December 26, 2010

Ho ho ho, yo!

Download the annual year-in-review mixtape from Some Quality and me, Rich JC.

Coolin' at Christmas

--Track List --

toni tone and tone - coolin at christmas

sista nancy- bam bah

billy preston - gold finger

sly and the family stone - run, run, run

edwin starr- ca soul

roy ayers ubiquity - better days

cookie and henry monster- circles

bobby marchan - disco rabbit

naughty by nature - holidaze remix

bto - easy groove

missy elliot - i can't stand the rain

rose royce- ooh boy i'm into you

lmfao - i'm in miami bitch

humpback interlude

eastbound expressway- never let go

idris muhammed - see saw

marvin gaye-a funky space reincarnation

raydio-you can't change that

impressions - i saw mommy kissing santa claus

bill summers - straight to the bank

betty padgett- sugar daddy

electric man lionel davis - electric man

ramsey lewis - soul man

m i a - mango pickle down river

ramsey lewis - up tight

cerrone - black is black

December 12, 2010

Grilled Lobster

Mary Jane - Stonefire Band, Grilled Lobster (1984)

2:30 AM on the streets of the Mission in SF California.

Bacon wrapped hot dog.

You see what I'm getting at?

The BWHD, as we quickly learned to call it, was as light on its feet in the mouth as the persistent drums, 'roaming all over the place'. The grilled onions and jalapenos the horn hit progression found only on the downbeat. The lines of mustard, mayo, and ketchup the unfailing chorus. Uncomplicated. Complete. Some would say perfect... The contents unGoogleable, the experience unforgettable.

December 4, 2010

Slipping into Sandwiches

I've always been afraid of delis. Being raised vegetarian, I didn't end up in one very often. The one we did frequent occasionally was rarely busy, and not too intimidating. These facts meant I never developed the assertive nature necessary to stride boldly up to the counter and order something. Anything. Especially not in a big city style deli, with fifteen runners behind the counter making 10-second sandwiches. At Genova Delicatessen and Ravioli in Temescal I, unsurprisingly, felt afraid. Especially afraid when I saw that my friend had already taken a number and was gesturing that I grab my own. Couldn't we order together? I wondered. We talked about the options non stop for the next ten minutes, waiting to be served. The Olympic Team behind the counter did 24 numbers in that time, finally coming to us. I ordered a specialty sandwich and then acquiesced to every suggestion made by my sandwich maker. She spent another ten minutes making it, and I leaned nervously against the counter wondering if you could buy a beer 'for here'. I steeled myself when she returned and asked - you could - and then got a mondo pickle to boot. I had made it through the fog into the groovy joy of a Panchetta, fresh Mozarella, and Sundried Tomato (PMT). It was like finally figuring out where you are slipping, when you are slipping into darkness. The pickle was that grandly echoing rim shot.

Slipping into Darkness - The Ramsey Lewis Trio, Upendo Ni Pamoja (1972)

As a bonus, the woman who took 10 minutes making my sandwich (I think she was new) somehow beat me to the bathroom. Having already waited so long, navigated the perils of the deli, and been so hungry, I felt I had to use it before eating, to cleanse myself of the anxieties of bladder holding and on-the-spot ordering. The at this point unknown person in the bathroom took another 8 minutes, and when I had given up and returned to my seat to do my best to enjoy the first bite of cured funky pig, I noticed the last place sandwich lady, sneaking past. It certainly topped everything off. I peed away my worries, and returned to the stylings of the Ramsey Lewis Sandwich Trio: cured ham, fresh moz, and oily tomatoes.

People Make the World Go Round - The Ramsey Lewis Trio, Upendo Ni Pamoja (1972)

(Originally written by The Stylistics, also recorded in '72 by MJ and Lenny Williams. Sampled in Swan Lake by DJ Shadow.)

November 29, 2010

Champa Sampler

At Champa Garden in Oakland, CA you can get such a mix of tastes and textures that your mouth might fall off. The Champa Sampler is fried rice ball salad (fried rice with preserved pork), lao sausage, fried spring roll, noodles, and a sauce that sings the high notes like the Chi-Lites. According to my buddy Matt Clark, you are supposed to put everything (all of the previously listed delites) at once into the fresh lettuce. Add the fresh cilantro and mint too.

The Champa Sampler is:
Too Good to be Forgotten
- The Chi-Lites, The Chi-Lites (1972)

Oo Baby, What You Do to Me - Vivian Reed, Brown Sugar (1976)

August 3, 2010

Tempting Groovers Everywhere

The Temps doing Bill Withers' classic. This song has been covered over 100 times by folks ranging from MJ and Al Green to Akon and Ja Rule. The Temps covered it less than a year after the original release, and were nevertheless the tenth group/artist to do so. I like this version because they approach a slowly-dying state similar to what Still Bill does in his original. It just drags on when there ain't no sunshine (when she is gone).

Ain't No Sunshine - The Temptations, Solid Rock (1972)

Next up, the Temps sort of redoing their classic War, already popularized by Edwin Starr's cover (both from 1971), in a much slower and more psychedelic (as I understand the word) version. It is a little repetitive, but only because it goes on for so long. Much more serious than the first version, it involves chanting, drums coming in and out, and rising and falling emotions: an austere audio anti-war rally that still grooves hard as a toned bottom.

Stop the War Now
- The Temptations, Solid Rock (1972)

March 31, 2010

Can't ______ ___ _______

Can't Strain My Brain - Sly and the Family Stone, Small Talk (1974)

Can't Find the Judge - Gary Wright, The Dream Weaver (1975)

I Can't Stand the Rain - Eruption, Eruption (1978)

March 11, 2010

Livin' Here

It used to be that you could expect pings off the coast from submarines. Now there are only the winged beasts, the fishermen, and the love. The love went out to sea. Do not ask how we know. The only thing that is really clear is that the best parts of the song sound like sonar. Sonar searching for love.

The Quality: This song is about going down, in all the ways that one does.

Love Don't Live Here Anymore - Rose Royce, Rose Royce Strikes Again (1978)