Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Joe Bataan - Call My Name

Joe Bataan is a king in my world. I'm a HUGE fan of this cat. Been in love with his brand of early boogaloo since my youthful mod days, he's turned my head around like Linda Blair with his unique salsa funk, and he continues to melt me with his 'oldies' sound. To say Joe Bataan has made some noise within Latin Music would be fair, but rather Joe's been more like a cataclysm, shaping and changing things along the way. He's been down since day one, I believe he started in New York at a very early age, coined the term 'Salsoul', proclaims having the first rap record, and undeniably been responsible for gaining a wider audience for Latin Music.

I was first introduced to Joe via a few compilations called, I believe, 'This Is Latin Soul' on Charley's Latin reissue label Caliente. Those comps fed a fire that burned out of control and sent me into a salsa and boogaloo buying frenzy. Joe's records, however, always seemed to hit the hardest with me, and also work on other levels. He never made a boring LP, always mixing it up and even when in the confines of the early boogaloo sound, he always attempted to branch out.

This particular album was masterminded by Daniel Colas, who rediscovered Joe, brought him back into the limelight within the loving arms of the rare groove community. Daniel found he was still in the New york area and began to work with him. It's a throwback into earlier years of Joe's sound and although a modern record, it deploys an arsenal of older sounds. In some respects this is easily the lost Joe Bataan record that never was. It's stained with all of the qualities we love and have always wanted from a JB album. Released on the Vampi Soul label in 2005 it re-familiarized everyone with Joe's music. I got reminded of this great album when Joe came to San Francisco recently to perform. Having met him myself I can say he's truly a sweetheart of a guy and full of incredible tales of his life. A true treasure of the music world.

Joe Bataan - Call My Name

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Funkadelic - Better By The Pound

Most funkateers know this album in and out. If you don't know it, you should probably drop whatever it is that you're doing and go get this. Even if that means you stop reading this blog right now. This is an album I got recently to have in stock at the Vamp record shop. As a kid at my neighborhood record store this was a major turning point and fathoms deep rabbit hole of an album to be exposed to. I must have been 17 or 18 years old. Working at the record shop has brought back alot of the community and relationship back to sharing, exposing and learning about music for me. This record in particular I think should be a staple for our shop and is a milestone for anyone curious about funk. You could easily contend that many other Funkadelic LP's are worthy of the same noteriety, also being incredibly versatile and ingenious pieces of higher funk 'art', yet even the die hard Funkadelic fans would agree this LP opens up a serious can of whoop ass unlike many others. It's more polished than it's predecessors, and seems to flaunt more studio trickery than previous LP's. And, gracefully pushes boundaries, something they always enjoyably do, but stretch new webs with stuff like 'Mama be my beach' and what could easily be the FCC's worst nightmare with 'Shit God damn get off your ass and jam''.

I'm not even touching on the incredible musicianship on these albums. These cats were the top of the creme of the crop of the funk world. All wickedly talented and sharp with their instruments, and constantly oozing with creativity. But, it's that slick, and crafty ingenuity that is woven throughout all these records that sets them a brand apart. Still does. Honestly I could go on and on about this album. Or, any album by Funkadelic or Parliament for that matter. This camp of funkateers never ceases to amaze me. And, when the 'themes' and 'jokes' and 'language' they create repeat, compliment and paint a broader larger picture they give way to a deeper experience for listening.Their overall body of work is stunning.

But, there's something even deeper that comes from any entry point into the world of the Parliament/Funkadelic thang. Meaning more or less that there is no wrong album to start with, they are ALL amazing. They are incredibly ingenious and individualistic musicians that have left a legacy that hasn't even been close to being even remotely touched. This is why it is such a treasure to share this group, especially when it's held up to the standards of what is today called 'music'.....nothing comes close to our forefathers know as Funkadelic. Now hopefully you can tell your kids what's up when they ask you.. 'Mommy, what's a Funkadelic?'

Funkadelic - Better By The Pound

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Sylvers - Fool's Paradise

Back to basics here...a little more back down the road of organic and less synthesized tunes. I had to start back with the blog for bunch of boogie and modern soul posts, but changing gears yet again. As always I try my best to keep it fresh and interesting bouncing all across the spectrum's of music.

One of my all time fave groups is also another classic example of undiscovered talent and lost and forgotten groups. Another example of a group only slightly registering on the radar, but deserving of still an even deeper and more proper exposure. Wholeheartedly the Sylvers could have been a super pop group to easily content with the like of the Jacksons. In fact, they did. By most accounts the Sylvers existed right alongside them and had a long history of doing so. It's just one of those cases where every-fucking-body knows about the Jackson Five, and yet...almost nobody 'seems' to remember the Sylvers. In fact, when deejays play the Foster Sylvers track "Misdemeanor' most will think it's Michael Jackson rocking with the Jackson Five. I guess on the upside that's a great compliment. But, for me it may have stifled a groups potential to always be over shadowed by another super group. And, sadly may have lead the Sylvers in a more pop direction, instead of a more 'artistic' one. This LP is a prime example.
The Sylvers had immense talent too. And, in fact their eldest member Leon Sylvers wrote and arranged a multitude of stunning soul songs in his early years. Possible only 18 or 19 years of age, he penned hit tunes like "Wish I Could Talk To You" and laid down incredibly deep textures and phenomenal arrangements in song like "Fools Paradise" and "I Know Myself". These are deep both in message and psychedelic atmosphere.True favorites among break beat and head nodding funkateers.
The youngest member Foster, had two solo LP's and the group changed members throughout the years. They started with 6 members, outnumbering the Jackson's by one, and eventually out did them with being nine members strong at one time. Sylvers family members were popping up outta nowhere. But, thank goodness for them. They also struck another piece of gold with a later 70's hit 'Hotline' in the middle of their disco era.

Leon Sylvers grew to become one of those most important and influential writers and producers in soul music. His mark on soul and R&B in the 70's and 80's is enormous. This is one of the great unknown soul albums and is relatively available. The production is genius, the song writing staggering, the talent endless. Just about every song on this LP is fantastic. You should seek it out, if you don't know it already, and blast it on a Saturday morning and chill with your sweetheart. This is that kind of soul record. Not enough of them as far as I'm concerned.

The Sylvers - Fool's Paradise

Alisa Randolph - Put That Thang On Me

Had an impossible time trying to track this one down, mostly due to people everywhere incorrectly listing her as Alisha Randolph. Take the the 'H' out and it's a game changer.  A hopelessly 'rare' tune becomes a two dollar LP. Just like that.
This is my ode to a fellow collector here in SF. He's also an alumni of our extended Sweater Funk Family. You see, our good friend Joe Vargo has been plastering that book of faces with a brand of 'Street Soul' or 'UK Street Soul' that's been catching his fancy. It's been peaking our interests too. I've also been finding more and more later 80's grooves that have been appealing to me. And, additionally venturing into what sounds like early New Jack Swing. I haven't really found the thread that ties my love for boogie and late 80's soul into a venture in the 1990's, but this may be the first, or rather the first exception. Usually a beginning to an evolution of another chapter of my developing sound when I find a cut like this. Or, more specifically a start into another realm of tunage. Some can hack it. Some can't. Some don't even understand.

What's so wicked about this tune is the catchy lil' phrases about 'being late' and 'having coffee tea or me'. I only wish I could speed time up and find the other goodies waiting in this certain pocket of music history. But, all in due time. There will be more I can feel it.

Alisa was a member in the female outfit Madame X. She's also a bona fide fox. A beautiful lady with immense talents. Sadly she passed away back in 2005. So, now here at da' boutique we have this fine lady belting her way through this heater from 1990. Yes, from 1990. Alisa Randolph. Put That Thang On Me. Enjoy it.

Alisa Randolph - Put That Thang On Me

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eddie Capones Treatment - I Won't Give You Up

Eddie Capone
Busy Weekend. Flying around so much that now my body is catching up with me finally resting on the couch writing this. B. Bravo and K-maxx tore up a wicked show at Som Bar. And, tomorrow (today rather) we've got Tres Lingerie joining us at the Lipo Lounge. Johan and Jordan always have wicked good tunes. Sorry to use any out-dated slang here. I've just been given the business by Rooky Ricardo's Records owner Dick Vivien about ridiculous and idiotic over used slang terms like 'dude' and 'awesome' so I'm assuming 'wicked' falls into that category too.
If I had any reservations about posting this tune here, it was then properly backed and fully endorsed by the wife and so now here it is for you. I've been playing it a bit around the house. I do however go through tunes quite quickly. This is something I've mentioned here before. Once a tune makes it, and kinda creeps into the regular playlist of someone else, I get a little tired of it. I'm an addict, so it's no surprise that what I'm really addicted to in Djing and music sharing is that intimate relationship with obscure tunes. Like my own personal affliction. But, the wifey spoke up tonight when we came home and said she 'liked this song', so after playing it at Sweater Funk maybe ONCE, it's time to put it up on here.

Another issue of this song on the PRT label listed only as Capone

Don't know jack shit about Eddie Capone but the treatment is quite nice. It seems he was a reggae recording artist. And, the original label that this song came out on was his own, Treatment Records. Diane Jones is credited as the lead vocalist on this, but other than this being a brit-funk boogie monster, I know nothing. I keep enjoying this tune more and more tho. It's big and powerful with a general happy feeling. Not sure what to call that crazy horn section riff that almost verges on some kind of 'latin' influence. It's arranged really nicely and has this stomping break beat throughout. My jury is still out on this singer, but she's most definitely going for it and giving it all she's got.  Leaving nothing on the cutting room floor. I have no real idea why, but this somehow reminds me of the Cool Notes.

On another note...These guys... Tres Lingerie
...will be rockin' with us at Sweater Funk this Sunday. That is tomorrow, or tonight. Depends on which side of the AM you're on.
check them out!
James Anthony and Tres Lingerie on Beat Electric TV Dance Party

And, here's the Eddie Capone jam....
Eddie Capones Treatment - I Won't Give You Up

Friday, November 18, 2011

Leroy Hutson - Paradise

A few things have been simmering in my world, amidst the fight for family health, I got involved in Vamp the record shop, the art and consignment spot I just posted about, and also have now put a release out on my own imprint label Sound Boutique. You'll hear more about that in a few posts to come. Gonna need some room to expand on that whole story. But, first the record release party already happened and was held at Sweater Funk. It was a fun night with a guest set by Ben Johnson, a special guest appearance by Luke Holton of the Nightwind band (whose release is the first project for Sound Boutique) and for those that dared stay into the wee hours a special appearance by none other than Dam Funk. Great nite we all had, and incredible music was played on so many levels. We also had several releases on Ben and my record labels for sale. Ben's label is Risque records and he's got some great stuff already out. And, he keeps me in the loop about future releases and they are all sounding super good. Most of this stuff is mastered from cassette tape and never before released. He's also now writing for the Beat Electric site. We'll dive into more about him and Risque Records very soon.

Dam Funk spittin' fire on the mic as usual.

Little know secret about Dam, usually when he's in town he'll roll through and DJ with us. He rocked an excellent set. Such an educator when it comes to Djing. He grabbed the mic like he always does and this time he sang a cameo of his and Baron Zen's Burn Rubber tune. It's a treat for us always to have him. He didn't disappoint with an all 45 set. He never does. Infact, I can safely say...probably the best DJ I have EVER seen. On some many levels he comes correct. Hopefully I'm preaching to the choir, and you're already familiar. This jam by Leroy Hutson was one of the tunes he played, and I felt like sharing it up on here. I really wished we record that nite... Some major magic went down. Ben dropped wicked tunes and Dam killed it as well. Next item to purchase has GOT to be a recorder!!
Every time Dam Funk comes thru Sweater Funk it's like Paradise for us!!

Leroy Hutson - Paradise

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Big Tony - Sound Of Music

Back to Boogie basics here. I have a really nice relatively unknown UK boogie heater for you. This isn't the same Big Tony as the famed percussionist for Trouble Funk. But, this bomb is just as heavy. It;s the flip side of his 'Bubble up' single and can be found for cheap on 7 inch and 12 inch. Don't know too much about him, but you probably heard this on European airwaves if you're old enough. Time for me to unload some newer fresher tracks to my boogie brethren. I know a lot of readers enjoy our chapters of modern and boogie stuff quite a bit.

I think I'll start mixing this tune into my bag for the Sweater Funk parties that are coming up. We've got some big ones that I'll tell you about in the near future. The most pressing one is this Saturday with live performances by Bay Area modern funk outfits B. Bravo Starship Connection and none other than K-maxx. Ken, aka K-maxx will hopefully be putting out a few records on our Sound Boutique Record label. 

Just check out the stunning Artwork done by Freddy Anzures. He takes your eyes right out of them sockets. Kills it every time! Just wish he had made a limited edition black lite poster!

Also, please check Tres Lingerie who will be spinning at Sweater Funk this Sunday.
Peace. See you in the streets!

Big Tony - Sound Of Music

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygen

I never thought I'd be leaving a record store with a Philip Glass LP under my arm. And, be dying to throw it back on the turntable as soon as I got home. Just never dawned on me that I'd be headed in that direction, or that ephemeral music would strike such a strong cord with me. But, it did. I marvel at how much listening to 'Glass Works' was an incredible turning point for me as it was, and glad to have my newest right hand man there for me. Like a guru or Sheppard in a heavy acid trip. Fernando, my partner in crime, was there to hold my hand and more importantly turn the volume way up while we were working. 'Glass Works' I assure you is best listened to like a good Heavy Metal loud as possible.

Fernando is also the man behind Vamp, a music and art consignment shop. My biggest recent business venture is combining forces and partnering up with him and delving into the world of the record shop.

I have always avoided working at a record shop like the plague. Mostly for the primary reasons of never making any money, of course spending every dime earned on music itself. And, more importantly getting turned on to TOO MUCH MUSIC and having my addiction for vinyl climb to new and ridiculous heights. So true. All of it. It's a rabbit hole to make other rabbit holes look like, well.. something smaller.
The main bins at the shop and the wall before the LP display shelf upgrade.

So, in my recent travels into the bins of records I've acquired a taste for classical, discovered new loves in jazz, and been mesmerized by ephemeral and mood music. It's a wicked curse I tell you. One of these wicked mood pieces is this classic synth-scape lp by Jean Michel Jarre. And, just how the formula usually works at a record shop, the customers occasionally bring your attention to items. While I'm pricing the things I do know, those folks in the shop are digging for the unknown. And, purchasing the items I'm not yet hip to. And, I always do my best to share and expose them to new treats unknown to them. For me, being involved in a record shop brings back the sense of 'community' into vinyl collecting and redefines the true legitimate 'exposure' in sharing music.

Fernando and The No-good-of-dog store mascot Miles

Vamp has somewhere between a half dozen to a dozen consignors who bring their own unique collections, knack for acquiring, and tastes to the store. We've come a long way since I've been involved 6 months ago and I'm excited to see where we'll be in a years time. It's an exciting project for me, and when you're in Oakland you should come and check us out. We're quite flaky, but we're trying. We're open currently from 12-6 Thursday through Sunday, but you should always HIT US UP FIRST> WARNING: we are often involved in other stuff, and our hours are whimsical at best.
Come check us out... we have RECORDS. Lots of them.

VAMP - 547 Athol Ave. Oakland, CA 94606

So, here's some chunks from Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygen LP, I hope you enjoy it!

Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygen - Part 3

Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygen - Part 4

Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygen - Part 5

Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygen - Part 6

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Otis Clay - Too Many Hands

I love the scratchy throated R&B singers the best. And, Otis Clay is one of the greats. His style, that of funky blues and rough soul, is one of my most cherished and favored. This tune in particular I rocked recently here in Oakland at a party put on by some cats I've newly been acquainted with. This crew I've become aware of this last year is the fabulous Lower Bottoms DJ's and their nite at the fantastic Cafe Revolution.

Honestly, I haven't seen anyone truly hold down a decent funk and soul party in Oakland since Kitty's Wednesday nites almost 5 years ago or so. This is thee monthly party to be at in Oakland. It's been proving that every second Saturday of the month. It's got some truly special elements going for it, and the main cats involved, Bobby, Joseph, Adrianne, and Ben are all fathoms deep into music and a pleasant bunch to boot.

These cats have inducted me into their vinyl fiendy family and I'm happy to join the dysfunctional party scene they've created. I don't roll thru nearly as often as I'd like, but this party is the funnest around. I get my mind blown every time I DJ with them and this party often goes until the early morning light. I'll be guest spinning with them this December on the 11th and I've got some heavy treats to lay on the LB gang. Those whose feet hit the floor won't be disappointed. This party ain't for wall flowers.

Just look at these fabulous flyers and you can see what's going on at these parties. In between caring for my fam, these nites have been my breath of fresh air. The sound system is thundering and the attitude of the clientele is positive and full of energy. Kudos guys... nice party, deep in the funk, sauteed in the soul, in the heart of Oakland, smack dab in the Lower Bottoms.

Otis Clay - Too Many Hands

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tony Comer and Crosswinds - Take Me Higher

Wow. Been far too long since I've posted here. It's been a turbulent year for me so far. Been a turbulent last 3 years really. I've been heavy involved with my family and taking care of my Moms and Pops. They've been trading back and forth amongst each other with life threatening illnesses. Most of my year thus far has been caring for my Mother in and out of the Intensive Care Unit. So, in relation, this tune has a lot of meaning and special feeling for me. Miraculously my Mom was finally released a week ago, and I'm overjoyed. Yes, things have been better and, Yes, I've gone back to the Gospel music fountain once again. Something a bit of a theme for me, admitting that Gospel music is the one music that pierces through to my heart when times have been hard. It has been a style of music that has been a never ending source of both enlightenment and entertainment.

This is one of two Tony Comer Lp's that I'm familiar with. They are both really excellent albums and worth seeking out. They are both heavy 'commercial' attempts for bridging Gospel with Soul and attempting a stab at a mainstream ear. Hard for me not to notice the parallels with this LP and Earth Wind and Fire sound, as they both seem to be championing big, full, feel-good soul. Huge arrangements and large and lovely majestic messages. This is truly something unique of the late 70's early 80's soul. I think we'll have to follow up with more from Tony Comer and the Crosswinds camp, again mostly because the other LP is also so excellent. And, additionally a juicy 12 inch called 'Don't Give Up" both boasts an uplifting message and a hard head-nod beat in a modern soul feel.
Hallelujah I'm Back!

Tony Comer and Crosswinds - Take Me Higher