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'60s pop

Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead: THE FIFTH ESTATE

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Near You: ROGER WILLIAMS

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KRAFTWERK MARKED FOR DEATH

Joe Meek is a genius...even today his music still floats. His music drifts into the general consciousness of humanity, blowing minds away, and gracefully waltzing out as if nothing happened.

I can only name one of Meek’s songs if asked, although I listen to I Hear A New World on a daily basis (“It’s good for the soul,” I tell my mother). The one track I can name is “I Hear a New World” because it is the title track, and the name is repeated over and over again throughout the song. The main reason behind me not being competent enough to name the song would probably be because I view the album as a concept album. Thinking of the album as one huge song enables me to invent my own meaning behind it, without the definitive boxes of song titles.

joe meek i hear a new world cd cover

It’s not really a huge concept album, though. The songs still remain in the average “50’s/60’s Pop” standards never breaking four minutes. So unlike, Roger Waters’ albums for Pink Floyd that bring the listener on an epic journey through the human psyche, Meek takes the listener through space which proves to be about 15 minutes shorter than the average Waters album takes us. Not to say that’s a bad thing because it allows me to listen to it in one sitting (when it comes to music my attention span magically increases).

Meek's songs still shock me. It amazes me to even fathom that an album such as this could have been produced in 1960. The album still makes me think as if I’m on a new planet in another galaxy of space; it utilizes the basic idea of endless possibilities.



THIS DIAMOND RING DOESN'T SHINE FOR ME ANYMORE

Gary Lewis and the Playboys autographed publicity photo Donna Lethalautographed photo of Jerry Lewis and the Playboys

Gary Lewis (Jer's greatest kid) and the Playboys, looking  debonair, as usual



I FOUND DOWNTOWN IN A BOX OF POTATO CHIPS

It was 1966 or so.  The 45 came in a box of potato chips, and it was mine, more or less, since no one else in my family called dibs on it.  Until I heard Petula Clark, this is what Downtown was to me:

postcard of downtown beloit 1970s

I thought it was pretty happening--we had the Majestic and Ellis movie theaters, Woolworth's (that's it at the end of the street, boarded up), a toy store, a shoe store, the A&P, the Gas Light Lounge.  It was a revelation to me that there were downtowns in other cities, and they sounded a hell of a lot more interesting than Downtown Beloit.