Wednesday, December 7, 2011
If Beethoven is considered the main genius in classical music, then Esquivel would be the Beethoven of the 20th Century. Okay most of the songs weren't his own compositions, but his arrangements are completely unpredictable in terms of instrumentation, placement, and often zooming from one speaker to the other. I can't put it into words well, but this is instant good mood music, never fails.
On the record two orchestras were put in two different studios for complete stereo separation with all kinds of overdubs all over the place. There's even a live, 2 studio, piano delay, that sounds infinitely better than any delay pedal ever has.
I almost always prefer mono records, but not Esquivel. So many other groups don't know how to use stereo, hell listen to a lot of 60's pop/rock albums and you can't help but wonder what the hell the engineer was thinking. Esquivel is the master some sort of goofy art form of stereo mixing and arrangement. Too bad musicians these days take everything, especially themselves, so damn seriously, leaving music this fun to the past.
This is a masterpiece of wackiness.
All the tracks on the record blur together, so I just did each side on its own track. This is mostly more circusy versions of songs from "Juliet of the Spirits" and "8 1/2" with Italian and French clown dialogue, a few other tunes, and nicely rounded off with "Ebb Tide," a very fun record.
Yet another in the series of wonderful Nino Rota Fellini scores.
Seems like this made for TV movie is looked over way too much, Fellini fans who only like a few of his films really confuse me.
From the liner notes:
"It is all intricate and tragic and superbly simple-minded. As if to say: the clown is not dead and cannot die, but perhaps the world that cherished the clown is dead, the world of those who saw the clown in themselves. And that- the feeling that most people, so serious now, have forgotten that we are all partly clowns- is sad indeed."
La Mer- Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos
Iberia- The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy
Two great performances of two great pieces by one great composer on one scratchy record.
This copy is a bit rough, surely there's some surface noise from the 78 mastering and then the surface noise from this old LP. Not bad though, no skips or anything.
There's something so lazy about Sleepy John Estes, and I sure love lazy music. Great old blues.
Yet another "if the river was whiskey and I was a duck" song plus other nuggets of wisdom like "life is too short to worry about the one you love."
If Blind Willie Johnson is my favorite in harsh blues, Sleepy John is favorite of the lighter side...too lazy to get all worked up. Yep.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Two collections of great overblown energy from Bollywood.
I'm a bit partial to Vol. 2, probably because that's the one I heard first.
I must say that a lot of jazz really doesn't do that much for me, or maybe I just haven't heard the right stuff. The combination of Cuban jazz combined with 50's American improv. jazz makes for a good mix to me, but I have been watching a lot of Film Noir lately...a time when I'm much more vulnerable to jazz. It also helps that this is way less masturbatory than a lot of jazz sounds to me and with passionate performances, atmospheric qualities, song-ish elements, and the persistent energy, of the Cuban side, it can't help but hold my ear. Thankfully, not too flute heavy either.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Reviews from Trouser Press:
-Mr. (Brian) Hageman's solo album, Twin Smooth Snouts, is a little simpler than full TFUL282 music and also less accessible. He usually uses one or two contrasted or combined sounds (as opposed to the Fellers' four or five), retaining the band's loose, detuned string sound; his lyrical imagery is cryptic, thick and vaguely country-ish. He mostly sings in a monotone, and his instrumentals drag on (great titles, though: "Johnosaurus Wayne," "Shave the Gum," "Hamburger Pharmacy"). There are some nice touches, like the sound of a vibrator, erhu, car radio and metal rod, and creative stereo separation. "Rosa" transforms a traditional Cuban melody into a bar-room ballad.
-Going under the name the White Shark, goofier, odder Feller Mark Davies (wears skirts, plays banjo) is behind the Muggy Bog EP. A cheerful and complex musical vision, its wry lightness is based on the oddness of ordinary beauty: the chorus of "Waiting for the Day" is "doing the dishes, scrubbing the dog, getting out of bed and going to work" (of course, the day he's waiting for is the Apocalypse ). One song is sung from the point of view of mosquitoes ("We suck blood as a means to survive"); "Sodium Chloride" is a mini-musical about a man addicted to salt. There are also extraneous covers of Rod McKuen and Burt Bacharach.
Go figure Fellers side projects would be wacky listens. Each does its own thing and is enjoyable in its own way. A must for TFUL 282 addicts and something different for anyone else.
Twin Smooth Snouts:
(click on the picture for a great example of the good ol' back cover write up)
Found both of these records at Goodwill the other day, and it's not too surprising that they both came from the same person's collection (the name Dupuis is written on both covers). Two great ragtime/honky tonk piano albums, each in their own way.
Jo Ann Castle- 12 Great Hits in Ragtime
I recognized the name Jo Ann Castle from "Incredibly Strange Music Vol. 1," even though she was playing accordion on that, the lightning pace, lightness, and accuracy of her frantic playing remains. Its only weakness is the one song that adds overly wholesome vocals...would've been much better as an instrumental.
Crazy Otto- Golden Award Songs
Crazy Otto (classical pianist Fritz Schulz-Reichel) takes a much looser approach, using a de-tuned piano he calls his "Tipsy Wire Box." He also occasionally sings along, non-verbally, in a drunken Germanic slur sounding like it was picked up by the piano mic, to fantastic effect. Check out liner notes above. Great record.
both albums in one file:
What can I say, not everything he did was all that great, but when he was on, he was ON. My parent's old pile of Elvis 45's is pretty much all the Elvis I've ever had (other than the fantastic "Tiger Man" CD from the 68 Comeback, which showed he had a much better sense of humor about himself than any other superstar I can think of). Unfortunately his (early) kind of showmanship (lays it on thick, but doesn't overdo it) is a thing of the past. Plus, if someone can get me into sappy love songs, then they've really got some fucking talent.
1) (Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame
2) Little Sister
3) One Night
4) I Got Stung
Friday, October 21, 2011
World Of Pooh was Barbara Manning, Brendan Kearney, and Jay Paget (from Thinking Fellers Union Local 282) from late 80's San Francisco. I have to plead ignorance to Barbara Manning because I only came across this a a huge TFUL 282 fan, but it's definitely got me curious. It is kind of like a more accessible less weirdo spastic version of TFUL 282, but by no means an ordinary pop group. Maybe if this album had come out in '93, instead of '89, it would've gotten a hell of a lot more attention. Well, all the young folk these days seem to be all about everything 90's (goddam 20 year pop culture recycle program) so maybe this'll will get more attention, or re-issued...
I unfortunately forget about this album most of the time, I guess because I don't have a physical copy. I have no idea how so many fucking people only listen to music on computers, for some reason it just can't hold my attention quite as well and I miss out on a lot of stuff. I guess I need to get over that...just a little, at least.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Another great show from the 1981 U.S. tour (nothing here on "A Part Of America Therein, 1981"). I don't like Berkeley, and it seems like such an unlikely place for the Fall to play. I hope a lot of those fuckers were squirming, and they probably were, because the Fall are in very fine form here.
Great set, bass is too quiet, though. Leave it to some dipshit soundman from Berkeley to turn Steve Hanley down.
1) Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul
2) An Older Lover
3) Totally Wired
4) The N.W.R.A.
5) Fit And Working Again
6) Hip Priest
7) New Face In Hell
8) Prole Art Threat
9) Container Drivers
10) No Xmas For John Quays
1) Slippy Floor (Mark Mix): trimmed, leaner, and a bit more zip than the perfectly fine album version
2) Hot Cake-Part 2: great Slippy Floor extension into "Hot Cake"
3) Strangetown (Live at Camden Crawl): long intro, Mark enters later to big applause into rough and loose live take, yes.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Lifted this from the blog, Symphony Of Ghosts (http://symphonyofghosts.blogspot.com/search/label/Fall)
Live in Munich April 4, 1984, sound is a bit quiet, but very good overall, great energetic performance,and check out that set list...
If (when) you enjoy this, I highly recommend the "Live at the Hacienda" DVD which has 4 sets, one around "Perverted By Language," two around "Wonderful and Frightening World," and one around "This Nation's Saving Grace." Plus the omnibus editions of "Wonderful..." and "This Nation..." are totally worth picking up, a must for any rabid Fall fan. There's never enough Fall...
1) Lay Of The Land
2) Ludd Gang
3) Kicker Conspiracy
7) Neighborhood Of Infinity
8) Copped It
Live in Iceland, May 06, 1983 on the way back from a U.S. tour around the time of "Perverted By Language."
Great set-list, great performance, good recording, also features the 12+ minute unreleased, "Backdrop."
I can never get enough of the Fall, and it seems each song was never really played the exact same way twice, which makes mixing in live albums more appealing than just listening to the albums over and over (even though I have no problem with that) and bootlegs of this quality are always appreciated.
1) Tempo House
2) The Classical
3) Eat Y'Self Fitter
4) Hexen Definitive
5) I Feel Voxish
6) The Man Whose Head Expanded
8) Kicker Conspiracy
9) Look, Know
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Big thanks to my friend Mark for loaning me this record. As the owner of a Theremin, I've never been able to produce any better than a bunch of shitty, squealing sci-fi noise...at best the sound of a flying saucer landing in a 50's B-movie. If the aliens were classically trained in whatever their equivalent was to a violin, and they made a record with an Earth pianist, it might sound like this.
Rather than blather on, I urge you to watch the videos posted below to see how oddly hypnotic Clara Rockmore is.
A note on the recording: there is some serious dynamic range going on here, near inaudible to red-lining in no time. Just play loud. I'm assuming your neighbors already think you're weird anyway.
I've tried not to go on too much about the genius of the meeting of the minds of Fellini and Rota, and will spare you here. I'm also assuming you've seen the movie and that's why you looked for this.
Great stuff. This movie has always had one of two polar effects on me; it makes me either want to start going out all the time, or lock the doors and never leave the house. The music is also either a great warm up, or follow up, to a night out or an ideal soundtrack for a solitary party.
There are several songs in each track, which is rough if you're searching for a particular tune. However, like all good records, it's best listened to from start to finish, even if you have to endure "Jingle Bells," but seeing as it's summer when I write this, it adds a bit of humor to the shitty heat.
one of my favorite scenes
Monday, July 25, 2011
There's a link to stream and/or buy the newest Rebel E.P. "The Five Year Plan"
Only one complaint...he sent them 13 tracks, they pressed 3 on one side and screened a 2 tone picture of a ball on the other. To people who thought "A Forest" was a waste of vinyl, I offer this as a counter argument.
Another recent split between The Rebel and The Bomber Jackets. Thankfully The Bomber Jackets side is excellent, equal at least, unlike other splits with terrible bands like Eezee Tiger and Bo Knows.
The Rebel's songs on both records are very good, definitely worth picking both up, but I can't help but think he's saving the cream of the crop for the next album.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Yet another top notch Rota/Fellini score. A great movie with great music that fits it to a T. Some kind of classical/psychedelic circus parade.
I just recently read "I Fellini," and my only complaint was how little it said about Nino Rota, but if I need to review, I can just listen to a bunch of Rota records and watch a lot of Fellini. No problems there.
Just leave it up to your imagination.
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy- Standing In A Trashcan (Thinking Of You)/My Underwear Froze to The Clothesline
What a great record. Two barn burning Ledge classics, with ample proof of his lyrical genius. Just listen...
In a way it's not so surprising to me that after 4 years (during WWII) in the British Intelligence Corps, someone would want to make the career change to Easy Listening music. Everything here is light, slowed down, woozy, with minimal percussion and occasional solo trombone. At times it reminds me of Jackie Gleason, only if it took away the percussion and switched from trombone to trumpet. The dew-eyed instrumental romanticism is very similar.
I can find little wrong with slow motion instrumental imagination inducing $1 records.
Friday, May 27, 2011
The vinyl may not be in the best shape, but the scratchyness fits, to me.
This is some funny shit. I work in a "natural foods co-op", so I really hate hippies, maybe more than the average person, and making fun of them is my favorite pass-time, so that adds to my appreciation of this album. How can you NOT make fun of hippies? They really just bring it upon themselves...
Ed Sanders (from the Fugs...whose sense of humor is abundant here) delivers a gloriously un-PC album of weirdo country tunes, and oddly on Reprise, meaning Frank Sinatra paid to put this album out, but it's pretty safe to assume that Sinatra hated hippies, too, and would take money off anybody.
No use telling the jokes here, better when taken by surprise.
I see this as a precursor to Jon Wayne's, "Texas Funeral." The music here is way more polished, but it has a very similar sense of humor to the piss-take, "fuck you," low brow corny smart ass greatness of Jon Wayne. Just mix that with the Fugs and there you go, Sanders Truckstop!
Chili Shrimp Spaghetti
funny stuff, if you can make it out:
Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 61
Introduction And Rondo Capriccioso, Op.28
Havanaise, Op. 83
Pierre Amoyal- Violin
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Vernon Handley- Conductor
from liners notes:
"Saint-Saens worked in every genre, always aiming for and cherishing formal and stylistic perfection. He was like an engraver in love with beauty, or a meticulous watchmaker, and his admirable example in this direction was followed devotedly by Maurice Ravel. Admittedly he was no tormented soul and it would be useless to look for signs of inner conflict in his music such as are found in Beethoven's. The aim of his music is elegance of melodic line and architectural beauty. Saint-Saens's model is pure classical beauty and his art is an idealizing and spiritualizing one."
"Difficulties are sneered at by those who cannot overcome them. Virtuosity is triumphant in all the arts..."
A very stuffy way of saying this is some wonderfully crafted, beautiful music.
Why pick favorites?
2 great 2 song 45s.
These two are way up on my list of favorite singles (if forced to choose), for both A & B sides, each for different reasons.
The Fall- Rowche Rumble/In My Area
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy- I Took A Trip In A Gemini Spaceship/Down In The Wrecking Yard
Any old honky tonk piano record that opens with a bottle pop, some drunken slurring and laughter is A-OK in my book.
Del Wood (real name Adelaide Hazelwood) was apparently a regular on the Grand Ole Opry, and was known to blindfold herself, cover the keyboard with a heavy velvet robe and not miss a note.
What's different about this record is that it brings more "modern" instruments, like electric guitar, bass, and organ. Was it to give it a more "contemporary" feel? I don't care, it works. The organ has an almost Nino Rota Fellini score effect, no going wrong there.
These songs are not meant to be seriously examined or be taken as some artistic statement, only to create an atmosphere for good times, and this record creates a far more fun atmosphere than serious music, or any dance music from disco to present.
To me at least.
Drinking beers also adds to the enjoyment of this music, and also suits being lazy in the heat, and when you combine the two it makes a whole lotta sense.
Georges Montalba at the Mighty Wurlitzer with Percussive Accompaniment- Fantasy in Pipe Organ and Percussion
If you've ever been in one of those old theaters with a pipe organ built into the walls, you'll have a good idea what to find here, minus the physical force of a theater sized instrument. If you haven't, this won't sound like what you expect, maybe. Very odd sounding. Cheesy, authoritative and strangely intriguing.
1) Danse Macabre (Saint-Saens)
2) Mazurka From Masquerade (Khatchaturian)
3) March Fantasy (Hunter-Emig)
4) In A Persian Market
5) Theme From Scheherazade (Rimsky-Korsakov)
6) Ritual Fire Dance (Manuel de Falla)
7) Polovtsian Dances (Borodin)
This record is in pretty rough shape (does have one brief series of skips), but aside from how great the music is, I also love this recording. It seems far more informal to me, like an intimate live performance, complete with occasional ambient sounds and through headphones you can hear them talking, (maybe giving signals?) making it sound like they're there in the room with you, but the scratchyness of the record creates sonic antiquity and a degree of separation.
An imperfect copy of a great recording of great performances of great compositions.
I'm not a big fan of Bluegrass, and thankfully this music is more relaxed and far less hokey than stereotypical Bluegrass. Backwoods Proto-Country? Plus they're were from Central North Carolina (Spray-Leaksville area) AKA the region of the state where I've always lived. The pacing and attitude sound like North Carolina to me, and the sorely missed Sawdust Booger and the Mother Jugs, from Salisbury, NC, did a fantastic version of "If The River Was Whisky" (not to mention how many times that was sung in Country Teasers', a favorite of mine, songs).
Sit in the backyard in the shitty Southern (humid) heat with a nice cold beer and this'll make a lot more sense.
From when the Fall sounded almost like a punk group (but not "punk"), on the A side at least...a great shit-take on most everyone.
B-side is a step forward (ha) from "Repetition," becoming darker and more atmospheric.
Seems like this single is a bit overlooked, don't know why. Just look at their release list for their first few years and the rate of growth (and at that pace) is amazing, with a great sense of humor that way too many people completely miss.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I still have trouble understanding why TG didn't release this album until 2001 (was recorded in 1975, same year "Metal Machine Music" came out). I guess I can see why they opted to debut with "Second Annual Report," which is more realized and more antagonistic, but F.A.R. is still a great record. The sound isn't yet all enveloping, still hashing out their ideas, I guess. And untreated vocals? That may be one of the weirdest things about this. TG always seemed to want to disgust and hypnotize their audience, and this album got them off on a great start.
If you are new to TG this could be a good place to start...the building blocks that only get weirder...
Psychedelic Underground is a sampling of the original group's initial 1969 recording of a mammoth jam session, edited down with studio effects added later. This record is way more experimental and unpolished than the more well know Amon Duul II albums, which adds to its appeal, in my book. There's a lot going on but it remains minimal and with that lo-fi rumble, mechanical rhythms, and mumbly vocals this would be a real treat to fans of the Dead C and psychedelic improvisation. It's more untamed than most Kraut Rock groups.
It's also an interesting in contrast to the more song oriented Amon Duul II, and I find myself drawn to this more often.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I've posted two other posts for this group and kissed their sloppy OOmpah asses plenty there-abouts.
This just might be my favorite of their three albums (but why bother choosing, they're all great).
Drink beer, it's good for you.
Play this record when drinking beer, it will give your life direction.
Professionalism is the enemy of creativity and easy going times, but thanks to the Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band, a care-free creative beer drinking lifestyle is celebrated in it's full sloppy glory.
Okay, this record is in pretty bad shape (skips some, crackles a lot), but if you saw this in the $1 bin, all scratched up, wouldn't you be willing to take the $1 gamble? I'm very glad I did.
I wasn't surprised to see his name on the "Organs In Orbit" (Ultra-Lounge) tracklist, there's no way this guy couldn't have been on that compilation.
Great lounge instrumentals. Feel like a million bucks while getting boozed up and smoothed over.
Plus the liner notes make me miss the days of the back cover write-up.
Jackie on Hammond, Ernest L. (Fats) Clark on drums, and the "guitar etchings" of Irving Ashby.
Great (scratchy) stuff (smooth).
Friday, April 22, 2011
Orphanville is more pop driven than previous Secret Message Machine albums, well, unpredictable beat driven noise-ish pop. Lo-fi Hi-fi. It's original, obscure yet oddly accessible, but light and rhythmic. Give it a few listens, it gets under your skin before you know it.
One thing I find interesting in the LP is that the noise comes up, but the vocals seem a bit quiet at times, compared to the CD, which you can download at secretmessagemachine.com if you want to compare, and/or you could buy one of the remaining 100 vinyl copies.
Play this fucker LOUD.
Why post a CD recording of the vinyl instead of the actual CD? Hopefully someday people will be trying to hunt this vinyl down, and this will show them some of what they're missing. Suckers.