November Untranslatable Rambling

gobsmacked AND flabbergasted

I lead with some heavy stuff; it gets lighter after the pic.

Read the sad tale of Bill Mantlo, former comic book writer and attorney, until a hit-and-run accident wrecked his life. Mark Evanier, linking to the article, writes: “Those who still fear government ‘death panels’ should take note of the portions of Mantlo’s story where his private insurer keeps trying to cut off all payments to him because, after all, their primary duty is to their stockholders.” Here’s the direct link to the article, and here’s Evanier’s correction to the article about the comic book process, which does not negate the insane way Mantlo has been warehoused.

But for sheer devastation, few things I’ve read actually made me weep like Jaquandor’s recollection of a particular day.

Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky’s Next Coaching Gig

The Beatles album artwork worth £70,000: Top 10 most valuable record sleeves revealed

How music changes our brains

The Beach Boys An Introduction to “SMiLE Sessions”, released this month. It’s great seeing Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and Brian Wilson on the same page.

Michelle Shocked – Quality of Mercy (version)

Evanier also found The Lambeth Walk as performed by Adolf Hitler and a batch of Nazi soldiers, which reportedly had Joseph Goebbels running, screaming from the room in anger. In fact, there are about a dozen versions of this song on his blog this month.

A song about Roman Emperor Constantine…sung to the tune of “Come On Eileen”. Of COURSE, it is.

SamuraiFrog linked to Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me) by Reunion. What caught my eye, though, were the initial visuals, which I recognized INSTANTLY from a commercial for Country Corn Flakes; I knew that ad by heart, I’m afraid.

American expat linguist Lynneguist, now in the UK, lists the untranslatables, those British and American English terms that don’t travel well across the pond. I made a comment, and a word I used as a jumping-off point for even more discussion.

Saucy Shakespearean Slings

Sid Melton, R.I.P. – if you watched a lot of TV in in the 1950s and later, you might say, “Oh, THAT guy.”

Maine Man’s Car Logs One Million Miles, Equivalent to Driving Around Earth 40 Times. Imagine how far he would have gotten if he’d only taken care of the vehicle.

Dustbury’s Today’s brain-cloud generator. Say What?

Mike Sterling was gobsmacked AND flabbergasted. Which is how I felt when I saw the middle item, about a new font, on Jaquandor’s page.

The Harvey Pekar Library Statue at the Comics as Art & Literature Desk — A Comics project in Cleveland Heights, OH. And Steve Bissette’s support for the same. Plus, in support of this memorial, Joyce Brabner has “coaxed Alan Moore out of the darkness wherein he dwells to video record a special message to comics folk in which he’s offering several hours– by invitation only– video conference from his home in the UK. Viewers may ask impertinent questions. Alan tells great stories.”

Bill Cosby – The Playground

Hawkeye Pierce as a serial killer


Pols’ promise to themselves by Roger Green, Scottsbluff

T is for Thirty-Three and a Third

I put my LPs in full order in 2010, for the first time since we moved into our house in 2000.

As you may be aware, sales of physical manifestations of music have been dropping like a stone, in favor of digital forms. The Record Industry Association of America notes that from 2007 to 2009, the sale of digital music (i.e., downloads) grew from 23% to 34% to 41% of the market in the United States.

Yet the statistics also reveal a countervailing trend. The sale of long-playing, and extended play records (LPs and EPs), made from vinyl, has INCREASED over the same period, from 1.3 million units to 2.9 million to 3.2 million. These are minuscule numbers compared with the hundreds of millions of albums sold annually in the LP’s heyday in the 1960s through the early 1980s when compact discs were introduced. Still, it’s an interesting phenomenon.

Here are the Top Ten Selling Vinyl Albums of 2009:
#01 The Beatles – Abbey Road – 34,800 (#2 in ’08)
#02 Michael Jackson – Thriller – 29,800
#03 Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion – 14,000
#04 Wilco – Wilco – 13,200
#05 Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes – 12,700 (#8 in ’08)
#06 Pearl Jam – Backspacer – 12,500
#07 Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest – 11,600
#08 Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction – 11,500
#09 Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey… – 11,500
#10 Radiohead – In Rainbows – 11,400 (#1 in ’08)
Notice that big names such as The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Radiohead share the pantheon with more obscure groups such as Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear.

And this is not solely an American phenomenon. Vinyl is also enjoying a renaissance in Great Britain as well.

Personally, I haven’t purchased vinyl since about 1989, a Ray Charles greatest hits album. The forces promulgating CDs made it too difficult for me to pass up the shiny objects by putting on an extra cut on the CD not present on the LP, e.g., Murder by Numbers on Synchronicity by the Police and This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds) on So by Peter Gabriel.

Yet I never gave up my vinyl. And when friends of mine did decide to get rid of their 12″ platters, they often gave them to me. I put my LPs in full order in 2010, for the first time since we moved into our house in 2000. I’ve discovered that I now have developed my collection of Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand, e.g. It’s also why I currently own multiple copies of Fragile by Yes; Deja Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and of course, Tapestry by Carole King, the longest-charting album by a female solo artist.

I think I’ll hold my LPs for a while. Some of them have tracks that I haven’t found anywhere. Maybe one day I’ll get one of those machines that turns vinyl into digital. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying playing my vinyl, looking at artwork that’s about six times the size of what you’d find on a CD.

(It suddenly occurred to me that younger readers may not understand the title. LPs are played on record players at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute, as opposed to singles, which are 45 RPM, and earlier vinyl recordings, which were 78 RPM.)

ABC Wednesday – Round 7


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