This is a place where the discarded, forgotten, and unknown media of the world can smoke cigarettes, drink coffee, and talk about what might have been.

Most of the time these releases are my first exposure to these artists, so if you're more informed than I, share your information or my errors.

I can't guarantee any requests, and I also won't get rid of the tape hiss / vinyl pops any more than I already have as it dilutes the quality of the track. So sorry in advance.

Don't forget to comment so I know that you're here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Unfound Logic - Durn!

Original Format: audio cassette (and possibly CD?)

This is certainly the most 'mainstream' of any of the releases spoken of on this blog so far. Unfound Logic was an alternative rock/punk band from North Carolina and released this album sometime in the mid 1990s (I'm leaning toward 1996, because that is the only tour date I can find for them). They are something that I would have attached to in my Blink 182 / Greenday days certainly, and are a good example of the sound that evolved into today's popular acts like Fall Out Boy.

The band has since split up (as their lead singer Paul left the band according to this interview of the South Carolina band Self I found), and two of the remaining members formed an equally unknown band named Amish Jihad. They have retained their bright sound, but oriented themselves a bit more their punk / hardcore influence. They also lack a vocalist - if their Myspace recordings are up to date.

So far all of my research points to 'Durn!' only being released on tape - though I think that is pretty odd for a release as late as the mid 1990s. I have found one new copy for sale through this inventory list on the Imaginary Records website. To buy it, click on THIS LINK for payment details. I also found a compilation CD of theirs HERE, but otherwise their music is pretty scarce.

For fans of: early Blink 182, early Greenday, Eve 6, the soundtrack to movies like "Can't Hardly Wait".

@320kb CBR

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Droid World

Original format: audio cassette / vinyl

The first audio book here (if one can truly call this an audio book) is a tape companion to a child's read-along tape/book set. According to Wookieepedia, this was episode 47 in the Star Wars: The Further Adventures series, and was also released on vinyl.

I would have loved to have this when I was a kid - hell, I love that I have this now. It's a shame I can't find the book.

Unfortunately, there is an error in the tape for about 5-6 seconds. I usually strive for the highest quality possible, but I figured that this was a bit too good to pass up because of a relatively short tape error. Looking at the tape, I'm really lucky it worked at all.

@320kb CBR

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Uncle Dale - Tell'n Stories

Original format: audio cassette

This tape was a total gamble on my part. I bought it brand new, wrapped in plastic for $3.00 from one of my casual music haunts based solely on the cover. When I brought it up to the counter, the owner stopped me and said "Now, this is probably the craziest, weirdest fuckin' thing I've ever had in here. I'm just sayin'". He must have had another copy at one point I suppose. And before I left he said "Hey man, if that Uncle Dale thing is too weird for you, just bring it back and switch it out for something else".

I almost took him up on his offer when I got home. The songs range from odd rock tunes with absurd lyrics, to absurd tunes with absurd lyrics. My two personal favorite tracks don't have Uncle Dale in the vocal spot at all. One is "Blood for Lucy", where a woman of Eastern European origin narrates a song about Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo. The other is "Hard Rock (In the World)", a grooving track featuring remixed sound clips of Pastor John Haggee (Revelations expert/professional idiot/John McCain supporter) bitching about popular music and homosexuals.

As far as I know, tape is the only format this is available in, and I can't find anywhere to buy it. This is about as conventional as weird music can get. I know my review might not be the most positive - and it shouldn't be as this is not the best thing I have heard - but the album is worth checking out for "Blood for Lucy" alone. Fucking crazy.

For fans of: comedians who perform in bars with musical instruments, who are not all that funny but still oddly endearing

@320kb CBR

Friday, August 15, 2008

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Coming Out of Their Shells

Original format: audio cassette

At one point in my childhood my parents bought me this tape from Pizza Hut, and I'm pretty certain it was a prized possession of mine for the rest of my Ninja Turtle obsessed days. I have since lost that copy, but on vacation a few weeks ago I found the tape once again at a Habitat for Humanity store and had to grab it again.

I've done a bit of research on it since then, and found out it was actually a soundtrack to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's stage show (the Turtles fan in me still gets a rush from hearing that), and there was also a VHS created of the show being performed. Also, according to an interview on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
the tape went PLATINUM while only being sold at Pizza Hut. That really speaks to how awesome kids entertainment was in the late 80s/early 90s.

The music itself is generally very entertaining parodies of many popular styles and artists of the time. This includes rock, hip hop, R n' B, power ballads - you name it it's in there. My personal favorites are the tracks that have a definitive Bob Seger/John Mellencamp vibe - "No Treaties" and the opening track "Coming Out of Our Shells". The lyrics are absolutely hilarious ('Take that Shredder', 'I've seen the foot clan, man you know I thump it'), and that's all I really have to say about them. The 'guest vocals' are interesting breaks from the rest of the songs. "Skipping Stones" is by Splinter, and is a bit sappy but not bad. "April Ballad" is by April, and about as interesting as the song title. That is really the only poor track on the album though.

Don't miss this. It's a great bit of nostalgia, and sometimes a surprisingly rocking album.

For fans of: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 80s nostalgia

@320kb CBR

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Zoogz Rift - Island of Living Puke

Original Format: audio cassette / vinyl LP

Zoogz Rift is ridiculous, 'da da' insanity. This release is a mixture of scrambled confusion, 'skits', short songs, and ridiculous songs. It is also a quality representation of his work. My favorite tracks on this are the keyboard driven "You're Killing Me", the existentially sarcastic tunes "A Very Pretty Song For A Very Special Lady" and "The Breather".

On top of a large discography, Zoogz also was involved in professional wrestling for a period, and also has a catalog of paintings worth noting. Zoogz is often praised by those who dabble in 'weird and underground' noise - but even in those circles he is criminally unknown.

If you're a fan of this, he is offering his entire discography - that's over 200 songs on CD-R - for only $20 on his official website. A pretty reasonable price for one's life work.

If you're looking for something out of the ordinary, take a chance with Zoogz. Even if it's not your cup of tea, you'll never forget it.

For fans of: Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, silly music 'with a sinister edge'

@ 320kb CBR

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hanuman - Hanuman Live [1996]

Original format: audio cassette [only?]

Hanuman is an acoustic instrumental group from the Pacific Northwest, and I consider this tape my first real 'find' at a thrift store.

Hanuman seamlessly blends folk, jazz, funk, and bluegrass into an often relaxing yet upbeat sound. Moods change from grooving jams to dreamy soundscapes, funk breaks, and then back again. What really makes this release stand out for me is how each instrument compliments the others so perfectly: especially the percussion and bass.

An interesting note on this release is that I cannot find the track listing anywhere. Hanuman has a few other live releases (all on CD, and available through Home Grown Music), but none of them match up to this one. In fact, I cannot find the track "Oreos and Salsa" on any of their other releases.

I have since found another release of theirs, Pedal Horse, at another thrift store and quickly purchased it. Pedal Horse has much less of a 'funk' feel to it and lacks the flute from this tape. My friends accurately describe it as something that would be perfect to "make pasta and drink wine to". It may lack to bounce that this release has, but it no less impressive on different levels.

Due to some lineup changes, Hanuman now continues as the Hanuman Collective. Some of their live sets can be found at their Internet Archive site for free download.

For fans of: Bella Fleck, Edgar Meyer colaborations, flute, lazy summer afternoons

@ 256kb CBR