Like DMX said, “it’s June and hell it’s hot.” OK, I might be paraphrasing. Anyways, June is always a good month to be someplace air conditioned (or for my friends in the northeast, someplace not raining) and listen to good music. Here’s what was good:
- Lee Fields & the Expressions – My World: We’re half-way through 2009, and I think we’ve found my vote for album of the year. The first album that’s had 3 songs on a monthly mix.
- VA – Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown 1973-1980: The good folks at Steady Bloggin’ posted this incredible compilation. Reggae covers of (mostly) classic soul. Not one weak song on this one. The second album that’s had 3 songs on a monthly mix. Basically, I spent most of June listening to this and Lee Fields, pretty much exclusively.
- Mos Def – The Ecstatic: It still seems kind of thrown together, especially since we’ve heard some of these beats before. But it works in a Madvillainy-type way.
- El Michels Affair – A Tribute to Isaac Hayes: I wish El Michels Affair were more famous for their original songs than their covers, but I can’t complain as long as they keep picking such choice source material.
I hope you like soul and reggae:
1) Mos Def – Supermagic
Mostly for the Oh No heat.
2) J Dilla (ft. Lil’ Fame) – Blood Sport
Mostly for the J Dilla heat.
3) Truck North – Never Ending Flip
Mostly for the whoever-the-hell-produced-this heat.
4) J Dilla – King
Sadly, I was expecting more from Jay Stay Paid.
5) Mos Def – Pistola
Mos should’ve just let Oh No do his whole album.
7) Lee Fields & The Expressions – Do You Love Me (Like You Say You Do)
When Mr. Fields is singing “what can a man do?” and that snare drum is firing away, and then some dude lays down on an organ…yeah, that gives me goose bumps.
8) El Michels Affair – Hung Up On My Baby
For whenever Halloween falls on a weekend.
9) Lee Fields & The Expressions – The Only One Loving You
The best soul songs are the ones where the guy is begging to get his lady back. Has there ever been a hip-hop song built off this theme?
10) John Holt – For the Love of You
Reggae take on the Isley’s classic.
11) Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (ft. Jason Lytle) – Everytime I’m With You
Jason Lytle describes every relationship I had from ages 21-24.
12) Wilco – Bull Black Nova
I realize I’m in the minority, but my favorite Wilco album is A Ghost Is Born. This is the only song from Wilco (The Album) that sounds like it could have come from A Ghost Is Born. You won’t be hearing this one in any Volkswagen commercials. (the rest of Wilco (The Album) sounds like Sky Blue Sky, for what it’s worth).
13) Born wit IT – That Loud
Everyone loves a good weed-song now and then. If anyone’s got a no-DJ version of this song, please hit me up!
14) The Cool Kids (ft. Tennille) – Jump Rope
The drums are cold and icy, but this is still undoubtedly a summer jam.
15) Freddie Gibbs (ft. Black Flint) – Goodies
One star from Gary, IN dies, another is born?
16) Nipsey Hu$$le – Burner on My Lap
Best rapper name in forever. Dre needs to get back on his G-Funk shit and put Nipsey on.
18) Carl Bradney – Slipping Into Darkness
Somebody sampled this, but I can’t figure out who. It’s driving me nuts.
20) The Tamlins – Baltimore
I know this is blasphemy, but this right here would have made a better theme song for the Wire than “Way Down in the Hole.”
21) JC Davis – A New Day (Is Here at Last)
Can anyone tell me what previous Monthly Mix song sampled this instrumental funk beauty? I’ll give you a hint, it was a looooonnngg time ago (ie, before the blog-era).
22) Lee Fields & The Expressions – Ladies
Mr. Fields hits on one of the best things about summer (and gets kind of worked up about it). (courtesy of Steady Bloggin…who I just realized supplied about half the songs on this month’s mix)