April, 1988: Victor Herbert Goes Rogue

LeRoy and Schiing testing fake Remo conga skins at our facility in the Dolomite Mountains

The inventor Paul LeRoy (28 at this time and, therefore, currently unaware of his own death), met up with our percussionist Schiing the other day. They discussed, amongst other things, the incident that shook the time-travelling community last month (or, last month thirty-five years ago, to be precise), when a young and out-of-time Victor Herbert somehow managed to delay David Mamet’s play Speed-the-Plow.

It was rescheduled from April 13 to May 3, 1988, and it caused all kinds of havoc in the time-space continuum. Safe to say, Herbert is not a popular man at this particular moment in time. Everyone involved in the business knows that if you reschedule a Mamet play by a certain amount of days, all his other plays will be rescheduled accordingly. This interferes with the actors’ schedules, and, because these are often big names involved in a variety of projects, important movies and plays will be moved or cancelled.

Indeed, Mamet wrote Our American Cousin under his Tom Taylor pseudonym in 1857, and as a consequence this episode reintroduced the 1865 Abraham Lincoln assassination to history. This hasn’t occurred since the George VI tea incident.

One can only speculate what was on Herbert’s mind, but it is well known that since learning about his fate and reputation post-Eileen (1917) when he was forced to compose in a simpler style in a misguided attempt to pander to newer musical sensibilities, he has become a bitter man, and many believe that he was also responsible for the recent HarperCollins Bridgerton misprint scandal.

LeRoy and Schiing also discussed the impact of fake Remo conga skins in the broader context of pop and easy listening, and how this might have affected the popularity of Peter Allen’s classic live version of I Go to Rio across the different time rifts.

We hope to bring you a YouTube video of the entire discussion soon.

Robots in Suits and the Mercedes-Benz 123 Series

Back in ’76, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Ted Mountainé discovered the Mercedes-Benz 123 series for the first time, which marked the beginning of a long-lasting love affair.

Unlike his band leader peers, who often went for flashy luxury cars, Mountainé appreciated the solid and unassuming aura of a car that looked more like a car than any other car he had ever seen, the new Mercedes 200.

And in many ways this mobile entity, practically lifted directly from Plato’s aspatial, atemporal Forms into the physical world by pure German industrial strength, became a symbol of the no-nonsense, utilitarian easy listening landscape that shaped a certain part (elevators, mostly) of the following decades with Ted Mountainé behind the steering wheel.

Unfortunately, due to the temporal whims of the space-time continuum, most people reading these words will not be aware of Mountainé’s moderate reputation in some of our parallel worlds.

But we are lucky enough to be able to present a few of his sound recordings here, to showcase the subliminal audial presence he commanded in some other – choice, naturally – worlds. Here is Robots in Suits, a musical taster from another 1983.

Waiting for Summer

Ted Mountainé is, as we know, currently busy in his role as a spokesperson for the International Association of Introverted Jet-Setters Travelling in the Past (IAoIJSTitP). The micro-organizational aspects of this engagement are profound in their minimality, simply due to the nature of the (incredibly annoying) people occupied with these matters.

It has tested the patience of many a regular jet-setter who has accidentally wound up on this particular yacht, as it were. We won’t easily forget the year when Leonard Bernstein unwittingly found himself as the Jet Set Miniature Assembly Kit Ceremony Master, haha.

Regardless, a couple of years ago, Ted took some time off to create this exciting montage consisting of scenery from his beautiful life and music. He didn’t really know where to stop, though (a common affliction for time travelers), so the video and the tune goes on for far too long – which we suppose only proves what we suspected long ago: You can get too much of a good thing.

But Ted stands rigorously by his work: “If every man and woman stepped out of their sepia-toned lives and took a break from their generally depressing world views, and picked up some cues from the happy distortion of cardboard people in escapist entertainment and advertisement settings instead, I honestly think we would all be better off for it,” he claims.

So, until we meet again, please enjoy this little bundle of overbaked joy from the Ted Mountainé Orchestra, for as long as you can take it.

Cowell: Stupid Might Beat Boring But I’m Tired of Throwing the Punches

Knob manufacturers Arton and Leonard Brother have negotiated a deal with Simon Cowell for a new television show.

American Preservationist will debut on ABC on March 16, 2012 and it will be hosted by Stephen Hawking. Executive producers are Brother’s sister Susie Brother Love, former CEO of Hallmark’s NASA division, and folk singer Gordon Lightfoot. Lightfoot will arrange the title tune, a “sunny keyboard version” of Natalie Cole’s “Miss You Like Crazy.”

Simon Cowell describes the show as “an Idol show for anyone, or anything, on the verge of extinction.” The difference between the new show and Cowell’s previous endeavors, he says, is that this time he’s turning the spotlight on things actually worth saving. Cowell claims that he’s “dead tired” of disposable teen idols, and painfully regrets signing new three-year deals with ITV for Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor. He says that the prospect of having to endure “these ridiculous fatheads” well into his sixties scares him shitless.

The Brothers are excited about the opportunity to get a break from the knob business. “You know, it’s a broad concept. We can move from Tony Orlando to Mike Love, and then to a moth-ridden desk, in an instant. Hopefully we’ll squeeze some knobs in there as well, but that’s not important, really. It’s an opportunity for us to do something completely different — and it’s nice not to worry about profits for a change, because honestly, no one expects the concept to catch on with sponsors. We’re doing it because it’s not knobs.”

Stephen Hawking doesn’t want to comment on his role. When we asked him about the show at a local protest targeting plans to enlarge a hotel complex on the River Cam recently, he simply shrugged his shoulder. Metaphorically speaking. that is.