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Monthly Archives: May 2006

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Gruesome Twosome: Sunshine Girls Edition

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Vicky Leandros: “Sunshine Boy”
LP: A Taste of … Vicky, 1967

Miss DD Phillips: “The World of Thursday Morning”
LP: Miss DD Phillips, c.1969

Warming temperatures have prompted me to share a couple of nice ‘n perky ’60s female vocals — songs that will have you gaily skipping through the park, multicolored balloons in hand. Greek singer Vicky Leandros might be better known to European audiences, but her gender-switched version of The Parade’s “Sunshine Girl” proved that she was just as comfortable with a more American, AM radio friendly sound. This odd choice of cover material unexpectedly became an excellent showcase for her versatile singing voice. “The World of Thursday Morning” by the mysterious Miss DD Phillips bursts through with sassy verve; I could almost picture Miss DD belting this from a Broadway stage. Thanks to my buddy Ion for both of these sunny cuts.

Drawing Inspiration

Penguin Graphic Classics is a new line of paperback literary classics with covers designed by today’s hottest graphic novelists. Bookslut effusively praises them here; Fantagraphics shares more covers here. It’s an interesting concept — I suppose the success of individual volumes depends a lot on the talent of the artist involved. For example, Chris Ware’s treatment of Voltaire’s Candide comes through as typically brilliant and sumptuous even when pixilated and tiny on a computer screen. I’d love to see what the “dead tree” version looks like. On the music side, the Deutsche Grammaphon label is taking on a similar tact with its Classical Bytes series.

Rosemary, Lilac and Heather

You’ll recall that last week I linked to an old Rock Flowers doll commercial. Now it appears that music blogger Mondo Daddykin has made available most of Rock Flowers’ recorded output for download — their two albums along with one of the three singles originally sold with the rockin’ dolls. Out of sight, man. This and much more alluring and hard to find vintage bubblegum can be found at Mondo Daddykin (thanks to Ion for the tip!!). Update: now it’s the complete Rock Flowers. Groovy.

Felix the (Silent) Cat

Watch Felix In Hollywood (1923) — one of 10 silent Felix the Cat cartoons nicely supplied by Bibi of Bibi’s Box. It’s cool to see this early, primitive animation — more like a moving comic strip, actually. I singled this one out since I saw it theatrically last year and its depictions of now-obscure movie stars are fun.

New in the Store: Cute Baby Stuff

This adorable little tyke is the newest addition to the scrubbles store. Born on a baby shower invitation I designed for Max and his friend Amanda, it has now been modified to go on a baby bib, a romper, and a keepsake ornament. C’mon, you know you want one.

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Razzle Dazzle ‘Em

Tony Award nominations are in. I don’t follow the N.Y. theater world too closely, but around here we love the Tonys. We will likely watch the live broadcast on June 11th, and we will just as likely curse CBS for screwing it up again. I’m aware that they need to attract Joe and Mamie Midwestern who don’t normally get Broadway musicals, but that doesn’t mean the show has to be molded into a dozen other glitzy yet empty awards ceremonies. A few years ago, PBS produced its own broadcasts to showcase the technical awards which CBS deemed too insignificant. These programs never failed to fascinate, profiling the nominees and conveying the hard work and craftsmanship that goes into a major theater production. They were engaging and wonderful, but now they’re gone. Once again it’ll come down to this: another celebrity-studded but not terribly theatrical show will go on, and CBS will wonder why the ratings were so bad the next morning. And so it goes.