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 May, 2009

Still Miles
DJ Day & Miles Bonny
(Download Only), 2009
[via fresh selects and/or like a throttle]

I’ve featured DJ Day on this site before. Last month he posted two great covers of songs from Instant Vintage, Raphael Saadiq’s solo debut, for free download on his blog. Be sure to visit one of the links above and download “Can You Feel Me.” The other song is “Still Ray” which is a collaboration with DJ Day and Kansas City DJ/Singer/Producer/Trumpet player Miles Bonny and features his singing and trumpet playing. There are so many good songs on Instant Vintage that “Still Ray” didn’t stand out to me but revisiting it after hearing this cover, I fear I’ve slept on it a little, especially the tuba baseline.

DJ Day talks about how how the songs came about on his blog.

The Saadiq song is based on Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.” which may or may not be based on this Grant Green song.

Miles made a video for the song, here are few stills from it that I think are kind of funny. Click on the images to see the video.

p.s. – I’ve since found the song sampled for my last DJ Day post.

Songs are available for two weeks.

Sea of Tranquility
Kool & The Gang
Kool Jazz, 1973 (iTunes)
De-Lite Records

This track may have minimal impact if you aren’t a D’Angelo fan but…who isn’t a D’Angelo fan? I might be late to the party on this one but I was listening to my “K” records late last night and my jaw dropped when this song started. It took me about ten seconds to place what it was because it was so out of context for me. Aside from the track that DJ Premier produced, I didn’t realize that there were any samples (or interpolations) on D’Angelo’s Voodoo album; especially one as big as this, he basically edited out some parts and added lyrics to this song. I was hoping the sample wouldn’t be credited but, of course, I’m not that cool, it is.

Am I wrong to be let down that he didn’t write the (whole) song? I always loved that it was one of his only songs that was in 3/4 (the other being “Untitled/How Does It Feel?” / as regular readers know, I’m a sucker for any good song not in 4/4).

This is recorded from The Kool Jazz compilation that came out in 1973 but the original version is from the collectable Kool & the Gang self-titled debut from 1969. This is one of my scratchier vinyl recordings, sorry. The song is available on iTunes.

Songs are available for two weeks.

Was That All It Was (Album Version & 12″ Version)
Jean Carn
When I Find You Love, 1979 (Amazon, not available on iTunes)
Philadelphia International Records (wikipedia)

Keeping with the 1979 disco-laser-gun-sound theme, this is a sultry understated disco track from Jean Carn. The “I gave it up and you don’t care…do you?” theme of the song isn’t uncommon but there is something different about this one. There’s a decided lack of pride; it sounds like something she would be thinking before she sat down to write the lyrics to a the song that would revise history enough to give her a little more power in the situation. Maybe it’s just that “would you recall my name?” and “is this how it’s gonna end?” don’t really belong in the same song. In fairness, she didn’t write the song and I wonder if the fact that it was written by a group that was majority male (Linda Conlon, John L. Usry, Jr., and Jerry Butler) has something to do with it.

I didn’t realize until reading her wikipedia entry just now that she was featured on Earth Wind & Fire’s first two (lesser known) albums on Warner Brothers (“Earth Wind And Fire” and “The Need Of Love”) in between her early work with her husband at the time, Doug Carn (check it out if you haven’t heard it!) and her solo albums.

‘a’ section
was that all it was?
a way to pass the time?
a momentary thing
not worth rememering
in the morning?

must it be so cold?
like something bought and sold?
was it just a game?
would you recall my name
if you saw me?

‘b’ section
how would it be i wonder?
if we ever meet again
now that i’ve been your love
is this how it’s gonna end?
will we ever be just friends?
(intimately?) now and then

was that all it was?
night out on the town?
an exercise of will
a want you needed filled
did you use me?

(repeat ‘b’ section)

was that all it was?
when you close the door
passion left behind
out of sight and out of mind
gone forever

(repeat ‘b’ section)

(repeat last ‘a’ section)

Songs are available for two weeks.

New all vinyl party! Next saturday (5/23).

how not to request a song – part 14

last thursday at madame x:

him: hey man, i’m (insert name)!
me: hey. jon.
him: we’re a little drunk (smiling).
me: huh?
him: we’re a little tipsy! can you play the gypsy kings?
me: don’t have them.
him: oh man – you need to get their greatest hits. the last song…track 18, you could just put in on…you wouldn’t even have to do anything…you could just have a drink…it’s mixed…all of their hits…mixed. you got a little [starts singing one of these songs at full volume, turning heads within 20 feet] and then you got a little [same volume -- different song].
me: (staring)
him: how about a little latin?
me: i’ll see what i can do for you.
him: be flexible!
me: o…k…

he goes away. i play “steppin’ out” by joe jackson before i play anything latin and his group of friends all react – he yells “jazzy j!” to/at me from across the bar. i follow it with a latin song to which there is no response. five minutes later as i’m scribbling down what he said on a guest check at the bar, his friend comes over:

her: hey – he’s the only one dancing. do you have any gypsy kings?
me: you’re friend already asked, i don’t.
(she pauses and stares at what i was writing, after a second i realize what she’s looking at and put my hand over it – oops!)
her: do you have anything else?
me: (staring)
her: (staring)
me: (raising my eyebrow then tilting my head a little)
her: (slightly smiling in akwardness)
(ten seconds total passes)
her: …like…them?
me: (shrug)
her: should i come back with better requests?
me: (shrug)
her: ok, i’ll come back with better requests.

This Saturday

It only happens once a year…

What Is My Woman For?
Curtis Mayfield
Heartbeat, 1979 (iTunes)
RSO Records

This is a little gem I found on this late career Curtis Mayfield album. I think this song is fascinating. It shows huge signs of Curtis trying to stay up with the times – he goes heavy on that disco-laser-gun sound (what is that?) and yet it has all of the elements of a classic, well-orchestrated Curtis composition. He comes out of the gate strong with punchy horns countered by smooth strings and big crescendos leading up to the end of each section.

(*Music nerd warning*) He actually uses a surprisingly non-traditional structure for a song from this era (any american pop era really). A standard intro is 8 bars; the intro here is 7 bars, repeated three times followed by 4 bars. What’s more surprising about the intro is that he doesn’t repeat that structure for the rest of the song; he proceeds mostly to standard 8 bar sections after that. To build tension he stretches the chorus that ends at 3:41 to 10 bars and repeats the horn crescendo a few extra times. He returns to the 7 bar phrases at the end.

Songs are available for two weeks.

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