Thursday, July 30, 2009

Funky Kingston - Reggae Dance Floor Grooves 1968-74 (2002)

Here are some fun, funky reggae grooves for ya. This compilation is comprised of remastered originals and covers from the vaults of Island Records' sister label, Trojan Records. It's a nice snapshot of the funk that was always present in reggae and its ska and rocksteady predecessors, and how hard hitting American R&B from the era was eventually infused. Enjoy these jams at your next backyard punky reggae BBQ. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Funky Kingston" - Toots & The Maytals

2. "Soul Revival" - Zap Pow
3. "Sister Big Stuff" - Tomorrow's Children
4. "Reggae Stuff (Funky Stuff)" - The Chosen Few

5. "Look-Ka-Py-Py" - Lloyd Charmers & The Hippy Boys

6. "Splendour Splash" - The Jay Boys
7. "Na Na, Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)" - The Pioneers
8. "Is It Because I'm Black?" - Ken Boothe

9. "Woman Of The Ghetto" - Phyllis Dillon
10. "Jungle Lion" - Lee Perry & The Upsetters
11. "Ball Of Confusion" - A Darker Shade Of Black

12. "Cloud Nine" - Carl Dawkins & The Wailers

13. "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" - The Pioneers
14. "War" - Tomorrow's Children
15. "Stop The War Now" - Lloyd Parks
16. "Soul Almighty" - Bob Marley & The Wailers
17. "Shaft" - Lloyd Charmers
18. "Funky Beat" - Lloyd Williams
19. "Do Your Thing" - The Chosen Few
20. "Funky Funky" - Toots & The Maytals

Monday, July 27, 2009

Paul Simon - "Hearts & Bones" (1983)

So many great Paul Simon albums to pick from. There Goes Rhymin' Simon, Concert in the Park, Graceland, to name a few. Those are all must haves, but here's a lesser known gem largely ignored when it first came out. Written after his divorce from Carrie "Princess Leia" Fischer, Hearts & Bones has Paul Simon's usual playfulness mixed in with his most naked lyrics. The title track is one of my favorite break-up songs but the album isn't all dipped in anguish and isn't even all about them. The closing track is a tribute to the late John Lennon and René & Georgette paints a lovely picture of a happy couple in the twilight of their years we all want to be. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Allergies" 4:37
2. "Hearts and Bones" 5:37
3. "When Numbers Get Serious" 3:25
4. "Think Too Much (b)" 2:44
5. "Song About the Moon" 4:07
6. "Think Too Much (a)" 3:05
7. "Train in the Distance" 5:11
8. "René and Georgette Magritte with their Dog after the War" 3:44
9. "Cars are Cars" 3:15
10. "The Late Great Johnny Ace" 4:45

bonus tracks

11. "Shelter of Your Arms" (demo) 3:11
12. "Train in the Distance" (demo) 3:13
13. "Rene and Georgette Magritte" (demo) 3:47
14. "The Late Great Johnny Ace" (demo) 3:22

YouTube: Paul Simon Live 1975 - American Tune

She & Him - "Volume One" (2007)

In between the Christmas laughs of Elf, everyone took notice of Zooey Deschanel's lovely Ella Fitzgerarld take on Baby It's Cold Outside. M Ward took notice too and after hearing she had written many of her own songs, but had done nothing with them, She & Him were formed. Her selection of golden era American covers and her adorable personality help vault her past the line of celebrity-turned-musician acts laughed off review pages, but her sweet and genuine vocals is what makes this album a worthy addition. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Sentimental Heart" 2:36
2. "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" 2:31
3. "This Is Not a Test" 3:31
4. "Change Is Hard" 3:03
5. "I Thought I Saw Your Face Today" 2:50
6. "Take It Back" 2:37
7. "I Was Made for You" 2:31
8. "You Really Got a Hold on Me" 3:59
9. "Black Hole" 2:12 *
10. "Got Me" 2:46
11. "I Should Have Known Better" 3:39
12. "Sweet Darlin'" 2:41
13. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" 1:37

Zooey Interviews Brian Wilson

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Howl" (2005)

This album is fantastic. A departure for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's usual rip roaring rock and I love it. It's The Blues, The Band, The Beatles, and The White Stripes. Like any of them? You'll like this. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Shuffle Your Feet" 2:53
2. "Howl" 4:20
3. "Devil's Waitin'" 3:50
4. "Ain't No Easy Way" 2:36
5. "Still Suspicion Holds You Tight" 4:24
6. "Fault Line" 2:57
7. "Promise" 4:46
8. "Weight of the World" 3:41
9. "Restless Sinner" 3:11
10. "Gospel Song" 4:31
11. "Complicated Situation" 2:37
12. "Sympathetic Noose" 4:17
13. "The Line" 5:09

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Beta Band - "The Three E.P.'s" (1998)

The Beta Band's first "album" is actually a collection of the 3 original E.P.'s the band put out in England. Thom Yorke said that once he heard it, he wanted Radiohead's next record to be "a Beta Band album" so that speaks for itself on influence. Their music runs a cerebral blend of genres from Indie Jam to Brit Poptronica with a rollercoaster layer of sound effects and samples. And it no where near stops there. There's hip hop drum loops, funked out ambient bass waves, hippie melodies, garage rock grooves and on and on and on. So enjoy John Cusack's easy sale in High Fidelity and don't forget the headphones! -- Chris Baginski

Champion Versions

1. "Dry the Rain" 6:05
2. "I Know" 3:58
3. "B + A" 6:35
4. "Dogs Got a Bone" 5:58

The Patty Patty Sound

5. "Inner Meet Me" 6:20
6. "The House Song" 7:15
7. "Monolith" 15:48
8. "She's the One" 8:21

Los Amigos del Beta Bandidos

9. "Push It Out" 5:22
10. "It's Over" 3:50
11. "Dr. Baker" 4:08
12. "Needles in My Eyes" 4:32