Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Euro-Schmaltz, Germans, Brits, & Yanks

More Bergen!

From an album where Mr. Spector did brandish a handgun (and maybe a crossbow), Leonard Cohen's Death of a Ladies' Man, comes Iodine. Not the most beloved of his albums by the undergraduate poets in your life*, but I'm a big fan of its boozy, jazzy and occasionally shambolic, shabby glory. Also in 1977, Tony Visconti, David Bowie & Iggy Pop got together to record Pop's The Idiot. That album includes the drum machine dirge and Weimar-era ennui homage Nightclubbing (check out that schaffel rhythm**). Hilly Michaels, one-time drummer for Sparks, recorded a cover of John Lennon's Instant Karma for his 1980 album Calling All Girls. A pretty faithful adaption. The rest of the album fluctuates between baroque Queen-esque numbers (befitting a Sparks collaborator, I guess) and over-reaching power pop: mostly a pass. From there, not such a leap to Gary Glitter and then, finally, Goldfrapp.

* Another dark horse pick that Dan Bejar of Destroyer would favour - the Euro-schmaltz of 1988's I'm Your Man.
** Alas, an blip on the mid 2000s dance music scene that never got big, huh? But at least it gave us Goldfrapp's Train, without which shampoo and automobile advertising would never be the same.

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