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.

Hall & Reasons – Spaceship

As unearthing previously overlooked privately pressed LPs becomes increasingly en vogue, collectors often fall prey to something akin to “needle-drop” syndrome. It’s too often tempting to evaluate a new acquisition with a hasty, if not faulty ear. While this sometimes works unduly in a record’s favor (for example, see the inexplicable fawning over Boscoe by […]

Luie Luie – Touchy

Voted the most talented solider in the US Army, Luie Luie is one brilliantly demented guy. This is a concept album of sorts about “dances” known as “Touchys” that involve, you guessed it, touching people. Some may disagree, but Luie believes that “It is a wonderful idea for people to get together and touch.” Although […]

When I Met You

When I Met You is a live recording of an original musical written by students at Avalon Juniour High (Edmonton, Alberta). I bought it because I know some people who went to this school and knew they would get a kick out of it. The majority of the album is exactly what I expected; a […]

Cilka & The Second Generation (Sidro)

Cecilia Valencic and her group from Cleveland, Ohio created this obscure LP to demostrate their ability to fuse polka with the “now sounds” of rock, funk and soul. The standout is “He Left Me Behind” which has a “Tighten Up” groove and a trombone solo. Check out the cover which features a chalk drawing of […]

1974 St. Mel’s Choir Concert

This is a recording of a two day concert from a Catholic church in Venice, CA. I like the design of the cross on the front cover. It is revealed on the back cover’s song list, roughly hand-written in green marker, that Ed McMahon narrates a twenty plus minute skit about the rise of Pope […]

The Now Sounds Of Today (Columbine)

The year and location of this record are ambiguous. However, apparently, this is apart of a series of recordings where a songwriter would submit their work through mail order to have their works performed by a professional singer. The singers on this compilation are ones named Marie Bain, Kay Weaver and Ralph Lowe. The women […]

Sound Unlimited S/T (Valley)

This is from a teenage musical department based in Las Vegas from Valley High School. The front, which contains a red-white-and-blue silhouette motif of the band and the back, a list of all list of personnel with a flattering foreward by the director are both copied pieces of paper hand pasted on the jacket. The […]

The Young Majority – The King Is Coming

“This is the kind of an album that will ‘grow on you’” states the back of the album. Indeed, the album has “that charm”. The Young Majority is a 20-something teen-outfit of Christians from British Columbia covering many popular Christian and pop songs. What makes me enjoy this album are the couple of mellow songs […]

Charle Tapia: "With Soul" (Soular)

Mr. Tapia is a flamenco guitarist, in the same vein as Jose Feliciano, who performed at lounges and Mexican food restaurants in the San Fernando Valley. He is backed by The Classmates, a band on the drums, guitars and vibes. Dig on this bad-ass cover while chowing on carne asada and sipping on margaritas. Charle […]

The Trio – a splendid time is guaranteed for all

Here’s the kind of oddball record I live to find, eat your heart out Langley School. This is a crazy one, Villa Park High School vocal music department presents: A Splendid Time is Guaranteed by all by The Trio which consists of Dan Bullock, Tim Reeder and Chris Caines. Pretty much the entire album consists […]

Susan and Sarah: S/T

This is maybe my favorite record that I’ve ever purchased from a local junkmonger I call “Van Guy” – a guy who drives around to flea markets selling books, records, furniture, etc out of his van. Quite a character. Anyhow, I find that with this type of stuff you either “get it”, or don’t. Not […]

Doreen Kostynuik – I Wish You Rainbows

Doreen bears it all on this solo journey. While there are some standard (original) folk and bluegrass songs, the real interesting parts are on the spoken-word tracks. On these songs she opens up on a personal level which at first made me feel uncomfortable, but over time became bearable owing to the poetic nature of […]

The New Colonials – Flying High

Yes! The New Colonials from North Battleford, Saskatchewan. You mean you’ve never been to North Battleford?! Well, I don’t even know where North Battleford is either and I’m Canadian. In any case, this local bar-band brings some great rock and roll to the table in what was their first and only album. There are a […]

Hi Hopes

I grew up near Anaheim, CA, which is where Hope High the school for developmentally disable kids that spawned the Hi Hopes is. So, I’m sorta partial to them even though their records are not very good. Well, I mean they are “good” for records of music made by, to use the liner notes’ not […]

Homestead Act: Gospel Snake

Writing about these largely unknown, home-made records can be tough. Take this private press hipster bluegrass lp here… which is particularly a head scratcher. If the cover (which as always is scant on vital info) is to be believed, these kids were from TN, and this record was released in “AD 1972”. What is very […]

Marr’Del – The Mystery of Love

Beautifully sparse and poetic album by this mysterious Ohio native, Marr’Del. The songs blend between spoken word poetry and singing with only the company of her guitar, harp, and sometimes the rain. Amazingly Marr’Del had no formal musical training, which really enhances the personal element of the album. There is so much more I want […]

Minnesingers: Music In Motion ’74

For the most part this is an average to below average youth choir/band lp. However, there is a flash of brilliance in their version of “Summer Breeze” – which is absolutely delightful! Reminds me of something off one of those Langley School lp’s. I’d like to tell you more about this record, but liner notes […]

Perry L. Jackson: The Old Deer Hunter

9.7 out of 10 people would probably find it completely unlistenable, but in 10 years of collecting records this is perhaps the most fascinating lp I’ve found.

David Kelsey – Flights of Fancy

Private press pipe organ/sythnesizer instrumental lp with a subtle PNP vibe. Tracks include “The Man I Love,” “I’ve Got My Eyes On You,” and “Marijuana.”

Hansadutta Swami: Nothing To Lose But All To Gain

I was finding this record all over the place when I first moved to the bay area. I like it, but I once enthusiastically sent a copy to my friend Daniel and he told me he was unable to listen to it because the cover frightened him. I guess it’s not for everyone. Swami guy […]

Nicodemus – Spacechild Squall

Nicodemus is an outsider biker folk fella from Michigan. This album was recorded “live” in 1977, complete with fake applause track. Total “smoking a jay around the campfire” jams. Amazingly the guy actually has a pretty good voice. He repressed 500 copies of the LP a few years ago, it can still be found for […]

Hansadutta Swami – The Vision

A German named Hans Kary moves to Berkeley, experiences a vision, and becomes a devotee of Krishna. He then changes his name to Hansadutta Swami, starts wearing aviator shades, and becomes a traveling monk playing bad folk.

Bobby Brown – Live

I originally bought this to trade/sell but it eventually grew on me after playing it during a late-night discussion with a special lady. Bobby Brown is a multi-instrumentalist and the ultimate in DIY. This album, whilst saying “Live” on the front, was actually recorded in his van to an audience consisting soley of his dog. […]