Monday, February 04, 2013
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Ultimate Cop Show Grooves
The Ultimate Collection of Latin Boogaloo, Disco, Funk and Soul
This here is some down and dirty shit. 4 CDs, awesome grooves, one CD each of Boogaloo, Disco, Funk and Soul. Think groovy 60s, funky 70s and disco like the stuff that got played in Carlito Brigante's upscale disco. You'll be gettin' down, doin' the shingaling, the boogaloo, the mambo, and the latin hustle with a huge grin on your face as you run and slide across your cop car lookin' like a badass 70s wide-collar disco plainclothes detective. You're gunna get down. I did and am right now. Sittin' here bobbin' my head to some great beats by Pete Bonet.
Folks like the Fania All Stars, Willie Colon, Ray Barreto, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmeri, Joe Cuba, The Latinaires and others cherry-picked from FANIA's vast catalog between 1967 and 1975. Lots of cowbell, plenty of handclaps, badass percussion, stone cold grooves. In fact, FANIA has tied as my favorite soul label. They even give Stax a run for their money. They SMOKE Motown, they whup Hi and Atlantic, grooviness on top of grooviness with like hundreds of albums in their catalog to draw from. Yer gunna let out a plaintive holler of immediate delight, plus you'll keep comin' back for more. this is the real deal. The stuff that just doesn't quit. The groove that gits you in your earhole and doesn't let go to save your life. Thank God. For I was runnin' low on my soul vibe lately, having wearied of my Stax collection after many many many repetitions. Boom. Get down! Even the disco sounds like one of those awesome PBS shows in the seventies where some guy with a roving camera roams through a Jazz Festival zooming in on guys with huge funkyass beards and highly patterned rayon shirts and unusual compact headwear, berets and buchari kippahs. If percussion is your thing, you're in the right place. Yer gunna love it.
The weakest point of the set? OK, some of it sounds derivative, like a groove swiped from James Brown who swiped it back with his Hell album. Or even straight-up copped riffs from Archie Bell and the Drells. But yah know, I can live with that. I mean soul and R&B has always had a little bit of piratical diffusion. Chuck Berry coppin' Louis Jordan riffs note-for-note. Slick lil' homages inside of Stax songs. Bass grooves that sound remarkably like something the Funk Brothers did. This is OK. It goes all the way back to Okeh and Vocalion. Several songs that sound like a jibarito-stuffed James Brown doin' covers of 'I Got The Feelin'. You gotta love it. I do at least. I'm a percussion freak. Love to hear those swirlin' eggy things, and those monkeyfucker drums from brazil, and the cowbell, good god, the cowbell moar! moar!
Pick this one up. If you can't get it on CD, get it on FANIA's digital platform in lossless wav. You won't regret it, all caveats aside, it is a bountiful, magic collection that'll leave you tappin' your feet, gettin' down with the power of the finest New York City had to offer back then. It's aged well. Currently my 3rd favorite Soul box set... after Stax 1959-1968 and Atlantic R&B 1947-1974. It even beats out the Stax 1968-1971 and Stax 1971-1975 box sets. That's seriously impressive. I'm impressed at least, and it takes a lot to do that.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Sinatra's Capitol Concept Albums
This remains one of the best bargains in essential modern music. I mean if there are 5 most influential recorded oeuvres in the 20th century, it'd be Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Sevens, Frank Sinatra's Capitol albums, The Beatles, and then probably Enrico Caruso, with like a three-way tie between Elvis, Hank Williams, and Duke Ellington for 5th most influential. Elvis didn't exactly push the envelope as far as the medium, Hank didn't either, but then Duke wasn't as groundbreaking, except in the overwhelming skill as a performer/composer he possessed. Michael Jackson is up there somewhere too, but while he was innovative and influential, he didn't display the stamina that those other guys had. I mean we're talking a minimum of 100 tracks or so (Hank who died at 30). Bob Wills? Most people don't know who that is. Billie Holiday? Man, I know, but she didn't push the river, even though she made it shimmer like the moon. And me? I gotta talk to some guy about how brilliant Rush is. puh-leeez.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
New advancement in Evlis Food Technology!
http://www.grill-a-burger.com/ serves a Peanut Butter and Jelly Burger w/Bacon. Its not on the menu.
Monday, April 23, 2012
my first tejano song.
All that I knowwwwww, is Baby loves tequuuilllllaaaaaaa
sometimes I wake up in the morning and she's threeee sheets to the wind....
a sweet tempered drunk... she's never belllllliggggeerrrreeeennnnnttttt...
unless you take away her bottle... then she turns into a cunt.
sometimes.... i find.... a bunch of squeezed up lemmmonnnnsssss
on the floor of the bathroom... and i gotta think... just what the fuck.
i guess by the world.... my girls an allcohhhhhollllicc......
but when she licks sucks and slams me.... i just don't give a damn.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Jennie Lowe Stearns - Blurry Edges
I really want to like this album; but I don't. It just doesn't come
together for me. Maybe I'm not mature enough. Maybe I haven't had my
heart ripped out in a long-term relationship that flopped. Maybe I'm not
trying hard enough to like it... but if it doesn't grab you, it doesn't
grab you. Jennie's been through a shitstorm lately. Divorce, teenage
boys, her dad died, and this album is part of her coming to terms with
I can see it helping, she's a skilled songwriter, her musical skills are shiny too, and her collaborators seem to be top-notch. Its just... I dunno. Like she sounds like if Bob Dylan were Blossom Dearie. Precious sweet voice. Singsong sweet. Not that it isn't believable... but i dunno... some venom or something after that much crap. Sweet lady though, it shows.
You might like it. You might love it. There's a lot in it to love. I can't quite put my finger on why I can't get behind it though. Maybe I just need to grin and bear it more... cuz when I get hurt as bad as it sounds like this lady has... i wanna put my foot up somebody's ass. Even when the sadness or pain is agonizing. I'd say its worth giving this one a shot, its nice and soothing, which is maybe just the thing after your world gets whacked. Three stars for just sheer skill and like a fourth star if you're really super nice. Me? I'm just pretty nice, because super nice encourages people to fuck me too hard. Maybe that's what she's in the process of learning. Dunno, but she's got a really pretty voice.
Monday, April 02, 2012
Deconstruction of the Blues
The Nomad Series - Cowboy Junkies
Volume 1 - Renmin Park
Pleasantly disjointed storytelling has been a part of the Cowboy Junkies repertoire from the get-go. A slice of life, a short element of philosophical reverie from someone bitten hard by life who has managed to not become hardbitten, a lament. This is the hallmark of this first album in the Nomad series, a series inspired by a painting pentatych by Enrique Martinez Celaya, it explores freedom and constraint a leopard walking freely through an icescape and then its body draped over the shoulders of a child as she stands through the seasons. This first album sings of the body of work of people struggling amid a relatively new cultural system in an old body of mind. China, in a park that celebrated revolutionary change and houses greenhouses that bloom amid different seasons. This album represents autumn, a body of work built amid a long background of loving work from the blush of youth. It didn't bite me on the butt. I mean I wasn't like hm. BRILLIANT! Some stuff does, but don't discount it. It has resonance, it bounces around in your brain for awhile, so does the production, man did they strut their stuff on it. Slices of a different world, not just the outlanders in far canada struck in hardship and harsh weather and the bottle. It discusses outlanders in their own nation, an artistic tradition of music and poetry that doesn't breathe strong in a nation of work. Are the cultural elements of old China like the leaves preparing to drift away before they start anew someday in a new season? I wouldn't even hazard to guess, some cultures are too large to sweep away in a single sentence. China changes though. At least for the last 3000 years it has.
So have the Junkies over the years, it feels like this quartet is a search for their roots, this is one, the broad brushstrokes that paint a life in 3 verses and a chorus.
Volume 2 - Demons
Emotional resonance. The portraits painted by their brushstrokes are about people that matter. People that suffer or have experienced loss. Here the loss is the Junkies'. The loss of a friend, Vic Chesnutt, the nearly quadriplegic wheelchair-bound singer/songwriter that they befriended in the years before he took his own life as a Christmas present to himself in 2009. It wasn't the first time he'd tried to open that package as sung about in his song "Flirted With You All My Life". To quote, "When my mom was cancer sick, She fought, but then succumbed to it, But you made her beg for it, Lord Jesus, please I'm ready." I mean how do you turn that down. Life kicks the shit out of some people more than others. It really kicked the shit outta Vic. Car accident left him in a chair at 18, just in the first blush of real life and boom he spent the next 27 years there. Yeh, people fight back from that, become inspirational speakers or teach kids but not everybody has that in them. Vic's inspiration was the inspiration of a back alley gambler splashin' together words of sorrowful lives and raw ingenuity with a sly snicker of love. There are probably plenty of people who he helped through it. Whatever their shit is. Whatever is kickin' them in the nuts. Me too. Man was an iconoclastic bellwether of his times hawkin' loogies down over the rail. The Junkies snag up some of his finest work and lay it down straight, with love, from friends. What more can you ask. "built a king on compliments, charisma and advertisements, still they see him shimmer ephermeral, it ain't supernatural, or maybe" and that's the truth. This one has the love, but also the pain, try not to bawl, well... mebbe a lil'.
Volume 3 - Sing in my Meadow
This one's about raw musical genius, the noise of a band obsessed with feedback and fuzz but with the good taste to keep it in a modest setting, the blues. Honkin' ass fuzzed up harmonica, gritty smackin' gitars, spacious thumpy drummin', and Margo. Like 'Whites Off Earth Now' with all the stops pulled out, only one cover (of themselves), and kind of a hard edge, mebbe to shake off all the people snivelin' about poor ole' Vic, but mebbe not. I mean there's gotta be some pressure after bein' together for nearly 30 years. That kinda grit has gotta shake off some of the pressure, a rawness and probably a lil' bit of cuttin' too just to keep things interesting. This is the one you should play for anyone not heavy into the Junkies or confessional songwriting or folkystuff. They'll probably come back for more. I wish I could say some crap like "SOLID ROCK MUSIC CLASSIC AN TEH NEW PINK FLOYD" or something, but it wouldn't be honest, and that's what they are. Mebbe more honest than Springsteen. Less of a pose... but just a little bit. This is the one you'll listen to drivin' around or gettin' drunk or havin' a party. It doesn't rake you over the coals, it doesn't wow you with any heavy concept, and because its free of those things, it doesn't have to lay down anything more than some raucous noise that wouldn't carry them as far as they've gotten without those other things... but they sound like they'd be having fun even if they hadn't moved as many people or impressed as many critics. Like that bar band that you stumbled in and heard at a Canadian roadhouse and then got deported because you were too damn drunk and started callin' out for 'free bird'. Great album, but Demons is my favorite of these 4. Cuz they got moved too.
Volume 4 - The Wilderness
1, 2, 3, foah. Well she was just climbin' rocks. Or somethin'. Its one sweet groove, all put together. Yup. The little bit of that and the big ole chunka this and this kinda stuff and some-a that over there and all singin' beautifully together. The perfect mix of tunes. A cheesy garlic bread. A warm kinda lovin' thing amid bitterness or something. If you've been a fan, you'll know what you're in for. I'm a fan again. I drifted off for a while because the tides change and sometimes you are lookin' for low tide when the warm wash of high tide is up along the coast. If you've ever loved a band, I know you know what I'm talkin' about. Eliminator tour? OU812? Delicate Sound of Tundra. A far off wind of change where you drift apart from someone that once had you crankin' their wax all up and down the line. You quit hopin' for change. You quit thinkin' they'll go the way you loved again. But sometimes they do. And sometimes its you that changes.