Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Life on Earth: 16, 405 Days and Counting

A silent killer is stalking the overgrown man-children of the world. It infects one out of four males above the age of 35. It clouds the mind and destroys the family. It fosters half-baked notions. Eventually, these unlucky souls believe they really need every episode of My Favorite Martian and all of the spoken word albums of Leonard Nimoy. Medical professionals refer to this scourge as Collectivitus Simplex, but most of it's victims simply refer to it as the Fever. And ladies and germs, god help me Jeebus, I've got the Fever.

I've discovered (for the fourth or fifth time) Space Age Bachelor Pad music. You know, all that uber-zany music recorded in the 19-hundred and fifties and sixties, often by patenty insame big band leaders who wanted to kick up their heels with concept albums about a trip to Uranus. Stuff like this was a cottage industry back in the day, and now it all lives again at MP3 blogs like Xtabays World and Bongos/Flutes/Guitars.

Aside from cover art which often featured scantily clad lad astronauts, what could have been the appeal of this music? It often sounds like a second-rate, slightly drunk orchestra performing with a theremin specialist and a raunchy organist. Songs with titles like "War Dance of the Wooden Indians." Oops, I guess that is the appeal. At least for me. Take a record like Dick Hyman's Moon Gas. (Would I make these names up?) I'm drawn to Moon Gas like a Martian to a green martini. These are musical stylings which feature everything I love: primitive electronic 'whoosh!' machines, see-thru conceptual conceits, atmosphere, sleaze and beauty.

So lately, my life has been swallowed by the new Project: listening to and gathering up all the Exotic Space Man Lounge music I now or one day may own. I'm even making CD covers for the discs I've lost cover art for )just like the homemade cassette covers I made when I was--eek!--in college.) (Am I scaring you yet?) I call the series the History of Cheese. (Naturally it includes a spin-off collection called Space Cheese.) It's fun! I'm deep in my disease!!

Anette oscillates between concern and suspicion. When I'm sitting at the table listening to Persuasive Percussion 1967 and cutting up old pin-up girl illustrations, she walks by, furrows her brow, and says, "But you're being ironic, right?"

No comments: