Arts & Culture
Gary Sweeney Interviews Hyperbubble
Published: October 16, 2013
JEFF: Stevie Wonder playing “Superstition” on Sesame Street—still the greatest seven minutes of TV ever produced.
JEFF: It was a band in Irving, TX called SLUDGE. A true garage band. You’d always hear them rehearsing down the alley. Then one day they pulled up the garage door, played a set, and raffled off a watermelon with their logo drawn on it in Marks-A-Lot. I was probably around 10 years old, and I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.
JESS: Adam Ant in St. Louis, Mo. The Romantics were the opening act. We were just kids, and were chaperoned by my friend’s mom. I remember being absolutely spell-bound by Adam’s frilly pirate blouse and tight leather pants. The fashion and makeup impacted me as much as the music. I bought the sleeveless sweatshirt with his giant face on it and instantly got a punk-rock mullet hairdo that was spiky on top with a perm in the back. That week, the boy I liked asked me out and I had the courage to say, “I’ll think about it.”
You have an amazing collection of vinyl record albums. Name your favorite five.
JEFF: ELO’s Out of the Blue is probably one of them. It’s on blue vinyl, has tons of fun electronic gadgets, studio wizardry by a guy named Jeff, and super-pop songs, plus a sleeve that folds out into a giant spaceship! We’re currently recording our version of “Concerto for a Rainy Day,” which is the entire Side 3.
Also, Parliament’s Motor Booty Affair. It’s a complete funk opera that takes place underwater. The gatefold sleeve opens up like a pop-up book of Atlantis, and comes with a collection of perforated sea critters to cut out, and stand-up in the city, with names like “P-Nut Booty Jellyfish” and “Mr. Wriggles, the Worm.”
Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s first album is packaged in a large cardboard box with a plastic view-hole, like a Japanese robot toy. It’s produced by one of my all-time favorites, Girogio Moroder, and is supposedly the first album in the history of music to have sold advertising space between songs.
I collect K-Tel compilation albums and Pin-Ball Rock is my favorite of them all. The die-cut album cover folds out into a pinball machine! Besides that, what I love about it is that most of the songs don’t clearly relate to pinball at all, except for the first song, “Pinball Wizard,” but not by The Who … not even by Elton John, but by the New Seekers!
I found the prize of my collection at a local thrift shop. It’s called Seasons Greetings. It’s sort of like an audio greeting card. Each track has a little jingle for each different special occasion, followed by the guy who did the 7-11 commercials back in the ’70s reciting a “personal message.” Songs include “Congratulations”, “Happy Birthday”, and by far the best, “I Love You” with lines like “Well, I guess that puts it on record, doesn’t it? I think about you … I miss you … Yessum! I do … I just flat love you.” Can you imagine actually using this record? Do you invite someone in to the room, put it on, then stand next to the record player and stare at them???