Cool And Strange Music
March 4, 2003 1:05 AM   Subscribe

So Farewell Then, Cool And Strange Music... Thanks for the weirdness on the way out. I guess. What's the most unsettling, pseudo-cheery music you've ever heard? What is it about music, that it can be so sinister and funny at the same time? [ Via Portage.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (17 comments total)
Pretty much all of Jandek's oeuvre.

Many apologies for the following self-link... but it's so damn topical...

Jandek on Corwood -- a Documentary film.
posted by cadastral at 1:20 AM on March 4, 2003

My head hurts from banging it against the table.
Thanks Miguel!
posted by eddydamascene at 2:02 AM on March 4, 2003

Also seminal in this vein... the Shaggs
posted by cadastral at 2:05 AM on March 4, 2003


I personally believe in the wonder of Barnes & Barnes.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:57 AM on March 4, 2003

So Farewell Then, Cool And Strange Music.

Some clarification is obviously required here. I write for Cool and Strange, and know Mr. Countryman well. The magazine is not...I repeat...NOT ceasing publication. Dana is simply handing off his post as Editor-In-Chief to Myke O'Clock in order to focus more on his family and music.

And btw, I burned a CD from those MP3s last week, and I defy anyone to listen to that Li'l Markie track all the way through without breaking out in hives.
posted by MrBaliHai at 3:55 AM on March 4, 2003

Dear God that Li'l Markie track is excrutiating. Thanks for pointing the way to all of this weird and wonderful music, Miguel. My dial-up is going to be smoking today as I download all of these gems.

I still find the track "Hoppity Jones" from the all toy band Twink to be sweet and sugary on the outside, and vaguely sinister, surreal, and threatening on the inside (somewhat like krispy kreme donuts). You get the distinct impression that you're supposed to be happy while listening to it, but it's the kind of music that would best accompany a nightmare in which a clown with a really large mallet chased you around a merry-go-round ride that you were trapped on for all of eternity.
posted by iconomy at 5:14 AM on March 4, 2003

Bernard Simmons - 'Somewhere my love'
sung in the style of a pub singer.

This all reminds me of 'Lost and Found' on Fat City records (I think), which appears to be deleted.

MrBaliHai - Li'l Markie - 'why did you kill me mother?' Like some kind of Sesame Street nightmare. Thanks for making me aware of it's existence. Yeah, thanks.
...Later in Heaven:
'Excuse me Miss'
'Yes little tiny blob'
'I have been waiting years to ask you; Why did you kill me, mother?'
'Are you that phoetus I had aborted, back when I was strapped for cash and needed all my money to pay for the education of your older sister?'
'I suppose so'
'Well, having met you, I can say I aborted you because you have the voice of a gimp, you gimp-voiced premature gimpoid gimp'.
posted by asok at 5:22 AM on March 4, 2003

The magazine is not...I repeat...NOT ceasing publication.

Phew. Nice farewell gift though. Soon as I get home it's downloadin' time.

Some clarification is obviously required here. I write for Cool and Strange, and know Mr. Countryman well.

He need any more writers? I work for candy bars. :)
posted by jonmc at 6:14 AM on March 4, 2003

What's the most unsettling, pseudo-cheery music you've ever heard? What is it about music, that it can be so sinister and funny at the same time?

Esquivel. Juan Garcia Esquivel. His music is "space-aged(mp3)" (think Jetsons) and always played in a lilting and uplifting way, even when he's playing "Who's Sorry Now(mp3)" or the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams(mp3)"
posted by Pollomacho at 6:23 AM on March 4, 2003

I work for candy bars.

Well, that's actually pretty close to what the mag pays, and in your case I suppose they'd have to be weird, fetishy, foreign candy bars with squid nougat inside to boot?

Just send an e-mail to the address listed on the page, include a link to some of your writing, and pitch an idea or three at Myke. With your encyclopaedic knowledge of arcane tunage, I'm sure that you'd be a shoo-in.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:47 AM on March 4, 2003

posted by oog at 7:41 AM on March 4, 2003

ohmigosh, it's got Ping Pong on the list. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's from one of those stereo demonstration records recorded in the early days of stereo, with lots of really fast panning back and forth. Listen with headphones for the full effect.

My all-time favorite strange music -- but not BAD music -- is Ken Nordine's Word Jazz. Wonderful beatnik musings over a jazz background, done in this rich basso profundo that you've heard from a million commercials.

Ken Nordine, yea I know that guy, I heard his voice 1000 times, he's the guy in the bus station that says "go ahead I'll keep an eye on your stuff for you," and you see him the next day walking around town wearing your clothes. He broadcasts from the boiler room of the Wilmont Hotel with 50,000 watts of power. I know that voice, he's the guy with the pitchfork in your head saying go ahead and jump, and he's the ambulance driver who tells you you're going to pull thru. He's the guy in the control tower who talked you down in a storm with a hole in your fuselage and both engines on fire. I heard him barking thru the Rose Alley Carnival strobe as samurai firemen were pulling hose. Yea he's the dispatcher with the heart of gold, the only guy up this late on the suicide hotline. Ken Nordine is the real angel sitting on the wire in the tangled matrix of cobwebs that holds the whole attic together. Yea Ken Nordine, he's the switchboard operator at the Taft Hotel, the only place in town you can get a drink at this hour. You know Ken Nordine, he's the lite in the icebox, he's the blacksmith on the anvil in your ear. --Tom Waits
posted by Vidiot at 7:46 AM on March 4, 2003

(plus my nick comes from one of his tunes, so of course I'm indebted to the guy.)
posted by Vidiot at 7:47 AM on March 4, 2003 [1 favorite]

imagine...a night in New York with Vic Damone and Jackie Vernon.
posted by clavdivs at 8:34 AM on March 4, 2003

Tom Waits also worked on this; by far the most moving, cool, and strange music I have ever heard. It is a series of tracks with different arrangements behind a homeless guy drunkenly singing the same phrase over and over and over again. It has a highly meditative, almost mantra-like quality which leaves many listeners stunned by their emotional response. I cry every time I hear it. (but I'm a sap.)
posted by pomegranate at 8:58 AM on March 4, 2003

Re: Lil' Markie:

I sent that link to a friend of mine, who promptly downloaded it, loved it, and then went away from her computer for a bit.

Her two-year-old son started listening to it, loving it, and singing along.

It was quickly deleted.
posted by Katemonkey at 9:11 AM on March 4, 2003

Oh sweet Jesus... that Pancho the Parrot track has me in tears...

This is great stuff... when I was a DJ at my college radio station, I was always looking for stuff like this to play. I would sit in the studio and giggle like a madman while the phone went crazy with listeners calling up begging me to stop.
posted by BobFrapples at 3:37 PM on March 4, 2003

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