Friday, July 3, 2009

Road Trip Album Picks: Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes #1

WHAT: A collection of novelty songs originally released in 1992
LABEL: Demento Society
GOOD IF YOU LIKE: Things that weren't funny 17 years ago either
WHERE TO FIND IT: eBay, the places you get music and don't pay for it-- this is now an out-of-production collectible

Nothing says "fuck you" like picking an album for a long drive that even you won't like. If Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" is out of reach, and you're carting around a bunch of ingrates who didn't pitch in for gas, I suggest you track down the 26 tracks of misery collectively known as Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes #1. I owned this for several years because I listened to his show as a kid and joined the fan club, and then sold them all within the past year because there's nobody I associate with deserving of what can only be loosely termed "entertainment" of this nature.

Songs featured-- I hesitate to say "highlights"-- include:
  • "It's Alive", a failed sequel to Monster Mash involving rapping
  • "Ballad of Woody and Mia", needs no description but it dates the collection nicely
  • "They Don't Wear Pants in the Southern Part of France", also needs no description
  • "Baby I'm Dead", an Elvis style-parody with one joke spread over 3 minutes
  • "Take Me Out To The Ball Game", again, what more do you need to know?

    While the "Basement Tapes" series would go on to be of interest to fans of "Weird Al" Yankovic for the inclusion of unreleased songs and demos-- which were actually "rare tracks" pre-Internet-- this album doesn't have any of that. The Dr. Demento Show mixed the world's most famous comedians alongside submissions he got in the mail to produce one of the most eclectic and popular syndicated radio programs of the late 20th Century. The Dr. Demento retail collections better reflect the mix you'd find on his shows. This is basically the mail stuff.

    If you have a car full of picky comedy fans, nothing says pre-made torture mix tape like Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes #1. And for particularly long trips, there are severalvolumes from which to choose.
  • No comments: