Monday, June 21, 2010

I'll say it yet another time

A few weeks ago I posted two versions of the Sandpebbles' "If You Didn't Hear Me the First Time". I was prompted to dig that out after my homie Tim Diesel hit me up asking for Sweet Linda Divine's version of the song, which is best known as the break from Black Sheep's "The Choice Is Yours". Tim's request set off a minor ripping frenzy.

Sweet Linda Divine was a stage name for Linda Tillery, a performer who has been active on the Bay Area music scene since the late 1960s. She made her debut singing with the Loading Zone, an Oakland jazz rock group whose first album was sampled for a couple of minor West Coast rap classics. She then cut a self-titled solo LP under the Sweet Linda Divine monicker before spending much of the seventies as a session musician, singing and playing playing drums. (This newly-issued jazz-funk oddity by the HE3 Project is one of many Bay Area soul and rock recordings featuring her.)

My favorite release by her is her second LP, Linda Tillery, which she recorded in 1977 for Olivia Records, the pioneering women's music label. (Tillery also worked a staff musician and producer at the label, where every aspect of very release was done entirely by women.) The record has quite a few good tracks, but this is my favorite:

Linda Tillery: "Markin' Time" (Olivia, 1977)

Another song from the Olivia LP, the very "Time for Livin'"-ish "Freedom TIme", is available on Luv N Haight's California Soul comp.

Tillery also cut another solo LP in the 1980s and remains active on the Bay Area music scene, most prominently as the leader of the Cultural Heritage Choir.


Speaking of Luv 'n Haight, the label and its parent label, Ubiquity Records, are currently celebrating their 20th year in business. I go way, way back with the labels and so I'll be celebrating with them this Friday at a special event from 5 to 9 p.m. this Friday, June 25th at the Guerilla Art Cafe in Berkeley. The event will feature DJ sets from me, Ubiquity artist Ohmega Watts and longtime Ubiquity A&R Andrew Jervis. I'm told we can also expect appearances from a handful of the Bay Area legends whose music they have released, including Darondo, Sugar Pie DeSanto and Lawrence Ross of Twilight, whose 2 LPs were just reissued.

Apart from the event, I'm also working up a little tribute mix devoted to Luv 'n Haight's catalog.


Tim Diesel, who I mentioned above, is a longtime homie and a veteran member of the Local 1200 DJ crew. He can be found rocking at the Layover, Era Art Bar and various Oakland spots, plus doing his thing each Monday afternoon on AllDayPlay.FM, the station that hosts 2 Busy Saying Yeah. Tim's shows are all cached here.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

2 Busy Saying Yeah 20: Under the Influence of Warm Weather (and Beer)

Spring time finally hit Oakland last week and for some reason my response was to stay indoors and mix two hours of breezy warm weather sounds. The tracks are mostly late seventies/early eighties disco and soul records but I took some weird turns somewhere in there. There are also two new releases I really like from Trusme and U-Tern.

The mixing is kind of casual. I let a lot of records play long, which meant I had the time to make and eat a sandwich, go to the fridge for a few beers, etc. while recording. This enhanced my relaxation and contentment while making the show. I hope the mix does the same for you.

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1. Martin L. Dumas, Jr. : Attitude, Belief & Determination
2. Ramsey Lewis : Sun Goddess
3. Arnie's Love : I Think I'm Out of Your Life
4. Willie Hutch : Easy Does It
5. Cassiano : Onda (Wave)
6. Trusme : Put It On Me
7. D.J. Rogers : Will You Remember Me?
8. One Way : Didn't You Know It
9. Royalle Delite : (I'll Be a) Freak For You
10. Spade Brigade : I'm Your Man
11. The Harden Brothers : Deep Inside of You
12. Steve Parks : Movin' In the Right Direction
13. Odyssey : Battened Ships
14. The Jackson Sisters : I Believe In Miracles
15. Dennis Coffey : Theme From Black Belt Jones
16. Carl Davis & the Chi-Sound Orchestra : Windy City Theme
17. Wood, Brass & Steel : Say What You Want to Say
18. Universe City : Can You Get Down
19. Cloud One : Spaced Out
20. Greg Henderson : Dreamin'
21. Ethel Beatty : I Know You Care (U-Tern Edit)
22. The Ritchie Family : I'll Do My Best
23. California Flight Project : California Flight
24. Paulinho Da Costa : Deja Vu feat. Philip Bailey
25. Teddy Pendergrass : The More I Get, the More I Want

Had I known about them last week, I would definitely have played the face-melting original version of “I Believe in Miracles” and maybe Dmitri from Paris’s re-rub of Teddy Pendergrass. (BTW, am I the only DJ in the world who thinks Teddy's version is miles better than the Lorraine Johnson cover?)

The excellent California Flight Project track was just issued on vinyl for the first time by People's Potential Unlimited, but there's a gang of other material by them on Amazon, CD Baby, etc. I see that Jerry J is playing at Ghirardelli Square Saturday and I'm almost tempted to cross the bridge to see what that's about.

For what it's worth, I'm toying with the idea of devoting full-length mixes to two of the artists featured on the mix, Willie Hutch and D.J. Rogers.

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