Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Veil Is Thinnest Tonight!

It's that time of year again, folks!
Kids are coming to your door to ask for candy that you spent your hard-earned money on, yet their parents won't let them eat (my dad always made us wait so long, Tom Turkey was making an eleventh hour appeal to PETA)...

...time to scare the living bejeebers out of people...

(Don't you just LOVE a good, hearty laugh at someone else?)

...and time to MONSTER MASH!

Now, if you've decided to do what I do on Halloween (turn all the lights off, lock the dogs in the house, and wait for the small children to go to bed), kick back with that candy (what, the kids don't need it!), and enjoy a slide show!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Great Knicker Debacle...

Maybe you've seen it, maybe you haven't, but it's hilarious anyway.
With the release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon rapidly approaching, some girls, more than ever, would kill for the opportunity to have Edward Cullen in their pants... now, it can be a reality (for these two schmucks, anyway)!
I sense a trend coming on...
If you've ever been a superfan of something, anything, you may want to check out some of the posts on that site (come on, hasn't everyone had a fangirl moment, or several, like this? No? Moving on...).

In other news, did you know there's a form of Do It Yourself Acupuncture? Don't ask how I found out, it would just take too long to explain.

In even MORE news (and I have to warn you, this contains Paul), if you haven't heard his new song (for the latest holiday film, "Everybody's Fine"), I suggest you listen to it while it's still available on YouTube... it's very Chaos And Creation (it sounds like it could almost have been a single for that album), so if you're particularly fond of Chaos and Creation (or even if you aren't), it's a masterpiece, check it out...

Sweet Belinda, of all that is good and cheezy, I LOVE that man!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Black And... WTF?

What's black and white, and weird all over? Why, this new treasure (via Graham Linehan, of course), Black And WTF!
It's like somebody gave me free reign as guest editor for an edition of my favorite publication, Reminisce Magazine... which means you should be very afraid!

In other news, did you know that The Song That Never Ends has a Wikipedia page?
If you are unfamiliar, or would just like a sing-along...

You are allowed to hate me now.

In even MORE news, have you SEEN the teaser for Paul's Good Evening, NYC? If this doesn't make you want to buy it, I don't know what will...

Oh, what the hell, let's throw in a song! Been singing this one for a few weeks now (damn you, Beatles-A-Rama, with your catchy title, your fun facts, and your impeccably good taste in music!)...

Oh, I love that man!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oy Gevalt! 43 Goes Yiddish, Too!

Who here remembers Yiddish With Dick And Jane?
If you thought that was a riot, then you'll just LOVE Yiddish With George And Laura!

What will they think of next?

Moving swiftly along, I have discovered another of Graham Linehan's hidden treasures, Everything Is Terrible!
This is my personal favorite so far...

In other unrelated news, does anybody else remember Judy? She's apparently got a deranged American cousin living in Colorado. Who knew?

Remaster Me Home...

It's been a wonderful week, but it's always nice to be back home... the extra long drive back meant... you guessed it, more Beatles Remasters!
We shall be dealing with "A Hard Day's Night", "Help!", "Let It Be", "Rubber Soul", "Sgt. Pepper's...", and the "Yellow Submarine" EP.
Just a few comments, since there are so many... "Help!" was everything I expected from these remasters. The vocals are together, yet separate, as well as the guitars, the electric instruments have been amplified, and the backing vocals are right up front where they can be heard. Just fab gear and all that.
"Let It Be", one of the stereo only albums, is another goodie... since Phil Spector had to, in essence, piece that album together from whatever unreleased "Get Back Sessions" he had, there's quite a bit of studio banter and jamming ("Dig It" being a good example, although it isn't the often-bootlegged four minute full jam). All that's been amplified... what you used to be able to barely hear is now loud and clear, as it should be.
Well, one of their songs is worth more than a thousand of my words, so let's get cracking! How about going in alphabetical order?
First up this evening, from the soundtrack to their first film (my personal favorite, but not the guy's), "A Hard Day's Night", it's one of those lost treasures, "Tell Me Why"...

Up next, another from a film soundtrack, this time it's the title track to "Help!"...

From the "Phil Spector Album" (that's what I call it), here's "Two Of Us" (listen to how they've moved John's vocal and rhythm guitar to be as loud as Paul's lead)...

From "Revolver, Part One" (that's what George called Rubber Soul), here's another lost gem, and, I believe, the first time John used a song to push his message (Brian usually kept John on a tight leash when it came to such things), it's "The Word"...

Prepare yourself to finally fully "smell the sawdust", it's Sgt. Pepper's "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" (the inspiration poster is here, if you've never seen it)...

Lastly, from the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, recorded during the Pepper sessions, it's George's "Only A Northern Song"...

Listening to these remasters is kind of like this...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Turn Right On Willow Valley...

Well, we are no longer in Lamar, although we shall remember out time there fondly.
There was the statue, the hotel, the housing development where every street was named the same thing. As we drove through it, I thought of this...

Lamar, we shall remember you fondly!
Now, yesterday and today, we've been in the Colorado Springs area, and it's been lovely. Helen Hunt Falls is still beautiful this time of year (there was even a little bit of snow on the ground!), and The Leprechaun Shoppe has always been a favorite stop (besides, we needed more decaf Barry's!)
Why do I mention these things to you? Well, from Lamar to Colorado Springs, I got to listen to more Beatles Remasters! (Hey, I heard that groan of agony!)
On the chopping block tonight, the Mono Masters, and Abbey Road.
Abbey Road, Let It Be, and Past Masters (it's like Mono Masters, but in stereo, meaning that the singles recorded in stereo are included here) are the only stereo releases I have, and I was chomping at the bit to get hold of one, and compare it to mono (that, and I had to see if that wave effect was just my imagination, or if it was actually there. It was, of course, my imagination). It's not as bad as I thought it would be, but I don't know that I'd want the other albums in stereo. To know that you have the Holy Grail in Beatledom (mono, of course) makes you rather fond of what you've got.
The Abbey Road Medley just about blew my Beatle boots off (yes, I actually wear Beatle boots, and was at the time), and I suggest that, if you're a fan, you pick up a copy.
With Mono Masters, I was gobsmacked. As a public service, I'm half tempted to burn several copies of this and just pass them out to people who would appreciate them (stocking stuffers! Christmas is only two months away!). To hear such intricate details that were covered up for over forty years is mind blowing. You think you know "The Inner Light"? Guess again. What about the "Paperback Writer/Rain" single? You've never even heard them before. It's an interesting story about that single, which I won't bore you with here (stop cheering!), but here's the Wikipedia link if you care to do some extra curricular reading.
Enough twaddle, let's get to some music, a'ready!
First up, one of Paul's late-60's rockers... from Abbey Road, it's "Oh! Darling"

Did you forgive him for something that never happened? I did.

Before we start this song, I think it would be a good idea if you washed your hands, since you'll have to shove your eyeballs back into your skull after you hear it.
Prepare yourself, it's "Paperback Writer"!

As an aside, a big thank you goes out to my lovely sister for the sweet birthday wishes (both on her blog, and Facebook)... even from 300 miles away, you manage to make me feel loved on my "special day", so thanks, kiddo!
And a happy birthday to May Pang as well! I suggest you pick up her latest book, Instamatic Karma, it's full of gear photos from John's "Lost Weekend".

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You've Never Heard The Beatles Like This Before...

Lamar is interesting in the mere fact that it isn't interesting at all. It's like we traded Dumas for it's long lost sibling, but won out in the end, since there's a real lake about twenty miles up the road.
I'm not here to bore you about my location, though (don't think I didn't know you wanted to applaud!), instead, I'm going to bore you with our Beatles Mono Remasters!
I have only listened to three albums thus far (the self titled "The Beatles", AKA, The White Album, Revolver, and the Magical Mystery Tour LP), but I'm forming opinions as I go along.
So far, I'd say they're about 95% better than what's been on the market since the original vinyl releases (on the white market, anyway). Saturated with golden three-part harmonies, which have been dusted off and brought forward, and bold bass lines from the infamous McCartney Hofner (I thought I was going to get a black eye from "Back In The USSR"!), you'll hear small orchestral details you never knew existed.
You can also hear when a double track lead vocal is happening, showing the different personalities and vocal styles of the singer (John, for example, was a staunch perfectionist, very rarely will you be able to tell it was two takes, while Paul becomes intoxicated with the melody, singing however he feels like singing). Or, for example, at the end of "I'm So Tired", the supposed mumbling at the end is actually quite clear, as well as the infamous "I buried Paul/cranberry sauce" at the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever"... it actually does sound like cranberry sauce now, but it's still fun to reminisce about the good ol' Paul Is Dead theories.
As for the other 5%, I notice that when the lead vocals haven't been layered, they seem to fall into the backing vocal's recently vacated spot (sort of like a wave effect... take a Dramamine), getting lost in the shuffle of electricity, only occasionally sticking you in the Half-Nelson I've come to expect from such songs as "Yer Blues", "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey", and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", just to name a few (although, Eric Clapton's stellar guitar solos on the aforementioned Harrison classic somehow sound even better than ever). Something I find annoying is the fade-outs at the end of the songs seems to happen a little sooner than I'm used to, particularly on "Helter Skelter" (the original mono mix had nearly three minutes of electric kerfuffle), meaning no "blisters on my fingers".
More critiquing may follow, as I've only listened to each of the three said albums once, and I've got several more funsies to go.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with the songs I thought benefited from the remastering process... how about one from each album?
From Revolver, here's "Tomorrow Never Knows"...

Next up, from Magical Mystery Tour, the autobiographical psychedelic anthem, "Strawberry Fields Forever" (listen for "cranberry sauce"!)...

For the last one, I suggest you turn the volume up as loud as it will go, and put on some earphones, 'cause you'll just have to go back and listen to it again if you don't. Be warned, this is the second-best version of this song I've ever heard, and am likely to hear ever again in my life (since the first, obviously, was in Tulsa)... from The White Album, here's Helter Skelter...

Did you get goosebumps? I did.
In honor of the original mono mix... wish you were here!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

He's The Chief And We Are Hailing...

I get a thrill of excitement when I walk into a museum and hear this tune...

As you may have guessed, we spent a few days down in the Hill Country, where we had oodles of fun... a small rundown (sorry, no pictures. Oh sure, pretend you're upset, I'll wait).
We went back to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum while down in Austin. My, it's changed in nine years! So has the LBJ National Historic Park, AKA, The Texas White House. Now that Lady Bird's crossed over, the house is open for tours, which was a total blast (only the office, informal living room, dining room, and kitchen are open thus far). When Mama, Ginger and I went nine years ago, we went on a little bus tour, and the only time we were allowed out of the bus was at the barn, where the President's saddle, branding iron, cattle prod, boots, et al were displayed. Well, this time, it was a self guided automobile tour (and the aforementioned tack are no longer there, I'm sorry to say). We walked along the Pedernales River in front of the house, and around his property in various other places. You leave with a better appreciation of the man after strolling about his ranch, it was a wonderful experience.
Mama and I always like to play along Congress Avenue while we're in the Capitol City (which was the clue in the previous post), and before we knew it, it was already time to come home!
Along the way, we stopped off at the Fredericksburg Trade Days, and no trip to Fredericksburg is complete without a detour at Rustlin' Rob's (their blackberry preserves are to die for!).

No time to rest, because tomorrow afternoon, we're headed off on another adventure!
We're going to Colorado State's entertainment capitol, Lamar!
Wish us luck!
And now, I leave you with this song, in honor of President Johnson...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Paul, Twitter, And "Where In The World?"...

I have waxed on about Twitter in more than one post here. Not only at how incredibly fascinating it can be (while making you ask why you care what so-and-such is doing), but how utterly confusing it can be, too.
Well, now I have nothing negative to say... if Paul's people are OK with updating his brand-spanky-new, verified Twitter account, I'm good with that, too.

Oh, I love that man!

In other news, I'm blogging from a new locale tonight... do you want to know where we are?
Are you nodding? Is your head going up and down? Good, then I'll tell you.
Let's just say, I'll be here tomorrow afternoon.
Pictures may follow, you never know.
Oh, one more video before I go...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Television Will Turn Your Brain To Jelly...

TCM runs what they call Silent Sunday Nights at 11 o'clock each week, and, from time to time, I like to tune in. My favorite ever Silent Movie Sunday was the twelve week Judex special.

Well, at this very moment (yes, it was that important that I share it with you) they're playing The Unholy Three... why do I mention this to you? Let's just say that there's a murderous midget in it. (Yes, I know, I'm going to rot in hell... you laughed, see you there!)
The highlight for me was when "Tweedledee", AKA Little Willie (see, this just keeps getting better) gets picked up by the scruff of the neck and stashed in the back of a car (it looked more like a milk wagon, actually). Unfortunately, I couldn't find that clip. Instead, I found this one to share with you (and it won't let me embed it, isn't that a gas?)...

In other news, if you aren't following Noel Fielding on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, then you are MISSING OUT.

ALSO... if you can catch a rerun of The Graham Norton show on BBC America, you'll spend a fascinating hour with Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, and Ricky Gervais (you want to see it now, don't you?)...

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's Johnny's Birthday!

I've missed quite a lot of things I had every intention of making a blog post about (Banned Books Week, Talk Like A Pirate Day, Edgar Allen Poe's deathday, just to name a few), but I sure wasn't going to miss this one!
When this day rolls around, I like to take a few minutes to remember a truly enigmatic man (no, not John O'Hurley).
On this date, in 1940, during a German air raid on Liverpool, wee little John Winston Ono Lennon was born (and quickly stashed under a hospital bed for safekeeping).

Let's take the opportunity to enjoy his art...

...his music...

...and his unique sense of humor...

And now, a small autobiography...

About The Awful
I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madalf Heatlump (Who only had one). Anyway they didn't get me. I attended to varicous schools in Liddypol. And still didn't pass - much to my Aunties supplies. As a member of the most publified Beatles my and (P, G, and R's) records might seem funnier to some of you than this book, but as far as I'm conceived this correction of short writty is the most wonderfoul larf I've ever ready.
God help and breed you all.

Happy 69th, Darlin'!

Ricky The K's Solid Gold Time Machine

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