Thursday, February 25, 2010

Joe Bravo - Please Call Me Baby  (Please Call Me Baby, 1970)

There are a lot of famous Joe Bravos out there. One is a Puerto Rican professional wrestler whose signature moves are the sleeper hold and the samoan drop. Another is a jockey who has dominated the New Jersey racing circuit since the early 90's but still hasn't won the Big One. But perhaps the most famous Joe Bravo is a painter who uses flour tortillas as the canvas for his acrylic paintings.

La Virgen de Guadalupe #12 and Maya #5, Acrylic on Flour Tortilla, Framed 28" x 28"

And finally there is Joe Bravo, known as "El Playboy", a legendary old-school Tejano musician who, along with Little Joe Hernandez, is credited as one of Tejano music's pioneers. He started out playing dances at the Key City Sportorium on E. Hwy 80 in Abilene, Texas and he reached his pinnacle performing at the inaugural ball of Governor Ann Richards in 1991. He would very much like for you to call him baby.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sometimes described as the Leonard Cohen of France (minus the Lithuanian-Jewish ancestry and the cameo role on Miami Vice), Francois Beranger was best known for his militant-edged, story-telling anthems that chronicled the modest lives of society's rejects. This single from his 1974 LP Le Monde Bouge also contains the lovely flip side "La Fin Des Saisons".


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

In 1974 the Yamaha Corporation produced an album to showcase its remarkable new instrument, the Yamaha Electone E5AR. The organ featured several unusual design innovations, including an invisible third keyboard, a sliding expression pedal, and a cup holder.

After careful consideration the company chose rising talent O'Lyn Callahan as the organist for the recording. Miss Callahan had just been named West Coast Champion in the Yamaha Organ Festival. According to noted composer John Green, "The three principle ingredients of the musical gourmet delight that is O'Lyn Callahan are Talent, Taste, and Technique. To be sure, there are other seasonings, spices, and subtle flavorings in the total bouquet, but THE THREE T's are as intrinsic to the O'Lyn Callahan recipe as a perfect starter is to a really great sourdough bread."

O'Lyn played this in the 1973 Yamaha Electone Organ Festival National Finals. The use of the wah-wah creates the rocket blast-off at the beginning, and the astro sound on the portamento is used on the first three melody notes to create a space effect.

In this selection O'Lyn created various tropical bird effects by using the Portamento, one of the most interesting features on the new organ. All the songs on O'Lyn At The Yamaha E5AR were recorded in real time using only the organ, with no tricks or gimmicks.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Chapparrals - Atlanta  (Shake Your Head, 1978)


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Les Abranis - Chenar Le Blues  (Les Abranis, 1977)

It was only in the past year or so that Amazigh-language television channels were finally launched in Algeria and Morocco. From what I've read, it was a very welcome advancement because for many years Amazighs have been treated like foreigners in their own country. Les Abranis were one of many music bands of the Amazigh ethnicity who struggled to find national exposure during the 1970's. Led by Karim Abdenour and Shamy El Baz, the group craftily maneuvered its way onto Algerian television by participating in the Wilaya de Bejaia Bowling Championships. After winning the tournament they were invited to perform the song "A Yema" during the halftime show the following year, which from what I gather is not quite the equivalent of performing at the Superbowl, but more on the level of the NBA All-Star game.

Friday, February 19, 2010

This is Kaveret performing the song "Hamakolet" on Israeli television circa 1973. "I first heard this song while having my piles attended to in Ramat Aviv during the mating season" recalls Michaelhypno in the YouTube comments section. Other Israelis eagerly chime in with their own memories of the band. Of course, everyone in Israel has fond memories of Kaveret, which was formed in 1973 by a group of friends who met during their army service. In their three years together they became local legends and their songs have now become standard parts of Israeli culture. The band was called "Poogy" outside of Israel and apparently had quite a following among the Israeli community in Southern California and elsewhere.

They are totally new to me, however. As is Israeli music in general, so stay tuned for lots more from this 'new frontier' in the very near future. Meanwhile, among the many wonderful Kaveret videos on YouTube, here is my 2nd favorite. I love it when they start kicking their legs in unison at around 1:08.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tiza - Cancion De Verano  (Juventud, 1972)

In the spring of 1972 Salvador Allende was still the president of Chile, but his popularity was plummeting. He decided he needed better propaganda to rebuild his support among the average Chilean, so he told the minister of the arts to hold a contest for the best young artists producing pro-Allende artwork. The contest was announced at the communist youth group in Santiago where Carlos & Paula Narea were regular members, and when the ambitious siblings heard this they both exclaimed "We have to write songs for Allende!" Their talented comrades Roberto Espinosa and Claudia Vidal wanted to join the effort. Carlos wrote all their parts out on a chalkboard over the piano and that is when Tiza ("chalk" in Spanish) was born.

Allende was quite pleased with their efforts, but unfortunately Tiza was unable to boost his popularity and he was overthrown in a military coup in 1973.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nun-Plus - St. Ives  (Ljubimo, 1970)

Who would've thought that the greatest song ever written on the subject of polygamy would come not from the Middle East or even Utah, but from a group of Catholic nuns in Oregon? One Sunday afternoon in 1970, Sister Marianne Misetech invited two accomplished musicians -- Cookie Routtu and Jeannie Rey Routtu -- to listen to Marianne and her fellow sisters perform her quirky compositions. Cookie and Jeannie Rey had been performing professionally as The Rey Sisters throughout the Pacific Northwest and Europe. They were masters of the piano, marimba, guitar, mandolin, string bass, and drums. When they heard the nuns perform that afternoon they found "a very modern approach to the celebration of life" and they wanted to help them get their songs recorded. At that moment the five nuns and the Rey Sisters became The Nun-Plus. The Croatian titled Ljubimo ("Let Us Love") was released in 1970 on Amato Records, featuring lyrics and music by Marianne Misetech with arrangements by Jeannie Rey Routtu.

"Seven wives?!?!?"

Monday, February 15, 2010

From Kati's only german language album. It also contains the most cringeworthy duet with yodeling chimpmunks that has ever been recorded.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Heavenly handclaps.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Claudia - Baoba  (Jesus Cristo, 1971)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Takuro Yoshida - Empty Wind Blues  (Otogizoushi, 1973)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's hard to explain the impact that this song had following its release in Turkey. Hayko was well-known for presenting Sirk Pisti, a light entertainment variety show, and he enjoyed widespread popularity for his affable manner and his dishy looks. But Hayko lived a double life and after the show he would frequent Istanbul's underground jazz clubs and radical political salons. He surrounded himself with musicians and intellectuals and he longed to be taken seriously by them, which is why he put together a band and began recording his own music. Hayko had no difficulty securing a recording contract because of his TV fame. But this would be his first and his last record. The music was an intense modal shuffle that builds frenetically to a shrieking climax. That alone would have disturbed his mainstream fans but the revolutionary lyrics shocked the nation. The title "Ipek Oslam Yar Boynuna Sarislam" translates as "Little Girls Defeat The Security Forces" and other lyrics urged the populace to "overthrow the pig-faced oppressors" and "douse government buildings in petrol". Hayko later claimed that the song was an elaborate stunt but it was too late, his career lay in ruins.