Saturday, October 27, 2018

Guylaine Guy

Artist: Guylaine Guy
LP: French Doll
Song: "Paris est un Accordéon"
[ listen ]
Song: "Madame Bertrand"
[ listen ]

"French Doll" Guylaine Guy is a Canadian! Born in the spring of 1929 in Montreal, Guylaine got her start singing in some of her city's cabarets. Charles Trenet discovered her there in 1955 and began writing songs for her...and the rest, as they say, isn't history. That's because after touring the world and having a hit record in 1963, Gylaine retired from music to focus on her art. I've been sifting through my French-language LPs and am getting rid of quite a few, but this 1957 delight is definitely a keeper.

[ Guylaine Guy in 1957 ]

 [ Guylaine Guy in 2015 ]

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Throwing Muses

Artist: Throwing Muses
EP: Firepile (Part Two)
Song: "Jak"
[ listen ]

I went on another online 4AD shopping spree, this time picking up a few things to fill gaps in the collection of some of my favorite lady-lead bands. I got a Tom Tom Club single (ok, not 4AD), along with two EPs by The Breeders and the two "Firepile" EPs by Throwing Muses, which I already have on CD. I'd never even seen them on vinyl before. The b-sides of these EPs offer some neat covers, like "Jak," which was originally recorded by Volcano Suns.

[ Throwing Muses circa 1992 ]

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Charles Aznavour [1924-2018]

Artist: Charles Aznavour
LP: Charles Aznavour Canta en Español, Volumen 2
Song: "Isabelle"
[ listen ]
Song: "Si Tu Me Llevas"
[ listen ]

I was bummed a few days ago to read that Charles Aznavour had died earlier this month, at the age of 94. Born in France of Armenian immigrant parents, Charles' birth name was Shahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian, which admittedly doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. With a career in music and film spanning over 70 years, Aznavour was one of the most popular performers in the history of France. People sometimes called him the French Frank Sinatra! Charles wrote more than 1,000 songs during his career, and he claims to be one of the first to write about controversial subjects like homosexuality, referring to his lovely/sad 1972 song "What Makes a Man?" Also, he often performed with Liza Minnelli, which is pretty gay too.

I was a little surprised to discover that I don't actually own any French-language records by this international legend—only one where he sings in English and two on which he's singing in Español. Here are a couple of songs from one of the latter. (I chose this one because he's smoking on the cover, so he at least looks really French even if he's not actually singing that way.) Click here to find everything you've ever wanted to know about the life and career of Snr Aznavour, and read his New York Times obituary here. And then go here for a photo of Charles when he was very young.

Charles Aznavour
[ May 22, 1924 — October 1, 2018 ]
We will miss you, Charles.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Wade Holmes

Artist: Wade Holmes
LP: Hits Made Famous by Hawkshaw Hawkins
Song: "Lonesome 7-7203"
[ listen ]
Song: "Shotgun Boogie"
[ listen ]

Wade Holmes never hit the big-time, so there's really not much info about him on the Web (Discogs tells us when he lived, and says he was a fireman). Still, he does a fine job paying tribute to Hawkshaw Hawkins, a lanky hillbilly singer from West Virginia who had a string of country hits in the late 1940s and early '50s, and who died in the same plane crash that took Cowboy Copas and Patsy Cline in 1963. Hawkshaw earned the nickname "eleven yards of personality" because he was so tall (6'5" says Wikipedia; the LP liner notes hacked five inches off!) and he reportedly traded four trapped rabbits for his very first guitar. Who knows how many rabbits he traded for Jean Shepherd, who was his wife when he died at the age of 41.

PS. I donated my photo of Wade from the back of this LP to the website, since they had a Wade Holmes page, but with no photo and no info on the guy. They thanked me for the photo, and said it also gave them a chance to list some biographical details they'd uncovered about Wade, which you can find here.

[ Wade Holmes: February 28, 1925 — February 27, 1999 ]

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Patti Page

Artist: Patti Page
LP: Romance On the Range
Song: "Who's Gonna Shoe My Pretty Little Feet"
[ listen ]
Song: "Detour"
[ listen ]
Song: "The Prisoner's Song"
[ listen ]

Here are some country-western themed songs from the lovely and velvety-voiced Ms. Patti Page, perfect for winding down a lazy early autumn Sunday evening in Seattle. "Romance On the Range" was released in 1955 by Mercury Records and included tracks from an earlier folk album, as well as tracks that Patti had released as singles over the previous few years.

[ Patti Page: November 8, 1927 — January 1, 2013 ]

Friday, September 28, 2018


Artist: Zodiac
LP: Music In the Universe
Song: "Laser Illumination"
[ listen ]

Last night I rendezvoused with my Seattle Spinsters Vinyl and Music Appreciation meetup group at Obec Brewing, which just happens to be about 35 steps from my front door. Obec evidently has vinyl night every Thursday, where people can choose to play a side of one of the LPs the brewery has on hand in their collection, or they can bring in their own LPs and sign up to play a side from one of those instead. What I wasn't told is that their turntable doesn't spin at 45 rpm, so I ended up handing out all the 7" singles I brought so people could use them as beer coasters instead. 

Fortunately, I'd also brought Jimmy Smith's "The Cat" LP, which went over well, and also this 10" record by Juliette Greco. The theme for the night had been advertised as "back to school," so I'd also brought my copy of "Doris Day's Greatest Hits," so I could play "Teacher's Pet." But when I learned I'd have to commit to playing an entire side of a Doris Day LP at a brewery full of hipsters, I chickened out and quietly slid her hits beneath my chair. I love you, Doris, but I won't cast my pearls before swine. I pictured next-day headlines of fatalities: SEVEN TRAMPLED TO DEATH AT OBEC! Over half a dozen trendy people in their mid-to-late 20s died last night at a Seattle brewery when a stampede to the exits broke out as Doris Day's "A Guy Is a Guy" blared from the speakers at the popular Ballard watering hole. 

Anyway, it was a fun night, and we plan to do it again. Next time I may bring this 1983 Soviet-Latvian synth rock record by Zodiac that I found at Redhill Records in Helsinki last year. The recording of the LP was inspired by the bandmembers' visit to Star Town, where they met cosmonauts and learned about outer space. I bet it would keep the hipsters in their seats. And I may bring some Bow Wow Wow while I'm at it.

[ Zodiac ]

Monday, September 24, 2018

Alex Carrie Barcelona

Here's a mix made from vinyl I found at record stores in Barcelona and other nearby towns last month while on vacation in Spain with my good friends Carrie and Charlie and their twin boys, Oliver and Gabriel. 

side one:
01. Tengo Tu Amor - Fórmula V

      [7" - Novecento Música i Llibres in Barcelona, Spain]
02. Wear Your Love Like Heaven - Eartha Kitt 
      [LP - Daily Records in Barcelona, Spain] 

03. Disco Music - J.A.L.N. Band
     [7" - Wah Wah Records in Barcelona, Spain]
04. Appassionatamente - Rocky Roberts
     [7" - Kebra Disc in Barcelona, Spain]
05. Ana - The Pixies
      [LP - Moby Disk in Girona, Spain]
06. Soñar - Lone Star
      [7" - Revolver Records in Barcelona, Spain]
07. Everybody Clap - Lulu
      [7" - Revolver Records in Barcelona, Spain]
08. Dios a Todos Hizo Libres (Road to Freedom) - Pop-Tops
      [7" - Discos Impacto in Barcelona, Spain]
09. Tres Notas - Betty Missiego
      [7" - 10,000 Records in Barcelona, Spain]
10. Highly Strung - Spandau Ballet
      [7" - Discos Edison's in Barcelona, Spain]  

11. Anduriña - Juan & Junior
      [7" - Novecento Música i Llibres in Barcelona, Spain]
12. Grasshopper - Spin
     [LP - Daily Records in Barcelona, Spain]
13. Automatic Lover - Dee D. Jackson
      [7" - Novecento Música i Llibres in Barcelona, Spain]
14. My Love Is Growing - The Walker Brothers
      [7" - Discos Revolver in Barcelona, Spain]

15. Every Lonely Day - Edison Lighthouse
      [7" - Revolver Records in Barcelona, Spain]

[ listen ]

side two:
01. If You Hold My Hand - Donna Hightower

      [7" - Novecento Música i Llibres in Barcelona, Spain]
02. Bye Love - 5,000 Volts
      [7" - Discos Paradiso in Barcelona, Spain]
03. Cuando Me Enamoro - Los Comodines
      [LP - Discos Revolver in Barcelona, Spain]
04. Bring a Little Lovin' - Los Bravos
     [7" - Discos Impacto in Barcelona, Spain]
05. Who Sees You - My Bloody Valentine
     [LP - Discos Quim in Figueres, Spain]
06. A Malypense - Leny Escudero
      [7" - 10,000 Records in Barcelona, Spain]
07. Two Step - Throwing Muses
      [LP - Vinil Vintage in Barcelona, Spain]
08. Love Attack - Ferrara
      [7" - Wah Wah Records in Barcelona, Spain]
09. Too Big - Suzi Quatro
      [7" - Daily Records in Barcelona, Spain]
10. Superstar - Tony Ronald
      [7" - Revolver Records in Barcelona, Spain]
11. Te Amo (Je T'aime) - Françoise Hardy
      [7" - Discos Impacto in Barcelona, Spain]
12. Callate Niña - Pic-Nic
     [7" - Novecento Música i Llibres in Barcelona, Spain]
13. Oh, Oh, July - Los Diablos

      [7" - Novecento Música i Llibres in Barcelona, Spain]
14. Vente Conmigo - Los Angeles
      [7" - 10,000 Records in Barcelona, Spain]

[ listen ]

Friday, September 21, 2018

Los Pasos

Artist: Los Pasos
LP: 7" single
Song: "Te Quiero Porque Te Quiero"
[ listen ]

It was my last full day in Barcelona and I was feeling melancholy. I'd rented a bike at Ajo Bike the day before so I could be swept away on a bike ride with some new Spanish friends. 

[ My Barcelona Bike ]

We rode for miles up the coast to lay on a much-less-crowded beach than the ones that are located in the heart of downtown Barcelona. 

[ My Barcelona Beach ]

We didn't get back from the beach until after 7:30pm, and since the bike shop closed at 7, I had to cram my bike into my bedroom and then still had it to use the next day. One of my favorite Spanish adventures was riding my bike alone through the early-morning cobblestone streets of downtown Barcelona. I rode to a little shop and bought some candy to take back to my colleagues at work, and also visited the post office so I could send off some postcards I'd written over the course of my vacation. The post office in Barcelona is way fancier than the one in my neighborhood back home.

[ Barcelona Post Office — Outside & Inside ]

Later that evening, it was finally time to visit the last and final record store of my trip to Spain, though it was actually a store I'd already tried going to a few days before. According to the sign on the door during my first visit, the vacation was over at 10,000 Records and they would be open from 5-8pm that evening. Of course they didn't open at 5pm, so I walked around the block. They were open when I got back at 5:15, and in I went. 

I poked around in the LP bins for a bit and found a fairly outrageous 12" single worth keeping, but then I found a group of bins full of singles tucked into the corner and, since my time was limited, I turned my focus there. A friendly fellow was running the place that evening, and he had set up a little listening station on the counter by where he was standing. I picked up a bundle of singles (nearly 10,000 I'm sure), wondering all the while how on earth I was going to get all the records I'd purchased onto the plane without paying a number of substantial bribes. (I managed somehow, of course—thank god for the heavy-duty frozen-food shopping bag I picked up in Schenectady back in 2016.) 

One of the 10,000 Records I found is this 1969 release by Los Pasos, a Spanish band that was only around from 1966 to 1972. You can read about Los Pasos on Wikipedia in Spanish and English, where their style is characterized as a delicate balance of vocal games and instrumental predominance. 

[ Los Pasos]

[ 10,000 Records — Barcelona, Spain ]