Monday, January 30, 2012

2 Busy Saying Yeah - 2011 Reissues

Last week I played and talked about some of my favorite reissues from 2011.

To keep things varied, I tried to limit my selections to one song per release but I still played a frightening number of things reissued by the Numero Group. The talking was a little disjointed and rambling to my taste but otherwise I was really happy with what I played and how it flowed.

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1. Bob & Gene – It’s Not What You Know... It's Who You Know (Ever-Soul 7")
2. Dave Hamilton – Soul Suite (V/A – Dave Hamilton's Detroit Soul)
3. Darondo – Gimme Some (Listen to My Song: The Music City Sessions)
4. Chucky Thurmon – Just a Man (V/A – Street Sounds From the Bay Area: Music City Funk & Soul Grooves 1971-75)
5. Aged In Harmony – You’re a Melody (Extended Disco) (V/A – Under the Influence Vol.1 Compiled By DJ Red Greg
6. Le'Chance – Get Down (V/A – True Soul: Deep Sounds From the Left of Stax Vol. 2)
7. Hot Pepper – Cancion Ritual (V/A – Real Sound of Chicago and Beyond)
8. Soki Ohale's Uzzi – Bisi’s Beat (V/A – Nigeria 70: Sweet Times - Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju From 1970s Lagos)
9. Sroeng Santi – Kuen Kuen Lueng Lueng (V/A – Thai? Dai!: The Heavier Side of the Luk Thung Underground)
10. Little Ed & the Soundmasters – It’s a Dream (Numero Group 7” box)
11. Neighb'rhood Childr'n – Long Years In Space (Long Years In Space)
12. Golden Grapes – Please Don't Bother Me Anymore (V/A – Beautiful Rivers and Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound of South Korea's Shin Joong Hyun 1958-1974)
13. Oscar Hamod & the Majestics – No Chance Baby (No Chance Baby)
14. Index – Shock Wave (Black Album + Red Album + Yesterday & Today)
15. The Halleleuiah Chorus – I’ve Got to Find a Way (V/A – Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels)
16. Thomas East – Slipping Around (V/A - True Soul: Deep Sounds from the Left of Stax Volume 1)
17. The Four Mints – Endlessly (Numero Group 7”)
18. The Defaulters feat. Charles Hancock – Gentle Man (V/A – Pressed at Boddie)
19. Father's Children – Linda Movement (Who's Gonna Save the World)
20. Stone Coal White – You Know (S/T)
21. The Two Things In One – Walk On By (Together Forever: The Music City Sessions)
22. Kool and Together – Reaching Out (Original Recordings 1970-77)
23. Rob – Forgive Us All (Funky Rob Way)
24. The King James Version featuring King Solomon & Moses – He’s Forever (Amen) (V/A – Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio)
25. The Soul Sensations - A Man That Is Not Free (V/A – The Music City Story)
26. Mike & the Censations – You’re Living a Lie (Don't Sell Your Soul)
27. El Rego – Ke Amon-Gbetchea (S/T)
28. O. C. Tolbert – All I Want Is You (Black Diamond)
29. Lloyd McNeill – Home Rule (Washington Suite)
30. Tino Contreras – Orfeon En Los Tambores (El Jazz Mexicano De Tino Contreras)
31. Jef Gilson Nonet feat. Jean-Louis Chautemps – Suite Pour San Remo: Ouverture (S/T)
32. Jef Gilson – Un Pas, Deux Pas, Cent Pas (S/T)

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Friday, January 13, 2012

2 Busy Saying Yeah - Last year's raps

To recap 2011, I made a mix of my favorite rap songs from last year.

I hadn't made a mix of new raps in about a year and a half, although for much of the last year I've been steadily playing and talking about new raps through the Stay Hatin' podcast I do with my friends Serg Dun and Soft Money. People who follow that podcast closely will have heard about half of these songs there; a few even ended up in our year-end spectacular that featured homeboy Noz. Doing the podcast has pushed me to listen to a lot more rap than I might otherwise do; I'm always afraid of showing up and being the guy with all of the shitty or obvious songs. I try to listen as widely as I can, but honestly whenever it begins to feel like work I usually hang it up and go listen to some old records.

There's no overriding theme to the songs in the mix, just a lot of raps I like in a lot of different styles and from a lot of different places. I limited the selections to one song per artist, otherwise there would have been a lot more E-40, Kendrick Lamar and Starlito. (As it is, a couple of those guys snuck in twice.)

I broke the mix into two parts to make it more manageable. If there's interest, I may bounce it out as individual tracks and upload a .zip. I will not upload a double cup, however nicely or persistently you ask.

Download pt. 1
Download pt. 2
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1. Mr. Collipark – Let’s Have Some Fun (Intro)
2. Travis Porter – Bring It Back
3. Swizz Beatz – Everyday (Coolin’) feat. Eve
4. iamsu! – Swaggin’ feat. Loverance, Skipper & Kool John
5. Lil Phat & Mannie Fresh – Talk Some Mo Shit
6. Killer Mike – Ready Set Go Remix feat. T.I. & Big Boi
7. Dorrough Music – Blake Griffin
8. Stevie Joe – Raccoons
9. Meek Mill – House Party feat. Young Chris
10. B.o.B – Epic feat. Playboy Tre & Meek Mill
11. Tyler, The Creator – Yonkers
12. ADd+/Picnictyme – Likeamug feat. Sore Losers
13. STS – Bullshit feat. Kyle Lucas
14. LoLo C-4 – Poor Ppl Smiles feat. MondreM.A.N
15. Willie Joe – Blown Away feat. Aftah Sum & A Money
16. Curren$y – Scottie Pippens feat. Freddie Gibbs
17. Lil B – Motivation
18. Jay-Z & Kanye West – New Day
19. Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire – Build-a-Bitch
20. 50 Cent – Sunday Morning
21. Black Milk & Danny Brown – LOL
22. Hail Mary Mallon – Grubstake
23. Willie Evans Jr. – Dumbtron
24. Nas – Nasty
25. NhT Boyz – Chee$e
26. Roach Gigz – Gina
27. DJ Quik – Nobody feat. Suga Free
28. E-40 – Serious feat. T-Pain
29. Husalah – Da Mob
30. Lil Ill & Dashdcadet – I Just Wanna Smoke

1. Juicy J – A Zip & a Double Cup (Remix) feat. Tity Boi
2. Gucci Mane & Future – Stevie Wonder
3. Webbie – Trilla Than a Bitch feat. Lil Phat
4. Big K.R.I.T – Money On the Floor feat. 2 Chainz, 8Ball & MJG
5. Starlito & Don Trip – L Word
6. Sir Kashflow – Eat a Dick feat. Kamonster
7. Zilla – Bitch Dawg feat. Monster & Junebug
8. Bo Deal – Safe Sex feat. Mello & G Blanca
9. Shady Nate – Baby Sit Part 2
10. Fam-Lay – Money Makin’ Trick feat. Project Pat
11. A$AP Rocky – Trilla feat. ASAP Twelvy & ASAP Nast
12. Corner Boy P – Lala Pt. 2 feat. Smoke DZA, Fiend & Killa Kyleon
13. Starlito – Thinking of You
14. Young Jeezy – I Do feat. Jay-Z & Andre 3000
15. Waka Flocka – Round of Applause
16. Main Attrakionz – Chuch
17. Schoolboy Q – Birds & the Beez feat. Kendrick Lamar
18. Danny Brown – 30
19. Kendrick Lamar – The Spiteful Chant
20. Kristmas – I Need a Drink feat. Codie G & Joi Tiffany
21. G-Side – Gettin It feat. Stalley & Joi Tiffany

Some statistics:

Songs by artists from the Bay: 13
Songs by artists from California: 18
Songs by artists from Atlanta: 7
Songs by artists from New York: 6
Songs by artists from Tennessee: 4
Songs by artists from Louisiana: 4
Songs by artists from Alabama: 3
Songs by artists from Texas: 2
Songs by artists from Pennsylvania: 2

Songs featuring artists who were popular in the 1980s: 0
Songs featuring artists who were popular in the 1990s: 11
Songs featuring artists who were popular in the 2000s: 13
Songs by artists who spell their names with non-standard spellings or messed-up typography: 22

Songs that refer to Scottie Pippen: 2
Songs that refer to Stewie: 2
Songs that refer to Quagmire: 1
Songs that refer to Peter, Lois, Meg, Chris, Brian or Cleveland: 0

Artists that appear in the mix twice: 9
Songs produced by Lex Luger: 2
Songs that Lex Luger productions: 3
Songs that previously appeared on Stay Hatin': 25
Songs I've heard on KMEL: 3

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Friday, October 7, 2011

2 Busy Saying Yeah - Love Songs

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Recently a friend asked me if I could provide him with some music for his wedding, an hour or so of soul songs for the dinner hour.

Normally I would have just said no or looked for a polite way to suggest to him that I make my living doing something he was asking me to do for free, but this is a good friend and someone who's shown me a lot of support over the years.

So I made a mix of old soul songs, heavy on the classics but with a sprinkling of lesser-known gems. I slipped up and played one cheating song (or, more correctly, an "I-want-to-cheat-with-you-but-I'm-not-gonna-because-my-lady-is-too-valuable-to-me" song), but it sounds like a love song and in a way it is. These are some of my favorite songs.

1. Willie Hutch – I Choose You
2. The Intruders – Together
3. George Benson – My Woman’s Good to Me
4. Stevie Wonder – Hey Love
5. Aretha Franklin – Baby I Love You
6. Otis Redding – You Made a Man Out of Me
7. The Brothers of Soul – A Lifetime
8. The Icemen – She’s a Fox
9. The Charmels – As Long As I’ve Got You
10. Wilson Pickett – I’m in Love
11. The Four Puzzles – Especially For You, Baby
12. Jay Lewis – Oh
13. Sam & Dave – A Small Portion of Your Love
14. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – More Love
15. The Mad Lads – Make the Young Lady Mine
16. Stevie Wonder – My Cherie Amour
17. The Four Tops – Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got)
18. The Checkmates Ltd. – Got to See You Soon
19. Bobby Reed – The Time Is Right For Love
20. Sly & the Family Stone – Everybody Is a Star
21. The Five Stairsteps – Ooh Child
22. The Jackson 5 – I Found That Girl
23. The Impressions – I’m So Proud
24. The Flamingos – I Only Have Eyes For You

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

2 Busy Saying Yeah - Old Friends

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An unfunny thing happened as I was preparing to do a show one Friday last month. My computer died.

I’m helpless without my desktop. I keep only a small fraction of my music on my laptop and the desktop not only holds everything else, it’s where I sort music and keep track of ideas for mixes and shows.

There was a time when I really didn’t play anything unless it was on vinyl, but these days it’s more or less the opposite. I seldom listen to anything unless it’s on my computer. So I decided to get back at my computer by putting together a show the old-fashioned way, playing nothing but vinyl.

The first two-thirds of the show is mostly made up of some records I’ve always wanted to hear together in a mix, but hadn’t combined until now. The selections are all over the map stylistically-- Northern soul, Latin, wiggy jazz funk-- but to me each of them ties in with a couple of the others.

The remainder of the mix is mostly recent rediscoveries. Over the past few months I’ve been preparing to cull a major portion of my collection and in the process I’ve heard a lot things I’d forgotten about or never noticed before.

I called the mix “old friends” because it's mostly stuff that's been knocking around in my head for years. Hopefully some of it will get stuck in yours.

1. Micki Lynn – I’ve Got the Blues (Capitol 45)
2. Major Lance – Sometimes I Wonder (Okeh 45)
3. George & Lee – Nobody but You (International City 45)
4. The Metros – Since I Found My Baby (RCA Victor 45)
5. Ernie Marbray – Ain’t Nobody’s Business (Wee 45)
6. The Mad Lads – Monkey Time ’69 (Volt LP)
7. The Curtis Liggins Indications – What It Is? (Kaycee-Soul 45)
8. The Turks – Generation Gap (Daran 45)
9. Tony Talent – Gotta Tell Somebody (About My Baby) (Vando 45)
10. Mitch Mitchell and Gene “The King” – Definition of Things (Goko 45)
11. Desciples of Soul – Soul Revolution (G.V. 45)
12. Tito Puente – Hit the Bongo (Tico LP)
13. Calvin Keys – B.K. (Black Jazz LP)
14. Tania Maria – Fio Maravilha (Barclay LP)
15. Mike Westbrook – Love Song No. 2 (Deram LP)
16. Jackie & Roy – Winds of Heaven (Capitol LP)
17. The Latin Dimension – What More Can I Say (Columbia LP)
18. Joe Loco – Isla Verde (Sunset LP)
19. Shirley Horn – Big City (ABC Paramount LP)
20. The Baron Von Ohlen Quartet feat. Mary Ann Moss – Runaway Heart (Creative World LP)
21. Malachi Thompson – The Quest (Ra LP)
22. Phil Moore III – Nappy Headed Child (Atlantic)
23. Ray Barretto – Hard Hands (Pink Elephant 45)
24. Groove Holmes – No Trouble on the Mountain (Groove Merchant LP)
25. Skip Mahoaney & the Casuals – Town Called Nowhere (D.C. International LP)
26. Friday, Saturday & Sunday – There Must Be Something (Dig 45)
27. Sunny & the Sunliners – Should I Take You Home (RPR 45)
28. Gene Williams – Don’t Let Our Love Fade Away (Forte 45)
29. Bobby Holley – Baby, I Love You (Weis 45)
30. The Wasters – Accept My Love (Uni 45)
31. Erroll Gaye & the Imaginations – You Don’t Want My Love (Steel Town 45)
32. The End Product – Sunday Dreaming (Paramount 45)
33. J.J. Barnes – I Just Make Believe (I’m Touching You) (Perception LP)
34. The Mystics – That’s the Kind of Love (Teako 45)
35. First Family – That’s Love (Washington 45)
36. The Topics – All Good Things Must End (Heavy Duty 45)

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2 Busy Saying Yeah - Real Talk: Joe Quixx

This installment of 2 Busy Saying Yeah is something completely different-- it's an entire episode devoted to a conversation with a key figure in the Bay Area hip hop scene, Joe Quixx.

Joe Quixx began DJing as a high-schooler in Hayward in the mid-1980s. After making a name for himself, he joined up with a crew that revolutionized the sound of radio in the Bay Area and beyond. As the primary DJ for the Wake-Up Show and the 10 O’Clock bomb, Joe broke records and introduced a generation of listeners to uncut hip hop and to digging in the crates. As a producer, Joe created a number of underground classics. His style influenced a generation of listeners and he continues to inspire other DJs with his uncompromising, eclectic sound.

In the interview Joe talks about the formative influences that shaped his DJing, how the Wake Up Show came together and his classic productions for the B.U.M.S., Mysterme and others.

Me and Joe Quixx at the Bay Area Hip Hop Coalition First (and Last?) Annual BBQ, 1998

I first met Joe in 1992 or so when my homeboy Beni B started taking me up to the Wake Up Show, bringing Joe Quixx beats and samples to play on the radio. Joe and I quickly hit it off and for a number of years would frequently dig for records. Over the years we did a few residencies together and were even roommates for a while. He is one of my favorite DJs and has been a big influence on me. This interview is hopefully the first in a series of conversations with important figures in Bay Area rap.

I'm experimenting by making the interview available in two ways. One is as a single file available through my regular host, Podomatic. The other is as a series of chapters available through Soundcloud. Unfortunately, due to the length of the clips, I wasn't able to make all five of the chapters available through a single free Soundcloud account, so I may try and host these elsewhere.

The entire interview:

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Four (out of five) easy pieces:

Joe Quixx Interview Pt. 1 - How it all began

Joe Quixx Interview Pt. 2 - The Wake Up Show

Joe Quixx Interview Pt. 4 - Productions

Joe Quixx Interview Pt. 5 - DJing

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

2 Busy Saying Yeah - D.J. Rogers

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This episode of 2 Busy Saying Yeah is a mix devoted to one of the most overlooked figures in soul music, D.J. Rogers.[1]

I wouldn't argue that he's a talent on the order of contemporaries like Sly Stone, Al Green or Marvin Gaye, only that he deserves better than he gets. Rogers is a phenomenal singer who wrote and arranged some great soul songs. His music deserves a wider audience.

Rogers released eight LPs of inspirational soul music between 1973 and 1982. While only one of those albums was explicitly a gospel LP, all of them are steeped in the spirit, with lyrics about faith and perseverance. It's some of the most uplifting music I know.

This mix draws heavily on Rogers's It's Good to Be Alive album, which for my money is probably the most neglected major-label soul LP of the 1970s and which I've long hoped would experience an Inspiration Information-style rediscovery. I first heard it years ago during what was a pretty rough time in my life and even if it didn't dispel my pain, it did remind me of what it might feel like to be happy again. It sounds like what Sly Stone's Fresh would sound like if it had been made by someone blissed out on life, his lady and his newborn son.[2]

The rest of Rogers's discography is hit or miss. Hope Songs Vol. 1 is a great album and both Rogers's self-titled debut and Love Brought Me Back contain more than a couple of really good songs. Trust Me, The Message Is Still the Same and On the Road Again each contain a couple of really good songs. Love, Music & Life does not contain any good songs. The mix includes most of my favorites:

1. Bailout
2. It's Good to Be Alive
3. Love Will See You Through
4. Listen to the Message
5. Living Is All That Matters
6. Pressin' On
7. Will You Remember Me?
8. Love You Forever
9. (It's Alright Now) Think I'll Make It Anyhow
10. Love Brought Me Back
11. I'm Sold on You
12. He'll Be Your All and All
13. Hold On, Be Strong
14. One More Day
15. Celebration
16. Trust Me
17. Love Can Be Found
18. If You Didn't Love Me (Don't Go Away)
19. Faithful to the End
20. Say You Love Me
21. Overcome
22. Coming Back
23. Jesus Chant
24. Coming Back [Reprise]

For what it's worth, I probably should have included Patrice Rushen's "Givin' It Up Is Givin' Up", but I kind of spaced on it initially and then after the fact decided it didn't really fit in the mix anywhere. Plus he's more or less a back-up singer on there. Great song though. The Coup and Pimp C both used it well but I'll always associate it with this.

[1] Which is not to say that he's been completely overlooked. Kanye West sampled one of his songs on the last Common Sense album that I made it all the way through. His tracks have also found their way onto a Questlove comp and into mix CDs by discerning DJs like Monk One, Muro and Om/Breakself. If I remember right, "Bailout" also caught a shout from the Beastie Boys in Grand Royal long ago.

[2] Rather than someone quickly destroying his talent and himself. The newborn son, D.J. Rogers, Jr., went on to sing, too. He's best known for "Doggie Style", a very R.Kelly/Jodeci-style song on Suge Knight's Above the Rim soundtrack.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

2 Busy Saying Yeah - 2010 Reissues

Like we often do about this time, I recently did a radio show for All Day Play devoted to reissues that came out in 2010.

This kind of project always makes me nervous because I know that as many great things as I heard last year, there are plenty more than I missed. There are also some excellent releases I meant to highlight but for whatever reason didn't, like Numero's Syl Johnson box, Soundway's The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria, Analog Africa's Angola Soundtrack - The Unique Sound of Luanda (1968-1976) or DWG's TDS Mob reissue, all of which are better than some of the one-trackers featured here.

Most of the selections are from releases that are legitimately licensed and carefully assembled, with proper mastering, handsome packaging and thoughtful annotations. I have a lot of respect for those who take the time and effort to do it right. I hope you support them so that they can continue the work that they do.

Part one

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1. The McCrary – Emerge (V/A - Groove Merchant Turns 20)
2. Mark Capanni - I Believe In Miracles (Jazzman 7”)
3. Matthew Larkin Cassell – Rendezvous (The Complete Works)
4. Lô Borges - Tôda Essa Água (S/T)
5. The HE3 Project - Rapture of the Deep (Chapter One)
6. Pastor T.L. Barrett & the Youth For Christ Choir - Nobody Knows (Like a Ship (Without a Sail))
7. Clarence Smith - Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (V/A - The Gospel Truth: The Gospel Soul & Funk of Stax Records)
8. Little Ann - Deep Shadows (Deep Shadows)
9. The Wildflower - Wind Dream (V/A - With Love, A Pot of Flowers)
10. Saknatee Srichiangmai - Nom Samai Mai (V/A - The Sound of Siam: Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz & Malam in Thailand 1964-1975)
11. Ton & Sergio - Vou Sair Do Cativeiro (Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas: Tropicalia Psychedelic Masterpieces 1967-1976)
12. In Memory of Stella Burke - Already Been in the Water (V/A – Gospel Funk)
13. Gilbert Deflez - L'Agonie (Je Suis Vivant, Mais J'ai Peur de Gilbert Deflez)
14. Roy Brooks & the Artistic Truth - The Last Prophet (Ethnic Expressions)
15. David Lee Jr. - Love Parable (Evolution)
16. Nina Simone - Either Way I Lose (V/A – A Van McCoy Songbook: The Sweetest Feeling)
17. Tammy Montgomery - I Cried (Come On And See Me: The Complete Solo Collection)
18. London Jazz Four - Song for Hilary (V/A - Impressed 3 Compiled by Tony Higgins)

Part two


1. Googoosh – Talagh (V/A - Pomegranates)
2. The Gospel Soul Revivals - If Jesus Came Today (V/A - Good God! Born Again Funk)
3. Enrique Olivarez y Los Vampiros - Arriba Tipo (V/A - California Funk: Rare 45s From the Golden State)
4. Billy Byrd - Lost in the Crowd (Soul 7 7”)
5. The Brief Encounter - We're Gonna Have a Good Time (Special Release)
6. Randolph Baker - Getting Next to You (V/A - Off Track Vol. III: Brooklyn)
7. Minority Band - Tasty Tune (V/A - Peoples' Potential Unlimited Family Album)
8. Jewel Bass - Let Your Love Rain Down On Me (V/A - Malaco Soul Sisters)
9. Twilight - Never Want to See You Low (Pains of Love)
10. Universal Robot Band - Barely Breaking Even [Club Version] (V/A - John Morales - The M&M Mixes)
11. Martin L. Dumas, Jr. - Attitude, Belief & Determination V/A - The Real Sound of Chicago)
12. Darwin's Theory - Just Take Hold (S/T)
13. Eddie Kendricks - He's a Friend (V/A - Get Down With the Philly Sound)
14. Roy Ayers – Everybody (Lots of Love)
15. Johnny Mathis - Something to Sing About (V/A - Nile Rodgers Presents the CHIC Organization Box Set Vol. 1)

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