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Spectropop - Digest Number 1218

               SPECTROPOP - Spectacular! Retro! Pop!

There are 14 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: projectile singing / Avantis / Bi songs / Please Phil  Spector
           From: Phil Milstein 
      2. Re: Happy Together on film
           From: Kevin 
      3. Re: Brian Wilson's "Water Builds Up"
           From: Paul Bryant 
      4. Re: The Transformed Shatner
           From: Phil Milstein 
      5. Brian and Bach
           From: Watson Macblue 
      6. Re: Brian Wilson influence
           From: Mike McKay 
      7. Re: MacArthur Park
           From: Mike McKay 
      8. Re: Styrene vs.plastic 45's
           From: Mikey 
      9. Re: Brian Wilson influence
           From: Austin Roberts 
     10. Re: Austin Roberts & Bazooka
           From: Austin Roberts 
     11. Re: Sloan & Barri
           From: Austin Roberts 
     12. Re: Arkade/Morning of Our Lives/Austin's One Word
           From: Austin Roberts 
     13. Re: Styrene vs.plastic 45's
           From: Sebastian Fonzeus 
     14. Re: Mob / Arkade "Where You Lead" versions
           From: James Holvay 

Message: 1 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 12:54:09 -0500 From: Phil Milstein Subject: Re: projectile singing / Avantis / Bi songs / Please Phil Spector Austin Roberts wrote: > ... Everything was going well until the > kid started singing, got thru about a line of the song and puked > all over the mic, bass, and most of the press up front. Needless to > say he went nowhere except home and still hates parties. Amazing story! Any video? It reminds me of a story from Robert Gordon's "It Came From Memphis." concerning Packy Axton, a sax player in The Mar-Keys and the son of Stax co-founder Estelle Axton: "Coming off a bender, he was rooting through tapes [of instrumental beds] for something to sell, and had the engineer put one on while he went to the vocal booth to fill a hole [in the song]. Packy is dead now [of acute cirrhosis of the liver] and there is no way to know what his intention was, but when the time came for him to say whatever he wanted, Packy took a breath, opened his mouth, and vomited. Puked all over the place, and recorded it perfectly on tape. He named the song 'Hung Over' and called the band The Martinis." "Hung Over" can be found on the book's companion CD comp (sold separately), of the same title. Dan Hughes wrote: > And what IS an Avanti? I believe it's Italian for "forward." It's what people in Italian movies always say to the driver when they get into a cab. Then again, perhaps it's a popular street in Rome. JD Doyle wrote: > I think my February show will be on bisexuality in music... > not bisexual artists, but songs actually lyrically about that. > There are numerous recent songs to be found, but I'm having > trouble finding many "older" ones. Any male-sung version of "Sally Go Round The Roses" ought to qualify. ? & The Mysterians released a recent version on a Norton 45, but I'm sure there were at least a few done in the '60s proper. Martin Roberts wrote: > Congratulations to all involved in David A. Young's, > "Please Phil Spector". A quite amazing piece of scholarly > endeavour. Tracking down Jack Nitzsche's record credits is > hard enough, very few guides list the arranger credit but > the only way to find most records that either quote a lyric > or mention Mr Spector is to hear them. Yes, indeed -- a terrific addition to the Spectropop empire! Fun as pie to read, and every entry brightly illustrated. Please tell me you'll check out soon. Finally, a research inquiry: has anyone got a copy of Galen Gart's R&B reprints book, "First Pressings, 1958"? If so, my follow-up question will be to ask for a photocopy or scan of one particular article. Please contact me off-list. --Phil M. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 2 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 17:55:23 -0000 From: Kevin Subject: Re: Happy Together on film Phil C. > WKW takes the wish-fulfilment theme of HT one stage further. Great point, Phil, and, though Wong Kar-Wai's film is (not to put too fine a point on it) actually a product of Hong Kong film-making, it does delve deep into the dark shadow world of the Turtles pop gem. Remember, the first word of the song is "imagine", which puts the story of the song completely in the conditional "if I should call you up, invest a dime", and future "when you're with me, baby the sky *will* be blue" tenses. I'll add (if it hasn't yet been done) "Adaptation.", the brilliant Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonze film from last year where the song "Happy Together" becomes a plot point as it is sung, and resung, by two (?) of the film's major characters. kjm in la -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 3 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 10:15:26 -0800 (PST) From: Paul Bryant Subject: Re: Brian Wilson's "Water Builds Up" Watson Macblue wrote: > Brian cannibalised the verse to form the verse of > Let's Go To Heaven In My Car, originally recorded > during the sessions he did with Gary Usher - a time > horrifyingly recorded in Usher's diaries and published > as The Wilson Project. I didn't know that, so thanks - can you tell me why "horrifyingly"? pb -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 4 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 13:19:54 -0500 From: Phil Milstein Subject: Re: The Transformed Shatner Rodney Rawlings wrote: > What do you think? Does anyone have any background or information > that would support or undermine this conclusion? Has Shatner ever > stated he was being facetious? For better or worse, Shatner's approach to "The Transformed Man", the 1968 LP (produced & arranged by Don Ralke) which included his now-legendary takes on "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Lucy In The Sky" (as well as a thoroughly Shatneresque reading of Hamlet's soliloquy) was dead serious. His most persistent attempt to qualify the concept underlying this album was that it was an attempt to simulate a drug experience, but I read that as mere back-pedaling in response to the howls of derision that emanate from anyone who listens to it. Other quotes from Shatner about the album, as found in Robert E. Schnakenberg in "The Encyclopedia Shatnerica": "This, to me, is a work of art." (1979) "Some cuts worked, some didn't. I haven't heard it in a long time." (1989) "I think the album is very meritorious. I'm not embarrassed by 'The Transformed Man' at all. Am I living in a fool's paradise?" (1997) "When a cut is played without any context you'll be puzzled by what I'm doing, but my hope is that you'll know what I'm doing if you listen to the whole record." (c.1998) --Phil M. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 5 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 12:37:39 -0800 (PST) From: Watson Macblue Subject: Brian and Bach Dave Mirich writes: > Without Bach, would there have been classical music as we > know it? Of course, or very close to it -- it just might have > taken an additional 50 years to get there. Bach is just about the worst possible choice for this sort of analogy - or maybe he isn't. Without Bach, classical music would look *exactly the same* - only without Bach. Bach was an extremely conservative composer who founded no school and had no - *no* - followers (including even his own sons, who put as much musical distance between them and their father as possible). He was the *end* of the Baroque tradition (arguably 50 years late, at that), not the founder of the classical one. His reputation had to be salvaged from oblivion 75 years after his death, by the young Mendelssohn, and even then he was looked back on as the paragon of a dead tradition, not someone to be directly imitated. He was later used as a *model* for self-conscious parody and pastiche by the 20th-century neo-classicists (mainly Stravinsky), but no-one would claim (or want) to be "influenced" as such by him. It's like asking how the 18th-century novel would now look without Dickens - exactly the same, and for obvious reasons. Unless you're actively trying to say that Brian Wilson changed nothing, but perfected the world of the Four Freshmen and Lawrence Welk (and this is arguable), the Bach analogy is either misleading or horrifyingly accurate. Classical music moves in an entirely different historical frame of reference from popular music - in fact, it's one of the key things that differentiate the two. I also have lingering doubts about Brian's ability to turn out two hours of complete, fujlly-scored music *every week*, which was not only Bach's achievement but (and here's the scary part) was professionally expected of him as a matter of course. He also fathered something like 25 children, by the way. Marilyn should count her blessings ... Watson -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 6 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 15:23:47 EST From: Mike McKay Subject: Re: Brian Wilson influence David Mirich wrote: > I know that for my part I did post that I felt that without > Brian Wilson (and the Beatles) that the music we've been > listening to since the '60s would not be the same, not yet > anyway. Those two influences IMO gave pop music a huge jump > start in the the mechanics and structure, the styling, feel, > the sofistication if you will, of what folks wanted to hear. I have to agree, and I think you can see this at all levels of rock 'n' roll, including the ground one. Pre-Beatles, bands that played live locally were almost invariably of the three-chord "frat rock" variety. Now this could be great fun in its own way, but it also didn't leave much room for variety, vocal harmony or anything surprising with regard to chord structure. Most of the lead guitar work you heard was of the Chuck Berry variety -- again, nothing wrong with that, but certainly the electric guitar offered additional possibilities. Within weeks of The Beatles' appearance on U.S. shores, bands started popping up playing their songs in their style, and this led to a real broadening of the horizons of local groups... including the notion that you could actually write your own songs, something that I don't think occurred to a whole lot of local bands. Add in the soon-to-come influences of The Stones, The Yardbirds, etc., and you had the great flourishing of punk and melodic pop bands on the local level, many of whom were fortunate to record at least one single (many of which we revere today). I don't see any of this happening -- at least not in nearly the same way -- without the influence of The Beatles. Though I know the UK side of the equation not quite as well, from what I've heard most contemporaries of The Beatles played pretty dire stuff in their early days...American rock 'n' roll which they felt would be more exciting somehow if they raced through it at breakneck tempo. It took The Beatles to add their own genius to the same elements all the other groups were synthesizing and coming up with something original...a template that others then tried to emulate (though only the best of them succeeded). And finally, back to the U.S., you can make the case (as Richie Unterberger does very convincingly in his last two books on the subject) that folk-rock in all its many permutations wouldn't have happened without The Beatles. The Byrds were a direct result of Gene Clark and Jim McGuinn adding acoustic versions of Beatles songs to the folk repertoire they played in the clubs of L.A., and being joined one night by David Crosby to add a third harmony. Mike -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 7 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 15:09:23 EST From: Mike McKay Subject: Re: MacArthur Park Previously: > Yes, absolutely! Macarthur Park has always been and probably > always will be #1 on my list of all-time worst songs, closely > followed by Send In The Clowns. This is obviously one of the more polarizing questions in pop music history, i.e., Is "Macarthur Park" great or just beyond terrible? There's not usually much middle ground...except maybe mine, to whit: I think "Macarthur Park" is so much its own animal that it almost gets a special category all its own. By virtue of its sheer audacity, it ought to get some respect. I was in high school when it came out, and we used to have a really good radio system built into our school bus, thoughtfully tuned to the local Top 40 station. I'll never forget hearing "Macarthur Park" for the first time on the way to school one morning. The fact that it wound through so many different "movements" and that it seemed as if it were never going to end was completely unprecedented for a Top 40 song -- and attention -getting, to say the least. Though I usually go for songs with a minimum of bombast, I have to admit that there's some interesting stuff going on musically. I don't take the lyrics seriously for a moment: like more than one great song, they're just there to give the singer something to do with his voice, in my view. Richard's Harris voice doesn't put me off as it does some...why, I can't really say. And finally, yeah it's pretentious as hell...unless you choose to just sort of ignore that aspect of it and focus on the breadth of its daring and reach. In that regard, this story may be telling. In late 1969 I was returning from an all-too-brief visit with my high school girlfriend, who had to move far away in our senior year because her dad got a new job in another state. She had returned to the general area to visit relatives over the holidays, and we had an intense and bittersweet reunion. Left in this heightened state of emotion, I heard "Macarthur Park" on the radio on the way back home. I have to tell you that, on this one occasion, it brought tears to my eyes. That may have more to do with me than the song, but nonetheless, isn't that what music is supposed to do...unleash emotions? Mike -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 8 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 13:52:13 -0500 From: Mikey Subject: Re: Styrene vs.plastic 45's steveo: > Capitol records always used great vinyl, tho..and those Beatle.. > Beach boys records will play forever!..Anyone else have any > thoughts on this? As an insane collector of The Lettermen, I can tell you that Capitol was FANATICAL about the quality of its pressings during the 1960s "Rainbow" era. They had excellent quality control, never used cheap compound (until the 70s, when they had to) and if you have a mint condition Capirol stereo LP from the 60s, it will sounds almost exactly like the master tape. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 9 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 14:16:54 EST From: Austin Roberts Subject: Re: Brian Wilson influence Rats! I had started a note on Bran Wilson etc. but aol cut me off as I'm sure it has many of us whenever it damn well feels like it. Here goes again..... As far as melodies go,and the ability to translate these wonderful melodies,as well as chorale and band arrangements to disc, CD, 08 -track, DAT or whatever, Brian Wilson is, in my opinion, as good as it gets. Along these same lines,the Beatles had a way of touching us with great melodies, and sometimes great lyrics as well. Melody, be it classical or Bubblegum, is a very debatable issue. Once again, in my opinion, for its venue, Katz and Katz were terrific, as few of us can forget things like Yummy Yummy Yummy, Simon Says, and the list goes on. Sugar Sugar, Lay A Little Love On Me, tough not K and K productions,had infectious melodies that few could deny. The Stones, Eagles, Ronstadt, Todd Rundgren, Hollies, Fogerty and the list goes on and on, were acts, particularly conscious of strong melodic content, some with great lyrics. How about Tony Orlando and Dawn, and, OF COURSE, Phil Spector. I guess my point is, the stronger the melody, in most, if not all, forms of music (not just pop), the better the chance that the song will be remembered. This is anything but a shot at lyricists, as their job of marrying lyric to melody is often harder than just writing a catchy melody, but I stand by my feeling that melody must catch and hold the listeners attention in order for most songs to endure the memory test. Humbly, Austin Roberts -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 10 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 14:26:20 EST From: Austin Roberts Subject: Re: Austin Roberts & Bazooka Hey Tony, Good ears! That was me in 1969, I think. We (George Tobin, Johnny Cymbal and some backgrounds from Ellie Greenwich) cut the record one night (I had written it that day) and took it to Bang where Johnny had a big hit with Cinnamon) and they put it out the next week. Believe it or not we came very very close to having a hit with that booger. Guess they're going cheap now, when you can find them. Best, Austin Roberts -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 11 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 14:36:28 EST From: Austin Roberts Subject: Re: Sloan & Barri Dan, I honestly don't know to both questions. All I can say is that Steve was one of my gratest influences and favorite folks. As far as Phil Sloan is concerned,I don't think we ever met. Take care, Austin -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 12 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 14:40:34 EST From: Austin Roberts Subject: Re: Arkade/Morning of Our Lives/Austin's One Word Hi Clark, Glad you liked Morning of Our Lives and One Word. Once again I am thankful and amazed at you folks at Spectropop and your knowledge of so much music. It's great!!! Austin -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 13 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 20:48:08 +0100 From: Sebastian Fonzeus Subject: Re: Styrene vs.plastic 45's Steveo >Anyone else have any thoughts on this? I've posted a list of Terms and Definitions relating to records. I think it was posted on the SoulTalk mailing list about a year ago. Take care! Sebastian -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
Message: 14 Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 12:15:07 -0800 From: James Holvay Subject: Re: Mob / Arkade "Where You Lead" versions Don: > Didn't The Mob also cover Carole King's "I Feel The Earth Move"? Yes. We did cover "Earth Move". Unfortunately, C. King had released her version before ours. -------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------
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