Showing posts with label crazy world of arthur brown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crazy world of arthur brown. Show all posts

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Shelly Awards

(Trophies Always Have To Be Supremely Ugly)

There was a time when I watched award shows religiously. I'm not sure why ~ perhaps to confirm that my favorites had the proper cachet and to bitch about the wrong choices the so-called judges made. Of course, that was long before I understood that awards are bought and paid for and perpetually political (I actually prefer the naive me.) 

I generally was lost with the Oscars, since I'd managed to see approximately one of the nominated films, and the flick I caught never won anything. The Grammys were kind of a high-brow joke (even to the naive me) because inevitably the winners would be the industry-coronated choices (as opposed to anything any sane person would actually listen to.) "The Girl From Ipanema" beat out "I Want To Hold Your Hand" for record of the year; and you know how often we hum the melody of "Girl From Ipanema".

The Emmys were more my speed because I definitely knew how to watch TV and I was familiar with most of the nominees. The CMA Awards, however, was my show of choice. I did know my country music and frankly, my taste was eminently superior to most. Plus I was a Country Music Association member and thus got to pencil in my choices on the paper ballot. 

I like to flip on the TV at night before bedtime because the hypnotic rays tend to lull me to sleep, so I tuned into the first five minutes of the Grammys last Sunday night. I will admit, I was confused. Some gal was inhabiting different rooms of a home and brushing her hair and bouncing on the bed with a stuffed bunny; and then someone I thought was Justin Timberlake (who I later learned was Ricky Martin ~ I wasn't wearing my glasses) joined her in the number and someone I was supposed to know played the trumpet. And then some other guy piped in. 

Nevertheless I kept watching. The evening's host, Alicia Keys, soon showed up with four gals, only one of whom I recognized (granted, Jennifer Lopez was hidden behind a humongous broad-brimmed hat). The one I knew was Michelle Obama, and I thought, okay ~ she's a music icon. I did see Dolly Parton in the audience; the only person I actually recognized. And then I flipped the TV off.

So I can now say I watched the 2019 Grammys.

I've now decided to create my own awards, The Shellys. The categories are completely capricious, based on whatever the hell I feel like bestowing.


Best Roots Recording


Buddy Holly ~ Rave On
Jerry Lee Lewis ~ Breathless
Eddie Cochran ~ Summertime Blues
Chuck Berry ~ Roll Over Beethoven
The Everly Brothers ~ Bye Bye Love

The Winner:

Best Rock Song From the Year I Graduated High School:

Drift Away ~ Dobie Gray
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ~ Elton John
Stuck In The Middle With You ~ Stealers Wheel
Loves Me Like A Rock ~ Paul Simon
Reelin' In The Years ~ Steely Dan

The Winner:

Best Song My Big Brother Told Me I Should Like:


The Rain, The Park, and Other Things ~ Cowsills
Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35 ~ Bob Dylan
Another Saturday Night ~ Sam Cooke
Telstar ~ The Tornados
Where Have All The Flowers Gone ~ Johnny Rivers

And the award goes to:

 Best Beatles Song:

The Nominees:

I'm Only Sleeping
You Won't See Me
You're Gonna Lose That Girl
Good Day Sunshine 
We Can Work It Out

There is no live video to be found of the winner. However, the first runner-up (Ringo) will accept the award (I have a sneaking suspicion all the Beatles videos have been removed from YouTube. Thanks. Paul.):

Best Hit From 1965:


California Girls ~ The Beach Boys
I Can't Help Myself ~ The Four Tops
Ticket To Ride ~ The Beatles
Baby, The Rain Must Fall ~ Glenn Yarbrough
My Girl ~ The Temptations

The winner (not even close):

Best Music Video of the '80's:


Raspberry Beret ~ Prince
Take On Me ~ a-ha
Sledgehammer ~ Peter Gabriel
Money For Nothing ~ Dire Straits
Nothing Compares 2U  ~ Sinead O'Connor

The Shelly goes to:

My Favorite '80's Act:

Hall and Oates
Huey Lewis and The News
Phil Collins
Elton John

This was so close:

Best Upbeat Song:

Walkin' On Sunshine ~ Katrina and The Waves
Morning Train ~ Sheena Easton
Happy Together ~ The Turtles
Beautiful Day ~ U2
I Wanna Dance With Somebody ~ Whitney Houston

Of course, the winner is this:

Song That Scared The Crap Out Of Me (or at least befuddled me) As A Kid:
They're Coming To Take Me Away ~ Napoleon XIV
Fire ~ The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Running Bear ~ Johnny Preston
Last Kiss ~ J Frank Wilson
Devil Or Angel ~ Bobby Vee 

Hands down:

Best Dion and The Belmonts Song:

The Wanderer
Ruby Baby
I Wonder Why
Lovers Who Wander
Runaround Sue

Again, a tight competition, but Dion DiMucci doesn't care, because he's a winner, regardless:

Best Hair Band:

Van Halen
Bon Jovi
Guns 'n Roses
Def Leppard

I'm not a big fan of hair, except for:

Cheesiest '70's Song:
Loving You ~ Minnie Riperton
Billy, Don't Be A Hero ~ Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods
Seasons In The Sun ~  Terry Jacks
Muskrat Love ~ The Captain and Tenille
Havin' My Baby ~ Paul Anka
You Light Up My Life ~ Debby Boone
Afternoon Delight ~ Starland Vocal Band 

Yes, there are seven nominees, because it's impossible to narrow this category down to five.

This one wins only because I can't bear to post any of the others:

Hey, look at the time! Well, the show has run far over its designated time, so tune in again next year for more Shelly Awards!

And all you forgotten acts, you're welcome! It's time you got your due!



Friday, September 29, 2017

Weird Songs

 There's something to be said for weird songs. First of all, if done right, weird songs are memorable. It's a fine line between done right and done wrong. If an artist tries too hard to be strange, they just come across as lame and obvious. For example, Ray Stevens is primarily known for his novelty songs, which I rarely found humor in. It's a shame, because Ray Stevens is a highly underrated artist (when he does serious songs), but I guess he'd found his niche in kitsch.

The majority of weird songs were recorded by one-hit wonders -- because once you've done crazy, it's hard to recreate. Little kids love weird songs. The weirder the better. One has to have the mindset of a kid to understand that. Kids, once they become cognizant of music, either become ingrained in music by listening to the radio or by someone older's influence. In my case, the "someone older" was my big brother. My brother schooled me in music and essentially led me where he wanted me to go. He had superb taste in music. I discovered the Beatles from their radio hits, but it was my brother who bought "Rubber Soul" and "Help!" and showed me that albums could be magical things. He introduced me to Bob Dylan. I knew of the Beach Boys, but not the entirety of the Beach Boys. The first time I heard, "Oh, Pretty Woman" I was Roy Orbison's forever, but my brother had Roy's greatest hits and damn! The first LP I ever owned was a birthday present from my brother -- "If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears" by the Mamas and the Papas. So by around age nine, I knew what good music should sound like.

Then I heard a strange song on the radio. I thought it was hilarious -- well, I was eleven. The song was supremely weird -- not the way songs should go. This intrigued me. My best friend Cathy also thought it was awesome. That was an extra-added bonus, because we could sing (or talk) along to it when it came on the radio and giggle about it.

Since it was 1966, apparently we have no YouTube live performance videos of the song (and really, could it be performed live?)

The lines that cracked me up (at age eleven) were:

I cooked your food
I cleaned your house
And this is how
You pay me back
For all my kind
Unselfish loving deeds

Napoleon XIV:

At my tender, impressionable age of thirteen, this next song became a hit. This one wasn't humorous. I was deeply ensconced in my Catholic religion at that time -- a reawakening of my faith or a love of ritual -- either way, my religious fervor was short-lasting. Nevertheless, I felt this song was how the devil would sound if he was to talk to me (he never actually did, that I know of).

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown:

By the seventies, I was more cynical -- probably too cynical for my age -- but there it was. I'd heard so much music by then, good and bad; sometimes awful, sometimes awesome; but mostly awful. I'd learned that there was nothing left to learn about music. Bear in mind, I'd probably been exposed to roughly 10,000 songs by that time, which was a pretty good record, since I was only in my twenties. 

I was minimally aware of Glenn Miller's music; as much as I'd caught on some TV variety show or perhaps as background music -- Muzak -- or perhaps on a commercial. I've since learned a lot about Glenn Miller, but at that time of my life, it was just "old people's music", and I was disinterested.

A song began appearing on the radio. The melody was familiar, but this particular rendition was sung by chickens. Naturally, that caught my attention. It was goofy, sort of like "They're Coming To Take Me Away" was goofy and odd and chin-scratching. One had to ask oneself, "Why would chickens be singing this song?"

The Henhouse Five Plus Two (alias Ray Stevens):

If I travel wa-a-a-y back in time, to my barely conscious musical awakening at age five, I would include this next song in the realm of weirdness. Little did I know that it was an iconic Bill Monroe bluegrass song. But this version is much more fun:

The Fendermen:

After the seventies and Ray Stevens, nobody really released weird records anymore. Everything became super-serious and important. The sixties were the nadir of weirdness. Too bad. We could use much more fun and more idiosyncrasy. 

It's almost impossible to find fun anymore. It's like fun is a bad word. "The world is too dangerous to have fun."

No. It's not. 

Perhaps what's wrong with the world today is that nobody has any fun. Maybe that's why everyone is so surly. I don't know about you, but my world is surly. Surly at work -- everybody fighting for supremacy. Surly at home. Somebody didn't do something they were expected to do. We can't breathe. 

"Fun" is frowned upon. Don't be silly! Damn you! What are you, some kind of moron? 

Our muscles are taut. The stress hormones course and skip across our sinews. 

God damn, people! Lighten up! The world is shorter than you think. Human existence won't end because you used a semi-colon instead of a comma in a sentence in an email!

I miss fun. I would have more of it if it was permissible. 

And this is how you pay me back
For all my kind, unselfish loving deeds?