It’s fucking Jessica Rabbit!
Those were my first words after putting Julie London’s 1961, first pressing album Whatever Julie Wants on my deck.
I’m a well rounded nerd, if there were such a thing as a “renaissance nerd,” that would be me.
What would a Renaissance Nerd be? Into lots of different things and well rounded at that; comics, role playing games, vinyl, literature (Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler), movies (Humphrey Bogart in particular) and cartoons. So when I say Jessica Rabbit it is because I have seen that film countless times. The first song on side one is “Why Don’t You Do Right,” which I know from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and was the song that Jessica sang when Eddie Valiant goes to the Ink & Paint Club.
Given Julie’s classic Hollywood hotness and sultry voice the comparison isn’t undeserved, especially considering the cover.
Aplomb is a word that isn’t used that much any more but what it means is what this record has: poise, self-assurance, composure. This record is a very classic torch-y jazz album performed with aplomb.
Being an Indiana guy (I dislike the term Hoosier but that is what it is) I noted right away that there are no less than three Cole Porter songs; “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” “Love For Sale,” “Always True to You in My Fashion.” I am something of am aficionado for Hoosier artists of all kinds, music, literature, painting, comics, actors… whatever. This of course excludes John Mellencamp from the list.
A word about Mellencamp as this is the second Wonder & Mystery blog that has derided Mr. Cougar-Mellencamp. It’s not that I think that his work is bad, far from it. Growing up in Indiana he gets much overplayed. I can only hear any song off of Scarecrow so many times and “Jack & Diane” has been retitled by me as “Jack and Please Don’t.” Incidentally I really like the Mr. Happy Go Lucky album though many do not, but what do I care? And neither should you.
Listen to what you like to listen to, regardless of uppity music critics, and pretentious bloggers.
Back to Julie London.
Rita Hayworth and Lauren Bacall influenced the design of Jessica Rabbit, but Julie London was Jessica Rabbit.
Though not as tall.