Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Denver Blizzard Playlist

Denver is closed & nothing works under feet of snow like a turntable and a laptop.


Smog . Dongs of Sevotion
(Drag City, 2000, DC169)

I was obsessed with Bill Callahan's 1999 release under the Smog monicker, Knock Knock. I especially appreciated the addition of the children's choir singing chorus in songs like "No Dancing". The art direction is also pleasing: I am crazy for the colors blue and grey, lightning, and wild cheetah cats.

Now, Dongs of Sevotion, released the following year was not all that 1999 offered. Nevertheless, some of my favorite Callahan songs are present in this gatefold, 4 side release--one of which, "Bloodflow", really belongs with the prior year's entry.

DagTracks: "Justice Aversion", "Dress Sexy at My Funeral", and "Bloodflow".

Elephant's Memory . Songs from Midnight Cowboy
(Buddah Records, 1969, BDS 5038)

Found this recently after a trip to Boulder's Bart's CD Cellar, which has a wonderful, second-floor vinyl shop. Record, sleeve, and cover all in excellent condition. Elephant's Memory are known less for being Carly Simon's first band than for backing John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Nevertheless, a great find; I often come across their first album in, at best, good condition; in other words, well-worn. EM's second album is really more like a re-issue of their first.

A couple of their songs ended up in the soundtrack for Midnight Cowboy; I suppose Neil Bogart (who penned the liner notes for the lp) figured Buddah might cash in on EM's potential fame. Riches and fame never materialized. Yet, the record is a great testament to the band's optimism, experimentalism, and talent. In addition, it is an odd lp from Buddah Records: with Buddah, think bubble-gum bands such as 1910 Fruitgum Co and The Ohio Express not folksie, rocksie, psyche-tinged & hipster-swayed, New York rock experiments. Plenty of organs and horns. This record is a lot of fun.

DagTracks: "Midnight Cowboy", "Don't Put Me On Trial", "Super Heep", "Band of Love", and "Takin' a Walk".

Eloy . Inside
(Orig. released in 1973; my copy: US release on Janus Records, 1974, JLS 3062)

Eloy, from what I have read, was one of the most popular German bands during the 1970s. Inside is Eloy's second release and the beginning of their serious prog rock ambitions.

Think of The Nice's 1967 "Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack" and 1969 self-titled release with Eloy's "Inside" stuck in the middle for a good progressive sandwich.

DagTrack: "Land of No Body".
Todd Rundgren . A Wizard, A True Star
(Bearsville, 1973, 0598)

I had been feverishly looking for the source material sampled in one of Negativland's published "Over the Edge" broadcasts from KPFA. I think it might have been from Pastor Dick's Moribund Music of the 70s. I cannot clearly recall nor can I find the old tapes. (SIGH.)

I had been feverishly looking for the source material for some time. And I found it on this early Rundgren experiment on his Bearsville label. A listener must be in the mood for Rundgren's mixing, splicing, sampling, and straining of various genres from pop to vaudeville. I absolutely love this album. And the source material for the Negativland loop is from the beginning of "International Feel".

That Wizard comes after the his super-successful (commercially and critically) Something/Anything? makes the album much more cherishable. It's like a middle finger to the market and a welcome-warming embrace of art and performance. Some of Rundgren's experiments don't really make for entertaining listening, but this record is worth the effort and labor it takes to get into the mix.

DagTrack: Side 1 in its entirety, beginning to end.
Quatermass . S/T
(Harvest, gatefold lp, 1970, SKAO-314)

I was proud of this find; an often sought rarity from the Harvest label. My interest was focused after reading Record Collector's issue on Harvest releases (MAR2006, Issue 326, "Pink Floyd & the Golden Years of Harvest".) Now, I do realize mine is the US release of the Harvest record. But I am still beaming after finding it at a recent outing to Black & Read, Inc.

Quatermass is John Gustafson, Pete Robinson, and Mick Underwood. Their self-titled and sole lp is a brilliant prog rock record that fit well into my listening today, esp. with Eloy. I highly recommend this record. As every critic notes, Quatermass is like a genius offspring of The Nice and Deep Purple.

DagTrack: "Black Sheep of the Family". (Fitting title, since this album was both a first and last album, and all critics cannot help but review the songs without mentioning more commercially successful progressive and hard rock outfits. Don't be fooled by the hard rock outfit, Quatermass II. They're just not the same. )
And a couple new 45s:
I have been buying more 45s lately and with great results. More on all of my 45 purchases in future entries. Inter Milan is playing Lazio on Fox Soccer Channel. INTER! I have to run.

Doris Willingham. "You Can't Do That" b/w "Lost Again". Jay Boy 45-6001. Promo Copy.
Danny Woods. "Come On & Dance, PtII" b/w "To Be Loved". Smash S-2140.
The South Street Soul Guitars. "Poppin' Popcorn" b/w "Soul Fire". Silver Fox SF-10.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I did a rock and roll radio show back in the 1970's, and I used a theme song for that show that has long been lost.

I think it might have been Soul Fire (Silver Fox label) by the South Street Soul Guitars, and I see that you have that single.

Could you possibly send me an mp3 of the song so I could see if it is the song I'm trying to recall?

Thank you!

---Dan Hughes,