Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Show 35: City Songs - Odds & Ends

We’re bringing our “City Songs” series to an end... for the time being at least. These are leftover city songs that didn’t really fit into any other program in the series...

Song 1 : : My Little Grass Shack
Artist : : The Catamaran Serenaders
Album : : Tempos of Tahiti

A chance to play some Tiki music as part of the City Songs series... This one’s about a little place called Kealakekua. I’m cheating here... Kealakekua is not a city. It is a real place though...
Here is a little info on The Catamaran Serenaders.

* * *

Song 2 : : On the Beach at Waikiki
Artist : : The Outriggers
Album : : Captivation

Waikiki is also a real place... a neighborhood (and beach!) in the city of Honolulu. I’ve played this song before. This is from a great album of “Hawaiian Mood” music...

* * *

Song 3 : : Lisbon Antigua
Artist : : The Three Suns
Album : : On a Magic Carpet

Did you think you’d get away without hearing a Three Suns song today. From Lisbon, Portugal...

* * *

Song 4 : : Rio
Artist : : Manfredo
Album : : Evolucao

... to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. No info about this good LP on the Brazilian RGE label. Cover art here.

* * *

Song 5 : : Copacabana
Artist : : Michel Magne
Album : : Tropical Fantasy

Copacabana is a borough in the southern part of Rio... This is from a record many regard to be an exotica classic. I can’t say I’m all that crazy about it. Some info here.

* * *

Song 6 : : Festa em San Juan
Artist : : Conjunto Sergio Carvalho
Album : : Alta Tensao

This is another Brazilian tune... but I don’t know which “San Juan” the title is referring to. In fact, I don’t think there is a San Juan in Brazil. I love this record... some really great tracks on here.

* * *

Song 7 : : The Moon of Manakoora
Artist : : The Outriggers
Album : : Captivation

The Outriggers again... and me cheating again. There is no city called Manakoora. There is no place called Manakoora... but we can dream, can’t we?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Show 34: Esquivel in the Snow

What can I tell you about Juan Garcia Esquivel that any self-respecting fan of space-age-pop doesn’t already know? Not much... so I won’t even try. You can look up some info here and here if you’re really clueless.

I want to pay tribute to the king of space age pop on this week’s show because I like to do artist birthday tributes once in awhile (Esquivel was born on January 20, 1918 and died on January 3, 2002)... but also because – even though many of us who rediscovered this kind of music in the 90s have moved on to digging up up other obscure stuff – it’s good to remember how things started.

Two songs with a snow-theme start the program (‘cuz it really snowed for the first time this season just last week), two Esquivel remixes follow (from last year’s Esquivel tribute), and the show closes with a track that’s as close as I can get to Canadian content when playing Esquivel music.

Song 1 : : Snowfall
Artist : : Juan Garcia Esquivel
Album : : More of Other Worlds, Other Sounds

* * *

Song 2 : : Sun Valley Ski Run
Artist : : Juan Garcia Esquivel
Album : : Merry Xmas from the Space-Age Bachelor Pad

* * *

Song 3 : : Noche y Dia
Artist : : SeƱor Coconut
Album : : Esquivel! Remixed (sampler)

* * *

Song 4 : : Mucha Muchacha
Artist : : Montefiori Cocktail
Album : : Esquivel! Remixed (sampler)

* * *

Song 5 : : Canadian Sunset
Artist : : Juan Garcia Esquivel
Album : : More of Other Worlds, Other Sounds

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Show 33: City Songs - Eastern U.S.

Our next-to-last “city songs” show before we more onto other subjects for awhile. We’ll conclude our city songs series not on our next show but the one after that.

This week, we’re not traveling too far... consider it a road trip to various cities in the eastern half of the U.S.

Song 1 : : Manhattan
Artist : : The Girls from Bahia
Album : : !Revolucion con Brasilia!

The Girls... a.k.a. Quarteto em Cy in their native Brazil... are four sisters, Cyva, Cynara, Cybele, and Cylene (hence the Cy in the name). Throughout the 60s, they worked with many of the Brazilian greats including Vinicius de Moraes, Dorival Caymmi, Baden Powel and Oscar Castro Neves. They are still active and have a website (which will be of interest if you can read Portuguese).

* * *

Song 2 : : Baltimore, You’re Home To Me
Artist : : Dave Hardin
Album : : Pecker (soundtrack)

Can’t tell you anything much about Dave Hardin... I’ve seen him listed here and there as a singer/songwriter/actor. This is a very heartfelt tribute to Baltimore from the soundtrack to the film Pecker. I love that this film was often billed as “John Water’s Pecker.”

* * *

Song 3 : : Make Ours Miami
Artist : : The Hellers (Heller Corporation)
Album : : City Songs

* * *

Song 4 : : We Like To Be In Washington, D.C.
Artist : : The Hellers (Heller Corporation)
Album : : City Songs

* * *

Song 5 : : Kansas City Talk
Artist : : The Hellers (Heller Corporation)
Album : : City Songs

Three songs by The Hellers. Great ad-jingle style stuff courtesy of the good folks at Heller-Ferguson Inc. Go here and scroll down for a little info.

* * *

Song 6 : : Allentown Jail
Artist : : Billy Strange
Album : : Strange Country

Since this show is supposed to be about eastern cities, please consider this instrumental piece to be about Allentown, Pennsylvania or Allentown, New Jersey. the great Billy Strange is also still around and occasionally active. His website can be found here.

* * *

Song 7 : : St. Louis Blues
Artist : : Peter Appleyard
Album : : Per-cus’-sive JAZZ

Doctored for Super Sound! Loved the artwork for these “doctored” records from the 50s and 60s with a great big syringe on the cover. I think this is by British-born Canadian jazz man Peter Appleyard (who is also still active and has a website) but I’ve also sometimes seen it credited to Sid Cooper. My CD copy (Hecho en Mexico) does not list the artist.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Show 32: City Songs - Paris

Continuing our “city songs” series... with a couple more shows taking us to the end of January.

The week, we visit the “City of Light...”

Song 1 : : I Love Paris
Artist : : Alvino Rey
Album : : Swingin’ Fling

A great version by so-called “father of the pedal-steel guitar” Alvin McBurney... though you couldn’t really tell from this track. Some info here.

* * *

Song 2 : : The Happy Sounds of Paree
Artist : : Leo De Lyon
Album : : The Man Called Flintstone (soundtrack)

Great name! Leo is a voice actor who is mainly known for his work on the cartoon ‘Top Cat.’ He actually released an album at some point in the 60s... you can hear some of it here.

* * *

Song 3 : : A Street Corner in Paris
Artist : : The Raymond Scott Orchestrette
Album : : Pushbutton Parfait

I’ve played these guys before... and I keep wishing they’d released another record. Great reinterpretations of Raymond Scott’s music by a group of very talented musicians featuring the amazing Brian Dewan.

* * *

Song 4 : : Fleur de Paree
Artist : : The Three Suns
Album : : On a Magic Carpet

Sometimes it seems like I can’t get through a show without playing something by The Three Suns. If you haven’t yet explored The Three Suns Universe, please do.

* * *

Song 5 : : I Love Paris
Artist : : Terry Snyder and the All Stars
Album : : Persuasive Percussion

Another version of our opening song, produced by Enoch Light for one of his classic Command label LPs.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Show 31: City Songs - Italian cities

The second in a series of shows featuring songs about cities. This week, we concentrate on Italy...

More “city songs” shows to come later this month.

Song 1 : : Carnival of Venice
Artist : : The Waikikis
Album : : Christmas in Hawaii

Belgian band, German producer, Hawaiian music, Christmas album, song about an Italian city... amazing. I guess this is what you would call real “fusion”... maybe?

* * *

Song 2 : : Arrivederci, Roma
Artist : : Skip Heller
Album : : Fake Book

A good organ-bass-guitar album... very reminiscent of a similar style of jazz record from the 60s. Skip is part-Italian, I gather... www.SkipHeller.com

* * *

Song 3 : : Sorrento
Artist : : Les Cinq Modernes
Album : : Continental Jazz

Euro-sounding name... bistro-flavored tunes... but these guys are actually American left coast studio musicians.

* * *

Song 4 : : The Sheik of Napoli (The Sheik of Araby)
Artist : : Lou Monte
Album : : The Very Best Of...

More Lou! Played Lou a few weeks ago and here he is again... www.loumonte.com