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Beelzebub has some music set aside for you
September 18, 2009 6:35 PM   Subscribe

The Kleptones put together a version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody stitched together from 33 different cover versions. Synthesizers, computer-generated voices, acoustic guitar, accordion, Weird Al, Star Trek.... (Direct MP3 link)

Via Monkey Goggles's "Novelty Songs for the iPod Age", which has several more awesome songs, such as an immensely happy song whistled and beat out by postal workers at the University of Ghana, and a song composed of elements determined in a poll to be those least popular among listeners.
posted by JHarris (50 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Maybe it's the margaritas talking, but oh my god, my definition of music has been changed completely.
posted by subbes at 6:44 PM on September 18, 2009


double, double, toil and trouble...

(though the more inside links look new!)
posted by kaibutsu at 6:45 PM on September 18, 2009


Actually, nevermind - no bohemian rhapsody on 'Night at the Hip-Hopera.' Consider the above link a link to, um, historical context. And never mind the foot in my mouth.
posted by kaibutsu at 6:47 PM on September 18, 2009


The Kleptones' 2004 album A Night at the Hip Hopera remains my favorite album of the decade.
posted by Jon_Evil at 6:47 PM on September 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


This is a double? I don't see this song on the site linked to from the post you provided, kaibutsu.
posted by JHarris at 6:49 PM on September 18, 2009


“Frontier Psychiatrist” is an epic journey, a four-and-a-half minute piece of audio theater that begins with a schoolboy getting expelled, plumbs the dark underside of the American frontier, and ends with speaking lessons from a parrot. I can pretty much guarantee you’ve never heard anything like it.

Unless you've had Frontier Psychiatrist on your mp3 player for like 5 years, in which case you've heard something very similar to it.
posted by DU at 6:52 PM on September 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


Frontier Psychiatrist link says "Original Release Date: October 23, 2007" but that is absolutely a falsehood. For instance, here's a youtube version from 2006.
posted by DU at 6:55 PM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Great link, though. Lots of cool stuff.
posted by DU at 6:56 PM on September 18, 2009


That post office song... even if you don't listen to the "feature" song, give that one a try. It's a real spirit lifter.
posted by JHarris at 6:59 PM on September 18, 2009


Why is it that every time I read "Kleptones" I process "Klezmatics"?

Probably because they both start with "K." I also have this problem with "Godspeed You! Black Emperor" and "Lada GaGa." I throw the worst parties.
posted by deliquescent at 7:03 PM on September 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Frontier Psychiatrist link says "Original Release Date: October 23, 2007" but that is absolutely a falsehood. For instance, here's a youtube version from 2006.

Damn come on people, Avalanches released Since I Left You in 2000. Fantastic album!
posted by Mach5 at 7:18 PM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


That was extremely disturbing. In an awesome way.
posted by god hates math at 7:20 PM on September 18, 2009


The stamp-canceling work-song is amazing. It's so warm, so human. And yet the very concept of a work-song is so alien to my boring Western white-bread button-down suburban life.
posted by Western Infidels at 7:30 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Western Infidels: "he very concept of a work-song is so alien to my boring Western white-bread button-down suburban life"

One of the few excellent things about working in an industrial environment is that you can belt out terrible versions of terrible songs at work and nobody really notices.

When I worked in a warehouse distribution center where all sound was drowned out by the sound of hundreds of conveyor belts, I would shout-sing a tin eared "don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me" while throwing boxes full of parkas. I don't think anyone ever heard it no matter how loud I shouted.
posted by idiopath at 7:37 PM on September 18, 2009


half way through... wow
posted by HuronBob at 7:44 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The internet is a wonderful beast.
posted by marxchivist at 8:07 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love Queen but that song is way overplayed.
posted by monospace at 8:20 PM on September 18, 2009


The Kleptones' 2004 album A Night at the Hip Hopera remains my favorite album of the decade. (Jon_Evil)

Mine too!

And though this isn't as listenable or as genius, it's fascinating in its own way.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:35 PM on September 18, 2009


God Save Queen
posted by mannequito at 8:35 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


You're my best friend.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:38 PM on September 18, 2009


Look, I appreciate a good mashup, and even like the style of a good portion of the artists contained in this one.

But... This just does not flow. Very harsh.

Sorry, I give this a 2 out of 10. Good for the idea, but near-epic fail for the actual implementation.

The genre tag, however, I have to smile at - "Christian Gangsta Rap"? Almost redeems the rest.
posted by pla at 8:39 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was slightly painful to listen too.
posted by kylej at 8:52 PM on September 18, 2009


I don't think making it pleasant to listen to was the point :)
posted by empath at 9:12 PM on September 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


Nothing from the Fuzzbox version? Pfeh.
posted by Lazlo at 9:31 PM on September 18, 2009


For my money the Kelptones and GoHome Productions are the best at the bastard pop because they always take chances and bring things into their mixes that most others in the genre miss. But most importantly, most of their songs stand up to repeated listens without relying on the novelty of a funny juxtaposition of source material. But that Bohemian Rhapsody is interesting, but I can't even imagine listening to it a second time. And as Lazlo pointed out, where's the Fuzzbox?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:54 PM on September 18, 2009


Pretty sure Eric Kleptone said he released Bo Rhap separately from 'A Night at the Hip-Hopera' because it didn't live up to the concept.
posted by flatluigi at 9:57 PM on September 18, 2009


I love the Kleptones.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:12 PM on September 18, 2009


I took a course in 'world music' (or something similar) and the textbook included a CD on which that awesome Ghanaian postal workers' tune was one of the first tracks. I remember listening to that SO many times and showing it to all my friends. I have to say, I didn't care much for the queen cover...but good post, all the same.
posted by sredefer at 11:33 PM on September 18, 2009


Holy crap, Weasel Walter?!
posted by kenko at 11:58 PM on September 18, 2009


That was horrible. It was like We Are the World on Crack!
It was not more than the sums of it's parts...
worse than any of those songs individually.
Should have picked one version and ran with it.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 12:00 AM on September 19, 2009


kenko: "Weasel Walter?!"

He has a weakness for pop music. When I met him he was talking about doing an Adam Ant cover band. A quick google shows that he followed through.
posted by idiopath at 12:02 AM on September 19, 2009


For those who're interested, the Mnozil Brass' cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, which was one of the samples, is totally fucking amazing.
posted by Jon_Evil at 12:35 AM on September 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah. Not the best thing the Kleptones have ever done.

Though I love me some From Detroit to J.A.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:30 AM on September 19, 2009


empath has why I linked to it, and why I think they made it. It wasn't because it's good at all. Quite the opposite in fact... but then, I thought the bit from the Star Trek parody cover would have made that clear.
posted by JHarris at 1:47 AM on September 19, 2009


A Night at the Hip-Hopera is one of my favorite albums of all time. As fun as it is, it's actually produced a few teary-eyed moments. The Beastie Boys songs are really inspiring, and the Under Pressure remix with Prince Paul's Prince Among Thieves really hit me hard. True story: I wrote the Kleptones about this via myspace, and they wrote me a very nice note back saying they were happy to have moved me. Which produced another teary-eyed moment.
posted by treepour at 4:15 AM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Imagine if our postal workers were that happy.
posted by acrasis at 10:11 AM on September 19, 2009


Reminds me how much I love Rodeohead.
posted by eperker at 10:12 AM on September 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


A few years ago, some friends and I went to Cleveland to see "Queen" (i.e. Brian May, Roger Taylor, and that dude from Bad Company), and we all realized that we were singing the kleptones raps along with actual queen. Then we noticed some other people doing it a couple rows over, and we started rapping at each other, and it was a great moment in rock 'n' roll nerd-dom.


also, eperker I first read that as "roadhead," which made me think you probably had an interesting adolescence
posted by Jon_Evil at 10:36 AM on September 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


I found it both jarring and oddly compelling.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:50 AM on September 19, 2009


Since we're spreading the Kleptone love, 24 Hours is the most ambitious mashup concept album ever. The thing lived on my MP3 player for all of 2006.
posted by mgrichmond at 1:17 PM on September 19, 2009


I'm glad I listened to that, but I don't feel inspired to keep it. Eric Kleptone was right; it doesn't live up to the concept of Another Night. Having said that, it's definitely interesting, but that doesn't make it flow or fun to listen to.
posted by immlass at 2:39 PM on September 19, 2009


That they call it a 'deconstruction' is a perfect point against anyone expecting some good 'music' in a pure sense. I still found it pleasurable to listen to, but the grander motive and effort was what captured me.
posted by grillcover at 7:13 PM on September 19, 2009


Well if you loved Rodeohead, don't miss checking out the Boss Hoss. They do fucking everything a la Rodeo.
posted by yoHighness at 7:54 PM on September 19, 2009


As much as I love some Kleptones, it has to be mentioned that John Oswald got there first, best, with GrayFolded (scroll down), a double-disc album that grabbed over 100 live recordings of the Grateful Dead's "Dark Star" and transformed them into a massive, mindblowing soundscape. Thanks to drawing from live recordings that sprawl over decades, Jerry Garcia 1969 harmonizes with 1989 Jerry Garcia, solos from the '70s bleed into others from the '80s, etc.

I don't like the Dead. I almost hate the Dead. But GrayFolded is literally jaw-dropping at times, especially when you stop to consider the scope of the thing -- one long jam song, probably the signature song, from the world's defining touring band, hundreds of recordings from 30 or so years all deconstructed and recompiled.
posted by Shepherd at 6:27 AM on September 20, 2009


Shepherd: "GrayFolded is literally jaw-dropping"

I should have figured Oswald would come up here. John Oswald can do things with songs that make other remixers and mash-uppers sound like monkeys pounding on turntables. His versions of White Christmas and Great Pretender are classics. I also recommend A case of Death, which is the best (if maybe the only) book on tape remix ever. I was googling for a link to the actual tracks, and one of the top google hits for that track is my recommending John Oswald on an AskMe thread last year.
posted by idiopath at 6:41 AM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Imagine if our postal workers were that happy.

They'd whistle while they gunned people down?
posted by empath at 8:28 AM on September 20, 2009


I love A Night At The Hip Hopera, but I love Yoshimi Battles The Hip-Hop Robots more. Just thinking about "Are You A Visionary? gives me goosebumps. It's like Chuck D knew that he'd be layered over these chord changes 20 years later.
posted by dr. fresh at 10:22 AM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


grillcover: "That they call it a 'deconstruction' is a perfect point against anyone expecting some good 'music' in a pure sense. I still found it pleasurable to listen to, but the grander motive and effort was what captured me."

I like that you like it. But the reason it was made, I think, and the reason I like it, is purely for the humor value.

It is funny. It is okay for music to be funny these days, isn't it? Do we really have to drag beans into this?
posted by JHarris at 2:43 PM on September 20, 2009


This may just be the best thing evar!!!
posted by 6550 at 4:55 PM on September 20, 2009


I was googling for a link to the actual tracks, and one of the top google hits for that track is my recommending John Oswald on an AskMe thread last year.

Speaking of Oswald and jaw-dropping: Plunderphonics 69/96 is actually available on the iTunes Music Store. It includes "White", "Pretender" and both "A Case of Death" tracks.

(The original Plunderphonic CD is probably my happiest used-bin find ever.)
posted by Lazlo at 9:27 AM on September 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


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