Fireblood Angel Band (Featuring the Hosts of Heaven) "Day of the Trumpet" (MP3)
Wow, there sure are a lot of weird apocalyptic vanity records out there. David Blair's "The Antichrist" (which we posted to On the Download MP3s a long time ago, here) ranked up there as probably the creepiest singer-songwriter addressing of doomsday to date, but thanks to the Crud Crud site, here's something just about as strange. This 7" came out on the Siloam label in 1982 and is a stumbling, weird rant on the End Times from what sounds to be a guy from down south somewhere, but the random organ, percussion, loops, and alien sounds zinging around make this sound more like the Shaggs than Rev. Louis Overstreet. Crud Crud's attempts at tracking down whomever made this thing have been fruitless as of this date.
Sibylle Baier "Softly" (MP3)
A real gem from the ever-growing pile of reissues of fragile folkies. Fans of Linda Perhacs and Vashti Bunyan will certainly identify with this, 1970-73 recordings of a German actress who apparently did a song for an early Wim Wenders film, but wasn't known for real involvement in music. This was a bit more of a private document recorded on reel-to-reel reflecting on a trip with a friend across Europe at a particularly dark moment of her life, though it's quite a radiant set of songs despite the melancholy vibe. In the 36 years since the recordings, there has never been an issue until now, thanks to a chain of fortunate events: someone gave Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis a tape, which he floated to the Orange Twin label run by folks from Elf Power down in Athens, Georgia. Taken from the CD Colour Green, it was a bit tough to pick an actual track to showcase here, they are all quite simplistic in execution but glowing with some real beauty.
John Jacob Niles "Love Henry or Young Bunting" (MP3)
Another recently archived slice of simply-presented human spirit on display, Rev-Ola's recent CD My Precarious Life in the Public Domain showcases the spooky soprano and dulcimer sounds of American balladeer John Jacob Niles. Recently spotlighted singing "Go Away From the Window" in Martin Scorcese's TV documentary on Bob Dylan (who has loudly proclaimed his fandom for Niles), the Kentucky-born singer had collected folk ballads since his childhood, spent post WWI time studying in France with disability money, met Gertrude Stein, returned to the U.S. to arrange music for an Ohio music conservatory. He began issuing recordings in 1933 with lute and dulcimer accompaniment, but his worldliness and wide scope of influence set him apart from most of the traditional mountain-types. These particular recordings on this CD come from 1940-41 and spotlight the Child Ballads, from the English and Scottish Popular Ballads collected in the late 19th century by Francis J. Child. Hearing the ragged, cracking, swooping high voice of Niles is completely terrifying at times, he scrapes on his strings like Hasil Adkins pounding away on "We Got a Date".
Chrome "How Many Years Too Soon" (MP3), "Return To Zanzibar" (MP3)
Having just seen Helios Creed play live down in Austin ripping through some of the Chrome catalog, thought I'd dig up this far-from-representative bit of history from what is turning out to be one of the (finally-about-goddamn-time) most namedropped influences in the freakier circles of today's rock. Julian Cope penned some pretty fine words on this SF band's history/lineage, the bottom line being that these UFO/robot-invoking, acid gobbling lunatics tied together proto-electro-punk, Detroit distortion-rock, trashed fuzz space-guitar workups, garbage can dub and definite no-age synth explorations into a genius run of several records from 1977-81. Unfortunately for all, the band's bosser elements led the charge into some of the more suspect elements of the neon-and-lipstick New Wave to bloom, not to mention some of the lamer Goth moments that the band itself succumbed to after guitarist Creed went off leaving founder Damon Edge to his own devices. Before Creed joined up on their second album Alien Soundtracks and the band really started to take its place (if the 2-on-1 CD of Alien Soundtracks and Half Machine Lip Moves is still around, you need it) they debuted in 1977 with the rarely heard LP The Visitation, which barely hints at the insanity to come. While Damon Edge was calling the shots in this early version of the band, he had a pretty normal singer (Mike Low) and guitarist (John Lambdin) who could indeed hold their own, but only hinted at the greatness to come when Creed hopped into the co-pilot's seat (as witnessed to full effect by "Zombie Warfare" from Half Machine, real audio from Bill Zurat's show).
Job's Daughters "Cannibal" (MP3)
This is possibly my favorite ever composition of Ennio Morricone's, and I haven't been able to turn it up anywhere in its original form (in fact, I think Fabio might be the keeper of the only copy I've heard played on WFMU). It's an epic, booming, joyful ode to being a cannibal: "Pagan cannibal, I won't die...I'm as happy and wild and free/As a man who was once meant to be/So I won't die, I won't die, kill me if you can, I will happily fly away." Which he does, on his sky blue horse. What's there to argue about? Pride of cannibalism, it's a natural thing. It's also a natural thing that an esoteric bit of soundtrack music should be covered by the gang forming the 90's nucleus of such San Francisco groups as the Thinking Fellers, Caroliner, Virginia Dare etc., and indeed, we saw the birth of Job's Daughters creating this faithful rendition of the tune for an out of print Nuf Sed label 7" single. It was a toss-up between putting this one up or the genius cover of some unknown Cantonese soundtrack tune on the flip, but this is undeniably the one that will stick in your cranium.
Molly Roth "Plant Talk" (MP3)
From a 1976 LP on the Plant Talk Productions label. Roth, a husky-voiced auteur who appeared on some TV shows to point clueless humans to the way they should be talking to their ferns, made a full-length LP that surely gave Frampton Comes Alive a run for its money. She apparently had a plant shop called Green Earth that piped in the sounds of a jukebox to its residents. Here's 12 minutes to sooth yours.
Various WFMU Staffers "Excerpts from Sounds of the Northeastern Freeform DJ"
AKA "The Biological Significan of Those Voices in Your Head", this was a 2003 marathon premium in the form of a beautiful little multi-7" single box set, designed and laid out to resemble all those Smithsonian Folkways field recording LP of yore. It was indeed an archaeological study of sorts: the WFMU DJ in his/her natural environment, creating bizarre little sounds over there in that corner, as demonstrated by 47 of the staffers plus the station dog, Olive. You can pick this up as we've got a stash in ye olde WFMU store. In the meantime, here's a few samplings:
Porest "Let's Roll" (MP3)
Mark Gerghis, who is Porest (as well as the man behind Mono Pause and the Thai pop-reverent band Neung Phak as well as the compiler of such great Sublime Frequencies releases as the Iraqi Choubi Choubi! pop collection plus the Cambodian Cassette archives), saddles right up alongside the godfathers of media manipulation, Negativland, for a brilliant and somewhat shocking release called Tourrorists! Here, Gerghis has turned the mirror magnificently on the manipulative qualities of our media, and of our contextualizations of outside cultures in general. It's sure to upset quite a few; simply said, buttons are happily being pushed here, ladies and gentlemen. Recurring themes throughout the album include 9/11 conspiracy, global cannibalism (financial, ecological), and the glut of opposing ideologies aiming to impose fear and presdesignated thought on the masses; Porest barfs it all right back with humor that may be indeed too dark for some and ultimately hilarious to others. Thanks to Mark for permission to post, you can check out his site here, buy the album here.
Tortura "Excerpt 1" (MP3), "2" (MP3) "3" (MP3)
Probably not as held in public regard as say, your RCA or United Artists, the Bondage label in 1965 released several LPs with a somewhat narrow target market: people who liked the sounds of whipping. And people being whipped. These tracks are taken from Tortura Volume 2: An Evening With the Marquis de Sade. The sleeve pictured to the left, is actually Volume 1. But I can say that with reasonable assertion that there is not much of a difference between these two records, honest. And if you are type of person who can discern the subtleties, I do not wish to make your acquaintance.
Minnetonka High School Percussion Ensemble "Building Steam With a Grain of Salt" (MP3)
It's no secret that DJ Shadow has been a huge excavator of all those funky private press high school stage band records of the 70's; well it looks like an actual music teacher has given back: here is the Minnetonka High School Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Brian Udelhofen, reworking a Shadow track (originally found on his Endtroducing DJ Shadow record). You can check out Brian's site here (thanks to Charlie Lewis), he dubs the whole thing the Shadow Percussion Project.
Below is a digest of all MP3s featured in Beware of the Blog over the past month (fertilized and pruned by Liz Berg):
- Ruin your favorite WFMU DJ's political career by grabbing MP3s of them belting it out karaoke-style: Charlie | Megan | Terre T | Chris T | Rob W, Hova, Pseu | David Suisman | Bryce | Evan "Funk" Davies | Belinda | Bill Mac | Ken ... even more fodder for the National Enquirer expose: videos from this year's drunken karaoke fest, all put together by the equally guilty Scott and Mike
- History and MP3s from Chicago no-wavers Silver Abuse. If Santiago Durango was embarrassed about his involvement with the band, you know it's gotta be awesome. Thoughtfully packaged and compiled by Fatty Jubbo.
- I think it's safe to say that none of us made it past squad tryouts, but the Cosmic Cowboy makes me wonder. Check out his spirited Freeform cheer, and shake your pom-pom.