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September 10, 2006

The UbuWeb 365 Days Project
Posted by Teresa at 12:04 PM * 18 comments

The project: one bizarre MP3 per day, fully annotated, for an entire year. Here’s the finished archive. There is weirdness there that does not sleep.

I can either say next to nothing about the recordings, or I can try to talk about them, wind up saying far too much (I know I will), and never finish the post. So, next to nothing it is: #41, the Stanford University Marching Band doing Roundabout, is not half bad.

Comments on The UbuWeb 365 Days Project:
#1 ::: D. ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 12:46 PM:


1.) It's WFMU. Weird is one of their mandates.

2.) Considering what the Stanford U Marching Band has been reported to have gotten up to in recent years, this is, in fact, benign.

#2 ::: Andy Vance ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 12:54 PM:

I love these. Of course, I'm a weirdo; you're mileage may vary. If you've ever wondered what would happen if a buzzcut wingnut tried to write a folk-rock song, check out "Conscientious Objector" by Keith Everett (June 24 - #175).

Also recommended is the project producer's "band," The Bran Flakes.

#3 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 03:29 PM:

'Hang On Sloop' ( mp3 link) as done by the Ohio State University marching band (aka TBDBITL).

#4 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 03:32 PM:

That should have read 'Hang on Sloopy'. Oops.

Here's another version, also by the Ohio State marching band.

#5 ::: Richard Parker ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 04:08 PM:

Lots of (good?) stuff there! One of my favorites is the the original 1963 Bell Lab's record "Computer Speech" (March 3rd, scroll down to #62). If you listen to the MP3 you can here the synthesized "Daisy Bell", with and without musical accompaniment, which inspired Kubrick.

#6 ::: Richard Parker ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 04:13 PM:

Argh! Hear, not here.

#7 ::: Graham Blake ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 05:26 PM:

Thar be treasure!

A Winnipeg lad myself, Winnipeg Whore made me snort coffee out my nose.

#061 Alexandria Hughes Little - Jesus Christ's Ring is special. I mean... wow. Sample that.

#8 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 06:49 PM:

Hooray for WFMU, source of some of the best links I've ever had on my LJ.

Myron Floren's Disco Polka hasn't been off my playlist since I bought the LP at Woolco in 1981. I had three selections on tape (Laughing Disco Polka, Clarinet Disco Polka, Beer Barrel Disco Polka), and now I have a half dozen on mp3. It never fails to cheer me the hell up.

I want to hear those 1963 radio commercials. That's when I had no choice but to listen to my parents' station. Just before I started hearing all those great Stan Freberg ads, I think.

Dickie Beals -- the voice of Speedy Alka-Seltzer! I have a cut from "Seven Dreams" by Gordon Jenkins (wrote "This Is All I Ask") with him in it, and also Thurl "Tony the Tiger" Ravenscroft. Alas, they don't interact. I had the whole LP up on one of those sites that lets you download stuff with a password, but they deleted it after 30 days of no downloads.

Ahhh, The Goldwaters. I have their magnum opus, "Folk Songs to Bug The Liberals." Still haven't put it on the turntable, but I found a web site where they tracked down some former members who still seem to have a good sense of humor about the whole unlikely enterprise.

Robert Preston, "Chicken Fat." God, they played that every morning on KCOL. It's written by Meredith Willson, too.

Some weird stuff here, too.

Other things to look for at WFMU. Crazy PSAs by new bands I don't know. Takeshi Terauchi and the Bunnys (they have at least one other album up there in addition to the classical surf stuff). Song-poets (professional musicians who make songs out of wretched verse sent in by suckers who answer ads in comic books). An audio map of NYC. Garage band music from Japan, Italy, and Mexico.

They're indispensable.

#9 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 07:06 PM:

Ah, the LSJUMB. I don't know that I've heard them do "Roundabout" in person, but I've heard them do a lot of other great rock songs. Considering that their fight song is Free's "All Right Now," that is not surprising.

Now I feel like going out and getting football tickets.

#10 ::: meth ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 07:47 PM:

Ah, WFMU. My other half has practically tithed to them (seriously -- a package of WFMU-logo swag arrives for him literally every other month). Weird for weird's sake gets old after a while, but thank the gods they exist anyway.

#11 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 10:04 PM:

Oh, holy s**t! (So to speak!) It's Captain Hook! I used to watch this guy on TV, and still have several of his shows on tape. He lost an arm and a leg in a motorcycle accident, and decided that meant he had to become a Christian Pirate kiddie show host. Here's a God Stuff on YouTube, with several loving glimpses of the good Captain and his crew performing autopsies on dead sinners and making sinners walk the plank. (There used to be an album cover and another audio sample at Show And Tell Music, but the web site is presently down for retooling.)

He was assisted by his helpmeet, Mrs. Hook, telling painfully pathetic (lame and halting) parables, and he was backed up by a crew of pirates, each with his own distinctively idiosyncratic bad British accent. There was a group of puppets that proved to me that Muppets have sex with their sisters... and a second group even worse than those that showed that they did the same. Ewwww.

My first glimpse of this show was of a blind sub-Muppet with staring ping-pong ball eyes, in chains, wailing "Oh, WHY did I trust my friends? They LIED to me, and now I'm BLIND!" Yep, it was Samson, and I was HOOKED. I watched the show, and turned as many friends onto it as I could, until the fateful day when my pal Mike called and said he'd seen the last show. After it was over, a card announced that the old Captain had gone to meet his Maker. They never even showed any reruns. The old Gospel Ship had sailed for good.

This goes right onto the iPod. Thanks terribly for alerting me to this. Seriously.

#12 ::: Jim Flannery ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 10:37 PM:

Not to take anything away from either, but the 365 project existed before its association with UBUWEB, which existed before its association with WFMU.

#13 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2006, 10:58 PM:

Oh god, I was following this and downloading these (on dialup!) while it was going on. I can't begin to describe the joys to be found there: the Hellers spoofing jingles, Pat Boone's Amway appearance, the Japanese guy singing Lionel Richie...many, many joys...

#14 ::: Jon Sobel ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2006, 06:35 PM:

Wow. I used to see the "Space Lady" on the streets of Boston and Cambridge in the 80s. We knew her as "The Casio Lady" and used to have one of her cassettes - might even still have it somewhere.

#15 ::: Nancy C spots comment spam on ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2006, 08:30 PM:

Yay! I get to call one!!

#16 ::: Per Chr. J. ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2006, 05:19 AM:

A friend of mine introduced me to this page and other pages with weird recordings, and I must admit that there is one thing that still makes me wonder, and that is all those Christian evangelists with ventriloquist acts and puppets. More than one of those, OK, but a whole genre, a whole tradition?

The mind boggles.

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2006, 05:22 AM:

Nancy, you do indeed. Thanks!

#18 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2006, 11:48 AM:

What? Where? Oh, it's gone.

You should leave the disemvoweled head of spam that's called and deleted. Not as a warning to the others, but merely as a source of innocent merriment, of innocent merriment.

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