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2009-08-17 - On Our Next Episode . . .

2009-06-12 - RetroReflectionReaction

2009-04-13 - The Me Decade

2009-03-03 - Super Powered Sounds #3

2009-03-02 - Super Powered Sounds #2

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Super Powered Sounds #3

2009-03-03 - 11:36 p.m.

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Listening To: Yo La Tengo, Cake, Of Montreal, Gorillaz

Quote:"Wait, was Summerfields on Cloud 9?!" - Ryan G., to Zach, confusing BSG and real life. Again.

     Happy Square Root Day one and all. I have no idea what a square root is, but I know it's a happy day for one! [Ed. note: Zach may be a product of the LHS "bigger is better" Math Dept., but yes, despite his claims otherwise, he knows what a square root is.] I hope Ms. Bean has a selfless square root day. And I hope Ms. Cochrane is enjoying her Thundercats reruns in Heaven. (You know, Thundercats? Because one of Mum-ra's henchmen was Monkeyman? And Monkeyman looks like one of Cochrane's nemeses? You know? Let's move on.)

       FWRHero

     Oh me, oh my, do we have a fine specimen to share with all of you good folks this evening! Vacationing with his family one day at Benton Falls, ME, this mild-mannered retail clerk from Priscilla's was viciously attacked by a roaming, radioactive, delirious Rollie Fingers. Why the 63 year-old former Brewers pitcher famous as much for his relief work as his handlebar mustache was roaming around near Waterville, ME is a mystery (let alone how he became radioactive, though, we're looking at you, China Lake). Our mild-mannered Winslownian received mainly surface scratches and slap marks from Rollie, but mostly wounded pride. One "surface mark" that he didn't pay much attention to was the small bite mark on his right shoulder.

     "Just another inconsequential Rollie Fingers puncture wound," he foolishly thought.

     He couldn't have been more wrong. Over the following weeks he slowly transformed both inwardly and outwardly into the magnificent freak you see above. The Amazing Caped Stache had grown his glorious handlebar mustache seemingly overnight (it was actually 3 nights, but this is a compressed origin story as it is). Soon, all he would speak to his wife and young son about was mustaches.

     "The Dali would look wonderful on your darling," he'd posit to his wife absentmindedly, while suddenly staring intently at his son and screaming, "Hungarian! No - Imperial! No son of mine will go to pre-school without an Imperial! Fu-Manchu is my final offer young man!"

     The young son would simply reply by painting his upper lip with yogurt to try to appease his crazed father. Soon, madly barking orders to his family and customers wasn't enough and he, being quite the seamstress, created the costume he is known for today. Though he has been questioned over the years about the addition of a monocle (perhaps a gemologist hobby?) he has always maintained that its inclusion is simply to help him feel more, "smug in his finery".

     The Amazing Caped Stache, or "That Dagnabbit Stache!" to his enemies, has never had a clear mission or stance on his superhero career. While his spiked mustache mallet is mostly a prop, he has been known to loudly *BONK* his enemies on the head with it. His enemies, confined mostly to the Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts "Rt. 95 Corridor" consist of such sultans of strange as: The Arabidopsisters (two beastly sisters who developed plant-based powers in a UNH lab accident), Brown Eyed Baby, a malevolent foe from the earliest days of The Stache's career, and of course, Printheth Debbie, a truly wicked soul who hopes to take over the world in make everyone celebrate their Sweet 16 Party in thweatpanth. Of course, other than the mallet, every self-respecting member of the Stache Junior Fun Club knows that The Amazing Caped Stache's main power is his Mustache Stare. While it has gained recent notoriety due to the Supreme Court trademark violation case A. C. Stache v. Tenderheat Bear, who, representing the Cloud Kingdom, felt the Amazing Caped Stache's signature move too closely resembled the "Care Bear Stare". They settled out of court hours before a possible ruling. With enough concentration, The Stache can project a Mustache Beam from his Mustache Chest Insignia, while bellowing, "Mustache Flash!" (the C. Bears really did have a legitimate complaint), and - with good enough aim - cover his enemies in inappropriately placed mustaches. No one wants to show up to their meeting with a Wilford Brimley-esque Walrus . . . on their wrist.

     If you are a brave enough soul and hope to seek out the The Amazing Caped Stache, there is a rumor that his civilian identity now runs a humble barber shop out of a small clay hut in Central/Northern Mass. It's called the Flowbee Adobe, but none who have gone to look for it have ever returned the same. Or as smoothly baby-faced.


[My thanks go out to F.W. Robie of Arlington, MA for additional reporting on this story.]


       NMCover

     Ah, Sisterhood. Which one of us didn't comb through our father's vinyl collection looking for old Doors, Beatles, Cash or Humperdink, only to run across one of our mother's Sisterhood albums? While most of its members (a Vandella, a Shirelle, a Ronette, a Shangri-La, a Dixie Cup) had come straight from the Brill Building scene in the late 50's through the mid 60's, it was the galvanizing spirit of their lead singer, who cherry picked them from the ashes of their old groups to form the easy listening, mellowest of yellowest sounds of Sisterhood. That galvanizing spirit was Mira. Like Cher, or Snuffalupagus, she went by only one name. While women's liberation was still coursing through the blood of America's fairer sex though the 1970's, Glam Rock was what was stealing all the headlines and magazine covers. And while no one would ever accuse Sisterhood as being part of the Glam Rock scene, there was something au courant about Mira claiming to have an Italian/Gypsy/Egyptian background. Her dark, striking features certainly gave no one pause in believing this. She claimed never to have known her real last name and was quoted as saying her middle name was "Roma" [Crowe, Cameron "Gyp-See Woman?" Rolling Stone 28 Oct. 1973: 92] as well as telling an interviewer only two months later that after visiting a psychic in Hell's Kitchen she realized her "real middle name" was "Belle". [Bangs, Lester "Flim-Flam Rock" Creem 09 Dec. 1973: 16]

     1974 greeted Sisterhood with renewed energy to release an album that was a critical and commercial success, as opposed to just a critical one (such as 1971's "Gertrude Stein Died For Your Sins") or a commercial one (1973's "Slap My Fanny!", which, incidentally, was banned in the U.K.). Mira had idolized Laura Nyro and had hoped that at the age of 24 (the age Nyro was when she went into her first, and feared final, retirement in 1970) she would continue to reach heights that Nyro* had not. Having heard early copies of Carole King's Wrap Around Joy album and Joni Mitchell's Court And Spark, which were both due to be released that year, Sisterhood felt they needed to wait no longer to make their mark. Mira had decided she was tired of the many interviews and conflicting reports about her history that defined her and it was her music that she wanted people to talk about - not her outsize personality.
* - [Ed. Note: While many have not heard of Nyro, they are certainly familiar with the many songs she wrote that were covered from the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and The Fifth Dimension such as "And When I Die", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Eli's Coming". Nyro passed in 1997.]

     This desire produced, "Deeds, Not Words, Shall Speak Me". Most reviewers didn't need to decode any cryptic meaning from the title as the pared down songs and simple, yet infectious harmonies were the exact "deeds" Mira had hoped would "speak" for her. Songs such as, "Brouha-bra" {a tragic tale of a young feminist working in a German beer hall} "Lucretia & Liz", {a sapphic retelling of Lucretia Mott & Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the Seneca Falls Conference of 1948}, and "Jenny Appleseed" {an attempt to retroactively add more female tall tales to the Americana tapestry} were all over the AM & FM dials throughout the Spring and Summer of 1974. [Side Note: This writer's parents, who wed in late August of 1974 were almost slated to walk down the aisle to track 7 of "Deeds", Sisterhood's "Fa La La Lopian" until this writer's father said, "No God damned way."]

     Sisterhood went their separate ways by 1978 as many of the other members felt that Mira was focused on too heavily at the cost of their own talents, and having had gone through this already with their original respective girl groups, many soon left leaving only Mira. Deciding it hypocritical to continue under the name Sisterhood, she began touring and recording simply as Mira. Her last flash with the public eye was in 1985 when she publicly campaigned to win the right to sing the song, "Care-A-Lot" the theme from The Care Bears Movie in 1985. Unfortunately, her old sister-in-arms - Carole King - got the honor instead. (Coincidentally, the song, "Care-A-Lot" was a favorite of the boy who would one day become The Amazing Caped Stache, which is sadly ironic considering his later legal entanglements with the Care Bear / Care Bear Cousins Estate.) Mira has lived in Salinger-esque seclusion in nearby Brentwood, N.H. ever since the public cartoon bear shaming.

[I'd like to thank F.N. Mirabelle for helping me to get in touch with my feminine side by lending me his copy of this Sisterhood album]

          It's been real,

               Adrian Veidt

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