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Monday
Sep192016

5 Times Kanye West KILLED IT! (A.K.A. A Case For Yeezus)

Almost daily, I catch myself defending Kanye West. No matter how hard it becomes, I always argue FOR him. I’m more than just a fan, I pull for Yeezus. I see too many dynamic facets to him, and his oeuvre, to deny.

I see an artist, that comes from a genre that celebrates excess, caught in the paradox of commerce. I see a creative that never rests and continues to evolve to push his art sonically and socially.  I see a personality that is a living breathing impulse, responding and reacting in real-time. I see a person with inner demons that toes the line between genius and unhinged. And most relatedly to me, I see a dude that created his own opportunity to realize his own impossible vision in a way WE never imagined. He is the American dream!

When it's all said and done, Kanye will go down as one of the greatest entertainers of all-time. I have compiled a list of five live clips, spanning his career, that highlight what Kanye does best - a timely fusion of visual and sound to create an event. Each performance individually blew me away at the time they aired and helped solidify Kanye's lore within my consciousness. When given the chance, Mr. West never ceased to seize an opportunity in front of a massive audience.

These clips don’t even consider each of his seven solo albums, which stand on their own as an example of his creative genius. And I’m not counting his videos, which display his mastery of another medium. I consciously omit the times he has been handed a mic and been prompted to "go". He shines at every chance. Each of the below live performances stand out for their and sheer visual power. The best thing about re-living each performance in 2016 is seeing how unique his art, sound and visuals have progressed as he has evolved throughout his career with more resources, support, and ego.

What Kanye moments did I forget or miss? Let me know in the comments section. 

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1. Kanye West - “Jesus Walks” at Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2005)

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2. Kanye West - “Stronger” Live at The Grammy’s (2008)

3. Kanye West - “Runaway” Live at MTV VMA’s (2010)

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4. Kanye West - “Black Skinhead” Live on SNL (2013)

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5. Kanye West - “All Day” Live at the Brit Awards (2015)

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Sunday
Sep112016

New Digs | Early September 2016

Here's another batch of records that have made their way into the homestead. I always feel a strong sense of pride when the variety of my haul reflects the true spectrum of my interests - and this batch is up there in terms of breadth of sonics and genre. Happy hunting!

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Mu - Lemurian Music (United Artists, 1974)

Southwest F.O.B. - Smell of Incense (Hip, 1968)

The Appletree Theatre - Playback (Verve Forecast, 1968)

De La Soul - And The Anonymous Nobody (AOI Records, 2016)

Capability Brown - From Scratch (Charisma, 1972)

Gary Burton - Good Vibes (Atlantic, 1971)

Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs - Life Of A Kid In the Ghetto (PWL, 1991)

Trans Am - S/T (Thrill Jockey, 1995)

Charles Lloyd - Waves (A&M, 1972) 

Jimmy McGriff - The Worm (Solid State, 1968)

The Generation gap - Up Up And Away (Custom, 1968)

Springfield Rifle - S/T (Burdette, 1968)

Thursday
Aug252016

Chuck Bradford - "You're Going To Miss Me When I'm Gone / Say It Was A Dream" (Fire, 1961)

I've posted a Fire Records single before... I want to say I picked a half dozen or so of their 45's all at one time? While their releases aren't especially collectible, the 45's still make for solid one-off blues additions to my single collection. 

This Chuck Bradford 7" released on Fire Records features "You're Going to Miss Me When I'm Gone" and "Say It Was a Dream". While I wasn't able to track down ANY information on Chuck Bradford, I can hear that his sound, at least on these two sides, is raw and delightfully unpolished. The a-side is a rousing blues rocker that features a spirited saxophone accompaniment. "Say it Was a Dream" is a sauntering blues cut with a piano pairing. Somehow, this record has found itself classified as a Northern Soul on past eBay sales and descriptions, but it sounds too blues-y to my ears to fit that bill. 

While not much info is out there on the artist Chuck Bradford, I have stumbled across the name of Fire Records head man Bobby Robinson a handful of times. It's pretty staggering just how many labels, eras and sounds he was behind as producer and label owner. Bobby Robinson touched everything from doo-wop to hip hop and was the mastermind behind the labels of Red Robin Records (1952), Whirlin' Disc Records (1956), Fury Records (1957), Everlast Records (1957), Fire Records (1959), and ultimately Enjoy Records (1962). What a legacy to leave behind! 

Listen to both sides of this mighty Chuck Bradford 7" single below.

Sunday
Aug142016

New Digs | Early August 2016

Some of these actually came home in July :)

It's been a busy Summer! So many new (and old) sounds spinning on the tables and filling the home with good vibes. Between ebay finds, new releases, local spots, and a haul in Chicago while on a work trip, I've more than covered the sound spectrum and been diligent in hitting the bins with persistence. See below for what's new to the mix. Hit 'em up!

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Roosevelt Holts - Presenting The Country Blues (Blue Horizon, 1968)

Kossie Gardner - Pipes Of Blue (Dot)

Wu-Tang Clan - Wu-Tang Forever (Loud, 1997) 4Lp OG still sealed

Beastie Boys - Ill Communication (Grand Royal, 1994) 2Lp OG still sealed

Beastie Boys - The In Sound From Way Out (Grand Royal, 1995) 1998 press, still sealed 

The 3rd Avenue Blues Band - Fantastic (Revue, 1970)

James Brown and The Famous Flames - Mighty Instrumentals (King, 1966)

BADBADNOTGOOD - IV (Innovative Leisure, 2016) 2Lp

Norma Tanega - Walkin' My Cat Named Dog (New Voice, 1966)

Darrell Banks - Is Here! (Atco, 1967)

World's Experience Orchestra - The Beginning Of A New Birth / As Time Goes On (Now-Again, 2016)

Hal Blaine - Psychedelic Percussion (Dunhill, 1967)

Dave Pike Set - Infra-Red (BASF, 1972)

Redd Holt Unlimited - The Other Side Of The Moon (Paula, 1975)

Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear - Skeleton Crew (Glassnote, 2015)

Dungen - Ta Det Lugnt (Subliminal Sounds, 2011) 3Lp box set

Sunday
Aug142016

Dip Dip Dive | August 12th

Party People! Dip Dip Dive is on! Join me and all your closest friends and lovers up in the penthouse for another memorable night of dance, drink and delight. See you at the top!