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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mastermind - Hustle Bus Stop (1977)

There's many contenders for today's joint o the day, but the frontrunner is clear. Comin' courtesy of Mastermind - an obscure 10-piece funk outfit from New York who dropped a self-titled debut LP, and broke up after it didn't sell. Probably b/c it was released on Prelude Records, which at the time was busy churning out classic disco 12-inchers, and anyway, not a big enough label to effectively distribute a disco-funk LP that leaned more heavily towards the funky side. Just my guess.

Or maybe the more well-known jazz/funk drummer Lenny White didn't appreciate the fact that there was anotha cat named Lenny White in this band tryin' to steal his thunder, so he pulled some strings and the album disappeared from stores overnight. That's what's called a funky conspiracy theory.

This LP landed on my turntable after I pulled it outta my stacks b/c they looked super fly posing for the cover shot, and it didn't disappoint. Sounds a lot like Brass Construction. And Mass Production. Produced by Danny Weiss, who as one commentor at helpfully pointed out, "usually worked on stuff that came out on the Vanguard label such as Players Association, The Ring, & Roni Griffith, so he must've been moonlighting on this early Prelude project." Hustle Bus Stop was the single released from this LP. Other nice tracks include Free And Wild, and Disco Party In The Street. Apparently, before this album, they also self-released a single distributed by Brooklyn-based Sun Records called Happy Music w/ Uncle Sam on the flip.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Underground Disco Party @ The Cave Sat Oct 15!

Now that the summer's over, we're takin' the SOUL flava that got stirred to a boil at Club Taqueria UNDERGROUND! Come party with us beneath the streets @ Chapel Hill's oldest nightspot, the Cave! It's an Underground Disco Party, on Saturday night, Oct. 15, from 10 pm – 2 am. The Cave is located at 452 ½ West Franklin Street, down the flight of stairs next door to the West End Wine Bar. Featuring the get-down sounds of disco DJ maniacs Dyn-O-Mite and Leafy Greens!

Here's your chance to test drive the funky 70s outfit you've been planning to rock this Halloween! The Cave has recently upgraded their sound system and added killer dancefloor lights. And it goes without saying that the music's gonna be off the chain. Leafy Greens is packing mind boggling disco re-edits that will have you wondering which decade you're in! Plus we've got some surprises planned for the funky faithful. This night will be mad fun!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Club Taqueria Carrboro Music Festival Edition - Sun 9/25!

With over 180 live acts at 25 different locations popping off in Carrboro this Sunday the 25th, the time is ripe for the unofficial Carrboro Music Festival old school DANCE PARTY! At Club Taqueria, where else. If we have to tell you where that is, you haven't been reading this blog enuf! Come boogie down with us from 9 pm – 12 midnight.

Featuring Leafy Greens and Dyn-O-Mite, and maybe Old-Time Granny if she's not too tired out after co-hosting the first annual Carr Street block party the nite before. New surprises for the Wall of Sight and Sound! And we're sitting on lots of hot jams that didn't get spun when Boogie Salsa got rained out, so the music's gonna be all the way live, guaranteed to put some boogie in your taco!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

SOUL show #7: Soggy Salsa!

WTF was up with that Canadian cold front? Starting Thursday night, it descended like The Mist outta the Stephen King story, dropped the temperature like, 30 degrees, and left everything cold and drizzly for a two-day stretch. F-ing up what would have been a super-fun Boogie Salsa party in the process!

But YOU CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC! So instead we broadcast a legendary set of boogie disco funk over the airwaves on WCOM, streaming live worldwide. Podcast and setlist coming soon. Featuring the night's special guest DJ, Leafy Greens, who busted out many of the rump-shaking, party-startin' old school and re-edited jams he's known for. Plus your regular hosts with the most, Dyn-O-Mite and Old-Time Granny. And also a guest appearance by our man with the funky plan, DJ Tongue! With full strength boogie power provided by our in-studio guest dancers for the night, Hillary Bounce & Terri Lynn Glamour! The Reverend was on the scene, and Amanda, who scored a special love song dedication from Leafy Greens, and Brandon the Wandering Soul (in search of a good bowl of pasta), with last-minute cameos by Club T regulars Rachael Rollergirl and Candace the Disco Queen! And a special shout-out to our pal DJ Exnishus, who helped us maximize the SOUL flava when he came on the scene to get the Ex-Files underway.

For being a Soggy Salsa session, it was still a boogie-ful fun time!

And we will be back with a makeup outdoor showing of TGIF at some point in the future. Until then, in the immortal words of Marv Gomez, "Dancing! Everything else is bullshit!"

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Club Taqueria 5: Boogie Salsa - Friday 9/16!

Where ya gonna be next Friday nite? If you're ready to get funked up, it's anotha party at the taco truck - Club Taqueria 5: Boogie Salsa! Come boogie down at Carrboro's most slammin' FREE old school street party on Friday nite, Sept 16, from 10 pm - 3 am. Location, of course, is Taqueria Jalisco (the taco truck by the Cat's Cradle).

(Super FunkaDelicious Poster by Leafy Greens.)

Our funky guest this time around is Leafy Greens, the smooth DJ cat taking disco-funk into the 21st century! Spinning a seamless blend of old and new school, the funkiest disco-house you'll ever hear.

Plus the night's special outdoor movie, presented in full: Thank God It's Friday! The greatest ever disco flick, straight outta 1978!

Movie starts at 10 pm, DJ's at midnight. Prepare to be mesmerized by the wall of sight and sound! Movie concession stand by the Bikescream crew, with popcorn and yummy, all-organic, locally-produced ice cream sandwiches! RSVP on Facebook and invite some pals to come get down, 'cuz it's gonna be a boogie-ful good time!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Michael Zager Band - Let's All Chant (1978)

Since my friend DJ Babs aka Berrytone assures me I'm on staff at Barry's Video Dance Club, I've been trying to dig up some rare disco video artifacts. Which is how I came across a 1975 audio recording from a 45 record featuring DJ Tee Scott advertising a night at legendary NYC nitespot Better Days, where "your mind will be your flight path," and a late 70s public access commercial for Plato's Retreat, the swingers' club that opened in the space formerly occupied by the Continental Baths, where Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles got their start DJ'ing.

And some vintage video footage from French TV circa 1978 of Studio 54, where the track playing happened to be Let's All Chant, by the Michael Zager Band. Which was one of the tracks that stood out when I recently came across A Night At Studio 54 at the thrift sto'. A continuously mixed two-record set released on Casablanca Records in 1979, it threw together the totally commercial disco hits of the moment like Y.M.C.A, Le Freak, and Shake Your Groove Thing with lesser-known Studio 54 classics like Souvenirs by Voyage and Musique's In The Bush, produced by Patrick Adams. But my favorite overlooked gem was Let's All Chant. So I was totally psyched to find there was an original video, and it's a killer.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Friday, September 2, 2011

John Ozila - Funky Boogie (1979)

Hung out with Leafy Greens this afternoon before heading to Raleigh for First Friday and a couple of great art shows, like Plugged In @ Lump, feat. video installations by Neill Prewitt aka DJ Tongue and Seoen Sung, plus recent works by Ashley Florence, Lee Delegard, and Jason Osborne, among others. And This Wild Desire at The Morning Times, a solo show of amazing new paintings by the next Robert Rauschenberg, aka Lincoln Hancock.

Before that all went down, LG re-acquainted me to some of the goodies he was playing for us the night before outside the Open Eye. Like Moon Jocks & Prog Rocks by Mungolian Jetset (the Todd Terje re-edit). And Fait Le Chat (Do The Cat), by El Coco. The competition for today's JOTD was fierce. I would have to go with John Ozila's Funky Boogie, circa 1979.

This cut is an afro-salsa funk monster from France that I'd never heard before, but is apparently well known in Europe because it was used in recent years in a friggin' Lipton Ice Tea commercial starring Hugh Jackman, WTF. Very little info is out there on the interwebs about John Ozila, so he rates a more in-depth SOUL investigation in the future. Regardless, the track is seriously off the chain and hopefully LG will bust it out when he appears as our special guest DJ at the next Club T. That's Club Taqueria 5: Boogie Salsa, coming up Friday, September 16! The music is gonna be super duper bumpin', so be there!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Hot Chocolate - Heaven Is In The Back Seat Of My Cadillac (1976) (The Revenge Edit)

Brainstorming about future Club Taquerias and other live events, I sat down with newcomer to the SOUL fold Leafy Greens this evening outside the Open Eye in beautiful downtown Carrboro. I wish we'd had a proper sound system to connect to his laptop, b/c he was playing some truly funky shit for us. People were walking by and jamming to the beat, even though it was just the two of us huddled around the screen, straining to hear. And wish I could remember all of the re-edits he turned me on to, but I definitely remember this one, a re-imagining of Hot Chocolate's Heaven Is In The Back Seat Of My Cadillac.

Originally off their 3rd LP, Man to Man, released in 1976, which was largely overlooked in the U.S., peaking at #172 on the Billboard 200. As opposed to 1975's Hot Chocolate (feat. You Sexy Thing), which hit #41, and Every 1's A Winner from 1978, which charted at #31 thanks to the strength of the title track. Anyway, this edit from The Revenge brings the funk.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Slave - Party Lites (1981)

Thinking about roller disco got me digging into some old tapelists, until I uncovered Disco Funk 3: Roller Funk Disco Boogie. Which was a pretty awesome 90-minute mix, I guess it was designed for a 100-min cassette. And a full third of the tracks were classic enuf to have been dug outta the crates and spun at one of the first four Club Taqueria parties over the past few weeks!

But when I re-discovered this track I was really digging it. Mostly becuz it's so smooth and roller-friendly, it just sounds phenomenal. Then I heard the line where Steve Arrington testifies, "We gonna skate 'til the dawn comes!" That's when I really knew this was a roller funk anthem.

And my hunch was confirmed when I found that line inscribed at the top of the homepage for, a very cool website from the Netherlands devoted to keeping alive the tradition of "funky rhythm roller skating."

Off Slave's 1981 LP Show Time, the last featuring Arrington on vocals and drums, and one I've always dug for its cover art, which depicts an intergalactic concert hall packed with deep space music lovers ready to have a good time. "Party Lites" hit #21 on the dance charts. The album itself went to #7 R&B, and #46 on the Billboard 100.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Manzel - Midnight Theme (1979)

This track is supposedly the rarest one to appear on the 25-volume Ultimate Breaks and Beats LP series that dropped between 1986-91 on Street Beat Records. Granted, this designation is based on some random Wikipedia user's contribution, who might just be the former label-owner of Fraternity Records (where this track originated), sitting on a pile of vintage unsold Manzel 7-inchers and hoping to unload them someday at highway robbery prices on eBay.

The original version from 1979 is pretty slamming, but Kenny Dope crafted an extended remix that's stretched out and even more awesome.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Cher - Hell On Wheels (1979)

Having first been exposed to Hell on Wheels during the epic opening credits of Roller Boogie, I really didn't think it could get much better. But tonite I discovered a video for the 12" extended mix featuring some old pics of Cher rollerskating that date from when she apparently used to rent out roller rinks and throw private roller disco parties for her friends. That in turn led me to Cher's original Casablanca Records-produced video for this track, one of the first bona fide pre-MTV music videos, and was astounded.

Cher was a freakin' maximum strength disco goddess, and this clip is all the proof you need. Not to mention a 70s motivational guru right up there in the pantheon alongside the guy who wrote I'm OK, You're OK and Dr. Cash - "See something you like, better go for it, see something you want, better get down on it!"

Too bad it only hit #59 on the Billboard charts. But it dropped in the closing months of 1979, just as the decade was ending and mainstream America was finally waking up to the fact that the disco craze they got hipped to by John Travolta was (shock) actually a black and gay thing! Hide your wives, hide your kids!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, August 29, 2011

Burrito Boogie Blasted Off!

Mad props to all the disco-fied souls who braved the wrath of Hurricane Irene to come out and party with us at Burrito Boogie! Lotsa lotsa fun...the 4th edition of Club Taqueria was the best one yet. At the height of the night, half the parking lot was full with folks getting down, more than a few with burritos in hand!

Special thanx due to Candace the Disco Design Queen, who rolled up to the party on a funky, yarn-covered two-wheeler and helped us get things looking right. After she was done, the wall of sight and sound never looked better!

Imani the Dancing Machine popped by for a repeat visit, and Rachael Rollergirl showed up just in time to catch Jim Bray saving Linda Blair from an out-of-control roller-skate dude during the first of many epic skating scenes at Jammer's.
Birthday Girl Lindsay and her pal Lew aka Disco Lolita were both dressed to impress. They turned the glam quotient up high by requesting some Xanadu action later in the nite, and we hooked them up! Philly Matt and DJ Leafy Greens kept things cooking with their smooth dance moves, and at the party's peak LG whipped out his video stick to capture it all for posterity.

All video stills courtesy of Leafy Greens.

Highlights included Locksmith unlocking the funk with "Blackjack," boogie funk straight outta Houston with Videeo's "Thang (Gimme Some Of That Thang)," vintage disco circa '75 with "Save A Place" by the Trammps, and Bobby Thurston rockin' the nite's #1 jam, "You've Got What It Takes."

The Carrboro cops even brought the disco flavor when they pulled some poor bastard over in front of Taqueria Jalisco (shout-out to Roberto Jr. for slinging tasty eats all nite long), blue lights flashing! This was before they turned out to be true dicks by shutting us down at 2:45 am, denying the dancefloor the last few songs of the nite. If you were there, you know Club Taqueria was THE place to be! If you couldn't make it, bummer! Until next time, in the immortal words of Gerry Bledsoe, "Keep your minds together, your hearts full of love, and let's keep this thing we call SOUL alive." And in the nearly-as-immortal words of Imani, "FUCK Hurricane Irene!"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Southside Movement - Save The World (1974)

Haven't laid down any JOTD's lately b/c we've been busy! But here's a gem that popped up this afternoon as I was trying to recover from the previous nite's Burrito Boogie.

Straight outta Chi-town, Southside Movement dropped three albums from '73-'75 before calling it quits. "Save The World" is from their second LP, Movin', which is chock full of vintage street funk circa 1974.

It's been sampled by the Beastie Boys & Beck (has that fool renounced Scientology yet? Let's hope so...), among others, and appeared on Vol. 22 of the influential Ultimate Breaks and Beats LP series.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Club Taqueria: Back By Popular Demand!

Last weekend's party brought the funk. Special thanx to our guest DJ Tongue, master of beatbox disaster, and mad spinner of party-starter jointz. Tongue blew up the spot!

Dancers came out to get down, peeps dug the flickering images on the wall of sight and sound from classics like Liquid Sky and Wild Style, and some tasty beats were served up hot & spicy.

Electric Burrito's Revenge! Photos by Tongue & Groove.

So guess what...the Club T flava is comin' back atcha! It's Club Taqueria 4: Burrito Boogie! Anotha FREE street party at the Taqueria Jalisco taco truck (next door to Cat's Cradle - 206 E. Main St, Carrboro), on Saturday nite, Aug 27, from 11 pm – 3 am.

This time, we're presenting a special pre-party movie in full, the greatest roller disco flick on wheels...Roller Boogie! Showtime is 11 pm, and we will run out of chairs, so bringing your own is encouraged.

Our guest DJ is DJ Taco Libre, Latino Man of Mystery! As always, e-mail your funk, disco, soul, and old school hip hop requests to, and we'll hook you up.

When the movie's over, we boogie!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Anotha Street Party at Club Taqueria!

We had such a good time getting down this past weekend two nights in a row at Club Taqueria, we're gonna do it again!

So, get ready for Club Taqueria 3: Electric Burrito's Revenge! It's a FREE street party at the Taqueria Jalisco taco truck (next door to Cat's Cradle - 206 E. Main St, Carrboro), on Saturday nite, Aug 20, from 11 pm – 3 am.

Along with your regularly scheduled turntable hosts, this weekend's special funky guest DJ is DJ Tongue, of Tongue & Groove fame! E-mail us your soul, funk, disco, and old school hip hop requests to, and we'll hook you up.

Be prepared to shake your taco, and c-ya there!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Drive-By Disco Party and Spirit of '76 at The End Unit

For the past couple of summers, DJ's Old-Time Granny and Tongue (aka Tongue & Groove) have been maintaining a relaxed living environment at their Carrboro crib, affectionately known to visitors as "The End Unit."

Party starters at The End Unit, May 2011. Photo by Old-Time Granny.

Recently they hosted a movie nite at their place curated by yours truly. Utilizing the new indoor screening room that just got rolled out within the past week, in part to cope with the ongoing oppressive temperatures of the Great Heat Dome of 2011. And a new, giant wall-sized screen devised by Tongue and unveiled for the first-ever time that night!

The consensus flick turned out to be The Spirit of '76, which I first discovered sitting on the living room couch at a Pink House movie nite back in the day. But this latest showing didn't get underway without much haggling and vote-trading in favor of other contenders (since it's safe to say every audience member in attendance was a certified film freak, with Claudio getting special props becuz it turns out he used to host a long-running outdoor movie series in his backyard on Lindsay Street, showing 75 flicks in all). Including another Chez Pink fave, Beyond The Valley of the Dolls, plus Lost City classics like Psych-Out ("Taste a Moment of Madness! Listen to the Sound of Red!") and Over The Edge, and a very recent discovery, I Was A Teen-Age Zombie, which I think sat on our dollar rental shelf for years, although it should have been a store favorite. Based only on the short clips I've seen so far of the Weed-Man ripping some dude's face off, once he's been turned into a zombie by the toxic lake that he was either pushed or fell into when he wouldn't give kids back their "monies" for a refund on the bad "marah-jahooby" he sold them.

Anyway, Spirit of '76 didn't disappoint, as Leif Garrett aka Eddie Trojan put some kung fu fighting on the CIA so he could get back to "hustling" with Olivia D'Abo, "Downtown" Julie Brown dropped knowledge on Heinz 57 about how Watergate really started with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, and Adam 11 aka David Cassidy learned about Tang and all the other good stuff the astronauts did for mankind from Chris Johnson and Tommy Sears, aka Jeff and Steve McDonald from Redd Kross, the coolest kids ever to rock a pair of banana bikes. As our time-traveling heroes made it back safely with the cultural knowledge they'd gathered and turned the bleak future of 2176 into a sunny disco paradise, the credits rolled, leaving us cheering and getting our couch boogie on.

At which point we were spotted by other revelers from the street who decided to come join the fun. Starring frequent 401 Pritchard traveler and Fly Five sista Alexis (who beat out like, 500 other costumed kids with her amazing sea algae outfit to take home the title of costume contest queen the night before), and her friend Jason, who was celebrating his birthday, plus his whole birthday crew. They were actually politely waiting out in the parking lot for the movie to finish, but busted in immediately after it ended, just like emissaries from a future dancefloor!

Alexis rockin' a past costume contest-winning outfit at 401 Pritchard, May 2004

Then a drive-by disco party erupted, kickin' off with Bobby Thurston's "You Got What It Takes" (a Francois K mix), followed by Suzy Q reminding us to "Get On Up" (during which Jason showcased his mad breakdancing and shoes-on-the-hands air moonwalking skills), continuing on and on via some Trammps and Debbie Jacobs, with OTG serving up a healthy mix of Sylvia Stripland's "You Can't Turn Me Away" and other Roy Ayers productions sprinkled throughout, and climaxing with the epic 10-minute Alkebu-centric opus known as "The Crown," music by Stevie Wonder mixed with knowledge by Gary Byrd, aka "Professor of the Rap," which Tongue found recently in Raleigh. Old-Time Granny and Alexis were both Dancefloor MVPs, as they made sure the whole joint was jumpin'.

The drive-by dance party extended the entire movie nite until well past the midnight hour, so we were all jamming and singing along to "The Crown" well into Sunday morning. A "toad-ally awesome," unplanned jam.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mandrill - Fencewalk (1973) (from Super Bad Is Back!)

Today's Cinco De Mayo, latin-funk flavored JOTD is going out to a pal of mine from back home in RI who just gave our blog props on her FB page. Way back in the 2nd grade day, I moved to a new neighborhood in my hometown and started going to a new school. My new classmates included a sweet girl named Kim Patton (Descoteaux), who lived right down the road from this school, close enough to have supposedly invited a homeless dude who may or may not have lived at the playground to follow her home for Christmas.

At the time, I was rockin' out to the killer heavy metal sounds of Kiss. My ideal radio station would have been KISS-FM, as long as that meant a station playing all-Kiss, all the time. 'Cuz I was a young dude, and that's what we did circa 1978. Kiss were our Gods of Thunder. But unbeknownst to me, Kim was already tuned into the funk! She was throwing blue light parties at her place listening to the K-Tel classic, Super Bad Is Back. "This was my FAVORITE record in 2nd grade," says Kim, "me and Tracy Perron used to roller skate to it in my basement." It was probably the coolest record K-Tel ever put out, originally released in 1973, and packed with 20 tracks of super funky soul and disco. Don't take my word, watch Joe Simon hosting the original (Canadian TV) ad:

So here's what I think Kim told me was her fave track, Fencewalk by Mandrill. From their biggest-ever LP, Composite Truth, which also dropped in '73. It was the funkiest cut on all of Super Bad Is Back, beating out stompers by James Brown, Fred Wesley, Kool & The Gang, Curtis Mayfield, EWF, the O'Jays, and even the Chakachas' infamous sex funk hit Jungle Fever, which ended up on the Boogie Nights soundtrack.

YouTube has also got a short clip of Mandrill performing this track LIVE when it first came out.

Whenever the SOUL crew gets our shit together enuf to throw a blue-light basement roller-skating party, we'll be spinning this track as a shout-out to Kim!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Deodato - Are You For Real (1984)

From Eumir Dedato's 1984 LP Motion, feat. Camille on vocals. This LP either recently materialized in the dolla bins at All Day Records, or as a $2 record in the stack I picked up at the Carrboro Record Show last Sunday. All but one of which I bought from Gene Brown's friend Paul O'Boyle.

And as luck would have it, I already had a copy in my Lost City back stock that was ready for sale. But whatever, now I can sell it instead of hanging outo it like I would have done otherwise. Becuz it's a classic track with a timeless feel, it spent 12 weeks on the Billboard Top 20 Dance Chart.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Poussez! - Come On And Do It (1979)

Where'd you learn to funk like that? This joint came from today's Carrboro Record Show, out of the stack I picked up from Gene Brown's friend Paul O'Boyle, who runs a Charlotte record label. Old-Time Granny and myself were sucked into his selection immediately, becuz one of the first things we saw on his table was a great record, with no price on it. And when we asked him how much it was, he didn't give it a second thought, he was like, oh, a dollar. So that was all it took, we dug through all the funk & disco stuff he had. This was before we found out he and Gene were tight.

The highlight of the show was seeing my man Gene again after at least ten years. I would trade records with Gene back when the Lost City first opened, after he came through a couple of times and mentioned that he was into old school.

DJ Jaycee, Dave West, and Gene Brown in Hotlanta (January, 2009)

He was also pals with Jacob Ehrmann, the cat who had a tough time returning rentals within a reasonable time frame. I particularly remember him checking out the Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo cult flick Forbidden Zone from our dolla rental section and then keeping it indefinitely, to the point where I eventually made a housecall and went by his place to try and retrieve the tape. I don't even know if we even found it, since Jacob had a ridiculously cluttered crib. He was a beat junkie and producer, and his place was truly a vinyl graveyard. Lots and lots and lots of records, stacked up everywhere you turned. I was in awe, and of course, all I wanted to do was dig through the stacks, so looking for the tape took a backseat to that. But Jacob always gave our store lots of hookups when he worked at Kinko's back in the day, so it all evened out.

Then Gene helped me DJ both the infamous 70s-themed parties that we threw at the Lakehouse during the summer of '98. Nothing I can say about these parties will do them justice, at some point I may have to post the scene reports I wrote from that summer just so I can link to something here backing up my claims. Or REALLY get my shit together and transfer the videotaped evidence from HI-8 to a more YouTube-friendly format. Let's just say that things got fairly wild and crazy.

When I first got to the Century Center today, OTG greeted me with a copy of Breakin' Out, the Fat Larry's Band full-length from '82 with Act Like You Know and Zoom. I think the guy wanted $4 for it. And she was saving for me, but I had no cash. So I asked him to hold it. And then forgot all about it. Just like I also lost my water bottle. Mercury was in retrograde, and shit was all out of wack. I wasn't the only one losing stuff. DJ Tongue was AWOL from the show for a good while becuz he'd dropped his iPhone, and was frantically retracing his steps through the streets of Carrboro looking for it. Eventually, somebody found it, and all was good. Meanwhile, I was on a mad quest to find twenny bucks to cover the stack I'd picked out from Paul's stuff, which meant trying unsuccessfully to (a) convince the clerks at Carrboro's upscale mini-mart to let me trade a credit card slip for cash, without making a purchase of any kind (which should demonstrate the mania I was feeling that afternoon as I felt myself sinking further and further into a temporary vinyl addiction relapse); and (b) get cash back from a banana purchase at the Teeter, something I never do, and of course, it didn't work properly - a big NO THANKS going out to Wells Fargo, whose takeover of Wachovia is giving me a headache, in addition to making my bank owned by a wack bunch of greedy banksters who had no qualms about funding payday loans and subprime mortagages in the very recent past, and are probably still up to their eyeballs in other shady business; before (c) breaking down and driving into downtown Chapel Hill to visit an ATM.

I could have avoided all this hassle by simply bringing some cash with me to the show. But that would have encouraged me to buy records. Just like recently, when I stepped into that same upscale mini-mart with Old-Time Granny and Tongue, this time to actually purchase some beverages. No sooner had I offered to pony up three bucks towards the tab when Tongue was like, oh too bad All Day is closed, we could have gone over there and bought 3 dolla rekkids! And OTG was all over that, she said, "Oh no, are you sure they're closed? Maybe there's somebody still in there!"

Okay, so the record in question is by Poussez! Pronounced "Poo-say," as the cover helpfully points out. There's also a translation, which I just noticed for the first time ("Poussez (French verb, active; imperative mood) - PUSH!"). This was entirely an Alphonse Mouzon production (produced, arranged, and conducted by, plus "all keyboards, synthesizers, bass synthesizer, drums, percussion, vocals"), with Randy Brecker among the guest musicians and a bunch of sexy female vocalists (The Poussez Singers), two of whom may or may not have been the foxes featured on the cover.

(UPDATE 8/16/11 - Since Alphonse succeeded in getting his videos pulled from the dastardly YouTube, I foresee versions of this track will only be sporadically available in the future during the lag time between when fans upload them and when they're taken down. IMHO, old school artists whose hits dropped thirty-plus years ago should realize that YouTube is a valuable promotional channel to catalyze paid downloads of their dusty grooves. Far more than the marginal revenue they stand to lose from the tech-savvy population of users who simply download YouTube videos and convert them into MP3's. Let's face it, most music consumers in 2011 have no idea who Alphonse Mouzon is or that he created some great tracks back in the day. So taking action to shut down one of the few ways new fans might discover him is extremely counter-productive).

This was a record that Paul swore up and down I would dig if I was into disco. So I went with it, despite the fact that the cover had been shot through with a freaking BB gun! WTF is that about? That's some little kid f-ing up his big brother's record collection shit right there.

But it was the first track we listened to when we got back to Old-Time Granny and Tongue's place, and it didn't disappoint. The LP version is what we heard, and it sounded great, but the video included here is the original 12" mix, which is even better.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shadow - Born To Hustle (1981)

Yesterday, I got the first taste of the party flyer for an upcoming event in O-Town hosted by our West Coast funk correspondent Hot Damn. And it's a beautiful, revolutionary work of art almost ready for mass distribution on the telephone poles of Chapel Thrill. Gay Sock Hop in the hizzouse, all the funk you can handle spinning at 45 RPM!

To give Hot Damn a sample of the funkiest stuff I'd heard in the past twenny-four, I hit YouTube to search for a track I'd re-discovered the nite before, the title cut from Shadow's 1979 debut LP Love Lite. Which is a masterpiece, but it's not on YT. Very few tracks by this group are. Shadow were an Ohio Players-spinoff who never got the love their impeccably tight music demanded.

But in the process of digitally digging, I found another cut by Shadow that I'd never heard before, off their third LP, Shadow In The Streets.

And that cut is today's Joint of the Birthday, since apparently a member of the SOUL crew is having a birthday today! Shadow themselves were shrouded in mystery, so we won't reveal exactly which DJ is celebrating. Or where the party's gonna be.

There's no f-ing doubt this is the birthday jam right here. A mind-blowingly funky, solid as a rock choice, and even better that it dropped in 1981, exactly thirty years ago. When this particular birthday DJ was 10 years old, and wishes he had been hanging out in Kim Patton's basement at some of her infamous rollerskating jams. So without further ado, presenting...Born To Hustle!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Musique - Summer Love (1978)

The whole reason I went by All Day Records in the first place yesterday when I ended up with a dollar bin score (besides the fact that I was hanging out with my pal Barbara, formerly known to some as DJ Berrytone, now shopping for a new name, and considering DJ Taco Trouble) was naturally, to pick up another record from out the dolla bin that I had on hold! Which I figured was a karmically silly situation, since back in the day at the Lost City, it drove me right up the f-ing wall when heads would hand me a fat stack of expensive rekkids and ask me to put them on hold. Then not show back up for months at a time. I would regularly paw through the hold crate just to see all the great records we weren't selling.

But just to set the record straight, it wasn't becuz I didn't have a dollar in my pocket that I had to put the joint on hold, altho there's no shame in being a broke-ass DJ with a vinyl habit. I spotted this LP during a previous visit as Ethan was desperately trying to evict us from the store at closing time, and just wanted to make sure it wasn't totally scratched up before taking it home.

It was the full-length LP of Keep On Jumpin' (1978) by Musique, produced by Patrick Adams. Missing the sexy picture sleeve, which is the only reason this record got slept on, since it was sitting right at the front of the dolla bins, staring kids in the face as they walked in the store. Besides the title cut (which went #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play charts), this one included In The Bush (also hit #1 Dance, and was a late nite Lost City fave), plus today's Joint Of the Day – Summer Love. The fourth track on this LP (they all clock in at around 8 minutes) is an instrumental, soundtracky version of the same cut (Summer Love Theme). But the vocal version is the bomb. Too bad it's not the summertime yet. Listen to this, and it'll get you in the mood early.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Side Effect - I'm A Winner (1978)

Earlier today, Old-Time Granny busted me as I was digging through the free crate outside All Day Records. But I was supporting the store, too – by helping them clear out their dollar bins! It was difficult to focus, tho, becuz Ethan kept spinning a never-ending stream of really great records from all genres on the store's sound system. WADR should be its own radio station, and I encourage vinyl shoppers to spend as much time in that store as possible. Mad props to Ethan and Charlie for helping local record junkies feed our addictions! They do international mail-order too, off their website, so check 'em out.

Anyway, I dug up a few choice goodies, including jazz cuts from Stanley Clarke, Tom Browne, and my man the fusion flutist - Tim Weisberg! Plus the killer find of them all (at least the best of the free crate), "A Logger's Reward," by Buzz Martin. Straight outta Oregon. With hits like "Too High On The Stump" and "Since They Repossessed My Used Log Truck." Buzz Martin was the Johnny Cash of the Northwest, and while the song titles sound like novelty songs, these tracks are actually very heartfelt tales about his existence as a struggling logger.

And I found this 12" right here, by Side Effect. In the dolla bins, not the free crate. A sure sign of quality from the get-go. Who already represented in a JOTD a few weeks back, but here they are again. I'm A Winner is just too good to pass by. The scat singing during this track's break is especially funky.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rick James - Bustin' Out (1979)

Since for the past few days I've been huffing the memory fumes of Hot Damn our West Coast funk correspondent's last visit to the Triangle, it's only fitting to give a shout-out to the Livin' Large and In Charge Tour '09 with at least one more flashback Joint Of The Day.

After HD himself e-mailed me yesterday to discuss an important upcoming funky Oakland throwdown, this LP magically leaped into my hand. Seriously, I ducked into a closet and stuck my hand into the then-dimly lit stacks of my 70s dance vinyl archives, reaching for who knows what as I waited for the compact fluorescent glow to magnify, and the next thing I knew, I was holding Bustin' Out of L Seven. Rick James, circa 1979. Notable b/c the title cut was another of the main theme songs of the LLIC Tour, track #8 on the mixed CD full of choice jams he brought for me all the way from O-Town. Notable b/c it's an ANTHEM for all the funky misfits and refugees from square society out there, especially the ones that don't give a damn, if you don't like our funk, you can take your stuff and scram.

Rick James was a funk giant who today doesn't get nearly the respect he deserves for the influence his music had on the world, unfortunately largely thanks to Dave Chappelle. BTW, I just stumbled onto a great site, the Funkalicious Blog, and a post that contains an hour-long interview done with James in 2002. Check it out!

And as luck would have it, there's one final memorable episode from the LLIC Tour that happened two years ago today. It was in the aftermath of the Durham house party where our knucklehead posse last hit the dancefloor with Hot Damn, involved Queen Steve K., and went down around 3 am. But we really can't go into many details, 'cuz it's definitely not family-friendly. Earlier that night, he was quoted as claiming "the ------- love me, they want to take me home and ---- me with -------." Which even in its edited state should be evidence enough that with QSK in the house, anything in your wildest dreams could have happened.

So. In honor of the two-year anniversary of when Hot Damn perpetrated his final party mop-up operation at the Aretha Factory (not that the memories aren't burned forever into his mind), let's fire up this funk!

- Dyn-O-Mite

D-Train - You're The One For Me (1981)

Hard to believe it's been TWO WHOLE YEARS since our West Coast funk correspondent M. "Hot Damn" Stewart last swung through Chapel Hill on his infamous Livin' Large and In Charge Tour, Spring '09 edition. That visit and the exploits it unleashed have already been chronicled on various other underground blogs, but since it was exactly two years ago TONITE that yours truly and a posse of other miscreants hit the dancefloor with Hot Damn at a bangin' Durham house party, a little flashback Joint Of The Day action is called for. Here's the heavily edited, (somewhat) family-friendly version of what went down at that bash:

"Saturday, 3/21/09 - at the party, Hot Damn burned up the dancefloor as Queen Steve K. did his best to seduce any straight boys in sight. All eyes were on Hot Damn. "BITCH, I am a mufukkin POPSTAR and a TRUE DIVA!!!," said HD. "Act like ya knew." The entire crew was jamming during "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," an old Pink House party standard. Dyn-O-Mite copped as much attention for his 100% polyester wardrobe as his smooth disco moves. D.C. Lumsden got his jiggy on before holding things down from the easy chair, enjoying the scene.

Hot Damn's got a posse

But although the track selection started strong, the quality of the tunes rapidly deteriorated. Of course, Dyn-O-Mite had brought along key pieces of vinyl that had been providing the soundtrack for his and Hot Damn's adventures all week, hoping to get DJ Wonder Bread to drop some into his set. But the cat was a rude motherfucker who couldn't even be bothered to play ONE REQUEST for an out-of-town guest, "You're The One For Me" by D-Train, a Hot Damn fave. Dude had TWO TURNTABLES at his disposal, but wasn't even spinning on real vinyl, just MP3's."

This track reached #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play charts when it dropped in late ’81. The dub version (Special Dub Vocal Edit) is probably the best all around dancefloor filler, as remixed by Francois Kevorkian, but this YouTube mix is notable because it's synched up with some killer Shaw Bros. kung fu footage. Which is totally reminiscent of the original stop on the LLIC Tour at the Pleasure Palace where HD cued this track up on his iPod, as we were all watching Spock and Kirk throw down in a gladiator death match during a classic Star Trek episode. Hot Damn, mad love, and we miss you!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The B-52's - There's a Moon in the Sky (Called The Moon) (1979)

The night before the vernal (spring) equinox, and turns out there was a supermoon in the sky, shining bright like a giant plate (I stole that last part from a poet friend of mine). It was the closest the moon had been to Earth since 1993, and the event was hard to miss if you were awake after dark and steppin' outside for any reason. That thing was freakin' gigantic!

Of course, The B-52's provided the soundtrack. From their 1979 debut LP, the best supermoon theme I know of on this or any other planet. Technically a new wave group? I dare you not to dance to any B-52's number, and this one's no exception. And they got even funkier live, their concerts have always been giant dance parties.

Check out Fred, Kate, and Cindy rockin' their own wild dance moves in this cool concert footage from 1985 in Brazil, playing alongside guests Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth from the Talking Heads. This was one of founding guitarist Ricky Wilson's last live performances before he died that year of AIDS.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Maze feat. Frankie Beverly - Color Blind (1977)

Maze feat. Frankie Beverly have consistently toured the Triangle pretty much every year or two for the past two decades, which is how long I've been down here, and probably the decade before that, too. So I kind of slept on them b/c of the familiarity factor. Well, I really should have taken the time to listen to them first, and the self-titled Maze feat. Frankie Beverly LP is a great place to start.

It was their 1977 debut on Capitol Records, the one with hits like Happy Feelin's and While I'm Alone. My #1 fave is Color Blind, not least b/c of its super positive message and appeal for racial unity. I also really dig the 9:27 closing cut, Look At California, and found an awesome video clip set to it featuring footage of the breathtaking natural beauty on the drive along the Avenue of the Giants, inside Humboldt Redwoods State Park in Northern Cali.

- Dyn-O-Mite

House of Sight & Sound - Van Nuys, California

My copy of the Maze record that served up today's JOTD still has its original $4.99 price sticker from the House Of Sight & Sound. Which is a store where a lot of the great soul, jazz, funk & fusion vinyl I recently scored at the Elliott Road PTA apparently came from. Now I'm curious to know where that store was. Google seems to indicate it may have been in Van Nuys, CA, described in a 1963 Billboard article as a "prime San Fernando Valley dealer."

A little more digging turned up a photo of the place!

The House of Sight & Sound circa 1960s, located at Van Nuys and Victory in the San Fernando Valley

And Billboard ran a complete article on the spot, dated 7/4/64, confirming it was THE main record store in the area, and also sold a full line of stereo equipment, TV's, even pianos. That's pretty cool. Billboard reported that "S&S customers primarily purchase middle of the road LP's, but jazz purchases are starting to increase as a result of new people into the Valley," according to Jerry Johnson, the store's owner.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Monday, March 14, 2011

Side Effect - Keep On Keepin' On (1977)

Today's joint proves that you can't judge an LP by its cover. I picked this beauty up at the Elliott Road PTA last month, in one of my two huge mid-winter thrift sto' vinyl scores. But I put off listening to it, just looked silly. I figured it would be some commercial-sounding, rip-off disco bullshit, maybe the West Coast, Fantasy Records, all-black version of the Village People.

Turns out I was totally wrong. Goin' Bananas by Side Effect is a soul/funk masterpiece. On yellow vinyl! "Produced by Wayne Henderson for At-Home Productions (All good music starts At-Home!)" will forever after be recognized by me as a sign of quality, as any fan of the Crusaders can testify (except for heads like my Choice Sides co-host Obliveon, who feels like they let down the planet by moving away from their hard bop origins as the Jazz Crusaders).

"Everybody, can't you feel the effective side...that's really real."

Keep On Keepin' On is my fave, but it was hard to choose, 'cuz there's lots of goodies, including Open Up Your Heart, It's All In Your Mind, and Mr. Monday. The last one, in particular, I listened to about 10 times in a row, since it's so smooth and delectable, and after all, today is Monday, dammit! But predictably, not on YouTube.

I'm not gonna wax poetic for too long about KOKO, just let me say that it features scat singing! And zodiac shout-outs! And a super positive message laid down over a mellow, funky groove. Did I mention that the record is yellow, like a banana?

- Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Esther Phillips - Justified (1973)

This morning, I was bummed, because as things turned out, I was awake at the not-right hour of 8:30 am, and if I'd only tuned into WXDU at 88.7 on the FM dial, I would have heard the exceptionally well-curated Early Riser show by my new favorite DJ, Ali HiFi! Which faithful readers of this blog should already know airs from 8-10 am every other Sunday, at least that's what I thought. Turns out she was also on air this Sunday, out of rotation, for a special Spring Break edition of her show, braving daylight savings time to keep the SUPER early risers company.

When we substitute guest-co-hosted the Mondo Mundo show with our pal DJ Berrytone the week before, I told Ali there was no chance I'd ever be awake to hear her live on the airwaves. And looks like I lied, but still didn't get to check her out. What's up with WXDU not making it possible for listeners to download some shows off the station's website? They do a great job of archiving each DJ's individual setlists, and the shows are automatically recorded on servers. I'm jus' sayin', Duke - how 'bout giving a little somethin' somethin' more back to the community. Free the downloads!

(UPDATE 6/23 - I ran into Ali HiFi the other day, and apparently, she's no longer on air over at WXDU! Oh well...too bad, especially since I never actually got to hear one of her shows. Becuz seriously, for me to be awake at 8 am on a Sunday morning would probably mean I hadn't gone to sleep yet from the Saturday nite before. But she was my new favorite DJ for a hot minute there anyway...)

I'm gonna pretend like I did hear her show, and give her a shout-out with today's Joint Of The Day. This track was introduced to me by Ali HiFi, it's the opening cut off Esther Phillips' classic LP Black-Eyed Blues, an album I was totally unfamiliar with. It was released in 1973 on Kudu, produced by Creed Taylor, engineered by Rudy Van Gelder, written by Bill Withers, with strings arranged by Bob James, and backing vocals by Tasha Thomas, among others.

In 1950, at the age of 14, Esther released her first records (as "Little Esther Phillips") and made a huge impact on the R&B charts. Two of her songs reached #1 (Cupid Boogie and Mistrustin' Blues), and at least five others cracked the top ten. It was quite a debut, but then she switched record labels and producers, the hits stopped coming, and she got hooked on hard drugs. While playing small clubs throughout the South, she was re-discovered in 1962 by Kenny Rogers, of all people. She cleaned up enough to stage a comeback in the mid-60s, hitting #1 R&B again with the beautiful Release Me, but she would continue to struggle with heroin addiction throughout the decade.

After finally kicking the habit, she went on to enjoy a prolific recording career throughout the 70s and early 80s. Esther Phillips died in 1984, her life cut short at age 48 due to illness from her former chronic drug abuse.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Sunday, March 6, 2011

SOUL-flavored Mondo Mundo on WXDU

This afternoon, WXDU got a taste of the SOUL flavor. My friend Barbara, aka DJ Berrytone (formerly of the Barbara Berry Singers), asked me to help her filling in for the station's long-running Saturday afternoon world music show, Mondo Mundo. We were joined in this caper by Ali HiFi, a friend to hard rock lovers and church people throughout the Triangle in her role as host of the Early Riser show on alternating Sunday mornings from 8-10 am. After very little arm-twisting, we convinced her that spinning some global funk would be much more fun than going home to do her taxes. And we had backup research assistance from artist-in-residence Jeff, who was digging through the library's extensive collection of CD's and vinyl treasures, unearthing gems from a diverse musical spectrum including The Makeup, local legends Motocaster, and Man Or Astroman (I think he got locked in the "M" section). Also a CD that I won't get too specific about because he probably wouldn't want his name forever associated with it on the interwebs. But since Ron Jeremy was a featured vocalist, we all agreed it was a quality production.

Back in the day, Barbara was on staff at Barry's Video Dance Club.

The day's theme as chosen by Barbara was "Funk and Disco World Wide," with a focus on tracks circa the 70s & 80s. We got some advance buzz even before going on air. And when I rolled up to the station on Duke's East Campus for the first time in over ten years (the last time I was there it was while attending a moderately wild party in the downstairs lounge with a bunch of miscreant XDU DJ's, for which we were eventually kicked out of the building), the substitute Mondo Mundo team had already pulled many choice selections to add to the vinyl I brought to the table.

Barbara came up with some Peruvian cumbia-funk from Los Destellos, and discovered what the Miami Vice theme would have sounded like if performed with sitars, off an LP by Ashwin Batish. Ali turned our listeners onto funk from all over Africa, including Tirogo from Nigeria, psychedelic Zam-rockers Witch from Zambia, and the African Brothers International Band from Ghana. I hauled in some of the same old shit I've been flapping my gums about on this blog for the past few months, plus new additions to the SOUL rotation from global disco-funk-soul outfits like Azymuth (Brazil), Yellow Magic Orchestra (Japan), Supermax (Germany), and Khaled, the "King of Rai" (Algeria). I've already mentioned that Jeff exposed us to the musical stylings of The Hedgehog, who apparently is very fluent in the international language of love.

It was lotsa fun. Except for guests not being able to talk on the air at XDU. I guess that's a new rule since I last made special appearances on the 88.7 airwaves. Our setlist is online, and hopefully at some point I'll be able to post a link to the full show for downloads.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Partridge Family - I Can Feel Your Heartbeat (1970)

Can the ultra white-bread, bubblegum pop, manufactured TV group The Partridge Family be FUNKY? Maybe so, and today's joint is the proof. Anybody who's ever seen The Spirit of '76 and watched David Cassidy in his red, white and blue Captain America jump suit and sparkling silver platform boots go all kung fu fighting on Leif Garrett while rescuing Olivia D'Abo the disco diva (aka Chanel-6 from the year 2176), well, they already knew the man's got some killer dancefloor moves. And listening to this track, now I realize he also had a little blue-eyed soul thing going on. Closing cut on Side A of The Partridge Family Album, which was a Carrboro PTA find in my big score of a few weeks back. It's far better than anything I've ever heard before from "the family that reverbs together." Who were actually just Cassidy and his step-mom Shirley Jones backed up by session players - Danny Bonaduce and the rest of the cast didn't play or sing on any Partridge Family records.

I've always been a fan of I Think I Love You, which was their biggest hit (#1 on the pop charts in December, 1970), although I never thought it was all that sexy a song. Which puzzled me, because back in the day I remember reading a reprint of a Rolling Stone profile about Cassidy (turns out it was an infamous cover story from '72 called Naked Lunch Box: The Business of David Cassidy, which sold out on newsstands, one of only three RS issues ever to do so). It told how Cassidy was playing sold-out concerts packed with screaming teenage girls and having such a lustful effect on them that workers had to clean the seats once the shows ended. Was that just hype? Listening to this sultry, suggestive, soulful track, it all makes sense.

And cueing this number up over and over again today on my turntable, which clocks in at a teasingly short 2:05, I've got new respect for the first crop of DJ's in the early 70s who had to create extended jams from double copies of two or three-minute songs on 45 rpm records. Wish there was a 12" mix!

- Dyn-O-Mite

Friday, February 18, 2011

Nancy Wilson - Tree Of Life (1976)

Today I've been reflecting on the passage of time, life's ups and downs, and how some things always seem to cycle back around. Part of it is that last night I watched a documentary on Hugh Hefner that David Lynch co-produced back in the early 90s titled Hugh Hefner: Once Upon A Time (not be be confused with the recent doc Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel, directed by Brigette Berman). And I was struck by a dark episode involving the suicide of Hefner's executive secretary in early 1975, a woman named Bobbie Arnstein, who was also one of his closest friends. She was targeted by the feds in a vicious attempt by Republican prosecutors (including future Illinois governor "Big" Jim Thompson) to nail Hefner by entangling him in a drug investigation, in the hopes of destroying his publishing empire.

A grieving Hefner reacts to the suicide of Bobbie Arnstein.

Hefner was an early financial supporter of NORML, and funded a bevy of other very liberal causes through the Playboy Foundation. Between his progressive, pro-legalization political agenda and very public role as pied piper of the sexual revolution (no less a cultural authority than Roger Ebert called Playboy "the most influential magazine of its time"), he made a lot of enemies in the conservative, puritan, law-and-order establishment of the 1960s and early 70s, and they seized their chance to try to bring him down.

But the tragedy was that Arnstein, a fragile, gentle, brilliant soul, got caught in the crossfire, sentenced to an excessive fifteen-year jail term on trumped-up charges, all in the hopes that she would implicate her boss for something he didn't do. Even right-wing columnist William Safire denounced the prosecutors' tactics in the New York Times, editorializing "It is one thing to give a cooperative witness a break, entirely another to threaten to let a defendant rot in the slammer until he or she tells the story the prosecution wants." Well, she killed herself instead. What a shame.

Bobbie's story struck me, and I kept thinking about her today, so it's fitting that I would discover this track, which is a fairly unknown Nancy Wilson gem. From her 1976 Capitol LP This Mother's Daughter, it was written by Eugene McDaniels, who also penned the album's title track. McDaniels is a soul genius singer and songwriter currently living as a self-described "hermit" in Maine and an artist who, like Nancy Wilson, I also had never heard of before today. But his Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse LP from '71 apparently provided samples for classic tracks from hip hop outifts like Tribe, the Beatnuts, and the Beastie Boys.

(Note from 2018 - apparently, less than six months after this post was originally written, Gene McDaniels died peacefully at his home in Kittery, Maine on July 29, 2011. Love, peace, and mad props to an amazing musician and songwriter.)

This was an Elliott Road thrift store find. By the time it dropped in '76, "Sweet Nancy" had already released an amazing 40 other albums in her career as a jazz vocalist stretching back to 1959.

- Dyn-O-Mite

Friday, February 4, 2011

Skyy - Get Into The Beat (1981)

Although this record was not among either of the two huge thrift sto' scores I stumbled onto within the past month, it surfaced today thanx to another track that was. That other track being Double Cross by First Choice, and I found the original 12" at the Elliott Road PTA, released in 1981 on Gold Mind Records (headed by producer Norman Harris). Featuring a remix on one side by Bobby DJ Guttadaro of Ice Palace fame (he spun at both the original Fire Island disco and its New York City sister club on West 57th Street). Bobby DJ was also notable for having supervised the production of the soundtrack to the Soul'ed Out, UnLtd. crew's all-time favorite disco flick, Thank God It's Friday. Old-Time Granny sez she's seen this, like, five times, which is more than I have!

Anyway, I already had a sealed copy of a Salsoul reissue of Double Cross, with Let's Celebrate by Skyy on the flip. Which was written by Skyy member Tommy McConnell, and not the group's superstar producer, Randy Muller, who was also the force behind Brass Construction and arranger for B.T. Express. And as I was checking out my copy of Skyy's Skyy Line LP, to compare the album version with the extended 12" mix, I happened across today’s JOTD – Get Into The Beat. Which was the LP's closing cut, and has got a smooth, silky, roller disco funk sound going on all over the place.

And judging from the minimal action it's gotten on YouTube, this remains a relatively unknown deep cut from Skyy. But it WAS written by Randy Muller, and it shows, ranking right up there with their other upbeat, slammin' mega-hits that he penned, like First Time Around, (a track that spawned an amazing remix by Larry Levan, featured on the 1979 LP Larry Levan's Greatest Mixes Volume Two, which also included Larry's classic remix of Double Cross), Here's To You, and Call Me.

- Dyn-O-Mite

S'Express - Theme from S'Express (1988) (from Tedd O'Neil mixtape)

Tonite I was digitizing a mixtape that a friend dubbed for me back in the day. His name was Tedd O'Neil, and later this month will mark five years since his senselessly premature death at the age of thirty-five.

Tedd circa 1990

Hailing from small town Rhode Island, I was considered a pretty unusual character during high school. Appearance-wise, I was a unrepentant punk rocker, sporting spiked or shaved hair, combat boots, and lots of wild outfits whether I was going to a punk show or heading to class. In my yearbook I was voted "most outrageous."

But Tedd, who lived one town over from me, half the size of where I grew up and a place even more suspicious of nonconformists, had me beat by far. That dude had mad style, charisma, and attitude, and everyone else could kiss off if they didn't like it. I first encountered him riding the Newport-to-Providence bus line that linked our little towns to the outside world. It must have been like '85 or '86, we were both 14, 15 years old, and Tedd was already an underground fashion icon. With all his jewelry and bracelets, jet black nail polish, eyeliner, black trench coat, boots, and an expertly coiffed (self-cut and styled) spiky hairdo with a bleached blond sort-of devilock in front and a braided rattail halfway down his back, he looked like a cross between Madonna, Glenn Danzig, and Siouxsie Sioux. It was goth meets punk meets gay, and it looked fantastic on Tedd.

We later worked together at a crazy job and became pals right after high school, hanging out in Rhode Island from '89-'91. After that, I spent more and more time in NC and went home less and less, and after Tedd graduated from Hampshire College in '93, he moved to San Fran. I never saw him again, although we talked on the phone a little. But he was one of those people I always expected to pop up again, and the news of his death came totally out of left field.

Peach Robidoux, his closest friend from high school and college, set up a Facebook group called Remembering Tedd O'Neil where his friends from both coasts still share memories and post photos, video and audio clips. Check it out for more info on Tedd's life and times.

Anyway, this mixtape was titled "Tedd's Amazing Goth Mix 1990," and I seem to remember him dubbing me a copy one day while he cut my hair in his upstairs bedroom at his parents' house. I used to love to visit him there because he had a huge Irish family, they were all super cool, and there was always some kind of drama going on.

On one side, there is in fact a mix of classic goth tracks. On the other, there's a slammin' house mix. And I'm pretty the whole tape was Tedd's production. From the house side comes today's JOTD, S'Express – The Theme from S'Express.

I first heard this track at the job where Tedd and I became friends. We worked at a boatyard where a company built giant cruiseships and then ran booze cruises on them all over Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. I started out as a maintenance worker in the late winter, low man on the totem pole in a skeleton crew of three. I was 18 years old and my two co-workers were 50-something and 80-something, respectively. No shit, one of the cats was 80+ and still coming to work five days a week at this crappy boatyard, so I had to respect that. I'm not even going to get into all the bullshit stuff these dudes had me doing when I first showed up. Needless to say, I was thrilled when the spring arrived and I got promoted to working in the boatyard, helping build the cruiseships. Or at least painting them. And then by the summer, I got to be a deckhand aboard the boats. Which was actually a lot of fun.

The whole time I was working my way up through the ranks of this small town boatyard empire, Tedd had the game all figured out. Probably because he lived right around the corner and had worked at the place before, he had a super cushy position. He was in charge of parking all the boozehounds' cars who showed up for the cruises, then staffing the office while the cruises were out and keeping watch over the parking lot. Yeah, right! Tedd would invite his friends over to hang out, blast music, and party in the office almost every night while the boats were gone. He was king of the wharf.

There were DJ's on board the boats, and after I heard one of them spin this S'Express acid house stomper, I would pester them to play it as often as possible. 'Cuz it was the bomb. And checking out the '88 promo video for the first ever time tonite, I'm even more impressed with the whole S'Express vibe. This video rocks! Clearly reaching back to the 70s with retro fashions, psychedelic effects, live horns, and strong diva vocals, but with a cutting edge, pulsating acid house beat. Plus stock newsreel footage that contains subliminal anti-war messages and makes the whole production a work of video art. (Note from 2013: the video now featured here is a different mix, the original promo video was removed from YouTube courtesy of the copyright police). And the main sample is from a Norman Whitfield-produced classic by Rose Royce, Is It Love You're After from 1979's Rose Royce IV: Rainbow Connection LP. Also something I never knew until right now. My jaw dropped when I saw video footage of them performing that joint and heard the original sample, see what I mean.

And apparently, The Theme From S’Express had a big impact. A whole year before Deee-Lite’s breakthrough LP announced to the world that house music was here to stay, this topped both the UK singles charts and the US Hot Dance Club Play chart.

So here's a Joint Of The Day resurrected from his old school mixtape and dedicated to my friend Tedd, who as another of his friends put it, is hopefully "in that heavenly looking hair salon in the sky, that Frankie Avalon sings about in Grease, doing all the dead celebrities' hair and makeup."

- Dyn-O-Mite

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