The bizarre rise and fall and resurgence of tiki bars and cocktails is an interesting history that starts with two men, Donn Beach and Victor Bergeron, who traveled to the South Pacific and brought back some "island culture" to the United States with them in the 1930s, continuing on with the craze really booming after WWII vets returned from tours overseas. With the ebbs and flows of popularity, the cultural appropriation in "Tiki culture" has often been overlooked, as to the Māori mythology and meaning behind Tiki carvings and imagery and Hawiian culture of leis and luaus. Let's talk Tiki bars: harmless fun or exploitation. [Soundtrack: Les Baxter's Ritual Of The Savage ( 1951) and Martin Denny's Exotica (1957)] [more inside]
You've tuned back into Radio FLTR, where we're digging up more hits from the past and doin' a monster song with ya on this beautiful November night. Here's that young dreamboat with the wacky expressions, Bobby Pickett doing the Monster Mash back in 1964 on American Bandstand, two years after his hit was first released, when he first cashed in on two hits at once - songs about dancing and monster mania. Bobby "Boris" Pickett didn't rest on those laurels in '62, but swiftly came back with a whole album of monster songs that same year .... [more inside]
Somewhere in-between the space-age bachelor pad sounds of Esquivel and the gimmicky novelty of Spike Jonze sits Mel Henke, one of the most overlooked originators of the mid-century lounge sound. While most famous for versions of All That Meat, 77 Sunset Strip, and Pennies From Heaven, his largely instrumental wink-wink-nudge-nudge album La Dolce Henke is considered his masterpiece - The Lively Ones - The Twisters - You're Driving Me Crazy - Woman In Space - Farmer John - Old McDonald Had A Girl - See The USA In Your Chevrolet - Last Night On The Back Porch (Warning, historical sexism, erotic car metaphors)
The Okeh Laughing Record, a novelty recording, was first released in 1923 and rose to #8 on the Billboard charts, becoming the highest ranking anonymous* recording ever. It's history and provenance is completely unknown**. It has since appeared as the soundtrack to cartoons, on Dr. Demento and on Jean Shepard's radio show. [more inside]
A unique (to say the least) musical voice from the past emerges, with a timely tune to those along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Yes, friends, it's Nervous Norvus, with Evil Hurricane. [more inside]
At long last, Wikileaks gets a catchy theme song: "Who the f**k is Wikileaks" by "Chicken Soup (Boney M Goes Club)", a new project from veteran producer Frank Farian, the man behind Boney M and Milli Vanilli. Warning: the song contains repeated use of the "F"-word, and the video contains images of the "anonymous" mask. [more inside]
Performances [MLYT] from the 2010 Old-Time Piano Championship in Peoria. Featuring early March, Cakewalk, Ragtime, Boogie, Stride, Blues, Novelty, Jazz, Classical, and popular song styles from before 1930.
Hut-Sut Rawlson on the rillerah add a little brawla, brawla too it (YouTube video). It's a song people get obsessed with. Such as this Time writer from 1941. And Kevin Murphy from Mystery Science Theater 3000. The video seems to recognize the fact by literally having its singers (the King's Men; no, not the ones who did "Louie, Louie") driven mad by the song. [more inside]
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) [more inside]
Are you ready, Hezzie? I have a complicated family history that allows be to be simultaneously from Washington state and Indiana. Over the last few years my tastes have migrated toward post-rock and traditional music played with a certain frantic desperation. Somehow, I knew that Indiana was a crossroads for these styles of music - but somehow, I missed out on the Hoosier Hot Shots, apparent popularizers of the beloved washboard!
This (windows media) movie taken from a French variety show is pretty cool/kooky/amazing. It's a guy wearing a suit covered in small horns, all honking different keys, and he can play the classics by jumping around and hiting the right notes.