Here is an additional edition of my series of great, mostly obscure, one album wonders. In thealbum era (roughly the mid-1960s until the mid-2000s), the album was the dominant format of recorded music expression and consumption. It seems that most musicians from that era, if able to scrape together the funds for the recording of one studio album, generally returned with at least one more. Some, like Sun Ra, somehow released more albums than I've had hot dinners. Even most excellent bands, in my opinion, would have done well to find something other to do with their time rather than keep making records after their fifth album or twelfth year (although there is the Go-Betweens Exception). The following acts mostly date from the Golden Age of the LP -- and yet were unable or unwilling, in all cases, to record more than one.
ORGANISATION - TONE FLOAT (1969)
Although most musicians associated with the Krautrockscene usually argue that it didn't even exist as such except in the collective conscious of British music critics, on first spin of Organisation's sole album, Tone Float, the discerning listener will have little doubt that the album is a product of late-1960s/early-1970s Dusseldorf. Heading Organisation were Florian Schneider and Ralf Hütter, who famously went on to form Kraftwerk and have almost as famously been unfairly sniffy about their excellent pre-Autobahn output. Organisation's only album was produced by Konrad "Conny" Plank and, since its 1970 release by RCA Victor, has long been out-of-print. The other members of Organisation were Basil Hammoudi, Butch Hauf, and Fred Monicks. After the band's disorganisation Hammoudi joined another one album wonder, Ibliss, who released Supernova in 1972.
Remembering dance music icon Sylvester (born Sylvester James in Los Angeles, CA) - September 6, 1947 - December 16, 1988.
On this day in music history: December 16, 1966 - "Hey Joe", the debut single by The Jimi Hendrix Experience is released (US release is on May 1, 1967). Written by Billy Roberts, the song tells the story of a man on the run after shooting his wife for her infidelity. A garage band standard, it is covered by numerous acts including The Leaves, The Byrds, Love, The Standells, and The Surfaris to name a few. Hendrix's version is recorded on October 23, 1966 at De Lane Lea Studios in London. The single is first offered to Decca Records in the UK who decline to release it. Polydor will pick it up for UK release (and Reprise in the US) and it will immediately hit the charts. "Hey Joe" will peak at #6 on the UK singles chart.
On this day in music history: December 16, 1972 - Across 110th Street - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is released. Produced by Bobby Womack, it is recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis, TN from Spring - Fall 1972. Issued as the soundtrack to the blaxploitation crime drama starring Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, and Antonio Fargas, it features a song score written and produced by Bobby Womack and is performed by Womack and his backing band Peace. It also features the instrumental score from the film written by J.J. Johnson. The title song will be issued as a single and will peak at #19 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and #56 on the Hot 100. It will also be featured in director Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown in 1997 and in American Gangster in 2007. Across 110th Street - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #50 on the Top 200.
Heavy electro rock pioneers Trans Am have been bringing the heat since the early 90s. Music fans and critics alike hail the group as the originators of "post-rock." Their sound lies comfortably between the synth driven sonics of Kraftwerk and the robotic vocal production of Daft Punk. With 9 studio albums to date, Trans Am has enjoyed a lengthy career with all their albums being released byThrill Jockey Records.
Trans Am continue to push the envelope both live and in the studio. Their live show consists of all three members taking on double duty alternating between synth, bass, guitar, vocals and drums. The group does a great job at replicating their electronic tsunami of sound on stage. Be sure and catch them live if you get the chance!
King Tuff has released a new record on Sub Pop, and all I can say is OMGGG. King Tuff is looking to be the garage banger of the summer. You should definitely pick this one up, and you can even preview it on YouTube for the time being. Check out a stream from Sub Pop below, and order the album here.
Up-and-coming L.A. pop band Kitten is releasing a new EP called Cut it Out on Aug. 28th. Teenage frontwoman Chloe Chaidez sure sounds like a star in the making on this buzzy electro single, which has the post-punk feel of Metric while upping both the catchiness and shoegazey sonics. I feel like we’ll only be able to claim Kitten for so long before they move on to bigger and better things, so check them out while they’re still local!
Shows This Weekend
This is a big weekend for local singer Nite Jewel, who recently released her fine album One Second of Love, which manages to be dancey (check out the title track) and cool, with atmospheric and experimental electronics throughout, while remaining classy, with Ramona Gonzalez’s sultry voice more reminiscent of classical pop singers like Barbra Streisand and Diana Krall. Tonight Nite Jewel headlines a krautrock-themed show titled “Krautrock Classics: A Night of German Cosmic Music,” presented by Dublab and the Goethe Institut. It will take place at the Ford Amphiteatre, with Nite Jewel performing a classic of the genre, Kraftwerk’s Computer World, with help from friends like Stones Throw Records’ Peanut Butter Wolf. The show also will include performances from the likes of Sun Araw, Dntel and Daedelus. Starts at 8, all ages, $15, get tickets online here.
Then, on Saturday, Filter Magazine holds its Summer Sessions series at the Original Penguin Store (8215 Melrose Ave.) from 2-6 p.m., featuring a performance by Nite Jewel. RSVP here.
On Sundays it’s usually hard to beat Part Time Punks at the Echo, and this Sunday is certainly no exception: Violens, whom fellow Amoeba-ite Brad also loves, will play alongside Capured Tracks band Catwalk and Surf Club, which features members of Craft Spells. Slumberland's Violens play blurry swoony guitar pop much in the same vein of their labelmates, but they stand out from the back with their strong melodic songwriting (check out the beautiful "Sariza Spring") and the fact that they bother to rock out once in a while (watch the "All Night Low" video below). Their album True is one of the best of the past couple of months. It's a whole lot of shoegazey, guitarry goodness for only 10 bucks. Get advance tickets here or in store at Ameoba.
Kraftwerk "The Robots" (Die Roboter) from 1978's The Man-Machine
West Coast based Kraftwerk fans start checking now for cheap air tix to New York in mid April because the legendary German electronic music pioneers who heavily influenced hip-hop electro funk, techno, rock, pop etc. will be performing a special series of eight concerts starting April 10th, each one devoted to a specific Kraftwerk album, at NYC's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as part of the midtown Manhattan modern art museum's exciting sounding retrospective of the electronic music pioneers. The eight part Kraftwerk series, which is bound to sell out fast so plan on scooping up tix when they go on sale at noon (9am PST) next Wednesday Feb 22nd, is appropriately been titled Kraftwerk-Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.
Beginning on April 10th and continuing through the following consecutive nine evening (April 10th to April 19th), the Kraftwerk album series will also feature performances of other non featured album music of the night. Done in chronological order Kraftwerk will perform their eight albums released between 1974 and 2003, starting with 1974's Autobahn and including such releases as 1977's Trans-Europe Express and 1981's Computer World. There will also be accompanying projected images for each night's performance. Only announced a short time ago already some are voicing criticism of the series from (rightfully) noting how Florian Schneider, who co-founded the group with Ralf Hütter in 1970, will not be present (he departed the group four years ago) and the fact that this music series ignores the band's pre-Autobahn catalog when they released the albums Kraftwerk (1970), Kraftwerk 2 (1972), and Ralf und Florian (1973).