Gut Bucket Research explores the most obscure music possible

Gut Bucket Research #6
Zine, David Tighe, 34 pgs, [email protected]

I think I know why I was assigned this zine for review — the editor just knew I’d think it was freaking awesome! Why? Because it hits all the bases: dense cut- and-paste layout? Check. Author writing at length about an obscure, niche topic? Yep. Did I learn a bunch about stuff I never knew existed? Oh yeah.

Gut Bucket Research is a zine about unusual vocal music. It includes yodeling, throat singing, and something new I learned about called “eefling,” which is apparently an Appalachian vocal technique that resembles beatboxing, sort of. Do you think you know about obscure musical traditions because you have a couple Folkways records? David Tighe’s musical anthropology goes way deeper. Wild and strange, delightfully odd and extensive, it’s hard not to be carried along with the author’s enthusiasm as he recounts bottle blowing, whooping, and trumpeting (which is also referred to as groaning or hacketing).

Animals get in on the action too. I laughed out loud when I read Update Five: “In issue 4 we discussed Bonnie the whistling orangutan” — that is certainly the best sentence I will read all year. Music and interspecies communication is explored in a review of Playing Music With Animals: The Interspecies Communication of Jim Nollman With 300 Turkeys, 12 Wolves, 20 Orca Whales : “Nollan’s version is ener- getic and the turkeys are raucous.”

CBC Radio One should give Tighe a radio show and give Randy Bachman the heave-ho. The intro says, “If you are like me and you harbour the suspicion that mysteries of the universe are hidden somewhere on some dusty shellac just waiting to be discovered you will want to keep reading, if only to be disappointed when its (sic) just some information about weird music.” Trust me, if you can hang with a certain amount of weird, this is for you. (Chris Landry)

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