Boneyard Media

Archive for March, 2014

“America’s Gone 7-Up” can collection from 1979

Monday, March 17th, 2014


I collected these cans in the summer of ’79 and was able to make the stacked up panorama shown in this picture. My decision to toss them out at the end of that summer was perhaps a formative anti-hoarding lesson for someone with an unmistakable collector’s impulse. Each can offers up a single image suggesting a quintessential recreational activity for each state (photos – except for Minnesota – courtesy of

Alabama (biking in historic Mobile)
Alaska (scaling the Alaska range)
Arizona (backpacking in the Grand Canyon)
Arkansas (picknicking in Hot Springs)
California (surfing the California coast)
Colorado (skiing in the Rockies)
Connecticut (hiking the Appalachian Trail)
Delaware (touring)
Florida (boating in the Everglades)
Georgia (fishing Lake Lanier)
Hawaii (snorkeling)
Idaho (rafting the Salmon River)
Illinois (cycling in New Salem State Park)
Indiana (playing basketball)
Iowa (ballooning)
Kansas (camping along the Santa Fe Trail)
Kentucky (horse racing)
Louisiana (boating in Lake Pontchartrain)
Maine (canoeing in the Allagash River)
Maryland (sailing in Chesapeake Bay)
Massachusetts (running the Boston Marathon)
Michigan (fishing in Lake Michigan)
Minnesota (dogsledding in the Superior National Forest)
Mississippi (sailing along the Gulf Coast)
Missouri (canoeing in the Ozark streams)
Montana (backbacking in Glacier National Park)
Nebraska (saddlebronc riding)
Nevada (wind sailing in Death Valley)
New Hampshire (climbing White Mountain)
New Jersey (canoeing in the Pine Barrens)
New Mexico (rounding up cattle)
New York (sight-seeing in Central Park)
North Carolina (golfing the Tar Heel Fairways)
North Dakota (cross country skiing)
Ohio (backpacking along the Buckeye Trail)
Oklahoma (horse riding near the Glass Mountains)
Oregon (climbing Mount Hood)
Pennsylvania (touring Independence Square)
Rhode Island (sailing in Newport)
South Carolina (playing tennis at Hilton Head)
South Dakota (hiking Mount Rushmore)
Tennessee (hiking the Great Smokies)
Texas (fishing the Toledo Bend Reservoir)
Utah (camping in national parks)
Vermont (iceboating in Lake Champlain)
Virginia (camping in the Shenandoah Valley)
Washington (kayaking in the Skagit River)
West Virginia (climbing the Seneca Rocks)
Wisconsin (fishing in Lake Winnebago)
Wyoming (hiking the Grand Tetons)

Anyone interested in constructing an alternate list?

Trouser Press pans Horses

Friday, March 14th, 2014


An entry in Nicholas Rombes’ A Cultural Dictionary of Punk (2009), in which the phrase “There is nothing inherently wonderful about starkness” serves as a stand-alone entry in the T section:

P. 289: ” ‘There is nothing inherently wonderful about starkness’: A sentence from a scathing 1976 article about Patti Smith by Ira Robbins, the editor of Trouser Press. Describing Horses – which had been released in December 1975 – as a ‘fairly good album, capturing a small part of the feeling one got seeing her at Max’s a year ago,’ Robbins wonders why she has become a darling of the ‘straight press.’ His critique rests on two objections. First, her music has been transformed from a sort of self-deprecating ‘imitation’ of rock and roll into an actual, serious effort to be rock and roll… Second, her newfound success with Horses is a betrayal of her roots and of the New York underground scene…

“In some ways, Robbins’s article predicts the countless attacks on punk and indie bands that would, in the coming decades, be accused of selling out, either because they signed to major labels or because they began adjusting their sound to accommodate the broader tastes of wider audiences.

“But more than this, Robbins’s assault has the tone of a spurned lover or, worse yet, a forgotten one. Patti, why have you forgotten me? I love you. Please come back. It’s a feeling we’ve all had at one point or another about a favorite band, and about the betrayal we feel when that private experience goes public and everybody gets a chance to listen. In this respect, Robbins’s essay is not a hatchet job but a confession of love.”

Joe Jackson on musical scorn

Saturday, March 8th, 2014


Years ago I’d read Joe Jackson’s Cure for Gravity and mentioned it here. Certain words of his that I didn’t write about then have stuck in my head:

“…It still amazes me how much scorn some people can muster for musicians – or the wrong kind of musicians. The biggest fights are not necessarily between, say, jazzers and folkies, or rockers and baroquers. The greater the distance between two genres or subcultures, the more likely they are to be irrelevant, even invisible, to each other. It’s ironic, but this is the way that grudges and rivalries seem to work. Poor people don’t envy the rich nearly as much as they envy the poor person who gets a break… The history of rock ‘n’ roll teems with such wars of attrition…

“Of course music per se is not always the issue, and it’s impossible to completely separate any kind of art – or any kind of product – from the preoccupations of its time. I like to say that I have no agenda. I say it because I don’t run with any particular gang, and because agendas are often no more than defensive postures we take up against other people’s agendas. But I do have an agenda of sorts, or a guiding conviction, and I may as well be honest about it. Music is either an art form or it isn’t, and I say that it is: the greatest of the arts, and one of the closest approaches we mortals have to the divine. And try as I might, I can’t seem to reduce it to the level of the matching handbag that goes with this year’s jacket. Nor can I inflate it to the level of tribal warfare.”

The pronunciation of “Rio Grande”

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

mitch-miller-and-his-orchestra-and-chorus-the-yellow-rose-of-texas-columbia r-3596854-1345557412-3952

I played Texocentric songs on last Sunday’s edition of Folkways for Texas Independence Day and I noticed that on the Cartwright Brothers’ 1929 “Texas Ranger” they pronounce “Rio Grande” as “RYE-oh Grand.”  I’d first noticed the Texas river pronounced that way on Stan Freberg’s 1955 “Yellow Rose of Texas,” which parodies Mitch Miller’s singalong hit version of the song and which also uses that pronunciation. (So does a version by Johnny Desmond released hot on Miller’s heels in the summer of ’55 – another big hit.) I figured Freberg’s usage was an oversight that was especially regrettable since he mimics a Texan and I’ve only ever heard it as “REE-oh Grand” here in the Lone Star State.

The Cartwright Brothers threw me, though, because they were from the town of Munday in the Texas panhandle and their record came out so much earlier than the other ones.  Additional poking around has informed me that the town of Rio Grande in Ohio happens to be pronounced “RYE-oh” and that the majority of the employees of the Denver Rio Grande Western Railroad, which ran in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, also pronounced it that way. Maybe the railroad connection is the most relevant one here, with Munday close enough to the Intermountain area to adopt that quirk.  (Gene Autry’s 1933 version of “The Yellow Rose of Texas” has him singing “REE-oh Grand.” He’s originally from Tioga, pronounced “Tie-OH-ga” in Northeast Texas.) Keeping my ears open…

Mitch Miller – “Yellow Rose of Texas” (1955) (“Rio Grande” at 1:12)

Cartwright Brothers – “Texas Ranger” (1929) (“Rio Grande” at :43)