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Hello All! Hello World!
I said well hello there. When I was in high-school one of my all-time favorite bands was one almost no one ever heard of. At the time I didn’t know nor cared about the cultural, hipster cachet that could be angled from that fact; I just thought they made amazing music! I remember spending hours dancing and singing along to their records alone in my bedroom. Mazarine Street were from Stockholm, Sweden and my best friend’s uncle, Gene Kraut, was their manager and as their 3 records would come out (in 1996; 1997; and 2001) he would mail them over to the U.S. for him. (Gene would also come to manage Arthur Lee of the amazing sixties, Los Angeles based band Love, which is how I discovered them as well, and even saw Lee & Love perform for his Forever Changes Concerts at Warsaw in Brooklyn, on October 23, 2003…incredible!). If I had to describe Mazarine Street as akin to another sound I guess I would say they were something like nineties Beck tackling the thick rock & roll and rough blues of The Rolling Stones. There was something incredibly playful to their blues bravado and alcohol swagger. This good-humored gusto I think can be heard clearly on one of the two songs featured here and taken from their second record, Thirteen Reasons to Believe. With “One More Day” they present a traditional-sounding field holler blues but tweak it with the odd trill and wobble of a theremin.
On this mix you’ll also hear Beastie Boys‘ sonic tribute to Miles Davis‘ record On The Corner, with their very own “Bobo On The Corner,” which features percussionist Eric “Bobo” Correa (the son of famed Latin and jazz percussionist Willie Bobo, who is also featured elsewhere on the mix). This rolls right into the Beastie Boys’ oh-so-fun single of 1995 “Root Down,” which utilizes a sample from Jimmy Smith‘s “Root Down (And Get It)” (a song that was featured in these pages way back on April 11th 2014 on my triptych party-mix On The Good Blood).
This MixTape also features a Blind Melon tune I mentioned a few posts back, the hopped-up banjo and kazoo jam “Skinned” written from the perspective of serial killer Ed Gein (and what I always took as lead singer and lyricist Shannon Hoon‘s somewhat demented, metaphorical commentary on his own issues with addiction and substance abuse). Elswhere you’ll hear Blind Melon’s “Dumptruck,” where Hoon sings with more than a hint of anxiety: “New York City soothing my itchy itchy month of May.”
Oh and I can’t go without making mention of a song that has been a favorite of mine for decades: “Manifold de Amour” by Latin Playboys. Latin Playboys was an experimental group comprising David Hidalgo, Louie Pérez (from the band Los Lobos) ,along with the production partners of Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake. Taken from their 1994, self-titled debut album, I translate the hypnotic lyrics of “Manifold de Amour” as:
I’m going to sailTo the port of the soulCrossing the sea,Until I arrive
Well, there’s all this and a whole lot more! So…