Monday, December 31, 2007

A free Dee Dee Sharp download

I want to end the year with some Gamble & Huff. Specifically, the once-Mrs. Kenny Gamble... Dee Dee Sharp.

Woman had pipes for days.

From Dee Dee Sharp’s first album for Philly International Records, “Happy ’Bout the Whole Thing” in 1976, I’m streaming her version of “O-o-h Child” on my Vox blog. Click here to hear it.

To download it as a FREE MP3, click the song title below.

Here’s wishing all of you a Happy New Year, and lots of good things in 2008.

“O-o-h Child” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store
Album available at Amazon

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Outkast vs. Charlie Brown

I’m only 21 months late discovering this YouTube mashup. But heck... funny is funny. (Hat-tip: Big Pissy.)

A free Kermit Ruffins download

Tomorrow I conclude my marathon of daily free ’n’ legal MP3 downloads. Thenceforth, the freebies will come irregularly.

I can think of nothing more festive for my penultimate stroke than “Palm Court Strut” from Kermit Ruffins, one of New Orleans’ baddest.

This version comes from his 2002 CD “Big Easy.” (Ruffins also jams it live on his 2007 album “Live at Vaughan’s.”)

To hear “Palm Court Strut” streaming on my Vox site, click here. To download it, click the song title below.

“Palm Court Strut” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store
Album available at eMusic
Album available at Amazon

One more week, y’all...

A week from tonight, “The Wire” returns to HBO for its final 10 episodes.

To whet your appetite even further for that, check out Felicia “Snoop” Pearson on YouTube, walking through her old East Baltimore neighborhood and talking about her life. This video was made to promote her book, “Grace After Midnight: A Memoir.”

Happy birthday, Bo Diddley.

Rock ’n’ roll pioneer Otha Elias Bates McDaniel – better known as Bo Diddley – turns 79 today.

This has been a rough year for Bo Diddley. He suffered a stroke during a concert in May.

But last month, while being honored in his hometown of McComb, Mississippi, Bo Diddley managed to do some impromptu singing.

Here’s wishing him well in his recovery.

As influential as he was, Bo Diddley had only one hit song on the pop charts (“Say Man,” 1959). And he only topped the R&B singles chart once... with the two-sided hit “Bo Diddley”/“I’m a Man” in 1955.

I’m streaming an 11-minute live version of “I’m a Man” from the early 1980s; Diddley is backed by a British band called Mainsqueeze. To hear it, click here.

The concert album is downloadable from eMusic, Amazon and iTunes.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A free Buckethead download

Hard-rock fans know the mysterious guitarist Buckethead from his tour of duty with Guns N’ Roses.

We funkateers know him via collaborations with Bootsy Collins (in Praxis) and Bernie Worrell (Praxis and Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains).

Buckethead’s tripped-out virtuosity is barely overshadowed by his personal oddness. (Never seen without a KFC bucket on his head and a mask over his face.) Gotta love a guy whose main obsessions include Japanese movie monsters, robots and amusement parks.

His 2005 CD “Enter the Chicken” (credited to Buckethead & Friends) was produced by Serj Tankian of System of a Down.

One track off that album – “Three Fingers” – features vocals by Saul Williams (whom I blogged about recently). It’s available as a FREE MP3.

To hear it streaming on my Vox blog, click here. To download it, click the song title below.

“Three Fingers” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store
Album available at Amazon

Stakes Be High, pt. 4

It’s my turn to pose another question to DeAngelo Starnes. The subject: Reparations for slavery.

In each of the last seven terms of Congress, Rep. John Conyers has introduced a bill – H.R. 40 – to get Congress to study the reparations question. These bills always die in committee. (Thank goodness.)

QUESTION #4: Isn’t it psychologically and culturally damaging for black people to walk around believing that the American society owes them money?

Friday, December 28, 2007

A free Blue Method download

Straight outta “Jersadelphia” comes an old-fashioned soul band called The Blue Method. These boys rock. And lead singer Brian Williams (the heavyset brother in the photo) is everything you want in a soul singer.

Check out their song called “Other Family.” Click here to stream it on my Vox blog.

“Other Family” is available as a FREE MP3. If you have a MySpace account, follow this link to The Blue Method’s MySpace page, and you can cop.

This song appears on the band’s 2007 album “Kill the Music, Vol. 2.” (Downloadable from iTunes.)

The Blue Method will play a New Year’s Eve gig at Castaway’s in Ocean City, Maryland. Wish I could be there.

Coming attraction: ‘Semi-Pro’

Embedded below is the R-rated trailer for Will Ferrell’s basketball comedy, “Semi-Pro.” (Hat-tip: The Playlist.)

The movie opens in late February. A “clean” trailer is also up on YouTube.

All in all, looks like more of the same from Mr. Ferrell. And you know what? With his flicks, I’m like, “I’ll see every other one.”

Saw “Anchorman,” skipped “Kicking & Screaming.” Saw “Talladega Nights,” skipped “Blades of Glory.”

So I guess I’ll go and see “Semi-Pro.”

Artifact: Britain’s biggest hits of 1970

I recently acquired a neat audio artifact (from here): BBC Radio’s year-end countdown of the Top 50 songs of 1970!

This combines three of my personal obsessions: popular music, foreign media, ’70s nostalgia.

In the early 1970s, during my pre-adolescence, I loved listening to Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40.” The U.K. equivalent was called “Pick of the Pops.” (Compared to Casey Kasem, I say the British host sounds rather corny.)

I’m streaming the final three songs of the 1970 British countdown on my Vox blog. I shan’t ruin the drama by revealing those titles here, except to say that the No. 1 song you probably remember fondly (but not that fondly).

I will say that “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “All Right Now” and “Spirit in the Sky” were further down on the Top 10.

Also, there’s a cool extra bit at the very end of the show. So if you have 11 minutes to kill, click here and enjoy a trip back in time.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Racial humiliation as sexual fetish?

In my self-study of the “N-word” in its various habitats, I came across something truly wild.

Apparently there are masochists out there who get turned on by the idea of being racially mocked by a domineering white woman.

(WARNING: If you would rather not see the “N-word” spelled out... and if you object to porno links... please skip this post.)

The Internet, of course, is a fetishist’s wonderland. No matter how obscure or strange the kink – balloon fetish, smoking fetish, “sploshing” – there are others who share it. Or at least will indulge it.

Which brings us to “Mistress V,” professional dominatrix. Among the fantasy services she provides are “ball busting,” “small penis humiliation”... and, yep, “verbal racial humiliation.”

“Many males have a fetish for humiliation,” she writes. “Do you want the extra nastiness of your race tossed in there? If you are a dumb nigger, a tight squeaky kike, a greasy spic, a nasty mutt all inbred, or a slanty eyed gook, I am your pathway to crying like a girl. haha”

Business, never personal. Demand drives supply. I ain’t mad at her.

Just look at some of the comments left by submissive men on Mistress V’s site:

“i am a lowly male of east indian descent and i know for a fact that all white women are Superior to me. ... How i think about it is what use a White Goddess will have for anyone like me but to make Her life easier and then get lost. No need being able to breathe the same air as a White Queen”

“I can’t wait to speak w/You about this…I think (and hope) that I am exactly the kind of jew You would love to humiliate...”

“i am a nigger slave who has served my superior White Mistress for some time now. Unfortuantely, she moved to San Francisco and i live in DC. i would love to serve another Superior White Mistress”

“Goddess V i am a 53 year old black boy and i have known i was – am a true slave since the 6th grade. Whip me beat me humiliate me i want to cry 4 YOU. How can we work it?”

Mistress V answers back with comments like this:

“All my little nigger bitches drooling and slaving for Me. Pay attention porch monkeys, My birthday is almost here, i better have some hard earned cash at my damn box from you or you will get the worst punishment of all……….. MY SILENCE.. MWHAHAHAHAHAH”

Can this be? Are there black men who’ll pay a white woman to call them “nigger”... because it gets ’em off?

Hey, nothing is beyond possible when it comes to the sexual mind.

A few commenters at Mistress V’s site, however, are just pretending to be black, I’m convinced. My race-dar is pretty good when it comes to people throwing the N-word around on the internets.

Here’s what the real deal sounds like:

“I am Achinta, an Indian (Hindu) never-married male from India aged 44.. I worship you most as you are the SUPREME WHITE GODDESS. I understand that yourself being the supreme white Goddess, it is your birth-right to racially humiliate the non-white slaves and treat them as inferior slaves whose place is under your lovely white feet. I LIKE TO MEET YOU PERSONALLY for being dominated by you fully in whatever manner you like. I am your total slave and you are my owner. I love to worship your milky white body. ...”

Humans. Ain’t we comical?

A free Eric Reed download

Piano prodigy Eric Reed joined Wynton Marsalis’s band while still in his teens, and has been recording under his own name since the age of 20.

Now in his late 30s, Reed has worked with the likes of Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry, Elvin Jones and Cassandra Wilson.

A FREE MP3 is available from Reed’s 2006 CD, “Here.” It’s his rendition of Coltrane’s “26-2.” To hear it streaming on my Vox site, click here.

To download it, click the song title below.

(My thanks to musician and photographer Herman Burney for his permission to use the picture above.)

“26-2” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store
Album available at eMusic
Album available at Amazon

MBP of the Week: Orlando Sentinel

Here’s a Misidentified Black Person I didn’t catch earlier. The Orlando Sentinel published the following correction on December 5:

“The caption with a photograph of three University of Central Florida football players holding the Liberty Bowl trophy on Page C16 of Monday’s Sports section misidentified the player wearing No. 21 in the center. He is Curtis Francis.”

I do not know whom the Sentinel said he was. But wouldn’t you think the big-ass “21” on his jersey made it easy to get this right?

My wish for 2008...

... is that Tay Zonday will record a duet with this guy:

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A free E.U. download

Waving my D.C. flag again...

Long before there was a “European Union,” the letters “E.U.” stood for one thing only: Experience Unlimited, one of D.C.’s best funk bands.

Back in the mid-’80s, when Chris Blackwell of Island Records took a fancy to Washington’s polyrhythmic “go-go” sound, the local music scene thought it was about to break out globally.

Grace Jones did a go-go-flavored record. Island even bankrolled a movie, which E.U. performed in.

But it was Spike Lee, a few years later, who launched E.U. to the top of the charts by showcasing “Da Butt” in “School Daze.”

I still prefer the old-school rawness of “E.U. Freeze” m’self... but I don’t blame the band for trying to capitalize on nostalgia by presenting a new mix – “Da Butt 2008.”

To hear it streaming on my Vox blog, click here.

To download it as a FREE MP3, click the song title below. (The “School Daze Revisted” album includes tracks by new D.C. artists.)

“Da Butt 2008” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store
Album available at Amazon

What has become of this holiday?

I hope y’all had a good Christmas. Me, I decided to go to the flicks and see Denzel Washington’s “The Great Debaters.” Figured I wouldn’t have to battle any crowds.

I was wrong.

In mid-afternoon, at a big Burbank shopping mall, there wasn’t a single free space in the parking structure. Boy, that pissed me off. I was like, “Why aren’t you motherfuckers at home? It’s Christmas!

I don’t get it. The world used to take a break on Christmas Day. Instead, you got long lines at the Starbucks.

I guess the fact that Hollywood would open major motion pictures on Christmas Day means that I’m out of touch... that Christmas has been a big moviegoing day for a while. It’s a damn shame.

Anyways, “The Great Debaters” was effective, in a manipulative, almost hokey kind of way. The theater was packed, and people applauded at the end. So it will make money.

I was personally delighted to see one of the main characters sing a couple of verses of “Run, Nigger, Run,” a folk song I blogged about in detail back in September.

Tangentially, I also think I spotted a factual error in one of the main characters’ debate points. Jurnee Smollett said, if I heard right, that the New York Times decided to capitalize the “N” in Negro in 1920.

Actually, it was 1930. And the Times was one of the last New York newspapers to do so.

I began gathering string on that story back in the summer, while researching the “Giant Negro” phenomenon. I’ll write more about the capitalization of “Negro” in coming days.

A James Brown contest

To honor the passing of James Brown one year ago on Christmas Day, I decided to mess around with my GarageBand software and do a J.B. memorial mix.

Then I decided: Let’s make this interesting.

So here’s a contest. In my 6-minute J.B. memorial mix, there are pieces from eight different tracks by James Brown or his band. The first person to name all eight tracks will win a prize.

That prize is a double-CD called “Funky Good Time: The Anthology” by the J.B.’s (Mr. Brown’s backing band). The J.B.’s featured at various times Maceo Parker, Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley and “Pee Wee” Ellis. This is ’70s funk at its finest.

Put your answers in the comments section. Guess as many times as you like. What I need are eight correct song titles.

Now, to hear the 6-minute mix, click here.

UPDATE (12/26/07): We have a winner. Andre Alexander identified all eight tracks in the comments section of my Vox blog. Here they are:

“The Funky Side of Town”
“Make It Funky”
“It’s the J.B.’s Monaurail”
“Hot Pants”
“Don’t Tell It”
“Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing”
“Funky President”
“Hot Pants Road”

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A free Take 6 download

Any Take 6 fans in the house? Click here to hear “Come On,” off the group’s 2006 CD, “Feels Good.”

To download the track as a FREE MP3, click the song title below.

“Come On” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store
Album available at eMusic
Album available at Amazon

Christmas Grace

Merry Christmas to all! (Hat-tip: Ernest Hardy.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

‘The Night Before Christmas’

No, not the classic poem by Clement Clarke Moore... though my boy Tay Zonday does a proper reading of that one on YouTube. (Looks like Tay gots paids again too, judging by the daggone movie ad!)

This version comes from the King of the Freak-Talkers... that ol’ nasty nucca named Rudy Ray Moore. His “Night Before Christmas” contains big rubber dicks, plenty of cussin’ and a touch of bestiality to warm your cockles.

It first appeared on “The Rudy Ray Moore Christmas Album” back in the ’70s. That album was reissued on CD as “This Ain’t No White Christmas!” And now, it’s digitally downloadable for the first time! (Available at, eMusic and iTunes.)

So if you’re ready for some Rudy, click here. Just make sure the little ones are all snug in their beds.

Bonus freebie: Gloria Reuben

Actress Gloria Reuben, best known for her years on “ER,” is also a singer. Matter fact, she sang on one of the “ER” Christmas episodes... and maybe other eps too, I can’t recall.

After leaving that show, she sang background for Tina Turner on a world tour; this was documented in a VH1 “Rock & Roll Fantasy” special.

Last month, Reuben put out a three-song holiday EP called “Let It Glo.” To hear her version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” streaming on my Vox blog, click here.

Now, I have no expertise in judging vocalists – only what I’ve learned from Paula Abdul – but I think Ms. Reuben may be singing in too low of a key. Nevertheless, if you’d like to download this as a FREE MP3, just click the song title below.

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (MP3)
EP available at iTunes Music Store

Oscar Peterson (1925-2007)

Oscar Peterson, a major presence in jazz for nearly 60 years and a national hero in Canada, has died.

According to the Associated Press, the cause of death was kidney failure. Less than a month ago, Mr. Peterson posted a message to fans on his website:

“I would like to apologize for my absence for the last while. Things got very busy both with business and personal duties.

“I am very happy to say I am back. Let me assure you that I will try my best to keep up with providing you with new Journal entries, and updates on what I am doing. I am looking forward to it.”

As recently as 2006, Oscar Peterson headlined the Monterey Jazz Festival.

A pianist renowned for his technique and speed, Peterson leaves behind an enormous amount of recorded material.

To hear his rollicking rendition of Ellington’s “Caravan,” recorded in duet with Dizzy Gillespie in 1974, click here.

Peterson, the son of a Canadian Pacific Railway sleeping-car porter, received his country’s highest civilian honor – the Order of Canada – in 1973.

A free General Johnson & the Chairmen of the Board download

I brought up the Chairmen of the Board a couple of months back – and General Johnson, their leader – who put out some great soul records in the early 1970s.

Well, General Norman Johnson never stopped singing. In the Carolinas, his type of upbeat R&B is called “beach music” or “shag music,” and it’s crazy popular.

So that’s where Mr. Johnson has focused his attention for the past 30 years, co-founding Surfside Records and gigging along the Atlantic coast with his Chairmen to this day.

In October, Johnson released a Christmas CD. To hear “Please Come Home for Christmas” on my Vox audio stash, click here.

To download it as a FREE MP3, click the song title below.

“Please Come Home for Christmas” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store
Album available at Amazon

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mitt Romney... freedom marcher?

Okay, wait a minute. Did Mitt Romney once actually claim that he – not only his father, but he, Mitt Romney – had “marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit”?

Evidently so... in 1978. Turns out he was speaking figuratively. Or something.

Well, on Friday Chris Matthews put his foot up Mitt Romney’s ass (figuratively) on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” Because the Republican presidential candidate seems to have a habit of saying untrue things.

Matthews hashed it all out with Kevin Madden, press secretary for the Romney campaign. It was like two pit bulls going at it.

Actually, it was more like pit bull vs. bunny rabbit. Matthews tore him to pieces. It was great political theater and great television.

I have the audio. Click here to hear it. (You can download it via iTunes until late Monday. Just search the “Podcasts” database for “Hardball.”)

Limp ‘Cox’

I’m surprised to see that “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” – from Judd Apatow, the hottest comedy writer in Hollywood – is having a horrible opening weekend. It’s the only comedy out there, and it ranks only No. 7 on the box-office Top 10.

I saw “Walk Hard” yesterday. I was amused by the first half of it, bored by the second half. And the songs are nowhere close to “Spinal Tap” standards.

Apatow and co-writer/director Jake Kasdan do have some fun with music-bio racial tropes; there’s a benevolent old bluesman and a couple of “juke joint” scenes.

I don’t know... maybe people just don’t wanna look at John C. Reilly for that long.

Some free Vinx downloads

Remember Vinx?

A serendipitous encounter with Sting in 1990 launched Vinx into a brief period of being buzzed about by the pop-music establishment.

Vinx continues to sing beautifully, and is marketing himself with sophistication on the Web.

If you have a MySpace account, you can download some FREE MP3s direct from Vinx. He has five of them available on his MySpace page.

One of those is called “Who Did You.” To hear it on my Vox audio stash, click here.

I can also let you Southern Californians know: Vinx will be doing a New Year’s Eve gig at Genghis Cohen.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A free Bad Brains download

Let me wave my D.C. flag one time.

The legendary Rasta-punk band Bad Brains have been ripping shit up since 1979 (off and on). This year they took part in a promotional album called “Represent,” a joint venture of Adidas and Major League Soccer.

“Represent” pulled together a bunch of different bands to hype their hometown soccer clubs.

The Mexican band Kinky, for example, honored its second home – Southern California – with a song praising the L.A. Galaxy. While Barenaked Ladies gave some love to Toronto FC.

Bad Brains did a tune called “D.C. United.” It’s even got a bit of go-go flavor. To hear it streaming on my Vox blog, click here.

How you can get this album, I does not know. Maybe it’ll be sold at stadiums. But to download the Bad Brains track as a FREE MP3, just click the song title below.

“D.C. United” (MP3)