247: “1976” by RJD2

C3PO, you sure got a purty mouth.RJD2 is everyone’s favorite droid. C3PO is basically the straight robot, and the clever RJD2’s bleeps and blurps become the comic relief one so desperately needs when waging righteous interstellar rebelliousness.

Enjoy “1976” from Since We Last Spoke (2004).

Song: 1976
Artist: RJD2
Album: Since We Last Spoke
Label: RJ’s Electrical Connections
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

233: “The Fez” by Steely Dan

We keep our rubbers in our hair.Used to be, when I listened to this song I always pictured a dude with a fez on, until I heard that “the fez” means a condom. It’s a song about safe sex.

“Never gonna do it without the fez on.”

So much for the notion that the song might refer to an ACTUAL headgear-related fetish. I liked it better as a song about a perverted Shriner.

Regardless, Steely Dan have the holy power.


Song: The Fez
Artist: Steely Dan
Album: The Royal Scam
Label: Geffen
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

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.



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


Song: Funky DJ
Artist: Fried Chicken
Watch: YouTube

36: “Let Me Do It To You” by JJ Cale

Smoove like butta.On one end, there’s the skillful navigation of the ambiguities inherent in romance, and on the other end, there’s the option of smacking a girl on the head with a club and dragging her back to your cave.

Nestled somewhere in that spectrum, is the lyrical masterpiece, “Let Me Do It To You,” by JJ Cale.  From Troubador (1976).

Words, sticks, stones… who needs them when you can play that special someone a song like this?


Song: Let Me Do It To You
Artist: JJ Cale
Album: Troubador
Label: Island Def Jam
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: YouTube

18: “Portrait of Tracy” by Jaco Pastorius

Jaco got his first electric bass guitar from a pawn shop for $15.Jaco Pastorius died at age 35 after dealing with substance abuse for a while.  He was living on the streets near the time of his death which was the result of an altercation at a Ft. Lauderdale bar.  He had bipolar disorder.

So there’s a ray of sunshine in your day!!  But forget all about that sad part of Jaco Pastorius’ life, and take a listen to one of the remarkable parts of his life.  One of the parts where he was becoming one of the most influential bass players of all time.

This song, “Portrait of Tracy,” from his self-titled 1976 album, is full of harmonics and is not what you think of when you think bass guitar.  It’s a haunting, wandering tune, but it gets beautiful at the end.


Song: Portrait of Tracy
Artist: Jaco Pastorius
Album: Jaco Pastorius
Label: Epic/Legacy
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Watch: YouTube