Sunday, 18 September 2016

Snakefinger ‎– "Manual Of Errors" (Ralph Records ‎– SN 8203) 1982

Not Lithman's best album, but still ahead of the pack by some margin in invention and creepy quirkiness. "You Sliced Up My Wife" is one of Snakefinger's best tunes, and its got classic 1980+ porno graphic's style artwork. So its a thing of great barely fathomable beauty.
After this he went on to do some awful blues stuff,in between guesting for the Residents, leading up to his untimely death in 1987.

Yeti: What Are You? 4:01
Beatnik Party 3:42
The Garden Of Earthly Delights 3:00
You Sliced Up My Wife 1:59
I Followed George's Dream 5:16
Bring Back Reality 5:06
Shining Faces ("I Am Nino") 2:19
Eva's Warning 4:33
Private Universe / The Life On Nebulov 7:25


Lucky said...

It's very nice seeing Snakefinger's albums posted again. I like to read to your brief introductions, makes me wanna re-listen! :)

The cover art for "Manuel of Errors" has been done by famous comic artist Mark Beyer, who also did the cover for Snakey's single "The Man in the Dark Sedan" in 1980. Later in 1985 he also made the cover to the Residents' obscure Japanese compilation "Memorial Hits" in '85. Most famous he got with some Coldcut covers and John Zorn's Ornette Coleman tribut "Spy vs. Spy".

Jonny Zchivago said...

Thanks for enlightening my ignorance.

ted mills said...

Snakefinger did one more album for Ralph and I think it's a corker: "Night of Desirable Objects" featuring members of Pere Ubu. He covers 8 1/2 by Rota, a Miles Davis tune, a Negro spiritual ("Jesus Gave Me Water") and there's a smattering of original tunes like "Bless Me for I Have Sinned"

It's also a rare one, so if you can find it....

Ian said...

@Johnny Zchivago:
Hartelijk dank voor de post. I didn't know this release from Snakefinger and now I do.

Second our host's thanks for the backstory on the cover art. Which I didn't know and now I do. A two-fer, to to impart an American marketing phrase.

Lucky said...

I second Ian's opinion about "Night of Desirable Objects", it was the first album I bought by Snakefinger. I could upload it, even got some outtakes.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Go for it Lucky. I've never heard it.

Lucky said...

Here's the CD-version of Snakefinger's "Night of Desirable Objects" (1986) with some extra tracks, plus outtakes I got somewhere on the blogosphere:

Shane Sanchez said...

I'd love to see some Residents records posted. Specifically "Fingerprince" that's one I've had trouble tracking down.

Jonny Zchivago said...

I suppose I could upload "Fingerprince"lp and "Babyfingers"ep for ya tomorrow. See link in this comments section.

northfieldhat said...

you are so right about the residents. snakefinger's song "don't lie" really has what was
so perfect about their sound. I still find something to like once and a while from them.
i do really like "our finest flowers" where they mashed up all their tunes. but ever since they started using digital synths and drums it has lost it's charm. i did likw "tunes of two cities" and "the big bubble". they seemed to be
displaying digitals weaknesses or using them in a blatantly dada way, and so it worked. "fur elsie" was good too, and their disc with renaldo, but then boom! it was over...
your joke about chlli, peppers, red and hot was TRUTH
incarnate! brilliant.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Yes, The Big Bubble was the last straw for me, it was sort of ok, but the sound was becoming too synthetic and souless. Like for a lot of tech dependant groups in 1985. unfortunately they never rediscovered the delights of Analogue.
Having said that, "Tunes of Two Cities" remains for me thee best sampling record ever made.
All of this didn't stop me from going to see them on the Icky Flix tour.Then i had the awful experience of meeting 'Residents fans' I really like that?....sadly i probably am!

Jonny Zchivago said...

Fingerprince and Babyfingers here:

jonder said...

Does anyone have the Club Foot Orchestra's first album "Wild Beasts" on Ralph? Snakefinger didn't appear on any of the Orchestra's subsequent records, but the Vestal Virgins' "Night of Desirable Objects" had overlapping membership with the Club Foot Orchestra (including Eric Drew Feldman).

Thanks to Lucky for "Night of Desirable Objects" and the cover art info. I have two more live Snakefinger recordings: 11/18/83 in Vienna, and 4/29/87 at the 9:30 Club in DC. The 83 show is an FM broadcast from the "History of The Blues" era, with Steve Mackay (Stooges) on sax, as well as Eric Drew. The 87 show features Ralph era songs.

Can't remember where I got them, but will be glad to share them here.

jonder said...

I found "Wild Beasts" on song365. I also found a collection of Snakefinger outtakes from 1986 that I can repost here.

For anyone interested, there is a free download of the 1981 "Club Foot" compilation LP at (

Jonny Zchivago said...

Thanks Jonder.
Lucky has already posted the Out-takes from 86 in his Vestal Virgins link.

Lucky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
northfieldhat said...

i'm glad you liked "tunes of two cities". it took me awhile, but i eventually saw "the big bubble" the same way that i understood "tunes". i thought their soulless drum machine use was a "joke" of sorts. meaning that that was how a young band in that faux culture would drum in that band. and i like the '87 shows w/ snakefinger with the digital versions of the old work. but as variations on a theme, or remixes. but then they never stopped. they never looked back or used tape again. that first album sounds so great because of how hard they had to work to get everything on it, losing quality each time they bounced tracks. but then the digital wrecked them completely. new work is using stock drumloops without any treatments at all. it's too bad.
but so what. your blog has introduced me too so much i missed from that time that was also perfect:
danny and the dressmakers, five or six, desperate bicycles (knew of them, never heard them), instant automatons etc, thanks.

jonder said...

Thank you for CFO and the outtakes, Lucky.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Just glad to be of assistance Northfieldhat.

The problem with artists,which includes The residents, is that one of the reasons to be an artist, albiet a subconscious one, is that one doesn't have to work.....and I don't class 'thinking' as work.
So, as artists are deep down lazy fuckers, anything that comes along that equals 'Less work' is embraced, even if it precedes a drop in artistic quality. This is what happened to the Residents, when digital tech came was easy.
There's something to be said for struggling when it comes to creativity. Once an artist becomes comfortable, they also become shit artists.
By the way Artists....I'm an Artist too so i know.....and a struggling one at that,and I'm still shit! Sold out years ago to commercial interests,but, hey, i'm not alone in that category am i?