Thursday, November 29, 2007

Clean, Complex, and Dark

Your Score: the Wit

(61% dark, 30% spontaneous, 36% vulgar)

your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

You probably loved the Office.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

The 3-Variable Funny Test!

- it rules -

I prefer the American Office over the British Office, though it's far from my favorite show. Jon Stewart's ok (lately, I've watched more of Stephen Colbert) and I haven't seen a Woody Allen movie in years -- I would put Purple Rose of Cairo high on my list of favorite movies. But if we're talking stand up, I'm a big fan of Woody Allen's early work. Very nice absurdist storytelling. He recorded three albums between 1964 and 1968; I don't have any of those. What I do have is a 2 record set released in 1978 that contains material from those earlier albums. You can buy the CD of the same material at Amazon, though the CD cover is different from the album. Here's my favorite Woody Allen routine:

  • Listen to Woody Allen: Moose

Good to know I'm not the only affected by the Moose story.

Thursday Challenge IV

At TSORT's World's Music Charts, by combining a number of source charts, the following were listed as the biggest hit albums of their year. Arrange them in chronological order from oldest to youngest. Two points for each correct answer.

Bonus points:
  • Give yourself 2 additional bonus points for each album/CD you own.
  • You get 5 bonus points if you own zero.
  • I own two; for two points each, name them.

Images linked at

You can wait until Tuesday for the answer or look here

Rules: Points only for those you know without googling. Obviously I can't stand over you with a Nun ruler, so I'll borrow from the guidelines Ken Jennings uses for his Tuesday Trivia:
As with all good trivia, it would take you about 30 seconds to Google the answers. So you're on the honor system here: no peeking, and only send in the answers you knew off the top of your head.

Unless otherwise noted, spoiler discussions are allowed in the comments. So discuss the answers as much as you want in the comments and if you're still guessing then avoid the comments until your answers are ready.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Projects slowing me down

Just thought I'd mention that things might be a little slow around here for a week or two. Birthday parties, home renovations, holidays, work, just haven't been able to get away for a time-sucking hobby. I'll try for a quiz for Thursday, but try not to be too disappointed if there isn't one. The above picture is one of my projects. Since all our CDs are loaded on the computer for home play and carried around on iPods for play everywhere else, the actual CDs and jewel cases just take up space. So I'm filing the CDs and liner notes in media folders and throwing away the jewel cases. It's like a stack of photo albums of album cover art.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Flip Wilson, Cowboys and Colored People

In Progess

Working on this now. I'll put up "Christopher Columbus" and "Cowboys & Colored People" for Thanksgiving (the rest of the album in a few days). Seems like the most holiday appropriate tracks I have. This is one of my favorite comedy albums and "Cowboys & Colored People" my favorite routine.

Criminal his records aren't available on CD. I was at the used record store earlier this week and picked up two other albums: The Flip Wilson Show with special guest David Frost and Flipped Out> Probably won't get around to those until sometime next year.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Two from Nat King Cole

I'm ripping a 6 LP box set for a friend -- two down, four to go. It's "The Longines Symphonette Society proudly presents the Nat King Cole Treasury." You can read the booklet that came with it. I haven't compared what's on this with what's currently available, however, I doubt there are any hidden gems. What I would like to find are some Nat King Cole recordings with a simple jazz combo as I'm not a fan of the 101 strings arrangement. Here's two I like of the arrangements and because I don't think I've heard them before.

I'm scanning the center of the LPs for the CD labels.

Listen to Oh Mary, Don't You Weep

Listen to What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as read by Robie Lester

Robie Lester was the Disneyland Records story reader for seven years, did many commericals for Kellogg's, and was the voice for Miss Jessica in Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. Eventually I'll get around to scanning all the pages and turning this into a video. If you like this, we have more. Even if you don't like this we have more.

Listen to the Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (10:25)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thursday Challenge III

Match the band or singer with the movie. They performed on stage as background action to the real actors.

  1. Against All Odds
  2. Body Double
  3. Blow Up
  4. The Hunger
  5. Kill Bill
  6. Nothing But Trouble
  7. Repoman
  8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
  9. Vision Quest

  • 5,6,7,8's
  • Bauhaus
  • Circle Jerks
  • Digital Underground
  • Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  • Kid Creole and the Coconuts
  • Madonna
  • Vanilla Ice
  • Yardbirds

For bonus points, name the song and band; backwards, of course

XWL: 21
justkim: 15
pastor_jeff: 4

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Trust Me

Information from the back cover:

1977 GRT Corporation

Written and produced by Hans Petersen

The players
  • Hans Petersen as Pres. Jimmy Carter
  • Bill Conkright as Billy Carter, Jody Powell, others
  • June Stewart as Roslynn Carter, others
  • Matt Stovall as the pschiatrist, accents, others
  • The pickers: Bill Weathers (banjo), Howard Simpers (piano), Sam Hobbs (fiddle)

Executive producers: Dick Heard & Nelson Larkin. Recorded November 19, 1976 and March 29, 1977 at International Recording Studios, North Augusta, S.C.

Who's Hans?
Hans Petersen and his wife Betty live in Augusta, Georgia, where he is a morning radio announcer. A native of Pensacola, Florida, Hans (rhymes with Fonz) is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Africa and has worked in radio and television since the age of fifteen. The voice of Jimmy Carter has been a regular feature of Hans' radio program since the New Hampshire primary. After the election, Betty said, "Why don't you make an album about Carter?" So he did,

Recording, editing & mixing engineers: Jimmy Burch, Bruce Albertine, Steve Logan, Ronnie Dean, Ed Hudson, and Richard Masei.

There's not much information on this record out on the intertoobs, so this was probably a regional hit and quickly disappeared. Luckily, I've held onto my copy since 1977. Trust Me is a Vaughn Meaderesque take on a Jimmy Carter White House, filled with pretty much every southern stereotype you can think of. Yes, there are jokes about grits and peanuts, Amy carter selling overpriced sandwiches to the press, jokes about how unlikely it is that Carter became president, and apparently Carter's inability to do anything without first consulting the polls. And even though this was recorded in a studio and all the laughter is canned, some of this is still funny. Not to be missed is the routine that I'm convinced was the influence for David Letterman's Oprah-Uma routine at the Oscars. I'm sure you'll agree.

Becasue there are 17 tracks, I'll release these over 3-4 days so you enjoy them at leisure.

Side One
1. Intro :25
OK, there the first banjo joke

2. Southernizing the White House 4:18
I'm guessing here, but I'm thinking few people reading this remember Robert Hall stores. The funny thing is, at the time this was recorded, they were in the process of being liquidated. This track starts a running joke about Jimmy Carter and nicknames.

3. The Interpreter 2:06
"I suppose it could be, what do the polls say?" I bet that joke has been used for every president and it's always funny.

4. Miss Lillian 1:13
Just like in real life, Miss Lillian is a bright spot on this album.

5. Call the President: 25
This one still makes me chuckle. Jokes, like prom dates, are often best when they're cheap and easy.

6. The Press Conference 2:36
The Amy Carter joke works best if you remember news stories about her, at age 8, selling lemonade and sandwiches to newsmen. Also, why Jimmy doesn't have to keep a promise

7. The Psychiatrist
Pretty good bit that drifts off without a clear punchline.

8. The Spat
Mr. and Mrs. Carter have a fight. Another routine that ends prematurely.

9. The Advisor
Jimmy Carter wonders if he'll be reelected.

Side Two
10. The Press Secretary
Did he say lambinated? Did you know all southerners were ignant hicks? Because they are and it's funny.

11. I've Got A Secret
The priest line easily makes this my favorite track.

12. Idi, Meet Eddie
This is the track that I'm convinced influenced David Letterman's Oprah/Uma Oscar routine. Someone else besides me owned this album. Compare them and dare tell me I'm wrong.

13. Call the President 2
An honest to god funny joke.

14. The Plane to Nashville
Brother Billy goes to the airport

15. Call The President 3
How did this guy get past the switchboard

16. The State Suppah
Yay! Miss Lillian is back! Though I've never heard anyone say "porch-a-ko." Also includes some of the most offensively stereotyped Chinese and Mexican accents (don't miss the musical cue on the fadeout). I've always liked syrup on mine.

17. Goodnight
They laughed years ago when you said you wanted to be the president.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday Challenge II

Today it's match the album title to the artist. These are taken from Melody Maker's top albums of 1992. Mostly the top 10, except for a couple I left out because the band name was part of the title.

1. Automatic For the People
2. Slanted and Enchanted
3. Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury
4. Red Heaven
6. Dry
7. Henry's Dream
8. Down Colourful Hill
9. Ten
11. Lazer guided melodies
12. Let me come over

  • Buffalo Tom
  • Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • P.J. Harvey
  • Pavement
  • Pearl Jam
  • Red House Painters
  • REM
  • Spiritualized
  • Throwing Muses

For your listening pleasure, the title track from the third best album of the year, Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury

That's 10 points on the board, with some bonus points for correctly guessing which of these I own. After Week 1, the standings are:
  1. XWL, 16 points
  2. justkim, 10 points

Rules: Points only for those you know without googling. Obviously I can't stand over you with a Nun ruler, so I'll borrow from the guidelines Ken Jennings uses for his Tuesday Trivia:
As with all good trivia, it would take you about 30 seconds to Google the answers. So you're on the honor system here: no peeking, and only send in the answers you knew off the top of your head.

Unless otherwise noted, spoiler discussions are allowed in the comments. So discuss the answers as much as you want in the comments and if you're still guessing then avoid the comments until your answers are ready.

Answers will be listed on Tuesday.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Musical separated at birth

The first is Life Has Been Good To Me, by Randy Newman, from his musical, Faust (1995). The second is Otis Redding's Glory Of Love (1967). Amazingly similar.

If I can figure out how to make the Box widgets work I plan to make this a regular feature. Until then, go read about the stagnant state of rock:
Sometimes it seems rock is the most conservative music on earth. Mozart's Symphony #40 is dated 1788. Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" was completed in 1824. In 32 years, working in the same genre with the same musical form and the same orchestra, look how the geniuses re-invented the whole notion of music!

OK, "Rock Around the Clock" is released in 1954. Add 32 and you get 1986. Take away arrangements and production, and for my money there's not an inch of daylight, musically, between "Rock Around the Clock" and "Walk Like An Egyptian." Stripped down to just lyrics and chords, they could be from the same year. In fact, a Haley recording of "Rock Around the Clock" charted at #12 as recently as 1974 (When "American Graffiti" was hot).

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Propaganda presents the Nine Lives of Dr. Mabuse

group: Propaganda
record: Propaganda Present the Nine Lives of Dr. Mabuse
label: ZTT (12 ZTAS12)
year: 1984
format: stereo 45 rpm

Let it be said I never would have considered myself a big fan of synthpop. But my tastes would seem to defy that statement. Replaying this Propaganda 12" (for the first time in maybe 20 years), reminds me of how much fun some of this could be; especially as done by Trevor Horn and the short, shooting star existence of the ZTT label. At the time, Art of Noise was completely unique and one of the oddities of my record collection is that I never bought any of their records. I cannot explain that. However, I do own a Frankie Goes To Hollywood album that I enjoyed.

Who else in the good synthpop category? There's the Human League, Yello, Yaz/Yazoo, Thomas Dolby, Soft Cell, and Bronski Beat kicks all kinds of ass. Done well, this music was imminently listenable and danceable. A nice change from some of the extreme nihilism of the punk side of the recod store.

I'm not sure if Propaganda deserves to be in the pantheon of synthpop--kinda hard to say as these two sides are all I've ever heard from them. It does have an epic quality about it that I think holds up fairly well. Sure, it has a heavy Giorgio Moroder quality that though this clearly puts it in the mid-1980s, I don't think makes it sound too outdated.

I found one review that repeats a claim of Propaganda being: "Abba from Hell." I don't hear that at all. I think NME's Chris Bohn said it most accurately, "The children of Fritz Lang and Giorgio Moroder." Of course I agree, I said half of that. I found that quote in Simon Reynold's Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84. He devotes an entire chapter to ZTT, Art of Noise, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Here's what he had to say about Propaganda:
The third ZTT release, Propaganda Present the Nine Lives of Dr. Mabuse by the Dusseldorf group Propaganda, represented the next stage in this master plan of raiding the (early, European) twentieth century. "The children of Fritz Lang and Giorgio Moroder" is how NME's Chris Bohn tagged Propaganda. Inspired by Lang's expressionist trilogy of movies about a shadowy master criminal, "Dr. Mabuse" was epic Eurodisco, for which Horn and engineer Steve Lipson constructed a monumental edifice of arching synths and percussion as imposing as marble colonnades. Propaganda's conceptualist, Ralf Dorper, justified this "very bombastic sound" to ZigZag. "The character Mabuse was symbolizing something extraordinary, something more or less unreal, so we had to have an unreal production." Formerly in metal-bashing pioneers Die Krupps, Dorper was a fanatic cinephile who preferred movies to music. "Cinema is much more inspirational to me," he declared. "It's much more multi-leveled: you have to have a storyline, a setting, a soundtrack."

  2. FEMME FATALE (The Woman With The Orchid) and 3. (the ninth life of...) DR. MABUSE

Liner Notes

"the discovery of truth is prevented most effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice opinion, by prejudice, which as a pseudo a priori stands in the path of truth and is then like a contrary wind driving a ship away from land, so that sail and rudder labour in vain."

dance and crime: the nine lives of dr. mabuse, presented, prevented and presumed by propaganda.

the third and fourth side
2. FEMME FATALE (The Woman With The Orchid)
3. (the ninth life of...) DR. MABUSE

"every general truth is related to specific truths as gold is to silver, inasmuch as it can be converted into a considerable number of specific truths which follow from it in the same way as a gold coin can be converted into small change."

Propaganda: noise and girls come out to play. NOISE: ralf dörper andreas thein. GIRLS: claudia brüchen suzanne freytag. BEHIND THE SCENES: michael mertens. BEHIND THE SCREENS: ( : michael wertz.

TREVOR HORN produced the nine lives of Dr Mabuse. ANTON CORBIJN photographed the group and painted the hand. XL and ZTT made up the sleeve. the first and second side are obtainable as ZTAS 2: a seven inch. the first, second, third and fourth side of the story make up number two in zanf tuum tumb's bold action series. "Viva muchos anos!"

recorded at sar, west eleven. dr. mabuse visual: ZTIS 107. help from arthur scho[enhauer and maurice ravel, from a to b; aphorism to bolero, artist to beekeeper. further information about propaganda and all other zang tuum tumb lies is available from ZTT Records, The ZTT Building, 8-10 Basing St. London West Eleven. Enclose s.a.e. and hope. The next propaganda single is 'Duel'

"not the least of the torments which plague our existence is the constant pressure of time, which never lets us so much as draw breath but pursues us all like a taskmaster with a whip. it ceases to persecute only him it has delivered over to boredom.

Additional Information

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bob Fosse alert

Just a programming note that I will be following the Bob Fosse blogathon beginning November 10. Maybe I'll even getting around to ripping the All That Jazz soundtrack.

I hope someone addresses the Fosse choreographed routine by Gwen Verdon that someone mashed up with Walk It Out. This youtube video also includes the clip with the original music. New version is better.