Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soul Thursday


Sometimes, when there is much malarkey abroad and blether in the air, a person needs some old soul in their ears to drown the nonsense out.

Roscoe Robinson - 'That's Enough' (1966)

[One of Paul Weller's Desert Island Discs, as it goes].

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Funkin' Friday


The Menahan Street Band are some Dap Kings with assorted groovy Daptone label mates - they're on, amongst other things, those records by Lee Fields, one of which you may have heard here before. I was going to post their single 'The Wolf', a slinky groover that was in the lovely batch of freebies that came to me straight outta Brooklyn this time last year courtesy Jon @ The Vinyl District, but I think this is even better.

If I was so-minded I'd say it was a 'sultry funk-soul workout perfectly pitched for a hot night in the city, with a boss break at 2:08'.

Some hip-hopper should sample it! Oh wait, some hip-hopper has.

Sweet.

Have a funky pagan festival of fertility.

The Menahan Street Band - 'Make The Road By Walking' (2008)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blog


25C forecast for London today but we're day tripping to the coast for some fresh sea air. It felt like the Mediterranean in June in Kew Gardens yesterday with only the bluebells, the many many bluebells, blowing April's cover.

On Monday I saw a Millennium Falcon in a skip in Chiswick and clearly if I was a half-decent blogger or tweeter I'd have taken a pic. I thought of fishing it out, but it had taken a direct hit to the left wing, so I let it be.

And I think we'll be seeing just how many Miyazaki films we can watch this week.

California Wives - 'Tokyo' (2011)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Reggae # 22


It's been a hard day's week.

But now I and I's on Easter Hols.

I want the finest wines available to humanity, and I want them here, and I want them now.

Big Youth - 'Cool Breeze' (1972)

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Polyphonic Spree


The story goes that the London musical crowd of 1567 was in a spin over Ecce beatam lucem, a choral work for 40 individual voices by Allessandro Striggio. At the time there was competition between English and Continental music publishers. The Duke of Norfolk issued a challenge to English musicians to better the Italian effort and the result was Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis.

Another version says that Tallis wrote the 40 part motet for the 40th birthday of Queen Elizabeth I in 1573. The choice of text, from the Book of Judith, may have been to flatter the Queen, comparing her to the heroic Judith.

But even that may not be the truth. The strictly Catholic Tallis may have written Spem to honour the Catholic Queen Mary, in defiance of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth.

Whatever the truth,
Spem is Alium is one of the treasures of Elizabethan English music. It is scored for 40 individual voices, divided into eight choirs of five voices each. The opening theme weaves its way through the eight choirs one by one, until all 40 voices come together in a climax at the 40th bar.

[Good Music Guide]

It is blow-your-socks-off good.

[davy h]

The Choir Of King's College, Cambridge (conductor: David Willcocks) - Tallis: 'Spem In Alium' (1965)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday (Kinda) Nugget


This sunny Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius pop beauty isn't, as far as I know, on any of the Nuggets records - but could be, easily.

It niftily completes our week of similar things (did it reach 22C in London today?) and is further notable for at least two reasons...

1. It culminates in an absolutely shameless rip-off of the 'God Only Knows' outro harmonies

2. Its composer went on to be rather Important and Marvellous.

*nips to fridge for cold one as narrative tension builds*

Strawberry Children - 'Love Years Coming' (1967)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Midweek Nugget


21 degrees in London today, who'da thunk it. Here's another Nugget, then...

'Mind Excursion' by New York's Tradewinds shows how even (presumably) straight groups co-opted the trend by utilizing a suggestive title that, in actuality, encouraged a positive physical adventure rather than a headtrip.

(sleeve notes)

Unable to fund a Grand Tour at present, I'm going to see if I can get any kind of 'head trip' going on some cheap Pinot from the supermarket.

The Tradewinds - 'Mind Excursion' (1966)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Monday Nugget


Seems at this time of year (in fact, to the day) I feel the urge to dig out the Nuggets comps.

I don't do this consciously.

There's just a Spring in the air and West Coast garage pop on the turntable connection.

'Girl I've Got News For You' easily sounds like it could have been a Top Ten smash by the Grassroots (and was in fact produced by Grassroots producer Steve Barri), but the performance is by Cherokee, aka The Robbs. The Robbs are best known for their 1966 regional hit 'Race With The Wind' and for being regulars on the 'Where The Action Is' TV show. As the 60s spilled into the 70s the group's name was changed to Cherokee. These days the Robb Brothers can be found operating Cherokee Studios, one of Hollywood's top recording complexes.

(from the original 1985 sleeve notes)

I love this!

Cherokee - 'Girl, I've Got News For You' (1971)

Friday, April 01, 2011

Yeah Baby


Those little uhs she puts in early on; the staccato rhythm; that picture on the gatefold sleeve. I found all this rather 'stimulating' when I was fifteen.

Mind, I lived in Paignton.

It didn't take much.

Diana Ross - 'Now That You're Gone' (1980)