Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November mix

This month my mix goes out to the illustrious knobbygirl:

The songs:
1. Joe Simon and the Mainstreeters - Theme From Cleopatra Jones
2. Girl Talk - Non-Stop Party Now
3. Amy Millan - Baby I
4. James Figurine - 55566688833
5. Robin Thicke - Lost Without U
6. Cass Elliot - The Torch Song Medley
7. Daedelus - At My Heels
8. George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars ft Joi - I'll Be Sittin' Here
9. Romeo Void - White Sweater
10. Brazilian Girls - Never Met A German
11. Grace Jones - La Vie En Rose (Tom Moulton 12" Promo Only mix)
12. Charlotte Gainsbourg - The Songs That We Sing
13. Basement Jaxx - Take Me Back To Your House
14. Nino Moschella - Didn't You See Her
15. Jimmy Edgar - I Wanna Be Your STD
16. Bugz In The Attic - No More
17. Sheila E. - Bedtime Story

The artists:
Joe Simon's recording career took off in late 1960s Nashville with several hit R&B covers of country songs. He achieved further success with his theme to the 1973 blaxploitation classic Cleopatra Jones. This track is included in tribute to Tamara Dobson.

Girl Talk is UK DJ/producer Gregg Gillis. He's a new favorite of mine and I've been digging into his back catalog. "Non-Stop Party Now" is from his 2004 release Unstoppable. If you've always wondered why nobody ever mashed up Khia with Richard Marx, your wait is over.

Toronto chanteuse Amy Millan has lent her vocals to indie-rock bands Stars and Broken Social Scene. "Baby I" appears on her 2006 solo debut Honey from the Tombs.

Indie electronic artist Jimmy Tamborello has recorded as Dntel and as a member of The Postal Service, Figurine, and Strictly Ballroom. "55566688833" (text message-speak for "love") is from his latest solo effort, Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake, released under the name James Figurine.

Growing Pains actor Alan Thicke and singer/soap star Gloria Loring (who gave us the ultimate ode to fuck buddies) had a fruitful partnership. Not only did they compose the themes to Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, they also produced a son, Grammy award winning songwriter/producer Robin Thicke. His 2002 debut Beautiful World established him as a neo-soul talent to watch. "Lost Without U" is from his latest effort, The Evolution of Robin Thicke.

Cass Elliot followed her stint in The Mamas & the Papas with a successful but tragically brief solo career. She had several hit records, guest hosted The Tonight Show, made numerous memorable TV appearances including two prime time specials of her own, and a one-woman show in Las Vegas. Her performance in Pufnstuf is not to be missed. Cass died of a heart attack at age 32. Featured here is "The Torch Song Medley" from her final album, Don't Call Me Mama Anymore.

Daedalus is Alfred Weisberg-Roberts, classically trained multi-instrumentalist and producer of exquisitely complex electronic music. "At My Heels" appears on his latest release, Daedalus Denies the Day's Demise.

George Clinton helmed the pioneering Parliament-Funkadelic collective from 1968 through 1981. Clinton still records with some of the band members in addition to ongoing solo work. He duets with soul-funk diva Joi on "I'll Be Sittin' Here", from the 2005 P-Funk All Stars album How Late Do U Have 2 B B 4 U R Absent?

Romeo Void was formed in 1979 by a group of students at San Francisco Art Institute and featured the haunting vocals of Debora Iyall and the saxophone stylings of Benjamin Bossi. They are best known for their new wave classic Never Say Never and top 40 hit A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing). "White Sweater", their first single, appeared on their 1981 debut It's A Condition.

Brazilian Girls have a repeat engagement on this month's mix with "Never Met A German", from Talk to La Bomb.

Trailblazing disco producer Tom Moulton invented the 12" single and the medley remix, changing dance music forever. Included here is his remix of Grace Jones' La Vie En Rose, from the collection A Tom Moulton Mix.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is best known as an actor and as another child of famous parents, but she is also a singer of some note. "The Songs That We Sing" is from her recent release 5:55.

Producer duo Basement Jaxx have scored numerous dance hits with their singular brew of house, pop, r&b, funk, punk, hip-hop and world music. "Take Me Back To Your House" (I really love that video) is from their September release Crazy Itch Radio.

Nino Moschella is a little-known but critically acclaimed singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer whose lo-fi DIY funk and soul grooves have drawn comparisons to early Prince, Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone and Billy Preston. "Didn't You See Her" appears on his highly recommended 2006 debut, The Fix.

Jimmy Edgar is a Detroit-based multi-instrumentalist and electronic music prodigy who has been making beats since he was 10 and performing at raves since 15. "I Wanna Be Your STD" appears on his 2006 release Color Strip.

In The Attic are a UK DJ/producer collective known for their remix work."No More", featuring vocals by Michelle Escoffery, appears on the album every dance music fan should own this year, Back in the Doghouse.

Sheila E. is one of many proteges who passed through Prince's personal and professional life, one with real talent and an enduring career. Their collaborations yielded some of her best work. "Bedtime Story" is from her 1985 album Romance 1600.

Cover image found at Fabric Attic.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Prince's Vegas Revue

Next week, Prince will move into the space formerly known as Club Rio at the Las Vegas Rio Hotel & Casino and re-christen it 3121. He'll be performing there every Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m. He's also opening a restaurant called 3121 Jazz Cuisine. Apparently the Rio partnership was a bit of a rush job- the producer of "Erocktica," the venue's topless revue, was given two days to clear out. Some may balk at the princely sums commanded at the door, particularly club regulars. Club Rio will continue their ongoing "Latin Libido Night" on Thursdays but raise the cover from $20 to $31.21. Tickets to Prince's shows will be $125. Not sure how this compares to other Vegas headliners.

Prince is no stranger to performing in Vegas; his 2003 concert movie was filmed there. But envisioning him as a regular fixture amongst the bingo grannies, sweaty magicians and cheesetastic lounge acts is giving me some cognitive dissonance. Sure, the man who wore the assless pants and outraged the PMRC is gone, replaced by an ostensibly godlier version. But his recent habit of hanging out at a gentlemen's club and harassing the dancers suggests he is still crazy in the coconut. So maybe it's a perfect fit. Many a lovable eccentric has found a home amid the garish neon and money-eating machines.

I won't be rushing out to Vegas anytime soon to catch a show. But I'll be waiting patiently for his Rio co-tenants Penn & Teller to pull one of their infamous practical jokes on him.