Northern soul, deep funk, and fine living in Pittsburgh. You are what you dance to.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Newies with Real Appeal

This weekend, myself and Soulcialism extended family member "Hot Sauce" Stu Braun head up to Bahhston to lay down tracks with the World's Greatest Sinners for the band's upcoming debut album. Before departing, however, I thought I'd leave y'all with a taste for some of the new grooves you'll hear when (not if!) you come to Soulcialism at the Eagle next Friday (Feb. 24).

They're all cheapies, no high-falutin' $100 records here, and they're all brilliant. Hope you can make it out!

Ultra High Frequency - "Incompatible"
Philly soul from Wand circa. 1973 - call it early disco, call it floating 70s northern soul, call it freakin' excellent, they're all true. With one of the most soaring lead vocals I've heard on a 70s track, complemented by a harmony trio and some bittersweet lyrics - plus, of course, all the string arrangements and full-band hits you'd expect - and you've got my new favorite track. Expect to hear it in a set that also contains Eloise Laws' "Love Factory," Larry Saunders' "On the Real Side," and my other new favorite...

Rasputin's Stash - "Your Love is Certified"
Another early-70s gem, this time from Cotillion and a band best known these days for providing samples for the likes of Beck. A bizarre opening/refrain with country-ish slide guitar means that some will raise an eyebrow and lose a step when this starts. But the beat, once it kicks in after a few bars, is relentless, driving, and funky. Toss in some falsetto wailing and tight horn riffs, and things are getting diiirrrty...

The Upper Hand - "Real Appeal"
Class of '66 rockin' soul stomper that I think must come from Florida (anyone?). I'll wager that this has had a few plays in the U.K., but I see why it didn't catch on - it's rock-y and a bit white. But the beat is killer, it's loud and proud, and I think we'll see a few beads of sweat form on faces in the Iggle when it comes on. Classic-to-be? Maybe. Classic-for-a-night? Definitely.

Raffaele Scarpino and the Mr. DeSimone Band - "Le Belle Donne"
Totally off-the-grid Italian crooner doing "Delilah" with Super Mario accent and cheeseball organ accompaniment ... but the B-side is this thing somewhere between Dean Martin and Jacques Dutronc; Spaghetti-and-martini club singer meets Mod backbeat, organ, and electric guitar. Again: I'm lovin' it - what will y'all think?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Soulcialists on Rust Belt Soul tonight

Check the link.

I'll be joining DJ Nosteel for his Rust Belt Soul show on WPTS-FM tonight, Feb. 7, from 9-11pm.

Tune in for some Pittsburgh-centric (and other) northern soul, and maybe a li'l Pandemic-style modern madness for good measure.