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MP3 Pc Munoz And The Amen Corner - California

Indie R&B from San Francisco: spoken word, funk and gospel

10 MP3 Songs
URBAN/R&B: Funk, SPOKEN WORD: With Music

pc munoz and the amen corner have been captivating audiences with their compelling mix of spoken word, funk, and gospel since late 2000. CALIFORNIA, the group''s latest release on Beevine Records, finds pc munoz and the amen corner paying tribute to 80s funk, hip-hop, and new wave, while also bravely forging new ground. Exciting collaborations can be found on nearly every track: legendary songwriter Jackson Browne drops in to sing on the title track (a funky mash note to the golden state), longtime Prince and the Revolution keyboardist Dr. Fink serves up a classic synth solo on "deatbed", world renowned conductor Yair Samet leads a revved-up string quartet through the stirring eroticism of "clean", and gospel-soul vocalist Carmelita Traylor (heard previously on records by rap mogul Master P and others) delivers powerhouse vocal turns all over. Throughout CALIFORNIA, pc''s trademark, multi-layered lyricism and eclectic songwriting style give the album a distinctive sound, unlike anything else in contemporary R & B.

A completely unique-sounding record was a goal of munoz''s from the beginning. In the early stages of production for CALIFORNIA, pc and amen corner members Paul Ruxton (keyboards) and Stephen Smith (bass) journeyed from San Francisco to Minnesota to lay down basic tracks at the studios of Dr. Fink.

"I''m a drummer as well as a songwriter, but on the last record, I didn''t play or program drums at all. On this one, I wanted to be more hands-on with the drum parts, mostly because I wanted to use vintage drum machine sounds....sounds that reflected my love of 80s funk and hip-hop," munoz says. "Dr. Fink had all those sounds in his studio, and we just went to town with ''em. Paul took the concept a bit further by breaking out his massive collection of vintage synths and lettin'' loose. Sonically, the idea was always to use vintage sounds to create something new."

Paying tribute to those who have come before you, and acknowledging the people and places to which you find yourself bound, are an integral part of the rich lyrical motifs found all over CALIFORNIA. Whether dealing with indigenous- culture themes on the title track, race and class in "brunching britney and the homeboy", humorous sexiness in "small map", or existential melancholy on "the passing of time", pc continues to tell unique stories which examine the heartbreaks, hopes, glories, and failures of simply being human.

Songwriter pc munoz began making a buzz in the Bay Area in the early 90s, with Giant Step, an electronics-driven rap project. In the mid-90s, pc veered away from rapping with his new project, Watercolor, and began using a unique, speak-sing style over his funk beats, causing critics to call him a .."cross between Leonard Cohen and Prince." During this time, munoz spent his days teaching elementary school in the Bayview-Hunter''s Point district of San Francisco, and his nights working as a drummer, playing R & B. jazz, calypso, string-based goth, and gospel, including an exciting position for gospel legend Dorothy Morrison (original singer of "Oh Happy Day").

In 1998, pc released his debut CD, THE TROUBLE I''D BRING YOU, (on Beevine Records), a dark, minimalist-art-funk collection which was praised by critics, garnered college radio airplay on both coasts, and caught the attention of plenty of well-known musical adventurerers, including composer John Zorn, Jarboe (of Swans), and longtime Funkadelic visual artist Pedro Bell. In 2000, pc assembled the amen corner, a tight, improvisational group, which can lock into a monstrous funk groove at one moment, and at the next moment break wide open for sonic experimentation. In 2001, as the group continued to pack San Francisco clubs with their unique, gospel-fueled live shows (characterized by shouts of "Amen!" by audience members and pc''s mid-song monologues, Beevine released TWO, a CD single featuring two of the group''s hottest live tracks.

In 2002, pc munoz and the amen corner unleashed A GOOD DEED IN A WEARY WORLD, a 10-cut song cycle (again on Beevine Records) which captured the deep funk of the group''s stage shows, as well as the electro-quirkiness of pc''s earlier experimental work on THE TROUBLE I''D BRING YOU. Thanks to critical praise from every corner of the media, and college radio support across the US and Canada, A GOOD DEED IN A WEARY WORLD entered the CMJ hip-hop charts at #35, and the Earshot (Canada) hip-hop charts at #20 in 2003. The success of A GOOD DEED IN A WEARY WORLD set the stage for this extraordinary new CD, CALIFORNIA.

the amen corner consists of SF bass legend Stephen Smith, funk-rock guitar phenom Marc Weibel, synthesizer whiz and hammond organist Paul Ruxton, and multi-talented percussionist/vocalist Danny Zingarelli. Gospel-soul powerhouse Carmelita Traylor and drummer extraordinaire Richard Aguon round out the group for most live shows.

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