Friday, October 21, 2011

The Tape of Good Hope

Just a couple of graphically-interesting artifacts for this post.

First up is this "Quadrasonic" cassette, which, since it's blank, can hardly claim to be quad.
[I suppose that it's quad in the same way that today we see headphones that are "digital ready."]

Great graphics, though.

Next up is a classic Sony design, in the mid-century Modern red and black palette.

Unfortunately, the cassette inside didn't match the Sony j-card, but it was this fab orange/green/reflective silver ensemble from Soundcraft:

Here comes Ampex with a very staid, nee professional design:

It's nice that they left the choice of designating sides up to you, the recording professional.

Lebotone wanted you to share your recordings, so they thoughtfully enclosed the (very cheap) tape inside an easily-addressable cardboard shipping box:

A nice touch is the hub-locking insert, to keep the reels from loosening during shipment.

Saving the best for last, here's the Pop brand:

The case matched:

The scans really don't do justice to the Pop cassette colors.

Note: If you are a cassette collector (and I know there are many of you out there) and you're interested in obtaining any of these, contact me through the comments.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Fiesta, then Siesta

I love that the musicians are called Flamenquistas.

Fiesta En Espana (Audio Fidelity Inc., 1957)

1. Allegrias
2. Sevillanas
3. Farruca
4. Eligia A Manolete
5. Granainas
6. Por Alegrias

7. Zapateado Tanguillo
8. Por Soleares
9. Ojos verdes
10. Dolores la Petenera
11. Por Seguiras
12. Fandango

This post is by request. I hope it provides a transcendent moment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hello Brandon, Manitoba, Canada!

Hello to the northern neighbor blog guest who visited every page of this blog for 20-60 seconds yesterday!
I hope what you were searching for was found! Drop me a line in the comments if you couldn't find it.

And for that searcher from Oklahoma - I have no idea why that search led you here, and you should be ashamed of yourself!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Polka In The Eye With A Sharp Stick

The Eddie Forman Orchestra started in 1968, when Eddie was still in high school. They're still going. This album came out in 1985 (I would have guessed it was much earlier). To me (and to many folks that I've played it for) it sounds more like a mariachi band than a polka band. It's probably the two trumpets (the Tijuana Brass lineup) that give it that flavor - video clips on the website of the current band only show one trumpet and that band does not have the obvious mariachi influence/sound. [Yes, I am aware that sources claim mariachi descended from polka.] On this disc the lineup is: Eddie Forman (accordion, piano, vocals), John Nowak (trumpet and vocals), A. J. Lankarge (drums and vocals), Tom Staba (bass and vocals), Dave Soares (trumpet), and Bill Palo (clarinet and sax). This is pretty good - good enough that it deserves better cover art than the generic style that it has.

The Eddie Forman Orchestra - E.F.O.
Tour of Poland Polka 2:39
I Wanna Be Polka 2:54
Life At War Polka 2:41
Young Man Oberek 2:23
I Can't Tell My Heart Polka 1:52
Saxo Polka 3:12
Hot Dogs & Cabbage Polka 2:49
Stop & Think It Over Polka 2:54
Open The Window Polka 2:53
Mary's Cooking Pierogi Oberek 1:53
Girls From Chicago Polka 3:02
Lillian's Polka 1:37


Hit Sounds of the Wrong Generation

A bit ago we had a post of a knock-off hits-of-the-day album (The Best of 66). Today we get an even cheaper version, with a no original hits, some name artist covers of other name artists, and a plethora of easy-listening re-recordings by "The Sounds of Our Times", "The Hollyridge Strings", and a guy named "Tartaglia." I'm certain that this type of album didn't fool the fans of the original songs/performances, so I can only assume that it was meant to
1) appeal to the older crowd wanting to dip their toes into the "hip"; or
2) fool the parents who were buying something for their too-young-to-shop-on-their-own kids.

I'll give it this: the Peggy Lee "Spinning Wheel" is way better than the BS&T hit version.
Bobby Gentry's "Son of a Preacher Man" holds it's own, too.

Hit Sounds Of The Young Generation


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Flies Time

Here's a band thrown together for a battle of the bands at the old (Alumni) gym at Maryville College in mid-80's. I think I got called into this very nearly last-minute. This video can serve as a musical and sartorial counter-lesson to bands just starting out. Special recognition should go to the camera persons, who evidence a magnificent grasp of cinema verite and the avant-garde.

Tempus Fugit @ MC

I played with Bud Watts (drums) and Gary Spears (lead guitar) in another one-shot cover band sometime shortly after this. I recall that our set list included Jump, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, and Beat It.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Hits and Misses

I've run across quite a few of these "hits" albums recently - the covers list hit songs and hit song performers, but the two do not necessarily correlate. For example, on this album there are two Simon and Garfunkel hit songs (Homeward Bound and Cloudy), and S & G definitely perform on the album, but the song that they're performing is not one of the aforementioned hits (it's an album track from the year before). Hit-makers The Cyrkle and Chad and Jeremy also perform - but not their hits. OTOH, Paul Revere & The Raiders (Just Like Me), Billy Joe Royal (Down In The Boondocks [really from 1965]), Bob Dylan (I Want You) and The Byrds (Hey Joe [not the hit version by The Leaves from 1966, of course, but at least a legitimate Byrds release]) show up with their original recordings because they were signed to Columbia Records, the label putting out this LP. Columbia also had on its roster The Brothers Four, Chad and Jeremy, The Cyrkle, John Davidson, The New Christy Minstrels, and The Pozo-Seco Singers - check the track listing below and see if it all starts to make sense...

Of the non-normal tracks here, I actually like The Byrds version better than that of The Leaves (but I worship at the Byrdsian altar), and the New Christy Minstrels' Boots is so cheesy that it approaches greatness (it doesn't hurt that the backing track is smokin'). The rest are just meh, with the exception of Help performed by The Brothers Four, which is so wrong, so ill-arranged, so badly performed, so ill-felt and stiff, that it goes beyond bad, past so-bad-it's good, circles back around bad again (waving stiffly as it goes by), and settles into so-bad-it's-worse.

Various Artists - The Best of '66 Volume One

Side 1

The Brothers Four - Help!

The Byrds - Hey Joe

Chad & Jeremy - Homeward Bound

The Cyrkle - Cloudy

John Davidson - You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

Bob Dylan - I Want You

Side 2

The New Christy Minstrels - These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

Pozo Seco Singers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

Paul Revere & The Raiders - Just Like Me

Billy Joe Royal - Down In The Boondocks

Simon & Garfunkel - We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin'