Night Music: Hans Condor, “I Can Make a Lot of Money”

This has been a sweet week for the discovery of rock ‘n’ roll. A week ago I’d never heard of the Chin-Chins or even had the notion of Swiss punk rock.

And a week ago I’d never heard of a rock ‘n’ roll band from Nashville called Hans Condor.

So far I haven’t found a copy of the Chin-Chins’ album, so I’m stuck playing the tunes one at a time on YouTube, which is fine, but after fixing Google Music All Access or whatever it’s called, the Hans’s Sweat, Pizz, Jizz & Blood went into heavy rotation. It is a fantastic piece of guitar rock songwriting, crudely recorded and lacking a real rock singer (he’s a shouter), but the band is so good and clever with the arrangements that these awesome swingy arrangement-y things emerge from the murk and remind me, anyway, of all the history of this music these guys are playing the life into. SWJ+B was released in 2010, shortly after which the band broke up. They’re now back together, with a new drummer named Ryan Sweeney, and I suspect he won’t be quite as punchless as the similarly named outfielder who recently played for the Cubs. Here’s an interview with a blog called West Ghost Media. They seem like nice guys who write rocking songs with good lyrics.

I posted what may be the album’s best song and the best video the other day, but the album is full of delights. I feel like this is the album the Box Tops would have made if they were starting today, rather than 50 years ago. Or maybe the album the Replacements would have made if they were starting out today, rather than 30 years ago.

The same love of soul and country music, filtered through a rock ‘n’ roll heart.

Here’s a tune called I Can Make Lots of Money.

The space between Night and Day: Chin Chin, “Stop! Your Crying”

My goodness, it just keeps getting better.

This Chin Chin tune has the ecstatically Swiss refrain

Stop your crying
It makes no sense

I haven’t figured out the rest of the lyrics, but I suspect Chin Chin will hold us all to high standards, as long as they can, and why shouldn’t they. To do otherwise makes no sense.

Late Night Music: Chin-Chin, “Dead Life”

The infatuation grows. These Swissers seem to have found a really sweet mix of a lot of rock strands, as they were in place in 1985, and managed to turn them into a sound. A pretty sweet and original sound for the time.

Here’s another winner from the small but fecund Chin-Chin songbook:

Night Music: Jah Wobble (with Sinead O’Connor), “Visions of You”

I know Jah Wobble from PiL, but have to say that after their first two albums I didn’t really think of them much and, since he left, him not at all. So, his album and song Betrayal is new to me, and just as confoundingly beautiful as I find much of those early PiL records.

Looking into Wobble’s post-PiL career I discovered this tune, Visions of You, which was his first chart, um, hit. Reached number 36 in the UK, and number 10 on the US modern chart, though who knows what that was. Certainly a commercial for something that never came. We’re all pre-modern now.

But I like Sinead a lot, she’s fearless, and this World Beaty bit of New Age churn has a bit of edge, thanks to Wobble’s bass playing and lyrics that aren’t straight out banality. He may have said some of these things to his shrink. And it’s all pretty catchy, as befits a Top 10 US Modern Chart hit.

Lunch Break: Tangerine Dream, “Betrayal”

Peter’s Edgar Froese obituary reminded me of not just the band Tangerine Dream, but the film Sorcerer, by William Friedkin.

At the time Tangerine Dream was new, I had already owned Autobahn (by Kraftwerk) and the samples I heard of Tangerine Dream sort of sounded the same to me, so I was not that interested.

And, then I went to see Friedkin’s wonderful film from 1977 Sorcerer, a remake of Henri-George Cluzot’s 1953 movie The Wages of Fear, which featured a very young Yves Montand (who also is in the Friedkin remake).

Tangerine Dream was responsible for the soundtrack to Sorcerer, and basically composed the whole score just based upon notes supplied by Friedkin, as opposed to even seeing daily rushes of the movie. Which is amazing when you hear the haunting and dreamy score the band delivered.

But, the film is also so good, and unfortunately, because the movie followed Friedkin’s treatment of The ExoristSorcerer was dismissed as another super natural film by many.

Which was hardly the case. Sorcerer is the name of one of the trucks the principles of the film use to deliver volatile nitro glycerin to an oil fire, with hopes of blowing over the top soil, and thus suffocating the flames.

The results are fantastic all around: visually, musically, emotionally.

Sorcerer also featured the late Roy Scheider, and this treatment of Betrayal features clips from the film.

Breakfast Blend: Hot for Teacher

I came across this survey of different songs with the same name recorded by different bands, and the description of a Boston band who released one album in 1974 seemed intriguing. There album was called Teenage Suicide and their one sort of hit was called Hot for Teacher. Descriptions of them on the internet rank them as the legendary Boston missing link between glam and punk. You be the judge.

Van Halen, of course, had the better Hot for Teacher song, some years later, and the better video, too.