Wednesday, February 20, 2008

CAN Wednesday

My old roommate Stephen Abbate used to DJ record parties in his room. He'd say things like, "Today is Can Wednesday," while pulling out all his Can records. I'd say, "How come?" and he'd say, "Because we CAN." Then he would play all his favorite Can songs and eventually make me a cassette tape. Stephen is still dj-ing. I don't think he can function without playing records for people. You can listen to Stereo Steve on KUSF.com Fridays, 12-3, west coast time--always eclectic and infused with garage-acid weirdness.

Formed in 1968 in Germany, Can is the quintessential Krautrock band: improvisational, proggy psychdelic trance opera. They've had a few singers (most who had never sung before) but I'm focusing on Kenji "Damo" Suzuki, a Japanese street guy picked up by the band one night, who slithered his way through several classic Can albums. Original singer from America, Malcolm Mooney, performed in Oakland a few years ago with Myles Boisen, and a bunch of other improv obsessive compulsives. Myles engineered/produced my band She Mob's cds. See, it's all inter-related somehow.

I knew Can was one of those little-heard yet greatly influential bands, but I never had such a complete list of those bands until Wikipedia enlightened me. Sample of bands/people influenced by Can: David Bowie, Talking Heads, Joy Division, The Fall, The Flaming Lips, Brian Eno, John Lydon. The band Spoon is named for the Can song, Spoon. I did not know that.

Mushroom

Mother Sky

Spoon

Bands who like Can:
Vibravoid - Mother Sky (2005)

The Fall - Cruiser's Creek (The Fall actually have a song titled I Am Damo Suzuki, but I like Cruiser's Creek better and it's all very Can-like, and it's my blog, so I get to pick).

More Fall greatness: Totally Wired. Maybe I should have The Fall Friday...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa! So strange -- I was just listening to the Fall ("Light User Syndrome") when D said you'd posted tonight. "Cruiser's Creek" was one of N's favorite driving around songs when he was little, along with "Road Runner" (from the mixtape you made him).

-- Adam

PS I should have commented last week with my own Bob Stinson story from MPLS. Not as compelling as yours, though.

Lisa Mc said...

Jackson always liked "Road Runner" too. What kid wouldn't like "Road Runner"? Now the chorus would have to be changed to "MP3 player on!" I love that your kid loves a Fall song. Mark E. Smith somehow manages to touch us all with his atonal ramblings. You should always comment if only to assure my fragile ego that someone is reading this. And the world needs more, not less, Bob Stinson commentary.