The Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 7.03.2020

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Happy Fourth of July Eve. This is a weird one, every which way. But I wish you the best. Spark the sparklers. Eat a burger. Mop the kitchen floor. Whatever it is you do. Try not to set anything on fire not designed for the purpose of being set on fire.

This is the Dr Frank Weakly Reader, that thing I do where I recap my week of internet “content” so it can be searched for and found later on. I do it mostly for my own dark purposes, but as always you can read along if you like. This one may be a little terse — got a lot of sparkling, etc. on the agenda and those sparklers won’t spark themselves, and still less with the etc.

Nevertheless…

FRONT BURNER

The Mr T Experience… and the Women Who Love Them. Re-issue that is. RAD-13–01. “Dibs” is still active (for the reserve reserve list) and here’s the link. Release date is August 14. Note: Sounds Radical has moved the orders date to Wednesday, July 8 (it was Monday originally.) 12 noon. Be there.

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MTX IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR

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— Approximately Hell Bent for Pleather, from Our Man Klode, doing that thing he does one year ago. Balbum! Any excuse, you know?

By the way, you can still get King Dork Approximately the Album here if you want.

— Any excuse, cont.: The Mr T Experience — “BBC”, live at the RKCNDY in Seattle, November 1998.

This video posted in that new Lookout Records Facebook fan page this so week, so I followed suit. This is that song from the Austin Powers movie.

The video from which this was clipped is the one that started the whole Song for Odin thing, and this was one of the first ones posted. The write-ups, which now, two years and a bit later, tend to be rather long and involved, were rather terse back then. The one for this entry, in entirety was: “For a brief period we used to close our sets with this Austin Powers / “Ming Tea” song. It was fun, trust me.” Well, it was pretty fun.

You read read more about that here if you like.

—And here’s “Odin xxvi”: the latest aggregate, feat.: “I Love You, but You’re Standing on My Foot”; “Surfin’ Cows”; “The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful”; “All My Promises”; “Tapin’ Up My Heart”; “Deep Deep Down”; “Love Is Dead”.

(By the way, this week’s Song for Odin was “She Turned Out to Be Crazy,” a Dr Frank catalog number, so see below.)

DR FRANK IS YOUR CO-PILOT

— Melissa came across this old article on me and King Dork, by Gabe Meline, as a matter of fact. I try very hard not to smile in photos but I slipped up in this one, which was, incidentally taken at Mills High School, where I was a “student” for four years, long long ago.

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— another old photo, of John and Chris of the Ne’er-do-wells / Hi-Fives with me, early-to-mid-’90s.

— Gotta get it right:

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Still not ready, if I’m thinking of the same one….

— Sometimes I quote my own lyrics on the internet:

You’re like a cute little religion, with rewards and punishments, and I try to follow you though you never really make much sense.

From this here:

— Dr Frank — “She Turned Out to Be Crazy,” live in Bergamo, Italy, June 2006.

Thus, the heretofore mentioned Song for Odin for the week. “Minor secrets” on squirrely rhymes (sometimes ya gotta) may be found here. The Songs for Odin playlist is here.

OTHER PEOPLE’S MUSIC

Underwater Moonlight turns 40: few albums have meant as much to me as the three main Soft Boys albums. Underwater Moonlight is quite rightly regarded as the best of them, the one to put on the “greatest albums of all time” list though I’m not at all sure I don’t prefer Invisible Hits, to be my perfectly honest, contrarian self. Nonetheless, UM is the first one I encountered, purchased unheard, an Italian pressing cut-out in the import section of the Tower Records on Columbus. I’m not sure why I had this “I must have it” feeling — it wasn’t the cover art (as so often is the case in this sort of story) which is really not to my taste. But as soon as I got home and put it on it took hold of me and instantly became part of my soul. Something about that impulse in the Tower Records must have been right. It was fated.

So yeah, that was 40 years ago, 1980. It’s been fun to watch the running commentary and reminiscences on Robyn Hitchock’s twitter — it’s an acknowledged classic now, but it sure wasn’t to begin with. But it’s still alive, forty years later, and I couldn’t be more pleased and proud about that if I’d made it myself. Though I admit I kind of miss feeling like the only person who knows about it.

Anyway, there are few things in this world that I love nearly as much as “Queen of Eyes”:

NOTEBOOK

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— Iconoclasm: reposted some stuff on the subject because it came up as a FB “memory” and seems even more apt a year later. Back then it was just a single mural at risk from a single over-zealous school board, but the scope is expanding, as such scopes tend to do. (More from me on that can be found here and here — scroll down or search for “iconoclasm.”)

‘History will judge us by the art we have destroyed. And if not: well, that’s how I’m judging us.’

— On reading Carlyle on The French Revolution:

Reading Carlyle on the French Revolution for the first time, and — well, it’s a book of breath-taking peculiarity, probably the strangest text I’ve ever encountered. It is unquestionably a work of literary and poetic greatness; and it might well be great as a history as well, for readers who manage to comprehend more than half of it at any given stretch, though I’m not sure this particular reader is up to task, at least not twelve hundred pages worth of up to it. Despite the obscurity and confusion it is strangely compelling and I find myself carried along by the epic-heroic cadences even when I’ve given up hope of parsing through and investigating each and every allusion and obscurity as I did when I began. (I’m not being paid to read it: I can do it lazily if I like.) It reminds me in a way of reading grown-up books as a child, getting the general thrust, I think, but absorbing only a portion of the content and that vaguely, recognizing the wry and wicked asides as such but not quite grasping why they are wry and wicked or precisely to what they refer, and yet plunging forward in a state of oddly agreeable confusion. I used to enjoy it then, though I can’t say why, and I feel the same now. Twelve hundred pages is a lot of pages, though. We’ll see how it goes.

One further thing I’ll say, now that I’ve got a bit further along, is that unless you already have a very clear and detailed knowledge of the timeline and events, you’ll be lost. The text “riffs” on events and people it seems to assume the reader already knows: there is little if any narration. If you read a straightforward history alongside it (and I’d imagine wikipedia would do the trick) the fog clears quite a bit.

By the way, check out this story of how the manuscript of volume one was destroyed when John Stuart Mill’s serving maid used it to light a fire. Carlyle seems to have done volumes two and three, then re-written the initial volume from memory. Possibly that contributed to the frenetic mood.

FIN

That’s all I got. Best of luck this weekend and we’ll see you next time.

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

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