Saturday, October 01, 2005

Levitate Me

The world of adults, as seen through the mind of a child, can be abnormal, unfamiliar and just plain wacked out. If you're in need of a soundtrack to this kindergarten horror show we call Life, it's best to leave it to 1960's outsider artist Bruce Haack (and his sometimes dance/movement assistant Miss Nelson), whose slightly askew compositions about robots, spiders, motorcycle rides, rubber bands and poppies, help to explain the world as the beautiful, shocking and bizarre place it is. The very thought that little tykes might have been exposed to such tunes as African Lullaby, Saint Basil, First Lady, Mara's Moon, and Goodbye (all taken from Electronic Record For Children, top left) makes my heart levitate all the way up to my eyeballs. Seek out Haack's expensive Japanese-only releases wherever you can find them (Amoeba Records almost always has them in stock), after which you may want to indulge yourself with the Haack tribute album Dimension Mix, (normally I encourage readers to shy away from tribute discs, but this one raises funds for Autism research), featuring such luminaries as Beck, Eels, Apples In Stereo and Fantastic Plastic Machine, whose I'm Bruce removes all the surreal qualities of a Bruce Haack song and reduces it to a wink-wink pop diversion.