31 Jan 2009

Soul Siren: Part 3

Without a doubt the Queen Bee of soul. Nina Simone. And while she fits in with description from my previous post, of not being automatic floor filler, the power and drive of her music tends to lift you off your feet and raise you hands, or fists.

My first experience of Nina was when My Baby Just Cares For Me was re-released in the late eighties with an Aardman Studios video. I think I probably liked the song more because of the video than the song as I was still stuck in my north of scotland start trekkin across the universe phase. But time a healer of wounds and importantly, taste in music.

Now Nina is a regular member of my playlists and mobile mp3 experience. What separates her from many of the soul sirens I listen to is that power and class in her performance. Sometimes she may seem a little old fashioned when compared to the hit machines from Motown but its not a real comparison. Just look at the old pictures and performance of her. She got funk, she got soul. She got classssss.

And remember Nina civil rights campaiging was on the militant wing of the struggle. She was comfortable calling for and supporting the violent resistance of black america against white racism and creation of separate black state.

But enough of that. Music is why I am here. I have included three tracks below which I expect you all to enjoy and answer questions on at a later test. Have included the track from the video above, Revolution. Lordy lord those gospel grooves infect the soul don't they and the spirit of change is something that is fresh today for all the pain and suffering we must rid the world off. Next up is Gin House Blues, which makes you feel like you are in a small dank bar and suddenly the woman by the piano in the corner hits the keys and lights up the room to reveal a bustling crowd of no good soul-lovers sipping for drinks and nodding away to the tune.

Finally its Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter. I wanted this track for years as it was mentioned in review for a compilation funk CD in the now defunct Muzik magazine. Unfortunately the CD was £15 for about...2 million years or close to that. Finally picked it up in FOPP about 6 years ago and it was worth the wait. A stripped down funk track with bongo beats and Simone's voice battling throughout.

I just care for you.

Nina Simone - Revolution
Nina Simone - Gin House Blues
Nina Simone - Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter

29 Jan 2009

Soul Siren: Part 2

When I was thinking of my top five soul sirens it was funny that at the end of it I had not really come up with a bunch of floor fillers but instead women whose music and vocals gave me the most joy at a 'lying on the sofa getting emotional level. Not going to give the other names up but you will that while you can dance it's not the automatic reaction you would expect to give up to these ladies.

Well, she is well known for telling people who have the love and more famous for letting young hearts freely run, but my first experience of Candi Staton was a compilation of her Southern Fried soul. And like so much of the literature and cinema that originates in the polar point of the US, it was filled with steamy, broken hearted tales of love lost, love forbidden and love rejected.

I think that these tracks of Candi are the most memorable and have a really unusual quality. At times its the fluctuating voice of young woman wishing to break free from her troubles and wanting the safety of age and experience while it can also be the memory of that wise woman looking back at the adventures and lessons of her youth.

The three tracks I have chosen below are all like that. I would like to make a special mention for track one, He Called Me Baby. I love this not only for its little story but all that bassline tumbling through the whole track and the brass that creeps in and steals the show with it regular toot-toot fashion. Maybe its the gas me but it really stands out for me. The other two tracks are love tales also. One on the merits of young studs vs older formats and the other of two secret lovers meeting for bittershort liasons. You've got the love.

Candi Staton - He Called Me Baby
Candi Staton - I'd Rather Be An Old Man's Sweetheart (Than A Young Man's Fool)
Candi Staton - Mr And Mrs Untrue

26 Jan 2009

Soul Siren: Part 1

Work was bringing me down today. Just pretty bored with many of the people who I work with. In those moments like probably a millions people stuck in offices around the world I tend to wander and while I can't whistle or hum and ultimately sing, I like to think about songs I like.

And what I like often is soul. So I thought I would share some of this passion and this week I will be giving a rundown of my five favourite funking soul sirens. And after that occasionally I will drop in some other random favourite fives. Nobody likes list all the time but as a treat they go down well.

First up is the ultra octave heroine, Minnie Riperton. I wont waste time with a big bio. As usual wikipedia provides a concise introduction and if you have time have a short read.

The thing about Minnie is her her voice. I think that's going to be theme in this little series. Obviously a singer's voice is important but there are voices, especially in soul music, which really carry the whole range of messages and emotions in the music. Combining anger with pride or loss with love. You get it.

Minnie Riperton's voice is a instrument in itself. Flying to extreme highs while coming back to earth gently, unlike so many R'n'B warbling superstars. My experience of her songs is that they were far removed from much the likes of Motown, Stax or Philly Soul. For me the sound is early soul-funk infused was california rock and a smidgeon of female euro pop. The arrangements of her work with Rotary Connection are really all over the place in a interesting stylee, and this continued in her solo work. Check her out on the Soul Train for a beautiful example:

Wasn't that nice.

I have included three tracks below. Seeing You This Way captures her voice gymnastics perfectly, Inside My Love is incredibly sensual (honey dripping off a teet sensual) and Rainy Day In Centerville shows that Rotary Connection arrangements I mentioned.

I don't listen to Minnie Riperton all the time. I need to be in the mood. But when you are she wraps you up and looks after after you while you dance and smile along.

Minnie Riperton - Seeing You This Way
Minnie Riperton - Inside My Love
Minnie Riperton - A Rainy Day In Centerville

22 Jan 2009

Guilty As A Puppy Sittin' By A Pile Of Poo

Jeeez-o. If you have a moment check out the hugely tragic faux pas I did in my blog pants.

When I was listening to Animal Collective last week I was positive that it was the first time I had come across them and although I did not think their album was an instance love-in, I enjoyed most of it. The problem is that I had heard them before. On numerous occasions. Because my pal Allan includes them in CDs he has made for me.

Unfortunately I have developed a habit of not really reading and remembering the tracklisting and all that jazz (although i should add Allan does not put jazz on his cd's. not an anti-jazz thang, just it would be like adding ice cream to an omlette).

Anyhooo. So I must apologise to Mr Allan and make this tribute. When I got of the haycart that took me to university my taste in music was definitively North of Scotland. Non existent. Allan kindly took pity on me and lent me CDs. And from that time I can honestly say I took a new direction.

Without The Byrds there would have been no Beach Boys, no Love, no Buffalo Springfield, no Neil Young.....etc etc. Now before he gets some sort of big head, I am not saying he is like some sort of big bang in my musical universe but certainly he was a like a warp factor 10, she canna give much more Capt Kirk, effect on it. So thanks and sorry.

Here is one of the crew mentioned above. A Buffalo Springfield track which is all about Neil Young.

Neil Young - Expecting To Fly

19 Jan 2009

Crepe de Sollie

Everything is new. Obama will be the new el presidente tomorrow. Man Utd are top of the league. There are two new temps in my team. My trackie top is a recent gift. Flight of the Conchords is back. the Simpsons and Family Guy return next week. I'm trying new recipes from my big book of fart enducing veggieness and I am working on a new design for the blog.

Inspired by the up and coming Shatbasses and Glasgowchivas of this world I am looking revamp the blog in more inventive manor than previous. Before I just tweeked it a little. I like my colou schemes then but now I want to overall the whole look and rearrange the layout. been working on a new graphic for the header so watch this space.

Trying to do it on my own which is making it more complicated. Shatbass, Glasgowchivas and Jobo Lee's saharan foodscape have been touched appropriately by Mr Mario and I would recccccooooommmmmeeennnnnddd anyone interested in the design of electrons of monitor vessels to check out his talents at the said sites.

So in honour of my impending newness. Here is some new music. Came across Animal Collection on one the regular blogs. It may have been Covert Curiousity. Not sure. The album is called Merriweather Post Pavillion. It's hard to describe. I get scents and tastes of SFA, Midnight Juggernaughts, Cut Copy, mostly The Beta Band and other bands that tippy toe that line between the world of dance, guitars and words. The album is pretty good. A few tracks that may need sometime to bed but others like the one below are instant treats. See what you think.

btw Listening to all 22min 43 secs of Autobahn at the mo'.

Animal Collective - Brother Sports

18 Jan 2009

Green Tea Sensations

5 hours till our flight takes off. Jesus says, "Fuck Yeah!!"

Flight Of The Conchords - She's So Hot...Boom

16 Jan 2009

Can't Someone Help Dennis Weaver

It's here, it's here. It's almost here. The second series of Flight of the Conchords begins this Sunday @ 10pm on HBO.

It's been a long wait and although the reruns, E.P. and various assorted albums continue to offer laughter and joy everyone who is anyone, and I feel like that someone has been waiting for the further adventures of Jemaine, Bret and Murray.

Although its been available to stream for a month I have been waiting to download and watch on the tv.

If you aint seen it then pull your head head out of your aunties ass and watch this show. Need a taster? Here is the first FOTC song I heard and another piece of their folk-pop-bowiesque-disco-funk-flava'd-robotic-soultonic-hiphop.

Flight of the Conchords - Beautiful Girl

Flight of the Conchords - Leggy Blonde

Is anyone helping Dennis Weaver?

15 Jan 2009

Well Alright Dawgs!!

Blogs blogs blogs. Coming out of everywhere. Some jaggy, some cold. Now some mysterious stranger in an unknown office is giving his two cents...........and that's extra committed as the cost of his wedding left his with only two cents. I would ask you to take sometime to check out the special people in the special mentions adjacent.

Well American Idol has started and before the pomposity of the final stages begins, its time for the auditions. Oh man. A totally sincere expression about how retards can reach new levels of douchedom. Just had a guy who sounded like a cross between Barry White and Dr Julius Hibbert. Paula Abdul has the skin, hair and demeanour of a demented Brooklyn Jewish granny burning under the Miami sun and demanding gafilcher!!! And Ryan Seacrest tries to high five a blind dude.

Yes. That happened. was on You Tube and tonnes of the copies of this have been pulled. Ryan Seaquest is using his full corporate muscle to hide the fact he's a dick. Anyhoo. American Idol inspires memories of the U S of Naffness and I needed a song to reflect. Mister Mister? Richard Marx? Journey? REO Speedwagon? wait, we have a winner.

REO Speedwagon - Keep On Lovin' You

13 Jan 2009


Not good news for the mamas at the moment. Elaine's mum is not well and my mum broke her ankle a couple of days ago. So I really need a song to say get well and everyone dance. Hey, what's this coming along in pair of pink leather pants.......

The Intruders - I'll Always Love My Mama

Baggy Jeans and Lesser Of Two Phat Laces

Fnarr fnarr and apologies for the terible visual pun but following an email from a Horse Named Steve I have been listening to Q Tip's 2008 release, The Renaissance. So far its excellent. Feel a little confused as I heard the track, Official, on Giles Peterson's Radio One show a few years ago. Not sure if its a different version but the basics are the same.

As I wandered home tonight it was nice to be listening to some right proper Hip Hop. While i would never pretend to be the biggest Hip Hop fan or tmost knowledgable listener, I do love the beatnology, scratchology, lyricism and sneekers, when it all comes together.

The Horse Steve made a good point, "I think I love it. It's like one of those hip-hop albums you used to get before they all started doing 20+ tracks with special guests and skits everywhere."

Very good points im my opinion. Its true that the obsession with expensive guest contributors is so prevelant when it spread into jungle it made so many albums and tracks bloated and incoherent ego epics. Anyhoo, listening to The Renaissance was useful return to the basics of what I like without sounding old.

It reminded me a little of the Jungle Brothers and their album Raw Deluxe which I stupidly traded for a Laidback big beat album on Bolshi Records!!! Not so much a reminder in its sound but a reminder of a bling free production which was not afriad to have phat beats rather than so much of the r'n'b nonsense in the charts which sounds like it gets its beats from tapped a carrot on a biscuit tin.

I have added my favourite track of the album below and its accompanied by The Jungle Brothers and Eric B & Rakim. Break!!!

Q Tip - Gettin' Up

The Jungle Brothers - Brain

Eric B & Rakim - Know the Ledge

5 Jan 2009

Plan It!!!

Hey. Well was drinking on Saturday and brought up the whole light years, looking back in time question.

Got thrown back in my face that we do not see the past but we see what is actually happening because its all relative and it does not matter about the distance the light has travelled, its about how and when we receive this. If you know what I mean? Anyhooo, mulling it, mulling it big time.

In the meanwhilst here is some background galatic thinking.

Solar System:How Big Is The Galaxy?

2 Jan 2009

A New Year

Happy New Year and I hope you had a good one. 2009 is hear and I have some questions.

A lot of them are about money matters and finding a new job. But there are bigger issues.

I am sitting on the sofa watching The Hitcherhikers Guide To The Galaxy. I have not seen this before and its on because the lady is out seeing her mum, but it fits into my present New Year preoccupation. Science.

Given that the universe is trillions of light years in length I am under the impression that that means when we look at the stars and galaxies above, below and around us, we in fact are seeing them not as they are now, at that precise moment, but instead as they were billion or trillions of years previously. We see back in time. An exploding star has in fact been long dead and gone.

If we accept that and remind ourselves that we are not the centre universe but on a planet which is a tiny pinprick on the ass of the cosmos, then the same logic stands for any other life searching the universe as we do.

So if there is something else out there looking for life and they are looking at our galaxy, solar system and planet then they would not see me sitting on my sofa watching The Hitcherhikers Guide To The Galaxy but our galaxy, solar system and planet as it was millions of years ago, for example.

Now at present our technology allows us to only see living but seemingly still pictures of the cosmos. However, if we are theorising that the images at each end of this galatic search are both in the past then we can theorise that differing technology may exist and would it be possible for this other life to study us not as a distant collection of space gas and stars, but as if they were David Attenborough types looking through a set of binoculars seeing life in action. By that logic depending on the distant earth was from this other point in space and the level of the technology they could see our past in clear images. Dinosaurs, ice age, evolution of man etc etc.

Should they then record this and we would ever meet and share our joint histories, we would have the answers to many great questions and mysteries solved.

Happy New Year and here is a useful lesson in dealing with telesales callers....

Random Hilarity:How To Torment Telemarketers With One Word