desk job

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Car Talk

Special thanks for today's post goes to Dublab, our local purveyor of broad beats and heavy tones here in Echo Park since before the dawn of the aughts. Playing here today is the latest entry in their VisionVersion series:

"Coon Talk" BUSDRIVER (VisionVersion) from dublab on Vimeo.

Easily the most remarkable thing to happen in a car since this:

Baby Born Inside Car - The funniest bloopers are right here

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Shadow Do

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? ...

... The Shadow Do

Where does the Shadow Do? ...

The Goodwill on Figueroa south of downtown L.A. ...

I picked this one up sometime last summer searching for sample material, and I still haven't quite gotten over the marriage of tone and rhythm that opens the album on 'Winding Roads':

Gary Bartz - Winding Roads (1975)

Turns out Gary is kind of a big deal. He bumped elbows with Miles Davis and Charles Mingus amongst others and managed to lasso the Mizell Bros. :

into the studio not only for the album pictured above, but also the 1977 release Music Is My Sanctuary. If Mizell is not yet a name in your household check out a compilation of theirs or two - they're the kind of albums that will make you look like a genius and win the approval even of strangers. This song, an outtake from Sanctuary, appears on a collection of the duos' output from their time at the Blue Note label:

Gary Bartz - Funked Up (1977)

But again, while the Mizells may have aided the Shadow in Doing it is, after all the Shadow and the Shadow alone who Does and so before I sign off here is a second piece of evidence that the Shadow does, in fact Do:

Gary Bartz - Love Tones (1975)

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Got Sunshine

We might still have a budget crisis proportional to the three states' worth of land mass our state occupies, and downtown L.A. might still be plastered with trash from the Laker parade and steroid ads, but here in Southern California the sun is finally starting to come out again.

And for whatever reason that has me listening to spooky reggae music from The Upsetters' (of Lee 'Scratch' Perry fame) 1970 release Clint Eastwood. Most of these ditties have some kind of weird, island Vincent Price intro, as well as off kilter blips and bleeps that sort of remind me of Young Marble Giants tracks that would surface about a decade later. Here's two tracks from each side, just to keep it fair and square.

The Upsetters - For A Few Dollars More (1970)

The Upsetters - Clint Eastwood (1970)

The Upsetters - Taste of Killing (1970)

The Upsetters - Selassie (1970)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New Jack

In the year of 1972 Columbia Records pressed a compilation of tracks from their farm system of artists at the time:

In the year 2009, I bought said compilation for the amount of fifty cents. Two tracks in particular caught my attention, the first for which was I can thank two of the gentlemen pictured above - Ronnie Hammon (left) and Luther Rabb (center). Together the two (who happened to have been buds with Jimi Hendrix as kids) formed Ballin' Jack, and released music like this:

Ballin' Jack - Found A Child (1972)

Apparently in 1989, Young MC:

had already discovered it:

Anyway, the other song I liked on the Columbia compilation was by the Soft Machine:

The Soft Machine - Bloody Outrageous (1972)

Send it back.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Razzle Dazzle

Cleaning out some more 80's funk I've got a few tracks here from the B-side of Shalamar's 1982 release Friends. Some of this is already up if you dig around a bit but I've found myself working a couple of these songs into more than a couple of mixes so take a listen.

Shalamar - Friends (1982)
Shalamar - Playing To Win (1982)
Shalamar - There It Is (1982)
Shalamar - I Can Make You Feel Good (1982)

Always have to commend rocking your own band t-shirt. Apologies for the skips on 'I Can Make You Feel Good'.

I didn't follow the NBA post season too closely this year, but in the spirit of the Finals I'll mention that in 1980 Shalamar reworked their song 'The Second Time Around' into a promotional release entitled 'The Sonics Came to Play' in honor of the Supersonics' 1979 championship.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sweatin The Smalls Stuff

The System - It's Passion (1983)

Apologies for the little moving sabbatical I took over the last couple of weeks but the vinyl is settling in on a new cinder block / plywood shelf set hand crafted / bought at Home Depot on Wilshire by yours truly so I thought I'd share a track or two to get things moving again.

I've been sitting on this System record for a few months now, but checking around there seems to be a small but devoted following that waited more than two decades for last year's remastered reissue to arrive. I don't blame them. In fact I feel sort of bad having lumped this in with the rest of my dollar bin purchases for so long. Anyway I'm sharing it now and if anybody wants the rest of it ripped from my vinyl copy let me know.

While Mic Murphy supplied the vocals for The System, David Frank worked the production deck (not sure actually which is the scary Christopher Walken doppleganger), and before the former veered off into a solo career in the 1990's and the latter wrote 'Genie in a Bottle' for Cristina Aguilera, the two kept busy making contributions to other outside projects throughout the 80's, including the following track:

Mtume - Juicy Fruit (1983)

If the percussion, vocals, instrumentation etc. aren't ringing all kinds of bells for anybody who attended a middle or high school dance in the second half of the 1990's remember this one?

The Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy (1994)

So all roads lead to Biggie. They just get their faster if you happen to have been a hot shot production team in the early 80's.