When I Was A Little Stereo, I Listen To Some Champions…

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I’m giving a secret out (to both of you). I love music. Like really love it. And now that I have my record collection up and running, I love it even more. The crate digging part is the most satisfying thing. Going into a store and having a list in your head, things that are golden to you. Mostly you find other things you weren’t even thinking about. After you go through that same bin at Everybody’s or Shake It(or now, Black Plastic), for the 39th time and you finally come up with Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz, it’s a great sense of triumph.

With records, it’s also the physical and visual input that’s just as satisfying for me. Not that you don’t go through the basic motions placing in a cd. It’s really the same motions. But to place an album on your turntable and que it up and sit back with a glass of scotch as you read the liner notes is as close to nirvana my mind will ever be able to achieve. iD. Most of my listening late into the night. When everyone else is asleep, but that’s the blessing and curse of insomnia. Or when I should be sleeping during the day, but waterworks is digging in front of the driveway, I find some album that I’ve never heard or haven’t heard since I was little. Today was such a day, and I have a few songs that I was digging on.

Two from Eddie Kendricks (yes, of the Temptations): Intimate Friends and the begging, masquerading as a protest song, Girl You Better Change Your Mind.
The Fabulous Counts’ Get Down People
Dennis Coffey’s Theme From Black Belt Jones
And Ike Turner and The Kings of Rhythm’s Getting Nasty. I know, Ike is well hated and I understand why, but I’m purely going with musical taste, and this song is Juke Joint hot.. That’s mostly due to the piano being banged out by Billy Preston, A.K.A., The Fifth Beatle. Well, one of several of them. The point is, the song takes you to church then down to the shack.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Ike Turner and The Rhythm Kings- Getting Nasty

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Eddie Kendricks- Intimate Friends

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Fabulous Counts- Get Down People

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Dennis Coffey- Theme From Black Belt Jones

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Eddie Kendricks- Girl You Need To Change Your Mind

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Not Now, James. We’re Busy!

The J.B.’s

My Mom used to tell me that whenever someone played Licking Stick by James Brown, I’d stand up in my crib and jam it out. I guess this is start of all things funky (cuz whatever I do, It’s got to be funky).

Cut to 1986, and I’m at the Living In America tour, my one and only time seeing James Brown live. With my parents. I was 18. Way past the age of wanting to be seen with my parents in public, but this was The James Brown. The Godfather of Soul. The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz. Plus, they paid for the tickets.

Now, if James was the Hardest Working Man in Showbiz, his back up were the Hardest Working Bands in Showbiz. The incarnation I’m talking about today are The J.B.’s. If you look at interviews from anyone talking about the J.B.’s, the one repeated word is “tight“. Their shit was always in the pocket, and not just because James would make them practice for hours, repeating one section of a groove until it was perfect. Nah, they were tight because they were the top men of their profession. Some of the members were: Bobby Byrd, Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, Maceo Parker, Phelps “Catfish” Collins and some cat named William Collins. Hell, later on, about half of the J.B.’s left to join up with George Clinton to form Parliament/Funkadelic. (We already know about their aquatic skills. More from them later.)

James and the J.B.’s were like ham and burger, that shit just went together. James squealed and improvised instructions to the band, and they did what he asked almost before he said it. You could throw the J.B.’s in front of any halfway capable singer and you could count on a hit. Hell, any halfway capable rapper at that. One million samples can’t be wrong.

Our next song has been sampled no less than 90 rap songs. One time, I was driving my Dad to somewhere, and I was playing Public Enemy’s Rebel Without a Pause, and he said they sounded like a pig being slaughtered. A few weeks later,(this is all *B.I.), I found out the main sample was from the J.B.’s. Now, of course he took an interest then, and I found myself hearing him play his own tape of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (he was down with their message).

Ladies and Gentleman:

The Grunt- The J.B.’S

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* Before Internet

 

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I Am The Subliminal Seducer

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So, I’m in the pool that Mark Spitz had won 7 gold medals in the Munich Olympic. I was at the Cub Scout Olympics (Rep Troop 229, nigga, what!), and at the conclusion of the event, all the troops got to swim in the pool. I’m in the pool, swimming along, when my head starts to hurt and I noticed how large the bubbles were attached to everyone’s feet. Then I’m out.

I wake up to a scene from Das Boot. 3 Germans in close quarters shouting at me. Now living in Germany had allowed me to master cursing and Christmas carols in German (Wir drei Konige des Orients sind…du hurensohns!). I must have freaked out and started hollering cuz they started speaking English to me. Later in the hospital, I learned that some kid cannonballed me in the head, which sounds so wrong. My troop mate’s, Al Wilson, father, got me from the bottom of the pool. I was told it took 4 minutes to get my heart started again. All I know is ever since, Kevin Bacon and I have these nightmares reflecting childhood sins we had commited.

Anyway,when I finally got back home, my best friend’s father, started calling me “Sir Nose”.

Also! Also…when we moved back to the world, My Uncle Sammy took me to The Motor Booty Affair tour of Parliament. It was a straight underwater affair, with “fish” swimming around the top of the arena and bubbles everywhere. Everything was bright and intense, but that may have been because the 3 cats in front of us were smoking weed nonstop. I remember thinking “What kind of cigarettes is that?”.

Ladies and Gentlemen: 

Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop)-Parliament

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