Neu!’s two primary members, Klaus Dinger (drums) and Michael Rother (guitar), split from Kraftwerk in 1971 and recorded their first, self-titled LP shortly after; there were two other records, Neu! 2 (1973) and Neu! ‘75 (1975) before these visionary gentlemen moved on to other projects. (More on their story here; Dinger, sadly, died from a heart attack at age 62 in 2008.) Now everything’s being reissued on vinyl, including the previously unfinished Neu! ‘86. Per Rother, on the Neu! website:
Most of all I’m thrilled about the release of the album NEU! ‘86 which Klaus Dinger and I originally recorded in 1985/86, but left unfinished back then and which led to some unfortunate problems between Klaus and myself in the 90s. I now completely reworked the album from original multitrack and master tapes, and unearthed a few yet unknown tracks which are essential for a full understanding of what Klaus and I focussed on for NEU! in the mid 80s. It was my aim to present Klaus Dinger’s musical strengths and visions just as much as my own ideas. The best musical result was to be my only guideline, not the ego. All during the emotional process of reworking our album Klaus was on my mind and I contemplated what he would think about my decisions.
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, “Roadrunner” (alternate studio version, from the Beserkley Chartbusters Vol. 1 compilation, 1976)
I don’t have track information on this, but it sounds like mid-seventies Richman—more the “Abominable Snowman in the Supermarket” era than the earlier, John Cale–produced session that gave us the song’s original version.
More double music. One afternoon in February of 2000, while simultaneously playing LPs on my stereo and CDs on my computer (I was a little crazy at the time), I stumbled upon the unadulterated sonic collision linked above: “D” by Codeine (from Frigid Stars LP, Sub Pop, 1990) and “Stani Mi, Maytcho (Get Up, My Daughter)” by the Bulgarian State Television Female Choir (from Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares Vol. 2,Nonesuch, 1990).
This isn’t a remix, which to my understanding is different from what mash-ups originally were. There is no editing—it’s simply two songs playing at the same time, both started at their beginnings and running their respective courses with beautiful serendipity. As you listen, see if you can’t picture both groups packed into the same studio together, laying down what would surely be one of the awesomest Bulgarian folk-slowcore records of all time.
2. Click here to open the Astronauts Song. This is the version I recorded on my four-track last winter for February Album Writing Month. The tune has now made its way, with some fanfare, into our live sets. In July, we’ll be heading back to Sound of Music in Richmond to lay down a new deluxe recording of it with our friend and hero Alan Weatherhead.
From Don’t Turn Around (Today Records, 1972). I found this LP in super-rough shape at a stoop sale for a buck today. Ultimately, it’s not even playable, which is too bad: Just before I took it off the turntable, I knew I really liked this tune.
Thunderegg, “When the Cables Break,” from Sweetest Drum (proj. 2014)
(2004’s Sweetest One album was recorded on only three tracks, so that Keith “Woodpile” Woodfin might add drums on the fourth track at a later date. Five of the album’s original twelve songs now have drums. Once we have them all, we’ll put it out as Sweetest Drum. I’m hoping Woodfin will consider a ten-year-anniversary release date of 2014 feasible. But he’s a busy man.)
You’re on the road with Journey, one of the world’s hottest rock groups. A spectacular performance has just ended. Now it’s up to you to guide each Journey Band Member past hordes of Love-Crazed Groupies, Sneaky Photographers, and Shifty-Eyed Promoters to the safety of the Journey Escape Vehicle in time to make the next concert. Your mighty manager and loyal roadies are there to help, but the escape is up to you!