Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Disneyland: Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Disneyland records: ST-1920. This was first published in 1963 for $1.98, republished in 1965 as DQ-1285, and republished in 1971 as ST-3801. There was also an earlier recording with Bing Crosby as the narrator from the 1949 film. This record is narrated by Billy Bletcher, who had a long history of voice work with Disney and others. Michael Barrier has an interview excerpt with Bletcher from 1969.

Each side is a single story and a single track. I've gone ahead and copied out the songs as their own tracks as well..

Side 1 (songs by Don Reye and Gene DePaul):

Side 2 (songs by Rice Owen Moore):

Project Gutenberg: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Monday, October 6, 2008

Orson Welles: The Begatting of the President

The Begatting of the President. Orson Welles. United Artists, 1969, UAS-5521. This was also available in book form.
What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?: A Portrait of an Independent:
During the Nixon era, Welles provoked another round of scrutiny by the IRS when he narrated a laboriously satirical record about Nixon told as a faux biblical tale, The Begatting of the President (1969). For a while that harassment drove him back overseas. Welles ran afoul of the IRS again in the early 1970s when it seized money paid to his compnay in Switzerland for an unfinished TV special he had been directing for CBS in 1968-70, Orson's Bag. He considered his company a production company, but the IRS ruled it a holding company. That tax problem led CBS to cancel the show and also caused difficulties with the funding of his feature The Other Sode of the Wind.

From Orson Welles: Rise and Fall of an American Genius:
Back in Hollywood, Welles made a phonograph record, The Begatting of the President, that ran into a storm of controversy. Brought out by Mediarts, it was banned by Metromedia stations and broadcast mainly on FM stations. The record was a bold onslaught on Richard Nixon, delivered in a quasi-biblical mode ("A little child shall be born in a grocery store in Whittier, and he shall sit upon the throne, and his administration shall be established greatly. Now the begatting of Richard Nixon was in this wise...") Welles won a Grammy for the record

I've been sitting on this for a few weeks trying to figure out how to explain why it doesn't work for me. Maybe it's just the preponderance of overly cute lines like "...Tet. And it was offensive" and "Loe, their portions were niggardly." Maybe it's the line readings Orson Welles gives that nods and winks to us that he's about to read one of these overly cute lines. I kinda like comedy driven by anger at the status quo, this, however, is smugness directed at the squares. Worth a chuckle, nothing more.

There's a slight warp in the record that affects the first part of track 1 on both sides. Other than that, pretty good quality.

Side 1
  1. L.B. Jenesis
  2. The Defoilation of Eden
  3. Burn, Pharoah, Burn
  4. The Coming of Richard

Side 2
  1. The Pacification of Goliath
  2. Paradise Bossed
  3. The Raising of Richard
  4. The Book of Hubert
  5. The Ascension

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Disney: Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

ST-3906, 1962
Songs by L. Morey, F Churchill
Music from the soundtrack of the motion picture

This is the Magic Mirror storyteller LP, originally released in 1960. The first version was released in 1957 as the "round cover." It isn't a read-along, though the album cover does fold out to reveal a full-size storybook. I can't find it mentioned anywhere on the album or the cover, but the Golden Age of Walt Disney Records 1933-1988, a pricing guide, lists Annette Funicello as the narrator.

Even though it's a regular sized 33-1/3 LP, each side is only about 10 minutes. There are no tracks on the album, so I've divided the story to match the songs.
Side 1
  1. I'm Wishing
  2. With a Smile and a Song
  3. Whistle While You Work
  4. Heigh Ho

Side 2
  1. Bluddle -Uddle-Um-Dum
  2. A Silly Song
  3. Some Day My Prince Will Come
  4. One Song

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Big Audio Dynamite: E=MC^2

Columbia Stereo 44-05909
1986 CBS
Produced by Mick Jones

A promotional 12" for the Big Audio Dynamite LP This is Big Audio Dynamite. I liked the band, I like this music. Otherwise, I don't have much to say. Their mixes and use of samples seemed top of the art at the time and still sound fresh. I'm a big fan of the audio collage.

  1. E=MC^2 (extended remix); remixed by Bert Bevans
  2. A Party; remixed by Paul 'Groucho' Smykle

Back cover

Side A

Side B

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Watergate Comedy Hour

ST-11202, Hidden Records, 1973

A 1973 presidential parody album that's more miss than hit. There's some good talent here, too bad most of the material rearely rises above a poorly thought out improv idea. And just like the Jimmy Carter album, this was recorded in a studio with fake laughter.

Written by Jack Burns & Avery Schreiber and Ann Elder

Published by Meke Music, Inc

Featuring the Watergate seven: Jack Burns, Ann Elder, Fannie Flagg, Bob Ridgley, Jack Riley, Avery Schreiber, and Frank Welker

Produced by Monte Kay and Jack Lewis in association with Bernie Brillstein & JAB Productions, Inc.

Recorded May 8, 1973 at RCA recording studio in Hollywood. Recording engineer: Richie Scmitt. Album Design: Pacific Eye & Ear. Illustration: Drew Struzan

Side 1
  1. Special Investigation; Welker
  2. Hello UPI #1; Flagg
  3. The Break-in; Burns, Schreiber & all
  4. Ron Zeigler meets the press; Burns, Riley, Flagg, Welker
  5. The Meeting; Welker, Riley
  6. The Dick Cravett Show; Ridgely, Welker, Flagg

Side 2
  1. The Watergate Comedy Hour; Ridgely, Burns, Welker, Riley
  2. The plan; Schrieber, Burns
  3. The investigation; Riley, Flagg, Ridgely, Welker
  4. Agnew interview; Welker
  5. The reverend and the president; Riley, Welker
  6. Hello UPI #2; Flagg
  7. The president's prayer; Welker, Elder, Schreiber

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jimi Hendrix: Gloria

"The Essential Jimi Hendrix" (volumes 1 and 2) was released in 1979. On the cover of Volume Two was an extra sleeve containing a 7" (33 1/3 rpm) single of Gloria. According to the liner notes -- 1979 -- "the version of 'Gloria' included here has never before been released in the United States." At 8:41 minutes, Hendrix takes quite a few liberties with the Van Morrison classic as he creates a moody, majestically soaring piece of story-telling that at times borders on a letter to Penthouse. Not really for the kids. Back in the early 80s when I'd drive to soccer games with a boombox in the passenger seat because my car didn't have a cassette player, I'd always pysche myself up with a Jimi Hendrix mixtape. Last song I'd play before hitting the field was this one.

Listen: Gloria.

Song is easier to come by now than in 1979:
  • iTunes or Amazon (from The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Box Set))
  • iTunes or Amazon (from The Jimi Hendrix Experience: 1967-1968 (Disc Two))

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Coming attractions

No idea (and no promises made) when these will go up, but here's what I've been working on this rainy weekend:

  1. Jazz Butcher -v- Max Eider (Conspiracy), Jazz Butcher
  2. Jimi Hendrix's almost 9 minue version of "Gloria." This is also available as an iTune download if you don't want to wait for me.
  3. Belle Stars, The Belle Stars
  4. E=MC^2 (extended remix), Big Audio Dynamite
  5. Helter Skelter (Live), Husker Du EP
  6. Spring Concert 1977, Piedmont Middle School & Piedmont High School bands. Featuring your host on saxophone.
  7. Woke Up This Morning and Found Myself Dead, Jimi Hendrix. Live bar concert recording complete with incoherent ranting by Jim Morrison.
  8. The Music Man, Original Broadway Cast
  9. The Five Pennies Soundtrack with Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong
  10. Alice in Wonderland, all the songs from the Walt Disney motion picture
  11. Story of Treasure Island from the Walt Disney motion picture
  12. Absent Minded Professor, narrated by Sterling Holloway and featuring the "Flubber Song" sung by Fred MacMurray
  13. Story and Songs from Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, with Marni Nixon
  14. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Magic Mirror LP with all the songs from the movie and a full-sized illustrated book
  15. the Return of Roger Miller, Roger Miller

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Revenge of the Killer B's, VOL 2

Under construction -- songs are linked...still need to add a bit more of the liner notes

Someone alert the Apostrophe Protection Society!

12" LP
Warner Bros Records, 1984

Here's another book I should probably get: 45 RPM: The History, Heroes & Villains of a Pop Music Revolution. Quoting: Warner Bros. released so many such singles that it was able to pool non-LP sides by Prince, Madonna, the Pretenders, and Talking Heads onto two good-selling albums, Attack of the Killer B's and Revenge of the Killer B's.

If anyone comes across a copy of Attack of the Killer B's, give me a call. I only had this on cassette and it's long gone. Artists included: Laurie Anderson, Blasters, T-Bone Burnett, Marshall Crenshaw, Peter Gabriel, Gang of Four, John Hiatt, Pretenders, Ramones, Roxy Music, Talking Heads, Time. I probably broke the tape playing the Laurie Anderson and The Time tracks.

And that quote explains what Fleetwood Mac is doing here -- just the record company burning off a track. Otherwise a decent collection of moderately successful and moderately alternative artists. Except for that Madonna chick whose career was just taking off.

The blocktext is taken from the album descriptions for the songs.

Side One
  1. Cool Water, Fleet Mac. Hey! It's Fleetwood Mac sounding like the Kingston Trio! Cool!
    One of pop/rockdom's most eclectic acts has a reputation for innovation; this more than forty-year-old song from The Sons of the Pioneers underscores that fact. Lindsey Buckingham, backed by John McVie(!), is the soothing lead voice on this cut which originally backed "Gypsy from the Mirage album. A sane selection, don't you agree?

  2. Somebody Like You, Marshall Crenshaw. Nice, bouncy song. Possibly more cynical than the a-side. Great song.
    You can always count on The Crensh to come up with some hot flip sides. This one is the heavyweight which originally graced the obverse of "Cynical Girl." Don't miss the Spinal Tap cover version if you have the time, (Just Kidding)

  3. Sometimes I Wish I was Dead, Depeche Mode. This is where Loudon Wainwright III should jump in and correct "You mean 'sometimes I wish I WERE dead.'" This is such a peppy little tune I am considering making a Numa Numa style chair-dance video to it. It would be huge. Interesting, the lyrics Backstreet, never meet, never say goodbye -- Backstreet is a popular name for gay clubs, I wonder which came first?
    Don't let the gloom squad title fool you, this one is as upbeat as they come. Written by Vince Clark who went on to form Yaz and The Assembly, this charming slice of synth was featured on the D.P.'s first U.K. album and as a premium in "Flexipop" magazine.

  4. Post Office, Rank and File. Some of Southern California's finest cowpunk.
    A C-side (heretofore available only on cassette) from R&F's first country rock opus "Sundown." The song, with no apologies to Mr. Zip, is one if the highlights of the band's live performances. Makes the transition to vinyl quite nicely, don't you think?

  5. Moon 83, The B-52's. Again the album uses another inappropriate apostrophe. You'd think the record label couldspell the band's name correctly. Otherwise, sounds like typical B-52s.
    It's only fitting that these B's be here with their fellow B's. This particular "Moon" first rose on the flip of "Legal Tender" and represents a kind of Part 2 approach to the classic "There's A Moon In The Sky (Called The Moon)" with haunting crustacean over and undertones. Don't bother thinking about it too much; it's great for freestyle dancing.

  6. Money (Live), Pretenders. Because making money is bad. Pretty good cover and a good gauge of someone's age (or lack of) if they don't recognize the US festival.
    Theme song for many of the headliners at the 1983 (and last) US festival where, coincidentally, this was recorded. Of historical significance: this represented the U.S. debut of the band's current personnel line-up. The original version (by Barrett Strong) put Motown on the map. First released as the B-side of the U.K. twelve-inch "2000 Miles."

    Side Two
  7. I Wish You Wouldn't Say That, Talking Heads.
    Dating from the days before they started exploring avant funk, this '77 item showcases the urgency that still sets them apart from the pack. Originally found on the flip of "Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town," it makes all the sense in the world, doesn't it?

  8. Way Out And Up We Go, Echo and the Bunnymen.
    The critically acclaimed quartet from Liverpool (where have we heard that before?), E&The B-men have long been on top in Europe. This was the B-Side of "The Cutter" from the Porcupine sessions of last year. Yeah, yeah, yeah, indeed.

  9. Your Finest Hour, Tom Verlaine.
    Some Churchillian dogma from the man who can say he actually invented Television. Tom's guitar phrasing can take you at least eight miles high on this one which has been aging in our song cellar since his Words From The Front sessions.

  10. You Had No Intention, Kid Creole and The Coconuts.
    August Darnell, Andy Hernandez and those gorgeous gals keept it moving with this musical accusation. Love that "liar, liar" chorus: such angst!! We cinfess: it was the flip of "Annie I'm Not Your Daddy" in England.

  11. Ain't No Big Deal, Madonna. This is not a good song. There had to be a producer who kept insisting that all the song needed was more grunting.
    Maybe so, but Madonna's career has become one. She formerly cut the rug for the Alvin Ailey dance troupe but now is shaking things up vocally at the top of the charts. This hot number has never been previously released; it was recorded during the sessions for her first album.

  12. Set the Killing Free, Aztec Camera. This is a masterpiece of a song. Rhythmic, insistent lyrics, not really sure what he's singing about, but the pleading is so earnest and irony-free I want to believe. Set against a soaring guitar refrain and 25 years after the fact, this song sounds incredibly fresh. I think Roddy Frame was 19 when he did this.
    Led by Scottish sensation Roddy Frame, the A.C's are one of the future's brightest hopes. This pyschfolk track originally backed the extended U.K. version of "Walk Out To Winter."

Story of the Three Little Pigs

Another story read by Robie Lester. The b-side is Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf from the movie.

  1. Story of the Three Little Pigs (Robie Lester)
  2. Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Richard Dirlam: Pure Saxophone

Pure Saxophone
Richard Dirlam

Best that I can recall I read a review of this and thought it sounded appropriately different and since I liked saxophones I thought I might like this. I like to listen to jazz the wife refers to as "5th grade band practice," but this has never really taken with me. I suppose Pièce brève would be my favorite.

Released by the Minnesota Composers Forum, which is now the American Composers Forum, on their label Innova. No mention of Richard Dirlam at the ACF and the only Dirlam recording listed at Innova is She Sings She Screams. He does have a draft website.

Liner Notes
Richard Dirlam has concertized in the United States and Europe as a soloist and a frequent guest artist with the Minnesota Composers Forum, as well as L'ensemble International de Saxophone under the direction of Jean-Marie Londeix. He has been invited to solo at the Seventh World Saxophone Congress in Nurnberg, Germany with the Munich National Radio Orchestra, Werner Andreas Albert conducting.

While Studying with maitre Jean-Marie Londeix at the Conservatoire national de Musique de Bordeaux, France he received First Prizes and Medals of Honour in saxophone and chamber music. He continued his studies at the University of Minnesota, with Ruben Haugen, and at North Texas State University with French conductor Serge Zehnacker.

For Richard Dirlam "The twentieth century and its music is truly remarkable. The excitement of creating and exploring the modus vivandi of the human and musical expression of our time, and experiencing the sensuous character and essence of 'musical performance art' compels me toward new and ever-broadening musical horizons."

Side 1
Hanblecheyapi: Crying for a Vision, Michael Aubart
The composition of HANBLECHEYAPI was influenced by the horrr and sense of sorrow at the assissination of John Lennon. As the piece evolved it came to address not only the loss of Lennon but also a loss of innocence. The piece is a lamen similar in emotional mood to Hanblecheyapi, the "Crying for a Vision" ritual of the Oglala Sioux American Indian nation. Black Elk, a Sioux priest, describes this important way of praying in The Sacred Pipe "...there are many reasons for going to a lonely mountaintop to 'lament.' Perha[s the most important reason for 'lamenting' is that it helps us realize our oneness with all things, to know that all things are our relatives."

While completing his doctoral studies in music theory and composition at the University of Minnesota, Michael Aubart, born in 1952 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was approached by Richard Dirlam for a composition pairing saxophone and electronic tape. HANBLECHEYAPI is the result. Michael Aubart now lives in St. Paul. Minnesota, where he is a free lance composer.

  1. I Cortege (6:53)
  2. II Tenebrae (8:24)
  3. III Hesperus (7:00)

    Side 2
  4. Tag (1982), Eric Stokes (5:17). Eric Stokes died in an car accident on March 16, 1999 .
    Tag is a theater piece dedicated to Richard Dirlam using a live performer and a self-prepared tape. The role of the live performer is based on many aspects of tag: one who is tagged, who tags others, who tags along, who is it, who exults in eluding the others, who enjoys the play, who hides, who listens for the other, who is surprised in his hiding. Since this is a theater piece with choreographed movements and gestures, the aural dimension of Tag is represented in the recording.

    Eric Stokes was born in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, July 14, 1930 and now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he is Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota.

  5. Pièce brève, Kozo Masuda (7:57)
    Pièce brève is dedicated to Japanese saxophonist Keiji Shimoji, solo artist and member of the Tokyo Saxophone Quartet. This piece combines the mood of traditional Japanese music and European principals and techniques of composition. The beginning, marked adagio and calme, introduces an allegro section of dance-like rhythms and irregular metric accents. This piece closes with the return of the opening section.

    Born in 1934, Kozo Masuda graduated from the Kunitachi College of Music Tokyo, Japan. He continued studies at the Conservatoire Bational Superieur de Musique de Paris and the Akademie fur Musik in Vienna, Austria. He has studied composition with Saburo Takata, Henri Challan, Noel Gallon, and conducting with Hans Swarowsky. Presently Kozo Masuda is Professor of Composition at Kunitachi College of Music.

  6. Tierkreis, Karlheinz Stockhausen (11:43). Karlheinz Stockhausen died of sudden heart failure, December 5, 2007.
    After visiting a music box factory in Switzerland, Stockhausen decided to compose original melodies for these boites a musique. Tierkreis (Zodiac) is a collection of twelve short melodies based on the twelve human characters of the zodiac. Though written for music boxes, these melodies can be played on any melodic instrument and/or chordal instrument. Richard Dirlam has played each melody twice and interpreted each melody using contemporary and extended techniques corresponding to physical and scientific characteristics of the planets or stars in each sign of the zodiac. The twelve signs and their corresponding planets or stars are:
    Aquarius -- Uranus
    Pisces -- Jupiter, Neptune
    Aries -- Mars
    Taurus -- Venus
    Gemini -- Mercury
    Cancer -- Earth
    Leo -- Sun
    Virgo -- Mercury
    Libra -- Venus
    Scorpio -- Mars, Pluto
    Sagittarius -- Jupiter
    Capricorn -- Saturn

    Karlheinz Stockhausen, born in 1928 in Modrath, near Cologne, Germany, has been an important figure in contemporary music. His experiments with electronic music in the 1950's, co-editorship of Die Reihe, and prolific compositions, utilizing electronic sound sources on tape, have placed him at the forefront of the European avant-garde. He demonstrates in both his writings and music complex aesthestic and philosophical discoveries made as a theorist and composer.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jesus Christ Superstar + A Resurrection

Proceeds from the sale of this cd will be used to help gun violence. Some of the musicians on this album do not support handgun control but have nevertheless donated their time and talents.

Published in 1994 on the Daemon Records label (Amy Ray of Indigo Girls), Jesus Christ Superstar + A Resurrection is a recreation of the classic rock opera with local Atlanta artists. From what I remember reading, this was thrown together without much preparation or rehearsal on anyone's part. This isn't apparent as the work is overflowing with energy and freshness. Songs are divided among different artists with their own sound, yet this doesn't contribute to disjointed transitions. Overall a joyful album that sounds like it was fun for everyone involved. If you enjoy Jesus Christ Superstar I highly recommend this. It's available at the above link, Amazon, and iTunes.
I am on the afflicted. I admit this now. Yes, I danced around in my one-piece pajama suit at the age of six to "What's the Buzz". I hosted many impromptu performances of the rock opera in my living room which co-starred my brother and sister and sometimes featured guest appearances by the next door neighbors. We bucked up to see who got to play Judas. I can admit this all now because of the strength and encouragement I have received from other victims.

At first, when I approached my Atlanta comrades about participating in this project, my tones were low and without vigor. but as I talked to different people (guitarists who had been plagiarizing licks off J.C.S. for years, drummers whose first exposure to the 5/4 meter came from "Everything's Alright") I began to put away my self-loathing and questioning. The original J.C.S. did contain moments of genius. It was the unlikely rock feast that offered singers and musicians of my generation a variety of elegant dishes from which to choose. It did rock. I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy.
-- Michael Lorant, 1994 A. D. (Producer)

There are 25 tracks over two CDs and I've chosen just six as a sample. Not necessarily the best six or even my favorite six. I could have picked a completely different six, and as I'm listening while I type I really should have included Simon Zealotes, but these work. enjoy.

  1. Heaven On Their Minds; Judas
    Acoustic guitar, drums, piano: Michael Lorant; electric guitars, bass: Rob Gal; Strings: Sheila Doyle; double bass: Dave Domizi

  2. What's the Buzz; Jesus, Mary, Apostles
    music performed by Lay Quiet Awhile
    Guitars: dave Cook; Bass: Dan Cook; Drums: David Wright; Additional musicians -- Tambourine: Michael Lorant; sound montage: Rob Gal

  3. Everything's Alright; Mary, Judas, Jesus, Apostles' Women
    music performed by Cicada Sings
    Guitar: Pam Howe; String bass: Chris Burt; Drums, congas: The Beam; Flute: Rob Mallard; Additional musicians -- Electric piano: Michael Lorant; Guitars at fade: Cooper Seay, Dave Clair; vocals at fade: Cooper Seay, Dave Clair, Michael Lorant

  4. Gethsemane (I only want to say); Jesus
    Music performed by engine
    Guitars: Peter Williams, Albert Gresens; Bass: Garrick; Drums: Dan Anoff; Additional musicians -- Piano: Michael Lorant

  5. King Herod's Song; Herod
    Music performed by Big Fish Ensemble
    Guitars: Paul Schwartz, Dave Clair; Bass, Baritone horns, Bass clarinets: Leigh Finlayson; Drums: Michael Lorant; Electric violin: Sheila Doyle

  6. Superstar
    Music performed by Social Insanity
    Guitars, Keys, Drum programming: omi; Additional keys: Wizard; Vocals (Voice of Judas, Choir): Tomi Martin, Trina Mead, BMAC, Dee

The Cast, in order of their appearance:
Judas Iscariot: Michael Lorant
Jesus Christ: Amy Ray
Mary Magdalene: Emily Saliers
Priests (1&3): Paul Schwartz
Calaphas, High Priest: Benjamin
Anna: Mike Mantione
Priest 2: John Bigay
Simon Zealotes: Kelly Hogan
Pontius Pilate: Gerard McHugh
Choir, Maid by the fire: Anne Richmond Boston
Peter: Matt Brown
Soldier 1: Jeff Jensen
Old Man: Bill Decker
Soldier 2: Rob Gal
King Herod: Dave Clair
Voice of Judas: Social Insanity

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A list of Jazz Butcher albums purchased 1984-1986

Here's another list. Two of these are half complete and the others are working their way into the rotation. One of my favorite bands of the eighties, I bought everything they had for three years then stopped. No explanation.

Just fun music that didn't really fit with anything else at the time.

  1. The Jazz Butcher sings MARNIE and 4 other great tunes on a GLASS RECORD (Glass EP), March 1984
    • Marnie (Miaow Mix)
    • Zombie Love
    • Girls Who Keep Goldfish
    • Cowgirl Fever
    • Carline Wheeler's Birthday Present (Original)

  2. Scandal in Bohemia, November 1984
    • Southern Mark Smith
    • Real Men
    • Soul Happy Hour
    • I Need Meat
    • Just Like Betty Page
    • Marnie
    • Caroline Wheeler's Birthday Present
    • Mind Like A Playgroup
    • Girlfriend
    • My Desert

  3. Sex and Travel, May 1985
    • Big Saturday
    • Holiday
    • Red Pets
    • Only A Rumour
    • President Reagan's Birthday Present
    • What's The Matter, Boy?
    • Walk With The Devil
    • Down The Drain

  4. Gift of Music, March 1985
    • Southern Mark Smith
    • Marnie (Miaow Mix)
    • Roadrunner
    • Real Men
    • Jazz Butcher -v- Count Dracula
    • Zombie Love
    • Girls Who Keep Goldfish
    • Sweet Jane
    • Rain
    • JB -v- PM
    • Water
    • Partytime
    • Lost In France
    • Drink

  5. Real Men, February 1985
    • Real Men
    • JB -v- PM
      Southern Mark Smith (Original)

  6. Human Jungle, September 1985
    • The Human Jungle
    • Death Dentist
    • The Devil Is My Friend

  7. Hard, 1986
    • Hard
    • Grooving In The Bus Lane
    • Vienna Song
    • Thing

  8. Conspiracy, May 1986
    • Conspiracy
    • Forever
    • Peter Lorre
    • Big Old Wind

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future

I think I'm losing my focus. My intent in starting this site was to catalog all my old vinyl that I haven't listened to in years. Instead, I keep purchasing and borrowing additional records. For example, I just brought home the following:

  • Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall starring Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett. Columbia Records 1962, Monaura-OL 5840
    According to the entry at Amazon.com, a CD was released in 1989. The Amazon link shows seven for sale starting at $99.00. The 1962 LP is available at eBay for $14.99. I paid $4.00. Possible youtube clip from the TV special -- I haven't checked this.

  • LBJ Menagerie. Jubilee Records, JGM 2068. Date currently unknown.
  • The watergate Comedy Hour. Written by Jack Burns & Avery Schreiber and Ann Elder. Featuring the Watergate Seven: Jack Burns, Ann Elder, Fannie Flagg, Bo Ridgely, Jack Riley, Avery Schreiber, and Frank Welker. Hidden Records, 1972, ST-11202

  • The Begatting of the President. Orson Welles. United Artists, 1969, UAS-5521. This was also available in book form.

What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?: A Portrait of an Independent:
During the Nixon era, Welles provoked another round of scrutiny by the IRS when he narrated a laboriously satirical record about Nixon told as a faux biblical tale, The Begatting of the President (1969). For a while that harassment drove him back overseas. Welles ran afoul of the IRS again in the early 1970s when it seized money paid to his compnay in Switzerland for an unfinished TV special he had been directing for CBS in 1968-70, Orson's Bag. He considered his company a production company, but the IRS ruled it a holding company. That tax problem led CBS to cancel the show and also caused difficulties with the funding of his feature The Other Sode of the Wind.

From Orson Welles: Rise and Fall of an American Genius:
Back in Hollywood, Welles made a phonograph record, The Begatting of the President, that ran into a storm of controversy. Brought out by Mediarts, it was banned by Metromedia stations and broadcast mainly on FM stations. The record was a bold onslaught on Richard Nixon, delivered in a quasi-biblical mode ("A little child shall be born in a grocery store in Whittier, and he shall sit upon the throne, and his administration shall be established greatly. Now the begatting of Richard Nixon was in this wise...") Welles won a Grammy for the record

The post title comes from a guarantee on the Julie and Carol album. Here's the full text:

This Columbia high fidelity recording is scientifically designed to play with the highest quality of reproduction on the phonograph of your choice, new or old. If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future.

Not sure when I'll get to these, though I'll probably work in the political stuff before the elections are over.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Elect Slappy White For Vice President

LAFF Records-A190 LP
Copyright 1975
It's Better to run with a black man...than from one!

In 1969, Time magazine, declared Black Can Be Funny and repeated a couple of Redd Foxx and Slappy White jokes:
Javelin Catcher. The Laugh-In producers put together a whole hour of such material, a sort of all-black Laugh-In called Soul, which NBC ran as a special earlier this season. In a typical bit, Redd Foxx told Slappy White of the first Negro athletic-scholarship winner at the University of Mississippi —"He's a javelin catcher." White observed that Oct. 27 is a Negro holiday — "That's the day when the new Cadillacs come out."

In 1970, Time returns with an article exploring the communications aspect of Black humor. Slappy White:
Three-button-suit-and-watermelon material now has mainly nostalgic value. Black laughter currently reflects a burgeoning self-confidence, an emerging sense of pride and power. It also reflects an understanding that, however unjustly, many whites are tired of being made to feel guilty. Says Peter Long, advertising director of Harlem's Apollo Theater: "Five or six years ago, people were embarrassed to be conservatives. Now there's no shame in it." Indeed, as Slappy White points out, "The swing is away from racial humor, because people won't laugh at talk about violent confrontation. They don't see anything funny about the Panthers."

Mr. White, who passed away in 1995, I remember from the Sanford and Son show (he was a contemporary of Redd Foxx and they appeared on the same label) and Friar's Roasts. I don't remember whether he was funny. Unfortunately, this album isn't that funny. Only vaguely political, the idea of running for vice-president is mostly an excuse to repeat old and tired jokes with a smattering of dope humor. Even his timing doesn't seem that great, though he occasionally shocked a chuckle out of me -- the Little Richard crack being a good example. A few references elude me. Asked who was his first choice for running mate, Mr. White replies "Nancy Wilson, but she out ran me." Huh? But his reason why the black vote was so low is excellent: "Because it's hard to write with a ballpoint pen on wax paper over butter."

Picked this up because I recognized his name. And being a political year, with a black candidate, I thought a black comedian's political album from 1975 would be interesting. Unfortunately, it didn't really work for me. Maybe your take will be different.

Regarding the 1975 date. A number of the references sound earlier and for a 1975 record that mentions Nixon a handful of times, there is nothing about Watergate. There is a 1972 LP with the same name and a different cover. My guess is this is a rerelease of the '72 album.

The tracks are cleanly separated on the album but not named. The names listed below are my own based on the content.

***With all the Disneyland stuff I'm putting up, perhaps I should be clear and state that this record is not small kid appropriate. Consider it rated R.***

Side 1
  1. We proudly present the next Vice-President of America
  2. My luck is terrible
  3. Put a Polack in the White House
  4. Press conference
  5. Why was the black vote so low?
  6. War on poverty
  7. The good of the country
  8. Will there ever be a woman in the White House?

Side 2
  1. Before I get into my campaign speech
  2. Speaking of hot pants
  3. Afro haircut
  4. Are there any black holidays?
  5. Now that the voting is over

Liner Notes (I did my best to recreate the schizophrenic typography)
1976 BI-CENTENNIAL Election: What better way to exemplify our country's progress than a Black and White man running on the Democratic ticket for PRESIDENCY and VICE-PRESIDENCY of these UNITED STATES! (Ain't that sump-in??)

The Great Sovereign State of Alabama, whose Civil Rights Laws have been unparalleled, has brought fort a Great leader; a fair and impartial man, an unbiased and unprejudiced man -- Alabama proudly gives you GEORGE WALLACE -- A MAN WHO IS NONE OF THESE THINGS! Through George's infinite insight into the racial complexities of today's world, he has decided "TIS WISER TO RUN WITH A BLACK MAN THAN FROM ONE"...(How's that for smart thinkin'?)...George Wallace reasoned that he needed a MAN of impeccable integrity, insuperable intellect, a man of class, a gentleman and scholar, but who? Aahhh, who ELSE could better meet these qualifications than the incomparable SLAPPY WHITE????

His years have been hard and he has formed firm deep rooted beliefs in the AMERICAN DREAM. Being a conscientious Citizen, an issue of major concern to MR. WHITE is deceit; the intentional misrepresentation that has become a dominant factor in our political scene, the fraudulent activities that govern an astounding majority of our political leaders. This wave of hidious injustices that has infiltrated all avenues of our political system is monstrous -- and MUST be dealt with -- NOW -- SLAPPY WHITE is the man that CAN and WILL -- DEAL!!

Overwhelmed by the desperate cries of his fellow countryman, plagued by public demand, SLAPPY can no longer resist the CALL to serve the America he so loves. Therefore, without further hesitation, SLAPPY joins the race for Vice-President. Campaign headquarters have been carefully selected and have been established in one of the plusher gambling casinos in LAS VEGAS. (After all, if you've got to DEAL and you've decided to PLAY, where else would be more logical?) His campaign will be conducted with fun and satirical wit. SLAPPY attacks the disease of hate and bigotry with ridicule and offers a Platform of total Honesty and Commitment.

That's right, with SLAPPY WHITE there need be no worry of BROKEN PROMISES -- no despair over UNFULFILLED COMMITMENTS -- How can we be so sure? -- LISTEN TO THE ALBUM, MAN...SLAPPY promises you NOTHING...and commits himself to NOTHING but HIS OWN PLEASURE (Now, now, ain't that better than being LIED to?) Besides, his liberal views on legalizing marijuana guarantees heavy votes for he and Wallace.

SLAPPY WHITE, a Man who is not afraid to stand and be counted -- a Man not afraid of being LAFF-ed at -- and -- can lead the LAFF-ter in a Good Cause -- THE CASUE OF FUN!!

After you've checked out this album, I'm sure you will join LAFF and cast your vote for SLAPPY WHITE for "VICE-PRESIDENT."
Shelby Meadows Ashford


Producer: David Drozen
Executive Producer: Louis Drozen
Artwork: Melodye Benson

I believe that Melodye Benson might be this award-winning childrens's book author/illustrator. Can't find information on Ashford or the Drozens. My guess is that they're the LAFF Record producers.

Here's a Laff Records Illustrated Discography.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Something Wild Soundtrack

Side One
Loco De Amor (Crazy For Love)
Performed by David Byrne with Celia Cruz
Produced by David Byrne
1986 Sire Records

Ever Fallen in Love
Performed by the Fine Young Cannibals
Produced by Jerry Harrison and the Fine Young Cannibals
1986 International Records Syndicate/London Records

Zero, Zero Seven Charlie
Performed by UB40
Produced by UB40
1986 A&M Records/Virgin Records

Not My Slave
Performed by Oingo Boingo
Produced by Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek

You Don't Have to Cry
Performed by Jimmy Cliff
Produced by Arthur Baker
1986 CBS Records

Side Two
With You or Without You
Performed by Steve Jones
Produced by Bob Rose

High Life
Performed by Sonny Okossun
Produced by Sonny Okossun for Elephant Productions
1983 Serengeti Records

Man With a Gun
Performed by Jerry Harrison
Produced by Jerry Harrison
1986 Sire Records

Performed by New Order
Produced by New Order
1982 Factory Communications

Wild Thing
Performed by Sister Carol
Produced by Percy Chin and Jah Life and by Arthur Baker

More credits:
Executive Producer: Jonathon Demme
Associate Producer: Edward Saxon
Music Supervisor: Gary Goetzman
Post Production Supervisor, Religioso Primitiva Productions: Loretta Farb
Music Consultant for MCA Records: Kathy Nelson

From the back cover:

Art Direction: Jeff Adamoff
Design: DZN, The Design Group
Original Painting "Something Wild" by Tony Fitzpatrick and photographed by Wayne Sides

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Disneyland LLPs

Disneyland Record and Books are, as the back cover explains a "24 page books with full-color illustrations and a 7 inch 33-1/3 long playing record with the narrator reading every word exactly as the child sees it in the book...Plus songs about the story they hear and see."

Most of these (maybe all, I guess we'll find out) are narrated by Robie Lester. An incredible voice talent, you might remember her as the statuesque school teacher and Mrs. Kris Kringle in "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."

Going by the list on the flyer for one of the later printings, there were 65 of these storybooks. Here's what I have:
  • LLP 301. Sleeping Beauty
  • LLP 302, Mary Poppins
  • LLP 303, Three Little Pigs
  • LLP 304, Peter Pan and Wendy
  • LLP 306, Alice in Wonderland
  • LLP 307, Lady and the Tramp
  • LLP 308, Cinderella
  • LLP 309, Bambi
  • LLP 310, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • LLP 315, Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • LLP 317, Hansel and Gretel
  • LLP 319, Jungle Book
  • LLP 328, Little Red Riding Hood
  • LLP 337, The Gingerbread Man
  • LLP 347, Wizard of Oz
  • LLP 349, Aristocrats

And Disneyland long-playing records of songs with no books:
  • FS-914, Happy Birthday
  • 926, Robin Hood

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Walt Disney presents It's A Small World

Disneyland Record - 1289

18 favorite folk songs sung by Disneyland Boys Choir. Under the direction of Paul Salamunovich, arrangements by Willard Jones, produced by Camarata.

Accoding to the Boy Choir and Soloist Directory:
The Disneyland Boys Choir was formed to provide the music for the Small World attraction in the park, and there was only one album and one single to come from that project. The choristers were primarily drawn from Paul Salamunovich's church choir, St. Charles Borromeo in North Hollywood, California. Salamunovich later became director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Mr. Salamunovich can still be found here.

I was a little disappointed that it's just a collection of folk songs and not a collection of foreign language versions of It's a Small World. But maybe not as disappointed as Australia being represented by Paddy Whack. Visiting Disney World, I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed the It's a Small World ride. It's a pleasant and relaxing boat ride through simplistic animatronics and -- I have to admit -- it's a very catchy tune. Reading BoingBoing today, I learned Disney is making what sounds like some unfortunate changes to the ride:
And in one of the most egregious and downright disgusting decisions in Disney theme park history, the gorgeous New Guinea rainforest scene, replete with some of Mary Blair’s most whimsical character creations (a crocodile with an umbrella, colorful birds hatching from eggs) and her drummer children with Tiki Masks on the opposite shore will be replaced with a Hooray for U.S.A sequence.

There's no confirmation on this at Jim Hill Media, so if this turns out to be false, I'll delete the rumor.

Straight from the fabulous year of 1965 (songs will open in new window):
  1. It's a Small World (USA)
  2. Oranges and Lemons (England) Because when I think of England, I think of citrus
  3. The Ash Grove (Wales)
  4. Comin' Thru the Rye (Scotland)
  5. Frere Jacques (France)
  6. Alouette (France)
  7. Santa Lucia (Italy)
  8. Funiculi, Funicula (Italy) Sounds like an STD you'd catch from a Mouseketeer
  9. Cuckoo (Austria)
  10. Children's Prayer (Germany)
  11. Silent Night (Germany)
  12. Paddy Whack (Australia)
  13. Kookaburra (Australia)
  14. Sukiyaki (Japan)
  15. Meadowlands (Russia)
  16. Arirang (Korea)
  17. Cielito Lindo (Mexico)
  18. Aloho Oe (Hawaii)
  19. Home On the Range (USA)
  20. Same as the first

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

X: Wild Thing and True Love

Wild Thing (Long Version)
12" Single
Elektra 0-66966

Billy Zoom: Guitars
D.J. BoneBrake: Drums & percussion
Exene Cervenka: Vocals
John X. Doe: Bass

My first X record, purchased spring or summer of 1984. Must of heard Wild Thing on a radio show and bought the record for that. Then fell in love with True Love part #2. The original True Love is on the More Fun In the New World album. Though it's one of my favorite albums, I prefer the club remix of this song. Perfectly infectious groove.

Wild Thing (Long Version), 6:12
"Wild Thing" choir: Billy Zoom, D.J. Bonebrake, John X. Doe, Michael (Vienna's Boy's Choir) Wagener, Gunilla Niven, Don Dokken, Tom Zutaut

True Love Pt. #2 (Club Remix), 5:14
Dance remix by Mark Kamens at Media Sound NYC

Recorded and mixed at Total Access Studios, Redondo Beach, CA
Mastered at Artisan Recorders by Greg Fulginiti

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

James Brown dance lessons

I could watch this clip all day.

A longer clip, from a documentary.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ripping vinyl

***I have some more to add and a few links to backfill, until then this is a good start***

I've been asked a few times -- both here and in the real world -- how do I record my vinyl? Is it hard and is special equipment/software needed?

The short answer is not particularly hard, and you need nothing more than some sort of turntable and basic audio editing software. If you have a workable turntable and use freeware, it's possible to begin ripping without spending one cent. Or if you're some sort of psychotic audiophile you might decide to spend thousands of dollars. More reasonably, expect to spend $100-$200 to get going.

My primary goal is to listen to albums I haven't played in 10-15 years. Never having had the kickass stereo setup with the mondo speakers, replicating a sound I never had isn't what I'm after. All I want is a decent quality without a large expenditure of time, effort, and money. With that in mind, I'll continue with the following topics:
  • My setup
  • Turntable options
  • My process
  • Cleaning your records
  • A ClickRepair example
  • Links to people who know what they're talking about

My Setup
  1. Ion iTTUSB turnable. This looks like a newer version. Only difference I see is it now includes EZVC2 software. They have a another one that records directly to an iPod.
  2. Audacity software free with turntable or free download (Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux)
  3. Sound Studio 3 (Mac OS X)
  4. ClickRepair, (Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix)

I meant to start this about 5-6 years ago, but when I hooked up ye olde record player, it was dead. Back then, for editors, most people seemed to recommend Roxio Toast. Kinda let things slide until last spring when we saw an Ion USB turntable for about $100 at Costco. If you are without a record player, a USB turntable is an easy answer. Just plug it into the computer's USB port and you're good to go.

The Ion USB turntables come with Audacity, an open source sound editor. If you already have a turntable, you can download it for free -- comes in both Windows and Os X flavors, though the Windows is a more advanced version. I found the interfact a bit clunky and the response slow, but it's servicable. A number of editing options available for cleaning up the sound. I no longer use it, but have no problems recommending it; it's a good place to start. More recent versions might improve on the performance issues I had.

Bought Sound Studio 3. Loved the interface, very user friendly, many options, and a decent manual. Simplified basic recording and track splitting while expanding what I could do with any audio.

After reading a number of reviews, I added ClickRepair software. This does one thing and it does it very well: cleans the clicks, cracks, and pops from the records without distorting the sound. Comes with a few presets and also allows you to set your own parameters. I also like that its default is to save the track under a new name so if you're unhappy with the result you haven't overwritten the original recording. My recommendation is that no matter what sound editor you use, run the file through ClickRepair for the best result. One warning, this is fairly processor intensive, so if the file is cluttered it sometimes takes longer to "clean" than it did to record.

Just realized that I never thought to test recording through Garageband. I wonder if that works?

My process
On average, I'd estimate somewhere between 1 and 1.5 hours to rip, clean, separate tracks, and move the final copy to iTunes for a 40 minute album. Without ClickRepair, I'd probably be under an hour. Because ClickRepair can be slow, I prefer to rip a few albums at a time and run through them in assembly line form. For simplicity, here's how one album works.
  1. Clean record.
  2. Record side one with Sound Studio. I record in AIFF.
  3. Clean any "dead space" at the beginning and end of the file, then save.
  4. Open side one in ClickRepair, select your parameters and begin.
  5. Record side two with Sound Studio. Save.
  6. Repeat ClickRepair with side two.
  7. In Sound Studio, open the ClickRepair version of side one.
  8. Insert track names, deleting any extra "dead air" you want. Generally there's 5-10 seconds of dead air separating vinyl tracks that you don't need for electronic copies. I'll lead a track with about .5 second of silence and leave .5 to 1 second after fadeout.
  9. Separate tracks, saving as AAC. You can also add album name, artist, genre. For genre I save as "vinyl."
  10. Repeat with side two.
  11. Drag AAC files into iTunes fixing any file metadata as necessary. Add album art that I found by searching Amazon, eBay, other dark holes of the internet.

Turntable options
But if you don't want to use a USB turntable, that's not a problem. Whether you have a turntable you enjoy or would just like to purchase one, there's really only one concern. Does the turntable have a built-in amplifier? If it does, then you can connect it directly to the computer. Probably need one of these:
  • Cords
  • radio schaack cord

If it doesn't have an amplifier then you'll need to plug the turntable into the reciever and the reciever into the computer. Or if you no longer have a reciever, you can buy just an amplifier: radio schack example, $$.

That's it. New turntables are still easy to find. Like the USB turntable, they start at around $100. There's still a market for high-end stuff costing thousands of dollars. If you're interested in spending $10K-$15K, there's a laser turntable available.

Cleaning the records
Best way to achieve a good sound is with a clean record. Rather than buying the expensive cleaning solutions I found a recipe for a homebrew version: 50% isopropyl alcohol and 50% distilled water. Spray and wipe clean with a lint free cloth.

A can of compressed air is also handy for the really dirty records and it's excellent on records with a lot of static buildup. I also use a carbon fiber record brush as a final clean.

A ClickRepair example

Links to people who know what they're talking about