Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Maybe it's the fresh spring air, or maybe it's just the light-headedness from non-stop downloading in a darkened cubicle. Whatever the cause, not so random acts of niceness are popping up across the online music-sharing community. Zer0_II, proprietor of Digital Meltd0wn, sweetly feted Holy Warbles as the Featured Blog at his aggregator site. Murky Recess paid multiple respects: to World Service, for posting two stunning Sali Sidibé recordings, and to Monrakplengthai, for sharing this jaw-dropping lam sing cassette. Even your own Miner—in this space last week—threw some love to Ana-B for all her tremendous offerings over at Singing Bones. (And, no surprise, the ever-gracious Ana threw it right back.) Maybe the warmest and fuzziest recent blog post of all, though, can be found at all-killer, no-filler Funk My Soul, where your host Nikos has given the horrendously overlooked soul slinger Ila Vann one mighty lovely tribute. (See below.)
Music is a lovesome thing...
Ila Vann ~ "The Ila Vann Collection"
(Blog: Funk My Soul)
Northern Soul Exposure
Exclusive to the essential Funk My Soul is this wonderful revelation: a collection of 45s released by the overlooked treasure Ila Vann. The best way to get to know Ms. Vann is to watch a series of charming YouTube videos (in three parts here, here and here). Now past 70, Vann continues to perform, mostly in Canada, where she's been living for quite some time. Tacked on the end of this custom collection (Vann never released a full-length LP) is a 2003 radio interview with British DJ Kevin Roberts. It's a delight to hear Vann's joy upon learning that her 1967 rendition of "Can't Help Lovin' that Man" had become a beloved Northern Soul Anthem.
"...this compilation is a remarkable historical document of the effect rock music had on the rest of the world, particularly the East. Up until 1961, the South-East Asian scene was almost entirely instrumental; music was situational: culturally significant, but otherwise insignificant per se. As the Western influence crept in via the increasingly popular Beatles and, says Grey Past, a late 1961 concert by Cliff Richard and the Shadows, South-East Asia eschewed the musical collective and embraced the concept of the "band"--steady members, writing songs for their own entertainment." (Nicholas B. Sylvester, at Pitchfork)
Various ~ "New Orleans Gospel Quartets"
(Blog: African Gospel Church)
<< That Doesn't Look Like a Quartet
"Although New Orleans was not the birthplace of gospel, sacred music is as active a part of the city's life as it is anywhere else in the South, as anyone who has spent time in the gospel tent at the Jazz and Heritage Festival can testify. Gospel Heritage, an English label distributed by Rounder, has a fascinating new disk called ''New Orleans Gospel Quartets, 1947-1956'' (HT 306). This compilation documents small vocal groups of both sexes during the heyday of such touring outfits. The highlights are two cuts by the Jackson Gospel Singers and two by the Southern Harps, who included Bessie Griffin, better known later on her own. ''Quartet'' music of this sort - for small vocal groups by no means confined to four singers -went through varying levels of politeness and unbuttoned enthusiasm; as might be expected from New Orleans-based groups, these tend toward the unbuttoned." (John Rockwell, in the New York Times ['87])
Ritmo de Estrellas ~ "Pituka la Bella"
(Blog: Si se rompe se Compone…)
"Ritmo De Estrellas, my absolute favorite South Florida Cuban charanga band. With much influence by Orq. Aragon, especially in their tight crisp vocal style. With acoustic bass... so much more natural sounding than electric bass. This LP is now obscure and hard to find a copy in good condition. Many later pressings of this LP have very poor sound, with much of the bass very low or almost missing. The early pressings are the best, with the bass very full and the thick album cover with a very high glossy cover photo." (Mark Sanders, at Fidel's Eyeglasses )
Various ~ "Andergraun Vibrations! Spanish Hard Psych and Beyond"
(Blog: En Busca Del Tiempo Perdido)
Gettin' High in Iberia
"Andergraun Vibrations! documents the unknown Spanish underground psychedelic and progressive scene from the early seventies. We've culled the private collections of some of the more rabid Spanish crazy collectors and we are proud to present 11 tracks taken from super rare 45s, some of them originally released as private / tiny pressings with only a couple of copies actually known. But don't panic, this is not boring R&B, scratched acetates or lame garage-beat cover versions. Here you'll find wild garage psychedelia and proto-prog sounds, full of crazy Spanish and English vocals, swirling Hammond organs, loud drums, fuzz & wah guitars, proggy flutes and more." (Widely circulated promo copy)
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