Friday, July 31, 2009

Grinches, Oompa Loompas and WTF

Spotted over at Cocaine Blunts:

Rafael Casal: "Bay Area Slang" (2009)

If 40's long-promised slang dictionary doesn't actually come out this year, a guest verse on a remix of this would be some consolation.

The Grinch theme reminds me of:

Da Backwudz: "I Don't Like the Look of It (Oompa)" (Rowdy, 2006)


Big Moe: "Purple Stuff" (Wreckshop, 2001)

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Speak of the devil

In my last post I happened to mention legendary jazz composer and theorist George Russell. He died about 4 days later of complications from Alzheimer's. He was 86.

His music generally didn't tend towards grooviness, so I think this flies below the radar:

George Russell Sextet: "Event I" (Soul Note, 1980)

It's edited from the 1980 version of Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature, which, like a lot of great stuff on Soul Note, is available dirt cheap in electronic form.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009


I'm not sure how, but last week this 2 year old Consequence song lodged itself in my head firmly:

Consequence: "Don't Forget 'Em" (G.O.O.D., 2007)

I've managed to mostly ease the situation with liberal doses of the Milton Nascimento original, but I also ended up dusting off a few other pseudo-Brazilian favorites.

Jay Dee: "Rico Suave Bossa Nova" (rough extended version) (BBE, 2002)

"Rico Suave" appeared on Dilla's 2002 Welcome 2 Detroit album. It's basically him and Karriem Riggins goofing on some Sergio Mendes-ness.

A few years ago I heard my homie Tim Diesel play "Rico Suave Bossa Nova" at a gig, which led me to whip up this unfancy little re-edit-- I gave it a mixable intro and extended it from 90 seconds to about five minutes.

George Russell: "Brazilian Bus" (Records by Pete, 19??)

This is not the George Russell who led groups featuring Bill Evans and John Coltrane, etc., won a MacArthur genius grant and whose music theories provided the underpinning for modal jazz. It's a George Russell without a wikipedia entry or a website who, from what I can infer from the blurbs on the back of his Easy Listening LP, was a guitarist who mainly made his way in music promotion. Also, according to the notes, he's "a musician's musician, a man's man, a ladies' man, a marvelous human being."

The music on Easy Listening was arranged by Jimmie Haskell; I love what he does with the strings here. The same recordings were later issued on Dobre under the title Guitar With Orchestra.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

I go Rambo

My weekend began with some schmuck doing a hit and run on my car. Then it got steadily worse.

DJ Rap-N-Scratch: "Rap-N-Scratch Goes Rambo" feat. MC Nikke (Show Jazz, 1988)


Friday, July 17, 2009

You can find me in the tub

I've been digging this mix put together by BK homie Doc Delay and Sean Manchee. It's a 34-minute blend of '60s and '70s era analog synthesizer music built around moogs, ARPs, rocksichords and the like. Great selections, mixing and editing make for a beautiful, spacey and weird ride.

This wouldn't be out of place on there:

Jim Gordon: "Tahiti Hi" (Cream, 19??)

This is not the Jim Gordon who played drums on Pet Sounds and "Apache", co-wrote "Layla" and killed his mother with a hammer. It's from this Jim Gordon, a multi-instrumentalist who gigged widely as a studio musician in the '70s and built lots of cool synthesizers in his spare time.

Heavy! could be grouped with a lot of the exploito-moog records that came out in the wake of Walter/Wendy Carlos's Switched-On Bach and Gershon Kingsley's "Popcorn", but the rhythm arrangements and playing are really impressive-- given the technical limitations of synthesizers at the time, very few people were able to make them sound as loose as he did. Gordon's website lists Heavy! as being from 1967 but my impression is that Cream Records didn't start putting records out until a few years after that.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Smoked Sugar: "Keeping Up My Front" (20th Century, 1975)

From the same album as the endlessly buoyant "I'm a Winner". This one gets stuck in my head almost as frequently.


Saturday, July 11, 2009


Yesterday's New York Times had a brief obituary for Drake Levin, who was best known as guitarist for the 60s-era pop group Paul Revere & the Raiders. I mainly know his music through his work with Brotherhood and Friendsound, the bands he formed with Phil Volk and Michael Smith after the three split the Raiders.

Brotherhood and Friendsound operated in tandem. They had more or less the same personnel and recorded for the same label at the same time. Friendsound's sole LP has got to be one of the stranger things RCA ever put out. A couple tracks resemble songs but mostly it's a weird amalgam of jamming and experimentation with tape effects. On some tracks, like this, it really works:

Friendsound: "Love Sketch" (RCA, 1969)

By contrast, Brotherhood's two LPs were more song-oriented. This is a track from their self-titled debut with Levin on lead vocal.

Brotherhood: "Doin' the Right Thing (The Way)" (RCA, 1968)

Provided there's sitar involved, I'm a sucker for cosmic philosophizing.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Funky rappin'

Rick & DJ Jimmie Jaz: "Funky Rappin'" (Pow Wow, 1987)

This record is goofy but really dope to me. I think the only other times I've heard this flow freaked were on a much more recent Quannum track (Was it Lateef? Somebody help me....) and Juicy J's current single, "30 Inches".

I don't know anything about the group but I assume they were from New York because the label contains a shout to the Violators, Chris Lighty's mythical rap crew. Pow Wow Records released a bunch of rap stuff but is better known for the dancehall, house and new wave records it put out.


Monday, July 6, 2009

No. 1

Hunt's Determination Band: "No. 1 Lady" (Earwax, 197?)

Hunt's Determination Band was a Detroit-area band that cut two late-70s LPs plus a couple of non-LP 45s. Both LPs contain versions of "No. 1 Lady"; the version I've posted is from Get Your Act Together!, which I believe was the later of the two. This version tones down the bass, adding clavinet, strings and a great breakdown.

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