Friday, May 4, 2018

Weird Marketing Crap

So you think you're doing great with your Etsy store? Well, let's look at how awesome these other guys did in comparison to you!

Nygard Celebration 50

This year, Peter Nygard is celebrating 50 years of making old lady clothing. In honour of the old bastard, here's a cassette entitled "Nygard Celebration 50". In other words, Nygard was celebrating the number 50 about 30 years ago.

According to the tiny blurb of text on the cassette inlay, this cassette was some sort of gift at a tour that Nygard went on to celebrate his parents' 50th wedding anniversary. My guess is they're both dead by now.

As a side note, 10 years ago I damn near ended up getting a job at the Nygard company hooking up A/V equipment. I had two interviews with them, and then they hired someone else. I'm probably better off for it, because the two guys interviewing me warned me (in the nicest way possible) that Peter Nygard is a fucking asshole. One of the perks of the job was an all-expenses paid trip to Peter's private island in the Bahamas where I would be hooking up A/V equipment for the yearly fashion show and also be berated by the mean old twonk. Such a missed opportunity...

So what's on the tape? When I bought it, I didn't really have a clue because there's no explanation other than it being "songs that made the memories" and "the soundtrack from the Toronto and Hancock fashion shows". It turned out to be an assortment of songs from about 1990 and earlier. Other than the assorted pieces of classical music and instrumentals, here are the songs I was able to identify:

- Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings"
- K-Tel's Hooked On Classics
- Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor
- MacArthur Park - Richard Harris
- Buster Poindexter's shitty "Hot Hot Hot" rendition
- Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings AGAIN!!!
- That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick and her buddies
- My Cup Runneth Over - Ed Ames
- Endless Love by two people who like shitty songs
- Goldfinger! By Shirley Bassey! Why the fuck is this on here???
- More (Theme from Mondo Cane) - No clue what version this is, but it's really good

The best part about this tape is the sound quality... If you put an AM radio in a bathroom, you pretty much have the same effect. I haven't included anything from this tape, so let's move on...

President's Month 1968 Record Making Competition

This is a strange one. I have scoured the album for the name of the company who held this "record making competition" and I've come up empty. All I can gather is that it's a company that does financial investments for people. In other words, it's a pretty damn shady company! I tried googling the president's name and came up empty.

So yeah, it's a few guys who are higher-ups in the company telling the "sales" men to get out there and get clients. A sheet of prizes is included with the record, and there's some pretty cool shit on there!

If you think listening to side one leaves you with a sense of con-artistry, side 2 will seal it for you. There is a spiralling groove (possibly two of them) that move from the center of the record to the outside. When your stylus reaches the outer edge of the record, it gets tossed off the platter and catapulted into the next millennium, leaving you with no way to play your records.

Oh yeah, and the groove is blank. There's absolutely nothing on it.

And another thing... The label on side one is plastered over another label.

Shady as hell if you ask me!

Listen to Side One

Sound Selling by Radio

This is the fun one! It apparently came from the "Radio Sales Bureau" and dates to about 1965-1966. It's basically a promotion for advertising on radio. It sounds boring on the surface, but they've included some really old Canadian radio commercials. Here's some of the things you will learn:

- You should buy a 1965 Peugeot, a '65 Rambler, and a '65 Meteor as your next vehicle!
- Find out what a "Toyota" is (hint: it's a vehicle!)
- Drink Freshie (which was a Canadian Kool-Aid equivalent)
- You can get cheap nylons from the Simpsons Sears catalog
- More Canadians enjoy Rothmans cigarettes!
- Use Flush-a-Bye diapers (pronounced die-a-per) that you flush down the toilet!
- Roy Brownlee Your Pharmacist recommends using Waterlily Cleansing Cream
- Rent an air conditioner for only 98 cents per day!

As a side note, my mother still calls Kool-Aid "Freshie". I also have some cigarette promotion stuff that I want to cover in the future, so watch for that. Anyway, here's some clips, and the whole album:

Listen to Side 1
Listen to Side 2

Clement's Farm Equipment
Flush-a-Byes Diapers
Rothmans Cigarettes

That's it for this round! As a side note (with regards to the Nygard album, other people's mix tapes, and other strange compilations), I was thinking about setting up an invite-only Facebook page to put up stuff like that. A minimum $5 donation to patreon or paypal would get you lifetime access to this more commercial stuff that people have compiled. I'd be putting up entire cassettes, 8-tracks, Minidiscs, and whatever else I come across that contains more mainstream material. Putting entire albums online can be time-consuming, but if any of you are interested in something like that, I'll do it. There's lots of stuff kicking around here!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Apparently Funny Answering Machine Tapes

A few years back, I covered the "Celebrity Answeralls" series, which contained prerecorded messages for your answering machine. There were other stuck-in-the-closet companies who did similar tapes, and I found three more of them. These damn tapes are kinda difficult to find, probably because nobody wanted this shit. Since I covered the Celebrity Answeralls back in 2012, these are the only ones I've come across. Were they worth it? Maybe one was, but the other two are pretty lousy. Let's get to it...

At The Sound of the Beep... Hollywood & TV Classics Volume V

Five volumes of this shit? Seriously???

This isn't too far off from the Celebrity Answeralls series, but if you thought those were bad, these ones are fucking atrocious. This cassette covers TV shows and movies that were popular from the 1960s to the early 1980s. They also had the courtesy to spell things incorrectly such as The Addams Family (Adam's Family) and Gilligan's Island (Giligan's Island). If they can't spell the names correctly, you can imagine how bad the messages are.

Listen to James Bond
Listen to 2001 - An Answering Machine Odyssey
Listen to Giligan's Island
Download the whole piece of shit

No Hang-Ups Tapes Volume IV: Sound Effects Only

For those of you who are funnier than the assholes who made the previous tape, you're in luck. You can make your own shitty messages with these 30 sound effects. Now just think of that concept... This is a sound effects compilation disguised as a tape for your answering machine. What a sorry-ass way to cash in on your stupidity.

As a side note, I've heard most of these sound effects before, mainly because I own a CD called "Over 100 Hollywood Sound Effects". Yes, I actually own sound effect CDs, and I actually did put them to use when I was making novelty mashups back in the 1990s. For a sound effects CD, the quality of this one is pretty good. It doesn't sound like it was recorded on an asphalt driveway, unlike some of the other sound effects CDs I own.

Anyway, there's a couple of scraps worth sharing. The moaning effect is pretty good with it's background music, and there's some sample messages (likely from the other volumes)

Listen to Moaning
Listen to a sample message #2
Download the whole thing

No Hang-Ups Tapes Volume I: General Messages - Female Voice

This is the best one out of the three. The people writing these messages had to actually use their brain, but they came up with some decent messages.

I'm honestly surprised they didn't put a warning label on this tape. Some of the messages are a bit... ummm... adult oriented. Apparently, volume 3 is all adult messages. Too bad I haven't found that one yet! Anyway, here's some messages, a download link, and feel free to put these on your voicemail.

Listen to Hi Sexy
Listen to A Dog's Revenge
Listen to Cat's Meow
Download the whole tape

That's all for this round. It felt refreshing to do something other than shitty cover bands for a change. Perhaps I'll keep my ban on crappy covers, at least for the next entry.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Country Music for your Cow Shit-Covered Boots

Hey everyone! I decided to go digging into my queue box for something other than cheap imitation compilation cassettes. I found a bunch of country "artists" who, for the most part, aren't very artistic and try to do their own cheap imitations. All my efforts and you still get terrible song covers. Oh well, you can't blame me for trying! So grab your horse and throw him in the mud while we attempt to stuff cow shit into your ears.

Mike Woods - Life in a Song

To be honest, this is the best tape in the bunch. Although this guy is apparently country music, he doesn't have the typical wad of toffee in his mouth and an over-used whiny-ass slide guitar. He's just straight up original, and might I say quite listenable. He also has hair that I want to run my fingers through.

My only complaint about this album is he split the songs down the middle, putting all the soft acoustic stuff on the first side and all the electric and upbeat songs on the second side. I prefer it when artist intertwine the songs so the album doesn't get boring. However, the songs on here are perfectly enjoyable regardless of what side you're listening to.

Sorry, I know you were expecting something shitty. Don't worry, we have three more albums coming your way...

Listen to Life in a Song

Bennie Karman Plays a Little Bit of Everything

So I'm looking at the songs on this disc, and I'm not seeing any Iron Maiden, Celine Dion, or even any 2pac. The fact that Bennie sticks to old country songs (except for another cover of The Rose) means this album title is a dirty fucking liar. This is NOT a little bit of everything. I was hoping to hear some Kanye West on the Diatonic Harmonica. Speaking of which, why the hell did this harmonica get it's own space on the CD label? What is the significance of it being diatonic? Perhaps some space should have been reserved for Bennie's sweaty old DIATONIC cowboy hat.

As I hinted in the above paragraph, all these songs are played on the DIATONIC harmonica. Most of them are played decently, but the rest of the band is a bunch of midi instruments. The DIATONIC harmonica is the only real instrument on here.

Most of these songs on here have been covered to death, so I chose to feature the song "Wheels". The funny part is I don't even know who the hell did the original version of "Wheels", so I can't really knock Bennie's rendition of it. However I have never heard it played on the DIATONIC harmonica.

Listen to Wheels

Clarence Snow Stefanson

If you look at the cover, you'll see it's snowing very heavily..... or it's the newspaper half tone quality. Either way, nobody gives their kid a middle name like "Snow". If his middle name actually is "Snow", then someone needs to take their steel toe boots over to Clarence's parents house and have a very good talk with them about the dangers of naming your kid after frozen water dust.

Clarence gives you 23 whopping tracks on this album because: fuck being stingy. I can't figure out if these are karaoke tracks or if he's got a real band on here. There are absolutely no credits on the inlay, just Clarence's phone number in case you want to call him for a good time. All in all, he's not the most terrible screamer you'll ever hear, but he's not the most exciting orgasm you'll ever have either.

I've included the longest, boring version of "Wind Beneath My Wings" that you'll ever hear, and his extremely terrible rendition of "Are You Lonesome Tonight" where he practically tells the listener, "Fuck you, I'm not doing any of this talking shit in the middle of the song".

Listen to Wind Beneath My Wings
Listen to Are You Lonesome Tonight

Doug Mooney

You wanted terrible, you got terrible! First of all, I don't have a cover for this tape. I have no clue if there ever was one, but it would be nice to see what an old man looks like when he's crying from having his stretched-out ballsack being pinched to the floor by the microphone stand. This tape is fucking terrible, and if you know any of these old songs (most of which are Engelbert Humperdinck and Elvis covers), you will want to stand on that microphone stand and make him sing like Mariah Carey (because nobody likes or knows any Mariah Carey songs, and we don't give a damn if somebody sings them badly.)

Doug gives his worst Tom Jones impression on "Delilah" and can't hit the high notes very well. However, his worst song on here is "Man Without Love" by Engelbert Humperdinck. He gets way too fucking excited during the chorus and starts speeding ahead of the backup singers, making himself sound like an ass and ruining the song for everybody. Hell, you don't even need to know the original song to know how badly he's fucking it up.

Listen to Delilah
Listen to A Man Without Love

That's all for this round! If you haven't been following my Facebook page, you'll realize that you've missed out on the Junq Tour videos! You can start watching them below. See you next time, hopefully with less cow shit in your ears so I can re-fill them.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

My 40th Birthday Blog Party!

I recently turned 40 years old which officially makes me half way to dead. In other words, you have about 40 more years of me posting crap onto the internet. Hooray for you.

Anyway, let's start with the festivities! We need some official birthday songs to celebrate and blow out the candles on this cake I got from Safeway:

I think Safeway needs to start hiring 4 year olds to decorate their cakes instead of whoever the fuck they have now. Love did not go into decorating this, and it can't decide on what holiday it is.

Sets In Order - Party Series

This record has six grooves on it. Don't try to correct me on the technical details because each of the six songs finish in an endless loop. So let's get all get together and sing Happy Birthday to me. I've also included "He's a Jolly Good Fellow" which is not fitting in any way because I'm a miserable asshole. To end it off, we'll all make fun of me for being an old gray mare.

Listen to Happy Birthday
Listen to Jolly Good Fellow
Listen to Old Gray Mare
Download all the songs

Now that we've eaten cake and did all that traditional shit, let's look at my Horoscope. I'm a Pisces, so let's find out a little bit more about me from Linda Goodman's all knowing cassette tape...

Linda Goodman's Sun Signs - Pisces

Lots of pretty music on here!

According to this cassette, I'm destined to be poor unless I marry into money. I also have small, dainty size 11 feet. I also have tiny fragile and exquisitely formed hands with which I'm typing this blog entry with. I also don't take good care of myself, do yoga and delve into the occult. Satan is my master!

Other than these highly truthful anecdotes, I'm either one extreme or the other, so we cover every single base when it comes to describing me. Thanks a lot for narrowing it down, Linda Goodman. You suck.

Listen to Side 1
Listen to Side 2

Now it's time for some party music!

40 Pieces of Gold (Tape C)

This should have been called "40 Pieces of Shit". Unfortunately, I only have the last of this 3 tape set, so there's only 12 pieces of shit to enjoy here.

I've touched on Avenue of America's garbage before, and some of these are repeats from other "compilations" that I've examined before. However, we have a version of "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" that I actually think is a bit better than the original, the exception being that they didn't also do "Country Feelings" which is the precursor on Lobo's "Introducing Lobo" album.

We also have a somewhat bare bones version of The Doors "Love Her Madly" which is missing a bunch of the instrumentation. The Rolling Stones song "Brown Sugar" is an absolute atrocity, and I can confidently say that Mick Jagger is a vocal god in comparison to whoever the fuck is singing this.

Listen to Me and You and a Dog Named Boo
Listen to Love Her Madly
Listen to Brown Sugar
Download the whole tape

40 Super Hits of 87

When I was a kid, I purchased this two tape set brand new at Woolco back in 1988. It came in a slip case (which is long gone) and I haven't seen another copy of this 2 tape set since. It's quite amazing I've held onto it for so long. However, even back when I bought this, I knew I had flushed my $7.98 down the toilet after listening to it. When you're a kid in the 1980s, $7.98 is a LOT of money.

Some of these renditions have popped up on the blog in the past (performed by the Countdown Singers or some bullshit), but it just marks the transfer of ownership of the shitty master tapes, and I can't help but wonder how much they were purchased for. Nobody knows who the hell does these songs, but I believe they all originated here in Canada.

The beginning of "Don't Dream It's Over" doesn't sound like "Don't Dream It's Over". The Bryan Adams song "In The Heat of the Night" doesn't sound like Bryan Adams. The Eddie Money song is actually pretty close to the original except for how low the singer's vocals are mixed and how crummy the female vocals are. Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" is completely ruined here, along with "Livin' On a Prayer".

All the songs on these cassettes seems to have some unintentionally added vibrato, as if the duplicating machine had a wad of chewing gum stuck to it's capstan. You'll also notice that all the high end on this recording is distorted as fuck, as if it was played through a drum cymbal before being mastered.

Most of the other songs are relatively unknown or weren't very popular. Hell, I didn't know Herb Alpert was recording music in the 1980s. I have more of these tapes made by CMG Music, and I plan to eventually get around to reviewing them.

Listen to Don't Dream It's Over
Listen to In The Heat of the Night
Listen to Take Me Home Tonight
Listen to Wanted Dead or Alive
Download Tape 1
Download Tape 2

And that's it for my birthday! I hope you had a great time celebrating it with me, and hopefully you'll go apply for a cake decorating job at Safeway to make my 41st birthday a little bit better.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Minidiscs and Lollypops

Happy New 2018! Hopefully it'll be better than the old 2018. Last year was full of unexpected ups and downs, but here we are, ready for a new year of blogging and I'll throw a few youtube videos at you too.

For the first entry of 2018, I figured I'd do something a bit different. Before I moved, I bought some crowd recorded concerts on minidisc from Ebay. They came with a hand-stitched donut, reminding me to "donut forget to leave feedback". It was a really nice touch, but I was missing a couple of minidiscs. I contacted the seller, and she kindly sent me a couple more along with her hand-crafted, self-written zine called "Lollypop Shoved Up My Ass". I haven't seen a zine in forever because fuck Winnipeg. This was yet another nice touch, and incredibly cool! I love people who are artsy in some way, shape or form, especially when it comes to music. I love hand-made covers for cassettes and CDs (and the one 8-track I have), and this zine is right up my alley.

I sat and read all 4. She's got a nice writing style, give some reflection into the kind of person she is, and throws a bit of humour in there too. Her music tastes are extremely wide, much like mine are, although I'd choose bands other than U2 and Depeche Mode as my favourites.

Since I enjoyed seeing this product done by the hands of a local in Vancouver, I have to ask... Why is it that all the cool people DON'T live in Manitoba? I'd have a great circle of friends, but fuck Manitoba and it's legion of unfun people with their unadventurous music tastes (and tastes in hobbies (or non-hobbies)).

Anyway, I'm going to check out some of the bands she reviewed in her Zine. Maybe I'll find something new to listen to. I acquired one of my favourite bands from someone who liked that Wu-Tang shit and that screamo garbage.

Before I get into these minidiscs, I'd like to talk about the format itself which I've never covered on this blog until now. I have a love/hate relationship with minidisc. Back when I was making novelty mashups as a teenager, I wanted to buy a minidisc recorder to make album masters instead of using shitty cassettes (and CD burners weren't a reality yet). I was picky though. I wanted a component minidisc unit instead of a portable one, but $300 was a bit expensive for a teenager to shell out. I simply settled on my reel 2 reel machine and left it at that.

Over the years, I've acquired a few portable players. However, I did eventually score a component unit. I was pretty happy about that.... until I used it. The component unit was the biggest piece of shit I've ever used. I should have expected it, because it's made by fucking Sony who made other useless pieces of shit electronics in the 1990s. Thank God I never spent three hundred teenage dollars on one of those pieces of garbage. However, the portable units are robust as hell, and all three of mine work flawlessly. The component unit got tossed in the fucking garbage due to it's unrepairable stripped plastic gears. I would eventually like to get another component unit, but I'm going to be even more picky. It must NOT be manufactured by Sony.

Most of my other minidiscs are thrift store finds with the exception of one pre-recorded one (Belle & Sebastian's "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant"). Having a bunch of self-recorded minidiscs that weren't just copies of other CDs or mixed artists just thrills the hell out of me.

A couple of the minidiscs seemingly have nothing on them (which might be due to a format incompatibility), but the auction specifically said it was for the minidiscs and not the content, so there's no complaints on my end. If they were all blank, I'd probably just record myself singing hits by the artists listed and then re-sell them to some other sucker.

So I ended up with Nine Inch Nails, Bon Jovi, Bif Naked, Weezer, Queensryche, Tool, Barenaked Ladies, Ministry, Alice In Chains, and Our Lady Peace. I wouldn't rate any of these as my top favourite artists, but they're nice to have. Part of the fun was outbidding all the other assholes and claiming victory to these original recordings from Vancouver. So here's a few recordings for your enjoyment. Remember, these are audience recordings.

Listen to Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name"

Listen to Ministry's "Just One Fix"

Listen to Our Lady Peace "Superman's Dead"

Listen to Weezer's "Island In The Sun"

So now that you've enjoyed some hits from the pocket of the person who shipped these to me, let's take a look at the Zines. The covers are artistic collages made from construction paper, markers, stuff printed out, felt, gift wrap, and what is likely random craft junk from Dollarama. While all this stuff is junk to me in general, it's the artist who makes it into something interesting, amusing, and even pleasing. The covers are great.

So here's a couple of snapshots from the zines themselves. I enjoy the articles entitled "Things That Made Me ______ Since The Last Issue". Although both the "Happy" and "Upset" ones are both enjoyable, I always like the negative one better. Nothing gives me better satisfaction than people shitting on things that are awful. Let's look at one!

The live concert reviews are flat out honest, and I like that. The humour of the Brian Wilson concert review brought a smiley smile to my face.

If you want to check out the author of these zines, she gave me permission to link to her Facebook page.

And that's it for this round! For those of you waiting for my next installment of Tech of the Century, it's coming. One thing I've learned is that I can only get episodes out as quickly as I can repair the items I'm working on, and as quickly as I can get videos edited. It's also restricted by space. If I had a bit more space (and didn't need a real job), I could work on multiple projects at once. Right now, this isn't an option, but it might be in the near future. I'm also thinking of doing a series called "Cleaning My Garage" which has been a disaster since I've moved, and many things need to be sorted. There's lots of treasures buried in there, so a series of organizing it might be fun to do. But right now, it's too fucking cold outside. It can wait until the warm weather comes.

But now that the Junq Tour is all posted, I can get back to my regular blog queue (as long as no more family members die this year). See you soon!