46 years ago today, humans walked on the moon for the first time, as millions watched on TV (the Soviets, via their own Luna 15 craft, were no doubt angrily shaking their fists at the screen!), and some even watched with their naked eye by telescope. One British Colombian astronomer actually watched without a telescope - he knew the night sky so well that he could tell which dot was Apollo 11. The actual landing craft and American flag is still there, also visible by telescopes, and, were you to land at Tranquility Base, you could even see Neil Armstrong's footprints. Not a whole lot of weather on the moon.
Apart from the Space Race, the Sixties also gave us surf rock, and trashy rock 'n' roll in general. Two great tastes that go great together! Seems like a good time to celebrate this most holy of unions, what with the amazing Pluto mission now happening, and surf music feeling so right in this summer heat.
These are mostly guitar instrumentals, but wacky sci-fi sound fx, keyboards, horns, and even some orchestral arrangements all add plenty of variety. And so you don't o.d. on instros, there's a few vocal numbers as well. I've always loved the Steven Garrick and His Party Twisters song (the female singer reminds me of Rusty Warren) yet for some reason I still haven't listened to much of the rest of the album. A little twisting goes a long way. There's also some rockabilly, doo-wop, some great lounge crooning ("Journey To The 7th Planet"), and one of Brian Wilson's greatest bits of lunacy (yes, it was once thought that the moon - Luna - caused madness). And then there's Sandy "King of the Surf Drummers" Nelson's "Beat From Another World," 7 bewildering minutes of
studio and tape effects + drum solo that is certainly unlike anything else I've
ever heard. It's more avant-garde then most stuff that thinks it's
cheated this time and included some modern surf bands along with the
oldies, e.g.: contempo groups covering songs from the Ventures classic
"In Space" album, and the "Blob" and "Dr Who" covers. They're just too good. But no Man or Astro-Man - seeing as how their entire career is surf-in-space, they would be a bit too obvious, no?
And once again, as we usually do when we get all mid-century lowbrow, there's some audio ephemera thrown in. This time, it's: 'B' movie ads and dialogue, a children's record, and sci-fi sound effects. And, as per usual, the collection's title and artwork (cartoonist Bill Wenzell, in this case) are courtesy of vintage men's magazines.
Lowbrow Vol.5 MoonTan Lotion - A MusicForManiacs Collection
Do I have to write out the track list? It's 30 tracks and I'm tired!
UPDATE 7/22: Thanks to a reader with a suitably sci-fi handle,
Soylentwhitetrash, the tracklist is now in Comments.