Thanks for joining me for this thing we call Hot & Warped. An eclectic all-vinyl radio program which airs live every Monday night 10-midnight (EST) at WMUA.org. The show features classic & contemporary, rare & reissue, weird & straight musics. To hell with weak ears!
My guest this week was Becky aka the (formerly) silent DJ Harpo. While she didn't spend a whole lot of time on the mic she did take the time to pen the notes to her selections below. She has quite wide-ranging tastes but you can always be assured to hear some female-led soul or some twisted lyrical takes. Thanks to Becky for visiting the new program. She was a frequent (silent) selector on Radio Clandestino.
All (most?) new vinyl sent to me gets played. And as a courtesy I link to label/artist websites. All styles welcome. Address below. Please note that we DO NOT post pirated MP3s here for your free grubby grab. Go buy some tunes from the bands and labels or from honest record stores or other legitimate outlets. --Andujar
All selections (and notes) below are by my special guest DJ Harpo...
--- featuring Peruvian Exotica queen Yma Sumac
mimicking wah-wah guitar effects with her insane 5-octave pipes in this
unlikely 1970 comeback record produced by Les Baxter, who also worked on
Yma's lounge classic "Voice of the Xtabay" in the fifties. I'm probably
way off base, but Yma comes off to me like a stuck-up diva who
takes herself way too seriously; so though I respect her abilities
and get a kick out of her wild wordless singing, part of me likes to
imagine someone illicitly layered her vocals over these psych-rock
arrangements, just to fuck with her. Like maybe Les Baxter secretly
hates her and did this.
Cut Chemist..."Adidas To Addis"...12"...(A Stable Sound)
of a funky and psychedelic Mulatu Astatke song. I was thrilled that
D.J. Andujar was willing to swap this gem at the last Recordville!
Marsha Hunt's 22..."(Oh No! Not!) The Beast Day"...45...(Vertigo)
was sold on Britain-based rocker Marsha Hunt when I watched online, a
TV performance of her covering Dr. John's "I Walk on Gilded Splinters."
Here, she's backed by one of several rock bands she fronted in her
heyday. ... So
what the fuck is this song about? It sounds like she's singing "oh no
not the bee sting," but that's only because I've never heard of a "beast
day." Mystifying lyrically, it also sounds confused -- it's funky and
trippy but folky and traditional. Side note: Hunt had a baby
with Mick Jagger and claims to be the inspiration for "Brown Sugar," and
she was rumored to have dated Marc Bolan, too. (high
The Mohawks..."Rocky Mountain Roundabout"...The Champ...(Pama)
Groover by British session band best known for the heavily-sampled "Champ," featuring Alan Hankshaw.
Alika..."Para Bailar Cumbia" (Hijo de La Cumbia rmx)...12"...(Soot)
can hear he influence of hip-hop, reggae and cumbia in this tune out of
Argentina associated with Chancha via Circuito, who I've heard
referred to as the J. Dilla of South America.
Borrowing this record from WMUA's own Studebaker Hawk!
Eddie Harris..."I Need Some Money"...I Need Some Money...(Atlantic)
another track on this record, Harris sings through the electric sax.
But I chose this song because word association apparently informs my DJ
selections! D.J. Andujar turned me on to Eddie Harris and told me has a
good stand-up comedy record. Eddie's sense of humor is apparent in this
Melvin Van Peebles..."Come On Feet, Do Your Thing"...Ain't I Supposed To Die A Natural Death...(A&M)
is one of my heroes, a intellectual rascal best known as a film auteur
but overlooked as a composer. His music has the same DIY, rebellious,
in-your-face, attitude he brings to his films.
Charles Earland..."Weed Hopper"...The Dynamite Brothers soundtrack...(Prestige)
This song goes fucking nuts but maintains a steady groove. I've got to
see the movie if only to see if any action scene can live up to this musical chaos.
Hamilton Bohannon..."Summertime Groove"...Summertime Groove...(Mercury)
didn't plan to follow that Earland track with Bohannon, but I love how
drummer and composer Bohannon would contrast a strong and regimented
groove with busier guitar patterns. I used to flip past Bohannon records
until a Wax Poetics article seduced me into checking him out. Wow!
Don't let the disco tag fool you. His sounds are raw and heavy and deep
and rooted in soul, gospel and r&b.
The Monks..."Love Came Tumblin' Down"...Black Monk Time...(International reissue)
GIs stationed in Germany in the mid sixties produce arguably some of
the first punk records. I like this louder and more cynical twist on a pop love song trope.
The Seeds..."Pictures & Designs"...A Web Of Sound...(Get Back reissue)
it's because punk music is what got me into buying records in the first
place, but if a singer screams at just the right time in a song, I'm
totally sold on it. Sky Saxon is a madman in this song.
Evariste..."Connais-Tu l'Animal Qui Inventa Le Calcul Integral?"...Do You Know The Beast?...(No Smoke)
was excited to find a reissue of this record by an enigmatic
French garage rocker apparently named after a famous mathmetician.A
real weirdo! I've heard him referred to as a French Kim Fowley. Its
juxtasposition here with Marsha Hunt's "Oh No Not the Beast Day" is
Balinese gamelan music..."Ketjak Dance" (excerpt)...Music From The Morning Of The World...(Nonesuch/Explorer)
chants are a good foil to traditional gamelan sounds. Aggressive chants
by this all-male chorus give the effect of a violent drum solo and
provide some relief on a record full of noodly high-pitched gamelan
The Dirtbombs..."No Expectations"...45...(Norton)
the Dirtbombs merge elements of my two favorite Stones songs and
probably my least favorite Beatles tune. The Dirtbombs are a great cover
band! A friend recently played me a 7" of them salvaging two INXS
Big Mama Thornton..."Rollin' Stone"...Stronger Than
version of Hound Dog came out first and though far superior was
overshadowed by Elvis Presley's version. Here she gets a little revenge
with an album full of covers, including this take on a Muddy Waters
Nina Simone..."Do I Move You"...Nina Sings The Blues...(4 Men With Beards reissue)
of my favorite songs ever. A
studio recording but it has the feeling of a spontaneous recording session.
Sonny Stitt..."A Crazy Mixed Up World"...Satan...(Cadet)
moody piece from a 70s album with an amazing record cover. Sad and
soulful, not at all subtle, would be right at home on a soundtrack,
probably a seventies action film -- it's playing while the film's hero
is driving in the rain after someone he loved was killed; he can't cry
(cinematic rules forbid) so the music does the crying for him.
Rufus Harley..."Eight Miles High"...King/Queens...(Atlantic)
of my favorite covers ever, a fevered jazz bagpipe rendition of the
Byrds classic. Rufus overheard bagpipes playing at JFK's funeral and
decided to add the instrument to his repertoire. You'd think bagpipes
would be limiting in jazz, but Harley pushed them pretty far. It became
his main instrument.
Duke Ellington..."Didjeridoo"...The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse...(Fantasy)
Funky track from another great 70s jazz record with amazing cover art. I
love all eras of Duke Ellington. This record seems to riff off the soul
jazz and world-music-influenced jazz from the time, yet remains orchestral.
Temptations..."You've Got My Soul On Fire"...1990...(Gordy)
1990 is one of those records I see frequently in the cheap bins and want
to buy over and over just because it's so damn good (Ike & Tina's
"Come Together" is another bizarrely common record). Apparently
this record, produced by Norman Whitfield, was overlooked at the time because DJs were boycotting the
Temptations after some perceived snub by a Motown exec and it didn't get
promoted on the radio. "You've Got My Soul on Fire" should've been a
Neneh Cherry..."Trouble Man"...12"...(Motown)
Neneh Cherry interprets Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man" and like every song
she covers, pretty much owns it. I love her collaboration with free jazz/rock band The Thing
last year, which produced an amazing female-perspectived cover of the
Stooges' "Dirt" and inspired take on Madvillain's "Accordion" that sounds
more poetry slam than hip-hop.
Gwen McCrae..."90% of Me"...Rockin' Chair...(Cat)
This song evokes the scary side of falling in love, of letting somebody
else become a part of you, the fear of losing control. It's been sampled
quite a bit, most famously by Main Source, although they used
Vanessa Kendrick's version. I prefer McCrae's vocal delivery; it's
warmer, more direct and confident.
Millie Jackson..."I'm Free"...Free & In
I first heard this song via a Pharoah Monche tune and had to know what he was sampling. I love the rock
guitar intro and her James Brown-like exclamations, the best being: "Hot
Dog, I'm free!" My best Millie score was "It Hurts So Good" in a Wareham
Salvation Army bin that appeared utterly propectless; I've spent hours
digging through those moldy bins since and come up empty-handed.
Bessie Smith..."I'm Wild About That Thing"...Any Woman's Blues...(Columbia)
is practically in heat singing this song basically about how much she
loves this guy's thing. This collection contains an alternative version
of the same song called "you Better give me some." I guess when negative
reinforcement wasn't working, Bessie penned the other tune pumping up his
Lyn Collins..."Rock Me Again & Again & Again..."...Check Me Out If You Don't Know Me By Now...(People)
Collins is by far my favorite James Brown sidekick. Female singers in
popular music too often sound like contrived vamps or whiny damsels in
distress but Collins always sounds intelligent and in control of her own
Plasmatics..."Sometimes I"...Meet The Plasmatics...(Vice
friend has been pushing the Plasmatics on me for years now and I've
finally come around ... even on the concept album "Maggots"!
Dillinger..."Funky Punk"...Cocaine In My Brain...(Earmark)
probably wrong to think of Dillinger as the GG Allin of reggae. "Crabs
in my pants" and "Cocaine in my brain" aren't especially vulgar or
threatening, but kind of weird subject matter for reggae. I like the
spaced out vibe of the disco-reggae hybrid "Funky Punk." He also screams a lot.
Nico Gomez & his Afro Percussion Inc..."Lupita"...Ritual...(boot)
Some Belgians play Latin American styled music
that is kind of psychedelic.
Santa Esmeralda..."Don't Let Me Be
Studebaker Hawk gave me this record, a fantastic dancefloor
of Santa Esmeralda's cover of the song most famously done by the
Animals and Nina Simone.
Betty Davis..."Your Mama Wants You Back"...They Say I'm Different...(Just Sunshine)
time Andujar has invited me to play records on his show I've played
something by Betty Davis, a trend-setting trail-blazing provocateur in
the way she dressed and made music and broke down barriers. Madonna,
Lady Gaga and the rest are just pretenders. Betty is without a doubt my
favorite singer ever. And her "anti-love song" is one of the best "love"
songs ever recorded.
Tyrone Davis..."I Keep Coming Back"...Turn Back The Hands Of Time...(Dakar)
I love how Tyrone Davis just loses his mind and starts screaming in this middle of this ballad.
XIT..."The Coming Of The White Man/War Cry"...Plight Of The Redman...(Rare Earth)
Fierce Native American hard rock band --- on Motown!
Françoise Hardy..."Le Temps de l'Amour"...Françoise
icon of fashion and music! I love the minor guitar keys of this song,
which rocks harder than most Hardy songs I've heard.
All (most?) new vinyl sent to me gets played. And as a courtesy I link to label/artist websites. All styles welcome. Address below. --Andujar
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