Sunday, October 28, 2007

SATAN'S TOY PIANO

One more for Halloween: Twink, The Toy Piano Band, has posted a version of the "Theme To Rosemary's Baby" on his site, and it's a treat, not a trick. Krzysztof Komeda (as Christopher Komida) composed the score to the classic 1968 shocker and died a year later. Coincidence?!

A toy piano might seem an odd choice for a spooky soundtrack theme, but children's instruments have been used in horror scores before, e.g.: a wind-up children's music box set against slightly atonal music = creepy.

And while you're on his "MUSIC" page, be sure to check out the other bonus songs on the bottom of the page: covers of Devo's
all-time classic "Beautiful World," and Harold Faltomeyer's "Axel F."

It's a limited-time offer, probably coming down sometime in early November, so grab it now.

Twink: "
Theme To Rosemary's Baby"




Saturday, October 27, 2007

IT'S MONSTER SURFING TIME

There are those little things that make life worth living, things that make you want to drop down onto your knees and thanks your lucky stars that you're alive. Things like knowing that there's an actual '60s rock record called "It's Monster Surfing Time."

Ah, yes, how I love early rock -
think Coldplay could come up with a title that cool? Monsters, surfing, that's all you need to rock 'n' roll. It's been kinda awful lately here in southern California, so let's celebrate Halloween with one of Los Angeles' great gifts to the world, surf music, and listen to all the greatest songs ever recorded with both "monster" and "surf" in the title.

Deadly Ones - It's Monster Surfing Time
Gene Moss And The Monsters - Surf Monster
The Phantom Surfers - Monster From The Surf
Sex With Lurch - Monster Surf Party
Don Hinson & The Rigamorticians - Monster Surf Stomp
The Abominable Surfmen - Monster Surfer


Thursday, October 25, 2007

DIGITAL DEBRIS

Tim from RadioClash has a new podcast that's right up our alley: "It's a new eclectic experimental music & art podcast...orphan audio and charity shop/thriftstore finds, outsider art and podsafe music. And intermixed is various finds from the Internet and elsewhere - YouTube, performance, spoken word records, radio and TV, stories and poetry."

The first show is up and it's quite properly mental. No playlist up yet, but I recognized some things from the 365Project like a school marimba version of "Popcorn," Ken Nordine, Al Tijuana & His Jewish Brass (Ha! I actually have that one on vinyl) and some home recordings. Also: an electronically processed version of that "leave Britney alone" rant, some hilariously awful Japanese pop, Ergo Phizmiz (I think), hissy old 78s - you get the idea. Weee! My head is swimming.

Digital Debris

Sunday, October 21, 2007

VIDEO GAME SYMPHONY

Bob Ostertag has been an avant-garde composer and improviser for over a quarter-century, but he has just released what might be my fave piece of his yet - w00t, a 50-minute recording using only sampled sounds and music from some 20-odd video games. Non-geeks, take note - even if you don't recognize any of it, it's still an amazing bit of utterly mental madcap 'tard-tronica. Impatient? Then fast-forward to around 26 minutes in for a real fun glitchy noise-pop blowout.

Sez Bob: "The
w00t music began as the sound for Special Forces, a live cinematic performance by Living Cinema (Pierre H├ębert and Bob Ostertag), which addressed the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006." Huh?!

Bob Ostertag: w00t


Thanks again to solcofn!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPUTNIK pt2

"Space Songs" is an absolutely wonderful late '50s album that was part of a series of "Singing Science" records that a very nice chap named Jef Poskanzer has put on-line for your downloading pleasure. Thank God(zilla) for the internet - my big sis had this album when I was a kid and I was thrilled to find it again.

Tom Glazer (the guy who wrote "On Top of Spaghetti") and Dottie Evans sing such swell songs as "Why Does the Sun Shine," a song that should sound familiar to you They Might Be Giants fans. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of (as the Russians pronounced it) Shpootnik, I recommend listening to "Beep Beep."

The Vinyl Frontier: Mashups from Outer Space is an excellent various-artists collection of sci-fi themed toe-tappers that includes a tune that samples one of Glazer & Evans' "Space Songs."

Juxtaposeur: Space Dictation

Sunday, October 14, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SPUTNIK pt1

Yep, it's been exactly a half-century since the first spacecraft was launched. The Soviet Sputnik satellite not only kicked off the space race, it also inspired a San Francisco newspaper columnist to dub members of the Beat Generation "beatniks." And where would we be without beatniks, dad?

The Duece Project, an awesome radio show that specializes in sounds of the Space-Age, wrote us requesting some hi-fi sci-fi (we love requests, by the way) so let's blast off, space cadets.

We'll turn first to the astounding 6-disk collection of '50/'60s Cold Era era artifacts "Atomic Platters." Among the songs about nuclear war and those dastardly Commies are a few tunes about our birthday boy:

Jerry Engler and the Four Ekkos: Sputnik (Satellite Girl) - Rockabilly! Squares beware.

Roosevelt Sykes: Sputnik Baby - Solid r'n'b, baby.
Al Barkle with the Tri-Tones: Sputnik II - Another rocker for space-age greasers.
Ray Anderson and the Homefolks: Sputniks And Mutniks - I don't know what a "Mutnik" is, but I do know this hillbilly country toe-tapper features the least correct use of the word "ironic" until Alanis Morrisette came along.

To be continued...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

ELVIS LIVES! (UNLESS HE DOESN'T...)

Back on Elvis Death Day (August 16), I posted a dead-Elvis tribute album on WFMU's Beware of the Blog, which yesterday prompted a nice Maniac to point out an Elvis song-poem written by one N. Ruth Mills, who posts her poems on a site called Whispering Pines Poetry. From what I gather by reading her poems, she's a grandma, likes eagles, and is presumably Southern, since a Nashville cat named Buddy Sherriff sang it for her.

There were a million dead-Elvis songs, but this is one of the few that suggests he might still be alive: "Elvis oh Elvis/You have been seen here and there/In a crowd on a street/A glimpse of you most anywhere"

Buddy Sherriff/N. Ruth Mills: "Elvis Is The King"

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

HOW TO PLAY CASSETTES ON YOUR TURNTABLE

Michael Oster is mental. And good for him. We need more visionaries like him with perhaps more then a few screws loose.

Whilst looking for some sound effects, I came across Oster's website F7Sound which does, in fact, sell sound effects CDs, but what caught my eye was a page on his invention, the tape-record, and how to make one:

- Unspool some of your old cassettes (come on, you're never gonna play that Nu Shooz cassingle anymore, are you?)
- Glue this big random mess onto a piece of cardboard - this is your "tape-record."
- Replace your turntable needle with a cassette deck head.
- Put tape-record on turntable and play.

Don't you want to know what it sounds like? I thought you did.

Michael Oster: Tape-Record #2

So what are you waiting for, people? I expect a full tape-record compilation album in a year. Get going!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

PEOPLE LIKE US & ERGO PHIZMIZ

Singing original lyrics over sampled music is routine in the rap/r'n'b world, but, strangely enough, not elsewhere. Well, imagine a band of circus dwarfs breaking into an antique store, playing 78s on all the Victrolas, and singing whimsical lyrics about monkeys ringing the dinner bell and one's granny being on fire.

Okay, that was a pretty silly description. But, hey you try to describe "Perpetuum Mobile," a full-length album collaboration by two singular British eccentrics - People Like Us (who we first wrote about here), and Ergo Phizmiz. Despite the state-of-the-art computer recording/editing techniques used to make this album, there's a timeless feel to the music, as banjos plink and plonk, accordions wheeze, and Hawaiian guitars sway in the breeze. The mashup world may favor modern dance beats, but polka and chacha rhythms are more likely to be heard here. The density of these collages rewards numerous and careful listens - there is a lot of stuff going on here.

A few of these tracks are available on a free download EP, "Honeysuckle Boulevard," where you can hear such peculiarly catchy ditties as:

"Fat Henry's Mambo"

But otherwise you have to get the CD, and well you should - the packaging (printed in India) is as handsome and unique as the music.

People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz: "Air Hostess" - snatches of "Suspicion" and Nelson Riddle's "Lolita" theme give this one somewhat of a '60s go-go feel. Irresistible.