A few years back I stumbled across the song “Disneyland” by Come On, a lost gem of the NYC 70’s music scene. The lyrics did me in right away, “I hate Disneyland, Mickey didn’t shake my hand. Mickey Mouse is a Rat! Micky Mouse is a rat!” The vocals flip between a damning rant against the happiest place on earth and Mickey Mouse impressions that lead me to believe that the lead singer may have been a lunatic. To give them some street cred, David Byrne allegedly took Brian Eno to see them perform at CBGB.
My original plan here was to post that song for you to enjoy, but I believe that Disney may have used their magic powers to eradicate it from the Internet completely. Nobody puts Mickey in a corner! If you have Spotify please check it out on their album New York City 1976-80, Track 16, it’s a hoot!
Lucky for us, the entire album is fabulous and full of lunatic speech and catchy guitar riffs. Here’s just a taste, “Housewives Play Tennis.”
In the spirit of labels reissuing rare, electronic-synth based 80s African music this year (i.e Gongbanter favorite William Onyeabor), I’d like to spread the word about the magical Hailu Mergia and His Classical Instrument. After picking up his record per a staff recommendation at my favorite Santa Barbara-based record store (Warbler, duh), I was thrilled to find that one of my favorite blogs, Awesome Tapes From Africa, released it on wax. In short, the record represents a collection of traditional Ethiopian songs performed by Mergia, an Ethiopian musical legend who made his name playing in the Walias Band (a description that doesn’t do his rich musical history justice). While his vocals are mostly absent on this recording, he speaks through his accordion, analog synth and electric piano, expressing warm, hypnotic arrangements.