Albums »Wicked Witch: Chaos 1978-86

by Wicked Witch (1978-86)

Hands down Chaos 1978-86 is the weirdest album I’ve discovered.

You know how they can record your thoughts as those grainy distorted images? This is kind of the music version of that. So lo fi it feels like it’s inside this awesome basement musicians own mind and his mind is filled with spooky sounds, avant-garde takes on cop movie soundtracks and strange interpretations of Parliament and Rick James.

I feel like this oddity will only grow on me more and more as it seems to offer new sensations every time we listen to it. So I was almost hesitant to write about it until it had totally washed over me, but it’s really too cool, bizarre, and unique to keep a secret from you all any longer.

I really want to thank the blog Music to Flip You Around for introducing this to me (during a random image search). You can get a down-loadable zip of the album from them too.

We have a new creative hero in our house, and his name is Wicked Witch.

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Posted on October 9, 2011

Songs »Pimps Don’t Cry

by Jon Brion, Cee-lo and Eva Mendes (2010)

It used to be I didn’t know this Jon Brion, then I saw him perform and I loved him, now I am ready to take it to what ever the next step is, because his Pimps Don’t Cry, performed by Cee-lo and Eva Mendes is fabulous.

Is it weird that some of my favorite songs are “parody songs” (see One Track Lover and other Matt Berry, see Reggae Man, see the Nashville soundtrack, see Higher and Higher)?

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Posted on February 5, 2011

Albums »I Learned the Hard Way

by Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings (2010)

I am indebted to friend Mike for introducing me to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and loaning me their latest, fantastic album I Learned the Hard Way. Jones, who was working as a corrections officer at Rikers before making a huge mid-life break into a singing career a decade ago, embodies the soul of classic soul music. Every song on the album is a gem and sounds timeless due to the band’s dislike for modern recording equipment and methods.

They’re more than a novelty act though, the songs are instantly catchy and memorable and I can’t wait to explore their other releases.

Click here for the rest of I Learned the Hard Way

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Posted on April 25, 2010

Albums »Stretchin’ Out in Bootsy’s Rubber Band

Bootsy Collins (1976)

The centerpiece of Stretchin’ Out in Bootsy’s Rubber Band is the fantastic “I’d Rather Be With You”. It’s an absolutely perfect example of the kind of slow groovy/sexual innuendo/hip swaying spectacle that is funk at its best. A live, jammy, white-caped version is also worth a looksee.

I’d Rather Be With You, despite being a huge hit, was (blissfully) left off the play-lists of the oldies stations we grew up with, so it’s been spared the obnoxious overplaying that’s crippled so many genre classics and feels as fresh and exciting as the day it was made – but, even though I’m devoting so digital ink to this one song, I don’t want you to think that the rest of the album is mere filler.

Love Vibes (featuring the lovely vocals of Leslyn Bailey), Vanish In Our Sleep, and Physical Love – they’re all so much fun! Which is exactly what this album is all about, as is pretty clear from the rainbow font and motorcycle photograph on the cover. It’s absolutely perfect listening for the beginning of spring.

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Posted on March 28, 2010

Songs »Tell Me

We are truly the children of the '90s and when a radio hit from that by-gone era comes wafting into our midst and we can't?help but perk up and recall some sunny afternoon in junior high.

Tell Me by Groove Theory is the perfect transporter to a simpler time. Hope it pops up during a round of drinks for you like it did for us. The duo of Amel Larrieux and Bryce Wilson was, sadly, short lived.

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Posted on October 5, 2009

Albums »They Say I’m Different

betty davis they say i'm differentDon't you call her no tramp! The gorgeous and glorious Betty Davis may have been romantically linked to Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone, and of course one-time husband Miles Davis, but she was no groupie and is in fact credited with inspiring Miles to concoct the mix of funk and jazz that became Bitches Brew (a title she insisted on).

Her own rather brief career consisted of a couple of albums, including They Say I'm Different, none of which made her a huge commercial success but all of which caused controversy thanks to her ahead-of-her time “Nasty Girl” image and overt sexuality (see: He was a Big Freak – my favorite song on the album – or Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him).

Super fun for super freaks that want to bob their heads while wearing something crazy and funky this summer.

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Posted on July 20, 2009

Songs »Living in America

james brown living in americaI remember going with a big group of older girls to see Rocky IV in the theater for my sister's birthday. James Brown opens the drama with an over the top showgirl extravaganza to stick it to the Russians (aka Dolph Lundgren and Brigitte Nielsen). But then Dolph ends up killing Apollo Creed in the match and Rocky has to train in the snow and get revenge in Moscow (sans showgirls). He beats Dolph bloody, but decides not to kill him, rather to give a rousing speech instead that ends the cold war.

I posted some rousing stills over at RC.

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Posted on June 29, 2009