Music Monday: Sounds of Weirdness, A Seventeen-Part Series

musicmonday
Original graphic by The Tattooed Book Geek

An important milestone in the cultivation of my love for weird stuff occurred back in 1997 when I was fourteen years old. I was in the car helping my Mom run some afternoon errands and we had the radio tuned to NJ 101.5. Daminski and Doyal were discussing this magazine one of them had just learned about at the time called Weird NJ, “A Guide to New Jersey’s Local Legends & Best Kept Secrets”. The two were reading an article from the latest issue about the Blue Hole, a small body of water in the Pine Barrens that stays crystal clear all year-round and sports a bright blue color that hasn’t been linked to any mineral or chemical reaction.

Listening to this story enthralled both of us so we made a stop at the local Borders to pick up a copy. The previous three issues were also out on display so we grabbed those, too. I about so many strange reports, encounters, legends, people, places, and historic oddities that day and I was absolutely hooked. During those early days I would get to meet “The Marks”,  the two fellows who founded and worked on the magazine and still do today, at that very same Borders for the release of their VHS, Greetings From Weird NJ (I’ve got it around somewhere and have been meaning to transfer it onto DVD to keep it alive.), and their CD, The Sounds of Weirdness.

It’s the CD that we’re interested in today, I’ll do something on that tape when I get it out of storage. The Sounds of Weirdness is a compilation album that features songs recorded by local New Jersey musicians about the weirdness of the state ranging from the Jersey devil and frogs to famous or infamous figures from the state’s history.

The first song on the album, “Anarchy In Midgetville” by Headwound is about a place well-known to youths and drunks looking for a night of adventure, the enigmatic town known as “Midgetville“. Reported to be a retirement settlement for the performers of P. T. Barnum, the small town is supposed to be located somewhere up in Northern New Jersey. Some have searched for the place for years, never to find it. Others claim to have been there and a few even might have as there exist photos of people standing next to miniature houses. Still others have claimed that they’ve been to Midgetville but when they go back out to visit the location again, it just isn’t there. What do you think? Is there a wandering village somewhere in New Jersey, lost to time and legend?

The original plan was to upload the M4A file from my library as I thought that would be the only way for me to cover and share this album with you but while searching for Headwound in order to provide proper credit, I found an old post on Weird NJ’s Facebook Page that linked to an old YouTube video which contained both a official music video produced as a promotion for the album’s upcoming release and footage from the live performance by Headwound at the VHS/CD release party! These are fragments of Weird History and I’m so happy that they’ve been saved for us to enjoy today. Who knows, maybe there will be others like it, hidden away just waiting to be uncovered.


Get in, losers! We’re going to Midgetville!

Somewhere in New Jersey is a place that I have been
But something keeps preventing me from getting there again
Midgetville, Midgetville
This ain’t no ghost town, this is Midgetville

I chased the Jersey Devil down on Route six-sixty-six
I’ve been to Shades of Death But I still can’t get my kicks
Midgetville, Midgetville
This ain’t no ghost town, this Midgetville

It’s Weird
New Jersey
It’s Weird

Ah-ooo
wha-wha-wha-wha-ooo
wha-wha-wha-wha-ooo
wha-wha-wha-wha

I’ve been down Demon’s Alley and it doesn’t haunt me much,
Vacationed down in Sea Breeze with the Oyster Eskimos
Midgetville, Midgetville
This ain’t no ghost town, this is Midgetville

It’s Weird
New Jersey
It’s Weird

It’s Weird
New Jersey
It’s Weird

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