Saturday, October 7, 2017

Franzl Lang

Artist: Franzl Lang
LP: Freunde der Berge
Song: "Der Hochzeitsjodler von St. Kathrein"
[ listen ]

It's been way too long since I put any yodeling up on this blog. Autumn is a perfect time to listen to yodeling, isn't it? Especially in the evening? While drinking beer? I don't know when this LP was released, but my guess is the mid-1970s. You can read all about the Bavarian Yodelking Franzl Lang on Wikipedia here. I miss the days when a person could have crooked teeth and still be famous.

[ Franzl Lang: December 28, 1930 — December 6, 2015 ]

Monday, October 2, 2017

Tom Petty [1950-2017]

Artist: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
LP: 7" single
Song: "A Woman In Love (It's Not Me)"
[ listen ]

There's been way too much dying in the news today. First all the country music fans in Las Vegas, then the guy in the elevator at work told me that Tom Petty was dead too! But then I found out later that maybe Tom Petty wasn't dead! Ugh. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around!

"A Woman In Love" (not a Streisand cover) wasn't one of Petty's hits; it stalled out at #79 when it was released in 1981 as the follow-up to the immensely more popular "The Waiting." I like it though. You can read about Tom Petty here and go to today's NY Times article here to find out how dead Tom really is. I hope he gets better. I hope Las Vegas and the United States of America gets better.

Update from six minutes later: Tom Petty really is dead. He died about an hour ago. I'm ready for a new day please.


Tom Petty 
[ October 20, 1950 — October 2, 2017 ]
We will miss you, Tom.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Jerry Lewis [1926-2017]

Artist: Jerry Lewis
LP: Just Sings
Song: "Shine On Your Shoes"
[ listen ]

I was sad to read today that Harry Dean Stanton died. He was 91 years old, which seems crazy since I swear he's been 71 years old for the past 30 years. Then as I was rummaging through one of my record piles this morning I came across this Jerry Lewis record that I'd forgotten about, which reminded me that he too had died recently, and he was also 91 when he died, though Jerry Lewis seems like he's been 91 for the past 30 years. 

I have to admit that I've never seen a proper "Jerry Lewis movie," though I have seen a film or two that contain a Jerry Lewis performance. One of them is Scorsese's THE KING OF COMEDY, which I thought I would like a lot more than I did. The other, one of my favorite oddities of the '90s, is Emir Kusturica's ARIZONA DREAM, also starring Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, and Lili Taylor. You can read all about Jerry Lewis here, find his New York Times obituary here, there's a Harry Dean Stanton obituary to be read here, and go here to see a neat picture of Faye Dunaway from one of the very best films of all time. 

Jerry Lewis
[ March 16, 1926 — August 20, 2017 ]
We will miss you, Jerry.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Magda Franco

Artist: Magda Franco
LP: La Rosa Negra
Song: "Pidele a Dios" (horns and organ version)
[ listen ]
Song: "Pidele a Dios" (guitar and vocals version)
[ listen ]

This is annoying. My crappy mp3 conversion turntable sometimes makes you choose between instrumentation or vocals, whereas on my living room console, the vocals and organ accompaniment blend together in perfect harmony. Anyway, the first version posted here features some nice organ and horn with Magda's muted murmurings, and the second version features Magda loud and clear with guitar good and strong...and if you listen with all your might, you might hear the faded organ and horns in the distant background, as if they're being played over at the neighbors. There's no information about Magda Franco on the internet. All we know is that she has incredible taste in clothes and hair.


[ Magda Franco ]

Monday, September 4, 2017

Dynasty

Artist: Dynasty
LP: Adventures In the Land of Music
Song: "Do Me Right"
[ listen ]

Uh-oh. Looks like somebody didn't pay their Dynasty dues.

Actually, when this LP was released in 1980, Dynasty only had three official members—keyboardist/lead vocalist Kevin Spencer and co-lead vocalists Nidra Beard and Linda Carriere. So who, then, is this mysterious "other man" perched so precariously on the B-line of that large metallic treble-clef stave that he's slid halfway off the cover of the LP? 

Could it be Dynasty's other co-lead vocalist, William Shelby, who the credits say contributed keyboards and synth, but who for some reason isn't officially a member of the band? Or perhaps it's producer Leon Sylvers III, who backs the band on bass and was reportedly romantically involved with singer Nidra Beard. In fact, Sylvers officially joined as a full-fledged Dynasty member the following year, so perhaps that mysterious figure isn't sliding off the cover at all. I'll bet you $23.80 that's actually Sylvers scooting his way onto the cover, inconspicuously inching his way, both literally and metaphorically, toward a key position amongst the other members of the group. When your band's producer also plays bass and makes out with one of your singers, it's awfully hard to tell them no when they want to put part of their body on the cover of your second LP. Or maybe it's Wardell Potts, the drummer.

You can read all about Dynasty here, and for a picture of a different Dynasty, go here

[ Dynasty ]

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Musical Youth

Artist: Musical Youth
LP: 7" single
Song: "Tell Me Why?"
[ listen ]

Whenever I tell someone I've stopped buying records for a while because I have too many, I always feel compelled to instantly race out and buy some more. Today I told my friend Refugio this at lunch, and then my car drove itself to Jive Time Records in Fremont and found astoundingly good parking fight in front of the store. My vehicle must have intuitively known that this 1983 Musical Youth single and a few other 7" gems were waiting for me inside. 

After early success ("Pass the Dutchie," anyone?) the hits soon dried up and Musical Youth were mired in legal and financial troubles by the mid-1980s, calling it quits in 1985. One of the Youth, Patrick Waite, went on to a life of petty crime and died in 1993 at the age of 24. But on the bright side, two members of the group, Dennis Seaton and Michael Grant, have recently reunited to make more Youthful Music for us all to enjoy!

[ Musical Youth ]

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Baby Brother

Artist: Baby Brother
LP: 7" single
Song: "You Make My Warm Spot Hot"
[ listen ]

It's practically September in Seattle, but golly my warm spot was hot all day! Parking spot, I mean. At work. That's what we're talking about here, right? My parking spot? All the shady ones were taken! There's scant information on Baby Brother here. How could this song have failed to chart? What is wrong with you people!? I found my copy at Redhill Records in Helsinki in the springtime.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dick Biondi and The Teenagers

Artist: Dick Biondi and The Teenagers
LP: Dick Biondi's Favorites...
Song: "The Teenager"
[ listen ]
Song: "The Teenage Mind"
[ listen ]

The older I get, the more baffled I am by the incomprehensible behaviors and attitudes of the teenagers of today. Thank god I've got this Dick Biondi record to explain them all to me.

[ Dick Biondi and The Teenagers ]