31 March 2006

Billie Holiday - Quintessential Vol 1 (1933-1935)

The start of a career, of fame and eventually destruction. You'll hear a very young Billie, the vocals are just another 'instrument', not more important than the saxophone or trumpet. This is the popmusic from that time and you'll find little pretence, I like the early years best because they're so unassuming.
It's Billie straight away, maybe she was nervous on the first session but there's that uniqueness: her voice and the way she handles the lyrics. The band creates excellent music and I usually find myself whistling clarinet solo's for days. Swing it is!

Billie Holiday - Quintessential Vol 1 (1933-1935)
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Various - More Adventures Of The Funk Soul Sisters

Cute CD, 3rd in a serie (and there's another serie about Funk Soul Brothers) with some nice cracking songs. 60's and 70's stuff, up to 1980. It's from a compilers-label, Union Square Music, browse some on their website, they've more nice goodies.
This release is from 2005, tracks + most of the linernotes are here. Special attention for a very young Whitney Houston.
No time for alternative links.

More Adventures Of The Funk Soul Sisters
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

We have been trolled

Some of you've noticed already: most of the links are dead. A troll has reported these links at Rapidshare. Because he/she is paid for it, because it's a big powertrip for a small person or because someone sincerely thought to be of assistance to the world.
I will replace a link occasionally, here or there at random, but I'm in no hurry.
Just make sure to grab the links while they're there.

30 March 2006

Nina Simone - Forever Young Gifted And Black

Another 2006 production. Nina Simone died 3 years ago, the recordings presented here are mainly from late 60's, her RCA years. Also a period of political uproar and the subtitle from this set is "Songs of Freedom and Spirit".
A thematic compilation and a nice one. Nina Simone is a wonderful artist with a strong performance and you'll find many live tracks among the 11 tracks of this album.
A very good collection, 2006 could be a great year!

Nina Simone - Forever Young Gifted And Black
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

RnB\Soul: Baby Washington And The Hearts - The J&S Years

Ace records is not going to let us down in 2006. This ambitious album (+ booklet) tells the story of girl group The Hearts, their most prominent singer Baby Washington, the label J & S and its owner/founder Zelma "Zell" Sanders.
Recordings from 1957 to 1965 and even from 1970, The Hearts was a group with many people singing in, it was closely tied in with the label. The story in the booklet manages to untangle all the substories and presents it in a coherent and interesting way, excellent research done + some great pictures. You know how Baby Washington looked like then, she was on the cover of this.

Baby Washington And The Hearts - The J&S Years
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

29 March 2006

More text without music

There's a bit too much of that here. Anyway, I've not too much time so there's less music on the blog (not for lack of material, 2006 is going to be a good year by the looks of it).
I want to do more experiments with alt. sites but lack of time etc.
The music-links section needs an update but I can't get that too work since the text is too long for the edit-window. When I open the post for edit, I get only half of it and I can't save that. Will be worked out as soon as I've time.
A question for you: I'm a great fan of Billie Holiday. I've bought the CBS Master Series "The Quintessential Billie Holiday" with nearly all her stuff from 1933 'till 1942 on 9 volumes (just Google: Billie Holiday Quintessential). I'll up that if there's enthousiasm for it.
Thank you for your mails and comments, I try to answer all of them.

Soul: Sam Cooke - Live At The Harlem Square Club

Yesterdays selection was provided to remind you again of what a great artist Sam Cooke was. The voice, the talent, with songs and backing to make it all so neat and smooth, so sophisticated.
This live set is presented for comparison; it's clearly a different Cooke we hear here at work. This live show debuted in november 1962 in the Apollo and you can't deny parallels with the James Brown album. It has a different origin, however. Sam Cooke had just returned from a European tour with one Little Richard... I think you can see how that might spice up your live-set.
Compare: the live Sam Cooke with the studio SC (a few songs appear on both albums). Compare: Sam Cooke live with James Brown live (it's roughly from the same time).
But first and foremost enjoy this killer-album.

Sam Cooke - Live At The Harlem Square Club
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Blues/Rock n Roll: Bo Diddley - His Best

More Chess: not surprisingly since the label had so many good and influential artists in its stock. With the 50th anniversary many got a fresh re-release and since the birthday is a couple of years past it's called 'The legendary masters series', strong selections with good linernotes.
Bo Diddley: the man inspired generations of musicians. Young musicians would (and still do) rehearse songs from their idols who learned those songs by listening to Bo Diddley. To top that of: the man has a beat named after him.
This album is a nice little package with only 20 songs but all great ones, from 1955 to 1966. That would make some of his recordings 50 years old but still relevant and very much fun to listen to.

Bo Diddley - His Best
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

28 March 2006

Don't blogger

Blogger sucks hairy balls in long strokes. I've tried to upload a picture with the Sam Cooke post for more than 10 times and it still doesn't work. Otis Rush took me also more than 5 attempts, we're talking about < 100kb pictures FFS.
Although they recommend Firefox as browser the coding is far from perfect; I get errors I don't get with IE.
Sometimes republishing is also a nightmare, which is great fun if you have a much necessary amendment.
I do encourage everyone to start a blog but do yourself a favor and find a service that does have its act together.

Soul: Sam Cooke - The Best Of

"This Best Of Sam Cooke album was the beacon that kept Cooke's most popular songs in the public eye. For a couple of generations this was the first -and often only- Sam Cooke album they owned. Although there are more ambitious collections that show Cooke's remarkable range and diversity, this is still the best starting place. These are Sam Cooke's biggest commercial hits. This is the message in a bottle that brought his gifts to millions of people." according to the back of the CD case.
To which I like to add: he died too soon, as an artist and a personality he was very promising. More Cooke tomorrow.

Sam Cooke - The Best Of
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

The Sound Of 7

Perhaps familiar to many of you, perhaps you've tried it from the music-links I've collected. I was notified today that there's a new Sound Of 7 release.
The concept is to compile a mini-album of contemporary alternative music on an irregular basis (monthly?). Someone picks the songs, creates an album cover and writes a review and all's for you to download.
The essence is two-fold: you get to hear something new, something you probably don't know and on the other hand you can delete it immediately. It's there to taste but nobody's going to look up if you spit it out straight away.
A new set today, 7 songs all from bands with the word 'minus' in the name, none of which I heard of before. Music is @ 128 kbps, entire compilation comes to a 27.5 mb Zip-file. There's a subscription service, so if you like the idea you don't have miss a single issue.
Check out: The Sound Of 7

Blues: Otis Rush - Troubles, Troubles

AKA 'The Sonet blues story' (yes indeed! see here and here). What I like about those Sonet re-issues is the interesting choice in artists, the decent quality of the packages and the fact that they use their own recordings (and pictures).
The story behind this one is that Otis Rush whilst touring Europe met less success than anticipated and was thus forced to do a recording in between in order to pay the hotel bills.
If anything: this album does NOT sound like work AT ALL. This is relaxed Chicago blues, they maintain an easy atmosphere even when the beat gets pushing. And air-guitar music, there are plenty of great solo's here.
Recorded on october 15 & 16, 1977 in Stockholm, this (re-mastered etc.) album is from 2005. For all you browsing through the blues sections at your local dealer: watch out for 'The Sonet Blues Story'.

Otis Rush - Troubles, Troubles
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

UPDATE: I swear it's coïncedental: Otis Rush fans NEED to check out my musical-alter-ego-souls B&C: http://www.bonzasheila.blogspot.com/, SUPER as always.

27 March 2006

James Brown - Live At The Apollo 1962

This is the last part on JB and we're back at the godfather of soul himself. In the considerable discography of JB, this album sticks out. The idea was to give the listener an impression what to expect at a live-show. The record company didn't believe in it and JB had to book the Apollo and arrange for a recording.
Let's be glad he did, this album is supercharged. The sound is very good, the music great and there's plenty of interaction with the audience. A bit on the short side but that's what you get when the energy is so compact. Lack of immediate singles meant the album was played on the radio as a whole.
It meant the big breakthrough for JB and live-albums were never the same here-after.
More JB? Take a look on the fantastic blogs Peacockalley and Chrisgoesrock, in this and this post.
Update: Peacockalley has more! Here

James Brown - Live At The Apollo 1962
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Soul: Soul Sisters (Chess/Mojo)

Part last (#1, #2 & #3).
Nice one too!

Soul Sisters
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

26 March 2006

James Brown's Original Funky Divas

This is about the women around James Brown. There always was a strong female vocal in the James Brown show, this album is dedicated to that. You get to hear the divas in more or less chronological order, some are only featured with a single track while singers like Lyn Collins and Vickie Anderson could've had a disc for themselves.
A beautiful album to complement the other JB entries on this blog since this album gives you an overview of JB's career by theme, a different angle. Needless to say you'll hear JB too.

James Brown's Original Funky Divas
Disc 1
Part 1
Part 2

Disc 2
Part 1
Part 2
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Blues/Rock n Roll: Chess Originals (Chess/Mojo)

Another one in that little Chess/Mojo serie '20 tracks handpicked by Mojo'. And it seems this one wasn't meant for the set. It does say 20 tracks on the front cover, it gives you 25 on the back. And where the other compilations are soul based, this one is more like disc 1 of the Chess pieces. Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, and more like that. Blues to Rock 'n roll, therefore.
The production is as sweet as the previous volumes, with musical selection and package (case, linernotes, artwork), I repeat myself: you can't go wrong with this paying only 10 euro.

Chess Originals
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

25 March 2006

James Brown's Funky People (Part 2)

Part 1 and 2 should've been a double CD, separate CD's were mid-price at the time so can't complain much. And there is a volume 3, so a triple CD would've been in order.
Some of the artists of Pt 1 are on this one too but it's a bit more diverse. It has the same trademark JB funk sound, underlining how closely knit the scene around JB was. This set grooves so tight you gotta be careful for claustrofobia (don't worry, it even has its calmer moments). And by saying the songs here are by artists around JB and not by JB himself I do not imply you won't hear JB, 'cause he just never kept his mouth shut.
Early 70's funk from the stables of James Brown.

James Brown's Funky People (Part 2)
RS link
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

James Brown's Funky People (Part 3)

James Brown's Funky People (part 3)
(new upload, hopefully fixed the corrupt filename of track 6)

Soul: Northern Soul (Chess/Mojo)

Browse a bit through this blog and you'll find an occasional reference to the term 'Northern Soul'. I also like to bring this post to your attention because it's from the same serie.
That's 20 tracks, excellent artists/songs, dito liner notes with numerous pictures from featured artists, a very reasonable price (9.99 euro aqui) and you find it all on this 2005 production (music is 60's). There really is no excuse for not buying this disc (there probably is but I don't want to hear it, ok?).
The music is, true to the 'Northern soul'-tag, up tempo. Not needlessly fast, just danceable. And excellent!

Northern Soul
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

24 March 2006

RapidShare Free links

How do I do that? I request a download, press the free-button, select both download-links (alpha & omega) and publish them. The next morning (now) I find out that it works 'great' because it went from my own Premium-account.
That Premium-account holds 10.000 MB worth of traffic, each download is subtracted from that amount, each day 3000 mb is replaced.
Congratulations: in less than 7 hour there's been around 7000 mb worth of download traffic from only 3 posts... :-)
I'm going to remove those links from the posts, they've probably been copied someplace else but that should decrease the amount of downloads.

I Feel The Earth Move

I needed one volume only, number 7 to be precise, to see that the Manifesto Of Groove serie was a great one. 'I Feel The Earth Move' is volume 1 in a serie of now 8 parts. This German compilation has great music but it's the fun (in the funk) that makes it so special. The motto "From jazz to soul 'n' funk to blaxploitation" is broad enough to allow for a wicked set of groovy tunes. Late 60's, early 70's naturally but also 2 tracks from the 90's.
Artwork and linernotes deserve to be noticed, released 2000.

I Feel The Earth Move (80 + 21 mb)
Part 1 on RS
Part 2 on RS
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Ska: Don Drummond - Jazz Ska Attack 1964

I really hope ska fans liked the Skatalites compilation Foundation Ska I posted, because this is just a lot more of the same. Well, almost. It is the Skatalites but the main accent's on the trombone. For some reason Don Drummond is the most famous name coming out of the Skatalites. Everybody was famous at some point but it's Don D. that seems to attract most attention.
Justified or not, this album has 20 tracks to give you plenty of food for thought for questions like that.
Don Drummond: from rags to riches to the institution.

Don Drummond - Jazz Ska Attack 1964
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

James Brown's Funky People (Part 1)

JB's Funky People focuses on the world around JB. His record label People records, of course, and the people in his stable. JB is an artist in his own right but also had his own band, pretty much from the start of his career. The band did both live sessions and studiowork with JB which is a reasonable explanation for the fast and incredible musical development JB went through. Same with side-artists: they featured in his live shows, on JB's records and recorded songs under their own names for the People-label.
On this compilation a few songs by the JBs, his in-house band, a few songs by Lynn Collins, one of the most prominent female artists around JB, and some songs credited to Fred Wesley or Maceo & The Macks, other in-house bands.
You know I like the soultrain but that's got to make way for "(It's Not The Express) It's The Jb's Monaurail"!!!

James Brown's Funky People (Part 1)
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Alternative links

I'd like to thank a lot of people for giving feedback on downloading from alternative sites. Experiments will continue, I'll try some other sites, other ways of offering links and it's also handy to know how long links can be kept alive. Keep on posting your experiences.
It has to be stressed: alternative file hosts are just that: an alternative. There simply is no ideal way of doing this, every method has it's drawbacks, so Rapidshare stays the main site. I can upload fast, most people can download fast and I can check real quick if a link is still alive. It also means I'll investigate more into cheating the downloadbarrier on Rapidshare but in the meantime I do advocate a premium account for those who's downloading has developed into something more than occasional.
That's been said: for the near future you might see a less frequent pattern of posts. I do try to publish comments and answer them as good as possible (I'm genuinely overwhelmed with the attention this blog gets) as often as possible but posting new stuff might be a bit more difficult. But we'll see.

23 March 2006

(Fat Possum)Blues: The Black Keys - Rubber Factory

Just to hammer something home, I guess. Differences with Thickfreakness are minimal, fortunately and expectedly, so if you liked that one you'll like this one too. I do think this one's a tad better but that's personal. You'll get an instruction manual with Rubber Factory and the Grown So Ugly version is happily accepted by Beefheart fans like me.

The Black Keys - Rubber Factory
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

LaLaLover - Heliotropic

The relationship between my country (the Netherlands/Holland) and our immediate neighbour to the south, Belgium, has always been a bit tense. We're talking about the little peculiarities of human relationships, nothing serious. Let this Dutchman tell you however that if you want to be in a country with an exciting contemporary music-scene, Belgium should be your first choice.
You won't find the strongest examples on this blog but I do have a very nice and young name here. It's called LaLaLover and the name behind it is Tom Kestens. The album Heliotropic is a gentle mix of pop, jazz, funk, soul and is smooth enough to slide around any obstacle.
Winter lingers a bit long in the north-west corner of Europe this year but whilst listening to this album you can already feel that warm comfort of a long summer evening, drinking beer outside.
Beer is also an excellent reason to check out Belgium.

LaLaLover - Heliotropic
(new link 01-03-09)

James Brown - The Ultimate Collection

Finally James Brown. There are many 'names' missing on this blog but JB surely is a must have. I'm going to make it easy for myself to start with a best-of of JB. It'll give you plenty of the man to form an opinion and he's made too much to be complete anyway. In the next days I'll up some stuff of the Funky People label and I've the Funky Diva's collection.
This however is "The Ultimate Collection", a 2003 compilation of 2*18 tracks set plus 7 track bonus CD. Booklet with plenty info on the artist (including prisonterms) and the many albums he's made.
File under Soul, Funk & Big mouth. (tracklist)

James Brown - The Ultimate Collection
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

22 March 2006

File hosting sites

Dear followers of this blog: my preference for RapidShare seems a bit unjustified since it presents some difficulties for downloading. RS-Premium-users are generally content with a RS link but free users seem to face more and more difficulties.
Over a year ago RS was relatively small and friendly but perhaps with an increase in size there's a bit of arrogance/more commercial thinking.

So I think I'll try to provide an occasional alternative link with some posts. There are some points I need to mention.
- Uploading files is no problem but those files get deleted or expire. With RS it's fairly easy for me to detect a disappeared link and as long as there are not too many it's easy to replace it silently. This is probably more difficult with alternative sites.
- Somebody alerted me to the fact that there are 'security' issues with certain sites. I've asked for a clarification on that but I won't get an answer 'till a recent ban on the FC forum is lifted (I probably pissed off a mod-with-little-patience on my 2nd day of membership. Oh well...).
According to this person, sites like MegaUpload and USendIt are also off limits (something to do with Javascript and/or "USD", me not understand this at all). A valid suggestion of his, BonPoo, returned the message "The file may be a music file, a movie file, a Self-Extractor exe file, or a non-WinZip archive file. Sorry we can not accept it.". That uhm... renders that site a bit useless for my evil purposes.
Second test http://www.upload.sc/ is used for the Tearjerkers post. Free RS users should perhaps give it a try and let me know their experiences.
(edit: 3rd test, could somebody check the alt link on Black Keys - Thickfreakness for me? Does it work, is it fast?)
- I'll test some more sites but the maximum file-size may be a limiting factor.

Some visitors here know probably more than me on this subject. I'd like to know about hosting sites: name, file-size, do links expire, maximum number of downloads, limitations in upload/download speed, other things to consider when up- & downloading, etc. If you could leave a comment I'd really appreciate it.
Head Honcho answered that question with this site.

I plan to reorganize the panel on the right. I found a way to fit information in separate articles, hosted on a different blog. Useful information on: tips & tricks to use RS for free, tag-editors, musicblogs, etc. will (soon) be more organized. A quickly made example: Free downloading from Rapidshare. Your ideas on that are appreciated too.

A side note for those that read this far: tonight (approx. 0:00 GMT+1) I'll finally start with James Brown.

Blues: The Black Keys - Thickfreakness

They're white, they're young and the album's from 2003. And if the label Fat Possum doesn't convince you'll only need to hear a few bars of this album to know what it is.
The Black Keys make raw blues in 'medium fidelity' and do it convincing, more so than you'd probably expect from two gardeners.
It's a fresh look on blues and I consider it a great counterweight to all the 'old' blues on this blog.

The Black Keys - Thickfreakness
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Sophie Barker - Earthbound

More female vocals!
I knew this great voice from Zero 7 so when a solo album was released I got excited. It's never the same as the band construction (idem: Skye) but this one is worth it's own place.
In just 8 tracks you see why Zero 7 was a hit and how Sophie Barker contributed to that. Her voice has a natural calm and majesty, ideal for a triphop setup.
Give it a try and sit down to listen to it!

Sophie Barker - Earthbound

Soul: Tearjerkers (Chess/Mojo)

There's been some talk about the legendary Chess label recently in the comments and soul compilations always go down well here. These compilations from 2005 (there are actually 4 of them) are neat little packages with great booklets, 20 tracks, big names (check here). And they're affordable too.

(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

21 March 2006

Ska: Skatalites - Foundation Ska

How aptly named! The Skatalites are simply the alpha and omega in the world of ska. As a collective they're the backing on numerous other artist's recordings, as individuals they're all acknowledged as gifted musicians or have reached big star status. Don Drummond, Theophilus Beckford, Tommy McCook, Jackie Mittoo, etc, are all brandnames branching of the powerful Skatalites tree.
But a word of warning too: beware of the infinite loop of Skatalism! You listen to this 2CD set and find all tunes catchy and played virtuosically. The next day you'll find yourself whistling a tune. You decide to look that tune up on the 2CD set. You find all tunes catchy and played virtuosically but can't really remember what you were whistling. The next day....
Anyway, get this. It really is the foundation under any ska collection.

Skatalites - Foundation Ska
Part 1
Part 2
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Gruppo Sportivo - Topless 16

Let's go back to an earlier post about Gruppo Sportivo. That was about their first albums, 25 years ago. This is a 2004 release and it's a, perhaps you want to sit down first, a 'Concept Album'.
True to GS style the concept is brilliant and banal. Imagine you're browsing through a crate of old vinyl LP's. Here you find a 70's compilation album. None of the songs or artists ring a bell but there's a naked woman on the front. The albumsleeve is so captivating that you want to have that album but oh no, the LP is gone and it's a sleeve only. The owner tells you that you can have the empty sleeve for free!
This is pretty much the state at the start of this Gruppo Sportivo album and rumor has Hans vdB had this sleeve above his bed when he was young. Now he has a band and they're trying to imagine what the songs have sounded like.
This, of course, is done in Gruppo fashion. Fans will be delighted to find out that the band hardly changed in a couple of decades, the sound is unmistakably Gruppo Sportivo. A bit tamer perhaps but we're talking details here, they're alive and there's a 'best of' scheduled soon.

Gruppo Sportivo - Topless 16
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Feist - Let It Die

There have been some interesting sing song women on here lately and this one needs to be mentioned aswell. Warm and breezy music that makes me think of summer, vocals and music go perfectly hand in hand on this album (2004).
The name's Leslie Feist and she's from Canada. What I find amazing is the force of the impression she makes with music that's so light and playful. A lesson in effectiveness!

Feist - Let It Die
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Blues: Memphis Minnie - Queen Of The Blues

Memphis Minnie! This is a 'Mojo Workin' edition so you'll get an overview of her carrier but it's a bit hard to pinpoint exactly what you're listening to. Memphis Minnie of course and 2 tracks sung by hubbie Kansas Joe. I do have the impression that the songs here are from 1933 (early 30's) to early 40's.
The album has 22 tracks and some real nice ones imho and plenty examples of great guitarplaying.

Memphis Minnie - Queen Of The Blues
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

20 March 2006

File hosting services

Just a quick word on that.
1. I'm a leecher. Got a Rapidshare premium account to accomodate me in leeching. Having one paid account made me go "NO WAY" considering other paid services. I'm not saying one's better than another, it's just that I won't pay twice. Hence uploads to RS, I've no shares in RS or something.
2. My upload speed sux. That's my own perspective and I've been made aware that my situation is actually not that bad. But it does seem like forever before a file is up. Hence I don't like to up it a second time to another fileservice.
3. If *you* are particulary happy with an upload of mine, feel free to up it to a different hoster than RS and dump the link in the comments. You'll be richly rewarded as long as you believe in re-incarnation. ;-)
4. Rapidshare has 2 day premium accounts. Save your favorite links, make a call, program RapidGet or drink enough caffeine to make as much use of the 48 hrs. I've heard rumours that if you keep the connection established your premium account doesn't expire.
5. Rapidshare forbids you to use a premium account by more than one person. Let them see to nail you and one or two trusted friends. Get a nice annual account for half/ a third of the price.
6. Sofar I haven't seen a major downtime by RS and find more and more links uploaded to RS. When talking about filehosters RS is the winner atm.

Reggae: Lee Perry - Divine Madness... Definitely

A break from the female vocals (and also: I've announced this a while ago but never came round to actually upload it). A 2001 2CD with 2 heads: CD1 contains 17 Lee Perry productions (reggae & dub), CD2 contains a 26 minute interview with Lee Perry.
CD 1 is fabulous: great songs, mostly unknown to me, dubversions seem to be pretty old (as if he was still inventing the dub). Only the soundquality I find a bit disappointing, maybe rare tracks (even vinyl copies).
CD 2 is fabulous: it's a Q&A for a radio-station but Lee Perry also gets the chance to record a jingle (nearly 5 minutes of happy babbling). There's a surreal aspect to listening to Lee Perry talk.
Anyway, read more here.

Lee Perry - Divine Madness... Definitely
CD 1
CD 2
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Update: thanks to an anonymous commenter: march 20 is Scratch's birthday...
(+ more in the comments, thx Koen and Zero G Sound!)
Update 2: birthday celebrations @ Hearwax

Giant Drag - Lemona

This is an EP by a young band, Giant Drag. It's a duo and as musical descriptions I've read 'nu-grunge' and 'post-grunge' (wtf?). Thanks to the female singer and the music they do remind me of the Breeders, vaguely. I'm not an expert in the field of guitar pop/rock, it was a songtitle that piqued my curiosity. And there's something to enjoy there, lyric- and titlewise and some texts on the website are interesting too.
YFLMD is one of the 5 tracks here (plus a video) and the abreviation (forced by recordlabel) stands for 'You Fuck Like My Dad'.
I bet I've now got your attention too.
It isn't a look-us-we're-heavy band, it sounds quite relaxed actually. Good melodies, they just have remarkable song titles.

Giant Drag - Lemona
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Soul: Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis

Somewhere high in my list of most beautiful albums ever, I got sidetracked a few times but I finally present you 'Dusty in Memphis'. Can't have soul on a blog without this gem. It's the 2002 edition with 11 tracks + 8 mono/originals + extensive linernotes (texts by Elvis Costello, Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin, Tom Dowd) + many pictures.
This album is sooo sweet, from the second 'Just a little lovin' starts there's a little private universe with Dusty Springfield and it's there everytime you listen to this record.

Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Ane Brun - A Temporary Dive

More female vocals.
For those who liked this (myself most noticeably) the whole album. Norwegian Ane Brun (residing in Sweden) released this album in 2004 (on her own label) as her second album. The No. 6 single convinced me already but this album proves again the beauty of her singing. 10 songs with her warm and clear voice over simple instrumentation.
And now there's a 3rd album aswell: "Duets". Will see how much I play this one first... :-)

Ane Brun - A Temporary Dive
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

19 March 2006

Cylinder recordings

I frequently 'miss' all sorts of new music because I'm listening to old music. That's fine with me, as long as I've something interesting to listen to. It gets a bit complicated now because I found a source of very old music. Dork from DancingMokey forum brought this site to my attention: http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/
Cylinder recordings, the first commercially produced sound recordings, are a snapshot of musical and popular culture in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. They have long held the fascination of collectors and have presented challenges for playback and preservation by archives and collectors alike.

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the UCSB Libraries have created a digital collection of over 6,000 cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Collections. In an effort to bring these recordings to a wider audience, they can be freely downloaded or streamed online.

On this site you will have the opportunity to find out more about the cylinder format, listen to thousands of musical and spoken selections from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and discover a little-known era of recorded sound. Click the search button to begin, or sample some of our favorite selections in the featured cylinder section or by listening to online streaming radio.

That's heaps and heaps of century old sounds...


Downloading mp3's from the net is one thing, after a while you'll need to order your collection to keep it manageable. Chances are that your preferences do not match those of the original uploader or you simply want to correct errors in filename or ID3-tag.
I use a nifty little program called TagScanner. Common jobs like creating filenames out of ID3-tags, edit ID3-tags, add tracknumbers to the mp3's in a directory become much easier with TagScanner. The best aspect of this program imho is the intuitive way it's operated and you can get a preview before you have to commit any change.
Google on TagScanner, current version is 4.9 but you'll probably want to have the latest build (seems to be 497 atm). Many places to download it from like this and this.

Do you use a different program and you're enthousiastic about it? Leave a note in the comments, what you use and why you like it. Will be greatly appreciated!

Update: Check the comments (thanks!!!)

The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat

The band was totally new to me, a superficial listen to this album made me curious enough to buy it. And now I'm a bit lost, can't really put my finger on it. My best guess (but not really good) is that these people make 70's rock sound new. Reading about the Fiery Furnaces on internet doesn't help that much: you learn all sorts of facts but there are more people as lost as I am, it seems. Repeated playing reveals more but doesn't make it clearer.
But it's got lots of interesting sounds, no obvious hitsingle I think and a booklet with all the lyrics in fine print (no room for anything else). There's really no other option than to judge this Rough Trade 2004 release yourself.

The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat
Part 1
Part 2
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Soul: Southern Soul Showcase: Cryin' In The Streets

Soul by label: Southern Soul Showcase (Nashville).
Ace/Kent 2005, 25 tracks and the usual high quality booklet & artwork. Release from 1967 to 1970 under various sublabels. Tracklist.
What more to say?
The only reason to NOT buy/download this is it'll give you another collection to choose from...

Southern Soul Showcase
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Blues: Memphis Minnie - Crazy Crying Blues

I've confessed my love for Memphis Minnie before on this blog but I haven't sorted my CD's enough to follow up on that. However, here's another compilation, from 2002, with barely linernotes and very disappointing artwork (they managed to create an ugly drawing of a beautiful woman).
The music, fortunately, is good. 25 tracks, the majority from 1930 - 1935, a few 1940,'41. You hear Minnie here on most songs with a husband (Kansas Joe McCoy or Little Son Joe (Ernest Lawlers)), mainly as guitarplayers but sometimes on vocals too. But they're just husbands of: here's a great Memphis Minnie sampler for you!

Memphis Minnie - Crazy Crying Blues
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Over at Bastet & Corwin's Music you'll find more Memphis Minnie, click this (and take also a close look at the albumcover).

18 March 2006

Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat

Somehow I never got really enthousiastic about Rilo Kiley whilst on the other hand I could see that some of the buzz was justified.
Enough reason to simply mind my own business until I heard that Jenny Lewis made a solo album (2005). Her voice is great! It's a 12 track sing song album with I am sure very intelligent lyrics but merely just a great excuse to listen to her voice. Hers and those of the Watson Twins.

Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
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John Carter Cash - Bitter Harvest

Little twist part last.
Son of Johnny and June (and that entitles him to a double lastname ;-) ) and producer of the Peasall sisters. Not a very bitter harvest actually. Musically much broader than his parents, John C.C. made a diverse sing song, almost rock album (AOR). It digests easy but also survives repeated listening, the 12 tracks from 2003 which finish with a duet between son and dad.

John Carter Cash - Bitter Harvest
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Blues: Roosevelt Sykes - The Honey Dripper

18 tracks recorded between 1929 and 1944, mostly just Roosevelt Sykes singing and playing piano but some tracks with guitar and/or drums (no large bands on this). Old blues therefore, with tremendous pianoplaying. He was a superstar in his time and was allowed to continue recording and releasing albums despite the rationing of shellac for the war production.

Roosevelt Sykes - The Honey Dripper
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Ska: Island 40, Vol. 1: 1959-1964 -- Ska's the Limit

Interesting serie of which I unfortunately only have the first part. Interesting set of songs too: a few of the unavoidable classics (unavoidable as in appearing on many compilations) but also a few rare gems. Always fascinating to listen to "Judge Not - Robert Marley" knowing what happend in the 20 years after that under the name Bob marley.
Only 1 Skatalite-song (I'll make up for that tomorrow). 20 tracks in all, ranging from entertainment to political and it's broader than just ska but contains also other happy tropical island sounds.

Island 40, Vol. 1: 1959-1964 -- Ska's the Limit
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17 March 2006

Blues: The chronological "Gatemouth" Brown 1947 - 1951

That's of course Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown for you. Recordings around 1950 as a band (including brass section, it's almost bigband you're listening to) or "Texas blues" for those in the know. Just check out this 2002 release, it's real good (& 20 tracks).
What intrigued me the most was the recordlabel. I think it's French and called "Classics", with the "Blues & Rhythm series". The set of other releases displayed in the (small yet informative) booklet is mouthwatering: all "chronological" and all black artists, obscure and wellknown. I found lots of releases with Google but couldn't locate info on the label itself (like a homepage), can somebody help me out here?

The chronological "Gatemouth" Brown 1947 - 1951
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June Carter Cash - Keep On The Sunny Side

Part 1 of the little twist ;-)
This 2005 2CD starts with a recording from 1939 of the Carter family, followed by a song from the then 10 year old June (radioperformance). It creates the context and starts a rare type of album: it's not a 'best of' but almost a 'life of'. 64 years in 40 songs.
Also remarkable: the title track appears 3 times on this chronological album: start, middle and finish, interesting comparison.
Thick booklet, lots of text and pictures. I find the album enjoyable in parts; as a whole it tends to bore me. I claim this to be essential stuff for the Johnny Cash fans to broaden their horizon but also for country fans in general.

June Carter Cash - Keep On The Sunny Side
Part 1
Part 2
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Blues: R. L. Burnside - A Bothered Mind

A Fat Possum album from 2004, R. L. Burnside sounds even streamlined on this album. With band and guestmusicians (Lyrics Born and Kid Rock) this is a smooth roller... except for one track from 1968 which is classic blues, just Burnside with guitar.
That's only incoherent, it doesn't take the album down.
The guest appearances work real good imho, it makes this album stand out and provide a little extra edge, IMHO.
Judge yourself:

R. L. Burnside - A Bothered Mind
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Soul: Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up On Me

"What's become of soul music? It didn't die with Otis Redding; it didn't stop when Al Green quit; it didn't fade with James Brown's voice -- it's been in Los Angeles the entire time, under the astute and faithful stewardship of Solomon Burke..."
I can't imagine anyone being surprised with this album on here (only with the timing: so late): there've been more productions by Joe Henry here (this and this). (Label Fat Possum can be found here aswell a number of times)
That's brand new soul for you (well, 2002) and good soul too.

Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up On Me
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16 March 2006

The Cramps - How To Make A Monster

"The THING that you are clutching in your claws is a swan dive into the prehistoric origins of The Cramps" is the start of the liner notes (with loads of text & pictures).
2 CD, 45 songs (demo's, rehearsals, takes, livestuff) from mid 70's 'till 1988. Some titles seem not to belong to the tracks, some linernotes are (nearly) unreadible because of lack of contrast with the background, pictures are too small and out of focus, etc., etc.
But nobody really cares, since this is "FOR CRAMPS FIENDS AND VOYEURS" only. You're warned.

The Cramps - How To Make A Monster
Part 1
Part 2
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(Beware: nearly 200 mb, the CD's are cramped aswell...)

Wolfmother - Wolfmother

I wanted too much too soon: this one was only available as 'import' in the kingdom of the Netherlands and only with a corresponding price. Nevertheless I knew what I was buying because these guys gave me the same adrenaline kick as I got when I was introduced to the White Stripes.
Always great to see some young guys make a good album. This rocks like (and they're probably sick of the comparison) Black Sabbath once rocked.
Wolfmother's the name, and everything's fine. Can't wait for summer.

Wolfmother - Wolfmother
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Soul: Candi Staton - Candi Staton

Better late than never! This release is from 2004 already, it's more or less a pair with a similar album from Bettye Swann (here) and released with equal care: subtle artwork & linernotes, maximum music (26 tracks) to give Candi S. her second shot at fame.
And rightfully so! Can't find anything wrong with it. Songs + music + voice + recording all adds up to topclass soul music (from the 60's & 70's, does not contain disco).

Candi Staton - Candi Staton
Part 1
Part 2
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Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash - Duets

No need to download this album here: the net is flooded with this album. No need to download it at all in fact, I picked it up for 8 euro.
My favorite Cash song is (always been) 'Jackson', I like the rhythm of the song and especially the contrast between their voices so I was a natural customer for this album.
AND I'm shamelessly jumping on the Cash bandwagon, I admit but I'll promise to give it a little twist. Go get your Johnny Cash stuff somewhere else! (And leave me Reese Whiterspoon, please :-) )

Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash - Duets
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Ska: Street Corner

"Ska classics and the original rude boy sound" or early 60's ska, The Real Ska if you like (So it's not Madness or Specials for those who are really slow :-P).
Tracklist + review, also read in that review why it's not 'rudeboy sound' (apparantly a different style of ska, new to me).
't Is headbobbin' ska, I like the selection and was really pleased with the liner notes since they were more informative than expected.

Street Corner
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