Tuesday, January 01, 2999

The MUSIC FOR MANIACS Amazon Store

Read all about it! Now with 2 categories: one for CDs and DVDs, and one for mp3 downloads. This is a work in progress. >>HAPPY CONSUMING!<<

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo: "Forbidden Zone"


Back in the days of Los Angeles' wild-n-whooly pre-punk "Freak Scene", The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo were filling large theaters with their outrageous performances. And if you think that name sounds familiar, yes indeed, Danny Elfman would eventually inherit the group from brother Richard and pare it down to the hugely successful band Oingo Boingo, who would then in turn serve as the springboard for Elfman's even huge-er career as a soundtrack composer. Somewhere in the world right now, the theme to "The Simpsons" is playing.

But this was Elfman's first score, and possible his best, an utterly weird, wacked-out, and wonderful assortment of short instrumentals ("Factory" wouldn't sound out of place on The Resident's "Commercial Album"), and theatrical vocal numbers from Elfman (as the Devil); star Susan Tyrrell, an actual Oscar nominee who made the admirable decision to toss away movie-star life to make films with the likes of Andy Warhol and John Waters; and - yes! - Herve Villachaize, the little fella with the thick accent who played Tattoo on Fantasy Island, who can be heard in the "Finale."

Also featured: "Yiddishe Charleston", which sounds just like its title: a Jewish boogie-woogie; the Dr. Demento swing-era standard "Pico and Sepulveda," and the amusingly flatulent nonsense vocals of performance artists The Kipper Kids (one of whom is married to Bette Midler?!) sung over some vintage jazz novelties. All of which perfectly complements big brudder Rick Elfman's hysterically surreal, non-PC classic midnight movie. The year was 1977: Richard was retiring from the group to pursue a video career, and Danny was ready to steer it from its glam-era theatrical origins into New Wave rock band territory. Nothing here really sounds like Oingo Boingo, tho. Much to this album's credit, it doesn't really sound like anything you've heard before. 

Various versions of this soundtrack have been released over the years. This is the most complete.

The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo: "Forbidden Zone" soundtrack


Friday, June 17, 2016

I CUT PEOPLE: "I Quit"

27 tracks of lightning-fast audio edits whizzing by in 24 minutes? It can only mean another release from I Cut People and their ever-improving m.o. of wicked social satire thru a dense collage of countless samples. The album is called "I Quit" but let's hope he isn't. With Negativland members dropping dead left and right, and The Tape Beatles seemingly out of action, ICP would appear to be our best chance for reversing the usual one-way stream of corporate/religious info-tainment, creatively recycling this waste, and spitting it back. The inanity of the mass media, politics and consumerism, and the anxiety it produces in the brainwashed populace has never been more funny! And entertaining! NOW how much would you pay?! 

I Cut People "I Quit"

Picks to click: "Try It," "All You Need Is More Things," and "All About Crap." And if Beavis and Butthead were sound collagists, they would have proudly produced "Dick Bible."

Friday, June 10, 2016

HIPPIE NOISE IN A LAUNDROMAT

The self-titled 1971 album "The Roots Of Madness" is a truly historic avant/outsider artifact. Incredibly, the recordings of this, well, madness date back as far as 1969. That beats The Residents, and the LA Free Music Society were a couple years away from forming. And needless to say, The Great Punk DIY Explosion was far off on the horizon when this bag of nutters from the wholly unremarkable Northern California town of San Jose made this home-brew concoction. 

Ingredients: tinkly music boxes, short wave radios, free-jazz, blues guitar, beat poetry, smutty poetry, a Dada sensibility, a smart-ass sense of humor, sound effects, even an actual song or two. All common strategies now, but must have been fairly incomprehensible at the time. And yes, they did do gigs in laundromats. It's not like there were too many actual music venues in town to play.

Free listen/download:

"The Roots Of Madness"

One of the members, Don Campau, went on to a still-extant experimental music and public radio career.




Wednesday, June 08, 2016

"The Best Things In Life Are Free...But You Can Leave Them To The Birds and Bees..."

I have not had a full-time job since Feb. 2015, and it's getting serious. So you will forgive me for putting ads on this site. It's so fun to click on things. Click, click, click! Very relaxing. Some users even report orgasms. And if I get a great job, or if this doesn't bring in any funds, then the ads will come down.

But here's how we can make this blatant commercialism fun: I've set up an Amazon store  that will supposedly give me a cut off everything purchased thru it. Howzabout we come up with the ultimate Strange Music Library? All the stuff I do NOT post here, because it's in print. The favorites, the standards, the must-haves. Not just random stuff, but carefully curated for YOU, the discerning Maniac. If you buy something from our "aStore" (as they call them), you can rest assured that it is by one of the greats in our field, or at least this particular album has passed the test. Theoretically, you should be able to buy blindly, and know you're getting some good weirdness. An aStore can feature over 500 items, and I'm only up to 300 (tho I can set up other stores, I think?) The obvious stuff is largely covered: Beefheart, The Residents, The Shaggs...Bonzos, Spike Jones, Dr Demento...Sun Ra, Ornette, Cage, Negativland, People Like Us...Cab Calloway, Screamin' Jay Hawkins...Devo, Wall of Voodoo, Butthole Surfers...Carl Stalling, Raymond Scott, Mel Blanc...theremins, circus music, yodeling...George Formby, Ivor Cutler, music performed by children, and even by elephants: something to annoy everyone! But I'd love more suggestions, esp. from artists featured here, provided it's available thru Amazon. Don't be shy about plugging yourself.

New to strange music, and need to get caught up? Have holes in your collection that you've been meaning to fix? Now's never been a better time to buy!

Hope it doesn't all look too ugly. I have no idea if it works.  Feel free to give it a test drive and let me know. In other news:

Now back up by request: "New Wave Covers For Oldies Lovers vol.3",  the crazy xylophone of Michael Eingorn, "The Wisdom of Solomon."
---------------------
Dig this new outsider music show: "Derailroaded." The first episode features children musicians. (Which reminds me: Stinky Picnic have some new releases.)

Monday, June 06, 2016

CASSIUS CLAY: "I Am The Greatest"

When great men die, of course, we should remember them by their weird novelty records.

To note the passing of the former Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali, let's listen to The Lip From Louisville's early '60s album of his clever, funny poems, delivered with gusto. Damn near proto-rapping, I'd say. Some lame comedy sketches that he most certainly did not (entirely) write are in there too, but look on the bright side: bonus tracks that set his poems to groovy music. And then there's his singing... a karaoke-esque cover of "Stand By Me," and a ridiculous sing-along called "The Gang's All Here."

CASSIUS CLAY: "I Am The Greatest"

And don't forget his all-star kids albums:
  
"Ali and His Gang Vs. Mr. Tooth Decay" - From 1976, with Frank Sinatra! And Howard Cosell.

"The Dope King's Last Stand" - From 1977, with an even more all-starry cast. How's this for a line-up: President Jimmy Carter, Lily Tomlin, Pat Boone, Senator Hubert Humphrey, Billie Jean King, and Sinatra again.

As a Los Angeles native, I'm used to seeing celebrities here, as well as in Las Vegas, and New York. If you've spent much time in those cities you know that it's not a big deal, maybe someone will recognize a celeb, chat briefly, then leave them alone. But when I saw Ali strolling thru Caesar's Palace in Vegas, there was a veritable mob surrounding him. A peaceful, respectful mob, but still, I have never seen one individual create such a commotion. I think I saw the Pope, the President, and the cast of "Friends" waving and saying, "Hey, over here! What about us?!"


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

COVER THE EARTH Vol. 6

I had not planned on compiling another selection of odd ethnic covers of Western hits, thinking that I had exhausted that particular well, but our pals over at the Growing Bored For A Living blog hit us with a treasure trove of exotic, unlikely reworkings of famous songs that you thought you were sick of, and it just demanded another volume. Which reminded me of some comments left in previous "Cover The Earth" posts offering suggestions, which I then tracked down. And I did have a few new discoveries me own self (I take full blame for the bagpipes). As with the previous volumes, some extreme liberties have been taken with the material, sometimes rendering them almost unrecognizable. Just the way we like it.

So thanks to Growing Bored (check the mammoth Bob Dylan cover project), and the nice Maniacs who suggested some suggestions. 

 "Cover The Earth Vol 6"

01 2Cellos - Welcome to the Jungle (Croatia/classical)
02 Red Hot Chili Pipers [that's PIPERS! Not "Peppers"] - We Will Rock You/Eye Of The Tiger/The Clumsy Lover (Scottish bagpipes)
03 Pastel Vespa - L'Anarchie dans l'U.K. (The Sex Pistols go French yeh-yeh, tho Ms. Vespa is Brazilian)
04 20th Century Steel Band - Loves Theme (Barry White goes Carib steel drum)
05 Don Sornrabeab - Mao (Drunk) (Play That Funky Music, Thai boy)
06 Alyssa ZezZA - Purple Rain (Italian singer, but a Brazilian bossa style here)
07 Ray Barretto - James Bond Theme (Latin jazz)
08 Red Hot Chili Pipers - Smoke on the Water/Thunderstruck/Upside down at Eden's Court
09 The Maytals - Give Peace A Chance (John goes Jamaican)
10 Finger 5 - I Want You Back (Jacksons go J-pop)
11 Isaya Mwinamo & His Merry Men - Bamba Ya Afrika ("La Bamba" in Kenya)
12 Joya Landis - Kansas City ('50s rock-n-roll inna ska stylee)
13 20th Century Steel Band - Theme From Shaft
14 Pastel Vespa - Blue Monday (a bit of Joy Division also cleverly cuts into this Brazilian bossa nova cover)
15 Los Tropicanos - Light My Fire (think these guys are also Brazilian, but I wouldn't call this bossa nova; 'Latin psych,' maybe?)
16 Ukulele Clan Band - Money for Nothing (Spanish folkies getting kinda bluegrass-y; hey, they kept the original un-PC lyrics)
17 Faye Wong - Dream Person (Chinese Canto-pop cover of The Cranberries' "Dreams")
18 Red Hot Chili Pipers - Hey Jude/The Mason's Apron


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

THE WORLD'S TALLEST MUSIC: Joseph Bertolozzi's "Tower Music"

An entire album made solely from the sounds of someone banging on the Eiffel Tower?! Now that is the kind of thing to warm the cockles of a Maniac's heart, and to thoroughly confuse, if not annoy, mainstream music consumers: "Wha..? Why doesn't he use real musical instruments?" Because, my poor, brainwashed Normals, there is a universe of unused sounds out there that cannot be conjured up with pianos, guitars, even synthesizers. Music is all around us, as John Cage would say, and sampling those sounds and using them as the raw stuff of compositions is an excellent way to make us aware of that. 

The album actually sounds like you think it would, dominated by metallic plinky pongy tones. But even tho these songs are indeed produced only by Bertolozzi's molesting of a great Parisian structure, they are not just random banging. They are structured, highly rhythmic, even weirdly melodic, with each track having it's own peculiar flavor. In other words: musical. Here's one particularly toe-tappin' sample:

Joseph Bertolozzi "Continuum" from "Tower Music"




Tuesday, May 24, 2016

BINGO GAZINGO

Whilst perusing the roughly 5,372 albums R. Stevie Moore has put up on his Bandcamp page, I was delighted to see that the Bingo Gazingo album is now available for your free listening/low-cost purchasing pleasure. Mr. Gazingo was a real character, a senior citizen who started appearing at poetry readings in the 1990s, hilariously declaiming in a New Yawk voice his short, rhymed phrases, often only vaguely related to what his poems where supposed to be about. This, his one and only album, features a back-up band featuring Moore, Chris Butler (of The Waitresses, and Tin Huey), and various djs from WFMU, the station that would release this album. The music is a real variety show, from punk, to soulful r'n'b, to abstract improvs. But of course the late Bingo is the star of the show, proclaiming such profound utterances as:

They're playing classic rock/in Jurassic Park

- I want to make my home in/your ovum

- Rick the wanker/from Casablanca/I sing like Paul Anka

- My projectile/is erectile

- I cannot accept/your indecent proposal/maybe a horse'll

I'm glad no-one told him that Tupac's last name isn't pronounced "shaker" - it would have messed up his rhymes.

BINGO GAZINGO

Speaking of R. Stevie Moore, out of his near-infinite discography, I've heard maybe...3 albums? I def. like "Phonography," esp. the wonderful "Goodbye Piano," where he bumps his head into the mic, and keeps on singing. And I have a couple greatest "hits" collections. But NOW where do I go?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

MADRIGALS FOR MANIACS

We've been following Frenchman Cartone Sonore's curious career for some time now, most of it concerned with obscure and toy instruments. But his new album is created solely with his voice. Yep, no other sound sources used other than his own singing, clicking, droning, and any other sounds he can coax out of his larynx. It's one of those projects that could just be a gimmick, or art-fart self-indulgence, but the results are quite fresh and original. The on-line album's 11 tracks vaguely resemble everything from Gregorian chants to beatboxing to The Beach Boys (sometimes simultaneously), but really, it feels like a whole new musical vocabulary opening up. The wonders of multi-tracking!

Listen and/or buy via Bandcamp:

Carton Sonore: "Animago"

One of the catchiest tunes on the album, "Dans La Foret" is available for free. My fave track might be the haunting "Un Gout Familier," which sounds like an instant standard. (I don't even know how to label this post. Guess I'll have to make a new label for "Vocal/Acapella.")


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lowbrow Vol.7: Devil Dance

Reposts! By request: Pierre Bastien's marvelous mechanical musics and Snoopy's Beatles Classics on Toys. I won't be re-upping any Twink The Toy Piano Band, as he has put all of his stuff on Bandcamp, so go there.

Due to a crashed hard drive, this volume was delayed and Vol. 8 was posted first, but now our series exploring mid-20th-century kool kulture is sequentially correct. In this volume, former nightclub accordionist-turned-killjoy preacher Jack van Impe warns us of the dangers of that devils' music, thusly illustrated by riotous, ridiculous, rhythm-and-blues, rock'n'roll rekkids (ever notice that Satan is often depicted as smiling and laughing? He's apparently having much more fun than The Other Guy). Lots of ludicrous novelties this time out, by artists gleefully unconcerned with making Profound Artistic Statements. You'll have fun fun fun even after - and I want to make this perfectly clear - even after Daddy takes the T-bird away. 


But this time, let's add "style" to our usual mix of "sin," "sex" and "sleaze". Publisher V. Vale of the legendary RE/Search books has been bemoaning the state of his home city lately, e.g: "We think it’s necessary to read as much humor as possible these days to keep our morale up, as San Francisco daily becomes more inundated with a tsunami of “techies” proud of their acultural normcore barbarism (trendy new martinis, trendy new restaurants—is that all there is?!) 


 I wasn't familiar with the term "normcore," but it's apparently a fashion statement popular among urban youth that attempts to create as bland and inconspicuous a look as possible (while still prominently wearing designer labels, of course). Baseball caps, pullovers, etc. Artist-types shunning original style to look like their dad. My God-zilla! and you thought modern culture couldn't get any more boring? Perhaps that's why in recent months I've been hittin' the thrift stores looking for real flash suits and bright-colored Hawaiian-style shirts, creating outfits like the one Don Draper is sporting here. (Shirt collars OVER the jacket, doncha know.) And paisley shirts! They might go well with my Peter Fonda "Easy Rider" sunglasses. Gotta buy a new pair of Beatle boots tho, as the ones I had when I was 20 are sadly long gone. And where can I get a medallion to adorn my chest as I wear my v-neck, wide-collar David Cassidy-type paisley shirt? It's kinda like this one, only blue. There must be someplace where one can get those loud shirts Nelson Mandela used to wear. If any shirts are worth $95, these may be them. Fashion tips in comments, please. And photo links, esp. from ladies sporting leopard skin prints.

Loud clothes - clothes that go up to 11 - need loud music. So once again, we're pouring in your earholes lots of stuff taken from my mostly 45 rpm vinyl discoveries that have not only not appeared on other like-minded compilations (so far as I know), but have never been digitally available...until now! Can find no info on some of these mysterious sides. 


Dig the AbnormCore sounds here:

Lowbrow Vol.7: Devil Dance - almost 69 minutes; (69: the dirtiest number in the world!)


1 Jack van Impe - rock music is more dangerous ("From Night Clubs to Christ") 

2 Mad Man Taylor - Rumble Tumble
 3 Bruce Johnston - Soupy Shuffle Stomp [future "replacement" for Brian Wilson with a 
retarded tribute to TV funnyman Soupy Sales]
4 Bobby Peterson Quintet - Mama Get Your Hammer [sick humor + screamin' r'n'b = what all

 music should be like]
5 Jack van Impe - rock and roll music
6 Thee Midnighters - Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
7 Spike Jones - Pimples And Braces [yes, The Master novelty bandleader did live long 

enough to parody teenagers and rock'n'roll]
8 Grace Chang - I Want You To Be My Baby [famous singing actress of Chinese cinema 

swings bilingual]
9 Jack van Impe - commie plans
10 The Lancasters - Satan's Holiday
11 Georgia Gibbs - Kiss of Fire (rock version) [this was originally an early '50s tango-type

 hit for Gibbs, but this 45 is apparently a '60s remake, judging by the swiping of Roy Orbison's
"Oh Pretty Woman" riff]
12 Jack van Impe - commie rock beat
13 Morty Jay and the Coney Island Brass - Beef-Eater [one of my absolute fave (fairly) recent instro 45 rpm discoveries]
14 Vince Edwards - Squealin Parrot (Twist) [was very surprised to come across a 45 with such a 

wacky title by teen dream actor Edwards, as most of his records are mushy ballads; was even 
more surprised to find how wacked-out hilarious it was]
15 ''Handsome'' Jim Balcom - Corrido Rock (Part 1)
16 Jack van Impe - vile filthy dirty
17 Mike Minor - Satan's Waiting [from an alternate universe where Satanists favor 

finger-snappin' lounge over heavy metal]
18 Scott Engel - Devil Surfer [future avant-crooner Scott Walker once recorded a satanic 

surf instro, under his original name?!]
19 Jack van Impe - gogo pogo
20 The Allisons - Ling Ting Tong [black girl group singing Asian stereotypes, and a way-out (slide?) guitar solo]
21 Bill Lewis - Swim Beat
22 Jack van Impe - naked!
23 The Motions - Long-Hair
24 Rod McKuen - I Dig Her Wig [one would never guess that the man behind this kooky

 rocker would go on to become a hugely successful author of sappy poetry]
25 Bobby Gregg And His Friends - The Jam Part 1
26 Jack van Impe - 4 letter word
27 Lou Monte - Elvis Presley For President [Monte was the court jester of the Rat Pack

 /Italian-Amercan scene]
28 The Sparkletones - I Dig You,Baby [I'd rather not describe here what makes the 

end part of this song, and the entirety of the next song, so, er, 'unique'; you'll hear]
29 Gene Dozier & The Brotherhood - Mustang Sally
30 Bill Haley & His Comets - Straight Jacket (Live)
31 Jack van Impe - baser animal emotions

32 David Houston - One And Only [from the film 'Carnival Rock' (thanks Youtube!);
 featuring blistering guitar work by Elvis' string-slinger James Burton]
33 Steve Allen - Memphis [tv comic plays a straight-ahead ahead Chuck Berry

 instro...but I thought he hated rock n roll?]
34 Steven Garrick and his Party Twisters - Sister's a Twister 
35 The Applejacks - Rocka-Conga
36 Jack van Impe - twisted vile perverted
37 Royaltones - Wail
38 Jack Gale & The Medicine Men - The Sloppy Madison [radio dj's parody of  

incomprehensible dance instruction records]
39 Milt Rogers & His Orchestra - Lonely Road To Damascus

Album title and artwork courtesy of burlesque queen Gene Gemay

Thursday, April 28, 2016

ROBERT WILLIAMS "Late One Night"

Former drummer for Captain Beefheart's Magic Band, Robert Williams, followed up his debut solo EP with this 1982 full-length. He's still joined by some Zappa/Beefheart sidemen, (e.g.: Bruce Fowler's mighty trombone) but he's deffo moving towards a more commercial New Wave direction here. On side 2 that works just dandy. "Gotta Be Nice," featuring Danny Elfman and two Go-Gos (Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin), should have been playing out of every store in the Galleria. "Grinding The Gears," featuring Hugh Cornwall of The Stranglers, is likewise killer. The tribal throb of "Hungry" is reminiscent of Adrian Belew's classic "Big Electric Cat."

Side 1 is a bit problematic, however, what with it's blatant Police-isms sounding desperate for KROQ airplay. And William's sometimes corny lyrics (on both sides) can be an issue. And yet, amidst all the late-period Devo synths, hard rock gee-tars, and four-on-the-floor beats (this guy once played Beefheart's notoriously tricky rhythms?) is a wacked-out cover of Beatle George's "Within You Without You," complete with hazy sitar-ish sounds, odd time signatures, and an incongruously funky poppin' bass. You can take the boy out of '70s prog...

Perhaps A&M Records wasn't the suitable label for this album. Or perhaps Williams lacked an outrageous enough personality (and stage name) to make it as a New Wave punker. But whatever the reason, with neither the Freak Scene nor the Valley Girls buying this album, it died a quick death, never getting a digital reissue. My 99 cent used vinyl copy was in great shape. Williams would not make another solo album for many years.

ROBERT WILLIAMS "Late One Night"

Monday, April 25, 2016

Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart "The Ring Of Fire: A Message To The Youth of America"

You boys and girls that have Beatle records at home...This is the most rotten, dirty, damnable, filthy, putrid FILTH that this nation of the world has ever known. And you parents that would allow this filth to be in your home, you ought to be taken out somewhere and horse-whipped, you hear me?
-- Jimmy Swaggart, "The Ring of Fire", 1968"


When reader Kenny left that comment, referring to the sin-tillating collection "The Big Rumble", I said: well sweet jumpin' Jeebus on a pogo-stick, I have got to have that album, pronto! And long-time M4M contributor Windbag came thru. But no-one's a bigger windbag then disgraced whorin' porn-addict Jimmy Swaggart, who somehow makes his cousin Jerry Lee Lewis look respectable, with his message to "the Youth of America." Presumably then, you European, Asian, African and Latin kids can have all the fun you want. Damn you!

In a most enjoyably hyperventilating manner, Swaggart huffs and puffs against the immoralities of our age. Not too surprising, given the above quote, but he even suggests that the appropriate response to children disobeying their parents is the death penalty. Hey, that's what the bible says! If you're thinking of sampling this album, Meat Beat Manifesto (meat)beat you to it 20 years ago, but don't let that stop you. There's still plenty of nuggets waiting to be mined by the right DJs/sound collagists. I really did LOL out loud when he went off on Mom putting on her miniskirt and going out to dance The Frug! The Monkey! The Watusi! Despite the title, he does not sing any Johnny Cash songs, however.

After 6 discs celebrating Sin City, I think we really need to attempt to cleanse our damned souls now:  
 
Jimmy Swaggart "The Ring Of Fire"



Bothers and sisters, let us give thanks and praise to the Most High Windy!

 



Sunday, April 24, 2016

Trying to get caught up on the re-post requests.

So far I have resurrected:

- WiIdman Fischer and Smegma and "An Evening With WildMan Fischer"
- Junkanoo & Goombay 
- Bobby Jimmy & The Critters "Ugly Knuckle Butt" 
- RIAA "USA" 
- "Bah! Humbug: The Alternative Christmas Album"

Alas, the 4 volume "Human Music Anthology" series has gone missing. (UPDATE: not entirely missing; see comments.)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Party Like It's Only $19.99


What better way to note the shockingly sudden passing of Prince then with this 1999 release by mashup pioneers the Evolution Control Committee? Prince, and in particular his song "1999," serve as the jumping-off point for all manner of avant-tard shenanigans. The ECC (recording under a number of phony "band" names) are joined by such sample-sound stars as Wobbly (doin' the John Oswald 'plunderphonics' thang), Wayne Butane with another one of his funny sound collages, Realistic, and Fossil aka Pea Hix of the great Optigonally Yours, who remind us that Van Halen's "Jump" is kind of a "1999" rip-off. ECC's own tracks range from Weird Al-ish parodies, such as the Oktoberfestive "Polka Like It's 1999," to dense, challenging noise-fests.

Party Like It's Only $19.99 

Listening to this album is an appropriate way to memorialize another great who died today, Richard Lyons, one of the founders of the legendary culture-jamming collagists Negativland. They don't have a track on this disc, but their influence is certainly all over it. Since Don Joyce has also died within the past year, I wonder if the band will continue. Maybe they should recruit some of the talent featured here. Or People Like Us, or The Bran Flakes. Or me! Can I join?!




Monday, April 18, 2016

"THE BANYAN TREE": Groovy '60s Soundtrack to A Lost Film

Hello, and welcome to another episode of "Mysteries...of the Mysterious." I am your host Mr. E. Train. Today, we shall explore the baffling riddle of a film from the late 1960s entitled the "The Banyan Tree." A film so obscure that it is not mentioned on IMDB, or anywhere else on the internet. Indeed, the only proof of its' existence is three curious 45 rpm records, six songs total. 

Alex Burton of Dallas' KRLD radio
And what swell, swingin' sides they are indeed. Up-beat go-go beats, snappy horn charts, Beach Boys harmonies, sitars...the Now Sound for the "Now Generation." How could anyone not love a band called The Pickle Platter doing "Chant of the Dead Temples." (What the hell was this film about anyway?!). Or the absurd title song: "Hey hey hey, Mr Holy Man!...send me on a trip, around my mind!"  It's safe to say that The Apple Corps, the Puget Sound and The Pickle Platter were not real bands, but studio concoctions.

If YOU have any idea who are the forgotten talents behind this music, let us know. Because the daughter of Dallas, TX radio man Alex Burton inherited these historical oddities from her fur-coat clad father, was suitably impressed, and put them all up on the youtubes in the hopes that maybe someone out there knows something about the film and these records and can fill us in.

The only clue is in on the record label: "Marty Young Productions." Apparently they were a small Dallas TX film production house formed in 1967 that made religious films, educational shorts, etc. The film probably had something to do with India.

"The Banyan Tree" (6 songs)

Not everything is on the internet. There are still things we do not, perhaps were not meant to know. Is this yet another mystery...of the mysterious?



Friday, April 08, 2016

LAS VEGAS DAMMIT! Six Disks That Sing of Sin

don't have to say much about this stupendous, endlessly entertaining collection of audio celebrating Sin City because it's compiler Don-O, the cat who previously slipped us the "Xanadu" tribute comps, has spilled plenty of virtual ink his own self. Take it away, Don-O: 

The Las Vegas story (for track listings, liner notes, artwork, etc)

Take heed! Apart from the nonstop cavalcade of music from all eras and genres, and the comedy/spoken word tracks, there are numerous vintage radio and tv spots recorded off the Vegas airwaves years ago by Don-O himself. Bravo, sir, and thanks for preserving true Vegas, before djs spinning top 40 replaced the tuxedo-clad lounge entertainers, before dining and shopping surpassed gambling as Vegas' top earner (making what is now essentially Rodeo Drive East a helluva lot more expensive), before the ruthless, criminal, but fun-loving mob were replaced by giant soulless corporations, before...


LAS VEGAS DAMMIT! vol1
LAS VEGAS DAMMIT! vol2
LAS VEGAS DAMMIT! vol3
LAS VEGAS DAMMIT! vol4
LAS VEGAS DAMMIT! vol5
LAS VEGAS DAMMIT! vol6

Monday, April 04, 2016

Offensive Humor + Space-Age Music = ROY AWBREY's "Laugh It Up!"


This is one of the greatest bad comedy album I've ever heard, an amazing documentation of mid-'60s culture at its' sick weirdest. I was personally knocked out by the fact that side 1 is recorded in my own San Fernando Valley stomping grounds, in a bowling alley cocktail lounge that I've actually been to. And what a side it is: when he isn't showing off his expensive Space-Age accordions' many hi-tech goo-gaws to the point that this is almost a demonstration album, he throws in one dud of a joke after another. It's just like a Neil Hamburger album, but while Neil's worst-comic-ever routine is the shtick of post-modern performer Gregg Turkington, this is the real deal: there is no, I mean NO audience reaction to any of his jokes. It's both hilarious and ghastly hearing him die on stage like this. Then sometimes when he completes playing a song, obviously fake crowd sound effects are ludicrously dropped in, making it sound like the Royal Room has the TARDIS-like ability to fit thousands into its small space.

Joined only by a drummer, Awbrey performs snippets or sizeable chunks of standards like "12st St Rag," "Never On Sunday," "Twilight Time", "Alley Cat," "Moonlight Serenade," and "Holiday For Strings," interspersed with jokes. It all ends with a lengthy, furious boogie-woogie jam (complete with drum solo) that must have had those suburban savages a-whoopin' and a-hollerin', dancing around the joint wearing novelty cocktail napkins on their heads. Just listen to that fake applause!

A newspaper ad has him billed as "the King of Comedy," leading Kliph Nesteroff to wonder if that's where Scorsese got the idea for his film of the same name...


Side 2, recorded in Anaheim (in a county south of L.A.) is an altogether different beast, a song-free non-stop cavalcade of bad jokes, usually of a naughty or lewd nature, in front of an actually appreciative audience. Rape jokes! "Queer" jokes"! More rape jokes! What is wrong with you, Orange County?!

That album cover makes it clear that his live show took it all to another level: a toilet-seat guitar! A three-boob bikini top! And that fact that there is zero biographical info on Awbrey out there makes me wonder if I didn't just dream up this whole thing.

ROY AWBREY "Laugh It Up!" (1965)

This blog has been on hold for a while, but, as I reported in the previous post, it looked like my hard drive with all my latest-and-greatest (including a number of vinyl rips) had died. I recovered most of it, and will endeavor to make up for lost time. Lots of stuff in the pipeline, dear maniacs, thanks for your patients. 



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

THE BIG RUMBLE! Uncensored Scenes of the Nightmares of a Weirdo

(Back up, by request: Roky Erickson live, Jonathan Brandmeier, Bah Humbug, and CURL ACTIVATE 2: More '80s Hip-Hop Novelties.)
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Never before in the history of blogging has there been such a SHOCKING collection of '50s/'60s audio atrocities! You'll flip your wig (or your switchblade) when you...HEAR riotous rock'n'roll and rancid radio ads! HEAR bad-boy bikers blowin' rhythm-and-blues! HEAR their rockabilly "rumble" with rival gangs! These heathen hot-rodding hoodlums and harlots are on a one-way drag race to HELL!

Music For Maniacs, the blog that brought you such SIN-tillating compilations as "Voodoo Dance Doll," and the banned-in-Boston "Hubba Hubba!," are back with an all-new spine-tingling collection of virgin vinyl rips and recorded-off-YouTube sound selections, many of which have never been digitally available before! There are other similar collections of this sort of teen trash, but these songs have (so far as I know) not been previously compiled.

Starring in this festival of forgotten (forbidden?!) 45s: a teen-aged (and unrecognizable) Scott Walker, still going by the name Scott Engel; gay novelty act Sandy Beech; one Mike Minor, possible the only lounge crooner to tackle juvenile delinquency; a Frank Zappa production; both a song by the Cheers (featuring future game show host Bert Convy) and a cover of the Cheers' hit "Black Denim Trousers" (that I think I prefer to the original); Harold Lloyd Jr - yes, the son of the hanging-off-the-clock guy - who had a short, strange life; and since every psychobilly/Cramps-related comp features Link Wray's "Rumble," we're including a different Wray rumbler that might be an even better tune.

Volume 7 of our ongoing survey of mid-century sleazy-listening sounds is in limbo - on a hard-drive that has apparently crashed. A drive I bought to be a backup for my main drive!  Damn thing (a Passport) is less then a year old. Hoping it can be recovered. So we're jumping to Vol. 8.

As Oliver Reed sings:
"Black Leather, Black Leather, Smash Smash Smash!
Black Leather, Black Leather, crash crash crash!
Black Leather, Black Leather, Kill Kill Kill!"

"LOWBROW Vol. 8: The Big Rumble"

1 ad - "The Thrill Killers"
2 Link Wray - Rumble Rock
3 Jeff Daniels - Switchblade Sam [one of the more surreal, hysterical rockabilly boppers I've ever heard, describing some kind of orgy between Long Tall Sally, Stagger Lee, and, er, Charlie Brown?]
4 Oliver Reed - Black Leather Rock [from the film "(These Are) The Damned"]
5 The Shadows - The Rumble
6 ad - "High School Hellcats"/"Hot Rod Gang"
7 The Cheers - Chicken [presumably inspired by the "chickie run" scene in the James Dean film "Rebel Without a Cause"]
8 The Champs - Experiment In Terror [like Link Wray, those "Tequila" boys The Champs did in fact record more than one song]
9 The Diamonds - Daddy Cool
10 ad - "The Wild Rebels"
11 Bill Woods - Go Crazy Man
12 Alexander (Sandy) Courage - Hot Rod Rumble (Main Title)
13 Bob Peck - Sweet 16 [cool song Bob, but you're still the poor man's Tom Lehrer!]
14 Ray Smith - Rockin' Bandit
15 The Orange Groove - Street King [it's a shame we'll never know what geniuses made this brilliant quasi-Middle Eastern bad-boy oddity for a budget label]
16 Don Lonie Talks With Teenagers (excerpt)
17 Scott Walker (aka Scott Engel) - Good For Nothin' [Wow, before I came across this 45, I had no idea about the pre-Walker Brothers rockabilly past of Scott W.]
18 Homer Denison Jr - Chickie Run [hello, sound fx!]
19 Steve Karmen - 'Teenage Gang Debs' theme
20 ad - "Fiend For Flesh!"/"Road Rebels" [alas, these films, scarcely released in the first place, are considered lost]
21 Hal Blaine & the Young Cougars - Green Monster
22 Hells Angels (dialogue)
23 The Diamonds - Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots
24 The Rotations - The Cruncher [not "The Crusher"! but an early Zappa production]
25 Die Crazy Girls - Der Feuerstuhl (Leader Of The Pack) [is she saying "buzz off, buzz off" in this German Shangri-las remake?]
26 ad - "She Devils on Wheels"
27 Epitones - The Mighty Rumble
28 Sandy Beech - Leather Jacket Lovers [amazing that this outrageous s&m parody was released back in the '60s; how did they get away with it!? Er, well, maybe J. Edgar Hoover dug it, he was a pretty kinky cat...]
29 Harold Lloyd Jr w/Page Cavanaugh - Daddy Bird [from the terrible film "Frankenstein's Daughter"]
30 Mike Minor - Rumble In The Night
31 Hash Brown - The Rumble
32 ad - "Bury Me an Angel"
33 The Crickets - I Fought The Law [yep, 'twas a post-Buddy Holly Crickets that wrote and first recorded this classic; why was it not the hit that Bobby Fuller's version was? Perhaps  the reference to a "zip-gun", the homemade rubber-band-powered gun that punk kids used, was too controversial; changing it to "six gun" removed it to a safer Old Western past]
34 Vicki Young - Riot In Cell Block #9 [the Leiber and Stoller hit for The Coasters (dba The Robins) gets a female makeover]
35 Barry Green (aka Barry Blue) - Shake A Tail Suzie [a Suzuki 'cycles promo]