Carl Thiel and Eric Evinczik: COBWEBS & STRANGE

Your podcast portal to the otherworld of bizarre and far-out music, the extraordinary and the obscure, the weird and the wonderful from around the globe and here in our backyard. To comment on anything you may hear on Cobwebs & Strange, email us at
1/11/17 Music a la carte! The Cobwebs & Strange All-You-Can Eat Buffet of Songs about Food
Whether we consume for the lip-smacking flavor or simply as fuel to keep our biological engine running, we all have to eat and musicians have recorded hundreds of songs about the multifarious joys of food. So tie on your bib and dive in as we present an appetizer plate of delicious songs guaranteed to work up an appetite. Our selections include tracks by James "Red" Holloway, Julia Lee, Jim Nabors, Tom Glazer & the Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus, Josh White, Andre Williams, Fred Lane & the Hittite Hot Shots, Hurricane Harry, Charles Grean and the Central High School Cafeteria Band, Archie Pier and the Rhythm Aires, Fats Waller, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, the Slough Boys, and the Detergents.
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11/10/16 Why Do You Think They Call It Dope? Songs about Drugs
Humans and animals eagerly seek out ways of altering their states-of-mind. Drugs, whether plant-based or manmade, have a long history of use and abuse. In this episode, we provide a sample of the many songs about mind-altering substances.  Whether lamenting their addictive quality or celebrating momentary euphoria, drugs have continued to play a large role in modern music. Our selections include tracks by Harry ‘The Hipster’ Gibson, the State Street Swingers, the Damned, Cat Mother & the All-Night Newsboys, the Fugs, the Pretty Things, the Holy Modal Rounders, the Birthday Party, Jolie Holland, Steppenwolf, GG Allin, the Gun Club, the Butthole Surfers, and Mike Mann and Cowboy Soul.
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10/13/16 Come Spy with Me: Songs about Spies, Private Eyes, Secret Agents
Yep. Sneaky, moody, jazzy music accompanying exploits filled with danger and intrigue, secret passwords, hidden cameras, dastardly villains and beautiful (but deadly) women. Pull up the collar on your trenchcoat and come in from the cold while you listen to cloak-and-dagger-infused tracks by John Barry, Shirley Bassey, the Red Price Combo, Mel Tormé, Mike Russo, Barbara Feldon, the Fugs, the Beat Happening, Elliott Sharpe & Carbon, John Zorn, James “Foetus” Thirlwell, Wall of Voodoo, Ennio Morricone, the Germs, Buffalo’s own Stop Scorpio, Half Japanese, the Tazmanian Devils, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. And something you’ll only hear on Cobwebs & Strange: Eric sings not once, not twice, but four times!
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8/30/16 Meanwhile … Back in the Jungle: American Jungle Songs from the 1950s to the 1970s
Tarzan started it all when he grabbed his first jungle vine and swung into our hearts and minds. Invoking all that was loud, raucous and wrong about the Dark Continent was the rock and roll approach to jungle music. Primitive drum beats, cannibals, roaring lions and exotic bird calls were typical fare, but let’s not leave out the element of fun! Our swinging selections include tracks by Martin Denny, the Tokens, Solomon Linda, Sammy and the Five Notes, the Shadows, Johnny Parker and the Zircons, the Cramps, Kip Tyler, Norman ‘Arab’ Sands and the Valiants, Hank Mizell, the Gaynighters, Killdozer, the Cadets, the New York Dolls, Savage Republic, Bob Ridgley, and Flo & Eddie.
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6/22/16 Space is the Place: Songs about Rockets and Outer Space
Blast off with us as we celebrate rock 'n' roll's dalliance with all things outer space, flying saucers, little green men, and enjoy a honeymoon on a rocket ship. Hear actual sounds of space including the beep-beep of Sputnik (earth's first manmade satellite) as we explore the upper stratosphere and fly by the dark side of the moon. There's even subtle social commentary according to Ms. Ella Fitzgerald and Mr. Spock. Our spacey selections include tracks by Louis Prima, Skip Stanley, Hank Snow, Blackie Jenkins and the Satellites, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Nimoy, Sun Ra, Frank Comstock, Hawkwind, Helios Creed, Joe Meek & the Tornadoes, the Fugs' Ed Sanders, Jimmy Durante and Rochester's Bat McGrath. Listen now as we countdown to the show … three … two … one …
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5/05/16 Fairies and elves … little ones, giant ones, green ones and pink ones
With the spring comes the reawakening of the earth, when the many fair creatures come out and we are enchanted by the good neighbors, the fairies. In this episode, we examine how absinthe got a bad rap, the true meaning of glamour, how some fairies wear boots, the madness of some Victorian painters, and how love conquers all, even in the realm of faery. Our musical selections include: “Little Fairies” - Ogden Edsl, “Tam Lin” - Fairport Convention, “Thomas The Rhymer” – Steeleye Span, “Fairies Wear Boots” – Black Sabbath, “Absinthe” - The Damned, “The Elves” - The Fall, “Kicker of Elves” - Guided by Voices, “The Fairy Fellers Master-Stroke” - Queen, “Fairytale Hysteria” - Plasticland, and “Do It” – Pink Fairies.
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4/14/16 Our Picks for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Each spring, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland inducts five or six rock acts into its hallowed lists. We wonder why some musicians seem to miss out year after year, so to redress such criminal neglect, on this show, we select ten artists who we feel have as much right as anyone to be inducted. OUR musical candidates include: Link Wray - “Ace of Spades” (1963), John Mayall - “Vacation” (1968), Captain Beefheart - “Ella Guru” (1969), Little Feat - “Strawberry Flats” (1970), The Monkees - “For Pete’s Sake” (1967), Richard Berry / The Kingsmen - “Louie Louie” (1957) / (1963), Screamin’ Jay Hawkins - “She Put the Wammee On Me” (1955), Gram Parsons - “Brass Buttons” (1973), Big Star - “Thirteen” (1972), and New York Dolls - “Babylon” (1974).
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3/17/16 Touring Can Make You Crazy: Rockers Off Their Rockers
We all know a life of excess can drive you crazy. This time we look at a handful of rock musicians who either couldn’t cope with the money and the drugs that came with fame or were already certifiably cray-cray to begin with. Our suitably insane song selections include: “Slip Inside This House” – Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators (1967), “Merry Go Round” – Wild Man Fischer (1969), “Effervescing Elephant” – Syd Barrett (1970), “The Green Manalishi” – Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac (1970), “I Hear A New World” – Joe Meek and The Blue Men (1960), “I Just Wasn't Made for These Times” – Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys (1966), “Little Hands” – Alexander ‘Skip’ Spence (1969), “Don’t Play Cards with Satan” - Daniel Johnston (1990), “Self-Absorbed”/“Violence Now” - G.G. Allin & Antiseen (1992), “The Ostrich” – Lou Reed and The Primitives (1964).
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3/02/16 The World’s Finest Heroes: Superman and Batman
Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s just in time for the big, overhyped movie “Batman vs. Superman.” Yep, that’s right we’re jumping on the Bat-Wagon big time and featuring super songs about the original world’s finest heroes: Superman and Batman. Songs include: “Ride Superman Ride” – Stomp Gordon (1958), “Super Bird” – Country Joe & the Fish (1965), “Batman Theme” – Neil Hefti (1966), “The Origin of Captain Jan and Dean” – Jan & Dean (1966), “Batman and Robin” – The Thor-Ables (1962), “Boy Wonder, I Love You” – Burt Ward (with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, 1966), “Miranda” – Adam West (1966), “I Wupped Batman’s Ass” – Wesley Willis (1995), “Superman’s Penance” – The Cave Dogs (1990s), “The Black Superman” – Duangdao Mondara and Chailai (1970s?), “Supergirl” – The Fugs (1968), “Superman” – The Clique (1969), “Superman’s Midlife Crisis” – Joe Giacoio (1997) and “Sunshine Superman” – Hüsker Dü (1983).
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2/25/16 Truth, Justice and the American Way. Action Heroes (Cowboy, Super, Weird and otherwise)
Who we pick as our heroes tells us a great deal about who we are. We look at how the childhood heroes encountered through movies, radio, television and comic books have changed over time. Songs include: “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” – The Wellingtons (1954), “Zorro” – The Chordettes (1958), “The Shadow Knows” – Link Wray (1964), “Captain Hideous” – Red Blanchard (1954), “Transfusion” – Nervous Norvus (1956), “Western Movies” – The Olympics (1958), “Along Came Jones” – The Coasters (1959), “How I Wrote Elastic Man” – The Fall (1980), “Nobody Loves the Hulk” – The Traits (1969), “Gigantor” – The Dickies (1980), “Ghost Rider” – Suicide (1977), and “Herculoids” – Screaming Lord Butch & the Howling Monkey Men (2005). Sure. Our heroes may be loud, violent, tasteless and cheerless, but we love ‘em!
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2/04/16 Voodoo, Hoodoo, Jumbies, Gris-Gris Gumbo and Alligator Wine
Conjuring images of drums, wild dancing, spirit possession and zombies, the vodun religion of West Africa and the Caribbean is baffling, feared and misunderstood. We look at how voodoo has manifested itself in western culture as mainly synonymous with spells but also the mysterious unknown, especially in places like New Orleans and Haiti. Voodoo has also been a common reason in song for the bewitching effects of infatuation. We feature songs about voodoo by Dr. John the Night Tripper, Papa Celestin and His New Orleans Band, Josephine Premice, The Charmer (aka Louis Farrakhan, head of Nation of Islam), Bill James and the Hex-o-Tones, LaVern Baker, Charles Sheffield, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, The Headliners, The Cramps, Half Japanese, and Cathedral.
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12/1/15 Yule Never Believe It-The Cobwebs & Strange Christmas Show
Music is an important aspect of celebrating the Christmas season and we here at Cobwebs & Strange do our part by presenting thirteen offbeat songs for your holiday listening. We run the gamut from sentimental to ascerbic, from rock 'n' roll and rhythm & blues to avant garde, in selections that are bizarre, humorous, and oh, so dark. Artists this time include Johnny and Edgar Winter, Country Joe & the Fish, Teenage Fanclub, Little Joey Farr, James Brown, Captain Beefheart, Root Boy Slim & the Sex Change Band, James Chance, Bobby Starr, the Dirtbombs, the Everly Brothers, the Kids of Widney High, and The Beat Happening.
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10/27/15 Love Hurts, or the Sad and Terrible Saga of the American Murder Ballad
Tonight, we choose from the rich vein of the dastardly murder ballad in American music. Unfaithfulness has long been the cause of murderous revenge, giving us such songs as “The Knoxville Girl,” “Tom Dooley,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “Hey Joe,” and scores of others. Simply being crazy has accounted for wholesale murder, as well, and inspired its share of unfortunate tunes.  Selections for this show are by Frank Proffitt, Bobby Helms, Carol Waggoner, The Louvin Brothers, Patrick Sky, Billy Hughes, Chuck Wells, Harry Johnson (AKA Sanford Clark), Tom Waits, and two very twisted songs by Eddie Noack, including the infamous “Psycho.”.
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10/07/15 The Cobwebs & Strange Monster Raving Looney Halloween Show
We celebrate the scary season with an hour's worth of bizarre, little-known recordings and makeshift commentary. The Phantom Five set the mood with their instrumental “Graveyard” and Kip Tyler describes his significant other by proudly proclaiming, “She's My Witch.” Louise Huebner, the official witch of L.A., tells all about summoning demons before we shift into country-western mode for the title song of the bad 1978 movie, The Brain Leeches. We engage in scream therapy with the bombastic Screaming Lord Sutch and the outrageous psychobilly pioneer, Hasil Adkins, while Roky Erickson and The Birthday Party (Nick Cave's early band) herald the coming of vampires. Ted Cassidy (i.e., Lurch on The Addams Family TV show) demonstrates how to do the dance named after his character. The Master Musicians of Joujouka play to ward off the Devil, courtesy of Moroccan artist Bachir Attar. We end our spooky sojourn by exploring the dark side with Scott Walker and Lydia Lunch.
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9/15/15 Cambodian Rocks
For roughly a ten-year period in the 1960s and 1970s, Cambodian musicians adapted the rock ‘n’ roll they heard from American servicemen in neighboring Vietnam and made it their own. Everything from surf music, to Motown, to hard rock to acid rock was performed. This vibrant and progressive music scene ended when the communists under Pol Pot took control of the country in 1975 and clamped down on intellectuals and artists. Today’s show features a handful of these artists (Yol Aularong, Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Sereysothea, Pan Ron, and the Tra Kha Band), all who would suffer for the next four years at the hands of the brutal Khmer Rouge.
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