I Will Defend Your Right to Cry

The Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 6.12.2020

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ello, friends, and welcome to yet another Dr Frank Weakly Reader, that thing I do where I index my own web content because it’s not going to index itself, and illustrate it and augment it because it’s not going to illustrate and augment itself. Maybe I expect too much of the internet, but it seems like it could have maybe figured out how to do this on its own; years of chaos and failed searches, however, has made it clear that it needs a little help. Now at least I know where to look when I want to find something I’ve written or posted or whatever. That shouldn’t be as hard as it is, as the archbishop said to the chorus girl — but it is.

Though I do it mainly for my own dark purposes, feel free to read along if you like.

So now, let us proceed to the weak that was the week that was.


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The Mr T Experience… and the Women Who Love Them. Re-issue that is. RAD-13–01.

We’re getting closer to the August 14 release, and Sounds Radical has begun a new round “dibs,” meaning you can reserve a copy of the limited, deluxe first pressing with all of those Sounds Rad bells and whistles. If that sounds like something you’d like to get in on, here’s the “dibs” link.

This is the first time the full program of this release will be on vinyl, and it is gorgeous-sounding vinyl. (About which, see more at the links below, for “Tapin’ Up My Heart” and “All My Promises.”) Three of them were on the seven inch in the original release — the remaining five were CD-only till now (though “I Believe in You” also appeared on Mtx forever.) If you happen to be wearing socks when you listen to it, it will knock them off.

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— An anomaly: “Love American Style,” the song, is one of those things where I appropriated and sort of tried to colonize an existing bit of popular culture, and it actually kind of worked. It, the song, is a strange little incoherent beast that somehow endures. I’ve written quite a bit about the song over the past couple of years, some of which you will find linked and excerpted in the appropriate space below if you’re interested.

But anyhow, from those maniacs at Sounds Radical:

We have this really crazy idea: every month or so, we hope to offer a limited t-shirt and pin based on a song from the Mr. T Experience, “Mtx forever” double LP. That’s 24 shirts, which is MADNESS! Can we do it?! Do you we have the fortitude? The short answer is, possibly. As with every journey into the depths of madness, you have to take the first step. So for June, we’ve come up with a cool design based on “Love American Style” based on the hit 70’s feel-good TV show, which introduced the world to Happy Day’s, but made manifest to a generation of punks by the Mr. T Experience.

So come on — get happy! (Wait, that’s the theme to another shirt we are working on) and check out the Mr. T Experience, “Love American Style” shirt. Share your pain and heart break with a smile.

This truly is a crazy idea, the craziest, baby, but “Love American Style” deserves a shirt anyway, so I’m in. It’s only on offer for a week and is limited to the number of custom orders. (Also, as you can see, they’re offering kids sizes now, which is fun.) Act now if you want one.

(That’s a video, btw.)


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— MTX and the Cthulhus Who Love Them: some of the Ducktales 2017 artwork bears an uncanny resemblance to Chris Appelgren’s atWWLT silhouette lady. I know nothing of this at all, though it seems to be a television program that the guy who posted it believes I should watch, and maybe he’s right. But it is pretty funny anyway.

— The Day the Music Died: an anecdote from our summer tour of 1995, involving Joe Queer, Ben Weasel, and little old me in an elevator.

— Odin, Song for: this week it was “Tapin’ Up My Heart,” from the test-pressing of the forthcoming re-issue of The Mr T Experience… and the Women Who Love Them, on Sounds Radical:

Sounds good, right? “Minor secrets” are here. Song for Odin playlist is here. Last week’s Odin write-up on “All My Promises,” which includes some stuff about this record and re-issue, is here.

Call “dibs” here.

— All things “Love American Style,” just because it came up, so to speak:

[a] from the Mtx forever remaster test pressing:

[b] “Love American Style” live in Hamburg, Summer of ’92:

snip from the Song for Odin write-up:

The song “Love American Style” was recorded for a 1991 single on Lookout Records, and it is the first recording where I was genuinely satisfied with the way it came out. I think the hot guitar leads way up front were a bit shocking to the tiny, quite conservative, developing “pop punk” crowd, and the cover of the single was controversial in that little world, too. I do think, though I say it myself, that it has held up pretty well nearly thirty years on, as a recording and as a song.

But, it’s a pretty weird song. The idea of forming a love song by mashing up and combining bits and pieces of de- and re-contextualized, unexplained bits of ancient pop culture was strange in itself; it was something I liked to do, and it came naturally for better or worse, but this is arguably the first time it really worked. “I will defend your right to cry” (the original theme song of the TV show said “try”) is maybe one of the best things of its kind I’ve ever managed. I doubt further explication would be useful. I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you. Either you get it or you don’t, and if you don’t you won’t.

[c] “Love American Style” live in Southampton, UK, 1992:

The Song for Odin write-up includes one of those tour stories that could really only happen to the Mr T Experience.

[d] this “you’re an anomaly” art is from an actual greeting card, found in the wild.

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— … and, your Friday morning “She’s Coming Over Tonight,” from Pete Higginson. Those lyrics sound quite cool in a British accent. It’s on Facebook video, which won’t embed here, naturally, but check it out here if you can.

And here’s the original, because, as you may or may not be aware, Mtx forever is still a thing:

As this is not on YouTube, I can’t add it to my YouTube covers playlist obviously, but if you’d like to hear other such covers found on the internet you can follow that link and find some.


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— ’tis I, or rather a pic thereof (inset left.)

— On Hercule Poirot, the Dark Knight: A thing I wrote about adaptation, detective fiction, Agatha Christie, and “reboots”…. it’s a “review” of the recent BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s ABC Murders, which I didn’t like. But the way in which I didn’t like it is sort of interesting and was the basis for a sort of homily about adaptation and detective fiction.

Anyway, the post is on Medium.

(Side note: I thought And Then There Were None, done by the same writer and production team was really quite good, and true to the spirit of the novel in all the ways that The ABC Murders is not. However, the most recent one by these same people, The Pale Horse, suffers from most of the sins I’ve outlined. Too much belabored depravity and “heaviness” at the expense of the story, which is still in there somewhere but far in the background. It’s a shame, really.)

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— Diego: a ways back I signed a copy of BAM and a RISASAY for Diego, and, well, he’s still got it (inset left.)

— Dr Frank Live at the Court Tavern: this show happened two years ago. There are still a few copies left at Sounds Rad.

— Dept. of bons mots:

I suppose the biggest reason that Social Media and “Web 2.0” and I have never been a good fit is that I dislike socializing over the internet as much as I dislike it real life. I don’t want to “engage” with anyone, unless there’s a specific reason pertinent to something I’m interested in.

I don’t want to participate in those quizzes about “which Lord of the Rings character are you?” or the twitter threads like #renameamovieintosomethingtupidthatwillsupposedlybeextremelyfunny. And I certainly don’t want to participate in any outrage ritual “pile-ons” which everyone seems to love so much.

I tend not to be interested all that much in other people. I just want to broadcast my own stuff in such a way that the few people who may be interested can be assured of actually seeing it if they want to. And sometimes, if somebody else has something interesting to say, I’ll check it out — but I probably won’t do that all that often if it means wading through all that socializing stuff described above. And I’m fine with that. Someone needs to establish the Anti-social Web for Misanthropes where the impetus is “engage as infrequently as possible” and keep your comments to a minimum if you must make them at all. Just be quiet and read. I’d be all over that.


— No Flag: a swell new song from Elvis Costello.


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And that’ll about wrap it up for this week’s Weakly Reader. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s Mrs Peel tied to a post:

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See you next week.

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Written by

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

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