Aug 152007

Mr. Moderator is nothing if not zealous in his efforts to protect the hallowed Halls of Rock from assholishness. [Mod. – Hey, some days I think I promote just that!] One of Moddie’s first defensive bulwarks in this effort is an understandable reluctance to let folks post images and sounds without extensive monitoring and assistance. [Mod. – Ugh!]

Well, folks, after much lobbying and assuaging of doubts, I finally managed to convince our Moderator that it would be in the Hall’s best interest to at least allow me to post my Thrifty Music series without requiring extensive interactive assistance from Mod and The Back Office. [Mod. – Bravo!] (Posting a Thrifty Music comp actually takes a lot of time and quite a bit of work, people… y’all bettah recognize!)

Anyhow, my first order of business upon being granted these limited powers of postage has been to make sure I know what the hell I’m doing before setting about finally delivering Volume 8 of the Thrifty Music series. So, naturally, I thought I’d share a couple of the most heinous rejects from my bin-scouring efforts. If this experimental post makes it through the ether successfully, I shall undertake to bring you the next couple of Thrifty Music comps quickly and with meticulous attention to quality.


The Whatnauts — and “Ray” — will erase away your pain

The Whatnauts, “I’ll Erase Away Your Pain”

First up in this experimental collection: “I”ll Erase Away Your Pain,” by Baltimore’s The Whatnauts. When I first slapped this grimy 45 onto the turntable, I was quite taken aback by the sheer weirdness of the song. Who greenlighted this project?! I mean, to achieve some measure of success in popular music, don’t you need to at least offer a hummable melody, or a catchy hook, or something? This song is structured so strangely that even the skip/scratch at the top of the number seems to make no difference to its melodic “flow.” Note also that — while I try to refrain from simply regurgitating intelligence I gather from the InterWeb on my Thrifty Music subjects — I have to share something I found on a site called, describing the band’s line-up: “Obscure beyond reason, the Whatnauts were comprised of Garnett Jones, Billy Herndon, Gerald “Chunky” Pinckney, and a guy identified only as Ray, who disappeared after this album.” More power to ya, Ray! The next best thing to The Oneders’ T.B. Player!

50 gold piasters to the man who can find me a photo of the Jalopy Five!

The Jalopy Five, “Nowhere Man”

Secondly, as a heartfelt “thank you” to all the RTHers who wasted our time so admirably on that embarassingly geeky “What if the Beatles were food?” thread, I offer an interesting take on “Nowhere Man” by HIT! Records’ own Jalopy Five. Pay careful attention to the dulcet tones of the Jalopies’ backup harmonies, and their guitarist’s effort to reproduce Harrison’s lead in the middle. Ahhh… the ’60s. A glorious era of pop music genius!

So, even for this experimental post, now is the time ask my usual probing questions of you, the listener. They follow below:

1. Poor “Ray” — his contributions to the Whatnauts are sadly lost in the mists of rock time. But was he the Whatnauts’ Stu Sutcliffe or just their Pete Best? And while I’m asking questions around here…Which long-lost “original band member” from a fave band of yours do you wish would make a triumphant return?

2. I’m still laughing at that Jalopy Five cover — but now I’m chortling at the fake Liverpool accents the band adopts for maximum Beatle-riffic effect. Question: Other than fake American and British accents, can you think of any other fake ethno-linguistic affectations in the world of rock?


  11 Responses to “Thrifty Music, Vol. Minus One: Unbelievable Shite”

  1. There’s the singer’s fake-Japanese accent in the Vapors, “Turning Japanese.”

  2. Mr. Moderator

    To answer your questions…

    1. Bruce Thomas returning to The Attractions.

    2. I first think of the ever-popular Jamaican (or is it more broadly Carribean?) patois in songs like The Kinks’ “Apeman”.

  3. Mr. Moderator

    The J-5 version of “Nowhere Man” is terrible. I love how the lead singer sometimes cuts off phrases prematurely and uncertainly.

  4. hrrundivbakshi

    Good answers, Doctor and Mod. Especially good call on the fake Jamaican Kinks patois.

    And, yes, Mr. Mod — the Jalopy Five “Nowhere Man” is extremely terrible. My vinyl guru, e.Pluribus explains that HIT! records were a whole sub-genre of pretend hit records, priced at a fraction of the *actual* hit versions, that usually ended up in the collections of kids who either had no money or well-meaning but tin-eared parents who couldn’t tell the difference.

    Can you imagine actualy being a member of the Jalopy Five? Some Herb Tarlek type hands you a copy of Rubber Soul with a highligted circle around a couple of songs and shoves you into the studio, where you’ve got exactly two hours to learn and record the damn things. I mean, yeah, you’re making a living playing music, but… I bet the level of alcoholism in that group was pretty high, when they actually got paid.

  5. Mr. Moderator

    Hrrundi writes:

    My vinyl guru, e.Pluribus explains that HIT! records were a whole sub-genre of pretend hit records, priced at a fraction of the *actual* hit versions, that usually ended up in the collections of kids who either had no money or well-meaning but tin-eared parents who couldn’t tell the difference.

    In other words, these were the supermarket “bobo” sneaks of rock. EPG and I had a good laugh over bobos just last week – you know, those knock-off adidas with the fourth stripe that left a Scarlet Letter-like trace even if you managed to rip off the extra stripe.

  6. BigSteve

    1. Pete Quaife
    2. There’s some PiL song where Lydon counts in German — eins, zwei, drei, vier — over and over. Is it Attack?

    There’s also McCartney’s cute French in Michelle.

  7. hrrundivbakshi

    BigSteve — Quaife is an interesting choice; are you just indulging a nostalgic longing, or did Pete bring something that all the faceless bassists that followed did not?

  8. It doesn’t count as “fake,” so much, but there’s a brilliant bi-lingual pun in the Rutles’ “Goose Step Mama,” in the line “You’ve got nothing to eins, zwei, drei, vier”: besides the obvious play on vier/fear (Note for them what don’t know German: “vier” and “fear” are homophones), it comes at a point in the song where a standard 1-2-3-4 countdown would slot in just fine.

    The Bonzos pre-dated the patois in “Apeman” with their calypso tune “Look Out. There’s A Monster Coming.” In fact, YouTube has a probably-verging-on-somewhat-racist clip of them performing the song in partial blackface from an episode of DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET.

  9. BigSteve

    Nostalgia sure, but the other Kinks themselves say it was never the same after Pete left (Days was his last recording). There’ve been rumors for years that Ray wanted the original four to reunite for studio recording rather than touring, but apparently Dave was against it. So it’s not just me longing

  10. Mr. Moderator

    Good ones, Great one!

    Has anyone ever put on a Canadian accent?

  11. general slocum

    Also, Ray apparently took bad Jamaican lessons from Chuck Berry, who pioneered the concept on “Havana Moon,” to brilliant effect. And Kraftwerk always had those German parodies.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube