Monday, October 13, 2008

TwoSlaps Radio [WLUW]

Arvo's sick so I'm playing some of my newest, bestest soul, funk and reggae tracks

La Charanga '76 - No Nos Pararan

Blue Magic - Born On Halloween
Dap Kings - Hard Eight
Pato Banton - Don't Sniff Coke
Bongos Ikuwe & the Groovies - You've Got to Help Yourself

H.B. Barnum - Heartbreaker
Garnet Mimms - Looking for You

Jackie Lee - Superdance
Roy Hamilton - Crackin Up Over You
Fearns Bass Foundry - Don't Change It

Tom Tumbleweed - Tumbling Down
Martha Turner - Dirty Old Man
The Sharonettes - Papa OOm Mow Mow

Viola Willis - Sweetback
The Bobby Patrick Big Six - Monkey Time
The Chips - You Make Me So Good

Macy Skipper - Goofin Off
Alex Harvey - Agent 00 Soul
The Meddyevils - Place Called Love

New Birth - Honey Bee
Primevil - Stop Look Listen!
Eugene McDaniels - Freedom Death Dance

Carrie Riley & the Fascinations - Super Cool
The Hitch-Hikers feat. The Mighty Pope - Mr. Fortune
Shirley Bassey - Light My Fire
Kool & the Gang - Jungle Jazz
John Congos - He's Gonna Step On You Again

Eddie Johns - More Spell on You
Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman
Breakwater - Release the Beast

David Axelrod - Holy Tuesday
Speedometer ft the Speedettes - Wait Up (This Time I'm Going)
Jimmy Smith - Root Down

First Choice - Smarty Pants
Bergendy - Tramp-Reszlet

[Pato Banton suggests that, instead of cocaine, you might want to give marijuana the old college try]

Friday, June 27, 2008

extra letters for extra funnn!

Date: 6/24/08
Location: sonotheque
Show: Minor Figure$ feat. BFF, Juiceboxxx, nd Gutter Butter
Cost: FREE!
Drinks: $2 PBR
Things I missed to be there: Outdanced! with Bearries and DJKT at Funky Buddha; Modern Love with Abducted at liar's club
Reason for Going: Best price:location:fun ratio of the evening

You know those conversations you only have with a lover? (apologies for the loaded and tacky term - I try not to use it) ... by which I mean those half-dreamt, half spoken ramblings that spill out into conversation before you go to sleep. I used to have pages of them journaled, but now the book is as lost as the memories. There are only a few that I could recall without my memory being jogged. The first was about developing a tapeworm that splits its time between the stomach and the uterus eating half of your food and any eggs that happened to get fertilized, and the skinny, childless utopia it would open up for us.

Another was Hamsters in Test Mode, an anthropomorphic electroclash band of cyborg robots that play songs like "Ichiban, Itchy Foot" and "All Systems Go!" Chicago's BFF might be the closest I ever come to seeing the band.

It might have been the animation, an acid flashback of rainbow hearts zipping across the screens, that started off BFF's set that makes me think of candy, of being forcefed candy, of being shocked by candy like sweet tarts melting into a saline enema. The project, a collaboration between animator/street artist Pooper and Hunter Husar (from Mahjongg/Waterbabies). It recalls elements of any project where women rap, chant, and cheer over synthesizers that sound almost like guitars. There are shades of Uffie, Le Tigre, The Go! Team, Puffy Amiyumi, Miss Kittin, and the Soft Pink Truth. If Pooper was louder with her voice and bigger with her movements, she could have overpowered the goon-y tall dudes standing between me (short) and her (shorter).

That could never happen to Milwaukee's Juiceboxxx. Dude starts a party with the precision the United Center starts a Bulls Game. One second you're standing there, skeptical, wondering if you just might be over Juiceboxxx already and the next you're pumping your fists in the air and bopping your feets as you watch his simian ass climb the rafters and shout-rap. He's probably the nost confrontational rapper I've ever seen, not just getting out there to juke up in his fans' personal space, but to roll around the floor and get up in the faces of the bored dudes peacefully sitting at a table ignoring him. When you couldn't see him, you still couldn't ignore his presence. Like that guy behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz was yelling something that your brain couldn't pick up but the rest of you could read loud and clear.

It ain't music to think to, ab=nd it wouldn't be worth a damn if it was.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Two Slaps Radio [WLUW]

Lab Rat:

Fela Ransome Kuti & the Afrika 70 - Gentleman
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - Big Man
Femi Kuti - Traitors of Africa

[click here to listen to the show from this point on]

Honny & the Bees - Psychedelic Woman
Billy Ball and the Upsetters - Tighten Up Tighter
National Soul Review - Engine No. 9
The TSU Tornados - Cutting Corners
The Grass Roots - Midnight Confession

Apostles of Music - Look Where He Brought Us From
Sonny Cox - The Wailer
Bubbha Thomas and the Lightmen Plus One - The Phantom


The Temptations - Just My Imagination
The Four Tops - Sugar Pie Honey Bunch
Marvin Gaye - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
The Marvelettes - Please Mr. Postman

Smokey Robinson - Cruisin'
James & Bobby Purify - I'm Your Puppet
The Contours - Just A Little Misunderstanding
Michael Jackson - You Can't Win (The Wiz)

Ben E. King - Spanish Harlem
Timi Yuro - I Love How You Love Me
Shirelles - Will You Love Me Tomorrow
The Dells - Run For Cover
Edwinn Starr - 25 Miles
The Lovelites - I'm Not Like The Others

Labi Siffre - I Got The
Sly & The Family Stone - Sing A Simple Song
Nat Turner Rebellion - Plastic People

The California Raisins - Signed Sealed Delivered

Thursday, June 19, 2008

After Party Hardy

Date: 6/19/08
Location: Members Only
DJs: Crystal Castles plus ?????
Cost: $5
Things I missed to be there: An actual Crystal Castles set with Radioclit at the Double Door; a fashion show at Cobra Lounge; and a punk show at Lowercase Collective
Reason for going: Actually, I missed all of that other shit because I had my own gig. Thios was the AFTER PARTY!

Members Only houses some of the best party starters in the city right now, stalwarts of the rave, loft, house party, and bourgie club scenes, so how awesome would it be if they teamed up with Avant Trill, the tiny collective that provides the city with a perfect mix of avant garde, glam, and juke with their weekly party Outdanced, for an afterparty for the free show of a dance pop ?

As awesome as you can get for a Wednesday night in the summer at a spot with no climate control and a cover charge, I guess. It's not that it wasn't a good time, or even that I was disappointed, it just wasn't the best thing ever (unless you are, like Crystal Castles, a chiptune band. I'm sure that any chiptune, glitch, or breakcore artist in America would damn near sell their souls for a chance to have a room full of sweaty kids waiting for them to show up on a Wednesday night tour gig ). One moment, however, stands out in particular.

The DJ before Crystal Castles is playing a pretty heavy electro set, and has built up a fairly decent dancefloor, when he throws on Flo Rida's "Low". I was shocked to see that "Low" killed the dance floor. I've never seen this happen before. A guy who's building energy with some obscure gems should cause a riot when he throws on a dumb hip hop jam that everyone can sing along to. I'm not sure if this crowd was just so savvy, that they weren't going to stay on the floor for one of the biggest hits of last year, or if they were just so goddamned white that they didn't know what to do.

I guess it serves the guy right for not playing R. Kelly. It's his party this week, and the quicker we all get used to it, the happier we'll all be.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

It's okay, we're all sweating together

Date: 6/5/08
Location: Flower Shoppe
Bands: Happy Haus, Jose Bove and David Diarrhea
Cost: ???
Drnks: BYO
Things I missed to be there: Analog Punks with DJ Madrid at Rodan; Hitodama at Town Hall Pub; Marat 14K and Menowah at People Lounge; We Are Your Friends with Skyler and Hey Champ! at Jbar; Slide with Zebo, Itch13, SR-71, Intel and more at Darkroom
Reason for going: Happened upon it by chance

Leavitt between 21st Place (not 21st Street) and Cullerton is completely deserted. There are no condos, and the houses, makeshift duplexes and three-flats and six flats are beautiful. The lights are all off inside the houses. The signs on all the storefronts are hand-painted. It's idyllic. It is the way that Woody Allen, in the 70s, portrayed Brooklyn in the 50s. The flashing blue lights of lightning menacing above clashes with the flashing blue lights of surveilance cameras menacing much closer overhead, but it ain't no thang. The clouds have not let loose their fury, and the cops are a block away, their sirens tucked under the hustle and bustle of the CTA, and the sounds coming from a drunk drivers stereo.

The alley is full of cats. The porch party is listening to Hank Williams-era country when I turn the corner.

If I could have filmed the last half hour, with its own soundtrack, I would rotoscope it, not in the purist sense of the world, but digitally paint it, the way Richard Linklater animated Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly and it would be my Fantasia. The improvised jam at the end of the night at the Flower Shoppe was beautiful. Maybe I can call up the city, and they'll release some of those security tapes for me.

The jam played out the way I remember fucking, the last time I fucked on acid, bookended by awkward, building in and out of a comfortable rhythm and then completely losing myself, mind and body, nerves and senses completely detaching from one another, only to snap out of it, to realize what was happening, with a heightened sense of appreciation for it, and then to take it wholeheartedly, ust a little bit past its natural conclusion. I don't know if that sounds beautiful or gross, or like stupid drug rambling that only makes sense to me because I was there.

I's been a while since I've been jealous of a band. I've seen the negative side of touring, the negative side of traveling with friends and lovers, but when everyone was playing together I wished it was me that had traveled into town into this beautiful scene of people, and to have it punctuated by lightning as if the skies themselves were telling me not to take it for granted.

When I got there, the last band was already playing. Haus Meeting, from Duluth, MN. Their angle was maximum joy. A mix of dumpster ballad folk and a pajama jam dance party in the kitchen, the kind that happens over kool aid and vodka when you're out on your own, but not too far removed from your parents' house. Another band of kids that sounded like they could halfway play their instruments, and halfway couldn't, candy-coated in garish thrift store clothes that made them stand out but did't look like they were trying too hard. It worked for them. They worked well together, and they were too good for an under-promoted wednesday night show.

The song that took me over the edge had the singer free styling stream-of-consciousness semi-gibberish about Sammy Sosa playing for Chicago back when he gave a shit about professional sports, our clothes being our costumes and our faces being our masks, and everybody wearing underpants.

Usually when I can slip into a place without being asked for a cover, I'm happy about it. I hate having to tell the door person that I just can't afford it, especially when it's a lie and especially when it's the truth. If it says anything about the band, I'll have to add that this was the first time in a while that I actually sought after merch after the end of the show because I really wanted to give the band some money to help them get to the next town.

There aren't enough nights like these.

Monday, June 02, 2008

rest in peace, bo diddley [WLUW]

Joe Tex - Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)
Joe Tex - One Monkey Don't Stop No Show
Joe Tex - I Gotcha

The Young Rascals - Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart
Dusty Springfield - What The World Needs Now
Timi Yuro - I Love How You Love Me
The Five Stairsteps & Cubie - Don't Change You Love

War - Slippin' Into Darkness
The Sound Stylistics - The Player's Theme
The Moon People - Hippy, Skippy, Moon Street

Brother Soul - Cookies
Baby Huey - Running
Charles Simmons & The Royal Imperials - Sissy
Lucille Brown & Billy Clarke - Both Eyes Open

Barbara Lynn - You'll Lose a Good Thing
Sam Cooke - Let's Go Steady Again
Mandrill - Here Today Gone Tomorrow

Bo Diddley - Hey Bo Diddley (live)
Gene Harris & the Three Sounds - The Land of Slim
Watts Prophets - Part-E, S
The Quantic Soul Orchestra - That Goose on My Grave

The Last Poets - Panther
Hampton Hawes - Web
Petey Wheatstraw - Zombie March

Aretha Franklin - Son of a Preacher Man
Derrick Harriot - My Last Letter/Valerie
Eddie Floyd - Knock on Wood

Montana - Warp Factor II
The New Birth - Honey Nee
Kashmere Stage Band - Kashmere

Sunday, June 01, 2008

microblogging sunday!

Date: 6/1/08
Show: Pod Blotz, Magic is Kuntmaster, and more
Location: The Little Flower Shoppe
Cost: $4 donation
Drinks: BYOB
Things I missed to be there: The Burkhart Underground 10 Year Anniversary with Mark Bose and Environmental Encroachment; Sunday Funday at Smartbar with Acid Circus; Parsley Flakes at the Guesthouse;Gil Mantera's Party Dream at the Do-Division Street Fest
Reason for going: I had just held a writing workshop at my house that had died the same slow, pleasant-but-awkward death of all social functions with a purpose whose purpose had ended. The night was over, but fuck all if there's a show going on two blocks away and I don't at least check it out.

The dude with the iPod faded out the reggae music and the lights went out. A guy sat in a chair with a mgangled guitar and a series of peddles. I'm not sure what he'd done to the guitar, but it sounded the way a violin would if it was filled with a hundred angry ghosts, each one jabbing at my eardrums with ice picks in an attempt to climb inside and possess me.

[Magic is Kuntmaster doing her thing]