Friday, June 24, 2016

Line Mar Match Box Construction 010 - Altar

010. Altar
I found a Line Mar Match Box Construction Set from the 1930s, complete and with instructions. The box claimed the set made 100 different toys. I decided to test that claim -- one toy at a time. You can read all the posts for the Line Mar construction project at 100 Toys.

010. Altar

The altar went together pretty easily. I did use a dowel rod inside the cross to help stabilize it. Without the dowel, it was almost impossible to position the cross assembly without having the two top pieces get out of alignment (or fall off).

As I mentioned in the previous post, I've worked with these metal pieces enough now that virtually every side is very close to a 90° bend from the base. So getting that long piece to stand on its narrow side wasn't that difficult.

010. Altar (I'm assuming it's non-denominational)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Beach Blanket Bingo - the DJ set

The station I volunteer for, WTJU, is co-sponsoring a summer film series in Charlottesville, VA with the Virginia Film Festival. Our role is to provide a DJ before the movie. This Friday, the VFF is screening Beach Blanket Bingo -- so of course, I volunteered to DJ. 

Last post (Beach Blanket DJ) I detailed the various elements I considered in assembling the set list. Below is the finished set list, with some additional commentary. The time scheduled is 90 minutes. I actually have 110 minutes programmed, in case I need to start early, and/or I need to drop a track in reaction to the crowd.

The Set List

1 Beach Blanket Bingo (opening credits) - Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello - this is the movie they've come to see, seems like a good way to start

2 Surfin' USA - The Beach Boys - the audience will expect some Beach Boys, so here they are

3 Miserlou - Dick Dale & His Del-Tones - another familiar track, and Dick Dale was in several of the beach party movies (just not the one we're showing)

4 The Lonely Surfer - Jack Nitzsche - an instrumental classic of the era, plus it's slower, to calm things down a bit

5 Cycle Set - Donna Loren - this track is featured in the movie, sung by the Hondells. Donna Loren is also featured in the movie. I went with this one because female vocals add variety

6 Surf Party - The Astronauts - a surf guitar instrumental, and the Astronauts were featured in many of the beach party movies

7 Sandy - Ronny & The Daytonas - a slow number (and top 40 hit) with a Beach Boy-like sound

8 Andele - PJ & The Galaxies - an uptempo surf guitar instrumental

9 Hawaii - Bruce & Terry - Bruce Johnson and Terry Melchor helped developed the beach music sound. Bruce Johnson would later join the Beach Boys. I chose this track because it had the Beach Boys vibe. I wanted to use the actual Beach Boys tracks sparingly.

10 Muscle Bustle - Donna Loren - from the soundtrack of "Muscle Bustle," another American International beach party movie. An uptempo track contrasting with the chill medium tempo "Hawaii."

11 Little Honda The Hondells - The Hondells are featured in "Beach Blanket Bingo." This was their biggest top-40 hit, and should be familiar to the audience.

12 One Mint Julep PJ & The Galaxies - a mid-tempo surf guitar instrumental for contrast

13 Girls On The Beach - The Beach Boys - this slow number was a top-40 hit, so it should be familiar

14 Pajama Party - Annette Funicello - from the soundtrack to "Pajama Party," another American International beach party movie. It's uptempo and female vocals contrast with the previous track. Plus, Annette Funicello's in "Beach Blanket Bingo," so I'm setting the stage with this track.

15 Summer Means Fun - Bruce & Terry - an uptempo Beach Boys-like track. This may be cut for time considerations.

16 Heartbeats - Dick and Dee Dee - from the beach party movie "Wild, Wild, Winter" from Universal. Great contrast to the previous track.

17 Surf Jam - The Beach Boys - an uptempo instrumental from the Beach Boys. This may be cut due to time considerations.

18 California Sun - The Rivieras - a top 40 classic

19 The One You Can't Have - The Honeys - a fun, uptempo number. This female group was produced by Brian Wilson (who also wrote their songs), so it's the distaff version of the Beach Boys

20 Surfin' And A-Swingin' - Dick Dale - this is from "Beach Party" -- and it's Dick Dale, so two good reasons to play it.

21 Remember (Walkin' in the Sand) - The Shangri-Las - a top-40 favorite, complete with beach sound effects. This is a slow song with female vocals. Nice contrast, but may be cut for time considerations

22 Walk, Don't Run - The Ventures - a great almost-surf-guitar top 40 instrumental

23 409 - The Beach Boys - another top 40 hit that audiences should enjoy

24 Our Love's Gonna Snowball - Jackie and Gayle - a great track from "Wild, Wild, Winter," I chose this for the contrast of female vocals in the mix

25 Hot Rod Roadster - The Rip Chords -  an uptempo track

26 School's Out - The Sandals - a soundtrack selection from the Sandals. It's a surf guitar mid-tempo track. I may cut it for time considerations

27 I Get Around - The Beach Boys - a top 40 favorite

28 Beach Blanket Bingo - Donna Loren - we should be about halfway through set at this point. So for those who came in late, here's the theme song for tonight's feature

29 Bikini Drag - The Pyramids - a surf guitar instrumental from the soundtrack to "Bikini Beach"

30 Little Miss Go-Go - Gary Lewis & The Playboys - a Beach Boy-like uptempo track 

31 Secret Surfin' Spot -Dick Dale - from the soundtrack to "Beach Party" 

32 He's A Doll - The Honeys - female vocals for contrast, Beach Boys sound for familiarity

33 Two of a Kind - Jay & The Americans - from a Universal beach party soundtrack - uptempo track with contrasting non-beach sound.

34 The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena) - Jan & Dean  - a top 40 favorite, and way to continue the Beach Boy vibe without the Beach Boys.

35 Beach Party - Frankie Avalon - from the soundtrack to "Beach Party"

36 New Love- Donna Loren - a mid tempo ballad from "Beach Blanket Bingo." Contrasting female vocals and tempo to "Beach Party's" up tempo track

37 G.T.O. Ronny & The Daytonas - a top 40 favorite, and an uptempo track

38 Pipeline - The Chantays - a surf guitar and top 40 classic

39 I'll Never Change Him - Donna Loren - featured in "Pajama Party," it's a mid tempo track that I might cut due to time considerations

 - the rest of this line up is to get the audience primed for the main event - 

40 Theme From The Endless Summer - Sandals - a slow instrumental surf guitar classic.

41 Don't Stop Now - Frankie Avalon - uptempo track from "Beach Party"

42 Record Run - The Pyramids - uptempo track from "Bikini Beach" 

43 It Only Hurts When I Cry - Donna Loren - mid tempo ballad featured in "Beach Blanket Bingo"

44 I Live For The Sun - Sunrays - uptempo surf and top 40 classic

45 Gotcha Where I Want You - The Exciters - uptempo track from a beach party film

46 Wipe Out - The Surfaris - uptempo surf and top 40 classic

47 Bikini Beach (opening credits) - Cast - uptempo track from "Bikini Beach"

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Beach Blanket DJ

The station I volunteer for, WTJU, is co-sponsoring a summer film series in Charlottesville, VA with the Virginia Film Festival. Our role is to provide a DJ before the movie. This Friday, the VFF is screening Beach Blanket Bingo -- so of course, I volunteered to DJ.

Actually, I would have preferred to give the pre-screening lecture, but they said providing some music would be fine.

So what would you play for the 90 minutes before the movie starts? Perhaps an all-Beach Boys set would work, but that's lazy and wrong. Here's why:

A little movie background

The music featured in the early 1960s beach party movies only partially overlapped with the surf guitar and beach music genres. The genre took its name from the first of American International's beach movies, "Beach Party." It starred Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, whose names would become synonymous with the genre. 1964s Beach Blanket Bingo, (5th in the series) is where all the elements came together. When people refer to beach movies, this is the one film they're probably thinking of.


A little movie music background

Beach party movies don't necessarily feature beach music. Beach Blanket Bingo, for example, features songs by Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello that are simply pop tunes (and heavily orchestrated at that). Donna Loren sings a top 40-friendly ballad, and Linda Evan's two songs (lip synching Jackie Ward) wouldn't be out of place in the Brill Building. The Hondells do provide some Beach Boys-like beach music, but those are only two out of seven songs.

Great song -- but not especially "beachy."

Other American International beach pictures feature more authentic music, such as surf guitarist Dick Dale, the Astronauts, and the Pyramids. And they also feature Littel Stevie Wonder, Nancy Sinatra, and the Kingsmen.

A little music background

So what music would be appropriate for a pre-screening of Beach Blanket Bingo? Most of the audience won't have a deep knowledge of the variety of music found in beach party movies, so playing Stevie Wonder, Nancy Sinatra, and the Kingmen selections wouldn't set the right mood.

Beach music would be nice -- but what kind? Folks in the southeastern coastal states are well familiar with Carolina beach music. This style is rooted in 1950s soul, and doesn't prominently feature the guitar. Playing Bill Deal and the Rondells and the Tams would stir some memories, but would be a big disconnect wit the aesthetic of the film.

Great song for shagging (Carolina beach dance)-- but not West Coast enough

 West Coast beach music has two subgenres -- surf guitar and beach music. In the early 1960s there were many southern California bands that had no vocalists. The lead guitar carried the tune. Its distinctive voicing can be heard in Dick Dale's music, as well as that of the Ventures, and the numerous one-hit-wonder groups who charted with surf music classics, like "Wipeout" and "Pipeline," (both surfing terms).

Dick Dale and the Deltones from "Muscle Beach Party." Now we're on the right track.

The Beach Boys took the surf guitar sound and softened it quite a bit. And they added the falsetto harmonies that became the signature sound of what many people consider beach music. Jan and Dean, the Hondells, and many others mimicked this sound, like Bruce and Terry (below).

The beach party movies do have representatives of both surf music and beach music, so tracks from these two genres would be appropriate -- and familiar to the audience.

Pick and choose

I created my final mix by blending selections from:

1) Songs from the soundtracks of the beach party movies
2) Surf guitar classics
3) Beach music classics
4) Related top-40 tracks.

Tomorrow: my set list