Saturday, February 13, 2010

posted by O.W.

I had a great time last night. The Boogaloo Assassins killed it, as usual, and impressed the hell out of the folks from Fania who had heard 'em but never seen them perform in action. I am insanely jealous of anyone in the NYC area who gets to see the band fly out to the birthplace of boogaloo and perform for the first time in their history. That's coming up on February 24 - do not sleep!

I was also very blessed to have finally met, in person, Bobby Marin after several years of picking his brain for all things boogaloo-related. It is incredible how many different projects he worked on in the '60s and '70s. I had no idea he helped get the Ghetto Brothers onto Mary Lou to record their album.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

posted by O.W.

My nearly two-year old weekly in Echo Park, ¡Boogaloo!, is going from a weekly to a monthly (every Third Thursday) and while part of me is glad to leave the grind of having a weekly party, it would be nice to have one more monthly or at least, a cool spot where I can spin soul sides on an occasional one-off basis.

If any of my L.A. readers have suggestions of where to look, I'm all ears. The last time I put a query like this out, it actually helped net my weekly gig so I'm always appreciative of the reach of my readers!


Monday, September 14, 2009

posted by O.W.

If you're in Los Angeles this week and have a free Wednesday open, come through to the Verdugo Bar and listen to my hour-long Aretha tribute set.[1] It's been a real pleasure revisiting Aretha to pick out songs for the set - I'll have some obvious crowd-pleasers in there but I also wanted to highlight some lesser known songs by her, including a few choice selections from her recent Rare and Unreleased compilation plus a couple of selections from her Columbia years output.

The latter, as my longtime readers should know, is one of my favorite "underrated catalogs" to turn to time and time again.[2] I'm not claiming Aretha's early years trumps her Atlantic reign - nothing can. But there is so much great singing to be enjoyed in those years that it seems myopic to ignore them simply because Jerry Wexler wasn't producing her then. Here's two songs that did NOT make the tribute mix, just to give you an idea that her catalog is so strong I can afford to leave great stuff like this out.

Aretha Franklin: Runnin' Out of Fools b/w
Cry Like a Baby
From The Queen In Waiting (Columbia, 2002)

For my sample-hounds, I feel like someone's used "Cry Like a Baby" but can't remember who. Any help?

[1] By the way, DJ Phatrick of Devil's Pie is returning the favor the next night by coming out and spinning with me at Boogaloo! Catch us both nights and I promise you a copy of the Aretha mix once we get copies made. Just remember one song from my Aretha set and any song I play at the Shortstop this week as "proof."

[2] Can I just add that I cannot believe I wrote that review seven years ago. Damn, I feel old.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

posted by O.W.

I'll be spinning out there in a few weeks, along with J-Rocc and my main man, DJ V-Nutz @ The Shelter.

*And by "peoples" I mean Soul Sides' fans, not, you know, Chinese folks since that'd be about 10,000,000 peoples.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

posted by O.W.

I have 5 Year Anniversary Special CDs ready now - I'll probably give away a dozen or so tonight to whoever asks.

Come on out!


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

posted by O.W.

I'll be on Garth Trinidad's show tonight, during the 9pm hour, talking about the site and spinning about 30 minutes worth of soul 7"s. You can listen in online for those outside the LA area.

Garth Trinidad - KCRW


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

posted by O.W.

First of all, Soul Sides is celebrating its 5th anniversary party in Los Angeles at the Shortstop next Thursday (May 14th). I'll be spinning solo, trying to mix in as many "Soul Sides classics" (presuming such a thing exists) as possible. I would love to see my Southland posse roll out in full force.

That night, I'm also debuting the 5th Anniversary Special CD, which will include as many of the 20 "5 Year Rewind" songs as I can fit. Free to anyone who comes up and asks for one (while supplies last, of course). I'll also try to tape the entire 4 hour set and I'll make that available (via an email list) to anyone who rolls through.

For the rest of you not living in LA (or who actually have to work on Friday mornings), I decided to try a little experiment. Rather than sell these, I prefer to barter them - for goods or services. People can offer what they want; it obviously doesn't have to be expensive but ideally, it's something connected to you - your interests, your career, your hobbies, etc. To me, this is just an interesting way to learn more about the people who read the site.

(This said, I'll be completely self-serving right now and say that I''m definitely down to barter one of these to anyone who can help me get some discount tickets to Disneyland. The Great Mouse is sticking me for my papers!)

Mull it over - this could turn out to be a complete failure of an idea but I'm hoping there's folks out there who'd be game to swap something of theirs for something of mine. Drop your barter offer to here.

And hey, just so you don't leave empty-handed right now, here's a cover of Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio" I recently came across, from some random exploitation LP. Overall, it's not better than Coffey's but the percussion breakdown in the middle is pretty massive.

The Sound Effects: Scorpio
From Summer '72 (QMO, 1972)

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Friday, March 20, 2009

posted by O.W.

Update 3/20: I have a few guest list spots open - email me and I'll confirm with folks by tomorrow morning.

People keep asking me, "when are you going to DJ in New York City?"

You can stop asking. It'll be this Saturday night, with DJs Mao and Muro, at APT.

The theme - properly enough - is all covers. Mao and Muro collaborated on the excellent Run For Cover II mix-CD and I've been touting Deep Covers 2 myself. It'll be the West Coast/East Coast/US/Japan team-up for all things cover song related.

(BTW, I'm out there for a week or so, if anyone's got a radio show or what have you, I'd love to do a cameo. Holler.)


Sunday, September 21, 2008

posted by O.W.

So Alma was an unqualified...flop. Clearly, we underthought the importance of outreach for the venue which only makes me respect the success of their Wed and Sat salsa nights even more; they must really have done a bang-up job of getting the word out. I can't be 100% certain about this, but I'm pretty sure our only paid guests of the evening partially comprised of an older sugar daddy and his younger, um, "friend."

Shout out to Bao Tran, the Seattle filmmaker behind Bookie who stopped by with some friends.

The upside to a totally dead evening is that Rani D and I were more...shall we say...creative in our mixes? It actually reminded me of my radio days, when I'd be on late at night, had no idea who was listening, and therefore, felt empowered to just do whatever.

Here's an edited-down, 80 min set from Friday evening. DJ Phatrick says that people prefer individually tracked mixes so I want through and hand-edited that sucker. No tracklisting however mostly because neither I nor Rani wrote down the songs as we were playing. Consider it the price of free-ness (that plus the low audio quality but that's what recording on high-capacity minidisc sounds like).

On that "just do whatever" tip: you might note a subtle yet copious amount of scratching in the set...that'd be by yours truly...especially those scratches not-quite-in-tempo. I'm ashamed to say that despite learning how to DJ in the Bay Area and being Asian, my scratching skills have never really been very strong. I learned how to DJ from mixers not scratchers and never had the patience or time to train intensively to get my crabs or flares in working order.

That said, when there's literally two people in the room (not including yourself), and the sound system is good, why not get in some practice time? To wit:

"The Ill Advised Scratching Bonus Set." Rani D on the mix, O-Dub on the scratch (though I may deny this at a later point).

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

posted by O.W.

This week at Boogaloo[LA], it's me and special guest DJ Roberto Gyemant, aka Beto.

I've talked about Beto before - he's one of the most knowledgeable people I know concerned the jazz/soul/Latin music scene in Central/South American (the Afro-Antilles as he refers to it) and he wrote liner notes for both the Panama and Colombia comps. This should be a real treat - he'll be dropping in around midnight and hopefully will be blowing minds with some incredible Latin heat. I think I might just turn the whole evening into an all-Latin affair in tribute.

I owe Beto and my regular partner, Murphy's Law, a great deal for finally opening my ears to salsa. It's not like I wasn't aware of it but I think I've had bugalú tunnel vision for so many years, I wasn't all that interested in the era that followed and it wasn't until I started hearing some of the tracks Beto and ML enjoyed that I realized: "oh, this is why salsa is, you know, huge." Strangely, the road for me doesn't go to NY - it actually leads back to Colombia and specifically, Fruko (who's been a favorite here twice over). It probably could (should) have been Willie Colon or Hector Lavoe or the Fania All-Stars but was a scruffy bassist who really sparked my interest.

In homage to him - and as a preview for tomorrow night - enjoy this:

Fruko Y Sus Tesos: El Preso
From El Grande (Fuentes, 1975)

This apparently is a stone-cold classic around the salsa world and I can see why. That "ay ay ay" kills it, on top of everything else.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

posted by O.W.

True stories: after the Boogala[LA] gig ended last Thursday, I hit up Burrito King (Sunset/Alvarado) down the block and got to witness the meeting of two Chads - who had never met until one of them loaned the other a quarter - and how they ended up comparing their evenings.

Some highlights:

Chad 2: "Where'd you come from? The Short Stop? I had a three-way kiss there once."
Chad 1: "No way. Were they hot?"
Chad 2: "One was banging. The other was "part of the package.'"

Chad 2: "I'm here with this girl I picked up last week. But there's one problem."
Chad 1: "What?"
Chad 2: "Guess."
Chad 1: "She's a...lesbian?"
Chad 2: "That wouldn't be a problem." (both laugh). Naw man, she's...Christian."

Chad 2: "Go ahead, check her out."
Chad 1 steps away from the counter, takes a look at Chad 2's girl in the car. Returns.
Chad 1: "Yeah man, she's pretty hot. You can check out my girl - she's sitting in the car too, next to yours, but she's not as hot."

Amazingly, I don't ever recall hearing the term "bro" used this entire time. Probably some "dudes" in there though.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

posted by O.W.

last week - our grand launch - was a rousing success. We had a great, packed house and really enjoy meeting folks.

This week, it's O-Dub and Murphy's Law, back together again.

Next week, it'll be me, joined by my man Beto, aka Roberto Gyemant, the brilliant Latin music expert behind the Panama and Colombia comps. You know the Latin heat will be mui en fuego that night.

Also, I'm doing a special one-off gig this Saturday at Footsie's, in Cypress Park.

2640 N. Figueroa St., in Los Angeles.

This will be different from the Boogaloo[L.A.] vibe - I'm going to be playing less music to move to and move music to move you, if that makes any sense...basically, a lot of soul, maybe some jazz, a lil Latin, but it's about the listening experience (hopefully!). I may or may not have a guest that night - could just be me, holding it down the entire time.

If this works out, it might turn into a monthly "Soul Sides Saturday" event so please do come out and hang for a bit if you can.

Checkmates Ltd.: Got To See "U" Soon + I Must Be Dreaming
From F/S/O (Rustic, 1974)

Lead by Sonny Charles, the Checkmates were a Chicago-baesd soul group who recorded with a few labels, including Capitol and A&M before landing in the '70s on Rustic (at least for this release). It's a bit of a sleeper LP in my opinion - not expensive or that rare but folks pass on it simply because they're not knowing. I posted the two best songs above. "Got To See "U" Soon" has been a favorite of Murphy's Law and I'm glad he's been spinning it because I forgot how much I liked that song myself: has a slightly Latin sabor and the doo-wop touches are nice as well. It's not going to tear the roof off but it's a fun, catchy song, especially for the beginning of the evening.

"I Must Be Dreaming" is a beaut of a sweet soul track - downright dreeeaaaammy. Far as I can tell, this album's never been reissued on CD - pity.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

DJ SAKE-1 IN L.A., 3/22
posted by O.W.

Speaking of some cool gigs coming up, on March 22 (Sat), DJ Sake-1 from San Francisco is coming down to Los Angeles to celebrate the release of the Fania Live 03: From the Fresh Coast mix-CD.

You might remember I gave love to the first volume and Sake-1 does the series proud with some killer salsa selections including Eddie Palmier's "Justica," Ray Barretto's "Indestructable" and one of my personal, all-time favorites: "La Murga" by Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe.

His release party in L.A. will be at the Crash Mansion and will feature not only himself and Bobbito but in live performance, Francisco Aguabella and Chuchito Valdez. Altogether, this looks to be an absolutely stellar show.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

posted by O.W.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

posted by O.W.

Thursday, January 31
The Short Stop
1455 Sunset Blvd (Echo Park)
10pm - 2am: FREE

DJs O-Dub (Soul Sides) and Murphy's Law (Captain's Crates)
Spinning: Soul, Latin, Funk and more

Murphy's Law from Captain's Crates and O-Dub (Soul-Sides) are once again joining forces at the Short Stop in Echo Park. We just rocked the spot three weeks back and promise to knock it out the park again this Thursday.

Given our mutual interests, expect a lot of Latin this evening, but also a nice dose of soul, funk, disco, etc.

As with our last gig, anyone who shows up and signs our mailing list gets an edited copy of our sets for download later.

See you all there!

Speaking of gigs...just found out that one of my favorite DJs will be at Funky Sole on Saturday: Chairman Mao of Ego Trip (not to mention Bumpshop NYC) fame. Act like you know and roll through.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

posted by O.W.

First, thanks to everyone who came out to the Redwood Bar gig last Saturday. Me and Hua had a blast, the bar was very happy with things, and it was great to meet everyone who rolled through (except for the drunk Beckies[1] who accused me of ruining their birthday party because I wouldn't play "something ghetto...y'know, booty-shaking that we can get grimy to."[1])

Here's two tracks from that evening - both of which I had been meaning to write about but never got around to:

Diana Ross and the Supremes: He's My Sunny Boy
From Love Child (Motown, 1968)

Don (Soul Train) Campbell: Campbell Lock
From 7" (Stanson, 1971)

The Ross is something Hua put me up on years his words, "the best b-side of a $2 45, ever." He was referring to it being on the flipside of "Someday, We'll Be Together," the last Supremes single that Ross appeared on before going solo. That was a huge hit for the group and thus, "He's My Sunny Boy" ended up circulating on the strength of it...there's probably a good post to be done about killer b-sides on hit 45s (see Eric and the Vikings' "Get Off the Street" for another prime example). In any case: "He's My Sunny Boy" is awesome - one of the best things off of Motown I've ever heard.

"Campbell Lock" is something I picked up at the old Funky Riddims store (RIP) in Berkeley a while back - a really great, L.A. 45 by the father of the locking (that's right: it wasn't Rerun), Don Campbell. Our good friends at Funky 16 Corners raises a point I had noticed in passing: this song sounds a lot like the Vibrettes' "Humpty Dump" and given that both are L.A. records, they were wondering if the same sessioners might have played on both records or if there was a little, "creative borrowing" going on. Either way, a great funk single. In hindsight, I should have paired this with Ronnie Hudson's "West Coast Pop Lock." Ah, oh well.

Thanks to all my readers who've followed Soul Sides through yet another year - looking forward to 2008. I got a massive, year-end post though, um, it won't happen before the new year rolls through. Enjoy the rest of the holidays though (while they still last!)

[1] An (almost) verbatim quote.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

posted by O.W.

First of all, thanks to everyone who came out and said "hi" to me this evening. I was genuinely touched by all the love. I don't do this for props (but props are nice!)

Second all, standing ovation for Sharon Jones and the Dap-kings for putting on a hellafied show that exceeded expectations. Part of me does kind of wish I could go back to the last time I saw them - at the tiny Elbo Room in S.F. - but seeing them rock a sold out El Rey was outstanding in its own way too. With apologies to Virginia Slim: they've come a long way, baby.

Top 5 Moments (in chrono order)
1) Playing "Behind the Blue Curtains" by the El Michels Affair, having someone walk up to me, say, "nice selections" and add, "I co-wrote this song."

2) Playing "Make the Road By Walking" by the Menahan Street Band without realizing that the guy who wrote and recorded it was standing six feet behind me. He came up, noted, "I wrote this in my bedroom" (or was it bathroom?) and then was telling me how he had to go down to meet Jay-Z and "approve the lyrics" in order for them to sample the song. When he gets off tour, Tom Brenneck's going to give me the full scoop, which I'll bring back to here.

3) Getting love from the staff. It's one thing to make the audience happy but props from the soundmen and security is who I'm always glad to please.

4) Hearing my name called from stage with applause from the full house. Again, I don't do this for props (but props are was getting paid even though I didn't ask to be).

5) Watching Sharon Jones "do the boogaloo" as part of her encore. She really is simply incredible live.

Bottom 3 Moments (in chrono order)
1) Discovering that the second turntable had a busted left channel. The upside was that the sound guys managed to rig up a way to play it, without losing volume, in mono instead. Saved my keister.

2) Dropping my MD recorder after nearly 2 hours of taping my set. The battery cover came loose and that negated everything I had taped until then. I love digital recording technology but I also hate how fragile it can be. You don't lose the recording when you drop a tape Walkman! Sheesh.

3) Standing for over five hours, much of it spent hunched over. Oof.

So check it out...after the show, I was asked to keep playing for about half an hour and that I managed to tape. All slow jams, fit for the end of a long evening.

I might "do" something with this in the upcoming weeks, maybe as a bonus recording for my next mix-CD. However, I'm offering it, as a digital download, to anyone who was actually at the show and came up to say hi. If that sounds like you, simply email me and tell me what I was wearing. That's all!

BTW: R.I.P to Pimp C. A terrible day for hip-hop fans.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

posted by O.W.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings were on Fresh Air the other day. About time!

The show at the El Rey is sold out so I hope L.A. folks got their tickets. I'll be spinning from 8 to 10pm that evening, all soul (maybe a little Latin too). Should be fun.

In honor, here's one cut from Sharon Jones' "distant" past. It was originally released on the Desco label, back in the late '90s (when Desco disbanded, Daptones rose to fill its place, featuring many of the same, key personnel). It's a testament to the quality of these retro-soul singles that, these day, they sell as much as vintage 45s!

Sharon Jones: Hook and Sling Meets the Funky Superfly (Part 1)
From 7" (Desco, 199?). Also available on Spike's Choice.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

posted by O.W.

You heard it here first: yours truly, the DJ O-Dub, will be opening for Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings when they play the El Rey on Tuesday, Dec. 4th.

This isn't quite unprecedented. I actually was their opening DJ when the group played the Elbo Room in San Francisco, back around 2002, when they were touring their first album. Suffice to say, a lot has happened with Jones and the Kings since then (let's just say the Elbo Room does quite hold the same amount of people as the El Rey). I am quite stoked to be accorded the honor of opening for them again.

For some crazy reasons - tickets are still available (hey, they sold out the Apollo. The Apollo. The best L.A. can do is sell out the El Rey, I mean...c'mon now. Tickets are only $16, which is quite the bargain compared to what other shows go for these days ($250 Prince tickets, I'm looking at you).

For the occasion, I'm going to try to put together something a lil special for any Soul Siders who pop up at the show. No promises but I'll do my best to bring through a lil somethin'.

In the meantime, here's a little treat off the new Daptone Records Remixed, put out promotionally by Scion. You can peep out the entire 8-track CD here at, but courtesy me, enjoy my favorite remix off this EP, the Ticklah remix of "How Long Do I Have To Wait For You?" (the original was one of my favorite songs off of Naturally).

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings: How Long Do I Have To Wait For You? (Ticklah Remix)
From Daptone Records Remixed (Scion, 2007)

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Guess Who's Bizzack?
posted by O.W.

Soul Sides' fave Miles and Egon bring back Funky Sole to Hollywood after losing their last venue:
Funky Sole
Every Saturday
Jimmy’s Lounge (formerly El Centro)
10pm -2am
6202 Santa Monica Blvd @ El Centro Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028

Some upcoming guests:
J.Rocc: August 4th.
Jeremy Sole: August 11th.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bay Area Soul Sides Party
posted by O.W.

Thursday, June 28 - Casanova Lounge - San Francisco
The Official Bay Area SSV2 Release Party
DJ O-Dub w/ DJs Vinnie Esparza and B.Cause
10pm - 2 am
527 Valencia by 16th

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Mandrake Bar this past Friday. We had a capacity crowd (which surprised even me) and apologies to those forced to queue up outside. I'm already planning the next event there, sometime in July.

Bay Area fam: Don't forget, I'll be back up in San Francisco this upcoming Thursday, spinning with two of my favorite DJs: Vinnie Esparaza and B.Cause. I'll be crashing their Olde Soul night at the Casanova in the Mission District (you know what parking's like so plan accordingly!).


Thursday, March 22, 2007

O-Dub Slips On the Funky Sole - This Saturday!
posted by O.W.

After half a year of living in Los Angeles, I finally have my first DJ appearance ready to go down. It's with my very respected and valued buddies Egon and Miles who've been running Funky Sole to a fever pitch over at Star Shoes in Hollywood (this is actually my second appearance at Funky Sole - albeit the first in yeeeeaaaars) and despite the packed throngs of folks who come through, it's really a very fun event.

Saturday, March 24th
10pm - 2am
Star Shoes Bar
6364 Hollywood Blvd (by Vine).

I'll be guessed it...funk n' soul.

By the way, I'm working on setting up my own night in Los Angeles - hopefully we'll have something put together by the time Soul Sides Vol. 2 drops.