Tuesday, November 09, 2010
DRIVING STUPID TWAS BRILLIG EMOTIONAL UPSETS and other strangely named old psych bands
This particular post is honoring Pixelmutt, one of our longtime bloggers, who so comically felt his feelings were hurt by my post about Halloween bloggers who stick 10 or 20 stale monster-novelty tunes into a Rapidshare file and figure they've done something brilliant. Of course I wasn't referring to either Pix, or the great Reverend Frost from the South of France, who are always far more esoteric in their assortment packs. Like THIS pack, which features 20 pretty decent tunes that either have strange song titles or band names. Because, cheshire children and mad hatters...
…Once upon a strawberry alarm clock, there was a peanut butter conspiracy started by some electric prunes. The idea was to come up with a trippy-far-out name to get attention for a band. The weirder the name, the more likely to get signed! Except, as you can see from the items below, even when you put an LSD tab on a kandy-kolored tangerine-flake, baby, you might not end up mau-mauing the radical chic flak-catchers who built their bonfire of the vanities at radio stations and rock mags.
The happy ending for the artists below now pushing 60 or 70 or daisies: their tunes are not forgotten! Desperate psych fans who already have all the basic Harper's Chocolate Watch Association & Our Gang stuff, have been sniffing in grammy's closets and grand uncle's attic, and aside from a paisley dirndl, or a furry vest, found…kewl 45's, ones that sound like 3rd degree Byrds or slightly expired Vanilla Fudge.
However (to quote Professor Irwin Corey), if ye seek, ye may actually find something that's (to quote David Seville), "almost good." At least it will pass the time while walking briskly across campus to Timewasting 101, or the tunes may keep an old hippie going until he reaches the senility ward at the free clinic.
With granny glasses held on high (this is somewhat of a Tom Lehrer in-joke), let's salute a bunch of obscure but quite competent musicians and songwriters who at least came up with names so ludicrous, they've been pulled into the semi-light of day on this semi-obscure blog.
It would be a little too easy, and cruel, and snarky, to go through the list and make jokes about each and every entry here. I mean, make your own joke about The Chocolate Tunnel. And keep it to yourself. The point here is to celebrate the creative spirit…and every act below was, somehow, somewhat creative.
The criterion for making the Top Twenty: the band has to be unknown to the average (not you) listener, the name or representative song title has to be amusing or pretentious and the music itself must make you feel groovy, spaced out or alienated. After all, the aim with some of these bands was, "If they can do it, WE can do it," as they either wanted to be another pop-anthem band like Spanky & Our Gang (see: Rumplestilskin Kartoon), Jefferson Airplane in a tailspin (see: The Apple Pie Motherhood Band), more whimsical than Harper's Bizarre (see: Art Nouveaux), or cooler than the Yardbirds and Jimi Hendrix put together (see: Acid Gallery).
The Doors had nothing on Tuneful Trolley. Or vice versa. Surely, anyone hearing Now's "The Hands On My Clock Stand Still" might ask "Did Peter Hammill really do better? Or The Strawbs? And wasn't there a damn good rip of classical in the tune that Procol Harum would've admired?" It's possible, also, that a surviving band member from Herbie's People might point to "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. Jones" and tell his grand-children, "It was as commercial as Bob Dylan combined with Paul Revere and the Raiders! Or if Barry McGuire had been a member of Freddie and the Dreamers! It deserved a better fate…" And at the time, the manager of The Clockwork Orange probably wanted to throw a tangerine at the radio station manager who put down the phone saying, "No, a combination of Dave Clark Five and the Beach Boys is not getting drive-time airplay here..."
JOLLY ROGER AND THE POPPITEERS - Joker in the Fokker
THE DRIVING STUPID - Horror Asparagus Stories
HEIRONYMOUS & THE DHARMA BUMS - 900 Mice
WHATT FOUR - Dandelion Wine
RAINY DAZE - In My Mind Lives a Forest
THE ILFORD SUBWAY - A New Song
KING'S KOUNTY KARNIVAL - Don't Vote for Luke McCabe
ART NOUVEAUX - Extra-Terrestrial Visitations
TUNEFUL TROLLEY - My Apple Pie
NOW - The Hands On My Clock Stand Still
CROCHETED DOUGHNUT RING - Get Out Your Rock and Roll Shoes
THE EMOTIONAL UPSETS - Maintain Your Cool
'TWAS BRILLIG - Dirty Old Man
GEORGIE PORGIE AND THE CRY BABIES - Enter Sunshine Exit Darkness
HERBIE'S PEOPLE - Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. Jones
THE CLOCKWORK ORANGES - Ready Steady
THE POOH - The Suitcase
RUMPELSTILSKIN KARTOON - Come To the Carnival
THE APPLE PIE MOTHERHOOD BAND - Flight Path
20 Hippie Dippie Kool Far-Out Groovy Fab Songs Re-upped after Rapidshare let it lapse. No eye-boggling capcha codes