Sunday, March 19, 2006
Attack of the thrift store 78s, Part 2!!!!
The sound resorationist, trying to restore a 78 to life. When hand gestures and Bela-Lugosi-style pleas of "Commmmme baaaack!" fail to work, there's always the 31-band equalizer (as a last resort):
And we have three more restored discs to share, beginning with two classics by Prince's Dance Orchestra. I'm very pleased with the results--the sound is detailed, balanced, and smooth, and the percussion (by acoustical standards, at least) is clear and sharp. There was a good deal of surface noise on these, and I'm surprised by how much of it I was able to filter out without hurting the music:
Bound in Morocco (Herscher), Prince's Dance Orchestra, 1920. From Columbia 78.
Oriental Stars (One-Step; Monaco), Prince's Dance Orchestra, 1920. From Columbia 78.
And we close with a "party" record from 1947, the sort of thing I find as funny (and interesting) as a needle stuck in the run-off groove. However, there's a big to-do about censorship right now, what with the FCC fining everyone left and right (but mostly left, if you know what I mean), so I guess this is timely. The Elevator Song is all about an older man who "can't get it up anymore," and the words ain't referrin' to an elevator, if'n you knows what I mean. Wink, wink. Hint, hint. Snort, guffaw.
Being a left-winger, I ought to be one of these no-censorship-no-way people, but I'm not. My problem with the anti-censorship folks is that they seem to place far more significance on someone getting to yell "Fuck!" on TV than, say, the average citizen getting to cast a vote and have it counted. I'm almost tempted to suggest that, while everyone is fighting for the right to hear nonstop penis jokes on network sitcoms, the free flow of information is becoming less free. And that, by the time the truly important things have been censored, propaganda-style, from our reach, we'll wonder why we gave so much of a fuck about "fuck." Just a thought.
Anyway, this record showed up in my pile, and, like most double-entendre humor, it's vapid but very well-done. If you like this sort of thing, it's being reissued like crazy on CD.
The Elevator Song, Nan Blakstone with Artie Fields and His Orchestra, 1947. From Gala label 78.
O.K., we've done our bit for anti-censorship. I feel so... free. I hope you do, too.