Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I apologize for the delay between the previous post and today's post. My work schedule and the fact that I still don't have internet in my apartment often makes it difficult to find the time to get to the coffee shop before they close. Anyway, I'm still here and to make it up to y'all I'm coming with two records today. Two very tasty records and an exciting announcement. First the news-- Ben Carey (co-creator of Hot Pants MN) and myself have teamed up to start a new, hopefully, monthly party in Brooklyn. For the time being we're tentatively calling it After The Laughter but it's possible that might be the permanent moniker. The information for the first party is on the flyer I posted above. Please come out if you're local, if we get enough support it'll be easier for use to convince the spot to allow us to keep throwing parties.
Now onto the tunes. These two records couldn't have any less to do with each other other than sharing similarly named song titles. Gene's song is a positively classy Northern record with a beat made for stomping around. Wendy's is heartbreaking ballad with her stunning vocals as a focal point. I believe it's honestly one of the finest vocal performances in the Soul canon. I don't know why some Stax 45s that look PRISTINE yet sound kind of crappy but this happens to be one. I'd also just like to point out a fun little fact about yours truly. The very very first piece of music I bought with my own money was Wu-Tang's Enter The 36 Chambers. My mom gave me twenty bucks one day when I went to the mall with a couple of friends and I bought the album on cassette from the wall. I remember playing that tape all day long, everyday. The reason I'm mentioning this story is because they sampled "After Laughter" on their song "Tearz". I still love Wu-Tang's take on the Stax classic and the more informed twenty-five year old me now has a profound appreciation for Wendy Rene's original.
Hope y'all enjoy the tunes and I hope to see some of you at the party next weekend.
Wendy Rene - "After Laughter"
Gene Chandler - "After The Laughter (Here Comes The Tears)"
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Alright, back on the Detroit tip! As I said two posts ago I've been digging hard on Detroit sounds, particularly Revilot/Westbound releases. Awhile back Larry Grogan posted a killer version of "Good Old Music" by a Detroit group called The Magictones. I remember listening to it and initially filing it to the back of my brain as often happens due to an overload in media-consumption. Later when I met Larry when he spun one sunday at Fat Buddha he showed me the record and my memory was jogged, then he played the record and I lost my mind. As a result I went on a hunt for other Magictones records and found this one for a little bit of scratch on the ol' eBay. Well worth it.
Tremendous groove on this one with just enough attitude. Hope ya dig it.
Friday, October 15, 2010
One of my favorite things about hunting for Soul music (including funk, jazz-funk, boo-ga-loo, northern soul, sweet soul, and all the other offshoots) is that there is literally just an endless amount of recorded material, really good material, out there. Throughout the sixties and seventies there was a seemingly unlimited amount of artists working and recording, some on major labels and some on microcosmic independent labels. So just when you think that you've uncovered every little niche of the genre, not necessarily discovering every artist or record in that niche but just as a whole, another door opens up and there's a whole different Thing going on that you had no idea existed. It's kind of like a giant puzzle and it's what holds my attention and keeps me interested (something that's NOT EASY to do) in discovering what else is out there.
The primary way of finding these new doors is through networking and meeting new people. Since everyone has a different ear, and more importantly since everyone comes from a completely unique cultural background, each person is bound to have a different experience with the music. Sooooooo, getting to today's song and how this all relates. In New Orleans I meet Justin "Rambo" Salinas through my friend Tarik. Naturally Justin and I had a lot to talk about since we both have a profound love for Soul and records. He kept talking about a musician from his native state of Texas, Sunny Ozuna. I had never heard of Sunny before but Justin spoke with great passion about him and his music. This caught my attention since it seemed I had found out about a new little niche. After coming back from New Orleans I turned this record up by Sunny & The Sunliners, and it blew me away.
"The Thing" is a tremendous instrumental workout that's part boo-ga-loo, part jazz and part funk. Throw that all together and you have an incredibly killer tune that's sure to get the people moving. The song moves along driven by a groovy rythym comprised of an organ, the bass, guitar and drums. Around that static rythym is where the magic happens: a few HUGE horn breaks and horn lines, and a seemingly improvisational jazz-like trade off between the trumpet and sax. Man, this song is just plain cool.
I'm sending this out to Rambo Salinas. He's currently hosting an all-nighter weekender for the three year anniversary of his hot-as-hell Hot Pants party in Minneapolis. I wish I could have made it out for that but I'll have to celebrate on my own with this record.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I'm sure a good majority of you have heard the sad news of Solomon Burke's passing this morning. If you're unfamiliar with Dr. Burke (as he liked to call himself), he was one of the pioneer Soul singers of the 1960's and is largely responsible for the mainstream/crossover success of the genre. In my opinion he was the most versatile of all his peers, he could utilize his sweet voice in any number of ways: from deep baritone to screaming falsetto. He certainly stands out among the plethora of Soul Singers working his era, mostly due to his severe talent and also due to his larger-than-life personality. I suggest reading Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, as Big Sol plays a primary role in the book and a crucial link between all other working entertainers. There are amazing stories about Sol outwitting, and ultimately performer to, a large gathering of KKK members and duping the promoter of The Apollo into allowing Burke "full concessions." Those are abstract summaries of the stories he tells in the book but it's definitely worth it to read them in full.
Now, on to the tune. "Down in the Valley," was co-written by Burke and Bert Berns in 1962 and was later, more famously, covered by Otis Redding on Otis Blue. As much as I love the Otis version it has nothing on the original. Burke displays his supreme grasp over his craft in this sweet blend of Country and Soul that he was most known for. The lyrics are exceptional, and the metaphorically biblical undertones are not to be overlooked (he was a working preacher after all). Just sit back and appreciate Burke's true artform so rarely found in modern times.
Rest in peace, Big Sol.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I'm going to be M.I.A. for a little while, or more accurately my computer is going to be M.I.A. for a little while. There's a huge gaping crack across the LCD screen of my lap top as I type this. Of course it's not covered under Applecare's bogus protection policy and it will probably cost a small fortune but the silver beauty shall rise again. I figured I'd get a post in before it goes off to be repaired.
I've been digging hard on the sounds of Revilot lately, specifically the early releases from The Parliaments. I went searching through my stash and came up with this one, which although it isn't a Revilot release it was recorded at the Revilot studios and features one of Detroit's most talented singers. Unfortunately Darrell Banks was cut down by a Detroit police officer at the young age of 35. "I've Got That Feelin'" is a serious booty-shaker with a terrific Northern sound. Love the bass on this track.
Hope y'all dig it and I'll see you as soon as my computer is returned to me.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Here's my set from Lost and Found this past Tuesday. Almost everything on here came from my trip to New Orleans. Hope you dig these tunes. Internet connection my apartment is non-existant so I'm posting this from the local coffee shop. Unfortunately I can't recall what two of the records I played are and those are marked with question marks. As soon as I get home I'll look them up and fill in the blanks. I'll be back soon with some more featured 45s. Be well!
Mary Jane Hooper - I've Got Reasons (Power Pac)
Willard Burton & The Funky Four - Funky In Here (Capitol)
Betty Harris - Ride Your Pony (Sansu)
Honey & The Bees - Why Do You Want To Hurt The One You Love (Arctic)
Billy McGregor - Fall Down On My Knees (Flash)
Evie Sands - You've Got Me Uptight (Blue Cat)
The Enchanting Enchanters - Boss Action (BenMoKeith)
James Rivers - Let's Live (Eight Ball)
Charlene P.M. - Loving You (FW)
Lee Moses - Got That Will (Maple Leaf)
Bobby Rush - Done Got Me Good PT. 2 (Sedgrick)
Chris Kenner - All Night Rambler Pt. 1 (Instant)
Charles Mintz - Give a Man a Break (Uplook)
Ernie Hines - Were Gonna Party (USA Records)
Tommy Ridgley - I Want Some Money Baby (Johen)
Bobby McClure - Love's Coming Down (Klondike)
Eddie Bo - Can You Handle It (Bo-Sound)
Cody Black - Going Going Gone (Ram Brock)
Mel Hueston - Double Confusion (Chanson)
Diamond Joe - Hurry Back To Me (Sansu)
Doug Anderson - Hey Mama Here Comes The Preacher (Janus)