Sunday, August 29, 2021


I found myself reading a 1982 issue of Billboard for some reason. An endless number of pages going on about how absolutely wonderful ASCAP and its then-president Hal David are (snore), but I liked this step from the section on "how do we monetize this play of 'I Will Survive' on some Philadelphia radio station?" I would like to see how they went from a series of mi sol sol sol sol fa sol and then on and on until they came up on "Blitzkrieg Bop." (Note: forgive my lack of theory chops.)

Were there punchcards involved? Minicomputers? The internet is surprisingly silent. 

The only real hit on the less creepy search engine (aside from long-link-deathed "lists of weird jobs" from the 00s) was from someone who happened to mention that she worked as a solfeggist before or during her career as an adult actress. Details are scant. Clearly she has underestimated the huge potential audience of weirdos reading early-80s music industry magazines and asking themselves "what was that all about?"

Friday, August 20, 2021

Three Berry Icecream


Every so often I get a Three Berry Icecream song stuck in my head (usually "Fine Day") and I search to see if they've done anything. Lo and behold there's a "quarantine session" on the YouTube. Totally charming as always, and bonus points for matching stripes!

In a better world "Fine Day" would be a standard.  It has a lovely melody and a sweet arrangement and it speaks to the universal desire to hang out inside and listen to records and read picture books and look at lovely things that one has collected - wait, that's NOT a universal human desire? FINE. I'll wait for a better world, I guess. This sweet and twee little number has gotten me through multiple weird moments of sadness and anxiety and I wish more people knew about it.

I saw them in 2000 or so in the last few months of my ill-fated California experiment. I was burned out and young but not so young, and I was feeling hope for the first time in a long time after some extremely dire romantic entanglements burned themselves out. 3BI played in some venue in the Inland Empire with the Fairways. There were glockenspiels and everything in the world was shiny and beautiful for a brief moment.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Yips - The Blue Flannel Bathrobe Butterfly

The Yips' The Blue Flannel Bathrobe Butterfly is one of those albums I come back to every year or so. I like how it breaks rules: the first line on the album starts mid-word, the scuzz-and-crash guitar-drum duo 90s sound conflicts strongly with the occasional poetic lyrics, said poetic lyrics conflict strongly with highly matter-of-fact lyrics elsewhere, did they just namedrop gnostic manuscripts on a punk album and then go along to play a single chord for multiple minutes?! and two songs clock in at 7 and 10 minutes respectively. Currently selling for $3 or so on even overpriced online marketplaces because CDs and late-90s scuzz-and-crash sounds are both unfashionable at the moment.

They print lyrics for some of the more interesting songs but not all of them. Alas.

I searched for the album and came up with this Chickfactor interview, in which singer/guitarist Gilmore Tamny provides a quote for the ages:

I realized playing guitar was a perfect mid-point between doing the bills and watching t.v.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Frontera Collection

On the way home from the old-timey tractor festival, we stopped in Woodburn. We got tacos and stopped by a thrift store. At the thrift store, I flip through the LPs. Like a cranky old man, I complain to myself that the thrift-store LPs are two bucks each, but they have some pretty cool ranchero/norteño LPs on record labels that I recognize from previous garage sale finds, so I grab a few, along with copies of Big Bird Sings! and Ernie's Hits!

When I get home, I play the LP by El Palomo y el Gorrión. Of course it is great. I look for more of their stuff online. Lots of it is, including the wonderfully titled Tragedias de Mujeres Infieles. Down the rabbit hole I go.

Some of their 45s appear to be up on a YouTube page called Frontera Collection. OK, whoa - there's an entire Arhoolie archive at UCLA dedicated to this stuff? And there are what, 11,000 records so far at their parent archive?

Anyway, serious serious rabbit hole stuff. If you have any fondness for this sort of thing (or for Peruvian huaynos or what have you), it's a good place to get lost for a long time. If you're not fond of this sort of thing, go watch Chulas Fronteras and come back.