Turn It Up, Mr. Prez!

B-Sides unearths some tight presidential tunes, finds the softer side of the Simpsons' notorious bully and knows way too much about the Spin Doctors

Who are your other great musical influences?

I'm a big fan of the classics — you know, Andy Williams, Black Sabbath, The Beach Boys' darker songs where they talk about hitting people on the head with surf boards. When Johnny Cash shot a man in Reno, it was just to watch him die. Nowadays songs have reasons for shooting people. Where's the senselessness?

Are you particularly musical yourself?

I like to take Christmas carols and change the lyrics. I had a big hit reworking "Joy to the World (The Teacher's Dead)." And I'm betting all my marbles on my next tune, "Deck the Halls with Skulls of Pansies."

Thanks for your time!

Smell ya later! — Kristyn Pomranz

The Andy Williams Christmas Show at the Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 20. Tickets are $27.50 to $57.50; call 314-534-1678 for more information.

History Never Repeats

Following the successful release of The Bill Clinton Collection: Selections from the Clinton Music Room, the estates of at least four other presidents — including William Henry Harrison and John F. Kennedy — have been scrambling to put together their own music compilations in time for the holiday season.

The CD honoring William Henry Harrison is tentatively titled Beginnings and will feature the first minute of thirty different songs, one for each day he served in office. "We'd like people to remember him for something other than, well, dying," explains Sarah Pulliam of the William Henry Harrison Memorial State Park in North Bend, Ohio. "After all, the Claims Convention was signed with Peru during his time in office. Oh, and he was secretary of the Northwest Territory." Rumored to have been included on the CD is the first minute of Johnny Rivers' "Rockin' Pneumonia," a lighthearted nod to the illness that claimed the life of the ninth president as a result of his particularly long, hatless inauguration speech in freezing weather.

Having the distinction of its namesake being the only swinging bachelor to live in the White House, the James Buchanan Society is marketing to the 18-to-35 male demographic with music fit for a White House bender — one complete with togas and already appropriately dressed Supreme Court justices. Its playlist pulls heavily from the Beastie Boys ("Hey Ladies" and "Funky Boss" are two) and Sublime's 40 Oz. to Freedom. While the James Buchanan Society concedes that Buchanan was never in a fraternity while in college, they say he totally hung out with guys who were. And he was really kind of a hottie.

Kennedy's forthcoming release, Video Killed the Incumbent Vice President, links JFK across generations to other great Americans — like Kelly Clarkson — who were voted upon by the American public owing largely to their television appearances and general good looks. The Kennedy estate has remained quiet as to the other inclusions on the album, saying only that there will be preview copies available after all Masses next weekend.

As of press time, the Supposed Illegitimate Sons and Daughters of Thomas Jefferson would neither confirm nor deny the whispered existence of their own collection, reportedly called T.J.'s Hiztory Jamz. — Kristie McClanahan

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