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.
You can listen on 8tracks.com.
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.
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.
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" ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
More from MST3K. This time out, the movie was an incomprehensible Japanese secret agent/sci-fi film called "Mighty Jack".
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.
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 ...
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.
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?"
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.
Another one from MST3K. The movie was a low budget science fiction Christmas movie starring a 10-year old Pia Zadora.
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.
More from Rutland Weekend Television. Keep in mind that this was an English show ... "football" being "soccer".
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.
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.
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.
Another bit from the American Comedy Network folks. Again, not a song, but I couldn't resist.
Neil Innes' signature solo number, taken from one of the "Secret Policeman's Ball" benefit concerts in England.
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.
The opening theme from Denis Leary's brilliant one-man show, No Cure For Cancer. A classic.
I close the CD with a little class ... very little.
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