Thursday, March 31, 2011

Christian Delagrange

Artist: Christian Delagrange
LP: 7" single
Song: "Rosetta"
[ listen ]

Born in Rabat, Morocco in 1947, Christian Delagrange went on to become one of the great French "singer babes" of the 1970s. You can read about the extraordinarily handsome chanteur on Wikipedia here, and find his French-language biography, see his discography, send him a note, and listen to samples of his newest songs on his official website here. Here's a video link for his "Joanna" single, released in 1975.

Christian Delagrange on YouTube:
[ "Joanna" ]

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Plastic Bertrand

Artist: Plastic Bertrand
LP: L'Album
Song: "Stop Ou Encore"
[ listen ]

This 1980 Plastic Bertrand LP is one of the things I found while cleaning out the French-language section of my record collection. Roger Allen François Jouret (aka. Plastic Bertrand) was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1954 and launched his career in the Buffalo Scouts Band, a Boy Scout group that covered songs by The Rolling Stones. "Stop Ou Encore" (lyrics included below) was evidently featured in the 1999 David O. Russell film THREE KINGS (I don't remember that, guess I need to see it again), and another of his songs, "Ça Plane Por Moi," was featured in Danny Boyle's Oscar-nominated film from last year, 127 HOURS. You can read about the life and career of Plastic Bertrand on Wikipedia here, and see more pictures of the popular Belgian singer and television presenter on his official website here.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Artist: Detroyt
LP: Detroyt
Song: "Physical Lover"
[ listen ]

I read last week that Detroit, Michigan lost 25% of its residents over the past decade, dropping from a population of 951,270 in 2000 to just 713,777 in 2010. The city had a population of 1,849,568 in 1950 and was the 5th largest city in the USA. It's strange and sad to imagine any city losing more than a million of its people—the great exodus has created some creepy, post-apocalyptic scenery in Detroit like this, this, this, this, and this too. And speaking of declining populations, I just found out that Farley Granger died two days ago, he was 85. I hope he didn't live in Detroit.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Trío Colquemarca de Chumbivilcas

Artist: Trío Colquemarca de Chumbivilcas
LP: Los Bravos...¡Chumbivilcanos!
Song: "Corazón Apasionado"
[ listen ]

These tres guapos elegantes are from the southern Peruvian province of Chumbivilcas, which you can read about here. Spanish-language liner notes are included below, along with a warning that anyone who copies this music will go to prison for six years. The record contains 12 songs and I only copied one. Does that mean I only have to go to prison for six months?


Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Mitchell Boys Choir

Artist: The Mitchell Boys Choir
LP: The Mitchell Boys Choir Sings
Song: "The Pledge of Allegiance"
[ listen ]
Song: "The Happy Wanderer"
[ listen ]

The Mitchell Boys Choir is a lot like Menudo—in that the boys are cast out of the group once they hit puberty, and young new recruits step in to take their place in the limelight. You can read all about that in the liner notes below. I like the Mitchell Boys Choir's musical version of "The Pledge of Allegiance," since it recalls a time when everything was still black and white; when everyone knew what the USA really stood for; when political corruption, ambiguity, and problems were not yet a part of everyday life in America. I also like the boys' version of "The Happy Wanderer" because if you listen to it more than once, it will drive you completely insane. The back of the album features head shots of five of the singing boys (and I mean head shots—no neck!), and the boys' expressions each bring to mind a variety of urgent exclamations or panicked shouts of distress, as you can see below. As for Bob Mitchell, he was an organist whose career spanned 85 years—from 1924 to his death at age 96 in the summer of 2009. Mr. Mitchell accompanied silent movies on the organ back in the 1920s, before sound was introduced at the cinemas in 1929, and he returned to playing for silent films at California revival houses in 1992. He also played the organ for the Los Angeles Dodgers for four years, starting in 1962. You can read all about the long and fascinating career of Robert Mitchell on Wikipedia here, and find his obituary in the Los Angeles Times here.

 [ Oh my god! ]

 [ Hey! Knock it off! ]

 [ Aaaaaoooowww! ]

 [ Cccckkkkgttt! Cccccckkkkgggt! ]
(choking sounds)

 [ I can't swim! ]

 [ Robert Mitchell: October 12, 1912 — July 4, 2009 ]

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mari Kodama

Artist: Mari Kodama
LP: Cherry Blossom
Song: "Anriya Yunta"
[ listen ]

Here's a nice 1969 Mari Kodama organ music LP I picked up at Easy Street Records in West Seattle a few months ago. My friend helped me translate it into English last weekend. You can read about concert pianist Mari Kodama here, find out where she'll be performing next here, and visit her website here for a delicious recipe. Photos and liner notes from the LP are included below.


Friday, March 25, 2011


 Artist: Sweeties
LP: 12" single
Song: "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps)"
[ listen ]

Here's some happy Latin disco for a partly-sunny Friday in Seattle. I like Sweeties' version of "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas" almost as much as the one by Doris Day! My copy of this 12" single seems to be autographed, but I can't really tell by whom.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Raffaella Carrà

Artist: Raffaella Carrà
LP: Applauso
Song: "Joggin'"
[ listen ]

After being born in Bologna, Italy in 1943, Raffaella Carrà first appeared on screen in TORMENTO DEL PASSATO in 1952. She moved to the USA in 1965 and made an auspicious Hollywood debut in VON RYAN'S EXPRESS with Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard. Feeling homesick, she returned to Italy a few years later, where she became the first woman to show her bellybutton on national television. You can read more about the lovely and talented Raffaella Carrà on Wikipedia here, and I've included links to some delectable Raffaella Carrà videos below. After trying to describe the song "Joggin'" to my friend Ryan last night, she assured me that it likely wasn't about jogging at all, but was instead one of the worst euphemisms ever set to music. That may have been partly my fault, since I got a little carried away imitating the song's panting effects, but I've always found jogging to be so exhausting.

Raffaella Carrà on YouTube:

[ Raffaella Carrà ]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor [1932-2011]

I heard on the radio this morning that we lost the last great Hollywood movie star, Elizabeth Taylor. I immediately thought of Virgilio Martino Martinez Paguaga, a good friend and the biggest Liz Taylor fanatic I know. I jumped out of bed and sent him a text. I also thought of Troy Tingey (Troy, where are you?), who helped me get a job at Video One, a gay-owned, gay-friendly video store in Salt Lake City, Utah. I listed Troy as a personal reference on my application, with the job title "Elizabeth Taylor aficionado." Then I remembered watching Taylor in the wonderfully bizarre gay-themed 1967 film REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE for the first time back in 1991—I was in Provo, Utah with my college roommates and a 5-year-old kid from the apartment next door. He liked hanging out at our place, and when we put the movie on, his mother called from down the hall to ask what he was doing. He yelled, "Watching a movie!" and she hollered, "What movie!?" and, after getting the title from us, he yelled back, "'Flections In a Golden Eye!" and she went back inside.

 [ Elizabeth Taylor with Marlon Brando in "Reflections In a Golden Eye" ] 

You can read about Elizabeth Taylor's incredible life and career here, read her New York Times obituary here and the complete list of films and shows Elizabeth Taylor appear in can be found on IMDB here.

Elizabeth Taylor
[February 27, 1932 — March 23, 2011]
We will miss you, Liz.