I vaguely remember ordering this… let alone two copies, but I’m a bit intrigued to spin this Kitty Kat Fan Club 7″. Pressed 300 times on purple, and 200 times on red, this Asian Man records release (AM311) arrived in our mailbox last evening, or at least, that’s when I retrieved it. Regardless, I’ll leave you to your evening, or very early morning, and spin these playful ditties and enjoy some (several) glasses of whiskey. 4.5 stars out of 5.
Not only is Bobcats Blues by Bob Crosby a riot of a blues album, its cover art is the best I’ve seen nearly all year! Released on Coral Records in 1956 (according to allmusic.com, although I believe this to be false), Bob Crosby and his merry band of saucer-lickers combine brass-happy jazz with the upswing ruckus of big band blues. Better known for their Dixieland ways, the Bobcats remain ambiguously cool while reminiscing the big band sounds of yesteryear (think the Dorsey Brothers, Les Brown or Glenn Miller on three pots of coffee).
This cat-astrophicly cool cover will remain, proudly I might add, on display in the PG office for the foreseeable future. With its combination of great, upbeat background jazz-infused blues, together with its amazing “cats on parade” cover, I strongly suggest you run out and adopt this album as soon as humanly possibly. Although Bob’s older brother Bing stole much of the family’s spotlight, mom and pop Crosby can’t help but view Bobcats Blues as the family’s crowning achievement.
I had a cat for eight years. His name was Indiana Jones. He’s gone now… damn little screen pusher was always trying to get outside. Anywho, every once in a while I’ll throw on a record and stumble across one of his hairs. If you look closely at the pic, what looks like a deep scratch near the top is actually a black, white and gray Indy hair. Presumably, the last time I listened to this, or any “Indy album” was between the years, 1998 and 2006, or as I refer to them as, The Indy Years. Kind of like The Wonder Years, but you know, with cats.
So today, I raise two glasses. The first, a whiskey neat to pay homage to the late, great Joe Strummer. The second, a tiny glass of milk to my old friend, Indiana Jones.
Thanks for the memories, guys.
I didn’t exactly pay $1.57 for Bent Fabric’s debut album, Alley Cat, but a record released in 1962 (adjusted for inflation, of course) calculated at $11.76, priced at $2.99 just yesterday, was something I certainly couldn’t turn down.
Bent Fabricius-Bjerre, AKA Bent Fabric, is an 88-year-old Danish pianist/composer who, on this album, plays merry ol’ ragtime music with the cunning grace of someone like Sergei Rachmaninov… only, you know, with cats.
Do you own an animal? Perhaps a yippy dog that draws anger and vengeful hatred from your neighbors when it constantly yips all day and every night? Or maybe you own a furniture scratching cat, or a cannibal fish, or maybe even a pot-bellied pig whom you call “Breakfast.” If you’ve ever owned an animal, you know the inherent responsibility that tags along. Your hi-fi stereophonic home entertainment system is no different. Sure, it may not need blood worms twice a week, or it may not require you to scoop up its feces with a thin-layered bag from Ralph’s, and it may not even wake you up at 4am by sitting on your face, but your phonograph’s needle gives you years of listening pleasure, and like a money-sucking (but unquestionably worth it) house pet, it needs your care.
What I learned from this ad-sert (an advert crossed with an insert):
1) An osmium needles lasts only 15 hours. For those of you who enjoy the tedious trip to your overpriced phonograph dealer (and if you’re in LA you’d be required to brave the bumper-to-bumper to get there), then this is the needle for you. Nothing compliments a majestic, and borderline romantic dinner-date at home quiet like the phrase, “I’m sorry dear, I’ve got to head to George Meyer TV & Stereo for another osmium needle. Please put the meatloaf in the microwave, and when I get back we can finish this Burl Ives album.” 15 hours?! Are you kidding me? Why even bother making them? Why not have turntables that only last 24hrs? I struggle to see the logic.
2) Only a first-class needle can give first-class reproduction. Second, third, and even fourth-class needles don’t only cause breakage and ear-slapping skips on your favorite Hollies album, but they’ve also been known to short out the wall socket, fry your nice shag carpet, and even burn down your lovely (this is subjective, of course), and fashionably outdated bachelor pad. A wise man doesn’t fly Coach when it comes to purchasing a needle. Don’t be an unwise man.
3) Avoid damage to your records. You mean I SHOULDN’T use my Marlene Dietrich albums as serving ware at my poorly catered, and forcibly causal dinner parties? Gosh, maybe I should stop carving my initials into the grooves so as to mark my territory when I take my records to those rye and record parties. Perhaps I’ve been ignorant to the whole “take care of your records” thing.
Columbia Records is never one to miss the overbearing opportunity to point out the painfully obvious when it comes to basic, record-related audio care. Tomorrow, we’re going to focus on yet another elementary approach to securing the longevity of your music library, and once again, it comes courtesy of Columbia Records. Happy Monday, kids!
Squeeze snuck up on me. Hold on, let me start over. It’s imperative to mention how apropos that 1979’s post, the post representing the year in which I came into this world, contains the word, “Cats.” If you know me, you saw this one coming. If you don’t know me… I like cats.
Squeeze are like a sieve, an attention grabbing ear-whore in the best sense of the term. Not unlike The Kinks, Squeeze’s music is so damned good, so damned catchy, and so damned clever, that once you start listening to their music… THAT’S ALL YOU LISTEN TO! When I got into Squeeze, shamefully only a few years ago, I didn’t listen to anything else for nearly 3 months, and I’m not exaggerating. They’re that damned good!
With a hint of Punk’s aggression, and all the electronic qualities that make up good New Wave, Squeeze tickles your fancy in that slightly awkward, slightly dirty way, but leaves you begging for more… and more… you get the point.
The astute penning of Squeeze songs are attributed to Chris Difford and Glenn Tillbrook. According to Stephen Thomas Erlewine over at allmusic.com, “Chris Difford and Glenn Tillbrook were hailed as the heirs to Lennon and McCartney’s throne during their heyday in the early ‘80’s.” Are you starting to get an idea of how good this band is?
Slap & Tickle is a fun little romp referencing the British euphemism for sexy times.
Then while she turned to kiss him
And very nearly missed him
She put her hand on his leg
He felt her tongue in his head
Up the Junction is a very sad tale about the rise and inevitable fall of a doomed relationship. A child is involved and the once adored couple no longer speaks.
Alone here in the kitchen
I feel there’s something missing
I’d beg for some forgiveness
But begging’s not my business
I can’t tell if Goodbye Girl is about a woman drugging our protagonist and robbing him, or if it’s a story about the beginnings of a failed marriage. Either way, Goodbye Girl is a catchy little ditty, and in my opinion, Squeeze’s best.
Sunlight on the lino
Woke me with a shake
I looked around to find her but she’d gone
Cool for Cats showcases Squeeze at the height of their innovative career. It’s a crowning representation of the stunning song-writing talents of Difford and Tillbrook. If you’re serious about music, and you don’t already own Cool for Cats, drop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and find this album. You won’t be disappointed.