Like Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand, I’ve featured Chaz Bear quite a bit since I started this blog 7+ years ago. And this is no time to stop; for Toro Y Moi keeps getting better. ‘Fading’ is the opening track of his most recent album Outer Peace.
It’s Tuesday, the week’s started and let’s get on it. Well, in truth, I wasn’t any cooler when delivering my lines back in the day. However, my teenage self WAS listening to J.V.C. F.O.R.C.E. in 1987. Long Islanders AJ Rok, B-Luv and DJ Curt Cazal had the great idea of sampling of Freda Payne and the very current Public Enemy to concoct ‘Strong Island’. Justified by Virtue of Creativity For Obvious Reasons Concerning Entertainment… indeed.
I missed a post yesterday. Sorry. It’s the heat of the Easter break that’s been the distraction. The Samuel family are on a road trip to the coast with the rest of London. So today, I post a sound made for a sunny day on the tarmac. Silver were formed in late 1975 by John Batdorf. They were short-lived, but were able to release their eponymous album a year later and it featured the guilty pleasure ‘Wham Bam (Shang-A-Lang)’. Have a great weekend.
Before we leave the wonderful world of Arthur Russell, my real introduction to his work was at the skilful hands of Todd Terry. In 1988, as a compliment to the classic Russell single ‘Go Bang’ by Dinosaur L, Terry mixed and released the seminal house track ‘Bango (To The Batmobile)’ on Fresh Records.
Arthur Russell has had several guises… and in the early 1980s he collaborated with DJ/producer Steve D’Aquisto. In 1980, Russell had already worked with D’Acquisto to co-produce his single ‘Is It All Over My Face?’, one of the dancefloor’s defining singles of that era. Three years later came the strangely infectious ‘Tell You’.
On the subject of ladies with style, I feature Ms Harding for the second time this year. ‘Fixture Picture’ is the opening track off her most recent album Designer. I like one youtuber’s comment that it sounds like Neil Young’s Harvest Moon and Beck’s Morning Phase had a baby girl. And what’s more, the hats and the curious dance moves are an added bonus.
There’s something exceptional about Solange Knowles’s sound and group of producer pals. Her genre is not one I fully appreciate, but I make exception for songs like ‘Way To The Show’. This glossy soul funk comes her latest album When I Get Home. Have a great week.
Now for a quick interlude in anything hip about having a music blog. Supertramp. An English band that can contest any list of the most uncool AOR bands that achieved major radio play. They’re a guilty pleasure of mine that compares to the output of Christopher Cross, ELO and Hall & Oates. They are the antithesis of the new wave we’ve heard this week. ‘Breakfast In America’ is the title track off their 1978 album. I spotted that it’s a feature on YouTube for the first time in ages. A completely valid excuse.
Joseph E (vocals/synths), Tom S (guitar) and Tom P (bass) named their band after an infamous Chinese cash and carry in their native Manchester. With a sound of post-punk and synthpop, the sound of the city is evidently a big reference for the band; as is Thelonious Monk, Prince and Giorgio Moroder from what I read and hear. Their debut album Incidental Music features ‘Second Death Of My Face’. Enjoy a 2019 take on new wave.
The Scottish indie pop band The Wake are often compared to New Order. Not only did they share the same label, Factory, but also they wrote sounds like this. The shimmering guitar of ‘Melancholy Man’ and muted vocals deserve to me remembered for much longer than they have been. The song featured on their sophomore album Here Comes Everybody. Have a great week.
John Coltrane’s second wife was Alice Coltrane née Alice McLeod. Alice was able to establish herself in her own right as a talented composer and performer. None more so than on the Astral Jazz album Ptah, the El Daoud. More specifically, listen to her late-night piano solo on ‘Turiya and Ramakrishna’. Soothing jazz and blues to take us into the weekend. Have a good one.
Oregon-born James Timothy Hardin is probably best known for his hit single ‘If I Were a Carpenter’ that has been covered by the likes of Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Robert Plant, Small Faces and Bert Jansch. It featured on his sophomore album, Tim Hardin 2, for the short-lived Verve Forecast label. The album also contain a son that I admire even more… ‘Black Sheep Boy’ has been covered by Scott Walker and Okkervil River. The Black Sheep Boy died of of a heroin overdose in 1980.