Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guest Mix and Special Feature on Manchester's Beatn'Rhythm Records from The Boy Jazz

   For those that don't know, Jazz was half of the team that brought us the pheonominal "Africa Brazil" night in the Pavillion, which focused on music from (you guessed it) Africa and Brazil. He ran it successfully with his digging partner Jeremy Murphy for over 6 months, bringing some amazing DJs to Cork along the way including legendary afro-beat collector and dealer, Frank Gossner. 
   Open minded music fans all over the city were disappointed when the boys announced they were putting the night on hold while they went traveling. Jeremy ended up (fittingly enough) in Brazil while Jazz stuck a little closer to home, by going to Manchester. 
   He's been good enough to do a whole feature for the blog based around Beatin'Rhythm Records, a local Manchester shop that specialises in the little things that this blog is all about. Plenty of excellent photos, a few words and a great mix made completely from 45's he's picked up in the shop. 
   Big thanks to you Sir! Hope to see you back around these parts soon... 

Tucked in a back street of Manchester's scruffy but vibrant Northern Quarter lies every diggers Aladdin's Cave.
The walls are stacked floor to ceiling with thousands of original 45's of funk, soul, gospel, doo wop, jazz, breaks, psych and more.
The store has been going in one form or another since 1990 and has been in its current location since October.

The owners Carl and Derek are seriously knowledgeable and the customers are mostly made up of an older crowd. This being the North of England there is a fairly heavy Northern Soul connection here with some 45's going for up to £500. You don't need to rob the bank to shop here though as the prices are really spread around. As well as the usual genres there are a couple of great sections for diggers. Wonderful One Offs, Breakbeats and Future Samples are where I tend to rummage through every Saturday morning. Carl reviews lots of the tunes and his write ups are just a blast (Check photo below).

As we are all aware record shops nowadays are struggling, so to come to a city and find a shop only selling 98% OG 45 stock  - and surviving is a joy.

The mix here is of tunes bought in Beatn'Rhythm  - all OG's except where you see this (R)

Enjoy and if any of you find yourselves this way give me a shout because there are other vinyl gems around this city..

Peter Sellers - A drop of the Hard Stuff  (Parlophone)
Les McCann - Spanish Onions  ( Audition)
Cal Tjader - The Fakir (Verve)
Gabor Szabo - Spellbinder (Impulse)
Latimore - Stormy Monday (Glades)
Nina Simone - Central Park Blues - (Bethlem)
7 Benny Goldson - Killer Joe (AM)
8 Wayne Bennett - Casanova ( Giant
9 Booker T - Melting Pot (Stax)
10 African Music Machine - Black Water Gold ( Soul Power)
11 Joe Cuba - El Pito (Vampi) R
12 Har-You - Welcome to the Party (Jazzman) R
13 The LA Power and Light - Lets Spend Some Time Together (Shake)
14 Jimmy Randolph - Let's Work Together (Rama)
15 Glass Family - Smoke Your Troubles Away (Ear Hole)
16 Hollywood Persuaders - Drums a go go (Origin)
17 Bob and Earl - Harlem Shuffle (Allied)
18 Mel Torne - Comin home baby ( London Atlantic)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sunday Times...


   While most regular nights in Cork would be doing well to last 6 months, John Hennessy and Barry Walsh's monthly "Sunday Times" isn't far off it's second birthday. Their ability to draw consistently good crowds and create a fun atmosphere without compromising their music policy has people wondering how exactly they pull this off. Any success they've had has to be put down to the hard work the lads have put into the night from day one (I say "night" but that's not really a fair description considering they kick things off around 4 in the afternoon). 
  Every month John and Barry go to the trouble of decorating the entire pub with random posters, vintage record players, reel to reel tape machines, bowls made of melted vinyl, decorated wine bottles, etc, etc.. Knowing how annoying it can be to just bring two decks, a mixer, and some records into a bar, I have the upmost respect for the lads for continually making the effort to bring the little extras that make their night unique. 
   They do a lot more than just decorate though. An Realt Dearg got nice new sound system earlier in the year, but before they did, John and Barry went into their own pockets to rent quality amp and speakers each month. Clear sound has always been a top priority for both of them. They also provide great food (I'm not talking about sausages and chicken nuggets). Think bbq, sushi, pizza, freshly baked cakes, etc.. and it's often free of charge. 
    The lads are equally hard working when it comes to promotion. They maintain a great website/blog (www.sundaytimessoundsystem.com) with regular mixes and other random writings, photos, etc related to the night, as well as the usual social network/forum/flyer work. 
    All these extra touches are nice, but what "Sunday Times" is really all about is the music. John and Barry both fall into the category of obsessive collectors when it comes to vinyl. All the decorations, food, websites, etc are provided in the hope that they can share these records with you, and maybe make you dance. 
While "Sunday Times" would have to be considered one of the most successful monthly nights in Cork, this wasn't always the case. I played with the lads at two of their early nights, I think I was their first guest actually.. (correct me if I'm wrong boys). The first time I joined them we pulled a crowd of about 8 people. I don't remember any of us being too disappointed, we play obscure music (most of which is over 30 years old) in Cork... this obviously wasn't the first time any of us had played to an empty room. So we just saw it as an opportunity to have a few drinks and listen to some great music with a couple friends. The numbers may be more these days but the attitude towards the night remains the same. 
   The lads invited me to play with them again the following month. There was a much better crowd this time around. It was far from packed, but there have been few times I've enjoyed DJing as much. It was quickly becoming clear that the lads had something special.
   Almost 2 years later it's amazing to see how far the night has come. Most of the best DJ's in the city, and many from around the country, have played up there at some point. John Daly, Greg Dowling, Stevie G, Lunar Disco DJ's, and Colm K, are just a few of the names who have played over the last couple years. The success of the monthly night has also got John and Barry gigs around the country and last year they were even invited to play in Berlin. 
    As I'm sure it does to many, the night means quite a bit to me personally. I've had some of my favorite nights DJing in there. My brother has been a regular fixture of the night as well, either as a DJ, running his Hobo Records stall, or as a drunken spectator. My parents have made it several times and are fans of the atmosphere, even my son has made a few daytime appearances!  For us "Sunday Times" is indeed a family affair. 
   So I'm delighted to be playing with the boys once again on Easter Sunday. It will be a Little Things Radio special, meaning of course that I'll be playing nothing but 45's. It's a bank holiday weekend too so there will be an extra hours drinking time and no worries about work the following morning! This could get messy...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Little Things Radio ep6 April 2011



Marvin Holmes and the Uptights - Ooh Ooh The Dragon pt1 (uni)
Earl Van Dyke and the Soul Brothers - I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Hunny Bunch) (soul)
Shorty Long - Night Fo' Last (soul)
Kool and the Gang - Funky Man (blue elephant)
Sly and the Family Stone - Sing A Simple Song (epic)
Jean Knight - Mr. Big Stuff (stax)
Don Julian and the Larks - Shorty The Pimp pt1 (money)
Sugar Billy - Super Duper Love pt1 (fast track)
Booker T. and the M.G.'s - Soul Clap '69 (stax)
Rufus Thomas - The Breakdown pt1 (stax)
The Family - Family Affair (north bay)
Ripple - A Funky Song (grc)
Betty Davis - If I'm In Luck, I Might Get Picked Up (just sunshine)
The Kinks - Such A Shame (reprise)
Donovan - Sunshine Superman (epic)
Supergrass - St. Petersburg (parlophone)
Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealing (warner brothers)
Dot.Matic - The City (record breakin')
Deviant - Shoes Not Not / Vain (Glorious) (alphabet set)
Dirk Thornton - Catwalk (all city)
Edan - Sagittarius Rapp (now-again)
Anita Ward - Ring My Bell (juana)
Carl Carlton - She's A Bad Mama Jama (20th century fox)
Tony Troutman - Do It Right (t main) 

Download Link...



  First things first.. Let me give an ol' tip of the cap to the good people at Plugd records who have just re-opened their shop at the Triskel Arts Centre on Tobin Street, fittingly enough on Record Store Day, April 16th. The new shop looks amazing. There's a music venue and cafe on the premises, which will please my wife who spent plenty of time at the old location patiently waiting while I listened to whatever was new in that week. 
  At a time when record shops all over world are closing their doors, it's a beautiful thing to see one re-open. This year alone has seen Dublin lose two landmark shops, City Discs and Comet. Thankfully the lads at Plugd seem confident that they can make the shop work, and they're excited about giving it another shot.
  I won't go on a rant about Plugd's importance to Cork's music scene, This has been done many times by people much better equipped for the job than myself, I'll just say welcome back.. you were missed.
   So pop in to check out the new location and give them some of your money. They really, really deserve it.


  The Community Skratch Games is pretty much the highlight of the year on Ireland's Hip Hop calendar. This month will mark the 5th year of the mini scratch festival which takes place over 4 days in Galway. Turntablism in general may be dying a slow death, but a group of talented DJ's, producers, musicians, and artists in the west of Ireland are keeping the best parts of the scene alive and interesting. 
  The Community Skratch Crew have brought their unique take on Hip Hop culture to the UK and other cities around Europe over the last couple years. Their releases on the Nozl Recordings label (most of which are available for free download) have been getting a lot of attention lately and they've just started a great podcast that's already 3 episodes deep. Keep up with all their goings on at www.nozlrecordings.com

This year the games will begin on Thursday the 21st of April at the G126 gallery where there will be an exhibition of artwork, photography, and design as well as a turntablism showcase and the release of the new Deviant and Naive Ted 12 inch "Send In The Hounds". 
   Friday the 22nd will feature a special showing of the landmark turntablism film "Night At The Knitting Factory" also at the G126 gallery. The film documents a legendary night of live performances by the D Styles Sextet and Ned Hoddings. This show, and the D Styles album "Phantazmagorea" represent a crossroads in turntablism where competition takes a back seat to making coherent and beautiful scratch based music. 
   Don't miss this rare opportunity to see this important piece of turntablism history on a big screen with a nice sound system.

  The highlight of the weekend is always Saturday's Open Freestyle Battle Royal in the Bierhaus which attracts incredible turntablists from all over Europe. It's a different format to the average DJ competition. A loop is played, each DJ gets a minute show their skills, after each round the weakest competitor is voted off, the beat is changed, and it all starts again.
  What's most interesting about this competition is that despite high level of talent involved, there is no money for the winner. The only prize is a big bag of raw meat (seriously) which is traditionally cooked up the following morning and shared with the other contestants. This is the Community Skratch Games after all, prize money wouldn't really fit in with the spirit of the festival.  
   If all this sounds like way too much scratching for you, there will be relief in the form of an all 7" James Brown set from Stroller. His set with Jeremy Murphy at last years games was a highlight for me. He's a very entertaining DJ and a dedicated collector. 

  But the fun doesn't stop there.. Sunday at the Bierhaus will be a full day of DJ and producer showcases from some of the country's best beat makers, musicians and emcees. 

  This all might bring up images of alot of pasty, nerdy guys standing around staring at turntables, but there's always a surprisingly fun atmosphere at the games. Anyone with even a passing interest in DJ culture should find plenty to keep themselves entertained.
Saturday's Open Freestyle Battle Royal line up..

Chinch 33 (Germany) 
DJ Blood 1 (UK/Swe)
Deceptakut (UK)
Grandeurs Of Delusion (UK)
Fidel Cutstro (UK) 
Jimmy Penguin 
Mikey Fingers 
Ozz G
Cut Man Doo (POL)
Damien Chmielix (POL)

Sunday's Producer Showcase line-up..

Melodica Deathship 
Mustapha Monde 
Rumbus Merrylegs
Rubble Digits
Dal Kas
Deviant and Naive Ted
Chiwawa Studios
Noid The Droid

community skratch games,deviant,naive ted,7",turntablism,mixes,radio

Deviant - Shoes Not Not / Vain (Glorious) 
  And so with that our first featured record comes from the winner of last years CSG Open Freestyle Battle.. Deviant. He's a founding member of both the CSG collective and the turntablist band (if that's the right description) Vince McMahon. This limited red 7" from 2009 is turntable music in it's purest form. To quote the small print on the record itself.. "All music performed and produced by Deviant and Naive Ted using records, turntable, mixer, loop pedal, and software multi-tracker. No programming. No effects."

sugar billy,billy garner,samples,7",soul,mix,radio,45's

Sugar Billy - Super Duper Love pt1
  Most will recognise this song from the Joss Stone cover from 2003. She sold quite a few records by taking classic soul tracks like "Super Duper Love" and turning them into a kind of modern pop-soul fusion. Her music wasn't bad, it was all just a bit too.. safe, especially when compared with the source material.  
  This 7" was taken from (Sugar) Billy Garner's first and only album from 1974 (also titled Super Duper Love). His earlier singles for the New Day imprint are serious collectors items. The Gangstarr sampled, break beat classic "I Got Some" seems to be his most sought after 45, often selling for over $500. Guess I'll have to be satisfied with my re-press then...

marvin holmes,uptights,7",funk,breaks,45's,mix,radio

Marvin Holmes and the Uptights - Ooh Ooh The Dragon pt1
   Singer, guitarist, and songwriter Marvin Holmes is a legend of the Oakland funk scene. In the mid to late 60's the Uptights were the guys to call if you were looking for a tight backing band for hire while in Oakland. They played with many of the greats of the time such as B.B. King, Etta James, Esther Phillips, Hugh Masakela and David Ruffin to name just a few. Holmes would also have his own songs covered and recorded by legends like Buddy Miles and Ike Turner. 
    In the 70's Holmes left the Uptights to form other bands Justice and The Funk Company . He released 2 albums with Justice for the Brown Door label that were modest successes, and in the late 80's and early 90's did some production work for another Bay Area legend.. Too Short!

betty davis,funk,rock,7",45's,mixes,radio

Betty Davis - If I'm In Luck, I Might Get Picked Up
   Betty Davis has plenty of what the kids would call Swag! Its a mixture of confidence, style, sex appeal, and a bad ass, take no shit attitude, thats both attractive and intimidating. She was Miles Davis' second wife for a brief time, but its said that the year she spent with him was incredibly influential on the trumpet legend. She introduced him to music by artists like Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, which would take his own music in a completely new direction. This influence can be heard clearly on Miles groundbreaking 1969 album Bitches Brew. Miles may have invented jazz fusion, but this probably wouldn't have been possible without Betty. 
   Her own music is mixture funk and rock with a heavy dose of the above mentioned swag. She didn't have the most dynamic vocal range but made up for it with sheer attitude and energy. She released three albums in the early 70's (a fourth was recorded but wasn't released until 2009)

Don Julian,meadowlarks,larks,shorty the pimp,too short,7",vinyl,mixes,money

Don Julian and the Larks - Shorty The Pimp
   Don Julian formed the Larks (originally the Meadowlarks) way back in 1952 while they were still in high school. Don was only 14 years of age when the group had their first hit "Heaven And Paradise" The line up of the meadowlarks changed often, only Don Julian would remain a constant member. The group released a string of singles for the Dootone label in the 50's which sold well in southern California. They are also credited as being the first integrated doo wop group.
   During the early 70's the Larks recorded several singles and a very sought after album for the Money label. "Shorty the Pimp" was recorded for the soundtrack to a blaxploitation film of the same name, but the movie never saw a release and the soundtrack was shelved (it eventually got released in the 90's). 


Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealing 
  This was a favorite of mine as a kid. It's not the type of thing I usually play so it's fun to drop it in sets every now and again and trip off people's reactions to it. I've always been of the opinion that a really good DJ set requires a couple curve-ball moments!       Jane's Addiction were one of the first success stories of the early 90's "alternative" rock scene. The band formed in 1985. They went through several line up changes before recording their first album in 1988. "Been Caught Stealing" was the big hit from their second album "Ritual De Lo Habitual!" The band broke up shortly after its release. 
   They reformed several times for tours and went through more line up changes before eventually recording a third album "Strays", in 2003. They are currently working on new material for an album that's due a release this year.

hip hop,mixes,edan,7"

Edan - Sagittarius Rapp
  Picked this one up at an Edan show a couple years back. If you haven't seen the man live before I highly recommend you do so. He's quite possibly the best live act in Hip Hop. He's back in Ireland this month playing shows in Belfast, Dublin, and Galway. Hit up www.choicecuts.ie for info.
  "Sagittarius Rapp" is a non album track that, as far as I know, is only available on this 7". The B side includes the sample source, Timothy McNealy's "Sagittarius Black", which is pretty rare in its original format.


The Family - Family Affair
  This energetic cover of the Sly and the Family Stone classic later appeared on the MFSB's 1973 self titled album. MFSB was a loose collection of Philadelphia session musicians that usually included Ronnie Baker (bass), Earl Young (drums), Norman Harris (guitar) Bobby Eli (guitar), and of course, the production team Gamble and Huff (although production on this song is credited to Broadway Eddie). Its pretty safe to say that at least a couple of these musicians were involved in the making of this record. This collection of artists would mold the up-tempo soul sound that would eventually be known as the Philly sound. They played on hundreds of songs by artists such as the O'Jays, the Spinners, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, Jerry Buttler, Teddy Pendergrass, and the Intruders. Later they became important in the evolution of Disco, bringing their unique touch to many classics of the genre. 
   In the late 70's many members left the group over money issues. Some went to Salsoul Records, where they formed the Salsoul Orchestra, others went on to become The Ritchie Family.   

shorty long,soul,45

Shorty Long - Night Fo' Last
  Shorty Long is a name that isn't often thrown around during discussions about the great artists of  Tamala/Motown. He may not have had as many hits as some of his peers, but he definitely wasn't lacking in talent. The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist played piano, organ, drums, trumpet and harmonica. He was also one of the only Motown artists that was allowed to produce his own music.
   He released several singles for the Motown subsidiary label Soul in the 60's scoring a couple minor hits before finally releasing his debut album in 1968. For whatever reason, Motown didn't seem to put as much time or money into Shorty's music as it's quality deserved. This seemed to frustrate label mate Marvin Gaye who once asked  songwriting/production team Holland Dozier and Holland "Why are you going to produce me? Why don't you produce Shorty Long?"
   Only a year after the release of his debut album, just as his music was beginning to get some much deserved attention, Shorty tragically died in a boating accident on the Detroit River. Stevie Wonder played harmonica at his burial. 
   Motown released a second album "The Prime Of Shorty Long" a couple months after his death.