Friday, January 22, 2021

It's Comedy and Music Week Part V: Special "All Lyrics Guaranteed Verbatim" Edition

From 1972 and National Lampoon's groundbreaking Radio Dinner album, please enjoy Ian Faith Tony Hendra's killer parody of John Lennon's primal scream period "Magical Misery Tour."

Incidentally, if you weren't around at the time, the cream of the jest of that track is that every word is stuff Lennon actually said in his famous immediately post-Beatles interview with Jann Wenner at Rolling Stone.

Coming next week -- music that more accurately reflects the title of this here blog.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2021

It's Comedy and Music Week Part IV: Special "You're Using Your Whine Voice!" Edition

From 1976, please enjoy the perpetually missed Gilda Radner (and some other National Lampoon stalwarts, including Christopher Guest and Paul Shaffer on piano) and the greatest and most hilarious feminist anthem of all time -- "I'm a Woman."

The character Gilda was playing was obviously having her period when this was recorded, so maybe it isn't all THAT funny.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

It's Comedy and Music Week Part III: Special "Class Divides. Love Unites ." Edition

From 1967, the obviously very droll Al ("Año del Gato ") Stewart offers his unexpectedly posh and upper crust version of The Who's classic "My Generation."

I have no idea how I missed the memo on this one back in the day, but better late than never.

[h/t Gummo]

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

It's Comedy and Music Week Part II: Special "Listen to the Warm Spit" Edition

From 1974, please enjoy The Credibility Gap, from their LP A Great Gift Idea, doing to a record by Rod McKuen what should have always been done to a record by Rod Mckuen.

In case you didn't know, the Gap featured the great Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and the late David L. Lander. The fourth member, who's voicing McKuen, was the late Richard Beebe.

The album, of course, is one of the greatest conceptual comedy records of all time, and to reiterate something I said yesterday, ask me nicely and I'll burn you a copy.

Monday, January 18, 2021

It's Comedy and Music Week Part I: Special "Genius Outakes of the Gods" Edition

From 1972, please enjoy the brilliance that was Godfrey Daniel and their fall-off-the-couch funny version of...

...the late Helen Reddy's feminist anthem "I am Woman."

The short version in case you missed it:

Godfrey Daniel (the name is a euphemism popularized by W.C. Fields) were two freelance engineers -- Andy Solomon and David Palmer -- who to amuse themselves between official recording sessions did hilarious parodies of then contemporary songs in the style of doo-wop oldies.

An irreverent concept, verging on the seditious at the time they did it, that somehow they persuaded the powers that be at Atlantic was commercially viable enough to release on vinyl to an unsuspecting world.

That album went on to become a low selling but legendary cult artifact, especially at my house.

I should add that it is no longer officially available, but I have a high quality digital transfer that I will be happy to send to any reader who requests a copy.

I should also add that I did not know -- until, literally, last weekend -- that there were unreleased tracks from the record that were even MORE potentially subversive and/or offensive (depending on your perspective) than the ones from the official version.

The above, obviously, is my favorite so far.

See you tomorrow, kids.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Found Music (An Occasional Series): Songs From a 30 Plus Year Old Mp3 Player I Just Unearthed -- Part III (I Have No Title Joke for This One, Which is a Stone Musical Masterpiece)

The astounding World Party -- from 1990 -- and the greatest George Harrison record George Harrison never made.

As recovered from the old gizmo I have been bugging you about for the last several days.

It doesn't get more gorgeous than that, nor should it. I should add that it is one of the greatest regrets of my adult life that I never saw those guys do that song live.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Another Opening, Another Show!

So you've heard of Live at Daryl's House, right?

Well, tonight it's Live at Joe's House!!!

That's right -- my insanely talented young friend (and Forest Hills -- down the street from Casa Simels) -- homeboy Joe Benoit...

...has a fabulous new album -- What Kind of World -- that's dropping (as today's kids say) this Friday.

Here's a video teaser to give you an idea.

And to get the album out to the world in the style it deserves, Joe's doing a live performance from his living room starting at 8pm EST this evening. You can watch it at the link HERE, which will go active just before the show starts.

I've written about Joe in these pages on a number of occasions, like THIS ONE, (where we can be glimpsed in happier pre-pandemic days at our shared neighborhood watering hole) but as I said, he's just insanely talented, and the new album -- which can be ordered starting Friday over at Joe's one-stop music site over HERE -- is just great.

I am on record as saying that "The Longest Weekend," the first track from it, released earlier in the year...

...will someday be reckoned as the most important work of art to have emerged from the trying times we all shared in 2020. But the entirety of the new album is so strong I frankly hate its auteur on a deeply personal level.

In any event, listen to the live show tonight -- I know I will -- and buy the goddamn music already.

Talk to you guys after the show, I hope.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Found Music (An Occasional Series): Songs From a 30 Plus Year Old Mp3 Player I Just Unearthed

So hey youngsters -- most of you won't recognize the gizmo in this picture, but in the immortal words of David Letterman, this is how we old-timers used to enjoy the rock-and-roll music.

Oh hell -- most of you youngsters won't even know who David Letterman was, but that's a separate issue.

In any case, that's a Creative Zen Nano mp3 player -- a birthday present a friend gave me in the early 90s, as I recall -- that was essentially a flash drive, with a built in volume control and LED readout, that stored approximately 200 songs in various digital formats. I loved it, not least of which is because you didn't have to worry about charging it on your computer; you could just pop in a AAA battery and you were good to go.

Bottom line is, I recently found that gadget in the back of a drawer somewhere, and was delighted to discover that it still worked like a charm. More to the point, I was listening to it yesterday, because the playlist was a snapshot in time of the music I dug in the past but -- alas -- the title readout was so small and I'm so old geezer blind I couldn't really figure out who this one of the songs was by when it popped up. Obviously, it was a cover of The Byrds' version of Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages," which struck me as relevant to that Byrds tribute album I'm producing, but I couldn't quite place who it was by or where it was from.

Fortunately, a trip to Amazon provided the solution -- it was Marshall Crenshaw from this 2006 compilation album I had totally forgotten ever having owned.

BTW, you can still get a copy of that CD to stream at the aforementioned Amazon OVER HERE. The identical mp3 player can also be found over at eBay for a paltry 35 bucks.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Premature Weekend Listomania: Special "Rehearsals for Retirement" Edition

[I originally posted this back in 2007, when the world and this blog were young. It occurred to me it is more relevant today than it was at the time -- for obvious reasons -- and so, with some slight re-writing, here it is again. Enjoy, in the intended black humor way. -- S.S.]

Well, it's Monday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental houseboy Hop-Sing and I...

Actually, I'm gonna break character here and get serious for a minute, so bear with me.

Ahem.

As Capt. Picard said in Star Trek: Generations, I have of late become acutely aware that there are fewer years in front of me than behind. Thus, perhaps predictably, I've started to have all sorts of dire thoughts about my iminent departure from this sad vale of tears. And one of the direst is that when I snuff it, my friends (assuming they've outlived me), will feel compelled to stage a memorial service in my honor.

So at this juncture let me go on record as saying, loudly and publically, that...

I DON'T WANT A FRICKING MEMORIAL SERVICE!!!

Really -- I dislike them -- and I say that despite the fact that, earlier this year, I attended a quite lovely one for one of my dearest and oldest friends, Floor Models drummer Glen Robert Allen.

Yes, I know mine is a minority opinion on this issue, and that most well meaning folks think they're a good and appropriate idea. But -- speaking in my capacity as the (sooner rather than later to be the) Recently Deceased Guy -- here's what I'd like you all to do if you feel you absolutely must stage something to remember me by when I buy the farm.

THROW A PARTY WHERE EVERYBODY GETS STINKING DRUNK OR HIGH ON THE POISON OF THEIR CHOICE AND HOOKS UP WITH SOMEBODY INAPPROPRIATE AND GOES HOME TO HAVE CRAZED WEASEL SEX!!!

Thank you in advance for your diligence in that regard.

But since this is, after all, a Listomania, here's a little competition that seems a propos:

[I should add that I've been agonizing about this, and I must stipulate that if after I've become worm fodder you still decide -- despite everything you've just read above -- to have a fricking public farewell for me, under no circumstances -- repeat, under NO circumstances -- play any music featured on the soundtrack to The Big Chill. I'm serious about this; if you should play such music, I will come back from the dead and do a poltergeist number on your sorry ass.]

So what's YOUR memorial song?

Oddly enough, mine is "Maybe in a Dream," the alternately elegaic and peppy pseudo baroque (mostly instrumental) Sopwith Camel track which can be heard here.

If you listen, I'm sure you'll agree that the mood of the thing just seems right. It's kind of like Pachelbel's Canon, except with really cool guitars and a backbeat.

Anyway, that's my choice (although it just dawned on me that I also would't mind Warren Zevon's "Life'll Kill Ya").

What's yours?