Monday, January 27, 2014
“As Long As I’ve Got You" - Danny Hernandez & The Ones
Just the most sincerely pumped celebration of love in the face of a confusing and shitty world. I listen to this unironic, optimistic soul-garage jam whenever I’m having a bad day and it makes me feel better. The band was a teen group from Lansing, Michigan who had their biggest hit in 1967 after their independent (and much cooler (but I’m pretty uncool)) single “You Haven’t Seen My Love" was picked up by the big dawgs at Motown Records. Anyway, look at how fly Danny Hernandez and his pals are up there. Would have definitely hung out with these guys over anyone else in Michigan in 1970.
these dudes could get it
Sunday, January 26, 2014
my favorite NBA play ever [dot] gif
“Breakaway" - Irma Thomas
My preference for b-sides over the original singles is starting to seem a bit like the retro version of the hipster refrain of “their first album is their best one,” but it’s genuine. There’s so much care put into making a single sound perfectly produced and catchy and shiny enough to be played on the radio, and it often feels like the real heart of an artist is found on side b. This is certainly true of “Breakaway,” the b-side to New Orleans’ soul queen Irma Thomas’s biggest hit, “Wish Someone Would Care.” Thomas never reached the levels of fame that she deserved, but she has a gorgeous range that was often used suitably to bring emotional weight to ballads. “Ruler of my Heart” is probably my favorite song of hers in that vein, but “Breakaway” (written by Jackie DeShannon and Sharon Sheeley) is something else entirely. It’s a catchy floor filler for any sock hop, and also a heartbreaking explanation of what it’s like to be in an abusive relationship that you want to leave but just… can’t. “Breakaway” pairs poignant lyrics with an exhaustingly fast-paced soundtrack. Once you’ve listened to it a couple times you’ll spend the rest of your life waiting for the DJs to wise up and play it so you can skip to the dance floor and sweat through your gingham sundress in excitement.
B-side… more like ME-side, amiright?!?!
Friday, January 24, 2014
Thursday, January 23, 2014
“Everyday, Pt. 1" - Abraham & The Casanovas
Gorgeous soul ballad from Shreveport, Louisiana’s Murco Records. I couldn’t find out much of anything about Abraham, who wrote this great song which was actually unreleased and surfaced on the Murco Records’ compilation “Shreveport Southern Soul.” It’s hard to believe that such a beautiful song never made it onto vinyl, but I’m so glad I get to listen to it (20 times in a row, some nights) now. It’s about keeping unrealistic fantasies in check and keeping expectations on earth — “everyday ain’t gonna be like milk and honey, now.”
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
i my little ponied my hair
“Did You Ever Lose Your Mind (Over A Boy)” - Linda Cumbo
Linda Cumbo was just a teenager when she recorded this infinitely relatable crush ballad that just melts with warmth and twitterpation. She went on to be somewhat embroiled in a Miss New York State controversy (see above) over a possibly deliberately racist miscount of votes. A few years later, she went and changed her name to Linda Clifford — ostensibly just to confuse the hell out of music bloggers 50 years later. As Linda Clifford, she had a fair amount of success in the late ’70s on the R&B/disco scene with “Runaway Love”, she she’s still making music today!
All of which is super-interesting, but might be distracting us from the real point here, which is that THIS SONG is so delightfully drugged out and sounds so, so, so much like the precise kind of dizzying teenage relationship it describes. When it gets to the breakdown — “now I just wander around all the time” — you can practically feel your heart just dropping into your shoes at some kid’s freckled cheekbones walking past. Perfection.
Bonus fact: It appears that the photo above was taken by legendary Chicago-area photographer Maurice Seymour, who also photographed my girls Mousie and the Traps. It’s a small world after all!
(photos via Linda Clifford’s Facebook and this forum)
this song is so weird and good.