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Still Masturbating
Sunday, 4 June 2006
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: items at hand

Around The World With The Chipmunks (Liberty LRP 3170, 1961)

Possibly the funniest Chipmunks LP of all. Though the previous LPs feature the all time classic songs, this concept album is rock solid. The Chipmunks are circling the globe and, if such a thing is possible, engaging in semi-innocuous ethnic humor (Alvin in Scotland upon seeing a bagpiper: "How come the man in the dress is squeezing an octopus?"). The absolute highlight is the amazing "Japanese Banana." I can't recall how many musicians I've heard praise this as their favorite Chipmunks song. In it Alvin craves a food they can't get, and to an Eastern melody decides to torture Dave with the refrain, "Can I have a Japanese banana, it would be so very nice, want a juicy Japanese banana, don't want the cherries and rice. We can see that they have so many things, and we are glad that it's so, but do they grow a Japanese banana, that's what we'd like to know." The banter between an embarrassed Dave and an indignant Alvin is some of their funniest. Alvin: "That's the worst banjo player I've ever heard." Dave: "That's not a banjo, it's a samisan." Alvin: "That's the worst sam-i-san player I ever heard." The other great song is "I Wish I Could Speak French," in which Alvin tries to pick up a mademoiselle by musically lamenting his lack of language skillz with the smooth cadence and delivery of Chevalier. It ends with her going for him, to which he responds, "Oui? Oui?…WOW!" In Italy a gondolier doesn't appreciate the boys singing along and chides, "Hey you-a mouse-a, pipe down!" To which Alvin responds, "Mouse! Mouse! I'm Alvin the Chipmunk!" Gondolier: "Chipmunk, shmipmunk, silencio!" After another exchange the boys (to the tune of "O Sole Mio") sing, "Oh Gondolier-o, we are not mice, we're singing chipmunks, we told you twice!" When Alvin asks the bagpiper to use his "octopus," the piper responds, "Sure laddy!" The boys then start "rocking and rolling," and Dave has the nerve to say, "You're playing in the wrong key, Alvin!" Imagine that…denigrating a child's bagpipe skills during his first attempt to play the thing! This record was available with an awesome foil cover, but I don't think it appeared without the cartoon Chipmunks, as many of these skits were animated in the cartoon that premiered around the time this was on the shelves. (JA)

The Alvin Show (Liberty LST 7209, 1961)

This album, the soundtrack to the TV show, features audio versions of comedy bits and songs that appeared on the very funny program. After opening with the bouncy theme song ("This is The Alvin Show, The Alvin show…") we hear the story of the Margaret Dumont-esque Mrs. Frumpington, an anti-Rock crusader from the pre-P.M.R.C activist group the Society for Quiet and Universal Appreciation of Refined Enterprises." Upon introduction Alvin comments, "And you are he head of the S.Q.U.A.R.E.s, I take it." She then (oblivious of the Chipmunks' identities) demonstrates what she sees as the most heinous of all music by playing snippets of the Chips' rockin' tunes, "Comin' Round the Mountain," "Old MacDonald Cha Cha Cha" and "Witch Doctor." Alvin begins to brutally curse her out but Dave stops him. So Alvin goes into plan B: "I decided Mrs. Frumpington was going to sing my kind of music whether she likes it or not!" He goes to her house, gives her a flower, then starts discussing nature while his brothers hide outside and play instruments. He has her consider her love of the wind through the branches (guitar plucking), the sound of the bullfrog (bass fiddle) and the birds (a fake woodpecker playing percussion). As she starts to get more and more swept up into the rhythmic groove he asks, "Do you like families? Don't you just love a baby, a baby…?" She responds, "A baby? A baby, a baby baBY BABY!" Now that he has her worked up he asks, "And how about a daddy, a daddy…?" "She has now lost control to the demon rhythms of Rock and Roll and starts screaming, "DADDY, DADDY ,DADDY, BABY, BABY, BABY!" A full horn section kicks in as she works herself into an erotic climax, "BABY BABY BABY, DADDY DADDY DADDY BABY BABY BABY! Ohhhhhh!" She can't get out of the groove and howls her orgasmic Rock n' Roll vocals until men in white coats take her away. Thus, the most sexually charged kiddie record ever proves that everything this woman feared was true, Rock music is Satan. The album side ends by attempting to desexualize Alvin a little by reprising "I Wish I Could Speak French," but ending it by having Alvin's sexy encounter with the French gal turn out to be nothing but a (wet) dream. Side two opens with a TV interview. The boys sing a song (a new version of "Chipmunk Fun") to the reporter about what they like to do (play baseball, go swimming…watch Gunsmoke). The song and interview end with David pleased at their good behavior, but as the TV dude signs off Alvin reprises the tune with new, naughty lyrics. "I like to break dishes and fight with the squirrels, I like to pull pigtails when they're on girls, we like to eat candy and talk in school. but we don't like to study math, arithmetic makes me sick…" "I knew it," laments David. Perhaps the squirrel line was a jab at their animated rivals, The Nutty Squirrels. We then meet Clyde Crashcup, a scientist character introduced for the cartoon. His humor is very Ernie Kovacs-esque, but it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the stuff. Dave then starts "Witch Doctor" solo, but the boys stop him and they sing it together. The album ends with a reprise of the TV theme, some goodbyes, and a few more Crashcup jokes. All in all, perhaps the wildest Alvin album ever. (JA)

Posted by Thirstymoore at 12:54 PM EDT
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Monday, 24 April 2006
FABSCAPBOX2 Take 3 + 3 equals VI
Now Playing: slow down

don't believe the coy criticisms, parishoners. this new capitol package is so much better than expected. get it immediately! and don't pay 60-70, it's out there now down to approx 40+.

Listener News:
public opinon shifts : : BEATLES VI is not a scrapheap of misdirected scattered traxx, it is an authentic fabs masterpiece for the ages. some of their best songs of the period, thrown in a cuisinart. after 39 yrs, we've now all been proven wrong.

whoda thunkit?

in fact, hardly known is the enlightening fact that Capitol was preparing the summer65 release, but urgently needed just 2 more tracks to fill a full 11trk album.... so the lads uncharacteristically jumped right into the studio to Supply the Demand! Monday May 10, 8pm-11.30pm "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Bad Boy", cut and mixed and dispatched AIR FREIGHT to Los Angeles the following day!!! So there, the US market WAS of vital importance to them instantly on call, right in the thick of things!

In Recording Sessions book, Lewisohn remarks "Larry Williams evening!"

go listen to those 2 songs right now from the new Capitol box, back to back, in that order (#9 & #4 - and/or #20 & #15 for full 7"45 MONO FX), with volume at 8. pump the bass. sounds exactly like the fucking PLASTIC ONO BAND, guys.

shoulda been A SINGLE!!!!!!!!! wait, it IS a single. RIGHT NOW. I just made it one myself! BIG HOLE. rare A&B side, released in my living room.

The Beatles recorded two songs **expressly** for Beatles VI.

yup, in mid-60s tennessee i stole the beatles from the englanders, by proxy - my country was much more important for their acceptance than their own, even more$o than their frickin WHOLE CONTINENT.

nashville starr

Posted by Thirstymoore at 5:52 PM EDT
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FABSCAPBOX2 Take 2 & 3, splice reduction 6
Now Playing: "I'm Down" demo
Barbara & Wim Meijnen & Kombrink wrickled:
"Well, fair's fair and you have a point by stating the pure quality of the songs and the albums involved...

But all these Capitol boxsets a missed chance! Just when the Beatle-fans (a fair share of them anyway) are waiting for decent remasters of the original (and still better) UK albums, they miss the point by releasing half baked (and wrong) versions of the Fab4-catalogue! The US Rubber Soul is a folk-album, the UK-Rubber Soul is a rocking and much more daring affair!"


Good reply, thanks. Respectfully though, much wrong there. Allow me.
Let's please finally get over the tired argument that the US albums were NOT what was originally intended. Let's get over it! They wrote brilliant songs. They did recording sessions. They allowed the tapes to be sorted through for various release concepts. Why applaud OR criticize Capitol for changing Rubber Soul? It's what actually happened, half a lifetime ago!
How could Capitol "miss a chance" when Apple is saving the final remasters for themselves? For issue in the year 2525?
Too much hypocrisy here... "I've Just Seen A Face" and "It's Only Love" were from HELP! How dare Capitol decide to open each RS side with them? Even though they sounded perfect for the RS vibe! Didn't they? Yet, US listeners thought "Drive My Car" was a jarring track 1. Why? Weren't "You Won't See Me", "Wait" and "The Word" very UN-RubberSoulish and rocking, "daring"? Did we mind?

What difference does it make? Apples and oranges. They're merely taken from countless sessions. Not "conceptual" foresight. Compose, rehearse, tape, move on to the next...

And there's always gonna be outtakes ("Wait" from Help sessions) that miss the cut of one album/period and then are affixed to the next. Good concept? Bad? But WRONG?

"What Goes On": it is what it is; why does everyone slag this odd little Ringoshuffler? It's always been funny to listen to. Not so substandard as people claim. I don't care if may seem a bit like filler. It's what they recorded at the time. Country blues, NOT Gershwin! Spizer said "not one of the group's finest moments" - what kinda mindset izzat? Admittedly, strange to begin side 2 of UK RS with it; even stranger for Capitol to actually use it as a 45 Bside! Who is more "wrong" here? It's no matter.

"Eight Days A Week" was a fantastic US-only smash single. Was that blasphemous, to snip it from BFS like that? You think J&P sat in the studio worrying about how each song was to be presented? Fabs rekkids weren't restricted to Blighty... they were for the entire world. CapUS took em for what they were and made their own mix/match decisions, like em or not. Let various countries/territories do what they wish. Countless variations. All good.

"Nowhere Man" - should be on RS or not? Yes! No! CapUS yet again snipped and created a timeless new single. How dare Parlophone not follow their lead! :)

UK was miffed that it took so long for them to get "Bad Boy" issued! Mwah!

Countless examples like this. Do the math. Create your own best versions, sequences, mixtape comps. I know I have. How about complete chronological order? That is the absolute best way to listen. Yesterday and Today mishmash? Or "right this minute"?

I've long disagreed with this constant Parlophone vs Capitol argument. There is no "half baked" and is no "point" to miss. BEATLES IV now suddenly rocks my world, tho I never thought I'd feel that way 40 years ago. It's unarguably fantastic. Another mixtape!

Folks, there's obviously no written-in-stone rhyme-or-reason to any of it (except on paper). Never was, never will be. Just ride the wave, roll with the flow. Enjoy the wealth. Play the tracks! However you wish. But LOUD!
Where's my meds?
~New Jersey Devil in Her Heart

Posted by Thirstymoore at 2:42 PM EDT
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FABSCAPBOX2, Take One Editpiece 4
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Rubber S. Mono Cassette Club

{posted to newsgroup]

I can't understand it. Where is all the tittilating new discussion on the Capitol Albums Vol 2 box??

Naysayers, go away! Forever! Die! You're all out of context, off topic if you cannot hear & praise this improved fidelity. Goddammit, I'm so sick of this common modern resistance to the greatest rock band of all time. During their highest developmental period newborn.

This is a monumental time in Beatles listening. Forget all the Capitol bashing, these new discs explode! I been having a blast comparing, A/B'ing with the 80s Parlophone, loving the MONO mixes too, rediscovering this oh so boring lame twee music that we've all heard a million times. NEVER has it sounded so potent! So tis like experiencing it for the first time. Again.

And I don't care about ranking one version over the other (UK vs US, M vs ST, etc). These are 24-bit and it sounds it. They're also 2006, peak those meters! Kick ass frequency response, like my speakers never heard before.

Perhaps if Aspinall and the Applebrits had already provided the world with EMI's best mastertape sound, best orignal sequences, best value (stereo & mono versions), best singles bonus tracks, best packaging, best everything, then the Capitol thing wouldn't even be an issue. But this is what we've got. OK? And I am grateful to high heaven.

Let's talk RUBBER SOUL! This is phenomenal, people! Arguably their best, consistently favorite groundbreaking album ever. It can't get remastered much better than this.
Please cease the sarcasm, the flames, the newbie idiocy, the condescending yawns, the wax in your ears inaccurate opinions as facts, etc etc ad nauseum. I know what I'm hearing here and it's nothing short of cathartic.

The Beatles changed the world. Remember???? It's not mere nostalgia oldies..... this is our special newsgroup, and we oughta fucking know by now how to share in the aural delight. Take advantage of the rare opportunity: you got good ears, so gimme thoughts! Let's trade observations. But why oh why will this 100% approving post of mine automatically get attacked by false jokester know-it-alls? What's the point of that?


This RS in mono (SK1 corrected) is truly wonderful. Dry, simple, in your face, realistic, unadorned, human. But how does it compare with the orig UK mono LP? Same exact mix? And what is this I read somewhere about an alternate stereo Capitol RS LP with extra reverb? An early pressing plant anomaly?

And the 1980's Geo Martin stereo remix: how different is that to this new Capitol US stereo version? I'm in the process now of checking song by song. Great fun. Still seems to be a lot of drastic separation (vocals on the right). I thought GM loathed that L/R "imbalance"?? Wasn't his point to always bring things more to the center (ld vcls, etc)?

HELP! too, is fantastic to rediscover, both stereo AND mono. One can scoff all he wishes about the incidental Ken Thorne stuff - to me, that soundtrack music is absolutely essential in the Fabs' canon. Doesn't matter a whit that it ain't them! It IS them! It's all part of the overall scope of things. Memorized it as a teenager. I was there then. I am here now. It is grand.

(Did you know Thorne also did sndtrk work on Monkees' Head? And even Magic Christian??)

I'm even enjoying burning new DVD-R's of my Help! Criterion CAV Laserdisc for friends, and am suddenly hearing much much more superb forgotten background score in the film which obviously was NOT on the Capitol LP. Sixties Bond jazz, gorgeous orch strings & lots of Indian touches throughout. Beatles. Remember???

Man oh man, this is all such a trip. Pinch me, please tell me it is NOT 2006 and MariahCareyville!

It takes splendid packages like this boxset to get me right smack dab in the middle of it all again. Decades of rediscovery and re-rediscovery. Bring it on. Historic genius art can only improve with age.

I'm way gushing. And it drives you cybergeeks crazy? Why?

Melt the guns, soldier-
RS moore
age 54, NJ

Posted by Thirstymoore at 2:34 PM EDT
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Saturday, 18 March 2006
Album of the Week
Mood:  sharp
LP rediscovery of the week:

Jan Hammer Group "OH, YEAH?"
Nemperor/Atlantic 1976

Magical Dog/One To One/Evolove/Oh, Yeah?//Bambu Forest/Twenty One/Let The Children Grow/Red And Orange

JH/Steven Kindler:violin/Fernando Saunders:bs/Tony Smith:dms,vcls/David Earle Johnson:congas

rsm all time favorite.

Posted by Thirstymoore at 3:26 PM EST
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