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The Monitors: Silly Sci-Fi From Second City c. 1969

May 23, 2014

This oddball sci-fi satire used to pop up on late-night TV fairly frequently when I was a kid.

It’s based on a Keith Laumer novel of the same name (which I’ve never read) and deals with a group of benevolent bowler-wearing aliens who have conquered earth and imposed peace all over the world. They’ve also outlawed most earthling passions – you know – hate, greed, war, real love, etc. That doesn’t sit well with a growing rebel faction, which is where we come in.

It was a creation of Chicago’s legendary Second City troupe and was directed by Jack Shea, and was a joint effort of Second City and the Bell-Howell corporation. Many Second City alumni appear (Avery Schreiber, for one, at the same time that he was doing Frito commercials), as well as some actors who weren’t in it (Guy Stockwell, Susan Oliver, Ed Begley Sr., Alan, Adam and Matthew Arkin, Keenan Wynn and F-Troop’s Larry Storch) , some strange cameos by the likes of Xavier Cugat, Jackie Vernon and Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, playing himself in one of the numerous hilarious TV PSA segments. The cinematographer was future Oscar winner Vilmos Zsigmond.

There’s also songs by Odetta and loads and loads of quotable dialog and interesting soundbites.

This offering isn’t the movie’s soundtrack – I don’t think it’s ever been released. I simply recorded the audio when it was briefly available for streaming on that movie streaming service we love and loathe. I made it into a CD-length album, of sorts, mainly consisting of the theme, interesting dialog, those aforementioned PSA segments and more.

I hope you enjoy it!

The Monitors Are Your Friends.

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Sketch Erickson ‎– Sketch Sounds Off On Trends In Today’s ‘Pop’ Culture

May 12, 2014

FourMost Productions ‎– FM-6919CS – 196?

“Sketch Erickson finds himself a target on the taut, thin line between two generations. His programs, which examine trends in our so-called “pop culture”, pull no punches with either group. 
Sketch is a leading advertising artist who left that career to conduct his crusade for decency among teens. He’s the father of four children, three of whom are teens. As and artist he studied in Europe and Chicago and served as an art director for several leading publishers. He is also a musician who has directed both instrumental and choral groups.”

I’ve got tons of religious records. I’ve also got tons of spoken word religious records – so many, in fact, that I’ve had to break them into sections to separate the end-of-the-world prophecy LPs from the ‘what will happen when the godless commie liberals take over’ LPs from the ‘pastors talking to teens about sex, drugs and rock and roll’ LPs.
This one, from what I am guessing is the late 60s is one of the latter. I’ve got lots of these ones, too. There was something about the track listing on the back that drew me in. Sketch is more of the school of the ‘hep’ and ‘with it’ pastor who can ‘groove’ with today’s young generation. He doesn’t come across as openly judgemental about music, movies and pop trends but he is.

The main selling point for those of us with the constitution to listen to this hellfire and brimstone crap is the goofy skits and sketches (no pun intended) that serve to illustrate Erickson’s points about the slippery slope towards Satan. There are some hilarious attempts at approximating groovy hippy music done by a souless Christian folk group, complete with some awful guitar freakouts. It’s pretty funny.

 

Let’s have church

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The Best of Kaleidoscope – Featuring the ’72 Allegras

May 11, 2014

I picked up this record on the same visit to the East Vancouver, WA Goodwill that I bought the previously posted accordion record.

And, like that record, I seldom buy these church produced band/choir LPs. I do check them out from time to time to see if there’s anything funny, weird or inappropriate for that kind of music. You know what I mean. A way-too grown-up song sung by children – ala Langley School Music Project, etc. – Or maybe something schmaltzy and maudlin. But I think most of those kinds of records have really square music directors, not even letting the poor kids do one single rock and or roll song. It’s the devil’s music, don’t you know.

This one appealed to me though, as it’s all contemporary song hits, via 1972 and shortly before. There’s some Bacharach and David, some Carpenters and even a Leonard Cohen song, for Christ’s sake!

It’s from a Catholic girl’s school from Portland Oregon. I did a little searching for the album and school and – lo and behold – see that friend and WFMU radio host Tony Coulter covered this on WFMU’s Beware of the Blog in two thousand and eleven. You can read about it here (in fact, I snatched the scans from there, as I am presently unable to take acceptable LP photos at the moment).

It’s a fun album. Not quite as charming and kooky as the aforementioned Langly School album, but still lots of fun. There’s some tremulous but spirited solo performances and some fun but somewhat stiff multi-voiced takes on hit songs of the 70s. I don’t know where they got their drummer but he just goes apeshit in a few places. I like to imagine they borrowed some hot-stuff percussionist from the boy’s school and his hormones just went wild being around all the girls. His frantic drumming at the start of Put Your Hand In The Hand can’t be missed.

Come and get it.

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Shelly Taylor – Accordion Stylings of West Side Story

May 11, 2014

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I never would’ve looked at this record twice, normally. I am somewhat averse to accordion records and have this fear that if I buy one, I’ll soon have to start a whole partition for them in my collection. The thought of accordion versions of West Side Story seemed even more daft. Maybe it was the mood I was in. The back pictures and write up on the back sort of sold me on it.

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That’s not Shelly on the cover. No, boy. It’s this guy. (sorry for the crappy pics. I’m too lazy to do it properly)

It sounded kind of weird from the copy. It says Mr. Taylor used a stereophonic accordion through effects and that he had ‘high-frequency microphones’ on his fingertips to record the ‘maraca-like’ sounds of his fingers on the keys and buttons.

I ended up buying it. Goodwill makes it really hard to want to take a chance on records, since they sell shit records that aren’t worth 25 cents for a ludicrous $2.99 now – but I did it anyway.

It’s hoot, let me tell ya. It seems Taylor is really enamored of his vibrato unit. It sounds like he’s playing accordion underwater in over half the tracks and I’m not sure what’s going on with the crazy panning. I had to stop listening more than once to assure myself that there wasn’t something wrong with my setup, as the audio creeps from side to side often. I suspect someone was going apeshit during mixing. Or maybe it was Mr. Taylor’s live rig, as I found references to him being a big dinner theatre draw in the 60s, with the ad copy referencing his ‘stereophonic’ sound. One one particularly spirited track, he beats on his squeezebox like a pair of bongos.

Shelly Taylor was (is?) a great player, no doubt. Was he nuts? Probably.
The bulk of the album is dedicated to West Side Story (What? No Officer Krupke?) and then there’s a few maniacally played standards and a few original tunes for good measure.

Get it here.

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Radio Lost and Found for April 2014

April 12, 2014

Here’s Radio Lost and Found for April.

While we’ve got some beautiful spring weather, I’ve been ill, so it was sort of hard to schlep my sorry ass down to the station but I think it turned out fine. Some really silly mixing, utilizing the late Robert Ashley’s Automatic Writing with some tracks by Current 93 and Nurse With Wound that I thought had a similar, creepy vibe. I also mixed a rather disturbing YouTube video with stuff towards the latter half of the show.

Play
Download

Playlist:
10:00PM KBOO Community Radio Promo Spots from Promo Spots
10:02PM Realistic – 2001 A Space Odyssey from A Sound Odyssey
10:02PM Murray Saul – It’s Friday! from Radio Oddities vol. 2
10:06PM Leonard Pennario – March of the Lunatics from The Two Pianos of Leonard Pennario
10:07PM Laurie Anderson – From the Air from Big Science
10:11PM Nagy Feró – Children’s Tale from Hova Lett
10:15PM Young Marble Giants – Searching for Mr Right from Colossal Youth
10:17PM Marc Okrand – Introduction from Star Trek: Conversational Klingon
10:22PM National Hardwood Floor Association – Trouble Concentrating When Praying (Only When I Masturbate) from Savage Vigilance For A Rug-Free America
10:23PM Brother Russell – Nightmare for the Dream Center from Bandcamp
10:24PM Ursula Bogner – Begleitung für Tuba from Recordings 1969-1988
10:27PM Ursula Bogner – Inversion/Proto from Recordings 1969-1988
10:31PM Robert Ashley – Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon from Automatic Writing
10:41PM Current 93 – I Have a Special Plan for This World from I Have a Special Plan for This World – EP
10:45PM Nurse With Wound – I Was No Longer His Dominant from Automating Vol. 1
11:04PM —Set break — Music Behind DJ: Lil’ Markie – Let the Sun Shine In
11:05PM Artur Zmijewski – Wir Eilen from Deaf Bach: Lekcja śpiewu
11:09PM Anja Fessel – I Love You from Deaf Bach: Lekcja śpiewu
11:12PM Portsmouth Sinfonia – From The Messiah, Pt. 2 – Hallelujah Chorus from Hallelujah
11:17PM John Oswald – Open (Bo No Ma) from Plexure
11:18PM John Oswald – Urge (Marianne Faith No Morissey) from Plexure
11:20PM John Oswald – Manifold (Bing Stingspreen) from Plexure
11:22PM John Oswald – Blur (Bolton Chili Overdire) from Plexure
11:23PM John Oswald – Zoom (Sinéad O’Connick Jr.) from Plexure
11:25PM John Oswald – Cypher (Depeche Mould) from Plexure
11:25PM Sir Richard Bishop – Event Horizons from Graviton Polarity Generator
11:26PM Maxwell Brecher – The ABC of Sex Education for Trainables (1975) from YouTube
11:34PM Eduard Artemiev – Movements I – V from Solaris OST
11:37PM Test Dept – Comrade Enver Hoxha from The Unacceptable Face of Freedon
11:42PM Laibach – Le Priviledge des Morts from Kapital
11:48PM Laibach – Kinderreich from Kapital
11:52PM Shane Carruth – Leaves Expanded May Be Prevailing (…) from Upstream Color OST
11:54PM Shane Carruth – I Used to Wonder at the Halo of Light Around My Shadow (…) from Upstream Color OST
11:56PM Shane Carruth – Fearing That They Would Be Light-headed (…) from Upstream Color
11:57PM —Set break –
11:57PM Shooby Taylor – Somewhere Over the Rainbow from The Human Horn

Don’t forget, you can subscribe to Radio Lost and Found via iTunes store here or FeedBurner here.

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Stranger Than Fiction – Loads of 80’s Shows on Mixcloud

March 26, 2014

Ok. You’ve heard me gush on about a program I listened to obsessively in the early 80s – KBOO’s Stranger Than Fiction. Some of you might be sick of hearing me talk about it but if my stats are to be believed, lots of people land here searching for that show.

The awesome news for those of you that have been searching is that one of STF’s hosts –  Mr. B. – has been furiously uploading airchecks of programs to Mixcloud.

As I’ve stated before, the show was an amazing mix of New Wave, Prog, novelty music, Punk, Pop, Ambient (before it was called Ambient) and more – even a smattering of comedy from time-to-time.

If you were a fan of this show (which ran for over 14 years!) you’re in for a real treat. If you’ve never heard it and want to hear some pretty incredible 80s ‘underground’ radio, consider yourself similarly treated. He’s posting shows from random time period’s of the show’s run. 
He’s even got a large chunk of the final show.

Check it out!

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Four Hour, Twenty Minute Time-Stretched Je T’aime,…Moi Non Plus

March 25, 2014

I keep forgetting to post audio experiments and ripped cassettes that I’ve been posting on SoundCloud and Mixcloud. Trust the cloud, but not my memory to tell y’all about it.

I ran Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birken’s Je T’aime,…Moi Non Plus through Paul’s Stretch software and set it so the time stretch time was on a gradient, slowly increasing as the song went on. At least that’s what I think I did. There’s all kinds of weird looping going on in the resulting file, too. It gets pretty surreal and ethereal sounding. 
It ended up being over four hours long. 

Let’s see who dares to listen to it!

Previously, Death Valley 6.9 – Sonic Youth’s classic song time-stretched 6.9X.

I’ll try to keep these posts up-to-date. I’m not only creating more stuff lately but also ripping lots of my vast cassette horde.

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