Thursday, July 30, 2009

Zing Went The (Iron)strings Of My Heart

A lot of folks who talk about this album talk about it's "humor." Space Age Pop has a nice piece on Ironstrings (really King Sisters musical director Alvino Rey, who was under contract to a competitor label):
Like many of Warner's early albums, Ira Ironstrings' LPs are a treat inside and out. The comedy is light, not slapstick, and the music is produced and played with the kind of professionalism you'd expect of studio pros like Rey. Warren Barker, who also arranged several of Rey's Capitol albums, provided the arrangements, and the choice of tunes is far better than your average Dixieland record. And all the albums feature goofy liner notes that not only parody the usually stuffy format, but also make fun of Warner's practice of recommending albums on other labels.
I don't see it so much as funny (since my "funny" music tastes run more towards Weird Al) but simply lighthearted and high-spirited, much like I like my Christmas season. They don't make albums like this anymore, unfortunately.

This album has gotten a nice CD reissue:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Take a Trip and Never Leave The Farm

Don't have the money for bus fare to the coast? Still in high school and living with your parents? Low on kool-aid? Out of flowers to wear (in your hair)? Don't worry, Rod McKuen is looking out for you. He's taken a 1967 "San Francisco Hippie Trip" so that you don't have to.
Based on the light jazz backing (guitar, bass, bongos, flute) and the content of the third track, when he actually calls himself a Beat, I think Rod (or his record company) was confusing Beats and hippies, but he (Edwin Francis, actually) really got the artwork right. (Font nerds - what's that title font called?).

Listen (use of "substances" optional, but...):
Rod McKuen Side Two

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Don't come whining to me...

if after hearing this 1965 album you still don't know anything about fine wines. Mr. Victor (Director of the wine cellar at Neiman-Marcus) speaks on the subject of wines, including judging color, smell, and taste.

Also, at a low volume it's very relaxing and can help you go to sleep (perhaps after a few glasses of wine).

The Joy of Wine 01
The Joy of Wine 02

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

In memory of MJ - It's hard to argue with his six NBA championships

What, wait, not Michael Jordan?
Ok, that's a relief.

So, here's my token post regarding that other MJ, who danced off this mortal plane last week.

I've been hanging on to this "Bad" EP for two decades now, so it's nice to finally get some use out of it.

I'll skip the extended dance mix, the 7" single mix, and the dance remix radio edit and head to the second side, where we have the Dub Version (essentially an instrumental-only mix) and A Capella version.

Use them to make your own mix if you are so inclined.

Bad - Dub Version
Bad - A Capella