The Motet Channels The Power Of Interstellar Funk On New Album, ‘Totem’ [Stream/Review]

first_imgThe future space funk is in good hands if Totem, the new album by The Motet, is any indication. The band has made some personnel changes of late, and fans have been waiting eagerly to hear what The Motet had in store for them. Noted proponents of funk with world and dance elements liberally mixed together, The Motet has built a loyal following that was hopeful their heroes would keep it real and keep it real funky. With guitarist Eric Krasno of Lettuce and Soulive producing and writing a pair of tunes for the disc, certain expectations were held, and happily exceeded. The most prominent change came at vocalist, going from Jans Ingber to Lyle Divinsky, a move that has the band sounding even more like a forgotten fountain of the funk hey-day of the late seventies than ever.Stream the album via Spotify below, and follow along with our written review of the new release!Founder Dave Watts fittingly kicks off this new era of The Motet with a twisty percussion intro to “The Truth” that sets the stage to let Divinsky show what he brings to the proceedings. Divinsky’s weapon of choice is a voice that sounds so authentic and perfect for the mood, you almost have to wonder if he was made in a laboratory. The space boogie flows on with the bouncy “Fool No More,” with a snappy bass line from Garrett Sayers that sounds an inexorable call to the dance floor for party people. Organist Joey Porter gets a chance to shine on “Know It Too Well,” as the music opens up and he has a chance to lend squeals and peals to lyric heavy sections before drenching the proceedings with lush chords. The percolating pulse of “Rippin’ Herb” shows how tight The Motet can be, as they play an intricate musical game of “follow the leader” through a winding funk maze, passing off the lead almost imperceptibly. Divinsky shows great comfort for such a short stint in the organization, as his leads on “Damn!” show. Showy use of echo laden vocals and doubling techniques that thicken his already impressive tone to a smooth pervasive presence that make the instrumental breaks a trip to an alternate dimension, sonically, within each original tune’s framework. Nothing has changed about The Motet’s love of instrumentals, and the wordless “Solar Plexus” keeps the overall cosmic groove feeling of Totem going with a touch of reggae thrown in for good measure in the forms of the majestic horn fills. Guitarist Ryan Jalbert continues to show impressive growth in his playing, with his ability to shift from slinky rhythm to full on rock star wail in an instant. The horn section of Gabe Mervine and Drew Sayers use their brass to take every song higher, adding layers of depth and reinforcing the beats and melodies with equal dexterity. Whether hanging back in a thick groove on tunes like “Danger” or getting jazz-y and expressive on songs like “Cloak And Dagger,” The Motet sounds like a finely tuned machine, ready to run perfectly in whatever gear is needed to get where they want to go.For the closing song, the instrumental “Contraband,” the choice is made to slowly take the foot off the accelerator, and to give listeners a cool down as they are slowly dispelled from the Utopian funk spell. Any worries about the future of The Motet should be instantly dispelled from the first notes of Totem. With the release of this united work and tour dates on the horizon to hone the new lineup into a true unit, it certainly looks like the best is yet to come from The Motet. But for now, Totem is a showcase for a funk band that is at the top of their game.last_img read more

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Holtby frustrated at Tottenham

first_img The former Schalke midfielder has been linked with a return to the Bundesliga with Hamburg, and he admits it may well be an attractive prospect. “We’re just going to have to see what happens in the next few days and weeks,” he told t-online.de. “I’m a young player and I want to be playing all the time. That’s very important for me, for my development and for my career.” Holtby, who finishes last season on loan at Fulham, has found his opportunities limited at Spurs with new coach Mauricio Pochettino not giving him much consideration in the first few weeks of the season. However Holtby, who has a contract until 2018 with Spurs, still hopes he will get to prove his worth in London. “Preferably, I would stay here with Tottenham of course and that’s why I really hope that I get a chance,” he added. Lewis Holtby has admitted he could be moving on from Tottenham Hotspur this summer due to a lack of first-team action at White Hart Lane.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Coliseum regular continues to sell programs

first_imgSometimes the shrewdest businessman in the room is the one wearing a Goofy cap.Seventy-two-year-old Charles Franklin has been selling souvenir football programs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for nearly six decades now.Constant presence · Charles Franklin, 72, has been selling souvenir football programs at the Coliseum for the last 60 years. – Tim Tran | Daily TrojanIn those six decades, Franklin has been consistent in both his location and his headwear.Franklin, who always sets up in front of Tunnel 21, has worn his signature Goofy hat to every home USC football game since he got it eight years ago. And while the floppy ears dangling over his temples and the brown pom-pon nose don’t appear to be all that relevant to his job selling programs, he says he knows what he’s doing.“I wear [the hat] all the time,” Franklin said, “because it draws the crowd. They like it, and all the customers enjoy seeing the Goofy cap.”Despite suffering severe brain trauma in his youth and being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1968, Franklin has carved out a satisfying life for himself, working a series of odd jobs throughout Los Angeles.A Beverlywood native now living just outside of Downtown, Franklin began selling programs at the Coliseum in 1952, at the age of 15. Over the years, he’s seen multiple teams pass through the famed stadium. Most of them — including UCLA and the since-relocated Los Angeles Rams NFL franchise — spent less time at the Coliseum than Franklin has.His consistent attendance has made him a fixture at the Coliseum.“He can only remember one time when he was sick,” said John Heil, a close friend who lived with Franklin in a boarding house in the mid-Wilshire district in 1971.Despite his age and his illness, Franklin is able to function well almost on his own, though he does need help with certain things.“He doesn’t drive and he doesn’t cook meals in his own apartment,” Heil said.Sometimes the hand tremors associated with his Parkinson’s disease prove to be an impediment to his program distribution, but it’s rarely enough to keep him out of work.Franklin seems more than aware of his status as a game day staple at the Coliseum.He has met USC coach Pete Carroll (“Yeah, he seemed nice and everything,” Franklin said) and, according to Heil, was once made an honorary Trojan Knight.When asked if he thought people would be disappointed if he were not at a game, Franklin answered only “yes.”Come two hours before kick-off on any given game day, Franklin can be found picking up the 125 programs he’s allotted, stationing himself in front of Tunnel 21 and situating himself to project his voice to any fans within earshot.While Tunnel 21 isn’t actually part of the Coliseum’s designated student section seating, generations of Trojans have become acquainted with the high-voiced pitchman hollering from his place just outside the breezeway.Jeff Michel, a USC alumnus who lives in Long Beach, was one of those students. He said he knew of Franklin while in school, but only now feels as if he knows the man beneath the hat.“I was a freshman in ’71, and then we’d be walking over to the Coliseum for the games, and I’d see him,” Michel, now a regular customer of Franklin’s, said.Several years later, in 1997, Michel tried to reach out to Franklin by offering him some extra work.“I was in the tunnel and I started talking to him and I gave him my business card,” Michel said. “By Monday morning … I had [received] three pages from him within a five-minute period. And I go, ‘Oh boy, he’s a very, very persistent fellow.’”According to Michel, Franklin has an affinity for collecting business cards and forging contacts.“He’s an incredible networker,” Michel said.Franklin acts as if he’s in a current state of unemployment, never withdrawing from the job hunt for even a second. He’s also not above using transparent marketing ploys, like the popular hat, to turn a profit, Michel said.To keep busy, Franklin also holds a five-day-a-week job Downtown.“He does odd jobs over in the Cal Mart building down in the Garment District, including picking up the company’s mail and delivering their mail,” Michel said. “His favorite job is stuffing envelopes.”Though many Franklin’s age would be considering retirement, Franklin says he has no plans of stopping. While he cites the turkey sandwiches and grilled chicken at the International House of Pancakes and Denny’s as one of his favorite ways to spend his earnings, he isn’t holding onto his jobs strictly as a means to finance his diner habit.More than his need for money, Franklin needs work to fill his days.“With Charles, it’s more of a self-image building thing: Always stay busy,” Michel said. “He’s got an incredible work ethic.”No matter what else the future may hold for Franklin, it’s likely going to involve shouting the words “souvenir program” to USC football fans. As long as there are programs to be sold to adoring patrons, he’ll be there.“He’s a lovable character,” Michel said. “He’s a real survivor.”last_img read more

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