Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know that all – or at least most – roads lead to bad movies with me. Since 1976 the movie Track of the Moon Beast has been a cult hit for the Psychotronic-minded and for those people who were lucky enough to catch it at various drive-ins during their heyday.
Hidden away inside that piece of 1970s schlock was the song California Lady, a catchy and fun song written and performed by Frank Larrabee. In the way that the song Recipe for Romance is associated with the movie Bloody New Year (aka Time Trap) and the song More is associated with Mondo Cane, California Lady has been bound to Track of the Moon Beast.
Frustratingly, the song was not quite complete and had a few interruptions by dialogue from the film. For decades clearer versions of California Lady were incredibly rare. Mike Wolfer found and has uploaded two versions of the song at his YT Channel (subscribe HERE).
The first was the studio recording of the song (below) and the second was the entire EP from Frank Larrabee. California Lady is at the 10:03 mark and is a much smoother, less worn recording of the song and is MUCH MORE LIKE THE PERFORMANCE IN THE MOVIE. No interruptions in either case, so you can enjoy this cult item the way it was meant to be heard.
Click HERE for the EP with the song at 10:03 and HERE for the version below. FOR THE GClephMusique REMASTER, with California Lady as the first song click HERE.
“What an eccentric performance” as they said in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Forget William Shatner singing Rocket Man, hell, you can even forget Tim Robbins singing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
No, this is more like if Morgan Freeman sang Like A Virgin or Linda Hunt performed One Night in Bangkok. It’s the thoroughly bizarre – yet oddly arousing – music video of Kirsten Dunst singing the Vapors’ hit song Turning Japanese … while wearing a blue wig. The song starts at the 19 second mark.
The singer Meat Loaf has passed away at age 74. While most sites are going with the expected musical salutes, Balladeer’s Blog is instead selecting the rock star’s iconic moment as “Eddie” in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul.
Yes, it’s the song from that notoriously bad movie Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. Long years ago The Christmas Martian supplanted this flick in my Bad Movie Lover heart but Hooray For Santa Claus is still a butt-kicking song.
Starting us off is the movie version of the song by the poor man’s Skitch Henderson – Milton De Lugg – and The Little Eskimos.
And here’s the version by Al “Green Hornet Theme” Hirt: Continue reading
MUSICAL MUTINY (1970) – Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog with a Barry Mahon movie that’s more frighteningly bad than it is frightening. I’ve recently become obsessed with this made in Florida wonder that features the ghost of a long-dead pirate, the deskbound narrator from Blood Freak and a mad scientist intent on taking over the world with his new beverage which gets drinkers higher than marijuana. There are also three on-stage performances by Iron Butterfly (yes, really), including the full-length version of In A Gadda Da Vida.
Perhaps most importantly for me and my fellow Bad Movie geeks, this is the earliest movie release done as a promotional piece for Pirate’s World, the long-defunct Florida amusement park featured in notorious Grade Z films like Jack and the Beanstalk, Thumbelina plus Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (reviewed in 2010 here at Balladeer’s Blog). In fact, Musical Mutiny is so obscure that as of this writing there are only five user reviews at IMDb. Continue reading
If I ever formed a rock band of my own I would, needless to say, base the name on something from Bad Movie Lore. Something like Renegade Belgian Cardinals – based on a line of dialogue from the Serial-Killer Priest flick The Confessional.
Putting that aside here’s a quick Balladeer’s Blog list of Oddly-Named Bands of the Past. It’s strictly for people who sometimes wake up at 3am and wonder if Gene was only pretending to love Jezebel.
THE TRASH CAN SINATRAS
When you hear the name Sinatra you immediately think of … Scotland? Well, no you don’t, but that’s where this band hailed from.
Used in a Sentence: “The Trash Can Sinatras is a hell of a mean-spirited way of referring to Nancy and Tina!”
For decades this band was known as THE influence in Belgian Industrial Rock, complete with all the massive cultural firepower that implies. (Oh, sure, Balladeer, pick on the Belgians!) Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog’s fans know that I don’t consider myself a music expert. I may enjoy anything from operas and symphonies to all categories of pop and rock, etc but I never claim that my tastes are governed by some overriding musical aesthetic. I just know what I like and what I don’t like.
And that brings us to Mark Gormley. At first this guy’s work struck me as music’s answer to oddball filmmaker Neil Breen and I assumed that his cult following loved Gormley in an ironic way. The more I look into it, though, there are many people who seem to be providing actual, profound justifications for considering the man genuinely talented. Those same people even praise his “Power Stance,” which I have always found incredibly silly.
Below is one of Mark’s music videos preceded by a brief introduction from the Uncharted Zone‘s hosts. Let me know if you think I’m a musical Philistine for laughing at the Gormster or if you think those who hail him as a genius are just keeping the straightest faces this side of Leslie Nielsen. I’m open to being set straight if I’m missing something about this guy but he strikes me as a hybrid of Ned Flanders, Floyd R Turbo and Tiny Tim. Here he is with his song Little Wings:
HARRIET, THE WOMAN CALLED MOSES – This opera, with music and libretto by Scottish composer Thea Musgrave, was first performed March 1st, 1985 at the Virginia Opera in Norfolk, VA. The conductor was Musgrave’s husband Peter Mark.
Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will remember my articles about Thea Musgrave’s 1979 opera version of A Christmas Carol. I consider Musgrave one of the few genuine giants of opera from the late 20th Century. (Yes, I’m so boring I’m even into opera.)
Of Republican Harriet Tubman, the famed former slave who worked with the Underground Railroad to lead other slaves to freedom, Musgrave said “Harriet is every woman who dared to defy injustice and tyranny. She is Joan of Arc, she is Susan B Anthony, she is Anne Frank, she is Mother Teresa.”
Harriet, The Woman Called Moses is a two-act opera which uses a non-linear narrative structure, jumping back and forth in time while highlighting powerful episodes in Tubman’s life. A chorus representing slaves remains on stage for the entire performance. Continue reading
“Please, sir, may I have some more?”
It’s that time of year again! Just a note in the spirit of the holiday season to mention my favorite Thanksgiving Eve movie.
Every Wednesday before Thanksgiving I make a point out of watching the musical Oliver!
I know the musical sentimentalizes several characters that Dickens portrayed in a sinister way in the book (especially Fagan and The Artful Dodger) but the finished product has always seemed very holidayish to me. Continue reading
Halloween Month continues here at Balladeer’s Blog. Today I decided to take time out from my magnum opus titled Was Paul McCartney Really John Lennon? to send a musical shoutout to Motorhead’s Ace of Spades.
This is my favorite song about a gravedigger. Not even those songs in Repo! The Genetic Opera come close. But let’s face it, I think we’d all LOVE to hear Paul Sorvino and Paris Hilton performing a duet of Ace of Spades for Lemmy’s birthday.