December 19, 2008
Not much to say about this one, but it's upbeat and fun, and it just might remind you of being at your grandparents' place during the Christmas season when you were a kid (or last week)!
Enjoy! And have a Merry Christmas!
December 16, 2008
"Christmas Disco Party" is an album of disco-themed medleys of Christmas tunes. Although the cover says "25 Non-Stop Disco Hits", it's actually divided into 6 medleys, running about 6 minutes apiece, including a New Year's Eve medley to complete the holiday season (trust me, you will have had enough of this album LONG before New Year's Eve).
I'm not kidding, folks - this is pretty terrible stuff, listening to it now three decades later. As we know, the passage of time has not been kind to the general perception of disco music, and this certainly is not exempt from that. If you're anything like me, you might get a small initial giggle from this, but then get bored of it very quickly.
This is a Christmas disco party that would have me making excuses as to why I had to leave early. I post this on my blog as a musical artifact from Christmas past.
December 11, 2008
This is an album of "Tijuana-ized" versions of your favourite Christmas songs. It's perfect for your next Christmas party, since it not only features songs appropriate for the season, but does so in a way that will help you think of sunny days and not the kind of nasty cold weather we expect during these months, at least for those of us from "the north". The best of both worlds!
December 3, 2008
The best part of this album is the cover and gatefold, a dead-on remake of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack that sold so many copies the year before. The four-panel "Grover and his disco moves" section in the middle of the gatefold is priceless.
The album features six songs, including disco-fied versions of Sesame Street classics such as "Rubber Ducky" and "C is For Cookie". The funniest one in my opinion is "Doin' the Pigeon", in which the always-grumpy Bert has "no intention of getting [Sesame Street Fever] ... everybody's dancing all over the place ... it's silly!" Eventually, though, Ernie convinces Bert to "get down", and soon enough, everyone is "Doin' the Pigeon".
Here is an image of the gatefold:
November 11, 2008
So, straight from a Russian cafe in lower Manhattan (NYC, that is), by way of Moscow, here is an album of instrumental balalaika music from Sasha Polinoff. A balalaika is a three-stringed (sometimes six-stringed) instrument shaped like a guitar but with a distinctive triangular body.
So grab some vodka and caviar (like they serve at the Two Guitars cafe) and enjoy listening to the balalaikas ringing out!
October 18, 2008
Here we have "Get It On!", a "20 original hits, 20 original artists" compilation released in 1974 by RONCO. Lots of different stuff - here are a couple of notable tracks:
- a cover version of Bob Marley's "Stir It Up" by Johnny Nash (best known for his 1972 hit "I Can See Clearly Now")
- A disco-fied version of "Also Sprach Zarathustra", a.k.a. the main theme from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- "Cover of the Rolling Stone" by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
Also some Barry White, two songs by The Ohio Players, and a track from the Broadway musical Godspell ("Day By Day"), among other various hitmakers of the mid 70s.
October 14, 2008
This album features "Herr Oktoberfest" himself, Julius Rauchfuss, backed up by the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Gemutlichkeit Band, recorded LIVE at the Alpine Club in Kitchener, Ontario, home of the largest Oktoberfest celebration outside Germany. I got this album close to the source, at a record shop in downtown Kitchener.
Sadly, track 11 ("Boarisch Bier") had an irreparable skip in it, so I have left this track out.
Hopefully this will help fulfill your Oktoberfest dreams if you can't make it to Kitchener (or Munich) this year!
October 9, 2008
This is the fifth studio album from Devo, released in 1982. I got it from a junk/record shop in Kitchener a few weeks ago. The album has a nifty built-in "stand" feature (see pics below) that allows you to display it proudly, as it is in our home now.
This is definitely more synth-y than earlier Devo stuff, but then again, it was 1982 ... everybody, even Rush, was mad for synths then.
Forgive me for getting all "political" on a music blog, but there is one track on this album that stood out for its lyrics. Maybe it's just a time-sensitive thing, and yeah, if I was American, I'd be a Democrat, but when listening to "Out of Sync" (track 3), I couldn't help but think of Sarah Palin:
"She's out of sync ...
and everyone around her knows that something is wrong ...
she's out of sync ...
she's got all the symptoms of a girl who skipped a beat ...
she's out of sync ...
and totally committed to living in a dark age ...
she's out of sync ...
constantly undoing what's already been done ...
she's out of focus, she's a warp in time,
she's discontinued, a break in the line."
Just sayin' is all.
dig the built-in stand!
October 8, 2008
The album is entitled "Have 'Twangy' Guitar -- Will Travel" and was an early album of Eddy's, being released in 1958. Apparently it was followed in 1959 by another album of "twangy" guitar music called "The 'Twangs' the 'Thang'", then again in 1960 with "$1,000,000 Worth of Twang" (sort of a "twangy" triple-feature, if you will). If I had these other albums, I would have featured all three together, but sadly, I do not have them ... yet! I will keep my eyes open and maybe we'll see them in a future post! And by all means, if anyone else finds them, let me know.
October 7, 2008
This probably would have been classified as "naughty" or "risque" comedy music back in 1956 when it was released by Cliff Ferre. Today it's merely suggestive. No swear words at all, but innuendo galore. Most of the guffaws come from the singer making you think he's talking about one thing when he's talking about something totally different and innocent. For example, describing something sounding very much like his, ahem ... private parts, but it actually turns out to be ... well, I won't spoil it for you. (check out track 10, "Ain't It A Beauty" for the answer).
October 6, 2008
We'll start in New Orleans, then on to Greece. From there we go to Trinidad and Tobago, and finish off in India! Enjoy!
from New Orleans: "Swingin' Dixie" from trumpeter Al Hirt.
Great music for your next Mardi Gras party!
Bouzouki music from the album "Bouzouki Is Beautiful". A bouzouki is a stringed instrument similar to a mandolin, quite often heard after the word "OPA!" is shouted.
My favourite track on this album is by far is "Bye, Bye Blakie", in which Calypso Princess tell us all about her turbulent relationship, and subsequent break from, Lord Blakie (also a featured calypso artist on the same album). The refrain goes like this:
"Let go me, hon ... don't touch me, hon ... leave me alone, I want another man.
Try a next plan, like you can't understand, I don't want to hear your conversation.
I decided to leave you for sure, mister mean I don't want you no more, I pack up me t'ings and walk out your door, so what the hell you bothering me for?"
In the third verse, we hear a tearful Lord Blakie pleading with his woman to take him back:
"Well, I'm getting down on my knees, and I'm begging you darling, please ..."
from India: bhajans (devotional songs) from Lata Mangeshkar.
Lata Mangeshkar is far and away India's most famous singer, and indeed one of the world's most prolific recording artists of all time. These songs were recorded circa 1968.
If you're thinking to yourself, "I've never heard Lata Mangeshkar sing", you may be wrong without knowing it. If you've ever watched or heard a musical number from an older "Bollywood" movie, there's a good chance it was Lata singing, since she was one of the dominant female singers in the industry and her talents were highly sought after.
October 5, 2008
In the last several months, I've started a new hobby, converting old vinyl LPs to digital formats so they can be burned to CD, transferred to an mp3 player, or uploaded to the web for sharing. As a result, I've been buying up whatever looks interesting at thrift stores, garage sales, etc., and I've had some really great finds to add to my collection!
Which brings us to this blog. I'll be uploading these gems on regular basis so they can be downloaded, shared, and enjoyed by all! I'll be focusing on the more obscure "you'll-never-find-this-on-CD" kind of stuff but feel free to make any suggestions!
The first post will be a musical "world tour" including:
- late 60s-era calypso music from Trinidad and Tobago
- New Orleans "Swingin' Dixie" by Al Hirt
- beautiful bouzouki music from Greece (from the aptly titled "Bouzouki is Beautiful")
- bhajans from the wildly famous Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar, also from the late 1960s.