A folkish EP / mini album of organ-based, minimalist pop songs, with unassuming vocals and authentically retro style. These modest jams utilize a couple of vintage Bontempi organs from the 70s and 80s as well as a 1975 Cordovox combo organ. There is some 3/4 acoustic guitar in the title track, and some space theremin is peppered in here and there.
New poetry book available, “Beatnik Fascism.” It’s 86 pages and contains about 60 poems. The theme of the book is how the thought criminals are the non-conformists of today and operate within society but detached from it. It contains elements of futurism, transhumanism, race realism, anti-consumerism and anti-capitalism. The poems often incorporate the use of beatnik slang terms into their messages.
This is a highly creative movie, that is underrated in my opinion. You know that old saying “are you trying to dig a hole to China?” Well, the central plot of the film is that the Chinese have advanced technology and are secretly tunneling to the US to detonate nuclear bombs under America’s cities in order to take over the country. The US military figures out the plot after they are alerted by one of their own ex soldiers who is thought to be crazy. Anyway, there ends up being a huge battle in these tunnels to determine the fate of the country.
The reason this movie is considered to be “bad” by most is that many of the Chinese are played by white British actors who are made up to look Asian. The PC busybodies of today would probably ban this film if they actually had any curiosity that would lead them to be aware of the existence of obscure classics like this. Anyway, the actors being made to look Asian is a little bizarre and distracting, but it makes sense given that this film was made in 1967. At that time, China was mostly cut off from the western world and Western countries did not have good relations with China, especially after the Korean War. Britain in particular(where the film was made) had bad relations with China because of the dispute over Hong Kong. In fact, China had secret plans to invade Hong Kong the very year that this film was made but opted not to. So it follows then, that the film makers would not have had access to a pool of popular or known Chinese performers to fill these leading roles.
Since China was so isolated, it left a lot of room for the story to speculate on China having some kind of advanced technological capabilities, since the nation was such a mystery. Who knew what sort of secret weapons the Chinese might have or what they could be up to?
If you can get past the casting choices and makeup, Battle Beneath the Earth is actually an imaginative and fun little movie. I’ve probably seen it over 30 times. It never really gets boring, and it offers a unique glimpse of how the Chinese were perceived by the West at a tumultuous period in history, just before they began to open themselves up to the world.
Googie René – Romesville –
This oddball classic 1959 “beatsploitation” song is incredibly catchy and fun. The whole album is filled with beatnik lingo tracks like “Caesar’s Pad.” Could listen to these tunes on repeat for hours while relaxing in the bathtub.
Like Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs’ “Little Red Riding Hood,” Derek’s hit song “Cinnamon” had a charismatic creep theme(the song was actually by Johnny Cymbal, but he released it under his younger brother’s name.) It’s a classic stalker’s anthem, about a guy who isn’t taking no for an answer. It’s never made clear whether the girl might be interested despite his arrogant display, or whether he may even just trying to convince himself to bolster his confidence. There’s a hint that rather than being a predator, he’s the one hurt by the punishment of rejection:
Sneakin down your alley way
And knockin’ on your door
Thought I had enough but I’m back for more
One can almost hear it as a Wonder Years styled inner voice encouraging him to keep trying. After all the stalk talk, he nervously knocks on her door, and she opens it, mildly annoyed. He says meekly, “Cinnamon, do you think we could maybe go out for coffee?”
“No thank you. I have to wash my hair. Maybe some other time.”
As he walks home dejectedly, he begins singing this song again to himself as some sort of defense mechanism and buildup for the next time.
Cinnamon is a pretty hot name for a 60’s suburban teenage girl, maybe even superior to Mercedes(Heather Graham) as the love interest of Corey Haim in the 1980’s film, License to Drive. I definitely empathize with the protagonist of this sexually charged song.
“Cinnamon” by Derek is one of my favorite jams of the 1960s. The lyrics are stalkerish and would trigger most millennials, but it remains to be seen whether it’s a dangerously creepy song or merely a pathetically creepy one. It’s a line fine line we walk. Take a chance and dance around it with us.
You can’t hide girl
I’m comin’ inside girl
Do what you want to
Baby I’ll let you
Might as well face it
Cinnamon you know I’m gonna get ya
I haven’t watched regular tv in a long time. I hate almost every thing that’s on and have for probably the past 20 years or so. Not just the IQ draining reality tv crystal garbage, but even those dramas people think are amazing and groundbreaking(“Mad Men” etc.) Once you notice the false depth and attempts to package tired cliches as profound statements, theses shows become thoroughly unwatchable.
The other day, I was thinking about it though, and it seems to me that we may have reached a point where watching one of those Fisher Price “Two Tune” tvs(that any 70s or 80’s kid will remember) may be more entertaining and stimulating than anything on current television programming. For a more rewarding experience, watch the screen on an old music box tv and tell me that’s not more satisfying than the crap that’s polluting the old plasma. The beauty! The innocence! The ambiance! The quaint activation of imagination! You won’t find it in the consumer trance inducing signals they’re beaming at you. Yes, I’ll gladly wind it up, stare at the two tune tv screen and repeat 50 times over rather than sitting through a tedious episode of “Game of Thrones” or a game of sportsball. If you want to dramatically improve your TV watching experience overnight, you should too.
Little Fevers is a band from Minneapolis that features two guys and two girls. Their new album “Field Trip” is terrific an is characterized by sort of a vintage indie sound. It’s sort of a combination of 60s folk rock and early 2000s indie pop. One particularly stand out song is “Apple Tree,” which is quite catchy. I would like to see this band really catch on.
An obscure 90’s oddity, Birthday Boy‘s aesthetic resembles something of a “Lo-Fi Leisure Suit Larry.” The song, “Right Back Where I Started” chronicles the love life of the character Michael from the show, “Melrose Place.” If fact, those who remember the show can probably recognize the chronologically accurate storyline and the women being referenced in the lyrics.
Originally released on cassette in 1996, this is one the most unusual recordings from a highly experimental era of indie alternative music.
The 1989 movie “Shag” was one of those likely forgettable films that always seemed to be on HBO when I was a kid in middle school sitting around waiting for my mom to drive me to basketball practice. Despite being a bit of a throwaway “chick flick”(a phrase I find to be kind of cringeworthy after seeing it used on so many girls’ dating profiles,) I always had a weird appreciation for it. It’s kind of an obscure gem illustrating the beauty and innocence of 1960s Southern teen culture. In many ways my nostalgia for nostalgic films of this era is a longing to recapture my own innocence from this time period(late 80’s-early 90s.)
I haven’t seen Shag in a long time, perhaps over 20 years. A couple of years ago I saw it and Half Priced Books in the used dvd section for 5 dollars but ended up not buying it. Apparently I really missed an opportunity. The “Shag” dvd seems to be quite rare now. Copies of it range from 40 to 80 dollars, quite a lot to cough up for a movie that I recall as being fairly mediocre. Still, the chance to see Phoebe Cates and Bridget Fonda in their prime within the context of an early 1960’s, southern belle/Jackie Onassis aesthetic might be worth the trip down memory lane.
Shag had a decent soundtrack as well, which was available on vinyl.