You know a compilation of children's songs has to be good if it features Foetus and Tiny Tim. And honestly, the compilation "Goobers - A Collection of Kid's Songs", released in 1993 on T.E.C. Tones (who were somehow associated with the Residents' Ralph Records label, as I understand it), is damn near perfect. But what the heck is a "goober"? Urban Dictionary offers several different definitions, among them "chocolate-covered dick" and "a crazy cool person whos funny as hell and rocks any shindig like no other; a totally cool person bascially (thats a little insane)". Now that leaves me with the questions what "whos", "rocks any shindig" and "bascially" mean. But I am just a stupid foreigner, so what do I know? Anyway, the album is long out of print and needs to be heard, so get ready for the music in MP3 form after the jump. Enjoy!
01 D. Matinal Chan - Hallelu Hallelu (MP3) - A kid singing in Portuguese (I think)
02 The Stinky Puffs - Monsters (MP3) - The Stinky Puffs were fronted by Simon Fair Timony, the stepson of Jad Fair, and featured his mother Sheenah Fair, Jad Fair, Don Fleming, and Lee Ranaldo's son Cody Linn Ranaldo. Later they collaborated with guys of Yo La Tengo and Nirvana. AMG describes them as "rock's most charismatic prepubescent perfomers". They disbanded about 10 years ago, but you can still check out their website.
06 Space Negros - Vigor The Ice Man (MP3) - This is one of the scary and twisted songs on this compilation, reminiscent of the Residents. The guy behind the Space Negros was Erik Lindgren, who is still an active composer and musician, most notably in Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. He also runs the fantastic Arf! Arf! Records label.
10 Foetus Inc - See Dick Run (MP3) - James Thirlwell represented by this rather innocuous version of the ever-changing Foetus band name. Hey, why not Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel? I am sure the kids would love it. However, with lyrics such as "See Jane's brain splattered on the kitchen wall" and "Dick put Jane in a trash compactor" this is sure to be fun for the whole family!
12 Hank von Schpa - Mama Do (MP3) - Bizarre, retarded, fascinating. I have no info at all about the mysterious "Hank von Schpa".
13 Foo Foo Heads - Just Be You (MP3) - Kids doing old-school rap. Apparently the Foo Foo Heads were somehow connected to Penn Jillette, but I can't tell you much more about them.
15 Genuine Diamelles - Underdog (MP3) - Described as "San Francisco's psychedelic glee club of the 90s", the Genuine Diamelles do a great (but too short) a cappella version of the theme song for Underdog.
16 Peter Stampfel - Werewolf (MP3) - Peter Stampfel was one half of the legendary Holy Modal Rounders, and here he covers Michael Hurley's thoroughly disturbing song "Werewolf". Scary outsider folk at its very best. (The genre also known as "Children's Bedtime Music".)
17 The Pastels - Speeding Motorcycle (MP3) - One of Daniel Johnson's best and most popular songs, and I have to admit that this version kind of sucks. At least when you compare it to the original, to Yo La Tengo's cover on their album Fakebook, and especially to the version Daniel Johnston (over the phone) and Yo La Tengo did together live on WFMU.
18 Buzzard Bait - Horsey Horsey (MP3) - Buzzard Bait were Tumbleweed, Old Tin Ear, and Weepin' Dick Dobbs. The song is damn great. And that is all I know about them.
20 Anonymous - Animal Party (MP3) - Kids love singing about animal parties.
23 Only A Mother - Lullaby (MP3) - Beautiful song by Michigan weirdos Only A Mother. Frank Pahl, the main creative force behind this band, has also released several solo albums and nowadays leads the Scavenger Quartet. He also has a radio show on WCBN in Ann Arbor, currently every Sunday 6-9am Eastern.
So goober peas are peanuts? What does this have to do with rocking shindigs? I am mystified.