Not Quite As Good As Culturally Conscious Via Cartoon

My beautiful wife was playing some playlist in the kitchen whilst cooking. I heard a song and said, “That’s Bach, ainna?”

She said it was.

I don’t know if she was impressed or not–I always assume she is impressed with every utterance and impressive bit of trivia I know. So I immediately ruined any positive impression by admitting I knew it because it was the song that played when you went into the church in the Commodore 64 Friday the 13th video game which I played a bit in my youth. In a pirated copy downloaded from a l33t BBS somewhere, which is the only way a kid in a trailer park got games to play that he didn’t have to type in out of magazines himself.

“It must have been a Lutheran church,” she said.

I was going to post about it earlier this week when it happened, but I needed to research it as I did not look to see what it was and didn’t want to have to go through random Bach songs to find it.

But last night, I discovered it on the LP A Solid Brass Christmas.

It’s Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis 140).

Which I recognize because it was in a video game I played over 30 years ago.

It’s kind of like knowing classic works because they were in old Looney Tunes cartoons. But in 8-bit Commoodore SID chip sound with a dash of software piracy thrown in for spice.

If Nobody Else Remembers It, Did It Happen?

Christmas time in, what, 1984? We’re at the house that my maternal grandmother rented in High Ridge right next to the firehouse. My brother and I are lying on the floor watching MTV because my grandmother had cable, and we could watch MTV which would have been important to a twelve-year-old at the time. We would have been visiting on a weekend, as we were still living with my aunt in St. Charles at the time. The television is a big console unit that would be in our trailer too soon as my grandmother would pass away in a year or so.

But this Christmas song comes on. A science fiction sounding Christmas song.

We’re lying on the floor, and as it finishes up, my brother and I turn to each other and say, “Whoa.”

It’s Mannheim Steamroller’s “Deck the Halls” from the then-new Christmas album. I liked it so much that I bought it on audiocassette whilst I was in college; it would have been the first Christmas album I bought.

As our latest inexpensive bookshelf system failed, again, after six or seven months of playing records, I’m not spinning platters for a second year in a row. I’m reduced to listening to songs via Bluetooth. Somewhere in the recent decades, my beautiful wife spent time ripping audiocassettes to MP3 files, so I have a copy of my old tape on my phone now, and I listened to it the other night and remembered how I was introduced to Mannheim Steamroller.

So I asked my brother if he remembered it.

He did not.

So many of the things I remember, I am unsure if they actually happened like that or not. And more and more, nobody can tell me differently.

And as I’m getting older, my wife or increasingly my children ask me if I remember some incident that seemed more important to them than to me, and I cannot. So I am a little gratified that other people my age–namely, my brother–cannot remember some things, too.

As long as it actually happened. I suppose it would be no consolation if it didn’t and I was just recalling it wholesale.

At any rate, I am thinking of reviewing some Christmas “albums” that I have in non-record format as the posts about the Christmas albums are popular, especially this time of year.

Easily Confused, To An Algorithm

So I was trying to play Naz’s album Time After (yes, the one with "Time After Time" on it, not that Naz has made a second album for you to confuse the two).

But on my Portable Device, I tapped and held the artist, and it came up with a photo.

Wait a minute, that is not Nazia Chaudry.

So I did a little bit of Internet sleuthing, which means a search for naz musical artist, which came up with Naina Naz:

Who is apparently an electronic traditional pop Pakistani singer:

Who hails from a land where only men go to concerts or something.

The image on my phone does not look like her.

So I did a new fangled image search, and I discovered this is Japanese electronic pop artist Naz.

Since I have great affection for Japanese/Japanese American fusion jazz, I gave it a listen just in case, but no.

Not my thing, but it would have been right up Charles’ alley.

You know what is my thing? Wishing the right Naz would put out another album since her cover of Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes” is not on Time After:

Brian J. Noggle: Apostate?

As you might know, gentle reader, I pretty much think that Eydie Gorme did the best rendition of every song she ever recorded, andall other artists who attempt to record new versions of the songs are fools.

However, as I recently picked up a new copy of the album Eydie In Love since the copy I got in 2015 (that long ago? Already?) skipped. I would like to acknowledge that my beautiful wife bought me the CD for my birthday, but when presented with the chance to buy another record (for fifty cents!), I did. I put it on the turntable the other day, and it includes her rendition of “It Could Happen To You”:

But I had recently heard Ashley Pezzotti’s version:

As you know, gentle reader, I am not generally a fan of scatting, but Ashley Pezzotti might be the best I’ve heard.

The two interpretations have a bit of a difference. Eydie is more wistful and mournful–she warns it’s not necessarily a good thing. Ashley is more playful, and although she might have given you that advice previously, love has happened to her, and she’s happy it did.

So does that mean that I think that Eydie Gorme might be trumped by an upstart? Heaven forbid! The interpretations make them completely different songs (and you thought the difference in pronouns was a dodge!).

But I also got a new copy of Eydie On Stage, which has a rendition of “But Not For Me”:

Ms. Pezzotti’s debut album We’ve Only Just Begun has her rendition:

And, erm….

Well, they’re different songs because Eydie’s has the take of an older, more world-weary poet-narrator, and Ashley’s has the perspective of a younger person who is only, hopefully, temporarily discouraged.

Jeez, Louise, I am walking on a thin line here. I love Eydie Gorme, but I’m also quite fond of Ashley Pezzotti. Whereas I am ever hopeful to find a new record of Eydie Gorme’s vast discography when I go to antique malls and book sales, I am also hopeful that the Quarantine Sessions are building up a repertoire for a new Ashley Pezzotti album sometime soon.

It Can, And Does Happen, To Others

Last year, I admitted that I sometimes confused Patty Smyth with Patti Smith.

According to this article with one of them ahead of her first new album in almost thirty years, it happens frequently:

Do people still confuse you with Patti Smith?

It happens all the time, and it’s insane that it still happens. To tell you how far back she’s been haunting me … when I was a teenager, I was getting her mail in the East Village. And I’m not kidding. I had no idea what she did or who she was, but I knew that she existed.

Time will tell whether I get the album, but I probably owe it to her.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to confuse myself with the question Is she the one who is married to John McEnroe or the one that had the hit with Don Henley?

Incurious Omission

The New York Times Continues To Ignore Rock Star Deaths:

Somehow, over the past few months, the paper of record omitted obituaries for Steve Priest bass player, singer and co-founder of The Sweet; Pete Way bass player and co-founder of UFO, Fastway and Waysted; guitarist Paul Chapman, also of UFO; Lee Kerslake drummer for Ozzy Osbourne and Uriah Heep; and Franke Banali drummer for Quiet Riot and W.A.S.P..

To be fair, though, I have only known one of these fellows, Frankie Banali, by name and only because I recently read Louder Than Hell. And I am a fan of metal music, although more modern metal than the recently departed.

Also, I am not twenty-six-years-old and a professional.

UPDATE: After I scheduled this post, the news came out that Eddie Van Halen passed away. He shall get an obit in the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal for sure.

Good Album Hunting, September 19, 2020: The Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

Well, my friends, I have bought my first LPs in what seems like a long time. I guess my last purchases were in July when I bought a handful of records while spending gift cards at Relics Antique Mall, but, come on, it doesn’t feel like I’ve bought LPs unless I’ve been to this book sale and have bought fifty.

Which I did, sort of.

I got:

  • Brazilian Bird Charlie Bird
  • Countdown Time In Outer Space The Dave Brubeck Quartet
  • One Hell of a Woman Vikki Carr
  • For All We Know Vikki Carr
  • The Lord’s Prayer Perry Como
  • Easy to Love Frankie Carle
  • Praise the Almighty The Lutheran Hour Choir with the St. Louis Symphony
  • Brasil 88 Sergio Mendes
  • Norwegian Songs Kirsten Flagstad and Gerald Moore
  • Puts A Little Sax In Your Life Boots Randolph
  • On Stage Eydie Gormé (I already have this album, but for fifty cents, I’ll buy a back up)
  • Moonglow Artie Shaw and His Orchestra
  • Eydie In Love Eydie Gormé (I also have this one, but the one I already have skips a bit)
  • Albany Park Lani Hall (I have a couple of her CDs, but I’m glad to get her on LP outside of Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66)
  • Radioland Nicolette Larson
  • Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 Val Cliburn (I read something recently about how good of a pianist he is, so I thought I’d get one of his albums)
  • Hit Parade International Tom Jones; this is an Italian greatest hits album with a book cover.
  • TWB The Tim Wiseberg Band
  • Das Lied der Berge; I am not sure if it’s the title or what as it’s completely in German
  • A Very Good Year The Columbia Treasures Orchestra and Chorus. PWC.
  • It’s Impossible Perry Como
  • Wild Heart of the Young Karla Bonoff (PWC)
  • My Favorite Brahms Van Cliburne (as it stands, I got two of his LPs)
  • The Best of The Three Suns
  • Together Again Tierra
  • Song of Norway The Original Cast Album
  • Bouquet of Love The Percy Faith Strings; there’s a lot of Perry Faith in the wild. I might as well see if I like it.
  • Tiger Rag Jo Ann Castle and Her Wild Piano!
  • Fool on the Hill Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. I know I have this album cover, but I bought it a long time ago to discover it had a different SM&B66 album in it. I might have already bought another copy with the right platter. But I know I’ve got it now.
  • Great Verdi Arias Anna Moffe
  • Sandy Posey Sandy Posey
  • Temptation Roger Williams; one finds a lot of Roger Williams available. For fifty cents, I’ll take a flier on an album with a Pretty Women on the Cover (PWC).
  • April in Portugal Frankie Carle
  • Perry Como Sings Merry Christmas Music Perry Como
  • Alone Too Long Charly McClain
  • I’m Jessi Colter Jessi Colter
  • The Best of Perry Como Perry Como
  • Joyous Music for Christmas Time Various
  • J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Wanda Wandowska

Not purchased: A copy of Phoebe Snow’s debut album, which I bought in July at Relics for $7.99 and $1.99 as I bought two copies (remember, I had been looking for this album for a year and half at Relics after spotting an unpriced copy of it, so when I saw them this year, I bought both). I could have had it for fifty cents were I but patient! But you never know what you will find today or tomorrow while hunting, so it’s best to buy it when you see it if it’s not too expensive. Note that I did not buy a third copy; this isn’t Herb Alpert’s Whipped Cream and Other Delights of which I have three or four copies. I’ve stopped buying all of them that I see as the early Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass albums–The Lonely Bull, Going Places, South of the Border, What Now My Love, and Whipped Cream and Other Delights are still fairly common at book sales. And they will be, undoubtedly, until I need to replace one.

So for $24, I got a bunch of Perry Como along with a lot of late 70s and early 80s pop, jazz, and country.

Did I get any books, you ask? I’ll answer tomorrow.

Unfortunately, two things:

  1. Given that I do not spend as much time in my parlor or kitchen these days, it will take me a long time to listen to all these records;
  2. I don’t actually have room for these in the record shelves that I made last year, so I’ll have to make another set of them sometime soon.

First world problems, I know. But if I don’t hoard, how will my children sell enough things for a quarter each at my estate sale to amount to anything?

I Will Need This In A Couple Of Years

Sign language interpreters at metal concerts.

Actually, I am in pretty good shape for a couple of reasons. One, I have not been to the gym lately, so I have not been listening to metal at max volume in earbuds much this year. Second, I don’t tend to go to actual metal concerts because in my youth, metal heads tended to give me the business, so I avoid them in large groups.

But still.

(Link via Neatorama.)

My Facebook Feed Is Like My Musical Library

That’s an animated GIF of Judas Priest singing “Breaking the Law” in someone’s comment on something followed by a WSIE post about Count Basie.

Kind of like how my home library is all female-fronted metal bands like Amaranthe:

(Can I call Elize Ryd a metal songbird?)

Followed by jazz songbirds like Nicole Zuraitis:

Clearly, Facebook has been listening to me. Or I interact with a lot of metalheads and follow a lot of jazz stuff on Facebook. FALSE DILEMMA! Like metal or jazz.

As Good As A Classic Rock Coffee Album Cover Quiz

In 2018, I stopped at the Classic Rock Coffee location in Springfield for, well, coffee, and I took pictures of the album covers on the wall beside the booths where I sat. I then quizzed myself on which of the classic rock albums I owned (here and here). I scored 2 out of 16 (roughly 12.5%).

Whilst cleaning off the desk in the parlor, where I spin records and stack them as I play them, I found a paper inner sleeve from some LP that looks to be RCA Victor from roughly 1960. The kind that depicts other albums on the label you might be interested in. The sleeve itself contains sixteen records.

I’ll treat it as a quiz and bold the records I know I own:

  • Cool Water by the Sons of the Pioneers. Actually, I have two copies of this album somewhere in the mixed-up record library. As I mentioned in 2012, my father used to play this album on Christmas for some reason. I got the second copy last year to double my chances of finding it on Christmas this year.
  • Last Date by Floyd Cramer.
  • Glenn Miller’s Original Recordings by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. I might have this one, actually; although it looks like a single record, I have a box set with a very similar cover. I think. Hard to say; the albums are packed in so tightly that it’s hard for me to find anything.
  • Inspirational Songs by George Beverly Shea.
  • Teen Scene by Chet Atkins.
  • Souvenirs by Hank Snow.
  • The Student Prince by Mario Lanza. I have a couple by Lanza, but not this one, and I probably won’t get it as I’ve not really gotten into operatic show tunes.
  • My Favorite Chopin by Van Cliburn. I don’t think I have any of this pianist, but he’s not on my “nah” list. So maybe this September, if they actually do have the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale that they’re advertising, I will find some.
  • Calypso by Harry Belafonte. Nah. Which often is only short for “Naht yet.”
  • South Pacific. Nah. I am also not into non-operatic show tunes.
  • Oliver!. Ditto.
  • Honey in the Horn by Al Hirt. I have a lot of Al Hirt because my beautiful wife plays the trumpet, but I am not into Al Hirt qua Al Hirt because I’m not into the Dixieland sound. I don’t think I have this one.
  • The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini. I have a lot of Mancini, too, but I don’t think I have this one. But if I see it, I will probably pick it up. Coincidentally, WSIE played “The Pink Panther Theme” by Mancini whilst I was scanning this record sleeve.
  • Cattle Call by Eddy Arnold. You see a lot of Eddy Arnold about. I shall probably pick something by him up sometime.
  • Songs I Love by Perry Como. I don’t think I have this one yet, but I like Perry Como, so if I see it, I will buy it.
  • Miriam Makeba by Miriam Makeba. I bought this one last May.

So that, too, is 2 of 16 with a slight chance of more than that.

To be honest, part of me thinks it’s cooler that I have 13% of these RCA Victor titles from 1960 than the classic rock albums that a lot of people own (which is why they became “classic” albums).

Whenever I see these “also available” sleeves, I like to look to see what I might already have. I tend to do better on A&M Records, that is Herb Alpert’s label, than others because I have a lot of Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, Burt Bacharach, and even Claudine Longet.

Could the designer who put together this sleeve in 1950-something have ever guessed it would be an Internet listicle quiz seventy years later? I think not!

Sounds Like It’s Right Up My Alley

Every so often, I go to LP Cover Lover to glance at the record covers there. The blog focuses on older LP covers, so things from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s abound. Although the blog focuses a lot on foreign issues, I’m ever hopeful I’ll spot something I own there (I also feel hopeful I will eventually see something I own on Lileks’ Friday Bleature on vintage vinyl).

So I went through one of my periodic reviews of LP Cover Lover, and I saw this, and I thought, Man, that’s a metal album I should own!

(Image swiped from the aforementioned LP Cover Lover.)

We’re Going To Tear Your Kingdom Down by Satan. or Satan by the band We’re Going To Tear Your Kingdom Down. Sounds heavy, with a lot of down-tuned guitar work.

Wait a minute: “Satan” is supposed to be a noun of direct address here. The religious music artist is actually the Young Adult Choir from the First Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church in Baltimore.

So more Teen Tones than Semblant.

At any rate, my perusing of LP Cover Lover not only misled me in that misled-for-hopefully-humorous-effect-on-the-blog way, but also cued me to an EP and/or album I really want to find now:

{Image swiped from the aforementioned LP Cover Lover.)

A Christmas album with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Frank Sinatra (and Keely Smith)? Definitely something I would start spinning in November at Nogglestead.

The New Damascus Album

As I mentioned the other day, I pre-ordered the debut album by Damascus and got it on the first day it came out.

Damascus is the project of a guy I went to high school with who goes by Butch. I’m not sure if that’s his given name–it’s in the yearbook, so perhaps. He was one of the few long-haired kids who didn’t give me grief for being smart and bookish. Bullying, I think they call all of it now, although back in my day, bullying involved the threat of actual physical violence and not just making you feel bad because you didn’t smoke pot and didn’t like Iron Maiden (I’ve grown into the metal, as you know, gentle reader).

At any rate, I would be remiss in not sharing Butch’s current work with everyone who reads this blog, and by that I mean everyone searching for a viable book report on The Sire of Maletroit’s Door.

The whole album is cool, and it’s pretty long–17 songs including originals and covers of “Fade Into You” and “Nights In White Satin”. You can find the Web site with links to places you can buy it here. I initially tried on the iTunes store, but it crashed my PC iTunes, so I ended up buying it on Amazon discounting it with credits for slow delivery.

Four CDs I’ll Probably Never Play (and Recent Musical Balance)

Today, I received four CDs that I ordered at the beginning of May, but I don’t think I’ll be putting them in my computer to rip them.

Imperial Age is a symphonic metal band.

I ordered these CDs from the band’s Web site, signed, and then I got to thinking. Because Imperial Age is a Russian band, these are Russian CDs, so I’m not sure I want to put them into my computer. Or near it for that matter.

In May, I didn’t actually count these albums probably because I did not get them yet, but my balance was way out of alignment with 12 metal albums to 1 jazz songbird album.

So what have I gotten since?

  • The aforephotographed Imperial Age albums.
  • Alive and Spectrum by jazz pianist Hiromi. Not a song bird, per se, and more traditional jazz piano than Keiko Matsui.
  • For All We Know by Gloria Reuben.
  • A Woman Like Me by Lindsay Webster, whose “One Step Forward” I included in my May post.
  • Revolution by Damascus, the band of a guy I know from high school. I’ll probably do a whole post of it by and by.
  • “Yes, I Have Ghosts” by David Gilmour (as I mentioned.

So I haven’t gone crazy on the buying in the last two months, and it’s kind of even. Well, four jazz songbird to five metal band CDs.

I did preorder the new 10 Years album, and I see that Unleash The Archers and Amaranthe have new CDs dropping this fall. So it looks as though my balance might be out of whack the rest of the year as well. If only I could get to the gym.

Not Exactly A Valentine’s Gift

So someone thought “You Are My Sunshine” in a music box would make a romantic gift of some sort.

I suppose that’s really sweet if you’re only familiar with the first verse, which is the happy romantic one.

The rest, though:

I expect many people have only been exposed to the first verse in that French’s Mustard commercial from twenty thirty almost forty years ago.

And parents of a certain age who sang the first verse to their children.

The Older He Gets, The More He Sounds Like Leonard Cohen

David Gilmour has a new song, “Yes, I Have Ghosts”:

He’s sounding a little more like Leonard Cohen these days, but not the older Leonard Cohen.

Of course, I hear parallels that aren’t there, so he probably does not.

He has long been my favorite member of Pink Floyd, and I was listening to his solo album About Face today, when I remembered he had this song out. So I got it for the cost of a couple of planned shipping delays from Amazon.

\m/ \m/

20 Great Heavy Metal Quotes.

My favorite of the bunch?

“A French magazine printed my obituary. How did I die? I dunno, it was in French.”
– Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister

Although this matches my feelings on nu metal for the most part:

“Adding rap to rock music is a bit like taking the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen to a plastic surgeon, then asking him to give her a penis.”
– Manowar’s Karl Logan.

To be honest, I only recognize some of the names because I read Louder than Hell. I AM A POSER.

Good Album Stuff Hunting, June 26, 2020: Relics Antique Mall

Sorry to continue with the conspicuous consumption that is the hallmark of these pages, but after we got back on Wednesday night from our trip to Branson, I went looking for my most recent annual pass to the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield to see if I needed to get one before my boys and I take to bike the loop.

I could not find a pass, but I did find the remaining gift certificates for Relics Antique Mall that my beautiful wife gave me for last Christmas which apparently only have a six month shelf life. They were scheduled to expire on June 30. So I was very glad to have found them this Wednesday instead of next Wednesday. They were $70 worth of gift certificates. I would say “I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve been to Relics,” but Relics was closed for a bunch of that time.

I find it hard to spend gift certificates in the best of circumstances, but I really felt challenged to spend $70 at an antique mall. I mean, I don’t collect a lot of tchotchkes; I don’t have a lot of wall space for art (or furniture); and even with house money, I don’t want to spend the new-normal of seven to ten dollars on a record (!) because I’d get peeved if it skipped when I got it home. Also, as I had my boys along, I could not spend hours poring through the records anyway.

But I did get a couple.

Yes, I got Phoebe Snow’s debut album.

As you might remember, gentle reader, I first spotted a copy of this record at Relics whilst Christmas shopping in 2018, but I could not buy it as it did not have a price on it. And I have not seen another copy since. Today, I found two: One at $7.99 with 20% off and the second later at $1.99. Instead of taking the expensive one back, I bought them both. In case one skips.

I also got a couple other albums: Twilight Time and My Reverie by The Three Suns; The Sounds of Silence by Jane Morgan; and In A Mellotone by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.

The selection of the antique mall records is starting to run towards 60s, 70s, and 80s rock and pop as well as country instead of the older stuff I like to accumulate. I guess my parents’ generation is reaching that dying or downsizing age, which is bringing that stuff to market, and it’s the stuff people my age in the album-buying mood wants to buy, which is why the records are so much more expensive. But I can generally still find things to buy in my mellow, easy listening genres that’s under $4 a record.

But, Brian J., that doesn’t add up to $70 even with the expensive Phoebe Snow album, you might notice.

So what else did I get? Say hello to my other little friend:

As I mentioned when I got my guitar in February 2018, I noodled around on a bass a bit in college. So now I’ve picked up a bass to mess around with again.

How’s that guitar playing coming, Brian J.? you might ask.

Shut up, Ted. That is, it has not gone well. I took lessons for a while and quit because I wasn’t finding a lot of time to practice between lessons, so I was not advancing much at all. So I discontinued the lessons and found even less time to practice. So it went kind of like the worst possible way short of electrocuting myself with the E string.

But now I have two such instruments in my office which will go much better.

But at least I got something for the gift certificates.

Book Report: Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Heavy Metal by Jon Wiederhorn & Katherine Turman (2013)

Book coverMy beautiful wife gave me this book for Valentine’s Day. I started it in mid-March, using it as my “carry book” when I went to the podiatrist amidst The Pandemic even though this book chonks in at 700+ pages. I mean, I didn’t carry it a lot, and I certainly did not get the chance to sit on a bench in church during the Sunday school hour to read it.

Basically, the book is two music journalists presenting the evolution of some metal through the artist’s own words. It groups bands into genres like original metal, British new wave metal, thrash, nu metal, death metal, and so on, and then lets the band members talk about being in the band and so on. The timelines overlap, so we get a little re-starting.

It’s interesting that I recognize the bands up to the early 1990s, and then I have a gap until maybe 2010 or so except for the bands that started / got recognition in the very late 1990s or the bands that were around throughout. So I’m more familiar with the work of Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Testament and then suddenly Disturbed, but I don’t know much about Korn or Slipknot. Also, I’m light on the European bands.

Basically, the cycle is we started a band when we were teenagers, toured a bit, got a record deal, did a lot of drugs and had a lot of debaucherous sex varied a little. The crossover (punk and metal) bands swapped out acts of violence and fighting for the sex, and the black metal bands swapped out killing each other, killing themselves, and burning Norwegian churches (generally not in that order) in for the sex and fighting. So I found it a bit repetitive in the middle sections (nu metal, death metal, black metal) where I didn’t really know the bands.

But it did improve my sense of my own metal cred. I once saw Biohazard in Milwaukee, the week of my college graduation, in a small hall, and lots of bands (or at least the authors of this book) indicate Biohazard was very inspirational. And Static-X was big influence in the industrial movement, and I got a couple Static-X CDs a couple of years ago at a Lutheran rummage sale. So I am at least as hard core as your regular Lutheran.

I flagged a couple of bits in the book: The first is one of the Black Metal guys saying:

There have been times we felt that the whole scene was heading the wrong way, like ’97, ’98, ’99. The scene was permeated by this goth influence, and black metal was suddenly all about synthesizers and these large, pompous orchestrations and femal vocals and harmonies and melody, and everything was so soft and so gothic and so romantic.

Frost, the drummer for Satyricon, is here poo-pooing the rise of symphonic metal, one of the biggest subgenres going today and possibly my favorite, although it’s hard to draw a hard line between metalcore with female melodic vocalists and true symphonic metal.

The second thing I flagged was this unfortunate admission of my cred:

We had this bootleg videotape that we had named “Sex, Death and Mayhem”. It had all this crazy animation, snuff shit, and real death. We decided to splice together an hour of footage for a holiday show, and the footage culminated with the Bud Dwyer suicide. [Dwyer was the former treasured of Pennsylvania who, in 1987, after being accused of accepting a bribe, held a press conference in which he removed a .357 Magnum from an envelope, inserted the loaded revolver in his mouth, and pulled the trigger.]

Ew, you know, I saw that video in 1994 when I was staying with Dr. Comic Book (my friend from college who got a doctorate in rhetoric and now teaches college courses on comic books who, after reconnecting with me on Facebook this century, unfriended me because of our differing political beliefs). We were going to see The Mask and walked over to some the apartment of some of his friends. As Dr. CB also came from a rough neighborhood, his friends are a little sketchy, and they had this death on videocassette, and they watched it over and over again before we went to the movie.

Eesh, I have a lot of cred for a kid who got picked on by metal fans a lot throughout high school.

At any rate, at 746 pages including index, the book is long, but probably not as comprehensive as it would suggest in its subtitle–especially as new subgenres have arisen since then, and several of the interviewees have passed away. Some bands around in the very end of the period this book covers have become very big indeed (Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, and so on) aren’t even mentioned in passing.

Worth a glance, I suppose, but probably in small doses, maybe a chapter here and there to keep the almost monomythic narrative fresh. Or if your beautiful spouse gives it to you.

Now It’s Time For Our Long Distance Dedication

Apparently, a cloud of dust from Africa is making its way through the atmosphere to North America, and the Internet is commenting on it as though it were another 2020 unique catastrophe (spoiler alert: it’s not).

Saharan Dust: Here’s what to expect when it makes it to the Ozarks

What you should expect is me to post the Cutting Crew song “Sahara” from their album The Scattering:

I bought The Scattering on a discounted tape rack in 1990 and became a great fan of the Cutting Crew (most known for “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” and “I’ve Been In Love Before” from their previous album Broadcast). I even bought Compus Mentus five years ago. Although I guess I’m not so much of a fan that I knew the lead vocalist re-formed the band in 2015 and has released a couple of albums since then.

A Timely Post by KCSM

Yesterday, KCSM posted on Facebook:

Which links to a recent bit in the New York Times entitled The Swinging, Jamming Musical Charms of 1940s Soundies that describes Soundies, which were little 16mm reels of music video that played in vending machines. You pay a dime, you see a song.

It was funny to see this on Sunday, as my beautiful wife put a Soundies reel on my desk on Saturday.

As I mentioned, I became the world’s biggest collector of Tommy Reynolds records because my cousin (once removed, by marriage) sang for them in the Soundies era.

I bought this reel and took it to the local transfer shop in December or early January; they told me it would be a couple weeks, but stuff happened. Last week, they called because it was still lying around their shop, although they hadn’t called me to come get it before. So when my wife was out in that part of Springfield on Friday, she picked it up and put the DVD and source reel on my desk on Saturday.

I haven’t looked at my DVD yet, as the computer doesn’t have a native DVD player app in it (what? Is this 1998?). But you don’t have to borrow my DVD; you can find this song on YouTube:

But watching it on YouTube and owning the almost eighty-year-old movie reel yourself are two different things. I, unlike most of Internet-connected humanity in the twenty-first century, am of the latter sort.

Now, to find a Mills Panoram machine to play it on….