Friday, August 16, 2013

Why don't I own this already?

Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society dish towel.

Pop culture roundup: Comics are for 45-year-olds; the real Dear Prudence; TARDIS spotted on Google Maps; rare McCartney recording; John Lennon's last visit to Liverpool!

Via Boing Boing: A quote from a DC Comics exec recounted by comics creator Paul Pope exemplifies the sad state of creativity at the company, which would rather cater to a dwindling group of aging fanboys than build a newer, younger audience.
Asked by Yang if he had tried to do an all-ages book with a franchise character, Pope said he did test the waters, only to be knocked back. "Batman did pretty well, so I sat down with the head of DC Comics. I really wanted to do 'Kamandi [The Last Boy on Earth]', this Jack Kirby character. I had this great pitch… and he said 'You think this is gonna be for kids? Stop, stop. We don't publish comics for kids. We publish comics for 45-year olds. If you want to do comics for kids, you can do 'Scooby-Doo.' And I thought, 'I guess we just broke up.'"

Read an interview with Prudence Farrow-Bruns, sister of Mia Farrow and the woman who inspired the Beatles' "Dear Prudence."
The first time I heard the song was when my mother played it for me shortly after the record came out. But, initially, I was apprehensive about the song, because John had written at least two negative songs about his experience in India ["The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" and "Sexy Sadie"], so I was a bit worried what he would say about me. But I was relieved when I realized the song was very sweet, innocent and even flattering.


Via Jalopnik: Doctor Who's TARDIS appears on Google maps!
Click this link to the map of Earl's Court Road, then click the double-white arrows directly in front of the call box. Immediately you're transported inside the Doctor's famous time machine, complete with a detailed 360 degree view of its interior and various controls.


The unreleased test recording of Peter and Gordon's "Woman" featuring the song's composer Paul McCartney on drums sold on eBay for more than $2,500 this week.
“Woman” (Capitol 5579) debuted on the Billboard charts on Feb. 12, 1966. It was written by Paul McCartney under the pseudonym Bernard Webb as an experiment to see if a song without the Lennon and McCartney label would make the charts. It was a top 20 hit, peaking at #14 after 12 weeks on the chart.


See rare pics of John Lennon's final visit to Liverpool, with Yoko Ono at the tail end of the 60s.

Fab Friday: Vintage Beatles pics


Thursday, August 15, 2013

New pictures from Amazing Spider-Man 2

Some new images from the next Spidey film, set to open next year.

Consumer alert: New Flash Harry CD reissue by Nilsson reportedly sub-standard

Riding on the coattails of the new, huge box set containing all of Harry Nilsson's RCA recordings, Varese Sarabande has issued a new edition of the singer's final LP, Flash Harry.

The release gives fans an opportunity to own Nilsson's complete catalog on CD (they'll also need Spotlight on Nilsson, released during Harry's pre-RCA days on Tower), which is great.

What's not so great, is hearing that the new Flash Harry is a pretty shoddy affair. A person posting on the great Beatles'-focused 910 board reports:
I analyzed the recordings against a remastered needledrop, with bonus tracks, and guess what I found? This legit CD is a needledrop itself, with clicks and pops still audible on the fade-outs, and visible and audible FFT noise reduction. The indexing is poorly done. One of the tracks starts with a cowbell riff that has been chopped off at the head, picking up during the decay of its reverb. The pirate of this sounds a lot better.

If that were not bad enough, I went to the bonus tracks, excited to hear them from the master tapes. But they sound like shit. So I compared them to the same material on "Secret Tracks" and "Flash Harry" on RMW, and the legit CD bonus tracks are sourced from 128 kbps mp3s found many years ago on the net, that are lossless on the RMW issues. I can tell they're the same because the DAT mistracking noises are in the same places.
Disappointing news. Although my own feeling is that Nilsson really didn't record much of consequence after Pussy Cats, having this lost LP in print would've been nice. But now it sounds like fans who want the whole works in decent quality will need to wait until someone does a better job.

I hope to post my review of the RCA box in the next week or so, stay tuned.

See the trailer for Miyazaki's The Wind Rises

Pop artifact: Barbie dictionary

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BBC Radio this Week: Marc Bolan; Tony King; Blake's 7; Ivor Cutler; Creation Records; more!

Click the links to hear the following programs.

20th Century Boy: The Marc Bolan Story
36 years after Marc Bolan's death, Paul Sexton presents an updated repeat of his 2007 profile, with a stellar cast list including David Bowie, Bernie Taupin, Noel Gallagher, David Gilmour, producer Tony Visconti, Bolan's girlfriend Gloria Jones and their son Rolan. The revised version also features archive from Marc's friend and earliest media supporter, John Peel.
The programme charts Bolan's long journey from the streets of Hackney in north London, via early singles in his own name and as a member of John's Children, to his ultimate glam rock superstardom at the helm of T. Rex.

Eyewitness to History: Tony Kings 60s 
Legendary music publicist Tony King shares his memories of the 1960s, when he worked with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, Phil Spector and others.
A personal look at this sensational decade, Tony was at the centre of the Swinging 60s in London, and brings it to life with his stories. There are tales of iconic musicians but there are also memories of the everyday, of paying £2 a week to rent a flat in Fulham, having to sneak into Vidal Sassoon after dark to have his hair cut by a women's stylist, and how difficult it was to go to the cinema with Brenda Lee. He also remembers the impact fashion and drugs had on the world at large.

Blake's 7: The Early Years Prequel audio adventures from the classic British sci-fi series, exploring the origins of key characters before meeting rebel leader Roj Blake.

Ivor Cutler: A Wet Handle More surreal poetic musings and ditties from Ivor Cutler and friends.

Biff! Bang! Pow! The Creation Records Story Steve Lamacq looks back at the history of this unique label.

Bright Lights, Big City  Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman looks back on the UK rhythm and blues scene.

Flight of the Conchords Rob Brydon narrates an improvised comedy about a novelty band.

The Goon Show Classic material from one of the all-time radio comedy greats.

The Man in Black A creepy raconteur, played by Mark Gatiss, introduces spooky tales.

Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone Strange, surprising Sunday evenings, the perfect journey to the Freakier Zone.

Vintage movie stills: Bonnie and Clyde starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway