Muxtape: Two Norfolk handfuls* of odd, overlooked and offensive comedy tracks

(*that’s 12, as in fingers)

I’ve been mucking about with http://www.muxtape.com, a great site (in concept, although still very basic in execution) that allows you to create and share ‘mix tapes’, just like in the old days (only by uploading MP3 files and having them hosted as streaming mixes on the site).

Here’s one of my first efforts, a comedy mix, some of which (be warned) is not for those easily offended (or, come to that, quite hard to offend). PLEASE read the sleeve notes below BEFORE you listen to the tracks (particularly 6 and 7). My intention is to share some laughs with similarly free-thinking, juvenile sniggerers as myself, not to cause palpitations in the unsuspecting or unwary listener. (Once you’re at the site, click on the name of the first song to start listening.)

http://comedymix.muxtape.com

[update: link no longer works as Muxtape has been forced to stop hosting MP3s and has now changed its business model to become a promo tool for bands]

Compiled by Jim Jarmo

Incidentally, if any of the comedians or musicians featured in this mix object, let me know and I’ll remove your track. The tracks can only be played from the muxtape.com website (not downloaded as individual MP3s), no one’s making any money from this and my intention is purely to spread a little laughter (one byproduct of which may be that you gain a slightly bigger audience). Equally, if any would like me to add in a link to their website, myspace page, shopping cart or whatever, I’ll be happy to oblige.

On with the sleeve notes…

1. Boothby Graffoe – Planet Dog (2004)
Boothby Graffoe, the only comic to take his name from a Lincolnshire village, is a long-standing UK stand-up, both well known and well liked on the circuit. This is from his 2004 debut album “Wot Italian”, which I bought after his gig at Edinburgh. A few great tracks, and the album also features the talents of acclaimed flamenco guitarist (and fellow Edinburgh regular) Antonio Forcione.

2. Radio Free Vestibule – You’re A Hamburger (1994)
Uproariously funny Canadian surreal comedy sketch and song trio, now known more diminutively as The Vestibules. This is from their brilliant 1994 album “Sketches, Songs and Shoes”, which is quite hard to find. Someone “borrowed” my dog-eared cassette copy, but luckily I’ve since managed to find most of it online. Check out their website: http://www.thevestibules.com.

3. Jim Jarmo – Junk Food Junkie (2001)
I originally wrote this as a comic verse back in 1992, long before I knew of Larry Groce’s like-titled oeuvre. I finally turned it into this sample-stuffed song in 2001. (Incidentally, in its original context, the Michael Buerke “If you feed them to rats…” sample was actually referring not to Wotsits, but to Big Macs. Scant comfort, I know.)

4. The Popticians – Amoeba (1986)
An early vinyl release by comedy poet John Hegley and musical friends Sue Norton and Keith Moore, produced by Robyn Hitchcock. Bought this at one of his gigs in 1986. From a 12″ EP, also featuring “I Saw My Dinner On TV” and “Grandad’s Glasses”. I never got round to ripping the other two tracks, but it’s in the loft somewhere, so one day…

5. Ian Dury – Fuck Off Noddy (1983)
Okay, not *that* funny, but quite amusing to hear the normally more subtly comedic Dury belt out a childish stream of sniggering profanities on this hard-to-find white label originally destined for the album “4000 Weeks Holiday”. I think I seeded the first MP3 copy to hit the Net, on Napster/Audiogalaxy back in 2000/2001 (and likewise the previous track).

6. Chris Morris – Profane Doctor (1998)
In order to get some very close-to-the-mark sketches into his groundbreaking “Blue Jam” series on BBC Radio 1 (best described as dark, ambient comedy), Chris Morris would often create ‘decoy’ offensive material to take the heat off other stuff he wanted to get past the censors. This was one of the decoys, sourced courtesy of http://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk. Warning: *highly* offensive if you’re the taking-offence type, but especially to Christians.

7. Former Archbishop George Carey – Queen Mum Funeral Speech Remixed (2002)
One of my own cutups, inspired by Chris Morris’s similarly-spirited remix of Carey’s speech of Diana’s funeral in “Blue Jam”. You will gather if you listen to it that I am neither religious nor a royalist. If you are either, this will probably be *highly* offensive to you.

8. Tim Minchin – Inflatable You (2005)
I think Australian Tim is possibly the best comedy song lyricist to emerge for a generation. He’s quite well-known already, but is destined for superstardom. He’s also a great musician. This, I think, is his best song to date.

9. John Hegley – Eddie Don’t Like Furniture (2002)
Although first recorded for his 2002 album “Saint & Blurry”, this has been a live Hegley standard for yonks. Pretty sure I remember him doing this with the Popticians back in the ’80s.

10. The Mighty Boosh – Eels (2007)
Darkly comic number from surreal comedy duo Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding’s third and latest TV series. I won’t witter on about the history of the Boosh, as there’s oodles online. Suffice to say I first saw them in their 1999 Edinburgh show “Arctic Boosh” and they’ve been firm faves ever since. Looking forward to their first album, which they’re working on now.

11. Jim Jarmo – The Internet Song (2002)
I did write to Eric Idle asking permission to use the tune to his “Galaxy Song” from “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life” for this, an affectionate pastiche in the spirit of the original (but about the computing universe, rather than the Einsteinian one). He never replied, so I used it anyway. If I ever get told to stop using it, I guess I’ll have to spend a little time coming up with a very-similar-sounding-but-in-no-way-actionable tune (rather like Idle collaborator Neil Innes did with Beatles tunes for The Rutles…) And if that happens, I guess I also ought to update the lyrics a little, to reflect the technological advances since 2002, when the Net was a very different place. I added the Bill Gates cutup early in 2003 to fill the musical interlude.

12. John Shuttleworth – I Can’t Go Back To Savoury Now (2006)
Always tickles me and thought it made a nice outro. The track featured on his 2007 “4 Rather Tasty Tracks” EP, although this is from his 2006 Radio 4 series “John Shuttleworth’s Open Mind”, in which he investigated the paranormal. Shuttleworth is one of the comedy characters of Sheffied-born Graham Fellows, who orignally found fame as Jilted John with the 1978 hit “Gordon Is A Moron”.

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