Sunday, December 29, 2019

Reflections on the 2010s Pt.2

Now that I've yapped my brains out, let's get to my top 9 posts over the past decade. These are not in order of how much I like them, but from oldest to newest, just because we forget things after about 2 years or so (at least I do). Click on the picture to see the entry.

How To Make Your Own Album (2010)

Sometimes, I think I'm at my best when I post something from my personal collection. These are all songs I recorded when I was a kid. They're all terrible, but amusing at the same time. I had to laugh when I found out that the song "Joanne's Socks" made it onto somebody's podcast. Sadly, I can't find a link to it anymore.

Steve Wilson - Get Your Groove Back (2011)

I've had people send me stuff to review, but as I stated in the last post, I generally prefer to find my own content out in the wild. This was one of the few exceptions. A reader sent me a link to this, and I swear it's the shittiest album I've ever heard in my entire life. I know I say that a lot, but that's the reason why I'm highlighting it. I dare you to go listen to it and tell me otherwise.

Satellite Wildfeeds (2012)

Hooking up my own satellite dish was a very rewarding experience. I've been able to watch really cool free-to-air stuff like car chases, storm chasers, and some really interesting shows. Also, I've been able to watch some really strange shit such as camel racing and a creepy Punjabi version of Jingle Bells. The wildfeeds are pretty fun and these are a couple of the earliest ones I recorded.

Abandoned Photo Shoot Outtakes (2013)

Before the garbage system got a major overhaul in Winnipeg, people were able to just throw their shit by the back lane and the garbage men would pick it up. I came across boxes and boxes of archives that belonged to a now defunct photo studio. The fact that these weren't put through a shredder is certainly questionable, but I tossed two boxes (out of about 20) into the back of my vehicle. It took forever to go through them, but these treasures were worth the digging! The best part is I have more to post that I just haven't got around to yet. Perhaps 2020 will be the year!

Kellen Guibault's Polished Turds (2014)

This one was a very close tie with the story of Michael & Ana which I found on three floppy disks. However, getting someone's recording "studio" PC has IMO been the pinnacle of my blogging hobby. I can't tell you how much fun I had mixing and putting effects on someone else's recordings. Listening to this is simply a lovely disaster.

Winnipeg Radio in 1971 (2015)

Ancient recordings (when they're actually decent) can be a real treat to find, and this is no exception. The fact that I have a copy of Johnny Cash's Pepsi Cola song is pretty amazing since it's an extremely rare recording.

First Spin from Three Sealed Children's Albums (2016)

Finding children's records in the thrift store is usually a frustrating experience. Kids generally didn't take care of their records and most of the ones I find have the shit scratched out of them. Finding ones that are in decent shape are uncommon, and ones that are sealed are extremely rare. I have more to post, and I look forward to embarking on this again.

A Joey Gregorash Retrospective (2017)

I have nothing but good things to say about Joey Gregorash who's currently on tour. It's no secret that I like doing discographies of people who don't have one, and I really enjoyed doing this one. I think Joey is a very underrated musician and I only wish he would have recorded at least a couple more albums during his music career. I'm also quite honored that someone put a link to this entry on Joey's Wikipedia page.

Donald Bradburn's Gospel Collection (2018)

My first box set review had to make the list. This one took quite a long time to go through, but it was a lot of fun! There aren't many unknown people in music who have the determination and the dedication to record 12 albums and put them in a box set. We desperately need more of these (I'm looking at you Kevin Harcourt!)

Honorable mention: The Junq Tour Videos

I was very happy to bring back the Junq Tour and be able to turn them into videos. I would like to thank my partner for doing all the camera work, otherwise these videos would not be possible.

So, we say goodbye to another decade. I still have lots of junk overflowing my queue boxes (there's five of them now) so there's no end in sight. I look forward to another 10 years of posting this stuff, and look forward to worsening my drinking problem which helps me get through most of these albums.

See you in 2020!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Reflections on the 2010s Pt.1

Here I am, still posting to Classical Gas Emissions, watching yet another decade come to a close. The fact that this blog is going to be spanning three decades is pretty amazing considering that I post so much terrible stuff. You guys seem to love it more than I do.

Last time I closed out a decade, this blog was still in it's infancy as I had only been doing it for two years at that time. Back then, it was more of an outlet for me (and to some degree it still is), but I posted a larger variety of things. When I closed out the 2000s, I actually made a post about the best mainstream albums that had came out during that decade. I was considering doing the same for this year, but I eventually decided against it. Instead, I decided to just do a decade in review, both sharing my thoughts about the last 10 years and sharing my favourite posts, choosing one for each year with the exception of 2019. But because I yap too much when I type, I had to split this entry into two parts.

So here's some of my explanations and thoughts on the past 10 years...


I've tried repeatedly to cover videos over the last 10 years which have led to many removals from youtube themselves. With the exception of anything that wouldn't be considered even close to being a commercial release, I've almost completely given up on the idea. However, it seems that (at least) Google Chrome will play MP4 videos that I have on my webspace, so there's still a bit of hope. Youtube can't remove things that aren't hosted on their servers. However, I'm amassed a huge collection of videos that I've wanted to cover, and they're all sitting in limbo in a couple of rubbermaid bins. I'm hoping that at least some of these may make their way to Oddity Archive. Speaking of which...

Oddity Archive

Occasionally, I'll do a bit of a collab with Ben from Oddity Archive, and I've found it to be really enjoyable. I can't remember when I stumbled onto Ben's channel, but it was early in his youtube career. Ben has a great format for covering old videos, and I'd rather leave the reigns to him for covering such things.

Oddity Archive is the only other internet guy I've done collabs with. My biggest problem with some of the others who have contacted me have been their desire to profit from my stuff without giving at least a mention of who provided the content. I have no problem letting people use the stuff I put up as long as they mention that they got it from Classical Gas Emissions. One of my "rules" for this blog is to have it (mainly) consist of things I find out in the wild and bring it to the internet. I'd rather be a source of material instead of simply re-posting it.

I'm certainly open to doing collabs with other people, so we shall see what the future brings.

Amateur Hour

Doing radio shows with Kent Davies is another collab that I've enjoyed. I haven't done one with him in a while mainly due to my move, but we have plans in the works for another one in the spring. I'm hoping that I can make an appearance on his show at least once per year.

Youtube Channels

I've been wanting to separate my techie stuff from the blog stuff for a while, and I decided that I'd like to move it to my Youtube channel in the shape of original content. However, as many Youtubers find out, the feedback they receive from their earlier years will dictate the direction they go. I originally wanted to just film my repairs and such, but I've realized a couple of things about doing that. First of all, I'm not as candid and amusing when I'm repairing things as I am when dealing with the dullness of day to day life. A lot of people tell me that I'm fucking hilarious at the best of times, but for the most part I'm not that entertaining when I'm focusing on something I'm putting significant effort into repairing.

Second, people started messaging me on how to fix things. For years, I've been trying to distance myself from being "that guy who can fix everything" because it comes with expectations of doing things for free and eating up time I could be spend on better things (like this blog). I have a lot of things filmed and I think I may have accidentally lost some of the footage through computer and drive swapping when my daily driver croaked. I plan on eventually completing the stuff I've shot on camera, but I'm most likely going to cease doing lengthy repair videos and instead just make a shorter video that features the item I'm working on with a few repair shots here and there. However, I keep getting asked to do more mystery Commodore 64 disks, so I'm going to get back to doing that (and I also have some mystery Commodore Vic-20 tapes too!)

Third, I don't really like video editing. It's lengthy and boring. I've done a bit of work to streamline the process which has helped, but I still don't find it to be much fun. I also need a more powerful laptop so I can do it when I'm away from my cluttered desk.

Personal Life

Ugh... My personal life has had some great highs but yet many lows over the last decade. If you've been reading for a long time, you've no doubt seen some of it make a brief appearance. I went through a divorce in the earlier part of the decade which affected the content both in content quality and the frequency of my posting. I also moved in 2017 causing a lot of my stuff (and I do mean a LOT) to be shuffled around which may explain why you haven't seen certain types of posts in a while. Remember when I used to analyze hard drives on computers I've found? I still want to do that stuff. I have a giant stack of computers in the garage that I've scrounged up. Taking the time to go through the hard drives is a bit time-consuming, but I still want to do it. It's great fun and hopefully I'll get to do some of it in 2020 because I need the space in my garage.

There's probably some other things that people miss that I haven't been doing, and it's likely that I'll be getting around to it again. So just be patient, and I'm sure I'll cover it.

I've also had two surgeries and had to deal with a few worker's comp claims which is a side-effect of having a normal day job. I'm certain it will eventually kill me. I hope the people who attend my funeral grab some of the great quotes I've left on this blog to honour my memory (or taint it).

Album Release

I released a music album in 2014! I've wanted to release an album since I was a kid, and even though I've been in bands in my earlier adult years, I never managed to find a group of guys who were willing to work well as a group. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself, and with exception of a couple of guest appearances, I did all the work on this album. Lord knows I have enough examples of how NOT to make an album.

Also, I have a second one about 1/3 done, but the move kinda messed up the momentum of getting work done on it. I keep meaning to get back to it, and I know I eventually will.

Resurrection of Flaming Telepaths BBS

This has been on my bucket list since I was forced to take the BBS down in 2001 due to my personal life fucking things up again. I don't get a lot of people logging in because the BBS scene of today is mainly made up of other Sysops who prefer to tweak their BBS instead of visiting others. Some Sysops put money into having their BBSes up and running. Mine costs absolutely nothing, so I have no problem just letting it sit there in case someone wants to log in. I check on it occasionally, so if something needs attention, just leave me a message on there. There's some things I still want to tweak on it, and I will when I get the urge (which always inevitably comes).

The Junq Tour

I'm quite surprised at how well received this segment has become in the last few years. I'm guessing it has to do with how I've been handling it.

The Junq Tour was originally about thrifting across Manitoba when I was sent out of town for work. My workplace has more or less ceased this practice and I really missed cruising thrift stores that I normally don't get to visit. In 2017, I made it my goal to start doing it again and making videos of the whole experience. These are the only videos I really enjoy editing, and I plan to keep it going until my personal life decides to fuck me in the ass again (which I hope it doesn't, but I won't hold my breath.)


(yes, I own this thing)

One of the best things I've done for this blog was buying webspace. I was able to get it at a very good price, and the cost has barely changed over the last 10 years. Before I had webspace, I had to rely on other services for hosting my stuff. If you look at my old posts, you'll see dead links to Photobucket which I keep meaning to repair. I ultimately decided to look into webspace when Houndbite went tits up. I moved all of my audio to my webspace, fixed the links, and I have never looked back.

What's coming in 2020...

I have a couple of ideas for the next little while...

Record Store Tour

I want to do a tour of the record stores in Winnipeg and give a review of them. There's some great places to buy records, CDs and tapes, but there's some really fucking atrocious places that should be avoided. I want to dedicate some time to highlight these in 2020.

Canned Peaches Discography

"Canned Peaches" is the name I gave to a music project I slaved over while I was a teenager which was an escape from how bad life was fucking me back then. It mainly consists of mashups, medleys, and other kinds of "audio art". From 1992 through 1997, I made all kinds of weird shit using mainstream songs, movie clips, and analog equipment. The fact that I never once used a computer making this stuff would blow people's minds. I used to share the "music" I made by giving away mix tapes in high school. I'm currently in the process of remastering my entire discography (which is taking longer than I expected), but I'm hoping to have it up sometime in 2020.

Peter Hnatiuk Discography

This has been in the works for a while. Peter has some of the greatest album covers I've ever seen, and some pretty damn funny songs. I've touched on his stuff slightly in the past, and I want to get this one done.

Requests for Digitizing and Uploads

Over the last 10 years as I've gain more readers, I've been receiving more and more requests for uploading specific songs and entire albums that I've posted about. I didn't mind doing it when the requests were infrequent, but over the past couple of years it's become a bit overwhelming. Digitizing albums (and doing the blog entries in general) is extremely time-consuming when you consider that (with the exception of CDs) I have to digitize the albums in real time, do repairs to specific formats (8-tracks and sometimes cassettes), photograph/scan the artwork, edit the artwork, split and edit wave files, convert files into MP3s, fill in the MP3 tags, upload all the content, and finally format all the blog entries.

Given that uploading specific requests takes more time out of my life, I've decided that I need to request that you make a contribution either through Paypal or Patreon if you would like me to upload something specific. Failing that, you can offer to purchase the item I've posted which I will digitize before sending it to you. I more or less keep everything I post, and as I continue to post more content, it becomes more time-consuming to dig through the bins of previously posted crap. The people who currently make regular contributions to the blog are free to ask for specific items. Also, your donation will result in your requests being put up on the blog for others to enjoy (or hate). In other words, you will be helping make Classical Gas Emissions a better place to find the worst shit you've ever heard on the internet.

Speaking of the worst shit you've ever heard, stay tuned for part 2...

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Having a Happy Christmas (is difficult with these albums)

Christmas can bring back memories of some beloved characters from television and music. There's Frosty, Rudolph, The Grinch, The Chipmunks, and there are others that are beloved by all.

These characters are not beloved by all. In fact, they seem to have a certain knack for making Christmas shitty for those who try to indulge in something new. It's like getting a cube of mouldy fruit cake. It's pure useless garbage, and that's what we get from these Christmas albums that nobody wants to buy.

Lou Monte - Merry Christmas from Pepino The Italian Mouse

This album is full of Italian-styled Christmas music with the exception of one song. What in hell was the point of releasing this piece of shit Christmas album if you're going to promote your Italian mouse character and put him in only one song which has nothing to do with Christmas? Not only that, you have to wait until the first song on side two for your Pepino experience. What a fucking joke.

Listen to Pepino The Italian Mouse

Ray Bentley - Radar The Happy Reindeer

Canadians are stupid, myself included for making you listen to this garbage.

This is the story of a homeless Reindeer trainer who drags around his deformed Reindeer who has shiny eyes as opposed to Rudolph's shiny nose. Santa's reindeer get injured and aren't able to pull the sleigh, but the reindeer trainer gets a bunch of new reindeer and lets his ugly laser-beam-eyed reindeer lead the sleigh on Christmas. It's a pretty dumb story.

According to the album cover, there is a motion picture of the story coming, but a search on Google tells me that it never existed. All the children who bought this piece of junk had their Christmas ruined by never seeing Radar in all his animated glory. Perhaps the budget went to all the musicians (The Radar Singers) who recorded all the terrible songs on this album. Also, the track listing for side two is wrong. If they can't get that right, then I can't imagine how terrible the production of the motion picture went until it was scrapped.

Apparently, Mr. Ray Bentley named his company Radar Publications LTD. My guess is the makers of the TV show M*A*S*H sued his ass which resulted in the motion picture never being released.

Listen to Santa's Very Near
Download The Whole Album

Christmas with The Happy Crickets

We have a Pickwick special! To be fair, I've never found Pickwick to be as bad as Arc Records, but Pickwick does have quite a wide selection of terrible shit including this album. Yes, it's a Chipmunks rip-off, but I don't know why they chose to use the name of Buddy Holly's band. First of all, it sounds nothing like Buddy Holly. Second, it's not as fun as The Chipmunks, so you're stuck with this in-between garbage that nobody asked for.

Side one consists mostly of the religious-based Christmas songs which in my opinion would be insulting to the Lord due to their chipmunky/crickety voices. It sounds extremely bizarre hearing these voices sing about Jesus. I dare someone to play this in church. If you do, please take video of the congregation's reaction. I'd love to see it!

This album also has some kind of howling artefact that can be heard at the beginning and end of each song. My guess is that there's some kind of electronic hum on the microphones that the singers used which sounds more like a howl when it's sped up.

You know what the funniest part is? "The Chipmunk Song" isn't sung by the cricket voices and is instead sung in the style of Mickey Mouse. I'm guessing Pickwick was trying to avoid a lawsuit. It's also by far the worst track on the album.

Listen to White Christmas
Listen to The Chipmunk Song
Download the whole album

I have yet to decide how to end off a full decade of blogging, but I feel the need to do something. This has been the longest-running project I've ever been involved in! Stay tuned for my farewell to the 2010s...