Thursday, July 31, 2008

My '80s Remastered - "Boy"

Island Records has finally gotten around to giving the first 3 U2 albums (Boy/October/War) the 2 disc "deluxe edition" treatment. You get the remastered original album, overseen by The Edge, and you get a bonus disc of nuggets, including live and unreleased stuff. I was a fan of the band from the first time I heard the opening riff of I Will Follow. They followed this with the remarkably assured debut album Boy. I spent hours listening to it. I loved how it didn't really sound like anyone else - hell, some of it doesn't even sound like U2 yet! It was spiky post-punk, full of energetic riffs and thundering drums and plenty of swagger. It rocked. It began a long, rocky relationship with the band. I loved them, bought the records and saw them live at the old Wembley Arena (The Unforgettable Fire tour, with The Waterboys opening). Then, after the overkill of The Joshua Tree and Rattle & Hum I was done. I returned to the fold a few years later, but for me nothing they have done has ever matched their first 3 records. Boy still impresses me with it's energy and charisma, and sounds as good to me now as it did when I was 16.
U2 - I Will Follow
U2 - Into The Heart
U2 - 11 O'Clock Tick Tock (Live at The Marquee, London)

I've written a couple of posts for so be sure to visit on your travels through these interwebs. Check out LEGO album cover tributes, what Barack Barama has on his iPod, nab some Cristina mp3s and watch the great new Grace Jones video.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Funky Friday - Philly Soul Edition

Bunny Sigler & Dee Dee Sharp - Conquer The World Together
Love Commitee - Darling Come Back Home
Ruby & The Party Gang - Ruby's Surprise Party

I picked up this great compilation last week. It is a Legacy reissue of a 1971 compilation of lesser known tracks from the classic label Philadelphia International Records. Home to writers/producers Gamble & Huff and bands like The O'Jays, Harold Melvin And The Blue Notes, MFSB, Lou Rawls and Labelle, it is a treasure trove of the '70s soul scene. This comp has lots of lost gems and lots of the label's trademarks - deep grooves. lots of big orchestration, loads of sweet harmonies - the funk, ya dig?

Check out my latest muxtape...

Don Cherry - I Walk
Estelle vs. The Ting Tings (DJ STV SLV) - Shut Up, American Boy
Alice Cooper - Clones (We're All)
Heaven 17 - Are Everything (12" Version)
Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band - Pachuco Cadaver
Bob Sinclar - Rock Solid
Thomas Dolby - Airwaves
David Van Tieghem - Out of the Frying Pan
Fiction Factory - Ghost of Love
S.O.S Band - Take Your Time (Do It Right)
Yellow Magic Orchestra - Pure Jam
Calvin Harris - Certified


On your travels around the interwebs be sure to check out the newly created The mission - "Let the people have the power. Let the general public create the content, and share their passion for music with others. As long as it’s music related, pretty much anything goes." I have already posted a couple of items, and plan on contributing regularly. Check it out and feel free to get involved!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Music Tuesday

Brendan Canning - Love Is New

Canadian rock collective Broken Social Scene has been a fertile testing ground for many a budding indie rocker. Some are better known than others - Feist and Emily Haines (Metric) and Amy Millan (Stars) all have contributed. The last year has seen several good solo albums from some of the guys, namely Kevin Drew and Jason Collett. Now comes the latest - Broken Social Scene Presents Brendan Canning. Something For All Of Us... hits shelves today. It is a nice collection of songs and instrumentals, taking in gentle ballads, lots of horn parts, urgent indie rock and some semi-psychedelic spazz outs - a perfect mix of melody, rhythm and noise. It is interesting to hear these solo projects, to hear what each individual brings to the main group, and this one is no different. Considering that Brendan is not one of the major songwriters for the group it is amazing to hear how much this album sounds like a BSS record. His band mates back him up ably, and this record reminds me a lot of BSS' You Forgot It In People, which is my personal fave. The one track that really grabbed me first is Love Is New, a midtempo groover that Pitchfork calls the worst track on the album. Whatever. I really dig the spacy, funky vibe.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Funky Friday Vacation Edition

The family and I had a little vacation in Chicago this week, which explains why there have no posts these last few days.
The wife took the daughters for a day at the American Girl Doll store - "OMG!! SO MUCH FUN DAD! They had this, and that, and this and that. It was the best day of my life, EVER!!" etc. etc. etc. We also had dinner at the cafe there that evening, and I have to say that it was better than I had expected. On the walk home we were passing the Peninsula Hotel and there was a photo shoot going on - hotel bellboys with arms full of bags and flowers around some woman. They were massed on the corner and we stepped aside to go around them. The photographer turned to look at us and said we weren't in the way and could keep walking. Right away I recognized that it was Annie Leibovitz, which I blurted out to the missus. She pulled out the camera to try and get a pic but Annie and the crew had moved to the front of the hotel and she never turned around.
That's her in all black, hand on her hip.
I had intended to go to the Virgin Megastore to shop while the girls did the doll thing - until I found out that it had closed a year earlier. I walked past where I thought I remembered it being but there was some clothes shop there. Back at the hotel I googled and found out that it had closed. Bummer. We did a few other touristy things - The Field Museum - "lets go see the mummies and dinosaurs Dad!"

and Navy Pier. A good time was had by all.

Millennium Park was one of my favorite parts of the whole thing. The Bean sculpture is fantastic and trippy.

So is the neighboring splash park with it's towering water/video installments. It was in the 90˚s the whole time, so I would have loved to immerse myself in that water! Too bad we couldn't stay more than three days, but I'm sure its a trip we'll do again. Now on to the funky stuff...
Beck - Youthless
Busy P - Pedrophilia
Morgan Geist - Detroit
Vibert Simmonds - V.A.J.
Nightmares On Wax - 195LBs
Black Affair - Pills
Black Affair - Just Keep Walking
Midnight Juggernauts - Dystopia (Turkish Prison Mix)
Hercules And Love Affair - You Belong (Hercules Club Mix)
Manu Chao - Politik Kills (Dennis Bovell Remix Feat. Linton Kwesi Johnson)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Funky (Nassau) Friday

Funky Nassau: The Compass Point Story 1980-1986 is a stellar compilation from the recently reactivated Strut Records. I cannot recommend this compilation enough. Led by Sly & Robbie, the Compass Point Allstars were the house band for the Compass Point Studios, with producer/studio owner/Island Records mainman Chris Blackwell and his right hand man Steven Stanley behind the controls, often in conjunction with Alex Sadkin. The band included keyboardist Wally Badarou, Mikey Chung, Barry Reynolds, and Uziah "Sticky" Thompson. Reggae, dub, disco, funk and even a bit of rock all figured into the equation, and the band was smoking hot, capable of slaying you with a killer groove. Back in the day I would buy a record based on the fact that this band was on it - that's how good they are. The list of their seminal recordings is long, and this comp is a good place to start. There are some well known tracks and some unknown gems too. Today's selections are a mix of those - a known favorite by Talking Heads taken from their seminal record Remain In Light which was recorded at the studio, the obscure and short lived Set The Tone deliver a tough as nails funk workout, and Gwen Guthrie's slice of island disco is sublime. Mmmm mmmm good.

1 Grace Jones - My Jamaican Guy (12" Version)
2 Tom Tom Club - Genius Of Love
3 Talking Heads - Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
4 Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Lady O K'pele
5 Set The Tone - Dance Sucker (Francois Kevorkian Mix)
6 Guy Cuevas - Obsession (Nassau Mix)
7 Gwen Guthrie - Padlock (Larry Levan Mix)
8 Bits & Pieces - Don't Stop The Music
9 Sly Dunbar - River Niger
10 Cristina - You Rented A Space
11 Ian Dury & The Seven Seas Players - Spasticus Autisticus (Version)
12 Chaz Jankel Feat. Laura Weymouth - Whisper
13 Will Powers - Adventures In Success (Dub Copy)

Monday, July 07, 2008


Today's flower of the day is the poppy. We have some fluffy, orange beauties that emerge from their furry alien pods in April and May. They are a welcome sign of impending warmth after a long, mid-western winter.

Boards Of Canada - Orange Hexagon Sun
Boards Of Canada - Aquarius

Moonbabies - The Orange Billboard


The last five posts to my tumblr...
1. The new Grace Jones video - woo-hoo!
2. The latest We Are Scientists video - dog mania!
3. Time lapse photography of California wildfires.
4. Post-punk photo exhibit.
5. Santogold on stage and backstage. She is terrific.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Seventies Sunday

I haven't posted in over a week, so here is a random Sunday post of sweet selections from the '70s to make up for it. The photo I took in my back yard a few weeks ago. Yes, I'm a bit of a gardener, and have some lovely flowers to show for it. This week I'll be accompanying all of my posts with shots from my yard. Enjoy...

6ix - I'm Just Like You
Jeff Beck - Come Dancing
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
Little Feat - Time Loves A Hero
Robert Palmer - Every Kind Of People
Dr. Hook & The Medicine Band - The Cover Of The Rolling Stone