Saturday, January 29, 2005


When I was in high school, our art class went to Rutgers for the state high school art competition. My group got lost somewhere on campus and we were blindly trying to find our way back to the bus. A woman stopped in her mini-van and we asked her for directions. I immediately sensed something was off. She had a strange vacant birdlike glaze to her eyes and she was holding some pamphlets. She completely ignored our pleas for directions and handed us her tracts, "You must come." OUR LADY OF THE ROSES! MARY HELP OF MOTHERS...a huge picture of the virgin mary with a crown, some uplifting spiritual gibberish...this was a keeper! but the bus was going to leave without us and I couldn't press her further.

A few years later in Chicago I stumbled across a very strange religious radio show, later realizing it was the same cult featured on the tract. I was obsessed with this show and would record it every week...a good reason to wake up at 6:30 AM! It was the usual fanatical rambling, but what made it truly strange was Miss Veronica Luekan- a mush-mouthed thick New York accented dessimated old crotch that Jesus and the Virgin Mary spoke through. She was dead by the time I started listening, and they would play her old sermons held out in the middle of some godforsaken shithole like Bayside, Queens. Funny thing is that you really can't tell who is speaking through Veronica at any given moment, so she sounds even more like a schizophenic lunatic. (that's the pretty lady up top)

The radio show originated from Michigan and was hosted by "Gary", a lilted voiced weirdo with the patronizing tone of a kindegarten teacher. He would ramble on against the usual suspects: hollywood, clinton, homosexuality, the media, etc etc. and would then introduce the the weekly archived sermon from Veronica Luekan. Afterwards, Veronica's former secretary, Mrs. Ann Furgusen would recount some inane tale involving the late Veronica Luekan, sometimes spicing it up with stories about infighting politics in the ministry or how some severely sick person was miraculously cured by rubbing rose petals on their body.


Our Lady of the Roses also has an odd obsession with something they call "The Fiery Ball of Redemption" Supposedly Jesus warns Our Lady followers by sticking wierd globes of light in photographs taken at the vigils. These are photos are very laughable, obviously being thumbs caught in the picture frame or slow exposures of moving lights. BUT! According to the official Our Lady of The Roses website...

"These miraculous pictures seem to defy all scientific analysis. Pictures which have been submitted to the Polaroid Company have been returned with the comment that, "This company cannot offer any explanation concerning the photographs and the symbols shown in them.". They were especially baffled by the "JACINTA 1972" photograph - which is so unique and so unexplainable that experts can only shake their heads in wonder...

My favorite show, an excerpt featured here, is when Veronica tells a story about going to the hospital and having to take off her scapular, crucifix and St. Benedict's medal. It's quite a ride! I would have to say this is one of the most demented recordings I have ever heard. If you listen closely, you can hear Veronica's dentures chattering.

Veronica Leukan, Our Lady of The Roses...DOG BISCUITS! MP3

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Nora Keyes

Nora Keyes, formerly of LA's Centimeters, is one of my favorite musical weirdos. Whereas her former band took a lot from 80's new-wave and Ralph records aesthetics, Nora's solo project is more of an extension of her creepy vaudeville old lady personality (a compliment!). Her new CD, Songs to Cry by for the Golden Age of Nothing, just released on Duelplover records, is really fucking brilliant.
The most distinctive quality of Nora's music is her singing, which veers from a operatic witch's cackle, to a little girl whisper. She backs this up with her pump organ and a variety of musical guests accompanying her on saws and violins among other things. The production of the record sounds like an old '78, but not cheesily nostalgically so. The song Old Folks sounds like a short-wave transmission...and effect achieved, according to Nora, by accident because the master was lost and she had to record it on a shitty boombox- which she last saw in a homeless man's shopping cart.
Small Apart
Look at You You're Ugly
The Show is Over

Nora is also a fantastic artist. "The Tragedy of Dr. Promise and
the Origin of the Fatterpekis"

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Black Bear Combo

I have never seen the Black Bear Combo, even though they are from Chicago and ussually play down the street from me. I have been a terrible recluse lately. I learned of Black Bear Combo from Loach Fillet, who saw them play Bunny & Damien's wedding. He was very ecstatic about them and described them as a gypsy, klezmer beefheart free jazz combo. I scratched my head and searched for their website, which offers many fine example of their work:
They are now a 3 piece and will be playing in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Scissor Girls

Scissor Girls were an extremely underated band from Chicago circa 93-96. Fronted by Azita Youseffi (now solo under 'azita') they crafted an amazing textured and dense sound. Every instrument had its own personality- from Azita's distinctive bass rumble and her strange vocals, to the mechanical drumming of Heather M, to the guitar playing of Kelly Kuvo and (earlier guitarist) Sua Anne. The kids these days might swing to the current No-Wave fashions, but they really don't understand it the way the Scissor Girls did (although I'm absolute all of the SGs hate that term!).
Scissor Girls were the first band I saw when I arrived in Chicago in '94. They played at the Hub Theatre on Chicago Ave. (now demolished) in front of and old black and white movie played backwards and upside down. They blew me away, it was everything I was looking for in music...the nihilism, the spooky haunted house trolls under the bridge aesthetic, the dissonance, the oddd Mark E. Smith style of barking/declaration/singing.
Well, here are 3 live tracks from WHPK, courtesy of Roger Deforest's fine Scissor Girl tribute site -STATICLAND-

Here is a track from Scissor Girl's 10" So that you can start to see S-T-A-T-I-C-L-A-N-D

Sunday, January 16, 2005

big whoopdee-do

Hello, here is another pointless blob...that noone will read. I know I don't read most blog shit, I just troll around for interesting Mp3s. Which here! Hopefully you will find some interesting bits! Here is my first offering!

The Ritualistic School of Errors

Odd soundscape burlesque 3 stooges haunted house mood music.