Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Exotica in the Deep Valley

Even though the owners didn't use my brilliant suggestion for their bar's name (Valley Ha'i), you should still know that, starting April 3 and every Sunday thereafter, Dionysus Records kingpin Lee Joseph will be spinning Exotica, Hawaiian, Lounge, Easy Listening, Moog, Surf and Instro Sleaze from his spookily immense collection of nutso vinyl. Come and enjoy the fruits of his thrifting labors, sip unnaturally colored libations and meet fellow music nerds at The Lucky Tiki, 15420 Chatsworth St., Mission Hills, CA (where the 118 and the 405 meet). 818-892-2688, 21 and over, free! Lee spins from 8pm to 2am on Sundays. -Kim Cooper

Monday, March 28, 2005

Lumia machines and the lovely Ms. Perhacs

Yesterday photographer-cowboy Bill Funk invited Richard and me to join singer-songwriter Linda Perhacs in a tour of the Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibition Visual Music. As a synesthesist, Linda was interested in seeing how other artists manifest their experience of cross-sensory perception, and she recognized many motifs in the films on view from her own internal visions.

The highlight of the show was the installation of three rarely-seen Lumia boxes by Thomas Wilfred, kinetic light sculptures ranging from album cover- to wall-sized, which give off a haunting, slow and lovely light. Linda suggested that watching such images would be a healthy psychic alternative to the speedy, quick-cut entertainment that's available everywhere. She's right, and I know I'd rather apply the cost of a fancy entertainment system on a nice Lumia machine--does anyone make these marvels?
The exhibition runs through May 22, and MOCA is free all day Thursdays. Thanks, Bill! -Kim Cooper

Shameless self promotion

Friends far and near, this post is just to inform you that the new High Hat (that's issue No. 5, folks) is finally online. Essays in the music section discuss items as disparate as John Cage's 4'33", notes on John Peel's passing, moments of a Beefheart song, inspiration from Dinosaur Jr., reviews of albums by Jonathan Richman, Rick Nelson, and Oscar Brown, Jr., and my ungodly exegesis on the Fiery Furnaces' Blueberry Boat.

The remainder of the issue has drank deep of the well of pop culture and is like unto fattened swine awaiting your frivolty-hungry, bacon-thirsty eyes.*

* N.B. Actual issue may contain fewer examples of purple prose.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Lost in the Grooves hits the LA Times bestseller list

Thanks to David Smay for pointing out our anthology's residence in the number ten ten spot of the LA Times non-fiction list, based on a poll of Southern California booksellers. A very happy surprise!

For you non-LA Times online subscriber types (hi, Mom!) , the list is below:
1 The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay: $14.95) How fads, trends and ideas behave like viruses in a society.

2 Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (Random House: $13.95) A professor keeps literature alive for her students.

3 The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage: $14.95) How a serial killer haunted the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

4 Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff (Chelsea Green: $10) A guide for political progressives.

5 The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (New World Library: $14) How to attain enlightenment by living in the now.

6 Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (W.W.

Norton: $16.95) A scientist's take on Europe's rise to dominance.

7 Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter (TechPress/Warner: $15.95) Fiscal parenting.

8 Bushworld by Maureen Dowd (Berkley: $15) The New York Times columnist's collected works on Bush père and fils.

9 The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene (Vintage: $15.95) The nature of the universe made simple.

10 Lost in the Grooves by Kim Cooper et al. (Routledge: $19.95) An encyclopedic guide to popular music.

cult of the week - Dalek I Love You

Great to see the new Blog up. Will post the weekly reviews from my site www.cultwithnoname.com from now on. Look forward to reading people's comments. Thanks


artist: Dalek I Love You

title: Dalek I Love You

year: 1983

label: Korova

personnel: Gordon Hon, Kenny Peers, Alan Gill

tracklisting: holiday in disneyland, horoscope, health and happiness, the mouse that roared, dad on fire, ambition, lust, 12 hours of blues, sons of sahara, africa express

cotw say…

of all the significant post-punk British music scenes, Liverpool’s is perhaps one of the less well documented. largely focused around a single nightclub, Roger Eagle’s ‘Eric’s’, it included such luminaries as the Bunneymen, Teardrop Explodes, OMD and this curious collective.

Dalek I’s debut (‘Compass Kumpas’) was a brilliant, and deceptively melancholic collection of lo-fi, bedroom synth. retaining many of the key characteristics of the debut – i.e. insidious tunes with bizarre lyrics (‘Dad on Fire’ anyone?!) – the follow up album expands the sound considerably for a programme of upbeat, polished, eccentric synthpop. by spreading vocal duties across three distinctive singers (Alan Gill’s attractive croon is unmistakable), the album, rather than becoming annoyingly goofy, simply packs one surprise after another. best moments include the aforementioned ‘Dad on Fire’, the equally hooky ‘The Mouse that Roared’, and the epic ‘Africa Express’ from a more reflective side two.

with Dr Who finally returning to UK TV screens, has there ever been a better time to love Daleks?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Tibi Lubin: I Don't See You As A Dead Girl (Rev-Ola CD 2004)

There's a post-punk revival going on, apparently. Bands like Franz Ferdinand and Interpol are digging into the early-80s sounds of Factory, Postcard and Rough Trade. (When I saw FF on the Grammys, I thought for sure that it was the only time we'd hear Josef K-influenced music on that gaudy awards show.) Most of these revivalists seem to be aiming straight for the dancefloor, melding stiff disco rhythms to choppy guitars the way they think Gang of Four might have. Meanwhile, a band like Tibi Lubin stands on the edge of the party, finding its voice in quieter influences like Marine Girls and Young Marble Giants. Their first and so far only album, I Don't See You As A Dead Girl, came out on Rev-Ola in 2004. A quick internet search finds almost no reviews. That's just wrong, and proof that "the music you missed" can come from any era.

I Don't See You As A Dead Girl is mostly the work of Glaswegian songwriter Katie Stewart (though she's since added two more people to the lineup). Most of these 10 songs are just guitar, cheap drum machine and vocals; we only hear a bass guitar now and then. Songs like "Calling Hettie Jones" and "Miss Myopia" start off shambly, almost Shaggs-like, the guitar and voice playing flashlight tag before melding together into heart-stopping melody. Stewart's voice is high and often confused, sounding very much like the Marine Girls' Alice Fox. Producer Joe Foster (TVPs, Slaughter Joe) describes it as "the sound of a girl going insane," which isn't completely true but a good starting point. The whole album is powerful in its subtlety; two run-throughs and you're hooked for months, not wanting to listen to anything else. -Mike Appelstein

Scram on a distinguished magazine rack

Mark Boudreau of the Rock and Roll Report posted a list of the print mags currently enjoying honored spots in his collection, and I was pleased to see Scram in there with some other nifty titles.

Ask A Hungry Freak!

This is the third installment of Carl Franzoni's advice column, in which the King of the Freaks gives the benefit of his years of wild behavior to a new generation. More info is here.

Dear Carl,

I was wondering what your view is of the current pop music scene. Most specifically, its dependency on fashion styles and current dances such as the "lean back." What do you think could be done (what would you do) to improve the scene or at the very least lighten it up?

Also, some of these artists and "Divas" (as they demand to be called) started out as dancers and feel they need to become "a triple threat"(actor/singer/dancer) because that is currently the "in" thing to be. Should they stick to one thing or try to do it all at the potential risk of
compromising their arts? Do you have any advice for them?


Hello R.E.Toledo,

I'll start with the"Divas," because in my life there are two women that I have watched and helped in the arts that you talk about. One is 31, the other is 41 yrs old. 31 is in the fast lane and heading for destruction, not because she doesn' t know her art forms and how to do them, it's because she locked into the BUSHMASTER world. Look up that word in the dictionary! But to me it means someone that stays in a bad environment and is not willing to change to a slower one step at a time. Not rush to get ahead. The fast ones burn out quickly .

The native americans I hang out with say don't say anything until you're 55yrs. old. U can do it all, but slow it down. In the dance there is something called a time step . It means think of where you're going next. Consider Madonna and Barbra Streisand.

Hiphop is the dance for me these days. It's tuff and against the culture, in contrast to Fairyland slow ass music played on all the dance shows. We need up tempo blues or Motown back in our dance. Go to a black dance hall and see how they sweat!!!

always, Hungry Freaks Daddy
carl o. franzoni

Carl's advice will change your life, so be sure to email the editrix with your question for the King of the Freaks! And if you're a previous Ask A Hungry Freak letter writer who's incorporated Carl's suggestions into your world, please write back and let us know how it's going!

Friday, March 25, 2005

The GoldeBriars’ Story: Whatever Happened to Jezebel? CD-Rom

Dotti Holmberg and her sister Sheri were core members of Sunshine Pop guru Curt Boettcher’s first band, the trad-folk GoldeBriars. The group toured the nation’s coffee houses in the early sixties, recorded for Epic, launched the careers of a Music Machine or two, and may have inspired the Mamas & the Papas’ harmonies.

If you’ve heard Sometimes Happy Times, the ultra-sweet album of previously unreleased Dottisongs that Sundazed put out in 2002, you won’t be surprised to find her eBook also the work of an unusually gentle, kindly sensibility. This means that for batty anecdotes about traveling from gig to gig in a dilapidated woody stuffed with bags of groceries, sleepy bandmates and a wild, incontinent kinkajou (a member of the raccoon family, native to Belize), WHTJ is a hoot. It’s less useful if you’re looking for dirt: when the band falls apart, implicitly due to serious conflicts between Boettcher and the other players, Dotti draws a curtain over the proceedings so quickly that if you’re not careful, she’ll clip your nose.

Over 199 rambling pages, extensively illustrated with vintage scrapbook pages, collages, photos and Boettcher’s excellent “Mungs” cartoons, you’ll click through Dotti’s memories and vintage diary entries, revealing a group of semi-innocent Midwestern kids, propelled by their love of folk music and of playing together, as they get a musical education and grow up and apart. Included on the CD are an especially sunny neo-Vaudeville cut not on Dotti’s record, and film of the GoldeBriars’ appearance on Hootenanny. Recommended for Sunshine Pop geeks and anyone interested in the social history of the American folk scene. See www.goldebriars.com for more info. -Kim Cooper

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Stumptown Confidential

John Chilson, late of the Loons and Schlock Magazine, has a new blog celebrating the goofier side of the history of Portland, OR, his new stomping grounds. -Kim Cooper

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Francopop Party dans NYC

This announcement comes via Sheila of the ever-so-ChaChaCharming webzine:

LE ONE NIGHT STAND : Pleasure For One Night..... No Strings Attached.

A unique musical experience of sixties French cool, Euro Freakbeat, Mondo Soundtracks and some sexy new grooves direct from the dusty crates of Paris. Tunes and cool bangs of Brigitte, Francoise Hardy, Johnny Hallyday, Michel Polnareff, some best of modern Chanson and much

Tuesday March 29th, 10 PM
Bar Eleven Lounge, 159 Orchard Street (between Stanton & Rivington, downstairs)
21 + NO COVER! + open bar from 10- 11 pm
DJs- Baby Bop (from Australia), Ringfinger, SCSI, Kurac, Smashed Blocked (NYC), Josh Styles
Peppermint Twist

Click here for flyer: http://www.chachacharming.com/events.php

Big News at the 1947project

Nathan Marsak, the cranky architectural/signage /mortuary historian* who used to share the mic with me on KCSB's thrift store vinyl and Borscht Belt "humor" Manny Chavez Show has agreed to collaborate on the 1947project, the true LA crimeblog. He'll be paying visits to historic crime scenes, photographing the sites, and offering his uniquely provocative insights. He's just annotated many of last week's posts, so if you've visited the site before, do stop back for an update.

I'm excited to be working with Nathan again. His sensibility is morbidly delicious. -Kim Cooper

*and longtime Scram contributor

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Twenty-Eight Pages Lovingly Bound With Twine

28 pages #8
Ah, zines. They don't show up in the mailbox too often anymore, and sometimes I forget how weird and sweet zine people can be. Take Christoph, who devotes the first three pages of 28P #8 to bellyaching about how his hand-me-down computer (which he clearly adores, despite his Luddite inclinations) has crashed, taking with it 1000 pieces of prose. Christoph damns the machine to long and infernal torments, seemingly oblivious to the rudiments of back-up technology. You get the sense that he never talks with anyone about his work methods, and has no idea that they were a time bomb. He's more comfortable buying an old photocopier for a few bucks and cranking out zines until it dies. Christoph is a vegan who lives with his dentist wife and frisky little son Herbie (a big Beastie Boys fan) in rural Ohio, and his zine is full of unexpected exoticism, like a visit from the septic tank man (and his Filth-Sucking Wondertruck), Herbie's amazement at seeing his first mohawk at a zine conference and a think piece on the NASCAR-themed snack offerings at the local drive-thru convenience store. Christoph doesn't believe in the internet, so if you want to know more you'll just have to send him two bucks or something neat in trade. -Kim Cooper

(reviewed: 28PLBWT issues # 8 and #11. cost: $2 or trade from Christoph Meyer, PO Box 106, Danville, OH 43014)

Billy Fury Sings It Like It Is


A highlight of last weekend's Vroman's reading was Tosh Berman plumbing the psychological depths of British teen idol Billy Fury, culminating in recitation of these deathless lyrics.


As I was slowly passing, an Orphan's home one day
I stopped for just a little while, to watch the children play,
Alone, a boy was standing, and when I asked him why,
He turned, with eyes, that could not see, and he began to cry,
I'm nobody's child, just like a flower, I am growing wild
No Mummy kisses, and no Daddy's smile, nobody wants me,
I am nobody's child.

No mothers arms to hold me, or sooth me when I cry.
Sometimes it gets so lonesome here, I wish that I could die,
I'd walk the streets of heaven, where all the blind can see,
And just like all the other kids, there'd be a home for me,
I'm nobody's child, I'm nobody's child, just like a flower, I am growing wild,
No Mummy's kisses and no Daddy's smile, nobody wants me

Zolar X - Timeless CD (Alternative Tentacles)


Jello Biafra has earned some serious space-brownie points for archiving the lost recordings of these circa 1972-80 Sunset Strip performance popists, still remembered in select circles for their nifty Martian moptop costumes and ability to stay in character beyond the call of sense. The sibilant vocals and ultra-pretentious guitar army moves suggest the Martians were intercepting some pretty silly stuff on their satellites. Particularly recommended if your dream band looks like the Revillos but sounds more like Styx. -Kim Cooper

Monday, March 21, 2005

Peter Bagge's Hate-filled Art Show


If any of you cranks are in NYC, drop by the MF Gallery (what does that stand for, I wonder?) to see LITG contributor Peter Bagge's first one-man show, The Power Of Hate, on view through April 30. MF Gallery is at 157 Rivington St. More info at mfgallery.net. -Kim Cooper

Les Terribles - S/T CD (Dionysus)…

But it’s not terrible at all! High energy Francophone garage rock, led by the miffed schoolmarm tones of Mlle. Rudie and her bewigged quartet of swingeurs, produced by the brilliant Graham “Solar Flares” Day. You won’t need even your rustiest French to recognize sprightly covers of “I Can Only Give You Everything” and “All Day and All of the Night.” “Tout est fini” kicks off as more of a Gainbourg sexpot number, and Rudie pulls off the whispery Birkin thing gorgeously. Cute instro titles: “Rosbeef attack” and “Froggies strike back!” -Kim Cooper

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Garage & Beat

P. Edwin Letcher's delightful magazine of instro-retro-mondo-retardo sounds now resides on the web, where he's just posted some updates, including a slew of reviews.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Ask a Hungry Freak!

This is the second installment of Carl Franzoni's advice column, in which the King of the Freaks gives the benefit of his years of wild behavior to a new generation. More info is here.

Dear Hungry Freak,
I need advice. I am very intellectually, emotionally and physically exhausted from the past 35 years of my life. How do you rejuvinate and revitalize yourself in order to stay freshly freaky? If I'm gonna make it through another 35 years on this planet, I must recharge my batteries, but I'm already running on empty! Help!
Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Ars Longa Vita, Your name means long life. So first it's the dance, and yoga, and looking into someone eyes you like, Go to a Johnny Depp movie and sit next to someone that might feel you up, trade massage, ride a bike for half an hour, make sure it's with a person that has a cute ass. Look at dirty pictures. And masturbate alot. And come on over to my pad and I'll kiss your neck!! I'm running on full and I need HELP!
Hungry Freaks Daddy

Heey Carl;
Any saucey tales from the log cabin and your dealings with Frank Zappa? What was it like hangin' with the Mothers? Thems was pretty heady days and many of those legends have now gone before us... gawwd bless 'em.
in utmost respect,

Hi Cozmo,

This friend of my came snooping around the log cabin on acid, and looked in the cellar window of my bedroom and he told me he saw me screwing my girfriend only he thought I was a gorilla. Ravaging a princess. He knocked on the window raging and ran away screaming a gorilla is eating a princess!! And Frank came back from NY and needed a house. So we moved down to Fairfax and Sunset. But I was there the day when Alice Cooper got his contract with Mr. Zappa and so did "Merry go round man'' Wild Man Fisher. I was invited that day because one of my girlfriends was Alice Cooper's manager. But her and I didn't stay together to long because I don't like plastic tits. But she sure was pretty.
thanks for writing,
carl o. franzoni

Carl can't wait to give YOU advice, so be sure to email the editrix with your question for the King of the Freaks!

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Ewwww Factor

Over on the LITG message board, Hayden Childs points out a Livejournal chock full of Jandek slash fiction. -Kim Cooper

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Criminal History

The 1947project is a new historical blog launched under the precept that "Los Angeles in 1947 was a social powderkeg. War-damaged returning soldiers were threatened by a new kind of independant female, who in turn found her freedoms disappearing as male workers returned to the factories. These conflicts worked themselves out in dark ways. The Black Dahlia is the most famous victim of 1947's sex wars, but hardly the only one. The 1947project seeks to document this pivotal year in L.A., and the traumas these conflicts sparked."

The first week's posts, made on the same days that the crimes occured, include West Covina's Police Chief getting himself shot in a suspicious incident in an orange grove, a jealous working girl taking out her maybe-fiance with a bread knife, and a demented ex-soldier assaulting his living room furniture and wife. Included are maps to many of the crime scenes. -Kim Cooper

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Get it On! or, The Gods of Ronco Whisper to Me

(being Ken Rudman's piece from Saturday's reading)

“Get It On!” Exclamation point. The gods of Ronco want to get it on with me. There is a motorcycle on the cover, jumping over something, like Evel Knievel. If that’s getting it on, I need to do it, now. I am ten years old and the universe opens before me.

I buy it at Zody’s because of “Spiders and Snakes” which I find very funny. Note that I also find “The Streak” funny, but it isn’t on this record. It may not even have come out yet. I listen to “Spiders and Snakes” a whole bunch of times, never letting the needle stray too far beyond that one song. Play, reset, play. There are 19 other Original Hits by the 19 other Original Artists, but I only want “Spiders and Snakes”. A couple of them are straight off my AM radio station, 93 KHJ, but I don’t play them from “Get it On!”

I buy Jim Stafford’s record. There aren’t any other songs as good as “Spiders and Snakes”. I grow tired of “Spiders and Snakes”, even though it has a “wacka-doo, wacka-doo” chorus, like on Wonderama. The universe has taught me its first great lesson: Sometimes the single is the best thing on the record.

“The Cover of the Rolling Stone” means nothing to me, as I have not yet actually seen Rolling Stone. “The Morning After” is lame, even if it is from “The Poseidon Adventure”. “Love Train” is not my favorite O’Jays song. If pressed, I probably don’t have a favorite O’Jays song, but it wouldn’t be “Love Train”.

One day while playing “Get it On!”, the needle strays into “Drift Away”. Damn that’s a great song. I listen, I sing along, but I don’t buy Dobie Gray’s album.

“Me and Mrs. Jones” is on there, but it’s too sophisticated for me, I can’t hook into it. I am ten and the universe that is open before me doesn’t contain the idea of having a “thing” going on. But the song is encoding itself on my DNA, and thirty years later I hear it and see gold shag carpet and Peter Max prints on the walls.

There are other songs on the record which I don’t like very much, but it’s my only record and I’m tired of “Spiders and Snakes”. Both B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis are there, but the songs are mediocre and I move on, not knowing that B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis are supposed to be cool. “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.” is fun for me now, but ten year-olds don’t know from kitsch. All in all, “Get it On” is pretty lame, and I experience my first twinge of buyer’s remorse.

“Smoking in the Boys’ Room” is the only real rock ‘n’ roll song on the disc, but it doesn’t grab me for two reasons: 1) I like school, and I don’t mind the teachers’ rules. They seem reasonable and logical to me. 2) I see Brownsville Station on TV and they wear makeup. Not in some strange, scary way like Bowie—a couple of years hence I will spend hours staring at the cover of “Aladdin Sane” trying to understand where the makeup ends and Bowie begins—no, this is clown makeup. And one of the guys has leather suspenders over his hairy, bare chest like Derek Smalls or Peter Criss. Brownsville Station look like dorks.

But “Get it On” is in the wire rack under the stereo next to “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player”. I think the guys from Brownsville Station must be talking to Elton John. It’s my brother’s album, one of his 12 records for a penny from Columbia House. He just has to agree to buy seven more records at three times the going price at Zody’s. Eventually, he will get out of it because he was underage when he signed up. “Daniel” is on the Elton John record, so is “Crocodile Rock” which full of the kind of fake nostalgia that is just around the corner. I hate the song, but we all dance to it.

Francesca, our babysitter who lives next door, brings over “Tapestry” one night while our parents are out and she sets it down next to “Don’t Shoot Me”. She puts it on and promptly ignores us. I watch her listening. I am neither 15 years old, nor female, but the universe is still beneficent and reveals another law: For every person on earth, there will be music which whispers its secret language through ear drum, along semi-circular canal down to spinal column and you cannot disregard the power of that direct pathway. Eventually, I learn the corollary to this law: If you *do* disregard the power of that direct pathway, or worse, if you make fun of the music whispering its secret language down someone else’s neural pipes, you will not have sex with that someone. (See: “Some People Think Kate Bush Is a Genius”.)

My brother does not know this law and while Francesca is putting our sister to bed, he takes off “Tapestry” dropping it down next to Edgar Winter Group’s “Shock Treatment”. Edgar and the gang float in space across the cover, pouting, strutting, more makeup. Rick Derringer holds his guitar in a way which is not altogether wholesome. For some reason, I wind up with “Shock Treatment” in my stack but I never play it. Eventually it winds up next to “Pretzel Logic” but they can’t co-exist peacefully. “Ricky Don’t Lose that Number” exercises a pull like the steam from a just-baked cartoon apple pie set out to cool on the farmhouse window sill. The song taps me on the shoulder, beckons with it’s steam-finger and I rise up into the air, following it, nose cocked, imaginary snake charmer music playing in the background. I am twelve years old and the universe is flashing me hand-signals from the wings: “Things aren’t what they seem—don’t fight the cartoon-pie steam, it will lead you places you can’t get to on foot.”

I go away to school for a couple of years. My grandmother has no stereo and my music stays behind in California. My uncle who has Downs syndrome listens to records on a small portable record player which he brings home from his school on weekends. Mostly, it’s Peter Pan records, with the yellow label, but one time my grandpa buys him a few discs from Zaire’s, which is just Zody’s on the other side of the country. One of the records is from a movie by Coppola, “You’re a Big Boy Now,” music by The Lovin’ Spoonful. I have never seen this movie, but the soundtrack beat the hell out of “Mickey and the Beanstalk”.

Eventually, I return to my records in California. But my friends and I are mobile now. My friend Frank’s car has an 8-track, but 8-track is already dead so we only have two tapes and Rodney on the ROQ to get us through 2 years of driving. When Rodney’s not on it’s either the Kinks live album, which we learn by heart, or “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. Let me tell you, AC/DC sounds so good blasting out of the windows of a ‘76 El Camino that they ought to give one away with every copy of the album, but the Kinks, and especially “Lola”, is pure pie steam for me. I find a copy of “Powerman vs. Lola and The Moneygoround, Part One” and bring it back home. The next year Lola makes friends with Madame George, who eventually snuggles up next to Alison. I don’t really know exactly what “Johnny Hit and Run Pauline” is about, but it burns—in a good way. Lesson time, evidently: “It’s good to get kicked in the balls, as long as you learn from it”.

I carefully select the records I will bring to college with me. I decide that I can live without the Eagles, Tom Petty, Pat Benatar, Jim Croce. My roommate, Chris, likes reggae and Talking Heads, and we bond over the Clash’s version of “Pressure Drop”. My friend Eileen visits my dorm room, bringing “Give ‘em Enough Rope” and I get the wind knocked out of me, but she also lets me make a tape of “London Calling” which pushes it front and center: Some people have their eyes open and some people need that kick in the balls.

I have money and a used record store nearby and the Clash find themselves sharing space with Phil Ochs, who introduces me to Kim, who leads me to Nick Drake and Television and Alex Chilton. I eventually return the favor with Townes van Zandt, so I figure that makes us even.

I am eighteen and the Ronco Gods reveal themselves in all their polyphonic glory. The universe is multi-casting: “Not everything moves in a straight-line. You have to learn to parallel process in a serial world.”

My brain just naturally makes aural stew, I’ve lost the ability to separate music the way some of my friends seem to. It either hits me or it doesn’t. Butch Hancock and Robyn Hitchcock and Iggy Pop hit me. Van Dyke Parks hits me. The Buzzcocks hit me. The Replacements, Randy Newman, the Carter Family, Minutemen, XTC, The Chills.

And finally, finally, one day I hear “Me and Mrs. Jones” and the last synapse goes pop. It’s all there in one breathlessmoment: the Peter Max prints, the Pachinko machine, the swag lamp. I am lying on a verdant field of gold shag, staring at the cottage cheese ceiling, Getting it On with the Gods of Ronco.

copyright, 2005, Kenneth A. Rudman, do not reproduce without permission

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Lost Grooves Reading at Vroman's Bookshop

Saturday afternoon, a slew of frisky record racoons invaded the cozy upstairs remainders section of Pasadena's venerable Vroman's Bookshop to share tales of collector's luck and the discs that they adore. Thanks to Jen for having us, David Cotner for bringing the turntable, and all the contributors and music fiends for turning up, especially Mr. Smay and the lovely Mrs. for coming all the way from San Francisco.

THE PROGRAM, in brief...

My brilliant and too-rarely-in-the-same-room-with-me co-editor DAVID SMAY brought some nutty vinyl to display, letting the audience vote on which disk they wanted to hear. Unsurprisingly, Lancelot Link & the Evolution Revolution won, and we dedicated "Yummy Love" to poor Moe the Chimp, who had a pretty bad birthday week.

MAX HECHTER revised his presentation on Finnish pubesco-punk primitives Silver, from last year's Experience Music Project pop conference, then hawked copies of the single to those who believed they could stomach at least one more listen to the most 'tardtastic version of "Do Ya Wanna Dance?" ever trapped on tape.

RON GARMON read and spun Curtis Mayfield's Sweet Excorcist, remarking that he hoped we hadn't all forgotten what it felt like to listen to this kind of thing, and how delighted he was to be playing a ghetto song in Pasadena.

In a presentation inspired by his contributions to the book Beatsville, DOMENIC PRIORE showed and told all about his beatnik-themed record collection, but for some reason did not bust out the bongos.

I, KIM COOPER, then read an expanded version of my Roky Erickson essay from the book (hence no pic). This reading included a visitation from Roky himself, kinda. Next up, DAVID COTNER brought the house down with one of the most incredible recorded artifacts ever made, Elke Skelter's Vegetarian Bavarian in Exile.

It's a handmade edition of 100 album-objects, each different. David's is a little alpine scene complete with snow and skiers (see detail show below), and yes, it can be played--at least the first inch or so of the vinyl on the A-side can be played, albeit with some skipping. Some card in the crowd yelled out for David to play the flip side, to no avail.

P. EDWIN LETCHER spoke on why the Buggs are better than the Beatles (well, duh), and, more controversially, why Lou Christie kicks the 4 Seasons' collective hindquarters (that's eight buttocks, if you're keeping count). He also threatened to teach the audience a lesson, which I suppose he did.

BRIAN DOHERTY read about Appaloosa, Papa John's Wolf-King of L.A. and the Vulgar Boatmen. He did not play any of these records, as a statement about longing and the old days of record collecting, when immediate downloaded/eBayable gratification was not an option, and folks ran around with oft-folded want lists in their wallets, or ordered things they'd never heard from ads in Goldmine.

TOSH BERMAN waxed rhapsodic on the perfect doomed beauty of Billy Fury, also played no music, though he did read some exquisitely tormented lyrics... then gave Billy Fury compilation CDs to most of the attendees!

KEN RUDMAN read a Proustian piece called Get It On, on the power of memory and evolving taste filtered through the first compilation album he ever bought. Tune into the blog tomorrow to see it reprinted, or visit Ken's blog today if you can't hardly wait.

DAVID SMAY and his former housemate MATTHEW SPECKTOR presented a tag team tribute to the late San Francisco porn-rock pioneer Buck Naked & his Bare Bottom Boys, David taking the quasi-historical approach, and Matthew reading an excerpt from his newly finished novel, in which Buck appeared from the swirling pits of memory to play a role at once pathetic and chilling.

Closing the afternoon's proceedings, JACKSON DEL REY of Savage Republic fame introduced Monitor's Michael Uhlenkott from the audience, spoke briefly about his love for Pearls Before Swine, then regaled us with several delicate PBS songs, including an especially haunting "The Jeweler."

Sheesh, and that's it. We had a blast! The next reading is at Moe's in Berkeley on 4/25; hope to see some of you there. -Kim Cooper

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Ask A Hungry Freak!

This is the first installment of Carl Franzoni's advice column, in which the King of the Freaks gives the benefit of his years of wild behavior to a new generation. More info is here.

Moneill emails to ask Carl Franzoni, While dancing to the Byrds, what kind of mid 60s-era hot girl should I scope? What if my last dancing experience per se was disco dancing in the late 1970s while in peerpressurejr.high? Please advise. Should I “frug” or do the busstop or point out that the reason I don’t dance is that I am a musician and that we “can’t,” is that ok? Please advise again. Plus, what is the best outfit to wear while scoping out said 60s hot girl? Pants and shirt etc. but which? Curious in FLA, Moneill

Carl responds, Hello, Moneill. Each band in the 60s had their dancers, Our women dancers wore a cut down dress so U saw there thighs and wore no panties or a totally see threw dress that revealed everything, high heels and lot of red cocksucker smeared on lipstick. Look at Tina Turner she never did ware panties. Disco was for sole'est. My clothes with the Byrds was hiheel nee boots black, and tights, different colors, midriff shirt that would flow while you spun and fancy belt that said, look below and U will see my lovestick. Happyness to you, carl o franzoni Hungry Freaks Daddy

Robbie White emails to ask Carl Franzoni, Do you have any 1966 era pics of Carl & the dancers at any Mothers shows?

Carl responds: Hi, Robbie, We did a movie, called ''YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT" with the most spectacular dancing pictures ever recorded about how we danced with Frank"s Mothers of Invention at the Shrine Auditorium in 1966. The cameraman was Barry Feinstein who was also the director. This movie explains so much about the 60s because it tells about three different city's New York, San Francisco, and Hollywood. And the difference of how the freaks were. Feinstein was married to Mary from Peter, Paul& Mary, they were the real Producers.of this movie... The main dancers to watch as the movie ends was Vito and myself. And watch at the very end was Sheldon Jaman. WOW!!! --carl o franzoni Hungry Freeks Daddy

stay tuned for further installments of Ask A Hungry Freak, or email the editrix with your love or career questions for Carl O. Franzoni, the King of the Freaks

Friday, March 11, 2005

Pop Goes The Sound Projector

Issue #13 of the U.K. magazine The Sound Projector (subtitled "A Hexagonal Conundrum") recently turned up in my P.O. Box, with a secret toy surprise in the center. While the bulk of the 170 page journal is devoted to thoughtful reviews of experimental, noise and black metal releases (and interviews with makers of esoterica), the contributors have a weakness for mainstream pop, and unlike many people with extremely "cool" taste in music, they're completely unashamed.

I'm pleased to say the Scram gang can take some of the blame for this happy circumstance. Inspired by our 2001 anthology Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth (especially Pete Bagge's essay "Raiding Hannah's Stash"), with "The Chartists" (pages 76-84) Sound Projector staffers write passionately on recent prefab tracks that skewer their hearts. The magazine's British perspective helps put B*Witched, East 17 and Kylie into perspective, and Harley Richardson's extended meditation on "The Macarena" is especially revealing. Pop fiends will want to stay tuned for features on the Monkees and Brian Wilson's SMiLE, and then it's back to the sugar-free underground with a review of Raundelunas 'Pataphysical Revue. -Kim Cooper

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Ask a Hungry Freak!

One of the most popular features we've run recently in Scram was John Trubee's interview with Carl Franzoni, the mail order penis pump salesman who dropped out to lead a troup of tripped out psychedelic dancers on the Sunset Strip. Carl & co. toured with the Byrds and Mothers of Invention, and that's Carl Zappa's singing about when he warns, on Freak Out:
"Mister America walk on by your schools that do not teach
Mister America walk on by the minds that won't be reached
Mister America try to hide the emptiness that's you inside
When once you find the way you lied
And all the corny tricks you tried
Will not forestall the rising tide of HUNGRY FREAKS, DADDY!"

Well, Carl Franzoni has agreed to be our new advice columnist! Ask A Hungry Freak is your chance to get real, freaky love or career advice, not from some dried up old dame or sarky homosexual, but from a red-blooded American freak who has spent four decades perfecting the art of living free.

Gotta a question for Carl? Email the editrix and she'll pass it on, and you may just see Carl's answer here soon. [note: look up for Carl's first column]

Order Scram #17 and read Carl Franzoni's interview (link below for US readers only, visit our back issues page for more options)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Miskatonic Acid Test

Got an email today from one Dark Lord Rob, who's making a Lovecraft-themed psychedelic monster musical co-starring Chris Horne of the Brood and a band called the Plasma Miasma. Yoinks!

Paypal buttons added to the Scram website

In a long overdue gesture aimed at sparing our poor readers anguish, I've added instant payment buttons to the Scram back issue and subscription page, with the domestic or overseas prices automatically generated as the link takes you to Paypal. It was pretty easy, dunno why I didn't do it sooner. -Kim Cooper

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

V/A Bubblepop: 20 UK Pop Oddities CD (RPM)

The UK of the title is not a nation but a label, that of mad pop svengali Jonathan King. These singles, issued between 1972 and 1976, are an eclectic and sometimes stunning set of glam goofs and novelties, inspired, unpredictable and wonderfully silly. But a record buyer with a conscience might want to weigh the moral consequences of sending royalties King's way, considering his child molestation bust, which inevitably colors interpretation of kinderpop artists like Big Pig with Little Porker (giggling hysterically through “Baby Reggae”) and the luminous faux-Osmond Ricky Wilde, represented here by several fascinating tracks. -Kim Cooper

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Lost in the Grooves reading next Saturday in Pasadena

Southern Californians are invited to join a gaggle of anthology contributors at Vroman's Bookshop (695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101) at 4pm for a free reading and book signing that will include Tosh Berman (Billy Fury Tribute), Kim Cooper, David Cotner (Elke Skelter), Brian Doherty, Ron Garmon (Curtis Mayfield, Swervedriver), Max Hechter (Silver), P. Edwin Letcher (The Buggs, Lou Christie), Domenic Priore (beatnik-themed LPs), Ken Rudman ("Get it On, or, The K-Tel Gods Speak in Whispers"), Gene Sculatti (Tony Bruno, Muddy Waters' "Electric Mud"), David Smay & Matthew Specktor (presenting in tandem, The Buck Naked Story).

And this just added: Jackson Del Rey of Savage Republic and 17 Pygmies will close the show with a tribute to Pearls Before Swine! -Kim Cooper

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Lost in the Grooves discussion board

We've just launched a discussion board for LITG, Scram and related topics over at http://lostgrooves.proboards45.com/. You're cordially encouraged to drop by, sign in, and rant about the records you can't believe we left out of the book, the ones you're shocked made it in, your greatest record collector scores, and whatever else you just can't keep inside any longer. Hope to see you there. -Kim Cooper

Friday, March 04, 2005

Brute in Carlsbad

That's Brute Force, singer of such deathless rhymes as "Tapeworm of Love," "To Sit on a Sandwich" and the banned Apple single "King of Fuh," serenading the pickled patrons of the La Costa Spa and Resort on Thursday evening. Jackson Del Rey and I dined with Brute between his regular dashes to the nearly irresistable baby grand piano in the corner, and somewhere along the way finalized agreements for Brute's work to appear on lostinthegrooves.com. It was a delightful evening, one highlight of which was Brute's sharing of his unused (unsolicited, in fact) jingle for Little Debbie Snack Cakes, which goes something like "Mmm, Little Debbie, I wanna EATCHA!" -Kim Cooper

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Tim Dawe - Penrod CD (Radioactive)

At times a gentle, moody folk-psych disc, elsewhere host to a most delicious twangy acid-surf guitar courtesy of Chris Kebeck, this 1969 Straight LP is a curious anomaly. Dawe, a one-time Iron Butterfly member who'd go on to work with It's A Beautiful Day, has a warm, swooping voice that's somewhere between Tim Buckley (who producer Jerry Yester also recorded around this time) and Tom Rush. He brings a weirdly nostalgic air to “Junkie John” and other tunes about edge-dwelling heads, while Arnie Goodman's organ adds mod splashes all around. Understated and rather haunting stuff-with harpsichord! -Kim Cooper