Chicago-based Numero Group wants to fill your summer with eclectic songs you’ve never heard: songs to watch submarine races by, songs to fill your tear ducts, songs to catch that first kiss on the dance floor, songs that make you need to get up and shake that thing. Their latest carefully curated reissue is a 28-track collection by San Antonio’s the Royal Jesters. Active in the 1960s and ‘70s, the Royal Jesters never had that big breakthrough hit, but their marriage of doo wop harmonies and mariachi horn sensibilities, as well as some fine, sometimes wildly experimental organ playing makes this compilation, Royal Jesters: English Oldies, well worth a listen.
By Tim Murr
I find it hard to believe that there once existed a band that featured guest appearances from James Williamson (The Stooges) and a young Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) that I’ve never heard of and you probably haven’t, either. But it’s true! The band is called Smokey.
If we Americans have learned anything over the last 20 years, it’s that Australia is hell on earth. Spiders bigger than your face, jellyfish that can kill you from ten miles away, sharks, Yahoo Serious. . . it’s the kind of place we should really nuke from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
At its dark little heart, the 1978 Australian film Long Weekend is about hell, and the different ways that concept can manifest itself into reality.
The record collection of The Cramps’ Lux Interior and Poison Ivy was massive and eclectic, as well documented on the Internet, the truest of all informational sources. In 2013, Cherry Red Records released Loose Lips Might Sink Ships (review), a 26-track album of instrumentals from their collection, and now, a follow-up has arrived: 60 Songs From The Cramps’ Crazy Collection: The Incredibly Strange Music Box. It’s the kind of riff-filled, oddly charming, mish mash of things that one would expect and hope for. There’s exotica, rockabilly, novelty singles, and a curious preoccupation with voodoo and fancy words (“Ginchy” “Groovy” and “Limbo”!). It’s enormously fun.
Since Michael Gira’s band, Swans, has come back onto the scene, they’ve garnered more critical acclaim than ever, and new fans are running alongside the bandwagon, flailing arms up in the air, and hoping to swing aboard. Now that Swans debut album Filth has been remastered and re-released as a special three-disc set, this is a perfect opportunity for new fans to climb on up and get acquainted with the old stuff.
With so many musical legends gone, it’s amazing that Little Richard is still with us. Now, his status as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll stars is firmly established. Even contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race have imitated him (Kennedy Davenport won this season’s Snatch Game with her Little Richard impersonation), so that all parts of his career, including his part in LGBT history, are being celebrated.
Oh how we all get richer / Playing the rolling game
Only the poor get poorer / We feed off them all the same
—Society‘s version of the Eton Boating Song
How do you explain a movie like Brian Yuzna’s Society? It truly is one of those things you must experience for yourself. The 1989 film is an important chapter in the body horror/ero goru subgenre, but it’s also just plain weird.
As a founding member of the Italian progressive rock band Goblin, Claudio Simonetti has helped create some of the most famous and recognizable horror soundtracks of the last 50 years. His side bands, Daemonia and Simonetti Horror Project, have also met with great success. Popshifter spoke with Simonetti about the upcoming 30th anniversary re-release of the Demons soundtrack, American fame, and the horror of working for a major label.
Lamberto Bava’s 1985 monster movie Demons is a nasty, brutal affair, filled with sharp teeth, green blood, and enough stream of consciousness nonsense to make an absurdist’s brain melt. It’s also considered a minor classic by horror aficionados. One of the things that makes the film so effective is the ambitious soundtrack by Claudio Simonetti.
Paul Revere and the Raiders were weirder than they got credit for. In 1967, during the making of their Revolution! album, lead singer Mark Lindsay was living at 10050 Cielo Drive with producer/musician Terry Melcher, making music and doing the sorts of things that young rock stars do. Paul Revere, the band’s namesake, wasn’t in the studio much, having been relegated to playing chords on the organ and taking a backseat to Lindsay’s musical ambition and insane charisma. This left Lindsay and Melcher free to make Revolution! more experimental and freewheeling than other Raiders outings, with a host of the finest session musicians (Ry Cooder! Taj Mahal! Hal Blaine! Glen Campbell!). And Revolution! has some excellently weird moments.