St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

The Test of Love and Sex

Goooood morning, kiddies, and welcome to the 1980s. It seems like that long since I posted anything, but just because I’ve been radio silent doesn’t mean I haven’t been working like a child enslaved by an Indiana Jones villain pushing the big wheels underground. What do those wheels do, anyway? And why do so many bad guys need them to be pushed? My theory is there’s a fairy floss machine at the top. If I were going to enslave children, it would be to make fairy floss. But just because my world has been lacking in fairy floss doesn’t mean there isn’t some really cool stuff about to happen. I won’t blow the lid off what I’ve been working on just yet but there will be a big announcement soon.

In the meantime I’ve been taking some jaunts all over the place. I discovered uranium glass in Reno, saw the Marx Brothers in New York, got all up in some ibises in Sydney, and of course I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for some prime-time crap-hunting in bargain bins. It’s one of these amazing vinyl finds I wanted to share now, a little single from 1980 called “The Test of Love and Sex / 3623 A.D.” by Fun With Animals.

"The Test of Love and Sex" by Fun With Animals.

Download Fun With Animals - The Test of Love and Sex

This is a beautifully bizarre little gem that hooked me right from the get-go. It’s obscure and hard-to-find, but it did manage to top Weird Al’s 9 Most Underrated Funny Songs list, which should tell you that this isn’t just another one of my weird obsessions. Although it is that too. I decided to digitize and post this single online because, although you can hear the A-side on YouTube, you can’t find the B-side anywhere and I actually think it’s a much funnier song. The hilariously farting trumpet-work is what does it for me. Every. Time. Plus check out this awesome cover artwork — I mean seriously, it was worth buying the single for the artwork alone.

"3623 A.D." by Fun With Animals.

Download Fun With Animals - 3623 A.D.

Weird Al described “Love and Sex” as a song about robot sex, which seems about right. It’s not the only song in that genre (“Coin-Operated Boy” by the Dresden Dolls and “Love Droid” by Zombina and the Skeletones), but it might be the first and it’s definitely not the least. I think “3623 A.D.” might be an even cooler idea, though — a song about ennui in a time when anything is possible.

I don’t have much to do,
It’s Saturday afternoon
And I’d planned to go with you
For a weekend on the moon
But you went back in time
To see the dinosaurs
So I had to stay behind
’Cause I’ve seen that stuff before.

When will they think of something new?
I’m just as bored as I can be.
No, there’s not too much to do
In 3623 A.D.

That seems oddly prescient for 1980. The previous 40 years had seen the rise of television, computers, space exploration, and electronic music. That’s pretty good, but it doesn’t compare to the enormous array of technological miracles that followed — the Internet, streaming music and movies, mobile phones, personal computers, computer games, GPS… And yet we’re still bored. Fun With Animals kind of hit the nail on the head there.

So who are these guys, even? Fun With Animals do appear to have a website describing themselves as a “retro-futurist” band. They’re also promising an album, but it has been almost 40 years since “The Test of Love and Sex” was released so I don’t know what to expect. The only other work of theirs I can find is another single called “Going to Pasadena”, apparently another favorite of Weird Al’s. I don’t know if you’re still out there, Fun With Animals, but this single is a goddamn gem and I hope you do make that album.