Thursday, April 28, 2016


Former drummer for Captain Beefheart's Magic Band, Robert Williams, followed up his debut solo EP with this 1982 full-length. He's still joined by some Zappa/Beefheart sidemen, (e.g.: Bruce Fowler's mighty trombone) but he's deffo moving towards a more commercial New Wave direction here. On side 2 that works just dandy. "Gotta Be Nice," featuring Danny Elfman and two Go-Gos (Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin), should have been playing out of every store in the Galleria. "Grinding The Gears," featuring Hugh Cornwall of The Stranglers, is likewise killer. The tribal throb of "Hungry" is reminiscent of Adrian Belew's classic "Big Electric Cat."

Side 1 is a bit problematic, however, what with it's blatant Police-isms sounding desperate for KROQ airplay. And William's sometimes corny lyrics (on both sides) can be an issue. And yet, amidst all the late-period Devo synths, hard rock gee-tars, and four-on-the-floor beats (this guy once played Beefheart's notoriously tricky rhythms?) is a wacked-out cover of Beatle George's "Within You Without You," complete with hazy sitar-ish sounds, odd time signatures, and an incongruously funky poppin' bass. You can take the boy out of '70s prog...

Perhaps A&M Records wasn't the suitable label for this album. Or perhaps Williams lacked an outrageous enough personality (and stage name) to make it as a New Wave punker. But whatever the reason, with neither the Freak Scene nor the Valley Girls buying this album, it died a quick death, never getting a digital reissue. My 99 cent used vinyl copy was in great shape. Williams would not make another solo album for many years.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart "The Ring Of Fire: A Message To The Youth of America"

You boys and girls that have Beatle records at home...This is the most rotten, dirty, damnable, filthy, putrid FILTH that this nation of the world has ever known. And you parents that would allow this filth to be in your home, you ought to be taken out somewhere and horse-whipped, you hear me?
-- Jimmy Swaggart, "The Ring of Fire", 1968"

When reader Kenny left that comment, referring to the sin-tillating collection "The Big Rumble", I said: well sweet jumpin' Jeebus on a pogo-stick, I have got to have that album, pronto! And long-time M4M contributor Windbag came thru. But no-one's a bigger windbag then disgraced whorin' porn-addict Jimmy Swaggart, who somehow makes his cousin Jerry Lee Lewis look respectable, with his message to "the Youth of America." Presumably then, you European, Asian, African and Latin kids can have all the fun you want. Damn you!

In a most enjoyably hyperventilating manner, Swaggart huffs and puffs against the immoralities of our age. Not too surprising, given the above quote, but he even suggests that the appropriate response to children disobeying their parents is the death penalty. Hey, that's what the bible says! If you're thinking of sampling this album, Meat Beat Manifesto (meat)beat you to it 20 years ago, but don't let that stop you. There's still plenty of nuggets waiting to be mined by the right DJs/sound collagists. I really did LOL out loud when he went off on Mom putting on her miniskirt and going out to dance The Frug! The Monkey! The Watusi! Despite the title, he does not sing any Johnny Cash songs, however.

After 6 discs celebrating Sin City, I think we really need to attempt to cleanse our damned souls now:  
Jimmy Swaggart "The Ring Of Fire"

Bothers and sisters, let us give thanks and praise to the Most High Windy!


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Trying to get caught up on the re-post requests.

So far I have resurrected:

- WiIdman Fischer and Smegma and "An Evening With WildMan Fischer"
- Junkanoo & Goombay 
- Bobby Jimmy & The Critters "Ugly Knuckle Butt" 
- "Bah! Humbug: The Alternative Christmas Album"

Alas, the 4 volume "Human Music Anthology" series has gone missing. (UPDATE: not entirely missing; see comments.)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Party Like It's Only $19.99

What better way to note the shockingly sudden passing of Prince then with this 1999 release by mashup pioneers the Evolution Control Committee? Prince, and in particular his song "1999," serve as the jumping-off point for all manner of avant-tard shenanigans. The ECC (recording under a number of phony "band" names) are joined by such sample-sound stars as Wobbly (doin' the John Oswald 'plunderphonics' thang), Wayne Butane with another one of his funny sound collages, Realistic, and Fossil aka Pea Hix of the great Optigonally Yours, who remind us that Van Halen's "Jump" is kind of a "1999" rip-off. ECC's own tracks range from Weird Al-ish parodies, such as the Oktoberfestive "Polka Like It's 1999," to dense, challenging noise-fests.

Party Like It's Only $19.99 

Listening to this album is an appropriate way to memorialize another great who died today, Richard Lyons, one of the founders of the legendary culture-jamming collagists Negativland. They don't have a track on this disc, but their influence is certainly all over it. Since Don Joyce has also died within the past year, I wonder if the band will continue. Maybe they should recruit some of the talent featured here. Or People Like Us, or The Bran Flakes. Or me! Can I join?!

Monday, April 18, 2016

"THE BANYAN TREE": Groovy '60s Soundtrack to A Lost Film

Hello, and welcome to another episode of "Mysteries...of the Mysterious." I am your host Mr. E. Train. Today, we shall explore the baffling riddle of a film from the late 1960s entitled the "The Banyan Tree." A film so obscure that it is not mentioned on IMDB, or anywhere else on the internet. Indeed, the only proof of its' existence is three curious 45 rpm records, six songs total. 

Alex Burton of Dallas' KRLD radio
And what swell, swingin' sides they are indeed. Up-beat go-go beats, snappy horn charts, Beach Boys harmonies, sitars...the Now Sound for the "Now Generation." How could anyone not love a band called The Pickle Platter doing "Chant of the Dead Temples." (What the hell was this film about anyway?!). Or the absurd title song: "Hey hey hey, Mr Holy Man!...send me on a trip, around my mind!"  It's safe to say that The Apple Corps, the Puget Sound and The Pickle Platter were not real bands, but studio concoctions.

If YOU have any idea who are the forgotten talents behind this music, let us know. Because the daughter of Dallas, TX radio man Alex Burton inherited these historical oddities from her fur-coat clad father, was suitably impressed, and put them all up on the youtubes in the hopes that maybe someone out there knows something about the film and these records and can fill us in.

The only clue is in on the record label: "Marty Young Productions." Apparently they were a small Dallas TX film production house formed in 1967 that made religious films, educational shorts, etc. The film probably had something to do with India.

"The Banyan Tree" (6 songs)

Not everything is on the internet. There are still things we do not, perhaps were not meant to know. Is this yet another mystery...of the mysterious?

Friday, April 08, 2016

LAS VEGAS DAMMIT! Six Disks That Sing of Sin

don't have to say much about this stupendous, endlessly entertaining collection of audio celebrating Sin City because it's compiler Don-O, the cat who previously slipped us the "Xanadu" tribute comps, has spilled plenty of virtual ink his own self. Take it away, Don-O: 

The Las Vegas story (for track listings, liner notes, artwork, etc)

Take heed! Apart from the nonstop cavalcade of music from all eras and genres, and the comedy/spoken word tracks, there are numerous vintage radio and tv spots recorded off the Vegas airwaves years ago by Don-O himself. Bravo, sir, and thanks for preserving true Vegas, before djs spinning top 40 replaced the tuxedo-clad lounge entertainers, before dining and shopping surpassed gambling as Vegas' top earner (making what is now essentially Rodeo Drive East a helluva lot more expensive), before the ruthless, criminal, but fun-loving mob were replaced by giant soulless corporations, before...


Monday, April 04, 2016

Offensive Humor + Space-Age Music = ROY AWBREY's "Laugh It Up!"

This is one of the greatest bad comedy album I've ever heard, an amazing documentation of mid-'60s culture at its' sick weirdest. I was personally knocked out by the fact that side 1 is recorded in my own San Fernando Valley stomping grounds, in a bowling alley cocktail lounge that I've actually been to. And what a side it is: when he isn't showing off his expensive Space-Age accordions' many hi-tech goo-gaws to the point that this is almost a demonstration album, he throws in one dud of a joke after another. It's just like a Neil Hamburger album, but while Neil's worst-comic-ever routine is the shtick of post-modern performer Gregg Turkington, this is the real deal: there is no, I mean NO audience reaction to any of his jokes. It's both hilarious and ghastly hearing him die on stage like this. Then sometimes when he completes playing a song, obviously fake crowd sound effects are ludicrously dropped in, making it sound like the Royal Room has the TARDIS-like ability to fit thousands into its small space.

Joined only by a drummer, Awbrey performs snippets or sizeable chunks of standards like "12st St Rag," "Never On Sunday," "Twilight Time", "Alley Cat," "Moonlight Serenade," and "Holiday For Strings," interspersed with jokes. It all ends with a lengthy, furious boogie-woogie jam (complete with drum solo) that must have had those suburban savages a-whoopin' and a-hollerin', dancing around the joint wearing novelty cocktail napkins on their heads. Just listen to that fake applause!

A newspaper ad has him billed as "the King of Comedy," leading Kliph Nesteroff to wonder if that's where Scorsese got the idea for his film of the same name...

Side 2, recorded in Anaheim (in a county south of L.A.) is an altogether different beast, a song-free non-stop cavalcade of bad jokes, usually of a naughty or lewd nature, in front of an actually appreciative audience. Rape jokes! "Queer" jokes"! More rape jokes! What is wrong with you, Orange County?!

That album cover makes it clear that his live show took it all to another level: a toilet-seat guitar! A three-boob bikini top! And that fact that there is zero biographical info on Awbrey out there makes me wonder if I didn't just dream up this whole thing.

ROY AWBREY "Laugh It Up!" (1965)

This blog has been on hold for a while, but, as I reported in the previous post, it looked like my hard drive with all my latest-and-greatest (including a number of vinyl rips) had died. I recovered most of it, and will endeavor to make up for lost time. Lots of stuff in the pipeline, dear maniacs, thanks for your patients.