Friday, May 27, 2011

Ed Sanders- Sanders' Truckstop

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:

Camille Saint-Saens

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.

Battle of the Singles 1

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.
Here are:
The Fall- Rowche Rumble/In My Area
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy- I Took A Trip In A Gemini Spaceship/Down In The Wrecking Yard

IT'S HONKY-TONK TIME! The Down Yonder Piano of Del Wood

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)

Pablo Casals and Rudolf Serkin- Beethoven Sonatas For 'Cello and Piano

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.

Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers- Volume Two: Old Time Songs Recorded From 1925-1930

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.

The Fall- It's The New Thing!/Various Times 7"

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

The First Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle

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...

in 2009

Amon Duul- Psychedelic Underground

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

Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band- Sour Kraut in Hi-Fi

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.

Jackie Davis- Hi-Fi Hammond

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).