Keith LeBlanc – ‘No Sell Out’ (12 IS 165)

SAM_0677Now this is starting to get a bit spooky. No sooner do I purchase Keith LeBlanc’s EDM agitprop, cut-up 12″ of Malcolm X bon mots yesterday for 50p (EX+) at Cats’ Protection in Hythe than the incendiary Civil Rights leader is assassinated, fifty years ago.

SAM_0679The Autobiography of Malcolm X was a firm favorite of my youth, the man was an inspiration (a kind of Rolling Stones to MLK’s Beatles, to be eye-rollingly glib about it) and seemed on the verge of even greater understanding when he was killed, making his loss all the more tragic.

‘No Sell Out’ stands up surprisingly well, yes it’s v. 80s, but it still sounds pretty rich; and, of course, X’s rhetoric is just as thrilling as ever.

Published in: on April 23, 2015 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Mos Def – Black On Both Sides (1999)

SAM_0390In the course of thrifting, I always appreciate finding what is obviously a curated collection. Such was the case when I was with Grampa Asbo the other day in Sandwich and Deal and I found a clutch of pound-a-piece, high-quality turn o’ the century hippity-hoppity see dees. Unfortunately, several pieces I would have had were thrashed (e.g. Jungle Bros’ Forces of Nature), but several others were in fine shape.

I spent a decade and a half wishing Hip-Hop would just go away until I had a eureka moment listening to the U Brown toast during the second half of the 12″ version of the Chantells’ “Children of Jah” (Phase 1). Appreciating Brown’s polyrhythmic musicality and lilt, I “got” hip-hop that instant and a new world opened up. Many rappers allude to reggae, though the crossover is most explicit on Soul Jazz’s excellent Nice Up the Dance.

Black On Both Sides is Mos Def’s solo début and almost all killer. Blending live instruments (many played by Mos himself) and samples (among others a twisted, barely recognisable “Marcus Garvey” by Burning Spear), Black creates a warm, socially conscious vibe–it’s easy to like. Rawkus in the house.

The Gang Starr best of comes highly recommended. Unlike most greatest hits, Full Clip manages to play like a proper album and covers the Golden Age decade during which the duo began plying its trade. There are only a couple duplicates from Step In the Arena, the only other Gang Starr I own. Top drawer.

The Beastie Boys all-instrumental The Mix Up is an also likeable, but slightly underwhelming, affair; a rich man’s indulgence by players who know their limitations. Slinky, funky mid-tempo grooves prevail with hints of the Meters and lounge core.

And also a Pixies comp.

Published in: on May 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm  Comments (6)  

Quasimoto ‎– The Further Adventures Of Lord Quas (PIASX 055) (2005)

SAM_0174By sheer, absolute and unlikely coincidence (see previous post), I found this clear red vinyl 12″ single-sided promo ep of what is effectively the third side of the Further Adventures of Lord Quas double Lp today at the Save the Children chazzo in the Canterbury High Street. Folks are hawking it for a lot more over on Discogs, but 50p to you, sir.

Good things do sometimes happen to good people.

Published in: on November 16, 2013 at 7:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Quasimoto – Yessir Whatever (STH2326) (2013)

SAM_0170AREA DECORATOR ABSURDLY PROUD OF MUSIC HE LISTENS TO WHILE DECORATING

(Columbus, Ohio) — Columbus painter/decorator Cory Nara, 48, doesn’t just paint your rooms or paper your walls, he “provide[s] a stimulating, challenging aural environment with the seriously high quality music that plays while I work.”

Unlike most local workmen, Nara isn’t content to play CD101, WLVQ-FM96, or “any of that ‘done-to-death’ oldies crap” usually associated with the building trade. So along with his brushes, paints and tools, he brings his iPod (“Everything from AC/DC to Jay-Z,” he laughs.) and state-of-art BeoPlay A8 docking station by Bang & Olufsen.

“If I arrive for work around 8am, I’m usually good to go by 9:30-10, depending on how long it takes to program a playlist and find the optimum ‘soundspace’ for my set up.” The latter is more difficult than it might first appear since as often as not the rooms in which Nara works are empty. “Unless I install some noise absorbing panelling on the walls,” he explained, “you get a horrible echo that totally swamps any EQ-ing I’ve done, and actually makes it sound too loud.” If Nara is doing outside work, he brings stand mounted JBL speakers and a bass bin hooked up to 400 watt SPL power amp.

Deciding the right music takes plenty of time, too. “I have to think about not only my mood, but the client for whom I’m working, the time of day, what I’ve already listened to that week…God, so many variables to consider,” said handyman Nara.

The self-employed father of two was more than happy to open up today’s playlist: songs from Heart of the Congos by the Congos; Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s Mecca and the Soul BrotherSatan Is Real by the Louvin Brothers; Brown Sugar by D’Angelo; King of the Delta Blues – Robert Johnson; Step In the Arena by Gang Starr; Warren Zevon’s self titled debut; Double Nickles On the Dime by the Minutemen; Ming Dynasty – Charles Mingus; Quasimoto’s Yessir Whatever; Michael Head – The Magical World of the StandsBack Country Suite by Mose Allison and a compilation of House Music from 1988 to the present compiled by his son were just some of the choices set up to play while he edged a Bexley house’s living room.

Nara derides workers who just play popular radio calling it “junk food for the ears.”

“Especially when you consider what’s available, not just on CD, but through streaming, downloading and so on, not to mention the amazing compilations of brilliant, obscure releases that are so easily accessible, there’s just no excuse these days to listen to music of anything less than the highest quality. ”

“That ‘McMusic’s’ not good for you,” he claimed. “Some people might say that it’s like dressing up in an Armani suite to go to the post office, but I say that people should have more respect for themselves.”

After work, Nara plans to spend tonight getting blind drunk at Rudy’s Tavern on Summit Street playing “Wrecking Ball” on repeat on the bar’s jukebox.SAM_0171

Published in: on November 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Gorillaz

Hey Hey We're the MonkeysThe CD fightback continues apace with this Sunday Wincheap bootfair purchased Gorillaz bonanza. I’ve always like G’z singles and so this lot will do for an unrivaled computer playlist. My younger son already has third Lp Plastic Beach. Included are albums Gorillaz, Demon Days as well as compilations G-Sides, D-Sides (2 CDs) and Spacemonkeyz versus Gorillaz’ Laika Come Home.  I also got Albarn’s Chinese Monkey opera. All for 50p a pop.

But what’s the deal with the simian thing?

Published in: on October 7, 2013 at 9:53 am  Leave a Comment  

L.L. Cool J – BAD (1987)

The boot fair (or Car Boot Sale, as the Cornish would have it) yesterday in Mabe started at 1:30 and, having arrived at twenty past, the Family Asbo were there to join the waiting queue to get in and then to hear the klaxon sound to signal time to enter. This was followed by self-conscious laughter from a rabble suddenly cognizant of its own desperation who, nonetheless, were not dissuaded from unashamedly rushing in.LL Cool

Like public transport, you wait forever to find a Def Jam record at boot fair, then several come at once. I think this L.L. Cool J might be a bit early in the so-called Golden Age for my tastes, but we’ll see on my return to Kent in a few days time. Bigger and defferA good time for me, the Mabe Car Boot Sale–I also snagged on the cheap several Fabulous Furry Freak Brother comics, two recent Viz annuals, a couple of vintage original content Mad paperbacks and a graphic novel by Daniel Clowes–we then spent the rest of the day at a beautiful National Trust garden–a high contrast was noted.

Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Public Enemy – “Rebel Without A Pause” (651245 6) (1987)

The PEAww, they look so young.

Self-styled public enemy no. 1’s first song created for It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back, they certainly started as they meant to go on: shouty, cacophonous, belligerent and self-righteous. And yet it’s still party music.

I found this along with the Fear Of a Black Planet vinyl and other twelves by PE (“Public Enemy No. 1”), Prince (“Alphabet St.”) and a couple early Go-Go ones by Trouble Funk on D.E.T.T. Records, more of which later.

One of the interesting things about boot fair record shopping (and to a lesser extent chazzing) is when a collection presents itself as a collection. In the case this morning in Etchinghill, this person’s boxes were very deep in terms of early hip-hop and go-go, both specialist subjects. According to the seller, they were her ex’s dad’s records, though I believe she was at least partly mistaken. Yes, there were Lps from the 50s/60s suggestive of someone old enough to be this lady’s former father-in-law, but I think it’s highly unlikely the old man bought Def Jam et al. and these actually belonged to her previous husband. I could be wrong, though.

Published in: on August 3, 2013 at 10:19 am  Comments (2)  

De La Soul Is Dead (661 111) (1991)

SAM_1464A remarkable day at the Mersham Cricket Club boot on Bank Holiday Monday. First up, De La Soul Is Dead, an item that was on the vaunted Thrifty Vinyl “list” and one I almost picked up as a re-issue a couple weeks ago–sorry 4 Men With Beards, but I only paid 50p for my EX+ copy. Though it’s not whacked-out as Pedro Bell, I’ve included a detailed image of the rarely seen cartoon on the inner sleeve. Simply click on the illustration and magnify for maximum enjoyment. SAM_1465

Published in: on May 7, 2013 at 7:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (NL86994)

You Wanna Revolution?

BBC ONE SCHEDULING NOTICE FOR 1st MARCH 2013

The BBC regrets to announce a change in this week’s scheduled programming. Due to technical difficulties, tonight’s Revolution will not be televised. Instead, BBC One will broadcast an Only Fools and Horses marathon, featuring the top five episodes as voted for by readers of the Radio Times. The BBC is sorry for any inconvenience and hopes to bring you the Revolution next week at its regularly scheduled time.

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Editor’s note: I thrifted this over a year ago and, despite owning and liking a few GS-H tracks scattered across various compilations, never found the right time to listen to it. Until now.

Published in: on March 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

D’Angelo – Voodoo (MCR 902) (2000)

Voodoo 2GOD TO D’ANGELO: ‘YOU’RE WELCOME’                       Deity Finally Answers Neo-Soul Singer’s Thanks

(Heaven) – It’s taken a little over thirteen years, but God has finally responded to D’Angelo’s Voodoo liner note acknowledgment with a simple, heartfelt “You’re Welcome” on the neo-soul singer’s myspace page.

God didn’t get Voodoo when it was first released on Virgin in 2000 (“It must have slipped through the net!”), only picking up the recent deluxe re-issue on Light In the Attic’s Modern Classics Recordings imprint last month. It was at this point that the Lord caught D’Angelo’s “All thanks and praises 2 Yahweh Yahushina” notice on the inner gatefold’s liner notes.

“I was, like, ‘Wow, [D’Angelo] wants to thank and praise Me for My inspiration–that’s so cool’,” recalled our Heavenly Father, smiling beatifically. “It’s always nice to be recognised and I though it would be churlish, even bad-mannered, not to respond.”

Summing up the double Lp’s style as, “Marvin, Al and Sly meet at Paisley Park circa 1986 with judicious elements of hip-hop sprinkled liberally throughout”, the Almighty posted His message yesterday on http://www.myspace.com/dangelo. In the post, God praised Voodoo‘s “rough-hewn performances” and singled out the vocalist born Michael Eugene Archer for a “bravura, even virtuosic demonstration of the singer’s art”. Concluding the short note with “and basically, you’re welcome”, the Light of the World copied and pasted the e-mail on to the http://www.okayplayer.com/dangelo site listed on the album credits (“just to be sure [D’Angelo] got it”), but unfortunately the link didn’t work.

Despite a longstanding reputation for wrath, God turned vengeful only when asked why He hadn’t responded to D’Angelo at the time of Voodoo‘s original issue. “Listen, buddy,” the Creator replied testily, “you try administering Heaven and Earth full-time and see how much time you’ve got for pleasantries. Please!”

God went on to say that He couldn’t help but wonder if maybe His inspiration of D’Angelo was waning: “I mean, it’s been thirteen years and counting since Voodoo, where’s album number three?”

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Editor’s note: Alas, not a thrifty vinyl, but a retail one (one of only two[!] purchased in the last 3 months). It’s a great record, thoroughly recommended. A friend tells me CDs of this are going cheap at HMV–check it out.

Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment