Tony Coulter here (there? somewhere?) with another cluster of things to listen to and to look at. No theme this time: just some recent audio purchases, and a bunch of images unpacked from moving boxes. Those images, including the one above, were clipped by moi so long ago I mostly no longer remember where they came from. If you know, do tell, and I will give credit where credit's due.
And now, dear reader's finger, please slide on through to the other side....
_________________________________________________________________________________________Martine M. & the BVD'ensemble: s/t (RCA Italia, 1979)
Let's begin with an Italo-French production from 1979, featuring vocals and lyrics by French singer Martine Michellod and music and arrangements by Italians Fabrizio Federighi (bass) and Ranieri Cerelli (guitars). On this LP, not only nationalities rub shoulders, but also styles of music: I hear elements of disco, fusion, prog, and proto--new wave, all smoothly blended together. Speaking of new wave, Michellod later collaborated with Alexander Robotnick, one of the avatars of Italian synthy disco-flavored new wave. Setting aside such discographical trivia, let me just say that the track I've given you below manages to be both slick and refreshing. Me likes it!
A dreamy demoiselle:
Martine M. & the BVD'ensemble: Why Not
_________________________________________________________________________________________Chris Sefalas: I'm a Rock n Roll Man / Fly Away (The Great Northwest Music Company, 1976)
Next up, let's turn to a mid-'70s single from a (presumably) Northwestern artiste, one Chris Sefalas -- about whom the W cubed has naught to say. Whoever Mr. Sefalas was, I dig the sound of the song below -- even if I did check the speed on first hearing (his voice is rather unusually high, no?) I guess I'd describe the track as sounding a bit like a more rockin' version of America -- a concept I, for one, am in favor of.All it takes to make Chris happy is a rock and a roll:
Mirth: First Borne (Dapah Records, 1977)
Let's slip across the border now, as the group behind the next release, Mirth, were from Ottawa, Canada. Their LP is a bit of a hodgepodge of styles, encompassing everything from prog to jokey pseudo country & western. The cut that appeals to me most is the moody and gripping "Childhood's End," written by lead vocalist Alison Reynolds, which derives a bit of a prog flavor from the use of synth and violin. You'll find it below.
One unusually ambitious thing about First Borne -- given that it was a private release -- is that it came with a poster ... which you can see directly below. I can't help but wonder: Whose walls did it hang on?Thee poster:The Mister and Misses of Mirth:
While I never saw the next record before moving to Portland last August, it seems to be common as dirt 'round these parts -- and, I suspect, unfairly dismissed as New Age, given that it's filed as such in a number of local record stores. Can't say I don't understand that misapprehension: breezy-listening pianist George Winston (ack!) provided the plug on the back cover. In actuality, though, this Santa Cruz group's blend of jazz, folk, and ethnic music is not at all vacuous. Indeed, the track I've picked out, "Wandering Minstrel," features rather tart and slightly discordant harmonies and a somewhat dark atmosphere. No brain-dead chakra-glop here.
The Northwind blows from left to right:
Next up is a record I've been hoping to find for years: the first solo release by Spanish guitarist Albert Gimenez, originally a member of the progressive electronic band Neuronium (and before that the fusion group Suck Electronic). The advent of Gimenez's solo career saw him largely switch from electric guitar to Spanish guitar and acoustic 12-string -- and from rock to a very refined and absorbing mix of jazz, flamenco, classical music, and unclassifiable experimentalism. (Gimenez's experimental tendencies, by the way, were given free reign in his recordings with the fine Spanish groups Naif and Macromassa.) I've provided you with two numbers below; one, "La chistera d'Erik Satie," is an all-too-rare post-Neuronium example of Gimenez's beautiful, sustain-heavy electric guitar--playing. The pianist on both cuts is frequent collaborator Conrad Seto.Catch the Filobus:
The Utility Project: s/t (Utility Project, 2010)
Let's finish up our focus on sounds with something brand new, and on CD, not vinyl. Utility Project's mastermind is Doyle Dean, who has for a number of years hewn to the rather novel approach -- in a rock context, anyhow -- of allowing the construction of his songs to be guided by the I Ching and determined by coin tosses. The results sound nothing like, say, John Cage, but rather are quirky, novel, and inventive rock songs -- which just goes to show that "chance operations" rarely ever erase a composer's personality, but, rather, allow it to be manifested in new and unexpected ways. The song I've chosen, "Exhausting," reminds me a bit of The Scene Is Now -- even though that fine group has probably never used the I Ching ... and may be unknown to Doyle Dean!
For more info on the Utility Project, get thyself hence.
Leaping into the unknown:
Let's finish up with something for your eyes to think about. As mentioned above, I am mostly unable to identify these images. Hope you enjoy 'em anyhow....
***Frankfurt Imports' Inflatable Play-Girl:
***Art: Tom DeFeo
***The Guess Who:Art: Suzanne Kigglan
That's it for this time -- see you in two weeks....