Archive for Father’s Day

Smokey Robinson – Dr. Steve’s Selections, Vol. 1 – Mixtape

Posted in Gold with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2013 by xxx
As always the download link is located at the bottom of the post.

“You see you’re just like me, I hope you’re satisfied.”

My dad (Steve) loves music as much as anyone I know. His tastes aren’t that diverse, but he knows what he likes and that works for him. His favorite songwriters are Smokey Robinson and Bob Dylan. He loves to say that Bob Dylan once called Smokey “America’s greatest living poet”. It’s true, a quote like that is pretty heavy, coming from someone widely regarded as one of the greatest wordsmiths in American history, love it or hate it. At first glance, it might seem strange that his two favorite musicians were operating in very different genres. My dad likes to point out how many of their songs share similar lyrics, themes, titles…etc. I think that point only really applies to Dylan’s love songs, because every love song ends up sharing a bit with every other love song. But what I think isn’t  important. My dad created this connection between two artists of his admiration and if it’s true to him, it’s true. That’s his interpretation and maybe he’s right… after all, Dylan was a fan of ol’ Smoke.

Smoke

My memories of childhood, and all the years since, are colored heavily with the sounds of Motown. We had this big jukebox filled with my dad’s 45s that used to run almost all the time. Later on it was turned on only during parties and pool games and things like that, but the library never changed. The thing is a fixture of my childhood. I used to watch the bubbles float up in front of the color changing pinwheel decorative things. My first psychedelic experiences were probably at a very young age sitting at the foot of the jukebox. I’d sit there taking in these songs usually misunderstanding the lyrics in the way that a 4-year old might. A classic lyrical mix-up for me was with the song “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest” off of Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding album. I always thought the song was about a conflicted “Jewish Priest”. Smokey’s songs were less cryptic and probably more soothing to a young boy.

I’ve got to thank my dad for having such passion for music and for sharing it with me. I never experienced any sort of repulsion towards my parent’s music. Their music was always “super rad”. My dad has always been pleasantly surprised to be reassured that I think that his music is cool. It is. Smokey Robinson is an unbelievable songwriter and an equally talented vocalist/musician. I think his work is timeless and I can’t imagine anyone finding most of his work tacky or unenjoyable. If you have felt emotion, you will like Smokey. It’s emotional music through and through, but not in the hitting you over the head way. It’s pleasant. It’s sweet. It’s hypnotic. Only one person can make music like this. Smokey Robinson.

A couple months ago my dad gave me a couple old cassette tapes and asked me if I could digitize them for him. I’ve been lazy about getting around to it, but I’ve finally done it and god damn am I impressed. This cassette is a curated greatest hits album of my dad’s favorite Smokey cuts. Sure, you could download most of these songs in a high quality CD form (well not all; there’s some alternate versions on here). But you’d be missing the point. There’s charm to these transfers. Almost everyone starts with a cassette tape sound of tape speeding up, each song has a little warble to it. This is a 15-20 year old cassette that was listened to heavily.  There are some surprises hidden in the mix. Track 6 is my personal favorite, it starts with the opening line of “Whose Gonna Take the Blame” and then cuts into some other jingle for a bar and then cuts again into “Different Strokes for Different Folks”. To some it is just the result of bad tape cueing; sloppy mix-tape making. To others, and I hope that’s all of us here, it’s a beautiful accident, the sort that not even the best DJ could emulate. This mix-tape is just begging to be sampled.

So on this Father’s Day, I’m not only going to share his digitized tape with him, but with all of you too. I hope you all enjoy it this summer. It’s perfect for playing during a nice evening with your closest friend(s) by candlelight.

Steve and Nona

I want to thank my dad for instilling such good taste in music in me from a young age. I know that he secretly wishes he had become a musician. He gave up guitar lessons as a boy. Well Dad… don’t worry, I’ve got that locked down for the both of us. Just sit back and enjoy this music. I’ll take care of the rest.

Download Here

Tracklist

1. I Want to Be Your Love

2.We’ve Saved the Best for Last

3. If You Can Want

4. Here I Go Again

5. Baby, Baby Don’t Cry

6. Who’s Gonna Take the Blame/Satisfaction (medley)

7. We’ve Come too Far to End it Now/I’ll Try Something New

8. I’ll Try Something New (Alternate Version)

9. You Cannot Laugh Alone (Deep in My Soul)

10. Jasmin

11. Easy 

12. Just to See Her

13. Keep Me

14. One Heartbeat