Homecoming

HomecomingHappy to welcome my first colored Tim Hardin record into the library. To my knowledge, it’s the only one, and a German pressing to boot. Titled The Homecoming Concert, this live performance was recorded in the songwriter’s home town the same year of his untimely death, and is rumored to have been his last live performance, though, the jury is still out on that claim.

The Definitive Reissue

BlackMonkReissueAlready the proud owner of the 2011 bootleg, Black Time, which consists of the exact same opening 12 tracks, I’d passed up many an opportunity for the 2009 official reissue of this 1966 merciless album, Black Monk Time. That was, until yesterday’s trip to Amoeba. With no worthy Kinks albums, absolutely zero anything from Dan the Automator, no Nautiluss (that wasn’t already owned), and no reasonably priced Minutemen, I felt it was high time to bring this puppy home. One record I should have purchased was the red vinyl version of On the Prowl by Rocket from the Crypt. $35 for two tracks slipped me up, but now I wish I’d have thought more clearly. As long as I have air in my lungs, the hunt continues.

Oi

OiOiOiI about choked on my peanut butter and pastrami sandwich when I discovered that Boys Noize was just one guy, Germany’s Alexander Ridha. The enormous amount of heard-hitting wealth found on this double LP is the stuff of pure genius. It’s raw, heavy, and filthy Euro-dance music… the very best kind in my opinion. Although released in 2007 (8 years ago already), these deep grooves have lost none of their profound impact, and if you’ve got an ear for sensual sleaze, it doesn’t get much better than Oi Oi Oi.

Op Klompen

ClogsI can’t say I’ve ever owned a pair of clogs, or op klompen, but I doubt I could rock the boisterous, and seemingly uncomfortable, style quite like the German King, James Last. Acquired maybe 8 or so years ago, I’d just gotten around to listening to the fascinating record the other day, and let me start by saying it wasn’t at all what I’d expected. I’d half expected some cartoon clown banging a trash can, a screaming eel tap dancing atop a tin roof, or some other such sort of unthinkable nonsense, but what I got was a lighthearted, easy listening, and slightly somber, orchestral odyssey through various, and at times very similar, instrumental interpretations celebrating the clog.

Now that I know this title’s meaning, I’ll have to go back and try and detect any actual musical use of the clog, but as it stands, Op Klompen exists as one of those albums with a necessary cover, which far outreaches the music within.

Warum zum Teufel nicht?

Gabi_FredAllowing Gabi Spiegl and Fred Trauner (of Gabi & Fred fame) to blissfully whisk away your heart is nothing an eager ear is willing to fight. This scantily clad German duo (or, spärlich bekleideten deutsche Duo) harness the open-air jodler, or yodel, with ear-piercing precision, and for reasons unknown leave the listener longing for a Ricola herb drop.

German pride with a classic cover leaves willing buyers (this guy here) shrugging shoulders and saying, “why the hell not?”

Something About the Way You Taste, Makes Me Want to Clear My Throat

Are We Not MenIs it fair to call yourself a fan if you base your devotion (see what I did there?) solely on a band’s debut album? This was the painfully embarrassing question I asked myself into a rearview mirror while meandering through 405 construction last night. Since as long as I can recall, I’d always been a Devo fan, but I’d only ever owned their first album, 1978’s Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!

I was forced to ask myself, Q: Is it possible that this record is so prolific, so repeatedly nurturing of its innovative ingenuity, that any given listener (me) could throw caution to the wind (or the rest of this band’s mighty catalog), and view Devo exclusively as a 1978 widely misunderstood practical joke? A: Yes… you’re damn well right it’s possible.

We Are DevoRecorded in Germany and produced by none other than Brian Eno, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! is a head-pounding collection of 11 adult themed nursery rhymes ripe with uneasy repetition and punk-like snarls. Devo unearthed that perfect blend of proficient musicianship with the overwhelming desire to annoy any suspecting dropper of eaves to the point of nausea, and makes the term “nerd” seem unforgettably horrifying.

Smarts, attitude, and the means to welcome wave after wave of social backlash is certainly enough to make me a lifelong Devo fan, and it’s the perfect combination for creating a timeless and memorable album.

Take A Trip Across the World (and Back) with Alfred Hause & His Orchestra

FolksongsEasy listening waltz romps manifesting themselves as interplanetary folk ditties. Solemnly executed by Alfred Hause & His Orchestra, this 1970 cultural roller coaster politely invites you, the listener on a destination vacation through the sunny shores of Mexico, over to the Mediterranean-basking banks of Italy, behind the looming German wall, down to the open, festive, ambience of Spain, all the way across the Atlantic and halfway across the Pacific to paradisiacal Hawaii, before making a pit stop (to flip the record) all the way back to the island of Ireland. If jet lag isn’t your thing, consider a shot and a nap before continuing on with the equally delightful side 2.

Folksongs BackAll rested up and ready for another go? Fantastic. After your three day nap, you find yourself amongst the natural wonders of Argentina (Argentine Republic), before hopping over to the densely populated, yet culturally explosive streets of Japan, up to the chilly, crisp air of Russia, back to Germany (to retrieve a pair of socks you accidentally left behind… you know the socks, the ones you got as a gift from Aunt Silvia that you simply can’t live without), then over to the ignorant-minded throes of Southern United States, before reaching your final, and justly deserved, destination of Scotland.

Closing out a multicultural trip that you’ll undoubtedly remember for the rest of your days with the classic, Auld Lang Syne, you look back at your wondrous journey with exhausted fervor, and a lifetime of memories and useless knowledge with which to entertain (or annoy) your friends and family.

“TRINK, SING, TANZ!!!”

Zillertal“All the gusto and fun of an authentic German Beer Hall in your own home.”

You don’t need to be German to enjoy music arranged, performed and recorded solely for the purpose of drinking beer.  It’s Friday. Why not relax with a cold one? Fill your stein, put up your feet, and surround yourself with the friendly swells of The Zillertal Band and their jolly-good-time-music. This album was however recorded live at the world famous Zillertal in Hamburg, Germany, for crying out loud! (Do people still use that phrase?)

You can rest assured that the quality of this album will exceed your High Fidelity-hipster needs. After all, the back cover explains, in striking detail, just how great the audio quality is:

Editing and transfer from tape to lacquer has been under supervision of the top audio engineers in the industry. All metal parts used in the pressing of the finished product are solid nickel to guarantee the finest surfaces and distortion free reproduction.