Friday, December 20, 2013

We Wish You A Wild Xmas

I'm probably outta here 'til sometime in January. Thanks to all my wonderful readers and contributors. You-all make it happen.

Reader Eric writes to us to requesting what sounds like a pretty amazing bit of Christmas darkness and sick humor, Noah Quisenberry's "Daddy Came Home On Christmas," in which a boy murders his sexually abusive father. It's the merriest Christmas ever!  I don't have it. Anyone? Snippets of it can be hear in the last minute or so of this vid, from a series about outsider music that we've covered here before.  This one's an all-xmas special.

As long as we're searching for lost records, Brian from AZ is desperately seeking the b-side to that lovable old coot Walter Brennan's "Space Mice," called "Thievin' Stranger," another one I don't have. See folks, I really don't have every weird record ever made.  Not even close. Make their Christmas wishes come true!

Someone who does have a lot of strange/bad/outsider/unusual Christmas record is Bomarr, who's back with his latest collection:

"Wild Xmas Vol. 8"

featuring goodies like a Rodd Keith (under the name Rodd Rogers) song-poem, R. Stevie Moore, a Brazilian nugget from Caetano Veloso, the video-game bloopiness of 8-Bit Synthtown, and some Staxx soul from Carla Thomas. 

 And I had to put my nomination for the Worst Christmas Record back on-line, just because.

Need a last-minte gift suggestion? Darryl Bullock's book "The World's Worst Records," from the stellar blog of the same name. Get a 16-song download wth it, too.  I'm gonna sit on Santa's lap and ask for a copy. Or at least I'll try, until security rousts me out again. DAMN them. 

And nothing says "Christmas spirit" like sappy music from an irate right-wing talk-radio host: Glenn Beck's "Believe Again."  He claims it will have you dancing and crying at the same time.  Isn't that what goths and Morrisey fans do?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jaymz Bee & The Royal Jelly Orchestra - "A Christmas Cocktail"

I had a request for the Ridiculous Trio Plays the Stooges album, but I can't find a couple of songs: "Scene Of The Crime/Death Trip" and "We Will Fall." Anyone, anyone? Thanks!

re: the "Merry Chrismash" collection I posted a few days ago - I bring you glad tidings of an improved bitrate version of that most glorious bit of irritainment, "All Your Christmases," thanks to Adrian of Satan's Little Helper who personally sent it our way, available via divshare here:

Satan's Little Helper: "All Your Christmases"

And now our musical sleigh ride moves on to the snazzy sounds of Jaymz Bee & The Royal Jelly Orchestra.
We've posted several albums by this most entertaining Canadian lounge parodist, and if you've been diggin' them, then you'll want to throw back this potent potable, what with it's finger-snappin' Rat Pack-ready versions of "Rudolph" and "Jingle Bells," bossa nova versions of "The Christmas Song" and "Let It Snow," the Andrews Sisters-like close harmony vox of The Beehive Singers, a '70s action theme wah-wah guitar "Sleigh Ride," and the Esquivel-esque "White Christmas", complete with Latin percussion and "zoo-zoo-POW!" vocals.  There's a few original songs here as well, inc. the smooth title track, and one called "Space Age Santa" that you can add to the collection.

Jaymz Bee & The Royal Jelly Orchestra - "A Christmas Cocktail" (1997)

UPDATE: Track 1 somehow got left out of the original folder. The above zippyshare link now includes it, and here's the divshare link of just "Jingle Bells" for those of you who already dl-ed the album: 

"Jingle Bells

1. Jingle Bells
2. Rudolph The Red Nosed Raindeer
3. It's Christmas Time (Oh Yeah)
4. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
6. White Christmas
7. Winter Wonderland
8. The Christmas Song
9. Christmas Cocktail
10. Sleigh Ride
11. Space Age Santa
12. Carol Of The Bells
13. The Little Drummer Boy

Friday, December 13, 2013


Word has it that some of you Maniacs have been looking for Wayne Butane's hilariously profane kooky kristmas kut-up in the handy popular mp3 format in all it's 12-minute glory. I figgured, well, if I'm going to post it, might as well post a whole mess of other holiday themed sound collages. These are some of the must-haves, the classics, mostly from the Golden Age of Mashups, the 2000s. Not included: anything featured on djBC's series of "Santastic" comps (number 8 just came out) since they are all still available. "A Mutated Christmas", likewise is also still in print, thru illegalart. And don't forget People Like Us' "Sounds of Christmas."  But that still leaves plenty. Many of the "biggest" names in the field are featured here, but the ultimate just might be "All Your Christmases" which is nothing more than 7-and-a-half minutes of the word "christmas" taken from inumerable old xmas records artfully strung together, courtesy of Australia's Alias Frequencies. It's so great, and so annoyingly evil, bwa ha ha!


01 cassetteboy - xxxxmas
02 Voicedude - Here Comes Santa Claus In Black (Elvis Presley Vs. AC/DC )
03 The Kleptones - Bling Crosby
04 The Bran Flakes - Lovely Sleigh Ride
05 Satan's Little Helper - All your Xmases
06 Evolution Control Committee - The Christmas Wrong
07 My Favorite Things (PISs covering Negativland)
08 A Very Special Wayne Butane Christmas
09 V/Vm (Michael Jackson vs Paul McCartney) - Simply
10 The Bran Flakes - Here Comes Santa
11 cuechamp - 942003 (Nutcracker vs Daft Punk)
12 BigBadBaz - Christmas in Compton
13 Jima vs George W. Bush - The Night Before Christmas
14 JoolsMF (BuenaVista vs Beatles vs DrDre) - Havana Good Christmas
15 Gordyboy - bam bam the Cavalry (Toots and the Maytalls vs Jonie Lewis)
16 BuG - 12 boots of xmasx
17 Culturcide - Depressed Christmas
18 BRAT Productions - Chemical Christmas
19 fukjamum - Hankys Park Minimix
20 rx - Happy RxMas & a Whole Lotta Love
21 John Oswald - White
(plus: hideous bonus track!)

Monday, December 09, 2013

Behold! The Wheelharp

I love the creepy, creaky sound of the Wheelharp, a newly invented instrument developed and sold thru L.A.'s Antiquity Music company. But rummaging thru the sofa cushions for spare change will probably still leave me a bit short of the $10,000 needed to buy one.

It would be great to own one, tho - playing it's keyboard (a very strange-looking round keyboard) rubs the strings like a violin bow, so it's like having a string quartet at your fingertips. A scant 3 1/2 minutes of music on Wheelharp has all that's been recorded so far, but it is very nice indeed:

Apparently it was used in the soundtrack for a recent film called "Devil May Call," but there does not appear to be a recording available.

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Strangest Album Ever Made?!

"Trout Mask Replica"..."Eskimo"...The Shaggs...any such list is now incomplete without a mention of Five Starcle Men's  "Gomba Reject Ward Japan." Coherent biographical info on this band is hard to come by, but apparently Five Starcle Men were two nuts in the '90s making low-fi (presumably) home recordings out in the desert town of Lancaster, CA.  Or maybe they were from Austin, Texas. Or maybe they heard the works of those two town's most famous loonies, Capt Beefheart, and The Butthole Surfers, and said: "That's nuthin; get a load of this," and proceeded to lay down 28 tracks over the course of a few years that in comparison makes Ween sound like Journey.

At first, it may come off as a couple of stoners' self-indulgent mucking about on a Teac four-track, and there may be some truth to that, but keep listening, and one starts to wonder if there may be some genuine insanity at work here (apparently, one of the members killed himself, thus ending this band's "career.")  Every sound is warped beyond recognition, lyrics range from unintelligible jabbering to surreal nonsense, samples and tapes loop themselves into delirium, unnatural rhythms pound away, all adding up to a mind-melting experience. Some "songs" sound like they were made up on the spot, many are less than 30 seconds long, and a surprisingly high amount of the tracks are really quite good. Play this for over 99% of the population (even those who consider themselves "alternative"), and they will probably will scrunch up their face and say, "What are you listening to?!"

Free listening/download here:

Five Starcle Men  "Gomba Reject Ward Japan"

courtesy of 'net-label Lost Frog, who have also blessed us with releases by R. Stevie Moore, The Happy Flowers, Animals Within Animals, Big City Orchestra, and some people who make noise music out of bicycles.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Old Friends in the Zither Sound

Yeah, yeah, I know: everybody plays air-zither along with their favorite 'zither heroes,' they even play the Zither Hero video game, the zither-bass-drum lineup has been the standard for decades, and yet here we are again, posting another zither album.  We're so damn trendy. I apologize, because I realize that our culture's obsessions with the zither has made so many other stringed instruments unfairly obscure. Perhaps other instruments have potential, but no-one knows because they're considered uncool? Like the "guitar," a six-stringed instrument of Spanish origin, whose strings are strummed or plucked by hand. Since it's held in the hands instead of being laid out on a table like the zither, it's sure to draw guffaws from the too-hip. Who knows, maybe in some bizarro-world alternate universe, it's the guitar that's the most popular. Nevertheless, this album of fun, peppy, all-instrumental Euro-cheese is another example of why all peoples of the world hail the zither as the King of All Instruments. Zesty percussion, accordion, sleazy electric organ and cool vibraphones add to the belated Oktoberfest (Decemberfest?) festivities.

Peter Schwarz - "Alte Bekannte im Zither-Klang"

A1 Ramona
A2 Down By the Riverside - the familiar hand-clappin' American gospel song
A3 Schöner Gigolo - hey, it's that Louis Prima song, "Just A Gigolo"
A4 Tanze mit mir in den Morgen - love this Latin-a-gogo groover
A5 Bye Bye Blues - one of my fave ol' Tin Pan Alley standards
A6 Estrellita
A7 Wochenend und Sonnenschein
B1 Winke winke
B2 In einer Nacht im Mai
B3 La Paloma
B4 Kann denn Liebe Sünde sein
B5 Das machen nur die Beine von Dolores - Great hotel lounge psuedo-calypso
B6 Das alte Spinnrad
B7 Du schwarzer Zigeuner
B8 Good Night, Ladies

Danke to herr Gene M!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One Of The Most WTF-iest Songs You Will Ever Hear

Words fail me...a warning to the men-folk from a thoroughly eccentric (just take a look at these song titles), highly prolific Nigerian/American outsider recording artist.  Not safe for work, radio airplay, or your sanity. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

(Click on song title to go to divshare download:)

Chief Kooffreh - She Will Cut Your Balls Off 

Monday, November 25, 2013


By the late 1970s, the memo had come down from the music biz execs: make a disco record. Everyone, and we mean EVERYONE is hereby ordered to march into the studio and sing over anonymous lush orchestras, wah-wah guitars, congas, and female backing singers.  Yes, even you, Ol' Blue Eyes.  It's hot, it's commercial, you have no choice

And so we have here an assortment of some of the biggest names in music pounding their well-established square peg styles into the round hole of disco. Faded stars like Frankie Avalon, Petula Clark and Teresa Brewer remade their old hits inna disco stylee. EZ listening acts like Percy Faith, Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis figured this would be a way to squeeze onto rock-dominated charts. Leftover hippies like Country Joe McDonald and The Byrds cut new songs designed to get them back into the good graces of their old Baby Boomer audience, now living a coke-filled life of affluence. I suspect that some, like Ringo Starr, simply had nothing better to do. Toot toot, beep beep, ka-ching!

One of the great musical mysteries of my life is why I find old forgotten disco cheese so entertaining.  I never really liked disco in the first place, and I still couldn't care less about most of the big hits, e.g.: the Bee Gees, KC and the Sunshine Band, etc. But the hilarity of hearing utterly inappropriate material subjected to the disco treatment, the surrealism of the likes of Sinatra or The Beach Boys on the dance floor, the aura of pre-AIDS decadence, some genuinely impressive arrangements and powerful performances (Andy Williams kills it here), and yes, those exuberant rhythms all add up to tacky kitsch taken to almost Liberace-like levels. Plus, we have not had these songs pounded into our brains over the years/decades a la the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack.


If for no other reason, download this for the incredible Country Joe McDonald song. Granted, he never struck me as being the most talented sort, but this song is the very definition of "wrongheaded."

Thanks to MadJon! He's the madman who gave us the worst of Sinatra collection.

In case you missed it: more disco sickness.  (I did two other thrift-store disco comps, but they got knocked off-line.)

Friday, November 22, 2013


John F. Kennedy inspired a lot of music. This is some of the weirdest. Song-poems! A Frank Zappa composed/produced surf record!  A singing psychic! Mexican music! And all 6 tracks from the great "Sing Along With JFK" album that featured pre-sampling tape manipulations of Jack's voice "remixed" with original music and a vocal chorus. You've heard of musique concrete?  This is musique ridicule.
Sing Along With JFK

1. George Atkins and Hank Levine: Begin Anew For Two (from "Sing Along With JFK")
2. George Atkins and Hank Levine: Let Us Begin Beguine
3. George Atkins and Hank Levine: Alliance For Progress Bossa Nova
4. George Atkins and Hank Levine: Ask Not Waltz
5. George Atkins and Hank Levine: The Trumpet 
6. George Atkins and Hank Levine: Let The Word Go Forth
7. Los Conquistadores: Homenaje a John F. Kennedy
8. Brian Lord & The Midnighters: The Big Surfer (written/produced by Frank Zappa, recorded in his Cucamunga studio, 1963)
9. Frances Baskerfield, "The Singing Psychic" - The Grassy Knoll
10. Johnny Tucker - Mr. Kennedy
11. Mike Macharyas - Lee Harvey Oswald (from the 2005 album "Ashlee Simpson" in which all Macharyas does is repeat famous peoples names over and over; he has 17 albums of this insanity)
12. Lee Roy Abernathy: John F. Kennedy The Greatest Of All (like the Johnny Tucker song, this is an indie country/folk record, but this guy seems really worried about Texas' reputation as much as anything else)
13. Norm Burns and the Five Stars: John F. Kennedy Was Called Away
14. Norm Burns and the Five Stars: John F. Kennedy's Election Race (Song-poems! This one's the more inept/funnier of the two)

Thanks for some of these to WFMU's Beware of the Blog, and master blogger Bob Purse.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Turn on the t.v., watch a movie, what do you get? Inane sitcoms, "Transformers," cops chasing serial killers for the umpteenth time...but what's this?!  Video being put to good use for a change, producing such feasts for the eyes and ears as

Nintendo audio played by player piano and robotic percussion:
"This system allows for Nintendo gameplay audio to be played through an acoustic player piano and robotically controlled percussive instruments. The piano and percussion play live during actual gameplay."  It's true, watch the game in the upper left to see how it triggers the robot instruments.

I wrote about Gnarboot's nutty album in 2011, but this video from earlier this year isn't so much kooky as it is pretty sick 'n' twisted.  Imagine David Lynch making children's programming. Over an eerie electronic score, the title phrase "Cats In Pajamas" is chanted mantra-like by a childlike vocalist, as people in cat masks mysteriously appear and disappear.  My three-year-old came over to my computer when I was playing this, intrigued. After all, it's kitties, right?  But when the scary knife-wielding clown showed up, she ran from the room.  Thanks a lot for scaring my kid, Gnarboots!

Speaking of sick and twisted...the gold standard of such, The Everyday Film, who released an album we reviewed earlier this year, have now added video to their arsenal of weapons of mass hysteria.  It's for the short version of their song "Goool" and, like a slideshow of early Jandek album covers, features a series of blurred, discombobulated photos in as compelling a video realization of alienation and disconnection as you're ever going to see.

Need a laugh now? Another M4M fave, the absurdist mad scientist and his "singing" robot duo the Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, have also released their debut video, "Frankenstein's Laundromat," another welcome bit of their trademark electro-poppin' surreal humor. This is a preview of the forthcoming album, "Experiments With Auto-Croon."

Swedish female duo The Haggish Moue have a bunch of videos up on the youtubes, and I watched 'em all.  Not sure if I really need to listen to their wistful brand of electro-psych on it's own, but the largely-instrumental (+ somewhat ethereal vox) music works great as a soundtrack to spacey video art acid trips that you can get lost in. Let's fall into space...

"Bangs Glitter"

Friday, November 15, 2013

Ahh...Outsider Music...

The George King/Joe Corney Space-Age Organ Sounds are back on-line.

The first thing many Americans think when they hear the phrase "folk music" is still the Joan Baez/Dylan types listlessly strumming acoustic guitars and singing protest songs in coffeehouses, none of which has much to do with actual American folk traditions. The excellent new compilation Turn Me Loose: Outsiders of Old-Time Music
features not only the weird 'n' wild obscurities you maniacs crave, but it also serves as a nice corrective to the '50s/'60s folk revival's rewriting of history. For one thing, acoustic guitars were not too common (almost no songs on this album feature them), banjos were originally a black instrument (derived from African instruments), silly humor was much more common then protest politics (e.g.: the wacked-out duo Mustard and Gravy), and plenty of "non-folk" instruments like the piano really were used in folk music, Charlie Tweedy's berserk stylings on the ivories being one of this albums' many highlights (which reminds me of Tom Lehrer's crack introducing his song "The Folk Song Army": since the piano isn't considered a folk instrument "imagine I'm playing an 88-string guitar.") Ernest Rodgers' Greek lesson "Mythological Blues" punctures holes in the notion that these were all dumb, uneducated hicks.

Most of these recordings, taken from old '78s, are by fairly professional if necessarily rough 'n' raw performers, but at least one character here, Willard Hodgin, is just flat-out nuts. To quote from compiler Frank Fairfield's extensive liner notes: "He recorded 18 sides (1927-1928) for various labels, which is quite an outstanding feat considering how unusual a performer he was. The combination of the occasional verse speckled in with his own unusual yet charming stanzas and his delirious haphazard banjo strumming make him one of the most unique performers to ever record." 18 songs?  Someone put out a complete Willard Hodgin album! (Clicky on song titles to take you to Divshare-land:)

Willard Hodgin: "Don't Get One Woman on Your Mind" Now with bonus offensive racist lyrics! 
But don't musical saws make everything better? Dig this barn dance earworm:
South Georgia Highballers: "Mister Johnson Turn Me Aloose"

Another great new comp recently purchased at my local record emporiums is "Enjoy The Experience: Homemade Records 1958-1992," a two-disc set plus 44 page booklet, all for only $15. Explore the wonderful world of private-press records! I was amused to see that the booklet featured reproductions of the covers of a couple albums I own, namely Mike Hudson and Wayne & Marin Foster. No tracks from them featured on this, but I included them on my own collection "I'll Take Las Vegas." This album goes way beyond Vegas-y lounge performers, tho, ranging from the already sorta-well known punk jazz of Gary Wilson and the middle-aged former Big Band singer-turned-hippie Arcesia, to such unknowns as the hip Christian behind this absurdly catchy upbeat bit of apocalyptic pop:

Ray Torsky: "666"

The booklet includes interviews with some of the performers the compilers were actually able to track down. The heartbreaking tale of Joe E.'s swindle at the hands of a fly-by-night record label is particularly memorable. Unfortunately nothing is known about one Vinny Roma, but he recorded what could be this blog's theme song.  Hell, it could be my (or your) life's theme song:

Vinny Roma: "Ahh...Music"

And if that's still not enough outsider music for you, Colchester, England's premier mental patient/transvestite/stoner/coprophiliac singer-songwriter has a new album out called
"Hippie Heaven
for your free downloading pleasure. It's like a 12" single more than an album, with the same songs appearing in slightly different forms throughout. Highlights inc the biting "Parasite Pest," and "Rock 'n' Roll Brothel" ("Why won't any of the girls have sex with me? It's quite frustrating...I could get a complex!") The backing track of "Lady Dub #1" could be by Martin Rev. And paging Yoko Ono! The final track is a 20 min field recording of wind.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


By request, Wild Man Fischers' "Wildmania!", "Space Age Santa," "Christmas Is For Weirdos," "Curl Activate: '80s rap novelties", and "White Men Can't Rap" are all back up.
Got a nice email from someone looking for a treasured record from her childhood. Can any old time/novelty song hounds out there help her out? Kathleen O. writes:  "When I was little, my father would play a record on the portable record player that made both of us laugh & laugh. I have no idea who recorded it or what any other lyrics were except that, apparently, each verse ended with a burp and then the man would say/sing "'scuse me ma'am. Musta been somethin' I ate." Dad would slow it down for a long, drawn out belch or speed it up for a quick bip & chipmunk voices. My older sister hated when we played it. She doesn't remember it, and, alas, my father has passed away.

During my search, I listened to funny songs by Benny Bell, Spike Jones, etc. but, if I remember correctly, this "song" was more spoken than sung. Dad was born in 1913. The record was probably an old one, but it was the late 1950s /early 1960s when we listened to it. I think my sister broke the record...
An extensive on-line search yielded nothing but a discovery of other novelty songs and performers from years ago.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


("Halloween Stomp" is back on-line)

They say there's no such thing as a free lunch. Yeah, well, "they" say all kinds of crap, don't they? What do you call all of these free/name-your-price audio feasts? Damn tasty, that's what you call 'em. And so I fling open the doors of the M4M diner and its' all-you-can-listen-to buffet:

Hanetration "Timelapse" EP - I quite liked this ambient oddball's previous releases, but at first I wasn't so sure about this one: the opener "Moon" has a nice head-nodding riddim that is at odds with a somewhat annoying amateur violin. But the next track is a minute-and-a-half of niceness, and then we get to this EP's centerpiece: "Opal" starts off with a compellingly off-kilter rhythm made by no known drums, and slowly, subtly increases in complexity and texture. Excellent. The closing track "Sleep" is a 7 minute long dystopian industrial ambient nightmare - very well done, but if you value peaceful sleep I don't know if you'd want to listen to it much.

Buttress O'Kneel's "Applied Metapop" is another action-packed thrill-ride from this mad sample-smasher's series of plunderphonic parties. I marvel at how B'o'K can take the lowest form of Top 40 manure and use it as mulch to grow great, big, loud mutant killer plants. This latest album even makes me listen to that "Gangland Style" song or whatever it's called, and like it.  Bowie gets a sex change, Eno's "Baby's On Fire" might finally be the dance-club smash it always deserved to be, the "Breaking Bad" theme gets mashed, and is that the rantings of Francis E. Dec mixed in with Fela and "Yackety Sax"?

And dig these individual tracks:

The fate of "Flakes The Bunny", the stand-out track on Philip Stranger's new EP "Miscolab," makes me laff only the way an accordion-and-steel-drum bit of retarded nonsense like this can. If Mr. Stranger & Co. could concoct a whole album of this kinda thing, we might have a Bonzo Dog Band for our times. Or at least a They Might Be Giants.

Peopling "Live Session - Dandelion Radio": This EP by a New York noise-meister boasts the super-swell song "Which is Width," which features distorted vox & crunching rhythms topped w/bloopy Space Age electronics. (And "De Pelicula" is a fine instro drone, as well.)

More freebies to come, ya cheap bastards...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Stomp: A Haunted House Party

UPDATE 11/12/13: Back on-line 

Hey, all you hep cats 'n' flipped chicks, here's a vout-o-rooney volume of vintage jazz, blues, and music hall spooky songs that I meant to post earlier, 'til the death of Lou Reed done threw me for a loop. This 1990 album was released by the real gone studs at Jass Records, who had a great, all-too-brief run in the late '80s/early '90s compiling wonderful novelty oddities from the 78 rpm era: dirty blues, reefer-smoking songs, etc. "Viper Mad Blues: 16 Songs of Dope and Depravity" was a particular fave of mine.

This one includes: swingin' numbers by a pre-crooning Nat Cole, a pre-lounge Louis Prima, a pre-corny sitcom Ozzie Nelson, and bad-ass big band stompers from the legendary likes of Cab Calloway, Peggy Lee, Glenn Miller, and the Dorsey Brothers. But despite all the dancing skeletons and boogieing boogie-men, Rudy Vallee's bad Cockney accent is the most frightening thing here.

Halloween Stomp: Haunted House Party


1) The Haunted House - Ray Noble & His Orchestra
2) Shivery Stomp - Frankie Trumbauer & His Orchestra
3) Mysterious Mose - The Radio All Star Novelty Orchestra - Dick Robertson
4) The Boogie Man Is Here - Tom Geron & His Orchestra
5) Haunting Blues - Red Nichols & His Five Pennies
6) Bug-A-Boo - Red Nichols & His Five Pennies
7) Got The Jitters - Don Redman & His Orchestra
8) The Boogie Man/I'm A Ghost - Todd Rollins & His Orchestra - Chick Bullock
9) The House Is Haunted (By The Echo Of Your Last Goodbye) - Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra - Kenny Sargent
10) Zombie - Gene Kardos & His Orchestra
11) Mr. Ghost Goes To Town - Louis Prima & His New Orleans Gang
12) Skeleton In The Closet - Nat Gonella & His Georgians
13) The Goblin Band - Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra
14) Hell's Bells - The New Yorkers (Sid Peltyn & His Orchestra) - Dick Robertson
15) With Her Head Tucked Under Her Arm - Rudy Vallee & His Connecticut Yankees

16) The Black Cat - Ozzie Nelson & His Orchestra
17) Strange Enchantment - Skinnay Ennis & His Orchestra
18) The Ghost Of Smokey Joe - Cab Calloway & His Orchestra
19) Ol' Man Mose Ain't Dead - Nat King Cole Trio
20) Swingin' At The Seance - Glenn Miller & His Orchestra - Dorothy Claire
21) Horror Fantasia For Spooks And Wild Indians - Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra
22) Fanfare/Cherokee (Theme) - Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra - Peggy Lee
23) Old Man Mose Is Dead - Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra
24) Pompton Turnpike - Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra
25) Haunted Heart - Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra - Johnny Amoroso
26) The Headless Horseman - Kay Starr & Billy Butterfield Quintet
27) Dry Bones (Head Bone Connected To The Neck Bone) - Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra

Monday, October 28, 2013


I first encountered the early works of the recently-departed Lewis Reed as a youngster obsessed with all things Lou/Velvets (I even bought "Sally Can't Dance"!) in the '80s visiting New York City. I slipped away from my family long enough to check out a lower Manhattan record store, made a bee-line to the VU section, and found two bootlegs entitled "The Velvet Underground Etc." and "The Velvet Underground And So On," compiled by Phil Milstein. Yes, the same man behind the song-poem resurgence, and the crucial Probe! music blog. The albums featured, apart from Velvets rarities, some surprisingly normal pre-Velvets Reed recordings. When I brought the records to the counter, I asked the guy to play them because with boots, you never know what you're gonna get.  He happily obliged, exclaiming: "The Ostrich by The Primitives is one of my favorites!" That song, featuring an early lineup of the VU, and featuring the "ostrich guitar" cited on the "banana" album (all strings tuned to the same note) quickly became a fave of mine as well, tho I had a hard time convincing my school chums of the coolness of this, well, primitive recording. When I bought an electric guitar, I tried tuning it to all one note. Sounded great!  Sounded a lot like Sonic Youths' guitars, actually. Which of course, should come as no surprise.

Since then, I've found other early rarities, as other early recordings came to light, inc. the previously-unreleased "Lewis Reed" songs from the same producer who put out a 45 by his high-school band, the Jades. The presence of the then 16-year-old Reed isn't too apparent on the Jades record, singing backup and playing guitar behind smooth singer Phil Harris, the star of the show. R'n'B sax star King Curtis, no less, is one of the session cats brought in. It's an okay, sorta generic doo-wop record. The Lewis Reed recordings, however, find Lou taking his first lead vocals, and they're great.  "Merry Go Round" should have been released, it's a sweet little rocker.

After university, Lou joined cheesy "budget" label Pickwick Records, and co-wrote a number of songs churned out to meet the current crazes, e.g.: surf, soul, etc. His distinctive lead vocals are featured on some of these, tho not on the hypnotic garage/psych classic "Why Don't You Smile now," a song that would be covered a number of times by other artists over the years (inc Moe Tucker).

There are other records Lou co-wrote for Pickwick performers Roberta Williams, The J Brothers, and Terry Phillips, but I don't have those.  So far as I know, these are all the pre-VU records with Lou's lead vocals. Nothing that would shake the earth the way the Velvets did, but many of these sides are good, fun early rock 'n' soul nuggets that are worth hearing for their own merits. Linger on... 

Primitive Lou Reed

1. Jades - Leave Her for Me
2. Jades - So Blue (time-1002, 1958)
3. Lewis Reed - Merry Go Round (1962)
4. Lewis Reed - Your Love
5. The All Night Workers - Why Don't You Smile Now
6. The Beachnuts - Cycle Annie (1965)
7. The Beachnuts - I've Got A Tiger In My Tank
8. the Hi-Lifes - Soul City (1965)
9. The Primitives [pictured right]- Sneaky Pete
10. The Primitives - The Ostrich
11. The Roughnecks - You're Driving Me Insane

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


At last!  All the greatest songs with "monster"/"creature" + "beach" /"surf" in the title. Most of these records are from rock 'n' roll's glorious sleazy-listening era of the early '60s. The rest from recent years/decades, but still trying to catch that surf-rock wave, inc. 2 bands from Japan (The Surf Coasters, and Hell-Racer) and what has to be the world's only goth surf band, the theremin-licious Vampire Beach Babes. And, really, isn't Sex With Lurch just about the greatest band name ever?

1. Surf Trio - Monster Beach
2. The Surf Coasters - Beach Monster
3. 'Monster on the Beach' movie - radio ad
4. Deadly Ones - It's Monster Surfing Time
5. Gene Moss And The Monsters - Surf Monster
6. The Phantom Surfers - Monster From the Surf
7. The Abominable Surfmen - Monster Surfer
8. Vampire Beach Babes - Surfing Swamp Monster From The Planet Zon
9. Sex With Lurch - Monster Surf Party
10. Sloppy Seconds - The Horror Of Party Beach
11. Deadly Ones - There's A Creature In The Surfer's Lagoon
12. Dead Elvi - The Creature Stole My Surfboard
13. Don Hinson And The Rigamorticians - Monster Surf Stomp
14. Hell-Racer - Monster Beach
15. The Dynotones - It's Monster Surfing Time

Dubious Bonus - my mashup from 2006: Mr Fab and His Bag O' Heads - Go! Surf Monster [Gene Moss vs Go! Team]


(artwork courtesy of Steam Crow)

And hey, all you Halloweenies: I put the popular "Zombie Jamboree" back on-line earlier this year, for more sun-drenched darkness and horror. A real cool ghoul has created a streaming playlist for it now, too.

Friday, October 18, 2013

PETER COOK RARITIES pt2: "Here Comes The Judge"

Here's a second and final blast of comedic genius from the late Peter Cook, this time from 1979 - 24 minutes of "Here Comes The Judge" (no relation to the Pigmeat Markham song, or any of those other r'n' b novelties by the same name - scroll down to 'session 211' HERE for that phenomenon). The great man making this available to us, Count Otto Black, tells us:

As a follow-up to the collected works of E. L. Wisty, I give the the EP that Peter Cook made as a response to the trial of Jeremy Thorpe in 1979. As a non-Brit, you probably don't know about this, but in its time it was the British O. J. Simpson trial, only much more fun because nobody actually died. Also, politicians and kinky sex! What's not to like? Jeremy Thorpe had until recently been the leader of the Liberal Party, the most important British political party with no chance whatsoever of winning an election (especially after this). Some years previously, a whiny, neurotic, and thoroughly unpleasant male model called Norman Scott had alleged that Thorpe had been in a homosexual relationship with him. Not only was this not the sort of thing you could possibly admit to in those days, but at the time Scott claimed that it happened, homosexuality was a criminal offense in the UK. Thorpe, a thoroughly respectable public figure who was married (to a woman), managed to brush this off as a pack of lies concocted by a seedy little creep he'd briefly known (though obviously not that well), mainly because Scott was obviously the kind of person you couldn't trust, let alone like.

And then Scott made further allegations that Thorpe, along with several of his friends, had conspired to murder him, a plot which only failed because they had no experience of serious crime, and hired a totally inept hit-man who only managed to kill Scott's dog, a Great Dane called Rinka (as a result of which the British press called the whole thing "Rinkagate"). This was a much more serious allegation, and because various people panicked and admitted that at least some of it was true, Scott was taken a lot more seriously this time. Thorpe's defense was that some of his buddies had paid huge sums of money out of their own pockets to have somebody who was inconvenient to his political career murdered, but at no point had they mentioned to him that they were even thinking of doing any such thing.

Since there was no proof either way, the jury had to decide whether the charge of conspiracy to commit murder was true or false on purely subjective grounds. The extremely pro-establishment judge did his best to emphasize Norman Scott's obvious character flaws throughout the trial while painting Jeremy Thorpe as a saint, and in his notorious summing-up, practically ordered the jury to find Thorpe not guilty. After initially being deadlocked 6-6, they eventually decided that Thorpe was innocent. Nevertheless, his career was ruined. He's still alive, but ever since he has with rare exceptions kept out of the public eye, concentrating on low-key charity work, almost as if he felt guilty about something.

Peter Cook's blistering satire of the judge's summing-up was written very quickly for the Amnesty International benefit gig The Secret Policeman's Ball, and is often regarded as the best sketch he ever wrote, though apparently it was Billy Connolly who came up with the famous line "self-confessed player of the pink oboe". The other three tracks on the subsequent EP Here Comes The Judge were written later, but the peculiar sermon is a spoof of the real sermon preached at Thorpe's local church in front of him by an absurdly sycophantic vicar who directly compared his recent sufferings with those of Jesus Christ. I think the other two tracks are self-explanatory. A comedy genius at his darkest and best - enjoy!

Peter Cook - Gay Sex Dead Dog Atrocity!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


By request, the private-press lounge crooner Mr. "Home" Center is back up.

Count Otto Black, our expert in silly 78 rpm oddities, has sent us another batch of wonderfulness, this time a collection of out of print rarities by British comic genius Peter Cook. Two songs from a single, the entirety of the 1965 "The Misty Mr. Wisty" album, and a couple of other leftovers, inc. a brilliant call-in radio show prank. Quite a revelation to me, as I only knew Cook from his work with Beyond the Fringe and his subsequent partnership with Dudley Moore.

Quoth the Count: "...let us consider the bizarre character E. L. Wisty who, with slight variations, featured throughout his career. He is a paranoid schizophrenic based on a mentally ill staff-member at the private school he attended as a boy. At least one psychiatrist commented after watching his performance that if somebody exhibiting those mannerisms and speech-patterns checking into his clinic, he'd unhesitatingly diagnose him as a genuine schizophrenic who couldn't possibly be faking it!

E. L. Wisty was invented for an early sixties British TV show called The Braden Beat. The host wanted a weekly guest spot for Peter Cook that was similar to the famous (and still hilarious) "Dagenham Dialogues" performed by him and Dud on their ground-breaking (but, thanks to the stupidity of the BBC, only partially preserved) show Not Only But Also. Incidentally, since you're not British, I should explain that Dagenham is a suburb epitomizing dull, shabby, working-class London. It is famous for exactly two things (other than the Dagenham Dialogues of course) - the Dagenham Girl Pipers, the only British majorettes that anyone has even vaguely heard of, and the phrase "a couple of stops short of Dagenham", meaning mentally unbalanced, since if you're traveling in a southerly direction, Dagenham is two stops after Barking.

Anyway, in the absence of Dud, that format, in which a very stupid man with delusions of brilliance (Pete) explains lofty subjects to the only man in the world more stupid than he is (Dud), couldn't be used, so a character who had been the high point of Pete and Dud's breakthrough review Beyond The Fringe was revived. Technically, that character, though never named on stage, is called Arthur Grole, and he is very similar but not identical to E. L. Wisty. Both are strange men sitting on park benches and talking nonsense in a peculiar monotone, but Arthur Grole is always talking to, or rather at, somebody else, whereas E. L. Wisty is alone and talks straight into the camera. Also, Arthur Grole's major preoccupation in life is dissatisfaction with his job, since he wanted to be a judge but didn't have the Latin for it and had to be a coal-miner instead. E. L. Wisty has no job, and apparently almost no contact with anybody else, other than his best and only friend Spotty Muldoon, whom we never meet, which, given that is covered from head to foot in terrible acne, is probably just as well.

Although these sketches were written for television, E. L. Wisy was almost entirely motionless and expressionless, and sat on a park bench staring hypnotically at the camera while he delivered his monologue, so the entire visual content of this material is basically the same as the photo on the album cover.
And finally, a few non-album extras comprising the only other material recorded by the character officially known as E. L. Wisty. This single reached No. 34 in the UK charts in 1965. Even though Peter Cook never could sing to save his life, the B-side is oddly poignant. The character's brief celebrity also led to him starring in several beer adverts that were aired on British TV and released as a flexidisc (remember those?). American readers way be unfamiliar with the Watney's brand. All I can say to them is: lucky old you! As mass-produced characterless British beers go, Watney's is arguably the worst of the lot, and inarguably not much better. You may have noticed Eric Idle's repeated references in the Monty Python travel agent sketch to "bleedin' Watney's Red Barrel!" This is a beer which has an exceptionally long cask-life, allowing it to be profitably sold from venues which for some reason don't sell very much of it, and nothing else going for it whatsoever. It's supremely ironic that a man who was eventually killed by alcohol helped to promote the world's worst beer in the character of a madman who was completely wrong about everything. Or is it more ironic that Watney's hired him to do it in the first place? Go figure...
Therefore, without further ado, I give you his 1965 album The Misty Mister Wisty."

Peter Cook: "The Misty Mister Wisty"

More Peter Cook rarities to come! [note to non-Brits: "spotty" means pimply]


Monday, October 07, 2013

BeerBottle Percussion, NewWave Music-Boxes, Avant-Catholic Masses

Last year's assortment of experimental/alt-classical/unclassifiably weird new releases received a succinct two-word comment from reader Outa-Spaceman: "Astonishing stuff!" Like last year's roundup, these are new(ish) commercial releases that are well worth your hard-earned dollars/francs/pounds/heads-of-cattle/etc., with album moods ranging from Carton Sonore's charming toy-pop and the krazy kovers of Hanna Peel and Misfit Toys, to chin-stroking Afro-tronica and new avant-chamber music; from modern-day high holy masses to Neon Lushell's creepy "No Religion" - we're covering a lot of territory. And when was the last time you heard music performed entirely on beer bottles? Prepare to be astonished!

Astonishing Stuff!

1. Paddy Steer - "A. Welson Senior II": reader Phil C. hepped me to this Mancunian cat with this description: "He's a crazy one man moog/ glockenspiel/drumkit band with a penchant for paper maché robot/creature heads. I saw him at a tiny little festival a couple of years ago (he was on after the band I was with) and it was the best and strangest thing I've ever seen. For the whole of his set I felt like I was having an acid flashback." One of the best albums I've heard in recent years.  Was very hard to pick representative tracks, they're all doubleplus good. Watch the vids on his label site!
2. Misfit Toys - "Alone Again Naturally": from the ridiculously entertaining debut album "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is," a mad collection of '70s covers performed on banjo, bowed banjo (?!), marimba, oboe and clarinet, among others, radically reinventing Stevie Wonder, Chicago (as you may have guessed by the album title), Tony Orlando and Dawn, Black Sabbath, Talking Heads, the Gilbert O'Sullivan song featured here, and more. Transcends novelty, but still a must for any Maniacs' party.
3. Neon Lushell - "Black Confetti": I really liked these Midwesterners debut "Modern Purveyors of Filth and Degradation" and their new one (to be released Oct 8) is just as good - two-discs bulging with experimental ambient evil, as dark as goth or metal but without those genres' kitschy cliches.
4. Mammane Sani et son Orgue - "Bodo": hypnotic '70s Space-Age organ instrumentals from Niger, Africa; who knew such things existed?
5. Gunnelpumpers - "Bottley Functions": The six musicians of this Chicago-based avant/improv group perform here only on beer bottles. From their new one,"Montana Fix."
6. Gunnelpumpers - "Buffalo Jump": groovy percussion with three double-basses; that's like, what, 6 basses total? (boom-tish!)
7. Hannah Peel - "Electricity" - Peel's splendid 4 song EP "Rebox" performs '80s hits by Soft Cell, New Order, Cocteau Twins, and the song featured here, OMD, on sampled antique music box. May be corny as hell, but I love it.
8. Phil Kline - "John the Revelator - Sanctus": We reviewed this NYC composer's Christmas music for massed boom-boxes previously, and reader James C. recommended the Catholic inspired "John The Revelator;" the eclectic music sometimes doesn't immediately suggest a mass, tho it does get a bit Gregorian at times; quite lovely. 
9. Kurosounds - "Manège d'éléphants": Fantastic hypnogogic ambient soundscapes; looped delayed instruments echo rhythmically as dreamy sound effects drift in and out; owes as much to psychedelic dub as it does to  Minimalism. 
10. Bruce Cropley - "March Into April": This Aussie's excellent album "Modal Podal" is almost all instrumental, exploring a wide variety of styles that aren't necessarily all that weird; which makes it all the more unique - he's not afraid of risking his avant credentials by throwing some perfectly pleasant jazz fusion-type stuff in with the almost Zappa-like quirkiness; makes one realize how even "strange" "experimental" music can be predictably formulaic.
11. Bruce Cropley - "Modal Podal": Copley's is also the man behind the super-swell "Quirky Music" on-line radio station
12. Juan Blanco - "Musica para Danza": Was I surprised to find this album in my PO box - "Nuestra Tiempo" is a retrospective of Cuba's electronic music pioneer, Juan Blanco. Cuban electronica? As in, with those infectious Latin rhythms? Yes, on one almost 14 minute -long track. The rest of the album doesn't offer much mamboing, just tasty analog bloopiness, like this track from 1961, the very first piece of electronic music ever recorded in Cuba, available for the first time.
13. Tino Contreras - "Santo": Perhaps not as historically startling as the Blanco album, but "El Jazz Mexicano de Tino Contreras" is another worthy reexamination of an overlooked Latin American artist from decades past; this one unexpectedly veers from psych Afro-Latinisms to exotic international styles, to such oddities as numerous tracks from his groovy '60s a-Go-Go Catholic mass, like the track featured here that mashes up Latin (in the original sense of the word) chanting with Brubeck-esque cool jazz and sleazy electric organ. Que pasa?!
14. Paddy Steer - "Stun phlogiston"
15. Carton Sonore - "The Mexican Roads": The latest from France's adorable "naive music" toy-pop maestro.