Processing and digesting all the attention My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection is getting has been overwhelming. But if there is one article that has captured my range of thoughts and emotions about the attention I’ve received - positive and negative - It would be this article on Jezebel by Tracy Moore.
I’m excited to keep writing when I get back home and I’m especially excited to keep writing for the women who are reading this blog. Let’s talk about music together however the fuck we want.
Going to go walk around in an amazing, old-ass castle right now and learn about Scottish monarchs! Peace.
Today marks the start of the Captain Beefheart section of My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection. I’m pretty sure I’m not familiar with him. I know that he’s a little out there. From what’s written on the front cover, I’m really excited to put it on. The front cover reads:
“This warrantee applies to: All sounds, vibes feelings, light waves, projections, auras, test patterns, etc., which originate from this record. Regardless. All songs have been hand made and custom finished especially with You, the Individual, in mind, regardless. Not responsible for other Levels of Consciousness obtained through Audio Reception or if for any reason you have received more than your fair share of happiness from this album regardless. Warning: could be harmful to closed minds. Caution be sure to replace sound after using. Check ears and other sensory equipment for socially induced limitations. Keep from heat and cold regardless.”
The “receiving more than your fair share of happiness” part is my favorite. Let’s put it on!
The first song is called “Upon the My-O-My” and has a surprising flute and saxophone solo. I’m digging the overall instrumental band feel of this music I really like the horns. I’m not sure how I feel about his voice yet. I think I can get into it. It’s slightly Tom Waits-esque.
The second song, “Sugar Bowl,” has more of a country feel to it. So far this music is not out there or weird. I’m a little surprised that it called for open minds in the “guarantee.” Although the first song especially is probably good stoner music. I bet that’s what he’s talking about. But it’s also good sober music!
I think I was confusing him with Frank Zappa. For some reason those names sound the same to me. And I guess Captain Beefheart is just goofy sounding. Like I feel like Frank Zappa should be called Captain Beefheart and Captain Beefheart should be called Frank Zappa. Do I sound completely crazy right now?
“New Electric Ride,” has a chilled out bluesy, country, rock and roll feel to it. It makes you want to sit in a rocking chair or maybe even slow dance with someone. It’s kind of romantic and has a calming, comforting feel about it. I like it.
The next song though, “Magic Bee,” feels a little bit like a throwaway song. But I’m into the phrase “Magic Bee.” Like, what is that exactly?
Okay, so I just looked up his wikipedia page and see that he had a relationship with Frank Zappa! I must have heard that before and forgotten. Or maybe I’m psychic. This part made me laugh “Zappa became irritated by Van Vliet,(Captain Beefheart) who drew constantly, including while on stage, filling one of his large sketch books with rapidly executed portraits and warped caricatures of Zappa.”
On to side two! “Full Moon, Hot Sun,” and a lot of the songs on this album are reminding me of The Band a little bit. I wonder why Captain Beefheart wasn’t part of The Last Waltz, was he popular enough at the time?
OMG. Ok, wikipedia is giving me a serious realization right now. So I was right about Captain Beefheart being out there. Apparently this album and “Bluejeans & Moonbeams” which came after it, were disowned by Beefheart! “drummer Art Tripp recalled that when he and the original Magic Band listened to Unconditionally Guaranteed, they ’…were horrified. As we listened, it was as though each song was worse than the one which preceded it.’ Beefheart later disowned both albums, calling them ‘horrible and vulgar,’ asking that they not be considered part of his musical output and urging fans who bought them to 'take copies back for a refund.’”
WHAT?? And here I am pretty much liking it! Uh, gulps. I don’t think I have ever heard of an artist telling his fans to take a record back for a refund. That makes me feel bad for him. What was going on when he made this album that he ended up hating so much? This is quite mysterious. I don’t know though, I might be the only one, but except for “Magic Bee,” I’m enjoying this! Maybe everyone should give it a re-listen 40 years later. Wow, this album was put out 40 years ago! The passage of time is crazy.
Um, third big realization of this post. I just realized the song is called “Magic Be,” not “Magic Bee.” I don’t care, I’m still going to picture a fat fuzzy bumble bee buzzing around with a magic wand and a smile on it’s face whenever I hear that title.
I’m trying not to let Captain Beefheart disowning this album affect my listen. Overall, I think these songs are sweet, relaxing, bluesy jams and most of them have a romantic feel to them. I’m like the way this album makes me feel, so I’m going to say I’ll listen to it again.
Alex Says: This was a weird one for Sarah to start with. I don’t think by the end of her Captain Beefheart experience, she’ll think he belonged in The Last Waltz.
Welcome to the Beatles section of My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection! And by section, I actually mean just this album. While Alex loves The Beatles (I bought him "Revolution of the Head“ for Christmas and he’s eagerly devoured every nerdy bit of it) he only has one of their albums on vinyl, which he just told me he’s pretty sure was his step-mom’s originally from when she was a "young lady.” Is that true, Sonia?
I also love The Beatles, but I didn’t really grow up in a Beatles family. My parents like them, but I don’t remember them ever playing their albums, so for a long time I just knew their radio hits. But I did grow up really liking the songs that I did know. I remember hearing “In My Life,” while watching The Wonder Years when I was about 10 or so and tearing up at how perfectly it fit with that show, with that time. “In My Life,” makes you want to be Winnie Cooper more than anything else in the world. I walked down the aisle to that song for our wedding and love it very much.
I did a semester abroad in Ireland my senior year of college and The Beatles always remind me of that time. I was lucky enough to find an amazing group of friends from all over Europe (and one amazing girl from Eerie Pennsylvania). Cami had brought his tiny little roller skate of a Peugeot over with him from France. It had a tape deck and the only tape he had had a bunch of different Beatles songs. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t actually album, but a mix he had made. We would cram five people into that car and play that tape over and over again, singing at the top of our lungs, pulling over every once in a while to take pictures of rainbows and sheep. I remember “Here Comes the Sun,” coming on more than once after a quick Irish rain shower, and the timing would never cease to amaze us. It’s happy music that you want to sing out loud with new friends that you’re just getting to know, but also feel like you’ve know forever. It’s music for when you’re in a car, far away from home and going on an adventure.
Since living with Alex though, I’ve really gotten to know The White Album and Rubber Soul and Revolver and have listened to The Beatles a lot more. But he will always know more about them than I will, which is fine with me, because whenever I have a question about them, he can usually answer it without have to go on Wikipedia. Sometimes Alex IS Wikipedia.
For example, I just asked him if this was an actual album and he told me that for the for first couple of Beatles albums, The Beatles didn’t really have a US record contract, so when they first started releasing albums in the US, their record label just sort of mixed and matched, emphasized the singles, and in some cases added effects to them. So “Beatles 65” has songs from “Beatles For Sale” and “Hard Days Night.”
The first song, “No Reply,” has that early rock and roll sound to it, but then during the chorus when they say “I nearly died,” they do it in this passionate, screamy kind of way that makes you realize that this is something different from early 1950’s rock and roll.
“I’m a Loser,” has a little bit of a country sound to it, with some harmonica and twangy guitar. When the chorus comes in with all of them singing, “I’m a loser,” you can just picture them standing on the stage and singing it in a quintessentially Beatles way. It’s funny to think of the phrase “loser,” being around in the 60’s. I’ve always thought of it as such a 90’s thing to call someone, I guess because of Beck’s “Loser.”
I’m actually not familiar with any of these songs so far and I’m really enjoying them. I know “I’ll Follow The Sun,” already, but haven’t heard it in a long time, it’s really sweet and sad and pretty. “Mr. Moonlight,” is a cover that I’m not familiar with and starts really passionately singing “Mr. Moonlight,” in a scream. I really love that Beatles scream-singing, it always makes me feel excited and a little bit choked up in a funny way. Like, wow, that’s a good voice. This song has John singing, but I’m pretty sure that both John and Paul do it in their own unique way.
It sounds like a lot of the songs on this album have a strong country influence, especially the first one on side two, “Honey Don’t” which is a cover. “I Feel Fine,” really stands out as a great song on this album too.
This album is good. It has some solid hits and some fun covers. But so much music has come out that sounds like early Beatles that it’s hard to hear them as standing out. I think their later music sounds much more unique and while it was imitated too, it kind of stands alone. I’m sure I’ll listen to this again, but I’ll probably always gravitate toward albums like “The White Album” and “Rubber Soul.”