Sunday, November 22, 2009


Perhaps it was of one the most innovative year in Rock... or, I was just a hungrier brain in '72.
That summer I spent most of my money n' time on Saturdays with friends searching the bins of Moby Disc, the closest import record store from Thousand Oaks, CA.
The imported releases were more expensive than their domestic late counterparts (there was also the chance they wouldn't even get on a US label), but along with a better vinyl pressing and thick protective sleeve for their jacket, they were well worth the equal price of a good oz.
After our vinyl purchases were made, our next stop was an Italian eatery the size of a walk-in closet called, 'Santoro's'. There we'd sit eating these massive sausage n' pepper sandwiches over our well protected sleeved imports and anticipate who discovered the most advanced, progressive, NEW band out of our 'Prog Rock' finds.
Gentle Giant's latest was always a thrill, but to be the first to uncover a new group... that was an honor.

 It was our friend Rick's turn at the turntable, it was my turn to roll. The thick outer sleeve dropped off the record jacket, an inner plastic sleeve dropped from the shiny record and finally the needle dropped.
'Lambertland' was the New World we were looking for.
A band called, 'Tasavallan Presidentti' from Finland of all places. Prog rock, jazz, folk fusion with vocals in english that were nearly incomprehensible, which I always liked.
The guitarist, Jukka Tolonen ripped. A Wa-wa user I could tell influenced by Frank Zappa, had a presto plectrum style that still sounds fresh to me.

At Aaron's Records in L.A. thirty years later, I saw Dana (who used to work at Moby Disc)
stocking the 'Progressive' bins and leaning on his cane.
"Anything new?'' I asked, weeding through their import section.
'New', usually meant, 'Did ya order any ol' prog shit that I don't have the vinyl to anymore 'cause of a past apartment flooding?'
Dana pointed with his cane to the T's.
Tasavallan's 'Milky Way Moses' parted the sea of CD's.

 On re-listening, I'm reunited with friends, good memories and wonderin' if Santoro's still there.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Come fry with me...

I knew nothing of the Japanese music scene 'til I heard ' The Sadistic Mika Band' on Guy Guden's 'Space Pirate Radio' show. His Sunday into Monday morning shows (midnight to 6) during the Seventies introduced me to contemporary music from around the globe... a welcoming venture from America's 70's rock-pop stalemate.
Learning of new music for me was like a sports fanatic knowing a player's stats and team trades,  I'd retain their foreign names and future collaborations.
Kazuhiko Kato and wife (Sadistic) Mika introduced me to drummer Yukihiro Takahashi, who later formed 'Yellow Magic Orchestra' with Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto, a techno band with a sense of style and humor beyond.
Ryuichi Sakamoto, whose film scores and collaborations (from Iggy Pop to David Sylvian) were well worth following.

Moving from 'Dawn, Day, Sunset to Night', Sakamoto's piano and electronics of
'Comica' is a new ambient favorite of mine.