What’s extraordinary about this is how, not that long ago, a deep dive history such as this would have amounted to a blog post, at best. But these days, you can go out, shoot and edit a mini-doc about a lost record without having to break the bank.

You can find out more at Living Funk.


I was recently invited to share some thoughts on this “Oral History of Darondo Fandom” piece that the folks at Nerdtorious put together. Bay Area legend.


Michael Barnes and I recently got to guest host a show on Dublab. For many years, Dublab’s been one of the premier internet stations but on the day we hosted (6/30), it was their very second day as a terrestrial radio station as well, micro-broadcasting on 99.1 FM in parts of Los Angeles. Michael and I both got our start, many years ago, at KALX 90.7 FM in Berkeley so it was very exciting to get back on the air.

For the occasion, we went with cover songs (you know me!) and it was a great excuse to pull out a slew of recent acquisitions, and my past favorites, to share with everyone.

Here’s the show notes, including a full track listing and here’s the actual show.


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Honestly, I could devote an entire podcast series to only slow jams and firme rolas (hmmmm….) but for now, we’ll start with a single episode.

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  • The Exceptionals: What About Me? (GRT, 1971)
  • Nancy: I Promise I’ll Wait (Mercede, 1971)
  • Natural Four: The Same Thing In Mind (ABC, 1969)
  • Little Joe and the Latinaires: Just Because I Really Love You (Buena Suerte, 1966)
  • Smoke Sugar Company: Save a Little Love For a Rainy Day (Teri De, 1973)
  • Black Heart: So In Love (Guinness, 1977)
  • The Emotions: As Long As I’ve Got You (Stax, 1970s)
  • The Cruisers: I Need You So (Gamble, 1967)
  • Freedom Suite: We Belong Together (Mares, 1971)
  • The Sha-La-Das: Those Years Are Over (Dunham, 2016)


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The Joe Cuba Sextet: Mañana Te Llevo Niña
From El Alma Del Barrio (Tico, 1964)

Joe Cuba is an interesting figure to me insofar as his career precedes the boogaloo era by over a decade but songs like “El Pito” and “Bang Bang” are what put him and his Sextet on the map in a way that his earlier mambo-era LPs had not. I don’t own any of his pre-Sextet LPs but I did go completionist with everything he released with that configuration.1 I hadn’t listened to El Alma Del Barrio for quite a while and by no means would I consider it the best of their pre-“El Pito” output (I think Comin’ At You would fit that bill). I was on the verge of tossing this into the Latin purge pile but then I came back to “Mañana Te Llevo Niña” which is a lovely little cha-cha-cha with vibraphone and that, alone, makes it worth holding onto.

  1. In the 1950s, it was Cuba and His Orchestra and in the ’60s and ’70s, he released a handful of albums just as “Joe Cuba.”


Fania All Stars (Joe Bataan and La La): If This World Were Mine
 Live at the Red Garter Vol. 2 (Fania, 1972)

There’s something quite enjoyable about finding surprises within your own collection. True, maybe you should have caught them the first time but in the end, you end up with a great new song that you didn’t even need to go track down.

Case in point: I’ve had this Fania All Stars LP for ages but I never realized that Side B had Joe Bataan and La La dueting on the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell classic, “If This World Were Mine.” The cover here isn’t better than the original but it’s still fun as hell to hear Joe singing Marvin.


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Been promising this one for a minute. I am, by no means, a deep disco head (that particular well runs incredibly deep) but I do respect/appreciate it. These aren’t my absolute favorite cuts but randomly selected ones that I think do a good job of showcasing the diversity of the genre.

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  • Charanga 76: Good Times (TR, 1979)
  • Ernie Story: The E Groove (Legend, 1976)
  • Manzel: Space Funk (Fraternity, 1977)
  • Gospel Soul Revivals: If Jesus Came Today (Sonic, 1982)
  • Frankie Gee: Date With the Rain (Claridge, 1975)
  • The Bee-Gee’s: Too Much Heaven (RSO, 1979)
  • Wild Sugar: Bring It Here (TSOB, 1981)
  • Belle Epoque: Miss Broadway (Shadybrook, 1977)
  • T.C. James and the Funk-O-Fist Orchestra: Dance All Over the World (Funk-O-Fist, 1977)
  • B&G Rhythm: Hibaros (Polydor, 1978)


Sorry for the long hiatus. After getting back from New Orleans, I got hammered with work and am only now getting back ahead of it. To make up for the prolonged absence, I super-sized this episode with 13 tracks, including songs I brought home from NOLA.

As I mentioned in the show, here’s the Guardian playlist I prepped re: David Axelrod and you can see the cover of Afreaka! above.

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  • The Electric Prunes (prod. by David Axelrod): General Confessional (Reprise, 1968)
  • Computa Games: Computer Rock (Superjock, 2017)
  • Lonnie Russ: Something Old, Something New (4 J, 1962)
  • Chris Bartley: The Sweetest Thing This Side of Heaven (Vando, 1967)
  • The Vibrations: Watusi Time (OKeh, 1965)
  • Southern University Stage Band: Ain’t No Way (Whit, 1968)
  • Demon Fuzz: Another Country (Janus, 1970)
  • Carla Thomas: I’ve Fallen In Love (Stqx, 1968)
  • Pratt & Moody: Lost Lost Lost (Stylart, 2017)
  • Ruly Garcia: Sol Latino (Colonial Discos Latinos, 196?)
  • We All Together: Children (MAG, 1972)
  • The Ohio Players (feat. Junie Morrison): Funky Worm (Westbound, 1972)
  • James Brown (feat. Clyde Stubblefield): Give It Up or Turn It Loose (remix) (Polydor, 1986)




Sad news: David Axelrod has passed.

I’ve written about him many times on this site and it’d be hard for me to do him any better justice than when I tried back in 2002.


Jim Russell Records, RIP

I’m headed back to NOLA this week and decided to dedicate a shorter episode to some of my favorite Crescent City songs.

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  • Robert Parker: Caught You In a Lie (NOLA, 1967)
  • Willie Harper: I Don’t Need You Anymore (Tou-Sea, 1968)
  • Allen Toussaint: Louie (Scepter, 1970)
  • Eddie Bo and Inez Cheathem (Seven 7, 1968)
  • Inell Young: What Do You See In Her? (Libra, 1972)
  • Floyd Anckle and the Majestic Brass Band (C&E, 197?)Intro/Outro: King Herbert and the Knights: Cissy Strut