Ronnie Von

For some reason, I had let my Aquarius Record email subscription lapse (maybe misdirected into junk mail, or maybe the staff at Aquarius were slacking). Anyway, happily received note of the current list.

Over the years I've found a lot of great, great music from the friendly folk at Aquarius, including the Conet Project and nearly the entire Ethiopiques series. Here is another few I'm ordering today.

[ Aquarius Records ] : 2006 was a banner year for amazing Tropicalia reissues. Records by the likes of Som Imaginario, Alceu Valenca & Gerardo Azevedo, Marconi Notaro, Luis Eca, Rubinho e Mauro Assumpcao and Paulo Bagunca kept us feeling warm and fuzzy all year long. Discos Mariposa has become the label to turn to for amazing long lost Tropicalia as as they were the ones responsible for many of our favorite Brazilian reissues from the last year. It looks like 2007 may offer another exciting slew of Tropicalia rediscoveries for us as we began the year getting to know the music of Ronnie Von. A star of song and the small screen in Brazil for the last four decades, Von made his first television appearance in 1965 on the TV show the Brazilian Beatles Club. Von would perform live on various variety shows and cut records that sold quite well. His show The Small World Of Ronnie Von helped give a wider audience and launch careers for folks like Os Mutantes, Martinha and Gal Costa. But beyond just having such good taste, his own music is so so delightful. His vocals are so effortless and breezy. You can't help but wish you were soaking in the sun and daydreaming the afternoon away when you hear the songs on this collection. He's been backed by members of Os Mutantes and even collaborated with Caetano Veloso. Even after being struck by polio he's fought off illness and continues to be a staple of Brazilian television, the big screen and now more of us finally get to hear his great sounds!


BUNALIM s/t (Shadoks) cd 15.98
Oh yeah. '70s Turkish FUZZ rock in effect here, big time!! Knowing how much AQ customers LOVE the psychedelic Turkish tunes of decades past, this is a no-brainer. Buy it. Now. That is, if you like Edip Akbayram and Erkin Koray and all the others we've gone gaga over as the stack of such reissues gradually grows... These guys actually have membership links to all sorts of Istanbul rock stars, from Koray to Mogollar to Cem Karaca (whose early band Kardaslar we'd love to get a reissue of...). They were a pretty important band in the scene, on an underground level anyway.
The name Bunalim apparently means either Depression or Frustration in Turkish, fitting for a band hailing from a city, Istanbul, who defining mood is melancholy (according to Nobel Prize winning novelist Orhan Pamuk). You can hear both the energy of frustration and the sadness of depression in their music, which consists of blistering, Iron-Butterfly-heavy hard rockers mixed up with the style of traditional Anatolian folk dances and songs. Ballsy bombast and beautiful balladry both. And we're not kidding about Iron Butterfly -- one of the tracks here is a Turkish language cover of “Get Out Of My Life, Woman”, a song (originally by Allen Toussaint, actually) that appeared on Iron Butterfly's first album, Heavy. Definitely it's the IB version that inspired Bunalim's rendition! Why so much “Bunalim” with these guys? Well it wasn't easy being a long-haired, underground rocker in that conservative society in those days! Plus even in the West there was much to make the youth feel worried and oppressed.
This disc collects their rare singles tracks (they never made an album) from 1970-'72, and captures them at their most raw and garagey, loud guitar rockin'. They definitely showcase a distinct, kick-ass Middle Eastern take on the acid rock sound of the day, and really what could sound better than that??
This cd reissue includes well-informed liner notes and lots of cool vintage photos in the cd booklet. Shadoks, keep 'em coming!

V/A Pop A Paris: Rock N' Roll And Mini Skirts(Sunnyside Communications) cd 16.98 Ohh La La! This is pretty undeniably AMAZING! A snapshot of 60's French-pop perfection. We dare you to put this on and not start feeling a little more stylish, a little more classy, a little more sassy, and a whole lot more happy! This is hands down one of the best collections of dance-party inducing French pop to grace our ears in ages. While we loved the Swinging Mademoiselles comp covering the same era, this collection almost makes that record pale in comparison. Pop A Paris is pretty much a who's who of French pop during this golden-era. Serge Gainsbourg, France Gall, Brigitte Bardot, Michel Polnareff, Delphine, Marie Laforet, etc etc! But what makes this comp so incredible are the songs! Not one snoozer in the bunch, every single one bursting with color, spunk and f-u-n-! Cover versions of “These Boots Are Made For Walking”, “My Generation”, “Paint it Black”, and “Happy Together” all somehow manage to make us only want to hear these versions from now on and NEVER the originals. And the non-covers are just as spot-on-perfect. This has been out for a few years now and had been a kind of secret weapon in DJ sets by Irwin. Can't count the times that putting one of these songs on during a show has resulted in a dancefloor packed with wide smiles and shaking booties. So totally recommended!

plus maybe:

DANE, BARBARA The Tradition Years - Anthology Of American Folk Songs (Empire Musicwerks) cd 13.98
Sometimes one person's tragedy is another's good fortune. Don't know if any of you scored any good deals from Tower Records sad going out of business sale, but we were surprised at some of the finds still available on the second to last day. Of course the Rock and the Hip Hop sections were long plundered, but if you ventured into the Folk, World, and 20th century composer section, you could still find a $35 import for just 4 bucks of some obscure koto avant-jazz or take a chance on an old folkie that we had never heard of which is the case with this gem. Who is Barbara Dane? Well we thought she would be some songbird like Carolyn Hester or Texas Gladden, but Dane's voice is truly a force to be reckoned with, not a collegiate howler, like Judy Henske or Dorris Henderson but husky, low and tainted with regret. Here on her first recording on the Tradition label (home of John Jacob Niles) she delivers some of the loneliest sounding interpretations of songs from the folk cannon including the Carter Family's “Single Girl”, “Girl of Constant Sorrow”, and Woody Gutherie's “Ramblin'”. Moonshinin', the painful bedevilment of men and standing tall on one's own are consistent themes in these songs, accompanied by guitar and banjo. Dane, who is still alive and still singing is now known for being more of a Blues singer, but she entered that particular world through these amazing folk interpretations. What a nice discovery! Fans of John Jacob Niles, Cat Power, and Karen Dalton will find lots to love here. Since not everybody was as lucky as one of us happened to be to find this at the Tower sale, we thought we'd order 'em in -- even at full price, it's well worth it!!

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on January 26, 2007 10:14 PM.

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