A Hollow Muscular Organ

14 02 2014

Yes, it’s that time of year again

– Happy V day from your pals @ the ARC – B, Fred + Quinn!

BlandHarpo





Paris – Day 9 – Europunk + the Anonymous B.George

28 12 2013

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Today a visit to the immense and impressive music complex at the Parc de la Villette to see the exhibition Europunk @ the Cité de la Musique. Cité is a wonderful space hosting a musical instrument museum, concert, teaching and listening areas, a library and special exhibitions.

Europunk showcases the influences and output of punk music from 1976-1980 within the region. I believe this music in the EU emphasized style and image more than in America, and this is reflected in the show. After all we had no interested fashion, print publishing or graphics industry, nor a Svengali (McLaren), to push it forward as a commodity. This partially explains identifying the designers of the recordings and most of the posters, but in a show dedicated to music, not listing the names of the record company, band members, or manufactures numbers on the museum walls or in the publication.  Creepy.  They did manage to list the names of all the donors.

The look is quite good and a good solution to safely displaying a great deal of fragile ephemera in a cost effective manner – strong magnets to metal board. But here again, would you post a Matisse drawing with four metal bits on the quadrants? OK, Sniffin’ Glue is not a Fauve masterpiece, but the presentation disrespects the objects they present in a museum as art works. Punks can have it both ways, curators can’t.

So here’s a few of my ups and downs. No cassettes (important part of DIY movement and only access to any public at all by the truly indie music maker). Only one book of the era.  Crass get a nice display, but ATV? Odd considering the space given to Sniffin’. Hey, if you display ‘The day the world turned Day-glo’ 45 by X-ray Spex, how about showing the sorta dayglo disc? (first 15,000 pressed in orange vinyl). Nice – the touchscreen computer ‘jukeboxes’ with country by country playlists – would be nice to see more of this material on the walls. A revelation for me was the graphics by the French collective Bazooka and that of Lulu Picasso.

Here’s the kicker; MY record from 1978, Punkappella, is in the show. So like some ‘anonymous’ female quilter I am not identified on the wall or in the book! My name is on the cover. My company name is on the cover. I suggest that anyone doing a show on music in the future consider a new invention that is a very nice research support tool; the Internet. Discogs, for one, insightfully describing Punkappella as, ‘A Persiflage On Punk.’ And by the way, I am not a European.

Show from Oct 15, 2013 – Jan 19, 2014. So if you’re a wannabe or remembering you’re wilder days you may or may not have lived, its 9E ($12.50, w/ some discounts and free days) to enter and 40E ($60) for the oversize paperbound catalog. I passed on the book, despite my interest in the material, because it is a picture book and does not contain a discography or properly identify ANY of the recordings.

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Paris – Day six – L’Empire des Signes

24 12 2013

The Marché de Noël des Abbesses in Montmartre was offering a course on Roland Barthes this Christmas Eve, with vinyl examples…

record_Sign13Here a vendor uses the disc to advertise his wares.  Enamored by it’s surface, and delighted by its re-application, I forgot to read it, or have a drink.

painted records

Using vinyl discs as a canvas deKo Facto creates objects depicting musical icons and images.  Is a appropriately corresponding disc used, or are the Beatles adorning an Abba LP?  What meaning/songs lie beneath the red Steve McQueen vs the blue?  Doesn’t Serge seem to be listening?  Who is the author?  Sign or symbol?  Lost in this plurality of meaning, my head spinning (like a record), am I quoting Pete Burns, Little Nell, Adam Sandler, or yet another re-mix?  A simple fellows seeking universal meaning in a closed situation I opt for the obvious bourgeois solution; lunch.





SUNDAY – Final Day of ARC’s Holiday Sale

14 12 2013

Sun Dec 15 – Outside it looks like this…D+Kwinter13Inside it’s warm and colorfulpunchbowl– not only records, but lots of lovely housewares from donated estates like this “Slick and Fancy” Jeannette glass punchbowl set with enough cups to egg-knock over your whole family.

Great stuff, good people, all to help support the not-for-profit ARChive of Contemporary Music.  More vinyl and CDs than we’ve had in years – all genres and formats – 45s, LPs, CDs, cassettes, books, posters, DVDs, VHS, magazine and a vintage flea market + yard sale! An incredible collection of punk/new wave 45s + LPs, 3 big boxes of Christmas LPs, 12″ singles and sound effects for sampling.

SUNDAY SPECIALS – all $1 + $2 items, half off. THEN take 10% off the final total if you buy 10 items or more. more info : 212-226-6967   Please tell all your friend about our sale and help support the ARC!





The Wine Is Gone, but We Still Have Plenty of Records

6 12 2013

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Archivist Quinn MacRorie pictured before the start of our sale.  Notice the custom ARC wine label courtesy City Winery!

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After the ARC Party, no more wine, but we still have lots of great stuff on the wall!

Last night’s members party at the archive was a great success. As you can see from the “After” picture, all of the excellent LPs displayed on our wall before the party started were snatched up by our record-hungry attendees. Fortunately, we have plenty of other excellent selections to replace them, all of which will be available for purchase when our sale officially begins tomorrow at 11:00AM. Get ’em while they’re hot!

ARChive of Contemporary Music • 54 White Street in Tribeca.  Sale everyday from Saturday, Dec 7 through Sunday, Dec 15, from 11am to 6pm.  Cash only – all to benefit the library.





ARC Holiday Record + CD Sale! Dec 7 – 15

3 12 2013

Our Holiday Sale Starts this weekend, and we hope to see you there!
Great stuff, good people, all to help support the not-for-profit
ARChive of Contemporary Music.

A full week of X-mas shopping fun. more than 25,000 items – More vinyl and CDs than we’ve had in years – all genres and formats – 45s, LPs, CDs, cassettes, books, posters, DVDs, VHS, magazine and a vintage flea market + yard sale! An incredible collection of punk/new wave 45s + LPs, 3 big boxes of Christmas LPs, 12″ singles and sound effects for sampling + Lou Reed section.

Join the ARC and become a member. Members attend our Holiday Party on Thursday evening, Dec. 5th.
Food + drink donated by Bonnie’s Grill, Two Boots, The City Winery and Royal Wine Merchants.

ARChive of Contemporary Music  • 54 White St.  Tribeca  NYC   •  info@arcmusic.org  •  more info : 212-226-6967

Please tell all your friends about our sale and help support the ARC!





ARC Holiday Record + CD Sale! Dec 7 – 15

19 11 2013

home_imageThe LONG wait is over.  More than 20,000 never before offered recordings just in time for the Holidays.  Join us as for one week every December ARC is the largest record store in New York City!

when: Sat Dec 7-Sun Dec 15, everyday 11 am – 6 pm
where: Our Tribeca space – 54 White St, ground floor
directions: 3 short blocks south of Canal St, between Broadway + Church Take the #1 train to Franklin, or any train to Canal
why: To support the preservation and research activities at the ARC
what: 25,000+ recordings-all genres and formats – 45s, LPs, CDs, cassettes, books, posters, DVDs, VHS, magazine and a vintage flea market + yard sale!
specials: This year there is an incredible collection of punk/new wave 45s + LPs, 3 big boxes of X-mas LPs, more CDs than ever before, + a special Lou Reed section. 100s of modern art, experimental + modern Classical LPs – Glass/Varese/Crumb/Carter/Satie.

All recordings never offered before – we start fresh every sale.  All styles of music in all formats. Cheaper than online prices, no shipping costs and cheaper than downloading.

We hope you can lend a hand by making a donation or joining the ARC. Memberships start @ $50 annually + you can join online via our NYcharities.org page (best for matching funds) or through paypal using the button below.

Paper people can always post a donation/membership by mail.

Members attend our pre-sale party on Thurs. evening, Dec 5. Here they can meet fellow ARC supporters, and enjoy food, drink + early shopping.

You can also donate materials. Clean out that closet, check under the bed, un-deck those halls. ARC accepts any and all music related ‘stuff.’ – LPs, CDs, 45s, 8-tracks, books, posters, swag, press kits, memorabilia and ephemera. All contributions are tax deductible.

More than 250,000 recordings are donated to the ARC every year; we sort through these, make sure we have the two best copies in our collection, and sell off third copies. Our sale improves the permanent collection, frees up space and offers everyone a fresh crop of great recordings.

So PLEASE lend a hand – donate, shop and tell folks about our sale! Is that too much to ask?

Contact us if you need more information.
212-226-6967 info@arcmusic.org
ARC: 54 White St, NYC, 10013
Thanks!





Do “The Ostrich” one last time…

29 10 2013

With the passing of an artist that one admires, one always returns to favorite works by that artist in order to commemorate him or her; in this case, Lou Reed.

Around 1963 or so, after graduating from college in Syracuse, where he played in frat bands, Lou Reed returned to New York City and tried to get into the music business. Apparently he fell in with some musicians who worked for Pickwick International, a super budget music business conglomerate; meaning it was a record company that needed product, and a music publisher that needed songs. No teen fad was too lame for this company to exploit. Dance crazes, surf music, British invasion—Pickwick would be right there, usually a dollar short and a day late.

Although it yearned to be a Tin Pan Alley-type player, Pickwick was more like the dollar store equivalent of the Brill Building. Who knows if a single song it generated ever became a hit record? One of Pickwick’s methods of doing business seemed to be this: Watch the chart for hit artists, license available recordings by said hit artists—usually tracks cut long before artists were popular—and issue them on new LPs. If there were not enough material to fill an album, Pickwick songwriters would write, produce and record to order in a similar vein.

Lou Reed was such a songwriter for Pickwick. He co-wrote and recorded such songs as “Little Cycle Annie,” “You’re Driving Me Insane” and “But I’ll Getcha” and the songs were released on these kinds of albums under the names The Beachnuts, The Roughnecks and The J Brothers, respectively.

In 1964, another “group” he recorded with, The Primitives, released a single on Pickwick called “The Ostrich.” It’s a ridiculous dance number that nobody could ever do with Lou Reed talk/singing (as he did his whole career) impossible directions: “everybody get down on your face!” However, it starts with a hot, stinging, one-note guitar riff before going into a full-on “Then He Kissed Me” groove, complete with party noises, wild screams, pounding tambourines and gibberish singing. About a minute and twenty seconds into the track, a very Velvet Underground-like, one-note vamp is hit and John Cale’s viola is clearly heard for a couple seconds before returning to the regular groove—about fifteen seconds featuring shapes of things to come. The record is futuristic minimalism disguised as a disposable, simplistic, teen-dance romp! For all intents and purposes, there is little difference between “The Ostrich” and “Sister Ray,” except for the length of the track. Less than a year later, Reed, Cale, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker were in a studio with Nico and Andy Warhol cutting the first Velvet Underground album.

“The Ostrich” has been known to exchange hands for vast amounts of money.

http://collectorsfrenzy.com/details/220886303903/PRIMITIVES_THE_LOU_REED_in_group_PICKWICK_1001_The_OstrichSneaky_Pete_promo

with thanks to:

http://olivier.landemaine.free.fr/prevu/lrprevu.html

http://thehoundblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/velvet-underground-pre-op.html

By Freddie Patterson, Senior Archivist





Grubby Dub Surfaces

15 07 2013

Everyone knows that ARC has the BEST interns in the American League, and today’s All-Star is Arlo, who, while inspecting classical LPs for surface worthiness, discovered some booklets stuffed inappropriately in inappropriate sleeves.

DubPoet_scan 1smlWho could have have thought to place these very pricey items (going for up to $125 online) into totally trashed Bach variations?  And why did they choose to snack on Jerk Chicken over the only illustrated page of ‘Inglan’?

DubPoet_scanSmiBut we’re glad to have them, and lucky that Arlo checked before he chucked.

If you’ve listened to the recorded versions of Linton Kwesi Johnson’s dub poetry, the righteous rhetoric tempered by tasty licks, you know how glad we are to have found these.  As Wiki claims, “In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series.”

But I prefer the wax.  Here’s a list of the LKJ LP recording here at the ARC.

• A cappella Live  (Lkj, CD 016, 5”, compact disc, 1996)
• Bass Culture  (Island, UK, ILPS 9605, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• Bass Culture  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9605, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• Dread Beat An’ Blood  (Heartbeat, USA, 01, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp   , 1981)
• Forces of Victory  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9566, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1979)
• Forces of Victory  (Island, UK, ILPS 9566, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1979)
• In Concert With the Dub Band  (Rough Trade, Rough78/LKJ 006, 12”, vinyl disc-LP)
• In Concert With the Dub Band  (Shanachie, USA, 43034/5, 12″, vinyl disc-2Lp, 1985)
• LKJ in Dub  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9650, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• LKJ in Dub  (Mango, UK, RRCD 34 / (510 170-2), 5”, compact disc,1980)
• LKJ in Dub Volume 2  (LKJ, UK, LKJ LP 009, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1992)
• Making History  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9770, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1984)
• Reggae Greats Linton Kwesi Johnson (Mango, USA, MLPS 9786, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1984)
• Tings An’ Times  (Shanachie, USA, 43084, 5″, compact disc,1991)

There are a lot more out there – feel free to stuff a few into a Bach folio and send ’em on down to the ARC…





2 new adds 2 The Keith Richards Blues Collection + 1 Jazz LP

9 07 2013

Our fearless leader here at the ARC, known affectionately as B., often prowls rural flea markets, combing the stalls for unique and/or interesting sound recordings. The recent Fourth of July weekend was no exception, as B. returned with an armful of 12-inch discs.

Among them were three LPs of note: “Low Down Blues” by Champion Jack Dupree (Continental CLP-16002), a compilation entitled “Rhythm and Blues” on the UK Decca label, and “Sweet Swingin’ Stuff” by Stuff Smith.

LowDownBluesWebThe Champion Jack album is of note because it collates the songs from his three 78s on the Continental label in one place. Dupree, as we all know, was one of the finest blues pianists of all time, New Orleans born and bred. He had a LONG career, recording as early as 1940 and even made a couple fine albums in 1990 and 1991 before he died in 1992. In the liner notes to the album at hand, the clearly un-informed writer states that singer Dupree is accompanied by “a regrettably anonymous but very excellent blues piano player.” The writer also forgets to note the bass player, Count Edmonson, according to several discographies. The guitarist Brownie McGhee is duly noted; indeed, he is listed on the album cover but his name is misspelled. The session is a fine one, recorded in 1945, it harkens back to the classic, pre-war piano-guitar duet that was so popular during the Thirties. The version of Leroy Car & Scrapper Blackwell’s “How Long How Long Blues” accentuates that concept.

Side two of the album is much more mysterious, noted as by “Sonnie and Lonnie.” The writer states that Lonnie is Lonnie Johnson, a pianist who is not to be confused with the more famous legendary guitarist with the exact same name. Further information regarding Sonnie is not presented. According to some discographies, this is Teddy “Sonny Boy” Smith (one of the lesser known blues “Sonny Boys”). According to others he is listed only as “A. Smith.” A second guitarist, Sam Bradley, is not even noted by the writer. These six sides were also once issued on Continental 78s and, as the Champion Jack material, were presented here for the first time on a 33 1/3 RPM microgroove LP, manufactured probably around 1961, with a high quality, semi-laminate gatefold cover.

The cover is worth noting because, upon opening it, the first page is nearly blank, save for “technical data” small print on the bottom; the second page contains the track listing and the briefest of credits, plus the almost-helpful liner notes. Turn the page and there are TWO entirely blank pages. Couldn’t Continental Records come up with some photos of Dupree or McGhee (who were both still alive in 1961) or at least more accurate and complete notes about the sessions?

But the music is great, and the album is worth seeking.

R&B_DeccaWeb“Rhythm and Blues” is a collection of British blues and R&B recordings from the early sixties. When discussing British blues, it is occasionally said that the English cannot play the blues.

This argument is pretty much shattered by the compilation at hand. These acts—Dave Berry, The Graham Bond ORGANisation, Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, John Mayall and the Blues Breakers and Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band—are all fine proponents of the style. True, two of Berry’s three tracks are slightly pop-oriented, but his version of Bo Diddley’s “Diddley Daddy” is good. Instead of turning it into a haul-ass romp as most Brits did with blues material during the Sixties, he kept Bo Diddley’s lopping tempo and spiffed it up with odd guitar breaks.

It’s true that Britain never produced a singer with the vocal power of Howlin’ Wolf—and unfortunately John Mayall’s two songs here exemplify that fact. However, Mayall’s songs are likable and one cannot doubt his sincerity when he sings a tribute to Elmore James who had recently passed when “Mr. James” was written.

The bands of Zoot Money and Alexis Korner (known as the “Founding Father of British Blues”) turn in recordings (two each) that can be considered archetypal, pre-Rolling Stones/Yardbirds/Animals-style British R&B. The album contains five tracks by the Graham Bond ORGANisation and these are the best of the lot. Bond’s organ-driven combo stomps through the given material with a lot of enthusiasm and little reverence, the way it should be no matter where you come from!

British Blues may not be authentic blues in the strictest sense, but it is an original style of playing the blues, and therefore authentic—especially when performed by these guys.

This album has historical value of course, because many of the big classic rock stars produced by England learned their trade playing in these bands. Eric Clapton and members of Fleetwood Mac played with Mayall (though after these recordings); Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce are on the Bond and Korner tracks; Charlie Watts also played with Korner at one time; Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones recorded with Dave Berry (though not on these tracks); Zoot Money influenced Eric Burdon, etc.

Stuff_SmithWebThe story on the Stuff Smith album is all about the cover—a photo of an extremely square-looking white couple used to market an LP of jazz made by African American men! Granted, “jazz violin” may not be the hippest thing under the sun, but the way Stuff Smith played it, it was pretty close. There is no way that the art director for this cover even listened to the music; and quite possibly did not know the title, either: “Sweet Swingin’ Stuff.” Nothing about this cover swings, but the music sure does!
(B note : my cost $2)

Fred Patterson








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