Filed under: A Red Black Green Production, Father's Children | Tags: DC Soul Recordings
We were excited to see some more excitement surrounding our favorite DC-area spiritual soul and funk ensemble, Father’s Children. It’s one of those records that we’re still caning on the office turntable, but we barely hear a peep about in the outside world. Thanks to the Soul51 blog for continuing to beat the drum! (And don’t forget… a few pieces of Father’s Children flotsam and jetsam appear on the excellent A Red, Black, and Green Production collection!)
Filed under: Boddie, Eccentric Soul 45s, Father's Children, Lists, Methodology, Nickel & Penny, Stone Coal White, Titan, Willie Wright
Every year we take the temperature of the Numero office to find out what people thought of all the crap we dreamed up in a year. Here’s the top 10 (of 14) weighted amongst the 11 full and part time staff members of the label.
Being the youngest employee at Numero, it seems fitting that Little Ed and the Sound Masters would be my first full design project. I throw around the term “pixel pusher,” but seriously, by having an extra hand in the design department, we were able to integrate design into every element of this release, making this box set more than just a few records thrown haphazardly into a box. For those familiar with Light: On The South Side, the Little Ed box answers any remaining questions about this family bar band backed/fronted by their 8 year old drumming brother. For those who aren’t, may I suggest you buy both? —Nate Phillips
09. Doc Rhymin “Dictionary Rap”+2 12”
Rap was its own greatest recruitment tool; what rap fan in the late ’80s wouldn’t want to be a rapper? Lyrical marathons of this ilk start in the cafeteria, gain momentum by the lockers, and are debuted on the bus. Was enough afterschool revenue squandered to record, but not enough to press? Unfortunately, these rhyme practitioners still elude us. Even contributors from the Cleveland Style compilation, a regional rap survey from the same era, failed to recognize any of these three impressionable emcees by name or nature. The lone rap entry in Thomas Boddie’s everyman recording log, Doc Rhymin’ is a idyllic artifact of inland rap in its emergent stages. Short explanation: It’s bonkers. —Jon Kirby
I admit it, I can be had by colored vinyl. So I felt no burn when a scant 500 copies of this dove headlong into the red—a translucent red, no less, about as transparently candy-like as the bulk of the pop confections within. Numero’s first foray into the non-black, 024V upgrades the tidy original 2CD package’s contact-sheet chic into an assault on the senses carried out by pic sleeves, glossies, and mimeographed posters, all in glorious 12×12. The hook-mining of Titan’s Mark Prellburg and Tom Sorrells, though, is the coup de grace, especially considering the LP version’s 10 extra tracks, all future candidates for that “Wait a second, I’m singing along to this” moment. You know it’s coming, too. —Judson Picco
What I love about this record is not just its casual, tossed-off, one-take vibe, its youthful innocence, or its almost-Motown-if-only-for-lack-of-a-full-production potential. No, what I really love about “You And Me” is that it’s a hit. The sole musical focus and turning point of “Blue Valentine,” an independent film that found its way out of the art houses and into the hearts of couples everywhere, “You And Me” sold like McFuckingRib. At its peak we were averaging 500 downloads a day and burned through our first pressing faster than the FBI burned through Waco. A great song? Yes it is. A great song that everyone loves? Shit, isn’t that what this business is supposed to be about? —Tom Lunt
In the liner notes to Cali-Tex’s first album in three years you’ll find the words, “as unique as anything recorded anywhere at the time”. It would be quite hard to argue with that statement. The rare sound of these hazed out psych-funk trailblazers is unprecedented, no matter how deep you dig. The 45’s captured on this release, plus the additional four we scraped off a waterlogged tape, shine a light on a midnight hour, raw as steel, black as smoke motorcycle scene that no other place and time could ever replicate. Stone Coal White just feels like a dark relic that has every right to be preserved, up there with the finest to come from the already unique Dayton, Ohio funk scene. Also, we got an actual tombstone cut for the cover, which sits in our yard and is pretty awesome. —Ryan Razowsky
This nugget of previously unreleased soul from D.C.-based vocal group Father’s Children might of been the most slept on Numero release of year. In 1972 Father’s Children found their home outside the Chocolate City, nestling into DC’s vanilla suburbs at Robert “Jose” Williams DB Sound Studios. Like Kohoutek, touted by Time Magazine as “The Comet of The Century,” Father’s Children passed by Earth in 1973 and was quickly forgotten. Who’s Gonna Save The World is a hypothesis of the album that could have been, a comet for this new century that’s still circling around your local record store. —Zach Myers
The first time I heard Willie Wright’s Telling The Truth was when our friend Douglas Mcgowan of Yoga Records had sent us MP3s of that LP which he had found in a Massachusetts thrift store. Needless to say, we listen to a lot of music at the office and our attention span is pretty kinetic and highly opinionated—Numero HQ is not for the faint of heart. But Willie Wright’s soulful folk songs seemed to immediately transcend all of the snarkiness and critical nature of everyone’s various tastes in music. And therein lies the beauty of this simple but unforgettable album. To me, it crushes anything in Terry Callier’s catalog—the immediate touchstone for this type of music. It was my go to album throughout most of the year because really, what is better to put on then some breezy sunshine music as a coping mechanism to get through the wretched Chicago winter, or to cruise around with the windows down along the Pacific Coast highway. According to my iTunes & iPod I listened to these crude MP3s over 150 times before we got the new masters late in 2010, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since then. For some reason these simple songs never get old to me, they just keep getting better. — Michael Slaboch
The cuts compiled from Pegue’s Nickel and Penny labels are, in a way, a love letter to the magic of the man himself. He was moved by these tracks, and he wanted to share that with the masses. Admittedly I’m generally not into ballads, but the opening to “Never More” by Little Ben & the Cheers just sends chills down my spine. And it just gets better from there; the groovy, girly sounds of “Fall In Love Again”, Jerry Townes’ rockin’ “You Are My Sunshine”…and then Little Ben and the Cheers just absolutely slay it on “Mighty, Might Lover” a choice mid-album burner. Things heat up even more with a couple of stunners by the South Shore Commission, and ultra funky, but not related, Brothers & Sisters. Then, as the album progresses, the production gets weirder and weirder, culminating in the completely whacked out “Sign of the Zodiac” by South Suburban Electric Strings, a nice little instrumental cut with a bit of off-kilter drumming complimented by brilliant orchestration and some great funk guitar work. Then to bring it all full circle, “The Ember Song” is the perfect capstone, because the ember of Pegue’s influence really is and should be forever.
Growing up in suburbs of Chicago, I’ve always loved the role that WGCI has played in Chicago’s soul scene. To me, the old soul and dusties that were played were almost otherworldly compared to the alternative rock radio and pop overload I was used to. And nobody championed those dusties better than WGCI’s own Richard Pegue. When he told you he was playing “the best music of your life,” it wasn’t just hyperbole. Pegue meant it, and it was gospel truth. Because when you heard those cuts, they became part of you, and not in that annoying can’t get it out of your head sort of way, this was deep. Real deep. — Dustin Drase
Our only regret this year was making the record so limited. Just 1000 LPs, 1000 CDs, and 300 cassettes exist, which is a shame for a record of this caliber. Such is the life of a mix tape. When we first excavated the Boddie archive in the summer of 2009, we were pleasantly surprised with the volume of tapes by non-Boddie labeled artists that were still on the premises. And not just tapes, but unused labels, order forms, stampers, dead stock, jackets, test pressings, acetates, and all manners of record pressing-related ephemera. We knew a project existed among all this detritus, we just needed to listen to the tapes to find it. Using Dante Carfagna’s discography and a red binder kept in Thomas Boddie’s desk drawer that listed nearly every record ever made on site, we cobbled together a dream compilation. We assigned a half number not to denigrate the album, but rather to tie it in as a companion to the larger Boddie box we knew was coming (The concept was grabbed from the classic “split label” releases that Dischord employed in the ’80s and ’90s). Tracks like the Imperial Wonders, Los Nombres, and Harvey & the Phenomenals were shoe-ins, but it’s the outliers that really made this record special; Slippery When Wet, Donald Eckert, and Wicked Lester are among my favorite discoveries of the year. And that’s saying a lot because we uncover cool shit almost everyday. Perhaps most remarkable is the possibility of a sequel, as we left an equal number of treasures on the cutting room floor. I suppose this is what 10 year anniversary editions are made for. —Ken Shipley
It’s no surprise that Boddie Recording Company galloped easily to the #1 slot. Six years in the making, with over two years spent just evaluating the material. Five trips to Cleveland, countless meals at Yours Truly, hundreds of master reels listened to, thousands of pages of documents sorted, dozens of letters written to artists and group members… the Numero office has really been the Boddie Historical Society for the last few years. To see the massive, extraordinary results is a triumph around here. Sure, it was delayed weeks by a shipping crisis involving a lost trucking container and a drunken train conductor. But as Boddie was plagued by rotten luck during their time, we expected some of it would rub off on our box.
Some have called Boddie our finest work and wondered where we can possibly go next. The kids in the mail order department have pleaded with us to not do anything like it again. Only one group is going to be disappointed. Sorry Nate Phillips, it’s going to be yours. —Rob Sevier
Because we know you’ve been trained to your TV following this Casey Anthony bull shit, we wanted to remind you that a few new items have been added to our website. First off, part two of the 2011 Vinyl Subscription is now open for both current and new subscribers here.
2011 Vinyl Subscription Part 2:
$150.00 (Part 1 Subscriber rate) / 165.00 (New Subscribers)
+009 Doc Rhymin’ 12”
The Numero 12” series returns after a three year hiatus with an oddball nugget from the Boddie Recording Company vault. Cleveland rap differs from the sounds emanating from New York and Los Angeles in one major way: most of the region’s recorded output has no samples. Copies of Ultimate Breaks & Beats were extremely scarce, leaving upstart rhymsters high on VHS-dubs of Yo MTV Raps to lean heavily on programmed drum machines and keyboards rather than “Funky Drummer” and “Different Strokes.” Doc Rhymin’s basic 808 approach does not disappoint, as he lets his well rehearsed cadence carry each of the 12”s three songs with nary a gimmick to be heard.
CT-010 Stone Coal White LP
Only the 10th record from DJ Shadow’s long running Cali-Tex imprint, Stone Coal White fits the label’s bill of unearthing the most wasted and primitive funk records ever recorded to a T. Some will recognize “You Know” from the black-psych mix bible Chains & Black Exhaust, but as the group’s two 45s exist in single digit quantities, only a handful have heard the rest of this Ho Chi Min City-damaged oeuvre.Their two 45s have been bolstered with four previously unissued tracks, found in the basement of a now-condemned motorcycle gang hideout in Dayton, Ohio.
024 Titan: It’s All Pop 4LP (+bonus 10”)
From 1978-1981 the Titan label issued only eight records, but over the years their tiny catalog has crawled to the top of power- pop want lists worldwide and appeared on scads of bootleg cassettes, building a legacy to rival L.A.’s Bomp or New York’s Ork. Located in fly-over country, Titan was forced to start their own scene, import their own skinny ties, and scour Missouri for their own talent. Their midwest AM bubblegum roots are apparent in the likes of Gary Charlson, the Secrets*, Arlis!, Gems, Millionaire At Midnight, the Boys, J.P. McClain & the Intruders, Bobby Sky, and Scott McCarl, but Titan was clearly influenced by the glam-punk spit beinghocked from the 100 Club stage. 30 years since they meekly flopped out their first 7” single, Kansas City’s Titan Records finally returns to record bins everywhere in a deluxe 4LP retrospective boasting ten bonus tracks not on the double CD.
Bonus pre-order only live Boys 10” (limited to 500) is included with the subscription price.
ES-Box 003 Lil’ Ed & the Soundmasters 3×45
First featured in our 2LP+book box set Light: On The Southside with the track, “It’s A Dream,” Lil’ Ed & the Soundmasters released only three 45’s during their career on the group’s Fised and Fished labels. Housed in a custom printed 45 box, this triple single boxset also features a 12 page booklet that delves into the history of this Chicago family-funk band and its 8 year old drummer.
035 Boddie Recording Company:
Cleveland, OH 5LP (+bonus LP)
We’ve been threatening this thing for two years, and as I type this we’re putting the finishing touches on the set. The five album box boasts a whopping 64 tracks, and includes not one but two LP-size booklets chronicling the Boddies and their stable of misfit artists. The packaging on this must be seen to be believed, as we’ve spared no expense in creating the ultimate document of this Cleveland institution.
Also, In addition to the 11 LP’s and 3 Singles listed above, you will get any bonus materials we make for the rest of the year along with the 15% subscriber discount both at our online store (numerogroup.com) and at any events taking place in 2011 like the Chirp Record Fair at Pitchfork and the WFMU Record Fair.
!!!!!!!!!!!!! Part 2 of the 2011 Vinyl Subscription will close after the pre-orders for NUM024 – Titan: It’s All Pop 4LP Box Set closes at the tail-end of August!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you don’t have the clams to shell out for the subscription you can pick up both Doc Rhymin 12″ and Stone Coal White before the release drops next Tuesday. Also if you haven’t picked up NUM037 – Father’s Children: Who’s Gonna Save The World, follow the link and listen to the snippets and I assure you you won’t be disappointed.
Lastly, we present to you our 2011 Numero Summer Clothing Collection with the release of our new Soul Kitchen Tee and Twinight Tee. Granted there are only 2 pieces in this summer series, these American Apparel fit tees look good in any situation. From getting bombed at the beach to hitting on your second cousin, these shirts hold up in any type of summer shenanigans, keeping you in style even if your behavior isn’t.
Filed under: Father's Children, Uncategorized | Tags: DC Soul Recordings, Father's Children
The new record by Father’s Children hit many record stores just in time for, ahem, Father’s Day and has been getting some great local attention in the District of Columbia. The Washington Post ran this brief but very positive review. To celebrate the official release date, project researcher Kevin Coombe is throwing a party at Marvin (14th & U Street NW). Kevin is manning the decks, along with Neal from Som Records (AKA DJ Neville C). Most of the band will be there to sign records (CDs will be for sale if you haven’t already gotten one) and to get to know their fans, present and future. The set will be comprised largely of obscure DC soul music, some of which will be turning up on future releases.
Update: We got word from the band and the hosts of the event that it was a success. Thanks to everyone that came out, especially old friends who the band hadn’t seen in many years.
If you don’t have it marked on your calendar, the next Numero record is coming to a store near you on June 21st. It’s by this Washington DC soul septet called Father’s Children and you need it. The LP comes with three 8×10″ glossy photos, a 45, and a sick picture of FC brother #1 Qaadir on the cover. The CD is nice too, housed in our slipcase with a terrific essay and scores of previously unpublished photographs. And if this paragraph has failed to convince you, give a listen to the needle drop below:[audio https://numerogroup.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/fatherschildren_needledrop.mp3]
Can’t wait until Tuesday? You can always buy it from us on CD/LP/MP3.
Pre-Orders are now available through our website for NUM037 Fathers Children: Who’s Gonna Save The World and as always Media Mail Shipping is free on all orders within the Continental United States. It’s only fitting that this fresh unheard slice of cosmic group harmony soul from D.C. will be dropping worldwide on June 21st during the summer solstice. Who’s Gonna Save The World features all unreleased material from the group with the exception of “Intellect” which is featured on the LP Only Bonus 45 (ES-026 for those keeping up with our growing catalog of 45’s). So fork over the 20 bones or so for an album that surely doesn’t disappoint and pre-order it here.
Filed under: Father's Children
June 21st 2011: NUM037 Father’s Children: Who’s Gonna Save The World CD/LP+45
The first (well, second if you count Promise’s appearance on Home Schooled: ABC’s of Kid Soul) offering from the massive wealth of tapes we discovered in producer R. Hosea Williams’ garage in 2009, Who’s Gonna Save The World is the proper debut of Washington DC’s Father’s Children.
Hailing from the Adams-Morgan neighborhood, in 1973 Nick Smith, Billy Sumler, and Ted “Skeet” Carpenter created a lost document of gritty soul, concerned with its own time and place, stripped of the L.A. gloss that permeated the the group’s own 1979 “debut” for Mercury. Unreleased until now, this true freshman offering is an amalgam of sunny vocal group harmonies, fuzz-guitar solos, shimmering keys, bubbling percussion, spiritual prophecy, and dub experiments.
Who’s Gonna Save The World gets the full Numero treatment, with extensive notes and scores of unpublished photos. Deluxe LP edition includes the bonus 45, “Linda Movement” b/w “Intellect” (the latter side not on the the CD).
July 14th, 2010: CT-010 Stone Coal White LP
Only the 10th record from DJ Shadow’s long running Cali-Tex imprint, Stone Coal White fits the label’s bill of unearthing the most wasted and primitive funk records ever recorded to a T. Some will recognize “You Know” from the black-psych mix bible Chains & Black Exhaust, but as the group’s two 45s exist in single digit quantities, only a handful have heard the rest of this Ho Chi Min City-damaged oeuvre.
Their two 45s have been bolstered with four previously unissued tracks, found in the basement of a now-condemned motorcycle gang hideout in Dayton, Ohio. It’s that serious.