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Archive for January, 2008

Oh Not My Baby
Aretha Franklin
Spirit In The Dark, 1970

Before we start, I’d like to give a shout to Eddie Hinton, Jimmy Johnson and Cornell Dupree…well, at least one of them. They are all listed as playing guitar on this song and (other than Aretha’s voice, obviously) the guitar playing, although very low in the mix, totally makes the track.

This song is pretty sad. Basically the lyrics are: my friends said you were cheating, i defended you, they insisted (they were right)…i defended you…and I’m really glad I did because in the end, you wanted to marry me.

This is another gem borrowed from the Carole King / Jerry Goffin library (the most obvious being “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”). I actually heard the Carole King version first and completely passed over it (I still agree with my assessment upon second listen) and I think the reason is because when Carole King sings it, you feel sorry for her, like she doesn’t understand that her logic is flawed. Aretha is able to carry it in such a way that the underlying message is, “hey, life ain’t perfect and I love him.” [For the record, this song dates back to at least 1964 and wasn't popularized by Carole King or Aretha.]

The funniest part of the song is when Aretha says “he may have had a last minute fling” and the background singers quickly follow with with a “wooo!”…ok, ladies, a little too excited, she didn’t win the lotto, she got cheated on.

>> songs are available for two weeks (192 kbps) [4.0 MB]
>> songs are available for two weeks (320 kbps) [6.6 MB]

new and notable

I’m not sure how the “new and notable” section of the podcast section of the iTunes music store is decided but our podcast is up there right now. Yay.

how not to request a song – part 10

at madame x last week:

her: can i put my ipod in?
me: in what?
her: in…to the speakers
me: no
her: no?
me: no
her: i was here before and the guy let me put my ipod in
me: ok
her: so…why not?
me: i’m djing right now…so…i’ma just do that instead…
her: (puzzled look…then walked away)

What Am I Waiting For
The O’Jays
Survival, 1975

“O’Jays power ballads” would definitely make my list of the good things in life. I wouldn’t actually call them “power ballads” (because of the 80′s rock connotation) but they definitely have more zest than what I think of as a “ballad.”

Wait…first things first, being from outside of Cleveland I need to point out that the O’Jays are from outside of Cleveland (Canton) and not Philadelphia as a lot of people think. Their best work (far and away) was with Gamble & Huff for Philadelphia International Records (P.I.R.) but just like Ohio license plates claim “birthplace of aviation” (the Orville Wright was born in Dayton), we also claim The O’Jays. The started out recording for King Records out of Cincinnati in 1961 and renamed themselves after Cleveland radio DJ Eddie O’Jay in 1963 after he gave them early support. Just wanted to give you the heads up so you don’t get your feelings hurt if you are ever talking about the O’Jays to any black person over 40 from Cleveland (and many younger). Eddie-Levert-pride is not a game.

They went on to record for Apollo, Imperial, Bell and Neptune before 1971. Neptune Records is where they met Gamble & Huff (G&H worked with Neptune pre-P.I.R.) and then they signed the O’Jays to P.I.R., which they created after Neptune folded.

In compiling the list below (my favorite O’Jays ballads) I realized that Bunny Sigler had his hand in most of the songs which I didn’t realize.

Back Stabbers
Listen To The Clock On The Wall (written by Gamble & Huff)
Who Am I (co-written and co-produced by Bunny Sigler)

Ship Ahoy
You Got Your Hooks In Me (written by Bunny Sigler)
Don’t Call Me Brother (written by Gamble & Sigler)

Message In The Music
I Swear, I Love No One But You (written & produced by Bunny Sigler)

So Full of Love
Help Somebody Please (written & produced by Eddie Levert and others)

If you like “What Am I Waiting For” be sure to check for those songs too. Most of this stuff is out on CD.

This song was sampled (poorly) by Nashiem Myrick on Jay-Z’s “You Must Love Me” on In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 and with a little more subtlety by the somewhat recently deceased Disco D on 50 Cent’s “Ski Mask Way.”

>> songs are available for two weeks (192 kbps) [5.5 MB]
>> songs are available for two weeks (320 kbps) [9.1 MB]

Nasty featuring Miss Jack Davey
J Dilla
Jay Love Japan [Bootleg], 2007

I have two versions of this J Dilla album in my iTunes, one ripped from a CD that had the artwork at left (courtesy of my favorite Estonian power couple Bert & Heidy – hey guys!) and another titled “Jay Love Japan Bootleg!!” of dubious origin. I always wondered who the exclamation points belonged to so I decided to try to find out today. It’s actually kind of scandalous, according to this site from the Netherlands, which apparently has an explanation from someone at the label.

Warning: this probably won’t be interesting if you aren’t already a J Dilla/Jay Dee fan:

Everything was set, Dilla was excited, we we’re all excited. Then the unbelievable happened, we all lost a beloved hero. Shortly after, a now ex-employee (which will go unnamed, those who know, know) began exploiting the situation and confusion surrounding his death. We’ll even go as far as saying that this person was anticipating this situation. We’re NOT saying that he wanted it to happen, but he certainly was being an opportunist (like other people surrounding Dilla) planning around the reality of the situation. He had spent much of his time with Dilla toward the end of his life. Those involved could see it coming. It all begin there.

This person has a knack of positioning himself with some of the most talented people in the game, but it always showed to unravel when it counted. This person has put other labels into this same situation (which will also go unnamed). He began spending a lot of time getting close with J’s family, and the rest of the label’s priorities were being ignored. Other artists on our label began seeing an attitude change in this person, and suspected the scheming. He was even confronted and warned before all of this went down. Make no mistake, this person was responsible for most of the initial business with J Dilla. He organized most of the photoshoots which everyone uses for J Dilla’s press today, IE: BBE’s The Shining album pictures / World’s Fair J Dilla page, MTV pictures, etc.. we paid for all of this. Much of the material that exists, including the signing of the album to the Operation Unknown label, was because of this person. Greed is like crack though, and something snapped. This person was obsessed with Dilla, and it all shifted to high gear months after his death.

Shortly after, this person began recruiting unsupsecting upcoming artists and pitching the idea to them that he, and only he, had access to J Dilla beats, and they would be fortunate enough to be featured on the album (which the album was already completed at the time). This person started recording other artists verses over Jay Love Japan beats. Even the track featuring the Jack Davey rap (of J Davey) was done over a beat that was already used for Phat Kat’s 12″, “Nasty Aint It” [emphasis added]. There were even demos with the artist “Truth Hurts” singing over the track “In The Streets”. Most of this sounded better on paper than it did coming out of the speakers. The only artists commisioned for their work on Jay Love Japan, were those featured on the official album shortly released before it was pulled…

In June 2007, we were set on releasing this project. We couldn’t take the delay anymore, we had to just put it out. So we hustled, raised enough money to put it out, and moved forward with it through Fat Beats. About 2 weeks later, we get a call from J Dilla’s estate threatening a legal nightmare. The estate was looking to cease and desist the album. So now, all of the hardwork, all of the advertising, and most importantly, the FANS of DILLA’s music all had to wait, because we were being accused of doing shady business. It seems that this one person’s shady reputation had reached to high places, because we were even asked if “this person” was still working with us. It seems that certain people had made sure that our label had gotten a shake down, all because of the dislike of this one person.

These negotiations have lasted for the greater part of 2007…

We’re glad to say that we’ve resolved this situation and Jay Love Japan will be available worldwide in early 2008 on all formats.

>> songs are available for two weeks (192 kbps) [3.2 MB]

Slangcast 001

This is the first podcast from my good friend’s design company – Slang Inc. – mixed by me!

Track Listing
01 – You’re Gonna Need Me – Dionne Warwick
02 – Stop! – J Dilla
03 – Art of Storytellin Pt. 4 – Outkast
04 – PJs Remix – El Michels Affair & Raekwon
05 – Make the Road By Walking – Menahan Street Band
06 – The Freedom Clap – Marc Mac
07 – Water – The Roots
08 – Her Story – The Flying Lizards
09 – Dillagence (One-4-Jay) – DJ Spinna featuring Phonte
10 – Buck Em Down – Black Moon
11 – Tribute To Troy L. – Liquid Crystal Project
12 – Long Red – Mountain
13 – Sound the Alarm – Black Milk featuring Guilty Simpson
14 – Hate It Or Love It – The Game featuring 50 Cent
15 – Rubber Band – Trammps
16 – トラック 04 – Sa-Ra Creative Partners
17 – NY Shit (Instrumental) – Busta Rhymes
18 – I Went For Mine – Diamond And The Psychotic Neurotics
19 – When They Remember – Freeway
20 – I Can Sing a Rainbow/Love Is Blue – The Dells
21 – Shakey Dog – Ghostface Killah
22 – Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
23 – Lonely People – Talib Kweli
24 – Here Comes The Sun – Eugene Record
25 – He Comes featuring Ghostface – De La Soul
26 – It’s Simple – Visioneers
27 – Love For The Sake Of Love – Claudja Barry
28 – How We Live – Styles P
29 – Players – Slum Village
30 – Double Drums (DJ DSL Remix) – Peace Orchestra
31 – Won’t Do – J Dilla
32 – Soon The New Day – Talib Kweli featuring Norah Jones
33 – What A Job – Devin The Dude featuring Snoop Dogg & Andre 3000
34 – Surviving The Times – NaS


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I Get Lifted
Orgōne
The Killion Floor, 2007

I don’t do top 10′s or 25′s each year but if I did, this album would surely be near the top of my 2007 list. I’ve listened to it probably twice and I’ve already rated 8 songs with three or more “stars” in iTunes. Orgōne are Los Angeles based and they apparently have some members in common with Breakestra. This is their debut album and and it’s on (the eerily consistent) Ubiquity Records which is no stranger to this blog.

Orgōne first get on my radar from their cover of The Beginning of the End’s “Funky Nassau” which came out Ubiquity’s Rewind! 4 compilation a few years back. I guess they decided to go with their previous formula for success and released this cover as their first single. They stretch George McCrae’s original 2:46 version to 7:26 and make use of all 5 extra minutes.

Fanny Franklin is on lead vocals on both songs and I would definitely like to hear more from here in the very near future. She wrote the lyrics and melody to “Said and Done” which is the song I’ve been playing the most so far.

This version of “I Get Lifted” is more epic then all of the other versions I know, including the George McCrae, KC & The Sunshine Band (my previous favorite) and Sweet Music versions. It’s too early to tell if it will stay my favorite but right now it’s winning because it seems to incorporate the best elements of each version.

If you like what you hear, I strongly encourage you to pick up the album; you can get it directly from Ubiquity or from Dusty Groove.

>> songs are available for two weeks (192 kbps) [10.3 MB]
>> songs are available for two weeks (320 kbps) [17.2 MB]

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