Holy Modal Rounders. Classic or dud?

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I haven't heard them myself.

shookout (shookout), Monday, 31 May 2004 14:45 (seventeen years ago) link

classic AND dud. stampfel can be really great (anyone read his sci-fi?). i like em best when the jokey shit is backseated for actual, ya know, songs and stuff.

Yanc3y (ystrickler), Monday, 31 May 2004 15:10 (seventeen years ago) link

The ESP album is excruciating.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 31 May 2004 15:29 (seventeen years ago) link

i've got vol 1 & 2, which is mainly great stuff. i've been told after that they went a bit weird & recorded some psychedelic influenced stuff, i havent heard any of this though. they should have been regulars on early sesame st, i can easily picture them singing 'mole in the ground' with monsters dancing around.

zappi (joni), Monday, 31 May 2004 15:41 (seventeen years ago) link

er, without that verse about the railroad man (now that i've thought about it some more)

zappi (joni), Monday, 31 May 2004 15:46 (seventeen years ago) link

the 'psychedelic' stuff is The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders" and it's cool. I like all their stuff but they're best on Have Moicy! with Hurley et al

roger adultery (roger adultery), Monday, 31 May 2004 16:49 (seventeen years ago) link

"Psychedelic" stuff, I guess, would also be Indian War Whoop (which preceded the Moray Eels record on Elektra). That's the one I commented on above.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 31 May 2004 17:00 (seventeen years ago) link

is that the one with the "IWW" song on it?

roger adultery (roger adultery), Monday, 31 May 2004 17:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Indian War Whoop is kinda cool. I wanna hear the Moray Eels... sometime.

Mike Ouderkirk (Mike Ouderkirk), Monday, 31 May 2004 21:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Roger, yeah. I guess that song's kind of cool.

Tim Ellison, Monday, 31 May 2004 21:08 (seventeen years ago) link

I have moray Eel ... and Good taste is timeless. Eel suffers from some bad production (the producer tries to make it a tad too psychedelic). The songs that arent overproduced such Take Off Artist, Half a Mind and Werewolf (probably the best acapella song ever) are good.
Good taste has a more straightforward production (they recorded it in nashville) but the arragements are folky or country and work. Includes a superior version of boobs alot (compared to the recorded fugs version)

jb, Monday, 31 May 2004 21:21 (seventeen years ago) link

stampfel did some really clever things with old songs. he often had a good musical sense. and i think he actually knows a lot about those old songs and their world--enough for his variations to make sense and not just be spoofs (sort of like fahey, except about 20 steps down the ladder). that said, the relentless "wackiness" gets on my nerves. not my cup of tea.

i prefer michael hurley, but even he gets old fast.

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 01:14 (seventeen years ago) link

What's the one with "Indian War Whoop" on it? Simultaneously very entertaining and very annoying.

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 1 June 2004 09:09 (seventeen years ago) link

jb! I'm glad yo like it!

danh, Tuesday, 1 June 2004 14:27 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
Don't you take me for no low down dog
(Low down dog!)
Don't you know I got my pride?
I just want to walk beside you, baby
But you say, but you say
I must walk behind?
Well, I ain't holding still for none of that stuff!

Who will keep your bed warm when I'm gone?
(When I'm gone?)
If you let the fire go out
Better know what you're about, my baby
But you say, but you say
My bed's warm enough?
Well I ain't holding still for none of that stuff!

Who will mind the children when I'm gone?
(When I'm gone?)
When you want to get away
Who will take them out to play, my baby?
But you say, but you say
Kids are my whole life!
Well I ain't holding still for none of that stuff!

Who will feed you peaches when I'm gone?
(When I'm gone?)
Your new lover may be cute
But will he bring home the fruit, my baby?

But you say, but you say
Peaches make me fat!
Well I ain't holding still for none of that stuff!

Don't you treat me like no Viet Cong!
(Viet Cong!)
Don't you know I'm from Da Nang
I just want to let it hang my baby
But you say, but you say
We gonna drop the bomb!
Well I ain't holding still for none of that stuff!

Well, on a wagon traveling down your road!
(Down the road!)
Well, you say I'm just one more
That it really ain't a bore, my baby
But you say, but you say
Your road's worn and rough
Well I ain't holding still for none of that stuff!

Ian John50n (orion), Friday, 5 August 2005 17:00 (sixteen years ago) link

eight years pass...


I only know them from their first Prestige album, so this was something (not sure what).

clemenza, Sunday, 17 November 2013 03:04 (eight years ago) link


A sort of "Sister Ray" for the mentally handicapped (staggerlee), Sunday, 17 November 2013 03:43 (eight years ago) link

I loved the first two albums, where it was just Weber and Stampfel goofing (and sometimes even playing it straight) on all that Anthology stuff. And their contribution to the Fugs' first album (originally on Folkways! if you can imagine) make it IMO their best.

I love that the Moray Eels record exists, even if I never want to listen to it (outside of once in a while "Half a Mind" when I'm feeling particularly garagey). Anything later I've found unbearable. And that Hee Haw thing, jesus.

A sort of "Sister Ray" for the mentally handicapped (staggerlee), Sunday, 17 November 2013 03:48 (eight years ago) link

The ESP album is excruciating.

― Tim Ellison, Monday, May 31, 2004 11:29 AM (9 years ago)

Just, you know, acquired this. It's a mess, for sure. A couple of songs partially succeed--most of "Sky Divers" is
pretty (unnecessary intro and coda), and I like the drony folk half of "The I.W.W. Song." And "The Second-Hand Watch" sort of reminds me of the Velvets' "The Murder Mystery." Don't think I'll save anything, though.


clemenza, Tuesday, 19 November 2013 03:27 (eight years ago) link

two years pass...

Peter Stampfel's "Holiday For Strings" out 11/11 on Don Giovanni Records

This fall, Don Giovanni Records will release Holiday For Strings, a new album by psychedelic folk hero, Peter Stampfel (Holy Modal Rounders, Fugs, and so on). As with his previous album Tony Millionaire did the beautiful cover art.

Listen to "New Johnnie Get Your Gun" HERE

Peter Stampfel on Holiday For Strings:

As I said in the liner notes to this album, Welcome to the latest stage of my Great Blindfolded Vision Quest as I blunder sideways ever sideways towards wherever the hell I think I’m going. Which tends to be some other place then I thought it was. For which I remain constantly grateful.

The premise of this album was that when three fiddles play at once, the harmonics sort of hook up, producing a bumble bee buzz. I discussed this with violinist Jenny Scheinman, who I met when she was playing with Bill Frisell, and she said, yes, it takes at least three, and it sounds like a Swarm! Of bees! Exactly! Thank you, Jenny! Swarm! Bees! Yes!

But when push, as is its tendency, came to shove, as it tends to do, a bunch of mandolins bumrushed the recording session, via the Holy Spirit, which tends to be behind musical bumrushes, and has (Holy Spirit) a tendency to surprise me. For which I remain constantly grateful.

Fear not however though! The Swarm shall manifest not here (where it’s two or three-ish on a scale of ten), nor on the subsequent album, Peter Stampfel and the Atomic Meta Pagans, The Cambrian Explosion, which is being mixed in Louisiana by Mark Bingham as we speak (September ’16), but on the one after that, Peter Stampfel and the Atomic Meta Pagans, The Ordovician Era. Upcoming liner notes will provide more clarity. That’s where you’ll hear the goddamn swarm, dammit! In the one after the next one! Don Giovanni said, record whatever you want as often as you want, and we’ll put it out, to which we say, Yessir! Our albums will be coming atcha at warp speed. All but two tracks here were recorded in about three hours, total. And our band-skill-set is about in third or fourth grade. Our crazy dance has barely begun. Just you wait.

Hopefully, Tony Millionaire will be doing ongoing covers, as he has for the last two, for my ongoing releases on the Don Giovanni (straight out of New Jersey) label. The prospect of him drawing critters from ongoing ancient geological time periods has me quivering. The plan is for the AMPs and geological eras to march on, era after era, album after album, hand in hand. Y’all come!

I’ll go ongoing about my learning curve, which keeps getting more perpendicular, for which I remain constantly grateful. Specifically, each album I make has a ton of mistakes and wrong turns in general, which I tend not to repeat, but I always find new wrong turns, somehow. I fear the day I make no more wrong turns, because if that day comes, surely, my ass will fall off.

Meanwhilst, don activity-appropriate garb and join us, in a Holiday For Strings!

dow, Tuesday, 4 October 2016 01:24 (five years ago) link

three years pass...

RIP Steve Weber

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 20:05 (one year ago) link


tamagotchi revival artist (morrisp), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 20:13 (one year ago) link

thanks for posting :(



sleeve, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 20:13 (one year ago) link

xp Stampfel posted about it earlier

sleeve, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 20:13 (one year ago) link

oh no... rip!

no lime tangier, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 20:17 (one year ago) link

Aw, man. The one Holy Modal record I own, Good Taste is Timeless, is tamer than what came before, but it holds a special place in my heart. I got it from a mail order record club when I was a lad getting into Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and other Americana, and I have played it countless times. And now my band covers "Spring of '65." RIP, Steve.

A perfect transcript of a routine post (Dan Peterson), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 20:23 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

I wonder if Andy Merrill modeled Brak's voice at all on Stampfel's. No disrespect meant in that, I love Stampfel's singing. Anyway, his 20th Century in 100 Songs is terrific fun. (I'm about halfway through my first listen.)

In my house are many Manchins (WmC), Sunday, 13 June 2021 01:04 (five months ago) link

on his bandcamp:
Not In Our Wildest Dreams
by Peter Stampfel & The Dysfunctionells

The Ds are Rich Krueger, who makes some pretty wild albums of his own when away from his bigtime medical duties--read all about his music on xgau's site---and five other guys, incl. multi-instrumentalists, and a couple of others show up on some of these selections from four live sets, in '94 and '96, Grab a coffee and vitamins and headphones.
Likewise for his latest opus, even more years in the making---at least, yearrrs in the occasional emails from Mark Bingham (cool!), here is indeed the aforementionedhttps://louisianaredhotrecords.bandcamp.com/album/peter-stampfels-20th-century in 100 Songs, no more, no less.

dow, Sunday, 13 June 2021 01:47 (five months ago) link

Quite a few albums on his bandcamp: I like all that I've heard, except maybe this "Bottlecaps demo tape," as Jeffrey Lewis IDs it, which came out last year--maybe not as good overall as the finished products? Will listen more: https://peterstampfel.bandcamp.com/album/demo-84

dow, Sunday, 13 June 2021 01:58 (five months ago) link

five months pass...

Just listened to the first half of this on Bandcamp--take it away, Louisiana Music Factory:
Louisiana Red Hot Records release “Peter Stampfel’s 20th Century” is an epic 100 song collection. The 5 Disc box set is augmented by an impressive 30,000+ words in an 88 page booklet that outlines the history of each selection alongside tales from the singular life of the artist, with pithy production notes from producer Mark Bingham added for good measure...Features Mark Bingham, Michael Cerveris, Jonathan Frelich, Michot’s Melody Makers, Alex McMurray, Amasa Miller and Sarah Quintana
Seemed a bit too much like faded sheet music imagery, wall paper at first (hey, he should do Statler Bros' "Flowers on the Wall," also Sahm-Dylan duet "Wallflower"--maybe next time--could happen, given the range here), with singing close to a groan, just a little slow strumming for his bed---but pretty soon he and the music perked up, in bloom when it's the right time , sprouting and shedding and grafting instruments and styles(I won't tell you where the drums and wah-wah show up), also happiness and sadness and excitement and reveries and diving and rolling and popping up again, gracefully shadowing words and bridges and intros I didn't know about (a lot of old songs have intros rarely played later on), and I never know quite what he and helpers will go and do next, though it all hangs together.
I do recall during maybe the first 20 thinking that there might be some duplication of effort, that I might end up just liking 50 or so. But so far I like almost that many, and pretty sure will be more keepers in the second half (it's not divided up on Bandcamp, I just ran out of listening time 'til tomorrow).

dow, Wednesday, 24 November 2021 01:31 (one week ago) link

diving and rolling and popping up again,, like Ishmael and Melville and RIP Dave Hickey, getting high on what they know and can still do, back in the saddle again. And again. ("Once more, with feeling.")

dow, Wednesday, 24 November 2021 03:57 (one week ago) link

I knew there would be some gaps between further listening sessions, but had to jump more than expected,so right now I can't remember exactly which ones I'm likely to start skipping from last week's sessions, the first 42 or so.
But right now, I'm tempted to begin again with 12. "Ragtime Cowboy Joe"----then, for continuity x momentum's sake, skip some of the good 'uns along with duds, and jump to 50. "It Isn’t Fair" and maybe
51."Jezebel"--then def. 53."Tennessee Wig Walk," and proceed from there for quite a ways---he reinvents Roundery folk-rock, with itchy warm blankets, corn cobs, corn plasters, potbellied stoves, bear breath, bear everything---eventually, in the late 70s-80s-90s-etc. material, the music becomes more like it was then, but not (when it's good) too close to original effect: he's still turning up aspects I'd forgotten about or never noticed, as in the reeely olde stuff he started with.
For inst.,(skip 74. "September Gurls" and 75."Tangled Up In Blue, " go to 76.) the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" is no longer nerf pop, it's a slowed, gathering, electric bluesy approach, trying not to scare her away---and that along with several varied but compatible reworkings soon after, overall gives me a flashback to youg weirdo romanitc Jonathan Richman---then Stampfel goes on to other things.
Skip 81. "Dancing With Myself" (voice totally inert there). Skip 86. "My Hometown" and 87. "Don’t Dream It’s Over"---then everything else is fine!!
I'm sure I'll find more keepers; this was just a single playlist.

dow, Thursday, 2 December 2021 02:40 (one hour ago) link

And as xgau indicated, damn if Stampfel and "Earth To Grandma" don't seem genetically bonded, via Wussy's Chuck Cleaver, ditto "Yellow," with clouds of Chris Martin vocals cleared away--lovely compatibles also incl. "Loser," "Tubthumping," "I Will Survive," and Prine-DeMent homage "In Spite of Ourselves."A duet with Lilli Lewis on the 2nd vocal. No runny eggs on this track

dow, Thursday, 2 December 2021 03:00 (one hour ago) link

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