Sunday, April 29, 2007

DJ Basics #1049

Editorial Disclaimer:
Before you read on, let me first say that I neither asked nor begged Ms. DS to write the following post, and she's only here because I'm too damn lazy to write anything of my own. If you just disregard her first sentence, the rest of it is ok (even good), but it still doesn't necessarily mean we like it.

|bruce banner|

I was asked (practically begged!) by Bruce Banner to drop some more knowledge so here I am again. Back by (Bruce Banner's) popular demand.

There's nothing I love more than my vinyl collection. The hours I've spent digging through the Ja Rules of hip hop and finally finding my Jill Scott and Lauryn Hill is worthwhile and almost cathartic. Is vinyl outdated? That's a resounding hell no! I don't have Serato because I'm not about to drop $500 for it. But also because I appreciate the art of digging and finding and coming up with a rarity. Kind of like chemistry on the dancefloor.

My beloved crates are divided into three categories – songs by women artists, songs about women, and other miscellaneous songs. I do this because as a female, it's instinctual for me to spin songs that make women feel good. And there's nothing that makes a woman feel better than hearing a song about how "I'm gonna let my hair hang down / and shake my thang around."

Cuz we do know what happens when the women feel good, right?

They dance!

And what happens when the ladies get out on the dancefloor?

The fellas are happy, the women are happy, the dj has done his/her job, and the formula of partyrocking is complete.

Some personal favorites that get the ladies out on the floor:

Women Artists:
[MP3] Leela James :: Good Times (quoted above)
[MP3] TLC - Aint't Too Proud to Beg (classic!)

Songs About Women:
[MP3] Mos Def :: Ms. Fat Booty
[MP3] Musiq :: Just Friends


Friday, April 27, 2007

We On A Roll

I guess we kissed enough a$$. Oh happy day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lei Low (Island-Style Excitement)

Every now and then, it's nice to be able to take a break and lay low. That's what I was doing this past week when I went back to da islands (HI). Ate the good local grub, R&R'd & spent time with the fam. Also had a chance to visit my favorite local skate shop and check out the new fabrics.

But what would a trip be without a little excitement. And that was exactly what was required for me to extend my trip and stay to check out the Kokua Festival. I had to change flights (from direct to transferring to the Big Island and then to San Francisco before getting home), extend my stay (much love to the fam!), and pay a hella lot more money than I had originally budgeted for. But that's what it takes sometimes to have a great memory and a great story. Cause on the flip side, there's always the Stevie Wonder/Tiger Jam concert that I was able to get tickets to.

As many of you probably know, Stevie Wonder usually doesn't perform solo anymore (I don't count his X-mas concert as solo) and he rarely plays all his classic jams in one sitting. Well he did for Tiger Woods and my cousin had tickets and I was already supposed to be going to Vegas for business...one BIG problem, my nonrefundable ($200 to change) airplane tickets were scheduled to arrive in Vegas the day after the show. So I was even contemplating about driving up to see the show and then driving back that night, in time to catch my flight back to Vegas the next day. Well I didn't and I regret it ever since. As we all know, Mr. Wonder isn't getting any younger and was anyone really expecting to lose The Godfather Of Soul yet? I may never forgive myself for missing him.

A long diatribe/sidenote later, I was not going to let it happen again. And I'm more than happy that I didn't. It was great to see Jack Johnson perform from the place he's from (and have his friends in the crowd bugga' him). And seeing half of Pearl Jam was just the icing on the cake. So here are some of my favorite JJ's grooves:

[MP3] Jack Johnson :: The Horizon Has Been Defeated
{Taken from a live broadcast on KBOC with Ben Harper}
[MP3] Jack Johnson :: Middle Man (Loose Change Version)
{Didn't know the surfer could get funky.}
[MP3] Jack Johnson feat. Ben Harper :: My Own Two Hand
{This goes out to Grandmama. }

Hang loose.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

hot buttered soul

My music listening habits have been pretty schizophrenic lately. One week, it's nothing but Radiohead, the next it's '90s R&B (more on this one later), and the past few days it's been all soul. Since I always post about whatever I'm listening to at the moment, here are some of my top picks from my current rotation:

[MP3] Aretha Franklin :: I Can't Wait (Until I See My Baby's Face)
This one I copped from soul-sides back in February, and damn, it's infectious. You wouldn't guess it from the sweet backing vocals and lilting flutes, but it's not the love song it appears to be. I think a more fitting title would be "I Can't Wait (Until I See My Baby's Face So I Can See His Expression When I Dump His Sorry Ass.)" Greatness.

[MP3] The Famous Flames :: Who Am I
There are very few songs that catch my full attention from the get go, but the Famous Flames' "Who Am I" did just that. I can't say what it is, maybe it's the starkness of the arrangement or Johnny Terry's plaintive vocals, but there's an undeinable intensity to it that's real and raw.

[MP3] Isaac Hayes :: Walk On By
"Walk On By" starts like many of Isaac Hayes' songs, with lush, layered arrangements, but the part that gets me is the chorus, which is much more simple than the introduction and is made great by the backing vocals. One of few covers that I like better than the original.

|bruce banner|

ps. If you're a fan of soul and haven't heard it yet, downloading Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" is absolutely essential. Read about it and download it here. Now.

pps. I know it's completely off-topic, but I came across this quote by the late Kurt Vonnegut, and loved it:

“Oh, she says well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don’t know. The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don’t realize, or they don’t care, is we’re dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we’re not supposed to dance at all anymore.”

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hatorade & Blowin’ In The Windy City (Back-To-Back)

Yeah, yeah, we all know that the Florida Gators repeated as the Men’s NCAA Basketball Champions this year…blah, blah, blah. What y’all don’t know is that I was in Atlanta for the festivities to back my Bruins. The other thing that you don’t know is that Florida fans are ridiculously obnoxious. You won back-to-back championships, big deal. Try winning 11 bball championships, or 7 in a row, 99 overall before you start with that “Gator Bait” bullsh*t. How long has U of F been around? So what’s the excuse?Anyways, off of the Hatorade for a minute, I did have a good time kicking it with some southern belles out there (y’all know how to console a brother), got to see Ludacris perform for free, ate one of top 10 meals I’ve ever had, and even got over to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. All in all a good trip, except for you know what. In terms of ATL’s music scene, here are some of my favorites off my IPOD playlist:

[MP3] DJ Unk feat. Andre 3000 & Jim Jones :: Walk It Out
{Some good ol’ crunk to remind you of why you loved it when Andre would spit}
[MP3] Deerhunter :: Strange Lights
[MP3] Collective Soul :: December
[MP3] TLC feat. Andre Benjamin :: Sumthin' Wicked This Way Comes
{Some good ol’ LaFace R&B via ATL super-producers, Organized Noize, to remind you of why you loved it when Andre would spit…pre-3000.}

[HIPPO’S NOTE: This post was supposed to go up eons ago, so if certain references aren’t current (ie the UCLA/Norte Dame football game 10/2006), there’s a good reason. The main reason would be that we were down (thanks a lot EZarchive!!!) and are back…knock on wood. A lot has happened since then (MAINLY THIS!!!, I was there and it was a riot, definitely made up for those 30 seconds in South Bend), but I need to get this out there since I’ve already taken the time to put it together months ago. Funny how these “city music scene” posts always coincide with a Bruin loss…maybe I should stop doing this]

Chicago is known for a lot of things like sites (museums, Sears, Wrigley), tastes (beer, pizzas, subs), sports (Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks), even bball playground legends (Isiah Thomas, Tim Hardaway, Antoine Walker, Dwayne Wade), and lets not forget Oprah. Went for R & R and to see Notre Dame, the “gold and blue”, play. Will never forget South Bend. If only Rudy was there. One thing, got tired of hearing the “Notre Dame Victory March” for what seemed like every 1st down. Got me thinking though, what do y’ all think is the best school fight song? Any dope remixes? And it wouldn’t have been a worthwhile trip if I didn’t focus on the sounds of this soulful place, dig at all the spots, and post some my favorites of Chi-Town’s long heritage of great innovative music.

[MP3] Chicago :: Beginnings
{Can’t do a post on Chicago without mentioning the group Chicago. Lot’s to choose from, but here’s one of my favorites in their catalogue. One of their earlier jams.}
[MP3] Howlin’ Wolf :: Backdoor Man
{Blues Brother #1.}
[MP3] Jerry Butler :: Never Give You Up
{Everyone knows about Curtis Mayfield or the Chi-lites, but what about some mutha uckin’ Jerry Butler?}
[MP3] Common :: Resurrection (Extra P. Remix)
{It was a tough call cause Com’s most recent album, Be, had production by one of Chicago’s finest (Kanye West on the majority of the album), but I opted for the song that made him off the album that made him, Resurrection. I know I could have gone with the original production of legendary Chi-Town producer No ID, but I don’t think you’ll be angry at me for putting up this ill remix by Large Professor. Both great, but very different versions. I chose the rarer, more jazzy, somber of the two.}

Trips are fun.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Get Cookin'

A couple Fridays back I was out with the boys driving through Koreatown when my friend started hyping a couple of DJs from Valencia, Spain. I was a bit skeptical at first because I never knew him to be a big hip hop head, and on top of that, Spain+Hip Hop just didn't compute in my mind. Just then, this crazy AZ remix comes on, and I'm asking, "damnn, who's this!?!" My friend told me it was Cookin' Soul, the DJs from Spain he was talking about. Whattttt. These beats are sick, and this is coming out of Spain?! Ignorant, I know, but I was surprised that beats like these were coming out of anywhere but the U.S.

Cookin' Soul reminds me a bit of 9th Wonder and Large Professor, yet with their own distinct flavor that relies heavily old soul samples. On their site you can download remixes of all your favorite east coast MCs and they do just as nice a job remixing Nas, Jay-Z, and even the beloved Fiddy. I always thought that AZ would've been bigger if he had some stronger producers backing him up, and I think this album proves that point. AZ's effortless flows only need a nice beat to ride on, and Cookin' Soul provides just that. Oh, and as a bonus, I'm including the new Primo-produced "The Format" and "Rise and Fall" with Little Brother from his latest release.

If you dig Cookin Soul, all four of their mixes are available for free on their site (I have to admit the cheapskate in me loves them even more for that). Spread the joy.

[MP3] AZ :: City of Gods (Cookin' Soul Remix)
[MP3] AZ :: Still Alive (Cookin' Soul Remix)

[MP3] AZ :: The Format (Produced by DJ Premier)
[MP3] AZ :: Rise and Fall feat. Little Brother (Produced by J. Cardim & Phonte Coleman)

Cookin' Soul website

|bruce banner|

(no i do not have anger management problems)
ps. thanks to AK for the heads up on Cookin' Soul