December 27, 2009

I found Mister Rogers

The Internet is magic. When I was 13 years old, I dug through some old vinyl LPs my parents had bought in the early '70s and came across this:
I love Mister Rogers; one of the titans of the televisual medium. So at age 13, I put this record on, laughed at it, then put it back in the closet. One year later, my family moved and the record was probably converted to suburban mulch, years before eBay made it worth an attempt at reselling

But for no apparent reason, one track floated through my mental transom every few months—under the guise of chipmunk fellow Cornflake S. Pecially, Fred Rogers himself sings "Looking for a Friend." I'd occasionally be curious to hear it again, but the album was light years beyond out of print, barely mentioned on the Internet.

But it was only a matter of time. A couple months ago, the song came to mind again, I fired up the Google machine, I found this page, and seconds later, I'd downloaded the whole album (as you can do yourself), and I finally heard "Looking for a Friend" again. I repeat: The Internet is magic.

The whole album is fucking weird. Mister Rogers may be God, but he sounds like a drunk God. And that particular song, "Looking for a Friend," is absolutely nuts. That instrumental break—a pretty snappy-sounding Dixieland jazz band going crazy—is interesting: The Neighborhood of Make Believe always had an interesting weirdness to it, but it was never this manic. Here:

I'm also amused by that other tune, "Three Rodents with Defective Eyesight." See, I thought I'd independently invented the concept for the Pop Music Thesaurus and the Movie Quote Thesaurus, but apparently it was Mister Rogers' influence all along.


Aaron Grunfeld said...

I enjoy how this post follows your piece on overused idioms of the '00s, because coincidentally, I can't *stand* the phrase "[blank] is magic." The technology of the internet* isn't "magic", it's "magical"! Grr.

* I also refuse to capitalize "internet". It's a conceptual place, like "heaven" & "utopia", not a location like "Scranton" & "The New World".

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