Thursday, November 23, 2006

UW Attic #10: No Man is a Pizza

Happy Thanksgiving! This episode contains:

A scene from March of the Wooden Soldiers

"Perry Shriner: Court-Appointed Lawyer" from the National Lampoon Radio Hour, Nov. 2, 1974

"How Do You Do, Mr. Sponsor" - unidentified jingle

"Hot Pretzels" - The Glahe Musette Orchestra

"Der Froehliche Wanderer" - Obenkircher Children's Choir

"At the Ball, That's All" - Sons of the Pioneers

download Uncle Warren's Attic #10

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Daughtry rocks

I made a good on a promise Tuesday. It wasn't a big promise, but it was.

Last winter Red and I were watching the early stages of the annual "American Idol" competition when I sat up and took notice of a young man who was helping his lady raise her two kids. She wept with gratitude about how the man was willingly giving up his dream of doing something with his music, in order to take care of her and her children in a more "practical" way.

It was a sweet story of sacrifice, typical of the heart-tugging tales that make the show so appealing - until he began to sing. Nothing typical about that voice, a powerful rock and roll voice dripping with passion.

"That guy's going to win," I said to Red. "And I can't wait to buy his album." This was the beginning of the competition, where they cull out the best 200 or 300 or however many it is who are "going to Hollywood, baby." But from the moment I heard that story and heard him sing, I expected Chris Daughtry to win.

Every week the guy was head and shoulders the best performer on the show - not the flashiest or the prettiest, just the one who left everything he had on stage, just the one who kept me coming back to watch and to listen. From the buzz around the show, I wasn't alone. Even the judges started saying they couldn't wait to buy his album.

Daughtry is the best rock voice I've heard in five (!) years of on-and-off viewing of "Idol." Maybe that's what happened - they're looking for a pop music icon, not a rocker.

When he was eliminated four spots from the end, Red and I looked at each other in shock. In hindsight, it probably was a blessing. Judging from past entries by "Idol" winners, I can't imagine winner Taylor Hicks being able to turn in an album as free-wheeling and passionate as "Daughtry," the album that came out Tuesday. The "Idol" machine just likes its idols to be more polished and predictable than this.

Turns out Daughtry's a pretty good writer, too - his name is in the credits on 10 of the 12 songs. First impression: Not disappointed. Very tasty, hard-driving, passionate rock, just what you'd think he'd deliver with his new band. In his acknowledgements he thanks his wife, Deanna, for her support, and tells her and the kids how much he loves them.

He also begins by saying, "I'd like to thank God for the gift of music and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for being the greatest example of love I know." Huh. Now that I didn't expect, but I guess I'm not surprised. He never preached a word, except in the way he loved his family.

Yeah. I bought his album the day it came out. Had to. Needed to. I promised.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Uncle Warren's Attic Number Nine

After opening with a blip from the immortal "Revolution 9," we revisit the Beatles mono vs. stereo phenomenon with the near-breakdown that made it onto the official stereo version of "Please Please Me." Then it's on to Uncle Warren's homage to "Revolution 9," a little number called "I Can't Do That."

Next up, John Kongos' tender ballad "Tomorrow I'll Go," not from his cult classic album Kongos but from an earlier album called Confusions About A Goldfish. Then, after a vintage ad for the new RCA Victor 45 rpm music system, it's time for the centerpiece of this visit to the Attic.

Jean Shepherd is best known as the author/narrator of the wonderful 1983 movie A Christmas Story, but from 1957 to 1976 he was a fixture on WOR radio, New York, where he established himself as (IMHO) the best storyteller in radio history. Here he gives a dramatic recitation of "The Face Upon the Barroom Floor," an 1887 poem by Hugh Antoine d'Arcy, illustrative of how his show was a fantastically eclectic mix of stuff that we'll no doubt share in future episodes. For now, your best bets in learning and hearing more from Shep are and the Shep Archives.

After a complete left turn to bring you an unforgettable moment from Gammera the Invincible, we close with a lovely tune called "Whatever Happened" by Lazarus, a very fine folk band from the 1970s.

Technical note: You may notice (but hopefully not) a drop-off in audio quality this week - a few hiccups occurred on the way to converting the analog tape recording into an .mp3. But on a show that likes to keep the wear and tear of old recordings intact, it should not inhibit your enjoyment of the ride.

download #9

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I've got nothing to say but it's OK

If I've piqued your interest about the mono versus stereo versions of Sgt. Pepper, there are a few places out there where it's all documented. Here's a good one.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A new place to stay

I'm still not completely "at home" with the Liberated Syndication blog software, but it has a huge advantage over Blogger - I haven't figured out how to attach an .mp3 player to the blogspot page. So I'm moving over to libsyn for people who'd rather just listen to the show than download it, but I'm keeping for the time being for folks who like the pictures. Wherever you find it, the show is the same. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Uncle Warren's Attic #8

Another Sunday night visit - I may be back Wednesday again, but let's enjoy this trip first. The long-awaited Sgt. Pepper tracks, Lonnie Donegan, Leadbelly, Connie Francis, Wilfred Glenn and Glenn Miller all are part of this trip - oh, and hey, hey, it's a radio ad from the Sixties, too.

Sorry the show notes are a little sparse today - I'll try to fill them out as the week wears on.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Uncle Warren's Attic #7: Things Are Looking Up

For a time I thought we'd never get this show going again, but here 'tis, the seventh edition of Uncle Warren's Attic. Just in time for Election Day, we have some deep thoughts about freedom from William Wallace, V and Malcolm Reynolds sprinkled among some fun old tunes, mostly from the 1960s and 70s this time. And even a couple of memorable moments from the so-bad-it's-good classic "The Creature with the Atom Brain." And you might want to try a drinking game: Take a shot of your favorite beverage every time I say "Anyway." Just don't drive afterwards, unless your favorite beverage is Pepsi.

The musical features:
From U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd's immortal album, "Mountain Fiddler," the confessional "Rye Whiskey."

The return of The Morgan Brothers, central Wisconsin's tastiest 1970s bluegrass band, and their take on "As Tears Go By."

It wasn't exactly the hula hoop, but at least the 1960s 10-minute craze the "Jingle Jump" had a catchy, er, jingle.

According to the record collectors newspaper Discoveries, "No Vacancy" is just about the only song Neil Sedaka released on vinyl that hasn't been collected on CD yet ... It reminds me a little of "Splish Splash," the Bobby Darin hit from the same general era.

Reminiscing about Neil Sedaka's multi-tracked tunes gives me a chance to segue into one of my own little efforts, "Sha-la-la-la-la-la."

And finally, the late, great, underappreciated Judee Sill with "Things Are Looking Up," one of the unfinished tracks from her never-completed third album. You really, really have to hear Judee Sill's stuff.

Thanks for your patience, and enjoy UWA #7! See ya again soon.

download uncle warren's attic #7

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Please stand by

Something went kerflooey with the file when I tried uploading the next edition of "Uncle Warren's Attic" Wednesday night. I don't have the time to try it again this morning, so I will work on the problem Thursday night. Meantime, talk amongst yourselves, play a game of Scrabble, and watch this space for another exciting episode of UWA. Humble apologies.

UPDATE: Eek! It's official. My .mp3 software is acting up. Instd of making a nismooth show it kskipping like a broken record. I'll keep trying to get this thing fixed ... where did I put that hammer? Thanks for you patience. Friday, 7:05 a.m.