Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Side 1: http://sharebee.com/d52f5cea
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Here's a private press nugget recorded somewhere around 1977 at the prized Uncle Dirty's Sound Machine in Kalamazoo, MI. Like the other stuff I've heard from there, it is expertly recorded, and just a little wacky.
The Collection was a local lounge band with a wide repertoire. As the title suggests, they do go from Dixie(-land jazz, not country music) to disco. The band is more versatile than nimble, though, and there is a real and enduring amateurish vibe going on here. In particular, the horn section seems to sneak up on notes, sometimes missing by a fair amount.
There are two things that really sell this one for me, though. The first is the total Tony Clifton shtick of the singer. For those of you with short memories, Tony was the lounge club singer that used to open for Andy Kaufman's comedy act. He was a crooner and a ladies man, bracingly unfunky, and crushingly insincere. This singer has that character nailed. Try their version of After the Lovin' if you don't believe me.
Did I mention unfunky? You've got to hear the versions of Sir Duke and Night Fever to believe them. Easily the craziest mash up of midwest lounge jazz and black dance music ever made. These tracks will make your next party the social event of the season.
There's a subtle and incongruent Four Freshmen thing that sneaks in from time to time. In fact, they somehow managed to get an endorsement from one of the freshmen on the back cover. I wonder if the guy managed to listen to the album first.
Alert: a couple of the tracks on here (Glenn Miller Medley, I mean you!) cross a line into transcendently bad. If that's not your scene, you might want to ride the skip button. In fact, you might want to start with side two to get into the flow of the thing.
glenn miller medley
rock n roll medley
after the lovin
it’s a blue world
how deep is your love
Monday, August 27, 2007
Thursday, June 7, 2007
I've seen this listed as from 1972, but it's gotta be at least a couple years later than that. It's got the stink of '76 all over it. And if you've heard his great Rainbow or his so-so The Way, it's got nothing to do with that psych-lite fake mystical vibe.
No, this is a "concept album" about the birth of expressionist art. Set to music that bounces between the Love Boat theme and A Fifth of Beethoven. Picture a latin/disco groove, with a namby sounding lounge cat singing "he went on holiday/ with Monet." Note to Robert: singing "the impressionist movement" over and over doesn't establish a concept, and it doesn't flow. Fuckin' priceless.
The closest thing to the jaw dropping pretentious awfulness on display here that I'm aware of is "The Beat Goes On" by Vanilla Fudge. Sure, it was a different era, and the sound is miles away, but the intent was the same.
Feel free to cast votes for your favorite awful albums in the comments. Extra credit for good explanations and shares. You can find the Callendar record here (along with lots of other great stuff): http://www.awkwardist.blogspot.com/.
I'm guessing a few of you might have an eccentric old aunt in the family. You know the one, she is unmarried, dresses a bit weird, maybe drinks a bit much at family get-togethers. I always tend to think of this as a Euro-American tradition, but it might just be a worldwide phenomenon.
As evidenced by the record at hand. I'm not honestly sure if Ms. Parker was a congress-woman, married, or even an aunt. If I were a gambling man, though, I'd answer no, no, and yes. Because she's a bit, um, touched (by the hand of mayhem).
Her songs have strange obsessions, usually with blood-sucking bugs and repeated words. They start with melodies, but turn into rants. If you think about Nina Simone at her most angry, you wouldn't be far from the mark.
But her songs also reveal talent with the madness, or else noone would remember this (OK, just crazy does have its own cult, I guess). She clearly has some training on the piano, and her sense of melody and dynamics is that of someone with an ear. She just doesn't deploy it like you might expect.
If anyone out there can shed some light on this one (not cut and pasted from other sources - I know how to use Google, too), please give it up.
Hey - who's got either of those Robert Pollard comedy records? Are they any good? Worth the crazy price tag they have?
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I love this record. It is one of the best records I've heard this year, and I hear a lot of records. Don't miss this one.
As far as I can tell, this is more a guy than a band. Still, there's lots of folks who sing on it, so there must be some other input. When I listen to it, it has a jammy feel like some of it is improv, but who the hell knows? Maybe one of you rockers can fill me in.
The second track is a nice demonstration of the difference between the rock music of Japan and the stuff from Germany or the states. The singer (multi-tracked to all hell) comes out with "Takatakatakatowwwwtakatowww" over and over and over again. But the fucker really sells it, where a band like Gentle Giant would make it sound all sissy and stupid. It will slay you on the first spin.
A big part of the genius of this record is in the arrangments. Try this: every 30 secs or so, try to pick out all the instruments in the mix. One minute, maybe it's a koto and hand drums. Next, a choir of children and a mellotron. Later, a piece of rebar and a bass. But it's never guitar / bass / traps.
He/they saves maybe the best track for last. This one is the most Krautrock-ish to my ears, maybe somewhere close to Future Days-era Can, with a fadeout that seems to last for days.
I see this album compared to Faust a lot, and I kinda sorta see it. But where a Faust record makes jagged segues between often abrasive parts, this album is wayyyy more musical in its flow.
There was a limited edition reissue around a couple years ago. If you find a copy, buy it, because you'll probably never see it again.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Note that there is some kickass stuff buried in the discussions for the last few posts. Thanks for blog friends Dreamy and Fuzztunnel (the latter from the wonderful Lost-In-Tyme blog) for their links.
Get the new Dungen. It's good.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
I think I might be missing a bunch of re-up requests down the list here. If you loyal readers have requests, put them in the comments here, and I'll try to get to them. Special respect will be given to readers who give back to the team, my requests are listed in the comments, too.
Monday, May 7, 2007
Here's a brief one, for you NWW list collectors. I'll bet that Stapleton feller would have been pretty pleasantly surprised in '80 or so to know that almost 30 years later, that tossed-off list would end up being the guidebook for diving into the '70s underground.
As I see it, there's some pretty consistent categories in that list:
- Prog rock, much of it from the continent
- Kraut rock, much of it fuckin' great
- Avant classical, a lot of it electronic in nature
- Avant jazz, mostly French
- Zappa/Beefheart weirdo rock
It's that last category that is the area where I've been most disappointed with the quality of the listed records. I do think that it is difficult to tell how good music is immediately after it comes out. A lot of that post-punk stuff, present day nostalgia notwithstanding, must have sounded better then than it does now.
This one is very generic post-punk. If you like the style, you'll like this. But it isn't going to change your life, even if your life really sucks.
By the way, a Glaxo baby was a child born with serious birth defects due to maternal use of thalidomide as a sleep aid during pregnancy. Glaxo was the company that made the drug. In case you care.http://sharebee.com/48ed1325
Friday, May 4, 2007
The IRA sympathizer of the day award goes out to a reader who calls hisself (herself) Dreamy. Ol' D posted not one, but two Eroc records in glorious 320 sound. I, for one, can't hardly wait to dig in. I'll forgo my usual snarky comments on this one, because I don't know a damn thing about it.
Take a bow, Dreamy.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Music moves so slowly nowadays, there really isn't that much difference sonically between a record from 1997 and 2007. But there was a time...
This record came out, in the sense that there were like 50 or so pressed, in 1970. But it sounds pretty much like a frat rock record from 1965. The only concessions to the modern day seem to be a wah-wah pedal and a homemade Sgt Pepper-ish outro for side 1. And that's cool by me.
For a bunch of high school kids, there's a bit of instrumental talent on display here. I'm gonna guess these kids met in the jazz lab in school. In particular, the drummer has some kick-ass non-rock sounding beats. The single mic recording quality plus the swing feel gives this an odd sort of old jazz record vibe. The singer could use some R&B, but the nice harmonies take the edge off a bit.
Well, I guess one other thing marks this as 1970 - these are all originals. And those are the rocks on which many of these small crafts wash up on. As far as amateur songwriters go, I'll give 'em a solid B.
The best song for me, by far, is the album closer. It's the whole deal - good keyboard lead, groovy Zombies harmonies, and a sticky vocal hook. Everybody is laughing....we got the last laugh.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
It seems like every 10-square block radius had a band called Kaleidoscope in 1967-9. Here's the Mexico version.
This is a really fun record. Very amateur hour, and lots of try anything spirit. There is a surprising amount of studio trickery for a non-US production of the time.
I think of this record as a low-rent Steppenwolf. If you're not a fan of the 'wolf, don't let this scare you. Neither am I, and I really like this knockoff version.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Sandy Bull - E Pluribus Unum
This is my first attempt at a vinyl rip with my new set up. Please loyal listeners, give me feedback about how this sounds. Questions I have:
1) Are there any glitches in the sound? I'm not hearing any, but in some of the testing I did on other records, I had problems.
2) How are the levels? Am I getting clipping? Too soft?
I chose to do this as my first burn for a couple reasons. One, it has one track per side, so I still haven't needed to learn how to put song breaks in yet. Baby steps.
More importantly, this is a genius fuckin' album. Deep as the Pacific Ocean, and twenty times as weird. Sandy is using the reverb and tremelo sounds as timekeepers here, playing against the drones set up by the effects. Don't believe AMG when they say this is Bull's worst album, because they LIE. This is the real deal.
If you like this, pick up the new live release on Water. It was recorded about the same time as Pluribus came out, and has a lot of the same material.
I'll wait until I get a couple of comments on the quality of the burn to get back on a regular schedule. I've got a few cool things to add on the way, so lemme know what you think.
Monday, April 2, 2007
You know, though, the whole process would seem a lot more rewarding and important if the IRA could get a little bit of support from the readers on the interweb thingy. Lately, I'm gettin' nuttin' but crickets out there.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
This is the third of the missing three GSH records from the end of the me decade. They were being reissued at a snail's pace on TVT until Gil ran afoul of the law a few years back.
Bluntly, this is no Bridges. The album has a similar sound - synths, jazz, Fender Rhodes, etc. And Gil isn't going to all of the sudden start singing soprano. But the songs are not at the same level.
A couple places, the record kicks into higher ground - Shut 'Em Down is a favorite, 1980 is pretty good. But there is a sleepiness to this record that suggests bad drugs to me.
From here, Reflections is actually pretty good all the way through, but the other Arista albums are worth avoiding. The 1993 comeback album (some comeback, Gil) is worth a spin, and is some god-awful EVH guitar away from being a nice return to form. I still hold out hope that Gil will get it together for a monster record before it's all over, although I hear his health is pretty bad these days.
Man, you'd think from the title, the year, and the homebase (Cleveland) that this would be a metal band. Not at all, though. Maybe they'd have done better if they were called the Darnation of Adam Blessing.
For me, the bands from Detroit seemed to do a good job of incorporating a natural sounding soul feel into rock. The Rationals, SRC, MC5, hell, even the Stooges if you listen to the rhythm section were way more groovy than any white band outside of the Rascals. Even though the DoAB were from across state lines, I think they had a similar thing going on.
In fact, I'd compare these guys pretty closely to SRCs second record Milestones. If you took that album, stripped out the Hammond Organ, and beefed up the guitars, you'd have something like this. They both have a nice Zombies undercurrent with that soul feel that makes for some good listening.
Please comment on the Sharebee service. I'm still making up my mind who'll have my business.
Monday, March 12, 2007
According to Wikipedia, Aksak is a Turkish word meaning walking with a limp. Heavy, dude.
This is an album put out by a Belgain band in the late 1970s. Don't be afraid, though, because they don't sound Belch at all.
No, they sound French. Which is similar, but different. French, in the sense that it sounds half way in between synth music, and romantic dinner music, with maybe some carnival stuff in there to make it a little weird.
This is really about as close as I've heard to someone catching the happy up-tempo Autobahn rock of Kraftwerk. Still, it's got enough of the non-synth sing-songy stuff to temper the Kraftwerk influence.
Ah, hell, I don't know. I've had a coupla Belgian beers, and I think you all would like a Belgian record. So dig it.
Another NWW list favorite.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Not much to say about this one. Either ya dig what the Lord is putting down, or you can't get it through your sphere. As you like it.
If you are a fan, and it sounds like you are, catch the youtube clip of the Lord on the Groucho Marx show. He is obviously scaring the shit out of the housewife he's matched up against. This was a cat that lived about a half century before his time.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
This is the earliest Sonny Sharrock recording I'm aware of. He's not really a big part of this one - there are a lot of folks on this one making their mark. But he's already way far out from the other jazz guitar pickers of his day.
I've read that Marzette and Patty Waters were an item at the time. He's on her record, and I bought this hoping she'd return the favor. No such luck. It's pretty cool, regardless. In fact, it's a pretty representative ESP session (jazz version) of the time.
Monday, March 5, 2007
Luc Ferrari was a musique concrete composer from way back, having worked with the early greats. This was a series of compositions from, as well as I can tell, most of the 1970's.
He might have been chronologically a little long in the tooth, but this is still some pretty out there stuff. In fact, there isn't a note of performed music that I can find on here. All found sound manipulation. Like the beginning of a mid-period Floyd album, but the band never kicks in.
My French skills are absent, so I don't really know much about this. I'm guessing it is a compilation from several different lp's because of the near 80 min run time. The track listings are a little weird - 10 tracks, but only 4 names. I tried to make that clear on the tags.
Another from our series of NWW nuggets. You can see why they liked this - it is only dissimilar from early NWW in mood, not style.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
I love the way the minimalism of the titles for this record are so beautifully matched to the content of the grooves. It takes three words to get the band name, the record title, the song titles (Studio and Live), and the way the tracks were recorded (er, Studio and Live, by Anima).
Anima were the Fuchs husband and wife team plus two. They did fully improvised new music. No studio gimmickry or nuttin' - turn on the tapes and let 'em rip. The instrumentation is pretty odd - no guitar-based Krautrock, this one - drums, bass, horns, piano. Some of the horns appear to be homemade bizarro instruments. Lots of hollerin' and wordless vocals, too.
This is the second of the three records that make up the best work of the group. As far as I can tell, it's the hardest to find, and I don't see that it's available on CD at all. Dig this one, it's pretty psychedelic, a lot more than you'd guess from that description.
Another Nurse With Wound favorite. I'll try to get a couple more of those up this week.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Posted because everyone needs to hear at least one Jandek record.
I like to compare listening to a Jandek record to watching someone pull the scabs off their skin. Real slowly. Music for nightmares, don't listen alone.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Cromagnon - Orgasm (one of the weirdest of the weird!)
This is perhaps the hardest record to characterize that I've put up yet. It is a fully synth and vocals record, but it doesn't sound like any other I've heard. Even though it is German, it doesn't sound a damn thing like Kraftwerk, Cluster, etc. Even though it gets compared to the Residents, I just don't hear that, either.
It *is* a very psychedelic record. The best comparison I can come up with is a whole record made up of the best parts of the best Butthole Surfers records - Kuntz from LAT, the middle section of Jimi from HTS. Weirdness for the sake of weirdness.
Another frame of reference that noone will agree with is like Hawkwind with all the organic instruments stripped out. All you are left with is that rhythmic chug and the weird oscillator noises. There's a couple of parts that feel like this for me.
Whatever I say, I'm not going to do this justice. I wish there were a lot more records like this. This is what synth music should have turned into in the 80s, not that GD new romantic shite.
Another NWW favorite!
Sunday, February 25, 2007
By 1968, the old style of electronic music was disappearing. The days of the middle aged guy in the white lab coat manipulating tape loops into classical-ish patterns was giving way to the more rock influenced model. As groups and artists like the United States of America, Pierre Henry, and Silver Apples were coming out, all of the sudden the straight laced stuff seemed kinda passe.
The very corniness of this type of music, though, is a big part of its charm. The mix of Jetsons space age whimsy and white noise, for me, feels like a trip back to a time where better living through chemistry meant improved crop yields and working in a factory was a good job.
OK, but what about the music? It's pretty good - not terribly boundary pushing, but a nice example of the style, with more humor than most. My favorite piece is the last one, where the sound sources are all business machines.
I apologize that the burn is not from a very clean copy. Usually, these kind of records are pristine, because noone ever listened to them at parties. Oh well, maybe someday I'll find a better copy.
For the guy interested in Bill Plummer, this guy posted it today: http://stewtheredshoe.blogspot.com/. That'll get me off the hook for one more, I guess. Let's hope his copy is cleaner than mine.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
This is an early experimental recording by MEV. A limited run self-released CD from the mid-90s, as far as I can tell. One long piece with a kinda-long 'bonus track' at the end.
This is not rock-out-with-your-cock-out material. It's obscure, even compared to their better known Leave the City record. I guess that means you should try it if you are into modern electronic classical works.
I notice that about 1/3 of my site is gone this morning. Whatever. I've still got the records. If there is stuff people want reposted, just ask (but ask at a recent post so I'll see it). I'll repost an album as long as it truly didn't come back into print.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
This is where Ornette shifts focus pretty radically for the third or fourth time. After the Skies of America classical/jazz mash-up, he hired a couple of electric guitar players like all the other jazz cats of the time.
Of course, he wasn't trying to emulate Weather Report or Mahavishnu Orchestra here. These guitar players aren't playing it straight, at all. In fact, at parts they mirror the approach to electric guitar that would emerge from the post-punk and no wave scenes a decade later.
Unlike some of those musics, though, this one goes down pretty smooth. Ornette always had a nice balance between novel approach and melodicism that kept him from being an academic exercise (I think some of his later stuff has lost that balance for me, though).
The last cut is what I bought this record for way back when. It is a cut featuring Ornette fronting the Master Musicians. It's not anything like the rest of the record, but a damn cool addition. Utterly unique in the jazz cannon, as far as I know.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
If you haven't heard this, do check it out. The narrations Charles does are not just my favorite part of the SCG cannon (admittedly a limited view - they made a LOT of records), but one of my favorite moments on record, period. Then, go out and buy something by them, cheapskate.
Anyone watch the Banana Splits when you were shorter and lived near the water? Good ass show, that one. Big old stuffed puppets. I think some sort of Tom Sawyer thing. Some Monkees like singin and dancin. I'd love to see it in syndication to see if I still like it (some of those Sid and Marty shows should have stayed in memory, so maybe this one should, too).
I haven't flexed this muscle much on the the blog, but I'm a big lover of the bubble gum, and this is the bubblelicious shite. Try to get TraLaLa LaLaLaLa LaLaLa LaLaLaLa (that's 1 tra and 13 las) out of your head once it gets in, 'cause it's catchy like syphilis.
Extra credit for any listener who can dicipher the names of the 4 splits. I think the last one might be snork, but who the hell can tell.
The Beagles? Who the hell cares?
Monday, February 19, 2007
- Anything by Snatch, the late 70s band with Patti Palladin
- Any of the John and Yoko experimental albums (esp Life With the Lions)
- The first This Heat record (why is this so hard to find?)
- That Deutsche Grammophon 3 lp w/ Wired, New Phonic Art and Iskra 1903 (yeah, I know, good luck)
- My Dad's a Fuckin' Alcoholic by the Frantix
- The Naked Angels soundtrack and/or the Easy Chair demos by Jeff Simmons
So c'mon, do your part for the IRA.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
What does it sound like when a guy overdubs himself playing 20 different trumpet parts over a Casio keyboard? Does it help if he's a pervert? The answers, and more, inside this .rar file. Uploaded by request.
I had a longer post, but somehow deleted it. I'm in a bad enough mood that I don't feel like rewriting. More stuff tomorrow.