Saturday, November 03, 2007

Frantic Pointlessness

I frequently buy used reel to reel tapes, if either the price is right, or the contents look intriguing, or both. I tend to come into possession of tapes quicker than I can find opportunities to listen to them, and so have a backlog of interesting listening at all times.

This week, I listened to a tape made by someone in the Washington, D.C. area, of various public radio programs, one of which was a featuring on early 20th century recordings of ragtime music. It was quite enjoyable, but the first several records simply did not prepare me for the wonders of this recording of a song called "Oh! You La! La!", by Wilbur Sweatman and his group of apparently tireless instrumentalists and perhaps overcaffeinated drummers.

There is more energy in this record than in anything else I can think of at the moment, particularly in the second half of the tune. I suspect that at least a few of these musicians had to lie down when they were done making this recording. I certainly would love to have had the opportunity to hear these fellows live!

(By the way, the host of the show, unfortunately, let the tune play before the turntable was up to speed, leading to the first notes bending upwards as the performance begins.)

Click on the link, and enjoy!

1 comment:

Sammy Reed said...

This is one of those songs I offer as proof that there was no "first rock song". Contemporary music, including what we know as "rock music", evolved, and this thing was obviously part of that evolutionary process!