Sunday, December 28, 2008

Archie Shepp Wants His Money


I can't tell you much about Archie Shepp besides the fact that he's an American jazz saxophonist, and whatever else Wikipedia can tell you. By the 1970's, his music turned towards equal rights advocacy and became afrocentric (think Fela Kuti).

I'm obsessed with the intro to Money Blues (Pt 1, 2 and 3). It sounds like an incredible party that I wish I were invited to. I can only imagine that it will one day be co-opted by Tarantino for a ridiculous/pointless scene involving Samuel L. and some dying hookers. Until then, it's a total party track.

Archie Shepp - Money (Pt 1, 2 and 3)

here we go!

It seems totally bananas to me that we are days away from 2009. I just can't believe another year has passed. Time is flying around. When I was 15, I just COULD NOT WAIT to be 16 so I could drive and it seemed like it literally took forever for my birthday to come. Now, I whip through birthdays like nobody's business. How did this happen?

I am going on the vacation of a lifetime to see My Morning Jacket at Madison Square Garden on New Year's Eve. Ridic. I won't be around to blog and wish you all a very happy new year, so I'm going to do it now. I hope that your first moments of 2009 are filled with merriment and joy. I love the new year for a few reasons, but mostly because it feels like you get a new chance and a new start. Leave all that other shit behind! Feel the waves of "Auld Lang Syne" wash over you. Make some resolutions that you can break in two weeks! I'm just being real.

Seriously, thanks for reading this blog for eight months and making me feel good about writing out of my butt. I wish we could all go to New York together and then party in a hot tub. Here's a little something from me to you. Enjoy this song by The Notations. A new day, a new year, NEW BEGINNING. See you next year. Love you.

The Notations - A New Day

Friday, December 26, 2008

Inner Circle - Sweat (A La La La La Long)

Some how this song is always being played the few times I take a taxi any where. The song never fails to creep me out.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

christmas series #6: otis redding

Santa is coming! Look busy, assholes! No wait, maybe that's someone else. The bottom line is: it's Christmas Eve! Somewhere, Rudolph is getting ready by drinking tons of protein shakes and pumping up on steroids. Meanwhile, I'm nursing a bloated belly from eating three pounds of mini-quiches.

I figured the best way to spend Christmas Eve, even for all you Scrooges out there, was to sit by the fire (in our Texas weather) and listen to this song with your loved ones. I mean, you can also listen to it alone, if you prefer. That'll work, too. This is a beautiful version of the timeless Christmas classic and maybe my favorite song to be featured in the Christmas Series here on the blog. I really have no issues with the Bing Crosby version of this song, but of course if you know anything about me at all, you know I want a soulful rendition of any song!

Obvi, you know Otis Redding is the biggest baller of all time. He was an amazing Stax soul singer who definitely was taken from us too soon. He died at age 26, which seems completely wrong and unfair. This song will help us appreciate Otis even more than we already do. I hope you are having a white Christmas wherever you are, because I most certainly am NOT. But's it all good. Have a wonderful night tonight, get to bed early, and don't forget to set out cookies for the big guy. Merry Christmas!

Otis Redding - White Christmas

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

christmas series #5: smokey robinson

Well, here we are. Christmas Eve Eve. HA! Let's face it, if you aren't totally revved up by now, then you will never be. I'm just being real. Christmas is so close I can taste it like a sweet raindrop in my mouth. I've already consumed close to 100,000 calories of whatever foods I want so I can't wait for that to continue for a few more days.

I'm done with all my shopping, too, which is a huge plus. However, in the process, I purchased about twenty items for myself. Problem? Some would say so. Shopping is no fun without throwing a little sumthin in the basket for your big mama (yourself). When I was a kid, I was perpetually peeing my pants on the 23rd. I knew the next day was the EVE and then the BIG DAY. I just couldn't wait. Everything revolved around this. I love that feeling so much that I want to share this song with you. It's also my personal anthem. Christmas every day?! Yes, please. Also, the 23rd means my birthday is exactly one month away. 25 is going to be big, y'all. Isn't quarter-life when you freak out about your receding hairline and then you buy a Porsche Turbo and a lake house? Maybe I'm thinking of something else.

Smokey Robinson is a symbol of Motown. With the Miracles, he had a ton of hits and is well known all over the world. My personal favorite is "I Second That Emotion." New karaoke song! Smokey was with Berry Gordy and Motown from the very beginning as a recording artist and songwriter. He helped bring much success to that label. It's hard not to get a smile on your face when you listen to Smokey sing. But it's even better when he's singing a song about Christmas!

Don't forget to watch Letterman tonight for the annual Christmas show extravaganza featuring Darlene Love. Also, a big Happy Birthday to Kathryn!

Smokey Robinson and The Miracles - Christmas Everyday

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The Jazz Mustache Hour

I know what you're thinking.

You're thinking that this blog could use some Japanese jazz trumpet plus an impeccable mustache. Terumasa Hino is here to take care of that.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bethoveen's Arguement

Lately, I've been getting tired of watching movies with poorly written dialogue. So in light of that...

A fine study for all the creative types out there.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

my favorite thing in life right now

A dog dances to "Single Ladies (PUT A RING ON IT)." I love this video so much, y'all.

christmas series #4: charles brown

I started listening to this song back in September just to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. You know how I do! This is the perfect Christmas song, I think. It's so great. Soulful and awesome and TIGHT as heck. Hot dang.

Charles Brown is a soul and blues singer who also knows how to accurately pose for great photos. He's also from Texas! Holla. This guy plays piano in such a soft and sweet way that it almost melts my cold and dark heart. His piano style has influenced many of the greats, such as that little known artist Ray Charles. He has released a couple of Christmas albums, which makes him #1 in my book. Charles went to the clouds in 1999, so drink some eggnog for him tonight while you listen to this song by the fire. If this tune doesn't make you want to hug your S.O. or just kiss a stranger on the street, then you have no soul.

I got this song from a download I did of one of Bob Dylan's radio shows. So, as an added bonus, you get to hear Bobby speak a little about Charles at the beginning of the song. Not that that should be a problem.

Charles Brown - Please Come Home For Christmas

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Friday, December 19, 2008

The Unstoppable Eleanor Powell

I know it's always Ginger this and Ginger that but undoubtedly, Eleanor Powell was Fred Astaire's greatest dance partner. In his autobiography, Fred himself said that she was his only superior. I read that Eleanor practiced tap dancing with sand bags tied to her waist so that her body would learn to work against gravity. The result is a woman who can pound the floor yet float across it effortlessly.

This is Fred and Eleanor's final showpiece number from The Broadway Melody of 1940.

Still not convinced? Here's another number from The Broadway Melody of 1940. Have you always wanted to see two performers on screen who are actually enjoying each other? This is it.

Eleanor only appeared in thirteen films. Such a shame, because this is a lady who KILLS IT.

BONUS: Eleanor performed one of the most incredible tap numbers of all time in I Dood It (1943). She comes in at about the one minute mark, rolling her eyes at Red Skelton.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

J.J. Cale

J.J. Cale - Travelin' Light

J.J. Cale - Ride Me High

J.J. Cale - Call Me the Breeze

J.J. Cale - Let Me Do It To You

J.J. Cale - Ride Me High (Joakim edit)

christmas series #3: darlene love

Darlene Love is a Christmas fixture to me, mostly because she performs every year on Letterman. I'm talking every single year since like 1986. She sings the song I am sharing with you today and always knocks it out of the park. Everyone f-ing loves it and has a great time. I always think about Christmas and Darlene belting it out when I hear her name.

Darlene started her career as part of a girl group called The Blossoms. What a bunch of pistils! Get it? Anyway, she worked with that crazy murderer (allegedly) Phil Spector on several popular songs and made a name for herself as a vocalist. The Blossoms sang back-up on "Johnny Angel." Great. Now you will have that song stuck in your head for the next two weeks. DON'T KILL ME FOR THAT. Darlene has dabbled in acting and keeps on singing to this day. Her voice is awesome. Please watch Letterman's last new show before the holidays to see her sing this year. It's just a good tradition to start for yourself.

Darlene Love - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chicago vs. Chicago vs. Chicago

1. Budos Band - Chicago Falcon


2. Graham Nash - Chicago

The organ is A +++ on this one.

3. James Brown - Chicago

This was the album where James Brown decided to go jazz/get classy. Recommended big time.

4. Benson Orchestra of Chicago - Ain't We Got Fun


5. Leon Russell - Christmas In Chicago

Tonight's losers:

I was thinking about adding a Chicago track, but let's be honest, I don't think you're missing out. But you know, some of their stuff before 1975 is listenable.

Oh Sufjan Stevens. I know you recorded an entire album dedicated to Illinois. And I know you like to be a hipster while keeping it fratty with your baseball caps. But you didn't make the cut. However if this were a contest for Cutest Indie Banjo Prom King, you'd be #1.

Mayer Hawthorne - Just Ain't Gonna Work Out

Mayer Hawthorne - Just Ain't Gonna Work Out

Monday, December 15, 2008

christmas series #2: stevie wonder

Nothing like a little Stevie Wonder to get you ready for egg nog and sweaters! Welcome to the second of the Christmas series. Sometimes Christmas music gets me real emotional and I have to take a private moment. I start thinking about the birth of Jesus H. and I get all watery-eyed and stuff. Sike! But still, the songs can get touching. Like, the ones about war heroes returning for the holidays and junk. Whatever, I want to dance! Let's make Christmas one big party, y'allz.

As you know by now, Stevie Wonder is a supreme badass. Did you know his birth name is Stevland? That is true. I couldn't make that up. I'm so pissed! I'm changing my name to Annland. Everyone get on board! Stevie is blind and plays like a billion instruments better than you or I ever will and is also an amazing songwriter. I'm getting more pissed by the second. Anyway, he penned this great song as a tribute to my favorite holiday, so I hope you enjoy.
What Christmas means to me is everyone getting real super pissed at one another, then someone slamming a door, then eating cold leftovers while struggling to stay awake as football blares in the background.

Also, I want to give a big shout-out to reader Alicia. She and hubby Adam just had a bouncing baby boy! Unfortch, they did NOT name him Tight, but I can deal. Congrats to you guys. It seems like only yesterday I sat sweating my ass off at your wedding. Touching.

Stevie Wonder - What Christmas Means To Me

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

hall & oates - sara smile

I am so obsessed with this song. I won't beat around the bush - I have a thing for Hall & Oates. This song is so simple and soulful. This needs to be played at every backyard gathering or just while I pour cereal. I love it that much.

This song is from the 1975 album Daryl Hall and John Oates. Simple title, y'allz. Look at their crazy make-up. I'm jealous of that cheek rouge. Someone was taking care of them that day. Look, the bottom line is this: this band has been a part of some of my favorite dance party memories. Thinking about a group dance circle jamming to "Maneater" puts a smile on my face instantly. Ain't nothing better.

Apparently, Daryl Hall wrote the song for his gf at the time. Her name was Sara. Le duh. Anywayz, I read the two were a couple for 28 years, but they never tied the knot and they actually broke up in 2001! Say it ain't so! I can't imagine having a song written about me period, much less a totally tight slow jam like this one.

Hall & Oates - Sara Smile

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The Wooden Glass ft. Billy Wooten - we've only just begun

If my morning routine were to have a soundtrack perhaps this album would encompass it.

Salute to Ol' Blue Eyes

There are a few songs I particularly enjoy playing in the evening with my window open here in Manhattan. One For My Baby by Frank Sinatra is one of the best ways you could possibly end your night. I hope you have your finest Cab Sav or your best whiskey for this one.

One For My Baby - Frank Sinatra

Bonus: Frank singing One For My Baby in Young at Heart

P.S. Frank sporting the sad clown look is on the creepy side. But I truly recommend the entire album if you're looking to get extra classy.

An Is This Tight Open Letter to Kanye

Dear Kanye,

I realize that every single one of your songs makes use of a well selected sample. I'm cool with this but I'm starting to question your authority/creativity. Therefore I challenge you to figure out how to sample Jimmy Driftwood. If you can do this, I'll never question you again.

Yours truly,
Your #112,30943054,304930 fan

Is This Tight Recommendation: Frost/Nixon

Though a little slow, I recommend Frost/Nixon as your holiday movie choice. Michael Sheen as David Frost stole my heart.

Plus you get all these guys.

Is there anyone who doesn't like Sam Rockwell? Speak now so that I can defriend you on Facebook. lololol, but seriously. Plus, you get the K Bac. What more could you possibly want?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

christmas series #1: brook benton

Oh hey! It's just me, Brook Benton! I'm leaning on a chair and smiling. Beneath my smile, I'm saying, "Merry Christmas!"

What a baller. I love this song and it's my first of the "Christmas Series" on Is This Tight. My obsession with Christmas does include music, as well. This is one of my favorites. Nothing like a soul Christmas song to keep you in the mood. Here's the deal. Brook Benton is definitely a soul and R&B singer that was fairly popular in the early sixties. Before this, he was a songwriter that had mild success writing songs for people like Nat King Cole. Ain't no bidness like show bidness! After charting dozens of singles, Brook released "Soul Santa" in 1971. This song is one of the tightest things to put on wax! It's totally brill, because it suggests what Christmas would be like if Santa happened to be a black dude. However, no matter what, Santa really does have SOUL. I love this. This song never charted and I could kinda see why, I guess. People aren't ready to consider this option. Also, people can't sit still long enough to actually listen to some good silk in their ear holes. Take my advice and lap this up. You won't be disappointed!

This song is also helping to bring me out of my stomach flu 2008. Yes, I have been turned upside down by some bug, and this explains my lack of posting. But I'm back! 200GREAT!

Brook Benton - Soul Santa

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Steely Dan - The Making Of Peg

Don't worry its an acquired taste just like peaty single malt scotch.

How nerdy does Walter Becker (on right) get at the 2:55 mark?

Also yes as you suspected when you first heard this song, Michael McDonald does vocals.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

the scariest thing i have ever seen

Can someone explain this to me? I really need to talk to someone about it.

honest christmas presents

I am really catching up on posting today! This caught my eye a week or so ago, and I had some LOLs at some of the images. Buying Christmas presents sucks! I never know what to get people and then I think, I'll do something homemade and it always turns out shitty! But then they have to pretend to like it, and be nice to me, and it's a horrible cycle. Doesn't take away from the magic of Christmas, but definitely adds a little stress to my life. So this year, I'm giving honest Christmas presents. Is this tight? Actually, I would laugh my ass off if someone gave me that coffee mug. And then I would pour my medicine straight into it and cry.

saxophone walrus

This has been sweeping the internets, but I have to share it with you in case you haven't seen it. Sarah the walrus playing saxophone. What a baller! I have a soft spot for walruses anyway, because they have whiskers and that tickles my funny bone big time! I just love the way they look. Those crazy arms. Anyway, this girl knows how to party and I would put quality time with this chola on layaway so I could have it eventually. You know she's going to be booked for the next five years.

The wonderful goodness starts around the 37 second mark. Short, but sweet. Someone has tons of time on his hands to train her ass! I love it. Also you can get a laugh out of the trainer dancing in the back. If I could get her and the clapping monkey waiter from Japan together someday, I would be a happy lady.

tight person of the day: ann peebles

I really want us all to sit in a circle, hold hands, and listen to this song. Maybe we can even close our eyes and sway a little bit to the music. I might even throw in some cupcakes for us to enjoy! Say you will get on board with me.

Ann Peebles is super tight. Not only does she pose like she's taking her senior yearbook photo, she also sings like a badass. Some of you might be familiar with her voice because Missy Elliott sampled her song "I Can't Stand the Rain" in 1997. That was such a good year. I was a part of the Lamar Middle School Spirit Squad that year, which is like cheerleader wanna-bes. I had the tightest purple skirt but I really didn't look the part because I had giant tortoise shell glasses. And bad skin. And I was living in chubby town. WHAT'S CHANGED. Just kidding. Back on topic.

Ann recorded for Hi Records, out of Memphis. Many of her albums were produced by Willie Mitchell, who is also a huge badass and great musical arranger. He worked with Al Green quite a bit. I think he even did some work with My Morning Jacket at one point on their album It Still Moves, which has GREAT horns.

I hope you enjoy this song. The lyrics are simple, but the meaning is strong. This is totally a slow dance number right here. A real soulful slow dance.

Ann Peebles - I Still Love You

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things to be Reconsidered: Mr. President

Things I know about Mr. President:

1. Pretty much nothing.

Yet the video for Coco Jambo should be reconsidered. Bonus points if you can tell me what's going on with the blond slut. Ten bucks says this group still has a following in Germany.

P.S. This YouTube video is in the running for Best Randomly Selected Frame Before You Hit Play award.

Mr. President on Wikipedia
Mr. President on Myspace (warning: they've gotten worse, if you can imagine)

R.I.P. odetta

2008 has been wonderful in many ways, but I wish I could stop these R.I.P. posts. Today, the beautiful and perfect Odetta went to the clouds above. She was only 77. Odetta is just about the most amazing woman ever. I would appreciate and want to be her in my next life.

Odetta had a major impact on folk music and its singers, especially Bob Dylan. She was a key figure in the civil rights movement. She was also a huge guitar badass! Odetta was trained in opera, but starting recording and dabbling in folk music before also brancing out into spiritual music and the blues. This girl can do it all. Look, Martin Luther King said she was the "Queen of American Folk Music." Are we dead serious? If MLK says it, I will believe it and g.d. it I do!

Enjoy this clip of Odetta peforming many moons ago at the Newport Folk Festival. The look on the guy's face in the audience says it all. WOW. I wish this clip was longer. I encourage you to explore more about Odetta. One of the saddest things about all this to me is that she was supposedly going to perform at Obama's inaugaration. At least she was around to see the Big O become the president-elect. Goodnight, Odetta.

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Song Talking

There are few thing we love more than song talking here at Is This Tight. Over Thanksgiving, I was introduced to the ultimate. Isaac Hayes's version of By the Time I Get to Phoenix has an unprecedented NINE minutes of song talking, aka the entire first half of the track. Slowly, a new instrument is added every 30 seconds, resulting in a build up that only Isaac could give us. If you aren't losing it when the horns come in around the thirteen minute mark, THEN YOU AIN'T LIVIN'. Also of note, the heavy handed, organ chord that begins within the eleven minute mark. Go out and buy a vinyl of Hot Buttered Soul, ASAP. Then mail it to me.

Click to listen, right click to download.
Isaac Hayes - By the Time I Get To Phoenix

Issac is such an ultimate badass, that in the song, he actually announces, "I'm gonna moan now." As if he needs permission.

Also, only because I need to pay my respects to Anna Ro, Glen Campbell truly made this song famous and he deserves some street cred.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

tight people of the day: the isley brothers

Hold up! Are you in a dancing mood? I know I am. Time for some Isley goodness. I really don't think it gets any better than that picture right there. When those guys put their platforms on, the h is o. The Isley Brothers are a really tight group because if you asked me what kind of music they perform, I would have trouble giving you one straight answer. I mean, they are like a sweet and delicious pie with a soul, funk, and R&B filling. The best filling there is! I have some Isley Brothers on vinyl and it plays like silk. You know!

The band started with four brothers singing gospel in 1954. From there, various line-up and sound changes happened. They recorded some hits for Motown and eventually settled into their sound with the release of "It's Your Thing" in 1969. This song is so tight! It's probably played at every wedding in America, but I don't give an f! I want it played in my living room for a dance party. This song is fun at any age, and you certainly can't say that for many songs or bands these days. Fall Out Boy, can you hear me? Obviously, people are still Isley-hungry because they have been sampled countless times.

Interesting trivia fact: I read that Jimi Hendrix was a back-up geetah player for them for a while. Loves it. Also, one of the brothers is in prison. When is the TV movie coming out? I will watch that with a big glass of my medicine and a tear in my eye.

The Isley Brothers - It's Your Thing

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