Friday, April 2, 2010
In North America, prior to the internet, only the most weathered record store employee had any awareness of a Krautrock beyond late Kraftwerk, late Tangerine Dream and a Can comp or two.
Looking at Julian Cope's guidebook in a mid-nineties Virgin Megastore, I thought for sure that I'd never get a chance to hear all of the bands he goes on about. Damn if I was going to drop $30 (half a day as a wage slave) on some import CD without hearing it first and knowing if it would get more than a single play. And now there's blogs with file sharing links to all of this stuff, and even posts with a scan of Cope's book itself...so I can slowly make my way through his top 50 list. It's possible that, one day, I'll have built up a significant quantity of hot air for the purpose of impassioned arguments with similarly pathetic music dorks. As far as purchasing any of it, owning some physical copy, I'd have to say that it seems sadly unlikely. I thought that I would be a more positive associate to musicians at one point, but poverty has decided that this is not my fate...Perhaps some real music will appear one day and wipe away everything we thought we knew.ln
I have to say that, personally, the first couple of Amon Düül LPs don't really rise to the hype. They just aren't druggy or rocking enough for me. I thought that this live show might shine some light on the appeal of the group, but I'm still no fan. The high quality of the files making their rounds on the internet make this easy to watch, however...Its a beautifully filmed TV program with an in studio concert and lengthy discussions with the group. If you like Düül, you want this... The only bummer is the time code. Other than that the quality is ace.
01. Archy the Robot
02. Lonely Woman
03. Jam Session I
04. discussion with studio guests (part 1)
05. Surrounded By The Stars
06. discussion with studio guests (part 2)
07. Jam Session II
09. discussion with studio guests (part 3)
10. La Paloma Jam
Renate Knaup Krštenschwanz - voc, percussion
Chris Karrer - guitar, sax, violin, voc
John Weinzierl - guitar, voc
Lothar Meid - bass
Falk Rogner - keys
Peter Leopold - drums
unknown keyboard guesting on La Paloma Jam
Video Format: PAL
Size [720 x 576] 25.00 fps 8.00 Mbps
Audio : Mpeg 1 layer 3
32 kbps 44100 Hz
What is it like? It's certainly unique. On one hand, you have the cabaret styling of the frontman. On the other, you have a group embarking on muso flights of jazz fusion. Only in the serious toned interviews do you get any impression of a hippie commune counterculture that music scribes tell us was the origin of their association. Of course, this is 1974, at this point, Germany's branch of flower power was aggressively fighting a losing battle with being marginalized out of existence.
I suppose I'll just use this post to scrabble down my impressions of the peak Kraut achievements, updated as the spirit moves me. Below is a youtube linked Rough Guide for Dummies to the Cope cited 50...I've got a much less tolerant ear than most. Kosmische= synths and a groove..Prog and Flute bore me, so much of the genre gets a quick dismissal.
1. Ash Ra Temple "Amboss"
2. Can "Mother Sky" "Mushroom"
3. Harmona "Watussi"
4. Neu "Hallogallo" "Negativland"
5. Tangerine Dream "Ashes to Ashes"
The Soul Jazz people, who rarely put out a record which doesn't have a good track on it, have just comped a krautrock sampler (misnamed as electronica because it rarely is)- I've only clicked the 30 second samples, and can say that there is a lot of variety to what's on hand
I play records every now and then in Vegas bars and the Clash is always a safe bet. Popular with the Warped tour set, the Hotrod/Tattoo set, the 77 forever set, the I-got-a liberal arts degree in college Loolapoolza set ...etc.etc. The only problem being that, as a snobby, elitist record collector, you tire of things that you've heard more than three or four times. I've looked around for quality Clash bootlegs a couple of times- so as to find some playable, familiar material that had the uncommon freshness of something that isn't readily available.
This Japan set is so readily available that you can find people hawking it on Amazon. Nevertheless, it is not official product. There is a recently issued live document (audio only) of a 1982 The Clash opening for the Who. I haven't got around to hearing this so I can't vouch.
This set was pro shot for TV and is very well filmed and edited. The quality of the image is fair...the file that I pulled from some random torrent had the following specs:
608X448, 700 MB, 29.97 fps, 1588 kbps
By the way. in Gspot, what are Len, Qf, Sar, Dar, and Par???
I expect that the only thing that has held this back from being sold through official channels is that the guitars sound dismally weak- thin and quiet. Really a shame because otherwise the performance is strong.
1. London Calling
2. Safe European Home
3. (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
4. Brand New Cadillac
5. Charlie Don't Surf
7. This is Radio Clash
8. Armagideon Time
9. Jimmy Jazz
10. Tommy Gun
11. Fujiyama Mama
12. Police On My Back
13. White Riot
Vocals on Fujiyama Mama are courtesy Pearl E. Gates AKA Pearl Harbour...a punk goddess apparently linked with Simonon about this time.
Although I've taken a few stabs at becoming more familiar with the Clash beyond the official releases, I haven't gone too deeply into it. I can recall two other things that I've examined. I also have a video of a 1980 Paris show which I vaguely remember as perhaps superior to this...in terms of audio quality and energy level...I also have an audio boot of a Bond's Casino night which is of superb quality straight through and is actually holds the interest of a casual fan through the course of the whole show. The only thing to stop anyone from reviewing hundreds of hours of Clash show recordings needs nothing but bandwidth and time...For HERE is a whopping collection of links to such a collection, all in both MP3 and lossless!