Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Soulful Sunday

Some Sunday ago back in October, a distant record collector/acquaintance sent me a friendly text, giving me the heads up about him and his girlfriend's yard sale, which to my past experience was something like a weekend excavation for some classic 'must-haves' and sentimental gems. In the past he's made generous offers that insured me that I wouldn't be walking home empty handed, and yet his impressively vast collection of good ol' soul, jazz and rock that surpasses my own, reassures that today's a sure thing (not to mention that his is more organized than my deranged dungeon of obscure children's exercise records and random Christian funk or Christian Rock records. The mixture of obscurity and well-defined genres only makes it even more difficult to categorize, but that's the kinda stuff I love). I figured that before I make way to the local coffee shop and hit the books I should at least gander upon his collection; and yet again, killed some time but came up on some good shit.

I came home with 62 donuts and one LP of Cal Tjader in a trader joe's bag; no regrets. A lot of it was soul, which definitely satisfied my own.

I particularly swooped some all time and personal favorites on 45, the kinda stuff that you'd see in thrift stores for $3 that you'd like add to your collection (ECM joints, Kudu records, endless Sergio Mendez stuff, etc.) but that you're willing to put on hold till there's a "50% off sale;" that time was finally up for me. Alongside the classics were some rather unknown (that is to my knowledge) 7 inches that I couldn't wait to sample on the MPC (with respects, RIP MPC).

...getting down to it all...

Betty Wright "Tonight Is The Night pt. 2"

Brenton Wood "Lovey Dovey Kinda Love"

First pick off my stack is Betty Wright's "Tonight Is The Night pt. 2," which is sampled on DJ Quik's "Tonight." Aside from breaks and samples, for those of you who know me well, I'm secretly a growing fan of Brenton Wood songs. If it's not "Show Me A Little Sign," then it's perhaps any other Wood song that's crept into my cranium and is horribly amplified in my series of singing in the shower.

El Chicano "Sabor A Mi"

When names like El Chicano, Malo, Tierra and War come into mind, I have this vivid image of Los Angeles in the 1950s. That wave of brown-eyed soul bands and artists depict a nostalgic picture of low rider angelinos cruising through the streets, giving me this aural yet conceptual idea of what LA was like back in the day. That or I am reminded of that specific scene in Jackie Brown scene when Ordell pops in a tape of Brothers Johnson in the whip and then rubs out Beaumont (love that scene).

The Masqueraders "I'm Just An Average Guy."

When I first cued this track, it just had to be a Wu-Tang beat; the deep sound-draining bass, plucking guitar, heavy soul singing, it all sounded too familiar annd too much like the Wu from there on. My first assumption was "Liquid Swords," but it turns out that it was sampled on Gza's "Collection of Classics," "an exclusive and limited edition album full of classic songs and unreleased gems," that was only released in Europe in 2004 (shucks...). ( I personally haven't heard that album yet, but if I ever come across it, I'd know I have at least the sample to the intro.

Tyrone Davis "Can I Change My Mind"

Tyrone Davis' "Can I Change My Mind" can be found on the 1968 single of "A Woman Needs To Be Loved." "Change My Mind" became a b-sides hit in the late 60s, finding it's way to top of R&B Billboard Charts for three consecutive weeks. Davis first started off as a chauffeur for the legendary Blues artist Freddie King (in 1993, Gov. Ann Richards declared September 3 "Freddie King Day." That's how legendary he is, but that's another story). Born in Greenville, MI, Davis moved to Chicago in his early 20s and sang in local clubs around the city. Soon, he was discovered by Harold Burrage, and was then later picked up by Carl Davis, who signed Davis on to help kick off the newly formed Dakar Records, Cotillion Records's little brother, which both were the subsidiary to Atlantic records.

The introduction really kicks me off my feet with some slappin' funky drums, prideful blaring trumpets, jolly undertone licks of the funky guitar, and with a hook that continuously haunts me with the line "start all over again..." A song for the broken hearted, attempting to form anew? My bitterness only chuckles as my records continue to spin.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Time To Face The Real

Yes! I'm back!

After undergoing many life phases (some awesome, some regretable, overall, all was a learning experience), I've finally slowed down and began to reprioritize the important aspects of my life that make me who I am.

But enough with the personal reconnections and "what does it all mean" questions, I'm about ready to drop some new dusted off, grimey ass wax; drop some of the latest beats I've been grinding on beatmaker and speak the latest stories through my third eye lens.

I've avoided committment and questioned life for too long; it's time that I face the real and drop this shit.

For now, I gotta dance! (ballroom 101, because I don't dance)

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