The Grain Music
Longmont Potion Castle 14
From Salinger and Pynchon to Kubrick to Banksy and the Master of Vyšší Brod to Daft Punk and the Weeknd, it could be said that some of the most important creative people in their fields have been anonymous, or at least reclusive. Why is this? Is it because these people have realized their need to contribute art untainted by image, and let their work speak for themselves? Or is it the anonymity that creates the intrigue? Maybe at times what fascinates us about this work is the idea of the masked genius behind it. So unconcerned with the limelight, it seems as though they hardly care whether or not anyone is paying attention to what they do. Somewhere deep within the assemblage of masked creators, lies Longmont Potion Castle, a noise and thrash metal recording artist whose status has never touched any of the aforementioned. His discography, 17 albums deep, proves not only to be a one-of-a-kind attempt in its field, but proves LPC to be canon worthy in the history of anonymous artists.
Almost 30 years after his first release, Subliminal Propaganda, Longmont Potion Castle’s work still enables his little group of devout listeners to feel the same euphoria, intrigue and bewilderment that it did in 1988. This is because through the past 3 decades his ideology, medium and ultimately his mission have remained the same. Whether or he wants his listeners laughing, crying or cringing at any given moment, Potion Castle has clung to his discovery: how to interact with the world in a way no one else ever has.
The first thing you may notice upon listening to LPC’s 14, is that his use of vocal effects and manipulation runs far more rampant than we’ve heard before. His rambling and comedic soundscapes sound more like Merzbow than ever, until they don’t. In a moment his vocal aesthetic is reminiscent of Diamanda Galás, whose career of intense avant-garde, blues, and shrieking is not all that unlike Longmont’s. The same moment we might forget all about his vocal style, as his prose is illuminated, sounding like the lyrics of a dead country singer whose mind was replaced by a random word generator.
LPC, whose true identity has remained a mystery ever since Propaganda, becomes more self-referential than he has on his work before. From his lyrical discussion of his own electronic vocal manipulation on the first track “LPC Medley 1” (“I’m hearing voices / And Beeping / And crazy sounds”), to the second track on the album, “Around The House,” which opens up with the line “Let’s get back to the phones now.” Perhaps this serves as a reflection on his own career in audio. The surreal Beauty of LPC’s work is in his anonymity, statements on his web site have claimed that his albums are simply absurdist art.
The most notable feature of the album are its lyrics. Longmont’s verbal capacity has grown since his beginnings, uttering phrases that seem intricate and nuanced, while also phonaesthetically silly. On the opening track, “LPC 14 Medley,” he croons, “We got people leaping up and down / We got people leaping all around / And we got a fractal cactus / We got a holistic medicine man on premise / he’ll get with ya a little bit later,” and we wonder whether the words are profound or profoundly meaningless, only to realize that it doesn’t matter. But we still have to wonder if we’re the one who is being pranked through Longmont Potion Castle’s postmodern experiment.
The album came out on DU Records in June of this year, a time that the label describes as “Just when you thought it was safe to turn on the radio.” A listen through LPC’s music is as it has ever been: a journey. Through a desert soundscape of cassette tape and discomfort and funny voices and harsh noise. We ask ourselves where this journey brought us, what destination has this led us to, and finally, who is Longmont Potion Castle? But if LPC’s career continues at all similarly to how it has been going, the answer should be clear: It doesn’t really matter.
Longmont Potion Castle 13
This year’s LPC album is the most epic one yet. Including bonus tracks, it’s nearly 3 hours long, and it was released as a triple CD (which sold out in a minute, like every LPC album from the past few years). These tracks are long, convoluted, and dense. He’s using crazier effects than ever, and there’s less silence and awkward pauses and just a higher intensity. In the first track alone, he misinterprets someone saying “she’s not with us” for meaning that she passed away, tries to sell someone a KISS comic book printed with LSD, and tells someone his name is Schwab. Then he’s asking for weird animal parts (multiple times) while weird distorted groaning sounds roll around in the background. At one point he actually asks someone “Do you idiots sell urine?” Also it sounds like he’s editing callers so that certain phrases repeat and they sound like they’re stuttering, like on some older LPC releases. And then on “Mongoose”, he edits his own voice out so it’s just a big block of confused people chattering about mongooses (mongeese?). And of course, the one where he calls people asking who they’re voting for. One dude swears he always writes in Billy Dee Williams every election. Another dude recognizes it as LPC calling and says “you’re my hero!” Also, Alex Trebek still doesn’t seem to know what’s up. Also, LPC does some sort of Avalanche Bob-like scatting during “Bicycle Center”. I was going to post here that an LPC documentary called Where in the Hell is the Lavender House? is in production, and I was going to post the Indiegogo page, but it says it’s closed. I didn’t get around to donating yet! At least this (and every other LPC) album can be ordered at longmontpotioncastle.com.
Longmont Potion Castle 12
It’s a good start to the year if there’s not one but two new Longmont Potion Castle releases. LPC 12 is more Skype and voice modulator terrorism, and while he’s still calling people up asking about ridiculous products and demanding payment, the people he’s calling still fall for it and it’s still hilarious. He’s calling from the Ho Ho House, and all the calipers on his Daihatsu Blooper are ruined. His record store calls are as ridiculous as ever; he asks about a band called Hobo Barf and keeps throwing his voice around. He also claims that he’s in a band of musical gnomes and wants to sell his album on consignment. There’s also the saga of when he’s been hired to photograph the Little Miss Clackamas pageant and he’s been told to pixelize the film, and he just won’t give up whenever the guy tries to reason with him and tell him how to go about fulfilling his ridiculous requests. And then of course he threatens the guy: “How ’bout I pixelize your teeth?” His later albums have more of his own voice, because his voice just keeps getting funnier, but there’s a couple moments like on the earlier LPC releases where he repeats some of the more flustered responses from callers, and I think he might even cut his own voice out just to leave the confused-sounding callers. And he’s definitely cutting some space out of the calls to make them more rapidfire on a few tracks. The limited CD and cassette versions of the album was sold out by the time I found out about it, so I grabbed a digital download. Anyway, if you’re well versed in LPC, you know you need this in your life. If you haven’t heard LPC before, you need it anyway.
The Albert Lerner Trio/Longmont Potion Castle "Split"
This new LPC release is a lot different, in that it’s one of the project’s few entirely musical releases. Basically the only other ones before this that have little or nothing to do with prank phone calls are the split 7″with Hatebeak and a collection or two of just the metal interludes from the albums. This double LP collection (which also had a limited CD release) starts out with an LP by the mostly instrumental Albert Lerner Trio (which lists two different drummers, I assume they appear on different tracks) who play a sort of twangy, thrashy spaghetti western rock. There’s moments that get pretty heavy which dovetail into sprightly country without missing a beat. The album’s 17 brief tracks all feel like the soundtrack to scenes of a trippy, surrealist film set in the scorching desert heat, so it’s all too appropriate that Longmont Potion Castle provides remixes for the album’s second disc. He adds plenty of exaggerated echo and effects to the drum and guitar tracks, as well as lots of spoken snippets, some of which are from his phone calls, but most of them are likely from movies or TV or other sources. It’s definitely fun and playful, even if it doesn’t go for all-out hilarity or ridiculousness. His sample placement is impeccable; his sense of timing is excellent no matter what he does. Everything fits together in a more musical way than it ever has for him. On “Birds (No, Sorry Mix)” he surrounds the atmospheric post-rock with bird sounds, and then samples one of his calls where he asks someone at a store if he can bring his bird into the shop because it helps him to see. A musician caller excitedly talking about mixing different styles of music appears on both this album and LPC 12, and his enthusiastic rambling is bolstered here by LPC’s drum echoing, spiraling-up bass, and sporadic piano and sax bursts. Whoever this caller is, he could end up being the new Tight Bros. This definitely feels like a sort of vanity side project for Longmont, but it’s a good showcase of his musical side (it wouldn’t be accurate to say his “serious” side).
Longmont Potion Castle 11
Longmont Potion Castle has been on a prolific streak for a while now, regularly putting out a new album every year, each one funnier than the last. The newly released 11 (actually the 12th LPC album, counting Late-Eighties-Vein) marks the project’s return to the CD and tape formats, following a couple digital-only releases and the double-vinyl release of 9. This one, like most LPC releases, is pretty much non-stop ridiculousness. He calls people claiming he has a 65,000 pound battle cannon in a helicopter, asking where he should land the thing. He tells a camping store that he wants to get outfitted like a “swamp donkey”, and after he can’t get what he asks for, he asks for “holographic boots”. He gets Alex Trebek on the line with a bunch of other celebrities, claiming to be from a new show called What’s Crackin’. He does his UPS guy bit, telling someone he’s going to deliver them Tasmanian syrup on dry ice. He talks to an Obama-hating Fox News reporter, claiming to be from the NAACP, asking for donations to What’s Crackin’. Best of all is the 11 minutes he spends calling people up claiming to be “your new neighbor”, asking how he can cry more of his own natural tears. That one just hits home because I think I’ve somehow lost the ability to cry tears and sometimes wonder how I can do that myself. This is also one of the few calls where the people he’s calling are actually amused by his calls, and one of them asks him if he’s Longmont Potion Castle, and keeps saying “this is so awesome right now”. He’s as proficient as ever with manipulating his voice and coming up with ridiculous fake names, and he calls people on Skype and when they say they’re going to report his number or track him he nonchalantly goes “oh don’t do that”. The last few LPC albums have included links to bonus tracks with the digital tracklist insert, and this album's highlight is when he claims to be from “Golf Wolf Magazine”, and repeatedly asks the guy he’s calling how he’s doing, who keeps replying “I’m unbelievable, but if you keep calling, I’ll call the police”. He also claims to be a former coach for the Denver Broncos, and calls some guy who hates football asking for input. Oh, and as usual, there’s some thrash songs, some of which have dense sample collages, and one of which samples the infamous “Tight Bros” phone conversation between two guys talking about which classic rock guitarist is better (“I was flipping on acid!”). Buy a download, give this man all the moneys, or he’s gonna whoop your ass. How does that sound?
Longmont Potion Castle 10
I can never figure out if this surrealist and anonymous prank caller is aiming for juvenile giggles or a fascinating look into the psychological reactions of the average American, but, once again, he achieves both in a way that alternatively stuns and entertains. Favorite tracks: "Lamb Dilemma", "Interloper's Probation", "Turtle Pleasure", "Neighbor Noise". 4 stars out of 5.
Longmont Potion Castle 10
Returning to digital-only after the first-ever full-length LPC vinyl release, here's another album of lambs, deadpan taunting, preposterous UPS deliveries, 3-way phone mayhem, and thrash metal, via Skype. Most relevant to my location, Mr. LPC poses as someone from Detroit Energy and calls people telling them he's going to turn their heat up to 110 degrees for testing. He starts off calling a candy store, who says that this will melt all their product. Then he calls a bunch of other people telling them the same thing, and they get belligerent, so he claims to be charging them for non-compliance. At one point he interjects, "do you even know there's a new pope?" "Liquor Outlet" finds him doing his classic vocal manipulation and playing with words, and confusing the hell out of someone at that store. "Interloper's Probation" is the saga of a disturbed, cranky, racist old man who lives in a motel. Elsewhere, he adds synths and drum machines to his calls, resulting in a hilarious "What You Peepin'?" song for about 10 seconds, which gets met with a "what are you saying?" and a hangup. He asks a liquor store for 100 limes, and claims to be from yelp.com, and offers to change someone's negative feedback into positive for $800.00. Oh, and there's the one where he calls a record store asking for Turtle Pleasure and Solomon Gumball. "I'm at the KFC just catty-corner to ya." He calls people claiming to be their neighbor, and tells them to quiet down, and the first person seems to actually comply with him. There's also a disturbed, violent-minded man who really hates the President, and a montage of phone greetings, and (as a bonus track) the crazy living in a motel talking to Alex Trebek. Maybe a bit too much 3-way calls this time, but still, if you love LPC, you need this.
Longmont Potion Castle 9
LPC is a single Colorado man who makes prank phone calls. The calls make Crank Yankers seem square and The Jerky Boys seem sober. It's absurd and wonderful, or infuriating if you're Dick Dale. Favorite tracks: "Clown Motel", "LPC 9 Medley 1", "LPC 9 Medley 2". 4 stars out of 5.
Longmont Potion Castle 9
Almost 25 years after the anonymous Colorado citizen operating under the moniker Longmont Potion Castle started tormenting people via phone and releasing it on cassette, and after claiming that the project was over several albums ago, LPC is finally making its full-length vinyl debut. Even though LPC falls under the category of “prank phone calls” I’ve always thought of his work (and I do consider it “work”) to be closer to some sort of avant-garde sound art than the fucking Jerky Boys. He’s had the same deadpan tone to his voice all these years, and he’s still coming up with ridiculous dadaist non-sequitors that simply wouldn’t come out of most people’s mouths. Not to mention, he still filters his voice through a digital delay system, playing around with pitch and reverb and generally just confusing the hell out of people. He still occasionally calls up shops asking for odd-sounding items that don’t exist (“rug munchkins”), or asking repair shops to fix items they don’t actually fix, and when they won’t, he’ll nonchalantly retort with “maybe you’d rather look at my flamethrower, how’s that sound?” Naturally, a large percentage of the people he calls react with extreme fury. Sometimes LPC is obviously asking for it; he opens one call claiming that he’s sponsoring Julian Assange for WikiLeaks, and is told that he will only receive money for “hand grenades to blow his fucking ass to hell where he belongs”, otherwise “go fuck your commie self.” His standby routine still remains calling people up claiming to be from UPS (or DHL, or another delivery service) and saying that he has a huge delivery from another country and that they owe him thousands of dollars and that he’s on the way to deliver it right now and he needs the money immediately. Even when the people he’s calling absolutely refuse to believe what’s happening, they still stay on the line for much longer than anyone with common sense would, and continue arguing while LPC’s utterings get more absurd, and while his voice gets more processed. On “Lizards”, LPC tells the guy on the other line to “talk to my leader”, at which point he filters his voice and mixes it with new age music, and speaks about “objects which look like faberge eggs from Mars” and other psychedelic things. On another track, he calls someone asking for backing tracks (“I need ogg vorbis tracks, stat!”) with the pitch of his voice fluctuating rapidly, and works the guy on the other line up so much that he ends up having to ask “why are you fucking cursing at me?”, with his voice still electronically mangled. Only on a few instances do the people he’s calling seem to be in on the joke. He cracks a girl up with some silly voice saying “hey Dahn, what’s going ahn?!”, and in two instances, he’s actually asked if he’s the guy from Longmont Potion Castle. On one of the digital-only bonus tracks, Merle Allin (whose brother G.G. was infamously called on one of LPC’s early albums) seems to have a grand old time hooping and hollering at LPC, who calls about delivering a package by foot, but then ends up throwing it in the dumpster.
If all of this sounds horrible and not funny, then you are probably not going to enjoy the track called “Kiplet’s Prayer”. On this track, LPC speaks through a Mac speech synthesis program in character as a hearing impaired 14 year old, calling a Christian prayer line to pray for his friend Carl “who is in gangs and drugs.” He gives his email address as “email@example.com” and his postal address as “39 firstname.lastname@example.org”. This sounds cruel and exploitative on paper, but what makes it hilarious is the way the computer voice pronounces “Kiplet”, and “gaaangs”, and “thhaaank you”. Essentially, the delivery is what makes LPC work. The combination of straightfaced recitation of completely absurd subject matter (such as calling up a coffin shop asking about “Alligator Monday”) along with quick-witted one-liners (such as giving his phone number as “888-Witchery”) makes his recordings completely bizarre and fascinating, and I’ve yet to tire of them.
I should also mention that LPC albums consist of more than just phone calls. He also sneaks at least one thrash-metal instrumental onto his albums, and sometimes he even makes songs blending metal riffs with collages of chopped up samples of his phone calls. “LPC 9 Theme 1″ makes a hook out of the angry guy he calls at NBS Electronics saying “I’m open right, I’m open right fuckin’ now”, and “Big Big Banana” loops the titular phrase amongst a copious amount of curse-heavy threats. The guy is obviously a pro with a recording studio, as well as with a guitar.
I’ve been a diehard Longmont Potion Castle fan since college. I read the reviews and interview on Mark Prindle’s site, and downloaded a few albums, but I ended up buying all of them because This Man Deserves My Money. As you can probably expect, every time I try to subject my friends to LPC, they either don’t get it at all or become diehard fans as well. I seriously think that this man has had a profound effect on the way I perceive human interaction. I’m not saying I randomly call people up and threaten to whip their ass, or tell them I’m about to deliver a truck full of insects, but it definitely makes me consider how ordinary and banal it is interacting with most people on a daily basis, and this just makes me wish I could do something subversive. My mind is nowhere near as creative as LPC’s, however, and I’m pretty anti-social most of the time anyways. But I think what he does functions as a fascinating study on social interaction, as well as being funny absurdist comedy and experimental sound-art. Plus, it’s more quotable than Monty Python. I’m getting all sorts of coaxial flutter on my unit. I deal with Elastico Gomez. OK, let’s try this again; Dougan, Nassssshhhhhhhhh…
Le Garage Hermetique
Longmont Potion Castle 8
This latest volume of telephone-terror-surrealism somehow captures the experience of when our lines get crossed with other variational-orbits, but in this case, from what some of us believe, it's intentional. The labels below best describe what's to be found within: bandanas, case of wine, DCA-approved, echo box, Gorilla Snot, Isotoner Gloves, neon dayglo gladiator, orange soda, overalls, retro style hang-gliders, skeleton meat, Tough Sheds, whip-cracking.
Longmont Potion Castle 7
I think it’s safe to assume now that any time the voice behind Longmont Potion Castle says he’s going into retirement, we don’t have to run home crying and clutching our "Longbox Option Packages". As much as he says he wants to put the name to end, he must find something irresistible in ridiculous phone calls and the people that answer them. This time, the respondents are a mixed bag of old and new victims. George, the angry bar owner from Volume 6, opens up the album with a call that singlehandedly outdoes all of their previous conversations: LPC plays Remington, an agent from CitySearch.com, out to reverse the negative comments George’s bar has received for a mere $1,300. Like Volume 6, LPC cultivates long-term relationships with his respondents on many of these tracks — sometimes these tracks are as long as 13 minutes! This album also marks a couple of firsts: after around three minutes of arguing with “Two Tickets to Paradise” singer Eddie Money (he also calls Alex Trebek and Weird Al guitarist Rick Derringer, by the way) over $1,400 worth of gravel, the confused celebrity hands the phone to his assistant and goes to practice his saxophone, totally derailing the phone call and causing Longmont Potion Castle to almost lose his self control — a rare first. Secondly, the Longmont reputation has finally preceded itself: a respondent working at a record store hears LPC’s delay pedal antics and instantly recognizes it, one-upping the call by throwing back an LPC reference. I guess it had to happen sometime? Another sign that Longmont Potion Castle is asserting his place in the American cultural landscape!
Longmont Potion Castle 6
"NO! GET OFF THE FUCKING PHONE! NO! NO!"
"What? Will you get lost!? Ya got the wrong goddamned phone number, you jerk!"
"WHAT DO YOU WANT!? WILL YOU STOP THIS SHIT?"
"Are you as stupid as you sound!?"
"What the hell are you talking about? Who is this?"
"STOP CALLING OR I'LL CALL THE POLICE!"
"You're a fucking retard, dude. Seriously."
Yes, the yelling on the wall means it's time for another hour-and-eighteen-minutes of abuse from Longmont Potion Castle.
LPC: "Yeah, what'll you give me on a dog bowel? How much?"
Tool Salesman: "I don't buy shit like that, okay? I buy tools."
LPC: "No, you'll buy it. How much will you give me on it?"
Upset Woman: "I don't care who you are. If you have a problem, then you need to call the police."
LPC: "I might just do that."
Upset Woman: "Just go right ahead and do it!"
LPC: "Let me have your social security number."
LPC: "I'm gonna give you a citation."
Bartender: "Buddy, you're fuckin' full of shit, you understand that? Why don't you come over here and try to collect the money?"
LPC: "'Cuz I'll SUCCEED!"
LPC: "I'd like to talk to you a little bit about gangs this evening."
Woman: "Games? What kind of games?"
LPC: "No, gangs, ma'am.
Woman: "Gangs. Okay."
LPC: "Yeah, and I suggest you learn the pronunciation of the word. It's a serious topic in our society today. Dangerous? Sure. A bit frightening? Perhaps. I'll get back to that later. Right now I'd like to talk about something that needs to be addressed - suicide."
Bartender: "I have six cops sitting here on my bar stools. Do you wanna talk to one of them?"
Dating Service Telemarketer: "I'd like to have one of the membership representatives call you back to explain -"
LPC: "I tell you what - why don't you just send 'em over, and we'll have a little pasta and some wine."
Dating Service Telemarketer: "It doesn't work that way."
LPC: "What, you want some pasta?"
Dating Service Telemarketer: "What they do is they call you to explain how it works. When would be the best time to call you?"
LPC: "How did you get my number? I'm just curious."
Dating Service Telemarketer: "It's a computer."
LPC: "Did Claire give you my number?"
LPC: "We need a contribution this evening."
Guy: "I don't have it!"
LPC: "And we send a Rav 4 out to ya. And we need a contribution at this time from ya."
Guy: "Are you listening? Stop bothering me! I don't believe in that. I don't have it."
LPC: "Well, we're a network, sir. The Good Faith."
Guy: "I don't care about that. I don't believe in God, okay?"
LPC: "Well, neither do we!"
LPC: "I can't really make heads or tails of this new watch I picked up."
Saleswoman: "Okay, what don't you understand?"
LPC: "Well, I'm wearing a monocle. Could that have anything to do with it?"
His absurdity reaches new heights. His quick thinking is smarter than a whip. His ability to confuse and anger is at an all-time mountain peak.
"I've issued a citation to a finger puppet before!"
"I have a magic act -- I issue citations!"
"Bring it on! Right now! Come on! Put up your fists!"
"Wanna do a little butt slappin' tonight? Or -"
"Are you telling me that he didn't get that pinata?"
That's all the quotes I wrote down. But believe me - there's about 77 1/2 more minutes of them to enjoy! Although he starts a bit slow with some basic confused anger and an 8-minute call with little payoff, LPC on the third track hits pay dirt gold in a major way, and continues to hit it time and time again before ending with track 23's high-speed metal solo interlude. He is an extremely funny and quick-witted man who has added a few new "weapons" to his "arsenal" this time out. The first and most important weapon is a bald-headed bar owner. This man appears on at least five different tracks ("Moisturization," "Citation," "Sandyman," "Can O' B.S." and "Yucatan Suckerman") and is one of the most gullible, quickest-to-anger and slowest-to-hang-up marks that LPC has ever found. His inability to realize that he is being pranked is astonishing, and the lengthy, side-splitting "Moisturization" call deserves a place alongside "Mark Knopfler" and "The Tube Bar" as one of the ultimate classics of the prank call genre. Here is a quick summary of its events: LPC calls up a bartender and says he and his band have been referred to that bar for moisturization. The bartender explains that they only hire Latin bands. LPC is disheartened and tells the bartender that he'll have to issue the band a $175 refund. The bartender is confused. LPC explains that the bartender can pay them via PayPal, but he also has to cover the 7% fee that PayPal takes out. The bartender gets angry and refuses to pay. LPC makes a kind gesture, offering to cover the PayPal fee himself. The bartender remains angry and refuses to pay. LPC says the bartender can just cut him a check. The bartender gets angrier and angrier. LPC remains calm and continues to request a $175 refund, throwing the word "moisturization" in as often as possible. The bartender CANNOT FIGURE OUT THAT HE IS BEING PRANKED. Ditto for "Can O' B.S.," in which he gets into an angry argument with a cassette tape. Ditto for "Yucatan Suckerman," in which he steadfastly refuses to help move some piglets for charity. Ditto for "Sandyman," in which he maintains his composure as LPC continuously shouts "You lookin' to get slapped?" while attempting to place a take-out order for beer. This man is pure comedy silver.
Other weapons include new concept ideas. Moving on from the old "UPS guy" stand-by, LPC this time pretends to be such entertaining figures as a citation-happy policeman, an annoyed neighbor, a long-distance telemarketer, a charity representative, a member of various unknown rock bands ("I play the maraca"), and - thanks to a bizarre television segment captured live on tape - a single mother who needs medical marijuana to control her (hilarious) stutter.
Furthermore, he includes snippets that you would never hear on a Jerky Boys or Crank Yankers CD, including a montage of disgusting medical LPs, a tense telephone conversation with an acquaintance, some playful banter with a local morning show, and even snippets of what most prank callers would consider to be 'failed calls!' Listen closely during "Telechoice" as one woman complains about her mother-in-law and another expresses regret that she can't call her husband when he's at work because it's considered long-distance. He called these women to prank them, but somehow fell into their confidence to the degree that he simply CAN'T suddenly turn into an asshole mid-call! These bits may not be funny, but they're intriguing in a 'human interest' way, and their inclusion between all the successful prank calls at least suggests that LPC does possess a moral center somewhere.
Not every single call is an instant classic ("Radio Julius" and "Frogleg" seem particularly uninspired) but there is over an hour of excellent, funny material here, and I wouldn't hesitate to call this the strongest Longmont Potion Castle release yet. As the protagonist of "Horsewhip" puts it: "What are you, goofy!?" Yes, Mr. "Horsewhip" Protagonist. He is goofy. Goofy like a FOX!
Longbox Option Package
While the crank phone call as comedy device peaked in worldwide exposure with The Jerky Boys, and later, Comedy Central's Crank Yankers, it's a safe wager that an eight disc boxed set was unprecedented treatment until the this year's release of Longmont Potion Castle's Longbox Option Package. The two former mainstream examples are fallacious (and legal) examples of an art steeped in decades of surreptitious execution and released by folks too geographically or chronologically disparate to be considered a "community". Though the Jerky Boys began life as a grossly obscure, vinyl-only document, the tracks that ended in five (!!!) major label CDs (and the source material for one of the worst comedies to ever be filmed) did so via permission (and one must suspect an honorarium of some sort) of the victims. And it's been said that the calls on Crank Yankers are heard through the alleged comedy-neutering gauze of overdubs and celebrity voiceovers. Rumors abound that a literal call center of pranksters hammer through pranks until the perfect one is attained before the golden voice of, say, Sarah Silverman is introduced to the situation. I have no idea, nor do I care. The end result is rarely all that gut-busting, and diligently serves the funny bones of chatty ho-hums that one might run into at a relative's wedding.
Longmont Potion Castle brings up the rear, giving the world of underground crank calls the ultimate, flawed epic, complete with filler, excessiveness, and hilarity. In various formats, this wisely anonymous cranker has released aural hi-jinks since the late-80s. If the man were a character actor, he'd be the genre's Michael Madsen. It must be noted that "genre" is the only appropriate term to describe the (mostly) one-off larks that span decades, surfacing on cassette, vinyl, and CD, consistently buried under the radar for the entire ride. Along with Gregg Turkington, the pseudonymous Mark Knopfler, the Comfort calls, Al Cashew, Calls to Okies, and the late John Bean, the Longmont Potion Castle name is relative legend amongst whoever might comprise the underground prank call fanbase.
Now in his mid-thirties, LPC, as we'll call him, has always been based in Denver. The first few years of calls (honored by discs 1, 2, and 5) are short, juvenile, and below-the-belt funny (if funny at all). Devoid of concept, unless thematic repetition can be considered conceptual, LPC never established a clever rapport with the victim, throwing silly anti-punch lines and phrases just to elicit response. Take the numerous calls to meat packers, in which the requests for processed wasp meat or eel bowels result in more aborted connections than interesting exchanges. Also omnipresent on the early discs are audio collages (of caller reactions) and calls that LPC is edited out of, creating disorienting and sometimes riotous recordings of only the caller's reactions. Though played down in interviews, LPC is, or at least, was, a man obsessed. Victims often say, "you're the guy that's been bothering me for two weeks", or, in some cases, "this is the one that's been calling all day".
Through this long audio commitment, you witness a prankster growing up. Like any inherently funny person, the wit and weaponry are sharpened as the 20's and 30's are traversed. This is how discs 3, 4, and 6 shine. LPC nurtures an insatiable hard-on for certain establishments: UPS, Orange Julius, record stores, and Radio Shack. A reliable hat trick finds our man posing as a UPS representative, trying to deliver goods that were not ordered, usually thousands of insects. The calls are longer, and though LPC often remains a guy that impulsively picks up the phone and riffs without notes or solid ideas, he is a much funnier guy; a funnier guy with an advantageous day job at his disposal: running a recording studio. Calls are punctuated, or rather, annihilated, with sound effects and vocal pitch shifting. LPC will call into a radio talk show, play it straight for a minute, and then slow his voice down to a subterranean growl, causing the host to lose composure ("This is going out over the air!"). Writing about prank calls will have its obligatory trappings, most glaring of which is that the jokes are lost in translation. Please believe that the sucker-punch of these simple calls had me laughing like a maniac, and they had the same effect on the nine-year-old daughter of a friend. I naturally recommend screening any Longmont Potion Castle before a child hears it, but the good clean calls are a testament to the wide-ranging power of simple, perfect comedy. Find it juvenile? It is, and that's your problem.
Please know that earlier calls were previously self-released on cassette and CD (as was this boxed set, under the D.U. Records imprint), while much of the material on discs 3, 4, and 6 was originally released by legitimate indie labels. Southern California's Vinyl Communications issued two "Best Of" CDs, and to keep things quasi-legal, the discs included a disclaimer that the recordings were found in the trash. Last year, Baltimore's Reptilian Records released Longmont Potion Castle Volume 5 (this is disc 6 of the set). Logistical information aside, this sort of progression points out, at the very least, that the man has fans, and on some scale, distribution. Vinyl Communications accessorized their titles with a VHS collection of calls to public access talk shows, and video of calls to record stores made with a camera hidden in a duffle bag. When audio is cued up to a store clerk dealing with LPC, the sum is golden. Not to worry, this footage is compiled on disc 8, the "Bonus features" DVD.
A poignant curiosity in LPC's "career" is the arc of technology and its impact on the prank call. The older calls have victims leveling laughable threats like "I'm going to have this call traced!" or the promise of a call to the police (you can be sure that this happened). Up until the mid-to-late 80's, phone harassment had to reach a dangerous or extreme degree for law enforcement or the phone company to get involved. It may seem that LPC accomplished the extreme part, but not quite, and he never came off as dangerous or creepy. In the years since, the game has obviously changed drastically with the advent of caller ID and the eventual extinction of the landline. Is LPC's drop in activity or his rumored retirement the result of advances in gadgetry? Probably not. In an online interview conducted a couple of years back, LPC admits, "prank calling does not get any easier as you get older". This is a guy that developed relationships with a couple of victims; one man even asks how the CD is coming along, and another puts forth the offer of allowing LPC to kick his ass if he promises to never call again. Bless his devious heart, and heart is what differentiates LPC from many of his crueler colleagues. Longbox Option Package, in its proverbial girth, does hint at finality in regards to the prank call. There is something else, however, something ill-defined that nonetheless tells me that the game is far from over.
Longmont Potion Castle 5
Speaking of prank calls, the Shakespeare of the medium has released what is purported to be the final volume documenting his surrealist interventions into the mundane realities of Radio Shack and Orange Julius customer-service representatives. I’m not a fan of generic smart-ass practical joking, but to say LPC does prank calls is like saying Williams Street makes cartoons for the TV. In addition to their transcendental absurdity, the five volumes of LPC constitute an interactive liberatory critique of consumer culture deserving of recognition by the Nobel Committee. At least as much as Dr. Kissinger.
Longmont Potion Castle 5
If you have a phone, don't pick it up. Because Longmont Potion Castle's back on the trail, and this time he's coming for YOU!
Yes, that's so. After some-odd years in hibernation, Longmont Potion Castle has bought a new AT&T calling card (so you can't trace the actual number he's calling from - ZING!) and is using it to torment and terrorize the humorless, braindead citizens of his Colorado city or wherever he lives. They say that with age comes experience and finally wisdom, but such is definitely not the case for these idiot adults who, though very grown up and probably possessing jobs and families of their own, are still incapable of realizing that a guy who vehemently demands postage due on a delivery of Chinese bowling balls might not actually be employed by UPS. Furthermore, I suppose it's good to be aware of your rights under the Constitution, but not to the point where you take seriously repeated calls from a man offering to pay you $450 if you'll tell him who you plan to vote for.
A good 17 of these calls will have your stitches rolling down the aisle all the way to the bank due almost entirely to the naivete of LPC's fellow residents. Here are a few classic responses to listen for:
" United Parcel? Yeah? Fuck you! Drop dead!"
" I've already dealt with this squid shit before with you people!"
" You got the wrong number. It's midnight. QUIT CALLING ME. QUIT CALLING ME. QUIT CALLING ME. QUIT CALLING ME."
" Dude, shut the fuck up! You're a fucking idiot!"
" I don't care if it's a tank full of PUSSY!"
" I'm not sure that we're talking the same language."
As for LPC and his LPC ways, he's still (obviously) having great success with his false UPS deliveries, although respondents seem less disturbed by his physical threats this time around; maybe they just find it as amusing as I do that his normal-man's voice suddenly adopts a thick Southern accent whenever he says halfway through a call, "I'm o' WHIP yo ayyysss!" He's also still making calls with his voice through an effects processor, using names like "Spencer Zebra," "Fennel Cartwright" and "Frickey Weaver," and making up such sickening food products as "Aqualamb," "Chowder Julius" and "Wovenloaf." Why fix something if it isn't broken? Like a hymen, for example. Why fix that? Leave it alone! Let her get married or ride a horse. Put your hammer away, overprotective Dad!
So where are the innovations? Oh, they're around here and there, disguised as normal LPC fare. Take note of how many times he calls people over and over and over long after they've threatened to call the police. Check out how he calls a hair salon and requests a full-body weave. Check out how he claims that he's "been in the water for 44 years, and on the sea for half of those years!" Check out how (in the track "Fennel Cartwright") he interrupts EVERY SINGLE WORD the guy says. Check out how he tells a pill salesman that his date of birth is "2/8/92/42/84/22" and his middle initial is "VBX." Check out how he portrays MULTIPLE UPS employees for the sole purpose of driving ignorant people to distraction ("I'm a supervisor down here at United Parcel. I know you've talked to two of my employees tonight; what seems to be the problem? We've got a flag on your account that shows you're a problem customer. Something to do with a squid?").
One thing though - you have to learn to like to laugh. If you don't love lots of laughs, then Longmont Lotion Lastle is the "last le" you'll want to listen to. Why? Well, I'll tell you why. Because then what happens if his funniness makes you laugh? You'll be up Fucked Creek without a paddle!
On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this album a TEN!!! Then I take away three.
The 5th in Longmont Potion Castle's series of crazed prank call releases. If you haven't heard them, they are some of the most absurd and funny phone pranks ever done. Some say the LPC calls are scary but they funnier than all that - the call victims just won't hang up on this guy no matter what he says to them! Prank calls to random people and businesses about squids, peacocks and whatever else that comes to mind, are met with a wide range of curse words and absurd responses. VERY FUNNY!
Williamette Week Online
Longmont Potion Castle 4
If you prefer a little more acidic weirdness, Vol. 4 by prank phone caller Longmont Potion Castle takes the played-out crank-call genre to an entirely new level. Unsuspecting victims at Radio Shack, record stores and fast-food joints feebly attempt to maintain a sense of social responsibility and normalcy while a caller speaking through a digital delay poses ridiculous questions, his voice flitting between a demonic growl and elfin chirp. Truly the vanguard of comedic terrorism.
Longmont Potion Castle 4
A record company said “Hey Guy Whose Name I’m Not Gonna Say In These Reviews Even Though I Know It, I like your tapes and want to put out two ‘Greatest Hits’ CDs with material from them.” He said, “Yes.” And they did, and might be good. But I don’t have them proper. So this is the only CD I have by LPC, it’s not as consistent as the tapes (nor is it anywhere near as “avant-garde”), but it was good enough to make me BUY the tapes, so take THAT to the Banks, Ernie and Cash it, Johnny! Volume 4, featuring a CD cover “take-off” parody of Black Sabbath’s similarly titled fourth LP (starring Ozzy Osbourne of The Osbournes), features a bunch of new calls mixed in with old calls and even some calls that were on the TAPES, though I’m hoping that’s because they weren’t on the Greatest Hits CDs, but having unheard the latter, I shant comment. His newer calls feature pristine recording conditions, a lower man-voice and some uproarious echo, speed-maneuvering and looping effects that totally wack the respondents’ shit ALL the fuck up, bitch! But a lot of the older calls are just pointless. Like less interesting exact replicas of earlier calls. LUCKILY THERE ARE 68 TRACKS TO CHOOSE FROM! Hear a famous celebrity utter those famous words, “NOBODY IN THIS HOUSE ORDERED ANY MILLIPEDES!” AND “FUCK YOU!” Hear an angry yet calm man take the phone from his female employee for this moving yet calm exchange:
”Who is this?”
”My name’s Bert!”
Well… Fuck you, Bert!”
Hear Mr. Castle bust into a horse-smackingly bad hip-hop song to a record store employee, claim it’s by a “Duggan Nash,” then upon being told that they don’t have anything by that artist, immediately ask, “How about Orville Sash?” Hear his false UPS character respond to the valid question, “WHAT’S MY NAME?” with the equally invalid response, “I can’t divulge that information over the phone; it’s UPS policy.” Hear his tough guy character utter the skin-clenching threat, “My needs will be met or my fists will be met – by your JAW!” Hear the first person to ever call a strip club and ask, “You got any of those baked potatoes?” Hear him respond to a life insurance telemarketer with the nervous response, “Am I in danger? Is that what you’re telling me?” Hear him respond to a bored Y2K survey questioner by explaining that he’s not worried because he has created a 200-cubic yard microwave that he’s going to enter on New Year’s Eve and transport himself forward ten years.” And the caller DOESN’T EVEN NOTICE. She immediately – without pause or humor – restates her question, “So would that be ‘probably will,’ ‘maybe will,’ ‘maybe will not,’ or ‘probably will not’?” To be honest, I don’t even think she notices when his true answer turns out to be “Probably will maybe could not!” Let me point out that I’m well aware that these reviews are for the most part not reviews at all but just quotes – because THAT’S what’s going to sell you on this guy’s work if you’re going to be sold. Nothing I can possibly write here is going to have an effect anywhere NEAR that of just telling you that at one point he calls a Radio Shack to announce, “I’m warbling a lot. I need some kind of adaptor.” WHY ON EARTH WOULD SOMEBODY DO THAT!?!??!? You might find this CD in your cooler record stores. Don’t worry that it only gets a 7 out of 10 – the thing’s like 74 minutes long and a good 50 of those are so funny you’ll squirt milk out of your nose.
Longmont Potion Castle 4
I love prank calls, and Longmont Potion Castle knows how to do them well. Apparently, Longmont has quite a cult following behind him, and I can see why.
Over the course of this album, Longmont comes up with a whole variety of ways to harass people over the phone. The following are only a few of them.
He calls up a random household under the guise of being a UPS worker and insists that the person has ordered a bunch of live lambs from Lebanon. After the guy denies responsibility, he tells him that if he won't accept the charge, he must at lest pay the ninety-eight dollar freight charge.
He calls up a strip bar claiming he has a series of "exotic" photos of himself. Upon being told that the strip bar is only interested in female dancers, he claims that the bar manager is "proposing a completely Darwinian society." After then claiming that he doesn't really even know what a Darwinian society is, he goes on to use a number of other long words in the wrong context.
He attempts to order a haircut from a record store.
He gets a call from a survey-ist asking about his concernedness for the Y2K bug. He goes on to explain his (rather elaborate) plans for the new year.
He calls numerous places, and, using a sampler (or something similar), contorts his voice to undescribable lengths, all to the confusion of the person on the other end of the line.
And that's a just a small sample. Longmont's prank call ideas are diverse and numerous. He must be one of the most creative prank callers in prank call history. He must be a...a genius. If you haven't laughed yourself silly by the end of this CD, then there's probably something wrong with you. Screw the Jerky Boys, this is the real shit.
Longmont Potion Castle 4
This terrifying collection of prank calls will probably convince you that it's indeed time to spend the extra cash on Caller ID. Countless chumps fall prey to Longmont's confusing tirades, ludicrous claims and general telephonic tomfoolery. It'll leave you laughing - at someone else's expense.
The mysterious Longmont Potion Castle prankster takes a two-pronged approach when harassing his unsuspecting prey: he either begins with a ridiculous assumption and then provokes the victim, or carelessly employs a series of disturbing sound effects, mangling his voice or spewing forth ear-splitting feedback that causes general tonal havoc and ultimately befuddles the person on the other end of the copper wire.
"Livelambfromlebanon#1" and "#2" find hysterical and unsuspecting denizens pitted against Longmont, as he imitates a United Parcel Service employee trying to figure out how to deliver a package of lambs. It's embarrassingly hilarious; Longmont presses each victim on how he will pay for additional postage charges and what the best time would be for package delivery, somehow keeping the prank convincing at all times. It gets even worse when Longmont, in UPS guise, demands that be allowed to promptly deliver a large shipment of millipedes that are biting other UPS employees. Unfortunately, the confused gentleman believes that his wife may indeed have ordered millipedes and attempts to sort out this bug-ridden mess.
Longmont also launches attacks against irritating business personalities, including the local record shop "know-it-all" clerk and the disgruntled fast food employee. "Extralargesausages" finds Longmont asking for big 'n' thick sausages, and then a "Leprechaun Julius" (you know, the "green kind"). He's greeted with a tirade of expletives from the female food clerk, leaving him empty-handed, her fuming with anger, and the listener near-apopleptic with laughter. Longmont asks one local record store how much they charge for haircuts, because "they're in (his) neighborhood," producing several threatening responses, and also quizzes hip indie store Wax Trax about Chic-Fil-A. Other amusing conversations involve a Christian singles dating business, the annoying sports radio commentators, an accidental death insurance salesman and a female strip club manager.
Is he drunk? Is he stoned? Or is he just so brilliant that he outsmarts the majority of the human race? whatever his secret, Longmont has successfully whipped through several volumes of pranks, and Vol. 4 gives you plenty more entertainment. If you ever enjoyed making your own prank calls, you'll find Longmont's harassing dial-ups exceptionally original and full of some mighty choice verbiage. There are a few pranks that don't succeed, but with the large selection presented, there's enough telephonic mayhem here to last a long time.
Longmont Potion Castle 4
The avant-garde prank caller known as Longmont Potion Castle has released a new CD entitled Volume 4. The CD is a joint release between San Diego labels Post Replica and ADR Recordings. Known for his bizarre, yet hilarious prank calls to unsuspecting Radio Shack clerks and others, LPC also has releases on Chula Vista's avant-electronica-punk label, Vinyl Communications. Over the years he has achieved an almost cult following in San Diego, despite the fact that he lives in Colorado. "I never lived in San Diego," he says. "When I have been there in recent years, I've been surprised how excited and vocal people were about all of the Longmont nonsense." Longmont has been recording his prank calls for over 10 years. Much of his genius comes from the absurd characters he creates, like the pugnacious "Dirk Funk," one of his "no-nonsense" personas. On other calls he utilizes a voice modulator to further aggravate his victims, some of whom include famous celebrities. With that under his belt, what does the future hold for the mysterious prankster? "I'm probably going to be around, drinking a beer with someone, when they'll make me hop on the phone and ask someone to talk about something stupid, and laugh," he says. " I can pretty much say, yes, I will record it, too."
Aiding & Abetting
Longmont Potion Castle 4
The Jerky Boys with a sense of irony. Crank calls to businesses, customer service and tech support types. Drop dead hilarious without being unnecessarily cruel. Trust me, that's good.
Longmont Potion Castle 4
(UK) This is only a little music and mainly a series of 68 absurd and surreal telephone calls recorded on a CD. This is the fabulous works of a crazy American guy (pleonasm?) absolutely mad with this kind of communication. Maybe he's a predator and when you pick up the phone it is too late coze you become the victim and never hang up on him...Please check the website to download the most famous attacks.
Longmont Potion Castle 4
I'll be honest. No one here likes this as much as me (Andee). BUT FOR GOD'S SAKE, TRUST ME THIS TIME! I WILL NOT LEAD YOU ASTRAY! Most fans of crank call comedy should already have the first few volumes if the brilliant(-ly insipid) Longmont Potion Castle. How can you not love a guy who gets off on torturing the clerks at radio shack and is obsessed with Tandy products?! A guy who spits out the most retarded and baffling products/names/etc.: Googliata, voltor, leprechanjulius!! And on a previous CD, he continually harassed a foul mouthed cantankerous old man, but by the end of the disc, they were buddies, with the old man asking how the tape was going and LPC promising to send him a copy. FUCKING HEARTWARMING! How often do you get that on a crank call record?!!? Stupid and silly and once in a while totally inspired. This was constantly in the stereo on all of our road trips and so much Longmont verbiage became vernacular for me and all of my San Diego friends. So buy this, or I'll start talkin' whip, and may even bring a tennis racket to yo' lip!!!
Longmont Potion Castle 4
Longmont Potion Castle has simultaneously annoyed and amused the population of Colorado over the years with this series of recorded phone conversations. This latest batch of pranks (including several bizarre three-ways) targets everything from funeral homes and the Waffle House to Denver's own Twist & Shout records. Dada theater reigns supreme when mallards invade Welby road, when the Lamb Center of Lebanon misdirects a package of fleecy ungulates and when Bruschetti and Fruschetta make way for pumpkin brew. On Volume 4, even a major movie star gets an unexpected jingle through an unlikely homage titled "To Sir With Millipedes".
Best of Longmont Potion Castle Volume Two
A CD of phone pranks done by a guy from Colorado with way too much time on his hands! I know whodunnit, too, but I won't reveal his identity - and the check's in the mail, right M-? Cruel, nasty, immature and it's amazing that the victims stay on the line as long as they do. One of the funniest moments comes when Mr. X calls a parochial school trying to enroll his son and wants to know if lotion sandwiches are sold or a record store looking for Eel Bowel's "Greatest Hits". A work that kind of defies critical commentary but it's pretty funny.
Best of Longmont Potion Castle Volume Two
Prank calls used to be funny. In some ways they still are. But calling up unsuspecting businesses and homeowners to berate them has gotten more than a bit cliched. Longmont Potion Castle does what so many others have failed to do: he breathes new life into a tired art form. That's not to say he's perfect. There's still something utterly obnoxious here. And he treads familiar waters at times. What sets Longmont Potion Castle apart, though, is his creativity, sheer silliness, utter disregard for logic, and an ultra-quick reaction time. Longmont Potion Castle abandons convention by editing out portions of the conversation, adding sound effects in the midst of utterly serious dialogue, and by asking businesses repeatedly for items that clearly do not exist (bottled squid potion anyone?). Sounds a bit childish, but it will make you giggle like a schoolgirl.
The Best of Longmont Potion Castle
Chula Vista, California's Vinyl Communications purview has expanded to noise recordings, from Merzbow's abstract waves of force to prank phone calls. Notably, the Longmont Potion Castle series.
Longmont Potion Castle III
Hi! I’m John Ashcroft and I just wanted to let you know about the hilarious new Longmont Potion Castle cassette entitled III! Boy, the first time I heard this tape, all the foul language upset me so much I spent $8,000 to cover the tape player with a big sheet. But the more I listen to it, the more I think I like it! First of all, the calls are longer than on the previous three, which gives me a lot more time to put a tap on his phone and find out exactly where he’s calling from. Secondly, there are fewer music interruptions than on the last tape, giving children less of an opportunity to be lured over to the Devil’s side. Thirdly, Mr. Castle doesn’t waste your time and mine running his recorded calls through looping machines and echo units, instead presenting them in a safe, normal way that shows respect to all human beings. Because we have no king but Jesus. I thank God for this tape and for you readers, who recognize and commit yourselves to the proposition that we were so created, and that to live with respect to the Creator promises us the greatest potential as a nation and as individuals. And for such we must reacquaint ourselves daily with his call upon our lives. Just as you’ll love to reacquaint yourselves daily with Longmont Potion Castle’s hilarious calls upon unsuspecting Coloradoans’ lives. The tape’s really good. Longmont keeps changing nonsense terms into names of people he’s asking for and then back into nonsense terms (example: “I asked you about the zingers.”/”The zingers?”/”Yeah, I need to talk to Hershel Klinger.”). He also has an incredibly funny delivery – very droll and dry, no matter what ridiculous thing he is saying. The last quarter of the tape runs out of steam, but up until that, it’s just humorous prank followed by more of the same. Say! People who are into the “Church of the Subgenius” are dorks who think they’re not dorks! Luckily, I can point at them at laugh because I’m “cool” like the Fonzie. Ayyyyyyyyyyy!!! How about this call where he calls the Gomez residence, the woman who answers says, “They moved away a year and a half ago; I still get calls for them all the time,” and then he BRILLIANTLY with no fuss or flutter whatsoever responds, “No no, I AM Gomez. I’m calling to check on my messages.” HA!!! Then he goes on to offer the woman jewelry and diamonds if she will come to work for his “business”!!!! People – he’s FUNNY!!!! And he’s got this phone trick box that makes his voice speed up and slow down as he’s talking, confusing the hell out of all the radio shows he calls – HA! And his annoying UPS guy has taken to responding to challenges like “I didn’t order any centipedes!” with retorts like “Well how about if we THROW the centipedes at you?” How about THIS genius exchange:
Yes, do you sell Wedge of Mackerel?
This is a pharmacy!
Oh. Then how about Hunk of Tortoise?
He’s not dumb, fellows! He’s a goose! How about when he calls Dunkin Donuts to ask if he can “maneuver their donuts” and “place them strategically throughout the store”? Who would think to conduct such a bizarre, insane phone conversation? I’LL tell you who!!! This guy whose name I’m not supposed to tell you. His ideas are just so WEIRD! “Would you embroider my foot?” “Could you harbor my stick insect?” And what about when he tries to BARTER for a copy of Wizard of Wor for Atari 2600? And what does he have to offer in this barter? Well, putty. Wrought iron. Teak. A ’67 Mercury Cougar that’s missing all the doors, windows, wheels and tires. A zebra. Hummels. Pottery. Bronze statues. Souvenir spoons. But darn it – NO SALE! Why aren’t you buying these tapes yet? 90 minutes each! $8 apiece.
Longmont Potion Castle III
"When would you like me to bring your spleen to you? You realize then that we are authorized to hurl the centipedes at you...You are going to be diving through ointment...I am Gomez, what do you want? Do you want wealth? Do you want jewels? I'm a very extravagant man...Yo man, w'sup? You got that Nugent tape on disc? I said to my son a long time ago, I said, you must learn from the ways of Towelette Pettitucci...Ma'am, Could you unlock the gate? I need to get my turtle back...I need you to make me some condor sausage. How about some porpoise jerky? I believe it was my Gary Coleman nimrod...Backing up, I believe I said I'm getting some perpendicular cross-talk on the unit...What's the wow ratio on that? I don't want to buy it, I want to trade something for it. I have putty"....Your mind gets a little funny after listening to nothing but the same totally mental 90 minute crank call tape for weeks at a time and laughing till you pee.
Longmont Potion Castle II
The time is 3:06 PM eastern. I’ve been awake since 5:00 AM eastern vomiting and trying to make my headache go away. I didn’t need three and a half Red Devils last night. I didn’t need ONE. I just drank because the wife was in the mood for drinking. Now it’s ruined my entire Sunday. I’m exhausted, in great pain and thus unable to sleep and I can’t get the first two lines of “Double Shot Of My Baby’s Love” out of my head. I feel like somebody shoved a long metal pole all the way through the right side of my head, starting in the baaack and coming out of my right eye in the front. And I’ve been walking around with this pole all day, not realizing it’s there. Drink sucks. No more. SUCKS! Nausea! Does it worry you? No reason to. Can't open eyes. Pain, exhaustion -- PRANK PHONE CALLS! On this, the second tape, Longy pisses the hell out of people's off, generally by claiming he's a UPS delivery guy trying to deliver a bowel. Strangely, nobody wants a bowel, nor do they want to pay the delivery fee that Longy claims they owe him. Why on Earth do these morons not just hang up on him? Why do they become violently defensive whenever he makes some ridiculous threat about bringing his whip to somebody’s lip? It’s just ludicrous! Is everyone in Colorado just a big stupid asshole? How is it possible that THIS many people don’t realize that they’re being pranked when a UPS guy says he has “the Siamese peacock bowel you ordered”? Or the “lesbian magnet”? Or the “hernia package”? And why aren’t the local butchers laughing their asses off when he calls up to ask if they can “process some wasps” or “grind Emilio” for him? Sure, he’s got a convincingly emotionless delivery, but come on – what kind of jackoff STAYS ON THE PHONE when a caller, in the course of one minute, requests “Eel Jerky,” “Wasp Jerky,” “Eel Bowel” and “Antelope Wad”? But again – that’s not even why you’re here. The real reason is to hear how astonishingly ANGRY these people get! I mean, you can almost see the veins on their foreheads throbbing, pounding and bursting open as they unleash such classic verbal attacks as:
”UPS? KISS MY UPS ASS!”
”I ordered a bowel?!? YOU GO TO HELL!”
”ARE YOU STUPID OR WHAT?”
”I’LL TWIST YOUR HEAD OFF!”
”Hog jowel?!? YOU’RE FULL OF SHIT!”
”PISS ON YOU, YOU SHITASS!”
”YOU’RE JUST SOME SICK OLD MAN!”
”I didn’t order no dog bowel! I’m gonna sue you! UP YOUR FUCKIN ASS I WILL!!!!! “Andre the Giant bowel?”
”YOU’RE PROBABLY A FAG!”
”I’D LIKE TO POUND YOUR FUCKIN’ ASS IN!”
”YOU’RE A SON OF A BITCH!”
”I’M GONNA KICK YOUR ASS IN THE BUTT!”
And of course, the threat so dumb, Longy calls the guy back at the end of the tape and keeps repeating it to him over and over, “How would you like a 12-gauge in your HEAD?!” After reading all these threats I’ve just dictated from you (by the way, no two of those threats are from the same call - THAT’S how angry this guy gets people), it occurs to me that Colorado isn’t just the home of Longmont Potion Castle; it’s also the home of South Park and Columbine High. I should warn thou though: I don’t think he had 90 minutes of calls, but he really wanted to fill up a 90-minute tape. He plays some fantastic thrash and indie rock, but he also samples lots of TV shows and movies in what seems to be just an attempt to fill space on side B. Sorry to end abruptly – there’s a little man named Urine in my penis and he wants to go swimming.
Longmont Potion Castle II
Denver label D.U. Records' biggest-selling, most notorious offerings are not the work of a band, but of what they say, not very convincingly, is "a team of people in a castle in Longmont, CO. There were a hundred phones in a hundred rooms, and they used them to trouble the Denver community." The results of these efforts can be heard on two volumes released under the name Longmont Potion Castle. Rather than music, the ninety-minute cassettes feature phone conversations between anonymous team members and unsuspecting victims who are bothered with insignificant questions or annoying interruptions until they explode. A profane variation on gag calls made by morning DJs, as well as a phenomenon that's popped up in a number of cities across the country, the recordings are both fascinating and repellent. They're also probably illegal, since the calls to the unsuspecting co-stars of the Longmont Potion Castle tapes frequently cross the line between pranksterism and harassment. D.U. Records say they see the art in the recordings-but they also see the writing on the wall. This second cassette, they say, was "hurried out before the arrival of Caller I.D. that everyone has now. There can't be any more of them again..."
Longmont Potion Castle
Once upon a midnight dreary, a young man pondered weak and weary, and noticed that his mother’s answering machine recorded calls on his chamber door. So he started pranking people, even though a real loud beep’ll let them all know what he’s calling for, and when will he stop bugging them? – quoth Lou Reed’s The Raven, “Nevermore.”
At the beginning of his prank call career, Mr. Castle was trying to create art. “Phone work” he calls it at one point. FUNNY art, but art nonetheless, rather than just a straight prank call tape. Instead what you hear is a bunch of poorly recorded (due for a hot digital remastering!) people getting angry on the phone. Most of the time, Castle’s voice has been completely removed – except for rare occasions when you hear him, in a dumb tough southerner accent, threaten to make people “meet my fist!” (typical response: “You want me to meet your fish?”), at times replaced with “meet my whip!” “meet my pipe!” “meet my clamp!” or “meet my foot!” He doesn’t come across as a very CLEVER prank caller yet, but he sure does know how to “get a rise” out of people – a hell of a lot better than I know how to “get a raise” out of my boss anyway! Heh heh hell! But as this is supposedly a “various artists compilation,” it’s not all just “phonework.” Interspersed with the screams of “I DIDN’T ORDER ANYTHING! YOU BASTARD!,” you’ll find a lot of echoed samples, pointless lo-fi drumbeats, quivery sped up and slowed down keyboard songs and funny samples from movies and other things on a screen. Indeed, you’ll even hear Castle and the Castle Associates, LLC calling radio talk shows to sing awful folks songs and rap numbers. But this is all just window dressing (though some of it is great fun). The true purpose for this tape’s existence is to (a) remind us of a simpler time when old people believed anything you told them (come on, what kind of packaging store moron would take seriously a caller who says, “I need you to package a crawdad”?), (b) make it clear exactly how annoying it can be when a prank caller keeps dialing you over and over and over again, and (c) demonstrate how fuckin’ funny people can be when they lose their temper. BUY IT! Go to his web site and BUY it! Ninety minutes! 8 dollars!
Longmont Potion Castle
"Assorted nameless folks contribute varied noise/interest/fun pieces for quite a conceptual tape." Basically what Mike, the compiler, means is that the tape combines amusing phone call terrorism mixed with broken up beat synth, noisey guitar, various odd samplings from unknown sources, and a healthy dose of feedback. I haven't laughed so hard since my first viewing of "Debbie Does Dallas."