Strange Attractors Audio House
Strange Attractors Audio House who have released such cds as The Lowdown's self-titled album and Steffen Basho-Junghans' album, "Inside." Both are extraordinarily different from each other and are both very VERY good. One is completely psycho crazy stuff and the other is meditative. Highly recommended. Both cds are reviewed in the Reviews section.
Here, the folks at Strange Attractors give us their top eleven weirdest songs, with extensive yet interesting comments for each choice.Strange Attractors Audio House on the Web: www.strange-attractors.com/
Here is Strange Attractors Audio House's top eleven weirdest songs:
1. Cromagnon "Caledonia" Orgasm (ESP, reissued most recently by Calibre)
-- Super head scratcher from the annals of the ESP catalog. Evidently the recordings of a Connecticut "Tribe", and the recording sure seems like it Recorded in 1968, with bagpipes, almost whispered-yet-death metal-esque vocals, primitive thud and plunder oh man, this is essential, more proof how ahead of the game ESP was. Wish there were more primitive psychedelic cave runes from this band, I sure nuff do!
2. The Shaggs "My Pal Foot Foot" Philosophy of the World (Rounder)
--A classic, but really, as the question has been posed many times prior: what were they thinking? According to the great book on outsider music called "Songs in the Key of Z", it really was the poor farming father of these three New England girls who bought their instruments, made them cajole songs out of them, and paid for the studio time. Ah, the pride of a loving father. Although, he was really seeing $ signs, but HOW??? Written about their cat Foot Foot, this tune is as raw and pure as a good, solid Vermont Vanilla ice cream headache.
3. Syd Barrett "Dark Globe" The Madcap Laughs (Harvest)
--Cracked, even for the unstable genius of Syd Barrett. Word play gymnastics floating down an untamed paisley stream of consciousness, delivered with off-kilter honesty by a true visionary.
4. Big Poo Generator "Rear Entry Pants" Please Kill Us (C/Z)
--Still a mystery to me. From the "Spoo Disc" series of the doomed C/Z Records of Seattle, released in the early 90s during the Grunge Boom. Big Poo Generator spoof the desire of getting signed to a rockn roll contract by mailing this off to one of the Seattle new rock hotbed labels at the time, lead by someone who adopted Poisons Rikki Rocket as his name. Bad casio flailings and Chipmunks-style vocals in a nightmare wedding of Muzak and The Teletubbies. Im serious.
5. Comus "Drip Drip" First Utterance (Get Back)
--Brilliant! Some of the most unsettling music ever to pervert the new British folk music scene of the early 70s. Comus launch from The Incredible String Band mode of operations, using just acoustic stringed instruments, hand drums, and the occasional flute, but delve far into pagan realms of utter weirdness. Sketched, chemically imbalanced vocals incant about sacrifice, rape and witchcraft. "Drip Drip" discusses the hanging, bleeding carcass of a victim. Musically Comus are intricate and pastoral, with flights into deep dark satanic corridors. Really scary and really beautiful = amazing!
6. Sun Ra "I'm Gonna Unmask the Batman" The Singles (Evidence)
--Originally released as a 7" on Sun Ras own El Saturn Research label, Evidence gathered it up for the sprawling 2xCD document of all the Sun Ra singles. This one I picked because of both the musical delivery and the content. This is an R&B-swing, doo-wop tune by Sun Ra using Batman as a political statement, right in the middle of the Arkestras crucial avant garde period of the 1960s, prior to his period of Afro-Science celestial jazz a la "Space is the Place". A friend of mine found the original album at a record store we were at in Sacramento the original made no reference at all to the fact that it is actually Sun Ra providing the music, and it looks exactly like a childrens record of the comic! Good eye on his part.
7. Ron & Shirley "Bad Love is a Demon" Rock 'n' Scroll (Private Pressing)
--Psychedelic Christian music from the 60s!!! Oh man, truly out there this is Ron & Shirley are influenced by Bay Area acid rock, but instead of Acid Tests and Free Love, they are very much into our Lord Jesus Christ! A private-pressing classic, if you can find it. Thanks to my collector friend Kevin for his amazing passion for obscure music and the diligence which helped him unearth this treasure, and thus introducing it to me.
8. Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra "Some Velvet Morning" Nancy & Lee (reissued on Rhino comp.)
--One of the most bizarre pop recordings ever. It made it to #26 in the Billboard singles chart the year that it was released (1968), but this is certainly no "These Boots Were Made for Walking"! This song is a sign of the times by two popular country/western pop artists who merged with psychedelia, looking to stay modern. As Lee deadpans the verses in classic baritone cowboy style, Nancy chimes in with a chorus acting more like a bridge, shifting the songs pattern and flow abruptly, and the result is jarring, sultry, dark, and oh-so psychedelic. This one has marijuana smoke unfurling all around it.
9. Incredible String Band "Dust be Diamonds" Changing Horses (Hannibal)
--I think any reference to strange songs must include something by The Incredible String Band. Although quite popular in England and certainly the reference point to the British Folk Music of the time, The Incredible String Band were just bizarre. Their tunes meander like longform prose, with only exotic acoustic instrumentation as the backdrop. Vocally, they are fey and fettered, fractured and folly. Which is what makes them so great! "Dust be Diamonds" is just plain odd, the vocals especially, yet it hooks in your cranium firmly, making it darn near impossible to get out once imbedded.
10. Crispin Hellion Glover "Auto Manipulator" THE BIG PROBLEM does not Equal the Solution. The Solution = LET IT BE. (Restless)
--From the movie characters McFly in "Back to the Future" to Ruben in "Ruben & Ed", Crispin Glover is a revelation in cinema. But his controversial enigmatic behavior is not relegated just to the silver screen. Crispin Glover is a brilliant experimental artist, writer and musician too. His album, released in 1988 on Restless, is absolutely fucked up. I picked this song based on song-like structure (others are readings of his writing put to music and some nice twisted covers) and its time-weathered ability over the years to be referenced too over and over again, because of sheer comedic value and pure, unadulterated weirdness. With lyrics like "Im an auto manipulator/I play with myself/Im a masturbator", how can you go wrong? Very truly strange.
11. Hasil Adkins "Chicken on the Bone" Poultry in Motion (Norton)
--OK, my favorite word in the English language is chicken. Hands down. I guess it is in any language, but chicken is just hilarious no matter which way you slice or dice it. It just sounds funny for one thing, but then its attributed to a terrestrial bird that is a cornerstone in many cultures diets, who look funny and act funny. Theres even an instinctual pecking order in these dumb birds lives. I love em! Hasil Adkins loves chicken too. So much that hes recorded many a song in the birds honor since the 1950s. "Chicken on the Bone", recorded in 1999, stumbles over a fractured rock n roll beat and deals with the pleasures of eating chicken I think. Mumbling in a falsetto in a weird chicken call that sounds like calling your cat to come home, the tune progresses to some nice down n dirty backwoods sentimentality filtered through tainted moonshine about that yummy meat, chicken. The sound of Hasil Adkins today, all his marbles now lost on the great playground of life.