Hey now, CDs, no point in spamming me

Some years ago, I took the subject lines of a bunch of spam I saved, made a chart converting every letter of the alphabet into a musical note, and then, using spaces for rests and another formula for the length of the notes, programmed them into a midi software program. And it sounded like an aeolian harp… no, it sounded like random notes. In any case, the algorithmic weirdness of spambots is still interesting to me for a minute, not much longer; amidst the sudden burst of spam recently sent to this site were a bunch with the word “christmas” inserted, so I got comments from ebony christmas amateur and chinese new year christmas firework. Of course, any spambot hitting this site is a piece of crap, since I get very few hits or links… I actually feel a little bad for the poor, lame algorithm that washed up at my door. Well, ok, not that sorry.

62) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

“The Old Bamboo” might hold the record for the song stuck in my head the longest, off and on, throughout my life; after seeing this movie on TV, I sang the “Bamboo” chorus a billion times and never could quite dislodge it… it would pop up in the strangest situations, and so I would find myself singing “Me ol’ bam-boo, me ol’ bam-boo / You’d better never bother with me ol’ bam-boo. / You can have me hat or me bum-ber-shoo / But you’d better never bother with me ol’ bam-boo.” And so Dick Van Dyke got another soul to torture in hell, I suppose. Also, I thought the bamboo song was actually from Mary Poppins for the longest time, perhaps because the actor playing the child-sniffer-outer scared the shit out of me and replaced it with a pair of rusty garden shears. (bonus: I’m not scared anymore:

also, this movie was written by Roald Dahl, based on a book by Ian Fleming! )

63) The Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin

In another life, I played in a band that opened for the Flaming Lips somewhere in the midwest, I think, or maybe it was Philadelphia… anyway, this was a while ago and they were awful, bad Zeppelin-y sludge that wandered around pointlessly–but man did they have a great light show! Now, they are much more accomplished, still wander around pointlessly a lot (really, guys, some of the instrumental passages are pleasing, but too many of them sounds like Yes outtakes), and write good songs about 2/3 of the time. (bonus: nah. There’s enough already).

64) Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets

I lost track, but I think it wasn’t until track 6, “On Some Faraway Beach,” that I first heard a snare drum on this CD. There are drums a plenty, and the upfront ticka ticka high hat on “Baby’s On Fire,” but nary a snare until halfway through the album. Eno’s picture on the cover looks a lot like Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, so I often find images from that movie flitting through my head while listening to this recording. Eno in full pop glam mode, excellent songs, and he pretty much just sings and “treats” the other players (Fripp, Manzanera, Spedding, etc) instruments. Right on. (bonus: you can access a javascripted set of Eno’s Oblique Strategies here.)

65) X: Los Angeles/Wild Gift

Wowza, this is the first CD thus far that I have had cassette and lp versions of, and it’s a double CD. Had’em both, yes I did, because DJ Bonebrake keeps the speed flowing smoothly and Billy Zoom just keeps grinning out punk rockabilly licks and then the other two folks do their thing, singin and a-howlin about “Johnny Hit and Run Pauline” and “The World’s a Mess, It’s In My Kiss” and “White Girl” and on and on… Exene Cervanka must be the most in-tune out-of-tune singer I have ever heard, she’s just close enough to the right note to be viable, even interesting, and is a perfect foil for John Doe’s none-too-pure-itself-now-that-you-mention-it holler. No idea why X makes me want to write in run-on sentences. (bonus: the letter X is a voiceless velar fricative.)

66) banco de gaia: Iqizeh

I used to listen to this CD a lot to fall asleep, which is not a bad thing; the first 2 or 3 songs are lush, techno-house throbbers that will put you to sleep if you want to sleep, ot make you dance, if you want to dance. Because I used the CD as a sleep aid, I often missed out on the last 2/3 of the songs, which are quite different in tone from the first few, and are actually quite good, challenging, world music/techno/trance pieces. (bonus: according to the band’s–ok, it’s just one guy–according to Toby Marks website, “Banco de Gaia was a 17th century Portuguese fisherman who came across a giant golden pyramid sticking out of the Atlantic one day. He went back to his village to tell eveyone else and when they got back they were just in time to see the top of the pyramid disappearing beneath the waves.”)