GRAB BAG: MARCH 2014

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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. [...]

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HARD AS HELL

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As I learned from Michael Gonzales, March 8 is the 20th anniv. of Gang Starr’s third album, Hard to Earn. (Obligatory “20 years already?” lament)

I always felt I was in a minority of fans for whom Hard to Earn is our favorite GS album. It always seemed perpetually stuck outside the top 3 (though still regarded higher than their first and last LPs) and I still don’t understand why it’s not considered their best. At the very least, I think it’s one of DJ Premier’s best sonically realized efforts. It’s not [...]

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GRAB BAG – FEB. 2014

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Dagnabbit, I meant to do one of these for January but then the month up and flew by me and now it’s the end of February. Anyways…for this month’s grab bag, I’m still drawing from some leftovers from 2013 that I’m only now catching up on plus the usual assortments of recent arrivals and the like.

Art Farmer: Soulsides
From Gentle Eyes (Mainstream, 1972)

Ok…so I only just got this album recently despite the fact that it has a song called “Soulsides”. I mean, I’m pretty sure I heard this [...]

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FUNKY LIKE A SHAMROCK SHAKE

Our friends at Get On Down are re-releasing a green vinyl version of “Jump Around” (feat. the Pete Rock remix on the B-side), just in time for St. Patty’s Day. They’ve generously offered a 12″ up as a giveaway. Interested? Email us, subject line: “jump up and get down.” We’ll select a winner at random in a few days.

BUHLOONE BONUS BEATS

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It took literally months to put together but my “1993″ piece on Buhloone Mindstate aired on NPR’s Morning Edition on Monday .1

I’ve been doing record reviews for NPR for nearly 10 years now but this is the first reported piece I’ve done for them and I had forgotten how much work radio journalism entails. Most of it is fun – chatting with Prince Paul is always a pleasure – but then comes the culling of the darlings. This was exceptionally hard, especially since I’m so used to quasi-word limits where I [...]

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