Summer Mixtape from DJ Ian Head

Cover photo by Daniel Littlewood

I enjoyed making this tape. It’s a bit different from my more crunchy, vinyl-heavy mixes, but hopefully still bump-able at the local evening picnic or house party. I feel like you can do silly dances to it, or just cool out and sip a nice iced beverage while it rocks in the background. Either way, don’t sleep on the Vijay Iyer’s jazz cover of MIA’s “Galang.”

I’m planning on doing a series of “seasonal” mixes, in combination with covers from a variety of artists and photographers I know. The first cover is from world traveler, documentarian and incredible photographer Daniel Littlewood, a close friend since high school. You can find more of his photos at the address above.

– DJ Ian Head


Summer : Tracklisting
JuJu Orchestra – “Nao Posso Demorar”
Platinum Pied Pipers – “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”
Erykah Badu – “I Want Moombah” (J Boogie Edit)
Johnny Hammond – “Tell Me What to Do” (Whiskey Barons ReWork)
Jazzanova – “Boom Klicky Boom Klack” (Mr. Scruff’s Vocal Mix)
Up, Bustle and Out – “La Morena en El Viento Andaluz”
Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth – “The Creator” (Surfboard Mix)
Cal Tjader – “Borneo” (The Gaff Edit)
Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura Band – “Orisa” (Atjazz Love Soul Remix)
Five Corners Quintet – “Unsquare Bossa”
Visioneers – “Rocket Man (Afro-Latin Joint)”
Vijay Iyer Trio – “Galang” (Trio Riot Version)
Louie Gee Ensemble – “Scrabble”

Jose James Covers Freestyle Fellowship “Park Bench People”

Man YouTube is so full of ill covers of finding this kinda stuff.

Rhettmatic and Shortkut cover Grandmaster Flash

Dope video of Rhettmatic and Shortkut keeping turntablism alive, and covering the all-time dj classic, “Adventures on the Wheels of Steel” by Grandmaster Flash. Fresh.


Jazz Trio Stray Phrases Covers Dilla’s “Donuts” Live

Looking for something else, I came across this – I like how it’s pretty raw, not polished.

Humble Pie “I Can’t Stand the Rain”

I didn’t know bout this cover.

The Bird and the Bee “I Can’t Go For That” (Hall and Oates cover)

I dig this.

Covers you might not have heard.

Ok, didn’t get to dig this weekend because I’ve been sick with the cold. Argh. So instead I’ve been watching Transformers cartoons on Netflix, reading Wikipedia and stuffing my nose full of kleenex. But I feel a bit better this evening and thought I’d post some dope covers of songs that folks might not have heard. These aren’t “old” covers but rather newer renditions of some dope joints I’ve found while perusing the internets.

The above is the Vijay Iyer Trio doing an MIA song – honestly I like their version way more than the original, but I’m not a big MIA fan. They also have a great cover of Ronnie Foster’s “Mystic Brew” on that album (think Tribe Called Quest “Electric Relaxation”) and a dope cover of Heatwave’s “Star of a Story” on their latest LP.

Here is the Juju Orchestra doing Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” – a great take on a classic but in a totally different style. You’ll find me playing this at DJ gigs in the near future.

One of the most slept-on cats in hip-hop, Shock G is a legend – here he’s doing a cover of Tupac’s “So Many Tears” on the keys. Shock G was not only a good from of Tupac but basically the reason Tupac got put on in the first place.

Lush Life and Other Sounds

(Originally written November 2011)

I love this cover photo of Trane in deep concentration. Is he taking a pause before starting another song? Is he reading some notes during a studio session? Is he going for a cigarette? The look on his face is serious but calm. Is it a “lush life” because he’s able to take these pauses between playing beautiful music?

I bought this record at a time when my collection was just beginning, where I could pull any record and tell someone exactly where I had obtained it, when I had gotten it, who might have been there with me. Possibly what I had paid even if there was no longer a tag glued to the cover. I remember cherishing this fact, because the search for records is such a large part of why I love them.

In the mid-to-late 90s, the East and West Village of Manhattan was flooded with record stores, almost all of which have evaporated since then. I had very little money to spend on vinyl, and so that made each journey and occasional purchase more memorable.

I believe I bought Coltrane’s “Lush Life” at SOUNDS on St. Marks Place in 1997, and paid $10 or $12 for it. Years after SOUNDS closed, you could be sure to find their former stock at various places in the city, with their emblematic sticker pasted onto the front of a record, sometimes with a mouth-watering price – $1.99 for that rare Strata East record?! Back then there were at least 3-4 record stores on St. Marks at any given time, but now I’m uncertain if any of them still exist.

It is a beautiful recording. This was my only Coltrane on vinyl for many years. He has much more adventurous recordings, more experimental and brilliant moments, but this is still one of my all-time favorites for its sense of calm confidence and soft tranquility, as exemplified by the cover.