Tuesday, September 06, 2005


"Work in Progress" or no, Moongirl is loverly.
The world needs more giant catfish made of stars. Very Psychonaut-y (yes, I did beat it when everything was said and done).
I know this is old, but if the phrase "hyena people of Nigeria doesn't ring a bell, you should peep.
Heard the one about the recently discovered acetates of a super rare 40 minute 1945 Dizzy and Bird concert emceed by Symphony Sid?
The instant I see this, I'm buying it.
Mmmmmmm... literature.
Something about these diverse and deceptively simple stuffed animals speaks to me in a way that these wise-ass, tongue-in-cheek 'ugly' dolls simply can't.
Pickin' Boogers hips us to some "stupid silly nuttymagillacutty shit".


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Jumpin' Jive!

glisten: Louis Jordan

Louis Jordan - "How I Love My Teacher"
Jordan's precocious and swingin' ode to apple polishing one ups Van Halen in every way.
"Can you take what I can shake"? Hot shit!

One of the goals of The Tofu Hut has always been to draw ears to important or exciting sounds that have been unjustly overlooked by the majority, whether obscured by complexity, scarcity or the veil of time. Few artists fit the bill of the latter more than Louis Jordan. Once known as one of the most famous, popular and influential musicians in the United States; Jordan's name now evokes blank looks from the vast majority of pop music listeners. The tragedy is that Jordan's exciting mix of novelty, jazz and rnb themes played a pivotal role in the creation of what we understand to BE modern pop (and, I think, modern rnb and hip hop). He has certainly been acknowledged for his contributions by musical cognoscenti; what I bemoan is the lack of dap he gets from the vox populi.

In the 1940's, Louis Jordan was a musical giant. Between the years of 1943 and 1950, a Jordan track was number one on the R+B charts for over twenty-one months. More than a dozen of his singles crossed over to the pop charts. Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and B.B. King have all acknowledged Jordan as a progenitor. If you haven't heard his music yet, now's the time; if you're already a fan, hopefully you'll find something new in this big ol' chicken-fried mess of Louis goodness.

Louis Jordan - "The Green Grass Grows All Around"
A rollicking round-robin novelty take on 'There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea', 'Green Grass' is bar-none one of the happiest, most enjoyable songs I can think of.
If you can listen to this without smiling, I'd check for a pulse.

The recordings I've included in this post are culled from a number of Jordan albums I've picked up over the years, some out of print and some not. Most of Jordan's considerable back catalogue IS still commercially available, but as with many other greats (James Brown, John Coltrane, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Johnny Cash) the neophyte listener is probably best served with a greatest hits disc. Your gateway drug in that case is available to buy at Amazon: the NPR 'Basic Jazz Library'-certified Best of Louis Jordan.
For less than ten bucks, it might be the best musical bargain you'll ever find.

Louis Jordan - "What's the Use of Getting Sober (When You Gonna Get Drunk Again?)"
A crunk anthem for the roaring forties, everything about 'What's the Use' satisfies; from the mammy/pappy call and response of the first verse, to the swill-around-the clock second verse, to the weaving, wobbling chorus.

Explore this extensive Jordan fanpage.
Sadly, this is pretty much the only exclusive Jordan site I could find.
Read this brief Jordan bio from the Ken Burns 'Jazz' page.
"This was a really funny song about a fox trying to get the chickens and fool the farmer into thinking everything was alright."
Technically, kid, the idea is that it's a big bad black man in the coop; but it's reassuring that Louis' stuff ages well enough to sidestep racist tropes and just be FUN, even (and especially) to an uninformed listener.

Louis Jordan - "Azure Te (Paris Blues)"
This light-hearted blues wears its heart on its shoulder. 'Azure-Te' highlights Jordan's phenomenal sax playing and shows a glimpse of the genius in a romantic mode.

Read Atlantic Record founder and fellow Rock+Roll Hall of Famer Ahmet Ertegun's Rolling Stone "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" profile of Jordan.
Explore these amazing (and desktop-worthy) photos of Louis Jordan and his band from William P. Gottlieb's Golden Age Jazz Photos Archive.
Want to hear more?
Listen (in realaudio) to five more Jordan tracks, including the classic 'Caldonia' and the now-standard, Jordan penned "Let the Good Times Roll".

Also, scroll down and listen to Louis Jordan's 'Ration Blues' (in WMA format), courtesy the excellent archives of Jan's 78 RPM Record Warehouse.

And, finally, don't miss the three month R+B chart topper of 1949, 'Saturday Night Fish Fry', courtesy of the always laudable Vocal Group Harmony Web Site.

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Friday, September 02, 2005

Contrary to some reports on the web, Allen Toussaint is alive, well and in New York.

I'm happy to report that I was able to briefly meet him and shake his hand last night; he is, given the horrific circumstances, in good spirits.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Welcome back. Let's try this again, shall we? Once more with feeling?

Posts from here on are more likely to be shorter and more frequent, as per the constant suggestion of such from my personal peanut gallery. Let me know.

glisten: Himuro

Himuro - One Day of the Beetle

Himuro - "Button of Reset"

Listen to two more tracks from Mild Fantasy Violence, courtesy Zod Records.
MFV is surprisingly difficult to come by; Zod doesn't sell it and I didn't have much luck finding anyone else who did. Any leads?

NEW NOTE: Zod CAN fulfill orders for this disc. Email them at info@zodrecords.com and tell 'em th' Hut sent you!

Read the tinymixtape review of Mild Fantasy Violence.
I agree with most of Dave's take on the album, but think he's giving Himuro's ingenuity and mixing skills short shrift. While nostalgia is, no doubt, one of the factors that make Himuro's musical adventures so engaging, it's his deft appropriation of Aphex-y wet clicks and shrugs, the strangely organic-rendered-from-circuitry Daft ambience and the mad pop-lockin' Bambaata beats that kept me coming back for more.

Read this brief interview and overview of Himuro's work.

Visit Himuro's immensely satisfying personal site.
Don't miss his 'sound diary'; it's chock-full of fun, noodly exploration to listen to.


Cypress Hill frontman B-Real has joined in audioblogging in a big way; you can find well over a hundred full-length, free tracks from B over at his official website.
It's called travellin' music; bustin'-ya-ass-style.
My favorite media whore starts up a new blog: Kimdog's Fat Celebrity News.
But don't get it twisted...
WFMU's astonishing Beware of the Blog should already be a daily click for you; if you're new to the site, here's a few choice tidbits to get you started.
Virtual reality has come a long way, baby.
Rhymefest- "Brand New" VS. Lamar RAPS!
Little known fact: Lamar was Kanye's first taste of stardom.
K got grill skillz!
I'm yanking on Kanye, but I hate to love him. "Golddigger" is addictive.
An honest-to-god Tofu Hut.
Man, I TOTALLY should've gotten into Street Wars; I need more stress in my life.
Jumpin' Kitties!
Meet my new desktop.
Hosanna and wonder to the triumphant return of I, Asshole!
Ninjam is people creating songs as a sort of exercise in internet exquisite corpse-ry. Not always great art but good for a giggle.
Hanzis Matter presents the flipside of Engrish.


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