Nov 8, 2013

Super-Exclusive Anita, A Bounty From Burgalat, Plus A Buttery Box, An X-Rated Cat, And An Orange-Like A Secret Song!

Be careful there, Anita! You're going to poke somebody's eyes out with those things! And hold tight, dear readers, because today brings more Anita O'Day treasures. In this Go, Anita, Go, Cheerful Exclusive! you'll hear live, late-era Anita (post-heroin-self-rehab) (of course) performing with everything she's got at Tokyo's "Club Sometime" in 1978. Interestingly, no one even knew that this recording existed until 2006; it was found shoved in a suitcase in the back of Anita's gold-painted LeSabre (of course it was gold), along with several more tracks, their origin unknown.

From the easy swing of the opening track "Lover Come Back To Me," to her gorgeous take on "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever," and on to the conclusion with "Night & Day" (where her ensemble really lets it rip), this is Anita nirvana, especially if you're inclined (like I am) to all things Anita (and I know you are). As for the bonus tracks of unknown origin, I'm partial to "So Nice." The way she bounds like a gazelle from one note to the next is thrilling.

Bertrand Burgalat (just below, looking a bit like your favorite gadabout college art prof) (those glasses!) (so wrong!) (but so right!) was doing lounge-ish, post-punk electronica waaaay before it was fashionable, and in this Oui-Oui Cheerful Exclusive! France's abstract answer to Air offers you all of his "inedits," or unpublished work. This is the 2-CD bonus track version, which means you get the full breadth of his work; ambient pop, post-punk revival, electronica. and what someone (somewhere) is calling nouvelle chanson (let's just go with it).

But really, his music is impossible to categorize, and sadly, that may be why he's never caught on in the U.S. We like to pigeonhole our artists, or at least the record companies do. I only found out about him because some reviewer in the old "Wallpaper" magazine (don't judge) (this was years ago) (okay, judge, I can't stop you) wrote a great review of his latest effort and I happened to pick it up. If you're unfamiliar with his work like I was, "Inedits" is a fantastic introduction, I promise.

Buttah, buttah, buttah. Le Barbra has been with us so long, it's hard to remember when she wasn't around. I first became aware of her as a wee little thing when "Funny Girl" aired on TV as a "special" movie event - and she had me at "I'm the Greatest Star." In just one song, she seemed to channel Groucho Marx, Bugs Bunny and Buster Keaton, and brought it all home with sock-pow vocals. I'd never seem - or heard - anything like it before. I was hooked.

To say that she's disappointed me over the years is a bit of an understatement, and it's disheartening to watch her these days as she turns into a humorless grande dame, as if abandoning her singular gift for comedy - and musical-comedy - were the only route toward becoming a "serious artist." But whatever. I love early-Buttah, and late-Buttah, too. That's the advantage of a decades-long career. There's always something to like no matter where you look.

This terrific box set includes something for everyone. Not only does it span nearly the entirety of her career (going up to her first Broadway LP), it also includes a big helping of alternate takes of her biggest hits, and demos, too.

Sometimes, as my Cuban Luvuh noted, its a little strange. When you hear the demo for "Papa, Can You Hear Me" for example, you can understand why she included it, but it also feels like your memory's being messed with because it's not how it plays in your brain. Still, if you like Buttah, this is a big heaping (and fattening) slab of it. Mmmmmmmbuttah!

From butter to porn. Why not? In 1972, Ralph Bakski broke all the rules with the X-rated animated movie "Fritz The Cat." Based on the comic strip by Ralph Crumb, it was anything but politically correct, and it still has mild shock value today, mostly for the depiction of its black characters, which can be seen as "hip" archetypes or flat-out racist depictions (depending on your point of view) (I lean towards the latter) (but feel free to disagree). Does it hold up, otherwise? Is it worth watching now? Not really.

Yet happily, the soundtrack music by Ed Bogas and Ray Shanklin more than stands the test of time. Bogas started out as a psychedelic rocker, and with Shanklin, created wall-to-wall, finger-snapping R&B for both "Fritz The Cat" and "Heavy Traffic." The sound is ageless cool, as if the tracks were created for the best blacksploitation movie ever made. It may not be worth it to watch "Fritz the Cat," but it's worth giving it a listen.

She's back! It's Gunslinger Gilda, the Secret Song File's BFF! Oh, and it's not a machine gun hidden under her pillow this time, it's a machete (just to set the record straight). Also under her pillow? Her iPod, of course, first generation and still truckin'. If it ain't broke, she ain't gonna buy a new one, m'k?

But she does keep it stocked with fresh tunes. Her latest? Just the bangin' new CD by a pop-funk-punk group (what's with all the mash-up with labels these days?!). This band enjoys oranges (*cough*) and happens to be, um, a little bloody (*cough*cough*). Why this duo hasn't broken through to the mainstream is a mystery to Gunslinger Gilda, but they will if she has anything to do with it. Give it a try. Or you might see that machete sooner than you think. Yeeow!

You can cut a lot of oranges with a machete. 

Leave a slice of whatever in the comments, if you like!


boppinbob said...

Thanks for the O'Day goodie. Looking in my own library I only find a Past Perfect compilation titled "Sometimes I'm Happy". Will send if required.
Regards, Bob

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

You’re welcome, Bob. I have tons more Anita here, so just click on her name on the side list for more. More Anita is coming…’cause she’s one of my all-time favs!

Kevin said...

Thanks for the Anita! And all the other stuff great I've grabbed here over the years without thanking you, ingrate that I am. Much appreciated!

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

You’re welcome, Kevin! Glad to know you’ve been finding stuff you enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Cheerful,
Another reason why I was "guided" to this site... I was in Fritz the Cat... yeah, true, Ralph met me at a cartoon opening at a NYC Gallery back in that year... was it 69 or 70? Fritz... and he was bullshitting about the great movie he just about had finished, and so on... meanwhile, we, as a NYC Hippie Cartoon collective called Cloud Studio, had talked with Crumb who HATED FUCKIN' HATED it... so we were somewhat bemused by the scene... but Ralph asked me, as a real hippie, to do some voiceovers.. so I'm the ...

OK, gotta go back to work.
will continue this... maybe.

By the way, you're a very so-fisticated guy. Nice writing, cracked me up a few times. And the range of your musical/cultural/pop interests is probably more vast than mine... but so far, I know everybody (by reputation) including Zazu.

I'm glad I found you... sweet mystery of life... music, that is. I'm hetero acutally. Married like cement... kinda now, that I'm old, in the Thurber way.

Luckily, my wife don't do blogs like this.

den nc usa

den nc usa

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

"Married like cement!" I love that (and it's better than married by velcro, right?). I'd heard Crumb wasn't crazy about Bakshi's movie, but I'm heartened to hear that he was so vehement about it. I mean, Bakshi has his place in animation history, I guess, but I'll never forget when I went to the theatre with some friends to see "American Pop," and the audience all but roared with laughter during the lovemaking scene. Not because it was animated, mind you, but because it was so hokey the way it was dramatized (and don't get me started on rotoscoping...). Yet like an abused child hoping for a better day, I kept going to his movies. I even weathered "Fire & Ice" and "Wizards."

Why? Because I loved the idea of animation pushing new boundaries, but he wasn't the guy to do it. He was just first (in a mass-market sense) (btw, the animation in "The Oversimplification Of Her Beauty" is adult and fantastic). But at least, from what you wrote, he seemed like a nice enough guy.

Anyway, glad you're here. Hippies are always welcome! :D