Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Alien Diva

Klaus Nomi (born Klaus Sperber) (January 24, 1944–August 6, 1983) was a German counter-tenor performer, noted for his remarkable vocal performances and unusual stage persona. He became one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS, in 1983.
Nomi moved from Germany to New York City in the mid-1970s. He began his involvement with the art scene based in the East Village. After a chance meeting in a nightclub, David Bowie hired him and Joey Arias as back-up singers for a performance on Saturday Night Live on Dec 14, 1979. Nomi also collaborated with famed producer Man Parrish.

Nomi is remembered for his bizarrely theatrical live performances, sporting heavy make-up, unusual costumes, and highly-stylized hairdos. His songs were just as unusual, ranging from synthesizer-laden interpretations of classic opera to covers of songs like Chubby Checker's The Twist.
-from www.moono.com

In his youth he worked as an usher at the Deutsche Opera in Berlin and would imitate such singers as Elvis Presley and Maria Callas. He didn't get into the Deutsche Opera as a singer. He got depressed and went to New York. There he first had a job as a pastry chef at the World Trade Center and later formed a freelance baking company but sang in rock clubs too. Nomi and Arias sang backing vocals on Bowie's songs "The Man Who Sold the World", "TVC15" and "Boys Keep Swinging". After that Nomi got a lot of gigs...
-Roberto St. Orm

Read more, including personal recollections and photos at The Blitz Kids

Here's my favourite recording: Ding Dong

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Goodness Gracious Me

Cute duet of Peter Sellers & Sophia Loren, with Peter Sellers in his Indian persona (later developed to great effect in the classic film The Party)
This was a hit in 1960, reaching #4 in the British Charts.
The duo released a follow-up single "Bangers & Mash" in 1961 which reached #20.
I'd love to hear the whole album pictured above... anyone?

"There used to be a me behind the mask,
but I had it surgically removed."

download here [160kps Stereo]

Monday, June 19, 2006

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Now for your culinary edification,
a track from Negativland:

This one's taken from a compilation entitled Potatoes - a collection of contemporary folk songs from Ralph Records and as far as I know doesn't appear on any of Negativland's other releases.
It features the voice of Graham Kerr, otherwise known as The Galloping Gourmet, who's somewhat decadent TV cooking show was very popular in the sixties and early seventies.
Next time you make scrambled eggs try this technique — it really works!
And remember:
"Fresh eggs are one of the world's great delicacies.
They deserve to be treated with respect, right?"
"If it sells to turn a horse upside down and beat it with a stick, then it's good advertising"

You can now download the entire LP at decoder blog!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

rewind: unearthed velvet

Now for a couple of obscure tracks that really deserve to be heard: First seen as my inaugural post on Realm of |X|, they date from Lou Reed's pre Velvet Underground days, with all the raw exuberance and humour of that band's previously released "previously unreleased" material:

These songs are from an Australian vinyl bootleg titled "the velvet underground -etc." and as far as I know have never been released officially. One day I hope to share the entire album plus a companion release titled "the velvet underground (and so on)" although a number of the tracks have subsequently turned up on various Velvets compilations...

Cycle Annie by the Beachnuts
You're Drivin' Me Insane by the Primitives
(more details here)

These two tracks were ripped from a well worn tape.
If anyone out there can point me to a better quality rip of this record, the world will be a better place (and we all know it needs to be)!

From the sublime to the ridiculous...

John Laws is an Australian commercial talk-back radio personality, some would say an icon, probably the highest paid 'announcer' on air with an authoritative voice and a patronising attitude somewhere on the right-hand edge of the spectrum. In recent years he has been paid even larger sums for "cash-for-comment", working undisclosed product endorsements into his on air vocalisations: - advertising presented as opinion, penultimate insincerity for a buck. He's not known as "Golden Tonsils" for nothing...
In the seventies he was establishing his reputation with the housewives of Sydney, churning out faux trucker music and fake country to supplement his overblown ego.
Here is a shocking number that people really need to be reminded of, loaded with a bitter misogyny and appalling taste. I hope you enjoy it as much as me!

You've Let Yourself Go

Thursday, May 25, 2006

he sure can be mean...

Blossom Dearie - Long Daddy Green

If you're not familiar with Blossom Dearie's exquisite voice here's a treat for you:
light and sweet but perfectly measured and thoroughly tasteful...
And even if you are familiar with her, this number has a very different delivery to her usual up-tempo rendition of this song; slow, languid, somewhat dark, even spooky, it has to be my favourite of all her recordings — and that's saying something!
I haven't found this version on any available Blossom Dearie recordings. I received it on a tape and have been looking for the original recording ever since. There is a little bit of distortion here and there but it's pretty clear for a 20 year old tape...
If anyone can advise which of her records it was issued on I'll be very grateful!

Long Daddy Green

You can read more about Blossom Dearie's extraordinary singing career here
Voltage Controlled Technicolor has posted an excellent album of her recordings here

Friday, March 31, 2006

This is Madness!

The Last Poets were some of the original rappers, defining a whole musical genre decades before most of us new about it, mixing powerful rhythms with a militant Moslem/Black Power adgenda.

The Mean Machine is a spine-chilling critique of the western Military-Industrial complex, presented as a kind of prophesy. Released in 1971, their message is as relevant now as ever. If you have ever harboured misgivings about where corporate globalisation and unfettered capitalism is taking the world, prepare to be amazed!
I suspect that this track encapsultes a moslem extremist conspiracy theory that has inspired the major conflict of our decade...hmmmm...
Even if you disagree violently with their sentiments, this track succinctly presents a philosophy that we need to understand if we are to know what we're dealing with.

Monday, March 13, 2006

What is a Fisteris?

"Mad Daddy" Pete Myers

From the man who coined the term "Wavy Gravy" this is a pearl of nonsensical wisdom.
You can hear recordings of some of Pete Myers' seminal broadcasts here (subscription required) or read more about his brief candle here and there...
If anyone has more of his recordings I would be very interested to know.

"but if you're confused,
it's your own fault you know,
because err..."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

meditation medication

This track is from a tape of a tape that was purchased in 1987 from a bar somewhere in Argentina. The tape was called La Fiebre de Los '60 - Salsa Y Boogaloo but that’s all the information I have on this one. I’m not sure if the performers were an eighties band reviving '60s music or if the recording dates from the '60s, but who cares? This is one of my favourite tracks! I love the ironic contrast between the concept of meditating and the singer's up-tight intensity.

"Me and my girl, we're gonna meditate all night long.
Stop, Trunk Call,... Meditate!"

If anyone recognises this recording please tell me more.
If there's enough interest I'll upload the whole album.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

kookie, lend me your comb!

a hit from 1959 and the TV series '77 Sunset Strip.
This is Edd Byrnes, as hair-combing, parking lot attendant
Gerald Lloyd Kookson III ("Kookie"), with Connie Stevens.

witch doctor?

This is Jon Pertwee (the 3rd Doctor) 'singing' a very groovy Doctor Who theme.
"I am... The Doctor!"
I wish I had more info on this!
The quality is a bit poor but it's worth the trouble,
trust me, I'm not a doctor.

uncle john

This one's dedicated to our glorious leader here in the Land of Was...
from Pearls Before Swine début album "one nation underground" (1967)
It seems we have learnt nothing from history -
another crusade, another dollar...
uncle john


Here I will be presenting a smorgasbord of individual items that I find amusing, pertinent, rare or weird and are not available through conventional distribution channels (to the best of my knowledge).
There may even be the aroma of frying opinions wafting about, I hope you have the stomach for it...

If anyone objects to the items they find on the menu on copyright grounds, please contact me and I will remove the offending item straight away.
If anyone objects to items here on content grounds, please take your opinions elsewhere.

Some aural treats are taken from vinyl records, others from cassette tape compilations that I have collected over the years.
I do my best to clean up the sound quality, filtering tape hiss and "healing" vinyl rumble, cracks and pops.
I hope you appreciate the time I put into what you can't hear.
I hope you enjoy my selection; bon appetite!