Monday, August 31, 2015

HOOSIER HOTSHOTS: One-and-a-half Albums

 Just realized a couple days ago that my emails have been getting deleted. If you've written to me in the past couple weeks, sorry. I am trying to restore them. And reader Dolmance needs your help re the bestial sounds of Jonathan Niehaus:
I downloaded this disgusting thing, and opened it with free Winzip. ...all the tracks showed up on my photo album suddenly, of all places! I certainly didn't put it there and I can't delete the goddamn thing!...  I can't find the file names anywhere else -- they just sit there in my photo album. Please advise -- I'm on a Mac.

The Hoosier Hot Shots were one of the first and best of the novelty bands, predating Spike Jones & crew, as I wrote back in 2011. Since then, I've found two Hot Shots vinyl releases...er, well, one-and-a half, to be precise. Continuing our discussion of budget labels, the "Hound Dog" album was released thru one of those shoddy companies, and a number of the songs are not by the Hoosiers, but by a folk group playing the kind of standards that could be heard around any campfire. See? Not all filler is killer. The Hot Shot's tunes are great tho, just mind the dodgy sound quality, and try not to wince at the awful album cover.

Speaking of the covers, there is absolutely no info on them, but I'd wager that these tracks were recorded in the '50s or '60s judging by their hi-fi sound and the presence of popular '50s styles like calypso and rock'n'roll. One song even has not-entirely-convincing celebrity impressions. Brilliantly inventive and effortlessly enjoyable nonsense, with a surprisingly spooky interlude.

HOOSIER HOTSHOTS: One-and-a-half Albums

a1 Sweet Georgie Brown
a2 Ida
a3 Mary Ann
a4 Darktown Strutters Ball [hey, it's the one socially acceptable coon song!]
a5 Toot Toot Tootsie
b1 Washboard Stomp
b2 Down By The Riverside
b3 Indian Love Call
b4 Heartaches
b5 Wabash Charleston
c1 Intro
c2 Hound Dog
c3 Them Hillbillies Are Mountain Williams Now*
c4 Mr Sandman
c5 There's No Romance In Your Soul
c6 Meet Me at the Ice House Lizzie


*This song, about the spread of hillbilly music from it's folk roots to mainstream acceptance, is actually pretty astute - the music industry did indeed come up with the phrase 'country music' as a gentrified replacement for 'hillbilly music,' a phrase that was perceived as being too lower class to appeal to mainstream record buyers. Just as 'rock'n'roll' became 'rock,' comic books' became 'graphic novels,' 'graffiti' became 'street art'...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

ATTACK OF THE KILLER FILLER

 WILD! RAW! UNINHIBITED!

These savage young rock'n'roll instrumentals live for 'kicks'! And beware the 'square' who stands in their way!


In the 1950s and 1960s, countless records were cranked out by the "budget labels," whose releases were essentially the music industry equivalent of cheapie exploitation films. Like those groovy movies, screened at drive-ins and grindhouses away from respectable cinemas, budget records were usually not found in record stores, but in the racks of places like drugstores. They were impulse buys, sold for a dollar, at a time when proper albums went for $3-4. And like z-movie producers, budget labels used all manner of deceptive, eye-grabbing visuals to lure suckers, er, I mean customers into buying their often inferior products. Case in point: an album called "Bye Bye Birdie" with an album cover (pictured right) presumably depicting a scene from the musical film of the same name. This album features a grand total of ONE (1) song from the film (and a remake at that). Also featured here are albums by popular folk/pop star Trini Lopez, and jazz-man Buddy Tate, both featured only on side one.

So who was performing on the rest of these albums? Who knows? It is safe to say that there never were any actual bands with names like the Exotic Guitars or the Rock and Rollers Orchestra. Budget labels would acquire tapes, sometimes thru rather dubious means, and release them under a variety of phony artist names and song titles. It may seem hard to believe now, but in the '50s/early '60s such now well-regarded styles as blues, r'n'b, and rock'n'roll were, for the most part, not considered mainstream. So these tapes could be had for cheap.

It's unfortunate that we'll probably never know who performed this music, since it's quite good. The Exotic Guitars sound like session cats doing their impression of surf rock, and the Rhythm Rockers might be sessioneers, too. But I would imagine that the Rock and Rollers Orchestra was a black rhythm-and-blues nightclub band - they blow like crazy, dad. Music scientifically designed to rock a party  to da break-a-dawn. The band probably never made a penny from these recordings.

Of course, there's lots of uninteresting filler out there, too. And we're lucky with today's selections so far as sound quality is concerned, since budget labels like Crown were notorious for using the worst quality vinyl, and these sides sound pretty good. Both the Bella St Clair and the R'n'R Orch records start off fairly low key before getting increasingly crazed, so perhaps there was some actual thinking going into the sequencing at least. Those albums cover, tho...oy. That Buddy Tate one's a beauty, eh?


KILLER FILLER
(All tracks sourced from 99 cent vinyl)
Exotic Guitars:
1. Walkin Around [essentially a rock rip-off of Ray Barretto's "El Watusi," which was a great song, so fine by me.]
2. Time of My Life
3. Goin Home
4. Susan
5. Beach Party

Bella St Clair and the Rhythm Rockers:
A1 Rock A Bye [continuing in the surf-y vein]
A2 Rocking Guitar
A3 Tribute To Birdie [now it's starting to get wild, w/some screamin' sax]
A4 Rolling Theme [superb rockabilly - frantic, man, frantic!]
B1 Rolling With The Punch
B2 Teen Frenzy
B3 Jamboree
B4 Final Farewell
B5 Phone Fancy

The Rock and Rollers Orchestra:
1 - Let's Rock and Roll
2 - Romp And Stomp
3 - Long N Lean
4 - The Screwdriver No 1
5 - Cool Fool [the screwdrivers must be kicking in, cuz this song is nuts]
6 - Soda Bob [a bump-n-grinder for you burlesque dancers]

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Little Tiny Smelly Bit of The Stinky Puffs

As we've learned from Stinky Picnic, child musicians like the word "stinky." But The Stinky Puffs weren't just any kiddie rockers - Simon Fair Timony (age 7 when the band was formed) was the stepson of Jad Fair of Half-Japanese, and one of his li'l bandmates was the son of Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. If I was one of their fathers, I might be worried that one of their songs is called "Menendez Killed Their Parents."


On this 1994 release they fly thru 9 tracks in 13 minutes, first in the studio, and then live, backed by the 2 surviving members of Nirvana, and Ira Kaplan from Yo La Tengo. These kids got connections! It's surprisingly catchy and enjoyable. The kid's uninhibited sense of fun is certainly a contributing factor. And the songs sure don't overstay their welcome. The song "I'll Love You Anyway" is a heartfelt tribute to Kurt Cobain.

A Little Tiny Smelly Bit of The Stinky Puffs

  1. "Buddies Aren't Butts"
  2. "Menendez' Killed Their Parents"
  3. "I'll Love You Anyway"
  4. "I Am Gross!/No You're Not!" 
  5. "Pizza Break" 
  6. "Buddies Aren't Butts" (live) 
  7. "Menendez' Killed Their Parents" (live)
  8. "I'll Love You Anyway" (live)
  9. "I Am Gross!/No You're Not!" (live)

Friday, August 14, 2015

THE CORILLIONS DOUBLE ALBUM

 The liner notes on the back of this true outsider music classic detail Marlin Wallace's years of pain at the hands of communists (or "reds," as he calls them) shooting painful laser-like rays at him and his mother. Mad? You call him mad?! Say what you like, but he had his act together enough to hire pro singers and musicians to perform his songs and release this 1981 double album. The slick studio country rock is, as in song poems, at odds with the unpredictable, idiosyncratic lyrics.

The album starts off fairly sensibly, but the eccentricities in both lyrics and vocal performances start to add up to truly one of the more bizarre listening experiences you're likely to encounter. Songs like "La-Lo-Ram-Ya" are as kooky as the titles. "The Jungle in Flight" is smothered in gratuitous sound effects. The singer in "Wildcat Mabellene" breaks into hilariously spazzy vocals. Heartfelt ballads might lull you into thinking: aw, this guy's not that crazy, a little sappy perhaps...until you hear a lounge crooner belting out: "Abominabllllle...snow creatuuuure...." 

The second disk in general is a lot stronger, with such must-listens as the prehysterical "Millions of Years Ago," the rhythmically propulsive jungle adventure "Head-Hunters," and, really, just one goodie after another right up thru the Revelations-inspired closer "Mark Of The Beast." Some of the 'professional' singers sound fairly inept at times. Hope they didn't cost too much. Might be Marlin himself singing songs like "Stranger In The Land."

Marlin Wallace ‎– The Corillions / Double Album

1Sweet Love Of Mine
2Mekong
3I'll Try
4La-lo-ram-ya
5The Planet Mars
6Georgia Corn Liquor Man
7The Jungle In Flight
8Love Me Tonight
9Whistlin' Bill
10How It Feels To Be Alone
11Wildcat Mabellene
12Ghost Train
13Little Orphan Girl
14This Is War
15Heart Full Of Pain
16Gray Wolf
17Abominable Snow Creature
18Colorado River
19Midnight Train
20Golden Dreams
21Millions Of Years Ago
22Head-hunters
23The Song Of The Wind
24The Flower Of Love
25Colombus
26Only You
27Before The White Man Came
28The Russian Bear
29A Stranger In The Land
30Big Eight Wheels
31Mark Of The Beast


Wallace survived the red's attacks and, as pointed out in this post from 2011, he's been cranking out albums ever since, performing (with some help) and singing his songs all by himself.  As I wrote: "His albums are usually themed. Wanna hear a whole collection of songs about bugs and insects? Interested in rivers? Outer space? Jungles? Well, Wallace has written entire albums dedicated to these concepts. Give that boxing fan in your life a copy of "Songs of Pugilism."  


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

TALES OF MANHATTAN: The Cool Philosophy Of Babs Gonzales

In this 1959 album of rhymed poems set over a cool jazz beat, Babs Gonzalez posits himself as the hippest of the hip, here to school all you cosplay-wearin', video-game playin', indie "rock"-listenin' rubes 'n' cubes. This cat wants to pull your coat to, like, where it's at, ya dig?  A fun relic from the days when jazz was part of a low-down street culture, not today's boring, conservatory-trained "American Classical Music."

You will be forgiven for thinking that Babs was a Latina, going by his name and that album cover, but nope, he was a black man. Not much of a singer, he got by on sheer attitude. This album makes an interesting contrast to the Buddy Starcher album we posted last week - tho they are both spoken word over music, they're pretty much poles apart. Babs is everything Buddy wasn't: cool, cynical, urban, sophisticated, and non-white. A hipster, in the original sense of the word. If those two ever met, like matter and anti-matter, they might have annihilated each other.


Tales Of Manhattan: The Cool Philosophy Of Babs Gonzales



A1 The Hat Box Chicks
A2 Broadway - 4 A.M.
A3 You Need Connections
A4 'Dem Resolution Liars
A5 Manhattan Fable
B1 'Dem Jive New Yorkers
B2 The Squares
B3 A Dollar Is Your Only Friend
B4 The Cool Cat's Philosophy
B5 Ole Braggin' Freddie

I have no beef with today's trendy urban youth, they got their own thing. I just wish they hadn't stolen the word "hipster," esp. since they don't even seem to like it. In Bab's day, you had to earn that designation. After all, he named his memoirs "I Paid My Dues." The hip scene was a secret underworld society. They needed these code words, as this was the era before the civil rights/black power movement, and long before the decriminalization of, er, "reefers" ("tea," "gage," etc). In these songs you'll hear such slang expressions as: 

Cadillac boys = pimps
frail = girl
pound = $5 (a lot of money in those days)
black and whites = night and days
vine = a suit of clothes
long green = lots of money

Still can't figure the lingo? For further research, digeth:

Cab Calloway's Jive Dictionary

Slim Gailard's Vout-o-Reenee Dictionary

Del Close & John Brent: "How To Speak Hip" (booklet)
                               "                                  (album - individual mp3s)
                               "                                  (album)

Which is all well and good, but what's the lingo for modern life? We need words for: computers, the internet, blogs, cell phones; synthesizers, CDs, mp3s; gays and alternate lifestyle stuff; etc., etc., etc. Come on, you real hipsters, start coining!

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

It's amazing what sorts of things actually became hit records in the Sixties.

Buddy Starcher was a country singer/guitarist best known for the goofy, not-entirely-accurate, 1966 proto-conspiracy theory record "History Repeats Itself," which, according to wiki: "...hit No. 39 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and the album of the same name from which it was drawn peaked at No. 37 on the U.S. Country Albums chart." And what an album it is, both fascinating as a historical relic, and as uniquely absurd entertainment.

Starcher intones these melodramatic spoken-word pieces like a good-ol-boy who's put on a suit and is giving a very grave speech to the local Kiwanis club. All of his conservative messages and sappy stories are backed by somber patriotic and country music, except for the comic relief track "A Taxpayer's Letter."  In "Day of Decision," Starcher claims that "...this is the age of the American cynic. The year of the unbeliever. The day of doubt." Woo-hoo, it's about time! "We change channels when a political discussion comes on."  You say that like it's a bad thing. "We've decided that elections and politicians have been bought and sold, like cattle." Er, no comment.

What the hell is up with "Eve Of My Multiplication"? Is it about someone with a math test the next day? Re: "The Fall of A Nation": Atilla The Hun's name was pronounced "AT-la"? Well, maybe it was. Not like he's around anymore to ask. "Judge, What About Me?" is supposed to be a tear-jerker about a "lame" boy and his divorcing parents, but I LOL-ed throughout this unintentional comic gem. Not so funny is the pro-Vietnam bullshit, e.g: the redundantly titled "Brave Men Not Afraid," in which we are informed that soldiers are not afraid to die. They aren't, eh? (Don't you love it when non-soldiers speak for soldiers?)

The hit single claims to find a number of parallels between Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. I guess this was supposed to be considered weird and eerie, but it's really just a bunch of meaningless coincidences, some of which aren't even true. You could do this with any number of things, even without having to make up facts, and indeed there are some other similar tracks on this album. I think it's time for new records of this sort. How about the chilling parallels between John Cale and Brian Eno? (cue dramatic music)

- Both were born in the UK, and moved to New York City.

- Both came to prominence as founding members of hugely influential avant-rock bands.

- Both left those bands after their first two (2) albums, after clashing with the bandleader.

- Both became producers of some of the greatest artists in alternative rock.

- John Cale = 8 letters
- Brian Eno = 8 letters

- Both were born in months that start with the letter 'M':
John Cale in March
Brian Eno in May

- Both performed on the albums "The End", "June 1, 1974", and "Wrong Way Up."

- Both were male.

- Both were white.

- Both were bipedal.

- Both had brief but torrid affairs with Dawn Wells, who played 'Mary Ann' on "Gilligan's Island" (unverified)

Yes, my friends, it would appear that once again...history repeats itself.

Buddy Starcher "HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF" 
(there's some skipping on track 2; sorry, I did my best, even put coins on the tone arm, etc.)
 


1 History Repeats Itself
2 The Great Decade Of The Sixties
3 Eve Of My Multiplication
4 Sniper's Hill
5 Last Supper
6 I'm In A Jam, Jim
7 History Repeats Itself Part II
8 A Taxpayer's Letter
9 Day Of Decision
10 Judge, What About Me?
11 The Fall Of A Nation
12 Brave Men Not Afraid
 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

6 ALBUMS ABOUT...ER, YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO KNOW...




The music of Zoojay (Jonathan Niehaus) might be the most disturbing, disgusting stuff I've ever heard. Simply put, he sings about having sex with dogs. Siberian huskies, to be precise. There is some info on-line about Niehaus but I have no idea how true any of it is, e.g.: molesting animals is not just a fantasy for him as he has apparently been caught in the act, resulting in him being fired from a job at a pet store. And supposedly, he has made videos that feature him illustrating the songs. I'm not going to look for them to confirm this. Listening to this music is bad enough! And supposedly, he is on the autism spectrum  (not that that's any excuse.)

And he has six albums

Musically, it's crap rave/techno, and there are plenty of instrumentals for those with nervous dispositions. But the vocal numbers are what move Niehaus outside of most outsider musics. His voice, the high-pitched squeak of a pathetic sissy, would be funny in other circumstances, what with his rhythm-less/rhyme-less lyrics that make song-poem authors look like Shakespeare. He is utterly unconcerned about any possible harm he may be doing to his unwilling partners. And he is unrepentant, demanding that beastiality be legalized and that everyone should just "leave him alone." He names one song "This Human Sex Thing Is So Corny."

I haven't listened to all six, just bits and pieces here and there, but I did listen to the album "Anthems For Dogs Only" in its' entirety. Not all the songs are about animal abuse.  "What In The Hell" questions the economy. "Normal = Wrong Life" accuses his father of abuse. If that's true all I can say is: don't worry Dad, no jury will convict you. At least he's self-aware enough to name two songs "Shut The Fuck Up (With This God Damn Music)" and "This Song Sucks." And the "Shoktro" album has a song called "Boo, Get Off The Stage."
Unfortunately, "Shoktro" also features the song "The Instructional Guide To Having Sex With Huskies." Do not listen on a full stomach.

An anonymous reader provided us with this link:

Jonathan Niehaus Discography (6 albums)

Technical note: You'll need WinZip to download these. WinZip is free.
UPDATE: 7-Zip, also free, should work as well (thanks, DeReviùer)





Thanks (?) to anon. I promise my next posts will be culturally and spiritually uplifting!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Another Goddam DEATH Dedication"

R.I.P. Don Joyce of Negativland

The legendary sound collagist/radio mastermind/culture-jammer has joined Snuggles.

If you didn't download the "Helter Stupid" show that I posted last year, a bootleg with excellent right-off-the-mixing-board sound quality, now would be the time to check it out:

Negativland Live - "Helter Stupid Tour" 1989

Christianity is Stupid! This video is GOOD:



Monday, July 20, 2015

When Surfing In Space, Apply MOON-TAN LOTION

46 years ago today, humans walked on the moon for the first time, as millions watched on TV (the Soviets, via their own Luna 15 craft, were no doubt angrily shaking their fists at the screen!), and some even watched with their naked eye by telescope. One British Colombian astronomer actually watched without a telescope - he knew the night sky so well that he could tell which dot was Apollo 11. The actual landing craft and American flag is still there, also visible by telescopes, and, were you to land at Tranquility Base, you could even see Neil Armstrong's footprints. Not a whole lot of weather on the moon.

Apart from the Space Race, the Sixties also gave us surf rock, and trashy rock 'n' roll in general. Two great tastes that go great together! Seems like a good time to celebrate this most holy of unions, what with the amazing Pluto mission now happening, and surf music feeling so right in this summer heat. 

These are mostly guitar instrumentals, but wacky sci-fi sound fx, keyboards, horns, and even some orchestral arrangements all add plenty of variety. And so you don't o.d. on instros, there's a few vocal numbers as well. I've always loved the Steven Garrick and His Party Twisters song (the female singer reminds me of Rusty Warren) yet for some reason I still haven't listened to much of the rest of the album. A little twisting goes a long way. There's also some rockabilly, doo-wop, some great lounge crooning ("Journey To The 7th Planet"), and one of Brian Wilson's greatest bits of lunacy (yes, it was once thought that the moon - Luna - caused madness). And then there's Sandy "King of the Surf Drummers" Nelson's "Beat From Another World," 7 bewildering minutes of studio and tape effects + drum solo that is certainly unlike anything else I've ever heard. It's more avant-garde then most stuff that thinks it's avant-garde.

I kinda cheated this time and included some modern surf bands along with the oldies, e.g.: contempo groups covering songs from the Ventures classic "In Space" album, and the "Blob" and "Dr Who" covers. They're just too good. But no Man or Astro-Man - seeing as how their entire career is surf-in-space, they would be a bit too obvious, no?
 
And once again, as we usually do when we get all mid-century lowbrow, there's some audio ephemera thrown in. This time, it's: 'B' movie ads and dialogue, a children's record, and sci-fi sound effects. And, as per usual, the collection's title and artwork (cartoonist Bill Wenzell, in this case) are courtesy of vintage men's magazines.

Lowbrow Vol.5 MoonTan Lotion - A MusicForManiacs Collection

Do I have to write out the track list? It's 30 tracks and I'm tired!
UPDATE 7/22: Thanks to a reader with a suitably sci-fi handle,
Soylentwhitetrash, the tracklist is now in Comments.

Friday, July 17, 2015

COSMIC DENNIS GREENIDGE

"Cosmic" Dennis Greenidge is a 60-something Londoner who sings off-key nonsense lyrics over other people's instrumental music playing out of a boombox in the background. Ha! In fidelity as low as early Daniel Johnson, Greenidge enthusiastically warbles lyrics like "Psychtronic, psycho-sonic boom! Don't leave the room!" or "the amazing colossal cucumber man" over a wide variety of musics. Sometimes he likes just a snippet of music (the intro perhaps) and audibly keeps hitting 'rewind' to play the good bit over and over, "singing" all the way. The songs are often under a minute, hence we've got a whopping 66 tracks here.

They're not all songs, e.g. "Horror Interlude," a brief radio drama that's far more funny than scary. Other highlights include the kiddie march "Lavender Castle," the bizarre beach party of "Satellite Beach" ("Space Dracula, Space Frankenstein, Space Mothra, party down!"), the literal laugh riot of "The Laughing Cavalier," and the quite wonderfully bonkers "Spaghetti Yeti": "Spaghetti, you eat it! Yeti can eat you!" There's even the inspirational sincerity of "The Windows Are Open." Such delightful torture!

Musos will of course consider Cosmic Dennis to be utterly without any musical talent, but, like The Note-Ables, he's obviously having such a grand time with this lunacy that many Maniacs will find themselves getting swept up into Greenidge's mad world. Or is it madness? Perhaps it's just good ol' English eccentricity.

Cosmic Dennis Greenidge "Giant Man Giant Plan" (66 tracks - 2008)
(tracklist here)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ross Bolleter's Music For Ruined Pianos

A reader left a comment today: "How does one download from Google on a Mac? I cannot figure it out..." I'm not a Mac-intologist. Anyone?
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rather than take old, decrepit pianos and attempt to repair and tune them, Australian composer/improviser Ross Bolleter makes new music out of "ruined" pianos. Bolleter approaches each piano as a singular entity, utilizing each instrument's lack of standard tuning, missing keys, broken strings, etc. to create strange, haunting, stirring sounds that would not be possible to make on a new piano. Which seems like a much more logical approach than taking every sound-making thing on the planet and forcing the limited range of the Western scale on it.

The music on this album hardly sounds like "piano music." The lengthy opening track is meditative loveliness, ranging from Asian gong sounds to birds calls in the background (this really is a 'field recording') to horror movie atmospherics. The remaining short tracks sound similar to John Cage's prepared piano works, but while Cage's pieces were gamelan-inspired and strictly written, these are free and jazzy. So ingenious one wonders why no-one thought of doing something like this before?

Ross Bolleter - Secret Sandhills and Satellites (Pieces For Ruined Pianos) (2006)
(UPDATE 7/15: Missing track now in file.)

Count Otto hepped me to this cat via this article about "Touring Australia's Piano Graveyards."

Pardon my Amazon cut-and pasting:

ROSS BOLLETER ruined pianos (+ accordion on 7)

1 - SECRET SANDHILLS - 28:00
2 - AXIS - 6:47
3 - DEAD MARINE - 6:10
4 - AND THEN I SAW THE WIND - 3:22
5 - CHORUS LINE - 1:39
6 - SAVE WHAT YOU CAN - 2:40
7 - GOING TO WAR WITHOUT THE FRENCH IS LIKE GOING TO WAR WITHOUT AN ACCORDION - 4:23
8 - TIME WAITS - 5:59
9 - COME NIGHT - 2:02
10 - JAUNTY NOTES OF PADDOCKS BRIGHT - 4:22
11 - OLD MAN PIANO - 1:46

"All digital recordings made in Australia around Perth and Alice Springs 2001-2005. Pieces for ruined pianos and pianos on the edge of ruin... The main work, inspired by an Aborigine painting, is the 28-minute Secret Sandhills, a generally slow-moving work spliced together from performances on six ruins. There are also 10 shorter and generally faster Satellites, some of which were performed on two ruined pianos simultaneously. Fresh new sounds from decaying old instruments."

Thursday, July 09, 2015

"Female Trouble": The Soundtrack

By request from multiple requesters requesting requests...now back on-line:
RIAA: "Sounds For The Swing-Set," "
Radical, Intense and Awesome", and "Schizophonia Suite." And just in time for summer: "Soul Surfin'."

Following the recent post of the soundtrack to the John Waters film "Pink Flamingos," blogger extraordinaire Jonny Zchivago slipped us the OST to Waters' 1974 classic "Female Trouble." Ingredients: some splendidly sleazy early rock, inc "Underwater," one of my fave surf oddities; Nervous Norvus hippin' the squares to that jive lingo; the singing debut of Divine; some slices of corny suburban cheese; and choice bits of dialogue from the film. As the great Nervous Norvus would say, dig-a-roonee:

"Female Trouble" Soundtrack + Bonus Filth!

01 Divine - Female Trouble Theme [original lyrics sung over an existing song...but what is the song?]
02 "Christmas at the Davenports"
03 Gene Autry - Jingle Bells
04 Ruby Wright with Cliff Lash and his Orchestra and the Dick Noel Singers - Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Xmas
05 "The World of Heterosexuality"
06 Chuck Río & The Originals - Blue Kat
07 "A Meatball Sandwich"
08 Nervous Norvus - Dig
09 Bill Black Combo - Yogi
10 101 Strings Orchestra - Bridal March
11 "Retarded Brat"
12 The Frogmen - Underwater

Order now and we'll include these free gifts! Some songs not on the soundtrack, but inspired by the film that I've added to the file Jonny sent us:

- D. Sticker Ensemble - Massey Resource [sound collage of film dialogue vs Philip Glass (?)]
- Eartha Kitt w/Bronski Beat - Cha Cha Heels [a couple of disco/house stompers]
- Rosabel w/Jeanie Tracy - Cha Cha Heels
- The Cowslingers - Cha Cha Heels [trashy garage-rock]

Thanks and praise to Jonny Zchivago!
  

Sunday, July 05, 2015

HERB ALPERT GOES MOD

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass sold more albums than almost anyone else in the '60s, so it's no surprise that any goofball with a trumpet would try to cash in on their effortlessly enjoyable, upbeat, instrumental style. And, indeed, there were plenty of those.  Making a vocal album, however, is another story. Who in their right mind would attempt an entire album of singing new words to famous instrumentals?

But that is what Big Band veterans the Modernaires did, setting lyrics to Alpert & Co.'s numerous hit tunes (apart from songs like "All My Loving" that, of course, already had lyrics). The tight-harmony vocal quintet used to sing with the likes of Glen Miller back in the '40s, so presumably this was their attempt to get, er, "mod." Of course, it's utterly ridiculous, even more removed from anything resembling actual Mexican music than even Alpert was. But like the TJ Brass itself, it's so gosh-darn HAPPY! that it's hard to resist. No slow songs here. But no parka-clad British youth riding scooters either.

the Modernaires - The "Mods" Salute Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass


1. Tijuana Taxi
2. Spanish Flea
3. What Now My Love
4. My Buddy
5. A Walk In the Black Forest
6. All My Loving
7. A Taste of Honey
8. Alley Cat
9. Mexican Shuffle
10. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
11. And The Angels Sing

Member of the Hollywood session all-stars The Wrecking Crew perform on this, inc. Tommy Tedesco, possibly the most recorded guitarist ever. 

I was reminded of this album, and Alpert in general, whilst recently visiting Herb's spectacular restaurant, Vibrato. From the minute we walked in, an instro combo was serving up cool jazz and Latin lovelies like "The Girl from Ipanema," "Besame Mucho", "The Peanut Vendor," and a famous '60s groover I could not place (Horace Silver? Oscar Peterson?) From the drink menu, I passed on the 'Tijuana Taxi' and ordered 'The Spanish Flea.' Muy bueno, as were the lamb chops. And actor Jon Voight called our daughter "beautiful." So happy Fathers' Day to me, eh?

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I'm Bringing Weirdness Back...

If you feel like genuine musical weirdness died with Sun Ra and Captain Beefheart, take heed!  We have some 
stone-cold freakazoids in our midst even today. To whit:
 
- The Everyday Film is raising funds for his next album. Judging by the excerpts of works in progress in the video 
below, it's the veteran outsider's most ambitious project yet, as it moves beyond his usual industrial nightmares 
into some realms of sound that actually resemble, well, music. Y'know, that some people will like to listen
 to? So give, brothers and sister, give 'til it hurts:

The Everyday Film - "Bleed Over" (GoFundMe site)
 
- Ostrich Von Nipple is such a great name that I thought there was no way that their music could measure up to it, 
but their latest album is an absolutely awesome acid-bathed assemblage of spazz-jazz-tronica, weirded-out lyrics, 
and a guest guitarist who has played with the Residents, no less. Songs like "Mad Martian Beach Party" actually
sound like their titles. One 10-minute track suggests prog, but prog is rarely this humorous and surreal.  Originally
released last year in hard copy formats thru Psychofon Records, including a very limited vinyl run, it's now available
digitally thru outlets like Amazon and iTunes. In Maniac-universe, this album would sweep the Grammys.

"Ostrich von Nipple Quantifies Absurdity" album Amazon page 
Ostrich Von Nipple "Upright Jerker" (mp3)
 
- Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin, the gal who's so cray-cray she makes Kate Bush look like Barbra Streisand, is the
 one who hipped us to the Nipple. Her own latest video "Picked Fences" (see below) is another outlandish mixture of 
live action, animation, puppets, toys, video effects, and art-song.   
 
- Womb Pals' brief (13 minutes) name-your-price download EP "Baby Spinach" is mostly pleasantly low-key
piano ambience, but is notable for the track "perfection," which ingeniously samples the sounds of coughing and 
throat-clearing. No other instruments. Exactly the kind of thing that Maniacs might find clever and funny, and 
Normals might respond to by running away, hands over ears. That's irri-tainment! 
 
http://wombpals.bandcamp.com/releases 
 
- The Chewers are the twisted Southerners whose two previous albums got rave reviews from Yours Truly on these 
here virtual pages. They're still spewing out their inbred hell-billy guitar rock primitivism, but with seemingly
a bigger budget. More instrumental sounds, cleaner production, guests vocalists - they sound better
than ever, tho the songs are not sticking with me the way their earlier work did. One track, however, the utterly
over-the-top "Misanthropic Bones," just might be the greatest thing they've ever done. It's a kind of rap song, 
with a clenched-teeth Chewer sptting out rhymes like "I don't get enough sun or sleep/I'm a hollow, distorted 
creep."
Well, aren't we all?

The Chewers "Dead Dads" album Bandcamp page
The Chewers  "Misanthropic Bones" (mp3)

 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

TRIBUTE TO PINK FLAMINGOS

Donald Featherstone, the appropriately-named creator of those plastic reproductions of our pink feathered friends, has just passed away at the age of 79. As if being the father of the world's most notorious lawn ornament wasn't eccentric enough, Featherstone and his wife were also known for always wearing matching outfits! Now that is just the sort of weird, goofy, good ol' American trash culture that John Waters immortalized in his 1972 film. 

If you haven't seen "Pink Flamings," perhaps the ultimate cult movie, I sure as hell ain't gonna tell you about it. Let's just say that even tho I only saw it once - and this was back in the '80s, when the earths' crust was still cooling and dinosaurs walked the earth - a mere glance at the song titles of the soundtrack recall images that are permanently seared into my brain. So let's pay tribute to Mr. Featherstone with the suitably trashy soundtrack of '50s/60s rock, r'n'b, and easy-listening oldies that Waters used to underscore his characters foul (not to mention fowl) behavior. Some of these songs are as insane as any crazed early rock (e.g.: "Chicken Grabber," "Surfin Bird") while others, like the perfectly presentable "Happy Happy Birthday Baby," are used as ironically innocent counterpoints to the on-screen depravity.

Plus! At no extra cost to you! Other "Pink Flamingos"-related audio oddities thrown into the file:

- Edith Massesy's single, which featured her "singing" a cover of the Four Seasons' "Big Girls Don't Cry," and a lovely original, "Punks (Get Off The Grass)." Massey had moved to the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles, and her thrift store was a popular hangout for local punks and weirdos, who recorded this with her in 1982.

- Divine "You Think You're A Man" (7'' version); S/He recorded a surprising amount but I just have this one catchy bit of '80s disco.

- The Illuminoids "Satan Said Walrus Eggs," a mashup from 2007 that mixes Massey's "Pink Flamingo" dialogue with the Beatles, over a stomping beat from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The Egg Lady meets the Egg Man, with special guest: Satan. One of the members of the Illuminoids was Howie Pyro, who took the name for his super-swell internet show "Intoxica" from one of the songs on this here soundtrack:

"Pink Flamingos" + Bonus Filth


1. The Swag - Link Wray & His Ray Men
2. Intoxica - The Centurions
3. Jim Dandy - LaVern Baker
4. I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent - Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers
5. The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
6. Ooh! Look-A There, Ain't She Pretty - Bill Haley & His Comets
7. Chicken Grabber - Nite Hawks
8. Happy, Happy Birthday Baby - The Tune Weavers
9. Pink Champagne - The Tyrones
10. Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
11. Riot In Cell Block #9 - The Robins
12. (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window - Patti Page