A Band Never Found – The Disfigurines

Relying on the internet as often as we do, it is sometimes disconcerting when we come upon a subject for which there is little or no information.

Such is the band, The Disfigurines.

It is a band name I have encountered every now and again, spoken softly by some members of bands I’ve met. The first time was when I was walking on NW Couch street one morning. I met Mick Collins of The Gories and The Dirtbombs. He had just purchased a juice and was kind enough to chat with me for a few minutes. I had seen the Dirtbombs perform a year or so prior to this chance encounter, at The Satyricon, and complimented him on the show and his band in general. The conversation drifted towards record collecting and he asked me if I had any recordings by the band, The Disfigurines. I could tell from the look on his face he really was hopeful I would reply in the affirmative, but I had never heard of the band. I shook my head, no. Sorry, never heard of them, I replied. Who are they? Just a band I might have heard of he replied, his head sinking a bit as he turned to walk away.

At the time, I was employed by a local Portland record store, and the next time I was at work, I flipped through the “D” section in the Rock records, with no luck. Nothing by The Disfigurines, not even a section card. I asked my manager as he had been working at the store for a number of years, but he also had never heard of this band.

The name really struck me. It was a bit funny. A play on the words, disfigured and figurine. Self deprecating. A bit of black humor. Easy to remember. I assumed the band was punk or new wave, a band that had been around a while, then faded away.

At that time, I was not exactly a computer whiz, but did what I could to search the internet. I found a few message boards on the subjects of either Punk, Post-Punk or New Wave, but in scrolling the seemingly endless threads I never did find a reference to the The Disfigurines.

The next time I was in San Francisco, I headed over to Haight Street and visited a few record stores. In general I was looking to fill some gaps in my collection, but first made a beeline to the “D” section. No luck though. No records, no section card.

In places such as Amoeba Records, due to its size, I felt intimidated or silly asking questions, so I never did approach any of the employees about my search.

Down the street at the much smaller store, Recycled Records, I spoke with my friend, Mike Boul, about the band, The Disfigurines.

Prior to working in this record store, Mike Boul had been the lead singer of the band, Indian Bingo, who had released two LPs, an EP, and a couple of singles, all of which I had and enjoyed quite a bit. He had lived in both Los Angeles and San Francisco and I thought he might be a good resource.

He looked at me across the counter when I mentioned the band’s name, paused in thought for a moment and then went into the store’s basement. He returned a few minutes later and handed me a handful of memeographed fanzines from New York City in the early 80s.

I do not remember where, but somewhere in at least of one of these, I think there is a reference to that band he said.

He invited me to go into the small office in the back part of the store to read through the zines.

I flipped through them, some with handwritten text almost illegible, some with various fonts designed with block printing, a couple with lettering that appeared to have been cut out of magazines and pasted on, in the style of a ransom note. Most of them seemed generically punk, and reminded me of 45’s you find abandoned in used record stores with hand-scrawled black and white sleeves.

About three-fourths of way through the pile I turned a page, and there was the subject line, “Art Gallery Disfigured.” It was a review of a live performance. Not at a club, but at an unnamed art gallery. According to the article, a band set up in the back part of the gallery just as the sun was setting, with no warning or announcement when launching into their set. From what I could gather, the band had four members, guitar, bass, drummer and a singer.

The only song title referenced was “It’s been a pleasure (to forget you).” Seemed like from the article, the band had played for about twenty minutes, and had worn out their welcome after the first five. A sculpture had been knocked over, a few pictures removed from the walls and tossed out into the meager crowd. The band hustled out of the gallery they had just managed to empty, the singer paused at the doorway, reached into his pocket, and tossed a couple of cassette tapes onto the gallery floor.

I tried to talk Mike Boul into allowing me to purchase this zine, but he refused as it belonged to the owner and was not for sale and certainly would be missed. The store did not have a copy machine…so memory is all that remains of the page.

I left the store a little bit elated though. The title suggested that the band had actually played a gig, such as it was, and somewhere out there…there might be a cassette, likely in New York City somewhere, on a shelf or in a drawer, covered in dust, forgotten, or more likely than not, swept up long ago and sent to the trash.

Suffice to say, I never found this cassette.

These days, the reissue mindset of the record industry would seem to be always in pursuit of of some previously unreleased gem. Label owners have turned their attention to tapes from small recording studios, acetates made from recordings by bands hoping to release a single. Also it is no longer odd to see a reissue of a private press record. Even reissues of previously released reissues now happen, as contract time limits expire and albums go out of print.

But nowhere in this vast mass of culture clutch have I seen The Disfigurines. Never to the best of my knowledge, has there been a single pressed, an LP released or a reissue released.

The band name burrows into my memory like a magic mushroom dream. One wonders if I heard it at all.

Watch Opal & Ayler from Freeform Portland’s Weekend Family Music Hour

Weekend Family Music Hour (Alternating Saturdays from 8am to 10am) is co-hosted by DJs Opal and Ayler who are 10 & 8 yrs old. They are supervised by Mom (Karen) & play eclectic music which ranges from ethnic, Miami bass, soul, funk, rock, psych, hip hop, reggae, jazz & folk. In addition to tunes and birthday shout-outs, Opal and Ayler lead discussions on politics, magic and childhood subjects.

Zhalih’s “Secret” Reviewed by Dessicant

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl

In a world where we seemingly see everything, know everything about each other’s lives – where the slightest minutiae are ceaselessly simulcast, when we peer into each other’s living rooms, bedrooms, often on the daily – we might ask ourselves, at this point, what exactly is secret, in the Panopticon? In a ‘pics or it didn’t happen’ reality, we share slivers and cross-sections of our existences, share our quirks and interests and relate, through pictures and text, sometimes, fleetingly, in person. It’s tempting to think we know everything, that we understand one another because we see so much, seemingly know so much – we share so much of ourselves, willfully, regularly. But, somehow, the divide seems unbreachable, we are walled in our own ceramic temple, perhaps sometimes coming close to the orbit of other pearls. We’re never really getting in – at the end of the day, we must take others at their word, what they choose to show to us. They remain a mystery, a microcosm unto themselves, each dizzying in their infinite complexity.

So perhaps we will never jump that v o i d – perhaps we are trapped in solipsism, doomed to filtering everything through our individual experiences, history, background, imprinting – still, we live here, together, on this blue marble, in this snowglobe. Each to their own and all, we constantly strive to understand, to comprehend each infinite mystery encountered. We encounter the mystery and we listen.

So, again, at this point, what constitutes a secret, and what purpose do they serve, in a world of over-sharing? For one, there’s the type of secret referenced in that Roald Dahl quote, an unseen, subtle, scintillating world surrounding us, little did we realize, just waiting to be appreciated. Take, in tandem, Rainer Marie Rilke’s “I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.” Let us talk of hidden, subtle things, or things that matter, or not at all. Secrets, when everyone tells so much, seem like a choice, and they seem cherished somehow because of it. Or perhaps they even more power, possess more dark gravity than before the Book Of Life started mimeographing our daily existences? Secrets can also bring us together, in a rare, raw moment of understanding. Secrets seem real, in the simulacrum, the temple of artifice. They offer an opportunity for a messy, chaotic encounter, a chance meeting with the sublime, or perhaps the ridiculous, the embarrassing, the dangerous.  Anything could happen and that’s how life is and if we listen perhaps we might learn, to slightly better understand one another, inside our own swirling infrastructure.

Secret, from Portland singer/songwriter Zhalih, seems like a haven inside this hectic datasphere, a hidden place, where we may have real encounters, where we may talk of real things, or not at all. A spare skeleton of barely plucked acoustic guitar and airy, layered vocals are the lattice around which most of these eight tracks weave and pulse – each short, at around a bare 2:00, coming and going like a passing comment, or the fleeting memory of a dream. “Da Da” summons the swoon, with a minimalist pulsing guitar line, and Zhalih singing a near-lullaby, in her own wordless croon.  It’s the sound of someone singing to themselves, walking from to to fro – staring out the window. There is a mournful lilt to the melody, but also content. Like a harpist by a lake, mourning her drowned lost love.

Words form on “Insane”, again – a pulsing guitar line, this time with a bluesy engine overtop. “I’m not giving up/no/no/I’m gonna stay insane.” There is a rough, soulful quality to Zhalih’s music, like wood that’s been sitting in the sun, like walking next to a warm asphalt where there is sage and sunflowers and maybe snakes. Here, she begins to seemingly harmonize with herself, layering vocals upon vocals, although they’re barely there, a grace note, on “Insane”. The vocal harmonies increase, as the album rolls, teeming and coalescing into opalescent nebulae of golden soprano, as tuned as a church bell, and always on-point. Zhalih never misses a beat or hits an off-note, her intonation is beyond impeccable, and the first reason you need to hear this short album, and everything this talented young musician produces. The fact that she harmonizes with herself makes for an interesting, confessional, and also uniquely resonant experience. Zhalih focuses a lot on the vocals and harmonies, and she’s very good at it, both harmonizing with herself and others. It brings to mind recent avant composers like Panda Bear, with his elegiac Young Prayer. We wonder what someone like Brian Wilson would have made, with an ear and obsession for glorious, glowing vocal ensembles, had they access to bedroom recording equipment? Music made in the bedroom, by one’s self, has a particularly hushed, honest feeling to it – you can be more yourself when you’re by yourself, and the art that comes from that crucible is unique. The ability to make delicious sounding recordings for either cheap, or for free by ourselves, with our own gear, is yielding a new and particular strain of gilded lilies and emerald tapestries, gorgeous art that is honest and not meant to be commercial. This would have been hard to come by, 60 or 70 years ago.

Encountering Zhalih in this intimate space, she reveals more of herself, shows a bit more. Somewhat reclusive of a personality, she can be slightly withdrawn and atmospheric in person, it can be difficult to make out the lyrics, which become more of a shoegaze-y, Rothko-like lightshow. On Secret, however, the words are clear and up-front, and we are offered a glimpse into her secret world, or what she chooses to share of it with us, at any cost. There is no over-arching theme, no concept or revelation – love seems to be an ingredient, a shadow lingering around the edges. “You can’t have me anymore/I’ve danced away/I’ve danced away,” she sings on “I’ve danced myself out of the pain/I’ve danced before to another plane (?)” she continues, in a hypnotic sing-song, before breaking into a fluent French. It’s unclear who the second-person You is, it’s like an overheard conversation, yet the emotion is unmistakable when she breaks into a keening, soaring, wordless chorus. It stands the hair on end, like a breeze over a gray lake, slightly ruffling the surface. And then, finally, there’s the album closer, “You Love Them”, with its epithet “When you love someone/you love them,” closing the ceremony with a note of finality and seeming resignation. Zhalih is letting us in on her secret, her world, showing us things. It’s vague and indistinct and that’s okay because a secret’s weight is really in the keeping, in what we make of them. For one moment, we stop, and pause, and come together, over something real. We drop the masks and our mother-of-pearl facade fissures a little bit, for a moment. One final quote, from James Joyce, “Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.”

The Worst Song in the World is…

This may not surprise you, but the Worst Song in the World, as chosen by you, is “Friday” by Rebecca Black.  It came from behind to dominate the championship and never left.

It is a terrible song.  When someone asks you, “What do you think the worst song in the World is?” you can say with absolute assurance that “”Friday” is the Worst Song in the World.  I know this because of science.”

Nearly 200 of you filled out a bracket.  That is very impressive, because as those of you who did it know, it took a while to fill out.  You care about what the worst song is.  And now we know for certain.

You can find the total votes for all 64 songs nominated and voted for (by YOU) here.

I’m glad we’ve settled this.

One, final time, may I present the official Worst Song in the World:

DIY Boost / Overdrive / Distortion / Fuzz – Part 1

Ever consider building your own guitar pedal? It’s actually pretty simple, and with a few simple tools and a lot of patience, you can build a pedal of your very own.

Why Boost, Overdrive, Distortion or Fuzz?

Boost, overdrive, distortion and fuzz circuits are relatively simple and a great way to get introduced to the basic components used in guitar pedals. Some fuzz pedals and simple boosts can have as few as half a dozen components as compared to more complicated circuits like delay, chorus or tremolo. While this post won’t go step by step through a pedal build, it will point you in the right direction and offer some resources to help get you started.

To the uninitiated, here are the differences:

  • Boost – increases the volume to boost your signal with little clipping (distortion) or compression
  • Overdrive – softly clips your signal providing slight distortion and compression
  • Distortion – hard clips your signal giving a distorted sound with lots of compression
  • Fuzz – square wave clipping of your signal so the sound is fuzzy, buzzy and super compressed

See this YouTube Video for more.

Veroboard Pedal – Crowther Hotcake Clone

Boost and Overdrive Circuits are Versatile

These types of pedals aren’t just limited to guitar or bass. They can be used with keyboards of all kinds from the likes of Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer to organs or to analog or virtual analog synths. They can add a great crunch and punch to a drum machine or even vocal tracks. Think of it as a tool to add some subtle grit or color, or heavier grit or grunge all the way to completely mangling whatever you plug into it.

Utility/Swiss Army Knife Pedals

Boost pedals, especially those with tone controls, can be very effective utility tools. For example, let’s you have the bridge pickup on your guitar dialed in perfectly with your amp settings, but when you switch to the neck pickup, the tone is too wooly, dark or muddy. A boost with a simple EQ can help to remove those undesired qualities and help balance things out. Simple boosts can also be helpful in situations where you’re using different two different guitars with pickups that have different outputs – like going from a strat’s low output pickups to a Gibson SG or Les Paul’s humbucker, you can use a boost on the strat to keep the output consistent from instrument to instrument.

Why would you want to build your own pedal?

Custom Etching and Paint on Pedal – Nobels ODR-1 Clone – Artwork by Cristina Trecha

You can build a pedal of your own for far less than the cost of what you would pay for the retail version. For example, an original Gold or Silver Klon Centaur currently lists for as much as $2500. You can build your own for about $40, plus you can customize it any way you want. Want to use different clipping diodes? Go ahead. Want to increase the bass content? Swap different capacitors in and out to your hearts content. Plus you are free to decorate your enclosure to make it a personal, one of a kind, creative masterpiece.

Some guitar pedals, like the Analogman King of Tone overdrive, have had a consistent waiting list as the company tries to keep up with demand. Getting on the list to get one built for you has sometimes meant waiting several months to a year. You can build an exact copy of your own, or customize it however you like, and not pay anywhere near the original’s asking price, or have to wait to get it.

Transferrable Skills and Knowledge

Getting your feet wet with pedal builds and acquiring the skills and equipment necessary to successfully build a pedal also means you will likely be able to:

  • Swap guitar pickups in and out of you or your bandmates guitars, or fix faulty switches or wiring
  • Do repairs to broken pedals or do minor repairs to guitar amps (Disclaimer: watch out for those tube amp voltages. They can kill you!)
  • Gain a basic understanding of the components used in a pedal and how they work

Part 2 Coming Soon!

I Listened So You Don’t Have To: Odd Monster Reviews the Billboard Top 10

Hello, everybody!  It’s been a while since I was subjected to the Billboard Top 10, but as summer is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d expose myself to potentially radioactive pop music to shield you from accidentally having to check it out for yourself.

I do this for you, people.  I’m what a real hero looks like.

These are the Billboard Top 10 for the week of May 13, 2017. 

(Some of these songs are NSFW if you work somewhere that cursing is frowned on, or you work for people with good taste in music.)

10. “It Ain’t Me” by Kygo x Selena Gomez

  • I have never heard of Kygo, but it sounds a but like a home delivery service for feminine hygiene products.  I know who Selena Gomez is because she dated the Beeb, yo!
  • Holy [REDACTED], it has over 240 MILLION views on YouTube.  You ever feel behind the times?
  • It sounds like someone chopped every third second out of the chorus.  I assume it’s meant to be like that but it sounds like what I imagine having a seizure is like.
  • Honestly, it’s pretty inoffensive. I’ll be nice and give it a C+.  I don’t need to hear it again, but it doesn’t make me nauseous.

9. “XO TOUR Llif3” by Lil Uzi Vert

  • I had to check four times that I spelled that title right. Did someone’s cat walk on the keyboard and name the song?
  • Lil Uzi Vert.  Like Little Green Uzi? Shouldn’t it be Le Petite Uzi Vert?  These are the questions that keep me up at night.
  • It has a really menacing bassline, but the way the guy spits is kinda dumb.  It has like a Jamaican sorta lilt to it.  I dunno.  I feel like I’ve heard this song ten times before, although it’s the first time.
  • C.  Good bassline.  Not a fan of the MC.

8. “iSpy” KYLE feat. Lil Yachty

  • Are we still calling things iSomething?  I thought that was over.  Apple doesn’t even do that anymore.
  • Why is KYLE’s name in all caps?  It makes me think of Cartman yelling “Kyle!”
  • This song has EXACTLY the same cadence as “XO TOUR Llif3” and the same annoying way of pronouncing words.  Is this a genre now?  Does everyone else know about it?  Get off my lawn!
  • I’m not even going into the video.
  • Lil Yachty is autotuned to the point where it sounds like he has a mouthful of food.
  • C-.  I can see how it might be fun to dance to, but definitely not for me.

7. “DNA.” by Kendrick Lamar

  • Am I actually going to get to review a GOOD song?  This is also the first song I’ve ever heard of that I’ve gotten to review.
  • So, up until the release of this album I conflated Kendrick Lamar and Drake, which makes no sense because they are absolutely nothing alike.  I always thought I disliked Lamar, but I was completely wrong.
  • This song is AWESOME. Great production, great loping beat that sounds like a wolf advancing on prey.
  • I would be very happy to hear this a lot this summer. This song gets a solid A.

6. “Something Just Like This” by the Chainsmokers & Coldplay

  • I remember reviewing a Chainsmokers song before, but have absolutely no memory of either the song title or even remotely what it sounded like, other than it completely sucked.
  • Coldplay?  Ugh.
  • Hmm, they mention Spider-Man and Batman.  That’s a quick way to my nerd heart.
  • Nope, it’s been [REDACTED]blocked by having to listen to Coldplay and some very lame synth beats.
  • It really just sounds like a mashup of two songs, neither particularly inspiring.
  • I’m definitely going to forget this song in about ten minutes.
  • Kind of harmless, without anything to really praise or pan.  I’m going to give it a C, which is right down the middle.

5. “Mask Off” by Future

  • I think I’ve heard of Future, but then again, maybe I’ve just heard of THE future.
  • Another song about masks.  More superheroes?  Maybe the X-Men this time? I could totally stand to hear a rap song about Wolverine.
  • I thought he was saying “Mad scones” until I realized it was probably “Mask Off.”
  • It’s got a really great kung-fu style flute in the mix, which is awesome.
  • The song itself is kinda meh.  It has no momentum, it just sorta sits there and says “Here I am, on the couch, eating potato chips and watching season five of CSI: Miami.”
  • I’m giving it a slight bump for the flute.  C.

4. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

  • Damn it, I was thinking I was going to finally get through a Top 10 without having to be subjected to the Beeb.
  • Okay, is this a Luis Fonsi song featuring Justin Bieber, or a Justin Bieber song featuring Luis Fonsi?  The internet is unclear.
  • The song is mostly in Spanish, which is good, because it keeps me from examining the lyrics.
  • I like the parts that don’t feature Bieber, surprisingly.  It’d sound great coming from a boombox on the beach.  It’s got kind of a low key charm.
  • I bet there’s a non-Bieber version of that song.  I’d give that one a slightly higher grade, since the Beeb only sings in the first verse of this song, so you don’t have to listen to much of him. I think this is a safe B.

3. “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar

  • My ears are ready, Kendrick.  Bring it.
  • Wait, did he just say “My booby tastes like Kool-Aid”?  I just googled it, he says “D’USSÉ with my boo bae, tastes like Kool-Aid for the analysts.”  What does that MEAN??!
  • Great production again.  The synth bass (I think) is killer.
  • Not sure why this song is higher up than “DNA” as I don’t think it’s as good, but it’s still a great track. B+

2. “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran

  • Isn’t this the whiny English ginger?  He looks like a guy who has just been caught looking at hentai videos by his long suffering girlfriend.  I mean, look at him!
  • Other than that, it just sounds like disposable pop music, something you’d hear while in the back of a Lyft on your way to dinner.
  • It sounds like pop music your mom might like.  “Have you heard this Ed Sheeran?! I bet you’d like him.
  • It’s soooooo boring.
  • C-, and hopefully I’ll never have to listen to this song again.

1. “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars

  • I’ve heard of Bruno Mars, but I don’t know anything else about him.  Didn’t he perform at the Oscars once?
  • Not really my cup of tea, but a solidly produced pop song.
  • I really hope that Prince was okay with Bruno Mars, because otherwise he’s due for some purple haunting.
  • I’ll give it a B-.  I don’t really want to hear it again, but it’s not a bad song.

In Summation

This is actually the best Top 10 I’ve reviewed to date. Two A’s (though they’re both Kendrick), the lowest grade was a C-, and I barely had to listen to Justin Bieber.

You’re welcome.  Now I’m going to go and wash out my ears with some Stooges or something.

The Worst Song in the World Bracket: Week 3

We’re coming to a close on the Worst Song in the World, and things seem to be wrapping themselves up.  We’re coming to some definitive answers here, folks, and it’s been a rocky battle.

  • Just so there’s no tension here (the stakes are pretty low, admit it), the worst song is still “Friday” by Rebecca Black.
  • “All Star” by Smashmouth has fallen from #1 in the first week to #3, but seems to be holding fast in that position.
  • Everything seems pretty much the same, but the Black Eyed Peas have managed to shove their way past the date-rapey “Blurred Lines” with their…uh…party anthem(?) “I Gotta Feeling.”  If you’ve managed not to listen to this song, here are the lyrics ad infinitum.

I gotta feeling (ooooo hoooo) that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good, good night

Tonight’s the night (hey!)
Let’s live it up (let’s live it up)
I got my money (I’m paid)
Let’s spend it up (let’s spend it up)

If they don’t use this song to torture people, they’re really missing out.

There is only a week left to make your voices heard!  What’s the worst, teenagers not knowing which seat to sit in, the insidious nature of Scandanavian pop music or Shrek’s theme song? The choice is yours.

Fill out your bracket here, if you haven’t already!

“or” by Eyelids is an Assured Follow Up

The second album by Portland band Eyelids, “or” (produced by Peter Buck) arrives this week with no hint of a sophomore slump, following 2014’s “854”.

The new album consists of all the elements that made “854” great: intricate guitar arrangements, a solid rhythm section and a blend of harmonies that would make any soft psych sixties band jealous. On “or”, Eyelids has found a way to improve or advance their strengths, resulting in an album that feels like a natural organic growth for the band.

“or” starts with a bang, with a re-recorded version of a single they released earlier this year, “Slow It Goes”, their three guitar line up seemingly well positioned with two of them in either speaker, and a third charging right down the middle of the song. On this, and every track of the album the playing benefits from the band’s busy live show schedule. The band is tight, hitting all their parts hard and with more assurance than on their prior album.

Psychedelic aspects are on display as well, as on tracks “My Caved in Mind” and an early favorite of mine, “23 (Years)” a drone piece that starts out side two of the album, offset by a series of guitar hooks, making it a catchy earworm indeed!

Near the end of the album, we have a couple of tracks: “Moony” which seems like pieces of different types of songs by bands like Television & XTC played against each other to great effect…and “I Know I Gotta Reason” with a slow start that explodes in the center with a duel of guitar solos.

At the heart of “or” is the not so subtle fact that Eyelids is a songwriting band. The playing and the harmonies are made better by the fact that the material is so melodious and catchy.

A friend of mine once remarked to me during an Eyelids show that all of their songs could be singles. I smiled in agreement and kept nodding my head to the beat.

To hear some of the tracks of this album listen to an archive of one of my recent radio shows, in which I interview vocalist and guitarist Chris Slusarenko and play some tracks from their new album:

The Worst Song in the World Bracket: Week 2

It’s week 2 here at the Worst Song Ever bracket and things have heated up. After a lot of back and forth, the current leader is “Friday” by Rebecca Black.  If you’ve somehow gone through life without ever hearing this song or seeing the amazing video, please do yourself a favor and enjoy the following (and please note it has over 107 MILLION views):

It also produced one of my favorite gifs, of the awkward tween with braces dancing nervously in the car:

Here is the current Top Ten (with my choice of lyrics from each):

1. “Friday” Rebecca Black

Kickin’ in the front seat
Sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take

2. “Barbie Girl” Aqua

I’m a blond bimbo girl, in a fantasy world
Dress me up, make it tight, I’m your dolly

3. “All Star” by Smash Mouth

She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
In the shape of an “L” on her forehead

4. “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Baha Men

A doggy is nuttin’ if he don’t have a bone
All doggy hold ya’ bone, all doggy hold it

5. “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” the Offspring

Our subject isn’t cool
But he fakes it anyway

6. “It’s a Small World” Disney

It’s a small world after all,

it’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all,

it’s a small, small, small, small world

7. “My Own Prison” Creed

Alone I drop and kneel
Silence now the sound
My breath the only motion around
Demons cluttering around

8. “(You’re) Having My Baby” Paul Anka

Having my baby
What a lovely way of saying
What you’re thinking of me

9. “Cotton Eye Joe” Rednex

Where did you come from, where did you go?
Where did you come from, Cotton-Eye Joe?

10. “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke

I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it

It appears that “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns n’ Roses is the least disliked in this poll, as it has sat on or near the bottom pretty consistently since it began, so congrats to Axl and Slash and the gang.

“MacArthur Park” continues to be close to the bottom.  Everyone, you know that’s being sung by Dumbledore 1.0 Richard Harris, right?  And that it includes the lyrics:

MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh no!

SCTV did a pretty great sketch about this song, starring Eugene Levy and Dave Thomas:

All of the songs in the Top Ten are from the last 20 years, except for Paul Anka’s “(You’re) Having My Baby” which has persevered as being the oldest most hated song since the beginning. It was recorded in 1974, making it older than most people who have filled out this bracket—think about it: You could have been conceived to this song.  Ms. magazine gave Anka their “Male Chauvinistic Pig of the Year” award for this piece of garbage.  In the song he says:

Didn’t have to keep it
Wouldn’t put you through it.
You could have swept it from your life
But you wouldn’t do it
You wouldn’t do it.
And you’re having my baby.

Whoa dude.  Whoa.

Finally, the most lopsided voting has been for the following:

  • “Hotel California” (23 votes) vs “Cotton Eyed Joe” (118 votes)
  • “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (22 votes) vs “Escape (the Pina Colada Song)” (103 votes)
  • “It’s a Small World” Disney (99 votes) vs “Mockingbird” Carly Simon and James Taylor (29 votes)

Don’t agree with your fellow voters?  Haven’t voted yet?  Click here to make your voice heard as we continue the month of voting for the worst song ever!

Week 1 Update!

Highlights from final broadcast of Jesuit Bit My Hotdog

Eclecticism is the hallmark of Freeform at its core. A different DJ every 2 hours, genres spanning geography, time and aesthetics and a diverse cadre of volunteer technicians and tradespeople from nonbinary gender and political affiliation ensure surprises each time listeners tune in. For six months between 2016 & 2017, local video jockey Danny Norton scoured his vinyl record crates for some of his most treasured rarities he cared to share over the airwaves.

But simply possessing the free reign to randomize selections into a playlist would not a good program make. One must possess the will to curate by omission as well as favorited selection. Cream of the crop, not iPod shuffle is the mode for fleshing out longform programming.

Due to daylight savings time, this show was reduced by 30 minutes to split the difference with the prior DJ. Here are 5 stand-out tracks with comments from VJ Norto about their meaning in his record crate.

Homer & Jethro – Roll On Deodorant

Country Hall of Fame inductees and Thinking Man’s Hillbillies Homer & Jethro met at age 16 and received their monikers when WNOX Program Director forgot their names during broadcast. They originally recorded for King Records as session musicians backing other artists, but were sought to support Chet Atkins, Spike Jones and The Cartner Family on tour. Though accomplished jazz musicians in the style of Django Reinhardt, they are best remembered for television appearances on Hee-Haw and The Johnny Cash Show.

Siouxsie & The Banshees – Catwalk, Polydor/Geffen 1988

This B-side to the 12″ single “Peek-a-Boo” is a hiccupy, upbeat instrumental production. Hard to drum up exposition on this one, but I really like it, largely because it sounds as if it could be at home on the same year’s Pixies full-length debut Surfer Rosa.

Time Zone – World Destruction (Meltdown Mix), Celluloid Records 1984

The unlikely pairing of Sex Pistols’ Johnny Lydon and Soul Sonic Force’s Afrika Bambaataa gets run through the Bill Laswell filter. Laswell’s pet concept is collision music, bringing together wildly divergent but complementary musicians. He also lent bass and drum machine programming to the original mix. Guest musicians include Bernie Worell. The track peaked at #44 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1985, but made history as an early rap-rock collaboration, predating Run DMC and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.”

Temple City Kazoo Orchestra – Miss You, Rhino Records 1978

This Rolling Stones cover features no drums, bass or guitar, just voicebox vibration and wax paper. Kind-of like listening to Rolling Stones through an old factory car stereo.

Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited – Funky Planet, Dionysus Records 1998

Swiss instrumentalists Ernest Maeschi and Karen Diblitz own Spooky Sound record store in Zürich and got in on the end of the surf & space age/exotica cocktail music scene back when more people purchased physical media.To hear the complete program back-to-back, check out VJ Norto on Mixcloud Jesuit Bit My Hotdog March 12, 2017

Danny Norton founded Eye Candy VJs’ all-request mobile music video museum in 2006, an alternative to audio-only DJ fare. His library and mixology have been showcased at Project Pabst, Barfly Bus New Years, Rose City Rollers & Bridgetown Comedy afterparties, wedding receptions and was Willamette Week Best of Portland pick in 2010. See and hear his multimedia library Monday nights at Kelly’s Olympian, Wednesday nights at Firkin Tavern, and frequent guest appearances at Dig a Pony and The Know. Event schedule at http://eyecandyvjs.com