Sunday, April 12, 2015

Happy Tax Day, America!

Was just gonna re-up both sides of the outsider oddity that is Ah-Ah Allen's "Kick The IRS" single, but why stop there? Behold!

A wee Taxday Mix

Ah-Ah Allen - Kick The IRS
Ah-Ah Allen -Montana I'm So Proud of You
F.U.2 - Tax Exile (late '70s fake-punk)
Lenlow - To the Taxmobile! (classic mashup from 2004: Beatles vs Surfaris vs "Batman" theme)
rx - Taxman Obama (The Prez "sings" the Beatles)

My fellow Americans! Remember, April 15 is the day to show Uncle Sam your love.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

HUBBA HUBBA!: The Big Band Beat of Bad Girls and Burlesque

Back up by request: Roky Erickson's kids party, and "Carnival in Paradise."

Seeing as how our previous collection of mid-century sleazy-listening music is, by a wide margin, the most popular post of the year so far, I guess I'd better keep feeding you cool cats and crazy kitties more rarities and vinyl obscurities from the Golden Age of Bad Taste:

In the heydey of burlesque, dancin' goils twirled their tassels and bumped their rumps to live bands, not to a dj playing Salt n Pepa or Motley Crue. MCs, specialty acts, and comedy teams were also on the bill if for no other reason than to keep up the pretense that these were "variety shows" - something for everyone! - and not just lewd displays of wanton flesh. Tho the burlesque show format may have been created to skirt (so to speak) the censors, it ended up working quite well as an all-around entertainment package, surviving to this day. There's probably a 'burly-q' revival show near you now.

But this stuff is from the original era, the 1940s - 1960s (I'm aware that burlesque preceeds the '40s, I just don't know of any earlier music). The first track is  apparently   recorded live "in the field" from an album called "Burlesque Uncensored." I was gonna post the whole album, but it's actually in print thru Smithsonian Folkways (your tax dollars at work?)

Apart from the expected bump-and-grind jazz, there's also some wild early rock n roll, exploitation movie radio ads and dialogue, low-budget lounge combos, and show-tunes (e.g. Natalie Wood in "Gypsy," the Gyspy Rose Lee biopic, and another version of the "Take it off the E-string" song that was featured on vol 1)And then there's the one musical moment from the infamous '60s S&M sound-effects album, "Tortura!"

also recorded some burlesque film soundtrack music off videos, performed by anonymous sleaze-meisters. This was some years ago when I recorded these, and I can't find most of those films on the YouTubes now.  Too bad, the "Snakes" one in particular was great: a campy guy shouting "Snakes!" and running off camera, followed by a girl dancing with an actual, live enormous boa constrictor-type beastie. Towards the end, she even starts to put the snakes' head unto her mouth. A search for "snakes + burlesque" didn't come up with anything, but if any of you-all know this one, send us the links, pleeze!

And for some great reading whilst listening to this music, check out our pals at  
Decadent History for a plethora of fascinating articles. Learn your history, kids! 

Lowbrow Vol.3 Hubba Hubba! - A MusicForManiacs Collection

01 "Burlesque Uncensored" - lobby talker-chorus line-strip tease
02 Natalie Wood-Let Me Entertain You [from "Gypsy," 1962]
03 "Angels Wild Women"
04 Perez Prado - Exotic Suite of the Americans (excerpt)
05 Kay Kyser His Orchestra - Strip Polka [The Andrews Sisters also recorded this popular '40s Big Band number]
06 Dick Dale & His Del-Tones - Take It Off
07 "Varietease" - Betty Page, Bobby Shields [video soundtrack]
08 "The Naughty Stewardesses"
09 Dick Contino & Eddie Layton - Blues in the Night [accordionist Contino isn't just a James Ellroy character; in fact, he's real, alive, and still performs
10 Barbara Stanwyck - The G-String Song [from the 1943 film "Lady of Burlesque", recorded off video]
11 Big Jay McNeely - Striptease Swing [sax wildman, veteran of LA's legendary Central Ave scene, is also still alive and blowin']
12 Eddie Wayne [actually surf/session guitarist Jerry Cole] - Dig Ye Deep
13 Jayne Mansfield - Suey [the great blond bombshell is backed here by a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix!]
14 Ricky Vale & The Surfers - Ghost Surfin'
15 "Nurses for Sale"
16 John Barry - The Stripper [nope, not the David Rose hit (see below); yep, the James Bond soundtrack guy]
17 Ernie Freeman - The Stripper [Freeman's the man who brought Sinatra into the r'n'b scene with "That's Life"]
18 "Porno Photos"
19 "Tortura" - untitled (Track 21)
20 "Snakes"
21 Snakes! [burlesque film soundtrack]
22 The Knight Beats - Going To Town
23 Hal Blaine & The Young Cougars - Gear Stripper [Blaine is possibly the most recorded drummer in history; he's certainly one of the few to record a drag-race/burlesque fusion song]
24 The Bangers - Baby Let Me Bang Your Box, Part 1 [this r'n'b shouter is, of course, referring to the lady's piano]
25 John Buzon Trio - Ill Wind
26 Voodoo Virgin - [burlesque film soundtrack]
27 Stan Kenton - Blues In Burlesque [No, that's not Tom Waits singing, it's drummer Shelly Mann, with Maynard Ferguson blowin', from 1951]

All tracks safe for work! We like wholesome sleaze around here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

We'll Be Right Back After These Brief Messages...

Let's get commercial...

Back in 2008 we posted a hilarious radio spot from the conservative religious group Focus on the Family responding to a law passed in Colorado that allowed trans-gendered people to use public bathrooms. Recently we received this fairly genius bit of animation that illustrates the ad, making it even funnier. It comes to us courtesy of Mutant Lab, who are clearly doing the Lord's work. Work it, girl!

A clever, amusing new music video by Los Angeles rocker Taylor Locke finds the artist tooling around town in a motorized easy chair, the comfy kind one might find in a living room. The video makes it look like a cheesy tv commercial for what I thought couldn't possibly be a real product, but upon further investigation, the website appears to be real. Ok...What could one possible do with one of these things? I doubt that they're street-legal. It certainly does make music videos more interesting (along with the nekkid lady!) The catchy power-pop music is quite good, too.

Sound collagist I Cut People have a mordantly funny new on-line album that slices and dices innumerable American media sound bites, revealing the existential angst, neuroses, and anxieties contained in bland public service announcements, cheerful commercials for medications, news broadcasts, and chat shows. The tracks are brief and the whole thing flies by fairly quickly, but it's not background music. Attention must be paid to catch the rapid-fire edits in such wickedly surreal cut-ups as "Ebola Vacation" and the lewd, rude "Watch Me, Innocence." Listen for free, buy for cheap:

I Cut People: "Miserable Day"
Bandcamp page

We now return you to our usual programming...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Music For People Who Really, Really Really Like to Limbo Dance

Does anybody still dance the limbo? You know, you bend over backwards to shimmy under an ever-lowering pole, to the catchy strains of calypso music.  Don't know if any actual Caribbean peoples did the limbo, but plenty of post-war suburbanites who'd sipped a bit too much rum sure did. And this has to be one of the strangest artifacts of the limbo craze - a instrumental version of the hit Chubby Checker song "Limbo Rock" stretched out for the length of an entire album. Hollywood session vet Billy Strange (that's his guitar on Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang," among a million other credits) and his crew keep things interesting throughout, with funky percussion breaks, and exotica-like atmospheric interludes featuring grown men a-whoopin' and a-hollerin'. There's plenty of soloing, ranging from cool jazzy to almost rock 'n' roll. 

Exotica music is fine and dandy for polite cocktail sipping, but when the drinks kick in, what are you gonna dance to, eh, eh?  I'll tell you what: "Limbo Rock pt 1" and "Limbo Rock, pt 2".  For those moments when you want to, quite literally, drink someone under the table.

Billy Strange and Telstars - Limbo Rock

Now if only a band called Billy Strange and the Limbo Rock did an album-length version of "Telstar"...

Sunday, March 08, 2015

The Psample-delic Psounds of Carl Stone's "Four Pieces"

If you think sampling in music means MC Hammer looping "Super Freak," you gotta another think coming: Los Angeles legend Carl Stone has been using custom software to spin complex, beautiful webs out of found sounds since before most people even owned a computer. The closest comparison to another composer one might make would be to John Oswald and his Plunderphonics, but Oswald often hits with an ADD-addled aggressiveness. Stone takes a more trance-inducing path that sometimes approaches Minimalism, but the results are still too thorny to ever function as yoga music.

Track #1 "Wall Me Do" is not, as the title suggests, a Pink Floyd/Beatles mash-up. The title, like most of Stones' titles, comes from an LA area Asian restaurant. It's glitchy electronica, not unlike Aphex Twin, but years before the fact. #2 is pretty funny, slicing and dicing that classical classic "Pictures at an Exhibition" into an increasingly unrecognizable delirium.  #3 ("Shing Kee") from 1986 hypnotically loops unidentified sounds (inc female vocals) into dreamy gorgeousness; tho reminiscent of Frippertronics and Steve Reich's early tape-loop works, the gradually unfolding patterns bear the stamp of Stone's original style. Play this with the lights out, glass of red wine in hand. Aaahhh... And #4 is Stone sampling himself, in this case remixing #1. I actually prefer it to #1 - it's all Minimalistic grooviness, but with no predictable looping and phasing.

Carl Stone - Four Pieces (1986-1989)

I was happy to see that Stone is performing live this March 22 with LA Free Music Society vets Tom Recchion and Joseph Hammer. Those two have been using extreme turntablism and tape-loop tomfoolery to great effect for as long as Stones' been tweaking his Macs. Don't think Stone was ever actually a member of the LAFMS, but note that Recchion designed the insert to this album.  And the two used to rule the KPFK airwaves in the 1980s with back-to-back (Tuesday night?) shows, Stone with "Imaginary Landscapes" and Recchion's "Soundings II, aka the Tom and Tony Show." Between Stone's alt classical-to-Yma Sumac approach and Tom 'n' Tony's avant-tarde mix of free noise, kitschy thrift-store records, and live antics (e.g. playing the entirety of "Sgt Pepper" on fast-forward when the CD was first released), Young Master Fab's mind was suitably re-aligned. Tom Waits said he wept when he first heard Gavin Bryars' "Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet" (which Waits would later sing) on LA radio in the '80s. 'Twas on "Imaginary Landscapes" - I was listening that night, too.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

March Forth, 2015

By request, Phantascist is back on-line.

As today is March 4th, let's march forth once again with the Now Sounds of alternative marching/brass bands with a sampler of releases from recent years from bands that you won't see parading onto a sporting events field, or serenading politicians. A sterling example of 'antique-garde' music - new, experimental sounds using pre-rock, antique instruments and methods.

I don't know how mobile they all are. I did see Mucca Pazza live a year or two ago, so I can vouch for them- they went marching all over the place before they finally hit the stage.

March Forth 2015

1. 9th Ward Marching Band - Halloween Beat [covering John Carpenter, and a bit of Mike Oldfield]

2. 9th Ward Marching Band - Slowride [a couple of classic rock covers, from this krewe that features the king and queen of New Orleans high weirdness, Quintron and Miss Pussycat]
3. 9th Ward Marching Band - The Letter
4. Duk - Bilbo [from the excellent Bandcamp release "Early Worm Gets The Bird"]
5. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Moments [cover of Art of Noise's "Moments in Love"]
6. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble & Tony Allen - Marcus Garvey [w/Fela Kuti's master drummer Allen]
7. Mucca Pazza - Chick Habit [two songs from their super album "A Little Marching Band"; this wild take on the France Gall/April March classic features a rarity in this field: vocals]
8. Mucca Pazza - Dirge [doesn't get any less traditional than this: a creepy circus waltz for accordion and musical saw]
9. No BS! Brass Band - Take on Me [A Ha cover; always amazing to hear a great take on a song I'd never given the slightest thought to before]
10. Youngblood Brass Band - Human Nature, Pt. 2 [quite an improvement on Michael Jackson's original]
11. Youngblood Brass Band - Nate Mccarish Handbills For No Man [can't quite determine what strange sounds are featured here]

Friday, February 27, 2015

Coon Songs: The Most Offensive Music EVER?!

While it's still Black History Month, let's explore the outrageously offensive genre of minstrel show/black stereotype musics known as 'coon songs.'  Hugely popular during the early decades of sound recording and then wiped from the culture like they never existed, coon songs nevertheless produced not only the recording industry's first black stars, but some of the first hit singles ever. Minstrel shows in general led to vaudeville, the root of modern American show biz. And yet Al Jolson's blackface performance of "Mammy" in the ground-breaking film "The Jazz Singer" is probably the only experience most people have had with this genre.

I have enough recordings (songs and comedy skits) to fill up 2 or 3 disks, but that would make even a Grand Kleagle of the KKK's head explode. I've whittled it down to this representative selection of the history of the genre - from the pre-master disk era of he late 1800s when, incredibly, a mass of recording cylinders had to be set up to record each performance individually (so the poor singer had to sing the damn song over and over) up to the genre's apparent demise in the 1920s, the era of the "Great Migration."  Black Americans started moving from the rural South, transforming the culture of Northern cities like New York (hence, the "Harlem Renaissance") and Chicago. With the Jazz Age in full swing in the Twenties, the old stereotypes of country bumpkins pining for them good ol' plantation days were no longer too convincing (not that they ever were.)

You'll notice a subtle transformation as time progresses, from the mocking humor of "All Coons Look Alike To Me" to sympathetic songs about children, or "pickaninnies." Coon songs were becoming uncool, and believe it or not, these sentimental ballads were considered to be positive coon songs, written to counteract the cruelty of earlier songs. Hey, they meant well.... 

How popular were these songs? I can't find a single book specifically dedicated to the subject, but "From Edison to Marconi: The First 30 years of Recorded Music" has a whopping 6 page index

They're not all that awful. Some songs, like "Pullman Porters' Parade" salute America's black railroad workers, and "Nigger Blues" really is an early blues tune. Some certainly have musical value. George W. Johnson's records were fun and funny, and that's apart from their massive historical value - he was the first black singing star, thus paving the way for everyone from Robert Johnson to Nat King Cole to Michael Jackson.  (You can't condemn him for these songs. It was the 1800s, what choice did he have?!) And "Bake Dat Chicken Pie" is, once you get past the reprehensible lyrics, a great tune, especially the way the intertwined vocals suggest Dixieland jazz. I felt weird about liking this song 'til I heard that Lenny Bruce was also a fan, and would play and sing along with the record in his act. I am vindicated! Er, maybe...honestly, snickering really is the most appropriate response to the amazing ridiculousness of these songs. Here's a party game: try to listen to "Ma Pickaninny Babe" without laughing.

And let's contemplate this truly bizarre fact: black minstrel performers wore blackface. 

A Treasury of Beloved Coon Songs

01 George W Johnson -The Laughing Coon (1898)
02 George W Johnson - The Whistling Coon (1896)
03 Dan W. Quinn - At A Georgia Camp Meeting (1898)
04 Arthur Collins with Vess L Ossman-All Coons Look Alike to Me (1902)
05 Billy Golden - An evening with the minstrels (aka I'm a Nigger That's Living High) (1903)
06 Ada Jones - If the Man in the Moon Were a Coon (1907)
07 Arthur Collins & Byron G. Harlan - Bake Dat Chicken Pie
08 Arthur Collins - dixie dan (1908)
09 Polk Miller the Old South Quartet-Watermelon Party (1909)
10 Ada Jones - You'se just a little nigger, still youse mine, all mine (1910)
11 Golden and Hughes - Darktown Poets (1911)
12 Elsie Baker - Pickaninny's lullaby (1912)
13 Walter Van Brunt - Hear the pickaninny band (1913)
14 Al Jolson - Pullman Porters' Parade (1913)
15 Golden and Hughes - Darktown Eccentricities (1913)
16 Will Oakland  - Ma Pickaninny Babe (1914)
17 Olive Kline/ Elsie Baker /Margaret Dunlap - Go to Sleep My Dusky Baby  (to the tune of 'Humoresque') (1916)
18 American Quartet - Darktown Strutters Ball (1918) (the one song that survived the coon song era, this became an oft-covered standard, sung by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald on down)
19 Al Bernard - Nigger blues (1919)
20 Crescent Trio - Pickaninny blues (1920)
21 Margaret A. Freer - Pickaninny Rose (1921)

Thanks to the Archeophone label, and the UCSB Cylinder Digitization Project for some of these; there's more HERE and HERE. And then there's THIS album. But I leave all those to the truly dedicated scholars.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Will Work For Experimental Instruments

By request, two albums of experimental musical instruments have been re-posted. Get yer

gravikords, whirlies and pyrophones here, and yer

orbitones, spoon-harps, and bellowphones here.

News flash: I am unemployed! Anyone in Los Angeles want to hire me? I can do anything, from astronaut to zoo-keeper. Remember: the more money I make, the more I can spend on rockin' rare ridiculous rekkids that I post here. 

And throw a few bones James Carrol's way, too. One of this blog's prized contributors, the man who gave us the likes of the "Brain In A Box" and "National Lampoon Radio Hour" sets, is selling his artwork. Dig it HERE.

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Brigitte Bardot Show

An extremely rare example of a celebrity who made actual good records, French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot used her alluring personality, and the genius of collaborator Serge Gainsbourgh, to make a series of super swell Sixties sides. Like one of Serge's other gals, Jane Birkin, Ms BB isn't a great singer. But rather than try to fit into a standard pop singer mold - the downfall of so many singing-actor records - Bardot sings cute and sexy over music that is tailored for her. There's a psych-rock edge to many of the songs here.

This 1968 tv special soundtrack features a couple of familiar classics ("Harley Davidson," and "Contact"), some great songs I wasn't familiar with (the rocker "Ce N'est Pas Vrai", the kooky tablas-a-go-go "Oh Qu'il Est Vilain"), and the instrumental interludes of Francis "Theme From A Man and A Woman" Lai. His "Saint-Tropez" is one of the best tracks on this album.  If I had a radio show this would be my opening theme.

The Brigitte Bardot Show

A1 Harley Davidson 2:30
A2 Marseillaise Générique 2:10
A3 Mister Sun 3:12
A4 Ay Que Viva La Sangria 2:30
A5 Ce N'est Pas Vrai 1:38
A6 Gang Gang 2:00
A7 Saint-Tropez 1:10
A8 Port Grimaud 0:30
B1 Oh Qu'il Est Vilain 2:25
B2 Paris 1:35
B3 Je Reviendrai Toujours Vers Toi 2:23
B4 On Déménage 2:03
B5 Le Diable Est Anglais 2:40
B6 David B... 1:10
B7 Contact

Thanks again to that international master of musical mystery, Count Otto Black!

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Let's play bongos! On this instructional album, not just bongos, but all kinds of zesty Latin percussion get artfully pounded upon by studio pro Jack Burger. Narrated by someone who sounds like Hank Hill. The combination of the two elements had me both tappin' my toes and laffin'. Apparently came with a booklet that my copy, alas, does not have. 

Let's Play Bongos!

"I play bongos and bongo accessories for the people of this community."
Muchas gracias, Senor Windbag!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


I could give some background on these videos...but why bother? They won't make any more sense if I did. So I'm just gonna hit you with three of the greatest, most incredibly WTF-iest things I've seen/heard lately. Prepare to question your sanity! 


#2 (thanks to maniac Francis C for passing this one on to us): 


and, perhaps most disturbingly, #3: 

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


The Manor Boys are back on-line, by request.

Warning! This here's a whole album of song-poems - lyrics that suckers regular folks have paid to have set to music - that might have you questioning your sanity if you attempt to listen to it all in one go.  Like I did. 

Unlike the song-shark racket's most famous exemplars Rodd Keith and the slickly professional MSR Studios posse, Royal Master Recordings from Tennessee are at least as inept as the amateurs who sent in their hapless lyrics. The singers, one male and one female, can't find the rhythm, stop (give up?) singing thus leaving long awkward instrumental passages, and once even keep going after the music has stopped!  They also give every song the exact same reading no matter what its' content. The music tracks are generic country, and sometimes are repeated. Yep, you pay good money to have your heartfelt poems set to "original" music, and you get the same backing track as several other poor souls.

And what poems they are. Side 1 sports at least two real gems amidst all the love songs, the self-explanatory "Monkey Disco," and the hysterical Luddite plea "Progress." Side 2 is nuts, kicking off with several baffling songs. "Let Me Try Again" actually resembles good music, but the following track "These Hands" sends things back into the twilight zone. 

As with another Royal Master album I've posted, the all dead-Elvis themed "Gone But Not Forgotten," we get the added bonus of actual photos of the lyricists. And remember - these aren't hit songs yet. But they will be...tomorrow. I can't wait!

Hit Songs of Tomorrow

Friday, January 30, 2015

Frank Sidebottom Salutes The Magic Of Freddie Mercury And Queen

The late great surreal nutter in the giant paper mache head (and a puppet sidekick) sings here in his swimmer's clamp nasal tone and unfailingly good humor just what is says on the tin. He recorded a fair amount of stuff, and this EP is as good an intro as any. For those of you who saw the recent film "Frank" and wondered what the real man was all about...

Frank Sidebottom Salutes The Magic Of Freddie Mercury And Queen (1987)

1. Frank Gordon
2. Everybody Sings Queen
3. I Am The Champion
4. Radio Gaga
5. Save Me
6. We Will Rock You
7. The Bit I Missed Off The Queen Song On My Z39 EP
8. Queen Hip Hop Disco Mix

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Over Two Hours of Radio Shenanigans

Spacebrother Greg asked me to guest-dj on his "Radio Misteriso" show for the umpteenth time last July, and it is now up for your listening, er, "pleasure"? Along with all the bizarre thrift-store vinyl, antique novelties, and outsider strangeness, we play some songs from the latest Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra album, a band Greg and I had the pleasure of meeting and seeing in all their multi-media glory a couple of weeks ago.

Pilot your flying saucer here (playlist/listen/download):

Mr Fab on Radio Misterioso July 27, 2014
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 2:25:56 — 66.8MB)

Back up by request: Lynn Rockwell - One Man Band 
Thanks to super-swell maniac Mike for the Rockwell - you rock well, Mike!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Be Stoned! Dig: Zipps

There's 'beat' as in the Beat literary movement that produced beatniks, and poetry read over (usually) jazz music.  And there's 'beat' as in the European '60s rock'n'roll-inspired pop. The kooky, sometimes hilarious Dutch band The Zipps combine both: yes, a Beat Beat group.

Their music's fine in a basic mid-'60s garage kinda way (some tunes are quite catchy), but the real distinguishing characteristic of The Zipps is singer/guitarist Philip Elzerman's English-as-a-second-language vocals, which are either nonsensical, or obscured by his thick accent. Or both. In the Ramones-y titled, Byrds-y sounding "Kicks and Chicks" Elzerman claims that he "read all the books of Jack Kerouac," but he pronounces that Beat icon's name as "Ker-acky." Two lengthy tracks called "Beat and Poetry" are live all-Dutch language spoken word over peppy rock music, not jazz. An odd combination. Tho in the hysterical "Hipsterism," one of the greatest, funniest '60s nuggets I've heard lately, Elzerman says "I always like to listen to good jazz/You're a square! And you don't like it, I guess!" Followed by a solo on that most rock'n'roll of instruments, the flute. Having said that, the groovy a-go-go instrumental version of "Lotus Love" is one of my faves off this career-spanning collection. Wish I could hear all of "LSD 25" minus the interview on top of it, it's a great Seeds-y proto-punk stomper.

The Zipps - Be Stoned Dig

Thanks again to our psychedelic nugget farmer, Count Otto Black!

1Highway Gambler
2Roll The Cotton Down
3Kicks And Chicks
5Beat & Poetry Part 1
6Beat & Poetry Part 2
7Marie Juana
8The Struggle For Ice-Cold Milk Of Benzi The Bassplayer Or How To Promote Original Dutch Milk
9When You Tell It, Tell It Well..!
10Lotus Love (demo - vocal version)
11Walking On This Road To Mine Town (previously unreleased live track)
12The Beer Hall Song (previously unreleased live track)
13Kicks And Chicks (previously unreleased live track)
14Philippe Salerne* & Zipps, The*Avec De L'Italie
15Philippe Salerne* & Zipps, The*Venez Voire Comme On S'Aime
16Lotus Love (instrumental - previously unreleased demo version)
17The Struggle For Ice-Cold Milk Of Benzi The Bassplayer Or How To Promote Original Dutch Milk (previously unreleased stereo version)
18Kicks And Chicks (previously unreleased stereo version)
19LSD 25 Interview

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bandcamp Is The New Cassette Culture 4

Continuing our survey of new music you can listen to, and in many cases, download for free on, we fly off to exotic lands. It is the depths of winter now, so I felt a tropical vacation was in order. 

And this first album is especially timely, as it features Evan Crankshaw from the great  "Flash Strap" blog, who just debuted his all-exotica radio show, "The Explorer's Room" last week. 

The Cumberland County Mean Gang "Crashing Waves"

Starts off a bit New Age-y, but track #3 "Slave Trade" is really great psychedelic exotica that sounds like it was played on your grandma's electric organ after someone spiked her Ensure with mescaline; it dovetails nicely right into the next track, which is almost 9 minutes of pure lysergic abandon. "Under The Jungle" does indeed sport jungle ambiance, tho the music is more Jean-Michel Jarre '70s-type electronica than Martin Denny. It's melody is re-used in the next track, a Giorgio Morodor-on-cheap-ass-Casios techno-dance stomper. The most excellent "Ritual of Flight" begins with theremin- ish electronics, followed by haunted-house organ...and exotic bird calls?  Just what kind of spook show is this, anyway? Was happy to hear grandma's psychedelic organ again on track 8. Price: Name Your Price. And enjoy your flight.

The Mad Drummer - from South Africa, but sounding more Zappa than Zulu. The inverse of Paul Simon and Vampire Weekend? A lot better than them, that's for sure. All 6 songs are good, but for someone who calls himself a mad drummer, the synthetic drums are the one (minor) fault I find with this. Price: $3.

Boolz "S.O.S.[Slovvd-n-Chopped]" - Also from South Africa comes this trippy dub electronica. I like the bugged-out VV3ΔK [SLOWD-N-CHXPPXD]  Price: Name Your Price

Some comps that will keep you busy and dancing for days: 

Peru Maravilloso: "Vintage Latin Tropical Cumbia"

Analog Africa - 21 albums!  Haven't listened to all of them, but I can def recommend "African Scream Contest" - just don't buy the line about it being "psychedelia." It's James Brown-ish funk and West African highlife, and what's wrong with that? Can we stop throwing the word 'psychedelic' around so much?  It's getting to be as meaningless a term as 'experimental.' And be sure to read this as you dig the crate diggin' sounds of Analog Africa: Dusty African Grooves.

Friday, January 16, 2015

VOODOO DANCE DOLL: 1950s/60s Rock'n'Roll Exotica

Bongos in the Congo!  Apes in the jungle! Tikis, cannibals, and witch doctors! Grown men making tropical bird calls! Sound familiar? But this ain't no jazzy Martin Denny-style exotica for grown-ups' cocktail parties. No, my teen-age hoodlum friends, this sampler of exotic rock (rock-xotica?) + relevant soundbites marks this blogs' return to weekend-starting sleazy-listening sounds from the Golden Age of Cool. As with the first collection that kicked off this on-again/off-again project, many of these tracks were recorded off my vinyl, songs that hopefully have not been featured on similar comps like the "Jungle Exotica" series. My records are in various states of preservation, so I did track down some digital replacements when available. But most of this is out-of-print wax whose occasional pops and cracks can be thought of as the crunching of jungle undergrowth beneath the furious feet of Watusi exotic dancers (in all senses of the phrase).

Ingredients: surf rock, doo-wop, rhythm 'n' blues, novelties, some actual ethnic peoples, movie clips, radio ads, excerpts from a record meant to accompany a slideshow or filmstrip about the Congo, Africa (unfortunately, it did not contain the visuals), and some loungey things, but with a backbeat. There are a few well-known hit-makers here like Eartha Kitt, the Dave Clark Five, and Santo & Johnny, but as these records are from the gloriously unself-conscious pre-rock critic era*, many of these artists have been lost to the mists of history. 

Voodoo Dance Doll - an M4M

01 congo slideshow- weekend dance
02 Mel Taylor & The Magics - Bongo Rock
03 The Vistas - Tiki Twist
04 Leni Okehu and his Surfboarders - Hawaiian People Eater
05 Eartha Kitt - Honolulu Rock And Roll
06 congo slideshow - superstition dance
07 Muvva Hubbard & the Stompers Congo Mombo
08 "Alligator Man"
09 The Dave Clark Five - Chaquita
10 The Pyramids - 
Koko Joe
11 "100 Percent Gorilla"
12 The Rocking Vickers - I Go Ape
13 Billy Mure - Tabu
14 congo slideshow - witch doctor
15 Werner Hass - Oh-ee-oh-ah-ah
16 Dick Dale & The Del-Tones - Jungle Fever
17 Jerry & Mel - Cannibal stew
18 "Zombie Island Massacre" - Zombie Attacks Honeymooners
19 congo slideshow - drumming
20 Mel Taylor & The Magics - Drums A Go-Go
21 Thurl Ravenscroft - Dr Geek From Tanganyika
22 Buddy Morrow And His Orchestra - One-Two-Three-Kick (The Original Conga) pt1.
23 roger craig - song of india
24 The Fugitives - Human Jungle
25 Bela's "Jungle Hell"
26 Roy Estrada and The Rocketeers-Jungle Dreams Part 2 
27 Busby Lewis - Jerk
28 Susan King-Drum Rhythm
29 Yngve stoor - Hula Rock
30 Perez Prado - Cuban Rock
31 Leni Okehu and his Surfboarders - Hawaiian Rock
32 Freddy Cannon - Everybody Monkey
33 Johnny and Santo - Caravan
34 congo slideshow - watusi
35 big walter and the thunderbirds _ watusie freeze part 1
36 "shrunken heads" ad
37 Buddy Morrow And His Orchestra - One-Two-Three-Kick (The Original Conga) pt2
38 Marti Barris - Ahbe Casabe
39 Sandy Nelson - Casbah 

Thanks to Count Otto for the Rockin' Vicars!

*Cartoonist/record collector Robert Crumb has described the early rock he really liked as "proletariat," and indeed, there may be some class-ism behind the critical dismissal of so much rock prior to the mid-'60s: once rock scrubbed off all of that honky-tonk/ghetto stank and adopted such middle-class, college-educated features as "poetic" lyrics and classical European influences, then it finally merited the status of High Art. But of course, the music wasn't really improved so much as it simply changed - from fun, funny, energetic, sexy, and atmospheric to...not as much. Rock didn't get better, it just moved to the suburbs.