Thursday, July 06, 2017

MA-119 - The Insect Lounge - An ’80s Re-Creation

            When arriving in the OKC area in late 1974 at seventeen, my tastes naturally gravitated to stations like  Rock 100 -- the KATT” or  KOMA, AM-1520, which at the time played top-40 hits by groups like the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac.
            However, thanks to my wonderful parents (mostly Mom), I’d been exposed to classical music through many compilations of classical music melodies, which usually proved to be only excerpts from composers’ signature works.
            I soon encountered KCSC, the classical music station from Edmond, OK’s Central State University.  It became a constant go-to friend throughout the college years and married life, into the 1980s.  And to the present day, even after they treacherously changed their call letters.
            Beginning around 1980, I discovered an exciting fact:  After midnight, the sometimes-stuffy classical music was replaced by cutting-edge, new music that wasn’t being played on the other radio stations I knew about.  Several of these acts, such as the Pretenders or Devo, later became big names.
            Another socially important thing the student DJs did:  On the night of December 8, 1980, these guys played every Beatles song, in alphabetical order by title, all night long.
            Since I was a normal working stiff, I couldn’t stay up all the time and listen into the wee hours of the morning.  So, I tuned the radio in, popped a cassette into my deck, and hit “RECORD” -- a real catch-as-catch-can operation, as you may imagine.  I listened the next day and being hi-tech (in my own mind) because I owned two component stereo cassette decks wired “in sequence,” I re-dubbed the songs I liked, assembling my own compilation of new favorites.
            I named my anthology tape after the KCSC radio show, “The Insect Lounge.”  I listened to that dang tape so often that I could remember the set list, even after I lost the actual cassette.  And being a compulsive type (had you noticed?), I eventually tried online to find all the songs I remembered.
            Speaking of remembrances of “The Insect Lounge” on KCSC, I’m not alone:

            My quest came to encompass the other fun songs I found along the way My “It [verb beginning with ‘E’] from the 1980s” series, still all available from various posts here.
            Well, I finally found all the songs I remembered!  They are herewith presented, the track sequence dictated by how I dubbed them thirty-plus years ago.  Of course, all the art is generated and mangled by yours truly.

01 - Shut Up and Dance - Pearl Harbor and The Explosions   1980  (4:02)
02 - I Get Around - The Bakersfield Boogie Boys   1980  (2:17)
03 - Message of Love - The Pretenders   1981  (3:24)
04 - We Are the Nowtones - Blotto   1979  (3:37)
05 - Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads   1980  (4:18)
06 - Don't Stand So Close to Me - The Police   1980  (3:57)
07 - I'm in Gear - The Insect Surfers   1980  (3:41)
08 - Whip It  (Live) - Devo   1980  (2:53)
09 - Girl U Want  (Live) - Devo   1980 (2:56)
10 - Sheila - The Greg Kihn Band   1981  (2:49)
11 - Do the Nip - Aunt Helen   1980  (3:31)
12 - Dancin' with Myself - Billy Idol   1980  (3:17)
13 - Debi - The International Broadcasters   1980  (3:13)
14 - White Sweater - Romeo Void   1981  (4:46)
15 - Turn Me Loose - Loverboy   1981  (5:34)
16 - What's He Got - The Producers   1980  (2:30)
17 - She's Got a Big Boyfriend - Blotto   1980  (3:25)

            The unknown platter-spinners cross-faded some of the tracks, so of course that’s how I received them.  These are  Tracks 3-4, 5-6, 8-9, and 13-14.  If you want a cross-faded experience of the music, here’s the single-file version.

            My special thanks to spavid at Willfully Obscure blog.  He provided Track 11, and his suggestions inspired me to finally locate Track 13, after a fruitless search through about 2000 releases on Discogs.
            I hope at least a few people in the Great Internet Beyond can find a little escapist fun and joy in these songs.

            And worlds of gratitude to the unknown student platter-spinners of KCSC in the early 1980s!

  See you back here on Monday for some 1970s STAR TREK fannish nonsense.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Happy 4th of July! A New Comp: MA-90 - USA

Here's another music compilation of songs that show various aspects of this aspiring-for-greatness country.  By that I mean, there's always been much to celebrate about American ideals, but being flawed humans we continually strive to betterness (is that a word?) -- to encourage and respect our better ideals of equality, decency, opportunity and all those higher behaviors.

The songs are:

01 - The Star-Spangled Banner - Classical Brass   1990  (1:05)
02 - Living in America - James Brown   1985  (4:43)
03 - Cruel War - Peter, Paul and Mary   1962  (3:28)
04 - The March from “1941” - John Williams   1979  (4:05)
05 - Country Band March - The President's Own United States Marine Band   1998  (4:04)
06 - United We Stand - The Brotherhood of Man   1970  (2:53)
07 - Ramblin' Man - Hank Williams   1953  (3:01)
08 - I'm for Love - Hank Williams Jr   1985  (2:55)
09 - Swanee (piano roll) - George Gershwin    1920  (2:16)
10 - American Tune - Paul Simon   1973  (3:45)
11 - Home! Sweet Home - The  Yankee  Doodle  Society   1982  (2:50)
12 - (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 - Nat King Cole   1944  (2:59)
13 - I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier - Marilyn Horne   1986  (2:18)
14 - Hoedown - Emerson, Lake & Palmer   1972  (3:44)
15 - America the Beautiful - Coca-Cola TV ad   2014  (1:01)
16 - The Star-Spangled Banner - The Heritage Choir & Orchestra   1998  (1:57)
17 - The Stars and Stripes Forever - The United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus   2012  (3:25)
18 - God Bless America - LeAnn Rimes   1997  (3:04)
19 - America (from “West Side Story”) - Bill Charlap Trio   2004  (3:50)
20 - “The Comancheros” Main Title - Elmer Bernstein   1961  (1:38)
21 - Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor - Allyn McLerie, Miss Liberty Ensemble   1949  (2:58)
22 - If I Can Dream - Elvis Presley (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)   2015  (3:10)
23 - Faded Love - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys   1950  (2:51)
24 - The Star Spangled Banner with Brilliant Variations - Augustus Cull   2014  (4:54)
25 - Seventy-Six Trombones (from “The Music Man” - edit) - Meredith Willson   1962  (4:07)

Track One is an interesting arrangment of our national anthem as a semi-refined waltz.
     Track Four is a wonderfully bombastic march from John Williams.  However, because it's from 1941, its arrogance and pride come off as hubristic.  But musically, I love its swagger.
     Track Five, Charles Ives's "Country Band March," is an example of a type of music that I love, mashing bits and motives together to form a new whole -- a serious-music version of the lampooning of  Peter Schickele's "Quodlibet."
     Have you seen the TV commercial from which Track 15 was taken?  Being a generous, everybody-into-the-pool American, I think the idea is wonderful -- a perfect visual illustration of one of our national phrases, "E pluribus unum."  Y'know, that whole "one formed from many" bit.  It saddens me that some self-righteous types seem to hate American inclusivity (there were some very nasty responses to the ad, by the mentally unwashed).
     Track 22 is from a new arrangement of Elvis's vocals, with new accompaniment.
     Track 23 -- it's a classic song of heartbreak, unashamed in its sentimentality.  As a native Oklahoman, I think it's kinda neat that this song is "the official country-and-western song of Oklahoma."  This designation occurred in 1988.  If you're anything like me, your next thought is, "Wasn't some more important state business to perform that day?"
     Track 25 is an edit of several places in the wonderful 1962 film The Music Man.

Happy Independence Day!

See you Thursday with another new music compilation, reflecting a significant part of musical memories.
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© by Mark Alfred