Thursday, December 17, 2009
So this is another one of those posts that works to illustrate the way Nile Rodgers hangs over my music intake like an ID4 ship over a major American city. In 1982 Rodgers and Bernard Edwards produced the soundtrack for Soup For One. I haven't seen the film, but I have seen that the Wiki entry for the soundtrack is as long as that for the film itself.
The soundtrack featured a handful of Rodgers/Edwards tracks produced expressly for the film, including 'Why', which I've had on repeat since I got my hands on the Lindstrom LateNightTales, as well as the title track, which would later find its way into Modjo's 'Lady' (while we're at it, 'Why' found its way into a version of 'Bonita Applebum').
But that's all beside the point, and track I wanted to throw at you today, starring Chic vocalist Fonzi Thornton:
Fonzi Thornton - I Work For A Livin (1982) (buy)
The song was slated to appear on Thornton's album (written and produced by Rodgers and Edwards) which, as of this posting, has not yet enjoyed official release. Maybe by next time.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Short but sweet post before I catch the Z train. There's more than ample documentation of Patrick Cowley's life and work buzzing around the internets - suffice to say for now the guy was born to synthesize. This afternoon I was most pleased to come across a 12" single of a collab he and Sylvester put out in the early eighties. Would ya buy these for a dollar?:
Patrick Cowley feat. Sylvester - Do Ya Wanna Funk (Radio Version) (1982) (buy)
Patrick Cowley feat. Sylvester - Do Ya Wanna Funk (Instrumental Version) (1982) (buy)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sometimes you go looking for a picture of a gorilla playing a tuba and find a gorilla with two grandma's. Sometimes you go to a flea market, get twenty new old records you think will be perfect for something somewhere down the line from the looks of the cover, only to go back to one that's been sitting anonymously at the bottom of your record bag for months now. Sometimes that record happens to be a single from The Mini Groove Orchestra (a.k.a. Eric Travaillé). Sometimes that single happens to be 'Pom Pom', taken from the album L.O.V.E. which came and went a couple of years back, and sometimes b sides are just as good as a sides:
The Mini Groove Orchestra - Pom Pom (Foursider's Love'n Life Mix) (2003) (buy)
The Mini Groove Orchestra - Pom Pom (DJ Cam aka Cam Remix) (2003) (buy)
The Mini Groove Orchestra - Le Grande Triangle (short mix) (2003) (buy)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
So I've been sitting on this one for a while now, mainly because I don't know quite what to make of it. Somewhere up his ascent to the top of the 80's culturedome Prince decided his girlfriend and a couple of her friends should form a group and go around as 'The Hookers'. A little further up the spiral he started seeing nude model and Canadian B movie actress Denise Matthews, and soon he had another idea - ditch one of his girlfriend's friends, rename Matthews 'Vanity', slap the name 'Vanity 6' across the whole thing, sprinkle some Prince dust over it all and see what might happen.
Vanity 6 - Nasty Girl (1982) (buy)
Vanity 6 - Make-Up (1982) (buy)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Hope everyone's Thanksgiving Aught Nine went well. Mine involved explaining North American football to Swedes and debating the merits of Boba Fett against Jango Fett with a nine year old. Apparently escaping the sarlacc ain't what it used to be. Oh yeah and couldn't get this one out of my head:
Platypus - Cherry (1980) (buy)
Friday, November 20, 2009
I'm a little late on this, but Dublab, one of Los Angeles's finest non profit organizations, musically oriented or otherwise, brings its fall fundraiser to a close this Tuesday. If you haven't donated already you fall into one of two groups - either you've heard the word and know about what the Labrats have been up to for the past ten years, or you're hearing the word now and are about to happen upon something severely worth your time. However you self identify, check them out, and give what you can.
This past Wednesday I had to opportunity to stop in at the Dublab studio and spin some tunes for a few hours. Some of it sounded something like this:
Jung Hollywood - Proton Drive Mix (2009)
Jung Hollywood - Manhunt
Alan Trajan - Speak To Me Clarissa
Art Ensemble of Chicago - Funky AECO
Curtis Mayfield - Little Child Runnin' Wild
Arthur Russell - Make 1,2
Burial and Four Tet - Wolf Cub
American Spring - Sweet Mountain
Mount Kimbie - Sketch On Glass
Tones on Tail - Lions
Marcos Valle - Bicho No Cio
King Tubby - A Rougher Version
Michel Magne - Petrole Pop
There's plenty more where that did and did not come from over at Dublab, so stop reading this and go check it out.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Say hello to Mr. Bill Withers. If you count yourself a fan of Dr. Dre, Tupac, Jay-Z, Kanye, Will Smith or the song 'Lean on Me' then you might already know him even if you don't know it. Don't let the vaguely stern look on his face there fool you - in 9 out of 10 smoothness contests his voice tops the even the leading baby's bottoms. Similarly, don't take my word for it, check out a couple of these tracks from Mr. Withers' 1977 album Menagerie. The first one has popped up in a few other places online recently (check the blog roll, fifth from the top), but I came upon a vinyl copy a couple of weeks back so here we go:
Bill Withers - Lovely Day (1977) (buy)
Bill Withers - She Wants To (Get On Down) (1977) (buy)
If you find your interest piqued check out the upcoming documentary Still Bill, directed by Damani Baker and Alex Vlack.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Yeah, that's Lew Alcindor and yeah that's Bruce Lee. I never quite realized just how much Law from Tekken was based on the latter, and I think I just now got the gag of his first name being Marshall. Speaking of things I just got check out a couple of red hots I just ripped from Slave's 1981 album Showtime, the last from that group to feature Steve Arrington, a drummer/singer/songwriter/and later in life minister good enough to leave Slave and form Steve Arrington's Hall of Fame:
Look into that when you get the chance. First, a couple slabs o' Slave. 'Slap Shot' was the single, but I think 'Funken Town' holds up a little better three decades later:
Slave - Funken Town (1981) (buy)
Slave - Slap Shot (1981) (buy)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Never really been a huge fan of discoed up versions of older tunes but now and then the reworkings are worth the while. Case in point - Ultimate's 1980 take on Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan's Secret Agent Man. Barbara Hernandez, Riti Saunders and Deborah McGriff lay down choice Philly vocals while the Ultimate Players keep things moving. Three bass players, Ron Caesar, Vince Fay and Larrey Lebes are all listed on the record so I don't precisely who to credit there. The bass line is good enough that they might have had to sit down together and do some brainstorming. Or basstorming:
Ultimate - Secret Agent Man (1980) (buy)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I don't know how this one could possibly have failed (it didn't so keep reading). Checking the credits you'll find not one or two, but four instrument sections forming like Voltron. Ones and twos from the Sabu Rhythm Section, Superb (direct quote) Background Vocals by Hot Fudge, string's from Davida's Gang, and horns by Hot Chops, not to mention Exceptional (same story) Lead Vocals by Gwen Jonae. They even went and got a bonafied Disco Mix Consultant (Rusty Garner). Run DMC Run:
Sister Power - I Like Watcha Do (1979) (buy)
Sister Power - Love Potion (1979) (buy)
Oh yeah and I guess for completeness' sake, as you might have guessed the group itself went by the name Sister Power. Nothing like keeping things legitimate.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Gonna come right out and say it - today's nugs are all about the bass. If I had it my way there would be extended twenty minute bassapella versions of each of these tracks - brought to you by Japanese grammy award winning funksters Shakatak.
Shakatak - Round and Round (1985) (buy)
Shakatak - City Rhythm (1985) (buy)
Apparently the band had such a following in Japan by the mid 80's that they were asked to record an new album exclusively for that country's market annually. I'm sure somewhere out there you can track down how Shaq Diesel sold in Tokyo. Here's to shattered backboards.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
If there's any subject dance music lyrics focus on as much as dancing and all it entails (thinking about dancing, not being able to stop dancing, entering/exiting dance floors etc.) its having a fever, and so today I bring you not one, but two tracks exploring this timeless facet of the human condition.
The first one comes from record you see above and below:
That cover places a pretty tall order for the tracks inside to fill, but Giorgio Moroder doesn't write checks he can't cash. In 1978 he and Pete Bellotte, aka Munich Machine, tapped Chris Bennett to lay down the vox on the alb which included this ditty:
Munich Machine - Love Fever (1978) (buy)
If you're not careful with your boolean operators, you might catch a different love fever than you bargained for:
Gayle Adams - Love Fever (1982) (buy)
Sometimes diseases find you before you find them. The Gayle Adams strain seems to be especially contagious:
Agent Stereo - Luv Feeva (2008) (buy)
Gotta catch 'em all.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Today's movers and shakers come courtesy of everybody's favorite secretly Canadian legendary disco producer Gino Soccio. Maybe you knew he was Canadian. For that matter maybe you've heard these songs. I hadn't until a week ago, when browsing the Melrose Trading Post I found this copy of Soccio's 1979 album Outline staring me right back in the face:
Later a gentlemen selling jackets in another booth, who spotted the record and explained he had DJed back in the 80's, told me that back in the day that sort of thing only came by way of import at top dollar. The quality and style of his jackets got me anxious to get home and get it under the needle. If you like these go to Fairfax and Melrose on Sunday and get yourself some new threads:
Gino Soccio - Dance to Dance (1979) (buy)
Gino Soccio - Dancer (1979) (buy)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Say hello to Samantha Leigh Dunn, the 2008 Alabama Watermelon Association Queen. Samantha shouldn't be confused with Gloria Brooks, the 70's singer, or her producers, husband and wife duo Harry and Myriam Chalkitis. Samantha Leigh Dunn was in no way responsible for the following two tracks, taken from the 1980 Celsius Records release Queen Samantha, to which she similarly contributed nothing. Finally, aside from her appearance in the above photo, Queen Samantha had no involvement in this blog post.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
According to White Pages, there are over 10,000 Lorraine Johnsons in the United States. My guess is that most of them put on their pants one leg at a time. My other guess is that most of those pants aren't shimmering gold, and my last guess is that they don't have matching shimmering gold boots to go with them:
In 1978 Saturday Night Band songwriting team Moses Dillard and Jesse Boyce got behind the decks to produce a handful of tracks for an especially talented one of the many Lo Jo's running around the country at the time. Outside of her day job as a Saturday Night Band backup singer, this Lorraine Johnson had also released her own version of a Teddy Pendergrass tune, 'The More I Get The More I Want'.
Here are my two favorite tracks from her 1978 Prelude Records release Learning To Dance All Over Again - music to contemplate the power of 10,000 golden pairs of paints to:
Lorraine Johnson - Learning To Dance All Over Again (1978) (buy)
Lorraine Johnson - Feed The Flame (1978) (buy)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
For those in the LA CA, ROBOSoup v3.1 is this Thursday at the Downtown Independent (see the sidebar). Check out the flyer to the right for more info. I'll be spinning up on the roof throughout so come one come all. Anyway - here's a smattering of robot and robot inspired sounds I dug up from my apartment's analog and digital nooks and crannies, roughly in order:
Kid Koala - Robochacha
Boys Noize - Arcade Robot
Logic System - Automatic Collect Automatic Correct
Sureshot Symphony - Nouveau Disco
Vitalic - No Fun
Transvolta - Disco Computer
Lectric Workers - Robot Is Systematic
Q - The Voice of Q
Robo Love - The Story
Heartbreak - Robot's Got The Feeling
DatA - So Much In Love
Arling & Cameron - Dirty Robot
Dolby Anol - Your Woman (White Town cover)
Golden Bug - Disco Sensation (bonus beats)
Jung Hollywood - ROBOSoup v3.1 MiniMix
I mentioned a couple of posts back that Skyyman Randy Muller:
had another group known as Brass Construction. The day has come, friends, to spread a little of that wealth, so without beating around the bush I now present to you a few of the tracks that the Brass - Williamson, Billups, Price, Payton, Ward, Grudge, Parris, Cahill, Wong and last but not least Muller put their stamp of approval on back in the late 1970's. Everything below comes from the fifth Brass Construction album, 5. No time for album titles:
Brass Construction - Get Up To Get Down (1979) (buy)
Brass Construction - I Want Some Action (1979) (buy)
Brass Construction - Watch Out (1979) (buy)
'Get Up To Get Down' not only stands as at least the second track I've posted on this site to address the directional paradoxes of enjoying oneself, but also sports the kind of juicy analog synth lines modern bedroom electro producers are vying to replicate on DAWs the world over. If you can resist pressing close or stop or power off, 'I Want Some Action' blossoms into the kind of sleaze Ariel Pink has now probably trademarked and begun licensing out. 'Watch Out' is just fun. Check 'em out. Till next time.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
How many of your favorite musicians started off as acrobats? How many of them ended up in acrobatics? I can't think of any in the latter group, but the first track today comes from Don and Dick Addrisi, a.k.a. The Addrisi Brothers, who got a leg up as kids in their family's traveling acrobatics act The Flying Addrisis. Following a pair of rejection letters from the Mickey Mouse Club and a brief stint as a two piece band, the two turned their focus to songwriting. Sometimes when they sat down and tried they got interesting results:
The Addrisi Brothers - Ghostdancer (1979) (buy)
The second couple of tracks today bear some relation to Mr. Noel Pointer:
Noel Pointer could play violin. He played it well enough to book the Chicago and Detroit symphony orchestras as his backing bands at the age of 13. He played it well enough to score a free US citizenship, and caught the attention of such esteemed organizations as the United States Congress and US Congressional Black Caucus.
He also recorded seven solo albums in four years (1977 - 1981) wherein he applied those band camp chops to the realm of disco funk et al. There, friends, is where we find the second of today's offerings - a track called 'Captain Jarvis', from his 1979 album Feel It:
Noel Pointer - Captain Jarvis (1979) (buy)
While we're at it, the violin prodigy + dance music = something to talk about formula brought one Mr. Kelly Polar to mind. If that name doesn't ring a bell check out these bells:
Metro Area - Miura (2002) (buy)
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Having trouble finding much in the way of details for this one, but today's tracks come courtesy of 80's babies Amuzement Park. The group put out a couple of albums - an eponymous 1982 debut and 1984 follow up All Points Bulletin. Sounds like a good name for a blog. Anyway here are some sounds to Google by, whatever details you might be after:
Amuzement Park - Groove Your Blues Away (1982) (buy)
Amuzement Park - Love Show Down (1982) (buy)
Friday, August 28, 2009
Apologies again for the lack of tunes going on around here but the good news is that following a sabbatical in Toronto I've got vinyl spilling out of my kitchen cabinets, and some of it's pretty decent. By the way if you find yourself in Toronto, get yourself to Cosmos Records on Queen Street (if you don't, get on a plane like I did and then get yourself there). Best reason since the Bush administration to get north of the border.
Basically Skyy is what you get when you have a trio of sisters who can sing (Denise, Delores and Bonne Dunning), someone who knows how to produce (Randy Muller, who was also involved with Brass Construction - post coming soon) and then some ace musicians (Solomon Roberts Jr - male vox/guitar, Anibal Anthony Sierra - guitar/keys, Larry Greenberg - more keys, Gerald Lebon - bass, Tommy McConell - drums). Skyy fans knew this from the band's genesis in the late 70's, and then Jamiroquai made sure a new generation of Skyy fans knew this when they included 'Here's To You' from the 1981 Salsoul release Skyyport on their 2003 LateNightTales series effort. Here's to virtual insanity:
The rest of Skyyport is certainly worth your while, so before I take off I'll leave you with another Skyytune for your iTunes:
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sorry this place hasn't been the mostest with the postests lately but I came across a nice stash of old records helping a friend move into a new place over a couple of weekends ago. These first couple of Manhattan Transfer tracks were the first couple that really caught my ear after we got his speakers wired up and sank into the post lifting stupor:
The Manhattan Transfer - Clap Your Hands (1975) (buy)
The Manhattan Transfer - Candy (1975) (buy)
I myself have never been a huge fan of the seconds song's coma inducing smooth 30s and 40s style vocals but combined with a warm afternoon, sofa and half full High Life they don't sound too bad. There's no such thing as a completely selfless act.
Friday, August 7, 2009
I could set up a whole side blog (someone has to have a better term for that somewhere - let me know if you find it) focusing solely on the output of Patrice Rushen and a where are they now? sort of trace through of how her samples have steered the course of western civilization in the last twenty years or so, but for today I'll just say go see Men in Black, and check out these couple of tunes from her 1979 album Pizzazz:
Patrice Rushen - Haven't You Heard (1979) (buy)
Patrice Rushen - Let The Music Take Me (1979) (buy)
P.S. for people in the LA CA, Patrice graduated from the Thornton School at USC. Pizzazz on.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sometimes seven inches is all it takes. I don't even remember buying it but I came across Chris Rea's 1978 single 'Fool (If You Think It's Over)' and did a double take for the b side - 'Midnight Love', probably because it brought to mind a certain Daft Punk sampled ELO track:
So really sometimes Daft Punk is all it takes. Sorry for the scratchiness but here are both sides of the Rea single:
Chris Rea - Fool (If You Think It's Over) (1978) (buy)
Chris Rea - Midnight Love (1978) (buy)
Monday, August 3, 2009
Staring you in the face above is Narada Muni, a divine sage in the realm of Hinduism who, according to tradition, plays that vina he's holding better than just about anybody else.
That's nice, but I don't think anyone could have ever described Muni as a Grammy award winning mega producer, like Narada Michael Walden:
There are lots of paths to mega status, but it's always good to start of with a guru, in Walden's case, Sri Chinmoy, bestowing upon you the name of a Hindu sage. From there Walden went on to become a go to studio drummer, producer and recording artist in his own right. Stand up comedians and tabloids can thank him for launching Whitney Houston into the stratosphere with The Bodyguard soundtrack, and remember this?
Small world. Here are a couple of Walden tracks, the second sung by Stacy Lattisaw when she was like nine:
Narada Michael Walden - I'm Ready (1982) (buy)
Stacey Lattisaw - Jump To The Beat (1980) (buy)
Thursday, July 30, 2009
If you haven't made plans for Friday night you've got them now. Heard of Elephants is putting on part two of two of it's year mark celebration. I'll be spinning all night between bands and afterwards for people who want to stick around and dance.
Heard of Elephants
1 Year Anniversary Show
Chiparaki Cultural Center
1635 N. Spring St. (Right next to the cornfields)
Elephants never forget.
Posted by Nate at 1:22 AM
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Bringing the Minnesota transplant series to a close, the last stop I made on my jaunt around the Twin Cities was the Electric Fetus (not to be confused with LA's Electric Lotus or, for that matter, Flying Lotus). This was that stage of the trip where, realizing how much I had spent on records for myself, I had to pick up a couple for people back here to justify the fresh stretch marks my luggage bore from the crate's worth of vinyl inside.
Anyway let the guilt parade continue. The first track today is from White Gold, the 1974 release from the maestro Barry White and his Love Unlimited Orchestra. Luxurious:
The Love Unlimited Orchestra - Only You Can Make Me Blue (1974) (buy)
Next few actually take me back to Hymie's (check a couple posts ago) and the 1978 self titled album from female vocal trio Gentle Persuasion, produced by Jerry Ross, the producer:
not the astronaut:
Speaking of space though, this record is out of this world. There are too many good songs on this record to just post one or two, so here you get a galaxy's worth of grooves, harmonies and tasteful string arrangements:
Gentle Persuasion - Who Do You Love (1978) (buy)
Gentle Persuasion - You'd Be Good For Me (1978) (buy)
Gentle Persuasion - One On One (1978) (buy)
Gentle Persuasion - Gotta Lotta Love (1978) (buy)