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  1.  (2374.1)
    Maybe not the strangest I've ever heard, but it's certainly up there.

    Angizia - Schaukelkind
  2.  (2374.2)
    @ Purple Wyrm LOL why not The Laughing Gnome!
    The Laughing Gnome

    really its weirdness comes from putting it in the context of the rest of Bowie's career. I mean, what the fuck was he on to think that this was a good idea?

    Also seconding @offtandiscord on Nurse With Wound. I think the range of different things that NWW does is what makes it weird, as any one selected track of theirs (his? it is mostly just Stephen Stapleton) is not really representative of their sound.

    I Cannot Feel You As The Dogs Are Laughing And I Am Blind
    Crusin' For A Brusin'
      CommentAuthorPurple Wyrm
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2010 edited
    @The_Toxo_Zombie - I thought about the Gnome, and then thought, nah, I won't inflict that on everybody :)

    Edit - suppose I'd better include some music...

    William Shatner - Mr Tamborine Man

    His version of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds is perhaps more famous, but I think this is a better performance. You seriously get the feeling that he's completely losing his mind by the end of it.
    • CommentAuthorErisah
    • CommentTimeOct 5th 2010 edited
    Unfortunately I don't have any recordings of it, but there was this one piece I used to play with my clarinet quintet that was called "Labyrinth" that was pretty wild. It'd been composed by a friend of my music teacher's (I think it was Christoph Leard, but it's been a few years and I might be misremembering) who lived out at Katoomba and by the sound of it ("it" being the piece and the occasional hint good old Greg would drop) smoked a lot of something I'd be tempted to try.

    Basically, it was a woodwind quintet (assorted saxes and clarinets with an option for flute) that was based around a main melody that was played as a round. Most of the harmonies were minor 7ths, and it changed time signature like three times. One of those times it went to 7/4. It was based loosely on a blues scale (the key signature also went through a few phases), and unless you've played clarinet you probably won't get what I mean when I say there was a hell of a lot of little finger work involved, not to mention some hellish register jumps.

    It actually sounded pretty interesting when we got it happening, (I thought) but it definitely wasn't a crowd pleaser.
  3.  (2374.5)
    @ Purple Wyrm

    Yes. Inflict is a good word for that song. Really though most songs from that early album (which sadly, The Laughing Gnome is not on) are just plain strange. She's Got Medals, We Are Hungry Men, ect, could all go on this list. Only the sincerity of Bowie's delivery saves really saves them from being totally unmemorable novelty kitsch.
    We Are Hungry Men


    Hell yes the Shat. Why not keep the image of him climaxing next to a blue lollipop static for the whole song?
  4.  (2374.6)
    I'm with Nigredo on this. A lot of these folks are artists I listen to frequently and don't consider especially strange unless you simply haven't been exposed to a broad enough spectrum of music outside the mainsteam (I mean, Shatner? Funny, kitschy, but not really strange). Strange people do not always make strange music. Many, like Beefheart or Nico, are my standard reference points for approaching more obscure artists. But I've made a nearly 30-year career out of putting unusual music like this on the radio.
    • CommentAuthorErisah
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2010
    This music isn't all that strange, but the instrument is. Ladies and Gents, I present the thongophone:
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2010
    I'm in the same camp as Nigredo and Brent on this. On the other hand, it's nice to calibrate the meters now and again. In case thta came off a too-cool-for-school douchebaggery, apologies. That was not the intent.

    I play in this and I still can't understand what the hell we're about:

    Iannis Xenakis. I love his music, but I have no idea how the process for thinking something like this up goes.

    In a slightly similar vein, whatever Scott Walker is doing nowadays goes off on some mindboggling tangents. Bear in mind the context here is, supposedly, pop music.

    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2010
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2010
    You have to consider Xenakis in the context of European avant-garde music of his time, in the first instance. Messiaen and Stockhausen played a big part in his musical development. Serialism is also important, in that he tried to find ways to escape its limits, like he did with traditional harmony. Xenakis resorted to the method of basing his compositions on mathematical concepts: calculus, stochastic and probabilistic processes etc, in order to move away from the linearity of traditional polyphonic composition. He also experimented heavily with rhythm, inspired by Messiaen and Stockhausen, and created several works for percussion. He developed a lot of his music concurrently with architectural projects, with a view of performing it in certain spaces (he worked with Le Corbusier in Paris).

    Xenakis is one of those composers whose work you cannot really approach without some knowledge of his politics, because that's what ultimately lead to the formation of his compositional practices. He fought against the Italians in Greece, and after the English took over from the axis powers and supported the Monarchists, he lost an eye and part of his jaw in battle against them, having joined the communist resistance. He later escaped to France where he lived until his death.
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2010 edited
    Thanks for the primer on Xenakis. [Tangentially, I have to say, that seeing a staging of Messiaen's Saint Fran├žois d'Assise was completely mind-altering (or rather ear-altering).] Certainly dudes like Penderecki and Ligeti deserve mention if we're talking 20th century orchestral weirdness.
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2010

    I love Messiaen's music. The organ stuff, the orchestral works, anything. His work was a big eye-opener for me, too. It also made me realise how much later avant-garde music, from modern composition to jazz and beyond, has been influenced by him.
  5.  (2374.13)

    I love this stuff: the sho, Japanese mouth organ. Thing looks a bit like Sauron's pointy helmet...
    • CommentTimeOct 6th 2010 edited
    Not the strangest song I know. But I nice song most people would probably find strange.

    By the by, I love Venetian Snares and cant shut up about how fantastic his stuff is.
  6.  (2374.15)
    Sorabji's Opus Clavicembalisticum.

    Four-hour long solo piano piece reputed for how technically demanding and frighteningly obtuse it is?

    • CommentAuthorHelljin
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2010
    I wonder what I would make of this if I had never heard the original?

    • CommentAuthorErisah
    • CommentTimeOct 7th 2010
    Call me a nit picker, but the timing for the piano was sloppy. The rest of it was pretty badass.

    I don't think I've ever heard the original before. Eh, not too bad. Bit repetitive though.
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010 edited
    @antistigma - My brother had the privilege of meeting Rammellzee a few years back and wrote this great piece when he passed away.

    Edited to add music: This might not be all that strange, but Mongolian folk-rock band Altan Urag do a mean take on Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto with traditional Mongolian instruments (excluding the drum kit).

    Plus they have Giger alien heads on their fiddles, rather than the traditional horse heads.
  7.  (2374.19)
    @ taphead I had totally forgotten about The Drift. If you watch the documentary 30 Century Man about Scott Walker there is a pretty interesting behind the scenes look at making The Drift. It's fascinating to see the kind of great lengths he goes through to get the exact sounds he wants.
    • CommentAuthorjohnplatt
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2010
    My wife saw Klaus Nomi several times in the early 80s. I wish I'd known her back then!

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