Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Holidays From Exciting Sounds! 2014

Just in time for your July Christmas ;), I have finally gotten around to posting my annual holiday "mixtape."

This one is a little different -- it's continuous mix mp3 as per usual, but this time I've incorporated a few radio wave sounds and carefully edited out any boring silent space between tracks. It is, therefore, a bit more polished and will probably be more fun as a result.

Grab it here and prepare for the exotic and the esoteric -- sounds optimized for excitability. :D

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

De Los Rios - Kiss Of Fire (LP, 1957)

(The Exotic Sound of) Waldo de los Rios
“Kiss Of Fire”
Columbia CL 965, mono, 1957

A first-class cover with quite average material (frankly), this album is just another example of churned out industry product that entices visually but fails to live up to the best recorded examples from the same era.

With its overall sentimentality and carefully thematic album art, this might seem like the perfect record to lounge by and reminisce on ‘50s love. In terms of its sentimentality, this might actually be one of the best ‘50s album covers. Unfortunately, this stuff is fairly bland - boring (at best) and annoying (at worst) instrumental music that simply lacks imagination. There’s a moment or two - especially when the strings and other orchestral elements come together to remind the listener of that beloved Technicolor paradise - but these moments stay few and far between. This material, instead, reminds me of lower quality Classical fare, the kind of ‘fluff” that is solely meant to act as cheap “content.”

Columbia Records, despite being a huge player in the music industry, has somewhat of a reputation for its “fluffy” cheesecake releases. Like the notorious budget labels, they seemed primarily interested in an album’s initial visual element. RCA Victor and Capitol, on the other hand, were better at issuing goods at a competitive frequency without compromising musical imagination. As a result, most of the best-loved and time-tested Exotica releases weren’t from Columbia.

Regardless of my opinions, don’t be afraid to give this a spin. Something tells me you’ll reach the same conclusion I have, but that’s yours to make for yourself.

Here are the first three tracks off the album - for your listening pleasure! :D

Friday, May 29, 2015

Berlin - Pleasure Victim (CD, 1982)

"Pleasure Victim"
Geffen (CD release, 1982)

A classic album from the early ’80s Post-Punk/New Wave explosion, this stands out particularly well because of it’s raunchy subject matter and arousing melodies. In terms of albums that take you away to Eighties-land, in the common nostalgic sense, “Pleasure Victim” by Berlin is at the top of the list.

I first heard this record when I was 11 years old or so. That might seem kind of strange to read, but I really have been “crate digging” that long. What struck me about it initially (and, of course, gave it that magical “forbidden” appeal) was how sexually explicit it is. I couldn’t listen the album’s biggest and most notorious hit, “Sex (I’m A),” without getting a buzz as intense as the nastiest erotica gives me now. The cover makes you feel dirty for buying it. Terri Nunn, the group’s primary vocalist, has an additional credit in the liner notes for “BJ’s.” She surely looks beautiful pictured above the credits too - scantily clad but wearing mink, with her back facing the camera and eyes seductive.

More on the explicitness factor, some of you might be wondering how the public reacted to its release. Though it might be hard for some to tell by today’s standards, “Pleasure Victim” was not mainstream at all. Back in its time, it was considered (quite frankly) cutting-edge Synth Pop mainly in underground circles and was relegated to college radio. Sure Duran Duran, the model ‘80s group, realized the sleaze captured for “Girls On Film,” but that was more strategic shock appeal than anything else. Berlin makes a genuine art out of “hardly suggestive” themes.

The rest of “Pleasure Victim” is comprised of equally enticing fare; “The Metro” and “Masquerade” being the other big hits. Less often discussed are the songs “World Of Smiles” and “Tell Me Why.” Both of those rank as high as the three hits I mentioned (at least for my taste). The two remaining tracks “Pleasure Victim” and “Torture” are the only songs that lack the emotional effectiveness of the rest, but they’re much better than bearable if you’re a full album kind of listener.

In summary, “Pleasure Victim” by Berlin is an ‘80s alternative essential. Its place in music history is irreplaceable.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Song: “It’s Real” by Colette Carr

Song: “It’s Real” by Colette Carr

(written on April 7, 2011)

This song has a maturity issue. It was most certainly written to express some of the age-appropriate struggles that many teenagers face while ‘growing up,’ however, I’m in the dark when it comes to what exactly is being expressed.  That aside, it - quite predictably - and, truth be told, quite gratuitously - includes drug references which seem to be alluded to because of their use as a coping mechanism for many a ‘lost soul’ or those struggling with their identity and life events during high school.  However, the most prominent aspect of the song, for me at least, is that the melody and electronic motifs of its composition are the aural equivalent of a candyshop, creating a sickeningly sweet atmosphere that is then (seemingly) mocked and discouraged by the tough, emotionally-charged mood centered around the said struggles being described in the lyrics.

In a nutshell, I can honestly say that this composition gives me a taste of a culture with which I neither identify nor want to identify, but, since it’s a product of a reality so different from my own, it nonetheless makes for a very interesting and unique listening experience.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thoughts On Love, Elitism And Music Streaming

In a recent article published on the New York Times website - titled “Streaming Music Has Left Me Adrift” - author Dan Brooks argues that widespread availability of music on the Internet has made it harder for him to identify kindred spirits and romantic interests. He also contends that a person’s familiarity with more esoteric music is less authentic in an age when the “collective record collection” is only a search query away. In short, I disagree with the author’s rhetoric and feel like he’s missing a few key points about how people interact with music in general (the music they like and the music they don’t like both).

I’ve heard variations of these arguments before. It bothers some people that the Internet makes it fairly easy to uncover things that were much harder to come by a few decades ago. These people are frustrated by the reality that ideas, research and art once reserved only for an “elite minority” is now freely available for the “masses” to “have their wicked way with.” Personally, I consider this kind of mentality rather toxic and inherently inaccurate. This discriminatory and exclusive kind of mentality implies a certain morality in regard to the information itself AND the consumers of that information. This way of thinking also requires that someone PERCEIVE certain information as more authentic than the rest, based on a measurement that is abstract, arbitrary and INDEPENDENT of its REAL authenticity.

If someone likes the music they’re hearing, does it really matter how they discovered it? Music is one of those things that doesn’t require technical knowledge or direct experience performing in order to appreciate. There are no prerequisites to enjoying music. To illustrate my point, let’s say I told someone that I like Minor Threat and they responded by saying “How could you? You’re not Straight-Edge!” A statement like that would invalidate the fact that I, personally, do enjoy the band’s music when I play it. A response like that would also invalidate the taste of Minor Threat’s current generation of fans, who, for the most, ARE NOT Straight-Edge either.

If someone is familiar with something (say, for example, the Kraut Rock band Annexus Quam), that familiarity in-and-of-itself indicates a certain amount of dedication. The fact that someone carries around a piece of information in their mind, are capable of discussing it with authenticity and rely only on their mental resources while doing so means that they have put in the work required to seek it out (or have known the “right” people) and consider it important enough to remember. The same information NOT present in someone else’s mind indicates that they either don’t care enough to seek it out or have not (by chance) been exposed to it in the environment and peer group they’re associated with.

Regardless, if I were to squeeze all of my thoughts about this article into a nutshell, I don’t think the author is taking into account that a person’s taste is more a matter of exposure than anything else. Nobody knows what they like until they’re exposed to it. If the author is really that distressed by the idea of Ke$ha fans discovering his “elite” list of “coveted” albums (to use Brooks’ own example), he first has to find ONE Ke$ha fan interested enough in his sounds to spend the long hours listening to records, researching concerts and learning about its context in music history. If he finds this person, their taste in Ke$ha is independent of their newfound authentic (I stress) interest in his music. With the method of discovery being irrelevant, as far as I’m concerned, this interest can ONLY be authentic because its pursuit took too much time, money and energy to be fake.

Exciting Sounds News And Updates For January 28, 2015

Hey guys!

I have just a few quick messages I want to get out to my followers.

First off, I’m sorry I’ve been extremely spotty about posting content. Although Exciting Sounds is just one of my online hobbies, I still plan on fully developing the “brand” and providing a resource for aficionados of obscure music from the past. Building all of this from the ground up is a slow process and I only have so much time among my other responsibilities.

Secondly, I have recently been busy modifying Exciting Sounds from a technical standpoint. The changes are as follows: 1) the main website is finally at and no longer the confusing “.co” domain extension, 2) the Facebook page is finally at and no longer, 3) there shouldn’t be any compatibility issues but if you find any, I can be reached at

Thanks to all y’all who enjoy my work, take care! :D

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Luniverse #105 (45 RPM single, 195?)

A Buchanan And Goodman Production / Martian Symphony Orchestra
“Flying Saucer The 2nd” / “Martian Melody”
Luniverse 105, mono [1957]

This 45RPM single released on the Luniverse label in the late ‘50s (I’m guessing) is a quirky little treat for lovers of Space Age oddities. Side A features a mock-news-report of “the first Earth ship” landing on Mars. Spliced between the spoken script are samples of popular songs from the time period including Elvis Presley and other big names. The entire piece might best be described as a slightly schizophrenic fever dream, and another example of a recording that could only have been produced and distributed when it was.

Side B features the Martian Symphony Orchestra performing “Martian Melody.” Introduced by the chipmunk-like voice of a native Martian, this song is an otherworldly mess, and it says a thing or two about musical taste elsewhere in the Solar System.

All in all, this recording is good for a laugh or two and probably for a few more plays after that, but don’t expect too great a revelation by what is offered here.

Side A - "Flying Saucer The 2nd"

Side B - "Martian Melody"