Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO's Mutated Christmas Album

This 1999 collection of eccentric electronic instrumental Christmas music by Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh doesn't sound much like Devo, or, for that matter, Christmas music. It does sound really nice, tho. As the song titles indicate, the tunes suggest famous Xmas carols, and sometimes just barely at that, e.g.: the cartoonish "Midnight Windup Toy". And isn't "Soylent Night" the greatest title?

Mark Mothersbaugh - Joyeux Mutato

01 Jingle$, Jingle$, Jingle$
02 Blue Joy
03 Midnight Wind-Up Toy
04 Bell Boy
05 Happy Woodchopper
06 Only 12 Shopping Days Left
07 Peace And Goodwill
08 Enough Xmas For All
09 You Better Watch Out...
10 Let There Be Snow
11 I Don't Have A Christmas Tree (Soylent Night)
BONUS: Devo - Merry Something To You [a barely minute long jingle from a 2010 Warner Bros xmas comp]

I was reminded of this album after li'l bro Paul Fab told me about the big ol' Mark Mothersbaugh exhibit he saw recently at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art. (That's Paul at the exhibit, above.) It's a career retrospective of Devo memorabilia and Mothersbaugh's prodigious visual art output. Check the short (exclusive! not on YouTube!) video below Paul shot of some crazy contraptions: "I believe he calls them Orchestrions. It's a gallery (his kooky rugs on one wall) with four Orchestrions which all play together. They're mostly old organ pipes, but also many bird calls, whistles, metal bells and other noisy things. They're cobbled together with visible electric (and barely electronic) controls all left out and taped into whatever position they're supposed to be in. Every 5 minutes they start playing. What a cool sound."

Damn! Can't wait to see it. Once it finishes its Denver run, the exhibit will be on tour for a couple years. (I did quite like Mark's "Beautiful Mutants" gallery show in 2009.) Thanks to Paul for the pic and vid.

Friday, December 12, 2014

"Christmas Memories Played on Antique Musical Boxes"

Victorian-era robots! Plinkety-plonkety music not played by human hands!

If the phrase "music box" conjures up images of that tchotchke in your grandma's living room with a ballerina twirling around on top as "Moon River" plays, you may be surprised to hear how lush and orchestrated these beauties sound. We don't know exactly what singers and musicians of the pre-recording era sounded like, but as these big boxes, sporting such impressive names as the 'Symphonium,' were actually found in household parlors of the late 1800s, listening to them is a bit of a time machine into them long gone days before radio, records, or the internet provided in-home musical entertainment, and song titles all started with "O."

The tunes featured on this 1977 release are short, sometimes under a minute, so for the big hits like "Silent Night," they wind 'em up and play the song two or three times in a row. And if you hate Christmas music, there's plenty of unfamiliar songs here that don't feel especially seasonal and could feed your mechanical-music jones all year 'round.

Christmas Memories Played on Antique Musical Boxes

1. O Tannenbaum
2. O Sanctissima
3. Silent Night
4. Among Shepherds-The Holy City-Every Year Anew
5. O Come Little Children
6. O Tannenbaum
7. O Come Little Children
8. See the Conquering Hero
9. Cloister Bells-Ave Maria
10. O Come All Ye Faithful
11. Monastery Bells 

Another vinyl gem unearthed by this blog's ol' pal Brer Windbag. And if you're looking for some appropriate Victorian-era literature to read whilst listening to this, how 'bout this 1882 book of children's short stories that usually feature the children dying. Features the feel-bad classic, "The New Mother":

"Anyhow Stories"

O come little children, indeed. "The Imitation Fish" is another cherished tale to make your kids miserable. And who wants to set "The Paper Ship" to music?
Thanks to Count Otto, and Windy!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Krazy Krustmas Kollections

I don't usually post things I haven't listened to, but by the time I have the opportunity to check these recent presents that Santa dropped into my in-box, these seasonal sounds will be out of season.

This blog hasn't been very active lately, and one reason is technical - the official M4M computer hasn't been feeling well (I'm writing this on Mrs. Fab's borrowed laptop). So I'm entrusting you-all to listen and review in the comments these enticing krazy krampus kollections:

"Wild Xmas With Bomarr Vol. 9" - Bomarr's been making these superb collections for years, and, as he writes: "I swear these mixes get weirder and weirder every year." He compiled this "after hours and hours of digging deep" and I'd believe it - I haven't heard of any of these artists. 

Cat A Wallers' Xmas Mixes is a new site, a work in progress, but already has a couple of things up, inc. a not-safe-for-work "Rude-Ass Christmas Mix," so that's gotta be good.

While I still had a functional office, I was able to re-up by request:

A Steelband Calypso Christmas

Rockin' Disco Santa Claus

Brave Combo - "Christmas In July"

Bah Humbug - The Alternative Christmas Album

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


Zoogz Toozday returns with some re-up requests: the sick punk/jazz/prog of Zoogz Rifts' "Amputees In Limbo," "Island of Living Puke," and "Torment" are all back on-line. And if that still isn't enough scatological humor for ya, plug your nose and dive into this:


courtesy of reader Duke Kola, who sounds like a pretty cool grandpa. He writes: "I made this mix (with a couple of changes) a few years back for my pre-teen grandson. Never fails to bring a few smiles to my face regardless of how many times I listen."

Now this may seem like a somewhat dubious concept for a mix, but if you're gonna sing about such stuff, you've got to have: a) a sense of humor, and b) a lack of inhibitions, both of which are sterling qualities for an artist to possess. Not to mention the fact that you've pretty much thrown all commercial potential and radio play hopes out the window once you've gone down this path, another admirable move. And this is indeed a very entertaining listen, more so than I was expecting. 

I personally would have added the Bonzo Dog Band's "The Strain," but I'm sure we all have our favorites.

01. Amsterdam Dog Shit Blues - Mojo Nixon
02. Caca De Vaca - Joe 'King' Carrasco
03. Snake Bit and Can't Shit - Root Boy Slim
04. Constipation Blues - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
05. Somebody Just Poop - Goofy
06. Somebody Farted - Bobby Jimmy
07. Fart - Breetles
08. I Can't Stop Farting - The Queers
09. Old Fart At Play - Captain Beefheart
10. The Phantom Windbreaker - Red Bovine
11. Pissin' In The Wind - Ernie Payne
12. Pissin' On Your Steps - Del the Funky Homosapien
13. Wee Wee - Abner Jay
14. Piss On the Wall - J. Geils Band
15. Urine Your Out - Prehistoric Cavemen
16. The Thing From Uranus - Sloppy Seconds
17. Shit Don't Stink - TMA
18. Shit For Brains - Nervous Eaters
19. Bag of Shit - Sean Price
20. Shit Can Happen - D12
21. Shaving Cream - Byron Lee
22. Disco Defecation - Flash Bouyancy
23. The Slurf Song - Holy Modal Rounders
24. When the Shit Hits the Fan - Circle Jerks
25. Piece of Crap - Neil Young
26. My Shit's Fucked Up - Warren Zevon
27. Why Does It Hurt When I Pee - Pancho and Sancho
28. I Ain't Gonna Piss in No Jar - Mojo Nixon
29. Don't Eat the Yellow Snow - Frank Zappa

Thanks a heap, Duke!