1. Joe Preston, The Eagle Has Landed. This is from those three Melvins solo albums - yeah, the ones that look like the KISS solo albums. There's nothing special about this song or the album, sadly. The good one is King Buzzo's; I'll always love the line "Does that look like pus to you? No, I think it's lint."
2. Cabaret Voltaire, Eastern Mantra. Back in tenth grade, my buddy Jesse Baird found this album in a record shop in San Francisco. It was ridiculously expensive because even then it was out of print and obscure. Thank God it got reissued on CD eventually. I'm not a huge fan of early CV, but this album is still better than most of it.
3. Frank Zappa, Eat That Question. I was lucky to hear this performed live in Seattle last December, and man, oh man, what a song. The Grand Wazoo is for me one of Zappa's best albums by far: no lame-ass "comedy," no tediously difficult Serious Music™ - just a lot of fun.
4. Mint Royale, The Effect On Me (Max Tundra Remix). Wheeee! Max makes everything sound better. I have no idea what the un-remixed version sounds like, but this one sounds like there's serious GameBoy going on here.
5. Egyptian Lover, Egypt Egypt. Man, I loved this in ninth grade and I guess I still do. I also need to find some of The Glove's stuff, but I don't really know where to look.
6. Venetian Snares, Einstein-Rosen Bridge. Pretty sure this one's in 7/4 time. It's also probably the closest he'll ever get to a chart topping radio hit. Woooo.
7. The Gentle People, Emotion Heater. Cheese, glorious cheese. "You light the fire of my... gentle, gentle love!" Sure, it's retarded, but it makes you want to put on a fuzzy sweater and go hang out in the lobby of a Mies van der Rohe building, smoking Sobranies out of an overlong cigarette holder.
8. Ku-Ling Bros., Evolution of a Dope Fiend. Talk about obscure: Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltair fame apparently moved to Perth years back and founded a band there. They only have one album that I've ever been able to find, and it's a good one: Creach. This isn't my favorite song off of it, but I'd love to hear this in a disco someday.
9. Foetus Interruptus, English Faggot. OK, true story here... this album came out in 1988, and the only place I could find a copy was at Rough Trade Records, deep in the heart of California wine country (aka Sixth Street, San Francisco). Scary. I'd just spent the night sleeping on the floor of some shithole motel on Van Ness watching people I barely know do coke (first and last time I ever saw that), all because I was too tired to make it home from the (spectacularly lame) Skinny Puppy show I got invited to. Anyhow, I bought this album and headed back home to Berkeley, where everyone on my floor of the dorm decided this was pretty much the worst thing they'd ever heard.
Couple of years later, I think I remember Foetus doing a live Q&A in an AOL chat room of all things, and I piped up asking him why he recorded such an apparently hateful song (I mean, faggot? It's a really angry song). His answer? He'd moved to New York City and apparently the neighbors or someone started leaving angry answering machine messages tell him, the "English faggot," to get the fuck out of New York and go home, which he found hugely amusing. So, chalk another one up to youthful naïveté: it's not an anti-gay song, it's a song sung in character, typical of Foetus.
10. Terrestre, Ejido del Terror. If there's anyone underappreciated these days, it's Fernando Corona, I think. If you haven't heard his music, you're in for a real surprise. Secondary Inspection is the best CD I've ever bought just because I thought the guy on the cover was woofy. Turns out his music is teh awesome too. yay!