Wednesday, February 21, 2007

#23 - Uncle Warren: The Early Years

Once upon a time there was a lovesick college student named Warren, his guitar named Herbie, and a pair of stereo cassette machines. The four of them spent quite a bit of time together.

For reasons I have yet to fathom, I hauled the old tapes out this week and decided to inflict some of my earliest songwriting and recording efforts on my small but patient audience. Here, then, are 1973 recordings of:

Bacon in the Jell-O
Pretty Baby
Wish You Were There
Baby Baby
Do You Believe in Magic
Pleasant Mary

You may be able to detect, in these tapes, hints of what would come later, after I became an uncle and all. It'll either be interesting or excruciating, hopefully not boring. I will completely understand if you flee for your life - but please come back for #24.

As always, click the podcast icon or here to download. Or hit the play button on the player at the top of the right column. Have fun!

Monday, February 19, 2007

What a pretty Speedbump

It has been a while since I provided an update about Pumpkin a k a Speedbump, the kitten whose discovery at 4 weeks along U.S. 41 I have chronicled here and here and here. With the hibernation of the Green Bay Free Radical, I move these musings into the Attic.

This morning I chased Pumpkin off the top of the fish tank, where he was nudging his nose along the 1-inch gap between the edge of the lid and the side of the tank. I thought I'd stop him before he realized his paw could fit in there - not that his declawed little appendage could cause any damage, but why tempt fate?

A remarkable side effect of having a new kitten is that the former kitten, 3 1/2-year-old Hemi, has become even more affectionate. Always a lover, Hemi has made more frequent trips to available laps, where he purrs as if to remind us that the orange one is not the only cute little friend in the house.

They say staring at fish for a time lowers blood pressure and relieves stress. I say the same thing about a houseload of cats. I don't necessarily say that while cleaning the litter box or investigating a 3 a.m. crashing noise, but on the whole I'm healthier for the feline companionship. At least I feel healthier. They're so cu-u-ute ...

Speaking of stress, while worrying about the podcast being late, I came to the sudden conclusion that Uncle Warren's Attic is not on a schedule. UWA 23 will be up soon. What does "soon" mean? It means "soon." I'll get back to you on that one!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

And now a word ...

I just noticed that the cost of the Firefly DVD set has dipped down to Uncle Warren's recommended price for buying DVD sets - $19.99 or less. My attic is packed with stuff from Firefly and its cinema sequel, Serenity. If I had to toss away everything TV-related I own except one thing, this would be it.

(OK, now, ask for the sale, UW.) If you want to own what in my opinion is the best TV show ever to grace the tube, click here to purchase through the Uncle Warren's Attic A-Store. I'm not sure if this price is permanent or temporary, so I'd suggest doing it now. Thanks!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

UW's Attic #22: Explosions of happiness

The name of the boys choir that performs "Gloria" and "Credo" on today's show is les troubadours du roi baudouin. I wasn't going to insult them by trying to pronounce that! The link will take you to the reproduced liner notes of their long-out-of-print LP, "Missa Luba."

I was surprised to see that Osibisa is still active, or rather that the band became active again about 20 years ago after its flurry of recordings in the early 1970s. The recording of "Che Che Kulé on this show is from a somewhat worn copy of their album "Heads"; please forgive the pops and crackles.

After a commercial break from the immortal Jean Shepherd, Will Rogers submits some thoughts about Congress for us to mull, and then we head off to the battlefield singin' a song. From 1915 and the Great War, Albert Farrington sings "It's A Long Way to Tipperary," and then from 1942 and World War II, Carl Hoff and his Orchestra (featuring the Murphy Sisters) present an unpleasant little ditty directed at the rulers of the Japanese Empire. The words are unpleasant, but the music is sprightly.

This episode represents a return to normal (or what passes for such) after a couple of "theme" weeks. Enjoy!!

Direct download

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Check out Aunt Fritzi's chest

I'm on the verge of declaring Fritzi Ritz the official Aunt of Uncle Warren's Attic - OK, Red might object to that, so maybe I'll declare Aunt Fritzi the official cartoon mascot of the Attic. Obviously Fritzi and I are kindred spirits - she talks about old music a lot, her T-shirts are a constantly changing homage to pop music (today "Property of Apple Records," yesterday "Del Reeves," last Friday "Wild Weeds Fan Club") and today, we learn that she has an attic full of old shtuff.

"I keep 'em all," Nancy's aunt says, "I've got 78s, 33 1/3s, 45s, 8-tracks, reel to reels, cassettes, Betamax, VHS, laser discs ..." Sigh! Why can't she be real? (Oops ... sorry, Red, just kidding!)

Nancy was one of the guilty pleasures of my childhood; even though it usually had a silly or even lame premise, I kept coming back to the adventures of Nancy, Sluggo and Fritzi Ritz, and Ernie Bushmiller became a name in the back of my mind. Bushmiller died in 1982 and the strip, when I checked in from time to time, seemed to be foundering. The current creators, Guy and Brad Gilchrist, have revived Nancy bigtime, and Fritzi has been reinvented as a very hip but aging baby boomer - not that you'd notice the "aging" part.

The Gilchrists have made Fritzi's chest a continuing homage to pop music - many's the time I've gone searching and found lost treasures by doing a Web search for the obscure reference on her T-shirt - such as the aforementioned Wild Weeds. Go ahead click the link; I never heard of these guys, but now I really want to hear them.

IMHO, Fritzi has supplanted Vicki, the biker alter ego of Rose Gumbo, as the sexiest babe on the comic strip pages. And now she has an attic, too. Sigh! Why can't she be real? (Oww! I said I was kidding, Red ...)

Monday, February 05, 2007

UW's Attic #21: The Batman Band Blowout

In addition to assembling the six remaining tunes in my Batman songs collection for you, this episode debuts Mobile Uncle Warren, as I introduce the songs while driving to work and talking to my new digital recorder. I promise not to use it too often - unless you want me to!

The songs, by The Meriettes or The Bats, if you will:

"The Battiest Car Around"

"Here Comes the Batmobile"

"It's the Batman"

"Ho Ho Ho The Joker's Wild"

"The Wonderful Boy Wonder"

"Look Out For the Batman"

And once again, warning: Listening to these songs all at once may make your brain explode. I won't take responsibility if you ignore this warning.

P.S. I forgot to mention during the show that the sound quality of "The Wonderful Boy Wonder" suffers because the record was actually manufactured off center, so as the song progresses it develops a bit of a wobble. Hey, I bought it for 49 cents ...

And thanks again to Red for another stellar cameo performance, this time as herself.

To download click the Pod icon or this link.