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


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.


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


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


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.


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" 
- "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...


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.)
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]

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Robert Williams: Buy His Records

Anyone who played in Captain Beefheart's Magic Band is of course an automatic A-lister in the avant/strange music world. So it's no wonder that late-period Magic Band member Robert Williams' debut solo release, a four-song EP from 1981, is chock-a-block with strange music superstars: a couple of DEVOs, a slew of Zappa/Beefheart sidemen, even Robbie Krieger of the Doors. And the music is quite nice, too, moving into (slightly) more commercial New Wave territory with its' integrity intact.

But unfortunately for Williams, his 1997 public humiliation on the hugely popular (and still running) "Judge Judy" show is what he will always be best known for, at least until reissues of "Doc At The Radar Station" knock Bruno Mars off the charts. Williams toured with PiL, and attempted to sue no less than Johnny "Lydon" Rotten himself. To put it in strictly legal terms, he did not win.The complete episode is no longer available on-line, and the short clips that are up don't do it justice, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that it was one of the most howlingly funny moments in TV history. 

Poor li'l fella. He does deserve to remembered for his music, not just with the Cap'n, but on his solo records, and with Eazy Teeth, who made one great experimental synth-punk single in 1980 that featuredTito Larriva from the Plugz on vocals, included here. Also: 2 tracks from his fine 1998 album that is in print, "Date With The Devils Daughter": "Hello Robert," which features some hysterical (in all senses of the word) answering machine messages from Wild Man Fischer, and "Frank and Don and Me", feat. guitarist Jeff Morris Tepper from his Magic Band days. Not bad for a "nudnik."

Robert Williams - Buy My Record + bonus tracks

Monday, January 25, 2016


Back in 2007, I posted a rip-roaring "Rubber Duckie" as part of my "Disco Sickness" collection I put together for Otis Fodder's 365 Project and WFMU. I never got around to digitizing the entire album, but a swell Maniac did, throwing in another album to boot. Brian, a contributor from the Growing Bored For A Living blog, sez:

Hello, all. A few years back when I started browsing blogs, I came across this glorious pile of music known as Music For Maniacs. I've gotten many great things from this blog, and was always looking for something strange I could contribute here. Well, I found it...

In 1978 and '79, to capitalize on the disco craze, Sesame Street released two albums: Sesame Street Fever and Sesame Street Disco. Fever even had the participation of Robin Gibb (on the title track and on "Trash"), due to the input of his children, who were Sesame fans. Some songs even made the show, most notably the gonzo booty-shaker "Me Lost Me Cookie At the Disco", off of Sesame Disco. And this isn't a hack job either: there's some real pros playing in the studio - the music is flawless.

File includes both albums, put together under the title Sesame Street Ultimate Disco Party. Also includes artwork. Audio files were ripped from quality YouTube vids; that's why one track has an outro by the YouTube poster. They all sound great, though. Add this one to your pile of disco madness, right next to Ethel Merman...though this one is far better. Enjoy!
01 Sesame Street Fever
02 Doin' The Pigeon
03 Rubber Duckie
04 Trash (w/Robin Gibb)
05 C Is For Cookie
06 Has Anybody Seen My Dog
07 What Makes Music
08 Me Lost Me Cookie at the Disco
09 The Happiest Street In the World
10 Sing
11 Disco Frog
12 Doin' The Trash
13 Bein' Green
14 The Happiest Street In the World

Muppets + ridiculous hi-NRG '70s disco = party. Now kids, what do we say when someone gives us a present? Thaaaank yooooou, Brian!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Back up by request: Zoogz Rift "Ipecac" and "War Zone."

David Bowie's death has rocked the world (as well it should), but let's not neglect to note the recent passing of another legend, albeit a very underground one: the genuinely unique, bizarre, and offensive performer known as Blowfly. As interviews attest, the man was a real character. I discovered the foul-mouthed funkster c. 1987, after stumbling across the album "Blowfly's Party" in a used record blowout sale (probably paid 50 cents at most) and wondered: what is the deal with this guy?! Some years before hip-hop got nasty and was still in it's bubblegum phase, this album featured such tunes as "Prick Rider" and "Can I Come In Your Mouth." As George Takei would say, "Oh my..." A few years later, I saw him, with Rudy Ray Moore opening, at Brendan Mullins' great post-Masque venue, the Club Lingerie, and it was the most star studded show I've ever been to. Seriously. Everywhere I looked, there was Stan Ridgway, one of the Bangles, Flea, Henry Rollins...had no idea Blowfly was such a cult figure. Little while later, he was opening for the Pixies at the height of their popularity. Crazy. Back in 2007, I reviewed on this here web-log his then-recent "Punk Rock Party" album he released on Alternative Tentacles records, which you can (and should) listen to HERE.

It's amazing how he made a career out of the most vulgar, immature potty humor, performed in pseudo-superhero costumes. Even if you don't think he's that funny, you gotta respect that. A truly singular talent.

His first album, "The Weird World of Blowfly" is a great funk record - for those of you who don't find singing "My Baby Keeps Farting In My Face" to the tune of "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" funny, it really is enjoyable for it's musical merits alone. Recorded live before a properly unruly audience, the band doesn't quit, with each song seamlessly flowing into the next, a la James Brown's live medleys. Blowflys' singing is surprisingly decent. His crack band included Timmy Thomas on keys, who would have his own hit with the classic organ/primtive-drum-machine classic "Why Can't We Live Together," guitarist Little Beaver (love his "Party Down" album), and bassist George "Chocolate" Perry, who, oddly enough, played with Joe Walsh, Neil Young, and Stephen Stills.

The follow-up interjects a little more comedic variety into the smutty-new-lyrics-to-hit-songs formula by framing the songs in tv show parodies. Good idea, but chopping up the tracks instead of letting it flow like the first album was not. Still, a worthy follow-up, with an almost as hot band. Both albums have a great live sleazy ambiance, like you're in the coolest basement nightclub or sweaty little bar and everybody's drunk and wild. And how 'bout them album covers?

Blowfly - "The Weird World of Blowfly" (1973)

Blowfly - "Blowfly On TV" (1974)

Thursday, January 14, 2016


"American Folk Music" is the most boring possible name for an album, but fear not! The latest release from veteran North Carolina wackos the Moolah Temple $tringband is anything but dull. They take songs from Harry Smith's venerable "Anthology of American Folk Music" and radically warp them by introducing such elements as exotic Middle Eastern-isms, clanging and banging percussion, incongruous '80s hip-hop style drum machine beatz, even a bit of rapping on one song, and mix them with the trad sounds of guitars, banjos, and a skillful fiddle that suggests that someone has been taking music lessons. The hideously/hilariously inappropriate combination of traditional folk music and Autotune (!) on "Farmland Blues" had me laffin' out loud. Also dig: the fuzz guitar crunch of "Little Moses" (even tho it goes on too long), and a version of "John Hardy" that might even be better than the Gun Club's? Scuzzy vocals are often distorted beyond recognition. "The Titanic," however, actually approaches mainstream respectability, complete with perfectly competent backing vox.

Moolah Temple $tringband: "American Folk Music"

More Bandcamp weirdness ahoy! L.A. nutters Freshly Wrapped Candies have unwrapped an old album of theirs from 1989 chock full of hermetic, inscrutable DIY obsessions that, perhaps inevitably, are sometimes reminiscent of The Residents, esp. on songs like "Grandfathers' Rug". Other standout songs like the downright catchy "Think" and the Beavis and Butthead-ish "Pitter Pat" don't immediately suggest any particular influences. Organically strange, but not off-puttingly so. It emerges from the haze with its' humanity intact.

Freshly Wrapped Candies: "I Like You" 

Monday, January 11, 2016


I don't even know how to deal with the death of David Bowie, at least so far as this blog is concerned. He was such a monumental figure in my musical upbringing that I wouldn't know where to begin. Ah lieu of anything relevant, here's the post I had planned for today. If, like me, you've just been listening to lots of Bowie and want to take a break for something a little new and different, I must say that the mood of these songs is strangely appropriate: 

What will you do with all that xmas scratch your relatives laid on ya? What, they didn't give you anything? Bastards! No matter - these zesty-flavored new(ish) releases can be listened to, and in some cases downloaded, for free.

We're long-time fans of Twink, The Toy Piano Band, and not only can you now check out his entire discography on the Bandcamps, but you cats must also dig his latest:

This album is inspired by winter, and so has a somewhat more somber tone to it. Somber, yet cartoon-ish, if you can imagine that. The master of toy-tronica is in fine form on such pick hits as "Pipper Snitch," and "Sparklemuffin."

Not sure how I discovered Corpus Callosum, probably by searching for unusual instruments, but this bunch of eccentric California folkies have come up with what is possibly the most gorgeous tune on Bandcamp. Musical saws and accordions beautifully creak along with sing-along vocals:

Corpus Callosum: "Hymnal"

Now that you're all properly relaxed, I shall send you off to dream-land with this stunning bit of Eno-Frippy drum-less drone courtesy of the Connecticut combo Landing.

Landing: "Yon"

As with the Corpus Callosum track, I haven't really listened to much else by this group. I just keep returning to this one. Music to hibernate by... 

Friday, January 08, 2016


Who or what is/are Ko Transmissions? I don't know, but the lengthy letter that accompanied the cassette release featured here tells a long, involved story of musical messages sent to planet Earth by the Ko people. Yes, we have apparently made contact with space aliens. You heard it here first!

Ko-core is all instrumental. The tape gets off to a good start with some lovely harp sounds. This is followed by a drummer-less rock band, and a vaguely Middle Eastern electric guitar solo. Those last 2 parts weren't too interesting, but @ 9:12 we get to an excellent passage of exotic tribal drumming backing more Middle Eastern sounding violin (?) and possible other stringed things - music for green-skinned belly dancers entertaining their masters on some far off planet.

Which is followed by spooky guitar drones that smack of vast interstellar voids. Fine stuff. Next up, some noodly guitar plucking; a lengthy track starts @ 21:00 with drums and  what sounds like mbira, cowbell-y percussion, and some kind of ethnic flutes/woodwinds that sounds like an Irish pennywhistle made out of PVC pipes. Then: atonal guitar skronk. I like the oddly bent Residential noises that start around 32:00 and the ambient drone that follows it. Some Beefheartian proggy guitars are then called to prayer at Mecca, and we're done.

None of it sounds particularly extra-terrestrial, but neither does it sound like any standard musical styles, unless 'random weirdness' is now a genre. 44 minutes of inter-planetary communication here:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


As promised by compiler Cat A. Waller, 

"Weird Ass Chirstmas" is now up. Any Scrooge would have his head turned around by this: Esquivel, Mel Blanc, a guy singing like a frog, a track from the infamous "Star Wars" xmas album, Stewart Copeland of The Police in his oddball 'Klark Kent' persona, Fred from the B-52s singing about fruitcake and Sammy Davis Jr with an upset stomach, Wayne Newton going disco (one of my long-time faves), and, er...Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Christmas." 

Sorry to the requester who asked for "Bah Humbug: An Alternative Christmas" - can't find that one. But I did re-up this one, a whole album about trees.

See y'all next year!

Thursday, December 17, 2015


'Tis the season for yet another installment of that beloved yuletide tradition, Bomarr's 'wild xmas' compilations of "...the best of the best, and the worst of the worst holiday music out there." And a rocking stocking stuffer it is, too, with some famous weirdos like the Residents and
Quintron & Miss Pussycat, a track from the Moog-sterpiece "Switched-On Santa" (hey, I had that one on vinyl!), and lots of stuff I (and probably you) have never heard of, e.g.: Uncle Anus' "Merry Fucking Christmas Ya Filthy Animals," anyone? A messed-up sound collage, that one is. Amidst all the outsider/novelty sickness is a wonderful '60s girl-group obscurity, "Christmas Time Is Here Again," by The Flirtations, not the Charlie Brown one.

"Wild Xmas With Bomarr" "a solid 79 minutes of madness, and definitely not safe for your sensitive parents." Seamlessly mixed, I might add.

But wait: he says that after 10 years, this will be the last one. Wha..? Don't let the Grinch take this from us! Ah well...have had a couple requests for the infamous Wayne Butane xmas sound collage and the entire 

"Merry Mashmas

collection, so it's now back up. As is another request, just in time for Frankies' 100 birthday bash: 

Frank Sinatra "Come Suck With Me."