1970s

EP72: Lyrics Born on Curtis Mayfield's "Back to the World" (1973)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Lyrics Born

The Album: Curtis Mayfield's Back to the World (1973) In 1973, Curtis Mayfield had already become one of the biggest soul stars in the world thanks to the success of his Superfly soundtrack. He could have doubled-down with another album of lurid and cautionary street tales but instead, he wrote an album that many think of as a soundtrack to a movie never made, chronicling a returning Vietnam War veteran who finds America to be a different kind of war zone. Back to the World showcased Mayfield at his best — as a musician, composer, arranger, singer, producer, guitarist and songwriter — and decades later, we can still hear some of its influence reverberating in the dozens of artists who sampled from this album's lush music. 
The Bay Area's Lyrics Born brought this album to us to talk about. As part of the Solesides/Quannum crew that dates back to the mid-90s, LB has represented a much admired indie hip-hop ethos and he's been embraced by fans around the world. In our conversation, we talked about Mayfield's commitment to social issues, his gifts as a songwriter and whether or not "Right On For the Darkness" is, in fact, about a blind person. 
More on Lyrics Born

More on Back to the World

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Back to the World unless indicated otherwise):

  • Back to the World
  • Future Shock
  • Mac Mill: Straight Dangler
  • The Impressions: Keep On Pushing
  • Curtis Mayfield: Eddie You Should Know Better
  • The Impressions: I've Been Trying
  • Back to the World
  • Keep on Trippin'
  • Right On For The Darkness
  • Wiz Khalifa: Glass House
  • Right On For The Darkness
  • Gang Starr: Take A Rest
  • Mase: What You Want
  • Filthy Phil: The Payback
  • Willie Wright: Right On For The Darkness
  • Future Shock
  • Can't Say Nothin'
  • If I Were A Child Again
  • Curtis Mayfield: So In Love
  • Cissy Houston: Warning-Danger
  • Aretha Franklin: Something He Can Feel

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP71: Lindsay Zoladz on Bryan Ferry's "These Foolish Things" (1973)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Lindsay Zoladz

The Album: Bryan Ferry, These Foolish Things (1973)
Bryan Ferry first came to notice in the early 1970s thanks to the art rock group, Roxy Music, that he helped form. Most other artists would have focused their energies on their budding, hit band but Ferry, throughout his career, has never been one to be like "most other artists." Even as Roxy Music was blowing up, Ferry used time between those albums to record his own solo works and though his voice might bridge the two, his solo debut album, These Foolish Things was unlikely to be confused for a Roxy Music project. 
Ferry, at heart, is a crooner and so it's only fitting that this album would inspired by his eclectic interpretations of different rock, pop and soul standards, including everything from Erma Franklin's "Piece of My Heart," to The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" to the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby." We talk about an artist trying to "make a song their own" whenever we discuss covers and it's hard to argue that when it comes to Ferry here, he's putting his own, distinct stamp on these hits. 
These Foolish Things came to us by way of our guest, music critic Lindsay Zoladz, who's spent the last ten years stocking up clips for everyone from Pitchfork to New York Magazine to The Ringer, where she's been a staff writer for the last several years (alongside the likes of previous Heat Rocks' guests, Shea Serrano and Chris Ryan). Zoladz shared with us how she discovered this particular album (especially as someone who wasn't even born in the 1970s), what she hears in Ferry's interpretations and whether or not he lives up to the title of being a "bobby dazzler." 
More on Lindsay Zoladz

More on These Foolish Things

Show Tracklisting (all songs from These Foolish Things unless indicated otherwise):

  • These Foolish Things
  • A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
  • Baby I Don't Care
  • It's My Party
  • Piece of My Heart
  • The Tracks of My Tears
  • Sam Cooke: These Foolish Things
  • James Brown: These Foolish Things
  • River of Salt
  • Lesley Gore: It's My Party
  • It's My Party
  • Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
  • Don't Worry Baby

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there.
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP67: Mayer Hawthorne on Parliament's "The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein" (1976)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Mayer Hawthorne

The Album: Parliament: The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (1976)

In the 1970s, no single artist was as influential in transforming the sound of funk as George Clinton. If the funk of the late '60s was embodied in the sparse, frenetic rhythms of James Brown, Clinton filled out and polished the sound across the '70s, with beefy banks of horns and raucous guitars. By the time The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein came out in the mid 1970s, the P-Funk sound was in full flower and that's when a young DJ from outside Detroit crossed paths with The P.

Mayer Hawthorne, back when, was still known as DJ Haircut but a move to Los Angeles in the 2000s lead to a transformation into the smooth crooner we know of him today.  Besides the four solo studio albums he’s recorded, he’s also one-half of the retro boogie team known Tuxedo (alongside Jake One) as well as half of the post-punk n’ funk duo, Jaded Incorporated, (alongside 14KT). Fun fact: Jaded Inc’s 2014 album The Big Knock was released by Casablanca Records, long-long time home to Parliament’s recordings, including The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein.

More on Mayer Hawthorne

More on The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein

Show Tracklisting (all songs from The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein unless indicated otherwise):

  • Prelude
  • Parliament: Body Language
  • Digital Underground: The Humpty Dance
  • Dr. Funkenstein
  • Ice Cube: Steady Mobbin
  • Parliament: P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up
  • NWA: 1-900-2-COMPTON - Interlude
  • Disco D: Ghettotronics
  • Funkin For Fun
  • OutKast: Funky Ride
  • OutKast: Liberation
  • The Parliaments: All Your Goodies Are Gone
  • Parliament: All Your Goodies Are Gone
  • Rose Williams and George Clinton: Whatever Makes My Baby Feel Good
  • Parliament: Whatever Makes Baby Feel Good
  • Gamin on Ya
  • Dr. Funkenstein
  • The Ohio Players: Funky Worm
  • Mayer Hawthorne: Lingerie and Candlewax
  • Do That Stuff
  • Yo-Yo: Mackstress
  • I've Been Watching You (Move Your Sexy Body)
  • Getten to Know You
  • Children of Production
  • Funkin for Fun

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP 56: Women Behaving Boldly #3: Joi on Betty Davis' "They Say I'm Different" (1974)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Joi Gilliam

The album: Betty Davis: They Say I'm Different (1974)

As part of our "Women Behaving Boldly" series, we decided to re-air the episode that launched Heat Rocks: our interview with future soul trailblazer and architect, Joi Gilliam.

This was one the pilot episodes we recorded in the spring of 2017 and when we left the taping, we turned to one another and knew this show had potential.

The pairing of artist and album came from Morgan and it was inspired: the undersung Betty Davis, one of the most original and fascinating figures of the 1970s, being feted by future soul artist and Dungeon Family-affiliate Joi, an artist very much cut from Betty's cloth but a generation later. We had a fantastic conversation about the importance and uniqueness of Betty and what she's meant, especially, to waves of Black women artists who've followed in her path in the 40+ years since.

On a personal note, this also meant a lot to Oliver because he's written three sets of liner notes on Betty Davis albums (including They Say I'm Different) and interviewed her extensively as part of that. He forever holds a torch for her.

More on Betty Davis:

More on Joi:

Tracklisting(all songs from They Say I'm Different unless indicated otherwise):

  • They Say I'm Different
  • Joi: Sunshine & The Rain
  • Bone Crusher: Never Scared
  • Joi: Fatal Lovesick Journey
  • Don't Call Her No Tramp
  • Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
  • Ice Cube: Once Upon a Time in the Projects
  • They Say I'm Different
  • 70's Blues
  • Special People
  • Joi: If I'm in Luck I Just Might Get Picked Up
  • Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
  • He Was a Big Freak

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there.

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP53: Chris Ryan on the Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street" (1972)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Chris Ryan

The Album: The Rolling Stones: Exile On Main Street (1972)

In 1972, The Rolling Stones were at the peak of their success...and excess. In order to flee British tax collectors, Keith, Mick and the crew fled to France where, over the course of many months - and a ton of drugs - the group pieced together what would become an epic double album. It would take Mick dragging the tapes to Hollywood to complete production but once finished, Exile On Main Street would become embrace as one of the group's greatest albums and for some, it marked the end of the group's "golden era," in terms of how it blended together rock, soul, and blues together in a mish-mash of styles that still invoke awe - and controversy - today.

The album pick came to us via Chris Ryan, executive editor at The Ringer, where he contributes or hosts a number of podcasts himself, including the pop culture show, The Watch, and the site's movie discussion show, The Rewatchables. Before that, Chris was a long-time music writer, based out of New York, and one of the funniest and smartest critics Oliver's ever met.

More on Chris Ryan

More on Exile On Main Street

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Exile On Main Street unless indicated otherwise):

  • Rocks Off
  • Casino Boogie
  • Ventilator Blues
  • Sweet Black Angel
  • Shake Your Hips
  • Sweet Virginia
  • Tumbling Dice
  • Turd on the Run
  • Rocks Off
  • Happy
  • The Rolling Stones: Miss You

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP50: Sidibe on Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark" (1974)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Sidibe

The Album: Joni Mitchell: Court and Spark (1973)

In 1973, Joni Mitchell was in the midst of one of the greatest pop music runs of the decade. By that time, the Canadian-turned-temporary-Angelino had already put out Ladies of the Canyon, Blue and For the Roses, establishing her as one of the very few women that the rock establishment of the era would deign to even recognize. But with Court & Spark, Mitchell showcased her abilities beyond just the folk-rock world by minting a pop album that would become a defining statement of the time and her most successful LP of all time.

To talk about Court & Spark, we had in another transplant to L.A.: singer/songwriter Sidibe. Since moving out here 10 years ago, she's steadily raised her profile, especially after the release of her 2014 EPs, Metaphysical and Soul Siren. Alongside the likes of Anita Baker and Sade, Joni has been a longtime influence and inspiration on Sidibe and during our convo, we discussed Mitchell's vocal gifts, her jazz-rock collaborations on Court & Spark plus a tangential discussions on how bagging groceries might help one get discovered.

More on Sidibe

More on Court & Spark

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Court and Spark unless indicated otherwise):

  • Help Me
  • Sidibe: Unreachable
  • People's Parties
  • The Same Situation
  • Just Like This Train
  • Help Me
  • Joni Mitchell: Sweet Sucker Dance
  • Twisted
  • Raised on Robbery
  • Help Me
  • Sidibe: Love is Stronger Than Pride

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP40: Benjamin Booker on William Onyeabor's "Who Is William Onyeabor?" (2013)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Benjmain Booker

The Album: William Onyeabor: Who Is William Onyeabor? (2013)

Benjamin Booker rocks.

His soulful blend of blues, rock soul and punk, together with hella honest lyrics and an inimitable voice has moved folks across his self titled debut and latest album Witness.

He joined us to talk about his discovery of Luaka Bop’s World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor? It was love at first listen. He loved the moog and the drums, the minimalism and the disco elements.

He loved the message.

We talked about William Onyeabor's reclusiveness, foreshadowing in lyrics, African music across many genres and the coolness of a white cowboy hat.

More on William Onyeabor and Who is William Onyeabor :

More on Benjamin Booker:

  • Can We Get a Witnees (Stereogum)
  • Tiny Desk Concert (NPR)
  • Website

    Show Tracklisting (all songs from Who Is William Onyeabor?  unless indicated otherwise):

    • Atomic Bomb
    • Benjamin Booker: Witness
    • The Funkees: Akula Owu Onyeara
    • Benjamin Booker: Truth is Heavy
    • Body and Soul
    • Love is Blind
    • Anita Ward: Ring My Bell
    • Love is Blind
    • Heaven and Hell
    • Why Go to War
    • Something You Will Never Forget
    • Fantastic Man
    • Heaven and Hell
    • Good Name
    • New Order: Blue Monday
    • Benjamin Booker: Overtime
    • The Lidaju Sister: Life's Gone Down Low
    • Heaven and Hell
    • Let's Fall in Love
    • Why Go to War
    • Love is Blind
    • Fantastic Man

Here's the Spotify playlist of as many of the songs above as we can find on there.
If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP36: Taura Stinson on Minnie Riperton's "Adventures in Paradise"

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Taura Stinson

The Album: Minnie Riperton's Adventures in Paradise (1975)

2018 has been a breakout year for this weeks guest, Taura Stinson. "Mighty River", the song she co-wrote with Raphael Saadiq for Dee Rees' critically acclaimed film Mudbound was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. She is a singer's singer who understands the nuances of song creation, production and arrangement. We couldn't have asked for a better guest and a better album to discuss and were thrilled to have her wax poetic about Minnie Riperton's 1975 Adventures In Paradise.

We dug deep on this one - discussing both Minnie's supreme vocal prowess and the sonic and lyrical legacy she left us when she left us just four years after this album was released. With production help from The Crusaders, Stewart Levine and Leon Ware, this peek into Minnie's world is quite the adventure. Get thoroughly into our chat with Taura Stinson and then revisit Adventures in Paradise for the culture.

About Taura:

Taura's book

Taura's Oscar & Golden Globe Nominated song "Mighty River"

Taura's single "Gossypium Thorns"

Show Tracklist (all songs from "Adventures in Paradise" unless indicated otherwise):

  • "Baby, This Love I Have"
  • Taura Stinson: Gossypium Thorns (Freedom) "Gossypium Thorns (Freedom)"
  • The Gospel Clouds: "Let Us Pray"
  • "Inside My Love"
  • "Inside My Love"
  • Minnie Riperton: Perfect Angel "Lovin' You"
  • Rotary Connection: Aladdin "Life Could"
  • Mariah Carey: Emotions "Emotions"
  • Rotary Connection: Hey, Love "I Am the Blackgold of the Sun"
  • "Adventures in Paradise"
  • "Inside My Love"
  • A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Marauders "Lyrics to Go"
  • The Pointer Sisters: Steppin' "How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side)"
  • Gwen McCrae: Lady Soul "Rockin' Chair"
  • Natalie Cole: Inseparable "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)"
  • Labelle: Nightbirds "Lady Marmalade"
  • "Feelin' that the Feeling's Good"
  • Minnie Riperton: Perfect Angel "Take a Little Trip"
  • Minnie Riperton: The Best of Minnie Riperton "Woman of Heart and Mind"
  • Quincy Jones: Body Heat "If I Ever Lose This Heaven"
  • "Love and It's Glory"
  • "Adventures in Paradise"
  • "When It Comes Down to It"
  • "Alone in Brewster Bay"
  • "Baby, This Love I Have"
  • "Simple Things"
  • Minnie Riperton: Le Fleur "Young Willing and Able"
  • "Feelin' that the Feeling's Good"
  • "Simple Things"
  • "Minnie's Lament"
  • Prince: Parade-Music from the Motion Picture "Under the Cherry Moon" "Sometimes It Snows in April"
  • Emage: "Inside My Love"
  • "Don't Let Anyone Bring You Down"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP35: Cut Chemist on Cymande's "Cymande" (1972)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Cut Chemist

The Album: Cymande: Cymande (1972)

"Say go DJ, cause that's my DJ..." - Weezy

Cut Chemist is nice with the wax, nice with the loops, nice on the decks. A central figure in West Coast hip hop (Jurassic 5, Ozomotli) and the art of turntablism, both he and his record collection are legendary. While he joined us to talk about British funk pioneer Cymande's 1972 self-titled debut, our conversation covered a myriad of topics including Cut's journey as a crate digger, a record he may or may not have pilfered in 1987, the influence of Chuck Chillout and DJ Red Alert on his development as a DJ, Cymande's seamless genre-fusing and the band's relationship to hip-hop. Needless to say, we went in.

About Cut Chemist:
https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8225523/cut-chemist-i...

About Cut's latest album, Die Cut 
https://daily.bandcamp.com/2018/03/13/cut-chemist-die-cut-interview/

Oliver's Rolling Stone interview with Cymande:
http://rol.st/1U3YpYS

Cymande website:
http://www.cymandeofficial.com

Show Tracklist (all songs from Cymande unless indicated otherwise):

  • "One More"
  • Cut Chemist: The Audience's Listening "The Garden"
  • Harlem Underground Band: Harlem Underground Band "Smokin' Cheeba Cheeba"
  • "Bra"
  • "The Message"
  • "Dove"
  • DJ Chuck Chillout: clip from 98.7 Kiss FM show from 1986
  • Clip from the 1983 film "Wild Style"
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik "Give It Away"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "The Message"
  • Assagai: Assagai "Telephone Girl"
  • "Dove"
  • "Listen"
  • "Getting it Back"
  • "Zion I"
  • "Rickshaw"
  • Hielo Ardiente: El Original Ritmo Ardiente "Mensaje"
  • The Meters: The Meters "Cissy Strut"
  • "Rastafarian Folk Song"
  • The Fugees: The Score "The Score"
  • De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising "Change in Speak"
  • The Doors: L.A. Woman "Riders on the Storm"
  • Tune Yards: Nikki Nack "Water Fountain"
  • Alice in Chains: Facelift "Man in the Box"
  • Cymande: Second Time Round "Bird"
  • Kaidi Tathem: Feed the Cat "Armz R Deh"

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

EP31: Martín Perna on Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" (1980)

| 0 comments
Show: 
Heat Rocks
Guests: 
Martín Perna

The album: Michael Jackson: Off The Wall (1979)

Martín Perna of Antibalas wanted to revisit one of the formative albums of his childhood: Michael Jackson's Off The Wall. For many MJ fans, this is the king of pop's greatest work, a clear statement that he was now fully out of the shadow of the Jackson 5 and, along with super-producer Quincy Jones, ready to remake American pop music as we know it.

Perna not only brought his memories of growing up, mesmerized by the cover of the album, but his multi-instrumentalist also broke down some of the secrets behind the production on the album. Even for deep fans, there's something to learn, and for everyone else, you get to hear from one of the great pop albums of all time. (And if you haven't heard it before, check out this incredible demo version of "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough")

Next week's episode is also about Michael Jackson as director Justin Simien (Dear White People) joins us to talk about MJ's HIStory (1995).

And look for a bonus beats episode to post soon that features Perna and us talking about the never-ending "Off the Wall vs. Thrillerdebate.

More on Off the Wall

More on Martín Perna

Show Tracklisting (all songs from Off the Wall unless indicated otherwise):

  • “Off The Wall”
  • Antibalas: Antibalas “Dirty Money”
  • The Wiz “You Can’t Win”
  • “She’s Out of my Life”
  • Jackson 5: ABC “ABC”
  • “Get On The Floor”
  • “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”
  • “I Can’t Help It”
  • Fela Kuti: Upside Down “Upside Down”
  • “Rock With You”
  • “Burn This Disco Out”
  • “It’a The Falling In Love”
  • “Girlfriend”

If you're not already subscribed to Heat Rocks in Apple Podcasts, do it here!

Syndicate content