Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Fall & Michael Clark

The Fall and Micheal Clark collaborated on I Am Kurious, Oranj in 1988. I am still picking my jaw off the floor since I found this earlier production performed to "Lay of the Land".

The Fall & The Michael Clark Dance Company - Lay Of The Land (avi)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Billy Synth

From a 1980 Sordide Sentimental 7", comes Billy Synth's beautifully inept "Hartzdale Drive Destruction" featuring a one note bass line, oscilating synth, and confused and meandering shouted vocals. Over the years Billy Synth has led other bands such as The Turn-ups and The Windowpaynes.

Billy Synth - Hartzdale Drive Destruction (mp3)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Charel Janssens

These two odd songs come from the Belgian compilation "Een Zwanspartij Met", released by Polydor Special in, I'm guessing, the early 70's. I fell in love with the cover of this record when a roommate brought it home from his travels abroad. I eventually aquired it as trade in exchange for capturing swarms of flies in the alley with a net to feed to his praying mantis.

The Charel Janssens tracks starkly stand out on this mostly bland compilation. It's a wet fart polka, embelished with dissonant accents for comic effect and Charel's whiny milquetoast voice hemming and hawing in some overwrought vaudeville routine.

I can't find a goddamn thing about Charel Janssens except for one vague reference on a poorly translated webpage. I like to imagine that that's Charel Janssens on the cover, with the pretty ladies fawning all over him. Click on image for complete cover.

Charel Janssens - Choe Zedde Nie Goe (mp3)
Charel Janssens - Waar Is De Goeie Ouwen Tijd (mp3)

If anyone has any information on Mr. Janssens or if you know what the hell he is yammering about, please respond.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Soft Serve

Soft Serve is the solo project of Chicago weirdo Eleanor Balson. Her first CD, "Good Mood, Bad Mood" is a stumbling work of genius somewhere between The Shaggs and Drumbo-era Beefheart percussion. Plenty of piano, marimba, glockenspiel and tympani (!) along with a guest accompaniment from Fred Lonberg-Holm, Thymme Jones and Johnathan Hischke among many others.

Soft Serve - Hey, Zombie! (mp3)
Soft Serve - Sea Glass (mp3)

Ms Balson is currently dabbling in retardo-electro, bringing her odd sensibilities to the genre. Here is a track from her CD-R "Seeds of Crimatia" :

Soft Serve - Dynamite Nasty (mp3)


Friday, June 17, 2005

Mostly Ghostly

I love Halloween Haunted House sound effects records. They expose kids at a very young age to avant-garde sounds: musique concrete, noise and modern classical. Every Halloween I scour the toy and costume aisle at various stores, hoping to find some cheapo Halloween CD. Each one is great and interesting and approaches the standard Haunted House themes in different ways: WIND, MEWLING CATS, AGONIZED WOMAN GROANS, MANIACLE LAUGHTER, CHAINS, CREAKY DOORS, PREPARED PIANO OR ORGAN BASHING and sometimes, uh, some spaceships.

For my first installment of Halloween records, I present "Ghostly Mostly". Released by ubiquitous kiddie label "Kid Stuff", performed by the "Kid Stuff Repertory Company" and packaged in a crudely drawn innocuous cover, this 1977 release is the most interesting Halloween record I have come by.

1. Witch Chant (mp3) - A steady burbling analog synth remains in the foreground for the 3 minute duration while some gravel gurgling grunting and cackling flails around, buried in the mix.

2. Night Prowl (mp3) - Organ grind and drone, with mysterious sounds and ominous thumping. Sounds like early Quintron records.

3. Goblin Ball (mp3) - A severely enjoyable moronic song with hilarious rambling organ playing and seemingly arbitrary mixing techniques,

4. Halloween Night (mp3) - An odd poem, howling dogs and droning organ.

5. Women Scream (mp3)

Nightmare City Halloween record list

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Rambling Old Man Pontificates

I encountered this old man in downtown Chicago years ago. He rambled on for a half hour about the good old days- "Those people were all right...They're all dead now."

This recording came from the same video as the Conspiracy Lady With Fractured Neck. The master is lost and I'm still kicking myself...but here at least is an edit.

Rambling Old Man Pontificates (mp3)

and for any of you that are curious- here is a picture of the conspiracy lady.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

3 Finger Spread

3 Finger Spread was the bluegrass side project of East Bay pastiche-jazz-punk combo Schlong. Hilarious lyrics sung in ridiculous falsetto, great fiddle playing and a Mel Blanc impersonation.
These tracks came off of a Very Small Records farewell comp. 7" (although, these tracks have also appeared elsewhere). Very Small was run by David Hayes, who was co-founder of - (groan)- Lookout Records...he was responsible for their somewhat interesting back catalog (Plaid Retina). Very Small released themed compilations and strange bands like Schlong, Horny Mormons, Pounded Clown and False Sacrament.

3 Finger Spread - Phone Me Bone Me (mp3)
3 Finger Spread - Pisstoy (mp3)
3 Finger Spread - Shit (mp3)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Ben Hall Sends His Best To You

It was February, 1971, and I had just finished doing my radio show, "Woody's World" on station WHWH, Princeton, New Jersey. The office had informed me that someone was waiting to see me. As I arrived at my office, here was this lady, standing there with something in her hand. Her face was all aglow and full of sunshine. She was holding a record album by Ben Hall, her husband. She wanted me to listen to Ben's first album and then, if possible, just to mention the fact that Ben was beginning his 7th year as the featured artist as The Old Yorke Inn, Hightstown, New Jersey.
"This must be some sort of record in itself! Someone playing for six years in the same location!" The response from the people was great. Ben Hall has made many friends through the years with his music. He is warm, friendly and above al dedicated to hiis family and musical career.

This album will make new friends for Ben. It's what he wants to do. His daughter, Geri, only nine, sings on "Dream Baby". Ben Jr. says he wants to play drums, and Betty, Ben's wife, sing "Irish"

C.D. "WOODY" Powell
WHWH Radio
Princeton, NJ

Ben Hall - Dream Baby (Mp3)
Ben Hall - Smile (Mp3)

This Ben Hall, theatre organ archivist, was brutally murdered in December, 1970. He sure looks like the same Ben Hall but this record was recorded in 1971. How many Ben Halls are theatre organists?
Ben Hall claimed, alongside Anton LaVey, to be myserious organist George Montalba