I promised (threatened?) that I’d drop some Latin on you all for a future podcast and what better than to bring in We Like It Like That filmmaker Mathew Ramirez Warren to come in and talk boogaloo with me. We chatted about the inspiration behind the film, tracking down Latin music old-timers, and the importance of public-funded arts (save the NEA!) Then Mathew joined me in running down a playlist of some of our favorite boogaloo jams.
Just uploaded my latest episode of the Record Wheel; thanks for the positive feedback! I’m serious: I don’t do this stuff to hear myself talk so as long as folks out there enjoy it, I’m happy to do it.
I put up a poll on the Facebook group and folks wanted hip-hop, so that’s what I served up.
For those of you who subscribe to my (old) Sidebar podcast, you may (or shortly will) discover a new episode awaiting you, the first in nearly two years. One of my ambitions for this year is to produce more audio content and while I’m working on a more ambitious podcast idea, I decided, in the short run, to create something that was simple to throw together at home: an annotated playlist.
The conceit is simple: pick one of my iTunes thematic playlists, hit “random,” pluck out the first 10 songs and talk about them. I started with my “Favorites and Recent” playlist, which I use on my phone for either 1) recent digitizations or 2) favorite songs. As such, this particular spin of the wheel yielded some obvious hits but in the future, I’ll likely pick other playlists that are filled with songs off the beaten path.
This is an experiment. I’m basically taking what could have been a 10-song Soul Sides post and turned it into a podcast instead. Maybe people will prefer just reading the same content vs. listening to me yammer on about them. Send me some feedback and let me know your preference. If enough folks like it, I’d be happy to do more down the road.
Ohio Players: Ecstasy (Matthew Africa Edit) (Westbound, 1973/2012)
Jack McDuff: Shadow Of Your Smile (Atlantic, 1967)
Leo Sayer: Magdelena (Warner Bros, 1976)
Chi-Lites: Oh Girl (Brunswick, 1972)
Joni Mitchell: All I Want (Reprise, 1971)
The Ethics: I Want My Baby Back (Vent, 1969)
Francois Rauber: Improvisation (Unidisc, 197?)
The Relatives: More Time To Explain (Archway, 196?)
The Pharycde: She Said (Jay Dee Remix) (Delicious Vinyl, 1976)
The Hassles: 4 O’Clock in the Morning (United Artists, 1968)
Secret Santa: Christmas Medley
This is a reup of one of my favorite “wait, what?” holiday sonsgs: a medley of Christmas carols from a mid-70s LP out of Europe. I like how the announcer tries to explain, in very formal language, how the arranger here makes things funky.
I didn’t include this in my year-end wrap-up because, technically, it wasn’t a discover; I’ve known about it for years, it just took until now to finally track down a copy. As I’ve written in the past, I’m not a heavy library collector by any means but there are a few titles that I’ve chased throughout the years, none more so than this Tele Music title from Tonio Rubio. In terms of sheer bang-for-buck, I’d rank this as high as any library LP out there though for me personally, this is primary a 2.5 tracker.1
“Bass In Action No. 1” is on the short list of “songs that sounded like a hip-hop beat 15-20 years ahead of time.” I mean…c’mon: the slow, lumbering bass line, the drifting electric piano, the way the breakbeat patiently waits to pop in around the one minute mark. It’s straight up proto-trip-hop.
Edit: James Burgos made a great observation: “That track reminds me of [Cannonball Adderley’s] “Hummin‘.” The Rhodes seems like it even quotes some of the horn phrasing.” I think he’s 100% correct; this sounds like a riff on “Hummin.'”
“Latin Leitmotif” is equally delicious, least of all for its phasing effects and that killer montuno that’s played on…actually, I’m not sure what the hell it’s played on. Piano and bass in tandem? (My wife describes it as “a dirty piano” and that works for me). This track is so fun and funky, it makes you wonder what the hell Rubio and the Tele Music crew were thinking (or smoking) when they sat down to tape it.
Like I said, took me years to track down a copy but all good things to those who…
The half track is for “Bass In Action No. 2” which is very similar to “No. 1” except for the added scat singing. ↩