Mutant Musicals, DIY Movies, and the Record Collection From Hell: What We Learned At Nerdist This Week
By Perry Michael Simon on April 8, 2011
That item I posted the other day about the guys who are laser-cutting vinyl records to make puzzles reminded me about all the vinyl I still have, so I wasted… er, took some time to look through the singles. (For those too young to know, before there were downloads and before there were CDs, you could buy individual hit songs on little 7-inch vinyl records. I know, weird, huh?) I have a lot of singles, many of which I’ve never heard. That’s because I acquired them not because I went to the record store to buy them, but because I worked in the radio business and just accumulated a lot of promotional records along the way. Some are familiar songs and familiar artists, but others…
Radio stations have always been inundated with music that nobody would ever in their right mind play on the radio. Some are novelty records that seek to jump on the latest news trend, like this one, cranked out by a Nashville label around 1987 to cash in on the scandal surrounding Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and their P.T.L. Club TV ministry. “The P.T.L. Has Gone To Hell (So Where Do I Send The Money)” by “Reverand Needmore and the Almighty Bucks” was pushed out so fast that they misspelled “Reverend” and appear to have created the “Prayola Records” logo with a ballpoint pen. I don’t think this ever even made it to a turntable at the station where I was working at the time, so I’d never once listened to it.
Oy. The flip side, by the way, is the same song, backwards. The label is the same as the front, just in a mirror image. I wonder if a single solitary person unrelated to the people involved ever bought a copy. I wonder if there was a single copy in any store to buy.
I didn’t recall when I got this one, other than that it was obviously, based on the label information, when I lived in Philadelphia, which narrowed it down to, oh, about 16 years. Turns out it’s from 1981, a local band called The Benders with a typical goofy 80’s retro/garage rock track called “City Surfer.” You can hear it here. We had a lot of local bands like that in Philly. Most never made it out of town. The cover was shot on a SEPTA bus of the era, and the guy looks miserable. I can say from experience that anyone riding SEPTA at that time was indeed miserable. I probably played this song on college radio at some point. I’d play practically anything.
But not this. Motown — yes, THE Motown — tried to make Carrie McDowell a star with this single, “Uh Uh, No No Casual Sex (Part 1).” I remember getting a LOT of copies of this single, with various covers, as if we’d get a new one and forget that we rejected it the last time. The lyrics are on the back of the sleeve: “Uh uh, no no casual sex/I know you’re thinking it but you better forget; Uh uh, no no, too much risk/to be going around crazy jumping in the bed like this.” Riiiight. She’s now, from what I can tell, a Contemporary Christian artist. And she doesn’t have that 1987 hair. Yes, people really did look like that back then. Oh, look, the video:
After all that, what we saw and read and heard on the site this week pales by comparison. But it’s still worth reviewing:
1. We saw some footage from Green Lantern. Some are excited, some are more interested than they thought they’d be.
2. Jessica reviewed the latest Bill Bryson book, Matthew G. previewed the new Panda Bear album, Danny previewed Game of Thrones, and Nicole heralded the return of Adam and Joe to BBC 6 Music. Another Doctor Who preview, too, plus Kyle offered seven things he hopes happen in the new series.
3. Anjeanette suggested you try the elevator hack where you press and hold the Close Door button and then hit your floor’s button and it skips all the other floors. Apparently, it works on some elevators, not on others. Good to know.
4. The Governator is a thing.
5. James Gunn dropped by NerdMelt to be Chris, Jonah, and Matt’s guest on the podcast, mere minutes after the guys saw “Super.” A good time was had by all.
7. What has six arms, six legs, one digestive tract, and sings? This.
8. Becca’s mom contributed a video of a folk singer tackling the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme.
9. One prop, one bit of dialogue, 48 hours to shoot and edit, a lot of creativity, and presto, a film.
10. Someone made some unofficial Saul Bass-ian opening credits for X-Men: First Class. They don’t make credits like that anymore. Well, someone did, I guess.
11. Chris is hosting Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston, and Steven Moffat for a panel after a special screening in New York of the first two episodes from the new season of Doctor Who on Monday, April 11th. Heads exploded as everyone tried to figure out how early to get there and what questions Chris should ask on the panel (you can post some questions yourself by clicking here).
12. We all just burst our buttons with pride when Rolling Stone named the Nerdist Podcast one of the 10 Best Comedy Podcasts of the Moment.” Chris, Jonah, Matt… ya did good.
13. We could use some Node Warriors.
14. 235 Star Trek characters, one incredibly cool poster.
15. Lots of great shows are coming to NerdMelt. You should go.
16. Matthew Bone returned with a look at the big-eyed women in the paintings of Sas Christian.
17. Xeni Jardin dropped by the podcast. She’s smart.
18. One more new standup date for Chris: Seattle.
This is where I advise you to enjoy your burrito, and you go off and do that. I’m heading back to Vegas for a few days to cover a convention and see exactly how little fun one can have in that city. We’ll be posting stuff here as per usual, though, so savor that chimichanga and use the comments below to post your thoughts for the weekend. Maybe you can admit the bad music YOU own. I know I’m not the only one.