We were shocked by the news earlier today that the Triple Rock Social Club will be closing next month. The venerable West Bank venue has not offered a reason for the closure, but rumors will certainly circulate soon. It is an enormous loss for the Twin Cities music community.

One of us celebrated their 21st birthday at the Triple Rock. This was back when the space where the stage is now was just a parking lot. It was an awesome bar before there was a venue, and always remained a nice place to stop in the evening for a drink with a friend.

Hymies hosted our second winter clearance sale at the Triple Rock in 2012 with live music by West Bank legends along side young acts like the (then up-and-coming) Cactus Blossoms. The show was a financial disaster for the record store but a resounding musical success, and thereby totally worth all the work. The folks at the Triple Rock were a dream to work with as they have been for more local bands than we could possibly count.

We had so many incredible musical experiences in that venue, and so many good times with friends dating back to that first fall after they opened, that we are deeply disappointed to hear of its closure. Whatever the reason, the Triple Rock will live on in our hearts as a magical place.

We have seen so many copies of Switched-On Bach over the years that we couldn’t begin to count them. The 1968 album of Moog synthesizer renditions of Bach’s music had sold more than a million copies by the mid-70s, topping Billboard’s classical chart for years and peaking at #10 on the pop chart.

Wendy Carlos had worked with Robert Moog on the development of his synthesizer, and even used one to make experimental recordings and music for television commercials.

For many record collectors the album remains an introduction to the instrument. For us it also remains one of the goofiest album covers of all time.

For starters, this is not Wendy Carlos dressed as Bach on the cover. Carlos, who became one of the first figures to publicly speak about being transgender in a Playboy interview in 1979, is never photographed on her albums and has rarely made public appearance during her long career. She has only given one live performance.

We can’t help but wonder where the man on the jacket is today. He’s one of those famous record album people, like the man seen on the cover of Abbey Road who didn’t like the Beatles music. or the couple seen on the Woodstock soundtrack who are still together. Oh, Moog Bach guy, where are you now?

You may be surprised to learn that the cover seen here is not the album’s original jacket. The first pressing of this unexpected hit features Moog Bach guy seated, apparently displeased with what he was hearing. Carlos and collaborator Benjamin Folkman objected to the image, which they felt insinuated that the music was not to be taken seriously.

Seated or standing, this scene featuring Moog Bach guy remains silly. What’s he reading? We can’t tell the title of the big book on his bench. Why does he keep flowers in front of his Moog console? Seems like they would get in the way. It’s nice that he took time to put a lace doily on the table before setting up his synthesizer, because otherwise it could have damaged the finish. He really should be more careful where he puts his candles, though, because it seems precariously close to the dried plant on top of his bookcase.

And the cat! Have you ever noticed there’s cat in the room! We only noticed it yesterday. This is absolutely our favorite thing about this album now. Moog Bach guy has a cat that sort of looks like a little version of himself. Did they have trouble getting it to sit still? It doesn’t seem to have moved in either version of the cover. Maybe the cat really liked the music.

 

 

Saturday’s evening in-store performance is especially meaningful to us here at your friendly neighborhood record store. Ben Weaver was the first person to perform in our shop after we moved nearly a decade ago, and has performed here regularly ever since. His 2015 album I Would Rather Be a Buffalo was the first LP released with our name on the label, and is still one of the things we are most proud of in the long legacy of this record store.

Earlier this year he released his latest album in a CD package which contains a small book of poetry. Sees Like A River is a collaboration with Alpha Consumer and also includes spoken word pieces by Ben (his website is here). Ben has consistently participated in and led bicycle rides and advocacy while also working to support river cleanup projects.

Performing on Saturday is also an old friend of ours, Mike Munson. His knock-down foot-stomplin’ live album is one of the best-selling CDs in the history of our record store (probably because we listen to it all the time) and also one of the most underrated blues records since the millennium. After a lot of digging into the digits, we found this picture of Mike performing at our 2016 block party (with percussionist extraordinaire Mikkel Beckmen) but we couldn’t find one of the pictures we took of the crowd from the other side. Maybe somebody reading is the photographer who took that picture — we’d love to be able to share it! Mike amazed everyone that day, as he does every time he performs (and his website is here).

Regular readers here are sure to be familiar with these guys. We love them. Ben and Mike will be performing here at Hymies on Saturday evening at 5pm.

We love to follow up on past posts, and today’s is a sequel to this one about albums by little brothers. We found a few more — the first of which is by Mick Jagger’s younger brother Chris. He made three albums in the early 70s, and again returned to recording with a new album in 1994 and several since. In the interim, Jagger was an investor in the Staccato Guitar Company.

chris-jagger-lp-1 chris-jagger-lp-2

This Frank Stallone album was such an awesome find we had to share two songs. We had no idea he made music until we came across this copy. According to the hype sticker on the jacket, “Far From Over” was a hit. We thought this was hype sticker hyperbole until we looked it up: “Far From Over,” from the soundtrack to Staying Alive, reached Billboard’s top ten in 1983. The version heard here was re-mixed for Stallone’s self-titled debut album, which also produced a second song to reach the Hot 100 chart.

frank-stallone-lp

Frank Stallone starred in a short-lived sitcom with fellow celebrity siblings Don Swayze and Joey Travolta, but he’s actually done a lot more than just be Sly’s little brother. Frank Stallone has an official website that you know you want to see, and on it we learned that he will send you an autograph if you send him a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Louise Goffin is the daughter of songwriting team Carole King and Jerry Goffin, born in 1960 when they were still married. She made her debut performance opening for Jackson Browne after having sung backing vocals on several of her mother’s albums. Not long after her first album, Kid Blue, was released. The record was produced by Danny Kortchmar, Carole King’s guitarist and onetime bandmate in her first group, the City.

Our friend Reina del Cid and her awesome band stopped by your friendly neighborhood record shop last week to perform one of our favorite Tom Petty songs!

John Sebastian performs Bach’s Sonata no 1 in B Minor for Flute and Piano on a four-octave chromatic harmonica. He is accompanied by pianist Paul Ulanowsky.

Performing on the same instrument, George Fields performs the popular “Prelude and Fugue” from The Well Tempered Clavier, Book II. Through the magic of overdubbing (the true “classical gasp” of the venture) Fields accompanies himself on the bass harmonica.

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