New Mix- Hot Summer Weekend

Here is a mix to get you through the weekend, I put this one together specifically with a summer weekend in mind. This was mixed live in Cratedigger Labs with care. Please enjoy.

There is a fair amount of variety here. Starting with the obvious, who doesn't love a quick intro from none other than Redd Foxx? Ending with an upbeat groover from Jimmy McGriff is also a great thing.

I think my favorite track is Singing Funky Music Turns Me On. Let me know your favorite in a comment.

Hot Summer Weekend Tracklist:

01 Intro Redd Foxx (King)
02 Black Berries Pt 1 Isley Brothers (T Neck)
03 Little Ol Man Bill Cosby (Warners)
04 Singing Funky Music Turns Me On Jackie Moore (Kayette)
05 CC Rider Wayne Cochran (King)
06 Ball of Confusion Temptations (Gordy)
07 Skate Now Lou Courtney (Riverside)
08 Gettin A Little Hipper James Brown (King)
09 Rock Steady Aretha Franklin (Atlantic)
10 Here Come Da Judge Buena Vistas (Marquee)
11 Finders Keepers (vocal) Chairman of The Board (Invicta)
12 Jumpin at The Woodside Jimmy McGriff (Sue)

Please download Hot Summer Weekend here


going to this tonite, by hook or crook

Sonotheque proudly presents an evening of funky 45's, sensational soul and inner city struttin' rhythms. Featuring 3 of Chi-town's premier crate diggin', soul searchin' groove purveyors:
Supreme Court (Danny's Tavern)Sean Qualls (Danny's Tavern)Joe Mama aka Joe Bryl (Sonotheque)Featuring rare blaxplotation films and trailers!
9pm - 2am$5 cover$5 drink specials
Funky link:
Get down on your groove thang and shake your money maker on this night of funky 45 madness. That's right, our 3 wax poets will be spinning the freshest and funkiest 45's and albums of the 70's. Yes, no cds, no downloaded files - just the grittiest grooves and down-right danceable dusties for a night of super sweet struttin'. So we're calling all the dapper dudes, mack daddies and marvelous mamas out tonight for this soul-sensational soiree.
- Funk is a many splendored thing. Funk is a nasty vibe, and a sweet sexy feeling. Funk is funkiness, a natural release of the essence within. Funk is a high, but it is also down at the bottom, the low-down earthy essence, the bass elements. Funk is at the extremes of everything. Funk is hot, but funk can be cool. Funk is primitive, yet funk can be sophisticated. Funk is a way out, and a way in. Funk is all over the place. Funk is a means of release that cannot be denied. Village Voice writer Barry Walters explained The Funk as well as anyone could: “Trying to put that thang called funk into words is like trying to write down your orgasm. Both thrive in that gap in time when words fall away, leaving nothing but sensation.What Is Funk – Ricky Vincent
In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it .” An individual is confronted by the same difficulty in explaining what Funk may be whether one is a common layman or a well-versed academic. Funk’s essence, like its musical predecessor Soul, is based on its spiritual/emotional features. It casts its web by tugging on one’s raw primordial feelings, but unlike gossamer its netting is substantial and inherently human. Its musical heat is at times direct and comes on in rush while it can also slowly simmer and build in a measured unhurried pace.
Evolving from both R&B and Soul, Funk’s primary rhythm was driven by an intensive groove using a mixture of a strong interplay between guitar, bass, drums and horns. Its primary accents on the 1 and 3 count (of 4) moved the rhythm to become more prominent and complex with its extensive use of syncopation.
James Brown, the undisputed “Godfather of Funk” began pushing the sound in the late Sixties with his musical innovations that combined frenzied grunts and punctuated movements resembling African polyrhythms. In a 1990 interview, Brown commented on his simple yet altering musical innovation: “ I changed from the upbeat to the downbeat.”
These changes were quickly picked up by other musicians and a style all of its own began to grow. Artists as diverse as Dyke & The Blazers, Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, Black Heat, Funkadelic, The Fatback Band, Kool & The Gang, The Meters , War, The Bar-kays and too many others to list began feeling the heat and developed their own individual take on Funk.
The gospel of Funk was spreading the world and influencing other artists. Its affects became visible with its incorporation with jazz-based musicians and crossed the globe from Africa to Brazil and back. Whether the music came from such luminaries as Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock (with his Headhunters band), Grover Washington Jr. Les McCann and Eddie Harris or was exported to Africa melding itself to finally becoming Afrobeat in the hands of Fela Kuti; Funk moved constantly forward as a powerful voice in popular music. And although the golden era of Funk is long gone, its continual influence is felt in the Washington Go-Go scene and its use of sampling in Rap and Hip-Hop.
Giving tribute to the amazing influence and history of Funk, Sonotheque proudly showcases “Superfunk”. So as George Clinton would shout “Get up on the down-stoke – everybody get up” and “Tear the roof off the mother-fucker” we welcome all super-freaks to shake their booty, leave their inhibitions at the door and get down tonight!
Supreme Court & Qualls - 'The Supreme Court Hearings':
Playing deeply soulful music from around the world
‘Supreme Court Hearings’ features a wide range of soulful/funky tracks, many of which are rare 45’s from the personal collections of the featured djs. Musical styles include soul, funk, r&b, jazz, Latin, African & Brazilian. Previously, ‘SCH’ featured the talents of Phil Cohran & The Hypnotic Ensemble and The Molemen. Currently, with Dante Carfanga they host a monthly residency at Danny's Tavern on the 1st Wednesday of each month.
Joe Mama (aka Joe Bryl):
DJ Joe Bryl was once named by the Chicago Tribune as Chicago's "Most Interesting DJ.” He has been working in the club and entertainment industry for the last 20 years and was an original partner in the creation of HotHouse. A true pioneer continuing to push the international sounds as a DJ, he is also the artistic director for the club Sonotheque where he presents internationally renowned DJs.



Locost Auto

After watching the Prisoner a few years back, I once again became aware of the Lotus marque. In particular, I have always been fond of the Lotus 7's odd looks- cycle type fenders, eyeball looking headlamps, etc.

Apparently there is a movement afoot, to build replicas of these cars on the cheap and then to refer to them as Locost sports cars. Above is a pic that I found online of a Lotus run in Perth.

What is most interesting is the power to weight ratio on on of these, 1200-1500 lbs. Put a little four banger in there and go. Also the handling appears to be tremendous as well.
Here is a vid of some road race action.


Playing the Building David Byrne

This looks really intriguing. Of course it reminds me of Einstruzende Neubauten and their stuff from the 80s in concept.

Been listening to Fear of Music and Remain In Light in the hooptie lately. Maybe I can hit it sometime this summer.

CREATIVE TIME PRESENTSPlaying the Building: An Installation by David ByrneThe Battery Maritime Building10 South Street, New York, NY (Map)31 May – 24 August 2008 Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Noon – 6PM (Free)

Creative Time presents Playing the building, a sound installation in which the infrastructure, the physical plant of the building, is converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices are attached to the building structure — to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes — and are used to make these things produce sound. The activations are of three types: wind, vibration, striking. The devices do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument.

Playing the Building

Battery Maritime BuildingNYC, 2008


Lost and Found-- United Travel Service

United Travel Service: Dale Sweetland, John Reeves, Ben Hoff, Steve Bennet

People that know me, realize that one of my preferred musical genres is 60s Garage. So, you can imagine my surprise when I posted a track from United Travel Service a little over a year ago and I received an email from the drummer a few days ago. He saw my post and reached out.

While United Travel Service is not Back From the Grave rare or anything, I was very honored to have the chance to help tell their story. Dale Sweetland agreed to answer some questions via email and here are the results.

Cratedigger:Could you share a brief rundown of the band roster and your releases with record catalog numbers?

Dale:Primary Core: Ben Hoff, John Reeves, Dale Sweetland
Part-time: Ray Doern, Jim Roberts (only on 1 recording)
Steve Bennet (alternate bass player)
Wind and Stone UK4M-1179 BMI Record No R-5120 Rust Records,NY
Drummer of Your Mind UK4M-1180 BMI Record No R-5120 Rust Records,NY
Gypsy Eyes N/A
Echo of You N/A

Cratedigger:How did you meet the other members?

Dale:I was going to school in Corvallis, OR and met John Reeves, who put an ad in a local paper for "Drummer wanted for band, call ....", so I called. He said, "Well, there's really no band, but if you're not busy why don't we get together", so that was the beginning. John was from the SF area and heavily influenced by SF rock, and that was my introduction to it. Ben had a group
in Portland with a drummer who couldn't keep time, so that was a shoe-in for me, then we just used whatever bass player was available, I don't remember Dave Mathew, sorry Dave, you will have to refresh my memory.

Cratedigger:What got you into music?

Dale:I started tap dancing at age 4, accordion at 7, but didn't like the sound or having to drag it out and play a tune for anyone coming over to visit, once I began playing drums, (13 or so), that ended.

Cratedigger:How supportive were your families of Rock and Roll?

Dale:My dad was a very good musician from another time so he wasn't fond of the type of music I was playing but it kept me out of trouble for the most part.

Cratedigger:What types of shows did UTS play?

Dale:We did a lot of college dances, not too many small venues.

Cratedigger:How long were the sets and what was the ratio between original and cover material?

Dale:There wasn't much planning in this area, that is a little un-clear, but we did about 30-70 ratio original to cover, the trouble for us was most of the people at the dance came to socialize, not necessarily to see us and wanted to hear the current material on the radio.

Cratedigger:What was it like playing in a garage band in Oregon in the 60s?

Dale:We were mostly a basement band, we got together to learn tunes and prepare for the next gig, we were not harassed too much by the neighbors or the police, we weren't late nighters', but it certainly wasn't as much fun as gig'n, that was our main focus.

Cratedigger:Were there other bands that you hung out with and played with?

Dale:I played with "Madrid and the Counts"(national releases on Rust as well), "Sunday Morning" very popular Portland band at the "Stone Balloon", "The Classmen", "Aesop and the Fables", ...

Cratedigger:What was your favorite recorded track?

Dale:I really like "Gypsy Eyes", I would like to do a re-do of that, or at least get to re-mix it.

United Travel Service in the studio: Dale, John, Ben

Cratedigger:I read about the Dentist Recording sessions, do you have any other cool 60s recording sessions stories? If not perhaps you could provide a recap.

Dale:I don't know where Dave got his info, but the 1st studio we recorded in was Ken ?'s basement, he was an engineer of some kind in Portland, and Rick Keefer operated Ridon productions in the basement, as far as I know or Ben for that matter, there was no doctor's basement. It was quite a small space in the middle of a residential neighborhood in a Portland suburb, which occasionally flooded from lack of drainage and too much rain. We would have
to stand on boxes to keep from being shocked. After the basement studio, Rick moved to Vancouver and Ripcord productions where we recorded "Echo of You" and "Gypsy Eyes", and I think "Snow" and "Slightest Possibility", which were never released. I also need to say none us of us made a single penny off these recordings, nothing, I'm not complaining just so you'll know, but don't expect a bundle from your studio work, it won't happen, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Our recording ended when Rick wanted to start charging us to record, that was it, end of band.

Cratedigger:If you could change anything about the band, what would it be?

Dale:I would buy the guys an electric tuner. We started one gig totally out of tune, as the people came pouring in. Being a guitar band, we didn't have a keyboard reference to tune to, so it was sometimes an argument over who to tune to.

Cratedigger:How did Viet Nam or other political factors affect the band?

Dale:Personally, I hated our involvement in Vietnam, it really tore up our generation, you had to peace/love side, and the "fight for our country" side, I will fight and die but for something I believe in, not some stupid political war on the other side of the world, I couldn't serve anyway, I was 4F, couldn't pass a physical because of a heart murmur.

Cratedigger:UTS opened for the Doors. Do you have any stories that you can share about that?

Dale:The most memorable thing about that was what most garage bands will only experience their 1st time out on a really big stage. Your band mates are so far away, the sound is totally different than it is in the basement/garage, everyone is so far from each other, it's like playing by yourself, very weird, and not much fun, I felt like telling them to come back over and crowd around me like in the basement/garage, you can't wait for it to be over, the monitor mix was something you didn't even discuss or think about, I really couldn't hear anyone else except myself, and was just hoping I was at the right part in the song at the right time! We did our portion, and I just remember "The Doors", coming out from the side, no words exchanged,
just looks, like let's get this over, they weren't very friendly and I think kind of tired of the road at that point.

Cratedigger:How did the whole Flower Power thing affect you and the rest of the band?

Dale:We never really talked about it, we were mainly concerned with the next gig or recording. It was a great time to be around, there's nothing like it now or never will be, it was a pretty friendly time. Ray was in the service, so he didn't have many choices, John was from the SF area and HIGHLY influenced by FPower, he was also in the ROTC program at college, Ben has always been a free thinker not really hindered by what other people think he should do,
pretty shy to say the least, but a great guy. The FPower thing for me was my first introduction into total involvement with the music, putting on some tunes, headphones, laying on the floor and totally grooving out, there's nothing like it, let yourself go, thanks to John.

Cratedigger:What is it like to get contacted 40 years after the fact by fans of your music.

Dale:This is the weirdest part of the whole thing, when we recorded there were no computers or internet, no cell phones, and if you didn't have money (none of us did) you could barely make a long distance call. It's a thrill to be contacted after all this time by people you didn't even know you touched with your music, let me repeat, A THRILL!!

Thanks to Dale for reaching out to Cratedigger, now I need to get a copy of this 45. Here is their track Gypsy Eyes:



Chicago Blues Fest Opening Day 25th Anniversary

I was able to sneak out from work for a long lunch on Thursday, which also was the opening day of the 25th running of the Chicago Blues Festival. It was started the year after Muddy Waters passing.

The Blues Fest is the largest free Blues Festival in the world. Based on Thursday' mid day crowd, the world comes to Chicago for this event. I was one of the youngest attendees, but obviously middle aged Germans are big blues fans.

I saw Jimmy Burns lead the Chicago Blues Roundtable on a stage called The Mississippi Juke Joint. There was an assembly of bluesmen whom I did not recognize but when they did their intros, a couple said that they played with Muddy for 10-18 years each. The gentleman that used to play harp for Muddy was resplendent in a mint green suit and Cuban heeled boots, Man could he play.

I was not able to catch any pics but, The Chicago Tribune has a user uploaded photo gallery. If you look at image 13, you will see a picture of Jimmy Burns on the left, and a former guitarist for Muddy Waters on the left.

Chicago Blues Fest photos


RIP Bo Diddley

We will miss you, Bo.
I only saw him once many years ago at a Village Concert in Northbrook IL.
You left us much too young.