Thursday, February 18, 2010


to a real site:

check it out, bookmark it, make it your homepage and don't come around here no mo.

Monday, February 8, 2010

recycling: lipa kodi ya city council

One of the first things I wrote for way back when was this piece about my burgeoning love for Mississippi Records. Here 'tis again, now with download link.

edit: maaaaan, I hate blogspot sometimes. If you actually want to read what's posted below, just click on it and it should take you to the non cut-off on the right side version.

Download Link

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

digging on stockon, ca

My dear friend Andrew Schneiderman recently found gainful employment at the Dave Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific - which is one of the few good excuses to move to Stockton. It's not a terrible place, it's just not a destination, per se. Until now! Andrew graciously agreed to take care of a couple thousand LP's for me while I roamed the rest of the country, and I'm sure he'd play a few for any of you if you found yourself anywhere near there (but not this one, I took it with me).

I had actually been to Stockton for work a couple times before Andrew moved there, and took those opportunities to hit a couple of the Goodwill's that were in the same strip mall's where I was counting lightbulbs (and such). I mainly struck out, but the two LP's I did find made it worth spending my lunch break getting my fingers dirty. The first was Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin's Je'Taime, and the second was this gem.

The cover was enough to pique my interest, but the label is what sealed the deal. Nimbus was a Jazz record label out of Santa Barbara in the 70s and 80s, famous (to me at least) for releasing some of Horace Tapscott's music. In fact, the album is dedicated on the back to Horace - it reads: "I send a very special message of peace & love to Horace Tapscott whose dedication inspired my musical awareness." I'm sure the same could be said for most jazz musicians fortunate enough to hear the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra in their heyday.

Rickey Kelly plays the vibraphones, and while I'm not a big fan of the vibes (outside of Bobby Hutcherson,) this 1983 set manages to take standards ("Lush Life," "Dolphin Dance," "Yesterdays") just far enough out of the middle zone to make this a definite keeper. I'm not sure who any of these guys are, but here's the rest of the personnel:

Keys: David E. Tillman
Drums: Sherman Ferguson
Bass: James Leary III
Flute: Dadisi Komolafe

... And here's the download link:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

digging on india

Digging for records is pretty much my favorite drug, and I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it, but the real truth is - its just not hard. Get up early, go to flea markets, dig through every record at the thrift store, check out garage sales and estate sales - and you'd be hard-pressed not to find some great rare records for nickels on the dollar. You've got to be careful though, because at a certain point the quest for records can consume you; working in record stores, I've seen the type. They are invariably quite sad, old, white and lonely.

Anyway, the whole point is, these guys love to brag about what they've got, but are loathe to mention where they found it. Sharing is caring, so that's what I'm going to do - talk about where I dig up this black gold.

So that makes it a little strange that the first post of this nature is going to feature a record someone else found for me, but aha! I told them where to go. Turns out, I've got digging spots in places I've never even been, so when my good friend Jake told me he was going to Mumbai, I dug up this:

I believe I found it on a thread over at Soul Strut, a forum about records. Turns out, it was a pretty worthwhile venture. Jake ended up bringing back a couple hundred Bollywood (picture sleeve!) 45's that he bought for ridiculously cheap. He was kind enough to pass on a couple of 45's and this:

It's a stone cold bollywood classic, featuring RD Burman, Asha Bhosle and more. Download link here:

Thanks again Jake!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

i made you a tape: mexico

I can't say that I know much about Mexican music, and to be perfectly honest, I've never liked much of what I have heard. Mariachi caused me to write off the entire country musically. That's obviously absurd, and I've been forced to re-examine those prejudices after Sam started her love on mexico movement. She's back in Oaxaca now, and is doing a ton of great stuff - not least of which was the movie night represented by the flier below, and before she left she asked me to put together a short mix of mexican music and music about mexico to drop in the mailboxes of upper class, white Oaklander's in order to introduce them to the brown sound. It was fun, if not a little hasty, and leaning a bit too heavily on the random 45's I pick up for Sam everytime I see "hecho in mexico" on the label instead of doing actual research.

1. jose alfredo jimenez - el desperado 
2. hemanes huerta con el mariachi popular de jose cruz - no sigas llorando
3. cuarteto ritmo de oro de agustin martinez - senorita yo al quiero
4. devendra banhart - carmensita
5. lee dorsey - mexico
6. eddie platt - tequila
7. richie valens - la bamba
8. carlos y jose - el nuevo albur de amor
9. yolanda del rio - la hija de nadie
10. jolie holland - mexican blue


Monday, January 4, 2010

radio love: whupped cream

I'm not at all interested in the speculation surrounding Tiger Woods' marital infidelity. I avoided the conversation during the holidays, but after hearing this song, I'm convinced he could've turned this into an opportunity. He should have aimed higher, gone for Beyonce. Why he doesn't think America wants him to be a black man is beyond me.  If Jay-Z can be a one-man corporation, imagine Tiger with swagger. Shit, Snoop does Verizon commercials and he's pretty much famous for smoking weed and being a Crip. Sure he might've lost a few endorsements, but those mistresses were gonna step forward anyway. Why not flip the script a little bit and have some fun with it? Golf is boring, Tiger Woods was boring, and nothing has changed except for now he maybe can't run for president. /sarcasm

Really though, I can't decide if this radio spot DJ Khaled did for McCafe hot chocolate is the best or worst thing I've ever heard. I'm tempted to call it a sign of the apocalypse, but you'll have to try and wrap your brain around this one yourself. One thing is for sure though: PEOPLE, I DONT LIE. THE FIRST THING YOU'LL DO IS PLAY THE MP3 AGAIN.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

first person to name all the tracks gets to let me sleep on their couch

I wanted to upload at least one semi-decent mixtape before I packed everything up, so I spent a few hours pulling out records I've found here in Oakland over the last six months or so, most at garage sales, flea markets or Amoeba. I didn't really plan them out ahead of time, so excuse a few rough mixes. Also the sound quality is already sub-optimal, so I suggest extra relaxation and extra volume.

side a: _a_.mp3

side b: y'all _b_.mp3

Saturday, December 5, 2009

ebay gold

I just sold a record on eBay I paid fifty cents for at a garage sale this summer in Oakland. The winning bidder (Ken, from Canada) paid $644 (+ S&H) for the 45. That's an astounding $92 per inch of vinyl and a tidy %1288 profit. I 'spect a lot of you might like to hear what a single that valuable sounds like, so here's the goes (right-click "save as"):

Phil DeMarco & The Valiants - Lonely Guy MP3

Phil DeMarco & The Valiants - Be On Your Way MP3

Now, I know what you're thinking. Really? They sound good, but what makes them worth more than a month's rent? I suppose the relative scarcity, the fact "Lonely Guy" has been included in a few compilations of rare doo-wop, making it a known quantity, and the mania of lonely men with lonely obsessions. Thank god though, it's going to pay for new tires and a whole lot of biodiesel.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

from the shelves: elizabeth cotten

Born in 1895, Elizabeth Cotton wrote her most famous song, “Freight Train” in her early teens, on the porch of her house on Lloyd Street in North Carolina, despite never having been taught standard tuning (or any tuning for that matter). Unfathomably, she wasn’t discovered until she was in her sixties, after decades as a housekeeper. Despite living through America’s long, hot afternoon, she harbored no bitterness. “We’re all gonna rise the Judgement Day. That’d be wonderful wouldn’t it? I’d come and gather all my little children in my arms. All of you all. Just gather you up and take you right on back with me. Oh wouldn’t that be sweet. I wished I could.”

Having had an Elizabeth Cotten sized hole in my record collection for a long time, I was thrilled to finally see this record reissued. The original releases on Folkways are hard to come by, but this one should still be available at all fine record stores. You can get a taste here first:

Elizabeth Cotten - When I'm Gone (transferred from LP)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

this week in lloyd: the rubble being...

I'm not even sure what my favorite part about this video is, I love all of it so much. This can't be real right? Who is that woman? wtf? I think I'm going to spend two days pulling quotes from this and drawing Lloyd's facial expressions, only to decide that the video is about as perfect as it could be and throw them out.

It reminds me of Dave Chappelle, who I miss dearly, but I'm pretty sure Lloyd is sincere. It may be scripted, but that makes it no less endearing. Maybe I'm more pre-disposed to be a Lloyd fan, but I'm thrilled that there seems to be a bit of substance behind that pretty grill and a real voice beneath that chiseled abdomen.