Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Una Pausa que Refresca

"Big business loves big government." 
John Nese:  American small business owner, citizen cane(sugar), MangMade icon.

via Mt. Holly Mayor's Office

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Heights Video: Lenny (1974)

"Lenny, baby, I love what you're doin' up there."

Motown's Burning Bush

Kevin Pyle sent this to me a while back and reminded me it was too cool not to share:  The Metro Times Century of Sound -- a Detroit music family tree.  It's no surprise the tree looks more like fire given the number of hot names aflame, each flicker crackling another to higher, brighter, smokin' heat.

Just look at all the great stuff here in this small sample:
  Andre "Baconfat" Williams is not far from the MC5, Brownsville Station, Grand Funk, Iggy Pop, Ted Nugent, Seger, Mitch Ryder as well nugget-hatchers the Woolies, Unrelated Segments and ? and the Mysterians...Rationals, well, I don't need to name 'em all off.

Find the whole thing at the paper's website here.

Don't forget to read other print-related items at MangMade Print, too!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Yeah baby we made it, we're 52%

1968's Wild in the Streets is an old MangMade favorite. 

Some solid slideshows featuring soundtrack highlights:

As odd a time piece this motion picture is today, even more crazy is this version of its signature tune, "The Shape of Things to Come" by Roslyn Kind, Barbara Streisand's half-sister.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Just too True to be True" - Scopitone

Mark Frauenfelder at Boing Boing describes the David Lynch-vibe coming off of this thing.  I can't disagree, with the red drapes and mix of lounge and sexbot action.  But further, Freddy Bee 4's (de)arrangement is so slow and fogged in narcotic splendor it would fit well as cutaways in the Midnight Cowboy freak scene, too. 

Except those were movies contriving creepy.  This was an authentic act, right?

Hit Bedazzled! for more Scopiton action.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No matter what shape (you're getting in)

Of course!  This video makes it obvious what we were missing when we played this song back in the 80s.

Those matching Mosrite guitars were really sharp and would have given us some class!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tiny Comeback, Sept. 1974

Pick a role for which Tiny Tim should make a comeback:  an overexposed freak-as-punchline who got married on The Tonight Show in front of 40 million viewers in 1969 or singer of songs playing ukulele the next year at the Isle of Wight festival before an audience of 600,000?  Either way, four short years later his waning celebrity was worth a magic night for some in a little Dearborn Heights, MI bar called The London Bridge.  Falling down, no doubt, much the same as Mr. Tim's popularity.  To think it all happened only a few miles from my house.

For more newspaper and magazine fun, checkout our new sister site MangMade Print.

Click the image to enlarge or view the article in historical context here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Pretty Things: Cries from the Midnight Circus

I'll post nearly anything related to the Pretty's Parachute album.  Having only been recently exposed to it about two years ago, it's still fresh personally and so good. 

It's nice to hear a live treatment
though confusing at one vocal point when Phil May is way off mic and not moving his lips.  It was common practice to pre-record a live take for television appearances to mitigate the risk of equipment/musician failure spilling out over live television (while playing fast-and-loose with some location's musician's union rules).  As two voices are heard singing elsewhere, he may have been singing over his earlier take and missed a bit.  Not sure if this is the case or someone else was singing with him.  Still a treat and fun, no complaints.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

See K-Bone in 3D!

Looking forward to seeing Kevin "K-Bone" Pyle back in action, ever'body (he's the one makin' like Milt May in the poster above).  He was kind enough to pass along a couple tracks from rehearsals to MangMade.  Like the poster sez, check them out at Bamboozles in Farmington if you can.  It may get crowded, and uh...

UPDATE:  Please note the show is in FARMINGTON, not Dearborn as posted earlier in error.  Sorry for the confusion ever'body.


Moe O'Shaughnessy (fmr. Salem Witchcraft):  Drums & Vocals
Jim "JD" Duffey (fmr. Salem Witchcraft):  Bass & Vocals
Kevin Pyle (fmr. White Fang):  Guitar & Vocals

3D - The Time has Come

3D - Dirty Water

Get to Bamboozles here:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vintage Program: SoundZ

SoundZ tapes SoundZ was a DOS shareware program I used in the early-to-mid 1990s to catalog my personal and band cassette tapes. It was marketed to sort out all types of audio collections in various formats from vinyl to the new-fangled audio CD. I thought it was pretty cool -- the first database I ever used to organize my stuff, but mostly because I could print "pro" looking cassette J-card inserts to give my tapes (my oeuvre) a polished, studio-archive look. That world-class look would be in stark contrast to the material actually on the tapes.

Released by Unicorn Software, I believe I found it through mail order -- in the same catalog where I got Castle Wolfenstein 3D, Hugo's House of Horrors and other shareware titles of the day. Today, information about SoundZ does not run very deep. For instance:

The link to Unicorn Software only opens this image:


 That's all it is.  A floppy tombstone.

A BBS website lists SoundZ among its collection of shareware titles from the 1990s:

SOUNDZ4.ZIP 437.3K 1 10-01-1994

SoundZ 4.00 The ULTIMATE audio librarian handles tapes, CDs, 45s,LPs,78s, reels AND MORE! UNLIMITED tunes per side, standard header info PLUS a text file for each title of up to 5000 lines. Prints.

I did find a place to download it here.

While doing some prep work for the Let's Not Invite John Nowlin Jam Band release, I came across a backup data CD with a bunch of stuff from the 90s. It had been about ten years since I had looked at the software and I was curious if there was anything worthwhile in the database or if it was still accessible, let alone if the program would run on XP. So, here we present a bit of personal software history for those looking. This version is from the arrow-key menu, dot-matrix printer 90s, not so much the point-and-click, LaserJet 90s (though some tentative soundziconwhite laser printing options are available). I couldn't find a version number anywhere, but  the executable was dated Sunday, May 03, 1992, 2:20:22 AM. Evidently, there was a Windows version, but I never had it.

I tried running it directly from the backup disc and it did open:


But hitting a key to continue returned an immediate error because it could not find the path I had used previously. Further, I could not reset the path to the data while the program directory was read only.


That wasn't a surprise, so I copied the directory directly to my c: drive, keeping the path simple and named with less than eight characters. Then I ran SOUNDZ.EXE from there.

Getting past the previous two screens, I selected "C" for "change" and was presented with a Default SetUp dialog to change values shown in red. I changed D to C, knowing that the data path would now match. The other values I kept, but recalled playing with these options and getting some really cool (for the time) dark color schemes.


I noted the User Defined fields and Library Of fields still retain the old values from when I had used the program previously: Date; T. Type to indicate if the cassette was stereo, or a multitrack master format like 4- or 8-track cassette; and of course Library Of to add the aforementioned studio class.

Hit “Enter” to save and then the program reassures us:


I ran SOUNDZ.EXE again, and passed the title screen with success!


Great. Now what? The Date value is correct, so I guess SoundZ was Y2K compliant, eh? I don't remember what "Titles" means, though. I had a lot more than four tape titles in here. Maybe this was an alternate database I had abandoned, not the full one I had used. Maybe it was lost so long ago, I forgot it was gone anyway. I have hard copy print outs I made before I abandoned the program, but it would be cool to do some kind of export to another more contemporarily compatible digital format. Not that I need the data, but why not keep it after all that..., uh, effort?

For those still interested, let's have a look from the top down:

Add SoundZ:


T for Tape brought up this screen:


Weird that it retained "TuneZ" data from a previous tape entry, but presented all the other fields as blank (feature, maybe?). Hitting "Enter" allowed me access to change Header Info:


Done with that, you can do a similar action with the track listing, or TuneZ section. Selecting Add TuneZ on either side lets you put in new titles, selecting a title allows you to edit it:


Finally, we have the LinerNoteZ section for free text extra information. F1 brings up a help menu:


They likez the Zs, yeZ? 

(I’m too lazy to look up the origin of appending a Z instead of an S to a computer related term to indicate “thar be piracy on deck.”  Maybe that’s what zunk them, ye swabz)

Now back to the main menu, we select Change SoundZ and … find the old database:


It looked like less than I remembered, but after counting and hitting [PgDn], I find I have 46 tapes entered into it. That's sounds about right. I never got around to cataloging them all. We click one (well, select one, anyway--this is DOS) and see how I had been entering these things.


Since there were only three user definable fields and I needed another attribute to better identify the tapes, I included it within the Reference #. I put a two-character prefix to what would normally be the unique key for each tape's data record:

  • MS: means the tape is a master, meaning it is a multitrack master tape not playable in a regular stereo cassette deck.
  • MX: means the tape is a mixdown, meaning it is a mixdown master tape dubbed while mixing from a multitrack master and is playable in a stereo cassette deck.
  • LV: means the tape was recorded live and is playable in a stereo cassette deck.

The rest followed a simple number scheme incrementing by tens chronologically to allow space to place tapes in between if some were found later.

Category was used to identify what format the tape used:

  • 2T: stereo tape cassette (all live and mixdown tapes)
  • 4T: 4-track multitrack tape cassette
  • 8T: 8-track multitrack tape cassette

Dolby indentified the type of noise reduction used on the tape: B, C, or none. T.Type identified if the tape was normal bias, chrome, or metal. I didn't use the Purchased, Date of Origin, or Price/Value fields as my goal was to organize original recordings, not to track the age and value of the collection. My objective was a little different from where the marketing intention was driving with these fields.


A “ZideNote”: SoundZ also had an enhancement program called ZideCar which I never bought and so never used. Its purpose was to help in the creation of compilation or “mix tapes.” Plugging in the time values for individual tracks would allow one to use ZideCar to create a time-optimized track listing to follow when dubbing in order to minimize wasted space on each side of the compilation.


The goal right now is to get a dump of all the data held in the program. To find the best way to do that, we'll go to the Labels&Listings… All… Lists&Labels… Help screen:


It looks like our best option is to grab the Catalog report as it provides all information entered and we are not picky about printing formats available to print labels, etc.


When selected, we are given the choice to print to printer or file, so we choose "file." This creates a file in the SOUNDZ directory called SNDZCAT.TXT. Opening it reveals all data in roughly the same format it is displayed in the program console, but some ugly control characters are in there as well:


After a couple quick search and replace operations, we get a nice accounting of what we've got in a very readable format:


This is basically what is printed with the J-Card Insert option in roughly the same format but this includes the LinerNotez.

Now I've managed to save all that work from the distant past and so I think I'm done with this thing. I wonder how many people actually used SoundZ and how many tapes were cataloged in its largest instance. Are they still using it, or have they found an elegant method to programmatically convert it to another database format?

While reviewing my catalog output, I can see I've lost a number of the tapes over the years since then, even before I had the chance to digitize them. It's a shame. There were a number of little things I would like to hear again, but they are gone. "Harley Hog Call Me Orange" would be a real treat to have, but, similar to SoundZ, it was useful while I had it, but has more value today as a memory.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Eggy & Cheesy: The Let's Not Invite John Nowlin Jam Band

It felt like the right time of year to share this. The LNIJNJB finally gets its due. Check them out here at alonetone, a damn fine home for musicians.

"Dearborn, Michigan's Let's Not Invite John Nowlin Jam Band (or LNIJNJB for the initiated) recorded improvs during the mid-90s. Their tapes were passed around a small and mildly dedicated fan base. The LNIJNJB at its core usually consisted of Jim Howe, Jason Paoletti, Dan Murray and a drummer that didn't know when to quit, but many other guests would appear."

Happy Easter Sunday,
man. Hope you enjoy it.

UPDATE:  Check out their worldwide chart action three days after release!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Weird-Ohs Tribute Cigar Box Guitar: "Daddy"

Have you ever played a cigar box guitar?  I mean a REAL rail-ridin' cigar box guitar, not a SEARS cigar box guitar.  Hmmm.  No fooling.
Well the real charm of a cigar box guitar does not always lie in how precisely it is made.  That's not to say MANGMADE guitars aren't well made.  They simply don't aspire to meet fine luthier specifications.  They stay reasonably in tune playing up the neck.  The strings are a little harder to hold down, maybe.  But there's only four of 'em and high action makes a bottleneck blaze like gasoline.  They can get you closer to the fire barrel on cold nights, whether through a lady's heart or upside a man's head.  Fair enough deal for a tramp.  You see... we make them to LOOK, SOUND & BE WICKED, not SLICK or CIVILIZED!

When you couple organic tone
with great looks, it's a "Yessir, Mr. Tramp, sir" deal.  Pasted over with BILL CAMPBELL's outstanding 1960s comic artwork, this cigar box guitar pays tribute to the HAWK MODEL COMPANY's Weird-Ohs hot rod models.  Pictured on the body is a fella named "Daddy" while other crazy characters from the series mark fret positions on the neck.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Universal Video: Simon (1980)

For those who are not afraid to say they are a toaster...
For those who have spoken with Euripides
For those who do not know what they do not know...

Click the image and find:


(1980) 97 minutes
Alan Arkin, Fred Gwynne and Madeline Kahn

A group of scientist take Simon, a psychology professor, as a test person for an unusual experiment.
swei mongoloam...

via Cultra Rare Videos: Forgotten Flix! S TITLES

Sunday, February 22, 2009

MangMangled: A Cover Collection (Volume 1)

MangMade has drawn serious influence from 60s garage and psychedelic rock, collecting the Rhino Records Nuggets LPs in the 80s and a lot of the relatively well known acts like the Standells, Music Machine, Seeds, etc. Thanks to the web with its blogs showcasing information for the rarely heard material, we've been exposed to "new-old" stuff for the past few years. This, as well as historical genre material no longer found on the radio.

For the last couple months, the MangMade studio has seen the recording of cover versions of a few of these finds. Not being original songs, they aren't truly MangMade tracks, but they are definitely Mang-Mangled. Here we present the first three. With a little imagination (and quite a reach) a narrative may be derived, closer to the Who's A Quick One rather than Tommy. Okay, a LONG reach.

Click the big "Play" button below and read on for more information.

Tramp - Lowell Fulson (aka Lowell Fulsom)

This Lowell Fulsom track came down the stream following closely in the wake of Bo Diddley's Where It All Began (in order of awareness, not release). Like a lot of the material showcased, this one is less garage-y and more blues-soul based, but rides the same road and rails. This song was made famous by Otis Redding and Rufus Thomas' daughter Carla (thanks for the tip, Kevin Pyle aka K-Bone). Apparently, this track has also been plundered for its bass and beats in a number of contemporary songs as well.

Curiously, I heard Fulsom's Drifter first, which sounds like it may have been an answer to an "answer song" to the original Tramp record. Drifter begins: "Now you call me a hobo..." and mentions a box car, two fine queens, things that didn't quite make sense with the LP cover showing him posed in white suit beside a huge Cadillac. It was only later I saw the cover for Tramp that it made sense. The "tramp" had now taken the more stylish sobriquet of "drifter." Here today, tomorrow... I don't know.

The Mang-Mangled version:
The main groove is driven by the twang of a MangMade cigar box guitar. Act One in our garage drama introduces the fast talkin' Tramp persuading our hero's girlfriend to believe that he is richer than he looks and comes from a family of lovers.

Goin' Away
- Beaus of Beethoven

Keyboard-heavy garage soul with fairly incomprehensible lyrics courtesy of the remarkable USA Garage Greats collection found via TWILIGHTZONE! There is so much excellent music in this series of compilations, so much more to cover from them. Not much to go on as for background, except this was the B-side to a single (Sound Pro SPS1015) that may or may not have produced much of a buzz outside of its regional origin (and even that may be questionable). This one is gripping with a cold and grey November dusk feeling about it, making it stand away from the rest of the tracks.

The Mang-Mangled version: The instrumental bridge is driven by the arpeggio twang of a MangMade cigar box guitar. Act Two (ghesundheit) finds our hero, having been dumped, watching the lovers from the roof of his slum apartment with many a bad and misguided thought on his mind.

Why Don't You Smile - The All-Night Workers

Covering this one isn't a totally new idea, either.
That's because its partly an early, pre-Velvet Underground Lou Reed - JJ Cale composition. First seen on the Soul Deep collection at TWILIGHTZONE! and subsequently discovered information about it was posted originally here at Derek's Daily 45. There you'll find an excellent write-up on its pedigree, explaining why the tune would strike a Velvet fan. For many it may be a revelation to know Reed and Cale had been house songwriters for a record label before VU.

The Mang-Mangled version: I think there is another MangMade cigar box guitar buried in this one, too. In Act Three the former girlfriend has apparently discovered the Tramp was really just a hobo. Our hero, with vulnerable wrath, is resolved to take delight in spitting her own words back at her before cutting loose.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Singing Snapshot

Boing Boing brought this one to my attention.  Leadbelly was cool and this is cool.  Spooky, but this type of skill and technology will only get better.  It won't belong before we see him in commercials for life insurance or wine coolers.

via YouTube - Leadbelly Video: WHere did you sleep last night

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Al Capp on "Password" (May 15, 1965)

Here is a star-studded episode of Password starring: Betty White; "I'm-gonna-pass-to" Arlene Francis and cartoonists Al Capp (Li'l Abner); Alfred Andriola (Kerry Drake); Allen Saunders (Mary Worth, Steve Roper); Lee Falk (The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician); Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey); and Leonard Starr (Mary Perkins On Stage).

Whatever could be going through Capp's mind when Betty White says, "Erect?"

via YouTube - Password - Betty White and Arlene Francis part 1/3