Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rastro's 8 Quickest Ways to Clear A Juke Joint

The Stooges Fun House CD cover John Coltrane Interstellar Space CD cover
 8.The Beatles - "The Inner Light"
Nirvana - "Endless Nameless"
The Stooges - "LA Blues"
Butthole Surfers - "Graveyard 1"
Neu! - "Super 78"
John Coltrane - "Jupiter Variations"
Happy Flowers - "Left Behind"
Napoleon XIV - "!Aaah-aH ,yawA EM EkaT OT GnimoC"
Happy Flowers My Skin Covers My Body Album cover Napoleon XIV the Second Coming Album Cover

The list as an iMix at Itunes, you can quickly preview and/or buy some of the songs, if you're really sure that you want to. Given a selection as abrasive as this, I guess it's unsurprising that iTunes has elected not to feature some of em, so I'm here to step in 'n' save the day:

Napoleon XIV - The Second Coming - 01 !Aaah-aH ,yawA EM EkaT OT GnimoC.mp3
Nirvana - Nevermind - Endless Nameless.mp3
Happy Flowers - My Skin Covers My Body - 2 - Left Behind.mp3

Tasting notes:

The Beatles - "The Inner Light" -- Cerveza used to claim that he knew a bar that had the old Beatles Rarities CD ensconced within its mechanical innards, and that he had not been shy about playing the horridly raga-babbulous thing to the horror of other patrons. I never actually witnessed this, but have always remembered the story.

Nirvana - "Endless Nameless" -- This was the hidden track off Nevermind of course, and the one where Cobain was already clearly trying to undermine the Cheap Trick sound he was elsewhere on the disc creating. As such, I suppose you could look at it as a free bonus preview of In Utero. Anyway, a lot of bars had a lot of jukeboxes with that Nevermind CD, so the many opportunities across this great land to inflict a lot of screeching feedback upon a lot people who had no earthly clue merits its inclusion here, even if it is relatively mild on the noise scale compared with the rest of the stuff here.

The Stooges - "LA Blues" -- Iggy ratchets things up a little bit on this one. I've read some reviews of Fun House by punks who actually complain about the "new thing saxes," but this song is like a lot of the very best stuff I've ever heard: I hated it the first time I heard it, but soon fell in love with its polarizing qualities, and knew instinctively which side of the fence I needed to be on. Still, there's little doubt it would horrify a happy hour crowd, or even one that's kinda sorta heard of the Iggster.

The Butthole Surfers - "Graveyard 1" -- I love this.
I love it very much.
I love driving around with my windows down, with this wonderful demented song playing very very loudly, hoping there are some uptight people around to take offense, maybe I could even see them run for cover. This is the one where it's slowed down of course, where it sounds like a 45 played at 33. "YOOOOUUUUU WRIIIIITTTTTHHHE IIIINNNNN TTTHHHHE GRAYYYYYVVVVEYYAAAAARRRRDDDDDD."
Back when we were in college and therefore a LOT more likely to ingest odd substances and toss back highly flammable liquids than we are now, Cerveza and I contemplated the filming of a movie we would have called "Cranium." Gosh, it would have been great*. The audio portion would have consisted of Butthole Surfers music exclusively, and the video portion would have consisted of us and our friends captured on grainy film taking a drive and smoking and drinking and tripping and probably pouring beer on ourselves and each other. All the while mouthing repeatedly the single poignant phrase, "I'm losing my cranium." Very. Slowly. Exactly the way Gibby is heard singing on "Graveyard 1."

Neu! - "Super 78" -- This is like the opposite of the Surfers above. Neu! basically ran out of money after they'd recorded the first half of their second album, and when they asked their label for more dough, it refused. So to take up the space on side two, Neu! played and recorded their first single at different turntable speeds. The 78 version is somehow more annoying than the 16, funny how that works. Wikipedia says that this was an early example of remixing, but they are being generous. Very very generous.

John Coltrane - "Jupiter Variations"-- Really, I could have pointed to anything on Interstellar Space, as it all sounds roughly the same. But this is the one I heard today as I drove home and that inspired tonight's post. Funny, I thought about halfway through, how I've actually gotten to the point where I can listen to this skwonkulous noise and actually digest it. My manager, who plays sax and is something of a jazzhead, is convinced that Coltrane was back on the drugs when he recorded this stuff, even though there is no historical evidence at all to support such a belief. Other than the warped music itself, I mean.

Happy Flowers - "Left Behind"-- I've never heard a DJ so totally lose it on air as when some poor unsuspecting schmuck doing a Christmas theme show for the University of Miami's station made the mistake of selecting for airplay the Flowers' "All I Got Was Clothes for Christmas." About halfway through he very quickly faded the thing out, and literally screamed into the open mike "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!?!?"
I'm also seeing where they've used "Mom I Gave The Cat Some Acid" during prisoner interrogations in Iraq. Lightweights, of course, as "Mom" is probably Happy Flowers' easiest-listening song. "Left Behind" is considerably more jarring.

Napoleon XIV - "!Aaah-aH ,yawA EM EkaT OT GnimoC" -- The winner and still champeen, as well as the clear inspiration for this post's title: as Dave Marsh most famously said, it "cleared out a diner of forty patrons in three minutes flat." Plenty of us stoners were playing Led Zeppelin records backwards back in the day, but this is as far as I know the only record that ever played backwards forwards. I can't imagine anyone at all maintaining that it's listenable.

* Not really. (Return)


R S Crabb said...

Amazing list of songs there, although I do recall somebody at the diner juke playing The Inner Light and getting puzzled looks from the patron though I don't think anybody left.

Anything Throbbling Gristle had on their greatest hits package will clear a room in seconds as much as the cat fight segment off Contact High With The Godz. One segment of annoyance is the hidden track called Sick Party off Ash 1977 CD. To which we have some dude farting up a storm and then puking all over the place. I also remember at work, somebody played Sister Ray by The Velvet Underground and seeing the older co workers freaking out and going home. Thought it was hilarious myself.

I used to have the Coltraine Interstellar Space album to which he and Rasheed Ali would try to out solo one another. Kinda boring album for my liking. At least Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz had some sort of melody. Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, with four sides of feedback will definly clear a room in seconds flat. Turns out that I got rid of cockroaches at the old apartment playing that LP one night.

rastronomicals said...

Hello Mr. Crabb and thanks for commenting. Your talk of Lou Reed and of cockroaches made me think of this from Perfect Sound Forever, first read some time ago:


Believe it or not, I've never heard Metal Machine Music. I wonder now if I might even like it, given how I've gotten all into Sunn O))) and Earth and other modern drone metal stuff.

TAD said...

R: Ever since about 1980, my absolute fave album 2 clear the house of unwanted guests has been David Sancious & Tone's TRANSFORMATION (THE SPEED OF LOVE) -- it's something about the hiccuping, whooping synthesizers & the unlistenable Hendrixian guitar feedback that seemsta get people -- & the fact that the band skips a beat on almost every other musical phrase during the 18-minute title track. Whatever it is, it works every time.
Don't get me wrong -- there R some flat-out beautiful pieces of music on this album, & I LOVE parts of it ... probly 4 the same reasons it drives people away. Free-jazz fans would probly find it very lulling background music. But 1 especially annoying, Xtremely talkative neighbor could only take 2 mins of the album B4 she visibly shuddered & fled the scene -- didn't even get 2 the GOOD part. Definitely worth hearing, but not worth the $200 asked 4 at Amazon....
The Napoleon XIV song is annoying enuf played FORWARDS -- that's why it's a classic, but I can't IMAGINE hearing it backwards ... or whatever....