Anyone who spends much time in the weirder areas of popular music and comedy will be aware of the phenomenon of the “party record”. Back in the 40s and 50s, artists like Ruth Wallis and Rusty Warren cut albums filled with risque lyrics and double entendres for the amusement of the cocktail party crowd after the kids were sent upstairs. In many ways, the trend died out thanks to comedians like Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor, who broke many of the barriers between so-called adult and popular entertainment. An extreme form of this kind of stuff can be found in the work of Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts from the 60s. In his early, pre-Mothers days, Frank Zappa was arrested for producing a party record, and did a ten-day jolt in county for “conspiracy to commit pornography.”
These albums and singles were typically sold under the counter, or at flea markets or personal appearances, because “respectable” stores didn’t want to be known as smut merchants. Of course, there was the mail-order option:
And then there are those songs that, while not exactly in the category of party records, were nonetheless a bit… steamy for the 1950s mainstream, to the point that one wonders how they got released. And as an example of what I mean, here’s 1958’s “Little Girl”, by John and Jackie. I’m guessing it didn’t get much play from Richie and the gang at Arnold’s. Even today, it’s clean, but, well… ah, just listen.
In the wake of yesterday’s post about bad Christian rock, reader and friend David D. pointed this one out to me. As he notes: “The realism of this video is the reason I’m ‘nosebleed’ high church these days.” I’ve never been quite at this point, but having done a couple of stretches deputizing in worship bands, I can dig it.
OK, seriously, whatever brings folks closer to Christ is a net gain, but I worry that this might be a little too much shiny happy Christianity, long on flash and thin on substance. Hope I’m wrong.
And just for the heck of it, back in my undergrad days, I spent a lot of time hanging out in the campus radio station (Surprising, I know.) One day, some friends and I were rooting through the albums of yesteryear and found what appeared to be some sort of old-school acid rock/heavy psych. We didn’t know anything about the group, but closer examination and a couple of spins revealed it to be a Christian rock album — in fact, the band that made it was one of the first Christian rock groups. It was Mind Garage’s Electric Liturgy album, and while side one was standard late-60s hard rock (including what I remember as a pretty fair Vanilla Fudgish version of “Paint It Black“), side two was the titular concept piece, a full-on Episcopalian service (with hints of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida). So, submitted for your consideration, praise and/or blame, here’s a bit of Morgantown, WV’s Mind Garage.
“You ain’t makin’ Christianity better; you’re makin’ rock and roll worse.”
There are very good rock bands that address Christian themes and ideas — one of them is finishing up a new album as I type.
And then… there are others. These guys make Up With People sound like the P-Funk All-Stars.
“He taught me how to praise my God and still play rock and roll.”
You sure about that?
Still, I guess I can hope that there’s an “Our Lady’s Juggler” aspect to all this. I can hope.
I just received an e-mail from our HR department intended to present the facts and some reassurance about Ebola. It mentioned that one possible disease vector was contact with or consumption of “infected meat.”
Is it wrong that I immediately thought that “Infected Meat” would be a really good name for a thrash metal band?
Yesterday afternoon, I came home from work to find the Spawn sitting in the living room, and we got to talking about writing — a subject in which she has a considerable interest (and in which I think she punches above her weight class, even accounting for paternal bias). She’s a voracious reader, and reads a significant amount of
fan amateur fiction, which if nothing else, lets her see what sorts of mistakes other young writers make.
As we were talking, the subject of writing sex scenes was broached. This led us to readings of some past winners of the Bad Sex in Fiction award, which are especially fun if done in the voice of Gilbert Gottfried (NSFW). After some hearty laughter, she said, “I think when I write sex scenes, I’m going to try to make them as clumsy, awkward, and humiliating as possible. That’ll be much more real.”
I said, “You’ve been talking to your mom again, haven’t you?”
Walking back to my office with a friend after lunch yesterday, I noticed a banner urging members of the campus community to get DNA swabbed for a bone marrow registry, which I thought was pretty cool. Then I noticed a blurb on the banner that said, “Ages 15-44!”, which I guess (due to the exclamation point) was meant to be wide ranging and inclusive.
Of course, I’m 49. I turned to my friend and said, “Nothing like being told you aren’t even valuable for spare parts anymore.”
Since Withywindle dropped the gauntlet, and as a long-time fan of MAD Magazine’s musical parodies, here we go…
How do you solve a problem like Ebo-laaaa?
How do you keep the virus from your door?
There’s not much you can do once you’ve seen it ain’t the flu
And you’re squirting blood from each and every pore!
If your fever is low-grade, but your will is not yet made,
You might want to sneak around the quarantine…
Did you miss the protocols? Hear the hacking in the halls
As your neighbors turn a sickly shade of green!
How do you solve a problem like Ebo-laaaa?
How do you keep the pestilence at bay?
If you keep your hazmat suit, maybe you’ll be left to loot
Once the population dwindles all awayyyyy!
I await my call from Julie Andrews, or maybe Carrie Underwood…