Friday, November 16, 2007

In Rotation 11/07 (the triumphant return...)

Well, well, well, look see who's back from the shadowy world of reality. Yes folks, it is I, your favorite imaginary friend coming back to Land of Soup after much time away. Now let's see where this will take us this time, shall we?

First off, if anyone cares, SORRY FOR THE LONG INTERRUPTION.

Life is full of weird tangents, sharp corners and periods of bushwhacking. Suffice to say, I have been very busy elsewhere, and my writing here has suffered for it. Hopefully (with your help) that is about to change...

Now let's get down to the business @ hand.

IN ROTATION is in the hizzouse! (Part One)

My listening habits have been all over the map as of late, tho' I seem to be going through a strange period of nostalgia for early British and San Francisco psychedellic rock (Moby Grape, Flying Burrito Bros., Jefferson Airplane, Good ol' Grateful Dead, Early Pink Floyd, Robert Wyatt, Steve Miller Band, Small Faces, Etc.) I'm sure this is fueld both by my boredom with much of the modern music choices I am exposed to as of late, and by the recent availability of many fine newly remastered re-releases of classics I haven't listened to in years.

Okay, here goes...

Lyrics Born >>> Later That Day, and Same S#*!, Different Day
These are two of the best, most dynamic, funkiest damn Indie Hip-Hop albums of the last several years (at least that my ears have heard). Serious. Sampling the synth hook of Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like An Eagle" seeled the deal for me. Amazingly free flowing verbosity from LB and his co-horts. (Guests feature Lateef the Truthspeaker, Dan the Automator, KRS-1 and Gift of Gab, as well as DJ breaks from Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow - among the best at their craft at the present time.) Put these on your system real loud, disturb the neighbors, and shake that thang until the house burns down. HOT DAMN!

The production on these albums is top notch. Lots going on at many levels with nice trippy atmospherics flowing from track to track. Excellent headpone music! It must be noted that while Same S!@# is mainly a remix of the other album, there are a couple of new cuts, and it is actually a superior version of an already excellent debut album.

!!! (CHK, CHK, CHK)>>> Louden Up Now!
Recently discovered these guys. Hard Funky White Boy Dance Muzik for the new Millenium. Start with the Talking Heads, add some angst, some Gang of Four Agit Prop, some industrial edginess, and some desire to jam until a trance state is reached, and you have an idea what a !!! show might be like. The addition of a horn section on some tunes brings to mind the JB Horns, or even some twisted version of afro-pop filtered through modern nerdy techo channels. Catchy, and infectious. Great listening while driving (watch your speed!) or powering through house work at maximum velocity. I must admit that the political slant of this disc definately tilts things in its favor for me. Any group that speaks out against War, the dangers of the global economy and makes fun of Ruy Gulliani (whilst paraphrasing Paul Simon) are a-okay in my book. CHK it out! (Sorry, couldn't resist)

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings>>>100 days 100 nights
There is a huge buzz about this band and label recently, and upon close listening to this disc, I can entirely see why. This is new R&B at its amazing funky best, with a fiery lead singer in Sharon Jones (a former prison guard, among other blue collar day jobs). The working man/woman's reality is not far away in Sharon's world weary, love lorn and often tearful lyrics. She exhibits Aretha like determination and the drive of a strong no nonsense woman who is tired of life beating her down. Watch out!

There is a bonus disc with some editions of this album which is a very good sampler of other Daptone Records artists, tho' the radio DJ/narrator between cuts gets a bit old after a while (the wife made me turn this disc off halfway through since the DJ was getting on her nerves.). I'm too lazy to take the time to program my CD player, but I suppose that would be one solution to the problem.

Well, I've run out of time before I got to the hippy nostalgia. Damn! I guess the next installment will have to cover that ground.

Until then, Peace Out!