Wouldn’t buy one, but had to know

ElvisNews.com posted a press release last week about plans for “Elvis ’68 Comeback Special Toys.” I’m not deep into novelty toys — nor light into them either, aside from the Mr. Potato Head who lives next to my television — but I do love the concert. So I checked out the link to see what it been toy-ized.

It turns out the new toy was the sign. E-L-V-I-S lights up sequentially and sells for $50. Also new is a “special edition collector’s box” for a previous manufactured “figure” from the show. So I’m thinking, an Elvis action figure? Growing up with action figures, I respect them. I fully support the Fresh Prince argument that action figures are not dolls. If you’re not from there, as the Fresh Prince might have said, about action figures or anything else, you don’t know how it is.

But Google quickly found this description.

“Elvis is articulated with a neck swivel, shoulder swivels, swivels at the jacket cuffs and a waist swivel. This is NOT AN ACTION FIGURE, nor was it meant to be. No karate kicking action. No three fried bananna sandwich eating action. This is meant to be a piece for your shelf or proudly displayed at work to the oo’s and ahh’s of coworkers.”

The reviewer cared more than I, and he must have had different coworkers. While I was impressed as a child with the Elvis hip-swiveling clock, we clearly trafficked in different meanings of awesome.

Musical notes

As someone raised with a half-working record player in the house, I think using physics to recreate the sound of aged and unplayable records is about as cool as physics gets. California scientists are hard at work on such a project, News.com reports. The results, especially from the older cylinder-recorded material, are amazing.

On the topic of recreating sound, the good people at the Stone Pony London message board recently discussed Sesame Street’s Born to Add and Barn in the U.S.A. (audio clips of both here. Even though I’d heard both songs before, I’d never known until now about the early Born to Add cover art, which gets major parody points next to the iconic original.

In other news, EPE has released the full details on the ’68 Comeback DVD, a big part of my expected good music week.

Good week spotted in distance

Wilco’s A Ghost is Born hits stores on June 22. As you know, I’m excited.

Marah’s 20,000 Streets Under the Sky arrives one week later. As you know, I’m excited, even moreso than with Wilco. Marah’s gonna have a horn section. They’ve gonna have a doo-wop girl chorus called the Shalitas.

I told a friend a while back about Marah album: It’s gonna be like those red, white and blue sno-cones you can get in the little paper cups in the summertime. Maybe the 4th of July parade is rolling by; but you’re just working on that sno-cone and checking out crowd, and every once in a while you see someone out in the heat and you’re like damn I’d like to take me a bite out of that.

So that’s two bands who’ve got my lunch money.

But now here comes Elvis. The King. He comes strutting up the street in a black leather suit. “Patrick,” says Elvis, “what I need is a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich.”

Now I’m no fan of peanut butter. No sir. But I figure we all got needs. And I figure 250 million peanut butter fans — much like 50 million Elvis fans — can’t be wrong. So I offer Elvis a deal. “Elvis,” I say, “how about we make a trade. I give you a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. And you give me your gold lamé suit.”

Elvis curls his lip at this. “Son,” he says, “I tell you for sure, that suit was the only thing that got me through the pearly gates. St. Peter says to me, ‘You an angel?’ I say to him, ‘I got the suit, don’t I?’ By the time he figured out what I’d pulled, enough people’d heard me singing up there that there was no way they’d let him throw me out.”

That much I can oblige. “But, Elvis,” I say, “if you can’t give me the suit … then how about something from the ’68 comeback special? I don’t want the black suit. Whatever happened between you and that leather can stay between you all. But how something more of the take-home variety? How about a DVD with all the boxing ring jam sessions and stage shows. Every little thing. Maybe remastered too, just to make sure we get all the feathers from the overloaded poultry truck. You know, Guitar Man.”

Elvis sizes me up and then sticks out a hand.

“Son,” he says, “you got yourself a deal.”

And so, as you now must know, I’m excited. The Deluxe Edition DVD becomes available on June 22. But you don’t have to thank me. You don’t have to thank me very much.