Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 10.18.2019
MTX / SICKO / PATHOGENS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL THIS SATURDAY NIGHT EDITION
Hello and welcome to another Dr Frank Weakly Reader. As usual, I have produced an edited, augmented, illustrated compendium of the week that was, for archival and search purposes, mostly, but also for “fun.” If you’re only idly following me on one of those social medias you’re not getting the full picture, because, well two reasons: (1) the social medias manipulate “content” and hide things from users for dark, skulldugerous reasons of their own; and (2) I’ve stopped trying on many of them for just that reason. Why type something that won’t be seen by anyone? (I realize that’s precisely what I’m doing right now. However, anyone who reads this, if such there be, will see it all, nothing hidden nothing manipulated.) On Facebook, which is still quite undeservedly used as the “front end” for the internet by almost everyone, I’ve basically just given up. I post the “features” like Song for Odin just for formality’s sake, but I will often give this or that item a miss.
Anyway, the introduction finished, it’s time to move on to the weak that was.
As you can see, there are two exclamation points to indicate just how excited I am.
I mean, it should be a good one. We used to play with Sicko all the time so it’ll be a sort of reunion. They’ve got a “retrospective” compilation, by the way, just out on Red Scare called In the Alternate Timeline, which is a rather high-concept sort of “Sicko forever”, if you take my meaning. (In re: Mtx forever, there will be news on that, as well as other re-issues, very soon.)
If you want in, there are still tickets available here.
And finally, how about that poster? Matt K. Shrugg of course. Salut!
We’ll see you there, yeah?
So here’s the full list of shows, including that one.
— Saturday October 19: MTX, Sicko, and the Pathogens at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th Street (17th @ Missouri) San Francisco, CA 94107. Tix here.
— Friday December 6: MTX with the Queers and the Capitalist Kids, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St, Dallas, TX, 75226. Get tix here.
— Saturday December 7: MTX with the Queers and the Capitalist Kids, at the Barracuda, 611 East 7th Street, Austin, TX 78701. Tix here.
Word on the street is those shows in Texas with the Queers are filling up pretty quick so you might want get the tix soon if you want to go.
MTX CAN COOK
— Mistye dug out her Alcatraz hoodie.
— Rain /Amplified Apathy is playing “More than Toast” on the guitar on Instagram here. Nice shirt (another Alcatraz relic, a hand-me-down from her mom I believe.)
— Marisa’s hallway/shrine: it’s a video on twitter. MTX Forever.
— The way how we used to look like in 1993 in the Doctor / Aaron / Alex lineup, from the Berkeley Square and one of the few shows played by that configuration.
People have been trying to identify their heads. I think I may recognize a few.
— Odin XX: Yet More Minor Secrets of the Mr T Experience, the latest aggregation. Table of contents: “Semi-OK”; “That Prozac Moment”; “Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba”; “Christine Bactine”; “Hello Kitty Mendendez”. New post on Medium.
More video of this ilk, if ilk means what I think it does, may be found on my YouTube channel here. Please like and subscribe: it is apparently vitally important that you do.
And here’s the “Pierre” shirt that Paige made (also inset above.)
— …and, your Friday morning “Mr Ramones,” by the Robinsons, surely the best version of this song I’ve ever heard:
Since this one isn’t on YouTube I obviously can’t add it to the “covers playlist,” but other such covers of my songs may be found there. But while I was searching to make sure that it wasn’t on youtube I came across this song called “Mr Ramone” by a band called Ramonez 77. More on that here.
Original song is here.
— — The Case of the Censored Witch: when I post a link to the Weakly Reader on Instagram, I usually choose as the image the “banner” image at the top of the Medium post. But last week that image was from the Matt K. Shrugg artwork featuring caricatures of me and Joe Queer for the Texas show, which, great as it is, had been posted a lot that week and I wanted to distinguish the post from all the others. Here’s what I used instead:
Instagram judged this to be in violation of “community standards” (under the “nudity” category, I must assume) and summarily deleted it. It is important, says the boilerplate on the pop-up screen announcing the unappealable verdict, to keep the “community” safe.
What is this “community” whose safety is threatened by a modest, slightly artsy, slightly kitschy image of a witch on a broomstick? What would need to be censored here to bring it into compliance with corporate safety regulations? This is, of course, on the same internet in which vulgarity and depravity beyond anything ever displayed by humans is routinely available just a click away from the corporate “safe spaces,” on other corporate platforms run by all the same people. (I’m not knocking that at all— it is, among other things, simply freedom of speech, which I like as much as or possibily even more than I like naked ladies, which is a lot.) And Instagram itself is awash with much more graphic nudity and, er, what-not, than what’s displayed here. Hardcore pornography is almost literally everywhere (which is fine) and people like it a great deal so it’s never going away (which is good): but for some reason, perhaps in a misplaced expiation impulse for some nebulously-conceived-of sin, social media has elected to apply the full force of its heavy-handed diligence to banning things like Renaissance art and innocent pictures of witches. And here we are, more puritanical than the Victorians. How did that happen?
I don’t care that much, though it’s a nuisance to have one’s posts deleted. But it sure is stupid.
OTHER PEOPLE’S MUSIC
— Thin Lizzy is on the list of acts being considered for “induction” into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” this year (learned from twitter.) The RaRHoF is stupid and embarrassing. But I love Thin Lizzy so:
— His name was not Merv Griffin: This tune (as my post goes) probably most familiar to those of my generation as “My Name Is Not Merv Griffin” because of a parody recording featured prominently on the Dr Demento Show in the late ’70s, was originally written as a comic foxtrot called “Je cherche après Titine” by Léo Daniderff in 1917. But it was made famous twenty years later through this inspired parody rendition by Charlie Chaplin in the film Modern Times, with all-gibberish lyrics. And while “My Name Is Not Merv Griffin” isn’t bad as parodies go, it obviously has nothing on this, which is surely one of the greatest song performances ever in cinema.
To that I’ll just note how often I have found myself in this situation, often due in no small part to Dr Demento: a parody will have entered my consciousness, of whose original I have no knowledge, always evoking surprise when I discover the original by accident much, much later on. In this case it’s a case of a parody of a parody, or rather, I suppose a parody using a tune made famous — though not famous enough to be known by me at age fourteen or whatever — by a parody. (Not sure if “parody” is the right word for “My Name Is Not Merv Griffin”: it’s rather the appropriation of a tune for comic effect.)
Would it have killed Dr Demento to mention Charlie Chaplin when he played “My Name Is Not Merv Griffin” so that it wouldn’t be such a shock years later when I finally viewed Modern Times? Would it have killed me to be just a bit more curious, or to have seen Modern Times sooner in life? Well, I saw it when I saw it. And both doctors are very much alive. Water under the bridge, but it’s a funny old world.
— Roman Calendar: Our Lady of the Pillar; Edward the Confessor; Callixtus I; Teresa of Avila, close-up of face from Bernini’s sculpture; Hedwig of Silesia; Saint Margaret Mary; St Luke painting the Virgin by Vasari
IN THE NEWS
— Boleskine House, owned by Aleister Crowley from 1899–1914 (wherein he performed the beginning, at least, of the “Abramelin operation”) and then by Jimmy Page in the 1970s-80s, was substantially destroyed by a couple of fires in the past few years. (Those unbanished Abremelin demons getting the final word as many joked at the time.)
There is now a restoration project, aiming to “restore the house to its historical integrity” as a Scots heritage site. Which seems like a fine idea but I hope they’re good at the Greater Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, just to be on the safe side.
— Comet — it makes you vomit: Wikipedia write-ups, particularly of songs, can be pretty funny.
To wit, I was searching around to find the history of the song whistled in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai and came across this, about the parody children’s version about Comet cleanser:
“Comet” was a well-known humorous children’s song in North America. It describes the deleterious effects of consuming Comet cleanser — a powdered cleansing product. The most prominent and often-occurring effect in the song is that it turns one’s teeth green. Among other effects alleged by this song are an unappealing taste and, unsurprisingly, a tendency to vomit.
Indeed. I remember this, taught to me by my uncle Tom when I was a kid, as the first iteration of that tune I ever heard. In fact, I assumed it had to be from a Comet commercial. I loved it, but it was of course soon eclipsed by “Hitler has only got one ball…” which I learned just a bit later.
The context of Uncle Tom telling me about the song, not mentioned in the wikipedia article, is that people used to use Comet to brush their teeth with when they ran out of toothpaste. I don’t know if this is true, but it makes more sense that way. And it certainly seems like a bad idea.
By the way, my favorite entry in this “genre” is that for the Sylviers’ “Boogie Fever”:
The narrator of the song notes a change that seems to have come over his girlfriend. At the drive-in movie, she turns down the speaker volume and turns up the radio to hear her favorite disco songs. Then, at the pizza parlor, she “boogies” to the disco beat while eating her meal. He concludes that his girl must have caught the “boogie fever” which seems to be “goin’ around.” In the final verse, he consults his doctor and realizes that he himself has caught the “boogie fever” as a result of dancing all night, “doin’ the bump, bump, bump” with his girlfriend.
That one seems quite complete and accurate.
By the way, is this real?
And, that’ll wrap it up for this week’s Weakly Reader. But for those who stuck around all the way down to the end of the page, here’s some more witches that I wouldn’t dare post on Instagram et al.:
See you next week, I reckon.