I had a ritual when I lived in Philly about 10 years ago where, before my regular Friday night gig, I would go down to Philadelphia Record Exchange off of South Street. There I would hang out with the dudes at the shop. drink a beer or two with two, talk a lot of shit, while they played records – and pulled joints specifically for me. One Friday night in the summer, Tony V passed this record off to me saying “Hey Cos this is something you might like.” I did, and I gripped it, only to have it get lost within the 15,000+ records that I had spread out between Brooklyn and my mom’s house. This summer though, me and the wife were heading to Costco and we were listening to a Hot 97 all-mix weekend and Grandmaster Flash was in a live all-breaks mix. He played this record, and it was the only time that I’ve heard it played out before, or since, other than when I’ve played it. Guess me and Flash were on to something haha…
Everyday People was the brainchild of Canadian guitarist Bruce Wheaton, and “I Like What I Like” is the leadoff song of their self-titled debut and only record, released in 1971. I don’t think this record is “rare” per se, nor is it really a full-fledged “break beat” in the truest sense of the word. However I thought this would be a cool addition considering the the lane I’ve been in for the past few weeks. Apparently “I Like What I Like” was actually a pretty big record in the gay disco scene back in 1972, which predates the “four on the floor” innovations of Baker, Harris & Young and lends itself more to the Mancuso / Siano school of “party music.” Anyway, enjoy!
THE BONUS BEAT! – There’s a book that I’ve probably purchased at least 15 times in my life. It’s because it’s an incredibly entertaining and informative read. The book is called “Hit Men” by Fredric Dannen. Iit’s probably the most comprehensive read on the way of the music industry available, it’s history and it’s customs, mostly framed in the seventies and eighties with independent promoters and their payola at the hight of their power. Obviously things are a lot different now, but I still think it’s absolutely required reading for anyone in “the business.” So when I would make a reference to the book and someone I knew hadn’t read it, I would immediately give them my copy, and then just get another.
This album is kind of like that book. I would constantly find copies for $2-$3 at thrift stores, and I would always buy them, only to give them to friends of mine when “Oh my god you HAVEN’T heard the Lee Michaels LP?”
Whattup, fine folk out there? Here’s the latest breakbeat heater that I’m messing with this week. I just recently put it on my latest Scion Radio mix so you should hear that coming soon-sish, but here’s the raw. Aaight I’m definitely staying in my “rock breaks” crate for the first couple of these installments but I figured that I would lace this one cause I’ve learned to love this song in its entirety lately, not just the drums. It’s really got a great schmaltzy sounding whiteboy blues thing happening, that I used to hate but now find kind of endearing in its corniness and it’s heart. But you just have to love these drums, they smack so incredibly hard, courtesy of Surprize and their drummer Fred Kieffer. I don’t know much else about this group except I know that it’s a relatively Philly local private press (although I think these cats were out of Cherry Hill maybe…) That local connection was preserved when Kelo used these drums as the basis of their The Roots’ “Clones” (one of my favorite Roots tunes to this day.) It was actually my homie Tony Larson AKA TripleDouble that put me up on this record about 10 years ago, around the time when him and Diplo first got around to recording the first AEIOU tape. Diplo is out there doing his thing and Tony is still holding it down strong for the West Philly massive. Peace to both you dudes hahah. Good times…
So I had the idea to start this thing called Breakbeat Monday – which quickly became Tuesday – showcasing a specific record from my collection that has a monster drum break. I own a lot of records (almost as many as I have on MP3 format hahah) and they run the gamut from hip-hop to rock to jazz to comedy records to freak folk opuses to experimental whale-sound recordings (okay, no drum breaks on the whale-sounds records.) Some I’ve used for sampling, some I’ve used for DJing, some I just listen to and some I don’t even like but just have kept around because I’m a borderline completionist. But at the end of the day, I have such a weakness for a dirty old monster break beat. There’s nothing like it in the world.
The group Love, helmed by the unique Arthur Lee, was an L.A. based psychedelic rock band that was best known for the landmark album “Forever Changes” (a must cop if you don’t have it already.) They had a unique musical fingerprint, thanks to their diverse pool influences and their incredibly witty songwriting, and in my opinion they actually captured the darker side of the late 60s hippy L.A. scene better than any other group. I often think of “Forever Changes” as “Sergeant Pepper’s” evil yet misunderstood twin. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorite albums of all time, by one of my favorite groups. I got put on to it when I was mad young from finding my mom’s old copy of “My Little Red Book” and absorbing it into my collection.
In 1969 when Lee was at the pinnacle of his creative talent he released “Out There” which is a towering tour-de-force showcasing the multitudes of styles dude could hit on. One of which is “Doggone” which is a groovy song that starts in the folk realm, moves to the rock world and then takes a far-out trip to a crazy jazz drumming solo, provided by George Suranovich. George really starts to go in around the 3:08 mark, but when 4:54 comes around he channels the craziest BOOM BAP schitt you’ve ever heard. I know a grip of people sampled this, specifically Kanye West for Talib Kweli’s “Get By” but honestly I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of hearing these drums. So here it is, complete for the first Breakbeat Tuesday, Love’s “Doggone.”
DJ Stuart "Re-Work V2"
Wet "All The Ways" (Branchez Remix)
De La Soul "Beautiful Night"
With You "Ghost" feat. Vince Staples (Major Lazer Remix)
Tall Black Guy "The Heart Of The Town"
KRNE "I'll Be Good"
Drake "With You" Feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR
Christopher Cross "Ride Like The Wind" (Joey Negro Dub Disco Mix)
BAKERS DOZEN BONUS
Club Cheval "Discipline"
Mura Masa "What If I Go"
Kate Bush "Why Should I Love You?"