Haunted House Party

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

:: Satan's Pilgirms - Wailer's House Party ::

:: The Del Lagunas - Haunted Castle ::

I've had this sitting around for months, saving it for Halloween, and so what did I almost do? I came very close to putting up French pop today. Good thing my brain is clutch.

So these are modern surf bands doing some old surf/garage songs. Satan's Pilgrims hail from the Portland area, I think, and the one time I saw them live was kickass. I had the bright idea of getting a t-shirt made that said "Stan's Pilgrims" to wear to the show to see if anyone would notice. But instead of doing that, my friends and I drank ourselves silly, one of my friends spending the whole show hanging over the Spaceland pee-trough. This was back when Spaceland still had a pee-trough, and didn't have a smoquarium. Anyway, go see Satan's Pilgrims play if they are still together. Here they cover garage legends, The Wailers. Tremble before their organ!

The Del Lagunas are the surf alias of Gas Huffer, or are the number one surf band in Greenland, or both. I think this is the only song I've heard by them, and it sounds better to me than Gas Huffer. They twang the shit out of this old Kingsmen tune. To my surprise, it looks like you can still order new copies of this, even though it's 10 years old. So I won't be keeping these files up long, and if you like this, go freakin' buy it. Happy Halloween, kids. Go dance!


Rood Boy

Monday, October 30, 2006

:: The Downtowners - Deep Inside Me ::

:: Rood Keith - Great Fever ::

I’ve been digging the latest Rodd Keith compilation, Saucers in the Sky, put out by Roaratorio last year. It’s another great collection of inventive recordings by the eccentric genius who churned out hundreds of them based on strange lyrics sent in by amateur wannabe songwriters. The selfish, record geek part of me was happy to see that songs from my personal Rodd Keith vinyl collection haven’t appeared on this or his other CD comps, so that the unselfish record geek part of me could share them with you.

Both sides of this single have lyrics provided by a guy named Paul Beshears. Keith pseudonym The Downtowners do music duties on side one, on the unfortunately titled, “Deep Inside Me.” The song is, thankfully, only a lament over a dead lover, as opposed to something pornographic. I couldn’t tell you who the female lead vocalist is, but you can hear Rodd on back-up. Side two’s “Great Fever” is credited to Rood Keith, and it’s a saucy pop number concerning the sickness that infected teens in towns across America during the sixties: Beatles Fever.


I'd Hit It -- With A Stick

Friday, October 27, 2006

:: I'll Hit It With A Stick ::

All y'all know that us Robots like to spin a little Ives now and then. Generally speaking it's pretty hard to go wrong with ol' Burl. As consistently, well, consistent as he is though, there's often a song that makes you say, "huh?". This is one of those songs.

One of my earliest memories of Burl Ives was as an actor, rather than a singer. I was vaguely aware he was a folk singer when I saw him in a film called "Ensign Pulver" on NBC Saturday Night At The Movies. I figured this sequel to "Mister Roberts" might be funny, but I found Ives portrayal of Capt. Morton (played by James Cagney in the original) to be downright depressing, which means he did a good job playing this despicable character.

This early impression then helps make the image of Burl beating the memory of his lover with a stick that much more funny. This recording, produced by Nashville big wig Owen Bradley hits the musical spot (with a stick) and Burl Ives' voice is a unique instrument as always.


Ugly On My Mind

Thursday, October 26, 2006

:: Ugly, Ugly ::

:: Winkee-Do ::

On Leonard Nimoy's triumphant third albu...JUST KEEDING!

Leo Gooden and Oliver Nelson were both St. Louis-born heavyweights in the worlds of Jazz. Nelson, who arranged these songs and put them out on his short-lived Noslen (get it?) imprint, did lots of arranging, sax wailing and writing before his untimely demise from a heart attack in the mid 1970's. Gooden was a jazz vocalist, songwriter and Missouri nightclub owner who might be best known for penning the Albert King bopper "COD." (That's as in "cash on delivery," not as in someone shouting the name of a fish.)

Biographies aside, this 45 bursts with dirty, bluesy jazz somewhat reminiscent of Wynonie Harris, augmented nicely by some backroom Hammond B3 playing. From what I've found on the internets, one Don James may have been the dude supplying the organ, as he played in Gooden's group Leo's Five, and for Albert King, around the same time as this 45 came out, 1963. But that's not really important -- you should just sit back and enjoy these tracks, baby.


One More Dose Of Vulcan Smoothness

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

:: The Mayor of Ma's Cafe ::

:: I Finally Saw the Two of You Today ::

:: Mary's Near ::

:: Abraham, Martin & John ::

:: Let it Be Me ::

:: Everybody's Talkin' ::

:: The Sun Will Rise ::

Nimoy overkill, perhaps? Let’s just get through this one short post today. I’ll get it out of my system, and we can then move on to some other crap.

The New World of Leonard Nimoy was Nimoy’s last LP for Dot Records, released in 1970. This was the most difficult of his five LP’s for me to find. It’s more maligned than his others - a good chunk of its songs were included on those bad-celebrity “Golden Throat” compilations. This “new world” of Nimoy’s was a bit country – that’s the style of the arrangements and song selections, with the exception of the sole Nimoy-penned tune, “The Sun Will Rise,” an upbeat hippie folk tune. His vocals may not always be up to the job, but he makes up for it with heartfelt warmth, sincerity and optimism. I know, gay.


Who Likes Short Shorts?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

:: Theme from Magnum P.I. ::

If Magnum P.I. could get away with wearing tight short shorts, why not Mike Post? Lord knows, I've already had my fun knocking this guy, so once you stop laughing at the picture sleeve of this single, let's take a look at some of Mike Post's accomplishments. We all know about Hill Street Blues, Rockford Files and NYPD Blue, but did you know he was an original member of The First Edition (with Kenny Rogers)? He played guitar on I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher and did the orchestral arrangement on Mason Williams' Classical Gas. Here's a sampling of his TV scores:

The Bob Crane Show
Black Sheep Squadron
Richie Brockelman: Private Eye
The White Shadow
Big Shamus, Little Shamus
Knight Rider
Tenspeed & Brownshoe
Greatest American Hero
Hardcastle & McCormick
Doogie Howser

The man has won countless awards including 5 Grammys and has basically had one hell of a career. So I guess I gotta hand it to him. He may not be my cup of tea, but he's got good legs.


Two Irreverent Covers

Monday, October 23, 2006

:: Uncle Albert ::

:: The Devil Went Down To Texas ::

Hey, you guys like covers? If you do, not only might you dig this offering, but you should definitely strut on over to Copy, Right?, because there's always a bushel of interesting cover versions over there.

What I know, or seem to be able to learn, about Lick Layer And The Lugers wouldn't fill a paragraph here, unfortunately. They are from New York? Well, their label address is New York. From the band photos, it sort of looks like they are made up of college students and a few of their "cool" professors. And, of course, Lugers.

So what you got here is your Paul McCartney interpretation and your, well, your Charlie Daniels interpretation. I am glad for the dissection and regurgitation of The Devil Went Down To Georgia, because that song really annoyed me as a kid. I couldn't rollerskate for shit to it, and they always played that at the Rollerama. That and fucking Eddie Rabbitt's "I Love A Rainy Night." I bet now that he's dead he doesn't love rainy nights so much, what with the rain leaking down into his coffin and all. Aw geez, I'm sorry. I have roller skating issues, I'll admit it. Just because I couldn't get up Sherry Albert's shirt any of the myriad nights I spent rollerskating to music I didn't like, when I didn't even like rollerskating to begin with, doesn't give me the right to mock the corpse of Eddie Rabbitt, who was probably a lovely man other than that fucking annoying song. So enjoy these two wacky, art-damaged covers and pray for my craven soul. Because it's Monday.


The Touch Of Leonard Nimoy (Swoon)

Friday, October 20, 2006

:: I Search for Tomorrow ::

:: Maiden Wine ::

:: Now's the Time ::

:: Cycles ::

:: I Think It's Gonna Rain Today ::

:: I Just Can't Help Believin' ::

:: Nature Boy ::

:: Contact ::

:: The Man I Would Like to Be ::

:: A Trip to Nowhere ::

:: Piece of Hope ::

A few months ago I wrote of my admiration for Leonard Nimoy’s album, The Way I Feel. Some of you kind readers posted your recommendations that I make sure and get the record he released after that in 1969, The Touch of Leonard Nimoy. Well, I made sure and got all five of the records that he recorded on the Dot label, but you kids sure knew what you were talking about with this one – it’s gorgeous. For many years, my Sunday-morning, pancake-flippin’ music was relegated to Elvis Presley, but since I bought The Touch, well…Elvis has been collecting dust. Not that Nimoy can croon like Elvis or anything, but there is something comforting in his voice as he sings of love, peace and the fellowship of man. The arrangements put together by conductor George Tipton are exceptionally lush and tend to bring out the tenderness in his vocals. Ahh, what am I doing? If this were a livejournal, I suppose I’d sprinkle some hearts and flowers around this paragraph.

My obsession did not stop at merely picking up his records, however. Now, some guys might take their lady friends for a romantic weekend to the mountains, or the beach or one of those bed and breakfast thingies. Not this guy. Last month, I took my old lady on a whirlwind trip to sunny Sacramento for a Star Trek convention, where Nimoy was appearing, to get my records signed. He was kind enough to sign them and pose for a photo with me, for a princely sum of 120 bucks. Hey, the guy implanted the “Live Long and Prosper” motto into our culture, and he’s living up to it – good for him. And good for you, I was going to only post the two songs that Nimoy wrote himself, “Maiden Wine” and “A Piece of Hope.” But the whole record is just so damn good, so have at it.


Rebel Superstar: From Soapdrop To Soapbox

Thursday, October 19, 2006

:: I Am An Ex-Convict From A Florida Chain Gang ::

:: Truckdriver's Prayer ::

:: Ironworker ::

:: I Just Closed The Door On Love ::

:: Rebel Superstar ::

I learned another fun fact about myself last week: I am not a Vegas kind of guy. Thanks to my Robot cohorts though, I was able to turn a couple of boring days in Las Vegas into a record shopping extravaganza. While the wife fed the one armed bandit, I tried to help out some local merchants. Big B's CDs & Records on Maryland Pkwy yielded many rare gems for a few bucks each. Downright embarrassing I tell ya. I found this record at the Record City location at 553 East Sahara (there are 5 Record City's in LV, 2 of them on East Sahara). This store has a massive "dollar bin" section, and tons of cool 50s and 60s discs at reasonable prices. Somewhere tucked into the Country section was this still sealed copy of "I Am An Ex-Convict From A Florida Chain Gang".

It appears to be a self produced vanity project, recorded in San Diego, CA in 1978, and I anticipated that it would be quite bad, in a good way. Turns out it's not bad at all. Ol' Floyd is best off when giving a recitation over fine backing tracks rather than actually singing, the title track being the best example of this. Where one might think this 12 minute tour de force could not be topped, one would once again be surprised by this better than one might expect record album.

After a few attempts at contemporary country-pop songsmithery, the last 4 tracks on side 2 suddenly veer off into a whole 'nother direction and Floyd McClellan becomes his alter ego, Rebel Superstar. I wish I could have found some more background information about Floyd because I'd love to know exactly what he or his record label had in mind for this character. More than likely the idea was to launch Rebel Superstar as a separate entity, having nothing to do with the very serious subject matter that dominates the rest of the album. However, it all adds up to a collection of tunes for working men of the 70s to hoist a few brews to, as well as share a few laughs and shed a few tears.

In the liner notes, written by McClellan, he reiterates the fact that he was a WWII vet, and goes on to say that as of 1978, he was happily married and had a 3 year old son named David (?). Overall, Floyd McClellan sounds like a well adjusted, contented man who was probably about 50 at the time of this recording. Here's hoping that he and his family are doing fine, and maybe now this rebel will become the superstar he always deserved to be.


The Sperm, So Valuable To The Goverment

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

:: California Fairy Tale ::

Jimmie Haskell is a very well known, very well respected producer and arranger. From his days working with Ricky Nelson up through the massive amount of film work he's done more recently, he's kept very, very busy. In 1971, he put out a concept album, with the concept and writing supplied by one Tom Gamache, called California 99. It's about a post-massive-earthquake future where all of America is called California, and people smoke lots of pot and eat bugs. Sadly, I (so far) have only this promo single as partial evidence of the madness that this album surely must contain. I don't really need to do much explaining here, as someone else has already done a bang-up job elsewhere, and anyway, one listen of this bizarre track will either make you feel what I feel (which is, I must hear this whole album) or make you delete the mp3 immediately.

Stuff like this cracks me up, not just because the guesses about what might be in the future are often patently ludicrous, but because they never seem to go far enough in the future to even give such ludicrous ideas a chance. Even in 1971, the year 1999 wasn't really that far off, so the notion of an instant supermarket that you just add water to was probably a little far-fetched. Most likely Gamache's vison was meant to be whimsical, and hearing this now, 35 years later, it kind of sounds like a goofy Godspeed You Black Emperor piece. I do have to wonder, though, that given the era and the fears of nuclear war and the prevalence of pot-toking hippies, and the fact that the sound of a radio-smooth voice still seemed like an authority figure, if this thing might have scared some folks. Well, maybe some old folks what ain't never ate a bug or inhaled a lungful of killer green bud.


Beatle Of The Bulge

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

:: Bryan Ferry - She's Leaving Home ::

:: Keith Moon - When I'm Sixty-Four ::

:: Richard Cocciante - Michelle ::

:: Status Quo - Getting Better ::

:: Peter Gabriel - Strawberry Fields Forever ::

:: Frankie Valli - A Day in the Life ::

In 1976, 20th Century Fox released a strange film called All This and World War II that consisted of newsreel and war movie footage edited into an abridged, chronological version of the events of World War II, all juxtaposed with Beatles covers performed by a number of 70’s recording artists. Critics tore it apart, no one went to see it, and Fox promptly yanked it from screens. Only bootleg copies are available today on DVD. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds fucked up and tasteless enough to make me want to. Some scenes I’ve read about include Hitler relaxing on his mountaintop retreat in Berchtesgaden while Helen Reddy sings, “Fool on the Hill,” German tank footage played in reverse as Rod Stewart croons his cover of “Get Back,” and the Battle of Midway to the tune of Elton John’s rendition of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

The soundtrack is four sides of orchestrated Beatles, performed by The London Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with artists on each song for vocal duties. I’ve posted my favorite cuts from the album.

First up is Bryan Ferry, fresh from temporarily disbanding Roxy Music, singing “She’s Leaving Home.” This song was juxtaposed with footage of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) mobilizing and shipping out to war. Keith Moon gives us a fun little version of “When I’m Sixty-Four.” The poor guy made it to exactly half that age when he died. French-Italian opera singer Richard Cocciante’s version of “Michelle” is impassioned and incredibly over-dramatic, but I like it because it’s ridiculous. Status Quo’s “Getting Better” plays in the film as the U.S. gets mobilized to enter the war and save the day. It’s got some cool vocoder effect thrown in. The best song on the album is Peter Gabriel’s version of “Strawberry Fields Forever.” This is, I believe, his first solo outing after leaving Genesis. He weirdly closes his throat throughout the song’s delivery, making it sound as if a Muppet were on vocals at times. It was played in the film while Neville Chamberlain holds up his ill-fated peace treaty with Germany (Living is easy with eyes closed / Misunderstanding all you see). And finally, Frankie Valli makes his first appearance on my turntable since I was a wee lad and bought the Grease soundtrack, doing a version of “A Day in the Life” here. The impact of the final piano chord in the original is reduced to a whimper here with a light guitar strum. It’s a testament to how great this song is that even Frankie Valli couldn’t ruin it, though he does try. This song was juxtaposed with footage of the D-Day invasion in the film.

Trivializing war is crass, but the film sounds a hell of a lot more interesting than the Sgt. Pepper’s movie that came out two years later in 1978. And I’m digging the music here over the Sgt. Pepper soundtrack. Why, just the mere memory of Steve Martin singing “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” like a maniac makes me physically nauseous. All This and World War II’s soundtrack was to make its first appearance in compact disc form this past summer, courtesy of Hip-O-Select - Universal’s obscurities re-issue imprint - but its release has been delayed due to manufacturing defects. Keep on the lookout for it if you like what you hear here.


Creepy Four Handed Piano

Friday, October 13, 2006

:: Cielito Lindo ::

:: The Nearness of You ::

Ferrante and Teicher did some really phenomenal things with two pianos and a microphone (or two). While working together as teachers at Juilliard, they began experimenting, stuffing paper into the strings, striking the strings with various objects, everything short of bringing in Jerry Lee Lewis to demolish the damn things. Their early recordings stand in stark contrast to their later standard easy listening fare.

On this album from the late 50s, they introduce various percussion to the mix. Sometimes it's hard to tell if what you're hearing is a percussion instrument, or a piano being struck, but it's all good and unlike anything else out there. These guys are still kickin' it in their 80s and still making sweet music together. Literally.


Grandmother Of J-Pop

Thursday, October 12, 2006

:: Com On-A My House ::

:: Tennessee Waltz ::

I accidentally picked these up on Ebay. Now, anyone who knows me knows that me picking up Japanese music is never an accident, but in this case I carelessly didn't realize that these were 78's before I bid, and so of course I won. I have nothing against 78's, even though they often smell like a basement full of old magazines. I just can't play them on my turntable because it don't go that fast, and I don't have the special cartridge. So I have to thank Mike for doing that dirty work for me.

Chances are you've heard Come On-A My House and Tennessee Waltz many times, but you probably haven't heard either of them delivered by an adorable young Japanese girl backed by a jazz band. If IMDB is to be believed, Chiemi Eri was born in 1937 and would have been a teenager when she recorded this 10". She evidently was a big star in post-war Japan, and her recordings of American pop standards were often the first versions people there heard of them. One of her movie titles translates to "Youthful Jazz Daughter," a grouping of words many an indie rock band would kill to have as one of their song titles.

I love this stuff to death. She sings confidently, but still with tons of girlish charm, and the King Orchestra swings magically behind her. As mistake purchases go, this was a pretty damn good one. Sure beats buying American Beauty on CD twice in a year.


Musically Mad

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

:: Concerto for Two Hands ::

:: The Green Bee ::

:: Give Me That Good Old Progressive Jazz ::

:: Laughing Raymond ::

I wouldn’t be the incredibly awesome guy I am today without having had a steady diet of Mad Magazine throughout my life. It can be pretty subversive stuff when it wants to be, and it’s readily available to you or any twelve-year old that wants it. And if life truly gets too serious, you can always remark on the words of Alfred E. Neuman - “What - - Me Worry?” – as you envelop yourself in the solace of complete apathy.

From time to time, MAD produced records and Musically Mad is their first effort, released in 1959. Television soundtrack conductor, Bernie Green, misleads his merry band of Stereo Mad-Men for what can only be described as orchestral zaniness. First up is “Concerto for Two Hands,” in which Mr. Joseph Julian squeezes new life into old tunes by way of hand-farting noises. “The Green Bee” is a take on Rimsky-Korsakov’s classic, with a loud “bee” buzzing around your head before it’s smashed to death in RCA’s Living Stereo. “Give Me That Good Old Progressive Jazz” employs those stereo recording techniques to portray the jealousy of the percussion section. You’ll actually hear the drummer cross the bandstand to eliminate the chimes player in an act of audio bloodshed. “Laughing Raymond,” a MAD version of the Raymond Overture, is interspersed with goofy laughter and is my favorite off the record. MAD chose this as the album closer so that you’ll realize when you’re through playing it that the last laugh is on you. Har har.


What Is This Photophone of Which You Speak?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

:: Photophone ::

:: Big Jack ::

:: Stay Away From That Man of Mine ::

:: I Never Heard of You ::

:: Made In USA ::

Well I'll be dagged if these here song poems don't (more often than not) predict the future! Photophone? In 1978? Donald Allen Martin was obviously some kind of frickin' genius.

Another fine product of MSR Records (not to be confused with this company) the home of the great Rodd Keith, I had to shell out some fair sized bucks for this "Country Western Album" even though I knew it was recorded some four years after Rodd's untimely demise. MSR means quality, of some sort or another. When they say Country Western, what they mean is a glut of songs about Elvis and other subject matter that lends itself to steel guitars and fiddles. Songs like "Ozark Homespun", Made In U.S.A." and "Stay Away From That Man of Mine". The singers, who go anonymous this time out, are not very country, but who cares? If you want a real country album, look for something by Garth Brooks, or something.

If you want song poems being pawned off as country songs, you've come to the right place. Made right here in the good old U.S.A.


I Remember When We Used To Carry On Together

Friday, October 06, 2006

:: Did You See Her Eyes ::

:: Falling In Love ::

We certainly find ourselves talking a lot about Jeff Barry, don't we? Well, the dude is behind a lot of just-unsuccessful-enough acts that we're bound to cover him now and again. So this band, The Illusion, is not to be confused with the 70's British band Illusion, or any other of the other bands called Illusion. Jesus, there's like 5 different Illusions. Why would you choose such a common, obviously-already-taken name when spiffy ones like Anal Cunt and Ass Baboons of Venus were still out there for the taking? Anyway, this Illusion was from Long Island and found itself in the clutches of Jeff Barry, and thus this single was created, and souls were bartered. According to a website I found, this is the original version of the single, which an unsatisfied Barry pulled back only to release a new edit later with him on percussion. Figures.

The a-side is greazy rock, slowly crawling across the shag carpet towards you, so gone that it doesn't even notice you are there. If you listen carefully, you can hear a dirty hippie desperately scraping out some precious resin in the background. The b-side is pure Low Rider oldies stuff, so nostalgically romantic that I am ashamed to report I just tried to neck with my cat. I also think it may have violated some codes about the number of mellow drum fills allowed in a single.

So sit back, put your headphones on, and transport yourself back to two sides of 1969.


Mure, Mure, Mure, How D'Ya Like It?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

:: Hawaiian War Chant ::

:: Pink Hawaii ::

:: Hawaiian Drums ::

:: Blue Hawaii ::

:: Sleep Walk ::

:: Drifting and Dreaming ::

I sure would like to be in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend, wouldn’t you? If we were, we’d don loud shirts and head out to the annual Hukilau to guzzle delicious fruity rum cocktails and revel in the exotic guitar sounds of Billy Mure. The nonagenarian legend is still kickin’ out the jams down there in Florida, and is apparently available for parties and Bar Mitzvahs.

Well, since we can’t be there, we can at least listen to some good tunes that he had to offer back in 1961. This is the first of four Hawaiian percussion-themed albums that Mure recorded for the cheapy Strand Record label in the sixties. The wild, frenzied guitar playing that he introduced on his previous three “Supersonic Guitars” LP’s for RCA Victor is downplayed for a simpler sound fused with unusual percussion instruments – wind bells, temple blocks, bamboo logs, trees and tom-tom drums. The result is pure hau’oli. So go ahead, relax. Mix yourself a Blue Hawaiian, put on your best grass skirt, and let Billy take care of ya.


Curly Licks

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

:: Ode To Billie Joe ::

:: Seven To One ::

Look at ol' Curly there, using his pedal steel as a card table, with his cute little daughter by his side. I hope that's his daughter. How could it not be his daughter? Same hair helmet. Same face. Jesus, I hope she's his daughter. But nevermind his funny looks and bad cover art, Curly Chalker was a great steel guitar player.

Establishing himself in Nashville at a time when record producers were looking for a new sound, Curly was there to give it to them. His full, jazzy chords sounded like Speedy West with Jimmy Bryant backing him, only Curly could do it all by himself. He played on countless country hits during the 60s and 70s and provided many a juicily bent note on Hee Haw for 18 years.

This solo album takes on a decidedly jazzy tone, sounding somewhat like an afternoon talk show band with a warped pedal steel lead. Sit back and enjoy as "Curls" cranks his dual Peaveys and worms his way into your soul.


See The Bodies In The Bright Sunshine

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

:: The Magic Of Daytona ::

:: Paradise Bound ::

Am I supposed to be relieved or disappointed when I can find no information about a band? All I really know is that this is not the band Redwing, whose ranks included a pre-Eagle Timothy B. Schmit. I have a feeling this was a local Ohio band who went in someplace where they had single packages and cranked out their two best songs. They may have been buddies with Shattered Class.

I am not sure which side is the A, but both sides are completely different from each other. Magic Of Daytona, an ode to the death place of Dale Earnhardt, is gloriously cheezy rock, with the lead guitarist making like a bar band Carlos Santana while the singer does fluttery things with his voice. Overall it's fairly incongruous; hence, I love it. The other side starts out acoustic but ends up a garage burner with the keys up high in the mix, and panned around and faded out strangely. No fluttery vocals on this one, but the lead guitarist gets his wanks in, don'tchoo worry.


Mister Rogers Goes to Washington

Monday, October 02, 2006

:: What Do You Do ::

:: or the whole damn album ::

This very moving video clip has been making the rounds on various blogs over the past few months. It’s a clip from 1969 of Fred Rogers appearing before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications, testifying in support of increased government funding for Public Broadcasting. Within seven minutes, Mr. Rogers succeeds in warming subcommittee chair Senator John Pastore’s heart, enough for Pastore to acknowledge that he has goosebumps and remark, “I think you just got your twenty million dollars.” Indeed, after the Pastore committee hearings, funding for PBS increased from $9 million to $22 million.

Mister Rogers secured those funds by speaking passionately, in his own slow and quiet manner, about the social learning and emotional care that children need to develop in a constructive way, and how programming on PBS nurtures those needs. Along the way, he recites the lyrics to one of his songs, “What Do You Do?” to drive the point home.

The song appeared on Let’s Be Together Today, from 1968, though my copy is a 1981 reissue. It’s a song that offers solutions to controlling one’s behavior, though apparently the lessons offered are lost on some folk. Today, after ripping the album, I spent a good 10 minutes maniacally moving my apartment furniture around in a rage, looking for one of those damn Netflix envelopes to return a dvd. I’m sure Mister Rogers, as well as Freud, would say there was more at work there than a missing envelope. After the fruitless search, I looked up to see my girlfriend staring at me, and then she calmly asked, “What do you do with the mad that you feel?” Ah, how we laughed.

Anyway, I’ve decided to post the song by itself for your pleasure, or, if you’d like the whole album, it’s all zipped up and ready to go. Why have I posted the whole album for you? Because you always make each day a special day, by just you're being you. There's only one person exactly like you in the whole world. And that's you yourself, and I like you.