Feeling lazy? Don’t want to sift through the 365 worthy tracks I found in 2009? I don’t blame you, it’s too much good music! Here are some classic tracks to get u started. Just click the “play” link on the Barkays track and let it roll thru the rest of ‘em. You can download any that you like. And you can buy music from these artists, just hit the convenient “Need more!” link.
Barkays go deep with “Holy Ghost”
Boo! Ok, one of the gr8est rhythm sections in the history of recorded music, rockin’ it heavy. Trick or treat? The answer is: both. Bust this and watch your ghouly guests go completely mad.
Venus Gang Loves to Fly
Tight, groovy, and funky as the day is long, this 1978 number by Venus Gang is pure fun. No politics or controversy here, just a phat, raw beat, and sexy female vocals about stars making love and loving to fly. Imagination takes care of the rest. Disco keyboard and rhythm section work a’la Quincy Jones, meets a dubby clubby vibe that anticipates more contemporary nightclub music, and gives some of today’s producers a bit of schooling, I’d have to say. Delicious track.
Power To The People, right on
Hey! I did it! 365 songs for 365 days, babies! Each one lovingly plucked from the Interwebs for you to enjoy. What you don’t hear is all of the songs I listened to and did NOT post! You see, that’s the time consuming part, and why I am a filter, a subjective valuer of content, a deejay, call it what you will, I am SuperFan, hear me roar. I love music so much, and the mainstream music biz is still in the toilet, reduced to karaoke talent shows. So my little contribution this year was to feature the best undiscovered or under-discovered tracks I could find, from rock to hip-hop and anything else I fancied. There’s even a classic from Chuck Berry in the mix.
And ya know what? It’s been so much fun, I’ve decided l do it again in 2010.
Closing 2009 with a ferocious track with a worthy message from España’s hardcore worshipers of rock, Tokyo Sex Destruction. Happy new year, music lovers!
Eddie Floyd demands 100 percent Sweet Soul
Soul music legend Eddie Floyd has been singing, recording and touring for something like five decades, and the man shows no sign of letting up today. This classic recording of “Ninety-Nine and a Half” is pure molten gold. Probably best known for “Knock On Wood” – a song he co-wrote with Steve Cropper which was a hit in 1966 and subsequently covered by like a hundred major artists, some of whom also charted with it – Eddie Floyd is a real as real gets. This is a gr8 record you should have at the ready, to heat up those cold winter nights.
Secrets from the Information Ghetto
SuperFan goin’ all ‘lectronicoid on ya again, with some pure electronic dance music. I was intrigued by the title and stark album artwork here – this is one of those random discoveries, and I’m glad I stopped to check it out, it’s fun stuff. As is often the case in this genre, one must be patient at first. “Piotun” starts with a mere skeleton, and you think, hey, I could do this on a laptop in my sleep, why is this a record? But the piece soon reveals itself, with a magnificent primal synth bass part that could compel a brick to boogie, before atmospheric cinematic gongs and blips complete the trance inducing picture. This kind of thing works so well in a nightclub setting. Or, you know, at home, with friends, pretending your pad is a nightclub. I do it all the time. Why not? Ravers, rave on.
Steel Pulse goes Phishing
One of the gr8est and longest running live reggae acts, Steel Pulse has a sound to match their name. This very unexpected treat comes from “Dub Like An Antelope – Legends of Reggae Celebrate Phish,” and yes, you read that correctly. Toots and the Maytals, Yellowman and other reggae superstars lend their talents to this collection of covers – of songs originally performed by that most revered of jam bands. Huh? No, really Dorothy, and what’s more, it’s good. Pay a visit to the Phish “Farmhouse” with Handsworth’s finest.
The Troggs make a bloody Number One!
Ah, the unspeakably funny and cringe-worthy Troggs tape. The gr8est fly on the wall document of a band melting down ever recorded. Often cited as the inspiration behind Spinal Tap, this fairly oozes absurdity and dysfunction. There’s a fine moment, when you hear the guitar player doing his part, and someone shouts “YEAH!” in the talk-back mic, the guitarist continues playing EXACTLY the same part, and the voice comes in again with “NO!” Shortly thereafter there is a sort of cackle, the unmistakable croak of a grown man cracking. Sickly pleasurable. They may not have gotten their number one out of this, but they sure have entertained millions of people with this unintended meme. For the band that did “Wild Thing,” tis an inglorious end. For the advanced class, try the Infamous Troggs Tapes Megamix.
The Infamous Troggs Tapes (play/download)
Pere Ubu, Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi
Pere Ubu is not exactly a household word, but their art has influenced decades of popular and influential acts like the Pixies, Joy Division, REM, Bauhaus and others. The songs on their new album make up the backbone of a theatrical production, “Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi”, that premiered in 2008 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Based on the play “Ubu Roi” which premiered in Paris in 1896 provoking riots, the story is a re-telling of “Macbeth,” as a ruthless satire of the bloated and corrupt state of pre-World War I Europe. The new piece is “Brutal, lacking charm, and without redeeming values, an album for our times,” boasts Pere Ubu’s founder David Thomas, “It is, in fact, the only punk record that’s been made in the last 30 years.” Quite a statement, yet one that a man with his credentials can make, when the music and text is this far outside of the norm. Entertaining, scathing, and very funny work.
Lyrics Born, world citizen of hip-hop
Lyrics Born – AKA Asia Born, originally Tom Shimura of Berkeley, CA by way of Tokyo, Japan – is part of a wave of innovation in hip-hop which defies clichés and embraces creativity and entertainment over materialism, violent imagery and ridiculous egos. The joyfully defiant “Callin’ Out” couldn’t be more East Bay on a bet, featuring a jazzy disco-funk bed, soaring female vocal choruses, and Borns’ own distinctive street narrative. This is gr8 party music that you can also you can get your think on to. Enjoy.
Ryan Adams Rant Redux
Ryan Adams now legendary meltdown on Jim DeRogatis‘ answering machine made the rounds back in ’04 and soon became immortalized on the Interwebs. Utterly hilarious, or unbearable depending on your perspective, this is what happens when an artist gets one too many personal insults from a critic, throws decorum to the wind and fires back. Little could Adams know that his rant would soon be downloaded millions of times and take on a momentum of its own. I happen to like Ryan Adams’ music a lot, but I think I’d be down with this even if I thought it was shite! Little lite humor for your holiday fun =)
Vic Chesnutt’s luminous “Chain”
Vic Chesnutt‘s craft is at such a high level, between lyrics and voice and accompaniment, that listening to his songs one can forget oneself and become entirely transported into the musical picture. “Chain” from his latest album, is a soft cinematic masterpiece, each instrument a character, conversing and dancing ethereally with the protagonist/singer, illuminating a scene far more nuanced and colorful that pop music is expected to be. Perhaps this is why Mr. Chesnutt’s reputation amongst pop stars is so well established – to list his famous admirers would be something of a cliché at this point – while his own fame among the general public is still relatively limited. The quality of this work is so self evident all I can suggest is, download it and have a listen. And if you’re wondering if the rest of the album, and indeed the rest of the output from this artist is as original and beautiful as this, this answer is yeah, it is.
Charlie Hunter comes home again
Charlie Hunter‘s “Home For The Holidays” show at Yoshi’s has become quite the tradition for me in my hometown of Oaksterdam. The event has always been a great success, and this year they’re celebrating its tenth year with a four day run, Dec 18-Dec 20, 2009, featuring special guest Doug Wamble. So to warm up for this fantabulous occasion, I’m posting this bubbly rockin’ jazzy funk track for you’re listening plizeasure. Note the absence of any bass guitar proper, as Charlie manages the top, middle, and bottom of an 8 string slanted fret guitar that was designed for him by fellow Oaklander Ralph Novak. When Hunter gets cooking on that thing, you’ll find yourself looking around the stage asking, where are the rest of the players? A musician, a magician and a mensch, Charlie just keeps getting better with time.
“High Pockets and a Fanny Pack” (download mp3)
from “Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid”
“High Pockets and a Fanny Pack” (play)
Cheers! I kept going in 2010, check it out.