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The Great Depression

Print magazine’s regional design annual is out this month — without my Subversive Cross Stitch buttons. I thought they might have a decent chance of getting in there, but no. I’ve always had a problem with these annuals, anyhow. It claims to be an even-handed survey of U.S. design as divided by geographical region, yet Phoenix (6th largest city in America) always gets lumped in with the entire states of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico in the “Rest of the Southwest” section. This year’s selections from that area wound up being a total of two pages in a phone book sized magazine! We can’t be that terrible, can we?

Print magazine sucks.

Ahoy There Mateys

Al Lutz of reports on Disneyland’s upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean rehab to better theme it to the movie versions. The changes, set to coincide with next summer’s sequel, involve adding – yipes – animatronic Johnny Depp figures. Let’s just say I’m happy that I got to ride the “classic” version last month. Arrgh.

More One Reel Wonders, Please

Variety reports on unpcoming changes for my beloved Turner Classic Movies in attempting to lure younger viewers. They include an IMDB-style online reference and various new programs. Luckily, TCM’s not taking the dumbed-down AMC route (yet). I’m actually looking forward to a weekly feature called Underground, described as “a showcase for movies not usually shown on TCM, such as kung-fu pics, blaxploitation movies and a selection of Russ Meyer’s skin flicks.”

Gruesome Twosome: Bacharach A Go-Go Edition

The Anita Kerr Singers: “Are You There (With Another Girl)”
LP: Reflect on the Hits of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, 1969 | BUY

The Renaissance: “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”
LP: Bacharach Baroque, 1970

This time I have two exquisitely arranged Bacharach covers that pretty much scream “60s”. Longtime session pro Anita Kerr strikes a contast between tightly clipped vocals and an unexpectedly hot arrangement (dig those drum fills). And how groovy is The Renaissance, with their blend of marvy “ba da ba” vocals and harpsichord? Special thanks to Ion for supplying the Renaissance track – inexplicably, Bacharach Baroque has never seen an official CD reissue.

Desperate Housewife


A selection from EphemeraNow‘s lovely collection of crystal-clear vintage advertising art. Looking at this stuff, you might believe that everything in the world was at once hyper-real and somewhat scary. The main activities back then were eating brightly colored foods, driving a nice big car, and watching TV on a swank patio.

My iPod’s Cooler Than Yours on the Rock Snob (via Vince Keenan). Uses the Minutemen’s cover of Steely Dan’s “Doctor Wu” as an example of said snobbery. Liking offbeat cover versions, I suppose, is a sign of rock snobbery. While I was reading this, a cover of the Jackson 5’s “ABC” by The Living Jazz was playing. The Living Jazz (and The Living Strings and The Living Brass) were really a bunch of faceless studio musicians. RCA Records’ used the “Living” brand as a way of repackaging pop hits into the sort of non-offensive instrumentals that even grannies could love. Funnily enough, this cover of “ABC” has a hot guitar solo missing from the original. Anyway. Good article.