Thursday, November 12, 2015

Behold, the Daxophone! The FUNNIEST Instrument Ever?!?

The late, great Hans Reichel gets a lot of props in the modern jazz world for his guitar playing, which is all well and good, but Maniacs should proceed directly to the few recordings he made highlighting his invention, the hand-crafted wooden objects known as Daxophones. Imagine a school kid bending his ruler over his desk making a boing! sound, only played with a violin or cello bow. In the hands of Reichel, a master musician as well as inventor, the Dax is amazingly versatile, capable of all manner of sounds, often with cartoonish undercurrents.

Reichel calls this album an 'operetta' even tho there are no singers. Indeed, there are no other instruments on this album besides the Daxophone. Yet the instrument has the uncanny ability to mimic human speech sound. Not only that, but the song "Bubu And His Friends" sounds like a whole barnyard of animals singing in harmony. Not only do these instruments sing, they swing, dad. These are not just weird noises for a chin-stroking avant-garde academic. "Street Song" is filled with hand-clapping joy. The percussion-heavy "You Can Dance With Me" reaches an almost Afro-Cuban level of danceable groove. And the catchy bubblegum rock of "Oway Oway" could convert the most brainwashed of mainstream music followers (well, in my fantasy world...)

Some songs suggest actual musical genres, like salsa, jazz or country, but played as if by Martians who, after picking up some terrestrial radio transmissions, attempt to interpret  the music of Earthlings on their alien instruments, tuned to no known scale. A wonderful work of weird genius. The fact that the name 'Hans Reichel' is not as well known as 'Kardashian' does not speak well for the human species, but we can start changing that right now:

Hans Reichel - "Yuxo, A New Daxophone Operetta"   [2002]

You can also listen to/buy another great Daxophone album (along with a slew of his guitar releases) here:

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Thelonious Moog - "American Standard"

Thelonious Moog's debut album was, as you might expect, jazz cats playing Mr. Monk on vintage synths. Their 2007 follow-up, "American Standard," ditched the music of their namesake for an unpredictable, irreverent romp ranging from heavy cats like Gershwin, Brubeck, & Zappa, to the EZ kitsch of those thrift-store inevitables "Alley Cat" and Al Hirt's "Java," all getting the same zany Space-Age treatment and some ingenious arrangements. Raymond Scotts' "Powerhouse" is dunked in wacky cartoon sound-effects, Duke Ellington's exotica standard "Caravan" goes surf-rock (+ odd noises) and one of my fave kooky '70s glam classics, "Hocus Pocus" by Focus, gets tackled here twice. All quite silly, but played by pros, and plenty fun - one of the best novelty albums of the '00s.

Thelonious Moog - American Standard

  • 1.Powerhouse
  • 2.T 4 2
  • 3.Hocus Pocus (Swingin' 60's)
  • 4.Caravan
  • 5.Take 5, 6,& 7
  • 6.Got Rhythm?
  • 7.Alley Cat
  • 8.Duodenum
  • 9.Hocus Pocus (Bossa Nova)
  • 10.Have U Seen It Yet?
  • 11.Java
  • 12.Harlem Nocturne

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The Complete EVERYDAY FILM... available for free, supposedly for today only. Dig the horrific electronics:
UPDATE: Oops, well, so much for that.

By request, "Music For Weirdos Vol 5" is back up.

Right, back to my sick bed. Zzzz.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The EZ-Listening Gangsta Rap of DJ NoNo

 By request, the marching-band versions of Stooges classics is back up.

"Planned 10 years ago, the Ballroom EP (now album) has been a long time coming…
Mixing ballroom music – big band, jazz, bossa nova, exotica, swing, easy listening and classical pops – with hip hop and r n’ b." So sayeth that red, rad robot DJ NoNo (aka Tim from Radio Clash) about his mashup collection now on-line for your dancing/romancing/listening/downloading pleasure. And what a pleasure it is, mixing the likes of hardcore rappers Public Enemy with an exceedingly cheesy version of the "Mexican Hat Dance." One of the oldies that gets remixed is one of my all-time fave mashups: "Stripper Jackson," which features Jacko singing over a version of that bump-n-grind classic, "The Stripper." This is the kind of stuff that I used to feature regularly in the early days of this here web-log.

Only 9 tracks long, and it's all quite fun and ridiculous. And I'm not just saying that because it's partially dedicated to me. (Looks at the floor) Ah, shucks...

DJ NoNo: "Ballroom"

  1. Mexican Love War (Public Enemy ‘Make Love Fuck War’ vs Geoff Love ‘Mexican Hat Dance’)
  2. Push It Muchacho (Salt n’ Pepa ‘Push It’ vs Esquivel ‘Mucha Muchacha’)
  3. March of the Forgotten (Joe Loss ‘Mark of the Mods’ vs Dre ft Eminem ‘Forgot about Dre’)
  4. Swing The Guillotine (Death Grips ‘Guillotine’ vs Glen Miller ‘In The Mood’)
  5. Stripper Jackson (Joe Loss ‘The Stripper’ vs Michael Jackson ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’)
  6. Quando Tip (Q-Tip ‘Breathe And Stop’ vs Manuel ‘Quando Quando Quando’)
  7. Super Wheels (Eminem ‘Superman’ vs Joe Loss ‘Wheels Cha Cha’)
  8. Ludasifinado (Ludacris ‘Stand Up’ vs Laurindo Almeida ‘Desafinado’)
  9. Cha Cha Like It’s Hot (Snoop Dogg ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ vs Starlight Strings ‘Unforgettable’ 2015 remaster)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

HI-FI SCI-FI: Vintage Monster/Space/Horror/Futurism Audio Oddities

Now up for your downloading pleasure, six (and counting) volumes of monstrous mix-tapes, perfect for these Halloween-y times we're living in. And what might their contents be? Compiler Cat A. Waller sez: "I'm afraid to say what's on them. Might get googled and busted. I'm kinda wimpy like that." Well, after checking out three volumes (so far) I can heartily recommend this witch's brew of vintage horror rock, more recent New Wave and novelty artists, and relevant sound (vampire?) bites and film dialogue, amongst other surprises.

Monstro Monster Mixes 

Still not enough for ya? "Hi-Fi Sci-Fi," the latest installment in our continuing exploration of mid-century arty-facts from the Golden Age of Cool, deals with every aspect of the fantastic: Outer Space! Monsters! Monsters from space! Not only is much of this stuff ripped from vinyl and, so far as I know, has not been compiled on other collections of vintage sleazy-listening sounds, but there's also a number of tracks recorded off of video: movie songs (and dialogue, sound fx, etc.) that were not released on record, but should have been. There will be more such movie musics in future volumes. So keep watching the skies!

Apart from the unknown garage rockers and novelty acts releasing 45s on regional labels, we also have a few big stars: Diana Ross & The Supremes, Bo Diddley, Louis Prima...and crooners. Crooners already rule, but when they sing straight-faced, sincere, utterly inappropriate 'love themes' to cheesy b-movies, they just get, er, 'rule-ier.' Bobby Rydell's finger-snappin' vocal version of "Telstar" must be heard to be believed. See also: "Journey to the Seventh Planet" on "Vol. 5".

Lowbrow Vol. 6: HI-FI SCI-FI 

01 The Crescendos - Countdown
02 Louis Prima - Fly Me To The Moon [from a private-press release by this king of Vegas lounge singers]
03 Gemini & The Planets - Copa City Promo, Miami, FL ["gyrating go-go girls dancing on a bed of nails"?!]
04 The Supremes - Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine [wouldn't it be nice to hear the oldies station play this theme song to a nutty Vincent Price film instead of "Baby Love" for the umpteenth time?]
05 Monty Johnson - Flying Saucers in the Air
06 The Sci-Fis - Science Friction
07 Ralph Young - Moon Doll [future half of very successful duo Sandler & Young croons the theme to "Nude On The Moon," a film about nudes on the moon.]
08 "Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster": Bob Crewe - Scramble All Jets
09 Big Maybelle - Egg Plant That Ate Chicago [rhythm and blues legend Maybelle recorded the original "Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On"; which is all well and good, but I prefer this]
10 "Annihilation"
11 "Beach Girls and the Monster" - suspense music [My title - like track 15, I don't know the names of the uncredited pieces of music]
12 Bo Diddley - Mummy Walk
13 "Evil Hand"
14 Frankie Avalon - Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
15 "Beach Girls and the Monster" - spooky bongos
16  "Beach Girls and the Monster" Kinsley The Lion & Elaine Dupont - Monster In The Surf
17 Astronauts - The Hearse
18 Teddy and Darrel - Gary Ghoul Boy [pioneering campy gay humor]
19 "I am Robert Robot, mechanical man. Ride me and steer me, wherever you can"
20 Bent Bolt & The Nuts - The Mechanical Man
21 "HAL is Operational"
22 Ray Cathode - Waltz In Orbit [featuring a pre-Beatles George Martin!]
23 Buchanan & Goodman - Frankenstein of '59
24 Carl Douglas - Witchfinder General [yep, the "Kung Fu Fighting" guy; I literally did LOL listening to this one]
25 "Werewolf in A Girl's Dormitory": Marilyn Stewart/ Frank Owens - Ghoul in School
26 Frankie Stein and his Ghouls - Three Little Weirds [This sounds like it may be the song "Jerk" from "Lowbrow Vol. 2," only w/added crazy sound fx]
27 Bobby Rydell - Telstar [This song had lyrics? Believe it or don't! The vocal version was often called "Magic Star."]
28 "Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster" - capture of the earth women 
29 Travis Wammack - Theres A UFO Up There
30 Orange Groove - A Bad Trip Back to '69 [I think this song appears on the 101 Strings album "Astro-sounds": probably more budget label shenanigans, like track 26]
31 Lex de Azevedo / Doug Stewart - Zero Population [An ultra-conservative's idea of a dystopian future, from "Saturdays Warrior," a Mormon rock-opera - yes, there really was such a thing. Lex de Azevedo had a long career w/Capital records, releasing the Mrs Miller albums!]
32 Charleton Heston - "Soylent_Green"
33 Columbia Playtime Orchestra - "Rocket Ranger Song"
34 David Rose - Forbidden Planet [The man behind the huge hit "The Stripper" is a long way from the burly-q house here]
35 Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry - Monster Adventures In Outer Space

artwork courtesy of Mitch O'COnnell

Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Night Of The Living Dead" soundtrack

I think this speaks for itself, doesn't it?

The internets sez: "Since their meager budget did not allow for an original music score, producer Karl Hardman selected cues from the Capitol Hi-Q production music library which [director George] Romero masterfully edited into the film. The end result was spine-chilling. Although this same music had been used more than a decade earlier in low-budget efforts such as Teenagers from Outer Space, The Hideous Sun Demon and The Killer Shrews, it would become forever known as the soundtrack to Night of the Living Dead."

Choice bits of dialogue are also included in this collection.

Night Of The Living Dead OST

A1 Spencer Moore Driveway To The Cemetary (Main Title)
A2 William Loose / Seely At The Gravesite/Flight/Refuge
A3 George Hormel Farmhouse/First Approach
A4 Ib Glindemann Ghoulash (J.R.'s Demise)
A5 George Hormel / William Loose / Seely / Ib Glindemann Boarding Up
A6 Philip Green / George Hormel First Radio Report/Torch On The Porch
A7 George Hormel Boarding Up 2/Discovery: Gun N' Ammo
A8 Spencer Moore Cleaning House
B1 Ib Glindemann First Advance
B2 George Hormel / Jack Meakin Discovery Of TV/Preparing To Escape/Tom & Judy
B3 George Hormel Attempted Escape
B4 George Hormel Truck On Fire/Ben Attacks Harry/Leg Of Leg
Effects [Electronic Sound Effects] – Karl Hardman
B5 George Hormel Beat 'Em Or Burn 'Em/Final Advance
B6 Spencer Moore Helen's Death/Dawn/Posse In The Fields/Ben Awakes
Effects [Electronic Sound Effects] – Karl Hardman
B7 Spencer Moore O.K. Vince/Funeral Pyre (End Title)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oh Come On, MORE Experimental Psychedelic Bagpipe Music?!

Count 'em
Yeah, I know, but this one's really great. Julia Wolfe, of New York's Bang On A Can posse, released this a few years ago, and is performing it for the first time in Los Angeles this week - on a bluff overlooking the ocean. For FREE. It's a teaser to get you to see the BOAC concert. The whole piece runs about 13 minutes. No other instruments, just bagpipes. 

The first part is total mind-melting psych drone, like Glen Branca in a kilt. Not only does it sound nothing like what I thought bagpipe music was supposed to sound like, it pretty much caved in my skull. And I do not take drugs. Part 2 sounds more bagpipe-y, and gets into subtle minimalism territory.

Julia Wolfe "Lad (for 9 bagpipes)" parts 1 and 2

from the album "Dark Full Ride"

Friday, October 09, 2015

Ultimate Xanadu 22

Don-O is the very busy culture-vulture who slipped us "Ultimate Ultimate Xanadu" last year, a sampling of the numerous cover versions of songs from the 1980 musical film "Xanadu". A film I still have not seen (the likes of Olivia Newton-John and ELO barely budge my interest-meter), but Don-O makes an interesting point in the debut ish of his new 'zine "Space-Age Ashtray" that "Xanadu" fits snuggly into the world of classic Las Vegas and mid-century Space-Age/tiki culture, the sort of stuff that sends my interest-meter skyrocketing. So, hmm...

He's back with 20 more "Xanadu" soundtrack covers ranging from solo acoustic to full-blown disco orchestrations. Along they way we encounter: an a capella choir, Marie Osmond and Andy Gibb, an Asian language cover, lo-fi live recordings, no-fi grungy rock, lots of Broadway-style warbling, and a vocal choir singing a medley of ELO hits, not all from "Xanadu." Take a hit of ultimate Xanax! Er, I mean:

Ultimate Xanadu 22

Monday, October 05, 2015

Calvin B. Rhone: "He Came On Me"

I'm just gonna stick with the facts on this one.  No comment necessary. Calvin B. Rhone is a still-active Los Angeles gospel singer who recorded this private-press sanctified soul album in 1983. Some tracks have a lot more to do with Earth Wind and Fire or Stevie Wonder than with robe-clad, hand-clapping choirs. Enjoy! 

 P.S.: One of the songs is called "He Came On Me." The title phrase is indeed sung by Rhone. Repeatedly.

Calvin B. Rhone has an "Intimate Friend"

A1 We've Come To Praise Him
A2 Intimate Friend
A3 Lord!
B1 Believe
B2 He Came On Me
B3 I LoveTheLord
B4Bless The Name Of Jesus

I just discovered this album last week and - Why look! Someone else posted a YouTube of said song just a month ago. Coincidence? Or perhaps the universe just wasn't ready for this record until now..?

A1 We've Come To Praise Him A2 Intimate Friend A3 Lord! B1 I Believe B2 He Came On Me B3 I Love The Lord B4 Bless The Name Of Jesus Copy the BEST Traders and Make Money :

Copy the BEST Traders and Make Money :
A1 We've Come To Praise Him A2 Intimate Friend A3 Lord! B1 I Believe B2 He Came On Me B3 I Love The Lord B4 Bless The Name Of Jesus Copy the BEST Traders and Make Money :

Copy the BEST Traders and Make Money :
A1 We've Come To Praise Him A2 Intimate Friend A3 Lord! B1 I Believe B2 He Came On Me B3 I Love The Lord B4 Bless The Name Of Jesus Copy the BEST Traders and Make Money :

Copy the BEST Traders and Make Money :

Friday, October 02, 2015


It's fall, Halloween is around the corner, so let's get moody with these FREE! listening/download contemporary internet releases of a decidedly strange and obscure nature. If Lovecraft's Miskatonic University had a college radio station, these albums would be on heavy rotation.

Ak'chamel: "Old Norse Mara" - Like the Residents attempting to summon occult entities (or The Elder Gods), this album is dark, distorted, evil ambience, culminating in the compelling "Death Was On You From The Moment of Birth." But it's then followed by an utterly incongruous surf-punk instrumental(?!). No matter, a demonically-possessed muppet then takes over the lead vox for the next track. (The more overtly shaman-istic "Fucking With Spirits" is plenty cool, too.) Price: Name your price.

Sasha Olynyk: "1955" (EP) - What is this, a '50s crooner & an EZ orchestra collaborating with Portishead? It's hard to tell thru the hallucinogenic fog. 25 minutes of mysterious melancholy,  sometimes quite beautiful, a la Boards of Canada, only Olynyk really is Canadian. The moment in "Surfers Dream" where the "Rebel Without A Cause" soundtrack morphs into the song is magical. Price: Name your price.

Hanetration - "Murmurist" ep - One of our fave ambient-ists. "Begin" is indeed a great place to begin; the gently clanking percussion + church organ drone of "Sundown" = one of his best ever. Price: Free

Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel: does what it says on the tin. Tho sometimes joined by guests, most of these free releases are by an Atlanta, GA duo who deliver deep drone instrumentals that sound nothing like the Space Age sounds you'd expect from theremins, or the usual country/Hawaiian-isms of steel guitar. All live, all improvised. Price: Name your price. See also:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Over Sexteen Vol. 2: Prudes Won't Think It Funny!

By a very wide margin, one of our "Lowbrow" collections of mid-century sleazy-listening sounds is the most popular post of the year, and several other lowbrow posts aren't far behind. Which is great, glad to tap into something so many of you wacky cats 'n' wigged-out chicks are craving, but I'm running out of suitably vile vinyl. So I've gone record-hunting and sound-digging lately, and this time, apart from 45s (and I have found a few goodies already) and recording otherwise-unavailable songs off of old b-movies, I'm also hitting up the comedy bins for "party albums" - naughty humor sold under record counters to, er, "sophisticated" adults. A lot of them just feature lame stand-up comedy that you don't need to hear more than once, even if that, but sometimes even these records have a good musical track or two.

And then there's this nutty thing, just purchased a week or so ago. Based on books of the same name, "Over Sexteen Vol. 2" stars an uncredited stentorian announcer hosting dirty jokes, acted out with enthusiasm by some uncredited actors who favor silly ethnic voices, and actresses who use a squeaky New Yoiker goil voice. All in the service of sometimes funny, but very dated humor. The audio equivalent of novelty cocktail napkins.

What really makes this album, however, is the organ interludes that pop up between the jokes and skits. Sometimes the songs reference the preceding joke. The combination of all these elements add up to an inexplicable whole that is greater than the parts. I couldn't believe I was actually laughing at this corny humor as much as I was.

Over Sexteen vol2

Absolutely no information listed on the album cover, except the name 'Kermit Schafer,' the huckster who would later become very successful for his 'blooper' albums of broadcasting goof-ups. Some of those alleged mis-speaks and outtakes were bogus, recreated using actors. Perhaps the very actors featured here.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tiny Tim: Concert In Fairyland

Annoying Animal Sounds Christmas Novelties , "Muppet Christ Superstar," my vote for the strangest musical instrument ever, and "Cool Cowboy" are back up - by request, strangely enough.

When legendary outsider oddball Tiny Tim was experiencing his late '60s fluke mainstream popularity, some low-level record company weasels dug up on old tape of Tiny singing classic old childrens and novelty songs and Tin Pan Alley standards, and for some reason decided to add some silly crowd sound effects. Tiny's voice certainly improved in the years following this recording. So Tiny never considered this part of his official discography, but there's still some good stuff here. Look at that song list - come on, don't you wanna hear a ukulele-strumming Tiny singing "On The Good Ship Lollipop" in his otherworldly falsetto ? 'Course you do!

With Love and Kisses From Tiny Tim: Concert In Fairyland

Oh, How I Miss You Tonight
Let Me Call You Sweetheart
On the Good Ship Lollipop
Secret Love
Animal Crackers
Indian Love Call
Don't Take Your Love from Me
If I Didn't Care
You Make Me Feel So Young
10 I Got a Pain in My Sawdust (an original recording of this somewhat disturbing song can be found HERE.)
11 Be My Love
12 Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goodbye

See also:

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Music for Homemade Instruments - A Decade of Debris (1988)

Like the band featured in this blog's previous post, The Hoosier Hot Shots, this group also performs on homemade instruments. However, one group is considered "novelty" and the other "avant-garde." It's all rather arbitrary, and class-ist. This band isn't quite as funny as the Hoosiers of course, but they are plenty tuneful, with nice toe-tapping compositions sometimes derived from Indonesian gamelan music, something ex-members of this group would explore further with the (I believe) still-running band of fellow New York arty-smarties, Gamelan Son of Lion.

Music for Homemade Instruments - A Decade of DebrisI just wish I could see these instruments. I could only find one photo (right), and no videos. 

Despite their academic background, this is fun stuff, not just self-indulgent banging around - hence, not a completely unlikely companion to the Hot Shots. The track "Inside the Compound" is even a kind of mutant blues. An excellent album that should have had greater distribution. This was a cassette-only release. So, yeah, this file is taken from a tape, but still sounds pretty good.

Music for Homemade Instruments- A Decade of Debris (1988)

a1 Glyptodont (Skip La Plante)
 a2 Inside the Compound (Geoffrey Gordon)
 a3 Streetsong (Alice Eve Cohen) [not safe for work!]
 b1 Ball Lead (Rolf Groesbeck)
 b2 Native Cat Songs (David Simons)

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.

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, 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



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?

(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 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
3I'll Try
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
23The Song Of The Wind
24The Flower Of Love
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."