Tuesday, February 24, 2004

So yesterday ended with Larry Coryell singing a song by Jimmy Webb called P.F. Sloan. You probably know at least one song by Jimmy Webb: he wrote MacArthur Park and Up, Up and Away, and it's probably impossible that you've avoided hearing one of those.

P.F. Sloan (the "P" stands for Phil, don't ask me about the "F") was a songwriter who wrote a lot of hits from the 60's, including this one which I'm just about sure you've heard in some version or another (the version posted is his original demo from 1965; every time I hear a "demos" bootleg by a modern band, I can't help wishing that today's artists made demos like they did back then).

Anyway, another song by P.F. Sloan is called Lollipop Train (a bunch of people have recorded it) and, if you follow the doings of the Siesta record label, you may have seen an album by a band called...Lollipop Train. It's part of a series (mentioned here before) of somewhat precious, quasi-psychedelic records that were ostensibly for children, though I have my doubts about how well they'd actually go over with the under-twelve set. What's neat about the series (besides the fact that it gives a friendly face to various cult figures from England...Simon Fisher Turner, Momus, Mike Alway, Louis Philippe) is that pretty much every song and album title is a reference of some sort -- generally to films or somewhat obscure music from the 60's. You can fill in huge chunks of your musical/trivial knowledge by just googling everything connected with this series.

A lot of Lollipop Train's output (and actually everything in this series) can be considered either charming or annoying. A lot depends on your level of Anglophilia. Luckily, they do a very sweet cover version of my favorite Monkees song Porpoise Song, and here it is. They also do a lot of things like this.

And finally, Angie Tillet who appears from time to time on various Lollipop Train tracks also has her own band (the concept of "own band" is kind of meaningless with this group of people) called Death By Chocolate who seem to be the most popular thing to come out of this entire project. They have two somewhat overlapping albums, one self-titled and the other called Zap The World. Again, it's a mix of 60's references, spoken bits, cover versions of songs from obscure (especially in America) movies, and so on. Even if you've been faithfully watching tributes to the 60's and 70's, you're still probably not going to get most of the references. Typical (actually on the less obscure side) would be this tribute to the Velvet Underground called The Salvidor Dali Murder Mystery.

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