Vivian Stanshall – English as Tuppence

We Are Normal And We Love Burt Weedon! Why Does He Have A Rabbit Head On? What Do You Think About Shirts? Craig Torso Is Wonderful!

A 3 hour documentary about Vivian Stanshall of the Bonzo Dog Band on the BBC iPlayer, presented by Neil Innes and with Adrian Edmondson. Been listening to this and so far it’s ace – but those in the UK (or with access to a UK IP *cough*) hurry up, it’s only got 3 days left. And following that is an episode of Sir Henry At Rawlinson End, again has 3 days to go. With the repeats of Hitchhikers and Doctor Who it’s like Radio 4 Extra is becoming the Tim Channel at the moment!

If you liked this, you might like the Bonzos show I did where you’ll recognise quite a few of the clips, like the Craig Torso show, and of course those wonderful songs.

RC 237: Pop is Dead 2 – Arseholes & Repetoire

Finally after over a year (!) the second part of the Pop Is Dead series. I promise to be more, well, quicker with the other parts…

This one is about two of our favourite people, the eternally dodgy A&R man and the usually shady manager.

Arista say they “love you but the kids can’t dance to it” (1:35, 90Mb)

  • The Alchemist – Industry Rule 4080 (Interlude)
  • Dale Wright – That’s Show Biz
  • XTC – Funk Pop A Roll
  • Bill Hicks – Satan Starmaker
  • Crumb – Record Company
  • Kitkat Band – Alien invasion
  • The Fall – Clasp Hands
  • Nick Lowe – I Love My Label
  • Stan Freberg – The Old Payola Roll Blues
  • The Kinks – Denmark Street
  • My Drug Hell – It’s good, but…
  • Gruppo Sportivo – I shot my manager
  • Stark Effect – The Beating Goes On
  • Sound of Sha’Bass – Take It Or Leave It
  • E40 – Record Company (Skit)
  • Sage Francis – Underground For Dummies
  • Jesus And Mary Chain – Write Record Release Blues
  • The Brakes – Heard About Your Band
  • Bruce Haack – Play Me Your Album
  • The Clash – Midnight To Stevens
  • The Sex Pistols – EMI (Orch.)
  • The Bonzo Dog Band – The Bride Stripped Bare by “Bachelors”

Children’s TV – damaging youth since the 1950s

Heard this at the end of Shaun Keaveny’s show and remembered it (I was thinking Magic Box…Music Box…not Picture Box!). It’s “Manège” performed by the Lasry & Baschet Brothers as ‘Lasry-Baschet Structures Sonores’, who like Mr Partch built their own instruments, sound sculptures (hence Structures Sonores).  This was played on their own invention the Cristal Baschet – their version of the glass harmonica.

Like Children of the Stones this scared the crap out of me…it was supposed to be a TV for Schools programme but at some point they changed the jaunty fairground organ music for a haunting, carousel of the dead theme.

It’s funny but I was thinking today about how children’s TV was the in-road for a lot of very radical/experimental artists…unlike today where it’s demographically analysed and money squeezed out within an inch of it’s life.  Like most creative spheres kids TV is now is design by committee so the result is pretty boring, predictable (apart from Sesame Street and the rare likes of Yo Gabba Gabba and Adventure Time!) and usually very corporate.

But in earlier times like the hands-off approach of the Radiophonic Workshop, no-one higher up really cared that much what the kiddies watched or heard, as long as it was cheap and filled the time. And enough people lower down had quite a deep appreciation of the avant garde to let these people rip.

So the likes of Bonzo Dog Band – their first break was on kids TV, Delia Derbyshire, Oliver Postgate, and artists involved with Vision On (kind of the closest thing here to Sesame Street whose lunatics were similarly taking over the asylum over in the States) took to the the air. Along with some very avant garde musical choices like this one.

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