On this most joyous of holiday seasons, give the gift that keeps on giving - the gift of music! Especially weird music that no-one else in your family will like and will disrupt your turkey dinner! Almost everything in this collection was released this year and is available for purchase usually from the artists themselves. Hmmm... we need a word to describe artists not playing "indie rock" or who are on those indie labels that are just farm leagues for the majors, but really are putting out their own CDs/cassettes/vinyls entirely on their own...a word somewhere in between "indie" and outsider"..."in-sider"? Whatever, these are some talented freaks well deserving of your support. Some of the best new music of the year:
M4M Idol 2 Buy (22 Big Songs! Original Hits From The Original Artists!)
This collection is sorta the sequel to the M4M Idol contest from earlier this year, but I'm not gonna hector you into voting for your fave this time (tho you certainly can if you want to.) Artist include:
Bruce Haack/Sound Capsule: What, hasn't Bruce Haack been dead for years? Yes, like Gen. Francisco Franco, electronic music pioneer/oddball Bruce Haack is still dead, but his unfinished album "Electric Lucifer Book III" has sorta been finished by someone I hadn't heard of. I was dubious, but the results speak for themselves.
Twink The Toy Piano Band: Yay, a new Twink album! "Itsy Bits and Bubbles" won't be released til Dec. 1, and the usual whimsical instrumental approach now includes circuit-bent electronic toys, 8-bit video game bloopity-blips, "kitchen drawer percussion," and numerous toys including (natch) pianos. What could have been a long-exhausted one-joke idea continues to thrive thanks to strong songwriting, a widening sonic pallette, and a refusal to play cheerful, innocent music with an arched eyebrow. Excellent artwork, too.
Drexel, Gamma Like Very Ultra, and The Mind of God are a buncha no-good, smart-ass avant-'tard bands playing spazzy songs with titles like "Poop Stains" and "Let's Kick Toby Keith in the Balls," and I love 'em. All 'net-releases cuz no self-respecting professional label would release this nonsense. But, actually, really well-played, not just screwing around. More, please.
Johnny Aloha has never been seen in the same room as ace lounge parodist Richard Cheese; his "Lavapalooza" album remakes songs like "Paradise City," "Gangsta's Paradise," and "California Gurls" in a way that is not only hilarious, but, recorded as it is with top-notch Hawaiian music pros, perfect tiki tuneage as well. If you were ever wondering, "What if Don Ho was a loc-ed out gangsta?" your feverish desires have been granted.
Non-Bio, William Bowers and Peopling all make dark, abstract/ambient/noise soundscapes. Fascinating. Non-bio's "Microsleep" sounds like it samples a scratchy old 78 rpm to chillingly occult effect
Party Killer dares to improvise; This big Portland band even sound like Black Sabbath on one song...if Sabbath used cheap electronics. Mind-melting craziness.
Orchestra Superstring: featuring DJ Bonebrake from X (hell, yeah!) on vibes, this exotica-ish instrumental combo's latest album "Easy" features the bizarre, wonderful sound of the "guitorgan" - not the usual cocktail-hour jazz.
Midnight Habit: speaking of bizarre instruments, an electric kazoo (!) is featured on this chilled bit of electro. Its nasal roar sounds pretty great, so who needs guitars anymore?
Stealing Orchestra: These Portuguese master of mirth and mayehm get serious on their first release that isn't a free download. Still wildly eclectic and eccentric, they just no longer sound like a cartoon soundtrack.
Last AND least...
Trudy Andes: this cringe-worth 9/11 tribute was sent to me by one of you who asks not to be named; well, I'M not gonna take the blame for it! Haven't we all suffered enough after 9/11?! Maybe some Twink videos will make you feel better: