The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


3-4-08 Monotremes

Hard to recall very many references to monotremes in popular music; the B-side of the debut 45 by New Zealand group The Clean (on Flying Nun) was called “Platypus” – I think Australian group The Little River Band used an illustration of a platypus in their logo. And, of course, Frank Zappa had a song on “Roxy & Elsewhere” called “Echidna’s Arf (Of You)” – I didn’t know they ‘arfed’! I remember seeing that the Zappa family ‘adopted’ the echidnas at the Los Angeles zoo (I believe one was named “Edna”).

I went to New Zealand 7 times in the 1980’s – but I probably didn’t see any monotremes with my own eyes until visiting Australia. I remember driving out to the Healsville Animal Sanctuary – and just being astonished by the platypus pavilion. I think one of the keepers at this reserve successfully bred a platypus in the 1930’s – but they have been unable to replicate this event, for some reason.

Also while visiting Australia, I saw a goanna – it looked like a small leather dog to me. I remember that the (tame) koalas smelled strongly of eucalyptus…no, I didn’t want to hold one. I wanted to hold a wombat – but that wasn’t on offer.

In the mid-80’s, there was a videotape of an Australian frilled lizard that made the rounds. The lizard’s name was ‘ondo’ (approx. JPN for ‘dance’). It’s a little bugger that runs around on it’s two hind legs, standing – with it’s arms outstretched.

I’ve a long history of fascinations with the animal kingdom. I used to want to own a toucan – until I found out just how messy fruit-eaters were. When I was very young, I wanted to own penguins – after reading the famous book “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”. Now I do not think they would allow you to own a penguin. And I always wanted to go to Florida to see manatees. But that never happened, either. My friends in Florida were very supportive of my interest in manatees – sending me postcards, pamphlets, stuffed manatee toys etc.

Somewhat later on – I wanted to own (or breed) lemurs and tarsiers. Another set you aren’t allowed to own, I suspect. I wanted to hear a lemur yelp, out in my back yard. If, in fact, they yelp at all. There is probably a phonograph record of the sound of a lemur, on Folkways.

A friend of mine learned the hard way that you don’t put an octopus and a nudibranch in a tank together, unattended.

And I always liked the Josepf Beuys stunt of being locked in a room with a coyote – “I Like America and America Likes Me” – or thereabouts. But I never wanted to be in a room with a coyote – I wouldn’t’ve minded being in a room with Joseph Beuys, but that never happened either. Remember the LP by The Fugs that the cover was painted by a chimpanzee? “Fugs 4, Rounders Score” (on ESP Disk).

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Here's what I listened to in February 2008

Feb 1 Sheila Chandra – Weaving My Ancestors’ Voices

Feb 2 Peppermint Rainbow – Will You Be Staying After Sunday?

Feb 3 Jimmy Cliff – Struggling Man

Feb 4 Ed Sanders – Sanders’ Truckstop

Feb 5 Ed Sanders – Beer Cans On The Moon

Feb 6 King Crimson U.S.A. (re-mastered, with 3 x bonus tracks)

Feb 7 Herbie Hancock – Perfect Machine

Feb 8 Ray Manzarek – Carmina Burana

Feb 9 Deep Purple – Perfect Strangers

Feb 10 Kayak – See See The Sun (with 2 x bonus tracks)

Feb 11 Drummers of Burundi – Live At Real World

Feb 12 Michael Nyman – The Claim (O.S.T.)

Feb 13 Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder (with 1 x bonus track)

Feb 14 S.A.H.B. – Tomorrow Belongs To Me

Feb 15 S.A.H.B. – The Impossible Dream

Feb 16 Les Rita Mitsouko – Variety (’07 release)

Feb 17 Manu Dibango – Polysonik

Feb 18 John Lennon – Imagine (re-mastered)

Feb 19 Big Brother & The Holding Co. – Cheap Thrills (re-mastered, with 4 x bonus tracks)

Feb 20 Big Brother & The Holding Co. – feat. Janis Joplin (debut) (re-mastered, with 4 x bonus tracks)

Feb 21 Isao Tomita – Snowflakes Are Dancing

Feb 22 The Specials – More Specials

Feb 23 Michael Jackson – Thriller (25th Anniversary edition)

Feb 24 Etienne Daho – Live

Feb 25 John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band (re-mastered)

Feb 26 Steve Hillage – For To Next – And Not Or (re-mastered)

Feb 27 Philip Glass – Glassworks (re-mastered, bonus tracks)

Feb 28 Bob Dylan & The Band – The Basement Tapes

Feb 29 Blerta – This Is The Life

- Ron


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