Monday, November 15, 2010
Marvin Gaye Sanctified Lady
Quincy Jones Body Heat
Fonzi Thornton I Work For A Livin'
So, naturally, you gotta be skeptic when you come across an album like Marvin Gaye's Dream of a Lifetime, released in 1985, a year after he passed on to the other side. Thankfully, this is no collection of half-realized songs stretched out, with talentless hacks contributing vocal overdubs and other stylistic . It's a little rough around the edges, yes, but kind of awesome, too. And it's alternately raunchy and tender, with songs like Savage in the Sack, Masochistic Beauty*, and Sanctified Lady (a gospel electro-funk workout initially titled Sanctified Pussy) matched up with a smooth, rolling song like Symphony. And at the helm, long-time Gaye collaborator, Gordon Banks.
Another Gaye collaborator, Leon Ware worked with Quincy Jones on his 1974 sexually charged album, Body Heat, co-writing the title track.
And... From the soundtrack to the (bizarrely titled) film Soup For One, comes a spectacular R&B jam courtesy of Fonzi Thornton, produced by Chic with that same great piano, bass and guitar interplay that's unsurpassed in the genre.
On a similar tip, check out Rilly Guilty and Fiend's R&B and funk mix, hosted by the fine folks at Lookout.
* Sample lyrics: "If you do it right, you get the pipe." "It's my duty, to spank your booty."
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Monday, November 01, 2010
"To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference. If we do not respect ourselves, we are on the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weaknesses. On the other, we are peculiarly in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out – since our self-image is untenable – their false notion of us. We flatter ourselves by thinking this compulsion to please others an attractive trait: a gist for imaginative empathy, evidence of our willingness to give. Of course I will play Francesca to your Paolo, Helen Keller to anyone’s Annie Sullivan; no expectation is too misplaced, no role too ludicrous. At the mercy of those we cannot but hold in contempt, we play roles doomed to failure before they are begun, each defeat generating fresh despair at the urgency of divining and meeting the next demand made upon us.
It is the phenomenon sometimes called ‘alienation from self.’ In its advanced stages, we no longer answer the telephone, because someone might want something; that we could say no without drowning in self-reproach is an idea alien to this game. Every encounter demands too much, tears the nerves, drains the will, and the specter of something as small as an unanswered letter arouses such disproportionate guilt that answering it becomes out of the question. To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home."
- From On Self Respect, Joan Didion
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
"It's got samples from A Guy Called Gerald, Talking Heads, a miami bass group called Rican Crew, and most of the beat is from "Beat Bop" by Rammellzee and K.Rob, "produced" by Jean-Michel Basqiuat."
- Martin Horn, Cotton Mouth
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Nancy Nova No, No, No
Cristina You Rented A Space
Roberto Cacciapaglia My Time
Telex My Time
On October 2nd, I'll be moderating a discussion for the symposium portion of the Pop Montreal International Music Festival called From The Crate to the Dropbox. Panelists for the discussion include Jason Sigal, the Managing Director of the Free Music Archive; Yuani Fragata, Executive Producer of Radio-Canada's Bande à part program, Mike Silver (known to most as CFCF), and one more TBA. The event starts at 2pm, and takes place at the Agora Hydro-Quebec at 200 Sherbrooke Ouest.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Friday, August 06, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I'm far more partial to the classic house and disco vibes that are all over Love Thing Part 2, but that's not to say that this first legally-downloadable track (courtesy of RCRDLBL), featuring Amanda Blank, doesn't have some compelling moments to it, notably the sparse use of strings and the acid-tinged piano-roll elements towards the end. All the more reason to cop all of the single on Beatport (now) or iTunes (when it launches on July 13th).
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Anyways, the rest of the weekend was great - amazing wedding, met some awesome people, danced a lot, hung out at the street sale, had some great salmon tartare and kirs at le Petit Italien on Bernard, got a purple Hugo Boss hooded sweatshirt, enjoyed the magic o' Montreal in the summer.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Marvin Gaye I Want You
David Ruffin I've Got A Need For You
David Ruffin Anything That You Ask For
Ruffin's desperation was of a different sort all together, accompanied by the octave-jumping vocal acrobatics that has been so thoroughly perverted by contemporary soul and vocalists, with their overly trained voices and artificial throat bubbles. Anyways, these songs are best enjoyed without my off-base commentary, and I've got to run to prepare for a wedding tomorrow - one of those life and love affirming events that get me all sentimental and appreciative.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Amral's Trinidad Cavaliers Steel Orchestra 90% Of Me Is You
Gwen McCrae 90% Of Me Is You (Original)
Karime Kendra 90% Of Me Is You
(Thanks, Matt Bain!)
Lord Kitchener Dr. Kitch
Mighty Sparrow Yvonne Sorry Now
Such was it with my failed coming-of-age script about a Calypso singer prodigy at a beach resort in Trinidad in the early 1960's. (Okay, not anything like da Vinci's helicopter - only that it was unfinished.) It was to be the calypso world's The Harder They Come, but with a much younger kid, some shark-skin suits and an appearance by an actor playing Robert Mitchum. I did the research, hungered for bake and shark, listened to countless hours of calypso (and really got fixated on Lord Kitchener, specifically because of the lewdness and humour - qualities I wouldn't really appreciate in any other genre except maybe Bmore, and that didn't exist in the Muppets' Pig Calypso), but couldn't figure out anything to propel the plot along. Dead end.
So, in honour of another failure, here are some calypso songs, including a steelpan cover of the Gwen McCrae funk classic 90% Of Me Is You, and Lord Kitchener's thoughtful contribution to horoscopes, romance, and astrology. I can't say I agree entirely with His Highness, but nonetheless, the lyrics are excerpted below.
August September and October, it will be Virgo, Scorpio and Libra,
Well the girls that were born under these three signs,
They like they like the English weather fortune change their minds,
Especially those born under Scorpio,
They just tell you yes and then they change to no,
And that is why i would rather be,
In love with a girl born January.
Well November and December don't trust their sight,
They like angels in the day and devils at night,
And that is why I would rather be,
In love with a girl born January...
Lord Kitchener, January Girls
Unrelated, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the apparent trustworthiness of the bearded male. Word. Link courtesy of fellow barberousse Cameron Reed/Babe Rainbow.
I say this with all the love in my heart (because 1) I have nothing but admiration for Nick Hillhiser and Alex Frankel of Holy Ghost* and 2) I really think, as the Van Pelt said, there's no problem stealing from our favorite thieves, especially in music), but tell me there isn't a bit of a touch of Holy Ghost's I Will Come Back on XYZ' Dancin', Breakin', Tonight? Specifically the cadence and lyrical style at the opening verse. By the time the chorus pops up, however, XYZ has jumped off fully into the musical territory favored by the programmers of bumper music for early 90's sports shows.
This is the opening track from XYZ' Disco Charts Vol. 1 released in 1984, which has an absolutely , and was written by Denny Motion. Mr. Motion's previous musical credit was as the titular head of the Denny Motion Group, on a 1981 LP Small Talk. The liner notes implore you to "Let Denny Motion carry you off to his contemporary guitar land. Let him accompany you to happy, gay parties. Journey through lovely countrysides and join in with his romantic feelings, far away from dull every day life." Sure!
* The Trinity/Triune God: Father = LCD Soundsystem, Son = Juan McLean, Holy Ghost = Holy Ghost.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
And lest you think that all Nigeria had to commit to the world of funk was Afrobeat and the brood of Fela Kuti, the second track is the opening cut on the second side from Al Diamond's 1983 album Call Me Up. Don't Steam Me Up seems to be the counterpart to the titular track's demand, where Mr. Diamond regrets her answering that call.
Friday, June 11, 2010
6pm Friday, June 18th at Monument National, 1182 Boulevard Saint-Laurent. $5.
- LES BARBARES de Jean-Gabriel Périot (France)
- SINNA MANN de Anita Killi (Norvège) - Prix du public et Meilleure animation, Clermont-Ferrand 2010
- MY INVISIBLE FRIEND de Pablo Larcuen (Espagne) - Sélection officielle, Sundance 2010
- TROLLS de Brianne Nord-Stewart (Canada) - Une des meilleures comédies de l'année!
- ¿DONDE ESTA KIM BASINGER? de Édouard Déluc (France) - Nomination César 2010, Prix du public, Festival de Bruxelles et Festival de Brest 2010, Bayard d'Or du meilleur film, Namur 2010, Grand Prix et Prix Canal +, Clermont-Ferrand 2010
- THE GROUND BENEATH de Rene Hernandez (Australie) - Nomination Oscar 2010, Best short, Aspen 2009
- A GENTLE CREATURE de Marc James Roels (Belgique) - Meilleur court belge, Festival Leuven ainsi que Festival film Ghent
- RAYMOND A PEUT-ÊTRE LA RAGE de Ramiro Bélanger (Québec) - Sélection COURTS DU QUÉBEC à Cannes 2010, Boston underground film festival 2010
- OLD FANGS de Adrien Merigeau (Irlande) - Sélection officielle, Sundance 2010
- NA WEWE de Ivan Goldschmidt (Belgique) - Prix du public, Festival du court métrage de Bruxelles 2010
- CHIENNE D’HISTOIRE de Serge Avédikian (France) - Palme d’or du court métrage, Cannes 2010
- LOVE PATATE de Gilles Cuvelier (France) - Semaine de la critique, Cannes 2010
- THE NEW TENANTS de Joachim Back (Danemark) - Oscar du meilleur court métrage 2010
- HORTUM de Ayse Altinok (Pays-Bas) - Sélection officielle, Cannes 2010
- GLEN OWEN DODDS de Frazer Bailey (Australie) - Prix Canal +, Clermont-Ferrand 2010. Une des meilleures comédies de l'année!
- LES SAUVAGES de Antoine Cuypers (Belgique) - Une des meilleures comédies de l'année!
- THE LOST THING de Andrew Ruhemann et Shaun Tan (Australie) - En première mondiale, cette semaine, Festival d'Annecy
Thursday, June 10, 2010
(ATTENTION LABEL TOOL, THERE IS NO MP3 ON THIS POST & HASN'T BEEN FOR QUITE SOME TIME)
I haven't heard many people talk about the depleting ozone layer recently. I'm no scientist, but I guess it's because it's gone. No more ozone layer. And I think the biggest culprit? Graffiti artists. If you spend enough time with , you begin to realize that they're operating on a slightly, uh, different level thanks to years of inhaling the fumes. So just take the cumulative effects of an entire decade and beyond of tagging, spraying, and community organizations sponsoring graffiti walls and shitty murals and apply it to the ozone layer and, well, it's obvious... Graffiti artists killed the ozone layer.
Anyways, long time coming, but this day is gonna suck. Last year at this time I was starting a new job, which was pretty great. This year, not so good. Good riddance, June 10th!
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
(HEY DMCA JACKASSES, THERE IS NO MP3 ON THIS POST ANYMORE!)
I think I probably played played Kid n' Play's House Party soundtrack just as much, but didn't enjoy it as thoroughly. And then I bought the first soundtrack to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie for an exorbitant amount on CD.
On a similar tip for all Montreal readers, I'll announce further details when we get them set in stone, but there's going to be a pool party called New Jack Swim sometime later this summer.
Rap Traxx 3 (52:35)
1. Maestro Fresh Wes - "Let Your Backbone Slide" (5:01)
2. Young MC - "Principal's Office" (4:18)
3. MC Hammer - "Let's Get It Started" (4:12)
4. Queen Latifah f/ Monie Love - "Ladies First" (3:58)
5. Sir-Mix-A-Lot - "Beepers" (4:19)
6. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson" (4:52)
7. De La Soul - "Buddy" (4:58)
8. Heavy D & The Boyz - "Somebody for Me" (5:03)
9. Rebel MC and Double Trouble - "Street Tuff" [Radio Mix] (3:31)
10. Beastie Boys - "Hey Ladies" (3:51)
11. Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike" [Radio Mix] (4:07)
12. Redhead Kingpin and the FBI - "Pump It Hottie" (4:25)
Friday, June 04, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
So on that note, here's an extended mix from the 1986 12" that includes a (get this!) Jellybean Dub. Jellybean appears to have been one of those go-to remixers in the 80's, like Shep Pettibone. As the early days of digital studio excess are in full effect here, it takes a couple of minutes to figure out that this is not an instrumental version of the theme from a teen comedy set in southern California. No cinematic introduction and a lot of digital cowbell.
When Martin Horn isn't slaving away behind a mixing console, putting polish on the music of a number of Montreal's brash new faces n' names (Parlovr, for example), he's... Slaving away in front and behind of a mixing console, writing and producing his own music under the moniker Cotton Mouth. In the case of the EP from which this song is taken, produced for an Ontario tour with The Luyas earlier this spring, the guys from Parlovr joined Martin. Mr. Horn described the process thusly,
I usually lay down the structure of a song, they kinda fill in the blanks in their own style. Occasionally I write elements of the arrangement based on things that they played when we jammed on loose structures I've put together. It's largely collaborative, even though I'm kinda steering the ship, and in any releases we do, it's credited as the whole band, regardless of who actually played what.
You can catch Cotton Mouth live in Montreal as part of Pop Montreal's Fringe Pop event on June 18th at 7pm at Parc des Ameriques, the following night as part of NXNE at Rancho Relaxo in Toronto, and as part of Osheaga on August 1st at Parc Jean Drapeau back in Montreal.
Vancouver's Makeout Videotape contribute a bouncing, fun and fuzzy cover to the growing body of Nilsson covers, which includes the Walkmen's recreation of the Pussycats album and Sinead O'Connor's take on this very song, too. The Eternal Triangle's version doesn't really hold a candle to Nilsson's version, of course - there's something too-straight sounding which dates it terribly, but I'm sure in their time they were considered exceptional arbiters of good taste, like Fairport Convention doing an album of Bacharach.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
This Sunday, June 6th, local neu-Italo duo the Brusque Twins make their onstage debut at the (best kept secret venue) Belmont along with a whole slate of knowledgeable and talented DJs to round the night out, including DBM (Le Matos) & SHOT BY JFK (aka ARCADE), DINO SECONDINO & SIZAN (of the wonderful Feeling Nouveau), CORESAIR and PARIS FRIPON. Visual by Gyroscope. Deep rhythm and mood from a cast that's charting a new path for Montreal nightlife.
More info on the Facebook event page.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Unfortunately, Nena is known primarily for 99 Luft Balloons and not much else. That's because there isn't much else - some middling synth-pop also rans on her first album, and then some dreadful late-90s dips into the Euro-trash and pop-rock pool that did nothing to present her to a new generation.
And maybe that's fine for her... I think in North America, within my social group, the default thinking about European mores goes that the continent is an enlightened little space full of progressive types wielding their pens against globalism (if you're Naomi Klein-inclined - okay, I'm not really friends with those people), or against philistinism (if you're, uh, my friends), forgetting that there is a gigantic lumpen-proletariat that's perfectly content to live on a high-starch, high-carb diet and, um, fight and fuck and lose their teeth just like American hillbillies. I know this, because I've seen them represented in Danish and Dutch movies filmed in digital video.
So, maybe Nena can hustle and do great business on the retro circuit, playing county fairs or whatever the German equivalent is - OktoberFest country fairs.
But, God, her voice! She has such a great throaty, evocative voice - a voice that, had she been born many years prior, would have been used as some siren-like German version of Tokyo Rose... I would have defected, jumped out of that B-52 with a parachute and made it across the Ruhr to Berlin to find it. It's such a shame that we've got 99 Luft Balloons (a great song, don't get me wrong) and nothing else of value to show for those pipes. I mean, at least a Neneh Cherry & Nena duet, rather than (God!) Nena and Kim Wilde?
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Tom Trago Voyage Direct
Jamaica I Think I Like You Too (Breakbot Remix)
Tigerskin Non Chalant (Original Mix)
Monday, May 10, 2010
Buried beneath the crushing slabs of post-industrial production and over-driven paranoia are some actual pop chops - vocal melodies and hooks that you might find in the Human League or on Simple Minds' Reel to Real Cacophony... While these are only demo tracks, I'm glad to say that Savage Furs are a continuation of Mr. Duckworth's stellar discography (well into its second decade now), and also an interesting departure point.
Also, I know there's a fair contingent of readers who'd be interested in this, but Mr. Duckworth has recently been sorting through old records and put up a new mix on his blog, titled Dye Your Hair Black and Absorb All Waves. This encompasses just about everything I was listening to back in those days, Antioch Arrow, Satisfact, 6 Finger Satellite, Brainiac, The VSS, GoGoGo Airheart, The Audience (das?), Ex-Dead Teenager, The Rapture, Trans Am, Glass Candy, and much more. If you don't want to take the time to walk down memory lane, it's worth it for the tags he's assigned to it alone ("Discussions about that die-cast Locust belt buckle, black "highwater" Wrangler trousers") Oh, and the Long Hind Legs song: damn, that's good. (LHL were a side-project of the Unwound guys).
Seventeen Veins are two: Cristina P.B. and new Montrealer (via Tunisia and Paris) Neil H, both handling production and vocal duties on a variety of remixes (Noob & Brodinski, Riva Starr) and original productions. A lot of 17 Veins' work is more harder-edged than I'm accustomed to (I didn't grow up with a techno background), but in instances like the track above, Añoranza's twisted, doomy synth melodies won me over. Check out the Seventeen Veins website for more crisply produced tracks.
Only a few months after Ian Curtis' suicide, even less time after their debut at the Manchester Beach Club, and six days before I was born, New Order recorded these songs (along with three others) at Cabaret Voltaire's Western Works studio.
* Thanks, Mike Chui!
Thursday, May 06, 2010
I've been trying to maintain a regular pace to my posting, but then I re-discover a song like this and because of the weather, my bonhomie and friendly feeling towards this blog's readers, I've got to post it. Pitch-perfect power pop, with that sense of urgency they share in common with the Feelies. This is the first track from their debut album Stands for Decibels, written by Peter Holsapple, who would go on to play with R.E.M.
Lio Sage Comme Une Image *
Francois Feldman & Yellowhand You Want Every Night
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
I have a very lengthy to-do list, and for some reason, (maybe the Delmore Effect), it's nonsense like this that receives priority over the more pressing things like the Sonic Youth piece I should be finishing for the summer issue of Maisonneuve Magazine. Which is what I'm working on now.
Adapted from Sharhnush Parsipur’s magic realist novel, Women Without Men movingly chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women in the summer of 1953 – a crucial moment in Iranian history – when an American led, British backed coup d’état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and re-installed the Shah to power. Opposition to the monarchy ultimately led to the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Brought together over the course of several days against the backdrop of political and social turmoil, the destinies of the four female characters converge in a beautiful, mystical orchard where they find solace, independence and companionship. Sumptuously photographed and majestically paced, the film captures a complex moment in Iranian society, while offering an imaginative archeology of the recent protests, which, although met with brutality and repression, remind us that the struggle is alive and well.