Sunday, September 30, 2012

10" of Fox Trots

 From the LP format war years, a 10" album of fox trots "designed for dancing."

Ray Anthony and his Orchestra - Arthur Murray Favorites - Fox Trots - Capitol H258

A1 Sometimes I'm Happy 3:05
A2 Let's Dance 2:28
A3 Sleepy Time Gal 2:47
A4 Woverine Blues 3:10

B1 What Is This Thing Called Love 2:56
B2 A String Of Pearls 2:45
B3 Lackawanna Local 2:45
B4 Blue Moon 2:54

Reeling In The Years

I'm interested in graphic design, though I have little talent in it. I recently discovered a box of 7" reel-to-reel tapes in the garage, and was struck by some of the interesting graphic design choices that were made in the packaging. Here are a few samples:

This one comes via my friend Darrell, is dated 1975, and has Paul Revere and the Raiders and The Beatles recorded on it. This is my all-time favorite.

I'm assuming Ampex was going for the classical connoisseur here.

Burgess (makers of BURGESS BATTERIES) seems to maybe be going for a little bit of Constructivism with a smidgen of the "atomic-age". (tape contains Foghat Live, Van Halen, and Black Sabbath*)

 Radio Shack not even really trying here with their "here's some random studio stuff" design.

Scotch - I assume this is what was used to record Smell The Glove.

No bachelor pad is complete without...whatever that thing is on the left hand side of the box.
(sadly, tape doesn't contain Martin Denny or the Rat Pack, but Aerosmith, Led Zep, and Styx*).

*both of these tapes were pulled out of a dusty corner of the Maryville College theatre control room circa 1981.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What If I Only have One Guay?

From 1979: smooth sounds of the Guarani Indians on the Paraguyan Harp, performed by the virtuoso Sergio Cuevas, accompanied on Guitar, Bass & Percussion. 

Much more jazz-influenced than I expected.

Sergio Cuevas - The Indian Harp of Paraguay

 Camino De San Juan     3:20    
 Maquinita                      1:29    
 Feliz Navidad                2:13    
 Harpa Serenata             1:22    
 Pajaro Campana           3:25    
 A Mi Dos Amores        1:47    
 Nuevo Baile                  2:53    
 Poncho Cuatro Colores 3:55    
 Golpe Ilanero                2:52    
 Indian Dance                 3:00    
 Barrio Rincon                1:12    
 Magnolia                       1:38    
 Balada De Mi Sueno     1:37    
 Pa I Zacaria                   2:15

Friday, September 07, 2012

That's Just Awful Nice

Here's another band recorded on the Cutec 4-Track of Death (TM) circa 1986.

Stephen played guitar with me in The Home Boys, where his natural tendency for guitar flair was somewhat repressed by the necessities of the 3 minute pop/rock/punk song. Scott and Chuck played in Clock on the Wall, for whom The Home Boys opened in our first ever gig at Vic n Bills (Rock and Roll Deli). Scott impressed me by having matching bass amps flanking either side of the stage (Peavey TNT, if I remember correctly).

These tracks were recorded live in the living room of one of the band member's house in Ft. Sanders. Chuck suggests that it may have been a house that "Scott and I lived in, with a few other people, on Forrest Ave. We called it Pig Haven." Scott played '84 Kramer Duke (aluminum neck and reverse tuning) through a Peavey TNT 100 amp. Steve played a 1985 Tokai Strat through a Roland Supercube. Chuck had Ludwig drums (black oyster pearl finish) and Zildjian cymbals. I think these might have been the live scratch vocals that we never came back and re-recorded.

The band had a sound considerably different from the "Ft. Sanders sound" of that era Knoxville - sort of a prog/jazz/funk/punk thing. Noted musician and scenester Camp Childers remarked that they reminded him of a cross between the Minutemen and Van Halen. As a three piece, each member got a chance to open up and fill out the sound. Their official slogan was the "plainest looking band in town" and they were proud of that fact, according to Wicks. Scott notes that "I still can't put my finger on what 'style' I'd call this stuff. It was the 80s, and only that is clear. We were doing different time signatures and tempos within songs, which made us happy, but probably did nothing for us in terms of endearing us to college girls."

Stephen notes that their "[m]ost memorable gadget [was] Scott's Tube-O-Sound, where he sang into an 8 ft black corrugated landscape drainage tube and it made him sound like he was trapped at the bottom of a well." Unfortunately that device does not make an appearance on these tracks.

Within a year of this recording Chuck moved to PA to attend Penn State. He was replaced by Blair Easter.

One of their last shows (and one that I was fortunate enough to attend) was at the Cityside Cafe where they hung a huge white sheet over the front window with each song titled spray painted on it, passed out numbers to everyone who came into the club, and then called the numbers in order and let the audience pick which song they'd play; Scott would then spray paint over the song title on the sheet until all had been crossed out.

Awfully Anglo:
Scott Davis - bass, vocal
Stephen Wicks - guitar
Chuck White - drums
Blair Easter - drums (not represented on these tracks)

Awfully Anglo - Four Track Demos (zipped file folder)

1 Over and Over
2 Beady DeeDee and the Four Bomps
3 Beady DeeDee and the Four Bomps (take 2)
4 Boodle Boodle
5 Backbone
6 Place or Show
7 Backbone reprise (just f'n off at 2x speed)
8 Rat Race
9 This Town's So Dry
10 Rat Race (take 2)
11 Rat Race (take 3)
12 Terrible Thang 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Atlana Rhythm Single

Here's something you don't see very often - a jazz 7" 45rpm single. Based on the fact that it has the generic RPC label it's fairly obvious that this was a private custom pressing (that's what RPC/RPL of Camden, NJ primarily does), likely for sale at local gigs. The intertubes are remarkably silent about the Atlanta Jazzmen, though having a fairly generic band name doesn't help one to sort out the numerous google hits.

Side A is John Mandel's Pernod, while Side B is Sunday, attributed to Miller-Cohn-Stein (which seems to be short one composer).

The Atlanta Jazzmen