Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
But even I forgot about the Tibet. Diana didn't.
Freedom on Fire
Mixed Media on Canvas
My mixed-media piece, Freedom On Fire, uses the American flag to show that our power to help the nation of Tibet has been greatly reduced by our owing the People’s Republic of China hundreds of billions of dollars. The monk cries out in vain. Our country is being singed around the edges, as the fire of our economic recklessness increasingly destroys our ability to promote freedom around the world.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Collectors of the world, Unite!
- Children Of The World, Stan Getz (CBS, 1979) Hard to find anywhere, this is Stan Getz using his echoplexed sax at maximum and having lots of percussion in something called "Fusion". Don't let the opening track fool you: "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" is cheese string and fails; but the rest is Getz getting down into the grooves of Weather Report-like smooth jazz. Charles Schultz drew the cover featuring Snoopy on sax and Schroeder on piano. Oh, and Lalo Schifrin composes almost all of the tunes.
- Lenny Zakatek (A&M, 1979) The debut album of one of Alan Parsons Project's lead vocalists. Produced by Parsons, 9 well crafted songs that maybe are outdated now. Hence the out of print status.
- The Beatles' U.K. albums on Monaural (EMI). Capitol already released the Capitol Albums collections but EMI in the U.K. still hasn't touched the masters for remixing and re-releasing of jewels like With The Beatles on monaural and, of course, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. We are still waiting to hear on CD Penny Lane the way it's supposed to be. In mono and with a clearer, louder soundwave. By the way, in the meantime, enjoy what Purple Chick has to offer. EMI is totally losing this battle with the fans.
- Exotic Moods Of Les Baxter, and the entire Les Baxter catalog. Baxter didn't deserve the treatment of Capitol Records with his catalog. Hard to find, limited to pop hits... Definetly I don't want to pay 99 dollars for a Baxter record, again.
- Silver N' Percussion, Horace Silver (Blue Note, 1977). Advanced for its time, Horace Silver shows his two tribal sides: African and Native American, in this double three song set about religion in different tribes of both continents. Masai, Yorubas, Zulus, Incas, Mayans, Aztecs are well represented on this out of print album. Percussion is present, yes, but it's more like a "chant" based record.
- The first seven Miami Sound Machine albums. When Gloria Estefan was a hottie and Emilio didn't ruin latin-dance music yet. They were awesome and fun! Which are the first ones? Renacer (1977), Miami Sound Machine (1978), Imported (1979), MSM (1980), Otra Vez (1981), Rio (1982), A Toda Máquina (1984). Bonus "You gotta have balls to release it" record: 7-Up Presenta Los Hits De Miami Sound Machine (1983). Check them out here at http://www.miamisoundmachine.co.uk/
- Kiki Dee (Rocket, 1977). Simply one of the best female vocals of the seventies in what is her best, ultimate, perfect record. Produced by Elton John and featuring haunting urban tunes like "Chicago," Kiki Dee shows the singer in top form. Universal executives are still thinking in numbers and downsizing while some of us are longing to have her album on CD.
- Todos Estan Muertos, Ilegales (Epic, 1985) Just the fact that you can get the latin dance boy band called Ilegales on CD and not the Spanish punk band's best record makes you want to overthrown the A&R people at Sony Music España. You might be able to find it on MP3 (which totally sucks but it's at least something) at http://www.enciclopediadelrockentuidioma.blogspot.com/
- Cyclope (EMI, 1986) A French punk trio whose album arrived in Peru under the shadow of Indochine, the greatest rock success from France. These guys rocked fast and hard and took no prisioners! Maybe the hardest record to find in this list.
- Alma De Bandoneón (Selecciones Del Reader's Digest Argentina, 1968) 11 LPs can easily be converted into 5 CDs full of Urban Buenos Aires Music (sensual Tango!) from Gardel to Piazzola. I recently did the job and it's already digitized from an original LP, restored and cleaned from all those annoying cracks and pops. It sounds so smooth...
- Disco Samba, Two Man Sound (Phillips, 1979) Another disco vinyl waiting in the freezer. The first two songs are required party tunes if you're in a retro disco in, say, Punta del Este in Uruguay or Lima, Perú. A Belgian product of Brazilian proportions. Who has the balls to release this potential jewel?
- Libby Titus (Sony, 1977) The big testicles come from Japan, where our beloved Ninjas have released Libby's second album. Brilliant, colorful, deep. I would love to see this one released in the U.S.
- Roque Santeiro - Trilha Sonora Original (Somlivre, 1985 & 1986): Double album with 24 songs from the powerful, brilliant Brazilian soap opera. Nowadays it has limited availability through Amazon.com and http://www.somlivre.com.br/ as a single disc with 12 tracks, which I own. Think it's enough? No, lots of tunes were left out. Including Beth Carvalho's "Malandro Seu Eu" and MPB-4's "Mal De Raíz." Somlivre must bring this great collection on CD! Why can't they? Unforgivable.
- A Night At Studio 54 (Casablanca, 1979): For unknown reasons, this disco compilation has never seen the light on CD (ehem... I managed to put it on a CD a few years ago, so you know who to contact to ;) ). Featuring Cheryl Lynn, Cher, Patrick Juvet, Village People and Donna Summer, it's a sweet sequence of dancin' tunes, one better than the previous one.
- Zazu, Rosie Vela (Warner, 1986) Maybe the very Walter Becker and Donald Fagen don't want this on CD, a collaboration with model-turned-into-singer Rosie Vela. The album is cheesy-synth-pop with jazz chops that bring an uplifting mood. "Magic Smile" and "Tonto," the highlights. Not bad at all!
- Fandango, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Warner, 1985) Actually, this soundtrack was never released; but if you have seen the movie it's impossible to forget the songs and the beautiful Texan scenery. Clearance and licenses must have been pretty expensive for the producers so the soundtrack never hit the shelves at music stores. Too bad: Pat Metheny features three excellent songs, plus Elton John ("Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting"), Cream ("Badge"), Blind Faith ("Can't Find My Way Home"), Keith Jarrett ("Spheres"), Steppenwolf ("Born To Be Wild"), Carole King ("It's Too Late"), Classics IV ("Spooky")... and Shostakovich's Symphony number 8. Get the movie and see what I'm talking about!
- Whose Side Are You On, Matt Bianco (WEA, 1984) Of course you can find the Germany made CD of this stunning debut album by MB featuring a very talented singer named Basia. Basia sang the backing vocals on the LP version of "More Than I Can Bear" which, unfortunately, on the CD is Basia-less. We are waiting for the original vinyl release, transferred lovely to digital.
- Coplas De Mi País, Piero (CBS Argentina, 1972) Come on, the Military Juntas are gone, democracy flourish like crazy all over Latin America (with the exception of Venezuela) and Piero's combative chant of independence is still unavailable on its original form. It can be found at http://www.losinconseguiblesdelrock.blogspot.com/ but then again, it's MP3... it just sucks! I want CD or Vinyl!