Friday, November 21, 2008

Weekend Listomania (Special It is to Laugh! Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means. Since my Oriental rentboy amanuensis Hop-Sing has been banished from my service after that disturbing incident with the missing Mitzi Gaynor LP, I will be spending the weekend training his replacement, the lovely and ageless Fah Lo Suee, to attend to my every need. Since there will most certainly be multiple applications of the lash involved, I will, no doubt, be out of radio contact for some time.

But in any case, posting by moi will be completely not happening until Monday.

Thus, in my absence, here's a little project for us all:

Funniest Post-Elvis Song or Record, Intentional or Otherwise!!!

Totally arbitrary rule: No obvious novelty songs or song parodies need apply. If I wanted to do a list of best or worse novelty songs, I'd do it. So if you try to nominate, say, "Grandpa Got Run Over By a Reindeer," or any of that Weird Al crap, I'm coming to your house and slapping you silly.

Okay, now that we've got that sorted out, my totally top of my head Top Six is:

6. You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) -- The Beatles

John, goofing particularly John-ily. Plus: That sax solo by Brian Jones is a bit of a hoot in and of itself.

5. Fuck You (An Ode to No One) -- Smashing Pumpkins

Performed here at a Tibetan Freedom concert, which is perhaps the cream of the jest. In any case, it proves once again that there's no Listomania theme so specific that we still can't find some flimsy excuse to invoke Billy Corgan's pretentious cueball noggin.

4. The Spider and the Fly -- The Rolling Stones

Still the funniest seduction song of them all. The original 1965 lyrics went "She was common, flirty, looked about 30." Here, years later, Mick (ever the gentleman) reworks it as "She was shifty, nifty, looked about 50."

3. Eve of Destruction -- Barry McGuire

Red Rockers did a really excellent 80s update of this which made it seem not all like low level kitsch, but the original remains an absolute unintentional hoot. Where's my harmonica, Albert?

2. Inside the Fire -- Disturbed

I'm sorry, but that bit on the intro where the singer laughs satanically in rhythm with the drum fills is just the funniest thing ever. What a pretentious twit...

And the number one absolutely hilarious song, don't give me a hard time about this or I'll harm you, quite obviously is ---

1. The Funky Western Civilization -- Tonio K.

The cameo spoken appearance by Joan of Arc makes me giggle gleefully every time. This is perhaps not quite the laugh riot that is Tonio's "H.A.T.R.E.D" (from the same debut album) but it's certainly close and there's no video for the latter so it's a moot point.

Awrighty, then -- what would your choices be?

Shameless Blogwhore: My parallel Cinema Listomania (theme: cool wartime action/adventures) is now up over at Box Office. As always, if you could see your way to leaving a comment over there, an angel gets its wings.


Cleveland Bob said...

Funniest songs I ever heard were either Bodies by The Sex Pistols or perhaps Devo's Pink Pussycat.

Anonymous said...

Lets Lynch the Landlord -- dead kennedys

Norman Nardini & the tigers - Love Dog

Anonymous said...

Don Henley Must Die -- Mojo Nixon
Too Many Creeps- Bush Tetras

The Kenosha Kid said...

Jet Boy Jet Girl - The Damned
TV Party - Black Flag
Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Swede
Dodge Veg-O-Matic Jonathan Richman
Pocket Calculator - Kraftwerk

TMink said...

Man I love that first album by Tonio K. "Fountains of Sorrow my ass mother fucker I hope you end up in the ground." It feels good just to type that!


Wendy said...

Arthur Brown - Fire

So many Dylan songs:

Maggie's Farm -
"She's the brains behind pa.
She's sixty-eight, but she says she's twenty-four."

Subterranean Homesick Blues -
"Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work
'Cause the vandals took the handles"

And all of Bob Dylan's 115th Dream -
"But the funniest thing was
When I was leavin' the bay
I saw three ships a-sailin'
They were all heading my way
I asked the captain what his name was
And how come he didn't drive a truck
He said his name was Columbus
I just said, 'Good luck.' "

Kinks - Dedicated Follower of Fashion
"They seek him here, they seek him there,
His clothes are loud, but never square.
It will make or break him so he's got to buy the best,
'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion."

The Who - Boris the Spider

And the all-time funniest song:

Richard Harris - MacArthur Park (oh wait, that's not supposed to be funny?)

Feral said...

A couple of Don McClean songs come to mind, Mountains of Mourne, about an Irish country lad's first experiences in London, and Everybody Loves Me Baby. Taken in the context of GWB, the lyrics are hi-larious.

Salsaeater said...

I think we probably should give the gold medal in this category to Frank Zappa. Almost everything he did was lyrically hilarious and musically brilliant, IMHO.

But special mention goes out to Nilsson for "You're Breaking My Heart (So Fuck You)" for its humorous honesty.

TJWood said...

To add to the Dylan choices,"Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat". For the Rolling Stones, "Far Away Eyes".

Other choices:

"The Intergalactive Laxative" by Donovan, and in the Painfully Laughable Department, Blood Sweat & Tears' take on "Sympathy for the Devil", from their third album.

Anonymous said...

These songs make me laugh until I cry:

"Suck a Cheetah's Dick" by the late Wesley Willis

"Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks, especially when my sister sings it a la Dylan

"My Friend Foot Foot" by the Shaggs. I dare you. So funny the popcorn will come out of your nostrils.

"Donal, Where Are Your Trousers?" by Andy Stewart.

MBowen said...

"Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" was the song that made me think that this elderly old creep (this was in early 1978) might actually be worth listening to. "On The Road Again" and "Leopardskin Pillbox Hat" are also funny.

I might be in a minority, but I find that the More Best Of Leonard Cohen album is extremely funny - "I'm Your Man", "Everybody Knows", "Tower of Song", and particularly "Closing Time" hit my funny bone.

In the same vein, Dan Bern's "Estelle" has to be mentioned - when the narrator, a burned-out painter describes sitting in a cafe "updating my list of enemies", how could you not laugh?

Warren Zevon nearly killed me. (Actually three times, but that's another story.) Back in the fall of 1978, Excitable Boy was the Album of the Week on WVBR, and they played the whole thing in its entirety. If you don't remember what 1978 was like, just think that the Doobie Brothers, Jefferson Starship, Heart, and Orleans were all taken seriously back then, and The Clash and Elvis Costello were considered so far beyond the mainstream that DJs were more likely to play Sun Ra. So I'm lying there on the mattress on the floor, suffering from a nasty bout of bronchitis, and I hear "Johnny Strikes Up The Band", and I think that's pretty damn weird. Then comes "Roland, The Headless Thompson Gunner", "Excitable Boy", and "Werewolves of London". I was laughing so hard that I'd start coughing, and coughing so hard that I thought I'd never catch my breath again. I really thought I might die laughing. Fortunately, side two wasn't quite so funny until the end, when we got "Lawyers, Guns and Money", otherwise I might have laughed and coughed my life away. Warren made a bunch of records later that were damned funny, particularly the song "Mr. Bad Example", but he never threatened my existence like he did in 1978.

Robyn Hitchcock is always good for a few chuckles, and Richard Thompson's "Read About Love" always cracks me up.

For unintentional laughs (aside from that Airborne Toxic Event abortion), there's always that Smashing Pumpkins song where bloated idiot Billy Corgan intones "despite all my rage, I'm still just a rat in a cage". Corgan, I've seen rats. Rats have been a friend of mine. Corgan, you're no rat.

steve simels said...

What mbowen said

Particularly Warren Zevon, although I'd add "Life'll Kill Ya" which makes me laugh and cry in equal measure.

And Richard Thompson's "Read About Love" is hysterical, albeit also frightening.

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm....yup, The Funky Western Civilization it is. Of course, just about any of the early Tonio K. will make you laugh out loud. Also must mention Everything, Including You, Disgusts Me from the "Rodent Weekend" compilation, and I'm Supposed to Have Sex With You (collected on "Rodent Weekend" too) is right up there. And The Night Fast Rodney Went Crazy from "Amerika".

Warren Zevon did plenty of wickedly amusing stuff; I'll dig a little deeper and vote for The French Inhaler from his "Warren Zevon" disc (best line: "And your face looked like something Death brought with him in his suitcase" - top that!).

Obligatory Who song: Little Billy, who outlives all the grammar school bullies because they smoked and he didn't.

Wendy said...

And then there were The Fugs: "Slum Goddess of the Lower East Side" and "Do You Like Boobs A Lot" .. what else is there to say?

Anonymous said...

"what else is there to say" - well said and on the mark

and though that truly is the last word I'll add a couple the should have been put ahead of it
"Dear Janet Jackson" and
"I Agree With Pat Metheny"
both by Richard Thompson

David Rasmussen said...

This is the category that defines me. I will scour my record collection and come up with hundreds of worthy nominees. I promise a more detailed comment in a week or a month or a year.

For Now:
Weird Al Yankovich, Happy Birthday
The Upper Crust, Friend of A Friend of the Working Class
Loudon Wainwright III, I Wish I Was A Lesbian
MC Paul Barman-- Cock Mobster

Artists of Special Note:
Beat Farmers
Randy Newman
Something Fierce
MC Lars

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Now i come in on a Ferris Wheel, & boys I sure was slick (i come in like a ton of bricks -- laid a few trick on 'em.) -- why Lo and Behold it's Bob again

But "Mom & dad rolling numbers, rock & rolling, they got my Kiss records out"? I will come out right now with my hands up & say i swear to god cheap trick nailed that one beyond all belief.

Libby Spencer said...

Happy Together - The Turtles

Anonymous said...

Vincent Van Gogh - Jonathan Richman
("In the museum, what have we here/the baddest painter since old Jan Vermeer...")

My Shit's Fucked Up - Zevon
Joan Crawford (Has Risen From The Grave) - BOC
Baby's Liquored up - Beat Farmers
Jackie Onassis - Human Sexual Response
Any obscure cover played by NRBQ on a really good night. - bill buckner