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Catching up With Brian

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Anytime Brian of http://rustbeltoutpost.blogspot.com/ asks that I give some of his posts a bit of extra exposure, I'm always happy to as he posts up some interesting stuff that I don't have (The Tape Beatles a while back was awesome), anyway, as you know he has lots of comedy stuff (not my forte by any means), also some soundtrack stuff and some WAY obscure stuff too, and it's been a little while since I've shared any of his stuff. Anyway, here's a whole package of it, as always, I don't care if you get them here or at his site. And I love guest material, especially of late as I prepare to start a new post-retirement job TOMORROW........the blog, as I've said, will remain, but may go through a change or two, I'll just have to see how my schedule works out (after all the blog did just fine before I retired). Here ya go, enjoy, and thanks of course to Brian.......
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(Scott): Actually I DO have these, but for some reason have never posted them (I checked)......highly, highly recommended........

Pere Ubu - Two Odd Classics
There are albums that you see on "classic" lists....and they're very strange, and they take a lot of work and time to get your head around. Trout Mask Replica. Pop Tatari. Disco Volante. Freak Out. Yip Jump Music....

And pretty much anything Pere Ubu ever recorded.

Truly the oddest of the Ohio strain of punk/new wave bands (even out matching Devo in musical oddness) Pere Ubu were there at the beginning...but they weren't attached to any scene. And whereas Devo or Talking Heads went places and courted visible success (not to mention both snuggling up to Brian Eno), Ubu were left out here in the Ohio hinterlands...fusing a Dada-esque sensibility, synthesizer squalls, and the rawest garage rock to create their own rusty Midwest nightmare. The name of this blog comes from my perception of Ubu. But on to the music!
The Modern Dance Download
This first album has had it's hooks in me a long time. "Non-Alignment Pact" is a great opener: I love the hiccuping madness of David Thomas's vocals, the tight rhythm section, the propulsive guitar, the synth squall...by the time you reach "Sentimental Journey" near the end it's all band racket, Thomas's mumbling, a clarinet, and the sound of broken glass. It's nightmarish on headphones!
Dub Housing Download
Somewhat strangely, their second album came out on Chrysalis. It makes no concessions to the booming punk scene, and again stomps its own path out to the very edge of what a rock band could do. While there are moments of an even tighter rock focus ("Navvy", "I Will Wait", parts of "Caligari's Mirror"), you also have the waiting room in hell's train station feel of "Thriller!" And then there's "Drinking Wine Spodyody", in which the band sounds like it's trying to play disco sideways. And not for the last time in Thomas's discography, naval references and sea-shanty rhythms pop up here and there.

Allen Ravenstine's synthesizer sounds are one of the key things on these albums for me, especially on The Modern Dance. When he left Ubu in the 80's (to become a pilot), they lost some of that early madness. From the brutal pings that open "Non-Alignment Pact", the sizzling static underneath the boogie beat of the title track, the theremin-like sounds of "Humor Me", to the insidious melody of "On the Surface", he added that strange touch that helped make them other...

Ok, I'm done. Suffice to say, these are two essential albums from a group that truly sounded like no one else. They are touchstones of avant-garde music and first wave "punk" at the same time. And you can even tap your feet to some of it.
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(Scott): These have been here a few times before, in fact I think they may have originally been Brian's first shared links here.......These are DEFINITELY worthwhile, if you missed them before (they were removed) please don't miss em this time.
 
Mystery Comedy Post - Firesign
Firesign Theater

I had contributed these to Growing Bored For A Living months ago, but I had done it kind of sloppy. So, we're gonna remedy that. These are the first 5 Firesign Theater albums, three of them are Mobile Fidelity remasters. All are American comedy classics.

Some may not be familiar...a short way of saying it is that Firesign Theater were basically an American Monty Python. But they didn't do TV or movies; their medium was strictly comedy albums. And they were specifically constructed: just listen to Crush That Dwarf...it flows perfectly from beginning to end.

NOTE: Dear Friends is one long file...I couldn't find a sequenced track version. Give these all a listen; it's basically the comedy version of getting the first 5 Black Sabbath albums...enjoy!


LINK 2 Contains -



Previous Comedy Posts -

 
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(Scott): THis one is strictly at Brian's request, this is really not my kind of thing at all (BUT never forget: ANYTHING goes here!)......I remember hearing this a while back, it's OK I guess for what it is, but as I say, just not my kind of thing.
 
 
Betty Davis - A Baaaaaad Funk Mama
Maybe you've heard of Betty Davis. At one point married to Miles Davis, she showed him Sly Stone and Hendrix, steering Miles toward his fusion classics like Bitches Brew and Filles De Kilimanjaro. In fact, that's her on the cover of Filles.
Anyway, a while after she and Miles split, she embarked on a music career of her own. I must stress, Betty was not some dilettante dabbling in being a singer or something. She was steeped in black music, from R&B and soul to the deepest funk, and she assembled some killer studio bands for her albums. She created four funk classics of the 70's. For right now, you get two.
As happens with so much great stuff, practically nobody heard these back in the day, and they were rare until the mid-00's. And it's a shame, since there has NEVER been a frontwoman like Betty!
It gets bandied about how Betty was a pre-Madonna for her time. Hell, Madonna at her sexiest is a badly-dressed mallrat compared to Betty! And Betty's contemporaries? "Love to Love You Baby" and "Lady Marmalade" are histrionic, fake satin pillow bullshit compared to this stuff. Betty's sexuality is the equivalent of when Scorpion from Mortal Kombat would throw the spike and say GET OVER HERE!!!! Seriously, I would've been her slave....
But....ahem...on to the music. The band just kills it! From the bottomless bass that opens "If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up" to the groovy "Shoo B-Doop and Cop Him"; the filthy wah-wah on "They Say I'm Different"; the funkier-than-Stevie ARP synth on "Don't Call Her No Tramp"...it's astounding, really.
And as for Betty? As I said before, these records fairly...um...drip with the woman's sexuality. I mean, her first line in "He Was A Big Freak" is "I used to beat him with a turquoise chain"! Betty can be kittenish, whispering, raging, and insidious. The woman clearly gave no quarter in the bedroom...

If you love tightly played funk music, these two are treasures. Two of the sexiest things anyone's ever recorded. So damn kinky they should come wrapped in hot pink plastic and be cherry flavored....

 
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(Scott): Now, Jennifer Warnes I remember quite well from my high school years, in particular a stunning rendition of "Right Time of the Night" she performed on "Saturday Night Live"......I had pretty much forgotten about her (ok, TOTALLY forgotten about her), good to hear these albums again, thanks to Brian for digging these out.......
 
A Lost 70's Singer-Songwriter Classic
Ok, Jennifer Warnes... to those of us of a certain generation, she was the queen of 80's movie song duets (An Officer And A Gentleman and Dirty Dancing) as well as scoring some Country/Adult Contemporary hits at the turn of the 70's/80's. If this is all sounding very milquetoast and thrift store bin (think Rita Coolidge or Helen Reddy), rest assured. I wouldn't steer you wrong.
Jennifer is an amazingly talented singer, with a long history that spans some great projects. She's been a friend and collaborator of Leonard Cohen's since the early 70's - recording a Cohen tribute album called Famous Blue Raincoat, and that's her singing doo run run on "Tower Of Song". You also see her singing backup (with K.D. Lang and Bonnie Raitt) on Roy Orbison's Black and White Night....
But on to the point. In 1972 she released her third album, Jennifer , on Reprise. It didn't sell and was deleted a year or two later. It was unavailable until a Japanese CD release in 2013...
Jennifer (1972) Download

And this is a lustrous forgotten gem. I gotta say, I usually don't go for 70's female singer-songwriters; I think there's one Joni Mitchell album I like, Carole King is kinda boring, Emmylou Harris is too country, etc. But Jennifer...just, that voice! She's got kind of a country cry and lilt to it, but it's clear as a Tibetan bell. And did I mention this album is produced by John Cale! That was a selling point for me.
Every song but one is written by someone else, but Jennifer is one of those singers that makes anyone's stuff shine. Her take on Jackson Browne's "In the Morning" is a beautiful meet-the-sun kind of song. She also sings Browne's "These Days", putting a prettier spin on it than Nico did on Chelsea Girl.
"Empty Bottles" (written by Cale) is a lovely medium tempo number. She packs more drama into the 2:30 of "Sand and Foam" than some singers could put on a whole album. "All My Love's Laughter" is one of those heartbreakers that could've only come out in the 70's. "Needle and Thread" has a gorgeous melody. And "Be My Friend" has this sexy gutbucket piano funk to it - it's like a female version of Isaac Hayes'"Walk On By" - and Jennifer just sings her ass off. Easily my favorite on the album.
I may have tied a long tail on that one, but I'm completely entranced by this album. It's warmer than Mitchell's Blue, it's prettier than Tapestry.... By the end of the 70's she'd gone more middle of the road, never completely managing something this graceful again. Seriously, I've you've been through here and gambled on something I've suggested before, go with this one too.

Oh, and if I may be a sexist pig for a second, just...DAMN....
 
 
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(Scott): Last one for today, haven't listened to THIS, and we'll see when I get to it, to me the title pretty much says it all, but what could be more unique/odball than this?
 

 

The Ukelele Orchestra Of Great Britain
Yes, I wrote that. Ukuleles. A bunch of them. But don't be fooled...this is not goofy music. It isn't "hey, this is so odd it's good". While there is humor, this is also one of the most phenomenal groups I've ever heard. Really.

I've only discovered them recently and need to spread the word. The group was formed as a lark in 1985. Known for dressing to the nines, bringing all variety of ukes, and doing cover songs that one wouldn't here on ukeleles, they became an ongoing institution. They've performed in many countries and released several albums. What I'm giving you is two live albums recorded in London in front of rapturous audiences.

The group can play anything, but they completely transform the songs they do. "Anarchy In the U.K." is a lazily shuffling track with a lovely vocal harmony, "Pinball Wizard" is just astonishing, "Silver Machine" is almost as spacey as Hawkwind's original...hell, their take on Robert Johnson's "Hot Tamales" is even more frenetic than his!
They do some great movie themes too: "Thunderball" is full of drama, "The Good the Bad & the Ugly" is amazingly played and very appropriate for the instruments. And the "Theme From Shaft"? My God, they actually do the orchestral intro to the song....with ukeleles, guys!

There's a moment I gotta tell you about. On London 1, there's the track "Melange". It starts with the beginning of "Sympathy For the Devil"..."If I Were A Carpenter" weaves in, then "Hey Jude", "You Sexy Thing", "Waiting For My Man", "Heroes", "Angels", several others waft in and out....I get goosebumps listening to it!

These two albums are so damn good, you forget the fact that it's on ukeleles. It just sounds like amazingly played - and also immaculately recorded - music. Seriously, do not hesitate to download these! Link contains both albums.



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SO a bunch of stuff today.......keep the guest material coming, and I WILL continue to do my part at least a couple times a week.......hoping Jonder gets that Duke Spirit thing together soon, that sounds great, I am going to continue the WOXY/KEXP thing in limited doses, we'll stiff have Cliff's great reggae submisssions, Apantabapanta's encyclopedia effort, and anything else anyone (and I mean ANYONE) wants to submit........as for me, you know me, next post might be Iron Butterfly or more Nazi Rock, ya just never know. Thanks to all who help me out, it keeps things fresh round here!


 






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