Dig Those Groovy Tunes!

the only sound that's left after the ambulances go

Video of the Week: “Daddy’s Song” by Davy Jones March 4, 2012

Filed under: The Monkees,Video of the Week — yourbirdcansing88 @ 5:20 PM
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There’s actually two reasons why I chose this video for this week.  The first is to honor the memory of Davy Jones, who passed away earlier this week.  The second is that my dad’s birthday was also this week.  Happy birthday, Dad.  And rest in peace, Davy Jones.

 

This video is a scene from HEAD, The Monkees’ one and only feature film (and one of my favorite movies).  The movie kickstarted my obsession with The Monkees which lasted almost the entirety of my freshman year of college.  I’d always been a fan of their music, but HEAD introduced me to the prefab four as individual characters.  What’s also awesome about this video is that it features cameos from Toni Basil (yes, that Toni Basil.  Who apparently had a huge crush on Monkee Micky Dolenz, hence the title of her one and only hit) and Frank Zappa (and Frank Zappa’s talking cow).  Oh, and just a warning, there are some parts of this video that feature rapid, flashing cuts between shots, and so might be problematic for those of you with photosensitive epilepsy or other such conditions.  But otherwise, enjoy.

 

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So something kinda awesome happened on Q104.3 this morning. September 21, 2011

Filed under: Rants and Raves — yourbirdcansing88 @ 7:52 PM
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Former Monkee Micky Dolenz was the guest on Jim Kerr’s morning show.  Just thought I’d mention that.  And congratulations, Jim Kerr, I no longer hold a grudge against you for that ridiculous “Strange News” story from a couple months ago.  Especially since this morning I also heard you and Maria make fun of a similar “study”…something about how married men’s lives suck more because they’re married.  Y’know, the same old crap a bunch of quacks have been trying to feed us for years.  Thank you for totally not even pretending to take such a “finding” seriously.  And thank you also for having someone as awesome as Micky freakin’ Dolenz on your show.

 

Just about done with those Christmas leftovers? Here’s some more… December 31, 2009

Hey, everyone!  I realize I haven’t posted in a while.  I was insanely busy working on finals, and then had limited internet access due to having to share computer time (and space) with family members.  But now that a certain relative is no longer sleeping in the only room in the house that gets internet access, and now that I have my own laptop hooked up to an ethernet cable, I’m back on the blog!  Anyway, since I have this big heapin’ helping of Christmas-themed videos that I found on YouTube and wanted to share with you readers, and because one day of Christmas a year just ain’t enough for me, I’m gonna go ahead and post the links on here, even if it’s a week late.

First of all, since I may have made a passing reference to this video during my inaugural “Video of the Week” post…

And now that I’ve got you in the garage rockin’ Christmas spirit, here are The Ramones:

Now for an oldie-but-goodie from the late and great Eartha Kitt…

Don’t think I’ve forgotten you, either, fellow children of the nineties (by the way, whether you grew up in the nineties or not, if you haven’t seen this film yet, you are deeply deprived.  Even if it did scare the bejeezus out of me when I was in preschool)…

Here’s a video from Bob Dylan’s new Christmas album (an aesthetic upon which my kindred spirit rock buddy Adam and I will, sadly, never agree.  Sure, what little voice he ever had is totally gone now.  That’s not gonna keep me from dancing around like an idiot to this song):

And what would Christmas be without a rockin’ obscure song by everyone’s favorite candy-cane-colored band?

And now, how ’bout some Christmas specials?!  Here’s some fine mid-1970s yuletide madness brought to you by Eric Idle and THE GREATEST MUSICIAN IN THE HISTORY OF ROCK MUSIC, PERIOD, END OF STORY (in my humble opinion, of course), Mr. George Harrison:

And this has been a favorite of mine for a couple of years, The Monkees Christmas special, featuring that kid from The Munsters (who literally has nothing better to do with his time these days than to appear — for reasons I can’t even begin to comprehend — signing books at a little table in the merch room at Beatlefest.  I’ve seen him there for the past two years.  My roommate and I even had the chance to ask him what it was like to work with The Monkees.  He was rather nice, for a faded child star):

Part 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jSFwcVYIkE

Part 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mH48_NXUJU

Part 3:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1gT9gLx1VM

And for those of you who are as hooked on British comedy and/or parodies of cheesy movies as I am, here’s AD/BC:  A Rock Opera, a 30-minute special which I discovered over the summer during the height of my Mighty Boosh binge (the special features several actors who have appeared on The Mighty Boosh.  And The IT Crowd.  And Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.  And I mean, the same four actors who’ve been in all these shows are in AD/BC).  It’s a parody of all those Christian rock musicals/operas that came out in the mid-to-late-1970s, and it’s the story of the nativity told from the point of view of the innkeeper.  My favorite part is Tony Iscariot’s (apparently the father of Judas) epic song at the end of Part 1:

Part 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nu-KK6FfjA

Part 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q37UomRayr0

Part 3:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7DWq6GfP0Y

And now, don’t think I’ve forgotten you Jews out there (I’m 1/2 Jewish myself.  And yes, I’m fully aware that Hanukkah was at the beginning of December this year).  I’ll let Mr. Sandler take it from here:

And last but not least, the sons of December birthday boy Frank Zappa (whom my roommate and I have decided is God and have declared December 21st Zappamas in honor of The Great One), singing a modern Christmas favorite:

Now may all your days be mellow, and may all your Zappamases be yellow.

Oh, and Happy Holidays to all, regardless of your faith/culture/celebrity obsession.

 

Things I Learned About Music This Month From Watching TV June 19, 2009

The past month has been an incredibly lazy one for me.  Now that I’m out of school for the summer, I haven’t really had much incentive to do much of anything, including writing on this blog.  To tell you the truth, I’ve spent the majority of the past month sitting on my butt and watching TV.  However, though this time could have doubtless been better spent, all this time watching TV (particularly late on Sunday nights when I really should have gone to sleep already) has proven to be an unlikely source of material for this blog.  Here are the most important things I learned about music this month, all from watching TV.

 

1. Even the most awful emo band has hope for redemption. 

For the past few weeks, I’ve taken up the habit of watching Fuse late on Sunday nights for two stellar musical programs:  Live from Abbey Road and Later…With Jools Holland.  The former is an 90-minute program that features three bands or artists per episode.  The bands and artists perform a few songs at the legendary Abbey Road Studios (so named because it was where The Beatles recorded the legendary Abbey Road), and in between songs talk about their music and influences and all that jazz.  Well, the first episode that I saw of Live from Abbey Road featured Panic! at the Disco (I beg your pardon, Panic at the Disco.  They’ve apparently dropped the exclamation point some time between their previous and current album).  I probably never would have been exposed to Panic! at the Disco on my own accord, but I was unfortunately subjected to them against my will at torturous volumes by my former roommate at the worst possible times, like when I was trying to do homework or sleep.  So, needless to say, I never considered myself a fan.  However, what I heard on Live from Abbey Road surprised me.  It turns out that sometime between the first time I had to involutary listen to “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies” and the present, the band has not only dropped the punctuation mark from its name, but has also shed a great deal of its emo sound in favor of something a bit more mature and timeless.  What really had me convinced of this band’s potential was their cover of “The Weight” (originally by The Band), which was surprisingly, well, excellent (and I’m very nitpicky when it comes to covers, especially covers of bands I love by bands I don’t love).  Who knew?

 

2. Never judge a band by its name.

On Fuse’s Sunday night line-up, Live From Abbey Road is followed by Later…With Jools Holland, a British import hosted by enthusiastic middle-aged Renaissance man Jools Holland and featuring about five bands or artists a week from various different genres, each playing at least two songs, with Holland giving an occasional short interview with one of them.  One night this month, the show featured a band called Vampire Weekend.  I had heard of this band before, but had never had any interest in hearing them, and for a very shallow reason:  their name, which I automatically assumed could only be conceived by a bunch of pathetic emo and/or goth wimps.  Boy, was I wrong.  Turns out, Vampire Weekend does not sound anything like their name led me to believe.  In fact, they have a very upbeat, unique, and somewhat retro sound that I really like.  They also tend to infuse African percussive beats to their infectious indie pop-rock, which makes for an interesting juxtaposition that works surprisingly well.

 

3. Good musical sitcoms are not dead.

About two years ago, one of my college friends introduced me to the iconic 1960s sitcom The Monkees, and I instantly became a fan.  Not only did the show have great music, but it also had an element of psychedelic randomness that kept it interesting.  It was also the very first show of its kind.  Never before had there been a sitcom that centered around rock musicians and their crazy adventures.  Granted, as the show progressed, their crazy adventures had less and less to do with their being a rock band, but the important thing was that these four very different guys — the intelligent leader Mike; the hyperactive joker Micky; the naive hippie Peter; and the diminutive English ladies’ man Davy — shared the common bond of music.  And, without fail, each episode featured at least one song, usually accompanied by a romp — that is, a montage of random action that was often out of sequence with the rest of the episode — or, especially in later episodes, a music video at the beginning or end of the episode.  Alas, The Monkees only lasted for two seasons, yielding a mere 58 episodes.  Though the genre of musical sitcom has thrived since then, for a long time I was convinced that nothing within that genre nowadays — in the era of Hannah Montana and the Jo Bros — could even come close to being as entertaining as The Monkees.  But about two weeks ago when I was staying up inordinately late on Sunday night watching Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim program for some reason, I was introduced to the British cult phenomenon that is The Mighty Boosh.  Like The Monkees, The Mighty Boosh features at least one song per episode, and though it does not focus on a specific band per se, the two main characters are both very passionate about music and join several bands throughout the series.  Nervous intellectual Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) spends every morning in a “jazz trance”, and androgynous fad-surfing Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) idolizes Gary Numan and Mick Jagger.  The show is a match for The Monkees when it comes to random, low-budget surrealism.  Howard and Vince’s two closest friends (besides each other) are a shaman named Naboo and a talking gorilla named Bollo, and their adventures include journeying to the Arctic tundra to search for a valuable gemstone the size of a schoolboy’s head, avoiding getting raped by yetis (no, really, I can’t make this stuff up), and saving the jazz-allergic Vince from being destroyed by the Spirit of Jazz.  After discovering The Mighty Boosh, I’m happy to say that entertaining musical sitcoms are not extinct.