This was $1.60. Not going to pass up something with a hometown angle. I seem to recall seeing their name a lot in the 80’s when I used to read concert listings.
Last week was a pretty busy one music wise. It started with a production of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love at the Houston Grand Opera. It was a pretty good production, conducted by Jane Glover. Set in a Mediterranean seaside resort, it was a simple, light and airy, story with good music. Two acts- in and out. The singers were in fine form. Overall, it was quite good.
Last Thursday, I saw Gogol Bordello at the White Oak Music Hall. It was my fourth time to see the band but my first time at the venue. As many people have stated, it is a very nice facility although the show was moved from the outside stage to the inside one.
Smaller crowd than I would have expected. Also, they were rather tame in comparison. When I saw them at House of Blues, the dance floor was a graveyard of IPhones when the show was over.
The band was excellent. They did most of my favorites and a lot of tunes from Underground World Strike. They also did an excellent samba-esque version of “American Wedding”. Great performance all the way around.
Finally, Friday night, I returned to the HGO for a production of Gounod’s Faust. This was also quite excellent. Using traditional scenery, it was a good performance. I really liked Act I and III. Real dark stuff at times but it did have somewhat of a happy ending. The music was excellent as this was my first time exposed to it. The performances were also quite good. I found it a bit odd that after the devil made a deal with Faust, he decided to pal along with him, like a buddy movie. Wouldn’t he have better things to do? That was strange. I did like the fact that the opera did jump right into it without some long exposition or epiphany on why Faust wanted his youth back. They kept that part brief. Overall, it was a great production.
Anyway, back to today’s subject at hand. Trout Fishing In America was formed by Keith Grimwood and Erza Idelt in 1979. They took the name from the Richard Brautigan novel. They were based in Houston for many years until 1992 when they relocated to Arkansas. Yes, that does sting. Either way, they made over 20 records for both kids and adults. They also were nominated for Grammy’s four times. They are still active today.
Link to TFIA Webpage
This was the duo’s first album. It was released on their own label, Trout Records. TFIA, according to their website, was one of the first bands to release their own music.
The album is a collection of mostly covers, well except for one, they are all covers. But what makes this album interesting is the wide range of artists covered from The Beatles to The Byrds, from Gordon Lightfoot to Ray Charles. Pretty decent little album that captures the duo pretty well I imagine.
For a sample, I was torn between the Byrds’ “Mr Spaceman” and “Masochism Tango” which was written by Tom Lehrer. Lehrer was one of those smart guy song writers who was also a mathematician in his spare time. He wrote topical songs and satires which may have been funny at the time but are kind of less so today.
Anyway, after some thought, I decided to go with Lehrer. Here is a rough session with several takes of the song.
Satisfactory Record. A lot of personal item on this post. If you like that sort of thing, you are probably going to be short changed this month as I am planning to go on vacation shortly and will shorten up posts for the rest of the month.