Friday, July 30, 2010


Our pals over at Pleonasm have done future anthropologists and historians (not to mention weird-ologists of all stripes) the great service of collecting hours worth of audio oddities that mainly seem to have been recorded off of that most democratic of mediums, YouTube. There are four volumes (so far) of free downloads, organized by theme.

Vol. 1 Tongues - Largely spoken-word babbling and acapella singing, from Christians filled with the Spirit, to space-alien prophets, to drunks caught on camera, to a very funny bit of acoustic heavy metal. Tho there's plenty of unaccom
panied vocals just dying to be sampled (check track #6), there's also some smooth-jazz, and blues w/ Peruvian Pan Flute. The Talking Heads named one of their albums "Speaking in Tongues," but another of their titles could apply here: "Stop Making Sense."

Vol. 2 Left Fieldists - Outsider music bonanza! Featuring such hits as: "You Tube Guy Sings About Prostitute," "Developmentally Disabled Guy Sings In Stairwell," "Song About Drinking Robitussin," "Down Syndrome Poetry," and an Asperger's Syndrome guy singing about his "Asperger's Girl." It's not all laffs, tho: "Man Sings About Infidelity" is a cringe-worthy confessional, and the "Song For My Deceased Wife" is pretty heart-wrenching.

Vol. 3 Extra C
redit Songs - You can get school credit for performing music?! Damn, kids got it too easy nowadays! I would have loved that. There's a wide range of skills here, from inept singing or rapping American history or science lessons over karaoke backing tracks, to pretty professional-sounding original songs. The hip-hop/r'n'b (complete with Autotune!) "Digestion Song" is hysterical. A+.

Vol. 4 Antediluvian Moderns - Apparently an assortment of old
folks. Haven't heard this one yet.

Monday, July 26, 2010

RIAA: "USA" - A Four Hour Long Mashup

Mash-mavens RIAA present "USA": "a four-hour-long "mix-album," conveniently divided into 10 separate mixes. The history, geography, culture, and politics of the United States are all fair game for RIAA's musical collages, incisive observations, and cheap jokes."
Literally hundreds of sources were used. Any audio that has anything to do with the U.S. of A., from old educational records found in thrift stores, to today's tv hosts and talk-show ranters, were beat-matched, pitch-corrected and thrown into the mix.

Every section delves into a different area of the America experience - the concepts of freedom and revolution, the historical aspects of the black experience and Western expansion, war, leisure time, and as many examples of American music as you're going to hear in one mix - from Native American Indian chanting to a myriad of folk styles, right up to punk and hip-hop. And you'll hear plenty of offensive kooks like Klansmen and religious bigots. But, hey, it's a portrait: "
...A surreal, fun-house mirror portrait perhaps, but nonetheless, I wanted to just let everyone speak for themselves."

You can listen it streaming, download each of the 10 sections individually, or, if you plan on burning it to cds,
download four cd-length zip folders:


UPDATE 8-1-10: A separate collection of 18 radio-friendly "singles" in now available.

And it's all free! Gosh bless America.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Ed Cox's album "Hardcordian," a delightfully surreal mixture of boomin' electro beatz and live folk accordion, only came out 4 or 5 years ago, but it seems to have vanished from all retail outlets, so here 'tis:

Ed Cox "Hardcordian"

Yes, he performs his "clown-core" music (as he calls it) in clown dress. I wish there really was a genre called clown-core, but it'd probably end up like Insane Clown Posse or somethin, so just as well.
There's only 8 tracks here in a brisk 23 minutes.

1. The Triumphant March of Piaf
2. The Tetris Theme Tune
3. Arabian Raves
4. Le Fanfare De Teuffeurs (the first of several songs that begin as a waltz, before all hell breaks loose)
5. The Dance of the Otter Droppings
6. The Lonely Clown
7. Cool Cats
8. Cloudy Tuesday Morning (no accordions on this one)

I'm pretty sure I first heard this album on the WoBcast, so thanks guys!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Bucktown Tiger is a seemingly average guy who, for unfathomable psychological reasons, likes to dress up as a tiger, and then perform rap songs about dressing in animal costumes at "furry" conventions for other people who like to pretend to be animals. He has several albums available of hip-hop tunes detailing furry life, with song titles like "Get Fursuited Up," and "Get Your Yiff On," "yiff" meaning furry sex. Two people who resemble, say, a Disneyland employee dressed like Mickey Mouse and the San Diego Chicken having sex is, to me, fairly incomprehensible. But, apparently, it happens. The varieties of human experiences!

Tiger plays keyboards and raps simultaneously when performing live. This song is taken from "Orange + Black: The Furst Album."

Bucktown Tiger: "Throw Your Paws Up"

Hey, I'm not here to judge. They're not hurting anyone, right? Go get 'em, Tiger.

Friday, July 16, 2010


A gamelan (pictured left) is an Indonesian orchestra of tuned bells and gongs. And a music box is...well, you know what that is. On the latest (2 disk!) album by veteran New Yorkers Gamelan Son of Lion, John Morton's electronically-processed music box plays a tinkly version of the Beatles' "Yesterday" along with the gamelan. It is, like much of this album, absolutely enchanting. It's unlike anything you've ever heard before, but strangely easy on the ears. The trance-like quality of gamelan music is kinda soothing, even when played at high energy levels.

Gamelan Son of Lion: "She (Really) Had To Go" - This is an excerpt from a 9 minute piece.

The album "Sonogram," on the ever-awesome Innova label, does not feature any traditional music from Bali or Java - these are all new pieces written by the band members that often combine gamelan with Western instruments and styles, which is a bit tricky since gamelan instruments are not tuned to the Western scale. But that's not a problem when your Western "instruments" are found junk percussion objects:

Gamelan Son of Lion: "Bang On A Tin Can"

Other tracks feature Miguel Frasconi's invented glass instruments, clarinet-driven klezmer, an Afro-Cuban-inspired jam, and Llsa Karrer's "River Kotekan" - 2 pianos and 2 voices mixed with the usual shifting gamelan tempos make for some persuasive polyrhythms.

Some parts of their 9/11 tribute had me wincing, and the attempt to mix Scottish/Irish vocals was a bit too "Celtic Woman" for me, but with almost two hours-worth of music here, I'm not complaining. My favorite new album.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Some really, really bad songs featuring politicians singing, rapping, playing instruments, or song writing... some really, really funny songs about (or, better yet, sampling the voices of) politicians...and Bill Clinton's brother...

We go from America to the UK, Australia, Austria, Afghanistan...All posted here over the years, all knocked off-line in my Great Computer Meltdown of 2010, all thrown into one zip folder so I don't have to re-up 'em all one by one.


1. Arnold Schwarzenegger - It's Raining Men
2. Bill Clinton - Summertime

3. BudtheWeiser - Blair Drinks A Rockit

4. Burka Band - Burka Blue

5. FEMA - For Kidz Rap

6. George W Bush Singers - Embetterment Ingrinable

7. Winston Churchill and the Band from the Future - Lift Up Your Hearts
8. HC Strache - Oesterreich Zuerst

9. John Ashcroft - Let The Eagle Soar
10. Larry Shannon Hargrove - Leave Bill Clinton Alone

11. Orrin Hatch - The Country of the Free

12. Phil Kline - Rumsfeld Song

13. RIAA - Wake Me Up When Sept 11 Ends

14. Roger Clinton - Brother Brother

15. rx - dick is a killer

16. rx - imagine a walk on the wild side

17. Gene Marshall - God Bless Richard Nixon [song-poems]
18. Gene Marshall - Hail The Chief

19. Gene Marshall - President Richard Nixon

20. Gene Marshall - Richard Nixon In '76
21. Gene Marshall - The Great Richard Nixon

22. Wax Audio - You Better Run You Better Take Cover

Sunday, July 11, 2010


We're stretching the definition of "mashups" here to include any kind of radical sound-collage craziness. Some brilliant free download-able stuff that's been blowing my mind lately:

Orange County, CA's Voicedude has been a music pro for over 20 years, doing everything from radio production to music theater. And it's all been leading up to this:

"Mashin' Jackson: The Untold Story" (alternate link) is not just a collection of MJ mashups, it's a "Spinal Tap"-like mock-umentary of Jacko's life, with hysterical narration between the songs. A "BBC 9" special (complete with radio jingle and announcer) describe MJ's shocking life and career dating back to the '50s. Yep, turns out he was well into his 70s when he died and had done secret collaborations with everyone from Elvis to Nirvana.

It's hilarious, and insanely clever, but it's so professional-sounding that it could convince the gullible.

"Motown Meltdown 2" also features Michael Jackson, but this mash-terpiece by San Fran's Gigante Sound posse slices 'n' dices its Motown (and only Motown) sources sometimes beyond recognition. The results include: groovy go-go beats, insane glitchy cut-ups a la John Oswald, ambient dronescapes...

The Symphony of Science is collection of six songs (with more on the way) and videos that sample the voices of scientists like Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking from documentaries, using the Melodyne software to literally make these voices sing. Science and art occupy two very different places in our brain, one all logic and literal, the other intuitive and metaphoric, thus making it difficult to combine the two. But TSOS wisely opts for the poetic view of science, emphasizing the grandeur of the universe and the inspirational nature of man's struggles and accomplishments over nuts-and-bolts facts and figures.

Tho some will no doubt find the idea of Carl Sagan "singing" along with New Age-y electro-beatz to be some kind of weird high-minded kitsch, I think we're seeing the beginnings of a new era in musique concrete, where, with the help of software programs like Autotune and Melodyne, we can use non-musical sounds and speeches to make actual songs and melodies, not just abstract "art" music. I predict!

People Like Us and Wobbly (from the UK and San Fran, respectively) have a new collaborative album called "Music For The Fire" that is "a plunderphonic concept album depicting the lifespan of a relationship, as told through samples of hundreds of different songs and voices who had no idea they were all telling the same story until they were all spliced together." With many mashups, I think half way thru the song, "Okay, I get the idea." With these dense (tho sometimes humorous) collages, I find myself thinking after a track ends, "What just happened here?" and play it again.

You can buy it off the People Like Us site, or download it from illegalart using their "pay what you like" model.

Friday, July 09, 2010


The Meridian Gallery in San Francisco is such a small space that most of the performers featured in their Composers in Performance concert series play solo. No, not one-man-bands (tho that'd be cool), but cats like German sax mad man Frank Gratkowski, who blows staccato rhythms with such force he doesn't need a band:

Frank Gratkowski: Improvisation

The vari
ous-artists collection "Meridian Music: Earth Music" features highlights of 10 years of Meridian Gallery performances, mostly solo improvs. There's a few fascinating tracks I keep returning to, and Gratkowski's is one of them, as is John Bischoff's R2D2-like electronics, and Viv Corringham's "Improvisation (With San Francisco Sounds)" which does indeed seem to take actual sounds from out on the street, loop them and process them to spellbinding effect. And - hey, whatdoyaknow! - Gratkowski returns to the Meridian tomorrow.

The legen
dary Pauline Oliveros also appears. To paraphrase Run-DMC, "We're San Francisco improvisors/Rockin' without a band!"

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I'm pretty sure this is the first album I've posted by a musician who has killed 130 people. And I don't mean in the usual performer's "I killed last night" sense, either.

Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian, famous for his assisted-suicide activism, is back in the news again. He's promoting a new book about over-population (gee, I wonder what his solution is..?) and recently told a radio interviewer that he has no problem with teen or soldier suicides. So he's just all about killing in general now, it seems.

But he's always been a weird death-obsessed guy. I mean, have you seen his paintings? A talented artist you must admit, and it goes beyond painting - he's also an accomplished jazz flute and organ player as well. In 1997 he released an album with a band dubbed
the Morpheus Quintet, named after the god of sleep. That's some sense of humor, eh?

Jack Kevorkian &
the Morpheus Quintet "Very Still Life"

The album's pianist/arranger
Jean Paul Monsché seems to be most well known for his wedding-band type music service (near as I can tell), but his backing band include members of hip L.A. combo Jump With Joey. So this is no "smooth jazz," but it is pretty chilled. The opening track is a waltz that recalls Angelo Badalamenti's David Lynch scores (Jump With Joey actually played on Lynch's "Inland Empire" soundtrack), and the next couple tunes are fairly funky. One song has scratchy vinyl record sound effects for some reason. The brief "interludes" are just Jack, overdubbed, jammin' with his bad flutey self. The final hidden track, however, is a churchly organ solo. A perfectly pleasant listen for an overcast morning.

Whispering, Came Violets 3:44
Summertooth 4:30
Brotherhood Of 3:56
A Very Still Life 3:05
August To Amber 4:08
Fuguetta Caffeine 2:39
Interlude: Unfinished Minuet 1:12
In Strange Loops 2:58
Back At Abby's 3:53
Interlude: Gavat 0:38
Geoff's Mood 3:02
Une Lettre De Jean/Hidden Track

The album was released in one run of 5000 copies, and original copies are going for big bucks now.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Your Fourth of July/Summer Holiday Musical Needs SORTED

Lately, we've been hittin' you all with black, kiddie Christian, and even Portuguese surf-y beach party action, as well as a strange experimental take on Hawaiiana. Well, refresh that umbrella-drink because the tiki gods have graced us with more sweet summer sounds:

The Waitiki 7 have just dropped "The News Sounds of Exotica," the second album for these Hawaiians, and while it tips it's hat to the original '50s/'60s masters, it throws in twists like a Tito Puente-esque Latin-jazz take on the old showtune/exotica standard "Bali Hai," complete with furious cowbell/timbale soloing. And their version of
Martin Denny/Les Baxter's "Tiki" is so damn funky, don't be surprised if rapping Islanders sample it. But this track, another Denny remake, features the son of Denny sideman Augie Colon (exotica royalty!) indulging in that venerable tiki tradition of otherwise-sensible grown men making crazy tropical bird call sound effects:

The Waitiki 7: "Similau"

Bossa N' Ramones is an EZ/Latin/lounge album of Ramones remakes, which is a pretty retarded concept right
there, but it's made even more surreal by the guest vocals of a clueless Angela Bowie (yup, David's ex), and a chilled Cherie Currie of the Runaways. Goes nicely with the Ramones for Caribbean steel drums album we wrote about here.

Bossa N' Ramones: "Blitzkrieg Bop" - Are these lyrics correct?

The Voodoo Trombone Quartet's second full-length "Again" serves up more big beat goodness in the style of '60s soundtrack/lounge/ska: "Do It Your Own Way"

And just when I thought it couldn't get any more silly then a jazz-pop concept album about hot dogs, comes this:
"Your recent post titled "Hot Dog Rock" inspired me to dig
out the as of yet (and likely never) to be released e.p. by
my old band, KOBAYASHI. We named ourselves after the
(then reigning) Hot Dog Eating Champ, Takeru Kobayashi.
Our drummer had a giant cartoon hot dog painted on his
kick-drum. We played a few shows in and around Boston and even went out
to Coney Island on July 4th to see the champ compete. I think that was 2002...
Eventually, the band dissolved and Kobayashi the man was ousted from his throne by an
American, of all people, Joey Chestnut...we were a 3-piece: guitar/bass/drums w/assorted
noise-making devices. Circa 2001 - 2003." Musically, they play an entertaining blend of
Sabbath sludge and screaming Iggy-like vocals. With lyrics about wiener-eating champions.

Kobayashi: "Kobayashi"

LoungeClash "The Mysterious Island Dub" - Exotica! Theremin! Dub riddims! From a
British group featuring former members of TransGlobal Underground and Loop
Guru. From their album "Dread Time Story."