Stereo Test albums and Stereo Dynamic records almost always have great graphics. My all time favorite album cover could very easily be To Scare Hell out of Your Neighbors. My Dad has that record; not only does it look great but it also sounds pretty incredible … well, if not actually incredible, at least bigger then friggin’ hell itself. As a kid I used to play it at full volume over our more then adequate state of functional-furniture-by-way-of-Sears-1967-winter-catalogue stereo console. To Scare Hell out of Your Neighbors features a couple of the finest room-clearing tracks you’ll ever hear, like Bach’s Toccato in D Minor -- aka the Rollerball theme --and the first cut, "Adolph Hitler" from Edmund De Luca's Conquerors of the Ages, where we hear several members of the London Philharmonic forthrightly shouting "zeig heil!" Pieces like these literally disturbed the holy crap out of my grandmother. Perhaps it was I who drove her to those late morning/early afternoon gin and tonics.
Anyway, there is something about the secret language and technical diatribes on the back of these albums I absolutely love. All the numbers and graphs and arrows point you, the listener, in the direction of an aural climax.
And in fact from an early 20th century Dadaist or Surrealist perspective, the complex narratives on these back covers could be viewed as truly modern poetry: polemic critiques of technology, ready to bugger all of our puny, inconsequential romantic rhymes. Reason and precision annihilates passion and unprotected sex. Nonsense belittles the hollow logic of bourgeois capitalist society, producing nothing more than an insane spectacle of collective slaughter … Eat your heart out André Breton … eureka, I have found you!
Cannon VIdeo 32025
Despite the dismal Bay Area weather forecast for this weekend that called for heavy rain from late night Friday well into most of today (Saturday, October 4th), meaning it was to literally rain on the parade -- the big annual San Francisco LoveFest Parade -- the weather turned out to be just perfect today. Sunshine, blue skies, and temps in the upper 60's, the perfect weather to accompany all the loud lovely bass-driven music from the parade of electronic music DJ floats going down Market to Civic Center for the all day outdoor dance party. Even before noon, and outside SF, for many the party had already begun this morning en route to the event. On the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART I took into SF, each car on the whole train was like a loud, happy, smoke-filled party and very unlike the BART I am used to commuting on. Even though it still was only morning time, it was 4:20 on BART.
It may not draw a million plus revelers like Berlin's legendary Love Parade (whose website estimates that mega outdoor dance party "peaked in 1999 with one and half million ravers") that it models itself after, but the SF LoveFest Parade, now in year four, is a hell of a San Francisco event -- especially when the weather is as perfect as today. Starting close to its scheduled kick off time of noon today at 2nd & Market and booming its way down Market to Civic Center by a bit before 2PM, the parade, which drew tens of thousands along its route, had a great vibe and was less strictly policed as some other Market St. parades. Without any barriers, it was easy for party people to jump into the street and follow the beat booming from the various floats, and that's what many happy dancing people did. Organizers predict about 60 or 70 thousand overall for the entire LoveFest event this year.