Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dortmunder - Harmonia ja kohu / V/A - Tapahtunut aiemmin - #133

Dortmunder - Harmonia ja kohu / V/A - Tapahtunut aiemmin

Quite unexpectedly, I got this double CD from Finland. And listening to it, the term, that Finland is THE Rock'n'Roll country of the world, has come true once again. Nowhere is the density of class A Rock bands per square kilometer higher than up North. Not even the U.K. comes close. You might say, finnish people are born with a shot of Rhythm'n'Blues (or any other kind of music).

I've no idea about the band Dortmunder. I'm just drawing a blank, although I've quite some finnish popular music in my collection. In fact, this is just a 5-track CD and all it does, is, wet your appetite for more. It's the kind of Rock music I've come to associate with Finland. Rootsy (in every which way) and upfront. No "independent" U.K. guitar stuff. Really, in a way this is old fashioned music with a twist. Very charming and uplifting. Tracks like "Toisinaan" make you want to sing along, even if you're like me and don't have the slightest idea about the finnish language. And can I just squeeze this in sideways, where my good friends of Doctor's Order make a guest appearance as well.

"Lainelautaileva amiraali" is an instrumental worth its salt. I couldn't find much about Dortmunder on the internet (and what little there was, I couldn't make sense of). As I understand it, this mini CD is still available. The Label is Maaseutumusiikki and they have an internet presence. Just check it out.

Not available anymore is the second CD that came with the Dortmunder one. Apparently, it was only pressed in a very limited quantity. Which is a shame really, as albums like this need a wider distribution and shouldn't be heard by a chosen few only. I'm being told, that this Various Artists compilation sort of tracks Marko Aho's musical life. Marko Aho being the guitarist and singer of afore mentioned band Dortmunder. Here, he's playing with a number of finnish bands. Most of them are unknown to me, except, of course Doctor's Order and I seem to recall Alli And The Gators from somewhere.

Twentythree tracks clocking in at around 66 minutes give you an idea what good music can mean to be. The chosen language of Marko Aho's vocals is finnish. Just don't think it won't work, it bloody well does. Fascinating stuff, even if you're left on the sidelines, wondering what this is all about. The vocals carry a certain mood that seems unique to the finnish nation. No wonder the Tango has so many followers there, as, as someone told me years ago, the Tango is some kind of white man's Blues. And I think he was right about this. This is really an excellent disc, showing off every side of the human mind. Sometimes it's sad, even depressive, at other times its bright and hopeful, with the music going from Rock to Blues and yes, friends and neighbours, I believe I heard some Tango in there somewhere.

There are songs to sing when sober is the last thing on your mind, this kind of alcohol drenched feeling that brings your selfpity out in the open. Other tracks seem to require you to keep your hands off the bottle. In fact, this compilation is quite a rollercoaster in unchartered territory. The joy to hear this album is immense. Listen to "Jos vain osaisin laulaa kantria (lailla Pekka Myllykosken)" and you're even in Country & Western fields. Listening to this CD over and over again, I got the idea, that Alli And The Gators were Mako's backing band for the happy go lucky songs. The Rock torch meanwhile being held high by Doctor's Order and then others going for the Blues and Tango bits.

I don't compare the contributors to each other, because I can truthfully say, everyone made a hell of a job and this is a very entertaining one hour plus. Despite the fact, that I'm listening to a Various Artists compilation, the whole thing is very coherent, something you don't always get. This is not really a contradiction on how I receive the CD, diversity is part of the package here, and not the artificially set up kind. The one thing that should be rectified however, is, that the album should be made available to the general public. This is a shame really, that a CD of this class should sink without being given a chance to swim.



Saturday, May 25, 2013

40th Mega Record & CD Fair, Jaarbeurs Utrecht, November 23 & 24, 2013 - #132

40th Mega Record & CD Fair, Jaarbeurs Utrecht, November 23 & 24, 2013

Finally, I'll be going to this record fair and I believe, I should better bring some cash along with me. Since sometime in the 90's I was thinking of going there, to spend my hard earned cash on some precious vinyl. It was mostly after the fact, that I realised, that I had missed it again and again. Not this time my friends, I booked the flight and the hotel half a year in advance. Days off at the office have been applied for (and granted). So, there's nothing in the way of holding me back. Unless I forget to go to the airport on November 22, 2013, that is.

I'm pretty sure, that this event is so big, I won't make it through everything in these two days. And this is me, instead of selling the collection off (I need more shelfs), I'm adding more and more to what's already occupying space around here. Nevertheless, I'm quite excited at the prospect of spending quality time in Utrecht. Here's the website



Friday, May 17, 2013

Golden Earring - Tits'n Ass - #131

Golden Earring - Tits'n Ass

I can't stand it, when Folks, who should have retired years ago, release a new Album, because they think they are still relevant. They might have been a marker thirty/fourty years ago, but the world has moved through space a couple of miles in the meantime and noone is waiting for old pensioners reliving the heydays of their youth. Really, these bands are a sad sight. Except the few who can pull it through and there's not a bad aftertaste in your mouth. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Golden Earring, 2012 style.

This Dutch rockband was a favourite of mine, back in the days when "Moontan" was still not recorded and "Radar Love" a hit reserved for future generations. I remember quite well the double LP "Pop History" (still in my collection), that had almost been played to a seethrough state. Four sides and not a bad song in sight. Of course, "Eight Miles High" followed and Golden Earring were forever in my heart and mind. And then, after "Radar Love" I just lost track of this band. Not forgotten, because I still used to put their LPs on the turntable, but just kind of faded (at least where newer material was concerned). This has been rectified over the last couple of years, but I still have not all of their post "Moontan" output. But I still have time.

2012 and the band is offering a new album and I cringe. Suddenly I have a bad stomach and my head aches. I dare not listen to the album for fear of absolute trash. My nightmares about have been rockers  seem to come to life once more. And yet, I took the jump into the cold water (I admit, not without having read a few reviews about "Tits'n Ass) and I'm surprised, really taken by what I hear. The band rocks and is contemporary without clutching to days of fame past. This is a bunch of great songs, based on excellent songwriting and delivered by a smoking band.

Fourteen tracks available on CD (also as a limited edition with a DVD "The Making Of Tits'n Ass") and double vinyl. I haven't watched the DVD yet, but I can vouch for the audio. Normally I'm nursing my rocksolid prejudices (I'm mastering at it), but Golden Earring proved me wrong (at least in their case). Give the album a chance, even if you think Golden Earring should have been stuck in the seventies. You'll be surprised.



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (Box Set) - #130

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (Box Set)

Towards the end of June 2013, there's a new box set being released. This is about the Gypie years (plus) and consists of 4 CDs and 1 DVD. Most major online mail orders already have it listed, so go there to check out the contents. I'm really looking forward to the DVD section and hoping for a decent transfer of the CDs. There's not much in the way of alternative takes (or outtakes) to be found here, but the release is nevertheless very welcome.