Musiquarium Apr 17 2012
BATTING AROUND
What do a record turntable and the internet have in common? We haven't got either.


Above is the front cover of a Japanese sonosheet, which is basically a thin, flexible record, housed in a booklet of colorful art, and usually dealing with popular shows of the 1960s and 1970s. This one is for Batman, obviously, and like most sonosheets it features theme music. At least, we assume so. We're digital people, so we aren't sure what's on this, exactly, since our last turntable went to the Goodwill in 1998 along with some Teva sandals and a stinky old money belt. We don't miss latter two items, but we wouldn't mind having the turntable back. Anyway, the art on this is kind of interesting, so we thought we'd post it even if we can't listen to it. It was painted by I. Hiroyazu, whose name is new to us.

And speaking of vintage technology, our internet junta has just told us they never recieved our fax for a new line (can you believe they still do shit by fax here?). We've called every other day for two weeks to make sure they got it, and been told they wouldn't know for fifteen working days because it's not their department. Time was up yesterday, and quelle fucking surprise, they say they never got the fax, even though we have a fax reciept. So they lost or tossed the fax, reciepts are basically just scrap paper, and we're back to square one—we have to send a fax and wait fifteen working days.

Not to go on a rant, but streamlined telecommunications is a big help in stabilizing a struggling country's GDP. After all, even if people who actually live here have no choice about these matters, people who do business internationally cartainly have the option not to choose certain countries. We're not going to say outright where we are, or what company we're dealing with, because, well, you know how those things go. But for those who know where we're located, we'll just say that, yes, there is so much about this country that is wonderful and which we'd never give up (the people, the wine, the festivals, the food), but when it comes to efficiency and service in telecommunications—no contest. The Yanks beat this place like a maid beats a dusty rug. Sonosheet scans below.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 23
1935—Four Gangsters Gunned Down in New Jersey
In Newark, New Jersey, the organized crime figures Dutch Schultz, Abe Landau, Otto Berman, and Bernard "Lulu" Rosencrantz are fatally shot at the Palace Chophouse restaurant. Schultz, who was the target, lingers in the hospital for about a day before dying. The killings are committed by a group of professional gunmen known as Murder, Inc., and the event becomes known as the Chophouse Massacre.
1950—Al Jolson Dies
Vaudeville and screen performer Al Jolson dies of a heart attack in San Francisco after a trip to Korea to entertain troops causes lung problems. Jolson is best known for his film The Jazz Singer, and for his performances in blackface make-up, which were not considered offensive at the time, but have now come to be seen as a form of racial bigotry.
October 22
1926—Houdini Fatally Punched in Stomach
After a performance in Montreal, Hungarian-born magician and escape artist Harry Houdini is approached by a university student named J. Gordon Whitehead, who asks if it is true that Houdini can endure any blow to the stomach. Before Houdini is ready Whitehead strikes him several times, causing internal injuries that lead to the magician's death.
October 21
1973—Kidnappers Cut Off Getty's Ear
After holding Jean Paul Getty III for more than three months, kidnappers cut off his ear and mail it to a newspaper in Rome. Because of a postal strike it doesn't arrive until November 8. Along with the ear is a lock of hair and ransom note that says: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits." Getty's grandfather, billionaire oilman Jean Paul Getty, at first refused to pay the 3.2 million dollar ransom, then negotiated it down to 2.8 million, and finally agreed to pay as long as his grandson repaid the sum at 4% interest.

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