National Day of Stryper

22 06 2007

Last night’s members pre-sale party went GREAT, thanks to all the members who stopped by, and to all the new members who signed up! Today we’re busily preparing for tomorrow, the first “official” day of our summer sale. It promises to be a grand time in the new space, and we look forward to seeing you all there.

I sincerely hope that everyone’s preparations for the National Day of Stryper are going well.


That’s right, it’s time to break out your Jimmy Swaggert prayer cloths because June 7, 2007, or “7-7-07” is fast approaching. Now’s the time to start thinking (or rethinking) how you’re going to celebrate. I mean after all, we’re talking 80s Christian metal from the OC, yo.

I remember back in the 80s when I used to read a lot of metal ‘zines – there was always a Stryper ad wedged in there between ads for The Accused’s Return of Martha Splatterhead, DRI’s Crossover and Ludichrist’s Immaculate Deception. Great albums, these (yeah, the ARChive has copies). And of course, we have tons of Stryper. More than I expected, really. (Bet you didn’t know that To Hell With the Devil went platinum!) For example, I found two copies of the above, To Hell With The Devil with the “limited edition” cover art. Not being the biggest Stryper fan (well, not one at all), I was only familiar with the black cover, so this came as something of a shock. I mean, it kind of looks like something you’d expect from Manowar, right?

Anyway, seeing as how this year’s National Day of Slayer went so well, I will observe 7-7-07 by listening to Slayer, some Kreator…perhaps even a little Mastodon. When you know what your plans are, why not drop them into the comments? We here at the ARChive would like to know.

What a Difference a Day Makes!

21 06 2007

Overture, curtain, lights
This is it, the night of nights!

Members, don’t forget! Tonight is our big pre-sale party! We want to see you all there not simply because we love you,and not merely because this will be our biggest sale EVAR, but because we want to show off our new space. That’s right, we’ve expanded. So, when you come to 54 White tonight to partake in the merriment, don’t come to the door you’ve become accustomed to walking into. Walk into the door on the left and bask in our new glory.  Here’s a taste, the 24 hour transformation from raw space to ARCannex.  Enjoy.

Pretty awesome, right?  AND for those of you who are still wondering what I’m talking about, click the pic below and learn more!


Tiki ARChive.

20 06 2007

So, it’s Wednesday again. ARChive insiders know that can mean only one thing: Hawaiian Shirt Day is here again. Also known as Tropical Shirt Day, or occasionally referred to as Day of Phony Pan-Polynesian Cultural Appreciation. Nerds? Maybe. But the whole staff came through today which is especially encouraging since this is a day of schlepping stacks of records around in preparation for the big DOG DAZE O’SUMMER record + cd sale 2007. See if YOU can match each loud pattern to Dan, Fred, Jon or B. Spouses and/or girlfriends are not eligible for the grand prize. Suggestions for a grand prize will be welcomed.

– Jonny

More Paris Hilton Madness!

19 06 2007

Today is the ARC is annexing the adjacent space so we have some friends over helping us prepare four our BIG SUMMER SALE (I encourage anyone in NYC reading this to clink on the link and learn more). One of the folks lending a hand in the expansion is our friend BeBop. (Some context: BeBop was arguably the most important person on the 80s post punk scene. Why? Because he was the doorman at all the hip clubs when they were hip. In the 80s, if you wanted to get into a club and didn’t know BeBop, you weren’t getting into the club. Period.) He didn’t know about our blog, so I explained it to him. As I was telling him about the post in which I suggested Cher could be a good role model for Paris after she gets out of jail, he said “yea, but Marianne Faithfull would be a better.” BeBop, you are correct, so here we go.

Marianne Faithfull would be a good role model for Paris because she did it all before Paris did. Her mother was a Baronness. She had the famous boyfriends (Mick Jagger, anyone?), she had the drug problems, she dealt with the anorexia – all kinds of tragedy, but she’s managed to make it through. Should we be surprised that in 1985 she had an album called Rich Girl Blues (do I hear Paris Hilton In-Tha-Klub remix on the horizon?). Plus, they kind of look alike. Here is the photo spread from the back of the soundtrack for the 1968 film Girl on a Motorcycle:


Here’s Paris, from around the net:

Paris, if you’re looking for her, Marianne is currently living in Paris (the city, not you).

Yes, It’s Perfunctory Now.

19 06 2007

On father’s day, a singer named John Ogrodowczyk sang “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at the Red Sox game at Fenway. Normally I change the channel during this little bit of baseball “tradition” because I feel like it was an arbitrary and fairly poor choice of songs, but I quite liked John “O’s” performance. He has a good voice and better IMHO that that Ronan Tynan guy. But, when it was over, my dad turned to me and said something like “wouldn’t it be great if they played Kate Smith’s version at Fenway? I mean, for the kitsch value?”


I don’t know how many of you have ever seen Kate Smith, but this is what she looks like:

…and this is what she sounds like, singing “God Bless America” before the 1974 Stanley Cup:

So, um, yeah. “Kitschy!” And I suppose it would be kind of kitschy and fun..if a) I hadn’t grown in the last few years to dislike this song, and b) if Kate Smith wasn’t the version they always always played at Yankee Stadium. It was a little hard to break it to him, but I told him. So yeah, they CAN’T do Kate Smith’s version at Fenway. Sorry, dad. (Although who knows, they probably do her version at Fenway too…living in New York it’s not like I’m getting to Fenway that much.)

As much as I’m not one for this whole “God Bless America” thing at baseball games, I really REALLY don’t like Kate Smith’s version. It simply doesn’t speak to me. And, as it stands, I’ve never been alone on this. By now, I suppose just about everyone knows that Woody Guthrie hated the popularity of Kate Smith’s version of “God Bless America” (“unrealistic and complacent“) and wrote a patriotic tune in reply called “God Blessed America for Me” which became the widely known “This Land is Your Land” in later drafts. I suppose too, that most everyone also knows the melody Guthrie used was that of a widely known Protestant religious song called “When the World’s on Fire” which the Carter Family once recorded in 1930, quite some time before TLIYL. Given this background, I find the song’s genesis a fascinating complex of religious and patriotic ideas that map well onto the history of America’s musical development in the twentieth century.

Take, on the other hand, “God Bless America.” Although he wrote it in 1918, Irving Berlin introduced it in 1938 for Kate Smith to sing on Armistice Day, a holiday to commemorate the end of World War I on which people take two minutes of silence as a sign of respect for those who died in the War. It became immediate hit, its popularity mushrooming from its inclusion in the 1943 patriotic war film This is the Army (a film, incidentally, in which later President Ronald Regan had a small role).   It too is a fascinating complex of ideas (with a little commercialism sprinkled in) that map well onto the history of America’s musical development in the twentieth century.  (By the way, in a neat Guthrie-esque twist, GBA’s melody was said to have been in part borrowed from a early twentieth century Jewish novelty song called “When Mose With His Nose Leads the Band.” Have a listen by clicking the link and tell me what you think in comments.)

What’s striking to me in this is the contrast here; that the new “tradition” (and let’s be honest, it’s not a good tradition) of singing the relatively complacent “God Bless America” at baseball games only started when we went into a new war, not as we were coming out of one, while “This Land is Your Land,” a song written to criticize complacent patriotism gets no notice. A song written to memorialize a war’s end is now being used to inspire support for a new one while the song by the guy with a sign affixed to his guitar that read “this machine kills fascists” (which could easily be rewritten as “this machine kills terrorists”) is overlooked. It sort of makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? (By the way, given its association as a “leftist national anthem,” how weird is it that George H.W. Bush used “This Land” in 1988 as his campaign song?)

What a bold move it would be for someone to play “This Land is Your Land” instead of “God Bless America” at a baseball game. Wow, how I wish it would happen. Theo?

I suppose all this is REALLY just a long way of asking when can we quit with the “God Bless America” business and get back to only singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in the seventh? I’d like that quite a bit. Maybe we can even do the longer original version, too, the one that includes the verses in which the song’s female protagonist would rather have her beau take her to a baseball game (so she could tell the umpire he was wrong) than to a show? Yeah, that’d be cool. And retro, which is cool too.


[For those out there interested in a somewhat more in-depth look at these two songs, Dr. Adelaida Reyes did a very nice comparative analysis of them and their role in ideas about American identity in her book Music in America (pp. 42-8).]


Another great donation.

14 06 2007


Today the ARChive received an incredibly generous donation from a fellow whose marriage was in jeopardy—his wife told him to get rid of his records, or to get rid of her. With that ultimatum, he packed up more than 30 or so years of record collection into more than 40 boxes and called the ARChive.

Damned Pork Dukes

We have not had a chance to go through the LPs quite yet, but the 45s are very fine–mostly some swell punk and new wave records from the late seventies and early eighties. Included are the French-only 7” issue of The Cramps’ Smell of Female (commemorating a spring ’84 tour of Europe), The Adverts’ “One Chord Wonder” (one of my favorite records) on Stiff, a Joy Division flexi-disc (“Incubation”/”Komakino”), “Bend and Flush” by The Pork Dukes (including an insert advertising for a T-shirt), “Stretcher Case Baby” by The Damned (originally issued as a free first anniversary gift), a German pressing of “Train in Vain” by The Clash (with a picture sleeve I’ve never seen before), “Cheree”/“Ghost Rider” by Suicide (on Red Star),

Suicide The Clash

nearly every single by The Sex Pistols (missing the A&M single, of course) and a complete collection of singles by The Jam, original UK seventies and eighties issues.

Adverts / Jam

Although many of these are already in the ARChive, it will be nice to know that we have second copies of them. Also, the ARChive is happy to help with marital problems.

–Phast Phreddie Patterson

Ice Cream Wars

14 06 2007

Today, Boing Boing did a little bit on the Ice Cream Patent Wars of the 1930s and linked to two articles by Jefferson Moak entitled The Frozen Sucker War: Good Humor v. Popsicle (click here for links to part one and part two; it’s a wonderful article).  It’s got some neat-o pictures in it, but maybe none are as cool as the vintage photo of the Good Humor truck:

Very cool!  You can almost hear the bells.  What I really like about the piece is that it adds historical depth to the Good Humor story I touched upon in my article about ice cream truck music.


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