March 26, 2010 Playlist

"Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night" by Stereolab (1999)
Stereolab  "Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night"  1999 (UK/France)
Stereolab went on "indefinite hiatus" last year, which possibly marks the end of my favorite group of the 1990's era.  Led by Parisian singer/lyricist/moogist Laetitia Sadier and British guitarist/songwriter Tim Gane, Stereolab managed to blaze one of the most original trails through recent rock history, while at the same time their sound is comprised almost entirely from recycled riffs of the 1960's and 70's!  Some of those key influences would include "space age bachelor pad music" (hi-fi easy listening records), krautrock, tropicalia, switched-on moog records, French Ya-Ya pop, and a lot of other really hip stuff that 21st century ears are still just starting to catch up with.  One of my favorite of their albums is this strange one from 1999 -- apparently "the critics" still haven't caught on that this is one of their absolute best (I had a hard time finding a halfway positive review online;  it was also their worst-selling major label release.)  Indeed, I would say it marked the band's artistic peak -- every record up until this one seemed to further expand the envelope of the "Stereolab sound", but after this one the group's final decade seemed like a retreat to the formula of their earlier successes.
Here's a music video for the first single released from Cobra"The Free Design" -- a song which is named after underappreciated 1960's vocal group The Free Design.   Another of their tributes to an obscure group of the past would be "Les Yper Sound", named for Pierre Henry's early electro-pop outfit (or "The Now Sound" in French.)  And finally, here's a classic Stereolab rocker in which they combine the hyper motorik beat of NEU! with Europop harmonies and indie rock guitars to create "French Disko"!
(N) = New Release
Artist Song Album Year (label) Country
NEU! Hallogallo NEU! 1972 Germany
Can Moonshake Future Days 1973 Germany
Esquivel! Surfboard (A. C. Jobim) Space Age Bachelor Pad Music (CD compilation) rec. 1967 Mexico
The Free Design Now Is The Time Heaven / Earth 1969 USA
The Free Design Bubbles Star Time Bubbles Love 1970 USA
Stereolab The Free Design Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night
1999 UK/France
Stereolab Op Hop Detonation Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night
1999 UK/France
Stereolab Blue Milk Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night
1999 UK/France
Stereolab & Herbie Mann One Note Samba (A. C. Jobim) / Surfboard (A. C. Jobim) Aluminum Tunes (CD compilation) rec. 1995 UK/France & USA
The Black Lips
Again & Again 200 Million Thousand (N) 2009 (Vice) USA
Everything & Nothing At All American Gong (N) 2010 (Kill Rock Stars) USA
Mission of Burma Posession
   / Blunder
The Sound The Speed The Light (N) 2009 (Matador) USA
The Overachievers Sisterworld (N) 2010 (Mute) USA
This Moment In Black History
Pollen Count Public Square (N) 2009 (Smog Veil) USA
Unknown Instructors (Watt & Hurley from fIREHOSE, Dave Thomas from Pere Ubu, and others)
Door Of No Return Funland (N) 2009 (Smog Veil) USA
The Fierce & The Dead
Part 1 Part 1 EP (N) 2010 (self release) UK
Solus 3
Sprezzatura The Sky Above The Roof (N) 2010 (Solus 3 Recordings) UK
Procol Harum Skip Softly (My Moonbeams) Shine On Brightly 1968 UK
Steve Miller Band Brave New World Brave New World 1969 USA
Joe Walsh One And One / Giant Bohemoth Barnstorm 1972 USA
Joe Walsh Mother Says Barnstorm 1972 USA
John Abercrombie Ghost Dance Characters 1978 USA
Weather Report The Moors I Sing The Body Electric 1972 USA/Austria
Barry Miles (with John Abercrombie) Suburban Shuffle Scatbird 1972 USA
Deodato & Airto Tropea (live) In Concert 1974 Brazil
Devadip Carlos Santana Arise Awake
   / Light Versus Darkness
   / Jim Jeannie
Oneness:  Silver Dreams - Golden Reality 1979 Mexico/USA
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