Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Yeah, these next couple of Huts are going to adopt a "brevity is the soul, etc." philosophy while I get back into the swing; but don't you really think that Eighteen Is Enough?
glistening by the numbers: EIGHTEEN
The Raymond Scott Quintette - "In an Eighteenth Century Drawing Room"
41: Notice: Melancholic, spritzy, jazzy, and classical enchantment allow for marked excitation in the pleasure center and may result in fits of uncontrollable jolly.
Rosecrans: Music to interior-design to?
David: This is really awful. Sounds like a bad joke.
Avi: One of the things I really appreciate about classic swing jazz is the ensemble playing. Very tasteful and classy playing all around. My wife instantly recognized this as cartoon music, something I didn't realize until I looked up more info online.
Lee: I love Raymond's music, and his band could play perfect technically, but still have that bounce and cartoony 'fun' feel. Love the sax and trumpet sounds, the way they sound so playful, I can almost picture some classic Disney animation with this.
Jamie: First thought: imagining a Tex Avery cartoon with all the characters in pre-French Revolution dress, going about their business before all hell breaks loose. Second thought: I should recognize the tune the opening is based on, but it's not coming to me.
The past two generations have been raised with Raymond Scott as our de facto classical composer of choice; he's been handily appropriated by Bugs, Porky and the Road Runner. In the early forties, Warner Brothers purchased the rights to a slew of Scott's self-describe "experimental jazz" tracks and then peppered 'toons with them for another decade or two. This particular track opened the Chuck Jones '44 classic "Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears". Scott's work continues to show up on WB cartoons; a brief flip through Cartoon Network will more likely than not yield snippets of "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals", "The Toy Trumpet"and the immortal "Powerhouse".
(Don't skip over the prior link; the essay in there is FASCINATING!).
If these sorts of offbeat wackadoo themes comprised the whole of Scott's work, he'd be plenty worthy of big leafy laurels, but this is really only the start. Scott was also a pioneer in the field of the advertising jingle; he is generally acknowledged as one of the fathers of electronic music and was an obsessive innovator and inventor of new musical instruments and recording devices.
The past ten years or so have seen a sort of Scott revival, due in no small part to the efforts of WFMU DJ Irwin Chusid. Chusid, along with his collaborator Jeff Winner, has spearheaded numerous reissues of Scott's work and is noisily drawing attention to the man's rightful place in music history.
Incidentally, the piece in question that Scott is riffing on is Wolfgang Mozart's 'Piano Sonata in C major, K. 545', but Amadeus never swung like THIS.
Buy "Reckless Nights & Turkish Twilights", Scott's de facto 'greatest hits' package, from Amazon.
I also HIGHLY recommend that anybody interested in learning more about Scott's pioneering electronic work give a look into the essential two-disc "Manhattan Research, Inc." (a real sampler's delight; there are beats in here that Timbaland WISHES he had thought of) or the equally delightful three-volume reissue of Scott's "Soothing Sounds for Baby".
Visit the official Ray Scott site.
It's packed chockfulla anectdotes, photos, discographies, sound clips and biographical info.
So did they draw in there, or what?
Roy Orbison - "Almost Eighteen"
Continuing from yesterday's tradition of pro-jailbait rock, could anything be more frightening to parents than the Hitchcock silhouette of Roy Orbison cast over the fine virgin snow of a seventeen year waif?
Seriously, how punk was this guy? Try and imagine getting away with a track like this today; you'd be shut down by the FCC in a heartbeat.
With his horn-rimmed smoked specs, southern gothic twee warbling and emo-riffic songs; isn't Orbison long overdue for a new millenium's hipster resurrection?
Line forms here, kids.
Buy "The Legendary Roy Orbison", a four disc box of greatest hits from the Big O, from Amazon.
It's a poorly produced collection, but it's currently the ONLY collection.
Paging Rhino Records!
Visit Orbison's official site.
What did Orbison think of David Lynch?
Truly, no discussion of Roy Orbison on the net is complete without the prerequisite mention of Ulli's Roy Orbison In Clingfilm Website.
1: This entry marks the one year anniversary of the Hut's creation.
2: Will Eisner passed away last night.
I'll have a longer tribute up eventually but I would like to take a moment to mark the loss of a creative giant and one of my most beloved childhood storytellers.
You'll be missed, Will.