Incredibly Strange Music  

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"The Incredibly Strange Music books are mondo archaeology for vinyl fetishists. They exhume a hidden world of plastic where exotic Easy Listening, modern primitives, suburban astronauts, Bavarian sex symbols and singing psychics co-exist in fabulous Living Stereo."--"Incredible Strange and Highly Exotic" (Wire, The, October 1994) by David Toop

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

RE/Search No. 14: Incredibly Strange Music is a book about outsider music, lounge music and space age pop edited by V. Vale and Andrea Juno and published by RE/Search publications in 1993.

Volume 2 was published in 1994.

Contents

Volume 1

Interviews:

  • The Cramps have stayed true to the ideal of rock'n'roll as rebel folk music. They've inspired numerous reissues of rare rockabilly and R&B vocal recordings and have stimulated the preservation of many incredibly strange films on videotape.
  • Gil Ray is a Bay Area musician, songwriter and video artist in collaboration with Robert Toren and Shelley LaFreniere.
  • Mike Wilkins is co-author of New Roadside America, the classic book on weird roadside attractions, and recently Sex and Zen and a Bullet in the Head, the essential guide to Hong Kong's mind-bending films.
  • Norton Records was founded by Billy Miller and Miriam Linna (early Cramps drummer).
  • Eartha Kitt's career began in the late '40s. She has played stages all over the world and chatted with Nehru, Churchill and Einstein. She has released over 50 records, written three books and appeared in more than 10 movies.
  • Mary Ricci is a San Francisco computer programmer with a growing collection of records and paperbacks with lurid covers. With partners Al Ennis and Prax Gore, she started the first incredibly strange video outlet in San Francisco, Wild Wild Video.
  • Gershon Kingsley, in association with Jean-Jacques Perrey, created two of the most innovative records of the 20th century: The In Sound from Way Out and Kaleidoscopic Vibrations. Subsequently Kingsley has enjoyed a long solo career as a composer, arranger and performer.
  • Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley created two of the most original LPs of the '60s. Since then Perrey has produced numerous solo albums, soundtracks, commercials and "therapeutic sounds for insomniacs." He still composes and is looking for a record company.
  • Mickey McGowan was among the first to collect neglected music (15,000 records) and to play the music for thousands of visitors to his Unknown Museum, possibly the world's only archive of over 100,000 American '40s-'90s pop culture artifacts.
  • Lynn Peril is pursuing an advanced degree in Women's Studies at San Francisco State University, and invites correspondence from other record collectors toward the goal of eventually publishing a discography of outstanding recordings by women artists. See also: Zines!
  • Phantom Surfers and Untamed Youth are two California bands faithful to the spirit of '60s garage/surf music.
  • Martin Denny had a number one record with "Quiet Village" in 1957, a 45 taken from his debut album Exotica. Before he retired, Denny released 37 albums which sold over four million copies worldwide. Lately, he's had a resurgence of popularity.
  • Amok Books is both a bookstore and publishers, and was founded by Stuart Swezey and Brian King in Los Angeles. Besides their avant-garde publishing, they have hosted radio programs, clubs and concerts promoting music consistently acknowledged as "cutting edge."

Volume 2

Jello Biafra, Rusty Warren, Chris Long, Ken Nordine, Candi Strecker, Ken Sitz, Korla Pandit, Dean Santomieri, Robert Moog, Rev. Warren Debenham, Juan Garcia Esquivel, Yma Sumac, O. Rodger Harris, Elisabeth Waldo, Ian Hartley, Al Ennis, Bebe Barron

Compilation albums

Volume 1

1 –Buddy Merrill Busy Bee 2:42 2 –Bob Peck Sweet 16 2:05 3 –Dean Elliot* Lonesome Road 2:37 4 –Katie Lee Will To Fail 2:34 5 –Harry Breuer Minute Merengue 2:02 6 –Rajput & The Sepoy* Up, Up & Away 2:14 7 –The Scramblers Mister Hot Rod 2:42 8 –Dave Harris (2) Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals 2:51 9 –Perrey & Kingsley Swan's Splashdown 2:30 10 –Jo Ann Castle Tico Tico 2:03 11 –Billy Mure Hawaiian War Chant 2:11 12 –Fred Lowrey* William Tell Overture 3:01 13 –Kali Bahlu A Cosmic Telephone Call 10:56

Volume 2

1 –Hot Butter Skokian 2:14 2 –Bob McFadden & Dor The Mummy 2:01 3 –The Nirvana Sitar & String Group The Letter 1:51 4 –Lucia Pamela Walking On The Moon 3:07 5 –Ken Nordine Flesh 1:32 6 –Billy Mure Chopsticks Guitar 2:28 7 –Myrtle K. Hilo Lover's Prayer 2:37 8 –Russ Garcia & His Orchestra* Delicado 3:28 9 –Del Close & John Brent Introduction 1:15 10 –Jean Jacques Perrey* Gossipo Perpetuo 2:08 11 –Ken Nordine Green 1:32 12 –Eden Ahbez Full Moon 2:55 13 –Harry Breuer Bumble Bee Bolero 2:11 14 –Marcy* Join The Gospel Express 1:27 15 –Les Baxter Terror 3:17 16 –Ken Nordine Yellow 1:32 17 –Rusty Warren 1st Song / Opening Monologue 3:02

Bibliography

  • RE/Search #14: Incredibly Strange Music Vol. I. RE/Search Publications, 1993. ISBN 0-940642-22-0

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