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Music History Monday: March 23

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 23, 2015 07:36am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Born on this day: March 23, 1953 - R&B vocal icon and songwriter Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens in Chicago, IL). Happy 62nd Birthday, Chaka!
 


On this day in music history: March 23, 1963 - “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby & The Romantics hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Bill Hilliard and Mort Garson, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocal quintet fronted by lead singer Ruby Nash. Hilliard and Garson will submit their song to Kapp Records with the hopes of either Jack Jones or Julie London recording it. Label A&R man/producer Allen Stanton will choose Ruby & The Romantics, a R&B vocal group from Akron, OH to record it as their first release. Recorded in December of 1962, the track features legendary guitarists Kenny Burrell, Vinnie Bell (inventor of the Coral Electric Sitar), and Al Gorgoni (The Monkees, Carole King, The Four Seasons); bassist Russ Savaukus (Bob Dylan, Van Morrison); and drummer Gary Chester (The Shirelles, The Drifters, Dionne Warwick). Two versions of the song will be cut, one with a straight pop arrangement and one with a bossa nova arrangement. The latter is chosen for release and is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on February 9, 1963, it will streak to the top of the chart just six weeks later. "Our Day Will Come" will be covered a number of times after Ruby & The Romantics success with the song by the likes of Frankie Valli, Cher, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Nancy Wilson, The Supremes, Isaac Hayes, and Amy Winehouse.

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Two New Exclusive J Dilla Releases Out April 18 for Record Store Day

Posted by Amoebite, March 20, 2015 11:42am | Post a Comment

J  Dilla

Among Record Store Day's usual crop of fancy reissues and rare, previously unreleased tracks, standouts include two new 7" releases from legendary hip hop producer J Dilla

J. Dilla Fuck the Police Record Store Day
 

The love and obsession for Dilla's work is unparalleled in the underground world of hip hop. J Dilla is and was a rare gem of a musical icon whose work influenced artists from all areas of the industry. Producers from Kanye West to Madlib will tell you Dilla was the best at capturing the right drum sound. Any time a collector can get their hands on some rare Dilla, it's always a big deal. Dilla's oeuvre was made for vinyl. 

Nine years after the beloved producer and rapper's untimely passing, the Detroit native's classic, long out-of-print single "Fuck the Police" is being reissued as a badge-shaped 7" picture disc. Remastered from J Dilla's original mixes, the single is being put out by Pay Jay Productions, an imprint revived by the Estate of James Yancey. Originally released as a 12", the forthcoming 7" will be released backed with the instrumental track "Funk the Police." The picture disc comes in a Japanese-style clear plastic sleeve suitable for display.

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Berner, Boots Riley, Kanye West, DJ Cutso, Kool Keith + more

Posted by Billyjam, March 20, 2015 10:05am | Post a Comment
New releases to Amoeba this past week include the EP 20 Lights (Bern One Entertainment) by the numero uno Bay Area weed ambassador Berner whose prolific output disproves that old belief that weed makes you lazy (his last release - the album Drugstore Cowboy - dropped just three short months ago).  Included on this new joint (pun intended) guest heavy, seven song CD are collaborations with such fellow dank-loving talents as Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Smiggz, The Jacka, and Mac Dre (the latter two Bay Area greats no longer with us - rest in peace).  Also new this week is the vinyl version of Sour Soul by BadBadNotGood backing Ghostface Killah that was released on CD a month ago. This explicit new vinyl version, that is care of Lex Records, comes complete with a digital download card.  is available in regular  the two download-only smoked and chopped 8Ball & MJG albums Comin Out Hard and On The Outside Looking In remix projects by Green Thumb that feature Dirty South rap tracks each given that hella slowed down and extended remix treatment.

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Weekly Roundup: Earl Sweatshirt, Death Grips, Girlpool, So Stressed

Posted by Billy Gil, March 20, 2015 09:22am | Post a Comment

Earl Sweatshirt – “Grief”

earl sweatshirtOdd Future cohort Earl Sweatshirt has announced a new album without much notice (as seems to be the going trend these days) called I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, and true to that sunny title, “Grief” is an anxiety-riddled trip through Earl’s psyche, over a digitally degraded, hollowed-out beat and cloudy synth. Thankfully, Earl hasn’t gone the slightest bit soft since releasing the excellent Doris in 2013, promising much for I Don’t Go Outside.

 

Death Grips – “On GP”

death gripsThe second track from Sacramento’s Death Grips’ supposed last album throws us for another loop, as MC Ride barks imperiously over Zach Hill’s unpredictable rolls a huge riff that sounds like a Neil Young record played through a turbine. Then the whole thing shifts for a dreamier second half, during which Ride’s words become more desperately pointed. It’s an utterly gripping seven-and-a-half minutes of music, one of the best things the band has done. Orders for The Powers That B (due March 31) are through the roof, so get on it!

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Essential Records: Diamond and the Psychotic Neurotics' "Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop"

Posted by Billyjam, March 19, 2015 09:07pm | Post a Comment



For me an essential album is one that never ages, no matter how many times I re-listen to it. It's also one I feel compelled to listen to all the way through every time - no temptation to ever skip ahead. Hence, without a second thought, I file this classic hip-hop album, which is brimming with jazzy funky grooves and irresistible rhymes, under that essential records category. A five-star release from the latter end of the genre's much-heralded golden era, Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop by Diamond And The Psychotic Neurotics scores on all levels: production-wise and lyrically, in addition to introducing most fans to hip-hop's long since beloved D.I.T.C. (Diggin' In The Crates) crew. Formerly a member of the rap group Ultimate Force, Diamond (aka Diamond D) proved with this debut album that he not just a gifted producer but also an adept emcee. Released in 1992 on Chemistry/Mercury/PolyGram, Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop is a truly solid, all-killer, no-filler hip-hop full-length release, sporting such timeless head-bobbing tracks as the popular lead single "Best-Kept Secret," "Feel The Vibe," "Check One Two," "Fuck What You Heard,"  "Sally Got a One-Track Mind," and the title track. 

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