Sunday, December 28, 2008

Uncle Warren's Attic 56:
New Year's Rockin' Attic III

OK, maybe you don't "rock" when you're talking Ole Svenson & His Smorgasbord Band, Bing Crosby and Benny Goodman ... download and enjoy!

First off, I tell you about the tri-speed turntable that powers this podcast, and then Ole checks in with the now-classic "Yingle Yingle Yumping Beans." After a word from the company that brings you the very best chocolate, we check out a couple of Beatles covers from Bing Crosby ("Hey Jude") and Benny Goodman ("Octopus's Garden").

While we're on the subject (and after a commercial message a la National Lampoon Radio Hour), a brief introduction to Emitt Rhodes, who was marketed as a McCartney sound-alike but was quite an artist in his own right. The link takes you to a nifty interview that I discovered after the show was put to bed.

I had to hear the Ballad of Serenity again before bringing in Marc Gunn's version of "Hero of Canton," and then it was time for Rockosaurus Rex to ring in the new year a couple of days early.

UPDATE: Sometimes the obvious escapes me, but this is ridiculous: Download here or click the player up there on the right.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Playing catch with my daughter

She came into our lives about 18 months ago, on Friday the 13th of July, 2007. As I turned onto the U.S. 41 on-ramp, a little black kitten darted across the road in front of me and disappeared into the brush on the side of the ramp.

I pulled over, thinking that she probably would just run away in the tall grass - but instead she popped back onto the shoulder and started croaking, like E.T., "Home! Home! Home!"

So I took her home. The vet said she was 5 weeks old and healthy.

I called her E.T. for a few days, until her dry throat healed and she started mewing like a normal kitten. Red named her Blackberry, and it fit.

The thing that became clear fairly quickly is that this cat is smarter than the others. All of our little beasts (yes, all seven) have their front claws removed - it's a defense measure to save our property. (We don't let them outside where they can become predators and prey, either.) The time for declawing is usually ripe when they start climbing the door jams and the patio door screen.

Well, after being stymied by the loss of her front climbing implements, this kitten learned to brace her back against the open sliding door and use her back claws to climb the screen - working her way down the same way. Smart kitten.

She has invented a game on the stairs. She will drop a little green Nerf ball down the stairs and try to catch it on the way down. It works better if I help. From the bottom, I'll toss it over her head so it bounces off a top stair, and she'll chase it down.

The other day, she stayed on a middle stair and pounced for the ball as it bounced past. When she caught it, she'd play with it for a couple of moments, and then bat it over the side so it bounced back down to me. Sometimes she'd whap it as it went by to give it extra momentum and try to get it past me.

We played the game for 10 minutes. I'd try to stop when she was chewing on the ball and say, "OK, I have to get ready for work," but after I took a few steps away I'd hear the ball bounce down the last few stairs. She wasn't ready to stop playing.

Why didn't I just keep walking? I don't have kids of my own, so the animals are the closest thing I'll have to children. About halfway through this episode, it struck me that this sweet joy I was feeling must be something like fathers feel when they're playing catch with their children. I wasn't ready to stop playing, either.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Uncle Warren's Attic 55: A Tale of Two Whaps

A special hat tip to Wally Conger, who influenced this show in ways you'll hear about. Wow, it's good to be back — I hope you agree.

Coming your way: Vintage ads for Camel and Budweiser, with The Crew-Cuts stepping in for the latter. Also ...

+ Sweet Dawn My True Love, a B-side from Crispian St. Peters
+ You Can Have Him, a lost treasure by Dionne Warwick
+ Railway Station, from Oshkosh's own Bill Waters Band
+ Sixteen Tons by Eric Burdon, the best thing about Joe Versus the Volcano

... and a lot of jabbering from yours truly. Download here or by clicking the Pod icon.

UPDATE 12-17-08: Yumpin Yiminy, I went almost a week forgetting the "55" illustration I tracked down for this episode. Whatever. It's there now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where I hope to be heading

I think back in September of '06 I had a different feeling when I sat down to do Uncle Warren's Attic #2. More relaxed, having more fun — it wasn't "I have to do a show." I think that's where I want to get back to.

So, while I'm assembling the new one, check out the old — #2. Or #3. Or Number nigh-yun.

Thanks for checking

It's nice of you to visit, even though I haven't been here for a while. So here's a secret you can tell your friends and family: Uncle Warren's Attic #55 will arrive soon.

I've spent the last couple of days listening to UWA #2-5, and I think going "back to the basics" may make the show fun to make again. I found some fascinating stuff poking around in the Attic last night, and I think you'll get a kick out of 'em.

So consider this viral marketing - if you know anyone who has enjoyed the show in the past or might like what I did back in those early shows, pass the word. Thanks!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

In case you're wondering

It's possible you have heard that I'm bringing back Ikthuscast, my little "15 minutes of Jesus twice a week" celebration of independent Christian music. And that announcement may have caused you to wonder if there will be an Uncle Warren's Attic #55 and beyond.

The answer to that question is: Yup. At least I think so. At least I plan to. The Attic is a little more labor intensive, so I can't say when fer sure.

But I'll keep you updated.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What happened

I don't know what happened, really. I just woke up one morning, realized I hadn't done a podcast for a while, and my brain said, "That's OK, you're done for now."

I suppose I could write about the press of daily stuff — what B.W. Richardson refers to as "the quotidian' — but it's not that. Something inside just shifted and I didn't want to do podcasts. Nothing personal, I just had a "been there, done that" moment, and I don't have anything more to toss out.

Oh, The Imaginary Revolution thing? I suppose B.W. being weeks behind on that project had a little something to do with it, but the Attic could have gone on without him. Yeah, I'm irritated about that, but as you know it's hard for me to stay mad at Richardson.

When I'm having fun with Uncle Warren's Attic, there's no fun quite like it, so I'm not going to close the door and walk away forever. But I have closed the door and walked away. Sorry about that, and thanks to everyone who has sent words of encouragement over the course of my 53.5 episodes.

I like the idea of UWA too much to let go of it. I've just misplaced the spark for it. It's around here somewhere and I'll reboot down the road a ways, no doubt. After six weeks without a show, though, I figured I owed you at least a few words to say, yeah, the podcast is on hiatus or whatever you want to call it. Thanks for listening!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I-Rev as a separate podcast

In case you'd rather just have The Imaginary Revolution without all of the marvelous trappings of Uncle Warren's Attic (why you'd want that, I don't know), I'm going to post the chapters over there on the right, underneath "View my complete profile." You probably will even be able to download chapters 2 and 3 before I finish UWA #55, although it escapes me why you'd want to enjoy the story outside the trappings of my marvelous Attic.

Here is another place to grab the opening chapter.

Monday, August 11, 2008

UW Attic 54/I-Revolution Chapter 1

"Chapter 1: The Matter of the Cookies" launches our dramatic recitation of the upcoming novel The Imaginary Revolution by my imaginary friend B.W. Richardson. Because he didn't quite meet the goal of having the first three chapters ready, B.W. opened his notebook and gave me a couple of mini-scenes to pique your interest for the rest of the story.

Also in this episode: "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Reinald Werrenrath ... "Harrigan/Yankee Doodle Dandy" from Fred Waring & the Pennsylvanians ... and "Two Dollar Shoes" by Rosie Thomas.

Download here or by clicking the Podcast Icon, or just press "play" over there on the right.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Promo for "The Imaginary Revolution"

You're going to want to have your podcatcher primed and ready for UWA #54, that's all I'm sayin' folks.

Click on the Pod icon or here to hear all about it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

UW Attic 53: Monsters, Campaigns and An Imaginary Announcement

Barack Obama's comment about the need for "aggressive diplomacy" with Iran reminded me of an Anakin Skywalker line, which led to a little audio collage that also incorporates The Prisoner and that other guy running for Big Guy this year.

Other features of this 53rd trip to the Attic: Two versions of "I'm a Monster" by the inimitable Scotty MacGregor ... The memorable "Oh, The Thinks You Can Think" from the lost Dylan Hears A Who project ... "That's Cool" by Adam and the Couch Potatoes ... and a big announcement about upcoming episodes.

Click on the pod icon or here to download — or press player up there on the right to listen online.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Project Reboot

I've been doing some musing of late about how to reboot my various creative efforts to improve the quality and consistency. The problem is not in your set. I hope to be completing the muse process in the very near future and bear some fruit.

Thank you for your patience, and feel free to browse to make sure you've sampled the entire set of 53 trips to the attic, starting from Day One — not to mention the semi-classic episodes of The Imaginary Bomb that started my podcasting career.

Meanwhile, please stand by.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

UWA 52: From Independence Day to Orchestraville

Even if I'm a couple of days late for Independence Day, I have to read from the Declaration and play the Hurtado Brothers Royal Marimba Band version of "The Stars and Stripes Forever," don't I? I mean, it's tradition! Also within this slightly longer trip to the Attic are a couple of tunes by Red Ingle and his Natural Seven and the complete and unabridged Rusty in Orchestraville, one very interesting adventure. Oh, and there's a little Spike Jones in there, too.

As always, click the pod icon or here to hear — or, if you must, press play on the player at the top of Column B.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

UW Attic 51: RIP kyfho and Danny

What made me hesitate: eulogies to my friend kyfho and to Danny Federici, as we return to the Attic at last. Highlights include:

"Hold On To Your Freedom" from Jennifer Avalon ... quite a few clips from Firefly and Serenity among other memorable movie moments ... "Don't Let Us Get Sick" by Warren Zevon via the Internet Archive ... old ads for Rheingold beer and Good N Plenty ... "What Have You Got That Gets Me" from the Bob Crosby Orchestra with Marion Mann ... another Animal Story ... and "Undecided" by The Ames Brothers.

And I add this in memory of kyfho:

"As a juror, I will exercise my 1000-year-old duty to arrive at a verdict, not just on the basis of the facts of a particular case, or instructions I am given, but through my power to reason, my knowledge of the Bill of Rights, and my individual conscience. When needful, I will judge the law itself." -L. Neil Smith

Click on the Pod icon, or here, to download — or just press the play button on the online player up there on the right side of the page!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The 51st visit

Yeah, yeah, I know, get up to the Attic, w.p., all that stuff is piling up and you haven't been sorting through it much lately. Spring cleaning reminds you about the accumulation of stuff like nobody's business.

There'll be a touch of sadness in this episode, as I'm going to devote a little time to the memory of a friend who passed away a couple of weeks ago — not to mention Danny Federici. But I found some fun stuff to remember them by, so you won't have to wear black to this gathering.

Maybe I take too much time putting these little adventures together, maybe I don't work on them fast enough, but I enjoy the finished product, and I hope you do, too. I just wish I could finish a little more frequently. Oh well, it's always fun or else they wouldn't get finished. Watch this space.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The first review is in

A long time ago in a state far, far away, I somehow encountered a fellow teenager named Wally Conger, who like me was a comic book fan. Oddly, we became friends, odd because we never met (to this day!), he was a Californian and I was a New Jersey kid. There's something in our makeup that overcomes that little 3,000-mile gap (now more like 2,000 since I've become a converted Badger). He published fanzines, one of which was called Fantasy World and featured superhero and science-fiction stories. I contributed tales of a guy I named H-Man.

I mentioned FW and H-Man when I put Wally in touch with the world of Myke Phoenix, and he understood completely judging from the review he posted this week. Thanks Wally!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Branching into print

"The universe shifted, and something dark burst from a yawning crack in the nature of being."

That's how The Adventures of Myke Phoenix begins. What happens next is kind of fun, if I do say so myself. You should buy it (or download it) and check it out for yourself.

Go ahead. Check it out.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Uncle Warren's Attic #50

THE BIG 5-OH ... Oh boy ... 50 trips up to the Attic ... who woulda thunk. I'm rushing this up online and then taking off for a Saturday night date with Red — talk amongst yourselves and I'll be back with the show notes at a later date ...

UPDATE — OK, here we go. First, an authentic no-prize to the first person to name the five sources of the audio in my "explosive" introduction to the show. Hint: Four are movies.

As the show moves along, highlights include ads from Schaffer Beer, Doublemint gum, Mr. Clean and the new 1958 Edsel. The musical numbers:
+ Teddy Boy Stomp - The Buggs
+ I Can Always Find a Little Sunshine in the YMCA - Lambert Murphy with Orpheus Quartet
+ Who Could Be More Wonderful Than You - Aileen Stanley and Billy Murray
+ Always Love You - w.p. bluhm
+ Good Vibrations - James Gadson
+ Stardust on the Moon - Shep Fields and his Rippling Rhythm Orchestra
+ We Go Well Together - Cab Calloway and his Orchestra

Thanks for coming along for 50 episodes, and hang in for the next round of 50! Oh yeah, and about that other project I mention in this show: Check this out.

Click the pod icon or download here — or just press play on the player.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Coming Around Again

I decided to do a small celebration of UWA hitting the big 5-0. These are teeny-tiny works of art, doncha know, and producing 50 works of art is kind of something, more or less, isn't it?

Anyway, I'm planning a new theme song, an explosive kickoff, and musical selections from many of the folks who have made the first 49 shows so memorable. Watch, er, listen for Uncle Warren's Attic #50 sometime over the next few days!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

UW Attic 49: A Bit of a Hoedown

After a false start by The King, we pull a bushel of corn down from the Attic, including a couple of Animal Stories by Uncle Larry and Lil' Tom, and a movie ad from the legendary National Lampoon Radio Hour. Our musical selections (links to be added at a later date, sorry - UPDATE: Added 7:15 a.m. March 25):

+ Peter Cottontail - Mervyn Shiner
+ Roving Gambler - U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd
+ Another Brew Bartender - Whitey Knight
+ Wang Wang Blues - Elliot Everett and his Orchestra
+ Easy - Harry James
+ When You Come Back - Raymond Dixon and Orpheus Quartet
+ Dirty Water - The WhizBang Shufflers

Click the podcast icon, play the player, or simply download by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Uncle Warren's Attic 48: Myke Phoenix Rising

He's ba-ack ... with a sneak preview of the new book The Adventures of Myke Phoenix, along with a smattering of other shtuff: "In Malibu" by Johnny Proctor ... and off the 78's, "Learn to Do the Strut," written by Irving Berlin and performed by The Georgians ... "A Little Bit of Heaven" by Charles Harrison ... "My Eyes (Get Me in Trouble)" by the inimitable Muddy Waters ... and the "William Tell Overture" by the even more inimitable Spike Jones and his Orchestra.

Click the "pod" graphic, download here, or press play on the player up there on the right.

Hiatus almost over

By now there's some fidgeting in the front rows as people figure out it's been more than a month since my little medical episode and still no sign of UWA 48. I went through my list of possible excuses and couldn't find one that would sound convincing.

It's funny, on New Year's Eve I set a modest goal of churning out a podcast every other weekend. That didn't seem so hard at the time. Still doesn't. I just have to sit down and do 'em. Maybe by setting a schedule, I doomed myself by making it seem like work or something. Whatever the reason, according to that schedule, Show #52 is coming up this weekend.

I keep doing things like write little posts about doing the show instead of actually doing the show. I don't know why I — oh, I'm writing a little post about doing the show, aren't I?

Hold that thought.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Video: Jay of Jay and the Americans: 'Cara Mia'

I saw Jay & the Americans somewhere around 1970 and remember being blown away by the live performance of "Cara Mia." That's not an easy song to sing! You can tell Jay Black was still blowing away audiences 30 or so years later when this recording was made ...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Video: Pre-Idol Brooke White

Guilty Pleasures: Red and I like to relax with American Idol, and this has been a pretty good season so far. (Holy moley, how 'bout that smokin' "She's A Woman" by Chikezie!)

One of the folks we're rooting for is the lovely Brooke White, who (like most people) had a life before we met her on TV ... This is a song for an independent CD she did in 2005 called "Songs From the Attic" (Hey, I do like this girl), which seems to be out of print now. I saw one copy online for $79 — OK, I don't like her that much ...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Well, what's keeping me

So here I was, looking forward to doing a new UWA this weekend - the goal is to show up every couple of weeks now - and working along doing my thing, which got me home late Thursday night.

It seems I have a touch of stomach flu or something, and I didn't notice how queasy it was making me until I lost consciousness and landed with a thud on the bathroom floor. After a few minutes, I heard shouting in the distance, and as I became more aware again, I realized it was Red yelling at the 911 operator that launching the ambulance was more important than telling the operator what my birthday is. She's very practical that way. She had heard the crash, pushed her way into the bathroom and found me lying completely unresponsive with my head bent over the side of the tub. The poor thing thought I'd had a stroke, which runs in my family.

I'll spare you the gruesome details, but the bottom line seems to be that I had gotten myself dehydrated, and several hours and a couple of saline bags later, I came home for a long wintry weekend of convalescing. The experience has sapped some of my ambition for podcast-producing, so I hope you'll forgive a slight delay. Tank you berry much.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

UW Attic 47: The Charlie Francis Story

Who is Charlie Francis? He had some surprisingly tasty tunes on a series of budget albums in the early to mid-1960s, and a search for Charlie resulted in a surprise I should've seen coming.

In this edition, we hear Charlie Francis sing "A New Love," "Mountain of a Man," "Just Tell Me When," "Believe in Me" and "Little Girl." If you haven't heard the show yet and want to be surprised with me, don't click on this, the link I refer to during the story.

Also, the megahit "I Got a Crush on Obama," thoughts on creativity by Dave Slusher of the Evil Genius Chronicles, and classic Robot Theater from the legendary Illinoise! podcast by Just Pete and NASA Janet.

Last but not least, an unabashed plug for The Imaginary Bomb by B.W. Richardson, edited and published by moi over at

Click on the podcast icon or this link to download, or just press play over there on the right.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Prodigal Podcaster Prepares for Return

OK, it's hard to get tanned and rested when you wake up Sunday morning and it's 13 below zero, but the vocal chords are rested, the cats have received enough attention, and I'm preparing for a return to the airwaves — err, to the podwaves — as February arrives.

In addition to playing with the kitten, I have been ramping up a venture that involves the ubiquitous Brian Wilson Richardson, whose novel The Imaginary Bomb was the subject of my first podcasting venture the summer before last. The I-Bomb is finally available in print form, and as editor and publisher I heartily recommend you consider parting with a modest amount of money so you can hold this little effort in your own hands. The goal is to publish four different books this year, and this is the first.

Watch for a resumption of podding behavior before the Super Bowl kicks off, alas without my beloved green-and-gold.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A break in the action

Cross-posted to Ikthuscast

For a variety of reasons, I'm temporarily suspending my podcast activities, but I assure you the passion remains and I don't intend for this to be a lengthy break. I apologize to anyone who looks forward to these little bursts of creativity.

In the meantime, enjoy the upcoming NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field. Go, Pack, Go!