A New World

12 Oct

In most ways, I’m not a traditionalist.  But when it comes to holidays, I fall very much into that camp.  I’m all for days off, but I hate the whole making Mondays the default holiday thing.  It’s weird.  I mean, would you like it if your birthday had to be on the Monday of the week it fell on?  Of course not.  And so,

Happy Columbus Day!

Yes, today is the actual date he made landfall.  I wonder if they even teach kids that anymore.  I’m sure they don’t show gems like this Mel-O-Toons instructional cartoon.   I know I should be appalled about the un-PC content, but I’m too busy loving the plural of ‘red skins.’

This film is from 1960, which is also the year that the crazy and wonderful “I Hear a New World” was released.  “I Hear a New World” was a concept album by record producer, Joe Meek.  Joe had some major commercial successes later, but music history-wise, this album is what he’s best remembered for.  It was, in retrospect, a landmark release.

It was about life in space and was one of the first recordings to use electronic sounds like this.  Of course this sort of musical exploration meant that it was never released in the way he intended and the EPs that were released were few in number.   It’s been described as one of the “100 Records that Set the World on Fire (When No One Was Listening).” (Wire Magazine)

Here’s the original track, credited to Rod Freeman & The Blue Men, as well as two other versions I like a lot, by Television Personalities and by They Might Be Giants.  Yes, three tracks today.  I’m making up for my weeks of silence.

But, back to my point.  I’m pretty sure that when Columbus or Joe Meeks was dreaming of his respective new world, neither would have been okay with just arbitrarily moving the day when The Future would acknowledge these discoveries to a Monday just so workers could have a convenient day off.

In fact, I’m haulin’ out the ouija board right now and asking Columbus himself.  My Italian isn’t that good. I may end up asking him if October 12, 1492 was a Monday.

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