Many of you might already know all about this, certainly the album to which I am going to sample from came out in August of last year. But perhaps you don't. I didn't get the CD till this week so hey. Back in 60s and 70s a guy by the name of Bruce Haack and his partner, Esther Nelson, they had this label called Dimension 5 Records. They would put out "children's albums" that are so wacky and weird you wonder how they survived. I think maybe schools must have bought this stuff. It was all electronic (some call him the father of electronic music) and of course, at times, vaguely educational. But weird, people. And the album titles: Captain Entropy, Hush Little Robot, The Way Out Record For Children, Ebenzer Electric, and my favorite, Electric Lucifer. He died in '88 in obscurity for the most part, although he did appear once on Mister Rogers. Emporer Norton released Listen Compute Rock Home but it's not easy to find now. And a Japanese label has released many of his earlier records on CD at about $30 a pop. There is even a DVD. Now, fast forward to August 05 and Eenie Meenie Records puts out The Dimension Mix: The Music of Bruce Haack and Esther Nelson. These are songs written for kids in the 60s and 70s and re-interpreted by artists today. The result? Mostly pretty bitchin. I absolutely LOVE the Beck track (the star of the CD, the next most known band being Stereolab or Eels)... it's called "Funky Lil' Song" and it is. The whole premise being, when you're sad, or if people are being lame, just sing yourself this funky lil song. Pretty genius, no? I wish I could find the original to that. I did find the original to "Upside Down" which is covered by the band Blue-Eyed Son. And I've posted it for your listening pleasure or displeasure as the case may be. Still, some of the songs are truly inspired. And the songs I like, I love. I mean I think there are some real keepers in here, the kind of songs that we will all enjoy for years to come. As an extra added bonus, the proceeds go to an Autism Foundation. Nice. So without further adieu, here are a few songs and a whole lotta links.
Beck, "Funky Little Song"
Fantastic Plastic Machine, "I'm Bruce"
Bruce Haack, "Upside Down"
Video: Stones Throw Singers, "Rain of Earth"
I highly recc'd this short video on Bruce:
More about: Dimension Mix, Bruce Haack, Cure Autism Now, Amazon's list of available Bruce Haack titles, Bruce Haack Fan Site.
Buy it here.