Saturday, December 17, 2005
Krautrock For the Masses.
First of all, allow me to address something. What's up with this bullshit of Pat having 198 fucking profile views and me only having 24 for the past fucking month?!? What, I'm not interesting?!? You download my mp3s, but don't care about me as a person?!? My thoughts?!? My feelings?!?
I'm just kidding....I'm actually a robot.
Hi everyone. I know you're all incredibly eager to wrap your heads around the final installment of musical awesomeness that is "Hooked on Rock 'n' Roll Phonics," but I've decide to let the excitement build for just a little longer. But fear not! I come bearing gifts....of rock 'n' roll! That's right, rock 'n' roll Santa has decided to take you all off his "naughty" list and bestow the gift of Can upon the land! If you're not in the know, Can is German for "fucking mind-blowing music that has influenced every musician who's ever heard it." They were a German krautrock band that existed from 1968 to 1973....well, that's when they were consistently amazing. The stuff from after 1973, approach with extreme caution. Some of it's on par with the best music from their hey-day.....some...not so much.
Now, what I'm going to do is give you a small taste of the amazingness that is Can music. I'm gonna post one song from each of their 'hey-day' albums (yes, I'm gonna include Delay 1968 and Soundtracks....don't get your panties in a twist.) That means you get six Can songs to take home and snuggle with! You don't even have to call them the next day!
First up is an absofuckinglutely amazing song from "Delay 1968". Little Star of Bethlehem. This was recorded with the first line-up of the band....with Malcom Mooney. Malcom was an American sculptor with an insanely raspy voice. I generally tend to prefer the Damo Suzuki-era stuff, but damn.....this song kicks all sorts of ass. This is krautrock at its finest. "Correction: the coat-hanger should be up-side down." Fucking A!
Next in the batting order is a song from their 1969 debut "Monster Movie". Father Cannot Yell. The only 'official' album released by the Mooney-era line-up. Jesus christ! Listen to that fucking guitaring!!! Michael Karoli is the patron saint of mind-blowing guitar noise. There honestly is no other human being who can make a guitar sound like that. And the rhythm section?? Holger Czukay (as always) plays the most solid drone-y krautrock bass-lines, and Jaki Liebezeit (for my money) is quite possibly the greatest drummer to ever even LOOK at a fucking drum-kit. The man was legitimately a human drum machine. Do you now realize how bad-ass Can used to be?!?
Now we have a song from their 1970 release "Soundtracks". Don't Turn the Light on, Leave Me Alone. This is where we first get a taste of Damo Suzuki. Man, what a welcome change! Don't get me wrong, I love Malcom to death, but he can't hold a candle to Damo's insane quadrilungual mumblings. That's right! FOUR LANGUAGES! And one of them is gibberish!! I was gonna put Mother Sky here but, as amazing as that song is (and it is), it's 14 minutes long. Not only would that be a bitch for me to post, it'd also be a bitch to download....plus Mother Sky always gets all the props for this album and that's just not right. This song deserves some accolades, too.
Batting clean-up, we have a song from Can's 1971 official debut with Damo, "Tago Mago". Oh Yeah. If you don't have this album, go out and buy it RIGHT NOW! I'll wait 'til you get back...................got it? Ok, good. This is quite possibly my favorite Can song. It's got backwards vocals! And that beat! Hooooo-eeee!! And that creepy organ back-drop! And possibly some of Michael Karoli's greatest guitar playing. I love this song more than life.
Next to last, we have a song from the 1972 album "Ege Bamyasi". Vitamin C. I know every DJ from here to Bangkok samples the shit out of this song, but I don't care. I'm posting it anyhow.....because I love this song. One listen to it, and you'll see EXACTLY what I meant by that "Jaki Liebezeit = human drum machine" comment.
Lastly, but not leastly, we have a song from 1973's "Future Days". Future Days (the title track, duh). This song is totally beautiful. Those water splashing and bird sound effects are amazing. I think this song contains my favorite musical moment of all time. About 6:54 into the song (about 2 minutes after the guitar starts playing) the guitar plays a phrase and on the last note, the bass kicks in hard, playing the same note the guitar ends with. I can't quite explain why, but I find that to be the most musically transcendent moment I've ever heard.
Well, there you have it. Now, I command unto thee, go out into the land, my children, and spread the gospel of Can!
(Sidenote: Whomever is complaining about lack of punctuation/proper grammar/spelling skills obviously hasn't been reading my articles. I actually use apostrophes! That shit's REAL, motherfucker! Commas!)