Friday, December 08, 2006


As an early Christmas present, my awesome lady friend got me a reissue of this classic 1971 album by German trancers Can. Not only is it on vinyl, but it has a completely different cover from the regular version of the album. This small picture is the biggest one I could find on the net and let me tell you, it's not quite the same as seeing it in person.

Boy it sure sounds good too. Just thought I'd let you know.

Last night we listened to "Halleluhwah" (which takes up all of side 2) and my lady friend commented on how it sounds like this music could have been made today. That's what has always fascinated my about Can; some of the stuff that they did in the early 70's sounds like what electronic groups started doing in the 90's. Drummer Jaki Liebezeit is so solid that you'd swear it was a drum machine or sample that's playing - except that they couldn't really do stuff like that back then. Yup, it was truly ahead of its time and no doubt very influential on things that came out decades later.

It's much easier to see how this sprawling double album is constructed when listening to it on vinyl as apposed to all four sides being squished onto one CD. The first album is sort of the "accessible" part and the second one is the more "difficult" music. Side one ("Paperhouse", "Mushroom", and "Oh Yeah") has three songs (you know, with words and more rock-type structures) and side two is an 18 minute trancy groove thing ("Halleluhwah"). Conventional song structure goes out the window with the 17 minute long collection of sound effects and instrumental craziness ("Aumgn") on side three and the vocal free-form percussion mania of "Peking O" on side four. However, the boys decided to bring back a little sanity for the end of the album with the comparatively gentle and lulling "Bring Me Coffee or Tea".

You may find yourself skipping the two crazier tracks, but they're definitely worth listening to when you crank the album up from start to finish. You have to hear the more off-the-wall stuff from Can to understand the whole picture of where they were coming from. That two of the members studied with Stockhausen should come as no surprise.

Oh. So bragging about my early Christmas present turned into a record review. Fancy that. Well, maybe I'll sell the guys some more albums. They deserve it and so do you. (In best announcer voice) Go get Tago Mago by Can at your local cool record store today!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

"And he shut the fuckin' door!!!"

So after about a five year layoff, I've started listening to Zappa again. It all has to do with the fact that the Zappa family just released a 40th anniversary edition of Frank's first album, Freak Out, called MOFO, which made me go back and listen to the 60-some Zappa CDs that I acquired when I was in high school. I guess I just listened to so much of the man's works during that time that I became burned out.

Well, time has given me a new perspective on the whole thing, and songs that had kinda lost meaning to me (because I listened to them about a million times) sound different and better. Maybe it's like when you haven't seen an old, annoying acquaintance in a while and you think that maybe they don't suck as much as they used to but then you talk to them and sure enough, they still suck, probably suck a lot more than they used to and before you know it you're back to wanting to kill them.

Naw, I don't think it's like that. I mean, Zappa isn't Scheller. (If you don't know who that is, don't worry. You're better off than we are.) I never thought Zappa sucked. I just... needed some time away.

Anyway, I've just been listening to the early stuff and haven't really gotten to the later "dirty" songs... we'll see how that stuff holds up to me.

What am I talking about? I still love titties and beer!!!