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Mood:  mischievious
I just today received a wonderful CD in the post...one that I ordered from amazon.
It's called "Banned! 20 Risque Songs From the 20s and 30s", and is put out by the wonderful label
ASV. This particular CD is made up of transfers of old 78
recordings of songs which were banned for their supposed lewdness. The titles alone give a chuckle:
"She Was Just a Postman's Daughter,But...", "Nellie the Nudist Queen", and "With My Ukelele in My Hand,"
to name but a few. Quite entertaining! It makes one quite long for the days when double entendre could be so scintillating. Plain old entendre seems to be the norm these days.
In any case, check out ASV's website.
Along with some great, old vaudevillian recordings from the 00s and 10s, they produce scads of 20s and 30s volumes. One of the really fun ones, that Karen has, is called "Flappers, Vamps, and Sweet Young Things." Amazon and even Borders carry some of their titles.

Posted by Renée on Sat 12/20/03 | Post Comment | Permalink


Mood:  lyrical
Karen and I have been saving up all our chutzpah in a couple of Mason jars and are now working on vocals
for many of our tunes. The music of the 20s and 30s is not only great instrumentally, but many of the lyrics are quite entertaining as well. We really want to share this with our listeners!
Some of the songs we've been honing our vocal chops on include the personal favorite "Ten Cents a Dance" (most famously sung by the enchanting Ruth Etting), "Am I Blue?", the snappy "Are You Makin' Any Money?", the silly "Pink Elephants", "Second Hand Rose", "My Blue Heaven", and "April Showers."
Let us tell you...playing a cello and singing is much like spinning plates whilst riding a bicycle, but by Jove, practice makes perfect! Fortunately, we love a good challenge.
Stay tuned for further developments!

Posted by Renée on Fri 12/19/03 | Post Comment | Permalink


Mood:  chatty
Though the actual films of the 1920s are quite enjoyable, modern films that are set in (or partly in) the 20s are often quite wonderful to watch, too.
It's fun to get taken in by the lovely costumes and
great music and often elegant settings of a well-made film, though perhaps absolute authenticity might not always be a huge priority.
Nevertheless, here is a short list of some of my
favorite, "modern" films that give a glimpse into the 20s:
"The Cotton Club" (great Cab Calloway scenes!)
"The Cat's Meow" (costumes and tunes to die for!)
"Chaplin" (the silent film era, behind the scenes.)
"The Legend of 1900" (see the Jelly Roll Morton piano duel...smokin'!)
"The Great Gatsby" (I prefer the Redford version.)
"Enchanted April" (Polly Walker as a weary, jaded flapper is wonderful!)
"Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle" (Mrs. Dorothy Parker, that is!)
"Sweet and Lowdown" (ok, it leans a bit towards the 30s, but so do we! Great Django Reinhardt-like playing and a peek into the seedy music scene.)
"Henry and June" (this is 30s, too, but so steamy
and gorgeous!)

There are bound to be some I've missed...can't have seen 'em all. Do deposit further suggestions below!

Posted by Renée on Wed 12/17/03 | Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink


Our friends at Silent Ghost Cinema have now posted the video for The Broken Doll Meets Sad Sue. We had lots of fun recording the soundtrack, especially the part where Jeff the Bunny takes a spill! Hope you enjoy the show.

{psssst! We think Miss Bianca makes a fabulous Sad Sue, don't you??}

Posted by Karen on Tue 12/16/03 | Post Comment | Permalink


Mood:  lucky
We just finished a bit of recording for a short Silent Ghost Cinema film score. We had way too much fun with it - but more news on that later. Just wanted to let people know that we've got a brand new mp3 posted on our music page:

For better or for worse...The song I'm Looking Over a 4-Leaf Clover is probably most recognized by our generation from Warner Brothers' Bugs Bunny cartoons, though it actually predates Mister Bunny by a few years ; ) We hope you enjoy!

(originally posted 12/05/03)

Posted by Karen on Thu 12/11/03 | Post Comment | Permalink


We were so thrilled, on Sunday November 23rd, to be a part of the Frolic Room variety show at the Paradise Lounge. It was quite a venue, with cabaret seating and a nice stage. The organizers, the girls of Thru The Keyhole Burlesque could not have been nicer, and our fellow performers were more than pleasant. We were to play a song alongside the talented saw player, Ms. Kitty Heels, who we have recently taken up with. Look for her around these parts in the future!

We played the song "My Blue Heaven," with Ms. Heels sawing a lovely soprano between us. After us came lots of titilating burlesque numbers, some comedy skits, some bellydancing, a moustacioed drag king,
and finally an acrobatic extravaganza performed by the Daredevil Chicken Club. All this was held together by a most amusing, naughty French emcee who had us all in stitches. Mon Dieu! Do take a look at the photographic evidence. And excellent evening of entertainment, all around. We are pleased to have been asked back to perform in the December
14th line-up. See you there!

(originally posted 12/04/03)

Posted by Renée on Thu 12/11/03 | Post Comment | Permalink


She: "Oh, George, where are those jokes you said you were
going to bring over to read to me?"
He:"You're sitting on them, honey. They're in my pants pocket."
She: "I thought I felt something funny!"

From Parisian Paragraphs, circa 1928

(originally posted 11/12/03)

Posted by Renée on Thu 12/11/03 | Post Comment | Permalink


I strongly recommend for anyone who wants to have a very rollercoastery musical listening experience, come see the Reading Symphony this Saturday.
Mahler's first symphony ("the Titan") goes from tranquil to lighthearted to slinky/spooky to jubilant to absolute rammmed-by-a-freight-train, all around and in between. It is not a "boring symphony", by any means.

Before the Mahler is a lovely Mozart piano concerto (no.22). The pianist, Christopher Walter, plays so fluidly and beautifully. It's only $15, in a very modern and comfortable and nice performing arts
center (the Rogers Center at Merrimac College, in North Andover, right off 114 and 125, convenient to 93 and 495) A big free parking lot.

It is at 8pm on Saturday, November 8th.
Information at (978) 475-6518
Even if Karen and I weren't in it, I'd still think it was worth going to.. very powerful works.
Do say hello if you come!

(originally posted 11/05/03)

Posted by Renée on Thu 12/11/03 | Post Comment | Permalink


As I browsed dreamily for vintage clothing on eBay during my lunch hour today, I made a fantastic discovery. The Vintage Pattern Lending Library has a collection of over 3,000 vintage sewing and needlework patterns dating from 1840 - the 1940s that they've lovingly restored, and offer for lending to their members. Non members can also buy reproductions of the patterns for what seems to me to be a reasonable fee.

This Paris Cloche hat pattern is divine, and just look at the beadwork on this handbag, and the frilly skirt on this dress! I might have to become a member so I can get a discount.

(originally posted 11/04/03)

Posted by Karen on Thu 12/11/03 | Post Comment | Permalink


Mood:  vegas lucky
If you love hats with vintage flair, then Louise Green should be your patron saint. Since the late 1980's when she came to the States from London, she's been a one woman crusader to bring fine & romantic millinery back to modern fashion. Much as I love her work though, I'm not the kind of girl who can justify dropping an entire paycheck on one hat.

However, when I came across this one on discount at TJ Maxx (!) yesterday, I could not pass it up. There was no question as to who it's rightful owner should be. And I've decided I'm not taking it off my head until Springtime.

(originally posted 10/23/03)

Posted by Karen on Thu 12/11/03 | Post Comment | Permalink

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