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 January, 2009

Walk Away From Love
David Ruffin
Who I Am, 1975

Walk Away From Love
Bitty Mclean
On Bond Street, 2004

I haven’t listened to vinyl in a few months; I decided it was a good idea to give all of my iTunes mp3s (36,500+ and growing) one of those 1-5 star ratings. But last night, after a tough conversation, I sought the counsel of handful of soul records I didn’t know well. The first one I put on was ex-Temptation David Ruffin’s Who I Am album. I’m not someone who thinks things happen for a reason but it felt strangely time and space specific when the the third song came on.

I’ve been playing to Bitty Mclean’s “Walk Away From Love” pretty consistently for the last few months and I didn’t realize it was a cover until that familiar melody came through the headphones last night (almost like that father & son Coke commercial where Method Man and Mary J.’s “You’re All I Need” morphs into the Marvin & Tammi original). Ruffin’s version is produced by Van McCoy (the guy who made “The Hustle“) so some parts of the production haven’t aged well, especially the “gonnawalkaway/gonnawalkaway!” part. The song could also easily fade out at 3:54 (a minute and half before it actually does) and you wouldn’t miss anything but Ruffin’s delivery of the “breaks my heart” line is easily worth the price of admission.

According to wikipedia, this was the last top 10 hit of Ruffin’s career. He didn’t write the song (McCoy collaborator Charles Kipps did) but it seems that his version is definitely the original recording. I can’t find any other significant covers.

There is a video of Bitty performing the song live but I don’t like it that much, he tries to turn it into a party jam…and he’s smiling too much (it’s a sad song!).

Songs are available for two weeks.

Click below to see more photos from my trip to DC for Barack’s Inauguration:

(This one is approaching the Washington Monument and The Mall at dawn.)

Mr. Cool
Rasputin Stash
What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves: 1967-1977

This box set was the driving soundtrack for my New Year’s visit with Nyala in Houston and I thank her for it (and the gigs!).

This isn’t the best song on the compilation by far but the “no jive, gimme five (clap)” part was the most gangster (in terms of driving music) and the first thing I went looking for when I started working through it when I got home.

In my limited listening so far, I only know about 10 of the 91 songs and a lot of those are by somewhat lesser known groups like Clarence Wheeler & The Enforcers, Baby Huey & The Baby Sitters, and United 8. The compilers took care to include alternate versions of a few of the more known songs, like an extended version of “Rock Steady” by Aretha Franklin and Part II (but not Part I) of “Funky Nassau” by The Beginning Of The End.

The Dusty Groove review of this box set says “One of the funkiest box sets we’ve ever seen and amazingly issued by an American major label!” which I think is a pretty keen observation. For a long time the major label’s version of “rare” funk was putting “Fight The Power” by the Isley Brothers on a compilation instead of going with “Who’s That Lady” or “It’s Your Thing.” Compilations like this have been the province of smaller, often international (and often British) labels, so ATCO, et. al, I applaud you.

Shouts to DJ Sun, DJ Pooks and Jaekim.

Songs are available for two weeks.

Twice (Aaron Jerome Remix)
Little Dragon (Official Site, Myspace)
Twice Remix EP, 2008

I kept hearing this band’s name last year but it wasn’t until December that I finally heard their music. The album itself is excellent (the album version of “Twice” is in the youtube video below) and this track is from a remix EP.

There is something really pleasing about the (long) distance between bass kicks and the snares in the song (like Peter Kruder’s remix of Shaun Escoffery’s Space Rider). You might say, “that’s what happens in a slow song” and, well, you would be right but there are a few percussion patterns in the background which get going in earnest at 1:49 (and end at 3:54) that are moving much faster and give the song a floating feeling. Floating between tempos and actually floating on air.

And for my music geeks, notice how the first chorus (:54) is in 4/4 but they stretch the next two (1:49, 3:05) over the same amount of 7/4 bars. The rest of the song is in 4/4.

I don’t know much about the group other than that they are from Sweden so, I’ll leave the back story to wikipedia:

Little Dragon is an electronic music band, based in Gothenburg, Sweden. It consists of Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano (vocals, percussion) and her close high-school friends Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrik Källgren Wallin (bass), and Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboards). The first Little Dragon’s release was a double A-side 7’’ single ‘Twice’/’Test’, released on Off The Wall label in 2006. The following year, the band signed with the larger British indie Peacefrog Records and released their debut self-titled album Little Dragon on September 3, 2007.[1] Since then they have been touring through Europe and also have made music videos for the songs “Test”, “Twice,” “Constant Surprises,” and “After the Rain”.

Songs are available for two weeks.

Top 10′s for 2008

My Favorite Albums of 2008
Jazzanova – Of All The Things (Verve)
Boomclap – Kort Før Dine Læber (Music For Dreams)
Various – Brownswood Bubblers 3 (Brownswood)
Nobody Presents Blank Blue – Western Water Music Vol. II (Ubiquity)
Various – Doin’ James (GAMM)
Daru Jones – Spirit Drumz – Chapter 1 (Rusic)
Natural Self – The Art Of Vibration (Tru Thoughts)
Lykke Li – Little Bit EP (LL)
Q-Tip – The Renaissance (Universal) Black Milk – Tronic (Fat Beats)
Raphael Saadiq – The Way I See It (Columbia)

My Favorite Songs of 2008
The Foreign Exchange – Daykeeper featuring Muhsinah (Rhymesayers)
Karl Hector + The Malcouns – Followed Path (Now Again)
Jose James – Desire (Moodymann Remix) (Brownswood)
Black Spade – Evil Love (Ohm)
Charlie Dark & Roger Robinson – Prayer For Angry Young Men (Brownswood)
Lykke Li – Little Bit (LL)
Hygher Baby – Coming Home (Part 2) feat. Fatima (Circulations Japan)
Kylie Auldist – Community Service Announcement (Tru Thoughts)
Bennson – Let The Love (Original Extended DJ Version) (Raw Fusion)
Katalyst – How Bout Us Featuring Steve Spacek (Brownswood)

2008 MVP
Phonte Coleman

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