Tuesday, July 31, 2012

52nd Street: Cool As Ice

Cool As Ice - 52nd Street

Here is a very "cool" song by British jazz-funk and R&B band from Manchester.  The band was picked up by the legendary and seminal Factory Records in 1982.  It was Factory co-owner and Joy Division's manager Rob Gretton and a reluctant partner Tony Wilson that agreed to take a chance on this Funk/soul outfit  that was becoming a new trend at the time which was an unusual sound for a record company known to sign for a more post punk/new wave sound.  Later they were picked up across the sea by AM Records as they went on to garnish some level of success with songs like "Look Into My Eyes" and "Can't Afford".  Unfortunately due to a unsteady rotating cast of members and being caught in the middle of label and management disputes along with the pressures of putting out hits, the band dissolved during the end of the '80s.  Their sound is truly unique with a nice blend of street, hip pop, and synth dance.  They only released one album titled Children of the Night on Virgin records in 1986.  I'm simply loving this song.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Disco Photography

Disco Dancing at the Cove Cabaret, Superior, Wisconsin, 1981. Photo: Bob King/Duluth Herald

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Larry Levan: Party On

 This weekend we celebrate and honor the birthday of legendary and pioneer DJ and producer, Larry Levan.  This past Friday would have been his 58th birthday and in honor of his legacy here is Pure Energy "Party On". It was released in 1980 on Prism Records.  This endearing call to party on is simply blissful here. I can easily vision how this song probably ripped the Paradise Garage dance floor during its hey day with Levan doing his magic.  You are deeply missed and your legacy still continues as we party on!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Taste My Love: House To House feat. Kym Mazelle

 Happy Saturday from NYC! The weather is gorgeous here with a nice mild breeze.  Here is a fierce house classic from 1987 called "Taste My Love" by House to House feat. Kym Mazelle.  It was produced by legendary house icon Marshall Jefferson with Kym Mazelle on vocals.  The song was written by Virgo. This great song was intended to be released for radio in hope to be a commercial hit but it was considered to racy for radio at the time! However, the song did get some radio play in the UK during the late '80s.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Marta Acuna: Dance, Dance, Dance

Here is a dreamy classic disco that keeps on giving.  This is the perfect tune to close out an evening of hot summer dancing.  This song was released on P&P records in 1977 and it was produced by the legendary Patrick Adams and it is considered one of his best and most rarest pressing and it was ahead of its time when it was released.  The vocals are by Marta Acuna and unfortunately very little is known about her.   On the other hand, Mr. Adams is a producer, arranger and songwriter. His career spans more than 30 years. He has worked with the likes Sister Sledge, Loleatta Holloway, Bumblebee Unlimited, Universal Robot Band,  Narada Michael Walden and Musique. Among the many, one of Adams's best known recordings is Inner Life's "I'm Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair)".  His contribution and to Disco and dance music is unparalleled and truly unique.  Enjoy

Friday, July 13, 2012

Days Like This

It's hard to believe this song is already ten years old! I stumbled today to this amazing classic and instantly I thought of posting it here  as the perfect antidote for the end of the week.  We all know how it feels to have those hard work weeks  smacked right in the middle of summer and it is days like this where it's nice to stop and just say Thank You!  Produced and performed by soul crooner Shawn Escoffery, "Days Like This" was initially released on vinyl 12" single October 29th,  2001 and I remember how this song healed the dance floor, specially since it was heard months just after the 9/11 attacks.  This song continues to heal.  Bless you Shaun Escoffery and thank you for serving true house! Have a magical weekend and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Walking On Thin Ice: Keith Haring at Brooklyn Museum

I went to see the Keith Haring 1978-1982 show at the Brooklyn Museum this past Saturday on day before it closed.  The show had some great highs and lows. It was a great late '70s to early '80s time capsule that captured the spirit of his early student work and the early influences that drove Keith to greatness and sadly to his unfortunate death.  I was glad I got to see and left a bit nostalgic for that era of experimentation in art, music, fashion and nightlife where art and commerce where still resisting each other.  I walked to the many galleries and heard Yoko Ono's emblematic and historical "Walking On Thin Ice" as part of an interactive montage of Haring's work and totally fell in love the song all over again.   Yoko and John Lennon concluded the recording of the song on December 8th, 1980. It was upon their return to the Dakota that John was murdered and was clutching a tape of the final mix of this song when he was shot.  The lead guitar played by John is said to be one his most fascinating and his sadly last creative endeavor. Here is my favorite version along with a very nice re-interpretation by the Pet Shop Boys that was released in 2003 as part of a maxi single CD.  Enjoy!

From a subway advertizing

Self Portrait

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

America: Tin Man

Happy Birthday United States of America! To celebrate this county's birthday here is a song that I believe resonates well to what this country represents.   Even though it's not clear if that's the case here with such obscure lyrics from this aptly named '70s iconic rock group America.  I always think of the greatness of this country whenever I hear all of their songs.  This great song was released in 1974 and written by band member Dewey Bunnell and produced by George Martin, who also plays the piano on the recorded version. The song's title and some its lyrics refer to the Tin Woodman from The Wizard of Oz. I have to say that to me The Tin Man is America.  Enjoy the 4th of July holidays!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

World, You Need A Change Of Mind

Happy July! I have to say that it took me half way in the year to realize hands down the best album of 2012 so far is World, You Need A Change Of Mind by Kindness.  Every song in this LP is brilliant bliss.  Stylishly produced by French house guru Philippe Zdar of Cassius fame, this beautiful and airy LP deliver the goods with amazing vocals by Adam Bainbridge sounding very much like the late Arthur Russell.  The album has been widely received with mixed reviews and what I hear loudly is that this album is lacking in grit and ambition. Some critics are missing the point of here, are we so inmune to expect now days that every new release has to be in your face and loudly screaming hear me out?  Obviously this is not the case here and we have to change our minds about this nicely put together album with a nice blend of R&B, electro pop infused with '80s synth heaven that reminds me of the sound of mid '80s band The Blue Nile.  I'm struck by the genuine inventiveness of this offering and so far that is what I'm gravitating this year. So here is "House" which is one of my many favorite from Kindness. Enjoy!