Monday, March 31, 2008


New Illegal music, if you're in the mood for

Groovy '60s Lounge A-Go-Go:

DJ Magnet "Shop Around If You're Horny" - Fantastic mix of Tweet, Sm
okey Robinson, even the Sonics' "Have Love Will Travel" from this Denver dude, all served over a big beat.

Phil RetroSpector "Beatlemania" Even if you're tired of the Beatles, check out this Philip Glass/Fab Four combo; utterly unlikely, but works a treat.
Mr RetroSpector is an early contender for Rookie of the Year on the internet scene.

RIAA: "Chicken Slacks"
Sam Cooke dances with a chicken, as "Twistin The Night Away" meets Ray Stevens' henhouse version of "In The Mood." As silly as it gets.

"Running With The Devil Bunnies" Van Halen's "Running With The Devil" meets Twink The Toy Piano Band's "Hoppity Jones" (and a bit of a '40s kiddie record by Al Trace and his Silly Symphonists), and various hallucinatory sound effects; this is the sound of you losing your mind.

Keepin' it surreal, homies...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Mr Mambo himself, Cachao, died recently. The mambo is one of those things that's been around for so long that it's hard to believe that someone actually invented it, and that this person was living amongst us until very recently. But he was. I had the good fortune of seeing Cachao perform live a couple of times: once, he performed a few tunes on piano - his usual instrument was bass - including an incredible version of "Guantanamera" (are there any bad versions?) that was pure old-school Cubano ala Ruben Gonzalez of Buena Vista Social Club fame. I also attended a big all-star Latin music tribute to the still-smokin' octogenarian at the Universal Ampitheater hosted by actor Andy Garcia, the dude responsible for the exhilarating '90s recording "Ahora Si" from whence comes this sizzling descarga:

Queja africana, protesta abakua

Both Soul-Sides and Beware of the Blog posted songs of his that I was gonna post, complete with erudite, educational text. But do they have as many goofy '50s/'60s mambo novelty records as I do? I thought not. So, as a M4M tribute to el maestro:

Mickey Katz: "My Yiddishe Mambo" - ripped from out-of-print vinyl.
Bill Haley & His Comets: "Mambo Rock" - from "Rock Around The Clock"
Dean Martin "Mambo Italiano" - from "
Dino: The Essential Dean Martin"
Perez Prado: "Cuban Rock" - from the King of the Mambo's groovy '60s-a-go-go album "Mambo Rock" comes this baffling psychedelic meltdown.

Buenos noches, maestro...

Friday, March 21, 2008


It's the merriest time of year - that annual celebration of rebirth, renewal, resurrection. Some call it Easter, but we call it...Zombie Day! Jesus might be the most famous fellow to rise from the grave and walk amongst the living, but he certainly wasn't the last. 'Tis the season for getting together with family & friends, gathering around the tv and watching "Night of the Living Dead" again. Or maybe "Dead Alive" or "Shaun of the Dead" for a more "modern" non-traditional celebration. I'm hoping for Zombie Day greeting cards, parties, TV specials, etc. There are plenty of Zombie Day Carols to sing as you stroll (or lurch) from door to door, bringing holiday cheer to your neighbors, starting off with two bona-fide classics:

The Cramps: "Zombie Dance" - the all-time punkabilly zombie favorite, from their classic 1980 album "Songs The Lord Taught Us."

Jan Davis: "Watusi Zombie" - faux African voodoo drums and tribal chanting, crazed surf guitars - truly one of the greatest '60s instrumentals ever. From Boss Guitar!

The Magics: "Zombie Walk" - groovy '60s girl-group action; from the essential "

Zombie Girl: "Jesus Was A Zombie" - contemporary Canadian group delivers a song truly in the spirit of the season, a Gary Glitter/Alice Cooper "School's Out" stomp with an electro twist.

Here's wishing a very merry Zombie Day to you and yours on this most joyous holiday season.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Monday night at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood I saw the Rutles - no, not just the 1978 film "All You Need Is Cash" (though they showed that too) but the actual original foursome. As a huge Python/Rutles/Bonzos fan from childhood, I just about fell off my chair when I read the Rutles were back - the Pre-Fab Four! A legend that will last a lunchtime. A millstone in pop music history.

The hilarious and musically spot-on Beatles parody band, which started as a sketch on an Eric Idle post-Python TV series, has strangely taken on a life of it's own with a series of Rutles tribute shows in LA and New York featuring Beatles impersonaters The Fab Four covering Rutles songs, mixed with video clips and live theater - yup, not the real Rutles but an incredible simulation. A bit confusing, isn't it? As the ads say, "Nostalgia for something that never existed."

Rutlemania! Through the 21st in Hollywood, then 4 more shows in New York.

Eric Idle and Neil Innes are working togther again, some 33 years after they first unleashed the Rutles on the world via the short-lived series "The Rutland Weekend News." A companion album, "The Rutland Weekend Songbook" is out-of-print, never on CD (except an obscure Japanese pressing), but thanks to Mrs Fab's copy she brought back from England years ago, we can now hear the original versions of songs that later appeared on proper Rutles albums, like:

"I Must Be In Love" - complete with the screams of Rutlemaniacs.

"Children of Rock'n'Roll/Startime" - 50 seconds or so of what would later be "See How The Good Times Roll."

Other non-Rutles related, but still quite good songs from the album:

"Accountancy Shanty/Football" - Years before it's appearance in the 1983 Python film "The Meaning of Life," here's the original pirate's shanty about high finance on the high seas, then a goof on soccer/football 'ooligans.

"Protest Song" - wicked Dylan parody; Innes performed this onstage with Python. But not at Che Stadium (which was named after Cuban guerilla leader Che Stadium.)

"Communist Cooking"/"Johnny Cash Live at Mrs Fletchers"
"24 Hours in Tumbridge Wells/The Fabulous Bingo Brothers/In Concrete" - parodies of: the Sinatra/Gene Kelly musical "On The Town," aged vaudvillians, modern rock.
"I Give Myself To You" performed by the Alberto Vascetomy Singers.
"Song O' The Insurance Men/Closedown"

And more HERE, courtesy of the I'm Learning To Share blog, including the Stevie Wonder-goes-to-the-laundromat funk of "Front Loader," and the new disco move "The Hard To Get."

And surviving members of the Bonzo Dog Band released a reunion album last December, but that's for another time. Ouch!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

CANINUS - Dogs Sing Heavy Metal

Caninus are a Brooklyn based metal band who say about their music: "Vocals are executed by two pit bull terriers. Both were rescued days before euthanization from refuges. Caninus - all strict vegans. It has come time really to allow the animals to have their say."

Caninus: "Victim In Pain"

Metal is funny. I didn't used to think so. I used to hate it as a kid before eventually realizing how hilariously kitschy much of it is and started enjoying it on that level. Of course, I wasn't the first - metal has to be the most satirized music in history. But most metal satire isn't, like "Spinal Tap," focused on the music. It's target is the fans. Think "Beavis & Butthead," "Wayne's World," "Bill & Ted" etc. And that is key to metal's camp appeal - the fans take it so seriously. Anyone else who samples dog barks would just play it like a goofy novelty record, like the Singing Dog's "Jingle Bells." But the utter sincerity of headbangers, the straight-faced psuedo-political justification of something so ridiculous - now THAT'S funny!

Caninus: "United States of Emergency"
Caninus: "Brindle Is As Brindle Does"

Saturday, March 08, 2008


"Girls Rock" is a documentary film opening in limited release tonight about a music camp for young girls. They form bands and write songs - in one week. "It doesn't have to be polished" they're told, and with genuine rockers like Carrie Brownstein of the band Sleater/Kinney coaching the kids, you get some real Shaggs-gone-punk moments of musical loveliness, like this one featuring Palace (pictured), an 8-year old hellion, on lead vocals:

Palace: "San Francisco Sucks Sometimes"

Another furious rocker finds a moppet declaiming, "With every passing day/It becomes clearer to me/That the only way to live/Is with nature's beauty/and harmoneeeeeey!"

The Bookworms: "The World Becoming A Wasteland"

"We'll Destroy Our Destination" slows things down to an atonal, rhythm-less grind.

Some critics bemoan the film's heavy-handed girls-as-victim messages sprinkled throughout the film. Perhaps the filmmakers thought that simply showing these gals singing and playing their hearts out wouldn't be enough justification for a film...

Sunday, March 02, 2008


HERE! Clink on the keys with your mouse and go plink plink plink. If you record anything with it, let me know.

Courtesy of F
rench composer Pascal Ayerbe.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Here's another absolutely fascinating bit of spooky space sounds, courtesy of a blog call ShortWaveMusic, which, as you may have guessed, features music recorded off short wave radio transmissions. Middle Eastern tunes seem to be a favorite. But one recording captured the August 12, 2005 edition of the annual Perseid meteor shower over the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama: "As each meteor produced a trail of ionized gases, it produced an extremely short-lived ionospheric "placebo," ricocheting radio waves back to Earth." This being short-wave, haunting voices from other frequencies bleed through, and the sound phases in and out. The result is 7 minutes of dense, swirling, trippy madness.

Meteor shower radio waves