Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Show #84 August 18, 2012

Dedicated to Rosie and The Robots!

Rosie- The Kooks Junk Of The Heart
Yours Truly, 2095- ELO Time
Into The Light- Soul Asylum Delayed Reaction
Mary Of The 4th Form- The Boomtown Rats The Boomtown Rats
She Said Goodbye- The Phones I'm So Neat 7"
Choose to Play- Redd Kross Researching The Blues
Paint By Numbers- Code Blue Code Blue
Vegetable Row- Cotton Mather Kontiki
^Mr. Roboto- Styx Mr. Roboto 
True Love- The Del-Lords Johnny Comes Marching Home
Groovy Times- The Clash The Cost Of Living EP 
*New Wave Robot- Battered Wives Cigarettes
*I'm a Robot- Weezer Death To False Metal
*Robot Love- The Valves Robot Love 7inch 
*Monkey vs. Robot- James Kochalka Superstar Monkey vs. Robot
*Robot- The Futureheads The Futureheads
*The Robots- Ian North Neo LP 
*Do The Robot- The Saints (I'm) Stranded 
*Robots- Flight Of The Conchords Flight Of The Conchords 
Get Off -The Dandy Warhols The Capitol Years [1995-2007]
No Substitute- The Shivvers Til The Word Gets Out 
Soul Rejection- Happy Hate Me Nots Out 
>The Robots- Kraftwerk The Man-Machine 
Nobody's Business- The Click Five TCV 
Silly Place- The Wondermints Proto-Pretty 7"
The Valiant- Urge Overkill Rock and Roll Submarine 
Running for Your Life- Tommy Keene Behind the Parade
Miss You Baby- The Vacant Lot ...Because They Can
Lonely Boy- Walter Clevenger and The Dairy Kings Love Songs To Myself 
Dance- Kevin K Band Nightlife 
The Robot Song- The Scribbles The Scribbles 

^Power Pop Prototype:  #3 Billboard Hot 100 2/12/83


>Power Pop Prototype:  1978 

I was a big fan of Lost In Space when I was a kid.  My mother tried to ban the show in our house, having grown tired of Dr. Zachary Smith's annoyingly aggressive alliterative asswipery.  Yet I was astoundingly adamant:  I had to have my Lost In Space.  (Mum must have REALLY hated Dr. Smith because the only other show she ever banned was The Three Stooges, and that was only after I bit my sister Sarah's nose.)  Of course, I couldn't tell my mother that I hated Dr. Smith too.  Watching the show I'd always think "why don't the Robinsons kill the guy?  Don would do it in a second if they'd let him! If that's too hard on the kids they could just strand Dr. Smith on a desert planet!  Come On!"  Will was a boy genius who could fix anything yet he would stick up for Dr. Smith show after show- it was very frustrating.  The Robot, on the other hand, was always messing with Dr. Smith.  It was one of the reasons I loved "him" (few robots were gender neutral before Star Wars- insert C-3PO joke here).

The Robot was played by Bob May and voiced by Dick Tufeld.  Between them, they created one of the most indelible characters of my childhood.  That monotone voice- my first exposure to dry wit came courtesy of The Robot- made it all the more exciting when "he'd" freak out, start yelling and waving his floppy arms all over the place, which happily was just about every episode.

Whenever my friends and I would talk about Lost In Space I'd always say The Robot was my favorite character- yet this was a lie.  And forget about the Robinson parents (June Lockhart and Guy Williams), they were, well, parents and thus as invisible as my own.  Judy Robinson (Marta Kristen) was super pretty, but barely there- it's like the writers forgot to give her a personality.  I did like Major Don West (Mark Goddard), despite the fact that he managed to get the crap kicked out of himself or get stuck under a giant boulder every episode.  Seriously, the guy took more blows to the head than Mike Tyson.  I was 12 years old before I realized that getting hit in the back of the head with a lead pipe was most likely fatal.  So, Don was not my favorite.  Nor was Will Robinson (Billy Mumy), though I respected his intelligence and was envious of his relationship with The Robot.  While I would not reveal it under pain of torture, in my deepest heart of hearts I had a secret, unspoken motivation for watching the show:  Penny.  From the first moment I saw Lost In Space, I was taken with Penny Robinson, played by Angela Cartwright (at 13 years of age, an "older woman" to me).  I thought Penny looked great in the early black and white episodes but once we got a color TV she literally blew my mind.

It wasn't a sexual thing- I was six years old for God's sake!  It was just that watching Penny filled me with a warm feeling.  She was compassionate and always fighting for alien animals, even making a pet of a bloop (see picture) that  she  adorably named "Debbie."  (Chimp in a hat?  Looks like a "Debbie" to me.)  Older kids would talk about sister Judy Robinson, but my heart belonged to Penny.  Now that I think about it, maybe Judy's whole reason for being on the show is so we don't have to worry about a space horny Don making a play for young Penny.  I literally shudder at the thought.
Like many of the TV shows I watched as a kid (Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeannie, etc.), Lost In Space doesn't really hold up when viewed as an adult.  Several years ago I brought a DVD home to watch with the kids and I couldn't get them to sit through more than an episode.  It wasn't even "good bad" or "craptastic" to them- they live in an on-demand world and have no patience for entertainments that are not perfectly suited to their tastes (sigh).

You never really know where these things come from, but I bet I can track my preference later in life for brunettes with bangs back to Penny Robinson from Lost In Space.  In the 5th Grade at Chandler School in Duxbury, Mass. I had a massive crush on a girl named Kathy Grealish.  She didn't have bangs but her dark hair, dimples and freckles just killed me.  Rachel somebody, who also sat at our table in Mrs. Chase's class, would catch me staring at Kathy and I would be mocked heartily.  Yet, I couldn't stop.  I hadn't watched Lost In Space in years so at the time I never consciously linked Penny and Kathy but in pulling the photos for this post I see the resemblance is uncanny.  No wonder I was so flummoxed back in 5th Grade- I had a Penny Robinson sitting directly across from me!  Of course there are limits- I ended up marrying a bang-free fair skinned blonde with nary a dimple or freckle.  Jaime loved Lost In Space too, though her favorite was Don (boooo!) for reasons I'd rather not know...

Download links for tonight's show are below (Right click and "Save Link As")
Hour 1
Hour 2

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