Friday, March 25, 2011

Ray Davies's "Ready, Steady, Go!" Redux

No TV Show held more mythic status among the Mods than "Ready, Steady, Go!" Blasting off with its youth-rallying cry of "The weekend starts here!" the program provided a fresh alternative to the top-twenty lip synching of "Top of the Pops". Every Friday evening from 1963-1966, "Queen of the Mods" Cathy McGowan, who won her job by explaining that the thing contemporary kids care most about is "clothes," presented a rogue's gallery of Britain's greatest, including The Who (who released a tribute E.P. titled "Ready, Steady, Who"), Manfred Mann (who performed the show's zingy theme "5, 4, 3, 2, 1"), The Beatles, Small Faces, The Stones, The Yardbirds, The Pretty Things, and The Kinks.

45 years after the watershed show was canceled, Kaptain Kink Ray Davies is planning to pay tribute to the program that provided his telly debut. As curator of the London Meltdown this summer, he'll be recreating the "Ready, Steady, Go!" format for his contemporaries The Fugs, Arthur Brown, and The Alan Price Set, as well as relative whipper snappers Yo La Tengo, Nick Lowe, Lydia Lunch, and The Legendary Pink Dots. Davies, himself, will be performing a klutch of Kinks klassics with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Monty Python legend Terry Jones will also be on hand.

Sadly, I'm on the wrong side of the Atlantic, so I'll be missing the London Meltdown, but I will be keeping my fingers crossed that it will renew sufficient interest in "Ready, Steady, Go!" to warrant a long-overdue DVD set of the show's best moments. Until then...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: 'War Eagles: An Alternate History for Classic Film Monsters'

King Kong was the Star Wars of its day, a nutso detonation of imagination and futuristic special effects that could have been a massive folly but ended up a massive blockbuster and pop-cultural milestone. The obvious follow-up to such a success is a sequel, and RKO Pictures certainly cooked one up with the well-meaning but slight Son of Kong. No matter, though. Kong producer and co-director Merian C. Cooper had heftier game in mind. He intended his film’s true successor to be a picture that combined the King Kong structure with a bit of chest-pounding patriotism.

Like Kong, War Eagles was to be divided into three major acts moving from the planning of a harrowing trek in the U.S. to a prehistoric jungle island, then climaxing in New York City for an explosive showdown set near an iconic landmark. Only this time the trek was to be an globe-circling air flight to promote a brand of antacid, the jungle was to be populated by giant eagles rather than a giant ape, and the final battle was to be fought between eagle-riding Vikings and an unidentified foreign air force near the Statue of Liberty, rather than U.S. fighters and Kong exchanging blows atop the Empire State Building.

Merian C. Cooper ponders Kong.

By 1940, War Eagles was basically ready to go. A ream of production art had been drafted, Ray Harryhausen was on board to handle the stop-motion eagles, and Cyril Hume (who later penned Forbidden Planet) had completed the script. But as World War II reached a boil, RKO got cold feet regarding the film’s themes of invasion by zeppelin, and Cooper decided he’d be of more use as fighter than filmmaker and reenlisted in the air force. War Eagles was shelved and died the death of the neglected.

Very little information about this film has been available since its inception aside from a brief piece in a 1977 issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland that sparked the enduring fascination of 13-year old David Conover. Decades later, Conover has unearthed a staggering wealth of pre-production War Eagles material, including Cooper’s original treatment, a great deal of art, photos of the stop-motion eagle skeletons, a wacky article from Flying Aces magazine that inspired the film’s climax, a slew of production notes, and most significantly, the final draft of Hume’s script. All of this is gathered in the latest installment of Philip J. Riley’s Alternate History for Classic Film Monsters series (Riley essentially takes a back seat as editor for this volume, while Conover supplies the text).


No previous book in this fantastic series has offered so many juicy rarities or provided so much illumination on such a little-known project. Along with all of the vintage archival material, Conover offers a very detailed narration linking the various artifacts (which is something previous volumes lacked) and a fine interview with Harryhausen. The one unfortunate aspect of the book is that all of its rare artwork is presented in low-quality, black and white reproductions. It would have been nice to see this stuff in its sharp, full-color glory (unlike Kong, War Eagles was supposed to get the Technicolor treatment), but such is the nature of publishing with a small press. This quibble aside, classic monster movie fans will be most grateful to Conover, Riley, and Bear Mountain Media for finally making all of this fascinating and highly valuable material available.

Get War Eagles: An Alternate History for Classic Film Monsters at Amazon.com here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Elvis Costello Has Quit Making Records, Which Must Mean He'll Release a New Record Soon!

It's springtime and that means Elvis Costello is due to announce he has quit making records, which he did in an interview with the New Zealand Press Association last week. But as we all know, when Elvis says "zig," Elvis means "zag." The last time he made this announcement in the spring of 2008, he released the fine Momofuku, like, the next day. So his current declaration of retirement can only mean one thing: Elvis will release a new album soon! If said album is anything like last year's National Ransom, easily his best record since 2004's The Delivery Man, I'm sure his fans will be very pleased indeed. Thanks, Elvis!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Farewell, Michael Gough

I just noticed that my five-month-old post Assembling the Dracula Bad-Dream Team received an exceptional number of hits today. Unfortunately, the reason is not a happy one. Michael Gough, the actor I chose as the ultimate on-screen Arthur Holmwood, died today at the age of 94. Although Gough was not the Hammer Horror mainstay that, say, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Michael Ripper were, he made major impressions in the studio's superb 1958 adaptation of Dracula and its 1962 version of Phantom of the Opera, in which he played Lord Ambrose d'Arcy. Gough also starred in a segment of Amicus's pioneer portmanteau, Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, but is probably best known to more contemporary audiences for playing Alfred the Butler in the '90s Batman franchise and his roles in several Tim Burton movies.

Review: 'Day of Wrath'

Day of Wrath (1943) is an odd duck; powerful for sure, but eliciting ambivalence because of its ideological haziness. Indeed, director Carl Theodor Dreyer was a conservative, which becomes apparent by the film’s conclusion. Yet, Dreyer was also a staunch opponent of the Nazi occupation of Denmark, a matter alluded to in this film, and despite the film’s seemingly Christian conclusion, the director was not religious. How all this information is digested is up to the viewer.

Initially, sympathy lies with Anne (Lisbeth Movin), the pretty young wife of Absalon, a creepy old pastor, who essentially purchased Anne to spare her mother from being burned as a witch. When Martin, Absalon’s attractive son from a previous marriage, arrives, the extramarital writing is on the wall. Anne’s disgust with Absalon reaches a head when she tells him that she has wished his death hundreds of times, and if we are to believe her mother really was of the witchly persuasion, the events that follow take on a supernatural air.

Once Anne begins to betray Absalon and execute some well-deserved vengeance against the crusty bastard, Dreyer shifts empathy to the old coot. Absalon displays genuine remorse for what he did to Anne’s mother, and Anne is constantly shot in deep shadow, grinning nefariously, peering through beady eyes. The film’s denouement finds her confessing to playing footsy with Satan and Dreyer laying some pretty heavy-handed martyr symbolism on Absalon’s doorstep. The idea that a “witch hunter” responsible for however many women’s deaths is some kind of Christ figure is pretty hard to stomach.

Lisbeth Movin looking shady.
At the same time, Dreyer seems to draw a correlation between Absalon’s witch hunting and the Nazi’s search for Jews, particularly in a scene in which Anne secrets a fellow accused-witch in her attic. So are we supposed to side with Anne after all? I’m all for ambiguity, but Dreyer’s wooly treatment of this particular material is disconcerting, and a potentially powerful pro-resistance allegory falls flaccid. Granted, the film would have been quashed by the Nazis had that allegory been made more explicit, assuming Dreyer even intended such an allegory (some sources claim he always denied he was making a political point of any kind with Day of Wrath). In any event, there is no justification for the film’s victim-blaming conclusion, and the final image of a crucifix might require some serious suppression of the gag reflexes.

All this being said, Day of Wrath is a beautifully shot film full of the eerie atmosphere and expressionist shadow design that was Dreyer’s forte. Lisbeth Movin is fabulous as Anne, flawlessly sliding from meek innocence to heroic selflessness to seductiveness to righteous anger to remorse without sacrificing consistency. The sound design is also exceptional; particularly on the windy night Anne extracts her revenge. Too bad that all this aesthetic splendor might support an ugly defense of witch hunts.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Psychobabble's New Favorite Movie: 'Mars Needs Moms'

No, I haven't actually seen this movie, but neither did you. In fact, Disney's Mars Needs Moms performed so poorly at the box office during its opening weekend that the megacorporation torpedoed Robert Zemeckis's planned travesty remake of the 1968 animated classic Yellow Submarine starring The Beatles a bunch of guys pretending to be The Beatles. Despite the original film's fab faux cast, Psychobabble will forever rate it among the greatest Rock & Roll movies and as the greatest animated film for its gloriously inventive blend of pop-art imagery, Beatlesque whimsy, and spectacular psych-era Beatles music. Although I must admit to being slightly tickled by the announced casting of ace-McCartney impersonator and Shaun of the Dead star Peter Serafinowicz in Zemeckis's remake, I wholeheartedly believe cinema does not need another Yellow Submarine. We already have one and it's just fine, thank you very much.

Cartoon Lennon flips Disney the devil horns.

Review: 'Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural' (1975)

Certain well-done B-horror movies deliver an infectious grotesqueness that couldn’t be captured in a big budget picture. Films such as The Blair Witch Project, Carnival of Souls, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Paranormal Activity bear an ingratiating queasiness that compliments their cardboard cheapness powerfully. Not as well-remembered as any of those films, and not necessarily as good, Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural (1975) is still an effectively unsettling creepshow. Writer/director Richard Blackburn (who’d make a bigger cult splash in 1982 when he co-wrote Eating Raoul with Paul Bartel) recycles plot elements from Dracula and The Night of the Hunter and re-imagines them as a loopy psycho-sexual coming-of-age tale indebted to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Lila (Cheryl Smith) is the daughter of a gangster in Prohibition America. Her dad calls her to join him in Astaroth, a monster-menaced fairyland likely inspired by Vasaria in the old Universal monster pictures. There she is attacked by some Moreau-esque monsters, imprisoned in a dungeon, terrorized by a creepy hag (Maxine Ballantyne), and subjected to some heavy come-ons from the title character (Lesley Gilb), who looks like Gloria Holden in Dracula’s Daughter.

Lesley Gilb and Gloria Holden: Ladies Dracula
No one is going to accuse Lemora of being well written, well acted, or well shot. It looks like a vintage porno with the sex scenes excised. Yet it spins a definite spell. The plot drifts along with the mercurial logic and foreboding air of a nightmare. The climactic slow-mo monster battle royal is goofy, but it is preceded by scenes that are haunting or frightening in spite of themselves, particularly Lila’s encounters with the singing hag and a gaggle of giggling vampire kids. Had I come across this movie on TV when I was a kid I’m sure it would have cost me as many nights of sleep as a similar looking ad for The Haunted Mansion in Long Branch, New Jersey, did. Catching the film on TV in the ‘70s was unlikely, though, considering its distribution was severely hindered by the officious prigs at the Catholic League of Decency, who denounced its suggestions of pedophilia and homosexuality. Fortunately, Lemora has been back in circulation since the late ‘90s (and as of this writing, it’s available to watch instantly on Netflix), and though it isn’t quite a lost classic, horror geeks should find it well worth watching for its numerous monster-movie in-jokes and unrelenting air of unease.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Unreleased Music from "Twin Peaks" Debuting on David Lynch.com

With the recent revamp of his website, David Lynch seems to be reinventing himself as a pop star, and he recently suggested that it's going to be a while before he has a new film is in the works (he told The New York Times that “Fans might start looking [for a new film], but they will need a strong telescope to see it coming” ). Still, those fans of David Lynch the filmmaker might be interested to hear that his site is not only selling music from his films, including Eraserhead and Inland Empire, but it also started offering music from "Twin Peaks" and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me that hasn't been released on any official soundtracks previously. Isn't that just too dreamy?

The site also features some new music from Psychobabble favorite Donovan, and be sure to check out a neat music-centric interview on the site with Mr. Lynch in which he discusses his days rooming with Peter Wolf of The J. Geils Band in college and his love of The Bee Gees and Dire Straits!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Capitol Officially Announces The Beach Boys' 'SMiLE' Box Set Release!

Breaking News (8/26/2011): Well, I recently wrote that I would hold off on posting anything about The Beach Boys' rabidly anticipated SMiLE Sessions box set until the rumors had evaporated and the hard facts materialized. That day has come. The surprisingly reasonably priced box set and 2-disc editions of The SMiLE Sessions are now available to pre-order on Amazon.com! The release date is November 1, 2011. Follow this link to get the box and this one if you want to settle for the double-disc. But why would you?

More information here.

Now back to the original article:


Gadzooks! In what will surely be the Retro Rock news of the year--fuck that, the century--Capitol Records has finally confirmed those rumors that have been swirling around ever since Al Jardine spilled the beans last month: The Beach Boys' "lost" mid-'60s masterpiece SMiLE will finally beam into existence this year. No specific release date has been announced yet, but an article on Billboard.com revealed "[t]he project will be released in three versions: a two-CD set, an iTunes LP digital album and a limited-edition boxed set containing four CDs, two vinyl LPs, two vinyl singles and a 60-page hardbound book written by Beach Boys historian Dominic Priore.

"The Smile Sessions is being released with the support of the band, including Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson. Wilson wasn't immediately available for an interview but he expressed his excitement about the release in a statement released through Capitol."

Wilson, who was previously so bummed out by the bad vibrations he associated with the SMiLE sessions, has been changing his tune about the project in recent years. In 2004, he performed the project live for the first time and recreated it with his touring band for a solo release. In the Billboard article, Wilson says he's "thrilled" about the upcoming box set.
Brian beams while recording "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" from 'SMiLE'.
SMiLE bootlegs have been plentiful for decades, and several tracks from the sessions were released officially for the first time on the 1993 box set 30 Years of Good Vibrations, but this will be the first time the entire, original project recorded by The Beach Boys in 1966 and '67 will see official release.

Engineer Mark Linette explains the set will include "the whole piece as close to as it was envisioned, or as is envisioned, as possible . . . and obviously with input from Brian and from everybody else." Billboard continues to report that "an approximation of the original Smile album will occupy one CD or three sides of vinyl, with session outtakes and studio chatter occupying the rest of each version of the release" and that "Wilson's 2004 Smile album has served as a blueprint for the current project."

That there is a wealth of information, kids! Now you'll have to excuse me, because I just peed my pants!

Thanks, as always, to the great site The Second Disc for passing along this wonderful news.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Brief Note on Kinks Reissues and a Possible Deluxe 'Lola'

I recently wrote about several articles reporting that a series of double-disc Kinks reissues is on the way in the coming months. Conspicuously absent among the reported deluxe releases is the 1970 klassic Lola Vs. Powerman and the Moneygoround. So I asked Andrew Sandoval, who has been working on these reissues, whether or not he could substantiate the release schedule and the status of Lola. While he said he did not know what order the discs would be released, he said that "Lola Vs. Powerman is in discussions pending Ray Davies' approval."

So that sounds pretty promising regarding a deluxe Lola. Keep staying tuned...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spawn of Karloff and Lugosi to Spawn Tourist Trap in Jersey?

According to a recent article on pressofAtlantic City.com, famous progeny Sara Karloff and Bela Lugosi, Jr., have been lassoed into assisting casino kingpin Joe Camarota as he develops a horror-themed restaurant/wax museum for Atlantic City's boardwalk. Karloff and Lugosi, who control the vast merchandising empires associated with their deceased dads, would contribute memorabilia and a pair of legendary names to the project if it gets off the slab. Although this idea is as ripe for cheesiness as a 16-ton hunk of gouda, I must admit Camarota's architectural rendering of the establishment is pretty groovy:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Deluxe Kinks Reissues on the Way?

In a recent post I announced that Sanctuary/Universal Music is prepping double-disc, remastered, bonus-track laden reissues of the first three Kinks albums (release dates are March 28 in the U.K. and April 5 in the U.S.). A little poking around the Internet led me to several articles announcing that this is just the beginning. Apparently, deluxe editions of Arthur: or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire and Muswell Hillbillies will follow in May, while Face to Face and Something Else are scheduled for July.

I'm slightly hesitant about this story because I have yet to find an official press release. I'm also suspicious because of the conspicuous absence of Lola Vs. Powerman and the Money-Go-Round, a key record from the group's Pye era (and one of Psychobabble Eleven Greatest Album's of 1970) and the presence of Muswell Hillbillies, originally released after the group moved to RCA. Strange that the reissues would include albums from two different labels while excluding certain titles (the excellent Percy soundtrack is absent, as well).

In any event, this might be amazing news for Kinks Kultists. Stay tuned for more information on these possible future releases... and in the meantime, you can pre-order the officially announced ones here:

The Kinks

Kinda Kinks

The Kink Kontroversy

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Return of The Rolling Stones in Super Audio?

Today's announcement that The Rolling Stones' '60s catalog is being released as FLAC files by the HDtracks website doesn't particularly thrill me. I still like my music on physical formats (vinyl and CD/SACD, to be specific). That the band's UK releases that did not make it to SACD during ABKCO's otherwise spectacular reissue series of 2002 are included in the FLAC campaign initially irritated me. First these albums (The Rolling Stones, Rolling Stones No. 2, and the UK versions of the two Big Hits records) were included in a too-rich-for-my-blood vinyl box set last fall. Now they're being released in a format unappealing to physical format fans such as myself (and at $30 a pop, they're also way overpriced). However, a brief aside included at the end of an article on CNN.com has peaked my interest: Jody Klein, son of ABKCO founder and former Stones manager Allen, says the company is considering "producing another batch" of the out-of-print SACDs! This is great news for those who failed to pick up some (or all) of the titles eight years ago (they now go for big money on ebay), but it also means that those previously unissued UK titles could finally see release on SACD. Just no more of those high-priced box sets, please! Let's see some individual releases.


For those of you who dig FLACs and MP3s, The Rolling Stones, Rolling Stones No. 2, Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) (US), and Through the Past Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2) (US) are already available to purchase at HDtracks. The rest of the ABKCO LPs will continue dribbling out throughout the spring and summer of 2011.

Review: Edsel Records' Lovin' Spoonful reissues

No one should argue The Lovin’ Spoonful’s status among the great singles bands of the ‘60s, but some folks might not be aware of what a superior combo they were at 33 1/3. If such a gap exists in your mid-‘60s pop education, get ready to fill it with the British label Edsel Records’ heaping spoonful of reissues.


Unlike a lot of their peers, The Lovin’ Spoonful leaped onto the field sprinting at high speed. Do You Believe in Magic ranks right up there with Mr. Tambourine Man, Love, and Music from Big Pink as one of the ‘60s’ best American debut albums. The Spoonful’s signature blend of Rock & Roll electricity and homemade washboard country funk is already fully realized here. Their original material is tremendous—the title track, “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your mind”, Younger Girl”, “On the Road Again”. Their covers are equally integral to the album’s greatness, which is unusual at a time when original composition had come into vogue resoundingly. Compare The Spoonful’s superb readings of “The Other Side of This life”, “Wild About my Lovin’”, and “You Baby” to The Beatles’ versions of “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” and “Act Naturally”, which stuck out like antiquated sore thumbs on the recent Help!.

By 1966 most bands had finally slowed down the breakneck release schedules more common in the earlier years of Rock & Roll, sweating over masterpieces such as Pet Sounds and Revolver. The Lovin’ Spoonful arrived to the game a bit late and had to make up for lost time. Consequently, ’66 was their most insanely prolific year. The band put out four LPs during the 12-month period between November of ’65 and November of ’66. Released just a few months after Magic, Daydream is not quite as uniformly spectacular, but the well-known songs— the title track, “Didn’t Want to Have to Do It”, “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice”, and “Jug Band Music”—are among the group’s best recordings. Less essential perhaps, “There She Is” is still a damn good rocker, “It’s Not True” is a slinky blueprint for the future classic “Nashville Cats”, and ‘Warm baby” shimmers with John Sebastian’s autoharp scrapes.

Their schedule shows evidence of taking a toll on their least essential record, the soundtrack to Woody Allen’s goofy dubbing experiment What’s Up Tiger Lily, but that’s mostly because the album largely consists of instrumentals and failed to yield a hit. It’s better approached as a soundtrack than a proper Lovin’ Spoonful album, although “Pow”, “Fishin’ Blues”, and “Bespoken” are fine vocal tracks, and the instrumental “Lookin’ to Spy” provides a first glimpse of the haunting “Coconut Grove”. Most of the rest is just OK, but The Spoonful more than made up for this album’s relative disposability with their next one. Rounding out the year is Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful, the band’s masterwork and one of Psychobabble’s picks for the Nineteen Greatest Album as of 1966. The guys perfect their retro sound at a time when futurism was paramount: their down-home country (“Nashville Cats”, “Lovin’ You”), ragtime (“Bes’ Friends”), blues (“Voodoo in My Basement”), pastoral ballads (“Rain on the Roof”), tough rock (“Summer in the City”), and jug band music (“Jug Band Music”) had never been more perfectly crafted or full of life and humor then it is here. As essential as any ‘60s pop.

Another soundtrack followed, although the selections the band supplied to Francis Ford Coppola’s obscure You’re a Big Boy Now are generally more interesting than the Tiger Lily tracks. The instrumentals reveal a distinct Pet Sounds influence and a latent affinity for jazz. The vocal cuts are inconsistent (“Girl, Beautiful Girl”, which appears on the disc twice, suffers from a terrible lyric), but the title track is nice and the yearning “Darling Be Home Soon” might be the band’s finest song.

Eccentric guitarist Zal Yanovsky jumped ship next and was replaced by Jerry Yester, formerly of The Association. John Sebastian would follow soon after, but first he record one last record with The Spoonful. Everything Playing is not a classic on the level of Magic, Daydream, or Hums. The band’s new democratic approach results in a few misfires: bassist Steve Boone is responsible for one poorly sung track and one muzak instrumental that would have fit better on the previous soundtrack; Yester closes the record on a sour note that he should have saved for Farewell, Aldebaran, his 1969 collaboration with wife Judy Henske. Everything Playing still manages to be a good record with its share of first-rate tracks: the powerful “Six O’Clock”, the insightful “Younger Generation”, the lazy blues “Boredom”, and “Money”, which introduced cash-register percussion six years before its Pink Floyd namesake. Drummer Joe Butler’s two contributions are very good too.

Listening to Edsel’s reissues, it’s striking how songs from their final LP could have sat comfortably on their first and vice versa. The Lovin’ Spoonful never freaked out, never felt compelled to answer Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Butler’s “Only Pretty, What a Pity” is as trippy as they ever got), never compromised. As a result, they sound much hipper and fresher today than, say, a band like The Doors, which tried so desperately to be hip and progressive and “meaningful” and ended up embedded inn the amber of the ‘60s’ most naive and pretentious notions of revolution. The Spoonful are more like Chuck Berry: artists with a specific vision who remained true to that vision regardless of contemporary fads, and while they certainly didn’t make the seismic impact Berry did, their influence is immediately detectable in the work of some of their decade’s key artists, from The Beatles to Dylan to The Kinks to The Grateful Dead. They’re a great band masquerading as rag tag minstrels, yet there remains a flavorful variety in their electric jug band rock.

Volume one is a double-disc that includes The Spoonful’s first two albums and a nice pocketful of bonus demos, alternate vocal takes, instrumental backing tracks, and best of all, a psychotic version of “Alley Oop” that proves how hard these laid-back cats could rock. The next two volumes (Tiger Lily/Hums and Big Boy/Everything Playing) are each bunched onto a single disc, which is slightly unfortunate considering you’ll likely spend a lot of time punching the “next” button to skip through soundtrack instrumentals in order to get to more essential tracks, but that’ a pretty minor gripe. A selection of bonus tracks adorns these other volumes too.

These discs sound fantastic. They may seem to lack low-end at first, but then listen to how Sebastian gets on the mic at the end of “Sportin’ Life” or how Zal’s ultra bottom-heavy guitar bursts through the heavenly swoon of “You Baby”. All three dimensions are present and accounted for. The liner notes are smart and informative and interesting for presenting a Brit’s perspective of this very American band. Also valuable is the inclusion of the individual records’ original liner notes. The ones on the Daydream jacket are a scream—easily funnier than anything in What’s Up Tiger Lily?

Get Edsel’s Lovin’ Spoonful twofers at Amazon.com here:

Do You Believe in Magic & Daydream

Whats Up Tiger Lily/Hums of the Lovin Spoonful

Youre a Big Boy Now/Everything Playing

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another David Lynch-inspired art show is coming to California...

Just a month after the recent showing of art inspired by "Twin Peaks", another graphic tribute to David Lynch will be roiling in California like a lawn full of beetles. Does that simile make any sense? Who cares! Because on March 12, 2011, absurdity shall reign again at the Phone Booth Gallery in Long Beach when the "Oh You Are Sick..." exhibit opens to coincide with the local Cinematheque's "David Lynch Month".

The art show will feature Lynch-inspired work by more than two dozen artists, while the Cinematheque will be screening a selection of the man's films all March long.

"Oh You Are Sick..."

Saturday, March 12 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Phone Booth Gallery

2533 East Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803

...and here's a run down of the films playing at the Cinematheque:

March 4, 2011:
* BLUE VELVET (11:55 pm)

March 12, 2011:
* ERASERHEAD (11:55 pm)

March 14, 2011:
* DUNE - Free Beach Screening! (7:00 pm)

March 18, 2011:
* LOST HIGHWAY (11:55 pm)

# March 25, 2011:
* WILD AT HEART (11:55 pm)
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