Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, January 21, 2017.
The 2017 Women's March was today, and I've been amazed at the number of people involved both in the USA and worldwide. Washington DC was absolutely mobbed. The Denver Post reported that 100,000 people marched there. Here in Colorado Springs reports say 7000, in a city where marches and rallies are almost always tiny.
After hearing coverage all day via Twitter, NPR, and other sources, I decided that tonight's music mix would commemorate the event as best I could.
Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, January 7, 2017.
While browsing the station library I ran across dZihan & Kamien's album "Gran Riserva". I don't know how best to describe their music, but Wikipedia calls them "...a downtempo house and acid jazz music duo", and I guess that'll do. I played "Stiff Jazz" in the same set as Thievery Corporation, Mr. Scruff, and The Herbaliser, and the music really flowed. I only knew them previously from a cover version of Herbie Hancock's "Rockit".
Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, December 31, 2016.
It's New Year's Eve, so of course I celebrated by going into the studio and doing my Saturday show. I led off with the only holiday song of the night, The Black on White Affair's awesome rendition of "Auld Lang Syne". It's the only version of that song that anyone should ever play. That song is done and doesn't need to be performed any more after this version.
It's hard to find much information about the Black on White Affair online. Apparently they started in Seattle, sometime in the 1970s. They played on the west coast for a while but it doesn't seem like they lasted very long. Too bad, because the recordings I can find are all amazing. Their "Auld Lang Syne" suggests Booker T and the MG's jamming with the JB's. Check out the video below.
Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, December 24, 2016.
It's Christmas Eve, but I already did the Christmas Music Blowout show last week. I couldn't completely stay away from it though. Today is also the first night of Hanukkah, so I played some Hanukkah music as well.
On that note, the highlight was Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings doing possibly the most soulful Hanukkah song ever, "8 Days of Hannukah". Check it out below.
Playlist from the "Christmas Blowout" edition of the Saturday Night Music Mix, December 17, 2016.
I was going to wait. I really was. But when planning tonight's show all I could think of was cool holiday music. I know not everyone cares for it, but I'm stuck on the idea that it's only because they keep hearing the same songs over and over and over. I try to find unique renditions of classics and new stuff to make up a Christmas show that those people won't hate. I hope it works, at least a little.
I framed the show by starting and ending with tracks from Esquivel's "Merry Xmas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad". In the first track he welcomes guests to his party, pointing out the bar, the band, and the mistletoe (which seems to be occupied). At the finish he thanks his guests for coming and then excuses himself to find a space shuttle to give his more intoxicated guests a ride home. This was the last album Esquivel recorded, in the mid-1990s.
Some other highlights:
The Billy May Orchestra's "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Mambo" is easily the best version of that song ever recorded. Close your eyes real nice and tight, Santa comes tonight.
Ren and Stimpy's (mosty Ren's) "I Hate Christmas", for people who wish I'd get back to mmy more usual show.
Clarence Carter's "Back Door Santa" (ooh) followed by Run-DMC's "Christmas in Hollis", which samples Carter.
Louis Prima doing "What Will Santa Claus Say (When he Finds Everybody Swingin')". Join in, I assume.
Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors doing an unexpected and amazing cover of "Mr. Grinch".
Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, December 10, 2016.
2006 keeps on rolling along, and this week we lost Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. I'm no expert on ELP but I played a couple of Lake songs. ELP's "Still… You Turn Me On" from Brain Salad Surgery highlight's Lake's guitar work. I added the seasonally apt "I Believe in Father Christmas" as well.
I finished with a couple of songs featuring Futura 2000, who worked as a graffiti artist in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The first is the Clash's "Overpowered By Funk" (from their Combat Rock album) which features Futura rapping at the end. After that came "The Escapades of Futura 2000", credited to Futura and with the Clash as the backing band. I don't know if the Clash ever backed up anyone else.
Jimmy Scott and Flea doing a rather unsual take on "Love Will Keep Us Together", from Lounge-a-Palooza. I only previously knew Scott because he once did a song with Pink Martini.
A continuing post-election undertone including songs like Natalie Merchant's wonderful take on the union classic "Which Side Are You On". It's a good question these days, whether or not you're on strike.
Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, December 3, 2016.
I led off with the reworked version of the Fatback Band's "Do the Bus Stop", from the Get Down soundtrack. It's been updated with new vocals by Sarah Ruba while keeping the original funk completely intact. The result spans 40 years in a single song. I remember hearing this one when it was new and I was a kid in Brooklyn. Mainly I was watching Sesame Street. I think I noticed this song because I rode the bus everywhere, so a song seemingly about bus stops made sense.
Also featured, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, one of Michael Franti's early projects. I've had "Television, the Drug of the Nation" in my personal library for years but only just realized it's in the station's library as well. At 25 years old it's only just barely dated, especially in light of all the recent talk about fake news. Franti could rap almost as well as Chuck D, and be almost as angry.
Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, November 19, 2016.
This year has been hard on musicians, and so this week's choices were unfortunately dominated by selections from the recently deceased.
Mostly that meant Sharon Jones, who passed away yesterday at age 60. I'm a huge fan of Jones, so I worked in as many of her songs as the station rules allow. In addition to her best known songs-- I'm thinking "100 Days, 100 Nights"-- I found some lesser known tracks. A couple are from the Desco funk 45 collection, where Jones recorded in the pre-Daptone days. I also found a couple of guest appearances on tracks by Booker T. Washington and Steve Cropper. "I'm Still Here" is the highlight, a new song from the movie "Miss Sharon Jones". It's her autobiography, presented in her own amazing style.
Leonard Cohen also recently passed away. I can't claim to have been all that familiar with his music before the retrospectives of the past couple of weeks. For the show I was pleased to find that he once did vocals for Was (not Was) on a track called "Elvis's Rolls Royce".
Finally there's Jean-Jacques Perrey, one of the pioneers of electronic music. He's not so well known these days but his "E.V.A." has been remixed by Fatboy Slim, and the theme song from "Futurama" is rather strongly reminiscent of this track from 1970.
Playlist from the Saturday Night Music Mix, November 12, 2016.
And now it's a few days after the election. As tempting as it was to go political in my selections, I thought we could all use something to take the edge off, to help put a smile back on people's faces even just for a couple of hours.
So, I went with songs that are funny, weird, or just unexpected.
I really wanted to play Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". I couldn't find a clean-for-airplay version (there's that "life's a piece of shit" line). I mentioned this on Twitter, and Eric Idle responded. I wouldn't normally edit a song before playing it but since Idle wrote and performed the song I considered this to be an officially endorsed edit.