Archive | January, 2013

Weekly Vinyl – Schlager Rennen

31 Jan

Schlager Rennen
Orchester Roy Robbins
(1981)
SONY DSC
I got this one in Switzerland many years ago. If I recall correctly it was at a flea market in Wintertur. What intrigued me was the cover. A Formula One car. A Brabham BT48. The driver is Nelson Piquet. Three times World Champion was he. But not in this car. This car was a dog as I recall.
If you think that the cover’s F1 means that there is high paced energetic music inside then you will be disappointed. Although not quite elevator music, this music is flaccid. It is a typical orchestral arrangement of “hits.” Are there highlights? Well, the first song on this album is called Dance Little Bird. We all know it as the chicken dance. I am glad I have it in my collection because I might just spin it for my kids. They will have a laugh at their parents sake.
There are 28 songs here each blander than the one before. That being said, I still love the cover.

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Near Landek, Austria

28 Jan

Near Landek

My Dad spent time in a DP camp near here. Great views but no sign of the camps.

More Musings

24 Jan

Weekly Vinyl and Photo of the Week will be a bit delayed as I have to catch up with a lot of other administrative work. Has to be done. Most of it revolves around reorganizing my workspace. And learning how this social media backend works. I want to have this WordPress blog posted on tonalsurge.com eventually. The plan is to have it going sometimes in February. It should not be too difficult – it is just a question of finding a good design and getting it done.

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Clouds

20 Jan

Air001
I like taking photos when flying. You will see many more in the future.

Weekly Vinyl – Live from Paris…

19 Jan

Live from Paris…
Go
(1976)
SONY DSC

I was intrigued by this cover due to the depiction of a pack of Gitanes on the cover. And the fact that keyboard wizard Klaus Schulze was in the band.
Here is an example of an obscure 1970s supergroup. This is a double album as was the custom. The band is actually called Stomu Yamashta’s Go. He is a percussionist-pianist who is credited with composing all the tacks on the album. Besides Schulze, other notables are Steve Winwood (he of Traffic, Spencer Davis group fame), Al Di Meola and drummer Michael Shrieve (Santana’s drum master).
This is really an eclectic album with each musician pulling his way. There are the eerie atmospherics of Klaus Schulze in some songs and then, without warning, what would amount to radio friendly FM tunes of the 70s. It doesn’t really work as a whole package. While listening to this album I was thinking at times, is it ELP lite? Is it Eric Clapton on an off night?
That being said, there are some great tunes on this album. Side one, which is currently playing as I write this, is quite compelling. Very prog rock – mixing influences of jazz, fusion, electronica, into a very nice bit of music.
The sticker on the cover indicates that I paid $4.99 for the album. I’d say it was worth it.

Blog musings

18 Jan

I’m a writer. A journalist. I have written articles on a whole host of subjects, some of which I am familiar with. Others… I had a massive learning curve to deal with to write accurate and informative information. But there are several truths. Be accurate and be timely.
This blog will feature several of my interests: music, degustation, photography and travel. Not sure how all of these will transpire but I am staring with a regular feature of the Weekly Vinyl. I have several hundred vinyl records in my collection. I will pull one out at random and review it. Each week.
As for the other interests – I shall be considering how best to integrate them onto this blog.
This blog might move to http://www.tonalsurge.com once I figure out the mechanics of it.

Weekly Vinyl – Desolation Boulevard

13 Jan

SONY DSC

Desolation Boulevard

Sweet

(1974)

I think this is the first album that I bought. I might have bought it with my brother. The ownership of this disc is an issue as is much of the collection that sits in my basement. It’s not much of an issue actually.

The album was all the rage due to the song “Ballroom Blitz.” It’s a catchy tune that was featured in Wayne’s World. I thought the cover version they played in that movie was a bit lame. I listened to this album today. Nope, they got it right. I haven’t listened to this album for several decades. It is amazing what sounded fresh and powerful to a 9 year old has now lost its lustre after nearly 40 years. Listening to it now, I realize that the hubbub about the content and subject of modern rock/rap/hiphop/whatever lyrics is overblown. Check this out from Sweet F.A. (song 1 on side 2), “And if she don’t spread I’m gonna bust her head.”

This was one of those albums that was in nearly every house that had teenagers in the 1970s. It was an important album. It even has a 4 star rating on Allmusic.com. There are a few catchy tunes on his disc but nothing that really stands out. It is an album that depicts the time well – a cheepish glam-rock vibe without going all out and being glam, or hard rock. Was this perhaps one of the first salvoes of corporate rock?