Tag Archive for '45'

“Claire” by Baxter Dury

After a helping a friend set up a new blog this week, I realized it was time to revive DRNRN!, which I’d been planning to do for months now. Mostly after seeing what Kaleb’s been doing over at Dynamite Chair, I’ve been thinking of changing my approach (which had been to post single tracks from my record collection) to focusing more on single tracks from anywhere, if they mean something to me. So, here goes.

This one is still a bit of a vinyl story, since it involves the new single from Baxter Dury that arrived in the mail yesterday. It was technically a Record Store Day 2011 release, but since the US has consistently slept on Dury, it was only available in the UK. I bought it from Banquet Records last week and it came very quickly. (Aside: have you noticed how much more skillfully packed parcels from England tend to be? So slender, yet so strong!) The person who packed the 45 left a little note for me along the lines of “Thanks for your order. Did you manage to pick up any other RSD ’11 items? -Chris.” I was dying to answer yes, I did, but realized I couldn’t. I imagine he knows I did.

Anyway, without further ado, “Claire.”

The b-side is an equally great song, “The Sun.” Both are a little crisper and brighter than his other records, but very much in the same vein. Baxter’s songs are so different from his father’s in almost every way, but the wryness, the humor, and the effortless way they inhabit the characters in their songs. Here they are together on the cover of New Boots and Panties:

2002′s Len Parrots Memorial Lift and 2005′s Floor Show are both subtlely brilliant records that never got the attention they deserved, as evidenced below.

Beneath The Underdog

Lucifer’s Grain

Francesca’s Party

Cocaine Man

For those interested in both Durys, the film “Sex & Drugs & Rock n Roll” is a must see, but probably for fans only. It’s on Netflix Instant!

Oh, and to Chris from Banquet: I picked up the two Black Angels RSD ’11 releases and I’ve been obsessed with “Melanie’s Melody” and “Choose to Choose” for the last 6 weeks.

“Afro-Strut” by the Nite-Liters

nite.jpgThis one’s a bit of a dissonant squealer with a great mid-tempo beat and a sweet wah-wah breakdown. The Nite Liters put outa bunch of records in the early 70s, but eventually spun off into New Birth Inc., and had up to 17 members.
The Nite-Liters, “Afro-Strut” from the RCA/Victor 45 (197?)

You can find a best-of compilation at Amazon and some vinyl at Dusty Groove.
They also rocked K-JEE:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/AtBjTdiFsiY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Interestingly, Steve Keith, who seems to have played in another band called the Nite Liters, chimed in on a post over on Flea Market Funk. It’s cool to see the original artists getting into the fray on the mp3 blogs… it even happens here sometimes!

“Lean Meat,” by Lonnie Smith

lonnie.jpgSuspenseful near-disco funk number with almost no resolution. A great tranistional track, I’ve always thought.

Not to be confused with Lonnie Liston Smith (of “with the Cosmic Echoes” fame), this track comes from jazz organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. So many Lonnie Smiths, so little time.

This was released in 1976, but didn’t appear on an album until 1980′s When the Night Is Right, one of Lonnie’s many awesomely named albums. Many of these items are still in print and for sale, and all of them are funky, as far as I know. Please purchase some. From both Lonnies.

Lonnie Smith’s website says it all, so I won’t waste any more of your time. DO NOT SKIP INTRO.

Lonnie Smith, “Lean Meat,” from the Groove Merchant 45 (1976)

“Ain’t That Cold,” by Something Real

aint.jpgI really don’t know much about this track other than that it has the world’s best title. I picked this up for a couple of bucks based on the Mankind 45 label, which I think is the best ever designed. All of the Nashboro Distro labels were good, but the simplicity of this one seems out of place among the rest. I’m sure I’ll post some tracks and images of other Nashboro Group imprints (like ABET and excello), but on to the music.

Not only does this track a tight drum intro, but it all seems a little out-of-time. But, of course, the whining waaah-waaah-waaah horns pull it all together. A nice little uptempo number with a cool undermixed guitar solo. There’s even a scratch on the disc that creates a well-timed skip that is almost unnoticeable.

“Ain’t That Cold,” by Something Real on Mankind 45 (197?).

I haven’t found much of anything online about this act or this record save for a few postings of copies for sale for way too much money. I’ll update the comments if I learn anything.

“Baby Rice,” by Paul Humphreys & Cool Aid Chemists

Funky LA 45Paul Humphreys & Cool Aid Chemists put out a self-titled album in 1969 that contained this track, and the a-side to the Funky LA 45 (on Lizard). I picked this up in a lot of funky 45s a few years back, and found “Baby Rice” to be the standout. I spun this at a wedding once, and the mother of the bride asked me to stop playing circus music and bring back the James Brown. Wounded, I obliged.

Paul Humphreys & Cool Aid Chemists, “Baby Rice” from the Funky LA 45 on Lizard Records (1969)

Buy the reissued import disc at Dusty Groove or Amazon.

Image from FUFUSTEW, a blog you should watch.