Saturday, December 08, 2012

Teddy Squad In Orbit

That's what I called this cartoon inspired by looking through old 1950s sci-fi magazines. Me probably trying to be a junior Virgil Finlay! It appeared in some fanzine years ago. I used to have hundreds of old digests, I guess my favorite would be a toss-up between Magazine Of Fantasy & Science-Fiction and Analog (formerly Astounding). Galaxy however had illustrations by Don Martin and Wally Wood (of Mad Magazine), and later by Wendy Pini who created the marvelous Elfquest comic books. The artists whose work I most liked to run across in the pages however were Hannes Bok and Edd Cartier who had a real Thomas Hart-Benton plasticity, but 'in outer space!' Kelly Freas was often amazing but very prolific so was easier to take for granted.

I keep meaning to get back into cartooning more and never seem to make the time (sigh). While I'm in a black & white mood here's a T-shirt design we've not gotten around to doing anything with so far, although it's always good to have a variety of merch at gigs, so hoo nose...

It's the same as that CD cover, except I thought to make it color-closed (if I ever get around to coloring it) I made the mic cord into a circle.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Expo, Expo, Read All About It!

1967 was an important year for Canada. It was the country's centennial, and the year Montreal hosted the world's fair called Expo '67. Many Canadian music groups performed on stage on this man-made island in the St. Lawrence following Prime Minister (and Nobel Peace Prize recipient) Lester B. Pearson opening it. This is where Cass Elliot discovered Three's A Crowd and brought them to Dunhill records, but before Canadian radio had to support Canadian music on our own airwaves. Some stations played local groups but with few exceptions the only way for Canadian artists to get cross country exposure was to make the charts south of the border.

This article appeared in Teen's Top Ten magazine late in the year. The Sparrow would soon be renamed Steppenwolf, David Clayton Thomas invaded Blood, Sweat And Tears, while The Paupers following a disastrous performance at the Monterrey Pop festival lost their star bass player and eventually led to BST styled mega group Lighthouse.

Mandala's guitar ace Domenic Troiano bounced along through a number of groups such as The James Gang, Bush, and The Guess Who, as well as recording some excellent solo albums with various studio cats in L.A. The British Modbeats singles are particularly hard to find, but well worth hearing when you do. It's interesting that vancouver's The Painted Ship are mentioned and not The Collectors (later Chilliwack) who were becoming quite well known on the west coast, or Terry Jacks & The Checkmates.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lust and Death.

Lucky us! Jeff Kelly and The Green Pajamas have musical bones and have provided more cruel velvet riptides (I arrive fashionably late) with their Death By Misadventure CD. It comes melancholic spirit haunted. Spiral stairways lead into the audio mansion of the first part, 'The Fall Of Queen Bee' while outside a storm-threatening atmosphere breaks to allow beams of light on the garden, then a breeze blown complex military infiltration leads to a teddybear tea bazaar and a 'those were the days' style eulogy. Or something like that. Will I ever return?

The blood gets flowing for the second story, more dreams. Maybe others will want to get this one and the CD edition of stone classic Summer Of Lust (circa 1984, I remember some of those colored paper-cut times, though not a major 'zine or casette-head); See the interesting videos from the new (ish, it sat on a pile for awhile) album!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I love Sooty! And I'm just wild about Harry too...

I was charmed when at the end of the documentary film The Peter Green Story (Man Of The World), the famous guitarist when asked something along the lines of whom he compared favorably to mischievously boasted of being better than Sooty, and then added, but maybe not Sooty with Sweep. No doubt this statement would entirely baffle most non-Brits unaware of ace toy xylophonist and nascent anarchist bear puppet Sooty. But Sooty has been around for over sixty years now!

Puppeteer Harry Corbett was a brilliant puppeteer, if you look him up on youtube you can discover the wonders of how he brings a simple bear puppet to life (by as one child is said to have remarked by putting his hand up Sooty's bottom). You can also (if you can play region 2 PAL format DVDs) watch a number of vintage "lost" episodes on two new releases well introduced by the current archivist and presenter of the Sooty Show, Richard Cadell. The sheer dexterity Mr. Corbett brought to bear as it were is inspiring; Sooty plays well enough to be hailed the Hendrix of the toy xylophone, and in a sort of spoof of industrial films goes from typing to removing specs and answering the telephone with a magician's skill. Aside from Greeny, Slade's Noddy Holder is another admirer (there is one scandalous photo of the two icons in bed together), and I have to think Johnny "Rotten" Lydon of the Sex Pistols may've learned a thing or two in biting the hand that feeds you from our Sooty!

With Sweep, an irrepressible squeaking dog puppet sidekick, Sooty is still entertaining the young and young at heart today.

For further blog reading check into:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A must read!

The Bonzo Dog Band once asked, Can Blue Men Play The Whites? Hoo nose, but I do believe whites can play, and sing, the blues! Alongside those to make me a believer such as Brian Jones, Mike Bloomfield, Peter Green and Jo-Ann Kelly, I must include Alan 'Blind Owl' Wilson. Wilson is best remembered for two widely known cuts made as a member of Canned Heat in the late '60s.

Rebecca Davis Winters' Blind Owl Blues book is the first in depth investigation of this multi-instrumentalist irregular lead singer's brief career. Like fellow Canned Heat band member Bob Hite, Alan had an intense love for old shellac, particularly with the Paramount label, listening through any surface noise to become transported into an intoxicating world of sound and human expression. He ended as one of the earliest inductees into the 27 club, accidentally OD'ing on some kind of street acquired downers on the even of a big European heat tour. Wilson had already made his mark in a number of areas however. He helped neglected blues legends like Son House back into performing and recording, contributed to the preservation of agricultural and arboreal diversity through seed collection and exchange, and was a major light in moving the blues expression into the future. He combined a Skip James style vocal delivery with electric backing and Eastern drone with On The Road Again, playing most of the instruments himself using studio overdubbing. Although he could mimic at as high a level as anybody, he successfully developed his own personal phrasing on An Owl Song. His most famous creation, Going Up The Country, effectively fuses hip flute (ala California Dreaming and Herbie Mann) with an almost Appalachian high lonesome flavored longing for release and escape; the song that would become emblematic of the 'Woodstock generation' and which still turns up in advertising aimed at a baby-boomer demographic.

To learn as much as there may well be to know about this important artist you need to get this book!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Howlin' goes nuts?

Here is a clip of the Houndog at The Walnut Festival in Walnut Creek... The band is Lari Peterson-Lead Guitar, Jane Tyska-Bass, Pete Gascoyne- Drums, John Douglas-Tenor Sax & Mark DeSimone on Trombone. It was a fun gig. I think this footage was posted by Pete Gascoyne (of Groovy Judy) And now back to maintaining radio silence.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Style '65 (Part 2 of 2)

More cool fashion pages, this time from the March 1965 Rave magazine. This will be last post for awhile, thank you all for visiting!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Scene Report: The Funhouse

In the shadow of the now fifty year old Space Needle stands a monument to all that is robust in Seattle's music scene. Even the loss of it's previously green giant clown face has not kept it down, but now developers have their eye on more profitable condos and so this punk/d.i.y. landmark's days may be numbered.

The green room with the green couch...

One week ago "The Night Of The Wild Men" invaded. Deathbed Playboy opened the set impressively, stomping and making righteous with the steel guitar.

Howling Houndog, joined by Dean Frasier (late of Southbound Union) on slide, were impressive in combination on House Of The Rising Sun and (cough) Hello Kitty Blues. Then James Hunnicutt burst onto the stage with tuneful (and original) lamentation to please the faithful.

To cap the night off The Slow Poisoner unveiled a set that featured new song Macabre (also set down in Studio V earlier the same day along with Green Chair).

At Studio V with an SG:

But something more wicked this way comes. Can The Funhouse be saved?


And be sure to check out the new Slow Poisoner album!

This has been Scene Report with beccabear reporting in memory of three PBRs...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Style '65 (Part 1 of 2)

John Stephen & Barbara Hulanicki meet Twinkle and The Pretty Things

Here are some cool pages from the February 1965 Rave magazine. The following month they ran a great photo feature on Carnaby street which I will endeavor to load up for April.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Great Erik 4-A

Here are a couple of great songs by Erik before I ever knew him. The first is from 1990 when he was still a student at Evergreen College in WA and is an experimental low-budget type of thing and I really love it! Before this circa 1986-89 Erik had been in and out of various Seattle scene combos (The Bass-ics, The Mongrells, The Surrealists), you know how that is...

Ain't that just more fun with ties than you could ever imagine? Next up is from 1999 as part of The Long Faces. They did this Seattle music show called 29 Live. The studio broadcast tower was actually hit by lightning the night they were on and the station went off the air for a number of seconds... perhaps why the band ended up dissolving, bad mojo! But a great song and a odd performance (that's Otto D. Struct on the other guit, the group's other songwriting talent).

But the best was yet to come of course, which is happening right now ; four Howlin' Houndog CDs so far and more to come. Erik has a lot of great original songs and I just wish more people would discover them!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Great Gene Clark

There are some great clips of Gene Clark on YouTube but here are two of my personal faves from when Gene & The Firebyrds were out my way to promote their fantastic LP of the time (which has the definitive recording of Mr. Tambourine Man in my opinion). He was in great form as you can see...

I'm not sure about how not afraid of flying he ever was but the details about Eight Miles High are great to hear right from the originator's mouth! Harpo's was a venue in downtown Victoria that has since closed. They appeared on CKVU's general interest Vancouver show shortly after...

Thanks to mcd220 for uploading this great material, and Erik for leading me to it!

P.S. You can tell that the interview comes from the same VHS tape and machine as the clip from the Vancouver show. Also Gene even has the same turtleneck and jacket on! There was a cable access show in Victoria at the time covering the music scene weekly and so I am sure this is nothing to do with a Detroit Harpos club.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

New York Public Library Oz collection on-line.

I love the work of illustrator John R. Neill, but vintage or even recent quality editions of the Children's books (The Sea Fairies and many Oz titles) he worked on can really add up, but here you can download adobe or other versions of the books to view on your PC screen or tablet... York Public Library (Baum)

You can also find downloadable vintage magazines and comic books at, try searching for Smash Hits or Photoplay for example or maybe Ha Ha Comics are more your speed?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Help, the Slow Poisoner has gotten to me!

The multi-talented Andrew Goldfarb, the Slow Poisoner (and best thing to come out of the San Francisco area since Tee And Thee Crumpets), has recorded and released some excellent and atmospheric yet kick-butt music over the past few years and you might just do yourself a favor to investigate his CDs and comic books. His Roadside Altar and Magic Casket albums have been getting a few spins here and I'm looking forward to discovering the new Lost Hills set!

According to current plans you can also catch his act in Seattle at The Funhouse (across from the Space Needle) on Sunday March 25th 2012 if you dare!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Clickety-click, Barbatrick!

Everyone knows that You Tube is a great place to look up all the obscure old tv shows you remember but nobody else does. Here in Canada we often saw British programs, but also shows from other countries dubbed into English (and on the French language channel au Francaise). One I fondly remember is a Dutch or Belgian kiddie show dubbed into English called Barbapapa. It featured a family of blobby characters with different colours and personalities. One of the blobby things was Barba-Bo, a sort of hippie artist who addresses other creatures as 'man' as you can find out below.

Other such shows I enjoyed were Vision On, Hattytown, Simon In The Land Of Chalk Drawings, and I have vague memories of a show about two mice in French called Nik & Pik who rode in a miniature hot air balloon. I'm sure I'll find them eventually on You Tube. Vision On included an actor named Sylvester McCoy who went on to play Doctor Who. Later on I became quite fascinated with a sci-fi show called The Tomorrow People. That series has been made available on DVDs playable in North America finally and you bet I've ordered all of them! I'm afraid I missed one series based on The Owl Service book, and another titled Children Of The Stones (which are both supposed to be a little along the lines of The Wicker Man), but I did follow something involving a Phoenix but no idea what the title was now. Maybe some of my readers in Old Blighty can help with that? I have ordered The Children Of The Stones DVD but there doesn't seem to be an Owl Service that will work in North America as yet. I was a little old for it when it came out but I also remember a kiddie show with the voice of Peter Ustinov called Dr. Snuggles and it had a sort of yobbo sounding Badger in overalls. I think I'll see if I can find that right now...

The new header graphic by the way is of a movie theater in Seattle Erik once worked at. I've personalized it and it's neighbors (a comic book shop and a deli) just a little bit). There is a very good music store underneath called Neptune Music with lots of quality vinyl, not to be confused with Vancouver's Neptoon which is equally renowned. Down the road a ways is a Dick's drive-in hamburger place with amazing fries!