Thursday, August 04, 2011

»Do Whatchou Wanna Do Dawnstairs!«

You see, I live in a flat on the second floor. Below a couple, both in their late twenties. You wouldn't guess that they're engraving tombstones for a living, but that's what they're actually doing. They've got a dog, and a big one at that. I try to stay clear of him (or her, who knows?). But even though I meet them once in a while, I try to stay clear of the couple as well. Thing is, their relation is of the neurotic kind. Rarely a day that they don't shout at each other; plates are flying high and doors get slammed with a bang. It happens during the day and more often at night, normally quite late in the wee hours. Just yesterday I noted that the stone head of an ancient diety which was posed on a marble column in the staircase is missing. Probably it went against some wall. To tell the truth, living with such a couple downstairs makes me somewhat uneasy at times. But then, they're getting along all right. I meet them in the morning, and she smiles at me while walking the dog. As if nothing had happened. And they still engrave the tombstones of others and possibly will live a hundred years. They seem reality challenged, but reality is kind to them.

Whatcha gonna do? Putting up with noisy neighbors by listening to a nice piece of joyful, in-house-party funk from 1971. The song has been around in the net for a while (see here, for example), and on Soulgeneration we find it nicely described: »... a little bit of New York boogaloo, a little bit of funky groove and a whole heap hipshakin' goes into this late night rowdy houseshaker. A first class call and res- ponse between some poor chap trying to get some sleep after a hard days slog and Ruby an unsympathetic party queen who parties as hard as she works and aint never gonna relent. Ruby is the neighbour from hell but damn funky assed in her style.« Yep, I agree. Maybe I'd better start a party when below the plates are takin' off. On the other hand, they might start tossin' my records at the wall. No use taking that risk.
    Just to add some details: I am at a loss who exactly Ruby & The Party Gang are. The record was produced by Bobby Martin and John Mobley, affiliated to the Philly Sound. The song »Hey Ruby (Shut Your Mouth)« is often described as an instrum- ental, and in some ways it is. Interestingly, the B-side, »Ruby's House Party«, continues the funky jamming of the A-side and is much more of an instrumental, with the sax played by Alto Zack being the prominent feature (you can also hear him on the A-side). There is one other 45'' by Ruby & The Party Gang: »Ruby's Surprise Party / Too Much Pride« on Gamble # 2505.

Ruby & The Party Gang: »Hey Ruby (Shut Your Mouth)« on Law-Ton # 1554A (1971):

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