Can You Tell An Album By The Cover Of Its Cover?

Okay, really, who doesn’t love album covers?*

They draw your attention to a record in the first place, they give your eyes something to do while your ears are enjoying the sound of that record – seriously, what’s not to love?

Now, think about your favourite album. Now think about its cover. Or think about an album with a cover that you really like. How would your understanding and appreciation of that album change if its cover changed?** Would you have even spent your allowance on it in the first place if it had a different cover? Would the music inside sound different? Do they have any effin’ right in the world to do this?

Try Cargo Collective’s 33.3 Project , where I found that twist on the The Replacements’ Pleased to Meet Me, on for size. How do those grab you?

Then there’s this batch of minimalist album covers by Ty Lettau. Yes? No? Maybe so?

Finally, what we have here is the covers of albums reimagined as the covers of 1960’s paperback books and we have to think carefully about this for a minute because in the real world, many (ok, all) of the albums here didn’t exist in the era in question, and then there’s that they are not books, so the question is, if you found one on a shelf in Wee Book Inn and opened it up, what would be inside?

*iTunes doesn’t love album covers, the pricks, and there’s only one album cover that Sarah Palin loves.

**Tad had to change the cover of 8-Way Santa, and things were never the same again (sob).

Good News, and More Good News

Updated a little while after the big announcement. Scroll down to the bottom, okay?

Today’s the day, ladies and gents. We all know that the 68Comeback Special has features, all kinds of features, all the time. Every week, there’s Gabe with the Grade 4 Report. Once a year, there’s the stab we take at appreciating Pere Ubu. Metal Machine Music Helps Out, check. We like to keep you, the listening audience, entertained.

One of our favourite yearly features is the one where we announce the Former/Aging/Possibly Forgotten UK Punks That We’ll Be Getting Behind in the Coming Year. We like that one a lot, but the name’s always been a little clunky. Not anymore. Its slick new name: The 68Comeback’s Comeback Punk of the Year. That’s the good news. The more good news is, tomorrow on the show, sometime between 3 and 5 on CJSR-FM (we’ll definitely wait until Tom gets there), we’ll announce this year’s recipient of this prestigious honour. You absolutely won’t believe it when you hear who it is. Unless you do.

Update: Best news yet! It’s John Cale!

Bachelor Brad: Three Cheers for Madison!

"I miss you already, Madison."

I think I’ve been having too bad an attitude about this season of The Bachelor. I mean, rooting for Brad to repeat what happened in his first effort as the Bachelor and not find a wife on TV? That’s cold, man. It’s like I don’t believe (don’t want to believe? won’t believe?) in TV love, and that’s not right. Who’s to say where, and under what circumstances, people should find love? Why wouldn’t a show like The Bachelor, even with its unreasonably grandiose dates and obvious-if-not-quite-visible, behind-the-scenes’ machinations of its producers, be capable of producing love? Love is mysterious! Love happens how it happens! Why, just the other day, I heard about a couple who found love on TV. They met in the Capitol Records building where they were both hanging around with no discernible purpose when Seal, who also seemed to be just kind of hanging around in the same building, albeit with his band in tow, started playing that romantic song of his (you know, the one that goes, “Bay-bay! Blahblah blahblah…), that melts two reticent hearts into one oozy, goopy one, and the couple wound up bonding while having dinner on the roof, when she told him about how she and her dad* used to love Seal and sing his songs together just like the two of them had just done, and…oh… that was The Bachelor, wasn’t it?

And what kind of a heartless bastard would not give a date rose to this woman who had just told him about her father’s stroke? If anyone could, I’d like to believe it would be Brad, but I have it on good authority that he’s different now. So on to the group date.

Though I’m not much of a Seal fan, I have to tell you, there’s nothing I enjoy more in the world than sitting down to an action/adventure movie, shot on the approximate budget of a segment for a television show, starring some guy and eleven women who are all trying to win his affections on a television show for which they’re filming the group-date segment at the exact same time as they’re making the movie. This thing is post-post-modern to the point of giving out free skull-exploding migraines with every viewing, and we haven’t even mentioned Michelle yet. Okay, well, now we have.

Speaking of skull-exploding migraines, then, the last time we were aware of Michelle the hairstylist, she was up to all the attention-monopolozing shit that only a shiny new potential mate can get away with – constantly pulling him away from the group so that he can reassure her that he thinks the sun rises and sets out of her ass, or in order to have pointless tête a têtes about what he puts in his fridge, or for any number of pouty little huffs about who-the-hell-knows-WHAT. Anyone who’s ever been a shiny new potential mate off whom the luster has worn can tell her that she persists with this sort of behaviour at her peril, but I’d be willing to bet that the Hairdresser is no better at hearing that sort of warning than she is at being a post-post-modern action/adventure star.

But then again, there’s a then again that we need to consider here for a minute, because when Shawntel the Undertaker plants one on Brad at the end of their scene (thus taking the rose!), Michelle is offended, and we hear her saying stuff like, “OUR first kiss isn’t going to be scripted,” and “When I kiss Brad…,” lines which, if you stop to consider them, seem to echo the words of another famously crazy Michelle from about two seasons ago* which, if we were allotting post-post-modern action/adventure star points, would probably be worth something, but then again, that’s not what we’re doing. We’re trying to help Brad fall in love. So never mind. And since I already gave away who got the group date rose, can we now just skip forward to the next solo date? Emily? Yes, soon, but not yet. I want to recount the teary exchange that he and Chantal the Hitter have, about the inherent difficulty of being one among many who are vying for the one’s affections. She tells him, “Every time I feel special (with you), someone else has the same experience.”

Brad answers, “Don’t cry,” which is another way of saying, “Yeah, well,” which is another way of pointing out that we all know that’s a problem for every member of the group and there’s nothing we can, or would, do to change it. Now, on to Emily!

Last we saw Emily, she was clamming up (again) about the little flower she’s got locked in Mimi’s*** attic back home in Southern Belleville USA. I can see the tearful reunion now: “I’ve got good news and bad news, honey-bunny! The good news is, you’ve got a new Daddy! The bad news? We can’t ever let him know that you exist!”

Things don’t get off to a great start on this solo date to a vineyard. To put it as sensitively as possible, Emily can only tell the heartbreaking story of the race car driver who was the love of her life dying in a plane crash, leaving her pregnant and alone, to all the men she’s dated since then, the person making her audition tape, the show’s producers, the other women in the house and last but not least, the entire viewing audience. But not Brad. And so she has virtually nothing to say to him. Ever had a date who wouldn’t talk to you about anything? Don’t you feel like a heel now? The good news is, she eventually did tell him, which was such a giant breakthrough that he had to speak with his therapist the very next day, before he went to the kicking people out party.

The kicking people out party is not without drama. Michelle interrupts some more, but the real excitement comes from Madison when, in her conversation with Brad, she muses that maybe she’ll just leave. She even takes her fangs out to do it – that’s how you know she’s serious. At first you might be tempted to think that it’s because she’s a model and she’s not usually the one in a room of seventeen women who has to compete that hard to keep a guy interested in her and so maybe she just doesn’t see herself as being up to the effort required, or maybe it’s a game that she’s playing in order to drum up a little extra interest from him just before the rose ceremony, but then, when she actually does walk out in the middle of the ceremony it’s pretty clear – she thinks Brad’s a good guy, but she’s not nearly as interested in him, or this process, as others in the group. He makes a little speech about letting guards and walls stand in the way of your happiness, but that’s exactly what Madison didn’t do by walking away. She could have stuck around, let her guard down for the sake of competing for something she didn’t want all that badly, but she was smart enough to recognize how stupid that would be, and brave enough to act in her true best interests. And so now she’s my favourite. Too bad she’s gone.

Remaining: Ashley, Shawntel N., Emily, Michelle, Chantal O., Lisa, Jackie, Ashley H., Marissa, Britt, Alli, Lindsay, Meghan, Stacey.

*Dads! All season long on The Bachelor, everyone will share stories about how they’ve been left emotionally crippled on account of either bad or dead dads. What the?

**Not counting Bachelor Pad, which hopefully traumatized us all sufficiently enough that none of us have any idea what this reference means.

***Some crazy chitlin-circuit name for Grandma.

The 68Comeback Experience

This is the list of songs we played on this, January 13, 2011, the day before The Joe’s birthday and his record release party and whatnot. Thank you and you are welcome.

Tad  –  Jack Pepsi

Stagmummer  –  S. Artiste

Miniature Tigers  –  Bullfighter Jacket

Gerald Cleaver/Uncle June  –  Lee/Mae

Steven Wonderful  –  Mr. F-L-Y

Yma Sumac  –  Goomba Boomba

K.C. Accidental  –  Save the Last Breath for Me

The Joe  –  Sledge

Doug Hoyer  –  Lakes of Mars

The Joe w/ CBT –  Retirement’s a 4-Letter Word I Scream In Public

Scientific American – Track 2

Jom Comyn – Crying Just For Show

Pioneer – The Boxer

Peep Sho – Ipod Girlz

Cowpuncher – Thank God For Pretty Girls

Pm Glimm – The Sun is Asleep

Pizzarhea – Catamites

Varpai – Symphonic Fields

At. Your. Peril.

Call us particular if you want. Such is the mojo of the 68Comeback Special, heard every Thursday afternoon from 3 to 5 on your very own CJSR-FM, that on any given day, we could put out the call and have just about any old Joe pay us a visit.

BUT.

On the day before the release party for Float or Flail, it is not just any old Joe that we require, and so it is not any old Joe that we call. Paying a visit on tomorrow’s 68Comeback Special: THE Joe. You miss this at your peril.

Bachelor Brad: “It’s My Birthday!”

"Care for some disappointment?"

I don’t know how it is that I always miss the first ten minutes of The Bachelor, but I do. And maybe I should regret it, but I don’t. Here’s the thing – I turn on the TV to find Brad and Ashley going for a car ride down a dirt road, before getting out and walking down a dark path. Was he planning on…eliminating her? Nope, instead they flipped a switch, turning on a creepy carnival in the woods, with rides and games and cotton candy, but no other people. Spooky to you and I, but Brad and Ashley seem to enjoy it well enough. They even get a chance to sit down and swap stories about their bad dads. Brad talks about his bad dad being primarily responsible for his not being able to, um, perform the last time he was the Bachelor and Ashley asks if this time through is all about redemption for him. I didn’t hear his answer, but it’s ‘yes,’ even if it was ‘no’.

That’s because, if you ask the show’s producers, this season’s theme can only be about redemption, the premise of that being, if you can’t find the needle that is a perfectly adequate bride hidden in the haystack of 30 women they present you with – each one hand-picked to be supremely motivated to fall in love with practically any stranger that gets offered up – then you’ve got a problem, son, and that problem is you.

Obviously, we’re worried that Brad’s bought into that kind of thinking, what with the way he was handing out roses left and right this evening, beginning with Ashley, but let’s not allow ourselves to give up hope too easily. We know how this show works, and it doesn’t matter what happens along the way, just so long as he eventually disappoints the last two ladies standing, and everyone else who believes in TV love, which is just about everybody*.

But what about the group date? Fifteen ladies and Brad, making PSAs for Red Cross Blood Donor Month. Thank the gods for Brad’s speech up front to the lot of them, where he says that he’s looking for “a woman who can give as much as she can receive,” else all we’d have by way of highlights on this date is the Hairdresser’s** tedious variations on, “It’s my birthday,” and Mannish Melissa‘s minor faux pas when she invaded somebody else’s skit. You know, I usually enjoy the group dates. But not this one. And I don’t really mean it when I say I enjoy the group dates.

Sigh. Now it’s time to talk about what I call my ten o’clock problem. In short, it’s ten o’clock. There’s still an hour to go. Brad’s got a solo date with Jackie – “Jackie’s very own Pretty Woman experience,” he calls it. Did he just suggest that Jackie is a prostitute? Maybe we’ll pretend he didn’t say anything about that. The larger point, returning to the ten o’clock problem, is that I so completely don’t care about this date because of 1) Jackie’s face, 2) some fuggin’ band I can’t possibly care about when they’re playing for an audience of two***, and 3) by the time the group date is over, we just want to know who’s out. C’mon, am I right? Well, in any case, it’s not Jackie, not this time. She gets a date rose, but not before he tells her that she worries him because she’s only dated two people in her life. Funny aside – he assumes this is due to a choice she’s made for herself.

Then, the final cocktail party is just one big round of Raichel vs. Melissa, who totally take everyone aback, including surprise Brad helpers Ali and Roberto, with their crazy bitchery. And then they both get kicked out (not Ali and Roberto, Raichel and Melissa!), along with Keltie, who may not have deserved to get booted, but that doesn’t matter. Not any of this matters until everybody’s gone and everyone is disappointed****.

*But not you and I. We will be overjoyed.

**You see her flaunting it when she got the rose? Will she or won’t she take a punch in the mouth before season’s end?

***It’s Train. If you don’t know them, that’s okay. This is all you need. Okay, that and this: of the Hollywood Bowl, where they are (all by themselves of course) on their date, Brad says, “The Beatles have  played here. Elton John, Jimi Hendrix.” And Train. Fuuuuuuck.

****Except for you and I, who will be overjoyed.

Wu Tang Clan Is Someone to Klatch With

The Wu Tang logo that mysteriously appeared in the silt in the bottom of my coffee cup today.

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