And Everybody Just Danced
The Saturday Knights - Mingle
My CD collection is somewhere around five or six thousand albums, so it's kind of embarrassing that I'd guess that less than 20 of those fall into the hip hop genre. This is especially shameful because a few years ago my job title included the words "Hip Hop Buyer." Granted, this was in the days when Master P and his No Limit posse ruled the charts, so it was hard to get excited about most of the crap I was selling, but still... Urban music is woefully underrepresented around my apartment, and sometimes this makes me feel very, very white. On the other hand, I have seen Biz Markie spin, and I once witnessed a Shaq freestyle in person (it wasn't nearly as entertaining as the video making the rounds this week), and not everyone can say that.
I bring this up because over the past couple of weeks, I've found an album that has shaken me out of my lazy hip hop deprived doldrums. Mingle, the debut album from Seattle's The Saturday Knights, is the kind of record that even people who aren't huge rap fans can get excited about. The first two songs, "45" and "Count It Off," are so ridiculously fun that it was three days before I laid off the repeat button and got into the rest of the album. Once I did, I discovered eleven more gems that touch on rock, funk, pop, soul and even surf. "Dog Park" has a kind of late 80s/early 90s Madchester feel, while "Mutt" is pure garage rock thump. That kind of genre jumping is probably what you'd expect from an album who's guests include The Dap Kings, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, and The Muscle Shoals Horns. Lyrically, the rhymes provide a humorous take on subject matter nearly as varied as the music. Over the past couple of weeks, Mingle has become the go-to CD in my car, which probably isn't very good for my hearing. It's the kind of record that is almost impossible to listen to without cranking the volume.
The Saturday Knights - "45" (mp3)
The Saturday Knights - "Dog Park" (mp3)
To hear the album in its entirety, check out My Old Kentucky Blog and the KEXP Blog, who are each hosting half the album for a streaming listening party.