Dr Frank Weakly Reader, Christmas Edition

Image for post
Image for post

Welcome, friends. The week has been consumed by the Mtx forever voting and by the tapes and my forensic listening. (If you’re confused, Sounds Radical is putting out a “retrospective” MTX compilation, ’85–2004 and we’ve been soliciting input as to what songs should be on it. The voting remains open while we figure this stuff out. Full detail here.)

Earlier this week I posted the top ten (which is the tracks selected most often among the entries to that point). Here’s an update:

  1. Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend
  2. Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba
  3. More than Toast
  4. Dumb Little Band
  5. I’m Like Yeah, But She’s All No
  6. I Wrote a Book About Rock and Roll
  7. Here She Comes
  8. Swallow Everything
  9. Velveeta
  10. I Fell for You

“Hitler” moves up to #1, “Velveeta” and “I Fell for You” make their first appearance, “With My Looks…” drops off the chart. Around 400 entries so far. This will all change, but I don’t think it’s any surprise that these ish are the favorites.

And they are all solid. I will say though that we don’t have the best mix/format of “Swallow Everything” available, which is a shame because the remix we did for the Big Black Bugs comp really rocked and it has disappeared. (Same with “More than Toast” but the extant mix is better in that case, though of course I wish I had the remix.) “Velveeta” is one of those classic, much-loved early songs, but that performance and recording really isn’t very good, which is one reason I always de-emphasize it in my reckoning. Not sure if this is the way to go, but one way to deal with that issue is just to skip them for that reason, saying “well, that narrows it down” and saving them for some future time when we can attempt more drastic reconstruction. (Which may or may not ever get around to happening.) On the other hand, it’s all about the songs, and mastering can help, and there’s little question that “Swallow Everything” belongs here. I am still mulling this over.

The comments have been interesting and, I have to say, surprisingly positive and encouraging. Thanks for that. At the risk of sounding stupid and pretentious, for me this experience is a bit like confronting and coming to terms with the past. Sometimes the truth is stupid and pretentious. There have been pleasant surprises as well as lots of anguish. This could go on for some time, so if you’re not interested in this kind of exploration and soul-baring and such, you should probably give my web presence a miss for awhile. At any rate, more on that is below.

SHOWS

— The Berkeley show with Kepi and Grim Deeds is tomorrow. I’ve got to practice. And then we’ve got MTX in Indianapolis and St. Louis. Details are here, and see you there.

Mtx forever

— Voting continues. I reported on the results so far (see above) and shared some thoughts on compiling and sequencing, plus a selection of comments, in my weekly Medium post.

— Here’s Bobby’s list. We need to learn some of these songs again!

— Comments: a lot of comments came in via the comments box at the bottom of the voting “form” and I started posting and answering them where appropriate. There’s a good selection of the early ones in Wednesday’s Medium post.

Image for post
Image for post

Alcatraz: fans weigh in on “Perhaps”, here and here; Jody’s Alcatraz; and here’s a really nice personal tribute to Alcatraz that would have been nice to hear at the time, but it’s still welcome 19 years later.

Our Bodies Our Selves: The sad story of Our Bodies Ourselves; but here’s a nice tribute; “Dusbtin of History” vs. “Martyr” (“Dustbin…” runs away with it.)

Making Things with Light: reconsidering “I Don’t Get It” plus lots of comments on song and album here.

— A comment from Artur, a fascinating look into how difficult it was to listen to music in Brazil in the late 90–2000s. Imagine trying to compile albums via ICQ…

— “Book of Revelation” alternate mix reel with less crazy snare, thank God.

— “When I Lost You”: sounds rather beautiful off the tape.

Rough US 68.

— Welcome to the Future (Deluxe Edition): Getting a lot of message about this. For some reason I cannot understand an electronica single has appeared on Spotify under the artist name The Mr T Experience. It must be some kind of glitch. Or, a prank? I sort of feel that maybe I should “do something” about it but I have no idea how to contact Spotify and my experience with platforms leads me to believe I’d get no useful response anyway.

Anyway, it’s not us. The number of messages I’ve got about it does show how much Spotify dominates music listening in this day an age. Even hardcore fans and record collectors seem to do most of their listening that way. Which I am not “with it” enough to do, but seems fine. Until they start silently deleting things. That wouldn’t be fine.

Image for post
Image for post

The whole thing reminds me of the Scharpling & Wurster “Old Skull” sketch. This is how the band should have sounded all along…

MTX ENDURANT

— The Mr T Experience — “A Song about a Girl Who Went Shopping” live at Gilman, 1988. Video on YouTube. “Minor secrets” are here.

— Also reposted “Merry Fucking Christmas” live in Southampton ’92 because it’s the closest we’ve ever had to a Christmas song.

— MTX records on Vinyl Collector: Norm Bauer did a post about King Dork Approximately the Album on the Vinyl Collector group on minds, and Lauren did one about Making Things with Light. Worlds colliding! But it is cool for my records to appear on the group as a subject. Makes me feel a bit legit. Thanks, friends.

— Our friend Lauren Banjo is holding her own contest: “Hey! I have some leftover Christmas cards and stamps, and I want to spread the love and cheer to my fellow Mr. T Experience fans! Comment with your favorite MTX memory, and I’ll choose eight random people to receive a card & MTX guitar picks from me! Merry MTXmas!” Not sure how much longer it’s open, but the stories have been fun: here, here, and here.

— And your Friday morning “More than Toast”, a “drum cover” by Brett. Sign that kid up.

FROM THE DESK OF… DR FRANK

— Explaining your band to people whose only “punk” reference point is Blink-182. Lots of people seemed to relate to this. I am not alone in the world after all.

— Appreciating the Boys Christmas album on minds. RUDE 1. One of my favorites.

THE WEEK IN CENSORSHIP

— Tumblr report: the NSFW ban on tumblr went into effect on Dec. 17, and I went in and took a look around at the latest innovation in The Internet: Worst Library in the World. (cf. this.) Plus: a silver lining?

— Plus ça change: all they’re doing is renaming the demons.

‘“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” Heats up on Charts after Lyrics Controversy’. Shocker.

— Christmas cards from Will. My old buddy Last Will created the MtwL banner above, plus this one:

Image for post
Image for post

and then theres:

— Santa Klode:

Image for post
Image for post

Also from Klode Maloon: back from the dead:

Image for post
Image for post

IN THE GOOD OLD CHRISTMASTIME

sight:— The Temptation of Santa Claus; Gale; Happy Christmas to the Starving Hairdressers and Their Families; A Very Vincent Christmas; just a very beautiful painting of the Annunciation; it’s the Santacam; Catholicism, in the end, is all about the alcohol; just a real fine Christmas lady.

sound: — the Buff Medways — “Merry Christmas Fritz”.

IN THE NEWS

— RIP Penny Marshall.

— Everyone says “fuck” all the time now, and it’s not interesting anymore. A tale as old as time, I suppose.

— Microsoft’s motto.

And, that’s all folks. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Image for post
Image for post

Written by

I am Dr. Frank. I write books and songs. Mtx Forever.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store