two-track stereo master that James Brown and his engineer Ron Lenhoff delivered to production forty-four years ago. It’s packaged in a thick, “tip-on” Stoughton jacket, with a booklet with liner notes by Leeds and Alapatt and unpublished photographs.

Also read: When Bootsy Collins Met James Brown by Bootsy Collins at RBMA

Photos: The JB’s in 1970; The JB’s perform with James Brown in 1971; Bobby Byrd and Bootsy Collins c. 1970; These Are The JB’s test-press credit sheet.


Video: The JB’s (with Bootsy and Phelps Collins) backing James Brown and Bobby Byrd in Rome on April 24, 1971.