Category Archives: vinyl

Gorillaz remixes

Relax. I don’t have anything from Demon Days. But I did find a Clint Eastwood promo single on vinyl at my favorite independent local record chain. The B-side included two remixes, supposedly “for promotion only.” If you ask me, Clint Eastwood was one of the best songs off the first LP, if only because Del the Funky Homosapien was featured on it.

Gorillaz | Clint Eastwood (Ed Case Refix)
Gorillaz | Clint Eastwood (Phi Life Cypher)

Flashback Friday: Goin’ Back to Cali.

Well, I’m headed off to LA today for the weekend and figured this would be a perfect time to bust out this vinyl 45 flashback: LL Cool J’s Goin’ Back to Cali.

When you’re talking about greatest rappers of all time, LL’s name has to come up, and I’m speaking strictly pre-Mr. Smith era (though I’d guess LL could take out any young whipper snapper … hello, Canibus). For raw beats and brash lyrics, LL’s Radio and Bigger and Deffer are hard to top. Radio stands atop my hip-hop collection with the likes of Run-DMC’s Tougher than Leather and A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory.

As for Goin’ Back to Cali. (on Walking With a Panther and the Less Than Zero soundtrack), it’s interesting to note the cultural influence the title alone has. If you google the title, you’ll find a lot of links to newspapers that used the headline “Goin’ back to Cali.” for some story relating to the state. I’ll never forget the video, all black and white with LL rollin’ in his ride when he drops the line: “Bikini small / heels tall / she said she likes the ocean.”

The B-side to the 45 single is Jack the Ripper, which I don’t believe appeared on any studio albums (but does show up on multiple Best of Def Jam compilations). It’s classic LL: in your face with a funky James Brown guitar sample and production by Rick Rubin.

LL Cool J | Goin’ Back to Cali.
LL Cool J | Jack the Ripper

(Note: Vinyl to digital conversion completed using Audio Hijack Pro.)

See y’all Tuesday, and get your captions in for the Rex Grossman photo below!

The Stop the Violence Movement: Self-Destruction

Once I discovered the blog/photo journal of old-school rapper D-Nice, I couldn’t help but click through his archives. He was (is) one of my favorite rap artists. I came across one of his posts about the single Self-Destruction, a track recorded under the Stop the Violence Movement that featured some serious hip-hop heavyweights from the East Coast and was produced by D-Nice at the tender age of 18. (Read his post for more on that.)

Anyway, it got me digging into my vinyl because I own the 12″ single and I thought I’d revive it here. Recorded in 1989, it seems pretty incredible (perhaps in a sad way) that the track still carries a worthwhile message. I didn’t find a whole lot about it on the Internet, other than this one line at Wikipedia that tells how the Stop the Violence Movement originated. You might also remember the West Coast All-Stars’ similar project We’re All in the Same Gang. (If anyone has this, I’d love to hear it again.)

Besides the strong message it carries, Self-Destruction is just a great song with a singable chorus. And all proceeds of the record were donated to National Urban League “to support and develop programming dealing with Black on Black crime and youth education” (taken from record cover).

Here’s a rundown of the emcees (in order they appear):
KRS-One, M.C. Delight, Kool Moe Dee, M.C. Lyte, Daddy-O and Wise, D-Nice, Ms. Melodie, Doug E. Fresh, Just-Ice, Heavy D., Fruit-Kwan, Chuck D and Flavor Flav.

I’ve included three of the four mixes from the single (excluded the “single edit”). Still trying to decipher the difference between the “extended mix” and the “special remix.”

Stop the Violence Movement | Self-Destruction (extended mix)
Stop the Violence Movement | Self-Destruction (special remix)
Stop the Violence Movement | Self-Destruction (instrumental)

Bloc Party remixes — going, going … GONE

OK, I’ve left these Bloc Party remix tracks active because they were quite popular. However, they are now for sale on the iTunes music store as the Dimmakified! EP: four remixes for four bucks. Soooo, I’ll be taking down these tracks later tonight. That said, I’d highly recommend taking four bucks out of your weekly allowance and simply buying them. That’s chump change for some really cool remixes — even if Ryan says Bloc Party has sold out.

45: Come Together/Soundgarden cover

Another trip to the record store this weekend, another vinyl 45 score: The Beatles Come Together for 99 cents (B-side is Something). It even had (what I think is) the original Apple Records sleeve. The collection for the jukebox gets sweeter by the day.

So I thought I’d share, along with a Soundgarden cover from Loudest Love, a seven-song Japanese import from 1990. I’ve always had an affinity for Soundgarden, and I won’t apologize for that.

The Beatles: Come Together
Soundgarden: Come Together

Hot Hot Heat/El-P remix

I’ll come clean: I know little of Hot Hot Heat, I don’t own any of their music nor do I have an intense need to buy it. However, on a recent record-shopping excursion, I came across the 12″ vinyl single for Goodnight Goodnight, which includes a remix by El-P (he of Company Flow, Definitive Jux fame).

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a hip-hop nerd. And I’ll buy just about anything with El-P’s name attached to it. His production work is insane and he’s a pretty damn dope emcee, too. If you don’t know, check Company Flow’s Funcrusher Plus. Or El’s solo Fantastic Damage.

This Goodnight Goodnight remix is classic El-P fare: muddy beats, distortion and just downright slammin’ drum tracks. Check the breakdown in the final seconds of the mix.

(As always, vinyl conversion into mp3s made possible by Audio Hijack Pro.)

Hot Hot Heat: Goodnight Goodnight
Hot Hot Heat: Goodnight Goodnight (instrumental)
Hot Hot Heat: Goodnight Goodnight (El-P remix)
Hot Hot Heat: Goodnight Goodnight (Boom Bip remix)

45 Selections of the Week

Being on a singer/songwriter kick last week with the Richard Buckner/Anders Parker and Brendan Benson shows, I plucked these two well-known tracks from the 45 jukebox collection. When I took on the 45 stash from my dad, I was hoping to turn up more Bob Dylan. Alas, Like a Rolling Stone single was the only one of the lot. No matter, it’s a fine track. And according to this Calgary Sun story, July 24 was the 40th anniversary of the song’s appearance on rock charts. Rolling Stone recently named it the greatest song of all time in a list of 500. Here’s a brief history of the tune.

The second choice is Jim Croce, of whom I admittedly have little knowledge except that he kept turning up in my dad’s music collection when I was young. As my tastes matured, I was patient enough to sit down and listen. And enjoy. My research tells me the opening piano bars of Bad, Bad Leroy Brown were lifted from Bobby Darin’s Queen of the Hop, which also resides in the 45 stash. It’s included for comparison’s sake.

(Note: Songs are recorded from turntable into computer using Audio Hijack Pro. Recordings are then edited/filtered/toiled over using Audacity.)

Flashback Friday

South of Mainstream has offered up a beauty of an idea — and being grammar geeks here, we love the alliteration: Flashback Fridays. I was all agog this week with SofM dusting Hum off the shelf. I’m not sure I can keep up every week, but I’ll give it my best.

So, my first Flashback offering is (drumroll please) … Gwen Mars. This three-piece outfit formed in LA in 1995 and released “Magnosheen.” There was a bit of an underlying glam-rock aura about Gwen Mars but the music owed an undeniable debt to the grunge era and, in my opinion, the crunchy guitar riffs of the Smashing Pumpkins.

Honestly, I’m not sure why I liked this band or why I ever purchased “Magnosheen.” It was/is a guilty pleasure. Oddly enough, I saw them open for Catherine Wheel, the most unlikely of openers for CW. I also once saw them at Boston’s, a scrappy little club in Tempe that is no longer (R.I.P.). It was almost like Gwen Mars couldn’t decide if they wanted to go grunge or try the hair-rock route and got caught somewhere in between. But damn it if I don’t love those opening riffs on “Cosmic Dick.”

Lucky for me, I stumbled across a white-vinyl 45 of “Cosmic Dick” in Tucson. The B-side, “Shrink,” is also off “Magnosheen.” Apparently, the group resurfaced in 2001 with the full-length “Driving a Million.” I’m guessing it might be another six years before we hear from them again, if at all. Here’s to hair spray and lipstick on lead singers.

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Gwen Mars: Cosmic Dick
Gwen Mars: Shrink

Digable Planets remixes

Chris at has me all geeked out about Digable after reading his review of Lollapallooza in Chicago this weekend. I was gonna save these gems for a future date, but I couldn’t hold out any longer. These are from the vinyl stash: A 9th Wonder (Slicker this Year) Mad Slicker Remixes promo 12″ and a Dial 7 12″.

Digable Planets: 9th Wonder (Amina remix)
Digable Planets: 9th Wonder (Dania remix)
Digable Planets: 9th Wonder (Accapella)
Digable Planets: Dedication

Super Bowl Shuffle

It’s almost August, which means NFL teams are reporting to training camp, which means it’s never too early to start thinking about the Super Bowl. It’s like spring training, when every team thinks they have a shot. Only I’m a Bears fan and I KNOW they don’t stand a chance.

Ah, but memories. We can always milk the 1985 domination. Payton, McMahon, the Fridge. What about those linebackers? Singletary, Wilson, Marshall. Then there’s Super Bowl MVP Richard Dent. That team should have turned into a dynasty. Alas …

Yes, I’ve digitized my 12-inch vinyl of the Super Bowl Shuffle, which was in vogue long before the Ickey Shuffle. I could never decide whose verse I liked the most, but what I really could never figure out is how backup QB Steve Fuller ever got on the song.

Anyway, be sure to check out the pure cheesiness of the “Extended Vocal Mix.”

Well, without further ado, we present the Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew:

Vocal Mix
Extended Vocal Mix