Point/Counterpoint: Being a Lost Boy: Good or Bad?

Arguing for the inherent freedom of the Peter Pan lifestyle, Ruth B:

Arguing that the freedom is ephemeral and an excuse for poor behavior,

I find both arguments slightly persuasive; I am more interested, though, in how suddenly there are two songs on the radio using the Peter Pan metaphor. While it’s never been far from public consciousness, it seems odd that the pair of songs appear at once.

Also, a point to consider: Is Ruth B related to Stevie B?

Probably not, been we start throwing around acts with single initials, I start connecting.

Modern Country Music: A Topical Analysis

As I mentioned a long time ago, I have a special set of headphones for lawn mowing that has a radio built in to them.

Well, the unit has a stubby little antenna that only pulls in two stations reliably from every corner of the yard: 92.9 and 105.1. Back in the early days of Nogglestead, 92.9 was a country station. As it had the strongest signal, I listened to it captively while mowing my acreage, which takes four or so hours per mowing. Then 92.9 changed formats and became The Beat and switched to a hiphoppish pop.

So I started listening to 105.1 which has a slightly lesser signal, but it was classicish country, with songs from the 1980s mixed with some more recent stuff.

But this last year, 105.1 has changed to all bro country music. Earlier this summer, I thought, Man, pop songs can’t be worse than bro country, so I switched to 92.9 for a couple of songs. Which were like bro country with less musical artistry, more autotune, and more celebration illegal drug use. And the topic matters were almost the same. So I switched back to 105.1.

Which lead me to conduct an academic study into the topic matter covered by modern popular country music as I rode in counterclockwise circles (just like NASCAR!). I present the findings below:

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The Top Three Bopping Songs

One of our new administration of cats is a largish orange tabby. Because he was the biggest of the three we got at the same time, I nicknamed him the Big Bopper. When we got another male in the new administration, I nicknamed him the Little Bopper. However, the kitten has grown bigger than the Big Bopper, but he is still the Little Bopper. It only makes sense in my mind, and perhaps “sense” is too strong of a word.

In honor of the Boppers, I present the three top Bopping songs in the history of mankind. Which is to say the three with “Bop” in the title that first came to me.

Dan Seals, “Bop”:

That song is 30 years old now. The video depicts some “teens” from the 1950s going dancing in the 1980s. The aged versions of the teens look far older than the late forties or early 1950s. I mean, I hope it’s for effect. I was a teen then and am thirty years older now and would like to think I look better than that. But I guess the styles of dress from teen to middle age doesn’t act as the marker that it used to.

Rick Springfield, “Bop Til You Drop”:

The song is older than “Bop” now and comes from Rick Springfield’s dystopian future video stage. I have it on 45 record and used it to pump myself up. I should get it onto my YMCA playlist so I can recycle this video in a How To Tell What Song Just Came On Brian’s iPod At The Gym post.

Cyndi Lauper, “She Bop”:

Yes, yes, I know, this is supposed to be a family blog, but the video features a book with the title The Big Bopper. Also, note the breaking of shackles theme carried over from the Rick Springfield video.

Sorry, no

And what would this post without “Chantilly Lace” by The Big Bopper?

Worse.

Also, please note, no man put the bop in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp. Thank you, that is all.

How To Tell What Song Just Came On Brian’s iPod At The Gym (IV)

It’s not uncommon at the YMCA for me to start thrashing on the walking track (but only in the walking lane for safety reasons).

It looks more like a seizure than it used to because I no longer have flowing golden locks:

But watch closely: when I’m at the gym, does it look like I’m thrashing a mullet, or does it look like I’m thrashing braids? It’s a subtle difference, but the second certainly indicates I’m listening to….

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Harsh a Mellow Today

Remind a retro-counter-culture Baby Boomer that Sha Na Na played Woodstock.

They ain’t your daddy’s rock and roll, but they’re sure pretending they are.

Full disclosure: I like Sha Na Na from an early exposure to their television program. But I’m less a fan of retcounculs of all ages.

How To Tell What Song Just Came On Brian’s iPod At The Gym (III)

I’m old enough that I just don’t care how I look, so when I’m working out at the gym, I often lip sync the words with the songs that come on the radio. At least, I hope I’m not really singing the words. And sometimes I’ll smile when I hear a song I haven’t heard in a while but that I clearly think rocks or it wouldn’t be on the iPod Shuffle.

But sometimes, I’ll hear the opening of a song, and I’ll stop mouthing the words in case anyone at the gym can read lips and I’ll glance furtively about to see if there’s anyone close enough to hear any of the loud music leaking from my nostrils.

If you see me doing this, you know it’s probably…

Nickelback.

I know, I know. They’re like a Canadian rock version of the Gin Blossoms (the comparison is likely to get me into fights with actual Gin Blossoms fans if any), but a couple of their songs

“How You Remind Me”:

“Photograph”:

I’m not going write up an academic-level defense of Nickelback, but some of their songs are going to have staying power longer than their usage as a punchline amongst rock fans. Even if it’s just on my iPod.

Good Album Hunting April 28, 2016: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

The Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library moved the semiannual book sale from a location about fifteen minutes from me to a location about forty-five minutes away, plus or minus fifteen minutes with traffic. So I’m only going once this year, and I made a beeline to the record albums. I knew I was going to be in trouble when the second album I touched was Eydie Gorme and The Trio Los Panchos More Amor.

So I bought a lot of LPs.

Don’t bother counting. That’s sixty albums. They had a large number of Brazilian albums, mostly samba and MGB, so I ended up with a pile of them now.

Here’s what I got:

  • Angela Bofill Angie
  • Artie Shaw Tiara Spotlight Series
  • Bent Fabric Alley Cat
  • Beth Carvalho Sentimento Brasileiro
  • Beth Carvalho Suor No Rosto
  • Billy Ocean Love Zone
  • Boots Randolph Plays the Greatest Hits of Today
  • Burl Ives Christmas Album
  • Burt Bacharach Bacharach Baroque: The Renaissance
  • Charlie Barnet Presents a Tribute to Harry James
  • Chick Corea Touchstone
  • Clara Nunes Sucessos de Ouro
  • Dean Martin Favorites
  • Dean Martin Welcome to My World
  • Donna Summer Bad Girls
  • Eartha Kitt The Fabulous Eartha Kitt
  • Elba Ramalho Coração Brasileiro
  • Elis Regina Nada Será Como Antes
  • Elis Regina Vento de Maio
  • Eric Gale Touch of Silk
  • Estela Núñez Uno…
  • Eydie Gorme and The Trio Los Panchos More Amor
  • Gal Costa Fantasia
  • Gal Costa Baby Gal
  • Ginny and the Gallions The Two Sides Of
  • Grover Washington, Jr. Baddest
  • Grover Washington, Jr. Skylarkin’
  • GRP Live In Session
  • Harold Gomberg The Baroque Oboe
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Going Places!!
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Summertime
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass What Now My Love
  • Herbie Mann Waterbed
  • Hiroshima Third Generation
  • Jackie Gleason The Best of Jackie Gleason Volume 2
  • Jean-Pierre Rampal Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano
  • Johnny Mathis and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra Live It Up!
  • Kiri and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra Blue Skies
  • Leny Andrade Leny Andrade
  • Les Elgart Half Satin Half Latin
  • Linda Ronstadt and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra Lush Life
  • Maria Bethânia Alteza
  • Nelson Ayres Mantiquiera
  • Pete Fountain Salutes the Great Clarinetists
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 Herb Alpert Presents
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 Look Around
  • Simone Amar
  • Stargard Stargard
  • The Commodores Midnight Magic
  • The Commodores Natural High
  • The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen
  • The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen Volume II
  • Tony Bennett The Many Moods of Tony
  • Tony Bennett Who Can I Turn To?
  • Toshiko Akiyoshi Notorious Tourist from the East
  • The Baroque Trumpet
  • Baroque Fanfares and Sonatas for Brass
  • Voices of the Middle Ages
  • Sucessos Inesquecíveis Da M.P.B.
  • A&M Records Million Dollar Sampler

I got three albums (Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Going Places!! and What Now My Love and Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 Look Around) because they had better covers than the ones I already have. I got two albums (Blue Skies and Live It Up!) because of the “and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra”.

And I’ve got a couple weeks worth of listening for about $60.

I got three books, too, as you can see. And my children found a Perry Como title in the CDs for me, but when I got home, I discovered it was a copy inside, so I discarded it. I try to be careful about that, but I was too busy worrying about the records to check the CD I guess.

Also, I tested my beautiful wife’s love as never before as I brought in this ten inch stack of records. Followed soon by the greatest test ever of my furniture making skill as I try to create a storage solution for my hundreds of LPs.

How To Tell What Brian Is Listening To

At the gym, I’ve finally entered the late 20th century and got myself one of these new Walkmans that play computer files, so I’m always jacked in to something playing at a level too high for my ears.

In case you’re wondering what I’m listening to, here’s a cue:

If I’m turning my head side to side while mouthing the lyrics, it’s Billy Joel’s “I Go To Extremes”:

I fancy myself to be Liberty DeVitto in those moments, I guess.

Everything I Thought I Knew Might Be Wrong

So I’ve heard what I thought were Stacy Kent songs on KCSM lately.

Not this one, which is from The Boy Next Door, which I have around here someplace. I know this is Stacy Kent:

So I’ve been hearing what I thought was Stacy Kent on the station lately, and although I didn’t recognize the song, I thought I recognized the voice.

But, wait a minute: Could it have been…. Cyrille Aimée?

I have a new mission: to learn to distinguish easily between the two vocalists.

On a single listen of Cyrille Aimée, I cannot easily.

Eat the Soap for Digestive Health

At a place we recently stayed, they provided a very large digestive health aid in case our weekending dining took a turn for the worse:

There are two types of people in this world: those who have the song stuck in their heads now, and those who don’t.

This long distance dedication goes out to those of you in the second category.

Welcome to the party.

Good Album Hunting: Red Racks Thrift Store, December 27, 2015

When last we left my Quest for the Metal Queen, I foolishly left behind an awesome looking 80s metal record at Relics Antique Mall. And I vowed to return for it.

The next day was a Sunday, and I couldn’t remember when Relics opened. I have an hour between 9:30 and 10:30 where the children and my beautiful wife are in Sunday School and I’m in the corner of Springfield by Red Racks. Monday through Saturday, Relics opens at 10; on Sunday, though, it doesn’t open until noon.

Still, I was hungry for LPs, so I stopped by the Red Racks thrift store nearby.

Red Racks has a decent collection of LPs for sale, eight or ten orange crates full, but the turnover isn’t that good, so I end up seeing the same or very, very similar sets of records every time I go there. A lot of Mac Davis, a lot of gospel, and enough Tennessee Ernie Ford to fill Tennessee.

I passed on a Steve Lawrence title or two (although based on intelligence gleaned from Dustbury’s comment to the post linked above, I might start grabbing some of them as I come across them. I also passed on a Claudine Longet LP that I don’t have because I didn’t really glom onto her work when I’ve listened to the other couple I got (from Red Racks, appropriately enough).

I found this pair:

Maynard Ferguson’s Hollywood; I’ll buy any Ferguson on sight.

Richie Cole’s alto madness; now this is the sound I associate with jazz. A light, airy, saxophone heavy bit of background music. I’ll look for this artist in the future.

But no Metal Queen. Yet.

Good Album Hunting: Relics Antique Mall, December 26, 2015

One of my Christmas presents was a gift certificate (well, two) for Relics Antique Mall. Which meant I could get something old and/or nice and/or overpriced (like common Atari 2600 cartridges for $8 each, although someday that will be a bargain).

So, of course, I got records.

I got:

  • Eydie Gorme, Let the Good Times Roll. This is a collection of gospel/soul standards, and probably my least favorite Eydie record.
  • Eydie Gorme, Eydie. A later 1960s outing.
  • Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Two on the Aisle. It’s a collection of movie themes. It also contained an extra platter that I didn’t notice–I thought it was a two album set.
  • Steve Lawrence, Portrait of My Love. The aforementioned freebie.
  • Pete Fountain, Bateau Lounge.
  • Pete Fountain, Licorice Stick.
  • Pete Fountain, Music to Turn You On.
  • Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, Ye-Me-Le.
  • The Crosby Bros, Presenting the Crosby Bros. Bing’s kids. They did better backing him up on his various endeavors.
  • Longines Symphonette Great Vocalists of the Big Band Era, a compilation record including Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and so on.
  • Linda Ronstadt, Greatest Hits. So that sound was a thing in the 1970s, apparently: Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton-John sound a lot alike, as do Claudine Longet and Lynda Carter for that matter.
  • Linda Ronstadt, Living in the U.S.A.. This 1980s effort features the high and tight curly perm that some women wore in the 1980s. Me, I’m still a fan of the big, teased hair, but the tight curls doesn’t impress me. Perhaps, Dr. Freud, it’s because my mother would sometimes get this when one of her friends would give her a makeover and make her look like a zombie with tight curls.
  • Jackie Gleason, Silk ‘n’ Brass.
  • Sammy Davis, Jr., and Carmen McRae, Boy Meets Girl.
  • Henry Mancini, Mancini’s Angels, a collection of Mancini’s later themes.
  • Switched on Bach, Bach run through a Moog synthesizer.
  • Bach’s Head, a collection of Bach’s works apparently targeted to the marijuana using public.
  • Lo Mejor del Año (1983), a collection of Spanish language pop from 1983.
  • Die Große Starparade Folge 14 a collection of (West) German pop from the 1950s. It sounds like American pop of the era infused with polka and with the vocal tracks run backwards.
  • A Greek pop album whose name I cannot reproduce for you right now either because I’m too lazy to rekey it using Greek symbols or because I’m afraid in doing so I’ll summon an ancient evil.
  • Perry Como, No Other Love.
  • Perry Como, And I Love You So.
  • Perry Como, Como’s Golden Records. That’s what I get for saying you never see Como. Now I see him everywhere, and I must buy them all.
  • Roger Wagner Chorus, The Songs of Stephen Foster. I got this one because it was in the sleeve for Perry Como Swings, which is one of the first things I picked up. Somehow, I failed to double-check it, so now I have an extra sleeve for a Como album and an album I would not have otherwise bought.

Overall, not a bad haul. For free with the gift certificates. Had I known, I would not have put down the copy of Lee Aaron’s Metal Queen which I put back because I don’t tend to listen to rock on the turntable, but as the night went on, I vowed to return for it.

Good Album Hunting: Vintage Stock, Mid-December

In the middle of December, we hit the local Vintage Stock, which sells old comic book, video games, movies, and, I discovered, LPs, to see if they had a Game Boy Advance Legend of Zelda game. They did not, but did I mention they have LPs, many as low as a dollar each?

So I bought a few.

Here’s what I picked up:

  • Eydie Gorme, Eydie in Love. This might be my favorite Eydie Gorme album now.
  • Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, The ABC Collection.
  • Sade, Stronger than Pride. I love Sade and have a couple of her CDs, but this is my first LP.
  • Maria Muldaur, Southern Winds. I never heard of her, but I took a flier because she might Diana Maldaur’s sister. Well, no, she’s not, but they have the same last name. The LP is 80s songbird pop, a little more electrified version of Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton John circa 1976.
  • Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, Look Around. I like this band, but when I put the record on, I thought perhaps I already had it. But that’s because the band’s music sounds very similar on most their albums. Also, one of my previously purchased albums came in the wrong cover, so I might already have it and not recognize it.
  • Dan Hartman, I Can Dream About You. I originally had this on audiocassette that I bought as a cut-out. I’ve played the Fletch soundtrack which features a couple of these songs a bunch for years, but this album includes the title hit.
  • Natalie Cole, Don’t Look Back.
  • Dean Martin, Hits Again.
  • Dean Martin, Gentle on My Mind.
  • Dean Martin, The Hit Sound of Dean Martin.
  • Ray Parker, Jr., and Raydio, A Woman Needs Love.

They were only a buck each, and one of the Dean Martin covers came with two unrelated platters in it. When I pointed it out to the kid behind the counter, he said “Freebie.” As I said, many of the albums are only a dollar which is cheaper than the thrift stores, and the dollar ones are the ones in my wheelhouse. Others, such as 1970s and 1980s rock, are more than that, but they’re not the sort of thing I listen to on LP.

Hours of listening pleasure, and I ran out of Mylar album protectors after this batch. I know, you’re saying “Did he use four hundred-packs or only three?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all the excitement, I lost track myself. So the question you have to ask yourself is, “Did he order more, the punk?”

Well, yes, I did. And I’ve used over a quarter of the new pack already, but that’s a Good Album Hunting post for another day.

Life Precedes Dustbury

So amid the monsoon, I’m listening to the rain thunder on the roof of the industrial-plant-turned-antique-mall and the occasional thunder actually thunder throughout the building. I’ve got a couple of gift certificates that I received for Christmas (this is an antique mall, after all, and not a resale shop or used content venue), and I’ve put a stack of (24) LPs on the counter for the woman behind the counter to begin laboriously typing in the tags from each booth where I collected the records, and the man in the CHICAGO BEARS jersey dares to speak to me about vinyl coming back.

It seems he’s a collector, too. He had some 50s, 60s, and 70s stuff before he went into the service, he gave it all away and then spent years trying to recollect what he’d given away. He said he had about 300, which is a number my beautiful wife wishes I’d held to. The fellow also mentioned that Columbia House was restarting because the millenials are discovering vinyl.

I thought he meant Columbia, the recording label, but as Charles points out, the Columbia House record club is resurrecting and selling records.

Briefly, I predict.

On the other hand, I spent less than a penny for my twenty-four records with judicious application of gift certificates and gift cards.

Christmas Album Review: Merry Christmas by Bing Crosby (ca 1955)

Book coverThis album differs from some of the other Bing Crosby compilations (such as Christmas with Bing) because it’s a Christmas album as a Christmas album, not a collection of other songs from other records. This one features more swing to it, as it was recorded in the 1950s while Bing was relatively young and not later as he grew to be an elder statesman of music and television host. Several tracks feature the Andrews Sisters as well to give you an idea.

The track list includes>

  • Silent Night
  • Adeste Fideles (Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful)
  • White Christmas
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Faith Of Our Fathers
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams)
  • Jingle Bells
  • Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
  • Silver Bells
  • It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas
  • Christmas In Killarney
  • Mele Kalikimaka

The song “Faith of our Fathers” is new; the others, although standards, have a little zip on them and are festive. Overall, it’s a good listen for the holidays and breaks out of the normal Bing Crosby ouevre. Which, I suspect, many Bing Crosby albums do once you move beyond the often-anthologized.