I just learned about the strange history of Exxon-sponsored showtunes

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/17/i-just-learned-about-the-stran.html


Check out the documentary “Bathtubs over Broadway”


@thomdunn on the topic of conspiracy songs, about half the Dead Milkmen’s catalog is explicitly about them, or at least told from the perspective of a mentally ill person who mentions their belief in them. even their songs about other topics mention them a lot. presumably the whole band but definitely Rodney and Joe, the singers and writers, are fascinated with them.

homosexuals are plotting an alien invasion:

all the conspiracies:

my kids must be part of the conspiracy!
mr. rogers works hand-in-hand with the KGB!

Howard, beware! the Russians they don’t like you
might go and drop the bomb on you
Howard beware! the government won’t protect you

those two are back-to-back on the Beelzebubba album. the following track, Ringo Buys A Rifle is not explicitly about conspiracy, but the type of crazed paranoiac that is a stock subject. anyway.

next album:
there is a man who told me a story about a conspiracy
he told me how it started and what it meant to me:

food for thought.


I’ll be honest, I’d not listened to much Dead Milkmen beyond “Punk Rock Girl,” but now I will.


There is actually a lot of this kind of thing, corporations making albums of music as some kind of promotional gimmick.


Came here to mention this - it’s a fantastic documentary about a bizarre subculture I’d never heard of.

Warning: you’ll never get the song “My Bathroom” out of your head.


I have this LP, which is also by Exxon, great fold-open diorama sleeve.

CBC posted a good article about corporate musicals a few years ago. I put links in this comment, apparently, so search for “when-madison-avenue-met-broadway-the-world-of-industrial-musicals”



brilliant. weird al is so great. I’m too out-of-touch to know what song he’s parodying, though lol

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It’s a parody of Royals by Lorde…

Cover by Puddles…

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I was first exposed to that Exxon album as part of Derrick Bostrom’s Your Favorite Little Podcast, which was Boing’d here, once, long ago, and that’s prob’ly where I found out about it. Doesn’t seem he’s hosting the dozen+ 1/2hr-long episode files on his Bostworld site any longer, unfortunately, but a lot of that material may show up in his C’mon Live a Little! show, on Luxuria radio (which I think may also be gone by now, I dunno). At any rate, somewhere in there, amidst other musical promo material for Massey-Ferguson tractors, he played “Up Came Oil”, from the same Exxon album as in this post.

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