173: “Funky Black Man” by Earnest Jackson, “Funky DJ” by Fried Chicken

They dipped this picture in Easter Egg dye. Funky Black Man style.I first heard samples of both these songs before I heard the songs themselves (See live DJ Shadow / Cut Chemist collaboration, Brain Freeze (1999)).  I state this as evidence that sampling a song is a great way of preserving it.  See pasteurization, freehand sketches.

The original is “Funky Black Man” by Earnest Jackson (1974), and the “remake” is “Funky DJ” by Fried Chicken (1976).  Here’s a blog post from a dude with more to say on the topic.

Trip out on these classics, venerating the nobility of the funky black man, as well as the social benefaction of the funky radio deejay.

Respect.

Enjoy.

Song: Funky Black Man
Artist: Earnest Jackson
Album: Funky Black Man: Vintage Soul Cuts
Label: Tuff City
Buy from: Amazon
Watch: YouTube

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Song: Funky DJ
Artist: Fried Chicken
Watch: YouTube

172: “OK, It’s Alright With Me” by Eric Hutchinson

Holdin' up a wall. Whatchoo doin?Here’s a feelgood Friday song.

Eric Hutchinson sings and plays.  You suffer a jump to YouTube and a 15 second commercial for the pleasure of hearing him.

Philosophize:
Which do you think came first for humans, walking upright or music?  Farming or music?
Isn’t walking, with its rhythm and timing, something like a song?
Isn’t the thrust and scrape of digging a hole something like a song?
When does music-like action become
actual music?
Does it require intention or awareness to be music?

You’re welcome for totally blowing your mind.  I mean, this is like grad-school level consideration of esoteric proportions.  You know what I’m sayin?

Enjoy.

Song: OK, It’s Alright With Me
Artist: Eric Hutchinson
Album: Sounds Like This
Label: Warner Bros
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

171: “This Girl” by Cooking On 3 Burners

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.Who do you know that would say this song is bad?  Listen to “This Girl” and consider the question.  Anyone you know who would dislike this song…  maybe the person is having a bad existence… don’t break out your zombie kill weaponry, despite all indications it is likely for the best. This is a lesson in compassion.

Cooking on 3 Burners is a modern-day Australian outfit.  “This Girl” could have come right out of the 60’s, but it’s heartfelt and not a cheesy homage.  It’s true soul music, and it makes me shake my moneymaker.  They also do a great instrumental cover of “Cars” by Gary Numan.

Enjoy it.

Song: This Girl
Artist: Cooking On 3 Burners
Album: Sunday in Bed, Vol 3 (Various Artists)
Label: Clubstar
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

170: “Dominant” by Beatless with Quasimoto, Madlib

Quas. Buy him in a box.Quasimoto, aka Lord Quas, is Madlib‘s alter ego, his own voice sped up.  Madlib can say things as Quas he might not say as himself, which is good, because rappers are very timid and inhibited by nature.  He uses hip-hop ventriloquism to overcome his inhibitions.

Beatless, the duo backing Quas/Madlib, were unfortunately named for search engine optimization… one letter different from “Beatles” confuses music searches.  They luckily possessed a stanky hook manufacturing license for their 2001 release of Life Mirrors.

I dare you to argue with me in the comments that this song isn’t worth repeated listens.  But I must warn you, I know how to speak doofus.

Enjoy it.

Song: Dominant
Artist: Beatless w/ Quasimoto, Madlib
Album: Life Mirrors
Label: Ubiquity Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes | Ubiquity

169: “Dry The Rain” and “Monolith” by The Beta Band

Best. Band. Photo. Ever.The Beta Band was catapulted to a shoulder-height level of fame with the movie High Fidelity (2000), starring John Cusack and Jack Black.  Their song, “Dry The Rain,” was featured on the soundtrack and the band is actually mentioned in the film.

The Beta Band was a British group, and its members now live on in newer incarnations.

Another track from the same compilation album, “Monolith” (in two parts), reminiscent of Pink Floyd, is below “Dry The Rain.”  And hold your incontinence to a minimum, but I’m also throwing in Jack Black’s (partial) cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” from High Fidelity.  Classic stuff and a total spoiler if you’ve never seen the movie.

I’d pay money for a whole album of Jack Black covering soul classics… Yeah, and I’m a big fan of the entire Jackass franchise of artistic offerings…. And I often breathe through my mouth when I’m busy not thinking… And I like to eat off-brand beef sticks.  I’m comfortable with all this.

Clear your mind, and enjoy.

Song: Dry The Rain
Artist: The Beta Band
Album: The Three EP’s
Label: CAROLINE ASTRALWERKS – CAT
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

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168: “Oryssa” by Renaud Garcia-Fons

In every great picture, they're looking that direction.The French bassist, Renaud Garcia-Fons, incorporates middle eastern themes and instruments like the tabla (drums) into his music, as on this haunting track, “Oryssa,” which starts slow and builds to quite a climax.

And someone thoughtfully put the track to a very nice ocean scene.  YouTube is amazing, is it not?  I saw some incredible footage of the Japan earthquakes just hours after it happened, via YouTube.  I hope this interconnectedness can bring about more understanding between people… but then I remember the comment threads.  We’re pretty much screwed if comment threads on the Internet have any significant correlation to the navigation of the great human experiment.

Check out Garcia-Fons if you’re feeling musically adventuresome today, and willing to stick your head out long enough to enjoy.

Song: Oryssa
Artist: Renaud Garcia-Fons
Album: Oriental Bass
Label: ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

167: “Don’t Sweat The Technique” by Eric B and Rakim

You've got something around your neck.Mathematical!  1992 time capsule from Eric B and Rakim.  Take the jump to YouTube and suffer a short commercial to check it out.

In 1992, the show Northern Exposure was giving people a wholesome and pure reason to think about Alaska.  URL’s were beginning to pop up on some tv commercials, but surely THAT wouldn’t last…

Don’t sweat the future.  It too will pass.

Enjoy.

Song: Don’t Sweat The Technique
Artist: Eric B and Rakim
Album: Don’t Sweat The Technique
Label: Geffen
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

166: “That’s The Way” by Led Zeppelin

My hand is huge, is it not?The members of Led Zeppelin were most undoubtedly time travelers.  It’s obvious from their music.  Here’s a great video of an acoustic version of the song “That’s The Way,” performed at Earls Court in 1975, available via YouTube, without any time machine. It’s easy, laid back Zep.

Below is a scientifically confirmed* list of celebrities whose behavior makes it impossible to deny the fact that they can bend time to their betterment:

Roger Federer
Randy Quaid
Bristol Palin
Kobe Bryant
?uestlove
Steve Buscemi
Jared from Subway

Enjoy.

*Asterisk.

Song: That’s The Way
Artist: Led Zeppelin
DVD: Led Zeppelin
Studio: Warner Strategic
Buy from: Amazon

165: “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Barry Adamson

Barry Adamson doesn't always drink beer.Barry Adamson is a British musician who’s all over the board with his style.

Here’s a good one I first heard on Secret Agent Radio on iTunes in 1999.  “Something Wicked This Way Comes” from The Murky World of Barry Adamson (1999).

Happy Weekend, people.

Enjoy.

Song: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Artist: Barry Adamson
Album: The Murky World of Barry Adamson
Label: MUTE LICENSED TITLES
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

164: “I’m A Ram” by Al Green, Gov’t Mule

This is right before Al Green roundhouse kicked all three of them in the back of the head.

This is right before Al Green roundhouse kicked all three of them in the back of the head... And then healed them.

Al Green is a ram.  One of the greatest soul singers ever.

I had the great pleasure of seeing him preach at his church, the Full Gospel Tabernacle, in Memphis, TN in 1995.  I was a college student and a huge fan.  I grew up Southern Baptist, but had never been in a church with such a… strongly affected congregation.  We were warmly welcomed by very normal people, but when the service started, ladies started fainting and several people spoke in tongues (there were also small kids imitating these goings-on), all of which was foreign and somewhat amusing to me. But the music was something else.  There was a full electric band on the small stage, and Al’s pulpit provided lead vocals.

Reverend Al Green transmogrified his sermon that day into several improvised choruses, which segued into traditional hymns.  It was righteous and it was funky and it made me wave my hands in the air before I had time to remember I was white.  I sang along when I could pick it up, and my face began to cramp from smiling.

My heart was full, and I was incredibly hungry for Sunday lunch.

Gov’t Mule is another band with a couple of guys named Warren Haynes and Allen Woody in it.  They do a solid cover of Al’s “I’m A Ram” on Mighty High (2007).

Enjoy.

Song: I’m A Ram
Artist: Al Green
Album: Gets Next To You
Label: Hi Records Under Exclusive License to Fat Possum Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

Song: I’m A Ram
Artist: Gov’t Mule
Album: Mighty High
Label: BMG/ATO/Red Ink
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes