Episode 76 looks at the music that bounced around the walls of Mint Pillow’s childhood home while growing up. Joined by the most special of guests, Poppa Hixon, Pillow and his Dad dive into Jazz, Big Band, Golden Era Rock, and Soul. With Pillow being a recent Dad himself there’s a symmetry to the Episode that can’t be overlooked, as Father and Son look towards the past to understand the future, getting lost in Dad Rock.
1. Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five – Heebie Jeebies (Heebie Jeebies – 1929)
2. Glenn Miller – In The Mood (In The Mood – 1939)
3. Dave Brubeck – Take Five (Take Five – 1959)
4. Count Basie Orchestra – Corner Pocket (Corner Pocket – 1962)
5. The Ramsey Lewis Trio – The “In” Crowd (The “In” Crowd – 1965)
6. Miles Davis – Jeru (Birth of the Cool – 1957)
7. Buddy Holly – Maybe Baby (Maybe Baby – 1957)
8. Big Bopper – Chantilli Lace (Chantilli Lace – 1959)
9. Ritchie Valens – Donna (Donna – 1958)
10. Bill Haley & His Comets – Rock Around the Clock (Rock Around the Clock – 1955)
11. Elvis Presley – Don’t Be Cruel (Don’t Be Cruel – 1956)
12. Chuck Berry – Maybellene (Maybellene – 1955)
13. Little Richard – Rip It Up (Rip It Up – 1957)
14. Frank Sinatra – Summer Wind (Summer Wind – 1966)
15. Mercury Rev – I Only Have Eyes For You (Goddess On A Highway+5 – 2001)
16. Peggy Lee – Fever (Fever – 1958)
17. Fats Domino – Ain’t That a Shame (Ain’t That a Shame – 1955)
18. The Four Tops – Baby I Need Your Loving (Baby I Need Your Loving – 1964)
19. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me (You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me – 1962)
20. The Contours – Do You Love Me (Do You Love Me – 1962)
21. The Zombies – Time Of The Season (Time Of The Season – 1968)
22. The Animals – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – 1965)
23. The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Pet Sounds – 1966)
24. James Brown – I’ll Go Crazy (Think – 1960)
25. Etta James – At Last (At Last – 1961)
26. Sam & Dave – Soul Man (Soul Man – 1967)
27. Jody Reynolds – Endless Sleep (Endless Sleep – 1958)
28. The Pandamonium – My Old Flame (The Pandamonium – No Presents For Me… Singles & Rarities – 1965)
29. Rod Bernard – This Should Go On Forever (This Should Go On Forever – 1958)
30. The Ronettes – Be My Baby (Be My Baby – 1963)
31. The Foundations – Baby Now That Ive Found You (Baby Now That Ive Found You – 1967)
32. Charlie Feathers – Too Much Alike (Too Much Alike – 1957)
33. The Everly Brothers – Lucille (Lucille – 1960)
This is not the complete set from Episode 75, but enough of a taste to get lost in the cosmic boondocks. Mint Pillow has been awed by the miracle of life with the recent birth of his son Dylan, and was also sideswiped by a recent viewing of Interstellar, a movie he expected nothing of, and got a lot from. With these states of mind Pillow delved into a space lounge set that’d be fit for any journey into the deep unknown – and is a palette he’ll likely revisit at a later date – for the time being though, enjoy this draft.
1. Sound Effects – Star Encounters (Space Invaders: Sound Effects From A Fantasy Space Mission – 1995)
2. Dan Deacon – Woody Woodpecker (Spiderman of the Rings – 2007)
3. Carl Sagan – Man in his arrogance
4. Quantic – Time is Enemy (5th Exotic – 2001)
5. Daedelus – Endless Sea (Looking Ocean – 2012)
6. Sun Ra And His Arkestra – Space Is The Place (The Other Side Of The Sun – 1979)
7. Four Tet – And They Look Broken Hearted (Rounds – 2003)
8. HAL 9000 – I’m Sorry Dave, I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That
9. Thievery Corporation – Marching The Hate Machines Into The Sun [Feat The Flaming Lips] (The Cosmic Game – 2005)
10. Washed Out – You and I (Within and Without – 2011)
11. Aphex Twin – Analogue Bubblebath 1 (Classics – 1995)
12. CaligEars – Jaguar Intention Side B2 Edit (Jaguar Intention – 2013)
13. Air – La Femme D’Argent (Moon Safari – 1998)
14. Houses/Teen Daze – Bikes (Destiny – 2010)
15. Bullion – Are You the One? (Young Heartache – 2008)
16. CFCF – Half Dreaming (Continent – 2009)
17. Caribou – Leave House (Swim – 2010)
18. Neil deGrasse Tyson – The Most Astounding Fact
19. Sound Tribe Sector 9 – Possibilities (Artifact – 2005)
20. Anthony Hopkins Reads Dylan Thomas – Rage Against The Dying Of The Light
21. Clark – Ghosted (Iradelphic – 2012)
You never know what you’ll get with an episode of Visions of the Unexcused – and for Episode 74 Mint Pillow was lucky to be joined by Tom Kielty in the WEMF Radio Studio. Kielty’s a veteran of the Boston rock scene and has written for the Globe, Herald, Boston Magazine, among numerous other local and national publications. Armed with this Rock & Roll Sage – Mint Pillow delved through a psychedelic set filled with stories from the scene and other tomfoolery.
1. The Pogues – Once Upon A Time (Waiting For Herb – 1993)
2. The Rolling Stones – She Smiled Sweetly (Between The Buttons – 1967)
3. Soft Pyramids – Arrows (Fossils of the Free World – 2014)
4. Rory Gallagher – Out Of My Mind (Deuce – 1972)
5. Les Mogol – Sunset In Golden Horn (Danses Et Rythmes De La Turquie D’Hier À Aujourd’hui – 1972)
6. The Outsiders – C.Q. (CQ – 1968)
7. The Kinetic – Suddenly Tomorrow (Live Your Life – 1967)
8. The Pets – Si Tú Quisieras (The Pets – 1968)
9. The Flamin’ Groovies – Golden Clouds (Sneakers – 1968)
10. Shadrack Chameleon – Don’t Let It Get You Down (Shadrack Chameleon – 1973)
11. The Everly Brothers – The Price Of Love (The Price Of Love – 1965)
12. Fleet Foxes – Peace On The Rise (Terminal Sales Vol. 4: Please To Enjoy – 2011)
13. The Beta Band – Inner Meet Me (The Three E.P.’s – 1997)
14. Peaking Lights – Infinite Trips (Cosmic Logic – 2014)
15. GRMLN – Relax Yourself [Dolphin Cry] (Explore – 2012)
16. Beach Fossils – Calyer (What a Pleasure – 2011)
17. William De Vaughn – Be Thankful For What You Got (Be Thankful For What You Got – 1974)
18. Royksopp – So Easy (Melody A.M. – 2001)
19. James Brown – Blind Man Can See It (Black Caesar – 1973)
20. The Men – Sleepless (Tomorrow’s Hits – 2014)
21. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Independence Street (Wig Out at Jagbags – 2014)
22. The Lemonheads – Rick James Style (Come On Feel The Lemonheads – 1993)
23. Cornelius – Wataridori (Sensuous – 2006)
24. Neon Indian – Suns Irrupt (Era Extraña – 2011)
25. Teenage Fanclub – Gene Clark (Thirteen – 1993)
26. Gene Clark – No Other (No Other – 1974)
27. Ty Segall & White Fence – The Black Glove/Rag (Hair – 2012)
Snow has turned into rain. Winter’s morphing into Spring. April Showers will turn into Psychedelic Flowers. This is Episode 72, recorded live in the DJ Cave from atop Mount Cambridge in the WEMF Radio Studios.
1. Them – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – 1970)
2. The Pandamonium – No Presents For Me (No Presents For Me… Singles & Rarities – 1965)
3. The Pets – El Entierro De Un Hombre Rico Que Murió De Hambre (The Pets – 1968)
4. The Shallow End Divers – Forget Your Problems (Dead Man’s Ladder/Forget Your Problems – 2015)
5. Ty Segall & White Fence – Tongues (Hair – 2012)
6. Tom Waits – Clap Hands (Rain Dogs – 1985)
7. Rory Gallagher – Don’t Know Where I’m Going (Deuce – 1972)
8. Supergrass – Seen The Light (Life On Other Planets – 2002)
9. Spirit – Gramophone Man (Spirit – 1968)
10. Man Called War – Titans (Naked Animals – 2015)
11. Grimes – Rosa (Geidi Primes – 2010)
12. Los Destellos – Pasión Oriental (Cumbia Beat Vol. 1 [Experimental Guitar-Driven Tropical Sounds From Perú 1966/1976] – 2010)
13. Paul McCartney – Check My Machine (Mccartney II – 1980)
14. Toro Y Moi – Empty Nesters (What For? – 2015)
15. Yuck – The Wall (Yuck – 2011)
16. Orange Juice – Felicity (Felicity – 1982)
17. Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians – Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl (Gotta Let This Hen Out! – 1985)
18. The Velvet Underground – What Goes On (The Velvet Underground – 1969)
19. Louie & The Lovers – Little Georgie Baker (Rise – 1970)
20. The Vikings – Have Mercy (Bay State Rock Volume 1: The Sixties – An Anthology Of Massachussetts Rock’N’Roll – 1965)
21. Circus Maximus – Wind (Circus Maximus – 1967)
22. The Freak Scene – Rose Of Smiling Faces (The Freak Scene – 1967)
23. Steeper – Glitch Root (Glitch Root – 2015)
24. Steve Gunn – Wildwood (Wildwood 7″ – 2014)
25. Cian Nugent & The Cosmos – Hire Purchase [Part I] (Singles Going Home Alone 2013 #3 7″ – 2013)
26. Bob Dylan – Shelter From The Storm (Blood On The Tracks – 1975)
Episode 71 is meant to celebrate life. As a newly minted Father, Pillow finds himself heavily sleep deprived, raspy voiced, and most of all happy as hell to be a Dad. As a result a funktified set is played in honor of his less than week old baby boy Dylan – AKA: Junior Mint Pillow / Soul Baby #1. The set takes a somber note at the end as Derek remembers a co-worker who left this world far too soon. Please, if you can, click below if you’d like to donate to help John’s Family during this trying time.
1. Madlib – Untitled (Filthy Ass Remixes – 2011)
2. Generation – Kon Muan Khan [People Are The Same] (Thai Funk Volume 2 – 2011)
3. Ohio Players – Jive Turkey [Part 1] (Jive Turkey (Part 1) / Streakin’ Cheek To Cheek – 1974)
4. Gil Scott-Heron – Lady Day and John Coltrane (Pieces of a Man – 1971)
5. Cymande – The Message (Cymande – 1972)
6. The Brothers Johnson – The Devil (Look Out For #1 – 1976)
7. Dr. John – Zu Zu Man [Version 1] (Zu Zu Man – 1973)
8. Isaac Hayes – Need To Belong To Someone (Black Moses – 1971)
9. Irene Reid – Dirty Old Man (Dirty Old Man / I Keep Forgetting 7″ – 2014)
10. The Blackbyrds – Rock Creek Park (City Life – 1975)
11. The Poets Of Rhythm – Serengeti Stroke (Anthology – 2013)
12. The Meters – Sophisticated Cissy [Instrumental] (Sophisticated Cissy / Sehorns Farms – 1968) 13. Madlib – Funky Blue Note (Shades Of Blue: Madlib Invades Blue Note – 2003)
14. Dam-Funk – Mirrors (Toeachizown – 2009)
15. Parliament – Unfunky UFO (Mothership Connection – 1975)
16. Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Higher (Vibrations – 1976)
17. Edan – Funky Voltron (Beauty And The Beat – 2005)
18. Kool And The Gang – Who’s Gonna Take The Weight (Live at the Sex Machine – 1971)
19. Amel Addmore – Jane (Brand New Wayo – Funk, Fast Times & Nigerian Boogie Badness 1979-1983 – 2011)
20. Chuck Carbo and The Soul Finders – Can I Be Your Squeeze? (Can I Be Your Squeeze? – 1970) 21. Slave – Separated (Slave – 1977)
22. Funkadelic – Red Hot Momma (Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On – 1974)
23. Os Mutantes – Ave Genghis Khan (Os Mutantes – 1968)
24. Os Brazões – Volksvolkswagen Blue (Os Brazões – 1969)
25. Jack Wilkins – Red Clay (Windows – 1973)
26. Thundercat – Lotus and the Jondy (Apocalypse – 2013)
27. Ann Peebles – I Can’t Stand The Rain (I Can’t Stand The Rain – 1974)
28. Kendrick Lamar – How Much a Dollar Cost [feat. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley] (To Pimp a Butterfly – 2015)
29. Jimmy Cliff – Many Rivers To Cross (The Harder They Come – 1972)
Late last year I was able to spend a couple of weeks in London. As I’ve stated in the past, shopping for vinyl in Europe is a dream, an expensive dream albeit, but a dream none-the-less. Every shop you enter is stacked with non-American releases (everything’s an import) and the selection’s vastly different than what you’re used to in the States.
With some modest research my friend Kevin and I made our way to Rough Trade West, which is located in Notting Hill, and let the streets lead us around a non-lazy afternoon that found the wax to be plentiful, the pints proper, and conversation delightful.
Portobello Road Market
As we got off the Tube and started walking towards Rough Trade we were greeted – totally by luck – with the Saturday Portobello Road Market, a closed off street filled with throngs of tourists, hustlers, and locals. There were bazaar’s, pubs, and shops lining the streets with open air vendor’s selling everything from food, clothes, antiques, and yes….records.
The prices varied here, but I was able to pick up and barter for a killer copy of I-Roy’s 1973 UK press of Hell And Sorrow as well as an original 1977 Italian first press of Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols – records and pressings you just don’t run across in the States. A main goal heading into London was to get as much reggae as I could. Outside of Jamaica, and maybe even more so – there’s no better place to get reggae on vinyl than the UK. Punk, Indie, and Garage were also on my list – so before we even hit Rough Trade I was off to a great start. I’ll say records were priced a little high on the street until you got further down the road and past the food vendors – where the true locals were selling. Some of the vendors were pretty crass, and to be frank, total assholes (particularly one dude I tried to buy a Hawkwind record from, first & only time I’ve been called a “wanker”) – but other vendor’s were friendly & willing to come down from their tourist high prices if they sniffed out you were a true collector.
Rough Trade West
After traipsing down Portobello we finally got to Rough Trade West, and I have to say, I was disappointed upon entering. The smallish room was jammed with new records and when traveling internationally I’m strictly on the used record tip. Thankfully I noticed there was an equally sized downstairs filled exclusively with used records. Crisis averted.
I dove right into the reggae section which was bigger than most back in the States, but not necessarily huge. The Indie, Rock, and Garage sections had the more impressive selections. The prices weren’t cheap, but the vibe in the basement was good. The lady behind the counter recognized I was wearing a Bleecker Street Records T-Shirt and we immediately started talking record nerd with each other. Upon hearing I was from Cambridge, MA she informed me that her Husband incessantly wears a T-Shirt they got some 20 years ago when visiting the States from In Your Ear Records, one of my home turf stores. This was my favorite part of Rough Trade, swapping stories of past digs with this lady behind the counter. It’s akin to fisherman telling big fish stories, and as we wrapped up she pushed us on our way further down Portobello to Honest Jon’s, after we (of course) stopped for a proper pint.
Honest Jon’s is a quaint shop located towards the end of the Portobello Market that features music of different genres from across the globe. I discovered that Honest Jon’s is also a Record Label of the same name which happens to be co-run by Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) – not bad pedigree for a record shop/label. This is where I began to quench my thirst for reggae, as I picked up a Delroy Wilson LP as well as a Studio One Sales Sampler from 1979. Prices were reasonable and I was very thankful to pick up a “London Is The Place For Me” record directly from the source. These excellent complications are put out by Honest Jon’s and feature music composed by Caribbean immigrants in a variety of styles – Calypso, Jazz, Mento, and Highlife – all composed and often centered around London life – absolutely killer comps. After leaving Honest Jon’s we had another pint and meandered off the Portobello path in & got further lost in the Notting Hill afternoon.
As we explored the streets we tripped into, by either destiny or luck, Sarm West Studios – a world renown studio which was created by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records. Sarm has recorded the likes of Led Zeppelin, Queen, & Rolling Stones – all British Rock Royalty. We went inside and chatted with the friendly fellah behind the desk and he informed us that Bob Marley not only recorded there, but lived in the Studio for about a year – which is no coincidence as we were entering what appeared to be the Jamaican section of Notting Hill. Still thirsting for reggae I asked if he knew of any good shops – he smiled slyly, and directed us to People’s Sound – which was only two blocks away – safe to say – I was about to get all I could drink.
I walked into People’s Sound to find no one behind the counter and a copious amount of incense floating in the air – however, as I 360’d around the small shop I realized I was 100% surrounded by Reggae, Dub, and Dancehall records – my prayers had been answered. A red eyed Rasta eventually came out to see my shaggy haired stupid grinned face and we were off from there.
I handed him my reggae 45 wantlist – which he was impressed with, but the only one he found in the bowels of the shop was Max Romeo – It Sipple Out Deh, which I was 100% fine with, because I was about to be exposed to a hell of a lot more. We then sat at the counter chatting as he played me 45 after 45 of incredible roots reggae as I plucked what I especially liked while learning a helluva lot from this lifted sage. A week later, when my Wife met me in London this is the only shop I went back to, and is one I’ll go to any and every time I’m in the City. Most shop’s in the US have reggae section’s with maybe 20 records or so, but this was an ENTIRE shop – talk about drinking from a blunted fire hose. Beautiful, beautiful shop. Positive vibrations, yeah.
Music / Soul & Dance Exchange
After leaving the high of People’s Sound we backtracked towards the Tube and hit a Pub we earmarked on our way to Portobello. My bags of wax were starting to weigh heavy so after a few pints we decided to be proper tourists and just explore the other side of the neighborhood, but of course, before we got too far we ran into Music / Soul & Dance Exchange, and the dig (thankfully) continued.
This was actually two record stores in one, The Music & Video Exchange on the first floor and The Soul & Dance Exchange on the second floor. I was on the hunt for Althea and Donna’s Uptown Top Ranking all day, and of course, it was found in this last shop upstairs, I was overjoyed and scared the employees as a blurted out a too exuberant yelp. Both floors had an incredible mix of new and hard to find used records – and this shop, while facing the stiffest of competition, ended up being my favorite of the trip for three reasons:
- Pure Volume – On both floors there were a lot of records, 45 and LP, the most of any store we stopped in.
- Divergence of Selection – Downstairs had all the rock, pop, garage, indie, psych, you could want – and upstairs had an equally impressive selection of Hip Hop, Dance, Soul, Funk, African, and Electronic. If you’re a collector you’d be guaranteed to find something you’ve been searching for here.
- Price – On top of the quality and quantity the prices were by far the most reasonable of the day – and with the British Pound lapping the US Dollar this was a more than welcome sight.
We spent another good hour here, left with bags straining to stay in tact, and went across the street to (wait for it…..) another Pub. It was a beyond successful dig – such a cool, unique, and interesting neighborhood – one most recommended if in London and looking to get your fingers dirty and mind clean.
Rob Kelly’s DIY folk project, Man Called War, has the quality of a haunted hug. The soft edged composition of his latest album, Naked Animals (released on 3/24) – make it an easy approach, however, subtle arraignments reveal a complex painting – allowing you to drift into a soft blend of folk that has a distinctly New England feel. Veering between bummer folk & lonely woods there’s a sliver of hope throughout the album – like a brightly colored autumn leaf lying silently on a damp city sidewalk – and it’s this juxtaposition that make Naked Animals much more than just another singer-songwriter album.
Recommended If You Like: Bummer Folk, Port O’Brien, Steve Gunn