Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Peace Ringers - Popcorn  (Volume II, 1977)

The Peace Ringers were a handbell choir from the First United Methodist Church of Orange, California. Their infamous spring break tours on the legendary RV they shared with the rock band Simply Saucer were chronicled in Eric Holmberg's book Hell's Bells: The Dangers of Rock 'N' Roll.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Farley Parkenfarker - Burning Love
(Farley Parkenfarker Plays Elvis, 1978)

Prolific writer and performer Okie Duke disappeared mysteriously sometime in the 1970's. He resurfaced years later as the zany Farley Parkenfarker, playing tunes on a one-of-a-kind modified Hammond B-3 organ that had the ability to key up to 15 synthesizers via a custom reed system. "It’s one heck of an act" wrote a columnist in Palm Springs Sun, "but the guy needs a more sophisticated name."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Micki Collins - Don't You Know  (Don't You Know, 1972)

Following in the footsteps of her comedian father and baton-twirling mother, Micki's journey as a professional entertainer began some 45 odd years ago in Seattle, Washington. She traveled throughout the northwest for years before recording an album of songs written by her husband, Dennis Collins.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

J.D. Brennan was already in his mid-fifties when he abandoned his career as an IMAX screen cleaner to pursue his true calling as a rock star. He gathered a collection of similarly self-delusional musical misfits and unleashed his psych-tinged rockabilly on the Boston club circuit.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Doris Jacobs - Song In Blue
(Echoes The Sound, 1978)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alexander Longrifle - Silver Hands  (Silver Eagle, 1980)

"I went for healing because I was struck by lightning" said 22-year old Fishes For Salmon With Spear, a participant at the second annual Boogie Pow-Wow held at the Havasupai Indian Reservation in 1979. "While I was standing there, all of a sudden, this rattle came out of the air and started pounding me on the chest. Then eagle feathers were all over my face. There was stomping on the floor and a throbbing in my crotch. That's when I knew the Longrifle Healing ceremony had begun."

Iron Eyes Cody and Alexander Longrifle, circa 1972

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gary Schneider - Green Tambourine
(Just For Fun, Just For Friends, 1969)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ann Steel - My Time  (7", 1979)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Selections from the film scores of the late Algerian composer Ahmed Malek.

From the 1977 film Al-Hajiz, directed by Ahmed Lalem.

From Mughamarat Batal (a.k.a. Les Aventures d'un Heros), a film by Merzak Allouache which won the Tanit d'Or at the Festival de Carthage in 1978. The film is set in an imaginary desert state where a poor oasis dweller has run-ins with dangerous death squads, strange border guards, and guerrillas.

From the film Autopsie d'un Complot, directed by Mohamed Slim Riad.

From the film Omar Gatlato, a M. Allouache film released in 1976.

From the film Les Deracines, released in 1976, directed by L. Merbah.

From the film Les Oiseaux de L'Ete (1980)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yara Family - Shirahama Blues  (Shimauta Pops, 1968)

Having studied under three of the great martial artists of the era, Shimabuku blossomed and won recognition throughout Okinawa through a very fine performance of the katas. He shocked spectators with his ability to drive nails through pieces of wood with his bare hands. Shimabuku then sought out the Kobu-Jutsu weapons Master Taira Shinken. At this time, Shinken was the world's greatest expert on the bo and sai. Even today, most weapons kata from Okinawa and Japan can be traced back to Shinken. His weapons katas included the Chatan-Yara No-Sai, named from Chatan village where it was developed by the Yara family.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Preechapone Bunnag - Emotion  (When Love Is Gone, 1978)

Thai crooning at its finest, recorded at the Flame Tree Supper Club in Bangkok with accompaniment by Madame Pranee Nakarawong and sparkling arrangements by The Oriental Funk (though there's nothing funky about it).

And here's another Billy Joel cover.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Rock-afire Explosion was an animatronic robot band that played in Showbiz Pizza Place restaurants throughout Florida in the 80's. The animal characters, ranging from a naive bear in overalls to a dimwit dog in a silver spacesuit, mimicked playing real instruments and had realistic facial expressions.

It is well known that the audio production for the show was done by an Orlando-based company called Creative Engineering Inc., but what has remained a tightly controlled secret until recently are the names of the musical talents that were behind the characters. Many of them went on to later fame, including the leading male vocalist Julian Casablancas, who later fronted a popular rock band called The Strokes. Shalisa James, who did most of the female vocals, is currently a member of the a cappella group Toxic Audio.

Eventually, the ShowBiz restaurants were converted to Chuck E. Cheese's and the animatronic bands were removed and sold to various eccentrics, collectors, and restauranteurs. The Rock-afire band can still be seen in a few locations across the country. Billy Bob's Super Wonderland in Barboursville, West Virginia has a complete Rock-afire Explosion band. Although it was renovated in 2004 the machines are in poor condition due to neglect, and they require a live band (rumored to be the washed-up former members of The Strokes) behind the curtain to provide the music and voices.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Debra Dejean - Time Of The Season  (Debra Dejean, 1981)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bergendy Szalonzenekar - A Buszjegy
(Én Táncolnék Veled, 1984)

"Damn it Gusztáv, you blinked again!"