The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Monday, December 29, 2008

End of the year

12-29-08 End of the year

Well, Christmas is all done with now. Usually, I am not here, the week between Christmas and New Year’s – but I am this year. Why? Because next year, I plan on taking all of these days off and taking a nice vacation!

Was 2008 good for you? Did you buy a lot of music? I ended up with approx. 1,023 new titles. I bought more than that, what with dupes, stuff to re-sell, stuff for friends etc. I’ve more or less stayed out of movie theatres this year, and I’ve only bought a few DVD’s.

My new car, Mr. Suzuki, has a CD player – so my emphasis has changed a bit. And interesting phonograph records are becoming more difficult to find! And expensive! And harder to carry, more expensive to mail etc. And I’ve found some of my eternal ‘want list’ items, too. I’m not feeling like I have been deprived.

That said – On Wednesday, I will fly up to San Francisco; I’ll get to go through two Amoeba Music stores, and hopefully several Streetlight stores. I’ve got CD’s to trade-in, so I should be able to do most of it with ‘credit slips’ – but not until January 2009! And whenever we’re going to go up to S.F. Bay Area, there are a ton of food events that we anticipate: T. Rex BBQ in Berkeley, Vik’s in Berkeley Marina, Ti Couz (Valencia / 16th, downtown), Krung Thai in San Jose

I’m hangin’ out to go to Coyote Point Park where they are supposed to have a big aviary (San Mateo, CA) – You can bet I’ll be there on Jan. 2, ’09!

So, nothin’ much is bugging me, music-wize. Feeling pretty good about all of my assorted collections. I enjoyed the “Joe’s Garage” musical that we saw last November, so I have been thinking about collecting Frank Zappa some more. Do I keep those un-re-mastered versions of his CD’s? Just keep the preferable editions? Or keep everything, as per my usual collecting M.O.?

In Gnosis, the record-rating website – it would appear that a group I’ve never heard is extremely popular, a Swedish neo-progressive band called Anglagard (in particular, a ’92 album called “Hybris” – almost everyone who rates it, does so highly). I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Anglagard CD in the bargain bin!

And there have been times this year when it becomes very difficult for me to even think about music, record collecting. There are times when “real life” interrupts my record collector utopia, unfortunately. Oh, I thought record collecting (and music) were more important than most things in my life – but…not always true. I’ve had a lot of stuff come up lately, as regards my family. Everything is going to be OK, but not without some “work”.

Thanks for reading my stuff!


Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Re: Zappa. Keep everything. You know you'll only regret it later if you divest.

Last week was a momentous occasion. REVO was voluntarily put "on hiatus" this year all the better to actually be earning as much money as possible for Ron-Kon. No Boxed Sets Of God (tm.) No nothing! I spent 2008 either selling stuff on e-bay or working a great freelance gig I have on the side.

I went into my end of year break determined to change that. This week I picked up the abandoned threads of the (gasp) Spandau Ballet BSOG. The one nobody wanted! There is one Club Revo member who asks for everything, no matter what. So I know I'll be making at least two copies. Beyond that, I cannot say.

It'll have 5 CDs with every track variant not on their 6 albums. It will also have a DVD of all of their videos from both Chrysalis and CBS in addition to some TV appearances. 7" dub versions. 12" dub versions! They're all different, so they're all here. The attention to detail is so acutely focused that the live B-sides from their '83 Sadler's Wells concert, which I have on laserdisc AND a legit CD soundtrack (i.e. effortless to digitize since there's no manual cleanup of clicks & pops) were both jettisoned as source material... and the rips were made from the original vinyl itself!! All the better to get the between-song patter and "breathing room" present on the original vinyl issue of the cuts but excised out of the other formats! Everything I Do, I Do It For You!

But soft! Whilst poring over info at, I discovered that the US 12" of "Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)" has the 7" version of the dub mix "Feel The Chant" as the B-side (along with "To Cut A Long Story Short.") The UK version only has a 6 minute version of "Feel The Chant" on the B-side - so I stopped in my tracks sequencing the discs (I was done mastering by this point) and I ordered a copy of the record I lacked from e-bay, at great personal cost!

But this left me with a conundrum. I would need to wait a week at least for the record to reach me from its origin of Winter Park, Florida. And no one will basically want a copy of this great endeavor anyway... why not give the people what they want? I have 5 more days free, so I started a rare parallel REVO project: The Berlin Blondes! (stinger!)

The Berlin Blondes is a record imbued with deep significance to me. It's a Scottish band described as "Futurist" in the jargon of the day. This meant they used synthesizers. I read a review of it in 1980; its year of release. It sounded like something I would like, so I kept an eye out for it. For 17 years. I actually found the record in 1997 during a trip to Ft. Lauderdale to see David Bowie play a club date there. Even better, the same store had the remixed 12" from it (rare in 1980) for the single "Framework b/w Zero Song" for sale there as well. Those records have sat in my collection from Orlando, Florida to Asheville, NC for almost a dozen years - unheard. That album and single became a symbol in my mind of a possible deathbed regret. I waited 17 years to find an album and didn't want to go to my deathbed not having heard it! This is a danger of the record collector sickness! This record has symbolized one of the major regrets in my life: that I have waited too long to enjoy music that took decades to find!! As it stands, I did wait almost 29 years - nearly half a lifetime - to finally hear the album last night when I digitized it!!!!!

What did the group sound like? Lots of Polymoogs! The overall effect is not unlike a Gary Numan record of the time with Russell Mael (of Sparks) singing! Mike Thorne produced it. And the vinyl was super clean with nary a handful of noise to excise. So the complete package (CD,art) should be wrapped up by the time the Last Spandau Ballet Single arrives. There is a lot of "quickie" material not on CD that I have the vinyl on and I foresee a lot more "hit the ground" running projects like this one that can (hopefully) wrap up in <8 hours or so. The average BSOG represents 4-6 weeks of free time in comparison. Next up: Nyam Nyam! (possibly)

10:39 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Yeah, I guess I should keep the extra FZ CD's...

8:01 PM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

I didn't sell my Zappa CD's. I didn't make it to Coyote Point - it rained that morning.

6:09 AM  
Blogger Rob G said...

Hi and hello,

I hope you can help me here...
I see the above comment by Jim Donato mentions REVO being put on hiatus he also mentions BSOG. I am in Ireland and I have been thrawling the net for a box set from Frazier Chorus called 'Elaine' that I saw here
I run (well sort of run) a myspace page for Frazier Chorus here and I'd love to get my hands on one the 'Elaine' boxes?

Can you or he help?

5:08 AM  

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