Amoeblog

All Enchanting Audio Artifacts Considered

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 2, 2011 01:02pm | Post a Comment
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!  Welcome to The Choice Bin, where only thee most "choice" long-play records traded in over our magnificent buy counter in Hollyweird are considered and discussed as art and a most logical slab of entertainment and inspiration. Now and again a noteworthy compact disc or book will slide across the buy counter, blip my radar and fall into my orbit, but it's 2011, so O.K.  I'll be your host as we ponder the spectacular and the insane. And if we're really fortunate, and nobody's glommed the goods, most of these gems will be available in Amoeba's "Buy Stuff" section, 'cuz after all....we're also a store! Follow the linkage...


Michel Redolfi

Sonic Waters
Hat Art 2002
(2-LP)


Mr. Michel Redolfii is, among other things, an architect of wondrous underwater acoustic installations...sometimes pools, sometimes oceans. This is a 2-LP set on the Swiss Hat Art label in a sweet little cardboard box package with lots of notes that documents Michel's electronic compositions done on a Synclavier II in the studio, and then being performed in a heated pool and in an underwater aquatic parks. The studio recordings are broadcast under the water through underwater speakers, while hydrophone mics pick up the transformation through the liquid medium, and it's natural mixing with underwater natural sounds. The stuff is eerie, gelatinous sonic stew that totally delights me with every listen. He calls it an "aerodynamic and amphibian" music. Indeed, Sire!



Glass Orchestra

The Glass Orchestra

Music Gallery Editions 10


Here's a remarkable record of a Canadian group in the late '70s composing and performing music for beverage glasses, glass gamelans, glass tubes and pipes, and some other tidbits. Quite ethereal and harmonious in the waves of dissonant and heavenly frequencies that transpire here. Lots of variety, but leaning mostly towards the strange, sensational glass phonics as if you were rubbing the lips of 20 glasses and making a piece out of it. I was in a trance and realized I must turn the record over! A very special disc on clear, glass-like vinyl, with a booklet inside.

Check out the leader's stage set-ups and philosophy.



Marion Brown

In Sommerhausen

Calig CAL30605


Featuring Jeanne Lee, Gunter Hampel, Steve McCall and others, this very scarce record on the German Calig label documents a time in "jazz" music that has never been equaled. The late '60s is reflected here musically in much of the dynamics of the individual voices on the instrumental arrangements and improv. Percussion groups, swinging jazz ensemble and some discreet free blowing sum up the elements. Very much 20th century classical and sound texture, Marion Brown takes the gang away from what others were doing to make his own hybrid style here...similar to the Art Ensemble but with his own freaky integrity flying. Lee's voice adds a sensuousness to the group sound that's unlike anything else. Awesome live sound on this disc...top-drawer production, with a glossy black and white cover.



Guy Lafitte
GUY
Colombia France 10"
FP 1124


French jazz tenor man Guy Lafitte does the Don Byas dance on this poppy, straight up date from French Colombia on a cool 10" flip-back EP. This guy is good, and he plays the changes and rips his chords in and around the Legrand-ish arrangements. I haven't heard that much Lafitte, and I dug this whole project as it progressed. Lots of huge Euro jazz cats on the session. If you like Byas, Pres and Lucky, you'll really get into this guy. These original French 10" records are stone f'n rare, so jump on it if you can.



Mauricio Kagel
Heterophonie 1959/1961

Wergo  WER60043
Rundfunks Symph/Michel Gielen


Mauricio Kagel hands over a wonderfully mysterious, dense yet spacial piece (2-sides!) on this precision-made original German pressing from the iconic Wergo imprint. This company has provided me with hours, weeks, months and even years of audio excitement throughout my life. Whenever I see their generic, clean Euro-balanced cover designs pop up,  I run to see what title it is and if I have it already. This disc is no exception, as Kagel takes us on a 20th century orchestral (and organ, too) audio drama that has it all. Dissonance, beauty, darkness, peppy percussive pulses of storyline and activity. Tiny episodes of sound fit together to make the whole. Kagel is a master at arranging emotion, and covers lots of territory here. A New-Music must!



The Enchanted Tiki Room
Original Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise Soundtrack

Disneyland 3966


Yes, the original soundtracks from Disneyland. This is the record of what you hear when you go into the rides and then their soundtracks surround you. In the case of the Jungle Cruise, you get the narration too and have to imagine the mechanical tiger lunging out at you. The Tiki-Tiki-Tiki Room? Aw, heck... I have no problem blurting out in tears of sentimental nostalgia every time I hear this. The joy of those little  mechanical birds and the looks on the kid's faces in the seats slays me every time. Yes...enchanting!

(Wherein Mardi Gras is given an in-depth assessment.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 7, 2011 05:01pm | Post a Comment
How it appeared before they annexed Poland.

I’ll give you two guesses as to who was at Disneyland yesterday.

Your first guess was Charles the Bald, Holy Roman Emperor and King of West Francia which makes you sound well-educated – even astute – but because he’s been dead since 877 AD, over one thousand years before the opening of Disneyland, it was ultimately a stupid, stupid guess – even more so when you learn that Charles II thought Donald Duck was “so retarded.”

Your second guess is that I was at Disneyland with my boyfriend, two of my sisters, and some of their children. Now that’s using your noggin’! (Nice, noggin’, BTW.)

It wasn’t long ago that I was at Disneyland with rock superstar Micayla Grace (currently playing with Rachel Fannan) for her first time. I told you about that, right? No? Well, it was super. Micayla and I got high on rainbow-swirled lollipops (if you cut them into a powder and snort it you’ll hallucinate so hard that the blood gushing from your nose looks like juicy, red licorice whips [but will taste awful]) and had our picture taken with Goofy (or someone we thought was Goofy but turned out to be a soft-spoken teenage boy with neuropathic heredofamilial amyloidosis and very grumpy parents) before being given a tour of the infamous Disney "jail" after a botched assassination attempt on the animatronic Abraham Lincoln during the Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln show on Main Street, USA.

Continue reading...

Cruise to Mexico: Part 5

Posted by Job O Brother, November 8, 2010 12:58pm | Post a Comment

Okay.


Day 4

Wednesday. September 15, 2010

MAZATLÁN


I awoke to a beautiful view of balmy, tropical islands along the starboard side of the ship. It proved the perfect backdrop to my morning coffee and obsessive playing of Scrabble on my iPhone.

“I wonder what the poor people are doing?” I mused to myself, thrilled at having played the word adz on a triple word score.

This question was answered when I ventured to the ship’s port side, which revealed a congested, smoldering-oil-scented labyrinth of tarnished industrial structures. The smog was enough to make L.A. seem like a beach on Oahu.

“Oh!” I said.


YOU WERE HERE

We had docked at Mazatlán. While the sight of such a gritty urban landscape was intimidating and caused one to question whether the most “green” thing to do was simply encourage the extinction of the human race, I was hopeful. As stated before, I’m a poor audience for the show of safe, tourist-friendly spectacles cruises contrive, and seeing some real estate that was teeming with real people (sorry, employees of Cabo Wabo) made me eager to disembark and explore.

Furthermore, I had a goal. I wanted to rendezvous with saucy barmaid extraordinaire, Spice, whom the boyfriend and I had chatted up at one of the many bars. She had promised, if I found her at the “old marketplace” to reveal unto me the secrets of making Oil Down, and I wanted to hang out with her and the ship’s staff out of their work environment, where they could treat me sincerely without fear of being locked into the dungeon I’m certain must be hidden on the bottom level of those cruise ships (it’s just past the roller-coaster, past the sperm whale holding tank, to the left of the secret blood diamond mine/Mai Tai cabaña).

Continue reading...

The Art of the LP Cover: Halloween Special - Cemeteries

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 17, 2010 12:30pm | Post a Comment

I've got a solid Halloween themed three parter lined up for this season. 
This first batch starts things off gloomily with various cemetery & coffin covers. 
Check out my 2007 series for some great Halloween related LP ramblings.  

Witch Hunters, Strange Truths & Spooked Out Theremins

Vintage Bats, Exorcismic Funk & Poe

Barbara The Grey Witch, Chubby Checker & Don Shirley

The Second Weekend in August, 1969 ... Part Two

Posted by Whitmore, August 11, 2009 11:05pm | Post a Comment

Some observers see this second weekend in August, the 8th thru the 10th, 1969, as effectively the end of the sixties’ counterculture as seen through rose colored glasses. The Vietnam War (which was never formally declared a war) was grinding on. In 1969 there would be 11,616 US military deaths, the second highest count during the war; almost 22,000 Vietnamese soldiers would be killed that year. This week would see the deaths of 169 US military personnel, over the weekend alone some 84 US soldiers would die. And every night TV newscasts were blanketed with those images. Vietnam is often characterized as the "living-room war" or the "television war." It was the first war to be methodically documented nightly on television, and at a moment when TV was becoming a compelling presence in daily life.
 
Other news that weekend included the discovery of the missing plane, Hawthorne-Nevada Airlines, Flight 708, that crashed just west of Lone Pine on February 18, killing all 35 passengers and crew. It was found on the eastern slope of Mount Whitney at an elevation of approximately 11,770 feet.
 
On August 8, just six days after it was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Zodiac Killer’s first unsigned encrypted message was solved by a Salinas, California high school teacher, Donald Harden, and his wife Bettye. The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in the Bay area in the late 1960’s. His name was coined by a series of taunting letters and cryptograms he sent to police and newspapers until about 1974. The initial 408-symbol cryptogram stated, among other things, that the Zodiac enjoyed "killing people because it is so much fun." Harden was an amateur cryptographer and he reportedly took about 20 hours to break the code. Navy cryptographers had attempted to solve it, but without success. Of course some 40 years later, the identity of the Zodiac Killer still remains unsolved.
 
On the 9th, President Richard Nixon announced the nomination of Helen D. Bentley as a Member of the Federal Maritime Commission. Nixon also addressed the nation about domestic programs and a tax reform bill following its passage by the House of Representatives.
 
That weekend also saw the deaths of Russ Morgan, orchestra leader as well as a long time performer at the Dunes in Las Vegas. Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, crackpot eugenicist and Nazi physician, died in an automobile accident. Nobel Prize Laureate Cecil Frank Powell died while walking in the foothills of the Alps; he was 66 years of age. A bench with a commemorative plaque can be seen near the site of his death.

On Friday the 8th, Disneyland opened their doors to the new and soon to be classic attraction, the Haunted Mansion. Adorned with wrought iron fencing and surrounded by creepy tombstones, Walt Disney had envisioned the ghoulish Southern-style mansion even before the park opened in the 1954. The Haunted Mansion was originally seen as a walk-through experience, with cast members walking their guests /victims from one scene to the next as the netherworld unfolds. “Welcome fooolish mortals to the Haunted Mansion. I am your host, your ghost host. Ha, ha, ha, ha ...”
 
Meanwhile, in sports, the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves behind the eventual 1969 Cy Young winner Tom Seaver. At this point in this, their Cinderella season, the Mets were still in second place, 8 and a half games back. The game on Saturday was 3 hours and 14 minutes long and the Mets won 5 to 3 on 13 hits. Seaver would finish his career with 311 wins, 3,640 strikeouts and a 2.86 era in a 20-year career. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the highest percentage ever (98.8%).
 
As for my LA Dodgers, on Sunday they beat the Chicago Cubs 4 to 2 behind the pitching of Don Sutton winning his 14th game of the year, Pete Mikkelsen got the save. Sutton would also wind up in the Hall of Fame, selected in 1998 with a career won lost mark of 324-256.

The 1969 Pikes Peak Marathon, an annual foot race that begins at the base of Pikes Peak in Manitou Springs, Colorado, and climbs over 7,700 feet to the peak at 14,115 feet, was won by Steve Gachupin, who in his career would win the event 6 times in his 21 tries up the mountain.
 
In professional bike racing news, the World Championship was won by Harm Ottenbros in Zolder, Belgium, edging out the favorite Julien Stevens by just a few centimeters.
 
But of course, the big news, the chilling news that weekend, was the seemingly random and grisly murders in Beverly Hills and the Los Feliz district...
 
On August 9th, a hot, quiet Saturday night -- one of the killers would later comment that you could hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers up and down the Benedict Canyon -- in a home rented by Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate at 10050 Cielo Drive in Beverly Hills, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent and a eight and a half months pregnant Tate were murdered in violent blood bath, as bizarre, gruesome and insane slaughter of innocents that might ever occur in any dystopia. Less than two days later another grisly murder occurred in the Los Feliz district -- this time it was supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. Killed in a similarly ghastly manner, this time a fork was used to carve the word WAR on Leno LaBianca’s stomach and left sticking out of his corpse. Authorities would take nearly four months to track down Charles Manson and his Family. And when they were arrested and prosecuted, the world discovered a terrifying mix of a counterculture gone mad and staggering mind-control. Manson, Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel's trials ended in 1971; they were all given the death penalty, though later that was over-turned by the state of California, commuting their sentences to life in prison. Another family member, Linda Kasabian, who stood watch at the Tate house, turned states evidence and served no time.
 
Roman Polanski (The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown, The Pianist), who was out of town, was not Manson’s target. The victims were in the wrong house at the wrong time. Manson, an aspiring singer-songwriter and an occasional friend of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, chose the Cielo Drive house because he had once tried to get a record deal from a producer who used to live there, Terry Melcher, the son of Doris Day, and Manson knew the layout of the house. Past residents included Cary Grant and his wife Dyan Cannon, Henry Fonda, Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere & the Raiders and Candice Bergen. The final resident of the original Cielo Drive house was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who moved into the house in the early 1990s and built a recording studio there. The studio dubbed Pig, or sometimes Le Pig, was an allusion to the fact that Susan Atkins wrote "Pig" in Tate's blood on the front door of the house during the murders. The Nine Inch Nails ep Broken and their classic 1994 album The Downward Spiral were recorded there, as well as Marilyn Manson's debut album Portrait of an American Family. In December 1993 Reznor moved out of the house, taking with him the original front door, explaining that "there was too much history in that house for me to handle." He insists that he didn’t know about the murders when he bought the house, though I thought there was a law on the books requiring brokers to tell buyers about crimes that may have taken place in a home; the real estate term is ‘stigmatized properties.’ Then again, what do I know? In the late 1990’s the house was demolished and replaced with a new mansion and a new street address of 10066 Cielo Drive.


BACK  <<  1  2  3  4  >>  NEXT