Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Dark Side of Hall and Oates Tribute Album

About 17 years ago, my brother and I decided to head out on a spontaneous road trip to the Oregon Coast. We were living on an island just outside Seattle at the time. Before we hit the road we filled up the tank and decided to purchase one of those cheap gas station cassettes to serve as the soundtrack to our journey. Somehow we ended up choosing "Hall & Oates - The Early Years." This seemingly random decision would forever alter the course of our lives.

I remember being alarmed by the beauty and simplicity of the tracks on that cassette. At the time I, like most people, only knew Hall & Oates for their synthesizer-laden 80s pop hits. But these songs were from the early 70s. They showed an entirely different side of the dynamic duo. We kept that cassette in the player for our entire trip. It was impossible to resist the effortless harmonies, delicate acoustic balladry, and nimble piano work. The songs worked their way into our souls.

After that trip we made it our life's mission to track down every possible Hall & Oates release on vinyl, and believe me, their are a lot of them. I started collecting before I even had a functioning record player. When I did finally get one up and running, the fact that 75% of my record collection was Hall & Oates became a point of pride. I of course was most fond of those 70s albums, but I grew to appreciate the polished pop hits as well.

Then, maybe five or six years ago my brother came up with a great idea. His master plan was to spearhead a sprawling Hall & Oates tribute album that would showcase not just the hits, but also the deeper cuts and hidden gems we so enjoyed. The album would be called The Dark Side of Hall and Oates, and we'd record it analog to capture the warmth of those early records. He enlisted me and several of our talented musical friends to help out with the project, forming a retroactive supergroup known as Koot Hoomi .

Well, here we are. It's 2010 and I'm proud to announce that after five years of recording, Koot Hoomi presents The Dark Side of Hall and Oates is complete and set for release on March 9. The album consists of 15 tracks, offering up a full hour's worth of re-imagined Hall & Oates goodness. It's quite a ride, and I encourage all of you to hop on board.

You can learn more about the album and hear audio samples at the official website We've also launched an online presale for those who want to be the first to receive the CD. All presale orders will be shipped on or before March 1.

Thanks for listening and for supporting our creative endeavors. To some, such a project might seem silly, but I can assure you this effort is straight from the heart, and we couldn't be happier with the results.

Om Guru Oates.

1 comment:

Robert Dean Lurie said...

Excellent post, broheim. But there's one important detail that you're misremembering: The Hall and Oates cassette was actually purchased at a run-down convenience store on the Oregon coast, which makes the whole road trip all the more baffling. As I recall, we set out fairly late in the evening with no apparent destination, telling our parents we were going camping on Bainbridge Island (though we had no tent or gear of any kind) then just drove and drove for hours, finally arriving at the seashore in the wee hours of the morning. Once there, we dozed in the back of the Chevy Blazer until sunup, and then set out for breakfast (I vaguely remember eating in a diner, and I'm sure I consumed either biscuits and gravy or country-fried steak). Then we purchased the cassette.

At no point on this journey did we speculate as to why we were randomly driving into another state in the middle of the night. And, once we had the tape, we did little more than drive back home.

The conclusion here is inescapable: The tape was summoning us across a great distance. It had plans for us. I mark that date as the true genesis of The Dark Side of Hall and Oates.