Thursday, July 28, 2011


(SSE Communications, 1998)

OK, this is another one I really know nothing about, other than they were the duo of Kazuki Futuba on bass and Masaaki Niizeki on everything else. As far as I know, this was their only release.

Why do I have it, then? Well, it's on SSE Communications, my favorite label!

I decided a while back that I wanted everything on SSE (and its earlier incarnation as Transrecords). I searched for this one on-line, and ended up getting it (and many other SSE releases) via Yahoo! Japan Auctions at a price that made the risk worth it. Today's song is the noisiest on the CD, which is rather an odd mix of fairly mainstream J-rock with lil' bits o' throb and aggression. Enjoy!


  • 微笑の季節 = Seasonal Smile
  • 沈黙が飛んでいる = Flying Silence
  • Slinger = one who slings

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"No Thoughts"

(monkey., 2007)

I've featured the music of Hans Platzgumer a couple of times already, so please see the entries for Capers and Böhm ohne Köb for more info about the man, himself.

Convertible started life as a reincarnation of his power trio H.P. Zinker. It was to be a mixture of live instruments (à la HPZ) and electronica (his main thrust since the demise of HPZ). Somewhere along the way, however, the decision was made to change the name to Convertible. It was the right thing to do, as they shared no former members of HPZ and the sound was utterly different (no traces of metal, for example).

The first two Convertible albums, Convertible and Frailty of Win – Strength of Defeat, followed the initial design. With the home of today's song, 3, however, the electronics were ditched completely. The change took me some getting used to, but I now love it.

Convertible's fourth album, ALH84001, was released late last year, and further strips things down by unplugging the amps. It's completely acoustic, and completely fantastic. I only got it a couple of weeks ago, and it's quickly become one of my faves of 2010.

I really must work on my post of 2010 faves, huh?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Faceless Werewolves
"(Yeah) (Yeah) Come On"

Faceless Werewolves
Faceless Werewolves
(Already Gone Records, 2003)

I saw these folks at SXSW back in 2006. I'd never heard of them before, and I was blown away. Today's song is from their first CD, which is a super secret release, as they don't include it in their official discography, unlike the two albums that have followed on Super Secret Records. I guess they probably consider it a demo or something. Most of the 12 songs have been re-recorded for the albums that followed, but this one was not.

After no activity for quite a while (their most recent album, Pardon Me, Are Those Your Claws On My Back?, was released in 2008), their MySpace now says, "Faceless Werewolves are back!" and they logged to their account very recently. I, for one, am pleased.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Vigs
"Evil Eyes"

The Vigs
Somebody Loves Me
(Dobre Records, 1976)

Ever buy a record/CD/whatever just because it looks terrible?

Me, too!

Today's tune comes from an album I bought at BestBuy a number of years ago. They had several boxes of vinyl LPs all priced at 25¢, and further marked down another 50%! I saw the cover of this one and it jabbed a barbed icepick in my eye, forcing me to pick it up. When I flipped it over and read the liner notes, well, it was just a given that it would be mine!

Mia and Tommy met on the revolving stage at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas where she was headlining and generally having a fabulous show business career, appearing on national television many times, and he was featured soloist and arranger with Esquivel. Tommy started to write musical arrangements for her while he continued working with other top stars as conductor, instrumental soloist and orchestrator. They were married and eventually moved to Los Angeles where Roger Vig was born, and weighing in at 10 lbs. 7 oz. he started to play the drums almost immediately . . . This is their first album together.

Not long after, I headed back to the office with a lovely pile of dreck*.

Leader Tommy Vig (still active 35 years later!) penned most of the material on the album, but, sadly, 3½-year-old Roger appears only on a special arrangement of the Theme from S.W.A.T. (his favorite song). I'll let the liner notes fill y'all in on today's song:

Mia is featured on this movie theme song. Tommy composed it for his original score for the Gerald Cormier film, The Barn of the Naked Dead starring Andrew Pine. (The film is about a satanic psycho who terrorizes innocent young women in an abandoned barn somewhere in the Nevada desert.)

Sounds like a lovely family film.

Now, here's the freaky thing . . . this record is somewhat collectible! It apparently goes for around $30 on eBay, according to PopSike. I can't imagine the folks who've paid that much have actually heard it in advance. I mean, my 12½¢ (plus tax) was well-spent, but I would not have been happy had I spent 240 times that.

*It wasn't all bad. I got the second Dwight Twilley Band album, Twilley Don't Mind, 'cause I remembered seeing him on Saturday morning TV when I was a kid, with Luanne Platter's then mostly unknown future husband Lucky on bass, and bought it for the heck of it. I've been a big fan ever since.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembé Konono Nº1

The African band Konono Nº1 take homemade instruments to a whole new level. They play likembés (thumb pianos) of differing sizes that are amplified with pickups and speakers made from car parts and other scrap metal. They play them extremely loud, which intensifies the sound with distortion. Or so I've read; they have yet to make it to my town. :-(

Konono Nº1 made a big splash back in 2004 with the release of their second album (and first studio recording), Congotronics. They'd actually been around since the 1960s, however! They originally went by the somewhat unwieldy moniker Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembé Konono Nº1 (Mighty Likembé Orchestra Konono Nº1).

Today's piece is a recording from 1978, under that original, lengthy name, from a compilation of urban bands from Kinshasa, Zaïre. They sounded pretty much the same then as they do now, the only difference being a lack of bass; I think that was a limitation of the original recording, however, as it was made on cassette.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Way We Live
"Call Him"

The Way We Live
Steve's Hungarian Novel
(Psygressive Records/OZit Records, 1999)

As I think I've said before, I've got a thing for duos. When I read about The Way We Live (and their next nom de musique, Tractor), I had to check them out. Come on! A duo from the early '70's who played psychedelic hard rock? How could I resist that?

I couldn't!

As luck would have it, I found a bargain-priced CD containing the sole albums by each band, even though they're the same band. The story is legendary BBC disc jockey John Peel was a fan but suggested they change their name. They asked to what and he allegedly was looking out the window at some heavy equipment and said, "Tractor." Peel was more than a fan, actually, and released both albums on his own imprint, Dandelion Records.

After the Tractor album was released, they stayed together but stayed out of the studio. They released a single in 1977, "No More Rock 'n' Roll," and another in 1981, "Average Man's Hero," but that was it. Starting in the early 90s, however, collections of unreleased material started appearing in dribs and drabs. Today's song is from a collection released on double-LP in 1999 and limited to a mere 200 copies (each signed by each half of the band). It comprises recordings by both band name variants spanning 1969 up through 1998, and today's selection is a tasty hard rocker from 1969.

I'm not sure what's up with the band now. The 30th Anniversary reissue of the Tractor album included bonus live and studio tracks recorded in 2001/2, but I'm not aware of any activity since. More would be nice!