July 25, 2010

Knowledge is Power, Work is Worship

V/A — Coronation Issue: Selected Nepalese Folk Songs & Tunes

I found this record at a shop in Munich. It's a collection of "folk songs" and "folk tunes" from Nepal, issued by the Shree Ratna Recording Corporation in 1975. Ratna Records was (and may still be) the state run recording and releasing arm of the national Radio Nepal.

I put folk songs and folk tunes in quotes, because the songs on this record and from the Ratna label in general aren't purely folk. It's not easy finding info about Nepalese music on the internet; what I have found is either in academese or very dry (though informative). General consensus from the sources is that Nepalese popular music in the 20th century, especially from the 50s and 60s onward, is a mixture of local folk musics with indian ragas and western music (both pop and classical).

These three forms mix perfectly to form a style wholly different. A lot of the instruments are either common to or borrowed from India—most notably the percussion used throughout this record. But the melodies are quite different from the Indian musics I've heard and are often played on western instruments: violin, organ, guitar, etc. I'm guessing the melodies are based on folk forms.

The closest comparison I can think of is Bayon, the east-German/Cambodian 70s krautish group. Especially my favorite song from the record: Prem Dhoj's "Yo Naniko Siraima" (Nepalese pop songs are titled by their first lyrics).

I have a few more 7" EPs from the Ratna label that are just as great. I will be posting them in the coming weeks. As well, one can find many Nepalese songs on the WNSO website, though most of the songs I've heard there are heavily synth-laced.

July 16, 2010


I put the 45 rpm single of the Lalo Schifrin soundtrack to Che! down on my record player, but forgot to switch to 45 rpm. I think it actually sounded better on 33 1/3 rpm. Listen for yourself. Of course you'll want to compare it to the original, which can find on the internet, I'm sure.

I haven't heard much Lalo Schifrin. Or well, I haven't listened to very much Lalo Schifrin—as in given a concentrated listen to something I chose to hear. We've all heard him, extensively probably. After all, he did write the Mission Impossible theme song, as well as other notable tunes.

It's been almost a year and a half since the last time I posted to this blag; two years since a post of any real substance. Finding time's not so easy. Actually, that's not true. Finding time when I'm not tired or wouldn't prefer just completely vegetating— that's not easy. But I've been buying strange records that have never been and never will be on CD, nor reissued on LP; many of them I don't expect to ever see in a shop ever again. And I plan to resume transferring them to my computer and posting them.

This isn't one of them. You can find the Che! soundtrack easily, probably on CD even. Though, slowing the CD down isn't as simple.

March 12, 2009

Ja Ja Ja...

I'm not really one for the youtube video posting, but I was really surprised when I stumbled across the video below. It took me 10 years to find an Aventuras de Kirlian record. I finally managed to get my hands on one of their singles. It's more awesome than I expected. Then I saw that there's a video on youtube.

July 6, 2008

CGYT on WHFR (8)

Last week's show was full of short songs, which is kinda taxing, since neither of my record players can cue. So this week I went with long songs. I hadn't exactly planned it to go that way, though. I was looking for something relaxing, and I was listening to 10,000 Maniacs (I know, but you really should hear their song "Tension") and thinking of the Julius Eastman compilation Unjust Malaise that I just bought. Somehow that lead me to start with Pauline Oliveros, except I didn't start with Pauline Oliveros:

CGYT on WHFR no. 8 (broadcast July 6th, 2008)

Megan Roberts, "I Could Sit Here All Day,"
     New Music For Electronic And Recorded Media
Pauline Oliveros, "I of IV,"
     New Sounds In Electronic Music
Michael Nyman, "1-100,"
     Decay Music
Bobby Naughton, "Ordette,"
     The Haunt

I'm posting this before the actual show airs; so here's a reminder: you can listen to it as it's broadcast on Washington Heights Free Radio by going to WHFR.org.

Unrelated: I was urged by a friend to try recording again. I think the last time I tried to record anything was last summer, when I recorded this heavily-Laurie-Spiegel-inspired thing. I recently got sheet music for a bunch of Wim Mertens stuff, so I thought I'd try my hand at something from him. What I'm aiming for is a version of the 5-piece "Struggle for Pleasure" on saxophone, organ, and melodica, with hand percussion (maybe). My organ skills are horrible though, so it's gonna be a while. Here is what I have so far, which sounds nothing like Mertens', nor anything like what I'm aiming for, but was fun to make.

June 29, 2008

CGYT on WHFR (7)

What happened to four, five, six? They'll be posted soon. Along with my last DJ night recording, maybe. Along with maybe some new records soon.

My right turntable seems to have a problem. I'm not really sure what's causing it, first the right channel goes a bit low, then gets fuzzy, then the needle starts to skip. Happens with many records—including some on this show, so excuse the occasional skip. Also excuse the incredibly poor condition of "Carrie-Anne," I forgot that it sounds like a song pressed onto a piece of sandpaper.

CGYT on WHFR no. 7 (broadcast June 29th, 2008)

Isao Tomita, "'Star Wars' Main Title"
Buddy Holly, "Crying, Waiting, Hoping"
Roy Orbison, "Crying"
Cliff Richard, "The Young Ones"
Petula Clark, "Downtown"
Cat Stevens, "Lovely City,"
     Very Young and Early Songs
Everly Brothers, "Cathy's Clown"
The Hollies, "Carrie Anne"
The Coasters, "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart"
The Impacts, "Tears"
Them, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"
Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town"
Loudon Wainwright, "Clockwork Chartreuse,"
     Attempted Mustache
Richard and Linda Thompson, "I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight,"
     I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
Joe South, "These Are Not My People"
The Kinks, "Apeman,"
     Lola versus Powerman and The Moneygoround
Hunger, "Workshop,"
     Endless Journey: Phase Two
The Music Box, "Take A Look Outside"
The Blackbirds, "Golden Sun,"
     No Destination
West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, "Transparent Day,"
     Part One
Dion, "Josie"

I picked up the 1-buck Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and Cliff Richards best-ofs in the last week, and was motivated to pull out some of the light pop I have on hand. It's summer, it's either that or a Jamaican themed show. I thought I might do an entire show of songs that skip. Maybe next week.

May 19, 2008

CGYT on WHFR (3)

Last night's Come Get Your Tomorrow (number 3, MP3 and playlist below) had a bit of an Asian theme. I've been reading The Last Samurai by Helen Dewitt (the book has nothing to do with that movie with the midget from Top Gun) and there's lots in that about The Seven Samurai, and so I was also then listening to some Kurosawa soundtracks. Radio show no. 3 starts out with a Masaru Sato song from Sanjuro, which is followed by some Japanese and Chinese pop, and then some Indian stuffs, which leads into jazz, and um, Donovan.

CGYT on WHFR no. 3 (broadcast May 18th, 2008)


(I can't recall exactly what all of them are and some are also not in languages I understand, but I'll fill in the blanks later.)

—, "?,"
     ?kids record?
Masaru Satô, "Sanjuro,"
?, "?,"
     "?Japanese pop record?
Kyo Sakamoto, "Sukiyaki,"
The Lucky Trio, "?,"
     ?Lucky Record?
Andy MacKay, "The Loyang Tractor Factory,"
     Resolving Contradictions
     ?kids record
Sri Chimnoy,"Invocation,"
     Music For Meditation
Pia Srinivasan,"?,"
     Music For Vina, South India
Buddy Rich and Alla Rakha, "Rangeela,"
     Rich á la Rakha
Daniel Lentz, "Is It Love?" or "Wolf Is Dead..." (I can't remember),
     On The Leopard Alter
—, "?,"
     ?kids record?
Donovan, "I'll Try For The Sun" (with skip and double start),
     Fairy Tale
Blackbirds, "Golden Sun,"
     No Destination
Pharoah Sanders, "Japan,"
John Tchicai & Strange Brothers, "Lost And Found,"
     John Tchicai & Strange Brothers
Ornette Coleman, "Friends And Neighbors (vocal),"
     Friends And Neighbors

The show lacked a bit of cohesion, but I'm happy without it came out. That Andy MacKay record is surprisingly good. And the Buddy Rich & Alla Rahka track is much better than I remember it being the first time I heard it.

May 12, 2008

CGYT on WHFR (2)

Come Get Your Tomorrow week number two aired yesterday on WHFR. The MP3 and playlist are below. I realize that since this post is immediately proceeded by the first CGYT post, I have clearly failed at my goal of posting once a week. It's partly because I have a bunch to do at work lately, and also that many of the records I've been listening to most lately are still available. I only want to post here records that are unavailable—both out of print and very hard to obtain.

Currently on repeat: Pete Seeger's soundtrack to Indian Summer which is available on CD, I believe, from the ever-in-print Folk Ways (or at least soon available as download from the Smithsonain), which combines great folk melodies on Banjo and rustic flute with sounds from the film such as dynamiting and barn-burning. Archie Shepp's Live at the Pan-African Festival, available on CD and vinyl (and probably MP3) from that label that keeps doing the BYG/Actuel reissues (sun-something? or is this one Get Back?), on which Shepp and I forget who else play soulful free jazz over north African drones and percussion. And John Tchicai and Strange Brother's self-titled release on the FMP label's sublabel, SAJ (FMP stands for Free Music Production and is Germany's most famous free jazz label; I don't know what SAJ stands for), which sounds very much like late 60s Ornette Coleman—fluid and somehow lyrical. The Shepp was on the last radio show. The Seeger is on this radio show. The Tchicai is not, though I had hoped to fit it in, so maybe next week.

CGYT on WHFR no. 2 (broadcast May 11th, 2008)


—, "Lion,"
     Sounds Of Our African Heritage
The Apollo Stars, "We're Moving In,"
     Power Of Source
Frank Lowe, "Chu's Blues,"
Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, "Sun Spots,"
     Forces And Feelings
—, "Elephant,"
     Sounds Of Our African Heritage
Oliver Lake, "Whap,"
     Passing Thru
Richard Landry, "4th Register,"
     A First Quarter
—, "Hippo,"
     Sounds Of Our African Heritage
George Lewis, "Triple Slow Mix,"
Pete Seeger, "The Many Colored Paper,"
     Indian Summer
—,"Leopard" & "Vervet Monkey,"
     Sounds Of Our African Heritage