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Preview: Captain's Crate

Captain's Crate

Rare, funky, and soulful music from the treasure trove of Captain Planet (& his bro).

Published: Wed, 07 Jan 2009 14:34:19 -0500

Last Build Date: Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:32:50 -0500

Copyright: Copyright 2009

Death & Rebirth - Mixtape Riot

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:32:50 -0500


Shutting things down

It's been a great run. While the rest of the site has dwindled and decayed, Cap & Murph kept things alive in the Crate. But like all good things, we've decided to finally let this site settle into a proper death. The design is dear to us, but is horribly outdated along with the numerous problems we've had running on Movable Type.

But Fear Not!

With death there is also rebirth! We have been working furiously behind the scenes and the entire Captain's Crate will now be archived at our new music site - Mixtape Riot. Furthermore, while Captain Planet, Murphy's Law, and O-Dub will continue to post some of the great stuff they've always done, we will be exploring a ton of other types of music as well with new contributors and new life-blood. The Cap' and his bro are off gallivanting around till the end of January (hopefully digging up some great music to share), but we'll have plenty going on at our new site that we hope you'll enjoy. So...

Update your Links!

Website -
RSS Feed -

We hope to see you soon!

TOP TEN (kinda)

Tue, 30 Dec 2008 11:33:59 -0500


"Passport" radio broadcast from 12/29/08 - special BEST OF 2008 edition
Passport airs every Monday night on 89.1 FM WNYU

This is really not a top ten, and it doesn't even cover half of my favorite albums of the year, but it does cover just about every one of my favorite records that got play on Passport this past year. Looking over the blog it's easy to tell that my tastes are much more varied than what's presented on the show - I would not, for example drop Kanye or even Mayer Hawthorne (since the station is all about focused programming). And the truth is, after 6 years of hosting and DJ-ing my Monday night program, I feel I'm coming much closer to saying goodbye to the show, especially now that I have a co-host I've been working with who's going to keep it alive after I move on. However, since this year has been a good one on the program- starting off back in January with guest appearances from both Chico Mann and Ticklah- I wanted my BEST OF 2008 to highlight all the freaky, funky, global gems that I get to exercise out of my system each and every Monday. I say exersice, because I'm really not able to play too many of these cuts when I DJ out and about- your average club-goer is still not ready for the psychedelic Cumbias that I fiend. So here's the playlist from last night's show- I've thrown some honorable mentions at the bottom that didn't make it into the show due to time restraints...

Artist - "Song Title" - Album Name - (Record Label)

Brownout "Barretta" Homenaje (Freestyle)
Karl Hector and The Malcouns "Toure Samar" Sahara Swing (Now Again)
Gabo Brown & Orchestre Poly-Rythmo "It's A Vanity" African Scream Contest (Analog Africa)
Curumin "Compacto" JapanPopShow (Adrenaline)
Chicha Libre "Sonido Amazonico" Sonido Amazonico (Barbes)
Sonora Casino "Astronautas A Mercurio" Obsession (Bully)
Bio Ritmo "Bionic Boogaloo" Bionico (Locutor)
Grupo Fantasma "Se Te Mira" Sonidos Gold (Aire Sol)
Bronx River Parkway "Agua Con Sal" San Sebastian 152 (Truth & Soul)
Keziah Jones "Pimpin'" Nigerian Wood (Warner Bros)
Jackson Conti "Sao Paulo Nights" Sujinho (Mochilla)
Chico Mann "Dilo Como Yo" Analogue Drift (Unreleased)

honorable mentions:

V/A - The entire NIGERIA SPECIAL series on Soundway
V/A - Calypsoul
V/A - Bachata Roja
V/A - The Roots Of Chicha
Tito Puente - The Complete 78's
Joe Bataan - Under The Streetlamps
Seun Kuti - Seun Kuti + Egypt 80
Femi Kuti - Day By Day

RIP Adam Nation-Ames

Tue, 23 Dec 2008 00:17:27 -0500


The Grateful Dead : Brokedown Palace
taken from the album American Beauty on Warner Bros. (1970)

Charles Wilder : Big Heart (rough draft, don't hate!)
a song for my bro.

Been a crazy week. I heard the moon is abnormally close to Earth right now, perhaps that's a part of it. Less than a day after spending my first ever night in jail (story for another day), I heard the shocking news that one of my oldest and best friends (a true brother to me) had died in a car accident.

Adam and I learned how to skateboard together, learned how to get into trouble together, made our first cross-country road trip together when I had just gotten my license... So many of my most memorable experiences were with him. When I was 12 and he was 13, we were in a show together where we shared the part of the Donkey. One of us as the head, the other as the butt (which meant bending down holding onto the other dude's waist for an ungodly period of time), and we'd switch off positions. This was all in the pursuit of chasing cute girls mind you. And we even got our first girlfriends together- the scheme worked! I remember sharing a couch watching some c-grade horror film and making out with our respective adolescent girls side-by-side, taking cues out of the corners of my eyes so I'd know when to proceed to the next step- GLORIOUS 2ND BASE!

I could go on for way too long about how much of who I am was shaped by him, but since none of you knew him, I won't. In addition to being a serious lover of hip hop, dude was a Deadhead, as are many good people up here in the New England woods where I'm originally from. This particular Dead song was sung by a long haired hippie on guitar, who was accompanied by another on Djembe, at the beautiful service I attended this morning in his honor. I love you bro and you'll be with me for all the rest of my days on this Earth.

Makonde Swahili Disco Funk

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 12:24:06 -0500


Makonde : Soseme Makonde & Manzara
taken from the 12" single on EMI (1977)

Haven't been bringing out too many rares lately, but not because I've had any real trouble stumbling upon them. Even with my wallet as empty as it has been these past couple months, I've still managed to pull some pretty crazy finds. I've been pushing myself to stay out of record stores as much as possible, but when I pass someone standing on the sidewalk in the cold behind a underappreciated crate- I feel almost an obligation to pull out enough money to get them a cup of soup and a hot coffee (even if it ends up going towards a lil fire water in the end).

That brings us to this latest discovery of Swahili disco funk from '77. The cover was beat to hell which is probably why other people overlooked it, but the record (brilliant BLUE VINYL with a LEOPARD PRINT LABEL!) was kept in another sleeve and remained in great condition. Dropping the needle on side A was like opening the gate to King Kong's beastly lair. Deranged warbling mumbles and pounding drums are soon met with a pulsing bass, a simple chant, and then what sounds like a drunken Moog synth doing the running man. This is exactly the type of track that first inspired me to start this blog.

The B side, perhaps equally as incendiary, sounds almost like the Kenyan version of The Commodores "Machine Gun", but with fatter drum breaks. Turns out Kon & Amir unearthed this monster before me and even featured it on their recent Kings Of Digging CD for the BBE label- makes me feel pretty lucky about turning this one up. They did a nice little edit on their CD which extended the drum breaks, but I figured I'd give you both tracks unedited so you'll have to practice your Serato juggling skills if you want to keep the break rolling.


Fri, 12 Dec 2008 22:41:55 -0500

Bennet, Roger, and Josh Kun. And You Shall Know Us By the Trail of Our Vinyl (Crown, 2008)I should have blogged about this prior to last night, when there was an event and book signing in Santa Monica around the above book but hey, you still have a few days to Hanukkah/Xmas/Kwanzaa to cop this tome. I should first include the following disclaimer: Josh Kun, one of the co-authors, is one of my mentors and a good friend and I also appear in the book, having contribute a short essay on David Axelrod's The Auction (see below). That conflict-of-interest alert aside, here's some thoughts on this.Trail of Our Vinyl is a different kind of album cover book. On the surface, it would seem to share much in common with books like Cocinando! or The Book of Hip Hop Cover Art - hundreds of album covers, interspersed with contextual essays. However, the point of divergence comes with the core purpose of the book, revealed in its subtitle: "The Jewish Past as Told by the Records We Have Loved and Lost." This book is all about collective memories as encoded in records and thus the range of themes are sprawling and complex (like memories are). In essence, this is less a book about music than it is a book about Jewish American identity as told through music, and more specifically, made material in the form of LPs and their evocative covers. Thematically then, the book has a very loose chronological organization but is far more based around particular areas of Jewish-ness, ranging from "Men's Warehouse: The Changing Sartorial Styles of the Great Cantors" to "Go Down Moses: The Music of Black-Jewish Relations" to "The Sound of Suffering: Holocaust, Soviet Jewry, and Martyrdom on Vinyl" to "Stop Singing Our Songs: Non-Jewish Masters of the Jewish Melody." Each accompanying essay is less about the album covers depicted after and more about discussing slices of Jewish American history and/or cultural/community dynamics, all "documented" by the 400 or so album covers included therein. It's a level of thought and engagement that's considerably more sophisticated - but still quite readable - compared to similar books which tend to be more about chronicling music genres rather than the communities behind them. However, like many album cover books, there isn't as much discussion about album covers. The artwork is the obvious visual draw but though we get a few in-depth essays about specific albums or artists (such as what I contributed), a lot of these images lack context and that's one thing I personally have always wanted more of - a discussion about how artists (or their labels) choose certain images or styles (this is something, for example, the Blue Note books do better, but again, not really on an LP by LP basis.The grand thing about our internet age though is that the limitations a book places on that kind of in-depth discussions can be, instead, moved online and indeed, on the Trail of Our Vinyl blog, Bennett and Kun add those deeper anecdotes. (Be sure to check out the interview with Johnny Yune, Koraen American performer of Ose Shalom fame.As you may guess, my two favorite sections were about cross-cultural adventures in Jewish music, namely the chapters on Black-Jewish relations and "Me Llamo Steinberg: The Jewish Latin Craze." Part of me is just drawn to the long-standing kind of inter-ethnic/racial dialogues that are created through music and certainly, for Jewish American musicians, there is no shortage of examples to point to. Orchestra Harlow: Horsin' UpFrom Presenta A Ismael Miranda (Fania, 1968)Harvey Averne: You're No GoodFrom Viva Soul Atlantic, 1968)David Axelrod: The AuctionFrom The Auction (Decca, 1972)We start with the El Judio Maravilloso, the "marvelous jew" Larry Harlow whom I wrote about a few months back. Undoubtedly the most influential Latin artist of Jewish descent in the NY Latin scene of the '60s and '70s, Harlow seemed to be one of those born-again Puerto Ricans who were such a vital part of the Nuyorican Lat[...]


Fri, 12 Dec 2008 22:39:09 -0500

Perhaps the only thing as humbling as incredible music are people who share incredible music. That's why I'm always thankful that people like Matthew Africa have gotten into blogging - his "I Wish You Would" is a must-read; if you're not looking at his site at least as often as you check this one, you're missing out. After all, Matthew is dropping that AAA grade butter tracks like Michael Sardaby's "Welcome New Worth" and Frankie Beverly and the Butlers' "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" on the regular. If folks knew how hard it is to come by songs like that, you'd understand where the humbling comes in. Along these lines: a truly, devastatingly humbling song is what some call face-melters:It requires more of a song than to be merely "good" to qualify as a face-melter. It has to be something so unexpectedly awesome that its inherent greatness is enough to slough flesh off your skull (metaphorically speaking). Here's a trio of my favorites: Black Rock: Yeah YeahFrom 7" (Selectohits, 197?)Los Amaya: Caramelo A KiloFrom 7" (Sabor, 1972)New Hope: GodofallofusFrom Godofallofus (Light, 197?). Also on Strange Breaks and Mr. Thing.Most people were introduced to Black Rock's thunderous "Yeah Yeah" thanks to the now-legendary Chains and Black Exhaust mix-CD from 2002 and I had been put up on it a couple years earlier by DJ Om. The face-melt part comes partly from how the song opens so enigmatically, with its deep, booming "Blaaaaaaaack Rooooooooock" and those strings that build towards the unexpected hammer drop of piano, guitar and drums that come crashing in at about 30 seconds in. Hold ya head! This is still one of the best funk instrumentals I've ever heard (in fact, if you got ones that top it, comment please and share the wealth of knowledge)."Caramelo A Kilo" is a bit of flamenco funk from a pair of Barcelona brothers. I can't quite tell if "Caramelo A Kilo's" origins are Spanish or Afro-Cuban (I'm inclined to say the latter) but regardless, Los Amaya give the song the rumba catalana make-over with those wicked gypsy guitars, heavy bongo beats and a swinging set of vocals: the sonic embodiment of caliente. Way too short at less than two minutes!As for "Godofallofus"...*whistle* I've heard plenty of excellent gospel funk but New Hope finds some next level with a song that sounds like it was made for hip-hop use, just 30 years ahead of time. Those drums! That tuba! Those horns! Those crazy, Hair-era arrangements and ARP synths. As DJ Format and Mr. Thing knew to call it: Holy. Sh--. This whole song is one long mind-blower. (Props to Young Einstein for the hook-up on this LP). You feel the heat yet? [...]


Wed, 10 Dec 2008 03:28:55 -0500

Mayer Hawthorne and the County: Just Ain't Gonna Work Out
From 7" (Stonesthrow, 2008)

Ok, let's go through the checklist of this debut 7" single by Stonesthrow's newest artist:

White soul singer who likes to croon falsetto? Check.
"Tramp" drums underneath a sublimely sweet ballad? Check.
A heart-shaped 7"? Check.

So what you waitin' for? Cop this.


Wed, 10 Dec 2008 03:27:41 -0500

Jim Friedman: Love Makes It BeautifulFrom Hungry (JF Records, 197?)Paul Mitchell Trio: Don't Let Me Be Lonely TonightPaul Mitchell Trio: Now That I Know What Loneliness IsFrom Another Way to Feel(Dantes Down the Hatch, 1973)Spirit: The Other SongFrom Son of Spirit (Mercury, 1975)It's not like I have stacks of records, littering the floor or anything but I don't always organize my records that well and inevitably, that means rediscovering things from my stacks that I had forgotten about. I stumbled back across these three LPs last night while I was getting stuff ready to sell and it reminded me of how nicely random some records can be. Take the Jim Friedman LP for example - a really obscure (perhaps for good reason) private press jazz album that I last wrote about four years ago (damn, I've been doing this site for a minute - peep the old design!) when I was writing about his song "Aubrey." This is what I had to say about Friedman:"one of those anomalous albums by an anomalous artist that is partly why I love records. Friedman's not much of a warbler and elsewhere on this private press release, his singing is rather terrible but on "Aubrey," it all comes together. It's not like his voice magically turns from schlock to Sinatra but I just kind of feel him on this one, you know?"And indeed, coming back to the album after, well, four years, I dropped the needle on another song, the funky "Love Makes It Beautiful." It's still kind of clunky, he still can't sing but this song has tons of charm and nice musical touches. The Paul Mitchell Trio LP is another private press jazz LP - Mitchell was the long, long, long-time resident player at Dantes Down the Hatch in Atlanta (alas, he passed in 2000). He recorded in 1966 for Verve and it's rather remarkable that we was able to do so again (this time for Dantes' own label) seven years later, with the same players: Layman Jackson on bass and Allen Murphy on drums. The A-side starts off well with an instrumental cover of James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" (I am not too proud to admit: I dig this tune - go Taylor!) but for whatever reason, I had never bothered to really listen to the flipside where I discovered that Murphy wasn't just the drummer - he was also the band's vocalist and sings on several of the songs including this great Mitchell-original ballad, "Now That I Know What Loneliness Is." (The arrangement reminds of George Jackson's "Aretha, Sing One For Me" for some reason). Last but not least, I had this Spirit LP in my "sell" pile only to realize that it wasn't a spare so I put it back in my stacks. "The Other Song" is what you'd want all druggy, psych-influenced rock to sound like - dreamy yet with that hard drum beat anchoring things down. I'm surprised no rappers have flipped this (or have they?) You get a contact high just from listening to it. [...]


Wed, 10 Dec 2008 03:26:54 -0500

Jared Boxx, one of the nicest record dudes east of the Mississippi, has just put together an awesome "Soul Santa" podcast mix for Daptone.

    1. Jing Jing A Ling ~ Honey and the Bees (Chess)
    2. Merry Christmas, Baby ~ Otis Redding (Atco)
    3. This Christmas~ Donny Hathaway (Atco)
    4. Stevie Wonder Drop (Motown)
    5. Snowflakes~ Betty Lloyd (Thomas)
    6. What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas? ~ The Emotions (Volt)
    7. The Gift of Giving ~ Bill Withers (Sussex)
    8. Eddie Kendricks drop (Motown)
    9. Soul Santa~ Funk Machine (Creative Funk)
    10. Silent Night Chant~ Rotary Connection (Cadet Concept)
    11. Christmas in Vietnam~ Private Charles Bowen (Rojac)
    12. Let's Make This Christmas mean Something This Year ~ James Brown (King)
    13. Without The One You Love ~ The O'Jays (Neptune)
    14. Gwendolyn Berry (The Sisters Love) Drop
    15. Let's Get It Together This Christmas ~ Harvey Averne Band (Fania)
    16. Gee Whiz, It's Christmas ~ Carla Thomas (Atlantic)
    17. Back Door Santa~ Clarence Carter (Atlantic)
    18. I Wanna Spend Christmas With You ~ Lowell Fulsom (Kent)
    19. Mr. Santa Claus (Bring Me My Baby)~ Nathaniel Mayer (Munster)
    20. It's That Time of the Year ~ The Manhattans (Starfire)
    21. Santa's Got A Bag of Soul ~ The Soul Saints Orch. (Jazzman)
    22. Pull My Sled ~ Raindeer Runners (Soul Fire)
    23. Merry Christmas Baby ~ Charles Brown & Johnny Moore's 3 Blazers (Hollywood)
    24. Smokey Robinson Drop

Tastier than spiked egg nog.

I'm Always Worried 'Bout The Wrong Thing...

Tue, 09 Dec 2008 10:36:54 -0500

Kanye West feat. Mr. Hudson: Paranoid Taken from the album 808s and Heartbreak on GOOD (2008) Mr Hudson & The Library: Too Late Too Late and Bread & Roses and Ask The DJ and 2x2 Taken from the album Tale Of Two Cities soon-to-be-released on GOOD I've finally accepted things as they are. It's taken me four albums and nearly five years, but I get it now. Kanye West understands music better than we do. How else can you explain the fact that every time he drops an album, he sends the whole of the critical world into an existential crisis about "where rap music is" (or drop the "rap" and let's talk about music wholesale); they lambast his cheeky sound, his would-be populist approach, the hubris that he seems to wear just barely under the surface of his Prada. He's out of touch. He's out of his mind. "Kanye's finally gone too far," they say. "This time, he missed." And then a funny thing happens: two weeks, two months, two years later we're still bumping those very same songs deemed duds by those in the know. Somehow the music doesn't stagnate. Tracks off College Dropout still fill headphones from Tokyo to Toronto. A witty line dropped on Late Registration is still being quoted years after the fact. And perhaps most tellingly of all--the true test of what the masses crave at their most unguarded--DJ's can still invariably pack a dancefloor with at least half a dozen cuts off of any single one of his albums. WHO ELSE DOES THAT? Now. All that said, one of the things I've always appreciated in particular about Mr. West is that he not only challenges us, but that he challenges himself. How? By nurturing and keeping company with tremendous musical talent. Dude gets the best guest spots in the game--collabos that look like pure gimmick on paper but down the road leave folks scratching their heads for the pure genius of it. At the level of a Kanye West, I reckon it's not terribly hard to get Jay-Z in the studio to record a verse. Or Madonna. Or Justin Timberlake. The list goes on. (Hell, I think Timbaland actually created a List). And Yeezy could do it, I'm sure. And he'd still sell a grip of records. Every song an all-star affair with the kind of big name artillery that would make Quincy Jones shudder. But Kanye, for all the critical bellyaching he has engendered by not sticking to a "gameplan", understands something that other superstars these days just don't seem to get: it's not the shine of the name, it's the scope of their talent; it's not about label politics, but the real, intangible chemistry between artists that makes for innovative collaboration. Sure he'll put Lil' Wayne on a track (he's gotta be on every album somewhere, as a rule), but he'll also introduce you to Lupe. He'll tap T-Pain (see Lil' Wayne), but also remind you that Dwele is a serious songwriting force. Kanye West's music is as much the showcase of an expert recruiter as it is the singular vision of music maven. His work surprises us because he knows how to assemble a team around him whose composite parts--incredibly diverse and rich in talent--measure up to a greater whole than Kanye West. And talent is the key. He gets the best in the Hip Hop game (the list is long), the best in Dance music (Daft Punk), in Alternative Rock (Coldplay) or, as in his latest effort, pure, unadulterated Pop... And this, friends, is where Mr. Hudson comes in. I actually stumbled upon this album while living in South Africa last year, where I was starved for music and only had sporadic access to new albums. This was one such disc that really floated my proverbial boat. An unadorned gem; a highly likeable record; a rarity these days. The London/Birmingham based quintet, Mr Hudson and The Library dropped Tale of Two Cities in March of last year and made some noise in the UK but never really arrived stateside. Maybe it's bec[...]

Decompression Session

Mon, 01 Dec 2008 11:23:44 -0500


Gabor Szabo & The California Dreamers : San Franciscan Nights
taken from the album Wind Sky & Diamonds on Impulse (1967)

The Dazz Band / The Whitfield Brothers : Let It Whip (B.Cause Remix)
taken from the mix Playcrater Too

Remember how a couple weeks ago I said I'd be happy to open for Kraak & Smaak anytime? Well, things are moving really quickly right now. The Beatards got asked last minute to open for them at their 2 west coast shows (LA & SF) and of course we agreed- scrambling to put together whatever other gigs we could to make the whole trip worthwhile. We randomly caught the same plane as Sean Kingston and had a nice little rap session at 6am in JFK (big shout to a very chill kid whose songs I love). The shows were all good times, with successively growing crowds each night, ending on the sold out bash last Monday at The Roxy (check The Beatards site for a more thorough breakdown with some nice video clips).

Hung around in LA for the rest of Thanksgiving week with lil broski Murphy, and had a good time DJ-ing BOOGALOO[LA] with him and O-Dub. Played many a game of Risk and went to a couple other fun parties while I was out there.

So now I'm decompressing with some very Cali sounds. Been wanting this OG from Gabor Szabo since hearing People Under The Stairs flip it into a track back in like, 2000? And what DJ reps the Bay harder, and better, than the man B.Cause! I recently met him through my homie Doc Delay here in Brooklyn and he passed me a copy of his new mix Playcrater Too. SO GOOD. Don't sleep on this 100% consistent, smooth flowing, and deeply soulful mash-up mix from one of the Bay Area's hardest hustling funkateers - COP IT FROM HIS MYSPACE.

Speaking of Alice...

Mon, 17 Nov 2008 13:15:46 -0500

(image) (image)

Alice Russell : Got The Hunger?
taken from the album Pot Of Gold on Six Degrees (2008)

J Boogie's Dubtronic Science (ft. Ohmega Watts & Ragen Fykes) : 1.4.U
taken from the album Soul Vibraitons on Om (2008)

Friday I caught a really fun show put on by the Giant Step family at Hiro Ballroom: Alice Russell, Taylor McFerrin + J-Boogie. Coming from my bay area background, it's essential to get my fill of unpretentious, down-to-earth soul every once in a while. Even though I missed Taylor's set, I still managed to get my fix. Having shared the stage with Ms. Russell less than a year ago at a tiny venue in the Lower East Side, it was very encouraging to see her with a full band (the talented TM Juke on guitar) getting lots of love from a much bigger crowd. And her new songs are not to be slept on! At the end of "Hunger" she brought the song into some double-time foot stomping action ala The Isley Brothers' "Shout".

I've been listening to J-Boogie's latest CD too- letting my inner headwrap hippie get blissed out. "Patchouli Soul" perhaps? Like I said, I've been a fan of his jazzy-retro-conscious sound for years, and I'm glad he's still doing it, despite the total lack of play that this sound gets (at least in NY). And can anyone complain when Mr. Vigs gets on the talkbox? J-Boogie's got a handful of really hot remixes floating around right now as well, but you'll have to ask your local DJ for the connect since he's specifically requested "no sharing".

A Day of Downloading...

Wed, 12 Nov 2008 13:03:58 -0500

(image) (image)
(image) (image)

Mr. Scruff: Music Takes Me Up
Taken from the album Ninja Tuna on Ninja Tune (2008)

Allen Toussaint: Worldwide and Last Train
Taken from the album Southern Nights on Reprise (1975)

Rodriguez: Only Good For Conversation and Sugar Man
Taken from the album Cold Fact on Sussex (1970) and re-issued on Light In the Attic (2008)

Barbara Mason: Another Man and Jake & Jody: She Freaks
Taken from the album Uptown Soul, Downtown Funk on Perpetual (2007)

BONUS: M.I.A.: Paper Poppa (Murphy's Mix)
Courtesy of Yours Truly

Spent the day yesterday geeking around on the worldwide web. These were some of the fruits of my labors.

Quickly (because I'm running out the door):

--Mr. Scruff rules. Alice Russell rules. This song rules.

--Allen Toussaint hopefully needs little introduction. (Have you ever heard of Funk Music?) But these later efforts of his call to mind more Steely Dan than the Meters. And I'll be damned it don't make my heart flutter. (Also, a little FYI: Jean Grae sampled "Worldwide" pretty nicely on her first album. Just so you know.)

--Kinda sounds like Donavan? Kind sounds like Dylan? But who's that at the mixing boards? Dennis F'ing Coffey. This record is awesome. Get it.

--Amazing Mod-Soul comp that also boasts perhaps my favorite tune of this genre/era, Hipnotic's "Are You Lonely?". I didn't post it because I figured y'all should prolly buy the whole darn thing. Worth the bucks if you enjoy music/dancing/sex. (Another FYI--this one a bit more obvious: Sean Puffy P. Diddy Puff Daddy Combs say "thank you" to Barbara Mason.)

--Lastly. I know everybody's tired of it already, but a friend of mine asked me to give the most played out song of the year a latenight re-work for a piece she's choreographing. This is what happened....

And now look what happened: I'm LATE!

Here's To Tomorrow!

Tue, 11 Nov 2008 00:29:40 -0500

Kraak & Smaak : Ain't Gonna Take It No More & Squeeze Me taken from the album Plastic People on Jalapeno (2008) The Hot 8 Brass Band : Get Up (Diesler Remix) taken from the album The Hot 8 Brass Band Remixed on TruThoughts (2008) Aether : Orfeu Negro taken from the album Artifacts on Exponential (2008) Nujabes : A Day By Atmosphere Supreme & The Final View taken from the album on (2003) I've never felt like such a patriot- and I'm from New England! It's hard not to be excited about this latest twist in American history. Recognizing the importance of today, just taking a second to process that this moment is one that will be written about, that we can proudly remember to our grandkids, has me feeling kinda tingly. I don't need to get too cheesy and gushy, but I ain't afraid to admit that I had tears in my eyes on Tuesday. Newly imbued with pride in today and hope for tomorrow, I'm sharing some new music- funky house to keep us moving and mellowed out headnodders for contemplative train rides. On Saturday I rocked a show with my group The Beatards opening for Kraak & Smaak and I was reminded just how funky these Dutchmen are! The stage show included a psychedelic LCD light extravaganza, a Moog keytar, soulful vocalists and lots of jumping from the crowd. When they started chanting "I'm mad as hell and I ain't gonna take it no more!" people were getting particularly rowdy. We'd be happy to open for them anytime! And yeah, I guess I forgot to mention here in the Crate, but it was the release party for our brand new Big Bad Beat EP - which really should get its own post. NEVER enough time! Moving on... a crowd riling, call to hand clapping produced by the U.K.'s Diesler. I've seen The Hot 8 do their thing (yes, the same NOLA horn troupe known for their classic version of "Sexual Healing"), and I thing this track definitely captures the live energy while giving it that little extra boost that helps build necessary anticipation on the dancefloor. I think on the bigger scale too, IT'S ABOUT TO GO DOWN! I was real pleased by this new album from producer/graphic designer Aether, who I was completely unfamiliar with. Fans of Flying Lotus and other abstract downtempo sounds should check for this one. A moody remake of a song I recognize from the Babel soundtrack also stands out to me as being perfect journal writing ambiance. These jazzy beats from Japanese beatmaker Nujabes aren't quite as new, but they're new to me and they've been sounding quite appropriate for Autumn in the city- Cali heads, I'm sorry, you just won't get it. Also, hearing a simple remix of Yusef Lateef's "Love Theme from Spartacus" ("The Final View") gets a big 2 thumbs up from me. This was the record I always used to listen to lying in bed with my first girlfriend ever in the fall of '98! I can't believe it's been 10 years since then. Sixteen doesn't seem so far away listening to this now, and why be nostalgic when today is looking so good?[...]


Wed, 05 Nov 2008 15:06:14 -0500