Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Ovaltine mornings

July 20, 2017

On Facebook, from several sources, these vintage ads for Ovaltine, notable (these days) for their use of the adjective gay ‘light-hearted, carefree’:

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Two things here: the lexical items gay; and the beverage Ovaltine. Along the way we’ll pick up some Los Angeles lesbian rap.

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Start spreading the gnus

July 17, 2017

Today’s ouchrageous pun (passed on to me by Chris Hansen):

(#1) By Dan Thompson (DT Page on this blog here)

Wildebeests, gnus, whetever — they’re all ungulates.

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O Canada! Au Canada: le huard!

July 1, 2017

Today is Canada Day, the 150th, and also the 30th anniversary of the Canadian dollar coin, the loonie (le huard):

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The Treasure of the Singlet Padre

June 30, 2017

Or: Happy Trails to You.

It starts with a Richard Oliva photo in Steathy Cam Men on the 28th, with the caption “Hello, sexy daddy man!”:

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In  leather singlet, displaying his furry pecs and treasure trail.

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More Magrittean disavowals

June 28, 2017

Today’s Zippy:

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One in a long series of Zippy strips about Tod Browning’s film Freaks, the characters in it, and the actors who played them (only some of them posted about here). Also one in a long series of strips referring to the Magrittean disavowal, a contradiction between text and image: in this case, the title of this comic strip, This is not a comic strip.

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The word came down on Pentecost

June 7, 2017

Four language-related strips in my comics feed on Sunday the 4th, which this year was Pentecost,

the Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension, held on the seventh Sunday after Easter. (NOAD2)

KJV Acts 2:3: And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them

The word came down. In One Big Happy, Rhymes Wth Orange, Zits, and xkcd.

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For the day

June 5, 2017

The text:

And I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered or driven to its knees
But it’s alright, it’s alright, for we live so well, so long
Still, when I think of the road we’re traveling on
I wonder what’s gone wrong, I can’t help it I wonder what’s gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying, I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me, smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying, and high up above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty, sailing away to sea, and I dreamed I was flying

A song of loss, regret, weariness, resignation… and transcendance.

This is my man Jacques’s death day (14 years ago, on a day as beautiful as this one is). I was about to post some photos of his, from Columbus OH and here in California, and I’ll still do this, but Ann Burlingham just posted on Facebook a reminiscence of a moment from the time when she shared the Columbus house with J and me, a sweet reminiscence of Ann and me dissolving on hearing, by chance on the radio, the song excerpted above, sung hauntingly by the Indigo Girls.

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No te vayas de Zamboanga

June 1, 2017

My morning name on Sunday was Zamboanga, which I immediately recognized as a placename, for a city on the island of Mindanao, the southernmost large island of the Philippines. And I immediately understand why it was in my memory: it’s from a song in the music book I had in the 3rd or 4th grade (I’m not sure which — look, this is all from almost 70 years ago), a compilation of folk songs for children. Which included a song about Zamboanga.

The original of the song was in Spanish — “No Te Vayas de Zamboanga” — or possibly in the Mindanao creole called Chavacano or Chabacano, but we sang it in English, probably in the widespread mistranslation “Do Not Go to (Far) Zamboanga”. (A more accurate translation is “Do Not Go from Zamboanga” or “Do Not Leave Zamboanga” — Zamboanga being both a place of great physical beauty and the home of the singer’s beloved.)

The mystery in all this is why this particular childhood memory surfaced on Sunday morning.

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Shamisen moments

May 31, 2017

It began on Facebook with a short video of two young Japanese women rocking on their shamisens (3-string lutes); you can watch the video here. A screen shot from their performance:

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I shared the video with Kim Darnell, who sent me in exchange a rave review of the animated feature film Kubo and the Two Strings (also featuring a shamisen), which I was able to watch, transfixed, on Netflix.

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Hang On Sloopy

May 21, 2017

On Friday, while Kim Darnell and I worked on moving plants and cleaning closets (not just routine spring cleaning, but a counter-offensive against a severe moth infestation — more on this in a later posting), for background I called up an iTunes playlist of dance music from the 50s through the 90s, which included “Hang On Sloopy”.

Now, Kim and I both have serious Ohio State connections, so we recognized the song as an OSU anthem, as played by TBDBITL, The Best Damn Band In The Land, aka the OSU Marching Band, which, like OSU football in general, is surrounded by a kind of frenzied irrational devotion. (When I lived in Columbus, I found this truly scary, since it led to crowds torching vehicles, smashing storefronts, and generally behaving like crazed hooligans,)

So Kim asked the obvious question: Who the hell is Sloopy?

We get that it’s a name, here used as an address term. But who is the Sloopy of the song, what do we know about them? And was there an actual Sloopy in the history of the song, or was the name just pulled out of a hat? And what kind of onomastic hat has Sloopy in it? (Related puzzle re: “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” — though in this case, Rikki and Ricky are both reasonably frequent names.).

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