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.
It's not quite my turn on the Brick House tonight but I'm always happy to sub on this show when needed. Since it's Martin Luther King day I wanted to keep the show on-theme as much as possible.
"King Holiday", by King Dream Chorus and Holiday Crew. This was a one-off project in 1986 to celebrate the new Dr. King holoday. It features a ton of talented artists from the time, each taking a few lines-- including El DeBarge, Whitney Houston, Stacy Lattisaw, Lisa Lisa with Full Force, Teena Marie, Menudo, Stephanie Mills, New Edition, James "J.T." Taylor, Kurtis Blow, The Fat Boys, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Run–D.M.C., and Whodini.
Moodswings' "Spiritual High Part 3". Part 3 of this track is excerpts from Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech set to music.
Prince's "Baltimore" from his Hit n Run Phase 2 album-- the last before he died. Prince mourns Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, and includes a repeated chant of "If there ain't no justice then there ain't no peace".
Labelle's soulful cover of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again".
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".
Prince's "Chelsea Rodgers", from his 2007 "Planet Earth" album. For a long time Prince was, to me, the guy with those great 80s songs. At some point I realized he never stopped making great music, it's just that I wasn't hearing any of it. I quickly made amends. I love to play non-80s Prince tracks, because you always know it's him, but he's doing something cool you've never heard before. If they ever open up his legendary vault, it'll change the world.
Thomas Dolby on the Brick House? Yeah, doing "Hot Sauce", which was written by George Clinton.
Punkin Machine's "I Need You Tonight" was the disco highlight of the show. I don't know why this song isn't better known, because it's fantastic. The guitar work would make Nile Rodgers proud.
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.
This week I guest hosted KRCC's long running "Planet Groove", KRCC's world music show. Soem highlights:
George Michael just passed away. I found a Michael performance that works for Planet Groove-- a duet with Astrud Gilberto on the Brazilian classic "Desafinado", from the Red Hot + Rio collection.
Two people requested Edith Piaf. I had not been planning on any Piaf, but I'm always happy to play a request that fits the show. Since I had two requests I played two songs.
"Tornados vs. Dynamos 3-3" by Real Sounds of Africa relates the story of a dramatic football (soccer) match, including both singing about the game and spoken (imagined?) commentary on the game. I don't know if it's real or not but it's a fantastic track. It's also more than 13 minutes in total, but on KRCC if a DJ knows a great song they don't have to hold back because it's too long.
Adele & Zalem are a French didgeridoo duet whose music inspired me to take up the instrument myself. I played their "Urban Tree", the title track from their first album. Check it out in 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.
Lyn Collins' "Think (About It)", one of the most sampled songs ever. This song has been sampled so many times by so many people that it'd be easy to write it off as yet another artist grabbing the same old sound. But those sounds have to start somewhere, and this is one of those songs. If that wasn't enough, her backup band is the JB's.
Christmas music reared its head for the first time this year with Funk Machine's "Soul Santa" and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings doing "Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects".
A Tribe Called Quest's "The Space Program" has some unexpected samples from "Willy Wonka".