MATTHEWS SOUTHERN COMFORT: JUST THE WAY I WAS FEELING

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Matthews Southern Comfort: Sylvie (Decca, 1971, Later That Same Year)

Truly, I know nothing about the band except for the fact that it was fronted by Ian Matthews after he left Fairport Convention (and again, I only know this because of a thing called “google”). What I do know? “Sylvie” is some sublime shit (and while not nearly as good, “And When She Smiles” is rather glorious folk pop).

365 Days of Soul, #149

GARY NUMAN: WITH MY WOES

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Gary Numan: Are ‘Friends’ Electric? (Beggars Banquet, 1987, 12″)

Once upon a time, before I got into hip-hop, I listened to a lot of new wave (translation: I was an Asian dude growing up in the SGV in the ’80s). All said, this still sounds pretty good to me. Also: can’t you imagine Kanye or someone flowing over this? We need more modern rock sampling.

365 Days of Soul, #147

OMEGA: HEAVY IN HUNGARY

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Omega: Kérgeskezű favágok (Callous-handed Woodcutters) (Qualiton, 1969, 10000 Lepes)

Psych is one of those rabbit holes that I’ve deliberately avoided jumping down because I’m scared at how far I’d fall. It’s albums like these – one of the big hits for this popular Budapest band – that keep beckoning me to the precipice. The album’s best-known track is “Gyöngyhajú lány (Girl With Pearly Hair)” (just ask ‘Ye) and while I get the appeal of its rousing, anthematic vibe, I’m even more about a song dedicated to callous-handed […]

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LOS DESTELLOS: LA BAMBA’S TRAVELS

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Los Destellos: La Bamba (Odeon, 1976, Ojos Azules)

Just so you can follow…a Mexican American song, influenced by the musical traditions of Veracruz, Mexico, gets covered by a Peruvian surf rock band. I like that.

365 Days of Soul, #116

SPONTAENOUS COMBUSTION: START TO CRY

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Spontaneous Combustion: Walk On By (Rod, 196?, 7″)

Psych/garage cover of Dionne Warwick.

I’m pretty sure this is not the same Spontaneous Combustion that did this song but beyond that, I can’t track down any info about these guys (they may be from Iowa). Cool Chris played this at a gig and it stuck with me given my obsession with cover songs. A very cool one at that.

365 Days of Soul, #71

BADBADNOTGOOD: FEISTY

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BADBADNOTGOOD: Limit To Your Love (Self-released, 2012, BBNG2)

Pop and hip-hop influenced jazz album.

I was ready to move onto something else but I love that this is a cover (James Blake) of a cover (Feist).1

365 Days of Soul, #67

You can tell they’re riffing off the Blake version given how the signature piano chords begin both songs, unlike on the Feist original. ↩

JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ: HE’S THE MAN

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Jose Luis Rodriguez: El Hombre De La Cima (Top Hits, 1980, 7″)

Venezuelan rock single.

I can’t quite figure out if this is a cover of an Edgar Alexander song or of Alexander first wrote it for Rodriguez. Either way, I’m all about these kinds of unexpectedly funky tracks from the late ’70s and early ’80s since they take the borderline cheesiness of rock production in that era but marry it with some slick rhythm section. It’s a good combination.

365 Days of Soul, #65

ROBERTO JORDAN: COMO UNA PIEDRA RODANTE

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Roberto Jordan: Juntos Esta Noche (Let’s Spend the Night Together) (Cariño, 1969, Hazme Una Señal (Cariño, 1968)

Mexican album of mostly American/British pop song covers.

What can I say? I’m a total sucker for these kinds of albums, where American pop songs get covered by non-English singers. Doesn’t hurt that it’s also a cover of a great Rolling Stone track.

365 Days of Soul, #36

HEART: OH HAPPY BREAK

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Heart: Give Me a Happy Day (Look, 1969, Heart)

LP by a rock group out of Albuquerque.

A favorite cheapie, funky rock cut with a killer breakbeat/bassline combo. It’s one of the great things about this era of American music, where so many groups were absorbing the rhythmic revolutions of funk and finding ways to fold them into their records.

365 Days of Soul, #31

SPLIT: CONTACT HIGH

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Split: Drifting (Solid, 1977, 7″)

Psych instrumental out of Baltimore.

Split was the band of George Brigman, who apparently has some heavy cred in the psych world for maybe some super druggy garage rock back in the ’60s. And he’s still out there, recording.

File under “irony”: Split split apart soon after this 7″ came out.

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