Saturday, May 12, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Belly Up, originally uploaded by bridgeportseasoning.

You'll notice that I finally switched to the new Blogger template. If you scope to the right, I also expanded and edited the blogrolls. Some things have changed, some have been removed, and there's plenty of interesting sites for you all.

eMusic Song of the Week

Although their relationship lasted a short time - from courtship to wedding to divorce, it was a little over two years - Betty Davis was the catalyst for Miles Davis' shift from post bop and cool jazz to fusion, from Armani and ties to velvet leisure suits and platform shoes, and from heroin to stronger heroin and hallucinogens. Betty introduced Miles to psychedelic rock and funk, and was the common denominator between Miles and Jimi Hendrix becoming friends (one of the reasons they divorced was that Miles suspected Betty of having an affair with Hendrix, an allegation she long denied). Still, she was an untamed force of nature that Miles correctly kept at arms length, lest he get fully sucked into her whirlwind.

After they divorced, Betty kept her ex-husband's surname and started a recording career of her own. Even for the sexually progressive '70s her frank lyrics and skimpy costumes were too much for the establishment of the time. She was as raunchy as early Prince, as calculating as Madonna in any of her incarnations, and at least ten years ahead of her time. Remastered versions of her first two records come out this Tuesday from Light in the Attic Records, and they're granite hard slabs of uncut funk. The albums are also available at eMusic or from the Light in the Attic website. After three poorly received records, her career fizzled. Today, Betty Davis is broke and living in squalor in Pittsburgh. This is the first time she'll receive proper royalties for her music on compact disc.

I'm sharing the lead track from her eponymous debut, recorded in 1973. For this record, she enlisted in the help of the rhythm section from Sly & the Family Stone, Larry Graham and Greg Errico (Errico produced the album), Santana's Michael Carabello, and both the Pointer Sisters and Sylvester helped out on backing vocals. "If I'm in Luck I Might Get Picked Up" is a five-minute gem of pure sleaze, Davis' lyrics bluntly conveying that she's looking to scratch that itch, as she rasps, "I'm wiggling my fanny, I'm raunchy dancing, I'm-a doing it, doing it. This is my night out."

Betty Davis - "If I'm in Luck I Might Get Picked Up"

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