Monday, April 12, 2004

glisten: Kids Are Alright

Okay, pay attention because this is a little complicated and I'm only gonna say it once. Put down that Gameboy and face front George.

Over the past few months, I've been mailing out mix CD's and posting guest reviews. I've decided to try something a little different: in addition to posting my guest's response, I'm also gonna post the music as well. That way I can share my mix tape with ALL of you. Andrea, I think I told you to keep your hands to yourself?

The theme for this particular mix is "The Kids Are Alright", music by (but not always FOR) kids. I tried to structure the mix with a set of five little minimixes so as to make it more easy to break them up for a whole week of posting; additionally, each of these entries should have a thematic gist all their own. Matt, if you can't stop making that noise, we're going to have to discuss it with the principal. Is that what you want?

As always, comments and response are welcome. I'd also love to see some REMIXES coming from these tracks; any of you DJ types wanna cut one of these puppies up? Get in touch with me if you do and I'll be happy to post your work in the blog. Tammi, when I say "cut up", I don't mean the construction paper. That costs money and you are WASTING MONEY.

Let me introduce you to our two guest reviewers: New Yorker Keith Causin (of the "high profile" and appropriately-named-for-this-review Teaching the Indie Kids to Dance Again) and the equally wondrous (but somewhat less blogoriffic) Canuck, Andrew Matthews. They're very good boys, even if they do act up a little. Andrew, don't eat that; you have NO idea where it's from. Keith, noses are for blowing, not picking.

As always, these are posted unedited with my stellar and brilliant commentary in italics. In honor of Bunny day, the subtheme for this particular post (minus our intro track) is "Kids and the Word of God".

Gentlemen? Shall we?


Anonymous Young Girls - "Hopali"

Keith: I could get into this. It has the feeling of a Lomax recording, full of snap crackle and pop, and I wonder if this has been sampled to death yet. Nice repetitive vocal hook, beats are handy, and HANDCLAPS!

Andrew: This I like, even if it does sound like something Moby'd ripoff for a song. I'm not really sure why I like this tune so much, but damn, it's really, really catchy and easy to footstomp to. Great singing, great track.

Good call Keith; this IS a Lomax recording; an Alabama field recording, circa late 1930's.
This is traditional, also known as "Hop-A-Lee", specially made for jump rope chant (although I must admit I've never heard it live before, much less sampled).

I have no idea what in the name of god they're saying.

That this stuff makes people think of Moby makes me cringe.

I _like_ Moby, for the most part, but the ubiquity of his music (and the rampant commercialism of same) seems to have done some real damage to the honor and pedigree of roots music. At the same time, I _do_ admire a great deal of his politics, but he seems to have made so many compromises. Wasn't electronic originally supposed to be about the death of the ego oriented industry? "No stars in techno" and all that?

Sigh. I'm getting worked up. Enjoy the track.

Buy "Deep River of Song: Alabama" direct from Rounder Records
Remind me to post "Titty, Give Me Some Titty" on here some time. It's amazing.
A review of said CD
Listed in The Folk Music Index.
No audio, but a great resource.


Tiny Tot Calvin - "Say Will You Be Ready"

Keith: "Are you truly born again, washed in Jesus Blood? - I'm Jewish. And quite frankly, this scares the shit out of me. It's just so... creepily faithful.

Andrew: A voice that's cute to the point of causing diabetes in the very young or elderly, but the whole "little kid-singing-about-being-washed-in-Jesus'-blood" thing scares the bejesus out of me. So to speak.

Yeah, the earnestness of the piano and the lyrics combined with "Tiny Tot's" slurring, mewling uckiness makes this awfully unpleasant.

Edited down, for sanity's sake. The original is three and a half minutes long and includes Calvin's precious rendition of "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam." Nuff said.

I put these tracks on repeat while I write the notes for each and I must tell you that after FIFTEEN listens, I now HATE this track. You've been warned.

Here's the original notation from that god among men, Otis Fodder:

"I found this album while living in Reno, Nevada in the early 1990's at a Savers thrift store. It's been a favorite for years and I know of others who own this album as well and can attest to the fact that it is excruciatingly painful at times. This is no Junior American Idol, Reality Show, Television Star Search recording. Here we have Aunt Bertha presenting an album from 1968 featuring a happy household of sisters, brothers and cousins singing their precious little hearts out to the lord.

Bertha writes on the back cover liner notes, "Tiny Tots Calvin and Rachel add sparkle in their winsome way. Yes, I am sure SINGTIME will be enjoyed by all who love to sing... or maybe just listen!"

I consider this album a treasure to both scare my neighbors with and to clear a room faster than you can say 'Sunbeam'."

This track (and a few more to come) have been stolen shamelessly from Mr. Fodder's (now defunct) 365 Days Project, wherein he posted one offbeat mp3 a day for the whole of 2003. More than any other site, 365 Days made me want to musicblog.
More frightening Christian action: Jesus Plus Nothing from Harper's Magazine.
Are You Ready For Her Jelly?
Check out The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl and her "wacky adventures in weight loss".


Janeen Brady and the Brite Singers - "I'm a Mormon"

Keith: I'm not sure whether this is scarier than the last one, simply because Mormons by nature are, or whether it's less so because it doesn't have the simple, confessional, honesty of the last track. This is so polished, it becomes somehow less faithful seeming. These kids could have been paid. Not so Calvin.
Also, Mormons baptize baptize dead people. That's creepy.
Andrew: A Mormon march? Whuuuut? Still, the singing's pretty cool (the lyrics, not so much), so I'll give it a thumbs up.

It's pretty darn rousing, ain't it?

Again, this is a 365 Days find.

Otis' website is a fun read with lots to explore. He's a busy musician and a helluva great presence on the web.
I've seen some strange error messages in my time, but this takes the cake.
Get Mormonized.
Okay, we kid because we love. Here's the official site for The Church of Latter-Day Saints. Honestly, some of my best friends are Mormons.


The Click Kids - "Happy Happy Christians"

Keith: Is that a Banjo I hear? I do believe it is! How did the Banjo become a staple of childrens music anyway?

Andrew: I'm starting to detect a certain pattern, here. Gets cut off after a minute, which is a good thing, as I could see this getting real old real fast. The instrumentation's not bad, but the singing's a little grating.

Edited down again, out of mercy and love for my fellow man.

They seem to know what the note IS, but how to GET there remains a mystery.

I lifted this one from Dana Countryman's vaults of the bizarre.

Dana's site is a regular drive-by fave for exotica and offbeat stuff. Well worth the click.
A mini-banjo. You know, FOR KIDS.
The Happy Christians meet in Room 2820 at 9:30 a.m. and we celebrate birthdays every week with coffee and donuts!


The Joubert Singers - "Stand on the Word (Larry Levan Remix)"

Keith: Do I hear what I think I hear? The minute I heard this off Fluxblog I fell in love. It's already one of my most played tracks in Itunes, and will continue to be there. The beats... the harmonies... the exuberance of it all... this is the sort of religious music I love. It's just so goddamned EXCITED ABOUT GOD! And that little kid soloist, just makes the whole thing come together in the most excellent of ways.

Andrew: Definitely a pattern, but I like this song, so no worries. The intro's got a really nice funky vibe to it, and the singing's enthusiastic as hell. Fun tune, I was chairdancing throughout.

Here's Flux's commentary:

This is usually referred to as the "unreleased" Larry Levan mix, but that's a misnomer now that it's been recently issued as a 12" single. The song is a perfect blend of live disco beats and strident gospel vocals, and it is easily one of the finest pieces of music I've ever posted here. I'm absolutely floored by this song, and honestly, I think you'd have to be crazy not to love it too.

Not much to add, except that this is a total favorite round these parts, getting almost daily play. So joyous and alive and unselfconscious.

Very easy to buy into.

Drop by "the Daddy" and give him a big sloppy kiss for the tunage, originally from his pages.
Learn more about DJ Larry Levan
You can purchase Larry Levan's work from Tigersushi Records, including a B-Side Remix of this very song.

Anybody wanna get it for me?



At the request of Hut afficionado Sullivan, here's some spiffy shoutout to
Public Domain, "the greatest band that no one has ever heard". While I wouldn't go that far by half, they do sound like a pretty fun bar band and are worth a sniff.
So I buzzed my head again and had just the strangest reactions at my (increasingly shorter-term) place of employment where I bring beer and sandwiches to old men and women who want lemon with everything. One guy wandered up to me while I was keying in an order and says REAL LOUD and REAL CLOSE, "I like your HAIR! It's REAL CLEAN! HAHAHAHAHAHA!" In circumstances like this, I tend to try to maddog right back, so I leaned in to his face and nonsensically whispered "Yeah... I like to keep it CLEAN!" This left him overjoyed; he clapped me on the back and wobbled away.

I would've written that off, except at the end of the night some OTHER old guy yelled at me from a tablethatwasn'tmine, "Hey, you've got a great HEAD! I love the way it's shaped!" So I told him thanks and he says "Yeah, it's so smooth and perfect... there's no indentations or bumps, just good smooth HEAD!"

Clearly a man who's been reading my press releases.
In other restaurant news, talking to the hispanic kitchen staff pays off yet again, as I scored a double CD of Peruvian Creole guitar music which is currently being ripped.

red faced retraction

Busted on my own blog! "Jay Vee" left a note in my comments to say thanks for the music and then a second one to point out that "Pretty Bitch" sounded a tad suspect. Well, I did a bit more reading and that track is NOT Prince, but is instead a Prince soundalike by the name of Seamore Funk, who specializes in "purple-flavored funk".

Not much info available on the web, but I think anyone who gave "Pretty Bitch" a testdrive can tell you that if Mr. Funk _ISN'T_ Prince (and given Prince's penchant for underground work and sillyassAKA's, there's always a chance), he's certainly the next best thing.

The main link above has a few songs available for listening, I'll also throw in R U Horny by Seamore.

I also sincerely apologize for the misinformation. I'm off to go update that entry.