søndag 27. mai 2007

Hal Blaine - Psychedelic Percussion (1967)

Hal Blaine is the most recorded drummer in musical history. He played on classics by Frank Sinatra (& Nancy), Elvis, Byrds, Love, Supremes, Beach Boys (all of Pet Sounds, Good Vibrations etc.) Simon and Garfunkel and everything Phil Spector did. He was the leader of the Wrecking Crew, consisting of the most active session musicians in Los Angeles during the fifties and sixties. A hip cat, in 1967 Blaine was tripping like everyone else. And this is trippy stuff! I'd say this record is a must listen for all the drummers out there, but it's certainly not everyone's cuppa tea. The album is out of print and is not available on CD.

I'M SORRY! This link is down. I'll ask my friend to upload it again now that I've lost my hard disk


lørdag 19. mai 2007

Jean-Claude Pelletier - Streaking! (1974)

I'm treating you to a rare funk album from a mysterious frenchman today, recorded in France in 1974. Streaking! is an instrumental jazz funk record that sounds like the definitive blaxploitation soundtrack. Meaty funk grooves provide the backbone for the dynamic brass workouts in a wild steaming pot of organ grinds and wah wah guitars. Too bad the french never did a remake of Dolemite, this LP woulda been the perfect score. Streaking! is probably of most use to those of you who live in Los Angeles... whether you're planning a drive-by, a robbery or simply pimp-slapping someone, this is the music you should hear in your head. Getaway music.

If you're a beatmaker or producer you should have no trouble at all copping killer breaks with all the bona fide stank contained in here. And you're likely to get away with it since the record hasn't ever been released on CD, it costs a fortune on eBay and returns few hits on the internet.

Yes, now gimme the stank

Since it's a vinyl rip you'll hear the occasional snap, crackle and pop, but the overall sound quality is great. Check out this record if you're planning on taking a drive in a big city.

Jill Jones - Jill Jones (1987)

I'm really happy to upload this one today! This is a forgotten pop classic from the eighties that by some mind-boggling reason is still unavailable on cd. It fetches $400 on eBay and is pretty damn hard to find on the internet as well, but fear not, it's coming your way! Apart from the excellent cover, the main selling point here is that it was written and produced by Prince in his prime. Well, officially he just co-wrote three tracks and co-produced one, but i call bullshit on that one, everything on this record sounds exactly like a Prince record, from the delivery of the vocals and the lyrics to the arrangements. The production is as polished here as on Purple Rain or Parade. I'd say Prince plays a lot of instruments here (as do The Revolution), and he's clearly audible singing background vocals on For Love. Whatever the truth might be, this is one juicy pop record. And let's not give Prince all the credit, Jill Jones rules.

Jill Jones started out as a backing vocalist for Prince on the Dirty Mind tour. She later sang lead on 1999 and featured in some of his videos and films. This was her first and only album, until she returned in 2001 with an album that is great, if we're to believe the enthusiasts over at Amazon.

But with her superb vocals/delivery and looks, it's kinda strange that she never amounted to much apart from this record that unjustly had to be forgotten. Well, now that it's here you should grab it. If you like pop music that is!


Elliott Smith - XO (1998)

I feel like it's the right time of year to bring out this one. Elliott Smith was a remarkably talented singer-songwriter who sadly stabbed himself in the gut with a knife in 2002. In his field he was surely one of the greatest artists of the last 20 years, but the at times too-sad nature of his songs and the fact that he was really ugly made sure that he never made it big commercially. However, the sheer beauty of his best songs makes it easy to call him an underappreciated artist. When this album came out, he had just won an Oscar for his contribution to the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, a lush, cinematic song with a really big sound. Whereas his previous records were sonically sparse and underproduced, XO brings more instruments into the mix and is more optimistic and less introverted. The crisp production makes it more accessible and brighter than his other albums (save perhaps Figure 8), but this is really sad pop music. The only real clunker here and a track I always skip is Amity, which is completely SHIT and sticks out like a sore thumb from an otherwise very moving record.
Although this is my favourite Elliott Smith album, many fans prefer its predecessor Either/Or, so I'll post both today.


Either/Or - GET - BUY - KJØP

Roger - The Many Facets Of Roger (1981)

QUESTION: How awesome was Roger Troutman?

Roger Troutman was the leader of ZAPP. You're sure to know his voice from the chorus of California Love. This is his first solo album, released one year after the first Zapp album. What can I say that the Youtube clip didn't? This is THE most talented funkateer in history. And such a funny guy. "So Ruff, So Tuff" on this album... is just the coolest song I know. Check out the awesome cover of "Heard It Through The Grapevine. Listen to "Max Axe". This band was so funky it's insane. In fact, Zapp is one of the most sampled acts ever, right behind James Brown and Parliament/Funkadelic/Clinton. This was the music people in the hood bumped in their lowriders before there was gangsta rap. The first time they appeared on television, George Clinton introduced Roger as the most talented person he had ever met. Sure enough, Roger was one of a kind. His jazzy guitar playing, influenced by traditional blues and players like Wes Montgomery, has a distinct sound that just radiates joy and happiness. His mastery of the vocoder is unmatched: He took a gimmick instrument mostly used to create robot voices and gave it soul. The production is pristine (the first Zapp album was co-produced by Bootsy Collins, but I hardly think he influenced the sound) and this was one of the things that grabbed me first - funk normally sounds gritty, but the soundscape here is crystal clear and just immaculately polished, without compromising any of the funk. Be sure to grab the first Zapp album too, unless you want to miss "More Bounce To The Ounce", and you don't

Zapp I -

The Many Facets Of Roger -

Zapp & Roger's Greatest Hits - GET - BUY

The Blow - Paper Television (2006)

Maybe the best album of 2006. The Blow are Jona Bechtolt, who makes the electro beats, and Khaela Maricich, who writes the songs and sings, often with a fast rap-like delivery. I had the chance to see her on sunday, and it was wonderful. Jona wasn't visible once - it was Khaela's show from start to finish. She set the mood by tapping a rhythm on her microphone while singing a soothing acappella called "How naked are we going to get?". She told us that she couldn't bear to do the concert if she knew that anyone couldn't see properly, so she went on to organize everyone in the crowd by height. She put on a great show just singing and dancing, but amazingly, she talked just as much as she sang, and the banter was brilliant from start to finsh. Her monologues were always funny - with touchingly honest explanations to the songs. She really befriended us. So when she then went on to sing the absolutely gorgeous "Parantheresis" it had a lot more impact when we knew what she was singing about. Paper Television is addictive pop music, and the whole album is driven by beats that are dead tight. Don't miss it!


Prince - Dirty Mind (1980)

Get into Prince with this!

My favourite Prince album and the one that got me into his music. This was his third album, the one where he first came into his own... the first Prince album really. He played almost all of the instruments and produced it himself at home. The minimalistic and catchy production makes it instantly accessable. The melodies are good and the delivery is great. And then there's the lyrics! They are absolutely off the hook. In 1980 it was the dirtiest, most explicit LP ever released for a commercial audience. Hard to imagine how audacious this must have sounded to most people in at the time. Prince lasciviously sings about threesomes, doin' it all night and recieving head in the limo, from a bride on the way to her wedding. There's even a song called "Sister" which, uh, is also about sex. The record is direct in every way, from the melodies to the playing, and the sparse arrangements pull Prince's vocals, groans and sassy hick-ups to the front. No bad songs on here really. The rock tunes work just as good as the pop and funk workouts. The synth solo on the end of "Head" is my favourite solo ever!
There's an ocean of fab Prince albums you can dig into when this has got you hooked.

Welcome to the blog! We're gonna listen to a ton of great records here, so just kick back and enjoy. Be sure to leave some comments if you have a question of just wanna say you dug it. There'll be a lot to dig here, promise! -Britz