bizarre moods

Owen Gwilliam's contribution to CDX 2003


Folks,

Here's some extra detail on the tracks on Bizarre Moods. Some of these are pretty obscure (Ohio-only, vinyl-only, cassette-only, etc.), so I figured a little background info might be helpful.

Hope you like the CD.

        -- Owen

You can listen on 8tracks.com.


  1. "Workin' On The Railroad" - Bart, Lyle, and Taggart
    contains "I Get A Kick Out Of You" by Cole Porter, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" (traditional), and "De Camptown Races" by Stephen Foster
    taken from the Mel Brooks film Blazing Saddles

    An excerpt from the opening scene of Mel Brooks' brilliant Western spoof Blazing Saddles. In case you haven't seen it (and if you haven't, go rent it right now), the sadistic railroad boss Lyle (played by Burton Gilliam) is trying to get Bart (Cleavon Little) and the other black workers to sing, until Lyle's boss Taggart (Slim Pickens) breaks it up. For my money, Blazing Saddles is easily the best of Mel Brooks' genre parodies, and one of the funniest movies ever made. As I heard recently discussed, it's hard to imagine a film as politically incorrect as Blazing Saddles being made today.

  2. "My Name Is Bert" - John Schwab Band
    written by Thom Schuyler
    taken from You Thought I Was Something Special ... But I Showed You

    John Schwab is a songwriter and guitarist in the local (Columbus, Ohio) country-rock band McGuffey Lane, who got a little national notice for their hit "Long Time Loving You" in the early Eighties. With his own band, Schwab's sense of humor comes through a lot stronger. OK, so John didn't actually write this one, but it fits his style perfectly.

  3. "J'Taime Wild Thing In Timperley" - Frank Sidebottom
    based on The Troggs' "Wild Thing", writtem by Chip Taylor with new lyrics by Frank Sidebottom
    taken from Frank Sidebottom's Timperley E.P.

    Frank Sidebottom is a little different than you average pop star. To quote allmusic.com:

    Frank Sidebottom's prolific output includes everything from pop song parodies and nasal cover versions to satirical, idiotically hilarious originals. Frank's very British humor plays up his adoration for football, his hometown of Timperley (just outside Manchester), and Kylie Minogue, while employing an act that includes a giant, colorful papier-mâché head worn on his own, and a bickering puppet named Little Frank.

    Yes, it's as weird as you're thinking. And for you French speakers, I know the real spelling is "je t'aime", not "j'taime" ...

  4. "Creepy Girl" - Tom Servo
    written by Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Joel Hodgson, Frank Conniff, Jim Mallon and Trace Beaulieu
    taken from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Catalina Caper

    In case you're not familiar with it, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a show about a guy trapped in space and forced to watch really bad movies. He creates some robot pals (Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, Gypsy, and Cambot) to help him cope. Joel, Tom and Crow get their revenge by loudly (and cleverly) heckling the movies. They do little skits a couple of times during the shows until the "movie sign" alarm goes off and they have to go back into the theater for more cinematic pain. In this one, Tom has fallen for the ethnically unidentifiable Katrina (who they've dubbed "Creepy Girl") in the lousy beach detective movie they're watching.

  5. "Miami Driver" - Dave Barry
    written by Dave Barry
    taken from A Totally Random Evening With Dave Barry

    Yes, this is the same Dave Barry who writes a weekly syndicated humor column (amongst other things). This song is taken from a recording of a rare live appearance from Barry. He's not a standup, so instead he reads some of the bizarre fan mail he gets, talks about writing, politics, and family stuff, and manages to throw in a couple of songs, accompanied by his brother Sam on harmonica.

  6. "Here Kitty" - Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet
    written by Brian Connelly, Reid Diamond and Don Pyle
    taken from Music For Pets

    One of my favorite bands - so much so that I run a fansite called The Shadowy Site On A Shadowy Web. I'm betting Don V. has already hipped you to these guys. Anyway, this "song" is a clever little filler on their Music For Pets single which all animal-related songs (like "The Cat Came Back", "Baby Elephant Walk", etc.).

    My apologies if your cat takes this one too seriously.

  7. "Mean To Me" - Heywood Banks
    written by Heywood Banks
    taken from Picky Picky Picky

    Heywood Banks is a nightclub comic who is very strange, very funny and very clean. About half of his show is songs, and he's recorded a number of CDs over the years. If you haven't heard of him, I'm not too surprised. Dr. Demento does play his stuff occasionally, but otherwise he's kind of a Midwest phenomenon.

  8. "Girlfriend In A Coma" - Mojo Nixon
    written by Johnny Marr and Morrissey, with some lyric changes and abuse from Mojo Nixon
    taken from Whereabouts Unknown

    How often do you hear someone cover a song and abuse the original writer? Mojo's a weird critter ... he plays high energy rock & roll and is a general wise-ass, with songs like "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child", "Don Henley Must Die", and "Elvis Is Everywhere" (in which he reveals the identity of the dread "anti-Elvis" - Michael J. Fox).

  9. "Communist Cooking" - Eric Idle & Neil Innes
    written by Neil Innes and Eric Idle
    taken from The Rutland Weekend Songbook

    After Monty Python's Flying Circus ended, but before the Python movies, Eric Idle and long-time Python collaborator Neil Innes (of the Bonzo Dog Band) launched a BBC television show called Rutland Weekend Television, with each episode pretending to be a broadcast from the TV station in Britian's smallest county, Rutland. It was fairly similar to the concept behind SCTV (although RWT came first). This song is taken from the soundtrack album, The Rutland Weekend Songbook.

  10. "Do Bears ..." - Rowan Atkinson and Kate Bush with Howard Goodall
    written by Richard Curtis and Howard Goodall
    taken from Comic Relief Presents: Utterly Utterly Live

    Yes, that's the same Rowan Atkinson who was in Mr. Bean, the various Blackadder series, Four Weddings And A Funeral (as the minister), and recently Johnny English (but don't hold that last one against him).

  11. "What If?" - The American Comedy Network
    taken from Outrageous Radio

    The American Comedy Network creates comedy bits for radio stations. This isn't actually a song, but it's funny and it's about musicians, so I used it anyway.

  12. "The Blues Translated" - Malone & Nootcheez
    written by Malone & Nootcheez
    taken from Loopy On Cold Medicine

    Malone & Nootcheez are (were?) another nightclub act that came around Columbus quite a bit. Don't know if they're still together. This bit was recorded during an appearance on the Wags & Elliott Show on WLVQ (Q-FM-96) in Columbus.

  13. "Black Lassie (A Great American Dog)" - Cheech & Chong
    written by Tommy Chong and Richard "Cheech" Marin
    taken from Cheech & Chong's Wedding Album

    Contrary to the common misconception, not everything Cheech & Chong did were drug jokes about two stoners (OK - it was a lot of what they did, but not everything). This song (which manages to combine Johnny Cash, Lassie and the then-current "Blaxploitation" films like Shaft) is actually part of a longer sketch called "Wake Up America" where reporter Horrendo Revolver does an exposé on the record industry.

  14. "Slow The Plot Down" - Joel Robinson, Crow T. Robot, and Tom Servo
    written by Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Joel Hodgson, Frank Conniff, Jim Mallon and Trace Beaulieu
    taken from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Mighty Jack

    More from MST3K. This time out, the movie was an incomprehensible Japanese secret agent/sci-fi film called "Mighty Jack".

  15. "My Pink Half Of The Drainpipe" - The Bonzo Dog Band
    written by Viv Stanshall and Neil Innes
    taken from The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse

    The Bonzo Dog Band (originally The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band) were a major influence on British comedy (especially the Pythons). The Bonzos played everything from old-timey big band music through jazz, pop and rock, and usually did it with a bizarre sense of humor. Ever see Magical Mystery Tour? In the scene where The Beatles are in the little cabaret, The Bonzos are the band on stage, doing "Death Cab For Cutie" from their debut album, Gorilla.

  16. "A Word From Our Sponsor" - Wags & Elliott
    taken from 2001: A Space Idiocy

    Every Christmas, Q-FM-96 releases a charity CD of highlights from the Wags & Elliott Show from the previous year. No, this isn't a real ad ... listen carefully ...

  17. "Song For Judy" - Reverend Billy C. Wirtz
    written by Reverend Billy C. Wirtz and Rich Hall
    taken from Songs Of Faith And Inflammation

    The good Reverend, leader of the First House Of Polyester Worship And Horizontal Throbbing Teenage Desire And Our First Lady Of The White Go-Go Boot, Lord Of The 40-Watt Undulating Bubbling Lava Lamp, Apocalyptic, No Pizza Take Out After Twelve, Shrine Of The Wrasslin' Jesus, Achy-Breaky Gooey Love Tabernacle From Nashville, Tennessee is a six-and-a-half foot tall heavily tattooed boogie-woogie, blues, rock & country piano player with flaming red hair. Yes, he stands out in a crowd. This song is one of the Rev's secular numbers.

    Oh, and I don't know if the cowriter on this one is the same Rich Hall that got famous for creating "Sniglets", but I'm guessing not.

  18. "Clearly Unhealthy" - Bongos, Bass & Bob
    written by Dean J. Seal, Penn Jillette, and Rob "Running" Elk
    taken from Never Mind The Sex Pistols, Here Bongos, Bass & Bob (What On EARTH Were They Thinking?)

    Apart from being half of Penn & Teller, Penn Jillette is also a bass player and singer (Dean plays bongos and Rob Elk is the guitar player). Teller guests on backing vocals ... that's him asking "got a match?"

  19. "Like Pink But Not Quite" - The Dan Orr Project
    based on Aerosmith's "Pink", written by Glen Ballard, Richard Supa, and Steven Tyler, with new lyrics by Dan Orr
    taken from Dorkness On The Edge Of Town

    Dan Orr is the producer of the Wags & Elliott Show, and he also does quite a few parody songs for the show. He's cropped up on Dr. Demento, so you may have heard him there. A lot of his stuff probably wouldn't work well outside of central Ohio, but this one certainly does. Oh, and the name "The Dan Orr Project" was intentionally chosen to be as pompous as possible. At first, Dan was the only member. He finally added a bassist and drummer, and they play shows around Columbus from time to time.

  20. "A Patrick Swayze X-mas" - Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo and Joel Robinson
    written by Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Joel Hodgson, Frank Conniff, Jim Mallon and Trace Beaulieu
    taken from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

    Another one from MST3K. The movie was a low budget science fiction Christmas movie starring a 10-year old Pia Zadora.

  21. "Farewell To John Denver" - Monty Python
    contains a tiny bit of "Annie's Song" by John Denver, with new lyrics by Monty Python
    taken from Monty Python's Contractural Obligation Album

    A real-life rarity ... when Monty Python released their Contractural Obligation Album in 1980, this track was on the album. Strangely enough, Mr. Denver's lawyers insisted that they drop it. On future releases (like the CD version), it's been replaced with with a notice that a track has been "omitted on legal advice", which I've put on here in MP3 format in case you're curious.

  22. "Football" - Eric Idle & Neil Innes
    written by Neil Innes and Eric Idle
    taken from The Rutland Weekend Songbook

    More from Rutland Weekend Television. Keep in mind that this was an English show ... "football" being "soccer".

  23. "Timperley Blues" - Frank Sidebottom
    based on The Who's "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran and Jerry Capehart, with new lyrics by Frank Sidebottom
    taken from Medium Play

    Frank and Little Frank have a go at "Summertime Blues". I know the original "Summertime Blues" was recorded by Eddie Cochran, but Frank's little John Entwistle voice at the end makes me think this was intended as a Who cover.

  24. "I'm Stupid" - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
    written by Tom Petty
    taken from the video A Bunch Of Videos And Some Other Stuff

    Originally filmed "On the road at 7:30 AM" for Cameron Crowe's documentary Heartbreakers Beach Party, this also popped up on Petty's first video compilation. There's a lot of background noise, but it was recorded live on a moving tour bus, so cut 'em a break.

  25. "Medical Love Song" - Monty Python
    written by Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, and John Du Prez
    taken from Monty Python Sings

    I tried to use a little less common Monty Python song (skipping "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life", for example). As you're being repulsed by the lyrics (especially that classic opening line), remember that Graham Chapman went to medical school before Python, and was the group's unofficial doctor.

  26. "The Elvis Tapes" - The American Comedy Network
    taken from Outrageous Radio

    Another bit from the American Comedy Network folks. Again, not a song, but I couldn't resist.

  27. "Protest Song" - Neil Innes
    written by Neil Innes
    taken from Dead Parrot Society: The Best Of British Comedy

    Neil Innes' signature solo number, taken from one of the "Secret Policeman's Ball" benefit concerts in England.

  28. "Eighteen Wheels On A Big Rig" - Heywood Banks
    written by Heywood Banks
    taken from If Pigs Had Wings & Other Favorite Songs

    More from Heywood. Can you tell that the crowd knows exactly what he's going to play as soon as he hints at the song? Like I said before, the man is HUGE around these parts.

  29. "Asshole" - Denis Leary
    written by Denis Leary and Chris Phillips
    taken from No Cure For Cancer

    The opening theme from Denis Leary's brilliant one-man show, No Cure For Cancer. A classic.

  30. "The Sound Of Music" - The Bonzo Dog Band
    written by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II
    taken from Gorilla

    I close the CD with a little class ... very little.


About the cover: Pure Moods was a popular "as seen on TV" new age compilation album that just seemed ripe for parody to me. Maybe it's 'cause I don't care for new age ...

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