Sonic Ordeal 

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Music style: Abstract Americana Folk/Punk Satire Alternative/General Carport Mood Music

Musical influences: Tennesse Ernie Ford, The Yardbirds, Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Jere Smith, The Ventures, The Shaggs, Every Mother's Son, Right Said Fred, old TV shows, commercial jingles and advertising, The Mellow Pickle, Dick Dale, The Scotia Band, The Swingin' Medallions, Stockhausen, John Cage, The Electric Prunes, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Pink Floyd, Herman's Hermits, The Guess Who

Similar Artists: Deadbolt, Go Van Go, Roger Miller, Cannibal & the Headhunters, Jonathan Richman, The Music Machine, Homer & Jethro, Steppenwolf, Alan Sherman, Dino, Desi and Billy


Listen:  


Lyrics, etc. for Yodel Butt Yodel Butt(©Sonic Ordeal)  Mark Trail

The broad beach near the Samoa, California, pulp mill in its heyday might not, at first sniff, seem a natural spot for romance. However, the claim has been made by a certain member of the band that he did once upon a time dally there along the strand with little more than a large, authentic bota bag and his delightful new love, only to be interrupted at a very inconvenient moment by a young man claiming to be both Swiss and disoriented. Musically, the song owes much to the inspiration of "The Swingin' Medallions." Tilt high and squeeze!
Lyrics, etc. for Thin Dr. Tim Thin Dr. Tim(©Sonic Ordeal)  Mark Trail

Participate in this Cosmic Cha-Cha and you'll receive college credit while listening to lyrics excerpted from a real university presentation! There's a cymbal you can ride sidesaddle and a T-bone solo that could put a scab on your forehead as big as the one Doctor Tim had! I could have sworn I heard a viola. Story Behind the Song: This tune is obviously indebted to the "Sambanista" movement that came out of Barstow in 1983. The lyrics arise from a talk Doctor Leary gave a decade later in the gym at California State University, Chico. Mr. Trail attended, paid attention and claims to mostly remember the doctor's large head-scab and low percentage of body fat. This is a talk that Doctor Tim gave before he died, as opposed to talks that Mr. Trail claims to have been hearing lately. While the other band members were unable to attend the presentation due to personal problems, it certainly sounds like they were there!
Lyrics, etc. for Baseball Paul Baseball Paul(©Sonic Ordeal)  Mark Trail

It's rare to hear a song that is equally inspired by James Brown and Burl Ives, but here it is! This is the semi-true story of a real true man and zen baseball fan who used to wander around Arcata, California, much as did several members of the band. Done funk-dance stylie! Story Behind the Song: It's inspiring to meet someone who truly knows what in life pleases them and who has no pretense of being anything but exactly what they are. Such a man was Paul and such a pleasure was his American pastime. This mental state of "zentardation" has been the lifelong goal of lyricist Mr. Trail - and when the band stews up a greasy groove like the one on "Baseball Paul," he is elevated to a state where, in the persona of Burl Brown, he has got to, got to, get funky. If you're out of it from the get go, three strikes can never sit you down! Lyrics: As this song was improvised, the words never got written down but it is safe to assume that they mostly rhyme with "ball" and "Paul."
Lyrics, etc. for Mr. E.D. Mr. E.D.(©Sonic Ordeal)  Mark Trail

This number wishes it could be a wacky TV show theme song in a parallel universe where 1960s sensuality embraces 2000s pharmacopoeia. It's not as easy to sound like a mono speaker on a black-and-white, 13-inch Zenith portable TV as we thought it would be. Through those little computer speakers you have at work, it may be happening. Is it too late for Arthur Brown to write the theme for "The Love Boat?"
Lyrics, etc. for Buds of Mystery Buds of Mystery(©Sonic Ordeal)  Mark Trail

The band taps vigorously on the Emerald Triangle but it's obvious that somebody didn't get their nap! This song has a great chorus and we really hope to get to it next time. Story Behind the Song: Frequent visits to such roadside attractions as "Trees of Mystery" and "Confusion Hill" along Northern California's Highway 101 appear to have overstimulated the delicate nerve endings of Mr. Trail. Band members pull over as needed during this enduring musical tour.


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