the first stone

If you feel like any of the content here is infringing on yr copy and or birthrights, please let me know before you flag it, I can remove the link. However, please understand that all shared content here is mp3 recordings of well used 45s, and in no way outshine an original/authorized mp3 version of the song.


All mixes are cut into individual tracks that have id3 tags. You just download the .zip file and drag the tracks into iTunes and they will play as a mix or separately.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Samuel L. called, he wants his glare back. This Roland Z. remix kills mainly for the rise n fall sax slices and the minimal drum/tamborine feel that makes this feel like a Digable Planets track. "I siddung pon di wall, an watch him watch me": the war cry of the captured and plotting! Mutabaruka is a Jamaican dub poet that has been writing for 30+ years about Jamaican culture and its role in the Worldsphere. Here is a link to his website that has a lot more info, audio, and even a section called Muta Seh, where he gives his "reasoning on a variety of subjects affecting black people and society today". This song proves that not everything out of Jamaica is about feelin irie, sometimes its more about being irate.

Mutabaruka "Siddung Pon Di Wall (Roland Z Mix)"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

King Sunny Ade and His African Beats- ASE

"The Minister of Enjoyment", as he is known in Nigeria, King Sunny Adè is no doubt the international king of Jùjú. This song (from 1984's Aura on Island Records) has it all: 80's synths, buoyant electronic and talking drumline, relentless vocal refrains, pedal steel and tenor guitar, electric harmonica; what more could you want? Okay, I can imagine a crazy break in the middle and a janky video where dudes in nylon ball caps with the bill flipped up are gettin down on the streets of Lagos, but that's not the way this one roles out (it is Island Records in the 80's after all). But all lovers of electro and breakdance music can get into this one. Warning though: this will not hit on the dance floor, it is too intimidatingly chill. Obviously I learned the hard way, but it probably won't stop me from trying again. The equation involves more hippies with children or drunk 30-somethings NOT trying to hook up. This guy has more records out than Bob Dylan, and tours pretty regularly. Please do yourself a favor and see him live!

King Sunny Adè and His African Beats- "Ase"


Taj Mahal, world music blues guy, sounds like it could not get any worse, but this guy is for real. His shows now may be catered to more of a botanical garden or sit down university theater crowd, but this single from 1976 shows where he's at. A re-write of the 1920's rollicking "I'm so honest, I'm drunk" 8-bar blues called "Ain't Nobody's Business if I Do" made famous by Billie via Bessie, this song seems to really speak to the spirit of '76: cocaine and champagne. It's just fun in a fuck it why not way, and not so many songs, esp 70's blues songs, can pull that off. Go see him some time, he's always touring.

Taj Mahal- "Ain't Nobody's Business"

Santo & Johny- SLEEP WALK

This could possibly be the best song (read slow instrumental ballad most commonly associated with the sad funeral sequence of "la bamba") of all time. My friend told me that the mother of Santo & Johnny used to sing it to them at night and so they recorded it and went all the way to #1 in 1959 (which makes for a great American story), but all knowing wiki says "this is apparently false". Anyone who hates this song is a hater. That being said, here is a video. Enjoy.

Santo & Johnny with "Sleep Walk"

Stan Kenton- 23N 82W

"23N 82W", the longitude and latitude coordinates for Havana, Cuba, (thanks Google) only give a glimpse into the inspiration for this romping trombone-a-thon, arranged by Bill Russo. Stan Kenton was always on the cutting edge of big band arrangements, but this song shreds away the cliche and moves into something Mingus would probably dig. It even delves into 7/4 after the Lee Konitz solo. I wouldn't have quit my high school jazz band if I knew big band tracks like this existed (sorry Mr. Brice). Originally cut in 1952, this sounds more like the soundtrack to the bay of pigs than the watered down tribute to Cuban rhythms that most big band leaders were doing at the time.

Stan Kenton with "23N 83W"

Grady Martin- THE FUZZ

Grady Martin, as a member of the Nashville A-Team, played guitar on some of the most classic country hits of the 50's and 60's, but it's his "fuzz effect" (discovered accidentally during the recording of Marty Robbins' "Don't Worry" in 1961) that changed the sound of Rock to come. Originally caused by a faulty pre-amp in the studio, this sound has been used by everyone from the Ventures to Radiohead, and of course has been made into many different pedals like the "Fuzz Tone" or the "Big Muff" that probably many of you shoe-gazing guitarists own some version of. "The Fuzz" (on Decca) is kind of a tribute to that sound, and with a different production would sound straight gangsta and fit into any miami bass or dubstep party. I love the fading effect of the strings, and how the guitar sound reminds me of an old Lee Hazelwood walking down an Arizona highway.

Grady Martin- "The Fuzz"

Broadcast- PHANTOM

This is the B-side to a rare 7" on Duophonic from 1997 that sounds like Jean-Jacques Perrey on Nyquil. Broadcast has continued to put out great albums on Warp Records, but the early stuff (as compiled on Warp's "Work and Non Work") is still my favorite. The wurlizer-filtered melodies drip in and out of the over-saturated vamps and ghostly rhythm box bossa sounds, making this a great song for either a down-tempo/chill out night or in the long pause between indie-electro bands in a smoky bar.

Broadcast- "Phantom"

Ian Dury and the Blockheads- HIT ME WITH YOUR RHYTHM STICK

This song has been in my head for the past couple weeks and has caused me to unexpectedly hit people and inanimate objects in both the public and private spheres a few too many times. Ian Dury and the Blockheads made a pretty big splash in the post-punk/new wave scene in '79 with this hit that to me sounds like Dr. Buzzard and Bryan Ferry doing bumps at the bar. A spastic galloping groove, an evocative catch-line, and the use of ironic phases in French and German make this song an instant dance floor success. Esp if yr audience is wearing a gang of 4 shirt but secretly rediscovering later kinks and yes records. Here is a live video.

Ian Dury and the Bockheads- "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick"


Arthur Russell on 45 would make any serious collector laugh (if they knew how), but when you are crack-addicted to these little records you find yourself shelling out money for things you didn't even know existed. This song was a legend in the downtown disco genre as was the mid-western buddhist cello-groove master behind it. Though relatively unknown or under-appreciated in his lifetime, more and more compilations and tribute articles about Arthur have come out in the last years and even a new documentary. When researching photos etc. for this post I came across a truly amazing description/background for this song on the Mr. Disco blog. Unfortunately, his link to the 12" mix has expired, but you can feel his enthusiasm and listen to this 45 mix; then go on ebay and pay waaaay too much for the original.

Dinosaur- "Kiss Me Again"

Bill Withers- LOVELY DAY

I have been looking for this feel good track forever, and just after lamenting to a friend that it was one of those (the "so common yet classic that no one sells them or throws them away unless they melted in the attic") I found it on my first day back at Wax Trax in Denver. Bill Withers has written some of the most classic American soul/funk anthems ("Lean on Me", "Ain't No Sunshine", "Use Me", and even "Just the Two of Us"), yet few people know his name--and those who do drop it every chance they can. His beautiful arrangements and honest lyrics created a legacy that has been sampled/bit countless times (blackstreet, arrested development, etc.) and even spawned some secular spirituals that everyone can wave their lighter to. The intro to this song really brings a smile to my face as does the sustained "lovely day" in the chorus. You have heard it before, hopefully many times, but listen again to the way this song unfolds, or check out this really bad "sunshine mix" from '88 that was a pretty big Euro hit (even bigger than the original). Still waiting for the documentary which should be out soon!

Bill Withers' "Lovely Day"