September is no fun, is it? It’s right after the warm summer months… Summer Fridays are over… Leaves begin to fall and the Autumn kicks in… WRONG! First of all, it’s really not that cold and quite lovely actually. But mostly, because September is so invigorating that we came up with this very awesome (and very random) list.
Up for the challenge this month were Matt Houser and Blake Russell, who put together 15 of the Most Unusual Albums from the Depths of our Catalogue. Dot dot dot. Sounds freaky. And it sure is… Without further ado, ladies and gents, here are 15 albums you’ve never seen put together in one place before! (We recommend you listen to the playlist while reading.)
1. The Chattering Of Monkeys (Paroles De Singes) by Nature Sounds – Sons de la nature [Fonda-Mental S.A.]
All the monkey noises you could ever want, collected on one disc. Our favorite is the siren song of Madagascar’s Indris, which sound exactly like balloons being slowly deflated. Be sure to also check out The Howling Of Wolves (Le Chant Des Loups) and The Belling Of The Stag (Le Brame Du Cerf).
2. Seeking Major Tom by William Shatner [Cleopatra Records]
An 80-year-old Captain Kirk delivers dramatic spoken-word readings of space-related hits in a freaky 2011 echo of his 1968 classic The Transformed Man.
3. Hello Lucille… Are You A Lesbian? by T. Valentine [Norton Records]
This hilariously offensive 1985 novelty classic from outside R&B auteur T. Valentine was purportedly inspired by Josie Cotton’s new wave hit “Johnny Are You Queer?” as well as his wife leaving him for another man. Spanning nearly forty years, Norton’s complete anthology of his work proves that Mr. Valentine’s unhinged genius was certainly not limited to this one song.
4. Take U To Da Movies by Bangs [HSM Entertainment]
The most polite Rap anthem ever from a Sudanese rapper; its video filled millions of email inboxes in 2009 like an overflowing jumbo popcorn.
5. Black Music For White People by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins [BizarrePlanet Entertainment]
The late great Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was responsible for some doozies (“Constipation Blues” anyone?) but this 1991 album might be the goofiest one in his entire discography. It includes a “dance” version of “I Put A Spell On You” featuring three rap verses, a lengthy, virtually incomprehensible talking blues diatribe titled “Ignant And Shit,” and a completely bonkers cover of “Ol’ Man River” that quickly devolves into… well screamin’.
6. Spooky Farts For Halloween by The Wet Ones [Pennrose Media LLC]
Weirdest. Sound. Effects. Concept. Ever. WE NEED A DUBSTEP REMIX ASAP.
7. The Groupies by The Groupies [Iris Music Group]
Billed as “the first recorded documentary study of the international groupie phenomenon” this 1969 album was culled from twelve hours of roundtable conversations between six “super-groupies” who spare no prurient detail and name names (Jimi Hendrix comes up a LOT). It’s been sampled by The Propellerheads, Dan the Automator and Pizzicato Five, among others.
8. Songs in the Key of Z: Vol. 1 by Various Artists [Gammon Records]
Released in conjunction with the book of the same name, Songs in the Key of Z: Vols. 1 & 2 were compiled by author/”eccentromusicologist” Irwin Chusid to document “outsider music,” from the relatively well known (Daniel Johnston, The Shaggs, Captain Beefheart) to the totally obscure (a Swedish Elvis impersonator, William “Shooby” Taylor a.k.a. “The Human Horn” etc.). A wonderfully weird listen.
9. He Drinks Tequila (Single) by Crystal Swing [Crystal Swing]
In March 2010, Ellen Degeneres tweeted ”My producers just showed me this and I think you need to see it. What do you think?” Within five days, the video for “He Drinks Tequila” by Irish family trio Crystal received 200K views. We’ve watched it at least a dozen times.
10. What’s My Name? by HARPER FAIR [Fake Chapter Records]
Parental pride goes amok: David Fair of Half Japanese samples his infant daughter’s earliest spoken words and nonsense gibberish.
11. Elektron Kukéso by Hans Edler [Hans Edler]
A chart-topping 1960s Swedish Mod-Pop singer tackles experimental Electronic music in 1971. Imagine Stockhausen on acid going berserk on Carnaby Street.
12. Night Rocker by David Hasselhoff [Silver Blue Productions, Ltd]
Ten lava-hot chunks of corporate Hunk-Pop, issued in 1985 at the peak of Knight Rider-mania. A dramatic foreshadowing of things to come.
13. La Varsta De 3 Ani (At Three Years Old) by Cleopatra Stratan [Cat Music]
This 2006 album of auto-tuned Folk-Pop from three-year Moldovan-Romanian singing sensation Cleopatra Straten sold 150K+ copies in Romania.
14. Coming Face To Face by Sexton Ming [Ample Play Recordings]
This record by Medway punk poet and Billy Childish associate Sexton Ming is downright terrifying (which given his confrontational history is probably the point). Jarring noise Rock, woozy organ, heavy distortion, moans and screams back a voice that sounds (I love this) “like a damp pork” [Express Sun].
15. Seven Stages of Hell (Purgatory) by The Wizard [Mighty Mighty Records]
An absolutely bonkers Lo-Fi Rap concept album(?) featuring some impressively off-kilter Casio beats and utterly incomprehensible Biblically-themed lyrics. Album opener “Wiggie Wiggie Wiggie” features lines like “Raisin Bran is good to eat / the devil tried to steal from me / Candy, Candy, she’s so sweet” and the chorus ”wiggie wiggie wiggie wamp wamp wamp” over a beat that sounds like the guitar riff from Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.”