Sunday, July 05, 2009

Digital Underground instrumentals

I love Digital Underground and you should too. I don't understand why they aren't more 
popular. If anyone is the musical progeny of George Clintonit is Shock G. The beats on Sex Packets are thicker, funkier and far more complex than almost anything else that came out then. Since then, the Underground has continued to innovate, musically going against the grain amid constantly shifting (and quickly outdated) hip hop trends.

So: for your enjoyment, here is a selection of instrumental tracks spanning the two decades of their existence from my (excessive) collection of DU 12 inches.

1. the return of the crazy one
2. oregano flow
3. wind me up
4. let's go
5. dflowstrumental
6. hip hop doll
7. glootius maximus
8. weesom hustlas
9. doowutachlike
10. no nose job
11. money (goldmoney)
12. we got more
13. hol me down up
14. rockin to the PM (raw fusion)
15. the mission
16. wussup wit the luv
17. your sun iza pimp

No Humpty Dance?!  No Packet Man? In putting this compilation together, I was trying to highlight some of their more obscure / hella difficult to find instrumentals in addition to some of the more popular classics. Some day, I suppose I'll put together a part two.

As you may have noticed, it's been forever since I've updated this thing. I've got a lot going on, but I'll try to be more consistent. Some folks have requested that I re-up some of the old links that are now dead (one cat even suggested he'd even pay me $20 if I did so). I'll get to it as soon as I can. And if you're serious about the money, I'll add a paypal donation button. 

Saturday, October 04, 2008

old-timey mysteries

Here we have a few songs I taped off the radio about 15 years ago. The station was one of Santa Cruz's public radio stations (probably either KUSP or KZSC). I can't remember the details but the show these songs came from obviously featured old pop 78's from the 20's & 30's. I'm familiar with versions of a few of these songs done by other people but don't know who is performing these (any information would be appreciated). That said, these are eight awesomely corny old tunes that I still enjoy including the hilarious "he fall down go boom.". The sound quality is very good, though there's some extremely minor FM static and being that these are old-ass records, surface noise. Enjoy.
here's the (probable) track titles:

Chew your Bubblegum - Ella Fitzgerald (?)
I Faw Down Go Boom - Irving Kaufman (?)
Thank your Father
Walkin' Around in the Rain
I Never Dreamt You'd Fall In Love with Me
a precious little thing called love
(and two instrumental sides)

any information would be appreciated!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

the John Zorn Radio Hour

if you enjoy bizarre / obnoxious music as I think you do, you'll probably dig this. It's an hour-long radio program hosted by avant-garde innovator / music nerd, John Zorn. Needless to say, it's an schizophrenically eclectic variety that's pretty listenable despite the "difficulty" of some of the tracks. Hearing Zorn's explanations of his music and his many influences is fun too. I'm assuming that this was sent out to radio stations to promote the first Naked City album as there's a few "bonus cuts" from it at the end. I can't help but wonder how many radio stations (if any) actually aired this. Not it makes for a swell podcast for your kids and your kooky new technology!

yeah, I know you do't like rapidshare but...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

the groove is still in the heart

even 20 years later, burning man chicks are still trying to emulate lady miss Kier's fashion senseTo this day Deee-lite's 1990 smash hit, "Groove is in the Heart" will always get the party started on the dance floor, yet most folks seem to think of the group that brought us this party classic as a one-hit wonder or a nostalgic "guilty pleasure." This couldn't be farther from the truth! World Clique, their debut LP, (an underrated masterpiece in my opinion) is an flawless blend of the late 80's/early 90's electronic dance music scene, DJing / samples, "real" instruments and unpretentiously fun & soulful vocals. Not a particularily innovative pop formula, you say? Perhaps, but it was a pretty new idea at the time and very few people have successfully pulled it off since then. Aside from say, Portishead and a few others, most attempts at this deceptively-simple hybrid-genre end up sounding like that horrible "smooth jazz" shit they play at the dentist with a generic breakbeat and some innocuous female vocals thrown on top of it. Meanwhile Deee-Lite's got Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Q-Tip and Bootsy Collins making sure everything's hella funky. Dig it, fool!

Unfortunately, their sound differed a bit too much from generic
house music to be fully embraced by hardcore ravers (still an accepted term back then) but also was perhaps too "techno" for the ever fickle more-mainstream audience. I think they may have also got in some legal trouble over some of the samples they used. Perhaps as a result, the two albums that followed were a little half-assed in comparison (and isn't it all too often that way!) but still sport some fun tracks. I highly recommend World Clique as well as their remix album, Sampladelic Relics & Dancefloor Oddities. If those aren't too far out for you, pick up the other two as well. And you needn't feel one bit "guilty" enjoying 'em.

ooh la la...
Now on to the music. From my (absurdly) extensive library of hella out-of-print Deee-Lite 12" singles I've put together this fairly assessable mix tape of alternate versions and b-sides for your enjoyment. And believe it or not, I'm a heterosexual man.

1. Frenchapella
2. What Is Love (Mr Aurel's Twisted Tribal Beats Dubapella)
3. Riding on through
4. Power Of Love (Sampla-Delic Remix)
5. How Do You (A Deee-Licious Pal Joey Dub)
6. Runaway (greyhound extended mix)
7. Power Of Love (Zanzibar Guitar Dub)
8. Pussycat Meow (The Meow Mix)
9. Groove Is In The Heart (jelly jam beats / meeting of the minds mix)

10. pal joey's shake your body to the beat mix
11. Build The Bridge (Jungle Groove Mix)
12. picnic in the summertime (guru mix)
13. elevator music / beatapella
14. Power Of Love (Pal Joey's Dub Mix)
15. rubber lover (stretched out extended mix)
16.Pussycat Meow (Murk Bonus Dub)

DJs: now is the time to dig through those old crates and pull out some of these near-forgotten gems! if you're too hip and/or embarrassed you could always "IDM" 'em up with some glitchy distortion or a buncha' envelope filters or whatever it is you kids do these days...

dance party!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Reading is a very fresh way to learn...

Run DMC's appearance on Reading Rainbow is one of my earliest memories of rap music besides the lame pseudo-hip hop parodies (such as rappin' Ronnie and the Bear's shufflin' crew) that were for some reason so prevalent in the early eighties. The episode of Reading Rainbow showcased musical storytelling traditions and also featured Pete Seeger and a dance troupe. But the highlight of the show was obviously the two original Run DMC videos which opened and closed the episode. As a child, I remember being baffled and intrigued by the minimalism of this music as well as the record scratching. First Run, D and Jay tell us about their childhoods over the My Adidas beat (yes, jay gets a verse too). Next is a short rhyme telling us about the joys of reading over Peter Piper. Classic!

As a bonus, here is run DMC's appearance on the pilot (and unfortunately only episode) of early 80's hip hop show Graffiti Rock. The Fellows perform a rousing renditions of Sucker MCs followed by a friendly "battle" with Special K & Kool Moe Dee (two-thirds of the Treacherous Three, who were apparently going to be the show's "house rappers") while Jam-Master Jay Juggles the Big Beat break.

Some years ago, I got a chance to see Run DMC perform at a free show in Brooklyn. While definitely past their prime, the three still put on one of the best concerts I've ever attended (especially compared to other hip hop shows which unfortunately are often pretty half-assed). Long live the kings!

RIP Jam-Master Jay.

reading rainbow 1 reading rainbow 2 the video graffiti rock the video

Friday, June 15, 2007

eddie & the witch doctor, etc.

Just a quick post with a few tunes for anyone who's interested. First we've got Eddie and the witch doctor from the Sauter-Finegan orchestra's fairly rare debut LP. With it's ample use of wild percussion, screeching flute and a anguished yell, it's definitely the most far-out track on the album.

Business, Business is a minimalist song (trap kit, chanted vocals & occasional sound effects) from a Muppets skit on the Ed Sullivan show which quickly portrays a revolution and it's inevitable corruption.

Next we have San Francisco's infamous Muppet cover band, the Dead Hensons playing the "banned" Sesame Street tune, I want a monster to be my friend which was removed presumably because of it's racy, potentially child-molester-ey overtones.

And since they have several band members in common with the Hensons, why not end with the Gomorran Social Aid & Pleasure Club? Their rendition of Your Feet's too Big is an outtake from the Gomorrans' wonderful debut album. Have fun!