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Spilt Milk & Dazed Cookies: Hozac Publishes Sal Maida Memoir

sal maida, hozac records
In the true spirit of “stuff we like, you might too…” here’s a heads-up on a new book any fan of 1970’s Power Pop and Glam Rock will be curious to read. 4 strings, Phony Proof, and 300 45’s is musician Sal Maida’s memoir of life in the heyday of the aforementioned genres. His adventures on both sides of the Atlantic should make a great read for fans of Roxy Music, Sparks, early power punk and the 1970’s New York City Punk Rock scene.

This is the 5th publication from the Hozac Record Company, who have recently given us a double LP of demos by Oister, the duo that eventually became the Dwight Twilley Band. A sublime treat.

I first encountered Maida’s work when he was a member of a Milk ’N Cookies, the punky pop-sters from Long Island New York with an Anglocentric streak. Sal had already toured as bassist for Roxy Music when he joined the M’nC at the suggestion of their managers. Unfortunately, Island Records’ failure to realize a marketing plan for the group left their album unreleased for several years after it’s completion. The record has since become a collector’s item, and has seen a couple of rereleases including one triple LP package that includes their demos.

Maida’s reminiscences are capped off with a final section “where Sal meticulously lists his 300 essential 45rpm singles” Hozac’s press release promises these “riveting footnotes [are] sure to send you into a obsessive frenzy.” I’m personally frightened to be more frenzied and obsessive about records than I already am, but my order is in.

Of course the 45 RPM list makes the inclusion of a foreword written by Patti Smith Band guitarist Lenny Kaye quite appropriate. Kaye not only shared Lower East Side stages with Milk ’N Cookies but his seminal compilation, Nuggets, was the catalyst for the eventual garage punk renaissance. It’s impact is still evident in programming like Little Steven’s Underground Garage, and the Come to the Sunshine Podcast hosted by ‘sixties music maven Andrew Sandoval.

Hozac is taking preorders at their website. The book is limited to a first run of 500 copies. The first 100 orders will be accompanied by the poster pictured below.
sal maida, power pop, hozac records

Hide – Go – Bleak: Mezco Toyz’ Annabelle Scavenger Hunt @ Ripley’s Odditorium

annabelle, ripleys believeit or not, the conjuring, mezco toyz
Dolorous Dollies…
The Mills Brothers once sang “I’d rather have a paper doll to call my own, then a fickle-minded real Iive girl.” They may have had second thoughts had they met Annabelle. Not since The Twilight Zone’s Talky Tina has there been such an unholy host. Introduced to audiences in The Conjuring (2013) the doll has become a pop culture icon warranting a self titled film in 2014. On August 11, 2017 New Line Cinemas and Warner Brothers will reveal the backstory of the menacing muñeca with the release of Annabelle: Creation, directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out & the upcoming DCU Shazam).

Finders Weepers…
To celebrate the film’s imminent arrival Mezco Toyz – sole authorized maker of the official Annabelle prop replica – and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square – the fine folks who pride themselves on displaying all things weird and wonderful from across the globe – partnered for a special scavenger hunt. On August 4, all intrepid Ripley’s visitors had chance to track down 13 Mezco Annabelle replicas hidden throughout the maze-like Odditorium complex.

Of course Ms. Annabelle was in fine company surrounded by the over 500 unique items on view at the Believe It Or Not! exhibition. The collection of curiosities now known worldwide began in the 1920’s as a newspaper feature created by illustrator Robert Ripley.

annabelle, ripleys believeit or not, the conjuring, mezco toyz

Polk Salad Annie (belle) – Gators got your granny. Chomp! Chomp!


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Big Love: Steven Wilson Remixes Gentle Giant Tracks

entle giant, 3 piece suite, steven wilson, tony visconti

Gentle Giant “3 Piece Suite” offers 5.1 Mixes of classic tracks.

In addition to his solo work and a number “side” projects, Steven Wilson has built quite a reputation in the audiophile and progressive rock fan communities for his 5.1 and stereo remixes of classic albums. His respect for, and love of the genre, has yielded what are currently recognized as definitive versions of career landmarks by Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Yes, and recently XTC.

While the aforementioned surround sound experiences are the main attraction for long time collectors (who may already own several versions of these classic recordings) there is usually a bevy of additional perks that, to my taste, often eclipse the multichannel mix. Packages have included just about every permutation of the source materials, including original masters, new mixes, alternative tracks and contemporaneous live versions. XTC’s Skylarking is a treasure trove.
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Bears for Humanity: A Company With a Conscience

Sherpa Bear

Bears for Humanity’s “Sherpa Bear”

Furry Hugs, First Love…
At Toy Insider‘s recent Sweet Suite event, I was drawn to a line of adorable stuffed toys. The display was colorful, with several members of the animal kingdom represented — bears, lions, monkeys, elephants, eagles, dinosaurs, giraffes, dogs, cats — oh my! I was immediately reminded me of my first teddy bear. I think he had previously belonged to my cousin, which he then passed down to me.
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All You Need is Love Bugs: Beatle Songs Drive Netflix Series

beat bugs, netflix, buzz, blip toys, sweet suite, swag box

This is HiJinx Toy’s Fab Figure of Buzz, the “Beat Bugs” youngest member.

Getting a Buzz…
OK, I admit I’m late to the gate on this one but thanks to Toy Insider’s review merchandise from Sweet Suite 2017 (AKA “The SWAG Box”) I’m now hip to the joys of NetflixBeat Bugs series. After encountering a HiJinx Toys’ Fab Figure with a blister pack touting “inspired by music made famous by The Beatles” I just had to know more.
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