Now We Are ’21

The Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 1.08.21 (incl.)

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Lotta folks did the gag of posting the “Now We Are 21” song, so of course I could do no less than join in:

That’s Gilman, 1988, when we were just a baby.

“Minor secrets” here, including this snip:

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We had just returned from our first attempt to tour the US, and unlike the audiences out in the real world, whose response ranged from indifferent to flummoxed, the Berkeley kids got our anti-showmanship, just-some-guys-standing-around shtick. We were rough, sloppy, inexperienced, and only partially aware of our own absurdity — but so was everybody else. We and I didn’t really “belong” there, per se, but it was as close to belonging anywhere as we were ever likely to come. If I wasn’t all that comfortable with the idea of belonging anywhere (and I certainly wasn’t) it was at least better than the alternative, out there in the greater, infinitely more hostile America. KALX shirt. Home sweet home, in other words. Sort of.

And now, as the familiarly unfunny joke has it, the 21st Century is “old enough to drink.” Only because it wasn’t strangled in its crib like it probably should have been. And now it’s been going bananas for at least the last several years. It’s way past tiresome. It’s getting old. Which, getting old I mean, like Gilman I suppose, is at least slightly better than the alternative.

Let me cheer you up, though, with some Noel Coward:

There are bad times just around the corner,
We can all look forward to despair,
It’s as clear as crystal
From Brooklyn Bridge to Bristol
That we can’t save Democracy
And we don’t much care.
At the sound of a shot
We’d just as soon as not
Take a hot-water bottle and go to bed
And while the press and the politicians nag nag nag
We’ll wait until we drop down dead.

In other words, sort of, find somewhere down in which to hunker, get thereto, hunker therein, and basically have yourself a grand old, jolly good hunkering. Sounds pretty nice, actually.

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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 ain’t real till it’s on discogs, and: it’s real.

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

— RAD-013: The The Mr T Experience… and the Women Who Love Themre-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.

— RAD-009: Yes, Mtx forever. Still a thing that you can get:

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— Records are great:

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MTX ish

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— Psych/Prog Krautrock: Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood finds a new home.

— This is the human animal talking very much like a frightened bear cub would in calling for its mother. The sound was made by my two-year-old daughter when she was badly frightened by a sheep… bits of an animal sounds sound effects record that ended up on the Milk Milk Lemonade album, explained in response to a question from Harrison.

That bit about the two-year-old being frightened in the heading pops up after nine minutes of silence on the MML CD. The baby crying sound that follows it on the animal sounds record is the what begins the song “There’s Something Wrong with Me”:

You probably never wondered about that, but if you did, now you know. (But speaking of that song, here’s its Song for Odin write-up from a couple years back.)

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— RISASAY vinyl: pretty scarce these days, but they’re out there.

— Tastes like bubble bath: kind words on Love Is Dead from Mattia Neri’s Instagram.

— Have you considered there’s a reason no one listens to the Mr T Experience? Apparently spotify did a sort of trolling promotional thing involving insulting their users’ taste in music via text messages, or something? Not sure I have that right. I only use spotify to test if my own stuff wound up uploading properly to the digital distributor so I don’t count as a user. Anyhow, it worked to the extent that for a couple of days people posted them ruefully on twitter, e.g. here. (But the answer to the question is, yes, I certainly have.)

— Further adventures of the Mr T Experience, i.e. ODIN XXIX, the latest collation, feat.: “Don’t Know What I’ll Do if You Don’t”; Thank You (for Not Being One of Them); “Mr Ramones”; “Crash”; “Merry Fucking Christmas”… plus etc.“Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba” and “There’s Something Wrong with Me”.

— Skipped one Song for Odin (speaking of) since it fell on New Years Eve eve, but instead revisited the show and video thereof that started the whole thing off way back in November of 2017.

— … and we’re back: me and Odin, that is. The Mr T Experience — “Parasite”, live in October 5, 1997.

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

— Takes I’ll take: The guy from the band Eve 6 has been posting lots of provocative music takes on twitter recently, including this, er, unpopular opinion:

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(And of course, I could not but RT.)

Lots of anger, incredulity, and even a bit of support, ensued. Thanks.

For what it’s worth, we were never trying to be “the best,” just maybe the most interesting (and I’m sure we didn’t quite manage that either.) The fact that anyone cares at all all these years later is amazing. We did the best we could with what little we had. I’m glad some people got something out of it.

THE DR FRANK CONNECTION

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— Merry Christmas and so are you: from me and my sweater.

— Misty watercolor memories: “Can’t think of many things I did 25 years ago that I’d endorse now (or that still even work at all) but ‘More than Toast’ is one.”

28 years ago now, still true.

— A day in the life of a rock ’n’ roller: the day of the King Dork Approximately book release party, December 2014, documented by photographer extraordinaire Julie Green.

— In lieu of a Weakly Reader, we re-visited something from the archives that turned out to be a sort of loose manifesto for what i’ve been doing for the past couple of years: Pretty Adept for a Man in a Steel Trap.

— Dr Frank and the Other Dr Frank: As Jonas on twitter points out, the auto-generated “Dr Frank Music” link on YouTube is illustrated with a pic of the other, chubbier, German Dr Frank, and our stuff is all mixed up together. Tragic but I’m fine with it.

But:

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OTHER PEOPLE’S MUSIC

— Infernal Satanic Pop Punk Blasphemy from Hell: Grim Deeds 16, out now.

PICTURE BOOK

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— Roman calendar: Saint Ivo of Chartres; Annunciation to the Shepherds; Nativity scene painted by Gentile da Fabriano; Saint Stephen; the Chalice of John the Evangelist, by Hans Memling; Holy Innocents; Thomas Becket by Albert Pierre Dawant; Saint Egwin of Evesham in stained glass; Sylvester I; the Solemnity of Mary; Fall of Grenada / Reconquista / 1492; Saint Genevieve (with Apollonia) by Lucas Cranach the Elder; Mother Seton; Saint Theosphorus; Epiphany by Mantegna; Saint Knut Lavard; St Lawrence Justinian

— Happy Holidays: Boris Karloff en Santa; when the gal in her underwear finally gets the cap off her bottle of Jameson, Christmas will have begun; ’tis the season; it could only come from playboyplus.com; three to get married; have you ever been experienced?; what this is, is a lady wrapped up as a Christmas present, but with the wrapping paper torn off a bit; just what I wanted — a laptop; Lulu, the life of the party; aftermath

and:

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— misc: the wearing of the green; Lawrence Alma Tedema’s Saturnalia; Lethargy; Hey! Mom! Robot Hands; man sauce addict; Spider-man vs. a great big can of bug spray; just some nice girls harvesting some apples; cassette face; Si on dansait; girl in diaphanous gown with gun; the monkey knows; The Plywood Age; when she looks over her shoulder…; Studio Interior with the Artist’s Son by Nils Forsberg (Swedish, 1842–1934)…

— … and plus:

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IN THE NEWS

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— Patrice: a feel-good story and artifact from Weird Al.

The New Republic endorses monarchy:

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— Obits:

Gerry Marsden (of Gerry and the Pacemakers), and Dawn Wells. RIP.

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Plus a couple of guitar titans passed away: Leslie West (of Mountain) who once famously described the Les Paul Jr. as “a tree with a microphone” and really knew what he was talking about; and the great Tony Rice.

Let’s let Tony play us out:

FIN

That’s all I got. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s Mamie van Doren:

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See you next week or thereabouts.

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

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