PEANUT BUTTER WOLF performing as part of UP ROC with DJ SERIOUS, KOLA, JOHN KUMAHARA and MIKE K. at Una Mas (422 Adelaide West), tonight (Thursday, May 17), $10 at the door. www.kol akube.com Rating: NNNNN
lately, turntable technician Peanut Butter Wolf has been trying to broaden the scope of the Stones Throw label he founded in 96 to release indie hiphop records by Rasco, Lootpack, Madlib and his various family members.
As a long-time beat-digging enthusiast with an appreciation for obscure funky breaks, Wolf naturally went for it when his label partner, Egon, suggested re-releasing the extremely rare Funky 16 Corners single by the Highlighters.
Fancy die-cut picture sleeves were designed, the surviving band members tracked down in Indianapolis, and liner notes were written to make the reissue special.
Imagine the Wolf's dismay, then, when just days after Stones Throw's Highlighters 7-inch hit the streets, the same track mysteriously appeared in England on Gerald Short's Jazzman label.
"Yeah, I was a little upset about it," sighs the Wolf man on his cellphone in San Francisco. "We contacted the band and signed a deal with them to re-release their 45, which was only ever available in the Indianapolis area. They made it themselves and sold it only at shows, at church and the local barbershop. That's why it's so rare.
"The guy in England knew about our record coming out and he just went ahead and released his version. It's pretty wack. Our version is definitely better -- it's the one the members of the Highlights show their families."
Stones Throw recently followed up their Highlighters reissue with the delightfully bizarre Lucky EP, which features four quaint nursery rhyme joints by Sharron and Harrell Lucky set to head-nodding drum thumps.
If the Pease Porridge ditty sounds familiar, it's because Prince Paul sampled it for the De La Soul Is Dead album.
"I've been looking for that Pease Porridge thing since the De La Soul album came out in 91. It's not an easy record to find.
"This label Melody House put out these children's records by Dallas-based husband-and-wife singing duo Sharron and Harrell Lucky. Of course, Egon found them. He's the real digger -- you should be interviewing him."