Friday, October 29, 2010

The LDS On LSD

Windbag, a frequent contributor to this here web-log, hails from Salt Lake City in Utah, the seat of the Mormons aka The Church of Later-Day Saints (The LDS). Thanks to him, we have a plethora of Mormon-culture artifacts, such as:

"Sons of Provo," a hilarious mock-umentry film about Everclean, a Mormon boy band. The soundtrack is not only a spot-on parody of those psuedo-r'n'b teeny-bopper groups, but a gentle tweaking of the impossibly wholesome squeaky-clean image of the LDS. Jokes from the film like the band recruiting a new member from his job in the scrapbooking department of a crafts store might not seem too crazy, but this is a religion that traditionally has not allowed even a hint of rebellion or free expression. Anyone who leaves the church is sometimes shunned by family and friends, so any satire is a bit radical.


Everclean "Everclean" - "...like Listerine"
Everclean "Dang, Fetch, Oh My Heck" - How to swear in Mormon; quite a lot of musical diversity in this track

The Saliva Sisters, a female song-parody trio, would seem to have slightly more pointed spoofs of Mormonism, and the state of Utah in general, on their album "Delusions of Granger." But their "Spit Happens" album doesn't get specific - songs like this Led Zep parody could apply to department store-obsessed housewives anywhere:

The Saliva Sisters "Stairway To Nordstroms"

This brilliant acappella rendering of the theme to "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" has nothing to do with Mormon life (near as I can tell), but it is Halloween-appropriate:

The Saliva Sisters "Hitchcock" - These gals can sing, no?

So what is it that they're all satirizing? Brace yourself for a full album of...(dramatic sting) singing children!!

Songs For A Mormon Child
- Delightful moppets shriek out hits like "I'm A Mormon," "I Want To Be A
Mother" in which a little girl claims to want "...4, 5, 6 babies", and (gotta love this title) "Hey Everybody! It's Family Night!" You've been warned...

Thanks windy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DRACULA SINGS!

No, not Bela Lugosi. But how great would that have been? "Bela Does Broadway"..."Doin' The Twist With Bela Lugosi"...Alas! It never happened. But Christopher Lee has a new-ish album out, and at 87 years of age, he's practically as old as Dracula himself.

Charlemagne: By the Sword & The Cross
is billed as a heavy metal/symphonic album but, really, it sounds more Broadway than anything else. And, as if you couldn't tell by the album/song titles, it's a concept album, set it medieval times. Christopher Lee goes campy epic metal? Totally rad, of course. How could it not be? A monumental kitsch epic.

No, he doesn't wail like Ozzy, but he really does sing. Well, sorta. He tries.

Christopher Lee: Act IV - The Age of Oneness Out Of Diversity

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ZOOGZ TOOZDAY 9: Torment

New to Zoogz? start HERE. We're in the home stretch - I only have one more album of his after this.

Torment is right. This 1989 release kicks off with a track by a clearly frustrated Rift bemoaning his increasingly diminished place in the music industry, and other songs boast primo pissed-off rants. "Dead Planet Earth" features a plethora of ethnic percussion and even a rain stick - Zoogz goes "world-beat"!
"The Secret Marines Sex Kitten Beach Party," one of the most uproariously surreal spoken-word + music tracks Rift has ever done, recounts a boy's hilariously gruesome trip to the doctor.

The Tom Waits-ish "Meet Me at Stinky's" is a new direction for Rift, as is
"Low Life," for overdubbed pianos (and no other instruments). "Let A Man Come In And Eat The Popcorn, Pt. 47 & 93" is a James Brown parody/tribute. And "Defecation Rainbow" is a helluva title, isn't it?

Apart from the usual furious punk/jazz instros with their blistering guitar work and
Jonathan "Mako" Sharkey's synth mayhem, there are some songs that could almost be normal rock ballads. The instro "Candy Girl" is as happy and catchy as it's title would suggest - bubblegum fusion?

Zoogz Rift & his Amazing Shitheads - "Torment"

Monday, October 25, 2010

THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH

Jimmy McMillan, representative (and possibly only member) of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party, is running for governor of New York. He'd get my vote. He's got a lot going for him:

- his super-fly facial hair.
- the fact that he once walked all the way from Brooklyn to Buffalo.
- his prodigious use of clip art.
- his funky synth-and-drum-machine tunes. Every song is about how the rent is too damn high. ("You Never Cared" has a particularly illin' groove.)

Jimmy McMillan -
The Rent Is Too Damn High (10 songs)

The election is this Nov. 2. Don't let me down, New Yorkers!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A PIANO POSSESSED


Who's that? The voice seems to be coming from...no, it can't be...the piano is talking!

Peter Ablinger: Deus Cantando (God Singing)

Fortunately, this
is a nice possessed piano: it's reading from the "Declaration of the International Environmental Criminal Court," not telling you to "Get out!"

Thanks to
computer trickery by Berlin-based composer Peter Ablinger and technical assistance from Winfried Ritsch, the piano only appears to be talking. If you can't quite make out what it's saying, check this page with a video where you can read the text along with the music. Ablinger used to write original music for sampled recordings of speech (fascinating audio tracks on the bottom of this page) until he hit upon the idea of piano and speech intermingled. Just in time for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ZOOGZ TOOZDAY 8: "Murdering Hell's Happy Cretins"

(New to Zoogz? Start HERE) If you thought Zoogz was getting soft with last week's offering, this 1988 release should reassure you that Mr. Rift has not mellowed. The first half of this smokin' album is live in Europe, reprising favorites like "Heart Attack," "Mongoloid Middle America," and "When My Ship Rolls In."

Then the studio half: the lovely instro "Puke Island Paradise;" then the title track, one of Rift's trademark rants, this time directed at the likes of pretty-but-empty-headed bimbos; "Tender Romance Sequence," more of a skit than a song, is nutty x-rated surrealism; the film "Freaks" gets sampled; "A = a" is one of Rift's most furious rockers; trombones, vibes, and shrieking guitars prance merrily about and a good time is had by all. Zoogz himself has said that it's "containing some of my best studio work." It
certainly makes this cretin happy.
Zoogz Rift "Murdering Hell's Happy Cretins"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

OKTOBERFEST A-GO-GO













While it's still October (or, as I like to call it, 'ROCKtober'), here's a whole beer garden's worth of
German "schlager" music for a maniac's Oktoberfest. Most of these songs are remakes of Anglo-America hits. They're sometimes sung in German (or inaccurate English), and performed in a gleefully tasteless, absurdly upbeat party-ready delirium. The closest analogy in American music would be Vegas-type lounge music, but even the cheesiest of those swingin' cats had a bit of jazz in them. This stuff is more like oom-pah tarted up for the '60s and '70s, trading in lederhosen for eye-poppingly colorful wide collar shirts and bell-bottom flared pants. It's quite ridiculously entertaining, and it all comes from my collection of used vinyl. Vee hef ways of making you LAFF! [original artist's name in brackets]
OKTOBERFEST A-GO-GO

1. Bernd Spier (not to be confused with reggae band Burning Spear!) "Memphis" [Chuck Berry]
2. Chris Roberts "Rock and Roll Music"
[Chuck Berry]
3. Rolf Kühn "Paranoid" [Black Sabbath] - clarinet instrumental!
4. Rex Gildo "Speedy Gonzales" [Pat Boone]
5.
Chris Robert "La Bamba" [Richie Valens] - absolutely absurd English lyrics
6.
Rolf Kühn "I Hear you Knockin" [Dave Edmunds]
7. Ruth Brandin "Warum (nennt man dich Sunnyboy)"
8.
Rex Gildo "You Call Everybody Darling"
9.
Bernd Spier "Danke Shoen" [Wayne Newton...or was this a German original?]
10. Tanzorch
ester Schwarz-Weib "Kleines Haus am Wald"
11. Jo Ment "
Get It On-Sweet Hitchhiker" [T.Rex/Creedance Clearwater Revival]
12. Rolf Kühn "Apeman" [The Kinks]
13. Pumuckl's Kinder-Party "Pumuckl Rock n Roll"
14.
Chris Roberts "Blowin In The Wind" [Bob Dylan] - play this for any Dylan fan, and watch smoke come out of their ears
15. Lolita "El Paso" [Marty Robbins]
16. James Last "HeyTonight-She's A Lady-What Is Life" -
[Creedance Clearwater Revival/Tom Jones/George Harrison]
17. Gunter Hapke "Fur Gaby tu ich alles" - from 1963; early electronic keyboard?
18.
Rolf Kühn "Black Magic Woman" [Santana]
19. Ruth Brandin "Papagei-Twist"
20.
James Last "Be My Baby-Immigrant Song-Have You Seen The Rain-My Sweet Lord" [Ronnettes/Led Zeppelin/Creedance Clearwater Revival/George Harrison]
21. Lolita "Wenn der Sommer Kommt (Theme From A Summer Place)" [Percy Faith]
22.
Rex Gildo "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" [Shirelles]

Thursday, October 14, 2010

HEY KIDS, IT'S STORY TIME!

If 15 hours of Ergo Phizmiz's "Faust Cycle" still wasn't enough, and you've been seeking out even more eccentric British humor and surreal storytelling mixed with sample-based experimental music, look no further! Series One of

the Frunt Room

show is now up in it's 6-episode (roughly 2 hours) entirety. Members of long-time M4M faves Pilchard and The Who Boys are the humans behind these ongoing madcap misadventures of a robot-like couple. Episodes 3 & 4 are particularly hilarious.


Musically, expect an entertaining mix of '60s e-z kitsch, modern beatz, and oddballs of the Zappa/Residents variety.

Brent Wilcox w
as an early radio hero of mine. His KCRW show "F.R.G.K." ("Funny Rock God Knows") was as fearlessly weird as any I've heard. And he's finally put his own music on-line. The standout stuff for me is the two-part (roughly 38 minutes) "Pops Science Story," which was originally released on cassette in 1987.

It tells a mind-meltingly strange and funny story that could make for an especially freaky episode of "Fringe." Wilcox's musical backing is a low-techno stew of tape-loops and Casios and drum machines pushed to their limits. Brian Eno, no less, praised it.


The "Pops" Science Story - Part One (1987) by Brent Wilcox
The "Pops" Science Story - Part Two (1987) by Brent Wilcox


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ZOOGZ TOOZDAY 7: (Nonentity) Water III

Don't know Zoogz? Start HERE! But even if you do think you know him, you'll be surprised by this 1988 album - there's no spoken word surrealism, no screaming fits, no rude language. There is alot of nice singing, some Tim Buckley covers (!?), and plenty of instrumental action that is no longer zigging and zagging at break-neck tempos. No, The Amazing Shitheads come off almost like a loose jam band here.

The eminently hummable "When My Ship Sails In," written by band member John Trubee, is as gorgeous a melody as Zoogz ever recorded. The closeset thing here to the old surrealism is the title of the 20+ minute jam "The Enigmatic Embrocation Of Mrs. Compost Heap," and the fact that accordionist Rocky Howard keeps derailing the proceedings to quote from songs like "The Godfather Theme" and "Beer Barrel Polka." Accordion polka on a Zoogz Rift album? That might be the most shocking thing he's ever done. But I guess even misanthropic paranoid cynics have their good days.

Zoogz Rift: (Nonentity) Water III
.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

OBAMARAH

Don't know who this Radio Crack fella is, but he's got lots of media cut-ups/sound collages. And they don't get much funnier then this one, featuring the world's most powerful person. And Barack Obama.

Radio Crack: Obamarah

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A 26-Second Long CD

The Everyday Film is the Jandek of electronica: secretive, musically unique and disturbing, and completely in his own universe. I don't even know where he (they?) are from anymore - every package I get from 'em seems to have a different return-address. And the most recent CD is 26 second long. Yep, he went to the bother of making a cd, packaging it, mailing it...all that work for 26 seconds. Top that, Jandek!

The track makes up for it's short length in sheer shock value. As usual, vocals are so distorted it's hard to tell what's happening, but apparently he's in surgery: "That's me on the table."

The Everyday Film: "Multiple Women" -
It's a sneak-preview of a forthcoming album.
.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

ZOOGZ TOOZDAY 6: Water II (At A Safe Distance)

Don't know Zoogz? Start HERE! Otherwise, let's dive into a 1987 release that, although it's pretty quirky by the usual standards, is as close to a straight-ahead punk/rock album as anything Zoogz & His Amazing Shitheads ever did.

A few songs are pretty out there, however. And the nearly-7 minute epic "Ah Peek In Duh Devil's Secret Hell Files" is waaaay out there, one of the nuttiest things I've ever heard from Zoogz. At one point, he even parodies Beefheart and Zappa's style to most amusing effect. And the impressive title song, for (at least) three electric guitars and no other instruments is some kind of demented
string quartet/chamber music.

Zoogz Rift: Water II (At A Safe Distance)
We're only skimming the surface with all these Zoogz posts - he released far more music then I have in my collection. Although this stuff is out of print, Rift himself, thru his son Aaron, is selling
for ridiculously low prices a data cd and dvds containing most everything he ever recorded. Faithful reader Steve took the plunge (all right, no more water puns) and sent away for them: "I've received everything from Aaron as advertised! ...I've found that the dynamic range is a bit better than the generally available album rips." He also reports that there are numerous bonus tracks for each album, although, strangely, one track that was originally on an album might be missing (or was it's title changed?). It's bare-bones (no art work), but considering how much you get for so little money, I'd still say it's a great deal. And since Zoogz has so many health issues, I'm sure he could use the money.

(Thanks, Steve!)

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Return Of The SATANIC PUPPETEER ORCHESTRA

How do you follow a debut 4-disk (plus bonus disk) boxed-set album? By not even putting out an album, but an on-line musical game.

The Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra first graced our pages years ago when I wrote: "
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."

Their latest project is a multiple choice Name That Tune game, featuring hilariously devolved covers of pop hits, performed as only a mad scientist and his random-sense-of-pitch singing robot can perform them. Thanks to the SPO themselves, we offer here EXCLUSIVE!!! mp3s of some of the songs featured in the game. Otherwise, there are no downloads (yet).

Who did the originals of...

Blaze of Glory - with toy piano!
Werewolves of London (It is getting to be Hollow-Weenie time)
I Can't Go For That
Where Is my Mind

Are there prizes if you guess correctly? Why, of course - you win the greatest gift of all. No, not love: free mp3s of weird music! What more could you want?!

There's plenty more good listening on the three (soon to be four games) that are up now. Thanx to Professor J. and SPO-20!