Another Top Five

[Arnott expounds further on his old 45s]

1. Eddie Cochran, Coutnry Style EP (Rock Star). 1979 rerelease of early C&W sides by The Cochran Brothers in 1954, presaging the twang of Eddie’s impending rock & roll. He’s already yelping, racing the beat and making sure the bass is prominent, even on “Mr. Fiddle.”

2. Doug Allen’s Steven in “Out West (Vital Cog Records). Amazing collectible 7-inch starring the sassy behatted alt-comic character known for his adorable catchphrases “Eat Some Paste,” “I Hate You” and “Give Me All the Beer You Have Or I’ll Kill You.” I own T-shirts emblazoned with all these sayings, plus several collections of the comics. The strip also used to run in the New Haven Advocate. The day I joined the Advocate, I crowed loudly in the editorial room that “I’m proud to write for a paper that runs Steven!” To which I got blank stares and one staffer’s admission that “we all hate Steven.”
Doug Allen didn’t just have a comic strip, he had a band, and they come together on this disk, which is modeled along one of those old “Read-Along Books” which asks you to turn the page when you hear a blooping noise.

3. I Yam What I Yam b/w He Needs Me. Nilsson songs from Robert Altman’s Popeye movie. The picture sleeve shows Robin Williams, Shelley Duvall and the infant who played Swee’pea. Why wasn’t “He’s Large” a single?

4. Willie Loco Alexander, You Got a Hard Time Coming b/w Larry Bird. A different band on each side. The Bird anthem was penned by Erik Lindgren of Arf Arf Records, though this single was released in 1988. Mr. Alexander is in fine form. I saw him live a bunch of times during this phase of his long, astounding career. He was losing some of the punk accouterments and settling into a more fluid rock style, which presaged his brilliant jazz/rock experiments of the 1990s.

5. Deadguy, White Meat EP. Early release (from 1994 on the DaDa label) by the hardcore supergroup, who stunned me senseless every time I saw them. Wonder what it’s worth? Well, you can’t have it. The songs have lost none of their menace: “Druid,” “The Extremist” and “John Dear.”