Hello Recording Club





Duplex Halloween Planet mCD, October 1993
01 Halloween (3:26)
02 That’s Halloween (1:47)
03 Take It Off (0:39)
04 Run Home Screamin’ (0:42)
05 The Witches, The Witches (2:34)
06 Good Ole Mum (0:40)
07 Greed (0:29)
08 Tricks or Treat (1:14)
09 All Hallow’s Eve (3:13)
10 [hidden track] (0:51)

Kurt Hoffman’s Band of Weeds mCD, June 1993
11 Blow, Wind, Blow (2:40)
12 Melancholy of Weeds (4:55)
13 The March (2:43)
14 The Ocean (4:11)

Brian Dewan mCD, March 1993
15 My Eye (3:38)
16 Wastepaper Basket Fire (2:58)
17 Tobacco’s But An Indian Weed (3:04)
18 Obedience School (2:39)

Total time: 43:08
. . . . . . . . . .

The John Flansburgh’s Hello Recording Club was a series of subscription-only mCDs issued from 1993 to 1996 in the U.S. Flansburgh was a founding member of They Might Be Giant. Artists included in the series were Frank Black, The Residents, Eugene Chadbourne, Andy Partridge, The Minus five, amongst many others. I’m offering three of them in this post, from plain weirdness to jazz to folk songs.

David Greenberger launched the Duplex Planet newsletter (now a magazine) in 1979 while working in a nursing home in Boston and conducting interviews with elderly residents. The magazine is made of interviews, quotations, stories, poems and illustrations. Duplex Planet issued poetry books by Ernest Noyes Brookings, some of his poems being set to song on several CDs. A comic book has been issued as well. The mCD ‘Duplex Halloween Planet’ is based on Halloween issue #116. It is made of interviews and ‘elders field recordings’, songs and a few instrumentals composed by bostonian Phil Kaplan. There’s a David Garland kind of melancholy in some of the tracks, while some guitar+clarinet duos recall Only A Mother/Franck Pahl. But the ensemble is unique thanks to the interviewees’ originality, and weirdness of the musicians like saxophonist George Cartwright of Meltable Snaps It fame, for instance.

Kurt Hoffman’s Band of Weeds includes New York accordionist Anne De Marinis who played with Sonic Youth in 1981 and played keyboards for Laurie Anderson’s United States Tour. Garo Yellin was the cello player in David Thomas’ Pedestrians. Kurt Hoffman was a member of They Might Be Giants at the time. The great big band avant-jazz music on this CD reminds me of James Grigsby’s Motor Totemist Guild (think ‘City Of Mirrors’, 1999).

New Yorker Brian Dewan plays folk songs on his self build electric zither with guitar effects pedals. Beautiful compositions rendered in a deep warm voice plus the occasional zither overdrive+fuzz. That’s how I like my americana.


4 Responses to “Hello Recording Club”

  1. 1 Brian Turner January 20, 2008 at 3:52 am

    Just phenomenally great blog. Looking between varied and well hidden cracks. Fantastic job, I’m really happy to discover it.

  2. 2 continuo January 20, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Thanks, Brian, for the compliments. Actually, your 2nd sentence is (I hope!) an apt tagline for this blog.

    I’m a fan of Maria Levitsky’s show on WFMU but yours look great too. If ever you use something from Continuo, just let me know – I’d be proud.

    Thanks again for visiting.

  3. 3 Travis Miller March 1, 2008 at 12:32 am

    Great blog – wow Hello Recording Clubs EP’s haven’t seen any of those in years. Would you by any chance have the Soul Coughing Hello Recording Club EP?

  4. 4 continuo March 1, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Unfortunately, I don’t have any other CDep in the series, sorry. Thanks for visiting.

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