Friday, December 23, 2005

A TOOLBOX CHRISTMAS

"Your favorite carols performed on your favorite hand and power tools..An extraordinary orchestra of hammers, saws, drills, ratchets, 2x4s, pipes, planers, and much, much more...You may even hear the occasional mandolin, dulcimer or oboe adding their voices." So says the folk music label, Gourd Records, about woodworker/musician Woody Phillips's debut album "A Toolbox Christmas." Imagine, if you can, Einst├╝rzende Neubauten recording for Windham Hill...

Woody Phillips - "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

I'll be taking a little time off, so thanks for all the tips, comments, and CDs sent my way - this has truly become a community effort. I'm always amazed when I check my web stats to see how many visitors I get every day. See you next year!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

TRANSEXUAL SILVER HELLS

The King of Jingaling, he of the crucial Christmas music site Falalalala.com, posted an album yesterday by a singer I wasn't familiar with, Wendy Rose. I listened, I was amazed, I asked His Highness who this woman was, and where has she been all my life? All he knew was a friend sent him the CD, and Ms. Rose is apparently a transexual street performer from Toronto, Canada. Her website features photos of Miss Thing in her librarian glasses (Warning! Bathtub shot on the bottom of the page!), as well as a few mp3s of original songs, but, like the Christmas album, the no-fi recordings all feature her Casio-esque music, and her singing, which is sort of a cross between Neil Young and Yoko Ono.

Wendy Rose "Silver Bells" - Not as off-key as the rest of the album (she's maybe batting .500 here), and dig that electro groove! Unless, of course, you sickos want to hear the really painful tracks...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

POT-BELLIED PIGS SING HOLIDAY FAVORITES

Pigs. "Singing" Christmas songs. Well, why not? Don Carlos' Singing Dogs' "Jingle Bells" is one of the all-time classic holiday novelties, and the "Jingle Cats" albums did well. So, in 1994, Texas musician Bobby Breaux took advantage of the then-popular potbellied-pigs-as-pets fad to record a short album of sampled pig squeals and grunts set to holiday standards.

The fad didn't last long, as pig owners soon found out that those cute little piglets grew into 200 lb beasts with monster appetites. But at least it inspired this (now out-of-print) CD "The Jingle Bellies."

The Jingle Bellies "Joy To The World" - a more disgusting, almost flatulent version you'll never hear. Which, of course, coming from me is a compliment.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

THE DEFINITIVE "THE FIRST NOEL"

Ladies and gentleman, prepare thyself for the most jaw-dropping rendition of this holiday chestnut you've ever heard. What's it like? Well, let's just say I hope this isn't coming too soon after Wing's ACDC interpretation.

Johnny "Bowtie" Barstow: "The First Noel"

And there's more where that come from - a whole album's worth, in fact. Can't find much info on Bowtie apart from producer/keyboardist Larry Golding's notes. Although the album came out a year ago, it's apparently been in the works for some time: "In the early 1990s, when John Barstow first performed at The Angry Squire's open mic night in New York City, I knew he was something special. We soon became friends, and he agreed to let me record him in my home studio, which consisted of a 4-track cassette recorder and an electric keyboard." I think you'll agree it was well worth the wait.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

MAE WEST'S WILD CHRISTMAS

Dana Countryman has posted the entire Mae West "Wild Christmas" album from 1966. The screen sexpot was 73 years young, still chasing the boys and shakin' it to a groovy mid-'60s go-go beat, as she performed songs made famous by Eartha Kitt, Elvis, and The Beatles, as well as custom-fitted creations like "Santa Come Up and See Me".

Mae West - "New Years Resolution" Mae purrs over a "Hang On Sloopy" rip-off riff, "I'm gonna have goodwill towards men...and the more men, the more I will." I'm not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds dirty.

Don't wait til New Years to download this, though - that's when it's coming down.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

WING GOES AC/DC

You say you love Mrs. Miller? You cheerfully sing along with The Shaggs? Forget that noise, mac, 'cause nothing, I mean nuthin' can prepare you for Wing's latest.

Wing, a middle-aged-verging-on-elderly Chinese woman now living in New Zealand, who has so risen in stature in the hearts and ears of strange-music fans in recent years that she even appeared (in animated form) on "South Park," has moved from Celine/Streisand/showtune-type balladeering to a more pop/rock orientation (she's done entire albums of both ABBA and Beatles covers). Throughout, her high-speed-drill singing style and English-as-a-second (third?)-language delivery have remained constant. Her latest releases: two classics by fellow Down-Under-ers AC/DC. Yep, there's nothing like hearing AC/DC's suggestive crudities sweetly uttered by the grandmotherly Wing, accompanied by what sounds like a guy with a Casio who takes such long solos that, by the three-and-a-half minute mark, Wing kills time by singing "Yeah" about 50 times.

Wing "Back in Black"

and since 'tis the season, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" - If you're new to Wing, you may want to start here, before working your up to the more advanced material.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

SATANIC PUPPETEER ORCHESTRA

They're called the Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, but I don't detect anything particularly satanic about this good-natured band, nor are there any puppets in evidence. For that matter, it's not much of an orchestra - one man largely handles the music, a "mad scientist" whose robot creation sings lead. Therefore, it's the perfect name for this bizarre, funny bit of musical dada.

Sure, it's someone's idea of a gimmick, but a strangely believable one - "ReMax," in which our hero describes being kidnapped by the Re/Max real estate company because he wouldn't sell his home to them, and is held hostage in their hot-air balloon, is the sort of randomness a robot really would write if it could.

Said robot, SPO-20, sings melodically over the rinky-dink electronic backing (with occasional toy piano), but his melodies seemingly come from a completely different song then the one accompanying him. Said mad scientist Professor B. Miller says they are in midst of preparing a four-CD (!) box-set debut album. Hmmm...

Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra - "ReMax" - Hey, it makes me laugh.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

EXPLOITATION MOVIE ADS

A site called ToeStubber is offering up an amazing collection of old exploitation movie radio spots. Such titilating titles as "The Naughty Stewardesses" ("if a groovy soul-sister is your dish..."), "Frenzy of Blood," "Females For Sale," and "Dr Tarr's Torture Dungeon" are featured.

"Ginger" "...her weapon is her body!" The groovy music drowns out the dialogue. Which is probably just as well.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

SANTASTIC: HOLIDAY BOOTS 4 YOUR STOCKINGS

Online album now available: "Santastic," which mashes up decades of Christmas records to amusing, danceable and sometimes (good-naturedly) irreverent effect. Features internet "stars" like Go Home Productions, Poj Masta, DJBC (the compiler), solcofn, Thriftshop XL, DJ John, ATOM, Pilchard, Cheekyboy, Aggro1 & Katie Enlow.

So far, my fave is the insanely ingenious "Santa Benz" by Orange County's own Voicedude. RIAA's contribution, "Santa's Acid Hawaiian Space Disco" features bits of The Beatles, Bing Crosby, children's records (including one using a Solovox, a '50s voice synthesizer), 8-bit, other Xmas mashups, The Beach Boys, an astronaut, etc...

It's the perfect holiday season gift - it's free!

UPDATE: Here's a different version of the RIAA track then the one on the album - t
he Beach Boys bit is better mixed, with some Jean Jaques Perrey thrown in.