Vinyl 101 Review: Barnes & Barnes — ‘Holidaze in Lumania’
As the holidays come to a close, I recently acquired a holiday album that is, well, maybe the most absurd thing to come into the VNYLDEN Archive. No, it's not Christmas on Death Row or any of the Bob River's Twisted Christmas albums, but from the comedic duo of Barnes & Barnes.
If you're not familiar with Barnes & Barnes, let's catch you up to speed, shall we? In 1980, Robert Haimer and Bill Mumy -- who you might remember was the original actor who portrayed Will Robinson on the hit 1960s sci-fi classic Lost in Space. The duo took on the alias of Art and Artie Barnes and started recording funny songs on Mumy's 2-track recorder. B&B would later release the cult classic comedy album Voobaha.
It was on Voobaha that the duo released a track that not only became Dr. Demento's most requested song of all time and also one of the biggest earworms on the planet but Mumy who was friends with the late actor, Bill Paxton, at his urging that the duo try and get the single on SNL. The video was so popular on SNL that the show ran it for two weeks straight. In later years the song would become somewhat of a meme. That song, of course, was Fish Heads.
When I first heard Fish Heads, I thought it was a rejected track from a collaboration with Joe Jackson and Alvin and the Chipmunks on the Chipmunk Punk album. Boy, was I wrong!
Fast forward almost 40 years, the duo has released a holiday album titled Holidaze in Lumania on Demented Punk Records. If you're wondering where exactly Lumania is on the map, we have no clue! We have a theory that Lumania may reside somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle next to Davy Jones' Locker and the lost city of Atlantis. Maybe that's where the fishy obsession comes from? One thing Holidaze in Lumania doesn't just focus on the Christmas holiday -- as a matter of fact, it focuses on ALL the holidays. For example, Hanukkah at our House, and, Kwanzaa's Here Again, are two of these examples -- though one is more on the bizarre side (Hanukkah), and the other is more of a traditional acoustic holiday ditty you would hear on the radio (Kwanzaa). Another standout track on the album is I'm a Flying Reindeer -- a track that will get stuck in your head so fast that you randomly blurt it while out in public making people think you've lost your mind. This may or may not have happened recently.
The vinyl release comes pressed on a red/green splatter wax which kind of resembles fish guts -- and also includes a couple of holiday greeting cards of Krampus and the album cover.
Overall, Holidaze In Lumania feels like if The Muppet's dropped acid and went into the recording studio to record a new Holiday album -- and this was the end product. Though it has flaws, the majority of Holidaze in Lumania is really bizarre -- and yet still very hilarious. If you're interested in picking up the duo's first album Voobaha, Demented Punk recently re-released the album on vinyl to celebrate the album's 40th anniversary. More info check out DementedPunk.com