DJ Schedule Saturday 11/19 I Love Vinyl @ Louie & Chan 10:00 p.m.–4:00 a.m. 303 Broome Street NYC
Monday 11/21 Friends @ Kinfolk 8:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m. 90 Wythe Ave, BK 11211

Archive for March, 2005

No Tears featuring Leela James
Pete Rock
Soul Survivor 2, 2004

This is another song that is very close to the top of my iTunes “playcount” list, I’ve listened to it 31 times (and counting). As I think I’ve said before, I’m someone who listens to music much more for the sounds then the words. This is one of those songs that conjures such a distinctive picture that I have to stop and listen to see if the lyrics actually describe any of what I see or whether it’s just the power of the music.

The track starts with a faint “off in the distance” sample of the intro percussion to Bobbi Humphrey’s lovely “Jasper Country Man.” “Jasper Country Man” may also sound familiar as Digable Planets’ “Blowin’ Down.” The Jasper sample is joined by record static, strings, some sort of sonic “ping” sound and a piano riff that just spills into the headphones. All of this adds up to a rainy day in a cold apartment when it’s getting dark and you can’t tell whether the clouds are getting more dense or if the sun is actually going down.

Despite being fairly repetitive, Leela James’s voice makes the song seem to end too soon each time. I love the call and response on the chorus, especially her inflection on “I know” and the closing “it won’t be long, so don’t you worry, cause trouble don’t last always, nah no nah no, joy come in the morning.”

And of course true to Pete Rock’s “I got beats comin’ out my ears” steez, there’s is an unrelated :15 instrumental interlude tagged onto the end along with some dialogue. Feel free to set iTunes “Stop Time” to 3:15.

>> songs are available for two weeks [5.3 MB]

love to see ya doin’ ya thing

i’m working on having an area where people can leave comments on the weekly snippets but i’m not there yet, so this post will serve as the designated area for this week.

the post title is from “Joyous”

“i fell asleep with this beat on repeat / repetitive loop life seems to great me”
-foreign exchange

Once Around The Block
Badly Drawn Boy
The Hour Of Bewilderbeast, 2000

This brings to mind a great tip for iTunes users (if you are not already employing it) and that is: start and stop times. If you “Get Info” on a song (may be different on PC) and then click on the “Options” tab you can change the point where a song starts and/or stops. This is heaven-sent for banishing awful skits that artists aren’t nice enough to put on a separate track [for me to skip over in the importing process]. It also comes in handy with sloppy track marker placement, where you get an unpleasant little snippet of noise at the beginning or end of a song (coming from the previous or next song) – like you do with this song. With a little trial ‘n’ error I came up with .202 as the best start time for this track. Don’t wince, I’m beyond wanting to appear cool when it comes to stuff like this(!).

Onto the music. I played this track for WEEKS when I got it. It’s a triumph of production. I has the perfect mix of instruments and sound textures.

check the layers in the first :35 seconds:
0:00 – acoustic guitar in right channel (mostly)
0:05 – 2nd acoustic guitar creaps in
0:08 – add bass and drums
0:13 – first electric (rhymthm) guitar in left channel
0:17 – second electric (lead) guitar, favoring right channel
0:34 – add vocals

(various instruments dropped out and added)

1:36 – check the beatles-esque harmonies!

and the moment i wait for:
2:08 – everything drops out except for the two electric guitars (there’s a lovely subtle crackling coming from the rhythm guitar)
2:26 – it jumps from both electric guitars to both acoustics and vocals with no overlap of instruments whatsoever and it comes off lovely!

I get so caught up in the instruments that I still don’t really know what the song is about but I always catch the line “i’m gonna search hard for your clues.” There something perfect about that line to me.

I also just caught that he ends with “Take a left, a sharp left and another left, meet me on the corner, we’ll start again”…hence “Once Around The Block.” Wow, everytime I post a song I learn something new about it…i love it.

>> songs are available for two weeks [5.2 MB]

Friday @ Lush In TriBeCa

This Friday, I’m honored to be sharing turntable time with:

DJ Van Vader & DJ Tony Tantrum

@ Lush Lounge
110 Duane Street [btwn. Broadway & Church]
Friday, March 18 || 9pm-3am
$5 b4 Midnite, $10 after || no dress code
Train: A,C,E,2,3 to Chambers

We’ll be celebrating Tony’s 30th Birthday and the release of the Blue Room’s “Blue Room Radio” CD. I’ll be playing on the early side (10:00-11:00 or 11:30) and again late night (like 1:00-2:00).

I’m definitely looking forward to this as I haven’t had that many chances thus far, to play spots where there is actually room to dance. It will be a solid night of music all around and well worth the $5, so please come through!

Missing You
Joi
Star Kitty’s Revenge, 2002

Ok, I’m taking a little bit of a chance this week. First off, the artwork is a little crazy. Second, I can’t recommend this album for purchase, in fact, I don’t recommend it. But I request that you let this one song into your life, if at all possible.

This is one of the most unintentionally sensory-based songs I’ve ever heard. She literally covers all five senses (as I’m silly enough to demonstrate below) and although the texture of the musical backdrop can’t quite cover the same ground, it holds its own.

What I love about this song first and foremost is that it’s one of those songs that’s a little too random and specific to not at least be based on something real. I really doubt that someone woke up one day and said, “I’m going to write an R&B song this morning” and this came out. The writing credit actually goes to Gipp from Goodie Mob (her husband) and Dallas Austin, which is surprising based on how personal the lyrics seem but I don’t care – whoever wrote it was drawing on some personal drama!

Second, the musical backdrop is totally simple but manages to be funky (in a driven kind of way) yet warm and cozy at the same time. I’m always immediately drawn into this song from the first three seconds (yes, all 35 times – thank you iTunes “Play Count”) but I’m always jumping ahead, waiting for her voice to crack when she says “chicken” and for the beat to drop at 0:37. Just listening right now, I realized that there is a rain stick in this song. Funk guitar licks, bass, drum set, two kinds of organ, and…a rain stick. I guess that’s how they pulled it off.

One of the things that makes this song so dynamic musically is that they drop all the instruments out except guitar, bass and drums (@ 2:11) for 8 bars to remind us that it’s all resting on top of some funk and then they drop us right back in.

The best one second of the song is 2:29, the one beat anticipation in the organ that brings all of the lush instrumentation back in as Joi launches into her idiosyncratic list of what she misses about her M.I.A. lover. My eyes half-close every time 2:29 comes around in anticipation of the confluence of that damn rain stick(!) the organs and “i miss your smell”.

My best stab at the lyrics:

I miss you baby
Since you’ve been gone
Why’d you have to stay gone so long?
Yesterday…seems so far away
Cause I can’t see your beautiful face (sight)

I do the same shit night after night
I even fried that chicken you like (taste)
I open up the window so you can smell it cross town (smell)
And maybe it will bring you back around

I’m missing you (baby, baby, baby)
Wishing you were here, baby (I don’t know what I’m gonna do without cha)
I’m missing you, babe
Wishing you were here, baby (I’ma need you to go on and come on home)

After argument #42
I said I was really gonna be through fuckin’ wit you
But all these lonely nights are killin’ me
So now I’m – I’m longin’ for #43

I listen to the silence, I can hear you say [sing?] (hearing)
“But baby, please don’t give my pussy away”
I’ll keep my legs together cause your doin’ [you do it?] better
Better than those other girls and boys anyway [?]

I’m missing you, baby
Wishing you were here, baby (and I really, really need you to come on)
I’m missing you
Wishing you were here, baby (and I really need you to come on home)

I’m missing you
Wishing you were here, baby (I’m missing you, I’m missing you)
I’m missing you
Wishing you were here, baby (and I need you to come on home)

(instrumental vamp)

I miss your smell (smell x2)
I miss your walk
I miss your laugh
I miss your talk

I miss your best
I miss your worst
I miss the last line
I miss the first

I miss the way you never seemed to care
I miss the way you’d never played fair
I miss the way you’d lose your keys
I miss the way you’d get on your knees

I miss the way you kiss my lips (touch)
I miss the way you grab my hips (touch)
I miss the way you pull my hair (touch)
I miss your daisy underwear [?]

I’m missing you
Wishing you were here, baby (and I really, really need you to come on)
I’m missing you
Wishing you were here, baby (and I need you, need you, need you to come on home)

I’m missing you (come on babe)
Wishing you were here, baby
I’m missing you
Wishing you were here, baby (and I hope, need you to come on home)

>> songs are available for two weeks [6.2 MB]

Melting Pot (Vinyl-Only Bonus Track)
The Roots
The Tipping Point, 2004

The first song I heard from The Tipping Point was a snippet of “Stay Cool”. I got excited. I was also a little surprised that they used such a well-known sample for the majority of a musical bed for a song. I was even more surprised when I picked up the CD and found that they had done a 8:13 version of George Kranz’s “Din Da Da” that was extremely faithful to the original. I was then, even more surprised, when I picked up the vinyl, to find yet another lengthy (10:38) faithful cover.

They, of course, picked the perfect song, so I couldn’t hate, even if it is a lil’ self-indulgent at that length. I actually haven’t found a copy of the Booker T. and the M.G.’s original but the track is plenty familiar from Big Daddy Kane’s “Another Victory” if nothing else.

If someone’s got a double of the OG and wants to trade, holler at me!

>> songs are available for two weeks [14.7 MB]

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