Friday, October 31, 2014

Los Ocho de Colombia

Artist: Los Ocho de Colombia
LP: De Costa a Costa Con Los Ocho de Colombia
Song: "La Danza del Diablo" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Shunga Marunga (Cuca Maruca)" 
[ listen ]

Happy Halloween! A spider just dropped onto my head while I was typing this. How appropriate. Have you seen this costume for a TV weather news person? What about this one that turns out like this? Anyway, "La Danza del Diablo" by Los Ocho de Colombia was the best I was able to come up with to commemorate the holiday. It's not very scary. There isn't much info about these eight handsome fellows on the web; according to this page they began making music in 1974, but I also found a discography that includes an album from 1972 and I have a feeling this "De Costa a Costa" LP is from even earlier than that. The group is still around, though according to the photo header on this Facebook page, Los Ocho de Colombia have now grown into Los Quince! I feel it's also important to point out that the male members of this group are not averse to posing long as they can continue to wear a tuxedo

In English, via Google Translate

1. Where has pace and party have to be The 8 of Colombia
2. Reminding the county that they are guilty of domestic happiness which
3. Members and instruments are at the top of the modern creation
4. Manufacturing
5. Only for crowds
6. The best list of successes that 
7. Located as precursors and absolute owners of musical truth of the nation
8. These are the seven critical highlights and notes in the dance music of Colombia

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bill Wyman

Artist: Bill Wyman
LP: 7" single
Song: "(Si Si) Je Suis un Rock Star"
[ listen ]

Here's something I found while going singles shopping last weekend at Jive Time Records in Fremont. (I wasn't going to stop there unless there was parking right in front—and there was! There is never parking in front of Jive Time.) I had pretty low expectations as I put this single by Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman (si si, Bill suis un rock star) on the listening station turntable. Bill reportedly recorded the song as a demo for Ian Dury, but Ian and others thought Bill should release it himself. Performed in what Wyman calls a "Cockney French" accent, "(Si Si) Je Suis un Rock Star" is actually pretty terrific and went to #14 on the UK singles charts in 1981. My copy is the US release, but I can't find any evidence that the song ever made its way onto the singles charts on this side of the pond. What I did find, however, is some startling evidence that Bill Wyman and Lily Tomlin may have been the exact same person at several points in time throughout the mid-to-late 1970s.

[ Bill Wyman or Lily Tomlin—who can be sure? ]

You can read more about the life and career of Bill Wyman, who celebrates his 78th birthday next week, on Wikipedia here. There's even a page here dedicated entirely to "Je Suis un Rock Star." Si Si!

[ Bill Wyman—then and now ]

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Turuttaret Trio

Artist: The Turuttaret Trio
LP: From Finland With Love: Folk Songs and Dance Music
Song: "Tammerkoski" 
[ listen ]
Song: "El Porompompero" 
[ listen ]

The Turuttaret Trio performed on Finnish television and in leading hotels and nightclubs (the ones with high ceilings that could accommodate Hannele's hair) throughout Finland before releasing this collection of native folk songs and dances in 1974. The Turuttarets even completed a tour of the USA! (Does anyone remember if they performed in Seattle? Maybe even in Ballard?) You can read a little more about The Turuttaret Trio on Wikipedia here—and no offense, Finland, but I definitely prefer your dance music to your folk songs.

 [ Amelita Tammela ]

[ Hannele Lehtonen ]
 [ Maire Tammenlaakso ]

 [ The Turuttaret Trio ]

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Love Machine

Artist: The Love Machine
LP: The Love Machine
Song: "Sex-O-Sonic" 
[ listen ]

My brother sent me a message on Facebook earlier this summer to let me know that Off the Record was closing. It's the last remaining record store in Yakima, our hometown. Off the Record opened in 1985, when I was in my junior year of high school, just one year before I landed my dream job at Budget Tapes & Records, our town's premiere record store at the time. (Yuppies bought Budget Tapes & Records in 1987, painted it pink and blue and quickly drove it into the ground.) A collector of 7" singles, it was at Off the Record that I purchased my first full-length LP in 1986. The store has supplied Yakimanians with good music (and bad music too, I'm sure) over the past 29 years, but now the owner is retiring so the place is going to close. I rounded up a few friends one weekend in August and we took a day trip to Yakima to pay Off the Record one last visit.

 [ Me and my records at Off the Record ]

One of the friends I went with picked out this 1978 album by The Love Machine and carried it around Off the Record in his hot little hands for nearly an hour while I tried to shield the fact that I was turning green with envy. When he finally began to sort through his pile of LPs in order to make his final selection, he slowly stuck this one back on the shelf. I had to use all my self-control to keep from throwing myself on top of the record to claim it as my own. I was scared he might change his mind! With carefully measured casualness I suggested, "Hmm...I think that one looks kinda' interesting. I might go ahead and get it since you don't want it." I still can't fathom how anyone could possibly pass on an LP that features a song called "Sex-O-Sonic." Anyway, in the future I really need to remember not to invite friends to go record-hunting with me unless they're strictly into christian rock and zydeco.

The seven lovely gears in The Love Machine are Kathy Bradley, Sheila Dean, Renee Gentry, Bernice Gibbons, Paulette Gibson, Mary Hopkins, and Sandra Sully. "Sex-O-Sonic" features Kathy Bradley on vocals; in the photo on the back of the cover, I think she's the one in the center with her leg up in the air. You may recognize her from the movie FRIDAY or maybe from the daytime television game show "The Price Is Right."

[ Off the Record — Yakima, Washington ]