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We have the first two LPs collected on this CD, but Disc 2 has previously unreleased material. Donner Party crossed a lot of styles, from Byrds/Dylanish 12 string jangle-hippie folk rock to cow-punk to sort of They Might Be Giants to thrashing junk kore with serious lyrics. There are some happy little songs about death and what happens to your guts when you die and other sweet things, but mostly I would call this just really good late 80s SF Rock. too bad there is not a lyric sheet in this – there is some fine writing…
No bad words on this CD
Hey! This sounds like cartoon music! Well, it is…
The Mekons have been around since 1976 , making one or two albums a year since then and are still creating interesting music. Blends of strumbly folk with reggae tinged lyrics, fiddle driven cow-punk tear stained ballads, moody gloomy happy pop songs – whatever the want to do seems to come out great. Important, clever lyrics, great arrangements – a KFJC standard (check the library!) well worth many spins… Try any track. *review by Studebaker Hawk
twisted beat poetry lyrics spoke/sung over a moody swingly jazz combo – strange references and clever insights, indeed smokin’ is the proper tone – even an ode to liver and onions on this fun goof. All tracks are interesting – try them! From what I can’t find on the web, this seems to be the second CD from a Boston area band that includes Dana Colley (of Morphine) on Bari Sax. Akers Recording is MIA. if I find out any more I will add it here: If you like this, try Fred Lane and His Hittite Hot-Shots (2 albums in A library) *review by Studebaker Hawk
grass,…. wine,….. beer, …..hash…… on this happy tribute to the joys of (mostly) natural intoxication. While these are mostly new songs, the style and subjects go way back to the jug bands, blues shouters and such from the early 20th century. (and the skiffle groups, hip folk singers and revivalists of the 1950s and 60s) with lots of harmonica, slide guitar, kazoo, group singing, trad jazz and much more.. must have been quite a recording session!
A local (Mid-Peninsula) group that has been around for a while, this is the first recording from Grinning Idiots. I think the main strength of this group is the arrangements, especially in the use of the horn section. Mostly Pop-Jazz-Rock with more than a bit of white-boy T.O.P. funk, with some excursions into sample weirdness and studio tricks. All songs have vocals and are band originals (in their live sets they also do some killer covers!) Cut # 4 is actually the title track, but it is called “Weird Stuff.” Cut #1 is most popular among the band members and does capture their sound well. The G-Idiots could probably do very well on commercial radio (well, KFOG maybe) in an alternative universe. *review by Studebaker Hawk
From the self-proclaimed inventors of Nerd Rock: Staged in March of 1998 in San Francisco, The Figshta Diaries tells the musical story of a girl’s painful rejection by her family and society, her loss of mental health, and of her ultimate, if ambiguous, psychic redemption. (that was from their web site) 3 Day Stubble has had a long history of strangeness and is more than just a bit silly, but there is a lot of interesting music under the top level. They started out in Houston but now are off-centered in SF. (don’t believe the mailing address on the CD – there is a San Francisco in Texas, but not with that Zip Code.) Good stuff for any non-speciality show. I really like the Glockenspiel. *review by Studebaker Hawk
Out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina (same place as the Squirrel Nut Zippers come from – and the SNZ guitarist is also part of this group) – well, this is a crazy mixed up group – it don’t know if it is a grungy R & B lounge act, a cast-off New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian krew, an ’50s – ’60′s RocknRoll band or a Dixieland/Swing combo! Fun vocals – some almost in a Doo-Wop style add a lot to this group. Loud and cheezy recording style for the most part – high energy sax and t-bone over a killer guitar/drum/bass funk line give us something new yet old (and I like it a lot!) *review by Studebaker Hawk
Amy X and her All Boy Choir do some fun stuff here – right outa Oakland and as crazy as ever. She can sound like a female Klaus Nomi (that is different from a male Yma Sumak) and she can also write some damn clever songs. Style and substance and somewhat danceable (or you can sing in the shower) (or drink in the shower) rhythmical tunes that remind me a bit of the late Idiot Flesh or the even later Frank Zappa with unusual instrumentation and effects. Very nice version of the “Alabama Song” for all you Brecht and Weill fans. I like! *review by Studebaker Hawk
deep from the dark side of the French Quarter (home of the Voodoo Queen Marie Leveaux [lee-voh]) comes this twisted ceremonial music – creole chants and African drums layered with amazing feedback freakout electric guitars & keyboard wizardry. I have never been to a real voodoo event so I am not sure if this is kosher, but it sure is scary enough!
Honey, I Shrunk Those Darn Accordions!
Coming off the strength of their prior CD (No Strings Attached) TDA has been exploring the range of styles that might work with an 8 accordion band – from new wave techno-rock to blues and modern country. Some of this works, some is a bit weak. Track 4, (a cover of “Low Rider” ) and track 9, Devo’s “Uncontrollable Urge” work just fine as novelty versions.
The avant-garde music scene in New Orleans is a bit rough – there is so much other great musics going on there it gets ignored by most. Jonathan Freilich (New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars) put this group together to explore the outside possibilities of New Orleans & klezmer traditions. The others in this orchestra come from some of the best brass/funk/punk/junk bands. Some of the compositions are a bit stiff and “anti-funky” – something that is very hard to do in “The Big Sleazy,” but the rest have an unusual energy. Track 5 takes klezmer harmonies at an analytical pace so you can really hear the complexities of the chords and rhythms. *review by Studebaker Hawk
A modern version of the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Chad & Jeremy, The Beach Boys, early Beatles, any surf band, any rock’n'roll band, any rockabilly (old style) – these two actual brothers can do it well! These tracks are not covers of obscure 50′s and 60′s songs – they are original “oldies” in the best meaning of the term. Rockin’ good times, and I hear they are a great show to see live (mostly in SoCal region, but they do tour this way.) *review by Studebaker Hawk
A hard call between spoken word and Comedy, but I think Southern would have wanted to be in that category. He was a contemporary of W.S. Burroughs, Lenny Bruce and the Beats of the late 1950s, but he was also a major influence on the young writers of the National Lampoon generation. His writing included “Candy,” “The Magic Christian,” and the screenplays for “Barbarella,” “Dr. Strangelove” and “Easy Rider.” among many others. This recording is a collection of some of his readings and comedy productions, done by him and his friends (including Michael O’Donoghue and Martin Mull.) Not everything is a real winner, as satire & “black comedy” can be a very fine edged sword. Terry Southern died in 1995 at the age of 71 after a long spell of not doing too much…
Back in 1958 Mad Magazine was not as juvenile as it is now – adults could read it without too much shame. From time to time the magazine produced recordings, this was their first attempt. With a studio orchestra led by Bernie Green, a TV and movie soundtrack writer/conductor plus the very dry humor of Henry Morgan on some tracks, this is a very mixed bag of trash. Nowhere near as funny as earlier Spike Jones or the Hoffnung festivals recorded in the late 1950s (or PDQ Bach later on,) but for it’s time I guess it is OK stuff. Apply to Affected Areas, Close Cover Before Striking and RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!
Once again this somewhat mysterious personage from some place or the other regales us with a non-stop stream of commentary on his life, friends, enemies, and whatever. This time there is only one long track (with some music as a bed) so you will just have to find your own starting and finishing point.
Much more Rube Waddell from various recent live & studio recordings. Mutant Sea Chanteys, Jug Band Classics, Stompin’ One String Guitar, Sousaphone Squonk, Beat-up Pie Tins, Tom Waitsish Vocals, A Tribute to “Mannix” and other goofy fun junk from this local trio – they have toured all over the place but now reside in the Mission District. Track 14 fades into a long ambient wash but comes back for a thrilling conclusion – wait for it!
Long after leaving Capt. Beefheart and The Magic band, guitarist Bill Harkleroad (AKA Zoot Horn Rollo) now living in Eugene, OR recorded this tasty rock-jazz fusion thing. At first it was going to be a home-studio solo project but he made connections with drummer Greg Bendian on the Internet and the project grew into this form. All instrumentals and mostly twisted yet beautiful, this is “Good Fusion” with varied guitar tastes, some sax and harmonica and a lot of local Eugene talent. By the way, Harkleroad also was a founder of the group “Mallard” and he also wrote a book about Capt. Beefheart. *review by Studebaker Hawk
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