August 28, 2009 | By

When Karen Carpenter gets a little too "real" for you and the Muppets' soundtracks sound a little like Prozac tastes, its time to dust off the 'ol Case Logic and slip these cd's on the player. Here are five artists who write very strange lyrics (and sometimes take it to far).

1. Roky Erickson (of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators and Roky Erickson and the Aliens)

Roky writes about demons and walking with zombies, well, because he is legally insane and believes in them. He thinks most of them are good though, so with the exception of a few songs like Bloody Hammer, most tunes are happy. Here's an accoustic version of one of his otherwise otherwise fist-pumping songs.

2. John Phillips

When John Phillip John, The Wolf King of L.A. debuted, the 1970's public couldn't handle his completely damaged and pseudo-autobiographical lyrics, and the album sunk. John moved to London and started shooting heroin every 15 minutes (fact) and making a couple other attempts at a solo career. But Wolf King remains the strongest of the bunch for two reasons: because no one wants to reach for some saccharine off-Broadway musical fluff written by a washed up heroin addict and because sometimes you want to feel dark, but still want to tap your foot. With Wolf King, that's just what you get. Try the song Let it Bleed, Genevieve, a catchy little tune about cheating on a girl who is having a miscarriage. Is it any coincidence that his real life girlfriend-turned-wife was named Genevieve? We think not...

3. Warren Zevon

Who spends a Halloween without listening to Werewolves of London at least once? Famous for his wacky lyrics, Warren Zevon carved out a clever little niche for himself in the music industry. Another good song of his: Excitable Boy.

4. Charles Manson

Clearly a lunatic, Charles Manson and The Family band stands out as a testament that anything goes in Los Angeles. It's no secret of his involvement with The Beach Boys, and his songs have been covered by the likes of Guns 'n Roses and Psychic TV, so what's stopping you from going out and listening to the originals? Bop your head to Garbage Dump, Look at Your Game Girl, and many more obscenely strange songs about cult life and acid.

5. Boomtown Rats (for the song I Don't Like Mondays)

While visiting America, the Boomtown Rats found a story about a girl who dosed herself with PCP, grabbed her gun--which her dad gifted to her--went to school and shot down little kids. As she was being arrested, the police asked why she did it. Her answer is the title of the song. Now watch the video. Much more deranged than before you knew the story, right?

These may not be songs to play when you want to get pumped before the big game, but they have their own place in any well-rounded music collection. Perhaps you'll be driving down the road right before twilight, and you find yourself thinking, "Why do they call it a garbage dump? Manson may be legit..." and so it begins.

Honorable mentions go to Frank Zappa, Kim Fowley, Butthole Surfers, and Weird Al Yankovic.

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