Saturday, April 18, 2015

ANOTHER WEEK ANOTHER SOMETHINGOROTHER...: welcome back back my friends to the bloviating that never ends, and if you're disgusted by that reference to noted prog schmoozers Emerson should go jump in the Lake with Palmer (copyright 1973 DENIM DELINQUENT magazine) then you'll undoubtedly be totally stomach-churned by what indeedly follows! Again it's been a rather creepathon week here at the BTC orifices and between this, work and whatever funzie time I can scrounge about there really hasn't been much that I could all stimulating happening between these four walls, or any other four walls I happen to be occupying at the time. Hopefully this will all change for the better, but then again hopefully I'll fall into a few billion dollars that'll tide me over until payday.
***
WEIRD ROCK 'N ROLL DREAM TIME!: haven't been having many of these particular dreamies as of late, but the one  I experienced only a few evenings back was not only elongated beyond the usual dream timespan of aseemingly minute or so but rather strange even for a suburban slob such as myself!!! At the beginning of it I was hanging out in Youngstown Ohio around the university area and I decide to blow off seeing the Rollins Band (had tickets) to take in Ella Fitzgerald at a large auditorium nearby! Ella even drove me home and was acting nice about it too! Then all of a sudden I'm in a strange place which turns out to be CBGB (though it now looks like some sorta abandoned warehouse turned into a flea market) and somehow my mind is relaying to me that this is that "new" place where CBGB used to be but they're having a CBGB reunion night of sorts!

And guess which song I hear when I trot in...."I'm Really Not This Way" by Manster! Yes, Manster had reformed for this gig and they did a good rendition of the famous number offa LIVE AT CBGB's though I remember the closing guitar solo being restrained in comparison with the original. I then trotted over to the stage to see them...as expected they were now all old guys in their sixties, kinda wrinkled skin-wise yet looking rather neat in their suits and ties, and they were playing really good that night to the point where I surewish I had a tape recorder handy! The singer (whose hair was grey and kinda wiry) had fun at our expense by shaking a bottle of Coke and spraying it all over the front of the crowd (including me!). He also shot some whipped or shaving cream on me and of course I fell to my knees laughing as we;; as feeling honored that the guy would target me with his aerosol can!!! A good time was had by all, and naturally dreams like this just make me wanna hear more of the real thing wherever that may be. But hey, without dreams like these I sure have a lot less!
***
Maybe there will be some "further ado" before we get into the review portion of today's program. First off I gotta thank Paul McGarry for a good portion of the burns, none of which I felt I got "burned" over ha ha hee hee, and Bill Shute for the sampler (one of a bazillion) of rarities combed off of the internet. Heap heavy hunkering thanks go to Bob Forward for the Nin "album" which was a total surprise because for some reason (joke presented in opening line of review notwithstanding) I thought this was gonna be some modern group doing the industrial crank game! (BTW this a platter that I will admit sounds just as good at 33 as it does at 45...in fact play it at 33 because it will last longer and sound even spookier just like one of those old Chrome records which urged you to do the same!)

OK, no more ado for me!



JD McPhearson-LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL CD-r burn (originally on Rounder Records)

A lotta this revival blooze chooze never did settle well with my rather delicate stomach, but since this guy's not Robert Cray it ain't like I'm gonna be complainin'. In fact this is pretty hot stuff that sounds rather pre-scuzzy white kids slick it up at times, a bit commercial perhaps but still varied enough to keep this short-attention-spanned reviewer occupied for the entirety. IMPORTANT NOTE: the title song is not the Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns classic nor is it the Cars late-seventies classic rock schmoozer but an original, so don't be let down once you plunk this one on the laser launch pad expecting one or the other finding out that its neither!
***

The Bossmen-PERSONALLY YOURS CD-r burn (originally on Lion)

A pre-Alice/Lou/etc. Dick Wagner got his chops chopped up in this mid-sixties Detroit band, and if you want to hear the roots of all of those seventies guitar god grinders that he cranked out way back when well... It ain't like you're exactly gonna hear any of 'em here! But you'll like it more'n enough knowing the voracious appetite of some of you six-oh rock fans and followers.

From the early Beatles cops to the white enough take on soul to the Yardbirds-inspired hard blues noogies the Bossmen really captured their era well, and if you're still hungering for more of that NUGGETS crunch this might help you out at least until the next outta-nowhere exhumation. For fans of that BOMP! issue with the Detroit history (I think it was the one with the Groovies onna cover) that you still refer to when the ol' memory fails.
***
Tav Falco-COMMAND PERFORMANCE CD-r burn (originally on Stone Blatt)

Sheesh, who woulda thought this guy was still around? But he is, and frankly I remember him sounding a whole lot rummage sale 'n this back in '81 when the first Panther Burns album came out. But it's sure nice giving Mr. Falco a listen to all these years later even if he does sound like he got a stuffy nose. A lotta this does kinda suffer from a post-postmodern slickness and it ain't like the originals are anything to toss the cornflakes about, but this stew does entertain a whole load more'n most of the free download snoozeroonies out these days. And hey, why should I moan about it because I got the thing for free (unless you wanna count the big humongous Christmas gifts I give Paul McGarry not to mention the loads of postage it takes to trek the package all the way to Waterdown)...
***
INTRODUCING THE NEW PICCADILLYS CD-r burn (originally on Sound Flat)

One of those "revival" kinda bands that actually strikes me good whether it be because of their authentico 1963 look or their faithful renditions of early-mid-sixties cusp garage rock craziness that really made those years special in more ways than one. Taking cues from everyone from the Trashmen to the Ramones even and all British Invasion points in-between, the NP's have released a record that would have rated with any long player to get the wrecked needle play on your older sis's portable back mid-sixties way. Not only that, but the high-pumping pressure this one exudes only proves that no matter how much the snobbish Pantsiosites out there in sophiticado "rock" land may pout about it the Big Beat continues to live on! I probably won't be spinning this 'un on a nightly basis like I do some of my stone cold faves, but it sure does bring back alla those turdler-era spells of tee-vee fun and car radio ramalama!
***
Anais Nin-ATLANTIS INCEST one-sided 12-inch 45-rpm (no label)

Whew! For a minute I thought this was gonna be some sickoid story about a guy thinking he's sodomising his new born infant only to find out it was the fambly dog alla time! Turns out that it ain't...it's just the soundtrack to the Ian Hugo 1952 film BELLS OF ATLANTIS which features famed pornographer Anais Nin reciting a portion of her own HOUSE OF INCEST while this beautifully gurgling and burbling music (sounds like a buncha tape loops and audio generations set for the heart of the sun) predates a whole lotta seventies underground rock accomplishment that might've made it to the Nurse With Wound list had this only gotten out more.

You can hear it for free on youtube if you wish (while watching the pre-psychedelic explosion of color that just might creep inside your frazzle) but this is a nifty package and a gosh darn wonderful artifact of early hipster expression and alla that Jackson Pollack nonsense we've been inundated with for years. Methinks that the same people who pressed this one up (color xerox cover pasted onto black sleeve, color one-sided vinyl) also did the very similar Velvet Underground CHELSEA GIRLS, AGENTS OF MISFORTUNE and Sun Ra on church organ releases that had been coming out for well over a year, but I just can't be sure of such things. Sure looks similar tho...
***
Various Artists-DEADEND PLAYBOY BUTTERBALL DEEP CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill is showing marked improvement with these newer efforts. Not that the old ones were exactly turdballs but there's more of a mind-expanding variety with these efforts. Or something like that but hey, these made for great listening whilst I was reading the newest issue of BULL TONGUE REVIEW (see last post) so don't go givin' me any lip!

Dunno why Bill slapped guitar snoozer Al Caiola on here (probably because he knows I hate him!), but he sure did good here. There are also such "oddities" as Grasshopper's "Pretzel Bill" (some of that new avant musique concrete I believe which oddly enough conjured up nightmarish vision of the early-eighties cassette culture) and some other equally mesmerizing into the pit of despair track I never was able to find the name of (track listings get all goofed up because of the boffo radio commercials stuck in without any prior warning)..Come to think of it, the entire platter seems to ooze some strange spell that comes off like one of those drug-induced dreams I have which come off so real to the point where even years later I still wonder if what I had dreamed had actually happened or not. I'm sure some of you serious narcologists would know what I'm talking about but gee, I'm just a tippy-toe dabbler compared with some just about every one of you guys!

Oh yeah, the inclusion of Quincy Jones was totally unnecessary, and listening to Harry James go late-sixties top 40 hip is about as digestible as watching Pat Buttrum with long hair and a mod kerchief. But listening to these things just had me fantasizing that it was the seventies, and the hopes of a Gizmos EP was just around the corner...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

MAGAZINE REVIEW! BULL TONGUE REVIEW #2 (www.bulltonguereview.com...Forced Exposure has 'em as well)

Remember them days, y'know, them days when you'd wait patiently for whatever fanzine you had sent away for to finally show up at your doorstep and you'd eagerly (if carefully) open the manila envelope, remove said not-so-periodical from its sheath, and then lock yourself in your fart-encrusted bedroom and read the whole dang thing cover-to-cover until it was either time to relieve your number one or mom was calling for you to come eat supper?

Yeah them were the days...and now you can relive them about as well as you can here in the tepid teens with the latest issue of BULL TONGUE REVIEW! Yes, with those sixties/seventies/eighties underground thrills just slipping away faster'n hair from Eno's scalp a mag like this comes in mighty handy! For not only do editors Byron Coley and Thurston Moore round up just about whatever's left of that once-blazing underground and report it all to you in a nice, concise and ya-just-gotta-get-hold-of-a-copy-even-if-the-thing's-been-sold-out-for-months sorta way, but they got a whole lotta stragglers from said underground to tell us about their recent fave books, activities, recordings, tee-vee programs and other things you didn't think pseudo-boho types cared about one bit! But these people ain't pseudo-bohos so once again you don't know what you're talking about and why are you reading this nize li'l downhome blog of mine in the FIRST place you "poseur" you!


All kidding aside, Byron and Thurston do a pretty spiffy job of layin' on the line what has popped up in what's left of underground punkdom. The A MINUTE TO PRAY period Flesheaters reunion review that was undoubtedly Byron's bailiwick read grand especially from a guy who had been all-out supportive of the group ever since the day (or actually, long before) "Chris D's Carnal Knowledge" (a whopper of a piece if there ever was one) appeared in the pages of THE NEW YORK ROCKER. It's kinda like he was born to write about the Flesheaters in any way shape or form and hey, I'd rather read about his personalist opines on the guy than I would some certain West Coast tinytoon's given the fact that here it is 2015 and just about anybody can come off looking like a total asshole given they got the right technology in their hands.

However, to be honest I think I'm gonna pass on trying to get hold of most of the wares Coley and Moore were pitching to us this time, perhaps except for a new Rolling Stones fanzine out there called what else but STONE AGE! Yeah I know what yer thinking---who'd wanna buy let along read yet another Rolling Stones 'zine these days?!?! Well, this one's different since it features nothing but various celebs (big name or not) writing about just how much Mick Jagger and company have influenced their otherwise pitiful lives! The thing comes outta London England, but it might be worth the pences to pick up especially if you wanna read the personal Stone takes of such big names in the rock 'n roll biz as Sylvain Sylvain, James Williamson and Henry Rollins?!?!?!??

The main meaty portion of the rag is boffo enough for my tastes as well. Some new additions to the growing cast of characters (welcome aboard Eddie Flowers!) join the reg'lars, and for the most part the reading is just as swell as you'd find in just about any down-to-earth fanzine of the early-mid-seventies that dared to mix its Genesis with its Seeds. Once again Donna Lethal cracks me up with her spin on "Youtube Tutorials" while Richard Meltzer (remind me to do a seventieth birthday trib to him onna blog) does a moom pitcher-tee-vee roundup that reminds me of those columns he used to do for FUSION and RAUNCHY ROCK way back when! Only it's in the here and now and the landscape has changed but fortunately not the prime oomph!

Other personal faves include Lili Dwight on belly buttons (a current subject swirling in my mind because I have come under attack for saying that the navel on a nize looking lady is just as va-voom as her bullseyes and the mounds they rest upon), Charles Plymell on the recent rash of Norton Records/Books output, Joe Carducci on Sam Peckinpah's short-lived WESTERNER series (with Brian Keith long before the days of FAMILY AFFAIR, caught an episode when the Western Channel was being shown free for a week and it was almost as boffo as the early-hour-long GUNSMOKE that sure made the later ones TV Land run look pale) and Ira Kaplan on "37 Birds I Prefer to THE BIRDMAN (2014)"! Loads more too, but I'll let you pour your peeps over your own copy and decide what pieces you think make this 'un a magazine to be dealt with.

Oh yeah, and the art is fantab, especially the Savage Pencil drawings that pop up throughout this potent periodical. Reminds me of those little cartoons that Jonh Ingham and others used to do for NEW HAVEN ROCK PRESS and WHO PUT THE BOMP! which only shows that the more things stay the same, they change, or something like that.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A REAL BOSS ROCK 'N' ROLL SHOW I ATTENDED LAST TUESDAY EVENING!-I'm talkin' about the Moody Blues at Akron's B. J. Thomas (hah!) Hall, and boy was that one a proverbial mofo as they say!!! The Moodies started off with this high energy rocker called "Once Upon a Time" which was highly reminiscent of the Stooges back when Iggy slipped into a heavy duty smack jones and began smelling like that dog poop that mistakenly ran over with the lawn mower and splattered all over the place. Total annihilation. Then they roared into an old favorite entitled "Tuesday Afternoon" that sounded just like the Seeds back around the time they were recording "Up In Her Room". After that came a whole string of numbers that really hearkened back to those crazy days of sixties decadence like "Nights in White Satin" (a dead ringer for the Flamin' Groovies), "Melancholy Man" (a resensifier if there ever was one!!!) and "Ride My See Saw", which a few fanablas out there say is a direct swipe from the Deviants' "I'm Coming Home". The show ended in a wild orgasmic free form freakout that really turned crazy when the gal flute player got nekkid and started dancing to the primal rock 'n' roll beat of it all!

In actuality it was a typical baby boomer money grabber that I attended only because my cyst-er got some free tickets for pledging to the local PBS station (we got the PBS seats way up high and I got a spontaneous [translation-no picking] nosebleed to prove it). And, needless to say, I was bored silly by it all. Well, it was kinda fun (if not a little sickening) watching all of the old leftovers standing up and applauding or holding their arms up while yelling "THANK YOU!" as if this were some sort of tent revival meeting. The only song I really liked was "The Story in Your Eyes" which wasn't any "Go Now", but better than the rest, even that psychedelic one about the butterflies flying all over the place. I couldn't sleep too well that night, though that may be because of the Mexican dinner I engaged in at some chi-chi yuppie eatery prior to the performance. I also told cyst that next time she pledged she should just take the Julia Childs cookbook and be done with it.
***
As  for what else I've been doing this week, I must admit that I've been spending a more than inordinate amount of time on archive.org's NATIONAL LAMPOON site gathering up a whole slew of past issues for our modern-day perusal and guffaws for that matter. It's sure swell to see someone put these classic magazines up for the reading (and nothing but!), and of course it's sure boffo eyeballing alla those great comics like DIRTY DUCK and even some of the NUTS that didn't make it into book form considering just how downright goodie they can be. And of course the bad taste for bad taste's sake attitude is sure refreshing just like those old Bangs and Meltzer (not to forget TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE) pieces are here in the beyond cyborg and Nazified 'teens. If you want to know where I got at least some of my powers, look no further than here. Personal fave story espied so far..."All In De Fambly" which is, as they say, guaranteed to offend (the people who deserve to be offended, that is!).
***
The recent death of STAN FREBERG did affect me a certain way, maybe in a way where its' finally sinking into my thick skull that it's now 2015 and all of those child/teen-hood fave types who made the fifties and sixties so funtime are now passing on into eternity, perhaps taking along with the entertainment they had created with them. Of course I didn't even know who Freberg was until the early-seventies when I picked up a copy of INSIDE MAD and read the guy's "backword", and the discovery of A CHILD'S GARDEN OF FREBERG being advertised in the back pages of HELP! had me begging my mother to snatch up a copy for Christmas which was an impossibility since by this time the platter had been out of print for over fifteen years. (But don't worry, I found a nice mint copy of it a good decade later and I even reviewed it in the fifth issue of my very own crudzine!). But whatever, I kept an eye out for Freberg even though I did NOT realize at the time that all of those crazy commercials I saw on tee-vee (Ann Miller's GREAT AMERICAN SOUPS, the Shakey's Pizza one which had a Col. Sanders lookalike downing a slice which earned that now-deep sixed chain a nice lawsuit from the KFC head honcho...) were Freberg creations so it was like I was enjoying the guy for years without even knowing who he was!

If I could, I would photoshop the pic to make Freberg read an
old issue of BLACK TO COMM. But I can't, and come
to think of it he wouldn't.
Of course over the years I began spotting a whole load of boffo Freberg platters (as well as a cassette at a local supermarket!) and scarfed 'em up like potrzebie! In an age of unfunniness as the norm these spinners were the most...they were har-har inducing in that cool fifties way (even cooler'n the tepid Steve Allen) that oozed from the works of Harvey Kurtzman and could be spotted even in those supposedly kiddie-oriented Hanna-Barbara cartoons that were dragging the oldsters in front of the set just as much as they were the turdlers. Freberg's 1962 Chung King-sponsored Chinese New Year tee-vee special (which was written up in my rag as well!) was a big play around the BTC offices in the mid-90s and would be today if I only had a working VCR player. And who could forget those high-larious spoofs of DRAGNET, "The Great Pretender" and Elvis. Never did get to hear any of those anti-Vietnam war PSA's that I understand got Freberg on Nixon's Enemies List (though I can't find any concrete proof of that), but I'll bet those are a hoot as well (the "Vietnamamatic"???? Har!).

So it's so long to you master cartoon voice, tee-vee funnyman (remember when this unabashed rock 'n' roll hater was on THE MONKEES???) and yet another cool fifties/sixties guy with glasses (along with Bill Cullen and Alan Ludden!). Sheesh, somehow I now feel a whole lot older than the four-year-old I always envision myself as!
***
Well, do ya think I have created a spiffy batch of reviews here now...c'mon, do YA??? Well, yeah, the selection coulda been better, but given the past week I'm surprised I was able to crank out this much. One oldie, one recently bought and the rest donated. Who sez one can't live on a mere five dollars a week anyhow?



Sonny Simmons-STAYING ON THE WATCH CD (ZYX/ESP Germany)

Neglected debut ESP spin from the equally neglected Simmons, who plays not as ferocious as the big names but good enough to make you forget some of those not so exciting performers who used to pop up in the eighties and nineties. An as-you'd-expect new thing session featuring the beautifully droning trumpet of Barbara Donald, John Hicks doing standard Bley-isms on the piano, Teddy Smith on bass and Marvin Pattillo on percussion. Best of the batch; "A Distant Voice" which has Simmons wailing alto over one of the most beautiful mid-east drones heard at least since LaMonte Young, and who am I to lie to you?
***
Jake Starr and the Delicious Fullness-TASTES GOOD CD-r (originally on AM)

Typical garage revival platter that similar to most of the ones we've heard ever since the seventies. Good cheap trasho organ sound coupled with reconstituted tough teenage vocals. Not bad at all but really nothing that might have excited me the same way these sorta shenanigans did back when Moxie Records was in business and BATTLE OF THE GARAGES seemed like the ultimate in underground rock expression especially compared with alla that new wave-o gunch that was siphoning money away from our trust funds. For 99th FLOOR readers, and maybe a few fans of the early BLACK TO COMM as well.
***
Moondog-RARE MATERIAL 2-CD set (Indigo)

Before they had outsider music, they had outsider music. And this guy (along with Harry Partch, Conlon Nancarrow and some hip relic I'll find out about tomorrow) was one of the earliest practitioners of the form to the point where he was considered hepster material long before Janis Joplin covered his "All Is Loneliness". Heck, even Marlon Brando used to sit in with him slapping the bongos, and I remember reading in some old issue of BUCKETFULL OF BRAINS where Moondog himself said that none other than Lenny Bruce showed an interest in his work, but we won't talk about overrated unfunny junkies who think they have something important to say about society especially when they don't.

Rather upfront collection this is, with stuff from those really old albums Moondog did in the fifties as well as some newer extravaganzas ranging from Big Band strut to introspective renaissance-type thingies. It all fits in well when you're in the mood for something that's jazzy then emotional then kinda Amerigan rustic. And, like the best of this original outta nowhere music it doesn't have a SHARD of artistic pretension the kind you've seen outta the billions of performance artists and underground rock types who think they're being creative when they're aping the likes of Lydia Lunch a good thirtysome years after these mattress gal types shoulda known better.

As Madonna said about some seventies foreign film, "I like it because it's real"...
***
THE BOTTLE ROCKETS CD-r burn (originally on East Side Digital)

Average (in fact, kinda ho-hum) country rock that at least has got a definite pounce to it. Gets points for making an attempt to merge deep south grit and suburban slob rockism, but just doesn't hit the mark like similar efforts by the Kama Sutra-era Flamin' Groovies let alone pre-glitzout Stones. Still, the tracks heard here sure do make for a whole better listening experience than alla that new country popschmooze that I hear every time I enter into Dollar General to pick up a bag of pork rinds.
***
Fossils-FOR BRIAN RURYK CD (Kendra Steiner Editions)

Crazed collage of musique concrete roar, huddling somewhere between Smegma, Nurse With Wound, Orchid Spangiafora and that dream you had one night having something to do with a high school science class and severe constipation. Rather extreme at times but nothing that will want to make you upchuck, and quite mesmerizing even when the sound seems to be going off into tangents that would make Sun Ra's various space explorations seem like first class travel complete with the comfy slippers. Pretty snazzy stuff if you must know, and something that I'll bet a whole slew of anal retentive geeks will be studying to death 100 years from now because hey, what else will there be for them to do?
***
Various Artists-I SAW HER STANDING NEXT TO IGOR CD-r burn (BS)

I enjoyed it. The thing's got a pleasing mish-mosh of obscurities from sixties soul (the Bronzettes, Betty Davis before she married Miles) to familiar faves missing the charts big (Brenda Lee, Bill Medley) to British Invasion rave (the Boy Blues) and forgotten garage bands (the Snaps). Oddly enough I actually owned The Paniks' Batman spoof entitled "I Can Beat Him Up" at one time, but I think it got dumped somewhere (maybe not...it might still be snuggled in my collection somewhere). My faves of the lot just happen to be this Mexican-themed novelty about Christmas south of the border entitled "Burrito", Zacherle's horror grossout "Igor" and Nat King Cole plugging some cheapo wine via a promotional platter sent to local booze shops. Dunno if they still bottle this "Arriba" stuff, but if you got a bottle of MD 20/20 or Thunderbird handy it just might go swell with this 'un.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

BOOK REVIEW! THE CRACKED READER (Avon, 1960)

Haw! It figures that the very first MAD paperback collection was entitled THE MAD READER so why not CRACKED's debut on the spinning bookcase display be a direct swipe anyhow??? Considering what an alternate dimension version of MAD CRACKED had been for way too long a time wouldja think they were gonna call this thing anything but???

I gotta admit that although I cringed whenever I saw this mag at the stands throughout my MAD-loving days I do find this smattering of some of the earliest CRACKED stories ever to be printed to be rawther entertaining. Even funny at times. John Severin's art was perhaps at its post-EC best (and even the "serious" piece contrasting tee-vee western characters and their real life counterparts was pleasing enough for my eyeballs to behold), and although Jack Davis wasn't putting as much fine-lined detail into his art like he did in the MAD spectacular "Let's Go For a Ride!" (as well as his TRUMP and HUMBUG contributions) his stories were at least as good as it got compared with some of his later slapdash crankout. Even Bill Elder does some of his great comic strip parodies which are always amazing even if I don't think the POPEYE panel that pops up here really captured the various MAD (let alone PANIC) versions he previously gifted us with.

Whoever was scribbling the text for these stories was sure doing a better job than they were in the CRACKEDs that I used to sneak peek on scant occasion. Sure a good portion of the turds they popped out might have seemed trite compared with the main competition, but the timely spoofs dealing with such astute subject matter as beatniks, BAT MASTERSON, SEA HUNT and Bridgette Bardot still make for funtime reading especially in an age where comedy more or less has become loudmouth assaults on whatever target of self-righteous ire some sideways turd of a human being may harbor these days.

And between you 'n me dontcha think we can sure use a whole lot more real har-hars these days whether it be a Gavin McInnes or Jim Goad column or one of those DIVERSITY CHRONICLE articles that keep me laughing from here to Fanabla because it's like 2015 and you're not supposed to laugh at these things like you could have even a good ten years back!

One final note---it is interesting (though not exactly surprising) to see that even in these early issues the CRACKED writers were poking fun at their main inspiration with blatant references to not only Alfred E. himself but EC boss Bill Gaines (the latter even being pictured with his face unobscured unlike old Neuman's) whenever they could get a chance to poke fun at the big guys. Yeah I know that Alfred E.'s visage had been spotted in a variety of MAD knockoffs in the late-fifties (and even in TRUMP), but when I was a kid I was once shocked to see a CRACKED cover where mascot Sylvester P. Smythe was seen sticking pins into a voodoo doll who looked suspiciously like you-know-who. Somehow to an adolescent pus-package such as myself this seemed like a horrid blasphemy, but considering most of the blasphemies that are accepted and whole and true these days it's like well, what else is there gonna be to shock and offend me these days, eh? (or is that yawn...). Still it was quite a shock, and although I hadn't heard of any lawsuits regarding the use of MAD's very own Esky/Playboy bunny I was sure as shootin' under the impression that one was gonna be just around the corner! But then again when I was an adolescent I thought that anybody who was famous and on tee-vee alla time was an automatic millionaire, and when you're twelve you do see the world kinda skewered, y'know?

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sheesh, I'm still trying to down some rather wretched Christmas candy that's still lying about the abode (some sorta chocolate-covered dog feces dried to a nauseating chewable texture) and now it's Easter---I mean, can you believe it??? Given my luck with holiday candy I'm probably going to have to spend the next six months or so trying to down alla those horrible fruit 'n nut eggs my mother buys because she thinks I like 'em (of course only she does and she ain't fooling anyone one bit because the last thirtysome years have been filled with hints for vanilla fudge and coconut ones!) which certainly does not add up to any tasty sweets gobbling on my part, that's for sure!

Anyway, this particular Easter had me reminiscing of those holidays past undoubtedly because I was much younger then and could appreciate cheapo candy thrills even more, and for some not-so-surprising reason I keep recalling perhaps the most vivid Easter of all. Twas the one from when I was but a little single-digiter, about nine or so but anyway, the entire fambly had returned home from church that Easter morn and what did we find but all of the Easter baskets pilfered! Torn into with candy and boxes chewed up and scattered about the parlor floor amidst the Easter hay with what could be called primal abandon. Upon further discovery we found our dog Sam lying at the bottom of the cellar stairs deathly ill whilst moaning his guts away! Y'see, dogs and chocolate don't exactly go together---we didn't know that at the time---and here Sam snuck into the forbidden parlor area on the hunt for food, ate all of the goodies he could stand and was sick as what else but a dog because of his misdeeds!

I still chortle over that even all these years later, and even though Sam might have learned his lesson I sure didn't because I would give the pooch a piece of my Hershey's bar whenever he would beg and maybe if a li'l bit didn't hurt him that much I'm sure his mind remembered that sunny spring day when he certainly did bite off more than he could chew! Or should that be digest... But its those kinda memories that I cherish most even if the wretched ones about school and being banged into that round hole with a mallet usually take center stage in my sometimes not-so-rheumy reminiscences.
***
Kinda slow new-disque-wize this go 'round, so other'n the obligatory Bill Shute effort at the end the platters being reviewed are all oldsters that were rescued from within the vast reaches of Cee-Dees that could be found on various boxes sitting on top of my bedroom bookcase (which is filled with even more Cee-Dees if you can believe it!). Just random pics of platters that I might have spun a few times and forgot, or even those I've ignored for whatever reasons when I first snatched 'em up or was given 'em by people who thought I would review the thing post haste! Whatever, here are some spins that I think you'll appreciate reading about (hah!), and if I've convinced any of you to go out and search a copy or two of these I'll REALLY be surprised. I mean, some of you reg'lar visitors to this blog are kinda brain dead, y'know???
***
Oh, before I get into the good stuff, can anyone direct me to some English translations of any Yves Adrien articles that might be floating about out there in the ether we know as internet???


Crazy Horse-CRAZY MOON CD (Raven, Australia)

The unreleased '78 album sounds about as instant bargain bin as any late-seventies album could, but even I must admit that CRAZY MOON comes off like a much better potential cutout classic than all of those Arthur Fiedler Boston Pops platters you hadda tread through to get to the Monty Python. Sure it's got a whole lotta that El Lay fringe and denim in its slickly-produced sound (I can just see the men behind the control panel engaging in a little extra-curricular activities up their nostrils while this was being recorded) , but beneath the ROLLING STONE-approved comfy jeans candor there's a rather gritty affair that just might appeal to even the more punkier of thou. At least in part, but those parts just might be juicy enough for you to digest.

Hokay I know you're gonna conjure up all sortsa Doobie Brothers vibes in your brain whilst listening to "Dancin' Lady", but I think you might be able to get around the occasional lapses into mediocrity once in awhile.

The tracks from the '72 AT CROOKED LAKE album are more to my liking even if I find CRAZY MOON quite palatable (West Coast at its gutsier---guess the patchouli hadn't sunk into their brains yet) at least to the point where I might seek out that particular platter once I get the review over an done with. (NOTE---I checked into what was available and decided to hold off because of $$$ constraints, which is as good enough an excuse as any!) And of course the Rockets tracks which were included to sweeten the pot so to speak are better'n the rest of the tracks combined, but if you've been reading this blog long enough you wouldn't have to ask (if you were to, that is).
***
Led Zeppelin-CABALA 5/6 2-CD set bootleg (Osoz Italy)

Bought these two final disques taken from one of those superduper bootleg box sets if only for the inclusion of the LUCIFER RISING soundtrack which appears on the first 'un. Turns out this ain't the rather boffo Jimmy Page take which appeared on the legendary (and recently restored) LUCIFER RISING PART ONE version of that film but the better known Bobby Beausoliel soundtrack that comes off about as Zep-oriented as Mantovani (actually it reminds me a whole lot of just-pre-DARK SIDE OF THE MOON Pink Floyd). Prison really did a lot to alter Beausoliel's musical capabilities because this proggy stew is a looong way from Arthur Lee, and if I were you I'd keep an eye out for the Page version.

The rest that transpires ain't much to chew on either, with rather coked up performances taken from various Amerigan tours which I would assume really brought out the beast in the group (at least to the point where they were sloshing through their sets thinking about the entertainment they were gonna be in store for once their entertaining was over for the night), and while I'm at it the El Lay '77 soundcheck featuring the band hamming it up on old fifties hits doesn't have the joy de vivid that even the more jaded Lennon and McCartney woulda worked up during the same time. Of course by that tour it would all come (deservedly) crashing down so what else would you expect from these major league burpers anyway?

At least those '69 live shows had a lotta the snazz and groove that their first LP was lacking, even to the point where you can easily hear some tangential sixties punk rock styles merging into seventies accomplishment. But this particular quaff's only for the downed out zitfarm greaseatron who used to bag your groceries in between tokes in the back of the supermarket. If you're nostalgic for backseat puking this is the boot for you!
***
The Chesterfield Kings-SURFIN' RAMPAGE CD (Mirror)

I've been neglecting the Chesterfield Kings for quite awhile so this 'un did come in handy even if I was looking for their Rolling Stones "tribute". The best of PEBBLES VOLUME 4 cum the BOMP! surf issue mooshed up for an audience who wants a li'l more in their surf sounds than the local lounge act doing their usually sterile version of "Wipe Out". Surf obscurities from the Usher/Christian and Brian Wilson collections mingle with a few originals and heck, even your Unca Fanabla might remember hearing "Little Honda" on the radio way back when while changing stations to get to the new Bert Kaempfert single on E-Z listening. A better tombstone to the glory that was post-World War II/pre-hippie living than anything the seventies/eighties cooked up for "nostalgic" (yawn!) baby boomer consumption.
***
The Lyres-THE EARLY YEARS-1979 TO 1983-LIVE AT CANTONES AND WERS-FM CD (Crypt)

Given my recent DMZ obsession I thought this would be a good 'un to give a reappraisal to even if Jeff Conolly's later-on band didn't quite measure up to the original bunch (at least not in my own humble opinion). Never fear, for the raw approach to plenty of covers and even a few originals had me jumping up and down like Elton John on a prostrate synthetic son of his. More six-oh organ-dominated than DMZ true, yet it captures that mid-sixties era from a suburban slob viewpoint more than most of the other "garage revival" acts that were cluttering up the scene at the time. For some reason it reminds me of all of those family trips to a cold, damp, rainy New England, and that includes the boffo drive in restaurants that served up a whole oceanfulla delicious 'n greasy seafood as well!
***
The Red Crayola-LIVE 1967 2-CD set (Drag City)

Here 'tis, or is it here 'tare, the legendary Red Crayola (the original batch, not the ones Mayo Thompson had been trotting about since the late-seventies) recorded live and elsewhere during their legendary San Francisco romp back July 1967 way. Total free-form sound both acoustic and electronic done in front of an audience (some who actually seems to appreciate their free form freak outs---guess the drugs hadn't gone to all of their frazzled heads yet) and in their hotel room playing some of the freest music (let alone "rock") to have been heard at that time.

There's even a track with none other than John Fahey sitting in which still makes me wonder whatever happened to that lost unreleased album the group did with him during their West Coast jaunt. But this is great on many levels, not only for the wonderful ahead-of-their-time avant-rock explorations that would come to fruition with the advent of Throbbing Gristle and Nurse With Wound, but for the fact that the band of Thompson, Cunningham and Barthleme were really upsetting more'n a few peace 'n love applecarts with this sonic barrage that seems to go 180-degrees against the prevailing winds of the time. And of course killjoy me just loves that to the end!

Nice foldout poster/insert with this one which reprints a whole load of press regarding the band's stay in the Bay Area. And as you would expect not all of it is positive. There's even that brief if infamous mention of the Crayola that appeared in Jonathan Cott's opening schpiel in ROLLING STONE's tenth anniversary special edition where he pretty much dismisses 'em as an awkward miss in an otherwise beautiful world of youth kultur hits. Strange, but wouldn't you think a guy who cozied up to those early John and Yoko albums woulda found the Red Crayola to have been positively smashing, eh?
***
Lambsbread-WATER DAMAGE CD-r (Maim & Disfigure)

This 'un's almost ten years old but I'm just getting to the thing now. Maybe I was put off by the guy on the cover's tattoo and earring (I get that way sometimes) but once I got over the body modification I figured wha' th' hey. Pretty neat electronic squonk here too with atonal guitar scrawl and who knows what else, and although you might say it's just a couple of guys jagging off with their gear I say so what! Sorta like a bedroom tape version of what acts like Ascension and maybe even High Rise have been doing for the past few decades. Only fifty numbered copies, and I got #3!
***
Iggy and the Stooges-OPEN UP AND BLEED! CD (Bomp!)

Yupyupyup, I've heard these tracks via many a source ever since the floodgates of RAW POWER-era Stooges burst forth like vomit from an AIDS-riddled streetbum but sheesh, it's always great listening to these melodies over and over again no matter what form they happen to come in.

The CBS rehearsals with the future Blue Gene Tyranny on piano begin the disque followed by a portion of the Latin Casino and Whisky-A-Go-Go shows before its back to rehearsals with the always engrossing "She Creatures of the Hollywood Hills" and "Rubber Legs". It's all kinda together enough to appreciate as a "whole", and not only that but it'll sure brings back old Stooges tingles to you people who were in on the game from the get-go!

If you were one stroonad who was ostracized for listening to the Stooges and Dolls in a world of Cat Stevens and Melanie it might not rectify anything in the long run, but think about all of the fun you'll have at the high school reunion when you see alla them dunderhead folkie types waddle their way up to tell you just how superior they still are and always will be as their colostomy bags spill all over their gowns!
***
Various Artists-VULGAR LIME BOATMEN VIBRATING CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

In between snatches of brilliance (Bo Diddley, the Sunrays) Bill globs on a whole lotta tossaway gunk that an't even fit enough for your retarded cousin's basket-weaving class!

But I like it, everything from "vanity entertainer" Dora Hall's "Engine #9 to Hank and Jimmy doing the late-fifties singing due schtick in the most pedestrian manner imaginable to a Japanese take on the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows". Sure the obv. BATMAN cop entitled "Chickenman" (who certainly ain't no Batwing I'll tell ya) flops all over and how many versions of the "Third Man Theme" do you need, but at least we get some fun li'l turdbits like a Chuck Berry medley and a neato instrumental by an act called the Eagles who don't reek Southern California cocaine karma like I know you thought they would.

Funniest track---Angelina's "He Forgot His Rubbers" which is double entendre enough for you, me and your high school English teacher because it was taken from an album fulla durty songs with titles like "All The Girls Love Big Dick" and "My Pussy Belongs To Daddy"! A great way to celebrate the Easter Holiday, dontcha think? Now you know what to get Aunt Mabel and Unca Ferd for their anniversary, and if they brain ya don't come cryin' to me!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

BOOK REVIEW! THE CREEPER by Steve Ditko (DC, 2010)

After pouring through all of those Steve Ditko comics I wrote about three weeks back, I figured that I needed more of the man's comics in my life. So I did what I thought was best and latched onto this recent collection of every Ditko delineated CREEPER story that appeared under the DC imprint from the late-sixties until the late-seventies. There really weren't that many of these tasty tales made (the original series ran about seven issues and his Ditko-manned reappearances in the seventies only nine) so let's just say that this tome for our times makes for a nice 'n handy collection, especially for those of us who never did get enough of that good ol' ranch house fifties-sixties-seventies living and wanna make up for lost time before we're stuck at the Abundant Life rest home in a coma and the stoopid doctors there are pumping in disco day and night because that's what they think us old timers like!

Yeah the Creeper just ain't as legendary as that other Ditko creation SPIDER-MAN, but at least he left the Stan Lee-approved angst and imperfection back at Marvel where it belonged! Jack Ryder's a recently-fired tee-vee host who, while undercover at a mob costume party dressed up like a refugee from a gay pride parade, gets brutally stabbed when discovered. An Iron Curtain scientist who is been kidnaped by the badboys saves Ryder's life by injecting a new serum that causes not only the wound to instantly heal but a big upkick in strength, agility, energy and other superhero qualities. Oh, and before that wound healed the good doc slipped in this much-coveted device which can make Ryder's identity change from the costumed crimefighter into his real self (later on it's revealed that the Creeper costume is stuck on him and for good!) with the mere click of an activator making those quick-changes a whole lot more easier'n they were on THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. In all a pretty neato origin story regarding a hero that I believe Ditko later re-vamped as Shag!

There's very little of the infamous late-sixties Ditko editorializing that you found creeping into his latterday SPIDER-MAN work or even the BLUE BEETLE title at Charlton (let alone Ditko's more commercial comic book friendly take on MR. A. entitled THE QUESTION). The only whiff of socio-politico pontificating I can locate is in the origin story where the still employed Ryder is poo-pooing Dr. Clayton Wetley, a thinly-disguised (I'll betcha!) take on Fredric Wertham who is going on an anti-violence tear that seems rather sympatico with the same line of thinking that got DICK TRACY dropped from the local paper back inna late-sixties. Oddly enough Wetley doesn't make it beyond this story like I thought he would (he does come off as a standard Ditko do-gooder type who woulda made for an irritating aside in the comic's run) and neither do the standard Ditko gadflies who popped up in the reams of his personalist work...I do find it really strange reading one of these sagas where the Ditko protagonist doesn't give a dying criminal a discourse on "A is A" as he slips into the sleep that knows no dawn, but I kinda get the feeling the Comics Code Authority wouldn't have gone for that!

These stories are better'n the usual late-sixties DC standard superhero sagas which at times were suffering from the ol' run down and let's try to copy the Marvel Comics format feeling. Even the ones where Denny O'Neill (the mastermind behind the short-lived and tres-relevant GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW early seventies revamp) took over the writing chores ain't as righteous as I thought they would be after reading those Ditko/Robin Snyder newsletters which stated otherwise. And hey, even though the series barely made it into 1969 I will say that what was done in these comics and done in such a relatively short time does rank with the better moments of Silver/Bronze Age funnybook hijinx and that include the top notch stuff that Marvel had been doing at least up until Stan Lee decided to retire and suddenly it seemed as if SPIDER-MAN had become nothing more than a spokesman for Hostess Pies.

I didn't have much hope for the seventies CREEPER revival but the ones here seem to pick up as if there weren't a good eight or so years between stories. A little clarification was in order---the mysterious burgh that Jack Ryder/Creeper were working in was none other than Gotham City (I guess this was brought out in a non-Ditko scratched issue of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD where the guy teamed up with none other'n Gotham's really favorite creep Batman) which kinda makes me wonder how the same hero could work in the same city at least in the old DC universe! But in Gotham City he was, and I will admit that it sure was great to read something in a late-seventies DC title that didn't try too hard to be cutting edge or just plain down pat retread (not that it's any worse than the social consciousness-packed dribble we are still constantly bombarded with even at a time when these people should know better...).

So if you like to read about a clean-cut early-sixties savvy kinda guy who lives in a world of sideburns and caterpillar mustaches and turn into freaky mop-topped hero with the click of a switch this 'un might the the one to pick. One for your goof off time reading list, and it does go well on a day off from my mid-Amerigan responsibilities along with the usual old time tee-vee shows and a spin or three of NUGGETS...who sez late-sixties suburban slobdom is dead!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sorry. I just feel down in the dumps gloomy right now. Sure I put out a fantastic post (with some rather exhilarating writeups I might add---in fact some of the best dribble I've posted in at least six months!) and the influx of interesting and downright hotcha recordings and mooms (courtesy of Bill Shute) is keeping me occupied when I could be doing less moral things with myself, but-----let's face it-----no matter how much I stamp my foot and try to pretend otherwise it just ain't 1962 out there anymore!!! I didn't want to admit this because hey, I don't want YOU to get all gloomy about it as well. But let's face it---'62's a good fifty-three years in the past, and come to think of it so is good tee-vee, hotcha rock 'n roll radio (and don't you argue otherwise!), snazzy cars, good looking females and a clear knowledge of right (the self, property rights, morality) vs. wrong (dykes and fairies and all that stuff Ten Years After warned us about)! I might as well also throw in the pre-Vatican II church, but I think you knew that already. Let's face it, 1962 might have had tee-vee tubes that blew out leaving you entertainment-less for a few days and a quicker death due to heart disease and terminal illnesses we can now conquer or control, but it didn't have brand new episodes of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER or twelve-cent SUPERMAN comic books to keep your relatively sane self from turning into the next Joan Baez.

At least the following recordings keep me from going totally bonkers over the travails of trying to live a ranch house suburban slob life in a Compassion Inc. world. Got some real hot newies here (and a couple oldies that were floating about) you just might want to read a li'l about. And face it, one sentence of my pontificating o'er even the cruddiest of Cee-Dee pile finds is way more invigorating than entire posts regarding the post-punk mewlings of some introspective losers that them other blogs toss at you like turds flinging from an Amish horse at full gallop!


Francis the Great-RAVISSANTE BABY LP (Hot Casa Germany, available via Forced Exposure)

Hot outta nowhere surprise of the week's this reissue of a pretty obscuro mid-seventies album that was recorded by a seven-year-old Cameroonian kid transplanted to Paree. Not only did this progeny (that's a malapropism, son!) write both of the side-long tracks that grace this longplayer but he sings 'em with his definitely pre-pubesprout voice that makes Speedy Alkaseltzer sound like he has balls! An' hey, this single-digit wizard is tops in my book not only for his absolute gushing of talent beyond his years but for recording a platter that stands up with some of my fave raves, what with is primitive drone beats and overall mesmerizing sounds that you can really snuggle up and get into whether you're reading old DICK TRACY comic strips or doing an extra-deep wipe. It's that engrossing!

Title track's a wowzer, the same hypnotico (dare I say at the risk of sounding like an amerindie doof Velvet Underground-ish?) riff repeated ad-afanablum sukering you into its web while Francis adds his voice to the fray in his native Camaroon tongue. It kinda conjures up the same maddening effect one gets listening to "Up In Her Room", "Sister Ray" or "Persian Surgery Dervishes" on those hot 'n sticky August nights right before the tornado hits your hovel. If this is the basis for all of that seventies African rock that's getting reissued then count me in for a Missionary trip to the darkest part of Africa, and don't forget the electric guitars!

On the flip Francis goes hot funk with a riff that recalls "Greenfield Morning" offa YOKO ONO/PLASTIC ONO BAND where Our Hero sings about a typically second-grade-ish love of nature. Kinda incongruous since listening to this music I somehow conjure up dank inner city streets or those blaxploitation mooms that alla the cool kids (white and black) wanted to go see back during my years of passage from insecure kiddiedom to even more insecure adulthood back inna seventies, but then again I sure wish I heard more of this kinda music during that best/worst of times decade and less of that Anastasia Pantsios-approved tough women in rock who'd probably cry if they broke a fingernail crap.

Of course it's a top notch winner (ranks with the primalness of the Stooges so it IS that good!) that'll set you back quite a penny given these ain't exactly showin' up at your local supermarket. Maybe if you're lucky (and cheap enough) someone'll post this via youtube but until then save your plasma money!
***
Red Noise-SARCELLES-LOCHERES LP; Mahogany Brain-WITH (JUNK-SAUCEPAN) WHEN (SPOON-TRIGGER) LP (Souffle Continu Records France, available via Forced Exposure)

Wow, two of the wilder, punkier efforts to come out on the legendary French-based Futura label during the early-seventies are once again available, and not only that but Souffle Continu (who are handling these and other Futura efforts) did a painstakingly powerful job doin' 'em up right from the top notch sound and pressing to the impressive gatefold sleeves. Of course they too are rather pricey, but maybe if you act like you're having a spasm at the welfare office they'll dish out a li'l more moolah your way.

Red Noise sound fantab here compared with the youtube burn I got, coming off like a mad dash of Captain Beefheart filtered through Eric Dolphy with a whole load of late-sixties punk rock points tossed in to remind you of that teenage band down the road whose rehearsal got put to a halt after dad stuffed up the cracks, hitched the exhaust pipe of his '59 Lark to a vacuum cleaner tube and pumped it in! Some Fugs-y craziness also ensues both in the Frog and English language, but it doesn't get in the way of this overall crazed effort that really does live up to all of your 1968-75 punk expectations with a slew of atonal freeform tossed here and about. And hey, if the Titfield Thunderbolt put an album out it probably would have sounded a whole lot like this! Don't let the Zappa goatee on the front fool ya---this is primal rock 'n rot that (as one French crit put it) has reference points in such stellar acts as the Velvets, MC5 and Plastic Ono Band!

Mahogany Brain need no introduction to those of us who have scoured the earth looking for the spiritual successor to the WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT blare reduced to something that even makes NO NEW YORK sound happyhappy in comparison. Band leader Michel Bulteau and his crew scrape blooze licks and harmonica farts seemingly in a most indiscriminate way that makes most of those eighties art rock expressions sound totally self-centered amateurish. About one step removed (in the right direction) from even such out there seventies anti-rock acts as Teenage Jesus and the Jerks (who sound structured next to this crew!), and come to think of it former co-leader Patrick Geoffris was an early-eighties Contortion so it did all "come around" like we always knew it would.

More adventurous (and richer) readers might wanna get the limited edition color vinyl versions, but penny-counting me just stuck with the good ol' black stuff. Either way these'll make you really happy, or get a hefty price put on my head after someone parts with a good $44 (for both) and feels they've been had and but good!
***
Other Dimensions in Music w/Matthew Shipp-TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE IS BEYOND TIME CD (Aum Fidelity)

Dunno why this '97 slab didn't tickle my hammer'n stirrups back when I first spun it o'er a good decade back. Musta been onna male rag at the time because is something that I sure coulda used more of during the past twennysome (plus) years than the reams of precocious amerindie platters done up by a buncha Poppy Family wannabes who thought they were channeling the Velvet Underground through Gordon Gano's sphincter.

Multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter (who also popped up in Freedomland and the beauteous Storm  (I do hope somebody preserved this racket!) lends his talents via saxophones, flute and trumpet while Roy Campbell Jr. (another big star of the old CBGB Lounge Freestyle series) does a pretty good job  himself. No Ayler he, but then again he ain't no David Sanborn! Freedomland's William Parker handles the bass chores while Rashid Bakr, the original Blue Humans drummer himself is present making this like a supergroup of a substance and form that could put Penelope Playtex to shame!

Oh yeah, pianist Matthew Shipp sat in here and he doesn't get in the way even if he is a white interloper. Comes off less Cecil Taylor and more Burton Greene albeit a more restrained one, but it all works copasetic-like as if these guys had their antennae tuned to the same brainwaves and could bounce off each others' impulses like something outta TWILIGHT ZONE. In many ways this reminds me of that free group recording from '62 with Greene and Alan Silva that also deserves another spin, and if you think I'm gonna ignore any other other ODIM releases (have at least one stashed here in the closet along with a whole slew of fag relatives) you are most sadly mistaken!
***
Francois Tusques/Don Cherry-LA MAISON FILLE DU SOLIEL 7-inch 45 rpm single (Cacophonic France, available via Forced Exposure)

Weirdo (if neat) '64 sides recorded by French multi-instrumentalist Tusques (here plunking on his main instro piano) along with bigtime great Cherry and somebody other than Bernard Guerin on contrabass (though he does get credit). The three perform what could best be called chamber free jazz that sounds as if it were recorded on reel-to-reel in either a rehearsal hall or one of the cheaper studios in the vicinity. Coolsville, but why is this a single 'stead of a longplayer (I assume there's more...and yeah, I know that this is a reish of one of the rarest free jazz singles extant) and what was the Le Corbusier exhibit this was recorded for about anyway? Matters that deserve to be discussed true. but if you wanna part with a good fourteen smackers for a free jazz single you couldn't do better'n this.
***
MORGAN TAYLOR'S ROCK GROUP CD (no label)

Twas wondering how much this early oh-oh's underground-y platter held up considering I hadn't spun the thing since first reviewing it in the pages of my long-capsized crudzine. Turns out that these Morgan Taylor's Rock Group people still sound as fresh and as late-sixties Greg Shaw special power pop issue of BOMP! as I remembered...sure there's a trace of twee in the vocals, and some of the melodies ruin the impression of seventies veneration of sixties moves but this is still solid enough (even on the softer, introspective numbers) to remind you of the hope you had in the earlier part of this century for the hope you held in the eighties for the hope you held in the seventies that somehow the better aspects of sixties rock would once again rear its crazy head.

Morgan Taylor can get a little too introspective irritating (with his vox and compositions) true, but even the softer numbers don't grate as much as they should perhaps because here in 2015 they sound as retrospectively refreshing as they did when this was released in 2002. Overall the group reminds me of the long-gone Pezband who were treading a similar post-Raspberries groove and got washed over in the tide of late-seventies triteness despite all of their (and Cary Baker's) best efforts. Surprisingly Midwest sounding, which don't quite figure since these guys are En Why See born and bred and in fact used to frequent CBGB plenty during that haunt's final half decade.

Too bad I can't tell you where to get this since their website has been taken down presumably LONG ago. Maybe a seek and ye shall find rah-rah should be in order. Go for it because you have done worse many a time.
***
Various Artists-DUSTY LIMEHOUSE VALLEY CD-r burn (Bill Shute Enterprises)

This one doesn't tingle my taters the way previous Bill burns do, but I like it anyway so there! Starts off strong with a track by the Buckinghams which is actually good enough that it could have popped up on a NUGGETS-styled compilation of the very-early eighties and fit in snug-like, and the cover of the String-A-Longs' "Wheels" by some unknown Canadian outfit is just as cornball good as the original. The rest vacillates between fair 'nough and eh!, though if you're that bugs over early-sixties misses and country good tries you might like this. The little commercial jingle thingies Bill stuck here and there did help ooze those long-repressed feelings of single-digit doofdom so maybe I shouldn't be acting like the louse ingrate that I'm certainly coming off like!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

MAGAZINE REVIEW! FLASHBACK #6 (Winter 2014)

I once said that other'n UGLY THINGS I can't really osmose these new retro-rock magazines that seem to have all of the knowledge at hand but very little of the motion needed to get the facts and fancy across to us thick-skulled readers! FLASHBACK is different, and this latest ish is one more reason for you to not hermetically seal yourself into your fart-encrusted bedroom with enough fanzines, comic books, records and a subscription to one of those old tee-vee show substations to last you a lifetime. Or at least until you have to come out because the air in your room is getting a little too foul even for you.

Cover stars for this sixth issue are none other'n Sam Gopal of ESCALATOR fame, the same Sam Gopal who not only recorded for the infamous Stable label but had none other'n Lemmy Willis/Kilminster of Hawkwind/Motorhead fame in his ranks. As you'd hopefully expect this piece is pretty mind-bending and in-depth what with all the engrossing twists and turns to be found therein, and surprisingly enough there's a current photo of Mr. Gopal included in this article and boy does he look like Sammy Davis Jr.!

There are other pieces of great interest to those of a late-sixties mentality including those on Bill Fay (who I never heard of prior to picking this magazine up), TEENSET magazine (sorta like a bopper rag with a stronger social consciousness) and even an old Jimmy Page interview from FUSION magazine and they're all heavily mandatory in the reading department, along with the tons of record, book, Dee-Vee-Dee and whatnot writeups just begging you to separate a whole lotta hard-begged from your chained up wallet (that is, if you can afford to find these woosh-where-did-they-go reissues.

My own personal favorites this ish happen to be the article on the David which really tells all about this mysterious group that still captivates ya like all of those great sixties albums should, as well as the interview with none other than James Williamson of the Stooges who doesn't say much in the way of anything we haven't heard before, but oh the way he tells it! Really sends you back to that night at Max's Kansas City when Alice Cooper hadda rush ol' Iggy to the EMX which even Robert Plant wouldn't've done!

Kinda pricey true, but then again what else are you gonna be spending your moolah on these days, food and shelter? Definitely a magazine to contend with, and considering just how scarce good rock 'n roll reading has become these days it ain't like you have much choice between this 'un and my own scribblings, eh?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Well, here we are at the start of another week, and as I would suspect it's probably not gonna be that much different from any of the other weeks we've been experiencing these past three or so decades. No skin off my apple really, because I gotta admit that I kinda enjoy the nada-ness of everyday life (except for the work part natch!) especially when it comes to settling back to watch an old episode of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN or eating some dried squid snack I got while visiting an Asian grocery store in Pittsburgh. That's what I call high-living, and if you don't think so you can always go out and save the world, usually ruining it in the process as most do-gooders have these past hundred-some years. I'll just stay indoors and do my suburban slob duty which is a whole lot more CONSTRUCTIVE'n anything you peace corpse types would dare come up with I'll betcha! Now if I can only get some other ranch house ravers like myself together so maybe we could join a club where all we do is sit around, gobble greasy teenage fast foods, read old comic books, talk about all the fun we shoulda had inna old days and watch a surprise tee-vee fave that nobody remembers...it might not set the world on fire but think of the thrills we'll have accusing each other of cheating during a game of MONOPOLY!!!
***
Anyway here are the reviews, a good batch if I do say so myself...all newies to mine ears and only two of 'em are gimmes which does make me kinda proud knowin' that I'm not the mooch that I sometimes make myself out to be. Personally I think I did a fantab job of it myself so if you hear some steady rhythm that's not a drum machine pounding away...it's just me patting myself on the back!


Roxy Music-THREE AND NINE CD bootleg (Virtuoso, Japan)

Hoohah! Remember when you were a teenbo boy and you not only hadda worry about sneaking your copy of COUNTRY LIFE into your record collection but into the bathroom when Mother Nature was tellin' ya it was rock clockin' time? Well here's a new Roxy Music Cee-Dee that'll bring back alla those horny memories not only with a front cover featuring more bare flesh for your thigh sighin' thrills, but other outtakes scattered about that'll really have you relivin' those strange days of yore when you hadda check the palms of your mitts to see if they needed a trim!

THREE AND NINE's a fantastico artyfact of mid-seventies Roxy that was recorded around the time us Amerigan nimnuls were just beginning to catch on despite the futile efforts of Greg Shaw and Alan Niestor. Live in Paris during November of '74 you can tell that Roxy are in fine form what with their promoting their latest effort to a typically appreciative Roxy crowd, and if you're one who thinks that they hit their post-Eno height on COUNTRY LIFE (like I do!) you'll appreciate this 'un all the more.

True the songs sound just like they do on the album and when they don't (like during Eddie Jobson's rather pedestrian violin solo on "If There Is Something ") you might be yawning more'n you should, but THREE AND NINE captures everything that was hotcha and exciting about Roxy Music when they were pumping out rather sexoid art rock that seemed to gather fans from most of the rock spectrum, even factions you'd never thought would agree on anything ever!

One good thing about SIX AND NINE's the sound quality which, although not soundboard by any stretch of the imagination, is rather crisp making me wonder if technology has somehow found a way to make those cruddy live shows of yore sound as good as any late-fifties hi-fi effort you can come up with. If so, please direct me to the nearest studio because I have more'n a few cassettes hangin' around that certainly could use a major sound beefup, and maybe some sorta release if there happens to be a market for live 8-Balls recordings.
***
Bolder Damn-MOURNING LP (Guersson Spain, available via Forced Exposure)

Being in a particularly ravenous early-seventies hard rock mood I bought this 'un with the impression that Ft. Lauderdale's Bolder Damn would be a true Third Generation thunderer in the tradition of Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath. All I got was mid-energy musings that reminded me of Grand Funk Railroad more'n anything rabid. Like the Funksters it ain't bad, but after listening to the vast array of various heavy competitors who were able to get their recordings out during the seventies Bolder Damn just don't measure up with their comparatively commercial (and thus watered down) approach. Don't get me wrong because this is a good album that does contain a few snatches of hard rock hysteria, but after listening to Cooper, Sabs, the Stooges and Dust it's just leftovers.
***
Populare Mechanik-KOLLEKTION 03: POPULARE MECHANIK COMPILED BY HOLGER HILLER CD (Bureau B, available via Forced Exposure)

Populare Mechanik were Ton Steine Scherben founding member Wolfgang Seidel's early-eighties new wave band, and if you're of the thought that the one-time German radical was going all Rock Lobster Armagideon Time over us think again! Seidel not only borrows from the early electronic krautrock of Conrad Schnitzler's freeform Zodiac Club work of the late-sixties but various experiments of the new wave era both obtuse and not, making for a platter that you kinda get the feeling woulda gotten mucho space in OP's cassette culture column had this stuff only gotten out more than it had. Some of it is entertaining even to my jaded ears (sorta like cubist jazz) while other moments had me bored silly, but I get the feeling that this is one that'll really grown on me more'n those skin blebs the docs won't remove from my eyelids. One thing I'll say...if you were expecting the proto-punk neo-amateur approach of the first TSS album you'll be in for quite a short-skidding surprise!
***
Derek Rogers-DEPTH/DETAIL OF PROCESSING CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions)

This guy's been absent from the KSE imprint for quite some time so it's sure nice giving a listen to Derek Rogers' electronic scronk again (sure he has dozens of these things out but like, I prefer mine FREE!). Mesmerizing washing machine drone gives way to a tide of static and even a bit of mid-seventies Obscure Records chance operations sparseness, and there's even one track ("An Illusion, Albeit") that kinda sounds defective to these ears though in all probability it ain't. In all, quite engrossing, enveloping and perhaps even forward-looking. If you're a big fan of those reincarnated Faust recordings this will certainly light up your gaseous exhaust.
***
Ed Blackwell-THE COMPLETE REMASTERED RECORDINGS ON BLACK SAINT & SOUL NOTE 8-CD set (Black Saint/Soul Note Italy, available via Forced Exposure)

The guy mighta been real hot stuff back when he was whoopin' it up with Ornette, but on these Black Saint platters Blackwell ain't really anything that would connect with me in that visceral, primal fashion. Even when performing with old hands like Karl Berger or David Murray as a leader or sideman, these albums just drip of same-old in a frighteningly staid way. Heck, I even gotta admit that the Old and New Dreams Ornette without Ornette stuff comes off stale which is something I never dreamed would have happened in a millyun years even if these reunion attempts are usually bust from the get-go. There's much better Blackwell to be heard, and unfortunately it ain't here!
***
Various Artists-EVERYWHERE CHAINSAW SOUND CD (Feed The Mind, available via Forced Exposure)

Here's a reish (also available on plastic) that came out in the early eighties during the height of the underground six-oh reissue hubbub, and if you missed it the first time around don't feel too bad because I did as well! Of course, being a limited edition release and all it wasn't like you were gonna find EVERYWHERE CHAINSAW SOUND at your local cutout bin, but for those of us unlucky enough to miss out on it the first time here's another chance to snatch up a copy of an album that you probably would have appreciated a whole lot more back then but this is now and like, it ain't gonna hurt you to listen to the thing.

The original package was a sparse affair, but this reissue does the entire thing up much better with actual liner notes you can read while your personal favorite punk rockers spin away. The sound is rather mid-fi as if this was recorded off the original album, and to that I saw great! Because like hey, this is the way most suburban slobs heard the originals on their ranch house consoles and what makes you think you're better'n any of them anyhow?

Hot selection here...the PEBBLES well hadn't run dry by this time so there were still a whole slew of un-comped platters that were years away from reissue begging to be unleashed on a new punk rock generation. Names familiar to us reg'lars from the Electric Prunes (coming on pretty strong in one of their last gasps before Axlerod fired the whole lot of 'em!) to the Spokesmen (of "Dawn of Correction" fame), the Music Explosion and even Link Wray and the Raymen doing their Beatles swipe show up, as do various PEBBLES leftovers and a few comparatively obscuros who sound mighty powerful in this stew. It all makes for a pleasant oleo that holds up much stronger than many of those later on collections which, although far superior to the eighties drek that was being pushed at the time, still seemed like bottom of the barrel scrapings compared with the rush you got spinning those early PEBBLES and BOULDERS incessantly during the seventies-eighties cusp.

But man, it's always boffo playing those raw and alive singles by going nowhere acts with names like Ken and the Fourth Dimension and the Original Dukes who seemed to understand the all-important zeitgeist of the mid-sixties rock explosion even more'n the Beatles. Hard rush one/two-chord rock like this always has a special place in my collection, and although many wonks consider the mid-sixties the big stepping stone to even greater accomplishment in the latter portion of that decade I find what eventually happened pure denouement. Few late-sixties groups retained the energy, snot and downright onslaught of these early punk rockers and if you too wanna WEEP over what we had (music as pure adrenaline rush) and lost (acoustic front porch jams) then just give this 'un a spin and THINK DEEPLY.
***
Various Artists-BIG CAT CAROLINA CRUISE CD-r burn (Bill)

Except for a few country and gospel diversions this 'un lays down a hefty early-sixties vibe that'll make you wanna hunker down for an evening of REAL McCOYS and McHALE'S NAVY-type programming before slipping into your Doctor Denton's for a nice slumber in your WAGON TRAIN bed. The non-teenage rock 'n roll stuff's boss from a swingin' holy roller via Freddie Branch to a truck-drivin ode to greenies from Danny Edwards, but the far off the charts singles here really made a wowzing impression on my still stuck in turdler psychological mode. From Ricki and the Alternates' "Angel Baby" swipe to Jack and the Jumpin' Jacks/Contrasts' 1961 popsters, this 'un is proof that even the less rock 'n rollin' music to come outta the pre-Beatles sixties was a whole lot more down-to-earth 'n kicking than what most snob rock revisionists would want you to believe. And for ya fudgie types there's even a single by a pre-fame Lou Christie here so don't say yer being ignored, you thilly things you!