Friday, September 18, 2009

Touched By Magic :The Tommy Bolin Story

There's a new book out about Tommy Bolin done by a guy named Greg Prato. It's an interesting and often sad read about one of the most talented and overlooked musicians of the past 40 years. His life story is told in great detail by those who were closest to him. People like his brother Johnnie Bolin, Jim Fox, Stanley Sheldon, and Glenn Hughes all tell their stories about being a part of his life. In his brief existence he played in numerous groups, including but not limited to, Zephyr, Billy Cobham Band, Energy, James Gang, Alphonse Mouzon Band, Moxy, and Deep Purple. After releasing two unique solo records in 1976, he was found dead in a Miami hotel room from multiple drug intoxication. He was only 25 years old. This book isn't as gloomy as I'm sure it could be, and that's a good thing. Most people who are going to pick up a book about an artist they like want to hear stories about the artist. I've got to say this book accomplishes that. It's mostly drug stories, and more drug stories, and more drug stories, but that's cool. I think it's great that this book has come out now while I'm in the middle of one of my obsessive phases of listening to his music. If you don't know his stuff, check him out. Maybe you'll become a fanatic like me and end up reading this book. (Blake)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last Day Of Sound Exchange In Austin

I don't even remember the date. I was driving down the drag and remembered that it was the last day of Sound Exchange. I parked in my favorite spot on San Antonio St. by what is now a McDonald's. Right when I got out of the car, I remembered that I had an unused Kodak disposable camera in my glove box. I grabbed it and headed to the store. When I went inside the owner was wearing one of those face masks that some people wear when they mow the lawn. There was a team of workers he had hired to get all of the shit out of the store. It was barren and depressing. I bought a Susan Alcorn CD for a dollar. I walked through the back which used to be the dollar room, went into the alley and took these photos. This drag rat kid told me not to get him in any of the photos, because I didn't have his permission. I was shocked when I looked at this guy. He was the same person who had chased me and my friend Kory down the drag five years earlier because we accidentally videotaped him when we were recording the Charlie Manson air guitarist that hung out down there. Do you guys remember him? I couldn't believe it was the same kid, but it was. I ignored him and took pictures of whatever I wanted. All of these records were dollar 12"s that they were throwing away. It was one of those odd summer days when a cold front came through and it felt like fall weather. I think that feeling shows in these photos. I felt very odd and sad that day after this. (Blake)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

September is Krautrock month

Since it is back to school time, we decided to do a featured sale this month on a few select Krautrock titles issued up by the SPV label. There are a few essentials that should be in any record geeks library. SPV GmbH (Schallplatten Produktion und Vertrieb GmbH) is a label that has been reissuing several excellent reissues from Amon Düül II, Harmonia, Faust, Popol Vuh, Guru Guru, Agitation Free and others.

One of my favorites (and I think critical records) is Harmonia's "Music Von Harmonia" released in 1974 which features Michael Rother (of Neu!), with Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius of Cluster. Just listen to the eternal track of "Watussi" below which has inspired many.

Originals on vinyl go for around $150 and I think it is worth every penny.

Off of their second record "Deluxe" here is "Immer Wieder" from 1975.
Both of these albums are highly prized in various Krautrock / psych collector circles.

Another essential Krautrock act is Amon Düül who later became Amon Düül II in 1968. The first time I was exposed to Amon Düül was when I saw the short film titled "Western" (which also included Peter Weibel) by filmmaker Kurt Kren (who lived in Austin for a short time in the early 80s). A story that still sticks out in my head is when he talked about this film and tour with Amon Düül. He said a film critic was amazed by his film and wrote a glowing review about it, and Kurt Kren told me "But actually I was really drunk on wine and I kept falling down." That is just a part of the truth, but it has made me laugh over the years.
Here is Amon Düül II's "Eye-Shaking King" from "Yeti"

Another piece of the early Krautrock puzzle is Guru Guru. I bet they knew what uniferkel meant.

Our sale will run through all of September and also features releases by Agitiation Free, Faust, Cluster, Jane, Popul Vuh, and more. And speaking of Popul Vuh, let's end this entry with the following clip from 1971. Werner Herzog used them for several of his soundtracks including Aguirre, Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo and Nosferatu. If you dig this clip then pick up their debut "Affenstunde" which was released in 1970 and still sounds totally fresh today. (Dan)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Zig Zag Magazine Album Ads

Earlier this week we bought a bunch of back issues of Creem and Zig Zag from a customer. While flipping through them, I noticed all of these amazing ads for albums that were coming out at the time. They're all records that I like a lot, and I felt like I should share their greatness. These are all taken from issues of Zig Zag. All the issues are from the 70's. The magazine itself is a mind-blowing and hugely informative treasure trove. There's all sorts of cool stuff inside these issues ranging from hand-written fold-out music scene family trees to interviews with John Cipollina telling insane acid trip stories. If you ever stumble upon some of these I highly suggest picking them up. (Blake)

Virgin Label Ad (Mike Oldfield, Gong, Manor Live, Faust, Henry Cow)

Tim Hardin (Nine)

Sharks (First Water)

Savoy Brown (Street Corner Talkin')

Roy Harper (Valentine)

Quicksilver Messenger Service (Cowboys And Indians In Marin County)

Peter Hammil (Silent Corner & Empty Stage)

Peter Hammil (In Camera)


Harry Nilsson (Son Of Schmilsson)

New York Dolls

Neil Young (On The Beach)

Mott The Hoople

Mighty Baby (A Jug Of Love)

Mick Ronsen (Slaughter On 10th Ave.)



Love (Greatest Hits)

Lou Reed (Rock n' Roll Animal)

Lou Reed (Berlin)

Link Wray (Beans And Fatback)

Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge

King Crimson (Starless And Bible Black)

Kim Fowley (great photo)

Kevin Coyne

John Cale (Paris 1919, Academy In Peril)

James Gang (Bang)

Humble Pie (Thunderbox)

Humble Pie (Eat It)

Herbie Hancock (Headhunters)

Henry Cow (w/ Faust) tour schedule

Harvest Label Ad (Jan Akkerman, Kevin Ayers, Edgar Broughton Band, Pink Floyd)

Groundhogs (Split)

David Bowie (Aladdin Sane)

Comus (First Utterance)

Captain Beefheart (from an article, not an ad)

Bob Marley & The Wailers (Catch A Fire)

Blue Oyster Cult - "cuttin' heads" (from an article, not an ad)

Bill Withers (Still Bill)

Bill Fay (Time Of The Last Persecution)

Arthur Lee (Vindicator)

Arthur Brown

Alice Cooper (Muscle Of Love)

Alice Cooper (Hello, Hooray 45)