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)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mirrors "Shirley" b/w "She Smiled Wild" 45 (Hearthan 105)

Mirrors were a great mid-70's band out of Cleveland, Ohio. They were formed in 1973 by members Jamie Klimek, Jim Crook, Craig Bell, and Michael Weldon. Keyboadist Paul Marotta joined soon thereafter. The mid-70's were one of the weirdest times for rock. These guys were too late to be considered psychedelic or progressive rock and too early to be called punk but their sound is an interesting hybrid of both. The Velvet Underground were undeniably a huge influence (Klimek allegedly recorded all of VU's Cleveland concerts on tape), but Mirrors sound was more personal and definitely had it's own strange voice. In their lifetime, the band released very little, this single on Hearthan being one of the only things you could get. However, the band recorded almost 2 or 3 albums worth of material, and in 2001 a label from the UK named Overground released a CD called "Hands In My Pockets" which compiled almost all of the their 70's recordings. Ten of these songs can also be found on the wonderful "Those Were Different Times" triple 10 inch compilation (also available on double CD) on Scat Records. That compilation features tracks by other Cleveland bands who commonly shared bills/members with Mirrors, including the Electric Eels, and The Styrenes. About 2 months ago an LP collection containing 15 tracks from "Hands In My Pockets was issued as a split release by Hovercraft and Violet Times Records and distributed by Matador.

Even though this single was released in 1977, the material was recorded in June and August of 1975. Mirrors probably disentegrated around '77. Jim Crook went on to be in another infamous Cleveland band Rocket From The Tombs. Paul Marotta went on to join The Styrenes. Michael Weldon went on to do the amazing magazine Psychotronic, which reviewed any kind of movie imaginable, especially those of the "B" variety as well as articles and interviews with various film and music people. He also published mindblowing reference books such as The Psychotronic Encyclopedia Of Film and The Psychotronic Video Guide, both of which have attained Bible-like status in my home library. Mirrors reformed briefly in the late 80's and released another record. Unfortunately the label that released it went bankrupt and the record faded into obscurity in a pressing of around 200 copies. Apparently, ROIR Records will someday re-release this album. (Blake)

Here's a great television clip from the late 80's of Michael Weldon talking about the sad destruction of the "real" 42nd St. in NYC.