The third week's entry in Monday Magick's month-long tribute to "Season of the Witch" comes via an epic voodoo-Funk rework of the tune courtesy of Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, and Steve Stills. It comes from their 1968 "all-star jam" album 'Super Session' and takes the shape of a nearly 10 minute long extended "jam" take on the song.
Initially meant to be a collaborative jam session featuring Bloomfield (of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Bob Dylan fame) and Kooper (again, known for backing Dylan, as well as forming Blood Sweat & Tears), the session soon grew to include Stills (who had just left Buffalo Springfield) after Bloomfield failed to show for the second day of recording. That said, the lengthy and languid version of "Season of the Witch" that appears on the album could probably more fairly be billed as a Kooper, Stills track. The song's uniquely funky groove, serpentine bassline, shuffly drum break, and churchified organs have provided sample fodder for a number of notable Hip-Hop tunes, including one where A Tribe Called Quest frontman Q-Tip raps about having anal intercourse with a woman already engaged in copulation with Black Sheep's Mr. Lawnge. What? Orgy raps? Could we be talking a little sex magick here?
I doubt that. But regardless, this remains one of my personal favorite cover versions of a widely covered tune, cut in a unique style, by an amazing group of musicians. Kooper is still around, recounting storied legends from the golden age of popular music where and when ever he can. Stills, as you may know, went on to form another supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash, which had a huge amount of success during the post-Hippy era. Sadly, Bloomfield passed away from a drug overdose in 1981.
Music is magick!
In honor of the 30th anniversary of Def Jam Recordings, Rolling Stone followed label founder and groundbreaking Hip-Hop producer Rick Rubin back to where it all started.
I only wish the Def Jam roster of today, after the company has been manhandled by various corporate overseers through the years, was like it was circa '86-'95.
Hellfyre Club's resident R&B singin' dude Anderson Paak delivers a slinky little Lite-Funk number in "Miss Right", his newest single.
The video for the tune, which is on some black and white, neo-noir, sexy-but-scary, 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' steez, is on some other-other-other shit though.
"Miss Right" is from .Paak's debut album, 'Venice'
, which is due out October 28th.
Goats, the animals, are great because they faint out of the blue, can walk on almost any surface, and scream like insane people.
GOAT, the band, are great because their "Hide From the Sun" video, with it's kooky costumers and magickal imagery, is freaking me right the fuck out!
"Hide From the Sun" is from the cryptic Swedish collective's recentrecord 'Commune', out now on Sub Pop.
Beards, drugs, dancing, and emotion.
That's what the Ben Hernstrom-directed clip for Ennui's "Summer of Love" is all about.
"Summer of Love" is from the Pittsburgh-based Synthpop musician's recent LP 'Telepathic Beat'
, which is out now on Mush Record.
Spaced-out Country/Lounge outfit Timber Timbre honor the traditions of high weirdness in the new Leblanc + Cudmore-made video for their tune "Grand Canyon".
"Grand Canyon" is from the recent album 'Hot Dreams'
, which is out now on the Arts & Crafts recording label.
Our month-long tribute to "Season of the Witch" continues in this week's Monday Magick with a 1969 cover courtesy of Soul crooner Lou Rawls. Known primarily for his sophisticated soulful Pop sides for Capitol and later Philadelphia International, "Season of the Witch" remains a standout in Lou Rawls catalog.
This version of Donovan's classic, occult-leaning, composition, which appeared on Rawls' 'The Way it Was The Way it Is' LP, is one of my personal favorites, due in no small part to the production acumen of Capitol Records' studio wizard David Axelrod. His work here definitely favors the sort of Soul/Jazz fusion stuff he did for Cannonball Adderly at the label, but the psychedelic flourishes present certainly point to what he'd do later with The Electric Prunes, and as a solo artist.
Outside of this odd but oh-so-funky cover of "Season of the Witch" I've never known Rawls to have any overt connection with magick or the occult. While Axelrod certainly showed his own affinities for such matters as he delved into liturgical music and music inspired by the works of William Blake over the years.
Music is magick!