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News

New Album

The Kid is back with a Brand (might-as-well-be) New Album
– OUT on June 18th!

new album

Now you can get your eager hands on a limited edition CD of ‘Nothin’ Left but the Rest’ 2021! Available exclusively through 2C2C Music.
The album will also be available on all the usual digital outlets.

The digipack CD, with a 12 page booklet, contains 14 songs in total including some bonus demos, and it’s remastered and ready!

Pre-Order your copy from June 4th! The album will be released on June 18th so grab your copy today before they sell out!

This will be Kid Creole and the Coconuts‘ 15th studio album! The album was written during a round-the-world-in-eighty-days adventure with his right hand man, Bongo Eddie. They visited places such as Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and more where they lived amongst various indigenous tribes.

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News

NFT

CALLING ALL CREOLIANS!!!!!
NEWS ALERT!

Oh no, THE KID has discovered NFTs!!!! Help! All those unreleased songs in his treasure chest, buried in Maui for ages, will now be unleashed upon the world. All you cryptocurrency savvy fans out there who have more money than sense, check out the rare items that are now available on Rarible.com.
And for those of you who live in the dark ages, and enjoy it there, google THE NFT REVOLUTION in MUSIC, and you’ll see what we’re yappin’ about.
See you in the marketplace!

Check out the latest drop! The Kid and Dear Addy have reunited to collaborate on a new exciting piece of digital art, and you can get your hands on it (if you own cryptocurrency!). Own a piece of the 80s!

This 30 second NFT Digital Art piece “Got to be a Man,” by Kid Creole & The Coconuts co-founders, August Darnell and Adriana Kaegi, is the beginning of a new collaboration, in an exciting new space. Place your bids now and own a piece of the 80s!

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News Press releases

Lyric Book

LYRIC BOOK

The Kid, otherwise known as August Darnell is very excited to be launching his first Lyric Book series:

CALL ME MISTER LYRICAL

The first volume in this Lyric Book series covers the cleverly written lyrics from the re-released Off The Coast of Me – 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. 
book cover
Call Me Mister Lyrical – Volume One

The debate about whether the music or the lyric is the most important aspect of a song has been going on since the first caveman added grunts to his partner’s humming. My opinion is this: they are equal. Each element has the power to diminish or glorify the other. A.D. 

We hope you will enjoy this very first published Lyric Book by August Darnell. Darnell has always been widely reviewed about his lyrics and we feel the contents of this book portray his inspired lyrics perfectly. 

The book is available in Kindle and Paperback versions from Amazon. You can pre-order the Kindle version now, set for worldwide release on April 5th. You can purchase the paperback version which is ready to ship now!
(Order from your own country’s Amazon store)

Volume Two of CALL ME MISTER LYRICAL is also out now!

This edition covers the lyrics from Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places. It also contains the original holographs (handwritten lyrics) from when Darnell first wrote and created the songs! Enjoy!

Some great quotes about Darnell’s clever lyrics:

With his brother, Stony Browder Jr, Darnell formed Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band in the mid-70s, and had a hit almost immediately with the slinky, subversive big band/disco hybrid ‘Cherchez La Femme’. Hugely underrated as a lyricist (who else would write pop songs about being unable to get it up, disowning a child, or use the word ‘slut’ in a chorus?), his string of hits with his own band, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, in the early Eighties – as well as the fruits of his stint as in-house producer at Ze Records – still sound brilliantly bizarre. In other times, Darnell might have been called a wit; his best songs are dazzlingly witty: they can also be sarcastic, ambiguous, deceptively eager to please. It’s pop as a moving target, brighty-coloured – even garish, but rich with shades of grey.

AD: Absolutely Ab-so-lute-ly! I went just the opposite way. That was intentional, in the same way that Kid Creole wasn’t what people expected a band like that to be at that time. That’s how crazy songs like ‘Mr Softee’ [about impotence] came about, crazy self-punishing songs. Ridiculous songs like ‘There But For The Grace of God’ [by Machine], with ridiculous lyrics that everyone got offended by. That goes all the way back to ‘Cherchez La Femme.’ The hook-line, where I got hate-mail was ‘They’re all the same, the sluts and the saints.’ Hate-mail came in: ‘how could you say such a thing?’ but the point is, Hey, at least I got your attention didn’t I? There’s always going to be double-entendres, there’s always going to be word-play – but most importantly there’s going to be things in the live show that jar you, upset you, that are going to make you say, ‘Why is that that way.’ America is the only place in the world where I’ve had people say, ‘Why aren’t there any sisters on stage singing?’ I say, ‘Wait a minute – this is the Coconuts, this is the image. Blond, blue eyes – sorry if that offends you. My wife chose two girls who look like her, that’s the image.’ A.D.

With Kid Creole, there’s always something weird going on – and it’s much more evident. There’s always an unease, a dislocation.

AD: We have a saying: my brother created this. We’d write a song, it was a pop song. A hook, a verse, a chorus, a bridge: standard. After we’d listened to it, we’d be sitting around in the studio, he’d have joint – he was never without a joint in his mouth – he’d say ‘Let’s fuck it up.’ Like the last song on I Wake Up Screaming, ‘Just Because I Love You’ – it’s so poppy, that you have to mess it up. There’s always something a little… off target. That’s how I get my kicks. Because at my age, you’d better get some kicks. I’ve been there, got the T-shirt, every accolade known to man, toured every country in the universe, but I still love song-writing. A.D.

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News

POLYGAMY

PolygamyBrand new single – out now!

POLYGAMY – out now

August Darnell collaborates with his sons Dario Darnell and Lorne Ashley again. Hallelujah! This latest Kid Creole and the Coconuts single, Polygamy, is dedicated to 2021, which has already proven to be an unforgettable year. Onward music lovers – into the breach with heads held high!

You can stream the single on Spotify here

Check out the Lyric video for Polygamy on our YouTube channel

Polygamy is released on 2C2C Music, the Kid’s own label.

“Having been signed to every label known to mankind (Island, Warner Bros., EMI, RCA, Sony, Sire, etc), I decided that I couldn’t do a job any worse than ‘they’ did. Cue – laughter!

Ok, to be fair, it wasn’t all bad. Chris Blackwell and Seymour Stein and Tommy Mottola were great believers in Creolism. I enjoyed enormous success with each of them at the helm. But when the industry exploded and physical copies of my great songs were no longer needed, I realized that the Record Company dinosaur was about to die again.

That’s when I decided to be my own dinosaur. I called upon my song-writing partner, Peter Schott and my wife, Eva Tudor-Jones and convinced them to join me on a foolish adventure called START YOUR OWN LABEL”.

August Darnell.

Visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all our videos, old and new, rare and live!

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News

Off the Coast of Me

Single Releases

Bogotà Affair‘ was the third single to be released from the Off the Coast of Me 40th Anniversary Edition album.
Calypso Pan American‘ is the latest release from the same album. Out on October 28th.
The first single released off the album was ‘Mister Softee, and the follow up single, released on July 10th, was the title track ‘Off The Coast Of Me.
Visit our label to stream, download and watch the videos.

Off The Coast Of Me
(40th Anniversary Edition)
OUT NOW

DELUXE ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Album OUT NOW
spotify

Stream on Spotify

Buy on iTunes

Stream on YouTube

Off The Coast Of Me was Kid Creole and the Coconuts’ first album release in 1980 on ZE Records.
The Kid and Coati Mundi together decided to celebrate this debut album by releasing a 40th Anniversary Edition.

Released on 2C2C Music, the Kid’s very own record label, the Deluxe Anniversary Edition includes 22 tracks in total.

It, of course, has all the tracks from the original version (re-mastered) but you will also enjoy some very special never-before-released original demos, plus some cool upbeat Bootlegs by the Kid’s son, artist Youngr. But it also includes some recent singles from the band that you may have missed the first time round:
Do Yourself a Favor, Checkin’ My Colonies, You Don’t Know Me and In a Place Like This.

Enjoy!

Categories
Song of the Month

Monkey

Monkey

Month of September 2017:

Monkey

  • Band: August Darnell
  • Writers: August Darnell
  • Publisher: La Bande Son

I wrote Monkey for a film called LE GRANDE VOYAGE, circa 1994. The song was originally called JUNKIE. Completely different lyric, obviously. The director of the film, Fred Hedangue, suggested a song about monkies, since we had encountered so many of them in our journey. I reluctantly returned to my hut in the Australian outback and changed the words. I am glad I did because Monkey is a far better song than JUNKIE.

Notwithstanding all of the above, the song was not included in the film. Such is life in the fast lane. But at least I got to hang out with some Aborigines.

August Darnell

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Please contact kidcreoleandthecoconuts to get a copy of the file

 

KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS – born out of the red hot embers of DR BUZZARD’S ORIGINAL Savannah Band. In the 1970’s the Savannah Band had successfully merged the big band sound of the 1940’s (Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Louis Prima etc) with the dance floor beat of the disco era. The Kid fused the big band sound with every strain under the sun – calypso, soca, salsa, rhythm and blues, soul, jazz, funk, hip-hop, etc……with a strong accent on Caribbeanism. Kid Creole and the Coconuts thus became pioneers of what became known as mongrel music (also known as Mulatto music or Rainbow music). In other words – a delicious but strange potpourri of goodness.

Categories
Press releases

NME Interview by Ian Penman (1980)

NME turns 60 this year and a new book documents its history. In our latest trip to Rock’s Backpages – the world’s leading archive of vintage music journalism – we visit the magazine circa 1980, a time when Ian Penman saw nothing wrong with kicking off a Kid Creole feature with a spot of French philosophy.

Source: The Guardian, March 6th 2002

“To try to write love is to confront the muck of language: that region of hysteria where language is both too much and too little, excessive (by the limitless expansion of the ego, by emotive submersion) and impoverished (by the codes of which love diminishes and levels it).” – Roland Barthes.

A man stands alone in a baggy white suit, a black masquerade visor over his eyes. He is concealing a broken heart and a loudhailer …

Just imagine: you have the opportunity to write one of those all-time sexiest and most heartbroken of songs. First step: you get involved with someone who drives you crazy with desire – ensnares you, mesmerises you, has you at arm’s length and in the palm of their hand. Then something happens: that inevitable separation. You’re classically awry – but where’s the gain (or the end) in being uselessly melancholy?

Write that song about it, summing up both your despair and the wonder of the love and sex that caused it in the first place.

You have to choose your words carefully, carnally; you have to find a crucial metaphor. It has to be just so – to sound like you’re completely drunk on love and near suicidal through the absence of your loved one. You recline on a couch and clutch your heart. The evening seems impossible: so many hours to go and no chance of the loved one appearing …

The song has to read like a love letter, from miles away. You map it out, the scenario is precarious. You get dressed up to kill, take enough numbing drugs and stand alone at the peak of your metaphorical island. You whisper – the loudhailer turns it to a plea for all the world to hear …

“Off the coast of me lies you;
In a waterfall of solitude.
I must find a one-way passage through.
To the very heart and private part of you.”

NME – Just imagine: the song of my dreams.

The August Darnell world – as manifested in a lot of Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band and all of Kid Creole and the Coconuts – is a looking glass world, a somewhere far away peopled by metaphors. But you don’t need a map to find this island, because its mythology is built around that very real, most easily found (and lost) of places – love. Sexual love, romantic love, high life love, hedonistic love, hardship love whatever, wherever or whoever …

There’s a whole new lyrical country here just waiting to be discovered. It is cavalier, cinemascope and carnal. It’s a subliminal carnival, a bit of a circus, a sip of a cocktail: amorous, clandestine, physical, light-headed and heavy-lidded. The dance of love – do you know the opening steps? You awful flirt!

“High heels / Straplessly red / Seedless grapes / Cozied in the bed/ Peg leg pants / Tossed aside / Scarlet smears across the bathroom tile / No, you needn’t explain: / First comes the thunder, then the rain.”

Just look: there’s the author. An infinitely cool and not unshifty looking character. A character somewhere between Alice’s mysterious little late White Rabbit and a black market spiv, between Cab Calloway and Graham Greene, between Glenn Miller and the De Niro of New York, New York. Observe the cool. Study the deportment: the stall, the sly romantic glance up from his drink. Takes out a pocket watch from his waistcoat, on a too-long golden chain. His second hand’s playing for time …

NME – An age when songwriting was a craft

For a contemporary popular music scene – “rock’s rich tapestry,” call it what you will – all too often devoid of true troubadours and the conveyed bliss of sexual love, Mr August Darnell is a person we scarcely seem to deserve, an unusually conscientious and industrious writer, composer, arranger, producer, player, singer, stage manager, character, bon vivant. As his sartorial projection might lead you to believe, he belongs to a different age. An age when songwriting was a craft – your profession, your pride, and often a crafty progression from the very heart and poison pen parts of your day-to-day life.

NME – August Darnell makes use of words

August Darnell makes use of words. He savours them, seduces their meanings, makes them his own. The pimp! (Just my little metaphorical joke.) In the course of both Dr Buzzards Original Savannah Band and Kid Creole, Darnell has slyly, slowly been redesigning the content and tenor of the subject matter (the one that matters) of which so many songs are fashioned. Saying it, crooning, orienting it, jiving it, driving it, steering it like a captain in his ship.

He has been most recently renowned for a widespread association with a number of acts resident in the New York Ze/Antilles label: James White and the Blacks, Cristina, The Aural Exciters, Don Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band and of course Kid Creole and the Coconuts. If you’re a keen modern soul fan you may also have happened upon his involvement with an outfit named Machine (more on them later) and maybe even a project known as Gichy Dan’s Beechwood No. 9 (too obscure even for me).

NME – Maestro’s Story

But our maestro’s story goes back a few years to the group (or legend) known as Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, which he co-ran and all too seldom co-runs with a man named Stony Browder Jr, an even more elusive gentleman than August. The Savannah Band are best known or remembered for a mini hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 1976 – Cherchez La Femme, taken off the group’s first RCA album (same name as the name). Two more albums have since appeared – 1978’s D.B.O.S.B. Meets King Penett (RCA) and the recent James Monroe H.S. Presents D.B.O.S.B. Goes To Washington (Elektra) – the latter being their classiest and craziest yet.

It would always have been easy to peg the Savannah Band as mere ritzy revivalists – a frivolous private joke, albeit a painstakingly self-referential one – a la Pointer Sisters or Manhattan Transfer. The beat goes a lot further and deeper. Just listen: the lush text of their performance is deceptively, danceably lighter on the ear. If you dip and dig around you’ll find a clearer complexity – those scores sound very learned!

NME – Very Insistant, Very Dreamy…

The hook to each song is usually deep in a choppy rhythmic current – a shuffling samba. Very insistent, very dreamy. Less speed and more taste than that more popping popular amyl (night rate) disco beat. Lined and fleeced with a multiplicity of signs from a predominantly 40s Swing Era code book: seedy jazz, seething calypso, reedy rhumba, rude rhythm’n’blues. The horn section and vocal harmony arrangements are many sided and exquisitely twisted, counter-counter-pointed. What poise! What a slinky noise.

Dr Buzzard’s Savannah Band always have been about arrangement (so difficult to get hold of good arrangers these days, my dear) but it still all sounds informally natural.

Music and lyrics travel all over the place. Benny Goodman horns highlight a Scott Fitzgerald scenario of tiffs, Tia Maria and tension … Brass band surrounds a fairground tryst … Itchy crickets chorus of percussion brings a come-down hell to life.

“You did the mambo, the cha-cha, bolero, the rhumba …/ You did the tango, the conga, the disco, the samba…”

The music is full of jokes, references, interruptions, homage: recreation recycled into contemporaneity. It isn’t just waxwork. Stony Browder is usually credited for musical arrangements, Darnell for lyrics, but like everything else in Savannah land the accepted borderlines are smudged. While we’re here, the rest of the Band besides Browder (guitar, piano) and Darnell (bass) are Ms. Cory Daye (main vocalist), Micky Sevilla (drums/ percussion) and “Sugar Coated” Andy Hernandez (vibes, marimba) – also a mainstay of the Coconut enterprise.

NME – Dr Buzzard’s Savannah Band

Dr Buzzard’s Savannah Band is a perfect marriage of music and words – it wouldn’t be the same if either partner wasn’t just so compatible, as sophisticated as the other. Both Browder and Darnell translate into various languages, idioms, styles. They really are good – I think Darnell is perhaps without par amongst contemporary lyricists. Early Ferry gets somewhere near to the territory (but he lost his sense of humour).

Darnell knows it’s not simply a question of saying what was or wasn’t done to one party or the other (at one party or another) in the name of love – and how it was done; but of constructing, in and around the particular sexual mise en scene, all the bitty thoughts that recapitulated it, the obsessions that accompanied it, the decorations that surrounded it, the images, desires, modulations, and quality of the pleasure that animated it.

NME – Darnell’s Lyrics

His lyrics really begin to get sharp on the second Savannah Band album. Going beyond the fixed range of expressions we expect from our songs and singers, Darnell’s lovers and losers go off into dreams, into rages, into hospital, into too many clubs and even off their heads. The stories echo Damon Runyon one moment, the Brothers Grimm the next …

“Of all the dames I fancied / She’s the only one I loved. / And when she left the pavement turned to mud. / I sought refuge in a dim saloon, / But I would have drowned in booze, / If it weren’t for the troubadour.”

Chorus: “Restless lovers everywhere / Dry your eyes, pull up a chair / Spill the cup and cup the ear / For the organ grinder’s tale…”

The pictures switch from an exaggerated ball – “When Crosby starts to croon / The jitterbuggies cruise the room / Their fingers poke the air / Man-o-man-o-man-o-man, they look just like that Fred Astaire! / “Swing it with me, my Mattie Mario” / No, no, no, no, no, no, I’m saving this fling for Mister Love.” – to obscure outbreaks of gang hatred – “Soraya, bring big gun / And let’s have some bloody fun / Nignats do the Rats in – / Kunta and grimel don’t mix / Like creme et cocoa.”

NME – Various Characters

Various characters and symbols – some figurative, some actual – make a recurrent entrance into the play of Savannah Band language, as the mad covers to all their albums testify. Wouldn’t you just love to visit The New Syringe Club? Mambo Eddie’s Beatnix School? And finish off at The New York At Dawn Show? During the course of the evening you might learn that both Stony Browder and August Darnell attended the James Monroe High School, that the Tommy Mottola of Cherchez La Femme really was their manager, and couldn’t fail to be convinced that the Savannah Band really are Champions of the Romantic.

Darnell is also a champion of the untold story, the surreptitious and strictly confidential. But unlike so many “songwriters” who are respected for their “honesty” about “relationships” – who write songs which convey nothing but venom and connivance – Darnell never loses his humour or humanity. He can fall from ecstasy to squalor in one coded coda. No one is producing better mnemonics for nightlife – even Chic got left behind a while back.

“Tired smiles / Censored romance / Premature sighs – / Now it all makes sense. / Trolley car /Take me along / To some distant shore far from Babylon. / For their air here reeks of lies; / And even the robins sound warlike. / Nocturnal interludes / Like so many tsetse flies / Nocturnal interludes / Damaging merchandise / Make-me-believe-it solitude.”

NME – ZE Records

ZE Records’ New York Office is housed on one floor of a big building which also contains the Carnegie Hall Recital rooms. You can get stuck in the same lift as Harvey Keitel did in a movie called Fingers. Except that now they’ve got a lift-man.

I sat down opposite August Darnell in the traditional false comfort of a record company “hospitality” room. I should have specified a bar in advance.

Also in the room are a couple of Coconuts (Andy Hernandez – who asks me more questions than I ask anyone – and “Mister Piano” Peter Scott, the youngest member of the ensemble, who says virtually nothing throughout) and a varying number of people from both the band entourage and ZE.

Darnell is wearing a moderately baggy, immaculately tailored creamy white suit, and everything else seems to match, natch. He twirls a tiny pink parasol (decoration pinched off a birthday cake) between thumb and forefinger, and answers all queries in a very businesslike but charming manner.

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Song of the Month

Our Love Will Always Stand

Our Love Will Always Stand is the first Song that Kid Creole himself is handpicking for you. Every month, Kid Creole is offering songs for you to listen to from his collection, stay updated for more songs during monthly updates.

Crazy Days in New York City

I love this song. It brings back memories of my crazy days in New York City. I was living in Manhattan.  My brother, Stony Browder Jr., wrote the music. He presented me with a cassette one day and said “Give me something romantic for this one!” And so I did. It was easy. The music on the cassette was just Stony and his guitar. Unplugged before unplugged became a manufactured gimmick. Such sweet chord changes led me to that place where the heart defies the brain: LOVE-VILLE, USA.

Sitting in Central Park

And so I penned OUR LOVE WILL ALWAYS STAND in an afternoon, whilst sitting in Central Park, circa 1975. I was disappointed when Stony decided not to use it for the first Savannah Band album in the Bicentennial. In fact, he never used it at all for any of the Savannah Band albums. But I always kept it in mind.

Cherchez La Femme

Almost a decade later I produced an album called ELBOW BONES AND THE RACKETEERS and I finally got to record OUR LOVE WILL ALWAYS STAND. On this album, a singer named Frank Passalacqua delivered the vocal. Frank’s vocal style immensely influenced my alter ego, Mr. Kid Creole.

Fast forward to 2016 and the very same song is now in my stage musical, aptly called CHERCHEZ LA FEMME.

Still loverly after all these years.

Month of July 2017:

Our Love Will Always Stand

  • Band: Elbow Bones and the Racketeers
  • Writers: Browder and Darnell
  • Publisher: EMI Music Publishing LTD

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Please contact info@kidcreoleandthecoconuts.com to get a copy of the file

KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS – born out of the red hot embers of DR BUZZARD’S ORIGINAL Savannah Band. In the 1970’s the Savannah Band had successfully merged the big band sound of the 1940’s (Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Louis Prima etc) with the dance floor beat of the disco era. The Kid fused the big band sound with every strain under the sun – calypso, soca, salsa, rhythm and blues, soul, jazz, funk, hip-hop, etc……with a strong accent on Caribbeanism. Kid Creole and the Coconuts thus became pioneers of what became known as mongrel music (also known as Mulatto music or Rainbow music). In other words – a delicious but strange potpourri of goodness.

Kid Creole and The Coconuts had the good fortune of working with movie directors such as Francis Ford Copolla and Taylor Hackford. They have also done collaborations with the likes of Prince, U2 and Barry Manilow. They have done command performances for Princess Diana and President Clinton and they have worked with true giants in the MUSIC BIZ UNIVERSE: Tommy Mottola (who brought Mariah Carey to fame), Seymour Stein (who brought Madonna to the attention of the world) and Chris Blackwell (who brought reggae to the rest of the world).

Purchase Kid Creole Albums on Rainman Records Online Store