Once again, ’tis I, your Doctor, making with the links for the week past, the stuff you missed, etc., plus new stuff about old songs, future plans, snowmen, dames, shows, records, product, magick… Read the words or just look at the pretty pictures, as you like. I do it so I can locate my “content” in its post-internet-burial phase, should I ever want to, and so you can as well. It kinda works, and it’s better than our stupid internet offers at the moment.
I believe I have figured out how to evade the bug that set my minds.com links to viewable only by me (unbeknownst to me because I was, you know, the guy who was viewing them to determine if they were viewable — there’s a flaw in that system, somewhere.) They should all work now, but if any go awry please let me know. As always, if you want the uncensored, unhidden, unshadowbanned, unmanipulated, un-dechronologized and full-featured flow of my material, minds is the place to go, because they don’t do any of that stuff. My page is here. If you want to join the fun (and it is indeed rather fun) you can do so here.
Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat, apparently a good thing, if the traditional wisdom is to be believed.
And Sounds Rad has only gone and done an “MTX-mas” store, with a sweet-looking new red edition of the now classic melting snowman shirt, an MTX Forever pin, Dr Frank and MTX ornaments (free with orders over $20) and a new black and white custom Christmas box. In this first phase (thru Dec. 4) you can get a 20% discount on everything in the store with code MTXMAS. Give the gift of MTX. Or fill in the blanks in your own collection. More to come, as well, so stay tuned.
Now, a word on that Snowman shirt design. The image was drawn long, long ago by Chris Appelgren. It was originally, if I’m not mistaken, intended as a possible cover idea for what became Love Is Dead. I know that’s a bit hard to imagine. But he used to sit there with a sketch pad during our art direction conversations and just sketch and sketch and this began as one of those, obviously arising from the general topic of love and loss. It’s a long-standing tradition in pop art, in fact, girls kissing snowmen, and that was exactly what Chris has always excelled at and certainly did to great effect with his MTX and Lookout artwork, that is, re-imagining retro tropes and re-purposing them as punk rock record art.
The other element here though is that one of the songs of that era, as I belatedly discovered in one of my old notebooks, was one called “She’s a Snowman.” I’d basically forgotten about it till I found it in the notebook. It was on deck but never quite finished or recorded. I’ve since re-constructed it, and it’s actually pretty good. It’s basically about a melting, disappearing girl, i.e., about love’s ephemerality. It would have fit right in. (My plan, should it ever come to pass, is to augment a future re-issue of Love Is Dead with new recordings of this and other forgotten LID era songs — we’ll see if we get there.) But something tells me that that song or its conceit must have been mentioned in those sketch discussions, though I have no recollection of it now. Too much of a coincidence to be otherwise. So that’s kind of interesting.
— Three shows have been announced since last we met, two MTX ones and one Dr Frank solo one. Thus, I have tour dates, three of ’em. These will be a good time, most likely. We had a great time last year in St Louis, and it’s great to be able to back again so soon. This will be our first time in Indy since the ’90s. And as for Berkeley, when I was offered the chance to play with the elusive Grim Deeds, I jumped at it.
Here they are:
Saturday, December 22, Berkeley, CA: “Holiday Hootenany” with Dr Frank, Kepi, Grim Deeds, and the Gretchens. Arthouse Gallery and Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley CA. 8 PM. $5 for nice people, $25 for jerks. Tickets link is here.
Friday, January 11, Indianapolis, IN: MTX, the Putz, Cover Flops. Punk Rock Night at the Melody Inn, 3826 N. Illinois St., Indianapolis, IN. 9PM. Tix go on sale Friday 11.29, 10 AM local time. Here’s the ticket buy link, if it hasn’t sold out by the time you read this.
Saturday, January 12, St Louis, MO: MTX, the Fuck Off and Dies, Horror Section, Haddonfields. 7th Anniversary Party for the 4 Hands Brewery, 6133 Delmar Blvd, Delmar Hall, St. Louis, MO. 8PM. Free show.
More to come…. ?
— The Mr T Experience — “Here She Comes”, live on SF Bay Area cable TV, 1998. Video on YouTube.
— And, your Friday morning “Here She Comes” (cover) from another guy with a ukelele. (Because last week featured a different guy with a uke doing “Here She Comes”… at least, I think it’s a different guy.) Nice arrangement.
— A great, quite informative and nostalgic interview with longtime comrade and producer Kevin Army in this month’s Tape Op, including this bit which is quite relevant to matters that have been much on my mind of late:
You recorded loud bands. How do you feel about the loudness wars today?
Things aren’t so different now. The loudest thing I did was Revenge Is Sweet, and So Are You by The Mr. T Experience. I ran the mix through three compressors, squashed the mix, and then I had John Golden turn up the volume so it went into the red on the digital, against his wishes. At the time, it was really loud. That’s what they are doing with records now, just with different equipment and to different frequencies.
— “But they’re not pressed in red, so they buy the Lurkers instead”: Didn’t notice at first that Lauren’s photo of Shards vol 2 spotted in the wild featured the Lurkers’ Fullham Fallout LP just to the left. And of course my thoughts turn to the TVPs.
THE DR FRANK-ENING
— G. K. Chesterton lays claim to the advent calendar.
— I’m dreaming of a Masonic Christmas.
— Andromeda Klein, the Three of Swords, the Two of Swords, and the Sola-Busca Tarot deck. Minor secrets and a good book / Christmas gift recommendation here.
OTHER PEOPLE’S MUSIC
— The Kinks’ “Father Christmas” 7" and Ray Davies’s feud with Tom Robinson. This is an essay I wrote for the minds.com Vinyl Collector group. I had quite a bit of trouble sharing it with the world because of a bug in the minds permissions routine. If you tried to click on the link and got a “content could not be loaded” screen, try again: it works now, and it’s quite an interesting story I think.
— All My Vinyl, Part iii: another chunk of recent minds.com Vinyl Collector posts, aggregated, edited, and posted on Medium. Trying to keep this organized and comprehensive. Read about Johnny Moped, the Kinks, Rosemary’s Baby, Magazine singles, Hardy Boys.
— Good Morning World: The Dramatics — “Inky Dinky Wang Dang Doo”; The Kinks — “Father Christmas”; Tom Robinson Band — “Don’t Take No for an Answer”; the BellRays — “All I Wanna Do Is Shag for Christmas”.
IN THE NEWS
— “Canadian LGBT icon mobbed for expressing opinion” — actually for writing a poem, which got his play cancelled and got him kicked out of his own theatre. I’d say, just let people write their poems and if you don’t like them just, you know, don’t read them like everybody else doesn’t read poems, but what do I know? Never heard of this guy before, but he’s a good writer and I agree with this quote:
We seem to be going through another era in which poets are to be silenced in the name of morality. Let’s just hope it doesn’t last quite as long as its precursor. My job as a poet is not to improve you morally, or to present a clear, kind, socially approved message. In fact, if that’s what it means to be a writer: I quit.
— Supreme Court seems ready to rein in civil forfeiture. It’s about time.
— The New Moral Majority. Same as the Old Moral Majority. Well said. Good read.