Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm looking for some sweet soul music

Who feels it knows it lord. I said, I feel it, and I know it...

I've been in the mood lately for sweet, soulful music. And it certainly doesn't need to be soul. Although that would be more than fine. Any genre welcome. What do you turn to when you're in the mood for something like this? What gives something a bit of soul for you? It's a word I've been thinking about a lot lately. It has so many possible meanings. But I think you know what I mean, right?

So, if this was an RR subject...songs with sweet soulfulness. ANyone?....

Funky 16 corners

And, on a side note...Funky 16 Corners has moved. I know May likes it; I don't check it very often, but I like what I hear when I do. I can actually imagine quite a few people would like this blog - it covers obscure crate-digging funk, soul, jazz, and every combination therein.


Shoegazer said...

Ah, you are hitting me in my musical blind spot. Always prefer my Funk/Soul/Jazz with a cutting edge, i.e: James Brown - the best live act to ever grace the planet. For "sweet" will offer up '80's era Scritti Politti, although it's not funky or jazzy enough.

steenbeck said...

Shoey, it doesn't need to be soul, it could be dub or alt-country or punk, or any other genre you could come up with. Just something with a little soul, however you define that.

REally, however anybody defines that, and I'd be interested in the definitions.

Did you really live in Jersey for 10 years? Did I know that? What part?

Shoegazer said...

1. It either has it for you or doesn't .
2. Yes
3. I'm guessing no
4. N Bergen (about 15 mins from the GWB)

steenbeck said...

1. You're absolutely right. I almost called this "who feels it knows it" I'm going to edit it a bit.

2-4. Well, I'll be damned. Did you go to a lot of good shows in the city?

Shoegazer said...

1. No you won't
2. Have a Manhatten don't ask don't tell policy. Good times.

nilpferd said...

Like that BMW track a lot, Steen.
You know my fav. soul jazz tracks already, Cannonball Adderley, Eddie Harris, Grant Green.
Soulwise backing vocals are important, I always found The Commodores' Night Shift comforting whenever it came on the radio, during my period of crushingly boring menial labour, while
Gladys Knight and the Pips are also always good for a lift.
Otherwise I'd go for Nuyorican soul, especially the Fania or house-inflected M.A.W.
variants, and soulful breakbeats such as Afronaught's Transcend me.

tincanman said...

I think this could be a huge topic - and thanks for that Steen, like I didn't have enough to do otherwise - because you want songs with soul rather than Soul songs in the commercial sense of soul music. I've been listening to the 'northern soul' daddyPig and Toffee contributed for Leeds as well as May's 'weekly' RR contributiuons, and they know the genre so well that I shall listen and be thankful.
But non-Soul soul, that's different. To me a soul song, whether Soul or another genre, is a moment of personal desperation and yearning. Please please please let me get what I want. Please. For fuck's sake, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease. It's not my baby left me, because that's a thing that happened to me, and even if I say how it made me feel (my baby left me and now I feel blue), it's still more about what happened ... whereas, to me anyway, soul is solely (sorry, not trying to pun but its the only right word) about the inner torment and why you are tormented enough to sing it out is nearly immaterial. (hmm, it may come best when one doesn't know why; which may be why Amy Winehouse has soul and Duffy et all don't; why Janis did - in buckets - and better singers who tried didn't)

hmm#2 - I seem to have babbled

tincanman said...

Or does it only count if it has horns?

barbryn said...

Tricky this... "Soul" with a captial S is a bit of a blindspot in my music collection too, but widen the definition, and it's hard not to include everything sung with feeling. Then again, I do have an inkling of what you mean, and I think you'll find it in spades on Terry Callier's Timepeace album - one of those records I reach for when I need a particular mood.

saneshane said...

Akasha - Brown Sugar
(can't link - no idea about the misses laptop - like were is the mouse?)

soulful .. gives me the horn (or was it s'posed to have horns?) whoops..

get on with your bloody work - shane

Fintan28 said...

I'll try to put them down in a personal chronology. Ivory Joe Hunter, Jackie Wilson, Brook Benton, Smokey Robinson, Solomon Burke, Mary Wells, Barbara Lewis, The Marvelettes, The Impressions, The Temptations, Dusty Springfield, James Brown, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin- Ok this could go on for ever but If your loking for one really sweet, soulful song the one I listened to last night was Brook Benton's version of Joe South's (pretty soulful himself) "Don't it Make You Want to Go Home"

tincanman said...

Substitue passion for feeling in my above post, and it might be worth reading.
Here's a few songs I've always thought of as S/soul, one of which probably technically is anyway.
Janis Joplin - Ball And Chain
Joe Cocker - You Are So Beautiful
Koko Taylor - Walking The Back Streets
Ray Charles - When A Man Loves a Woman
Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind
That's no disrespect on 'real Soul' (like Fintan's excellent list; just sorta thinking aloud a bit.

ejay said...

Big question indeed, off the top of my head, a fairly recent song that i thought was, to quote Jay-Z, "so motherf**king soulful" is Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. Also, staying outside of Soul, there's Strings Of Life, Show Me Love, and definitely a lot of rocksteady.

May1366 said...

First, thanks for the Funky16Corners heads-up, steen - not logged on there since before the move and, you're right, it's a blog very much hewn from the same love of music that underlies our discussions here.

Soul in feeling but not in genre?
I get that with, for starters:
Colin Blunstone - Say You Don't Mind
Dolly Parton - Here You Go Again
George Jones - Good Year For The Roses
Bob Dylan - If You See Her, Say Hello
Simon and Garfunkel - Kathy's Song
The Clash - Stay Free

ejay said...

Actually from the Clash, what about Train In Vain?

I won't be on RR tonight, see y'all in the morrow.

lambretinha said...

Fantastic thread, terrible timing (to me, at least), Steenbeck!

It just reminded me of a few weeks back, when Maki was explaining to somebody else (... was it Sonobwebcore, I can't quite recall) the meaning of spanish word "Duende" used in this context in the flamenco world. Usually, a duende is a ghost, a haunting presence, and it would be applied to performers with that particular sensibility (pretty much in the context tincanman used it for Joplin -afaic, the jury's still out on Winehouse, sorry-).
There is another word, also used in flamenco, that I like better, that is "pellizco". Pellizco (that means "pinch", as in pinching somebody's arm, etc...) would be just the effect of somebody's duende... the pinch you can feel in your soul when a performance has that special magic, or when you feel a certain set of lyrics jumping out the song and coming alive to you... that gut feeling you get, in essence. I like it better because, unlike "duende", "pellizco" is a lot more subjective...

You know it when you get it, indeed.

Sorry about the rant, but I have to leave anyway, so that's all!

steenbeck said...

Hey, everybody, thanks for your responses!

Nilfperd - I was thinking about this Wailers album. I didn't send you anything from it because I only have it on vinyl, but maybe this is closer to the mystery track you once heard & liked? I plan to get this into my iTunes library, I'll drop a few tracks...

Tin - thanks for your babble. That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. I think "soul" is such an amazing word, so subjective and hard to define, but it's so tempting to try. Or pleasant to think about

Fintan, I'll look for Brooke Benton on the old Spotty.

Ejay - I love the phrase "SO MOTHER FUCKING SOULFUL"

May, I was hoping you'd look in on this one. I would actually like to hear more Soul with a big s, maybe a post for another time...

Lambre - love the term Pellizco, it's a physical description of an emotional feeling, which maybe shouldn't work, but it describes it perfectly

I've been thinking about this more during the night (this is what I find fun these days!!). I think "heartfelt" is a good term, and I think "sincere" works as well, though in our cynical world the word has been devalued, maybe. I was thinking, too (at the risk of sounding CRAAAAZY) that I'm not really a religious person, in any organized way, but there's some quality in certain music that fills that gap, in a way. According to my online dictionary, soul's various meanings are... the spiritual or immaterial part of a person; the moral or emotional center of a person; and emotional or intellectual intensity as revealed in a work of art. (I'm paraphrasing) Hey, now I'm babbling.

sourpus said...

Quit your bugging you bugging bugs!

How about 'Up with people' by Lambchop?. Maybe it swings a bit too much. But what a track!

nilpferd said...

Steen- yes, it was closer to what I remember. Be interested to hear a couple of tracks, thanks.
I think Tin is right, Soul is yearning, rather than gurning.

steenbeck said...

Hey, I like that Lambchop. I liked them when they came up during the falsetto thread as well. I think it was Barbryn that mentioned them. I"ve got a lot of listening to do!

sourpus said...

It used to be the lyrics that got me ('Yonder comes a boomin' sound. It used to come from underground. Now it emanates from a kind of welfare state of the soul') Appealed to the Gramscian in me. Now I just love the whole thing - the groove, the simplicity, the purity. My favorite Lambchop song - almost.

May1366 said...

If it's the Big S you're after, steen, here's a bunch of tracks that have me staring in space, tears all over my face, wondering why anyone would bother making any other type of music or any other type of art or, really, communicating in any other way:

Heatwave - Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Soul Galore - Jackie Wilson
Ordinary Joe - Terry Callier
When You Are Who You Are - GSH
Bring The Boys Home - Freda Payne
Shoulda Been Me - Yvonne Fair
Yes It's You - Sweet Charles
World Of Darkness - Little Anthony & The Imperials
The Love I Lost - Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
There Goes My First Love - The Drifters
Seven Days Too Long - Chuck Wood
Shake You Down - Gregory Abbott
Never Too Much - Luther Vandross
Please Don't Run From Me - George Clinton
I'm Doing Fine Now - New York City

going to shut up now...