Thursday, March 31, 2016

Patty Duke [1946-2016]

Artist: Patty Duke
LP: Don't Just Stand There
Song: "Don't Just Stand There" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Everything But Love" 
[ listen ]

I slipped into a melancholy state when I read yesterday that actress Patty Duke had died. What immediately filled my head was my former LDS missionary buddy Troy Tingey singing " will blow your miiiiiind!" after I had warbled, "Cou-sins. Identical cousins, and you'll find...they look alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike..." then Troy: "It will blow your miiiiiind!" Turns out we didn't even have the lyrics right. It's interesting to read just now that Sidney Sheldon created the roles of identical cousins Patty and Cathy Lane especially for Patty Duke after noticing that she had two very different sides to her personality. Nobody knew then that she suffered from bipolar disorder. 

In 1962 Patty became the youngest actor ever to win an Academy Award in a competitive category for her performance in THE MIRACLE WORKER. She was playing the young Helen Keller, a role she had originated on Broadway. There's a picture of Patty Duke in 1962 with the real Helen Keller here. Three years later found Patty releasing "Don't Just Stand There," her debut LP. It spawned two top-40 hits, including the LP title track which peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1965. You can read more about Patty Duke, aka. Sean Astin's mother, on Wikipedia here and go here to find her obituary in the New York Times. 

Patty Duke
[ December 19, 1946 — March 29, 2016 ]
We're going to miss you, Patty.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

#50 - El Pescado

Fishing. You cast your worm into the pool and let it wriggle, hoping El Pescado will want it—hoping El Pescado will bite. Sometimes you wait all day and nothing happens. Sometimes you get lots of bites at once. It's hard to say why this is, but it might have something to do with what you wear. El Pescado can tell if you're not happy. 

side one:
01. Female Mechanic Now On Duty - Sonic Youth
02. Orange Appled - Cocteau Twins
03. You Stayed In Touch With the Wrong Guy - Liima
04. Mr. Big Stuff - Jean Knight
05. Big Big River - Horst Jankowski
06. Gumption - Your Friend
07. El Carate - Lucho Azcárraga y su Conjunto
08. Sun Structures - Temples
09. Air Sauce - Stardrive feat. Robert Mason
10. Sing Me a Sad Song - Lynn Anderson
11. The Light That Failed - Atlas Sound
[ listen ]

side two:
01. Whispering Sea - Loretta Lynn
02. Fish - Throwing Muses
03. That Distant Light - Charles Hayward
04. Sweet Surrender - Tim Buckley
05. Every Time I'm Ready to Hug - Ra Ra Riot
06. Singing Sea Shells - Les Baxter
07. El Último Adiós - Juan Serrano and His Caribbean Combo
08. Sad Case - EL VY
09. This Loneliness - El Perro del Mar
10. Si Firmi O Grido - A Certain Ratio
11. Grain de Café - L'éminent Barkoff
[ listen ]

Friday, March 25, 2016

Hank Snow

Artist: Hank Snow
LP: More Hank Snow Souvenirs
Song: "Miller's Cave" 
[ listen ]

One of the things I like most about old-school country music is that a man can own a leopard-skin rug and dress head-to-toe in turquoise, with rhinestones and bangles to boot, and he's still somehow considered a pillar of American masculinity! I've posted Hank before, about six years ago. He's simply one of the best. This particular collection of souvenirs comes from the year 1964.

[ Hank Snow: May 9, 1914 — December 20, 1999 ]

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Theo Vaness

Artist: Theo Vaness
LP: Back to Music
Song: "Nobody But You" 
[ listen ]

Ugh. Last night I went to see the new Acupuncture Wherewithal movie, CEMETERY OF SPLENDOR, at Northwest Film Forum. I'm afraid I'm gonna have to blow the 'Emperor's New Clothes' whistle on this one. Aside from one medium close-up of a guy pooping in the bushes, the actors all spend the entire film mumbling and whispering to each other about this far away from the camera. I went right to sleep. I've enjoyed some of this guy's other films (UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES and TROPICAL MALADY) but this one just doesn't cut the mustard, if you ask me. It doesn't even cut the mayo. Of course critics have declared it a masterpiece

Anyway, I arrived on Capitol Hill over an hour early so I'd have time to walk the three-and-a-half miles to the theater from where I'd likely be able to find parking. I had a few extra minutes to pop into Everyday Music before the movie started, and I found this delectably danceable disco record in the New Arrivals bin there. Theo Vaness, originally from Holland, made a bit of a splash in the USA during the disco era with the release of several LPs. He started feeling homesick, however, so, according to what I read on the disco-disco website, he eventually returned to his homeland where he continues to perform non-disco music today.

[ Theo Vaness ]

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Talking Heads

Artist: Talking Heads
LP: 12" single
Song: "Slippery People" 
[ listen ]

The other day I was on a date-type thing with a sexy guy in his mid-20s. When I asked if he'd heard of Talking Heads, he looked at me as if I'd asked him to identify his favorite Theda Bara performance. It's unbelievable that today's urban young people have never heard of Talking Heads! It's no wonder they've all been joining ISIS.

[ Talking Heads ]

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mel Carter

Artist: Mel Carter
LP: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
Song: "What's On Your Mind" 
[ listen ]
Song: "High Noon" 
[ listen ]

It's been a long and busy weekend of fun with the kiddos, including my 3-year-old niece, who I spent the day with on Saturday (she's a doll), and my friends' 6-year-old twins (had to explain to them that a 'dolley' is something you use to move heavy household appliances) who my friend Ed and I hung out with today while their parents went to the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Short Film Festival. Now I just want to curl up at home and be cozy. Since I don't have anyone here to hold me, thrill me, or kiss me, I'm relaxing instead to the velvety vocal caresses of Mel Carter (not to be confused with this other performer of similar name). Mel's rendition of "High Noon" sure does swing!

Born in Cincinnati in 1939 (back when the downtown library was still housed in a former opera house), Mel had his biggest hit when "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" went to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1965. According to Mel's biography here, the song has lost only 2% of its play ability in the last 50 years. That's actually nothing to sneeze at, since "I Got You Babe" from that same year has lost 36% of its play ability, and Pet Clark's "Downtown" has gone down 93%. You can buy Mel Carter's latest CD, "The Other Standards," on his website here, find his Wikipedia page with discography here, and the LP liner notes are included below.

[ Mel Carter ]

Monday, March 14, 2016

"D" Train

Artist: "D" Train
LP: You're the One For Me
Song: "'D' Train Theme" 
[ listen ]

Since I ended up on the freeway north of Seattle yesterday after breakfast, I decided to see if the record store I'd stumbled upon in Everett about ten years ago was still around. The place has moved to a bigger spot, but Bargain CDs, Records & Tapes is still going strong! I spent the entire afternoon rummaging through their bins as a windstorm raged outside. I remembered their prices as being a little on the higher side, but fortunately yesterday they were having a store-wide half-price sale (which has been going on for years, according to Yelp reviews), which made the prices pretty reasonable. I ended up taking home a nice stack of treasures, one of which was this dancetastic 1982 LP from James "D Train" Williams. Read about "D" Train the man here, and look here for "D" Train the group.

[ Bargain CDs, Records & Tapes — Everett, WA ]

Saturday, March 12, 2016

#40 - El Alacran

You'll never say anything new. It's all there in the English-language dictionary: whiplash; lover; delivery; pickled; madhouse; stingray; pooped.

side one:
01. Killing Theme - Tindersticks
02. Scorpio
03. Temptacious - Mohammed El-Sulieman and His Oriental Ensemble
04. The Race, First Laps - Michel Legrand
05. Dialogues For Piano and Two Loudspeakers - Walter Carlos
06. Llueve y No Para de Llover - Lissette
07. Incognito - Oneness of Juju
08. Hypnosis For Weight Reduction - Dr. Michael Dean
09. Midnight Fair - Gary Warren
10. Odds Against Tomorrow - John Lewis
11. If I Never Get to Love You - Marianne Faithfull
12. The First Day of Forever - The Mystic Moods
[ listen ]

side two:
01. The Jungle Chase - Chaino and His African Percussion Safari
02. Song of the Red Dervish - Ghazal Shakeri
03. Portrait of Louise - Bee Gees
04. Untitled - Asa-Chang & Junray
05. La Llegada - Benjamin Frankel
06. Seduction! (excerpt) - Del Staton w/ Gregg Oliver
07. A Trip to Lullaby Land - Kay Lande
08. My Most Meaningful Relationships Are With Dead People - The Late Cord
09. Bazaar Melody - Werner Müller and His Orchestra
10. Fire - Skywave
11. Ach Natascha - Ivan Rebroff
12. Touch Me - Yoko Ono w/ Plastic Ono Band
[ listen ]

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I Start Counting

Artist: I Start Counting
LP: 7" single
Song: "Million Headed Monster" 
[ listen ]

After my bike got stolen a few weeks ago, my friend Trevor gave me his old one, a Trek. He gave it to me for free since he was buying a new one. Tonight I'm excited because I just got it back from the shop with a new rack, new mudflaps, a new lock and new brakes...but I can't help feeling that the countdown to my next bike-thievery experience has begun.

[ I Start Counting ]

Sunday, March 6, 2016

#52 - La Maceta

To the shit who stole my bike from in front of my place two weeks ago: When you're stealing your next bike, I hope a big La Maceta falls from the balcony above and hits you on the head. I hope you're paralyzed from the neck down.

side one:
01. Un Infierno - Los Muecas
02. Orzowei - Oliver Onions
03. Hang Fire - The Rolling Stones
04. La Rosa Negra - Magda Franco
05. Beneath the Black Sea - LNZNDRF
06. The Kill - Joy Division
07. Getting the Corners - The T.S.U. Tornadoes
08. Guadeloupe Chic - Crazy
09. Floridada - Animal Collective
10. The Peanut Vendor (El Manisero) - Dick Schory's New Percussion Ensemble
11. Crawfish - Elvis Presley
12. Hello Africa - Kalyan
13. America, America - Nino Bravo
[ listen ]

side two:
01. The Popular Front - November Group
02. Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? - Rod Stewart
03. Wildflower - Beach House
04. Daffodils - Pak Chai Lee
05. Don't Let a Little Money Get You Down - The Swanee Quintet
06. Suspicious Love - Jimmy James and the Vagabonds
07. Sun - High Highs
08. The Mighty Power of Love - Tavares
09. Seeds of Doubt - Wolf & Cub
10. Green Grow the Lilacs - Harry Belafonte
11. L'Esclave Endormi - Armande Altaï
12. Sand - Lorne Greene
[ listen ]

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Gene & Debbe

Artist: Gene & Debbe
LP: Hear & Now
Song: "Anyway You Want Me" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Love Will Give Us Wings" 
[ listen ]

Here are a couple tracks from a terrific 1968 LP by Gene Thomas and Debbe Nevills from Nashville, Tennessee. They perform in the vein of Nancy & Lee, but what I particularly admire about this duo is how Gene's restless, searching personality mixes with Debbe's pure simplicity and inner beauty to reaffirm the very laws of nature. Go hear to read about the pair on Wikipedia.

[ Gene Thomas & Debbe Nevills ]