Thursday, November 24, 2011

November's Music: Comedy songs for a Blue T-day

My father remembered a version of this one from his childhood (I've found a number of people remember extra or improvised verses to this one), though I suspect he learned his "Ain't We Crazy" from the older, second recording below:

Constant readers here know I'm a lifelong Smothers Bros. fan, due in part to receiving Aesop's Fables the Smothers Brothers Way as a one of my first records to play on my portable phonograph ca. tracks from that album are easily swipable, but this charming medley, with Donovan Leitch and Peter, Paul & Mary, from the Smo Bro CBS series, is worth the time:

And, being as I was a child of the mid-'60s, my first babysitters, at least, made sure I heard and saw the Monkees:

Which of course set me up for appreciation of the likes of the Kinks

Or the Zombies (even if this ragged copy of "Come on Time" as messed with and worked into a trailer for Bunny Lake is Missing kills most of the the humor of the "Just Out of Reach" reworking the band did...see the fine Big Beat-label complete Zombies recordings set to hear how "Come on Time" should sound.)

And Utopia

And the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

(and if you've missed it somehow over the years...George Harrison on Rutland Weekend Television, which might or might not've directly led to Bonzos and Pythons forming the Rutles)

And Gil Scott-Heron

Not actually one of Mose Allison's wittiest songs, but in a similar mode:

As opposed to this live reading of his classic:

And a nice, if slightly long, a cappella version:

And speaking of classics:

Nellie McKay:

Garfunkel and Oates (note the climbing budgets)

And for a genuine T-day song, Howard Kremer as Dragon Boy Suede:

(and another rap from DBS in the spirit of giving and appreciation)

Happy Thanksgiving, folks...
For more of this month's forgotten music, see the links at Scott Parker's blog.


Deb said...

I've often wondered how the Monkees got away with naming a song "Randy Scouse Git," which in the patois of my English childhood translates as "oversexed Liverpudlian of Irish descent who is a right b*stard."

Also, I'm guessing that the Utopia in the video is not the Utopia that Todd Rundgren recorded with in the late 70s/early 80s.

Todd Mason said...

That is indeed Todd Rundgren as the tall one with the harmonica, and his Utopia synch-playing "I Just Want to Touch You" in the video.

Apparently, the UK release of "Randy Scouse Git" was not initially released under that title.

K. A. Laity said...

Good stuff -- and easily enough for five separate posts, LOL. Always glad to see Pirate Bob!

Word verification: "phalis" -- Blogger is taking the piss, I suspect.


Deb said...

Oh, yes, now I look again, it obviously is Todd Rundgren. (I really need to keep my glasses close by.) He must have left the band and then joined up with them again later; I seem to recall Todd & Utopia having a couple of minor hits in the late 1970s (after Todd left the Nazz [?] and had had some solo hits).

Todd Mason said...

Possibly, Deb, though these recordings are from 1980 ("I Just Want to Touch You") and 1982 (the title track to the "Swing to the Right" album). It occurs to me I simply thought that Utopia coalesced in the mid '70s some time after the breakup of the Nazz.

Thanks, Kate...I knew you'd feel the absence of the RUTLAND clip (and I do need to see all of RWT again); it's the Let's be (somewhat) thorough and representative tick along with the nostalgic one...also, the mental connections demand this go up and this, and OK, we'll leave out Lambert, Hendricks and Ross and R.O. Manse and...and...this time because it's already That Long...

Todd Mason said...

Well, Deb, according to WIKIPEDIA, at least, Rundgren was a member of Utopia consistently between 1973 and 1986 (while also doing solo projects), and they've reformed in fits and starts since...including, of all things, this month.

The article attributes the commercial momentum they were gathering with ADVENTURES IN UTOPIA (1980) with being dispersed by the relatively poor sales of DEFACE THE MUSIC (the Beatlesesque album) and SWING TO THE RIGHT. Such fools that industry be.