Monday, December 19, 2011

Worst Christmas Album Of The Year... by the Stone Temple Pilots guy Scott Weiland. Listen to it streaming here (if you dare).

The first song had me thinking that he just might pull it off, but was hard to listen to "I'll Be Home For Christmas," which you can listen to/download


without spitting out my eggnog in laughter. The absurd crooner vibrato and wavering pitch of the former rocker/junkie/jailbird is backed by "sophisticated" orchestrations, pseudo-calypso, cheezy Casio drum-machine lounge, and even the whitest kind of Jimmy Buffet-reggae. Won't knock out Dylan's xmas atrocity as 'worst holiday album ever by a rocker,' but Bob does now have some serious competition. Merry Kissmyass!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Elvis with Buddy Love with Elvis with...

The Elvis Experience with Buddy Love is a curious bit of Elvis-iana from Spain. Apparently it's yet another E impersonator, but one that raises a number of questions: why does he go by the name Buddy Love, the name of a Jerry Lewis film character? What's with that picture (taken from his MySpace page)? Is he doing a Buddy Holly impression on "True Love Ways"? And why does he start this CD-R (presumably sold at shows) with four obscurities, then a Peggy Lee cover, instead of Elvis classics? Maybe those songs where big in Spain. "Edge Of Reality" is totally great, tho, it shouldn't be obscure - this late-period b-side from a forgettable film had me seeking out the original (see vid below). Would go well on a psychotic-themed playlist with Porter Wagoner's "Rubber Room" and The Cramps "Can't Find My Mind."

Buddy's accent and not-entirely-complete grasp of English does come thru on the slower numbers like "Fever," where he sings lines like: "fever started out ago." And on "Viva Las Vegas" is he singing "Fever Las Vegas?" Weird how he doesn't do many of the famous songs - I had to use an internet lyrics search to find what some of these songs were called, and I thought I had a fairly good grasp of The King's ca
reer. Guess I don't know as much about him as I thought...and I've even been to Sun Studios, Graceland and his childhood house in Tupelo.

The Elvis Experience with Buddy Love

01 Pocketful of Rainbows
02 It Hurts Me
03 Young and Beautiful
04 Edge Of Reality
05 Fever
06 Flaming Star
07 Are You Lonesome Tonight
08 Memories

09 Forever My Darling
10 She's Not You
11 Rubberneckin'
12 True Love Ways
13 Separate Ways

14 Viva Las Vegas
15 My Boy

And if anyone wants to buy me a Christmas present, holy crap, check THIS out - it's the female Eilert Pilarm!

Thankyouverymuch, windy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Jeff Kolar's "Start Up / Shut Down" is a free 'net-label two-track single creating solely from: "Window and Macintosh operating system event sounds. This project features remixed material sourced from Microsoft Windows (3.1, 4.0, NT, 95, 98, Me, XP, Vista, 7, 8) and Macintosh OS (10.0 Cheetah, 10.1 Puma, 10.2 Jaguar, 10.3 Panther) operating systems."

The glitchy abstract electronica of
"Start Up" certainly doesn't sound like anything you would expect to hear coming out of computers, unless you threw a bunch of 'em into a full bathtub and recorded their dying screams. "Shut Down" is really nice, a sci-fi drone-fest - easy-listening music for robots.

Mr. Kolar is the man behind "Other Voices," the sound piece made from homemade radios we wrote about earlier this year.

Jeff Kolar's "Start Up / Shut Down"

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Wave Covers For Oldies Lovers - Part 3

Like I said: "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." Part 1 and Part 2 of this series have been two of my most-downloaded collections, so here's a third batch - with suggestions from some of you - of wild 'n' wooly '70s/'80s devolved covers ranging from hardcore slammers to New Wave synth nerdiness to art-damaged tune destructions. You'll probably recognize a few famous things here, but there's plenty of obscure-but-great ripped-from-vinyl rarities as well. Weirdly enough, there are not one, but two electric violin-based tracks here: Walter Steding, and Nash The Slash. And, seriously, when was the last time you listened to the Plasmatics?

Put your hands in your pockets and commence pogo dancing...NOW!

New Wave Covers For Oldies Lovers - Part 3

Elvis section:

1. Dead Kennedys "Viva Las Vegas"
2. Walter Steding "Hound Dog" [Robert Fripp on guitar]
3. John Cale "Heartbreak Hotel" [live, with possibly Brian Eno, Kevin Ayers, Mike Oldfield)
4. Judy Nylon "Jailhouse Rock"

5. Frank Sumatra And The Mob "Telstar"

6. The Plasmatics w/Lemmy "Stand By Your Man"
7. Nurse With Wound "Antacid Cocamotive 93 ["The Locomotion"]"
8. Brian Sands "Baby You're A Rich Man"
9. Dictators "I Got You Babe"

10. Hüsker Dü "Love Is All Around ["Mary Tyler Moore Show" theme]"
11. Talking Heads
"Love Is All Around" (live) [The Troggs]
12. Pure Hell "These Boots Are Made For Walking"
13. Ronny "If You Want Me To Stay"
14. The Plugz "La Bamba"
15. Brian Eno "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
16. Nash the Slash "Dopes on the Water" ["Smoke On The Water"]
17. Implog "On B'way"
Hüsker Dü "Eight Miles High"
19. Plasmatics "Dream Lover"
20. The Stranglers "Walk On By"

Thanks to those of you who suggested some of these.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Jazz legend Charles Mingus needs no introduction, and if you don't know the name of writer Jean Shepherd, you probably know of his works, e.g. the 1983 film "A Christmas Story." None of which will prepare you for this 12 minute hunk of twisted circus jazz and dark humor, the kind of spoken word/music surrealism that Joe Frank does, but this is from 1957. From Mingus' album of the same name, prepare thyself for..."The Clown":

Monday, December 05, 2011


I can think of no better way to spend seven-and-a-half minutes then with this stupendous stop-motion animation/sound & audio collage by Los Angeles' Janie Geiser. Like if one of Joseph Cornell's shadow boxes was animated by the Brothers Quay:

Halfcast Podcast, who made all those bee-YOO-tee-ful outsider-music videos for us last month, have returned with a hilarious Yuletide chestnut featuring the late, beloved Wesley Willis. Merry Christmas!

The use of the also late, great Del Rubio Triplets in the Wesley Willis video prompted me to revisit that magic moment from their
appearance on the Pee Wee Herman Christmas special:

Ah, the Del Rubios. I miss 'em. Saw at the old Rhino Records store late '80s. They were well into their 60s at the time, in their trademark miniskirts and gogo boots, and were so chatty and friendly they spent half the time talking to the crowd. Actually, when I saw
Wesley Willis in the late '90s he also spent half the time doing other things besides playing music. It was at the Luz de Jesus Gallery, to promote his show of identical-looking pictures of Chicago cityscapes, as obsessively repetitious as his music, and in lengthy stretches between songs, he'd grunt things like "kick a camel's ass," and have girls come up from the audience to head-butt him. Good night, sweet prince(esses).

Friday, December 02, 2011


Gnarboots are a completely ridiculous band from Central California that play a variety of styles with a surprising amount of skill, considering the fact that they're a buncha immature smart-asses who take nothing, including themselves, seriously. A stance I support in theory - the problem is that sometimes amusing oneself doesn't always translate into amusing others. This album, however, is a loveable mutt that I liked even better on second spin. The Dead Milkmen of a new generation? Sayeth they:

" is a weird album and we are a weird band. We have a bunch of birthday songs on there (including a hardcore punk song) as well as a cover of the Kelly Family's "Ain
t gonna pee pee", a cover of the Christian band Lust Control's anti-masturbation song, "The Big M." There's a ska song about Joey Lawrence, punk songs, electronic songs, hip hop songs, and other weird things." I like the old chacha record samples. And it's all free!

Gnarboots Happy Birthday

1. Birthday 2
2. Doggy Door

3. The Big "M"

4. Interlude
5. Fantasy

7. Special Day I
8. Ain't Gonna Pee-Pee My Bed Tonight

9. Today Is My Birthday
10. Nerds

11. Interlude

12. I Want To Be Joey Lawrence

13. You're So Rude
14. Birthday 3

15. Monica Birth

16. Police of Fashion

17. Special Day II

18. Welcome to my Birthday P

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Fayetteville's Craig Colorusso doesn't "compose" music so much as build gizmos that allow Mother Nature to write her own jams: "Sun Boxes are...twenty speakers operating independently, each powered by the sun via solar panels. There is a different loop set to play a guitar note in each box continuously. These guitar notes collectively make a Bb chord. Because the loops are different in length, once the piece begins they continually overlap and the piece slowly evolves over time."

The loops-of-different-lengths approach reminds me of Eno's "Music For Airports," and there is a similar meditative effect with this music. The ambient sounds of nature (the beach, insects, etc.) are a crucial component - these are, quite literally, field
ordings. I first listened to this stuff Monday morning after a crazy Thanksgiving weekend (complete with a live "Yo Gabba Gabba" concert and thousands of screaming toddlers!) and it was as nice as dipping into a warm bath. Aaaah...

Listen or buy:

Sun Boxes Seven Inch
or listen to a continuous stream.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Benny Hill - The Ultimate Collection

Poor Benny Hill.

Britain's most popular comic and master of funny songs and witty wordplay gets about as little respect as the equally under-rated Three Stooges.
Python's the "Beatles of comedy," the Bonzos get the cult cred, but mention Hill's name and watch people roll their eyes. Songs about wives, mothers-in-law, naughty double-entendres - it's all pretty unhip, music hall stuff. Hill was one of the last of the vaudevillians.

His reputation is largely based on his popular, long-running tv show, but he wasn't all about leering at and chasing after the scantily-clad ladies featured on the show, and this album's the proof - clever rhymes (hey, Snoop Dogg and Biz Markie are fans) and surprisingly strong singing serve a variety of song styles popular from the late '50s to the '70s: doo-wop, country-western,
go-go beat, various pseudo-ethnicities, folk rock, and on the genuinely rockin' "Rose," garage-rock. Dylan (on several occasions), The Platters, and Sonny & Cher are winningly parodied. The latin/calypso "Bamba 3688" totally rules, funny or no. But most of these songs are funny, and some are really funny. I actually did LOL whilst listening to this. And does "Transistor Radio" from 1961 feature the world's first Elvis impersonation?

Benny Hill - The Ultimate Collection

1. Gather in the Mushrooms
2. Transistor Radio
3. Harvest of Love
4. Pepy's Diary
5. Gypsy Rock
6. The Piccolo Song
7. Lonely Boy
8. Moving on Again
9. The Andalucian Gypsies
10. The Egg Marketing Board Tango
11. Bamba 3688
12. What a World
13. I'll Never Know
14. My Garden of Love
15. In the Papers
16. Golden Days
17. Flying South
18. Wild Women
19. Jose's Cantina
20. Rose
21. Those Days [Duet with Maggie Stredder]
22. The Old Fiddler
23. Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Your Holiday Gift-Giving Problems SORTED

On this most joyous of holiday seasons, give the gift that keeps on giving - the gift of music! Especially weird music that no-one else in your family will like and will disrupt your turkey dinner! Almost everything in this collection was released this year and is available for purchase usually from the artists themselves. Hmmm... we need a word to describe artists not playing "indie rock" or who are on those indie labels that are just farm leagues for the majors, but really are putting out their own CDs/cassettes/vinyls entirely on their own...a word somewhere in between "indie" and outsider"..."in-sider"? Whatever, these are some talented freaks well deserving of your support. Some of the best new music of the year:

M4M Idol 2 Buy (22 Big Songs! Original Hits From The Original Artists!)

This collection is sorta the sequel to the M4M Idol contest from earlier this year, but I'm not gonna hector you into voting for your fave this time (tho you certainly can if you want to.) Artist include:

Bruce Haack/Sound Capsule: What, hasn't Bruce Haack been dead for years? Yes, like Gen. Francisco Franco, electronic music pioneer/oddball Bruce Haack is still dead, but his unfinished album "Electric Lucifer Book III" has sorta been finished by someone I hadn't heard of. I was dubious, but the results speak for themselves.

Twink The Toy Piano Band: Yay, a new Twink album! "Itsy Bits and Bubbles" won't be released til Dec. 1, and the usual whimsical instrumental approach now includes circuit-bent electronic toys, 8-bit video game bloopity-blips, "kitchen drawer percussion," and numerous toys including (natch) pianos. What could have been a long-exhausted one-joke idea continues to thrive thanks to strong songwriting, a widening sonic pallette, and a refusal to play cheerful, innocent music with an arched eyebrow. Excellent artwork, too.

, Gamma Like Very Ultra, and The Mind of God are a buncha no-good, smart-ass avant-'tard bands playing spazzy songs with titles like "Poop Stains" and "Let's Kick Toby Keith in the Balls," and I love 'em. All 'net-releases cuz no self-respecting professional label would release this nonsense. But, actually, really well-played, not just screwing around. More, please.

Johnny Aloha has never been seen in the same room as ace lounge parodist Richard Cheese; his "Lavapalooza" album remakes songs like "Paradise City," "Gangsta's Paradise," and "California Gurls" in a way that is not only hilarious, but, recorded as it is with top-notch Hawaiian music pros, perfect tiki tuneage as well. If you were ever wondering, "What if Don Ho was a loc-ed out gangsta?" your feverish desires have been granted.

, William Bowers and Peopling all make dark, abstract/ambient/noise
soundscapes. Fascinating. Non-bio's "Microsleep" sounds like it samples a scratchy old 78 rpm to chillingly occult effect
Party Killer dares to improvise; This big Portland band even sound like Black Sabbath on one song...if Sabbath used cheap electronics. Mind-melting craziness.

Orchestra Superstring: featuring DJ Bonebrake from X (hell, yeah!) on vibes, this exotica-ish instrumental combo's latest album "Easy" features the bizarre, wonderful sound of the "guitorgan" - not the usual cocktail-hour jazz.

Midnight Habit: speaking of bizarre instruments, an electric kazoo (!) is featured on this chilled bit of electro. Its nasal roar sounds pretty great, so who needs guitars anymore?

Stealing Orchestra: These Portuguese master of mirth and mayehm get serious on their first release that isn't a free download. Still wildly eclectic and eccentric, they just no longer sound like a cartoon soundtrack.

Last AND least...

Trudy Andes: this cringe-worth 9/11 tribute was sent to me by one of you who asks not to be named; well, I'M not gonna take the blame for it! Haven't we all suffered enough after 9/11?! Maybe some Twink videos will make you feel better:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Paul Rubenstein: Microtonal Music on Homemade Instruments

We first wrote about Paul "Ubertar" Rubenstein in 2009 when he was leading microtonal guitar-building workshops for New York children. They would then jam on these groovy home-made instruments, writing original songs to most charming effect.

His new album is solo - no kids - but it serves to demonstrate the man's compositional originality. Microtonal doesn't mean "out of tune," not if it's done right. In this instance, as with the Kraig Grady records we featured earlier, avoiding the usual Western do-re-mi scale doesn't me
an ear-wrenching atonality, but a gentle Zen-like Asian feel. Percussives plink and plonk, chime-like keyboards tinkle, and sometimes an electric guitar-like object (perhaps the "alumitar," pictured right) shreds over it all. Track 5 has some fantastic harmonic interplay, and Track 6 should be a hit, sporting the most irresistible melody in 5/4 time since the heyday of Dave Brubeck. Tasty, tasteful, and tuneful.

The new album "Solo Trios" is now available from Spectropol Records (or listen/buy from the Bandcamp page), but His Ubertarness has given us permission to post the entire album... at 128 kbps. That's right: if you want it in hi-fi, you gotta buy it. As well you should - the NY school system has made the questionable decision to cut his music classes. So the man is available to do scores, soundtracks, whatever you need. Maybe even parties, weddings and bar mitzvahs, tho those would be some pretty weird bar mitzvahs. What would Aunt Myrna think?! Anyway. Thanks muchly to Mr. Rubenstein.

Rubenstein "Solo Trios"

Monday, November 21, 2011


"The cristal baschet is one of the most beautiful musical instruments you will ever see, made of vibrating, tuned steel, fiberglass amplification cones and wire "whiskers" that shimmy when fingers rub the glass-rod keyboard. Film composer Cliff Martinez's version, which resides in the living room of his Topanga Canyon home, is about the size of an upright piano and is as much sculpture as instrument." So says this L.A. Times article about the soundtrack to the recent neo-noir film "Drive" by former Captain Beefheart (and Red Hot Chili Peppers) drummer Martinez.

The cristal baschet, created in 1952 as a sound sculpture by Bernard and Francois Baschet, is a cousin of the glass harmonica and glass instruments we've featured here, in which the moistened fingers of the player rub the instrument, like running your fingers around the rim of a wine glass, creating a melodic humming drone. The soundtrack album is a surprise hit, bringing this odd, obscure object to mainstream ears. It's dark, moody, eerie & lovely stuff, and you can listen to it here (jump down to track 6):

Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Warhol Tapes

The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh put out a book that included a CD of excerpts from Warhol's private audio tape collection. The album is narrated by John Giorno, the poet who starred in some of Warhol's early films.*

Warhol used to carry tape recorders with him everywhere, and the Warhol museum has thousands of hours of 'em. This is but a wee sample, but a fascinating one, featuring goodies like a raw Velvet Underground jamming on "I'll be Your Mirror" with Nico, and some songs I don't recognize; Andy discussing a commissioned portrait of a guy with a hard-on that has never been exhibited in public; a campy Pope Ondine; a no-nonsense Edie Sedgewick; a Man Ray photo session; Holly Woodlawn on why it's a pain to be a drag queen; and a discussion of art featuring famous people's private parts. Yes, Mick Jagger and Studio 54 are here, but we also go shopping with Warhol at a grocery store. As Andy would say, "Oh, gee!"

The Andy Warhol Museum

The book/CD is way out of print and going for crazy sums on Amazon: $160 is a bit out of my price range. There is one (1) copy in the entire L.A. County Library system, and it's in the "closed stacks," meaning a librarian has to retrieve it for you and you can't take it out of the library. So I had to bring my wife's laptop to the library at a later date, they sat me in a special section, and I loaded in and copied the CD. Dang, the things I do for you people. Send me booze and chocolates! Remember me in your will!

But I know Giorno for the boss albums he put out in the late '70s/'80s on his own label that featured everyone from Laurie Anderson and William Burroughs to The Butthole Surfers. Good stuff.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I think it's safe to say that, of all the thousands (millions?) of albums ever made, this is the only one of it's kind ever recorded.

From the late '70s comes this traditional bluegrass band singing most un-traditional lyrics about "Eck," which was apparently some kinda New Age offshoot of Hindu - songs like "The Sound Of The ECK" are nearly impenetrable to the uninitiated. Weird and funny as you might expect, but very well played if you're into bluegrass. Which I am not (sorry, Steve Martin), but the vocal harmonies on "River Of Light" totally rule, even as they sing things like: "Look to the light of the living Eck master, he will guide you." Probably wouldn't go over so well on "Hee Haw"...

Hindu Kush Mountain Boys Plus One
And - hey, guess what! - there's actually a new album in the works from these guys. Good karma to windy for sending us this one.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Anyone having trouble with Mediafire? Recently, they've changed things a bit. Anyway. As I originally wrote a few years ago when this album was still in print and I only posted one song from it:

There are millions of great guitar and piano players in the world, but, quick, name a great jew's harp player. The jew's harp? That thing you stick in your mouth, pluck, and go boing boing boing? With the vaguely anti-Semetic name? The same! Meet
Tran Quang Hai (also spelled Tran Hai Quang), Vietnamese-born music professor, folklorist, and jew's harp hero. (Hey, if there can be guitar heroes...)

His album "Jew's Harps of the World" does indeed survey various international jew's harp styles, though it mainly features those of Vietnam. Perhaps not melodic in the traditional sense, jew's harps are nonetheless capable of producing surprisingly diverse sounds and rhythms, sometimes suggesting electronic effects like distortion, wah-wah, and phase-shifting, though, of course, it's all acoustic.

Tran Quang Hai
"Jew's Harps of the World"

I'd just like to add to my original review that this album doesn't feature any other instruments besides the jew's harp. I play it at the same time as other albums. Goes with nearly anything! Boing, boing, boing...

Friday, November 11, 2011


The Musical Betts were a husband-and-wife duo who played (mostly) instrumental versions of gospel songs on such instruments as cowbells, marimba, musical saw, slide guitar, and sleigh bells. And vibraharp, which I think is like a vibraphone. Really cool stuff, but alas I know nuthin' about 'em. I do know they had at least one other album besides this one cuz Otis Fodder and Dana Countryman posted a song off it for their Cool and Strange Music Magazine comp, included here as a bonus.
It's a bit odd hearing melodies played on instruments like cowbells performed not as Spike Jones-like comedic music, but in a stately, emotional manner. If Tom Waits has this album, I would not be surprised.

The Musical Betts

1. I'd Rather Have Jesus
2. The Lords Prayer
3. What A Friend We Have In Jesus
4. Rock of Ages
5. He Lifted Me
6. Ring The Bells of Heaven
7. Dwelling In Beulah Land
8. Near The Cross
9. Let The Lower Lights Be Burning
10. Jesus Loves Me
11. Church In The Wildwood
12. Just As I Am
13. BONUS TRACK: Grumblers

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Even if only half the things said about Ray Bourbon are true, he was still one of the strangest figures in American entertainment. He:

- ran guns for Pancho Villa in drag
- was working full time as a drag queen performer as far back as 1932
- staged a media hoax claiming to have had a sex-change operation...but may have actually had the operation
- was mixed up in a Soviet gay spy caper
- put on a show featuring dogs with dyed colored fur who could urinate on cue
- was carrying a trailerful of animals when his car caught fire; when he gave his animals to a shelter for safekeeping, the animals were sold for medical experiments; Bourbon then put a hit out on the shelter owner, who was, in fact, killed, and Bourbon was sent to prison!

"Ray Bourbon had a show business career as a comedian and female impersonator that spanned over fifty years, well into an era when Gay liberation would take shape. He was perhaps the most well-known and well-traveled performer in Gay venues during the last century, but he remains largely forgotten today, his comedy both a glimpse into and a relic of another time.... His stage persona was complex and layered in many subtle ways; Ray is at once a gossipy drag queen, a bitchy diva, a butcher of sacred cows, and a keen observer of human nature. Ray would perform and record some of the same routines in the 1930’s, the ‘40’s and later in the ‘60’s; his quick patter and skills at improvisation keep the material fresh and the listener on edge."

Lots of free listening/downloading here:

15 Ray Bourbon albums

I haven't heard all of the albums linked to above, but what I have heard is plenty fun, replete with naughty double-entendre tunes like "My First Piece." Much of it replicates his low-budget nightclub show - campy, funny songs usually minimally backed by piano. These recordings range from scratchy old 78s to mid-60s hi-fi albums, but he/she keeps a pretty consistent style throughout,
remaking some songs and routines several times over the years/decades.

Kudos to
Randy A. Riddle aka coolcatdaddy for his extensive research and preservation work.

Friday, November 04, 2011


Happy Friday! Here's a big ol' mess o' videos sent to us by their creator Halfcast Podcast. The music is by various hapless outsider unknowns, but I do recognize Dean Milan, whose ludicrous "Do It Like A Dog" was popular on WFMU's "Incorrect Music" show way back when. This is a different, er, "tune" by him. And there's a song-poem that was featured in the "Off The Charts" documentary. Otherwise, most of these artistes were featured on the old I fondly recall their "Worst of The Worst" feature, where I imagine many of these songs appeared.

The funny and well-done videos are mostly collages of found-film that nicely illustrate each song's bizarre subject matter. Thanks muchly,
Halfcast Podcast!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

David Liebe Hart Does Not Need A Psychiatrist

As we wrote back in '08: "David Liebe Hart believes he was abducted by aliens, hosts a public-access TV program called 'The Junior Christian Bible Story Puppet Show,' draws pictures and performs music for tips on the streets of Los Angeles, and is looking for a woman." Nothing's changed in that department - he's still lashing out at racist churches, frustrated by women, and is pleading for interstellar peace among warring alien planets. But there are some new topics on his mind, e.g.: he really likes Ellen DeGeneres "even tho you're gay," and Karen Carpenter. And I was surprised to learn that, as someone of Irish descent, I'm from the Omegan alien race. Wow!

Hart has released several albums in recent years, again with sympathetic bandleader Adam Papagan. The effortlessly enjoyable "
New Songs Improvised Live: 6​-​05​-​08" is described thusly: "These songs were recorded live on the radio. David had no prior knowledge of the songs' topics. They were written up before the show, thrown into a lunch bag, and then randomly chosen before each song began. Thus, the lyrics for every track (with the exception of Love One Another and All My Friends Like Asian Girls) were entirely improvised, as was much of the instrumentation. Of course, you could never tell."

The results sometimes suggest Wesley Willis and Shooby Taylor the Human Horn backed by Half-Japanese. Oh, and he would also like to say: "I don't need to see no psychiatrist...we need to accept each other the way we are...we need to have tolerance for other people, no matter how they're different from we are." Yup. Listen for free, or purchase:

David Liebe Hart and Adam Papaga: "New Songs Improvised Live: 6​-​05​-​08"

His "Monsters" collection is just over 20 minutes of punk aggression, in contrast to the mostly positive "New Songs Improvised." In a vindictive mood, he names names, calling out those who have done him wrong. And he has just about had it with you women jerking him around. Don't mess with the Hart-dawg!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Need new spooky sounds for your Halloween party? Here's so much music I haven't even had a chance to check it all out yet, a FREE! download collection called:


2 CDs worth of mashups, remixes, and some possibly original songs. Once again, UK's Cheekyboy has put this together, a tradition going back to 2004. I can tell you that Amoraboy's "Doorbusters" is great, another example of the miraculous alchemy that can take place when two songs/artists I don't really care about (in this case, The Doors, and the "Ghostbusters" theme) are mixed into a really clever gem. And Markyboy's "The Killing Mash" is funny, taking the piss out of Echo & The Bunnymen's dead serious high-art song "The Killing Moon" by backing it with the ridiculously old-fashioned, terribly cheerful instrumental of Bobby 'Boris' Pickett's "Monster Mash."

"Strange Rush To Regulate Evil Deeds" from Orange County's always masterful Voicedude and "Psycho Killer on the Dancefloor" by A+D, the dynamic duo behind the Bootie mashup club nights, are solid bangers. It hardly seems appropriate to dance to Bud The Weiser's track, dropping gruesome audio from the film "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" over beatz, but there it is. Apart from rockin' the party, there are pure sound-collage tracks as well, a la Alan Black's mix of Tom Wait's "What He Building in There" with gawd-knows-what creepiness. Godzilla, The Addams Family and Vincent Price show up on this album, as well. And dropping Gene Wilder and the Monster singing "Putting On The Ritz" from the movie "Young Frankenstein" over DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's "Nightmare On My Street" was freakin' brilliant (if only they could get rid of the Evanescence chick's singing.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beatles Arias

In 1966, opera singer Cathy Berberian recorded an album of Beatles covers, backed by classical arrangements.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to hell.

Cathy Berberian "Beatles Arias"

Regular readers
of this blog will find this album frequently hilarious (love how she trills her Rs); otherwise, it can clear rooms. Berberian has extensive legit classical and avant-garde credentials - she was composer Luciano Berio's wife; John Cage wrote pieces for her. So it's not easy to dismiss this as another misguided record company Beatles rip-off. Maybe if I spoke European, I'd understand the interview included on this album which may reveal her motives.

Ticket To Ride

I Want To Hold Your Hand


Eleanor Rigby

Yellow Submarine

Here, There And Everywhere


You've Got To Hide Your Love Away


Can't Buy Me Love


A Hard Day's Night
13 Interview


Ticket To Ride

Piano – Bruno Canino

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do Other Music Bloggers Get This Kind Of Mail?


Guinness World Record holder (for woman with the longest fingernails), The Dutchess, is breaking into the music industry. The multi-talented phenomenon has recently announced the debut of her rock single, “Phoenix" The song was released on YouTube earlier this summer and created a buzz..."

So sayeth her publicist. Which is why I couldn't go into publicity. The Python-esque results would have been something like:

The Dutchess: I want to be a singer.

ublicist: Okay. And what are your qualifications?

The Dutchess: I have the world's longest fingernails.

ublicist: I see...You know, if a record company is looking for singers, I doubt that the first thing they'll ask is, 'Does she have long fingernails?'

Her useless song features Miss ScaryNails' r'n'b vocal stylings over rock guitar. The video (which I bailed out on half-way thru) had me wondering: how does she do anything with those nails? It would be more interesting if they showed her going about her day, getting dressed, etc. Maybe I shoulda watched the whole video...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Everyday Film: Festival of Emotions

One of the most enigmatic figures in music today, The Everyday Film, sent us their new "album" (11 songs in under 10 minutes) entitled "Festival of Emotions," and, on some tracks, this usually horrifying figure actually sounds like he/they might be in a somewhat better mood than usual. Maybe even in love, or some bizarre variation thereof. Elsewhere, it's the usual claustrophobic terror-tronics. A festival of emotions, indeed.

We have permission to post two tracks from it:

"The Bottom Of The World,"
only 39 seconds long:

"You, The Entrance; You, The Exit,"
an epic, at 1:39:

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Writing-Fu Skills Are No Match For This Album...

...because I'm at a loss as to how to describe it. It's great to encounter music that fits no known genre until you're the fumbling fool trying to review this 1993 release by German composer Helmut Neugebauer and his band Die Vogel Europas. But (*cracks knuckles*) here goes:

Mainly guitar and drums making a kind of fracture
d funk, like two Gang of Four records playing at the same time at 78 rpm...but with jazz sax that suggests a European Capt., more like a Raymond Scott/Carl Stalling cartoonish craziness...only with sampling and industrial-like sounds, but it's not industrial music, really....well, maybe in the Foetus sense, but it's kinda proggy, what with all the unusual time signatures and complex songwriting, only done more in the spirit of an exuberant Eastern European dance than some show-offy prog band...
I think I've embarrassed myself enough. But, hey, the Allmusic guy describes it as 'unclassifiable,' so there, it's not just me. He also says that "It's a classic and deserves to be heard by everybody."

Helmut Neugebauer & DIE VÖGEL EUROPAS - Short Stories

p.s.: Elliot Sharp plays on this album, I bet some of you have heard of him.

Monday, October 10, 2011

While My Pencilina Gently Weeps

"The pencilina is an electric board zither played primarily by striking the strings with sticks; also by plucking and bowing." And musical instrument inventor/singer-songwriter Bradford Reed is, so far as I know, the world's only performer on this nifty instrument. It's a credit to his songwriting that I didn't know anything about this instrument when I first heard his music - I just liked the song.

Of this 1996 album, the Brooklynite writes, "A strictly live pencilina album. For better or worse I used to have a very purist approach to recording- It must be live. A 50/50 split of instrumental and vocal tunes." Yup, no other instruments - just the one-man-band doing his eccentric thing. Songs range from slightly dissonant,
possibly micro-tonal, plinkety-plunking, to actual catchy tunes. The slightly rough, unaffected singing makes Reed appear to be some sort of indie-rock Harry Partch.

Bradford Reed - "Live! At Home"

This album's going out of print, but he's got more for sale on his site. I recommend "Solo Live Songs" if, for no other reason, the excellent "She's A Rocket." And I can't believe I'm writing about someone from Brooklyn. I'm so trendy! Please forgive.

Friday, October 07, 2011


One month ago I posted a collection of artists who are making the world a more beautiful place by freely distributing songs or albums, and I asked you to vote for your favorite. Like "The X-Factor," only with good music. I might do this again, only for commercial releases, not freebies. Was one month not enough time? Anyway, the final tally is..(drumroll)...

Buttress O'Kneel - 12

Bloody Death Skull - 8
Oreaganomics - 2
Bivouac - 1
Jinnwoo - 1
Docteur Legume et Les Surfwerks - 1
all the others - no votes

Buttress O'Kneel is the winner! Take your bow, lady. Words like "mashup" and "remix" don't really do justice to Buttress O'Kneel's method - Top 40 pop crap gets sliced, diced, and tossed into a dizzying, exciting hardcore electro stew. Compared to other djs who timidly drop a Vanilla Ice acapella over a Chemical Bros instro just to move a dance floor, O'Kneel shreds copyrights with a blood-curdling vehemence. Smash the state!

Her 2000 album "Compact Scipppp" utilizes skipping CDs a la Oval to lovely effect, but after that, the kid gloves came off, and every album since then has employed the same break-core/sample attack. All her albums are free, and all are good. Dive in anywhere.

This is good timing, actually - she has a new album now out called
Compop 14.6: Avant-Tarde: Tardcore that throws Bob Marley, Katy Perry, Black Sabbath, Queen and numerous others into the meat grinder, records their screams of agony, then mixes them with results ranging from toe-tappin' almost-pop to abstract glitch. Play loud.

Buttress O'Kneel - 11 albums

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

"We Love Bananas Because They Have No Bones"

(Vote for "M4M Idol" - only a couple days left!)

ebuting in the early 1930s, The Hoosier Hot Shots were one of the first, and best, novelty groups of the 78 rpm era, and if you can't figure out what they were like from such song titles as "From The Indies To The Andes In His Undies," well, pardner, there ain't much I can tell ya. Listen to me, talking like a hayseed - that's what listening to these guys will do to you. But despite their "rural" schtick, they were actually plenty sophisticated, essentially playing hot jazz with as much virtuosic flair as any fancy-pants big-city orchestra. Only funnier.

Their trademark sounds were a cartoon-ish slide whistle, klezmer-esque clarinet, superb multi-part vocal harmonies, and, quoth wiki, "...a strange, homemade instrument known both as the "Wabash Washboard" and "the Zither," played by Hezzie [Trietsch]. It consisted of a corrugated sheet metal washboard on a metal stand with various noisemakers attached, including bells and a multi-octave range of squeeze-type bicycle horns."

Hard to pick favorites, but can you really go wrong with a song called "We Love Bananas Because They Have No Bones"? And what happens to "Sioux City Sue" will interest the pain and bondage crowd.
What must be a much later recording then their '30s/'40s heyday has them demolishing Elvis' "Hound Dog." Surprisingly, they play it straight on the sentimental ballad "Someday (You'll Want Me To Want You)." Tho it is pretty weird hearing the slide whistle try to make like a lonely sax solo.

Some saintly soul has prepared four short albums (10 songs apiece), w/a bonus ep of a few songs taken from YouTube vids. Albums (or just individual tracks) can be downloaded for free here:


This is the silliest music I've ever heard. A-"
- Robert Christgau

Thursday, September 29, 2011


(Vote for "M4M Idol"! You've got 'til Oct. 6.)

A Klingon death-metal band. Just think about the sheer awesomeness of that concept.

"Trekkies 2" is a 2004 documentary about the most extreme 'Star Trek' fans, produced and hosted by, of all people, Bing's granddaughter Denise Crosby. The soundtrack album features some funny bits of dialogue from the film, a few soundtrack cues, and lots of entertaining fan songs. Somehow Fred Schneider of the B52s ended up on here as well. Maybe he's a Trekkie? Wouldn't be too surprising.

As for the musical acts, who pretty much only perform at 'Trek'/sci-fi conventions, Warp 11 are quite good in that Descendants/Bad Religion/Green Day-
style of melodic punk. "Everything I Do, I Do With William Shatner" really is as good as it's title. No Kill I: The Next Generation (yep, that's the band's name) make a great Devo-ish New Wave ruckus. Ash Productions are two charming teenage girls. Reminding us of Trek fan history, Leslie Fish does it old school: a solo acoustic "filk" (sci-fi folk) tune. And then there's death-metalers Stovokor, who not only dress up as Klingons, but they sing in the Klingon language.And if you ain't down with that, well, pally, you have landed on the wrong blog.

I don't know much about 'Trek" beyond watching the original series ("TOS" in Trek talk) as a kid, but it's inside nature is what I like about this stuff. Fan music, like song-poems, make me realize how generic most music is. Frank Sinatra couldn't have sang about "Star Trek" (or what his favorite color is, or who he supported for President) because he had a general audience, so we just got lots of love songs since, presumably, that's a human universal. So it's fascinating to me to hear people singing passionately about something very specific. They can only exist in the rarefied world of fellow fans, or, in the case of song-poems, they just put out tiny pressings of private recordings. They don't have to worry about what the music biz (even the "indie" end of it) thinks.

Trekkies 2 The Official Soundtrack

1. Since I Was Zero - Denise Crosby 2. Beam Me Up - Fred Schneider 3. The Worst Time To Call - Gabriel Koener 4. Italy Theme - Billy Sullivan 5. Channeling Roddenberry - Karl Miller 6. Red Alert - Warp 11 7. A Girl Came - Brian Dellis 8. Everything I Do, I Do With William Shatner - Warp 11 9. We're Niners - Michael Leon 10. Boldly Going - No Kill I: Deep Space Nine 11. Extremities - Gabriel Koemer 12. Vulcan Mind-Meld - No Kill I: Deep Space Nine 13. Low Frequencies - Jason Lewis 14. For The Glory Of Qo'nos - Stovokor 15. Klingon Santa Claus - Denise Crosby 16. Life In Exile - Stovokor 17. My Rank Is Commander - Renee Morrison 18. Arkansas Theme - J.J. Holiday 19. Ever Hear Of Filking? - Denise Crosby 20. The Expendable Guy (Live) - Ash Productions 21. A Typo - Kathleen Sloan 22. Banned From Argo (Live) - Leslie Fish And Friends 23. What's Normal - Dave Smith 24. No Kill I Theme Song (Live) - No Kill I 25. Auk - Jean Whitehead 26. Tranya (Live) - No Kill I 27. Remain Calm - Allen Maxwell 28. Data And The Beta (Live) - No Kill I: The Next Generation 29. Starbase Dentist - Denise Crosby 30. We Are The Borg (Live) - No Kill I: The Next Generation 31. It's Just Good - Jon Garrison 32. Germany Theme - Billy Sullivan 33. Ethan's Aliens - Ethan Philips 34. Beam Me Up (Instrumental Reprise) - Fred Schneider 35. Lame Reality - Ward Young

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Get some haircuts on your kids! Teach 'em some decent music!"

(Vote for "M4M Idol"! You've got 'til Oct. 6.)

This nearly hour-long sermon starts off nicely enough, before we get to juicy quotes concerning: dirty stinkin' hippie beatniks! The Communist conspiracy! 15 minutes in we get to hatin' on The Beatles and rock music. "DIRTY FILTHY VILE ROCK FESTIVALS...are bent on destroying America." Hey, botanists! We learn about how rock music kills plants - it's been scientifically proven! He recites almost all the lyrics to "Back in the USSR" and "White Rabbit" ("Feed your head! Feed your head!"). He pronounces Bob Dylan's name "Bobby DIE-lin" and Phil Ochs "Phil Oh-cha," and screams about LSD. First time I've heard a preacher quoting Frank Zappa.

Communism did fall - clearly it was no match for Pastor Jack's awesomeness. Sound collagists/mashup producers...start your samplers!

sermon by Pastor Jack Hyles

His "Satan's music" page has lotsa good readin': "The Jonas Brothers—Satanic to the Core!!!," "Country Music Television (CMT) is of the Devil," and "Miley Cyrus' Supports Immoral Rights, Corrupts the Bible, and Works to Destroy America!"

(Long hair and sandals are evil? Isn't that how Jesus dressed? Damn hippie liberal...)

God bless windy for the tip.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mexican Water Jug/Soda Bottle Folk Instruments

(Vote for "M4M Idol"! You've got 'til Oct. 6.)

A welcome recent trend in Mexican and Mexican/American music is playing instruments made out of recycled garbage. Apart from looking real cool and producing new sounds, it's another example of the resourcefulness of low income people (see also The Congo's Konono No.1, and Staff Benda Bilili.) So far as I know, there haven't been any recordings of this stuff yet, but there are a few YouTube vids featuring the Sparkletts bottle/garden hose (or PVC pipe) "tuba" and plastic 2 liter soda bottle "trumpets." I say "so far as I know" because the comments are all in Spanish and I'm just not bilingual enough to understand it all, e.g.: are there any recordings featuring these instruments? And the last video demonstrates how to make a water jug tuba - can anyone out there translate it for me? I want! Muchas grassy-ass.

First up, the border style known as norteña music. The flatulent sound of this tuba makes me laff!:

Slightly better sound quality on this
tune; note the European polka beat, the mark of the norteña (Northern) style, aka Tex-Mex:

South of the border for some Coke bottle mariachi:

Judging by other videos, it seems pretty basic: garden hose or pipe, connects to bottle (e.g.: 12 oz soda bottle), connects to big jug. But - que? - this vid makes it seem more complicated:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pierre Bastien's Musiques Machinales

It's a "Two-For-Tuesday"! On Wednesday! Here are two absolutely spellbinding albums by French composer Pierre Bastien, who, since childhood, has been fascinated with the idea of incorporating machines into music. His first experiment was with a spoon attached to a metronome striking a pan. Since then he has come far indeed, constructing Erector Set-like rockin' robots, and on his "Mecanoid" album, brilliantly incorporating (non-hip hop) turntablism. Over the repetitious rhythms of his machines he often blows cool Miles-like jazz horn. The results, on his "Musiques Machinales" album, range from the Steve Reich-like minimalism of "Chez Les Crânes" to "Marchin' Band," reminiscent of "Rain Dogs"-era Tom Waits. Scratchy fiddle and, on at least one song, what sounds like a musical saw also feature in his cabinet of curiosities. Like Frank Pahl and the Scavenger Quartet's "We Who Live On Land", gorgeous melodies such as the one on "Vipers" from "Musiques Machinales" sell these obtuse ideas. Magical. 

PIERRE BASTIEN "Musiques Machinales"