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Remember The Good Ol’ Days?

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Once upon a time in a magical place called "America" there lived a people that were never, ever sad.  Everyone had jobs.  Everyone went to church.  There were no drugs.  You waited to have sex until after you were married.  Parents never did inappropriate things with their children.  Everyone loved everyone else...unless they were commies.

Then they took prayer out of school and the country went to hell.

That's pretty much the conservative line - things USED to be better so let's do what we did back then.

Here's a good reason not to - domestic violence was such a non-issue they wrote novelty songs about it that charted in the top 10.

One year, I wanted to do a Halloween show that featured not "scary" songs, but songs that actually frightened me.  This song was the top of the list.  The subject matter (and, yes, I realized the 1948 version of what's acceptable differs from the 2009 version) is bad enough.  The song extols the virtue of beating the living hell out of your daughter when she disobeys you. Family values, I guess.  What pushes it over the edge into unmitigated nightmarish sadism is the glee and jauntiness the beating engenders.  Right off the bat, Arthur Godfrey chuckles disturbingly as the scene is painted with a girl lying on the floor trying to fend of blows. That and the HILARIOUS slapstick suggesting that Arthur Godfrey is not screwing around here.  There will be welts and bruises.

It gets worse, though.  The instrumental break with it's jokey, circus calliope conjures up the scene in A Clockwork Orange where Alex and his droogs beat and rape their victim while jauntily bellowing Singing In The Rain.  Godfrey and his band of droogs square dance around their's as he happily calls out "dosey-doe".

The whole horrible thing winds up in almost Grand Guignol fashion with the participants executing loud, sloppy close harmony while Godfrey (fake) laughs so hard that he can't even sing.  I'd be curious to know if there was a version where the girl they beat actually screamed and calmer heads prevailed.

It's almost the perfect song for a man who fired Julius LaRosa without notice on live TV.

I posted this song on my blog a couple of years back and got this comment from a woman in Montana

I listened to this on 78s in the ’50s at home and could only remember the chorus. HOLY CATZ!It’s as appalling as I remembered!



We had a short email correspondance about the song.  "It was that song," she wrote, "that convinced me to get the hell out of Montana.  Nobody there had a problem with it."

Slap 'Er Down Again, Pa (mp3s)

Written by Hbee

June 2nd, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Hbee's Posts

TV, That’s For Me (mp3s)

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Tv-head



Eunice got the school bus driver to let her off a couple of stops before home and made her way out of the land of lawn and shrub to the other side of the tracks where the hep cats dwelt.  The squares who called themselves "Mom" and "Dad" just couldn't fathom how an eight year old could be fluent in the language of cool and solid.  "Doc Pop's Jazz Shop" was a dive, no bout a-doubt it, but the heart in the place soared and flowed as smoothly and fluidly as the smoke and the smell of stale beer inside.

Nobody remembers when Two-Note Jackson took over from Doc Pop.  Two-Note just always seemed to be elbow-deep in the bar as far back as anyone could remember.  He played a mean tenor sax but, as his name suggested, he only knew two notes.  He smiled as Eunice walked through the door, nodding to the house band, who jumped to attention as quick as a quartet of hop-heads could.

"Gentlemen," Eunice greeted them politely, for she was always polite, "wind it up, motherfuckers."

TV That's For Me

Written by Hbee

May 26th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Hbee's Posts

Hey, Little Girl, Comb Your Hair, Fix Your Make Up

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Maybe it's because I grew up around the heyday of feminism but the song Wive And Lovers always seemed somehow wrong to me.  I remember the confusion I felt hearing Jack Jones calling a wife (someone's mom) a "little girl".  Why would you do that?  They had those...things...that Lisa Bigalow didn't have.  Those things the woman at the pet store had that you could see because she had that macrame top and didn't mind you staring at them.  Stare at Lisa Bigalow and you'd get punched.  And her mom didn't even have that book with the word "Ladies" crossed out.

If you're here, you probably know Wives and Lovers.  If not, the five-second synopsis goes like this

Girls, if your husband fucks his secretary it's your fault.



Seriously.  No wonder Betty Friedan got pissed.  "You want me to put on makeup before you get up, cook you a full breakfast, raise the spawn, have dinner for you when you get home, clean the dishes, put out at the drop of a hat AND manage the delicate balance of speed and valium that keeps me from killing you?  Wake up and smell the coffee, Mister!"



Not everyone fell for the trap of feminism and self-reliance.  Pick the right guy and you've got a maid to cook the breakfast and raise the kids and if you really get the right guy, he'll be able to write your prescriptions.  BONUS!

Lois Wyse belongs to the pre-feminist 70's.  You may find it hard to believe, but Love Poems for the Very Married sold 200,000 copies.  All but 5 were bought in Manhattan.  I kid.  None of them were bought outside of Manhattan.  In order keep my position here at WMFU, I'll only post Side One of this spoken broken word album.

A note of caution - you will hear not only crappy poetry, but swingin' jazz "stylings", whimiscal arrangements  and a control freak husband whose sadisitic idea of a good time is to cover his wife's face and ask her to guess the time.

You know how you hear black people say how they heard first hand about slavery from their grandparents?  This is kind of the same thing - except with upper middle class white people.

Download A Cozy Heart

Download Zipped

Download Yes

Download Sec

Download The Quicker To See You Again

Download Just Then

Download The Grand Ballroom Of The Plaza Hotel

Download The Good Life

Download Sunday

Download My Toes Don't Curl

Download I Wish For You

Download For An Out Of Town Husband

Download Central Park South

Download Non-Stop

Download Lines To An Unhandy Man

Download On Deposit In A Secret Heart

Download Half Past Loving

Download A Private Place

Download Do You Need Me

Written by Hbee

May 12th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Hbee's Posts

The Anti-Aphrodisiac That Is Square Dancing (mp3s)

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DSC04677


Lord, I feel like an old man right now. 

I'm not sure what gym class meant in other the other parts of the country but in suburban Rochester, NY in the mid-70's when you weren't playing "Kill The Queer" (aka: dodgeball), shuffling through Robert Preston's Chicken Fat or wondering what that funny feeling meant when you were climbing the massive, knotted rope, it meant square dancing.

Yes.  Square dancing.

Like Lynyrd Skynyrd, I don't mean to to put it down but I wish my gym teacher had remembered that a western New York state boy didn't need it around.  Anyhow, back then, awkward barely, pubescent kids, barely able to look at the opposite sex, suffered even more humiliation at the hands of jack-booted gym teachers everywhere by not only dancing with them, but square-dancing with them.

Square dancing.

I'm sure there are parts of the country where happy little worker ants scurry to and fro, honoring their partner and ecstatically forming stars and other geometric shapes but like ice dancing, I just don't get it. Who came up with it?  And why?  Isn't the whole point of dancing about getting laid?  Dancing is foreplay - how does your partner touch you, do they move well and, if you score, will they stalk you when you don't call them the next day.  In contrast, square dancing is like asking your potential sexy-time mate to help you move into your new apartment.

Watch that molding on the door
Lug that couch across the floor
Whaddya think you wanna fuck?
Gotta return that Ryder truck


You get my point.  No matter how much I stare at the cover of the album it speaks not a word of "square dance" to me.  In fact, there's a case to be made that the cute cowboy couple are actually a cowboy god and goddess staring down and laughing at the bunch of pimply teens engaged in avoiding eye contact and do-si-do'ing.  "Suckers!"

I present, then, for your non-sexy-time-having enjoyment, the utilitarian-named Square Dances With Calls.  The main pleasure I get from this comes from imagining the only Jewish square dance caller in New Jersey getting the nod to do his first album.

Perhaps it's my snotty, Boston-bias shining through, but I don't see any need to split up the sides into track lists.  Does anyone really have a favorite square dance song?  "OOOH! Duck For The Oyster!  I LOVE that one!"

And thanks to the lack of any kind of editorial interference, I can add the line "I don't know much about square dancing, but I know it when I see it."

Square Dance Side 1

Square Dance Side 2

Written by Hbee

May 5th, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Posted in Hbee's Posts,MP3s

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