The Onion On My Internet Belt

This week I continued the strange journey that is my Buck Rogers rewatch. It’s a mix of fascinating costumes, miniature model work, guest stars, and plots so thin it strains the idea of credulity even if you accept the premise of the show. I enjoyed the episode “Space Rockers” which had Jerry Orbach, Richard Moll, and a really fun soundtrack. What the episodes don’t have much of as season one runs out, is Erin Gray. In the pilot episode she was the head of the Earth Defense Force. I am disappointed by this for several reasons, not the least of which is the basic sexism of it.

Over the last couple of weeks we have had two unusual repeat visitors to our backyard bird feeder: female pheasants and a pigeon. I suspect that the ground cover is deep enough where the pheasants are struggling, but the pigeon (or rock dove) I have no idea. Perhaps it became disaffected with its city life and wanted to try living in the burbs for a bit. The squirrels aren’t happy with the competition.

The average length of song in this week’s mix is ten minutes. Set your laid back music listening expectations accordingly.

A small piece of blog housekeeping: I am turning off comments on posts. I’ve been getting an influx of spam comments and it’s way easier to turn them off than sort through and delete them later.

I mean, where else would one have cocktails? Thanks again Buck Rogers!

Listen to and/or download this podcast! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents 2-3-23

NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” podcasts are generally posted on Fridays. The show archives are around ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.  Playlist in “Song – Artist – Album” order.

  1. Solaris – Juno Reactor – Shango.
  2. Divine Moments Of Truth – Shpongle – Are You Shpongled?
  3. Song for the Phoenix – System 7 – Phoenix.
  4. Message From Io (Boca Junior Remix) – Enigma – A Posteriori (Private Lounge Remix).
  5. Ansum – Underworld.
  6. Put Your Sad Down – School Of Seven Bells – Put Your Sad Down EP.

This has been a hard week for some of the colleagues I like the most. It has made for a sombre few days. Sometimes all you can do is listen.

There was going to be a paragraph here about work stuff. But you know what? That’s just stomping around in a huff, just a shouting into the void, and who the hell wants to read about being in the metaphorical office wilderness? No one. Not one single person. Instead, a helpful thing I learned in a previous work life: Managers watch the numbers. Leaders provide vision. Know the difference.

Notes on this week’s mixtape: The Music Machine popped up a song that if I knew, I had forgotten, 1962’s #7 chart hit topper “Johnny Get Angry”, sung here by Joanie Sommers, written by Hal David and Sherman Edwards. Hal David was a prodigious lyricist, notable for the songs he wrote with Burt Bacharach. Look him up. You know a ton of his songs even if you didn’t know he wrote the lyrics (such as “Do You Know The Way to San Jose”, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head”*, and “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me”). This song has a problematic lyric at best. I think it is tangled up in the trouble of stereotypical gender roles and has darker coded proclivities. Part way through the first verse it stuck me that there was a kind of modern answer song, which follows this track in this week’s mix. Also of amusing note, Shelly Fabares who appears at the end of the mix also released a version of “Johnny Get Angry”. One can only assume she had a thing for guys named Johnny. Anyway, the mix clocks in at about 65 minutes. Longer than usual for sure, but only about a third of the “John/Johnny” songs I’ve got.

*I’m not sure if it is still the case, but my Dad used to absolutely HATE that song. We had a little Fisher-Price wind up toy that would play the song in kind of tinkling tones. My memory is that the lyric was so insipid that it drove him to distraction. A fair cop I think.

Wire grille cutting, stereo coffee table plans, p.94 Mechanix Illustrated, Jan 1965. Building speakers is fun.

Listen to and/or download this podcast! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents 1-27-23

NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” podcasts are generally posted on Fridays. The show archives are around ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.  Playlist in “Song – Artist – Album” order.

  1. Boom Boom Ain’t It Great to Be Crazy/ Peanut Sat On A Railroad Track/ John Jacob Jinglemeimer Schmidt – Golden Singers and Orchestra – Songs That Tickle Your Funny Bone (lp 197).
  2. Trapper John, M.D. – John Parker – Television’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 6: Remote Control.
  3. Who’s Johnny – El Debarge – Billboard Top 100 of 1986.
  4. Johnny on the Monorail – The Buggles – The Age of Plastic.
  5. The Gospel of John Hurt – alt-J – This Is All Yours.
  6. St. John the Divine – Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – The Tyranny of Distance.
  7. This Is Serious / John The Revelator – The Silencers – Dance To The Holy Man.
  8. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams – Tears for Fears – Saturnine, Martial & Lunatic.
  9. Johnny and Mary – Robert Palmer – Clues.
  10. Johnny Get Angry – Joanie Sommers – Billboard Top 100 Of The 1960s.
  11. Angry Johnny – Poe – Buzz Ballads [Disc 2].
  12. John Shaft – Sammy Davis Jr. – John Shaft 7″.
  13. Lady Day And John Coltrane – Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.
  14. John McLaughlin – Miles Davis – Bitches Brew [Disc 2].
  15. Johnny Sunshine – Liz Phair – Exile In Guyville.
  16. John Henry Lives – Laura Veirs – The Triumphs and Travails of Orphan Mae.
  17. Johnny Angel – Shelly Fabares – Billboard Top 100 Of The 1960s.
  18. Sloop John B – The Beach Boys – Billboard Top 100 Of The 1960s.
  19. When Johnny Comes Marching Home – The Old Bethpage Brass Band – The Civil War (Ken Burns)

This endless grey holding pattern that we call weather at the moment is wearing me down. It is also my understanding that the Twin Cities is, for the date, at the 4th snowiest winter on record. That means I am also tired of snow removal and roof raking.

But even in the vast featureless grey and white of the midwinter doldrums, not everything is a snow-blindness of gloom.

What has cheered me up? A new entertainment center for the basement. This piece of furniture is not more than two inches different in any dimension than the furniture that was previously occupying that spot making for a replacement fit which is by normal standards ‘perfect’.

The exactness of the fit is but one of the features that pleases me. This thing was also 50% off, meaning it was now in our price range. Last one, with a minor nick in the finish which was easily repaired. Also pleasing, the color and style fit perfect with my aesthetic and the basement decor. Third, we were able to replace two pieces of furniture that had very much outlived their usefulness. One was a TV stand that was* well built, plain, and is now at least a decade out of style. The other piece was a salvaged particle board microwave stand. It’s what we could do when we moved into the house and sometimes temporary becomes permanent.

I don’t know exactly how I came to the theme of this mix, but it seems odd to me that I haven’t by any accounts done this one yet.

The Blue Nile track is from a long running compilation series that was released monthly I believe by College Music Journal. CMJ was a holy text when I did college radio. It was where we reported our playlists to. I remember these coming into the station. The volume represented here was acquired this summer via the KFAI garage sale, along with several other volumes that I am sure will eventually make appearances. The other track of note is the KLF track ‘remixing’ Petula Clark. To the best of my knowledge, the album “Shag Times” was deleted from the catalog for uncleared samples. The version I have is on grey swirl vinyl and is a terrible pressing, full of pops and surface imperfections, but I am ecstatic to have it.

*If you are in the market for a free TV stand, let me know.

Stereo coffee table plans, header image, p 92 Mechanix Illustrated, Jan 1965

Listen to and/or download this podcast! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents 1-20-23

NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” podcasts are generally posted on Fridays. The show archives are around ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.  Playlist in “Song – Artist – Album” order.

  1. Oberkorn (It’s a Small Town) – Depeche Mode – A Broken Frame.
  2. The Downtown Lights (Edit) – The Blue Nile – CMJ Presents Certain Damage! Vol 25.
  3. Red Hill Mining Town – U2 – The Joshua Tree.
  4. Late Night, Early Town – Lloyd Cole – Music In A Foreign Language.
  5. Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town – Leonard Nimoy – Spaced Out.
  6. Downtown – Petula Clark – Billboard Top 100 Of The 1960s.
  7. Hometown – Haley Bonar – Impossible Dream.
  8. In This Town – Eurythmics – Revenge [Bonus Track Edt].
  9. Uptown Odyssey – Galactic – Ruckus.
  10. Funkytown – Lipps, Inc – Billboard Top 100 of 1980.
  11. Down Town Remix “118 BPM” – The KLF – Shag Times (LP2).
  12. Downtown Venus (Album Version) – P.M. Dawn – Downtown Venus single.

(Lights fade up in a dark paneled study, a figure sits in a leather barrel chair, wearing a brocade smoking jacket, staring out of an unseen window)

Oh, hello friends! I didn’t hear you come in. I hope the Holiday season treated you well. The cookies were locally abundant and I partook beyond the level of modesty.

Basic circumstances have kept me from being in the office on Fridays hence the lapse in posts. I’m sure you amused yourselves by gorging on Christmas music while the season was apropos and probably needed a break from sounds streaming at you anyway. See, it worked out for everyone.

The new reality of office life is that my time is mainly solitary now. The comings and goings of my coworkers has trickled to the hint of activity. While I am glad that the culture has shifted to working remotely as an accepted and reasonable thing where all parties understand that being in one specific building does no more for productivity than does being in another space, the diminished din on my floor makes my public facing job (a thing I like about my job it should be noted) feel like being the denizen of a ghost town. The corollary here is that I feel spectral and I don’t think that is a positive state. Things are still in flux around here, but I don’t know which way the wind is blowing.

In news that shifts my understanding of time, kiddo somehow registered for his first year of high school this week. Time keeps on slippin’ into the future.

This week’s mix has a very firm theme: Dances. Turns out there are A LOT of songs about doing specific dances. This week you get a sampling of these.

“The Big Switch to Stereo” fig 4, p154 Popular Mechanics, Sept 1958

Listen to and/or download this podcast! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents 1-13-23

NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” podcasts are generally posted on Fridays. The show archives are around ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.  Playlist in “Song – Artist – Album” order.

  1. Devil Dance – Western Apache – Music Of The American Indians Of The Southwest.
  2. The Mummers’ Dance – Loreena Mckennitt – Billboard Top 100 Of The 1990s.
  3. Vogue – Madonna – Billboard Top 100 Of The 1990s.
  4. Breakdance – Irene Cara – Billboard Top 100 of 1984.
  5. Neutron Dance – Pointer Sisters – Billboard Top 100 of 1985.
  6. The Humpty Dance – Digital Underground – Billboard Top 100 Of The 1990s.
  7. Square Dance Rap – Sir Mix-A-Lot – Sir Mix-A-Lot.
  8. The Bird – The Time – Ice Cream Castle.
  9. Land Of 1000 Dances – Wilson Pickett – Greatest Hits.
  10. Mashed Potato Time – Dee Dee Sharp – Billboard Top 100 Of The 1960s.
  11. The Lurch – Ted Cassidy – The Lurch 7″ single.
  12. T-’82 – Chubby Checker – The Change Has Come.
  13. The Hustle – Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – Billboard Top 100 Of The 1970s.
  14. Harlem Shuffle – The Rolling Stones – Jump Back: The Best Of The Rolling Stones 1971-1993.
  15. Conga – Miami Sound Machine – Billboard Top 100 of 1986.

This will be the first Christmas with the current pair of cats, who are both just under two years old, so still energetic youngsters. Not gonna lie, I’m pretty sure when we get a tree one of them is gonna try and climb it and we are going to have trouble. It has been generally agreed upon that we will have to go light on the ornaments as a precaution.

On Monday I was counting how many days are left before the holiday break and how many Christmas records I have here in the office to play. I have to get through 4 LPs a day to play all of them this year. I think I may have entered the realm of needing to cull the collection for the sake of listenability in the time allotted. The total count is about 65 albums, but I took a couple home already, so that is an educated guess.

In terms of Christmas albums that I enjoy and are available to listen to via various platforms I would recommend these four: James Brown, “Soulful Christmas”, “Lit Up -Music For Christmas” by Astrocolor, “Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas” by Ella Fitzgerald, and “Christmas Dance Party [Vol 9*]” by Lester Lanin.

*My LP says it’s Volume 9, but I can’t find any evidence of any other volumes and the digital versions omit the volume number.

A couple of days ago I realized that this is the last Friday that I will be at my work desk before the start of the new year. That means a link to the annual Christmas music mix on spotify instead of the standard mp3 file. I hope the link works!

Most likely the next post will be in the new year, so I hope the downhill run to 2023 is a good one. Stay warm. Take care of each other. I look forward to seeing you next year.

Here is a little cover art for the mix because what says Christmas quite like a cigarette ad via a dead medium? And yes, I own this cassette but I didn’t spend any money on it.

None of these songs are in the mix this year. Bait and switch!