What Do You Dance?

Posted by Smiles Davis, March 17, 2009 11:31am | Post a Comment

Ever heard a record that made you want to get down like this little kid? The first record I ever bought on vinyl was Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall. I was 10, it was 1994 and the record was still bumping on the radio fifteen years after its original release. New, old, fresh, or dusty, the music got to me, put me in a mood I was unable to describe at the time. My mother had never seen me so intoxicatingly excited about anything before; she didn’t really know how to react. She worked hard with a no nonsense policy always enforced around the house. She gave me the money I asked for to get the record just to get me out of the house. “Now go on outside and play and stop pestering me,” she barked after slapping the dough in the palm of my hand. Out I went. After buying the record and enough candy to last me ‘till the end of time, I raced my bike across town – a very small town -- as fast as I could to my grandparents’ house, where I retreated to the basement for some serious privacy. My grandfather, who used to own a record store, had a lonely turntable set up at the end of the long, terribly lit basement for special occasions just like this. I got my boogie on for a couple hours, doped up on food coloring and high-fructose corn syrup, poor lighting and all.

It wasn’t long before music got to me the same way the youngest member of the Jackson 5 did. In 1995, just one year after my first magical music moment, I discovered Prince. My cousin let me borrow 1999 on cassette with the promise I return it promptly. 9 months and 101 excuses later, she was forced to steal it back from me. Prince was my forbidden fruit. Never listened to him out loud, always played him in my Walkman for fear my mother would forbid me from listening to it. I’ll admit, the vulgarity and promiscuity that Prince exudes is a bit much for any 11-year-old, but like Michael Jackson, all I ever wanted to do was dance. I had to listen to music that made me want to move, shimmy and shake ‘till the exhaustion kicked in and forced me to call it quits. Lyrics be damned-- I didn’t understand what the heck they were talking about anyway, it was gibberish to me. It was about the beat, the rhythm, and the evoked emotion.

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(In which we consider Peaches considering Joni Mitchell.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 16, 2009 06:40pm | Post a Comment
This has been a busy week, dear readers. Lots of phone interviews, dinner parties, and soundtrack-slinging at Ye Olde Amoeba Music Hollywood.

I was gabbing with Peaches about her new album last Wednesday. It’s called I Feel Cream (release date in the U.S. is May 5) and it’s a blast! Definitely a departure from its predecessors, in that it’s more diverse in sound and moods. Peaches sings a lot more. There are moments where it sounds like the lovechild of modern R&B and older tracks by darlings of the Industrial genre, Front 242.

peaches i feel cream

Anyway, I asked her about musical influences that might surprise people (it’s already well documented that she loves hip-hop and rock ‘n’ roll). This led to her gushing about Joni Mitchell, and this performance in particular, which rocked her world:

That voice! A miracle. I just can’t get enough of it…

She really is one of my favorite things in the world of music, and while not everyone shares my passion for her sound, anyone who appreciates songwriting as a craft must acknowledge that, as a writer of music and lyrics, she remains one of the greatest artists of modern pop music. She’s credited with inventing about 50 different guitar tunings, and the list of musicians who cite her as an influence – Peaches included – reads like a Who’s Who of music.


Posted by The Bay Area Crew, February 1, 2009 06:20am | Post a Comment
Prince Rogers Nelson is easily the most daring, inventive, and subversive pop star in contemporary music. He is just as much Cole Porter as he is James Brown. Using an R&B aesthetic base, he has interwoven punk rock, rock & roll, pop, jazz, blues, and new wave to carve out a sound that is American, uniquely African-American.


His diverse background, varied music palette, and pop/showbiz mentality can be credprince rogers nelsonited to his Minnesota upbringing. Like Bob Dylan (also from MN), he balances spirituality and humanity with heartache and yearning. He is part spiritual leader, religious zealot, sensualist and priest of carnality. His work is visceral yet calculated, both frank and overt. This is all anchored by his genius for laying out a great tune. I mean, who princecaught the first time that "Raspberry Beret" was a tale of a person losing his virginity? With attention to detail draped in poetry and the abstract, the lyrics sound idiosyncratic and real as anything Joni Mitchell ever wrote. But songs like "Darling Nikki" expose a rawness and sexiness balanced in a tale about the love and loss found in a one night stand. So what is he about? What does it all mean?

Prince's music, story and career are so singular that many have tried to trace where this all comes from. The Minnesota link was a start; maybe it's his mixed African-American heritage. Who knows? But Prince has continued time and time again to break the mold of pop constraints, social uptight-ness, cold war hysteria, bible reading, and corporate rock greed. And through all of Prince's moods, phases, flings, mysteries and crusades, he has gotten us to wonder, follow and believe with one thing-- our own body. So where it "all comes from" is beyond us all, but where it goes is rapidly obvious -- we feel it in our bodies. There is no doubt he has moved us.  

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Multiple Maniacs

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, November 10, 2008 11:45pm | Post a Comment
Tom Waits big time back cover LPTemptations 1990 Lp coverGeorge Benson Bad Benson Lp coverMore Bill Vaughn LP cover
Hollywood Hot LP cvoerArthur Rubinstein the Chopin I love LP coverBuchanan Brothers Lp back coverRonnie Milsap 20-20 vision lp cover
Climax Blues Band Gold Plated Lp coverAfia Mala es la manana lp coverSwitched-On Gershwin LP cover Leonis Hambro Gershon KingsleyJohnny Rivers Recorded Live (and then some)! lp cover
Rolling Stone got live if you want it! lp coverSiedah Garrett Kiss Of Life LP coverJan Akkerman Live Lp coverVentures A go-go lp cover
Nancy Wilson goin out of my head lp coverPrince He's Got the Look LP  coverEasy Street LP coverLatimore let's straighten it out lp cover
M.C. Hammer Here Comes the Hammer coverBlue Mountain Eagle LP coverBo Diddley Another Dimention LP coverLittle Richard & Buck Ram LP cover
Marmalade Reflections of My Life lp coverAn Evening With Wally Londo Featuring Bill Slaszo LP george carlinMott the Hoople Lp coverThree Dog Night s/t Lp cover

The Best Video Ever

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 1, 2008 12:42am | Post a Comment
This has to rank as one of my favorite videos ever. Snoop is just crazy! I like how the video begins and ends like it was recorded off a VCR. It reminds me off watching a late night video show and waiting for my favorite video to come on, then pressing the record and play. Everyone in the 80's/early 90's had that one VHS tape full of your favorite videos. The song's pretty out there as well. It's Snoop meets Prince/The Time/Vanity 6 meets T-Pain meets Daft Punk. BTW, Snoop's album drops March 11th.

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