Monday, January 30, 2012

"America's Most Unsophisticated Band!"

UPDATE 2/2/12: I removed the "Turkey In The Straw" video and replaced it with "Colonel Corn" because it's not only better, it's really just totally great.*

Freddie Fisher & The Schnickelfritz Band were a fun, nutty novelty band from the 1930s, pre-dating Spike Jone's debut in 1942, and if their music has a familiar sound to readers of this blog, they should - most of the members left band leader Fisher and formed the Korn Kobblers. A nice person has posted an album of Fisher & Co. songs of wildly-varying sound quality, but hey, it's free, so who can complain? Gonna have to find an album by these guys. For further study...

Freddie Fisher & The Schnickelfritz Band

Colonel Corn-Freddie Fisher by redhotjazz

*"really just totally great" - how's that for good writing? Pulitzer Prize, here I come!

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Crumbling AntiMusic of BuboTucoTumbo

Bubo, Tuco & Tumbo are one and the same, making inexplicable instrumental (with vocal gibberish) thoroughly obscure music that is by turns, annoying, fascinating, grating, compelling, always highly original, and frequently rewarding. They exist in that rarefied world of abstract esotericists like Zoviet France, or Nurse With Wound.

I literally have no idea how most of this music was made. It's not jazz, tho it sounds improvised at times, and doesn't sound especially electronic - there's an organic hands-on feel to these steadly-thumping rhythms that just go shambling on along like some Rube Goldberg device (perhaps machines were used?) as all manner of hard-to-identify mystery sounds create dense, odd textures; it's self-described as "Totally Free - SoundAndFormDeconstructor -CrumblingAntiMusic."

It's a hugely prolific project - when I was first contacted, 12 releases were up and I see some more have been added, but much of it is of a visual nature. And like our old pal The Everyday Film, I've been given not a shred of explanation or biographical information. When I asked, they replied:

-You should create your own opinion about these lines.
It's better if you first listen to all the albums.

-I have no web space other than mail.
Bubo/Tuco/Tumbo is my temporary project.
I am a painter; took a long break away from other projects earlier this year and devoted some time to creative areas in which I have no natural talents, skills or knowledge.

Material that arrived to you, was created between March and August 2011.

-Bubo/Tuco/Tumbo is only the soundscape for an art catalog which is now nearing completion and will be totally free, just like Bubo/Tuco/Tumbo vibrations – this material is in no way intended for marketing but is meant as collective property.

BuboTucoTumbo of Humal/Animan Collective

All free downloads, all available here:


The first batch:
I started with album #1 and wasn't sure if I'd continue - it's mostly in the Hafler Trio/Derek Bailey school of plunk-and-scrape improv that doesn't do much for me. But the final 3 tracks really got me, and I continued to find some really good stuff scattered throughout, e.g.: "Reverberatordog" on album #5; the first couple tracks on #6, an album that features lots of amusing jibbering/chattering; and what are those sounds on #7: porn on one track? Monkeys on another? It all makes the Residents sound like Air Supply. "APOPHENIANIMALS" on #8 is really good, tho it doesn't need to be 19 minutes long.

#9 is called "THE BEST OF TUCO," and they ain't kidding. The whole thing's pretty solid - start with this one.

The second batch (all album titles named after lines from "The Good The Bad & The Ugly" for some reason):
"TUCO -1- A" is a pretty interesting album, tho I can't tell if it's on-line anymore. It, like, "TUCO -1-B" feature some atonal Jandek-like guitar thrumming (I like tracks # 134 and 139). Much of "TUCO - 2 - A" sounds like hitting guitar strings with drumsticks, except for the last track, the ghostly disembodied voices of track # 152. And since that album also seems to be off right now, check it out in all it's 15-minute glory:

TUCO -2- B starts with industrial drones and silences, ends with string instrument scraping. I like #156. "TUCO -3- B" is nothing but noise tracks, all exactly 1:15 long. Didn't like.

That's as far as I've got. Along with some lovely artwork, they've added some new albums since - anyone want to check 'em out and leave a comment? Color me intrigued...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

John North Wright is STILL Outasight

As I wrote back in '06: In 1995, The Phoeniz (AZ) New Times received a demo tape from one John North Wright. The tape began with the growly voice of a middle-to-senior aged man announcing, ""Hi, I'm John Wright. Uh . . . all these songs are copyrighted 1985, words and music by myself. Uh, conceptually, they form the songs for a, uh, rock video opera I have written in my mind. It's set mostly in Hawaii and the Orient. It's called Teenage Volleyballers." What follows is an interminable tuneless guitar & voice meditation on, yup, teenage volleyballers, with little to say about them except that they're "out of sight."...Obsolete slang, hilariously inept music, and a generally creepy pedophile-ish aura all come to together to create the stuff of outside-music legend.

John North Wright Soundcloud page

Wright was an anti-Semetic paranoid conspiracy-theorist and Dylan-influenced singer songwriter (tho he blamed Dylan for telepathically stealing his woman) from Port Huron, MI (he pronounced it "Port Urine") and left this world back in '04, but thanks to the good people at Hott Lava, 15 songs (and possibly more to come) are now up for free listen/download. All the old 'hits' are featured, like "
Teenage Volleyballers" and "Down In The Land Of Evil" which, as I wrote in a Wright update, has something to do with Satan's, er, "schlong." Some great new tracks have been added - "I'm On Medication" really is as good as its title. Outsider essentials.

I'm On Medication by johnnorthwright

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Musicalness of Dan Ellsey

Hyperscore is software originally intended by its creators at MIT's Media Lab as a toy for children - they would draw and paint on the monitor and music would result. But then Media Lab's Tod Machover introduced it to disabled folks like one Mr. Dan Ellsey of Boston.

Quoth this LA Times article: "Born with cerebral palsy and unable to speak, he (Ellsey) was forced to communicate with a clumsy headset that pointed to letters to spell out words. He had little control of his body movements. He was in his early 30s, had never been more than five miles from where he was born and seemed doomed to spend a cocooned life in the hospital.

The Media Lab scientists designed a more refined headset for Ellsey that not only inspired him to compose (he turned out to have interesting musical ideas) but even allowed him to perform by controlling tempo, loudness and articulation. He blossomed, and Ellsey, while still a severely affected cerebral palsy patient, has become an active participant in the Hyperscore program, performing, making CDs and teaching other patients."

You can listen/buy his album "Masterpiece," featuring such interesting song titles as "My Musicalness" and "Our Musically":


So what's it sound like? Like instrumentals using synthetic versions of familiar sounds (strings, piano, drums) in unfamiliar ways - it all sounds a little off-kilter, like a drunken jazz band playing songs that unexpectedly lurch from part to part, then stopping in their tracks to repeat a passage over and over - not in a Minimalism sense, more in the needle-stuck-in-groove sense. The un-relaxing song "Relaxation" has an insistent snare drum relentlessly pounding away irregular rhythms. My fave on the brief (17 minute) collection is the accurately-named "Thrilling Trills."
Music of no known genre.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Had a request from a reader in Morocco (!) for a few albums originally hosted by the late, great site Bellybongo. Tho I don't have albums by Lynn Rockwell or The Trilogy (anyone?), I am glad I had this little wonder. Deb Hyer played ramshackle one-man-band versions of late '60s/'70s easy-listening hits on garage-y guitar, sleazy electric organ, and one-note duck-quack sax. And then there's his singing - he may have been from Kentucky, but his sense of pitch was all over the map.
Actually, the crude arrangements really improve the sappy nature of these songs, bringing them somewhere in between the punk raunch of The Modern Lovers or ? & The Mysterians, and the outsider chaos of The Shaggs. On "Bridge Over Trouble Water," however, it all just completely collapses. "Pain is all around"? He ain't kidding!

Comments to the Unusual Kentucky blog tell us that Hyer was a prolific lounge entertainer in his day, and he recorded another album called (gulp) "Nashville Streaker." Tho we still don't know why he was named 'Deb.'
Deb Hyer "One Man Band "

1. One Man Band
2. If I Had a Million
3. Too Late To Turn Back Now
4. Baby Dont Get Hooked on Me
5. Proud Mary
6. till I Meet You
7. I Believe In Music
8. Bridge Over Troubled Water
9. Joy To the World
10. Rock and Roll Lullaby
11. Someday
12. Help Me Make It Through the Night

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


TAKE NOTE! Update your address books, because in a month or so, my only email address will be:

Yep, hotmail - the first email address I ever got, back in the 1900s. Remember the days? Horse-drawn wagons...gals in bonnets...barn we got those barns to dance I'll never understand (boom-tish!). Anyway, I'm getting rid of hosting my own bandwidth - everything's blogspot, mediafire and divshare from now on. Will save me plenty of $, so if there's anything you want to download from the old days, do it now. Otherwise, write me/leave a comment, and I'll re-up on divshare or sumthin.
Last week was my 6th appearance (I counted!) guest dj-ing on l
egendary weird-ologist Greg Bishop's show Radio Misterioso, and Greg thinks it might be the strangest one yet. He has posted it for your listening/downloading pleasure:

Music For Maniacs on Radio Misterioso

"Plan Nine From Outer Space" intro


EJH (Electronic Jew’s Harp) "Skyer" [thanks to Rich from Kill Ugly Radio]
David Leibe Hart "Ring Out The New Year" [from new Best Of cassette]
Stock Hausen & Walkman "Index"
Jean-Jacques Perrey "Crazy Crow & Daffyduck"
Mel Blanc "Daffy Duck's Rhapsody"
Mel Blanc "Daffy Duck drug PSA"
Bernie Sizzey (Solitaire) "Smokin' and Trippin' Song"
"The Hippie Revolt" film ad
Ben Colder "The Love-In"
Lothar & The
Hand People "L-O-V-E (Ask For it By Name)"
Rascal Reporters "Freaks Obscure"
Lalo Schifren "Be Happy Again (Jingle of the Future)"
Longmont Potion Castle "Rec Center"
The Korn Kobblers "The Light Turned Red"
Duangdao Mondara & Chailai "Muhammad Ali (Black Superman)"


"Space is
So Startling" (original London cast recording): "Sleep on! /Millions of years ago /Why worry? /It would help a lot to squat"
Twink The Toy Piano Band "Tough Cookie"
Messer C
hups "Voodoo Man"
The Spotniks "Rocket Man" [see the video we were talking about HERE]
William Shatner "Rocket Man" [not the well-known video version, but a new studio remake]
"Space is So Startling": "The world can be one family/Space is So Startling"
Bill Cosby "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band"
Ted Mazio Percussion Group "I Didn't Know What Time It Was"
D.A.F. "Die Fesche Lola"
Shoji Tabuchi
"Orange Blossom Special"
King Kennytone & His Top Toppers "Sussy Twist"
Bogard Brothers "I'm In Love"
The Hathaway Family Plot "Means of Production"
Ace of Clubs "Rehab Dem Bones" [Amy Winehouse vs Herman Munster mashup]
David Leibe Hart "That Girl" [previously unreleased tune from new Best Of cassette]
Department of Crooks "Plan Nine From Las Vegas"
Hoosier Hot Shots "Etiquette Blues"


"Thank you for your very kind attention."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bernie Sizzey: Music For Shock Treament Lounges

Today's post is a big one, but this is a big discovery: a prolific outsider artists' complete works now available for free download. Meet Bernie Sizzey (aka Bernie aka Solitaire): mental patient, transvestite, drug user, coprophiliac, and, more importantly, singer/guitarist/keyboardist/ lo-fi home recorder and songwriter for 30 years now of everything from instrumental ambient space-rock, to unrepentant lysergic trip-outs, to confessional ballads detailing his life in catchy, upbeat songs that are never feeling sorry for themselves. He hasn't been dealt the best hand in life, but you won't hear him complain. (Well, unless maybe he runs out of pot.)

He was discovered by electronic/experimental musician Lee Ashcroft, whom some of you mashup fans may remember as "Mixomatosis." Lee writes:

"I have my friends at Colchester Arts Centre to thank for introducing me to Bernie's world. It was 2005, years before I'd heard the term "outsider music", and I went to see Matt Elliott from Third Eye Foundation live. Leaving the venue I walked past a table full of hand-made CD-Rs. Stained by tobacco and cannabis smoke and leaves, they each bore the name Bernie Sizzey. Bernie was nowhere to be seen but, after being told the Arts Centre was the only reliable place to find these discs (a fact that remains to this day - you won't find him on, I was told to "help myself". Few others did.

This was raw, powerful music. Through the haze of psychedelia, it seemed that one man had encompassed pop, rock, trance and hip-hop into a single, unique sound. At one moment he could be rapping about the Avon lady, the next singing a ballad to his mother, who put her son up for adoption mere days after giving birth. He had made his life an open book, and channeled his demons into some of the most exciting music I'd ever heard.

I wouldn't meet him for another four years. Arts Centre staff had told me he could often be found sitting on a wall opposite the centre, behind the local Mercury Theatre, wearing ill-fitting women's clothes and drinking special brew. And sure enough, walking through town one day, there he was. So excited to discover he had a new fan, he hastily put together a box-set of his entire repetoire from 1981 to 2007. Knowing this box-set, 'Be Kind, I'm Cute', was released in an edition of precisely two copies, I offered to put the contents online.

Finally, after two years of ironing out the myriad glitches present on the discs (some the result of poor-quality audio leads, others the result of the aforementioned drug leaves), I placed the entire collection, including materail released since, onto Bandcamp. Why am I doing this? Because this needs to be heard. All outsider art is important, because it avoids all commerical thought process. Art is often defined as something which lacks a genuine purpose. Outsider art has a purpose, if not for its audience, then for its manufacturers. It's art that exists not because it wants to, but because it NEEDS to.

Bernie's music is vital, and deserves to be heard. I consider it a real priveledge to be able to share it with the world, because I know that whatever problems Bernie faces in his life, knowing his music has an audience is something he can take a lot of comfort, satisfaction and pride in. No amount of money can achieve that.

Lee Ashcroft, January 2012

PS. Matt Elliott was unavailable for comment."

The following text is edited from emails and transcripts from Bernie:

"Hello Mr Ashcroft. Testing, testing, hello Mr Ashcroft and the nice guy, kind guy that wants to do this (that's you Mr Fab!)... I dont understand what a blog is, see? um... right. Biography. Born 28th April 1964. I was adopted nine days later by a couple, Mr Henry and Barbara Sizzey. I used to live up Layer Road, my mum was born up there. My dad used to live in Ipswich, then to Langham. Um, that's my dad, my adopted dad. I'll tell you about the social work slags later but um...

Yeah, adopted when I was nine days old. My mum and dad were really good people. They brought up three of us children. We were all other people's children that they brought up. We grew up with an Alsation, Sheena, and then Max when Sheena died. Lived in Brightlingsea, although actually... my mummy never wanted to know me. It will remain nameless. Don't really know if I want to see her. She got rid of me once. Don't really know... anyone if... if I could stand to get rejected by another human being again like that. But my mum and dad brought me up.

Oh yeah, the social workers, they said you can look up your blood family, which I gave them the name of, and they said "but you can't look up the Sizzey family, 'cos they're not blood related, and you couldn't do that. It would be against the law," and I said "up yours, social worker"...

Yeah, um, got hurt terribly by a woman. My first girl really, up the Colne High School up there in Brightlingsea. I think it's called the Colne Community College now, or something. I went there... started there in 1976...I asked a woman... gave her a letter and stuff... that girl in my class, in my form room... if she'd um, we could like get it together. She was really posh and that, and big arse and stuff, and... you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife for the next three years. Didn't tell my mum. My mum said "did you go out with her?" and I said "yeah." But I said "she don't wanna meet you" and stuff. So I lied blatantly to my mum and kept everything in after that really.

Later, I had some good friends around me though, and uh, but later I got into, like, a bit of coprophilia and scat and stuff in the local bogs [toilets]. I could even get a few... TICs with washing lines and stuff and a few shoplifting in Woolworths. Couple of Clash tapes and things, and Buzzcocks and that. They used to keep them in the cases in them days! Ha ha!

Anyway, moving on from that. I did have a girlfriend about a year later when i was 13. 13, 14. Carol. She was a bit plain for me. She's a nice lady and... went back to school after the summer and she weren't there. Apparently she'd move on, anyway. I took it pretty badly, after the other girl as well, who'd turned me down. And um... really things took a bit of a nose dive after that. Always had a sick note for school. Always had a sick note for sport, and that. I hate sport.

Cut a long story short: About the age of 15, started playing guitar. Picked up my sister's one. It was nylon. I put steel ones on it which cut into the neck, but it still worked. I learned how to tune it to itself, and... I still don't keep it in proper, classical tune because they're all up themselves. Tune it how I want. Anyway... started having a group called Rohan. AJP, who's on 'Reel to Real', I think he's a radiotherapist now up there in Peterborough...Haven't got a lot by them anymore, all the tapes have got lost, but I have got the two songs off 'Reel to Real' that I done with AJP...They used to say "don't bring Bernie," you know, because I was obviously so strawn away and that, and dirty and that, that they just didn't want to know. So that was the end of Rohan.

Aged 16, got into Severalls. By the age I was 21, I'd already had ECT [electro-convulsive therapy aka electro-shock]. Had ECT on my 20th birthday! 21st April 1984, we all know what I was doing that morning. Getting a taxi, a paid taxi into Severalls... we was very poor though, so we got a... hospital taxi took me there.

Realistically, it was just drugs, drink, special brew. Not many girls. Couple of lays, but no actual girlfriends until I started making my music. This doctor, this psychiatrist just turned my guts so much that I felt I had to write her a few love songs, to be cute to her, and tell her she can always kidnap me, keep me in a cupboard and kill me. "How much is it?" So I made a few songs, then when I wrote 'Beacon' on 'The Game so Far', sent it to all the neighbors, hey bingo, Vanessa said she loved it. Rest of then 'til now's been history. I've been loved. I've learned how to communicate. I really love that girl Vanessa. And just recently I've got Bandcamp... and Lee's been absolutely fantastic.. you (you Mr!), you kind man, good for you. If you ever need anything sucking, come this way. I mean... I didn't mean that! I mean... if you ever need... ah, bottom."

And that, I believe, marks the first offer of oral sex I've received on this blog. And it's about time! Anyway. Ladies and gentlemen, with no further ado, may we present:

The Complete Works (So Far) of Bernie Sizzey

Where to begin? Lee recommends the "Flux Transmissions" album, and I'd add his sampler "Hippie Scat." "Flux" contain gems like "Dream-Conduit," and the winning bubblegum of "Spinning Top!!" "Scat" is packed with hits like his insanely catchy and funny "Smokin' and Trippin' Song," the 1:30 long should-be-garage-rock-classic "Her Favourite Rubbish," an ode to a "psychedelic Avon lady in the sky...", and "Friends Forever," a great bit of space rock disco - imagine Chic covering Hawkwind. The lyrics to "Slave Shuffle" hints at the darkness in his life ("am I just a basket case/not fit for the human race?") even as the New Wave synth-pop music sets toes happily tapping.

It is these older recordings, sometimes released under the name "Solitaire," that are the most intensely personal, lyric-driven tunes, written in an informal, off-the-cuff manner, as if an uninhibited neighbor stopped you on the street to tell you what happened to him today and to share old stories. Pick hits from "Bit By Bit": "Days," "Garden" (a tribute to his recording engineer!), and "Squeeze," and from "The End Of The Game": "Moonshine Man" (about his dealer), and "Hippie Scat," which details the stupendous amounts of chemicals he ingests. Which leads to this chicken/egg question: did his mental problems/hospitalizations result from his drug use, or are the drugs a way to help him cope?

More recent releases such as "Hard-Wired," the pointedly-titled "Music For E.C.T. Lounges," and the more dance-y "Dementia Praecox" are mostly instrumentals in the Pink Floyd/Tangerine Dream school of head music. Recording quality, tho still a bit lo-fi, is definitely improving.

Much thanks to Lee for allowing us the opportunity to be the blog that gets to introduce Bernie to the world. As Bernie says, "Have a nice trip!!"

Monday, January 09, 2012


"Compost" is the aptly-titled 16 minute free download mini-album courtesy of of Nova Scotia, Canada's J fm. He grabs samples of pop music detritus, throws 'em in a grinder and makes hazy lo-fi audio mulch. Fans (like me) of the L.A. Free Music Society's woozy tape-loop shenanigans from the likes of Tom Recchion and Dinosaurs With Horns will dig this. Mr. J fm sez: "i just record onto a tape from my sp404, i carry a solid lil dictophone around and grab samples anywhere i can, everything's game. those sounds get treated, trashed and put into a shape on the sampler." Download it from the Divorce label website


This video for the non-album track "Frozen Frisbee" utilizes a David Blaine 'Street Magic' VHS tape:

Friday, January 06, 2012


Oh, my overflowing in-box! Now that I'm back from vacation, I simply MUST tell you about:

- Yrs truly, Mr Fab, will once again be spinning all the platters that matter for that internet host with the most, Spacebrother Greg, on his Radio Misterioso program this Sun. Jan 8th, 8:00 PST on two solid hours of as many strange sounds as we can cram in, including lotsa stuff I haven't posted here.

- RIAA's last (?) ever album "The Wonderful World of Sound" is now available for free download.
21 big hunks of mashup/sound collage goodness.

- The Amazing Australian Sound-Effects Bird can do more then say "Polly Wanna Cracker" - he can imitate stuff like power tools, water dripping, and a truck backing up. Made me laff!

- Bastiaan Maris' Large Hot Pipe Organ plays music by shooting fire thru tubes of different lengths; a 2 track ep is available that I'll have to track down, but 'til then, here's the monster at work:

- "Sin-atra" is a heavy-metal tribute to Frank Sinatra. Uh-huh. And it works about as well as you would expect, with results ranging from "actually, this is kinda cool" (Dee Snider's "Kashmir"-inspired version of "It Was A Very Good Year") to "train-wreck" and/or "hilarious" (pretty much the rest of the album). Members of Anthrax and Cheap Trick, among other metal stars, appear. Listen HERE for, if no other reason, proof that the world may have lost it's collective mind.

Thanks to windy & Whizzdumb (sounds like some old show-biz team!) for the tips.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Exotic Sounds of Tiki Gardens

Here we are, back from vacation, ready to...go back on vacation. So let's warm up these darkest depths of winter with one of the most expensive exotica albums ever. Yep, this one goes for hundreds of dollars on ebay, and I have no idea why. For one thing, it's not a music album so much as a tourist souvenir record, complete with nerdy narration. As such, it's a fascinating time-travel back to '60s kitsch America, but the one-man organ band ain't exactly on the order of Les Baxter's complex arrangements (tho Princess Carloa's "Hawaiian Wedding Song" is beautifully sung). Tropical birds, waterfalls, ocean waves, and a volcano also make guest appearances.

Florida's Ti
ki Gardens was built in 1963. Alas, it was sold in 1990 and demolished - just before the tiki revival.

Exotic Soun
ds of Tiki Gardens
includes: "Torch Lighting Ceremony," "Selected Sounds of Tiki Gardens," "Polynesian Fantasy Theme Song ."