Thursday, December 30, 2010

Letta Mbulu - Buza (There's A Light At The End Of A Tunnel) (1978)

Seeing as how I'm up late, and attempting to get to bed, I was not trying to anoint a new Joint Of The Day right now. But one just fell into my lap. You can always tell a great track 'round about the time you realize it's the fourth time you've had the needle on repeat, and when it's getting close to the end, all you want to do is listen to it again.

This is a thrift store record, vintage Elliott Road PTA. Letta Mbulu, the track is Buza (There's A Light At The End Of A Tunnel), off her LP Letta, released 1978 on A&M. She sings this particular cut in Xhosa, and it uses a Mbaqanga rhythm. That's what it says in the notes. Co-written with her by the legendary Motown producer/songwriter Lamont Dozier.


The album was co-produced by Herb Alpert, Stewart Levine, and Letta's husband Caiphus Semenya. Featuring a huge ensemble of horn players and percussionists, including Paulinho da Costa. Plus other standout tracks of a disco-funk-afro-jazz flavor, including Baile Baneso and I Can Depend On You. The whole package is positive, powerful, and Letta imparts some deep wisdom on the inner sleeve:
"I feel that the spirit of the music I make is universal, like the soul of man. It transcends all psychological, cultural and racial barriers. Love, Peace, and Progress - Letta Mbulu"
Buza is my fave. I'm diggin' it. And unfortunately, it's not available on YouTube, although you can get a taste of another track off Letta, Jikijela Ngamatje.

(Note from July, 2014 - It took four and a half years, until this past May, but somebody finally got wise to what a crime against humanity it was that this track was missing from the YouTube multiverse and uploaded it! Mad props to Zakhele Gumede!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Greg Perry - It Takes Heart (1982)

This cut right here became the Joint Of The Day because someone bought a sealed copy from me on eBay yesterday, so today it was in my head. The extended 12" version of It Takes Heart by Greg Perry, on Alfa Records. A true "modern soul" classic, sealed since it was released in '82. Just to give it extra Northern Soul cred, the first verse includes the lyrics "Be strong, when things go wrong...just KEEP THE FAITH!"



A couple months ago, I got onto a mini-Northern Soul kick after re-reading Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, the essential DJ history published in 2000 by dance music journalists Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton.

I didn't go nuts hunting down obscure stomper 45s, but definitely paid a little more attention to the singles I've come across since then while haunting the thrift store aisles, and ended up with a few choice finds as a result.

Anyway, around this time I was psyched to spot this track in my Lost City back stock (with a probable heritage stretching back to Funhouse Records of Greensboro). Not psyched enough to hold onto it, but maybe I should have, because it's really pretty beautiful.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Odyssey - Use It Up and Wear It Out (1980)

Xmas nite, and on the way back from a fun holiday party in a gorgeous Carrboro home lined with artwork by tons of the most talented Chapel Hill/Carrboro artists around, I had to share this tune with my fellow Xmas travelers. Use It Up and Wear It Out by Odyssey. Whose original lead singer Tony Reynolds died earlier this year (February 4, 2010) at his home in Jamaica, Queens, New York.


Great live performance footage in this video. Amazingly, this track hit #1 in the UK for two weeks in the summer of 1980, yet failed to crack the U.S. Hot 100. WTF?! All I can figure is that the American disco backlash was in full swing, and Use It Up was a casualty.

It was one of the highlights of the mix CD that Hot Damn Stewart dropped on me during his infamous visit to Chapel Hill from the Left Coast back in the spring of '09. The occasion for its replay was that earlier in the night, I got an Xmas txt msg from Hot Damn.

So we drove through the deserted streets of Carrboro, snow still falling all around us, enjoying a beautiful white Christmas as we rocked out to a funky, funky soundtrack from the late disco era.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Alex Bradford and Company - Fighting For Pharaoh (1972)

It is so annoying that today's special Christmas Joint Of The Holiday is not on YouTube.

The track is Fighting For Pharaoh - an amazingly deep number off the original Broadway cast recording LP to the musical revue Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, released 1972 on Polydor. It was the first of several musicals with lyrics and music written by composer Micki Grant, who in 1965 became the first black cast member on a daytime soap opera.


Fighting For Pharaoh is off the chain.  Basically, famed gospel singer Alex Bradford - with backing from his wife, the gospel accompanist Alberta Bradford (RIP 2010), plus Bobby Hill, Charles Campbell, and the rest of the company - breaks things down as to how since time immemorial, people have been fighting and dying for every conceivable reason, including oil, gold, and flags on a pole.  So "before we lose our humanity...let's put a stop to this insanity...and turn our children's history books around.  Not dying, but living...for PEACE."

It's a message we should all take to heart every day, not just on Christmas. And a truly powerful gospel-soul anthem.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mongo Santamaria - Cloud Nine (1969)

From the seminal, proto-funk Stone Soul LP, released in 1969. Featuring Luis Gasca on trumpet. This is a perfect example of how one Joint Of The Day leads to the next. Last night I was digging Gasca's trumpet licks with Santana on Para Los Rumberos, so I dug a little deeper, and discovered he also worked extensively with Mongo Santamaria, one of the godfathers of Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz-funk-soul.



What can I say about this track? It's funky as it gets and a breaker classic.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Santana - Para Los Rumberos (1971)

Closing cut from Santana's third album (Santana, aka III, which hit #1 on the charts when it dropped in September of '71), this track came to me from a very nice 3-album Columbia Records sampler called The Music People that I picked up at the thrift sto' over the past couple months. TPM was responsible for at least one previous JOTD, also circa 1971, Calico Baby by Dreams. But today was the day I finally listened to sides 5 & 6. Which is strange, because of the 40 Columbia artists featured on the sampler, Santana got top billing, before Dylan, Blood Sweat & Tears, or Ten Years After. So you'd think their cut would have appeared on an earlier side. Whatever. This track was originally written by Tito Puente, and his version was featured on the soundtrack to Carlito's Way.



Musicians included 17-year old Neal Schon on guitar, who would later help form Journey. And the legendary Luis Gasca on trumpet, who was in Janis Joplin's band during the Woodstock era, and appeared on notable albums by the Jefferson Airplane, Van Morrison, Joe Henderson, George Benson, and Tito Puente, in addition to a few of his own. Wow, now I gotta find his 1st LP, The Little Giant, it had a super lineup of Hubert Laws on flute, Joe Henderson on tenor sax, and Herbie Hancock on piano. Gasca probably did his funkiest work on a series of 60s Afro-Cuban jazz-funk-soul records by conga master Mongo Santamaria, who also played on The Little Giant.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Crusaders - Heavy Up (Don't Get Light With Me) (1973)

After playing the tight title track from the Crusaders' Unsung Heroes LP (1973) on Choice Sides this past Sunday, I had to check the rest of it out. And wasn't disappointed. This cut is a stomper. Written by Joe Sample. A funky little track where everything falls into place just like the planets aligning in harmony, and a great soundtrack for the day of the lunar eclipse on the winter solstice, first time since 1638. It was a little cloudy out there in my neck of the Chapel Hill woods, but I saw things go down with my own eyes as the moon slipped into darkness, and it was cool.


The rest of Unsung Heroes is solid, too. Night Theme is the perfect track to hang with when you're working into the wee hours, Let's Boogie cooks, and Freedom Sound is beautiful. "What a shame," said my Choice Sides co-host Obliveon. "They used to be the world's greatest hard bop group." Well, you can argue the merits of jazz-funk fusion vs. the real jazz shit all you want, and I like both, but jazz nuts and funkateers alike can agree this album right here is a winner.

And as of right now, Heavy Up isn't on YouTube. In fact, none of the Crusaders tracks mentioned in this post are. WTF?! Good candidates for future SOUL YouTube channel uploads.

(Note from May, 2012 - looks like about six months ago, somebody finally came correct and added this gem to the YouTube multiverse. So we could in turn pass it along.)

(Note from July, 2014 - Unfortunately, that one got taken down. But thanx to FunkJazz Did, it's back up. Nice looking out!)

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, December 20, 2010

Deodato - September 13 (1972)

Another re-run from yesterday's edition of Choice Sides, this jazz-funk track spoke to me. The spaced-out vibe that kicks in once the horns and guitar solos get going seemed a fitting way to welcome the impending lunar eclipse.



It was the closing cut from Brazilian keyboardist (and future disco/funk producer) Eumir Deodato's Prelude LP (1972), his first US release, which went gold, selling 200,000+ copies and hitting #3 on the Billboard album charts, an amazing feat for a jazz record. And as I was schooled by Solomon Gibson III, host of WCOM's Backbone, Prelude helped spell the beginning of the end for CTI Records. As label owner Creed Taylor began looking to replicate Deodato's success, the label's jazz mainstays started heading for the exits, decamping to other labels where they weren't as pressured to achieve cross-over sales.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sisters and Brothers – Sisters and Brothers (1972) (DJ Crimson Death Remix)

Here's my latest Joint Of The Day, it's actually from a while ago, but I looked at it again last night and decided it deserved honorary "double-jointed" status for the second go-round.

The track is originally from this kids' record called Free To Be You And Me that Marlo Thomas produced in 1972, in partnership with the Ms. Magazine Foundation. All the songs were designed to teach kids positive lessons about gender and racial equality. I found a really scratched up copy at the thrift store, then scored a better one in the dolla bin at All Day Records! It was actually in the kids section, but it was still one buck. Unfortunately, the two best songs were gouged and skip! WTF. Silly crumbsnatchers.


But, it doesn't matter. Becuz the joint I'm digging most is a YouTube-only remix of one of the best two tracks – Sisters and Brothers. It's remixed by DJ Crimson Death with an accompanying video remix of footage from the 1974 TV SPECIAL featuring all kinds of superstars including MJ & Roberta Flack.

- Dyn-O-Mite

One Way - Hold It (1981)

Today's joint has been my favorite for the past few days...this song right here. It's by One Way, whose biggest hit was Cutie Pie in 1982. They were originally known as Al Hudson & The Partners.



I love Hold It's final jam in particular, the funk just keeps funkin', no fade, no letting up, just boom boom boom, slapping every booty on the floor with horn blasts and that fierce, thumping bassline.

I've been on a One Way kick lately, scoring three of their classic records thanx to the usual suspects - the local thrift store circuit and the dollar bins at All Day Records, which is where I picked up the LP this track dates from, Fancy Dancer (1981). Still with the original Record Bar price sticker on it ($5.99).

Back in the day nearly 30 years ago, that was a significant chunk of change. But it was worth it if you were getting records like this one. Also slammin' on here is Get Up (If you don't know how to get down...shoulda told me!), Come Give Me Your Love, and Burn It. Plus beautiful slow jams, the kind One Way served up so well (Your Love Is All I Need and Show Me).

- Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, October 30, 2010

SOUL Show #2 (Special Gospel Edition) - 10/30/10

Notes from the hosts:

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in October, the second Soul'ed Out, UnLtd. radio show went down in Carrboro from 3-4 pm, with your faithful hosts DJ's Old-Time Granny and Dyn-O-Mite along for the ride. It was the day before Halloween, and we kicked out a special gospel edition. Mad props going out to our long-distance virtual guest DJ for the day, C-line from the ATL, who hooked us up with her Top 3 gospel tracks so we could do a C-line countdown!

As it turned out, both of us brought lots more tracks than we had time to play. Especially since this show was a shorter than usual, one-hour-version of the SOUL experience. So maybe we'll do another gospel show sometime. Continuing his run as SOUL's most loyal listener, DJ Tongue called in another request. And we had fans worldwide bug us after the fact for the podcast.

One track we ran out of time for was by Marvin Gaye – God Is Love (1971) (the LP version from What's Going On, not the original 7" version). This was especially unfortunate - the track clocks in at less than 2 minutes, and not only did both of us bring this LP, we both chose that song as the one that most needed sharing!



SETLIST

Intro - Soul'ed Out, UnLtd. theme
BeBe & CeCe Winans – Heaven (Heavenly Dub) (1988)
PG&E – Are You Ready? (1970)
Edwin Birdsong – Possessed (Take The Evil Spirits Away) (1975)

TALK SET #1

Kirk Franklin & The Family – Melodies From Heaven (Remix) (1996) (C-line's #3 pick)
Ebbo – The Way (produced by Osunlade)
New Jersey Mass Choir – I Want To Know What Love Is 12" (1985)
Shackleford Singers – God Is All Over Me
Main Ingredient – Why Can't We All Unite (1971) (from Black Seeds LP)

TALK SET #2

Dottie Peoples – He's An On Time God (2004) (C-line's #2 pick)
MC Hammer – Pray (1990)

TALK SET #3

Lauryn Hill & Tanya Blount – His Eye Is On The Sparrow (1993) (from Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit) (C-line's #1 pick)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sharon Redd - You Got My Love (Special Remixed Version) (1981)

Here's one I'm straight up fiending for lately. Sharon Redd - You Got My Love (Special Remixed Version, aka Francois K. 12" remix), it was the flip to the Francois K. remix of Can You Handle It, the original 12" dropped in 1981.



Still spinning and remixing today, Francois K. is one-third of the DJ emsemble Body & Soul, along with Joe Claussell and Danny Krivit. Dedicated to keeping the original communal, positive spirit of underground disco alive in the tradition of the Loft and the Garage, their next U.S. event is on Sunday, January 16, 2011 at Webster Hall in NYC.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

SOUL Show #1 (Collector's Edition) - 9/3/10

DOWNLOAD PODCAST

Notes from the hosts:

After kicking it live tag-team style on old school jams all summer long, unlocking the funk at spots like Fuse, Milltown, and Lucky #7, DJ's Old-Time Granny and Dyn-O-Mite finally made it behind the decks at WCOM. We sent the overheated summer of '10 out in style on the first night of Labor Day weekend.

Lots of great DJs have come and gone in this town over the years (not to mention all the ones still in the house). But it's safe to say that the hours from 10-midnight on that Friday were among the funkiest to ever hit the airwaves around here!

Some listeners from far-away spots like H-town (Henderson, NC), FLA, and Hot-lanta tuned in on our live online worldwide stream after getting the SOUL lowdown via Facebook. DJ Tongue called in AND e-mailed us his funk-da-fied requests. That's a loyal listener right there.

And we hooked up the vintage Lost City boombox and a rotating disco light just inside the station's barbed wire fence to create the bare bones edition of Club Taqueria, the first step towards realizing SOUL Productions' velvet rope parking lot dreams! Even with a low-rent soundsystem and no frills ambience, some funk-lovin' late night revelers were spotted getting their boogie on. It was a party at the taco truck, with good tunes and eats all around.

Aside from the missing 40 minutes of this show getting LOST FOREVER in an inaugural technical f-up, everything flowed like butter. SOUL #1 was mad fun!


SETLIST

Intro - Soul'ed Out, UnLtd. Theme
Pointer Sisters – Happiness (1978)

TALK SET #1

Stacy Lattisaw – Dynamite (1980)
Luther Vandross – Sugar and Spice (1981)
Free Style – The Party Has Begun (1984) (written and produced by "Pretty" Tony Butler)
YBM feat. Mark Twayne – What's Going On (1998)
Thank God It's Friday trailer (1978)
Eighties Ladies - Ladies of the Eighties (1980) (written and produced by Roy Ayers)

TALK SET #2

Digital Emotion – Get Up, Do You Wanna Funk (Action) (1983)
Shannon – Do You Wanna Get Away (1985)
Detroit Emeralds – Let's Get Together (1978)
Roy Ayers – Freaky Deaky (1978)
Ralph Carter – Higher and Higher (1976) (mixed by Tom Moulton)

TALK SET #3

---The Infamous Missing 40 Minutes, final third of SOUL #1---

L.T.D. – Love To The World (1976)
Skatetown U.S.A. trailer (1979)
The Dazz Band – Skate Lovers (1980)
Ashford & Simpson – Get Up And Do Something (1978)
American Gypsy – I'm OK, You're OK (1980)
The System – Now I Am Electric (1982)
Jago – I'm Going To Go (1983)
Sweetwater – Motherless Child (Live, 1969)

TALK SET #4

Marvin Gaye – A Funky Space Reincarnation (1978)

(Also somewhere in there were the trailer for Disco 9000 (1976), and a PSA featuring the Abominable Snowman & friends reminding listeners to eat their disco veggies.)


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Midnight Powers - Dance (It's My Life) (1981)

I gotta go to bed. Although I just cued up the instrumental version of Midnight Powers - Dance (It's My Life), which is a great track, from the Prime Cuts 1 double LP (1981) on Sugarscoop's Importe/12 label.



- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Trammps - Body Contact Contract (1976)

I just stumbled across a great video for the Trammps' Body Contact Contract track from the Disco Inferno LP (1976), which was also memorably featured on the Space Angel soundtrack:


(Note from years later - This was a video which of course, at some point got deleted by the YouTube fuzz. I can't even remember what was so great about it. But the track remains a classic.)

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ashford & Simpson - Don’t Cost You Nothing (1977)

From Ashford & Simpson's 1977 LP Send It, the track I'm liking today is Don't Cost You Nothing, which sounds like Rose Royce. The extended 12" mix got spun at the Paradise Garage, among other places:



- Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Double Exposure - Everyman (1976)

Right now I'm listening to Double Exposure's Ten Percent LP, for the first time in a few years. I remember this used to be on my heavy rotation, now I can see why, because it's super smooth. Now Everyman has kicked in, which is the best track on the LP, and I'm trippin'.



"Every man has to carry his own weight"...a timely message, indeed. And the instrumentation...wow...the Salsoul Orchestra at its best. Now I just discovered that Joe Claussell of Body & Soul fame did a 10 minute re-edit of this joint, and it sounds great, too.

On the flip, My Love Is Free is the second best jam on here, it went gold.

The title track has the distinction of being the first-ever 12" extended mix released on vinyl. At least that's what I thought. And according to Wikipedia, I was right...the "remix by Walter Gibbons being the first commercially available 12-inch single."

- Dyn-O-Mite

Friday, June 11, 2010

Scientifical R&B at Fuse

Old-Time Granny invited me to come check out this event, where she was spinning some along with a couple of other DJ's including Ethan Clauset, who was spending his summer furiously working to open All Day Records. Next door at Nightlight, local video artist kingpin Neill Prewitt (aka DJ Tongue) was co-hosting a night featuring video shorts from Yuxtapongo and a special out-of-town guest, the dude behind TV Carnage. Mr. (Pinky) Carnage undoubtedly showcased lots of demented weirdness, but all I caught when I ducked my head in there was the Best Of Totally For Teens. This short clip really doesn't do it justice, the whole thing was super funny.

(Note from 2016 - Looks like years later, Pinky got himself a deal with Adult Swim, and T4T was made available for the whole planet to enjoy! That's awesome. But we saw it first at Nightlight!)


It was a fun little scene at Fuse, even tho' I rolled up after the dancefloor crowd had largely dissipated. But me and Old-Time Granny tag-teamed together for the first ever time, an event that led directly to the formation of the international Soul'ed Out, Unltd. juggernaut.

The night's theme was love songs, and here's what rekkids I brought to the table:

Spinners – Once You Fall In Love (1979) (from Here To Eternally LP)

Eddie Kendricks – I Want To Live My Life With You (or) Diamond Girl (1977) (from Slick LP – can't remember which track got played)

Fat Larry's Band – Fascination (1976) (from Feel It LP, written by Luther Vandross & David Bowie)


Muscle Shoals Horns – Addicted To Your Love (1977) (from Doin' It To The Bone LP)

The Originals – Six Million Dollar Man (1977) (from Down To Love Town LP)

- Dyn-O-Mite

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From 2000-2008, Ringside in Durham, NC was the South's coolest nightspot, a decadent refuge for queers and straights alike. Ringside may be gone, but memories of the best damn party in town live on!