DIY / Outsider

Recordings made by non-professionals, usually on their own dime. Also know as “real people music” this stuff can range from charming & naive, to downright twisted.

Deborah E. Lillygren – Someday

Where do I start? OK, I paid $1.99 for this. I don’t know if it was the gold flourishes, the old-timey lettering…maybe it was the Corporate Seal of Approval from T.D.A. Incorporated Missouri… What is important is that I bought it, and now I am sharing it with you. The inside of the gate-fold, which […]

Kevin and April Ryan: “Living in the Light" Acorn 1983

Husband and wife duos always intrigue me when I come across them in the stacks of records I come across. This particular LP caught my eye a year or so ago, first based on the strength of the cover and secondly when I realized that it was a husband/wife group that had a penchant for […]

Anenzephalia – Lyse

First I’ll start off with a disclaimer: I borrowed this record from my girlfriend who used to be a big industrial fan. I am really not that knowledgable on industrial stuff at all, hell I don’t really like it even, but this one seemed too weird not to be shared. Thanks to her for the […]

Clem Hutchins – White Cloud

Fantastic outsider country dig from Louisiana or Texas. I can’t remember. Clem sounds like a combination between Old Man Death and an ancient Indian Shaman. He has Moondog-like percussion rumbling under a strumming guitar as he belts out a weird ode to the afterlife all in mystical metaphors. Unearthly wild stuff. The flip is like […]

Kids of Widney High

Apparently this was a private cassette only release before Rounder re-issued this late 80’s effort made by L.A. area disabled high schoolers. All original material by the kids which is cool, but unfortunately it sounds like they got some shredding at the local guitar center dude to back them musically. I suppose some would find […]

Rojays: Tommy Ran

The rediscovery of the Rojays began modestly 4 years ago when I stumbled upon a well loved copy that was anxiously waiting to be spun at the bottom of an endless sea of Coniff and Como. From the first needle drop of this Lp, I knew that what I was hearing was going to redefine […]

Don Bellezzo — Concert Hall Univ. of New Mexico 1972

So I suppose I purchased this sometime in some place but have no recollection of having done so. I found this in the files last year. Easy to miss as it’s merely a blank sleeve. This is a quietly strange record that was pressed up after Don Bellezzo’s concert at University of mexico in 1972. […]

Mill Run Band — Pilot Meets Stars

This album reminds me of the time in college when the whole crew and I gathered some 40s, some blunts and headed to Lizard’s Rock to watch the meteor shower. I believe a few of us even brought little hand drums. I was a bit too neurotic to not approach this whole ritual with a […]

Rudy Rosa: Computer Synthesized Organized

Awesome basement wild-west-meets-Napoleon wannabe gets JJ Perrey style funky on a great version of “Baby Elephant Waltz”. But mostly this is all about the cover photo. File under: I will never be as cool as this guy ever and it makes me kinda sad. Thanks, Sean!

Richard Powell – Memories Of GlenIvy

Here’s a great unrestrained real-people hotel-lounge/AOR banger that has probably remained unknown on account of its misleading cover (or I just have terrible taste, which I’m not going to rule out). Richard Powell pens side one himself and leaves side two for covers (Stevie Wonder, Feelings, Get Down Tonight, etc). Side One is the obvious […]

Skip Bessonette: Live @ Ship Ashore

Burly dude rocks a seafood restaurant with an almost unsettling zeal. That people sat and ate lobster while this man ripped through “Barefootin’” (is that a kazoo I hear?), and a totally harrowing 11+ minute Neil Diamond medly is not something I can sleep at night believing. I haven’t even played the 2nd side.

Willy Wall Trio: the Traveling Sounds

Private organ trio lounge lp that has been much bandied about as of late. Off-kilter in a very subtle way; this is exactly what you always want out of a record like this, but what none of them ever actually deliver. It really manages to transport one to happy hour in a time and place […]

Konrad: Evil

It is very hard to know where to begin trying to explain Konrad, so I’ll start from the very beginning. He was pointing at me as I opened a package of records I received via a Waxidermy holiday swap about two days before this last Christmas. I recall thinking at first glance that this looked […]

The Merry Meds Of ’69

The University of Alberta is known for it’s rambunctious Medical students. Up until it was banned recently, the Med students put on an annual show of absurdy and offense known as “The Med Show”. This usually consisted of offensive drama acts, hilarious live music, and pranks. It is rumoured that one year they stole a […]

The Other Side Of Sugar And Spice

The funny thing is that while buying the big stack of lesbian records that this came with I can recall lamenting to my girlfriend that, while I continue to buy any homemade lesbian record I encounter, I’ve yet to find one of any actual musical merit… nor did I really believe I ever would. And […]

Thundertones: Cloudburst

For some reason I keep putting off finishing and posting this review. I guess it might be that I’m sorta kinda bummed that I didn’t end up keeping this one – but, now that it has a loving new owner, I should probably let the healing begin or whatever. Anyhow, medium length story short, we […]

A. Paul Ortega: Two Worlds

Native American folkie A. Paul Ortega is definitely one of the most unique things I’ve heard recently. Or ever for that matter. So much so that I find I have little frame of reference right now while writing about this lp. Ortega’s songs (or renditions of traditional songs) sound ancient, completely futuristic, and totally hypnotic […]

Steve and Ed: Dream Song

A surprisingly good folk-pop lp on the vanity label Century that I picked up recently due to my “leave no stock cover behind” compulsion. The notes say it was recorded in a Los Angeles area church, and it has a sort of cavernous low-fi sound quality that I quite enjoy. Very soothing Simon & Garfunkel-esque […]

L Cpl Charles E Scott (USMC) – From Vietnam With Love

Still a mystery to me, found a stack of these in Richmond VA (the label’s hometown) almost a decade ago, many years of questions and research has yielded nada. The label is known for some hard 60’s garage rockers, this spoken recitation with folky guitar strumming & humming of the Stone’s “As Tears Go By” […]

Abner Jay – Swaunee Water And Cocaine Blues

I’ve been blown away by this record for over 20 years, one of my favorites, few others come close to matching the reality found on here. Abner was an old school one man band, sort of a next level Leadbelly meets Dylan. I’m envious of friends who caught his live performance in the south east […]

Marlin Wallace and The Corillions – Double Album

The record i can’t shut the f up about, hearing it now is as exciting as the first time. Real deal hobo troubadour diy songwriter, arranger, producer, guitar picker & occasional singer, Mr Wallace is a driven soul. Recorded in Springfield MO in 1980, only a few of the pressing were sold at the time. […]

Marlin Wallace and The Corillions – Songs Of Divine Inspiration

incredible DIY release, variety of styles showcased by thiis rail riding hobo, including some straight Ozark gospel, folky xian protest & heartfelt honest pleas for redemption. Recorded from 1975-8 in Springfield Missouri, featuring top notch studio musicians now working in Branson and members or garage/retro rockers the Skeletons/Morells. This is the real deal, the infamous […]

Wilson Brothers: Jesus Will Lead You

One of my more exciting finds as of late. Extremely raw home-made gospel lp by these four bay area brothers and their dad. While this is far from a total Shaggs style freak-out, it has an absolutely amazing and infectious energy to the whole thing that reminds me of a lot of my favorite amatuer […]

Ron McFarlin / self-titled 3rd LP

Any discussion of Hollywood-based country rocker Ron McFarlin by a snotty record collector like myself will get around to Kenneth Higney comparisons pretty quickly. Same burnt, boozy sound; same peculiar sense of rhythm; similar downer lyrics that don’t always make sense; hell, they even look alike. Well, there’s only one Higney, but I like Ron […]

Kit Ream – All That I Am

I’m finishing this up at about 3:30 AM Pacific standard time, a perfect middle-of-the-night moment to finalize my thoughts on the infamous Kit Ream – All That I Am LP on Creative Records from 1978. Catalog number MW001. A “Waxidermist’s” wet dream. What started for me a few years ago as yet another late afternoon […]