Archive for the easy listning Category

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.

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)