Wednesday, August 31, 2011


"It's a postc
"No, it's not. It's a record! Lemme play it"
"No, it's a postcard! I wanna mail it!"
(removing pipe:)
"Hold on kids, you're both right - these 6 postcards we bought at the World's Fair can also be enjoyed on any record-player."
"Gee, dad, that's swell!"
(Dad goes back to his pipe, nodding and smiling)

Despite the ridiculous amount of music I have, I'm not really a "collector." I'm more like a bottom-feeder, buying the stuff no-one else wants. But, while visiting Seattle some years back, I really did have to pry open my wallet and shell out $50 or so for these lovely postcard/records. It was so worth it - all six were in mint condition, never played, and they look and sound great. The artists were probably Seattle locals. I found some info on The Frantics and Frank Sugia, but as for the others, they apparently never made the national scene, or even other recordings.

This fascinating article des
cribes some of the literally hundreds of songs written about the Space Age extravaganza known as the "Century 21" World's Fair of 1962, but I couldn't find many. Only two, to be exact, included here as bonus tracks, courtesy of the "I'm Learning To Share" and "Beware of the Blog" blogs. I've also added a song from the soundtrack to an Elvis film shot on location at the fair. (Of course, strange music fans know and love Attilio Mineo's "Man In Space With Sounds" LP, but many other blogs have already posted it.) So this is all I got so far, but it is, to quote Joe Juma, "an acme of delight."

Seattle World's Fair 1962

01 "Invitation To The Fair
" - Joe Juma (a country stomper)
02 "World's Fair Seattle" - Billy Earles (Man, dig this finger-snappin' lounge crooner)
03 "Summer of '62 - Ronnie Draper and the Fordomatics (frantic ba
njo-driven hoedown with those white-bread folk-revival vocal harmonies)
04 "Cafe in The Sky" - Kelly Gates (Space-Age organ sounds? Now we're talkin'!)

05 "Gayway Twist" - the Frantics (this rock'n'roller is an instrumental, which, considering the t
itle, is perhaps just as well)
06 "Come and See Seattle" - Frank Sugia Trio & Naomi (an accordion waltz for the Lawrence Welk crowd - Sugia seems to have had a fairly successful musical career, releasing an album in 1967)

bonus tracks:
Elvis Presley - "Take Me To The Fair"
Joy and the Boys - "Meet Me In Seattle"
The Lancers - "See You In Seattle"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Manic Hispanic

I love Manic Hispanic, and their Chicano parodies of punk rock classics, a la El Vez and his Mexican-ized take on Elvis. But then again, I grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by Mexican American culture. And I grew up on punk rock (some of these guys played in crucial SoCal hardcore bands like Agent Orange and the Adolescents.) So I get the jokes. You may not. But, if nothing else, this rocks, and musical pleasures are good enough.

Manic Hispanic "The Recline of Mexican Civilization" (2001)

1. Alberto's [Descendents "Der Wienerschnitzel"]

2. Mexican Tar [Johnny Thunders/Ramones "Chinese Rock"]

3. Get Them Immigrated [The Offspring "Come Out and Play"] - nice mariachi horns!

4. Uncle Chato's Garden [Bad Religion "My Atomic Garden"]

5. Brown Man in O.C. Jail [The Clash "White man in Hammersmith Palais"]

6. If the Vatos Are United [Sham 69 "If The Kids Are United"]

7. Mommy's Little Cholo [Social Distortion "Mommy's Little Monster"]
8. Bored With You Esse [The Clash "I'm So Bored With The USA"]

9. Rudy Cholo [Rancid "Ruby Soho"]

10. Lynch the Landlord [Dead Kennedys "Let's Lynch the Landlord"]

11. Brown Girl [X "White Girl"]

12. Tijuana Must Fall [Catholic Discipline "Babylon Must Fall"]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Invented Thing Quartet

"Invented Thing a variety of junk, cast off and hand-me-down derived , homely, home-made instruments, noise makers, toys, tools and appliances, (with an occasional standard instrument thrown in now and then)...The band explores, interprets and performs original and cover melodies, tunes, songs, poems, stories, course thesis's, drawings, compositions, recipes and summonses on instruments which include the Lid, Plexolyn, 40-Love, Cyclodrone, Merlenspiel, Harpbladder, Tabla, Rake, Adriolian, Blender, Bad Thing, Calimba, Alligator, Short Wave, The Hinge. Various forms of ITQ have appeared at clubs, colleges, institutions, parks, museums, town halls, homes and galleries, lawns and gardens." Tho I don't know if they play anywhere outside of their native Massachusetts - I would imagine that the visual aspect of their shows must be pretty impressive.

Highlights: a devolved version of "Louie Louie" not unlike "Third Reich 'n Roll"-era Residents, and a hillbilly hoedown version (with Space Age sounds effects) of Laurie Anderson's "O Superman."

Lowlights: lo-fi sound (it's recorded live), but don't let that deter you from listening to these imaginative loonies.
The Invented Thing Quartet - "10 Years"

More info on some of their home-made instruments HERE.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Before They Were Rap Stars

Here's a second volume of Before They Were Stars, this time putting the spotlight on the first-ever (and sometimes highly-unlikely) recordings from future hip-hop stars: A pre-annoying Black-Eyed Peas! A pre-rap Beastie Boys sounding like The Germs! Ice Cube sounding like The Beastie Boys! Chuck D sounding like Kurtis Blow! RZA and GZA from Wu Tang sounding like Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince!

Before They Were Rap Stars

1 Beastie Boys - Beas
tie Boys [1982]
2 Ice-T - The Colde
st Rap [1982]
3 Spectrum City [aka Public Enemy] - Check Out The Radio [1984]
4 World Class Wreckin' Crew [w/Dr Dre] - Surgery [1985]
5 The C.I.A. [w/Ice Cube] - My Posse [1987]
6 Onyx - Ah And We Do It Like This [1990]
7 Prince Rakeem [aka RZA] - Ooh We Love You Rakeem [1991]
8 The Genius [aka GZA] - Those Were the Days [1991]
9 A.T.B.A.N. Klann [aka BlackEyed Peas] - Puddles Of H2O [1992]

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Didn't know what a Vocaloid was 'til I was sent this excellent album, but apparently it's music software that uses actual pre-recorded human voices to sing whatever you program it to sing. Which is, in this case, a festival of sentimental '50s/'60s easy-listening and soundtrack classics. It's all "sung" without instrumental accompaniment, but I wouldn't exactly call it acapella music - the voices get chopped and glitchy. The sweetness of these old songs, however, lends a real warmth that is sometimes lacking in experimental electronica. Really wonderful stuff that sounds like nothing I've heard before - Space Age pop for a happy family of robots.

It's by Kitschstortion, the chap who sent us those rare North Korean albums that we posted earlier this year. You can listen to it streaming or download it HERE. Or just grab it here:

Kitschstortion "Vague Serenade"


Monday, August 15, 2011

Before They Were Stars!!

A 14-year-old Björk! Billy Joel goes heavy metal ! Tori Amos goes big hair '80s! Debbie Harry of Blondie in a '60s hippie band that should have been called "Bland-ie"! Nick Lowe rips off The Who! Neil Young and that superfreak Rick James in the same band!

all strange-but-true, some of it awful, some surprisingly great. Hey, you gotta start somewhere...

Before They Were Stars (A MusicForManiacs Collection)

01 Tony Sheridan [w/"The Beat Brothers": John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney] - Sweet Georgia Brown [1961]
02 Rory Storm & The Hurricanes [w/Ringo Starr] - America [1963]

03 Arthur Lee and the LAGs [pre
-Love] - The Ninth Wave [1963]
04 The Primitives [Lou Reed] - The Ostrich [1964]
05 The Wailers [w/Bob Marley, Peter Tosh] - simmer down [1965]
06 Bluesology [w/Elton John] - Come Back Baby [1965]
07 Shotgun Express [w/Rod Stewart-Mick Fleetwood] - I could feel the whole world turn round [1966]
08 The Mynah Byrds [w/Neil Young, Rick James] - Go On And Cry [1966]
09 The Spiders [Alice Cooper] - Don't Blow Your Mind [1966]
10 John's Children [w/Marc Bolan] - Desdemona [1967]

11 Wind In The Willows [w/Debbie Harry] - Djini Judy [1968]
12 Flaming Youth [w/Phil Collins] - Changes [1969]
13 Attila [w/Billy Joel] - Rollin' Home [1970]
14 Fraternity [w/Bon Scott] - Jupiter's Landscape [1971]
15 Brinsley Schwarz [w/Nick Lowe] - (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love & Understanding [1974]
16 Kilburn & the High Roads [w/Ian Dury & some Blockheads] - Rough Kids [1974]
17 Hawkwind [w/Lemmy Kilmester] - Motorhead [1975]
18 The 101ers [w/Joe Strummer] - Letsagetabitarockin' [1975]
19 Björk - Alta Mira [1977]
20 The Nipple Erectors [w/Shane MacGowan] - So Pissed Off [1978]
21 The Coachmen [w/Thurston Moore] - Thurston's Song [1979]
22 Boys Next Door [Nick Cave & the Birthday Party] - Dive Position [1979]
23 Bruce Woolley And The Camera Club [w/Thomas Dolby, The Buggles] - Video Killed The Radio Star [1979]
24 Material [w/Whitney Houston] - Memories [1982]
25 Y Kant Tori Read [w/Tori Amos] - The Big Picture [1988]



Got this email this morning, re: CCC's "Cracked Pepper" mashup album that I posted last week:

Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright

Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the
copyrights of others. As a result, we have reset the post(s) to "draft" status.
(If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement,
regardless of its merits...You may edit the post to remove the offending content
and republish, at which point the post in question will be visible to your readers

Blah blah blah, etc. etc. As I wrote in my original post:
You're not gonna find too many mashup albums better than
this 2007 release by the UK's
CCC (aka Chris Shaw) and his helper-pal Ill Chemist. Don't know Mr. Chemist, but
CCC is a true mash-master. This release is a follow-up to his tackling the entire "Revolver" album, and is worth a
listen even for those (like me) who are long tired of hearing any more from those mop-tops from Liverpool.
On a technical level, it's well produced, on-time and in-key even as some tracks juggle as many as 10 songs in
one track. More importantly, imaginative touches abound: how did I never notice that Lennon sw
iped the
melody of "For The Benefit For Mr. Kite" from his earlier "It's Only Love"? Well spotted, sirs.

Weirdly enough, before his mashup career, CCC started the Monkeyman superhero hoax.

And if you want the album (I'M NOT HOSTING IT, NEVER DID) it's easy enough to just search for "mediafire" + "ccc
ill chemist cracked pepper," so I don't know what all this nonsense accomplishes. Sorry, all of your original
comments are gone.

Monday, August 01, 2011


Sometimes even I wonder why I so obsessively write this blog, week in and week out, year in and year out. I'll tell ya why: it's because of albums like this. The universe (or at least the recorded music of planet Earth section of it) continues to astound and delight me, and I just have to spread the word.

Yes Virginia, there really was a 1979 album by a group of Philippino men singing and acting like the Village People. Sung mostly in Tagalog, it features sumptuous full-on orchestrated disco music, a buncha guys in various uniforms singing in unison, campy humor, and non-stop party-time energy. The first song at six minutes long had me a bit fatigued and I was wondering if I should bother with the rest of it, but I did and I'm glad. The fact that a record this ridiculous even exists makes the world a happier place.

Hagibis "Katawan"

The song "Legs" seems to feature vocals from Donald Duck. And dig that
poppin' bass on "Nanggigigil."