Simian Substitute Site for February 2007: National Gorilla Suit Day
The Wire

You Wouldn't Think That I Was 43: The Video Album

By now, you've hopefully seen the track listing for You Wouldn't Think That I Was 43, my compilation CD of the best songs of 2006. Given that 2006 was also notable for being the year when YouTube exploded into the global consciousness, I started wondering just how many of the songs had videos for them available on the web.

The answer? Fourteen, out of a total of eighteen - a mixture of official music videos, bootlegged live footage and the odd surreal mashup of Youngblood Brass Band and Arthur Askey. So, I could have just put together a YouTube playlist out of those fourteen songs and left it at that. Except I got to wondering, why couldn't I just make videos for those other four songs myself?

Which is why if you look at the eighth clip on that playlist, you'll find a Felix The Cat cartoon with a soundtrack by Killing Joke.

This will probably require some sort of explanation.

It was a little under twenty years ago, and the Scala's cat had just died. This was the Scala in King's Cross, back in the days when it was a gloriously idiosyncratic repertory cinema rather than the music venue it is today. To mark the cat's passing, a special film programme had been organised. The main attraction was a preview screening of Evil Dead II, as the first one had always been the cat's favourite movie (it had made a habit of leaping onto punters' laps during the scarier moments). But before that, we also got a few Felix The Cat silent shorts. And here's the thing: before the films had started, the projectionist had been playing Miles Davis' Tutu over the PA. When the Felix cartoons started, he just turned the volume up. And it worked perfectly as a soundtrack.

Ever since then, I've had this theory that you could slap any music you like over the top of a Felix The Cat cartoon, and it would fit. But I haven't had the opportunity to test that theory out until now. And once I'd found four suitable animated videos on YouTube, and located a means of converting them into editable AVI files, then there was no stopping me. Looking at the results, I think the theory holds up: the visuals are repetitive and sparse enough to take any soundtrack you can throw at them. As for the one I like to think of as Felix The Cat And The Invocation Of The Whore Bitch Goddess Babylon... somehow, the music's so inappropriate that I think it's the best of the four. (Although you might want to note that all the bad stuff happens to Felix whenever he prays to whoever his God may be.)

YouTube videos tend to come and go at very short notice (yeah, tell me about it), so there's no guarantee that all eighteen of these will be available forever. But for now, there's a good 80 minutes worth of music video for you to explore on the playlist. Enjoy.

Comments

Suzy and the Banshees

Never mind all that pretentious old cobblers.

Here's 1975 original Doctor Feelgood (Lee Brilliaux, Wilko Johnson, The Big Figure and (never could remember the other one)), with She Does It Right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo2HIUE404M

Suzy and the Banshees

More Doctor Feelgood you say ? Well it's more Doctor Feelgood you've got. 'Down By The Jetty' (or 'All Through The city' if you want to be pedantic) live from 1975 (real gig this time).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvCRKJc8xF4&mode=related&search=

God bless You Tube.

SpankTM

Well, it's a challenge. This is Roxette by Dr Feelgood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTXrHLQcV9A

Suzy and the Banshees

Fess up now, that has to be OGWT ?

SpankTM

The audio's from Whistle Test - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jmIYyskDM8 - but the video edit's all my own work. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSl14gDbK7c for the original.) You can see why OGWT always used old cartoons when they couldn't get film of a band, it's piss-easy to do.

Suzy and the Banshees

On your marks, get set, I'm off.

Obviously if I had payed more attention I wouldn't have been fooled by your Felix The Cat, thinking it was OGWT. Clever nonetheless; you must show me how to do that. I used to do a version of this when I was a kid when one would watch the TV with the sound down, with John Peel on in the background. It was always funny how often the sound and vision used to sync in with each other.

Anyway as good as Felix was, the actual OGWT footage of Roxette is even better. For want of a better description, it is sooo sexy (in a 100% manly sort of way) how Lee Brilliaux casually pulls his harmonica out of his jacket pocket. So warming to my theme here, I actually think Brilliaux was the greatest proponent of this instrument (?) in the whole history of rock music (mind you not a lot of competition). The evidence is there clear enough in Roxette, but if still not convinced try his playing on (the best Dr Feelgood song ever) 'Going Back Home'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OQ9h16pTAs

Finally what a shame no one has ever thought to revamp OGWT. It really had a style of its own, with bands having to play live in an empty warehouse/TV studio. Kids today are spoilt for music shows and channels, whereas in the Seventies it was just TOTP, OGWT, Supersonic and oddities like Marc Bolans show. Athough having said that TOTP was far far far more Punk Rock/New Wave friendly than OGWT ever was, with The Jam being the only such group I can ever remember being on there.

History lesson over (don't make so much noise leaving the classroom).

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