Sunday, April 30, 2017

Alberto Vazquez

Artist: Alberto Vazquez
LP: Como No Creer...
Song: "Spring Again"
[ listen ]
Song: "Como No Creer En Dios"
[ listen ]

I'm not usually the matchmaker type, but something tells me Alberto would get along really well with Patsy. One thing I admire about Latino men is that even some of the straight ones decorate their homes in a style I call "wedding-cake chic." You have to have a lot of confidence to do wedding-cake chic successfully and, as one can tell from his facial expressions on both sides of this LP, lacking confidence has never been an issue for Alberto.

There's not much written on Wikipedia in English about actor-singer Alberto Vazquez, but if you go to his Spanish-language page the whole world opens up to you. Alberto celebrated his 77th birthday ten days ago; his "Como No Creer..." LP came out in 1978, when he was 38 years old. "Spring Again" is the sole English-language track on the record; the rest of the songs are sung in español.

[ Alberto Vazquez ]

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Nina Hagen

Artist: Nina Hagen
LP: 7" single
Song: "Zarah (Ich Weiss, Es Wird Einmal Ein Wunder Geschehn)"
[ listen ]

I finally broke down and went to a record store today to buy the new Future Islands CD. But after listening to it at the listening station, I decided not to get it after all. Of course, the listening station headphones were broken, so I could only hear the new CD in one ear. Maybe all the good parts were in the other speaker! 

But I ended up browsing and found this 1983 Nina Hagen single for $1.99. It reminds me of my sister. Of course my sister spells her name with an 'S' instead of a 'Z,' but she also has blond hair. Of course my sister can't kick that high, but she also speaks German. Of course, my sister is Mormon and can't sing all crazy like Nina Hagen, but she does own a pair of red shoes. So my sister and this Nina Hagen single actually do have quite a bit in common, you see.

[ Nina Hagen in 1980 ]

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Artist: OXO
Song: "Wanna Be Your Love"
[ listen ]

At one point I felt it was vital that I hunt down and obtain all four versions of this terrific 1982 OXO album—green, red, yellow and blue—but now I simply haven't got enough space on my shelves to keep them all. I'm saving the one that's my favorite color...and that doesn't feature an annoying blue "Contains the Hit Single..." triangle sticker on the front. Not known as a Latin band, per se (all they're really remembered for is this), Ish, Orlando, Freddy and Frank dig into their Spanish-language roots on "Wanna Be Your Love" and the results are fantastic!

Monday, April 17, 2017

The J. Geils Band

Artist: The J. Geils Band
LP: 7" single
Song: "Centerfold"
[ listen ]

I've been using every spare moment over the past few weeks to work on getting my fall 2016 upstate New York road trip vacation photos edited and posted on Facebook, so I've sorta' been neglecting my blog. While my nose was buried in digital photos I heard that J. Geils had died, and Loretta Lynn celebrated her 85th birthday

I couldn't find any records in my collection on which J. and Loretta had collaborated, but I figured this J. Geils Band single from 1981 sorta' ropes them both together, since his blood probably would have run cold again if he saw Loretta Lynn in the pages of a girlie magazine. (To see her in that negligee would really be too much.) You can read about the J. Geils Band here.

[ John "J." Geils: February 20, 1946 — April 11, 2017 ]

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Harold Olson

Artist: Harold Olson
LP: Doggone Cowboy
Song: "Bad Brama Bull"
[ listen ]
Song: "Auctioneer"
[ listen ]

My fellow Washingtonian Harold Olson, from Spokane, is basically performing a musical rendition of my work week here. The first half of my week was a lot like rodeo bull-riding, and then today I've had to talk like an auctioneer in order to get everything done! You can go here to find the July 31, 2016 edition of The Lewiston Tribune from Lewiston, Idaho with news about Harold's 80th birthday celebration. I'm awfully late, but Happy Birthday, Harold! Hope you've still been auctioneering.

[ Harold Olson — then ]

[ Harold Olson — now ]

Monday, April 3, 2017

Doris Day

Artist: Doris Day
LP: Day Dreams
Song: "I Didn't Know What Time It Was"
[ listen ]

When Doris sings "I didn't know what year it was..." in the ballad posted above...well, that's actually based on a true story! I and lots of other people, including Doris herself, thought she was going to be celebrating her 93rd birthday today, but someone dug up her Ohio birth certificate and found out that she was born on April 3, 1922, and not in 1924! You can read about all that zaniness in the Los Angeles Times. So I guess that screws up the cake I brought to work for the 211 team today, but we all enjoyed it anyway. It's a white cake with a raspberry layer and lemon frosting, with colored sprinkles on the side.

Funny thing is, back in April of 2011 when I had some friends over for Doris' birthday and a home screening of ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS, I'd gotten mixed up about what year she was born and bought a big "89" candle to stick on the cake. Only later in the week did I realize she had actually turned 87...but now it seems that my candles were right all along! 

In any case, however old she is, I hope Doris Day has had a wonderful birthday today. Such a lovely woman—her music, her movies, her dogs...I'll be having Day Dreams for the rest of my days.

[ Happy Birthday, Doris Day! ]

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Jay and the Americans

Artist: Jay and the Americans
LP: Sunday and Me
Song: "Sunday and Me"
[ listen ]

I know I've already said this about The Lovin' Spoonful, but Jay and the Americans are quickly becoming my other favorite musical aggregation of the mid-1960s. Not only are they a "striking-looking fivesome," but then there's also that voice! 

Written by Neil Diamond (his first writing success on the charts!), "Sunday and Me" went to #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1965. You can read more about Jay and the Americans and see the chart history of all their singles on Wikipedia here. But if you really want to know more about the group, I suggest letting them give you the scoop in their very own words—in three separate chapters—on their website here. As for Sunday and me, we're doing fine. It's a lovely spring day here in Seattle.

Jay and the Americans on YouTube:
[ "Cara Mia" ] 

[ Jay and the Americans ]

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Barbara Woodhouse

Artist: Barbara Woodhouse
LP: Train Your Dog with Barbara Woodhouse
Song: "Tone of Voice"
[ listen ]

On the one hand, "April Fools!" But on the other, I think some people really do need this advice from British dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse. I once dated some guy for a few weeks whose entirely undisciplined dog had chewed up the covers of all of his Criterion DVDs. His place pretty much looked like this. When he brought his dog over to my apartment once, it ran all over the place peeing on everything. It peed on my piano and then jumped up on my bed and peed on my comforter too. The guy (I've forgotten his name, thank god) took the comforter to the cleaners, but then he ran out of money so I had to pay $42 to get it back. "No!" "Naughty!" "Grrrrrrgh!"

[ Barbara Woodhouse: May 9, 1910 — July 9, 1988 ]