Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spun #3

Gooom Disques 013

Satie wrote his Gnossiennes in the imagined style of dance music in ancient Knossos, and the first three of his melodies are re-imagined here by Bertùf in a manner that sounds to me simultaneously warm/hazy and cold/glitchy. Nowhere on the jacket or vinyl label does it say at which speed this disc should be played, and it sounds fine either way, but as I tend to like things on the slow side, I transferred it at 33.3.

In many of his pieces, Satie would include texts for only the performer to see as he played. I'm going against his wishes, though, and including his directions below, because I think they add a nice extra dimension to the listening experience.

(Side A)

Numero Un: Slow. Very shiny. Ask. With the tip of your thought. Postulate within yourself. Step by step. On the tongue.

(Side B)

Numero Deux: With surprise. Don't go out. With great kindness. More intimately. With slight intimacy. Without pridefulness.

Numero Trois: Slow. Advise yourself carefully. Arm yourself with clairvoyance. Alone for an instant. So that you obtain a hollow. Very lost. Carry that further. Open your head. Bury the sound.

Find it here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spun #2

Jean Louis
"The Solitary Man"
Village Records VS102

From the back cover:
Jean Louis, "The Solitary Man," has paid his dues as an entertainer. Born in Lewiston, Maine, Jean began his musical career as a trumpet player in his high school band. Before long he was working with local groups throughout New England. Later, during a stint with the U.S. Army, Jean got the chance to perform in Nashville's famous Printer's Alley while stationed at nearby Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. But it wasn't until after leaving the service that Jean's singing career began in earnest and "The Solitary Man" was born. After trying several day gigs he moved to New Jersey and started building a reputation in metropolitan area clubs as a singer and guitarist. Working alone, Jean's versatility in combining his guit with bass pedals and an electronic rhythm device has made him the envy of all those who aspire to become a successful one-man band.
Here, in his first album, "The Solitary Man," with an assist from some studio musicians, combines both his vocal and songwriting talents in a formula calculated to bring many hours of listening pleasure.

The album as a whole doesn't really compare to the catchy outsiderness of the title track, but it's still a pleasant collection of (relatively) lo-fi country pop tunes and seventies AOR.

Retrieve it here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spun #1

If you've visited this blog before, you've probably noticed a general lack of focus and a ridiculously long time between posts, or what I like to think of as a charming and lackadaisical sense of randomness. But no longer.

I've decided to try my hand at this music blog thing. For the time being, I'll do my best to regularly present fairly obscure discs of vinyl, which hopefully haven't yet been brought into the digital realm (or at least in a listenable version). I hope you enjoy these spinning black circles half as much as I do.

Spun first is a 45 by the Moonglows, "In My Diary" b/w "Blue Velvet" Lana Records L-132. Based on my brief research, this was released in 1964 or '65, and maybe it sounded perfectly normal back then. But when I listen to it today, I can't help but wonder what was going through the minds of everyone involved. Whether it was just a lack of rehearsal, an over-indulged chemical inspiration, some intentional mischief-making, or maybe all three, something was not right. Out of tune guitars, microtonal vocals, liberties taken with rhythm and meter both. . . of course it's great.

As usual, repeated listenings start to make more sense, but there are moments here which will never cease to pull the rug out from under me, causing a chuckle or two in the process.

Retrieve it here.