Shop Music // Video Extra
Long time no see! Even though Shop Music has been on a long hiatus that does not mean that we have stopped incessantly playing side-long rippers all day at Huckleberry (sorry neighbors!). We have discovered lots of new music- both classics that are new to us and newly recorded soon to be classics- since we left off. Updates will be more frequent, and hopefully some of you on the internet may be turned on to some new tunes.
This installment will be a little different than previous. With 2013 behind us, we started looking into our musical past at the shop. What albums can we not help ourselves from listening to waaaay too often (sorry sales crew!), and what albums can be played sparingly but still seem to always seep into our unconscious.
Following are selections taken from Youtube representing some of our favorite shop bands. I wanted this list to have cohesion. Fortunately, we listen to A LOT of European progressive/psychedlic music. Most bands are from the 70's, but as you will see below, there are still some modern bands channelling the post-war energy. I tried choosing interesting, hard to find videos, from each band's best era. Youtube is really an incredible tool in discovering these would-be lost gems, and the incredible video and sound quality are a testament to the bands and film crews. Some of these videos are forty years old, but the raw energy, passion and pure sonic destruction is still alarmingly apparent. I scour Yotube quite often trying to find the odd bootleg, live performance and archival footage. Why not put all the hard work into good use and share a selection with all of you.
I had to start the list with probably our favorite discovery of 2013. When Brian returned from a sojourn in San Diego with a stack of records, one stood out in particular. Lonesome Crow
, the 1972 debut release by German group the Scorpions, had us all floored at first listen. I should have trusted the Brain Records label on the record, but all I could think of was, "You are really putting on theÂ Scorpions
?" I am so happy that Brian brought this record into my life.
features a 16 (!) year old Michael Schenker absoutely shredding for 40 minutes straight. These aren't your hard rock/heavy metal Scorpions. Lonesome Crow
is a progged out, psychedelic, krautrock ripper. It is groovy, heavy, and driving. The following video is the only remnant of the original Scorpions during their short tenure. The video also features our dear brother in arms Keven Bricknell
Â as Klaus Meine.
[embed width="500" height="400"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nTGTCSGj30#t=1[/embed]
For continuity's sake, the next video stays in the Scorpions family tree. Uli Jon Roth, successor to Michael Schenker, also found prominence with his own outfit- Uli Jon Roth's Electric Sun. Electric Sun's first record, Earthquake, was also released by the Brain label. What Uli lacks in vocal finesse, he more than makes up for in finger dexterity. This album is a workout. Roth is equal parts Blackmore and Hendrix. I cannot think of many other guitarists that have been as successful playing a neo-classical style with such bombast. To put it lightly, Yngvee Malmsteen wishes every day he could play like Roth.
Live footage of Electric Sun during their Eartuquake years is scant (or non existent), however there was one promotional video for the album. Although the sound is taken from the studio recording, we still get to see Roth's fingers blur up and down the fretboard. Listening to Uli's studio recordings made me envision his playing as tight, controlled and disciplined. This video dispelled all of those notions. Watch Uli's right arm. It is loose and fluid. Hendrix reincarnated as a German with a similar taste in head wear
[embed width="500" height="400"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llJKwvcP5qQ[/embed]
Please excuse all the French narration in the next video (actually if anyone can translate for me, it would be greatly appreciated). The next video contains performances by two mammoths of German progressive music. First, keeping the Hendrix worship alive is Guru Guru. Next up is synth king Klaus Schulz.
Usually work stories involve, you know, the work you do. At Huckleberry, our work stories, often take the form of Ebay hits and near misses. Like a poker player regalling his friends with stories of having pocket aces but being rivered for all he has, our stories often end with being sniped for that great deal on a record by a last second bidder. One of the shop's greatest wins of 2013 was procuring a copy of Guru Guru's Kang Guru
(shipped here all the way from Israel) on the Brain label.
Guru Guru encapsulates all that is great about power trios. All three players have the space needed to show off, but also show the ability to use the self-restraint needed for the song. The band was not just another rock n roll power trio. A free jazz group at its core, Guru Guru combined free form jazz, blistering acid/psych, and left-leaning politics to become a behemoth in the Krautrock canon.
Â Next up in the video is electronic mastermind Klaus Schulz. We do not listen to much of Schulz's solo work at the shop, but he has contributed to countless classic albums. One day we will turn on Japan's Far East Family Band's Nipponjin
album to hear Schulz's production and synthesizer work, only to follow up with Stomu Yamashta's Go. The next day we get washed away by Ash Ra Temple and Tangerine Dream. Schulz is an electronic music heavyweight and the following video is a great look into the master's work.
[embed width="500" height="400"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDtYbuWWnrs[/embed]
Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Amon Duul II- rock pantheon. At least that's the way we see it at the shop. So often while listening to a modern record does one exclaim, "There's the Amon Duul moment!" From the early psychedelic freakouts to the later more concise structural work, Amon Duul II has forged new roads in rock music. Art rock, krautrock, acid/psych, progressive, fusion- the genres touched by this group could read for pages. Amon Duul II is simply perfection. Watch Amon Duul II transform a 2 minute single into a 6 minute ripper.
[embed width="500" height="400"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTcKMHbHPQQ[/embed]
Here comes our final video. Dungen, a modern Swedish group, was one of our most listened to band's of 2013. Their 2004 release Ta Det Lugnt
covers everything we love about psych rock. It is varied enough to always be interesting, contains hooks when asked for, and has guitar tones that sit comfortably between tasteful and blown out fuzziness. I know Dungen doesn't fit into the theme laid out, but when a band creates an Ebay bidding war between coworkers- said band must be included in this list. I am not a beach person and the thought of sand sends shivers up my spine, but after watching the following the video, I couldn't think of any other show I'd rather attend.
[embed width="500" height="400"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ECDhP3IiOc[/embed]