Thursday, October 15, 2020

Junq Tour 2020: Portage La Prairie

The junk I find at Portage La Prairie's thrift store usually rivals the stuff from Neepawa. If I were to pick a winner for worst albums, I'd be hard pressed to choose between the two. So here's what I found this year at Portage...

Paul Fauerso - Fantom Music

When I moved into my first apartment, my girlfriend begged me to buy a Fantom Lightning vacuum cleaner. She told me that if she got one, she would vacuum naked for me. So I dropped $399 on the vacuum cleaner, hoping I was in for a treat. Instead, I was the one who used the damn thing regularly while she sat on the couch, fully dressed, eating Cheetos. What a fucking rip off.

Anyway, I have no clue where the hell this CD came from because I sure as hell didn't get one with my vacuum cleaner. To be honest, I kinda like this CD! I enjoy instrumental music, and this is very campy music released just before Y2K hit us. My guess is this was used for the infomercials that were airing repeatedly, bragging about how awesome this bagless vacuum cleaner was. I think bag vacuums are extinct now, so I guess this was pretty revolutionary.

On this album, you get hits such as "Fantom Lightning Theme", Fantom Cyclone XT Theme, Hip Hepa, and Fantom Theme Revisited. Since the songs are short, I've included a few of them. Feel free to download them and vacuum your house while playing them on repeat. Who knew an entire album of vacuuming music could be so damn good?

Listen to Fantom Cyclone XT

Listen to Big Apple

Listen to Beach Nutz

Listen to Hip Hepa

Listen to Fantom Fury Spot '99

Aaron Burnett - Canadian Critters

Look who it is! It's Mr. Environment himself! His album was sealed in non-biodegradable cellophane. Naughty, naughty! I should bury the CD itself and see if it's biodegradable. We had fun listening to his preachy "save the Earth" children's music during last year's Junq Tour. The cover for his environment album featured him about to get eaten by a polar bear. This year, he's about to get eaten by a brown bear. Why does he keep escaping death? What the fuck is wrong with these animals? Don't they know how tasty humans are? He probably kills them with his guitar that sounds like a banjo.

Anyway, Aaron's singing about owls, trash pandas, mosquitoes, and other annoying animals. We had both an owl and a raccoon break into our chicken coop last year and commit mass murder, so fuck these animals. I also had a bear in my tree who left big annoying piles of shit on my lawn. This album paints these animals in a positive light when they shouldn't be. When you live in the country, you develop a much different opinion about wildlife and the environment. One thing I can say is this is better than the environment album as it has less fiction and more facts. Aaron is most certainly aiming for "educate children while they listen to Canadian redneck music" genre.

Listen to Wapiti the Pumpkin Elk

Get the Net! - 14 Fishin' Greats

If you wanted a great album consisting of nothing but fishing songs, you'll have to record one yourself because this isn't great. The original owner probably thought the same since this turd was still sealed when I found it. Between the Mad magazine style artwork and the novelty lyrics, this album tries way too hard to be funny. Maybe it's just me (because I don't fish), but this album just makes me groan. It's also completely made up of country music which sucks at the best of times. I honestly don't know how anybody could write an entire album of fishing songs, but then again there's country artists who can write entire albums about drinking beer. Talented songwriting seems to be lacking in the whole genre.

Personally, I think the album of roadkill songs I reviewed was better.

Listen to Nessie (Sixteen Tons parody)

Vic High Rhythm & Blues Band

For a recording of high school students, the quality and the talent is certainly there. I have to admit that the cover of The Jackson Five's "I Want You Back" on this disc is very good. However, their cover of "The Letter" by The Box Tops is absolutely awful. I understand that people like to re-invent songs to make it "theirs", but this song belongs to Alex Chilton, and I have no respect for anyone who turns his grave into a washing machine on spin cycle.

Their cover of Labelle's "Lady Marmalade" sounds like "Abracadabra" by Steve Miller, and I probably would have been happier if that's actually what they recorded. Covers of "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & The Vandellas, "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder, and "Listen to the Music" by The Doobie Brothers are all very mediocre.

All I can say is I hope these guys all graduated and wrote their own music so I can find it in the wild and write about it on this blog.

Listen to I Want You Back

Listen to The Letter

Quite Likely - Caught in a jam

This one was sealed too! 

Personally, I'm having trouble figuring out what is wrong with this CD. One obvious problem is the dude's voice. It doesn't work with the music that they're playing. He should be doing some Jackyl covers or something. Instead, he's plunking away on his ukelele, singing depressing songs. All the songs are kinda campy and country-ish. It really had potential to be good, but it's kinda not.

Listen to Oh Lord

Peter Webb - Melody Trails by the Surrey Cowboy

"Peter has been entertaining in Hospitals, Senior Citizens Homes, Rest Homes, and Recreation Centers for a number of years"

Well, I guess his dream was to play his songs in a place where he was going to die. He probably induced some of his audience with rigor mortis while playing his boring music consisting of only harmonica, guitar, and himself singing about God and Canada.

"Peter's future ambition is to make many more albums of this type"

The world does not need more albums of this type. I have been reviewing shit like this for 12 years now. I'm begging everyone to please stop.

If you own this album, be careful when writing to his fan club. He had to blot out the old box number and hand-write the new one which likely belongs to the personal care home where Peter sings and poops himself.

Listen to The Beauty of B.C.

Martin Janovsky - Strings & Hammers

When I first saw this album, I thought "Petrof" was a dumb name for an artist. The I realized it was a brand of piano. I suppose it's a fairly respected piano brand since it's featured so fucking prominently on the cover. Then you get Martin's name in the non-standout font at the bottom. At least he scribbled his name on the inside, making this copy an instant ebay cash-grab.

Just as Martin's name doesn't stand out on the cover, none of the songs on this CD stand out either. Music Box Dancer is very lackluster. The version of The Entertainer is decent, but the piano sounds very electronic.

Anyway, he does a cover of Hooked on Classics which was originally a bunch of orchestral classical music set to a disco beat, released in the early 1980s. It sold very well. Martin does a cover of it here, but the disco beat has been dumbed down to subtle background farting. It's pretty lousy. If you haven't heard the original, go check it out and compare it to this piece of crap.

Listen to Hooked on Classics

Levi Strynadka -Fiddling Up a Storm

I'm not going to bother linking to all the posts I did on Arnie Strynadka's albums because there's tons of them. For a change of pace, here's an album by his son! The sound quality is better than his dad's albums, but the band backing him is fake as hell. Honestly, I'm not even sure the fiddle is real.

Apparently, there's at least four more albums by this guy.

Listen to Orange Blossom Special

Redline Demo

It's certainly been an entry for sealed albums!

Remember how bad country music was back in 1990? I know it's worse now, but the artists from 30 years ago really paved the way with their terrible lyrics, and Redline wanted to be right up there with them. The songs are really, really bad.

The guy on the cover looks like he's holding a gun to the mixing board. He should have pulled the trigger before recording this hunk of shit.

Listen to Lady with a Tan

Listen to Trouble

I won't lie.... It's been a challenge trying to manage my time between getting all these entries up and doing work on my new workspace. My stereo isn't hooked up for convenient audio transfers, so I've been doing a bunch of it in my currently cramped living room where other people watch TV and do homework. Fortunately, it seems to be getting closer to completed, so hopefully I'm in there come 2021 unless COVID kills me first.

Next stop: Neepawa!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Junq Tour 2020: Carman

I haven't posted about bad albums from Carman's thrift store since 2012, so they've have had 8 years to collect all sorts of terrible things for me to torture you with. Well, either nobody donates terrible stuff there, or the people who live there have a really terrible taste in music (which is what my guess would be). Regardless, I've managed to leave with these three gems without getting into a fight with other shoppers over it at the cash register.

The Peep Show - Leaving on a Jet Plane

This album should have been called "Leaving on a Shit Plane". Pickwick Records chose their name because they knew people were going to pick on it for their albums being junk. To be honest, Pickwick puts out some of the better quality knock-off records. They have NOTHING on Canada's Arc Records which generally sound like a dog eating out the asshole of a dead camel. 

Anyway, this album was funded by United Airlines. Their slogan is on the bottom right hand corner of the back of the album. Another bonus is this album gives credit to the people who worked on it: Gerry, John, Joe, Jim, Ken, and Bugs Bower. I'm guessing they were all hobos with no last names. Hell, the album barely mentions the name of the band. I guess this also makes it more difficult to hunt them all down and kick their asses for making this trash. The back of the album says this:

"The Peep Show adds its' own theatrical touch to every one of the ten top hits here. The new by Mama Cass,the not so new by The Archies..listen to our group take the best,and make it better."

I'll let you in on a bit of a secret... They didn't make it better. Also, Mama Cass has been dead for a long time, so I'd hardly call this "new". I'm also guessing this band records and performs naked since their name is "The Peep Show".

Listen to Sugar Sugar

DJ's Choice - Kid's Halloween Sing-a-Long

Since Halloween is coming soon, I felt no need to separate this CD for a Halloween entry. I'm pretty sure that "DJ's Choice" and "Drew's Famous" are pretty much the same company since they use the same tracks and identical drawing styles on their album covers. However, there is one difference between this and the other Halloween CDs I've posted... The cheap imitation vocal tracks have been replaced by children on three of the songs: Ghostbusters, Monster Mash, and Love Potion #9. And I thought these songs were done badly before!

I've posted about this version of Monster Mash before (with adults singing) which was on a Drew's Lamous CD. It has the intro stolen from the original recording which I find ironic since there's a footnote on the back of the CD stating that they didn't have permission to post the lyrics inside the booklet. But they had permission to steal the intro? I'm confused. Somebody needs to file a lawsuit, provide free popcorn, and invite me to watch.

The vocal tracks of the children have no reverb on them, leading me to believe that Drew just had his children record them in their basement. Although, it might be someone else's children since it's difficult to believe that Drew could possibly get laid. Imagine him trying to pick up women... "Hey baby! I run a shady record label that tricks people into buying fake versions of songs. Wanna see my cock?"

Listen to Monster Mash

Listen to Ghostbusters

Alleluia Choir / Jubilate Deo Choir - Praise to the Lord Almighty: Spring Concert, April 2002

There are actually three choirs singing on this CD, but they chose to not mention the shitty one on the album cover (and you know which one I'm going to post!) This CD contains the hits such as "Psalm 138", "Psalm 145", "Psalm 25", "Hymn 41", "Hymn 64" and "Hymn 118". I'm sure you can easily recognize the songs by their titles. The back of the cover lists the equipment used in the recording so you'll know if the church is worth breaking into to steal it.

We get treated to children singing out of tune, audience members coughing, and other talentless children playing recorders! You know this is going to be a splendid treat.

Listen to Psalm 116

Listen to Psalm 150

Next, we shall zoom over to Portage La Prairie where the thrift store is usually overloaded with terrible things.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Junq Tour 2020: Morris

Another year, another Junq Tour! Sorry the entries have been lacking, but my new work space is still under construction. Regardless, I bought lots of albums that need to be unleashed to the world.

The first stop was Morris, Manitoba. I was able to buy a cassette drawer full of terrible things for two dollars. There were a lot of German cassettes at the thrift store, so I filtered those out since I can't understand them anyway. However, since this is part of the Christian Wheat Belt, I ended up with mostly Christian music. I honestly wouldn't have a problem with Christian music if it was performed by talented people. Unfortunately, the entire genre seems to be a magnet for those who have the talent of a retarded donkey. So let's see what an entire herd of retarded donkeys can do.

The majority of these album are on the "Silver Streams" record label. It almost seems like a good portion of their catalog was dumped at the thrift store. They should have been dumped in the trash.

Amarie - My Reflection

She sings well, it's mixed decent, and she's wrapped up in leather. What more do you want? Well, how about some good songs? Yes, we have those too! What the hell is going on? Why has a good album fallen into my hands? The world must be about to end.

There is virtually nothing for liner notes on the back of the cover, but her facebook page is listed. So I went and had a look. I'm pretty sure that this is NOT the same person. 

Perhaps this other Amarie hijacked the original Amarie's Facebook account. I tried to find her on Google but nothing came up. It seems as though she completely vanished after recording this album. That's too bad because I would be more than happy to put down some money for more music by her. Yes, it's that good! The song "Think of Me" has to be one of the best songs released in the 2000s. I would love to know who the band mates are and who mixed this unusual jewel, but liner notes didn't seem to be a priority.

Perhaps she was ousted from the Christian Wheat Belt for having talent and trying to put some rock music into everyone's horse-manure-in-a-cowboy-hat lives

If Amarie ever discovers her album here, I would love to see a comment. Until then, feel free to enjoy these two stand out tracks from this fine piece of work.

Listen to Think of Me

Listen to Sunrise

Springs of Living Water - He Touched Me

This album molests your ears and you will need therapy after listening to this shit. I don't think I have yet touched on the Lord's universal sexual abuse song, so here it is, unmolested and ready to penetrate your virgin ears. Feel free to file a police report about this album afterwards.

Well, at least there's trees on the cover. Somebody's got wood.

Listen to He Touched Me


Just because you went by only your first name, it doesn't mean you're as talented as Tiffany. First of all, you're ugly. Second, you're old. Third, your songs suck ass. You need to go back to being a 1980s housewife and make me some fucking danishes instead of recording duds.

Listen to Wonderful Lord

Frederick & The Fountains of Forever - Waltzing Waters Theatre

Why do people go to Branson and never take me? It's apparently where the artists of Classical Gas Emissions go to die. Perhaps I'll head down there for fun once the plague of 2020 is done killing people. Anyway, we have a nice man at a nice piano playing nice music. I'm not sure if he's trying to be the next Floyd Cramer or Frank Mills, but he fails at both of them. Freddy's version of these songs is somewhat lackluster. You're better off getting the original artists' albums and recording over this one.

Listen to Music Box Dancer

Rosie Gonzalez - More Than Conquerers

What the fuck is this? Her grad photo? She was probably 48 years old when she recorded this and decided that we shouldn't know that. This tape is nothing but a bunch of mushy, shitty 1980s gospel music.

Listen to He's Still Working On Me

Abe & Anna Teichroeb

May all our glory be shown to reverb! Also, we have trees on the cover again. Trees seem to be the theme for these Christian album covers as opposed to the usual pictures of sunset. 

I think this is supposed to be the Mickey & Bunny of the Mennonite community. Abe is trying very hard to sing well, but he's pretty damn terrible. Abe and Anna decided to cleverly disguise their cover of "The Rose" by calling it "Some Say Love". Sneaky bastards. I didn't need another fucking version of "The Rose". I honestly don't understand the appeal of the damn song.

Listen to Some Say Love

Echoes of Glory - Living For Jesus

This album consists of borderline talented people, apparently seven of them in total. However, it sounds like this album was made by two or three people which makes me wonder what the hell the other four to five of them are doing.

What I love most about Christians is their ability to make you feel like a guilt-ridden piece of shit through their music. There is no better song to demonstrate that than "If Jesus Came To Your House". If that happened to me, I'd probably phone the police or beat the piss out of him with a baseball bat for trying to scam me into buying his Book of Mormon. Apparently others would invite him in and hide all the shit that they're embarrassed about. I have no shame. Come look at my porn, Jesus.

Listen to If Jesus Came To Your House

Echoes of Glory - Road To The Cross

We have trees! Also, the dad looks just as miserable as he did on the last album. All of them were wearing dresses except for the men who forgot that they were supposed to look pretty for the photo shoot. Also, the trees aren't wearing dresses either.

For this album, they decided to leave the tuning of their guitars in the hands of the Lord. Apparently he forgot to do it. Oh well, I forgive him.

Listen to I'll Keep Holding On To Jesus

Contry Gospel Messengers - Better Place

Contains your favourite hits such as "Theree Men on the Mountain", "Better Palce", and "Here My Best Friend". These guys can sing just as good as they can spell. 

All of them have a mandatory moustache except for one guy who still hasn't hit puberty yet (and is probably the singer). Also, one guy's in the band solely because his name is "Nacho".

Listen to Theree Men on the Mountain

Henry G. Penner - Gospel Music / In Loving Memory

So apparently Mr. Penner made this music shortly before he died in a car accident. I honestly think that Henry would have been better off going out on a high note, but instead his family decided to release this pile of garbage that he probably never intended on letting the public hear. 

Speaking of death, the splice on the cassette fell apart and my tape deck had a good nibble on the tasty chromium dioxide that Henry's music was recorded on. This is probably my favourite version of the song since it's really short.

I have no clue what circus instrument this crap is played on. It's campy as hell. Anyway, if you enjoy Oom-pah Christian instrumentals, this one's for you.

Listen to the tape get eaten

Listen to Nearer My God To Thee

The Reimer Family - Swing Wide The Gates

Apparently, the Reimer family is made up of trees. Sadly, these trees aren't very good singers.

This is essentially one person who knows how to play a few basic chords on the guitar, and the rest of his family sing along. I mean sure, record this for your family to enjoy, but why must the rest of us need to hear this junk? All these songs sound the same. The baritone singer (dad) is a pretty crappy baritone. His voice cracks like 12 plumbers trying to fix a cracked pipe.

Listen to My Savior Daily Walks With Me

Neil Schellenberg Family

We have tree silhouettes on the cover, just to make it look mysterious even though it's just more shitty Christian songs sung by more talentless assholes. This fucking tape sounds exactly the same as the Reimer Family tape. Trees going through a wood chipper sounds better than this. They're singing in one corner of the room while the tape recorder is sitting in another corner, giving you that "we're stuck in a cabin together and are probably going to eat each other to survive" kind of sound.

Listen to You're My Best Friend

Maria Heinrichs - I Will Stand By You

One thing we can say about this one is the trees can see better than she can.

According to the inlay:

Maria has played music since she was seven years old. She has never taken lessons

... and it really shows. This is the second album I have by Maria, and it's just as bad as the first one. She can't fucking sing.

Listen to Teach The Child

The Schroeder Family - In The Shelter Of His Arms

We will now end our "Family" series with more fucking trees. Also, The Schroeders are surprisingly worse than The Reimers and The Schellenbergs. There's so much trash on this album that I had to share the whole album with you. Six of the songs start with a whiny slide guitar and five start with running the pick down the strings. Coming up with an original way to start a song is the devil's work.

Listen to They That Wait Upon The Lord

Download the whole thing

This was a very long entry to get through, both for you and me. I promise you the others won't be as lengthy, but I can't promise they won't be as painful. Let's move on to Carman...

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Junq Tour 2020 Videos

The Junq Tour videos for 2020 have been uploaded! Youtube's copyright detection found the song "Under The Boardwalk" to actually be some shitty French song. Detailed reviews will follow as soon as I analyze and digitize them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Zero Weddings and Five Funerals

With all the death going on from the plague, I figured it would be fitting to listen to some funerals. I honestly can't understand the reasoning behind recording someone's funeral. Do people wake up one day and say, "Hey, I'm in a really good mood! I should fuck it up and play my recording of Uncle Dan's funeral." Anyway, if these funerals are good enough to be recorded, I figured they'd be good for you to listen to. However, instead of posting the entire bloody thing, I'll just post the highlights. Yes, funerals can have highlights.

One thing I have learned about these funeral tapes is they are generally recorded by the church from the sound board, and then copies are made for whoever wants them. Perhaps I should start a mobile funeral recording business and make millions from selling the tapes. Then I could make enough money to quit blogging! Until then, we'll have to settle for whatever I can find in the thrift stores. Let's see what I've found thus far...

Volodymyr Iwasiuk

This tape appears to be in Russian, and it's not a recording of a funeral. I'm only guessing it's music that was used at the guy's funeral. I dunno. Anyway, I'll let you hear one of the songs from this tape. Perhaps one of my Russian readers can give me the gist of what this song is about. It's pretty upbeat for funeral music!

Listen to Volodymyr's favourite song!

George & Agatha Rempel

Starts off with announcements in Low German and English. Then some guy sings a song in German. Then he follows it up with another German song. After that, he follows it up with an English song so the rest of us poor peasants aren't left out. This guy is practically making a Rammstein album.

The guy promises the funeral will not last all afternoon which is a total fucking let down. He also said that the majority of the funeral will be in German which is also a let down. The only significant English portion of this funeral was near the end where some guy reads some bible verses from Romans. I learned a total of NOTHING about the Rempel couple other than the fact that they are dead.

Unfortunately, the only memory of George and Agatha that I'm preserving through the magic of this blog is the one English song that was performed. After all, English is the official language of Classical Gas Emissions (and maybe some Ukrainian).

Listen to the only English song

PJ Loewen

If you need TWO NINETY MINUTE CASSETTES to record your funeral, it's too long. But I guess the length of your funeral isn't your choice because you're dead. I wonder how many people died of boredom at this funeral? Since I don't want to kill any of my readers, I have edited down these two cassettes into a super-funeral which is only 13 minutes in length. It doesn't need to be any longer, trust me.

The reason why this dead guy's funeral is so fucking long is because he was a pastor and the old bastard lived until age 104, so the church obviously had to throw a big shindig. I wouldn't be surprised if God himself attended this one. Pastor Loewen's talentless grandson reads a crappy poem he wrote, and the granddaughter's singing voice is reminiscent of a live pig getting thrown into a tree shredder. Then we have a scratchy string quartet play some songs in German. There were way too many songs at this funeral. If I wanted to listen to all these terrible songs, I would stay at home and put a belt sander on my face instead of attending this funeral.

Attend PJ Loewen's Super Funeral

Mom Brandt

This tape starts with a shit ton of good ol' fun time organ funeral music. Then, the audio fades in and out while people are talking. Just as well since they were more concerned with reading from the bible than remembering Mrs. Brandt. Then, we have some lady singing a song with barely any piano and an abundance of audio problems. If the audio was this terrible at my funeral, I'd have to revive myself and kick the audio guy's ass.

Mrs. Brandt's legacy is covering thousands of coat hangers, her passion for horse manure, and she massacred lots of crab grass.

Side two is filled with Ken Griffith's Greatest Funeral Hits.

Attend Mom Brandt's Funeral!

Uncle Henry

After listening to the first 15 minutes of this one, I know more about the pastor's dead wife than I know about Uncle Henry. The guy couldn't shut up about his dead wife.

Uncle Henry was born in 1910 and died on April 17, 1978. He's been dead almost as long as I've been alive. There are also 10 kids in his family which probably took a few years (or decades) off his life.

Side 2 is an audio letter. The guy is obviously mailing the funeral to his friend so he can spread the joy. He also thought that more hymns is more better and filled side 2 with a bunch recorded from scratchy records. He also talks about other deaths and his visit to the foot specialist.

Listen to a compilation from the dead wife speech!
Listen to the eulogy
Listen to the guy on side 2

I'm fairly certain I have more funerals in my queue box, but five is enough for today.

Blog entries are a bit sparse right now due to the construction on my house. Things are a mess while they're building my new work space. It'll be exciting to have a bit more room to store all the junk I still have to blog about. And don't worry, the Junq Tour is happening in August.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Record Store Tour: Argy's Collectibles

Location: 9-1604 St. Mary's Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Rating: 5/10

Today, a whole bunch of stuff opened back up after being shut down by the plague for two months. The only requirement was that provisions needed to be made for social distancing. All the thrift stores are still closed, but it appeared that Argy's Collectibles was open and I haven't covered them yet on the record store tour. So I figured I'd pop in, do my review and see what kind of goodies I could find.

Upon entering, I was greeted by a Minnie Riperton album playing. Personally, I didn't think any of her crap would have been worth listening to, but it could have been worse. It could have been Mariah Carey.

Also, I was in here a couple of months before the plague forced everyone to shut down, and it was a mess. You'd figure that the two month shutdown would have given Argy the time to do a good cleaning and organizing of the store, but apparently cleaning is for sissies. There are piles of shit everywhere.

I would have had a good look at the sun-bleach-spined CDs, but there was other shit covering about 75% of what he had. I had no desire to move all the shit around to look at his inventory.

Argy sells band shirts, posters, hockey cards, and probably some other stuff that I could care less about. He also seemingly had some decent turntables for sale, but I don't need any more of them. I saw a couple of Elvis 8-tracks underneath a pile of crap, but I already owned them.

Records are everywhere, especially on the floor where I had trouble avoiding kicking them while looking at the ones on the racks. I wanted to look at the "D" section, but I couldn't get to it because there was too much crap in the way on the floor. Records are also piled on top of other bins of records, and personally I would prefer to look at my records in bins instead of flipping through piles. If I wanted to do that, I would go record shopping at garage sales. Hell, there's a guy I buy from who sells records out of his garage, and even he's more organized with his bins.

Prices are all over the place. The cheapest records I saw were $3.99 each, but the average price seemed to range between $9.99 and $29.99. On the plus side, Argy seems to have some really good titles that I haven't seen at any of the other record stores, but you're not going to get any sweet deals on them.

There were quite a few piles of records on the floor that didn't have any prices on them. I would have considered buying this Alan Parsons album, but there's no price. No price = no sale. There really isn't any excuse for this. If you haven't priced it, it shouldn't be out for sale, let alone on the floor.

There seems to be one redeeming factor in the price and the apparent lack of time to organize the store. The record vacuum was going every few minutes. It would appear that Argy might be cleaning every single record he sells. I'm split on cleaning my records. If they really need it, then I'll give them a good bath or a wash with some record cleaner and a brush. Otherwise, just playing them seems to help dig a lot of the crap out of the grooves. In my opinion, records should only be cleaned if they really need it, and I generally won't buy a record that's filthy to the point of it being unplayable.

Hey look! I think I found the bargain bin! It's underneath Argy's coffee, a bottle of spray vodka, and a shitty Duke Ellington record. I carefully moved Argy's coffee to sit on the bin of records next over, hoping that it wouldn't spill. After digging through the bargain bin, I came out with absolutely nothing remotely interesting. Sorry everyone, it looks like Argy mainly deals in records that people actually want instead of trying to sell the garbage that makes this blog thrive. I can understand that, but it makes my trip a bit less interesting.

The Good Record: Streetheart - Live After Dark

I've been searching for this one for a few years now to complete my Streetheart collection. It's not common, and this one is in near mint shape, so I didn't feel too bad dropping $30 on it. It's also a double album. For those outside of Canada, Streetheart is a Canadian band from the 1980s. Their frontman Kenny Shields (who lived in Winnipeg) is in my opinion the greatest Canadian vocalist to ever grace us. The guy has an incredible octave range, a unique voice, and he put out some damn good songs too.

I had the privilege of seeing Streetheart live once. I also had a unique privilege to see Kenny Shields, George Belanger (singer of the band Harlequin), and The Headpins all do a blues number as an encore for a Headpins concert that I attended. After the show, me and my friend Noah were able to hang out with Kenny for a bit. It was a magnificent experience to see all these highly talented Canadians do a one-off song together. What I wouldn't give to have a recording of the song they performed!

Sadly, Kenny Shields passed away a few years ago. The last thing he ever put out was a solo album, and it was absolutely top-notch.

The Bad Record: None

Sorry, no sound clip or even a stupid record cover to look at. Everything was too expensive for me to frivolously buy some lame pieces of crap for your listening displeasure, and even then I wouldn't have any guarantee that it would be awful.

The bottom line is, if you're looking for a specific album, you might very well be able to find it here after a bit of literal digging, but you're not going to get it at a bargain price. If you just enjoy the experience of record shopping, you won't enjoy this place with all the crap everywhere. Sorry Argy, you had two months of being closed to clean up the customer's shopping space. There shouldn't be any excuse for the store to look like this. This could be a really great store, but the piles of crap really ruin the experience.

On the plus side, Argy complied with the social distancing requirements by putting some X's on the floor with tape. Putting some crappy Duke Ellington records on the floor with double sided tape would have been more fun.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

A Record for Mom!

Since mother's day is right around the corner, I figured it would be nice to do something for the old bag. So I dug through my blog crap and found this record I picked up at the thrift store a while back. They had multiple copies of this thing, and the description on the back convinced me to buy it...

"The vocals in all songs come from an unknown cassette found with computer parts bought at a garage sale in Canada. So far, it has not been possible to locate the originator of this material. Any information would be welcome."

This sounds exaclty like something I would do, although the smooth techno music is pretty mundane. From what I can tell, this tape is essentially a letter from a dad to his grown up kids, giving them shit for not doing anything for their mother on Mother's Day. I'm guessing "AFS" is the initials of the guy who put this together.

On this record, you get two different mixes of "Mothers' Day" a song called "Nest Flight", and "Mothers' Day Part II" You're getting three out of four of the songs since I think the radio edit is pointless, and I doubt this thing was ever played on the radio.

Listen to Mothers' Day Part I
Listen to Nest Flight
Listen to Mothers' Day Part II

One thing I've realized while digging for Mother's Day albums is that I need to put all my "holiday specials" besides Christmas into a separate location. I have all kinds of crap for Easter, St. Patrick's day, Valentine's day, and all your other favourite holidays, but I can never find them because they're buried amongst all the other crap. So there's a project for my future.

Anyway, enjoy your Mother's Day, and I'm sure this record will make it even better. Hell, burn it onto a CD and give it to your mom. I'm sure she'll love it more than flowers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Fake Engelberts

And now, it's time for a Classical Gas Emissions FAQ!

Q: Everyone's trapped in their house. Why haven't you been bombarding me with entries so I stay entertained?
A: I still have a job to go to. I'm one of those "essential services" in the health care industry.

Q: OMG! How are you gonna do the Junq Tour with this plague going on?
A: I'm working on that.

Q: I really want to hear some shitty Engelbert Humperdinck covers. When are you going to satisfy my craving?
A: Right now!

Yes, we're going to cover the artist famous for songs such as "The Last Wartz" and "Les Bicyclettes de Fat Bottomed Girls". I'm by no stretch a huge Engelbert fan, but I know a few songs, so let's get on with one of the most knocked-off artists loved by horny old baby boomer women across the globe.

Tribute to Engelbert Humperdinck

So how do you know these have been sitting in my queue for fucking forever? Because I have two copies of this one. I repaired the easiest one (the one with the screw) and left the other one alone. No point in fixing both unless somebody rightfully recorded over one of them. However, it appears that someone actually repaired one of them by replacing the deteriorated pad with some yellow sponge. Why they would bother is beyond me.

Looks like Engelbert was going through his blonde woman look during the recording of this one.

The songs on this one are hit or miss. Some sound exactly like Engelbert, others not so much. However, the instrumentation on this one is pretty decent and the mix is good.

If you look closely on the cover, you'll see the following text:

Can you tell the difference from the original songs? 12 fabulous cover hits.

Is this album supposed to be a game? Did they sell this piece of shit in the game section? I highly doubt it. If anything, they were hoping that the dumbass buying this tape wouldn't see that text. Obviously, at least two dumbasses didn't see it and wasted their money.

Listen to Release Me

The Vale Orchestra Singers & Chorus Vol.2 - Tribute to Tom Jones & Engelbert Humperdinck

Boy, that title's a mouth full, isn't it?

Because neither of these artists had very many hits, it was only logical to cram them both onto one tape. I know about as many Tom Jones songs as I do Engelbert songs. Too bad Sex Bomb isn't on here, let alone What's New Pussycat.

The singer on the Engelbert songs is flat as hell. He probably wanted to make the recording session as painless as possible by sucking on a bottle of cheap gin before going in the recording booth. Whoever mixed this tried to bury fake Dinck with the bad instrumentation.

But here's the good news... You get a fake Tom Jones song as a bonus!

Listen to The Last Waltz
Listen to Delilah

Thunderbirds - Golden Hits In The Style of Engelbert Humperdinck

Yes, feel free to laugh at me. FOUR FUCKING COPIES. Why don't I just take my wallet and flush it down the toilet?

Each of them is different in some way, shape or form. The one with the winter scene has the tape twisted. One I attempted to repair had too much brittle plastic shatter. One has what appears to be damaged tape. Fortunately, I got one of them working, but there's some static on the first program. There's no winning here.

In the last entry, we listened to Anne Murray songs performed by the Thunderbird Singers. I have no clue if these Thunderbirds are related to them, but given that both of these pieces of shit came from "Deville" (aka Fantastic F, aka Music City, aka Starburst Music), I can only assume that they're the same group.

The tape sounds like it's playing too slow and the singer sounds more drunk than the last guy. And what is it with these Deville tapes being just a tad distorted? Yeah, let's just crank the record levels because this sounds so fucking good! So, feel free to turn this one up loud to add more distortion and maybe you won't hear how bad it is.

Listen to A Man Without Love

We have more 8-tracks to cover in the next entry. They're just piling up all over the place, so I figured I'd bang a few of them off. Try to keep the image of me banging 8-tracks out of your head and I'll see you in the next installment.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Style of Ann(e) Murray

I have a few piles of knock-off 8-tracks, so I figured I'd get some of them out of the way. First on the chopping block is Anne Murray.

Anne Murray is one of those celebrities who can apparently do no wrong. She's an activist, has her own charity, and she's a proud Canadian. Her songs are so innocent and virginal that she qualifies to be a nun even though she has two children. Her singing voice has always sounded like a middle-aged woman who does the dishes every night. Also, she's kept the same shitty hairstyle since birth.

The funny thing about Anne Murray is she recorded her debut album on my least favourite record label of all time. I can tell you that this is probably the only GOOD album that Arc Records ever put out. I also have no desire to invest my money into the rest of Anne Murray's catalog.

But we're not here to talk about the real Anne Murray. We're here to talk about Anne Murray impersonators.

Thunderbird Singers - Golden Hits In The Style of Ann Murray

I've covered lots of these Deville 8-tracks in the past. I believe they're the exact same record company as Fantastic F. I was certainly in for a surprise when I discovered how much the woman singing actually sounded like Anne Murray, although we're supposed to be talking about "Ann Murray", whoever that is. If I didn't know better, I would say that this is in fact the real Anne Murray.

Look at that nice cover. They probably stole the picture of the wagon from a can of dog food or something.

The back of the 8-track has the word "Thunderbird" written all over it. We have "Thunderbird Productions", "Thunderbird Recordings & Entertainment LTD", "(C)1978 Thunderbird" and "Artist: Thunderbird Singers". They could have gone a bit further and called each song "Thunderbird Theme 1", "Thunderbird Theme 2", etc.

I'm really quite surprised at how good this tape sounds. The audio is clear, clean, and sounds really good. But then there's program 3. The right channel is blank. How in hell do you fuck that up? Every other track is fine except for that one! Not only that, the last song of program 3 gets cut off at the splice. Why couldn't they do that on program 4 so it sounds like the Anne Murray impersonator gets shot at the end of the album? I would celebrate this tape if they did that!

So yeah, this one is quite impressive for a knock-off except for all those technical fuck ups.

Listen to Snowbird
Listen to Put Your Hand In The Hand (that gets cut off and has the blank right channel)

Thunderbird Singers - In The Style of Anne Murray

Yes, this is the same album except these are no longer golden hits, the right channel on program 3 isn't blank this time and fake Anne Murray doesn't get murdered. Either Deville/Fantastic F was bought out by Starburst, or they just changed their name. Instead of going for the "can of dog food" look, they just plastered a picture of Uncle Joe's old farm onto the label.

Hits! Made Famous by Anne Murray

Oh look! We get a picture of a goddam seagull. Is that supposed to represent a snowbird? I'm pretty sure if you unspooled this tape and fed it to a seagull, it would eat it. Those damn birds are nothing more than flying goats.

This isn't the same album because the singer sounds like Rita MacNeil, which makes sense because I think she was best friends with Anne Murray. If she wasn't, then they at least should have been friends since they wrote songs for the same shitty genre.

This one just isn't as Anne Murray-ish as the last one, but at least they spelled her name right.

Listen to Danny's Song

I have a stack of Engelbert Humperdinck tapes to tackle, so perhaps we'll do that in the next installment just to get them the hell out of my queue.