Four CDs I'm damned glad I bought this weekend

I took a stack of used CDs to my corner record store this weekend and traded them in for a bunch of new music. Here are the picks of the litter:

  • Deep Note: Music of 1970s Adult Cinema: The title says it all, doesn't it? This is a CD that was made for MP3 players. It's amusing to listen to the "tone poems" of ecstatic chanting layered over wah-wah pedals — once. But the actual funk tracks on this are really nice, the kind of thing you want to put in a high-rotation playlist for urban walking; think of the fat-bass instrumentals from the Fat Albert theme with a George Clinton's slitheriest, perviest licks.

  • Five Red Caps: 1943-1945. Steve Gibson and the Five Red Caps were a comic, vocal-oriented boogie-woogie act that released a ton of music in the 30s, 40s and 50s, almost none of which is available today. This disc of wartime tracks contains some of my favorite music of all time: Grand Central Station ("Got a yearning to be/down in Tennessee/got a sweetheart that waits for me/got the biggest brown eyes/that can hypnotize/makes you wanna leave New York"), Mama Put Your Britches On ("Put away your fancy hose/and your dainty dese and dose/what you need now is Victory Clothes/so Mama put your britches on"), and Gabriel's Band ("Better be prepared if you want a part in that heavenly show/or on judgement day they'll find a place for you below/make your trumpet call ring out/hallelujah sing and shout/gotta know what rhythm's 'bout, if you wanna play in Gabriel's Band")

  • The Beau Hunks Play the Original Little Rascals Music. Roy Shield, the composer of the incidental and theme music for the Little Rascals shorts, was a freaking genius, an unsung hero on the order of Raymond Scott and Carl Stalling. His orchestral music — faithfully recreated by the Beau Hunks here — manages to evoke the sepia-toned comedy of the Our Gang serials, especially in some of the really short tracks, like the ten seconds of the woodwind-section laughing; close your eyes when it plays and you can see Spanky holding his gut and rocking back and forth.

  • Doob Doob O' Rama: Filmsongs of Bollywood: One of my plane-trip books for tomorrow is the bound manuscript for Bruce Sterling's new technothriller (Me: "What's a technothriller?" Bruce: "It's like a science fiction novel, only it's got the President in it"), The Zenith Angle, which apparently revolves around Bollywood (I haven't cracked the cover yet, I'm just going off of the stuff he's been blogging). I really enjoyed the Bollywood tracks on the Ghost World soundtrack and the occassional Bollywood licks in Fat Boy Slim and at my local curry hut, but I had no idea of where to begin. This disc turns out to be just the right place for me to have started. I'm enjoying the hell out of it, and I suspect that Asha Bosle has stolen away Tiny Weymouth's place in my heart as my obligatory rock-star crush.