Friday, January 28, 2011

James Bond Friday: Dr. No

I have noticed a lot of blogs seem to have "theme days" so I decided to start James Bond Friday.  In a nutshell I will be posting a James Bond Soundtrack every Friday until I run out of James bond Soundtrack's.
I Figured I should start at the very beginning, I am told it's a very good place to start, So here is The Motion Picture Soundtrack for Dr. No, the very first of the 23 Bond films.  This is the very first time we ever heard the iconic Bond Theme.  Which some say was written by the Dr. No composer Monty Norman, others say John Barry who scored the next 11 Bond movies actually wrote the James Bond Theme.  Myself I don't give a shit, I am just glad someone wrote it.  Like the Jaws Theme, you hear it and you know exactly whats coming next, perfection!

This soundtrack is missing a key element, the splashy, sexy, raucous, opening number sung by a sexy Shirley Bassey/Tom Jones type. But what it does have is The Three Blind Mice Calypso.

I had no idea the soundtrack was so ethnic! I actually love this kind of music, it sounds like The Ventures made out with Martin Denny, not at all what I think of when I think of a James Bond Film Score.  And then I realize with shock and horror that I may not have ever seen Dr. No....and added to my Netflix que.


                                                                           This is the Jamaican Rock, my final selection for this post, it reminds me of Bud Shank's Brazilian jazz album.  I will have to listen to this again...shaken not stirred.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Carol Channing!

If you grew up in my generation you most likely know Carol Channing from the T.V. movie of Alice in Wonderland singing the insane Jam Tomorrow, Jam Yesterday.  Or hollering "RASPBERRIES" in Thoroughly Modern Millie.  But it may surprise you to find out that Channing in fact was best known as a Broadway Star!  And if that surprises you, you might also be surprised to find out that Sarah Palin is a dumb bitch.   Carol has been many things in her life, an honorary lesbian, a Jerry's Girl, and part African American.  Carol Channing is a weird ass national treasure and I heart her more than words.

I gasped audibly when I came across Carol Channing Entertains at Bleeker Street Records for $9.99, I snatched her up but quick.  Her voice is usually akin to that of a bullfrog, but I think she sounds vocally amazing.  While still doing that Carol Channing "thing" she manages to sing well on this album.  My favorite track is Elegance from Hello Dolly ( a song she did not sing in the show).

I love that final note which isn't exactly a high C, but she hits it with gusto and full vibrato. Now I consider that to be a "Not As Channing" selection cause it's not sung as much in that fucked up Carol style.  So I have to include a true Channing song as well.

It's called I'll Die Happy, and at 90 years old (on January 31st) I'd say she's got at least 10 more years in her, if not 20 before she even has to think about that.
Another Channing treasure came from the record store with no name on 3rd Ave right below St. Marks.  Top floor is for CD's, downstairs are all the albums.  I hate this place cause it's super dusty and moldy and there are always an over abundance of know it all hipsters, but Dan always has amazing luck here.  I just have an allergy attack.
Like so many album's of it's time it sounds like it was recorded in a public restroom, very tinny, and bright.  But it's fun to hear her warble as she gets older.  This was a recording of her 1979 Vegas act.  Ahhhh people were so easily entertained.  This is The Story of Cicillia Sisson.

The Show Girl was really just a showcase for Channing to do what she does.  Thanks to Don and Mark for this glorious Christmas present...in short its's amazing.  I love this album art a lot.

So Happy Birthday Carol Channing, you are one amazing broad.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HOLY KONITZ!


Those of you who know me probably know that Chicago is my favorite musical.  In a pathological kind of way.  I really think it is a perfect score with a perfect story, but I am not here to defend my choice of a Kander and Ebb musical as my favorite instead of a Stephen Sondheim show.  I am simply here to introduce you to Lee Konitz who is the best looking Jewish saxophone player I can think of.  According to the people at wikipedia Konitz was a driving force in the world of cool jazz, two words that sound so wrong together, like Jennifer Lopez and the word actress, or Sarah Palin and the word smart.  Cool jazz draws up the immediate image of Kenny G, which in turns makes me want to puke, but apparently cool jazz was modern jazz in the 50's and 60's, artists like Miles Davis and Gerry Mulligan were also on the cool jazz forefront(learn something new everyday).

Konitz may have been a well respected cool jazz genius, but that doesn't make this album art any less amazingly stupid.  There are so many things I am glad about.  I am glad they only hired one model, and I am glad that the model looks like one of Konitz's nieces.  I am glad they employed the use of three naked mannequins to fill out the chorus, and I am also glad that one of them is an African American mannequin.  I am glad they have him blowing into him sax for the photo.  But mostly I am glad that the model who I think is Lee's niece is wearing panties an her head.  I was gonna put up some sample tracks but they are awful and I don't feel like it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nanu-Nanu


Here is Leonard Nimoy The Way I Feel, well I know the way I feel, elated!   I am elated that at some point a music producer said "You know who should cut an album?  Leonard Nimoy, that's who."  And then someone else in the room said "Yeah, and he should sing If I Had a Hammer."  These were the good old days when people didn't have cable tv, and ipods, and texting (I sound like Anna, the racist lady from next door).  What they had was a zest for celebrity vinyl, and thank God they did because we ended up with this.

I wouldn't call Leonard a singer, that being said I am super excited that he will be doing the voice of Smaug in The Hobbit movie. Interesting considering he is probably most famous as a singer for a song called The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins (Not on this album).

It's funny that Nimoy's co-star on Star Trek, William Shanter, was also infamous for shitty album's.

I got this for Dan for Christmas for 5 bucks at the Academy Annex

This was once Judy's record, I like to think she spent many sunny afternoons flickin her bean, listening to Leonard, wearing her Spock ears.

I think Mr. Nimoy said it best (Play Track)

Do Me a huge favor and pass my blog onto a friend, I wanna see if I can get 5 more followers by Friday!  And if you aren't following me click the "Follow" button on the sidebar.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Film Soundtrack)

This is my Final post of the amazing Virginia Woolf weekend, though not the end of the Virginia Woolf records available.  Alex North's score to the iconic Mike Nichols film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  As I have said before I love film scores.  I love walking around NYC letting the music dictate the atmosphere, and the ambiance.  I also love reading on the train to various movie soundtracks (oddly the Soundtrack to Fargo by Carter Burwell I associate with the book Dune, and Danny Elfman's score for Edward Scissorhands got me through the Lord of the Rings for the 10th time).

I love that the album includes snippets of Dialogue from the film, it's great to hear Liz Taylor laugh like a trumpet in the Main Title track above.  An amazing movie, an amazing play, an amazing jazz album, and an amazing soundtrack.  If you haven't seen it now is the time.  What else can I say....What a DUMP!
I am still on the hunt for the 2 LP set of the Dialogue from the film.  It's usually goes for 40.00 bucks on ebay, but I am sure I will come across this treasure in a dollar bin somewhere.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf (Jimmy Smith)


Welcome to what has turned into my Virginia Woolf weekend.  I realized after I posted The Orginal Broadway Cast of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf yesterday that I actually have a couple of different Virginia Woolf albums so why not make a weekend out of it.

This is Jazz organist Jimmy Smith's amazing record aptly Titled Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  I fell in love with Jimmy Smith when I accidentally downloaded a song of his off of Bearshare years ago.  His razzmatazz organ skills are amazing and on this album he really outdoes himself.  To describe Smith's sound is almost impossible, it's like rockabilly, funk, retro, organ, jazz, but that doesn't do him justice. Just Listen to this.

This is Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Part 1, I always picture this as the theme song to Vodka Stinger's Bio Epic Titled What Actually Happened to Virginia Woolf.  Maybe playing over the top of a montage of a day in the life of the lady Vodka.  Vodka at Whole Foods, Vodka Having a cocktail with her dear friends Lonnie Anderson and Margott Kidder, Vodka getting a plasma separation, and all to the fabulous sound of Jimmy Smith


Check out the album art, it looks like a reject casting call from The Shining.  Jimmy Smith could be Scatman Crothers and the other one is like the creepy guy in the bear suit.  And yes that is my second reference to The Shining in my blog.  What can I say I love that movie.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Some brilliant person decided to record the Original Broadway Cast of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf!  An iconic and amazing play by Edward Albee probably best known for the film Starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (for which she won and Academy Award).  And deservedly so; for Taylor this was her first character role, a departure from the ingenue's she usually played.  This is by far my favorite play, Albee is a genius and this is surely his masterpiece.  It's dark and demented and so goddamn funny it makes me wanna devour a chicken leg and talk with my mouth full (did you watch the clip?).

Here is Act One.  Anyone go to acting school and have to read Respect for Acting by Uta Hagan?  I remember thinking at the time, who the hell is this Uta Hagan women and what the hell does she know about acting??  She did few movies, mostly plays, but Virginia Woolf was her finest role.  And after listening to this I feel like old Uta put her money where her mouth is.  This bitch can act.
                                                          

It's a 4 record set with the entire play captured brilliantly.  It also comes with a 13 page book with tons of info, bio's, pictures.  It's pretty intense, so I scanned them in for you guys.




Act Two                                                                                                                                                   


Act Three






Thursday, January 20, 2011

Black Coffee

Kristine Prego and I used to get high and listen to the Time Warner Music channel.  That is where I discovered Dennis Coffey, a funktastic musician with the quintessential blaxploitation sound.  Like Quincy Jones but hipper and groovier, and whiter.   I used to write down songs that I loved from those Time Warner stations for a download at a later date (back then you couldn't just download music to your phone, we were still making mix CD's).  The song was called Black Belt Jones by Dennis Coffey from the movie Black Belt Jones.


I found Back Home Generation Records for $9.99.  It's a little more disco than funk, but I still get a kick out of it.  And though 8 tracks of disco sounding instrumentals get kind of tedious, I imagine a DJ would go nuts with this shit.  Keeping my eyes peeled for more Coffey.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

For Men Only

Bawdy, Gawdy, Oh Lawdy!  Faye Richmonde sings dirty diddies filled with innuendo and all while covering her tits with her arm.  Let us not forget the strategically placed Viola.  Some choice tracks include You Ought to See Her Box, Mama's Well Has Done Gone Dry, Where Can I find a Cherry for My Banana Split, and It Was Hard When I Kissed Her Goodbye.   Picked this up at my favorite Salem, Oregon spot for LP's Ranch Records (check out their site and become their friend on the facebook) for $3.75.  Thanks David.




Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

I love film scores, I always have.  I especially find that they work great in NYC when you are barreling through a part of town like Times Square or 34th Street.  Try listening to something like The Imperial March from Empire Strikes Back or the Theme to Psycho I find it makes the experience much more cinematic.   One of my All time favorite soundtracks is John Williams score to Jaws.  Its perfect in every way, and not just the iconic two tone Da-dum, Da-dum that signals the presence of the shark, listen to Track Two, Chrissy's Attack.

The final few seconds when the music cuts out and it's just some dude whaling on an anvil thrill me.  Pure genius John Williams, pure effing genius.  Williams signed on for the second Jaws movie, affectionately titled Jaws 2.  The movie was just awful (I kind of love it, as one of those childhood memories...I was a weird kid) but the score is still top notch.


Alan Parker took over for the third installment in the Jaws franchise.  Easily one of the stupidest and most awesome movies ever made and it was in 3-D.  It's also got the most amazing ending of any film ever!!  Since words can't describe, just watch.  It's like a giant turd with teeth.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cowboys and Indians and White People!!

There isn't much in this world that I love more than a white person dressed up like an Indian and then singing about it.  Here The New Christy Minstrel's Sing and Play Cowboys and Indians.  I was disappointed with the quality of the pic of the whole album (my shitty camera phone, someday i will get a proper camera) so I did a scan of The New Christy Minstrel's so you could fully appreciate how amazing this album art is.
There are so many things in this picture that I love!  Lets start with the Asian "cowboy" sitting on the head of the bearskin rug toting a banjo and the one right behind him looks like Doris Day as Annie Okley.  Then the one behind her has clearly slipped a finger into her ass, hence her smile and his look of displeasure.  The two in the center I like to think of as the hasenpfeffer engines cause they looked like they stepped right off a Swiss mix box.  And all of them super imposed over a painting of noble Native Americans.

Check out Three Wheels on my Wagon, best line "Get back in the Wagon Woman!"

And then there is my personal favorite They Gotta Stop Kickin' My Dog Around. 


Monday, January 10, 2011

Shlemiel! Shlemazel! Hassenpfeffer Incorporated!

It makes perfect sense that the producers of the hit spin off of Happy Days would want to capitalize on the popularity of these two silly Dames.  I just never thought that my favorite Yenta, Miss Penny Marshal would cut an album.  I mean i knew she could act, I knew she could direct (I have seen Jumpin' Jack Flash), but who knew she could sing.  Though I dare say it sounds like Cindy Williams takes the lead on most of the vocals.  Check out their awesome cover of Chapel of Love.



Listen to the way they can barely hold the melody, hear how the phrase each line as if they were 8 margarita's into a long night of karaoke, and look at the way Penny Marshall is sucking that Popsicle on the front cover.  I bet she could fit a foot or two in there. 


This totally reminds me of Jan hooks and Nora Dunn as The Sweeney Sisters...but not as good.  It was hard finding a track that featured my Jewess Penny, but I think the track Sixteen Reasons features her comic timing best.






I got this kitschy little gem at The Academy Record Annex (415 E. 12th) for a cool 50 cents.  Not bad, I think Penny would appreciate that price.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Merle's

Dan and I took a small trip up to Connecticut the week after Christmas.  We had heard tell of a record store called Merle's Record Rack and were absolutely dieing to check it out.  It's a cool little store with a ton vintage stereo equipment, CD's, memorabilia, and of course records.  Dan walked in and immediately found a treasure (to be seen at a later date).  I found a couple of jazz LP's I was interested in.  I asked how they were priced and she told you you bring them up and they price them at the counter.  Which I think is a down right stupid way to operate if I do say so myself.  This means that I am less likely, as a customer, to pick up a record in fear that i get to the counter and they price it higher than I am willing to pay, thus making me, the customer, feel like a cheap bastard.



The woman working the counter was also having trouble multi-tasking.  Phones, and customers, and records to price, and questions to be answered, and record's to clean, it was almost too much for her to take.  That being said she was very friendly and did seem to know what she was talking about, she also knew where everything was which is helpful.  I just wish there were prices on the actual records, I hate on the spot, arbitrary pricing.  This isn't a market in Fallujah put fucking price tag on you merchandise.


The vintage stereo department was really cool, they also repair stereo equipment and will transfer your LP's to mp3's.  So all in all probably won't go back to Merle's but it's a cute store.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Eat Me...Drink Me...


Here is a 4 record set of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland. Read by Cyril Ritchard who might best be known as the Captain Hook from the Mary Martin Peter Pan.

I was instantly thrilled by the idea of a seasoned thespian like Cyril wrapping his smooth Continental dialect around my favorite children's story.  These records are almost as exciting as a pile of sand.  But I still effing love this find.  I got it years ago for 10 bucks at a little flea market on Bleeker Street.  I love that creepy little girl he is reading to.  If she has a twin she could be in the re-make of The Shining.  




It even comes with a copy of the book so you could read along if that's your thing.
 






Then there is the cotton candy Disney version of Old Alice and here crazy adventure in that land of wonder.  This was mine as a wee tot, it is well worn, well loved, and well worth shipping out to NYC.





Here are the storybook, the pics are grainy but you get the idea.