Sunday, January 10, 2010

Singles from Dr. Freakowitz, chapter 4

“Does humor belong in music?”. It was the title of one of the last shows of Frank Zappa, still available on both CD and DVD. You can say that the combination of humor and music not always results in the best music ever. Even Zappa who successfully combined prog rock, jazz and classic with satirical lyrics, has come up, although in my opinion, with pieces that are too mellow and of lesser quality than his other more serious work. For some reason a lot of people think that artists have to suffer or live a life close to the edge in order to generate master pieces. That counts for painters, poets and also for musicians. Nevertheless, music in all its variety is for entertainment and humor is a way to entertain your listeners. I have selected a couple of more or less obscure singles, which can be seen as attempts to combine humor and music into an enjoyable song, each one however with its own interpretation of humor. Splodgenessabounds is the name of a punk group that easily also can be seen as a pubrock band, typical British music on which you drink lots of beer and shout out loud. The 7” Simon Templar is their first from 1980. Especially the second “song” on the B-side, Two Pints Of Lager & A Packet Of Crisps Please comes close to what pubrock is all about. The Aliens made the title song for Kremmen the Movie. Kremmen was a cartoon broadcasted as part of the TV shows of British comedian Kenny Everett. I first thought this was a joke, but also the movie really exists. The Aliens are two not so famous disco musicians who made with this song a nice pastiche of disco and comic SF (including vocoder robot voices etc.). Skip the B-side, it is really a drag. More British humor and music comes from John Dowie. It’s Hard to be an Egg was released on Factory on white vinyl and with the feather of a chicken included. Fun With Animals put out a couple of 7_s on A&M in 1980 including this hilarious The Test of Love and Sex. Take the following test yourself…mark your answer with an X.
Test of Love and Sex
A) I don’t like you
B) I’m in love
C) I feel nothing
D) None of the above
Gerry and the Holograms called their single Meet the Dissidents as a sort of parody on the famous Residents album Meet the Residents. Minimal electronics here. The last single in this post was probably not intended to be funny but I couldn’t resist a smile when I heard it back after all those years. Nostromo sounds like camp, but I must admit, good camp. Theme from Alien, a catchy dark sounding synth-pop instrumental has been influenced by the movie of the same name. There is an excellent long edit of both tracks here



NoRecords Records said...

Hey unforgetable !
tout d'abord un grand bravo à toi pour les posts que tu proposes, toujours très classe !
je me permets de te donner le lien d'un groupe meconnu des années 90. Un groupe français produit par Lucas Trouble (Vietnam veterans) pour le label Nova Express, j'espère que tu apprécieras.
C'est leur 2nd album, je sais qu'il existe un premier LP ainsi qu'un 45 tours, mais ils sont jusqu'ici, introuvables...!
la chasse est donc ouverte. J'ai ajouté à l'archive les covers.
Bien à toi
bonne année

Psy Guy said...

Thanks, I thoroughly enjoyed all of these!

Jeroen Vedder said...

For a better understanding of the Pub Rock Phenomena, please check the Oil City Conidential movie about Dr. Feelgood...