Classic Melting Pot

Jorja Fox at KCRW

Jorja Fox at KCRW

Aside from being exceedingly nice and clearly a fan of our radio station, I really respect Jorja Fox’s choices as an actress. Her characters are consistently independent, smart and strong, which is unfortunately pretty rare overall for women in popular culture. Our recent Guest DJ session at KCRW is below.

1) Paul McCartney and Wings – Jet
2) The Matthew Herbert Big Band – The Story
3) Hot Chip – Transmission
4) Diana Krall – Black Crow
5) Ella Fitzgerald – So Danco Samba (Jazz Samba) (more…)


Roger Rivas – Do It To Me

LA’s the Aggrolites champion soulful late 1960s reggae, so it’s perhaps no surprise that their organist, Roger Rivas, would be both a collector of those vintage sounds and be adept at seamlessly versioning some classic JA tracks. This one pits his wicked organ against the riddim of Dave Barker’s “Funky Funky Reggae.” You can download the full 5 track EP for free over at his website.

Two Bookers Are Better Than One...

Two Bookers Are Better Than One...

Booker Little – The Confined Few
Booker Little – Blues De Tambour
Booker Little – Witch Fire

While there are many jazz players whose artistry I admire, there are few that compare to Booker Little. Over the course of less than four years, Booker Little worked with some of the best in modern jazz, including Max Roach, John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy. He more than held his own amongst giants, with his composition style and soloing progressively growing over time in complexity and beauty. His career was tragically cut short at the age of 23 in 1961 due to kidney failure and uremia. Though he recorded for such a short time, he did leave more than a few exceptional recordings, including the music contained on this album. (more…)

Breakdown: September 23rd on KCRW

September 25th, 2009

I’d meant to do a little mini-tribute to this new season of Autumn, but it’s too damn hot in Los Angeles right now for my brain to work properly, so I forgot to play the correct song from the Raveonettes, thus I’ll attempt a do over next week. Good amount of new music this week, such as new Built to Spill, Deerhunter, Comet Gain (new collection anyways), Roger Rivas from the Aggrolites, Breakestra and Lou Barlow plus classic tracks from McDonald & Giles, Billy Butler, the Velvet Underground and the Shangri-Las, who are also featured in this weeks “Pound For Pound”. Towards the end there’s an all too short tribute to one of the best and most entertaining turntablists of all-time, Grandmaster Roc Raida, who passed away recently. This one is on demand at until the next one comes around. (more…)

Who's the Best Girl Group of All Time?

Who's the Best Girl Group of All Time?

Last week as I was driving home from doing my radio show, I was blown away by “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” the first single by the Shangri-Las. Throughout much of my life I would have unequivocally said that the Ronettes “Be My Baby” was the quintessential girl group song, by the quintessential girl group. Getting back into the catalog of both groups, I started to question that, and it seemed like the perfect match-up for pound for pound. Really this could be a three way pound for pound, Which was the best girl group, the Ronettes or the Shangri-Las? Better yet, who is the original bad girl of rock’n’roll, Ronnie Spector or Mary Weiss ? (incidentally, both still perform and record) Or, who was the better producer, Phil Spector of Shadow Morton? (more…)

New Album from Olympia's Desolation Wilderness

New Album from Olympia's Desolation Wilderness

Desolation Wilderness – Slow Fade

I’m not totally sold on this Olympia based band’s over-use of echoey vocals, but I do absolutely love their late night dream pop sound, especially this track with it’s cascading drums and guitar lines.

Now this is what I call an album cover...

Now this is what I call an album cover...

U.S. Apple Corps – Don’t Do Me Nothing
U.S. Apple Corps – Get High On Jesus
U.S. Apple Corps – Elijah Stone
U.S. Apple Corps – Dead

When I found this record while digging in Boston, I initially missed the religious overtones of the cover and was just overcome with the gorgeous and vibrant artwork. Since it was sealed, I didn’t have a chance to check out the songs, but with one titled, “Get High on Jesus,” I figured I couldn’t go wrong. As best I’ve been able to gather, U.S. Apple Corps released a couple of Christian themed rock records, this being the second one, before fading into complete obscurity. (more…)

Breakdown: September 16th on KCRW

September 18th, 2009

Couple of mini-tributes in this show, to start with for Jim Carroll and to close with Patrick Swayze. Now Jim Carroll is a no-brainer, but I might have lost some cool points with a few of you with a tribute to Patrick Swayze. However, if you grew up in the 80s/90s, it’s hard to name an actor more involved in some seriously entertaining films, The Outsiders, Red Dawn, Road House, Point Break and of course Dirty Dancing and Ghost, many of which are the textbook definition of a guilty pleasure. I defy you to turn the channel when any of these are on the tube on a Saturday afternoon…but I digress.

Brand new music this week from Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Built To Spill, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Calvin Harris, Kid Congo, Lou Barlow, The Raveonettes and Breakestra. Classics liberally spread throughout the show from Captain Beefheart, Yachts, The Pogues, Kraftwerk, Birthday Party and a wild funky one from Sugar Billy Gardner (got to highlight that record here soon). Catch it on demand (for real this time!) until the next one… (more…)

The Ecstatic

The Ecstatic

Mos Def – Quiet Dog
Mos Def feat. Slick Rick – Auditorium

“Bright moments…bright moments always come back vivid.” – Mos Def – “Life in Marvelous Times”

I’m not entirely sure why it’s taken me so long to write this review. I’d planned on reviewing this record since the moment I heard it was going to be released. I was skeptical at first that it would even be released, given Mos’ recent recording history. But since it dropped in June, I’ve been pushing this review back and back and back all summer, for no good reason. Mos Def has been, for over 10 years now, one of the most fascinating and frustrating MCs in Hip-Hop. A supremely talented man, though perhaps more talented as an actor than a musician, which might be part of the reason that his recorded work has been erratic, at best, since the release of Black on Both Sides, his debut full-length in 1999. (more…)

I Love You

I Love You, Love You, Love You, Love You, Love You, Love You!

Yachts – Love You, Love You

I don’t normally throw up older music in this category, but this is a song I’ve been searching for ever since hearing it on the mighty KALX on a trip back to the Bay Area (I was a DJ on KALX for about 4 years in the early part of this decade).  This is now my favorite pop-punk song of all-time, just a great great sound and the lyrics (and delivery) are pure perfection.

I wouldn’t climb any mountains for you,
Fjord every stream, that’s a daft thing to do,
Yes I’m cynical, cynical, cynical, cynical,
cynical, cynical, through and through

As a chorus, that’s bloody brilliant…

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