Friday, December 21, 2012


Here's an idea who's time has truly come: a project called "Imagine" in which Mexican artist Pedro Reyes leads a team that takes guns donated from citizens of a county particularly wracked by violence and transforms them into musical instruments. Pistols form a guitar's body, gun barrels have holes drilled into them and made into flutes, or are arranged according to size into a xylophone, etc. The remarkable lyre pictured above is as much a triumph of visual design as musical. Go


to read/see the pics/watch the making-of vids. The video below is a 6-minute "Imagine Concierto" featuring the instruments. Yes, the music is based on the Lennon song, but even if you're sick of that tune, you must admit to how good these instruments sound, how well they're played, and just the general awesomness of the project. The percussion in particular gets increasingly sorta funky as the song progresses.

And I'm outta here til sometime in January. Much thanks to the many of you who have contributed to this-here web-log this year. Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men, and all that jazz.

Monday, December 17, 2012


William Shatner! Theremins! Daleks! Annoying child singers!  Truly, this is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. 

If we must be subjected to Christmas music every year, at least let's make it bad/strange futuristic-y sci-fi songs. Space travel and Christmas - two things that have nothing to do with each other.  So why are there so many songs about both? Maybe cuz kids love 'em both. Or because Santa's reindeer routine was a wormhole-like traveling thru space/time? Or cuz everyone gets sick of "White Christmas" after a while? Regardless, here are 24 mainly '50s/'60s songs collected over the years, stuffed into one handy stocking:

(Is this divshare business working?)
Space-Age Santa (Zippyshare)

These tunes are mostly off hopelessly obscure 45s, but I added artist info, if any

01 Hal Bradley Orch wPatty Marie Jay - SpaceAge Santa Claus
02 Zoot, Zoot, Zoot Here Comes Santa In His New Space Suit - Tiny Tim and Bruce Haack (as previously discussed)
03 Introduction-Hooray For Santa Claus - Miton DeLugg (from the badfilm classic "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians)
04 I Cloned Myself For Christmas - Neutron 606
05 Good King Wenceslas - Douglas Leedy (from a Buchla - not Moog - album from the late '60s that's all pretty cool, but this is the stand-out track.)
06 The Go Go's - I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek (No, not those Go-Gos, this was a '60s British studio "group.")
07 Outer Space Santa - Lawrence Welk's Little Band
08 Santa and the Satellite - another proto-mashup from Buchanan & Goodman
09 Northern Telecom - I Want An OC192 For Christmas 
10 moog cookbook - santa claus is coming to town (time-traveling to the '90s for this nutty instro)
11 Tim Dinkins - Santa's Rocket
12 Take A Ride On Santa's Rocket - The Sounds Extraordinare
13 Bobby Helms - Captain Santa Claus (Yep, the "Jingle Bell Rock" guy)
14 Lothars - Oh Holy Night (great contemporary theremin group)
15 barry gordon - Zoomah the Santa Claus from Mars
16 The Servotron Evaluation of the Christmas Season
17 Fountains of Wayne - I Want an Alien for Christmas (more actual not-old music! From their 2005 album "Out-Of-State Plates")
18 a sonovox (a kind of '40s vocoder) version of "rudolph"
19 troy hess - christmas on the moon (singing 6 year with thick hick accent - OUCH)
20 William Shatner - Good King Wenceslas (hearing all the verses, recited in Captain Kirk's ponderous delivery, reminds me that I have no idea what the hell this song is about)
21 Scene 1 Come Rejoicing-Its The Very Best Time of The Year-Make A Joyful Noise (from a kiddie xian xmas album I found in a thrift-shop called "Christmas 2001 A Space-Age Adventure"; I actually digitized the whole thing, but, believe me, you don't need to hear it)
22 Christmas in the Stars (from the infamous "Star Wars Christmas" album; I also have this one on vinyl - featuring a young Jon Bon Jovi! - but you REALLY don't need to hear the whole thing)
23 MIT computer 1962 carols
24 Space Age Santa Claus - Gus de Wert Trio (Incredibly, a cover of track #1)

Thanks to J-Unit 1!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Avant-Cute: The Caring Babies

The Caring Babies describe themselves as "experimental, electronic" but these absurdly cute, cuddly songs ain't exactly Stockhausen. Tip-off #1: the band name, #2: the teddy bears on the cover. Their new release is 4 songs in under 4 minutes of irresistible silliness and willful innocence. Then there's the unexpected noise blast at the end, which had me asking, "What did I just listen to?"

Listen: The Caring Babies "Gold Friends"

Buy: the 7" record

Download: the song "Gold Friends." Because friendship is special.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Buster Boris Pocket Naumoff is the youngest son of Troy Naumoff, the grown-up behind the kids noise band Electric Fence, and Troy has recorded baby-boy taking a 14-minute space-jazz organ solo. You can, and should, get it here:
Buster Boris Pocket Naumoff: SOLO ORGAN AT FOUR MONTHS
Next time someone mocks you for listening to free-improv music by saying, "My kid could do that!," politely ask: "Really?  Have they made any albums? I'd like to check 'em out..."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"...the first hip-hop album of all time to be comprised of only animal noises"

"Hello, my name is TD Cruze and I am a 20 year old hip-hop producer from Valdosta, Georgia.

I thought you'd like to know that I just released the first ever instrumental hip-hop album that contains no instruments - just animal noises."
Now THAT'S the kind of email I like to get. Hot damn!  What a concept. And what an execution, too - only 6 songs, but a more utterly mental release you have not heard all year. You could even dance to it, although the idea of a club full of kids dancing to sampled animal sounds is too surreal to contemplate.
If you couldn't handle my last post of animals "singing" christmas songs, maybe these critters will float your boat (or ark, as the case may be). Listen/buy here:
TD Cruze: "The Savage Beast"
Hey, ya cheap bastards, you say you don't wanna pay to download the whole album? Mr. Cruze is allowing me to post one free song for y'alls, the hyena-voiced "Laughing Matter," available HERE.

Monday, December 10, 2012


My attempt to post an album a day has failed miserably after only 10 days. I blame society. No matter, for look at the goodies laid out under our tree by St Nick's filthy ne'er-do-well cousin, St. Dick. And according to St. Dick, nothing says holiday cheer better than the flatulent sounds of sampled pig snorts and grunts. One of my all-time xmas atrocities, re-upped just for you: 


We must have been awfully naughty this year, cuz Jolly Old St Dick just excreted this into our stocking:

Top Dog: Howliday Favorites In Dog (1994)

You remember Don Carlos' Singing Dogs, and their classic version of "Jingle Bells"?  Can you take a whole album of such schtick? Of course, I can - I live for this stuff, y'know.  And my daughter handed me this CD yesterday with the instruction: "I wanna doggie song." Didn't seem to bother her at all. There are some nice arrangements on here, like the swingin' jazz of the opener "Santa Claws."  The (non-christmas) gospel song "Oh Happy Day" gets new lyrics sung by a cute kid as "Oh Happy Dog." The standards are all here, from "Angels We Have Herd" right up thru "Old Fang's Whine." There's even the now-obligatory Hanukkah medley, featuring "Howlin' Nagila."

This album is the work of Craig Huxley, who started off in show-biz as a child actor, appearing in some original "Star Trek" episodes, and has been associated with "Trek" ever since, even - yes! - becoming 'the music director for William Shatner...helping to create arrangements of songs such as "Rocket Man", and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", according to wiki.  I now worship this guy. It gets even better: "To date, he has recorded three albums, Howliday Favorites in Dog, Slam Dunk'n Hoes and Howlin' Classics - from Bark to Beethoven. As of 2012, he is working on his fourth album, Patriotic Pooches, to be released during the 2012 election." Good to know that there's more of this stuff out there. (Although I'm pretty sure it's a different Top Dog who made Slam Dunk'n Hoes.)

Friday, December 07, 2012

ALBUM DU JOUR #10: Tiny Tim's Christmas Album

Still trying to post an album a day, to keep you-all fully loaded for when I take my holiday break.  The Iron Man of Blogging continues!

Today's album pretty much does what it says on the tin - unlike the stripped-down Tiny Tim album I posted last week, this is a big-budget, fully orchestrated work (except for one solo uke tune) that suggests that some nut thought that a modern Tiny Tim album might actually have commercial potential. This album certainly starts off as normal anything Tiny ever did, but goes off the rails eventually, as we all knew it would, with an epic version of "Silent Night" that features a pulpit-pounding sermon from a fiery "Reverend" Tim.  What the..?  Also far from silent is the incredibly bombastic 8-minute medley. The songs are the same ol' same ol' until we get to the last few tracks, when Tim finally gets to dig into his bag of old-fashioned obscurites.

His famous falsetto is still in effect on this 1996 release - shortly after this release he claimed he couldn't sing like that any more.

Tiny Tim's Christmas Album

1. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
2. All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
3. That's What I Want For Christmas
4. I Saw Mommy Kissin Santa Claus
5. White Christmas
6. The Christmas Song
7. O Holy Night
8. Silent Night
9. Medley: O Come All Ye Faithful/Hark The Herald Angels Sing/O Little Town Of Bethlehem/Amazing Grace/Throw Out The Lifeline
10. Rainbow On The River
11. Mission Bell
12. What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Thursday, December 06, 2012

ALBUM DU JOUR #9: Eno: The Lost '70s Pop Album

No, this isn't an actual album, but a collection of b-sides, bootlegs, and appearances on other artist's albums from Bri-Bri's glam-rockin' heydey.  It would have made a great album, tho, for fans of the man's "Warm Jets"-to-"Before And After Science" song-oriented work, which would include, I would imagine, most of you-all at some point in your lives. I'm surprised that Eno or his labels have never put together a collection like this, seems like a natural. As he is one of the most famous/popular avant-rockers in history, you think they'd be trying to milk it they way they're doing with the Velvet Underground.

No ambient stuff here.  The Cluster tracks are certainly atmospheric, tho still actual tunes with vocals/lyrics.  The three tracks from "Peter and the Wolf" are instrumentals, but they rock - Eno going nuts on the synth, like his solos on Roxy Music songs like "Editions of You."

"Qu'ran," which sampled Muslims chanting from their holy book, was included on the original pressings of "My Life..." (I still have my old vinyl copy!) but not only was it not included as one of the many bonus tracks on the 25th anniversary re-issue, it's not even mentioned in David Byrne's otherwise thorough liner notes. Them Muslims must be scary...

Eno: The Lost '70s Pop Album

1. Seven Deadly Finns [single, 1974]
2. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) [single, 1975]
3. Big Day [from Phil Manzanera's "Diamond Head" 1975]
4. Miss Shapiro                   "
5. The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch [live, with The Winkies 1974]
6. Totalled [live, with The Winkies 1974 - a radically different version of this song would appear on 1975's "Another Green World" album as "I'll Come Running"]
7. Fever [Peggy Lee cover; live, with The Winkies 1974]
8. Baby's On Fire [live, with Kevin Ayers, John Cale "June 1, 1974"]
9. Third Uncle [w/Phil Manzanera's band "801 Live" 1976]
10. The Fat Lady Of Limbourg  "
11. Wolf [from "Peter And The Wolf" various artists inc Phil Collins, narrator: Viv Stanshell, 1975]
12. Wolf and Duck                   "
13. Wolf Stalks                        "
14. Luneburg Heath [w/German group Harmonia featuring Michael Rother from Neu!, and Cluster, from "Harmonia 76," unreleased until 1997]
15. Broken Head [from "After The Heat" w/Cluster, 1978, initially a somewhat hard-to-find import-only album in the US]
16. The Belldog                       "
17. Tzima N'arki                      "
18. R.A.F. [w/Snatch, "King's Lead Hat" b-side, 1978]
19. Qu'ran [w/David Byrne, from first pressings of their album "My Life In The Bush of Ghosts," recorded 1979, released 1981]

Thanks to pj for the artwork!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

ALBUM DU JOUR #8: ...To The Ridiculous

There's just no way you can dismiss today's music scene as not being as good as that of some mythical golden-age. I have so many new releases to cover, I split them up into last months' "From The Sublime..." and today's "...To The Ridiculous." The first batch was largly instrumental avant-gardsey-ness, but this batch, tho just as experimental, is more in the whacked-out weirdo spazzy song-form end of things. Most of these albums are not downloads, but are for sale - makes great gifts! 

M4M...To The Ridiculous

1. F.K. Dreyer & Mark Recording Co. "Intro/Aries":  from the album - and, yes, there's a whole album of this - "Your Dogs Horoscope"
2. Michael McDaeth "Happy Just To Be Happy": a few tracks here from Seattle's McDaeth, and his 7-count 'em-SEVEN disk album, "The Socket Set." It's ramshackle one-man-band rock, sometimes a little too loose, sometimes dead-on in a Half-Japanese-for-the-Nirvana-generation kinda way.
3. Looping Jaw Harp Orchestra "Tuba for Klaus (Tribute to Klaus Nomi)": Vienna, Austria unleashed this mad crew of jews harps as the lead instruments, joined by the likes of steel drum, marimba, kalimba, accordion, etc.  No normal Instruments! The entirety of their latest album "Universal Language" is great. Just the fact that they dedicate a song to Klaus Nomi proves their awesomeness.
4. The Chewers "Burn It Down": Another fantastic album- I reviewed their first one, and the new one "Chuckle Change And Also" is even better; low-key Beefheart/Residents influences filtered thru a Southern low-life sensibility, with lyrics examining a side-show's worth of human grotesqueries. Get it.
5. The Toilet Bowl Cleaners "I Forgot to Wipe My Bum": one of 2 tracks off their album "Songs About Poop, Puke & Pee." The fact that such an album even exists is amazing; the fact that the Toilet Bowl Cleaners have many albums, all focused on the subject of human waste, and that some of the songs are actually good, is nothing short of mind-boggling. The main toilet-bowl cleaner sez that he's released 8000 songs in the last 4 years.  That's kinda prolific. Wanna hear 86 songs about dead animals?
6. Kitschstortion "Cutie Honey" - Another returning guest. The Kitschstortion release featured on these pages last year used the bizarre vocal synth gizmo the Vocaloid to dazzling effect. This is from the new EP "How To Have Boring Dreams"
7. Michael McDaeth "She's Just A Torso"
8. Flossie and the Unicorns "Jr. Troopers Are Go": 37-seconds of the album "LMNOP."
9. People Like Us "Seven Degrees": Another super bit of sound-collage pop from this British master (mistress?) of the form; the new one is "This Is Light Music." Sawing sound-effects (not musical saw) adds percussive zeal to samples of cheeseball '60s EZ instros, Morricone themes, and girl groups. I could leave this one on repeat for very long times.
10. 'Church On The Move' - Dad Life: I once knew a guy whose parents lived down the street from Snoop Dog in a thoroughly suburban neighborhood, far, far away from South Central LA. They'd see the infamous 'gangsta' shopping, taking his kids to the park, etc. This funny rap song about everyday domesticity really is 'keeping it real.'
11. Michael McDaeth "From the Midwest" 
12. The Electric Grandmother "Mr Clyde": Not sure if a 'sitcom-core' band is really something the world needs, but this alleged ode to Bill Cosby's character is an agreeable bit of bizarre pop.
13. The Chewers "The Fat Man"
14. Looping Jaw Harp Orchestra "Wabba Dubu"
15. Toilet Bowl Cleaners "Gotta Poop, Puke & Pee (Simultaneously)"
16. Bobby & Paul "DMT9": these guys are from the late great electronic noise band Margaret Raven.  They sent me this a year or two ago and I forgot about it.  Sorry, guys, it's good stuff!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

ALBUM DU JOUR #7: Better Science Communication Through Hip-Hip

Oh Baba, Baba, why do you bother?  

The emcee behind "The Rap Guide To Evolution" and "The Rap Guide To Human Nature" is again trying to use music to hip the kids to science. Baba Brinkman has dropped a new free download EP called "The Infomatic"  in which, on the title song, he describes himself as "a cross between Christopher Wallace and Christopher Hitchens" and quotes Carl Sagan.  Sagan was denied membership in the National Academy of Sciences, and, despite official explanations, it was really because Sagan tried to do what Brinkman is trying to do - deal with the enemy.  Yes, trying to explain to the masses not just the facts (which constantly change) but the methodology behind them is like trying to explain to a fish what land is like. On the last track, "Naturalizm," even Brinkman sounds a bit frustrated.

This particular release don't have a theme, as the five songs deal with various (if thoroughly non-hip-hop) subjects like: science is sexy, reading is cool, and why global warming deniers are a buncha kooks. Which probably isn't going to get much of an audience beyond some science geeks and, well, people who read blogs like this and are looking for strange, obscure musics. You gotta love hearing a Beyonce-like r'n'b chick singing: "In the mind of a climate skeptic/science is a liberal conspiracy" as Baba drops rhymes like: "I think I'll just stick to the scientific consensus/which says that there's an upper limit of/350 parts per million of atmospheric carbon."  Get down!

Still, Brinkman's got mad flow, the beats ain't bad, and it sure beats the kids' global warming musical "Penguins On Thin Ice" all to hell.  Good luck, Baba...

Baba BrinkmanThe Infomatic

Monday, December 03, 2012

ALBUM DU JOUR #6: The Toy-Pop Sounds of Carton Sonore

The French invasion of wonderful naive/toy-pop continues with the loveable Carton Sonore (Sound Card). The three all-too-brief "Petit Themes" albums available for download are well worth the few euros/pounds/dollars/clams purchase price. Mr. Sonore sez: "It's mainly acoustic and instrumental music with various instruments, like: charango, ukulele, guitar, melodica, saw, saz, glockenspiel..."  Yes! to more musical saw.  Xylophones, ocarinas, kazoos and toys are also present. But as much as I'm drawn to unusual instruments, as usual, it's the top-notch songwriting that sucks me in - there's a dreamy, innocent-but-not-corny quality to these tunes. 

I've included a couple tracks from each album, as well as a few tracks he's made available for free in this sampler:

Carton Sonore - 9 songs

Sunday, December 02, 2012


Pneumershonic is a crazy old guy named Paul and his pal Matt. These New Hampshire-ites recorded an album in 1997 called "Frequencies of the Beast,"  a very entertaining collection of Paul's improvised singing/rants like "Hippie Freakout" and "Martian Girlfriend" over Matt's music. Matt wrote to me asking to link to an article written about them on WFMU's Beware of the Blog, but I wasn't going to do that cuz, well, it's already on Beware of the Blog, so why bother? But the article is 6 years old, it's an album that any outsider music fan should check out, AND he said he'd send me (and you) a CD. So I reconsidered. And it's got marimbas!  And optigans!  


I bundled all the separate mp3s into one album:


Pneumershonic: Frequencies of the Beast

Saturday, December 01, 2012


The Eagles!  Fleetwood Mac!  Styx! Marie Osmond! That's the kind of stuff I listen to now.  All that weird, experimental stuff - what was I thinking?  Writing a blog about music that so few people care about...what a sad lonely life I've been livin'...  Well, forget that, I'm gonna be NORMAL! And what a relief it is, lemme tell you - I'm gonna hang out in sports bars, watch "American Idol," stop listening to college/public radio and keep my dial set on AM talk from now on.  Hall & Oates!  Chicago!  Muthafuckin' ABBA!  Hell yeah, where's my pink Izod shirt and penny loafers?!

This playlist is no joke.  All the artist represented here making crazed noise, goofball novelties, flipped-out weirdness, and self-indulgent nonsense are the very same acts who made all those familiar mainstream hits (granted, including Joey Ramone here stretches the definition of 'mainstream' a bit).  See? The Beatles weren't the only superstars to have a "Revolution No.9" in them.

UPDATE 12/2/12: Now on Zippyshare, for those of you who had trouble with Mediafire  

I was going to go into explanations about how these oddities came to be, like how that's Robert Fripp (!) playing on the Hall & Oates, how "Mother" was the only song by the Police that I loved, etc., but I think it's best for you to just listen to this and be amazed - play it for your friends and see if they can guess who's who.

1. Chicago "Free Form Guitar"
2. Donovan "The Intergalactic Laxative"
3. The Eagles "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks"
4. Fleetwood Mac "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In"
5. Frank Sinatra "Reflections On The Future In 3 Tenses" excerpt (by Gordon Jenkins)
6. Hall & Oates "Alley Katz"
7. Heart "Hit Single"
8. Debbie Harry "In Just Spring"
9. James Brown "The Future Shock Of The World"
10. Marie Osmond "Karawane"
11. The Police "Mother"
12. Nirvana "Montage of Heck Part 1"
13. Nirvana "Montage of Heck Part 2"
14. Prince "Bob George"
15. Buddy Holly "Slippin' And Slidin' (sped-up version #1)"
16. Styx "Plexiglass Toilet"
17. Joey Ramone "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs"
18. Toto "Robot Fight"
19. Van Halen "Strung Out"
20. Willie Nelson "Cowboys are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other"
21. Abba "Intermezzo no.1"
22. Alice In Chains "Love Song"
23. Cat Stevens "Was Dog a Doughnut?"