Sunday, February 28, 2010

Golden Starlight in Your Eyes of Blue

Today’s post is gonna be cornier than Kansas in August, but it’s about Bing and, well…with Bing, there are only soft edges and best angles, lovers not fighters and everyone bein’ their best selves. I’m really not sure what that means, but thank gawd art and music can say it for me.

When I first saw the above painting on eBay, there was no question—it was mine to be. (How do you find somethin’ like this? Type in “Siamese” & “60s” in the search box.) I pretend it’s me and Bing, though the cat in the painting actually has a tail, and the lady guitarist probably doesn’t take 6 minutes to get through “Lovely Rita” (dang you, chord changes).

Anyway, they’re a team, and so are me & Bing.

Music for when you’re feeling blue (and brown)
A. These are dedicated to the cat I love
Drivin’ N Cryin’, The Friend Song

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
This is one of my favorite vocal duets ever. Actually, it probably is my favorite, ‘cause I can’t think of anything else to compete with it. As Elyse would say, they’re totally invested in the song—ahh, it just gives me chills! And I got even more chills when I watched this video (don’t you adore her?! and he is soooo smooth) and found out that Tammi died of a brain tumor at age 24, sending Marvin off in to 4 years of self-isolation. Arrrghhh!! Anyway, the love’s here to hear.

B. Bing sings of himself…
The Carpenters, Close To You
Me & Bing were selected to appear in the ASPCA calendar, featuring staff and their pets, about 4-5 years ago. He was such a pro at the photoshoot it was almost scary, but it all made sense when he later told the animal communicator he sees himself as a “matinee idol,” and that all the lady cats would fall in love with him when they saw his photo (Mr. November, ahem…) He’s a dreamboat indeed, not unlike the subject of this classic song.

Too hokey for you? OK then, you go write a song like Burt Bacharach’s and then go sing it as beautiful as Karen Carpenter does. (Ooops! I guess that’s a sore point for me…)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Girl Can't Help It

I just found out today, while doing some background research for this post, that not only is Peteena supposed to be wearing a green bikini and a sun hat, but she’s also supposed to have A TAIL—and a retractable one, at that!

I apologize. If you’ve never seen Peteena before, we probably need to start at the very beginning. She’s a doll. And she’s a poodle. And Hasbro made her in 1966.

Some of you may know about my early publishing days at DOLLS magazine, and my purchase of Peteena on eBay was a definite tip-of-the-hat to my career there. I’m actually really uncomfortable around dolls (it’s like they absorb the sad, scary secrets of their owners, and their heads can swivel!), but I always liked vintage Barbies—the true tough broad, circa 1959, not the airhead she turned into—and Peteena was created in the fashion doll tradition. (Oh yeah, Mod Hair Ken is pretty hot, too.)

Anyway, if you want to know more about Peteena, this is a pretty funny site. I personally don’t think she’s as big a b*tch as portrayed here, but heck, just look at her.

Music to feed your inner Peteena
Little Richard, The Girl Can’t Help It
Look at Little Richard Penniman. Look at Peteena. Now look at Little Richard again. Great gosh a’mighty!

Nick Lowe, Switchboard Susan
Oh, I can totally imagine Peteena as the canine version of the vamp in this song. I always imagined her (Susan, that is) with a headset, of course, wearing a very tight, sexy librarian-esque orange ribbed turtleneck sweater. Well, not quite orange, but rust. And just think, Peteena-as-Susan could probably connect multiple calls at once—one per paw, while the tail does triple duty at a switchboard behind her. (Oh wait, that’s assuming her tail’s prehensile, not retractable. Oh wait, that’s assuming the telephone company only hired Peteenas who hadn’t misplaced their tails.)

P.S. Learn more: No one writes about Nick Lowe better than Holly over at The Song In My Head Today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Barking & Wining

Who knew I liked poodles so much? Sure, she could use a good shampooing, and her left pom-pommed paw has been singed by a cigarette lighter (wasn't me!), but you can't deny her woolly, wide-eyed charm.

That cheeky ric-rac collar...a single sequin, sparkly on her mouth (or is that her nose, which would then mean she has just one nostril?)...her hanging pimento of a tongue. Shall I go on?

Don't admire her form? There's always her function. Yuppers, this canine does double duty as a handsome knitted cover for your favorite beverage. It looks like she has champagne dreams (you mean you don't like your bubbly on the warm and sweaty side?), but let's face it--a tall boy may be a better fit for her.

Must she have a purpose other than to be beautiful? Not in my house, at least.

Songs she brings so gently to mind:
This Strange Effect, The Kinks
Ain't Gonna Bump No More (with No Big Fat Woman), Joe Tex (is it me, or does this poodle remind you of Aunt Esther from Sanford & Son?)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Her Favorite Dish? Poodle Kugel!

I may not have my own macaroni depiction of a Siamese cat, but I do have this krazy lentograph of a poodle surrounded by rubber trees. That's right, a lentograph! I got this at the now-defunct 26th St. flea market, but this screams post-modern hanging-in-a-California ranch house den to me. Thanks to lenticular technology, first developed in 1940s, the poodle image has an illusion of depth (uh, dudes, that's no illusion--poods are like really high on the Most Intelligent Dogs list) and the trees appear to sway in the breeze.

According to lentograph scholars, the work--entitled Bijou, presumably after the dog's name--is from the Pets series, and is one of the more popular of the bunch (duh!). A bit harder to find is the aptly named Faustus, featuring a naughty-looking terrier-type on a red velvet background. Faustus was for sale when I purchased Bijou, but I didn't have another 25 bucks to cough up. Darn, right?! You guys are in luck--and if you hurry, you'll have a shot at your very own Bijou at the bargain opening bid of 7.99.

You can see more lentographs, including Faustus and Glamour Puss, here.

And while fine wine complements fine food, the right tunes can enhance your viewing pleasure...
Music to watch lenticular poodles by:
Fresh as a Daisy, Emitt Rhodes
I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite, Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Fab Fur, part 3: I can't get away from mew

Say you've got a Venn diagram. One circle represents a set of people whose record collection includes stuff like the Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelia Era 1965-1968 box set. The other circle represents individuals who have a keen interest in Siamese cats. You know, the type who have macaroni-art Siamese cat paintings hanging in their livingrooms and wear shirts with Siamese cat iron-on transfers (OK, I know it says "Every Dog Has His Day, but the nights are for us pussycats," but it IS 70s vintage!). The intersection of these sets represents people, like myself, who would be mighty excited by the above photo.

I actually brought a teeny version of this pic of the Remains to work this morning. I thought I'd scan and share this esoteric gem I ripped from some 60s teen magazine. Imagine my excitement in finding this pic in a couple of places online, plus a whole mess of images from the same photo shoot, including one of the meezer all by hisself!

The thing is, you can find all sorts of wacky connections between things if you just look--and even if you don't. Just think of it this way...I once read in a book on interspecies telepathic communication that all orange cats know each other. (That's just too charming for me not to believe, OK?) So let's then say, for argument's sake, that all Siamese cats know each other. If you're still with me, it's not that far a jump to then imagine the Siamese companions of George and
John swapping stories with the kitty in the Remains photo shoot! (The Remains were the opening act on the Beatles' US tour.) You know they probably have a lot to say to each other.

But do you figure they would then want to converse with, say, the Siamese cat owned by Journey's Steve Perry? (OH yeah! I'm saving that for an upcoming post.)

I don't know the answer. But I am happy to have a forum--right here!!--where these questions can be discussed. In earnest.