December 24th Mix

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all cratedigger visitors and regulars.

I think that this blog and my knowledge of music has come a long way over the past year. Thanks for stopping and for all of your input (and comments.)

In thanks, please find the latest mix from cratedigger labs, imaginatively titled dec 24 mix.

I have culled these sides from a variety of real world sources, junk stores, record shops and garage sales, mostly from the Northern IL area, but there are a number of tracks that were rediscovered on a recent trip to SF.

The odd pic above is from a house party during last summer.

Hope you dig. Best in 2008!!!

dec 24 mix tracklist

01 Intro-Shure Brothers
02 Detroit Emeralds I Bet You Get The One (Who Loves You) Westbound
03 Intruders Turn The Hands Of Time Gamble
04 Stereo’s Stereo Freeze Pt. 1 Cadet
05 Meters Sophisticated Cissy Josie
06 Dynatones The Fife Piper HBR
07 Solomon Burke I’m Leaving on That Late Late Train Chess
08 Kool & The Gang North, East, South, West De-Lite
09 Simtec & Wylie Nine Times Out Of Ten Mercury
10 Chi-Lites Being In Love Brunswick
11 Lonette McKee Save It (Don’t Give it Away) Sussex
12 Rufus Thomas The Funky Penguin Pt. 1 Stax
13 Swamp Dogg Do You Believe Elektra
14 King Curtis 8th Wonder Atco

Download here


RIP Ike Turner

I vividly remember the first time that I saw Ike and Tina perform, when I was but a wee lad. It was a Saturday morning in the very early 70s. I was at the Sears store with my pops and he was buying some tools or something, but as usual, I got distracted in the electronics department.

Soul Train, or some similar show was on all 40 black and white and "living" color tv sets. The main thing that I noticed was that the volume was cranked on all the sets, when usually the volume was muted.

There was this incredibly hot woman in the shortest of skirts and the tallest of boots (silver, perhaps?) that was singing he lungs out in front of a tight band that was bordered by a series of HUGE Orange speaker cabinets. I was staring at the biggest set and one of the sales dudes, said, "Hey Lil' Man, you're watchin' Tina Turner!!!" I think the song was Proud Mary.

At the time, I had no idea what role Ike Turner played in any of this, but as a little kid in Chicago, I thought this was up there with James Brown, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson Five.

I was traveling today, so more out of the pocket than normal, when I saw in the NYTimes that Ike Turner had passed away in San Diego at the age of 76. He was known as both Izear Luster Turner Jr and Ike Wister Turner and was born in the Delta town of Clarkdale Mississippi.

It boggles the mind to consider that Ike wrote the song Rocket 88 (at least the intro and 1st verse) all the way back in 1951! That was 20 years and more before I was grooving to Ike & Tina in the early 70s. I learned about the Jackie Brenston and the Nightcats much later in my life, but I still enjoy hearing it even now. I can't imagine what an effect a song like that may have had way back then. The Times said Ike was paid $20 for the record that went on to sell 500,000 copies on Chess Records.

In 1958, he was working the St. Louis scene and met Anna Mae Bullock, whom he later named Tina Turner. I will spare all the detail of their ups and downs as they are well documented elsewhere.

As always, music always speaks better than words anyway. The music lives forever.

In remembrance, here is an Ike and Tina funky track that I included on a mix earlier this year, Funkier Than A Mosquitos' Tweeter.



Some Digs in SF

I got back from a few days in the SF Bay Area recently. In my spare time, I hit some of the vinyl emporiums around town. I visited a total of 5 stores. I felt that 2 were worthy of a return visit.

I love that city. I can only imagine what shows up at house sales. It also seems that Serrato/Skratch has taken over all DJ booths. Vinyl has fallen from favor. I bet if you look it is all over the place...

I came up from the depths with the following:


An Audio Obstacle Course- Shure Trackability Test Record for Stereo Cartridges


Byrds Feel A Whole Better Columbia
King Curtis 8th Wonder Atco
Swamp Dogg Do You Believe Elektra
Lonette McKee Do It To Me Sussex
Simtec & Wylie Nine Times Out of Ten Mercury
Soul Survivors Turn Out The Fire Atco
Rufus Thomas Do the Funky Penguin Stax

I have no doubt that with more time, many more 45s would have made it home in my luggage.


Jah Shaka "remix"

A couple of months back, while digging at a house sale, I came upon an odd selection of LPs. Amongst the Nat King Cole Christmas records and the odd Bing Crosby joint, I found some interesting wax.

One of them was a Jah Shaka Far I Ship Dub LP that contained 2 sides of dubs. The LP is from the UK in the early 90s on the Jah Shaka Music label. I enjoyed the rumbling that the LP gave my house.

This got me to thinking that maybe I would try to mix one of the hotter tracks. I attempted to give the cratedigger treatment to Far I Ship Dub. I have a long way to go with developing my skills in this area, but you have to start somewhere.

Here is my attempt at a "remix" of this track:

Here is a link:

cratedigger fari ship dub remix


check out this holiday gift

I got a set of these slip mats from A. Toots as an early gift. They look really sweet on the 1200 mk 3s...

In Dangerous Rhythm 1500th post mix

Hi everyone in the audience...

Sorry about the extended absences, but travel and life in general have gotten in the way of posting...

Colin over at In Dangerous Rhythm has done a new mix in celebration of his 1500th post.

Check it out here.

IDR 1500 Mix


Some digs this weekend

I had some extra time this long weekend, and I had the chance to hit one of my favorite record spots.

The digging was pretty uneventful, other than I had to keep a couple of bored 4 year olds away from my portable and I also had to keep a dog away from my keeper pile. I felt that I had a pretty good afternoon. I spent some time today cleaning these up, but I have not given all of the records a spin yet.

I spent roughly 2 hours and came up with the following:

Hank Ballard "Finger Poppin' Time" King
Bobby Blue Bland "Blue Moon" Duke
James Brown "Stoned To The Bone" Polydor
James Brown "Make It funky" Polydor
Solomon Burke "I'm Leaving On The Late Late Train" Chess
Chairmen of The Board "Finders Keepers" Invictus
Chi-Lites "Troubles A Comin" Brunswick
Chi-Lites "Being In Love" Brunswick
George Clinton "Atomc Dog" Capitol
General Crook "Gimme Some" Down To Earth (this seems to be more common than I thought)
Crown Heights Affair "Foxy Lady" De-Lite
King Curtis "This is Soul" Atco
King Curtis "Soul Seranade" Capitol
Detroit Emeralds "You're Getting' A Little Too Smart" Westbound
Detroit Emeralds "I Bet You Get The One (Who Loves You) Westbound
Dramatics "Thankful For Your Love" Volt
Dramatics "(Gimme Some) Good Soul Music" Volt
Dynatones The Fife Piper HBR
Esquires "Listen To Me" Bunky
Five Flights Up "Black Cat" TA
Franklin, Aretha "Don't Play That Song" Atlantic


King Tubby "Dub Mix Up" Jamaican Recordings

I came across another lead for digging in the area, so I hope to make it out over the next few weeks.


Hip-Pocket Recordings

I received an interesting package in the post the other night. In the package there was roughly 20 colored envelopes that enclosed many choice sounds from the 67-68 time frame Bobby & James Purify, The Seeds, The Syndicate of Sound, etc.

The envelopes contained Hip-Pocket Records that were a product from Philco-Ford, that had a place in the market from 1967-68. Above is an image of the Hip-Pocket packaging that I borrowed from WFMU.

Here is a discography for the Hip-Pocket catalog:

Number Artist Title
HP-1 Tommy James & the Shondells Mirage / I Think We're Alone Now
HP-2 Tommy James & the Shondells Hanky Panky / Gettin' Together
HP-3 Sam The Sham Ju Ju Hand / Wooly Bully
HP-4 Mitch Ryder Jenny Take a Ride / Sock It To Me Baby
HP-5 Neil Diamond Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon / Cherry Cherry
HP-6 McCoys Fever / Hang on Sloopy
HP-7 Happenings Go Away Little Girl / See You in September
HP-8 Sonny & Cher I Got You Babe / The Beat Goes On
HP-9 Doors Light My Fire / Break on Through
HP-10 Five Americans Western Union / Sounds of Love
HP-11 Wilson Pickett Land of 1000 Dances / Midnight Hour
HP-12 Percy Sledge When A Man Loves A Woman / Baby Help Me
HP-13 Otis Redding Shake / Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa
HP-14 Buckinghams Kind of a Drag / Lawdy Miss Clawdy
HP-15 Arthur Conley Sweet Soul Music / You Don't Have To See me
HP-16 Van Morrison Brown-Eyed Girl / Midnight Special
HP-17 Neil Diamond You Got To Me / Solitary Man
HP-18 Young Rascals A Girl Like You / I've Been Lonely Too Long
HP-19 Spanky And Our Gang Making Every Minute Count / Bird Avenue
HP-20 Keith 98.6 / Ain't Gonna Lie
HP-21 Lesley Gore You Don't Own Me / That's the Way the Boys Are
HP-22 Jay and The Techniques Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie / Loving For Money
HP-23 The Fallen Angels Room At The Top / Most Children Do
HP-24 Aretha Franklin Respect / Soul Serenade
HP-25 John Fred and his Playboy Band Judy in Disguise / No Letter Today
HP-26 The Seeds Pushin' Too Hard / Can't Seem To Make You Mine
HP-27 Box Tops The Letter / Happy Times
HP-28 James and Bobby Purify I'm Your Puppet / Goodness Gracious
HP-29 Syndicate of Sound Little Girl / Rumors
HP-30 Shirelles Soldier Boy / My Heart Belongs To You
HP-31 Etta James Tell Mama / Security
HP-32 The Dells There Is / Show Me
HP-33 Bo Diddley I'm A Man / Song of Bo Diddley
HP-34 Chuck Berry Maybelline / Roll Over Beetoven
HP-35 Country Joe and The Fish Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine / Masked Marauder
HP-36 Joan Baez There But For Fortune / Pack Up Your Sorrows
HP-37 Rooftop Singers Walk Right In / Tom Cat
HP-38 Brenton Wood Gimme Little Sign / Oogum Boogum
HP-39 Fantastic Johnny "C" Boogaloo Down Broadway / Got What You Need
HP-40 Brenda and the Tabulations Dry Your Eyes / When You're Gone
HP-41 Isley Brothers Twist And Shout

The majority of my Hip-pockets are unopened, but there are a couple that have the seals broken. I plan to give these a spin on the 1200s tonight.

The discs themselves look like mini records, but are made of a flexible, bendable material, not unlike some of the sound sheets that would appear in magazines in the 60s or 70s. They spin at 45 RPM, but they are so small in diameter that it requires the use of a non returning tone arm to play them. Above is a picture of the mini turntable that was available to play these little records.

Apparently, these records were only on offer at your local Ford Dealer or a Woolworth's outlet. The suggested retail price was $.69.

Here is the marketing speak that appears on many of the envelopes:

Buy the hits you missed

25 to 50 hip pocket records can be carried in pocket or purse

Hip pocket records can be mailed with greeting cards as a gift

They will outlast a regular 45

Drop them or sit on them...they are almost indestructible

Take them to parties or to the beach or picnic...they are the most portable form of music

Don't let the small size fool you...the sound is amazingly big

Start your collection of hip pocket records today.

I wonder if FOMOCO ever offered the player as a dealer installed option. My 66 Mustang with an under dash record playing unit would be way cool.

Fufu Stew Thanksgiving post

Please jet over to FuFu Stew for Vincent's A Fufu Stew Thanksgiving Mix,
I contributed a few tracks to the mix as did many other soul and funk aficionados.

There are three parts to the mix, to coincide with Vincent's typical Thanksgiving meal. There is literally a ton of tasty treats on offer of both the soul and funk variety so please stop by, pull up a chair and don't be shy about asking for a care package (doggie bag) before you leave.

Have a great Thanksgiving everybody!


New Mix--Street Tax

Hey all you soul and funk fans. Sorry that I have been out of pocket so much lately, but working for the man, sure has a way of taking up your time.

I have been able to do some digging a couple of times a month and have been able to find loads of dirty, affordable 45s. These lost treasures form the basis for the latest mix, which I am calling Street Tax.

The lovely picture above was contributed by a longtime cohort, The Colonel. I believe that the picture was taken somewhere in Oregon. He has this to say, "(I) can't decide if he is a cowboy airforce vet or a civil war figurine?"

The selected tracks are a bit all over the place with some more common songs butting up against more deep tracks. Toots was very helpful in assistance with digging and found some of the discs that make up this mix.

Once again, the 1200s provided the means with which I recorded the discs to my macbook. All cuts were taken from original 45s, excepting the Ike & Tina cut which was pulled from the original Come Together LP.

I hope that you dig it.

Here is the tracklist:

street tax- a cratedigger compilation

01 The Impressions (Baby) Turn On To Me Curtom
02 Luther Ingram I Can’t Stop Koko
03 Isley Brothers Pop That Thang T Neck
04 Fantastic Johnny C Hitch It To The Horse Phil LA
05 Willie Henderson Funky Chicken Pt 1
06 Fabulous Counts Get Down People Moira
07 Lou Courtney What Do You Want Me To Do Epic
08 Lee Dorsey Workin’ In The Coal Mine Amy
09 Ike & Tina Turner I Want To Take You Higher Liberty (LP Cut)
10 Willie Hutch Brother’s Gonna Work It Out Motown
11 Ray Charles Booty Butt Tangerine
12 James Brown Soul Power Pt 1 King
13 Bobby Blue Bland Bobby’s Blues Duke
14 Dobie Gray The In Crowd Charger

Download link


Iowahawk's latest video

Iowahawk took a trip to Mexico and you can imagine that it wasn't just a trip to Cancun for some fun in the sun.

Iowahawk was able to find Bid Daddy Roth's Orbitron "lost" car in the depths of Mexico. I actually spoke with Iowahawk via cell phone while he was in the midst of this auto archaeological expedition. I have to say, Mexico appeared to be a physically daunting mission even for the mighty Iowahawk.

Check this out:


Jimmy Smith Organ Grinder Swing

I am in Gotham for a few hours over the next day or so, and I finally made a point to go to Academy Records on 18th between 5th and 6th Ave.

While I was unhappy with their vinyl selection-- it was classical mainly, and I saw some of those boxes that you see in the midwest house sales with multiple LPs of Glen Miller or whatnot... I did find some stuff in their jazz CD section. I got out of there with only 2 CDs which seems sort of lame, in retrospect. I should try to sneak out tomorrow for "coffee" during work.

One of the gems that I picked up was Jimmy Smith Organ Grinder Swing on Verve. I have been digging on the Hammond b-3 stylings of Jimmy Smith for a while, and it is time to dig into his discog a bit more.

The title track leads it off, and it is a swinging number that runs a brief 2.12. The guitar follows the lead provided by the organ, in the left channel, a minute or so in the guitar takes a lead. During the lead Jimmy stabs the organ to punctuate the track. Some groaning moaning "vocals"can be heard in the background. I can't wait to listen to this track on the CD Reference System as opposed to a couple of wimpy laptop speaks...

According to Wikipedia, after record a stack of records for Blue Note, Jimmy Smith moved over to the Verve label in 63. This particular LP was tracked in June 1965 at Van Gelder Recording Studio in Englewood Cliffs New Jersey.

Listening to this record, you certainly get the feel that Smith could make enough noise and run enough leads and bass lines on his B-3 and Leslie speaker cabinet that the guitar by Kenny Burrell and drums (Grady Tate) are nice extras, in the left and right channels, respectively. You have to love that early stereo.
The fourth track is an unbelievable shredding of Greensleeves.

I would recommend that you go find a copy of this one immediately.


Soul Brutha Dave's new mix

Dave has done it again with a new mix for your downloading pleasure.

It is all Souls Sisters. Take a trip over there and give it a listen.


Lemont's Choice

In honor of my favorite TV show of all time, I would like to dedicate my most recent concoction to Demond Wilson, TV's Lemont on Sanford and Son.

This is the first mix, where I did all live on my 1200s. Up to this point, I was recording each 45 and then mixing digitally. The 1200s make this so much more fun! My skills are pretty minimal so cut me some slack if the cuts seem forced.

Lemont's Choice was brewed with only original 45s in varying states of decay. I have been enjoying some good digging lately.

Here is the tracklist:

01 Express Yourself Charles Wright & The Watts 103 St Rhythm Band/ Warners (Promo)
02 Funky Me Timmy Thomas/ Glades
03 I Wanna Testify Parliaments/ Revilot
04 Maryjane Bobby Rush/ Galaxy
05 Taurus Dennis Coffey & The Detroit Guitar Band/ Sussex
06 Mighty Mighty Jesse Anderson/ Thomas
07 Gimme Some (Part 1) General Crook/ Down To Earth
08 Cadillac Jack Andre Williams/ Checker
09 I Wanna Know Mongo Santamaria/ Columbia
10 Love Is A Four Letter Word Jimmy Witherspoon/ Capitol
11 Everybody’s Got A Little Devil In Their Soul Tommie Young/ Soul Power
12 Hot Thang Eddy Senay/ Sussex
13 Come See About Me Junior Walker & The All Stars/ Soul

Here is a download link


Some digging this past weekend

I have found a place that seems to have some pretty good booty when it comes to cratedigging here in the Chicago area.

I dont want to share my haunt, but I will share some of the many discs that I picked up over the weekend. The turntables were certainly happy with their new styli and plenty of old wax to dig through.

Yardbirds Shapes of Things Epic
JBs Same Beat People (2 copies)
Timmy Thomas Funky Me Glades
Bobby Rush Mary Jane Galaxy (2 copies)
Jimmy Ruffin Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me Soul
The Who Pinball Wizard Decca
War Lowrider UA (promo)
Parliaments I Wanna Testify Revillot
Wilson Pickett Don't Knock My Love Atlantic
Wilson Pickett Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You Atlantic
Martha & The Vandellas My Baby Loves Me Gordy
Cliff Nobles The Horse (Instrumental) Gold Soul
ZZ Hill Hold Back Mankind
Santana Oye Como Va Columbia
Sam & Dave Hold On I'm A Comin Stax
Muddy Waters Tiger in Your Tank Chess
Mongo Santamaria Bossa Negra Columbia
Tommie Young Do You Still Feel The Same Way Soul Power
Wilson Pickett We've Got To Have Love Atlantic
Clarence Reed I'm Working While Its Day Jewel
Andre Williams Cadillac Jack Checker
Jimmy Witherspoon Love is A Four Letter Word Capitol
The Radiants Anything You Do Is Alright Chess
Charles Wright Express Yourself Warner Promo
Jr Walker Sweet Soul Soul
Bill Withers Ain't No Sunshine Sussex
Eddy Senay Ain't No Sunshine Sussex
Willie Hutch Party Down Motown
Herbie Mann Watermelon Man Atlantic

I don't have any interesting record people sightings, except for maybe the guy that was trying to sing garage tunes, while looking at Sundazed reissues, that was sort of surreal.

I need to get together another mix...


Cratedigger goes to the movies--Poor Pretty Eddie

This is a disturbing trash film that a college friend sent over. I would consider it to be a Hicksploitation film, if I had to use a genre title.

Poor Pretty Eddie stars Leslie Uggams, Shelley Winters and Slim Pickens. The real star for me is Ted Cassidy who portrays the loyal Keno character. Yes, it is Ted "Lurch" Cassidy.

Uggams portrays a popular singer that decides to take a solo road trip in her early 60s white Bentley. Not a good choice to go into the county that has Bertha, and her cast of stars that include the title character, Eddie, who fancies himself an Elvis impersonator.

Of course the Bentley overheats in Bertha's front yard. She meets Eddie in a bar, where he rents her a Batesesque cabin and plots ways to keep Uggams there at the compound so that he can violate her.

Shelley Winters is a drunken has been that surrounds herself with losers like Eddie and Keno, that give her ego a boost with their presence. Immediately she is jealous of Uggams, but does nothing when she asks for her help after being attacked by Eddie.

I like trash, but I really found nothing entertaining about this film, I mean Shanty Tramp seemd like fine cinema compared to this. It was cool to see Cassidy late in his career, but it is hard to make the stretch that he is acting. Shelley Winters seems to be playing herslf here, I wonder if she was drinking for real onset... I know I almost needed a cold beer after viewing this mess.


Good Guys Show Joliet IL 092207 part un

Iowahawk called me up yesterday am to see if I was interested in checking out the Good Guys Show at the Route 66 Raceway in Joilet. I was to drive the support vehicle (modern daily driver) behind the 2 hotrods in the 90 mile caravan to Joliet. A cohort named Wingnutz joined us in his big block powered 31 roadster done 60s drag style. That is one fast 1780 lb machine!

Iowahawk took the Coupe of Justice out for the day. The Alexander Bros. would have been proud.

Some shots above of Pete & Jakes' former 29 shop truck, done in a cool 70s style.
Above are two cool A roadsters, the one on the left is a flathead-powered 29 done in a 48 style and the one on the left is pure 60s survivor with a choice Buick Nailhead for motivation.
Shot here includes Wingnuts 60s style drag machine (11 sec time slip, claimed 135 top speed so far!!!)
This shot includes the Coupe of Justice on the left. What a day, time to go count my pennies...

Good Guys Show Joliet IL 092207 part deux

This was a tremendous 32 5 window coupe. It looked pretty much untouched by the hands of time. It had a 59 Pontiac motor in it, and basically everything else that Henry put in it in 1932. The owner scored it this summer in Nebraska. Iowahawk and I thought it was the best car at the show.

This was a cool 63 Rivi. The fade away paint was pretty trick. My crappy camera does not do it justice.


The Revolution Will Not Be Motorized

This mix explores two of my favorite things, soul / funk music and bikes. It is not all about cars and guitars…

Dear reader, from my vantage point, it is also about gears (3 speed Raleigh!), beers (Red Stripe, yo), and funky tunes played loudly.

One of the best moments of this past summer was trekking with a 1000 other cyclists through the Southwest Side of our fair city aka tha hood, and listening to Curtis Mayfield’s live double album on a 800 watt bicycle trailer-drawn sound system.

This set of tracks was thoughtfully crafted for your listening pleasure with that thought and vibe in mind.

Special thanks to cover model, a. toots for assistance in digging a couple of the sides out of the bottom of some musty crates.

Hope you dig it.

The revolution will not be motorized- a cratedigger mix

01 Gil Scott Heron Intro / The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
02 Soul Searchers Blow Your Whistle Sussex
03 Curley Moore Shelleys’ Rubber Band House of The Fox
04 Gunga Din Crabcakes Crypt Comp
05 Lavell Hardy Women of The World Rojac
06 Mandrill Fencewalk (LP Version) Polydor
07 Ripple See The Light GRC
08 James Brown Just Enough Room Polydor (LP cut)
09 Eddie Floyd Woodman Stax
10 Wylie & Simtec Do It Like Mommy Shama
11 100 Proof I’d Rather Fight Than Switch Hot Wax
12 Rufus Thomas The Push and Pull Pt 1 Stax
13 Bloodstone Peter’s Jones London
14 Johnnie Nash Stir It Up Epic

Download here:


Something new at Cratedigger Labs

I have been looking on and off for a while to obtain a pair of the mighty 1200s. As usual, I had a budget number and a condition level in mind as I looked for a pair of Technics 1200s.

At the end of yesterday afternoon, I saw a promising ad on craigslist and came up with the decks above. I had to borrow a truck and head into the West Loop, Greektown area to pick them up.

I am stoked. Oh, and DJ QBert signed these...


Live from cratedigger labs...

As you can see in the pic above, sound has been undergoing some testing chez cd. A while back, I hit a garage sale and picked up the 1990 Cerwin Vega 2 way speakers that you see in the foreground on the floor. They are extremely clean, but the surround foam on both cabinets was toast. From my preliminary tests, the tweets seemed perfect. They were $10.00.

I found some dudes that said they could hook me up with new foam. I called them and the conversation convinced me that they were worthy of the job.

I received the rebuilt woofers yesterday via UPS, and hooked up the 8 inch woofers in the ported cabinets. The positive side is clearly marked on the clips, and obviously the wires are color coded accordingly.

Tonight, I commenced testing.

I installed the speaker lines on the Speaker B selection on the Pioneer receiver that I have been using, leaving the ARs hooked up to Speaker A.

It should be noted that these speakers are sitting on my padded carpeting and are not my preferred 12-18 inches from the wall. Still, the bass is thumping...

I first listened to some Godfather and then moved over to Return of The DJ v. 2. So far so good, now moving over to the AIF version of The Colonels' Little Unique Mix.

Just another reason to find a bigger and better amp.

Cratedigger Record Cleaner

I had a very successful digging expedition yesterday. I found a couple of new veins of funky and soulful 45s to mine. Since these spots were what I would consider "real" digging, some of the very cost effective discs were pretty dirty.

I figured that if there weren't warped, too scratched or cracked, I could clean them at home. Well, that seemed like a good idea at the time...

One of the 45s, a cover of Mighty Mighty, looked like a listener had spilled milk (White Russian?!?) all over it before it was laid to rest in the basement of a bar, or someplace that is equally damp.

In the past, I have been using a damp piece of flannel to wipe some of the more dirty records down, and that has worked pretty well up to this point. But this method wasn't doing it for Mighty Mighty.

I did some quick research, in the dark recesses of my mind as well as on the internet, and I came up with the idea of using some alcohol and some water to clean the record.

I found an old Tilex bottle, and rinsed it out a few times to get out any remaining product. Then I grabbed a shot glass and filled it with some isopropyl alcohol (70%) and dumped it into the Tilex bottle.

Then, I started some water to boil in my kettle. My thought was that distilled water should be cleaner than tap water on the dirty records, no need to add more minerals and gunk to an already soiled record.

Once the water boiled, I added three shots of my distilled water to the Tilex bottle.

I tried out the spray on the Mighty Mighty side, and then wiped with a clean piece of flannel from an old pair of pajamas. The grunge lifted right off the grooves and resulted in a noticeably more listenable 45.

So here it is, take one part isopropyl alcohol, three parts distilled water and wipe with a clean piece of flannel.

This is my no buck (0$) response to the old DiscWasher from back in the 80s.


Guest Post Vincent from Fufu Stew- C is for Cratedigger

Any reader of this little blog will be familiar with both Vincent and his blog fufu stew. Vincent has put together a two part Holiday weekend mix where one part is posted on cratedigger and the other is posted on his blog.

Here is a link to the part of the mix on Fufu Stew:

Warmed over leftovers

I am very honored to have the chance to share the fruits of Vincent's cratedigging efforts. I will let Vincent take over from here.

Stay cool with the soul and funky sounds of DJ SOUL Chef!!!

Hello, kiddies.

Here I am in in your backyard, armed with a massive stack of 45 rpm goodness. I've never been to Chicago, but if I do get the chance, I know where to go first. Thank you Rich for having me aboard. If you Cratedigger fans had a chance to pick up on what I put down over at Souled On Music, then you know where my head is right now. This is the second in a series of mixes where I will attempt to use all six keys of the scale on a standard keyboard. For reasons that should be rather apparent, this one focuses on the key of "C". It's a gentle blend of sweet Northern and Southern soul, plus plenty of funky heat. After having blasted it on my iPod for the past couple of days, I decided that it was done just right and ready to serve, so without further ado, here we go...

01 Here Comes The Judge-Shorty Long (Soul)
02 Hunk Of Funk-Gene Dozier & The Brotherhood (Minit)
03 (I Wanna) Testify-The Parliaments (Revilot)
04 Bingo-G.T.+4 (The Groovy Label)
05 Do It To It-Bird Rollins Featuring The New Jersey Burners (Calla)
06 Cool Broadway-The Fantastic Johnny C (Phil L.A. Of Soul)
07 Hogwash-Earnest Jackson (Stone)
08 Hot Butter N All-Lou Courtney (Hurdy Gurdy)
09 Damph F'aint-The Herb Johnson Settlement (Toxsan)
10 I Can't Get Next To You-Mongo Santamaria (Atlantic)
11 If I Had A Hammer-Ace Cannon (Hi)
12 I Likes To Do It-The Peoples Choice (Phil L.A. Of Soul)
13 Leroy Is In The Army-Jimmy Castor (Smash)
14 Nothing You Can Do-Wilson Pickett (Atlantic)
15 Saturday Night Fish Fry-The Coasters (Atco)
16 Tip Toe-Robert Parker (NOLA)
17 Everyting's Hunky Dory-Billy Harner (V-Tone)
18 You Ain't Too Cool-Cash McCall (Thomas)
19 Gettin' Away-Cliff Nobles & Co. (Phil L.A. Of Soul)
20 Here Comes The Meter Man-The Meters (Josie)
21 Serve 'Em-Madhouse (Today)
22 Get Down People-The Fabulous Counts (Moira)
23 Crazy Legs-Donald Austin (Eastbound)
24 Swim Pts. 1&2-Bobby Freeman (Autumn)
25 Wild Little Tiger-The Isley Brothers (Atlantic)
26 One Eye Open-Maskman & The Agents (Dynamo)
27 Alvin's Bag-Alvin Cash (Toddlin' Town)
28 Let's Go Get Stoned-James Brown (Smash)

I can't stress enough how much of a pleasure it is to be able to join in with all of these great blogs and share my love for the timely sport of crate digging. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time, not to mention the practice I've been getting in making these mixes with the mighty Cakewalk Pyro software. I'll be back at it again real soon. I hope you will all join me for the ride. Have a great weekend, have fun and as always, be safe.
Peace and blessings.

Please download and enjoy "C Is For Cratedigger", an .mp3 file, 69 MB.


Party in Pilsen 82507

My buddy Sloth, invited me to go to a party with him in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. I have enjoyed what limited exposure that I have had with that neighborhood. so I agreed.

This was a house party with a professional PA, 1200s, the works. Also it was a late night, as the shindig was due to start at 11PM. There were a number of DJs scheduled to perform, including Alexander, Slow Children and Ed DMX from the UK was to headline.

The house had a killer pro PA system, it was loud as hell and very clear. There were also a couple of projectors illuminating the space with various video and images mixed on a macbook. Note the figure shadowed above, bathed in cool blue hues... Here is Ed DMX a banging away on his Roland and other contraptions.

In the background you can see the video/image mixer at the macbook projection deck...

All in all a cool evening. The music itself was pretty far from funky. I couldn't venture to say what sort of stuff they were spinning.

I did enjoy a gent named Chris who was very proficient on the decks, and used some old school rap to do fast cuts from whatever other music was spinning on the other platter.

I think that I would like to spin a set next time and get the kids moving to some music that is more my flavor.

Thanks for the good times.


Another Guest mix: DJ Blueprint from this is tomorrow

If you are down with the soul and funk blogosphere, then surely you are aware of this is tomorrow, which happens to be one of my faves.

DJ Blueprint, the proprietor of this is tomorrow put together a tight 30 minute funk work out set for cratedigger.

I am pleased to present:

30 min funk workout 4
1. incomparable seven - funky grand paw part 1 (top hit)
2. landlord & tennants - sagittarius part 1 (coach)
3. soul patrol - don't knock the cop (zuma)
4. communicators & black experience band - is it funky enough?
5. the marlboro men - (ride on) iron horse (nite beat)
6. sammy gordon & the hiphuggers - upstairs on boston road part 1
7. house guests - my mind set me free part 1 (house guests)
8. tommy bass - (i can't help it baby) this is my thing (soulful)
9. city council ltd. - when you git through wit it put it back (gt
10. mary davis - danger! (playboy at work) (conclave)
11. con-funk-shun - clique (fretone)

Please download 30 min workout 4.




Phill over at thatrealschitt has posted the second half of his 2001 Spaced Oddities.

I dug the first half and my trip out of NYC yesterday was put to a most excellent groove to the recently posted second half.

Go check it out.



RB is a guest selecter at this is tomorrow

this is tomorrow blog is celebrating its' first birthday by inviting guest selectors to post mixes.

I am in awe of the company that I share in this honor. Larry from funky16corners and Vincent from Fufu Stew have already posted their mixes. I visited the Colonel's well of dub treats for the final time for the mix I made for this is tomorrow. The final installment of the Colonel dub mixes is called, The Colonel's Dubquarters (edit.)

Dig & enjoy, and congrats on one year DJ Blueprint!

Biking in Gotham

I had the chance to take my first bike ride in Manhattan this morning. How awesome!

My hotel had a Puma folding bike, pictured above, that was available for riding purposes. The bike itself was pretty cool. It is a single speed, kind of a cross between a large bmx and a mountain bike. Despite the lack of a downtube, the frame felt pretty stiff under my girth. I have never ridden a bike that has been equipped with disc brakes. The brakes were perfect for the Union Square streets.

I set off from 17th St and Union Square at about 5:55 this morning and headed west towards the Hudson and the bike path that follows it. The ride along 17th was OK, I only tried to catch onto one vehicle.

Towards the end of this western jaunt, I hit a very old stretch of street that was actually cobbles, and here the wide tires were a blessing. Up off the saddle and the disc brakes killed it.

Heading south towards the Battery, I saw the site that used to have the Twin Towers on it. That was a trip. Even the path was a bit out of sorts at this point. Eieree site, never forget and all that.

Continuing on south, I hit the Battery and looked off to the south and got a good sight line on both Ellis Island and The Statue. The path sort of petered out there and I headed east along Broad Street for a few blocks. Around the bottom of the island, I caught up again with the path/ boardwalk. Heading north now, I was between the FDR and The East River. A bit further, I passed Pier 16, where I caught the Devotchka show a few weeks back at the SchniederTent Theatre, a venue that I recommend highly.

I continued in a northerly direction, passing the Houston bridge, 10th St bridge, etc. At 17th (?) and Ave C, I was able to go under the FDR. I ended up in a project looking group of brown high rises, that looked like a perfect backdrop for a breakin' throw down back in the day, but are seeing more yuppified times now.

After spinning through there a bit, I caught 12th St and headed west until I hit 1st Ave where I headed north. Once at 17th, I headed west back to my start at 17th and Union Square.

It was one of the best rides of the summer so far. 55 minutes of prime rolling in Gotham.


Rockit Scientist Records-NYC

I had a long day at the office in Gotham, and my dinner plans changed.
So what to do? I decided to take a little hike a bit south and a bit east over to the new Disney Land that is The East Village.

As I ventured a bit, I came upon St Mark’s Place. In the back of my mind, I remembered that there was a record store that has been advertising in Ugly Things for 12 years or so. I could picture the ad, but could not remember the store.

On the south side of the street, I saw Kim’s Video, which is the most absolute sickest video store that I have ever seen. It has at least 2 levels, and to be honest, since I can only focus on one collecting addiction at a time, I just bypassed looking at all the video and DVDs, and went up straight to the back of the second floor to the vinyl section. I found a couple of things, but when I looked at the condition, missing the paper insert, general wear, etc, I could not pull the trigger on a few $6.99 records.

As I left Kim’s, the name of the record store came to mind—Rockit Scientist.

I went about another half block or so, and I saw Rockit on the north side of the street. It is a couple of steps down off the sidewalk. When, I walked in, I was taken aback. This is a place of musical nirvana. On the right side of the store there are racks from floor to ceiling, filled with cds that range from soul to funk to 60s garage, psych and cool music of all stripes. Along the left side of the store is the traditional record store raised counter of yore, featuring various record related ephemera and an older Technics turntable. Moving towards the back, past the basement stairs, there is a rack of LPs on the left and LPs on the right. Going up the walls and continuing onto the ceiling there are other records- mainly mid value 45s. The record explorer needs to be careful to not stub your toes on the budget LP crates that sit in front of the other racks.

I found a box of LPs titled, James Brown. Bingo. I looked through the box a bit and came up with a sealed copy of Sho is Funky Down Here priced at $9.99. The record is marked as all instrumental. “James Brown plays and directs the James Brown Band.” Done.

Frankly, I was a bit overwhelmed at the depth and breadth of the music on offer in this tiny store. I struck up a conversation with Robert (?) the proprietor. We discussed all manner of music and musicology. This guy knows his stuff and knew many of the old garage folks from whom I have purchased records, reissues, reviewed their releases, or even interviewed- Crypt Records, Norton Records, Mop Top Mike, etc. over the years.

I remembered something that I was interested in getting a copy of and asked for a recommendation of some Gil Scott Heron. I picked up an LP compilation of Gil Scott Heron called The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. I can’t wait to hear this one either.

I will definitely be back to visit.


Colonel's Back Again- Murray's Choice Mix

Yes, cratedigger's favorite guest, Colonel, is back with a vengeance with both an aggressive and trance inducing mix called Murray's Choice, fueled by the CDs full of dub and reggae that he sent me.

From his generous gift, I am still reaping the kind mix for you, dear reader.

This mix around, there is some reggae mixed in with the dub. Thematically as well as sonically, Murray's Choice spans many eras. Definitely pack the headphones, G.

Hopefully the sound will rattle your ipod/car doors/house/apartment, like it did the CDHQ.

Download The Colonel's Murray's Choice Mix

Murray's Choice Tracklist:

01 Dangerous Match One Scientist
02 Lamb's Bread Collie Jacob Miller
03 Natty Rebel Uroy
04 Universal Dub J-Boogie
05 Natural Roots Mad Professor
06 King Tubby Meets The Rockers Augustus Pablo
07 Soundclash Dub Syndicate
08 Cool Rockers Lee Scratch Perry
09 Extra Time Five Scientist
10 Dub Organiser Dillinger
11 It Dread Inna The Earth
12 Ecological Dub

Iowahawk's June 2007 video

My buddy Iowahawk has built quite a cool tradition of featuring monthly movies on his blog. The latest installment features hotrods of the friends of Iowahawk.

Remember, race fans, use your rubber!


Been a while... some tunes to tide youse over

I have been away from the Cratedigger homestead all of last week, with nary a chance for digging. In the meantime and in order to keep things interesting, here is a list of interesting mixes put out by other bloggers:

Vincent at Fufu Stew has a new mix called, Fufu Soul Soundcheck. Some great covers are on offer on his mix. Makes me wonder how he has the time to put together so many tough sets.

DJ Dubstrong at Disco Devil has a new dancehall dub mix that I have been listening to today called, Uptown Skank v. 2. He hails from Brasil, so much of the blog is in Portugeuse.

Phill Most Chill at That Real Schitt put out a digital version of his mix called 2001 Spaced Oddities from a few years back of some killer beats and breaks. Here is Side A. It is cool listening. I have much to learn, Grasshopper.

Heavy Soul Brutha Dave from Soul Brutha's Put The needle on the Record has the second installment of his series, Soulbrutha Meets Caplog V. 2 on Mod Radio UK. It is an internet radio show that repeats. Maybe he will post it soon... hint, hint.

Enjoy and support the players above. I am off to Gotham. Hopefully, I will be able to put something together on Friday or over the weekend.


Some hot and weird cars in Mundelein, IL

One of the summer rituals here in the Midwest is to get your car out to the cruise nights. My 66 is not really nice enough to take to one of these events, where lawn chairs and diet pepsi is the norm.

Anyway, I put some high priced high test into the Mustang and was on my way the 12 miles or so to the Mundelein IL Park on Park Cruise Night that occurs once a month during the summer.

This was a 35 Ford Truck that still had an old flathead in it. There was still some original Henry Ford pin striping under the rust and patina. The old guy that owned it was a bit squirrelly, when I spoke with him. I still liked it.
This Mini was pretty cool in British racing green. It might have too many decals and doo dads on it though.
This was a nice Yenko Camaro set up for the strip. I parked right next to it. It was really too nice to put on the strip.
This was an especially clean mid 30s Ford Cabriolet. 35/36? I am not sure but it was so clean that you could eat off of it.
This Camaro was also clean, the stripes on the sides of the car were a nice metal flake. A very nice paint job indeed.

The quote of the evening was, "I didn't realize that cars could be antiques." This was spoken by an 8 year old girl. Some of the people there could have been classified as antiques. I even saw a couple of Outlaws. (They are the ultimate rival bike club of the Hells Angels.)


Hats off to The Colonel-cratedigger guest selector...

A close friend of mine from the way back machine, chose to keep his life much closer to nature than I did after college.

His name is the Colonel. He spends much of his free time climbing mountains and slashing powder on the slopes in the western areas of our grand country.

For the soundtrack to his outdoor pursuits, he is a big reggae and dub fan. I received an unbelievable package in the snail mail from him last week containing a whole grip of cds filled with freaked out tunage.

In honor of this great gift, I have assembled a mix of some of the jamming tunes contained on a few of the cds. Call the Colonel a guest selector, if you will.

As I mentioned, the tracks below were grabbed from cds and NOT vinyl.

ENJOY! And Thanks Colonel.

Download The Colonel's Little Unique Mix


01 Dance of The Vampires Scientist
02 A Useful Version Prince Jammy & The Aggrovators
03 Prince Far-I Bedward Dub Syndicate
04 Alam Dub Bill Laswell & Jah Wobble
05 Dub In The Right Way Soul Syndicate
06 Rude Boy Dub Prince Jammy
07 Drifter Dub King Tubby
08 The Alien Aborts Roots Radics Band
09 Dreader Locks Lee Perry & Junor Byles
10 Kiwi Culture Mad Professor
11 Trinity Dub Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor



I have a passing interest in Krautrock, but I have to admit I know very little about the entire genre. When I have a chance, I have been taking recommendations from other music heads about their faves.

Using this approach, I have heard some Can, Faust, Gong and I happened across a burn of AR+Machines, which seems to be a Krautrock talisman of some repute, (and non reissued).

I also received via a trade, three full dvds of Krautrock. One of the bands that struck me with both their overt weirdness as well as their ability to rock was Can.

I happened upon a dvd full of live Can recently and this extreme hot weather has put me into an odd mood. Can seems to fit the bill for the 90 degrees and humidity here on the shores of Lake Michigan.

From some cursory internet research, Can was formed as a collective way back in 68. They had their own studio called Inner Space, which seems like a rather non sequitir as their soundscapes that I am hearing are more akin to spacerock, more like a more arty Hawkwind without the preachy scifi baggage of the Hawks. I can also hear elements of the more spacey areas of English artrock, eg. Eno, and possibly 801 without the Manzanera guitar pyrotechnics.

In 1970, Damo Suzuki was discovered on the street performing music and was quickly incorporated into the Can clan as their lead vocalist.

1971 was when Can started gaining some traction with the critics with their release Tago Mago. Ege Bamyasi was put out the next year and contained the track Spoon which oddly enough appears on two of the three of the dvds that I received. Spoon brought them acclaim in a wider arena as it was used as the theme for a film called Das Messer and was Can's first success charting wise.

listening to some of these extended jams, repetition seems to be the modus operandi for the freak factor.

Here is a link to CAN performing Improvisation for the BBC (the BEEB) in 1974. The limited info that I have on the track suggests that this track did not appear on the Peel Sessions CD.

Here is another download link, if the player ain't your bag.

CAN Improvisation

Chicago Critical Mass June 2007 p2

This video clip catches much of the flavor of June's ride.

The 1st part is more of a hosted webtv show discussing Critical Mass affairs.

Check it out.


if the glove don't fit...

If the glove don’t fit- a cratedigger compilation

01 Intro
02 Soul Searchers Funk To The Folks Sussex 517
03 Isley Brothers Don’t Give it Away T Neck 901
04 Dialog
05 Bobby Blue Bland Turn On Your Lovelight Duke 344
06 Clarence Carter Funky Fever Atlantic 2508
07 Dialog
08 Ike & Tina Turner Funkier Thank A Mosquita’s Tweeter Liberty 56216
09 Curley Moore Funky Yeah House of The Fox 1934
10 Dialog
11 Rufus Thomas Do The Double Bump Stax 236
12 Dennis Coffey Scorpio (rb edit) Sussex 226
13 James & Bobby Purify I’m Your Puppet Bell 648
14 James Brown Brother Rapp (pts 1&2) King 6310
15 Dialog
16 Fantastic Johnny C Boogaloo Down Broadway Phil LA of Soul 305
17 Sons of Slum Right On Stax 120 (mono)
18 Dialog
19 Kool & The Gang Funky Stuff Dee-Lite 557(mono)
20 Jimmy Castor Bunch Bertha Butt Boogie (pt 1) Atlantic 3232
21 Outro
22 Funkadelic Loose Booty Westbound 205 (promo)

all of the above tracks were captured from original 45s, gathered in various dusty midwestern locales. no ebay track diggin' whatsoever...

dialog comes from the aip motion picture "abby" starring carol speed and william marshall, which comes from a very old vhs transfer.

Please download if the glove don't fit...

D/L Link

Thanks to Fufu Stew, Fleamarket Funk, Funky 16 Corners, this is tomorrow, and Soul Brotha's Put the Needle in The Groove for inspiration.

Happy 4th. Be safe.

N.B. It appears that the divshare link above is AOK, but the zshare version of the file is shortened. I tried to reupload, but it continues to chop my file in half. There is a save option within Divshare. Sorry about the technical difficulties.


Chicago Critical Mass 062907

One of the best rides of my life?

Really, I went places in the City of Chicago, on a bike with roughly 800 of my closest friends, that I have never seen , much less traveled in a car or any other vehicle for that matter. But to be on a bike on a summer Friday night when the air temp was in the 60s- it couldn't have been more perfect.

Below is a picture of a mcdonald'$ on Cermak, under the American flag. I think the shot sums it all up- you have a ton of people on bikes, riding by a mcd'$ and a Coke sign above the tunnel. Riding up the Wild West Side, here is a shot that also captures the scenery and mood. Picture scenes such as this, replete with alternately Roger & The Gypsies and Curtis Mayfield blasting on the mobile bike soundsystems-loud. The residents, and the undercover police threw a lot of high signs and raise the roof gestures. They looked as if they were watching a procession of Martians. The shorty shaking it ten feet off the ground-safety be damned- was definitely feeling it.

I really have to give props to the mobile sound system DJ who was playing Chitown Homeboy #1, Mr. Mayfield. The scenery matched up with the anti-drug lyrical content perfectly. RIP Curtis.
This shot is just for looks, as I think it looks awesome. That tunnel on Damen on the South Side is like a block long, then there is a break and then it continues for another block. In a word, "Whoa!!!"