More From the Chat: It's an Oddity

In yesterday's fun edition of Freedom Rock, there was this little exchange:

Silver Spring, Md.: J. Free,

What is your absolute, stone-cold favorite track on your iPod... "oddity" division?

Mine would have to be Bill Cosby in the late 60s/early 70s covering "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Beats Carl Lewis' rendition of the National Anthem handily.

J. Freedom du Lac: Not as weird as your Bill Cosby tune, but I have an Abba song in Spanish on mine. Performed by the Swedes themselves. Though if you don't know it's Abba, it's not really strange at all.

I liked this question, so why not keep the thread going? First off, here's Cosby covering the Beatles. Listen to it not on headphones at your own peril. It's truly something else. Anyway, after the chat I was trying to figure out what the most bizarre selection in my iTunes library. (Not counting "Odditty" (sic) by the Clean, of course; that might win for best song, though.)

My first thought was something by the Mattoid, everyone's favorite Finnish noir country singer. But I legitimately like some of his songs and don't even find them that weird. (Wouldn't you know it, he's even opening four dates for the Silver Jews next month.) "In My Country There Is Problem" is more straight comedy than oddity. Anything by Yoko Ono would qualify, right? But then I came across the clear winner.

The oddest song in my library isn't a song at all. It's "Preamble - Great Divine Rectors call" from "The Sounds of American Doomsday Cults, Vol. 14." (No, I don't think there are actually 13 previous volumes.)

I've embedded the song below so you can take a listen. I'd describe it for you, but that would ruin it. But here's a brief overview: after a bizarre, Micro Machines guy-esque intro, some sort of preacher spends five minutes reeling off a list of musicians who are basically paving their own road to hell, and anyone who listens to them is along for the ride. Based on the names, it was obviously recorded during the mid-'80s

"We especially call for the judgment in this hour and the destroying of rock music directed specifically against children through the videos that were portrayed. And working specifically through these individuals for whom we call for the judgment of the sacred fire in this hour before the throne of Almighty God: Michael Jackson. Prince. Bruce Springsteen. Tina Turner. David Boo-ie. Van Halen..."

And so on. He really doesn't hold back. Dude damns Kenny Loggins. Kenny Loggins! (This was before "Top Gun," for the record.) Phil Collins, now that one makes sense. But Kenny Loggins?

Got anything that can top this? Or at least come close? Please do share.

Preamble - Great Divine Rectors call - Elizabeth Claire Prophet

By David Malitz |  September 17, 2008; 8:55 AM ET Chat , Randomness
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Tom Waits has plenty of very odd songs, but I guess they're not "oddities" as described above.

Bim Skala Bim covering "Brain Damage" is very odd, and very funny.

Posted by: SSMD | September 17, 2008 1:00 PM

You haven't lived until you've heard the Duck Tales Theme Song in German.

Posted by: TW | September 17, 2008 1:35 PM

I would say that most of White Light/White Heat beats anything you could possibly offer.

Posted by: Adam | September 17, 2008 1:41 PM

Oddly enough, that preaching track is used in a Mylo song (he was the Ryksopp equvilent of 2004. Had a couple of nice songs). So I have that on the iPod with a nice beat underneath it.

I'd say the original Shatner album - The Transformed Man is the oddest thing on my iPod. At first I thought it was funny, and then it became less funny and more compelling. A modern classic, really.

Posted by: MN | September 17, 2008 1:50 PM

"Sing it children!" Hahahaha!

But you're right -- nothing beats the preamble. Man, I wonder how long it took for them all to memorize that bit in the beginning.

"... the full power and release of Your Flame of Mighty God Power to descend into the planetary body ..."


Posted by: Sam Sessa | September 17, 2008 1:55 PM

what--no love for William Shatner or Leonard Nimoy singing songs?

Posted by: Tim O | September 17, 2008 4:18 PM

My vinyl rip of "Chipmunk Punk" is kinda freaky.

But that thing Malitz posted clearly trumps it.

Posted by: Ben W. | September 17, 2008 4:47 PM

I have Burt Ward (Robin from the Batman TV series) singing "Orange Colored Sky" from a session produced by Frank Zappa. It's terrible but funny. Google those names for the details of how that came about.

And, from an old Albert Brooks album, a duet he did with Albert King wherein he tells a very lame Jewish joke while King riffs and plays straight man. It's called something like "The German Polish Jewish Blues".

Posted by: Noam Sane | September 17, 2008 8:19 PM

That "Preamble" is the source for Negativland's song "Michael Jackson" on their classic album Escape from Noise. I had never heard it before, thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Posted by: Stu Pidland | September 19, 2008 11:53 AM

Me, I'm a huge fan of Cyndi Looper and Jack Cougar Mellencamp...

Posted by: Jay-El | September 19, 2008 3:59 PM

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