Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Needle Drop reviews Brand New Wayo!

The very keen and always entertaining Anthony Fantano weighs in on BRAND NEW WAYO (still on sale everywhere!):

So he said it's "decent"... Could be better, I guess, but it's still better than sucking.

Thanks Anthony!

Friday, July 15, 2011

dubya dubya dubya combrazor dot com/C&R on NPR and other odds and ends

I've been largely computer-impaired for the past two weeks, but even before that I had started slacking on the upkeep around here for a while. I've been too busy working BRAND NEW WAYO (still on sale everywhere) and I will not rest until every man, woman and child on the face of the earth has a copy!

(And I guess this is as good of a time as any to throw a shout to everybody who has shown support so far... I am so grateful for all the positive vibrations. And very special kudos are due to all who stormed Amazon last week and made BRAND NEW WAYO the #1 BEST-SELLING AFRICAN ALBUM ON AMAZON.COM!!! (click on image above)* I feel like I should come over and clean all your houses or walk your dogs for you or something. But for now, please just accept my deepest heartfelt thanks.)

The whole promotional circuit can be pretty exhausting and, truth be told, kind of monotonous, but it's part of the game and it's got to be done. Anybody can make a record with relative ease (especially these days) but it's working that hustle muscle to win it a spot on the map that separates the boys from the men! What sucks about doing promotion in this brave new social network-centered world is that so much of it ultimately becomes a long series of distractions from the actual production of your work. As such, the second Comb & Razor Sound release that I was hoping to get out by the end of the summer probably won't hit the shelves until October or so. I think it will be worth the wait, though...

(Believe me; I know that a lot of my readers are not necessarily into the glossy boogie sound that I chose to spotlight on my first release but have still decided to show support. To them I say, hang in there a little longer; I think the next release might be more to your taste!)

I've been doing my little thing, though. I guess many of you may have heard my appearance (alongside the brilliant Gbubemi Amas) on NPR's esteemed All Things Considered program? That, at least, was a joy to do rather than a grind... even though through some freak mischance (and my own boneheadedness) I missed the original scheduled taping of the show, and then while I was trying to reschedule I got the news that Christy Essien-Igbokwe had passed away, which broke my heart in ways I still can't fully verbalize.
But alas, life marches on... and I think you'll agree with me that it's about time I get this blog back in shape. All my recent--and far too infrequent--updates have been about plugging BRAND NEW WAYO (still on sale everywhere) but I need to get back to doing what brung ya here in the first place: delivering fresh music on a (semi-)regular basis and blissfully free of charge! As I explained before, my old hosting service expired and we lost all the files that had been posted in the past but I'll try to re-up them on the new one.

That reminds me: The sleeve liner of BRAND NEW WAYO (still on sale everywhere) and a few other promotional materials (including the commercial spot) list the website of Comb & Razor Sound as being dubya dubya dubya combandrazorsound dot com. However, I I'm going to have to ask you all to ignore that.

I registered that domain (or thought I did) in a period of protracted sleep deprivation, while scrambling to finish the liner notes and get them off to the printer. After the vinyl hit the market back in January, I went back to start building the CombandRazorSound site to discover that (silly me) I had made a typo that resulted in me actually registering a slightly different domain name. And someone else had grabbed CombandRazorSound dot com.

Now, I'm assuming that whoever bought that domain name is someone who saw it in the Brand New Wayo liner notes, since that was one of the only places it was published at the time. As such, I'd think they're probably a fan (like Prince, I prefer "friend") of the blog/label. So I'm telling myself that such a "friend" probably went to check out the site, found the domain unoccupied, and secured it for me to prevent it being snatched by predatory domain hijackers.

That's what I choose to believe. Because I prefer not to think that such a "friend" would buy the domain name in order to extort me. Because if I thought that was what happened... Well, I would I guess I would tell that "friend" to enjoy the domain and pack a hearty lunch if they're waiting for me to pay up. Because they're going to be waiting for a long time.

So. Onward and upward. is dead and from now on the official site of Comb & Razor Sound is That URL redirects to this blog for now but in the coming months, a new site will rise from the ashes. (CombRazor is a lot less cumbersome than CombandRazorSound too... Don't know why I adopted that in the first place.)

Okay, I've rambled enough for now. Y'all have a good weekend and next week we'll get into some music and other stuff.

EDIT: If you are on Facebook, please "like" the Comb & Razor page, which replaces the old Comb & Razor Sound group. (I remember mentioning this before, but somehow it didn't show up in the post... Did I delete it by accident? *shrug*)

*for like two full hours!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

RIP Christy Essien-Igbokwe (1960-2011)

I just got in to the office after a morning misadventure of comically tragic proportions (more on that later). I opened my email and this was the very first news I got.

I'm shaking so much now I can barely type.

I'll talk about this later.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Last Saturday night at Zebulon... (updated with download links... AND VIDEO!!)

...was the business!

The turnout was great, the energy was through the roof and the music (if I may say so, myself) was firing on all cylinders! The interesting thing to me with playing this Nigerian boogie and disco stuff to crowds is how fresh and new it is to so many people... A lot of times, the crowd would stop dancing to applaud at the end of a record! Thanks to everybody who showed up and showed love! And for everybody else who wasn't there... you missed out on a sweaty, jam-packed, ol'-fashioned, get-down good time... but no worries: hopefully you'll make it next time!

On Friday night, Frank and I paid a visit to WNYU to do a tequila-fueled spot on the A Downtown Affair radio show with Alex and Mike.

Check it out here:

A Downtown Affair Part 1
A Downtown Affair Part 2

BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!! ... BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!! ... BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!! ... BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!! ... BRAND NEW WAYO in stores... GET YOUR COPY NOW!!!

phew... Promoting is hard work!

UPDATE (5/29/11): If you want to download the FULL show (the two streaming links above offer a slightly abridged version), then get thee to the incredible LET'S GET SERIOUS site... which by the way offers hours of good listening by way of archived A Downtown Affair shows.

(I'm probably going to update this post yet again tomorrow... I'm into recycling!)

UPDATE (5/30/11): Okay, this is the last update on this post. I had to add some video from the night, captured courtesy of the awesome Aja & Fre! Dig those hallucigenic video projections... Frank created those and they drove the crowd into a frenzy!

Brand New Wayo, ça dechire en France!

pub radio de BNW by combrazor

BRAND NEW WAYO est deja dans les bacs et les bons points de vente en ligne... disponible en CD et double vinyle! ACHETEZ VOTRE COPIE AUJOURD'HUI!!!

(Merci à Differ-ant)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Believe the hype: BRAND NEW WAYO out NOW/Launch party this Saturday!

So, as I was saying...

(or as I meant to be saying yesterday but didn't get a chance to come back to it)

...I had to insert a break and start this up as a new post so that you all can share this on your social networks without forcing people to slog through my emo rambling about why I took a break from blogging. So I should get right to the point, yes?

Yes! The first release from Comb & Razor Sound, BRAND NEW WAYO: FUNK, FAST TIMES AND NIGERIAN BOOGIE BADNESS 1979-1983, is out everywhere!

uhhhh... Don't bother going to just yet, though... There's nothing there right now, but it's coming soon!

Alright, people... what else do I have to say? Is there any point in saying anything else at all since I know you've already stopped reading this, having rushed out of the house to your local record emporium to cop it? Or opened up a new browser window to visit Amazon, Dusty Groove, Sounds of the Universe, Turntable Lab, Juno, Tower, Best Buy, Light in the Attic, Rush Hour, or any other online store of your choice and are giddily typing in your credit card number right now?

Yeah, I know I'm totally talking to myself at this point, but if I thought that you were still reading this I'd probably want to gush about how this compilation is a loving tribute to Nigeria's Second Republic of 1979-83--a period when the country was still riding the highs of the oil boom and the music industry expanded exponentially, attracting some of the finest musicians from across the African continent, and about the lush, celebratory music they produced.

If you were still here, I'd mention that this all is explored in a big, 80-page magazine-stye booklet full of rare photos and vintage advertisements illustrating the prosperous, almost decadent zeitgeist of the era. Hell, I might even drop a few sample pages:

But you're already gone, so there's really no need for me to go blathering about any of that stuff. You'll have to find out for yourself when you get your copy!

Even though you're not here now, I'll tell you where you should be this Saturday night, May 21st... You should be at Zebulon at 258 Wythe Ave. in Brooklyn for the BRAND NEW WAYO release party featuring yours truly spinning alongside the legendary DJ Frank Gossner of Voodoo Funk fame!

As I'm sure you are well aware, Jesus is scheduled to return this Saturday, so if this is going to be our last night together, why don't we spend it getting down to some bad-ass African boogie funk, disco and modern soul?

Alas... I feel like the Rapture has occurred already because here I am all alone, while all you gentle readers have mysteriously disappeared into thin air! But at least I know that you've just rushed off to get your BRAND NEW WAYO... and unlike the Rapture, which will be followed by five months of torment for those left behind, you're looking forward to enjoying endless hours of fun(k)!

*Oh yes, I almost forgot: Frank and I will be featured on WNYU's A Downtown Affair on Friday night. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Truth crushed to earth will rise again

And because Comb & Razor is the truth (and I mean the whole and the nothing-but): STILL WE RISE!

Okay, I'm getting some Maya Angelou in my William Cullen Bryant, but I'm pretty sure you all get the gist of it: We're back!

Why did we go away in the first place, though? Man... I can't even give you a straight answer. Life catches up with you sometimes. As you all know, I had just returned from an extended sojourn in Nigeria and there were a lot of odds and ends in my personal life that had to be attended to. Also, a few experiences I had in Nigeria made me feel ambivalent about continuing to do this.

(For example, if you look through the archives here, you might notice all posts on a certain Mr. William Onyeabor have been crossed out. There is a reason for that. I won't get into details right now but let's just say that that man damn near killed my spirit.)

Actually, you might have noticed that pretty much ALL the old links on this blog are now dead. That's a bummer, I know... I had some trouble renewing my hosting subscription while I was away so my service was interrupted, pulling the plug on all the links. That was a big part of why I stepped away, really... The idea of renewing all the links was just overwhelming and I contemplated just starting the blog from scratch somewhere else.

But hey... this page is home. This is where we've had so many good times, and I'm not going to be chased out of here that easily! So pardon the dust while I try to get things back to shape around here... You might have to bear with some Divshare links for a while (if they stop suspending my account, that is!).

Of course, another reason for the long hiatus is that I've just been busy. Among other things, my time has been taken up by my decision to throw my hat into the record industry. (Which I am sure we will all agree was a very wise move to make now in the second decade of the twenty-first century, as the imminent death of the industry is forecast on a daily basis. I'm having fun, though!) So although I am sure most of you are already aware of it, allow me formally debut my fine record label, COMB & RAZOR SOUND.

I'm quite aware that fewer and fewer people these days buy records or CD or any other kind of physical media, but the goal of Comb & Razor Sound is to create packages that hopefully you will feel are worthy of your hard-earned pfennig. I'm talking about dope music, packaged with loads of information and photos and other stuff related to the world that produced the music you're listening to. I'm talking about stuff you can put on your shelf or display on your coffee table so you can look all cultured in front of your friends.

We already did a vinyl-only "pre-release" of sorts on the first compilation but it comes out officially on... *looks at calendar* Wait a minute... It comes out on May 17th. That's today, isn't it? How serendipitous is that?

You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to make a separate post about that in a little bit...

In the meantime, enjoy this video I uploaded like six months ago and planned to post before everything went pear-shaped: