Monday, September 28, 2020

Alienating the Audience Again

I'm making pot roast. It's good weather for it.

It's also a good day for some novelty 45s

I like novelty 45s

The Mummy (1959)

Ok, there's a lot to unpack here.

This single has a lot of threads and various things going for it.

First off it was penned by poet, composer, singer with a voice reminiscent of a cut rate Kermit the Frog impersonator and all around sensitive guy Rod McKuen.
(He's a bit of a running gag among several of my oldest friends.) He made a name and bank on writing the English lyrics to the miserable tearjerking dreck "Seasons in the Sun" originally by Frenchman Jacques Brel. Even worse it somehow became a big one hit wonder for Terry Jacks in 1974. AM radio was fucking awful back then.

However back in the late 50s before his dreadful sappy poetry caught the hippie peace and love zeitgeist he tried to carve a place with novelty songs. For this one he teamed up with voice actor extraordinaire Bob McFadden as "Bob McFadden & Dor" (It's Rod backwards. How clever.) Rod lends his comedic touch as foil and commentator throughout.

The A side is "The Mummy" which is rife with contemporary references including another novelty hit "Kookie Lend Me Your Comb". What really makes this special though is that our heroes the Fall found this obscure novelty number worthy of being covered as "I'm a Mummy"
That's all the recommendation I might otherwise need.

But wait there's more!

The flip side is also a wonderful bit of wonderful bits, "The Beat Generation".
(At some point I have to relocate and digitize the wonder that is Rod's spoken word "Hippie" record "Rod McKuen Takes a San Francisco Hippie Trip" which is actually a repackaging of his square's eye view of beatniks. Fucking hilarious.)

But the real gold is that how familiar the song might sound to a certain 1977 NYC punk classic "Blank Generation" by Richard Hell & the Voidoids... hmmm..

Shake, Rattle and Roll (1959)

Hoping to capitalize on the something that the previous record did or didn't generate , their shenanigans continued with a follow up version of the classic rhythm and blues number "Shake Rattle and Roll" in the voice of the Mummy.
Flip is a song called "Bingo" as penned by Rod.

Perfect fodder for annoying those you love.

As an added bonus I'll give you a Rod McKuen original novelty single.

Oliver Twist (1962)

Here in 1962 our boy Rod is trying his best to cash in on the Twist Fad with a double dose of Twist novelty numbers.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Sunday, September 20, 2020

September Baseball and the Season's Drawing to a Close

It's a long time ago.

Last October from your reference point to be precise. The Nationals just won Game One of the 2019 World Series against the Astros.

I have no idea how the 2020 season will go.

I only hope that my future baseball enjoying self is pleased and made it to a few games in different parks this year.

Maybe we'll get up to an even dozen different parks this year..

Which is a good lead in to this band

Draft Day Jitters (1996)

The Mendoza Line is the culturally accepted point where being kind of bad at the plate in baseball turns into total shit. Generally when you're hitting below the .200 mark.

The Mendoza Line were a long running band that originated in Athens, GA before schlepping it up to Brooklyn, NY to seek out their fame and fortune.

It didn't quite happen, but 12 years was a good run.

Here's an interview about the dissolution of the band and marriage within the band.

This single is without such drama though. It's their first release on Kindercore (they also contributed to the Kindercore Singles of the Month deal that can be found elsewhere on this blog.)

Listen and remember the good times

See You Again (1997)

The only thing I could find was that My Friend the Atom were based in Fort Worth, Texas.
This is their only recording. A lovely pop jangle with female vocals.

If someone were to task me with organizing a series of reissue compilations of long forgotten but fucking wonderful indiepop, jangle, garage, shoegaze etc... singles of the 90s (ala the Pebbles, Homework and Killed by Death series) "See You Again" would undoubtedly appear on Volume One. It's a pitch perfect example of a time and a genre.

(I simple await the call from Numero Group. I have plenty of good ideas...)

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

This is Me Procrastinating

I should be making a chocolate ice cream base, but I'm putting it off for no other reason than I just don't feel like doing it right now.

Engine ep (1996)

I like nonpareils as candy.
Chocolate with the little round sugar crunchy things on top.

I also like the Nonpareils as a band.
From the same Providence, Rhode Island scene that gave us the overly earnest sounds of Small Factory (Alex Kemp of which assisted in the recording of the latter two songs here.) and the ever wonderful pop sounds of Honeybunch.

Banana (1992)

The Nelories were from Japan.

An accordion and guitar duo just like They Might Be Giants,  I learned everything I needed to know (except their hometown) from the TMBG Wiki

 This is extraordinarily pleasant listening depending on your personal tolerance for the accordion and lyrics written by someone who doesn't speak English.

(My personal tolerance is high enough that someone really ought to consider an intervention.)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Testing One Two

I suppose my laziness is your bonus since something just posted yesterday.

But a consistent pattern is a consistent pattern

And today is a 13th of the month.

This is a test.

Perhaps even...

Test Patterns (1981)

A compilation of various independent and punk-ish, Nu Wave-ish bands in and around the St. Louis, MO area. Not exactly the first location that comes to mind when considering such things, but here we are.

I clipped a jpg of the tracklist for you because I'm too fucking lazy to type that shit out.

This fine archival recording of a scene that, unless you were there, you probably didn't even know existed until you clicked on this page (and I will admit that I was unaware of it until I purchased this record) was reissued in 2010 by the fine folks at Rerun Records.

If you're not a cheapskate you can purchase your very own pristine digital compact disc version of it on their website. It's only $3 brand spanking new direct from the label!

Consider this post a lo-fi preview.

Buy it already!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

More Mor Mor's

I'm doing other records.

Don't expect much.

3D Sound (1982)

Seriously there's not fucking diddly squat I could find about this band in a short search. Moroccos appear to be from Philadelphia and everybody was in a couple of other bands.

A side is some seriously nice catchy danceable Nu Wave. B side is an instrumental.

Does it matter?
Fuck No.

Is it good?
Hell Yes.

The Morons were from Albany, NY.

This and a compilation appearance are the only evidence of their existence except in memories.

And today, a special bonus.
Just because...

The Girl Next Door (1979)

Another blink and you missed it Minneapolis group that cluttered up the Break'er Records catalog. Kind of almost Power Pop. Probably considered a "punk" band at the time.

I think I have actually less than a dollar invested in this one if I remember correctly.
Total score on my end.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

This is a Public Service Announcement (Without Guitars)


Ok kids, so I have a problem.
I have too much stuff I want to post.

I didn't say it was a bad problem.

I've lived in the Twin Cities now for way too many years. There has always been a pretty vibrant music scene here that nobody outside the area knew about. Fuck, even people here didn't know or give a shit about it until something became better known outside of Minnesota. Then they loudly start crowing about someone being from Minnesota. 

Hell, the local media would have you believe that Dylan's real first name is "Minnesota Native".

But I digress.

A number of years back I decided that I ought to try and seek out music by the local bands that my various outfits played with and all the people I knew who had bands. Then there was all the other bands that I saw and liked when I went to see friends play. And then the stuff I remember from local college radio and then.... and then...

Shit kind of snowballed from there.

I realized that there was a metric fuck ton of good local music that was in danger of being lost forever to indifference and the dumpster of the unsold one dollar disc bin. So I've been slowly buying up lots and lots of it recently.

At this point in time, the Swinging Singles Club is still queued up months and months in advance.

So I started another thing exclusively for the Minnesota based stuff called very imaginatively Swinging Singles Club MN. I put a link on the front page.

So from here on in regular flavor SSC is going Minnesota free and the curious can trot over to the other blog to see what they've been missing all these years.

I'm kicking it off with Lifter Puller.
This is the precursor to the Hold Steady, but better.

Go get 'em Tiger.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020


These two things are utterly unrelated.

And I like it that way.

Jesus Loves You...So Give Us Your Money (1983)

Morbid Opera were from Ft. Lauderdale in the state of Florida.

It's punker than you. Three women and a dude.

Somebody else's 13 year old blog post says more than I could. I just have the record.

I like it so much I included a pic of the insert. That's how you know something is special.

Fuck yes.

Rockabilly Bungalow (1958)

And on a totally different plane of existence is George Morgan. An established mid-level country singer who had a hit in 1949 with a song called "Candy Kisses" (which is rerecorded for the flip here.)

With Rock 'n' Roll and its country flavored bastard chile Rockabilly taking over, a lot of established Country stars gathered up some studio guys and shat out some records trying to capture the fire of youth and some pocket change from what they thought would be a short lived teen fad.

So here is an over 30 George Morgan trying to gain a foothold in the teen market with "Rockabilly Bungalow" as written by the impeccable duo of Boudleaux & Felice Bryant (who penned many of the better Everly Brothers songs) and some fine Nashville studio folks "rocking" out behind him.

Was it a breakthrough hit for George into teen pop stardom? No.

Is it a pretty cool song anyway? Fuck yeah!

Roll up the rugs and have your own personal sock hop.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Only a Slight Reference and ten years

A decade separates today's pair.

That and very little immediate information.

(But I don't look too hard either)

Deeper Than the Ocean (1989)

The Mayfields hailed from Salisbury in the UK if the wiki page about a completely other band is to be believed. I'm just going to go with it. It's about all I came up with.

They released a grand total of two singles and a split single in their lifetime. This is the second and on the Bus Stop Label. It's a nice little Brit Pop double sider with the usual ever so just out of tune vocals that make these sorts of things so utterly charming.

The jangly A side is the winner.

Perfect song for putting on Tapes for Girls.
Make somebody special a playlist.

On Holiday With... (1999)

The Maulies. A few dead ends and eventually somebody else's blog where they were also looking for info turns up and reveals that these four fine ladies were from Austin, Texas.

One measly single and pair of compilation appearances later and they were gone.

This one is utterly fucking great though. Three songs. "Rude Limey" about a terrible English bloke which should brighten anybody's day, a decent cover of the Kinks' "Gotta Get the First Plane Home" and an instrumental called "Tofu π" 

Just fucking perfect.
Use wisely.