The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween


10-31-07 Halloween

For years, I have always tried to write about “Scary Music” on Halloween. Let’s invoke the names of Arch Oboler – “Drop Dead! – An Exercise in Horror” (on Capitol); Nat Freedland “The Occult Explosion” (on United Artists – a double album!); Mort Garson’s masterful “Black Mass Lucifer” (on Uni, re-issued on MCA); let’s not forget the harrowing performance by John Cale on “Leaving It All Up To You” (as found on some copies of the “Helen of Troy” album); Long Tall Ernie & The Shakers “Meet The Monsters” (some lovely Dutch kitsch – famous for being mentioned by Gruppo Sportivo – “Hey, isn’t that Ernie? Long Tall Ernie?”); 45 Grave were always pretty ‘scary’ (on purpose); Screaming Lord Sutch!

In a way, when it’s “Horror-on-purpose”, it immediately takes away some of the possible / probable ‘fear factor’, comparable with putting a scary cover on a comic book – oh, you know in advance that this is going to be scary, so you can ‘prepare’. But how could you prepare for the deathless croak of William S. Burroughs on his debut ESP label album “Call Me Burroughs”? (thankfully it has been re-issued on CD by Rhino Records). Towers Open Fire!

There’s a lot of music that sounds scary – intentional or otherwise. Let’s face it – the singers on “Kohntarkosz” by Magma definitely sound possessed. For ages, I was a huge fan of Magma – pretty much all the way up to “Attahk”. In the pre-internet world, it was pretty difficult to find other people with whom you could discuss Magma’s music. Now, those people are only a click or two away. Scary!

It could be argued that Hector Zazou’s “La Perversita” is scary – it certainly sounds like nothing on Earth. Where’s the CD of that?

So, do any records / CD’s particularly spell “Halloween” to you? Do you ever allow yourself to be frightened by music? Is Halloween about being frightened? Or is it really about pumpkin cupcakes, black / yellow / orange tablecloths, black cats, costumes, trick-or-treat et al?

CD Clubs – scary! Downloading – scary! Viruses – scary! Advertising – scary! Too much sugar – scary! Copy-guarded CD’s & DVD’s = scary! The amount of records in the other room – scary!

Before I was old enough to really understand the problem, I used to be afraid that my LP’s would fall on me while I was sleeping, instantly crushing me. Now that I have enough LP’s that I could be crushed by them, they’re in the other room, in a steel rack that is bolted to the wall. I really wouldn’t like to clean up the mess if the bookshelves that are filled with CD’s in my bedroom came crashing down in the middle of the night – probably due to an earthquake.

Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Peanut is here!

for
According to my index, I had a blog written for 10-30 called "All Hail John Cale!" - but...where is it? Just as well...it's certainly not in "My Documents".

The big news around here is that "Peanut" Anderson arrived yesterday; a healthy baby girl, 20.5 inches, 7 lbs 9 oz. Agnes Van Anderson, to parents Steve & Liz Anderson, currently of Los Angeles, CA.

Is everybody ready for Halloween?



Monday, October 29, 2007

Auditioning Hobbies

10-29-07 Auditioning Hobbies

It has been suggested to me that it’s time for me to change my hobby. Yes, I know I suck as a record collector and music fan. I shame all of the decent folks who have chosen this august pass-time.

We have teased (my GF & I) about becoming birdwatchers for some time now. I greatly enjoyed the recent book called “To See Every Bird On Earth” (or thereabouts) – I was surprised at the amount of ‘exclusive’ language that birders used. But how would we be accepted into the local birding community? (If such a thing exists in urban Los Angeles). Are birdwatchers as jealous as record collectors? “I saw it first!” “No, you can’t see my notebook!” etc. “That’s not a _____________ . It’s a __________ .”

We have a Flickr (photo sharing) site where we post our vacation photos and I sometimes upload some of my record collector arcane. Believe it or not, our photographs of flowers receive a lot of attention – it’s as though the Flickr botanists have found us. Should we specialize in digital botany photography? Should I go out and buy an Art Wolfe lens? For me, it’s a great compliment when someone posts a question to us via Flickr like “What special lens and settings do you use?” – when, in fact, we just point the camera and press the button. No idea or theory regarding light or camera settings – just see something nice looking and “CLICK!”. So, before I even get started down a hobby in botanical photography – will I be laughed out of the Bottanical Gardens just for not knowing or caring what the heck camera settings I will be using?

I’ve blown through a few other hobbies already – from the early 80’s until the late 90’s, I collected videotapes – mostly of music. I have 22,000+ music videos. So, not really interested in collecting more videos – no matter what format they are on.

I’d love to list travel as a hobby – when it’s likely more accurate to call it my “interest” – if I had the time and money, I’d travel for 6-9 months out of the year! But, can’t quite do that – would my job understand? How quickly would the cash run out? Certainly before my interest would run out. Japan, here we come! (Well, one day…)

Maybe I should just stick with being a goofy record collector. Yes, I already have way too many – but, but, but…it’s what I know, what I like, what I remember…it never just seems like a simple nostalgia – music collecting. I have always regarded my interest in music as a supplement to my intellect.

So, what’s your suggestion for us, as a “new hobby”? We’re not planning on having any kids; we may eventually get another cat. What adult hobby do you recommend for me & my significant other? Please keep in mind where we live – so “Swamp Buggy Racing” isn’t really a viable option. And I am trying to cut down on sugar – so I think I’ll give a miss to studying to become a pastry chef.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yard list

CD’s:

COHEN, LEONARD – SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE, COLUMBIA US CD re

Re-mastered version of his mighty 3rd album

GLASS, PHILIP – PHOTOGRAPHER, CBS US CD ‘84

There was a music video for “Photographer – Part 3” that I remember

NYMAN, MICHAEL – DROWNING BY NUMBERS (O.S.T.), CAROLINE US CD ’88

NYMAN, MICHAEL – GATTACA (O.S.T.), VIRGIN US CD

A pair of Nyman soundtracks

PAPA WEMBA – EMOTION, REALWORLD UK CD

African artist who has worked with Marc Hollander, Hector Zazou etc.; I like this label

REICH, STEVE – TEHILLIM, ECM DE CD ’82

The only one of Reich’s ECM titles I was missing


Vinyl:

AKKERMAN, JAN – IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU, CHARLY UK LP ’82

Focus guitarist – recorded in ’82, but not released until ’85

BLANCMANGE – SECOND HELPINGS – BEST OF, LONDON UK LP

11 track version of their “Best Of” – the CD has 12 tracks

FRAZIER CHORUS – SLOPPY HEART, VIRGIN UK 12” (VSTX)

B-Side is “Sloppy Heart” (Alternate Mix)

GABRIEL, PETER – PETER GABRIEL (1st album), CHARISMA UK LP

Lovely UK copy with inner-sleeve

HARVEY BAND, Sensational ALEX – ROCK DRILL, MOUNTAIN UK LP ‘78

This copy has a sticker on the back cover, indicating that a song was changed…

RILEY, TERRY – KEYBOARD STUDY 2, BYG FR LP

’69 or ’70 – Germ ( = Groupe d’Etude et Realisation Musicales ) play Terry Riley in France!

STREETWALKERS – VICIOUS BUT FAIR, VERTIGO UK LP die-cut cover

1977 Chapman / Whitney album with a die-cut cover (for the eyes) that the U.S. version didn’t get

WAKEMAN, RICK – 1984, CHARISMA UK LP ’81

I have found myself somewhat fond of some of Wakeman’s 80’s output; I love LP’s on Charisma

WONDER STUFF – NEVER LOVED ELVIS, POLYDOR UK LP ’91 “Size Of A Cow”

Certainly never saw an LP for this, their 3rd album before!


Friday, October 26, 2007

Paul McCartney


10-26-07 Paul McCartney

AT THE SPEED OF SOUND re CAPITOL CAN 789140.2 1976 14 TRKS ('93 issue) 3 x bonus tracks

BACK TO THE EGG re EMI UK CDPMCOL 10 1979 17 TRKS 3 x bonus tracks, '93 re-master

BAND ON THE RUN COLUMBIA US CK 36482 1973 10 TRKS

CHAOS AND CREATION IN THE BACKYARD CAPITOL US 38299.2 2005 13 TRKS

CHOBA B CCCP - THE RUSSIAN ALBUM CAPITOL US CDP 797615.2 1988 14 TRKS ('91 issue) 1 x bonus track

DRIVING RAIN CAPITOL US 35510.2 2001 15 TRKS

FLAMING PIE CAPITOL US 56500.2 1997 14 TRKS

FLOWERS IN THE DIRT EMI UK CDPCSD 106 1989 13 TRKS

LIVERPOOL SOUND COLLAGE CAPITOL US 28817.2 2000 5 TRKS The Beatles, Super Furry Animals etc.

LONDON TOWN re EMI NL 89265.2 1978 16 TRKS ('93 re-master, 2 x bonus tracks)

McCARTNEY CAPITOL US CDP 746611.2 1970 13 TRKS

McCARTNEY II re EMI UK CDPMCOL 11 1980 11 TRKS ('93 issue) 3 x bonus tracks

MEMORY ALMOST FULL STARCOM US HMCD-30348 2007 13 TRKS special jewel case, promo

RAM CAPITOL US CDP 746612.2 1971 12 TRKS

RED ROSE SPEEDWAY CAPITOL US CDM 752026.2 1973 12 TRKS 3 x bonus tracks

RUN DEVIL RUN CAPITOL US 22351.2 1999 15 TRKS

TUG OF WAR TOSHIBA JPN CP35-3001 1982 12 TRKS 'early CD'

UNPLUGGED (The Official Bootleg) CAPITOL US CDP 796413.2 1991 17 TRKS Live, #039400

VENUS AND MARS CAPITOL US CDP 746984.2 1975 16 TRKS 3 x bonus tracks (1st US CD issue)

WILD LIFE re EMI UK CDPMCOL 3 1971 14 TRKS 6 x bonus tracks ('93 issue)

WINGS GREATEST CAPITOL US CDP 746056.2 1978 12 TRK Collection

I am by no means an exhaustive Paul McCartney collector – though I will admit to having been surprised by some of his more recent releases. Have you actually heard “Memory Almost Full”? As he ages, his voice is changing – but you can really hear the “old McCartney” coming through on this recent album. Nice one, Sir Paul! Was there ever an LP issue of “Memory Almost Full”?

For me, the highlights of his post-Beatles career are: “Monkberry Moon Delight” from “Ram” (what is this song about?), the whole of the “Band on The Run” album (really must get a re-mastered CD of this one day!), “Tomorrow” from “Wild Life”, “Dress Me Up As A Robber” from “Tug Of War” (one of my earliest CD’s!), “My Brave Face” from “Flowers In The Dirt”, “Temporary Secretary” from “McCartney II”, the single of “Give Ireland Back To The Irish”, some of the instrumentals on his debut solo album, and a few tracks from some of his more recent solo releases (“Jenny Wren” comes to mind).

I also remember being surprised at the “Liverpool Sound Collage” – I always loved the argument that Paul was as ‘progressive’ as John – what with Paul’s avant garde / esoteric releases relegated to once per decade, and John’s weirdo titles clustered at the beginning of his solo career.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Flo & Eddie

10-25-07 Flo & Eddie

AFTERGLOW / CARLOS AND DE BULL REPRISE US REP 1142 7"

BEST OF RHINO US R2 71097 CD

ELEANOR (Mono) / (Stereo) promo COLUMBIA US 3-10425 7"

FLO & EDDIE REPRISE US MS 2141 LP

HISTORY OF FLO & EDDIE AND THE TURTLES, THE RHINO US RNTA 1998 LPx3

ILLEGAL, IMMORAL AND FATTENING ONE WAY US A 22673 CD

ILLEGAL, IMMORAL AND FATTENING COLUMBIA US PC 33554 LP

KEEP IT WARM (Mono) / (Stereo) promo COLUMBIA US 3-10458 7"

LET ME MAKE LOVE TO YOU (Mono) / (Stereo) promo COLUMBIA US 3-10028 7"

MOVING TARGETS MONDO RECO A 23578 CD

MOVING TARGETS COLUMBIA US PC 34262 LP

PHLORESCENT LEECH & EDDIE REPRISE US MS 2099 LP

REBECCA / ILLEGAL, IMMORAL AND FATTENING COLUMBIA US 3-10264 7"

ROCK STEADY WITH FLO & EDDIE EPIPHANY US ELP 4010 LP

Mark Volman & Howard Kaylan. To be perfectly honest, I was never much of a Turtles fan – the hit singles are OK, but I was never really inclined to buy any of those albums – though good friends of mine tell me some of the Turtles LP’s are wonderful. And I am a big fan of Chip Taylor’s songwriting.

I really warmed to them when they joined Frank Zappa’s band. I just love the albums of Zappa’s where Flo & Eddie are the featured vocalists – “Chunga’s Revenge”, “200 Motels”, “Fillmore East, June 1971” and “Just Another Band From L.A.” – not to mention their unreleased demo album, “What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning” – where one can see the “200 Motels” songs intertwined with the “Fillmore East” material.

I also knew that they sang backing vocals for Marc Bolan / T. Rex and The Psychedelic Furs. On the “History of Flo & Eddie” triple LP, one can hear Marc Bolan goofing around on their radio show, really rather amusing. I met them (briefly) at the time of their ‘reggae’ album, enough to tell them that I enjoyed their work with Mr. Zappa.

I have always felt that they should have been a lot ‘bigger’ than they were – certainly, their backing vocals were very commercially successful – particularly with T. Rex. But the quartet of Flo & Eddie albums (while very, very good) aren’t particularly well-known or observed. As far as I know, the 2 x Columbia albums have recently been re-released as a two-fer set from England – with just about everything else out of print (such as the Rhino “Best of”). Did you know they sang the theme to “Strawberry Shortcake”?

I remember hearing recently that Howard Kaylan was selling some of his music career memorabilia at auction – gee, I hope he did alright. I would’ve liked some of the Zappa stuff, but…it was all way over my head.

Thanks for the music, boys. I hope we haven’t heard the last of you!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dr. Memory…New Zealand

10-24-07 Dr. Memory…New Zealand

In the 80’s, I was lucky enough to work for an independently owned and operated record distributor / importer. A business that was small enough that I had the ear of the owner / manager. In line with my personal interests, I talked him into allowing me to import LP’s from New Zealand.

I visited NZ 7 times in the 80’s – I was very into the music scene there, and I have great friends there to this very day. While it was Blam Blam Blam, The Swingers and Toy Love that I wanted to import and sell, we discovered that – at that time – the NZ dollar was rather weak, compared to the US dollar. It was more economical to import LP’s from NZ than it was from Europe or the UK.

To concentrate on something as specific and as ‘exclusive’ as New Zealand artists, I stopped paying attention to a lot of stuff that was happening in the US and the UK. I missed whole waves, ignored formidable artists – I didn’t care – I had my NZ artists!

Along with Blam Blam Blam, I got to see D.D. Smash, Hip Singles, The Gordons, Graham Brazier etc. I saw the 1984 “farewell” shows by Split Enz in Auckland.

I regard my interest in artists by region as a type of “cultural identity” that I possess. My culture is to be interested in other cultures. I remember hearing about someone (25+ years ago) that was “only interested in Irish music” – and I couldn’t fathom being interested in music by region, at that time. But, in 1980 – 1987 I was definitely a “New Zealand Music Expert”. I tried to get one copy of each and every record originated in New Zealand – of course, I had guidelines – I wanted ‘rock’ music. Ray Columbus & The Invaders was essentially the starting point of my interest.

It took a few years, but I eventually began liking Australian artists – Mental As Anything, Divinyls, Midnight Oil, Models, GANGgajang…it is my firm belief that the “Aussie Wave” was a little bit later than the “Kiwi Wave”.

Now I wait around for the few remaining items of interest from New Zealand to make it to CD. I chat with my NZ friends all the time – we talk about black music and / or Frank Zappa. Every now and again, something cool will arrive in my mailbox. Still waiting on a CD of The Crocodiles “Looking At Ourselves”, folks.

Strange that I had to cut some stuff out, in order to concentrate on one specific scene. It’s not the way I do things anymore – my whole last decade of interest in Japanese music has not involved any “exclusions”, fortunately. But I’m also not trying to get one of every Japanese ‘rock’ CD.

Did you ever try to collect music by region / genre? What place / genre was it? What were your guidelines? A place or a time? Or both?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dr. Memory

10-23-07 Dr. Memory

So, I’m re-remembering stuff from the 70’s – no idea why. The uneasy shift from whatever the heck was going on to “punk rock – new wave”. It must be understood that I had an interesting position to all of this – I started working in a record store in July, 1976 – before the ‘punk splash’. People in the store were all into Aerosmith (can’t remember which one), Kiss (“Rock & Roll All Night”), The Eagles (I eventually witnessed “Hotel California” mania), Genesis (“A Trick of the Tail”); I was into Goblin (“Profondo Rosso”), Frank Zappa (“Zoot Allures” was a new release), King Crimson (who had broken up after “Red” two years previous) etc.

Someone I worked with knew Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – they did an in-store appearance at our store, at the time of their debut album. I was into making custom T-shirts (getting ‘iron-ons’ at a copy store), so I gave them and their manager T-shirts with their logo on ‘em. We had a Bay City Rollers (Ian Mitchell time) “screaming contest” in our store (which I helped organize), the record company sent a bunch of LP covers to be used in a display, but the Rollers didn’t show up.

I do not remember the first punk rock records through the door at the record store – but a teenage friend had played me “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones before I started working in the record store – so I knew what that was when it walked down the pike. I didn’t work with “punks” until my 2nd record store job – when I changed ‘locations’. I was 18 or 19 years old – and the girls who liked punk rock at the 2nd store seemed so much older, wiser etc. than my tender years – truth is, they might’ve been all of 21 to my 19 – which seemed like a world away, then. I remember thinking how dumb it was to say “I like anything punk!” – but that’s what they used to say to everyone. I remember them getting a Melody Maker newspaper from England, then putting in a big stack of “special orders” for obscure / unknown 45’s. Eventually, “punks” began to trickle into the store – I distinctly remember Rik L. Rik – with a torn blood-spattered shirt coming into our store; we sold his band’s album – the group was called F-Word.

I doubt I was kicking and screaming, but eventually I went to The Whisky A-Go-Go with friends and we saw what was a nifty first “punk show” for anyone to see – around March of 1978, I saw Black Randy & The Metrosquad, The Deadbeats and The Screamers. At the time, none of these groups had records you could buy – the Dangerhouse singles (for Black Randy and The Deadbeats) were a ways off yet. 2007, and it seems like there will never ever be a proper Screamers LP / CD. R.I.P. Tomata du Plenty.

I got spoiled quickly – in fairly rapid succession, L.A. got live shows from the original Ultravox, Magazine etc. Had to wait a few years to see The Stranglers, XTC, Athletico Spizz 80 etc. Were me and my friends “punks”? At 21 or 22 – no, we were too old for it. How is it that when I was 18 I was too young for it, but at 21 too old for it?

In 2007, it’s funny to see punk bands with members that are 50 years old playing shows – are the audiences as old as the groups? In some cases, undoubtedly: yes.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What to buy next?

10-22-07 What to buy next?

For someone who ostensibly doesn’t need to buy any LP’s or CD’s – I often find myself asking myself the question: “What CD / LP to buy next?”. Of course, as is often the case, the real answer is “What crosses my path that looks enticing?” – as well as “What’s in the $3 bin?”. The smallest things can set me off in a new direction – and it has always been that way.

I have been known to be watching a DVD of the re-broadcasts of a 1970’s Australian TV show called “Countdown”, starring Ian “Molly” Meldrum – and spot something of interest (such as when the show was co-hosted with Robin Scott aka “M” Mr. “Pop Muzik”). Another Australian TV show on DVD (an 80’s one, can’t remember the name) set me off onto Godley & Crème – just by showing me 4 or 5 of their videos.

$3 bin is a magnetic place; I return to it often. Oh, there’s that thing I read about! The British press write about this group! Look, an 80’s thing on CD that I missed! It’s $3 – who cares? I can always trade it in somewhere else and likely get $4 for it!

About a decade ago, I let my guilt get the better of me and I began to collect vinyl again – after taking roughly a decade off from buying vinyl – I lived in England and Holland and mostly just got CD’s. So, after a while – I notice that the stuff I genuinely want is hard to come by (or more expensive than I can justify), so I get interested in “stuff I missed”. Or I’ll decide to expand my interest in a group, after being fond of a single track (a good example of this is Yello’s “Goldrush” – for years the only track by them I could remember).

In the late 70’s / early 80’s, I bought a few Monochrome Set records, then gave up on them – I do not now remember how or why, but I didn’t keep up after the 2nd album. About a decade ago, I found an inexpensive CD “Compendium” and it launched me into my “completist” state, where I try to find “everything” on an artist. Thankfully, this scenario doesn’t seem to happen a lot!

I work my way through the collection – who do I need more CD’s by? Which artists should I bother trying to find all the original LP’s? What to buy next?

Happy times – between now and the end of the year, I hope to be selling lots of LP’s and CD’s. Some will be sent out on a list, others boxed up and taken to Amoeba (in San Francisco, the Amoeba store that seems to me to give the best credit).

If you collect music, drop me a line and let me know what you are looking for. Maybe I can help. Doesn’t matter if it’s vinyl or CD’s. If you’d like to see a list of the records or CD’s I will be selling, also get in touch. Those of you who have bought from me before know that my lists are interesting and reasonable. What to sell next?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Be-Bop Deluxe


10-19-07 Be-Bop Deluxe

The totality of my Be-Bop Deluxe collection from the time they were active is one 45, “Kiss of Light”. Catchy pop song, that was readily available as a 7” single. It’s not that I set out to be dismissive of them, but – let’s just say that in ’73 – ’76, my attention was focused elsewhere. Perhaps I read an article in NME / Sounds et al – saying that Bill Nelson was a new (70’s) “guitar hero”. After the “guitar heroes” I’d already gotten over (such as Jimi Hendrix), I wasn’t shopping around for another one…just yet.

In 2007, let’s just say that my interest in BBD stems from a general interest in British 70’s pop music (before punk). I recently found a collection CD “Postcards From The Future” that features both sides of their debut (rare and obscure) 45. Oh, boy! Maybe this is some more ‘faux glam rock’! Nice Bill Nelson liner notes, I might add.

There seems to be a lot of stuff on the cusp of British 70’s glam rock – regular rock bands that veer towards the glam – Roxy Music, Be-Bop Deluxe, Queen etc. Do these bands really belong being classed with Slade, The Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Gary Glitter et al? BBD would seem to be every bit as ‘guitar-heavy’ as The Sweet – but – subject matter? Performance? Something actually keeps BBD out of the British 70’s glam rock arena, for me anyway.

I eventually met Charlie Tumahai, the bassist of BBD. When I met him, it was many years after BBD, and he had returned to New Zealand and joined the Kiwi reggae group Herbs. Several of my good friends are very into BBD.

I think I found that I preferred thinking of Bill Nelson as a ‘new wave’ kind of guy – hence my fandom of the Bill Nelson’s Red Noise “Sound on Sound” album. In the 80’s, I got the first few Bill Nelson solo records – notably “Quit Dreaming & Get On The Beam” – I was also amused by his collaborations with members of Yellow Magic Orchestra. I always found it odd that Bill Nelson made so many (instrumental?) solo albums in the 80’s that all seemed to have nearly paragraph-long titles and covers that were nearly identical. How could you possibly keep track of all of them?

This ’04 collection BBD CD that I got will likely suffice for my digital BBD collection. I think I have one each of their original LP’s and a couple of singles. I’ll have to spend more time investigating the LP’s – so see if any of them hang together particularly well. I used to collect the Harvest label from England – so it’s a bit surprising that it’s taken me until now to ‘try’ BBD. I let the Harvest label guide me towards Wire – who it would’ve taken me a while to hear, otherwise.

So, fans – what are the Bill Nelson solo albums that I should go after? My favorite single is “Banal”.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Journey


10-17-07 My Journey

I am thinking about what music to subject my friends to, when / if they come to my 50th birthday party next year in Portland, OR. There are three events planned for my birthday, and the middle one (08-09-08) is at the hotel we are staying at, where we can rent a P.A. and spin some sides while everybody eats and drinks. I’d like to think that the places where we are having the other two events would play any CD’s that we would give ‘em, but…bars are not usually so cooperative.

What to put on said discs? Some days, my memory is clearer than others, today it isn’t bad. Probably best if I can actually remember the title (if not the chronology), rather than being reminded by looking it up in my A-Z, huh? There won’t be enough time to give large amounts from each artist – maybe just a track or two. Let the memory decide.

SPIKE JONES – Extract from Side 1 of “Dinner Music For People Who Aren’t Very Hungry”

HARRY BELAFONTE – Will His Love Be Like His Rum (from “Calypso”)

HARMONICATS –

DAVID SEVILLE & THE CHIPMUNKS – Ragtime Cowboy Joe

SHEB WOOLEY – Purple People Eater

ELVIS PRESLEY – Shake Rattle & Roll

STAN FREBERG – Wide Screen Mama

CHARLES MINGUS – Moanin’

FREDDY CANNON – Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

MY FAIR LADY (O.C.) – Why Can’t The English Learn To Speak?

RAY STEVENS – Jeremiah Peabody…

JAMES DARREN – Goodbye Cruel World

JOHN LEYTON – Johnny Remember Me or something else…

JORGEN INGMAN – Apache

LAURIE JOHNSON ORCHESTRA – Theme from “The Avengers”

THE TORNADOS – Telstar

GERRY TEMPLE – Seventeen Come Sunday

THE NEWBEATS – Bread & Butter

PAUL PETERSEN – She Can’t Find Her Keys

ROBERT MITCHUM – The Ballad of Thunder Road

SAM THE SHAM & THE PHAROAS – Little Red Riding Hood

ALVIN CASH & THE CRAWLERS – Twine Time

THE BEATLES – She Loves You

SUE THOMPSONNorman

THE SEARCHERS – Love Potion No. 9

FREDDIE & THE DREAMERS – I’m Telling You Now

GERRY& THE PACEMAKERS – It’s Gonna Be Alright

THE COASTERS – What About Us?

CHARLIE & INEZ FOXX – Mockingbird

JOHN CAGE – Extract from “Indeterminacy”

etc. etc. etc.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lately (2007 Releases)


10-16-07 Lately (2007 releases)

VIBERT, LUKE CHICAGO, DETROIT, REDRUTH”, PLANET MU UK

SHEARER, HARRY SONGS POINTED & POINTLESS”, COURGETTE US

SHEARER, HARRY NOT ENOUGH INDIANS” (4CD boxed set), PHOENIX US

CALE, JOHN / LCD SOUNDSYSTEM ALL MY FRIENDS”, EMI UK

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM / ARCADE FIRE NO LOVE LOST”, MERGE US

STILLS, STEPHEN JUST ROLL TAPE - APRIL 26, 1968”, RHINO US

YOUR SONG IS GOOD HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT! HOT!”, UNIVERSAL JPN

RITA MITSOUKO, LES VARIETY”, WAGRAM FR

STARR, RINGO PHOTOGRAPH - VERY BEST OF RINGO STARR”, CAPITOL US

VARIOUS ARTISTS NOW WE ARE TEN”, TRUNK UK

All titles listed here are 2007 releases, with a few even being brand new releases by current artists – some are “Best of” titles, and music recorded the previous century.

Luke Vibert is a (British?) electronica artist also known as “Wagon Christ” – I love his 90’s titles (on Mo’ Wax) and I spotted this one on a new release rack @ Amoeba Records. Harry Shearer is a KCRW radio personality who was also in Spinal Tap and part of the Credibility Gap – I love his work, and this year has brought us a 4CD spoken word “audio book” and a CD of ‘songs’. For LCD Soundsystem, I have obtained two 7” singles – one a split with The Arcade Fire and the other a split single with John Cale (singing one of LCD’s songs). The Stephen Stills is a 1968 demo tape that remained unreleased for nearly 40 years. Your Song Is Good is a band that I saw live in Japan – lots of fun. Les Rita Mitsouko is a wonderful French band that I have been following for over 20 years – I even got to see them play live in Los Angeles! (Thanks, Cary!). I couldn’t resist the Ringo Starr “Best of” – because of the DVD that is included, just wonderful. I have been buying CD’s directly from Jonny J.B.H. at Trunk Records (in England) for a few years now – we have a common interest in the works of Basil Kirchin. I jumped at the chance to buy a sampler CD from him – inexpensive, and I knew almost none of the music on it. Fabulous! I liked a lot of it, and laughed out-loud at some of it – especially Bill Posters Will Be Banned – just hilarious work.

So, what 2007 releases have you obtained and enjoyed...thus far?


Monday, October 15, 2007

Pilot

10-15-07 Pilot

One can almost instantly recall the U.S. hit by Pilot – “Magic” (as in “Oh oh oh it’s magic…”. Not quite glam rock, not prog rock; produced by Alan Parsons before anyone had really heard of him. Did you find the vocals annoying? I remember my friends making fun of it – too ‘pop’ for us ‘progressive people’. So, a memorable single – then off my radar for 20 years.

Yes, I think I recognized their names on “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” by The Alan Parsons Project. Yep, that’s them on the first few records by Kate Bush. A couple of years ago, I found an LP by Billy Lyall, “Solo Casting” (EMI UK) – and that started the gears turning, as regards Pilot. No, I didn’t have any Pilot records – I may have had one of two cuts on “70’s” samplers (“Magic and “January”, most likely), but…

After finding the Billy Lyall solo album, I turned up a copy of Pilot’s “Morin Heights” on a visit to the state of Washington. From that album, I love the glorious non-hit single “Canada” – comparing the ‘great white north’ to California, my home state. Close, but no cigar, Pilot men!

In 2003, I went to Japan and began to experience my own personal renaissance of British 70’s “Glam Rock”, which, in turn, directed me towards a lot of British 70’s pop music that I had overlooked at the time. When I make my “mix tapes” of UK 70’s ‘glam rock’, I try and include some things that are ‘similar’ – and Pilot fits the bill exactly.

It is fairly amusing to read that some of them started out as members of the Bay City Rollers – it could truly be a case of the ‘image’ they were attempting to create worked against them. Those matching sweaters!

Still, some of it sounds pretty good in 2007. It’s all played by humans – there are synthesizers, but you definitely get the feeling that they were being played by a skilled keyboard player (Billy Lyall) – no sequencers here!

So, I am enjoying listening to Pilot. I’m not going to “collect” them – wouldn’t mind finding original UK pressings of their LP’s, but…not going to chase ‘em. I am a casual listener to their works. I am entitled to be a casual listener, on occasion, eh? Y’know, when a “Best Of” fits the bill? File under: “Oh, this is better than I thought it was”.

Of course, their final album on Arista was recently made into a little paper album cover (kami) CD in Japan – no, I didn’t see it when I visited Japan recently. I probably would’ve picked it up, if it had crossed my path…and been ‘used’.

So, what’s the verdict on Pilot? Worth chasing down their original albums? Better left to a “Best Of” CD? Tastefully produced or “over-produced”? Does this mean I now have to listen to some of the $1 copies of Alan Parsons Project LP’s that I found a while back?


Friday, October 12, 2007

Bill Black Combo


10-12-07 Bill Black Combo

BEAT GOES ON, THE HI US SHL 32041 1968 12 TRKS stereo

BILL BLACK'S RECORD HOP HI US SHL 32006 1961? 12 TRKS stereo

BLACK LACE HI US SHL 32033 1966? 12 TRKS stereo

GOES BIG BAND HI US SHL 32020 1965? 12 TRKS stereo

GOES WEST HI US SHL 32013 1963? 12 TRKS stereo

IT'S HONKY TONK TIME HI US SHL 32104 1976 10 TRKS stereo

KING OF THE ROAD HI US SHL 32036 1967 12 TRKS stereo

MORE BILL BLACK MAGIC HI US SHL 32061 1971 12 TRKS stereo

MORE SOLID & RAUNCHY HI US SHL 32023 1965 12 TRKS stereo

MOVIN' HI US HL 12005 1961? 12 TRKS mono

MR. BEAT HI US SHL 32027 1965 12 TRKS stereo

PLAYS ALL-TIMERS HI US SHL 32032 1966 12 TRKS stereo

PLAYS THE BLUES HI US SHL 32015 1964? 12 TRKS stereo

PLAYS TUNES BY CHUCK BERRY HI US SHL 32017 1964? 12 TRKS stereo

SAXY JAZZ HI US SHL 32002 1960? 12 TRKS stereo

SMOKIE HI US HL 12001 1959? 12 TRKS mono

SOLID & COUNTRY HI US SHL 32088 1974 10 TRKS stereo

SOLID AND RAUNCHY HI US SHL 32003 1960? 12 TRKS stereo

SOLID AND RAUNCHY THE 3RD HI US SHL 32052 1969 11 TRKS stereo

SOULIN' THE BLUES HI US SHL 32047 1969 12 TRKS stereo

THAT WONDERFUL FEELING HI US SHL 32004 1960? 12 TRKS stereo

TURN ON YOUR LOVE LIGHT HI US SHL 32044 1968 11 TRKS stereo

UNTOUCHABLE SOUND, THE HI US SHL 32009 1963? 12 TRKS stereo

WORLD'S GREATEST HONKY-TONK BAND HI US SHL 32093 1975 10 TRKS stereo

Looks to me like the “classic” run of Bill Black Combo LP’s is approx. 24 titles. Mr. Black was, of course, one of the original musicians who worked with Elvis Presley – he was his bassist. As far as I know, these 24 albums are 100% instrumental – no vocals of any kind. The ‘combo’ continued releasing records after Mr. Black’s untimely death in the mid-60’s – eventually releasing records on both the ‘Columbia’ and ‘Mega’ labels. Looks to me like the “Hi” label was created just to release records by the Bill Black Combo.

Only 2 of the titles that I have are in mono – and I think the 2nd of the 2 (“Movin” HL 12005) was actually released in stereo. I have never been clear if “Smokie” (HL 12001) and “Saxy Jazz” (SHL 32002) are actually the same album or not. Is “Saxy Jazz” true stereo? I must remember to check it out.

I got interested in the Bill Black Combo when a used “Greatest Hits” CD got traded in to a record shop I worked at in the early 90’s. I put in on the store’s stereo, and the owner says out-loud, “Roller rink – Houston, TX, 1962”. That about sums it up. When I started looking for their LP’s, it was fairly easy pickings. Plenty of $1 copies and a few (sealed) $5 copies. I also have a ton of Bill Black Combo 45’s. I do not remember if there were ever any non-LP B-sides. I even found some Bill Black Combo jukebox EP’s!

What a different time it was – looks to me like they made an album every 6 months for nearly all of the 1960’s!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

CD Burner

10-11-07 CD Burner etc.

Earlier this week, I took my computer in (!) to have the CD / DVD burner replaced. It got to where it wouldn’t burn anything anymore – it just kept spitting out the blank discs saying, “Please insert blank disc”. Whenever I tried to dub a DVD, it would ‘load’ properly, then tell me – “There is a problem with your disc”. Let’s be real 21st century: I can’t live without a working disc burner!!!

So, if I owe you any CD-R’s, now’s a good time to ask again – it’s working great! And I am also back to several of my DVD projects – assembling material etc. I took about 6 months off from it, but…my DVD hard drive is now working overtime in the other room.

I have always liked making copies of stuff – whether it’s a photocopier or a cassette deck. And I love my Sony MiniDisc recorder(s) – they’re a lot better than cassettes ever were – both the sound and the editing capabilities.

It was weird to take my computer somewhere to have the CD burner changed out. I simply didn’t have the time or inclination to select a model and do it myself. There are those who will scoff at me for this, but…I am also the sort of person that pays for somebody else to change the oil in my car, too. My DVD recorder in the living room kept me busy while the computer was away being worked on.

As long as we’re on the topic of technology (apparently), I do not have a cell phone at this time. No plans to get one, either. I still have a regular telephone – it seems that about all I ever do on it is call my GF of nearly a decade. Sure, I’ve wanted a cell phone for when I arrive at an airport and someone is going around the parking lot in a loop, waiting for me to come out of the terminal. But that’s not a good enough reason to get one.

People always keep telling me that I should get “bigger better faster” internet service. For what? I do not download anything. I post this blog, and upload photos to Flickr – but that is about the extent of my “advanced usage”. I’ve been with Earthlink for over a decade – no ‘service’ problems. I am always reluctant to even think of changing my ISP, thus far.

But I still have the tunes. It matters not what I listen to them on / with. I can hear ‘em. These days, it’s mostly phonograph records to MiniDisc, in my car. In my car is where I have the time and concentration to listen. At home, there are usually distractions (i.e. the phone rings, the laundry finishes, so I have to put some stuff in the dryer etc).

When do you listen? What do you listen on / with? Do you like what you hear? Have I ever made you a copy of anything (on cassette, CD-R, DVD-R)? Did you listen to it? Did you enjoy it? Did the format it was on interact with your enjoyment thereof?

Take good care of your teeth. That’s the secret of the universe.