Category Archives: Blues

Bright Lights

Bright Lights!

Like AM Radio Dust, its companion volume, Bright Lights is just as much an exploration of lost spaces and places as it is of sound.

I hope you enjoy it.

Bright Lights
(single MP3 file)

Susan Rafey, “The Big Hurt”
Jerry Lee Trio, “Banshee”
Rick Durham and the Dynamics, “Southern Love”
Stan with the Marauders, “Echo Valley”
Maggie Ingram with the Ingramettes, “Melody of Love”
Zena Ayo, “Long Long Gone”
Mike Baltch Quartet, “Delilah”
Cheryl Thompson, “Black Night”
The Checker Dots, “Alpha Omega”
Fantastic Dee-Jays, “This Love of Ours”
The What Four, “Gemini 4″
Carole King, “A Road to Nowhere”
The Bittersweets, “Hurtin’ Kind”
Charles Wright and the Malibus, “Runky”
The Missing Links, “I Cried Goodbye”
J. Gale and the Games, “A Million Nothings”
The Benjamin Specials Gospel Singers, “I Am on the Right Road Now”
Link Wray, “Girl from the North Country”
Shirley Mc Donald accompanied by The Kay Nines K-9′s, “You”
The Santells, “These Are Love”
Houston and Dorsey, “Ebb Tide”
Dub Benson, “Shaping Up Today”
Henry Kaalekahi, “Hookipa Paka – Maunawili”
Johnny Love, “Rain Drops”
George Johnson, “Capricorn”
Fay Simmons, “Bells”
Cee Cee Carol, “The Right Guy”
Lou Smith, “I’ll Be the One”

Posted in Blues, Country, Exotica/Space-Age, Garage Bands, Girl-Groups, Gospel, Instrumentals/Surf, Jazz Obscura, Mixes, Now Sound, R&B/Vocal Groups, Rock 'n' roll, Soul | 10 Comments

Blue Flame: a new mix

I put together a new mix for my Dutch compadre Cortez for the fifth anniversary of his fabulous Club Cortez blog.  You can find it there now.

Club Cortez has been around as long as Office Naps.  Cortez’s tastes in music immediately stuck out from the pack then – believe it or not, there just weren’t that many of us around in 2006 – and, moreover, they still do.   That we share eclecticism and certain stylistic sensibilities – a broad appreciation for musical beauty, for one – doesn’t hurt, of course.  Either way, I hope and fully expect us to be rhapsodizing about music and our latest obscure finds five years from now.

Blue Flame, a new mix

Blue Flame, my new mix over at Club Cortez.

When I delivered the mix over to Cortez, I was feeling a bit abstract, describing it to him this way:

A mix for the bittersweet hours.

Here is mystery and melancholy strewn with chunks of ecstatic, post-War energy: Jazz on a rhythm & blues kick, rock ‘n’ roll on a mambo kick, a palpable sense of clubland’s frayed edges. Put the lights out behind you when you leave.

But I’d say that’s about right.  If you enjoy Office Naps (or the Exotica Project or the Lonely Beat), you’ll dig it, anyway.

Get the mix and playlist at Club Cortez, and do check out what he’s got going on over there.   Thanks to Cortez for inviting me aboard and, again, congratulations.

Posted in Blues, Exotica/Space-Age, Instrumentals/Surf, Jazz Obscura, Latin, Mixes, R&B/Vocal Groups, Rock 'n' roll, Soul, The Exotica Project, The Lonely Beat | 2 Comments

Tram? and the changes afoot

As sure as packing boxes are teetering dangerously and there’s a cat with a feline premonition of something big afoot, I move this week.

It’s not the sort of move across town where I enlist a friend unlucky enough to own a truck, take the day from work, call the phone company, and, whoosh, I’m back to the old comforts by the next week. This is the move that upends the rituals and routines that’ve measured my past seven or eight years, a move to a part of the country that I love (deep West Texas), to a girl I love, to a town otherwise known for its Minimalist art and its Mystery Lights and its isolation in the surrounding desert.

And so it follows that last Friday was my last day at the tech job that, for well over seven years, allowed me to freely indulge a serious record habit. Now I get by with ongoing freelance writing jobs and odd DJ gigs and, frankly, whatever odd work I can hustle. As with any move, one is inevitably forced to reckon, grunting and swearing and vowing, with stuff, tons, literally, of stuff. And for once I’ll truly address these stuff issues, too, properly selling off a sizeable chunk of my record collection (any habitual collector can probably tell you how perversely exciting this prospect is).

Still, my investment in Marfa is limited; I return to Austin in December this year to pursue my graduate studies at UT’s School of Information, resuming my life in some sort of weirdly familiar, renewed-but-changed capacity as a student. I’ll also likely be continuing my radio show Soul Sauce in some form on Marfa Public Radio – and trying my damnedest to get some regular Office Naps podcast thing going. I’ll be returning occasionally to Austin, too, for Soul Happenings – and whenever the need for barbeque and old friends and record stores outweighs that daunting seven hour drive.

But Office Naps will continue as always. Next week my friend Jeff fills in with a guest post and, though it may be a bit rocky at first, I’ll be back with new posts thereafter, my bogus new “laid-back” persona in tow.

Anyway, all forthcoming developments will be noted here, but a shortened post this week in the meantime due to time constraints and general distraction levels. Wish me luck!

1. Junior Kimbell, Tram? (Philwood)
Recorded in 1968, “Tram?” was the very first commercial release from Junior Kimbell (AKA Junior Kimbrough). “You can call me country,” he sang. And people did, as Kimbrough was frequently identified as a living embodiment of the Mississippi Delta blues. Hearing this selection – his droning version of the Lowell Fulson R&B; hit “Tramp” – it’s easy to understand why Kimbrough’s rough-hewn singing and guitar conformed to blues fanatics’ ideas of “authentic” Delta blues.

“Tram?” is a personal favorite. And, after several slow, hypnotic revolutions of “Tram?” I think you’ll understand why it was chosen to stand alone this week, too: Kimbrough, who had a penchant for Eastern-like modes, sounded like nobody else on Earth.

Posted in Blues, Personal natter | 11 Comments