The Man Behind the Curtain

November 9, 2016

Tomorrow we celebrate the life of a legend.  No, we are not referring to high comandar Trump.  Allen Touissant died one year ago tomorrow.  He was a true musicman. Not often in the limelight, and releasing only a handful of solo albums, he wrote countless hits, was a transending producer, piano extrodinaire and the mastermind of the godfathers of funk, The Meters.  Touissant co-founded Sansu records in 1965, and The Meters were the studio band on such classics such as Lee Dorsey’s Working on a Coal Mine, Betty Harris’s Theres a Break in the Road, Dr. John’s Right Place, Wrong Time as well as releasing their own solo albums which are the funk benchmark.  Touissant would later develop another funky house band Chocolate Milk in the late 70s who would also go on to release their own material, often occompanied by Touissant on the piano.  Touissant’s songs have been recorded by The Stones, The Who, Otis Redding, The Yardbirds, and the list goes on.  So when you have the post election blues tomorrow, remember the beautiful music brought into the world by the musical genius Allen Touissant. Here are 3 tracks for your listening pleasure.  A cover by Lou Donaldson, a Dr. John jam Touissant produced and played piano, and a burner off his second solo album, Life, Love and Faith.  Enjoy.

Demo daze.

October 30, 2016

Trader Joe’s, Redlands, has a new Demo cooler. 

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TJ Mornin Sesh

October 29, 2016

Not sure if I should register my residence as industrial, I feel like a hit factory.  The shred parade continues ………until Sunday.  Some new pulls, the weekly highlights.  If this doesn’t get your blood flowing, go surf.

 

The Cover Up

October 26, 2016

The cover up is a phrase DJs coined back in the day when one would cover up the label of a record they were spinning so nobody would know the track.  Some would go so far to put a different label on the record to fool the peeping Toms.  The power of the DJ back then was their rich knowledge of music, before the age of the internet, shazaam, spotify and the rest of it.

We were asked to DJ an art show the past weekend and this phrase immediately came to mind.  Of course, we were not covering up any records during the sesh, they were there for all to enjoy, sonically as well as visually.  That was half of the appeal and we were immediately labeled DJ Vinyl.  In a world of digital media, a DJ spinning physical records is a dinasaur, a display at a museum, to be seen for the small price of admission.  Unless of course you are Cut Chemist, in which we would gladly pay the price of admission, and have.  Needless to say, we ran with it.  We did throw a track on the ol’ Ipad and for the sake of argument lets just call it our cover up.  For any of you following along you can probably already guess what this was from our crazed obsessed rant from the previous post.  I mean the music is so damn good, how could I not play it, even if only digitally.  And the response was, what the hell is that?!  Well, we finally found it on vinyl and ordered it today from a record store in Japan.  The website was in mostly Japanese so not the easiest thing I have ever done.  So without further ado, the short but sweet opening track from Dutch DJ Perquisite’s debut EP, Outta Nowhere, featuring Benjamin Herman on sax.

We have been on such a binge to find more, new, different records that we never stop and enjoy the treasures that we have amassed.  And a large treasure it is indeed.  The beautiful thing about DJing last weekend is that we have been tearing through the collection to find stuff to play.  We have listened to just about every record in the collex, but most haven’t had the quality ear time they deserve.  So here are a couple tracks (re)discovered in the last few days that are bound to be displayed at the next event.  The poet and the beat.  No vinyl cover ups here.

Double Dutch Bus

October 13, 2016

The tour de wax on the Double Dutch bus was in full effect last month.  In between the red light district and the Heinekin Experience, we made time to scour the lands high and low for some Dutch gems.  First stop, Rotterdam.  Highs were definitely Vinyl Spot and Plaatboef.  Just hit up Nieuwe Binnenweg and you will find a plethora of shops or Coolsingel on a Tuesday afternoon for a flea market binge.  If I could go back to one spot it would be Vinyl Spot.  The prices were reasonable, the selection was incredible, and the gent behind the counter was pulling out records for my sampling pleasure.  I wish I had hit this first, but on the way I had wandered into Plaatboef (on Nieuwe Binnenweg across from Demonfuzz).  I did manage to pick up a Supersister comp from Vinly Spot which was deliteful.  Plaatboef, where 90% of my funds were spent, did have an immense selection and the inhabitants were helpful.  But they were vastly overpriced.  Unfortunately I didn’t realize this until after I dropped a pretty penny.  They did have 2 of the Hans Dulfer records that I was on the hunt for (and 1 I wasn’t).  These were basically my I gotta find these records, and at my first store no less, so I can’t complain.  The guy there mentioned the store has been around forever and Hans used to come in there to buy records.  Was he pulling my chain, possibly.  The Rotterdam low was definitely Songs for Sale.  The selection was bismal, think dollar bin records on the wall, and when I asked if he had any Bintang records, he just said “Those are rare, you won’t find those”.  Is this not a record store, which depending on your taste was debateable.

Having blown most of my load in Rotterdam, and most of my space for the return flight home, I had to be very selective in Amsterdam.  I hit up a lot of stores but none were carrying the Perquisite record I was dying to get, which was the next in line on my list.  The Amsterdam highs were Waxwell Records, Distortion Records and Homesick Records.  Waxwell had a really nice selection and the old guy there was really helpful.  They had a nice Terry Callier record on the wall that I have always wanted but $125 Euro was outta my range so I passed, downside is the guy didn’t even know who Perquisite was.  Distortion Records had piles upon piles of records that were calling my name.  Literally, stacked to the ceiling.  I really wanted to browse but was with my son, so I just asked if he had Perquisite which he didn’t, and bounced.  He at least knew who Perquisite was.  Lastly was Homesick records. This place didn’t even come up when I searched for record stores in Amsterdam on google.  I discovered this place the day before I left, and it was a block away from the apartment I was renting, so I walked right by it.  Turns out I could see the store front from my window, go figure.  They did not carry newer records so no Perquisite, but they did have a playable (looked beat but plays great) copy of the Bintangs first album.  In your face Songs for Sale.  The guy was pretty knowledgable and the prices were fair (Selling Hans Dulfer Candy Clouds for  25% less than what I paid in Rotterdam).  Amsterdam low for me was definitely Indeep’n’dance Records which only carried records they pressed, as they were also a label.  I missed out on Rush Hour Records which was recommended but just couldn’t make the time (although I contacted ahead of time and no Perquisite so not too bummed).

All in all a pretty good tip on the vinyl front.  In total, 3 Hans Dulfer albums, Bintangs debut, Dutch Reissue of Focus first album (still 2 years before first US press), Supersister comp, and a bunch of other crap I rolled the dice on at the flea market (stick with the stores if your Dutchery is soft like mine was).  No Perquisite but I will be on the lookout, gotta love the internet.  Enjoy a couple of my favorite Hans Dulfer tracks with Ritmo Natural, including a scorcher featuring Jan Akkerman from Focus, think the Dutch Page.  And a blues number from the Bintangs.  Apparently these guys are still touring to this day.  Sorry no Perquisite, soon I hope.

Mother Load

September 15, 2016

We attended the quarterly San Juan record bonanza and boy did we hit the mother load. We came in just under a dollar a record.  Here is a sampler of the goods.  The James Brown two part jam we had on 45, but not the full album.  In fact we pulled in a plethera of JB funk anthems.  The second track was written by an 18 year old Steve Winwood.  Say What!  And last but not least, another notch in the Paul Simon belt.  This is a soft one for Theostyle. Moby remixed this at the FYF fest a few weeks ago and I about lost my mind.  When I went to relive the glory a few days later I realized this album was missing from the repetoire, so the timing couldn’t have been better.  Thank you San Juan Record Man, you always deliver.

Back to Joe’s

July 9, 2016

I recently was given an opportunity to be rehired at Trader Joe’s, Redlands. Thanks Brina! I have the pleasure of getting an early start on the day by doing signs and other projects with the store 99 team. Here are a few chalk pen signs. Enjoy. 

Trader Joe's sign

Mango days

Trader Joe's sign

Chips and dip

Trader Joe's sign

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of the Big Apple taste

Trader Joe's sign

Breakfast champ

Good things come to those who wait

July 7, 2016

Its been a long long while since we brought the jams.  We have had our face in the books and noses to the grindstone.  But the goose is loose, so watch yo butt.  We will do a top to bottom ebay, grandma’s collection sandwich to celebrate the hollowdays.  To open the sesh, and to close out the Patto collection, a track from Roll ‘Em Smoke ‘Em Put Another Line Out.  Not even in the mail yet, Singing the Blues on Reds is too hot to wait for tangible possession.  Peace of mind will have to suffice.

Bottom dropper numero dois is a smokin gospel R&B crossover track, first gospel banger of the collection.  Evelyn Freeman and her exciting voices will make you move and take you to church all in one wipe snipe.  This track, featuring 14 exciting voices, is an underground hit not to be missed.  This was an essential jam to have for your in car record player (we want one) cruisin down the boulevards in the early 60s.

And for the cake on top, João Donato, our Brazilian brother from another mother.  We made a $30 offer for the this one only to be shut down.  2 weeks later we won this bad (Donato) boy for a cool 10 spot.  Good things come to those who wait.  Straight Jacket has Heise written all over it. Ah the good ole days.  Luckily for us the Brazilian jazz funk master spent a good portion of his career here in the states, and is one of the easier Brazilian artists to find US pressings.  Vai Joao vai!!!  Disclaimer: These tracks should be enjoyed with a tall glass of mint and watermelon juice on a hot summer day like today.  Enjoy!

 

Father’s Day walk about

June 30, 2016

Jeffrey, San Jacinto

For Father’s Day weekend my family sweated it out pool side in Palm Desert. On the Monday we took a tram ride up to the top of San Jacinto. 120•F at the bottom, 88•F at the top. It was an absolute beautiful day at 8500 feet. If you haven’t been, go. Over 200 species of animals in one spot. A beautiful walk around long valley. And my son became a junior ranger to put the cake on top. 

Animals are cool

June 8, 2016

Lizard hunt

May 24, 2016

Alligator lizard

VDubin’

May 17, 2016

Yucaipa love bus

Final day

May 15, 2016

The Yucaipa music and arts festival will come to an end today. Thank you for all those who came out to support. You still have time to paint on the VW bus and check out all the great art that Yucaipa has to offer. Come down and take part in the festivities and support your local artists. 

Come paint the VW Bus

Setup 2016

Thanks Dillon! Great to meet you and your family.

Starry night sk8board

Yucaipa Arts and Music Festival. May 13,14, and 15

May 13, 2016

Festival begins today!

Bugs II

May 13, 2016

Insexts

Bugs I

May 12, 2016

Get a room

Gutted

May 11, 2016

I am not a happy supporter. But a supporter all the same. ToonToon!

down we go

Today

May 11, 2016

Today is a good day

National Mammal

May 11, 2016

Hooray for bison!

Little red dots

May 10, 2016

Looking around our yard, you can see little red dots everywhere. On the grass, on the roses. They seem to like the weeds and dandelions. This one liked the agave. I don’t blame her.

Lady bird on agave

Self portrait 

May 9, 2016

Salon self portrait. Rancho cucamonga, CA.

Clean kiss

May 8, 2016

Hypostomus plecostomus

Toon Army

May 7, 2016

Up and down. I support the Toon!

Lost and found

May 7, 2016

From the pond? From the sky? Where did you come from, you red eared little guy. 

Found on the sidewalk at SBCM

Opening soon!

May 6, 2016

At the San Bernadino County Museum.

Rise and shine


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