Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Olympians | The 45s 1966-1971

Reupped by reader request, here.

[Originaly written and posted November 1, 2012.] So, contrary to my rather cavalier pre-Sandy post last Sunday, here I am about to talk about the storm. Not to reiterate on the enormous damage it has caused up and down the east coast, but to turn your attention to the magazine I've been writing for since this summer, Open City. A number of writers associated with that online journal were asked yesterday to report on the storm's impact on New York's immigrant cultures by editor Kai Ma, who is a personal hero of mine for having started a magazine that focuses on immigrant culture in New York City in the first place. 

Now Kai is assembling and editing these reports from around the New York City area on the special impact the storm has had on these immigrants who, frankly, make this city (as well as this humble music blog) what it is. The first report, from Sukjong Hong, just went up today; you can read it here

My neighborhood, Astoria, didn't fare as poorly as others, though there is at least one tree downed on every other block. (Some 10,000 trees reportedly toppled in Queens alone.) We were lucky. Very, very lucky.

Today, while one of my co-workers relocated to Brooklyn with her family from their powerless, waterless apartment on the easternmost edge of Manhattan's Chinatown, I had the relative luxury of wandering around Astoria, surveying pockets of damage here and there, and marveling at the number of businesses--pretty much all of them--that have reopened in Sandy's wake. (Truth be told, most reopened yesterday.) Including one of my go-to immigrant-run stores: GMV, or Greek Music & Video Inc. (25-50 31st Street, Astoria, NY 11102).

As you'll remember, back in February I found this fabulous CD by surf-garage-psych band The Olympians at GMV; today, I returned to the same spot in the stacks and discovered the subject of today's post: A collection assembled in 1996 of the band's earliest 45 records.

The CD includes original songs and covers in both English and Greek (including a Greek version of the Kinks' "Lola") spanning the first five years of the band's existence. It's a rock-solid, life-affirming collection that I'm going to guess many of you, regular visitors and those who may have stepped in to the Bodega for the first time today, will enjoy.

And for everyone whose lives were affected by this truly unprecedented storm, our thoughts are with you ...

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