WILLIAM BELL: JUST HOW GOOD LOVE CAN BE

3819249

William Bell: I’ll Show You (Stax, 1963, 7″)

Memphis soul.

Nothing by Bell is going to top “I Forgot To Be Your Lover” but “I’ll Show You” comes in a close second. I first heard this on the Complete Stax/Volt anthology and out of 100+ songs, it was one of the few that I repeatedly came back to again and again. The guitars…the guitars…

365 Days of Soul, #26

DESTINATION UNLIMITED: TRUE SOUL

R 1313902 1290034076 jpeg

Destination Unlimited: It’s Gonna Be Alright (True Soul, 1978, Right Track )

Soul/funk album out of Arkansas(?).

Was this the only full-length ever released on True Soul? The label’s best-known for a series of funk 7″s from the ’70s, including by Thomas East, and Now-Again created a two volume set from their releases. In any case, Destination Unlimited feels a bit left-field for the label, possibly because their album dropped considerably later than most of the singles did. Still a great sound though, especially on this slow burning instrumental.

365 Days of Soul, #25

THE LARKS: JERKING OFF A GOOD THING

R 2606142 1294580952 jpeg

The Larks: Soul Jerk (Money, 1965, The Jerk)

R&B album out of Los Angeles.

Whatever happened to albums built around a single hit dance? The Larks minted a national smash with “The Jerk” and decided to capitalize on it by recording almost an entire LP of “Jerk” remakes. It’s not even obvious that “Soul Jerk” is a different song since the two sound so similar but hey, since we’re counting down 365 days of soul, I’m going with this “just because.”

365 Days of Soul, #24

KID GUSTO: LATIN REMIX HUNTER

Gusto

Kid Gusto: Safari Salvaje (BSTRD Boots, 2011, 12″)

Latin remixes.

Oops. Kid Gusto literally handed a copy of this 12″ to me three years ago and I meant – really I did! – to give it some love back then. Better late than, uh, never? And the thing is: the remixes on this 12: include some of my favorite Latin dance tracks, including a remix of Afrosound’s “Tiro Al Blanco” but “Safari Salvaje” is all-timer for me. Gusto doesn’t even need to do a ton here to juice it up – it’s already a great song to begin with – but instead, just needs to give it these subtle touch-ups to push it even further.

23/365

MY FAVORITE STORIES OF 2014

DoNotSell 243x366

Every so often, I update my online portfolio to keep track of my music/cultural criticism and journalism. I finally updated it for 2014 and in doing so, I briefly revisited some of the stories from the year that I’m most proud of. Thought I’d share these in case you missed them the first time around.

Gimme The Beat (Box): The Journey Of The Drum Machine
(Story)
For NPR’s Morning Edition (January 17, 2014)

The Internet and the R&B Upgrade
(Profile of The Internet)
For KCET’s Artbound (April 7, 2014)

The Secret To This Melt-In-Your-Mouth Pork Is In The (Soy) Sauce
(Found Recipes story)
For NPR’s All Things Considered (September 18, 2014)

Records Don’t Love You Back: In Search of Lost 78s
(Book Review of Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records)
For L.A. Review of Books (October 15, 2014)