Wednesday, July 27, 2011


This article sez that in the 1700s: " Russia a unique and bizarre custom of wind playing developed. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and this would certainly seem to be so in this case. Prince Kirilovich Narishkin, the Master of the Hunt to the Empress Elizabeth, had become frustrated with the sound coming from the horns used to signal the progress of the hunt. The coppersmith on Narishkin's estate made the horns in question, and apparently no attempt towards consistency of pitch had been made. So in 1751 the prince had sixteen new instruments made which were tuned to play a D major chord. The technique of overblowing was not taught on these simple instruments, so standard practice called for a single note to be played on each horn."
It's called 'Russian horn capella' music, and, yep, as with hand-bells, only one note can be played on these giant instruments (hence the need for big groups), but you'd never guess to listen to this lovely album - it's played with such expert precision that one could be fooled into thinking it's just a couple/few musicians playing, not a large ensemble flawlessly passing notes back and forth.

Apart the peppy "Funiculi Funicula" it's pretty much standard classical classics, e.g. Mozart, "William Tell Overture," "Ave Maria," etc.

Russian Horny Choir (Concert)

I had to translate everything from Russian using the somewhat inaccurate Babelfish, and since the results were kinda funny, I just left it, making no attempt to clean 'em up.

Thanks to whoever the reader was who left a comment heppin' me to this stuff, sorry I can't remember your name/find your comment, sir!

Friday, July 22, 2011


UPDATE 7/25/11: album back on line

Frank Pahl is one of the most criminally underrated composers/mad scientists at work today.
And while I still maintain that "We Who Live On L
and," the album he recorded with The Scavenger Quartet that I wrote about a couple years ago, is one of the best albums of the '00s, I do thoroughly enjoy a more recent album of his, "Elementary," with the trio Little Bang Theory.

"Elementary" is performed entirely on toy instruments. It's all instrumental, and
wanders over a fairly wide emotional range - no cute kiddie stuff here (not that I mind cuteness). The song writing is pretty ambitious, with some fairly lengthy "suites", tho with toy instruments you inevitably have a built-in nostalgic sweetness that keeps pretensions at bay. Utterly wonderful stuff, but it's in print, available from his site and elsewhere, so not gonna post it, but I did included a couple songs off it as BONUS! tracks, included with this other excellent Frank Pahl album that doesn't seem to be for sale anywhere.

Frank Pahl and Klimperei "Music For Desserts"

Pahl sez about this 2001 release: "What can I say? This is my favorite. All tracks began with home made automatic instruments. [French group] Klimperei laid down their sympathetic magic and I mixed."

And that's something I didn't realize when I first reviewed
The Scavenger Quartet album: how many hand-built robot instruments are featured in Pahl's music, mixed in with all the strange, often antiquated human-played instruments. Da man plays: "Piano, Piano [Prepared, Prepared Barrel], Organ [Binary Air Quartet, Microcontrolled Air Quartet, Hohner Organette], Clarinet, Tipple, Marimba [Toy], Cello, Guitar [Tenor], Harmonium, Euphonium, Harp [Peacock, African], Flute [Bulgarian], Trombone [Toy], Trumpet [Toy], Bass Drum, Whistle, Ukulele, Ukulele [Automatic, Buzzsaw, Binary Quartet, Family], Zither, Zither [Automatic], Percussion, Percussion [Automatic], Performer [Autoglock, Binary Doorbell Quartet, Washing Machine, Jason Ortega's Auto Chime, Double String Trio, Virtual Pet: Gerbil, Humming Choir Loop, Shrutti Box]." No, I'm not entirely sure what all that means either, but it does give you an idea of how unique this music is, without losing a melodic approachability.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Contributing more than 2 hours of audio monkeyshines to combat the alarmingly low levels of weirdness in our atmosphere, Greg "Spacebrother" Bishop and Yours Truly present:

Radio Misterioso 04/24/2011

includes the following ingredients:
"Plan 9 From Outer Space" intro
Marlin Wallace "Weird Weird Music" [we spend a lot of time on the show exploring the overlooked outsider musician
Marlin Wallace]

talk break

Duke Errol "Back To Back Belly To Belly (Zombie Jamboree)"
People Like Us "Happy Lost Songs"
Mickey Katz "Doity Dog"
(technical difficulties)
Rusty Diamond "Skellykins"

Ralph Lowe "Munchikens"
Dee Dee King [aka Dee Dee Ramone] "I Want What I Want When I Want It"

talk break [we discuss the song-poem phenomena; cassette tapes; Yiddish culture]

Jack Blanchard "A Weird Little Christmas"
........."........ "Dance of the Living Dead Chickens"
Paul Super Apple "Intro/Apple Love"
Marlin Wallace "That Flying Saucer"
Rodd Keith "Run Spook Run"
Milton Berle "Songs My Mother Loved"
People Like Us "The Sound of the End of Music"
Joe Perkins with Jimmy Riddle "Little Eephin' Annie"
Jesse Lee Turner "The Voice Changing Song"

talk break: eephing & yodeling; Daniel Johnston & Roky Erikson; the Rusty Blanchard
hit song we couldn't recall was "Tennessee Bird Walk," what normal people think is weird music; will outsider music go mainstream?; Greg sticks the mic out the window to try to eavesdrop on arguing homeless guys; Sammy Hagar abducted by space aliens]

Marlin Wallace "Thing From Another World"
Benny Bell "Everybody Wants My Fanny"
Thurl Ravenscroft "Diamond Bar"
Akeem 'The Dream'
Olajuwon "The Unbeatable Dream" [I featured this record on my "Curl Activate" collection]
Marlin Wallace "Mosquiters"
Mr Fab and Spacebrother try to rap from the "Hip-Hop Prayer Book"

talk break: Francis Dec

Snatch & The Poontangs "Two-Time Slim"
The Vampires "The Whip"
Red Ingle & The Natural Seven - the wackiest song about torture ever!

talk break: albums about trees and loggers

Red Ingle & The Natural Seven: Cigareets & Whiskey & Wild Women

Friday, July 15, 2011

"America's Most Nonsensical Band"

Continuing our survey of Spike Jones-like comedic music from the 78rpm era (we've already checked out Irving Aaronson and Borrah Minevitch & His Harmonica Rascals) comes this album surveying the long, prolific career of one of the greatest novelty/oddball groups of the era, the Korn Kobblers (no relation to that Korn). During their 1940's heyday, they were a constant presence on the radio and concert circuit.

Apart from the lyrical nonsense of songs like "Horses Don't Bet On People" ("horses don't have no remource-es
...") and "I'm My Own Grandpa" (a song that really does my head in trying to follow it), their musical attack was a mad riot of frantic Dixieland horns, barrelhouse piano, furious drumming and, well, look at that tricked -out washboard, festooned with "electric auto horns, siren, klaxon, doorbell, whistle, woodblock, and twenty-one auto and bicycle horns." Song styles range from hillbilly to cosmopolitan swing, from children's music to Irish dialect humor. Essential.

The Korn Kobblers

1. When You Wore A Tulip 2. Up In The Balcony 3. Myrtle The Turtle And Flip The Frog 4. Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue 5. I'm My Own Grandpa 6. I Can't Get Offa My Horse 7. If You're Cheating On Your Baby 8. Oh You Beautiful Doll 9. I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate 10. The Light Turned Green (And The Light Turned Red) 11. Drifting And Dreaming 12. Ain't She Sweet 13. Since They Stole The Spitoon 14. Trumpet Blues 15. Never Make Eyes (At Gals With Guys Bigger Than You) 16. We Got To Put Shoes On Willie 17. Horses Don't Bet On People 18. Clancy Lowered The Boom 19. Why Did I Teach My Girl To Drive 20. Dardanella 21. Don't Shoot The Bartender (He's Half Shot Now) 22. Don't Give Me No Goose For Christmas, Grandma

If you want more, can hook you up with plenty more CDs and DVDs.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stairway to Gilligan's Island

To celebrate the legacy of the recently deceased Sherwood Schwartz, creator of a favorite childhood TV show of mine, "Gilligan's Island," here's another one of my childhood faves, the ingenious proto-mashup by a San Fran band, Little Roger and the Goosebumps:

"Gilligan's Island (Stairway)"

(Thanks to WFMU!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The Everyday Film has a new, er, "song" - for lack of a better word - up on iTunes called "Emotional Margin Call." Go buy it! After all, he (she? they? it?) gave me permission to post his first four releases here.

Music doesn't usually scare me. But as I wrote when I reviewed the first two albums:

The Everyday Film's album "The House I Used To Turn Into" was, on first listen, one of the most disturbing things I've ever heard (and maybe on second and third listens as well.) Much of it isn't what most people would even think of as music: a vocoder-ized voice pitched way down loooooow mutters cryptic non-sequiturs, interrupted by brief shards of industrial music-like sounds. "Song" titles include: "The Boy In The Wall," "We Don't Exist Yet," "Budgeted Out The Perverted," and "A New Class of Paranoia." The final track on the short album (27 tracks in 15 minutes) is the sound of some poor soul begging for his life while Mr Vocoder Voice mumbles banalities like "relax in the sun...take a vacation...take a 'me' day..." over unsettling electronic drones. That's entertainment!
Not to scare you all off, but it can be a fascinating, sometimes funny headphone experience, and a wicked beat even turns up...A 12 minute follow up CD...seems slightly less creepy, and the song titles aren't as twisted. It'll still be dismissed as sick shit by 99.9% of the population, tho."
The Everyday Film - First 4 Albums

The Everyday Film mails CDs to my PO box from time to time, and I get the occasional email from him, but I still don't have a shred of biographical info on him , or pictures, and the return addresses have been from different states each time. I used to call him "the Jandek of electronica," but, as one of you commented, he seems to be far more reclusive than even that notoriously shy outsider. There's no longer even a website for the band, so, for now, this is the only place to get these releases. Thanks very much to The Everyday Film for letting me post these here.

Friday, July 08, 2011

New Wave Covers For Oldies Lovers - Part 2

As I wrote in PART ONE, "During the upheaval of the late '70s/early '80s punk days, there was a real changing-of-the-guard feeling that led many groups of the time to cover classic oldies from the sacred rock 'n' roll canon in an irreverent (if not downright disrespectful) fashion. One of my recent obsessions is to to collect as many of these as I can find..." And why not? It's fun, weekend/summer barbeque music for maniacs. There's even a surf music section.

New Wave Covers For Oldies Lovers, vol2

1. The Toy Dolls - Blue Suede Shoes
2. The Minutemen - Ain't Talkin' Bout Love

. Lene Lovich - I think we're alone now [Japanese version]
4. The Plastics - Last train to Clarksvi
5. Yellow Magic Orchestra - Tighten Up [These guys, featuring Ruichi Sakam
oto, actually reunited to perform (at the Hollywood Bowl) for the first time in 30 years; hope they performed this one, it is absolutely bonkers]
6. Zoogz Rift - But The Picture Has A Mustache ["Inna Gadda Davida"]
7. The Fibonaccis - Purple Haze

8. Black Randy & The Metrosquad - Say It Loud (I'm Black And I'm Proud)
9. James Chance & The Contortions - I Can't Stand Myself
10. Devo - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

11. Sun Yuma - Subterranean Homesick Blues
12. Comateens - Summer in the City
13. Bakersfield Boogie Boys - I Get Around

14. Nash the Slash - Dead Man's Curve
15. Zoogz Rift - Walk Don't Run
16. C. Newman & Janet Smith - California Girls
17. Lemon Kittens - Shakin' All Over
18. Pere Ubu - Pushin Too Hard

19. Butthole Surfers - American Woman

20. The Better Beatles - Paperback Writer

21. The Flying Lizards - Money (That's What I Want)
22. Gina X - Drive My Car

23. Sex Pistols - My Way

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Good mooooooorning, maniacs! Mr Fab with ya. Got the traffic report comin' right up, but FIRST, two albums by American morning radio personalities we're GIVING away to the FIRST THREE CALLERS right here on the Music For Maniacs Morning Zoo!!!! *hooting, hollering, and cowbell noises*
First up, an album from 1989 by Johhny B, big fave outta Chicago. He does it all - slick '80s pop, blues, and wild rock! He's a rebel - you won't see HIM on MTV! Gotta love that "Moo Moo" song about a guy who broke into the zoo to do it with a cow! I mean what's crazier, a perv with the hots for a bovine, or a zoo that has boring animals like cows? I can see them for free if I drive thru the country! What else they got, cats and dogs?!

Jonathon Brandmeier

1. When Friday Comes
2. You Won't See Me On MTV 3. How, How, How (The White Boy Blues) 4. Nothin' In My Mind 5. Breakin' Up Isn't Hard To Do (With Someone Like You) 6. The Moo-Moo Song 7. Country Music Star 8. Good Sturdy Woman 9. How'm I Gonna Be A Dad? 10. Makin' Love In The Aid-Ees 11. Sweet Home Chicago 12. Just Havin' Fun 13. We're All Crazy In Chicago 14. JB Reprise

Here's a more recent album courtesy of Reno, Nevada's home for country music, K-Bull. Country music song parodies, weee doggies! My fave's "Time Marches On," a pretty scathing satire of them country folk. All in good fun, folks! And that's "no bull!"

Teflon Cowchip Band "Bullfoonery"

1. JJ Got Run Over By A John Deer 2. Any Woman Of Mine 3. Frankenstein 4. Fever Blister 5. Cheese And Macaroni 6. C-H-R-I-S-T-Y 7. Girls Do
It All The Time 8. Bigger Than A Buick Regal 9. Time Marches On 10. Homeless 11. Paddle My Bum/Dust On His Bottom/Any Woman Of Mine At Christmas Time

Okay, these albums might not be that funny. As sociological documents, however, they're priceless.
Thank (or blame) frequent contributor windbag for the Teflon Cowchips!