Literally, everything. This is a fucking gem right here. Super charmer Steve Allen talks to his real-life wife/actress Jayne Meadows about computer dos & don’ts, how to buy one, what all that fancy terminology means, etc, etc. This is partly hilarious because even if it didn’t sound dated, it’s still insanely cheesy, but it’s also partly astounding when you see how far we’ve come in 30 years. Have a nice romp with nostalgia and maybe you’ll learn something too.
Steve Allen & Jayne Meadows – Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Home Computers (Casablanca, 1983)
This is the first official reward that is a direct result of the fundraising successes. I promised more mixes and more old weird records, and this falls firmly into the latter. Very cool record that’s essentially a collage of the sounds leading up to and contributing to “The Space Age” (mostly ’50s & early ’60s). There’s a lengthy list of sounds on the back of the jacket (a scan of it is included in the download) including “heartbeat of the dog, Laika, in Sputnik II,” “blast furnace warning whistle,” “Model ‘A’ Ford,” “atom bomb,” “electronic digital computer programmed to play music,” “bowling ball,” “Adolf Hitler,” “multi-frequency telephone tones,” “Air raid – London,” “test firing of various rockets and missiles,” “Alan Shepard during re-entry of space capsule, Freedom 7″ and tons of other shit. Fun stuff. Whoever compiled this must’ve had a fucking blast.
A record for medical students to hear normal vs “pathological” hearts. Lots of super awesome science speak about hearts & their defects. Lots of rhythmic hearts beating in a muffled stutter. If you enjoyed that dog heart sounds record I posted, clearly this is for you (and vice versa). A friend, the proprietor of the exceptionally rad music/tech blog Zed Equals Zee, scored this for me. She clearly knows my interests well.
I never thought I’d fine a record weirder & closer to my heart than that seashell pronunciation LP from a while back but I’m pretty sure this Canine Heart Sounds album trumps it. It’s pretty literal with its title and minimal in its jacket design. Then again, it was put out by a pharmaceutical company and I don’t think they’re usually known for their creativity.
The sounds on here are incredible, starting out with normal heartbeats which could be used for lullabies or an homage to Gas. Later on the sounds get more & more irregular, and by the end of the record, you hear dogs with severe heart problems and their beats could be thrown down without alterations at your next dance party.
So the sounds are super fucking awesome but there’s the whole reality of it that you’re listening to these poor dogs who aren’t doin so hot. :(
There’s a narrator, Stephen Ettinger, who explains what’s going on for each sound, so this is definitely an educational record for vets and animal surgeons and whatnot. I’ll probably edit out all of his talking at some point like I did with the Sounds Of Insects, but I was too fuckin psyched about this record to wait to post it and I didn’t have enough time for superfluous editing.
Download International Morse Code Beginners Course: Learn Code The Easy Way
For hardcore Morse Code nerds only. This LP is straight up basic Morse Code. No instructions, no talking. Just the relentless beeps of the Code. I think they go through the alphabet in the beginning and then spell out some words towards the ends. But who knows. I don’t speak Morse Code.
This sounds like a lo-fi fire alarm with dying batteries throwing a dance party, or somebody hooked up to an EKG whose heart pumps minimal weirdo techno. It’s definitely not the easiest thing to listen to straight through but if you can handle it, fuckin go for it. Or chop it up and make some rad beats with it if that’s your thing.
Also, look at the fucking cover art. Pretty awesome.
Download The Farm
This. Is hilarious. The A side has an old geezer, who occasionally doesn’t really know what he’s talking about, having a conversation with a young farm owner from Vermont, Charles Dana, about all of the animals wandering around the farm. The dialog is SO awkward. The old guy asks the most obvious questions and says things like, “Well, I see you have a cat here” and “What’s that thing out in the barn there bawling like a lamb?” (answer: goat). He’s basically the worst person to just shoot the shit with. And the farmer sounds like he’d rather die than explain what the animals are up to.
Of course, while this whole conversation is going on, there’s all sorts of animal sounds. So not only are two guys uncomfortably chatting about farm life but they’re surrounded by peeping chicks, cows, horses, pigs, turkeys, and some other guy calling the sheep & cows from the fields. They went for the ultimate in realism over here. It’s like you’re actually ON A FARM. Except they clearly recorded all of the animals separately and tried to string it together with a single conversation afterwards. “Oh, look what’s here. Pigs!” Yeah, good segue there buddy.
The B side is the exact same as the A side, except it’s just the animals. The interview is gone and you’re left with a strange array of farm sounds. In other words, way less entertaining. Clearly the meat of this album is listening to these two dudes talking about the automatic milking of cows and the problems of raccoons.
Droll Yankees looks like an amazing label. They put out a bunch of records like this, all with great album art, but about all sorts of things. Grave diggers, tug boats, bird songs, all aspected of New England life they tried to document. Some guy got kind of obsessed with the label for a bit and did a fair amount of research and independent cataloging, picking up as many copies as he could find. Definitely a worthwhile little page he has set up. Hope it helps me find some more Droll Yankees records.