Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Donald Featherstone, the appropriately-named creator of those plastic reproductions of our pink feathered friends, has just passed away at the age of 79. As if being the father of the world's most notorious lawn ornament wasn't eccentric enough, Featherstone and his wife were also known for always wearing matching outfits! Now that is just the sort of weird, goofy, good ol' American trash culture that John Waters immortalized in his 1972 film. 

If you haven't seen "Pink Flamings," perhaps the ultimate cult movie, I sure as hell ain't gonna tell you about it. Let's just say that even tho I only saw it once - and this was back in the '80s, when the earths' crust was still cooling and dinosaurs walked the earth - a mere glance at the song titles of the soundtrack recall images that are permanently seared into my brain. So let's pay tribute to Mr. Featherstone with the suitably trashy soundtrack of '50s/60s rock, r'n'b, and easy-listening oldies that Waters used to underscore his characters foul (not to mention fowl) behavior. Some of these songs are as insane as any crazed early rock (e.g.: "Chicken Grabber," "Surfin Bird") while others, like the perfectly presentable "Happy Happy Birthday Baby," are used as ironically innocent counterpoints to the on-screen depravity.

Plus! At no extra cost to you! Other "Pink Flamingos"-related audio oddities thrown into the file:

- Edith Massesy's single, which featured her "singing" a cover of the Four Seasons' "Big Girls Don't Cry," and a lovely original, "Punks (Get Off The Grass)." Massey had moved to the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles, and her thrift store was a popular hangout for local punks and weirdos, who recorded this with her in 1982.

- Divine "You Think You're A Man" (7'' version); S/He recorded a surprising amount but I just have this one catchy bit of '80s disco.

- The Illuminoids "Satan Said Walrus Eggs," a mashup from 2007 that mixes Massey's "Pink Flamingo" dialogue with the Beatles, over a stomping beat from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The Egg Lady meets the Egg Man, with special guest: Satan. One of the members of the Illuminoids was Howie Pyro, who took the name for his super-swell internet show "Intoxica" from one of the songs on this here soundtrack:

"Pink Flamingos" + Bonus Filth

1. The Swag - Link Wray & His Ray Men
2. Intoxica - The Centurions
3. Jim Dandy - LaVern Baker
4. I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent - Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers
5. The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
6. Ooh! Look-A There, Ain't She Pretty - Bill Haley & His Comets
7. Chicken Grabber - Nite Hawks
8. Happy, Happy Birthday Baby - The Tune Weavers
9. Pink Champagne - The Tyrones
10. Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
11. Riot In Cell Block #9 - The Robins
12. (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window - Patti Page 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


By request, "America's Most Nonsensical Band," The Korn Kobblers", are back on-line. This time using Google Drive, the latest candidate in my search for a good file-sharing platform. For those of you keeping score at home: Rapidshare and Div-Share are no more, Mediafire removed all of my files, Zippyshare suddenly decided to stop being cooperative, and when I tried The Box, it got mixed reviews from you-all. So the most recent posts have been using Google Drive. Yay or nay?

The Grim Reaper has been a busy mutha lately, hasn't he? Ornette Coleman, Christopher Lee, and now apparently we've seen the last of James Last. The German E-Z maestro has been a familiar face in the bargain bins for years, but one of his albums is actually quite sought-after by record collectors, and no wonder - it's the weirdest thing he did, and the most out-there album by a supposedly easy-listening artist since the 101 Strings infamous "Astro-Sounds From Beyond The Year 2000" space-age extravaganza. 

"Voodoo Party" is a strange beast of no known musical genre, which is quite an admirable feat in itself. Covers of such non-EZ artists as Sly & The Family Stone and Marvin Gaye are mixed with originals, almost all smothered in tons of manic percussion. And then amidst all the bongo fury, there's "Mr. Giant Man," which has to be the greatest children's '70s glam rock stomper ever. It all leads up to "Voodoo Ladys Love," a kitch-adelic spectacular that has to be heard to be believed. 

Far too upbeat and loud to be exotica, too brass-band/schalger to be rock-n-roll, "Voodoo Party" may not have much to do with any African-derived Haitian religions, but it certainly is a party. Funky funk! Moogy Moogs! Santana covers! EZ vocal choirs! And a version of "Babalu" that Ricky Ricardo would not recognize. R.I.P. Herr Last.


Thursday, June 11, 2015


By request, the Guatemalan garage psych album "Electronicos La Fuente" is back.
There's talented, there's influential, there's great...and then there are those at the top of Mt. Olympus whose cultural thunderbolts sent down from on high just change everything. And so it was with Ornette Coleman, who just died at age 85.

His 1960 album "Free Jazz" gave an entire genre of music it's name - how many other people can claim that? And that album (I'm listening to it now) is still thrilling, all these decades later.

Lou Reed said it was artists like Ornette that inspired "Sister Ray," which led to Sonic Youth and noise rock in general. Much of the '80s SST Records catalog - mainstays of college radio - owed a debt to Ornette.

Free jazz, especially in the hands of masters like Ornette, is not random noise. There is a method to the madness, as should be readily apparent here:

Orenette, et al. "Endangered Species" (Google Drive)
Ornette, et al. "Endangered Species" (The Box)


13 minutes from the "Song X" album that I first heard on the radio as an impressionable youth upon its release in 1986. It completely rewired my brain. And I thought I didn't like jazz. But I thought, "Well, this is kinda interesting," so I didn't turn it off. Then I turned the volume up a bit...and then some more. By the end of the track I was sitting up, blasting it, jaw dropped. 

Coleman recorded it with Pat Methany, then mainly known for his "smooth jazz." A friend of mine who worked at Tower Records says confused Methany fans would return the album back to the store, expressing their disgruntlement. Ha! Methany did amazing things on that album, making his guitar sound like an exploding synthesizer. 

The great bassist Charlie Haden, Ornette's right hand man for decades, died last year. I have plenty of his albums, too. Really dig his L.A. noir stuff with Quartet West.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

RAW MEAT! Vol. 2

UPDATE: Despite repeated tries, I could not get the Zippyshare file to work, so I've moved the file to Box. Let me know if you-all still have any problems, prefer Box to Zippyshare (or other free sharing methods?)
Continuing our survey of songs from the hippie era that are similar to the surreal, psychedelic humor of the Bonzo Dog Band (git yer Vol. 1 here)...

 Count Otto Black made many contributions to this batch of dog meat, so continued woofs of thanks to him. Vol. 1 was more from me, the more obvious stuff - albums that I'd had for ages (Cream, Pink Floyd,  etc.), but the Count really dug deep for things like the irrational international obscurities that perhaps never washed up on our shores during their initial release.

RAW MEAT! Vol.2 (Google Drive)

RAW MEAT! Vol. 2 (The Box)

01 Duke Ellington - C Jam Blues [the otherwise thorough "Songs The Bonzos Taught Us" compilation did not include this 1942 basis for the Bonzos' "The Intro and The Outro"]
02 Dudley Moore - Psychedelic Baby
03 Stackridge - Do the Stanley [a non-LP single, this one from 1973 - my fave tune from these eclectic Brits]
04 Erkey Grant & The Eerwigs - I Can't Get Enough Of You [wish I could find some info on the loonies who released this 45, their one and only record]
05 The Purple Gang - The Sheik [this band's singer wore a mask, and claimed to be an actual wizard]
06 Liverpool Scene - Bat Poem [poets poet-isizing over rock; this bunch somewhat transmogrified into the Scaffold:]
07 Scaffold - Lily the Pink [this big UK hit featured Paul McCartney's brother Mike McGear; was a cleaned-up version of a filthy old drinking song]
08 Les Sauterelles - Where Have All The Flowers Gone [a Swiss piss-take on Pete Seeger's folk hit]
09 Os Mutantes - Chao de Estrelas [yes, the Brazilian 'Tropicalia' legends]
10 The Deviants - Garbage [a college radio show I'd listen to in the '80s would play this; was mighty surprised to learn how old it was: from these British anarchists' 1967 debut]
11 Tritons - Rock Around The Clock [continuing our world tour with some Italians...]
12 Grobschnitt - Sahara [...and Germans...]
13 Giles,Giles & Fripp - The Saga Of Rodney Toady - Part 1 [precursor to King Crimson...hold up, Robert Fripp had a sense of humor?!]
14 Giles,Giles & Fripp - She Is Loaded
15 Brian Eno - Dead Finks Don't Talk [this one often gets tagged a Bryan Ferry satire, but I dunno, sounds a bit Viv Stanshell-ish to me]
16 Roxy Music - Hula Kula [this loopy mock-Hawaiian instro was a non-LP 1973 b-side written by Phil Manzanera]
17 Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias - Follow the Guru [the hippie's often-shallow infatuation with/appropriation of Indian culture was just begging to be satirized]
18 Doggerel Bank - Finale [more poetry rock, from '73]
19 Quicksilver Messenger Service - Happy Trails [another antique cover: 'singing cowboy' Roy Rogers' theme, recorded by these San Franciscans in '68]

"Dada for now..."

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

RAW MEAT: Other Mutts From The Bonzo Dog Band's Kennel

The Bonzo Dog Band were like Beatles for Maniacs - the great, wildly-innovative British band of the '60s. But the kind of surreal humor that the Bonzos trafficked in was actually fairly common in the hippie era. Many otherwise serious artists threw in a Bonzo-esque track on their albums - amidst the folk ballads and psych freak-outs, it was not uncommon to also slip in a whimsical novelty, a neo-vaudeville romp, a campy oldies cover,  rude/irreverent/satirical humor, old-timey jazz, and/or pop cultural references. Only the gang of Viv Stanshall, Neil Innes, Roger Ruskin Spear, Rodney Slater, Legs Larry Smith, et al, made such nonsense their full-time gig.

This side of the psych-to-prog era, of course, is scarcely mentioned in the usual rock history mythologies that emphasize Woodstock, increasing musical "sophistication," social consciousness, political/poetic lyrics, blah blah blah. Yes, that was part of it, but remember: the hippies were, after all, young people trying to have a good time. Y'know, rock 'n' roll? This ridiculousness is often far more entertaining and creative than many (most?) of the usual critical suspects from this era. Once again, I am...The Anti-Critic!

As the first 7 tracks demonstrate, bugs and animals were a popular theme (the Bonzos were named after a cartoon dog, after all.) The acts are mostly British, displaying the type of humor often described as "Python-esque," tho much of this predated Monty Python. It's just that good ol' Brit wit. The title of these collections is "Raw Meat" - any hardcore Bonzo fans catch the reference?

RAW MEAT! Vol. 1

01 Zal Yanovsky - Hip Toad [1968, from co-founder of The Lovin Spoonful]
02 Peter Cook and Dudley Moore - The LS Bumble Bee [1967 single allegedly was the first record released explicitly referencing LSD]
03 The Peanut Butter Conspiracy - Flight Of The Psychedelic Bumble Bee
04 Can - Turtles Have Short Legs [non LP single from 1971 in which Damo Suzuki informs us that turtles have short legs, but not for the walking.]
05 Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - The Teddy Bear's Picnic [covering a century-old children's song]
06 White Noise - Here Comes The Fleas [this 1969 release by BBC Radiophonic Workshoppe refugees features Miss 'Dr Who' Theme Herself, Delia Derbyshire]
07 Cream - Pressed Rat and Warthog [don't worry, this isn't an Eric Clapton song]
08 Portsmouth Sinfonia - From the Nutcracker Suite Op. 71a - March (at the Royal Albert Hall) [Brian Eno once played clarinet in this, the "World's Worst Orchestra"]
09 Donovan - The Intergalactic Laxative [keep in mind whilst listening to this profanity that the singer was voted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame] 
10 Lewis & Clarke Expedition - Everybody Loves a Fire
11 Private Eye - Take Off Your Clothes! [a John and Yoko parody; from a flexi that came with an issue of British humor magazine Private Eye]
12 Peter Sarstedt - Take Off Your Clothes [when I used to hear Dr Demento play this years ago, I didn't release how skeevy it really is]
13 The Pipkins - Gimme Dat Ding [a 1970 Top 10 hit on the UK/US charts from the bubblegum pop factory, not from a psych/prog band, so perhaps shouldn't be here cuz that's a whole other topic...but I inexplicably love this drivel]
14 The Monkees - Zilch
15 Fleetwood Mac - Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight [this 1969 non LP b-side from an obviously pre-Buckingham/Nicks lineup of the Mac would become an early punk standard]
16 Pink Floyd - Corporal Clegg [The Floyd, years away from their 'Dark Side' breakthrough, once used kazoos. Kazoos and lasers. Something to think about.]
17 Small Faces - Lazy Sunday
18 Kevin Ayers & The Whole World - Hat [Well, the Bonzo's had a song called  "Shirt"...]
19 Pussy - Comets [Spacey theremin instrumental by, it should be noted, an all-male band; released in '69, of course]
20 you know their name - You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) [unreleased 6 minute version]


Thanks to Count Otto Black!