Today in Music: Monday Promotions

Gang of Four, Mothers, NYC 9/9/79

While music portion of the blogosphere is entranced with the Glastonbury Festival (for extensive coverage, try NME), I figured it a good time to get to some worthwhile promotions.

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The Rock Sellout crew is conducting a Best Unsigned Band Contest and they want your vote. Submissions have already been accepted, but they’re now looking for your input. This week, the Crew will be posting their Top 5’s each day, and then beginning Friday, June 29, you’ll get to vote on the Final 5. The winning band will receive a sweet Filter/Ragged prize pack (more details here). I’m excited to be one of the judges in the contest, and I hope you’ll pick some good bands for me to judge! Go to Rock Sellout for a new set of 5 each day.

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We have a pal over at Pampelmoose, a Portland-based blog, who is the one and only Dave Allen, bass player of Gang of Four! Dave is an incredible advocate of young bands in the area and helps curate the monthly PDXplore shows that KEXP sponsors. Dave is not only generous with aspiring musicians but also with his fans. For the next twelve days, starting yesterday, Pampelmoose will host a track a day from a Gang of Four bootleg. Here’s what Dave had to say about the show:

In 1979 if memory serves me correctly, Gang of Four was on its second visit to the USA when we played a club in Manhattan called Mothers. I’m no longer sure if the club still exists but the performance we gave that night certainly does. A CD of the live recording arrived in the mail anonymously about 4 years ago just prior to the Gang of Four reunion tours. It’s a patchy recording but it captures the fire and energy of the times, a time when music was still evolving.

Gang of Four – I Found That Essence Rare [live] (MP3)

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On the other coast, Philadelphia-based DJ/producer Diplo (aka Wesley Prentz) has added another project to his crazy-busy schedule of mastering M.I.A.’s forthcoming Kala, finishing up his documentary Favela On Blast (following up his earlier CD release on the Rio Baille Funk tradition), and working with the first two artists on his Mad Decent label, Bonde do Role and DJ Blaqstarr. The new project Heaps Decent, an Australian based artist development program for young indigenous and underprivileged musicians. To learn more about Heaps Decent, go to the website and MySpace and check out this video.Diplo has worked closely with M.I.A. on a series of projects. Here’s his remix of her first single “Bird Flu” from Kala (courtesy of I Guess I’m Floating):

M.I.A. – Bird Flu [Diplo Remix] (MP3)
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Last Thursday was the Hoping Foundation benefit “Karaoke with the Stars” at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London. Celebrities came out to promote the organization that provides emergency relief for Palestinian refugee children and their families. Up for auction, a chance to sing with your favorite stars, who included Chrissie Hynde, Jools Holland, Nick Cave, Mick Jones, and Shane MacGowan (was it wrong of me not to mention Bryan Adams?). One auction winner donated £70,000 (remember, it’s $2 to £1) to sing “Bootylicious” with Nick Cave. Check out these pictures of her getting it on with the Grinderman.
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Also this past weekend, The Saturday Knights held their own unique promotion, a free live performance to accompany a donut eating competition at the Queen Anne Silver Platters. The winning number of donuts was seven, which may not seem like a lot to you (compared to 21 hotdogs), but the Top Pot treats were of the cake variety. At KEXP, we’re quite familiar with Top Pot Donuts, as they’re a regular sponsor of our membership drives, and those cake donuts, which are by no means unnecessarily dry, are a bit tough to get down quickly. Maybe some other donut varieties are comparatively like dipping a hotdog in water before slipping it down your gullet — not this time! No water, let alone milk, was available during the first five minutes of the seven minute competition. The Stranger’s Line Out has the coverage and a great picture of TSK performing behind the wolfing competitors.Got anything worthwhile to promote? As long as it’s related to music and not shamelessly self-serving (no advertisements, please), drop me a line at

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