Wednesday, May 30, 2007

THE PUNK GROUP

Was DEVO one of your favorite bands? Are they NOW? If so, all my fellow DEVO-tees are hereby directed to The Punk Group website's "Music" section and commence listening/downloading. They do an excellent job covering The Spud's "That's Good," but really shine on originals like the "Blue Velvet"-quoting "Heineken", the video-game worshipping "Atari 800" and "My Best Friend Is My Son." And "Toby Keith" simply MUST be heard.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

G.I. JEW

It's Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., time to remember all our fallen soldiers. Like:

G.I. Jew


I'm assuming Jon and Al Kaplan are Jewish. Who else could get away with lyrics like:

The Catholics blame him for murdering Jesus (G.I. Jew is there!)
He cuts the skin off the tip of your penis. (G.I. Jew is there!)

I actually like this tune, apart from it's comedy value. Perhaps it's not in the best taste, but what do you expect from the guys who wrote Why Can't Chinese Women Drive? And then there's their masterpiece "Silence!" - "Silence of the Lambs" - The Musical.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

RIAA: "Sounds For The Space-Set"

A mashup tribute to the pioneers of electronic music...A glamorous excursion thru the solar system...RIAA (Robotic Intergalactic Astro-Artists) presents a 22-song free download album of Moogs, children's records, ill beats, Salvador Dali, lounge, disco, a robot narrator, surf, scientists, scratchy old novelty records, and at least one theremin. Robot servants mix cocktails for Sun Ra, Esquivel, and Bruce Haack in the observation deck of the space cruise ship heading towards the domed city of Las Vegas, Mars.

And in the most ludicrous example of pitch-shifting abuse in mashup history, Joe Meek stretches Celine Dion on the rack to get her to sing "Telstar." At least De
vo and The Dazz Band come along to get everyone on the dance floor.

"Sounds For The Space-Set"


Or listen to it streaming, thanks to the nice stranger who put it up on Grooveshark.

               "If you find Earth boring..."

1.Lift Off: Sun Ra "Outerspaceways, Inc," Four Tops "I Can't Help Myself," David Bowie "Space Oddity," Sun Ra Moog solo

"Our first stop will be the International Space Station..."


2.
Follow The Planet Man: Mort Garson "Walking In Space," Eric B & Rakim "Follow The Leader," "Planet Man" (old-time radio)

"Be sure to visit the Meatier Steakhouse..."

3. Shining Sun Flash: Moog Machine "Jumpin' Jack Flash," Tom Glazer "Why Does The Sun Shine?," Earth Wind & Fire "Shining Star"

4
.Telstar Will Go On-Let It Whip It: Joe Meek & The Tornadoes "Telsar," Celine Dion "The Heart Will Go On," Devo "Whip It," Dazz Band "Let It Whip"

5.
Antenna Rock/StroboNews: Kraftwerk "Antenna," Queen "We Will Rock You," Dick Hyman "Strobo"

"There is a rave in the discotheque..."

6.
Why Don't You Psych-Out?: Pierre Henry "Psych Rock" (Fatboy Slim remix)," The All-Night Workers "Why Don't You Smile Now," radio ad

7.
ttiippssyy: Tipsy "Hey!" (Messur Chups remix) vs "Tipsy" by J-Kwon

8
. Salvador Dali Teaches Rex Harrison How To Say 'Butterfly': Dick Hyman "The Moog and Me," Salvador Dali interview, Chicks on Speed "Wordy Rappinghood"

"We have planned a Lunar Party..."

9.
Pon de Re-Entry to the Moon: Jean Jacques Perrey and Harry Breuer "Re-Entry To The Moon," Rihanna "'Pon De Replay," "Bobby & Betty go to the Moon"

10.
Mechanical Robot Man: Bent Bolt & The Mechanics "Mechanical Man," Daft Punk "Robot Rock"

11.
Robo-Spies Must Die!!: Forrest J. Ackerman "Music For Robots," Los Straightjackets "Squad Car"

12.
Lunar Luau: Marty Gold/Walter Sear "Good Night," Frank Sinatra "Fly Me To The Moon," Portishead "Wandering Star," drums: John Bonham, fake Portishead bass synth: Mr Fab

13.
Sexy Caravan: Three Suns "Caravan," Justin Timberlake "Sexy Back"

14.
Bonnie & Clyde In Orbit: Jean Jacques Perrey "E.V.A." (Fatboy Slim remix), Brigitte Bardot & Serge Gainsbourg "Bonnie & Clyde," tbc!

15.
Put Your Miniskirt On: Esquivel "Miniskirt," Schooly D "Put Your Filas On"

"...the domed city of Las Vegas, Mars..."

16.
Intergalactic Centerfold: John Keating's Space Experience, Beastie Boys "Intergalactic,"
J. Geils Band "Centerfold," beats: Mrs. Crackburn!

17.
Head Like a Moog: Mocha Beans "Hot Dog," Mr Fab & His
Bargain Slacks "sing" Nine Inch Nails!

18.
OK Robot (remix)/Wendy and Delia: Bruce Haack "OK Robot,"
Wendy Carlos "Musique Concrete plus synthesizer," Delia Derbyshire
"Chromophone Band," "Moogies Bloogies"

19.
Virginia's Tears: Roxy Music w/Brian Eno "Virginia Plain," Smokey Robinson "Tracks of My Tears,"
Eno synth: Nico "Innocent and Vain"

20.
The Wonder Is All Around Us: Vangelis "Alpha," Dr. Michael Shermer and James Randi interview
("Skepticality" podcast interview), Ken Nordine "Satellite"

21.
Rewind Lady Rewind: Claude Denjean "Lay Lady Lady," Cylob "Rewind"

"We now blast off into Deep Space..."

22.
Star Trek To Nowhere: Universal Robot Band "Disco Trek (Star Trek theme)," Ella Fitzgerald "Out Of Nowhere," Cosmos "Summer In Space"

robo-narrator, additional beats and fx: RIAA


HOPE THEY DIE BEFORE THEY GET OLD

They are "the oldest and greatest rock band in the world - meet The Zimmers and their amazing cover of The Who's "My Generation". Lead singer Alf is 90...there are 99 and 100-year-olds in the band!...Documentary-maker Tim Samuels has been all over Britain recruiting isolated and lonely old people - those who can't leave their flats or who are stuck in rubbish care homes...The song is released on 28.05.07 and coincides with the TV show 'Power to the People' which started it all!"

The Zimmers MySpace Page - "My Generation" plays automatically

Yes, the "My Generation" video is funny - a 90-year-old croaking his way thru a rock classic - but it's also unexpectedly touching when members hold up signs describing their lives like "I haven't left my flat in 3 years." Well, now she has not only left home, she's touring the world.

We in Western society don't really know what to do with our old people, so when a Buena Vista Social Club-like phenomenon comes along, it relieves our guilt somewhat to see old folks getting some glory. We wish them the best, but haven't the foggiest how to give it to them. And the Zimmers do indeed appear to be an instant phenomenon: the bandwidth on their new site is already exceeded.

Aparently they perform a Beatles tune in concert, re-written as "When I'm One Hundred and Sixty-Four."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Wookie Wookie, Lend Me Your Comb

Just when I think I've heard it all...

While listening to today's mp3 I thought, "No..it can't be..it is...a song about having sex with someone in a Wookie costume." Happy birthday, "Star Wars"!

Yep, it's been 30 years since the first "Star Wars" film opened, and what better way to celebrate then with music by a fan. Sure, there are lots of "Star Wars" fans, and "filk music" (fan folk music) has been around for decades, but this guy obviously really likes one of the creatures from George Lucas' "Star Wars" universe, the Wookie, quite a bit. Maybe, some would say, a little too much.

"Furries," as you may know, are grown people who like to dress up as animals. No, they're not theme park employees - they do this on their own time. There are Furry conventions featuring artwork, costumes, porn, and socializing, which can, of course, lead to the kinds of things discussed in this most definitely not-safe-for-work song:

MouseTrap: WOOKIEE DRAWS CRACK - a parody of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back"

Yes, there is furry music, too - whole albums of this stuff for sale, ranging from New Age fantasy to Weird Al-inspired novelties, such as MouseTrap's Monkees parody "I'm A Retriever," and Sonic Blu's take-off on U2's "With Or Without You" entitled "Making a Fur Suit."



Friday, May 18, 2007

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' WomensHealth.gov website has a section promoting breastfeeding, and the Ad Council materials page features print, radio and TV ads. Which is all well and good, until one listens to the "Soul" ad:

National Breastfeeding Campaign "Soul" spot

Imagine Isaac Hayes rappin' about lactating, if you can. Actually, isn't that a white guy doing a psuedo-soul man voice? Probably Don Imus...

No credits listed, unfortunately, and I can't imagine what market this is intended for - the African American audience probably wouldn't appreciate the blackface routine. But, hey, at least it's a lot better then the FEMA rap.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

ROCK MUSIC

Back in the post-Cage '60s, composers could get away with writing something like this and calling it "music":

"
Make sounds with stones, draw sounds out of stones, using a number of sizes and kinds (and colours); for the most part discretely; sometimes in rapid sequences. For the most part striking stones with stones, but also stones on other surfaces (inside the open head of a drum, for instance) or other than struck (bowed, for instances, or amplified). Do not break anything."

Christian Wolff did just that for his piece "Stones", and more power to him. Los Angeles avant oddball Tom Recchion performs his take on it:

Tom Recchion: "Stones"

There's no information on how this was recorded, but the eerie stereo effects remind me of the binaural recordings that caused such a stir here last year.

Recchion co-founded the Los Angeles Free Music Society, who made the concurrent CBGB scene in New York look as mainstream as "American Bandstand' in comparison. But I first knew him from a radio show he co-hosted on L.A.'s KPFK in the Eighties that played, as they used to say, "avant-garde and rear-garde" music - experimental/improv weirdness mixed with kitschy thrift-store exotica (what People Like Us would call "avant-retard"). I also once saw him do a turntable performance with Christian Marclay where he smashed a record and used a large shard of the broken vinyl to "scratch" another record spinning on the turntable.

Monday, May 14, 2007

THE BEST MUSIC YOU EVER SAW

I originally posted this in March. It disappeared. I don't know why, but let's try this again:

It has been far too long since I've written about musical saw performers. What a wonderous invention is the saw! You can cut down trees with it, then relax afterwards by bowing it to produce nicely eerie theremin-ish music.

Minneapolis' Randall Throckmorton is a crooner in the tradition of '20s idols like Rudy Vallee. He often augments his melancholy, nostalgic ballads with Andy McCormick's musical saw, on such lovely tunes as:

Randall Throckmorton: Always Chasing Rainbows

Randall Throckmorton: The Lamp Is Low

McCormick has his own group, Dreamland Faces, which features Karen Majewicz on accordion. A musical saw/accordian duo. I just love that.

djBC just came back from New Orleans where he "saw" a very different kind of performer: "He plays his boot, a saw, his bass of PVC pipes...he is THAT 1 GUY - one man band. Recent album- SONGS IN THE KEY OF BEEYOTCH. He also has electronic bassdrum triggers and a snare drum and various looping mechanisms and stuff. I was blown away. He also has a sense of humor. Unfortunately I didnt get the part where he hooks a smoke machine up to his PVC bass and smoke is pouring out the top. Or when he removed his hat and a second hat was underneath the first one. Classic."

Some crazy videos here, and bc himself shot this video, and "heres another video of him playing the PVC bass/cello with a bow, and also playing "Somewhere over the rainbow" on a saw."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

WAYNE BUTANE'S RECORD COLLECTION

As anyone who's heard Wayne Butane's recordings can tell you, the man has a lot of records. A LOT of records, many of which end up in his outrageous, obscene, hilarious sound-collages. We're still waiting patiently for his next album since we last wrote about him (June 29, 2005), but he's been gracious to share some of the more bizarre records from his closet on his MySpace page:

From the Brain of Wayne Butane - includes his "Wayne's Record Collection" entries.

Outsider recordings, novelties, crank calls...good stuff, but they're up for a limited time, so grab 'em while you can. Thanks, Wayne! Now finish up that album, ya hear?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In other news...

Rummage Through The Crevices
is back! I had just about given up on this wonderful strange-music blog since it hadn't posted anything new since Dec. '05, but it came back with a vengence in April, and Warren's obviously making up for lost time by posting tons o' quality crap since then. The Wee Willie Shantz post alone puts this into the M4M "Highly Recommended" catagory - Mr. Shantz was a crazed hillbilly was works should be of profound interest to any outsider-music enthusiast.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

FRED PHELPS IS COMPLETELY HETEROSEXUAL

Rev. Fred Phelps has been busy since we last checked in with him. The "God Hates Fags" preacher's Westboro Baptist Church choir has lots of new tunes up on their site, including newly-recorded versions of their old hits like "America The Burning." That particular song, a parody of "America The Beautiful," has been renamed "Wicked Land of Sodomites" (subtle, eh?) and now features piano, better sound quality, and an outrageous new verse about an alleged homosexual practice that almost made me spit-take on my computer screen.

Westboro Baptist Church: "Wicked Land of Sodomites" - "That's nasty!"

Support the troops? Not this crowd - they have a song for each branch of the American armed forces: "
U.S. Smarmy", "Toast Guard", "Air Farce", and, just for the Marines, "Semper Fi Semper Fags." It's easy for me to laugh at songs like:

Westboro Baptist Church: "This Land is Fag Land"

(sung to the tune of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Our Land") but other tracks feature children singing. Yeesh, do we have to drag kids into this? Now that's distasteful.

Phelps and Co. must be happy to know that conservative preacher Ted Haggard, caught with a rent-a-boy, has undergone an intensive three week program to, er, "straighten him out." Which brings us to Roy Zimmerman. Satirical California singer/songwriter Zimmerman has also been busy since we last visited him, and recently posted a video of a wickedly funny new song, with all the bad puns, ludicrous rhymes, and Tom Lehrer-esque sharp wit we've come to expect from him:

Roy Zimmerman "Ted Haggard is Completely Heterosexual" (video)
Roy Zimmerman "Ted Haggard is Completely Heterosexual" (mp3) Recorded off the video, hope it's on his next album.

Now when's Fred Phelps gonna come out of the closet..?

Monday, May 07, 2007

THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE WHO BOYS

The Who Boys are an uncatagorizable trio of oddballs based in the UK (including one American ex-pat) whose 'net-albums include spoken-word, singing, electronics, and mashups in various combinations (sometimes all in one track!).

Their new 'net-only release, "The Good The Bad and the Who Boys," features, among it's many wonders, an inexplicable acapella chorus version of the BeeGee's "Staying Alive," a brutal drun'n'bass Elvis remix, a brilliant bit of lounge/classical fusion as Tony Bennett sings over Chopin, and three - count 'em - tracks using recordings of rapid-fire country auctioneers, like the kind we talked about here. This one might be my fave:

The Who Boys: "The Return of Dub Auctioneer" - "...doing his thing with Santana and The Doors, with them essential Who Boys rhythms"

Billie Holiday's chilling description of a lynching, "Strange Fruit," is one of those sacred songs that I wouldn't want to mess with, but this unlikely pairing with Radiohead is nothing short of stunning:

The Who Boys: "Strange Pyramid" - "One to reflect and weep to."

And anyone who remembers British "punk poet" John Cooper Clark is automatically aces in my book.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Just Called To Say You Are A Rude Little Pig

American media was all in a tizzy over the message Alec Baldwin left to his daughter on ex-wife Kim Bassinger's answering machine that Ms. Bassinger, classy lady that she is, promptly posted on the inter-webs. DJs Adrian & The Mysterious D heard it and knew what had to be done:

A+D: I Just Called To Say You Are A Rude Little Pig

When I first read about the Baldwin call I thought it was appalling. So why is this so funny?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

THEY PUT THE HO IN HOEDOWN

What is it with these bluegrass covers of old rock and pop hits? Back in 2001, Hayseed Dixie, who must now be considered pioneers of this genre, covered AC/DC classics in a traditional acoustic folk style for an album that was an out-of-left-field novelty smash. Since then we've had numerous albums by folks like Boss Hoss, Iron Horse, 2 Tons of Steel, Asylum Street Spankers, and The Twang. Even David Lee Roth does hoedown versions of his old Van Halen hits.

Now, an actual country music superstar gets in on the action. Ricky Skaggs, along with Bruce Hornsby (there's a name you haven't heard in a while, eh?) close out their new album with a cover of Rick James' "Superfreak." I guess there's still some mileage left in the genre-clashing exercise of playing a modern electric song in an acoustic traditional style, especially if it's done by top-flight performers like the ones featured here:

Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby: "Superfreak"