Jesse Johnson Extended

Here’s more in my ongoing series of Prince-related posts as my conversions from LP to mp3 continue. I posted the LP version of former Time guitar man Jesse Johnson’s “Crazay” recently. But I consider the extended 12″ version far superior, so here it is. Also included is the B side on the 12″, the extended version of “Drive Yo Cadillac”. Just some more quality classic synth-funk, Minneapolis style.

Jesse Johnson
: Crazay (extended) – featuring Sly Stone (mp3) | Drive Yo Cadillac (extended) (mp3) – LP version of “Crazay” available on ‘Shockadelica’.

Riding on a Tortoise down Thunder Road

bonnie prince billy

This one’s been all over the mp3 blogs over the last few weeks, but as I always say, it’s my blog and i’ll post if I want to…

I’m always curious to hear new interpretations of Springsteen tunes. I posted one of my favorites, Patty Griffin’s version of “Stolen Car”, a while back. And The Mavericks do a good job on “All that Heaven Will Allow”. So I was alerted through a Glide Magazine review that “Thunder Road” was covered on a new release by Tortoise and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. When I see “Bonnie Prince Billy”, I picture a 50 or 60-something rastafarian reggae dude. Not sure where I conjure up that image from. It turns out BPB is Will Oldham, who looks more like a Civil War Union soldier than a member of the Wailers. BPB is a Louisville, Kentucky native who has also recorded under the names Palace Songs, Palace Brothers and Palace Music (as well as his own name).

Tortoise looks interesting: they “revolutionized American indie rock in the mid-’90s by playing down tried-and-true punk and rock & roll influences, emphasizing instead the incorporation of a variety of left-field music genres from the past 20 years, including Krautrock, dub, avant-garde jazz, classical minimalism, ambient and space music, film music, and British electronica.” (from All Music).

As you can tell by my thorough analysis, I’m not that plugged into the indie scene. You can get that thorough analysis at about a billion other mp3 blogs. Anyhoo, I’ll have to give these guys a more thorough listen. But I do claims dibs on all things Bruce, and as for this version of “Thunder Road”, they definitely give it a complete reworking. I like the instrumentation and the overall feel; a very unique take on the song.

Tortoise and Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Thunder Road (mp3) – from The Brave and the Bold, an album of covers.

3 for New Orleans

preservation hall jazz band

After checking out Home of the Groove’s latest Mardi Gras posts, and listening to Nick Spitzer’s New Orleans-based American Routes on NPR tonight, I am in the Mardi Gras mood baby! New Orleans may be a very different place after Katrina, but its spirit no doubt remains, and its rich and unique heritage will lift that city right back on its feet.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Bourbon Street Parade (mp3) – from New Orleans, Vol IV
Professor Longhair: Go to the Mardi Gras (mp3) – from Anthology
Olympia Brass Band: Go to the Mardi Gras (mp3) – from New Orleans Jazz Preservation

Prince at the Brits

Here’s the Man continuing his current campaign of funky butt kicking at this year’s Brit Awards, performing “Te Amo Corazon” “Fury”, “Purple Rain”, and “”Let’s Go Crazy”. Joined by Sheila E. on drums, Wendy Melvoin on guitar, Lisa Coleman on keys, and his new gaggle of girls jumping around like Vanity 6, it’s like the 80’s all over again! I am ready for this tour…

-dead link –

Go pre-order his latest album, 3121, coming out on March 21st.

Hard Boppin with Mulgrew Miller

mulgrew miller

There’s always time to kick back, relax, and take in some good classic-style jazz. Mulgrew Miller is an amazing pianist (as you’ll hear). He is a veteran of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and has gone on to success as a leader of his own trio. Last year saw the release of “Live at Yoshi’s, Volume 2”, recorded in 2003 at the Bay Area’s premier jazz club, Yoshi’s.

This one caught my ear recently while listening to Sirius Pure Jazz. Hope you enjoy it…

Mulgrew Miller Trio
: Road Life (mp3) – from Live at Yoshi’s, Vol. 2

Terminator X Goes Off

terminator x

So I’ve been going through my boxes of old cassettes, and am starting the arduous task of converting them to mp3. The first to get the treatment was ‘Terminator X & the Valley of the Jeep Beats’. As the DJ for Public Enemy, T.X certainly made his mark as one of the most original and vibrant DJ’s in hip hop. In 1991, he released this debut solo album, bringing in a wide variety of mostly obscure guests: Bonnie & Clyde, Juvenile Delinquintz, Spacey B Experience, etc.

But he did pull in Chuck D. and Sista Soulja for “Buck Whylin”. He also goes reggae with the track “DJ is the Selector”, sung by Dubmaster. From the old school, here’s a little taste of Terminator X.

Terminator X: Vendetta…The Big Payback > Buck Whylin’ (mp3) | DJ is the Selector (mp3)

I wish I could quit this song

One more on the mellow side before I launch into some newly converted cassette tapes (yes, cassettes!) from my past. So who’s seen Brokeback Mountain? I probably won’t until I run across it on HBO or Cinemax, but if this song is any indication, the soundtrack is worth a listen.

My knowledge of Rufus Wainwright’s work is pretty much limited to that great version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” that I first heard while sitting down to some popcorn and the movie Shrek. Beautifully done. And so is this one.

Rufus Wainwright: The Maker Makes (mp3)  from the Soundtrack to Brokeback Mountain

The Poet Game


It’s tough enough keeping up with all of the new music out there when you’re still discovering great music from years past. It’s a perpetual cycle, but that’s what is so great about music: you’ll never hear it all, and there’s always something hiding waiting to be unearthed. Like this song here? I don’t know much about Greg Brown, but every time I hear his songs, I like them. Especially this one I heard recently. Soft, heartfelt, and simple.

Greg Brown: The Poet Game (mp3) –  from The Poet Game, 1994.

The Poet Game

Down by the river junior year
walking with my girl,
and we came upon a place
there in the tall grass where a couple
had been making love
and left the mark of their embrace.
I said to her, “Looks like they had some fun.”
She said to me, “Let’s do the same.”
and still I taste her kisses
and her freckles in the sun
when I play the poet game. Read the rest of the lyrics.

Good Night Ned

My college partner in crime, Jason, noticing my recent trend of reaching way back into my past (80’s Prince), emerged recently with an email containing the Beastie Boys version of ‘Bennie and the Jets’, as sung by Biz Markie. He “originally had it as a floppy pull-out 45 from that Beastie Boys zine, Grand Royal. Like a perfume insert from one of those (you’re-not-a) beauty magazines, except it reeked of beastibizfunk.” Amen brother.

Beastie Boys w/ Biz Markie: Benny & the Jets (mp3) – found on The Sounds of Science (1999)

Ah hell, here’s one more old school classic I was reminded of recently on Sirius BackSpin:

EPMD: You’re a Customer (mp3) – from Strictly Business (1988)

Like me, Jason recognizes The Three Amigos as a timeless classic (he noticed my singing bush reference recently), and threw in My Little Buttercup (mp3) for good measure.

“It’s a sweater!!”

Will’s a Piece of Work

Check out this Will Kimbrough song. Jimmy Buffett fans will recognize it, he covered it on his ‘License to Chill’ album. Will is a Mobile, Alabama native whose guitar skills have made him a much sought-after side man for the likes of Rodney Crowell, Buffett, and Todd Snider (Will co-produced ‘East Nashville Skyline’). He also has time for working on his solo stuff – pretty impressive resume.

I just like this type of sound. A laid back country-rock vibe, a Bo Diddley-ish beat kicking in, smart-ass lyrics… good stuff.

Will Kimbrough: Piece of Work (mp3) – from Home Away