Sunday, February 18, 2007


The idea of a computer "singing" hits of the '80s and '90s sounds like a larf, and yes, it can be funny, but the music of Bristol, UK's Mr. Hopkinson's Computer makes for quite the dreamy chill-out Sunday afternoon. Most of the songs he's chosen are picked not for novelty value, but because, well, they sound good sung by a computer and played on vintage analog-sounding electronics.

You can listen to songs by the likes of The Pixies, Portishead, and The Stone Roses here, and Gnarls Barkley and even one by cult legend Ivor Cutler
here. On this page he's joined by his girlfriend the Audrey 3000 for duets (e.g. "Fairytale of New York," sure to be a Christmas mix must). Gotta love this version of David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti's "Twin Peaks" theme:

Mr. Hopkinson's Computer w/the Audrey 3000 "Falling" - Hey, wasn't "Audrey" the name of one of the characters on "Twin Peaks"? Hmmm...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Mrs. Fab and I don't go for that Valentine's Day malarkey. Every day should be Valentines, like the way it is with my man Jacques Foti. Foti, a lounge legend, became well-known in the '50s for delivering love raps in French & English over his piano tinkling, a kind of Continental Barry White for "Leave It To Beaver"-era America. His smoldering looks, ascot, and irresistible accent must have sent many housewives' hearts a-flutter. Did I mention the ascot?

Looking him up on the inter-webs, I found, much to my shock and delight, that the 80-something Foti is a) alive, well, and still performing, b) has his own website, and c) lives here in Los Angeles, and YOU can hire him. You can even call him! "I am available to entertain for all occasions. I have entertained at women's clubs, masonic temples, retirement homes and more. Please call me at (310)-308-4759 for more information." Sacre bleu!

But the real shock was his life story. Born in Hungary (not France?!), he escaped a Nazi prison camp, was separated from the girl he loved, came to America, and became a show-biz success. But success felt hollow without his true love. "So in the mid-70s I started searching...Finally in 1976 I found my dear Erika in Australia. She visited me twice and in 1977 we got married on St. Valentine’s Day. After our marriage we settled in Hollywood and still live here happily married to this day." Hey, that would make today their 30th anniversary!

Celebrate with two standards done Foti-style: "Tres Chic" and "Autumn Leaves," available for download here.

You can order his recordings here "FULL OF ELEGANCE AND FLIRTY DIALOGUE!" As well as his autobiographical book and screenplay.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Aloha, jet-setters! M4M Airlines taking off 'round the world to explore unusual pop song cover versions. A passport? The only passport you need is...your computer! And a bribe to get past customs! First stop: Egypt.

Malik Adouane "Shaft" - Yup, the Isaac Hayes chestnut performed with an Arabic tinge, extracted from this Buddha-Bar mix CD.

They say that "Shaft" video is a bad mutha.

Malik has a new album out, not yet released in the US, whose unwieldy if descriptive title is "Orient Meets Funks Brothers & Souls Sisters" ("Funk and Soul Hits Mixed with Arabic Pop Rhythms") - James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Temptations, etc get that slinky snake-charmer sound.

Popchor Berlin "Mongoloid" - Devo's weirdpunk masterpiece gets an uplifting rehaul courtesy of a German 25-person vocal group. (Polyphonic Spree go New Wave?) They also cover the likes of Gang of Four and Missy Elliot.

Dr. Ammondt "Glaudi Calcei/ Blue Suede Shoes" - Elvis sung in Latin. No, not Latin music, like when Elvis sang "No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car" in the film "Fun In Acapulco," but the actual ancient Roman tongue. This is what they play at real toga parties, har har! Dr. Ammondt, a literature professor at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, has recorded a whole album called "The Legend Lives Forever in Latin." On another release, he sings "Blue Suede Shoes" again in another ancient language, Sumerian. I don't know why.

Friday, February 09, 2007


The great thing about democracy is that anyone can be President. The bad thing about it is that anyone can be President.

Soundclick, where anyone can post their homemade music, is another example of democracy run amok. It sprang to prominence a few years ago after the similar got bought out by The Man.

I've been checking out a lot of amateur Soundclick sounds lately, but I doubt I'll find much that will be more memorable then the works of an Irish chap named Ceoil. The comments the acoustic singer/songwriter have received have been brutal, but he still believes in his talent: "I feel that there is some good tunes here, but I am aware that they may need some work...After some reviews I think that my voice is also not the best. So with a good singer I think they might sound better." His atonal singing and lack of rhythm have me wondering who could possible perform these songs to truly do them justice. Mr. Ceoil, my advice to you: leave these songs alone - they're fine just as they are.

You can download four of his songs here, but "Heroes" is the, uh, "best" one.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Regular WFMU listeners may be familiar with Pink Lemonade, comprised of "7-year-old pop prodigy Lily, and her prolific older brother, Spencer." WFMU dj Irwin said he had no idea where you could get the Seattle-area munchkins' music. Well, lookee here - you can get 4 free tunes on the inevitable MySpace page:

Pink Lemonade Music - including the disco-fied "Get This Party On" ("Dance all night"? Don't you kids have a bed-time?) and the anthemic "Cool Girls Rock."

The album is finally out - it's being sold independently thru CafePress and features tunes that Radio Disney would play if they really were cool, like "Slam Dance."

Think seven is a young age to begin a singing career? How about one? London, UK's Charlie A recorded his year-old niece's burblings and sampled them to winning effect, writing original music around it. An excellent novelty:

Charlie A: "bebee bubba"

How 'bout some music by old people? You know, like twelve? Joan Marie Polo are two 12-year old sisters from Phoenix, AZ who indulge in the usual pre-teen off-key vocals and clowning around, but, with the exception of the patriotic "America," feature genuinely dark moody music. A low-budget murk adds to the creepiness of lyrics like "...but now I'm DEAD," the refrain from the song "The Ocean Is My Home." Er, cute kids...

Friday, February 02, 2007


May the Lord be with you, Holla Back.

Mrs. Fab got me "The Hip-Hop Prayer Book" for Christmas.

Stay driven...He'll make the road clear
Rumble in the Hood? No need to fear
G-O-D is here
He'll make the road smooth...Ah, yeah!

It's by a 55-year-old white guy, so you know it's good. Supposedly there's an album coming out too, but we couldn't find it.

Who would have thought they'd find the savior
Not in a royal crib but chillin in a manger?

Ever wonder why there's so much religious music, but so little atheistic/skeptic/reason music? Especially considering how many musicians are suspicious of big institutions like religion. I think it has to do with music's role in religion, which, like church services, is to reinforce its teachings. If you take a naturalistic view of the world, it's shaped by what you and others have observed. But you won't learn the name of all the Hindu gods, or what Jehovah asked of Abraham, or what Allah said to Mohammad just by looking around. It has to get pounded into you through repeated exposure to religious stories and songs, especially in a pre-literate society.

A naturalistic world view doesn't have a mythology that's carved in stone. Actually it's constantly changing as new data comes in, so music wouldn't do much good. Like science textbooks, it would get out of date very fast.

It's getting hot! Getting live right here.
Rolling with God is like rockin the flyest gear!

Dan Barker is an atheist satirical songwriter, like a one-topic Randy Newman or Warren Zevon. He's released several albums, including "Beware of Dogma," available here thru EvolveFish. It features a brilliant track by Michael Newdow, the guy who tried to remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance (who has a pretty interesting CD himself). It includes samples of profane voice mail messages left by furious Christians. They're not just dropped onto music, but are ingeniously integrated into the lyrics of the mock-reverent "hymn." The result walks that hilarious/disturbing line.

Dan Barker: "My God Is In My Soul"

Stick a fork in Satan cause the suckas done

Florida's John R. Butler is another tongue-in-cheek singer/songwriter. The chorus of this insanely catchy gospel parody gave this post it's name.*

John R. Butler "The Hand of the Almighty"

Let his righteousness resound, I'm about to shout
Cause every time I tried to exit he was there like Waffle House
Paramount in position, he's got it on lock
Its Jesus, Ripley's Believe it or Not!

I get spam almost everyday from indie rockers and I usually delete them, but this song title caught my eye since it fit with the theme I was working on here. And (god)damn it if it ain't a great one-minute punk surf rocker by a British band called ist, one of those all-day tunes-on-repeat :

ist: "I Am Jesus And You're Not" Official release date Feb. 14

The Lord is all that, I need for nothing. He allows me to chill...He guides my life so that I can represent and give shout outs in his Name. And even though I walk through the Hood of Death, I don't back down, for you have my back...He provides me with backup in front of my player-haters and I know that I am a baller and life will be phat...

*Thanks again to