Early footage of Can in Soest is the funkiest German thing you’ll hear all day
04.01.2014
08:22 am

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Music

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Krautrock
Can

Can
 
Last week my colleague Ron Kretsch brought us some incredible footage of a Kraftwerk concert from 1970, the year they were formed. That Rockpalast performance was recorded in Soest, which is a town in the Netherlands I had never heard of before.

Now I have two reasons to remember the name. In the comments to Ron’s post, reader “Matteo” wrote, “When they gonna release the CAN concert from the same venue!?” I’m happy to report that that is exactly what has happened! Probably the release of the Kraftwerk show directly led YouTube user “vibraephased 3.0” to put up nearly 80 glorious minutes of Can at Soest from 1970, the year they released my favorite Can album, Soundtracks. Damo Suzuki had just joined the Cologne-based outfit, which had two other albums to their credit, 1969’s Monster Movie, which I don’t think that highly of, and the more rocking Delay 1968, which wasn’t officially released until 1981. Their next two albums would be Tago-Mago and Ege Bamyasi. The point I’m making is that you really couldn’t find a moment that’s more from Can’s prime.

The text in the start of the video reads, “Dieses Konzert aus dem ‘Karussell für die Jugend’ ist der früheste vollständige Konzertmitschnitt der Kölner Rockband. Der neue Sänger Damo Suzuki was erst im Mai zur Gruppe gestoßen.” What that means is “This concert from the ‘Youth Carousel,’ is the earliest full concert recording of the Cologne rock band. The new singer Damo Suzuki had joined the group in May.” I have no idea what that “Youth Carousel” thing was, a venue or a TV show? Keine Ahnung….
 
Can
 
The personnel for this concert was Holger Czukay on bass, Irmin Schmidt working the keys, Michael Karoli on guitar, Jaki Liebezeit playing the “Schlagzeug” (a.k.a. drums), and the unforgettable Damo Suzuki shouting his head off.
 
Set List:
1. Sense All Of Mine
2. Oh Yeah
3. I Feel Alright
4. Mother Sky
5. Deadlock
6. Bring Me Coffee Or Tea
7. Don’t Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone
8. Paperhouse
 

 
via WFMU

Written by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Merry Krautrockmas: Can do ‘Silent Night,’ 1976
12.24.2013
09:49 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Christmas
Krautrock
Can


 
No, seriously, Can recorded “Silent Night”! Not even they were immune to the siren call of a calculated yuletide ploy, I suppose, but “Silent Night”?

Just now I played this for my wife and asked “Who do you think this is?”. Without missing a beat, she said flatly “Can.”

I’m a very lucky man!
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus covers Can’s krautrock classic ‘Ege Bamyasi’
10.04.2013
11:15 am

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Music

Tags:
Can
Stephen Malkmus

Stephen Malkmus Ege Bamyasi
 
Stephen Malkmus has loved Can’s 1972 album Ege Bamyasi for a long, long time.  In 1992, before hardly anyone knew who Malkmus was, he told Simon Reynolds in Melody Maker, “All that German music is really important to us. . . . I played Can’s Ege Bamyasi album every night before I went to sleep for about three years.”

Last year was the 40th anniversary of the album’s release, so late last year Malkmus visited Week-End Fest in Can’s home town, Cologne, Germany, and covered the full album, backed by Cologne band Von Spar.

The album was relesed in a vinyl limited edition for Record Store Day. The charming cover was designed by David Shrigley.

About halfway through this video, Malkmus tackles a couple of questions about covering the album before being adorably attacked by his own daughter.

 
Here’s Malkmus doing Can’s “One More Night”:

 
Here’s his “Pinch” and “Soup”:

 

Written by Martin Schneider | Discussion
‘Turtles Have Short Legs’: Can’s idea of a Krautrock novelty song?
08.29.2013
12:15 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Krautrock
Can


 
Can’s decidedly loopy, in every sense of the word, 1971 single, “Turtles Have Short Legs,” finds the Krautrock titans in a decidedly playful mood. As Rooksby suggests at the I Love Total Destruction blog, it almost sounds as if they were deliberately trying to come up with a novelty hit:

Despite Can ascending to near deity status over the course of the last decade, it’s surprising how few people know about this uncharacteristically daft 7”. Recorded during the Tago Mago sessions & released on Liberty in 1971, it’s sufficiently odd to suggest that both band & label realized Can’s only opportunity for blagging a little chart action would be via the “weird” novelty hit route. “Turtles Have Short Legs"could, I guess, be ranked alongside similarly peculiar early 70s smashes like “Mouldy Old Dough” & “Popcorn” though, typically, Can’s effort failed to chart anywhere.

Writing at Julian Cope’s sprawling Head Heritage website, Seth the Man further informs us that…

This was Can’s third single, issued at the time of release of their colossal double LP, Tago Mago. Its A-side, “Turtles Have Short Legs” was unavailable on album until it appeared years later on the Cannibalism 2 compilation. It’s unlike any Damo-era Can piece ever, appropriating an absurd Teutonic toy town piano phrase that winds up subverting it in waves into a slow, untrammeled monster. There are no lyrics although Damo IS singing—but even then the most discernible lines are easily misheard. And those that aren’t are vamped ridiculously by Damo into exaggerated Japanese-accented English, transposing his ‘L’s and ‘R’s as though to put on his detractors, A return lyric comes on like a punch line, as repeats of (I think) “Oh, we can pile it on!” ensue over the buoyantly together group bash out/playtime vibe. But for all its joviality, this confounding track manages to gradually turn over in its sleep into a dense thicket of instruments galloping at a loping pace. All other instruments fall away at two separate clearings with only Damo and the drums to continue alone unfettered only to wind up as a succession of drum rolls and barking vocal pronouncements. Once back into the full ensemble fray, Holger Czukay starts pumping up with his space-filled Jaguar bass lines, and Damo throws in a line about “a cigalette (sic)/Not for the toking.” The guitar-dominated coda, sees Michael Karoli playing around the edges of all the unpeeled paint upon the walls of Schloss Norvenich with extra sensory mojo and feeling at top volume as circling drums just continue pressing onward and upwards; drummer Jaki Liebezeit soon hitting his cymbals not with sticks but carefully aimed and stamina-directed tree trunks, beating the piece to rest.

The above description reads like rock snob poetry to me!

And there’s a promo video for it, too? Apparently so. I’m a pretty big Can fan, but admittedly I was unaware that a promotional film for “Turtles Have Short Legs” existed (although it makes sense that it would since it was a single). From the editing style, it would appear to be authentically vintage, although I can’t say for sure. What’s of interest in this footage is that you get to see two of Can’s inner sanctums—like The Clash, Faust, Gong, etc, these guys always had a clubhouse—their set-up in the Cologne castle and the converted movie theater in Weilerswist that they moved into in late 1971. That location you can tell from the mattresses soundproofing the walls.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The Origins of Krautrock: ‘Kamera Song’ by The Inner Space (future members of Can), 1968
02.11.2013
09:59 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Krautrock
Can


 
A few months or so prior to American vocalist Malcolm Mooney joining them, in 1968, the core members of Can (Irmin Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit) and flutist David Johnson, under the name The Inner Space, recorded some songs and audio cues for a low budget German political satire titled Agilok & Blubbo. Directed by Peter F. Schneider and starring counterculture feminist icon/groupie Rosemarie Heinikel (aka Rosy Rosy), it would be the first time “experimental” music would be used for the soundtrack to a German film.

Rosy Rosy would go on to sing with Guru Guru, produce radio and children’s programming and write her autobiography (which included details of her trysts with Donovan and Frank Zappa). In 2009, the complete music for Agilok & Blubbo was released by Wah Wah Records.

“Kamera Song” (vocals by Rosy Rosy):
 

 
“Flop Pop”:
 

 
The ten-minute-long proto-krautrock workout of “Apokalypse”:
 

 
Another early Can soundtrack rarity, from the 1968 film Kama Sutra. The band, still billed as The Inner Space (but with Malcolm Mooney at this point and still with David Johnson) back vocalist Margareta Juvan, performing “I’m Hiding My Nightingale” as a band in a nightclub, before they start their own “Man Called Joe” number (from Delay 1968) at the clip’s end.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Disco-Krautrock: Can lipsync ‘I Want More’ at the BBC, 1976
12.10.2012
12:29 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Krautrock
Can


 
Seemingly searching for a new musical identity, Can performed “I Want More”—their only hit single in the UK, it got to #26—on Top of the Pops in 1976.

Smarmy TOTP presenter Noel Edmonds makes a terrible pun when he introduces them: “I wonder if Can will get into the top tin!”

Then afterwards he “jokes”: “We wanted to have them on at the beginning of the show, but then realized we couldn’t have a Can opener.”

It’s a testament to the greatest drummer who ever lived, Jaki Liebezeit, that this doesn’t totally suck. That still doesn’t mean that it’s not embarrassingly catchy!

“I Want More” hails from their Flow Motion album. More vintage Can can be heard on The Lost Tapes, a recently released box set from Mute Records.
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Choose your own adventure as Can’s Damo Suzuki


 
Hilarious ‘shopped image of You Are Damo Suzuki book, appropriately “penned” by Mark E. Smith.

Below, The Fall performing “I am Damo Suzuki” live at The Hacienda in 1985:
 

 
Via Post Punk Tumblr

 

 

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
‘Deadly Doris’: Previously unheard song by Can
04.26.2012
08:40 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Can
krautrock


 
“Deadly Doris,” a tantalizing taste from the forthcoming Can box set from Spoon Records and Mute:

The Lost Tapes is a 3 CD set of unreleased tracks, they are an opportunity to hear unreleased material, brand new tracks as if you were there, from the halcyon days, not outtakes.

The tracks cover the period from 1968 through to 1977 and were compiled by Irmin Schmidt and Daniel Miller.

The album features studio material recorded at Schloss Nörvenich and Can Studio, Weilerswist with the Can line up of Holger Czukay on bass, Michael Karoli on guitars, Jaki Liebezeit on drums and Irmin Schmidt on keyboards, and on most tracks, vocals from Malcolm Mooney or Damo Suzuki.

Irmin Schmidt explains “Obviously the tapes weren’t really lost, but were left in the cupboards of the studio archives for so long everybody just forgot about them. Everybody except Hildegard, who watches over Can and its work like the dragon over the gold of the Nibelungen and doesn’t allow forgetting.”

The album will be released in a numbered limited edition 3CD 10” old style tape box with a 28 page booklet on June 18th in Europe and June 19th in America.

“Deadly Doris”:
 

 
Here’s a second taster from The Lost Tapes, an edited version of the set’s opening number, “Millionenspiel”:
 

 
Thanks, Ken Frey!

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Monster movies: great live footage of ‘The Can’, 1970


 
Yes, ‘The Can” is the ‘Can’ we all know and love - Holger, Jaki, Michael, Irmin and, in this early 70s incarnation, the iconic Damo Suzuki. Here is a clip of the band performing the title track of the Roland Klick film ‘Deadlock’ in 1970 on Germany’s Westdeutscher Rundfunk television station.

When I first stumbled upon this clip, I assumed the TV producers had made an amusing mistake by adding an unwanted definitive article to the start of the band’s name. However, after checking the Can wiki page, it turns out that the additional “The” may not have been a mistake after all:

[By 1968] the band used the names “Inner Space” and “The Can” before finally settling on “CAN”. Liebezeit subsequently suggested the backronym “communism, anarchism, nihilism” for the band’s name. [Wow, what an amazing backronym!]

However, by the time this footage was recorded in 1970 the band had already released two records as ‘Can’ - Monster Movies and Soundtracks, which mostly featured Malcolm Mooney on vocals rather than Suzuki. So I think a little chortle can be had without feeling too foolish, but who knows, maybe it was a genuine mistake or maybe the bad flirted with a new name for a new singer? Either way, if it’s ‘The Can’ or just plain old ‘Can’ this is some great early footage of true musical pioneers: 

The Can “Deadlock” live 1970
 

 
After the jump, the awesome ‘Mother Sky’ from the same session…

Written by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
Listen to a superb recording of Can live in Paris (1973)
05.05.2011
02:01 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Can
Live in Paris

image
 
Live recordings of Can tend to be iffy things. Throughout their existence they steadfastly refused to do anything but entirely improvise each set including wildly divergent takes on pieces from the L.P.s. They tended to be far less disciplined live than their very tightly edited and economic recordings as well and could end up sounding like a trainwreck quite frequently. Not so on this recording, though. They are dazzlingly on point here and traveling stealthily throughout the Kosmos with minimalist drum wizard Jaki Liebezeit at the helm. The spontaneous radical changes in tempo and willingness to luxuriously zero in on the subtlest regions and repetitions reveal a five-man collective organism at its peak powers. Stream the whole thing right here:
 

 
Bonus clip: From another 1973 show in Paris two months earlier:

 
via Doom and Gloom from the Tomb, thanks !

Written by Brad Laner | Discussion
Can, Pink Floyd, Moroder, etc: Live music show curated by Keith Fullerton Whitman

image
 
Here’s a great collection of live performance clips, programmed by one of today’s foremost experts in the field of electronic music, Keith Fullerton Whitman via the appropriately named Network Awesome:
 
1. Laurie Spiegel “Improvisations on a Concerto Generator” live at Bell Labs, 1977. Here Laurie is manipulating the Bell Labs Digital Synthesizer, aka the “Alles Machine” (or just “Alice”) in real time. I love how baroque this is ; the pulverizing 16th-note motorik starts to blur together until all you hear are the lovely arpeggiated chord-shapes.
 
2. Speaking of motorik ; Can “Paperhouse” live in 1972, at the peak of their powers ... You often think of Can as this freak-out group, but here they sound as restrained & musical as ever ... of course Jaki is on fire throughout, but I’m more impressed by Holger’s    timekeeping in this clip !!! One of Damo’s best performances to boot, perfect Karoli guitar tone ; I could watch this on repeat, all day, every day ...
 
3. Seeselberg “Synthetik-1” , ca. 1975 c/o WDR. Seeselberg were two brothers (“Eckhardt” & “Wolf-J”) who issued a lone LP in 1973 of some of the most bewitching, non-denominational electronic music ever committed to tape. This feature-ette shows them jamming in front of a small gallery crowd, then at home in the studio ; cut with some rather Brakhage-esque direct-film experiments ... Sounds like a million bucks !!!
 
4. Bembeya Jazz National “Petit Sekou” live at the RTG studios in 1979. Slays me every time. Top-notch interplay, jagged but never showy guitar ... Love the VHS / helical scan wobble in the intro as well ...
 
5. Short film of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s commission for The Curve at the Barbican Center in London, 2010 ; Incredible idea, gorgeously executed ...
 
6. Great clip of Moroder actually performing “The Chase” from “Midnight Express” on a MiniMoog in 1979 ; proper synth freakout in there as well ...
 
7. Harry Bertoia Sound Sculptures, performed by his son, Val in 2001. About 5 years before this was filmed, I made the pilgrimage out to rural Bally, PA to witness these for myself ... since Harry’s passing in 1978, the sculptures have been standing in a barn, largely untouched, for the last 30 years; this is a rare document of their majestic forms / sounds ...
 
8. Pink Floyd “Echoes Part II” ; never was a big Gilmour fan, but I’ll rate this as the best bit from the later “Stadium” Floyd’s reign ...
 
9. Erkki Kurreniemi “Computer Music” ... mid-60’s film showing Erkki’s process for composing with computers. Typewriter? Check. Scads of jumbled up paper tape? Check. Composer falls asleep, dreams of psychedelic spinning landscape, rife with paranoid overtones? All there. As close as you’ll get to a valid “performance film” of early Computer Music ...
 
10. The Voice Crack trio of Norbert Möslang, Andy Guhl, and Knut Remond performing a set of their trademark “Cracked Everyday Electronics” in a gallery in their hometown of St. Gallen, Switzerland, 1989 ... I hear this not only as the blueprint for every “pedal noise”  performance of the 90s / 00s, but as the invention of a few different languages that make up a large part of our current experimental music vocabulary. These guys are VISIONARIES ...
 

Written by Brad Laner | Discussion
Album Tacos: Tacos on your favorite album covers
08.30.2010
03:25 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Can
Sonic Youth
Big Black
Album Tacos

image
 
image
 
image
 
It’s about TIME Internet! I can finally die a happy woman.

Album Tacos

(Thanks again, Nerdcore!)

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
B-Boys in New York Popping to Vitamin C by Can
08.07.2010
09:31 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Krautrock
Can
Popping
B Boys

 
The undeniable universal groove of Can. It’s got a groovy beat and you can dance to it.

Written by Brad Laner | Discussion
Phew: The lost link between krautrock and Japanese punk

image
 
Phew is the name of the Japanese punk chanteuse who first came came to notoriety as singer in the band Aunt Sally. These tracks from her 1981 self-titled LP are most notable, however for her backing band: Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit of Can and always brilliant producer Conny Plank. This is some wonderfully austere stuff from a period in which our man Holger could virtually do no wrong. And what a prescient sound this is. Any number of current backward looking bands would give their eye teeth for the vibe and drum/synth groove made by this unlikely combination of middle aged German gents and adorable art-waif.

 
More Phew after the jump…

Written by Brad Laner | Discussion
Can: Future Days and Beyond
05.28.2010
03:38 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Can
Damo Suzuki
Future Days

image
 
Mr. Laner’s Krautrock post from earlier this week put me in a Can kind of mood (although it takes very little).  What follows below is a kinda wonderful fan-made video for Future Days, the epically dreamy title track from the final Can album to feature the vocal stylings of former street busker, Damo Suzuki.  The vid’s creator cribbed its imagery from banned films from the 20’s and 30’s.  Trippy visuals aside, as we ease into what should be a sunny Memorial Day weekend here in LA, make Future Days part of your soundtrack!

Written by Bradley Novicoff | Discussion
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