Friday, June 19, 2015

G Stands for Go-Betweens: The promotional sampler

To promote the limited-edition Go-Betweens box set G Stands for Go-Betweens: Volume 1, Domino Records issued this promo-only sampler, which is also titled G Stands for Go-Betweens. Even though the box set was a limited edition that has already sold out, this sampler is a manufactured disc, not a CD-R. 

The first 600 people who ordered the box set received books from the late Grant McLennan's library. Music Weird has a list of Grant's books here and a post about some of the box set's still unresolved speed discrepancies here

Today's post is about this promotional sampler, though. Below you'll find the track list as well as scans of the inside of the booklet, the disc, and the back cover. You can listen to the entire sampler on Domino Records' SoundCloud page here

The inside of the booklet says that Robert Forster himself compiled the sampler, so it's interesting to see which songs from the box set he chose to highlight. He included two songs from each of the first three Go-Betweens albums, two songs from the disavowed album Very Quick on the Eye, two songs from non-album singles, a few radio sessions, and a few previously unreleased studio cuts. 

Track list
  1. Cattle and Cane (from Before Hollywood)
  2. Lee Remick (from the Able Label single)
  3. I Need Two Heads (recorded live for Double Jay in 1982; previously unreleased)
  4. Hope (from Very Quick on the Eye)
  5. Bachelor Kisses (from Spring Hill Fair)
  6. 8 Pictures (from Send Me a Lullaby)
  7. Lies (not identified as previously unreleased, but if it was previously released, I don't know where)
  8. Secondhand Furniture (Peel session)
  9. Part Company (from Spring Hill Fair)
  10. Hammer the Hammer (from the Rough Trade single)
  11. The Sound of Rain (from 78 'Til 79: The Lost Album and, before that, from the Japanese 2-CD version of 1978-1990)
  12. One Thing Can Hold Us (recorded live for Double Jay in 1982; previously unreleased)
  13. The Clowns Are in Town (from Very Quick on the Eye)
  14. Hold Your Horses (from Send Me a Lullaby)
  15. As Long as That (from Before Hollywood)
  16. Unkind and Unwise (previously unreleased version)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Victorian-era trade cards: mandolins and lutes

Woolston Spice Company, Toledo, Ohio
Music Weird previously featured Victorian-era trade cards of piano and organ companies. Today we have a gallery of trade cards that picture mandolins and lutes, which seem—from what I've seen—to be the most common stringed instruments to appear on trade cards. 

Many of the companies that used images of mandolins were not music companies. They sold unrelated goods and services and incorporated mandolins into fanciful images that were meant to catch the eye and evoke harmoniousness or nostalgia.

The trade cards themselves were merely printed advertisements, but the colorful artwork was intended to make people notice them and collect them, and perhaps even reward the issuing company with their business. 

Auburn Drug and Chemical Company, Auburn, Maine
Chas Counselman & Company, Chicago, Illinois
Barretts' Dye House, Boston, Massachusetts
Wesp, Lautz Brothers and Company, Buffalo, New York
The Broadway Tailor, Brooklyn, New York
Circa 1890, no advertising
Neptune Umbrella, Buffalo, New York
August Pollman, New York City, New York
A.M. Peel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kendall Mfg. Co., Providence, Rhode Island

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Rebecca Black's "BFF You Make Me LOL": What happened?

In 2011, The Sun reported that Rebecca Black, the amateur teen singer whose vanity single "Friday" unexpectedly became a Billboard chart hit, was prepping a followup single. 

This followup single was to be called "LOL" and was said to feature the lyrics "BFF you make me LOL." 

The song never materialized. Instead, Black released "My Moment" later that year.

Nevertheless, the news of this alleged "LOL" single created a stir. If it seemed as if the ridiculousness of "Friday" couldn't be topped, the reported lyrics of "LOL" suggested otherwise. 

Listeners who searched the Web for news about this upcoming single were suckered by videos on YouTube that purported to have news about, previews of, or even the full audio of Black's new song. Some of these videos are still on YouTube. 

Following up on The Sun's story, reported that Black's manager said, "There's no truth to any story about a new song from Black." 

“Rebecca does not have a new single titled LOL,” the manager insisted. “Just to be clear, she does not have any new single recorded at this time."

The story in The Sun was picked up by the usually reliable Billboard, and the Billboard article said that Black was working on a full-length album. Like "LOL," this album never materialized.

Rebecca Black at the MTV Music Awards
"Here I am in a studio working on my debut album. I'm going to prove you wrong," Black supposedly said. (Not a very believable quotation.)

"Just like 'Friday,' 'the new songs are pretty catchy,'" said Black, according to Billboard (via The Sun). The article added that she was recording her album at the Flying Pig Productions studio in Los Angeles.

But her manager told, “We are not working with Flying Pig Productions, they are good people and have wonderful studios—but we have no business arrangement with them.”

After "My Moment" (Black's finest single, in my opinion), she released the so-so "Person of Interest" toward the end of 2011. In 2012, she released "Sing It" and "In Your Words." Both were lackluster songs but showed that she had been working on her singing. In 2013, she released a sequel to "Friday," titled "Saturday," which actually charted slightly higher on the Billboard Hot 100 than "Friday." She has been releasing videos of mostly cover tunes since then, but in September 2015 she announced that she's going to release a new single called "Alive."

It appears that The Sun completely fabricated its story about "LOL." In picking up the story, Billboard must not have realized that The Sun is a British tabloid like Weekly World News or The Enquirer. I asked Black's publicist to comment on the whole shebang and clarify whether Black ever recorded an album, but he didn't reply, even though he's probably not very busy these days.

I like to believe that an unreleased Rebecca Black album from 2011 is in the can and will one day be released as a lost classic of early 21st century teen pop. When it is, I'll be the first in line to buy it.