Back in the day, non-musicians mailed in their addled and/or eloquent poetry (often scribbled on sandwich bags or cocktail napkins), and for a small fee, a song was created out their poetic detritus. The concept is nothing new - there have been numerous anthologies of song poems (and even a film about the phenomenon), so many in fact that you have to wonder just how much good material there is. These collections answer that questions - tons of it, especially if you keep an open mind and you're as receptive to the strangeness of the genre as you are to the pained emotion and the historical insight they often provide.
i present to you the long oop print volumes 2-4 of the msr madness series compiled by Tom Ardolino (nrbq) and Don Bolles (Germs). much ink has already been spilled over the song-poem phenom and it's shining star Rodd Keith (including a documentary), but these collections were the first exposure many of us had to this treasure trove of american weirdness at it's finest.
volume 1 was the vinyl-only Beat Of The Traps album, but fear not, as 12 of those 16 tracks are on volume 2 with the remaining appearing on volume 3. volumes 5 and 6 were unfortunately shelved until Phil Milstein and WFMU came to the rescue and put them up for [free download]. the complete liner notes to these and the many subsequent song-poem comps can be found at the [American Song-Poem Archives]. info about Rodd Keith can be found over [here] and an article by his son Ellery Eskelin can be read over [here].
[Tom Ardolino Presents: The Makers of Smooth Music- MSR Madness Vol. 2]
[The Human Breakdown Of Absurdity- MSR Madness Vol. 3]
[Don Bolles Presents: I'm Just The Other Woman- MSR Madness Vol. 4]
yep, another case of lost neo-psychedelic gems (early-80's style) that finally got a proper re-ish a coupla years ago... both of his 7" singles plus a slew of previously unissued tracks recorded in the interim.
a tilt of the hat to [gary war] for the heads up on this chunk of overlooked psych-pop bliss. a def must for anyone inclined toward the bobb trimble/ariel pink/r.stevie moore/john maus/gary war/blank dogs schools of psychotropic pop. also, mr. nicely recently assembled a [mixtape] for the fine folk over at naturalismo that's worth yr while...
phew should need no [introduction] as a legendary and prominent mover in the japanese underground scene for over three decades...
her first solo album from 1981 is an absolutely stunning krautrock/japanese-avant hybrid, recorded at Conny Plank's studio with Conny, Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit acting as co-producers and her backing band... credentials like that, you know you can't go wrong.
the aunt sally album was recorded and released in 1979 in an edition of 400, reissued in 1984 and again in 2002 w/ three live bonus tracks recorded in osaka in 1979 tacked on for good measure... a pleasant slice of kleenex/liliput-esque punk/post-punk, just hinting at the greatness to come two years later.
[aunt sally- s/t (1979)]
[phew- s/t (1981)]
sometimes you can judge a book by it's cover, and you can just eye this one and tell it's gonna be good. spectral jazz w/ free/pan-african leanings on an arkestra/pharoah sanders tip... re-ished a few years ago on soul jazz and well worth opening yr ears for.
[Children of the Fire]
three slabs of Cosmic Afro-minimal electronic sounds from this long-time Bay Area legend. a huge thank you to who the individual did the immaculate vinyl rip of the nigh-impossible to find Infinite Sound album.
[Infinite Sound- Contemporary African-Amerikan Music (1975)]
[Roland P. Young- Isophonic Boogie Woogie (1980)]
[Roland P. Young- Istet Serenade (2009)]
another personal request and a bit of a repost...
[White Noise- An Electric Storm]
[John Baker/David Cain/Delia Derbyshire- BBC Radiophonic Music]
[Delia Derbyshire- Electrosonic]
[Delia Derbyshire/Barry Bermange- Inventions for Radio-Dreams]
this the cdr of Mater Suspiria Vision Ghost Drone/Drag remixes that came with the Crossover Pirate Communique VOL. TWO #2 "THE GLOOM ISSUE"... seven exclusive tracks, only 100 coples made.
[msv ghost drone remixes]
awsm early 70's glam racket from oksaka's answer to roxy music. the first three albums are the way to go, everything after this (the sadistics, solo records, reunions w/ various singers, etc.) is straight downhill...
[Sadistic Mika Band (1973)]
[Kurofune (Black Ship) (1974)]
[Hot! Menu (1975)]
haunting, hypnotic minimalism... ghostly voices calling from the grave and chilling otherworldly tones with just a hint of smeary, hissy ambient/depressive black metal atmospherics, likely because both members are wives of black metal royalty (one married to Samoth from Emperor, the other to Fenriz from Darkthrone). the knowledge that this was recorded on Dead's (Mayhem) old mic, only adds to the foreboding sense of dread.
[Hexerei Im Zwielicht Der Finsternis]
feeling a bit homesick for the east coast, and these two albums were on high rotation on my ipod when i lived in brooklyn.
fly is classic proto-no wave that should be held in much higher regard and chaos 1978-86 is pure mind-swamp fuckery that comes off like the nexus connecting bootsy, throbbing gristle and ariel pink... yes, it's that good.
[fly-disc one] [fly-disc two]