Crappy Album Covers #106 — Crappy Canadian Covers

Hits: 19

… And both of them are from that group from Montreal called April Wine. This group was really big in Canada in the 70s and 80s, and they had some of my favourite songs that I grew up with. Trouble was, while their music was really good, their record covers consistently sucked greasy cheese balls. They were flat, cliche covers that made no impression whatsoever on the buyer. Here are two of, in my opinion, the worst album covers that April Wine had offered in this vein.

Album_Cover_Crap_169_April_Wine This is their 1973 album “Electric Jewels”, which is cliche in every detail  and screams to the buyer nothing more than “this is an album with music in it”. It totally belies what is inside the covers of this album. Well, there is “Electric” in the title, so you might be expected to play this one a little louder. 

While just about every track on this record is a strong track, capable of getting you hooked, none of its three singles made the top-10 (Lady Run, Lady Hide (peaked @ 19, lasted 5 weeks); Weeping Widow (peaked @ 40, lasted 2 weeks); and Electric Jewels (never made the top 40)).

Both records in today’s posting could easily have been designed by K-Tel.

Album_Cover_Crap_170_April_Wine_2 The cover for “Live at the El Mocambo” embellishes the design on the backdrop of one of the stages of the landmark night club. The two palm trees were part of El Mocambo’s trademark. But this idea only works as an album cover backdrop if you live in Toronto. If you are from outside Toronto, or have never been in the night club, you are left scratching your head, wondering if they’ve adopted a Jimmy Buffett sound. 

The ElMo, as it is known to us locals, is located on 404 Spadina, in the middle of what they call the Computer Ghetto in Downtown Toronto. Got changed to a dance studio a few years back, then re-opened again.

The Ramones played there. So did Lou Reed, Blondie, The Police, Black Flag, Jonhhy Winter, Charles Mingus, Rush, Elvis Costello, U2, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and even Marilyn Monroe. She played there in 1958. When April Wine recorded live for this album in 1977, they were opening for The Rolling Stones.

Just like a Canadian band to take all that tradition, and all those bragging rights, and make an album cover that is as lame as you can possibly make it. Believe it or not, their concerts were not lame, explaining why they recorded 7 live albums in their tenure. This album reputedly has a killer live version of Oowatanite. But who would know? By 1979, I remember noticing piles of these albums in the delete bin.

In total April Wine had released 35 singles by 1993, and 21 of them charted in the Top 40. 7 of them were hits in the U. S., with three of them peaking on Billboard in the Top 40: Could Have Been A Lady (1972), Roller (1979), and Just Between You and Me (1981). At least 3 of their albums went either platinum or double platinum.

Crappy Album Covers #105 — Selling fantasy

Hits: 24

album-cover-crap-3_lp-cover-lover1 The Jay Gordon Concert Orchestra offers the album “Strictly for Lovers” off of the TOPS label, a CAC factory which was located at one time somewhere in the southwestern U. S. which has supplied my blog with a healthy number of CACs thus far. 

There’s an attractive woman, whispering something into her boyfriend’s ear. Something like “I haff zee microfilm.”

Anyone who is not a lover should stay away from this record. Turn it off! Don’t buy it! Put it back in the remainder bin!

album_cover_crap_139_maxim_com TOPS made money actually selling radiation instruments, if readers of my blog will remember. This could make them part of the Military Industrial Complex. And while we are on the topic of war, here are the natives of Auburn, New York with their band Manowar, with their 1983 album (not found on TOPS, sorry), called “Into Glory Hole Ride”. 

This cover has been fodder for many a CAC blog, mostly because of the overwhelmingly subconscious homosexual slant involving handlebar moustaches and loincloths. OK… maybe a little more than subconscious. I suppose they could have called their album “Hairway to Steven”, but the Butthole Surfers already have that album title.

Manowar is notable for owning their own label and distribution system. They are a true “Indie” band. Their label is called Magic Circle Records.

Wikipedia says that Manowar broke the longstanding record in 1994 for the world’s loudest rock band. Beating The Who by 3.5 decibels, their Hanover concert was measured at 129.5 decibels. Over the years, The Swans, Motorhead, AC/DC, Deep Purple, My Bloody Valentine, and The Rolling Stones have all surpassed this, breaking the 130 decibel mark. Manowar beat them all in 2008 with a Magic Circle Fest concert that measured 139 dB. Guiness Book has stopped making records of “loudest concerts” due to the prospect of encouraging hearing damage.

Crappy Album Covers #104 — Crappy Blockbusters

Hits: 11

album_cover_crap_146_2_cendella_com_greatest_picks Solo artist Andrew W. K. with a 2001 album called “Andrew’s Greatest Picks”, an album of what material he could work out at that time, usually with a pencil, but sometimes with sharp surgical instruments. It is an offering of his booger blockbusters between 1999 and 2000. 

Oh, my bad. No, that was Andrew Wayne-Kruer. This 2001 album cover is about another Andrew W. K., that of Andrew Wilkes-Krier. The real title was “I Get Wet”, and the album featured actual music on it, of the audio variety.  It was #1 for a few weeks and yielded two singles.

I gotta work harder to get my notes in order.

album-cover-crap-44_grenadefishing_com Andy is not the only one with medical problems. Looks like Freddie, Bryan, Roger, and John were part of an experiment in 1989 to give the world its first taste of genetically modified music. 

You have to admit, it’s cheaper for the record companies, and everyone else. You have lower hotel expenses, you don’t need such a big stage, and the jobs of caterers, hairdressers, and costume designers is greatly simplified if all band members were fused into one body. Conversations are the only difficult thing, since everyone is sharing the same body now, and they have to decide which of their four mouths speaks first. It also complicates the job of journalists.

So, you don’t think Freddie Mercury really died of aids in 1991, do you? He never died at all, folks! Medical breakthroughs like the one you see here have kept him alive the whole time!

The album “The Miracle” peaked on Billboard at #24, and its single “I Want it All”, peaked at #50, yielding no hit (top 40) singles across the pond (in the U.S.).

Crappy Album Covers #102 — Ideas that wouldn't work these days

Hits: 9

album-cover-crap-5_lp-cover-lover Roughly translated from Portuguese, “Nozinho (Kinkle) and His Music”, the title of it being “For Your Pleasure”.What may have made this album successful, if it was, is that it had a colour photo on the cover, at one time, a rare treat.I can’t help but think of the Rikki-Lee Jones’ Lyric to Skeletons when I see this cover: 

  Some kids like watching
      Saturday cartoons
  Some girls listen to records
      all day in their rooms
  But what do birds leave behind,
       of the wings that they
       came with
  If a son's in a tree building
       model planes?
album-cover-crap-48_thriftstoreart_com Those of you who remember Mr. Magoo can hear him on vinyl. Recall that the voice was done by actor Jim Backus, who played The Millionaire on Gilligan’s Island. 

Gotta love those headphones, and that antenna on the phonograph.

Crappy Album Covers #97 — Religious Ideas that Backfire

Hits: 22

album_cover_crap_134_coverbrowser_com_child_molesting I am glad that Greg Kendrick is sharing his saga of sexual abuse with us. Why keep it bottled up inside? Yes, Greg, we understand. The police are on their way to apprehend the guy who touched you. Cellmates will probably kill him when he goes to jail.

OK, so this is not the only album with this title. Four middle-aged guys called The Minister’s Quartet had this title, and it too has wound up in every “worst album cover” blog from here to heck, including mine.

album_cover_crap_128_bozos This is the one and only album for the Christian Metal/Glam Metal group, Stryken. First Strike, released in 1986, shows on its cover what you expect to hear inside. Here you see the four natives of Austin, Texas, all of whom don’t look so threatening as loopy, putting out an album, that takes the Christian metal genre to its ultimate futility.

The next year they were said to have been arrested for distrupting a Motley Crue show when they appeared in front of their stage wearing full armour and carrying a large cross. Few people remember Stryken anymore.

If you talk to God you are likely praying; but when God talks to Stryken, it is more likely because they hadn’t taken their meds.

 

Crappy Album Covers #96 — More Unworkable Trekkie Ideas

Hits: 21

album_cover_crap_124_-_nimoy_i You got to hand it to Leonard Nimoy. He had tried so hard to be something more than his public image of Spock, yet the public image of an unemotional, totally logical humanoid was larger than he was. 

But he keeps sticking it to himself. In all of these “image makeover” LPs, Nimoy can’t get out of depicting his Spock image somewhere on the jacket. There is Spock in the upper left. In the act of trying to make you forget Spock, he reminds you at every turn.

“The Way I Feel” is a title that strikes me as being a little over the top. Also, it’s great artwork; but if you ever want to make the public forget, at least for a short time, who you played, then riding on your own coattails will get you nowhere. He is here coverng songs such as “I’d Love Making Love To You”, “Both Sides Now”, and “Sunny”.

album_cover_crap_125_-_nimoy_ii This album is a more explicit breaking of the rule. It may have been acceptable as a first attempt. But it was not his first attempt. AMG lists this record as being released in the same year as “The Way I Feel”, 1968. 

This time, you see two sides, alright. And rather than being two parts of a whole, they clash. Imagine hearing songs with titles that could appear on a Kraftwerk album (or fill in your own industrial/synthpop group): Amphibious Assault, Spock Thoughts, Once I Smiled, and Highly Illogical; next to songs like: Gentle On My Mind, If I Were a Carpenter, and, The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins, for which I presented a video over a month ago. You don’t have to watch it again, unless you haven’t seen it. I’ll understand.

Crappy Album Covers #95 — Le Concours de Fromage

Hits: 10

If these albums were entered into a cheesiness contest, they would be strong contenders.

album_cover_crap_131_coverbrowser_com_cliche This 1989 album cover appears to have been designed by an 11 year-old who discovered the shape tools in MS-Paintbrush and began to overuse them. It was released by Sony in 1990 and re-released by smaller labels in 1998, 1999 and 2000. This is their 7th compilation LP out of several. Having only recorded only 8 albums, their latest being in 2006, they have had more albums of compilations than of original material. 

What adds a tinge of sadness to their musical history, is that one of the members of their original lineup, Jessee Whittens, was murdered, according to allmusic.com, but another blogger says  that Whittens lost his life in an accident.

album_cover_crap_130_coverbrowser_com_cliche The Glitter Band, a band put together by ’70s rock star Gary Glitter, was supposed to be formed from a core of two drummers and two saxophonists. 

Their biggest hit was a song called Makes You Blind, first released in 1976, and peaked at #91 for a week in that year.

The record seems to say: “Hey! We’re lame and proud of it!”

Crappy Album Covers #94 — Not My Day Job

Hits: 12

album_cover_crap_133_coverbrowser_com_occupational Allan Smethurst, also known as The Singing Postman, was known for a 1966 novelty hit written in his Norfolk dialect, called “Hev Yew Got a Loight, Boy?” It remained on the British charts for 9 weeks, even knocking The Beatles off the #1 position at least a week in 1966.

So widespread was his fame, apparently, that he had inspired tribute acts, such as The Singing Farmer (also from Norfolk County in England).

And yes, Smethurst was a real mail deliveryman who just happened to submit a demo to the BBC and things took off from there.

album_cover_crap_132_coverbrowser_com_occupational This is a rare album that commands more than the original cover price from collectors ($40CDN on E-Bay), called “The Singing Priest”, by Servite Friar Father Columbia McManus.

I have understood in Catholicism, a sharp distinction between religious music that accompanies a traditional Church service and this thing called “Gospel Music”. I have also understood that while Gospel music can be uplifting, it is often cheesier than the former. I think Father McManus is likely veering dangerously close to the latter. To be honest, I haven’t heard the album, but it is just a hunch.

Crappy Album Covers #93 — I actually think I get this one …

Hits: 9

cac_01_riotThis CAC must be the fodder for dozens of CAC blogs; and the singular most common reaction is something like: WTF? They just don’t get it. In Riot’s 1981 album, their third, is the head of a cuddly harp seal on the shoulders of some guy.

Those bloggers are totally off the mark. This is totally understandable. I believe it is a statement on the tendency of urban-dwellers to feel more the rights of animals than for the rights of humans.

If you are down-and-out, alienated, rejected by society, you will find this world a cold, harsh place. But if you walk around wearing the head of a seal, at least people will think twice before smashing your brains in with a club. Who knows, you might even score sympathy points with the chicks this way. At least more points than previously. Yes, I get it. “Fire Down Under” must be a tome about man’s need to overcome alienation by dressing up in cuddly animal costumes of those perceived to be endangered species. Yes, I am making excuses for this cover.

Riot’s expoitation of seals as a hobbyhorse even extends to 13th CD, “Army of One”, released in 2006. I noticed the motif in at least three of their albums.

Crappy Album Covers #92 — Sucky even for metal

Hits: 21

projectsjungle I have said several times on my blog that I had a policy of not listing metal covers due to the fact  that ugliness is often a sales point with this music genre. I often delve into metal CAC blogs to see if I can find anything I could write about (in case there might be some howlers out there), and after 91 CAC entries, I have come up empty-handed. Now in CAC #92, I have found two CACs, both from the same group, Pantera. These are Pantera’s first two albums ever, “Projects in the Jungle”, followed by “Metal Magic.” This band from Arlington, Texas is still going with its own website, Dimebag is still there with his bro’ Vinnie, as they have been for the past 28 years. 

Now, if there was some kind of “first law of metal album cover design”, it should be to never let yourself do the cover, and to never let someone’s kid do the cover.

metalmagic This next bit of adolescent artwork would have pleased his mother, but the next step should have been to send him to art school, not make metal album covers. 

Here, we have Pantera, without pants. The albums give the impression of a low-rent band that would be considered “not bad for local”.

Pantera would have had to bave been together for 9 more years before they saw their first major commercial breakthrough, Cowboys From Hell, which established them as pioneers in the post-punk “Groove Metal” genre.

Crappy Album Covers #91 — Threatening Covers

Hits: 8

album-cover-crap-130_lpcoverlover_com Relax now with the Creed Taylor Orchestra, while you listen to the album “Panic: The Son of Shock”.Anyone in the mood to listen to someone’s musical impression of panic? If you like this album, you’ll love the sequel “Hysteria, daughter of shock”. While you are at it, you can help yourself to the follow-up album “Feeling rushed: second cousin of panic”.
album_cover_crap_129_coverbrowser_com_tarkus_takeoff This album has appeared on many “worst album cover” blogs, and the discussions make it appear as though this album cover is like no other album in the history of the universe.Now, am I the only one in on the joke, or is there something else I am not seeing. I think this album, right down to the childlike drawing, is making fun of the ELP’s 1971 album, Tarkus.
album_cover_crap_135_tarkus This is the album. I didn’t like the cover either. The person who drew Metal Tit (possibly a talented 5 year old kid) couldn’t draw armadilloes, or wheels or catepillar tracks.Trouble here is that ELP didn’t have a low budget or an indie label as an excuse for such an awful album cover.

Crappy Albums Covers (Sidebar) — Make your own crappy album cover

Hits: 19

witness_album This is April Fool’s Day, so I thought that it would be a good time to post albums that don’t exist. In fact, I will be doing nothing but fake albums for the month of April.If you have been an avid reader of my postings, you would have noticed that the band names depicted here were the same ones I made up in this post.Looks like any of hundreds of indie band album covers.

If you want to know how to put these things together, scroll down. And yes, these were photoshopped.

jesus_of_kapuskasing If you want to boost album sales, there’s nothing like watermarking a “Parental Advisory/Explicit Lyrics” logo on the cover so that people will ignore your artistic message and simply buy your album to listen for all the F— words. And if there aren’t any, they can’t really sue a rating system for false advertising, can they?

You can getchy’er parental advisory sticker by Googling it (there are plenty out there), then layer it in Photoshop (shrink it first if necessary), setting the opacity to under 50% so that it simply shows up as a watermark. When you’re done with inserting the title and band name, cropping the photo and so on, you then flatten the image and save it as a jpeg.

Here are the instructions for making up your own artificial crappy album cover, courtesy of emptees.com, together with my own commentary:

A Do-It-Yourself Indie Band Album Cover:

  1. Go to “wikipedia.” Hit “random… Read More”, or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band. Or alternatively, pick a band name using the band name generator and word of your liking at bandnamemaker.com (my preferred method). Warning: to my knowledge neither method will generate a band name such as “Jesus of Kapuskasing”. That name was pure invention. Jesus is, well, Jesus; and Kapuskasing (pronounced cap-us-KAY-sing) is a small town in northern Ontario. I used it because “Jesus of Montreal” was already taken (it is the title of an independent film). Wikipedia has that title.
  2. Go to “Random quotations” or click http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3 The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. In both cases above, I used the Wikipedia titles from rule #1 to title the album.
  3. Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days.  The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. I threw less caution to the wind and looked a little harder.
  4. Use photoshop or similar to put it all together. Make sure it’s a square. 500 x 500 pixels is ideal. I require a square image too, but I do not have “ideal” limits. Whatever the size, it ends up on my blog as 300 x 300.

Crappy Album Covers #90 — On the Domestic Front

Hits: 12

album-cover-crap-131_lp-cover-lover I thought I was looking for a human when I Google’d “Maria Leonora”. 

Get ready for this: Maria Leonora Theresa (I’ll just say MLT) was a 3-foot high ceramic doll with her own recording contract, television program and feature film in the Phillippines in the early 1970s. She had her own makeup, wardrobe, and jewellery.

MLT fans reportedly wrote fan letters to her, which were answered back. This may have contributed to the urban legend that she was actually a living person.

“Forsaken Doll” was likely recorded near the end of MLT’s career, when her “mommy” and “daddy” divorced (Guy and Pip [played by Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz]). The fans turned away, then the entertainment exects wanted nothing to do with MLT. She was washed up before her fifth birthday.

She was last seen on a derilict street corner on crack, and trying to hustle herself to Ken in front of Barbie.

album-cover-crap-128_lpcoverlover_com The British musical group The Jack Emblow Sextet played often on the BBC in the 50s and 60s. Jack Emblow himself played the accordion. 

This sheds light as to why “playtime” for a housewife meant “tea time”.

[Video] Giving Leonard Nimoy equal time

Hits: 14

I don’t know why I need to pick on Shatner, when Nimoy was far worse.

Bloggers Joe and Darlene Lacy, who have a Leonard Nimoy shrine page, assert, with visual proof, that Nimoy has recorded more albums than Shatner. Actually, with his other recordings (not on the DOT label), he is said to have more than The Beatles. Nimoy also didn’t help his career along with singing anymore than Shatner did. The one track that tells you everything you need to know about songs from Spock is his tribute to Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”, with the song “Ballad of Bilbo Baggins”.

Time to plug your ears

Hits: 21

William Shatner (who played Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek) recites “Lucy in the Sky”. The animator wins big for visual accompaniment. It is kitschy in exactly the right way. Guest starring Lucille Ball and Lucy Van Pelt. Cameo appearance by Ricky Ricardo and The Flying Nun (with Shatner’s face pasted on).

Crappy Album Covers #82 — Classic Crock

Hits: 57

album_cover_crap_120_-_beatles_franklarosa_com Rock set to classical music, especially in the 60s and 70s, was done with no small measure of contempt for the rock genre. Here, the greater works of The Beatles is set to opera. 

I can see Elanor Rigby being set to opera, or Yesterday, but Can’t Buy Me Love? Or the song Revolution?

And the line drawings on this cover is an obvious send-up to similar drawings of The Beatles’ Revolver album, which has some of these tracks on it. If it were really a send-up to Revolution, what artwork would they parody? The White Album?

album_cover_crap_123_-_shatner This 1968 album cover is not really crappy, since the general design would be predictable for Shatner: kitschy late 60s computer lettering; Shatner in a trance; and so on. 

What is legendarily horrible about this album lay in its contents. The album’s pièce de résistance for masochists was in his reading of the Beatle’s Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Those who boldly assert that Shatner’s talents extended beyond acting usually quiet down whenever they hear Shatner take a hatchet to recite this track.

I have a link to a video of Shatner doing Lucy, which is so brilliantly done and animated, that I felt it deserved its own entry.

Warning: Once you view the video, you can’t UN-view it. Sorry.

 

Crappy Album Covers #64 — Your Body is Your Shrine

Hits: 32

album-cover-crap-83_normal_vinylcoversfreefr_00338 I haven’t checked but I am beginning to notice that there seems to be a single record label that seems to be responsible for an increasingly disproportionate number of crappy album covers: K-Tel. I guess Canadians have to be known for something other than snow and igloos. Well, we can now boast of having had a crappy record cover factory headquartered in Winnipeg. 

This 1991 “Armed Forces Workout” album featuring Bill Dower comes with its own instruction poster. Sgt. Bill Dower was last known to be an American Armed Forces trainer.

album-cover-crap-81_normal_vinylcoversfreefr_00345 Time raise your hands for The Lord! Now put them down! Up! Down! Up! Down! 

This record is destined to make you into a — uh — firm believer! If God is going to raise you from the dead, then make it easier for Him by losing some weight!

You know, your body is a shrine, it is God’s creation. Stay slim for Him! (the link is to a brief history of Christian dieting and exercise).

Staying fit is more Christian than you think (no, really). In fact, it is supported by many major religions. The above link suggests that it is also specified in the Qu’ran, and Catholics can pray to St. Margaret of Cortona (although this link is more into pushing product).

At one time there was a company in Baltimore, Maryland called Praisercise Fitness, but unforutnately their website does not seem to exist any longer.

Crappy Album Covers #60 — Creepy Similarities III

Hits: 9

album-cover-crap-74_coverbrowser_comBruce A. Tweten was once known as “Mr. Bat”. This is his 1981 album, called “Mr. Bat Sings”. What else does he do in his spare time? He probably also scares the hell out of small children. If you play the album backwards, you may hear the sound of children screaming in horror as he pummels them with his fist he is now waving in the air. While you are keeping an anxious eye on your loved ones and holding your children a little closer tonight, let Mr. Bat teach you the meaning of coulrophobia, firsthand.

Much rumors and speculation abound as to what he does these days. This blogger speculates that he might be playing “Mr. Moth”, while his wife plays accompaniment on something called a fart horn (I thought this was a made up slang, but such horns really exist, and one such horn is being auctioned off for 20 bucks on E-Bay as I write this) every time he hits a high-C. I have also now learned that there is such a thing as a butt-horn fart, defined as a fart that sounds like a horn. So, he should forget about playing high-C and start playing flautulent duets. They would have to play in tune, of course, and if Bruce can still fart in high-C, that would be worth the price of admission.

buttholesurferslocustabortiontechnicianWell, I do recall around that same decade, a 1987 punk rock album from The Butthole Surfers, called Locust Abortion Technician. But this time, the clowns had smiles on their faces.

Like Mr. Bat, having clowns showing up on an album with a name like that does not generally give a positive portrayal of clowns.

Like much of this blog, this all has a precedent. One example of a clown with issues was mass murderer John Wayne Gacy, who also went by the name “Pogo the Clown”.

gacy2Gacy was known as “the Killer Clown”, and here he is, standing in front of his house. 30 bodies were found in his basement by 1974. He is depicted here in this black-and-white photo.

It would seem that once the Gacy murder trials started in the Early 80s, that left a void in the evil clown market, which is about the same time that Mr. Bat took over to fill in the clown shoes left behind by Gacy. Gacy, beset by legal problems (arrests, trials, convictions and jailtime can cramp your style, you know), was finally put down by lethal injection in 1994. What makes Gacy particularly repugnant is, that unlike Charles Manson, he did not produce any crappy albums, nor crappy album covers. Society will never forgive him for this heinous crime.

Enter Mr. Bat, who obviously wants to restore dignity to the good name of evil clowns everywhere. Bat has a big job to do, and big clown shoes to fill. He now must perform evil and terror-filled acts, but in a law-abiding way. We still await the outcome.

Crappy Album Covers #16 – Bad Promos

Hits: 21

Kuratt and Rame are, respectively, a brand of Mens’ and Ladies’ jeans produced by Diesel. I mention “Shaky Sharks”, released circa 1994, because this CD likely never saw the light of day in most record stores. It was intended as a promo CD, and was likely the background music in many clothing stores selling Diesel. The cover design was intentionally cheap — just enough thought put into it to get the message across to the store manager. The fifties’ aesthetic that is used here is more like a ’50s aesthetic as seen through the eyes of someone in the 90s. As if this is a good thing. I didn’t even like the aesthetic from the original 50s.

The guy is not Kuratt and the lady is not Rame. They are just models that are wearing the jeans, and a sampling of tops and accessories. Like that purse “Rame” is holding that could take out a pervert with one side chop.

Music is actually provided by The B-52’s, The Ramones, They Might Be Giants, Echo and The Bunnymen, The Everly Brothers, Solomon Burke, King Curtis, Arthur Conley, Clarence Carter, and Wilson Pickett. All of them were probably wearing their Kuratts at the time of recording, rolled up with a big, thick cuff like the guy in the photo.

But quite an impressive lineup. Because of this, it seems as if Shaky Sharks has become something of a collector’s item. I just saw this on Amazon, used, for 53 bucks.

I am not sure if this next one, “Songs to Warm the Heart” came before or after. I cannot find any info on this album, nor who was in the lineup.

The fella depicted is obviously a singing cowboy who is wearing his Kuratts next to a blazing fireplace. Our fella seems to be channeling Jimi Hendrix, by attempting to set fire to his guitar.

The anaesthetic aesthetic

Hits: 21

A while back I was fascinated by the idea that the lack of aesthetic was still an aesthetic. Sterile, no ornamentation, no frills, no distractions. Clean. Pest-free. Anaesthetic is the antithesis of aesthetic. Anaesthetic is the complete avoidance of aesthetics. Anaesthetic guarantees that you will be uncontaminated by life, love and art.

Sometimes I use the term to refer to some of the modern buildings whose facade is ostentatious, slightly tasteless, but ends up being bland and utterly unmemorable. I know some of the new offices and campus buildings downtown that could serve as examples. The kind of architecture that looks expensive and took a lot of manpower and materials to make, but winds up only looking “blah”.

Victorian novels, whose flourishes of expression reveal an underlying suppressed sexuality — a genuine aesthetic, but an anaesthetic one at heart.

I say that because my definition of art ought to celebrate the whole of human experience — sexuality, love, love lost, birth, marriage, hardship, injustice, harmony, discord, and death. There ought not to be subjects that are taboo to write about. To remove such subjects is to sterilize art: to anesthetize it. This doesn’t mean we have to read it; but it does mean that people should be allowed to express themselves fully.

If we agree that art needs such sterilisation, then who would be the first to volunteer to read all of the obscene novels in order to decide if they should be censored? In this undertaking, someone, the censor, is the sacrificial lamb who must allow himself to be debauched by obscene publications so that the rest of us may be uncontaminated by the obscenities therein. But it is probably not just going to be “someone”; it will more likely to be a group.

Who are the people calling themselves Christian, who go through all the pornography, all of the obscene novels, all of the political writings, in order to come out and complain about them? It would seem that they read so much of the stuff, that they constitute the writer’s biggest fan base, and the writer’s cheapest advertising medium.

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