Monday, November 15, 2004

STUMBLING INTO THE FUTURE


Soul Sides Pseudo-Podcast #1: November 15, 2004 (10:57 min.)

Featuring:

    Lynn Williams: Don't Be Surprise
    From 7" (Suncut, 197?). Also on Sweet Brown Sugar.

    Brenda Russell: A Little Bit of Love
    From Brenda Russell (Horizon, 1979)

Ok - I need some help here. After reading with much excitement about the possibilities of podcasting, I decided to try an inaugural attempt. Recording and encoding it wasn't the problem.

Broadcasting it is. I use Blogger.com to create Soul Sides even though I store the pages themselves on my own server. However, Blogger currently only supports Atom XML feeds, not RSS 2.0. Let me be honest here: I'm no Internet neophyte but I'm in over my head here. I have no idea what the hell to do and would be MOST appreciative to anyone who can walk me through this %()@@! process. First one to email me and successfully help me gets dibs on free copies of my mix-CDs.

In the meantime, you can download the pseudo-cast above and run it off any kind of MP3 player (computer-based or portable) and listen to me incessantly ramble on about how great these two songs are. For those who prefer to just download, here's what you'll want to know:

That's not a typo with the Lynn Williams' song. For some reason, the label for the 45 says "Don't Be Surprise" not "Don't Be Surprised". Go figure. Whatever the mistake, the song isn't: it's a fantastically moody and sulty soul cut out of Miami. Reminds me a little of Isaac Hayes' "Walk On By" - not nearly as well-produced, but just the feel of it: dark and dramatic. (And yes, before anyone says it, Jurassic 5 sampled it. Ok?)

Brenda Russell's "A Little Bit of Love" (Big Pun alert!) is a fantastic slice of what some call "modern soul" and what I prefer just to name as "early '80s soul" since that's when this aesthetic really takes off (even though, technically, the song is from '79). It's shinier, more studio-driven and not nearly as gritty or dirty as the soul from previous generations but I think there's more than enough room for people to embrace a more pop/soul style even if Russell's vocals aren't as rich as, say, Williams' approach. It's still a very, very fun song, off of Russell's excellent self-titled debut.

Hit me with comments on what you think of the general podcast system. I don't think I'll ever abandon posting up individual songs but if people like the idea of listening to what amounts to mini-Soul Sides radio programs, I'm open to working on this more. Otherwise, consider this a well-intentioned but ultimately unnecessary exercise.