Lowbrow Artist Mark Ryden Presents The Gay Nineties Olde Tyme Music
Created by Mister M on 6/17/2014 1:15:00 PM

Mister M reports on The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music, presented by noted Lowbrown painter Mark Ryden.

One hundred dollars seems a bit steep for an LP of cover versions of “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two.” Lowbrow artist Mark Ryden released The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music, a signed and numbered limited edition record on translucent red vinyl. Musical contributors include Nick Cave, Weird Al Yankovic, Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo), Kirk Hammett (of Metallica) and Katy Perry. Profits go to Little Kids Rock that provides instruction for Kindergarden through Age Twelve children who do not have music programs in their schools. The album was released in conjunction with Ryden’s Gay Nineties: West exhibition at the Kohn Gallery in Hollywood, CA.

Lowbrow grew out of underground art. It features a retro-aesthetic that often comments through humor, kind of like reading old Mad Magazines. Kitsch factors heavily. Mark Ryden’s work carries a soft, nostalgic surrealism. He combines occult symbolism, Margaret Keane big-eyed figures, Abraham Lincoln, Colonel Sanders and still lifes of meat (in the tradition of Rembrandt and Goya). Timelessness suffuses his paintings, but it is grounded by frequent references to the 19th Century.

Mark Ryden Presents The Gay Nineties Olde Tyme Music presents nineteen artists interpreting the 1893 number one hit “Daisy Bell.” The song was used as the first example of a computer to sing with speech synthesis on an IBM 704. HAL 9000 referenced this in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Who are the musicians and where can people hear them? Artist range from soundtrack darling Danny Elfman to noisy Goths Scarling to Metallica’s guitarist Kirk Hammett to theremin weirdo Ken the Magic Corner God. Many versions take a snarling, distorted cast, matching Mark Ryden’s decidedly odd nature. Weird Al Yankovic recreates a decidedly nostalgic version while the take by Sara Lov & Zac Rae is particularly lovely. Videos to accompany the songs can be found at

999 editions of The Gay Nineties Olde Tyme Music were released on May 13, 2014. They were limited to one per customer and rapidly sold out. More of his work can be found at

Joe “Mr. M” Mason plays theremin and other oddball musical devices in the old-timey mad scientist band The White City Rippers and twangs washtub bass in the steampunk Britney Spears tribute band Spears and Gears. He also spins the amber oldies with the Lords & Ladies DJ crew.



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