Hello, Christmas Tuesday

The Doctor Frank Weakly Reader for 12.22.2020

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This is the image I chose to illustrate the program note announcing the delay of the DFWR. No internet at the inn.

This past Friday, we had to put the whole operation in airplane mode, because what happened was, a tree fell taking the main power line down in a shower of sparks and actually pulling it out of the side of the building. It was a bit terrifying at the time but it didn’t start a big fire like it certainly could have. But the Weakly Reader requires power and internet to manifest so it was one of those things that just had to be set aside.

It seemed quite likely that the power wouldn’t be restored for several days and I was prepared to hunker down to live like Little House on the Prairie for a good stretch. In such circumstances, baubles and fripperies like the Dr Frank Weakly Reader don’t stand a chance.

In fact, though, the power was back up the following day, to my considerable surprise:

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So Christmas Tuesday is now a thing. It won’t happen for another six years, in 2026, assuming there’s a power outage at Dr Frank HQ on the previous Friday. Mark your calendars.

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Christmas Is Dead, an oldie but a goldie from our man Klode

FRONT BURNER

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— RAD-014–7: the Sounds Radical re-issue of the “Alternative Is Here to Stay” / “New Girlfriend” seven inch, that is.

It’s mailing, as you can see. And they’re even putting the shipping boxes in protective plastic bags to protect them, which is… just a bit nuts, I admit. But the boxes are nice, you might as well do what you can to preserve them. Soon to be valuable collectors’ items, if they’re not already, I can feel it.

The second pressing (on red) is still available, along with other assorted, related material.

— Merry Christmas from MTX Island: we’re bumping right up against Christmas, of course, and it’s a Covid Christmas as well, but the word from Sounds Rad is that MTX-mas orders placed before the December 17 threshold should arrive by Christmas. You can still make orders now if you like: go here.

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— The The Mr T Experience… and the Women Who Love Them re-issue (RAD-013): I believe there are still a few of the steel gray second pressings still available. Geoff Palmer got one, from Bull Moose:

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The red third pressing link is here.

— Records are great.

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THE MTX CONNECTION

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— Iconography mashups are popular on the internet at the moment and I’m sure they’ll get old and tedious soon enough, but this one (inset left) made me laugh when I ran across it. Not sure I can explain exactly why that is, but smallness of the subculture involved probably has something to do with it. No one gets it but us!

— LK 106, the seven inch, spotted in the wild, that is, on FB.

— Our pal Eddie with his Shards vol. 1.

— “See It Now”: a “memory” and an anecdote concerning Tim Yohannan, Mott the Hoople and this song:

The comments on the original post were very nice.

— ODIN: being seasonal and all that, Song for Odin presented the MTX of 1992 doing “Merry Fucking Christmas,” the only song in the corpus that has the word “Christmas” in it. If corpus means what I think it does.

“Minor secrets” are here. The Songs for Odin playlist is here.

— …and, from Azzie, a cover of said song, age restricted on YouTube, meaning you have to view it on from within YouTube while logged in, so I’m not going to bother embedding it. But, on the covers playlist it goes.

— “More than Toast” on KALX, on video:

— …and finally, “The History of the Concept of the Soul” done up for Christmas by Last Will:

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DR FRANK IS DADDY

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— This air severe is but a mere veneer: a few years back I tried on an old Masonic ceremonal dress hat at a San Francisco shop around Christmas time and the picture became my go-to Christmas image.

It captures a certain something, and also puts me in mind of someone or something out of Gilbert & Sullivan.

Speaking of which, that’s where the caption comes from, from this, from Patience, one of the greatest of all songs:

— Christmas rock: some stuff I wrote about Christmas records, feat. The Kinks (“with’ Tom Robinson), The Wombles, Redd Kross, and the Yobs. All good stuff. Basically, it’s record reviews, in that “All My Vinyl” series I was doing for awhile. I should take that up again one of these days. (They, five installments or so, may be found here, if you’re willing to scroll down far enough.)

And, by the way, I listened to Keep on Wombling last week, while doing up the Christmas tree, and posted about how I was “knocked out by it all over again,” adding:

I’m not being cute when I say it’s one of the greatest art-pop albums of all time, and maybe it’s even the best of them all. A work of true genius. God bless Mike Batt. e.g. just listen to “Tobermory’s Music Machine” surely the greatest song ever written about a record player:

This prompted a twitter response from the man himself, which I reproduce here just to celebrate the fact that I’m internet friends, sort of, with one of my all-time heroes:

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Superwombling, the Wombles’ fourth and final album, by the way, is indeed great.

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— Dr Frank Approximately: a very kind and generous assessment of my, erm, collected works, in the form of a detailed essay written for a YA lit class in a library science program. Much appreciated.

— Accidentally almost topical: the hoopla around a Wall Street Journal op-ed chiding the President-elect’s wife for using the title Doctor, even though she’s not a medical doctor spurred me to dig up a thing I wrote on the subject, sort of: All Us Doctors.

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Really, it’s the modern-day American practice of using the term primarily to refer to physicians that is erroneous and at fault, not the other way around. A doctor is literally a teacher, and its most authentically original use is for Doctors of the Church. And within and without institutional auspices, there are many kinds of doctors, including Doctors of Love and Doctors of Rock and Roll.

And this being America, if you say you’re a doctor you pretty much basically just about almost actually are one…

The whole thing (the faux controversy about the soon-to-be First Lady’s education doctorate) is immensely silly, from both sides.

But it gave me an occasion as well to quote my favorite line from one of my favorite films, The Shanghai Gesture:

A doctor of nothing, Miss Smith. It sounds important and hurts no one. Unlike most doctors.

Amen.

— Accidentally almost topical again: What are the odds? A couple years back I wondered, idly and semi-facetiously, if Pornhub could save civilization.

And, this just in, the answer appears to be no.

I’ve seen reports that the site was able to delete (or at least effectively disappear) 60% of its content almost instantly, with the flip of a switch. That’s remarkable suppression power right there. You might not care all that much about it when it comes to porn, but as to other “content” like literature, “problematic” art, etc.… well, this is why we need physical, printed books, at least, books that can’t be “switched off” at a whim. I’m serious about this.

— Dept. of bons mots:

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— I’d been wondering for years why this North Oakland house had Christmas decorations spelling out the word “fart”, figuring there had to some kind of story behind it. I posted a pic, it turned out some of my friends knew the guy, and all was revealed (in the FB comments.) It’s a small, small world.

OTHER PEOPLE’S MUSIC

— Good morning world — J. J. Barrie — “No Charge”:

This one always gets me, but Billy Connolly’s parody (“No Chance”) gets me too, in a slightly different way, of course.

— Do I like your butt? Yes I do. Your butt is perfect: I’m not sure I’ve ever made it through an entire song by this guy, but I always give it a shot, and it’s always a wild, “outsider” ride. Like most of his stuff, this butt-positive anthem quickly leads to a “rapped” disquisition on the need to eat various plants and, while we’re at it, hey yeah, we must also dismantle capitalism (so we have a utopia “in which to dwell”):

He’s clearly Canadian, but he reminds me of a lot of Bay Areans I have known, the Maximum Rock and Roll crowd particularly. Keep on rocking the free world (and Canada), my friend.

PICTURE BOOK

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— Roman calendar: Our Lady of Guadalupe; for the feast day of Saint Lucy, a picture of the “dark saint” alter-egos of Saints Lucy and Barbara, known as Lucka and Barboka in Bohemian folk culture; Saint John of the Cross, levitating with Saint Teresa; Saint Nino, Sweet Mother of Wine; Saint Theophano Martinakia; Lazarus; The Expectation of the Virgin Mary; Blessed Urban V; Vader and astronaut from the Vatican’s ill-advised nativity scene; Dominic of Silos; the martrydom of Thomas the Apostle; Jutta von Sponheim, anchoress

— Smell the Christmas: Jayne Mansfield under tree with chopper; a girl and her robot, Lost in Christmas; a very, very Ultraman Christmas; Mary Tyler Moore wrapped up real nice; Linda Vaughan and her breasts, with tree; testing the internet with Mamie van Doren; pour ton Noel; sad girl with inept snowman; Batman vs. Santa; Diane Weber in Escapade, December 1955

…and, gift ideas from Harrington & Richardson Arms Co., sparking this from our man Klode:

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— etc.: according to her dress, she loves you

— and: Gloria Guida in an iconic scene from the 1975 film Quella età maliziosa (“That Malicious Age”):

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IN THE NEWS

— RIPS:

Charley Pride, a remarkable singer and star with a huge heart and great wisdom departed for the Grey Havens:

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Fortunately we still have his songs, e.g.:

And Barbara Windsor, beloved Carry On star, also of East Enders and, not least, The Belles of St. Trinians

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And finally, the novelist John Le Carré:

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FIN

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See you next time, whenever that may be.

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

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