Saturday, October 31, 2009


Alen Robin, a comic with a droll, very nasal voice, took the Buchanan & Goodman "Flying Saucer" concept - intercutting found recordings with original comedy - and applied it to political speeches. His "Welcome To The LBJ Ranch" hit the top of the pops in the mid '60s, and can be found in approximately 84% of American thrift-stores.
This album continues the concept into the '70s, with American politicos Nixon, Humphrey, Rockefeller, McGovern, Agnew, Kennedy and Lindsay finding their voices ripped out of their original context, now making various bizarre and neurotic statements to Robin, playing their psychiatrist. It's still quite funny and clever, even if you don't know much about the speakers. Even more impressive: it's recorded live. Not sure how he did it in the days before laptop samplers. Maybe he had all the voices, and pauses allowing for him to speak, pre-recorded on a long tape (this album's a little over a half-hour long). If so, his timing's amazing.

Alen Robin "Naked, Really Naked"

Friday, October 30, 2009

M4M on Radio Misterioso 10/25/09

My most recent guest dj appearance on Greg "Spacebrother" Bishop's weekly examination of the bizarre is now up. Much thanks to Radio Misterioso for not only having me up, but engineering my often dodgy-quality recordings. "Notable tracks played included a reggae song about Apollo 11, four or five old UFO drop-in songs (think “The Flying Saucer” by Buchanan and Goodman), sounds from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, elephants playing xyolphones and theremins, a mashup of the Muppets and the Stray Cats, Sad Kermit, and music from L. Ron Hubbard." And we throw on some old 45s we found lying around the studio. Listen to two hours of crypto-musicology


"Plan 9" intro/talk
Caterina Valente "Out of This World
Steven Garrick & His Party Twisters "Astro Twist"
The Hellers "The Mechanic"
Buchanan and Goodman "Flying Saucer the Third"
The Rezillos "Flying Saucer Attack"
Go Home Productions "GHP Goes Bananas"
White Noise "Here Come The Fleas"
Ray Allen & The Embers "Ham The Space Chimp"
Man in Orbit "The Space Men"
Owen Gray "Apollo 12"
[talk break]
The Thai Elephant Orchestra
Spike Jones "Spooky Spooky (Lend Me your Tomb)"
[talk break, in which we discuss Messer Chups without actually playing them. So go here or here and listen to 'em already!]
Colonel Elliot and the Lunatics "Plutonian Pogo Stick"
Martinn "The Muppet Strut"
dj BC "I'm Happy (On Sesame Street)"
[talk break]
Sad Kermit "Hurt"
James Houston "Big Ideas (Don't Get Any)"
Sid Lawrence & Friends "The Answer to The Flying Saucer"
The Ames Brothers "Music From Outer Space"
Yodeling Bob Lewis "Ghost Riders in the Sky"
Clouseaux "The Toy Store of Tomorrow"
??? "Mambo Rock"
Kazoo Funk Orchestra "The Jagables"
The Flesh Eaters "See You In The Boneyard"
Elvis Presley "Rock a Hula Baby"
Alan Freed, Steve Allen & Al 'Jazzbo' Collins "The Space Man"
[talk break]
children's French lesson 45, mixed The Thai Elephant Orchestra
Sad Kermit "The Rainbow Disconnection"
The Bran Flakes "Don Knotts"
Wendy Chambers (on the Car-Horn Organ) "Star-Spangled Banner"
The Bran Flakes "Don Knotts"
The Missiles "The Space Ship"
children's French lesson 45, mixed The Thai Elephant Orchestra
The Bran Flakes "Don Knotts"
Jim 'Supersaw' Leonard "Your Song by Jim Leonard"
Tony Perkins "Rocket It To The Moon"
Mickey Katz "Nudnick The Flying Schissel"
Brian Currant "Banjo/Continuum"
sTallio! "The Future Sound of Retro"
L. Ron Hubbard "March of the Psychlos"
[talk break]
Jim of Seattle "Welcome To Windows".

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Songs for the Jogging Crowd

Vic Mizzy just died at age 93, so let's listen to his now out-of-print album of (mostly) new songs he just recorded a few years ago. Apart from versions of two of his most famous TV theme songs, "The Addams Family" and "Green Acres," he sings original, mostly light-hearted songs about his everyday life - ladies playing tennis, his Hollywood social circle, barbecuing, some sentimental songs, and yes, jogging. From his liner notes to his ode to running, "The Huff and Puff Song" (one of the album's catchiest tunes): "...with my pacemaker recently installed and further refined to change the arrhythmias, everything I was composing lately began sounding like a tango. And so I wrote this song."

We don't hear much music about elderly life cuz that's considered uncool, and musicians are supposed to remain young forever - hence, the Rolling Stones-like look of dyed hair and personal-trainer-thin bodies.

So if Mizzy wasn't a Hollywood legend, it's doubtful that anyone would put have out this charming album, especially with his singing voice, which is more like an old vaudeville comedian croaking out a routine then a "real" singing voice. But I'm glad it was released. The simple bouncy songs make Mizzy sound less like a music pro then a genial grandparent on his electric keyboard singing to you in his living room, e.g.: his version of the
"Green Acres" theme isn't a remake - it's just him singing over the original version!

Vic Mizzy:
Songs for the Jogging Crowd
1. Name Dropping
2. The Huff And Puff Song
3. It's Your Ad, Sylvia
4. Stay Awhile
5. I Belong To Somebody Else
6. Dance, Granny, Dance [bluegrass/disco fusion!]
7. When Your Dreams Are Younger Than You
8. Don't Forget, Baby Baby
9. My Kaleidoscope
10. Merry Xmas, Hollywood
11. Green Acres
12. The Addams Family
13. Spider Man 2 theme

Monday, October 26, 2009


Just barely in time for Halloween is a brief (9 tracks) but excellent mashup collection courtesy of the good folk at Mashup Industries. DJ NoNo gives The Count from "Sesame Street" a dancehall riddim, Orange County's Voicedude mixes a tango (!) with Blue Oyster Cult, Edgar Allen Poe, and Disneyland's Haunted Mansion; Clivester (the album compiler) actually makes me like Korn and Alanis Morissette by skillfully mixing them with Rocky Horror's "Sweet Transvestite," LeeDM101's "Six Sick 6" is a satanic dancefloor stormer; even the more throw-away tracks are fun, using the likes of M4M faves Spike Jones, and Twink The Toy Piano Band. Listen/download here:

Mashed 'n Slashed

British producer Cheekyboy usually compiles a "Monster Mashup" various-artists collection, but not this year. That's okay cuz he has a batch of new Halloween tunes, and has made all the old collections available again (tho some of the artists will probably cringe at the thought of those tracks from back in '04 being raised from the dead!). This new Cheekyboy tune is ace, featuring the "Halloween theme, Vincent Price, Steve Miller and more...."

Cheekyboy "Halloween Royale With Cheese"

Loyal reader Ringo Stalin from way down Adelaide, Australia way made three tunes inspired by the first three George Romero "Dead" movies, then invited a host of talented folk to remix them every which way, including adding original vocals and intrumentation to the sample fest (Vincent Price, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Danny Elfman, Einsturzende Neubauten, Front 242, New Order, Faith No More, Buzzcocks, The Easybeats, Public Enemy, Pop Will Eat Itself, Aaliyah & Timbaland, and from TV: "Gimme A Break," "Twin Peaks," "Unsolved Mysteries.") There's plenty of fun stuff to be found in the resulting 2 cd set, "The Dead Trilogy," which ranges from scary:

Force of Fear (Dead Mix), to surreal:

Sunrise (Handy Pocket Calculator), to downright silly, sampling the Muppets theme:

Wake Up (Romero Original)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Presenting a 16-song collection for a Caribean Hallowean. A (mostly) '50s-'70s Afro-Latin-Reggae-lypso Halloween, to be precise, including, as usual, some out-of-print obscurities recorded off vinyl. Apart from the monster songs (I guarantee King Horror WILL be your new favorite artist) there's some weird psychedelic tracks that have a dark, evil voodoo vibe to them.

Zombie Jamboree

Carl McKnight "The Devil's Out Tonight"
King Horror "Dracula prince of darkness"
The Sandpebbles "Zombie Jamborie"
Desmond Dekker "Dracula"
Africa "Paint it Black"
Xavier Cugat "Zombie"

King Horror "Frankenstein"
Lord Melody "The Creature From The Black Lagoon"
King Horror "Loch Ness Monster"
The Mighty Sparrow
"Madame Dracula"
Vulcans "Dark Shadows"
Daktaris "Voodoo Soul Stew"

King Horror "Cutting Blade"
Johnny Zamot and His Orchestra "Spaced Out"
The Upsetters "The Vampire"

Augie Colón - "Witch Doctor"
Peter Tosh - "Vampire"
Peter Tosh - "Dracula (Vampire version)" 
The Voodoo Trombone Quartet - "Monster Island"
Lucky Dube - "Dracula"
King Flash & Calypso Carnival - "Zombie Jamborie"

UPDATE 10/13: A real cool ghoul, Paul Dobry, has put this collection up streaming on grooveshark. Fangs a lot, Paul!!/playlist/Music+For+Maniacs/91712064

"The Devil's Out Tonight" is one of my favorite songs. The rest of the album is an unremarkable steel-drum outing, but that title song is brutal. I mean, check out this album art:

From the liner notes: "Thumbs down (as in the days of the gladiators) to those we have dealt with in the past, may we write your epigraphs [sic], while you dig your own graves, for such dwellings are appropriate to your cause." And to think that tourists and Ja-fakin' hippies have this idea that Carribean music is so peaceful and mellow...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Music BY Maniacs

Since this blog comes up near the top when people search for "David Koresh music," I've been getting comments like: "Does anyone have that "There's a madman living in Waco" song that keeps playing on MSNBC? I swear that's one of the catchiest little hooks I've heard in a long while. I can't get it out of my head! I'm searching all over the web for it."


UPDATE 10/23/09 - Got it! Thanks to Nile for the info. My readers rock.

David Koresh "Mad Man in Waco"

I re-upped the Koresh songs on the original post. Apparently there have been a lot of songs about Koresh: dozens, heck, maybe hundreds, according to an amazing site called Waco Songs. It's an old site with not many working links, but it certainly makes for an interesting shopping list.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Yoga's a pretty wimpy name for a band, but fear not - this ain't no New Age, it's all dark, evil scuzzy guitars and spookhouse organ instrumentals, loudly recorded in grainy black-and-white lo-fi sound. The promotional materials for this album describe it as Throbbing Gristle meets death metal. Heh heh, I don't know about that, but it does remind me of Killing Joke, Chrome, The Chameleons, Kommunity FK, and other '80s goth/metal/punk bands whose names started with "kh" sounds. Tho these guys are more about ambient atmosphere then in-your-face rock.

The new album "Megafauna" is start-to-finish solid, perfect for non-cliched Halloween listening/dancing/brain-eating.

Yoga "Fourth Eye"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Sound of the Night Howard Finster Got Saved

I first write about Howard Finster HERE, where I described it thusly:
Although Rev. Howard Finster, a preacher from rural Georgia with little formal education whose paintings went so far as to become REM and Talking Heads album covers, may be America's best known folk artist, he also had a little-discussed musical side. The album "The Night Howard Finster Got Saved" is largely dedicated to spoken-word tracks, but there's some ace tunes on it as well. Singing in a high'n' lonesome twang, playing guitar, harmonica, and...piano, Finster's music should sound familiar to anyone who's heard the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack."

After receiving a comment asking for more last August, I looked into it and it turn
s out that the album is now out-of-print and pricey, so I could indeed put the whole thing up. Only I couldn't find my copy. Recently whilst looking for something else entirely, I did found my copy and here 'tis:

The Night Howard Finster Got Saved

There's much to enjoy here: Finster's old-fashioned Southern speech, his charmingly out-of-tune piano, the passionate singing. One of the spoken-work tracks, "Last Call I Had," is particular stirring, as Finster describes how he talked a suicidal New Yorker out of jumping, over the phone. But the climactic title track truly must be heard to be believed - over two different tape recordings playing two different fiery Finster sermons, the good rev. sings, shouts, whistles, whoops and hollers over the din. For 25 minutes. Absolutely mental.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


"Glorious" Gloria Parker is a veteran of the Big Band era who is not only still alive and well, but plays, among other instruments, musical glasses - wetting one's finger and running it around the rims of a set of wine glasses to play melodies. She's quite amazing, a real virtuoso on her obscure instrument. I esp. dig the cool funk of "God Bless You Merry Gentlemen" from her album "A Toast To Christmas".

And that'd be cool enough. But it gets better. Much, much better.

A series of legal mishaps has led the still-feisty New Yorker to write a book entitled
"Corruption Reigns in the Courtroom." Not only that, she has released, and is selling thru her website, a musical album of the same name. In a theatrical voice, accompanying herself on piano playing showtune-y music, Parker sings her chirpy, upbeat original songs. All her lyrics deal with how much she hates the American court system. Every song.

Don't have the album yet, but the four mp3s on her site (scroll to bottom of page) range from absolutely wonderful to absolutely wonderful. Haven't read her book, but I know of at least one of the legal setbacks that has caused this obsession - her co-authorship of this song:

Alan Holmes & His New Tones "

Incredibly, she lost her suit against Disney for it's use of the Sherman Brothers tune featured in "Mary Poppins." I'd be pissed, too. (Actually, Dick Van Dyke's gawd-awful Cockney accent is grounds enough for a legal action.)

She appeared performing on her glasses in the '80s Woody Allen film "Broadway Danny Rose," about a talent agent whose clients are all overlooked hard-luck novelty performers. Guess that makes me the Broadway Danny Rose of music bloggers.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


...I've heard on the internet lately: the latest (Week 119) of

A private recording made in the "...late 1970's of our local zoo's carousel, whose calliope had fallen into dreadful disrepair, making for some wonderfully warbled versions of Moon River, 76 Trombones, The Sound of Music and many others." If there is a circus in Hell, this is the soundtrack. (Of course, coming from me, that's a compliment.) For example, Henry Mancini, like you've never heard him before:

dying carousel: "Moon River"

Monday, October 12, 2009


...sang Bowie. Not many music blogs been around this long, have they? 650 posts! At first, knowing very little about computers, I used to link directly to other site's mp3s. I was so naive! Sorry for any bandwidth I sucked. I suck. We went from the generic look to a more custom design. Then started adding pictures, YouTube came along, then file-storing sites so I could share entire albums for free. And so it goes...

So, tell me: Likes, dislikes? Intense hates? Any life-changing events associated with this here web-log? Your band ever cover/you ever sample a tune you first heard here? Just how are you celebrating?

Friday, October 09, 2009


Whilst listening to another fine episode of The Bopst Show, I was struck by a song called "Baby" from The Phenomenal Handclap Band. They sounded like a '70s group, but it turns out that they are a new soul revival band from New York. It was the ending part of the song that stopped me in my tracks: "Hey, that's 'Swopepusha'!"

"Swopepusha" is an almost-decade old track from Poopoo Varmint, a side project of mashup pioneer Evolution Control Committee. After downloading it back in the earliest days of such activities, I played it constantly. Still do, in fact. I couldn't get enough of what sounded like a brilliantly catchy melodic bit of '60s E-Z kitsch obliterated by a blizzard of pummeling electronic beats. That
catchy melodic bit? You guessed - the same tune at the end of "Baby." Coincidence? Did the Handclap Band steal it from Poopoo Varmint? But where did they get it from..?

TradeMark G., the president of the Committe, informed me that they sampled it from "...Putney Swope, an awesome 1969 movie is it. It appears the soundtrack music is by Charley Cuva, and although a soundtrack album was not released at the time of the movie, an after-the-fact soundtrack was made later (and the LP of that would make a great birthday present for me... ahem). The music's from a commercial in the movie for Go Lucky Airlines; that soundtrack webpage includes a 45-second preview of the music that ECC sampled."

Our chats on this subject led Mark to go back and remix "Swopepusha." It possibly kicks even more butt then the original, but you can get both old and new versions HERE, as well as all the juicy details abut the song and Poopoo Varmint's brief history. But I'm just gonna post the new version, with the Handclap Band song, for your comparing and contrasting pleasure. (Remember, it's the end part of "Baby"
we're talking about.)

The ECC/Poopoo Varmint "Swopepusha (2009)"

The Phenomenal Handclap Band "Baby"

So, did the Handclappers swipe the tune from the "Putney Swope" soundtrack? Or maybe they are ECC fans, or maybe it's a big coincidence. Or maybe the "Putney Swope" soundtrack guy got in a time machine and stole it from the Handclap Band. Or...

Oh, and in "Swopepusha," "
by the way, that's Mae West moaning in the background."

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Music for an Underground Circus

Cutting-edge composers started off the century playing with classical music traditions, then moved to electric rock sounds and electronics. But recently I've noticed (am I the only one?) how many experimentalists are drawing inspiration from years/centuries gone by, writing things like sad accordion waltzes.

Chris Butler is an unlikely pioneer of the antique-garde movement. Veteran of wacky '70s proggies Tin Huey and superstar new-wavers The Waitresses, Butler recorded a series of singles in the '90s compiled on a fine 2002 collection called "The Museum Of Me" that featured original songs recorded with everything from primitive technologies such as Edison wax cylinders and '40s era wire recorders to modern methods. He's still an alt-rock 'n' roller at heart tho, filling his songs with the kind of biting observational lyrics that made Waitresses hits like "I Know What Boys Like" so memorable.

Chris Butler "The Man In The Razor Suit" - totally killer twisted intense kinda-so
rta-Delta blues, recorded onto wire; in a perfect world, this song would be as big as "Christmas Wrapping"

Chris Butler: "Thinking About Them Girls" - fun, catchy tune with Butler's voice and 12-string guitar recorded onto a wax cylinder, other musicians on jug (!), banjo, slide whistle, kazoo and spoons recorded with modern technology; as disorienting as watching, say, old footage of Buster Keaton trading lines with modern actors in a current film.

The non-antique garde songs are cool too - I like the Beach Boys-ish summer tune, and the spooky surf instro amusingly entitled "Bad Moon Over Mel Bay."

The handsomely pac
kaged album comes with a booklet featuring photos of the tools used, and more technical information then a '50s hi-fi album, as well as 10 bonus tracks not listed on Amazon that feature the songs in various stages of construction, as well as "talking bits from a used spool of wire. I found it at a flea market. I think it dates from the Korean War era, when a NE Ohio family sat down at a kitchen table to play cards on a Saturday night..." He says he'll make a cassette tape of the entire recording for you if you write to him. Don't know if that offer still stands.

"they marry young down there"

I recently wrote about Ergo Phizmiz' amusing demolition of '90s club hits, but the astonishingly prolific British nutter has been posting plenty more free sounds, including an album described as "Instrumental music from the forthcoming 10 part Ergo Phizmiz radio-art cycle "The House of Dr Faustus." Instruments include "Harmonium, Toy Piano, Melodica, Balinese Xylophone, Messiah Box (huh?), Ukulele, Euphonium, Bagpipes, Didgeridoo, Desk Bell, Mechanical Birds, Pixiphone (wha?), Tibetan Flute, Kazoo, Autoharp" and about a zillion others.

For me, this haunting song is not only the album's standout track, but, as experimental
sad accordion waltzes go, one of the best.

Ergo Phizmiz - Music for an Underground Circus

The band Piñataland are responsible for the phrase "antique-garde" actually - a Village Voice review of this intriguing New York combo described them thusly. Their debut from a few years back, "Songs For The Forgotten Future Vol. 1" mixes samples of early recordings with original songs performed on tuba (no bass!), strings, slide guitar that suggests country music without actually being country music, and, on this song, theremin:

Piñataland "Devil's Airship"

The lyrics are true stories about overlooked oddities of American history - the above song deals with the "phantom airship" scare of the late 1800s. The song sampled in the intro is a 1912 Edison cylinder called "Mysterious Moon."

They released "Vol. 2" more recently, which I haven't checked out yet. But this one's another well-packaged product: photos, historical news-clippings, sample info, lyrics. And, yes, the album features sad accordion waltzes.

Friday, October 02, 2009


Staff Benda Bilili are a truly remarkable find - their debut album is possibly both the African and outsider music release of the year. Qualifications:

Outsider: this large group is comprised of homeless street kids and handicapped adults who live in a park. They not only feature homemade instruments, particularly a buzzy one-string invention made from wire and a tin can played brilliantly by one of the youngsters, but the disabled guys make their own wheelchairs out of bicycle tires and plastic lawn furniture. Their album was recorded live in the park using power bootlegged from a snack stand's electrical lines.

African: The Congo produced a seemingly endless parade of sound-alike soukous bands throughout the '80s and '90s.
No predictable Kinsasha cliches from Staff Benda Bilili - they're all over the map, literally, from Cuban rhumba (long a Congolese influence) to American James Brown-type funk (one song finds them shouting "sex machine!") to the Carribean, e.g.: the highly energetic calypso/ska-inflected insta-classic posted here. But the junk instruments give everything a slightly alien sound, ensuring originality.

Unlike a lot of so-called "dance music," listening to this stuff make my legs uncontrollably twitch like a spastic (which, yes, sadly passes for dancing for me).

Staff Benda Bilili - Sala Mosala