Archive for the closet favorite Category

Soothing Sounds for Baby 1

Posted in cartoon music, closet favorite, distressed, ineffably poignant on June 29, 2011 by jonathanghess

What relaxes you?  Making a drink and taking off your shoes. Reading a newspaper from somewhere else. Music. Music! Everything is Music.

These things relax me. Wear headphones, lie down. Listen.


Cat biting nails

Some people either love this or hate it. Me- have a cat on my chest relaxed enough to see me as an inanimate object, a heated bed, and start taking a bath or if I’m lucky,  biting his nails- that’s heaven to me. Neither of us is going to move.

The nails, the purring, nursing kitten, the other sleepy cat, the light… this was someone’s peak experience.

 

 

ROM Pack

Something about this guy’s accent and brain dead delivery (“It”), the close-miked, compressed production, the music, and- well, I’m not sure what all else- lull me into a deaf, milky late-night stupor. Lights out. Next!

 


 

Sunday Night

Somehow, Beatrice Witkin, an electronic/ new music composer, got these two tunes to be used for the opening and closing credits of the early 70s nature show “Wild Wild World of Animals”. 

They didn’t sound like the other music you’d hear on tv.

The instrumentals have an ineffable quality that, judging by the passionate, protracted comments on Youtube, haunted a lot of children, myself included.

These trigger feelings of Sunday night, sitting between my parent’s legs getting them to play with my hair, watching grainy footage of cheetahs stalking in the savanna… getting drowsy… eyes closing….

‘Night, people.

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Lynsey De Paul- Sugar Me

Posted in closet favorite, ineffably poignant, sad grandma music, whole weird world on July 11, 2010 by jonathanghess

Just stumbled across the “Sugar Me” video while looking for something else. It was on a non-English fan page of some sort, and was set to play automatically, something that’s always unwelcome. I had never heard of her or the tune, and was assaulted by the stomping jackboot fuzz beat, which was further distorted on the video version I watched by a terrible transfer… To be honest with you, I wondered if it was Lady Gaga, who I have also never seen or heard, and thought “Wow! Lady Gaga is amazing! Jeez, I’m getting on the bandwagon!”.

Nope. It’s Lynsey De Paul! Well, maybe you’re hip to her- “Sugar Me” was a big hit- but Lynsey, a prolific ‘seventies British pop girl who I now see lived a high-profile celebrity life, was new to me.  I’m going to keep an eye out for her records now (in New Zealand, hmm!).  There’s something intriguing about her- that robotic yet ethereal feminine delivery… that mole…. And as much as I was bemoaning the over-abundance of media and its effect on our imagination, I have to say in this case, the video makes her come alive to me. What is this frightening, dark space in which she performs to what appear to be a motionless colony of silverback Morlocks?  Apparently, Lynsey is politically right-wing, and one might discern a whiff of the fascist in her image and sound…

But hey! That’s pop for you!

Here is a link to a fine and special fan site, and a page of absolutely unbelievable 45 covers. You’ll need to click on the special Lynsey De Paul section- but I want you, too, to experience the beauty of her French fan’s home page; it’s the most BEAUTIFUL website I’ve ever seen!

sugar me mp3

Bad Ass Japanese Cop Show!

Posted in closet favorite, easy listning, ineffably poignant, whole weird world on July 10, 2010 by jonathanghess

Can’t tell you a damn thing about this LP because I don’t read the lingo. Just another delightful Asian instrumental rock record in the dependable HK tradition, this one with a lush seventies sound. This is a great-sounding recording, by the way- I can picture a nicely-equipped studio full of that excellent Yamaha gear of the day. Really the peak for analogue recording, those days, and this record sounds particularly nice on a record player. Phat, etc.

cop show phasor mp3

cop show blues mp3

cop show disco mp3

I have tons more records like this that I’ll be sharing with you. Great stuff!

Mort Garson- Plantasia

Posted in closet favorite, drum machine, easy listning, home recording, ineffably poignant on July 10, 2010 by jonathanghess

Plenty has been written about Mort Garson, who passed away not long ago, in 2008. I’m not going to recount his full, creative musical life here, except to remind you that he was the composer of the music for one of the coolest cod-psychedelic LPs ever, “The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds“. If you don’t have it yet, get it, love it, live it.

“Plantasia” is Mort’s final LP, released in 1976. It was one of a covey of media purporting to connect a plant’s health with the environment around it, a concern that now seems quaint and unique to the era (environmentalist sarcasm). One suspects an exaggerated communion of hippie and houseplant facilitated by something else, something herbal in origin. At any rate, Mort’s credentials are beyond reproach, and the sounds he gets from his synth, echoplex and drum machine are way ahead of their time.

The first example, “Symphony for a Spider Plant” sounds for the world like the melodic cousin of Eno’s “Somber Reptiles”. The second track, “Swingin’ Spathiphyllums”, has an analogue delay breakdown that is phrased exactly like those in Dub reggae. Both have a moody, melancholy feel that evokes pure yet brainless life energy, pulsing up through the dark soil for no goddam reason at all.

symphony for a spider plant mp3

swingin’ spathiphyllums mp3

King Richard’s Fluegel Knights- Dessert

Posted in closet favorite, easy listning on July 10, 2010 by jonathanghess

Comin’ ‘atcha this week is some hard-core easy listnin’! King Richard (Hollywood  trumpeter & arranger Dick Behrke) leads his Fluegel Knights through a swanky Herb Alpert-esque hip-shaker and then a poignant ballad, in the same leadoff/second tune order as the LP. I’ll bet you the next cocktail these studio pros sight read the tune’s tricky turnarounds and recorded it in one take.

KRFK dessert mp3

KRFK like to get to know you mp3

Technical note: I apologize for the poor photo quality. I have yet to learn to use my camera properly.

East-West Pipeline “Bury Me An Angel”

Posted in closet favorite, dirthead rock, distressed on July 2, 2010 by jonathanghess

Ass, gas or grass- no one rides for free!

Today’s post contains two selections  from the 1972 Roger Corman production Bury Me An Angel.  The film is- er- what it is- a pretty tedious exploitation film; an excuse to listen to roaring hogs, watch greasy bikers brawl and smoke reefer, and to oogle soft-focus shots of lead biker Dag’s jugs (Daisy Peabody, whose resume also includes the film “Night  Call Nurses”). What I really grooved on was the badass soundtrack featuring the obscure Colorado band East-West Pipeline. They didn’t release much- this, and the soundtrack to Angels Die Hard are their only known recordings, and as far as I know, BMAA never got a soundtrack LP release.

These two tunes were copied onto cassette tape off a rented VHS tape back in the mid-nineties (as of 2010, the film has not had an official DVD release). Track one, a hammering sludge-rock riff, accompanies the opening scene, a particularly tawdry biker party in a garage- reefers being blown, cheap wine being swigged, denim-clad mamas puttin’ out for hairy, randy rebel brothers. It’s a damn near perfect marriage of image and music- you feel soiled just watching it! Track two is repeated throughout the film, making it, I suppose, the theme tune. It’s great, with a wonderful melodic, repetitive circular motif- a rather lopsided arrangement for a stand-alone piece of music, but fine in the context of the film, where the miles roll past hypnotically (like hours spent/lost watching trashy movies)…

Bury Me An Angel 1 mp3

Bury Me An Angel 2 mp3

The Bowen-Jenkens Band: Pretty Senorita

Posted in closet favorite, easy listning, ineffably poignant, my favorite song, real surf music, sad grandma music on June 24, 2010 by jonathanghess

The Homegrown compilation series are the work of San Diego radio station KGB AM/FM. Apparently, five separate editions (and one “best-of”) were released. These records are comprised of the winners of an annual  competition for submissions of original music with the binding theme of… San Diego! (and environs). Sample titles include:

Spring Valley Lady

Can’t Go Back to Cardiff

My Home in La Jolla

…and so on. Listening to a whole LP of such stuff (I have three) is a mildly disorienting experience; suddenly you’re in an alternate universe where one soft-rock tune after another is about one thing and one thing only (…). No other aspect of the human condition need be expressed.

Pretty Senorita mp3

This bouncy, gently racist little tune would not leave my head; like a junky parched for his skag, I needed to hear it over and over, returning the needle to the beginning again even as the last plaintive notes were dying away. So many of the little hooks tugged at that ineffable confluence of sound, emotion and temporal context… the way Bowen (or is it Jenkins?) spits out “PURtee senorita”; the way Jenkins (or is it Bowen?) chimes in with her “dew-it, dew-it”‘s- well, in this particular case, that’s what I was getting at by temporal context: we just don’t use the term “do it” in the same way in 2010 as we did in 1975. The chord progression in the chorus seems to me particularly keening and wistful, especially because I consistently mis-hear the repetitious “Muy Bien” lyric as the more poetically meaningful “More Again”… According to the liner notes (which you can double-click to legibility if you’re truly bored), the group  was “in the midst of recording 12 new songs for its own album”. Believe me, I’ve  searched, but this fine tune and only one other (“This Boulevard”, from Homegrown IV, which I haven’t heard) appear to have made it to vinyl.

Back cover (click to enlarge)

Greatest Hits (sic)

back cover (click to enlarge)