Thursday, January 29, 2009

Funky Foundations.

Despite three major pop hits in two years, the Foundations were floundering by late 1969. Their final Top 10 hit ("In the Bad, Bad Old Days (Before You Loved Me)") had fallen down the charts and two subsequent releases had fallen largely on deaf ears. Fearing that their pop-soul fusion was becoming irrelevant, the group (a septet at this point) began to incorporate funkier, more contemporary sounds into their sets. In June of 1970, they released "I'm Gonna Be A Rich Man" b/w "In The Beginning," the latter track an instrumental incorporating funk drumming as well as a middle section featuring jazz flute and a harpsichord. Unfortunately, the single went nowhere and the intriguing b-side remained mostly unheard. The group was all by defunct within a few months.

Just before their breakup, however, the Foundations recorded a track entitled "Where the Fire Burns" that remained unreleased until their material was reissued on CD in the 1990s. Like "In the Beginning," its relatively obscurity is unfortunate, given that the song's cinematic jazz-funk looks forward to the blaxploitation soundtracks then still a few years in the future. Indeed, it's hard to believe that this track was recorded by the same group who brought "Build Me Up Buttercup" to the top of the U.S. charts only a year earlier. Take a listen:

"In the Beginning" - the Foundations

"Where the Fire Burns" - the Foundations

(Much of the information from this post can be found in Roger Dopson's liner notes to the Foundations' Baby, Now That I've Found You release on Sequel Records.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Local Atomic-Age Paranoia.

Here's a slightly morbid bit of musical trivia from Polk County's past:

"Fallout Shelter" - Billy Chambers

(Incidentally, "Fallout Shelter" was recorded with a chorus of backup singers from my undergraduate alma mater, Florida Southern College.)

And while we're at it:

"This Cold War With You" - Floyd Tillmann


Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 Playist

the rules I've imposed on myself are as follow: I can only pick one song from each record I've listened to or enjoyed from 2008. some records only have one track that I liked, so those were easy to pick. others were harder (especially from records that worked together as a full album, such as microcastle). anyway, I'm sorry for the lack of download links, but if you come across these tracks, they're all pretty good (even the vampire weekend song!).

Chopped N Skrewed (Feat. Ludacris) by T-Pain (Thr33 Ringz)

Kim & Jessie by M83 (Saturdays = Youth)

Time To Pretend by MGMT (Oracular Spectacular)

Things I Did When I Was Dead by No Age (Nouns)

Water Curses by Animal Collective (Water Curses)

A Milli by Lil Wayne (Tha Carter III)

Live-Long by Abe Vigoda (Skeleton)

Sabali by Amadou & Mariam (Welcome To Mali)

My Life (Feat. Lil Wayne) by The Game (L.A.X.)

Recent Bedroom by Atlas Sound (Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel)

All The Years by Beach House (Devotion)

I'll Be Glad by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (Lie Down In The Light)

Rode Null by Hauschka (Ferndorf)

The City In The Sea by Crystal Stilts (Alight Of Night)

Strange Overtones by David Byrne and Brian Eno (Everything That Happens Will Happen Today)

I Decided by Solange (Sol-Angel & The Hadley St. Dreams)

Gobbledigook by Sigur Rós (Me› su› í eyrum vi› spilum end)

Never Stops by Deerhunter (Microcastle)

Old Old Fashioned by Frightened Rabbit (The Midnight Organ Fight)

Oliver James by Fleet Foxes (Fleet Foxes)

Waves of Rye by Department Of Eagles (In Ear Park)

Weekend by The Sea And Cake (Car Alarm)

Wrestlers by Hot Chip (Made In the Dark)

Lights Out by Santogold (Santogold)

I’m Watching You by Jay Reatard (Matador Singles ‘08)

Another Day by Times New Viking (Rip it Off)

Tane Mahuta by The Ruby Suns (Sea Lion)

Black Rice by Women (Women)

A-Punk by Vampire Weekend (Vampire Weekend)

The Snow Leopard by Shearwater (Rook)