Port outward, starboard home

BO HANSSON “Leaving Shire” (1972)

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The prog/Swedish/Swedish prog end of the Internet is saying that Bo Hansson is dead. I don’t read Swedish or prog so I’m not clear on all the details. Sad news.

“Leaving Shire” is one of my most favorite songs ever.


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Scott Storch is managing to stay one step ahead of the bailiffs and repo men, apparently, because he produced “Shutterbugg” for Big Boi, at least the 400th leaked track off Sir Luscious Leftfoot, which is rapidly turning into the SMiLE of rap records.

Anyway, this is pretty awesome, especially the Soul II Soul quote (who looks prescient now?), though I don’t quite love it off the bat the way I loved “Shine Blockas”.

From the Archives [sic]: RICHIE HAVENS “Going Back to My Roots” (1979)

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Mind on the Run just posted up Richie Havens’ awesome cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”, which is just as good as you’d imagine it’d be, and it reminded me of his even more awesome cover of Lamont Dozier’s “Going Back to My Roots”, from the same record– a jam I drove my wife insane with through endless replays on drives between DC and New York a couple of springs ago.

Such a killer.

ALTHEA & DONNA “Oh Dread” (1978)

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“Uptown Top Ranking” was a UK number one for Althea & Donna in 1978, and it’s a fine song, but you ask me, the really gem on the record is “Oh Dread”. Perfect for a warm sunny Sunday on foot in NW jamming tunes on the headphones.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS “The Wig He Made Her Wear” (2010)

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Always dug Drive-By Truckers for their drawling stories about the the Southern lumpen, but I haven’t been paying much attention latterly. I didn’t even know they had a new record out.

I certainly don’t love every second of this record, but this song’s a winner.

ESTHER OFARIM “Gnostic Serenade” (1972)

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Fairly certain my dad has played me some of Esther’s Hebrew music before but her English stuff is news to me. Luckily, Emmett at Art Decade dropped this jewel on us a month or so ago. “Gnostic Serenade” is a pretty awesome Tom Rush song but I think Esther’s version is superior (maybe it’s a Tom Rush thing? I really like “No Regrets” but the original isn’t my favorite), really super incredible.

This record was produced by Bob Johnston, who was a pretty big wheel for someone who seems to have been more of a Eurovision contender than a legit threat to Joni Mitchell or Joan Baez or Judee Sill in America, but what do I know?

ZIA ATABI “Heleyos” (ca. 1970s)

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I let this blog die for a while but if Gabe Said, “We’re Into Movements” can come back after almost 3 years dormant, I guess I can pick again after only a couple months.

Anyway, Finders Keepers has really been putting out some incredible comps lately. The Sound of Wonder, amazing Pakistani film music from the ’60s-’70s, was one of my favorite releases of 2009…

BUT. I think they’ve topped that with Pomegranates, “Persian Pop, Funk, Folk, and Psych of the 60s & 70s”. Practically every track is mind-blowing, but the opener, “Heleyos” is my favorite– the scatting, the thick bass, the crazy horns, the chanted vocals. Can’t stop listening to this.

YABBY YOU “Run Come Rally” (1975)

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KATE & ANNA McGARRIGLE “Avant le Guerre” (1980)

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USHER f/YO GOTTI “Get in My Car” (2010ish)

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This is the first Usher song that’s caught the ear since “Love in This Club”, which seems like forever ago.

Anyway, he’s clearly returning to the well– “Love in This Club” was Polow da Don-produced, featured a gruff Southern rapper, and was about having sex in the club. “Get in My Car” is Polow da Don-produced, features a gruff Southern rapper, and is about leaving the club to have sex. Maybe it qualifies as a sequel?