Back when I still lived in Hamburg I loved to shop in a little thrift store near my appartement called Hamburgs kleinstes Kaufhaus (Hamburg´s smallest department store). It was very well-organized and also cheap, so many poor people from the neighborhood came to the store to buy household stuff like pots and pans. When I visited my old home the last time, I noticed that the original poor population has largely been driven out of the area. But the store still exists. It´s where I found this record in the early 90s.
I never knew much about it until recently, when I researched a bit. Nothing on Fanny Audret or the Carrousel label on the Internet but I found information about the songs. Chanson d´Orphee is the title track to the film Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus) made in Brazil by French director Marcel Camus in 1959. I had seen the movie and I even have the French soundtrack EP, but I still didn´t recognize the song. Probably because this version has a different tempo.
Le Train Bleu was a luxury French night express train which carried wealthy and famous passengers between Calais and the French Riviera in the 1920s and 30s. It was dubbed “The Blue Train” because of its dark blue sleeping cars. Luis Mariano recorded Un train bleu dans la nuit in 1959 as a tribute to the train. Caterina Valente also recorded a version the same year. According to French Wikipedia Un train bleu dans la nuit is a version of “Blue Train in the Night” by legendary Bebop double-bassist Ray Brown with French lyrics by Pierre Delanoë. But for some reason I couldn´t find a Ray Brown song called “Blue Train In The Night”. Anyway, it is a beautiful song:
As a side-note that would tie the two sides of this record together, here´s Ray Brown performing a bass solo of Black Orpheus in 2001:
This week I was asked to write something for the blog, because Andreas is too busy with a lettering job. Guess what – I like music too – but I don’t own any 7”s and my LP collection is very small. Some David Bowie, some Talking Heads and many Depeche Mode LP’s, that was it. But I don’t own a record player. So I’m not really prepared to write about music. I thought I`d tell you about living with a record collector. Because it is different.
Okay, let’s talk about the STUFF.
Well, it is not quite Japanese looking in our flat. We have a huge apartment with very little space left. Feng Shui would kill himself if he would see how Andi’s room looks. When we moved into our place our friends said: “You can never move out again because none of us will ever help you carry all this stuff again. Matze: “I can’t believe I carried a box with Spex (stupid music magazine) issues from the eighties to the fourth floor.”
A collector collects and he doesn’t collect only one kind of thing he collects different things – at least my collector does. Records (as you know), comic books, furniture, magazines, fanzines, flyers, T-shirts, toys and weird things from the fifties “I need this for reference”.
Do you know Lindenstraße? Andi’s room looks like the living room of Else Kling – the old hag that stopped buying new items for her apartment in 1956.
What really kills me is that the stuff keeps getting more and more. Every week Andi carries new things into our flat and since nothing is leaving the house I’m afraid one day we will break through the floor and land in the Muslim living room downstairs. Sometimes Andi goes to the flea market to sell stuff and I get all happy “space, air, stuff leaving us…” But then he goes to the basement, stays there for hours and his room looks just like before. The basement must be full of more stuff. I haven’t been there.
I guess you don’t understand why I feel so strongly about collecting. Did you see Fight Club: “as soon as you own things they start owning you” and who really needs the complete edition of Klingende Post? Sometimes I go to the flea market with Andi. It happens rarely and he doesn’t tell me his true intentions. He says we go shopping for food and then he ends up kneeling in front of some old guys booth digging through a bunch of dusty records. I never see when, what and how he buys them and when we are back home he hides them from me.
Now to handling the stuff.
Do you wash your records? Does anybody besides my boyfriend do that? Andi has mastered his own technique to clean records. He takes Spüli (dish-washing detergent) and make-up pads. He loves doing that and he loves teaching fellow collectors how to do it. And when his babies are nice and clean they get a plastic sleeve and guess what, he changes the sleeve every six month (he doesn’t change our bed sheets that often and I’d rather see him cleaning the windows as passionately …). The old sleeves he gives to a friend who is new to the collecting business.
Now leaving the stuff.
Sometimes I can convince Andi to leave the house for more than an hour and to go further than the end of our district. But it is hard for him leaving his stuff behind. We sat in the most beautiful spots of foreign countries and Andi misses his stuff so much that he gets very very homesick. Ten days is max. He tries to overcome his stuffhomesicknesslonging by trying to find 7”s everywhere we go. Did you know that Bangkok had a big rock’n’roll scene in the whatevers? We sat in Oaxaca (Mexico) and little native kids came to us trying to sell self-made traditional-somethings and Andi just frowned and said:” If they came around with some old records…” We bought a Mexican Beatles record with no record but cardboard in it. I saw the reclining Buddha and Andi kneeled in front of old peoples record boxes in Chinatown. His first approach to different cultures: ”Do you know if there is any record or antique-stores here?” The natives shake their heads when they see how thrilled he is about some trashy Romanian version of Hula-Hula or something like that. When we are home he shows his treasures to his friend and by talking so passionately those old records change into diamonds and then they are cleaned and presented to you guys out there:
”Look what I found in Mongolia – Chinese Beat form Japan with Mikey Blabla on the guitar produced by Tommie Idontgiveafuck and it came out on **#ä+# – can you believe that?”
I’m sure that Andi would even find some rare forgotten 7”s on the moon.
Okay, now you probably think: why don’t you leave that guy and live in a monastery without any material things? Well, my problem is that I have a hard time throwing things out, too. I always think I could use this again someday. Stationary with little elephants from the early seventies that were given to me by my aunt, cardboard boxes in different sizes (always handy to have), gift wrapping paper from last Christmas (why throw it out I could use it next year), jam jars (I will make marmalade next summer, promised). So maybe I should just start my own blog called:
Don’t throw it away you might need it later. Look at this beautiful oil bottle that I bought yesterday. When the oil is gone I can use it as a vase….
Oh, I forgot this is a music blog. So here are my favourite songs from Andi’s collection. Get your girlfriend and let her listen to these beautiful songs. Every girl will love them. And a collector who finds such heartbreaking music needs to be loved himself.