Saturday, October 25, 2008

halloween spooks

Going away for a few days so just wanted to squeeze in a quick Halloween post.

Firstly if you haven't played Survive The Outbreak yet, go and do it now. A choose-you-own-adventure-style, interactive zombie film, this is the future of film-making.

Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Halloween Spooks

Picked this up from New York earlier this year (a beautiful original 1961 pressing of their "High Flying with..." album). An expensive and cumbersome piece of hand luggage. Especially when I realised that all of the tracks are apparently included on another CD. Whatever - I do loves my vinyl.

Messer Chups - Fantomasofobia

I was introduced to this odd Russian band on the way down to a wedding earlier this year. They struck me as being a direct cross between The Cramps and "previously featured on Domino Rally" Coconut Monkeyrocket. So - wild 50s style b-movie soundtracks, twangerrific guitars, surf drums and crazy vocal samples. Will definitely put the swing into your Halloween festivities.

And they're Russian and the album I have is called "Crazy Price" - hours of fun saying that in a stern Eastern Bloc accent!

Buy - Lambert Hendricks & Ross, The Hottest New Group In Jazz
Buy - Messer Chups, Crazy Price (import CD)
Buy - Messer Chups mp3s from eMusic
Visit - Lambert, Hendricks & Ross (wiki)
Visit - Messer Chups (site)
Visit - Messer chups (wiki)

Friday, October 17, 2008

happiness is egg shaped

The great Tony Hancock in a series of adverts made for the Egg Marketing Board in 1965.

Eggs - A Pit With Spikes

Another song rescued from Ferric Oxide oblivion by the marvel that is eMusic. This was given to me by the oft-referenced (on these pages, anyway) Archdeacon of Pop, top drummer and indie obscurist.

We exchanged a lot of tapes over the years but this track wasn't on one he did for me - rather, this was a tape for brother Ox. If I remember rightly, this compilation consisted of the weirdest stuff in his collection - lots of Tinklers amongst other cranks and, as always with the Arch, a little bit too much Jad Fair.

Nonetheless, Archie's tapes always threw up the odd belter and I remember him going on about this track and the Eggs for quite a while. I know absolutely nothing about this band other than what I've just read about them on AllMusic, so to pretend otherwise would be daft.

I'm not even sure if I got what this song WAS (never mind what it was about) at the time - I thought maybe it smacked of the indie-kids fear of funk. Now I think it's just a band in the studio going, "you know what would sound really stoopid here...??!"

And thus is most great Art made...

Buy - Eggs Teenbeat 96 Exploder from eMusic
or pay over the odds for a proper CD

BTW, thanks for all the comments after the recent post where I was thinking about pulling the plug on the blog. This week I've found myself with a lot of spare-time, hence the blogging explosion. Let's just see how it goes!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

i don't fancy yours much...

The Dead Milkmen's 1988 album Beelzebubba was an album that a friend lent me when I was at college. I think it's fair to say that Bod, for that was his nickname, saved me from a lifetime of listening to very dour and serious post-hardcore art-rock. And he did this solely by introducing me to something called COLLEGE ROCK.

The Dead Milkmen - Punk Rock Girl

I mentioned Camper Van Beethoven in a recent post and I didn't know if there was a link between the two bands - aside from the snotty vocals and irreverent humour. Having just looked at the DM site, there is a link (of sorts): "We returned from a tour once to find them [CVB] camped out in our house".

The Dead Milkmen - Smokin' Banana Peels

I remember my brother and I finding this song, and the "mellow... it's so mellow" bits, hilariously funny at the time - now it sounds like a weird post-Up-On-The-Sun Meat Puppets track. This is no bad thing, obviously.

The Dead Milkmen - The Guitar Song

This was always my favourite track, due mostly to the weirdly moving impassioned delivery. I don't know which Milkman sings it but I first heard it at the same time that Whose Line is it Anyway? was gently tickling the ribs of the UK. As such, in my mind, I see Greg Proops.

Visit - The Dead Milkmen
Visit - The Dead Milkmen (wiki)
Buy - Beelzebubba...
... although Death Rides a Pale Cow: The Ultimate Collection looks pretty good!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

tears of a clown

As Domino Rally winds it's way to it's inevitable demise (the seemingly endless gaps between posts are never a good sign, are they?), take heart from the fact that I'm going to get through the list of songs that I intend to share with you before I pull the plug. Yes, despite appearances to the contrary, there is an element of planning in what I do here!

I recently delved into the the world of the comedy song, looking at the work of DJs, actors and the like, as well as yer dedicated comedy songwriters.

But what happens if you're one of these last but you wake up one day and think, "actually, I have deep thoughts that matter" and remove your clown shoes?

One such band was The Divine Comedy, who peddled a very British strain of kitchen-sink banter since forming in 1989. They were never strictly a comedy band but achieved success when Neil Hannon adopted the pose of a rakish dandy for Something for the Weekend in 1996 and released a series of quirkily comedic songs like Generation Sex and National Express. And, of course, Hannon wrote the theme tune and the genius My Lovely Horse for Father Ted.

However, in 2001 they released Regeneration, a definite move away from what had become their signature sound. Neil took his suit off, put on some baggy combats and stood in the street with his bandmates. Like a proper band.

The Divine Comedy - Love What You Do

They recorded Regeneration with Nigel Godrich, who since then has become a by-word for "Danger! Thom Yorke crossing!" Back then I knew him as the bloke who did the last Pavement album and my favourite Beck album, Mutations. He really does have a knack for recording synths and a way of setting the tone with a few well-placed textures, as evidenced on this track. Listen for the great wobbly sound that kicks in at 1.34.

The Divine Comedy - Eye Of The Needle

Blimey, has it got cold in here? It's not exactly "it's hard to get by when your arse is the size of a small country", is it?

Visit - The Divine Comedy
Buy - Regeneration