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!

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