Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nappy You Hear!

Well, another year has come and gone.
We've seen quite a lot happen in the world...

...but it's always what's closest to home that you think about as the final hours of the year dwindle away.
I always like to break down the year by month, just to see what we can see, and, after examining 2009, I'd say it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

2009 In Review ~

April - Washington DC
May - Washington DC
August - PAUL! (Tulsa and Dallas)
September - Las Vegas!
October - Austin, Colorado Springs
November - Quincy is born!
December - We've survived all the festivities!, Colorado Springs/Wyoming

Well, weren't we busy this year?
How about a year in pictures? I thought you'd never ask!

Take a second to think about what you've done
during the year,
and what you hope to do during the next.
After that, read the Affirmation For 2010!
This, however, is not just the end of another year,
it's the end of a decade.
Everywhere I've been this month,
it's been all about decade in review.
I, however, am not going to do that to you.
You've seen how longwinded I can be about
a good cuppa, of course
I'm not going to subject you, harmless bystander,
to read about an entire decade
(that, and I haven't really paid much
attention, truth be told).
BUT... it has been a great decade, hasn't it?
Does it feel like ten years ago
folks were worrying about Y2K?
I knew kids who's parents were actually gathering
supplies for the big event... what a riot!
I've just said I'm not going to bother with
the entire decade, and I promise, I shan't.
We're moving on now.

Oh, and a small announcement...
please, feel free to blame my mother for what
you are about to read.
With my spiffy new headphones
(which, I'd like to mention, I'm madly in love with...
I named him Allan...
it only makes sense, my iPod's called Edgar
[and you can bet your sweet arse
that I call it Edgar, too!])
and my Beatles remasters in stereo
(she just couldn't resist getting
them for me for Christmas),
you'll be seeing quite a lot of
comparison with mono, stereo,
and my German direct needle drop versions
sprinkled in and around here for a while
(I'll warn you, I spent five hours
with the White Album on Monday).
Yes, blame my mother.

Anyway, Happy New Year, everybody!
May 2010 be even bigger, better,
and more awesometastic than 2009!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gary Mimble!

As I explained in my Thanksgiving post, the Buford family always celebrates the holidays bass ackwards, so, in our little wheelhouses, today is Christmas! Hooray!
'Tis a splendid time of year, for it means that, two days from now, I can play Gary Lewis at full volume again! Even bigger hooray!
Until then...

May your lives be filled with sunshine,
May your every wish come true,
May you find that sweet fulfillment
In everything you do.
May your days be blessed with
The very, very best,
Both now, and the
Whole year through...
May all your days be happy
With a joy that never ends.
May peace and love surround you
At Christmastime, and
All the whole year through!

Now, let us all lift a glass, never look down, and enjoy what's left of this festive season!

And now, much to your delight, it's time for the final Beatles Christmas message (no, now isn't the time for hooray... you should be ashamed!)... we've danced all around 1966, The Christmas Pantomime!
Don't blame me when you end up singing "Everywhere It's Christmas!" into January...
so, sit back with your cup of egg nog (spiked, for your sake and mine!), and enjoy the Panto...


Monday, December 21, 2009

The Shortest Day!

It's officially winter! Yay! (Being excited for winter sounds a trifle odd, but you notice I have never acknowledged summer on this blog, and for a good reason [I'm not a fan of summer, wretched time of year]... or maybe you didn't, I can't account for your lack of attention to such a trivial detail.)
As a lover of the night, I always look forward to the winter solstice... you blink, and the sun's disappeared!
Unfortunately, it means the days get longer from here on out, but we'll enjoy it while we can!
To help you get in the wintry spirit, I've called upon my favorite music man... hit it, Paulie!

Isn't he adorable?
(You know, I've seen this video multiple times, and I never noticed he was in Leicester Square! Go figure.)

Let's keep this festivity up with another Beatles Christmas message! (I can hear the squeals of delight from here.)
Ricky the K's turning the dial to 1963 for this one, the very first fan club flexi-disc.
You'll notice, as compared with later messages, this one was very formal, very "establishment", if you will. (Either that, or they got better at reading from a script, I can't be sure.) Around the time EMI gave them master keys to Abbey Road (I think that was around '65 or so), they were allowed to do whatever they pleased, however they pleased, including the Christmas messages (although, they didn't have a key to the refrigerator in the canteen... apparently, they didn't trust them with the milk for their tea, but the entire recording studio was free game). If you go back and listen to the '64 recording, it's not as stuffy as this first crack at the whip, but, come '65, it started to turn into quite a silly affair.
From 1963, here they are...

Monday, December 14, 2009

We're Celebrating Our Paper Year!

Can you believe it's been exactly one year since this blog was first started? My congratulations if you've stuck it out this far.
In the last 365 days, much has happened on this little sliver of the virtual realm. (I know... you'd never have noticed it if I hadn't told you...)
Let's look at some stats...
Believe it or not, you've had to sift through 273 links to videos or songs; 30 of which are just of Paul McCartney, 15 John Lennon, 2 lonely George Harrison, and 35 are Beatles-related (11 remasters!)... and those are just of Beatles! If you're interested (I know I am), there are 25 songs that have nothing to do with the Fabs, 7 slide shows, 40 humorous pictures, 14 Graham Linehan-related posts. To further break down the videos, there are 18 IT Crowd, 11 Russell Brand, 23 Mighty Boosh, 11 Never Mind The Buzzcocks (I was surprised by that one), 9 Black Books, and a staggering 97 that didn't fit any category at all.
I'm hoping that, if anything, I've shed light on a few of my favorite British comedians, and good vintage music. After all, I'm having it put on my epitaph!
In a Mr. Gee-esque poem, I shall now attempt to sum up these last 167 posts... (how I miss that 90 minutes of lunacy each week!)

Through this year, we've...

Watched the suicidal teddy bear,
Heard some Remasters, too,
Steve Coogan was a pickle,
And we can talk like the Jews.
Brandon Walsh and Cheech
Hung the kiddies from a tree,
Camilla may be a chicken,
But at least she isn't Judy.
There were monkey hunts, and
Weetabix, the Frogs invaded Google,
Hauling Liquid Chicken,
IE8 almost fried our pea-sized noodles!
Graham Linehan has brightened
Many of our days,
Sweaty Goths, Sexy People,
And several other silly ways.
There were gollies, and fire,
And Boo Berry Crunch,
We're taking our vitamins,
And the Monkey Balls are done.
We're looking on the bright side,
(All of us but Robin Page),
The Fireman took over radio
While Paulie took the stage.
What else can I say,
But I'm glad you were here,
And to strap on your ears
For the next blogging year!

(Now, wasn't that fun?)
As I said, if you've hung around this far, both my thanks and congratulations go your way... now, go get your head examined, 'cause I've probably planted the seeds of insanity deep within your subconcious. And prepare yourself, 'cause this blog isn't going anywhere! It's staying put, bringing a smile to the two faces that read it.
Here's to bringing even MORE insanity to our cotton year!
Starting.......... NOW!

As you're well aware, the Christmas music season is a battle for me. I mean, how many versions of "Here Comes Santa Claus" can one person hear in a day? (I once heard The Little Drummer Boy thirteen times in one evening... really, it isn't an exaggeration, I've got witnesses.)
With that, we hear singers we wouldn't ordinarily (after all, I've usually got some kind of Gary Lewis something playing somewhere)... Josh Groban being one of them.
After seeing the following video, you'll think of Simon Amstell every time you hear the feller...

Now, when you hear his version of "O, Holy Night", you'll smile and think to yourself 'somewhere, Simon Amstell has the urge to climb atop Phil Jupitus and sing'... ahh, good times.

Apparently, I'm not the only person that has a hard time with all the fa-la-la-la-la-ing this time of year... just look at some of the names of these songs in today's featured playlist! Some of them are rather funny, though, admittedly, I haven't listened to them (yet).
Take a break from Ho, Ho, Ho (or, if you're the young lass at Furr's, just Ho) with the Dave Clark Five!

Don't curse me when you're singing this next week... it's not my fault it's catchy!

With this long, drawn out post coming to it's natural conclusion, it's time for another Beatles fan club record! (It's the blog's anniversary, show some enthusiasm!)
We're going to the revolutionary 1967 for this one, titled Christmas Time Is Here Again!
Recorded almost three months after Brian Epstein's untimely death, and two months after the filming of the Magical Mystery Tour film, psychedelia was still flowing freely, as is evident by this flexi-disc.
Without further introduction, here is the fifth Christmas message, Christmas Time Is Here Again!...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sketchy (Rusty) Santas...

I have to thank my sister for this link, and I also have to wonder why she hasn't posted this yet... although, admittedly, it's more fitting for my blog than it might be on Ginger's.
A familiar holiday scene would be all the little kiddies sitting on Santa's lap.
Well, ladies and germs, the fabulous blog, Sketchy Santas, embraces the best part of that holiday tradition... screaming children/creepy Santas... combined! (Has Graham Linehan been informed of this?)
I haven't seen this one on the site yet, but it's my favorite Santa picture... none other that Ol' Russ himself!
Give it a look, it'll put you right in a Christmassy mood.
So will this...

In other news, the Christmas Warden granted me pardon today, giving me an hour long public session of non-Christmas music! I danced like a topless puppy, basking in the glory of my Dave Clark Five collection.
I also played a little bit of this...


With nothing left to add, it's time for another Beatles Christmas record! (Yes, I've got a healthy stockpile...)
In this installment, we're heading to 1965. General merriment from our favorite Scousers.
I can only imagine what the British fan club must've thought of the various versions of Yesterday, since the track was omitted from their "Help!" movie soundtrack, and, as far as I know, was never released as a single in the UK. They thought that a ballad on a Beatles record might hurt their image as rockers.
It was the only time that the US got a song that Britain didn't... it usually was the other way around, Capitol keeping several tracks from our flimsy records, while England got the whole thing. Lord knows why they did it that way, but it happened. They would even go so far as to start fadeouts early on US releases. Go figure.
Anyway... from 1965, here's The Beatles Third Christmas Record...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thoughts Of John...

For the past twenty-nine years, December 8 has been remembered as a black day for mankind.
With four shots, the world was altered.
As humans, we feel the need to reflect upon tragedy, and this post is no different from those you may read today, or maybe some you've seen about this past week.
To me, this day has always been the reminder that John actually did die. It's very hard to believe, really. How can someone you hear on the radio, your iPod... who's influence has infiltrated the everyday... how do they die?
The answer: they don't.
Almost three decades later, there are still those of us who have decided to emulate his positive lifestyle... another seed planted in another human mind.
I've even seen it spark a chain reaction... if you are of a peaceful disposition, it'll rub off on people... and in that influence, there's a line drawn back to the life that was taken on this date.
Look even closer than just the average Joe the Plumber... his two sons have become productive, positive members of society, bringing more music to the world (I know I've been enjoying Sean's Friendly Fire, A Film in installments [not quite finished yet, but getting there!], and Julian has an EP out next week).
So, as you go about your business today, take a second to think about life. Your life, your family's lives, your neighbor's... doesn't matter. Just contemplate it for a second.
And, while you're at it, remember to Give Peace A Chance.

I raise my teacup to you, John; thank you for all you've done, and thank you for all you do.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blast From My Past...

Boredom is a terrible beast. It makes you do crazy things, like cello-taping your lips together, or drawing moustaches on the models in the Blair catalog.
Well, tonight, with the Christmas music blaring (it's not even the first week of December, and I'm already going mad... I NEED SOME DONOVAN, FOR GOD'S SAKE!), I decided to have fun with Google.
It started out innocently enough, until I decided I would look for one of those they-won't-have-THAT-in-a-thousand-years links.
As a wee naif, when the world was flat, Hanson was topping Billboard, and, God forbid, we'd only just stopped paying for Internet access by the minute (shock of shocks, we even had to use phone lines back then, boys and girls), TV Land also played more than Sanford And Son.
One of my favorite TV Land shows was, of course, The Brady Bunch (and that was only because I was never around when they played The Partridge Family... it probably came on when The Munsters were on Nick at Nite...).
On their website, they had something they called the Brady Slide-O-Matic, which I just went flippy for... it was a real riot, and I suggest you try it out sometime. Of course, you're saying to yourself, this was ten years or more ago, how would we find such a funsie?
Why, right HERE.
Although, looking at this fan remake of the original TV Land version, I see only one major difference... Bobby Brady is MISSING! At least they remembered Jan...
As I said, boredom is a bastard.

As I mentioned above, Christmas music is running rampant at Maniac Manner, and heaven knows how long I'll be able to hold out until I just snap and start blaring my copy of The Kinks Kronicles at full volume (oh, how I'm missing those Davies brothers!)...
In an effort to keep my sanity (stop laughing, Ginger Leigh!), I've been singing this song in my head for the past few days... I hope you enjoy the break from Jingle Bells and Ho, Ho, Ho...

Ahhh... this song does bring back memories... what a summer!

I feel an ending coming up, so it's now time for the Beatles Christmas Record! (YAY!)
We're turning Ricky The K's solid gold time machine all the way back to '68 for this gem, titled Christmas 1968 (how fitting). The first time the lads weren't together in studio to record a Christmas flexi-disc, though it results in a surprise guest (who is exactly who they say, cross me heart and hope to fly!)...

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Well, apparently (as he's Paul McCartney, for cheese's sake), no one else COULD do better than that... that's why the lovely folks at Meat Free Monday have released the rocked out, extended, made of awesome version of Meat Free Monday (It's A Fun Day) on their website!
They suggest a donation (which I may also recommend), but, if you're a cheapskate (like me!), it isn't one of those have to things... and no, I don't feel guilty for just downloading it.

And... it's Thursday! Time for another For Whom The Bell Tells! After reading this week's installment, I feel compelled to share this photo with you...

(Don't ask...)

Seeing as this blog is coming to it's natural conclusion, it's time for another Beatles Christmas record! (Please, save some enthusiasm for Meat Free Monday.)
We're traveling back to the revolutionary 1967 for this track.
Originally spliced and used sporadically throughout the psychedelic Christmas record, this cut of Christmas Time (Is Here Again) features the spoken word wishes of merriment from the lads which weren't included on the original record.
Until the 1970 bootleg, The Beatles Christmas Album, a compilation of every Christmas flexi-disc, this had only been available as a special order item from the fan club.
This was also the last Christmas record where each member of the band was present at the same time to record, in case you were wondering.
So, sit back, and enjoy this little snippet!

Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)