Friday, December 09, 2005

20 Jazz and Funk Greats

Weekend Mix.

I was thwarted in my attempts at MeCha Radio, so I'm posting what I would have played here.

Canceling Stamps At The University Of Ghana Post Office Postal Works - Univ. of Ghana Post Office

An ethnographic recording from the happiest office in the world, these clerical workers stamp and whistle. And stamp and whistle. And make me hate my office.

spin the impossible dreamers

Recommended by an internet friend when asked for funk on a YSI ILM thread. I haven't been able to dig up anything about them, but maybe I'm just less curious now. It's great, sounds like it came from the early '80s, and should make you dance. If I DJed The Bang, this is what I'd play.

Rock It Up Equinox

Remember when I was talking about the Muncie Sampler? There's still more great stuff on it. What I like about this track is the tape distortion that takes a regular weekend rocker track and turns it into this surreal, otherworldly transmission. It's beautiful.

Your Talk Sunshine, I Breath Fire (Bonus Track) The Amboy Dukes

Y'know, Ted Nugent used to claim that he didn't know any of these songs were about drugs. It's just a shame that he went the other way, away from being a great (straight) pysch guitarist into being some sort of juvenile pussy goon. Even though I assume he's gotten plenty of groupie girls in his day, songs like Wang Dang Sweet Poontang just make him seem like a high school virgin. Didn't have to be that way, Ted...

romantic rights jesper dahlback mix Dfa 1979

Y'know, this band is one of the most over-rated sacks to come out in the last couple of years, yet all of the dance remixes that hit 'em come off as masterful. I like the New Wave vocals on the track, and the squared-off bass.

Cely Le Super Etoile de Dakar

It means The Superstars of Dakar, which is in Senegal. Like the Equinox track above, it's really about the distortion for me. This time, on the thumb piano, which gives it an otherworldly quality.

Robin's Theme Sun Ra & The Blues Project

Yeah, that Sun Ra. Did you know that he did an album of Batman Themes? Weird-ass motherfucker. This, and more than a few tracks from the next mix I post, come from the Bubblegum Machine, which takes an expansive view of "bubblegum."

Riboflavin-flavored, Non-carbonated, Polyunsaturated Blood 45 Grave

I was sent this track on a mixtape years ago, and finally found another copy of it. Well, not quite. This one's from an earlier, out-of-print EP. Halloween's only over for the SQUARES, man.

Yaye Boul Ma Bayi Guelewar

More Music from Senegal. I like how stretched out this one is, a long and easy journey. And a little calming for the middle of the mix.

No More Ghettos in America Stanley Winston

This was one of hte 45s that John Peel kept in a stash next to his bed, ever ready to carry it out in case of a fire. It's beautiful, both in sentiment and exectution. I have another version of this, taped off the radio, where Peel says it's one of the songs that never fails to make him cry. You can hear his voice choked up and gulping even then on the radio. That's the type of love for music I like.

Way Down The Old Plank Road Uncle Dave Mason

Uncle Dave Mason comes to us via the Smithsonian's American Folk Anthology. Recorded by Alan Lomax, this is what American music sounded like for many years— a tale of drunken repentance. Much better than the fake history peddled by "conservatives," this is a bite of how things used to be.

Lawn Dart Ed's Redeeming Qualities

And then there's this. A story rooted in my childhood, I do remember when they took the Lawn Darts off the shelves at the K-Mart. Rarely have turf tragedies been so lovingly rendered.

Up All Night Bob Geldof & The Boomtown Rats

Just the Live Aid guy? No way! Geldof deserves more credit than he gets for his pop music. And dig how much he wants to sound like a late-'70s Bowie on this track!

Rubber Bullets 10cc

It's the narrative that I love on this song, though the whole bubblegum production is fantastic as well. The open politicism, riffs on famous rock songs of the past, and the idea of a dancing riot of prisoners all make this a great pop track. Thanks for the folks at MetaChat for turning me onto it.

A New Year's Promise Mischief

Speaking of which, there's a poster there that asked for a critique of this song. I like its simplicity and the catchy klein-Kraftwerk sense of it. It's like a bit of fennel after an Indian meal...

Boogie Down Bronx (Rap Version) Man Parrish & Freeze Force

And it led us nicely into Man Parrish's old-school bid for electro cool. He's not from Queens, where Boogie Down Productions was, but he loves their sound.

Return The Gift Gang Of Four

And around the same time, there were post-punkers Gang of Four. I just found Entertainment last week finally, so you get to share in my current love for them. A lot of people think that post-punk somehow means no pop hooks, but their plea for evenings and weekends couldn't be catchier.

Waking The Witch Kate Bush

Bush has a new album out now, after 10 or so years. She put this one out when at the top of her career, yet this track is hard to imagine on a pop album. Creepy, powerful and present, this was also something that I remember my parents playing often when I was a kid. Worth revisiting.

Paradiso Konono nr. 1

And let's lead it out with Congotronics, the amplified music of The Congo. Homemade instruments and confident grooves give this veteran group (led by a 70-year-old man) a shot at global success. I'm still bummed that I missed them when they came here live, but what can I say? I found out about it too late. Don't let the same thing happen to you.

(Oh, and the picture was just one that I thought would make for a good cover pic if I printed this out...)

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