If you pay attention you may notice that, if allowed to run long enough, any human conversation will devolve into talk of some kind of bodily function. We are enthralled by the stuff that goes into and comes out of our bodies, and are filled with lamentations should any of our normal and weird-enough-already processes go haywire. In 2013, I think we are all pretty understanding of the fact that unless you have a re-routing system, you have to go poop. If you have trouble pooping, you should: increase your level of physical exercise, drink plenty of water, and eat lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Simple, huh? Well, not so simple for Peoples Of The Past! Constipation was actually a much bigger problem then, as the population moved from primarily agricultural (with the attendant emphasis on hard physical work and the eating of whole foods), to primarily urban industrial/consumer, where physical exertion was replaced by desk jobs and TV watching, and commercially-processed foods slowed the gut down to a stop. They hadn't yet Got Back To Nature, so looked to other medical solutions. That's my theory, anyway, and I think it's pretty good crap.

Today, I bring you some vintage ads taking you back to the amazing world of LAXATIVES! I am just old enough to once have been given a HIDEOUS dose of castor oil in my childhood, which so scarred me I can still remember it in fine detail. I actually cried because my FEELINGS were hurt that my mother would choose to make me ingest something that tasted so BAD. Needless to say, I would have rather had poop back up out my ears than swallow that bilge again. But the regular (pun) dosing with castor oil and other laxative agents used to be considered normal and positive for overall health for both kids and adults. Really, I think I'd just rather eat some granola and apples.

Dang! Look at the scary doctor! He's all, DON'T! (You can click on the ads to enlarge, should you want to read the excellent ad texts.)


Oh, people, people, people. Sometimes you just don't follow the rules, and sometimes when you don't follow the rules, The MAN decides that you need a lil' TIME OUT in a secure government facility. And sometimes you can follow all the rules and even might receive a shiny award for being an excellent rule-follower, but may concurrently find yourself caught in a metaphorical prison of the MIND or HEART. Such human drama is fertile soil for songwriters to harvest, and today I have selected 10 songs from my own collection of recordings that have either "jail" or "prison" in the titles. Release yourself from whatever else you are doing and please to enjoy!

Let's get the pace going with this 1984 rockabilly punk cover of Johnny Cash's famous "Folsom Prison Blues." If you can accurately play any of the instruments on this recording at this tempo with no mistakes, I give you my Nod of Awe.

The Geezers, "Folsom Prison Blues"

There aren't that many songs about women in jail, but there should be because I think guys kinda dig that. Well, OK, only if the girls are attractive, let's be honest about that.

Dum Dum Girls, "Jail La La"

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I sing it while miserably wrapping gifts Christmas Eve and drinking expired eggnog. Don't drink and drive, kiddies.

The Youngsters, "Christmas In Jail"

This is my NEW favorite "christmas in jail" song, an acapella gospel rave-up by this rather seriously awesome preacher man. It's old as HELL.

The Reverend JM Gates, "Did You Spend Christmas Day In Jail?"

If you would like to be truly skeeved, listen to this 1957 R&B creeper, a warning to fellow pedos about not messing with teenage girls. EWWWWWW. DUDE.

Andre Williams, "Jail Bait"

My dear lil' pals the Jacuzzi Boys are sweetly wailing here about being trapped in an "Automatic Jail," which I think might just be a certain lady part. I could be wrong. I could be right, though.

Jacuzzi Boys, "Automatic Jail"

I'm fairly sure that this is the weirdest version of the Elvis Presley standard, which of course was the intention.

The Residents, "Jailhouse Rock"

What's slightly strange about this one is a bunch of North Londoners taking on Little Feat/The Band-style country music. 1971's "Muswell Hillbillies" was kind of a shock for me at the time.

The Kinks, "Holloway Jail"

A nice little slice of late-'60s California psych-pop here. I don't know what these long-haired hippie boys are talking about, but I bet Joe Friday from "Dragnet" has his eye on them and their MARIJUANA PARTIES!

The Humane Society, "Eternal Prison"

And finally, I would arrest MYSELF if I didn't add MYSELF into this prison playlist, with my cover of The Intelligence's "Weekends In Jail," starring Miss Ten as Park Horsehead. You may purchase this song at iTunes or Amazon, which, if enough copies are sold, might keep me from stealing cat food on Christmas Day when I am 90!

Marianne, "Weekends In Jail"


Despite that on Popthomology David Bowie is my imaginary film nemesis (see here, here, here, and here), in my unimaginary real life, my admiration for him has grown steadily over the years to where it now is quite lofty indeed. For me, Bowie's value and depth as an artist was fully revealed over time. I first became aware of him with 1969's "Space Oddity," which will forever be linked in my mind with seeing the first man on the moon. But in his records that followed, like 1971's "Hunky Dory" through "Ziggy Stardust..." and "Aladdin Sane," my little-kid-bullshit detector went off, put off by what I felt was overwhelming phoniness, personas put on only for the attention they provoked. I knew enough already about his earlier attempts to "make it" in the music business with a more conventional image, and the scarlet-haired skeletal makeup-wearing Bowie seemed...well, desperate to me. Oh, I liked all the songs quite a bit, and was particularly thrilled when he covered "Where Have All The Good Times Gone" by the Kinks on "Pin-Ups," and can't tell you how many times I cranked up "Suffragette City," to window-shaking volumes. But I felt wary and distanced from David Bowie as a person and as an artist, and saw him as a very, very clever illusionist; all flash, grabbing your cash.

It is only that with reflection over the years that I can appreciate that Bowie's musical work has always been rooted in the examination of the need for humans to create personas, of fame or the lack of it, of detachment and obsession, pretense and earthly realities. He has forever wrestled with the desire to transcend everything mundane and predictable, to shine as the biggest and brightest star, to be able to translate his substantial intellect and natural artistic sensibilities into commercial success, with a need to to have a family, to have love that is not based on his fame or notoriety, to have privacy and peace.

I don't think David Bowie will ever stop questioning what it is in us and in himself that is so fascinated by fame, and how the public's seemingly-insatiable lust for celebrity novelty and scandal skews perception. After a ten year hiatus, where it was often opined in the music press that he had retired and would never record or tour (again), Bowie is releasing "The Next Day," an album of new material due out mid-March. With this track, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)," and its mini-movie video, we see Tilda Swinton and David Bowie as a "regular," older couple, doing their grocery shopping, exercising, watching TV, stalked by a glamourous young celebrity couple...and perhaps an earlier incarnation of Bowie himself. It can be interpreted in any number of interesting ways, which is why I am so grateful Bowie is working again. He makes us think of mirrors and invisible walls, of changing priorities, of the strangeness to be in something while hovering above it at the very same time.

Thanks, man. Welcome back.

David Bowie, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"


I hate seeing Oscar award winners stumble over their acceptance speeches. There's just no need for it. Because I am thoughtful and wish to forever remove this time-wasting awkwardness for all of us, I have composed a boilerplate 20-30 second speech which may be used by ANY Oscar winner in the future:

Oh, wow. This is amaaaaaaazing! I can't believe it!

I just want to say how blessed I feel to have been nominated in the same company as all these other amazing people. They all inspire me so much. I feel so humbled just to be here tonight and grateful to be working in this industry.

Thank you to all the amazing team members involved in this film - without your talents, I would not be here. Thank you to my family for being so supportive -- I love you so much. And thank you, Academy, for this amaaaaazing honor. I will never forget this night!

There. No need to do anything else. This will leave far more time for everyone there to get smashed and provide fodder for the Star and People the next day, and more time for us to do almost anything more useful.

To conclude, my dear friend Kellie by request has made this instructional video for us, showing how to spell out "EFF THE OSCARS!" in sign language! Please to enjoy!

EFF THE OSCARS in Sign Language


Another fun post-dinner Saturday night thrifting excursion once again proved bountiful in the LP castaway bin! For you, FOR YOU ALONE, I brave the wafting smells of ancient dust and "old," endure my fingertips becoming so embedded with record dirt that it feels like I've been cleaning chalkboards all day, and ignore the stares of my fellow Goodwill shoppers as I whoop and smile and take photos of the inexplicable. Let us now take a walk through the past...please to enjoy these odd record covers!

We're going to start off with a bang here...pun intended. WOW. Jimmy Goings is certainly NOT SHY TONIGHT. Fascinating.


What do you think of when someone mentions Finland? Well, in my capacity as an isolated, reasonably culturally-bereft American, all I can think of it "cold," "north," "Scandinavia," and "reindeer." This is really no good, I say, so I am broadening my knowledge of Finland right this minute. Did you know, for instance, that Finnish folk love to go dancing? They do! Let me share a few excerpts from "The Finnish Dance Server," and an article called "Social Dancing In Finland."
In Finland going out for social dancing is a very popular way to spend time, meet people, enjoy music and take exercise. The young and the old alike go dancing. Many people have met their future spouse at a dance, but it is very common to go dancing just for the fun of it.
When entering the building you can check your coat and walking shoes. Any valuables that you can not easily carry with you (e.g. wallets and cell phones) should be left with your coat so that they do not interfere with your dancing.
You do not have to speak Finnish to go to a dance in Finland. Not much talking is done during dancing anyway. If you are a woman, you can simply smile when you are asked to dance and if you are a man, you can bow or nod and hold out your hand when you ask a lady for a dance. After a dance it is customary to say "kiitos" (thank you) but that is about the only Finnish word you need to know.
If you want to dance with the local people, you may ponder, whether you will be asked to dance if you look like a foreigner (that is, not like a European). Of course, there is no guarantee. Not even Finns always get to dance in a place where they have not been before, where they are not known. But if you are a good dancer, you always get to dance. So first you have to show your skills. This is no problem for men, who do most of the asking. For a woman it is more difficult, if she goes without an escort. It would be advisable for her to have a male friend with her, who can "introduce" her by dancing the first dances with her. If no such friend is available, it is possible for a woman to ask herself. She can look at the dancers, note a man who dances well, and then go and ask him even though it is men's turn to ask. The man has the right to refuse, but it is more likely that he will be flattered and gladly takes her to the dance floor. And every evening there is the women's hour during which it is the women's right to ask men. 
 The dress code in Finnish dancing places is quite free and varies a lot. . However, the clothes absolutely have to be neat and clean. A shirt should never be worn for two nights in a row without washing it in between.
Women may (and do) wear both skirts and trousers, but the truth is that most men find a skirt more charming, especially if it is wide. 
Traditionally, the end of the women's row which is farther from the door is considered most special or worthy. In olden times the farthest end of the row was the so called cream bench, on which the most wealthy and the most educated women took their place. This tradition has been preserved in many dancing places, but nowadays there are no external requirements for taking your place on this special bench or "diva corner" as it is sometimes called. Usually the woman's own idea about her dancing skills is the reason why she chooses or does not choose this place.
Introducing yourself is not necessary; in fact it is not even usual. It is possible for a man and a woman to dance together once or twice every Saturday for many years without knowing each others' names.
It is considered impolite to refuse when somebody asks you for a dance, but not everybody is polite. A valid reason to refuse is, if the person asking you is drunk or unclean or behaves inappropriately. 
If women want to dance with each other, it is allowed. However it is not polite for women to dance with each other during the women's hour unless all the men have been asked.
Men do not dance with each other. 
Let us now enjoy some fine examples of Finnish dancing! I was familiar with this clip, as I pilfered it several years ago to use in a video for ME. How do you say "Rico Suave" in Finnish? This is truly mesmerizing.

Finnish Disco Dancers

This traditional Finnish folk dance reminds me a lot of the Monty Python "Fish Dance."

Finnish Stick Dance

But this one REALLY looks like it!

Finnish Keyboard Slapping Dance

You have to jump to 2:12 in to see how to dance the "Finnish Jive." He really kicks it into high gear a few seconds from the end.

Finnish Jive Man

In Part Two, we see ACTUAL FINN JIVERS, but the greatest thing is hearing Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" sung in Finnish, with the nonsense words changed to Finnish nonsense words, I think.

Finnish Jivers

These Finnish men are BREAKING THE LAST RULE!

Finnish Men Dancing With Men

Here we have a German girl learning an Argentinian dance from some Finns. HEY! IS THAT OLD DUDE THE SAME DUDE FROM THE FIRST VIDEO??? HEY!!!!!

Finnish Tango

IT IS! IT IS! WOW! His name is Ake Blomqvist!!!!

Finnish Twist

These Finnish lads enjoy that whole "Harlem Shake" meme.

Finnish Harlem Shake Boys

Leaving the most spectacular for last, here are the sensual Nordic dance moves of...this guy. WOW!

Finnish Guy Dancing


I've been spending the last few nights going through my old battered Kinks negatives again for another project, so I haven't had a ton of time to spare to write, but thought I'd bring you these four failed photos of Ray and Dave Davies of the Kinks from the 1980s. I very SERIOUSLY don't miss the surprise of seeing these kinds of things returned from the film lab. The worst that happens when I shoot now? I fill up a memory card mid-show and have to spend a minute switching out to a new one.

Many, many years later, I can smile at these and almost call them art. Back then, I just swore.

Sprockets! This potentially-great beer spray shot was a little too blurry anyway, BUT DAMN.


I'm down with being buried wearing these. DON'T YOU ASK ME TO SELL, PEOPLE! NO! NEVAHHHH!

The Manish Boys (David Bowie), "I Pity The Fool"


Knowledge is everywhere, learning is all around us, information is ours to glean from the most humble of experiences, if only we pay attention to the details. Today, I am bringing you ten observations honed from my years of hanging out in women's bathrooms in rock clubs and bars all across the land. The only thing I know about the men's can in clubs is what I've been told by actual men who have used them, and they are always these two things: 1. Men are absolutely disgusting and pee and poop all over the floors and toilet seats and walls and mirrors, and; 2. some dude was "checking them out" at the urinal. As far as I know, no one has ever "checked me out" in a bathroom stall, but there's always that unknown "Chuck Berry factor," so, whatEVER.

Anyway, let's go! Not "go" go, of course...YOU HOLD IT IN, BUDDY.

1. The more makeup a woman is wearing, the more often she will come into the bathroom to reapply makeup.

2. The girls with the highest heels get the most drunk.

3.  About 30-40% of women don't wash their hands. The percentage goes higher if they think no one else is in there, or the paper towel dispenser is empty.

4. At closing time, there will always be one drunk girl crying piteously in the bathroom over a romance gone south.

5. Yes, women talk about which band members are hot.

6. Do not jump the queue for the stalls, because hell hath no fury like a denied lady pee-er.

7. Girls in their teens and 20s will sometimes enter and use a stall at the same time. This is never seen in later years, unless the second girl is the first girl's child.

8. Yes, women will take cell phone calls or texts while sitting on a public toilet

9. Direct correlation: how drunk a girl is = how likely it is she will exit the bathroom with a piece of toilet paper stuck to her shoe or her skirt tucked into the waistband of her tights.

10. Women are pathologically terrified of emitting any bodily noises at all while using the stall, and will do almost anything to cover up said noises. However, if she is completely wasted by the end of the evening she will fart like a burly trucker who's had nothing to eat but Taco Bell for a week, and will giggle about it, too.

The More You Know!


I fight, like many people, a never-ending battle of paper and clutter in my house. I go through things, I toss things, save a few, but never seem to catch up. I guess I am not ruthless enough, especially when it comes to throwing away stuff the kids made. I don't think I will ever stop enjoying looking at that, so I am somewhat resigned to always living with stacks and stacks of crayon scribbles, macaroni wreaths, and schoolwork with amusing spelling mistakes until I am buried with it all someday.

But today as I was once again weeding, saving, and tossing, I came across some art from someone else: my mom. She loves to send us "care packages" from Wisconsin. You never know what might be in them, from carefully-clipped coupons to Wall Street Journal articles with passages neatly underlined for emphasis to bars of soap to candy to a hippie candle I had in my room in 1974. In one of those care packages from a few years ago, there was this: a photocopy of a picture I had taken of my daughter when she was two years old, but garnished with real ruby-red leaves gathered from Mom's yard, pressed flat, and then delicately glued on to form a lovely dress. I imagine my mom there in her house, 2000 miles away sitting at her desk, creating a "Princess Of The Petals."

Of all the things I could bring you today, I don't think anything would be lovelier than this, a humble little piece of homemade art from a Grandma who loves her granddaughter very much.


Marianne and her cameras are in motion tonight, so she asked me to step in and post for her while she attends a benefit for a terribly important project, about which she will no doubt tell you more about very soon. As for me, I'm Marianne's pal Dena. Since I probably spend about as much time obsessing over certain TV shows as Marianne spends obsessing about music, I have decided to use this opportunity to subject introduce Popthomology readers to one of the best things that ever happened in the history of television.

I could never have predicted that TV would serve as the vehicle for my existential rejuvenation, much less that my most recent televised obsession would turn out to be a Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk vehicle. Much to my delight, the single-season plotlines of American Horror Story serve to minimize that production team’s ham-handedness with long-term character development and keep things as fresh as the dirt on a newly turned grave.

There are many things to love unironically about this show, among them fine performances by Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, James Cromwell, Lily Rabe, and many more wonderful actors. The visuals are often stunning and can be enjoyed on their own terms, but film enthusiasts will find many references to the great film directors of our time such as Stanley Kubrick, Brian De Palma, and Alfred Hitchcock. Like both Mad Men and Breaking Bad before it, AHS combines the creative synergies of its players to make something quite unlike any program that has gone before it. In doing so, the show may sometimes run off the rails to crazytown, but it is never boring, and for that I’m grateful.

If you think AHS may be your particular cup of arsenic, then by all means skip the rest of this plug and get right down to viddying. Season One (Murder House) is on Netflix, but if you’re like me, you’ll eyeball your way right through those suckers in two weeks and be shelling out your hard-earned lucre for Season Two (Asylum), because this stuff is like TV crack. Sometimes you can’t look away because it’s so absurd, e.g., when Ben Harmon’s towel magically stays glued to his body throughout his brawl with Rubber Man. Other times you can’t look away because you are genuinely moved by the fine acting or you are caught up in the suspense of waiting to find out what happens next. Either way, the power of American Horror Story has not only compelled me to keep watching and look forward to Season Three with bated breath, but also to start my own AHS tumblr, It’s Been Insane Here.

As much as I love AHS and recommend it wholeheartedly to those of you who can handle that much crazy, this show is not for those with tender sensibilities. There’s a fair amount of violence and gore, not to mention frankly depicted social injustices and Dylan McDermott’s ass. It’s not light viewing by any stretch of the imagination and most likely some of you will never watch it, which is as it should be. But there is one moment during AHS: Asylum that deserves to be singled out as the deeply transcendent moment it is, and that is Sister Jude’s performance of The Name Game. I’m pretty sure the most disturbing elements in this video are the headbanging and the jolly microcephalic person, both of which should be altogether familiar and comforting to any Ramones fan. There be spoilers here, of course, so don’t watch if you can’t handle them there things. Otherwise, I give you The Name Game as you’ve never seen it before, all-singing, all-dancing, and totally hallucinated by a nun disguised as Dusty Springfield. I am sorry. You are welcome.

The Name Game - American Horror Story


This video of director/writer/photographer David Lynch speaking about photography for the Los Angeles Review of Books really resonated with me (thanks to Digging Time for posting it on Facebook). Here's a quote from Lynch's talk that I particularly loved:
The painting, or the photograph, or the film remains the same, but it's the viewer that is the magic part of the whole process. Every viewer who stands in front of a certain photograph, they're getting a different thing, and I like to think of it as kinda like a circle: goes from the photo to the viewer, back to the photo, a kind of a strange internal dialogue. It's like a beautiful storm comes over us, a thrilling, beautiful storm, a deep love, and a flow of excitement in the brain. We all are seeking this...this feeling, I think, of love.
David Lynch on Photography

In the biggest and most cosmic sense of what I strive to do, or give, or be through photography is precisely that. This may seem to be an over-ambitious goal for someone who often photographs crazy punk musicians in grubby clubs with beer on the floor, but I don't think it's unworthy. The entire value of a moment captured in time is impossible for me as the photographer to gauge -- it will be different for every person that considers any individual image, and it becomes profoundly different over time. What I do know is that within the moving walkway timeline that we all share, to actually be able to look back on something in time is an incredible thing: to view it at your leisure, to examine it, to let the feelings it brings up in you bloom.  If I can at all transmit the excitement, the energy, and the beauty of that fraction of a second, if I can bring that home and then give it to you, then my heart is full. It is true -- it is you that makes the process leave the realm of the technical and move into the emotional, bringing the art alive.

Every time I photograph the music and musicians I love, I feel like the luckiest person in the world. True story.

(Thee Oh Sees, The Crocodile, Seattle WA, 11/29/11)



Today, you lucky devils, you get the second installment (Part One is RIGHT HERE) in a "love" themed '60s garage blast from my archives of awesome aural adventures! Imagine if humans had no concept of love! What would songwriters write about? Probably slow drains and Pantone colors and nail fungus. Whether our musicians from Daze Of Olde here were in fuzzy warm romantic bliss or UNIMAGINABLE EMOTIONAL PAIN, please to enjoy!

This Wisconsin band starts us off on the pain side, confessing how bummed out the singer is to have his girl ripped off by another dude. Treacle-y and gently-off-key emo. He sounds young enough that it is likely he found a new girl the next day.

The saxophone in here stops just short of playing "Tequila," and our German singer enjoys miniskirts and many named lady parts.

The Ones, "Love Of Mine"

Pat is clearly influenced by Brenda Lee and Lesley Gore and sounds about 12. Aww, cute.

Pat Downey & The Vistas, "Real Live Lover"

Here's a special LIVE(-ish) love song from the Preachers, from the Shiveree TV show! These guys were early pioneers of headbanging and possibly influenced THIS WOMAN, who stars in what might be my favorite video of all time and space.

The Preachers, "Who Do You Love"

Uh huh, Ray...SAID EVERY GUY, EVER! Trendel must've have been a polyester fabric name, somewhere, sometime.

Ray Allen and the Trendels, "I Love You (And You Know I Really Mean It)"

I sure am hearing some similar vocal mannerisms to Mick Collins of the Gories/Dirtbombs fame. This makes this song extra BITCHEN for me.

The Revelles, "You Love Me No More"

An L.A. garage band that sounds like it would rather be a Texas garage band. I'm callin' it.

The Romancers, "Love's The Thing"

So, when's the last time you heard garage band from Bermuda, eh? RIGHT, NEVER! Some permutation of the Savages backed up Screamin' Lord Sutch until said nobleman left the planet in 1999.

The Savages, "Roses Are Red My Love"

This dude is whining and bitching about his buddies teasing him about a girl, but then claims he was never really that into her anyway and gives lots of excuses why that was so. HE DOTH COMPLAIN TOO MUCH, sez Dear Mariannelanders.

The Starfires, "I Never Loved Her"

And to end with, IF RIGHT ON CUE, here's a girl acknowledging that the dude doesn't love her, but she still loves him and "will do anything you say." Oh, Love! You so silly!

The Starlets, "You Don't Love Me"


Hey ho, Valentinas and Valentinos! I hope your Valentine's Day was very nice, and if it wasn't very nice at least it was OK, FINE, JUST FINE, OK!!! My leetle present to you today is ten smokin' hot songs culled from my very own collection -- yes, TEN great garage rock tunes with the word "love" in the title! My suggestion is to play these all in a row and shake your groove thang. Please to enjoy Part One, sweeties!

Greek psychedelia! This video is awesome. The dancing girls seem to be cloggers.

Aphroditie's Child, "Let Me Love, Let Me Live"

The Barons were from Michigan and play about as well as I do. It's a younger person. The title almost seems engrish.

The Barons, "Try A Love With Me"

The Birdwatchers were a Miami-based band with a Beatles/Kingsmen sound, and in 1966 cornered the market on polka dots.

The Birdwatchers, "I'm Gonna Love You Anyway"

These guys were from Pennsylvania. This lament tells us that a young lady is displeased about the singer's multiple cheating episodes. What?? A guy in a rock band cheated on his girlfriend?? NO WAY!!

The Buccanneers, "You're Never Gonna Love Me Anymore"

This was a rockin' all-girl band who were not hampered by meaningless gender roles nor grammar.

The Continental Co-ets, "I Don't Love You No More"

Speaking of all-girl bands, Dara Puspita was from Indonesia, in the time when playing Western rock music could get you JAILED. I dub them extra-mega-COOL. Here's their Bee Gees cover, fuzz-laden and before the Bee Gees choked on a disco ball.

Dara Puspita, "To Love Somebody"

I wonder if the Dirty Shames ever played with the Cryin' Shames? I hope so! They liked the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds a lot, I bet.

The Dirty Shames, "Makin' Love"

I don't know a thing about this band other than that their name is nifty, and I automatically am in love with their guitarist.

Kempy and the Guardians, "Love For A Price" cool! Stroll on beat, too too cool girl vocals, reverb city streets echo. Nice!

Kim and Grim, "You Don't Love Me"

This band hailed from L.A., and like so many of the time, were very HAPPY about their new fuzz box. Who wouldn't be?

Limey and the Yanks, "Guaranteed Love"



Courtesy the spectacular and delightful WELL of odd music that is "The Other Side Of Music," I bring you "I've Got A Bug." The name of the stoked songstress featured in this demo ditty is sadly unknown to us, although from her accent alone I feel she may have been one of my Sisters of the Great Upper Midwest, or perhaps hailed from somewhere in Canadia. In any case, whatever she lacks in tunefulness is surely made up in...pep. My PSA to you is to not turn your volume up too much when you listen to this, as it may agitate pets, break glass, or cause mild earthquakes. Also, don't get mad at me when you find yourself humming this at work later on. HA HA!

Unknown Artist, "I've Got A Bug"


Back in the Stoned Soul Picnic Age, there was a very popular vocal group called The 5th Dimension. Although I don't think they planned it this way, two of their biggest hits had the word "bell" in their titles and now act as retroactive primer bookends of What Not To Do Whilst In Love. Let us examine the first hit, "Wedding Bell Blues," written by Laura Nyro and released by The 5th Dimension in 1969.

Bill, I love you so, I always willI look at you and see the passion eyes of MayOh, but am I ever gonna see my wedding day
I was on your side, Bill, when you were losin'I never scheme or lie, Bill, there's been no foolin'But kisses and love won't carry me till you marry me Bill
I love you so, I always willAnd in your voice I hear a choir of carouselsOh, but am I ever gonna hear my wedding bells
I was the one who came runnin' when you were lonelyI haven't lived one day not lovin' you onlyBut kisses and love won't carry me till you marry me Bill
I love you so, I always willAnd though devotion rules my heart I take no bowsBut Bill you're never gonna take those wedding vows
Oh, come on Bill, oh, come on BillCome on and marry me, Bill, I got the wedding bell bluesPlease marry me Bill, I got the wedding bell blues, wedding bell bluesMarry me Bill, I got the wedding bell blues

The 5th Dimension, "Wedding Bell Blues"

OK, here's the HUGE MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR LESSON to learn from this song. Ready? Here it comes! LISTEN UP, FOOLS AND TOOLS!


Although this seems to be common sense, HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE DONE THIS? HMM? Here's the brutal question you need to ask yourselves, Pushers Of Legal Commitment: WHY would you ever want to be married to ANYONE who is reluctant to marry YOU?

Think HARD on that. For all the rationalization in the world (like whatever "I see the passion eyes of May" means), however much you think your guy or girl is madly in love with you but just afraid to say "I do" because they've had bad experiences in love, or are workaholics, or self-loathing, or poor, or WHAT. EVER., the bottom line is in some way, they aren't feelin' it like you are and do not want what you want. Setting up a marriage where one half of the couple feels manipulated or bullied or coerced into a level of relationship they do not seek themselves is a rotten idea, and will very likely blow up in your pretty face someday.

For all the time and effort you may have poured into your Bill or Billie Jo, for as much as you love them, for as scared as you might be to think of a life without them, accept that there are indeed more Bills in the sea...fantastic ones, in fact. More importantly, you have to accept that you DESERVE a partner who is on the same page relationship-wise, whether that's marriage or happy co-habs or happy separate places. If it isn't right, it isn't right, and it ain't gonna get right just because you want it to be so. Cry your little eyes out, then dry 'em up and look with a clear mind and strong heart about exactly why you wanted to make someone do something they didn't want to do. Maybe you don't even really want to get married, either; you just want to WIN someone and join the "normals." It's better to start over than lock in a doomed outcome, no matter how much you love someone. Read these paragraphs over and over and over until you hear a BELL.

The other 5th Dimension "bell" song was "One Less Bell To Answer," released in 1970 and written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. UH OH, the poor girl's marriage from the previous song didn't even last a YEAR!

One less bell to answer
One less egg to fry
One less man to pick up after
I should be happy
But all I do is cry

(Cry, cry, no more laughter) I should be happy
(Oh, why did he go)I only know that
Since he left my life's so empty

Though I try to forget it just can't be done
Each time the doorbell rings I still run
I don't know how in the world
To stop thinking of him
'Cause I still love him so
I end each day the way I start out
Crying my heart out

One less man to pick up after
No more laughter, no more love
Since he went away (he went away)

(One less bell to answer) Why did he leave me
(Why, why, why did he leave)
(One less bell to answer) Now I've got one less egg to fry
One less egg to fry
(Why, why, why did he leave) And all I do is cry
(One less bell to answer) Because a man told me goodbye
(Why, why, why did he leave)
(One less bell to answer) Somebody tell me please
Where did he go, why did he go
(Why, why, why did he leave)tell me 

How could he leave me

The 5th Dimension, "One Less Bell To Answer"

Well, OF COURSE, the dude was gonna bolt! All the bell-answering and cleaning up and egg-frying in the world ain't gonna keep a person on board who just doesn't wanna be there! Here's the lesson!


Someone who cares about you isn't going to treat you like a house slave or take advantage of your kind nature or loving good intent. Someone who cares about you will, yes, accept kindnesses from you, but will always be wanting to do kind things for you as well. Not because they think they should, but because they love you and it makes them feel good to see you smile or make your life better in any way. You want a partner, nothing less. Again, read that last sentence until the BELL thing happens.

In my little scenario here, I like to imagine that our poor Bell Girl, still moping around lovesick and lost, turns on her radio on 1971 and hears "Respect Yourself," by the Staple Singers, and her BELL goes off. She is wisely counseled, and THEN finds someone who is together enough inside to be a good partner to her, and THEN they move mountains. Or at least living room furniture, happily.

If you disrespect anybodyThat you run in toHow in the world do you thinkAnybody's s'posed to respect you
If you don't give a heck 'bout the manWith the Bible in his handJust get out the wayAnd let the gentleman do his thing
You the kind of gentlemanThat want everything your wayTake the sheet off your face, boyIt's a brand new day
Respect yourself, respect yourselfIf you don't respect yourselfAin't nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na naRespect yourself, respect yourself
If you're walking 'roundThink'n that the worldOwes you something'Cause you're here
You goin' outThe world backwardsLike you didWhen you first come here
Keep talkin' 'bout the presidentWon't stop evolutionPut your hand on your mouthWhen you cough, that'll help the solution
Oh, you cuss around womenAnd you don't even know their namesAnd you dumb enough to thinkThat'll make you a big ol man
Respect yourself, respect yourselfIf you don't respect yourselfAin't nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na naRespect yourself, respect yourselfRespect yourself, respect yourself
The Staple Singers, "Respect Yourself" (Soul Train)



O. M. G!!!!!!!!!!!

There are some things that you would think would HAVE TO BE A JOKE, but then are SO NOT A JOKE, and this is the BIGGEST THING THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A JOKE BUT IS NOT A JOKE...


This Iowa pastor and his wife take "youth outreach" to a new level with their "Rappin' For Jesus." This new level is either so high or so low that it cannot be comprehended by human beings or any scientific device. My jaw is now WIRED TO THE FLOOR. The West Dubuque Second Church of Christ has been shuttered for about ten years. Can't IMAGINE WHY.

WATCH IT NOW. Not really safe for work or anyone with any sense of correctness at all.

"Rappin' For Jesus"


I'm NOT a fan of televised awards shows, but I sure am a fan of THIS GUY and HIS PAL. Please to enjoy this extremely-early music video, selected as DAMN IMPORTANT by the Library of Congress!

Gus Visser and His Singing Duck, "Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me" (1925)


Kids these days, I tell ya. This week, I had to remind Mr14 and Miss Ten again that their Endless Array of Electronic Interactive Devices must be removed from their Sleeping Abodes, so that they may actually spend time sleeping instead of texting, Skype-ing, and gaming. I mean, I get it -- if I had a laptop computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone, ETC. ETC. when I was a youth I'm certain my parents would have had to wrestle them from me nightly. I'm not at all kidding, either -- it would have been worthy of a rink and admission. But now I am the parent and have to initiate the Great Shut-Down. It is my job.

Both kids asked me if I ever got into trouble when I was a little kid for sneaking stuff into my room past bedtime. Of course I did, I replied with a pointed Marge Simpson mom-look, but only once and then I got smarter than to get caught again, like some children I know. They couldn't imagine exactly what I would have snuck.

"A tiny TV?" queried Miss Ten.

"A record player?" queried Mr14.

"Ha ha, YEAH, one of those old ones with the big horn that you wind up! Ah ha ha ha ha!" Miss Ten chortled.

"NO," I no-ed, "It was my radio!"

I've often told my kids how important the radio was to me growing up, but I don't think there's any way they can really understand. For them, the radio is a pleasant accompaniment to our daily school drives, but no more than that. They have so many options for music and media consumption. They don't have any feelings for the radio. For me, it was really my only way to get the music I craved -- I had almost no money of my own to spend on buying records (the towns I lived in were too small to even have record stores anyway), and the music programs on TV were on just once a week. The radio was nothing less than magic to me -- turn it on and it plays you music any time of day or night. And -- important to this conversation -- my little red transistor radio came with an earphone, making it entirely possible to hide it multiple places in my bed so I could keep listening after my mom tucked me in for the night. (I had to explain to my kids what an earphone was: a single earbud. They were amused and confused by the concept of "monophonic sound.")

The AM dial opened up at dusk and WOKY, my favorite Milwaukee radio station in the '60s, would usually get obliterated by high-watt WLS out of Chicago. I would listen so hard through the crackling static as stations from all over the Midwest (and sometimes the South or East) floated in and out, parts of songs replaced by other parts of songs, the super-fuel DJ patter and the bumper jingles remarkably the same. There were many, many nights that I just couldn't make myself turn the radio off, even when I could feel myself slipping into favorite song might be coming up next! The big problem with this, other than being sleepy the next day, was that I'd run out of batteries pretty fast. Dead radio!! NOOOOOOO!

"Daddy, my radio needs batteries again, please," I would sweetly ask my father, after testing the 9-volt with my tongue.

"What?? Again? You aren't leaving it on all the time, are you? You have to click the dial to OFF!" he would grump at me.

"No, no. I know. I am turning it all the way off! I know how!" I would lie.

My dad kept me in 9-volts, and I kept listening for many years in the dark of my room, music flowing to me through the air. I still keep late hours listening to music, wearing hundred-buck Klipsch earbuds instead the mono earphone with the super-long cord, and in fact just made a request to KEXP's "Sonic Reducer" show and they played it within ten minutes. Magic!

Tribute to WLS Sound of the '60s