Monday, February 28, 2011

THE WEIRD WEIRD MUSIC OF MARLIN WALLACE

The vast output of Marlin Wallace and his Corillions projects is one of the great unexplored treasure troves of outsider music. According to this article Don Bolles wrote for WFMU, Marlin has had some serious problems in his life with harassment from communist space aliens, but seems to have put all that past him, judging by his prodigious output - I counted at least 22 albums for sale on his website, along with various singles.

His albums are usually themed. Wanna hear a whole collection of songs about bugs and insects? Interested in rivers? Outer space? Jungles? Well, Wallace has written entire albums dedicated to these concepts. Give that boxing fan in your life a copy of "Songs of Pugilism." They're all sung in his endearingly folksy voice (he sings about "skeeters," not "mosquitoes"), accompanied by unexpectedly well-recorded professional sounding music.

The 70-something Wal
lace was a hobo for many years, a homeless wanderer riding freight trains. This fascinating background informs his music, and gives it depth beyond the strange/novelty aspect. Sure, a lot of his stuff is funny (he has two volumes entitled "Delightful Novelty Songs") but the crusty Springfield, MO native is also one of the last of a dying breed - the bad-ass American who rode the rails, spent time in jail, and drank - boxers, cowboys, soldiers. He sings of these characters in a matter-of-fact conversational tone, without any romanticizing, which makes them seem all the more real.

Music For Maniacs is proud to present along with The Corillions this

Marlin Wallace Anthology Page

a collection of selected mp3s (some of which are samples, not entire songs) for your downloading pleasure. The Corillions site has never hosted mp3s before - it's a special arrangement they did just for us. If you like what you hear, buy the albums, cuz there's plenty more where they came from. (Album titles in parentheses)

1. Whole Lot of Woman (
"Delightful Novelty Songs vol2")
2. Crazy Eddy ("Songs Of Pugilism")
3. I'm A Survivor ("Jungle Songs")
4. Millipede ("Buggy Songs") - "always get you mixed up with the centipede..."
5. Weird, Weird Music ("Halloween Songs") - Complete track; this could be our theme song!
6. Captain Kid ("Historical Songs")
7. The Ghost of Old Railroad Bill ("Train Songs" - tales of hobo life)
8. Empire of the Vampires
("Halloween Songs")
9. Old Cockaroach ("Buggy Songs" - oh, how I love this album.)
10. Sing Sing ("Prison Songs")
11. Thing From Another World ("Outer Space Songs")
12. The Laughin' Ghost
("Halloween Songs") - maniacal laughing makes up much of Marlin's vocals here
13. 99 Years and Life ("Prison Songs")
14. I Got 700 Wives
("Delightful Novelty Songs vol 1")
15. There's A Weasel ("Animal Songs")
16. Polynesian Baby ("Tropical Paradises")
17. That Flying Saucer
("Outer Space Songs")
18. My Sweet Little Baby ("Delightful Novelty Songs vol 1")
19. Alexander The Great ("Historical Songs")

Here's the complete version of "
Thing From Another World."

Thanks to Spacebrother Greg for playing me Marlin's "Abominable Snowcreature" when I was guest dj-ing on his Radio Misterioso show, thus sucking me into the world of Marlin Wallace.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

FORBIDDEN 45s!! (windbag edition)


Last year, Otis Fodder asked me to put together a guest-dj mix for his late, lamented radio show Friendly Persuasion. I decided to go thru my boxes of (mostly) old 7 inch records and put together a thing called FORBIDDEN 45s!! And since Our Man in Salt Lake City, windbag (who has shared so much awesomeness with us before) sent us a mind-boggling assortment of 7" platters, I'm calling this:

FORBIDDEN 45s!! (windbag edition)

So much here to warm the heart of any Maniac: song-poems, disco atrocities, singing children, singing animals, exercise records, rap novelties, hillbillies, more song poems, angry Chipmunks, Jane Fonda talking dirty, and an enchanted one-man polka puppet-show orchestra.
1. Bobbi Blake - Rock Rock Beat (Ms. Blake was one of the most-recorded singers of the MSR song-poem factory; this "rocker" boasts such money-well-spent lines as "you're nobody's patsy/so hop in a taxi")
2. Luigi's World's Largest One Man Band - Anaconda Polka (major, major discovery here, folks - the only thing I can find about this guy is from this book about the bars of Montana; read that link and be amazed; anyone else got anything on this guy?)
3. Susan Carroll Presents - Waistline and Tummy Exercises (from an ep calle
d "Milady, Your Figure!")
4. Dick Kent - Smiling Farmer-The President (this bewildering ode to Jimmy Carter is one of the best song-poems EVER; to quote Rudy Ray Moore, "I ain't lyin'!")
5. The Hartz Mountain Master Radio Canaries - Pizzicato Polka (real live
birdies tweating along with peppy organ and xylophone)
6. Major Bill Smith with Zane and Hogan - Freddy The Disco Frog (minimal-synth disco novelty: Suicide meets Rick Dees?! Oh, and Major Bill Smith was a successful record producer in the early '60s who later claimed that Elvis was alive and he had a recent taped conversation to prove it)
7. Ira Cook - Wh
at Is A Girl? (this 1958 side spends more time complaining about little girls than speaking their praises)
8. Klute - Special Exploitation Lobby Record featuring Jane Fonda Dialogue
9.
The Hartz Mountain Master Radio Canaries - Humoresque
10. Bill Nettles and His Dixie Blue Boys - God Bless My Darling He's Somewhere (In Viet Nam) (I'm assuming that this craggy-voiced country singer is calling his SON "darling"...uh, right?
)
11.
Susan Carroll Presents - Thigh and Can-Can Exercise
12. Dick Kent - Cozy Doe (another most-unrockin' rock-n-roll song-poem: "Come on jive, get alive/'cause the clock is at five")
13.
Luigi's World's Largest One Man Band - Billings Polka
14. Fred Carson - This Is Not The Time To Cry (This song-poem's author worries about crime, and wants guys to act like real men. Or something like that.)
15.
The Hartz Mountain Master Radio Canaries - Mexican Dance
16. The Curbstones - Scrumpdillyishus Land
17. Dick Kent - She Thumbed A Ride
18. The Chipmunks - I Ain't No Dang Cartoon
(the b-side to their version of "Achy-Breaky Heart" that was the hidden "bonus" track on a previous windbag comp "Songs of the Sewer;" Alvin sounds rather cranky and defensive here)
19. Ira Cook - What Is A Boy
20.
The Hartz Mountain Master Radio Canaries - Beautiful Blue Danube
21. Gene Marshall - Not Owned (Hey, it's Gene Marshall! The guys who sang all those Richard Nixon song-poems! This isn't one of 'em.)
22. Susan Carroll Presents - Duck Walk and Leg Exercise
23. Fat Boys w/Chubby Checker - The Twist (Yo Twist) (This hip-hop novelty actually made it to #16 on the US charts)

24. Zane and Hogan - Studio 54 (This disco instrumental, the b-side to "
Freddy The Disco Frog," is a complete spazz-attack.)
25. Bobbi Blake - Who Played House With You? (weird sci-fi keyboard so
unds on this song-poem)
26. Bill Nettles and His Dixie Blue Boys - Got A Lot Of Lovin' To Do (this
almost-rockbilly toe-tappin' flip of "God Bless My Darling" is impressively energetic considering that he died shortly after recording it.)
27.
The Hartz Mountain Master Radio Canaries - An Artists Life
28. Harry Brooks - False Words and False Kisses (another song-poem)


Needless to say, another great big thankyoooo to windy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

MUSIC FROM AN IMAGINARY ISLAND pt. 2: "The Stolen Stars"

Music For Maniacs proudly co-present with the North American Embassy of Anaphoria Island a second spellbinding, uniquely exotic album from microtonal composer Kraig Grady.

"The Stolen Star
s: An Anaphorian Dance Drama" is an altogether different beast from the "Music From The Island of Anaphoria" album we presented here a couple of weeks back. "Music From The Island" was a variety show, every track a new direction. But "The Stolen Stars," tho it's divided into different tracks, is all of a piece. The music, designed to accompany a puppet shadow play dramatizing ancient Anaphorian myths, begins with "The Bees Awaken" - the thick string drones do indeed resemble buzzing insects. Gradually these give way to vibraphone-like metallophones until finally the strings fades out and gently chiming gamelan-like percussion melodies take over. The microtonal scales (no 'do-re-mi' here, folks) performed by a crew ten people strong create shimmering resonances that trick the ear into hearing notes not played. I took pics of the liner notes (included in the zip file) that describe the myth.

Kraig Grady "The Stolen Stars: An Anaphorian Dance Drama"

Grady's latest album "Beyond The Windows Perhaps Among The Podcorn" is an original piece not utilizing any of the musics of the mysterious island of Anaphoria, but it certainly is inspired by them. The 6-person group, now including sax, cello, trumpet, bassoon, and the wordless vocals of popular L.A. singer Mia Doi Todd is even more drone-laden, like Eno's "Music For Airports" minus any interruptions, stretched out to induce a remarkably hypnotic state - a veritable audio yoga class. I'm not posting it, tho - it's one of the few Grady releases still in print, so buy it HERE.

But - hey, cheapskates! - some new free Grady action is now available. Whirlpool, the duo of Grady and Chris Abrahams (of The Necks), recently performed an outstanding radio concert for micro-tuned harmonium and vibes that you can listen to if you scroll down HERE to Feb. 12, 2011. It's another lengthy piece, but I was never less than completely captivated by it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

GOINGS ON ABOUT THE WEB

Been a while since I've done one of these miscellaneous/random internet-stuff posts, but mucho cool stuff has hit my eyedrums and earballs lately, viz:

La Rainbow Toy Orchestra "Family Album" - this all-too-brief (12 minute) collection from Spain is performed entirely on toy instruments; unlike the pop/rock sounds of Pianosaurus (hey, anyone remember them?), these instros suggest a melancholy carnival - Nino Rota for the pre-school set. Utterly wonderful. Thanks to Katya Oddio for this, and if you're hankering for more (like I was), she also put together a free downloadable playlist of assorted toy piano goodness called
"The Underappreciated Kinderklavier."

Frunt Room Se
ries 2 - As I wrote last October, "...eccentric British humor and surreal storytelling mixed with sample-based experimental music...Members of long-time M4M faves Pilchard and The Who Boys are the humans behind these ongoing madcap misadventures of a robot-like couple...Musically, expect an entertaining mix of '60s e-z kitsch, modern beatz..." The second series has started, and this time they get into James Bond-like spy shenanigans, with appropriately John Barry(RIP)-like music. I really did LOL listening to these.

Captain Beefheart video jukebox - Well, isn't this handy: every Beefheart video available on the web playing one after the other; some great live stuff I hadn't seen before, e.g. killer versions of "Safe As Milk" stuff like "Electricity" (minus the theremin, but still rocks) recorded on Santa Monica Beach (what the hell were they doing there?); "I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby" is hilarious - Beefheart looks like Meat Loaf (hmmm...Beef...Meat...wonder if anyone ever mixed those two up?); thanks to Sean T.

Sarah Palin Battle Hymn - This video ode to the conservative politician is, at first, hilarious - the emotionless performances, the nonsensical lyrics - but an incredibly strange, sad feeling slowly sinks in, and you might find yourself thinking "My god, this is pathetic." Buy the album! Or download the song from this rad blogger.


Crazy Christian Music - The always-lovely Radio Clash blog has posted a jaw-dropping assortment of Xian music videos - howzabout some kids trying to be cool rock 'n rollers while singing without irony a song called "Respect and Obey Authority"? '80s New Wave Xian ska? And oh so much more. In all senses of the word, unbelievable.

Science Songs - The polar opposite of all the above conservative Christian-ness is the science education songs of University of Washington research scientist Greg Crowther - it's edu-tainment! How can you not love songs with titles like "Hooray For NMR Spectroscopy!"? Answer: you can't. (And this will be on the test.)

Church of Scientology "The Road To Freedom" - From real science to Scientology: an entire 1986 album featuring the song stylings of, among others, John Travolta and Frank Stallone.
Eleven tracks of slick, over-produced music backing bad celebrity vocals and Diaretic lyrics. Check out the song "The Worried Being," a gospel shouter with a kids chorus. Oh, won't someone think of the children?!? It's in streaming audio, so sorry, no download. But you don't really want to listen to this over and over...



Friday, February 11, 2011

SHAKE DAT GLASS

Here's a lovely album by two Russians performing on the glass harp and the verrophone. The glass harp, like Gloria Parker's wine glasses, are glasses filled with various amounts of water and played by running one's fingers along the rim. The verrophone uses the same principle but with vertically stacked tubes. No other instruments! 100% glass-kickin' goodness played with virtuosic skill. Will it drive you mad like the glass harmonica is said to do?! I don't know, but it sure is squeaky. Fascinating, but squeaky.

Apart from the familiar (perhaps too familiar) classical classics, I particularly like the dreamy, almost abstract "Fleetness," and the appropriately named "Cuckoo." Nice to hear another version of "Anitra's Dance" - I posted a spooky pipe-organ version on my "Strange Interludes" collection.

Timofey Vinkovsky & Igor Sklyarov "Crystal Harmony"

1. L.Boccherini - Menueto
2. J.S.Bach - Ave Maria
3. F. Schubert - Musical Moment in f-moll op.94
4. W.A.Mozart - Rondo alla Turca, Sonate A-dur KV331
5. W.A.Mozart - Adagio C-dur for Glass Armonika
6. Dvorak - Humoreske
7. Vivaldi - Konzer
t Nr4 f-moll Allegro non molto
8. Vivaldi - Konze
rt Nr4 f-moll Largo
9. Vivaldi - Konzert Nr4 f-moll Allegro
10. L.C.Daquin
- Cuckoo
11. F.Chopin - Prelud
e e-moll op.28
12. F.Chopin - Walzer 2 op.69
13. S.Prokofjev - Fleetness
14. E.Grief - Anitras
Dance
15. Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker, Herdsman Dance
16. Tchaikovsky -
Nutcracker, Dance of the Sugar Plam Fairy
17. Skryabin - Prleude Fis-dur
18. L.v.Beethoven - Fuer Elise
19. W.A.Mozart
- Theme from Sonata A-dur

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

ALL RIGHTS REVERSED

The new Evolution Control Committee album, "All Rights Reserved," is a masterwork of hilarious sound collage and mashups, utilizing strange thrift-store records, ranting preachers, outsider music recordings, pop hits and boomin' beatz. Buy it, if you can find it. But whatever you do, do NOT listen to it:

"The lawyers had concerns," ECC's TradeMark Gunderson explains. ..."We thought the best solution would be
a legal agreement that forbids anyone -- everyone -- from listening. Period."

(Don't listen to it HERE.)


'What Would You Think If I Sang AutoTune' = hilarious misuse of technology. 'Don't Let The Devil Blow Your Mind' kicks butt like prime Fatboy Slim or Chemical Brothers. 'Stairway to Britney' reminds you that ECC practically invented the mashup. 'Listener License Agreement Reminder' = even more hilariouser. 'California Dreamings' stitches a new version of a certain Mamas and Papas hit out of what must be every version of that oldie ever recorded - a helluva lot of work. The sampled voice of
Luie Luie pops up, as does J & H Productions (already sampled by RIAA a few years ago!) And so on. Fun, fun stuff.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

No pussycat was faster than Tura Satana, who just died at age 72.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to violence..."

If her biography is to be believed, the buxom bad-ass stripper/actress' life was at least as interesting as her films: "Walking home from school at the age of nine she was gang-raped
by five men. According to Satana, her attackers were never prosecuted and it was rumored that the judge had been paid off. This prompted her to learn the martial arts of aikido and karate and, over the next 15 years, she claimed that she had tracked down each rapist and exacted revenge. "I made a vow to myself that I would someday, somehow get even with all of them," she said years later. "They never knew who I was until I told them."

"This rapacious new breed prowls both alone and in packs..."

She was sent to reform school as a teenager and, for self-protection, became the leader of a gang. In an interview she said, "We had leather motorcycle jackets, jeans and boots and we kicked butt."

Who are they? One might be your secretary, your doctor's receptionist, or the dancer at a go-go club..."

She eventually became a successful exotic dancer, traveling from city to city and working with the likes of Tempest Storm, The Skyscraper Girl (?!), Candy Barr, and (how's this for a Tom Waits character) Stunning Smith the Purple Lady.

"...the unmistakable smell of female..."

After her star-making turn in Russ Myers' 1965 classic, she went on to other cinematic gems like "Astro-Zombies" and "The Doll Squad."

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! soundtrack

Includes: music by Igo Kantor, Bert Shefter & Paul Sawtell (the Shefter/Sawtell team scored lotsa sci-fi, e.g.: "The Fly" and "Voyage to The Bottom Of The Sea"); the classic title song by the otherwise unknown "Bostweeds;" highly quotable dialogue from Satana and her co-stars; sound effects.

The music ranges from killer rock'n'roll (The Cramps memorably covered the theme), to lewd bumping and grinding, to your basic soundtrack orchestral stuff. Some theremin-ish sci-fi sounds pop up, as well.