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Tag: From the Vinyl Stack

From the Vinyl Stack: Can

From the Vinyl Stack: Can

There are a few bands that you’ll find it impossible to search online. There’s the Who, the Doors, the Cars, and Spoon, to name a few. However, there’s one late ‘60s-early ‘70s German rock band that tops that list.
Can, the German rockers who formed in 1968, are the definitive band of the krautrock genre. The band was composed completely of German members (Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Irmin Schmidt, and Jaki Liebezeit), with the only exception being African-American vocalist Malcolm Mooney.
On top of being a huge voice in the krautrock genre, Can were also one of the definitive originators of jamming. On their 1969 debut album Monster Movie, the band released a track entitled “You Doo Right.” The song was a 20 minute excerpt of a 6 hour jam (which allegedly only stopped after the amplifiers started smoking).
Mooney left the band after the release of the 1970 album Soundtracks. After a nervous breakdown, he returned to America. Only later would he briefly reunite with the original Can line-up to record the album Rite Time. In 1998, Mooney released his first solo album, only to be followed by an album released in 2003 along with David Tyack.
The band replaced Mooney with Japanese singer Kenji “Damo” Suzuki in 1970, who actually recorded a few songs on Soundtracks alongside a soon-to-be-gone Mooney. However, after the albums Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, and Future Days, Suzuki also left the band. His reason? To become a Jehovah’s Witness.
The later days of Can, although not very successful, saw original members Karoli and Schmidt sharing duties as lead vocalist. Also, former members of the band Traffic (another band name that is nearly impossible to Google) Anthony Reebop Kwaku Baah and Rosco Gee joined up for the 1977 album Saw Delight. However, after a couple of albums that were shunned by members of the band themselves, the band broke up in 1979.
Although all of the surviving members of Can are still working on solo projects and collaborating (Michael Karoli died in 2001 after fighting cancer), the real story is the inspiration that Can left for many bands. Can inspired such artists as the Buzzcocks, Sonic Youth, and even Brian Eno.
Although Can’s lyrics weren’t exactly the most coherent thing to listen to (as proved in the band’s “Little Star of Bethlehem”), Can is undeniably one of the greatest classic progressive indie bands of all time.

-Evan Minsker

waldofan13@aol.com

From the Vinyl Stack: Betty Davis

From the Vinyl Stack: Can

There are a few bands that you’ll find it impossible to search online. There’s the Who, the Doors, the Cars, and Spoon, to name a few. However, there’s one late ‘60s-early ‘70s German rock band that tops that list.
Can, the German rockers who formed in 1968, are the definitive band of the krautrock genre. The band was composed completely of German members (Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Irmin Schmidt, and Jaki Liebezeit), with the only exception being African-American vocalist Malcolm Mooney.
On top of being a huge voice in the krautrock genre, Can were also one of the definitive originators of jamming. On their 1969 debut album Monster Movie, the band released a track entitled “You Doo Right.” The song was a 20 minute excerpt of a 6 hour jam (which allegedly only stopped after the amplifiers started smoking).
Mooney left the band after the release of the 1970 album Soundtracks. After a nervous breakdown, he returned to America. Only later would he briefly reunite with the original Can line-up to record the album Rite Time. In 1998, Mooney released his first solo album, only to be followed by an album released in 2003 along with David Tyack.
The band replaced Mooney with Japanese singer Kenji “Damo” Suzuki in 1970, who actually recorded a few songs on Soundtracks alongside a soon-to-be-gone Mooney. However, after the albums Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, and Future Days, Suzuki also left the band. His reason? To become a Jehovah’s Witness.
The later days of Can, although not very successful, saw original members Karoli and Schmidt sharing duties as lead vocalist. Also, former members of the band Traffic (another band name that is nearly impossible to Google) Anthony Reebop Kwaku Baah and Rosco Gee joined up for the 1977 album Saw Delight. However, after a couple of albums that were shunned by members of the band themselves, the band broke up in 1979.
Although all of the surviving members of Can are still working on solo projects and collaborating (Michael Karoli died in 2001 after fighting cancer), the real story is the inspiration that Can left for many bands. Can inspired such artists as the Buzzcocks, Sonic Youth, and even Brian Eno.
Although Can’s lyrics weren’t exactly the most coherent thing to listen to (as proved in the band’s “Little Star of Bethlehem”), Can is undeniably one of the greatest classic progressive indie bands of all time.

-Evan Minsker

waldofan13@aol.com

From the Vinyl Stack:

From the Vinyl Stack:

The MC5

Almost any ’70s music fan knows the origins of punk rock: it all starts out with the three driving forces of the Ramones, the Clash, and the Sex Pistols. However, these bands obviously needed their own inspiration. Enter pre-punk inspiration.
Of course, there were bands like the Velvet Underground and the Who to push forward the hard rock attitude. Pete Townshend and Lou Reed’s inspiration on edgy and raw sounds were prominent for the punk genre. However, there was one band that pushed it all forward.

The Motor City Five, better known as the MC5, are as raw as music gets. The MC5 are Fred “Sonic” Smith, Dennis Thompson, Rob Tyner, Wayne Kramer, and Michael Davis. To understand how influential they were to punk music, they were one of Joey Ramone’s favorite bands.
The reputation preceding the MC5 is one of the most incredible things to be noted. They were the only band to play the riots at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention. Their fan club, as dubbed by manager John Sinclair, was known as the “White Panthers,” to spin off of the current Black Panthers. They were known as founders of the revolution.
On top of that, lead guitarist Wayne Kramer knew that they were sexists who knew how to roll with the women. They were also quite aware that they were in no way politically correct.
Those afro-clad white boys knew how to raise hell. In their live album, Kick Out the Jams, the band seems entranced in a haze of pure inspiration. More likely, however, is that they’re stoned out of their minds.
The album opens with the track “Ramblin’ Rose”. Here the boys bust out their finest falsetto voice and thrash away on their axes. The intro alone makes their intentions very apparent: they want your attention, they don’t care about what you think, and they aren’t about doing it perfectly. By the end of Kick Out the Jams’ first track, the boys make it abundantly clear that they aren’t in it to win it.
If you didn’t get it at that point, the opening line of track two is, “Kick out the jams, mothafuckas!”
On their next album, Back in the USA, the MC5 make their plea to loose women in their song “Teenage Lust”. The song is summed up in the lyrics, “Baby baby help me, you really must, / I need a healthy outlet / For my teenage lust.”
In short, these guys are some of the original bad-asses of rock n’ roll. The punk attitude begins with the MC5. There will probably never be another band to have the same effect on the political and musical culture.

-Evan Minsker

waldofan13@aol.com