Sunday, January 17, 2016

Compaq Computer Full of Goodies

Here we are with another abandoned computer with some unique and potentially entertaining content. There were approximately 3 or 4 people who used this computer (all in the same house) and there are times when I'm not entirely sure who's written the content, unless it states specifically in the file. Unfortunately, there's not enough information here to link pictures to names.

There's a lot of poetry here, some pieces of hand-painted art, and a bit of singing. There were a few videos on the computer, but they consisted mainly of some guys drinking beer while listening to loud music. It was about as entertaining as watching a dirty sock.

There isn't much of a story being told here. However, what little story I did find, I included.

I now bring you, Words from the Brokentree of Knowledge. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cymbaly Contest Albums

Happy new year and welcome to 2016! I was ready to come into this year kicking and screaming due to a horrible Christmas gift I purchased for myself and was ready to post a nasty review of the product along with the service I received. It remains to be seen whether my issues are resolved. If they are not, you'll have the pleasure of seeing how pissed off I can get. The video and written review are currently on hold, although they're completed and are waiting for me to push the "post" button. In the meantime, I figured I'd finish up one of my leftover entries from 2015.

Winnipeg is an interesting city to say the least, mainly due to the strange people living here (myself included). Where else could you find not one, but TWO albums highlighting a contest where a bunch of Ukrainians get together and play the Cymbaly for trophies? Before I go any further, perhaps I should describe what a Cymbaly is.

A Cymbaly is basically the offspring of a xylophone and a harp. It sounds like a piano having passionate, beautiful, orgasmic anal sex with a harpsichord. Here's a video of a hot Ukrainian chick playing one:

The two albums I'm covering here were released by V-records, who also sponsored the contest. V-records is home to some very magnificent Ukrainian musicians such as Roy Mykytyshyn, Mickey & Bunny, Auntie Mary, and Neil Young.

Anyway, let's get to the albums...

V-Records Ltd. Annual Cymbaly Contest 1972 Winnipeg-Manitoba-Canada

There's nothing quite like a bunch of Ukrainians getting together, drinking whiskey, and playing the Cymbaly. The cover is obviously a bunch of photos of the contest which are cut "artistically", laid down on a table, and photographed. The 7 year old Ukrainian boy who assembled this received a "nice try" ribbon for his creativity.

I shall be honest, I REALLY enjoyed this album! The music is interesting, the banter in-between the contestants is witty, but unfortunately the biggest let down was that they eliminated the announcement of the winner at the end of the record. Luckily, I was able to pull some info about it off a now-defunct website (spelling errors inclusive):

Peter [Hnatiuk] entered may cymbaly contest and won many trophies.  Hiss most prestigious award was winning the annual Cymbaly Contest in 1972 in Winnipeg.  In this contest, Peter played and sang while being blindfolded.

You can see a picture of Peter blindfolded on the album cover.

I have many of Peter Hnatiuk's albums and plan on doing a discography on him in the future. However, he released at least a dozen albums and also guest starred on many others, so it's likely going to be an incomplete discography even once I get around to it. Regardless, his stuff is quite enjoyable. Personally, I think this contest was fixed since he was a recording artist on the V-Records label, was favoured by the MC, and got to perform a non-cymbaly song. Peter unfortunately died in 1994 at the age of 60.

Side B is the winner here, since it's the most entertaining. I've given you some interesting clips from the album, and also put the entire thing up if you care to listen. Enjoy!

Listen to Wipe Out
Listen to In The Mood
Listen to Peter Hnatiuk's non-cymbaly song

Listen to Side A
Listen to Side B

V-Records Ltd. Annual Cymbaly Highlights Contest 1973

After hearing the magnificent 1972 album, I anticipated what goodies lay in the grooves on the 1973 album. Unfortunately, it doesn't live up to it's predecessor. It was handled more professionally, seriously, and as a result there isn't as much fun to be had here. The music is still great, the sound quality is much richer, and Peter Hnatiuk appears yet again. Sadly, the charm of the first one doesn't seem to be there. What I find extremely odd about the album is how the MC tells everybody where the contestants live. I suppose if you lose the contest, you'll be able to go to the winner's house and beat the piss out of him with his Cymbaly.

Again, the winner has been omitted from the album. I suppose if you wanted to find out who won, you could always go knock on some of the contestants' doors and ask them.

If you'd like to hear "Amazing Grace" played on the Cymbaly, just start listening to Side 2. Otherwise, the whole thing has been put up which will bring joy to the Ukrainian inside of you. Eat Perogies while listening!

Listen to Side 1
Listen to Side 2

After listening to these two albums and being exposed to Cymbaly music since I was a child, I think I'd actually like to buy one and learn how to play it. Watch out Kijiji, here I come!

As a side note, the album covers shown here were taken with my brand new Fujifilm FinePix S8600 camera!

It's brought me as much joy as a man with six free prostitutes. This camera takes magnificent photos and video. If you need a suggestion for a new camera, get one of these. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Favorites Nobody Wants

I figured I'd sneak in one more entry before Christmas...

One of the local thrift stores had a stack of still-sealed Christmas CDs on their Christmas shelf. From my experience, almost everything in a thrift store that's still sealed is garbage nobody wants. I took a browse through the stack and it was most certainly interesting!

These were not audio CDs as I'd thought. They were VCDs. I was a bit hesitant to pick these up since my experience with VCDs has been pretty spotty. They played in my girlfriend's DVD player fine, but they sure as fuck don't work in my computer. Who the hell still manufactures VCDs anyway? (Answer: Malaysia)

The packaging is pretty magnificent...

There's nothing all that special about this copy of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". I own it on DVD. It's like the retarded brother of "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer". The thing that caught my eye about this VCD and got me excited was this:

See the error? Honestly, I would have been more excited about getting "The Best of Countre & Western Songs" instead of the animated special. There is a good chance I'll never find the disc that the error was derived from (which was likely a karaoke VCD), but I can dream!

Well, well, look at this artwork! A square blurry wreath, and a title glowing with green toxic waste. There were about six volumes of this, but I only picked up the first one. I don't need all six.

These are all public domain Christmas specials that nobody wants to watch, all encoded with Dolby Digital which I'm guessing was the standard back in the 1940s. The crowning jewel of this one was stupidly titled "Santa in Animal Land" which was made in 1948. This was from Santa's glam days, as he wore heavy eye-liner while touring with David Bowie.

This special was creepy as hell and has completely ruined the magic of Christmas for me, at least for this year. If you want to watch it, it's readily available on Youtube. There, I just ruined your Christmas too.

Anyway, I'm off to drink copious amounts of alcohol to try and forget the horrors of Santa in Animal Land. I shall see you after Christmas is done, and I've hopefully sobered up by then.

Monday, November 30, 2015

These Christmas Albums Suck, Pa Rum-Pum-Pum Pum

I've been bitten by the techie bug for the first time in a long time, so I've been busy working on some larger projects. Of course I've been taking pictures of what I'm doing, and fully intend of posting them here. However, that's not going to happen until I'm finished at least one of the three projects that I've become engulfed in.

In the meantime, let's cover some Christmas goodies! Each of these albums are offensive on a different level, so feel free to close your eyes while reading this magical Christmas entry.

The Golden Ring - Little Drummer Boy

What better way to market your Christmas album than to use child pornography! We have a very unhappy naked little boy on the album cover, wearing nothing but a drum. Shame on the art director for traumatizing this poor kid.

Yes, this is our friends at the Arc record label again. The first thing I did after playing the title track was start investigating the seemingly problematic audio connection that was happening on the right channel of my stereo. After playing a different album from a reputable record company, I realized that the problem wasn't in my stereo, but from some defect that took place while Arc was mastering this pedopilic piece of junk (is "pedophilic" even a word?) The problem seems to be present on side one only. Perhaps someone at Arc plugged the right channel output into their asshole by mistake.

The performances on the album aren't awful, but they're not remarkable either.

Listen to Little Drummer Boy

Venus Envy - I'll Be a Homo For Christmas

I brought this tape with me last Christmas when I made an appearance on Amateur Hour with Kent Davies. It's been a while since I've done that. Perhaps in the new year, I'll pay Kent another visit with more goodies.

Anyway, this album seems to have a general gay theme throughout these re-written Christmas songs. While the songs are somewhat amusing, I feel that it was a bit underwhelming. Just think about all the fun you could have doing a Christmas album with a band called "Venus Envy". It's only about half as good as the idea. The only win was the song titles. We've got "Lesbians We Have Heard On High", "The 12 Gays of Christmas", "Rhonda the Lesbo Reindeer", and "Silent Dyke" Trust me, the songs are sadly not as amusing. One listen of this album is worth a cheap laugh (and you'll only get it on the first listen) and then it's time to record over it with the William Hung Christmas album.

I still have to give credit where credit is due: Venus Envy released this on their own record label. It's a very well packaged product and the sound quality is top notch. Next time, they should get ME to write their songs. I promise it'll live up to it's expectations!

Listen to Rhonda the Lesbo Reindeer

Switched On Santa: The Moog Synthesizer Plays The Merriest of Christmas Favourites

If Pickwick earned an award for this album, it would've been for the longest name given to a piece of shit. Look at the expression on Santa's face. He's saying "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO HERE???" These are truly stale renditions of Christmas songs done during the very short-lived height of the Moog fad. There's nothing that says "Grandma playing at a Christmas funeral" more than this tape. The mood the Moog portrays on this album is one of a very depressing, dreary Christmas.

This is another album I poisoned the airwaves with during the Amateur Hour Christmas special.

And now, I leave you and your families with a very miserable, unhappy medley of Christmas favourites. You get all of program 4 on this sad, sad Pickwick 8-track.

Listen to it!

I'm going to try and get part 2 of my 2011 Christmas Special video up on Youtube. Remember how fun and entertaining the first part was? The feedback was good enough, so part 2 is now a necessity. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 9, 2015

I Bought These For The Album Covers

Sometimes I'll come across albums with covers that will make me ask, "Who's idea was this???" I'm bringing three of them here for you. Sometimes you can't judge an album by it's cover. In this particular case, you probably should.

A Sentimental Journey with Walter Weber

Someone slapped an old picture of Grampy on the cover. Looks like he didn't really want to have his picture taken. To be honest, side one of this record isn't too terrible. It's mostly instrumental guitar stuff which would be perfectly fine to have playing in the background while you're entertaining a bunch of old ladies who are more than eager to buy your tupperware. Occasionally, Mike Watt shows up to sing a song. Well, at least it SOUNDS like Mike Watt.

As for side two, ummmm.... well... I dunno. I can't play it. The grooves seem to be inverted for some reason. The record has a very rough texture on this side, but there's obviously something there. I suppose the only way to play it properly is to pour a bunch of glue onto it, wait for it to dry, peel it off, and then throw it on a turntable.

Listen to I Walk The Line
Listen to some inverted grooves!

Mike Labao - We The Children

There were about ten copies of this at the thrift store. As for the cover... Well it looks like someone drank a bunch of tequila, washed it down with some cans of paint, and then barfed all over the wall..

Remember what I said about people with disabilities in the past? If you need a refresher, I said "just because you have a disability, it doesn't mean you can sing." Thankfully, Mike Labao took my advice and didn't sing a single note on here. All he did was write the Michael Jackson-esque lyrics. That guitar he's holding? It's just a prop. He doesn't play a single note on here either.

The worst part about this CD is that I'm still trying to justify paying $1.25 for a picture of Mike sitting in front of barf, and a CD with a song that's almost the length of a radio commercial. As for the music, it's a crappy reggae-ish number. I'm guessing all the people who played on this album were black, or at the very least THOUGHT they were black.

The good news is ever since Mike Labao became a massively popular songwriter, he gets all the bitches. Just look at the inlay card!

Listen to We The Children

Double Exposure - Locker Room

In case you're wondering, no I did NOT pay $20 for this piece of shit. It was in a box of records that an antique shop threw away. It's apparent that Disco does not and probably never will be classified as "antique". But try as we may, we cannot seem to erase that trashy and horrible blip in pop culture that occurred between 1977 and 1979.

Here we see a bunch of dudes hanging out in a locker room, each with their obvious preference for a particular sport. Since the album came out in 1979, you could say they look like a cheap imitation of The Village People. Okay, pretty harmless, right? But when you flip the album over and look at the back...'s a penis fest! These guys are all sweaty from playing hard, and now they're about to get oiled up and play even harder. Look at those big smiles! They know what's going to be sliding up each others' asses once the photographer gets the fuck out of there. Seriously, who's idea was this???

The best part about the back of the album is that the song titles are listed beside these four poofs. You know this album's 100% gay with songs like "I Got The Hots (For Ya)", "(Where Have You Been) All My Life", "Can We Be In Love", and "I Wish That I Could Make Love To You". Well, maybe you could make love to him if you took off those damn jock straps!

So here's a song for all you sweaty men who love other sweaty men. Feel free to curl up by the fireplace and fuck him in the crap chute to the beat of this groovy groove.

Listen to Can We Be In Love

And that's it for this entry of penises, unplayable records, and reggae songs that make you want to barf up paint. If you've been wondering why I've been away, it's because I've begun the huge undertaking of putting something special together for the 10th anniversary of this blog. More details to come in two years!