27 Feb

“The Payback” – James Brown

Friday, funky funky Friday. Jumping back to 1974 this post, for two live takes from The Godfather himself, James Brown. “I don’t know karate/but I know ka-razy” has been stuck in my head for most of my life. Words to live by, heh.

First up, from the preshow concert at the Ali/Foreman Rumble In The Jungle fight in Kinshasa, Zaire, Africa, The Payback, with one helluva bitchin’ intro by the emcee. No video in this video, but damn, does it matter?

Next, from his appearance on the show Midnight Special on September 13, 1974 (yes, another funky funky Friday), glorious sweaty video, fast and funky. A medley of The Payback / Cold Sweat / I Can’t Stand Myself / Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag. 

So… can I get into it? Can I get into it? Can I… UNH! Movin’? Groovin’? Yeah!

26 Feb

“The Crablouse” – Lords of Acid

Heh. I was looking for a video for Lords of Acid’s Doggie Tom, a fine, wholesome song about the special bond between a woman and her dog (I believe it was the theme song for last year’s Religious Right American Pet Enthusiast Youth Association national jamboree — unfortunate acronym, that) but alas, no luck.

What I did stumble across, however, will serve just as well, being a PSA [public service announcement] about the importance of personal hygiene.

I wish the video footage wasn’t so… provocative… but one can’t have everything in this life, I guess. Be sure to share this song with the ones you love, the children in your neighborhood, and your church.

These ladies are truly doing God’s work.

25 Feb

“Season of the Witch” – Donovan

Very witchy weather out here in Oregon, lately. Crowds of jagged clouds all fighting each other for dominance, drifting this way and that, each pack of ’em jealously seething in their own layer of sky, grey upon grey upon grey.

At least, that’s how it’s been looking on my morning commute. Like descending into Mordor (where the shadows lie). But am I a hobbit or an orc, the tool or the user?

That, as always, remains to be seen. Until then, we’ll just keep watching the devil beating his wife, the sunshine in and amongst the rain. Forecast says snow tomorrow, no surprises there, heh.

What does all this have to do with Donovan’s 1966/1967 release of Season of the Witch? Absolutely nuffin’.

But it’s a kick-ass soundtrack for the right here, and how. Sometimes the music defines the world, and sometimes the world defines the music. Y’all stay out of the path of rogue bolts of lightning now, ya dig?

24 Feb

“Watermelon Man” – Mongo Santamaría

Guess I’m still in something of an Afro-Cuban-Latin kinda groove. Due to the usual late-for-work time constraints, let’s start shoveling content from Watermelon Man’s wiki, hey? I’ve really got to get started on this stuff earlier in the morning…

[Herbie] Hancock filled in for pianist Chick Corea in Mongo Santamaría’s band one weekend at a nightclub in The Bronx when Corea gave notice that he was leaving. Hancock played the tune for Santamaría at friend Donald Byrd’s urging. Santamaría started accompanying him on his congas, then his band joined in, and the small audience slowly got up from their tables and started dancing, laughing and having a great time. Santamaría later asked Hancock if he could record the tune. Santamaría recorded a three minute version, suitable for radio, where he joined timbalero Francisco “Kako” Baster in a cha-cha beat, while drummer Ray Lucas performed a backbeat Santamaría included the track on his album Watermelon Man (1962). Santamaría’s recording is sometimes considered the beginning of Latin boogaloo, a fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with those of R&B.

Hancock wrote the piece to help sell his debut album as a leader, Takin’ Off (1962), on Blue Note Records; it was the first piece of music he had ever composed with a commercial goal in mind. The popularity of the piece, due primarily to Mongo Santamaría, paid Hancock’s bills for five or six years. Hancock did not feel the composition was a sellout however, describing that structurally, it was one of his strongest pieces due to its almost mathematical balance. The form is a sixteen bar blues. Recalling the piece, Hancock said, “I remember the cry of the watermelon man making the rounds through the back streets and alleys of Chicago. The wheels of his wagon beat out the rhythm on the cobblestones. The tune, based on a bluesy piano riff, drew on elements of R&B, soul jazz and bebop, all combined into a pop hook.

Animated and Directed by Mark Hamilton and Che Poon of Hambones Productions.

23 Feb

“Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries” – Willie Bobo

Random groove today… spooky and brooding, here’s a song for a grey morning.

Was going to do a somewhat ambitious theme this week, showcasing Portland (Oregon) musicians, but that’s been put off for a bit, as I’d like to do them all justice by putting down on phosphors a little more than just the quickie blurbs of my usual postings.

And golly, but that takes more than a little work, I’m finding out.

So instead, from his 1966 album uno dos tres 1•2•3, here’s Willie Bobo serving up Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries. 

Bon apetit!