Earwaves: Young Girls In Mini-Skirts
From S/T (Surrend, 1984)
Earwaves was a short-lived S.F. group that grew out of another short-lived S.F. band: C.P. Salt; I got interested in both because half their personnel was Chinese American including “Hugh Dong” (yeah, I know what you’re thinking). C.P. Salt had more of a boogie feel but as you can hear here, Earwaves had more of a funky new wave style, especially in those crazy synths.
Mod organ + Brazilian jazz = a winning combination. I don’t know a ton about this Argentinian bandleader but of the two LPs I know, this one is more Brazilian flavored and the other is more Afro-Latin (including a pair of decent boogaloo songs). I especially love the opening bars of “Bossa-a-Go-Go” – so ’60s, so slick.
Milton Floyd: I’m a Shadow
From 7″ (Rim, 1973)
I first heard this on Product Placement; perfect intro song for DJ Shadow. It does open beautifully and while Floyd sounds decent enough, don’t you wish there was a backup singer-only version? (I do).
Debbie Taylor: Just Don’t Pay
From 7″ (Arista, 1975)
This is one of those perfect crossover/proto-disco cuts and surprisingly, it’s one of the last singles Taylor ever put out, capping a modest (but largely slept-on) career that had begun a decade earlier.
The Baby Dolls: Please Don’t Rush Me
From 7 (Gamble, 1967)
Lesser-known Gamble release featuring the Baby Dolls, a girl group that I couldn’t find much on at all. I’m assuming they’re not the same duo that sang doo wop and if that’s the case, these Baby Dolls were one-and-done with this single.
The Off-Beats: Doodlum
From 7″ (Guyden, 1964)
I came across this 7″ because it has one of the early versions of Richard Berry’s “Have Love, Will Travel” (this is before it got the garage makeover) but it’s the flip side that struck me even more, especially with those electric keys (Wurlitzer?) and groovin’ jump blues rhythm. Barely 90 seconds long but if it’s short, it’s also damn sweet.
King Floyd: Walkin’ and Thinkin’
From 7″ (Original Sound, 1965)
I was surprised to come across this in a Minneapolis record store; I had never seen a King Floyd release this early and as Original Sound was a label I associated with L.A. (rather than anywhere near Floyd’s home state of Louisiana), that was also surprising. My guess is that the Original Sound release was a second issue for greater distribution but either way, this single would have been a few years before he struck it big with “Groove Me.” Great Southern soul sound on here with those horns; reminded me of a Hi Records production .
Johnny Scott: I’m Not Tired Yet
From 7″ (Twain, 196?)
Would this song sound better with better fidelity? Maybe. Is it pretty damn good in its current, some-dude’s-basement-studio version? Oh my, my yes.
Camp Lo: Coolie High (Paradise Remix)
From 7″ (Profile, 1996)
Promo-only 12″ release, deaded from going full commercial by the inability to clear the MJ sample. Pity – love how languid the remix is, honoring the feel of the original track but giving it an actual remix and not just a variation-on.