Friday, November 27, 2015

Bryan Ferry: Let's Stick Together (1976)

Bryan Ferry, the voice behind Roxy Music, has released a good number of solo records. Generally, he includes lots of cover versions. On this record, he wrote about half of the tracks. The best known tracks is probably the title track, written by Wilbert Harrison. It's pretty darned good, but it ain't Roxy Music.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Fennesz: Endless Summer (2010)

Fennesz, who hails from Austria (I guess Falco is not the only musical export) is either glitch, experimental, ambient, or all three at once. He has released tons of music that most people have never heard. I like this record immensely. The music is dazzling.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Faust: Faust IV (1973)

Faust is a Krautrock band. Perhaps I should have written that Faust is a legendary Krautrock band. Krautrock refers to a form of music that came out of Germany in the late 1960s. Wikipedia says this:

"Largely divorced from the traditional blues and rock and roll influences of British and American rock music up to that time, the period contributed to the evolution of electronic music and ambient music as well as the birth of post-punk, alternative rock and new-age music. Key artists associated with the tag include Can, Amon Düül II, Ash Ra Tempel, Faust, Popol Vuh, Cluster, Harmonia, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Neu!, and Kraftwerk." [source]

We will encounter more of this music as I move ever so slowly down the alphabet of my collection. (Sadly, all of my Can albums are on CD). Obviously, Faust IV is the fourth record from the band. It took 21 years for a further album to be released. The title track, incidentally entitled Krautrock, is a work of absolute genius. Just relax, and listen to this amazing piece of music, below. The entire record doesn't sound like this, as evidenced by tracks such as The Sad Skinhead.

Some Faust fans refer to this record as a sell-out, noting that that band had lost an edge. I still think this is a great record.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fatboy Slim: Champion Sound (2006)

Who could have ever thought that the bassist from the inoffensive and somewhat vanilla Housemartins would end up on the leading edge of Brit-Hop? It's a radical departure and yet it seems to work.

It's likely that most people are more familiar with Rockafeller Skank and Weapon of Choice, the video of which features Christopher Walken. Anyway, this UK 12" single contains four mixes of Champion Sound. Here is the official video for the single.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Falco: Einzelhaft (1982)

Of course, you know Der Kommissar, from this, Falco's debut 1982 record. Everyone does. Falco's other big hit, which is not on this record, is the inferior Rock Me Amadeus from 1986. Evidently, Falco is Austria's biggest musical export. What I didn't know, until I looked for some biographical information, is that he was a classically-trained child prodigy. 

So, Einzelhaft, apparently translates to solitary confinement. I learned something else today. On Reddit, I would have to say TIL.

The truth is that the rest of the record is uninteresting and yet there are a surprising number of videos from the record. I guess the fans at home really liked Falco. I am not sure he translated too well across the ocean.

The odd thing is that I never knew that Falco had died until recently, when I was discussing this record with C.  He died at age 41 in an automobile accident, just as he was planning a comeback.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Marianne Faithfull: A Child's Adventure (1983)

A Child's Adventure is a lesser Marianne Faithfull record in her uneven recording career. Oddly, her output seems to have improved towards the end of the 80s. This record is totally unremarkable, though I am sure others will disagree.

Fairport Convention: Moat On The Ledge-Live At Broughton Castle (1982)

This is a reunion show from 1981, recorded a couple of years after the group disbanded. It's hard to find clips from this concert on Youtube that are not banned in Canada. This folk-rock band had its origins in the late 1960s. For me, this band is memorable for bringing us Richard Thompson, someone whose solo work I like far more that the stuff he did with Fairport. Sometimes, I think I should remove this record from my collection.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Donald Fagen: The Nightfly (1982)

I suppose an apt description of Donald Fagen would be to call him half of Steely Dan. The other half, of course, was Walter Becker.

Despite having heard a number of fairly decent Steely Dan tunes over the years, I ignored many friends who went on and on about how great they were. I knew a guy who managed to bring up Steely Dan as often as some guys referred to their sex lives. I was more interested in Bauhaus and Joy Division and the Cure. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I had found an appreciation for them.

Even while ignoring the constant refrains to listen to Steely Dan, I became a Donald Fagen fan, mostly because of Pete, who lent me a copy of this record on cassette way back when. I liked it immediately and bought a copy on CD. Later, I found a vinyl copy at a great price. The Nightfly, Donald Fagen's first true solo record, is brilliant and as interesting as Steely Dan.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, and Denny Diaz: You Gotta Walk It Like You Talk It (Or You'll Lose That Beat) (Original Soundtrack) (1971)

I suppose you could look at this record as a pre-Steely Dan record, coming, as it did, about a year prior to the first Steely Dan record. Sadly, it's not as good as Steely Dan, though there are hints. People have to start somewhere.

You Gotta Walk It Like You Talk It (Or You'll Lose That Beat) is a comedy-drama, what we would now call a dramedy.  I have never seen this film, described as a low budget outing. in any case, the record is probably only of interest to Dan fans. like me. Others might not get it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Fabulous Poodles: Think Pink (1979)

Think Pink is filled with funny and amusing songs that all have great energy and pace. Although I like Mirror Stars well enough, to me, Think Pink seems better overall. I have a hard time believing that the Fab Poos didn't make it big with this record. It's really too bad that they didn't make any videos (or none that I know of). I think that might have helped.

I once played the track entitled Anna Rexia for a woman in my university residence, after which she told me that she once suffered from anorexia. Oops. She seemed to forgive me.

"Anna! Anna! Anna! Anna!
That little girl's got a prepossessing manner
Anna! Anna! Anna! Anna!
I'm makin' love to a bagful of spanners
Every day she's gettin' thinner and thinner
She won't touch a bite of her dinner
She used to be my one and only
Now she's even thinner than a Bony Maroney!"

I have to say, though, that this is one of those records that I heard way too often. My sister had a copy, which she later sold, but during the time she had it, it was on the spin too many times. Some years later, I dug this up in a record bin for a good price, and couldn't resist picking it up.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Fabulous Poodles: Mirror Stars (1978)

The first time I heard this band was the Think Pink record, and I couldn't discern if it was a joke or not. At the time, I had no idea if there were any other records by the band. Somewhat surprisingly, it was difficult to know what other records bands had released. If you were lucky, you might get to look at that massive book some records stores had that listed the records. Of course, it excluded bootlegs and I think some imports. Usually, you just had to keep flipping through the record bins to see if you could find anything new. It was thrill to see something you hadn't seen before. This explains why so many people would travel to different and distant record stores, in the hopes of finding something they knew existed or something they had never seen before.

So, The Fabulous Poodles came on my radar in 1979, the year after Mirror Stars was released. I had no idea, until a couple of days ago, that this record was produced by John Entwistle.This record is OK, but I prefer the follow-up.

I recently dropped my phone, so all of my photos on my phone like this album cover.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Explosions In The Sky: Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever (2001)

Explosions In The Sky is an instrumental post-rock band from Austin. They are fabulous. I have a number of their CDs as well. I suppose the closest bands to them in style are Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai, both of which are coming up.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Exhaust: Enregistreur (2002)

I think it's fair to say that some people find the sound of Exhaust to be grating, but I like it very much. This is as good as the first record. I like it.

Exhaust: Exhaust (1998)

I'm a big fan of Constellation Records out of Montreal. You wouldn't go wrong with anything they have ever released.

Exhaust features Adrian Girt, of 1-Speed Bike and Godpseed You! Black Emperor, plus Gordon Krieger, who has played with Set Fire to Flames and Molasses, and Mike Zabitsky, who also spent some time with Set Fire to Flames. Allmusic's description of this record is quite interesting:

"The self-titled Constellation Records debut by Exhaust embodies the sound of squatting in an anarcho-socialist warehouse commune in Montreal's arty/industrial Mile-End district surrounded by French-speaking philosopher/musicians with revolution on their minds and time on their hands."

Allmusic goes on to say this: "Much of their live-to-four-track recordings have been electronically manipulated during mixdown to evoke an aura of experimental dub and an attendant cinematic mystery that conjures the urban setting of their creations. The drumming is minimalist and crudely recorded, as if from a single microphone set up in a storm drain, yet front and center, directing each piece, while menacing tape loops of agitprop speeches, street conversations, film dialog, and eerie wails permeate the mix, and all of this is anchored by depth-charge bass drones and the moaning of the clarinet." [link]

I don't think this is wild hyperbole. I think this is probably an accurate description.

I have a ton of CDs from this record label, including everything GY!BE ever released.