Happy 400th, KJV! (and Hamlet!)

Am I the only one who noticed that the King James Bible, written in 1611, is 400 years old this year? While I am not certain exactly what kind of a celebration we would have as a culture, but I believe that at least some mention is in order.

I remember that 1611 was the date, because 1611 was the same year Hamlet was completed, my most favourite of Shakespearian plays. I also think about the KJV, because my profession, education, has it to thank for introducing the elementary school system and teaching children of all families how to read. In 1611 english, the KJV was written for a grade 6 reading level.  There is a modern Bible, also aimed at the same reading level, written in modern English: The Good News Bible.

The KJV, as I understand it, is still widely read, but is not considered the most accurate translation. It appears that the NAV (New American Version) of the Bible is the most authoritative to my understanding, but aimed at a higher reading level.

Crappy Album Covers #129 — Atomization and Anomization

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Jim Haun, known as Rouvaun (pronounced “Rove-On”) (1932-1975) was a famous tenor, born in Utah. This is likely to be his first album. Wikipedia says that while he was an unknown woodworker studying voice, he relased this album after becoming an overnight sensation at The Dunes hotel in Vegas. Already with this album we can see that he is billing himself as “The World’s Greatest Singer”.

Well, I guess you are in for some notoriety when your vocal trainer was Mario Chamlee, who had to take over the contract at The Metropolitan Opera house in New York, succeeding Enrico Caruso, who died in 1921. That could give anyone a swelled head.

And if you are going to sing in the grand tradition of these folks, then the listener will expect the most standard of tunes to be sung with the greatest of melodrama. Listen to him sing The Impossible Dream, and sing The Lord’s Prayer, using his supreme vocal skill to overdo both songs.

The Impossible Dream:
[audio:http://stridersjournal.net/other/Rouvaun_ImpossibleDream.mp3]

The Lord’s Prayer:
[audio:http://stridersjournal.net/other/Rouvaun_lords_prayer.mp3]

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With Rouvaun, it was all “ME, ME, ME!!!”, wasn’t it?

With the Musical Four, we get the other extreme: Atomie. Lookit, I’m a fan of Emile Durkeim, the founder of Sociology. He wrote of anomie, a dissolution of character as a result of a lack of social norms; and of atomie, which is a condition where the individual blends into to rigid norms so much that he loses all sense of self. Not enough norms lead to alienation from others; while too many norms lead to a lack of sense of self and eventually an alienation from self. Get it?

Well we see The Musical Four as actually 5 people. Individuality matters so little to them that, hey, who cares if there are 5 people? Maybe 5 is just an augmented version of 4. Atomistic in the extreme.

Obviously, Sybil Godwin had enough of that crap, and hired a lawyer to force the group to say “With Sybil Godwin” whenever “The Musical Four” was mentioned in any publicity. The other four thought quietly to themselves, “God will get him for his vanity”.

Crappy Album Covers #62 — The Dance

album-cover-crap-76_lpcoverlover_com This one is from Michelino and his Cha Cha Band. The color scheme of the album obfuscates the black lettering near the bottom. Something about “Cha Cha Cha” and secretaries. This whole thing gives me an understanding as to why lpcoverlover.com headlined this as “Banging The Secretary“.There is the secretary there with her typewriter. Either he is playing bad music and she wants Michelino to stop, or he wants to dictate a letter to her using drum signals, and she can’t keep up.
album-cover-crap-77_lpcoverlover_com I have discovered that the “Cha Cha” has within it a nearly endless goldmine of crappy album covers. Look at “Dracula Cha Cha Cha”. Well, of course one problem I have, and it goes without saying, that the cover looks like it was done in pastel by a 14-year-old.But even the mere idea of doing the “Dracula Cha Cha Cha” is quite another topic. Gone are the images of warm Spanish climes, where you dance the Cha-Cha or the tango, or to any of the many other Latin rhythms that make travelling to Spain or Latin America a treat. Instead, you the Cha Cha, done with an element of fear. Fear that you might get caught, I’d say. Some things can never be forgiven.I guess, then, I would consider this Cha-Cha album where the themes are non-standard, a kind of “alternative Cha-Cha” album to please, say, the punks and the skinheads. Imagine punks and skinheads doing the Cha-Cha. Just imagine.
album-cover-crap-63_badhair2 It seems that everyone had tried their hand at disco during the seventies. Here, the late Danish pop-rocker keyboardist and heavy metallist Tommy Seebach (1949-2003) wants you to believe that he can do disco, with his album “Disco Tango”.It is rather surprising that in the seventies, a person like Seebach could wear his mustache and hair like that and probably still get laid. It sure was a different decade. Those who lived through those decades must admit: in the 70s, we all thought we were something. We all thought that up to that point in modern history, we had the coolest clothes, and the coolest hairstyles. I mean having a blowdryer was a cool thing, as was having one of those hair brushes with the bristles that go all the way around, so that blowdrying your hair could get you that puffy head of hair that made your head look bigger than it really was. And you felt so cool when you wore it! Now, you guys have to admit that if that was the deal with you and your immediate clique, then you didn’t look too different from Seebach over here. If you were on a date, you wore a sports jacket and one of those shirts with pointy collars, and you made sure that you left the top button undone so that the girl can see your necklace and possibly some chest hair. And since ties weren’t cool, you never wore one. Therefore, we must conclude that this album is only crappy in retrospect.This blogger seems to have dicovered in those multiple heavy metal videos he did, that they all seemed to be the same shots of the same riffs of totally different music. Even the images of the drummer hitting the cymbals were in different time with the music. The same girls were dancing the same dance out of the same forest, regardless of the music. On different songs, I saw the same shots of the same guitar riffs; the same shots of the same bass riffs, not even bothering to change the camera angle.
album-cover-crap-73_coverbrowser_com While we’re on the topic of clothing styles, I’m afraid that these guys, The Drifters, have a clothing style that is like nothing in the history of the universe.Tracking information on these folks was next to impossible. There is a polka tune called “Drifters Polka”, which seemingly everyone covered — even Roy Clark. But A band called “Drifters” and an album called “Polka ‘n’ Fun” only led to other crappy album blogs, short on straight info.