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-   -   What is the oddest song/piece of music you've ever heard? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=814610)

femmejean 12-24-2016 06:04 AM

What is the oddest song/piece of music you've ever heard?
 
Whether it be by popular musical artists, royalty free artists, on TV shows, themes, adverts etc. It doesn't have to be an actual song but an instrumental.

For me it has to be an alternative media TV show called 'On The Edge' with an economist called Max Keiser. I don't know if any dopers have hear of him but he's what you would call a bit of a conspiracy theorist or maybe 'fringe' to be less derogatory.

His musical intro along with the animation pretty much says it all. I don't think I've ever heard something similar in my entire life. I even thought of adding it as a ringtone but I don't want to seem 'attention seeking'. Despite how humorous it is, I have to say it's very enjoyable.

'On The Edge' - Episode (Youtube)

jtur88 12-24-2016 06:48 AM

Way too broad a question, It could be a tuba being rolled down a fire escape. Or it could be the whole repertoire of Paulo Conte.

In the 1950's, Stan Kenton's "City of Glass" was as odd as it could get, but to listen to it today, it would sound ordinary but dated. I'm old enough to remember Spike Jones who played music on any junkyard object that had resonance, and was popular and made a good living at it.

There are so many directions "odd" can go, I could easily submit immediately a dozen songs from my playlist. There are countries in the world whose entire domestic music industry turns out nothing but what would seem odd to the ears of the Sony tyranny forced upon the western listener. Like this, from Ethiopia:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v2e...4046A4B9425E66

Mean Mr. Mustard 12-24-2016 07:43 AM

I've always enjoyed Earth To Doris by Was (Not Was).

Anyone else familiar with it?


mmm

buddha_david 12-24-2016 10:03 AM

The Most Unwanted Song by Komar & Melamid, perhaps the only song in the world which was scientifically designed to be as annoying as possible. I kinda like it.

Snowboarder Bo 12-24-2016 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtur88 (Post 19875038)
Way too broad a question, It could be a tuba being rolled down a fire escape. Or it could be the whole repertoire of Paulo Conte.

I agree.
Quote:

Originally Posted by jtur88 (Post 19875038)
There are so many directions "odd" can go, I could easily submit immediately a dozen songs from my playlist.

I could submit dozens, perhaps hundreds of songs that most would find unlistenable and that most would not classify as "music". I know people who cannot and would not listen to Phillip Glass, Glenn Branca, Heiner Goebbels, etc.. because they don't even think it's music.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard (Post 19875065)
I've always enjoyed Earth To Doris by Was (Not Was).

Anyone else familiar with it?


mmm

I am. I love those guys. I've always been a big fan of The Party Broke Up :D

I'll skip the extended bouts of nothing but feedback (Lou Reed, Neil Young, Null, Boredoms, Melt-Banana, Merzbow, etc.; most people find it unlistenable) and offer a couple of things that people will not want to listen to again because they are so far out there that most would not consider them "music":

Jandek - Naked In The Afternoon (first song on the first album; this is what introduced Jandek to the world)
Jandek - Shadow Of Leaves (yes, this is one song)

Gigantic Brain is a cybergrind band, a genre typified by songs that are short with inhumanly fast bursts of drums.

Gigantic Brain - Exo-Brain (yes, this is one song)
Gigantic Brain - Obliterated By The Super Train

I also have a couple of different recordings of pachinko parlors that are presented as music, but I can't find any videos for them and I can't be arsed to make one right now.

TL;DR (or listen): There's lots of music out there that is so far off the beaten path that many wouldn't affirm that it's music in the first place. Stuff like this makes up a sizable portion of my sizable music collection.

EinsteinsHund 12-24-2016 10:57 AM

The young Frank Zappa playing a bicycle: https://youtu.be/izDvYokFU7U

RealityChuck 12-24-2016 01:12 PM

Lol Coxhill's deranged version of "I Am the Walrus."

Of course, you can pick just about anything from the work of Captain Beefheart (other than from Safe as Milk).

panache45 12-24-2016 03:03 PM

Of course there's always Cage's 4'33".

nearwildheaven 12-24-2016 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panache45 (Post 19875646)
Of course there's always Cage's 4'33".

You beat me to it!

Several years ago, I was awakened to Morning Edition doing an interview with Bruce Hornsby - and instead of playing piano-based pop music, he was singing along to some weird electronic stuff. To say the least, it was quite bizarre.

And there's always "We Built This City". :o

JKellyMap 12-24-2016 05:18 PM

Ice JJ Fish

astorian 12-24-2016 05:48 PM

At this time of year? Gotta be Tiny Tim singing "Santa Claus Has Got the AIDS This Year."

drad dog 12-24-2016 05:48 PM

I'm into outsider music. At a certain point it's impossible to say what's "oddest" unless there's another criterion to it. Noise and feedback isn't odd to me anymore.

But I'm going to nominate Devo's "Jocko Homo" as the strangest song to gain national currency/recognition on release. It was on the radio and SNL. I can remember not knowing how to take it at all.

EmilyG 12-24-2016 05:55 PM

Ezra Richardson's Introitus Diabolus is one of the strangest songs/music pieces I've heard. I think it's sort of like really repetitive classical/avant-garde music sung by a non-classical singer. It's bizarre.

nearwildheaven 12-24-2016 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drad dog (Post 19875908)
I'm into outsider music. At a certain point it's impossible to say what's "oddest" unless there's another criterion to it. Noise and feedback isn't odd to me anymore.

But I'm going to nominate Devo's "Jocko Homo" as the strangest song to gain national currency/recognition on release. It was on the radio and SNL. I can remember not knowing how to take it at all.

Their remake of "Satisfaction" is another tune that has people going :confused: .

Trinopus 12-26-2016 03:19 PM

It's hard to beat Charles Valentin Alkan's Funeral March on the Death of a Parrot. Very screwy.

Rossini's Comic Duet for Two Cats is wildly weird, but the provenance is suspect. It may have been a more ordinary duet, and the words replaced with meows by someone else.

Mozart's "Lick my Ass" and Beethoven's "Lupanzigh is an Ass" are worth noting.

Mozart's A Musical Joke (divertimento for two horns and string quartet) is wild and weird, and, actually, quite pretty. The more you know about music, the funnier it is.

Saint Cad 12-26-2016 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buddha_david (Post 19875198)
The Most Unwanted Song by Komar & Melamid, perhaps the only song in the world which was scientifically designed to be as annoying as possible. I kinda like it.

It's better than their Most Wanted Song.

wolf_meister 12-26-2016 04:08 PM

From their album "Bark" the Jefferson Airplane had a song called "Thunk".

Derleth 12-26-2016 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drad dog (Post 19875908)
I'm into outsider music. At a certain point it's impossible to say what's "oddest" unless there's another criterion to it. Noise and feedback isn't odd to me anymore.

But I'm going to nominate Devo's "Jocko Homo" as the strangest song to gain national currency/recognition on release. It was on the radio and SNL. I can remember not knowing how to take it at all.

As far as mainstream strange goes, my first thought was "O Superman" by Laurie Anderson, which charted briefly (#2 in the UK Singles Charts in 1981).

But, as you say, once you get into artists like Merzbow it's impossible to choose a strangest without more criteria.

pulykamell 12-26-2016 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 19875243)

Somewhat reminds me of Locust, with such classics as

The Half-Eaten Sausage Will See You in the Office Now

Live from the Russian Compound

I have no idea where to go with this for my nomination. The song in the OP doesn't sound terribly out there to me, and even the Locust songs above have structure and sounds I can latch on to. I'm not sure what I'd go with. Brian Ferneyhough's String Quartet #6, maybe? But I do have to agree, "odd" in what way? The Ferneyhough still seems a bit "normal" to me as it does use typical Western orchestral instrumentation.

Baron Greenback 12-26-2016 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Derleth (Post 19878549)
As far as mainstream strange goes, my first thought was "O Superman" by Laurie Anderson, which charted briefly (#2 in the UK Singles Charts in 1981).

I don't think anyone really knows how that happened - you had to sell quite a lot of records back then to get to #2. An 8 minute long, highly repetitive avant-garde piece. Perhaps it was a good shagging record.

Miller 12-26-2016 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by femmejean (Post 19875029)
Whether it be by popular musical artists, royalty free artists, on TV shows, themes, adverts etc. It doesn't have to be an actual song but an instrumental.

For me it has to be an alternative media TV show called 'On The Edge' with an economist called Max Keiser. I don't know if any dopers have hear of him but he's what you would call a bit of a conspiracy theorist or maybe 'fringe' to be less derogatory.

His musical intro along with the animation pretty much says it all. I don't think I've ever heard something similar in my entire life. I even thought of adding it as a ringtone but I don't want to seem 'attention seeking'. Despite how humorous it is, I have to say it's very enjoyable.

'On The Edge' - Episode (Youtube)

First thing it reminded me of was the intro to Nickelodeon's old show, You Can't Do that On Television. Then I saw his guest was Alex Jones, and realized I was dealing with substantially less adult subject matter.

River Hippie 12-26-2016 05:51 PM

I agree the question is too broad. I'm going to throw out one I found recently that's just really odd. I think someone here might have linked it and that's how I found it. I was probably pretty drunk, you kind of have to be to appreciate it fully.

PowerSolo - Boom Babba Do Ba Dabba

TonySinclair 12-26-2016 05:58 PM

Of course there are a million unlistenable songs by a million little-known groups, but I assume you mean one that was widely played.

One of Bill Cosby's TV series, before the one about the Huxtables, had a theme song that I thought was stupid, "Hicky Burr." While googling it to get the name right just now, I was amazed to learn that it was co-written by Quincy Jones, and was nominated for a Grammy. It still sounds stupid to me, which I guess shows that I have no taste.

kunilou 12-26-2016 06:44 PM

If you want the oddest piece of music heard by millions of people, I'll nominate Revolution 9, from The Beatles' white album. The album sold 9.5 million copies in the U.S. alone, so at least that many people listened to the song. Most of them only once, but still...

Skywatcher 12-26-2016 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 19878451)
It's hard to beat Charles Valentin Alkan's Funeral March on the Death of a Parrot. Very screwy.

Rossini's Comic Duet for Two Cats is wildly weird, but the provenance is suspect. It may have been a more ordinary duet, and the words replaced with meows by someone else.

Adding to the animal theme: The Puppy Love Song by Spike Jones.

Ulfreida 12-26-2016 09:47 PM

The most unclassifiable and startling thing I think I've heard on the radio turned out to be a cover of Sympathy For the Devil by a Ukrainian klezmer band.

levdrakon 12-26-2016 10:09 PM

I loved Oh Superman. Loved that whole album.

More recently, I rather like Hitchhiker's Eleven.

installLSC 12-27-2016 12:18 AM

My standard response to odd music questions, free jazz saxaphonist Peter Brotzman's "Machine Gun". Sounds closer to malfunctioning machinery than music.

Biotop 12-27-2016 12:34 AM

So many choices. How about Nurse with Wound: Creakiness?

Plumpudding 12-27-2016 09:01 AM

I'm really struggling with this topic, there's so much to chose from.

Plumpudding 12-27-2016 09:10 AM

Lime Jelly Grass

pulykamell 12-27-2016 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulfreida (Post 19879010)
The most unclassifiable and startling thing I think I've heard on the radio turned out to be a cover of Sympathy For the Devil by a Ukrainian klezmer band.

Slovenian band Laibach's cover of Sympathy for the Devil is also ... unusual.

Plumpudding 12-27-2016 09:17 AM

From the same album, Melvyns Repose.

Plumpudding 12-27-2016 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 19875243)

Gigantic Brain is a cybergrind band, a genre typified by songs that are short with inhumanly fast bursts of drums.

Gigantic Brain - Exo-Brain (yes, this is one song)
Gigantic Brain - Obliterated By The Super Train

This stuff is great! I'm having a blast with this.

Snowboarder Bo 12-27-2016 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 19878632)

I am impressed that you know The Locust! Aye, both are grindcore at their heart, just different branches from the same tree.

Snowboarder Bo 12-27-2016 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Biotop (Post 19879214)
So many choices. How about Nurse with Wound: Creakiness?

Rockette Morton Part 1 and 2 are among my favorite tape loop compositions, right up there with Steve Reich's Come Out.

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 19879505)
Slovenian band Laibach's cover of Sympathy for the Devil is also ... unusual.

Excellent album; I'm still not sure what my favorite version is after 30 years. I do think their Let It Be is a better album, just because it has more variety.

Both of you, btw, have excellent taste in music IMO.

F. U. Shakespeare 12-27-2016 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TonySinclair (Post 19878670)
Of course there are a million unlistenable songs by a million little-known groups, but I assume you mean one that was widely played.

One of Bill Cosby's TV series, before the one about the Huxtables, had a theme song that I thought was stupid, "Hicky Burr." While googling it to get the name right just now, I was amazed to learn that it was co-written by Quincy Jones, and was nominated for a Grammy. It still sounds stupid to me, which I guess shows that I have no taste.

I loved that theme song as a kid. My mother thought I was nuts. And it wasn't til fairly recently I learned who sung it: Bill Cosby.

Snowboarder Bo 12-27-2016 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Plumpudding (Post 19879668)
This stuff is great! I'm having a blast with this.

I'm so glad! They are not for everyone, but I think they're brilliant.

Exapno Mapcase 12-27-2016 10:48 PM

Having the Eastman School of Music locally means that we get performances by students, faculty, and alumni that may not be heard anywhere else ever. That also means I can't link to online recordings (or remember any names).

Over the last year or two, I'd say that the two oddest I attended included a church organ presentation of atonal music and an experimental classical percussion foursome that namechecked Meshuggah as an inspiration (strictly for an obscure factor of their favored beat: no similarity in sound implied to them or anything with a melody).

Biotop 12-28-2016 12:19 AM

My favorite piece from Russian surrealist project Bardoseneticcube is Illness of Green Color, but I cannot find a link. Sand Mantras is a good alternative.

The Residents are the ultimate choice for odd. Here is the entire Diskomo/Goosebump from 1980. The first half is Eskimo disco music. The second half is a collection of nursery rhyme songs played on instruments purchased from Toys R Us.

buddha_david 12-28-2016 12:33 AM

Mr. Bungle is pretty damn strange whilst remaining mostly listenable, and sometimes downright catchy.

Snowboarder Bo 12-28-2016 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Biotop (Post 19881352)
The Residents are the ultimate choice for odd. Here is the entire Diskomo/Goosebump from 1980. The first half is Eskimo disco music. The second half is a collection of nursery rhyme songs played on instruments purchased from Toys R Us.

One of my favorite bands. I have a friend who has been their lighting director for about 20 years now but sadly he has never been able to get me on tour. I was hooked back in the early '80s when I saw and heard their cover of James Brown's It's A Man's Man's Man's World.

If we're gonna mine that period, let's not overlook Throbbing Gristle's Hamburger Lady, a truly disturbing song.

And because I think he's great, lemme mention Johnny Dowd - Bad Memories.

Biotop 12-28-2016 12:55 AM

Batwings -- Coil

Crafter_Man 12-28-2016 06:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Biotop (Post 19881352)
The Residents are the ultimate choice for odd. Here is the entire Diskomo/Goosebump from 1980. The first half is Eskimo disco music. The second half is a collection of nursery rhyme songs played on instruments purchased from Toys R Us.

I'm a huge fan of The Residents. Yes, a lot of the their pieces are odd. But upon closer inspection you'll find much of their music is actually quite conventional as far as melody and timing goes.

There's a lot of odd (and awesome) music out there. Check out Renaldo and the Loaf, Captain Beefheart, the Velvet Underground, and early Sonic Youth. Just to name a few.

Disgruntled Penguin 12-28-2016 07:06 AM

Infinity by Aphrodite's Child.

Sage Rat 12-28-2016 07:42 AM

I'm rather amazed that Bohemian Rhapsody ever became a big hit, though certainly the rest of Queen's music was perfectly approachable.

I'll throw out eX-Girl's Hettakorii No Ottokotou.

I have one merzbow song which is actual music, with some British girl singing, but I don't know the title nor which album it came from, or I'd find a YouTube link for it. Does anyone know?

Biotop 12-28-2016 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crafter_Man (Post 19881584)
I'm a huge fan of The Residents. Yes, a lot of the their pieces are odd. But upon closer inspection you'll find much of their music is actually quite conventional as far as melody and timing goes.

There's a lot of odd (and awesome) music out there. Check out Renaldo and the Loaf, Captain Beefheart, the Velvet Underground, and early Sonic Youth. Just to name a few.

I was an Uncle Willie's Eyeball Buddy back in the day. My old vynal Residents album are worn. I only have seem The Residents perform live twice (Cube-E and Demons Dance Alone), but both shows were astonishing.

levdrakon 12-28-2016 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 19881373)
If we're gonna mine that period, let's not overlook Throbbing Gristle's Hamburger Lady, a truly disturbing song.

You can just say "Throbbing Gristle". All their music was weird/good.

Snowboarder Bo 12-28-2016 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by levdrakon (Post 19881756)
You can just say "Throbbing Gristle". All their music was weird/good.

Aye, but that song is creepy, even for them.

Biotop 12-28-2016 10:05 AM

I did a radio show for many years on UVA's volunteer station, WTJU. It was (and still is) free-form radio where the DJ can play whatever he/she wants. My show was at 1am so I could get away with almost anything. One of my best discoveries was the Russian distributor Zhelezobeton. I'd read from their amazing catalog, order stuff, and a month or so later it would show up in a colorful box. Sometimes the CD-Rs would play, other times they would not and I would be left with just cool packaging and wonder about what the music would have sounded like. It was always fun playing music on my show that I was pretty sure no other radio station in the country was playing.

Many of these Russian artists have free stuff available for streaming. Here's some Lunar Abyss Quartet : Hyperborean .


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