Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer Madness, disc 3

First, the tracklist for disc 2, as promised:

1. Blondie - Rapture
2. David Bowie - Fashion
3. Queen - Another One Bites The Dust
4. Bananarama - Cruel Summer
5. Robyn - Cobrastyle
6. New Order - Blue Monday
7. Gnarls Barkley - Gone Daddy Gone
8. Public Enemy - You're Gonna Get Yours
9. Prince - Black Sweat
10. No Doubt - Hella Good
11. Chromeo - Fancy Footwork
12. Gameboy Gamegirl - Sweaty Wet Dirty Damp
13. Mickey Avalon - My Dick (feat Dirt Nasty & Andre Legacy)
14. Santogold - Shove It (feat. Spank Rock)
15. Mc Lyte - Cold Rock A Party (Bad Boy Remix - Featuring Missy Misdemeanor Elliott)
16. Eddy Grant - Electric Avenue
17. Jackson 5 - Dancing Machine
18. Hall & Oates - I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)
19. Snoop Dogg - Sensual Seduction
20. Digital Underground - Kiss You Back
21. LL Cool J - Going Back To Cali


And now onto disc 3.

As with my previous opus, disc 3 is again my favorite (although I will say that disc 4 of this set tops disc 4 of the last set). It's pretty much wall-to-wall classics here, a pretty crowd-pleasing set.

So you know...summer's here, the time is right for dancing in the streets. Maybe you're hosting a cookout or block party this holiday weekend. This'll make 'em shake their asses, I promise.

Ladies and gents, Disc 3 of Summer Madness.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

too many protest singers, not enough protest songs

My good friend Corey executed this song splendidly at my most recent Pittsburgh karaoke. Great song.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Madness: Disc 2

First here's the tracklisting to disc one (see previous post).

Disc 1
1. Justice - Tthhee Ppaarrttyy
2. New Young Pony Club -- Ice Cream
3. Yoko Ono - Walking On Thin Ice (Felix Da Housecat Tribute Mix)
4. Client - Zerox Machine
5. Kylie Minogue - Still Standing
6. Jamie Lidell - Little Bit Of Feel Good
7. Madlib - Mystic Bounce
8. DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - Summertime
9. Stereo MC's - Connected
10. Black Star - Astronomy (8Th Light) (Feat. Weldon Irvine)
11. A Tribe Called Quest - Steve Biko (Stir It Up)
12. The A'z - Yadadamean
13. Rolling Stones - Miss You (Dr. Dre remix)
14. Aceyalone - Easy Feat Charli 2na
15. Whodini - Freaks Come Out At Nite
16. Prince - Apollonia 6 - Sex Shooter
17. M.I.A. - Come Around (feat. Timbaland)
18. Sheila E - Holly Rock
19. Power Station - Some Like It Hot

And now for disc 2. No major regrets here either. A few small things - I would have trimmed the intro to the No Doubt track a bit, and the Santogold track doesn't quite fit from the Mickey Avalon song. But I really wanted to include "Shove It" somewhere, so that was that.

As always, tracklisting for Disc 2 will be posted when I post disc 3.

Check out Summer Madness: Disc 2.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Not sure what brought this to mind today

But I have to share. I remember seeing this on 120 Minutes back in the day (the good ol' days...). I believe it was also on an episode of Beavis and Butthead. Man, I miss old MTV.

Friday, June 20, 2008

new dance mix: summer madness, disc 1

Hello there!

As I vaguely mentioned a while back, it was time for another dance mix. The occasion itself produced no dancing, but rather plenty of camaraderie and far too much rum for yours truly. Nevertheless, I'm pleased with the mix, and it provided a good backdrop.

Of course, that's not to say it won't make your ass wiggle, because it will. That was the intent, and I stand by this mix as an improvement over the last mix. The transitions are generally smoother (though still some that I would change), beats line up a bit better, etc. Also, no repeats from the last one, I promise. It's another 4 disc set, so here's the first disc to help you start your weekend.

Summer Madness - Disc 1.

As usual, the tracklist will be posted when I post the next disc. Who doesn't like surprises?

Friday Funk

Everybody LINE UP!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Of Floods, Funk and Glam

Apologies for the blog slack of late, and for missing the first Friday Funk in a while. But Iowa is flooded, I'm traveling, and the former altered the latter significantly. Fortunately my building wasn't affected by the flood, but large portions of Iowa City were, not to mention our sister city, Cedar Rapids. There are literally hundreds of people from Iowa City alone without Internet, power and sadly, homes. It's been a hell of a week, and my only point of comparison is the tornado of 2006. Midwest weather can be crazy and catastrophic, no doubt. So if you know anyone that lives in the area, give them a ring to see how they're doing, and if it's within your ability to help out in someway, go for it.


So I initially planned to leave town on Friday for a wedding in Pittsburgh. I ended up spending thursday night in Moline to escape the floods (of course when I arrived in Moline, I was greeted with a wicked storm and tornado warnings).

This weekend also happens to be the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh. Artists selling their wares, more food on a stick than should exist, and my main interest year after year - free music. Years past have brought Sonic Youth, Wilco, Patti Smith, and others I can't recall at the moment. I happened to be in town on the right weekend.

On friday, I dragged my family to see Maceo Parker.

This is especially well timed, because a friend of mine gave me The JBs Anthology for my birthday. I saw Maceo once maybe 6 or 7 years ago. It was still funky as hell. He played some classic James Brown grooves (Make it Funky, Lickin' Stick, Papa Don't Take No Mess, Soul Power, Too Funky in Here, among others) and JBs classics (Givin' Up Food for Funk, Pass the Peas) along with some of his solo work. It was a funky time indeed, and he played for a good 3+ hours.

But the real musical highlight of the weekend was the New York Dolls, for their first Pittsburgh performance in 35 years.

I've been trying to see the Dolls since they got back together a few years ago. It never worked out. They were always in Chicago when I was in Pittsburgh, in DC when I was in Iowa, etc. So I was stoked to finally catch them, and for free!

One thing I noticed both with the Dolls and Maceo - I love being outdoors, and I love free shows. But as a fan, I think I get more amped up being in a club or other venue for a show. There's just a certain vibe that being in confines creates (not to mention better sound).

Anyhow, the Dolls were great. My one complaint is that they played far too much from their new album, One Day it Will Please Us to Remember Even This. Now I like the album, and especially for a 'reunion' set, it's pretty strong. However, they played 8 of the album's 14 tracks, when I (and I assume most of the audience) was more interested in hearing the early stuff. Of course, they only have three albums worth of material anyway, but I would have liked to hear some of my neglected favorites, like "Subway Train" or "Bad Girl." Along those lines, I thought "Gotta Get Away from Tommy" (one of my least favorite songs from the new album) was a pretty poor choice for a closer. Still, they hit most of the bases, they played great, and I wasn't disappointed by any means. The set (in no order):

Personality Crisis
Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory/Lonely Planet Boy
Jet Boy
Puss N Boots
Human Being
Looking for a Kiss
Private World
We're All in Love
Fishnets and Cigarettes
Dancing on the Lip of a Volcano
Plenty of Music
Gotta Get Away from Tommy
Rainbow Store
Dance Lie a Monkey
Punishing World
Piece of My Heart (Janis)

The Dolls are one of my top 10 favorites, so I'm glad I got to see them even in this incarnation. I don't think I have any other shows lined up for a while. Medeski Martin & Wood are slated to play Iowa City's Jazz Fest, but who knows what kind of shape the city will be in by then. Mother nature can be a bitch.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

dig if u will....

Today is Prince's 50th (!) birthday (1980s pop contemporaries Madonna and Michael Jackson will follow suit in August). Anybody that knows me whether personally or through this blog knows that Prince is one of my all time favorites. I'd venture to say he's my favorite solo artist of all time. In terms of composition, technical ability, production and performance, he's simply top notch. Sure, his recent works don't match the quality of his 1980s output, but you'll have that - and it certainly doesn't detract from his incredibly solid back catalog.

I unfortunately don't have time to go into a long rant, but I wanted to mark the occasion (since as a JW, he probably won't). And here are some reasons why Prince is awesome.

A more recent favorite from 2006's 3121 that I've been revisiting in recent weeks:

And one of my favorites from the Prince canon. It's not an incredibly flashy video, but I love it. There's this sense of youth and energy exuding from the clip. It's as if Prince knows that "Little Red Corvette" will be his crossover hit (the single actually flopped until the release of this video months later). More importantly, there's this vibe coming from Prince as if he knew he was on the brink of superstardom. It's as if he's saying "You ain't seen nothin' yet." And I *still* can't figure out that side shuffle he does in the break (don't think I haven't tried in my living room...frequently).

Deleted - somehow this changed into "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" !!

All previous Prince-related posts, including the Purple Party Mix, which appears to still be available.

Put on your heels, dabble on the mascara, put on some Prince records and party like The Kid is 50. Because he is.

Friday, June 6, 2008

friday funk

Something about the Meters on a hot summer's day just fits perfectly.

Happy weekend!

Report: Jamie Lidell - Abbey Pub, Chicago 6/4

When I heard that Jamie Lidell was playing in Chicago, I enlisted a couple of my friends and immediately bought tickets. I loved 2005's Multiply, and this year's Jim is also great, for slightly different reasons. He's someone who's definitely schooled himself in a variety of musical forms. On his
more recent releases, it's clear that he's been studying up on 1960s American r&b.

Interestingly, there seem to be two types of Jamie Lidell fans - those who like his earlier electronic work (and feel he's sold out on these latter albums) and those who find the soul-infused Lidell a better run for your money. Count me in the latter camp.

First, the venue. The Abbey Pub is in an area of Chicago that I'd never been (Irving Park, I believe?). Set apart from the venue side of the building is a restaurant and pub (where we watched the Penguins lost the Stanley Cup). The actual performance space was very cool. An upper balcony, a big dancefloor, and a great DJ. I wish I had his setlists. The stuff I knew was some of my favorites from the last couple of years (Bird and Bee, Chromeo, New Young Pony Club, Santogold) with some old favorites (Prince, James Brown, Eddy Grant) and a bunch of newer tracks that I didn't recognize, but loved.

Opening up was Jennifer O'Connor. I checked out her MySpace earlier in the week and wasn't expecting much from her set. However, she's apparently one of those acts that is much better live than on disc. I was pleasantly surprised. I also applaud her writing 3 minute tunes, an art that's been lost in recent years - but that's another rant for another time.

Lidell came on, opening up with "Another Day," the opener on his new disc. It was fantastic. With him was a four piece band, who were *very* tight. The band arrangements were necessarily different than those on Lidell's records, but in way that was fresh, pleasing, and totally welcome. All of the members including Lidell gave off that vibe of "hey, we really love performing," which always makes a show more enjoyable for me. When a group or artist seems to just be going through the motions, it detracts from the energy of the show. This was the total opposite.

The set was very heavy on the new album. As I recall there were only three songs from Mutliply - "When I Come Back Around," "A Little Bit More" and the title track. The latter closed out the night and was phenomenal. The former two tracks Lidell did solo whilst playing around with an arsenal of electronic gadgetry. These were ridiculously different arrangements that were interesting and good. However, these went on for too long, and I found myself losing interest. He was definitely at his best with the band on stage.

I do wish there would have been more material from Multiply. But for me, that's less of a criticism and more of a personal desire. I think Jim is a great album, and he played all of the best cuts from the new disc. My highlight of the night was very likely "A Little Bit of Feelgood," which is hands down my favorite track from the album.

All told, it was well worth the $25, the 4 hour drive there, and the 4 hour drive back that put me in my bed around 4am. Today has been totally screwy as a result, but I don't give a damn. Lidell put on a great show, and I am totally satisfied.

Before the album came out I posted the circulating remix of "A Little Bit of Feel Good." Here's the album version with it's spankin' new video:

Monday, June 2, 2008

So long, Bo Diddley

December 30, 1928 - June 2, 2008

Probably my favorite Bo Diddley tune: