Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I thought working at a thrift store was going to be a dream come true with the first pickings of all the rare treats that were trucked in. Unfortunately, soon after I started, a policy was enacted where employees could only make purchases on their off hours...the ladies in the back who recieved and priced the daily shipments were hoarding all the fancy clothes and knick-knacks for their 10% discount.

A steady flow of records always came in- so many that they had to send a woman around to weed out what she deemed to be unsalable. Thus the record bin was full of The Carpenters and Phil Collins while treasures like Sun Ra's Magic City, Perry & Kingsley's The In Sounds From Way Out! and random gems like Larry were stuck in a shopping cart and hauled off to the trash compactor. This same woman was also in charge of weeding out the books- routinely trashing beautiful old turn-of-the-century books while about 50 copies of that fucking Lee Iococa book moldered on the shelves for months. With the new policy, it was a bit difficult for me to save the good stuff from the trash compactor

...but I managed to save Larry.

I have had this record sitting around since then, only listening to it once or twice in ten years. Simply titled Larry, this record lured me in with its amatuerish bright orange cover incompetently scrawled with a drawing of an organ. I will pick up any vanity pressing, especially if it's an organ record...but Larry, it turned out, was a fucking bore churning away dirges. Larry certainly paled in comparison to the stacks of George Wright and Lenny Dee records I was acquiring at the time.

...but the other day I decided to give Larry another try and, well, Larry impressed me. Not so much that his playing is anything special but that he sometimes goes apeshit crazy with the glockenspiel. As the liner notes disclose: "The selections we have chosen are ones that make particularly good demonstrations of the more novel features of the organ such as the glockenspiel, the chimes and the castanets." The organ referenced was the centerpiece of Martinetti's, a restaurant and hotel in Crystal Lake, Illinois, where this record was recorded. Larry, or rather Larry Fobair, was the resident organist at the time who had "appeared at a number of the better night spots in the Windy City."

As the liner notes also point out, Larry also liked horses. When the restaurant management asked him "what he likes better- organs or horses?" Larry paused, his eyes twinked and "Larry just shrugged!" That may be the perfect summary for this record.

Larry - Kinkajou
Larry - Frenesi
Larry - Dancing Shoes Polka

The above picture is not Larry Fobair nor is it the cover of the record. Trust me, the record cover isn't too interesting...so you are treated to my interpretation of Larry.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jimmy Boyd Little Boy

No Christmas songs for you, dear reader, as I'm sure you're deluged already. But here is a odd and kinda creepy song that has a roundabout connection to Christmas.

The Little Boy And The Old Man was a B Side to the 1950s children's music hit Tell Me A Story by Frankie Laine and Jimmy Boyd. Jimmy Boyd is mainly remembered for I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Boyd possessed a cartoon-like kid voice that was both irritatingly cute and slightly ghoulish.

Frankie Laine & Jimmy Boyd - The Little Boy And The Old Man

Friday, December 15, 2006

Glamorous Piles

I started a new blog called Glamorous Piles.

If you don't know already- I am a painter of pretty pictures (above). The new blog will be host to the posting of new work, process threads, various bits I find interesting and more personal, uh, reflections and how it relates to my work.

I have tried to keep this blog entirely devoid of any personal information and I find the formal box I put myself in quite restraining. Don't worry! I will still continue the audio trainwreck of Cake & Polka (uh, well...I haven't been that frequent lately...sorry). Glamorous Piles will also feature occasional MP3s as well- where it pertains to a piece, etc etc.

Don't forget to go to WFMU's Beware Of The Blog as well, where I am a contributor.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sweethearts Forever

Here is an old acetate recording of Sweethearts Forever, seemingly moaned by a group of sleep-deprived zombies at a funeral (that always makes a mediocre song so much better!) The end skip is unintentional but works in both mood and meaning. Grab your sweetheart and sit back to enjoy a long life of boring drudgery forever....and ever.

??? - Sweethearts Forever

thanks to Daniel Knox for the song identification

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