cover image Incredibly Strange Music Vol. 1

Incredibly Strange Music Vol. 1

Search Re. Re/Search Publications, $17.99 (193pp) ISBN 978-0-940642-22-5

Skip the editors' gee-whiz introduction that justifies their mania for kitschy LP records of the '50s, '60s and '70s, and go right into the 14 amusing interviews with collectors and practitioners of the music. Many of the sounds talked about here really aren't ``incredibly strange'' but simply of their time: Martin Denny's faux-Hawaiian exotica, Gershon Kingsley's Moog synthesizer hits, and surf and stripper music. It's not the artistry (a suspect word to the Re/Search people) that went into making these records but rather the collector's enthusiasm for the object and its meaning that is the leitmotif here. No matter whether it's Mickey McGowan, proprietor of the Unknown Museum in Mill Valley, Calif., getting hot about bird recordings or women's studies academic Lynn Peril speaking with cautious avidity about her sexploitation-music collection, these people transmit heat and light about a hunk of American ephemera which nonetheless retains cosmic significance for them. It's hard to guess why Eartha Kitt is one of the 14, but otherwise Re/Search editors Vale and Juno pick the perfect cross-section representatives of the dying vinyl culture. Volume 2 available in early 1994. (May)