New Is the New Old…

… or vice versa, or neither. Or both. Even I have no idea what I’m getting at, but I do know that I’m typing up a little introduction to another one of these Weakly Reader things, wherein I collate items from the past week on the Dr Frank web and arrange them attractively on a page so they can be reviewed and searched for in the future if necessary.

The main thing going on this past week was the commencement of the “dibs” process for Shards vol. iii (see the FRONT BURNER directly below for the latest on that.) Otherwise it’s just your usual hijinks and what-not, pretty pictures and so forth et cetera.

There, that’s my introduction done. Now if it’s okay with you, let’s move on to the weak that was.


— RAD-018: a/k/a Shards vol. iii. This is new release from Sounds Radical, the final volume in the Shards collection of “orphaned” songs, those with no place on any of the albums. These tracks are all from singles, mostly B sides but also some A sides that didn’t appear on the albums. (You can read the “behind the music” about the previous volumes here: vol. 1; vol 2.)

I say final volume , but it’s possible we’ll accumulate another album’s worth of orphans one day, and if that day ever comes, I suppose we’ll have a Shards vol. iv. Till then, though, this is what we’ve got.

Anyway, here’s the latest on the “dibs” situation: last week “early dibs” emails went out to people already on the Sounds Rad dibs list. These special people filled most of the 300 slots for the super limited de luxe 180 gram sea glass vinyl edition almost instantly. (You get on this special “club” list by having called “dibs” on a Sounds Rad MTX release in the past — which is reason enough to sign up, as there are upcoming releases for which there will definitely be lots of interest and competition.) Then “dibs” went public this week, filling the remaining slots, with the overflow going on the waiting list for spaces vacated when anyone on the main list drops out by failing to click the buy link.

It sounds complicated but the basic message here is: sign up. There’s no obligation, you get on the special list, and it’s the only way to acquire one of those special copies. The scarcity is deliberate. You want to be one of those special people, don’t you? Don’t you?

The schedule is: “dibs” open now and continuing; buy links go out June 7; street date is July 9.

— Test pressing teasers: we’ve doing the re-mastered songs from Shards vol. iii as Songs for Odin for the past couple of weeks. That’s the test pressing spinning visually, with the dropped-in remastered audio: the real thing in the room sounds better than the YouTube-processed tracks, but I think it’s enough to get the basic idea across.

A re-issue is a suitable occasion for re-assessment, and Odin is a pretty sweet vehicle for it.

This week was “You Alone”:

thumbnail by our man Klode

“Minor secrets” here. “…As a slightly arch, self-deprecating love song, it is right in the pocket. Graded against my other such songs, I’d give it pretty much all As. It methodically works through the various senses of the title, in a fairly artful way that feels genuine and doesn’t sound forced…”

And last week was “Speed Racer”:

“Minor secrets” here. “…I’d gotten so used to the small, thin, brittle sound of it in its original form that I wasn’t prepared for the sound that came out of the speakers when I finally got the disk and put it on. So that’s what it was supposed to sound like, I said to myself. It was a long time ago. One forgets…”

I’ll probably do at least a few more of these as the Wednesdays roll by. Stay tuned.

Mtx forever, still a thing:

Currently working through the 3rd pressing (half white / half lavender vinyl.)

— also still things: …and the Women Who Love Them Sounds Rad vinyl re-issue (RAD-013), 3rd pressing on red; “Alternative Is Here to Stay!” seven inch (RAD-014–7), 2nd pressing on red; King Dork Approximately the Album (RAD-002) vinyl and CD.

— Records are great:


— LK-254, a/k/a The Miracle of Shame: Mark Murphy’s got ’em all, even this one.

— I guess like his records he is kind… of difficult to find: speaking of, I get why that record wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m glad this one at least got out there:

— I Wanna Ramone You: twelve years ago, from Simon Tam.

— RISASAY, 1/2" two-track:

posted to illustrate “You Alone” as out-take: see Song for Odin (above)


— On “rockism” vs. “poptimism”: by me, from here, and Thin Lizzy comes up.

— The doctor will be busy for the rest of the afternoon: when I happen on doctor content out in the wild, I requisition it and adopt it as my own. (Inset left.)

“You want your girlfriend to have an astigmatism in her eye so if she shoots at you she’ll miss…”: I don’t exactly recall saying this as reported, but it sounds like me. Melissa says she has a recording. 1998, Coney Island High.

“No one is obliged to participate in the crisis of his time. He can do something else.”

I’ve seen this quotation attributed to Eric Voegelin, but can’t verify or identify the source, and I’d like to know the context. (It’s mentioned here, and it’s possible the referenced “book of his conversations” is this — even if it’s not, I’m sure it’s worth reading so maybe I will and we’ll find out.)

At any rate, I would like to think this is true, as it’s my plan. But I know people can be overtaken by events. May the Lord bless the events, and keep the events … far away from us.

You’re dead, Portman:


Good morning world: Dondero High School Band and Choir — “Fox on the Run”:

Will always be my favorite version.


— Roman calendar:

the apparition of the Archangel Michael at Gargano; Saint Pachomius receiving Easter tables from an angel, illuminated; for First Rogation Day, the Procession of Saint Gregory illuminated; Saint Gangulphus; martial relics of Saint Pancras (inset left); the Ascension, illuminated; Saint Matthias

— Look:

Ziegfield Girls, feat. Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner, and an unknown stand-in; My Mother, My Rival (traditional Mothers Day icon); Wish You Were Beer; Amber Dean Smith and Simone Silvera, with Eero Aarnio’s 1963 Ball Chair (publicity photo for Roy Ward Baker’s Moon Zero Two — 1969); “people only die of love in the movies” — The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, w/Catherine Deneuve; three in a boat; telecom in yellow

— … and:


— RIP Tawny Kitaen, shown here in the French film Gwendoline:


And that’ll just about do it for this here weakly reader. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s a nice looking Les Paul copy:

See you next week.




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

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Frank Portman

Frank Portman

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

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