Amoeblog

Best Of 2007, Part 6 - 13 Suggestions For Christmas Gifts

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 20, 2007 12:40pm | Post a Comment
Best Of The Latin American Compilations
                                                           
THE ROOTS OF CHICHA: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peruroots of chicha
Colombia!: The Golden Years of Disco Fuentes -
The Powerhouse of Colombian Music 1960-1976
Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba, Vol. 1
Bachata Roja: Acoustic Bachata From The Cabaret Era


Latin Influenced Electronica
Up, Bustle and Out- Mexican Sessions
Nickodemus -Endangered Species Remixed (2007)
Geko Turner- Chandalismo Ilustradomexican sessions
Mexican Institute of Sound -Pinata


Fresh Blood in Old Genres
Jose Conde y Ola Fresca -(R)evolucion
The Budos Band-The Budos Band 2
B-Side Players Fire In The Youth
Antibalas-Security
Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings 100 Days and 100 Nights

search for the holy grail, episode three

Posted by Whitmore, September 18, 2007 09:28am | Post a Comment


In 1965 when rest of the world was doing the Frug, the Swim or the Monkey ... the Pony, the Watusi, the Jerk or even the Clam to James Brown’s Papas Got a Brand New Bag, discothèques in Scotland and Northern England were dancing till the wee hours of the morn to a great single on Hi Records from Tommy Jay called Tender Love b/w Tomorrow.

Now Tender Love isn’t exactly your endearingly romantic piece that such a title might suggest. The song is a bit dark, but with a hypnotically grooving riff. Tender Love is the name of a girl the singer has fallen for, and she has “eyes that seem to shine like gold.” Needless to say, romance isn’t going to work out here, and if you’ve been around the block at least once, you know at least one character by songs end is going to be dead. Now that’s a track I can sink my teeth into, or at least, after a few pints, dance to till the sun comes up … and I`ll be on top, you`ll be right down there, looking up … Anyway, is this the Holy Grail of Northern Soul? It has my vote!

woke up in an odd state of mind

Posted by Whitmore, September 12, 2007 08:50am | Post a Comment


I woke up in an odd mood and while I was grinding   coffee this morning, for some unknown reason, I  started thinking about the legendary folk musician
Woody Guthrie and that sign he often painted on his
guitar.

“This Machine Kills Fascists”

And no, I don’t mean my  Italian espresso maker …

In this frame of mind, I don’t even dare open the paper … not today.

Woody once wrote, "I took a bath this morning in six war speeches, and a sprinkle of peace.”  

Yeah, I know that mood.

I’m thinking, what could throw me even deeper into this funk?  Maybe the right song and I can revel in this shithole state of mind for a while; I do have the morning  to myself!

So I went digging though a few boxes of 45’s  for this minor keyed, slow funky version of  “This Land Is  Your Land” by Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings originally released in 2006 as a 7-inch single with a red, white, and blue label (and a flip side of  What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes?). It’s a masterpiece, if not the modern definitive version of Woody Guthrie’s classic paean to the America he saw in his travels in the 1930’s. Guthrie originally wrote this song in 1940 in response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," which Guthrie considered unrealistic, self-satisfied and smug.


Sharon Jones’ version of This Land should be the one sung in grammar schools, especially since she includes the seldom sung verses about private property and government relief. She’s brought back the anger, the defiance and rebelliousness that had been lost; trashing the soft-pedaled, whitewashed, yankee-doodle dandy edition we’ve heard for decades.

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Anna King

Posted by Whitmore, August 18, 2007 11:29pm | Post a Comment

My son just named his new guinea pig “Sally,” and though I’m not a fan of rodent type critters, I think Sally is pretty cool. Also, guinea pigs make this really odd electronic kind of sound when their excited.

Some time ago I wrote about a Jean Dushon single on Atco Records “I’m Tired,” produced by Phil Specter. And with absolute over the top aplomb I ranted, raved and foamed like peroxide on a road rash about that track. “How,” I thought  “can it get any better than this?”  A discovery like this, out of the blue, only happens once in a lifetime to a lowly record store employee.

I went so far as to write that my aching back was miraculously healed by the Bo Diddlyesque drumbeat; it had to be the vibrations!

Well … I may have been wrong; I know this revelation may surprise you. I’m generally not one to exaggerate. Really. Anyway, my backache returned and eventually worsened, but did I lose hope? Almost … but no! I felt that somewhere down the line something greater, something deeper was going to breathe life back into me, an empty shell of a man. Carpe Diem! Corpus, Mens, Spiritus! E pluribus unum! Eureka! Ars longa vita brevis!

A few months back I discovered a 7 inch record from a somewhat obscure singer, Anna King … and this time I think I actually had a religious experience. My back wasn’t healed, but I swear to god I didn’t have an asthma attack for weeks. It’s as if my ears and lungs and bronchial tubes were touched by healing hands.

“Was that you Katherine Kuhlman?”

Long ago I discovered that the flip side is often the hot side, and "Sally" is the B-side to "Mama’s Got a Bag of Her Own", a kind of a dig at Anna King’s old boss. "Sally" is an impossibly soulful, medium tempo ballad with just a hint of a musical arrangement. To start with, there’s a little piano, a touch of a bass line, a kick drum and all the room in the world for the vocals. King first starts off a little breathy, a little hesitant, telling her dear friend Sally about her no Anna Kinggood boyfriend.  But by the end the full band kicks in and the vocals just lay it on the line: Sally should just forget about that son of a bitch, because as Anna King plainly states, “I’m gonna steal him from you.”  And I thought they were pals! I just don’t have the words to explain the greatness of this cut. Find it, if it takes you a decade, it would still be worth your time. Think of it as a religious pilgrimage. I’m serious!

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August 13th in music history

Posted by Whitmore, August 13, 2007 05:20pm | Post a Comment

In a senseless act, legendary saxophonist King Curtis, born Curtis Ousley, is stabbed to death in front of his New York City brownstone on Friday August 13, 1971, during one of New York City’s nastiest heat waves.  King Curtis was carrying an air conditioner into his apartment at 50 West 86th St. when he got into a scuffle with a group of men standing on the stoop doing drugs. He asked them to move, but during the subsequent argument one of them, Juan Montanez, pulled out a six-inch dagger and stabbed Curtis in the heart.


The attack was witnessed by Aretha Franklin and Sam Moore who were meeting Curtis to discuss a recording session he was to produce. Curtis was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, but was dead on arrival. Four days later the funeral was held, Jesse Jackson performed the service. Curtis' band, The Kingpins, played an hour long version of 'Soul Serenade' and Aretha sang the spiritual 'Never Grow Old.' Here are some of the hits he played sax on:

Hang up My Rock and Roll Shoes - CHUCK WILLIS - (highest charting) #24
The Stroll - DIAMONDS - #4-
What Am I Living For - CHUCK WILLIS - #9
Yakety Yak - COASTERS - #1
Along Came Jones - COASTERS - #9
Charlie Brown - COASTERS - #2
I Cried a Tear - LAVERN BAKER - #6
Little Egypt - COASTERS - #23
Tossin’ and Turnin’ - BOBBY LEWIS - #1
Peppermint twist - JOEY DEE  - #1
Respect - ARETHA FRANKLIN - #1
I Heard It Through The Grapevine - GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS - #2

Some of King Curtis’s solo singles:

Soul Twist - #17
Memphis Soul Stew - #33
Ode to Billy Joe - #28
 
In 1990 Curtis Mayfield, best known as the lead singer for The Impressions and for composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film “Superfly,” is paralyzed from the neck down in an onstage accident after high winds cause a 600 pound lighting rig to fall on him at a concert in Brooklyn, New York at the Martin Luther King Music Festival. Eyewitnesses described the moment as “A small twister of some sort tornado-like, just came out of nowhere.” He was 48 years of age at the time of the accident.

But one great earth shaking event did happen on this day, though it would go unnoticed for years and years, Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton records the original version of  "Hound Dog" in 1952.

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