Uncategorized

You are currently browsing the archive for the Uncategorized category.

Once again Noiseland Industries will have a Twin Cities exclusive for Record Store Day available in all your favorite shops, including Hymie’s. You may recall the American Buffalo compilations of the past couple years (you may even have one in your collection) — this year’s special record is a 7″ single of two songs from Lizzo‘s upcoming album on Virgin Records.

Noiseland provides top quality vinyl pressing and cd production not only to performers here in the local scene, but all over the country. Last year’s Record Store Day release of Willie Nelson’s early demos for the Ray Price publishing company (Crazy) was a Noiseland product, for instance, as are several of this year’s special releases, including the Dolly Parton single.

NLcmyk-logo-useWhat we have always liked about Noiseland is the imprint they’ve had on the Twin Cities scene — if you’ve been following local music as enthusiastically as we have, there’s at least a couple Noiseland lp’s or cd’s on your shelves. Several of the performers on our RSD block party bill made their albums there. It’s one of those awesome resources we have that other citys don’t.

As with the past couple years we’ll be offering their special release (two new Lizzo songs!) with any purchase of a new local LP, no matter what it is. My we recommend, for instance, the Erik Koskinen album we’re listening to right now or Martin Devaney’s House of Rust (and guess where they was made!) or Black Diet‘s debut disc, the release of which we will be celebrating on Saturday. We’ll have about fifty copies of the Lizzo single for you, possibly more, and they’ll be first come/first serve.

noiseland

Only one of these awesome new local releases in the shop was not made through Noiseland Industries — can you spot it?

 

crumb7AHunting-for-old-78s-page-1-775x1024 crumb6AHunting-for-old-78s-page-2-775x1024

Twenty-five years ago today an oil tanker ran aground in the Prince William Sound, spilling a half-million or more gallons of oil into the sea. At the time it was the greatest natural disaster our nation had caused for itself (passed in 2010 by the Deepwater Horizon disaster). The shockingly slow industry response became a (forgive the term) watershed moment, galvanizing not only environmental/conservation movements but also the courage of class action suits against corporations.

exxon_valdezLegal battles over the Exxon Valdez spill are still ongoing today. A 2008 documentary, Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez, explores the environmental and human costs of the disaster. You can watch the film here online, but you will probably have a hard time getting to the end without a broken heart.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“The Oil Song” by Steven Forbert

This morning we read about the anniversary in our Sunday paper about the herring, the whales and the otters on the anniversary, but the article mentioned nothing of the people who lived in Cordova, Alaska.

Here’s a peculiar record we’ve always loved, surely an example of something that is rare but not valuable, at least in the money sense — it’s a test pressing of songs by Pop Wagner, the Twin Cities’ awesome-est cowboy fiddler. He wrote the song “Good Friday” after performing in Cordova, Alaska just before the disaster. Dakota Dave Hull explains it in the notes to the album he and Pop made together (Airship) here:

He stayed with friends who were getting ready for the herring run which was on its way north. Their plan was to harvest herring roe for the lucrative market in Japan where it is used for “happy food” or, as we westerners would say, hors d’oeuvres. On Good Friday, Pop deplaned in Juneau where he saw the headlines and the photo of the Exxon Valdez run aground on Bligh Reef. He wrote this song a few weeks later.

Pop’s song was one of the only we’ve ever heard that acknowledged the enormous human cost of the disaster (not to dismiss the suffering of the sea creatures we more often see in oily images). If you’re able to make it through the wrenching documentary about Cordova, you’ll understand our surprise and sadness on this anniversary.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Good Friday” by Pop Wagner

photoWe offered this record to Pop Wagner last time he was here in the shop, and he demurred with characteristic modesty. We’re not sure this six-track 12″ was ever made into an official release (we’ve never found one). He recorded “Good Friday” with Dakota Dave Hull, and some of the other songs at other times.

It seems like this is a really good time to point out that if you’d like to see Pop Wagner perform, he’s part of the awesome celebration of Pete Seeger’s 95th birthday organized by Larry Long, who brought a flyer into the shop this week. It’s at the Fitzgerald Theater on May 3rd (it’s on their calendar here).

Maybe it’s also something to consider next time you start your car, or next time you buy some plastic bullshit at Target just to replace something fixable that you didn’t need in the first place. And maybe this is too much for a blog about records, too preachy. It’s not like we’ve got a choice about where we have to go with those cars — We’ll go where the work is. We’re all stuck in an oil/plastic nightmare but at the very least we’re in better shape than the people who depended on the Prince William Sound were on this day twenty-five years ago.

yvonne“Cassarole me Over” by Yvonne Eliman is, in the opinion of this record store, second only to “I Love Tortillas” as the best food song ever.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

yvonne 2

We learned about Josef Albers from a very nice couple that came into the record shop this month — they were looking for albums for which he had created art, and described him to us as a principle 20th century ‘color theorist.’

Josef Albers was born in 1888 and lived the first half of his life in Germany — he was one of many artists and intellectuals who fled their country when the Nazi Party took power. Through an American contact he found a job in North Carolina, teaching at Black Mountain College, where he stayed until 1949. The following year Albers took a position at Yale University’s graphic arts program which he kept until his retirement nine years later.

As an artists Albers’ work is best represented by his Homage to the Square, a series of oil paintings on masonite that he began in 1949. For record collectors he is most distinguished by his cover art for Enoch Light’s Command Records a decade after he began his famous series of paintings.

The records celebrated the then-novel idea of stereo, as well as amusing pre-exotica rhythmic experiments. The first two Provocative Percussion albums were performed by an orchestra directed by Terry Snyder. Albers’ art was enormously influential on record cover design for many years in the early 60s.

persuasive perc

provacative perc 2

provacative perc

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“You’re the Tops”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Somebody Loves Me”

 

 

midnight rainbowsAlthough it was just a couple years ago that he passed away, Joe South stopped making records after Midnight Rainbows was released in 1975. Before that release he had been silent for a couple years following the death of his brother Tommy.

“I flipped out. I just went completely into the ether after my brother’s death,” he explains to Jeff Walker, who wrote the liner notes to Midnight Rainbows. “I just had to get away so I went to the Islands, caught Polynesian paralysis and just lived in the jungles of Maui for a couple of years.”

We re-ran our tribute to Joe after he passed away, but didn’t update it to include this relatively uncommon album. In many ways it is a continuation of the songs that made South famous, like “Walk a Mile in my Shoes” and “Games People Play.”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Johnny Horton, in an undated appearance on the Jimmy Dean Show. According to the promotional record below the song was inspired by Freedomland, USA.

johnny horton

freedomland

What is Freedomland, USA? And when can we go there?! It’s been ages since the last Hymie’s Records field trip.

Freedomland, USA was “The World’s Largest Outdoor Family Entertainment Center,” created by Cornelius Vanderbilt Wood in a corner of the Bronx on the site of a former landfill. True to the record it was over two hundred acres and shaped like this great nation, but the actual amusement park portion was only about eighty-five acres.

The park was divided into ‘themed regions,’ such as New Orleans, the Great Plains, Chicago 1871, and — our favorite — Satellite City. In Satellite City visitors could tour the future, which included a moving sidewalk, a simulated rocket, and futuristic cars.

Also in Satellite City was the Moon Bowl, built in 1961. The impressive list of performers in the Moon Bowl include the Everly Brothers, Count Basie and Benny Goodman and their Orchestras, and the stars of Car 54, Where Are You?

Sadly, we cannot visit Freedomland, USA. The park filed for bankruptcy in 1964, closing the following year. Its massive parking lot was quickly developed into housing, and today the park itself is the site of the Bay Plaza Shopping Center, which includes an Applebee’s, a Marshall’s, a Toys-R-Us and (we don’t have these here in Minnesota) a Daffy’s.

Our love of Tree Party is no secret, but sometimes it takes a new record for us to get more invested in that which came before.  The self titled Tree Party disc (with “TP” hot iron branded onto the cover) was released a few years ago, and we listened to it and liked it then.  But it took our recent affection for Iced Over for us to give it another listen.  And then another.

tp branded

Andy Carroll’s track, “Why Want Why” has been on repeat in my brain since we saw Tree Party perform it at the “Iced Over” release at the Cedar (and then again at Hymie’s, a week later).  The lyrics are so simple but so intense, and just vague enough to be heartbreaking.

If you want to find me/Fade it out
If you need, if you need/I’ll find you

Cuz I don’t need your luxury, I just want to be

Out here all alone

If you go, if you go/Take it all
All those fears that you feel/Weigh us down

Cuz I don’t need your luxury, I just want to be
Out here all alone
I don’t need your luxury I just want to be
Out here all alone

 
In the end, in the end/You’ll forgive me
100 years from now/No one will know

The ides of March is a tough time for many, and we are no exception.  The light changes and we go back to dark mornings, and spring plays with us: giving us one day in the 50s and the next not climbing out of the 20s.   This song brings me both hope and despair, and right now I feel like it’s the perfect mix of the two.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

letter

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Be Nice to People with Lice” by Alan Sparhawk

Why the Library of Congress continues to overlook this song when it’s adding to the National Recordings Registry is a mystery to us. Maybe next year.

bull and the beaver

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“The Bull and the Beaver” by Merle Haggard & Leona Williams

« Older entries

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.