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Category Archives: Vinyl

Astro Sounds from Before the Year 1970

Pop Matters delves into a short history of Exotica/Lounge with special emphasis on 101 Strings’ goofy Astro Sounds from beyond the Year 2000 album (via the Sound Scavengers list). Although it was reissued briefly on CD in the mid ’90s, I’d love to see Astro Sounds back in print along with the equally groovy 101 Strings LP Sounds of Today (which is much easier to find in thrift store bins).

Soundtrack Au Go Go

Some generous soul has made available Michel Legrand’s 1970 soundtrack La Dame Dans L’ Auto Avec Des Lunettes Et Un Fusil for download (via PCL Linkdump). It’s a brief set of groovy a-go-go instrumentals with Petula Clark singing the movie’s theme song in French and English. Having once spotted this for sale at Dusty Groove I’m not sure about the legality involved here (is the reissue CD out of print already?), so make sure to frug and shimmy to it at home with the shades down, OK? Good.

Poppin’ and Lockin’ Is a New Way of Talkin’

WFMU’s Beware of the Blog has the full soundtrack for Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (among other odd things) available for download. p.s. A Kangol hat tip to anyone who can identify the song I quoted in this entry’s title.

Sequins Aplenty

A YouTube find: vintage performance clips of The Supremes from 1964-77 — the Diana Ross phase, the Jean Terrell phase, and the “three women singing nondescript disco” phase. This took up way too much of my time this morning.

Silver Hells II: The Wrath of Dion

From the CBC: a curmudgeon’s guide to the worst Christmas singles. Make sure to download the Mae West song, which is not so much bad as bizarre (Mae warbling arthritic come-ons over a Byrdsish dirge).

Silver Hells

Something occurred to me at the mall today, sometime between “Winter Wonderland” and “Frosty the Snowman” — enduring crappy Christmas music is one of the few communal experiences we have left. Now I’m fully aware that some people actually like that stuff (the same types who lovingly collect Precious Moments figurines, no doubt), and I suppose hearing those familiar chestnuts for the millionth time isn’t so bad if the perfomer has the skills (yes to Nat “King”, no to Natalie). Relatively speaking, at least.

Oddly enough, I seem to have a stonger stomach when it comes to familiar novelty Xmas tunes. For instance, I can’t get enough of those adorable dogs barking out “Jingle Bells”, and their feline counterparts The Jingle Cats never fail to bring a smile. I also never get tired of (gulp) Elmo & Patsy’s “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”. However, the version I remember best isn’t the one constantly played on the radio nowadays. According to the book Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles, “Grandma” was originally recorded in 1979 by husband and wife Elmo Shropshire and Patsy Trigg. This was the unpretentious, folksy little song about an unlucky old lady that I grew up listening to on Dr. Demento. Following that success, E&P remade the song in the early ’80s and made an accompanying music video popular on MTV. The results came across like someone re-telling a once funny joke: the delivery was more forced, slicker but not nearly as nuanced. Unfortunately, this inferior rerecording is what we’re stuck with today. Elmo’s website fills in lots more info about the song, but with no mention of Patsy (the couple divorced in 1985). Apparently he now makes a living as a veterinarian — cool!