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Friday, March 03, 2006

The strangest CD I have ever heard.

A few years ago I was looking through the free bin at In Your Ear Records in Boston. I found a CD in a white cardboard sleeve with the word WAAH! written in marker on it. In the very center was a photocopied newspaper article titled "Youngstown Stations To Follow Same Plan" that explained how all entertainment was cancelled so that radio and TV stations could cover the JFK funeral. In the lower right corner was written, in marker, "397/1000." The actual CD looks like this:

That is literally of the information I have on this CD. There was no tracklist, or any other information on the sleeve.
Intrigued, I took it home. This is what I found (All songs in English unless otherwise specified):

Track 1 - 14 minutes of saxophone-heavy free jazz.
Track 2 - a bad quality recording of what sounds like a cover of Tiny Tim's "Down Virginia Way," performed on electric guitar and drum, with Al Jolson-style vocals probably done through a distant megaphone. EDIT: This is the band Milk, recorded live. Thanks for the info, Denny.
Track 3 - A lo-fi recording of a 60's style experimental/pop song in some language that I am not familiar with. The chorus involves chanting the word alcohol a lot.
Track 4 - Straightforward live recording of the Henry Glover and Morris Levy song, "California Sun," made popular by The Ramones.
Track 5 - A slinky guitar riff, with a lot of whammy bar on it, with arhythmic male vocals in Japanese, and some catchy drumming.
Track 6 - Lo-fi recording of "Jaguar Ride" by the Electric Eels. Singer has some kind of unidentifiable accent.
Track 7 - Great, catchy, 60's influenced garage song, about how "it's too late to make the golden gate"
Track 8 - Live cover of Alice Cooper's "Flush the Fashion", with organs and lots of electric guitar
Track 9 - Live recording that starts with a harmonica riff, then leaves the harmonica completely behind, following it with some arhythmic, Raincoats style drumming, singing in another Eastern language I am unfamiliar with, poorly timed rhythm guitar, and some very complex lead guitar, all punctuated every couple seconds with what sounds like a bike horn.
Track 10 - Better quality (still lo-fi) recording of a Jonathan Richman-ish singer, doing a 6 minute rock song that could almost be The Misfits if they were half as fast.
Track 11 - 11 minute lo-fi "Sister Ray" type song, with Mark E. Smith-influenced vocals, again in a language I can't identify.
Track 12 - Lo-fi recording of the excellent Denny Carleton (of The Lost Souls, The Choir, Moses, Milk, The Pagans, and the Fa band) pop song, "Alice," performed by a 60's garage band.
Track 13 - Live recording of 6 minutes of monotonous midtempo rock, with a sizable amount of yelling in another language.
Track 14 - Radio ad for The Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat, describing "The Gift," including a portion of the actual vocals.

If anyone knows what the hell this album is, please comment. My guess is it's a Japanese comp., recorded sometime in the late 70's, that someone reissued on CD.