Saturday, March 01, 2008

Blog 2.0 on

So I used to keep my blog here, and for a while a couple years ago, I was really on top of my stuff and posting a song every day. I like to just post songs that I really like that I think other people may be into as well, and I try to write something about them to make it clear what I appreciate and enjoy about them. So I eventually found myself feeling obligated to post and stressed out, which sucked. So I let myself off the hook a little (although, since I am the only one who really gave a shit about it in the first place, not much of a hook) and posted just when I felt like it, but it turned out that I felt it less and less.

Anyways, I have been feeling it lately. Wanting to write something, to express something, and I figure that this is a great place to start. It gets me more into my music and pushed me to listen to more of it and to find more. And I love the idea of sharing with people if anybody actually sees this and hears a song they hadn't before and they find something new that they like. And the nice thing here, it is like a diary but better in some ways. Better because although it feels great to get something written down and expressed outside of yourself, in the world, so that it is not in your head anymore, it feels even better sometimes to give that expression to someone else. And just like email, which I could easily shit on for a ton of reasons that we all shit on email, it has the benefit of FEELING like your expression has been received on some level right as you post it. So feel free to never check this at all, or to not even read this in the first place, this forum for expression is its own reward. And this is all to say that I am excited to get back at it, posting some good music that I am excited to write about and to share.

I'll be posting on imeem whenever I am inspired to do so, no real idea how often that will be, but there it is. I am gonna do it all on imeem from now on because it is such a great way to be able to listen to music, it is legal, and it is a great way to find and check out songs that you sometimes cant find other places, or that you wanna check out before you buy (and if you do buy I strongly recommend amazon over itunes because it is cheaper, higher quality, and without and DRM!). I hope that if you do end up checkin this out you will take advantage of imeem and sign up and find yourself some cool new music on here. There is a ton and not ALL of it is Soulja Boy-related. Honest.

Hope the 4 people who check this out enjoy it, I'll try to get some good stuff up here and keep it comin. Take care, internets.


Monday, February 12, 2007

2/12/2007 - Richard Pryor Interview (again)

I just found myself listening to this little interview and I just keep listening to it. Sometimes it is just so good to hear someone talk. I have posted this before, but I am putting it up again. This is an interview of Richard Pryor and he is just talking. Not trying to be funny or anything, just trying to be honest. Listening to this makes me think hard about most of the talking and listening I do. It is surprising that we even get by, just surviving on such tiny scraps of eachother all the time, cuz when I listen to this interview I feel like he is just offering such a big hunk of himself. And not in the weird needy way that people do all the time when they are like, hey let me serve you a fancy-ass meal of me, with seven courses of what they consider their best shit. This is like hey, I am a buffet, take what you want from it. Here is what I posted abuot it last time.

As part of this post I am also including an interview of him off of his "Here & Now" album. It is really compelling to listen to Richard Pryor the man, not the comedian. He seems like someone whose soul is so shining and good that regardless of all of the weird shit that he does, or the bad shit that happens to him, or how sad or angry or hurt he is, it will always show through. This interview is kind of a big file cuz it is 20 minutes long, but I really encourage you to listen to it and get a taste of some of what is behind Richard Pryor. I listen to this interview like I listen most of my music (and I think like I listen to people in general a lot of times), I listen to the words and there meanings, but also I try to listen to the music and feeling underneath and surrounding the words. Richard is quoted in the NY Times article as saying "that he was proud that, 'like Mark Twain, I have been able to use humor to lessen people's hatred.'" RIP Rich.

So I dunno, I didnt have a song in mind today, but I was kinda touched by this interview and I wanted to share it but didnt have anyone handy so, here it is. I hope someone listens to this and it is special and kinda touching to them. It really is to me, so quiet, so not trying to be anything but himself. I admire the shit out of that. I want to just take some time to record everyone I know sometime and just hear them out until they start talking like this. I bet everyone would have some amazing things to say, given the space to do it in. Hm. Its funny cuz as much as I would love to hear the things people would have to say, I can find it so hard sometimes to listen to what people are comfortable saying. Did you ever feel like the things you hear people say are so full of things beyond what they are saying? Like there are all of these things that they want as a result from their speaking. David Mamet said one time that he sees all language not as just communicative or expressive, but actually coercive. That sense of speech definitely comes through in his writing, but he does have a knack for dialogue that sounds natural and real and compelling. And I can see where he is coming from, because there are so many little wants that go along with most everything that people say. But Richard talking in this interview, it is like he doesnt really want anything from the conversation, doesnt want anything in exchange for his words. It just sounds like he wants his words to be true. Of course the world generally isnt a great place to talk like Richard is talking, but man it would be great to hear it more often.

Friday, February 09, 2007

2007 Posts

As of now, the 2007 posts are available, but everything else you are gonna have to find on your own, I have had a lot of it up for a while now and I took it down tonight. If you are coming late to the blog, I still invite you to check out the old pages, I think at least that everything I post is worth buying and I usually have a link to somewhere where you can find it. Anyways, back to music posts, I am gonna try to be a little more regular here, I have been missing it.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

2/7/2007 - Good Rockin' Tonight

Song: Good Rockin' Tonight
Artist: James Brown
Why this song is the current jam: So James Brown is gone. It is kinda hard to believe, I mean I think there was such a permanence to him. He was so clearly a living legend, and such an icon, he stood for a lot of stuff that was bigger than him and stuff that doesnt go anywhere even after he passes on, but it makes it feel so abrupt and odd when he actually passed. He just wasnt someone I ever thought of as getting old or dying, I guess I just never took that much time to think of him as a man rather than as this figure who changed the face of music. Anyways, I wanted to share a song of his besides I Feel Good.

This track is off of his Messing With the Blues Album (which I found out about through Steven Watkins - thanks Steve!) it is the bomb and you should check it out. JB getting into it with some classic blues numbers. He really tears it up. As a bonus, here is the original big hit version by Wynonie Harris. (who kinda stole the song from Roy Brown who wrote it, but I dont have a good version of it to post here, and Harris's version made it a big hit)

James sings this with such intensity, I mean he just kicks the shit out of it right out of the gate. The intro always throws me, but then in comes James. It seriously sounds to me like James Brown has some poor guy in a headlock and everytime he starts belting it out he is just punching him straight in the face. Maybe it doesnt sound exactly like that to you, but the song is the bomb, you have to agree with that.

RIP James Brown.

Monday, February 05, 2007

2/5/2007 - Andre Remixes

Song: Millenium
Artist: Andre 3000
Why this song is the current jam: Ok for my 1st post of 2007, I am gonna dedicate the whole multi-song post to one artist. I wanna feature Andre 3000 here, but not in his solo capacity like in The Love Below. Not in his role as collaborator in any of the Outkast albums either. I wanna focus on a few recent guest spots he has done on some hot remixes.

First lets start with the REMIX of Lloyd's new song You. Andre doesnt really kill it on this one, he just kinda fucks around and phones in a talky rap that is kinda cute, but I do enjoy the disdain for rapping that it displays. I mean if I were him I would prob be tired of rapping too and want to portray something different. But I think it kinda misses on this one in terms of his verse, but luckily the track is hot. It is a beautiful bite of the classic Spandau Ballet ballad, True. (Which I just saw on this completely random Australian music video show - it was awesome to watch those guys and think, my god, those guys got laid! I am gonna start a fuckin band.) If you recognize the riff, but not the Spandau Ballet song, then perhaps you are just the right age/awareness to know it from this junior high (for me anyways) classic.

REMIX number 2 comes again straight from Atl. UNK had a big hit with his stripped down Walk it Out. Check out the dance. But Andre changes the whole thing up on his verse, basically shitting on the very dudes who he is doing this guest spot for, "Your white tee, well to me, looks like a nightgown. Do your mama proud, take that thing two sizes down." His flow here is tight, making the other dudes sound lame in comparison, and even the way he fucks with the "Walk it Out" chorus just shows how easily he makes music with his voice. It is cool to hear him rhyme to the rhythm with these sparse dirty south beats and still be trying to say something.

Finally we have my favorite recent Andre verse out of these 3 remixes. This is the REMIX of Rich Boy's jam Throw Some D's. Here Andre basically just makes amazing music with his words, I mean you cant ride the beat much tighter than that. (as is made clear the second Jim Jones bumbles through his sloppy fat-tongue verse - and isnt it sad that Jim Jones has to follow Dre on both of these tracks. It reminds me of when I was watching this TV special on soul music with my parents and they had Al Green come on in the middle of the show and he ran from the back of the theater, handing out roses to the women, in an all-white 3-piece suit and then kicked the shit out of Let's Stay Together and basically left everyone teary, and we all agreed, they should have just let Al go last)

These tracks, especially the last one just go to show that if he is even remotely interested in riding the beat, Andre is far and away my favorite rapper. His voice is so tight and he really just make his words sound like music more than anyone else I can think of, and he is actually trying to say something not completely ignorant. So much talent. I reinstate him officially as my favorite rapper, in case I had let him slip in my estimation in his absence from rapping recently. Fuck that, he is still the man as I see it.

Oh yeah, and Millenium is just a great example of how Andre can make anything sound good, evidenced in this song by the chorus which is just basically Andre going "uh" in a very cool way. Try it sometime. See if people think it sounds cool.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

11/15/2006 - Vans (Remix)

Song: Vans (Remix)
Artist: The Pack
Why this song is the current jam: The new super-ignorant club banger. New for me at least. I heard this at the club on Saturday and had to rustle it up on the interweb. Basically a shitty remix of the Whisper Song, but yknow, I can’t help myself, this makes me move. It’s all about Vans. The shoes. Honest. Check the video and see for yourself. I love when people are like, no man, THIS is the new hot shit. My cheap ass shoes that look like shit. THESE are the the new hotness. Seems arbitrary but there are a lot of cultural elements that I don’t quite grasp at play here. Just try starting some hot new trend for the streets and see if people think you are keeping it real. Very much about who you are and where you are (at least perceived) as coming from. And white Aris Allens don’t count, swing dancers, that works on an entirely different (although equally disturbing) level. Here is the original and another remix in case you care.

One more remix, this time by, me. Just mixed this with the Whisper Song. beat. Check it if you still care:

DJ Peetski Remix

Monday, September 25, 2006

9/25/2006 - Babysitter

Song: Babysitter
Artist: Betty Wright
Why this song is the current jam: So this one is a request, one more song off of the playlist I posted last time. All of the music I think should be pretty easy to find with the exception of a song or two. This one is perhaps one that is not as well known but it is the jam nonetheless. If you pick up The Best of Betty Wright on Rhino records, you'll find all sorts of goodies that you'll enjoy. This song just has this beautiful smoothed out beat with those backup horns just killin it the whole time. Betty is pissed off here (as she can tend to be) about getting jacked by her babysitter. Listen at the end when she advises the ladies that if they want to keep their man, they should get themselves some "Sizzle pants" and babysit their OWN babies. Sage advice on one level, in that everybody likes sizzle pants. Anyways, this song is crackin and it is great to dance to, so enjoy it. Thanks to Swifty for puttin me on to the Betty Wright compilation.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

9/19/2006 - Stubborn Kind of Fellow

Song: Stubborn Kind of Fellow
Artist: Marvin Gaye
Why this song is the current jam: OK back home from many trips and with a moment to breathe, so here is a new post. This one by Marvin I have to thank Jerry from DC for reminding me of while I was out there for Jammin the Blues. I never played this song when I djed just because I hadnt listened to it in forever. Well, anyways, the song is the bomb, above all else because of that amazing hook, "say yeah yeah yeah, say yeah yeah yeah!" The rhythm is hard and driving but slow enough to chill out to, and just get your groove on. Listen to the song, listen to the words, I am feelin this.

Several people asked about the music I was playing at the Showdown soul party on Sunday night, so I said I'd post my playlist. Here it is:

Artist Song

The Marvelettes Mashed Potato
Billy Paul Me and Mrs. Jones
Four Tops Ain't No Woman (Like The One I Got)
Sam Cooke You Send Me
The Drifters There Goes My Baby
The Impressions It's Alright
The Marvelettes The One Who Really Loves You
Otis Redding Look At The Girl
William Bell My Kind Of Girl*
Solomon Burke Got To Get You Off My Mind
Sam Cooke Little Red Rooster
Rufus Thomas Walking The Dog
Albert King Crosscut Saw
Doris Troy Just One Look
The Shirelles Baby It's You
Young Rascals Groovin
Aretha Franklin Baby, I love You
Aretha Franklin Don't Play That Song (You Lied)
The Elgins Darling Baby
Gwen McCrae Rockin Chair
Jackie Wilson Lonely Teardrops
Martha Reeves & the Vandellas Heatwave
Marvin Gaye How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
Four Tops Baby, I Need Your Loving
Betty Wright Baby Sitter
Johnnie Taylor Try Me Tonight
Mary Wells My Guy
The Impressions Woman's Got Soul
Sam Cooke Touch the Hem of His Garment
Smokey Robinson & The Miracles You Really Got a Hold On Me
Sam & Dave Soothe Me
The Elgins Heaven Must Have Sent You
Aretha Franklin Since You've Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby)
Stevie Wonder I Love Every Little Thing About You
Chaka Khan Sweet Thing
Sly & The Family Stone Family Affair
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings How Long Do I Have To Wait For You?
Otis Redding Hard To Handle
Sam & Dave Hold On! I'm Comin'
Wilson Pickett In The Midnight Hour
Jr. Walker and the Allstars Shotgun
The Jackson Five ABC
Martha Reeves & the Vandellas Jimmy Mack
Aretha Franklin Respect
The Temptations My Girl
Diana Ross & The Supremes Baby Love
Fontella Bass Rescue Me
Stevie Wonder Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Marvin Gaye Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
Mary Wells Dig the Way I Feel
James Brown Papa's Got a Brand ... (Long)
James Brown Cold Sweat
The Jackson Five I Want You Back
The Sugar Hill Gang Rapper's Delight (Original)
R. Kelly Step in the name of love (Remix)
Sam Cooke Good Times
Sam Cooke Sugar Dumpling
Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs Stay
Solomon Burke Cry To Me
Stevie Wonder Signed Sealed Delivered Im You
The Temptations The Way You Do The Things You Do
Marvin Gaye
w/Tammy Terrel Your Precious Love
The Temptations I Want A Love I Can See
The Shirelles Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Staples Singers Let's Do It Again
Stevie Wonder If You Really Love Me
The Spinners I`ll Be Around
Al Green Tired Of Being Alone
Bobby Womack That`s The Way I Feel About `Cha
Willie Hutch I Can Sho Give You Love
Marvin Gaye Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)
Donny Hathaway What's Goin' On
Isaac Hayes Hung Up On My Baby
Curtis Mayfield Move On Up (Extended Version)
Aretha Franklin I Say A Little Prayer
Al Green I'm Still In Love With You
Lenny Williams 'Cause I Love You
Maxwell W/As My Girl
Curtis Mayfield So In Love
Curtis Mayfield I`m So Proud
Sam Cooke That's Where It's At
Sam Cooke A Change is Gonna Come

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

8/16/2006 - At the End of a Slow Dance

Song: At the End of a Slow Dance
Artist: Van Hunt
Why this song is the current jam: This is off of Van Hunt's new album, which I enjoy more the more I listen to it, always a good sign. This is my favorite track off of the album, sort of a Princey rock-type thing with him doing some weird David Bowie-like vocals. There is something about the weird way that he sings this and the way it goes from quiet to yearning as it goes between verse and chorus. I dig it. He is like a little bit off-key the whole time but I find myself enjoying it, and I cant explain why. It sounds kinda old to me. Maybe it is just pushing some weird nostalgic buttons inside of me. Anyways, I like the dirty sound he is using on some of the tracks off of this album, less clean, perhaps a bit funkier than his first. Good stuff, check it out.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

8/8/2006 - Just Fine

Song: Just Fine
Artist: Chris Brown
Why this song is the current jam: One more dance/cheesy R&B post. Another SYTYCD inspired song. This one by Chris Brown has a bangin beat with a pretty melody and some bittersweet lyrics (which is where the cheesy in "cheesy R&B" comes in). Travis (who should win at this point) and Martha (voted off and rightfully so a while ago) did a choreography to this in which Travis killed it, explosive movement conveying sweet boyish energy and Martha was a fuckin droopy dog doing ber best Beyonce impression (aka I cant dance in these damn 9 inch heels). And the judges crapped on Travis for doing too much. How lame and how literal-minded of the judges to presume that since the melody was sweet and smooth that all the movement had to be. What I love about Travis dancing this choreography (and what I love about most good choreographies) is that it makes me hear more in the music than I would have otherwise. Judge for yourself here.

Also, lets just give some props to Chris Brown here. This dude can dance. He makes Usher look like a peg-leg. Check on this video of him on the BET awards, killing it with his dancers. Note especially the Michael Jackson "Smooth Criminal" outfits and the fucking TUMBLING RUN he does in the middle of the performance. Skills.

And, as a final bonus chunk of this post here, I am adding Chris's jam, "Ain't No Way (You Won't Love Me)" which I taught a little routine to this weekend in Denver. Several folks asked what the track was so, if you were one of those, here it is for your enjoyment. And I do recommend you pick up Chris's album, ingeniously titled Chris Brown. It is full of some good old R&B jammy jams.

Monday, August 07, 2006

8/7/2006 - Sexy Love

Song: Sexy Love
Artist: Ne-Yo
Why this song is the current jam: Just b'postin' here folks. This is sort of a continuation of the "Touch" post. Again inspired by the good folks at So You Think You Can Dance, this song was used for a choreography by Shane Sparks for Allison and Ivan - 2 AMAZING dancers, and it just radiates a rather adorable teenage love. Check the video which you can view/download, it is listed as Ivan & Allison dance 2. Now both of them are off the show which is a total bummer. (Go Travis) But in any case, I think it is a sweet song and there is something completely addictive about the hyper-repetitive percussion. There is something about mixing or levels or just the right fake clap sound that some producers out there today just get in a way that I dont understand, they make the sounds so damn tasty. Like Timbaland does on "Promiscuous" for example (which I wont post here because seriously if you havent heard it, turn on the radio and wait 30 seconds).

Also, the melody of this song, the chord changes owe a striking debt to one of the classics of our time in the realm of pop R&B. That song is Human Nature off of MJ's Thriller album. Just as there would be no "Touch" without "Dorothy Parker", there would be no "Sexy Love" without "Human Nature." Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

7/26/2006 - Touch

Song: Touch
Artist: Omarion
Why this song is the current jam: The beat is hot. I love the hyper-artificial sound they get with the drums and the voice in combination. There is someting about the way this song sounds that is fuckin sexy. Also, an easy way to get hooked on this song is to check out the video on youtube, because Omarion and that chick dancing straight up KILL it with the dancing. Amazing. That is the kind of choreography/dancing that I love because it makes you hear new and interesting things in the music. And plus, this song would never exist had not my main man Prince come along first. Listen to this song in the context of "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker" and the key changes and feel of the song come into focus a bit. Try though one might, Prince's ever-present influence on popular music is nigh-unavoidable. This one is dedicated to Nomster since we shared our love for this song and the video at Herrang this year and celebrated with a dance to this song. Check for O's new album in October if you like this song.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

7/6/2006 - This Is Life

Song: This Is Life
Artist: Krukid
Why this song is the current jam: Hey so I met this guy through my friend Dave who met him at some camp somewhere, and this dude wanted to freestyle with my boy cuz Dave is a rapper. So they do it up, and whoa, this kid is really really good, really has a sound a lot like Jay-Z. He is originally from Uganda and now lives in Illinois, and I think he is gonna be a pretty successful rapper eventually. As far as I can tell from my completely-disconnected-from-anything-that-is- keepin-it-remotely-real-in-hip-hop-circles position, I think he is blowin up in the underground scene already. So this is his first album and really just listen to the flow. It is easy, has that feeling like he could just keep going, like he is talking to you. He also says clever shit and is even pretty poignant from time to time which is a tall fuckin order when it comes to hip hop these days. Plus I really enjoy his production. For all you heads out there, you should definitely "cop" this one as the kids say. This one gets me just because the sample is so tight. So interesting and such a long, weird sample, and his rhymes are tight too. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

7/4/2006 - Sugar

Song: Sugar
Artist: John Starkey
Why this song is the current jam: OK, how about 1 good song every 3 months. Shit, I have gotten a little derailed on this music blog mission here, but hey, what better day to get back on track than the 4th of July? So here is a little something for anyone who ever checks this. This guy is from the Twin Cities, and he is really talented. I got to see him the other day and he has a tight little band with two female backup singers (which I think would be just great to have in general, two chicks to back me up whenever I felt like busting into song). You can tell that he has listened to a lot of D'Angelo and Prince, both of which are good things in my book. It was also really fun dancing to his music. So anyways, you can get this album on iTunes, I recommend checkin it out.

Here is a little bonus track since I feel so guilty for not posting anything for 3 months. This is from his live album, which I guess you have to buy at a show, so it may be tougher to get a hold of. This is Don't Be Afraid which is his own song, not to be confused with the Aaron Hall jammy jam from back in the day off of the Juice soundtrack by the same name.

p.s. Here is that Aaron Hall song, it is exemplary of the style of R&B/Soul in the vein of Joe Tex, that I have dubbed date-rape music. There is something about the sultry stylings here that seem to cross some sort of legal line. But when you dont listen to the words, it all works the same.