Sunday, September 26, 2021

Junq Tour 2021: Neepawa

Every year for the Junq Tour, there seems to be one artist that repeatedly jumps into the spotlight, sometimes without me knowing. This year, it's Rachel Quelch who decided to push her way into the forefront of this particular entry. Much to Rachel's credit, she's not in the race for the most terrible artist from this year's Neepawa haul. We have others who are fighting a bloody battle for that title.

Grease at the Roxy Theatre 2009

I didn't check the credits when I bought this DVD. All I knew was that it's some low budget recording of a performance of the musical Grease. I generally hate musicals, but low budget stuff always finds its way into my shopping cart.

Lo and behold, Rachel Quelch plays the character "Frenchy" in this performance, so we actually get to put a face to the name. If you have the stomach for Grease and low budget video productions, I uploaded the entire two hour performance to Youtube. I did some repair work to the audio because it was extremely difficult to tolerate all the volume changes during the video. I ran it through an aggressive audio compressor and an EQ which made an absoulte world of difference. Enjoy!

Phil Nevile & The Virtual Ensemble - The Way Back Home

It's pretty amazing how many albums I buy that are still sealed. Apparently somebody was smart enough to not waste their time with this (and it wasn't me). Perhaps when I'm on my death bed, I'll reflect on how much time I wasted listening to crap that nobody wanted and wish I would have listened to something more worthwhile, like maybe an Arnie album.

So when you put the words "virtual ensemble" in your band name, it means you programmed a bunch of shit on a computer and called it your fake band. Perhaps if I would have put "Ben Century and the Artificial Metallica Backup Band" on my album cover, it would have sold more copies.

The blurb on the insert has Phil bragging about how good the mix is on this album. Sorry Phil, the mix is kinda shitty, especially on the vocal tracks. An EQ and some level control can prevent them from being buried by all the fake instruments. The music is very bluesy which isn't a bad thing, but the mix really ruins it.

The first song is eight minutes long because time can go fuck itself. The song "Big Old Fish" stinks like a big old fish. The rest of the album isn't too horrible, but the mix just ruins it all. "Reminiscing" which has Rachel Quelch's vocals on it is probably the best thing on here, but she unfortunately still gets buried by the other instruments and the fake backup singers.

At least the cover is... Well, that's a piece of shit too.

Listen to Big Old Fish

Listen to Reminiscing

The Choristers of St. George's United Church - Songs for Canada Year

It's the year.... ummm.... I dunno, but it belongs to Canada! To celebrate this specific year, we have a batch of songs that make us proud of our country; songs such as "Ak Ta Ka Ta Nu Ya", "Nix Nox Nax", and "The Little Old Sod Shanty" because Canadians live like rodents, or at least they did in the year... ummm... I dunno.

These songs must be really fucking old because I had trouble trying to figure out where I'd heard the song "Les Raftsmen". After a while, I realized it's some obscure old song my mother used to sing. As a Canadian who has been living in Canada for over 40 years, most of these songs surprisingly evade me. Canada Year must have been a really bad year for music because I doubt most Canadians would know these, although I can't exactly speak for Quebec. Or Newfoundland.

The choir on this record is going to hurt your brain.

Listen to En Roulant Ma Boule

Listen to Space Song

Valley View Intermediate Music Students - Dancing With The Hippos

You know that feeling when you step in dog shit? Or how about that feeling when you walk out of your bedroom first thing in the morning and step in cat puke? That's pretty close to what it's like listening to this album.

I can easily describe this CD as tropical music played by people who were trampled by hippos ten minutes earlier. It is an absolute fucking mess. I would love to meet the person who said, "This is so fucking good that I need to make a recording of it!" If anything, this album would be the perfect soundtrack for watching someone get beat up in Jamaica.

So sit back, smoke a fatty, and listen to a Bob Marley cover, an Arrow cover, and some other tropical storm of a song.

Listen to Stir It Up

Listen to Hot Hot Hot

Listen to Heavy Roller

The 10th Annual Band Jam for Cancer: The DVD Experience

So... Are you experienced? Well, you'll wish you hadn't been! Also, did anybody ask for this particular experience?

Apparently, Cancer demanded to attend a band jam (for the 10th time) and we got a DVD out of the deal. It's no wonder that Cancer is still rampant considering how fucking terrible some of these bands are. If we could only get some good talent, perhaps Cancer would stop trying to put us out of our misery.

WARNING: Watching these videos might make you want to die from something worse than Cancer.

Tanglebox - Believer

We're starting off on a good note. Tanglebox do a very faithful cover of a song from what I'd consider to be Sass Jordan's masterpiece, "Racine". Very competent band, very competent singer. Good job!

Nuthin' But Trouble - The Happiest Days Of Our Lives / Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2

...and the good feelings are gone with this abysmal Pink Floyd cover. There's so much production work in the original recording that this song should have been left alone. You can't possibly recreate the overall experience when you're a shitty garage band. Why couldn't they do a Pink Floyd song that's easy to cover like "Hey You" or "Wish You Were Here"?

On the plus side, we've got Geddy Lee Lennon on bass!

This one is really hard to watch because they take it so fucking seriously.

Ledd - Final Stand

Sorry buddy, you sound nothing like Chris Cornell. And how many bands does Geddy Lee Lennon play in?

Left of Centre - Never Come Around

I can't tell if these guys can't play or if this song just sucks ass. Even the guitar tries to bail half way through it.

Saxton - Cracked

This sounds nothing like Saxon. Also, this song should have been called "Crapped". They can't play in time, they can't tune their instruments, and the singer is awful. I think they're trying to imitate Nirvana, but it sounds more like someone using a power sander on a cat.

Dezl - Jack-Knife

The best thing about this band is their microphone stand made from a chain. I would have been much happier watching four and a half minutes of the microphone stand just sitting on stage. I guess the stage monitor doesn't work because the singer can't hear how terrible he is.

Neepawa never seems to disappoint with the videos, do they?

Next stop, a triple feature in Brandon!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Junq Tour 2021: Austin

Austin's finds weren't the total shits this round, but don't get me wrong... These people aren't going to be famous musicians any time soon! Let's see what we have...

We Three

Look! It's our first album with Joan McKay for this year! This woman has been on more recordings than the guys from Toto. Hell, I would even say that Joan belongs in the band Toto because she really is a damn good piano player. I don't know who the other two tag-alongs are, but they play well enough to make this cassette the most listenable in this batch of albums. All of the instruments are in tune with each other, including the clarinet. I usually find that woodwind instruments played by old people are usually flat as hell, but Stuart is perfectly capable of making the instrument work.

I pulled the Elvis song for your enjoyment. You can even hear Stuart clear his throat at the beginning so he can shove his clarinet down it.

Listen to Fool Such As I

Tiger Hills Group

Polka and waltz bands are a pretty common appearance here, but usually we get some shit played on a Casio with a band that are so deaf that they can't hear the synthesized drummer. This polka and waltz group can actually play together successfully. I don't really have much to say about them except for the pieces of kleenex hanging from their necks that are supposed to look like ties or scarfs or something. Perhaps they all have runny noses.

Listen to Wild Side of Life

Barrage - Vagabond Tales

Look at that cover. It's signed by every single person in Manitoba!

Barrage apparently puts on a live musical show, and according to the reviews around the internet, they do it very well. This is an album of songs from their performance called "Vagabond Tales". Their music is a mix of old folk crap with rock n' roll which is okay I guess, but not really my cup of tea. This album is performed and mixed very well. Surprisingly, they cover a Supertramp song which is a nice change from hearing "The Rose" or "Blue Eyes Crying in the Motherfucking Rain".

If you think that "Barrage" is a good name for a laxative that you just invented, I've got good news for you. You can purchase Barrage's domain because it's up for sale! An investment opportunity of a lifetime!

Listen to Take The Long Way Home

Rachel Quelch - Basement Melodies & The Faulty Piano

I absolutely love finding tapes or CDs where the artist has made a custom cover. Rachel came up with a lengthy but intriguing title for this six track CD she apparently recorded in someone's basement (perhaps her own). Rachel can sing well enough, but I find her songs a bit on the boring side.

The cover of the song "Crazy" is surprisingly not the Patsy Cline song, but is instead the song by Gnarls Barkely which features CeeLo Green on vocals. I actually like CeeLo Green, but I find this cover quite lackluster just like everything else on this CD with the exception of the first track where the piano says "fuck this song" and leaves the recording session half way through.

What I found interesting about Rachel Quelch is her co-worker is Cory Thomas, a damn good drummer that I've played with in the past. You can watch him drumming in this video I uploaded a few years ago.

We will hear from Rachel again during the Junq Tour, so keep an eye out!

Listen to Crazy

Ava Loon

This is certainly not the worst children's album I've ever heard, but it has a few bad flaws. First of all, who ever mixed it didn't take the intended audience into account and mixed a lot of the vocals quite poorly, making the lyrics hard to understand for children and adults of all ages. They could have easily inserted some controversial lyrics such as "go kill your mom because she's fucking your school teacher". I haven't been able to verify that this kind of content doesn't exist on this album. 

Second, the singer on "Are We There Yet" sang the damn thing in a really bad Scottish accent for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I wouldn't be surprised if he died a horrible death from some Scottish person smothering him with a kilt.

Listen to The Kitty

Jake Penner - Calgary

Welcome back to Church! Jake Penner makes us want to take his body and smash the organ player's head in with it. This tape is fucking awful.

Listen to The Unveiled Christ.

Little Jake Wiebe

Hey! Another Jake! It's a pandemic!

The only indication of what's on this tape is the words "Little Jake Wiebe" written on the inlay. Either this tape is in the wrong case, or Little Jake Wiebe is actually a little girl. I always find it interesting that a family can sit down together and record a cassette full of shitty gospel songs. I think my family did that a couple of times as well. 

Our featured track was recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys of "Elvira" fame. I would have liked to hear little girl Jake Wiebe sing that one instead of this lifeless piece of shit.

Listen to Where We Ever Shall Be

Locals George & Suzie Wiens

Guess what? This tape is in the wrong case too! Everything about it looks right; a Fuji cassette in a Fuji slim case. I figured I had a complete album, but the songs don't match the track listing. I mean, this could still be George & Suzie, but I have no way of verifying that, especially since it's the same old bastard singing on every song.

Listen to One Golden Curl

Arnie - Country Classics Vol. 1

Arnie Strynadka is a legend here on Classical Gas Emissions. I've covered his albums many times, and I still occasionally find more of them. His recordings usually sound like mud, but this one is so shiny and bright that it distorts really badly. I transferred this recording with the CrO2 switch on which helped suppress the brightness a little.

Arnie is famous for playing his fiddle along to a shitty Casio keyboard. He's also famous for singing like a guy who's had a few too many drinks. Also, I didn't know that Arnie was a staple in the Island of Misfit Musicians, also known as Branson Missouri. I'd love to take a visit down there one day, buy some shitty tapes & CDs, see a few shows, and blog about the whole experience. Perhaps one day I'll have the budget (and the lack of a pandemic) to take the trip.

Listen to Red River Valley

Next stop: Neepawa! You know it's gonna be good!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Junq Tour 2021: Portage La Prairie

 We're at the very start of the Junq Tour, and there's no better place to start than Portage La Prairie. I came out with a LOT of terrible music (as I usually do at this location), so let's not waste any more time and go through it...

Helen White - What The Hellsy

I got this one sealed, and I should have left it that way.

With songs like "Dreamworld", "Facebook Fiasco", "Men (Boring)", "Spoilt Bastard", and "I Miss You Dad" Helen sounds like a man-hating bitch with daddy issues. These songs come off as pompous, bombastic, annoying showtunes. I hate showtunes. Helen sounds like she has a load of talent that has lots it's control and skidded off the road and ended up in a herd of man-hating cows.

Let's see if I can come up with a response for every song title...

A Highway West - Where I drove over this CD

Dreamworld - What you're living in if you think this album will appeal to audiences other than bitter women

P.A.R.I.S. - Piss Arrangements Recorded In Stereo

Can't Concentrate - Judging by the lyrics, it was pretty obvious

Facebook Fiasco - What happens when I post my review of this

My Coat - Put it on and GTFO

You Can't Stop a Storm - Good thing you're not a storm!

Men (Boring) - Helen (Shitty)

MAXI - You shouldn't write lyrics when you're wearing one of these

Spoilt Bastard - Jaded Bitch

I Miss You Dad - I wish he was still around to whoop your ass for making this album

Perpetual Youth - Sounds like someone's trying to make up for getting a little saggy in the body!

Listen to Men (Boring)

Saffire The Uppity Blues Women

This is what happens when you get a bunch of bitter old women together to form a travelling musical circus act. These miserable bitches should get together with Helen White and create the ultimate "I hate men" band. Some of the song titles are "Silver Beaver", "You Can Have My Husband", "Bitch With a Bad Attitude", "Dump That Chump", and a mandatory cover of Patsy Cline's "Crazy". It's women like these who cause all the good men to decide that procreating is a bad idea. Putting your dick in a bitter angry woman will lead to the removal of your genitalia, your possessions, and your entire paycheck. After that, the woman will put those funds toward getting tattoos with some artificially uplifting phrase tattooed on her body and recording a shitty album that eventually rots in thrift stores across the land.

Listen to Bitch With a Bad Attitude

Standing Room Only - Pure Acappella

I seem to find at least one acappella album on every trip, and I hate myself for it each time. This one surprisingly doesn't contain a version of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", but it does contain the usual culprits "Stand By Me", "Under The Boardwalk", and "My Girl". Then there's the not-so-usual culprits like "Moon Dance" (the Van Morrison song spelled incorrectly), "You Can Call Me Al", and... More Than Words by Extreme??? 

I really can't understand the logic behind owning an acappella album. It's good for ONE listen. Other than that, acappella groups belong on a street corner collecting money from strangers.

Listen to More Than Words

Listen to Will The Circle Be Unbroken (it's actually Johnny Cash's Daddy Sang Bass)

G Watson Organ

Ain't nothin' but a G thang!

Usually when I come across these Wilcox-Gay Recordio discs, they're so wrecked that they're not worth picking up. This one is actually in somewhat decent shape. It's too bad the content is crap. It's nothing but someone playing an organ from the other side of the room. My turntable won't play the whole thing without retracting the stylus, and I didn't feel like hooking up a capable turntable, so you get what you get. I've shoved both sides onto one file. It's not like this guy is the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond or anything.

Listen to G Watson Organ

Gerry Bilton and the Redwood Band

According to the picture on the label, Gerry has no face. I suppose I could draw one in for the poor bugger.

I believe this is the only thing this guy released. He didn't get a record contract because these songs kinda suck. "Maybe She'll Look Good Again" is a song about getting drunk, taking some girl home, and then realizing how fucking ugly she is in the morning.

The flip side "Stay With Me Here Tonight" is the lyrical genius of a 15 year old who finally convinced his girlfriend to take her pants off but refuses to remove her panties. Poor Gerry.

Listen to Maybe She'll Look Good Again

Listen to Stay With Me Here Tonight

Willie and Rodi Longenecker - Grace Again

I've reviewed a couple of albums by these two in years past, and they never seem to get any better. They put a picture of their family and their home in Lake of the Woods on the other side of the cover because that's how good music is made. They also made sure that they put their location on the cover to counteract all those Willie and Rodi bootlegs that are apparently problematic.

According to this quote on the inside of the cover, Willie and Rodi have a really extensive and stressful touring schedule:

"Rodi and I have been traveling and singing in nursing homes, retirement communities, and churches"

It's a wonder they were able to find the time to record all 21 fucking songs on this album.

Listen to Crying In The Night

FMI - He Is The Man

So I finally got another album by FML. I reviewed one of their albums here, and little to nothing has changed. They have some pretty cool guitar licks that start the songs off, but it always turns into the same old pile of decomposing country music garbage with a really bad singer. Also, what the hell is with the seven minute song at the end of the album? This isn't fucking Led Zeppelin, this is some shit hole Christian band.

Listen to He Is The Man

Listen to Riding High

National Music Service, Inc - Secular Guitar #1

I bought this CD knowing absolutely nothing about it. I didn't even realize that it had a track listing on it. I guess that's what happens when you plow through the garbage CD piles like a madman. Anyway, I looked up this company, and I found a bit of information about the person who ran it...

"He helped transform the modern funeral with his Spokane-based National Music Service, which at one point supplied music for three-quarters of the funeral services held in the United States and Canada."

So what I have here is an entire CD of music that is played at funeral homes throughout North America. In case you're wondering, yes there is plenty of tremolo-filled organ on these tracks to put you in that "death in the family" mood.

The song "Love is Blue" used to be a beautiful, light and fluffy musical piece that would remind you of a beautiful woman. Now it's slow, miserable and will remind you of your dead uncle. "What a Wonderful World" used to be an uplifting song about life. Now it's a song about how your grandmother died in a puddle of her own piss. "My Way" used to be about success and survival, but now it reminds you of being buried in the ground with weeds growing over top of you. This CD does a spectacular job at ruining the classics for you.

Listen to What A Wonderful World

Listen to Love Is Blue

Derek & Dorothy - Soft & Easy

"Soft" is Derek's nickname and "Easy" is Dorothy's nickname. Derek plays guitar and Dorothy plays everything else (a Casio). They put mandatory reverb on everything to make it sounds like you're floating around in an artificial heaven.

Since these are all instrumentals, I was tempted to add my vocals to some of these to make them more interesting. I didn't, at least not this time.

Listen to Wind Beneath My Wings

Doug Brown - From The Heart

Albums covers are the best when someone uses a photo from a family trip from many years ago. The best thing I can say about this album is it doesn't sound like it was recorded with a tin can. However, it was probably recorded with Audacity because this album has that really dry digital sound with no effects added. Also, Doug has some hard P's, possibly because of his age, but also because he didn't throw a windscreen on his computer microphone.

Listen to Ask For The Ancient Paths

Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers - The Shed

This album absolutely failed to live up to its promises. The back of the album says "The best of Newfoundlan music and humour". The only thing they got right is Newfoundland. Half on the tracks are instrumentals, and they're not even funny instrumentals. The other half with vocal performances also isn't funny. This seems to be typical of albums that boast about how funny the are.

There is a parody of "Whiter Shade of Pale", but I can't understand the lyrics. Half of it is sung in a Donald Duck voice, because singing in a Donald Duck voice apparently makes everything funny. Must be a Newfie thing.

Listen to Whiter Shade of Pale

R-Passion - R-Music R-Way


This group of retired pirates joined together in a tin can and recorded an album of non-pirate music. Every single song fades in, and all of the songs cut off suddenly. This is one of the most stale mmmm-plop-plop bands I've ever heard, and I've heard a LOT of mmmm-plop-plop music. Half of this album is in French and therefore unlistenable. The other half is in English, and is also unlistenable.

Listen to You Are My Sunshine

Hank Williams - The Year of '84

Isn't this exciting? Hank Williams came back from the dead and recorded a really bad album. After such a long gap between recording sessions, it appears that poor Hank forgot how to sing. Apparently, a lengthy bout of death will do that to you. Also, could Hank jam any more shit onto this cover? He put the track listing, the credits, and a quote from somebody (possibly himself), but he didn't even put his name on it. You wouldn't even know this was a Hank Williams album unless you looked at the CD!

Listen to Bury That Man

Listen to There Is Time

Old Man Singing Ninety and Nine

Someone recorded their half-dead great grandfather singing a song called "The Ninety and Nine" while taking a bath. He probably drowned to death from a heart attack after he was done.

Listen to Ninety and Nine

There is plenty more to come from this Junq Tour. I have accumulated probably the biggest haul out of any of the other Junq Tours. Judging from how much I acquired, I may end up doing the exact same route for next year. Stay tuned for Austin!