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Saturday, December 27, 2008

MUSIC: How An Obscure 80s Punk Band Created A Christmas Classic - Redux

I found the following story from NPR and am adding it to this piece I've already posted. - OlderMusicGeek



I found
this while surfing the net. I edited it down. You can read the whole piece here. - OlderMusicGeek

How an obscure 80s punk band created a Christmas classic
By JOHN PETRICK
Thursday December 22, 2005

Struggling band The Waitresses dragged themselves off the road and into a Manhattan studio to record - of all things - a Christmas song on a hot August day in 1981. Little did they know they were about to create a classic - a song that would well outlive the band, the 80s and, sadly, the frontwoman who sang it.

"I go back and I try to think of what the original inspiration was. I think it was just very much that for years I hated Christmas," says Chris Butler, founder of the Waitresses and writer of the bittersweet, cool but sentimental Christmas Wrapping.

The song is as much about a harried lifestyle and trying to make connections as it is about Christmas. "Everybody I knew in New York was running around like a bunch of fiends," he says of Christmases back around the time he moved from his native Ohio to New York City and formed the Waitresses. "It wasn't about joy. It was something to cope with."

As talk-sung by late lead singer Patty Donahue, Butler's song depicts a hard-working single girl who resolves to sit Christmas out one year. This, as she laments her repeated and unsuccessful attempts to reconnect with a guy she met by chance the previous winter. But just as in A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life, a twist of fate and a little magical intervention restore our heroine's belief in the Christmas spirit, after all.

Their record label had asked each of its punk bands to write a Christmas song for a holiday album. "A Christmas album? On a hipster label? Come on. Never happened," says Butler, giving the raspberry. "They were extreme individuals," he says of the label's roster.

Then again, the band itself was once a myth.

While Butler was a musician playing, he wrote songs for a make-believe side group. "I came up with the name `the Waitresses' because it just sounded kind of New Wavey," he says. "It was all a big joke."

But when industry people in New York expressed serious interest in I Know What Boys Like, Butler quickly cobbled together a formal Waitresses lineup. Many of the musicians Butler recruited were Midwesterners who, like himself, gravitated to New York. Meanwhile, Donahue was still in Ohio.

A free spirit who was in and out of college when she wasn't working waitress jobs, she decided to come along for the ride. "I gave her my last 50 bucks, put her on the Greyhound bus, she kissed her boyfriend goodbye, and she decided to come to New York. What the hell?"

The Waitresses officially debuted as a real, fully organized band at Little Club 57 at 57 St. Mark's Place on Jan 3, 1981. Months of playing everywhere - and I Know What Boys Like still wasn't making much of a dent.

In they came from the road in August 1981, exhausted, discouraged and not exactly in the Christmas spirit. Butler wrote Christmas Wrapping in about a week, put together from what he calls his "riff pile" - cassettes with bits and pieces of songs he wrote, for a rainy day. Some of the lyrics were written in the cab, en route to the studio. He credits his fellow musicians with adding brilliant flourishes to his basic musical arrangement. And, of course, he credits Donahue - the least experienced band member with the highest visibility.

"This is what she brought to the party: She was very smart. She was very funny. She was a very good actress. Great sense of humor, great timing. This was not the world's greatest vocalist, but she could get inside these lines and act them out, with a cigarette, and be my kind of favourite 1930s tough broad in all those Depression-era movies. She could do that kind of tough, tough, been-there, done-that, you-can't-fool-me kind of woman."

Two days of recording, and Christmas Wrapping was in the can. Back out on the road they went, forgetting all about it - until it started getting radio play come Christmas season. It was a weird way to have a hit.

"We had to play the song up until, like, June. And we had to capitalize on it - `Hi, this is our new album. We're the people who did that song back at Christmas,'" he says. "I am an official one-hit wonder. Except I have two half-hits: The Christmas song, and I Know What Boys Like, which never quite broke through but never quite went away."

Though they were seemingly gaining momentum, what happens next isn't quite the magical happy ending of Christmas tales. "We ran out of gas," he says about working on their next album. "We had a huge deadline. Huge pressure. And she (Donahue) said, `The hell with it'."

Then in the mid-90s, this Christmas tale comes to an even less happy ending.

"I found out she was sick, through a friend. I immediately called her. We kind of kissed and made up. I asked if there was anything I could do. We had a couple of phone conversations." Donahue died of lung cancer on Dec. 9, 1996, at age 40.

And as for Christmas? He has a bit of a different perspective on it, now. Especially when he's rushing around doing errands and suddenly hears his song on the radio, after all these years.

"Who'd have thunk it? Yeah. Holy cow," he says of its longevity. "Miracles do happen. It's MY Christmas miracle. And it slaps me around and says, `Lighten up. It's Christmas'."



A link to the original article

Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you're celebrating!
MY CHRISTMAS INTERNET RADIO STATIONS
OlderMusicGeek Radio - Christmas Edition
OlderMusicGeek Radio - Christmas Rock and Punk Edition
OlderMusicGeek's Christmas QuickMix
powered by PANDORA
But if you don't have Pandora, you can hear some of songs at http://www.playlist.com/oldermusicgeek

Thursday, December 25, 2008

MOVIES/VIDEOS: Santa's Five Scariest Moments On Film

I don't remember how I found this, but it's from Esquire. - OlderMusicGeek

Santa's Five Scariest Moments on Film
December 19, 2008 at 12:45PM by Daniel Murphy

Like most fairy tales, the story of Santa Claus is fairly frightening. Here’s a guy who lives in the North Pole, impervious to the cold, insulated with fat, cloaked in garish red, and surrounded by brainwashed little men whose sole mission in life is to construct toys without asking questions.

He is a recluse, spending 364 days each year obsessively compiling a list of naughty children, passing judgment on prepubescent boys and girls. Meanwhile, impersonators across the globe draw said boys and girls toward strip malls to sit on their laps and recite their hopes, dreams, and desired electronics.

One day each year, though, Saint Nick leaves his icy refuge to break into your home. He flies with the assistance of nine antlered bucks who land on your roof so he can climb down your chimney undetected. In a particularly odd twist, he subsists entirely on cookies and milk.

Face it: If not for the redeeming fact that Santa comes bearing gifts, he would be the stuff that horror films are made of. Horror films like these.

Silent Night, Deadly Night

When a young child watches Santa carjack and sexually assault his mom (not the real Santa, of course), he grows up believing that he has the power to judge who is naughty and who is nice. Apparently, the kid in the sled did something naughty, like “flaunt his wicked tobogganing skills.” But what’s with his friend at the bottom of the hill? I mean, come on, show a little emotion, will you?

Don't Open Till Christmas

Oh the Brits and their dry horror. Santa gets a spear through the back of the head and all everyone does is politely stand about 'til one mulleted bloke gets so worked up he hits the bar with his fist! How ghastly!

Santa’s Slay

First of all, great title. Second of all, this film is one Nic Cage casting call away from being a truly great movie. A kickboxing Santa Claus blowing up children with dynamite presents? That’s novel. (Get it? Dynamite presents?)

EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY HOLIDAY EXPLOITATION SPOILER ALERT: Someone is about to get stabbed in the throat with a Menorah.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Santa Claus tames the unruly black-faced Martians using only his jolliness! Except the Martians are actually pretty ruly, and Santa’s jolliness is more like creepiness. But that’s definitely black-face they’re rocking. Definitely.

Christmas Evil

Also known as You Better Watch Out and Terror in Toyland (because why have one title when you can have three?), Christmas Evil has a shockingly similar plot to Silent Night, Deadly Night, proving that there is, in fact, a market for the boy-traumatized-by-seeing-Santa-violate-his-mom-goes-homicidal genre. This version, however, has a bit more heart -- even if it is stabbed with a sharpened candy cane.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MUSIC: How An Obscure 80s Punk Band Created A Christmas Classic

I found this while surfing the net. I edited it down. You can read the whole piece here. - OlderMusicGeek

How an obscure 80s punk band created a Christmas classic
By JOHN PETRICK
Thursday December 22, 2005

Struggling band The Waitresses dragged themselves off the road and into a Manhattan studio to record - of all things - a Christmas song on a hot August day in 1981. Little did they know they were about to create a classic - a song that would well outlive the band, the 80s and, sadly, the frontwoman who sang it.

"I go back and I try to think of what the original inspiration was. I think it was just very much that for years I hated Christmas," says Chris Butler, founder of the Waitresses and writer of the bittersweet, cool but sentimental Christmas Wrapping.

The song is as much about a harried lifestyle and trying to make connections as it is about Christmas. "Everybody I knew in New York was running around like a bunch of fiends," he says of Christmases back around the time he moved from his native Ohio to New York City and formed the Waitresses. "It wasn't about joy. It was something to cope with."

As talk-sung by late lead singer Patty Donahue, Butler's song depicts a hard-working single girl who resolves to sit Christmas out one year. This, as she laments her repeated and unsuccessful attempts to reconnect with a guy she met by chance the previous winter. But just as in A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life, a twist of fate and a little magical intervention restore our heroine's belief in the Christmas spirit, after all.

Their record label had asked each of its punk bands to write a Christmas song for a holiday album. "A Christmas album? On a hipster label? Come on. Never happened," says Butler, giving the raspberry. "They were extreme individuals," he says of the label's roster.

Then again, the band itself was once a myth.

While Butler was a musician playing, he wrote songs for a make-believe side group. "I came up with the name `the Waitresses' because it just sounded kind of New Wavey," he says. "It was all a big joke."

But when industry people in New York expressed serious interest in I Know What Boys Like, Butler quickly cobbled together a formal Waitresses lineup. Many of the musicians Butler recruited were Midwesterners who, like himself, gravitated to New York. Meanwhile, Donahue was still in Ohio.

A free spirit who was in and out of college when she wasn't working waitress jobs, she decided to come along for the ride. "I gave her my last 50 bucks, put her on the Greyhound bus, she kissed her boyfriend goodbye, and she decided to come to New York. What the hell?"

The Waitresses officially debuted as a real, fully organized band at Little Club 57 at 57 St. Mark's Place on Jan 3, 1981. Months of playing everywhere - and I Know What Boys Like still wasn't making much of a dent.

In they came from the road in August 1981, exhausted, discouraged and not exactly in the Christmas spirit. Butler wrote Christmas Wrapping in about a week, put together from what he calls his "riff pile" - cassettes with bits and pieces of songs he wrote, for a rainy day. Some of the lyrics were written in the cab, en route to the studio. He credits his fellow musicians with adding brilliant flourishes to his basic musical arrangement. And, of course, he credits Donahue - the least experienced band member with the highest visibility.

"This is what she brought to the party: She was very smart. She was very funny. She was a very good actress. Great sense of humor, great timing. This was not the world's greatest vocalist, but she could get inside these lines and act them out, with a cigarette, and be my kind of favourite 1930s tough broad in all those Depression-era movies. She could do that kind of tough, tough, been-there, done-that, you-can't-fool-me kind of woman."

Two days of recording, and Christmas Wrapping was in the can. Back out on the road they went, forgetting all about it - until it started getting radio play come Christmas season. It was a weird way to have a hit.

"We had to play the song up until, like, June. And we had to capitalize on it - `Hi, this is our new album. We're the people who did that song back at Christmas,'" he says. "I am an official one-hit wonder. Except I have two half-hits: The Christmas song, and I Know What Boys Like, which never quite broke through but never quite went away."

Though they were seemingly gaining momentum, what happens next isn't quite the magical happy ending of Christmas tales. "We ran out of gas," he says about working on their next album. "We had a huge deadline. Huge pressure. And she (Donahue) said, `The hell with it'."

Then in the mid-90s, this Christmas tale comes to an even less happy ending.

"I found out she was sick, through a friend. I immediately called her. We kind of kissed and made up. I asked if there was anything I could do. We had a couple of phone conversations." Donahue died of lung cancer on Dec. 9, 1996, at age 40.

And as for Christmas? He has a bit of a different perspective on it, now. Especially when he's rushing around doing errands and suddenly hears his song on the radio, after all these years.

"Who'd have thunk it? Yeah. Holy cow," he says of its longevity. "Miracles do happen. It's MY Christmas miracle. And it slaps me around and says, `Lighten up. It's Christmas'."



A link to the original article

Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you're celebrating!
MY CHRISTMAS INTERNET RADIO STATIONS
OlderMusicGeek Radio - Christmas Edition
OlderMusicGeek Radio - Christmas Rock and Punk Edition
OlderMusicGeek's Christmas QuickMix
powered by PANDORA
But if you don't have Pandora, you can hear some of songs at http://www.playlist.com/oldermusicgeek

Friday, December 12, 2008

COMICS (and TELEVISION/VIDEOS and MOVIES/VIDEOS): Which Fantastic 4 Character Are You?


Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com

Which Fantastic 4 Character Are You?

You are The Human Torch. You're the hot-headed playboy. You like to act sooner rather than later and as a result, you really help those in need, even at the cost of your own problems.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

COMICS and MOVIES: Which Marvel Villian Are You?

Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom aka Victor von Doom is a scientist that went to space with four others but a storm came and gave all of them powers, but when Doom gets his, he uses it for evil.

Which Marvel villian are you?

MOVIES/VIDEOS: If Your Life Were A Movie, What Genre Would It Be?

Comedy

Your life is one big joke. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. You are probably one funny person, and although your life takes twists and turns, it all ends up relatively fine.

However, you probably won't learn anything throughout your entire film.

If your life were a movie, what genre would it be?

MOVIES/VIDEOS: Which Classic Movie Are You?

Bringing up Baby

My 2nd favourite movie. You are a fun person who knows how to have a good time!

Which classic movie are you?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

MUSIC: My Christmas Music

Well, these are just some ways to hear my kind of Christmas tunes! But I'm warning you that some contain profanity and explicit lyrics!

These will give you a pretty good idea of what I listen to at Christmas. The second "quick mix" button will give you the best idea. But you can only use them if you have an account with Pandora. It's free though!






But if you don't have Pandora, here's a few songs I listen to from Playlist.com.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

MUSIC: Punk Rock Auction?

This is from me, with a bunch of reprinted material added! - OlderMusicGeek

I heard about this on NPR. Christie's is having an auction of punk rock memorabilia. Sigh!

The Village Voice put it best in their blog, Christie's 'Punk/Rock' Auction: The Crying of Lot '77.

"Who buys? In light of The Sex Pistols' rejection of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as a "piss stain", it's hard to imagine these are institutional rates. The auctions have no reserve, so it's possible that some lots won't fetch their listed prices - my informal sampling of auctions past turned up the occasional overvaluation. The whole thing feels a little desperate, like a high-end version of some aging collector's eBay fire sale."

But I think I'll leave the final say to John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon from what I considered the only good reality TV show ever made, Rotten TV!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

MUSIC: Songs Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 31): "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror Picture Show And "Science Fiction Double Feature"

Yep, last one! Thank God I can some of you say!

And to end it all, I can't think of a song for fitting than "Time Warp" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show!



But since it's Halloween, I added "Science Fiction Double Feature" by Me First And The Gimme Gimmes The Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show, a punk rock tribute to the musical.



I was going to add The Groovy Ghoules version of "Time Warp", but I couldn't find it on YouTube and my videomaker was being a piece of crap! So I'll suggest you look it up!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 30): "Sympathy For The Devil" By The Rolling Stones

Can't think of a better penultimate song for my Halloween cavalcade of tunes than The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil". Also included a really good strip down version of the song by Jane's Addiction!

This is as close to the original as I could find on YouTube...


MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 29): The Themes From The Exorcist and Halloween

Just a couple of great horror movie themes - "Introduction" from Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells (used for the theme of The Exorcist) and the theme to the movie Halloween by John Carpenter.





And here's a great video with a guy putting lyrics to the Halloween theme. It's pretty funny!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 28): "Superstition" By Stevie Wonder

Just adding this song - "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder - because it's pretty such a standard for any Halloween collection - and it's a great dance to boot. Besides, you got to love that opening riff!

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 27): "The Horror Of Party Beach", "The Thing From Uranus", and "The Queen From Outer Space"

These - "The Horror Of Party Beach", "The Thing From Uranus", and "The Queen From Outer Space" - are just the 3 songs by the punk band, Sloppy Seconds, that have a horror theme to them.

I don't know much about this band. They came out when I was living in Africa, and I just discovered them recently through Pandora Radio.

But I think they're a lot of fun and that they can be rather humorous, and I hope you will too.


This video is stupid, but it has the song...


Monday, October 27, 2008

MUSIC: Songs Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 26): "Edgar Allan Poe" By Lou Reed And "The Raven" By The Alan Parsons Project

This is a song - "Edgar Allan Poe" - from a stage show about Edgar Allan Poe that Lou Reed, formerly of The Velvet Underground, did the music for. If you don't who Lou Reed is, his most famous song is "Take A Walk On The Wild Side".



I also added "The Raven" from The Alan Parsons Project's first album "Tales of Mystery And Imagination", which is a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe.



I add this, just cus I found when looking for a video for Lou Reed's "Edgar Allan Poe"! And it's really funny.



Kind of reminds me of a friend's thought about Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater having a wife he couldn't afford to keep and hiding her remains in a pumpkin shell.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

MUSIC: Songs Of The Day - World Zombie Day: "Zombie Jamboree" By Rockapella And "Brains" By Voltaire

Here's just a couple of extra songs for World Zombie Day!

The first is "Zombie Jamboree". It's by Rockapella. I actually think Harry Belafonte does the best version, but I couldn't find his version on YouTube.



This is "Brains!" by Voltaire. It was used in a "Billy And Mandy" cartoon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

MUSIC: Songs Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 25): "Sleepwalking" By The Raveonettes, "Sleepwalker" By The Kinks And "Sleepwalk" By Ultravox

These are 3 tunes about sleepwalking - "Sleepwalker" by The Kinks, "Sleepwalking" by The Raveonettes and "Sleepwalk" by Ultravox.

The Kinks are a band that started in the 60s. Their big hit is "You Really Got Me".

The Raveonettes is what I considered one of the better new alternative bands to have come out in the past 20 years.

Ultravox is a British synth pop band. You might have seen their videos on MTV in the 80s. Their big one was "Vienna".



Since the Ultravox video is a boring performance video, I presenting this one featuring good old Dr Who...

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 24): "Dark Lady" By Cher

What can I say? 70s Cher music is a guilty pleasure of mine. Takes me back to my
childhood. So I had to add "Dark Lady"!



Thursday, October 23, 2008

TELEVISION/VIDEOS and MOVIES/VIDEOS: "Songs" Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 23): "Bring Out Your Dead", "Death", and "Undertaker" By Monty Python

These are just 3 Monty Pythons bits about death - "Bring Out Your Dead", an excerpt of "Death" from "Meaning Of Life", and "Undertaker". But don't worry, they're not very naughty bits!





MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 22): "Scooby- Doo, Where Are You?" By Matthew Sweet And "Goolie Get-Together" By The Toadies

This song - "Scooby Doo, Where Are You" by Matthew Sweet - is from a compilation cd that came out in the 90s. They had a bunch of alternative bands from that time doing cartoon theme songs from the 60s - which was when i was watching cartoons! Okay, I still do, but I got up on Saturday to watch them then!

If you don't Matthew Sweet, it's because he didn't have any big hits. He did, though, get played on college stations. His biggest hit was probably "Girlfriend".




And since I had room when I emailed this song to friends and family, I added another song from that cd - "Goolie Get-Together" by The Toadies. If don't remember that cartoon, it was a weird mix of having horror monsters in a "Laugh-In" sort of set-up!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 21): "Who Do You Love" - 3 Versions - Bo Diddley, Wild Willie, The Jesus And Mary Chain

Well, this technically isn't really a Halloween song - "Who Do You Love". It isn't about ghost, vampires, zombies, or even killers.

But with lyrics about using cobras for neckties, having a chimney of skulls, and having a tombstone hand, it still fits right in.

Although there are MANY versions of this song, I think the original version by Bo Diddley has the most Halloween-y feel. But I also included a good cover by Wild Willie and a nice, omninous version by The Jesus And Mary Chain.





MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 20): "Paranoid" By Black Sabbath

What's Halloween without heavy metal or Black Sabbath? And this is my favorite Black Sabbath song!

Monday, October 20, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 19): "Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)" By David Bowie

Well, this song - "Scary Monsters And Super Creeps" by David Bowie - is just another song that I feel is a must for Halloween. Especially, if you're into alternative music!

And I love the video, and what this guy did for it!

MUSIC: Songs Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 18): "Zombies Ate Her Brain" By The Creepshow And "Fashion Zombies" By The Aquabats

Well, these are just a couple of punk rock zombie songs - "Fashion Zombies" by The Aquabats and "Zombies Ate Her Brain" by Creepshow - that I heard on the local school station.

Don't know much about either band. The Aquabats are a fun band that writes silly songs. And Creepshow seems to be a new punk rock band with a horror show vibe going on.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 17): "Country Death Song" By The Violent Femmes

I know that a good number of people claim that this - "Country Death Song" by The Violent Femmes - is a sick and creepy song. All I can say is - Yes, it IS a sick and creepy song. It's about a father killing his daughter! How can it not be creepy?

I think the problem is that Gordon Gano captured the mindset of a person who would kill his own daughter very well, and we begin to sympathize somewhat with this guy. And that's what's creepy. And that's what makes this a perfect Halloween song!

And this video is perfect for the song!

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 16): "Eve Of The War" By Jeff Wayne

This is the first track "Eve Of The War" from "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of War Of The Worlds". It's a mouthful, but it's good stuff. This guy, Jeff Wayne - session musician and producer - got Justin Heyward of The Moody Blues, Philip Lynott the lead singer of Thin Lizzy, and somehow Richard Burton, and put out a very faithful - if truncated - musical version of the H.G. Wells novel.

The classic rock station in my home town played it for a couple years on Halloween when it came out in the 70s.

From the YouTube comments:

I heard this at about the age of 7 in a dark room with an open fire flickering - oh god, I s*at myself!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 15): "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" By Blue Oyster Cult

Well, to finish the first half of the collection, I'd thought another must for any Halloween playlist - "Don't Fear The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. Besides, I just posted their "Godzilla". :)

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 14): "Big Lizard" By The Dead Milkmen

I don't know. This song - "Big Lizard" by The Dead Milkmen - is just another one of those songs that are too fun NOT to include in a Halloween collection!

For those who don't know, The Dead Milkmen were a 80s alternative band that did fun and rather humorous music that usually had some strange lyrics. Their big hits were "Punk Rock Girl" and "Bitchin' Camaro".




And since I had the space when I email the previous song to friends and family, I added a song on a similiar theme, "Godzilla" by Blue Oyster Cult.

Friday, October 17, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 13): "Nemesis" By Shriekback

Back when I heard this song in college, I knew it was going on my Halloween cassette - this was in the days of vinyl and tapes! Before mp3's, the closest thing we had to a playlist was mixed cassettes!

And I still loving hearing it every Halloween! It was just made for this time!

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 12): "Highway To Hell" By AC/DC

Well, if you like hard rock, then this - AC/DC's "Highway To Hell" is a must for any Halloween playlist! Though some might argue for "Back In Black" or "Hell's Bells" - both of which are also on my Halloween playlist!





And as a bonus feature, here's a nice little video done to Hayseed Dixie's bluegrass version of the song.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

MUSIC: Songs Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 11): The Soundtrack To "Psycho" By Bernard Herrmann

Below are not the songs that I emailed to friends and family. I couldn't find them on YouTube.

I sent them four songs - "The Rainstorm", "The Car", "The Murder" and "Discovery" - from what many considered one of the greatest soundtracks ever made, "Psycho" by Bernard Herrmann for the Alfred Hitchcock movie.

But I put what YouTube had from the "Psycho" soundtrack.







MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 10): "Children Of The Night" By Nash The Slash

This is a song - "Children Of The Night" by Nash The Slash - from Canada's and electronic music's equivalent of Alice Cooper. Except that he was never that popular. :)

But he wore this great get-up with his face covered like The Invisible Man and this nice jacket and top hat.

He also had an interesting boycott on playing guitars - he played violin, electric violin, banjo, electric banjo, mandolin, electric mandolin, among other string instruments, but no guitars.

Not sure why. He obviously liked electric guitar music, because he covered a lot of classic rock tunes.



Since I had space when I emailed "Children Of The Night" to friends and family, I also added Nash The Slash's version of The Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown"...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MUSIC: "Song" Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 9): "Chicken Heart" By Bill Cosby

This isn't a song, but a comedy bit by Bill Cosby talking about a horror show he listened to on the radio. I thought he had just made it up. But no, it's real.




This is another Bill Cosby piece after I found after I already email the above routine to family and friends. So, dear reader, you're getting a bonus track that my friends and family didn't get!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 8): "Camouflage" By Stan Ridgway

One more ghost story song - "Camouflage" by Stan Ridgway. This is my second favorite ghost story song.

Unfortunately, his only claim to fame seems to be having been the former lead singer of Wall of Voodoo, who are only known for their song, "Mexican Radio". Though in my opinion, they have better songs to be known by.

This song is taken from Stan's first and - in my not so humble opinion - best solo album

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 7): "Love Vigilantes" By New Order

I decided that I would stay on the ghost theme for a bit. This is my favorite ghost story song - "Love Vigilantes" by New Order.

Friday, October 10, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 6): "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky" By Johnny Cash

This is another song - (Ghost) Riders In The Sky - that I feel is a must for any Halloween music collection. I actually have over 10 versions of this song - two punk version by Me First And The Gimmes Gimmes and The Vandals, The Blues Brothers, Frank Sinatra, among others. But no one does it better than The Man In Black!



I also decided to add The Blues Brothers' version. It's corny, but fun!

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 5): "Dead Man's Party" By Oingo Boingo

Well, this is a fun dance song - "Dead Man's Party" - by an weird 80s new wave band, Oingo Boingo. Their main claim to fame it that their lead singer/main song writer is a big time movie score composer - Danny Elfman, who did the soundtrack for the first two 90s Batman movies and The Nightmare Before Christmas, among others, many movies by Tim Burton. He was the voice of Jack in "Nightmare" too.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 3): "Monster Mash" By Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt Kickers

You can't have a Halloween playlist without this song. It'd be like having a collection of Christmas tunes without Bing Crosby's "White Christmas"!

I actually have a few different versions of this song, including one by the horror-influenced punk band The Misfits, one by Mannheim Steamroller - known for their Christmas music, one by horror master Vincent Price, among others.

But none beat the original by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and The Crypt Kicker Five.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 2): "Devil In My Car" By The B-52's

What can I say about this song? It's just fun and a blast!



MUSIC: Song Of The Day - Halloween Edition (Oct 1): "Welcome To My Nightmare" By Alice Cooper

This from me, not some reprinted material. - OlderMusicGeek

Well, this October, being the season and all... and me being the OlderMUSICGeek, I decided to email my friends, one song a day that I feel captures Halloween.

So I figured I'd also put them on my blog. I'll just use YouTube videos if I can.

The first is from the special Alice did the album, Welcome To My Nightmare. The second is from his Muppet Show appearance.

Is there a better song to start the Halloween season?



Monday, September 01, 2008

COMICS: Batman And Superman Text-Message In Heaven

This is from a blog that read when I have time to read blogs, Serious/Silly. - OlderMusicGeek

it was just another day, like any other day. something good was going on somewhere. something bad was going down somewhere too. like a tale of two cities, or a hidden identity. something with teeth waiting beneath the rainbow. last week's humidity had finally dispelled and the afternoon was warm, but nice. bordering just on being hot, threatening to push that edge in an hour or two. suddenly:

'hey. what r u up to?' a familiar question in an unfamiliar voice. i knew what was going on here.

'are you looking for ashley?'

ashley had been taunting me from somewhere beyond. the most quotidian of things were repeatedly besmirched by the spectre of her past. ordering pizza. reading a book. enjoying the outdoors. she never showed up, but was always there, lurking, a threat not-quite promised, a scythe never quite swinging.

'yes. who is this?'

'not ashley.' i thought that would scare off the ghost.

'then who is this?' 'i mean like what is ur name?'

i threw the phantom a handful of misdirection: 'i'm the joker. or maybe i'm batman. it's so hard to tell the difference these days...'

i waited, biding the minutes to see if my ruse were uncovered.

'o i c. in that case i am super man.'

clark, despite his failings, is an impeccable typist - years of working for a newspaper will do that to a guy. not only would he never misspell his own name, he would never resort to the crass aberrations found so frequently in text-speak.

'you got it, supes.' i thought again this would deter my assailant.

'lol ya what are you doin batty.' clark always calls me 'bats.' interesting. there's only one man on the planet who calls me batty to my face. the crown prince of crime. the master of mayhem. the one-man insane clown posse: the joker.

now that i knew who i was dealing with, i ended our discussion. for all his razzle-dazzle and his chaos, the joker is little more than a lunchroom bully: if you don't let him bait you, he'll leave you alone. and usually gotham as well.

then, this morning, after hours of silence:

'hey what r u doin'

damn. he's a relentless clown. i answered honestly, letting him know i knew who he was: 'getting some sleep after a long night protecting the citizens of gotham.'

i waited. would i have to go back out there? would gotham once again need salvation from its own red-headed, painted-face step-child?

'o i c. i was just having some fun with mrs. superman. hahaha......'

that laugh. it haunts my dreams and my waking moments alike. i could hear it, from wherever he was, like cat-claws on a chalkboard. i know what it means: lois is in trouble...

and i gotta go to work....



A link the the original post

A link the the blog serious/silly

Friday, August 22, 2008

MUSIC: Certain Songs: The Clash - Safe European Home

I found this piece from Medialoper while googling. It reflects a lot of my views. Though I must admit it was The Sex Pistols that introduced me to punk rock, but "Safe European Home" is one of my all time favorite songs! - OlderMusicGeek

Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Certain Songs: The Clash - Safe European Home

“Certain songs,” Craig Finn sang on The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me, “they get scratched into our souls.” That’s the basis of our latest feature: a look at the songs that have done just that. These aren’t necessarily our favorite songs or the songs that we think are the best, but rather songs that — every single time we hear them — instantly transport us back to a place and time in which that song is forever intertwined. This is one of the reasons we so hate the RIAA’s attempted stranglehold on the dissemination of music: you never know where that next certain song is going to come from.

You know how sometimes you hear an album — or even a song — for the first time, and without even realizing it, by the time it’s over, your whole perception of the world has forever been changed? That was what hearing The Clash for the very first time did to me. It was late 1978, I was a junior in at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, California, and I pretty much liked what other white, suburban males my age liked: Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Yes, etc.

But, something had happened: about a year before, I’d started reading rock magazines — Circus, Rolling Stone and most especially, CREEM. And those rock magazines were all buzzing to various degrees about something called “Punk Rock.” Punk seemed strange and weird, and it was very much unheard on Fresno radio. So even though the Sex Pistols had already crashed and burned on American soil, I actually hadn’t heard a note of their music.

But I had heard The Cars, and their debut album was the very first punk-associated thing I ever bought. But of course, The Cars were really “new wave,” which was a totally different head, man, so I finally took the Punk plunge with Rocket to Russia by the Ramones and Marquee Moon by Television. Those are still two of my favorite records, and they just whetted my appetite for more.

Which is where The Clash came in: while I was leery that they were “too punk” for me, they had finally made their American debut with Give ‘Em Enough Rope, and spurred on by a couple of incredibly positive reviews in CREEM Richard Riegel and Robert Christgau (CREEM used to reprint the Consumer Guide) — I took the plunge.

I still remember the exact moment I took the record out of the ultra-saturated red and yellow cover, put it on the turntable and sat back on my bed as “Safe European Home” came blasting out of the speakers, with a “POW!” and bounced all over the corkboard that covered the walls of my room. It was as hard as any metal as I’d ever heard, but it was lighter on its feet. It had obvious roots in my beloved 60’s Who and Rolling Stones singles, but with the guitars cranked ten years louder. And then there was that breakdown at the end where the deep-voiced guy was ranting about Jamaica and the high-voiced guy repeating “Your-oh-pee-un Home!” over guitars that kept stabbing stabbing stabbing like a serial killer until the drums came back up and sealed the whole thing up.

Holy f***!!!!! I had never heard anything like that song before in my entire 15 years. What in the hell was it? Why wasn’t this being played every single minute on the radio? Was there more? I had to find out. Before I could even take another breath, I had played that entire album twice, no doubt at “can you please turn that down?!?” volumes.

Now I know that the critical consensus has always been that Give Em Enough Rope is the weak sister in The Clash discography — that it wasn’t as world-changing as The Clash; as all-time classic as London Calling, as experimental as Sandinsta or as populist as Combat Rock. Its greatest sin has always been that it was seen as some kind of compromise between punk and metal. And I say “exactly!” For someone like me, it was exactly the right kind of record: if this was Punk Pock, then I was totally in.

In short order, I bought the import of The Clash, and all of those import singles that were were at Tower Records, as well the other Ramones albums and records by The Jam, Talking Heads, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, etc, so on and so forth world without end amen.

Like the (Minute)man said: Punk Rock changed my life. It changed my life by opening my ears up to a whole universe of music that was never going to get played on the radio. Some of that music was good, some of it was bad, and a lot of it would never be classified as “Punk,” but all of it would have never existed in the same way without Punk.

And if Punk Rock changed my life, then “Safe European Home” was the tipping point — the exact moment where my head was rearranged. I cannot listen to it to this day without thinking of that first time, and all that followed.

Meanwhile, here is what I didn’t do in the wake of my discovery of Punk Rock: cut my hair, dress “punk,” stop listening to other rock music. In other words, I thought that The Clash’s music — and Punk Rock in general — were the next logical extension of the overall story of rock and roll, as opposed to a whole new thing.

Which was why, despite the fact that I’ve primarily focused on music that has radiated from that time and place, I was never a Punk Rocker: because I could never understand why I would want to limit myself that way. For a couple of years, in CREEMs letters page there was always the “Clash vs. Led Zeppelin” debate, as if people couldn’t absolutely love both bands. (And as a matter of fact, nowadays, with both bands so totally venerated, it just seems weird that such a debate even existed.)

Here is what I did do: tried to get my friends to hear what I had heard in The Clash, and all of those other bands they weren’t hearing on the radio. But only my friends: no way I was going to pull my classmates away from Journey and AC/DC. In Fresno in the late 1970s, you had to pick your musical battles. So, to a select few, who I thought might have open minds — or just couldn’t escape me — I preached and I proselytized and I hectored and I harangued. Some got the plot — Tim was an early adopter — but it wasn’t until a few years later, when I got to KFSR, that I started running with people where liking The Clash and/or Punk Rock was a given, as opposed to an anomaly.

But that’s a whole other story. In fact, by the time KFSR went on the air four years later, The Clash had released eight more albums worth of material, all of it mind-blowing in different ways. Thank you, Joe Strummer. Thank you, Mick Jones. Thank you, Paul Simonon. Thank you, Topper Headon. My absolute love of what you accomplished has never waned.

And it all started with “Safe European Home.”

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(Here's my two favorite comments... - OMGeek)

1. bobby wrote on March 6th, 2008 at 2:51 am

I am a major fan of The Clash and I also consider Led Zeppelin (particularly from 1968 to ‘75) to be without equal in the history of rock music. I graduated from high school in 1977 and always thought it ridiculous that some considered Zeppelin and punk rock mutually exclusive. Almost all the former punkers now admit they were in awe of Zeppelin’s first five or six albums, and were hugely influenced by Zeppelin’s early work (ie Communication Breakdown). When Punk faded, many a rock fan returned to the timeless landmark Zeppelin albums as life rafts, particularly in the barren musical landscape of the 80’s.

3. Tim G. wrote on March 7th, 2008 at 10:32 am

From Motown, Tom Jones, Petula Clark and The Beatles early in life, to Woodstock, the ’70s rock, punk/new wave, reggae, etc., I’ve never in my life understood why some people identify with only one or a couple of formats. It’s crazy. One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain. As someone once said.

A link to the original piece
A link to the Medialoper blog

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

TELEVISION/VIDEOS and COMICS: The Hulk Out List

I came across a list of "EVERY reason that Dr. David Banner was driven to Hulk out" on the 70s Hulk tv show using StumbleUpon. Below are ten of my faves. - OlderMusicGeek

10. Being fed poisoned sushi
9. Being rear-ended fifteen times in a row by a mean bully with a bigger car than his
8. Being stuck in a cabin that the police are turning into swiss cheese with their shotguns, even though he and the pregnant woman have no guns and have waved the white flag, only to have the police bullets start a fire in the cabin, etc.
7. Having two mean football players snap wet towels at him and shove him into the steam room which they have turned on to full blast
6. Being hit with a blast of steam in the face while trying to turn off the nuclear reactor that is melting down
5. Being beaten up by the thieves and thrown in the store vault, having the vault door closed on his foot, and then having the air supply cut off by the giggling thieves
4. Having several clay pots broken over his head in the middle of the now-burning room (why is the room always burning?), and then knocking an entire case of same clay pots onto same head, and then, while lying very still and struggling not to get angry, having his pants catch fire
3. Receiving a lethal injection, and then having the person say, "Oh. I just gave you a lethal injection. Sorry, David."
2. Dealing with a pesky operator in a phone booth ("I DON'T HAVE TWENTY-FIVE CENTS!!!")
1. Being trampled by a crowd AND having the hot coffee spilled on his hand while trying to get to the sniper

A link to the complete Hulk out list

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This is a fairly good sampling of some of the music I listen to. It's missing a few genres I like - such as cajun. I'll work on that later. But it does contain most of my favorite artists. I tried to steer away from the better known songs to give you a better idea of what kind of music the artists play, but I was limited by the songs the website - Project Playlist - had available. But if you want to get an idea of what I listen to, just hit the play or arrow button. - OlderMusicGeek

The internet station that does the best of playing my music is Last.fm. Here's my station if you're interested.

This website, OlderMusicGeek Radio on Pandora.com, does a fairly decent job of playing what I like, although they do occasionally play stuff I don't care for, but overall they're pretty good.