Archive for the ‘The Chipmunks’ Category

The Handclappers / D. D. T. & The Repellents

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Listen: Three Gassed Rats / The Handclappers

I’m just loving estate sales these past few weeks. Schlepped my tired bones to another one in 5 Towns Saturday morning. I really thought twice about it. Listing his phone number in the post, I called the guy the night before. This fellow was kind of short, probably having gotten so many calls already. I wanted to know, did he have any records, given none where listed in the ad. Seeing as the number was listed, why not ring?

He proceeded to say there were a few, but that his Dad worked for WABC in the 60′s, so most of the good stuff was long gone, plus he ‘knew his stuff’. Oh boy, a little knowledge can be more dangerous than a lot, but I got up, showered, and braved a NYC snow storm. That, by the way, means an inch or so, but the city cripples and these moments make for perfect opportunities to buy records at just this kind of event.

Waiting in line at 7am with a bunch of desperate, unwashed dealers, hoping to make their rent for yet another week is pretty fucking ugly and depressing. Why am I here?

Well guess what, these records are two of about fifty examples of why. Yes, his Dad worked sales for WABC in the early 60′s, and was more fun to talk to than the records he sold me, well almost.

I shudder to imagine the stuff that he unloaded prior, but the remnants were just fantastic. All $1 or less, and in unplayed, untouched, almost unbelievable condition.

‘Three Gassed Rats’ is from ’61, on the London Records distributed Collier, most likely the imprint’s sole release, a surf wannabe. Gassing any animal is not my idea of an ethical procedure, but clearly from title alone, worth a 50ยข gamble. Plus, I love anything to do with London Records. Thinking back, that parent company picked up many a local release, giving each it’s own label identity. Smart move on London’s part. The examples are becoming endless.

What do I know about The Hanclappers’ origins? Nothing. What I do know is this one is a rad Link Wray attempt, and hopefully they were from Kansas or somewhere equally unlikely.

Listen: The Fly Swatter / D. D. T. & The Repellents

Oh yes, D. D. T. & The Repellents. no doubt, another regional release scooped up by a major. This literally crosses The Ran-dells ‘Martian Hop’ with The Chipmunks, throwing in a little, very little, Dick Dale. This one pre-dates The Cramps’ ‘Human Fly’ by about fifteen years. I guess you could call it Surf. Don’t know, nor do I know squat about the band.

Generally, I despise when anyone writes on the record label, or even the company sleeve. In this case though, I appreciate the identification. Top of the pile, this former WABC employee’s decided to announce that particular stack, about thirty in total, by price and decade.

I bought them all. And finally, I can say that indeed, DDT did a job on me too.

Ohio Players

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Listen: Funky Worm / Ohio Players
Funky Worm / Ohio Players

Sped up vocals, synced back into the original bpm of track were not that uncommon in the 60′s. David Saviile made an industry out of his concoction The Chipmunks doing just that, and through the decade, there were occasionally hits by others as a result.

Not only did The Ran-Dells ‘Martian Hop’ use just this gimmick, but in the process possibly documented the first audio moment that would eventually become techno. Then there was David Bowie’s ‘The Laughing Gnome’ originally recorded and ignored in ’67, yet eventually becoming a UK hit during the summer of ’73 when Bowie mania had it’s first peak. By that time, the technique was quickly becoming as dated as the Hula Hop is today in the world of toys.

Did The Ohio Players hear ‘The Laughing Gnome’ while touring England, or simply conjure up the sonic angle based on their very own talents? Quite possibly the later.

‘Funky Worm’ has the added twist of not only encompassing the studio effect described above, yet possibly stumbling on an early ‘feature’ single, this time with a Moms Mabley style voice as the guest vocalist. No, not really, but comically, slightly possible.