Christmas is so close that I can already feel it being over. Holidays go by so fast that they are always over before you know it. This whole year went by pretty quickly, but I guess it actually took the same amount of time as the year before. It just felt quicker is what I mean. But a lot did really happen this year, and if you thought there were not very many albums out this year you are simply wrong. You might've just had to look a little bit harder this year.
Since the year is quickly winding down, there's only a couple more street dates of releases. This week includes releases from two of my favorites. One of them is only avaialbe on vinyl and the other is just a new sort of collection, but they are still worth our time to talk about. Cat Power still remains one of my favorite singers and personalities. Some might have turned their back on her, while others are still discovering the genius that is the sad, sad voice of Chan Marshall. Chan Marshall is Cat Power, just in case you didn't know. I have had my ups and downs with her over the years, but I have always stood by her side and always been a fan. If you have not heard her albums yet, you should come on down to Amoeba and pick one up. It is never too late to become a Cat Power fan. Or if you already have her entire catalog, you will need to complete it with this album. There is no time like Christmas to listen to Cat Power. Might not seem like the obvious choice for Christmas music, and she doesn't actually have any Christmas albums, but I always like listening to her around the holidays for some reason. I guess for the same reason I like listening to The Carpenters' Christmas Album. I like mixing dark and intense music with such a festive and joyous time. I am actually one of those people that does love Christmas, but I like my Christmas a little darker than normal.
If you are in the Bay Area there is one really great lineup at the Demon Days party at club Mezzanine in San Francisco tonight featuring legendary Detroit producer/DJ Carl Craig along with Gamall (Demon Days, NYC), plus the Bay Area's own longtime UK transplant Jonah Sharp under his Spacetime Continuum moniker featuring Nigerian drummer Sikiru Adepoju. And to top it off, local turntable crew [KONTROL] DJs featuring Alland Byallo, Nikola Baytala, Craig Kuna, and Sammy D will also be spinning throughout the night.
Carl Craig, accurately described as "the forefather of the second wave of Detroit techno," picked up where Juan Atkins and company started with that strain of electronic music in the Michigan city. In addition to being a super-talented, dedicated producer/DJ/remixer, Craig is also a committed cultural anthropologist and in 2000 was chosen as curator of the first Detroit Electronic Music Festival (something he since discontinued, as curator but not as a performer). As is evident in the above recent interview with the artist by UK based dollop, Carl Craig is always aware of and giving props to his city of Detroit and all the artists who have hailed from "the motor city" over the years including Kevin Saunderson, Bob Seger, Iggy Pop, and the White Stripes.
The dance of the day is the once phenomenally popular, albeit highly controversial, "dirty boogie" dance. This clip is from the classic John Waters' 1988 movie Hairspray, in which Ricki Lake's "pleasantly plump" teenaged character Tracy Turnblad and her peers are shaking their thing down in the aisles of Baltimore's small but packed Motormouth Records store in a racially tense America, circa 1962.
The dance part is for the first minute or so of the above clip, which is a nine minute unedited excerpt from the recommended Waters movie which, as you know, was remade last year by director Adam Shankman with John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, & Christopher Walken, etc. Personally I much prefer the original. Both versions are available on DVD @ Amoeba Music. Ask for help if you cannot locate. Note however that the CD/LP soundtrack of the 1988 Hairspray, also available at Ameoba, does not include the song featured during this dance. And if you missed it the first time around, peep the video below of the interview with John Waters below during his Amoeba Music Hollywood instore last year in support of his CD A Date With John Waters (New Line Records).