St. Johns Youth: Twist and Shout

Could St. Johns Youth be from the St. John’s School, a boys-only boarding school in Stony Plain, Alberta (now closed)? And just what is this toilet that the song is dedicated to? So many mysteries.

The Beatles recorded the song in 1964, but it was a cover – it had already been recorded by the Top Notes (1961) and The Isley Brothers (1962).

This brings The Studio 86 Sessions to an end. Hope you’ve enjoyed it. Check back on Friday for the start of a new “found sound” series.

Home Reusables

July 10, 2011

My buddy Marlena took me to Home Re-Use-Ables this week – a very cool store a block off Argyll Road that salvages building materials from demolitions and renovations. It’s been around for a few years but she only discovered it recently – after she finished converting her garage into a studio, unfortunately.

It’s a labyrinthine place with room after room of treasures to be discovered. At the front there are a few rooms of antique fittings

like cast-iron claw-foot bathtubs. This one would be perfect for me – it’s nice and long and I could stretch out in it.

Carmen Electra rented it for her stage show at a casino.

These air register covers are like the ones I had in my first house (built in 1912).

Mystery objects.

Doors galore.

More than 200 movie theatre seats – with handy cup rests.

Pretty pastel porcelain.

I seriously considered buying one of these wooden library carts – only $20!


2 Blonde Crew: Hold On

Wikipedia lists more than 40 songs called Hold On. The one on this cassette was recorded by Wilson Phillips in 1990. For those of you don’t know (I include myself), Wilson Phillips was (is?) a group, not a person, comprised of Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson (daughters of Beach Boy Brian Wilson) and Chynna Phillips (daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas). Isn’t Wikipedia a grand resource? 

Happy 144!

Neetomendo: Straight Up

The original was a big hit for Paula Abdul in 1988.

Kylee: Dream A Little Dream Of Me

This is on the flipside of last week’s version of Crying by Buck & Shenese. First recorded by Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra all the way back in 1931, over the years it’s been recorded by many other artists including a hit single by Cass Elliot (with The Mama & The Papas) in 1968.

Last week, after I posted some photos I took of my friend Marlena‘s mannequins. I got this message from her:

Oh my, those are gorgeous photos! You have captured my mannequins’ strange beauty. Did I tell you the story of the male mannequin, Klaus? If not, remind me to do so when I see you. I have attached a photo of Klaus and the girls from last summer shortly after I got him. The cracked mannequin is the one on the far right pre-cracking. I have also attached a couple of photos of her after the winter’s ravages. The painting that I did for the upcoming Harcourt House The Works exhibit is based on her.

click on photos to enlarge

The next time I saw Marlena she told me the story of Klaus and it was so delightful I asked her write it down so I could share it with you.

Hi Mike – I have included a photo of Klaus and his friends, as well as a photo of the painting I did for The Works Harcourt House members’ exhibit (inspired by the cracked mannequin #5285) and an example of a mannequin that I arted up.

The Story of Klaus:
One day in August in 2010, I was driving down an alley in my neighbourhood when I saw a garage sale, which is not so unusual, but this one had a mannequin that caught my eye. The mannequin was male, anf those are harder to find than female mannequins. I stopped to look and noticed that a price of $1 million was written on masking tape across his forehead. I waved down one of the young men who were running the garage sale and asked him if he would be willing to drop the price. He said that they were selling things because they were university roommates who were moving out but they didn’t really want to sell “Klaus”, although they couldn’t take him with them either. Klaus had been with them for a long time and had attended all of their parties and had become an important, albeit very quiet part of their lives. But he said that if they could find someone worthy, they would be willing to part with him. I said that I felt I could be a worthy contender. I explained that I am an artist and I use mannequins for some of my art. He became quite excited and had a quick huddle with his roommates. He came back with the announcement that I could become the proud owner of Klaus for the greatly reduced price of $10.00. He also gave me a photo of Klaus with the gang that I could keep.

We exchanged emails, and I told him that I would send him photos once I had Klaus arted up. When I got Klaus back home, I put him in the garden with some of my other head-and-torso mannequins that all happen to be female. He looked so comfy that I adorned them with a few blooms and took a photo that I sent to my garage sale friend to reassure him that Klaus was settling in just fine. I have yet to make art with Klaus, but I have been recently inspired to make him into a rain-god for my rain barrels. Maybe when we actually need rain, though. -Marlena

I’ve been doing a little cleaning and redecorating around the house lately. I thought you’d like to see what I’ve been up to. Here’s a little virtual tour of my home paradise (click on the photos to enlarge).

Once inside the front door (boots off in the vestibule, please), our tour begins in the living room.

This is the kind of room a man likes: the leather sofa is deep and well-proportioned, the club chair is upholstered in a stylized print. There is a capacious cocktail table sized to hold an ashtray (purely ornamental, of course), books and decorative objects, yet still leave space to put down your scotch and soda. Let’s move on to the dining room, shall we?

The striking red table was a simple do-it-myself project; the top is a door covered with vinyl-coated red fabric, supported by twin sawhorses laquered white. Bentwood chairs are trim, attractive companions. A festive party mood is established by colorful settings and that mylar kite thingy. Note the fascinating exposed-bulb table lamps and rainbow patterned area rug.

Next I’ll show you the “family” room.

England swings like a pendulum do! The dear old Union Jack was my inspiriation for the colour (note the British spelling) scheme of this darling den. Those campaign chests on either side of the white vinyl sofa are file cabinets I painted red! You see, anyone can decorate in high style for a pittance.

Once we’ve enjoyed our fondue snack, let’s visit the master bedroom.

Sinuous monotone paisley upholsters the entire bedroom. The result is a pleasing mélange of fluid shapes within a limited but potent color scheme. Even the chest and shelf are wrapped in pattern. Miniature palm leaves adorn the bed covers, interrupted by a bold assortment of fur-like scatter pillows.

Let’s go next door to the guest bedroom.

See the subtle differences in design and tone of the bedstead, case pieces and wooden chair? My aim in selecting furniture for this delightful bedroom was to blend, rather than to match. The catalyst that pulls everything together, of course, is the boldly patterned fabric imaginatively echoed on the bedspread, round table skirt and wall treatment.

Now if you can tear yourself away, let’s go down the hall to the music room.

Ah, music! One of the great pleasures of my life, whether it be listening to records on my component stereo system, or playing a jaunty sonata on the piano. The carpeting on the wall helps to absorb the sound and keeps my neighbors from complaining when I become a little too spirited during cello practice! I also use this room as an editing suite for my latest film project (an epic in super-8).

When my guests stay overnight, they’re delighted to be put up in this calm and restful room. The houndstooth pattern on the bed and vanity/storage unit is self-adhesive vinyl (that’s Mac-Tac® to you), one of the twentieth century’s boons to the creative and budget-conscious decorator.

Are you as hungry as I am? Let’s visit the kitchen.

Ah, the kitchen, my favourite room. Everyone seems to end up here during parties, don’t they? And why not? I’ve made it so inviting and cheery. As you can see, I had some wall covering left over when I did the walls, so I made cannisters to match. And my clever use of outdoor furniture heightens the space and displays my decorating ingenuity.

The bathroom? Down the hall and to the left.

Brown shag carpeting in the bathroom – how delightfully decadent, don’t you think? And the bidet adds a soupçon of European sophistication.

What are you doing in there for so long? Hurry up, I want to show you the hobby room.

My home hobby centre is really designed for action and involvement. Look at the number of projects I have on the go: découpage, finger painting, grilling hot dogs on my indoor hibachi. Where do I find the time? The focal point of this truly imaginative room is the storage system in which hobby equipment is stashed away in ice cream containers stapled to the wall.

Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking when I decorated this room.

Go grab your shoes, I want to show you what I’ve done in the garage.

It’s more than just a building to keep my Karman Ghia out of the rain. When out-of-town relatives invade en masse, this is where I put them! Oh, it’s not as beastly as it sounds – comfy bunkbeds and indoor/outdoor carpeting make it almost as liveable as the house, and that rotating disco ball mounted on the ceiling makes it a favorite party room for the young folk.

Well, that’s the tour. What do you think of my little place?

Buck & Shenese: Crying

Roy Orbison first recorded the song in 1961 and again in 1987 as a duet with k.d. lang, which is perhaps the version that Buck and Shenese would have been more familiar with when they recorded this tape in 1996. There’s no company logo on the label – my guess is that it was recorded at Edmonton’s B-Scene studios.

click to enlarge