RIP Don Knotts Photo Series
He was a one of a kind. From the supreme underdog of Barney Fife to the undersexed, turkey-necked, polyester-clad, nervous chihuahua of Mr. Furley, to the portrait subject that made an anonymous flea-market goer exclaim "Fuckin' Don Knotts!" in John Waters' Serial Mom, Don Knotts was truly one of the greatest characters of the last century. I learned of his death only moments before stepping out for a night on the town on Saturdy evening, and was compelled to print his image and bring it with me. It became my destination to be the bearer of bad news and also to photographically capture the shocked and saddened expressions of bar-goers as they learned of Mr. Knotts passing. I never thought I'd say the phrase "look sad, damn it" so many times in one evening...
Click image below for larger view.
I came upon it while shopping for clear plastic storage bins at Target. I wasn't planning on even cruising through the CD section, but it's bright white and red cover with its familiar iconography popped right out out at me. "DEV2.0" it said in huge bold letters underneath which was an illustration of some young teens wearing the trademark flowerpot hats. I scanned the song titles, all Devo classics. I slowly began to realize that this bizarre artifact was indeed a group of kids covering a dozen Devo favorites from the original era. I noticed the label: Disney. Curiosity was getting the best of me, but as much as I wanted to just impulse buy the thing, I couldn't get myself to do it. I mean, what if it was totally rotten, y'know? I shuffled off to the clear plastic storage bin department in a daze.
When I returned home, the first thing I did was look it up on the web to make sure I didn't hallucinate the whole thing. The details began to fill themselves in: The music was produced and performed by Devo themselves and some lyrics were "sanitized" to make it more kid friendly. The band had held auditions to find five young guys (and gals!) to sing and pose as a band, thus "passing the torch" of Devo to a younger generation. I listened to some audio samples and knew right away that I should have picked up the CD. These are all songs I've loved for years and despite the odds, these kids actually lend some needed youthful rejuvenation to them. Singer Nicole speak-sings with a level of detachment and irony unusual for a 14 year old. Looking at the band bios, it's obvious these kids are no bunch of pre-packaged airheads. Most of them have great taste in music and are actual musicians that will be playing the songs themselves on their upcoming tour.
Some may cry Sell Out, but I have to think that getting Disney to release an album of Devo songs for young spuds to belt out from the back of their annoyed parents' SUV is perhaps their most subversive act yet.
Disney DEV2.O Official Website
MP3 3.71MB 160kbps
Gigantic Chinese Cat
A 33-pound cat in Qingdao, China is being described as a "feline monster" because of its 31-inch waist and large size, according to a report. The 9-year-old cat from the Shandong Province is so heavy it needs the help of its owner to get onto a bed. However, the cat is surprisingly in good health despite its weight, Local 6 News reported. The cat's owner said it has no interest in eating fish but prefers to eat six pounds of chicken and pork each day. More pics here.
Pegasus 51, Here I Come
Astronomers offer list of top candidates for extraterrestrial life
ST LOUIS, United States (AFP) - US astronomers have come up with a short list of five stars in the Milky Way galaxy that are most likely to support extraterrestrial life.
The stars were chosen based on a number of criteria, including size, composition, age and color, that would make them similar to the sun and enable planets resembling Earth to orbit them, said Margaret Turnbull of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Turnbull's list would enable astronomers to point telescopes towards the stars with the most potential of sending radio signals from extraterrestrial life.
"These are places I would want to live if God were to put our planet around another star," Turnbull said on Saturday at a conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in St Louis, Missouri.
The list was developed to guide the use of
's new powerful orbiting observatories, or the Terrestrial Planet Finder, which will search for Earth-like planets.
"There are 400 billion stars in the galaxy, and obviously we are not going to point the Terrestrial Planet Finder at every one of them," Turnbull said.
Among the most promising sun-like stars was beta CVn, about 26 light years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici. One light year is equivalent to 9.5 billion kilometers.
Turnbull and her colleagues initially set out to select a dozen stars that were the most promising and sufficiently close to the Earth's solar system.
In 2003, after a painstaking study of close to 120,000 stars, the team of astronomers came up with a catalogue of 129 "habitable stellar systems."
Another star on the short list, Pegasus 51, was made famous in 1995 when Swiss astronomers discovered the first planet outside the solar system. The giant planet resembling Jupiter orbits Pegasus 51.
A star named 16 sco, a popular target for planet searches, also made the list. The star is located in the Scorpion constellation near the center of the Milky Way and is virtually a twin of the sun, according to Turnbull.
To be considered as potential homes for intelligent life to evolve, stars had to be at least three billion years old.
Turnbull said the list was merely a starting point and it remained difficult to rank stars as more or less likely to shelter life.
"There are inevitable uncertainties in how we understand these stars," she said. "If I took the top 100, it would be very difficult for me to tell which is the best."
The list will provide potential targets for the Terrestrial Planet Finder, which was originally set to be launched in 2016 but has been postponed due to federal budget constraints.
Research for the list was sponsored by NASA and the privately funded
Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
(SETI) organization. The institute was created in 1984 by the renown astronomer Carl Sagan, who died in 1996.
Kittyface's Psychedelic Yawn
Photomontage by Patrick
Used CD Purchases 2006 - February 17
Pawn One Coeur d'Alene
-1999 (Used $2.95) Hot damn, i forgot how good this album was - I just had a copy on vinyl and hadn't heard it in years. No one EVER did electro-funk as good, before or since.
48. My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult
- Sexplosion (Used $1.95) Thier last good album, but still, it didn't really age well. Worth it for "Sex on Wheelz" at least.
49. John Zorn
- Masada pt 2: Beit (Used $1.95)
New Hotness: Pregnancy
Apparently, being excruciatingly pregnant is the new hotness. At least according to my friend Misty, and my cat Ling-Ling. Better get the fresh towels and hot water ready because these girls are about to pop. Here are the both of them, posing in thier full nude glory despite thier delicate conditions. I'm pretty sure Misty is keeping hers, but if anyone needs a kitten in about 8 weeks, let me know...
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Gold Lion
I just love those crazy Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Their live DVD Tell Me What Rockers To Swallow
gets played around here constantly. We never tire of watching Karen O's wild facial expressions and crazed, interpretive dance routines, not to mention Nick Zinner's sexy Simon Gallup-isms. I haven't seen tour dates yet, but when they hit Seattle, I will see you there. The new album is called Show Your Bones and early reports say it has a bit of a "campfire vibe" - interesting. I present to you the addictive first single in two forms - the original, and the awesomely koo-koo Diplo remix. This song has been rolling around in my head for days like a little black rubber ball.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Gold Lion
(MP3 4.33MB, 192 kbps)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Gold Lion (Diplo's Optimo Mix)
(MP3 5.07MB, 192 kbps)
Flexible Records Update: February 2005
CD Purchases 2006: February 14
Mt. Olympus Imports CDA
Some of you may remember a little record shop in Seattle at the corner of 3rd and Battery called Mt. Olympus Imports that had its heyday (at least for me) in the late '80s and was THE place to find rare 4AD and Sisters of Mercy records and posters. It closed its doors years ago, and owner Ron lives in Coeur d'Alene now and reopened his store last fall on North 4th St in the Napa building. The inventory isn't quite as jaw-dropping as it was back in the day, but there is a huge amount of vinyl here, some rare import/bootleg CDs and some great bargains if you poke around enough.
– Family Tree Box (Used $16.99) – this was such a great price and I've been meaning to get this forever - the packaging is so odd, and it has those funny little 3" CDs. Problem is, it was supposed to include the Greatest Hits CD as well, but it was missing. I don't think Ron realized this, so I can't be too sore. I already have the Greatest Hits CD on its own anyway.
36. Danielle Dax
– Blast the Human Flower (Used $5.99) – I've been looking for this ill-fated swansong by the wonderfully obscure Ms. Dax for ages...
37, 38, 39. Duran Duran –
Notorious, Medazzaland, Astronaut (Used $0.99 each) - are they great albums? Not really, but for some messed-up nostalgic reason I am determined to own all D2 CDs, and this was a nice cheap boost to my collection.
40, 41. Frankie Goes to Hollywood
- Welcome to the Pleasuredome, Liverpool (Used $0.99 each) - The entire Frankie oevre in digital quality for a mere 2 bucks. I remember being so disappointed when that 2nd album came out, now it actually sounds okay. Who knew?
42. Philip Oakey and Georgio Moroder -
S/T (Used $0.99) - you'd expect such a combo of electro genius to really go off, but it never does. Maybe orchestra hits will make another comeback.
43. Boy George
- The Martyr Mantras (Used $0.99) - Wow. How did I miss this album? There's some really classic tracks here in a laid-back house vibe that aged very well.
- Music (Used $0.99) Not my first copy of this album. I sold my original copy used at some point and have been meaning to get it back. "Paradise (Not For Me)" is one of my all-time favorite Madge songs.
45. The Time
- What Time Is It? (Used $0.99) I have another ongoing obsession to collect anything Prince related from 1981-1987-ish. Still looking for that elusive Vanity 6 CD...
- Your Arsenal (Used $0.99) I had this already, but on cassette and that's no good these days.
People & Places: "Tobias In Zanzibar, Tanzania"
CD Purchases: January
Ask anyone who knows me at all, and they'll tell you I'm obsessed with CD shopping. Especially Used CD shopping. I am constantly trawling the scariest corners of Pawn Shops and Hastings looking for that elusive ultimate rare treasure in a dusty bin. The clerks know me, and usually I can talk them into some good discounts. I usually pay $2-3 per CD, and will rarely go over $6. With the Mp3 era in full swing, I rarely purchase new CDs unless it's something I really love and HAVE to own. Otherwise I keep faith that sooner or later I will run across a copy for $2 at Jim-Bob's Junk Shop in Missoula.
So, I've decided to put this blog to good use and catalog ALL my used and new CD purchases for the year here when I buy them. Since January has turned into February, I will start today with a list of the years purchases so far. Hopefully, it will be kind of entertaining to ponder the randomness of the titles, and it will serve as a way to keep track of my collection a bit and to see how much I spend (could be scary.) I might include some commentary about the titles and even some mp3s to download…
CD Purchases 2006: January
1. American Gigolo Comp – Mix By Tiga (Used $5.99) – Awesome 2001 DJ Mix with Electroclash classics like Miss Kittin’s “Frank Sinatra and Fischerspooner’s “Emerge”.
2. Ella Fitzgerald – That Old Black Magic (Used $3.99) – Sound quality is terrible and claimed “Exclusive Jazz Photo Collection” is Ella looking her bloated worst. Poor dear.
3. Missing Persons – Spring Session M (Used $5.99) – One of my all-time ‘80’s favorites – this is the ’95 reissue with 2 bonus tracks.
4. She Wants Revenge – She Wants Revenge (New $10.99) – Has been stuck on repeat since I got it from Soulseek – yes, it’s derivative of the usual suspects (Cure, New Order, Interpol, Psych Furs) but it’s also undeniably brilliant and will become a classic on it’s own merits. I love this one so much I think I’ll share.
She Wants Revenge – Red Flags and Long Nights
(MP3 7.9MB, 192kbps)
5. Marilyn Manson – Fight Song (single) (New $0.99) – Came with cool MM Tarot Cards.
6. Blue Note Blend 2 Comp (Used $0.99) – One of 2 Starbucks Jazz Comps I picked up. For some reason I really like these to do homework by. Whoever was compiling these back in the ‘90s knew their stuff and picked some great key jazz classics.
7. 45’s on CD Vol. 1 Comp (Used $0.99) – 1956-1959 – Some tracks are lost classics (Connie Francis’ “Stupid Cupid”, Bill Justis “Raunchy”) others are overplayed.
8. Josie Cotton – Convertible Music / From The Hip (Used $0.99) – Never saw this one before. Great ‘80’s pop includes “Johnny Are You Queer?”
9. Ray Lynch – Deep Breakfast (Used $0.99) – Instrumental 1984 album was big in the genre once called “New Age” but this is a bit different – it’s synthy and frothy and vaguely pastoral
10. John Peel’s Festive 15 Comp (Free with Uncut Mag) – Nice obscurities – not the obvious lot.
Newbury Comics (Internet Purchase)
11. Depeche Mode – Remixes 81-04 (Ltd. Ed. 3 CD Set) (Used $24.98) – This and the Siouxsie box had been on my list forever. I got my financial aid and decided to finally order them. The DM set is a little frustrating since I had most everything here on other CDs, but the bonus disc is very nice indeed. Boo-hiss on the packaging, however. The CDs slide right on out of that box everytime you pick it up!
12. Siouxsie & the Banshees – Downside Up B- Sides (4 CD) (New $39.98) – Essential. They really had some odd numbers tucked away on those singles…The booklet is fascinating as well.
Goodwill, Downtown Spokane
13. The Cure – End of the World (Single) (Used $1.00) – Didn’t have it yet…boring B-sides.
14. Love and Rockets – Lift (Used $1.00) – I had this once and sold it used – not their best work but includes “Resurrection Hex” which I love.
15. Peter Murphy – Dust (Used $1.00) – Haven’t even listened to it yet.
16. Peter Murphy – Cascade (Used $1.00)
17. Tool – Undertow (Used $1.00) – I’m not a big fan but wanted to maybe drop a few Tool songs into my Karaoke repertoire.
18. Sparks – Best of Sparks (Used $1.00) – Not really their best, but an odd comp of late ‘80s stuff.
19. At Home With The Groovebox Comp (Used $1.00) – Meant to buy it when it came out, glad I didn’t. Only Beck’s rare gem “Boyz” saves it. “Campfire” might be the worst Sonic Youth song ever.
20. Super Hits of the 70s : Have A Nice Day Vol. 25 (Used $1.00) Includes Ace Frehley’s “New York Groove”.
Pawn One, CDA
21. James Brown – Motherlode (Used $3.00) Insane 2003 comp of unreleased material ’68—72.
St. Vincent Du Paul Books & More, Post Falls
22. We’ll Have Manhattan – The Rogers & Hart Songbook Comp (Used $1.00)
St Vincent Du Paul, CDA
23. Nigel Kennedy – Vivaldi : the Four Seasons (Used $2.00) I like his hair.
Pawn One, Hayden
24. The Fall – The Idiot Joy Show (Used $2.00) Wow – what a find, eh? It’s a 2CD set with 2 mid-90’s live sets. Looks like a bootleg.
25. Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs (Used $2.00) What a totally creepy album. I had a hard time listening to this one for some reason. Harsh.
26. Throwing Muses – Not Too Soon single (Used $1.00) Another exciting find. Includes cover of Beatles’ “Cry Baby Cry” I had never heard.
27. General Public – All the Rage (Used $2.00) Sounds pretty dated.
28. Pretenders – Pretenders (Used $2.00) I can finally ditch my threadbare cassette copy. “Tattoed Love Boys” never sounded so good.
29. Iggy & the Stooges – California Bleeding (Used $2.00) Totally unlistenable live comp but includes great pics of a young Ig wearing only a tiny thong!
30. Sarah Vaugh – Finest Hour (Used $2.00) It’s a Sunday morning coffee feeling.
31. Ultra-Lounge: Bossanova-ville Comp (Used $1.00) I can’t ever resist a good Lounge comp.
32. Unrehearsed Impulse Comp (Used $1.00) Another solid Starbucks jazz collection.
Pawn One, Post Falls
33. Shirley Bassey – The Best Of (Used $2.00) – Great collection with unfortunate pics of Shirley having a series of bad hair days.
34. Madonna – Who’s That Girl? (Single) (Used $1.00) – “Quien es esa nina”
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