All your scary song needs, from A to Z (Astro to Zombie)...
June 16, 2008 12:25 AM   Subscribe

Anyone who thinks Porter Wagoner's twisted, echo-laden psycho-classic The Rubber Room is worth blogging about is someone after my own heart, and anyone who can introduce me to tunes like Voodoo Voodoo and Midnight Stroll is someone I'm gonna make a MetaFilter post on. That's just the way it is. And it just so happens that this particular blog, The Essential Ghoul's Record Shelf, is the new project of MeFi's own beloved, web-prolific Astro Zombie, whose strange and wonderful tunes y'all should listen to as well.
posted by flapjax at midnite (27 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw a real rubber room, once. In a juvie, in Riverside, California. They used to lock boys up in there, that got out of control. Then turn up the heat. Until the child decided to behave according to the wishes of his jailers. Rubber Room, hmm.
posted by Goofyy at 3:29 AM on June 16, 2008


Oh my God, I made the blue.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:30 AM on June 16, 2008


Oh my God, I made the blue.

Well, you know what they say: you gotta pay your due if you wanna make the blue. And you paid your due, AZ, you paid your due.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:34 AM on June 16, 2008


Coincidentally, I was browsing Projects yesterday and also came across this site. Man, if I was ever looking to score a hooker in Minnesota and came across Astro Zombie on the street, I'd be pretty sure that he'd be the guy who could hook me up -- that's how pimpish he looks.

Having said that, I'm disappointed by the absence of The Coasters, Idol With The Golden Head, in his Ghoul Record Shelf. OK, it might not be a monster, but a song about a man who buys himself an idol that he uses to locate the whereabouts of his beloved -- one Bigfoot Mae -- surely belongs there at least as much as Johnny Clarke's poetry does. In fact, nobody wrote poetry that could compete with Leiber and Stoller at their best. As you can see here:

Bought myself an idol with a golden head
(Great big idol with the golden head)
Put it on a shelf right above my bed
(Great big idol with the golden head)
Got down on my knees and began to pray
(Great big idol with the golden head)
I said, idol, tell me where's my Bigfoot May?
(Great big idol with the golden head)
The idol's eyes began to wink and blink
(Great big idol with the golden head)
He said, hold on Jim give me time to think
(Great big idol with the golden head)
The lightning flashed and the idol did speak
(Great big idol with the golden head)
He said, your Bigfoot May she's down at Catfish Creek

I mean, FFS, how much more ghoulish can you get than resorting to some kind of graven image voodoo to locate a woman with the name Bigfoot Mae? If the idol isn't a monster, then Bigfoot Mae has gotta be some kind of monster all on her own!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:42 AM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, it's still a work in progress.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:47 AM on June 16, 2008


Then consider Idol a suggestion. Nice site though, AZ. I spent a fun hour or so, perusing the contents.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:21 AM on June 16, 2008


Also: I really liked your girlfriend. Everybody needs a girlfriend that participates with enthusiasm in their hare-brained schemes. In my experience, such women are generally pretty thin on the ground, so I think you're winning in that respect. I did try and see if I could detect who she was via your contacts in the hope of stealing her away, but to no avail.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:29 AM on June 16, 2008


Good call on Voodoo Voodoo. That's LaVern Baker at her rockinest!
posted by jonmc at 4:30 AM on June 16, 2008


Fifty million fans?

...in the rubber roo-oo-oo-m
posted by not_on_display at 5:16 AM on June 16, 2008


Great post. What's the chances of finding a blog that has a similiar theme, for music that's heavy, but not ridiculously just noise & yelling, or 'pop' like metallica, slipknot etc. I'm thinking along the lines of Rob Zombie's Hellbilly Deluxe album. Any suggestions?
posted by Tzarius at 5:19 AM on June 16, 2008


Then consider Idol a suggestion.

Consider also Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put a Spell On You, for your "PSYCHICS, WITCH DOCTORS, AND HYPNOTISTS" category. I reckon that tune belongs there, no? There's also a Nina Simone cover version!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:25 AM on June 16, 2008


BTW, apologies for the horrible imagery on that Simone clip, but I think it's the only full version of her cover to be found on the toobs. Listening only is highly recommended. The Screaming Jay clip, on the other hand, is a must see.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:28 AM on June 16, 2008


I Put a Spell on You

Plus it's in 12/8, as favoured by psychics, witchdoctors, hypnotists, and people who like to waltz quite quickly over songs in 4/4.
posted by Wolof at 5:30 AM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Best mental institution song in country music: John Conlee, "I don't remember loving you."

thanks as always flapjax
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:55 AM on June 16, 2008


The Screaming Jay clip, on the other hand, is a must see.

Seconded. I remember seeing Dr. John back in the Gris Gris days -- 1971 or 1972, and while he was fantastic and probably played the best set of a festival that also featured Beefheart, Hawkwing, Grateful Dead, Donovan, The Kinks and a bunch of others I'm forgetting due to acid flashbacks -- watching this clip showed me just how much of his schtick he'd stolen wholesale from Screamin' Jay.

The cape, the cane, the voodoo -- all pure lifts from Screamin' Jay.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:14 AM on June 16, 2008


I definitely consider myself among the 50 million. Good post, flapjax. And thanks for a great blog, AZ.
posted by sveskemus at 6:26 AM on June 16, 2008


Oh my God, I made the blue.
It's well deserv-ed, too.

And granted, A.Z., your work is in progress. But if you have a ghoul record collection, with a 'Psycho' section, surely Hasil Adkins, the king of psychobilly, has to be in there somewhere. For example, this version of She Said from the TV show Ghoul A Go Go, I Need Your Head, or my personal favorite, No More Hot Dogs.

When jonmc eulogized Hasil, this documentary wasn't online: part 1; part 2; part 3.
posted by LeLiLo at 6:31 AM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whatever, you should see Astro Zombie 2's blog
posted by poppo at 7:50 AM on June 16, 2008


50 million and one. Mr. Zombie, I have enjoyed your webernet log in the past and this project is quite good. I should one day like to meet you and buy you a drink. Could Sailor Martin come too?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:56 AM on June 16, 2008


Astro Zombie is pretty good, but AZ3 is my personal hero. His words touch my soul and make me grow closer to my inner monster.

For those who haven't yet seen it, AZ's memoirs are a must read.
posted by quin at 9:32 AM on June 16, 2008


Wow, there's a lot to see here. Thanks, fellas.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:10 AM on June 16, 2008


Porter Wagoner was known to take the occasion vacation in a psychiatric hospital so perhaps the rubber room was not so far from his experience. His pal Johnny Cash wrote a song about one of those places; Wagoner's version is pretty haunting: Committed to Parkview.
posted by grounded at 10:17 AM on June 16, 2008


AZ3 is my personal hero. His words touch my soul and make me grow closer to my inner monster.

Narf indeed, my friend. Narf indeed.
posted by dersins at 10:24 AM on June 16, 2008


Another recommendation - all the stuff on Wavy Gravy's "For Adult Enthusiasts". Includes Rubber Room, to prove its worth.
posted by imperium at 11:16 AM on June 16, 2008


Astro Zombie 3 has a blog, but he hasn't updated it in quite a long time.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:36 AM on June 16, 2008


Love it.
posted by nola at 8:32 PM on June 16, 2008


Some personal favorite creep-out classics:

Bloodrock's "D.O.A."
David Geddes' "Run Joey Run"
The Four Tops' "7 Rooms Of Gloom"
posted by deusdiabolus at 8:39 AM on June 18, 2008


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