Monday, September 3, 2012

Cool & Strange Music Vol. 2 - Top 5 for the Week of Sept 3, 2012.

Woooo-hooo! Woooo-hooo! It's time once again for Cool and Strange Music the coolest and strangest music on the internet. Today, like always, we have the Top 5 of the coolest tunes on the planet.

If Picasso was a rocker, this is what he'd have heard....

Why? because you are so lame and stuck in your rut (and FM radio sucks so much) that you don't get a chance to get out of your lameness and that rut to listen to some really cool sounds (Lady Gaga fans need not apply!)

Let 's get rockin', er, I mean jazzin' with the Nutty Squirrels from the 1959 space-aged album: 

Woah! It's a bad acid trip as there's even a Wikipedia page for the Nutty Squirrels:

The Nutty Squirrels were a scat singing virtual band, formed in imitation of The Chipmunks, that had a Top 40 hit in late 1959 with the song "Uh-Oh". The Squirrels actually preceded the Chipmunks on television in an animated cartoon, but with much less success. After the Chipmunks' initial success in 1958, plans were almost immediately made to make them into an animated cartoon series. Unfortunately, there were some initial art direction snags (specifically with the character designs) and the show was delayed. This gap resulted in a race between the Chipmunks and an imitative group created by jazz musicians Don Elliott and Alexander "Sascha" Burland, which they called the Nutty Squirrels.

Both musical groups featured the defining sped-up voices, but Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.'s Chipmunks favored popular music while the Squirrels favored jazz, particularly of the bebop variety. Ultimately, the Squirrels made it to television first, in the animated series The Nutty Squirrels Present (appearing in September 1960), but they were not as popular as the originals.

"Uh-Oh (Part 1)" peaked at #45 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart, while "Uh-Oh (Part 2)" peaked at #14.

In 1976 Bob Milsap resurrected the act, at first with a novelty single based on the current CB citizens band radio craze, "Hey Shirley (This Is Squirrely)", and followed by two albums (one a Christmas release). Due to legal reasons, his version of the creation went credited under the individual character names, Shirley and Squirrely.

In the 2007 live-action/animated movie Alvin and the Chipmunks during the credits Ian Hawke (David Cross) is trying to get three squirrels to sing.

Next up, did you like Devo? So did I. For a long time it was rumored that Moog Cookbook was actually the Devo crew and I do see some of their names on the credits... But, well, watch the video first...

Moog Cookbook "Black Hole Sun":

Not Devo, but definitely inspired by the same thing. Here's what Wikipedia says about Moog Cookbook:

The Moog Cookbook is the name of an electronica band made up of Brian Kehew and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (under the aliases Uli Nomi and Meco Eno) as a parody/tribute to the novelty "Moog records" of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The duo performs exclusively on analog synthesizers, especially Moog synthesizers. The liner notes from their first album proudly proclaims "No MIDI" to demonstrate that they played things by hand, rather than using computer sequencing, which is common for synthesizer music.

The Moog Cookbook released two albums in the mid-1990s featuring instrumental cover versions of alternative and classic rock tracks performed on vintage synthesizers. The pair reunited to record a track for the soundtrack of the 2004 film Moog.

In 2006, the pair independently released a collection of material recorded during their earlier sessions and as part of other projects. This album is Bartell.
The band's name is derived from a 1978 cookbook, Moog's Musical Eatery by Shirleigh Moog, the first wife of synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog.

Next up? Wendy Carlos. Wendy was once a guy named Walter... Oh, well, it's a long story.

Here's what Wikipedia says about Wendy Carlos, er Walter Carlos, er, Mr. Carlos, er, Ms. Carlos:

Wendy Carlos (born Walter Carlos in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on 14 November 1939) is an American composer and electronic musician.

Carlos first came to prominence in 1968 with Switched-On Bach, a recording of music by J.S. Bach painstakingly assembled, phrase-by-phrase, on the Moog synthesizer, at the time a relatively new and unknown instrument. The album earned three Grammy Awards in 1969. Other classical recordings followed. Carlos later began releasing original compositions, including the first-ever album of synthesized environmental sounds, Sonic Seasonings (1972) and an album exploring alternate tunings Beauty in the Beast (1986). She has also worked in film music, notably writing and performing scores for two Stanley Kubrick movies, A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Shining (1980), as well as Walt Disney's Tron.

Carlos was born Walter Carlos in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. A musical prodigy, she started piano lessons at six, and at ten composed "A Trio for Clarinet, Accordion, and Piano." In 1953 (age 14) she won a Westinghouse Science Fair scholarship for a home built computer, well before "computer" was a household word. Carlos earned a B.A. in music and physics at Brown University (1962) and a master's degree in composition from Columbia University (1966). She studied with Vladimir Ussachevsky, a pioneer in electronic music, as well as Otto Luening and Jack Beeson, working in the famed Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.

Remaining in New York after graduation, Carlos was introduced to Dr. Robert Moog and became one of his earliest customers, providing advice and technical assistance for his further development of the Moog synthesizer. Carlos convinced Moog to add touch sensitivity to the synthesizer keyboard for greater dynamics and musicality, among other improvements.

Around 1966, Carlos met Rachel Elkind, who went on to produce Switched-On Bach and other early albums. With the proceeds from Switched-On Bach, the two renovated a New York brownstone, which they shared as a home and business premises, installing a studio for live and electronic recording on the bottom floor where all subsequent recordings have been produced. Carlos took the unusual step of enclosing the entire studio in a Faraday cage, shielding the equipment from radio and television interference.

Carlos is also an accomplished solar eclipse photographer.

Now that you've had your dose of culture...Now it's time for modern, er, "culture." God bless America and God bless fast food. Here's a crazy Mo-Fo named Wesley Willis. This guy is nuts. He weighs about 300 punds and plays a tine Casio keyboard and screams out some really ridiculous stuff.

One listen and you'll never forget. Wesley Willis, "Rock N' McDonald's":

Disgusting! A perfect reflection of today's USA.... Wesley Willis? Yep! If you ever have a party and it's late and you want everyone to leave, then this is the perfect song for you!

And now, for this week's #1 Cool and Strange song: Michelle Simonal covering the Rolling Stones, "Satisfaction" from the album "Bossa n' Stones." This has to be one of the sexiest songs ever recorded!!!!:

That's it!

See you next week!!!!!

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