The Laboratory Mix Tapes Vol. 1

by The Amoeba People

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about

Tired of recordings that sound TOO PERFECT? This EP is a collection of low-quality, low-fi, lousy-sounding tracks recorded directly onto a cassette tape recorder in the M51 Records Laboratory. A blend of Amoeba People favorites as well as new recordings, The Laboratory Mix Tapes Vol. 1 is proof that music can still touch the soul, stir the mind, and possess a unique charm (and by charm we mean terrible audio quality).

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released October 26, 2012

Recorded in the M51 Records Laboratory by The Amoeba People.

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The Amoeba People Lakewood, California

The Amoeba People are musical ambassadors from the Planet Crouton, here to learn about our world, to unravel the wonders of its natural history, to study the life which inhabits it and to parse the mysteries of the human species by learning its dance moves. The band consists of Mr. Hedgpeth (captain), Mr. Jordan (navigator), and Mr. Mosley (engineer and technician). ... more

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Track Name: Cosmology, Your Futon, and You (beatbox version)
So you’re sitting on your futon and your thoughts turn to cosmology
And how we’re tiny specks adrift in space
And you realize where you sit is really just the start of it
As your mind begins to wander from this place
For your futon’s in a room and the room is in a house
Or an apartment on a block in a neighborhood
And whether homely, plain or pretty, it’s in a town or in a city
Just like you’d expect a neighborhood would
And at this time I should relate
The city’s in a county and the county’s in a state
The state’s in a country and the country’s in a continent no matter how you scan it
And I’d like to make it clear that the continent's in a hemisphere
Which is part of a bigger sphere we call a planet

And you're sitting on your futon
And your thoughts turn to cosmology

Our planet’s in a system which revolves around a star
Called the Sun which is 93 million miles away
And the Sun’s in the outer arm of a spiral-shaped galaxy of stars
Which the ancient Greeks named the Milky Way
And the Milky Way is part of something called the Local Group
Which contains our galaxy and roughly 30 more
And the Local Group is part of the Virgo Supercluster
Containing galaxies, nebulae and quasars
And everywhere in the universe you look, in every cranny and every nook
Are superclusters brimming with billions of stars

And you're sitting on your futon
And your thoughts turn to cosmology

Now here’s the trippy part, the part that may just blow your mind,
For stars are made of elements, as you may know
The elements found in stars are in birds and trees and cars
As well as rocks and air and Grandma’s cookie dough
Yes, the building blocks of the sun are everywhere and in everyone
Including you and me and your crazy Uncle Leon
They have names that are quite common like helium, hydrogen and carbon
And stranger ones like beryllium and neon
But to see the magic of these stars you needn’t travel oh so far
Or blast off in your custom-made spaceship
For the elements found in space can even be found inside this place
And in your futon where you sit there eating corn chips

And you're sitting on your futon
And your thoughts turn to cosmology
And you sit there on your futon
And you wonder, what exactly is a futon?
Track Name: Afraid of the Light (rehearsal)
Well they say there are some folks who are afraid of the dark
But to me that just don't seem right
Cause every time I go star gazing on a dark, dark night
Howdy Doody! I'm afraid of the light!

(chorus)
Yes, I'm afraid
Of the light
'Cause I can't see the stars at night
Yes, I sing with derision
'Cause you're ruining my night vision
Turn off that dat gum light!

So we went to the desert on a dark, dark night,
To sing some songs and watch a meteor shower
But some feller brought his floodlights and a flat screen TV
And it shined like a daylight hour
(repeat chorus)

So we went to the mountains just as high as we could
Took our telescopes and star maps too
But in the dark of the night came a bright shining light
We were blinded and confused

Was it a spaceship of some kind that had found us there
In the dark, ten thousand feet high?
But soon we could see, it was a ten-ton SUV
The window rolled down
And we squinted at the sound
As a voice from inside said:
"Excuse me, could y'all tell me the way to Legoland?"

TURN OFF THAT DAT GUM LIGHT!

(repeat chorus to end)
Track Name: Highly Reliable Boots (demo)
These are highly reliable boots
These are highly reliable boots
Got the gravel in the tread
And the watertight thread
These are highly reliable boots

Traveling down into an unconformity
My tracks are dwarfed by the rock’s enormity
The foothold’s crumbling—careful what you put there
That’s why you’ll find me in reliable footwear

These are highly reliable boots
These are highly reliable boots
Got the gravel in the tread
And the watertight thread
These are highly reliable boots

When I go spelunking down into a cave
I need to get some traction to avoid a close shave
Crumbling limestone, dangerous stalagmites
Strong and sturdy boots are as vital as my Maglite

These are highly reliable boots
These are highly reliable boots
Got the gravel in the tread
And the watertight thread
These are highly reliable boots

Chipping out isotopes deep within a syncline
If I lose my balance on that dangerous incline
At least I know these boots have a grip that is tenacious
Allowing me to date this rock in the late Cretaceous


These are highly reliable boots
These are highly reliable boots
Got the gravel in the tread
And the watertight thread
These are highly reliable boots

Look in to the tread—this is dirt of great disntinction
Here’s a little pebble from the KT Extinction
Cruising through the world with the Carbon 14
It’s all in the tread, a geologic time machine

These are highly reliable boots
These are highly reliable boots
Got the gravel in the tread
And the watertight thread
These are highly reliable boots
Track Name: The Ecliptic Plane (rehearsal)
Every time you look into the sky at night and see a planet
You will notice you can trace the planets in a line
Called the ecliptic plane
The ecliptic plane

It's sort of like concentric hula hoops around the Sun
And every hula hoop's an orbit at about the same level
The ecliptic plane
The ecliptic plane

(chorus)
Around the Sun we go
All along the ecliptic plane
Round and round we float
All along the ecliptic plane
Along the ecliptic plane
Hey now, here we go

Every time you look into the sky at night and see a planet
You will notice you can trace the planets in a line
Called the ecliptic plane
The ecliptic plane

Every now and then the Moon will pass across the plane
Thus creating an eclipse--that's how it got its name
The ecliptic plane

(repeat chorus)
The ecliptic plane
Track Name: Continental Drift (banjo version)
In the year of 1910 there was a scientist
Whose name was Alfred Wegener
He noticed that the continents looked just like
Pieces of a broken puzzle

By 1915 he called it Continental Drift
It caused a rift
With his fellow scientists (who sang)

Ha! Ha! Alfred Wegener!
You are a crazy man!
Ha! Ha! Alfred Wegener!
You are a crazy little man!

They reminded him he had no proof
For how or why the continents could do this
And until you show just how or why
You merely have one interesting hypothesis

Until this evidence we see
You don't have a theory

Ha! Ha! Alfred Wegener!
You are a crazy man!
Ha! Ha! Alfred Wegener!
You are a crazy little man!

In the year of 1930
On an expedition to Greenland
Wegener got caught in a blizzard
When they finally found him
It was much, oh much too late
And they buried him in an icy mausoleum

30 years after he died
A new idea came to light
Plate Tectonics, Plate Tectonics
It changed the way geologists saw the world
And brought Continental Drift back to life

Now everybody sings:

Yee haw! Alfred Wegener!
You are a brilliant man!
Yee haw! Alfred Wegener!
You are a brilliant, brilliant man!

Continental Drift!
Alfred Wegener's theory!
Continental Drift!
Alfred Wegener's theory!
Continental Drift!
Alfred Wegener's theory!
Continental Drift!
Alfred Wegener's brilliant theory!
Track Name: Asteroid, Asteroid (rehearsal)
Asteroid, asteroid
Hope we don’t sound paranoid
But you are gainfully employed
In wiping out the human race

Asteroid, asteroid
You could make us null and void
If your orbit can’t avoid
Colliding with the planet Earth

All throughout our his’try
You’ve earned a rare distinction
You’ve got a nasty habit
Of causing mass extinction

Asteroid, asteroid
Can’t blame us if we’re annoyed
On behalf of every anthropoid
We wish you’d change your course

Asteroid, asteroid
We can take your picture with a Polaroid
But the question is: can we avoid
You wiping out the human race?

All throughout our hist’ry
You’ve earned a rare distinction
You’ve got a nasty habit
Of causing mass extinction

Extinction, extinction
K.T. Extinction
Extinction, extinction
Permian-Triassic extinction

Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, ahhhhhhh

Asteroid, asteroid
Hope we don’t sound paranoid
But you are gainfully employed
In wiping out the human race
Track Name: The Incredible Journey of Conrad the Water Molecule (demo)
About 150 million years ago, there was a water molecule named Conrad. Before I go any further, please keep in mind that water molecules do not have human-like qualities and therefore most certainly do not have names like Conrad. But for the sake of this story I ask that you imagine, just this once, that there was, indeed, a water molecule whose name was Conrad.

Conrad sat in a small pool of muddy water. He had fallen during a rainstorm from the sky and had not yet evaporated.

At approximately this time, a brachiosaur lumbered over to the small pool of water, craned down its long neck, and drank generously from the puddle.

Conrad soon found himself in the dark insides of the brachiosaur.

“This must be an esophagus,” said Conrad. “I’ve always wanted to see an esophagus.”

I would like to remind you that Conrad could not speak or think, and therefore the idea that he would even know the word “esophagus” is highly improbable, but again, for the sake of the story I ask that you set your objections aside.

Conrad soon found himself traveling farther down into the brachiosaur’s stomach.

“This must be a stomach,” said Conrad. “I’ve always wanted to see a stomach.”

Conrad traveled down even farther.

Here’s where things get speculative. There are no fossilized remains of a brachiosaur’s digestive tract, so when I use the word “kidney” in the next part of the story, please understand that we do not know if brachiosaurs had kidneys.

Next, Conrad traveled down into the brachiosaur’s kidney.

“This must be a kidney,” said Conrad. “I’ve always wanted to see a kidney.”

Conrad soon found himself in a large bladder with many other water molecules, and lots of sediment.

“This must be a bladder,” said Conrad. “I’ve always wanted to see a bladder.”

From there Conrad traveled down into the brachiosaur’s urinary tract.
“This must be a urinary tract,” said Conrad. “I’ve always wanted to see a urinary tract.”

Suddenly, without warning, Conrad felt himself falling rapidly as if in a violent stream and fell straight down to the ground with a massive splash.

150 Million Years Later

Two youngsters, a young lady and a young man, were in line at the drinking fountain. It was the young man’s turn to drink and recess was almost over.

“Hurry up!” said the young lady.

But the young man said, “I’m going to keep drinking and drinking until the bell rings and you won’t get anything! Haha.”

The young lady was thirsty and knew that the young man would drink water until the bell rang just for the satisfaction of knowing that she was thirsty and wouldn’t be able to have a drink. He was that kind of young man.

But then she remembered what they had learned in science class earlier that day.

“Fine,” the young lady said to the young man. “Go ahead. The longer you drink the more chance you have of drinking dinosaur urine.”

“What?” the young man exclaimed.

“Weren’t you paying attention in class?” the young lady replied. “At some point, if you drink enough water, you’re bound to drink some that was swallowed by dinosaurs, and urinated out by them too.”

The young man spit out the water that was in his mouth, stared at the young lady with a look of horrified disbelief, and walked away.

The young lady smiled, for she knew that when water molecules are evaporated they are naturally purified. The young lady drank to her heart’s delight with just enough time to quench her thirst before the bell rang.

But she had no idea that as she was quenching her thirst, she ended up swallowing Conrad.

Conrad traveled down the young lady’s throat and said, “This must be an esophagus. I’ve always wanted to see an esophagus!”