Sunday, December 31, 2023

Last Dance Fever: Donna Summer 75

Donna Summer - Retrofonik Tribute Megamix 2023 (excerpt)

Sorry I'm maybe a few hours late with this, there's a lot going on but I'm here to wrap the year, so have no fear.

I've wanted to cover this lady since I started this nonsense 10 years ago, but the total lack of unreleased material or any concerts prohibited that.

We call it EDM today, and a lot of that has to do with how it had to rebrand itself once all the tinydicks decided it Sucked as Disco.

You really can't entirely blame the rednecks and the rockers though. I mean, once Kiss and Rod Stewart start putting the four on the floor, it's likely the commercial aspects of 1970s dance music had gotten a bit out of hand.

Of course it's tempting to put it all down to homophobic derision for a genre associated, in its origins, with gay people and spaces, but honestly I don't think all those idiots in Comiskey Park that night in 1979 were intelligent enough to know where it came from... just that their troglodyte brains saw the talking monkeys around them were upset by it, so they followed along.

Which brings us to the birthday Queen Of Disco here, born this day in 1948, dead since 2012, but still wielding an outsize influence as we end 2023.

Now we all remember the controversy from 1985, when she was accused of just the very same sort of bigotry, but which she denied with assurances that several of her co-writers on some of her biggest tunes were gay.

Anyway it's all water under the bridge now, with her global iconic status forever cemented amongst not just gay men but just about the entire population of Earth.

A most unlikely church girl to ever be found moaning orgasmically over sequencer beats, we can say that much.

When her first two songs came out, the world completely changed and some had to struggle to adjust, it's fair to say.

Of course they weren't really her first foray; she'd been in Hair in Germany and was somewhat of a star over there, albeit with nothing like what was to come musically.

Then along came Giorgio Moroder with the production, and the rest is Disco History.

Once Disco was backlashed off the airwaves by the reactionary contingent so implicit to America, she kind of altered her sound to be more rock-oriented and continued to have #1 hits... unlike most of her Disco contemporaries, whose careers died with the exploded records in center field at Comiskey Demolition Night.

So Donna Summer is 75 today, can you believe it? I feel.... old.

Let's celebrate with the lossless version of this cat's Tribute Megamix he updates every decade or so... this is the latest iteration and it's bumpin' your New Year's bash fasho.

Donna Summer
Retrofonik Tribute Megamix 2023
mixed by Clif Hunter

01 Retrofonik Tribute Megamix 2023, mixed by Clif Hunter
   including: Love to Love You Baby/Dinner with Gershwin/Walk Away/When Love Takes Over You/Love Will Always Find You/One Night In a Lifetime/This Time I Know It's for Real/Can't Get to Sleep At Night/Stamp Your Feet/Journey to the Center of Your Heart/I Don't Wanna Get Hurt/Hot Stuff/Bad Girls/Dim All the Lights/Spring Affair/There Goes My Baby/Try Me I Know We Can Make It/My Life/Love's About to Change My Heart/Love Is In Control (Finger On the Trigger)/Stop Look Listen/Our Love/Lucky/Hot Stuff (Frankie Knuckles & Eric Kupper mix)/Could It Be Magic/Last Dance/Fame (The Game)/Melody of Love (Wanna Be Loved)/I Remember Yesterday/I Feel Love/Love On and On/I'm a Fire/Carry On/Power of Love/On the Radio/I Got Your Love/Once Upon a Time/I Love You/Love Is the Healer/Whenever There Is Love/MacArthur Park/One of a Kind/Heaven Knows/You're So Beautiful/Dream-A-Lot's Theme (I Will Live for Love)/The Power of Love/No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)/She Works Hard for the Money/Sunset People/Someday

Total time: 1:21:31
this is a continuous mix with no breaks
if you want to burn it to CD, you'll have to overburn a single disc

latest edition of a massive, continuous 24/96 mix by Clif Hunter, updated in tribute to the The Disco Queen and her 75th birthday 12.31.2023
converted to 16/44 CD Audio & declipped by EN, December 2023
553 MB FLAC/direct link

So that will do it for this year! I've already looked at January and it's mayhem, with two centennials to boot!

And don't hesitate to light up your dancefloor tonight and beyond with some Hot Stuff, courtesy of a bad, bad girl called Donna Summer, who'd have turned a milestone b'day this New Year's Eve. Beep beep! Awwww!! Toot toot! And a Happy New Year to you all!!!--J.

12.31.1948 - 5.17.2012

Monday, December 25, 2023

Salt Shaker Santa

Jimmy Buffett - Son of a Son of a Sailor

Hey now! I hope your holidays are good and you're ready to celebrate one of the most beloved Christmas babies ever born.

This guy finally kicked a few months ago, but no one was ever more alive for the nearly 77 years that preceded his departure.

The only legacy 1960s/70s pop star to die a billionaire, he managed to fashion something way beyond just music into the world.... although to do what he did, he hadda have tunes for days.

His story is as legendary as any you could name, and represents what can happen when someone burns their last given fuck.

As the tale is told, his first couple of records were disappointments saleswise and he was in danger of being dropped, so he quasi-quit the big city and the record business and bought a boat.

This move to Key West proved to be oh so very key for him, for as soon as he relocated and kind of rebranded himself into what might be termed a "leisure concept" artist -- where his music began to be all about his tremendously fun, intoxicated tropical lifestyle -- he began to ascend.

Then he had a huge hit, also in the "it's great to be wasted on the beach" vein he had begun to mine for endless gold.

Certainly in the running for Greatest Song Ever to Make It To #2, this little ditty opened up a whole galaxy of possibilities, and oh my did he not squander the opportunities.

In what must be the most lucrative Subgenius moment of Slack ever experienced by someone in the music industry, he began to expand into other areas with the distilled, perfected vision his lone hit song carried.

I guess the lesson of Margaritaville -- the song, the attitude, the chain of multi-million dollar restaurants -- is that if you can codify, into a whole panoply of purchase options, the Baby Boomer lifestyle aesthetic of Hedonistic Celebratory Pleasure as holistically as Jimmy Buffett did, you may as well just print money.

I mean, The Beatles? Not billionaires. Clapton? Nope. Prince? I'm afraid not. And this guy didn't have but one Top Ten cut in a recording career that spanned 50 years of continuous activity.

As is well documented, many other brands followed the initial foray into restaurants. Hotels, golf courses, cruise lines.... if there's ever been a lesson in turning salty beach water into the finest wine, ol' JB here knew the script.

That he was born on Christmas Day makes his lifetime success even more appropriate, somehow.

He'd have been 77 today, so let's head over to the old Palladium in New York City and hear him do the things that only he could do, at the peak of his popularity at the start of the Eighties.

Jimmy Buffett
The Palladium 
New York City, New York USA

01 It's Too Late
02 MaƱana
03 Pencil Thin Moustache
04 Son of a Son of a Sailor
05 Volcano
06 Come Monday
07 Why Don't We Get Drunk
08 Fins
09 Margaritaville
10 Dreamsicle
11 God's Own Drunk
12 Chanson Pour Les Petits Enfants
13 Sending the Old Man Home/band introductions
14 Cheeseburger In Paradise
15 Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes
16 A Pirate Looks At 40
17 Treat Her Like a Lady 
18 Dixie Diner
19 Survive
20 Jimmy Buffett for Miller Beer (1981 ad)

Total time: 1:35:54
disc break goes after Track 11

Jimmy Buffett – guitar & vocals
with The Coral Reefer Band:
Barry Chance – guitar
Harry Dailey – bass & vocals
Michael Utley – keyboards
Deborah McColl – vocals
M.L. Benoit – percussion & vocals
Greg “Fingers” Taylor – harmonica & vocals
Andy McMahon – organ
Sammy Creason – drums
and The Embarrassing Stains: James, Alex & Huey Taylor - vocals on Tracks 17-19

off-air, low-gen capture of the original WNEW-FM broadcast containing the complete concert
Track 20 comes from a 1982 BBC Rock Hour transcription LP that has nothing to do with Jimmy Buffett
slightly edited and somewhat remastered by EN, December 2023
645 MB FLAC/direct link

Heck, I even tacked on a vintage Miller Beer commercial from 1981 that came with another transcription LP of another concert from somewhere else. Not that JB would have drank beer or anything like that.

I will return on NYE with one more for 2023, so we can celebrate Summer in Winter as I've always wanted to do.

OK? Merry everything from me and from the late Jimmy Buffett! The Mayor of Margaritaville has finally found his lost shaker of salt.--J.

12.25.1946 - 9.1.2023

Saturday, December 23, 2023


Dee Dee Bridgewater - Afro Blue

I'll interrupt watching this bizarre, borderline sci-fi news segment on California's wastewater-treatment program that's turning raw sewage into potable water to bring you a sizzler of a 40th anniversary bombshell, courtesy of a highly favored vocalist.

She should need little introduction, having begun all the way back in the late 1960s in a career that's been nine kinds of everywhere since.

At the start of the 1970s she married famed trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, moved to NYC, and joined the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band as lead singer.

Stints singing with luminaries such as Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Max Roach soon followed, and before too long she was recording ever more prolifically on her own.

Then she branched out into musical theater and acting, first as the original Glenda in The Wiz and then in a variety of different roles, most notably as Billie Holiday in the Broadway production of Lady Day.

A multiple Grammy & Tony Award winner, Dee Dee Bridgewater has never really stopped making records and performing, and she now has dozens of albums to her credit as well as a whole slew of film and TV stuff.

Which arrives us at today's concert, coincidentally 40 years old today.

This was rebroadcast a while back on France Musique's weekend Jazz program, and I must say I've juiced it up real nice for y'all.

Dee Dee Bridgewater
New Morning
Paris, France

01 Dee Dee speaks
02 I'm Beginning to See the Light
03 Song for My Father
04 A Child Is Born
05 A Night In Tunisia
06 Lush Life
07 Days of Wine and Roses
08 Little B's Poem
09 Afro Blue
10 I Didn't Know What Time It Was
11 Peace
12 There Is No Greater Love
13 How Insensitive
14 Straight, No Chaser
15 Cherokee
16 Sophisticated Lady
17 It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

Total time: 1:29:53
disc break goes after Track 10

Dee Dee Bridgewater - vocals
Alain Jean-Marie - piano
Alby Cullaz - bass
Charles Bellonzi - drums

digital, off air capture of a France Musique rebroadcast from May of 2021
edited, retracked & remastered by EN, December 2023
644 MB FLAC/direct link

All of this begs the question I've asked myself many times, which is Where Would We All Be Without France Musique?

Anyway I have the rest of December all sussed, and to that end I will return Christmas Day to return your lost shaker of salt.

While you are awaiting Santa sliding down the chimney with margaritas and the shrimp that's beginning to boil, I'd advise pasting your ears and minds to this lovely 90 minutes in the company of Miss DDB... How Insensitive of you not to!--J.