Saturday, September 26, 2009
Vampyros Lesbos is a 1971 film directed by Jesus Franco. It's an erotic horror tale inspired by Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. The main character, Linda Westinghouse (played by Ewa Strömberg), is a young lawyer who travels on a job assignment to an island where she meets the mysterious young and beautiful countess Carody (Soledad Miranda).
The film is considered by many to be one of Franco's best and a cult classic of European Exploitation film. Its score, composed by Manfred Hübler and Siegfried Schwab also gained a cult following when it was rereleased.
German composers Manfred Hubler and Siegfried Schwab (recording as Vampires' Sound Incorporation) created music sufficiently groovy and go-go to accompany Franco's freaked-out vision. Their crazy sounds are a speed-hopped swinger's bash of blaring trumpet, booming trombone, slinky organ, and spacy sitar, with a beefy foundation of mod guitar, bass, and drums. Eccentrically titled instrumentals like "The Lions and the Cucumber," "Droge CX 9," and "The Six Wisdoms of Aspasia" manage to be psychedelic in the way of both the Doors' haunting rock and the Fifth Dimension's up-up-and-away pop. Music ripe for revival, Sexadelic Dance Party falls somewhere between the glorious lounge orchestrations of Esquivel and the cheap Casio-funk porn music championed by bands like the Beastie Boys. It's just one more nugget mined from the overflowing heaps of past decades' trash culture.
Vampyros Lesbos Sexadelic Dance Party
1. Droge CX 9
2. Lions and the Cucumber
3. There's No Satisfaction
4. Dedicated to Love
5. People's Playground [Version A]
6. We Don't Care
7. People's Playground [Version B]
8. Ballad of a Fair Singer
12. Shindai Lovers
13. Six Wisdoms of Aspasia
14. Countdown to Nowhere
Friday, September 25, 2009
Songs The Cramps Taught Us - Volume 3'.
Nat Couty - Woodpecker Rock
Macy Skipper - Bop Pills
The Blues Rockers - Calling All Cows
Mac Rebennack - Storm Warning
Larry Phillipson - Bitter Feelings
Terry Dunavan - Earthquake Boogie
The Sonics - He's Waiting
The Fanatics - I Will Not Be Lonely
The Instrumentals - Chop Suey Rock
Dell Raney - Can Your Hossie Do The Dog
The Shades - Strollin' After Dark
Jackie Lee Cochran - Georgia Lee Brown
Lonnie Allen - You'll Never Change Me
Jerry Warren - Rompin'
Kai-Ray - I Want Some Of That
Junior Thompson - How Come You Do Me?
The Rhythm Rockers - Madness
Warren Smith - Uranium Rock
Kit & The Outlaws - Don't Tread On Me
The Flower Children - Miniskirt Blues
The Standells - Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Dave Day - Blue Moon Baby
Shorty Long - Devil With The Blue Dress On
Ronnie Dawson - Rockin' Bones
Mel Robbins - Save It
Jimmy Lloyd - I Got A Rocket In My Pocket
Charlie Feathers - One Hand Loose
The Fendermen - Mule Skinner Blues
Paul Revere & The Raiders - Hungry
The Embers - I Walked All Night
The Bostweeds - Faster Pussycat Kill Kill
Songs The Cramps Taught Us - Vol. 2
1.Hasil Adkins-She Said
2.Buddy Love-Heartbreak Hotel
3.Dean Carter-Jailhouse Rock
5.Johnny Burnett-Tear It Up
6.Lightnin Slim-I'ts Mighty Crazy
7.Glen Glenn-Everybody's Movin
8.Carl Perkins-Her Love Rubbed Off
9.Slim Harpo-Strange Love
10.Charlie Feathers-It's Just That Song
11.Green Fuz-Green Fuz
12.Bill Allen-Please Give Me Something
13.Captain Beefheart-Hard Working Man
14.J.J.Jackson & Jackaels-Oo-Ma-Liddi
15.3 Aces & A Joker-Booze Party
17.Jimmy Stewart-Rock On The Moon
18.Sonny Burgess-Red Headed Woman
19.Kip Tyler & Flips-Jungle Hop
20.Don & Galaxies-Sundown
24.Tune Rockers-Green Mosquito
26.Count Five-Psychotic Reaction
28.Red Crayola-Hurricane Fighter Plane
29.Kasenatz Katz Circus-Quick Joey Small
30.Rick Nelson-Lonesome Town
32.Jim Lowe-Green Door
Songs The Cramps Taught Us - Vol. 1
1.Sparkles-Hipsville 29 B.C.
2.Dwight Pullen-Sunglasses After Dark
4.Sherrif & Ravels-Shombolar
6.Bo Diddley-Dancing Girl
8.Walter Brown-Jelly Roll Rock
11.Third Bardo-Five Years Ahead Of My Time
13.The Phantom-Love Me
14.Jett Powers-Go Girl Go
15.Ronnie Cook & Gaylads-Goo Goo Muck
16.Runabouts-Strangeness In Me
19.Elroy Dietzel-Rockin Bones
22.Keith Courvale-Trapped Love
23.Freddie & Hitchikers-Sinners
24.Charlie Feathers-Can't Hardly Stand It
25.Andy Starr-Give Me A Woman
26.R.Lewis Band-Get Off The Road
27.Hayden Thompson-Blues Blues Blues
28.Lee Dresser & Krazy Kats-Beat Out My Love
29.Andre Williams-Bacon Fat
30.Jack Scott-The Way I Walk
31.Elvis Presley-Do The Clam
Saturday, September 19, 2009
1. Cuckoo Laugh-In World
2. Monologue and Cocktail Party
3. New Talent
4. Personality of the Week
5. News Past, Present, and Future
8. Here Come da Judge
9. Cocktail Party
10. Sock It to Me
11. Mod Mod World
13. Goodnight Dick
Del Close (March 9, 1934 – March 4, 1999), was born and raised in Manhattan, Kansas, the son of an inattentive, alcoholic father. He ran away from home at the age of 17 to work on a traveling side show, but returned to attend college at Kansas State. At the age of 23, he became a member of the Compass Players in St. Louis. When most of the cast moved to Chicago in 1959 to help form The Second City, Close instead moved to New York City to perform stand-up comedy, where he also performed in the Broadway musical revue "The Nervous Set" in 1959.
Around this time, Close also worked with John Brent to record the classic beatnik satire album How to Speak Hip. The album became a prized record for DJs worldwide, and was one of Brian Wilson’s favorite comedy albums.
In 1960, Close moved to Chicago – which was to be his home base for much of the rest of his life – to perform and direct with Second City. Close was fired from Second City due to his substance abuse and spent the latter half of the 1960s in San Francisco, where he was the House Director of The Committee theater, toured with the Merry Pranksters, and made light images for Grateful Dead shows.
After returning to Chicago in the early 1970s, Close was hired again to direct at Second City. He also performed and directed the Second City show in Toronto in 1977. Over the next decade he helped develop many of today’s leading comedians. Acolytes of Del Close have gained prominence in the field of comedy with astounding frequency. At any given time, roughly a quarter of Saturday Night Live’s cast has been composed of his former trainees.
Close spent the early 1980s in New York, as "House Metaphysician" at Saturday Night Live, coaching the cast in the wake of Producer Lorne Michaels' departure. He spent the mid-to-late 80's and 1990s teaching improv, collaborating with Charna Halpern in Yes And Productions and Improv Olympic, while slowly succumbing to emphysema. But he remained active, consumed pot brownies, and used various tobacco supplements. During this period, Close acted in several movies, including The Untouchables and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, where he played an English teacher. He also co-authored the graphic horror anthology Wasteland for DC Comics with John Ostrander, as well as co-wrote several installments of Grimjack's backup feature Munden's Bar. Finally, along with Charna Halpern he co-founded the ImprovOlympic Theater.
Legend has it that Close's last words were, "I’m tired of being the funniest person in the room." Before passing away, Close requested that his skull be given to the Goodman Theatre for use in Hamlet productions, on the condition that he should receive credit in the program as Yorick. However, in 2006 it was revealed that an alternate skull was given to the Goodman instead. In honor of Del after his death, his former students the Upright Citizens Brigade created The Del Close Marathon.
Del's voice can be heard narrating in the Upright Citizens Brigade TV show opening credits.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
How to Speak Hip was a comedy album by Del Close and John Brent, released by Mercury Records in 1959. The album presents itself as a didactic tool to be used by the listener to learn the secret language of the 'hipster'. As a parody of language-learning tools, the album presents a course in 'hip'. Basic concepts such as "cool" and "uncool" are taught, as well as vocabulary building ("dig", "dig it", "dig yourself, baby", "dig the chick", "dig the cat", "What a drag!"). Social notes are presented as for many language courses, and later in the album, the teacher (Brent) is taken on field trips into the secret life of the hipster (Del Close). However, the hipster rebels against participating in the teaching tool, leading to a humorously compromised teaching style.
The album itself was illustrated throughout. The woodcuts used as illustrations on the LP were stolen from Del's Chicago apartment in the 1980s.
Brian Wilson can be heard fondly mentioning this album in the box set The Pet Sounds Sessions during the highlights of the recording sessions of the album Pet Sounds; a full working title for the album's track "Let's Go Away For Awhile" was "Let's Go Away For Awhile (And Then We'll Have World Peace)," the parenthetical being an allusion to the album.
In 1980, a small independent San Francisco record label released a 7-inch EP inspired by the album -'How To Speak Hip' - An 'update' called 'How To Speak Modern'.
It attempted to capture (in just under twelve minutes) some of the same flavor of its predecessor with the lingo and habits of a new generation.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Ken Nordine (born April 13, 1920) is an American voiceover and recording artist best known for his series of Word Jazz albums. His deep, resonant voice has also been featured in many commercial advertisements and movie trailers. One critic wrote that "you may not know Ken Nordine by name or face, but you'll almost certainly recognize his voice."
The son of an architect, Ken Nordine was born in Chicago, Illinois. In Chicago he attended Lane Technical College Prep High School and the University of Chicago. He has three sons with his wife Beryl whom he married in 1945. During the 1940s, he was heard on The World's Great Novels and other radio programs broadcast from Chicago.
He attracted much wider attention when he recorded the aural vignettes on Word Jazz (Dot, 1957). Word Jazz, Son of Word Jazz (Dot, 1958) and his other albums in this vein feature Nordine's narration over cool jazz by the Chico Hamilton jazz group, recording under the alias of Fred Katz, who was then the cellist with Hamilton's quintet.
Nordine began performing and recording such albums at the peak of the beat era and was associated with the poetry-and-jazz movement. However, some of Nordine's "writings are more akin to Franz Kafka or Edgar Allan Poe" than to the beats. Many of his word jazz tracks feature critiques of societal norms. Some are lightweight and humorous, while others reveal dark, paranoid undercurrents and bizarre, dream-like scenarios.
Robert Ripley scoured the world in search of the strange, the miraculous and the unbelievable -but all were documented fact. He didn't have to scam the public by making the stuff up like today's ridiculous Tabloidshe was lucky enough to begin his search when the world still had distant corners with less-changed places. Truth is stranger than fiction - and Robert Ripley searched the world over for the oddest events, the strangest characters the most unbelievable oddities. But they are all true! Believe It Or Not!
Few kids growing up in the last half century did not fall under the spell of Ripley especially after the paperback book revolution put the many reprints of the original newspaper Believe it or Nots back in bookstores for well under a dollar!
Ripley began his careen as a sports cartoonist on the New York Globe, and drew the panels that are so distinctively a part of the Believe It or Not phenomena. During his career searching out this stuff, he visited 198 countries, traveling a distance equal to 18 complete trips around the world! Talk about sore feet!
Collected for the amazement of succeeding generations, these flashes of the world's wonder are still amazing. Ripley's One Minute Shorts are actually 50 seconds. Believe It Or Not!
For other seemingly unbelievable facts, see also: Passing Parade and Strange As It Seems. For other short stories, see also Strange Adventure, Incredible But True, Five Minute Mysteries and Ellery Queen Minute Mysteries.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Cool Scene - Twelve New Ways To Fly
01 - Dues Blues - Trombones Inc.
02 - I Love Paris - The Modern Touch Of Marty Paich
03 - The D.A.'s Man - Frank Comstock And His Orchestra
04 - Deserted Harem - The Big Sound Of Don Ralke
05 - It's A Lonesome Old Town - The Smart Set With Orchestra
06 - Improvisation - Robert Prince And His Orchestra
07 - Manteca - Marty Wilson & His Orchestra
08 - Invitation - Guitars Inc.
09 - The Stu Bailey Blues - Warren Barker & The Warner Bros Instrumental All Stars
10 - Come Rain Or Come Shine - The Signatures
11 - Pottsville,u - Chico Hamilton Quintet
12 - It's Alright With Me - Trombones Inc.
Monday, September 7, 2009
The album's material explores unconventional song structures, and reflects a diverse range of Americana influences. The subjects of many songs, on the other hand, are Southern California locales, including Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Vine Street and Palm Desert.
The album was backed by producer Lenny Waronker, who placed Parks' musical freedom over budgetary constraints. The album made early use of eight track recording.
In response to the poor sales of the record after its release (despite some rave critical reviews), Warner Bros. Records ran full page newspaper and magazine advertisements that said they "lost $35,509 on 'the album of the year' (damnit)." The ad said that those who actually purchased the album had likely worn their copies out by playing it over and over, and suggested that listeners send in worn out copies to Warner Bros. in return for two new copies, including one "to educate a friend with."
Many musicians cite the album as an influence, including producer and songwriter Jim O'Rourke. O'Rourke worked with Parks and harpist Joanna Newsom on Newsom's record Ys. Joanna Newsom sought out the partnership with Van Dyke Parks after listening to Song Cycle.
* All tracks composed by Van Dyke Parks, except where indicated
1. "Vine Street" (Randy Newman) – 3:40
2. "Palm Desert" – 3:07
3. "Widow's Walk" – 3:13
4. "Laurel Canyon Blvd" – 0:28
5. "The All Golden" – 3:46
6. "Van Dyke Parks" (public domain) – 0:57
7. "Public Domain" – 2:34
8. "Donovan's Colours" (Donovan Leitch) – 3:38
9. "The Attic" – 2:56
10. "Laurel Canyon Blvd" – 1:19
11. "By the People" – 5:53
12. "Pot Pourri" – 1:08
Note: the song "Van Dyke Parks" above (credited as 'public domain') is actually an interpretation of "Nearer, My God, to Thee", traditionally assumed to have been the last song played by the band on the deck of the Titanic, dubbed over battlefield recordings of Vietnam.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
For many years there have been these bootleg compilations doing the rounds, generally referred to as Wavy Gravy 1 and 2. It seems that they were cobbled together from three obscure and long out-of-print albums (apparently) compiled by a 60s DJ called Wavy Gravy. The sound quality on the bootlegs was pretty lousy, obviously having been transferred from tape or vinyl (probably tape) and no one knew most of the track titles, whether all the songs were included, or even if they were in the correct order. But now, finally, one of the original source albums has been released on CD, with remastered, listed tracks.
The album itself contains a mixture of genres. There are weird country songs about serial killers, failed novelty songs, dance crazes that didn't catch on (and possibly weren't meant to), dire comedy records, and other assorted novelties. I assume all the songs come from the 60s. Thrown into the mix are some of the finest exploitation-movie radio trailers ever recorded. If there's an overarching theme, it's horror - the cover should give you some idea, showing an absurd monster of some description. This is about cheap, hilarious horror films; wrong sex; and music that probably shouldn't have happened at all. It's so much better than the sum of its parts. This isn't *just* about music so bad it's funny, or so jaw-droppingly weird you can't believe it exists. This is a *lot* of fun to listen to, and is guaranteed to be a big hit at parties...
Saturday, September 5, 2009
This is the absolutely terrific soundtrack to Alejandro Jodorowsky's extreme, surreal and hypnotic western, El Topo (AKA The Mole or The Gopher).
The music, composed by Jodorowsky, is in a variety of styles; laid back, wild and psychedelic and straight-up funky. The tracks The Desert is a Circle and Flute in a Quarry are nice and long killer jazz-funk numbers.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine was The Doors' second compilation album (following 13), released in 1972. The album's title is a lyric from the song "The End." The album, like 13 and the 1973 The Best of the Doors, has not been released on compact disc. All of them were certified Gold or Platinum by the RIAA.
Two of the songs on the compilation, "Who Scared You" and "(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further," were originally released as B-sides to 1969's "Wishful Sinful" and 1971's "Love Her Madly", respectively. This was the only official album release of the songs until "Who Scared You" appeared in the 1997 Box Set and "(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further" appeared in the 2006 Perception box set. The only non-album track to remain unreleased on any album is the song "Tree Trunk", which was released as a B-side to "Get Up and Dance" in 1972.
The version of "Who Scared You" that was released on the Doors' Box Set is a shorter edit; part of the last verse is omitted. The full length song was released in 1999 on Essential Rarities, and later on the 2006 remastered release of The Soft Parade as a bonus track.
- --- Prepare yourself. This collection of Raymond Scott's electronic music is your ticket to uncharted realms. These 1953-'69 recordings were performed by Raymond Scott on pioneering music machines designed and built by Scott, such as the Clavivox, Electronium, Circle Machine, and Bandito the Bongo Artist. Also included are soundtracks of Scott's maverick (and decidedly 'non-kiddie') film collaborations with pre-Muppet era Jim Henson. A 144-page hardcover book features interviews with Scott colleagues, including synthesizer innovator, Bob Moog. The full-color book also contains countless unseen photographs, lab notes, schematics, and US patents. Over 2 hours of music... (Note: This is NOT a reissue; all music is previously unreleased.)