Here to Stay
Hello friends and skeptics, ladies and gentlemen and otherwise. Here’s another edition of the Dr Frank Weakly Reader, that thing I do where I round up the past week’s web “content” to serve as an index so I know where to look if I ever want to search for some particular thing. Social media broke the internet’s search and archive function, and until someone figures out how to fix it, this is the best way. I do it chiefly for myself, but as always feel free to read along if you like.
— RAD-014–7: On the front burner this week we’ve got the re-issue of the “Alternative Is Here to Stay” seven inch, just announced by Sounds Radical. As I mentioned in the “Alternative…” Song for Odin write up (see below), this release was a turning point in the MTX Starship’s bumbling trajectory, with a new crew and a newly constituted label relationship. This last was a bit like making up after an effective break-up, tentative at first, then sort of full speed ahead and impeccably faithful. We would go on to do some pretty great things.
I’m fond of these songs and these recordings, but I have to admit that the idea of re-issuing individual seven inches like this wasn’t really in my own overall re-issue game plan to begin with. It was all the brainchild of Sounds Rad’s Chris Thacker, to whom this release apparently meant a lot at the time. I’d have been quite content to release this stuff on a singles compilation or the like (about which, stay tuned.) And it seemed to me unlikely that there’d be that much interest, and possibly not enough to justify the expense and effort of the project. But, Chris was right, and boy was I wrong. The response to the “dibs” offer has been astounding. (And thank you all so much.)
And, there are in fact two powerful arguments in favor of taking the re-issues down to the last seven inches. Argument number one is, this stuff sounds absolutely stellar at 45 RPM. The test pressing knocked me out, as I’m sure the finished disc will knock you out when it arrives. Argument number two is: why the hell not? We’re basically doing it just because we can. And as long as the support for this sort of project continues — that is, as long as enough people among our little “community” of collectors buying the damn things — I can envision a program of total re-issue coverage, each item re-constituted in its best form, leaving nothing out, and adding to it where possible and appropriate. Will we get there? Maybe! Hide and watch.
Anyway, the first pressing that you’d be vying for by calling “dibs” is on black and red smoke vinyl, strictly limited. There will be other colors to follow if demand holds up. Here’s the “dibs” link again.
— RAD-013: The Mr T Experience… and the Women Who Love Them re-issue, that is.
You can still get it from Sounds Radical — I believe we’re on to the third limited pressing now, a deep opaque red.
We didn’t do the “Tapin’ Up My Heart” seven inch as a re-issue, since all three songs on it are on the twelve inch 45 RPM ep and doing so seemed redundant. Now, in view of what I said about in re RAD-014–7, I’m wondering if that was the right call. Maybe there’s more of an appetite for seven inch re-issues of that kind than I imagined. And one thing that isn’t redundant is the Chris Appelgren artwork, which has different images and which is, of course, great. Maybe sometime down the road, who knows?
— Records are great:
— RAD-009: Yes, Mtx forever. Still a thing:
THE DARK, DARK WORLD OF THE MTX
— At the Bear’s Lair: Anthony Lew at the FB Lookout Records fan page posts a couple of fliers from shows we did at the Bear’s Lair on the Berkeley Campus in the early ’90s. MTX / Samiam / Jawbreaker and MTX / Samiam / Green Day.
The Bear’s Lair was a tiny pub at the student union at UC Berkeley. I remember these shows very well, chiefly the fact that the place was utterly trashed by the end in each case. I’m amazed they allowed it to go on after it happened the once, but they kept having us back, somehow. Good times.
— Aaron got his RAD-013, i.e., the The Mr T Experience …and the Women Who Love Them re-issue, and it sure looks great. Feel the rock.
— Everything is clear and it feels a little weird: Our Bodies Our Selves, LK 80, on clear vinyl. This is the only confirmed attested such copy, and may well be unique, the result of a pressing plant accident.
When we do this re-issue, the obvious color to do would be deep, opaque green, followed by, if necessary a yellow that matches the label. But clear looks pretty good as well.
— Some “old notes” on “Alternative Is Here to Stay”: more from the effective “old notes” series, from 2011 when I first started listening to the old stuff and trying to assess its worth and decide what, if anything should be done with it. (Previous material here, here, and here.)
— Itching Powder Records… what might have been: Song for Odin this week was “Alternative Is Here to Stay” live in Austin TX, November, 1995:
DR FRANK, LORD OF SHADOWS
— Goetic pumpkin, with quote from the Lemegeton: just a regular old Hallowe’en at Dr Frank HQ.
— A doctor, a mummy, a setlist, and Kevin’s grandma’s guitar: just an old photo, from March 1997.
— Just a North Oakland dollscape, seen on my morning walk, already gone on the way back:
— Roman calendar: Steuben’s Battle of Tours; Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Madonna and child by Crivelli; Our Lady of the Pillar; Edward the Confessor, illuminated; what I find to be a very affecting wood carved sculpture of Saint Burchard of Wurzburg; Saint Theresa of Avila; Saint Hedwig von Andechs…
— … and:
IN THE NEWS
— RIP, Margaret Nolan
And that’s the end. But for those who’ve read this far down the page:
See you next week.