Music Recommendation: Charlie Megira and The Bet She’an Valley Hillbillies — “Jack the Ripper” [Link Wray Cover]

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “Jack the Ripper” [Link Wray Cover]

Album: THE END OF TEENAGE

Artist: Charlie Megira and The Bet She’an Valley Hillbillies

Artist Location: Israel

Info: “The bastard love child of Elvis and Lux Interior, Israeli guitarist Charlie Megira brewed a heady amalgam of ’50s trash rock, surf tremolo, and reverb-drenched goth […]. Armed with only an Eko guitar, a black tuxedo, and his signature wrap-around shades, Charlie Megira was a mold-breaking artist who disintegrated while we were all staring at our phones.”

“Megira recorded and released several versions of THE END OF TEENAGE, all with his backing duo the Beth She’an Valley Hillbillies. Tracked between 2013-2015, Teenage finds bassist The Dead Girl and percussionist Corso locked into the same wave, with Megira tube riding between them with his sinewy guitar style. The surf eventually crumbles into madness. Teenage ends.”

“His was a music both familiar and entirely alien at once. It touches on corners of darkness, an isolation both lonely and sweet, all wrapped in a cold glow that draws the listener into each note, each melancholy melody triggering unrecorded experiences. His various projects put out music which began as a junction point between Link Wray’s surf guitar and the theatrical psychobilly of The Cramps, took a turn towards goth-inflected post-punk, and towards the end of his career would sojourn back into his earlier musical fascination with late 1950s and early 1960s rock ‘n’ roll. 

“The Israeli guitarist recorded seven albums worth of material in 15 years during his all-too-brief 44 trips around the sun.”

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $5 (USD) for five-track album.”

Genre: Surf Instrumental

Links:

THE END OF TEENAGE

https://charliemegiranumero.bandcamp.com/album/the-end-of-teenage

Charlie Megira on Bandcamp

https://charliemegiranumero.bandcamp.com

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Fathers

Fathers

• Elite gymnast Kerri Strug was badly injured at a meet at which her father was present. Someone told her father, “Dr. Strug, don’t worry. She’ll be fine for the U.S. Championships.” Dr. Strug got mad and replied, “I don’t care about any gymnastics meet or anything but Kerri right now. I don’t care if she ever walks into a gym again. I want to know if she’s ever going to be able to walk. I want to know if she’s ever going to be able to have children and hold her children in her arms.” Fortunately, Ms. Strug did recover with no ill effects — and she won a team gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

• Bob Newhart was a family man as well as a comedian and a comic actor. While making The Bob Newhart Show,he owned a very large watch instead of one of the small digital watches that were then becoming popular. When Oliver Clark, who played Mr. Herd on the sitcom, asked why he had bought such a large watch, Mr. Newhart replied that around 3 or 4 p.m. he would take a look at his watch, very obviously and very significantly, to let the people around him know that he was ready to go home and see his children. For that particular purpose, he needed a big watch.

• After lesbian comedian Kate Clinton came out to her father (he was good about it — he told her that he wanted her to be happy, to be safe, and to get health insurance), she invited him to dinner with her and some of her lesbian friends. No topics for discussion were off limits, except for one. For her own comfort, she told her friends not to talk about sex. Near the end of the meal, one of her friends asked her father, “Well, Mr. Clinton, what do you think we as gay people can do to make more bridges to straight people?” Her father replied, “Keep talking.”

• Financial writer Andrew Tobias knows two very intelligent gay parents. One father is American; the other father is French. That means that their two daughters are growing up bilingual in English and French. In addition, their housekeeper is Spanish and the only TV the two daughters were allowed to watch when they were younger was Spanish-language Disney tapes. The result: the girls are trilingual. By the way, the two girls were shocked when they visited a young friend. They came home and shouted, “Daddy! Papa! Penelope’s TV speaks English!”

• Golfer Peter Jacobsen’s voice was used in the game Golden Tee Golf, which was very popular in bars. One day, Mr. Jacobsen’s two daughters, Kristen and Amy, were in a bar. Both were college students, both were underage, and both were using fake IDs to buy alcohol. Suddenly, they heard their father’s voice saying, “It’s great to be here.” “Oh, my God!” Amy said. “Kristen, Dad’s here!” Both daughters ducked under the bar table, hoping that their father had not seen them, then discovered that they were sitting next to a Golden Tee game.

• Christy Hauptman started skydiving as a teenager, but she had a rocky — and terrified — start. Her father took her up in an airplane, and she was supposed to jump out at 15,000 feet. Instead, she started cursing and screamed at her father, “There’s no way I’m stepping out of this plane! I’ll die if I do!” (Many expletives have been deleted from that quotation.) This was the first time she had ever cursed that much — especially in front of her father. However, she decided to jump, she enjoyed it, and she has jumped hundreds of times since then.

• When Makeda Zook was in the third grade, a class project was to make a Father’s Day card. However, young Makeda had two lesbian mothers — her father was a sperm donor. Knowing this, her teacher asked her for which male in her life she would like to make a Father’s Day card. The choice was difficult — she could make a Father’s Day card for either her late grandfather, or for her guinea pig, which was a male. In the end, the card was gifted to Chocolate the guinea pig.

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Buy

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Buy The Paperback

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Kindle

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The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Smashwords: Many formats, Including PDF

Music Recommendation: Ryan Garrett — “Vile, Vain, Selfish”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “Vile, Vain, Selfish”

Album: DON’T LET THE BASTARD WIN

Artist: Ryan Garrett

Artist Location: Russell Springs, Kentucky

Info: All music, lyrics, performance, and production by Ryan Garrett.

“Follow up to 2018’s THE GOAT ALBUM, DON’T LET THE BASTARD WIN pushes the boundaries of independent americana to include elements of everything from synthpop to heavy metal. All while maintaining a steady rock foundation that’s been a standard on every Ryan Garrett record so far. From folk ballads like ‘The Ghost,’ to funky, 7-string guitar shredding on ‘Low Ground,’ the album offers something for everyone. 

“Lyrics on the album cover multiple grounds of emotional distance, apologetic confessions, and even a few sociopolitical statements. The album’s title is taken from a M*A*S*H quote in which the bastard is referring to ‘death.’ I hope that this message can be taken as a hopeful statement against suicide and addiction, much like the bonus track ‘Merry Christmas Again’ depicts. You are loved here. You will get through this. Don’t let the bastard win.”

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $7 (USD) for 12-track album.

Genre: Singer-Songwriter.

Links:

DON’T LET THE BASTARD WIN

https://ryangarrett.bandcamp.com/album/dont-let-the-bastard-win

Ryan Garrett on Bandcamp

https://ryangarrett.bandcamp.com

Ryan Garrett on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0ezbPuPrPBfnTq1OFa4VxA

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Education, Fathers

Education

• In one of her classes, Marcia Worth-Baker decided to involve her students in an activity in which they put the ancient Greek god Zeus, god of lightning, on trial. However, the student playing Pandora, the prosecutor, got a lot of laughs when she announced that Zeus’ crimes included cutting in line and reading other people’s e-mail.

• As a kid, Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight understood the value of reading. In his hometown of Orrville, Ohio, the library posted a list of the 10 kids in town who had read the most books that week. Each week, young Bobby’s name was on that list — along with the names of nine girls.

• At the end of her second day in school, a first-grade student asked her teacher, “What did I do in school today?” Surprised, the teacher asked why the student had asked that. The student replied, “Well, I’m going home now, and when I get home, my mother will ask me that.”

• Some people are born teachers. Las Vegas elementary-schoolteacher Ainslie Cole started teaching when she was a little girl — she taught her very first math lesson to a room filled with very special students: her stuffed animals.

• At a very young age, comedian Bill Hicks liked Elvis Presley. When Bill was in first grade, he lip-synched “All Shook Up” at school — on the teacher’s desk — for show and tell.

• Christian Johannsen was an exacting teacher of ballet. When he wished to give high praise to a student, he would tell him or her, “Now you may do that in public.”

Fathers

• Actor Will Smith learned a lot from his father while growing up in Philadelphia, PA. When Will was still in school, his father ordered him and his brother, Harry, to replace — brick by brick — a wall in their yard. Will couldn’t believe it because the wall was about 16 feet high and about 50 feet wide. He says, “I remember standing there thinking, ‘There is no way I will live to see this completed.’ He wanted us to build the Great Wall of Philly! I remember hoping that my father would get committed, because if he were in an insane asylum, then we wouldn’t have to finish the thing.” The wall took six months to rebuild, including mixing the concrete by hand. Of course, Will and Harry — and their father — were proud of their work when it was done. Today Will says, “Dad told me and my brother, ‘Now don’t you all ever tell me you can’t do something.’ I look back on that a lot of times in my life when I think I won’t be able to do something, and I tell myself, ‘One brick at a time.’”

• When children’s mystery writer Joan Lowery Nixon was a child, she studied arithmetic, but often ran into difficult problems. Her father was an accountant, and he would explain the process of solving the problems, and she would then do her homework. However, occasionally one or two problems were very difficult, and her father would not tell her how to solve them. Instead, he would tell her, “Think about them when you go to bed. Tell your mind to work on them. It will do this while you’re asleep. In the morning, when you wake up, you’ll be able to solve the problems.” Later, Ms. Lowery read books about the subconscious, and she told her father, “You were way ahead of your time.” Her father laughed and replied, “It wasn’t my idea. My second-grade teacher taught the process to me.”

• Both Lillian Moller Gilbreth and Frank Bunker Gilbreth were efficiency experts; indeed, Mr. Gilbreth invented the field and applied it to his personal life and the life of his family. Mr. Gilbreth even attempted to save time by shaving with two razors. (He had already cut — perhaps an unfortunate choice of words — 17 seconds from his shaving time by lathering his face with two brushes.) Unfortunately, Mr. Gilbreth cut himself with one of the razors and had to waste two minutes bandaging himself up. According to his children, “It wasn’t the slashed throat that really bothered him. It was the two minutes.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Buy

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Buy The Paperback

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Kindle

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The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Barnes and Noble

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The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Smashwords: Many formats, Including PDF

Music Recommendation: Rambalaya — “Can’t Take It No More”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “Can’t Take It No More”

Album: RAMBALAYA

Artist: Rambalaya

Artist Location: Barcelona, Spain

Record Company: Buenritmo Records

Record Company Location: Barcelona, Spain

Info:  

“First album by Rambalaya, the band led by Anton Jarl (Los Mambo Jambo drums) in which he is accompanied by some of the best musicians on the state scene from bands such as A Contra Blues, Koko-Jean & The Tonics or Los Saxofonistas Salvajes: Jonathan Herrero on voice, Héctor Martín on guitar, Matías Míguez on bass, Fernando Tejero on piano and Hammond, Pol Prats on tenor and baritone sax, and David Pastor on trumpet.

“With the Rhythm & Blues of the 50s and 60s as a base, the group sounds perfectly contemporary in such exalted pieces as ‘Bootlegger Man,’ ‘Chip On Your Shoulder’ or ‘Talking To Myself,’ whose cinematographic component, other of the characteristics of his music, is emphasized by the magnificent production of the always infallible Dani Nel.lo.” — Google Translate

“Buenritmo” is Spanish for “Good Rhythm”

“Rambalaya” is Hindu for “Rumble”

Price: €1 (EURO) for track; €7 for 11-track album

Genre: Rhythm and Blues

Links:

RAMBALAYA

https://buenritmorecords.bandcamp.com/album/rambalaya

Rambalaya on Bandcamp

https://buenritmorecords.bandcamp.com

Buenritmo Records

https://buenritmorecords.bandcamp.com

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Education

Education

• Danny, the computer scientist brother of young people’s author William Sleator, had a hard time learning to read when he was a young child. One day, he went with his father to his father’s lab. Left alone for a short time, he studied a fire alarm on the wall and deciphered the word PULL. Having deciphered the word, he then followed the instructions and pulled, setting off the fire alarm. His father was not upset; instead, he was happy that Danny was finally showing signs that he was not illiterate.

• The grandmother of young adult author Chris Crutcher used to tell him a story about when his father was a boy. In the sixth grade, he came home and told her, “A lot of the other kids in my class think I’m arrogant.” She told him that he could change the other kids’ opinion of him by doing such things as not answering every question the teacher asked and letting the other kids have a chance to answer a few questions. Chris’ father thought for a moment, then said, “Naw, I’d rather be arrogant.”

• The pupils of a teacher wished to drive evil from the world, so they asked him how to do that. The teacher took his pupils to a dark basement and told them that they would drive the darkness from the basement. First, the teacher told his pupils to use sticks to beat the darkness out of the basement, but that didn’t work. Next, the teacher told his pupils to shout at and curse the darkness to drive it out of the basement, but that didn’t work. Finally, the teacher told his pupils to light a candle.

• Many students are afraid of being made uncomfortable in the classroom because of exposure to beliefs that are different from their own. Writer Anna Quindlen once asked Elizabeth Castelli, a professor of religion at Barnard College, if she did anything to keep her students from feeling uncomfortable in the classroom. She replied, “It is not my job to make people comfortable. It is [my job] to educate them.” Ms. Quindlen wrote that when she heard this, “I nearly stood up and cheered.”

• Following the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center, many Americans wanted revenge. A week after the attack, Dean Dorothy Denburg of Barnard College saw many people wearing Barnard College T-shirts on Fifth Avenue in New York passing out leaflets that called for tolerance toward people of all religions and all backgrounds. This took courage as many, many people, including high-ranking American politicians, wanted war, even against a country that had nothing to do with 9-11.

• Not everyone supports giving honorary degrees to celebrities, including royal celebrities. In 1986, Monash University gave Prince Philip an honorary science degree. To protest, the Monash Association of Students gave their own honorary degree — to a 21-month-old Chihuahua. Some people thought the Chihuahua deserved the honorary degree as much as the prince did. Other people disagree, saying that the Chihuahua deserved the honorary degree more than the prince did.

• At times, students become excited by learning. During Spring Quarter of 1970, Ohio University professor Robert DeMott offered a course titled “Writers of the Beat Movement.” The course drew so many students that there was standing room only, with many students spilling out of the classroom and into the hallway. Later in 1970, he taught an Honors course on beat poet Gary Snyder — the class met in a teepee on property owned by an Ohio University art professor.

• Many books for young people have been censored or challenged, although defenders of free speech have often stood up to the would-be censors. For example, a librarian in the New York City school system threatened to quit if Paul Zindel’s novel The Pigman were placed in the library. Her supervisors told her to quit — if students wanted to read The Pigman, they could.

• Actor Will Smith’s father was strongly against illegal drugs. When Will was a teenager, his father drove him around the poorer sections of Philadelphia, showing him bums with nowhere to sleep but doorways. He told Will, “This is what people look like when they do drugs.” Will says, “I never tried drugs because I felt he would kill me. Literally.”

***

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

***

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Buy

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Buy The Paperback

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Kindle

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Apple

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Barnes and Noble

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Kobo

The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Smashwords: Many formats, Including PDF

Music Recommendation: Les Grys-Grys — “They Gonna Get Me”

BRUCE’S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC

Music: “They Gonna Get Me”

Album: LP REPRO 

Artist: Les Grys-Grys

Artist Location: Alès, France

Info:  Psych-Punk from Alès, France.

Almir Phelge – Lead Vocals/Bass 
Roméo Lachasseigne – Guitars 
Vincent Bassou – Guitars/Vocals 
Manuel Monnier – Harmonica/Percussions 
Esteban Grisey – Drums

Grys-Grys – Full Performance (Live on KEXP)

Price: €1 (EURO) for track; €7 for 11-track album

Genre: Blues-Tinged Pop and Rock.

Links:

LE REPRO

https://lesgrys-grys.bandcamp.com/album/lp-repro-availaible-on-head-records-com-shop

Les Grys-Grys on Bandcamp

https://lesgrys-grys.bandcamp.com