Puss and Glop 2018

This poll that started back when Neanderthals voted in the Village Voice has acted like I don’t exist for years and years now and I’ve returned the favor for a while.

I’ve only thought of one new thing to say: the poll had a lot of power in its peak era because it damn near covered the popular-music profession. The whole gang voted.

Now, given the interwebs horde of podders and posters and piddlers and poopdits, the poll doesn’t represent anything except another Usual Gang of Idiots among the zillions.

So — eeeh.

Bats: Cuties or Creepies?

We checked out the Empresses exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum today (yeah, I’m sorry we didn’t get out earlier so I could plug it before its final week) and aside from the most wondrous silk stitching I’ve seen in my life, I was stuck with a couple zoological-perspective revelations.

First, the symbol of the Emperor is the five-clawed dragon, the symbol of the Empress is the Phoenix. I noticed that to bolster the real-world actuality of the imaginary birds, they were always painted (and stitched, and carved) the same way (long neck with crested head, long legs, some peacock aspects to the plumage) and often in a natural setting — a bird among birds.

Second, it blew our brains how a different cultural attitude toward an animal can change its representation in art. I knew bats were considered good luck symbols (because of no more than a weird word coincidence), but did not realize how much a different connotation, even perception, of an animal could alter its representation in art. There were lots of bats with beautiful curly wings and cute, whiskery faces. And then some utterly wild ones that had white wings, pink heads and blue bodies (more like butterflies, really). Concluded that these were understood to not be realism in any way, but their own sort of ideogram.

[Single most astonishing object: the head-on-both-ends dragon seal of the final Emperor. It was not melted down like all previous ones because he was the last Emperor. Weighs 40 pounds. Incredibly detailed, utterly ferocious monster.]

Dragon seal.jpg

The Air Is Still And The Light Is Cool #28

Various, Beserkley Chartbusters Home of the Hits (Castle, remastered and repackaged 2000)

We’re back/have arrived in times when anything can happen. A spontaneous Twitter conversation brought up Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers’ landmark MA number, “Roadrunner.” And then less than a week later, I swear it was a coincidence, I run across this compilation looking for a workout soundtrack.

And there’s more mess. I have qualms about the second (live show) disc on this compilation (too much Greg Kihn and Rubinoos — but nice chunks of Earth Quake and (!) Tyla Gang). But the first one gives a couple worthy tweaks to the now revered Chartbusters LP.

Some quick points:

Earth Quake’s “Friday on My Mind” (the lead-off track) is the definitive version of the tune. The passion, the fun, the pace can’t be beat. My favorite is that on Tuesday, “My Old Man looks ‘Good’.”

The Richman/Modern Lovers Rendition of “Roadrunner” is captivating for both insiders and outsiders. The power-lines image tickles insiders and fascinates outsiders. And of course, there’s more.

The Spitballs “Let Her Dance” is a definitive post-Prom-Night-Universal version of the number.