113: “Minor Swing” by Django Reinhardt/Stéphane Grappelli – Quintette Du Hot Club De France

Yes, you like?Here’s a jazz standard reaching out to us from its creation back in the 1930’s.

Django Reinhardt, pioneering jazz guitarist, had a rough time with his health to put it mildly, but suffered through to become one of the founding explorers of jazz music despite partial paralysis on his fingering hand (left hand).  You might even argue that the limitations of his fingering forced him to become more creative and helped him reach his potential.

This song is guaranteed to make you tap your foot or nod your head or get nervous or pass gas or something.  Else you might call an ambulance.

Django.  Enjoy.

Song: Minor Swing
Artist: Django Reinhardt/Stéphane Grappelli – Quintette Du Hot Club De France
Album: The Best of Django Reinhardt
Label: Blue Note
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

112: “Children Of The Sun” by Billy Thorpe

FUNKY FRIDAY

Children of the hair. Children of the hair.Sorry, I’m waxing nostalgic again.

I remember the first time I heard this song, around 1986 on a Nashville rock station after 9pm when they could play the “weird” stuff.  I was wearing headphones plugged into my jambox and laid in my bed in the dark… Mesmerized.

“People of the earth can you hear me?”
Came a voice from the sky on that magical night.
And in the colors of a thousand sunsets,
they traveled to the world on a silvery light.

The people of the Earth stood waiting
watching as the ships came one by ooooaahhhoooone.

Settin’ fire to the sky as they landed,
carried to the world, children of the suuuuuuun.

It was frickin’ sci-fi rock!!  Talk about hitting two of my sweet spots at once.  (If only Billy Thorpe was a hot chick!!)  But I didn’t rush out and buy the tape, because I was 11.  And I couldn’t just download that one song back then, so I had to settle for hearing the song whenever it might air on the radio during the “weird” hours.  But because of this situation, the song kept its magic for years, and I never spent a dime.

It’s something to consider now that we can satisfy just about any musical craving instantly and repeatedly.  It’s not always good for your net enjoyment to wear out a song you love, is it?

Here’s one to listen to every great once in a while.  Did I mention that parts of this song are as funky as dog puke?  Now I did.

Enjoy.

Song: Children of the Sun
Artist: Billy Thorpe
Album: Children of the Sun… Revisited
Label: Pasha Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

111: “Hey Love” by Sa-Ra Creative Partners

It is ze look originale!!LA-based Sa-Ra Creative Partners are hyper-sexual and hyper-talented, spewing grooves as funky as their lyrics are nasty.*

This one, “Hey Love,” is from The Hollywood Recordings (2007).  Prince had a baby with Sly Stone, and that kid is this song.  It was a disgusting process, but let’s dig the results below.

Also check out “The Bone Song” from the funkiest album since Outkast’s last^… Nuclear Evolution: The Age Of Love (2009).

You’re nasty.  So enjoy.

_____________
*Nasty: see Janet Jackson’s definition.
^Last last??

Song: Hey Love
Artist: Sa-Ra Creative Partners
Album: The Hollywood Recordings
Label: Babygrande Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

110: “Moonchild” by King Crimson

Whatever drove the guy to paint this killed him.What a difference a year can make.  Robert Fripp was not composing songs about wet kisses in 1969.  (See previous post.)

There’s a new King Crimson box set out this year (Amazon, 2010).  Crimson geeks are stoked.

The tune “Moonchild” is from In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969), and is presented in two parts below.  It goes from spooky to soothing to utterly abstract.  This seminal album was only made up of five songs, but they were broken into 12 sub-sections to satisfy contractual terms regarding the number of “titles” the band was to deliver.  Record companies have tidied up the language in contracts since then.  The album sold well, regardless.

The cover art was some of the most striking ever produced (see right).  Here’s what Wikipedia says about the artist:

Barry Godber (1946–1970), a computer programmer, painted the album cover. Godber died in February 1970 of a heart attack, shortly after the album’s release.

Not much more explanation than that, but whoa, dude.  Obviously this is evidence that Satan, The Crimson King himself, was involved in these shenanigans.  Between the reckless behavior toward their innocent record label, and the covert art guy dying right after the album drops, surely you see it.  And “Moonchild?”  What’s THAT all about, anyway?  Smells like Satan.  Look at these Satan-y lyrics:

Call her moonchild
Dancing in the shallows of a river
Lonely moonchild
Dreaming in the shadows of a willow.

Talking to the trees of the
cobweb strange
Sleeping on the steps of a fountain
Waving silver wands to the
night-birds song
Waiting for the sun on the mountain.

She’s a moonchild
Gathering the flowers in a garden.
Lovely moonchild
Drifting in the echoes of the hours.

Okay, it sounds more like hippie-poetry than anything else, but that cover art is sure Satan-y.

I don’t know if I can get past all the Satan-iness.  I’m liable to swoon.

Enjoy, if you dare!

Song: Moonchild
Artist: King Crimson
Album: In The Court Of The Crimson King
Label: Discipline Us
Buy from: Amazon (CD Only)

109: “She Is Loaded” by Giles, Giles & Fripp

Cheerio, then.Yep, that’s Robert Fripp of pre-King Crimson fame on the right.

Here’s a ridiculous and catchy song called “She Is Loaded” that is full of the kind of wit, valor and sensibilities that ennoble humankind… from The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp (1968).  Sentiments like…

Her kisses never get better.
They just get wetter and wetter.

Enjoy.

Song: She Is Loaded
Artist: Giles, Giles & Fripp
Album: The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles, & Fripp
Label: Esoteric UK/Zoom
Buy from: Amazon (Import CD Only)

108: “Still Of The Night” by Whitesnake

Un-FATHOM-able hair.This song is maybe a rock classic?  Not sure it has that status.  It’s from Whitesnake‘s debut, powered by John Sykes‘ guitar (Steve Vai hadn’t joined yet) and Robert-Plant-emulating David Coverdale.  In a video straight outta 1987.

It was one of my absolute favorite songs as a twelve-year-old.  I can still sing every word and stroke every guitar note on my wicked air guitar.

I’m reminiscing… I share my inner soul, here…  This flashback of my life happens at about 2:10 in this song, during the spooky part just before David Coverdale tries his version of a Plant-gasm…

In the fall of 1987, my totally radical twelve-ear-old self was in a state of merriment at a haunted house in Gatlinburg, TN with a friend and his older sister, who was totally gorgeous and two years older, like fourteen.  Well, she got scared in the haunted house and she grabbed MY arm for protection and I had a moment of joy where I thought, “Holy crap, she’s actually holding onto MY arm, this is awesome!  I didn’t know she felt this way about me!  We’ll be together forever!”

And then I realized I couldn’t defend myself against the zombies and all with this deathbait hanging on my arm!!

So I bucked her off like she had zombie-luring cooties and infrequently regretted it for the next 2-12 years.

There were lessons to be learned:
A) It was obviously no big deal in the grand scheme, and any regret was wasted energy.
B) I should have tried to mush my face passionately into hers right on the spot, risking that I might have then, mid-smooch, crapped my pants if a chainsaw had revved up behind my ear.  Better ending to the story, for sure.

Watch the video.  LEARN from your experience.  And enjoy.

Song: Still of the Night
Artist: Whitesnake
Album: Whitesnake
Label: Geffen
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

107: “F*** You” by Cee Lo Green

FUNKY FRIDAY

Ain't that some shit?There’s also a clean version of the song, second video below.  It’s all over the radio and Internet already, but Cee Lo Green (one half of Gnarls Barkley and frequent collaborator with Outkast) has created one of the catchiest tunes of the year and I’m happy to share it even if you’ve already heard it.

If you’re offended at an f-bomb chorus, watch the second video, with the lyrics perfectly changed to “Forget You.”

Enjoy.

Song: F*** You
Artist: Cee Lo Green
Album: The Lady Killer
Label: Elektra Records
Buy album: Cee Lo Green (Pre-Order)
Buy mp3: Amazon

106: “Lebanese Blonde” by Thievery Corporation

I think it would be hella cool if we used a mirror as part of our band photo.Rather than straining my brain muscles coming up with a description for Thievery Corporation‘s music, here’s what Wikipedia says:

Their music style mixes elements of dub, acid jazz, reggae, Indian classical, Middle Eastern, and Brazilian (such as bossa nova) with a lounge aesthetic.

Well, words are only so good at describing sounds, tastes, and smells.  “Lebanese Blonde” from Mirror Conspiracy (2000) smells… good.

Soak up the non-verbal experience below, and enjoy.

Song: Lebanese Blonde
Artist: Thievery Corporation
Album: Mirror Conspiracy
Label: Eighteenth Street
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

105: “My Philosophy” by Boogie Down Productions

Bradley learned it all from KRS-One.I have a lot of middle-aged honkey friends who would probably prefer not to listen to this song.  Those guys are so whack.  Right, G?

KRS-One, the driving force behind Boogie Down Productions, is one of those thoughtful rappers who doesn’t fit the mold of what most people think when they think “rapper.”  He was one of the first rappers to spit more than just rhyme and cheese.  He has a message and he’s always tried to educate people.  KRS-One even preaches vegetarianism.  Talk about un-rapper-like.  Here’s “My Philosophy” from the ominously titled By All Means Necessary (1988).

Classic line:

I’m not white or red or black, I’m BROWN.

Some people share their ideals via bumper sticker.

Here’s another way.  Enjoy.

Song: My Philosophy
Artist: Boogie Down Productions
Album: By All Means Necessary
Label: Jive
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

104: “The Streetbeater” (Sanford and Son Theme) by Quincy Jones

I'm coming Martha!!

Click image to see artist's blog.

Who doesn’t love this tune?

You gotta appreciate the little things.

I count a few television show’s theme songs as true blessings to us all:

Sanford and Son.
The Jeffersons.
Diff’rent Strokes.
The Facts of Life.

And those are just a few of the funky ones.  It’s an art that’s lost in most of today’s television.  Not enough time for all that hooey nowadays!

Well, I’m here to steal 3 minutes of your time, that quite possibly might have sucked otherwise, and give you a listen to “The Streetbeater” from Quincy Jones (You’ve Got It Bad, Girl 1973), better known to you and me as the theme song for Sanford and Son.

Turn off the tv, and enjoy.

Song: The Streetbeater
Artist: Quincy Jones
Album: You’ve Got It Bad, Girl
Label: A&M Jazz
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes