Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Your host Doug is back from the grave for a special Halloween podcast. So good it's scary!

Listen here.

your host Doug

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Nice review of The New Rags

The New Rags received a nice review over at bigstereo. They recently recorded a few Scott Joplin songs, and we'll be posting them on their myspace page. Also, you can hear a bunch of their unreleased songs on the Silent Stereo Records podcast.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Silent Stereo Sounds Returns Triumphant!!

After taking a week off, your favorite radio host returns with a kinder, gentler show. This week's podcast features an instrumental track from Jay B. Flatt of the The Dansettes as well as some melancholy tunes from the Redvines and Greg Remillard.
Doug also pays a special tribute to fallen soul singer Billy Rand.

Check it all out here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Lillian Gish

''I've never been in style, so I can never go out of style."

In case you don't know who she is, Lillian Gish was one of the leading actresses from the silent movie era, and also had a long post-silent career in movies and stage, appearing in her last movie in 1987. But the bulk of her fame came from the work she did during the silent era. She was born in Springfield, Ohio in 1893. Her father was absent during her childhood, so her mom pushed her and her sister Dorothy into acting at an early age to help support the family. She made her stage debut at age 4. In 1912, an actress friend of theirs named Mary Pickford convinced them to get involved in screen acting (like the Gishes, Mary also had supported her family through acting). They joined up with famed director D.W. Griffith and Lillian became one of his star actresses.

She appeared in a lot of his shorts, and in his two major epics - Birth of a Nation and Intolerance. In the 20s, she signed with MGM and gained creative control over the types of films she worked on. As sound came on the scene, her popularity faded, and she moved back to stage acting. She did start appearing back in films in the 40s and received an Oscar nomination, but she would never regain the starring roles she had in the 10s and 20s. She died in NYC in 1993 and never married.

To those who never watched silent movies or Lillian on screen, I think she brings a lot of elegance and class to any scene she is in. She definitely doesn't have a comedic or silly edge to her like Mary Pickford. Lillian Gish, with her doe-eyes, pouty lips and curled hair is probably the perfect example of a female star from the 1910s. Her look and style is definitely pre-flapper, with lots of innocence and no hint of rowdy behavior. A good introduction to her work would be picking up the Biograph shorts DVD if you don't want to take on a full length silent movie. Mother Heart is probably her best performance in that DVD collection.

- Lillian Gish Official Site
- Gish sisters theatre at Bowling Green State University in Ohio

Brian Wilson: A Tool of the Devil

Although you may think that the Beach Boys are squeaky clean and wholesome. Their never ending summer was really a journey to the depths of Satan's heart. This informative and honest video talks about how Brian Wilson's supposed mental illness is actually a possession by demons (possibly 5 different ones according to the video).

Check it out here:

The rest of the site exposes other popular artists as soldiers of Satan:

You thought that in the 60s the Beach Boys and Beatles were trying to out-do each other's recordings, but actually they were working together to turn our hippie youth to Satan.

Just to make sure there are no misunderstandings about this post, we here at Silent Stereo Records are huge fans of Brian Wilson and the above post was sarcastic. It's pretty unbelievable how this group equates mental illness to demonic possession. That attitude definitely harkens back to the treatment of the mentally ill before modern science.

17 thoughts on new songs

I. You


Man is free but is everywhere in chains

And when you're finally free, when all the stops have been removed

Still standing in your way --- is you

II. Old dogs and new tricks

The wrong lyrics



The safety of a prison

What's more difficult to learn something new

Is to unlearn something old

<>III. Hash House Harriers<>

Life is like a Hash House Harriers run...

It's not a race, it's a run

The course of the run is charted before it begins

There are many dead ends in the course to confuse the runners and only one path that leads to the finish line

All the runners, men and women, have to wear the same kind of costume, like a red dress or a toga, and load up on beer and wings before the run

The runners call out a series of commands during the run to direct each other

"Run On!" means "We're going the right way"

After several wrong turns down alley ways and sidestreets the pack finds the right path

The runners approach the finish line in small groups, there are no winners or losers or prizes given out

There's more beer and wings after the run

And the wisdom in knowing when it was time to "Run On!"

~ Official HHH website~

IV. Come on, let's face it...

I admit...


a vacation


a donation

Everything I do

And I think the same goes for you too


Makes me feel good

V. Quote of the day

"It's as if we have an industrial-age presidency, catering to a pre-industrial ideological base, in a post-industrial era."----Thomas L. Friedman

'Bush Disarms Unilaterally', page A19, NYTimes, April 16th, 2005

VI. Officer friendly

Today I was flyering for my band on Ludlow Street when the paddywagon pulled up next to me.

The first officer asked what I was doing, where I lived, and why I was by myself.

I had to show identification.

Then I was written a $25 summons and told that if I didn't pay it in a month there would be a warrant out for my arrest.

I was told flyering is a quality of life issue comparable to urinating in the streets and public drunkenness.

The second officer was very nice.

On the way home I thought about legalism, the Luna Lounge, the state, sterility, the Whole Foods store and high rise that's ready to open on the Bowery, and the 16-year old East Harlem girl from Guinea who was recently arrested in a terrorist raid and is now in a detention center in Pennsylvania.

VII. Proverb

When in New York City,

You're either north

or south

of the Met Life building

VIII. Serendipity


coffee steam

honest words

paper gifts

a child's trust

subway proverb


the L train


sound in my veins

today was

pure serendipity

I got a good look

IX. You came right in

like the 1/9

when the 2/3 passes by

lonely metal



and time

keeps you passing by

X. Words of wisdom from my accountant

Don't let anyone steal your dream

There are two sides to everything

War will make any man crazy

Social Security started during the Great Depression to save us from Wall Street

Franklin Roosevelt saved capitalism

If you were drafted during Vietnam, you went through basic training the day after college graduation

In the army you'll find one of the greatest cross-sections of the minds, people from all walks of life

Of course there will be another draft

Some men just know life and death, life and death

Right to life, what life? Just so you can end up in one of their prisons or on their battlefields? They determine how you live and how you'll die

XI. On my way home

Started at 42nd

south towards Herald Square

the bells sounded at ten o'clock

arresting revolving doors

The April sunset

settled in my lungs

in my toes

the crunch of sand

in my Grand manmade Canyon

No cops

and at times, completely alone

with my eyes closed

down Broadway --- in New York City

There I walked

in the light of illuminated clocks

and the Empire's glow

towards the Flatiron's eternal fork in the road...

XII. Eviction

A man can survive the Holocaust

Emigrate to the United States

Run an honest business for forty years --- on the Upper East Side

And one day

Have his rent double


XIII. Today


when I woke up

played my guitar

listened to Pearl Jam

went running in the rain

saw the dark clouds roll north and breathed in New York City

stood and watched the Hudson rise to the streets with last night's rain

I was thinking of you

XIV. Pick me

They're all up there

Making their bets

Doing their trades

Wagering, negotiating...about me

Sometimes they give

Sometimes they take

Never revealing their plan

Here at the table

As I count up what I've got and what I need

I'm humbled by their legacies

Out of respect, out of my debt

I remain a faithful player

In their game

XV. game day

What was once grass, mud, and sweat

is now

stage, breath, and sound

i love game day

XVI. Who's in prison? The prisoner or the guard?

A city on its way to work

Hurried footsteps pass

An enlightened mindful Darwin breed?

Or a mindless moving mass?

With clocks to lock in time and space

And praise for working hard

Makes me wonder, who's in prison

The prisoner or the guard?

XVII. 1:24AM

The press of a button, a car ride away, a subway stop. I have access to everyone I love. Music on my radio, a guitar on my bed, the world on this screen at 1:00AM. I have access to everything I love. When you heard of this place you dreamed up what life could be, what freedom could mean. And now, back again in New York, across the sky, do you see? All your dreams have awoken in me.

The Many Moods of Murry Wilson

The legendary recording of the Help Me Ronda Sessions can be found here:

Murry Wilson (one-time manager of the Beach Boys and father of Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson) lovingly interrupts Brian as he tries to record his classic hit song and tells Al to make Ronda sound sexy. Besides the main attraction of an abusive, drunken, jealous father yelling at his sons other interests include a young Brian Wilson trying to produce a session.
Features both an edited and full version!
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Destruction along the South Jersey Shore

During the last few weeks, the news and public has been concerned with all of the destruction to cities in the US due to natural disasters (hurricanes). After returning from a vacation down in Wildwood, NJ, I want to make a note of some terrible destruction taking place by man. To give some context on the situation, here's a brief history lesson on the Wildwoods. They are 3 towns located on an 5 mile island off the southern Jersey Shore (a few minutes north of Cape May). The golden age of the resort was during the 1950s and 60s when many working class people from the Philadelphia area would vacation there during the summer. During this time many motels sprung up and they featured lots of neon, plastic palm trees, and names such as the "Astronaut", "Satellite" and "Bel-Air". The music scene in Wildwood was also strong with the city making a strong claim to early rock and roll with Bill Haley and the Comets debuting Rock Around the Clock there, and Chubby Checker debuting his version of Hank Ballard's The Twist. During the 80s, the area experienced a decline. But 40 years later all of the original 50s and 60s architecture was intact. I had gone to Wildwood during the 80s as a kid, and then stopped for a while.

In 1999, I returned for the first time in 10 years, and I was amazed at how much things had stayed the same. It was an amazing experience to be surrounded with all of the buildings straight out of the 50s and 60s. You'd rent a bike and drive down Surf Avenue in North Wildwood, and just take in all of the great neon signs, and swooshes on the building facades. The boardwalk was also the same, with totally unique mom and pop stores (no Starbucks or Walmarts). Nothing high end here; just lots of cheesesteak places and arcades. Then just a few years later, I guess the wealthy discovered the south Jersey Shore. I guess they had already overdeveloped the other beach areas so why not keep the destruction coming.

Over the next few years we'd see the new condos going up. Horrible pieces of work. They're described as "custom townhouses", but there's nothing custom about them. They are all beige, plastic looking condos with the same layout. Absolutely no character at all, and selling at around a million bucks a piece. The saddest thing is that they are tearing down tons of the original 50s and 60s buildings to make way for these condos. I just returned from vacationing there this summer, and the change is heart-breaking. The condos have wiped out so much of the area's charm. Where you would look down streets with cool architecture, buildings with character, now you see these monstrous ugly condos. And then you'll see a beautiful 60s motel with a sign up that says "New Construction Coming Soon!"

What can be done? Sadly probably nothing. There were efforts to try and declare the area a historic district, but I believe the architecture is too young to qualify. So even though these buildings had lasted for 50 years, that means nothing to a developer who wants to make a buck. I'm not even against new construction, but I think it's how the new condos have no character at all. To me Wildwood means a working class resort "stuck" in the 50s and 60s. They should embrace that and new buildings should reflect that design. But instead they are cranking out these monstrous bland condos that fill the lot and give plenty of space to park your SUV.

Driving down the shore, we'd had seen that condo cancer had hit all of the nearby towns- Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor, Avalon. They all looked the same. Same buildings, same SUVs parked in the driveway. Now the next thing is to start getting rid of those low class mom and pop businesses and replace with the corporate stores so everyone can get their Starbucks for breakfast. To me it seems so short-sighted destroy unique buildings. Why do people enjoy places like Cape May, Society Hill, or brownstone Brooklyn? Because they cared enough to preserve the flavor of the area. I think Wildwood could have been like this, but to me it's just another Yuppie sprawl.

Maybe there is some hope. There is the Doo Wop Preservation League. They are trying to preserve the feel of the Wildwoods, but to be honest after my last vacation there, I'm not sure they can win the war. They do have addresses of public officials so you can write them to see if they will lend an ear.

Here's an older article on the architecture style in the Wildwoods

Not totally related, but still of interest. A site devoted to Castle Dracula in Wildwood:
The castle burned down in 2002; some stupid kids burned it down.

So I guess we can all be proud of progress. Make sure you destroy the past and replace it with new material. Get rid of old buildings, get rid of drummers, and make sure to make quick buck.

Some photos

Coming soon! New Construction! Get rid of those plastic palm trees! We want condos!

Ah there we go. Much better! An SUV in every garage.

Unique signage? Cool buildings. Tear it down! (Word is this hotel will be demolished in 2006)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Silent Stereo Reviews

A new monthly feature that looks at some artists and albums you may have missed.

The Early Jin Singles "Southland Rock 'n' Roll"
Ace Records

(out of five)

Maybe all the Hurricane Katrina coverage influenced me. Or perhaps it was the cover photo of some fresh-faced youths posing with drums, guitars, and horns. Most likely it was the teaser on the back of the disc, which trumpeted the music therein as "swamp pop." Either way, when I came across this disc in a used record store on Bleecker Street, I was immediately intrigued. Swamp pop, as it turns out, was a nascent breed of rock music developed in New Orleans and popular throughout Southern Louisiana and East Texas. And the number one purveyor of the swamp pop sound was Floyd Soileau's Jin Record label (named after his wife, Jinver). Soileau was the Cajun incarnation of Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton, the founders of Stax records, and like them, ran a recording studio out of his record shop. And more important, like his brethern up in Memphis, Soileau was committed to capturing the musical stylings of his locality, working to promote and preserve Cajun music. Floyd shrewdly noted that the local youths were trading in their steel guitars and fiddles for saxes and electric guitars as rock music began to take hold, and correctly guessed that there would be a burgeoning market for this new Cajun/Creole rock sound. And his Jin Record Label would be more than happy to meet that demand.
Once Soileau set up shop, artists and producers descended upon his Ville Platte record business to make a record with "Mr. Floyd." These young artists were influenced primarily by local legend Fats Domino, and in their attempts to emulate their idol, they created a unique--and quite commerical--sound. The disc contains tracks by such artists as Phil Bo, Rockin' Sidney, The Del-Chords, Rockin' Dave Allen, and Red Smiley and the Vel-Tones; certainly not a household name among them. And yet many of the tracks are surprisingly strong--high energy rockers with passionate vocals, blaring horn sections, and some nice boogie piano playing.
The compilation features thirty tracks, and while there are some weak numbers, the majority of the disc is worth a listen or two. The Jin sound in many cases is characterized by a very hot vocal track and on some numbers you can just see the needles pushing the red on the mixing board. My personal favorite vocal is Steve Rollins work on "Crying Over You"--he's giving it his all and his voice seems close to the breaking point. Other standouts are Rockin' Dave Allen's "Can't Stand to See You Go" and "She Wears My Ring" by Phil Bo.
When the British invasion struck, swamp pop music was an early casualty. Many of the top artists disbanded or moved to Nashvilled to try their hand at country. In a few short years, the swamp pop scene was no more. This disc offers a fascinating and satisfying glimpse into one of the many early regional rock and roll movements in America.