Took me a second to get to this one. This winter has been a little hectic, but in a good way: the collision of work with school with travel to see family and friends. In-between, digging and stumbling between crates continues to be a constant. Besides my usual NYC adventures I was back in Portland for a couple weeks, and a quick day of almost getting caught by the polar vortex in Chicago – but still somehow managed to make it to the record store for an hour despite 2 feet of snow and freezing temperatures. This chaos the past couple months, combined with the ice-cold temperatures, has worked to create a bit of a bizarre tape, with more of a “rock” style edge. I tried to keep it eclectic as usual, and give a broad sampling of a few things I’ve dug up these last few weeks. All vinyl. No tracklisting, just holler if you need that science.
I’d also like to say RIP to Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger. Both had a profound effect on the ways I view and listen to music and politics.
I hope everyone is staying warm.
– DJ Ian Head
The title for this tape kinda just came together as I was making it. I wanted to break out some of the prog/psych records I’d found recently, create some kind of moody, spaced-out-but-funky tape. I’d never really checked for the song “Some Velvet Morning” before but playing the Vanilla Fudge version I knew I had to use it. And by use it, I mean use just a piece of it. Didn’t rock any doubles on here but I did tend to take parts from several songs – the middle, the beginning, the end – and try and blend them with some more full tracks to attempt something of a cohesive mood.
A couple classics on here but mostly obscurities. Definitely some out there parts that aren’t “easy listening” but I think ridiculously musical and amazing. No track listing – I’m not really sure a track listing would even make sense on this one. Hope everyone digs it. Shout out to my Uncle Bill (RIP) for the Beatles record.
— DJ Ian Head
Tossing the July tape out there a couple days early since I’m headed out of town. This mix is an eclectic combination of folkysoulpyschblues, basically where my mood has been this past month of long workdays and hot weather. Untitled cuz I don’t know how to categorize it – it’s slow-moving, I guess, with songs about drifting away and social stagnation, but also dreams of the future. This isn’t a breaks or groove tape, more of a vibe-type piece, slapping together a few joints you’ll recognize and some in-between parts of recent finds you might not. No track list this month, just hit play and see what you think.
By the way, thanks to all for the continued support.
— DJ Ian Head
November 2009 Mixtape: Rock Music
Honestly, calling something “rock” is pretty vague in itself – stereotypically the image associated with it is white, long-haired guys playing guitars over weak rhythm-sections, even though it came out of Black rhythm and blues. I’m not going to try and pretend I’m knowledgeable about the history of rock’n’roll, which is extremely complex and defined in many ways. Some people are going to take issue with some of these records and say they are “pop” and others are going to say that one or two might be “fusion.” The more I collect records and the more I make these tapes, the more I realize how different people have different definitions of musical categories.
That being said, I think many people would throw the records I’m playing on this mix into the “rock” category, in some fashion or another. Mostly there’s a lot of raw guitars, white guys singing in creepy / screaming voices, weird sounds, eerie keyboards and some fat, heavy drums and basslines. I tried to throw together a lot of styles – everything from some uptempo solo Stephen Stills to more obscure, like Argent and Atomic Rooster. And definitely, as always, kept a hip-hop element to the whole thing – a few classic samples and fat breaks.
What I dig about a lot of these records is the no-holds-barred sense that many of the bands had. They didn’t abide by the verse-chorus-verse-bridge kind of structure – they just went for it. Some songs are less than a minute, others stretch for 10. A hard rhythm gets replaced by a folky guitar. It can be jarring, but it can also be beautiful.
Basically a bunch of eclectic, good music. Hope you dig it.
Some of the bands appearing on this tape: Wallace Collection, Argent, Shawn Phillips, Fever Tree, Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, Atomic Rooster, Steve Miller, Stephen Stills, Blues Project, Gun, Led Zeppelin, Gas Mask and more.
— DJ Ian Head