NEM#199: Alan Jenkins’ Cornucopia of Experiments

Alan started in the late ’70s in Leicester as the singer/ songwriter/ guitarist for The Deep Freeze Mice, which recorded 10 albums through 1989. He then headed several more collaborative projects including The Chrysanthemums (4 albums’86-’91), Ruth’s Refrigerator (2 albums ’90-’92), and The Creams (8 albums ’92-’98), released 8 albums as the experimental surf band Thurston Lava Tube (’00-’10), and has released at least 17 albums since then, mostly under the moniker Alan Jenkins and the Kettering Vampires. Most of these (typically lengthy, sometimes double) 50+ albums have been released by Alan’s own label, Cordelia Records. 

We discuss “The Multibear” from Be My Enemy £1 (2023), “Hitler’s Knees” by The Deep Freeze Mice from Saw a Ranch House Burning Last Night (1983), “The Morozovo Meteorite” by The Melamine Division Plates from Novosibirsk (2023), and “The Eagle Hates Your Poetry” by Alan Jenkins & The Creams from ie (1994). We conclude by listening to “Nobody’s Getting My Hair” by The Chrysanthemums from their reunion album Decoy for a Dognapper! (2022). Intro: “A Red Light for the Greens” by The Deep Freeze Mice from The Gates of Lunch (1982). For more, see cordeliarecords.co.uk.

Nearly all of Alan’s music has been lovingly reissued on Bandcamp, mostly at alanjenkins.bandcamp.com, but there are also separate pages for The Deep Freeze Mice, The Chrysanthemums (their early albums are only on YouTube), The Creams, The Thurston Lava Tube, and Aaaaaaaaxb.

This interview goes through Alan’s history more thoroughly. Alan mentions the 1964 Ventures in Space album as a key influence.

Hear all of “Red Light for the Greens.” Another even earlier Deep Freeze Mice song I refer to as closer to a novelty song is “I Vote Conservative.Here’s that new song “My Phone” that I referred to as having an especially pretty melody. Here’s a track from his album of surf Velvet Underground covers. Hear a tune by Ruth’s Refrigerator. Hear a song where Alan backed poetry by R. Stevie Moore

Alan has several videos repurposing pre-existent footage, like this one “Nothing Is Curved,” from his excellent Notes on the Life Cycle of the Quantum Mouse album. Here’s a video for a guitar-solo-oriented song from the first album under Alan’s own name, 2011’s The Magic City. Watch The Thurston Lava Tube do their thing. Here are The Creams live. Watch The Deep Freeze Mice live.

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