Friday Funk Mix

Here is the latest baker's dozen from Cratedigger Labs, and so sorry for the delay in getting some hip grooves out to you all. Sometimes life gets in the way.

Once again this here mixed was mixed live on the 1200s, this time on a recent Friday night, with a couple of beers in hand. It's all vinyl all the time here at Cratedigger.

I truly hope you dig it.

Friday Funk Track list
01 Jan Jan The Fabulous Counts/ Moira
02 C'Mon And Swim Bobby Freeman/ Autumn
03 The Funky Judge Bull & The Matadors/Toddlin' Town
04 We've Got To Have Love Wilson Pickett/ Atlantic
05 (For God's Sake) Give More Power To The People Chi-Lites/ Brunswick
06 Watermelon Man Herbie Mann/ Atlantic
07 Want' A Do Somethin' Freaky To You Leon Haywood/ 20th Century
08 I Likes To Do It The People's Choice/ Phil-La of Soul
09 How Do Yeaw View You? Funkadelic/ Westbound
10 Anything You Do Is Alright The Radiants/ Chess
11 Clean Up Woman Betty Wright/ Alston
12 Get It (Instrumental) Wilmer & The Dukes/ Aphrodisiac
13 You've Got To Crawl The 8th Day/ Invictus

Download here


Black Merda Video


I received an update from my earlier post.
Vincent from Fufu Stew shared a youtube video that shows Black Merda can still rock the house!


Black Merda CD

After a night of sake, udon noodles, and Asian snack shopping in Gotham, I turned the corner and ventured down St. Marks. I went down the street and visited Robert and Rockit Scientist Records. I had my co worker with me, so I did not spend too mush time in digger mode.
I had to buy something, so I picked up the last CD copy of Black Merda. This is a Russian version of the Chess Records release. Could this have originally been released in 1967? Below are my thoughts based on a listening session in my Union Square hotel room.

Black Merda takes a place in the post Hendrix rock pantheon. The 1st track, "Prophet" with the refrain, "Set Me Free," sets the tone in a fuzzy manner. The next track "Think of Me" is a more lightweight number.

The next track, "Cynthy Ruth" familiar to listeners of the "Black Chains and Exhaust" boot from a few years back. Jimi-styled husky vocs on top of a fuzzy guitar riff and a funky wah-wah rythm guitar.

"Over and Over" takes an instro electrical blooz and makes it psychedelic at the same time. Mucho distortion on the constantly riffing lead guitar. Since this record originally came out on Chess Records, the sound here makes sense as "Electric Mud" and the psychedelic Howlin' Wolf LP were in the near future.

"Ashamed" takes a Northern Soul style sound and dirties it up a bit and makes the vibe quite a bit more angry.

Flip the cd over and side 2 starts with "Reality" which again shows evidence of a grittier Chitown sound. No stretch could compare this with the Chilites-although Black Merda definitely listened to them.
"Windsong" shows evidence of experimentation as the guitar sounds more acoustic and less distorted. Some sound effects are underneath-wind blowing-and there is a bit of organ buried in the mix. Instro and pretty much throw away, or perhaps a break in the set to roll another? Mellow...

"Good Luck" kicks the distortion throb up to "Cynthy Ruth" levels. They just beat the riff into submission, but the lazy tempo makes the listener think that it could fall apart at any point- it doesn't. Odd fade out and end to the track, though.

"That's The Way It Goes" has a good bassline that drives the track. Kind of a fragment of a song.

"I Don't Want To Die" has a lyrical content that may be related to drugs, the Viet Nam War, or perhaps Race Relations, all topics for 1967 lyrical discourse.

"Set Me Free" ends the set as a 43 second fragement acsoustic in nature that actually works well as a coda.

I'm with Dante on this one. "Cynthy Ruth" is the killer track here and the highpoint of the record. Chess had a winner in Black Merda. I am sure that no one noticed at the time. An interesting time capsule. I am glad that I picked it up.


CHIRP Record Fair This Weekend

The Chicago Independent Radio Project is having their record fair this weekend.
This was formerly the Benefit Record Fair for WLUW, the Loyola University Chicago Radio Station. I am not totally sure of the genesis, but the Record Fair now goes by the CHIRP moniker.
I have gone the past couple of years. I will be there tomorrow.
Hope to see you there!


Raleigh Grand Prix Suburban Assault Machine

Well, here it is as it sits.

I removed the rear spoke protector as well as the brittle 70s spoke reflectors.

I added a Velo-Orange croissant bag. I put my broken in Brooks B17 honey saddle to good use. I repurposed the ugly chrome bottle cage. I shined it up with Turtle Wax chrome polish and used a Velo-Orange bar mount to mount it to the bars. I am using the cage to carry the stainless steel tea thermos that I also scored from VO.

I then conferred with The Bike Guy, for alternatives to the horrible 70s drop bars and brake levers. he started out by setting me up with some used Bluemels/SKS chromo plastic fenders. We then decided that some old cruiser bars would work, as long as they had a few inches lopped off of each end. I said that I wanted to go with the Tektro inverse brake levers. We looked in some catalogs, but all of the ones that we found had externally routed cables. That was not going to work with the cork grips and the shortened cruiser bars.

The Bike Guy found some internally routed Tektros a few days later in another catalog. He then drilled some holes on either side of the stem to route the brake cables. I have to say, that they make the bike. They are kind of hard to see in the picture above. They look cool, and work very effectively to pull the Dia-Compe centerpulls to achieve maximum braking force.

Today, I swapped out the orginal looking Raleigh racing pedals for some Shimano Deore XT pedals from the 80s. They are lighter, and seem to work great. The bearings seem to have a lot more life in them than the other pedals.

The seating position on this rig is pretty straight up, and the bars allow for a comfortable upright stance as well. I think that I could put 100s of miles on this machine. I am really looking forward to it.