Saturday, April 17, 2010

National Lampoon Radio Dinner (1972)

National Lampoon
Radio Dinner(1972)


Deteriorata, Performed by Norman Rose; back-up vocals by Melissa Manchester; bass: John "Cooker" LoPresti; drums: Jim Payne; keyboard: Milissa Manchester; guitar: Christopher Guest; music composed and arranged by Christopher Guest; lyrics by Tony Hendra

A parody of "Desiderata," the then-popular dorm poster which was turned a minor hit record by Les Crane. This piece also appeared in the magazine (though I can't seem to find it!) and was also sold as a poster.

Phono Phunnies, Performed by Christopher Guest and Michael O'Donoghue

Teenyrap, Performed by Christopher Guest and Naomi R. Page

It's Obvious, Performed by Melissa Manchester, Christopher Guest, and Tony Hendra

Catch It and You Keep It, Performed by Jackson Beck, Christpher Guest, Jack Marks, Jill André, Windy Craig, and others; from an idea by Benjie Aerenson

TV game show parody where audience members try to catch valuable prizes (including electric knives, dinette sets, even a house) thrown down from the top of the CBS building

'Quinas 'n' 'Rasmus, Performed by M.R.D. [initials only--no other info available]

All Kidding Aside (PSA), Performed by Christopher Guest

Phono Phunnies, Performed by Christopher Guest

Teenyrap, Performed by Christopher Guest and Naomi R. Page

Magical Misery Tour (Bootleg Record), Performed by Tony Hendra (as John Lennon), Melissa Manchester (as Yoko Ono); piano: Melissa Manchester; drums: Jim Payne; bass: John "Cooker" LoPresti; composed by Christopher Cerf; arranged by Christopher Guest
John Lennon's own words are turned against him, making him out as an ungrateful prima donna, in this spooky parody


Those Fabulous Sixties, Performed by Christopher Guest (as Bob Dylan)
Parody of a K-Tel-type television ad in which Bob Dylan hawks a collection of protest songs

Profiles in Chrome, Performed by Jackson Beck, Christopher Guest, Jill André, Jack Marks, Norman Rose, Alex Bennett, Michael O'Donoghue, Tony Hendra, and Windy Craig (as Richard Nixon)

When the Democrats nominate a Pontiac GTO for the '72 Presidential election, Nixon counters by transforming himself into a car. The piece ends with America The Beautiful played on car horns.

Teenyrap, Performed by Christopher Guest and Naomi R. Page

Phono Phunnies, Performed by Christopher Guest and Tony Hendra

Pigeons, Performed by Michael O'Donoghue

Suport Your Locol Polece (PSA), Performed by "Loren Order" (as Frank Rizzo)

Pull the Tregros, Performed by Diana Reed (as Joan Baez); guitar: Frani Bell; bass: Dean Munson; composed by Tony Hendra; arranged by Christopher Guest

Joan Baez parody in which she encourages blacks to riot in prisons while she cheers them on from a safe distance

Teenyrap, Performed by Christopher Guest and Naomi R. Page

ng Asi , Performed by Christopher Guest

Phono Phunnies, Performed by Christopher Guest and Naomi R. Page

Concert in Bangla Desh, Performed by Tony Hendra and Christopher Guest

George Harrison's Concert for Bangla Desh is given the old switcheroo: an Indian "tragedy team" tells sad jokes before a starving audience in Bangla Desh for the purpose of collecting a bowl of brown rice for George Harrison so he can fast

Clues #1, #2, #3, and #4, Performed by Tony Hendra and Christopher Guest (not listed--scattered throughout the album)

These are short bits not listed anywhere on the album which refer to Paul McCartney and his support for the Irish independence movement. In several of the bits, we hear an Irish tenor in a pub starting to sing "Give Ireland back to the Irish..." cut short by a gun shot.

Album Credits: Sections of Teeny Rap written by Christopher Guest; all other material, including lyrics, written by Michael O'Donoghue and Tony Hendra; sound production by Bob Tischler; inside photograph by Larry Couzens; art direction by Michael Gross; recording engineer: Pat Martin; recording technician: Gus Mossler; sound effects: Bob Tischler; musical director: Christopher Guest; producers: Michael O'Donoghue and Tony Hendra; production assistant: Roberta Kaman; executive producer: Jerry Taylor

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dickie Goodman - Mr. Jaws and Other Fables

Richard Dorian "Dickie" Goodman (April 19, 1934 – November 6, 1989) is considered one of the earliest proponents of sampling in music. He used a series of "break-in" records he created from 1956 to 1986.

In June 1956, Goodman thought, “What if a seemingly normal record was interrupted by a report of flying saucers landing?” His first record, "The Flying Saucer," was co-written with partner Bill Buchanan, featured a four-minute rewriting of Orson Welles’ famous “War of the Worlds" radio show. While Goodman asked questions of pedestrians, scientists, and even the Martian himself, their responses were "snipped" from lyrics of popular songs of the day, such as:

* "The Great Pretender" by The Platters
* "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley
* "Earth Angel" by The Penguins
* "Tutti Frutti" by Little Richard
* "Maybellene" by Chuck Berry

Although "The Flying Saucer" became a major hit, it also landed Goodman in court for copyright infringement - e.g. the songs he used to create his "break-in" records. The lawsuits were later settled out of court when the judge ruled that Goodman's records were burlesques and parodies, and were original creations in and of themselves.

Goodman later recorded other break-in records, usually based around a political theme, or having his reporter (often as "John Cameron Cameron", a reference to newscaster John Cameron Swayze) alter-ego interviewing Batman or Neil Armstrong. In 1975, Goodman returned to the pop charts with "Mr. Jaws," a break-in record in which he interviewed several characters from the film Jaws. Peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, "Mr. Jaws" became Goodman's biggest-selling hit record. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in September 1975.

Goodman's singles often had instrumental numbers (in which his actual role is uncertain) as B-sides. These are not found on either his original LPs or his CD compilation albums.

Luniverse, Goodman's own record label released some works by other artists, including songs leased to him by the Del-Vikings, one of the first racially integrated groups in rock music.

Goodman died in North Carolina in 1989 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Goodman is survived by his sons Jed and Jon and daughter Janie.

His son, Jon Goodman, supervised the issue of Greatest Fables, the first authorised CD collection of Dickie Goodman's recordings in 1998. The album included Jon's tribute, "Return Of The Flying Saucer". Jon also authored a biography of sorts about his dad, entitled The King of Novelty in 2000 published by Xlibris Corporation. In 2008, Jon Goodman updated his father's "Energy Crisis '74" which he posted in the Dickie Goodman MySpace page.

In 2006, his estate produced and authorized two albums: All Time Novelty Hits and Dickie Goodman's Greatest Hits.

01 Mr. Jaws
02 Energy Crisis
03 Superfly Meets Shaft
04 The Touchables
05 The Touchables in Brooklyn
06 Flying Saucer Part 1
07 Flying Saucer Part 2
08 Santa and the Satellite Part 1
09 Santa and the Satellite Part 2
10 Flying Saucer the Second

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Neil's Heavy Concept Album (1984)

Neil's Heavy Concept Album is a 1984 recording of songs and spoken comedy routines by British actor Nigel Planer, in character as the long-suffering hippie Neil from the BBC comedy series The Young Ones. Production, arrangements and keyboards are by famed Canterbury keyboardist Dave Stewart, who also debuts on guitar, bass and drums.

The album followed the success of the Neil single "Hole in My Shoe" — a cover version of Traffic's 1967 hit — which reached number 2 in the United Kingdom.

The album starts with a spoken apology in which Neil apologizes for the album's quality. Additional spoken tracks include Neil having a conversation with a potato in a sewer, reciting a poem to his rubber plant, and experiencing a flashback. Also included is a parody horror movie commercial, which sees vegetarian Neil being turned into a carnivorous monster after accidentally eating a hamburger.

Among the originals is the Planer composition "Lentil Nightmare", a dark metal number that quotes from King Crimson's "The Court of the Crimson King" and features Planer singing in an uncharacteristic loud, high falsetto. In "Bad Karma in the UK", Neil's mum (played by musician Barbara Gaskin) admonishes him to watch his I Ching, chew his food eleven times, and remember his expectorant.

The album was heavily promoted by MTV, who had embraced The Young Ones and served as the sole outlet for the original LP in the US. A television commercial for the album had Neil in character talking about his "really beautiful" album, displaying a hole in his shoe, and hitting his head on a table.

01. "Hello Vegetables" – :26
02. "Hole In My Shoe" – 3:40
03. "Heavy Potato Encounter" – :42
04. "My White Bicycle" – 3:31
05. "Neil the Barbarian" – 1:12 (narrated by Nigel Planer's brother Roger Planer)
06. "Lentil Nightmare" – 5:47
07. "Computer Alarm" – :36
08. "Wayne" – 1:36
09. "The Gnome" – 2:29
10. "Cosmic Jam" – 2:26
11. "Golf Girl" – 4:40 (featuring Dawn French as a not-so-nice fairy godmother)
12. "Bad Karma in the UK" – 2:17
13. "Our Tune" – 1:13
14. "Ken" – :41
15. "The End of the World Cabaret" – 1:09
16. "No Future (God Save the Queen)" – 2:12
17. "Floating" – 1:39
18. "Hurdy Gurdy Man" – 3:46
19. "Paranoid Remix" – 1:59
20. "The Amoeba Song (From 'A Very Cellular Song')" – 1:19

Horrible Electric Musicians

* Bryson Graham - heavy metal drummer
* Gavin Harrison - flash studio drummer
* Pip Pyle - drunken cabaret drummer
* Jakko Jakszyk - heavy and psychedelic guitarist
* Dave Stewart - keyboardist, heavy metal bassist, useless drummer and fifties guitarist
* Rick Biddulph - cabaret bass & Rickenbacker 12 string

Beautiful Acoustic Musicians

* Jimmy Hastings - flute, saxophone and piccolo
* Annie Whitehead - trombone
* Barbara Gaskin - backing vocals
* Ted Hayton - backing vocals on "Hole In My Shoe"
* Rick Biddulph - 12 string guitar

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ivor Cutler - Jammy Smears (1976)

Ivor Cutler's final album for Virgin Records, 1976's Jammy Smears, is one of the best releases of his career. Kicking off with the jazzy piano tune "Bicarbonate of Chicken," a funny and bizarre dialogue with a waiter, the album runs through 31 brief songs, poems, and surreal short stories like the hilarious "Big Jim." About evenly split between recitations and songs like the catchy shaggy dog story "Barabadabada" and the oddly philosophical "Everybody Got," Jammy Smears features more of Cutler's piano playing than any of his albums other than 1967's jazz trio album Ludo. His trademark droning harmonium makes only a small handful of appearances. As on its predecessor, 1975's Velvet Donkey, Cutler's friend Phyllis April King reads five of her own poems and a short story, "The Wasted Call," on Jammy Smears, all of them based on life in and around a cottage in Dorset. Because most of Cutler's pieces this time out share the rural theme, with an episode of his ongoing Life in a Scotch Sitting Room, Volume Two centered around a family walk in the country and several poems and stories about birds, bugs, and other wildlife, King's contributions are much more smoothly integrated with the whole than they had been on Velvet Donkey. Cutler's usual morbid obsessions crop up infrequently, making Jammy Smears one of his sunniest and most playful albums.

01 Bicarbonate of Chicken
02 Filcombe Cottage, Dorset
03 Squeeze Bees
04 The Turn
05 Life in a Scotch Sitting Room, Volume Two, Episode Eleven
06 A Linnett
07 Jumping and Pecking
08 The Other Half
09 Beautiful Cosmos
10 The Path
11 Barabadabada
12 Big Jim
13 In the Chestnut Tree
14 Dust
15 Rubber Toy
16 Unexpected Join
17 A Wooden Tree
18 When I Stand on an Open Cart
19 High Is the Wind
20 The Surly Buddy
21 Pearly-Winged Fly
22 Garden Path at Filcombe
23 Paddington Town
24 Cage of Small Birds
25 Life in a Scotch Sitting Room, Vol. 2 EP.6
26 Irk Cutler 3:09
27 Lemon Flower
28 Red Admiral
29 Everybody Got
30 The Wasted Call
31 Wasted Call

thanks to JIM!