The Things that We Used to Do
The Dr Frank Weakly Reader for 8.21.2020
Hello, friends. Here is yet another edition of the Dr Frank Weakly Reader, that thing I do where I try to index my own web “content” so it may be searched for and found in future. (Otherwise it just gets subsumed in the vast sea of unindexed content and, for all practical purposes, disappears.) As I always mention, I am not so deluded as to imagine that many, or any, people other than me will be interested; I do it for myself, mostly. But you’re quite welcome to read along, and on the outside chance that anyone might, I try to make it as interesting and pretty as I can, and I often add quite a bit of stuff, if added stuff is your bag. So welcome, imaginary readers, along with the real ones, if such there be.
The picture at the head is a still photo from the “Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba” video shoot in Saratoga (at the Denerys’ parents’ house, if you didn’t know.) I was asked to find some era-appropriate band member photos for some re-issue art — to be announced, you’ll like it. So I went digging and came up with this. I’m sure it was taken by longstanding friend and ally Jennifer Kaufman, who directed the video, which still looks great after all these years, I’d say:
Everything’s better in black and white.
And I just went “ha” because I noticed in the still frame thumbnail the top of my amp that has a bumper sticker reading: MY NEXT HUSBAND WILL BE NORMAL. No idea where that came from. I found it at a truck stop or somesuch and just stuck on there. We used to ironize like that all over the place. I still do, to an extent, but possibly with a bit more restraint. I wonder how long it’ll be till we start to call the things that we used to do things we used to do long ago… not quite there yet, it seems.
Anyway, we’ll leave that be now — step right this way to the Front Burner…
— The Mr T Experience … and the Women Who Love Them: yes, RAD-013, the Sounds Radical re-issue is still on the front burner, and I’m pleased to report that it appears to nearly done, almost completely boiled.
Here’s the latest on the vinyl situation. I got word just recently that the 180 gram pressing (that had been delayed by Covid complications) actually did happen; and, late breaking, at press time (so to speak) they have actually arrived at Sounds Radical HQ. Mail can be slow these days as you probably know, but it really shouldn’t be long now, so hang tight.
Also, did you see the pin? (Inset above.) Pretty cool, and I like how the shadow in that pic kind of looks like a fedora-wearing Sam Spade type hanging around in the background with a gun. That is very theme-appropriate to the artwork. And speaking of, here’s a poster version of the the new art Chris Appelgren created for the back cover of the LP and CD:
Truly excellent stuff.
The Sounds Rad plan is to do a limited edition enamel pin to commemorate each release. These are generally sent out with and exhausted by the deluxes — though sometimes there are a few more left over for regular people. The best way to know about and avoid missing out on this stuff is to sign up for the Sounds Rad mailing list.
By the way, I believe there are still a few copies of the 150 gram second pressing still not yet spoken for, so if you were to want to arrange the acquisition of one, here’s where you’d go. There’s a third one (new color, soon to be revealed) already in production. All other associated items should be accessible from that link, so have fun.
— Special Addition: the first re-issue of …atWWLT was a 2001 CD-only compilation subtitled “Special Addition”, comprising the seven songs from the original CD e.p. and eighteen other tracks (including a bedroom re-recording of the full version of “How’d the Date End?” and leaving off the released version.) We’d done the same thing with the CD re-issue of the Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood: take the original e.p. and tack on non-LP bonus tracks in chronological order. “Special Addition” picked up where BBBBBB left off. (This extra material is basically the track list of Shards vol 1. and vol. 2.)
It was the best we could do at the time in that CD ravaged, vinyl deprived era, but the compilations caused a whole lot of confusion in the catalog, and we made our plans to reconstitute the catalog for the 21st century, we decided to disaggregate these comps into their constituent releases. It made more sense organizationally and aesthetically.
However, there are those who grew up with those CDs, and miss them. To wit, Dan Gorman’s re-aggregation of the “Special Addition” on a Spotify playlist. He actually created a ways back, as soon as the Shards comps allowed it, but now it has been updated with the newly mastered versions of the original …atWWLT songs. Go there if that’s something you think you might dig.
— Also, Mtx forever: still a thing.
MTX: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES
— Get that kid some vinyl: the story of a nine-year old MTX and vinyl connoisseur, left in the comments to the 1998 RCKNDY live set video. TNG!
— LK 45: some thoughts on the “Love American Style” seven inch, which is one my favorite of our releases for reasons I try to explain at the link. Probably a few “minor secrets” in there you don’t know, I reckon.
By the way, that’s a can of Colt 45 in my hand in the cover photo. Everything else about that picture was staged, but not that: I just always had a can of Colt 45 in my hand in those days. Ask anyone.
— ad nauseam: more “minor secrets” of the Mr T Experience (Odin xxvii)…
Table of contents: “She Turned Out to Be Crazy”; “How’d the Date End?”; “Now that You Are Gone”; “Velveeta”; “When I Lost You”; “The One that Got Away”; “You’re the Only One”.
— Delicate, like an angel’s wings: in keeping with the …and the Women… theme this week, the Song for Odin was “Tapin’ Up My Heart” live at the Roma PalaEUR, March 1996:
DR FRANK MD
— First time playing solo, I believe, at the Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, around the turn of the century. I was terrified. (At left, photo by Jackson Lo from way back when.)
That guitar was a Confirmation present from my parents, and was my only acoustic guitar till quite recently. Hard to play, sounded only okay, but virtually indestructible.
— Sword Story: how I defended hearth and home from an incipient home invasion with a giant fantasy sword in my Queers shirt and underwear. True story, pic at left.
I have since acquired a number of much better, realer swords — perhaps one day I’ll share some of them in a post or something.
But I keep this one around because you never know when one of those will come in handy. Good swords are great, but even lousy swords can get the job done, given the proper vital element of surprise.
Plus I wouldn’t want it to fall into the wrong hands.
— I am podcasted: in the Punkanormal podcast, episoce 068. Check it out.
OTHER PEOPLE’S MUSIC
Somehow, believe it or not, this song managed to shock the pants off of me when I saw this very clip at the movies in the mid-70s. Of course the original foxtrot record from the Modern Mountaineers is “better” and more historically interesting and what-not, but those hippies really could do country swing and it still works now.
When I finally put it together that this was the same group that did “Two Triple Cheese” it was one of those mind-blown moments. And only much, much later did I discover Bob Wills et al. To be a music fan before the internet was to stumble around blindly lost in a fog, but honestly I think I liked it better that way.
— Roman calendar: The Assumption, initial illumination from a 14th Century Italian music manuscript; Saint Rock with beasts and children, by Tintoretto; Beatriz de Menezes da Silva; detail from Victor Orbel’s Le Bien et Le Mal, which detail is: Le Mal; Saint Helena’s vision of the True Cross; Louis of Toulouse, illuminated in music manuscript; King Saint Stephen (Iztvan) of Hungary, proclaiming Christianity;
— Behold: Debbie lays down the law; just a cold war gal; take the Nestea plunge; Hirémy Hirschl’s Ahasuerus at the End of the World; girl hugs bear; Joanne Woodward, from the film A New Kind of Love, just before she says when; just a nice girl in chain mail; Moritz von Schwind’s Apparition in the Forest (from Sleeping Beauty); Je t’aime moi non plus Jane Birkin; tangled up in couch…
— …and finally:
IN THE NEWS
— A nation of children: HBO adds “proper social context” intro to Blazing Saddles.
I’m not saying it’s the end of the world (as some commenters on the social medias seemed to imagine I was saying.) The world continues to turn. And there are worse things they could do to Mel Brooks than producing patronizing fourth-grade level disclaimers belaboring the obvious and tacking them on to his movies. I’m glad they’re not censoring it, or memory-holing it.
However, it is yet another small, but very real step on the road to Idiocracy. So proceeds the dumbing down of America, tiny step by tiny step. Low expectations of your audience will be met, and undershot, every time, and you get what your disclaimers invite. I thought my caption made it pretty clear.
If, and let me repeat the name of the thing that this is about: if Blazing Saddles — the Mel Brooks movie, Blazing Saddles, THAT Blazing Saddles… If Blazing Saddles is too subtle and complex, too abstruse and suffused in baffling ambiguity for you to grasp without a condescending, mollycoddling elementary-school walk-through, you’ve got bigger problems and no business watching movies made for adults (much less this one.) It’s a definite PG-13. Ask your parents for guidance if you need it. But I have faith in you. Growing up is hard, but I think if you try you’ll probably manage to get it just fine, and survive with your delicate feelings intact. If not though: Art hurts sometimes.
And that’ll wrap it for this edition of the Dr Frank Weakly Reader. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s a bit more of Jane Birkin:
See you next week.