Thursday, February 20, 2014

February Fave Raves & JoJo Making Lists

I came across this list of Jonathan Richman's favorite records from the 1960's and thought it was worth reposting. This may have first appeared in Fusion magazine, but I'm not certain, I know that Jonathan did a bit of writing for Fusion in the early 70's, so that's my guess. There aren't any real big surprises on the list, but it's nice to see his love of mid-60's Stones, especially the great American hodgepodge record December's Children, which is so much better than it has any right to be considering how thrown together it is. Also very cool that he rates the Stones and the Kinks mid-60's live albums, both of which are generally not held in high esteem but which I personally love because they're so damn raw and energetic, especially Got Live If You Want It. The fact that they are doctored with extra applause just adds to the fun and manic energy.

I had never considered the Lovin' Spoonful an influence on Jonathan, but upon reflection this makes perfect sense. I guess the biggest surprise is the Who's "I'm Free" making the list, as its hard to see JoJo digging the double album rock opera that is Tommy- but there's no denying that "I'm Free" is a great song and easily the best track from Tommy, especially that beautiful middle eight; "I told you what it takes to reach the highest high, you laughed and said nothing's that simple, but you've been told many times before messiahs pointed to the door, but no one had the guts to leave the temple".

There are four songs on the list that I am not familiar with, so I've posted those four below, followed by the Who's "I'm Free" since I singled it out as the most surprising choice on the list, and commented on its beauty. And finally since lists are undeniably self indulgent but FUN (which is really what this here blog is all about) I decided to end with a list of my current fave raves.

Wm's February Fave Raves: In no particular order


1. Broadcast & The Focus Group- Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age
2. Francoise Hardy- Midnight Blues
3. The Blues Project- Projections
4. Flamin' Groovies- Supersnazz & Slow Death
5. Gilberto Gil- 1971
6. Curtis Mayfield- Sweet Exorcist
7. The Buffalo Springfield Again
8. Paul Revere and the Raiders- Revolution
9. The Electric Prunes- Underground
10. Ennio Morricone- The Legendary Italian Westerns
11. Echo and the Bunnymen- Ocean Rain & Porcupine
12. All of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's records
13. Shaun Cassidy- First album and Born Late (produced by Michael Lloyd of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band) *disclaimer- these records sound nothing like WCPAEB but it's an interesting connection.


1. Flirting- 1991

2. Smashing Time- 1967

3. Swiss Family Robinson (Disney)

4. Melody-1971- I looked a bit like Mark Lester, the kid in Melody when I was a little, even had the sandy blonde hair. The sequence to the Bee-Gees "To Love Somebody" is sublime.

5. Hammett- Wim Wenders 1982

6. Darby O' Gill and the Little People- I've been on a bit of a live action Disney kick and I also enjoy looking at Janet Munro!

7. The Nostradamus Kid -I've been on a Noah Taylor kick as well. Flirting is a much better film, but this one is good too, and with better editing could have been great.  There is nothing for this film on youtube.

8. Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Seasons 1 & 2- The theme music and visuals of the second season opening sold me on the show- not to mention the boys' awesome van and Shaun's sheep lined leather jacket. What's not to like?

9. The Doors- R-Evolution- Live vocals to a pre-recorded backing track and what great vocals they are, really the first to bring that crooner vocal to rock. And Morrison had more presence just standing still with his eyes closed than any gyrating fool you can name, I love when he drops at the end of Moonlight Drive. All this and King Curtis blowing on Touch Me too!  Whew!

10. The Girl Who Knew Too Much


1. The Cry of the Owl- Patricia Highsmith
2. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch- Philip K. Dick
3. Skywalking- The Life and Films of George Lucas- Dale Pollock
4. Sinister Barrier- Eric Frank Russell
5. Detroit Rock City- Steve Miller
6. Tune In- Mark Lewisohn
7. Poems From the Book of Hours- Rainer Maria Rilke
8. Shindig (magazine)
9. Ugly Things (magazine)

My February Girls:

1. Thandie Newton especially in Flirting- The trailer below is awful and gives no indication of how classy and heartfelt the film is, but it's how they tried to market any teen film at the time (making it look like Porkys), and I guess still do. At least they had the good sense to keep the Troggs' "With A Girl Like You" in there, which is a transcendent music cue in the film. This film was a big influence on Wes Anderson. 

Noah Taylor and Thandie Newton in 1991's Flirting
A still from Flirting
2. Janet Munro- I wish girls still looked like this, sigh.  Also wish there were still girls whose lives didn't revolve around Facebook and smart phones. Why do people want to put so many levels of artifice between themselves and experiential reality? Always refusing to be where they are and be with who they are with, afraid that people might think their lives aren't full or happy if they don't post pictures of themselves enjoying it for others to comment on or "like". Sometimes I see groups of people together but all of them are oblivious to each other, all of them are fooling with their phones, incredible. Pod people for real, I feel like I'm living in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Or maybe it's more like those Perky Pat layouts in the Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, without the CAN-D drug to help it seem more real. Guess it's good I don't have THAT much longer to live, as I think things will only get uglier. 
Groovy First Edition Hardback

Three pics of the lovely Janet Munro

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