It’s a Stupid Job but Somebody Has to Do It

The Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 2.26.21 incl.

Hello, my friends, and welcome to the latest Dr Frank Weakly Reader, that thing I do where I assemble an assemblage of the week’s “content,” illustrated, annotated, and expanded where appropriate. This is primarily so it may be found later, but also because OCD. (This one covers two weeks because I skipped last week — that’s what “incl.” is meant to mean.)

It’s a stupid job but somebody has to do it. Being something of a realist, at least about the appeal of such a project, I do it mainly for myself. But being, as well, a dreamer of big, preposterous dreams, I refuse to abandon the notion that someone other than me might want to read along, so I try to make it as pretty and entertaining as possible. It is, as nothing else, what it is.

So lets get right to the front burner, to wit:

— A thing that is happening: this event is happening this coming Sunday, Feb. 28 at noon Pacific time and the link to sign up is here.

Check out the roster at left: Dan Vapid, Larry Livermore, Rose Melberg, Kepi, and the return of yours truly, hosted once again by the inimitable Grant Lawrence.

The last one was a good time. (You can read my sort of “wrap-up” of it here if you like.) As before, I’m very interested to see what everyone comes up with.

Still haven’t decided what I’m going to play but I’m still maintaining that running list of requests, and I’ll probably do at least some of those. Grant suggested “Another Yesterday” and generated a whole lot more suggestions. (That song is in the current top five, btw.)

See you there? Here’s that link again.

And here’s a “highlight reel” from Zoomout 1:

— I love me a good listicle: by way of publicity, here’s Grant Lawrence on 10 Lookout albums you should love as much as he does. Wouldja believe MTX is on there? Well, it is.

And here he is on the Dummy Room podcast, with a preview:

— Thursday Thwack-back: an old Rough Trade era promo photo (above) posted on the Lookout Records FB group. RIP Alex

— infinite / nymph in it: responding to a question about rhymes for “infinite” on Ann Althouse’s blog. I am “known for” this particular rhyme in our tiny corner of culture, silly as that may be, so I’m sure I don’t have to produce documentation, but nevertheless:

— “Love Is Dead”: A Valentine’s Day playlist from old comrade and benefactor Michele Catalano.

— It’s a little toy singer: A bit of “fan art”, a box with a sliding front (inset left) that when slid open reveals this “diorama” of MTX ca. 1997. Still don’t know the source.

— The Memory Tourist takes a stroll through the songs of the Mr T Experience by way of a Valentines post mortem. Always glad to have the attention, and sincere thanks for that, but I will say that he gives me undeserved credit, as a songwriter, for an unpretentiousness I certainly do not possess.

— The text on this shirt (inset left) says “this is a song about a girl” in Italian.

— Elizabeth or Fight!: The Keep Track of the Time blog hits year 2004, and there are some kind words and a generous assessment of Yesterday Rules therein. I agree that “Elizabeth or Fight!” is “quite an underrated number.” More on that here.

And, to wit:

— MTX, Smugglers, Skolars: a twenty-five-year old flier from a very memorable show at the Shelter in Detroit, seen on the internet.

— …and the “minor secrets,” they keep on a-comin’… ODIN XXX, the latest collation, feat.: “Parasite”; “We’re Not No One”; “I Fell for You”; “Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba”; “I Believe in You”; “The Empty Experience”. The post is on Medium.

— Thank you for your service: the week previous to this week past, we had “Sackcloth and Ashes” for Ash Wednesday and Song for Odin, live in Forlì, Italy, 1997:

“Minor secrets” write-up is here. Songs for Odin playlist is here.

— …. and your Friday morning “Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba”… on something called Smule, which appears to be a karaoke social media app. Check it out. Nice baritone. Hey, maybe I should do one….

— I hate people: they’re not like you and me. And there I am in studio (inset left) with the distorted, CB mic, during the recording of the Bye Bye Blackbirds version of “Population: Us.” (It came up as a “memory”.)

— After all these years, Dr Frank is STILL right: another thing that came up as a “memory” , from Ben Perlstein, in re. this song by the Benjamins.

— Die Vegas: as mentioned, I had to skip the Weakly Reader last week, and instead re-posted this sort of literary anecdote. Still quite funny, even to me, knowing the punchline all along.

— Hilter: Hearing reports that social media has been insta-zapping posts of a popular “Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend” meme that many people like to post on Valentine’s Day. Which is stupid, and funny as well I suppose. Grant Lawrence said his request for the song on an Instagram post was also instantly disallowed. Guys, Hitler happened, and no extent of meme censorship is going to change that.

I often spell it that way (“Hilter”) for precisely this reason, and in honor of this Monty Python’s Flying Circus sketch:

I tested it out myself, and by that I mean, I used it as a pretext for posting the song and this Smith & Jones bit, possibly the best comedy sketch ever executed:

The social media robots didn’t snag and delete either of them, as it turns out, so perhaps you saw them. Maybe the robots are not capable of digging that far; or maybe the rule (unarticulated as always) is: moving pictures good, still pictures with text bad. Or maybe there’s not a rule at all and it’s just completely random. My guess it’s that last. Nevertheless: Nazis are funny. Hitler is funny. They’re not only funny, of course. But you’re not going to make the grand tradition of making fun of Hitler less funny by rendering it forbidden. On the contrary, it only makes it funnier.

— The long arm of “…and I Will Be with You”:

— YouTube copyright follies: I tried to sort through some confusion about who the “copyright owner” is on YouTube videos featuring songs on which there’s a copyright claim, and got nowhere as usual. What I wanted to know is, is it a bug or a feature, “it” being the fact that there’s no indication who the “copyright owner” is meant to be. If it’s a bug they should fix it. If it’s a feature, who is it helping? But there’s no point in arguing with robots, which I suppose is what I was doing.

— 3695 Primrose Rd, South Lake Tahoe: a Zillow listing that tells a story with a startling denouement. (This is in the Dr Frank section because of this comment from Zan: “It’s like all categories of Frank Portman posts rolled into one.” Fact check: true.)

Lake Temescal, Oakland, CA: you probably can’t see without zooming in but that bird on the center pylon is a cormorant (literally a “sea raven”) which, by the way, for those who might wish to try to guess my passwords or who may happen to be married to me during an appearance on the Newlywed Game, is, in fact, my favorite bird. I’ve always regarded a sighting auspicious.

— Partial to your abracadra: somehow I managed to miss the fact that Paul McCartney covered my favorite Ian Dury song. Till now:

— Roman calendar: Catherine de Ricci, levitating; the martyrdom of Saint Valentine, illuminated; Faustinus and Jovita; a bunch of old time people eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday; memento homofor Ash Wednesday; for the feast day of the Blessed Fra Angelico, one of the frescos in the convent of San Marco in Florence, depicting the Mocking of Christ, photographed in its own setting; a map from the geographer Saint Beatus, from the Saint Sever Beatus manuscript; Mark 6:47–56, Jesus and St. Peter on the Sea of Galilee in a painting by Allesandro Allori; Botticelli’s Sistine Chapel fresco depicting the Temptation of Christ; Saint Margaret of Cortona; St. Peter Damian, in a gorgeous portrait by the contemporary artist Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs; the martyrdom of Matthias the Apostle; The Canaanite Woman (Matt. 15:21–28) in a15th century manuscript miniature by Jean Columbe; Saint Isabelle of France

— Pitchers of Heaven: Sophia Loren with Lenin; the Vampire Lovers, standing on a coffin; the other side of locket love; a Twins of Evil publicity still; just a pretty girl resting her head on some pancakes; C’mon, give me your love in bushels, baby; they love me… and so do I; a blonde reacts to some hands; Simone D’Aillencourt by Melvin Sokolsky 1963; The Tease; Yipes!; Anna Karina; Father knows best

… and Debbie Harry and Joey Ramone, scening in PUNK magazine’s “Mutant Monster Beach Party, 1978:

— ….and:

“Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact…” Those problematic, problematic Muppets.

—Evangelicals, the Vatican, Nikki Haley, and Satin: Just marking this “tweet” to save it for posterity, as it were:

— and:

For the future, which will forget, it’s about this:

— Still not obsolete — Finally, in lieu of a new song for Odin this past week, I reprised this:

And that’ll wrap it up for this here Weakly Reader. But for those who’ve made it all the way down the page like this, here’s Drew Barrymore wearing some daisies:

See you next week.

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

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