RIP Mark ‘DJ Markie Gee’ Greenland

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rip markie-gee-mark-greenland

Today I woke up and learned the shocking and terribly sad news that New England/NYC house DJ Mark Greenland (a.k.a. DJ Markie Gee) had passed away. The cause of death is not yet known.

I met Mark back in the ’90s when I was an editor at Dance Music Report. Mark had reached out to us about contributing music reviews, and I immediately liked him. At the time he had a radio show and was gigging regularly and throwing parties in Connecticut. His reviews were insightful and written from a DJ’s perspective, and I enjoyed seeing him out at clubs and industry gatherings.

Mark played all over North America, including legendary NYC and Boston clubs Limelight, Sound Factory Bar, M-80, AXIS, Hub Club, Element and The Bank. He also booked acts at various clubs and served as a booking agent for Robbie Rivera and US tour manager for Darude.

More recently, he had been playing with The Doug Wimbish Allstars featuring Doug Wimbish (Sugar Hill Gang/Tackhead), Corey Glover (Living Colour) and Daru Jones (Jack White). He also headlined two fundraisers for Bernie Sanders in NYC.

There’s been an outpouring of love on social media for this man with a big persona and heart. I’ll always remember his calling card — a big smile and a warm hug.

More on this breaking story as it develops.

Update March 14: A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Mark’s partner, Michele, deal with expenses. Contributions can be made here.

A memorial service for Mark will be held on Saturday March 18 at 1:00 pm at the 224 Ecospace, 224 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06105.

Image from Facebook by Damon H Loucks Photography

Trax Records Readies ‘I ♥ NY’ Benefit Compilation

Trax Records I-Love-NYC-Artwork

Famed Windy City house label have announced the upcoming release of I ♥ NY, a 14-track compilation featuring contributions from NYC artists including Johnny Dynell, Michael Magnan, Christy Love, Tyler Stone, Michael Musto, Carmelo Carone, Erol Sabadosh, Chimp Hardy, TradeCraft, Gant Johnson and more.

A portion of proceeds from sales will benefit Youth Communication, a 40-year-old nonprofit that “equips and empowers educators and youth workers with real teen-written stories and a literacy-rich training model to engage struggling youth and build their social and emotional learning skills.”

I ♥ NY will be released on March 31 and will be followed by a launch party at Ace Hotel’s Liberty Hall in NYC on April 2.

Obligatory press release gush from Trax boss Screaming Rachael Cain: “It’s no secret that Chicago is having tremendous problems with teen gang warfare. Youth Communication has made a positive difference to so many of these kids but now it’s in crisis and needs funding to continue. Tyler suggested an album to help and so many of the great NYC DJs like Johnny Dynell who I’ve known for years stepped up to the plate! The focus of Youth Communication has always been about journalism so Michael Musto as an artist on the album is perfect; a journalist whose song “I Got Ur Back” seems to sum up our mission. I hope the world sees the urgency for these kids and will buy the album. I want Chicago teens to realize that Youth Communications, TRAX and our sister city NYC have ‘Got Ur Back’!” Continue Reading

Pioneer Unveils DJM-250MK2 Budget DJ Mixer

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This month Pioneer DJ will release the DJM-250MK2, a low-price entry-level DJ mixer boasting a Magvel crossfader and Sound Color FX filter. With an MSRP of €349 including VAT (about US $370), the mixer allows you to use rekordbox DJ with the rekordbox dvs plus pack application, which is also included, to control the tracks stored on your computer with turntables and Control Vinyl (available separately). The DJM-250MK2 connects to a PC/Mac using a single USB cable, allowing the user to record mixes directly to a computer’s hard drive.

Key features:

Rekordbox DVS ready
Magvel crossfader from the flagship DJM-900NXS2
Smooth channel faders
3-band isolators
Sound Color FX filter from the DJM-900NXS2 with parameter control
Built-in sound card
Easy recording
High-quality sound
Includes rekordbox dj and rekordbox dvs licences worth €248 combined
XLR terminal
Two headphone outs
Signal GND terminal
Independent MIC section

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Legendary R&B Songwriter Leon Ware Dead at 77

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Detroit native Leon Ware, one of the great soul and R&B songwriters of our time, died yesterday at the age of 77. In 2009, he was treated for prostate cancer. Ware’s family has yet to release details surrounding his passing.

Ware’s prolific career began in 1967 when he co-wrote The Isley Brothers’ “Got to Have You Back.” He went on to collaborate with Ike & Tina Turner and Arthur “T-Boy” Ross, younger brother of Diana Ross. One of the songs they wrote was ‘I Wanna Be Where You Are’ recorded by Michael Jackson for his album, Got To Be There. He also lent his low-key production touch to Marvin Gaye’s groundbreaking I Want You released in 1976.

Among his vast array of credits Ware went on to write for Quincy Jones, Teena Marie, Jeffrey Osborne, Loose Ends, James Ingram, Melissa Manchester, Krystol, Bobby Womack and Lulu. He helped produce singer Maxwell‘s seminal debut album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, in 1996. Ware also released 11 solo albums.

Santigold Selling Brooklyn House for $1.95 Million

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If you thought that baller homes were only the relegated to EDMers like Paul Oakenfold, Avicii and Calvin Harris, well, think again.

Multi-faceted singer-songwriter and one-time Big Shot cover star Santigold has put her Bed Stuy, Brooklyn home up for sale for a cool $1.95 million. Eesh, the thought of the property tax bill alone puts us in a cold sweat.

Known for early hits like “Creator” and “L.E.S. Artistes” to recent efforts such as “Can’t Get Enough of Myself” and “Who Be Lovin’ Me” off 2016’s 99¢ album, the Philadelphia native’s abode eschews the douchiness of the aforementioned DJs’ homes and exudes the swagger she build her music career on.

The house is a legal two-bedroom renovated as a single home. It boasts a mahogany staircase, original window shutters, stained glass, moldings, and five working fireplaces.

From Brownstoner:

The kitchen (not pictured) is on the garden level along with the drawing/dining room; it leads out to a garden with a flagstone patio.

The parlor floor holds the living room and a rear bedroom; above is a large front bedroom (not pictured), a small second bedroom, and a dressing room with enough built-in cabinetry to meet a pop star’s demands, painted in turquoise.

There’s central air conditioning, and a closeted washer/dryer on the parlor level.

Any takers?

santigold house for sale

santigold house bed stuy

Clyde Stubblefield, the ‘Funky Drummer,’ Dies at 73

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Clyde Stubblefield, a session drummer best known for his work with James Brown, passed away on Saturday at the age of 73. According to Stubblefield’s wife, Jody Hannon, the drummer died of kidney failure at a Madison, Wis., hospital. He had been suffering from kidney disease for 10 years, and had been hospitalized for a few days.

Stubblefield was behind the drums on classic James Brown songs “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud),” “I Got The Feelin’” and “Funky Drummer.”

The grooves he laid down were influential and groundbreaking. They were later discovered by a legion of artists in the ’80s — including Run DMC, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, L.L. Cool J, George Michael, Sinead O’Connor, Boogie Down Productions —who sampled his funky beats and made Stubblefield .one of the most sampled drummers in history.

Unfortunately, Brown didn’t share royalties with Stubblefield. During the 1990s and 2000s, he released solo albums of his own — Revenge of the Funky Drummer” and The Original Funky Drummer Breakbeat Album. In 2011, the DVD release of the documentary Copyright Criminals featured a collection of new Stubblefield performances designed for easy sampling.

In 2000, Stubblefield was diagnosed with bladder cancer, which he survived. In the process, he racked up roughly $90,000 in medical bills. After Prince’s death in 2016, he revealed that the Purple One, who he had never met, privately paid his medical expenses, as a gift for his influence.

Roots drummer Questlove eulogized Stubblefield on Instagram, calling him “The Funky Funkiest Drummer Of All Time.”