Wednesday, August 30, 2006

posted by O.W.

The Penguins: Earth Angel
From 7" (Dootone, 1954). Also on Best of the Penguins

Lighter Shade of Brown: On a Sunday Afternoon
From Brown and Proud (Quality, 1990)

Dick "Huggy Bear" Hugg passes away at 78.

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posted by O.W.

I've been derelict in updating my blogroll but seriously, it's just a low priority since I rarely, rarely have enough time to browse other blogs. That said, I do try to check out suggested new sites when people send me queries. Most of them I'm just not that into on a personal level - that's not a criticism, it's more than, musically-speaking, I'm not vibing off what's there.

One recent exception? Office Naps.

It's devoted to 45s (good sign #1) and it's actually incredibly informative in terms of explaining genres, offering up examples and breaking things up thematically (good sign #2). All said, it's probably one of the best new sites I've seen in a long, long time: there's clearly a lot of thought - and trouble - that's gone into Office Naps and I can appreciate that.

Oh yeah, and the site has it's own server (good sign #3) instead of forcing people through the headache of or similar free server set-ups. I can respect, cost-wise, the desire to go through megaupload or yousendit but in terms of convenience, if I can't get to the song in one click, I usually don't bother. In fact, I'd personally rather deal with one-click streaming audio than sit through a few minutes of waiting for rapidshare to "allow" me the privilege of downloading.

What was my point? Oh yeah: Office Naps. Get familiar.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

posted by O.W.

Beyonce: Suga Mama
From B'Day (Sony, 2006)

Jake Wade: Searching For Soul
From 7" (Mutt, 1967). Also available on Searching For Soul.

I thought "Deja Vu" was a snoozer and kept wondering, "where's Rich Harrison at?" After, Rich hooked us up last year with "1 Thing" and of course, handled "Crazy In Love" in 2003 - you figure he'd be somewhere in the mix this summer and looks like this new song (not sure if it's a single though) will come in with the new album (which drops 9/5).

We like it for all the reasons we like Harrison's other best-known productions: it. is. funnnnnnkkkkkyyyyyy. Last time, it was The Meters, before that, the Chi-Lites. This time, Harrison gets a lil more obscure and dips into Detroit's bag of funk goodies, pulling out Jake Wade's hellaciously bad ass "Searching for Soul" (which we posted up back a ways before).

Feeeeeeling this. I don't care if it's paint by numbers. I need some rawness in my life after all this synthesizer orgies (PCD's "Buttons," I'm looking at you even if Polow killed "London Bridge.")

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Monday, August 28, 2006

posted by O.W.

Mighty Voices of Wonder: I Thank the Lord
Sam Taylor: Heaven On Their Minds
Both from Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal (Numero Group, 2006)

First of all: this compilation is superb.

Numero Group has proven itself to be one of the best soul-oriented reissue labels out there: they have a keen eye to detail and history and are less interested in flash than in offering music to the public that people haven't known about...but really need to. I never fail to be impressed by what they put out and this latest compilation is practically floating on that wave, it's so good.

The thing about gospel and funk is that even though funk's musical roots lead back to gospel (via soul), it's hard to imagine two genres on more opposite sides from one another...gospel is about getting closer to God, cleansing the soul, etc. Funk? Secular. Sensual. Sexual.

But that's the great thing about gospel funk - it presents gospel in a very different context from what you're used to but of course, it's not a great stretch to think of the kind of passionate testifyin' that happens in gospel melding with the rawness of funk.

Seriously, just check out the entire CD - so many of the songs are (no pun intended) revelations. The Mighty Voices of Wonder song, for example, is incredible to me for a gospel song. I can't imagine how'd this go over with the Sunday morning prim-and-proper crowd but for a Saturday night juke joint? Feel that Holy Ghost!

The Sam Taylor is equally amazing to me, especially those intro vocals: "whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh...JESUS!" What kills me is that this song is probably the most easily "found" on the collection but I totally slept on (the Mighty Voices is some "pray to the record gods" find on the other hand). Then again, it wasn't until very recent that I've been listening to more gospel soul and now I'm fiending like a, uh, fiend.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

posted by O.W.

Don Gardner: My Baby Likes To Boogaloo
From 7" (Tru-Glo-Town, 1967). Also on Shakin' Fit

Even though this 45 has been in heavy rotation amongst Northern Soul fans, I never knew about it until I heard DJ Vinnie Esparza play it during my farewell gig in S.F. It is the Hardest. Thing. I. Have. Heard. If not ever, then at least in recent memory. It's like a wallop to the dome with a mallet. I find it amazing that someone like Fatboy Slim never jacked that opening guitar riff and used it to power one of his "Rockefeller Skank" era songs.

Unfortunately, I couldn't try down too much biographical info on Garnder besides the fact that, in the early '60s, he was partnered with Dee Dee Ford. Regardless, this has now catapulted to the very top of my "when you need to destroy the party and leave it ashes" playlist.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

posted by O.W.

My general policy, as stated to the right, is "no requests," but I've been getting some great, interesting emails from people of late. This one I would have never predicted:
    "The girlfriend of a good friend of mine recently graduated from Northeastern U with a degree in Criminal Justice. She's now pursuing a career as a private investigator. Her name is ______, she's maybe 5'2" tall, weighs 110 lbs soaking wet, and she is a classic Connecticut suburban white chick, the kind you expect to find in a shopping mall, not the kind you expect to find surveiling insurance cheats.

    Needless to say, if she's going to survive on the mean streets of Boston as a PI, she's going to need an ass-kicking theme song to play in her Mazda 626 on stakeouts. Megan's theme song should be high-energy, fun, funky as hell, and pretty much turn her into Shaft. And unless you're willing to send us an mp3, it should be the kind of thing that guys without a room full of vinyl can track down easily. Can you suggest a song?
First of all, I'm not sure there's any theme song that's going to turn a 5'2" "suburban white chick" into Shaft (though I find the desire for a racial transmorgification quite fascinating) but I like the idea of a theme song being able to reframe who we are and what impression we make on others.

Here's my contribution...

Certain Lions and Tigers: El Soul Condor
From Soul Condor (Polydor, 1970)

I figure, if the point here is to take someone who might seem slight or easy to underestimate, lulling folks into complacency then smack them upside the head with some out-of-nowhere ridiculousness. That's "El Soul Condor" in a nutshell...I'm pretty sure you're not going to find too many covers of a Simon and Garfunkel song better than this. Certain Lions and Tigers is actually another permutation of Peter Herbolzheimer's Rhythm Combination Brass band and ranks amongst the best of his '70s fusion material (alongside Live From Onkel Po). Not sure if this will turn Charlotte into Shaft but if she run someone down in an alleyway, leaping garbage cans and dodging rats, I can hear this screaming in the background during that chase.

What would you suggest?

Monday, August 21, 2006

posted by O.W.

Sarah Webster Fabio: Sweet Songs + Alchemy Of the Blues
From Jujus/Alchemy of the Blues (Folkways, 1976)

I learned about Fabio two ways: Cool Chris put me up on this album probably as early as 2000 or so and then another one of her albums showed up at KALX in Berkeley where I still had my radio show back then. Fabio was a renown poet and educator who actually lived in my backyard (uh, not literally) for many years, teaching and working in Berkeley and Oakland. Though her fame as a poet coming out of the Black Arts Movement was never as visible as others such as June Jordan or Nikki Giovanni, Fabio was prolific in her own right and just like Giovanni, recorded many of her works, especially for the Folkways label, run out of the Smithsonian.

I'd love to say that all her albums are like Jujus/Alchemy Of the Blues but this LP - wouldn't you know it? - is rather unique amongst her catalog. She had a previous album called Boss Soul which is an awesome name at the very least but musically speaking, it's purportedly nowhere near as good as Jujus. This LP has, as you can well hear, an incredible rhythm section that keeps things slick and funky on a few of the stand-out songs. Interspersed in the songs themselves are examples of Fabio and her family's poems. I know some of you might shake in the face of having to listen to spoken word but when you're backed with that level of funkitude, believe me: you'll deal. Plus, any song (such as on "Sweet Songs") where people shout out their zodiac sign is fine by me.

What's good to know is that the Smithsonian actively keeps many, if not most, of its Folkways titles still in CD circulation even though the vinyl for Fabio's albums are notoriously expensive.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

posted by O.W.

John Dankworth: Modesty Blaise + Return From the Ashes
From Movies N' Me (RCA, 1974)

This is possibly the first LP I ever bought at the Groove Merchant (if not the first). Here's what I had to say about this album when I first wrote about it back in 2000:
    "This whole LP is full of great breaks and melodies. One of which, "Return of the Ashes" has been sampled...I know by Rob Swift and I seem to think that it might have been on one of the Dusty Fingers comps? In fact, it almost sounds Axelrod-esque in its disonant, electronic vibe. Either way, this LP is stoopid nice - if it's not funk bumpin', it's got some nice, easy listening fare on it too. The choice cuts begin with "Modesty Blaise" which kicks off with some swinging horn blares but after a short bridge, the open two-bar drum break drops, accented by some horn choruses that sound downright blazing. Trust me, the song is incredible sounding."
Please note, I rarely use the phrase "stoopid nice" these days nor am really that focused on "two-bar drum break drops." My rather painful use of descriptive phrases aside, it's still a great album for those who like funky scores and soundtrack songs. I used to be a bigger fan of the big, brash sound of "Modesty Blaise" but I now find "Return From the Ashes" more enticing, perhaps b/c I'm into more laid-back grooves in my old(er) age. Good stuff, either way.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

posted by O.W.

Pamoja: Ooh Baby
From 7" (Keiper, 1975)

A while back, I was thinking of creating a set of themed posts like the summer songs ones, all about wedding songs (and by that, I don't mean "Celebration," herbs). Never got around to it but a recent email brought back that idea:
    "I am getting married in January and I am trying to find a good song for our first dance. I have found that most of the songs I like, especially slow songs, are about heartbreak or pain. My fiance loves soul music and loves most of the music I play her downloaded from Soulsides. Do you have any suggestions?"
Two immediate thoughts: 1) It really is true that many of the best love songs are not about love but rather, the absence of love. A friend of mine suggested Stevie Wonder's "Lately" (he actually meant "Overjoyed") and I responded, "dude, that's f---ed up since, if you listen to "Lately," it's really not the kind of song you want to kick start a marriage off with. 2) I was very flattered to get this email but I also thought: "damn, it's your first song. Shouldn't it be a song that's personally meaningful vs. a random suggestion? I'm just saying.

This all said, it is an intriguing question. What do you pick for your first song? Something sappy and sentimental? Something hopeful and uplifting? Something common? Obscure?[1] When my friend Justin got married to Beverly last year, they actually put out a wedding CD which was frickin' awesome but keep in mind that Justin's a record dealer and a sweet soul fanatic so it was quite apropos.

That's where I first heard this Pamoja song which I think makes a GREAT wedding song (I don't know if it's "first dance" material but definitely good to have in rotation). It's sweet soul yet funky in a way that I wish more songs could balance and most of all, it's just really "feel good." It's also rather obscure, easily a $100 45 that thankfully, has been reissued by the folks at Lotus Land.

In any case, I pondered the question and it's hard to say...there's just so many songs you could go with. For example, as cliche as it may be, there's no humanly way you could go wrong with Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." Or Stevie Wonder (as long as it's not "Lately"). Or Ella Fitzgerald, if you want to get jazzy about it (in fact, had I picked a wedding song, it might have been Ella's version of "I Could Write a Book" [2]).

BUT, I throw it to you all: what's the BEST wedding song (either your own, or at someone else's wedding) that you've heard (preferably in a soul vein)? Help our man.

[1] I realize that most people don't necessarily ponder this kind of stuff except I do. However, ironically, at my own wedding, we had zero music. My guests are still kind of flabbergasted at that but seriously, it never occurred to me or my wife that we should have music. Keep in mind, our wedding was a potluck at a friend's place. And it was the greatest thing ever.

[2] Actually, I probably would have gone with John Coltrane and Duke Ellington's version of "In a Sentimental Mood". No way that can go wrong.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

posted by O.W.

Rufus Harley: Malika
From Re-Creation of the Gods (Anhk, 1972)

The funkiest jazz bagpiper passes at age 70. Godspeed Rufus.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

posted by O.W.

Willie Colon: La Murga
From Asalto NavideƱo (Fania, 1971)

Fela Ransome Kuti and Afrika 70: Water No Get Enemy
From Expensive Shit (Editions Makossa, 1975)

At my going-away party in S.F., DJ Matthew Africa dropped a short set that put two songs back to back that I should have been up on...but wasn't...and both have still been blowing my mind almost two weeks later.

"La Murga (De Panama)" is one of the big hits to come from the partnership of Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon though I find it rather funny that such a rousing Latin dance anthem would have originally appeared on a Christmas album, of all places (then again, James Brown's "I'm Black and I'm Proud" was from a Xmas album as well).

Here's what makes this song so great: it's not just that wall of horns Colon throws at you at the very onset (though obviously, it helps)'s the melodic counterpoint that the guitar makes right after each brass proclamation, a small but utterly significant dynamic that gives the song more nuance and something for your ear to anticipate. Throughout the rest of the song, the interplay between brass and guitar is key and despite the other excellent percussive and melodic elements (not to mention Lavoe's singing), they continue to power the song at its very core. This has automatically catapulted onto my top 10 Latin dance song playlist alongside others like Joe Cuba's platinum-selling "Bang Bang" and my personal favorite, "Que Se Sepa" by Roberta Roena y su Apollo Sound.

I've listened to a decent amount of Fela's stuff over the years but I either just let this slide past my radar or missed it completely but now I'm completely obsessed with it. I was instantly infatuated with it and here's why: like most of Fela's biggest Afro-funk songs, this track unfolds with a steady and sublime patience that reveals depths to the rhythm that might go otherwise missed unless you have the advantage of a longer view. But like "La Murga" what also makes the song such a pleasurable listen is how Fela brings in an electric keyboard...a softer, gentler sound for a song writhing in such thick rhythms and (once again) a monster brass section. The main riff are the horns (just like in "La Murga") but it's the piano that deepens the song's personality and elevates it towards the sublime. Even though the song is nearly 11 minutes, I've put it on repeat over and over and simply lounge into its folds. Heavenly.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

posted by O.W.

I published a column in this past Friday's Oakland Tribune where I have a monthly pop music column. It was written just a few days after leaving the Bay Area after 16 years and one of the things I'll miss the most (besides friends and family) is my weekly visits to the Groove Merchant, aka the greatest record store in the world.

I decided to write my August column in tribute to the Merchant and in doing so, I realized how deeply my visits there have influenced my relationship to music and as I note in the column, I don't think it's a coincidence, at all, that I started blogging about soul, jazz, funk, etc. records soon after I started shopping at the GM (this was before people called it blogging but if you're curious to see this nascent, pre-MP3 version of Soul Sides, go here.

The thing is this: there are good record stores - places where, if you get lucky, you might find some fantastic albums on the cheap. These are the lifeblood for most collectors - places that you walk into with a quiet prayer that you'll turn up some unexpectedly sick sh-- for next to nothing. I, of course, have a great appreciation for these stores - places like Village Music in Mill Valley or 2nd Hand Tunes in Chicago or that rinky dink, hole in the wall store in Dayton (if ya'll know, ya'll know).

But what marks a great record store isn't just good records (this does help however) but rather the knowledge you attain from merely visiting. People who visit this site are incredibly gracious about what they learn about music through it. I'm very happy it's able to achieve that. But for me, my musical education from the GM is how others may see Soul Sides. I've learned more about different kinds of music and artists and genres, etc. through Cool Chris - the GM's proprietor - in the last seven years or so than I did in the 28 that proceeded it. I can say, almost definitively, that this site would not exist if not for my afternoons spent at that store every week. It's not that everything I post here came out of the GM but the aesthetic that I try to establish in the music I post is undeniably shaped through what I've learned there.

The credit is due not just to the store itself but to Chris Veltri. People who don't spend a lot of time in record stores don't really understand this simple social fact: 90% of record store owners are complete a--holes. Imagine the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons in real life and that's certainly one segment: know-it-alls who sniff their nose at having to share their knowledge with such obvious peons as ourselves. Then there's the know-nothings who run stores, log into eBay to check prices, and either grossly overcharge some albums and neglectfully undercharge others but shopping from them is an ordeal. Chris, on the other hand, is incredibly cordial and helpful and social in a way that makes you wonder what charm school other record store folk should be attending to get their consumer relations game up. He's just "That Dude" if you know what I mean. (I'm not the only person who feels this way - his fans are legion and international).

I feel so indebted and so enriched by my time rapping with Chris, checking out records he gets in, trading/buying from him that when Zealous Records asked me what my second Soul Sides CD would be, my first pitch was an Afternoons at the Groove Merchant theme which would include records I learned about through the store. For a variety of reasons, Zealous and I deaded that (you'll like the actual concept we ran with, believe that), not the least of which is because my favorites songs I've learned through the store haven't necessarily been jaw-dropping musical gems but rather, records that just have fascinating back stories.

I also note this in the column but people forget that even in the name itself - record - these pieces of vinyl exist to record things, both literally - like music - and figuratively, like people's life stories, whether intentionally or not. Every record tells a story, not just in the songs, but in who made it, when they made it, why they made it, etc. My personal interest in records is definitely fueled by what those backstories are and it's not hard to see how Soul Sides was an outgrowth of that interest.

In any case, this is all a long-winded intro in what should be a fun, recurring set of posts on Soul Sides - Afternoons at the GM - that discusses some of my favorite records that I learned about while at the store. Hope you guys enjoy. Let's start it off...

Aposento Alto: Rejoice
From Goodbye Old Friends (Windeco, 1978)

The Moon People: Happy Soul
From Land of Love (Speed, 1969)

The Moon People: Hippy Skippy Moon Strut
From 7" (Roulette, 1969)

The Aposento Alto LP was one of the last albums I ever picked up from the Groove Merchant before leaving the Bay. It's a crazy obscure, private press, Latin gospel soul funk album out of Modesto, CA. Yeah, Latin gospel soul funk...there's no better way to describe it and if you listen to "Rejoice" you'll see what I mean. I've never heard Latin gospel but now that I have...if it all sounds like this, I'm down like the ground. Besides "Rejoice," it has some slower soul tunes and this epic, eight minute cut "Te Amo" that features a ridiculous 2-3 minute drum solo complete with a steady, back-breaking, breakbeat (complete with all kinds of fills and rolls) that's over a minute long. Mind-boggling.

I copped the Moon People LP sometime last year - another great, funky set of Latin tunes (though no gospel). However, I hadn't really listened to it that closely until Christina Aguilera and DJ Premier dropped "Ain't No Other Man" and realized: oh yeah, this is a Moon People song even though it was erroneously reported online that it was a Luis Alvarez song that Primo flipped. Nope - it's pretty obvious it's the Moon People. The trick though: which version of this song?

My speculation is that "Hippy Skippy Moon Strut" came out first on 45 and then the Moon People used the same backing track, dumped the vocals, and laid down keys instead, then called it "Happy Soul." The instrumentals are identical - it's just the diff b/t the vocals or not. Personally, I like both versions equally though I suppose "Moon Strut" plays out better because of the vocals.

What I like about both "Happy Soul" and "Rejoice" is how each briefly interpolates other songs - on "Rejoice" the horn lines at the beginning sound like "I'll Never Go Back to Georgia" by Joe Cuba while "Happy Soul" pretty obviously takes up riffs from "Tighten Up" by Archie Bell and the Drells.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

posted by O.W.

Kashmere Stage Band: Kashmere + Ain't No Sunshine + Do Your Thing (Instr.)
From Texas Thunder Soul 1968-1974 (Now-Again, 2006)

Like many, I was first turned onto the Kashmere Stage Band by Eothen Alapatt, aka Egon from Stonesthrow. At the time, I couldn't believe a high school band, even one out of Texas, could sound this polished and bad ass but the more I heard from the KSB, the more blown away by them I was. I got lucky - I was able to get a copy of their Out of Gas...But Still Burning off of eBay early enough, before their LPs started going for gonzo dollars and it still is just a marvel to listen to how wicked a sound bandleader Conrad Johnson was able to pull out of his students.

Egon's been a huge booster for the group over the years: he put "Kashmere" (my favorite amongst their original tunes) on the groundbreaking Funky 16 Corners comp back in the late '90s and has worked tirelessly over the years to make this anthology happen and last week, Texas Thunder Soul finally dropped, bringing out the best of KSB plus a second disc of live, alternative and previously unreleased recordings (proper!).

In addition to giving "Kashmere" another rotation, I pulled two off that bonus disc - a great instrumental version of "Ain't No Sunshine" plus an instrumental version of "Do Your Thing" (the vocal version is available on Zero Point, arguably their best album.

Be sure to check out the All Things Considered story on the KSB that ran this past Friday. And look at Stonesthrow's Kashmere Stage Band page for more pictures and information.

Friday, August 04, 2006

posted by O.W.

The Beach Boys: Good Vibrations
From Smiley Smile (Capitol, 1967)

(Editor's Note: This latest summer songs post comes from Jim Harrington, music editor for the Alameda Newspaper Group. For him, summer songs are like popsicles. Mmmmm...popsicles.)

I'm all about the lead graph. Credit that to my background as a concert critic. I've found that if I've got a good lead in mind, the rest of the review tends to flow rather smoothly. If I'm not confident in my lead, it usually translates to a very, VERY long evening. (And, really, what can one write at 3 a.m. about a Blink 182 concert that hasn't already been written?) So, when the topic of great summer songs recently came up in a staff meeting, I immediately turned to our theater critic and said, "a great summer song should be like a popsicle." I had no idea what I meant by that - just that I had a good lead.

Later, I would flesh that idea out and back up my lead by saying that a great summer song should be cool, sticky and sweet, leaving you with a sugary high. Bingo. And the first summer song I thought of was Good Vibrations. I didn't know what else would be on my list, but I knew that would be at the top. Taking this discussion out of season, I would go so far as to submit that Beach Boys song as a candidate for best song ever. (Mojo mag would back me on that one _ it listed Good Vib as the best single of all time. Rolling Stone had it at No. 6.) This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Good Vibes and, having just listened to it, I would say that song still has it _ whatever that elusive "it" is. It still sounds important and fun and, very, genius. I can only imagine what
it must have sounded like at the time. So I'm putting that song as no. 1 on my list - the very tastiest of all Popsicles. Here's some other of my top sweets:

- "Vacation," Go-Go's
- "Land of 1,000 Dances," Wilson Pickett
- "Night Moves," Bob Seger
- "Miserlou," Dick Dale
- "Blister in the Sun," Violent Femmes
- "That Summer Feeling," Jonathan Richman
- "Bouncing Around the Room," Phish
- "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay," Otis Redding
- "Raspberry Beret," Prince

--Jim Harrington


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

posted by O.W.

Cavaliers Unlimited: Soul Vein
From "The Nasty" 7" (Century, 1969/CaliTex, 2005)

Paul Humphrey: Funky L.A.
From 7" (Lizard, 1971). Also on Paul Humphrey and the Cool-Aid Chemists.

Settling in L.A. has been...ok. There's been a little drama with the apartment itself - fleas, too many boxes, not enough space, and cotdamn people, we had 14,000 pounds of stuff to pack and unpack. Good gawd. That said, we really like the apartment - it gets this great cross-breeze where it feels like we're eating outside even when we're inside. And hey, I finally unpacked all my (non-hip-hop) records and shelved them today. Finally.

And in the process...I came upon this Cavaliers Unlimited. Here's some backstory: for one, it's a crazy obscure funk 45 out of Portland. DJ Shadow's Calitex label actually reissued it last year. I happened to be talking to Shadow about it earlier in the spring, asking him a few questions about the 45 and he was saying, "yeah, there's only a handful of known copies" (i.e. known = copies that are known to be in the hands of collectors) and then he paused and asked, "wait, don't you have one of them?" My immediate response was, "are you kidding? Hell no!" In any case, I grabbed the reissue and had planned on blogging about it but the move happened, yada yada.

Ok, so fast-forward to earlier today. I'm going through my 45 boxes to find stuff to either record for Soul Sides or just get rid of and in the "C" section, lo and behold: I actually did own a copy. Now - first of all, it's pretty f---ing scary when DJ Shadow knows your record collection better than you do. Second, for the life of me, I couldn't remember where or when I bought this and it took me a few hours of rooting around in my email archives to remember - oh yeah, I got this off of back in 2000 for all of $10 because it was in such poor condition. Personally, by "poor," I'd say it's like VG- - definitely not mint-stock or anything but all things considered, it's not that bad especially since it was recorded lo-fi originally (for the famed Century custom/private press label). I'm not saying of this to brag, "oh yeah, I got a 45 that only 6 people have" but seriously, I was kind of bugging out that I had this and straight up forgot about it. So hey, enjoy my copy, crackle and all.

As for the Humphrey - hey, it's never a bad time to take a draught off the Cool-Aid Chemists and the song is obviously apropos. Funky L.A. indeed.