Monday, August 30, 2010

The beginning of the eBay sell-off!

Here's a link to my eBay store: Slash.Your.Face I've begun listing some 45s including funk, northern soul, some r&b, and even rockabilly. There's only a couple up now but I'll be gradually adding more and more. There's some really great stuff going up that you can probably snag for really cheap. Here's some label scans to entice you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Funky Friday (Nights): Jo Armstead - I've Been Turned On

As promised in yesterday's post I'm bringing you that funk. Today's tune is a stormy number from the fiercely independent woman Jo Armstead. The record today was written, recorded, released, and published by Ms. Armstead. That's pretty impressive considering it was released in 1968. The song is a total funk ripper with a Northern feel to it via the sweet strings. I really dig this one hard and hope y'all are feeling it as much as I am.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming 45 sale. Enjoy the weekend, friends.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

...but when we walk down the street he never holds my hand.

Much like today's selection I'm going to keep it short and sweet. I whipped up an earlier side from The Turner's for y'all. This one came out in '64 and actually charted on the US pop charts, just two releases before the behemoth "River Deep, Mountain High." The track kicks off with an absolutely raw and blazing drum beat with some gospel-esque hand clapping overlapping. The song has a total gospel feel to it, mostly due to the choir-esque female backups. I love how raw the song is, there's barely any instrumentation on the entire track and the whole song relies heavily on the beat and Tina's stellar vocal capabilities.

Hope y'all dig this one. I'll be back tomorrow with something slightly more funky. Also coming soon I'll be having a big 45 sale on eBay. So scrounge up some loose change, I'll have some good buys for you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Funky DJ: Live set from my first DJing experience!

Hello friends! I'm back with a special little surprise. This past Tuesday I went down to the Lost & Found Soul Night @ Savalas in Williamsburg to spin an hour of 45s. I was invited by Jared (JBX) from Big City Records, he's one of the fellows running the night for the past five years. Each week he, Chris, and DJ Boogieman spin their records and then there is a guest or two who gets to spin for an hour or so each. I shared the the guest spotlight with Tariq, an extremely amiable dude who hails from New Orleans and who subsequently dropped some serious bombs. I was a little nervous about the whole thing but that was quickly calmed by the supportive nature of the the event. Seriously, I can't recall an atmosphere and a group of people as supportive as Jared and the Lost and Found crew. It's a good feeling to know there are people out there who are willing to give you a chance and not just scoff at some new cat or pull the pretentious card that the city of New York seems to hand out to ever douche bag that comes along. Digression aside, the whole experience was uplifting, informative, supportive, and just downright fun as hell. Playing your favorite songs loud as hell for some strangers and friends (shout outs to my girl Steph, Kev, R. Samis, and Brittany for coming to watch and hear) to hear is an enriching experience.

Fortunately they record all the sets at Lost & Found and I got a copy from Jared yesterday. I'm posting up an mp3 of my set, recorded live with all original 45s spun by yours truly. Some of the songs maybe obvious and overdone but it's all shit I truly love and wanted to share with others. I hope y'all like my selections. Peace to y'all.


Roger & The Gypsies - Pass The Hatchet Pt. 1 - Seven B
Lou Courtney - Rubber Neckin' (Chick Check'n) - Verve
Seeds of Life - The Whole Things Pt. 1 - Sedgrick
The Gaturs - Hunk of Funk - Gatur
Chuck Carbo - Can I Be Your Squeeze? - Fireball
Hank Ballard - How You Gonna Get Respect (When You Haven't Cut Your Process Yet?) - King
Hank & Claude Carbo - Fox In A Miniskirt - Castle Records
Joe Tex - You're Right, Ray Charles - Dial
Jay Dee Bryant - Get It - Enjoy
G.L. Crockett - Watch My 32 - 4 Brothers
Eddie Bo - Hook and Sling Pt. 1 - Scram
Marvelle & The Blue Mats - The Dance Called The Motion - Dynamic Sound Records
Roy Ward - Horse With A Freeze Pt. 3 - Seven B
Obie Plenty - Beef Stew - Verve
The Moon People - Land of Love - Speed
Lee Dorsey - Give It Up - Amy
Professor Longhair - Big Chief Pt. 1 - Watch
Irma Thomas - We Won't Be In Your Way Anymore - Canyon
Oliver Morgan - The La La Man - Seven B
The Dapps ft. Alfred Ellis - There Was a Time - King
The Endeavors - I Know You Don't Want Me - Stop
The Meters - Ease Back - Josie
Solomon Burke - Get Out My Life Woman - Atlantic
Dyke and The Blazers - Let a Woman be a Woman - Original Sound
Gunga Din - Crabcakes - Valise


Monday, August 16, 2010 wouldn't have made my tears fall like drops of rain.

The sky broke over New York City this evening and the rains came down. A lethargic fog settled in over the city today giving the untamable metropolis a subdued quality. I enjoy rainy late-summer days like today, they allow me to take a moment to slow down (it also helps that I had the day off) and enjoy life at a somewhat slower pace.

Since everything has to relate to music for me, or else I might not be able to function on a comprehensible level, I went into my collection looking for something to match the mood of the day. Here's what I found: Big Maybelle's "I Don't Want to Cry."

Big Maybelle was born Mabel Louise Smith in Jackson, TN. She recorded for King, O'Keh, Savoy, Chess, RoJac, and Brunswick. With a discography spanning from the late forties up until the early seventies (she passed away in 1972) Big Maybelle dipped her fingers into gospel, blues, soul, and funk.

The slow ballad arrangement on this track is definitely exceptional. The horn arrangements are so good, perfect even, as they drag along with a somber feeling. The piano is simple but works so well to give you the feeling of rain drops falling. But what's the most splendid thing about the track, like all of Big Maybelle's tracks, is her voice. Have you ever heard a voice so rich and robust? It's simply unforgettable and heart-wrenching. It's hard to say that I can think of many other voices as tremendous as hers.

Hope y'all dig it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Funky Fridays: Edd Henry - "Two Heads Are Better Than One" b/w "Soul Socking Time Baby

Hello to all my friends out there. On this lovely August Friday I'm bringing you a seriously cool funk two-sider to punctuate your week with. It's not often you find a 45 with two equally hot sides so instead of making the choice to showcase one I'm doing both!

Edd Henry is a somewhat mysterious character to me. I know that he was/is from Detroit and was working outside the Motown circle. He's got a handful of singles popular in the Northern Soul scene, particularly the monstrous tune "Crooked Woman." Other than those facts I can't really find much biographical information about him.

The A-Side, "Two Heads Are Better Than One," is super groove heavy track with some killer horn arrangements. If you notice on the label the track features a "taste of Memphis funk." That, my friends, is referring to Jo Bridges who shares songwriting credits on the tune. Jo Bridges was a late-era Stax writer who was responsible for co-penning some of Rufus Thomas' funkiest tracks. Also more recently Bridges wrote a hit song, "Teenage Love Affair," for Alicia Keys. That taste of Memphis funk makes this tune a truly killer funk tune.

The B-Side features a track titled "Soul Socking Time Baby (SSTB)," which is noticeably different from the A-side. That's probably due to the fact that Jo Bridges is not featured on this side. It's slightly more gritty, the guitar tone and riff in particular. Also the use of bongos makes the song just that much more killer. I'm not sure but I might be leaning more towards this track for my favorite but make no mistake both are exceptional lessons in groovy funk. What I actually like the most about this song is the inspirational message in the lyrics. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing I love more than a silly dance craze or lyrics with comedic value but I also enjoy a thought-provoking set of lyrics. My favorite line is "Soul is love and faith within yourself that you got for your fellow man," I think that is such a poignant definition of what Soul can represent.

Y'all enjoy your weekends, much love.

"Two Heads Are Better Than One"

"Soul Socking Time Baby (SSTB)"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let yo'self be free, give all your love to me.

Here's a very slick number from Bill Johnson on the Jocida label. Bill Johnson comes from the duo, Sam and BIll. This is one of his few solo sides. From what I can tell there are only two other releases on Jocida. Whatever the story is the song is killer.

It's the kind of song you except to hear in a smoke filled dive bar just before a fight, or a dance, or something dramatic is about to happen. Bill's smooth vocals are pretty reserved until he belts out a soulful scream at the end of the song. I love the piano in this song, it carries the tune along quit nicely.

Hope ya dig it. Let me know if you have more info about this record.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Post swap: Ana from The Singing Bones!

Today Ana from The Singing Bones and I are swapping posts, here's what she has to say:

I'm in New York! [not really]. Joe and I just thought it would be fun to switch places today. 

I consider NYC to be my third home. I went to school there, lived one street south of 125th on the west side. Absolutely, the city broadened my horizons, but ya know at the same time, parts of it really did feel like home. I doubt most folks know this, but there's an inner city New Orleans accent which sounds quite a lot like Brooklynese. 

Anyway, I meant to post a "New York record" today, but truth is, I had a hard time finding exactly what I wanted.  So, instead I've got something on a Chicago label. Make sense? I didn't think so.

Although this 45 is credited solely to Wylie Dixon, it's actually the first recording by the duo Simtec & Wylie.....issued a year before the partnership 'officially' began.

These guys are totally fascinating. Wylie Dixon came from a hard-core gospel background [the Highway QC's!!!] and then formed a band called Wylie Dixon and The Big Wheels [which included James Carr!!!].

Simtec Simmons was a pioneer of the drum machine, putting out records under the names, Simtec and The Mechanical Monster, and...Computer and The Little Fooler [probably my fave band name ever].

Together, Dixon and Simmons formed a great Sam and Dave type duo, ultimately issuing 10 or 12 singles and an album. And then, when they broke up, the band continued on as the great, Southside Movement [!!!].

Seriously, it's like you can't buy anything associated with these artists, together or separately, that isn't, at the least, very very interesting.


Make sure you head over to Ana's blog, The Singing Bones, to check out the my post as well as all the killer tunes she has to offer.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I can't stop, what about you baby?

I'm not feeling completely up to the weather so I'm going to keep it brief today. Here goes...

I found this recently at one of my local digging spots in a pile tucked away that was obviously a stack of records someone was contemplating buying but ultimately decided not to. Sucks for them... All the record needed was a little cleaning and love and I got it sound pretty damn good, and considering it was a measly quarter. Now for some info on the group.

The Notations: group from Chicago featuring Clifford Curry. "I Can't Stop:" killer upbeat number with smooth as hell guitars and stellar horn lines. I love the horns on this one. Dig this track, friends!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Baby, I've given you everything I've had to give and now I'm gonna live.

I was holding on to this one for a rainy day, or until a moment in time that felt appropriate. Well that moment is upon us friends! In honor of Dean Parrish's upcoming Brooklyn performance at Southpaw I'm posting one of the most tremendous Northern Soul anthems I've ever heard: "I'm On My Way" by the one and only Mr. Parrish.

This is one of those soul songs that is so grandiose that it literally takes ten or fifteen listens to even begin to comprehend how massive of a song it really is. Another song, for example, is Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)." These kinds of songs to me represent the perfection of class and style, they recall a time when being a performer meant actually possessing a respectable talent.

"I'm On My Way" is too impressive to properly describe with words so it's best to just listen, on repeat, until you find yourself shouting the words at the top of your lungs. I hope you enjoy this one because it's definitely one of my favorites. Also, check out the flyer I'm posting at the bottom of the post for Dean Parrish's upcoming show and if you live in New York definitely come out.