Wednesday, June 04, 2008

PSS / Bill Dolan / Joe Raaen - D.C.'s Tavern - Thurs June 5th - 9-Closing

Hello Y'all,
It has been some time since I have gotten to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Bill Dolan at the edge of the world and behind the turntables in that gritty little cave known Back In Back as D.C.'s Tavern. Well, this Thursday we return to the scene of the crimes with more music; some old, most new, some familiar and others downright obscure. Unfortunately for those who don't like to read it has been a month or two so the below descriptions may seem endless. For those of you who do like to read please be kind when observing my grammar and lack there of. There are some amazing new things coming out every day from some of the best new Soul and Funk labels including Hammond Beat, Tru-Thoughts, Freestyle, Skyline, Ricky Tick, etc. Also I have recently been lucky enough to find some things I have been searching for forever as well as others that I had no idea existed (or forgot about for one reason or another). I have also thrown in some 70's Action Sounds.. soundtracks that is and a set of "76 - "77 Punk inspired by "Punk On 45 (Revolutions On Vinyl 1976 - 70)" after devouring it in one bite. Come for the Beer but stay for the Floor Show.

- pat.

Primitive Sound System
"Audio Visual Triumphs and Disasters" -
Here is the link to the WFMU $mall ¢hange archive from my guest spot... I even talk. -

Primitive Sound System & Bill Dolan & Joe Raaen
You will be in the sights of Larry "The Hunter" so be kind and rewind and tip.
Thursday June 5th 9PM to Closing
D.C.'s Tavern
505 8th Street
Between Jefferson and Madison
Hoboken, New Jersey
PH: 201-792-5550

A LOT of records:

Captain Hammond - "Origin [the APOLLO 7 version]" (Hammond Beat cat. HB7-03 Side A (Ltd. Ed. 250 w/ credits insert))
I watch A LOT of documentaries about Space. A WHOLE LOT of them. The intro to "Origin (Apollo 7 Version)" could easily be the best soundtrack to the Big Bang Theory or perfect accompaniment for a lift off out of our atmosphere. There is a unique feel here not found on other similar minded recordings. Funky Cha-Cha drums under the bleeps and bloops of the synth that suddenly give way to a thick bass line and atmospheric wash of synth elevate this moment from an intro to a happening. The Organ underpins everything holding its course and allows the Synthesizer to be the guidance system but the Hammond is the true Captain of this ship and soon takes control for the rest of our voyage. As we fade to the horizon while the synth continues communicating with mission control and all systems are go.
The Futuro Seven - "Mercury Wonderland [the MECHANAUT version]" (Hammond Beat cat. HB7-03 Side B (Ltd.. Ed. 250 w/ credits insert))
Another amazing intro. Percussion, with what sounds like a backward loop kick off a nasty bass line from the organ. It is almost a fight between good and evil as somewhat silly bleeps and bloops trickle down throughout one tough little groove. Soon the silliness fades to the back and the Organ cranks up leading the charge. Sometimes repeating a groove can ruin the effect or lessen the drive but here it is almost relentless and burns until the floor gives out. It all winds down to to an out of breath finish. This is recorded really well giving room to each instrument and sound. The drums sound huge but never crush or get in the way of the tasteful percussion and synth effects. This is the only track I know by The Futuro Seven but I would love to hear a less effected piece. For now I'll have to settle for this little slice of greatness.

Tony Face Big Roll Band Featuring Yo Kalb / Tony Face Big Roll Band - "Lady Day & John Coltrane" b/w "Hey Bulldog" (Hammond Beat cat. HB7-04 (Ltd.. Ed. 250 w/ credits insert))
"Lady Day & John Coltrane" is easily one of my favorite Gill Scott-Heron songs so I'll try not to compare them. But, what does come to mind is the incredible Dana Bryant version of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" from way back in 1993 (Yes, I used to frequent the Giant Step events. When they were good they were great but when they were great, they were transcendent). Tony Face and Band really push the tune along which adds to the songs tension but Yo Kalb (of The FABULOUS Soul Snatchers) never seems hurried. Her vocals have a confidence and a hint of sultry attitude enough to stand up to any thing the band serves. The band is certainly tight and dead on the money with their choices. The Organ steps out with some nice double timed playing that really gets the head bobbing. There is always something nice about playing or a player (Paolo "Apollo" Negri) who gets really aggressive right before graciously stepping aside to allow another to shine. In this case Ms. Kalb comes right back in never missing a beat and joined at the hip by the Guitar right to the end. On the B-Side of this Soulful Jazz Funk workout is one of the few Beatles songs I play on a regular basis. There is something very "Get Out My Life Woman" about the groove so right off the bat that's pretty damn appealing. This is the IN YOUR MOTHERFUCKING FACE treatment this song needs if you are going to cover it. Pounding Drums and stabbing Guitar are immediately followed by what seems to be a possessed Organ. There is control and things do appear to be organized but this is a blowing session of the best kind. Drums flail and crash, Guitar strings get tortured, Bass lines thunder through the house and the Organ is shook to its core. I will play this a lot and I will play it loud. If you are going to do a cover make it your own. Just like a stray you have to break it with love and then make it obey you. "ATTACK!"

Phat Fred - "Yu Nou Rili" [live in Denmark] b/w "Memphis Train" [live in Denmark] (Hammond Beat cat. HB7-05 (Ltd.. Ed. 250 w/ credits insert))
Goddamn these guys are tight. You can hear a thousand bands play a similar brand of music but when you hear it all come together like this it gives you chills. This is LIVE?! You gotta be shitting me. Aside from the completely outstanding playing the recording is equally as perfect. There is always an argument over whether the New Funk bands sound as good as their forefathers and whether or not to call this Retro or not. Here's a definitive answer to both of those questions, PHAT FRED! just listen to the sound of the Organ and the precision of the Drums and Bass. I am not kidding, at times I swear I hear horns but it is because of the layered combinations of sound. Extremely tasteful Guitar slips in and out with a warm lush tone but this is an Organ session so the Guitar will have to wait for the next 7-inch to take center stage. I'll certainly buy that one as well. On the B-Side the band takes Rufus Thomas' "Memphis Train" at a quick pace. There are vocals on this side though I wish there were not. Mr. Wilkinson doesn't have a particularly bad voice it is just that it isn't seasoned enough. Let's face it, you try to remove Rufus Thomas' voice from your memory. I hope I never do. Phat Fred is such a tight incredible band that an instrumental version would have been just as perfect as their performance on the A-Side. Here again the Organ bounces along with the slamming beat and Bass. Each time Mr. Wilkinson stops singing and tosses off one of his sweet ass guitar riffs so effortlessly it is inspiring. The band plays like they have been playing together since birth. In the fade we are treated to what may have lead to a tasty little drum break but fade it does leaving us wanting MORE!

The Five Aces - "Kick The Bucket" b/w "Movin' On" (Dynomite R&B Series cat. DYNO1)
Cutty Lark - "Get Caught" b/w "Get Caught' Instrumental (Do Right Music! cat. DR4504)
Funkshone - "Droppin" b/w "Droppin'" Instrumental (Skyline Recordings cat. SL45007)

Lack of Afro - "Touch My Soul" featuring Steve Marriott b/w "The Outsider" (Freestyle cat. FSR7044)
I check a few sites on a regular basis and Freestyle is one of them. When I saw this announced on their site I couldn't believe my eyes. I assumed it must be yet another sample / remix thing but I was only half right. Yes, it utilizes samples but this is so beautifully done it is almost a shame to think of it as anything other than a collaboration. There are a few recognizable bits like the "Afterglow" sample but I can listen to this over and over and smile every time. I have a few other 7-inches by Lack of Afro (a.k.a. Adam Gibbons) and I am ALWAYS impressed. Stellar as always. If I am supposed to recognize the samples that make up the "The Outsider" I am happy that (for the most part) I can not. These are done so heavy and so seamless that I can't get enough of these compositions. Brilliant. I will own many more Lack of Afro records in the future.

The Grips - "Fancy Roll" (G.E.D. Soul Records cat. GED 001)
I hate to admit it but I found this little bit of Funk through the bands MySpace page. It is really well played and for a first shot is pretty sophisticated with horns as the main leads but does remain raw enough to not be slick or "new" sounding. The track runs through some nice changes and an impressive sax solo despite the short time length. I look forward to other releases by them.

The Bamboos present Kylie Auldist - "Community Service Announcement" b/w "Cut You Loose" (Tru-Thoughts cat. TRU7157)
Similar to the Soul Investigators, The Bamboos like variety. They thrive on it. Also similar to The Soul Investigators they have taste for days. Here The Bamboos are joined by the incredible Kylie Auldist. Ms. Auldist can stretch notes, moan and at times come across like a young Queen of Soul herself. The groove on "Cut You Loose" is sharp as tacks and combines the best of the JB's and the Meters which is to say it is classic Bamboos. The A-side of this is a bit of a Girl Group romp. And a quite Soulful one at that. Like most releases on Tru-Thoughts it is going to be difficult to ever leave this one at home.

The Stance Brothers - "Roll Call" b/w "The Strong One" (Ricky Tick records cat. RT017)
WEEEEEEE! This sucker jumps up right in your face and has NO intention of backing down. Why not? It's about Drummers isn't it. A Funky roll groove is taken at quite a quick pace accompanied by sparse Electric Piano, Percussion and a Vocalist reading off a list of some of the greatest drummers to every grace the throne. Roll call indeed. The outro is a slightly Latinized Jazz groove which rounds out the side quite nicely. Here is the great irony. I think "The Strong One" is certainly just that. It has the same in your face Drums but this time at a far more leisurely pace, Vibes, Electric Piano, Bass and some nice shouts to keep things moving. It is an all round great side... BUT... how can I not play "Roll Call?"

Jo Jo And The Outcast - "Whole Lot Of Woman" (Sound-O-Riffic cat. SOR-926)
Joe Jeffrey - "The Train" (Wand cat. WND 11207 (DJ Copy Not For Sale)) - This is the B-Side of "Dreamin' Till Then"
Right off the bat I have always had a thing for train songs. It is the same obsession with animal songs, food songs, space songs, version of "Summertime," "Caravan," "It's Your Thing," etc, etc, etc. Hey what can I say I obsess on music. The band is kicking it real raw with just a beautiful feel. It all sounds so unrehearsed but yet so together. It is the type of song that wants you to get up and play music or groove around the dance floor. Joe Jeffrey's voice is suited well for a song like this. He has a perfect amount scratch! He comes in a bit smooth but he gets up a good head of steam soon enough. He is looking to impress and impress he does. My favorite part is when he seems to step off the record to explain, to what would seem to be an ex, about just how styling he really is. She foolishly seems to refer to his Hog as a Pig and he does not take it likely. "You keep on messin' with me I'll make it hard for you to chew soup!' An instant favorite and one that I will be wearing out the groove quite quickly.

Victory Travelers - "I Know I've Been Changed" (Courtn cat. CO-1003)
The New Way - "Lookin Like A Nut Nut" (Guyjim Records Inc. cat. GJ 587)

The New Apocalypse - "Stainless Soul" (MTA Records cat. MTA 185)
I have never heard of this nor have I seen this label before. But I couldn't be any happier with discovering this seemingly perfect instrumental. The pace is medium to slow and at times it seems like it is going to burst out in a big horn section sound yet remains pretty lean and very raw. The intro has a feel that has me thing Gary Byrd or someone similar should be doing a talk up. Maybe Butterball! That would be great, OK, shh... this thing is incredible. I lopes around like a drunk who is still able to look pretty cool dancing. Heavy bass, spitting horns, raw Funky Drums and a cool echoey guitar sound that leads into a more Jazz sounding guitar. The Organ peaks in and out at first but then it takes hold and sets another mood. Suddenly the song has an upbeat vibe but when the organ drops out it is apparent that things haven't changed at all. I have listened to this about 5 times and every time I pick up something different. The outro is a looped guitar that mimics a skipping record. This one is definitely not skipping but will listen to it over and over and over and over and over and over...

Freddi / Henchi And The Soul Setters - "Funky To The Bone" bw "I Want to Dance, Dance, Dance" (Reprise Records cat. REP 1175 (Promotion - Not For Sale))
Nasty guitar opens this short and yes "Funky to the Bone" track. If Webster's Dictionary is allowed to define a word by using that word in the definition than I am definitely allowed to call this "Funky To The Bone." I had this forever on a comp but never tracked down an original until now. The guitar has a Joe Walsh a la "Funk 49" sound and then takes it far beyond that. The band basically just repeats "FUNKY, FUNKY, FUNKY TO THE BONE; FUNKY, FUNKY, FUNKY RIGHT ON!" The band seems rather small sounding for such a big name but it would also seem everyone involved is singing. There seems to be at least Bass, Guitar, Drums, Organ and the shared vocals add a horn section like element. The B-Side isn't bad either. It has a very Sly and The Family Stone sound with an even bigger ensemble sound and that same Funky Bass, Guitar, Drums. and Organ sound. This may sound crazy but the only drawback is it seems to go on a little too long but hey he did say he was going to DANCE, DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!

David Batiste & The Gladiators - "Funky Soul" PT. 1 & 2 (Instant Records cat. 3308)
This is easily two of the funky minutes you are likely to find any where. The title does not disappoint. This is Funky Soul at its best. The drums are heavy and exacting. The horns and guitar are just as sharp. Pumping organ and bass fueling this engine and the guitar stretches out a bit before a nice break cools things of momentarily. Not much more I can say and it isn't like any further description would make it that much better or appealing.

Lorenzo Holden - "The Wig" (Cee-Jam Records cat. #1 / CJ-8961 (wht label promo)
Some songs just hit you like a truck. This can happen in any genre or from any time period. The Wig is one such monster. I can't recall hearing this before because if I had I would have had to find it IMMEDIATELY. "Hey girl, don't come or your wig might fall off!" This is the classy intro to this Soulful R&B stormer. The first instrument to take the floor is a very soulful flute. Like the song of the siren it beckons you to shake your ass. Mr. Holden keeps shouting through out and soon the guitar cuts us like a knife with some insane and relentless riffs. If that isn't enough the Organ immediately jumps on the pile and if you aren't already up wrecking the floor the Drums and Claps should bounce you out of your seat with a repetitive beat that should inspire madness. I it sounds like I can't get enough of this

Adolphus Bell An The Up Starts - "Black Eye Peas" b/w "Lafin Gas" (Satin Records cat. SAT-1111)
"Lafin Gas" is either the best Halloween song ever or simply the best Stroll Instrumental. Not only are we treated to maniacal laughter but, what is certainly a rare appearance in 50's / 60's instrumentals, the lead is Trumpet. The trumpet speaks almost softly and with a calming tone but all the while you know the freak will be back. Mr. "Black Eye Peas" is just is good. I have probably said this every time I write about a food song but, there are very few bad food songs. These peas are whipped around a a good clip. Mr. Bell talks / sings through the whole song looking for, craving and offering Black Eye Peas to everyone. The guitar playing is frantic with that Wild Jimmy Spruill sound. This is one of my favorite two siders. Oddly enough Bell still plays to this day and more famously as a One Man Band.

James Rivers - "Bird Brain" b/w "Tighten Up" (Eight-Ball cat. 1560)
This is almost surprising as an A-Side but then I have seen the covers of Mr. Rivers LP's and they are odd to say the least. This is everything I could ever ask for in an instrumental. It has a very obvious 50's early 60's feel and the lead is...FLUTE! Flute instrumentals are a favorite of mine. Here the Flute is book-ended by Funky Blues Harmonica but the Flute takes hold of this composition and doesn't let go. There are a mix of sounds and genres buried in the extended solo but I am a sucker for the sounds of shouts, groans and growls through the Flute. I can see opening many, many sets with this beauty.

Eddie Chamblee - Dayton Selby on Organ - "The Honeydripper" (Prestige Records Inc. cat. PR 45-302 (Preview Copy))
Damn this is taken at a break-neck pace. This HAS to be the fastest paced version ever of this classic Joe Liggins' composition. For the past few years I have been playing the hell out of Herbie Mann's amazing spin on this gem. Eddie Chamblee rips through the tune and at one point gets his instrument to scream and squeal in a way I have heard very few players capable of. The steady drum groove keeps things from getting too out of hand but just listen to the aggressive organ solo to hear where each player could have stormed. Typically this would be known as a Blowing Session but that is almost a joke compared to what is happening here. Burnt, out of breath and certainly bloodied the band crashes to a dead end. Let's hope they recover to play some more.

Carol Jones - "Don't Destroy Me" (Mutt Records cat. M 27320)
This sounds like it was recorded in a hall or club. The horns have a big but distant sound, the drums are beautifully raw as if they remained unmixed and the vocals are almost shouted to be heard which is not a quality heard when the vocals are done in an isolation booth. The band is hitting really hard and the music is almost a dirge... so... how insanely surprising is it that this is all Funky as hell?! Ms. Jones vocals are genuinely pleading. This is not just some song she is interpreting or a story she wants to tell. This is a slice of life or a look behind the curtain. much to Ms. Jones credit this is quite an emotional performance.