Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bizarro Jerry's Memphis rap faves

If you like all the rare Memphis rap stuff I post here, you should check this list out:

Bizarro Jerry's Memphis Rap Faves

I made it for the RateYourMusic website, and if you're deep into this shit like I am, it's got some obscurities you might not have heard of. Alternately, if you're just getting into Memphis rap, I think it's a pretty good starting point, since there are also some of the classics.

Reader submission: Avant-garde strangeness from the deep web

Got another reader submission the other day, this time from someone who found me on the RateYourMusic website. He sent me a few albums, and a link to his weekly podcast.

He goes by the name of Tunnel Rat, and his music is somewhere in between bizarro Jandek outsider improv and the early chaotic releases of Beck. I'm actually not sure where he's based, but he's had records put out by labels from Florida and Canada. The one on Panama City's Fork and Spoon Records, called Rothko, features free form improvisation on bass, and some very strange spoken word sections. There are also some field recordings and odd samples, giving it a definite vibe of 'bedroom music.'

It's a very short affair, with the longest track being just over three minutes. Despite the amateurish recording quality, Tunnel Rat sounds pretty proficient on the bass, and some of this stuff reminds me of 60's avant-garde jazz. The poetry set to it gives the whole thing a completely different feel, though.

The other release I was sent, which is titled Hide The Syrup Spacemen, is even more avant-garde and strange. This was the one that reminded me of Beck's early sound experiments. Odd in-jokes are combined with distant-sounding field recordings and some spastic mandolin playing. I don't know what to make of it all, but if you were a fan of the Obscuro! radio program, you'll definitely be into this.

His internet podcast is sort of a discussion on experimental and spoken-word music, but it also touches on conspiracy theories, current news events and the benefits of the RateYourMusic website. It's every bit as strange as you'd think it is from hearing the music.

Thanks for the submission, Tunnel Rat, and to everyone else, keep 'em coming!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Reader submission: Dracula-themed short film in the spirit of the holidays

I always like it when somebody sends me their own work, and it doesn't happen nearly enough.

whimperwarrior@gmail.com is where you can contact me with your music, films, art, etc.

Here's an interesting little short film I was sent earlier in the week, just in time for All Hallow's Eve. 'Danse Macabre' comes from Chicago indie filmmaker Derek Quint and his Addovolt Productions. It fits right in with the movies I usually post here, as it's intentionally designed to have that timeless, b-movie look. My guess would be 16mm film, but it could be digital post-effects. Either way, it has that cool look to it, and aside from a few modern-looking people in a crowd shot, it definitely succeeds in feeling out-of-time.

The plot consists of Dracula and his brides riding around in a limo on Halloween. When they stop for the girls to buy some jewelry, Dracula is kidnapped by some Vatican officials who plan to do away with him for good. Interestingly, the director chose to have the vampire characters ACTUALLY speak in Transylvanian, and the Vatican officials speak in Italian.

I won't give away the rest of the plot, but the mood definitely trumps everything else in importance. It feels like a less-disgusting John Waters short film, with the gaudy costumes and big ideas put on bargain-quality film. There is a choice moment where a guy on the subway is looking at the cast members, and you can tell it was unintentional.

I'm not up on my Dracula mythology, but the fact that Mr. Quint chose to use the Transylvanian language tells me there are probably other allusions to other vampire-based works here as well. Regardless, it's a fun little piece of independent filmmaking from some fellow b-movie aficionados.



Check out Derek's blog for Addovolt Productions here.

Some scare-tacular listening for All Hallow's Eve 2014

Even though I'm focusing on my movie blog right now, I had to come back with some scary albums for Halloween. Some of these are actually kind of frightening, but most are just silly. They're all out of the Obscuro! radio program vaults, from my numerous Halloween theme shows.


1. Anton LaVey - 'Strange Music' EP
The founder of the Satanic Church (and author of the Satanic Bible) is also, hilariously, fairly proficient on the pipe organ. He has another album of mostly instrumental stuff called 'The Devil Takes a Holiday,' and it's pretty funny to me that this dude obviously can poke fun at himself. Anyhow, the majority of these tunes are his versions on old standards (i.e. 'Gloomy Sunday.') It's not great, but it's totally the type of thing you can throw on at a Halloween party.


2. Lucifer - 'Black Mass'
Electronic music pioneer Mort Garson did this album under the Satanic pseudonym, presumably because it's darker music than his other stuff. If you like the horror-movie synth soundtracks of the 80's, or the library music stuff I've posted here, you'll probably dig this. I did feature it in a previous Halloween post, but the blog I linked to for a download is apparently long-gone, so I re-uploaded it myself.


3. The Elm Street Group - 'Freddy's Greatest Hits'
Of all the dumbed-down horror movie merchandise to come out of the 80's ('Toxic Crusaders,' anyone?) this might take the cake for stupidest. Some no-name studio musicians concocted these run-of-the-mill synth-pop tunes (many of which are covers of 50's and 60's novelty songs) and somehow got Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) to lend his voice to them. It's all pretty bad, but 'Do The Freddy' at least has novelty appeal. I guess by '87, the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' franchise was pretty much a joke anyways.


4. Moevot - 'Ézléýfbdréhtr Vépréùb Zùérfl Màzàgvàtre Érbbédréà'
Okay, THIS is genuinely scary. An anonymous 'black metal' musician, whose music sounds more like recordings from inside a long-buried tomb than actual metal. I guess it's not to dissimilar from the ambient tracks on Burzum albums, just....way more poorly recorded. And it's got these weird groaning vocals that sound like a ghost. I dunno. It's fascinating, if nothing else.


Happy Halloween, y'all....







Saturday, September 20, 2014

New blog

I started a new blog, exclusively for my movie reviews. I will probably be posting more frequently in it than I do here:

Obscuro Films

Saturday, September 13, 2014

More incredibly strange metal

Here are a few more of these oddball metal releases I've collected over the years...

First, two non-classics from the Metal Enterprises label. See this post and this post for more info on that fiasco...

Kalaschnikov, like the other artists in the ME stable, probably just wanted distribution for their mediocre album ('The Torture Never Stops') but got ripped off like so many others when the label did a fake 'follow up' record with their own in-house musicians/producers. Unlike the other groups (such as Killer Fox, whose original recordings were just unlistenable garbage) Kalaschnikov's sound was at least weird on its own.

The whole album kinda feels like it was written in a day, including the lyrics, which are so over-the-top 'evil' you have to hear them to believe them. It's like somebody told the vocalist to just sing about stuff that was the opposite of the Bible, so you get classics like 'Kill Your Neighbor' and 'Devil's Your Hero.' Despite the crappy production, it's a pretty good time, and you can't really hate songs like 'Rockin' By the Graveyard' and 'Video Monsters.' The lack of musicianship also seems to have resulted in some unusual guitar riffs in a kind of Voivod-ish way.

So, then, enter the ME staff's version of Kalaschnikov, present on their second (and final) album 'Desert Storm.' It sounds like they weren't even trying on this one. Two long tracks of obvious space-filling 'ambient' stuff, a few songs that sound a little too musically competent to be the ME staff...my guess is that they got hold of some Kalaschnikov demos for a second album, and dubbed their own awful vocals over. Then there are a handful that are obviously the same people responsible for the second Killer Fox and Thrash Queen albums. The ridiculous female operatic vocals and the snarly cartoonish male vocals, bad drum machines and totally non-metal guitar tones. Oh yeah, and whistling solos.

Yeah. Fucking whistling solos on what is essentially a thrash metal song ('Czarewitch').

Well...basically, if you're for some reason collecting all the Metal Enterprises releases, these will be of use to you. Otherwise, probably not? Oh well, the first album is enjoyably funny at least.

Kalaschnikov - 'The Torture Never Stops'
Tracklist:

1. Devil's Your Hero
2. The Haunted House
3. Rockin' By the Graveyard
4. Kill Your Neighbor
5. Chosen One
6. Demon's Rebellion (Instrumental)
7. Video Monsters
8. Hell's Runnin' Wild
9. Demon's Rebellion (Vocal)

DL

Kalaschnikov - 'Desert Storm'
Tracklist:

1. Czarewitch
2. Siberian Werewolf
3. Homage to the Holocaust
4. Headbanger
5. Stinking Shrine
6. Scull Scratcher

DL

Lastly, here's a release that might not be EXACTLY metal, but it definitely has metal influences (mostly from the doom genre) and it's certainly fucked up. While there are quite a few bands calling themselves Warning, this is the 1982 release by the German synth-doom group. Actually, the vocals here wouldn't sound too out of place on a Metal Enterprises release...they're like...death metal growls? I guess? But put through all sorts of effects to make it sound like aliens. The music is literally a head-on collision between OG doom metal (think Sabbath and Witchfinder General) and euro-disco synth stuff.

It's pretty goofy, but it's also very enjoyable, and occasionally really creepy. One review compares them to Rammstein, and I guess that's not far off, but WAY WAY more 80's than that description lets on. It really does sound like Kraftwerk playing satanic metal before that kind of metal even existed. If you read this blog, you'll like it I'm sure.

Warning - S/T
Tracklist:

1. Why Can the Bodies Fly
2. Magic Castle
3. Wild Roses for the Exit
4. Darkness
5. Out of Tune
6. The Door (Pt. I)
7. The Door (Pt. II)
8. A Message
9. Warning
10. Lost in Time
11. In the Crowd

DL

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2 classics of 'incredibly strange metal'

Here are a couple relics from my days as a metal radio guy. Hopefully I will put some other stuff like this up here in the near future.

First up, an experimental death metal band from Italy called Trifixion. Apparently they only put out this one album, in 1995, although there is at least one other band with the same name.

It's way more varied than pretty much any other death metal release out there...atmospheric keyboard passages lead to psych-rock jams, which lead to trebly black metal guitar and psychotic screaming. I'm not really sure what kind of audience these guys were going for, and maybe that's why they only did one album.

I guess some of the experimentation could be called similar to Voivod (my favorite metal band) but basically if those guys were death/black metal instead of thrash. It isn't particularly well-recorded, but all the musicians are super-talented so you never really notice. The artwork is fairly creepy, too. Probably more out there than most experimental metal fans can tolerate, but outsider/weirdo music appreciators will dig this.

Trifixion - 'Abschurfungepoch'
Tracklist:

1. Fear, Is All That I See
2. Col Heaven
3. Litanie
4. World Called Truth
5. Immortal
6. You Breed
7. Abschurfungepoch

DL

Next is a release that isn't nearly as challenging or intelligent. Actually, it's not intelligent at ALL. You may remember me posting about Killer Fox and the awful Metal Enterprises label. Click that link, please, so I don't have to recap.

This is another outing from the producers of the second Killer Fox album, and it's just as awful, if not more so. There are some very distinct (and completely out-of-place) reggae influences, and it also has the WORST Beatles cover I've ever heard. The female vocalist who is present on the Thrash Queen album is on this quite a bit. Also, it seems like they included some demos by the original Godzilla band, as if the album wasn't inconsistent enough already. Just terrible, stupid, and entertaining.

Godzilla - 'II'
Tracklist:

1. Ingoz
2. Helter Skelter
3. Ass of the Prophet
4. I Followed the Zombie
5. Cinderella Rockefella
6. Halfbreed
7. Killing Joke
8. Foul
9. Outgoz

DL