Howard Menger was a sign-painter who claimed that a race of aliens regularly visited his New Jersey home in the years following World War II, culminating in a 1956 ride to the moon aboard their spacecraft. He later recounted his experiences in books and on the lecture circuit, and in 1955 self-released the album Authentic Music from Another Planet, which combines Menger's voice-over narration with his interpretation of the melodies he discovered during his interplanetary exploration. The truth may be out there, but it seems safe to assume this isn't it -- not only do Menger's tales of babelicious 500-year-old alien life forms in ski outfits ring suspect, but it's difficult to imagine that any advanced race with the capacity to travel from planet to planet would incorporate the sound of accordion so prominently into their musical arrangements. Unlike classic space-age exotica LPs from Esquivel and Les Baxter, Menger's music keeps its feet firmly on the ground, with a reach for the stars that far exceeds its grasp.
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