Go beyond the liner notes with the VMP Anthology podcast, the audio accompaniment to VMP Anthology, a series of box sets from Vinyl Me, Please.
info_outline S5E4: Garage to Kalindula 07/03/2020
S5E4: Garage to Kalindula The Zambian mining towns of Kitwe and Ndola offered an eclectic music scene in the 1970s from freewheeling derivative garage on the one hand to groups that channelled traditional ceremonial sounds through the matrix of rock on the other. Our final episode weaves a thread through the stories of the Fireballs, Ngozi Family, Ricky Banda and 5 Revolutions, showing the trajectory of Zambian pop music from rock and funk experimentation to the evolution of the kalindula sound, which brought an end to the Zamrock era in the early 1980s.
info_outline S5E3: I Can See It Coming 07/03/2020
S5E3: I Can See It Coming In a country of extraordinary and innovative electric guitar talents, Victor Kunda Kasoma of the Oscillations is among Zambia’s finest. In this episode, Victor candidly shares the story of his disability from polio, the challenges and hard work that shaped his spiritual mind-set and technique, his lifetime dedication to music and personal reflections on I Can See It Coming – an album he released in 1978 when he was just 21 years old.
info_outline S5E2: The Pioneers 07/03/2020
S5E2: The Pioneers An episode of Zamrock firsts. Producer Billie David Nyati, who helped run Zambia Music Parlour under the direction of Edward Khuzwayo, recounts the excitement of being Zambia’s first independent record label, kick-starting the country’s recording boom in the early 1970s with an album by the band Tinkles. Vocalist Jagari Chanda tells the story of WITCH, Zamrock’s most beloved ensemble and the first Zambian rock group to release a vinyl record, namely the privately pressed edition of their debut release Introduction. Vocalist Violet Kafula, Zambia’s first female recording artist and a member of the band Crossbones, tells the story of the album Wise Man and the hit single that earned her the affectionate title the “Godmother of Zambian Pop.”
info_outline S5E1: Ask Me About Nice Artists In Zambia 07/03/2020
S5E1: Ask Me About Nice Artists In Zambia Amanaz released their sole album Africa in 1975. In this episode, vocalist Keith Kabwe and lead guitarist Isaac Mpofu provide the backstory with some surprising insights into the genesis of one of Zamrock’s most sought after and critically acclaimed releases. We also hear from the producer of the album Billie David Nyati of the Zambia Music Parlour label and the bassist of the band Salty Dog, Norman Muntemba, describes Zambia’s early recording studios. Also featured are rare tracks from Amanaz offshoot bands Heathen and Drive Unit.
info_outline S4E4: The Deep End 01/06/2020
S4E4: The Deep End In the fourth and final episode of this season of VMP Anthology, we dive deep into the aesthetics and curatorial ideas behind the final two albums in the Ghostly VMP Anthology box set: Ghostly Swim 2 and Thousands of Eyes in the Dark. Sam Valenti IV and Molly Smith talk to us about ego death, spooky paintings, music as a salve for these trying times and some new Ghostly artists to watch out for, plus Dabrye and Shigeto break down the making of some special tunes.
info_outline S3E3: Harmonic Terrain 01/06/2020
S3E3: Harmonic Terrain In this episode, we journey through landscapes both external and internal, exploring texture, timbre and tone. Bay Area guitarist and sound designer Christopher Willits walks us through the love and technology at the backbone of his work, and his collaborations with Japanese ambient and classical pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Then we talk about the intimate grandeur of This Is For the White In Your Eyes, the 2009 Ghostly debut from Copenhagen’s Choir of Young Believers.
info_outline S3E2: From Ann Arbor to the World 01/06/2020
S3E2: From Ann Arbor to the World We delve into the characters of the first Ghostly Swim compilation, and talk more about the label reaching out from the Midwest to the rest of the world, while Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv recalls reigning in wild styles. Ghostly artist Shigeto (an Ann Arbor native) joins in to talk about the hero’s journey of his debut, Full Circle, and pouring heart, hardship and a lifetime of music-making into his unique sound.
info_outline S02, Episode 3: The Sounds They Are A-Changin’ 10/25/2019
S02, Episode 3: The Sounds They Are A-Changin’ In this episode, we finish our talk with Susan Whitall, as we talk about how Tata Vega’s genre-less funk might have prevented her from being a star, but might have made her album sound timeless, and we talk about Teena Marie, who once threatened to kick Susan’s ass and who also never got the kind of credit she deserved. And in the final segment of this final episode, we head out to L.A. to talk with current Motown president Ethiopia Habtemariam about working with Erykah Badu and how giving artists like Erykah the space to create is the best thing a label can do. We also talk about how Ethiopia and her team are trying to keep the spirit of Motown alive in a modern world.
info_outline S02, Episode 2: Go MoWest, Young Woman 10/18/2019
S02, Episode 2: Go MoWest, Young Woman We talk with Susan Whitall about the fourth and fifth albums in our Motown boxset, Tammi Terrell’s Irresistible and Syreeta’s Syreeta. In this episode, we talk about the sad tragedy of Tammi Terrell, and dispel rumors around her death. We also cover how Syreeta went from a backup vocalist to making some of the most adventurous R&B on the label in the early ‘70s, and how Motown’s move to LA opened it up to more genres and sounds. Stay tuned to the end of this episode to hear hints for the final three LPs in this edition of Anthology, which, if you’ve held off on opening all of them, will be revealed next week.
info_outline S02, Episode 1: Taking a Chance 10/11/2019
S02, Episode 1: Taking a Chance We talk with Susan Whitall, the writer of the Liner Notes for our box set, about the first three albums in the box. Which, you know by now are Mary Wells’ Bye Bye Baby--I Don’t Want to Take a Chance, Martha and the Vandellas’ Heat Wave, and The Supremes Where Did Our Love Go. On This episode, Susan and I talk about Mary Wells being the blueprint for every Motown Diva who came after her. We’ll also talk about how Martha and the Vandellas’ impact feels muted now, but they were one of the biggest acts in the early days of Motown. And we’ll cover the Supremes, who along with the Temptations, blew the door open and made Motown into THE Motown.
info_outline Season 2 Prologue: The Sound of Young America 09/30/2019
Season 2 Prologue: The Sound of Young America In this prologue episode, we talk with Susan Whitall, the author of the book The Women of Motown and the author of the liner notes for our box set. In this episode, Susan--who will be our main guide through the albums featured in this edition of Anthology--talks about her book, the unique Detroit circumstances that led to Motown becoming such a powerhouse, and how the label succeeded with an everybody in the boat mentality.
info_outline S01, Episode 04: The Shape Of Jazz To Come 06/18/2019
S01, Episode 04: The Shape Of Jazz To Come In this final episode of this season of VMP Anthology, we talk to Don Was about how the vibraphone has gone from a central piece of jazz big band to a semi-novelty and back again, the tumultuous middle years of Blue Note, and how signing young artists and letting them develop their own version of jazz remains a central purpose of Blue Note as it hits 80 years old.
info_outline S01, Episode 03: Wayne's World 05/29/2019
S01, Episode 03: Wayne's World In this episode, we talk about an organist on the Lou Donaldson album being the best bass player Don Was, president of Blue Note, has ever heard, even though he plays the organ, and how Wayne Shorter is a single-person history of jazz. We also discuss how Wayne and Lou have carried on as Blue Note artists, even today. And again, stay tuned to the end of this episode for hints on the final two albums of our new box set.
info_outline S01, Episode 02: Bop Calling 05/17/2019
S01, Episode 02: Bop Calling In this episode, we talk to Blue Note president Don Was about how the loose, free-flowing culture at Blue Note let Horace Silver cut his first solo record when another performer backed out, and how Dexter Gordon made up for lost time following a prison sentence. Stay tuned to the end of the podcast for hints about your next two records.
info_outline S01, Episode 01: Mode For Don 04/03/2019
S01, Episode 01: Mode For Don In an interview with Don Was, president of Blue Note, we talk about his history with the label, how he ended up working there, how he used to ride a bus just to hold Blue Note records as a teenager and why you should listen to more jazz.