Friday, July 20, 2012

"Port Of Suez" Exotic Music From The Middle East

at one point i had literally dozens of '50s cash-in 'exotica' records and tho most of them were either meh or awful (great sleeves across th board, tho) there are a few (like anything by the bizarre belgian surf band the waikikis) that really rise head'n'shoulders™ above th rest, which brings us to this here lp, th only representative of th aforementioned dozens still holding a place in my crates. th reason? about half th tracks sound like fucking sandy bull. no lie. complete with direct-line fusion to yr limbic system, just like j. lethem sez. anyhow th rest of it is great too, as is th proliferous amt of surface noise you'll find on this particular copy. a few words from an exhaustive crown records archivist:

CLP-5085/CST-119 stereo - Port of Suez: Exotic Music of the Middle East - (Artist not identified) [1958] Original stereo copies issued on red vinyl. Another interesting look into the practices of the budget record companies in the late 1950s. Much of this LP also appeared on Coronet 55 (The Music of Port Said credited to Mohammed El-Sulieman & His Oriental Ensemble), Broadway 1027 (East of Suez, artist unidentified), and Pirouette 16 (Music of the Near East credited to Ali Beirut's Orchestra). The Coronet, Broadway, and Pirouette albums play exactly the same. Titles on the Coronet and Broadway LPs are identical (Temptacious/Whirling Sands/Jazz Of Araby/Chifti/Hora//Owo Solo/Hasapiko Bolero/Husson's Rhapsody/International Dance/Cosmopolitan). Although the Pirouette LP plays the same, the song titles differ (Near East/Romance Of The Fiddle/Drums Of The Desert/Call Of The Near East/Desert Dance Madness//Cosmopolitan Whirl/Exotic Dance/Night Love/Temptation Of The Desert Sun And Moon/Whirling Sand). This Crown album has some tracks that are the same and some that are not on the other albums, but they sound like the same orchestra and recording session. Titles on the Crown album, with references in brackets to the songs on the other LPs, are: Stardust At Dawn ["Whirling Sands"/"Romance of the Fiddle"]/Warm Wind [instrumental version of "Hora"/"Desert Dance Madness"]/Dancing Girls [not on the other LPs]/Suez ["Jazz Of Araby"/"Drums Of The Desert"]/Sand Dunes ["Cosmopolitan"/"Whirling Sand"]//Night Madness [instrumental version of "Temptacious"/"Near East"]/Summer Rain ["Hasapiko Bolero"/"Exotic Dance"]/Harem Girls [not on other LPs]/Rebel Camp [not on other LPs]/Desert Caravan ["Owo Solo"/"Cosmopolitan Whirl"].

nigh-on perfect.


Friday, July 6, 2012

My Summer 'Catch Fire' +

for quite awhile in th mid-aughts i worked sound at a failing off-campus bar that mighta-coulda dug itself outta th hole it had so royally swandived into had th owner not been so addicted to pay-to-play local hiphop showcases and battles of th suburban metal bands, but, those horrors aside, we managed to have quite a few excellent shows that no one showed up to (like city streets, who absolutely killed and, i'm sure, will never, ever visit our town again), and quite a few outta th blue surprises as well (like th time black tie revue showed up to find they were on one of those battles of th bands, as mentioned elsewhere on this here blog). i don't remember how new york's my summer came to play th bar, but they were SO effin' great - ultra chimey strat lines leading choppy, way-catchy tunes that always stayed exquisitely well on th good side of th line between semi-complex pop & wretched emo played by three dudes obviously having th time of their lives and throwing everything they had into it. a cursory google glance reveals that th band is still functional as of this writing and, lo and behold, maintain a bandcamp as well as a facebook page. my summer mine their very own corner of a somewhat well-worn landscape, so tho' they aren't all that reminiscent of anything, if smoking popes, cheap girls, and th post-jawbreaker, pre-get up kids era of forgotten pop-punk like superstar rookie wet yr proverbial panties (and i can't see why they wouldn't), check these dudes out. there's also something vaguely michale graves-y about th sorta crooned vox that i can't ever get enough of. actually th closest thing i can think of would be if you somehow morphed matt and dan from alkaline trio's voices into one.

fact section: file contains an ep (2005) and th following 2006 full-length, 'catch fire'.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Graves 'Web Of Dharma'

when th new misfits or misfits '95 or whatever you wanna call 'em went on tour th first time i agreed with a friend of mine that we would go but we didn't, so when their record was aboot to come out i was working at this one-stop and it was only like $6 to take it home on wax th friday before it was released so i was like what th hey, we'll see how much it sucks. ONLY IT DIDN'T SUCK. i listened to that lp ('american psycho') a whole hell of a lot that year (at ear-splitting volume, mostly - perhaps to drown out th elliott smith and sublime that my third-floor roommates spun non-stop to th left and right of me) and i've listened to it a whole hell of a lot since - along with their sometimes-it-seems-even-better second lp ('famous monsters') and this disc - th record th singer and drummer (th non-old school members of said misfits) made directly after walking off stage from th caiafa bros in th middle of a set. listening to this record it becomes abundantly clear who th "talent" in th reformed misfits were, and it ain't th aforementioned brothers. unfortunately, on this lp graves (michale, th singer) and chud (dr., th drummer/songwriter) were separated from th third in th talent triangle, producer/recordist/guitar genius daniel rey (tho' this record sounds alright, it's no match for th ultrablast fury of those two misfits recs), and when th dust cleared after a short tour, graves and chud would be separated too. so while i enjoy some of michale's later solo stuff, this is th magick moment, a record that feels like it's october th whole way thru, that doesn't get bogged-down in bad-b-film-pun one-upsmanship, that rises (along with th killer japanese band balzac) so far above th rest of th genre that calls itself horrorpunk that it effectively turns them into th ants (and no, not ants from 'them!') they pretty much are. track down a tune graves and chud did with a band called sardonica called "mommy made luv to an alien" (a chud tune also rejected - like many of these songs were - by jerry only at one point) if you dig what you hear here.


Black Tie Revue 'Code Fun'

quite simply th best capital-all-th-letters POP record of th last ten years (maybe ever). everything about this is PHENOMENAL. i'm not even gonna tell th completely silly story about how i heard/saw/met these guys th first time at a pay-to-play battle of th bands three hours from where they live or how th only other time i saw them was with maybe seven (pushing it) people and a dying tree in a bar meant only to be visited by neighborhood fishermen, cuz those stories are just complete shit that takes away from th fucking TRIUMPH of GLORY that is their musick (specifically this lp). if you enjoy ice cream and driving REALLY fucking fast (or are human and not a miserable piece of shit - or even if you are, this can probably help), i can't see why you haven't downloaded this yet.


Unicorn 'Kedamono No Arashi'

once i got a little column in a local paper where i talked aboot some of my fave records. that moment in time is preserved here, if you care to peruse it in its entirety (caveat: it is in some ways a bit of a saab story), but here is th bit which pertains to our post here and now:

kedamono no arashi, unicorn (sony japan, 1990)
akin to spending an hour trying to dial in the best freeform radio station on the planet, maybe skipping between two more unknown yet almost equally fantastic stations in the pursuit. a playful hawaiian number gives way to a soaring ballad with jet planes for a solo; a song with dogs barking the snare hits is one-upped by fifty seconds of thrash that disintegrate into a man quietly counting down from ten under a mournful string section. supposedly the lyrics are great too!

grab this now. no kidding!


Bones Brigade Video Tunes

this is basically th soundtrack to th first three bones brigade movies ('83-'87). if you grew up watching th shit outta them like i did, i can't imagine you wouldn't think this is th niftiest disc on this green earf. however, even if you don't have a massive flood of intangible emotion associated with these tunes, i'm here to tell you that you still might find a lot to like. first, th major contributor to these pieces/songs is one dennis dragon, whose profile in tape op a few months back failed to mention that - what i'd argue is th most important job he's ever done, and th way most people have heard of him (or at least heard him) - at all, to my utter dismay. anyhow, dennis dragon (coolest name this side of adrian demain) has lived a long and colorful life and th work he did soundtracking for powell is fucking second to none. it's funny how in listening to these tunes all detached from th videos really, um, socks home how cheesy some of it is, but at th same time it's incredibly obvious how well th music captures th vibe of skating - at th time and even now. it's insanely intuitive accompaniment. second, a short list of tracks included herein that should be mandatory listening for anyone interested in fun and badassery: th rodney mullen "yes i'm gonna get a dog" bit ("big dog," by the knight); that sacto song from 'future primitive' where they just yell "ONETWOTHREEFOUR!!" a lot ("one, two, three. four," by los pukes - best band name ever); and of course th oft-occurring background jam "mctwist and shout," found here in its pristine entirety (by johnny rad, of course).