06 March 2008

lindy quick 'n dirty blues

so i been going swing dancing tuesday nights for some time now at LaB, as they call it; something i don't think of as having much to do with my musiclife, but of course it is related. come to think of it i'm surprised at how little attention i pay to most of the music (beyond the requisite attention for dancing to it, that is) because i'm not familiar with it (except that by now i more likely am) - i think it's often contemporary swing and blues musicians as opposed to older recordings, though there's definitely both. well anyway i'd been meaning for some time to offer them my services as a dj, and i've finally gotten the ball rolling. i was asked for a sample playlist (given my 'limited prior experience') and i was (a little defensively) mentally composing a showboaty e-mail discussing the various types of things i'd want to play, but then i realized that it would be nearly as quick, and much more productive and helpful, just to put together a CD.

so that's what i did, yesterday, in just about 20 minutes or so (gotta be a record), plus intermittently throughout the day pawing around in various corners of my collection. i was gonna set up a compilation constraint, something like: chronological order, 1920s-2000s, two songs per decade. and i think that would be an interesting challenge, and work out well (for recording quality consistency, if nothing else), but i scrapped it due to schedule crunch and came up with this instead:

title: {...could you eLaBorate?}
format: cd-r
date: 4 march 2008
package: meh. folded paper. olive sharpie.
made for: jesse and the LaBtechs.

1. don byron - the dicty glide
2. benny goodman - feathers
3. paris combo - obliques
4. roy milton - the hucklebuck
5. sister rosetta tharpe - that's all
6. patsy cline - seven lonely days
7. louis jordan - knock me a kiss
8. ike & tina turner - you should'a treated me right
9. percy mayfield ft. joy hamilton - sugar mama - peachy papa
10. jazz passengers ft. e. costello and d. harry - doncha go 'way mad
11. oscar brown, jr. - humdrum blues
12. ramsay lewis - day tripper
13. dusty springfield - live it up
14. etta james - my mother in law
15. jackie wilson - baby workout
16. billy boy arnold - rockin'itis
17. hank ballard - sexy ways
18. james hunter - talkin' 'bout my love
19. los lobos - evangeline
20. art blakey - eleanor
21. ella fitzgerald - please don't talk about me when i'm gone
22. jimmy castor bunch - southern fried frijoles
23. stevie wonder - tuesday heartbreak
24. devon sproule - old virginia block

came out pretty good i think. a few things i might change around if i were gonna make a more "official" version, in the interest of flow, variety, and (primarily) adherence to rule #3. (actually, i confess, i did switch around the running order so that patsy comes after rosetta instead of before.) gets me pretty psyched to have an excuse to delve into this music, including many songs that i wouldn't usually be able to get away with playing for dancers. especially that great underplayed stuff from the fifties before soul and rock'n'roll and blues diverged and it was all r&b (or 'race records'), which i'm only just beginning to explore (h/t to specialty's cheap-o profiles series, which has hepped me to the oeuvres of percy mayfield, roy milton, and larry williams.)

this mix reminds me of what alyssa said about liquid crystal slivers, that it's not trying to prove itself - except this one does have something very specific to prove. (that i can be a competent a swingdanz selektor.) but maybe i can accomplish that handily enough that it can still come off as off-handed. anyway, i tried to steer clear of obvious, or even readily recognizable, picks and artists (louis jordan, oscar brown, & ella are probably the only ones that might get regular LaB play), in a bid to show i've got something different to offer - though that could theoretically backfire, a la baking a vegan sample cake for the "um...we use butter, eggs and sugar in our cakes..." bakery. well.

you may download it here. (as a zip file of tracks, not in sequence)

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