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Com-Pak Music Theater: The Wonder Twins

Tonight’s edition of Com-Pak Music Theater brings you more cheese and lots more hair. 🙂

Family legacies in pop music performance have always been fascinating to me (I’m going to post about Wilson Phillips one of these days), and I just recently learned that the duo behind (in front of?) tonight’s band are “double-legacy.” This family apparently made the Guinness Book for being the first one to produce #1 hits in three successive generations. When your grandparents are former radio, TV, and music stars, and your father is a former teen rock idol… Well, I won’t say “what else can you do?” (plenty), but it was certainly in their blood.

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A Sucker for Swearingen

Sometimes I have ideas which I’m not sure whether or not to post here. It’s true that this space is really mostly for me, but I like for the things I post to at least be interesting to other people (other people being the small circle of friends who I know read the site). I had one of those moments this week.

My relationship with music is kind of an odd thing. On the one hand, I have this oddly personal and emotional connection to the music I like. I get the feeling it’s a bit atypical (and probably a bit comical at times *grin*). On the other hand, I have friends who have much more training and talent in music who probably understand that connection but are puzzled at my tastes. I’m not as drawn to the purely original as most musicians are. So, you, my readers, end up getting really odd posts about Debbie Gibson videos and concert band music. 🙂

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One Little Song

This is twice now that one of Thomas’s journal entries has sent me off to find really cool things on the interweb.

This time it was a cool video he embedded in his entry. It’s of a group of electric string performers playing a very lively medley of familiar tunes. Hearing it took me back to my 7th grade year. I was a member of an area honor band that year, and one of the songs we played for our concert was a piece called “Instant Concert” by Harold L. Walters. It’s a medley piece that romps through snippets from something like 30 different well-known pieces of music… all at a constant tempo. It was an absolute blast, and ever since I’ve been able to remember the melody all the way through.

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Things I should have known about Heart

I was ripping a couple of Heart CDs last night (filling in a hole in my collection that I’ve needed to fill for years), and I learned two interesting things about them that I really should have already known.

First, Heart and Steely Dan share at least one thing in common. They both started as relatively unknown bands, until in each case two fronting musicians joined the group. In both cases, the name of the band became associated with the two new members, even after the original members left and a completely different backing band (or in the case of Steely Dan, a rotating cast of professional session musicians) came in.

Second, speaking of original backing bands, this is the one that really surprised me. I was looking through Heart’s allmusic.com entry, and the names of some of the original band members looked familiar. I looked them up, and it turns out that three of them (Steve Fossen, Roger Fisher, and Michael Derosier) got together with a couple of guys from Sheriff and formed a little group called Alias, which is one of my “pet” AOR bands (one that I still enjoy). Small world. 🙂

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Memory is a strange thing

In the category of the power of memory…

I just picked up a copy of a guilty pleasure from Second Spin on the cheap: Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson. I was getting ready to rip it just a few minutes ago, and something really weird happened. My eyes rested on the title of the opening track (”Who Loves Ya Baby?”), and in the space of about 2 seconds, my mind went from the title to a mental sound clip of the chorus to the smell of the ink used to print the liner notes for my old cassette copy (which was stolen along with the rest of my collection over 13 years ago).

I’ve heard before that smell is the sense most strongly tied to memory, but I’ve never had it go “backwards” like that before. For whatever reason, that tape’s liner notes had a strong and distinct scent that none of my other tapes had, so I smelled it every time I opened up the case (which was REALLY often about 8th or 9th grade or so). I guess the association in my brain was stronger than I thought. 🙂

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Lead singer of Boston dead

If anyone in our group of friends is going to post about it, it would be me:

Boston lead singer found dead in his home (archived copy on archive.org)

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Video Picks – Funny Faces

I don’t think I’m up for writing anything particularly deep tonight, and I just tonight figured out the perfect pair of videos for my mood. So much of video making is about poses and art and such. It’s really cool every once in a while to see someone having fun in a video. Tonight’s pair are all about people that look like they’re having a lot of fun. Pretty much the only reason I love watching these two videos is for the facial expressions. Prince: Kiss (1986) The woman on the stool playing guitar is named Wendy Melvoin, and she looks like she’s just having a blast laughing at Prince’s posturing in the video. I think it’s a perfect counterbalance for him. By the way, you should click her linked name. She has done and is still doing some interesting stuff.

Swing Out Sister: Break Out (1987) Nothing much to say here except that I just always get a smile on my face watching the weird faces that Corrine Drewery is making in the video. It’s a feel-good video for me. 🙂

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Com-Pak Music Theater: When Guitars Attack

Two recent (to me) media sources have proved to be a lot of fun for me lately: XM Satellite Radio and YouTube. Long-time readers (or people with way too much time their hands) may remember a post where I talked about “Com-Pak music“. Basically, it means what was playing on the local hits station when I was working at my first job. I mentioned “Joyride” by Roxette specifically, but there are a whole list of songs that snap my mind back to that time.

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Video Picks – Cheerleaders and Homecoming Queens

Tonight’s picks are inspired by the episode of VH1 Classic’s All Request Hour. Someone actually requested this next one:

Julie Brown: The Homecoming Queen Has Got A Gun (1987)

The song and video almost remind me of a Ray Stevens song, except not as funny. 🙂

So, why not go from the prom queen to cheerleaders?

Toni Basil: Mickey (1981)

Ah, the one-hit-wonder choreographer. 🙂 I like that she used real cheerleaders in the video (probably for the same reason I love seeing real band members in videos). Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to for someone do a mini “Where Are They Now” on the cheerleaders in this video? 🙂

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Video Picks: virtual bands and the Johns’ teeth

I’m being a bit lazy tonight with these picks. Neither is exactly unknown, but they both just kinda strike my fancy.