BBC Two just aired a great episode of its program The Culture Show about Northern Soul, the Mod music subculture that took off in northern England in the early 1970s around obscure American soul 7" records of the late 1960s. Above, you can watch the documentary, titled Northern Soul - Keep the Faith. And don't miss The Culture Show's Paul Mason's excellent BBC News essay about the scene, including a great Northern Soul playlist. Get up, get up to get down. "Northern Soul: 40 years of the sound of Wigan Casino"
From the February 22, 1975 episode of Soul Train, the marvelous jam "Summer Madness" by Kool & The Gang, whose slick suits beat robot helmets any year.
Sound it Out # 45: Charles Bradley - “Strictly Reserved for You” (MP3)
Soul singer Charles Bradley has a lot of feelings, and it's not hard to see why: he's lived on the street, discovered his brother’s murdered body, and spent most of his 64 years as a James Brown impersonator, all while dreaming of recording his own music. His songs teem with the incredible anguish of his life, and his gratitude for its turnaround. Bradley has only seen success in the last few years, and his deep love for his life and fans is apparent. I’ve never seen someone give so much of himself on stage; he will actually burst into tears while wailing “I love you” and thanking the audience when he performs. It's irresistible.
Victim of Love is Charles Bradley’s excellent new album (out today!), and it sounds like a classic soul record with some sneaky psychedelic overtones. Charles has agreed to share this free download of the first single “Strictly Reserved for You” with us. Take a listen, know that Charles loves you, and head over to a record retailer to show your love right back.
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/86056419" params="color=ff0000&auto_play=false&show_artwork=false" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]
From Loose Ends' 1985 LP A Little Spice, "Hangin' on a String (Contemplating)" was the first track by a British band to ever hit #1 on the US Billboard R&B Chart. And it's the perfect quiet storm for this Friday evening.
In fact, I love the video so much, we've arranged with the directors to feature it on Boing Boing Video's in-flight channel on Virgin America airlines. It's such a feelgood tune, and a fun contrast with the creepy-weird vibe of the visual treatment by Walter Robot co-directors Christopher Louie and Bill Barminski. Stay with it, there's a fun surprise toward the end of the video.
This track appears on Quadron's self-titled 2010 album. The video's been out for some weeks, and I'm admittedly a little late blogging it. But in hopes that it's new for some of you, I thought I'd go ahead and share today. Enjoy!
(CREDITS: Quadron, "Slipping." Directed by: Walter Robot. Actor: Dennis Louie. DP: Patrick Meade Jones. Producer: Mt. Vernon Entertainment. Label: Plug Research.)