Listen to POP THE TRUNK by Real Live.
I've got a bit of a problem, in that I've almost run out OF songs to blog. My blogging technique this year has been to set aside half a day every month or so and just upload a ton of tunes I'd like to share. Once you do that, and tag them online, the blogging is really easy. But I haven't set aside that time for awhile, and it's finally caught up with me. So it might be another light week.
Anyway, metablogging is super boring, so here's the song.
Pop the Trunk is from Real Live's 1996 album "The Turnaround." This is what they call on the underground scene. And when you're on the underground hip hop scene, you can be hard to find. Especially if you have a google-proof name like "Real Live."
Fortunately, heads know about Real Live and plenty of people have talked about how great the record is. I heartily recommend the whole album, and this track in particular. As does Oh Word:
"The Passaic, New Jeruz native and disciple of Marley Marl known to the world as K-Def could not have chosen a more appropriate year than 1996 to drop his full-length collaboration with Larry-O. ... At the time many hip hop producers were content to mimic the booming orchestral beats of Buckwild or the instantly recognizable, whistle-clean pop ditties of Puff Daddy. K-Def and Larry-O stand out because they create smoldering, cinematic gangster symphonies as a matter of course, and this is evident in the frantic car chase of the title track and the dramatically funky "Pop The Trunk." Their music is spellbinding yet cohesive, their chemistry is rehearsed to perfection but feels unforced, and the overall vibe of Turnaround is cool and focused even though the music exudes bombast and the lyrics celebrate excess."
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Listen to THE MONKEY by Dave Bartholemew.
Here's one that so nearly made it onto this past Christmas CD (in fact, after typing that opener, I had to go back and make sure it WASN'T on the CD!). I had it on most of the time I was organizing songs, but at the very last minute decided to take it off, since I didn't feel like it fit well enough in the spot I was trying to fit it into. Even so, it's a cute, fun song. Last time we were up in Maine, for Amy's dad's birthday, I went into this gift shop of the lobster pound we were having lunch at, and totally and completely incongruously, the shop had a fairly huge collection of random and obscure CDs for sale. Groups I just had never heard of from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. I ended up getting about $80 worth of CDs, hoping for some gold. I got mostly not-gold, but The Monkey was on one of the comps, and it was an immediate hit in the car, when it came up on the trip home (around Hartford, IIRC). So that's the story of how I got the song. Afraid you'll have to google for any REAL info about it, as I am heading out now...
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Listen to PIECES by The Stylistics.
I came across this exquisite bit of Philly Soul the other week. It's one of those songs you're sure you've heard before (and I'm sure you have), but for me personally I wasn't familiar with it. It's as gentle as a cool breeze, and now I'm wandering the internet looking for the album it came from. Why is it that everything recorded in 1972 sounds so damn good?
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Listen to TRANSPARENT DAY by West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.
I kinda thought that anybody reading this blog would be familiar with the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, but maybe not. I know some of you heard this particular song up at (Not)Big Pink a year or two ago, but let me give the briefest of synopsis for the WCPAEB (as they're known among the cognoscenti. possibly).
They were a psych pop collective based in LA. The driving force behind the group was a guy named Bob Markley, who seemed to be a bit of a self-deluded asshole. He was from Oklahoma. Anyway, they had a fairly healthy rotation of members through their first three (and only essential) albums, including a lot of fringe and not fringe at all characters on the LA music scene (notably Hal Blaine & Van Dyke Parks, but then they played on everything).
Richie Unterberger calls them the most "average psychedelic band." Which kinda fits, as long as you realize the highs are extremely high and the lows are extremely low. Transparent Day is one of the highs.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Listen to TRACY HAD A HARD DAY SUNDAY by West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.
I know how Tracy feels. Oh, I don't have it so bad. I feel a lot better than I did a few days ago, but I've got a lot of work left to be done before tomorrow, and I'm just struggling to keep my energy levels high enough to get it done. So normal service is just about resumed!
There should be more West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band on the internet, so I'm just doing my part.
Posted by bill at 12:34 PM
Friday, June 12, 2009
Listen to Heal the Pain by George Michael.
It seems that a challenge has been issued to come up with a few worthy singles from George Michael's sometimes maligned Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. One. Challenge accepted!
Now, I'm not saying I think this album is some kind of major lost masterpiece, but I do think it's a compelling time capsule from 1990 (please don't tell me that is really almost TWENTY years ago), with several songs ripe for mining. Let's face it, the guy knows his way around a catchy pop song!
Here's one of my favorites, Heal the Pain. Apparently none other than Macca shares my affection for this tune! I just found out that George Michael recorded a version of this song featuring Paul McCartney in 2005. Well, it is pretty Beatley. Ok Bill, thanks for letting me post that!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Listen to PRAYING FOR TIME by George Michael.
I'm stuck at home today, unable to shake off this cold (or swine flu) that's been dogging me all week, and hoping I can be more productive between naps than sitting miserable in my office. Mixed results so far, except for the naps.
Anyway, Laura was pestering me to do a retrospective on George Michael's "Listen Without Prejudice" album, but I honestly have no idea why. I've never claimed to think it was a criminally underrated secret masterwork, or anything like that. I told Laura that she should do the series if she wanted, but she's too busy chasing twins around to follow through!
Having said that, I have said that I liked the opening track on the album (today's selection), because I remember hearing it on the ferry between Copenhagen and Gothenburg and being relatively moved by it. This was in 1996, after nearly being sick in Dusseldorf, on a fairly pathetic trip by myself up to Norway, where I got rained on for three days and subsisted on a diet of sugar waffles I had packed in my backpack.
With the weather the way it is today (blah), my head the way it is (and blah), I'm naturally drawn to this song. I even had a sugar waffle for lunch! Good times.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Listen to STRUNG OUT by William Bell and Mavis Staples.
Been a little too busy to really focus on what the next song is. So it helps when you have one of the best soul duets evah all queued up just ready to be published. So here you go, and say a little prayer of thanks to soul-sides for tracks like this.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Listen to HOW LONG by Ace.
This is a double dip sort of blog entry. First, Stu blipped this song awhile ago and encouraged me to find the mp3 version for him. Given my mastery of 70s AM radio, of course, I already had it. But now I've uploaded it for him.
Second, I was just at the Abbey on 105th Street with Corbett discussing a couple of things, (a) the awfulness of The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics, with lead vocal by Paul Carrack, and (b) how funny this photo is. So here's the photo, and a much better song with lead vocals by Paul Carrack
Posted by bill at 11:02 PM
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Listen to MEDICINE MAN by Freddie Robinson.
Here's another one from our Christmas CD. Freddie Robinson is a guy who hip hop really did right by, I think. "Off The Cuff" is a great sounding record, with good players, good playing. Under different circumstances, that would be that. But thanks in great part to crate-digging hip hop artists, his name is still out there and people keep going back to his tunes. De La Soul has sampled him, the title track to this record was used to great effect by Ice-T for Pulse of the Rhyme, and so on.
Today's track is a pretty great raunchy cover. Super funky.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Listen to THE SAME THING (MAKES YOU LAUGH, MAKES YOU CRY) by Sly and the Family Stone.
I had heard this one at least once before in college, but then it had totally dropped off my radar. Then we were visiting our friends Freddie & Janelle in Jersey City and Freddie had this playing over his internet radio. I was making notes, and put it on our Christmas CD a couple of days
letterlater. It wears well, too. If only he could have kept up this level of tunefulness. Too much to ask for anyone, I think.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Listen to EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING by Phoenix.
This a band I have basically totally missed until now. I used to read I Love Music pretty regularly, and Phoenix was always a group that got a lot of praise, even when they weren't making a dent with the larger public. I mean, Air's backing band, playing electrodiscopop tunes? Sometimes I exceed myself, or the other way around. I even missed them when they got on SNL a few months ago, and Amy tapes every episode!
Bygones and all, now I've "discovered" them and I'm in a slightly proselytizical phase. Please listen without prejudice (see what I did there Laura? :)
Posted by bill at 6:35 PM