Songs I collected in the first quarter of 2016 range from funk to folk and experimental to good old rock and roll.
- Fa Ce La | The Feelies
Ork Records: New York, New York | 2015
Thank god for great reissue labels like Numero Group. You’ll hear another of theirs a little later on this mix. The Feelies’ swagger on this early Ork single version of “Fa Ce La” makes me feel like Ritchie Finestra on the front-end of a bender. But instead of being visited by my dead friend from the Warholian 60s, the dudes from Parquet Courts show up to show me the future.
- Candy Sam | Ty Segall
Emotional Mugger | 2016
Ty + Muggers christened KEXP’s new studio in January, and I was one of the lucky few on hand to witness the spectacle. The supergroup of Cronin, Tuff, et al. worked the funk out of these tunes while Ty’s “old baby” character stole the show with his offers of bodily fluids to host Cheryl Waters. See for yourself.
- I Have Been to the Mountain | Kevin Morby
Singing Saw | 2016
Kevin Morby is the newest recruit to serve under Cass McCombs’ leadership on my team of contemporary male singer-songwriters.
- Sandrine (feat. Loren Oden) | Adrian Younge
Something About April II | 2016
I expected to pass on this Adrian Younge album after a quick run-through, but the quality of arrangements, production, and songwriting, not to mention the strong roster of vocalists keeps me coming back for repeat listens.
- Ride | Lionlimb
Shoo | 2017
I feel a silly sense of pride for Lionlimb. It’s like I was rooting for them for months after “Turnstile”, hoping for the best, fearing the worst, and finally having my expectations exceeded with SHOO.
- No Woman | Whitney
No Woman – Single | 2016
I half expect to hear the disco rhythm of “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” drop in after the horn intro. Dane, do these songs have a shot at a mashup?
- To Live Is to Fly| Townes Van Zandt
High, Low and in Between | 1972
Inspired by Dane’s TVZ shares last year, I’ve been keeping my eye out for Townes Van Zandt albums when I go shopping for vinyl. I found a listenably scuffed copy of HIGH, LOW, AND IN BETWEEN at Holy Cow Records down in the market. AllMusic says Townes considered “To Live Is to Fly” to be his best, and one album in, I have to agree.
- Not Down This Low | Jeff Cowell
Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music | 2016
Thanks again to Numero Group and also DJ Greg Vandy for exposing me to Jeff Cowell’s, “Not Down This Low”. It’s a solid song from a long lost time that rings a little like Great Speckled Bird in my ear.
- Sinner Man | Esquerita
Sinner Man – The Lost Sessions | 1966
Esquerita was a natural destination on my Little Richard exporation last quarter. He did it first, and he even did it weirder. The immediacy and quality of performance of the Sinner Man sessions from 66 drew me in the most. I’m guessing Roky Erickson was a fan and now so am I.
- Insurance Man for the Funk | Bernie Worrell
All the Woo in the World | 1978
Dane’s gift to me last Christmas is a musical “prayer” subscription where I send him a prayer describing the kind of music I’d like to hear, and he hand picks an album to send me in response. In response to my first request, which cited Little Richard and Slim Goodbody, Dane sent me Bernie Worrell’s ALL THE WOO IN THE WORLD, complete with accompanying tutti-frutti jelly beans as rewards for cultivating the four woo-zones in my daily life. It’s as authentically inspiring as it is hilarious. It turns out that 12 minutes and 39 seconds is pretty much exactly the right amount of time to be completely sold on funk insurance. Among the various noteworthy moments throughout this song is the part where I drift off imagining Mitch Hedberg delivering the “annual, semi-annually, or every now and then” line in some standup bit of his. I’m curious about the family plan, but that hundred dollar deductible is a little steep for my low level of funking.
- Muscles (45-33) | Diana Ross
Muscles b/w I Am Me | 1982
I couldn’t help myself. I had an inspiring night DJing a friend’s birthday party where Graham and I got to do a set of 45-33s, and I caught the bug again. Michael Jackson wrote the tune, someone great conceptualized the music video, and Diana Ross needs what the eyes can see, ah. His anatomy.
- Wet My Whistle | Midnight Star
No Parking On the Dance Floor | 1983
Ever since scoring a “Freak-A-Zoid” 7″ last month I’ve been feeling Midnight Star pretty hard. I keep waiting for the shimmer to fade and the songs to turn stale, but no signs of that just yet. So fresh!
- K.O.’s Mask | Rick Weaver
Blue Sky | 2015
Do you find the hamateur Casio fills unforgivingly obnoxious or are they endearing? Rick Weaver falls into the Grandaddy and Beck territory. Is the off-tempo, muffled bass maddening or interesting?
- Flake | Jameszoo
Fool | 2016
We’ll end with a Brainfeeder groove. This one sticks with me.