Lemmy …A Documentary

This is about Lemmy Kilmister the founder of Motorhead. The documentary is called Lemmy: 49% motherfucker. 51% son of a bitch. His name was Ian Fraser Kilmister…better known as Lemmy.

I’m not a huge fan of Motorhead but I do like a few of their songs. Lemmy though is another matter. He is a great subject for a documentary. This was made in 2010 and it’s hard not to like the guy. He was who he was and he wasn’t changing for anyone. He reminds me a little of Keith Richards…but a rougher version.

Lemmy saw The Beatles in the Cavern and is a huge fan which surprised me. He was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix and he played with Hawkwind and later formed his band…Motorhead. They took punk and heavy metal and cross-pollinated the two forms in some ways.

This documentary was released in 2010. Some of the people in this documentary per Wiki are Slash, Duff McKagan, Ozzy Osbourne, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Robert Trujillo, Kirk Hammett, Nikki Sixx, David Ellefson, Scott Ian, Dave Vanian, Captain Sensible, Peter Hook, and Marky Ramone, as well as Nik Turner and Dave Brock of Lemmy’s former band Hawkwind. The filmmakers were also able to capture many candid moments with colleagues such as Dave Grohl and Billy Bob Thornton conversing with Lemmy in bars and recording studios.

Lemmy passed away on December 28, 2015. Even if you are not a fan…you probably will enjoy this.

This is the complete documentary.

Velvet Crush – Time Wraps Around You ….Power Pop Friday

I first heard this band through a song called Hold Me Up a while back. Cool hooks, guitar sound, and melodies. This band has the distorted and jangly sound well mixed together. This song came off of the 1994 album Teenage Symphonies to God which is probably their best-known album. I have listened to this album a bunch and the songs sound like classic songs that have been forgotten. 

Vocalist/bassist Paul Chastain and drummer Ric Menck are the band’s two constant members. They had previously worked together in 3 other bands…Choo Choo Train, Bag-O-Shells, and The Springfields in the 1980s. 

 Guitarist Jeffrey Underhill played with them on their first three albums. The  album was produced by Mitch Easter who would produce R.E.M among other artists. He gets such a warm sound with Velvet Crush. Matthew Sweet has also worked with this band. 

Chastain, Menck, and Underhill reunited in 2019 to tour. 

Time Wraps Around You

To the summer of love, from the winter of fearSeasons change us around, the reasons not clearSo turn the pageTheir innocence can’t be savedBeginning again

Like the motions you make, the wave of your handLike the time that it takes to know that you canStanding byTo try and make you feel alright

This time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youYou know I’ll stay

Through the summer of love, the winter so nearSeasons scatter good friends, and more every yearLooking backThen you findLearning thatIt’s time to leave the past far behind

You know it’s alrightThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youKnow I’ll stay

Cinderella – Heartbreak Station

Any song that contains train references I usually like and this one is no exception. I was surprised when I heard this song was by Cinderella. They had changed themselves into a bluesy hard rock roots band. The other song that I heard off the album at the time was Shelter…and that one I loved also.

The song peaked at #44 on the Billboard 100, #60 in Canada, #54 in the UK, and #13 on the Billboard Rock Charts in 1991.

In 1990 we were the house band at club at the time. We never played new music but I learned this one just to see the faces of the people when we played a new song. We did this one and Jealous Again by the Black Crowes.

They never really got a chance to follow this momentum up with another album. n 1991, Keifer lost his voice due to a paresis of his vocal cords. After operations, they didn’t follow up this album until 1994 (Still Climbing) and by then grunge had taken over and Cinderella was dropped from the record company after the album went nowhere.

They reformed in 1996 and would tour off and on until 2014.

Heartbreak Station

Waiting at the station
Tears filling up my eyes
Sometimes the pain you hide
Burns like a fire inside

Lookin’ out my window
Sometimes it’s hard to see
The things you want in life
Come and go so easily

She took the last train out of my heart
The last train
And now I think I’ll make a brand new start
The last train out of my heart

Watching the days go by
Thinking ’bout the plans we made
Days turn into years
Funny how they fade away

Sometimes I think of those days
Sometimes I just hide away
I’m waiting on that 9:20 train
I’m waiting on a memory

She took the last train out of my heart
The last train
And now I think I’ll make a brand new start
The last train out of my heart, yeah

My lady’s on the fly
And she’s never coming back
My love is like a steam train
Rolling down the tracks, yeah, yeah

The last train out of my heart
The last train
And now I think I’ll make a brand new start
Took the last train out of my heart, yeah

she took the last train, out of my heart
(The last train) she took the last train
And now I think I’ll make a new start
Last train out of my heart

View-Master

I had view masters as a kid and loved them…tonight I was able to see some view master slides in a view master projector with a screen. I always wanted one as a kid but never could get it. I had the “click” model you held in your hand.

A few months ago…my cousin Mark came over. He and I collect things from the 50s-70s. Mark has been collecting View-Masters and the round slides. He shopped on Market Place and found someone with a 1950s View-Master projector. The projector is very clear.

dav

All of us (wife, son, Mark, and myself) spent over an hour watching the view-master slides on a screen that he bought from different people.

Of course, the slides are not 3-D when projected but it still was really cool. We saw Busch Gardens, Silver Dollar City, Acapulco, Sequoia, Kings National Park (I think), and some other places. It was like stepping back in time to the 60s or 70s which I guess was the idea. All the pictures came from the 50s through the 70s.

As a kid, I would spend hours clicking the round slide over and over. For some reason, I remember an outer space slide selection I had. The 3-D made it look like you could touch it. When my son was around 5 we got him one and he loved it. I would recommend picking one up if you see one somewhere…no matter how old you are…they are still fun!

Small View Master

The View-Master was based on the stereoscopic viewer, which dates all the way back to the 1800s.

stereoscope

Why The Beatles Are Still Relevant… and my 5th Year Anniversary.

This is my 5th-year anniversary on WP. Thank you all for still reading and commenting. 

This was part of Dave’s at A Sound Day “Turntable Talk” series…hope you like it. It’s also a more in-depth re-working of my first post on September 18, 2017. I never dreamed I would be accepted in such a large community of like-minded people. It’s not easy to meet Big Star fans in real life…here in this community, they come to you. My mission was…if I could get one person to at least give Badfinger, Big Star, or the Raspberries a listen…my job was done…but it’s been so much more than that because I’ve learned more than I’ve given. Yes, I love the Beatles but they don’t need my cheerleading.

I usually write shorter posts than this…but it was a lot to say on this subject.

So why are The Beatles still popular with older and younger generations? Their influence seems never-ending. It’s as though they have never left. There are other bands that left a legacy but nothing like the footprint of the Beatles.

The Beatles shaped culture instead of following it. Society changed after that appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. They cast such a large net in music compared to everyone else. They influenced everything from rock, folk-rock, power pop, psychedelia, progressive rock, and heavy metal. They practically invented the thought or image of a rock band. They moved passed that and have become a huge part of the culture they helped create.

The Beatle’s breakup was announced in 1970. Many rumors flew that they might regroup through the years but that ended on December 8, 1980, in New York with the assassination of John Lennon.

Through the seventies, the Beatles were still quite popular with the Red and Blue greatest-hits albums released in the early seventies. The greatest hits album Rock and Roll Music (terrible silver cover) was released in 1976. Capitol released Got To Get You In My Life as a single off of the album and it peaked at #1 in Canada and #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1976. This was 10 years after it was released as an album track on Revolver.

I bought my first Beatle album (Hey Jude Again) in 1975 when I was 8 and then bought the Rock and Roll Music album. So, I was a 2nd generation Beatles fan and there were many of us. The solo Beatles dominated the charts to the mid-seventies. After 1975 they had hits but not as many as before. Beatles’ popularity waned in the mid to late 70s when the “newer/ younger” generations considered the Beatles as belonging to their parents. Many youngsters believed Led Zeppelin, Queen, and all newer bands would replace the Beatles in scope and success.

Everything changed when Lennon was murdered. A newer generation heard the music. Their popularity would go up and down but with the first Beatle CDs released in 1987…again another generation heard the Beatles. Sgt Pepper was re-released 20 years after the original and it went to number one.

What really cemented them in the public’s mind happened on November 20, 1995. The Beatles Anthology CDs were released, and the documentary was viewed during prime time on ABC. Since then, they have never left. On November 13, 2000, they released the compilation album “1” which was the best-selling album of the decade worldwide. The Beatles were also the largest selling band between 2000-2010. In 2009 The Beatles Rock Band game came out and…yet another generation found their music. One was my son who was born in 2000.

Between 2010-2020 they remixed and reissued many of their classic albums with 50th-anniversary editions. The Get Back film by Peter Jackson is the latest project that has thrust them in the spotlight again…but really, they have never left.

The bottom line for their staying power is their music. The songwriting was outstanding. Even the early music was something new. They used minor chords, and different rhythms, along with harmonizing over the top. I’m not going to go into musical theory, but they never repeated themselves. Every album stands on its own.  John Lennon’s rhythm guitar was quirky and inventive, George Harrison brought in a Chet Atkins style along with jazz chords, Paul brought bass playing to a new level, and Ringo was a left-hander that played right-handed with an open high hat. The main thing was the songwriting, quality, and quantity that is rarely if ever seen.

Bob Dylan: “Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid.”

They rarely included their singles on albums. Most bands used singles to sell albums, but The Beatles treated both formats as different entities. Songs that weren’t released as singles include Norwegian Wood, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, With A Little Help From My Friends, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, All My Loving, A Day In The Life, Back In The USSR, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Helter Skelter, Michele, The Night Before, and one of the most popular Beatles song Here Comes The Sun, and many more. Any other band would have released these songs as singles but with the Beatles…they were just album cuts. That is how deep their songwriting was at the time, and from 1966 onward George was contributing to the quality as well. George developed into a great songwriter in the impossible situation of being with two of the best in history.

They had more variety than many others. They were rockers in Hamburg and The Cavern. They were pop stars in the Beatlemania years. They were rock-folk-pop in the middle period of Rubber Soul and Revolver. They were Psychedelic rockers during the Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour era. Then they went back to their roots and were rockers again with the White Album and Let It Be. Abbey Road saw them perfecting their craft in all genres. They knew when to make an exit…while still on top.

They broke up because they outgrew each other and were together constantly, much like brothers. John, Paul, and George grew up together in Liverpool and they knew Ringo well early on. They were never made to stay together like the Stones. The Stones developed a business/brand attitude, but the Beatles were more of a family and things were more personal.

They were not this clean polite band that Brian Epstein and the press created. In fact, the Stones and Beatles’ images should have been reversed… but to make it…they had to clean up to get through the international door. After they did, the door was open for all others. They did however speak of whatever was on their mind. They said things stars just didn’t say, even in the early days. There was something honest about them that is still there to this day.

They were symmetrical… John brought in Paul, Paul brought in George, and George brought in Ringo.

Their story adds depth to their legacy. The odds of them finding Brian Epstein, George Martin, Stuart Sutcliffe, and everyone on the way was nearly zero. If one key person would have would have gone the other way…the story would not be the same or might not have happened.

In a hundred years…the question will still be asked… why are the Beatles still relevant?

Swingin’ Neckbreakers – You

This is some good old feet-stomping garage band music. This is my favorite song right now…it sticks with you. The band is from Trenton, New Jersey and they started to record some demos in 1992. The band consisted of brothers Tom and John Jorgensen and  Don “Shaggy” Snook.

John Jorgensen played drums, Snook played guitar, and Tom Jorgensen played bass and was the lead singer. The Neckbreakers released their first album in 1993 called Live For Buzz. This song was their lead track. If you like melodic raw rock and roll…I would recommend listening to this album. This song was on a Sopranos episode in season 4, episode 2.

Their reputation as a great live band spread and they started to fill up places in their area. In 1994 they took off on a tour of Europe. The group was especially well received in France, where one radio station even declared a Swingin’ Neckbreakers Week.

From Allmusic: The Neckbreakers’ second album Shake Break came out the next year on Telstar. After Don Snook’s departure from the band in 1996, Jeffery Lee Jefferson eventually filled in on guitar and debuted on the 1997 album Kick Your AssReturn of Rock and Live Live Live were released in 2000.

They released a total of 5 albums between 1993 and 2000.

“You” in the Sopranos

Could not find the lyrics

Real or Memorex? Lip Syncing and Backing Tracks

I saw an interview with Paul McCartney and he called out major bands playing live with backing tracks but refused to say which ones. I also saw an article about Motley Crue using pre-recorded tracks to bolster their sound.

McCartney: “To me the concert experience is at the heart of what music is about. You come to a show and you are in the room so it is the real thing.  I have been to concerts where I think, ‘Oh, I really am in the room with Tony Bennett and it is like he is in my living room’. That is a great part of the experience. I then think, ‘Wait a minute, people must think that about me’. When we make mistakes playing live, we always now turn it and say, ‘Tell you what  this proves we are live

McCartney and his band did just that when I saw him. They messed up an intro of a song…Paul laughed and went on.

Before you read the rest…I might be harsher than some people. I didn’t even like it when after 1981… the Stones started to fill up their stage with different musicians to sweeten the sound…and professional backup singers…I would rather hear Keith sing backup. The same applies to the Who… who did the same thing on their 1988-89 tour. That was more because of Townshend’s hearing problems but I would have rather heard the four of them and maybe a keyboardist…BUT at least those bands were not faking it…they didn’t hide anything…they just added more musicians.

Sometimes backing tracks have to be used…Backing tracks are sometimes used when a band cannot have an orchestra or an exotic instrument which I totally get. I’ve seen KISS use it when Peter Criss would sing Beth…I totally get that. I’ve seen The Who use a backing track for Won’t Get Fooled Again and Baba O’Riley which again I totally get. They don’t try to hide it…it’s a part that would be hard to duplicate live and is the main part of the song. That is the reason Keith Moon wore headphones while playing those songs so he would come in on time.

Those tracks are not what I’m talking about. What I’m getting at is when a guitarist, bassist, or vocalist mimes what they were doing and you are NOT hearing it live. You are hearing what they perfected in a studio sometime in the past.

There are places when this has to be done. Many TV studios are not made for rock bands and they have to lip sync to a backing track…most of the bands don’t like doing it but if they want to promote a song they do. In music videos for the most part…they have to lip sync also… so there are times when there is no other choice.

When you are paying $100 for a ticket…I don’t believe lip-syncing or faking should be allowed or they should have to tell you they are doing it. I could take four more bloggers (any volunteers?) and we could mime to Jumpin’ Jack Flash…would anyone want to pay $100 for that? Many acts that dance and jump about…when you hear them sing you hear no panting or breathing hard and you SEE them panting and breathing hard. I’m not a fan but I admire the fact that Lady GaGa actually called some performers out for lip-syncing.

“I don’t think it’s cool to lip-sync, I’m not judging if people do, because it’s everybody’s own style and type of artist they’ve decided to be. But I think that if you pay money for a ticket to see a show then the artist should f**king have some pipes and sing their records for you”I agree with her.

Paul McCartney is 80 and sometimes his voice goes off… not a lot but sometimes…so what? Mick Jagger goes off at times…but that makes them human. I’m old fashion about this…  but I cannot respect anyone that goes out and mimes their greatest hits in a live atmosphere. I’ve been listening to a lot of concerts in the 70s… Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc. How did they do it without autotune? How did they do it without an extra Jimmy Page guitar pre-recorded? If they messed up…they messed up…big deal…they are human. Some performers have said since the ticket prices are so high…they want to give a perfect show. No, I don’t want a perfect show…I want a real show warts and all.

What do you think? If you go to see a band live…do you want to hear guitar, vocal, or bass tracks that were recorded earlier? Live music…should be live… right? Am I’m expecting too much? It may not bother many people.

Artists who have been caught lip-syncing include Mariah Carey, Katy Perry, Milli Vanilli, 50 Cent, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Madonna, and more.

Ah…I cannot conclude this post without Miss Ashley Simpson…the poster child for lip-syncing.

John Mellencamp – Just Another Day

This song and “Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) came out around the same time off the album Mr. Happy Go Lucky in 1997.

This album was his first album released after his 1994 heart attack and some of the music dealt with his brush with death. The cover artwork caused some controversy with Walmart. They didn’t like that it depicted Jesus and the Devil with Mellencamp holding what looked like to them to be a dead boy. He told them that no…that was his son Hud and he was asleep at the time. The artwork was changed because Mellencamp didn’t care since he didn’t design it. Jesus and the Devil were taken off. As long as the music didn’t have to change he was alright.

The song peaked at #46 on the Billboard 100 and  #1 in Canada in 1997.

Some trivia about Mellencamp. Mellencamp’s first manager, Tony DeFries, gave him the name “Johnny Cougar.” He started using “John Cougar Mellencamp” in the early ’80s and eventually dropped the “Cougar.” DeFries is the same guy who persuaded David Jones to change his name to David Bowie. With Bowie I understand because of Davy Jones…but Cougar?

Mellencamp released the album “Strictly a One-Eyed Jack” this year and it contained three songs with Bruce Springsteen… “Wasted Days, A Life Full of Rain, and Did You Say Such a Thing.

John Mellencamp on the song: “That was what the record company wanted to put out as the first single. They said, ‘It sounds familiar.'”

Just Another Day

Bobie Doll and Big Jim Picato
Call me up every single day
They don’t work and they don’t want to
Come on down to some damn café

Bobie Doll tells me, “Live in the moment”
Don’t get too far ahead, don’t live in the past
I blink my eyes and the moment is over
I guess another day has passed

But it’s just another day
It’s just another day
Watching girls on the street
Well, that’s alright with me
And it’s just another day

Bobie Doll and Big Jim Picato
Always there with their free advice
They’ve got pearl-handled pistols under their vests
They want me to go out drinkin’ with them tonight

But it’s just another day
It’s just another day
Watchin’ girls on the street
Well, that’s alright with me
And it’s just another day

You’ve got clean white sheets in the mornin’
Conversation all afternoon
Bobie Doll and Big Jim Picato, baby
And me and you

But, it’s just another day
Just another day
Watching girls on the street
Well, that’s alright with me
And it’s just another day

Well, it’s just another day
It’s just another day
Watching girls on the street
Well, that’s alright with me
And it’s just another day

TV Draft Round 10 – Pick 6 – Paula Selects – Frasier

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Paula at http://paulalight.com

FRASIER

Frasier is a spin-off from Cheers, starring Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane, a psychiatrist who leaves Boston (where Cheers was set) to return to his hometown of Seattle as a radio show host. Costarring is David Hyde Pierce as Frasier’s brother Niles, also a psychiatrist, and it’s amazing how much the two actors resemble one another. They’re both drolly hilarious as well and play off each other superbly ~ though the writers didn’t originally intend for Niles to have such a large part, they reconsidered after discovering how much Niles added to the show. John Mahoney (RIP) plays their father, Martin, a retired cop, who frequently argues with his sons, and there are two funny women on the show in recurring roles ~ Peri Gilpin as Roz (Frasier’s producer) and Jane Leeves as Daphne (Martin’s caretaker/physical therapist). The show won 37 Primetime Emmy Awards, which was a record at the time. It also won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series for five consecutive years. Supposedly there is a “revival” coming at some point, starring the brothers. The original ran for 11 seasons, beginning in 1993 and ending in 2004.

If you recall, during Cheers Frasier was married to fellow psychiatrist Lilith (wonderfully played by Bebe Neuwirth), and they are divorced when Frasier begins, with Lilith having primary custody of their son Frederick. Immediately thwarting Frasier’s plans for a wild single life is his father, injured on duty, and requiring 24/7 assistance. Frasier brings Martin and his annoying dog Eddie to live with him, and they hire Daphne, a British caregiver. Niles makes frequent appearances, and one recurring motif is that his wife Maris is an impossible person, whom he constantly complains about, yet we never see her face (same as Norm’s wife on Cheers). Niles falls in love with Daphne, and eventually he leaves Maris and marries Daphne. Frasier and Niles are snobby intellectuals (though endearing in their inability to solve their own problems while helping others), and Martin is more of a “regular guy,” so that dichotomy generates clashes. Lilith makes several appearances on Frasier under various premises, from calling in to his radio show to sleeping with Niles due to despair that her next husband left her for a man.

One amusing piece of trivia is that Frasier had announced on Cheers that his father died. That had to be retconned into the Frasier universe by revealing that Frasier had lied about his father dying. The fab theme song “Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs” was composed by Bruce Miller and sung by Grammer. Though the show is very Seattle-centric, only one episode was actually filmed there; the rest were shot at Paramount Studios and around Los Angeles. (All info from Wikipedia.)

~*~

Paula Light is a poet, novelist, flash fiction fan, cupcake connoisseur, mom, grandma, cat mommy, etc. Her blog can be found at http://paulalight.com.

TV Draft UPDATE

Tomorrow morning we will kick off our last TV draft round! We have 8 more TV Shows coming…we all want to thank you… the readers who have made this possible and a fun experience. I also want to thank the bloggers who have reviewed all of these shows and we have covered every decade from the 1950s until now. Below are the picks that began in January and will end on July 3. Thank you… Paula, Lisa, Dave, John, Keith, Mike, Liam, Vic, Hanspostcard (who started it), and Kirk for all of the reviews below.
Round 1 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1. Doctor Who Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
2. The Sopranos Mike https://musiccitymike.net
3. Bozo’s Circus John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
4. Barney Miller Max https://powerpop.blog
5. The Wire Kirk https://slicethelife.com/
6. Police Squad Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
7. Only Murders in the Building (OMITB) Paula http://paulalight.com
Round 2
1. The Odd Couple Mike https://musiccitymike.net
2. Cartoon Town John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
3. Fawlty Towers Max https://powerpop.blog
4. Rockford Files Kirk https://slicethelife.com/
5. Mission Impossible Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6. Firefly Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
Round 3 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Hogan’s Heroes John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
2 Seinfeld Mike https://musiccitymike.net
3 Starsky & Hutch Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
4 Perry Mason Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
5 Upload Paula http://paulalight.com
6 Lovecraft Country Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
7 King Of The Hill Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
8 Adam 12 Max https://powerpop.blog
Round 4 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Breaking Bad Mike https://musiccitymike.net
2 The X-Files Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
3 Columbo Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
4 Six Feet Under Paula http://paulalight.com
5 Shameless Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
6 Friends Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
7 Monkees Max https://powerpop.blog
8 JAG John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
Round 5 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Sisters Vic https://cosmic-observation.com/blog-posts/
2 30 Rock Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
3 One Day At A Time Paula http://paulalight.com
4 Ray Donovan Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
5 Emergency Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
6 The Andy Griffith Show Max https://powerpop.blog
7 CSI: Miami John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
8 Mad Men Mike https://musiccitymike.net
Round 6 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 The Twilight Zone Max https://powerpop.blog
2 Tell Me Your Secrets Paula http://paulalight.com
3 My Name Is Earl Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
4 Ed Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
5 Get Smart Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6 The Unicorn John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
7 The West Wing Mike https://musiccitymike.net
8 The Gong Show Max https://powerpop.blog
Round 7 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 All In The Family Paula http://paulalight.com
2 Trailer Park Boys Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
3 Downton Abbey Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
4 Life On Mars Max https://powerpop.blog
5 Burn Notice John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
6 Friday Night Lights Mike https://musiccitymike.net
7 The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
8 The Honeymooners Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
Round 8 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 New Tricks Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
2 SCTV Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
3 WKRP In Cincinnati Max https://powerpop.blog
4 The Two Ronnies John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com 
5 Star Trek: Voyager Mike https://musiccitymike.net
6 Siskel & Ebert Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
7 Sherlock Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
8 Curb Your Enthusiasm Paula http://paulalight.com
Round 9 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Jeopardy Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/
2 Saturday Night Live Max https://powerpop.blog
3 Riverboat John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com
4 Suits Mike https://musiccitymike.net
5 The Kids In The Hall Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
6 Arrested Development Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
7 L.A. Law Paula http://paulalight.com
8 Resident Alien Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
Round 10 TV Show Who Posted Home Site
1 Max https://powerpop.blog
2 John https://thesoundofonehandtyping.com
3 Mike https://musiccitymike.net
4 Liam https://othemts.wordpress.com/
5 Keith https://nostalgicitalian.com/
6 Paula http://paulalight.com
7 Lisa https://tao-talk.com/
8 Dave https://soundday.wordpress.com/

TV Draft Round 9 – Pick 5 – Liam Selects – The Kids In The Hall

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Liam at https://othemts.wordpress.com/

The Kids in the Hall

CBC Television (1988-1995)

HBO (1988-1992)

CBS (1993-1995)

Amazon Prime Video (2022)

The Kids in the Hall are a sketch comedy troupe based out of Toronto, Canada.  You could say they are the Canadian Monty Python.  Or perhaps, the Canadian Saturday Night Live? Like Monty Python, they are an all-male group of 5 writer/performers (the Pythons had six) who create edgy sketch comedy often bordering on the absurdist, and frequently don wigs and dresses to portray female characters.  Like Saturday Night Live, their show was produced by Lorne Michaels and performed in front of a live audience (albeit, it was not broadcast live).  But at the heart of things, The Kids in the Hall are their own thing, creators of something outside the mainstream of comedy of the 1980s and 1990s and capturing the ethos of Generation X, paralleling the rise of alternative rock at the same time. A recently released documentary about the Kids calls them Comedy Punks.

Let’s meet the Kids!

Dave Foley (b. 1963) is the member of the troupe who feels most mainstream in his comedy approach, but that is on a relative scale.  His boyish good looks were often contrasted with antisocial behavior, such as a surgeon who kills all his patients or an axe murderer, both of whom get away with it because of their charm.  He was also considered the “hottest” of the Kids when dressed as woman. Not surprisingly, later in his career he starred in the American sitcom NewsRadio, and provided voices for the Pixar movies A Bug’s Life and Monsters University.

Bruce McCulloch (b. 1961) is probably the weirdest of the Kids in his comedy approach.  Inspired by art movies, his surreal monologues and filmed pieces evoked a mood of absurdity rather than just telling jokes.  Outside of the Kids in the Hall he has recorded music and directed several movies and tv shows.

Kevin McDonald (b. 1961) is probably a lovely person in real life, but has a talent for playing really annoying characters.  A lot of his self-deprecating humor contains a dark undercurrent of the volatility of his childhood growing up with an alcoholic father.  McDonald has provided his voice for the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch and its spinoffs and had a recurring role on That 70s Show.

Mark McKinney (b. 1959) specialized in creating characters and is probably the Kid most similar in comedy style to Saturday Night Live (and he did in fact join the cast of SNL from 1995 to 1997).  His most notable characters include Mr. Tyzik the Headcrusher and the Chicken Lady. Outside of his work with the Kids he’s appeared in numerous movies and tv shows, the strangest of which is Guy Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World.

Scott Thompson (b. 1959) performs comedy informed by his gay identity with a definite emphasis on using comedy to advance LGBTQ equality, which was very bold in the 1980s and 1990s.  Most notably, he reclaimed the effeminate gay man stereotype through his character Buddy Cole who delivered hilarious monologues.  He also frequently portrayed Queen Elizabeth II, one of the rare celebrity impersonations on The Kids in the Hall.  His other work includes appearances in many movies and tv shows, including a regular role on The Larry Sanders Show.

Foley and McDonald met in the early 1980s in the Toronto comedy scene and became a writing and performing team.  Their partnership is the strongest among all the Kids and has remained so throughout the troupe’s history.  Meanwhile, McCulloch and McKinney met in Calgary where they performed with a group called The Audience.  Moving to Toronto to expand their opportunities, McCulloch and McKinney met Foley and McDonald and in 1984 they formed The Kids in the Hall.  The name came from an old Sid Caesar gag blaming bad jokes on the young writers who hung around the studio. Their shows in Toronto’s comedy clubs became a big attraction.  Thompson saw them perform and pretty much willed himself into a spot in the group. Early sketches like “Reg” showcased their humor style at its most sick and twisted.

Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels saw the Kids perform in 1985 and hired McKinney and McCulloch to come to New York to be writers.  Eventually, Michaels determined that it would be better to keep the Kids together as a group and worked to get them their own show.  The pilot for The Kids in the Hall broadcast on CBC Television in Canada and on HBO in the United States in 1988, followed by a full series of 20 episodes in 1989-1990.  Enhancing the Gen X zeitgeist, the Toronto alternative rock band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet provided the theme song, “Having an Average Weekend,” as well as the music to interstitials between sketches and performing live for the studio audience.  The band’s music is described as instrumental surf rock, however since the Shadowy Men recorded a track called “We’re Not a F*****g Surf Band,” so we’ll have discover a new genre for them.

The Kids and the Hall had several recurring characters, but carefully avoided the SNL habit of overexposing them to please the fans.  Characters appeared when they had a very good and very funny reason to be there.  A number of sketches revolved around the company A.T. & Love with characters ranging from an incompetent boss (Foley), hard-pressed businessman Danny Husk (Thompson), and the secretaries Kathie (McCulloch) and Cathy (Thompson). These characters had the versatility to appear in sketches together, on their own, or with a completely different group of characters. Another series of sketches focused on rebellious Gen X teen Bobby Terrance (McCulloh), his more conservative parents (McKinney and Foley), and his best friend, the stoner Bauer (Thompson).

While Thompson was the only gay member of the troupe, sketches with LGBTQ characters were common, including scenes of men kissing men when that was taboo on American TV (one of the many things that got edited between CBC and CBS transmissions).  The recurring sketch “Steps” featured three gay men discussing the issues of the day where the audience was laughing with them not at them. Despite the Kids being all men, they never saw dressing up in wigs and dresses as funny in of itself, unlike say Milton Berle. Instead they did their best to portray women as fully-formed characters and offer an honest female perspective.  Dave Foley even has a good attitude toward menstruation.

After five seasons and 101 episodes, the Kids were ready to pack it in, physically exhausted and drained of ideas. The final episode broadcast on April 15, 1995 showed them being buried alive in a shared grave.  The next step naturally appeared to be making movies, and in April 1996 they released Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy. The making of the film was a miserable experience for everyone involved and tensions ran high, especially toward Foley who everyone resented for signing a contract to star in NewsRadio while they were working on the film. The movie bombed although some fans consider it a cult classic (I am not one of them).  The Kids went their own ways for a few years but with reruns of the show in constant rotation on Comedy Central, the troupe’s fan base grew bigger than ever.

By 2000, tensions had eased enough to bring the Kids back together, this time returning to the stage for a North American Tour.  Performing in front of live audiences again energized the Kids creatively, and they were able to resume their close personal relationships as well.  The Kids went on the road for more tours, introducing new sketches.  In 2010, they returned to TV, stepping beyond sketch comedy for the first time in the darkly comic 8-part miniseries Death Comes to Town which aired on CBC.  I hadn’t heard of this series until recently so I haven’t watched it yet but I hear it’s good.  Just this May, seemingly out of nowhere, the Kids in the Hall TV series returned for season 6, with 8-episodes streaming on Amazon Prime.  While the Kids have physically aged, they haven’t lost a step and the new episodes are as funny as ever.  The final episode ends with the Kids getting buried again, but I think we’ll see the Kids in the Hall again soon! Until then, here’s one of my favorite sketches, “The Night of the Cow”

TV Draft Round 9 – Pick 2 – Max Selects – Saturday Night Live

I wanted to do a more modern show other than Life On Mars…and this would qualify as it…kinda. It has been on the air since 1975… a whopping 47 years. It’s been on life support at times but has always pulled through. It’s an institution at this point. There is not enough room on a post to go over every cast. Everyone has their favorites some were extremely funny and some were extremely bad (1980 – 1981 cast) and they all make up the history of this show. 

I’m going to concentrate on the original cast and how the show became SNL. Most of you have favorite different casts…usually, the one you grew up with. 

Even if you don’t like this show or what it’s become…it was a cultural landmark and no one can deny that. It changed television forever. The show started because Johnny Carson wanted more time off. NBC had been airing reruns of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show on the weekends to fill space in their lineup. This allowed them to double-dip on profits from Carson’s outrageously popular show without spending another dime on production costs. He told NBC he would only be making four shows a week, which meant that best-of Carson shows that had been airing on Saturday nights would now need to be moved to a weeknight.

 NBC executive Herbert Schlosser sought to create a new show with an old format…a variety show to fill the slot on Saturday Night. He picked Lorne Michaels, a Canadian writer who only had a handful of credits to be the producer. Michaels started a show that was far different than Schlosser imagined but to his credit… Schlosser was behind it and pushed for it to be on the air. The first two shows were experiments but by the third show, they found the format they would keep to this day. The funny thing is…Johnny Carson never liked the show. 

Lorne Michaels made the show to appeal to baby boomers with a touch of Avant-Garde and “guerrilla-style comedy.” It was a game-changer much like All In The Family was to sitcoms. Late-night was never again a wasteland. This show helped open the doors for David Letterman and other shows to follow it. 

It started out as “Saturday Night.” The Saturday Night Live title belonged to ABC for a show hosted by Howard Cosell who was out of his league. After Cosell’s show was cancelled, ABC let Saturday Night have the “Live” part.

Who was the best cast through the years? This is a question that is debated over and over again. People argue and usually pick the cast they grew up with. I grew up in the Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo era. Personally, I always thought the original cast was the best era of the show. Yes, I thought the Murphy and Piscopo casts were very funny along with later casts that had Dana Carvey, Michael Myers, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, and many others that followed. The first five seasons had something extra that others would not and could not have. It had an underground feel that vanished after it became a pure comedy show. They had a massive amount of talent in that first class. 

John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase (though I liked his replacement better…Bill Murray), Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, and my favorite overlooked cast member Laraine Newman. They were the perfect cast for that time. 

Why do I like the original cast the most? They tried new things and went out on a limb. Some of the skits succeeded some fell flat but they were different from anything on TV at that time…and also at this time. That cast pushed the envelope and made the network executives worry. The host each week was usually under the radar actors, writers, comedians musicians, and sometimes athletes. The musical guests were mostly rarely seen performers that weren’t on tv…prime time or otherwise. Frank Zappa, Leon Redbone, The Kinks, Patti Smith, Ry Cooder, Kinky Friedman, and others. You would have more popular musicians like Paul Simon but the show gave you a great variety. 

No way would Michaels ever dream of that now…he usually gets whoever is the most popular to draw in ratings. He can no longer do what he did in the 70s because of that. He also used the complete ensemble. It was not Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, and everyone else of the early eighties. It was about building an unknown cast and all of them having a shot…not a star-driven show that gave all the best bits to the big names. He made sure the entire cast had a lead in skits and parody commercials. Dick Ebersol who followed Lorne Micheals, was famous for getting stars in the cast and the show revolving around them.

A lot of the skits are now famous… Ackroyd’s Bassomatic, the Samurai, the uncomfortable but funny Word Association with Richard Pryor, The Killer Bees, The Mr. Bill Show, Weekend Update, Roseanne Rosannadanna, Land Shark, Bag of Glass, The Wild and Crazy Guys, the Coneheads, The Lounge Singer, Mr. Mike, The Blues Brothers and many more.

The writers for the show were not in the variety show comedy vein..they were not in the current SNL vein either. The style was more aggressive, especially with Michael O’Donoghue. He was a comedy trailblazer with National Lampoon and added black humor to SNL. Other writers were Franken and Davis, Rosie Shuster, Alan Zweibel, Marilyn Miller, Anne Beatts, Herb Sargent, Tom Schiller, and also Ackroyd and Chase.

The original group also did some serious skits along with comedy and trips into the bizarre (See the ultra-dark “Mr. Mike”). …It separated the original from any other cast.

I like the feel of the underground the first five years had but you can only be that for so long…popularity takes over. Those first 5 years (the first four were great…the fifth very good) set the foundation that holds to this day…just without the daring and danger.

Ann Beatts was one of the original writers who saw the popularity of the show rise beyond anything she ever imagined. She knew the risk-taking traits in the show would have to end because of it. “You can only be avant-garde for so long until you become garde.”

By the 5th season (1979-1980), it was a circus grown out of proportion. The cast by that time were usually bigger stars than the guest hosts.  Everyone left after that season along with Lorne Michaels. The show went on without him until 1985 when he rejoined. It was never the same again. Sometimes it was funny and sometimes not but it was never the same experimental show it was at the start. 

What other show would introduce “Acapulco Gold” and “Orange Sunshine” to a national television audience?

SNL2.jpg

The Bassomatic…something you cannot explain with words.

The best Star Trek parody…

Matthew Sweet – Evangeline ….Power Pop Friday

When I heard the song”Girlfriend” for the first time on the radio I liked it right away. Matthew Sweet is a great contemporary power pop artist that doesn’t get played enough.

The album peaked at #100 on the Billboard Album Charts in 1991. The album was ranked number 61 on Paste magazine’s list of “The 90 Best Albums of the 1990s.”

He was a huge fan of R.E.M in high school and began a pen-pal correspondence with Michael Stipe that brought him to Athens, GA. He ended up meeting Stipe’s sister Lisa through that relationship. Both Sweet and Lisa were students at the University of Georgia and he formed his first band with her. Sweet and Lisa eventually married after he was divorced from his first wife.

Sweet is also known for his Under the Covers series, done in collaboration with Susanna Hoffs, lead singer of Bangles. The series features the pair covering classic songs. The first Under the Covers focuses on music from the ’60s, while the second draws from the ’70s. They also made a third entry which was comprised of ’80s music.

Evangeline is not your average boy-girl song. It’s about a girl, but not a real one. The song is set in the realm of the comic book series Evangeline, which was published from 1987 to 1989. The comic is set in the 23rd century after humans colonized space. The character Evangeline is a weapon-wielding nun out to avenge those who have been victims of religious persecution on behalf of the Vatican.

Evangeline

She’s on another planet
She’s in my dream
She’s some kind of angel
If you know what I mean
Try her on
She fits like a glove
Too bad she only thinks about
The lord above

Evangeline Evangeline
I think I love you
But Evangeline Evangeline
I want you

Now if I called you up
Do you think you
Could deliver my soul?
Won’t you take a drink
Little darlin’
The cup is full

And every night I bow to pray
But I’ll feel a whole lot better
Once you’re coming my way

Evangeline Evangeline
I think I love you
But Evangeline Evangeline
I want you

So come on down

So tell me how you want it
Come on, tell me how you want it
Just tell me how you want it

Just tell me how you want it
We won’t be seen
You can tell your father
It was all a dream
[try her on she fits like a glove]
Too bad the only man you trust
Is god above

Evangeline Evangeline
I think I love you
But Evangeline Evangeline
I want you

Now Evangeline Evangeline
I think I love you
But Evangeline Evangeline
I want you

She’s some kind of angel
If you know what I mean
Evangeline

TV Draft Round 8 – Pick 5 – Mike Selects – Star Trek: Voyager

Welcome to the Hanspostcard TV Draft. I hope you will enjoy it! Today’s post was written by Mike at https://musiccitymike.net

Star Trek: Voyager

Let me begin by saying that I really don’t care much for science fiction. My family can confirm how I am on record for falling asleep in the movie theater for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings movies. I guess my brain finds little appeal for fantasy. So, what is it about Star Trek: Voyager that makes it different?

Well, this attraction started with Star Trek: The Next Generation which my family and I watched together and which I would likely pick as a favorite should there be a second round to this draft. Together, we binge-watched all of TNG on DVD, and in true geekiness, kept a spreadsheet where we rated each episode on a 1 to 5 scale. Our watching continued with Voyager, but our nerdom didn’t include the spreadsheet after Mom dropped out.

So, this leaves me to try and explain both how Star Trek overcome my disdain for sci-fi and why I favor (ever so slightly) Voyager over The Next Generation.

I guess what makes me somewhat of a Trekkie, is how these shows extend the history of our planet into the future and explore the unknown expanse of our galaxy. We see the development of technology (some of which has since come to pass) and experience the remarkable acceleration of the speed of travel (unlikely to ever happen). As a child, I always enjoyed books about the future and Trek provided me with a continuation of this fascination. Perhaps my attraction takes root in the fact that there is some probability to some of what is presented in Trek.

On the other hand, as the name itself implies, Star Wars focused more on wars and battles with much more emphasis on alien fantasy rather than the evolution of Earthlings.

As for The Next Generation, everything about it was fabulous and more than satisfied my needs. The casting was perfect, the technological advances were exciting and sometimes realistic, and the stories were fantastic. However, while the same can be said for Voyager, there was just something about it that attracted me even more.

As brilliant as Patrick Stewart was as Captain Jean-Luc Picard on TNG, so was Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway on Voyager. Let’s just stop there and call it even. Likewise, both casts matchup well with Data on TNG and Seven of Nine on Voyager getting the nods as my favorites. Touché again.

But perhaps what puts Voyager over the top is simply the passage of time, both fictionally in the scripts and, as to the tools available for filming. As to the former, Starfleet technology advanced especially in the use of the Holodeck, a recreational device in which crewmembers freely interacted in an imaginary setting of their choice. To the latter, TV special effects just got better and for the first time in the Trek series were enhanced through the use of CGI (“Computer Generated Images). TNG had made a giant leap however in this regard when compared to the original Star Trek series which at times often completely lost the feel of traveling through outer space.

Voyager lasted seven seasons (1995-2001). It started just after and ran concurrently with Deep Space Nine which failed to catch my fancy along with the other subsequent Trek series that have maintained the franchise. So, if like me, sci-fi is not your thing, like me, you might find enjoyment in Voyager. On the other hand, if you regularly attend Trekkie conventions, where do you rank Voyager amongst the Star Trek canon?

Posies – Dream All Day ….Power Pop Friday

Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer started to write songs together while in High School in Bellingham, Washington in 1986. They were influenced by The Hollies, Hüsker Dü, XTC, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, and Big Star.

When they started out, a cassette of songs Stringfellow and Jon Auer traded back and forth went viral, which in the late ’80s meant copies got passed around and radio stations started playing them. The had one big problem though. They didn’t have an actual band together. Drummer Mike Musberger and bassist Rick Roberts were added as the first Posies rhythm section.

This song was on their third album released in 1993 called Frosting On The Beater. Dave Fox had replaced Rick Roberts by this time on bass. Dream All Day was released as the first single on the album.

The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard  Alternative Airplay Charts and #17 in the Billboard Mainstream Charts in 1993.

The Posies soon got signed to DGC and “Golden Blunders,” the first single from their Dear 23 debut on the label, became enough of a college radio hit that Ringo Starr recorded as part of his 1992 album Time Takes Time.

The made 8 albums altogether with the last one being in 2016.

In 1993 Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer joined Big Star’s Jody Stephens and Alex Chilton to reform Big Star. They toured and released a Big Star album in 2005 called In Space. It came to an end in 2010 with the death of Alex Chilton.

Dream All Day

I’ve got a lot of thoughts
Got a lot of plans
I lost a lot of sleep
Trying to understand

I could dream all day

In a blackened room
Staring into space
Underneath a thousand blankets
Just to find a place
Where everything is reachable
Imagining is safe
I tried to make it so
I didn’t even know

I could dream all day

I dreamt I was awake
My mouth was colored grey
As the world revolved around me
I could only say

I could dream all day