Saturday, January 30, 2010

posted by O.W.

Because I was in the middle of moving/unpacking/new house hell, I really missed out on being able to say something meaningful about the passing of Memphis legend Willie Mitchell or slow jam king Teddy Pendergrass.

As it turns out though, Matthew Africa said everything I could/would have about Mitchell AND followed that up with an essential mix of Mitchell's greatest moments. And Breath of Life came through with an equally great post about the life and times of Teddy.

Fabulous posts and absolutely a recommended reads/listens.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

posted by O.W.

Our longtime contributor Eric Luecking did Soul Sides a blessing by helping handle a lot of new release reviews and contests but he's ready to set up shop with his own blog: He'll still be tackling a diverse selection of soul, rock, jazz and other goodies.

Check out my man throwin' down, show him some love and be sure to add him to your blogroll!


Saturday, August 01, 2009

posted by O.W.

As I've been stressing, there's a reason I encourage people to get on-board with the Soul Sides Facebook feed. You don't have to love the site but they do make linking items quick and simple (and heck, you don't even have to join to look at it).

As a courtesy though, here's some highlights of stuff I've been throwing up there of late:

  • Phil Da Soulman sharing a rare mix of LL Cool J's "No Airplay."

  • Philaflava's Latee compilation + Meters Samples Vol 1.

  • Passion of the Weiss' presents Murs and the L.A. Leakers' "Damn, It Feels Good to be a Gangsta" mixtape

  • Soundbombing's impressive journey through Africa series.

  • Elliot Wilson's Daily Breaks

  • An incredible story of a Sacramento man who discovers his mother's old records at a flea market.

  • Jared Boxx's Exclusive Secret Rendezvous Mixtape

  • King Most's rare ATCQ rips.

  • Breath of LIfe's essential Round Midnight Mix

  • Earfuzz's dissection of "Just Hangin' Out"

    And two videos you need to enjoy:

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  • Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    I have finally updated my blog roll (it's probably been at least a year or more).

    What always strikes me in this process is how many blogs have vanished (oh, how I got used to blogspot's "this page cannot be found" error message pages) or have gone on hiatus - some announced, most have atrophied in a long-term holding pattern with no definitive resolution.

    Clearly, the time and labor these blogs consume often comes too high for those with more important (or at least, lucrative) things to do and whatever ardor they may have had in the beginning fades to inactivity. That's partially why I have great admiration for all the blogs out there that, week-in, week-out, are still putting in work. These sites may not charge, but you can bet they come at a cost for the creators.

    I've added a few new blogs to my "Favorites" list, especially a few I've written about here repeatedly, like Chairman Mao and Matthew Africa's. I also just threw on two Latin music blogs that I plan on spending extensive time with - Super Sonido and Musica Del Alma.

    Remember, if you want to get added, read here first. But also keep in mind, that I don't update that often (obviously) but I have gotten into the habit of doing quick-strike posts for blogs of note and I'll try to continue that.


    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    The potential for this site is so proper.

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    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    posted by O.W.

    I haven't mentioned this blog in a minute but you should have it on your permanent blog roll. Slurg's got up some great BITD material on the late Tony D: Press Rewind If I Haven’t…


    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    Read All About It
    posted by O.W.

    1) There's something like a gazillion blogs being created every day. The vast majority are worthless. Then there's Just Blaze's blog. It is whatever lies at the far, far opposite end of worthless, especially with posts like these.

    2) Jay Smooth - a legend in three games: radio, blogs and now - vlogs). What's with the cat though?

    3) KRS-One is still going after Can't Stop, Won't Stop. I'd like to take some time out to comment on this further but I'm short on time. Suffice to say, KRS actually has some compelling points to make but alas, along with his rigor comes a decent amount of mortis.

    4) Everyone's favorite British soul singer (no, the other one. The brunette with bad teeth.) will be discussed today on WYNC's Soundcheck. Myself and Ann Powers will be weighing in. Should be fun.

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    Thursday, May 24, 2007

    Taking It To the Max
    posted by O.W.

    One of the compliments once paid to Soul Sides was in regards to our now famous "Apache Post" that was an adaptation of a Michaelangleo Matos paper given at the Experience Music Project Conference a few years back - this time, complete with sound files to help illustrate the point.

    The reason people seemed to like it is that it seemed to embody the potential for audioblogs to create a unique medium for discussion and expression. After all, it's more than just text or music on its own, but can combine the two in illuminating ways.

    On that note, I'd like to pay respect to another EMP paper, this one given just the other month by ethnomusicologist Wayne Marshall of Wayne and Wax. It's on the "Zigzagging Zungazung Meme," which should be familiar to anyone who has, y'know, listened to hip-hop or reggae in the last 20 years. In this paper, Marshall traces the beginning of the "zungazeng zunga zunga zang" chant from Yellowman's "Zunguzung" in 1982 and how it managed to creep into everything from the music of BDP, 2Pac, Biggie, Joe Budden and Matisyahu.

    It's a completely mesmerizing journey that Marshall takes you on and it's only abetted by the fact that he includes sound clips for every key way station you pass along the way, culminating in his massive "Mini-Mega-Mix."

    This is well worth taking some time to read and listen. You'll thank yourself for it.

    "Follow Me Now: The Zigzagging Zungazung Meme"

    King Sun: Sippin' Brandy (edit)
    From 12" (Big Boss, 1993)

    Meanwhile, I also had some time to catch up with some other audioblogs and seriously, When They Reminisce's two-part series on the samplings of "Blind Alley" (uno/dos) is what this medium is also all about. Eric, with help from Jaz, basically cobbled together a few dozen uses of the Emotions' "Blind Alley" (perhaps my favorite sample of all time) which is probably best known on Big Daddy Kane's "Ain't No Half Steppin'" but has been flipped many, many times since. The WTR folks did a bang up job turning over every stone, with a lot of songs most of you younger dudes have never heard and older cats like me forgot about.

    Personally, aside from BDK, two of my other favorite uses of the song are: 1) Redman's "Reggie Noble vs. Redman" as well as 2) Craig Mack's "Funk Wit Da Style" (both are included in the Part 1 post) and the reason why is because they let the main loop play. At least half of the songs WTR includes are tracks that flip the drum break off the song but filter the loop out and personally, I love the song FOR those bells so any song that puts 'em front and center is good in my book.

    Which leads us to...

    One of the songs included is King Sun's "Sippin' Brandy" a legendary early '90s single that appeared on both Big Boss and Money Bag Records. Notoriously rare even though King Sun wasn't exactly obscure. I have to thank Ed over at Sandbox for getting me the Big Boss version into my hands, many years ago. In any case, it uses the "Blind Alley" loop but flips it a bit different from other folks.

    I noticed the song was included in the WTR post and taking a listen to it I realized with a chuckle: it's the version of the song I put on my Incognitos Redux mixtape (not currently for purchase but I'm working on it). I know this because there's a breakdown in the song where I mix in part of a Motion Man single (Joe Quixxx, holla!) and sure enough, on the WTR version, that same mixed in segment is there. However, it sounds like they have a burn of a burn or something pretty lo-fi so I decided to re-up a better version above, albeit one where I edited it so it's only the first verse and chorus. Sorry but this is one of those songs that I still like to keep close to the chest, if you know what I mean. Still, you can see what makes the song pretty dope just based on what you have here. One of these days, someone needs to do a proper reissue of it. Such a lost classic....

    But my point? When They Reminisce = killing it. Go peep their posts and check out those tracks before their gone. Great, great post so 'nuff respect to them.


    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Where Are They Now? Right Here.
    posted by O.W.

    If you want to know just what makes audioblogging the unique medium it is, Wake Your Daughter Up presents Exhibit A: a breakdown of Nas' "Where Are They Now" that includes histories on the various artists Nas shouts-out PLUS links to their songs. Bonkers.

    Round 1 includes MC Shan, Kool Moe Dee, Sha Rock, and UTFO.

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    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    posted by O.W.

    Every so often, I take it upon myself (pretension alert!) to look around the audioblogosphere (try saying that 10 times quick) and offer some general comments. Here's my latest installment:

    1. ZShare = ?

    One of my pet peeves in the past are sites that rely on rapidshare or yousendit or similar free services to transfer single songs (albums are a different story) mostly because it forces the reader to download the song without being able to listen to it first. What I like about ZShare is how you can listen to whatever it is you're about to DL before you DL it, thus coming to the conclusion, "hey, maybe I don't actually want to DL this?"

    For any site that doesn't have the bandwidth to self-host, I haven't seen a better alternative than ZShare yet. I'm open to suggestions however.

    2. Album blog insanity

    I mean this in a good way (mostly). I've probably commented on this in the past, but while I'd never go album-based for (too time consuming, too much potential liability), I fully appreciate the appeal of them, especially when it comes to out-of-print material accompanied by actual context for why you should care to begin with.

    I will say this much - and this is a larger philosophical point pertaining to cultural content and the internet in general: it is mind-blowing how much stuff is archived online now. No offense to the heydey of Napster but even that once mighty institution is starting to pale next to the simplicity of Technorati or Blogsearch to find practically any song/album you might reasonably imagine. I know the recording industry is crapping bricks over this (and to a large degree, I can understand why) but for music fans, it's an amazing time to get listen and learn to decades worth of amazing music.

    In any case, if you find this all overwhelming too, blame/praise folks like these:
      Loronix. Hands-down, in terms of volume and consistency, the best album blog I've seen out there. If you're not a fan of Brazilian music and especially bossa nova after a few hours perusing the site, there's no hope for you. (Nitpick: They need better looking t-shirts. Just saying).

      Wake Your Daughter Up. They don't boast the volume that other hip-hop album sites do but in terms of the depth of writing that accompanies every post, I just appreciate the thought that goes into them. Quality over quantity, you know?

      The Smoking Section. Part album/song-blog for new releases, part online rap magazine. These dudes hustle harder than most bloggers I know put together. Especially as other bloggers have made the transition into more professional work (see Nahright's Eshkay power move to, I foresee Screw and Gotty being next to blow.

    3. Where else to tune? For those of us still based around song-sites (so old school), here's two of my favorites plus a new spot:
      Office Naps. Yeah, I know, we partner with DJ Danny so I'm biased but f--- it. This is what I wish most audioblogs were like: great songs, great content, nice clean design. (You need to fix your RSS feed though!). As far as I'm concerned, I've yet to see a song-based blog that's got the overall package as nicely bundled as Office Naps. Look and learn.

      Captain's Crates. No fading the Captain either - just a great site with exceptional taste. Many of the songs he puts up earn their way onto my want list (much to the detriment of my pocketbook). Plus a radio show archive to boot? We're not worthy.

      Press Rewind If I Haven't Blown Your Mind. I love the basic conceit of this relatively new blog: not just song MP3s but magazine scans that accompany them. It's a great resource for not just music but also rap journalism.

    4. Your suggestions? If you have a blog that you'd like to see considered for our blog roll, holla here. I'll probably update the list by sometime next week.


    Monday, January 01, 2007

    posted by O.W.

    Soul Sides link policy:

    1) I only link pages that I'd actually visit myself. You might have the most kick ass death metal audioblog ever created but mine is not an appropriate site to trade links with. You might try Tofuhut though, who maintains the most thorough audioblog roll I've ever seen.
    "Appropriate" means you at least include some postings that deal with soul, funk, jazz, hip-hop, etc.
    2) If you don't update your site at least once a month, I'll likely remove your site from the roll. I don't clean house often but when I do, I check every single site I link to.
    3) Do not post links to the comments below. From now on, please email your link requests here. I'll try to check every so often but don't expect a lightning quick turnaround.