Sunday, July 16, 2006
Here's my allotted 90 downloads from eMusic this month:
* Funkadelic Live: Meadowbrook, Rochester, Mich 12th September 1971. This is an amazing concert featuring guitarist Eddie Hazel at his prime. 14 minutes of "Maggot Brain," 15 minutes of "All Your Goodies Are Gone (The Loser's Seat)" and not one but two takes on "I Call My Baby Pussycat."
* Selections from The Early Years, 1930-1934 by Cab Calloway. I had the pleasure of seeing Cab Calloway in person when I was in 5th or 6th grade back in Oklahoma City. He played with a small combo during the half time at a Harlem Globetrotters game. I had no idea who he was, but my grandmother, who took me to the game, was hep to the Hi-Di-Ho jive. And when Cab sang "It Ain't Necessarily So" it twisted my youthful Okie head! Unfortunately this collection doesn't have that song, but there's more than 70 tracks here of vintage Calloway.
* Strays from Wattstax: Highlights From The Soundtrack. As I reported last month , I downloaded Wattstax The Living Word, a collection of performances from the landmark 1972 concert. But I found this collection, which had several tracks I didn't already have, including songs by Johnnie Taylor, Rance Allen, Luther Ingram and others.
* Powder Burns by The Twilight Singers. I knew this one was going to be a doozy when I saw Greg Dulli and the boys at SXSW in March. I was right!
* Thai Beat a Go Go Volume 2. After my recent column about wild Asian rock and pop, I couldn't resist downloading this one. It's not quite as good as Volume 1, which I've had for months, but the Thai version of "Your Cheatin' Heart" ("tee Makhuea Pok") by Pairote (not sure if that's the band or singer) is a revelation.
* Rolf Cahn and Eric Von Schmidt. I was surprised and delighted to find this early '60s album from Smithsonian Folkways on eMusic. I'd just been thinking of Rolf, who died in Santa Fe 12 years ago. And, synchronicity alert, just a few hours after downloading this, I ran into marcia, a mutual friend of Rolf's and mine, who I hadn't seen in many years. This album is pure early '60s whiteboy hootenanny stuff that set the world on fire in the day. Earnest, but subversive for its time. Von Schmidt sings on most the cuts, but Rolf's distinctive Prussian growl can be heard on "Columbus Stockade Blues" and others. And Lord, that man could pick! I hope eMusic picks up Rolf's other Folkways album,California Folk Concert (1959). Until then, you can order Rolf's music HERE.
* Booniay!!: A Compilation of West African Funk . This compilation of 1970s sounds is a missing link between James Brown and Fela Kuti, featuring acts like Bright Engelberts & The B.E. Movement, Atomic Bomb Zigoto and William Onyeabor. Onyeabor also appears on the Luaka Bop compilation World Psychedelic Classics 3, The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa -- which is another recent favorite of mine.
* Several songs from Been in the Storm So Long: A Collection of Spirituals, Folk Tales and Children's Games from Johns Island, S.C. My brother recently burned me many of the songs from this field recordings compilation, originally recorded in the 1960s. I was happy to find it on eMusic so I could download the rest. These are mostly gospel tunes from an isolated Black community. There's also a version of "Down on Me." It was recorded about the same time that Janis Joplin and Big Brother & The Holding Company were doing their famous version. But this track, by Mary Pickney and Janie Hunter, sounds as if it were recorded 100 years before Janis. David Byrne and Brian Eno apparently were hip to these recordings back when they made My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Samples of the Moving Star Hall Singers appear on their track "Moonlight in Glory" -- though, at least on early versions of Bush of Ghosts, they are identified as being from the "Sea Islands, Georgia." (Alan Lomax, of course recorded some great stuff from Bessie Jones and others from those islands about the same time as these Johns Island recordings, but it's not the same.)
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