Saturday, September 16, 2017

Jerry Lewis [1926-2017]

Artist: Jerry Lewis
LP: Just Sings
Song: "Shine On Your Shoes"
[ listen ]

I was sad to read today that Harry Dean Stanton died. He was 91 years old, which seems crazy since I swear he's been 71 years old for the past 30 years. Then as I was rummaging through one of my record piles this morning I came across this Jerry Lewis record that I'd forgotten about, which reminded me that he too had died recently, and he was also 91 when he died, though Jerry Lewis seems like he's been 91 for the past 30 years. 

I have to admit that I've never seen a proper "Jerry Lewis movie," though I have seen a film or two that contain a Jerry Lewis performance. One of them is Scorsese's THE KING OF COMEDY, which I thought I would like a lot more than I did. The other, one of my favorite oddities of the '90s, is Emir Kusturica's ARIZONA DREAM, also starring Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, and Lili Taylor. You can read all about Jerry Lewis here, find his New York Times obituary here, there's a Harry Dean Stanton obituary to be read here, and go here to see a neat picture of Faye Dunaway from one of the very best films of all time. 

Jerry Lewis
[ March 16, 1926 — August 20, 2017 ]
We will miss you, Jerry.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Magda Franco

Artist: Magda Franco
LP: La Rosa Negra
Song: "Pidele a Dios" (horns and organ version)
[ listen ]
Song: "Pidele a Dios" (guitar and vocals version)
[ listen ]

This is annoying. My crappy mp3 conversion turntable sometimes makes you choose between instrumentation or vocals, whereas on my living room console, the vocals and organ accompaniment blend together in perfect harmony. Anyway, the first version posted here features some nice organ and horn with Magda's muted murmurings, and the second version features Magda loud and clear with guitar good and strong...and if you listen with all your might, you might hear the faded organ and horns in the distant background, as if they're being played over at the neighbors. There's no information about Magda Franco on the internet. All we know is that she has incredible taste in clothes and hair.


[ Magda Franco ]

Monday, September 4, 2017

Dynasty

Artist: Dynasty
LP: Adventures In the Land of Music
Song: "Do Me Right"
[ listen ]

Uh-oh. Looks like somebody didn't pay their Dynasty dues.

Actually, when this LP was released in 1980, Dynasty only had three official members—keyboardist/lead vocalist Kevin Spencer and co-lead vocalists Nidra Beard and Linda Carriere. So who, then, is this mysterious "other man" perched so precariously on the B-line of that large metallic treble-clef stave that he's slid halfway off the cover of the LP? 

Could it be Dynasty's other co-lead vocalist, William Shelby, who the credits say contributed keyboards and synth, but who for some reason isn't officially a member of the band? Or perhaps it's producer Leon Sylvers III, who backs the band on bass and was reportedly romantically involved with singer Nidra Beard. In fact, Sylvers officially joined as a full-fledged Dynasty member the following year, so perhaps that mysterious figure isn't sliding off the cover at all. I'll bet you $23.80 that's actually Sylvers scooting his way onto the cover, inconspicuously inching his way, both literally and metaphorically, toward a key position amongst the other members of the group. When your band's producer also plays bass and makes out with one of your singers, it's awfully hard to tell them no when they want to put part of their body on the cover of your second LP. Or maybe it's Wardell Potts, the drummer.

You can read all about Dynasty here, and for a picture of a different Dynasty, go here

[ Dynasty ]

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Musical Youth

Artist: Musical Youth
LP: 7" single
Song: "Tell Me Why?"
[ listen ]

Whenever I tell someone I've stopped buying records for a while because I have too many, I always feel compelled to instantly race out and buy some more. Today I told my friend Refugio this at lunch, and then my car drove itself to Jive Time Records in Fremont and found astoundingly good parking fight in front of the store. My vehicle must have intuitively known that this 1983 Musical Youth single and a few other 7" gems were waiting for me inside. 

After early success ("Pass the Dutchie," anyone?) the hits soon dried up and Musical Youth were mired in legal and financial troubles by the mid-1980s, calling it quits in 1985. One of the Youth, Patrick Waite, went on to a life of petty crime and died in 1993 at the age of 24. But on the bright side, two members of the group, Dennis Seaton and Michael Grant, have recently reunited to make more Youthful Music for us all to enjoy!

[ Musical Youth ]

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Baby Brother

Artist: Baby Brother
LP: 7" single
Song: "You Make My Warm Spot Hot"
[ listen ]

It's practically September in Seattle, but golly my warm spot was hot all day! Parking spot, I mean. At work. That's what we're talking about here, right? My parking spot? All the shady ones were taken! There's scant information on Baby Brother here. How could this song have failed to chart? What is wrong with you people!? I found my copy at Redhill Records in Helsinki in the springtime.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dick Biondi and The Teenagers

Artist: Dick Biondi and The Teenagers
LP: Dick Biondi's Favorites...
Song: "The Teenager"
[ listen ]
Song: "The Teenage Mind"
[ listen ]

The older I get, the more baffled I am by the incomprehensible behaviors and attitudes of the teenagers of today. Thank god I've got this Dick Biondi record to explain them all to me.

[ Dick Biondi and The Teenagers ]

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Pat Benatar

Artist: Pat Benatar
LP: 7" single
Song: "Heartbreaker"
[ listen ]

You're the right kind of sinner to release my inner fantasy.

I think I may have more Pat Benatar 45s than anyone else in town—especially since I've ended up with multiple copies because I've upgraded to picture sleeves in better condition for about five of them over the years. For example, I've got two copies of "Heartbreaker," which was released in 1979 and reached #23 on the Billboard Hot 100. I've just played the better of the two copies through, loudly, on my home stereo system, and it really can't be beat. It's one of the best American pop songs from the 1970s-to-'80s transition. 

Born Patricia Andrzejewski in 1953, Pat became "Benatar," thank god, when she married her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar, in 1972. Pat was inspired to pursue a music career after seeing Liza Minnelli in concert in Richmond, Virginia in 1971. I'd like to take this opportunity to officially thank Liza and Dennis for their contributions to Pat Benatar's career, which you can read all about right here.


[ Pat Benatar ]

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Lasse Wellander

Artist: Lasse Wellander
LP: Electrocuted
Song: "Hotel 167"
[ listen ]

Here's something I found at Råkk og Rålls in Oslo on my trip to Norway back in May. I was taken in by several beguiling factors: 
  1. Lasse played guitar for ABBA for lots of their studio recordings, and for a bunch of their live shows too! So naturally, I figured he probably sounded exactly like ABBA, but without any words. Unless maybe he sang!
  2. On the back of "Electrocuted," his 1975 solo debut LP, Lasse uses a series of symbols to indicate which musicians are playing on each of the tracks—symbols that immediately brought to mind the system of enigmatic codes and symbols Bob Mizer always used to indicate the personality traits and sexual proclivities of his hunky male AMG models for their photo spreads (no pun intended) in monthly issues of Physique Pictorial
  3. Lasse is super handsome and I like the way his pants cling to his hips. I wanted to take him home with me.
  4. Lasse, come home!
But alas, this record sounds nothing like ABBA. And frankly, Lasse pretty much lost his looks soon after this LP was released (those poor Scandinavians hardly stand a chance!). And now that I've got photo documentation of his 1975-era bedroom eyes, hip-huggers and hairy chest, "Electrocuted" has been unplugged and put into my 'trade-in' pile of LPs. You can read about Lasse Wellander in Swedish here and go here for information in English.

[ Lasse Wellander ]

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Faze-O

Artist: Faze-O
LP: Good Thang
Song: "Funky Lady"
[ listen ]

It's my birthday! I'm gonna' put on my milk-chocolate silk shorts and go get me some ice cream!

[ Faze-O in full bloom ]