Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Now in its 76th smash week, Mining the Audio Motherlode rolls on. High-energy surf instrumentals, South African Broadway-style musical numbers, lush French medieval tunes and gorgeous California pop harmonies are all on the bill. But your humble Pittsburgh-based miner couldn't resist kicking things off with a stash of Steel City R&B faves (see below). When you're done downloading, be sure to check out WFMU's new web stream Give the Drummer Radio, spinning killer tracks around the clock. Listen every Friday, 9am to noon, for the live radio show Give the Drummer Some.
Steel These Records
Here are ninety-six stellar "R&B stompers, novelty instrumentals, doo-wop smoothies, and proto-soul ravers" to make Pittsburgh radio royalty Porky Chedwick proud. In fact, the opening track on Volume 3—"Bongo Blues," by the Dee Williams Sextette—is Porky's theme song.
Insect Surfers ~ "Wavelength"
A Bug's Life
After graduating from high school in '79, I trudged off to boring college while my oldest chum, Dan Buccino, answered a classified ad for a band needing a drummer and became the first beatmeister for what quickly become one of D.C.'s favorite live acts. Self-billed as "planet Earth's longest running modern instrumental surf band," the Insect Surfers are now enjoying their fourth decade of rocking. Produced by beloved local punk/new wave promoter Bill Asp, this EP came out five years before band founder Dave Arnson pulled up stakes and relocated the whole phenomenon in Los Angeles.
South African Passion Play
With its debut in 1959 the "All African Jazz Opera" King Kong presented maybe the greatest array of South African musical talent ever—all on one stage. The Manhattan Brothers' Nathan Mdledle sang the male lead; a young Miriam Makeba the female. Top-flight saxophonists Kippie Moeketsi, Mackay Davashe and Gwigwi Mrwebi were all in the orchestra. When the show traveled to London, two years later, a number of key cast members stayed, forming the first wave of ex-pat black South African artists in Europe.
Les Ménestriers ~ "Les Ménestriers"
(Blog: Folk Yourself)
[password = folkyourself.blogspot.com]
From the album: Gaillarde "La Dona" (mp3)
Im'a Get Medieval on Your Ass
There's not a lot of info online about this quintet of French early music devotees. According to one site, they "presented the repertory as a living art in contact with the Earth." This is their debut LP from 1971.
Blackburn & Snow ~ "Something Good for Your Head"
(Blog: Record Fiend)
Just a pair of singles and an album's worth of unreleased material constitutes the entire catalog of this mid-'60s folk-rock duo. Jeff Blackburn and Sherry Snow's rich harmony singing within psyche-tinged sunshine pop arrangements ought to have at least sniffed major success, but poor distribution, lame management and the end of their romance snuffed their act by 1967.
Give the Drummer Some, Fridays, 9 to noon (ET)
streaming live on WFMU's Give the Drummer Radio
Check out every installment of Mining the Audio Motherlode