I bought this album by The Reddings for .99. I could tell it was going to be amazing because of the Platonic solids—it’s Back to Basics! Also, that one dude doesn’t have any glass in his glasses=WIN.
But then I couldn’t listen to it till now. So I didn’t know how awesome. OMG! It’s all the deep cuts I wanted! And two of the dudes are Otis Reddings’ sons. Not to be confused with Shuggie Otis (son of Johnny Otis) and his superlative Information Inspiration. Oh damn I have to play that now in case you don’t know this song. It contains the line “here’s a pencil pad/I’m gonna spread some information.” I don’t know why, but this fills me with a deep, deep feeling of satisficing the criteria of a good life. John totally agrees (N.B. may not actually agree.)
But anyway, The Reddings’ biggest hit is apparently “The Awakening,” off another album. The best track off my album here is “Hand Dance.” My children are interested, but mystified. “Is this…good.?” “Yes, but only if you love rare groove or whatever.” I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE. Oh look at these tasteful matching costumes, I just know Breakwater is about to serve up something good right here:
Coming at you from Vallejo, CA, it’s Con Funk Shun, confusing you about the distinction between funk and rare groove since 1976. “Early Morning Sunshine” is really my favorite because it’s one of my favorite songs ever, having nursed me through a period of suicidal depression. Mildly so. Because it’s so cheerful. Mildly suicidal, I mean. You got to bring out the big guns for serious stuff, like Boston’s “Hitch a Ride.” But so I also can’t listen to it. Naw, I can listen to it whenever, I’ve got super-powers. I just listened to it right now. However, you may appreciate (by which I mean, are perhaps unlikely to appreciate) the classic “Curtain Call.” If you ever wondered, where did west coast rap get those sleazy insane synth riffs that slowly blew into the stratosphere and out of the human hearing range, it was jams like this.
I was trying to explain to my kids how amazing the internet was in terms of you being able to learn everything in the world right away, by having them just look at LP covers and sleeves. “What if this was all you knew about David Bowie?” “I’d be sure he was a tenggu.” (This is like a Japanese crow yokai/demon, and an androgynously beautiful pop star is a tenggu in one of our favorite shojo manga. Cuz girls.) But the internet has also taken away the powers and rewards of true nerdery. “I labored for mighty hours in the sales bins at Amoeba to find that, and then I had to figure out the lyrics on my own, both ways, uphill, in the snow, even to “’Tumblin’ Dice!’” Next up: why Shoes are the only band that really matters.