Toy Matinee is the first and only album by a group of the same name. The music is generally classed as "progressive." It is one of the cornerstones of my music library, and is the oldest CD I own.

It was released in 1990, but was widely ignored by most radio stations. I happened to hear The Ballad of Jenny Ledge and Last Plane Out on KLOS in Los Angeles because Mark and Brian were fans of Toy Matinee, and played those songs whenever they could. As a result, those two songs made their way into KLOS's standard rotation for a time.

  1. Last Plane Out
  2. Turn It On Salvador - This song is dedicated to the memory of Salvador Dali, and is just as bizarre and demented as Dali himself was.
  3. Things She Said
  4. Remember My Name - This song is written in honor of Vaclav Havel.
  5. The Toy Matinee - This is a slow, peaceful (possibly even downbeat) song, and is very relaxing to listen to.
  6. Queen Of Misery - This song is about a woman desperately in search of love.
  7. The Ballad of Jenny Ledge - A ballad (No, really!) about a woman who gives up her dreams to settle for a small bit of security.
  8. There Was A Little Boy - This is possibly the most disturbing song on the album, dealing with how a neglectful mother and her relationships warp the development of a little boy as he grows up. in counterpoint to the depressing lyrics, the music is actually rather upbeat.
  9. We Always Come Home - The closing piece on this album is a gentle, soothing piece about the unity of family, and caps the album very nicely.
One of the more notable factoids about this album is that Julian Lennon provided backup vocals for several of the songs.

The band, Toy Matinee, was formed in 1990 when Kevin Gilbert and Patrick Leonard decided that they fit well together musically, and pulled together several other musicians (namely, Brian MacLeod on drums, Tim Pierce on backup guitar, and Guy Pratt on bass guitar) to make a group. Toy Matinee produced one album, and broke up to go their separate ways. Sadly, there is no hope of a reunion for Toy Matinee, as Kevin Gilbert was found dead in his bedroom on May 18, 1996, of auto-erotic asphyxiation.


What are we doing today?
Some serious thoughts I could weigh.
A fish or a mountain to scale...1
I'm a slow burning man
But always too faithful to choose
With minor persuade, I'll join the parade instead
And play with the toys in my mind gone away
And laugh at the cheapness, the Toy Matinee.

The orchestra tunes to an "A" below
The overture builds to a vertigo
And everyone's holding their breath
The show has begun

The shepherd of pettiness winks
The audience loves what he thinks
Peanuts for all in the house
We're so easy to please, please...
Pleas from the crowd to go on
Waltzing away, a mindless array instead
Take a slap in the face from the toys of the day
While everyone watches the Toy Matinee
And play with the toys in my mind gone away
And cry for how tragic... the Toy Matinee.

  1. For a while after I first heard this song, I thought the song was comparing the sizes (the "scale") of a mountain and a fish. After numerous repetitions over the course of a year, I finally realized the pun... A fish and a mountain are both things that can be scaled.

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