Stare With Your Ears
:: Angel's Lament ::
:: Cracks in the Ceiling ::
:: Ballad of the Final Page ::
If you’re not familiar with who Ken Nordine is, chances are you’ll recognize that deep, deep, expressive voice of his from one of the, literally, thousands of commercial voice-overs he’s done over the last 60 years. But I’m sure you hipsters know who he is, and are familiar with the “Word Jazz” genre he created with the handful of Dot Records he released between 1957 and 1960. Those records are pretty hard to come by, but I’ll bet Mike has them all tucked away somewhere on his shelves. I’ll eat my own ass if he doesn’t.
I do, happily, have Stare with Your Ears, released on Nordine’s own Snail Records in 1979. The hipster howlings of yore are traded in for more fleshed out storytelling, and there’s an overall dark tone, both in subject matter and backing music. Some of the songs are drenched in keyboard, giving them that 70’s movie soundtrack type of feel. Combined with Nordine’s resonant voice, its great stuff for headphone listening.
I found my pristine copy for five bucks a few years ago, but there’s one record dealer on the internets selling a copy for $455. If any of you crazy fuckers out there are willing to shell out that much for it, I’ll sell you mine.