Sunday, January 29, 2017

Guido & Maurizio

Artist: Guido & Maurizio
LP: Welcome!
Song: "Verde"
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Song: "Goodbye My Friend"
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Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, whose film THE SALESMAN has just been nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, has decided not to attend the awards ceremony in Hollywood this year. He'd initially planned to be there, but after Friday's executive order banning travel to the USA from seven Muslim-majority countries, Farhadi regretfully announced, "I have decided to not attend the Academy Awards Ceremony alongside my fellow members of the cinematic community...the possibility of (my) presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me, even if exceptions were to be made for my trip." 

He continued, "To humiliate one nation with the pretext of guarding the security of another is not a new phenomenon in history and has always laid the groundwork for the creation of future divide and enmity. I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations."

That sucks. Asghar Farhadi's A SEPARATION won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of 2011, and he's one of the most exciting filmmakers working today.

Speaking of films, brothers Guido & Maurizio De Angelis made music for lots of them, mostly the ones from Italy. They also made pop songs with vocals, but those were released under the name Oliver Onions.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Céline Dion

Artist: Céline Dion
LP: Tellement J'ai d'Amour
Song: "Écoutez-Moi"
[ listen ]

My dearest friend, who happens to be an immigrant, sent me this article about Canada's prime minister welcoming the refugees from war-torn countries who are being turned away from the USA by the latest executive order issued by Donald Trump. The music of Canadian chanteuse Céline Dion now suddenly sounds like heaven to my ears! 

I'd like to apologize to anyone who's reading this outside the USA—near, far, wherever you are. My country is seriously going to fuck up the world over the next four years. Way more than half of us here are really sorry.

[ Céline & the Dions ]

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Artist: Liquorice
LP: Listening Cap
Song: "Trump Suit"
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So it seems the uneducated masses are perfectly willing to believe that the world is flat, as long as the person who tells them it's flat is wearing a power suit. Welcome to America in 2017. You can read about Liquorice here.

[ Liquorice ]

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cerrone and LaToya Jackson

Artist: Cerrone and LaToya Jackson
LP: 12" single
Song: "Oops, Oh No!" 
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"Oops, Oh No!" pretty much sums up this entire affair. Cerrone, what were you thinking? It's always a little depressing when you see someone who was on the cutting edge of fashion/glamour/music/nightlife...but then just a decade later they look like they might try to sell you patio furniture.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Johnny Lytle

Artist: Johnny Lytle
LP: Be Proud
Song: "Be Proud (Of What You Are)"
[ listen ]
Song: "You've Got to Love the World"
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Song: "Sit Tight"
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These songs by jazz vibraphone master Johnny Lytle seem to embody the positive message of human rights master Martin Luther King, Jr. The album was released in 1969, a year after King was killed, but if he'd been alive, I bet he would have liked listening to this one. You can read about Johnny Lytle of Springfield, Ohio here
Happy MLK Day!

[ Johnny Lytle: October 13, 1932 — December 15, 1995 ]

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lillebjørn Nilsen

Artist: Lillebjørn Nilsen
LP: Lillebjørn Nilsen's Beste
Song: "Barn av Regnbuen"
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Song: "Regnet er en Venn"
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Everything's been coming up Norway lately. I've been trying to learn Norwegian using the Duolingo app (en skilpadde spiser mot; han leser avisen), then I found this 1978 Norwegian folk LP at Jive Time when I stopped in to look for Christmas music. And now I've begun taking Norwegian language classes at the Nordic Heritage Museum on Thursday evenings, thanks to my dear friend Carrie. 

Then today on the bus I read six pages in my Lonely Planet guidebook that covered the entire history of Norway—from the conquest of the Vikings to discovery of Oil—on my way to see "Demning," a Norwegian film that was screened as part of the Nordic Lights Film Festival

 [ "Demning" (2015) — Dir. Paul Tunge ]

Set during the course of a hike in the rugged, mist-covered mountains that loom over Bergen, the film condenses the entire arc of a typical (in my experience) relationship into the span of a few days—from meeting cute, enjoying warm caresses, and hopes of everlasting kjærlighet—to pettiness, unease, disconnection, and then finally the inevitable physical attacks with sharp objects, wanting to shove gravel down each others' throats, and so on. It's a lovely film.

Lillebjørn Nilsen was born in December of 1950 and is considered by some to be "the voice of Olso" since he's written so many songs about the city. Right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who murdered 77 people in Norway in 2011 and has never been considered the voice of anywhere, supposedly hates Nilsen's 1973 hit "Barn av Regnbuen (Children of the Rainbow)," co-written by legendary folksinger Pete Seeger, because of its call for acceptance of people from around the globe, who are as varied as the colors of the rainbow. On April 26, 2012, over 40,000 Norwegians gathered in the streets to sing "Barn av Regnbuen" outside Breivik's trial.

[ Lillebjørn Nilsen ]

Sunday, January 8, 2017


Artist: Monty
LP: Monty
Song: "La Devise Des Copains"
[ listen ]

Here's some jaunty '60s French pop music I've been listening to in a desperate attempt to lighten up what's turned out to be a thickly grey, water-soaked Seattle afternoon. Initially known by the perfectly acceptable name of Jacques Bulostin when he was born in 1943, Jacques changed his name to Monty sometime before this not-self-titled LP came out in 1965. I'm pretty sure there's a crystal clear explanation for the name change here...for those who can read French.

[ Monty in 2014 ]

Friday, January 6, 2017

Teen Challenge Addicts Choir

Artist: Teen Challenge Addicts Choir
LP: Teen Challenge Addicts Choir
Song: "The Addict's Plea" (soloist: Andrae Crouch)
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Song: "He Included Me" (soloist: Laura Lee Myers)
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Song: "I Cannot Tell It All" (featuring: Gordon Woods & Gale Stalhman)
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Song: "Psalms 40"
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It's mystifying that executives at Word Records, "The Finest Name In Sacred Music," would have given the go-ahead for the release of an LP that features a graphic depiction of somebody (with a tattoo, naturally) actually shooting up on the front cover. But voilà! Imagine what they'd stick on the front of their LP by the Teen Challenge Sex Addicts Choir. 

Produced by gospel legend Andrae Crouch and released in 1968, this record includes notes and artwork that confirm once and for all that yes, all drug addicts do indeed carry a switchblade—even Laura Myers, the young housewife who became addicted to prescription pills. Thank God she exchanged her switchblade for a chance to go solo on the lovely-ish "He Included Me."