Monday, June 30, 2014

The Unusual Electric Shocks of Roger Ruskin Spear

In this blog's world, The Great British Band Of The Sixties isn't those loveable mop-tops from Liverpool (good as they were), but of course, the Bonzo Dog Band. Tho comparing them to the Beatles isn't quite accurate, as the Beatles were pretty much a straight-ahead (if wildly creative) rock band, and the Bonzos were a Dada/ jazz/ comedy/ psychedelic / performance-art / avant-'tarde / rock band. And Roger Ruskin Spear - he of home-made robots, fanciful stage props, explosions, and performing on a theremin hidden in a mannequin's leg - carried on the band's traditions perhaps more faithfully than his two more celebrated band mates Viv Stanshall and Neil Innes, both of whom went off into some rather non-Bonzo-like (tho frequently rewarding) directions. Spears' two solo albums in the early '70s following the band's dissolution sticks with the original Bonzo plan of playing crazed "trad" jazz, rock parodies, covers of forgotten old novelty records, and wildly inventive original creations, all drenched in good-humored absurdity. When I first came across a copy of "Electric Shocks" in a thrift store in the '90s, I'd had no idea that Spears had made any solo albums. I certainly wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was.  Originally it's follow-up album "Unusual" was posted here as well, but something, er, unusual happened to the files, so we're only posting "Electric Shocks." Hopefully I'll get a good uncorrupted copy of "Unusual" cuz it's a goodie. But to make it up to you, three bonus tracks have been added.

Roger Ruskin Spear "Electric Shocks"

1. All by Yourself in the Moonlight
2. I'm a Fly
3. Mattress Man
4. Blue Baboon
5. The Liberty Laughing Song
6. Doctor Rock
7. Patrick Moore
8. Make Yourself a Happiness Pie
9. Livin' Doll
10. Call Of The Freaks  (BBC radio flash 10-08-1971)
11. Drop Out (single b-side)
12. Trouser Freak (single) 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Let's Go In A Cave And Watch Weird Videos

More odds 'n' ends today. First of all, radio dj Mister X is requesting help from the maniacs community. He's looking for "...a song from the early/mid 60's, a truckers song, one of the earliest perhaps, it's about a trucker losing his brakes on a long downgrade and "runnin' wild"...and the Chorus went like this: "Downgrade, downgrade, 20 Tons of diesel running wild". (cool guitar riff at end of chorus)." It was played on L.A. radio. I have no idea. Anyone?

Had a request to re-post this remarkable oddity: 


Music Recorded In A Cave on "The Great Stalacpipe Organ"


Let's watch a little telly, shall we? Buttress O'Kneel passed this nightmarish/hilarious video on to us, and it's probably just some kids goofing around and not the work of a horrific Lovecraftian cult, but I'm not entirely certain. The, er, "band" is called АНСАМБЛЬ ХРИСТА СПАСИТЕЛЯ И МАТЬ СЫРА ЗЕМЛЯ (ENSAMBLE OF CHRIST THE SAVIOUR AND MOTHER EARTH).


Speaking of videos, I've been diggin' the works of Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin, and her creepy rinky-dink electronics. She could have slipped into affected art-school-chick territory, but fortunately fell on the right side of weird (e.g.: more Residents than Bjork.) Her new video is about dead fish, and appropriately features Art Barnes of Barnes and Barnes fame, the goofballs that sang "Fish Heads" back in the day. It's all so '80s public-access cable, so annoying.  And I'm so glad it exists.

Petunia-Liebling MacPumpkin video channel

And dig this brand new Sun Ra youtube channel, put up to coincide with the new iTunes releases of remastered legit releases of over 20 of Sonnys' album, as there were far too many poopy-sounding bootlegs floating around. If you are unfamiliar with the finest jazz bandleader that the planet Saturn has ever produced, this is a great place to start:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Four Re-Posted Albums To Brighten Your Weekend

By request, now back on-line:

The Flying Dutchman One Man Band Show

Classic Schlock: A Kitsch-Ass Rock Mix

The Toilet-Bowl Cleaners

Brown-Skinned Mormons A-Go-Go

Oh, and when I wrote the other day about great shows happening around L.A., I neglected to mention that Airway is playing tomorrow, featuring an all-star L.A. Free Music Society line-up inc. Dennis Duck, Joe Potts, Rick Potts, Tom Recchion, Juan Gomez, Joseph Hammer, Vetza, Ace Farren Ford, many more. See ya'll there. (And if you don't know these cats 'n' chicks, I'll be reviewing a number of LAFMS-related albums soon.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Les Dauphins: Just Another French/Algerian '60s Rock Band

One of the first French-language rock groups was this intensely obscure band with a near-unsearcheable name.  Look up "Les Dauphins" and you'll get lots of French sites about actual dolphins. I did find one site in Russian that offered this brief blurb:
"Dolphins" - a group of French Algerian port city of Oran (Oran). Created brothers Gerard and Robert Shatelenami together with Alain Martin, Andre Castro and Gilbert Hullo. Existed in the years 1964-1966, longpleya not released, was 4 EP's, released via Columbia ... Almost all of the band's work has been collected in 1993 on this compilation. Vocals - exclusively in French." Thank you, Google Translate!

It's another curio from the days when non-Anglo-American cultures were grappling with the rock 'n' roll behemoth that had just washed up on their shores, and were struggling to find a way to integrate it into their culture. At least these guys didn't try to sing in English. But French just isn't a rock 'n' roll language, even when sung Elvis-style. Tho on one of the best songs here, the Isley Brothers-esque "Ne Pars Pas," they do sing the word 'baby' a lot.

It's all a lot of twistin', rockin' fun, with some recognizable covers strewn amidst the originals, e.g.: "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," and the Gene Pitney/Ricky Nelson hit "Hello Mary Lou." "Le Voyageur" is Nelson's "Travelin Man." Highlights include the early-Beatles-ish "L'Amour Nous Dira Oui," the wtf? harpsichord solo on "Celle Qu'il Me Fallait," "Non, Ne Me Dis Pas" (fuzz garage rocker) and, my fave, "Serrons-Nous La Main."

A big merci to Count Otto Black!

Les Dauphins "Tout, Tout, Tout"
01. Baby, Pleure Pas (1964)
02. Hello Mary Lou (1964)
03. Après La Pluie (1964)
04. Tu Brises Mon Cœur (1964)
05. Le Voyageur (1964)
06. L'Amour Nous Dira Oui (1964)
07. Celle Qu'il Me Fallait (1964)
08. Ne Pars Pas (1964)
09. C'est Pour Demain (1964)
10. Pas Aujourd'hui (1964)
11. Je Ne Peux L'oublier (1964)
12. Je Ne Veux Pas (1965)
13. Tout, Tout, Tout (1965)
14. Petite Fille (1965)
15. Ça Serait Trop Beau (1965)
16. Tu Marches Et Tu Pleures (1965)
17. Je T'Écris Ce Mot (1965)
18. Avant De La Rencontrer (1965)
19. Il Y A Tant De Chemins (1965)
20. Non, Ne Me Dis Pas (1966)
21. Va T'En Maintenant (1966)
22. Priez Pour Moi (1966)
23. Serrons-Nous La Main (1966)
24. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (1964) 

- Gérard Chatelain - lead vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica
- Robert Chatelain - bass, piano, guitar
- Alain Martin - lead guitar
- André Castro - rhythm guitar, percussion
- Gilbert Gullaud - drums


Friday, June 13, 2014

News, Updates, Traffic, Weather, Sports...

Delete your copy of "The Great Celebrity Sing Off"! Its compiler Mad Jon has sent us a new superior version, with the missing Burt Reynolds track restored, and higher quality copies of some of the more scratchy old rekkids. Download the remastered version here:

"The Great Celebrity Sing Off"
Had a re-post request for Gershon Kingsley's Moog synth versions of Gershwin classics, so here 'tis:
"Gershwin: Alive and Well and Underground"
An amazingly in-depth article on the singing hobo that we featured here a few years ago,   Marlin Wallace and his "Weird, Weird Music":  

"The Musical Journey of Marlin Wallace"

As the mp3 page appears to now be gone from Wallace's site, I've put up some mp3s on Divshare of a few of his classics, like "Thing From Another World." Scroll towards the bottom HERE.
Hoo, boy! Coming to the L.A. area this summer: Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, Messer Chups, Omar Soulyman, Lee 'Scratch' Perry...not all on the same show, tho.