REVO Remastering: Jo Callis – Citizen Callis…Agent Of P.O.P.

REVO | US | CD-R | 2017 | REVO 084

Jo Callis: Citizen Callis – Agent Of P.O.P. US CD-R [2017]

  1. Culture Shock
  2. (But) Not Mine
  3. Glasshouse
  4. Dream On
  5. Invasion Of The Gamma Men
  6. Night By Night
  7. The Rain Song
  8. Hesitate
  9. Woah Yeah
  10. Sinsitrale
  11. Dodo Boys
  12. No Shame
  13. What The Ladies Want
  14. Turn It Down
  15. Stomp, Stomp
  16. International Playboy
  17. No Shame [dub]

What a shock to the system! Barely a month following my last homebrew CD, I have already created the next logical follow up disc! What are the odds? That’s right, the recently-mooted “Unnamed Jo Callis Project” is now out in the world and has a moniker of all its own. The title and design of the disc was not much of a stretch. It owed everything to Callis’ well-documented propensity for 60s pop culture kitsch of the spy-fi and sci-fi variety. If looking at the covers of the records that make up this collection attest to. Take The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Batman [’66], and any and all Gerry Anderson properties and put them in a blender; pressing the frappé button and voila!

The theme of the design was straightforward enough. The difficulty was in obtaining images of Callis from roughly the ’79-’81 period covered by the songs on it. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there was a dearth of images to be found anywhere. Even the records in my collection left a lot to be desired. For instance he’s not pictured on the “Batman” title card pastiche that made up the cover of the Shake 10″ EP. The image on the cover of this CD was taken from the B-side of the S.H.A.K.E. 7″ of “Invasion Of The Gamma Men” and featured an iffy shot of Callis aiming a ray gun. I had to resort to the median filter in Photoshop, but that image drove the design bus.

The CD booklet contained liner notes as well as a discographical notes showing the record covers in detail. The setting for these images was a repurposed computer display panel from Anderson’s U.F.O. series of the late 60s; his first to dispense with marionettes. The rest of the artwork features garish pop art color and photos of famous TV sci-fi spacecraft and submarines from the swinging 60s. Into this mixture, I also repurposed photos of the mind-blowing 1955 turbine powered concept car the Chrysler Ghia Streamline X, that I took at the Frist Center For The Visual Arts last year when they had the amazing “Bellissima! The Italian Automotive Renaissance, 1945-1975” art show in house. The full gatefold cover [with the distinctive car I mentioned effortlessly fitting in with sci-fi vehicles from a decade later] is depicted below.

The modfest never ends with Callis

The music on the disc was a solid swath of New Wave with 60s kitsch influences. Particularly on the spectacular “Invasion Of The Gamma Men,” where Troy Tate’s deathless narration proved he could have been a BBC staff announcer at any time past 1940. The music has been covered here, here, and here. It’s mostly guitar-based and future Teardrop Explodes member Troy Tate vies with Callis on the vocals [and sometimes writing] on much of this material. It’s kicky, snappy rock music with a glamrock chaser and all filtered through the sensibilities of  Jo Callis: Agent Of P.O.P.! Making this disc that by rights should have been compiled by professionals…long before now, was one of the reasons why I do this sort of thing.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in Core Collection, Remastering, Scots Rock and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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