LYRES: Back on Fyre! — MY FAVORITE MUSICAL ACTS, PART 3!

This piece was originally published November 19th, 2012.

Lyres Post Icon TemplateOnce again, here is the next installment of a series of columns that would each cover one musical act that I would gladly go to see in concert over and over again.

As previously mentioned in an earlier episode, in deciding which acts should go into this list of live favorites, these are my prerequisites:

1) They are still currently making music I like and are touring live.
2) I’ve seen each more than a few times.
3) All stand out with a unique sound, presence and charisma.

Here I present to you,  MY FAVORITE MUSICAL ACTS, PART 3 — LYRES

By the time he had assembled his band Lyres, Boston singer/songwriter/tambourine shaker/pianist/Vox Continental organist, Jeff Conolly, had already become a legendary figure on The Hub’s local music scene via his band DMZ.

DMZ was one of the nascent punk rock bands formed in Boston, early 1976, that landed a label deal with Sire Records (and later Bomp!) with their Stooges/Saints/Stones sound filtered through a heavy dose of  ’60s garage trash punk.

 

DMZ featuring singer Jeff Conolly (center)

.

After DMZ broke up, Conolly, a.k.a. “Monoman” (a nickname that has several possible origins including Jeff’s obsession with ’60s monaural soul and rock and roll recordings and collecting them, as well as a single-minded obstinate determination when it comes to running a band) founded Lyres in 1979, retaining the fiery power of DMZ, but pushing even more of a garage rock and soul 60’s sound to the forefront.

The two members of DMZ who stayed on as the first of a billion changing lineups of Lyres would be the always present Jeff Conolly and bassist Rick Coraccio.
Continue reading, please click here…

FacebookGoogle GmailEmailPrintYahoo MailShare/Bookmark

JOHN ENTWISTLE: Halloween’s Favorite Bass Player

This piece was originally published October 22nd, 2012.

John Entwistle was the legendary and highly influential bass player for The Who.

Before Entwistle, pop music fans of all different styles could care less about the bass as an instrument, often not paying that much attention to who was playing it or listening for its sound.

Playing the bass as a lead instrument with a full on volume, treble and bass attack, and with his very specific selection of type of bass, plus what strings and amplification to use, Entwistle brought an uncompromising new approach to the bass guitar.

.

Continue reading, please click here…

The Mystery Box: MY FAVORITE CARS OF TELEVISION

This piece was originally published August 13th, 2012.

HermanI love lists that mention fave thangs. 

It’s fun, although highly subjective, but you can usually come away with learning something new to add to your pop culture brain-file.
So dear readers, here then is a compiled list of my favorite cars from television. At first I was going to include films and also animated television shows, and have them all mixed up, but decided not to, as those can be part of future lists.
I’m sure that you will have your own favorite vehicles that did not make my list. 

Some folks worship KITT, David Hasselhoff’s modified ’82 Pontiac Trans Am co-star in Knight Rider. 

Others may drool over Magnum P.I.’s Ferrari 308 GTS—and for good reason, as that is a mighty sweet car indeed!

Yes, there will be plenty of vehicles that people like but I just find boring.

Here at The Mystery Box H.Q. I have a particular fondness for vintage hot rods and antique sports cars. Plus, I can never get enough of the unusual one-of-a-kind rides and weird hybrids that were prevalent on sixties and seventies TV shows. If you feel I left one of your faves out, then by all means let me know about it.

In no particular order, except for the very last car, here they are!
Continue reading, please click here…

THE DEMOULIN BROTHERS: Your Secret Society Superstore (In The 19th Century)

This piece was originally published March 12th, 2012.

Demoulin Brothers Post TemplateFraternal organizations (a.k.a. “Secret Societies” to many outsiders ) are as much a part of our modern cultural fabric as their names are familiar to us via parades, advertising, or perhaps a relative’s membership: Shriners, Freemasons, B’nai Brith. Elks, Kiwanis, Lion’s Club, Rotary International, Knight’s Of Columbus and The Loyal Order of Moose are but a few of the names you may have encountered driving past a “Temple” or seeing a sign mentioning a charity benefit “meat raffle.”

 

The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine a.k.a. Shriners

.

The Independent Order Of Odd Fellows

.

Continue reading, please click here…

RETURN OF GRINGO!: PRINCE FATTY MEETS THE MUTANT HIFI = BULLSEYE!

This piece was originally published February 27th, 2012.

The Mustant Hi-Fi Post TemplateThe soundtrack to Return Of Gringo has indeed become one of the finest recent releases garnering heavy rotation here at Mystery Box HQ. 

However, an album this steeped in the complexities of Jamaican musical styles, needs some background info beforehand…

In the 1960’s, throughout the low income areas of Kingstown, Jamaica, the Rude Boy culture first emerged.

 

A young rude boy strikes a pose: Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley Continue reading, please click here…

MAIL-ORDER MYSTERIES!

This piece was originally published January 3rd, 2012.

Count Dante Post TemplateIf you were a kid that grew up in the late ’50s, the ’60s, the ’70s or even well into the ’80s, and you’re reading this, I would say that there is a pretty good chance that you also sat for many hours in front of the television set watching cartoons, sitcoms and action/adventure series, listened to music, and spent considerable hours reading comic books (and MAD Magazine! ). 

All this pop culture most assuredly helped to formulate a generation or two that really saw their creative imaginations run wild, and their youthful desires and wishes expand beyond even that of their older siblings who were brought up in the first crazy period of teenage rebellion known as the earlier Rock and Roll generation.


Continue reading, please click here…

WHY I MISS A GOOD LAUGH TRACK…

This piece was originally published April 25th, 2011.

Woman Laughing Post IconThe use of laugh tracks for television comedy has been the subject of derision since the early 1950’s.

So believe me folks, if you are not a fan when you run across a sitcom or animated series that has a laugh track, it’s not an original feeling you have there.

I however, not only appreciate a good laugh track and miss its proliferation these days (I’ll explain this later). I also am aware of the origin of it and how its fascinating history of this now considered unhip attribute of television, actually connects to The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever,” psychedelic music, The Moody Blues and King Crimson—in other words, here’s a history lesson for you young hipsters. Continue reading, please click here…

HALLOWEEN: Mystery Box Style…

This piece was originally published October 25th, 2010.

Spook Show Post IconHalloween is one of the stranger quasi-holidays that many of us celebrate. Personally I enjoy a round-the-year love of most things that many people only go for on Halloween such as creepy films, scary stories, kitschy bad novelties, and disturbing yet cool music.

Life is in so many ways, one big Halloween costume party, so when October 31st rolls around I usually see it more as a good time to bulk up on certain things that are more readily available this time of the year, until they are put back into the retail coffin storage warehouses or usually sold off at as cheap bargains (I always seek them out) to make way for the bad Thanksgiving decorations and props of November.

We all have our well loved movies, music, books and other activities to keep us happy around All Hallow’s Eve. Of course nothing would be right without the prerequisite Bruce Campbell/Sam Raimi Shempfest that are the Evil Dead films, the original Romero classics Night Of The Living Dead and Dawn Of The Dead, Hitchcock’s Psycho, numerous Vincent Price flicks (many are the wonderfully disturbed period films directed by Roger Corman of course), Dario Argento’s Suspiria, and loads of the Universal Horror masterpieces.

In tribute to this year’s Halloween extravaganza, I thought I would share a few lesser known delights that are my personal hand-picked classics, yet may be a brand new discovery for you, dear reader. Perhaps you will find one golden piece of candy corn among these Mystery Box faves!



Continue reading, please click here…

Discovering GOLD: 1968 Style…

This piece was originally published august 16th, 2010.Rob Tyner MC5 Post IconThe 1960’s was a time when the previous decade’s fledgling youth movement, which was sparked by early Rock and Roll, the hipster fringe Beatnik scene with their bebop jazz, coffeehouse poetry and reefer, and an increased post war affluence in general, was furthered along.

Not only by a growing social and political awareness, but most importantly, divided by a generational gap from the older folks, all leading to a desire for all styles of fresh ideas and changes from the “establishment.”

Created was a worldwide zeitgeist brought together through music, literature, clothing styles, sexual freedoms, breaking down racial barriers, anti war politics, the rise of the avant garde and anti art, taking recreational drugs and a mainstream pop culture that dipped into the underground “counterculture” both in order to find creative inspiration, and soon enough once “the man” was able to tap into all of it, make money off of the kids.

So much was the creativity of the 1960’s that forever has there been the trickle down of influence to this day be it via the Beatles, who formulated and popularized the idea of a musical group with its members writing and performing their own songs, or the rise of the independent film maker, raising his own finances and working outside of the established Hollywood studio’s big budget system by producing, writing, directing and often acting in their own scaled down cinematic visions.

So what 60’s counterculture films usually come to mind?

Continue reading, please click here…

DUCKPIN BOWLING: ALL THAT IT’S QUACKED UP TO BE

This piece was originally published May 3rd, 2010. Duckpin Bowling Balli Post Icon   Babe Ruth said Duckpin Bowling was his second favorite sport. We all know what his first fave sport was (and carousing with the ladies, eating steaks, smoking cigars and drinking liquor do not qualify as sports, at least in this context).

“The Babe” not swinging a bat

.

The game of Duckpin Bowling has a popular origin that is well known and also subject to much speculation. Continue reading, please click here…