A gift for you on this, my 29th birthday and the 6th anniversary of AGB. 4 records of totally bitchin Indian jams. All 4 are included in the download link below. There’s also a couple other supreme Indian records I’ve posted in the past, Chatur Lal’s The Drums Of India, his collaboration with Ali Akbar Khan, The Music Of India: Morning & Evening Ragas, and there’s an Indian record included in the massive Lomax collection The Columbia World Library Of Folk & Primitive Music.
Archive for the ‘oops’ Category
Pronouncing The Scientific Names Of Seashells Of North America (Delaware Museum Of Natural History, 1969)
Ok so this is cheating a bit because I posted this once before about 4 years ago back in the .blogspot days. But so much has changed since then! And it’s still one of my favorite weird records. Plus I haven’t posted an out of print record in a while.
This is so super niche that it makes my head spin. It’s the companion record to the book Seashells Of North America by R. Tucker Abbott. This record has Abbott reading through, alphabetically, what I assume is a comprehensive list of the scientific names of seashells found in North America (and some “glossaries”). That’s it. No additional context, no background music, just one dedicated dude doing showing off his pro enunciating skills.
There’s a scan of the back of the jacket included in the zip which has the entire A-Z list of seashells so you can read along with Mr. Abbott.
Steve Allen & Jayne Meadows – Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Home Computers (Casablanca, 1983)
Literally, everything. This is a fucking gem right here. Super charmer Steve Allen talks to his real-life wife/actress Jayne Meadows about computer dos & don’ts, how to buy one, what all that fancy terminology means, etc, etc. This is partly hilarious because even if it didn’t sound dated, it’s still insanely cheesy, but it’s also partly astounding when you see how far we’ve come in 30 years. Have a nice romp with nostalgia and maybe you’ll learn something too.
This is a wacky one you guys. And also hilarious. A 100% fake rendition of some BDSM recordings, it’s got moaning & crying, whipping & slapping, all that sexy stuff, except it’s not sexy. It sounds like some dude (or lady) cracking a whip and timing their yelp semi-appropriately. It’s just kinda funny that this is what someone would put on in the 60s to get in the mood or whatever. Strange times. There’s no music save for a very short bit at the end of both sides. There’s definitely a musical quality, though, the whips are pretty rhythmic and they sound like some 80s industrial snares, ripe for sampling. Not sure who is gonna download this or why, but there’s probably plenty of fellow weirdos out there interested. So, cheers.
On a technical note, both sides had multiple bands, but there was no tracklisting, and I didn’t see a compelling reason to split up the tracks, so there’s just two side long mp3s.
This is kind of the companion record to Nat Freedland’s book of the same name. An amazing 2xLP of interviews with leaders in various occult fields, from witchcraft to magic to ESP to Satanism. Rosemary Brown channels dead composers and Anton LeVey talks about how Satanism is more about life than death. Tons of awesome material, hearing these people speak about their experiences is pretty fucking cool. There’s also a couple of killer tracks at the end by Black Widow, the British cult rockers that never made it as big as Sabbath. It comes with a full size attached booklet (that was too difficult to scan, sorry) so definitely pick this up if you ever find a copy. Plus that artwork by Wilfried Satty is fucking incredible.
There’s a rip of this record on the Internet Archive (that has more details on this if you’re interested). Normally I’d just leave it at that but the copy that was ripped for IA was in rough shape. Mine sounds great, very clean, so if you’ve already downloaded it from there, I recommend replacing it with my version.
This is the best fucking thing right here. Banjos & fiddles, ballads & stories, all from one West Virginian family. Alan Jabbour & Carl Fleischhauer just went to the Hammons family’s home, asked all the right questions, and pointed the mic in all the right directions. Truly excellent display of old American traditions. The highlight is Maggie’s songs, and luckily she’s featured pretty prominently, because her voice is otherworldy. She’s also nearly incomprehensible with the thickest West Virginian accent you could imagine. I’m definitely a sucker for this kind of thing but this collection is on another level.
The 2xLP box came with a huge booklet that has tons of photos & liner notes, and the Library Of Congress has published it as an updated PDF, which saved me the trouble of scanning the whole booklet. Also, while this is out of print via Rounder (who reissued it on CD in 1998 along with another Hammons collection of their own), I think it’s possible you can obtain a physical copy on demand from LoC on either CD-R or tape (like the Folkways stuff). The site seems dated, they say some of their titles might not be available on demand, and you have to mail a letter or call them to find out. So, jumping through all those hoops is definitely worthwhile for this album but I thought I’d give you a headstart. Enjoy.
Download Robert Frost Reads His Poetry
The master himself reading his own poetry, recorded in the comfort of his home in Cambridge the Spring of ’56. A fantastic choice of poems, most poignantly philosophical, read in the bleak & honest manner that only comes from living eighty years. I’ve posted “The Witch Of Coös” for streaming/download on its own because 1: it’s fucking awesome and 2: it’s Halloween times. Also, once I realized Frost sounds like Ice King, I fell head over heals.
This is what I’ve been working on the past few weeks. Digitizing these ancient dusty records, scanning the jackets, and photographing the liner notes, for this hulking mass of worldly beauty collected Alan Lomax.
The Columbia World Library Of Folk & Primitive Music series goes well into the double digits (some details here), but these are the 7 best. My favorite place ever The Record Exchange gave me first dibs on this sweet bunch, so naturally I grabbed the ones from French Africa, Indonesia (New Guinea, Bali, Borneo, etc), Venezuela, British East Africa, India, Bulgaria, and Japan (also includes The Ryukyus, Formosa, And Korea).
There’s so much to dive in to, each record has insane diversity just in itself, and these are literally all over the map. 100% awesome, no filler. Lots of surprises & treasures. The music will speak for itself, but I have a lot of technical stuff I’d like to share as well.
The vinyl isn’t always in the best shape. Considering their age, they’re immaculate, but there’s still over half a century’s worth of grit caked in the grooves. I did my damnedest to clean ‘em and ended up only having one spot that wouldn’t play through. The second piece on the third band on side B of the Bulgaria record couldn’t play without skipping in the same spot every time, so I axed it. Everything else is intact. I didn’t do any digital cleanup for pops n clicks so these V0 mp3s sound as close to my vinyl as you’re gonna get.
The ID3 tags are a little weird but that’s because the records are a little weird. Each side has a few tracks/bands, and each track has between 1-10 pieces. I opted to keep the original format, so each mp3 represents one band (except that Bulgaria piece mentioned above, had to split that in two), and is tagged as “1: Song 1 / 2: Song 2″ and “1: Artist 1 / 2: Artist 2.” Also, the artists are spottily mentioned in the liner notes, so frequently just the name of the recording location is used in the “Artist” field.
But lucky you, I included legible photographs of allll the liner notes. Each record is a gatefold with attached booklets containing lots of photos and details on every song recorded, so my ID3 tags are just a pitiful attempt at capturing that data. The photographs aren’t prefect because I wasn’t sure how many people actually cared about them. So I slacked a bit on the quality, but like I said, they’re all legible.
I hope you enjoy these records as much as I do. They’re a bit of a shining gem in my collection and I’m really excited to share them with you. Globetrotting via records is the best way to go.
A crazy cool album from the ’60s that took recordings previous only available on the premiere commercial medium of the late 19th century and debuted them on the hip new format, the vinyl record. All but one of these songs are from the 1910s and are primarily opera and classical pieces. They’ve got that sound that only 100 years of grit can deliver. There’s only one dude on here whose name I recognize, Leo Slezak, the rest are unbeknownst to me (for those interested/extra site hits: Blanche Arral, Alessandro Bonci, P. Asselin, Lucrezia Bori, Florencio Constantino, Marie Delna, Frieda Hempel, Carlo Albani, Mario Laurenti, and Julia Heinrich). I know this isn’t the usual AGB fare but it’s so fuckin old the archivist in me just couldn’t help it.
More amazing stuff involving Chatur Lal (posted his stunning The Drums Of India not that long ago), although instead of flexing his tabla muscles, this time he’s joining Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s hypnotic sarod. Two side long ragas, each with a brief intro by Yehudi Menuhin who goes over the scale & rhythm of the following songs. Both start out slow, Khan’s solo sarod meandering, finding its way to solid ground, and when Lal comes in with his tabla, it’s the most natural and smooth transition, and Shirish Gor’s tamboura follows suit, everything growing like the morning sun nourishing the land with its warmth & energy, so calming, fantastic in every way. Perfect to throw on when you get home from work and need to clear the headspace.
Bizarre Brazilian prog from the late ’60s by Alpha III, just one dude named Amir Cantusio Jr. who dedicated The Aleph to “the big musician/keyboardist Keith Emerson.” Two side long tracks of weirdness, sounding like the score to A Clockwork Orange with its classically inspired crippling synth wobble, the dark & ominous grooves of The Wall (and only 10 years before Pink Floyd!), formal classical compositions tweaked for extra progginess, creepy clown laughs and fucked up vocals that are rewound, chopped, & distorted. Definitely a unique beast.
Utterly amazing African music by a Troupe formed in France. Senghor was a law student in Paris when he told his father he was going to stop studying to be an actor, which led to him being disowned. He ended up meeting another African student in Paris and they decided to bring the native dances & songs of Africa to Paris. Strange way to go about it but clearly it was at least semi-successful as I now hold their creations in my hands. Very traditional stuff here but African rhythms and vocals are some of my faves, so this is worth its weight in gold.
Not totally sure if this is from 1957. There are at least 3 or 4 versions of this, it was originally recoded in 1952, Esoteric changed its name to Counterpoint in ’57 (I think), and this release has both Counterpoint & Esoteric names/logos, so it seems like a decent justification to me.
UPDATE: A lot of the songs from this record are available elsewhere either digitally or on vinyl. I would highly recommend checking out Georgia Sea Island Singers’ Join The Band on Mississippi Records (MRP-003) for a new pressing with some of these songs. This Southern Journey record is still unavailable as is, so I’ll leave it here for now. See Nathan’s (from Cultural Equality) comment for more details.
This is one of my favorite Lomax collections. Stripped down blues, only two tracks that have any instruments (Hobart Smith on banjo, and a couple dudes playing drums & fife), the rest are pure vocals, hand clapping, and foot stomping. It’s raw and powerful, especially Bessie Jones’ take on “O Death.” There’s some wonderful chatter in between a couple of the songs, like when Peter Davis talks about how he learned “Row The Boat, Child” from his old blind grandfather who would sing it while making rowing motions in his armchair.
One of the really interesting things, and maybe if there’s a Moby expert out there you can help me out on this, is a lot of the songs on this record sound like the vocals used in Moby’s Play. I don’t think he actually sampled from this but it sounds like he heard this record and was like, “I need to recreate this.” Granted, I haven’t listened to Play in 5 or 10 years, but I have some of those tracks ingrained in my memory, and Georgia Sea Islands lines up almost perfectly. Weird.
Either way, this album is incredible, and isn’t already up in the Lomax Archive, so have at it. And be on the lookout for more Lomax collections here in the future, I got about 6 or 7 more that are from other countries and also aren’t in the Archive, so get excited.
This has been on heavy rotation these past few weeks. I picked it up just before my surgery and have been listening to it ever since. It’s absolutely amazing. Not just drums though, it also has Ram Narayan playing the sarangi and some singing by Lal. But drumming is definitely the focus and Lal is a fucking master tabla player. Every finger is a drum stick, making rapid fire taps flow with ease. I never even knew drumming like this was possible. It sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard before and with Lal’s near unintelligibly fast vocals, this is just the best fucking thing ever. Only three tracks, one side long piece on the A side, then two 10+ minute tracks on the other. This has already earned a special pedestal in my collection.
I have no idea about this one. Some dude speaking/singing in tongues. That’s it. No music. Just one dude taking himself way too seriously and acting like a goddamn fool to “help you in your study of glossolalia or your practice of your beliefs.” 100% weird, and if you can get past the whole phony aspect, it’s enjoyably hypnotic. If you can’t, it still makes for a good laugh. The liner notes say “the man you hear claims no Divine Power and does not claim anything miraculous about his ‘gift’ or these recorded prayers. He has chosen to remain unknown, not wanting the public spotlight for his ‘gift.’” They also claim this to be “the first time the ‘gift of tongues’ has been recorded.” Perhaps. Either way, this is wacky as fuck and there’s some fantastic collage art by Burt Goldblatt. If you weren’t sure what you were gonna be listening to this weekend, I may have just solved your problem.