Friday, April 24, 2009

T.G.I. Mutha Funkin' Friday!

It's about time we leave Brazil and get back to home turf for some smokin' tunes perfect for getting ready for the weekend. I'm still neck-deep in Tim Maiania, but everyone needs a break sometimes. I'm sure he'll be making another appearance here in not too long. Today's post has been in the procrastinating for months, if not years. A while back I chance upon two excellent disco 12"s that had a theme in common - Friday Night! And then I remembered another great Friday song that couldn't be more different in style than disco, but that's why this blog is called "Soul Spectrum", because I don't keep to one genre, but just play what I want, when I want and today its kick-ass Friday tunes!

Black Oak Arkansas - Hot Rod (live)
I got this record back in the glory days of 50 cent records at Everyday Music in Portland, OR. My brother and Mr. Morgan turned me on to this digging "technique" back in the summer of 2001 as I was just beginning to fill out my crates with everything from disco to rock. I found this album and quickly realized that this group was on a whole nother level. If Lynyrd Skynyrd is the poor-man's Allman Brothers' Band, then Black Oak Arkansas is the illiterate, inbred-man's Lynyrd Skynyrd. Fronted by a long-haired hillbilly by the name of "Big" Jim Dandy (who plays electrified washboard), these guys have no shame about their Southern pastimes (Hot Rod) or the Arkansas weather forecast (Hot & Nasty) or their dystopic visions of the future (Mutants of the Monster). I also liked that this live album was recorded in Seattle and Portland, confirming that the pasty-white Pacific Northwest is a not-too-distant cousin of the southern poor-white-trash. This song is all about the opening monologue and is specifically why its starts off today's Friday playlist.

Bell & James - Livin' It Up (Friday Nite)
And now we make the not-so-subtle transition to our disco double-whammy. This one I came across on some "Paradise Garage Classics" mix and managed to score the 12" at a flea market in Brooklyn. Pretty straight-ahead late 70s disco just the way I like it. The instrumental break-down is particularly nice.

The Fantastic Aleems featuring Leroy Burgess - Get Down Friday Nite
I snagged this one for a pretty penny from a friend, DJ Gerald McBoing Boing and though I rarely spend more than a couple bucks on a 12", this one was well worth it. Here we have the identical twins, the Aleem brothers, with some help from boogie-king Leroy Burgess getting us ready for the weekend. I absolutely love the use of the keyboards on this to create a kind of dissonant effect which makes the production stand out all the more.

Freeez - Southern Freeez (LP version)
OK, so this song has nothing explicitly to do with Friday, but I chanced upon it while reorganizing and remembered that I had wanted to blog about it. I have listened to it at least a half dozen times in the past 24 hours and need to share it with the rest of you. Josh Nice bought this for me on eBay and it just arrived unannounced in my mailbox. Many thanks, JC! I was also reminded of this song because I came across this album on the ever-great "My Jazz World" blog. This song is one of those "Greatest Feeling" kinda jams. And I guess that's what makes it a great Friday song. Just get in that ecstatic weekend mind state and rock to this.


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