Ladies

27 05 2010

As we get ready for our Summer Record + CD Sale a LOT of very nice folks have donated a LOT of very nice recordings.  From a-way upstate came a musty but great pile from the barn of James Dybas.  Of note are the eleven Olga Guillot LPs in pristine condition.  Grammy winning Olga was Cuba’s “Reina del bolero” – and a highly emotional one at that, most songs tearily and romantically delivered.   She sang with the quartet Siboney, began her solo career in 1945 performing at Havana’s Zombie Club, and was the first Latin artist to play Carnegie Hall!  Whata gal.

Here’s the new adds to our five-strong Olgaography:

• Bravo!!  (Musart, USA, DM 12561, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• Campanitas de Cristal  (Adria, USA, AP 3, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• Enamorada  (Adria, USA, AP 30, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• Epoca de Oro, Vol 1  (Adria, USA, AP 1, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• Gracias America  (Musart, USA, DM 1256, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• La Insuperable Olga  (Puchito, USA, MLP 580, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp     , n.d.)
• Lo Mejor de Olga Guillot  (Puchito, USA, MLP 564, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp     , n.d.)
• MAS Exitos Romanticos con Olga Guillot  (Musart, USA, DM 1060, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• Olga (Musart, USA, DM 672, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• Olga Guillot Interpreta Borinquen  (Musart, USA, DM 1384, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)
• Recúerdame  (Musart, USA, DM 1536, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)

Dean Taucher, ARC supporter and TV insider, often asks visiting celebs to sign classic LPs, then donates them to the ARC.  His latest gift includes 3 comely LPs signed by comely Ann Margaret, Sharon Stone and Isabelle Huppert.  Nice…

And since it’s Memorial Day, let’s remember…





Walkin’ 9-5

3 05 2010

Yup, that’s how I spent my last tree huggin’ beach lovin’ day in San Fran, touring Muir Woods, Chimney Rock, Point Reyes (et fried oysters), Inverness (et Bar-B-Que’d oysters) and the Drake Bay Lighthouse – all north of the Golden Gate.  Muir is Redwoods a go-go, high and mighty, while the lighthouse ‘may be’ the ‘windiest point on America’s Pacific Coast,’  not to mention the loudest, with a drone to make you believe in the Siren’s call.   It’s all true.  Uh, and did I mention I like oysters?

But my REASONS for being in SF was to organize placing our catalog online, (something I try to do every ten years or so) and work on getting the Muslim World Music Day website built and hosted.  Thanks to all those helping with the tasks: the crews at Gracenote and the Internet Archive, and Scott San Filippo (who also donated copies of his single from a bygone era, “No, No, No”/”I Know What You Are” by his our-voices-haven’t-changed-yet band, The End (Friendly Ghost Records, 5536, 7″ single, n.d.).

Sidelines and highpoints include visiting author and critic Greil Marcus, getting a brief tour of the UC Berkeley Music Library, dinner at Chez Panisse, a buying frenzy at Arhoolie Records/Down Home Music and seeing a very nice show on the history of the SF rock.  Here’s two of many new adds to the ARC collection – you decide the sublime or absurd…

That’s Earl Bostic’s  Let’s Dance (King Records, 395-529, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.) and Jean (the gal) and GenII (the computer) on Two Loves Have I (Mark Records, MC 8518, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1974) in nothing less than Quadraphonic.

Somethin’s Happening Here – Bay Area Rock ‘n’ Roll 1963-73” was the show at the Museum of Performance and Design, co-curatored by ARC pal Alec Palao.  Alec graciously donated a copy of the book and 4 CD set chronicling the scene. Stephen Braitman, my redwood guide, also donated a pile of rarities to the show, including what is thought to be the only copy of a single celebrating White Levis by the Jefferson Airplane.  Ironic that the show is in the Veteran’s building, with many Viet Vets coming and going, while the show celebrates the same era with a decidedly anti-war POV.

Another treat was the murals @ the Beach Chalet.  By Lucien Labaudt, they rival the more well know group in Coit Tower, but overlooking the Pacific and surround by craft brewed beer ($2 a pint on Monday nite).

Tooling around SF in my rented Chevy, and seeing a pile of Chinese electric scooters @ the Internet Archive, forced me to buy this paean to forgotten glories.  I’m a former Wobbly and Michigander, so there ‘s a special place in my heart for Union songs and the vanishing breed of autoworkers.

Joe Lisi and His Guitar.   It’s the UAW All the Way (LEM Productions, ESS-1185, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

Speaking of auto-neurotica I’ve lived in NY for over 40 years and never gotten a parking ticket.  EVERY time I go to CA I get a parking ticket.  Is it me or signage?  Maybe it’s this side that is the easy-going coast?  So I love CA, but it’s a song I sing with an expression as below…

Thanks to Brooke and Gabby (Sonny Stitt’s grand-daughter) who made a week in SF possible and palatable!





Minuet of Mayhem

22 04 2010

My ‘Minute of Mayhem’ honoring punk impresario Malcolm McLaren (who I was not a fan of, but, geeze, he did do something) is the 45 rpm 12” Booji Boy version of “(I cån’t gèt mé nö) Satisfaction” by Devo (BOY 1, 1977).  Malcolm was buried today, and the family suggested a fitting alternative to a minute of silence.

Boogie Boy was the boy’s own label outa CLE, Ohio.  It’s a sheer joy homemade mix, sticker pasted on a generic sleeve, with an opening that is way red, back when there were VU meters that needed to be adjusted.  No really, red as in the speakers are about to pop, what real pop is all about.  You can get the later, limited Warner Brothers and Stiff versions, professionally mixed by Eno – my favorite producer makes it palatable, but it’s no plate breaker.  So get loud for just a minute or so today.  My Earth Day is seismic.





What Happened in 2009?

9 02 2010

As we send out deeds of gifts (if you sent materials), thank you’s (for services or monetary donations), and plan, as best we can, for what we should be doing in 2010, we have POSTED our “2009 Year End Roundup” on the website.

In a nutshell, we have begun our partnership with Columbia University with some very nice projects and events, AND, the ARC grew by approx. 44,000 CDs, 30,000 LPs, 9,000 twelve-inch singles and assorted tens of thousands of music related videos, magazines, 78s, cassettes, singles, press kits and books.  The devil is in the details, so we list the angels who made it all happen.

The whole story is also below…

ARC 2009 Year-end Roundup!

Well finally, the second worse year of a pretty bad decade, ends. Small change, some hope. We hope all of you, who have been so generous in helping us preserve popular music over the past 2.5 decades now, will keep in touch. Thanks for everything. Heard a new term on the radio, and maybe you too are suffering from dreaded ‘frugal fatigue.’ Hope so. With your help, and luck, we’ll celebrate our 25 Anniversary next fall with our first big party in many years.Here’s our overview of 2009 – what we’ve done, who helped and some news on future projects…

We’ve just wound down our Holiday Record + CD sale. Once again vinyl is king, crowning our best winter sale since we moved to White Street. There were fewer CDs for sale this year, because there are fewer CDs, period. When we did get large batches, they were usually multiples of the same disc, as companies relocated, scaled down or closed. Many of our donations come from music critics, or off the promo shelves of the record companies here in the city, and, well, the cupboards are bare as more and more downloads have replaced sending out physical product.

Speaking of what was not sent out, this year we passed on the postcard to advertise the sale. I missed the graphics, and perhaps we missed reaching some people, but it saved $4,000. We did not miss dealing with the postoffice. Since we did better than ever, and crowdsize was the same or better, lets say it was an OK decision. Thanks to all who attended the party and the sale. As always, bravo to labels large and small for donating materials for the sale, and well, just surviving.

Need I remind everyone, attending our sale party is just one of the perks of becoming an ARC member. Not only do you meet tons of nice folks, get food and drinks, but you get first dibs on all the best recordings. The next sale is June 12. Make sure we have your e-mail address so you get the virtual invite.

BMI, the rights organization, sponsored the Holiday Sale this year. Thanks to VP Robbin Ahrold, a long time supporter of ARC, who made it all happen. It’s not an exaggeration to say we could not have done it without him. Downtown Express was an advertising partner, providing a nice display ad and write-up in their papers. Thanks to go-getter, Dani Zupanovich. Other friends of long standing, Mike Nabors of Bonnie’s Grill in Brooklyn supplied the beer and hot wings, while Emanuelle, of the Bubble Lounge, provided the bubbly. Volunteers working the sale included Tim Bourn, Henry Beer, Patrice George and Jessica Thompson. The clean-out crew – the great folks who buy everything that’s left after the sale – included vendors Gene Gritzen, Fred Shapiro and Jamal from Village Music World.

THE BIG NEWS
The big news of 2009 is our partnership with Columbia University. that began in late February. We are still feeling our way around the many departments, divisions and diversions that make up a great university, but are starting to get a few things accomplished. ARC’s approach is to bring musical ideas and projects to the university to work across a variety of disciplines, to enrich and enhance course study. Our closest allies in all of this are Jim Neal, Head of Libraries and Greg Mosher, Director of the Arts Initiative. With luck, with patronage, with vision we hope to move towards the establishment of a full-fledged Center for Popular Music that we all envision.

On November 19 we joined with the Columbia University Libraries and the Arts Initiative to present a Lecture As Performance by author and historian Greil Marcus celebrating the 20th anniversary release of his book, Lipstick Traces. This was a rollicking evening of an influential text made audible. The lecture was accompanied by a showcase display of Greils books and recordings and books by ARC’s director, B. George, at the Wiener Music & Arts Library. Thanks goes to Greil, Michael Ryan in rare books, Elizabeth Davies and Nick Patterson at the Music Library, Matt Hampel in Special Events, Damon Jaggars the Associate University Librarian for Collections & Services and all the folks at Harvard University press, esp., Andrew Battle. We are now planning our next lecture, an evening with Leiber and Stoller, in the works for next fall.

In September we laid the foundation for our first major project with Columbia, Muslim World Music Day (MWMD) – a worldwide, one-day, two-part event. The first is a live online attempt to identify and catalog all of the recordings of Muslim music in the world in one day. The second part is a series of live concerts from a variety of venues to celebrate the diversity, beauty and cultural importance of Muslim music. Our target date is April 12, 2011, and we set the project in motion when B. visited the Columbia University Middle Eastern Research Center (CUMERC) in Amman Jordan. You can read a bit about it on the blog here.

Here we set up a small office, visited government and NGO cultural organizations, talked to media leaders and enlisted support from universities and scholars. To our great delight we discovered unknown caches of wonderful music at the state radio station and at Jordan University. It is hoped that CUMERC and Jordan will house a permanent collection of music from the region when the project is completed and continue to maintain the database. Thanks to Kareem Talhouni, Nisreen Haj Ahmad, Dr. Safwan Masri and all the very kind folks at CUMERC who made the visit so enjoyable and productive.

The key element of the website for the MWMD, the database housing the information on the recordings, is being built and donated by Gracenote – the folks that provide the metadata for i-Tunes. ARC has been working closely with this important American media company to create the core database and make sure it suits our needs and is robust. The Internet Archive, the only company in the world dedicated to saving the entire Internet, is donating the bandwidth, to insure that there will be no crashes on the day of the event. Thanks to all the folks at Gracenote – Craig Palmer, Scott San Filippo, Ross Blanchard, Stephen White, Mike Gubman and Stephen Braitman. Over at the Internet Archive, “Hi!” and thanks to Brewster Kahle.

A blog, acting as a defacto website, has been created and the latest information on the project is posted there until the official website is ready to launch. To learn all about Muslim World Music Day visit us here.

TRIPPIN’
On the way to the Middle East B. gave a talk at the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) in Athens, Greece. This was a successful first step in gaining support from a variety of institutions willing to contribute data and essays to the MWMD. Thanks to Dimitra N. Kitsiou at the Hellenic National Audiovisual Archive for her invaluable help and graciousness.

We also gave a presentation on our proposed International Discography (iD), “One Click Hit! The International Discography” at the 43 annual Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Conference in Washington DC in May. The goal, with Gracenote’s help, is to get the iD up and running by March of 2010.

ARSC has become quite chummy lately, with ARC hosted two meetings for them this year at our White Street address. This was fun and we were surprised to learn that we owned and filled 60 chairs. In February we gave a short tour of ARC and heard a presentation by Tim Hawkins on the Naropa Institute Sound Archive on the work of Alan Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. In April archivists Hillel Arnold and Tiffany Loiselle talked about audio treasures in the Woody Guthrie Archives including wire recordings made in 1949. Mastering and restoration engineer Steve Rosenthal of the The Magic Shop explained his role in the restoration and other projects, like remastering all of the Rolling Stone’s catalog. By the way, the NYC Spelmanslag a Scandinavian dance ensemble, also used ARC space to do a few practices this year.

In December B. spoke at The Colloquium on Resources at Columbia University’s Music Department, providing a short overview of the ARC’s history and collection, and outlining some of the completed and upcoming projects that we are doing with the University. Again thanks to Elizabeth Davis who organized and co-presented at this event, and moderator David Gutkin.

NEW PROJECT
ARC is involved in helping to launch the Music With Subtitles / World Music Lyric Translation Project, the brainchild of ARCpal Robert Singerman. This exciting new project will allow professionals and online users to view and translate the lyrics from any song, in any language, with the music, in the first such authorized and fully legal, website.

Robert is also helping us in our search for a site in Europe to house second copies of recording at ARC. He favors Paris, and we agree. Our point man in the City of Lights is music luminary Jean Claude Ast. More news later this year after we visit with the Minister of Culture in Paris. Ideally I want to be on the Rue des Archives! Why not? Over the years second sites have held lots of promise, but scant results. But hope springs eternal, and I’ll be in Paris in the Spring.

ONGOING
In May we officially finished up primary entry work on The New York Musicians Index and ARChive (NYMIA) and said goodbye to project director Dr. Daniel Neely, and researchers Bryan Koniarz and Jon Hammer. The NYMIA is up and running – an online listing of all working musicians and music related businesses in New York State. This project was funded by ARC, Columbia University and a grant from the New York State Music Fund, administered by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. We urge all musicians, or those working in a music related field in New York State, to go online and make sure you’re listed.

NEW COLLECTIONS
This year we began a focus on a few forms of music not well represented in American collections, Colombian and Brazilian music. So far the Brazilian collection has blossomed through the help of Beco Dranoff. Beco is the director of the new and spectacular documentary on Brazilian music, Beyond Ipanema. He has helped us secure the help of the Brazilian Consulate and we are searching for a partner in Brazil. To date our Brazilian holdings number over 3,000 recordings and growing. Another contributor is Joel Olveira who runs the Brazilian record outlet, Tropicallia in Furs. Joel has been trading rare Brazilian releases for some of our third copies of pop here at the ARC. Of great value is David Byrne’s offer to donate his collection of Brazilian recordings to the collection. Another essential add are the 400 Brazilian recordings courtesy of an incredible donation by Jerry Rappaport – more about that in the donations list below. As to the Colombian collection – Shakira, give us a call?

With that other Columbia, with the help of Elizabeth Davis, head of the Wiener Music & Arts Library, we set in motion the purchase of a ton of Cuban recordings. We are dealing directly with Cuba in order to get them the most bucks for the bang. Our main contact is Alberto Salazar Rodriguez, Sales Director at Egrem Records in Havana.

ON THE AIR
ARC was featured on a BBC Radio 4 show – Beat Mining With The Vinyl Hoover, broadcast primetime in the UK in March. Basically the show explored how record collectors changed the way we listen to and make music. In the promo, host Toby Amies says he, “soon realises he is collecting record collectors, getting dusty fingered as he digs out the world’s most committed vinyl maniacs with contributions from: DJ Mr Scruff; 45 King; Bob Stanley; Steve Stein (aka Steinski); Aaron Fuchs (Tuff City Records); Coldcut; Pete Waterman; DJ and compilation compiler Keb Darge; funky drummer Idris Muhammad; and B George, the director of the ARChive of Contemporary Music.”

The beeb also used the ARC as backdrop in November for a documentary on Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook and a consultant who help Obama win the Whitehouse. He faced the interviewers in front of rows and rows of ARC LPs.

Other media news is that B. has done two segments for National Public radio (NPR) this year, both on Sunday Morning Weekend Edition. . In August David Greene did an interview – a quick tour and he played a few choice cuts from the ARC’s collection. They asked ARC back in September and we spoke with host Lynn Neary in a segment titled, “Forgotten Music, Found In The Archives.” This time we got a chance to play slightly longer cuts including, “In the Land of My Dreams” by Anna Domino, “Did You Ever Hear the Blues” by Big Miller and a Colombian Terapia snippet. Thanks to producers Thomas Pierce for initiating it all. We hope to do more, and maybe one day play an entire song on NPR!

PEOPLE
Fred Patterson continues to minister to the ARChive’s collection, making sure that every new recording that enters the ARC is catalogued properly and compared to the existing collection for variations. It’s a nightmare of work that few other libraries bother with. Our goal is to keep two copies of every version of every recording issued–covers, labels, catalog numbers, etc. are all considered. In this way, a label history is chronicled as the recordings are preserved. You can catch Fred on the action side of the music at The Wang Dang Doodle, his groovy record hop, currently held on the fifth Friday of the month (when there is one) at the Trophy Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Fred is also a regular DJ at the monthly Subway Soul Club events held on the third Friday of the month at the LOFT, also in Williamsburg. More details of his extra-ARChivial activities can be found here.

Part-timers staff in 2009 were Juan Amaya and Karim Vickery. Juan will continue and you can find Kareem at Halcyon record store in Dumbo. Volunteers this year included, Joe Flynn, Marcos Sueiro Bal, Andy Schwartz, Melwita (Wita) Mahadi (now in Indonesia), Damien McCaffery (now in Scotland), Mark Pajerski, Jillian Flexner and the indispensable Tim Broun. Collection pick-ups are by the ever-reliable Fleshtone-playing, sometimes truck-drivin,’ Alpine skiing, Keith Streng.

Once again the wonderfully helpful University of Michigan School of Information organized two interns over Spring break. When I went to Michigan, Spring Break wasn’t even invented yet! Noah Liebman helped create a new db for us, while David Jackson spent the week cataloging ‘classic rock’ LPs. Thanks to Kelly Kowatch for organizing it all. This April another former Michigander, John Schott, Chair of Cinema and Media Studies at Carleton College, brought a gaggle of media students to tour ARC, with a few students volunteering for a few days.

REMEMBERED
We lost another Board Members this year, Ellie Greenwich (October 23, 1940 – August 26, 2009), and in October were able to honor Jerry Wexler (January 10, 1917 – August 15, 2008) at a memorial held by his family. You can read a nice overview of the service and remembrance on Andy Schwartz’s New York Rocker website.

Ellie had been pretty much a recluse for many years now, and we rarely saw her. Happily her great music lives on through classic songs like “And Then He Kissed Me,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Chapel of Love,” “River Deep, Mountain High” and “Be My Baby.” She also sang some perfectly silly ones like “Niki Hoeky.” She will be missed.

The above LP is from the ARC’s collection : Ellie Greenwich Composes Produces and Sings. (United Artists, USA, UAS 6648, LP, 1968).

Joining our Board of Advisor next year is Michael Feinstein – more about that in the blog this Feb. Very exciting for us.

We are also looking for new people to join our working Board of Trustees. If anyone is interested – helping to shape our projects and purpose – please give us a ring.

ENTERTAINMENT is US
A lot of industry projects this year, most notable is working with the newly revived Knitting Factory Records on the first American overview on the music of the late Fela Kuti, Nigeria’s premier activist music maker. The Knit has just acquired the US rights to the entire Fela catalog from EMI and others, the project organized by Fela’s longtime manager, Rikki Stein. ARC scanned 12 rare covers in our collection, all of them available nowhere else, and digitized two LPs, replacing lost or damaged content, from our collection of over 200 Fela releases. Look for a massive set of box sets, on vinyl, sometime next year. This is EXACTLY the kind of work we love doing, and can do. Thanks to Tim Putnam and Stephen Hendel at the Knit. Mr. Handel has also been instrumental in bringing the Bill T. Jones musical Fela to life.

Scans of labels and covers continue to be the ARC’s most requested work, this year including one of our rare Robert Johnson 78 for BMG Records, some Monkee singles for Reader’s Digest, a big pile for Oprah Magazine, Nonesuch and classic jazz originals for a reissue series for the Verve Music Groups (thanks Harry) and popstuff for Universal.

We continue to provide all the scans of important recordings added to the newly formed Grammy Hall of Fame in LA. Project head Ken Visite visited ARC in May and on Grammy night 2008 I sent off the batch of scans for this years inductees.

FILM
Film work this year included searches for Ang Lee’s, “Taking Woodtock.” Richie Havens asked us to locate a rare promo live single, “Handsome Johnny” that was attached to a live LP. Well we had one, sealed, and sent it off to be professionally copied and synched to film footage – it’s a long story why Warner Films won’t let Warner Music use the song from the Woodstock film! Joe Boyd, the music supervisor, also asked us to locate, “Inside Bert Sommer” by the self-same Bert, an LP from 1969 on the Eleuthra label. Believe it or not Bert (who?) performed at Woodstock and they have been searching for months for the LP. ARC had four Bert Sommer LPs – honest, I had never heard of him! Of course Freddie had. This is why we save everything. You never know.

Fruitless work was done on the Bob Marley film that Director Jonathan Demme was readying for release in February. But mysteriously, like Martin Scorsese, he was off the project. Well, we don’t have any other directors on our Board, so I guess this film will never be released.

CHINOISERIE
There’s more than a massive trade deficit connecting the US and China, so ARC offered a tiny bit of help to bring The Chinese Underground Invasion Tour to the USA. The tour was masterminded by Charles Saliba and Michael Pettis of the Beijing label Maybe Mars and the club D-22, and included a series of concerts by punk-inspired bands P.K. 14, Carsick Cars, Xiao He, and White. Photographer Matthew Niederhauser was also here to release Sound Kapital, his book chronicling the Beijing music underground.

ARC was given a wide range of over 50 recent CDs from Maybe Mars and other small Beijing labels offering alternative music made outside the scope and scrutiny of the Chinese government. Also donated were support materials includes hundreds of posters and handbills advertising local Beijing shows, most designed by the hot graphics team, the Cult Youth Collective. A lot of this material was brought back and donated by Ben Bernstein, son of ARC Board member Alan, who was studying in China last summer.

IDEAS
After years, I am getting back to doing reviews and overviews. I contributed a story on “Ási Es…Con Salsa!” an LP by Alfredo Gutierrez and Los Caporales de Magdalena for Wax Poetics. It’s in ish #35, in the “re:discovery” section, at the beginning of the mag. A mighty fine music magazine worth checking out.

Employing an editorial eye, I have begun work on a book of punk 45 covers. Most books on this subject, and most graphic ‘cover’ books in general are pretty lame, so there’s a need. We have an incredible collection here, mostly from having put together, Volume, The International Discography of the New Wave, in the early 80s. Should be fun.

DONATIONS
Here’s the round numbers on the materials donated in 2010 : 44,000 CDs, 30,000 LPs, 9,000 twelve-inch singles and assorted tens of thousands of music related videos, magazines, 78s, cassettes, press kits and books. The devil is in the details, so here’s a few of the angels who made it all happen :

Lois Weiss bought ARC a hi-end Nikon Coolscan slide scanner with auto feed for us to scan her donation of slides she made as a member of the Fillmore East’s Joshua Light Show. Of course of great benefit for other projects – like maybe the 40,000 slides of musicians from press kits in the basement! Ron Saja, who has given over 10K recordings in the past and was the owner of Footlight Records in the Village, again donated a big batch; 17 DVDs, 685 CDs, 237 books, 134 ten-inch singles 78rpm, 40 twelve-inch singles, and 1152 LPs. Ben Young, Director of Broadcasting and Operations up at WKCR, continues to bring carloads twice a year, last batch about 600 CDs and an equal number of LPs.

A killer donation was delivered by Ken Richardson over at Sound and Vision, totaling 3245 CDs, 668 DVDs, plus assorted other formats in the 100s. Other generous businesses include Chris Thieke @ Shore Fire Media (807 CDs), Mark Fotiadas @ Mute, (1000+ CDs), Cory Robbins @ Robbins Entertainment (4954 LPs, 622 seven-inch singles, plus tons of high end audio equipment), Jonathan Lang of the Beggar’s Group US (464 CDs), and Randy Haecker, Robin Manning and Gabby Gibb over at Sony BMG/Legacy (191 CDs, 55 LPs).

Jerry Rappaport, who used to work for Mango and Island Records, moved to a real Caribbean island recently, and cleared out his storage space to the tune of 6132 LPs. This was one of the best gifts we have gotten in years, wonderful material in great condition, and he says, there will be more next year. Keeping to the Islands. Steve Bartels, from the Island Def Jam Music Group threw in 2,669 CDs and hundreds of other goodies.

Extra-ordinary citizens include; Rich Kim (226 ten-inch 78 rpm discs), Julie Lipsius (60 CDs), Robert Singerman (753 CDs plus hundreds of magazines and other assorted goodies), DJ Ray Velasquez (410 CDs, 256 twelve-inch singles), DJ + artist Lucien Samaha (528 LPs), Jim Leavitt (430 CDs), Jim Eigo (195 CDs) graphic master Eric Zim (128 CDs, 116 books), James Conlin (953 LPs), and recordman Fred Shapiro (142 DVDs, 1254 CDs, 105 LPs).

Board member Fred Schneider continues to amaze with his donation of peculiarly wonderful LPs (867), as does longtime ARCpal AP Joseph (1881 LPs, 362 music books). 465 Latin Recordings, all catalogued (we LOVE electronically catalogued collections) were sent by Abby and Maria Lugo. Just for fun Dean Taucher sent signed LPs by Jerry Lewis and Ice-T. Nice that the tag on Ice-T’s says “F— the Police,” now that he has a starring role on TVs Law and Order.

There were countless donations of 10, 20, 40, 125, 200+ by countless others, including; June Hildebrand Abrams, Billy Adler (mostly wonderful X-mas music), Bruce Alexander, Marcos Sueiro Bal, Jennifer Ballantyne @ EMI Music Marketing, Kyle Benson from Verve / UMG / Universal Music, Alan J. Bernstein, David Bither, Nancy Breslow, David Browne, Lucas Cooper at ROIR, Barry Cohen, George Cuttingham, Adam Dolgins, Engine Room Audio, Michael Fremer, Tom Gould, Randall Grass, Jana Hollingshead, Peter & Kathleen Kapp, Bryan Koniarz, Anne Leighton, Sarah Lazin, Adam Lisberg (187 music magazines), Sandy Mancuso over at Putumayo World Music, Cheryl McEnaney, Bryan Mechutan, Dan Morgenstern over at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers, Nate Oberstein @ Eagle Rock Entertainment, Tom Monday at the Limewire Store, Andy Schwartz, Lawrence G. Sucsy, Guy Smith (over 200 ten-inch 78rpm recordings), Ed Steinberg, Jessica Thompson, Holly George-Warren, David Withers, Peter Wright, and Kevin Yatarola at Palm Entertainment

We wish also to thank Columbia University, and the many corporate donors who helped us get through the year, foremost of which is the Jaharis Family Foundation. Also thanks to Gracenote and BMI. Of course we really appreciate all of you out there who have joined ARC and purchased a membership. Maybe this is finally the year we print up those nifty membership cards?

By the way : Anyone can make a donation these days through Paypal or via this webthing (below). If you can help out with materials, a donation, or spare time, please let us know.

Keep in touch.
B. George

ARChive of Contemporary Music
54 White Street, New York City, 10013
tel : 212-226-6967
e : arcmusic@inch.com
url: http://arcmusic.org
blog: https://arcmusic.wordpress.com






Quick UpDate on Sale + ARC News

17 12 2009

ARC Sale is doing swell.  We are pleased that the economic downturn has not affected the turntable, and there’s still plenty of hot vinyl for a cold  winter’s day…   So come on down!

We’re still at 54 White St and here from now until Sunday, Dec 20, everyday, 11am – 6pm.

Some classy doings recently, somewhat out of character, somewhat wonderful.  Last Sunday our pal Greg Mosher (Columbia Arts Initiative)  hosted talk with Liv Ullmann @ MOMA, and it was swell.  The event was a premier of a documentary (The Sealed Orders of Liv Ullmann by Simon & Goodman) about here master class with aspiring actors in a program sponsored by Young Arts.  It was very moving and will be on Public TV soon.  Ms. Ullmann is directing Streetcar Named Desire with Cate Blanchett as, obviously, Blanch, to rave reviews.  I must have said something she liked, cuz I got a hug and a kiss.   Starsearch: saw Edward Albee (thought he was dead) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (bigger than life).

Tuesday went to see/hear Michael Feinstein and David Hyde Pierce, at, wherelse, Feinsteins.  We have started working with Michael on a few things and we hope to have him on our Board (MANY new Board members to be announced in Jan).  Well cabaret @ Feinstein’s is a long way from Avenue A, but just as other worldly.  Songs were great, his piano playing greater, his knowledge of the American Songbook the greatest, and Pierce specialized is a few story songs that required a keen memory, including Jerry Herman’s delightful, twisty, “Penny in My Pocket.”  Michael’s best line: “Frank Loesser once described his first wife as, ‘the evil of two Loessers.’”  Lamenting the lack of Jews at Camelot, taken from his stint in Spamalot, David sang, “There’s a very small percentile/who enjoy a dancing Gentile.”  The Times said…

Speaking of dynamic duos, ARC supporter Dean Taucher sent down two signed recordings for the collection, one by Jerry Lewis and one by Ice-T.  Dean has an interesting range of interests if you ask me.

Other near family news of a  musical Mother nature :  son of a friend is doing A-OK as lead singer in the Antlers, with a nice review in the Times.  The other animal skin in the game is second cousin Aaron’s band the  Giraffes, who sources a common roots heritage with the group, Roumanian Buck.   All three bands are worth a look.





300 LPs make a great stocking stuffer!

13 12 2009

The ARChive Holiday Record + CD Sale is a success so far with plenty of folks shoppin’ n’ boppin.’

Still plenty of tasty vinyl and CDs left.  300 LPs make a great stocking stuffer!  So come on down and tell your friends.  Join the fun.  Support the ARC.  Everyday, 11-6, from now until Sunday Dec 20.  Thanks to all who have already visited or donated materials for the sale.    B.

ARChive of Contemporary Music
54 White Street  New York City, 10013
3 blocks South of Canal between Church + Broadway
Take the #1 train to Franklin St, or any train to Canal
tel : 212-226-6967          e : arcmusic@inch.com
http://www.arcmusic.org              blog: https://arcmusic.wordpress.com





Sale Almost Here!

8 12 2009





Another Great Donation -wanna help catalog?

23 10 2009

Today, me and the boys picked up a generous donation of over 6000 LPs from Jerry Rappaport.  Now Jerry has the life, a former record exec. he runs a swell hotel with his wife in Grenada, La Sagesse, and they just planted some mangostein trees -  he’ll let you know how they’re doing in about ten years.  But for now he’s back in NYC, and cleared out a rental space of about half his collection to donate to the ARC.

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Here’s Keith Streng, just before rushing off to a rehearsal and gig as a member of the Fleshtones, helping to unload the truck.   Nice boxes.

The collection is swell too!  Tons of world music and reggae from Jerry’s days at Mango, and a pretty good batch of R&B, and blues recordings from the 60s – right up our alley.  We took the am to pick them up, and jumped right in to cataloging that afternoon.  Always nice when you have six Misty In Roots LPs, and someone donates six you didn’t have.  And you gotta love a guy with 16 Elis Regina albums!

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Fred is down for the count.                               Juan surveys the field.

AND – We are looking for folks to volunteer @ ARC and help catalog all this great stuff.  If you have a 4 hr block, at least once a week, give us a call!  212 -226-6967





We Built This City On…

8 10 2009

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It is a little known fact that the ancient Nabataeans were early adaptors of new sound recording technologies.  They began with cylinder discs (called columns) but found them awkward.  Later, around 70 BC, they sliced the cylinders into wafer thin segments, well thin for the time, and began recording on the flat side.  Thwarted by a region-only spindle size and fierce competition from the Hittites (every tune a Hitt!) and the Phoenicians (the original Purple Reign), they were soon forced out of the market.  Not to mention the freight, as these babies were 33 1/3 tons.  Alas, here at Petra, unshipped goods, in a format that defies migration, linger still.

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But, I may be mistaken about all this.  What I do know is that the walk through Al-Siq, and the first glimpse of the Treasury through the slice of rock, luminous pink curtained black, is a remarkable thing and well worth a trip through time.

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All I can think of is our last administration, and the inability to tackle any problem successfully, and how everything was ‘hard work”   Please.  Have a look at Ajunta, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, Petra.  Imagine signing off on 40 years to carve a rock facade and we can’t rebuild twenty rows of wooden shotgun houses in New Orleans!   Disgrace, I mean I digress.

I’ve spent the last 10 days here in Amman Jordan setting up the first stages of Muslim World Music Day (formerly the Muslim Music Crash Course) at Columbia Universities Middle Eastern Research Center.  It has been a whirlwind of meetings, show-and tells, planning, report writing and visits to archives, schools, libraries, embassies, musicians and government offices.  The project director handling things from Jordan – the man with ALL the contacts – is Kareem Talhouni.

If you don’t know, Muslim World Music Day is an attempt to catalog all the relevant recording in the world, in one day, and surround this core database with informational and entertaining content, online.  Read all about it at our pre-website blog  www.arcmmcc.wordpress.com

Dr+cassettes_smlOne nice find was a thesis, written in English, but only published in Arabic, on Jordanian music, written by Prof Abdel Hamid Hamam the Dean of the College of Art and Design, University of Jordan.  Written in Wales no less.  We will excerpt it in both languages on the Muslim World Music Day website.

Equally amazing is the work of Dr. Mohammed Taha Ghawanmeh , Music professor and Dean of fine art @ Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan.  Dr Ghawanmeh has spent his life collecting the traditional music of Jordan, and the result is a 500 cassette edition, each cassette one hour long and accompanied by a booklet of lyrics, notation and explanatory notes.  This is hard work at its very best.  Only two sets of the series now exist and I can only hope that some scholars or universities that read this could find this work useful for their institution of scholarly pursuits.   Here’s the contact for the fine arts dept :  fac_finart@yu.edu.jo and Arabic speakers can call +962 79 574 3535

By the way on the road to Petra I has coffee, and after a 800 step climb rested in a rock solid tea room overlooking the rose red monestary.  Life used to be so hard…

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My favorite reaction to the project was from a woman at the Center who wanted to know if every whore and slut who parades nearly naked on the TV, shaking her stuff, and singing in Arabic would be a part of the website.  She then showed me a few of Nancy Ajram’s videos (mild by my standards) and then exclaimed with a smile, “This is my favorite!”  And shaking her shoulders, “I love to dance to this one.”   Hey, Nancy was on Ophra last month!

With downloading so prevalent and pirating commonplace, music shops have all but disappeared in Jordan – one small chain, The Music Box, holding its own.  Plus the visual versions are very seductive as DVDs and music on TV predominates.  Live music is scarce in formal performance.  This photo is from a concert at Al Hussein Cultural Center taken by Robert Reeder, an ex pro photographer visiting Amman.   Musically, it was the kanoon playing of Tewfik Mirkham (sp?) that was luminous.

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My endless search for actual music collections was finally rewarded on the last day of my visit to Amman with a trip to The Jordan Radio and Television Corp.   Our animated host, Ms. Hala Zureiqat, Director of Jordan Television, listened to our pitch, conferred with her Director, then nearly shouted, “We’re in!”   What has made this trip rewarding is that so many people in the region are willing to support the Muslim World Music Day -  a new idea, on first hearing – so enthusiastically.

In one of the rehearsal rooms we were treated to a short concert by 73 year old singer Mohammed Wahib – sweet, toothless and energetic.  The song is, “Slaima.”

The station has saved nearly its entire history since the 60s on reel to reel tape, and it is mostly catalogued.  The recent past is digitized and can be called up inhouse, electronically.   But for me the real fun was to finally see some real vinyl – 45s, LPs and a full shelf unit of approx 4,300 seventy-eights.

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We will work to make sure this material is cataloged for the project and who knows what trash or treasures we will unearth.  Maybe an early Nabataean disc?





Some RIPs

7 07 2009
Best_small_MJ

Ghostly Visit to 54 White St

Well, the Summer Sale is over and was a great success.  Thanks to all who braved the rain and helped us out by carting off our wretched excess.  We’ve neglected the blog for a while, so here’s some recent things that caught our eye/ear.  And it’s more than the weather that has made me a bit cranky.

Midsummer Night Swing (a fine roster of entertainment from an organization that I boycott because of the segregation of a paying and not paying sections, non payers getting lousy sound) will feature our very own archivist – DJ: Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus.  Fred will play the pony, twist and way funkier stuff, pre –mid + post The Chubby Checker set.   It’s this Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 6:30.  Dance Lesson at 6:30, Live Music at 8:30, Damrosch Park, 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam.  They don’t say it upfront (because they are ashamed) and they hide the single event price (pushing an $80 batch of tickets), but you can actually get on the dance floor for ONLY $15.

Other shocking news is that one of the best Rai singers is in the clink.   Reuters reports that Cheb Mami (Mohamed Khelifati ) got 5 years from a French court for trying to force his girlfriend to have an abortion.  It wasn’t just that he offered a strong polemic; it seems he had her kidnapped, drugged, and he and his henchmen attempted an amateur operation at the star’s villa in Algeria.   A light sentence if you ask me.

I‘ve often abandoned artists with reprehensible acts in their resumes.  Not that my vote counts, but if you shoot your wife in the head (Wm Burrohs) or seem ‘fascinated’ by fascism (any old Futurist), or that joining the Hitler Youth is good training for being the Pope, well, you lost me.

A speaking of the wrong person in a nice place, Prince is once again slated to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival – the closing act no less.  What, they couldn’t book Hanna Montana?   That there is so little imagination left in this world is baffling.  Prince is but one of too many non-jazz acts, making the festival indistinguishable from all the other Euro summerfare.  Call me naïve, but I believe a jazz festival should book jazz artists.

Diddly_signed_sml On the bright side, one donation during the sale brought in a signed copy of, Have Guitar Will Travel, by that world renowned jazz artist, Bo Diddley.  For youguns out there, the calling card and travelin’ theme on this LP comes from a late 50s-early 60s TV western “Have Gun Will Travel” starring Richard Boone.  His character, Paladin, was a mustachioed knight-errant, schizo-ing between tails and all-black westernwear.

Finally, I’m torn between my hatred of the lowest common denominator and corporate media rule, in an AP story of Disney having its lawsuit dismissed against the masterminds (?) behind the animated comedy (?) Family Guy, for their off-color parody of “When You Wish Upon A  Star” from Pinocchio, sung by Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike).  The only thing worse than a lame parody, it the protection of an imagined sacred source.

So in memorial, after you hit Forest Lawn for a MJ deathpeek, grab a uke and mosey over to visit Cliff Edwards at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in Burbank.  We have no idea where Vibe is buried, but it’s gone too…

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