Monthly Archives: November 2009

More new-fangled than an ape…

That the internet is a singularly wonderful thing was again proven for me when I renewed contact with a schoolfriend I’ve not seen for almost twenty years. Of course, this happens all the time. That’s what Facebook’s for, who cares, etc…

Ah, yes, but this friend has a secret identity.  He is Organ Monkeys. And he sounds like this:


I love Beefheart. I once spent several weeks only listening to Trout Mask Replica. I wanted it to become so familiar that it would become my default setting for ‘normal’ music and thereby transform every subsequent auditory experience into some avant-garde trip. I love Funkadelic, the squelchy bass and keys, the exuberance and, like Beefheart, the courageous wisdom that humour can deliver a serious message. Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense changed my life when I was 13, replacing any latent idea of becoming an author with dreams of jerking around in a big suit with Bernie Worrell getting up on his bad thing behind me. I also love Ivor Cutler, the gnomic (and gnomish) surrealism, the darkly child-like wordplay and the concision of his vision. Organ Monkeys, I think, shows all these qualities and (Joe, correct me on this if I’m wrong), he plays it all himself.

Further, he builds banjos. I urge you to visit his site and learn of his quest. Here’s an appetiser:

I looked for an old guitar. I needed one which was really really bad. Eventually I saw a white acoustic hanging on a guitar shop wall. “METALLICA” was stencilled in tiny writing on the body…

The guitar shop guy didn’t want to sell it to me as it was so bad…I said “it’s OK” in Japanese and did my best to mime sawing motions with sound effects. He looked a little bit shocked.

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