Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Disneyland: Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Disneyland records: ST-1920. This was first published in 1963 for $1.98, republished in 1965 as DQ-1285, and republished in 1971 as ST-3801. There was also an earlier recording with Bing Crosby as the narrator from the 1949 film. This record is narrated by Billy Bletcher, who had a long history of voice work with Disney and others. Michael Barrier has an interview excerpt with Bletcher from 1969.

Each side is a single story and a single track. I've gone ahead and copied out the songs as their own tracks as well..

Side 1 (songs by Don Reye and Gene DePaul):

Side 2 (songs by Rice Owen Moore):

Project Gutenberg: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Monday, October 6, 2008

Orson Welles: The Begatting of the President

The Begatting of the President. Orson Welles. United Artists, 1969, UAS-5521. This was also available in book form.
What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?: A Portrait of an Independent:
During the Nixon era, Welles provoked another round of scrutiny by the IRS when he narrated a laboriously satirical record about Nixon told as a faux biblical tale, The Begatting of the President (1969). For a while that harassment drove him back overseas. Welles ran afoul of the IRS again in the early 1970s when it seized money paid to his compnay in Switzerland for an unfinished TV special he had been directing for CBS in 1968-70, Orson's Bag. He considered his company a production company, but the IRS ruled it a holding company. That tax problem led CBS to cancel the show and also caused difficulties with the funding of his feature The Other Sode of the Wind.

From Orson Welles: Rise and Fall of an American Genius:
Back in Hollywood, Welles made a phonograph record, The Begatting of the President, that ran into a storm of controversy. Brought out by Mediarts, it was banned by Metromedia stations and broadcast mainly on FM stations. The record was a bold onslaught on Richard Nixon, delivered in a quasi-biblical mode ("A little child shall be born in a grocery store in Whittier, and he shall sit upon the throne, and his administration shall be established greatly. Now the begatting of Richard Nixon was in this wise...") Welles won a Grammy for the record

I've been sitting on this for a few weeks trying to figure out how to explain why it doesn't work for me. Maybe it's just the preponderance of overly cute lines like "...Tet. And it was offensive" and "Loe, their portions were niggardly." Maybe it's the line readings Orson Welles gives that nods and winks to us that he's about to read one of these overly cute lines. I kinda like comedy driven by anger at the status quo, this, however, is smugness directed at the squares. Worth a chuckle, nothing more.

There's a slight warp in the record that affects the first part of track 1 on both sides. Other than that, pretty good quality.

Side 1
  1. L.B. Jenesis
  2. The Defoilation of Eden
  3. Burn, Pharoah, Burn
  4. The Coming of Richard

Side 2
  1. The Pacification of Goliath
  2. Paradise Bossed
  3. The Raising of Richard
  4. The Book of Hubert
  5. The Ascension

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Disney: Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

ST-3906, 1962
Songs by L. Morey, F Churchill
Music from the soundtrack of the motion picture

This is the Magic Mirror storyteller LP, originally released in 1960. The first version was released in 1957 as the "round cover." It isn't a read-along, though the album cover does fold out to reveal a full-size storybook. I can't find it mentioned anywhere on the album or the cover, but the Golden Age of Walt Disney Records 1933-1988, a pricing guide, lists Annette Funicello as the narrator.

Even though it's a regular sized 33-1/3 LP, each side is only about 10 minutes. There are no tracks on the album, so I've divided the story to match the songs.
Side 1
  1. I'm Wishing
  2. With a Smile and a Song
  3. Whistle While You Work
  4. Heigh Ho

Side 2
  1. Bluddle -Uddle-Um-Dum
  2. A Silly Song
  3. Some Day My Prince Will Come
  4. One Song

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Big Audio Dynamite: E=MC^2

Columbia Stereo 44-05909
1986 CBS
Produced by Mick Jones

A promotional 12" for the Big Audio Dynamite LP This is Big Audio Dynamite. I liked the band, I like this music. Otherwise, I don't have much to say. Their mixes and use of samples seemed top of the art at the time and still sound fresh. I'm a big fan of the audio collage.

  1. E=MC^2 (extended remix); remixed by Bert Bevans
  2. A Party; remixed by Paul 'Groucho' Smykle

Back cover

Side A

Side B

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Watergate Comedy Hour

ST-11202, Hidden Records, 1973

A 1973 presidential parody album that's more miss than hit. There's some good talent here, too bad most of the material rearely rises above a poorly thought out improv idea. And just like the Jimmy Carter album, this was recorded in a studio with fake laughter.

Written by Jack Burns & Avery Schreiber and Ann Elder

Published by Meke Music, Inc

Featuring the Watergate seven: Jack Burns, Ann Elder, Fannie Flagg, Bob Ridgley, Jack Riley, Avery Schreiber, and Frank Welker

Produced by Monte Kay and Jack Lewis in association with Bernie Brillstein & JAB Productions, Inc.

Recorded May 8, 1973 at RCA recording studio in Hollywood. Recording engineer: Richie Scmitt. Album Design: Pacific Eye & Ear. Illustration: Drew Struzan

Side 1
  1. Special Investigation; Welker
  2. Hello UPI #1; Flagg
  3. The Break-in; Burns, Schreiber & all
  4. Ron Zeigler meets the press; Burns, Riley, Flagg, Welker
  5. The Meeting; Welker, Riley
  6. The Dick Cravett Show; Ridgely, Welker, Flagg

Side 2
  1. The Watergate Comedy Hour; Ridgely, Burns, Welker, Riley
  2. The plan; Schrieber, Burns
  3. The investigation; Riley, Flagg, Ridgely, Welker
  4. Agnew interview; Welker
  5. The reverend and the president; Riley, Welker
  6. Hello UPI #2; Flagg
  7. The president's prayer; Welker, Elder, Schreiber

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jimi Hendrix: Gloria

"The Essential Jimi Hendrix" (volumes 1 and 2) was released in 1979. On the cover of Volume Two was an extra sleeve containing a 7" (33 1/3 rpm) single of Gloria. According to the liner notes -- 1979 -- "the version of 'Gloria' included here has never before been released in the United States." At 8:41 minutes, Hendrix takes quite a few liberties with the Van Morrison classic as he creates a moody, majestically soaring piece of story-telling that at times borders on a letter to Penthouse. Not really for the kids. Back in the early 80s when I'd drive to soccer games with a boombox in the passenger seat because my car didn't have a cassette player, I'd always pysche myself up with a Jimi Hendrix mixtape. Last song I'd play before hitting the field was this one.

Listen: Gloria.

Song is easier to come by now than in 1979:
  • iTunes or Amazon (from The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Box Set))
  • iTunes or Amazon (from The Jimi Hendrix Experience: 1967-1968 (Disc Two))

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Coming attractions

No idea (and no promises made) when these will go up, but here's what I've been working on this rainy weekend:

  1. Jazz Butcher -v- Max Eider (Conspiracy), Jazz Butcher
  2. Jimi Hendrix's almost 9 minue version of "Gloria." This is also available as an iTune download if you don't want to wait for me.
  3. Belle Stars, The Belle Stars
  4. E=MC^2 (extended remix), Big Audio Dynamite
  5. Helter Skelter (Live), Husker Du EP
  6. Spring Concert 1977, Piedmont Middle School & Piedmont High School bands. Featuring your host on saxophone.
  7. Woke Up This Morning and Found Myself Dead, Jimi Hendrix. Live bar concert recording complete with incoherent ranting by Jim Morrison.
  8. The Music Man, Original Broadway Cast
  9. The Five Pennies Soundtrack with Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong
  10. Alice in Wonderland, all the songs from the Walt Disney motion picture
  11. Story of Treasure Island from the Walt Disney motion picture
  12. Absent Minded Professor, narrated by Sterling Holloway and featuring the "Flubber Song" sung by Fred MacMurray
  13. Story and Songs from Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, with Marni Nixon
  14. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Magic Mirror LP with all the songs from the movie and a full-sized illustrated book
  15. the Return of Roger Miller, Roger Miller

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Revenge of the Killer B's, VOL 2

Under construction -- songs are linked...still need to add a bit more of the liner notes

Someone alert the Apostrophe Protection Society!

12" LP
Warner Bros Records, 1984

Here's another book I should probably get: 45 RPM: The History, Heroes & Villains of a Pop Music Revolution. Quoting: Warner Bros. released so many such singles that it was able to pool non-LP sides by Prince, Madonna, the Pretenders, and Talking Heads onto two good-selling albums, Attack of the Killer B's and Revenge of the Killer B's.

If anyone comes across a copy of Attack of the Killer B's, give me a call. I only had this on cassette and it's long gone. Artists included: Laurie Anderson, Blasters, T-Bone Burnett, Marshall Crenshaw, Peter Gabriel, Gang of Four, John Hiatt, Pretenders, Ramones, Roxy Music, Talking Heads, Time. I probably broke the tape playing the Laurie Anderson and The Time tracks.

And that quote explains what Fleetwood Mac is doing here -- just the record company burning off a track. Otherwise a decent collection of moderately successful and moderately alternative artists. Except for that Madonna chick whose career was just taking off.

The blocktext is taken from the album descriptions for the songs.

Side One
  1. Cool Water, Fleet Mac. Hey! It's Fleetwood Mac sounding like the Kingston Trio! Cool!
    One of pop/rockdom's most eclectic acts has a reputation for innovation; this more than forty-year-old song from The Sons of the Pioneers underscores that fact. Lindsey Buckingham, backed by John McVie(!), is the soothing lead voice on this cut which originally backed "Gypsy from the Mirage album. A sane selection, don't you agree?

  2. Somebody Like You, Marshall Crenshaw. Nice, bouncy song. Possibly more cynical than the a-side. Great song.
    You can always count on The Crensh to come up with some hot flip sides. This one is the heavyweight which originally graced the obverse of "Cynical Girl." Don't miss the Spinal Tap cover version if you have the time, (Just Kidding)

  3. Sometimes I Wish I was Dead, Depeche Mode. This is where Loudon Wainwright III should jump in and correct "You mean 'sometimes I wish I WERE dead.'" This is such a peppy little tune I am considering making a Numa Numa style chair-dance video to it. It would be huge. Interesting, the lyrics Backstreet, never meet, never say goodbye -- Backstreet is a popular name for gay clubs, I wonder which came first?
    Don't let the gloom squad title fool you, this one is as upbeat as they come. Written by Vince Clark who went on to form Yaz and The Assembly, this charming slice of synth was featured on the D.P.'s first U.K. album and as a premium in "Flexipop" magazine.

  4. Post Office, Rank and File. Some of Southern California's finest cowpunk.
    A C-side (heretofore available only on cassette) from R&F's first country rock opus "Sundown." The song, with no apologies to Mr. Zip, is one if the highlights of the band's live performances. Makes the transition to vinyl quite nicely, don't you think?

  5. Moon 83, The B-52's. Again the album uses another inappropriate apostrophe. You'd think the record label couldspell the band's name correctly. Otherwise, sounds like typical B-52s.
    It's only fitting that these B's be here with their fellow B's. This particular "Moon" first rose on the flip of "Legal Tender" and represents a kind of Part 2 approach to the classic "There's A Moon In The Sky (Called The Moon)" with haunting crustacean over and undertones. Don't bother thinking about it too much; it's great for freestyle dancing.

  6. Money (Live), Pretenders. Because making money is bad. Pretty good cover and a good gauge of someone's age (or lack of) if they don't recognize the US festival.
    Theme song for many of the headliners at the 1983 (and last) US festival where, coincidentally, this was recorded. Of historical significance: this represented the U.S. debut of the band's current personnel line-up. The original version (by Barrett Strong) put Motown on the map. First released as the B-side of the U.K. twelve-inch "2000 Miles."

    Side Two
  7. I Wish You Wouldn't Say That, Talking Heads.
    Dating from the days before they started exploring avant funk, this '77 item showcases the urgency that still sets them apart from the pack. Originally found on the flip of "Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town," it makes all the sense in the world, doesn't it?

  8. Way Out And Up We Go, Echo and the Bunnymen.
    The critically acclaimed quartet from Liverpool (where have we heard that before?), E&The B-men have long been on top in Europe. This was the B-Side of "The Cutter" from the Porcupine sessions of last year. Yeah, yeah, yeah, indeed.

  9. Your Finest Hour, Tom Verlaine.
    Some Churchillian dogma from the man who can say he actually invented Television. Tom's guitar phrasing can take you at least eight miles high on this one which has been aging in our song cellar since his Words From The Front sessions.

  10. You Had No Intention, Kid Creole and The Coconuts.
    August Darnell, Andy Hernandez and those gorgeous gals keept it moving with this musical accusation. Love that "liar, liar" chorus: such angst!! We cinfess: it was the flip of "Annie I'm Not Your Daddy" in England.

  11. Ain't No Big Deal, Madonna. This is not a good song. There had to be a producer who kept insisting that all the song needed was more grunting.
    Maybe so, but Madonna's career has become one. She formerly cut the rug for the Alvin Ailey dance troupe but now is shaking things up vocally at the top of the charts. This hot number has never been previously released; it was recorded during the sessions for her first album.

  12. Set the Killing Free, Aztec Camera. This is a masterpiece of a song. Rhythmic, insistent lyrics, not really sure what he's singing about, but the pleading is so earnest and irony-free I want to believe. Set against a soaring guitar refrain and 25 years after the fact, this song sounds incredibly fresh. I think Roddy Frame was 19 when he did this.
    Led by Scottish sensation Roddy Frame, the A.C's are one of the future's brightest hopes. This pyschfolk track originally backed the extended U.K. version of "Walk Out To Winter."

Story of the Three Little Pigs

Another story read by Robie Lester. The b-side is Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf from the movie.

  1. Story of the Three Little Pigs (Robie Lester)
  2. Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Richard Dirlam: Pure Saxophone

Pure Saxophone
Richard Dirlam

Best that I can recall I read a review of this and thought it sounded appropriately different and since I liked saxophones I thought I might like this. I like to listen to jazz the wife refers to as "5th grade band practice," but this has never really taken with me. I suppose Pièce brève would be my favorite.

Released by the Minnesota Composers Forum, which is now the American Composers Forum, on their label Innova. No mention of Richard Dirlam at the ACF and the only Dirlam recording listed at Innova is She Sings She Screams. He does have a draft website.

Liner Notes
Richard Dirlam has concertized in the United States and Europe as a soloist and a frequent guest artist with the Minnesota Composers Forum, as well as L'ensemble International de Saxophone under the direction of Jean-Marie Londeix. He has been invited to solo at the Seventh World Saxophone Congress in Nurnberg, Germany with the Munich National Radio Orchestra, Werner Andreas Albert conducting.

While Studying with maitre Jean-Marie Londeix at the Conservatoire national de Musique de Bordeaux, France he received First Prizes and Medals of Honour in saxophone and chamber music. He continued his studies at the University of Minnesota, with Ruben Haugen, and at North Texas State University with French conductor Serge Zehnacker.

For Richard Dirlam "The twentieth century and its music is truly remarkable. The excitement of creating and exploring the modus vivandi of the human and musical expression of our time, and experiencing the sensuous character and essence of 'musical performance art' compels me toward new and ever-broadening musical horizons."

Side 1
Hanblecheyapi: Crying for a Vision, Michael Aubart
The composition of HANBLECHEYAPI was influenced by the horrr and sense of sorrow at the assissination of John Lennon. As the piece evolved it came to address not only the loss of Lennon but also a loss of innocence. The piece is a lamen similar in emotional mood to Hanblecheyapi, the "Crying for a Vision" ritual of the Oglala Sioux American Indian nation. Black Elk, a Sioux priest, describes this important way of praying in The Sacred Pipe "...there are many reasons for going to a lonely mountaintop to 'lament.' Perha[s the most important reason for 'lamenting' is that it helps us realize our oneness with all things, to know that all things are our relatives."

While completing his doctoral studies in music theory and composition at the University of Minnesota, Michael Aubart, born in 1952 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was approached by Richard Dirlam for a composition pairing saxophone and electronic tape. HANBLECHEYAPI is the result. Michael Aubart now lives in St. Paul. Minnesota, where he is a free lance composer.

  1. I Cortege (6:53)
  2. II Tenebrae (8:24)
  3. III Hesperus (7:00)

    Side 2
  4. Tag (1982), Eric Stokes (5:17). Eric Stokes died in an car accident on March 16, 1999 .
    Tag is a theater piece dedicated to Richard Dirlam using a live performer and a self-prepared tape. The role of the live performer is based on many aspects of tag: one who is tagged, who tags others, who tags along, who is it, who exults in eluding the others, who enjoys the play, who hides, who listens for the other, who is surprised in his hiding. Since this is a theater piece with choreographed movements and gestures, the aural dimension of Tag is represented in the recording.

    Eric Stokes was born in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, July 14, 1930 and now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he is Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota.

  5. Pièce brève, Kozo Masuda (7:57)
    Pièce brève is dedicated to Japanese saxophonist Keiji Shimoji, solo artist and member of the Tokyo Saxophone Quartet. This piece combines the mood of traditional Japanese music and European principals and techniques of composition. The beginning, marked adagio and calme, introduces an allegro section of dance-like rhythms and irregular metric accents. This piece closes with the return of the opening section.

    Born in 1934, Kozo Masuda graduated from the Kunitachi College of Music Tokyo, Japan. He continued studies at the Conservatoire Bational Superieur de Musique de Paris and the Akademie fur Musik in Vienna, Austria. He has studied composition with Saburo Takata, Henri Challan, Noel Gallon, and conducting with Hans Swarowsky. Presently Kozo Masuda is Professor of Composition at Kunitachi College of Music.

  6. Tierkreis, Karlheinz Stockhausen (11:43). Karlheinz Stockhausen died of sudden heart failure, December 5, 2007.
    After visiting a music box factory in Switzerland, Stockhausen decided to compose original melodies for these boites a musique. Tierkreis (Zodiac) is a collection of twelve short melodies based on the twelve human characters of the zodiac. Though written for music boxes, these melodies can be played on any melodic instrument and/or chordal instrument. Richard Dirlam has played each melody twice and interpreted each melody using contemporary and extended techniques corresponding to physical and scientific characteristics of the planets or stars in each sign of the zodiac. The twelve signs and their corresponding planets or stars are:
    Aquarius -- Uranus
    Pisces -- Jupiter, Neptune
    Aries -- Mars
    Taurus -- Venus
    Gemini -- Mercury
    Cancer -- Earth
    Leo -- Sun
    Virgo -- Mercury
    Libra -- Venus
    Scorpio -- Mars, Pluto
    Sagittarius -- Jupiter
    Capricorn -- Saturn

    Karlheinz Stockhausen, born in 1928 in Modrath, near Cologne, Germany, has been an important figure in contemporary music. His experiments with electronic music in the 1950's, co-editorship of Die Reihe, and prolific compositions, utilizing electronic sound sources on tape, have placed him at the forefront of the European avant-garde. He demonstrates in both his writings and music complex aesthestic and philosophical discoveries made as a theorist and composer.