Dancing in a disco

My relative lack of disco knowledge is gonna show on this post. Ganymed? Who the hell are these guys, and why are they dressed like alien muppets? "Future World" showed up on Bumrocks back in September ... on my holiday trip home to St. Louis I dug up a copy in this dude's huge basement full of rekkids (thanks to my man Brian for setting that up, hope to make many return visits!). At times it skates the line between noodly mellow goodness and E-Z listening badness, but I like it. What can I say, I'm feeling the disco right now.

Ganymed - "Future World"

This one could be a party rocker -- everyone thinks you're playing Queen until Sugar Daddy busts out with his old-schoolisms (which were brand-new-school in 1980 of course). Fans of extended metaphors will dig his long list of the wackness that would ensue if Sugar Daddy left the rap game. "It's like Rocky II without the glove!"

Sugar Daddy - "Another One Bites the Dust (Rap)"

Was a bit worried when I noticed that this LP had been "remixed" in a "continuous disco format," but it seems they let the songs play out to their full length ... and if the tracks are different from the originals, well, they still sound hot. Perhaps best known for his 15-minute extended remix of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," Patrick Cowley followed the path of Moroder and blazed his own synth-disco trails until his death from AIDS in 1982 (this greatest hits album came out posthumously, in 1983). Viva la vocoder.

Patrick Cowley - "Megatron Man"


Gimme the loot, gimme the loot

Couple of very different but very excellent box sets dropped down my chimney this Xmas: Rhino's One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found and the Fall's Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004 on Castle/Sanctuary. On the girl group box, Rhino comes correct as usual, from the packaging (it comes in a real hat box -- might even top the fake eight-track case of the '70s soul box) to the wide variety of great sounds within. Soul, pop, rock, from the novelty to the dead serious, it all fell under the "girl group" umbrella. I was expecting an entire box of Ronettes clones (not that that would be a bad thing), but One Kiss Can Lead to Another is more like a female Nuggets minus the psychedelia -- glorious blasts of pure pop, rescued from obscurity.

Luv'd Ones - "Up Down Sue"

The Tammys - "Egyptian Shumba"

"There is no way I need six more discs of the Fall."
"Yes, you do."
"I have like 40 of their albums."
"Complete Peel Sessions is better than their albums!"
"Half of my iPod is the Fall."
"I took all my other Fall albums off my iPod and just put the box set on. That's all I listen to now."
" ... "

The Fall - "New Puritan"

The Fall - "Smile"


Happy holidays

Vince Guaraldi Trio - "Christmas Time is Here (Vocal)"

Back Tuesday with more jams.


From the stacks #1 - Transit strike edition

Lucky me: My Christmas break from work just happened to start on the same day the subways shut down. Put a little crimp in my last-minute shopping, but being stuck at home with a pile of records is a lot better than trudging across the 59th Street bridge. So enjoy my manic posting before an expected holiday slowdown.

Johnny Jenkins, Ton-Ton Macoute! (Capricorn 1974)
Think I first heard about this because of the Beck sample from "Walk on Guilded Splinters," but it's a great album all the way through. Reminds me of Muddy Waters' Electric Mud, psyched-out fuzzpedal bluesrock.

Johnny Jenkins - "I Walk on Guilded Splinters"

Johnny Jenkins - "Sick and Tired"

McDonald & Giles, McDonald & Giles (Cotillion 1970)
McDonald and Giles were two early members of King Crimson who left after the first record, opting to work on this album of sunshiney pop/prog song suites. Sorry I cut off "Tomorrow's People" early, it comes back for a coda after that fade-out but my copy has a nasty skip.

McDonald & Giles - "Tomorrow's People - The Children of Today"

McDonald & Giles - "Birdman (Workshop)"

Thunderclap Newman, Hollywood Dream (Track Records 1970)
Call out the instigator: My man Suge White used "Something in the Air" as the first track on a mixtape a few years ago (to be listened to while driving around Louisville the night before the Kentucky Oaks) and I've been looking for this record ever since. These guys were buddies with the Who (Pete Townshend produced the hit) and shared space on the Magic Christian soundtrack with Badfinger. Total anthem.

Thunderclap Newman - "Something in the Air"

Thunderclap Newman - "The Old Cornmill"

Latimore, Latimore III (Glades 1975)
Dude. Latimore. The 'stache, the open shirt, the dangling medallion -- how is it even possible that the lady at home is not getting enough Latimore? Step up your game, my friend.

Latimore - "Keep the Home Fires Burning"

The United States of America, The United States of America (Columbia 1968)
Up until their shift to a more minimal sound on Tender Buttons, Broadcast had made a pretty good career out of imitating and reinventing this major-label oddity from 1968, a nice companion piece if you dig the slightly more well-known Silver Apples. Dorothy Moskowitz has a killer voice.

The United States of America - "The American Metaphysical Circus"

The United States of America - "Coming Down"

I think it's over now, I think it's ending ...


Odds & ends

Now that it's off the front page at Neumu I'll go ahead and post my 2005 top ten list here, just so it's on the site:

  • Animal Collective, Feels (Fat Cat)
  • Blood on the Wall, Awesomer (The Social Registry)
  • Edan, Beauty and the Beat (Lewis)
  • The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday (Frenchkiss)
  • Isolee, Wearemonster (Playhouse)
  • M.A.N.D.Y., Body Language Vol. 1 (Get Physical)
  • M.I.A., Arular (XL/Interscope)
  • Optimo, Psyche Out (Eskimo)
  • Vitalic, OK Cowboy (PIAS)
  • Paul Wall, The Peoples Champ (Swishahouse/Atlantic)

In honor of OK Cowboy's imminent U.S. release here's some twisted French house to whet your appetite:

Vitalic - "No Fun"

And of course as soon as I hit send on the full list I thought of dozens of other things I wanted to mention, the most egregious omissions being Jamie Lidell's "Multiply" for the singles list and Dungen (Mercury Lounge) for live shows. Also, leaving LCD Soundsystem off completely was sorta bogus, especially if you count the second disc of all the old singles. I listened to that way more than The Juan Maclean ....


The music lovers sat cross-legged in the sand

It's a weird feeling, in December 2005, to be 99% sure that you've already heard your favorite album of 2006. But as you may have noticed, I kinda have a thing for Destroyer, and Destroyer's Rubies does not disappoint. Note to bands looking to get in my good graces, you can't go wrong by importing the guitars from Crooked Rain Crooked Rain! Strong Pavement-y flavor throughout this thing, and the lyrics are increasingly turning into a Charlie Kaufmanesque funhouse of rock references ("those who love Zeppelin will soon betray Floyd / I cast off these couplets in honor of the void"), self-mythology, and meta weirdness (previous album title "Your Blues" pops up in the lyrics of at least three new tracks). Might be offputting for some, a snake eating its own tail, but for music-obsessed fellows like myself there's no better maze to get lost in. The tracks below sketch out the album's two main modes, "Rubies" the sprawling opening epic, "3000 Flowers" the catchy blast of riffage flying apart at the seams. When this comes out on Merge in February I'm buying it on every format. (Further study: For an advanced degree in Destroyer lyricology check out Toronto music critic Carl Wilson's essay at the always excellent Zoilus.)

Destroyer - "Rubies"

Destroyer - "3000 Flowers"

Now on to the best of 2004! Free the Bees came out ages ago, I just flat-out forgot to pick it up because it took so long to be released domestically in the United States (it's on Astralwerks). If you're the sort of person who scoffs about unoriginality at the drop of a hat, this probably isn't for you; it's unabashedly retro, and the influences aren't even all that hidden -- the opening of "Hourglass" sounds just like "I'm Only Sleeping." Best quickie description I can come up with is that this sounds like the music the Beta Band would make if they had never heard any post-1970 records.

A Band of Bees - "Horsemen"

A Band of Bees - "Hourglass"


Oldschool, baby

Dear DJ,
You are the best. You keep dumping your old club records at my local thrift store. Sure, you might have owned a lot of Subliminal house and corny Hi-NRG, but when Villalobos' remix of DJ Minx is at the bottom of the pile, I don't mind a little gruntwork. And that 1998 Time Warp compilation you sold -- I grabbed it for the Plastikman track, but whoa, this one from Westbam is a stormer! Anyhow, keep it coming.
- Dave
p.s. I hope your records didn't get repo'd or something, that would suck.

Westbam - "Mr. Peanut"


Bonus Beats - Quick Mix Vol. 2

Just like the first one, nothing high-concept or whatever, no perfect mixing -- just some current stuff to juice up the iPod. This edition is unofficially subtitled "I'm seeing Blood on the Wall tonight and by the time the show lets out the NYC subways might be shut down by a transit strike." Just seems ripe for debauchery and strange happenings. Hey, can't go home ... might as well get another round!

Quick Mix Vol. 2


1. Glass Candy - "Sugar and Whitebread"
2. Emperor Machine - "Front Man (Version Idjut)"
3. Black Dice - "Smiling Off (DFA Remix)"
4. Zongamin - "Bongo Song"
5. Francisco - "Malinco"
6. Digitalism - "Zdarlight"
7. Volga Select - "Transe"

Edit: In case you were wondering, the subways did not shut down (yet) but I got another round anyway.


Ring on your finger

This track has been posted a few other places (I think I got it off Daughters of Invention) but I'm totally loving its new-romantic synth-y lushness. Hope Hot Chip's new record (due next year on DFA/Astralwerks) is more of this stuff and less of bumping Yo La Tengo in tha Escalade.

Hot Chip - "Just Like We (Breakdown) (DFA Remix)"

Edit: One of zee Daughters has pointed out that it was actually The Ghost Robot that posted this song a couple weeks back. Currently has new Islands (x-Unicorns) and a Model 500 track, check it out.


Best of '05

Click over to Neumu.net and check out my top albums, singles and live shows of the year. Yeah it's list-making season again.

Also, I'm not running out of disc space as fast as I thought I would so I reposted my Alleys of Your Mind mix from November. As long as my storage holds up I'll keep up the mixes and just rotate the mp3's.

And here's another free mix online -- Stones Throw has a cool "beat the bootlegs" feature on their site where they post up mp3's of unauthorized CD's people are trying to sell. Current installment is Madlib Live at Chocolate City, a radio set he did for KCRW in 2001 featuring a lot of '70s fusion jazz and a little hip-hop. This has been kicking around the web for a few years and a lot of people have probably heard it already .... but even so, it's nice to have a tracklist for it.

Oh and I almost forgot: Optimo Tropicalia mix!


Sunday morning music

Can't listen to pounding beats and punk rock all day every day, right? Sometimes you gotta mellow out with a cup of coffee and some mystical finger-pickers like John Fahey and Sandy Bull:

John Fahey - "The Yellow Princess"

Sandy Bull - "Triple Ballade"

Now depending on your mood you've got one of two ways to go next, it's either straight to the crying-in-your-beer country classics while you wait for your hash browns to fry up ...

Merle Haggard - "Swinging Doors"

Buck Owens & His Buckaroos - "Close Up the Honky Tonks"

... or start pulling from the jazz stacks.

Art Farmer - "Soulsides"

Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto ft. Antonio Carlos Jobim - "Desafinado"

Now that you've rubbed the sleep out your eyecracks you hit the obvious but essential V.U., maybe some Eno while you check out your oblique strategy for the day ...

The Velvet Underground - "Sunday Morning"

Brian Eno - "The Fat Lady of Limbourg"

... and by the time those honking saxophones fade out you're ready to get back to bangin' some Francisco and Quintron. G'morning!

[Selections taken from The Essential John Fahey, Sandy Bull's Inventions, The Best of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens' Together Again/My Heart Skips a Beat, Art Farmer's Gentle Eyes, Getz/Gilberto, The Velvet Underground and Nico, and Brian Eno's Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). Sorry about the snap-crackle-pop, some of these were thrift-store reclamation projects.]



Giving you the bizness

Best retro fetish object since Kerrier District? In fact, Franciso's Music Business might be even better than Vibert's ode to disco. Start with the genius cover art (it folds out into a "Music Business" board game -- "Drugs. Lawyer. Lose 2 Turns."), and proceed on to track after track of Italo madness laced with all the whiz-bang 2005 production tricks. If you're into Lindstrom et. al. you definitely need this record. ("Moon Roller" comes right after track-of-the-year candidate "I Feel Space" on Body Language Vol. 1). So tasty. Out on Rome's Nature Records, and just now hitting the U.S. in quantity from what I can tell (it's been out in Europe for a while now).

Francisco - "Moon Roller"

Francisco - "Disco Way"


Space 'n' faders

New reissue of this electro classic floating around, I-F's "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass." The rep on this track from 1997 is that it's either the last great electro song or the first great song of the electro comeback, it was put out in this weird in-between moment but now it sounds like ahead-of-its-time crackpot genius. Trebly static, relentless beats and that vocoder voice talking about the "space invaders / from outer space." Also check out I-F's Cybernetic Broadcasting System, home to all kinds of streams and downloads including an awesome I-F Italo-disco set, Mixed Up in the Hague Vol. 1.

I-F - "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass (Extended 12" Mix)"


Ain't no drag

No real rationale for posting this track just now except I've been listening to it like crazy. Were those horns produced by Diplo? Some baile funk producer needs to fuck with some Pigbag.

Pigbag - "Papa's Got a Brand New Pigbag"

Oh the anticipation

Goldkicks posted a great new Destroyer track, "European Oils." Destroyer's Rubies out in February, can't wait ...


Swamp thing

Hadn't really kept up with Mr. Quintron since his days of playing nine songs with the Oblivians, so when I saw a track of his pop up on the playlist at Our Disco I had to wonder what that would sound like. Like this!! --

Quintron - "Witch in the Club"

Throw in one from that Oblivians record for good measure --

Oblivians and Mr. Quintron - "Live the Life"

Quintron and Miss Pussycat's web site is your one-stop shop for Swamp Tech and its companion DVD puppet show, Electric Swamp. I just typed the words companion DVD puppet show, wow. They're also from New Orleans and shot a bunch of hurricane damage photos around the Spellcaster Lodge, their house in the 9th Ward. Damn man even Drum Buddy gets his own web site? These guys are hooked up.


Mix of the month - Streets Don't Look the Same

Streets Don't Look the Same


1. McNeal and Niles - "Ja Ja"
2. Sabu Martinez - "My Christina"
3. Toots and the Maytals - "Time Tough"
4. Percee P - "Put It on the Line"
5. Harlem Underground Band - "Cheeba Cheeba"
6. Rodney O and Joe Cooley - "Ready to Roll"
7. Wayne McGhie and the Sounds of Joy - "Fire"
8. Ray Barretto - "Do You Dig It?"
9. Ginger Baker w/ Fela Kuti - "Tiwa (It's Our Own)"
10. Chambers Brothers - "Funky"
11. Big Youth - "My Time"
12. Manzel - "It's Over Now"

Back on Monday with more sounds. Keep your ears warm.