Archive for September, 2007

25
Sep
07

Sublime – 40 oz to Freedom

A few years back,  Rolling Stone did a huge article about the hundred greatest albums of all time and I was really pissed that Sublime’s 40oz to Freedom got no mention.

Then I remembered that Rolling Stone was old and outdated and hadn’t done or said anything new or exciting in years.

But, man do I love this album…and I mean that in a way completely contrary to the psuedo Sublime-heads who suddenly appeared after Bradley OD’ed.

Someone tossed this on at a party at our dorm back in sophomore year and I was hooked. I can listen from front to back with no skipping…even on the hardcore punk tunes…and I don’t even like punk.  I remember telling my friend Alyssa about this album and she said:

“Don’t they do that stupid date rape song?”

Yes.  Yes they do…but there is more.

Long story short, I made her come over and played the entire album for her…then the follow up Robbin’ the Hood (almost as good…just a little uneven) and she was hooked.

Formed in Long Beach,  the trio of Bud Gaugh, Brad Nowell and Eric Wilson formed loosely in high school before coalescing in college to become Sublime.  Their first gig was in 1988 at a small Long Beach club which led to the infamous Peninsula Riot, culminating in several arrests.  It was this kind of atmosphere that the band drew upon and seemed to thrive on.  In fact, they spent the next few years honing their skills at various parties around the south bay.

They became “THE” band.  the guys who played for free beer and not much else, and it was that feeling that helped form the basis for their sound.  They recorded and released “40oz To Freedom” in 1992, and sold it mostly out of their trunk after shows.  Their fan base began to grow, eventually taking off when KROQ started playing ‘Date Rape’ on the radio. This is probably one of the coolest and most energetic album ever made.

I imagine one day it will make the list, but I have my own list so go to hell Rolling Stone.

20
Sep
07

Various Artists – 100% Dynamite

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One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a DJ is learning about new musical genres…and by new I mean genre’s I know nothing about.

Take reggae for example.  There was a time when I knew practically nothing about it with the exception of Bob Marley.  I had no friends who knew crazy amounts of reggae or anything…so I had little options.  What to do?

It’s here that the DJ’s biggest friend, the compilation , comes in.  A good compilation record will expose you to a wide variety of artists and styles, while a bad compilation will just give you a pile of shit.

Enter Soul Jazz Records…the undisputed kings of compilations.  Browse their catalog…go ahead…I dare you.  See anything interesting?  Buy it.

Why?  Because with Soul Jazz you always get the bomb.  Be it reggae, New Orleans Funk, Soul, or Brazilian music they will not let you down.

I picked up the 100% Dynamite, a collection of stellar funk ska and soul from Jamaica back around 1999 and I never put it down. They got The Marvel’s ‘Rock Steady,’  Willie Wiliiam’s hit ‘Armageddon Time’ and my favorite track… Johnny Osborne’s “We Need Love.’ (hear below) I became obsessed and had to buy everything they put out for years before I could calm down about these guys.  The Dynamite series is now up to 600% Dynamite and I highly recommend all the volumes.

It’ll fill out your collection and your knowledge nicely.

Amazon has copies but they’re a little pricey.

Might have to go elsewhere…

11
Sep
07

They Might be Giants – Flood

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I’m not sure when I first picked up They Might Be Giants: Flood, but I can assume it was a happy day.  I think this was another CD I discovered in the carpool to High School from the older kid who used to drive me…he was always listening to modern rock (Live 105 yo!) and wasn’t snobby about sharing his musical taste.  This album just oozes good vibes…even in the song about nazi’s.  I remember I gave it to my Mom thinking she would dig it and she told me that she just didn’t get it.

“Everybody wants a rock to wind a string around?”  she asked  “What does it mean?”

I tried to explain, but was met with only quizzical looks and a shrug when she said “Whatever” to my argument.  Strangely enough…several years later I gave a copy to my sister and my nieces loved it (when kids get old enough to appreciate such things) and my Mom asked for a copy.

“I gave you one!” I said “Years ago!!!”

She denied this until I dug through her stuff and produced her battered old copy.  When I pointed out that she hated it before…she said she had no memory of that.

Sure mom…sure.




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