Thursday, 24 April 2008

Still in avoidance mode -- the magical lost world of the 45

The Resident Fan Boy, who worships at the altar of Environment Canada daily, informs me that David Phillips, the meteorologist whom Canuck weather geeks idolize, has declared spring to be over. In Ottawa, spring began about a week ago. In a good year, in central Canada, we can count on two to three vernal weeks, but last night the first thunderstorm of the season rumbled through.

At the time, I was studying my Facebook profile where I've listed my 252 (or something like that) favourite songs through an attachment called "ILike". If you push the button by the song, it will play you a 30-second excerpt from the song, and if you go to the hot-linked title, it will try to find you a YouTube video of the same. My 5 featured songs change randomly throughout the day and one of the ones up last night was "Darling Be Home Soon" by The Lovin' Spoonful. The featured video was a festival performance by John Sebastian, but I saw another video listed and played it out of curiosity. A 45-single is held up to the camera, then hands place it on a turntable with the plastic donut in the middle to accomodate the large single hole. Someone puts the needle on the vinyl and for the next two to three minutes, you relive the music experience of the pre-MTV world, when you glued yourself next to your tinny portable recorder player or your stereo set to 45 rpm, and without images save for those called up in your mind, slipped into the siren world of a favourite song:

See, this fella (I think it's a fella) calling him?self thunderbird 1958 (must be a fella!) has set up a YouTube channel where he's filmed hundreds of 45's with a few 33 lp tracks thrown in, mostly from the early sixties to early seventies. Some are famous, many obscure, and there's stuff there I haven't heard for ages, including the very, very first single I purchased. I refuse to name it, not that I'm ashamed of my choice, but on the grounds it will incriminate and definitely date me...

And oh my goodness, there's "Hot Love" by T. Rex, "Day After Day" by Bad Finger, "Snoopy's Christmas" by the Royal Guardsmen, "Which Way You Goin', Billy?" by the Poppy Family.... One of the rarest finds was "Softly Whispering I Love You" by the English Congregation, which, in a decade of truly weird songs, has to be one of the strangest ditties to make the Top Forty in the seventies. Rather than have "thunderbird 1958" play his 45 of it, here's a slideshow someone calling his-or-herself "hwaj5300" pulled together, because, until last night, I never knew what on earth the choir was warbling at the beginning:

Paul Young did a considerably less loopy version about 1990, but where's the fun of that?