Friday, December 31, 2010

Hallelujah: The Portsmouth Sinfonia at the Royal Albert Hall

A perfect title for the unholy cacophony unleashed by the Sinfonia live at the Royal Albert Hall, of all places. Comes off more like a comedy record than an evening of classical favorites.
In its own way, this is a "top notch" live recording.
Ever wonder why Brian Eno isn't better known for his chops on the clarinet?
On this blog I try to post a wide array of records providing any kind non-professional mess to help you unwind, forget, and just laugh. This one is no exception.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy- Paralyzed! His Vintage Recordings 1968-1981

For some reason this collection left off "I'm Standing In A Trashcan (Thinking About You)," so I added it to the file. This album is made up of early singles and the classic 1981 "Rock-it To Stardom" album.
Unfortunately, he is not as legendary as he deserves to be. You need this music. Gets even more amazing with every listen. Non-professional hollerin' outer space cowboy music can't really go wrong.
See below to get an idea.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Embarrassing Fruits- First Demo

I remember sitting on a Wilson St. porch, hanging out and getting drunk with a few friends, while other friends, Embarrassing Fruits, recorded a few songs so they could have something to post on their Myspace page, and it still remains my favorite recording of theirs. This is the fruits I came to love.
I don't even think they have a copy of this...
If slowed down Dinosaur Jr/Pavementy stuff is up your alley, you should check this out.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This Heat- Made Available: John Peel Sessions

This is the band the term "before their time" should be coined for. Shit.
Any band since then who has tried to sound like this has pretty much just pathetically fallen flat on their faces.
This is made up of more experimental tracks, occasionally weaving in and out of more structured "songs." If the opener doesn't win you over...also keep in mind this was recorded live in studio.
If you are new to This Heat, maybe try their self titled debut or "Deceipt" first. Or start here, this is great stuff-not too pretentious British experimental progressive-ish post-punk.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Portsmouth Sinfonia Plays The Popular Classics

This will make the Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band post below sound, well, almost professional.
What do you think it would sound like if a bunch of non-musicians formed an orchestra and played some well know classical music (I'm thinking the King Uszniewicz of classical)?
Also, Brian Eno is one of the clarinet players. You can see him in the upper right hand side of the cover.
If you find classical music too formal or stuffy, the Portsmouth Sinfonia does more than just take the wind out of its' sails.

Guckenheimer Sour Kraut Band- Music for Non-Thinkers

A classic from a goofy Oom Pah band who shows little to no concern for playing in tune or in time. Their complete lack of seriousness makes this far better than any Oom Pah record I've ever heard, and even more fun than the Portsmouth Sinfonia (available one post above this).
Geez, I love this stuff...
Their other 2 albums can be found on this blog, and they are both fucking fantastic fun.

Lee Hazlewood- Forty

Another collection of low-key downerish, with a sense of humor, cheesy goodness. Lee can do no wrong...
Somewhere between "Love And Other Crimes" and "Cowboy In Sweden," both chronologically and sonically, I think.

1) It Was A Very Good Year
2) What's More, I Don't Need Her
3) The Night Before
4) The Bed
5) Paris Bells
6) Wait Till Next Year
7) September Song
8) Let's Burn Down The Cornfield
9) Bye Babe
10) Mary

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

DOO WACKA DOO- The Happy Wacky Sounds of The Doowackadoodlers

This is a record you really can judge by the cover. It sounds exactly like I expected, which I have absolutely no problem with.

"Make no mistake about this music-we call it 'doo wacka doo' in this album. It's not out to kid anybody or anything: it's not really satirical or parody music. It's a kind of early jazz with a down-home inflection, corn-if I have to use the word-with a Dixie influence. It's full of high spirits and humor. And it really swings with a good beat-a square dance type of country music beat. You will hear slap-tonguing by the reeds in it, ricky-ticky musical phrasing and doo wacka doo sounds by the trumpets. It takes darn good musicians to play this music!" -Marty Gold: Arranger and Conductor and ex-member of the old Korn Kobblers Band.

I must say I like the instrumentals better than the vocal tracks.

Ulysse & Jacques Delecluse- The Clarinet Volume 1

I'm surprised that this is just a demonstration record for Selmer Clarinets. I love small ensembles in classical music, and this one is only clarinet and piano. Very enjoyable.
Do you want to buy a Selmer Clarinet yet?

Enoch Light and the Light Brigade play Happy Cha Cha's Volume 2

"We feel sure that you will enjoy this collection of Cha Cha's and that their engaging instrumentation and infectious beat will prove the perfect accompaniment to the cocktail hour or an evening of dancing pleasure."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Male Nurse- 2nd 7"

More Fall inspired goodness, featuring members of the Country Teasers and the Yummy Fur, from a band with regrettably few recordings.

1) Magic Circle In The Sky
2) What Does Woman Want?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Uuhng Schpugg Oldies Radio: Wrong Speed Edition

Yet another dumb idea to share.
One night while less than sober I put a 45 on 33 rpm and was too lazy to get up and change it. In my mind at the time, making a whole tape this way seemed like a great idea, even though I didn't have the 45 adapter thing and with intoxicated accuracy, a lot of the songs, to my amusement, came out incredibly wobbly (warning: could make you barf if you're too drunk). All this seemed funny at the time, and at least a year has passed since then, and it is still amusing now, but would probably just be annoying if you're sober. I do find myself getting oddly adapted to slow motion living.
This could be the soundtrack for a pathetically drunken/stoner attempt at a party, by yourself or with others, where dancing is encouraged...should at least be funny to who ever's there.
I'm full of stupid shit like this...
Waging war on people who take themselves seriously...
Many of these songs have been posted on this blog before, but at the correct speed and non-wobbly.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Summer Camp Casanova- Little Pieces Of Big Things

It takes time to be able to listen to your friend(')s(') music before you can listen to it without thinking that you know anyone in the band personally and still really get into the music. Either way, this is some good shit.
Erik, who previously recorded solo for Summer Camp Casanova, enlisted friends into a band to play live but also record this CD. With Michael [Secret Message Machine (two albums posted on this blog)], Andrew (Blank_Blank, etc.), and Lee (Casual Curious) Summer Camp Casanova ignited, or was at least a flash in the pan, as short attention spans tend to render things. It's brainy but simplifies it, and usually just rocks it out in lo-fi slacker form with inside jokes that can never allow you (me) to forget that these were your (my) friends.

And one of Erik's tasty Common Sense beers, a French Blonde complete with spooie foam nipple...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Contortions- Buy

Released in 1979, the Contortions debut is one of my favorite albums to come out of the No Wave scene. In a manner of speaking they were more "musical" than "No New York" split mates DNA, Mars, or Teenage Jesus and The Jerks. Instead of detuned dissonance (like my other favorite, Theoretical Girls) Contortions offered a scratchy, off kilter take on James Brown (one of James Chance's pseudonyms was James White, where he ventured into Disco to fuck it up from the inside) with saxophone breaks that make free jazzers sound tame and pretentious. Not that I have anything against the more sonically antagonistic groups, but this album's musicality warrants more repeated listening. There's more of a noticeable sense of humor here.
Great stuff.
If difficult, skronky, noisy music you can dance all fucked up to sounds good to you...

Now for contrast, contemporaries DNA performing a song that gave name to a terrible, over-rated band. Taken from Basquiat's "Downtown '81" which also features James White and the Blacks

Eno & The Winkies- Peel Session 1974

After the release of "Here Come The Warm Jets," Eno embarked on his one and only solo tour with the Winkies (a glam-ish Pub Rock band) as his backing band, but he suffered from a collapsed lung after only five dates.
It's weird to think of a Pub Rock band backing Eno, but these more direct, rocked out, and non-electronic versions work just fine. A great song in any form is still a great song.

1) Baby's On Fire
2) Totalled (re-worked later as "I'll Come Running")
3) The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch
4) Fever (Peggy Lee cover)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lee Hazlewood- The Stockholm Kid Live at Berns

It's great to hear Lee perform live.
From 1974.
Oh yes.

1) The Performer
2) You Look Like A Lady
3) It Was A Very Good Year
4) Hello In There
5) Medley: Jackson/Summer Wine/Sugar Town/Some Velvet Morning/Houston/These Boots Were Made For Walkin'
6) Fire And Rain
7) Come Spend The Morning
8) She Comes Running
9) A Better Place To Be

Ramrods- Ghost Riders In The Sky/ Zig Zag

Unfortunately this record is cracked from the inside all the way out, but it only makes a small pop...not too bad. Just another solid instrumental RNR 45 by a band I've never heard anything else by. Tough stuff.

Secret Message Machine- Capitalist Bastards Communist Fools

Secret Message Machine's 1st full length is one of those albums that seems a bit too strong to be a debut. Michael (Barrett: AKA SMM) seems to have reservations about it now, but at least he'll admit there are several songs he still likes. Any artist worth a damn is their own worst critic.
From start to finish CBCF delivers one direct lo-fi gem after another. Recorded during the G.W. Bush administration, political and war protest songs pop up here, but they all avoid getting TOO political and none are the least bit preachy...quite a fantastic rarity. As always nothing is overdone, for example: pop, anger, song length, folky leanings, etc. It's all just right.
You could say there are similarities to Guided By Voices, Neutral Milk Hotel, and other crunchy indie rock bands, but SMM has a voice all its own.

Lee Hazlewood- Greyhound Bus Depot/Trouble Maker

A rare (for what reason?) single from 1969.
Great stuff...both sides (both covers). If you've ever wanted to give a puppy to a woman with chili all over her dress or crucify a hippy, this record is for you.

Michael Morley- The Pavilion Of Fools

There is no information at all on the CD jacket, says the label is: Gallerie Dessford Vogel.
It comes across like an instrumental Gate album with lo-fi minimal electronics, de-tuned guitar and some samples. Great harsh ambience.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Emo Philips

Hilarious stuff...the only Emo that was ever worth listening to.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Secret Message Machine- Abandoned Children

Secret Message Machine is Michael Barrett from here in Greensboro, NC. His music is arty, but not too arty. Poppy, but not too poppy. Serious, but not all that serious. It doesn't conform to any genre or trend but remains accessible. It's homemade and lo-fi but sounds warm and clear. It's difficult to describe in short but holy shit does it get under your skin. Few musicians with this much talent and individuality can remain so modest, and regrettably unknown.
This album is a collection of outtakes from around the time of "Giants Madmen and Ghosts," which, as far as I know, he only gave to a handful of friends. Some tracks are more experimental, some are more bare bones than what ends up on his albums, a great Guided By Voices cover (many tracks here remind me of lo-fi GBV), but all are endearing and stimulating to the imagination.
Some of you may think that odds and ends collections aren't the best place to start with any band, but if this is the stuff that got cut, imagine how good the albums are.
Taking a chance on a SMM album is a chance well worth taking.
More to come...

More at:

A track from the newest (and ridiculously great) album, "Orphanville," which you can buy or stream at

A live solo performance

I must admit that the first time Michael played me some of his songs, I immediately offered my services to be in a live version, and still do play bass in the live band. BUT, since I had no part in the writing or recording of any SMM song I can thereby praise the records this highly and not be a self-serving bastard.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lee Hazlewood- 98% American Mom & Apple Pie 1929 Crash Band

Tack piano, clacky percussion, frantic kazoos, and extra cheese make these instrumental (except for laughing) Vaudeville inspired versions of Hazlewood hits an extremely enjoyable listen, with many happy returns.
Just can't get enough Hazlewood...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nancy & Lee

A high-point in the wonderful world of cheesy music.
Soooo fucking gooood.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Uuhng Schpugg Oldies Radio: LP pt.1

See previous post for proper rant.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Uuhng Schpugg Oldies Radio: 45s Edition

I've all but ceased listening to the radio since oldies stations went off the air (plus college radio seems to only play that Shitfork crap). So why not make mixes from old vinyl (50s-70s) and pretend it's "radio?" And to make it even cheesier I'm not including a tracklist here (it is available once downloaded) and recommend not looking at it when first playing this. Why? Why not?
Attempted simulation of radio (not knowing what's coming next) with the added bonus of no DJs or commercials (and skipping, if you must).
There are well known songs in here, so if you have a problem with that, kindly fuck off.
More U.S.O.R. to come.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Regi Slagerek- Evergreen Melodies

Another one I'd passed at Salvation Army many times, and while it's not exactly amazing (by non-Salvation Army standards), it is definitely enjoyable, has some hits. I'm guessing most of you aren't burnt out on Hungarian jazzy easy listening.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lee Hazlewood- Love and Other Crimes

Another great one from the King of Dark Cheese.
More people these days need to catch the Hazlewood bug. I am more than happy to infect them.


Looking back at some reviews...I've been writing/rambling on too much.
Therefore, I'm posting this as a reminder.

Pere Ubu- Terminal Tower: An Archival Collection

Usually odds and ends compilations are inconsistent at best, which is most certainly NOT the case with "Terminal Tower."
It spans from when the only reason they formed the band was to record 2 Rocket From the Tombs songs up to the more avant garde Mayo Thompson/Rough Trade era (5 years). Too many classics here to ever be out of print, but it is.
Rather than just go on about how great this record is...

All Pere Ubu CDs I have are unfortunately mastered at a very low volume, leaving the music sounding unfortunately thin. So I recorded my LP to CD with the levels turned up. I must say it enhances the chunkiness their earliest songs (especially "Final Solution").
For me, this sounds better...hope you agree.

Where it leaves off...

Charlie Chaplin- A King In New York

This French single is all I've been able to find from the original score.
Great music from a vastly under-appreciated movie.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lee Hazlewood- Trouble is a Lonesome Town

One of my favorites for so many reasons.
Lee's solo debut begins to show the promise shown by his writing and production for Duane Eddy. The songs are a little more stripped down than what would follow and every song is prefaced by a story of a town called Trouble. As always, Hazlewood delivers deceptively simple, oh so cheesy, subtly brainy, reverby baritone, fun to sing along to goodness.
If you aren't won over on the first listen, just give him some time to creep under your skin. He'll never leave.
More Hazlewood posts coming soon...

where I dowloaded this, for some reason "Son Of A Gun" was not included. I have included that song, from my mono LP.

if you want to hear the mono LP in its entirety:

George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra- Schumann Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61

I really have trouble getting into more recent classical recordings, therefore the Habitat Restore has become my #1 stop for classical music...old $1 records.
This was my introduction to Schumann, and quite a good one at that. The quality of the vinyl isn't the best, but it's all worth it if just for the Third Movement alone.

Andy Sannella and his Musical Fellas- Pan-Americana

After passing this one up on several trips to the Salvation Army, I finally (thankfully) took the $1 plunge. This record makes me feel like an extra in a Fellini nightclub scene. Great for doing anything around the house.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rocket From The Tombs- Demo 1975

As you probably already know, RFTT was one of those classic bands who would have been hugely influential had they ever recorded an album, but upon breaking up split into two great first wave punk bands from opposite ends of the spectrum: Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys (compare each of their first and second albums). I always found this strange, but I guess the pre-punk crowd in Cleveland, OH in the early to mid 70's was less the bustling (even though there were a lot of great bands...those big city assholes always get all the credit...fucking jerks).
This is the closest thing to an original RFTT album there is...a live to borrowed reel to reel through a reverb unit in their practice space to be broadcast on local radio a few days later. Early punk pushers of DIY.
Even the reunion show I saw (2004?) was great, this tape is much better (RNR always was, and always should be a young person's genre, even if reunited RFTT was way better than today's dumb ass fucking contest).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Charlie Chaplin- The Chaplin Revue

Anytime I can find original music from any Chaplin film I'll buy it right up, if possible. If you've heard any of the re-recordings you may know what I mean. They all seem to slow everything down and focus solely on the sentimentality, unfortunately forgetting that the music was also providing mood and pacing for comedy. Without that pacing, the re-recordings seem to lose the sincerity, humor, and also the tenderness of the originals. Chaplin's use of more dignified music for his slapstick was apparently revolutionary enough that even today people still don't understand it. There's really no use in changing his work, anyone who thinks they can top, let alone equal it, will find themselves sadly mistaken.
The Chaplin Revue was released in 1959 and consisted of three of his films for First National, made between 1918 and 1922, slightly edited, with spoken introductions over scenes from his then unreleased, "How To Make Movies," a short film tour of his studio (in the same time-frame as these films) showing he and his crew goofing off and at work, rejected as a release to satisfy his final contract before becoming completely independent, and then (1959) composed an original score for each.
The Chaplin Revue was compiled several years into his exile and after his fantastic, under-appreciated mockery of the USA, "A King In New York," (1957) which was not shown in the USA until at least 15 years later. Was the Chaplin Revue an attempt to regain the audience he had lost over the years? Maybe, but if so, does it really matter? These films are as funny now as they've ever been...and will continue to be. Few artists of any medium are as timeless or universal as silent Chaplin.
On to the record: the track-listing on the jacket does not correspond to the record. Example: for "A Dog's Life," there are 17 tracks listed on the jacket, 7 on the record, and the LP label only says, "A Dog's Life."
Here are the tracks according to the jacket:

A Dog's Life- Main Title: A Dog's Life, A Dog's Life Theme, Labour Exchange, Dog Chase, A Dog's Life Theme, Green Lantern Rag, Coffee and Cakes, Flat Feet, the Shimmy, Song Triste, Green Lantern Snag, Procession Rag, Coffee and Cakes, Robbers, Dog Digging, A Dog's Life Theme, Green Lantern Snag

Shoulder Arms- Main Title: Shoulder Arms, Sauerkraut March, Shell Happy, Changing Guard, The Post, Sauerkraut March, Shell Happy, Over The Top, Blues, Over The Top, Peace, Tree Camouflage, Suspense, Mysterioso March, The Enemy, Agitado, D Minor Waltz, Inner March, Bringing Home the Bacon

The Pilgrim- Bound for Texas, Jitters, Hope and Faith, The Deacon Presents, Bound for Texas-Vocal Sung by Matt Munro

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Rebel- A Sampling of Recent LP's

It's been barely over a year since I've obtained these 3 LP's, all of which are still available from Junior Aspirin Records (and this being the reason for not posting entire LP's...a musician as great as Ben deserves far more royalties, you like to help him out, right? and any label putting out this many Rebel LP's deserves to be supported as well, dammit).
Like most of Wallers' output, each LP is a change of pace from the last, but none ever lose any Wallerness, thankfully. The first listen or two always confuses me, then it hits me just how fucking good it is...then gets better.
In order of release:
-"Mouthwatering Claustrophobic Changes!"- Mostly electronic and some more instrumental but believe me it works best as whole. Maybe these are reasons this record was so overlooked.
included here: 1) War, Politics 2) TNK 4 (a take on a song by a more famous group)
-"The Incredible Hulk"- Described by Ben as "a deliberate fuck-all-of-y'all," I still feel that I am one of the few who loves this record. No, it's not the best thing he's ever done, but so what? It's fucking funny, has great songs and a long drawn out joke, which seems to be what annoys most people (not me, though...I have a bastardly sense of humor). Two tracks also appeared on the "Aiming Low" E.P. More musicians need the guts to fuck with their audience like this. And why are Wallers fans complaining about that? Hasn't he done that all along? Country Teasers lyrics? Music?
included here: 1) Cherish 2) On My Own
-"The Race Against Time Hots Up"- Wallers wanted to follow 'Hulk' "with a crowd-pleasing, melody-centric, live drums trad songs classic." This album is still growing on me like crazy...had the most trouble narrowing it down to 2 tracks for this one, not that it was exactly easy to do so on the others.
Left off the Gillian Welch and Sade covers...great originals: one against collaboration and another based on "1984."
included here: 1) Colaboration 2) To the Future or to the Past: Greetings!
BUY THIS, AND THE OTHER TWO> it's very worth your while.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Teengenerate- Audio Recording

Recorded in Seattle during the height of the Grunge boom ('93), and featuring their original drummer, Suck, this album shows a band finding their grounding and refining their sound. Don't get me wrong, like all Teengenerate releases this is great full throttle punk rock n' roll. 6 of the 11 tracks are covers, but the promise that is realized on "Savage" and "Get Action" (both on this blog) is evident here.

1) Wild Weekend (the Zeros)
2) Shake a Tail Feather (Andre Williams)
3) I Don't Mind
4) She's a Dumb
5) Don't Come Close to Me
6) Midnight To Six Man (the Pretty Things)
7) Baby Doll (Chuck Berry)
8) White Talk
9) The American Blues
10) Dirty Robber (the Wailers)
11) Burn My Eye (Radio Birdman)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Dead C- The Operation of the Sonne

Released in the same year (1995) as their classic, "The White House" and the top notch live album "Trapdoor Fucking Exit" (somewhere on this blog) by Siltbreeze in a limited run, it seems to fit right in between those two, flowing between lo-fi noisescapes and detuned improv. "rock."
Three tracks in 48 minutes, but all three work like one feedbacky mass of homemade (?) slacker kraut influenced deceivingly simple sounding noise rock.
Too bad it was such a limited pressing...