GRAB BAG: MARCH 2014

R 1131489 1260485927

Quick opening note: not to sound like a broken record (pun intended) but the vinyl game is always humbling. No matter how many records you have, there’s always more/better ones to still learn about and yearn for. I’m reminded of this all the time, especially when DJing with my betters such as the Southern Soulspinners who always come with crazy heat at every gig. I try not to trains-spot on their sets too much but it’s hard to resist knowing what the hell it is they’re blowing my mind with. [...]

Continue reading GRAB BAG: MARCH 2014

GRAB BAG (DEC 2013)

Debbie taylor

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.

Chano Scotty and His Combo Society: Bossa-a-Go-Go + Consolacion
From The New Sound [...]

Continue reading GRAB BAG (DEC 2013)

NA NA HEY HEY, BREAKS BREAKS

For real…I thought I didn’t like this song much, (mostly) because A) it’s overplayed way too much at sporting events and B) much as I like “the hook = the song” this pushes things a bit too far. But that said, “Na Na Hey Hey” has a delicious backstory that I’m still not 100% clear on except to say that the group “Steam” never really existed outside of this song and supposedly, it was built from a drum track from a previous single by one of the core songwriters.1

The thing is though…I totally forgot that the song has [...]

Continue reading NA NA HEY HEY, BREAKS BREAKS

AZZAM IS UNIVERSAL

azzam.jpg
Bob Azzam & The Great Expectations: Rain Rain Go Away
Berimbau
Tricky Soul
From S/T (Audio Fidelity, 1969)

Where in the world is Bob Azzam from? If you knew nothing about him and needle-dropped through the album, you could easily believe he’s from (take your pick): the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, or the Middle East. Azzam was actually born in MonacoCairo to a Lebanese family but his career really got started in France even though much of his best known work (to contemporary ears) was originally recorded in Sweden. You [...]

Continue reading AZZAM IS UNIVERSAL

SIDEBAR #12: PHOTOGRAPHER BRIAN CROSS/B+

IMG_1775s-e1271337475977.jpg
Even if you’ve never seen Brian Cross aka B+ in person, you’ve definitely seen his photography. Starting in the early 1990s, B+ has become one of the premier music photographers of the past 20 years, especially (but hardly exclusively) in the hip-hop community.

B+ is also one-half of the L.A.-based production outfit, Mochilla, who’ve put out the renown Keepintime, Brasilintime and Timeless series. And, he’s author of one of the best books ever written about hip-hop in L.A., It’s Not About a Salary.1 Suffice to say, of all the folks I’ve met through [...]

Continue reading SIDEBAR #12: PHOTOGRAPHER BRIAN CROSS/B+