The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

April 2008 Archive

April 07, 2008

A few years back, one of the Vienna branches of the Saturn consumer electronics shops received a huge shipment of audiophile 180 gram Sun Ra vinyl records. Despite their somewhat obscure appeal, they sold out within a few days.

I didn't get the exquisite coincidence at the time, and I was quite overwhelmed and confused by the massive amount of available recordings, so I didn't buy any, which is really a pity.

See, Sun Ra was this jazz musician who claimed he was an extraterrestrial from the planet Saturn. And it would be so cool if I could answer the question "Where did you get those Sun ra records?" with "From Saturn".

Posted by Horst at 11:36 PM | Comments (1)

April 15, 2008

Of all the nonsensical dreams that I've had in my life, the one from last night was one of those that made least sense. In it, all that happened was basically that I rolled around the city on a micro scooter. Nothing else, as if me on a micro scooter was really everything my subconscious wanted to tell me. I don't even own a micro scooter. Never have. Never wanted one. It makes no sense at all.

Then I woke up. Again. Thanks to my pollen allergy, the inside of my nose has swollen to dramatic proportions, so much in fact that I am now snoring at such a noise and vibration intensity that I wake up every time the snoring starts, which, as I had to notice last night, is apparently quite often.

I fell asleep again after the crypic scooter dream (and probably a few others that I can't remember) and woke up this morning to an unpleasant pain in my nose-throat region. It felt as if I had snored myself sore.

I could up my dose of antihistamines. Or I could buy a micro scooter and roll off to see an ear-nose-throat specialist. Maybe that's what this dream was all about.

Posted by Horst at 08:40 AM | Comments (5)

April 24, 2008

As we all know from the movie Walk the Line, prior to his breakthrough Johnny Cash was trying to start a career as a singer with gospel and religious country music before Sam Phillips managed to convince him otherwise, stating that there was no money in gospel.

This may not be entirely true. It may also have been connected to Sam Phllips' musical taste, because there was definitely a market for country/gospel music at the time (though possibly a smaller one than what Phillips was aiming for).

Louvin BrothersOne of the most striking examples of this genre are for example the Louvin Brothers, who in 1960 released an album entitled Satan Is Real. The striking cover, which was, by the way, completely free of irony, soon became a cult object among even the most atheistic of record collectors. To recreate their vision of hell, the brothers had a 7-foot statue of Satan built from plywood and then set fire to numerous kerosene-drenched car tyres that had been hidden under rocks, before assuming their positions in the midst of it. The story goes that Satan wasn't as stable as he was supposed to be, and that the kerosene was a bit more explosive than expected, so at some point during the photo shoot Satan fell over and caught fire, also igniting one of the brothers in the process. Luckily, they managed to escape without any serious injuries.

Musically, the album is surprisingly good, although if you don't subscribe to the brothers' world view, you may want to choose not to listen to the rather bluntly religious lyrics and to ignore the sermon on the title track. However, the country arrangements are tasteful, and the harmony singing is first-rate, and it's not all that dissimilar from pre-breakthrough Johnny Cash. Also, the record does seem to have its fans, as it didn't just catch dust in bargain bins, but was reissued several times and is currently available on CD.

MarcyA somewhat different story is Little Marcy, probably one of the strangest expressions of American religious music of the 1960s. The moniker refers to ventriloquist Marcy Tigner, who sang "duets" with her puppet Little Marcy.

The highlights from her repertoire of exceedingly bizarre performances, which were obviously aimed at the religious education (or can we say indoctrination?) of children, include songs such as "Join the Gospel Express", "The Lord Is Counting On You", and a version of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" that would make Nina Simone weep. As you listen to this music, you can't stop asking yourself just what is more absurd, the concept itself, Marcy's crazy doll-like falsetto, or the almost psychedelic guitar-heavy arrangements. Still, this kind of music seems to have either had sponsors or customers, for Marcy's discography is impressive. What happened to the children who were exposed to these records is unknown.

Let's just be thankful that Sam Phillips ushered Johnny Cash into a different musical direction.

Hinweis: eine deutschsprachige Fassung dieses Artikels gibt es beim basicblög.

Posted by Horst at 01:42 PM | Comments (7)

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