Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Terminals - Last Days of the Sun

Classic New Zealand band plays what might be the ultimate climate change anthem if you listen to it just right:


I'm not sure if that's what it's actually about, but it sounds pretty perfect against our wildfire-scented hundred-degree air in (checks calendar) June.

I like the fact that Brian Crook (100% underappreciated guitar genius) misses a lot of notes in exactly the right way. I like the way that Peter Stapleton veers from playing drum iambs to playing trochees without warning, as he has been doing for decades. Another scorched/scorching guitar solo that sounds like the end of the world. Perfect.

The album itself gets lost in the weeds a bit at times, but when it hits it hits.


Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Homer Quincy Smith

 

 

Homer Quincy Smith "I Want Jesus to Talk with Me"

One of those songs that I forget about for years at a time, and then all of a sudden I remember it, and it is just as harrowing and perfect as the first time I listened to it.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Karlicki Sing Ukrainian Songs for You

This album is so good. Perfect for feeling a little bleak on a rainy day. Here's "The Fortune Teller." I wish I could upload the awesome cover image, but Blogggggggggger is giving me grief. Oh well - click through.

For some reason my mind is telling me to also mention Dara Puspita's wonderful A Go Go. The two don't really have anything in common other than that they were made in the 60s by female singers of languages I don't understand (Indonesian in this case). And Dara Puspita make me want to jump up and down rather than gently sway and mope. But they are both great.


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Ukrainian love note to the Internet Archive


 

Oh Internet Archive, always with the new surprises. After doing one of my periodic gorges on Polkadon DB's YouTube channel (previously), I searched DuckDuckGo for "dance series by various ukrainian artists" - don't we all? - and it turns out that album, with its awesome if unsettling cover (in my favorite magenta-orange color scheme no less), is up on the Internet Archive, along with a squadillion other Ukrainian-Canadian LPs. Karlicki Sing Ukrainian Songs for You is there in all of its perfect melancholy glory. Multiple Interlake Polka Kings albums. You name it. Time to dig deeper.

 

Supercollider _Dual_

In the garage I found a little CD carrying case (with dubious counterfeit backwards Barbie printed on it). It contained a bunch of CDs that I must have burned for some road trip or other back in the day (my personal Geo Metro was cassette-only until its demise in 2015). ANYWAY there was a CD-R that said something like:

MP3s FOR CAR USE

How can I not throw that in my car's CD player, right? I throw it in my car's CD player. What's on there? Hmm, Bucket Owens, OK, I threw my own stuff on there. De Artsen's Conny Waves with a Shell, Good album, but "Farmers Attempt" is glitching out every fifteen seconds or so. Ah, Supercollider's Dual. Cool, I will never get tired of this album, its deep-well crystal reinvention of the electric guitar, poetic lyrics, perfectly flawed voice, made even more flawed by glitching-out mystery CD-R.

This morning I was driving to daycare, boy sitting in the background laughing his head off at The Complete Peanuts 1981-1982, so I turn on that CD and listen to guitar waves pulsing all around me on I-205. We get closer to daycare and I notice that boy is really vibing on the album. I park and wait for the person in front of me to drop off their kiddo. "Stainless" begins and they wave goodbye. Our turn. Boy refuses to leave. "I want to listen to the end of the song!" And even though I know he's being difficult on a Monday, I imagine that he's really into the album.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Lida Husik

I was always a fan of Lida Husik's weird and beautiful records on Shimmy-Disc back in the day. Lots of fond memories of playing "Ship Going Down" at 4 am to no one in the western Philadelphia suburbs on the radio, and then the one time that she played the campus club it was pretty great as well.

So I was looking at the listings for Milwaukie Porchfest and was a little amazed to see that she was playing maybe a mile from my house. What?! And I guess she lives here now? And the show is from 7-8 instead of rock time???!!! So I prepare to head over there on my bike and my 4-year-old son clamors to go with. OK, sounds good, could be a disaster at meltdown o'clock. I hitch up the bike trailer and we're off down the road family-style.

But it turned out to be great. The show was like a warm blanket on a neighbor's front lawn, all perfect calm and restraint. Her voice was in excellent form nearly three decades later, everything was casual and charming, the weather was eerily perfect for late May in the Northwest, and miraculously, my 4-year-old sat watching between my wife and me for the whole concert, totally engrossed.

We turned and went to go. I realized I probably had met and forgot half the people in the audience. We headed out into perfect evening light.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Panasonic Do-Re-Mi

I'm playing records while at work. Not too weird for 2021 (second year of the plague), but it made me think of 1999 or so when I schlepped a Panasonic Do-Re-Mi to my cubicle job. In retrospect that was TOTALLY WEIRD, but I seem to remember my coworkers not totally shunning me as a result of that. Or as a result of my playing Conlon Nancarrow stuff out loud. OK, I'm going to say: definitely the most tolerant bunch of people to ever work in the collections department of a photocopier service provider.

 

(Photo courtesy Future Forms, where you can buy your very own version for $220, or approximately one hundred times what I paid in 1999.)

Anyhow, this led me to miniorgan.com, which is basically a compendium of this era of weird toy organs. Delightful stuff, though I'm pretty shocked that somehow I have never been led to this site before?!