Dan Penn: ‘A Little Something I Like’ in Music

via NPR.org:

“It took a lot of effort for a white person to write rhythm and blues, even in the ‘60s,” he says. “It took a white person, me, and the black person, the artist, standing there saying come on, bring it to me, you know, let’s have a song.”

NPR’s Morning Edition ran a great story this morning about prolific southern-soul songwriter Dan Penn.  The best part (to this humble blogger) is his short, acoustic rendition of James & Bobby Purify’s classic “I’m Your Puppet.”  The whole piece is definately worth listenting to.
Listen to the piece here.

Its Getting Dark in Here

There are few song writers as profound as profound as Bill Withers, espescially given his relatively small amount of msusical output. This video from youtube, which I found browsing the soulshower blog, has the man himself preforming his heart-wrenching classic ‘Aint no Sunshine,’ and, just as important, talking about writing the song at the beginning of the clip. Incredible in my humble opinion. It sho’ is great when those drums come in…

The Clip: Bill Withers – ‘Aint No Sunshine – Live’

I found this clip just on the heels of my finding Nancy Wilson’s ‘Kaleidoscope’ record on Capitol, which among other tracks & covers has a nice version of the above mentioned Withers song. Not that it quite does it justice but I do have a penchant for collecting ‘Aint no Sunshine’ covers and this isn’t one you see everyday.

Take a listen: Nancy Wilson – Ain’t No Sunshine

And, in the interest of the topic, I’ll post what might be my favorite ‘Aint no Sunshine’ cover, by the Melodica master himself, mister Augustus Pablo. This track has him playing an organ sounding an awful lot like a harpsichord, which fills in where the vocal line would be. Pablo’s version conveys the emotion of the original to devastating effect. The track is not gonna pop up to much on 45 (ever?!) but is available on a great comp called “Dub, Reggae & Roots from the Melodica King” put out by Ocho. Cop it, its great!

Augustus Pablo – Thunder Clapp

Al Green changes his dancing shoes, Timmy Thomas Follows

listen to samples here : 1 2

The mysterious ‘shoes’ re-edit of Al Green’s ‘Love & Happiness’ is one of favorite purchases of the recent past. Its a re-edit that is so much more than the usual and much more than a remix. Truly creating something new from the absolutely classic Green track. I post this now for a few reasons. First, I was surprised hearing the First Choice track referenced in Davey’s post; it seems that Shoes’ remix was influenced by this obscure cover. Second, Turntable Lab
just restocked these gems. And third:

Shoes has just dropped another 70s soul re-edit, this time sevicing Timmy Thomas’ sublime ‘Why Can’t we Live Together.’ The original song is one of my personal favorites, just Thomas, his organ and a simple casio-esque backbeat. A song that truly plucks at the heart strings. The re-edit expands upon the one provided by Pressure Drop last year, with the A side providing a mid-tempo dance track and the B side appearing with a more dubbed out style; this is a similar layout to the Green 12″. Both sides completely preserve everything I (and everybody else) love about the original mix. Check the sound sample playlist here.

R.I.P. On the Corner

First off, I’m feeling the ‘slow’ version of Crazy above. Damn those Gnarls kids have it going on right now. Its great to see all the different ways they put the track together for the live performances. Check the tour dates here and be sure to see them this summer.

‘On the Corner’ was my radio show on KUSP in Santa Cruz for about a year and a half. The show started out as a mostly soul/funk based radio show with bits of reggae and mostly-early hip-hop thrown in. I paid a lot of attention to sample tracks and music that would appeal to a hip-hop based audience. As my tasste progressed and changed, so did the music I played on the show. More downtempo beats, more new hip-hop, some contemporary afro-latin funky beats. Basically a representation of more money spent on records from the web and a move away from the styles of ‘Nocturnal Emissions,’ my previous record show on KZSC. I’ll provide a playlist here of an earlier show here first and link to that show. I’ll post more shows as time progresses…the next one will feature our boy Davey Mongol live in effect as a guest host.

Stream the show.

The Mohawks – Champ – 45
Alvin Cash & The Scott Bros. Orchestra – Keep on Dancin – 45 – Toodlin’ Town Records
Sam Dees – Lonely for You Baby – Shake What You Brought – Sundazed
Marva Whitney – I Made a Mistake Because its Only You Pt. 1 – 45 – King
Lyn Collins – Mama Feelgood (Previously unreleased Long Version) – James Brown’s Orignal Funky Divas – Polygram
Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Express Yourself – Express Yourself – WB

Lee Perry and The Upsetters – Jungle Lion – The Upsettter Box Set – Trojan
Sharon Jones – My Man is a Mean Man – 45 – Daptone (new)
Yesterdays New Quintet – Fourty Days – Sound Directions – Stones Throw
Marlena Shaw – Woman of the Ghetto – The Spice of Life – Cadet
The Whatnauts – Message From a Black Man
The Sylvers – Fools Paradise – S/T – Pride

Jean Jaques Perry – Eva –
Curtis Mayfield – Blue Monday People – There’s No Place Like America Today – Curtom
Prince Jazzbo – Ital Corner – Ital Corner – Clocktower
Rico & the Rudies – Rico’s Message – Blow Your Horn – Trojan
Cymande – Brothers on the Slide – Promised Heights – Janus

Donald Byrd – Think Twice (Mizell Brothers 2005 Special 12″ Only Mix) – 12″ – Blue Note
Breakthrough f/ Count Bass D- XL – Breakthrough LP – Jazzysport
Alice Russell – Remember to Forget – My Favorite Letters – Tru Thoughts
DJ Muggs vs. Gza – Queens Gambit – Grandmasters – Angeles Records
P-Love – 4 inches per Minute on the DVR – …All Up in Your Mind – Bully
One Be Lo – enecS eht no kcaB – S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. –
Piano Overlord – Agorophobia – Torture E.P. – Money Studies

Boom Bip – The Use of Unacceptable Colors in Nature – Seed to Sun – Lex
Zero 7 – Light Blue Movers – Gilles Peterson Exclusives
Count Bass D – Like a Pimp – Begborrowsteel
El Michaels Affair – Musings to Myself – Truth & Soul
Los Hermanos Latinos – Whistling Dub – 12″ –

I remember when I lost my mind…

Not too many songs as of recent have inspired as much conversation and heat as Gnarls’ stellar hit “Crazy.” Regardless of the relative merit of the song and the album, Cee-lo’s voice is incredible and Cee and DJ DangerMouse are quite the creative couple, it seems. Yesterday, while pondering whether or not I want to check the live show in SF in July, I came across a number (to put it mildly) of videos on youtube, including many live versions from the few shows and tv appearances they have already played. Pretty much each version is a live remix of some sort, and has an accompanying theme. Check the soul version from top of the pops and the mtv live 2006 Star Wars theme, at least:

crazy at the top of the pops (dope soul slow version with airline theme)

MTV awards 2006 (star wars theme DOPE!)

graduation theme on jay leno

US TV debut on conan (slow, shower theme)

bonus: boogie monster live on top of the pops…(spooky!)

I think I’m going to the show(s)…

If we’re doin’ this…

Then let’s do it.

the cover…or the origin of DAPT

Just what is it with DJ’s and the endless uncovering of covers, versions. bootlegs? Well, there’s nothing like a mix of the new and the old to perk up the ears and alert and intrigue the human brain, methinks. Look at the success of the remix, the mash-up, and of course the cover version. Without a doubt, one common thread for me over the last decade of Dj’ing has been the pleasure of finding and sharing tweaked versions of terrific songs. And really, nothing incites DJealousy like showin’ up to your homie’s spot with a sick version of a classic, that neither of you have ever heard before. Someday, long after DAPT (figure it out) has blown up and we’ve all gone worldwide (hold yer breath), the legend of how it all got started might have a lot to do with a certain cover in particular. Don’t get it twisted; the spark behind this collab has been kickin around for some months, but nothing ignited until I brought home a fresh bag of goodies from the neighborhood spot. I was pretty happy about this bag to begin with; I had some good pulls that day, but one record in particular I knew was going to be special. I called Josh and told him to meet me over at mine-I needed to play him something he was going to like. Skeptical look in place, he made the trip and I dropped the needle on what was promptly dubbed the “pick of the week,” the notion that would inspire this fanzine blog.

We all love Al Green (hate to meet someone who doesn’t) and his supreme recording of “Love and Happiness” on I’m Still in Love With You has been getting a lot of PDA lately, with the dope Absence in Color 3/4 12″ and the Shoes 12″ both featuring lovely edits of the track. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to reintroduce First Choice, and their debut LP Armed & Extremely Dangerous, for Philly Groove Records in 1973. Not an incredible record all in all, mostly philly soul ballads/mellow 70’s funk but perhaps the “choicest” cut is their deadly version of the Al Green hit, true to the original but in a slightly more boogie/early disco context. With these kind of things, they’re usually too good to be true, and the digger knows that any second the jam will go bad and veer off into some unfortunate direction…but that moment never happens on this song. In fact, it really just keeps gettin’ better.


First Choice – Love and Happiness

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is…

Davey. Davey Mongol. Joinin’ Nice Weiss on this excursion into the blogosphere. Adding fuel to the fire that burns in our wax obsessed souls seems to be, at the moment, the primary raison d’etre for this site. All the better.

Soon come: Finds of the week (day? hour? Josh?), fresh mixes, straight from those steel wheels to the net, “dig reports,” (trademark pending) and plenty of happy randomness, no doubt.


Thought I’d post up this week’s record haul…

And offer some thoughts on buying records. Its such a strange hobby…digging through literally dusty bins for pieces of plastic that most people consider to be trash. And its so hard to stop or to take a break, or to leave something behind because “I’m never going to see it again!” Records to listen to, records to play at a lounge night. Or a house party. Or at the club. So many reasons to buy a record. Take the Roy Ayers/Wayne Henderson record” I bought today – Prime Time. There’s a great track on it – “You Make Me Feel Like (Rockin’ With Ya)” – but its ultimate place in my collection is questionable. And yet still, I couldn’t leave it at the store.

This record was special. Had a great cover of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s World.” Larkin was an organ player who recorded on World Pacific Records form ’64-’68…first as a trio featuring Billy on organ, Mel Brown on drums and Hank Swarm on guitar, then with the addition of Clifford Scott on sax later on. Check the mp3.

The Obligatory Welcome Post

So, its time to have a blog. Everyone has them, I read ’em all day long, and people I know have a lot of interesting things to say. That finds us here at day one of a new experiment that will focus on vinyl and DJ culture in Santa Cruz.

And I guess lets just start from the top. Its a funny world out there of record nerds and djs and their various gracious and not so gracious attitudes. I just got back from the store and had the frustrating experience of looking through books before records, only to have someone hop on the new arrivals bin before me. Somebody with attitude. An experience I’m sure we can all relate to.

Check the Wu-Tang show recorded for XM Radio with The El Michels Affair backing them here. There’s a couple low rez videos and a rapidshare link for the mp3 of the show. This is a super high quality recording combining classic Wu joints with sparse, gritty and just-dark-enough beats from the Affair. I can’t stress enough how silky smooth lovely this this is. Surprised it hasn’t been released yet. link

and of course the C.R.E.A.M. 7″ that just came out on Thuth & Soul is heat too.