Monday, July 22, 2013


Hey losers! A while back I posted a "charm school" album for girls, and now it's the fella's turn. From 2000 comes this curio:

"Pheremones are in the air ... and San Francisco's nationally known spoken word/music group the Apes of God have a new CD release, How To Pick Up Girls!. The bemused recital consists of twenty-six pick-up lines (fifty-two in total) from a 1970's book The Hundred Best Opening Lines, a manual for perplexed bachelors by Eric Weber. In the background, a piano solo from an jazz instructional ear-training tape hauntingly meanders up and down various modal and diminished scales to the lonely ticking of a metronome. Synthesizer noises gurgle and glissando deep in the sonic substratum, and are later re-edited into an eleven minute musique concrete sequence called Making Love The Right Way - suggested listening for the date won by the lines once thing settle into the comfort zone."

The Apes of God - "How To Pick Up Girls"

Let me know how it works, okay, studs?

I'm still kinda on summer vacation, but the requests you-all have been sending in will be met eventually: The "Music For Weirdos" series, the '60s Mexican garage comp "Ya No Hay Beatles," The Everyday Film...I'll get to 'em all, I swear.  And more 78rpm strangeness from Count Otto Black. Gotta give you something to look forward to in life, right?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Count Otto Black has been sending us an amazing smorgasbord of shellac lately, including these three seasonal numbers, just in time for these hot, humid months.  The Count sez: "here's a 78 which has to be the WORST seasonal release ever! It's a sermon rather than an actual song, which is a pity, because a song with a title like "Death May Be Your Christmas Gift" would undoubtedly have been covered by the Smiths, and/or possibly Joy Division. In fact, it's so depressing that I'd better add another Xmas 78 which is a little bit more seasonal...another of Spike Milligan's Goon Show spin-off 78s, "I'm Walking Backwards For Christmas". Spike, incidentally, is playing a regular minor Goon Show character called Webster Smogpule, and his pianist (Peter Sellers) is credited as "Reuben Croucher". Merry Christmas, everybody!


1. Unknown Creepy Preacher - Death May Be Your Christmas Gift
2. Gayla Peevey - I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas
3. The Goons - I'm Walking Backwards For Christmas

(UPDATE 7/18: I think the preacher is Rev. A.W. Nix. )

Friday, July 12, 2013

Le Enfant Terrible: Music Made from Pots, Pans, and Toys

Manchester band Le Enfant Terrible sent me a link to their new album, describing it thusly: "It's effectively 'World Music' but not quite. It's music made from pots and pans, and toy instruments bought off street venders around the world." I thought: no way. But the opening moments of the really good tune "jucomeba comebi chi" convinced me otherwise.  Still, that description may not be entirely accurate, as there do seem to be some "proper" instruments on these somewhat exotic, mysterious, percussive instrumentals, but maybe they just really know how to play their toys. Recommended for fans of the Forgotten Fish Memory Orch. Picks To Click: "jucomeba comebi chi", "wasashi tono cupora."

Name-your-price/listen/purchase here:

Le Enfant Terrible: daeli cane

(Apologies if this blog is getting a bit neglected: trying to catch up on work, summer holidays, etc. Many more silly/naughty/filthy old 78s coming soon!)

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Re-Post: The Korn Kobblers

Dan Knudsen Won't Hurt You

Another great outsider musician named Daniel, Dan Knudsen is just as sincere, child-like, likeable, odd and God-fearing as D. Johnston, minus the mental-illness related drama and trauma (so far as I know). In spite, or maybe because of the fact that this janitor at a YMCA couldn't be more different from other Portland, Maine punk/industrial/avant artists, he's championed by this small-but-tightknit scene, doing shows with him after he started appearing at open mics, backing him live, even putting together a tribute covers album.

Knudsen's many wonderful releases are now up for free streaming/buying, all featuring his cheap xeroxed album covers, his acoustic guitar (and some rinky-dink electronics), and his high 'n' homely voice. They can be addictive - I've found myself playing one of his EPs after another. 

The six track "Beaches and Zoos" from 2005 is as good a place to start as any - in the somewhat creepy sing-along opener, Knudsen insists that he won't hurt you ("Your face will never be black and bluuuue! Aren't you glad, aren't you glad?"); both "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "The Lord of The Rings" are summarized in song; the Jonathan Richman-like title track promises numerous visits to, you got it, beaches and zoos, with some truly unique lyrical rhyming (e.g.: "USA" and "Flori-day"); and when you do go to the beach, once again, you have nothing to fear: "The Sharks are Gone!" Few performers could so unselfconsciously sing lines like: "I'm well-trained and skilled in aquatic safety," but Knudsen makes it all seem so natural.

The Dan Knudsen story began with 2000's lo-fi "Sunsong," six painfully sincere tales of love and heartbreak. "Grass, Grain, and Appleseeds" from 2002 has one of my favorite oddities from the Knudsen oeuvre, the spacey "We Are Not Alone." The beautiful title song sums up life as well as any. The chorus of "Rockin' On The Railroad" sounds a little too much like Neil Young's "Rockin In The Free World" to be a coincidence, just as "Rain Falls Outside My Window" appears to be a bizarre re-write of John Denver's "Sunshine On My Shoulder" ("If the rain falls thru a hole in my roof, it will make me drown...") [UPDATE 7/9/13: re "Rockin' On The Railroad", got an email from a reader who noticed "If you listen to the guitar riff, it sounds very similar to the Traveling Wilbury's "At the end of the line". And guess what is featured in the Wilbury's youtube video of the song?? They are singing the song while riding on a train.  Coincidence?!]

The catchy title track to 2011's "Lost Airways" finds him taking a flight, looking forward to seeing family and friends, worrying about terrorist attacks, and singing: "It's almost a six mile altitude/the roar of the engines sounds real rude" over guitars and cheezy Casios. He also points out that "We All Make Mistakes."

Advanced students may want to move on to "Outer Space," a sci-fi fantasy that's pretty out-there, in all senses of the phrase.

Sweet and guileless, utterly without pretension or show-biz posturing, with a slightly ominous undercurrent that keeps it from being too corny and wholesome...count me in as another "DanFan."

Dan Knudsen's Bandcamp page