Thursday, March 20, 2008

AVS #1 /// “Mouse”, Girl (1996)

from kingpin # 51, march 2008

Some artists were already superstars, some bands could have remained local heroes forever. And some should have. Until one day, now or then, a track of theirs got used in a skateboard video. Operation Ivy? Without their This Is Not The New H Street Video bonanza, not sure they would have gone anywhere special. Band Of Horses? A two tracks, Fully-Marianer’d part later, they’re all over discussion boards. 1989’s own Handy With Shovels, who accompanied Brian Lotti’s revolutionary part in Now'n'Later? To this day, they say, they still get inquiries about Not The Same, from their 5-tracks demo tape. And so on…

Call it skate-rock, skate music, skoundtrack. It generated more or less long-lived trends (What happened to Master P?) but point is, admit it o
r not, most of your musical background comes from skateboard videos. From now on, Kingpin is going to help you build the ultimate skate-nerd music library, picking videos on their sole musical interest –which happen usually to have a major skateboarding interest too. Welcome to our new monthly feature, A Visual Sound. For its first installment, why not start with the mother of all soulful soundtracks? Ladies and gentlemen, Girl skateboards' second flick, Mouse, straight out of 1996.

(Disclaimer : for obviousness reasons, I purposedly left Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man out of this selection, assuming that the whole world owns this album already. No?)

Bob Dorough :
ation Rock”
Tune used : 3 is a magic number (intro)
As you might know, three is the magic number. While number 9, still according to Bob Dorough, is arguably “naughty”. Through the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, this vocal jazz singer who used to jam with Miles Davis suddenly became every little American kid’s nightmare, thanks to the Schoolhouse rock show that he hosted on local ABC channels. Just kidding.
Still alive and well today (age 84), Dorough stands as probably one of the few people on earth who actually made kids remembe
r math tables, thanks to funny lyrics and that soothing voice. Not the most immediate tune that comes to mind for a skate video soundtrack some might argue, it still achieved cult status when sampled by De la Soul and also appeared on a more musically-minded Blue Note compilation called Blue Break Beats 4 – featuring also progressive jazz god David Axelrod, among others.
In any case, it perfectly fits any movie scene that involves a giant mouse riding a Vespa in the streets of Torrance with Mike Carroll disguised as an In'n'Out employee.

Cymande :
mised Heights”
Tune used : Brothers On The Slide (D.Castillo / S.Randle / G.Rodriguez)
They might occasionnally lyrically praise Jah, don’t get mistaken though : Cymande was, is and will always be one of the most infectious all-time funk groups.
With musicians hailing from Guyana and Jamaica, including reggae band Aswad’s amazing multi-terrain sax/flutist Michael “Bami” Rose –black music’s John Cardiel, if you will- the nine-members equipage still remains as one of the most sample
d acts ever. Funny enough, its serious political message on Brothers on the Slide, if taken litterally, later proved to apply to two of that 3-skaters part : shortly after Mouse, Shamil Randle and Gabriel Rodriguez totally slid out of the skateboarding world. Trippy ! Not as much as Cymande’s album covers.
Anyway, the track in question can also be foun
d on their Renegades of Funk comp or on the reissue LP Best Of Cymande, for the fetishist, yet cheap, vynil enthusiast.

Royal Flush :
Tune used : Worldwide instrumental mix (Gino Ianucci /
Keenan Milton)

When curly-haired soul music über-star Billy Preston covered You Are So Beautiful in 1974, he certainly didn’t think that his stellar, heart-melting effort was to become one of the hip hop sensations of the moment, twenty-or-so years later. In 1996, as sampled by the likes of East-Coast ghetto sensation Royal Flush, the tunes’ violins became an instant success again, propelling the humbly self-called “Street Boss” into selling over 150,000 copies of the album that followed the release of the 4-track 12’’ used on Ianucci’s and Milton’s 46-seconds-long part (counted).
For those who didn’t know, the full-length was called Ghetto Millionnaire and came out on Blunt Records, so that might give away a handful of the philosophical themes discussed in this true masterpiece. Like The Hieroglyphics Crew, The Beastie Boys or Lord Finesse, Royal Flush stands as one of the most memorable skateboard-affiliated rappers. Not sure he kows, even less sure he cares.


bisounours said...

ouaaah trop biengue!!
tu sais que je rêve de jouer cette playlist depuis trop longtemps.. d'ailleurs je compte bien le faire dès que ma web radio LOVE BUZZ sera en route, et grâce à la vhs d'origine de notre ami bertho j'ai pu retrouver la plupart des titres.
par contre si tu as la playlist complete ça m'intéresse, il m'en manque quelques uns, les hip hop d'ailleurs, dont ce royal flush que tu indiques içi, et la part de mike york aussi!
apres à base de curtis mayfiel, james brown, cymande, earth wind & fire, herbie hancock, war..., ça va, les ai presque tous en vyniles!
3 is a magic number, par de la soul...!!
bon bref un peu de pub, si ça vous branche on pourra retrouver ce mix sur bientôt!
merci a visual sound

The New Stereo Video said...

tiens, vla la liste complete des morceaux (il me manque juste un morceau de hip hop sur Mike carroll, je crois)

Bob Dorough
Three Is The Magic Number

Eric Burdon & War
Magic Mountain

James Brown
Doing It To Death

Booker T & The MG's
Time is Tight

Joe Cuba
El Pito

Brothers On The Slide

Curtis Mayfield
If There's A Hell Below We're All Going To Go

Earth Wind & Fire
Shining Star

Bob James

Royal Flush
World Wide

Gwen McCrae
90% Of Me Is You

Slipping Into Darkness

Joe Bataan
Aftershower Funk

L.L. Cool J
I Can't Live Without My Radio

Herbie Hancock
Watermelon Man

John Mellencamp
Jack And Diane