Records of the Year

This year I loved new albums by Jens Lekman and Saint Etienne, among others. But thanks to one of the many Facebook groups whose members post the records they’re listening to, I find out about more strange records than is healthy for me. These are some of the more interesting I’ve stumbled upon and/or obsessed over.

Rev. Antonio C. Agpaoa ‎– My Meditations On Self-Awareness

The thickly accented ramblings of a Filipino “faith surgeon” who claimed to have the power of surgical healing simply by laying his hands on a patient, excerpts of this curiosity originally made the rounds on WFMU’s 365 Days project.

Mayhem – Give Up

A very limited release of the music from the punk episode of Quincy, produced for an Austin screening of the episode.

Medical English For German Doctors – Folge 2 House Calls

Last month I got a notification on Discogs that a Turkish user had an inexpensive copy of a rare avant-garde album that usually goes for hundreds of dollars; it was just missing the cover. That was gone by the time I inquired about it, but among the dealer’s listings were a series of these records made in the early’70s for German doctors studying English medical terms. Sleekly designed (each entry in the series has its own interior color scheme), the sets featured photography evocative of a Fassbinder film, and scripts in English and German to help you follow along with the miniature dramatizations. In the “Casualty” set, an emergency room nurse offers to get a doctor a cup of tea, but then a siren sounds, and the doctor regrettably passes up the offer in order to tend to the next patient.

Dinah Shore ‎– Dinah!

From a college library sale, a double-album set of the one-time talk show host singing, among other pop hits, Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave your Lover.”

Mitch Irish And The Friends ‎– The Capture Of Bigfoot

A holy grail that I wasn’t sure even existed until this year – when I contacted a member of the band, he insisted it was never released. As a Bigfoot aficionado, I have watched a lot of terrible movies devoted to the cryptozoological mystery, and The Capture of Bigfoot includes a party scene with the wonderful discofied number “Sensuous Tiger.” I finally confirmed this record’s existence a few years ago on a soundcloud page belonging to a fellow Bigfoot collector, and when he let me know that he was selling off his stash, I unfortunately just missed out on this elusive platter. Fortunately, it came up for sale again a few months later, this time a copy from the estate of science fiction producer Forrest Ackerman.

Johnny Stewart  ‎– Secrets Of Successful Duck Calling

Perhaps not as interesting as Stewart’s Secrets of Successful Varmint Calling, which I discovered last year, but I had to seek that one out while this one conveiently appeared in a thrift shop.

Howard Menger ‎– Authentic Music From Another Planet

From a record fair dealer who seems to specialize in this kind of stuff. It’s a good thing I don’t go to record fairs more often.

Siegfried Rabe ‎– ALF Folge 2 – Die Hawaii-Party / Es War Einmal Ein Komiker

A 2-CD set of Alf teleplays in German. It sounds like Fassbinder.

Lawrence J. Taylor, Robert G. Arnold ‎– Sales Consciousness: A Program For Employees Of Construction Equipment Distributors

One of a nice stack of beautifully designed spoken-word records I picked up at Graveface in Savannah.

Olavi Virta ‎– Lannevannelaulu / Hula Hula Hula Hula Hula Hoop

Years ago my wife found a wonderful YouTube clip of this ’50s hit by a Finnish singer primarily known for the tango (look closely and you can see a Virta poster in Aki Kurausmaki’s The Other Side of Hope). This year I finally tracked down a 45.

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