Hey everybody, I’m Matt (Granddesign), the newest member of the Lanky Bastards (probably only by a few minutes). In real life I’m a professional photographer, videographer and amateur bird psychologist. I’m happy to be able to share with this group of musical mad men and women.
I’ve been collecting records for most of my life. I caught the bug from my grandmother who would take me garage sailing with her when I visited. Digging became an issue, I ended up with way more records than I could store. There were records lining the hallways, and in every room sparing the bathroom. I estimate I must have had over 5 thousand records at my peak. I once moved across the country only bringing some clothes and as many records as my car could hold. Over the years I’ve learned to become more picky, and my tastes have become more refined. Several record swaps and donations later I’ve managed to get my collection down to the hundreds.
My job requires me to travel quite a bit within the state. On my way home I hit up every thrift store I can, scouring the record bins for gems. Sometimes I can go weeks without picking anything up, most of the time if I find anything good it’s in horrible shape. Usually if I’m picking anything up I know right away. There’s always one record that stands out from the usual Mantovani, or Sing Along with Mitch albums. It could be a good jazz album, or foriegn pressing that lets me know there could be some gold in the bins. I know then that there are records from someone that has taste. This maybe happens once a month or less, but when it happens it’s super exciting.
I hope to share some of my more obscure finds on this blog. Things that aren’t available on Spotify, Youtube, or even listed on Discogs. I especially enjoy collecting private press, acetates, and specialty label records. Much of it really isn’t worth sharing, but I do have plenty of gems.
While GD digs up the slammin’ diamonds-in-the-rough, I’ll be surfing the digital vaults, instagram’s #musiccurrators, and everybody’s favorite algorithms to bring y’all some (usually) modern bops.
Hi! I’m erica. I run a music blog called Lazy Plays and if I’m not your already your one & only favorite music blogger, what are you even doing? I mean… I’m super considerate and play reallllly nicely with others, so I’m teaming up with the Lazy Bastards too!
All you need to know about me is that I like wigglecore. Anything that moves your soul will probably move mine on the right day and with the right explanation. My room on JQBX, 🦃wiggle room🦃, is essentially hi-fi MF ROOM with “soulless” classical and indie music allowed.
Save all your bird-related tunes for me because I’ve been a bird biologist for the past five years, and can’t escape my cult brainwashing. I’m also down to collect any reggae, Rn’B, jazz, soul, indie, and electronic recommendations y’all have. And probably more genres that I don’t even know about yet.
Now that I’ve overindulged and lost at least ½ of our 3 readers, I’m here to say that this collaboration is really special to me. The …Lanky… Bastards are my idols, mentors, and friends in music discovery and I can only hope to bring something to their already-overflowing table. They’ve already instilled in me a never-before-seen love of Latin, taught me how to count to 4, and bestowed many bird-related tunes upon me.
On this blog, I’m going to try to share some things I think might be lanky. Maybe I’ll miss the mark sometimes, maybe it’ll be a new foray into a genre we don’t usually hear from. If you want to be my number one fan and be a complete ass to the rest of these bastards, you can always follow Lazy Plays for more muzak!
Desert Island Reggae
To start this collab off strong, GD and I are going to share some favorites in a realm where the lanky waters haven’t yet been tested: reggae. And by waters I actually mean sands, because we’re going to share our absolute essentials, the reggae we would bring to a desert island if we were forced to choose just 5.
Of course, whatever desert island we’re getting sent to must have a sound system, or at least a high-quality sub, because we’re going to bass-forward-band-land. Come along. Will it lank? Will one of us be voted off the island on our first post? You decide.
Niney The Observer – Head Shot (2002)
Some gems from Niney’s archives. I picked up this album, along with Loot Pack’s Soundpieces at what used to be our local music store. What luck, they both are some of my favorites to this day. My favorite on here is Zorro, with Skatalites saxophonist, Tommy McCook. If there was ever a movie made about me, I would want this to be my theme song.
Ernest Ranglin – Bless Up (2014)
The perfect mash up of jazz and reggae, from one of the greatest guitarists in Jamaican history. Recorded in 3 days during a break from their busy touring schedule, Ranglin and his band managed to throw together a masterpiece.
Dawn Penn – ‘You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)’ (No, No, No) (1994)
I don’t think Penn could imagine how popular her re-recording of this song from 1967 in the nineties, would end up becoming so popular. For me this is the ultimate ear worm. I don’t know where I first heard it, but it hasn’t left me since.
Fat Freddie’s Drop – Based on a True Story (2005)
Debut album from New Zealand’s Fat Freddie’s Drop. A journey through history of Jamaican music with modern electronic influences. Not many other artists can cover so much territory and still sound cohesive. There are little surprises hidden behind every corner, rewarding the diligent listener.
Cedric Im Brooks & The Light Of Saba – The Magical Light of Saba (2003)
A fusion of reggae, funk, latin and afro-beat. Densely layered and complex, this is the type of album it’s easy to get lost in. Before adding this to the blog, I had always thought this was from the seventies, but it turns out it was recorded in 2003. I think this may be the lankiest of my picks as it has a little something for everyone here.
The Expanders – Old Time Something Come Back Again, Vol. 2 (2017)
This album’s coming with me because it’s bringing old and underrated Jamaican music into the future. So I’m bringing it to a desert island. To hog the sound all for myself. All the songs here are covers of 60s/70s tunes – but the Expanders’ all-original Hustling Culture (2015) was a big contender for this list. It lost out because I just love ‘Put Those Fools’ (originally by The Tidals ) too much.
John Brown’s Body – Kings & Queens (2013)
Without a doubt, this album is coming with me anywhere I go. Desert island or not. And it actually has physically come with me everywhere I’ve lived since 2015.
JBB has the heaviest, tightest, best-composed material of any modern reggae band. This album specifically has a depth that’s unmatched even by their other releases – it’s sticky and danceable, but has that dub flavor, and so many interlocking melodies across instruments and song sections.
For me, this album is a front-to-back 10/10 and I couldn’t even pick one track, if I had to, as a starting point. Tommy Benedetti and Nate Edgar hold it all the fucking way down in the rhythm department and Elliot Martin’s spiritual vocal vibe could lift any song off the ground (see ‘Golden’ by The Movement, and also every other song he’s ever been on).
I could listen to this album on repeat for at least 3 weeks straight and still be hearing new parts, and I assume I’d be rescued from this desert island at that point. Unless GD had already eaten me for lunch.. 👀👻
Victor Rice – Smoke (2017)
If you were getting sick of vocals, this is the thing for you boiiiiiee. Victor Rice is ubiquitous (in the best possible sense of the word) in the modern reggae/dub/ska scene. He’s a fantastic producer and instrumentalist who moved to Brazil and built his own studio and label in São Paulo (🍄👀). Man’s groovy, I promise.
This album makes the cut because I adore ska, but I know that a lot of people don’t adore ska for, honestly, who KNOWS why? Vikkly hides the ska under some jazz on this one, so I can hear it and skank out, and you can go on make-believing you don’t like this genre. Perfection!
Jamiroquai – ‘Drifting Along’ (Travelling Without Moving) (1996)
Originally, this song was only available on Spotify as part of the Zero Effect (1998) soundtrack. Somehow the algorithms threw it my way, and it’s brilliant. Perfect lyrical themes for that not-knowing-wtf-you’re-doing vibe, so if I was on a desert island, I could draw all my emo power from this track without having to break theme or bring any ADTR.
Jordan Rakei – Franklin’s Room (2013)
My last pick is gonna be the first thing I ever posted about on Lazy Plays! Jordan Rakei is obviously some sort of alien angel-baby sent from the UK soul-n’B gods. If there is anything he can’t do in the dreamiest possible way, I don’t know what it is.
My favorite thing about this EP is that he tricks you into listening to reggae by making a straight-up Rn’B sandwich. He throws tracks 3-5 in there and boom, you’re a reggae fan now. (Don’t try to fight it.) ‘Selfish’ is the mega-jam, but really they’re all best heard together. I feel like Rakei’s voice would transport my brain off the island if only for a moment, and that’s why it’s coming with.
Thanks for tuning in for our first post!
You should know, it was painful for us to narrow down our selections to just 5 picks each! But with our combined efforts, I think this desert island situation is sounding quite nice. Let us know what you liked, or what you would’ve packed instead.
🦅 erica & GD 🦅