iamom: (Default)
ulisten.net podcast #7 (listen in MP3 or M4A (iTunes) format)

My wife and I are in the middle of a firestorm of activity right now. She's 2 weeks back to work full-time after a 4-month maternity leave, I'm at home full-time with our baby son, and our 4-year-old daughter goes to daycare part-time. We're just a few weeks away from completion on building a new house. There's also the small matter of packing up our current house, moving out, and cleaning up for the new owners. All that, and it's tax time too.

Being the sharp-minded and insightful individual that I am, I thought it might make sense for me to take a short break from producing these podcasts. At least until we're moved into the new house and unpacked.

Expect to see Podcast #8 on June 4th. Listen to today's podcast to hear from the shortlist of Cannonball Adderley, Wilson Pickett, Danger Doom, and Cut Chemist. That's vintage funk in the form of late 60s electric jazz, plus some good old hard-ass funk and kickin-out-the-bass hip-hop. Sure to be worth the wait.
iamom: (Default)
What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977)

ulisten.net podcast #6 (download MP3)

Today's podcast features a funky rearrangement by Wade Marcus of the Blood, Sweat & Tears hit, Spinning Wheel. It's another one of the hot tracks from the same box set featured on Podcast #3 (The Stovall Sisters - Hang On In There).

The main groove of this tune, which starts cooking from beat one, is what's most notable on this track. The riff played by the bassist, guitarist and organist in unison is highly sophisticated without losing a lick of its hard-ass funk quality. Marcus's selection of flute to play the melody is at once enigmatic and playful. But that flute ain't playing Bach: it digs in hard during the solo section. And among other things, don't miss the lush string arrangements that pop in for a brief visits -- especially near the climax of the tune and the extension of the flute solo. And then, before the guitar solo and the fade, a totally unexpected foray into 70s TV and film soundtrack scoring -- it feels like this could be on behind a car chase scene in a Dirty Harry flick.

Artist Name: Wade Marcus
Track Title: Spinning Wheel
Album Title: What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977) (4-CD box set)
Release Date: 2006

You can buy this recording at: cd universe | amazon.com (not available at amazon.ca) | rhino records | itunes (US store only) | froogle | google
iamom: (Default)
You can now keep up with the ulisten.net podcasts on LJ at [livejournal.com profile] ulisten.

Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere

ulisten.net podcast #5 (download MP3)

The most serious hip-hop heads out there may already know the backstory of this track, but I remember being pretty excited about it when I learned about it in this great NY Times interview by Chuck Klosterman with Brian Burton and Thomas Calloway (a.k.a Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo). In that interview, Danger Mouse said how surprised he was by what a hit his tune Crazy was, because it was almost a direct rip-off of an Ennio Morricone song. With considerable further research on my part, I discovered that the tune he referred to was called Nel Cimitero de Tucson, and it came from the soundtrack for the 1968 spaghetti western called Preparati La Bara!.

Now, this information in and of itself is not terribly significant -- until you hear the source track upon which Danger Mouse based his hit Crazy, that is. Move the pitch of the original track up by only 1 whole step and you're suddenly hearing almost exactly the same backing track to Crazy. To the note! It's all laid out for you on today's podcast.

Also of note on this track are the lyrics. They really struck me on my first listening of the tune, and now that I've thoroughly digested them after more than several dozen hearings, I think there's a lot of wisdom in there. Wisdom about not taking yourself too seriously, about the fallacy of our apparent control over the moment, and about seeing ourselves for who we really are.

(Credit to this post on stereogum.com for what was probably one of the first breaks of this news. I wish I'd found that post when I first started researching this piece, because I only found out the details through much more circuitous means. Additional trivia: someone built a MySpace page for Gianfranco Reverberi that's focused on this track. Reverberi appears to be the actual composer of the source track, and more info on his credits can be found on his IMDB page, along with that of his brother Gianpiero.)

Artist Name: Gnarls Barkley
Album Title: St. Elsewhere
Release Date: 2006
Producer: Danger Mouse (birth name Brian Burton)
Vocalist: Cee-Lo (birth name Thomas Calloway)
Websites: Crazy video on YouTube | Gnarls Barkley | Danger Mouse on Wikipedia | Cee-Lo on Wikipedia

Buy the recording at: cd universe | amazon.com | amazon.ca | itunes | froogle | google
iamom: (newk)
Oscar Peterson CD - Night Train

ulisten.net podcast #4 (download MP3)

After the high energy of last week's podcast, I'm gonna cool things down a bit with a track from my own heritage, Canadian jazz piano giant Oscar Peterson in his classic trio with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. This track is a straight ahead Blues in the Key of C, but there ain't nothing but pure fatback sizzle on this piece of meat. The tempo, a grinding medium 4/4 at about 100 BPM, cooks along beautifully. The interplay between the bass and the drums is legendary in this group: Brown and Thigpen play as though governed by a single rhythmic brain. I've never heard this track and not wanted to get up out of my seat, it swings so hard. In the last two choruses of Peterson's solo, the tune hits a tremendous climax.

And Oscar, well... Oscar is just Oscar here, owning the blues with every perfect, soulful note he lays down in that solo. Pay particular attention to how untellably solid his time is in the solo breaks. You could set your watch by Oscar's phrasing -- it's always buttoned up tight into the pocket and he just swings like there's no tomorrow on every note that he plays.

This track comes from the classic Oscar Peterson Trio album on Verve called Night Train, which was recorded in Los Angeles in 1962. I expect the boys were well rested from a few days in the sun before they entered the studio with Norman Granz to record this album. It became a sure hit, and it remains at least the first Oscar Peterson album that every person in the world should own.

Artist Name: The Oscar Peterson Trio
Album Title: Night Train
Release Date: 1962
Personnel: Oscar Peterson, piano; Ray Brown, acoustic bass; Ed Thigpen, drums.

Buy the recording at: cd universe | amazon.com | amazon.ca | itunes | froogle | google

(posted here to ulisten.net)
iamom: (peace out)
I've just installed my second podcast on ulisten.net. The audio blog entry is here, and the actual podcast itself is here. Text of the entry is below.

James Brown - Star Time

ulisten.net podcast #2 (download MP3)

Today's podcast features a very little-known version of one of James Brown's biggest hits: I Got You. This version is notable for its smoother, more easygoing groove than the hit record, and it also features the baritone sax and the organ more prominently than the popular version. It comes from the great 4-CD retrospective box set of James Brown's music called Star Time, which was originally released in 1991. Containing almost no bad tracks, this box set is absolutely worth owning if you're even a lukewarm James Brown fan.

Artist Name: James Brown
Album Title: Star Time (4-CD box set)

You can buy the recording at: cd universe | amazon.ca | amazon.com | itunes store | itunes website (search for "james brown star time")
iamom: (peace out)
I built this site nearly a year ago now, but have only now produced my first podcast for the site. It features a Jaco Pastorius track called Come On, Come Over that I've already presented here before. But the podcast has a bunch of my speaking on it, too.

The download page and description of the track is at this page:

A direct link to the podcast itself in MP3 format (4.5 MB) is:

I contemplated a naming structure of just 001.mp3 for the filenames, but I thought if anyone (like I often do) downloaded the MP3 file itself to listen to this, then they might appreciate a naming convention that's more logical. Even though the ID3 tags are populated.

I'll try to keep releasing one new track each week, and then once I have a critical mass of tracks on there, I'll start promoting the site more widely. But please feel free to send the link to anyone you know who might dig that track, please.

iamom: (newk)
Well, that was relatively painless. WordPress was easy to install, and changing themes is as simple and uploading an unzipped directory of files to your web server and then selecting the theme from your control panel. I chose a minimalist, simple one to get things underway, but really, this was pretty easy to set up.


I'll start posting actual music content next week and see what the initial shape of the site morphs into. Currently I'm visualizing a weekly podcast of underground funk and hip-hop music. A short weekly radio show or mixtape, I suppose.
iamom: (looking out)
I've been researching content management platforms for powering ulisten.net, and after selecting the blogging engine WordPress, I discovered that they feature a number of web hosts that are streamlined to deal with their platform and also not very expensive. It also struck me that these hosts are advertising good deliverables for a reasonable price.

Here is the list of WordPress-friendly webhosts, along with the WordPress installation instructions for any web server . My synopsis of the best-looking hosts is below. I ended up choosing AN Hosting out of Chicago, and so far everything has been running smoothly. I'm just about to transfer three other domains to this new host though, so it remains to be seen how smoothly the final move will go.

NOTE: These plans have to be pre-paid for at least 1 year.

AN Hosting (Chicago, IL)
free domain name for life (up to 20 domains can be hosted on each account)
15 GB storage + 250 GB monthly transfer
PHP, Perl and MySQL
unlimited e-mail accounts

DreamHost (Brea, CA)
free domain name (unlimited domains can be hosted)
20 GB storage + 1 TB monthly transfer
3,000 e-mail accounts
$9.95/month ($7.95 if prepaid for 2 years)

BlueHost (Orem, UT)
free domain name (up to 6 domains and 20 subdomains can be hosted)
15 GB storage / 400 GB monthly transfer
2,500 e-mail accounts (web/pop/imap)


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Dustin LindenSmith

January 2013

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