Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Foreign Window

This one is a deep piece without a doubt, and I have long been intrigued by its power. I later identified certain lyrics with my own experience in a foreign land, "bearing down the suffering road" while climbing the hill from Efrat up to the Yeshivah, in the afternoon sun of the Middle East, laden with items acquired in Jerusalem for the Holy Shabbos, all the while suffering the I-ain't-got-me-no-woman blues; "sleeping on a pallet on the floor" not a bad thing in my perspective; "they were giving you religion, breaking bread and drinking wine" sounds like the rhythm of life, especially with regard to the week, during which Torah was studied for long parts of the day, and Shabbos, when breaking bread and drinking wine are powerful accomplishments worthy of adequate expenditure.
Dig these two classic renditions of this deep song. Both videos are live. In One, George Ivan and Robert Z appear as they looked in 1989 in a land foreign to them both. The video also features an important introduction. The Second is the Man himself in hat and jacket in Amsterdam in 2007. "To the Palace of the Lord"

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy Purim 5770!

Indeed, ya'll better be prepared to get down. Dig these two diverse videos on the Topic.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Rolling Stones - "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"

This is a cool song by a well known pop group and I've been intrigued by it for a while. Released in (December) 1973, it invokes the gritty street tragedies of the New York of the early 1970's. Here are two live versions of the song, the first from 1973 (Hamburg) and the second from 1975 (Los Angeles).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Save the Children

Gil Scott Heron (b. 1949) struck a chord with this powerful and always relevant song. The album (1971) upon which it appears is extremely high level. It was recognized almost immediately as a profound and urgent call for action.

The Intruders offer their worthy cover (1972):

Now dig Gil and his band as they open it up in a live performance:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

David Ruffin - "Common Man" (1973)

Here is a compelling song from the legendary vocalist, David Ruffin (1941-1991) who sang the lead on a few well-known songs for Motown. The song is found on his fourth recorded album.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Be Thankful For What You've Got

The song is Epic and profoundly meaningful. The song was written by William DeVaughn (b. 1948) and recorded in 1972 and released in 1974, and was a solid hit.

Now dig the great Curtis Mayfield (1942-1999) and his version.

Now dig the mighty Intruders and their take on the classic.

Now the worthy attempt of Winston Curtis (who doesn't have a wiki biography).

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Still Water" - The Four Tops (1970)

This is a sweet song from long ago. It features one of the greatest vocalists of the twentieth century, Levi Stubbs (1936-2008), a man whose powerful voice lives on in many immortal songs. Just ask the lonely.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - "Cane" (1978)

Another deep masterpiece from the great master, Gil Scott Heron (b. 1949). I can't put it down and just keep playing it.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Rick James - "Teardrops" (1982)

Dig this classic one. Lets call it the softer side of the great Mr. Rick James (1948-2004) (see also here).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bad Like Jesse James - 4 Oakland Cops Killed and Others Wounded - 3/21/09

On Shabbos Afternoon (Parshas HaChodesh) in East Oakland, a "routine" traffic stop ended with two Oakland cops shot - one dead, the other wounded - and the fleeing shooter taking up a position in a nearby apartment. The SWAT team gained control of the area and went in. The ensuing gun battle left two more cops dead and others wounded, and the shooter was also killed. See here for news coverage.

Several issues are raised by these event. Apparently the shooter (26-year-old Lovelle Mixon of Oakland) was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon and there was a warrant out for his arrest. John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) once wrote a song about this guy, even though he wasn't born yet. But don't think I'm honoring this wicked man (the late Mr. Mixon), because if it was up to me he might have gotten misa for stealing a prutah. (See the Rambam, Hilchos Melachim). Dig that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Purim 5769!

To the Jews, I say: get down like you mean it! To the confused Non-Jews, I say: don't fuck with the Jews because we might be celebrating a holiday a thousand (or two & a half thousand) years later that commemorates the time you fucked with us and we won by taking the fight to you. Now learn some Torah from the holy Rabbi Brovender.

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - "Willing" (1980)

Here is an upbeat, serious song that I've been groovin' to over the last few weeks. It comes from the great Gil Scott-Heron (b. 1949) and Brian Jackson (b. ?, though he's still around B"H) I hope you can dig it so that we can still be friends...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bootsy Collins - "I'd Rather be with You" (live 1976)

This is a hip song from a man (b. 1951) that spanned (almost) everything (from James Brown to P-Funk). I have long been a fan of this song but only knew it under another, less loving, identity. It was on a cassette tape that I got from a friend when I was an adolescent.

Note. It is my opinion that this song, produced by Dr. Dre (b. 1965), begins the G-Funk era. The song also illustrates the distinctiveness of west coast rap, especially under the G-Funk influence, it is as if the music of their parents was being re-enacted with an updated attitude.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bob Marley Acoustic 1976

Here is a remarkable master (1945-1981) albeit with some strange ideas about religion, but very influential. These are songs that were never released, but that I got hooked up with while in Yeshivah. We had a community of ipod/itunes users and we all got cool stuff from each other. These songs are deep, and for lack of a better term, special. Dig one and all, but first get mellow. The first song is called "Rumors" and the second is called "They set you up my son". [See also this one & here for background.]