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Author Archives: Mt_old

Another Dr. Demento Momento

For some reason, I was very recently thinking about a series of novelty skits which used to get played eons ago on Dr. Demento’s radio show. They involved a reporter interviewing somebody, with the answers coming in the form of snippets from various hit songs of the day. Who did them? Now I know — Dickie Goodman. Michael Azerrad wrote up a neat little article on the man and his schtick for eMusic. I didn’t know that Goodman’s pop culture parodies went all the way back to the ’50s.

Roses and Roses and Roses

Time for another goofball meme, the kind where you put your iTunes playlist on “shuffle” and list whatever song corresponds with each item. This one I found at Quiddity.

  • What does next year have in store for me? Somehow I Feel I Must Be Dreaming — Jumping Jacques
  • What does my love life look like? My Town, My Guy and Me — Lesley Gore
  • What do I say when life get hard? Treat Me Nice, John Henry — Diana Ross & The Supremes
  • What do I think of when I get up in the morning? Midnight at the Oasis — Maria Muldaur
  • What song will I dance to at my wedding? Right Start — Talking Heads
  • What do I want for my career? Turkey Lurkey Time — Promises, Promises OCR
  • Favorite saying? Mesmerized (Freemasons Mix) — Faith Evans
  • Favorite place? How About Me — Davy Jones
  • What do I think of my parents? Blackbird — Ramsey Lewis
  • Where would I go on a first date? Don’t Let The Teardrops Rust Your Shining Heart — Everything But The Girl
  • Drug of Choice? Half Breed — Cher
  • How do I describe myself? Nothing Can Be Very Wrong — Tony Visconti
  • What is the thing I like doing the most? At Last — Laura Lee
  • What is my state of mind like at the moment? Medley: Malinconia Serenita — Ennio Morricone
  • How will I die? Words Of Love — The Beatles
  • Song they’ll play at my funeral? A Million Miles Away — The McKinleys
  • What song will I put as the subject? Roses and Roses and Roses — Dorival Caymmi and The Girls from Bahia

Caught on Tape

The weekly cassette mp3s shared at Tape Findings reminds me of the hours of silly tape recordings I made as a child (via WFMU Beware of the Blog). I talked, sang, did skits and even made a fake “Weekend Update”-style news program. I also found that, if you depressed the Pause button slightly while recording, it would produce an eerie, high-pitched voice sounding similar to the squeals of bats. Check the current offering, in which a kid named Davey recounts his family vacation to Disneyland in 1969. Found fun!

The Secret World of Guys

The New York Times on the best and worst Super Bowl ads. We recorded the telecast last night, especially for the ads. With the very first ad break I whined to C., “these commercials are soooo Straight White Male.” I felt like I needed to watch a few touchy-feely Lifetime TV movies to cleanse myself of all that faux testosterone. Anyway, the unanimous favorite in our household was the GM robot spot (seen here at teevee’s recap). It was amazing in how the makers applied human emotions to a robot arm, and Eric Carmen’s weepy “All By Myself” on the soundtrack was a nice touch. I also loved the Japanese kiddie show parody advertising some GPS system. On the other hand the one with Jay-Z and some old guy playing virtual football was completely incomprehensible, and I agree with the Times that most of the spots had an odd violent streak going on.

Babbling About The Shins

Score one for the nerds. The Shins’ latest, Wincing The Night Away, has debuted on the Billboard album charts at #2, becoming by far the highest charting album in Sub Pop Records‘ history. Pitchfork elaborates: “Only pretty-boy rap&b foursome Pretty Ricky bested the Shins last week, selling 132,000 copies of their new album Late Night Special. But we’re fairly sure Natalie Portman doesn’t give two shits about them.”

Natalie Portman endorsement or no, a few listens to Wincing has convinced me that these New Mexicans might be the closest thing we have to a Beatles. Not in terms of uniform brilliance, mind you, but I can’t think of another current band (and a band they are, thankfully lacking in a flashy frontperson) so adept in eclectic and engaging pop music that works on so many levels. This is never more evident than on the chiming and melodic “Australia”. A friend described this irresistible cut as “Smiths-like”, and I’d have to agree. “Pam Berry”, a spacey throwaway, gives way to “Phantom Limb,” the album’s shimmering, gorgeous highlight. If you haven’t downloaded the single at Sub Pop’s Shins page, do so now (go ahead, I’ll wait). With a song that magnificent, the rest of the album can’t help but be something of a letdown. Indeed a stretch of samey, navel-gazing songs characterize the album’s middle — but even then we have a few gems (“Red Rabbits”). By the time the album winds up, you end up feeling as if in the presence of a band that’s maturing and channeling their indie obtusiveness into a more coherent (but no less delightful) vision. Can’t wait to see what they do next.

Oh, in case you’d like to buy Wincing The Night Away at Amazon, here you are.

I Sing the Body Electric

Last night Christopher and myself journeyed over to the Arizona Science Center to view an exhibit called Body Worlds 3. It was wild and interesting. The “Body Worlds” concept was introduced by German scientist Gunther Von Hagens, who developed a method of preserving dead tissue in a process which replaces human body fluids with liquified plastic. On the outset it’s somewhat creepy to think that these bodies on display were once living beings, but those thoughts vanish once you’re actually in the exhibit. Brief glimpses of a Body Worlds exhibit could be seen in the movie Casino Royale. We first discovered it in another flick, the German thriller Anatomy. If you’ve never seen this one, it’s quite an over-the-top hoot — the plot revolves around a group of medical students are terrorized by a mysterious serial killer, one who has the balls to plasticize their bodies in a huge museum display! The cast includes Franka Potente of Run Lola Run, who likely has left this particular opus off her resume.