Saturday, February 28, 2015

No I am not feeling any more chipper'n I have been the past few months! Rilly, how could anyone rampage through the dismal doldrums of winter w/o feeling kinda cooped up and caved in like I do at this very moment---sheesh, at least when I was younger I had loads of tee-vee reruns (as well as fresh produce that was worth the time 'n effort) to eyeball, not to mention somebody in the abode who was willing to play a rough 'n tumble round of Monopoly with me during them wintry days when cabin fever was near rampant! Nowadays I can't even get up a second for an engrossing Pop-A-Matic game 'round here, and frankly if it weren't for my ever-growing collection of classic tee-vee series on Dee-Vee-Dee not to mention about fortysome years of comic strip/book originals and reprints I'd probably be reverting to that other oldtime kiddo hobby I've engaged in a little more frequently than anyone on this earth should. And lemme tell you even that pastime is open to debate since the Vaseline Intensive Care is running rather low!
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Probably the biggest thrill to hit me this week was the dream I had last Wednesday night where, believe it or not, I was asked to perform with the Sun Ra Arkestra who just happened to be playing at where else but my old high school, unfortunately not on a double bill with Woodchopper's Ball or Slipstream. It was to be a weird sorta concert where various "unknowns", myself included, were to perform with the Arkestra, and of course I was honored to have been amongst the chosen. But given that I was supposed to play a bass clarinet along with a flute or two which are I sure do not know how to play (nor was I provided with any of the instruments I was supposed to play) I was getting nervous about performing at this concert which seemed to be set up more like a banquet room than a jazz venue. Thus, I relegated my duties to some young gal who I somehow knew could play these instruments...how I knew along with as to why we were to play as if we were seated at a cafeteria is just another one of those dream logic things I can't tell you about at this time since I'm now awake.

But the best part of the dream was when I told Sun Ra himself that at this very school I submitted a term paper which misspelled his name as "Sien Ra" due to my sister's inability to read my manuscript. That got us all laughing up and down the dreamsphere so it wasn't like the evening was a total bust!
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As you were expecting, here am some of the things I've been listening to this past week. Please don't hold it against them:


Weasel Walter/Chris Pitsiokos-DRAWN AND QUARTERED LP (One Hand Records)

Haven't heard from the likes of Weasel Walter for quite awhile, so this entry into his ever-expanding discography is definitely something that made me sit up and take noogies. I know I'm up for a major flaying just by saying this, but Walter's drumming abilities have improved (or is it the warm vinyl sound bringing forth the best in his oeuvre?) to the point where even longtime trailblazers like Sunny Murray come off half-there, and am I hallucinating it or does Chris Pitsiokos sound like the logical extension of Joseph Jarman, Anthony Braxton and the rest of those mid-seventies even newer-than-new trailblazers who were making it so big even DOWN BEAT couldn't ignore them? If you're a guy who still recall fondly your various mail order catalogs from Delmark, Inner City and Muse you may just cozy up to this li'l last-stop-can't-go-any-further-than-THIS jazz release.
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FIVE DOLLAR SHOES LP (Neighborhood)

Given the tip o' the hat this 'un got in the third issue of SPOONFUL (btw, rip to SUNSHINE's Dennis Metrano, dead at age 72) where editor Fred Whitlock wrote on about how what with the Flamin' Groovies holidaying in England these guys were gonna take their place o'er HERE, you could say that  I was certainly in for the Five Dollar Shoes real deal! So naturally I snatched this 'un up under the impression that these Shoes were yet another forgotten early-seventies fave in the Hackamore Brick/Sidewinders vein, but unfortunately this was not to be the case. Five Dollar Shoes're more in the mid-seventies El Lay/Stepson watered down hard rock category, sounding like some guys who took what they perceived were the better moments of STICKY FINGERS and re-did 'em with much of the grit and crud taken outta the mix. And they looked so glam rock cool too but then again, what can you expect from the same record label that gave you Melanie???
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Ben Vaughn-TEXAS ROAD TRIP CD-r burn (originally on Munster, Spain)

For those of us who were around when "My First Band" was lighting up the review section of many a fanzine it's pretty nice to find out that Ben Vaughn is still up 'n about making records like this 'un. Authentic-sounding country-tinged sounds here, music that makes alla that pathetic "new" country and "roots" rock heard these past thirtysome years sound rather potty-poopie to me. Kinda reminds me of classic Sir Douglas Quintet in spots, or perhaps some of those latterday Alex Chilton records that kinda caught us by surprise back when those obscure albums of his were comin' out back inna late-eighties. True it ain't something that's gonna be gettin' the constant repeato-spins the way Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers do, but still this is a hotcha-gotcha MODERN DAY rock 'n roll platter that unfortunately's gonna get tossed aside like nothing since the Electric Eels! A big heaping thanks to Paul McGarry for sendin' this, he being a man who would obviously want to listen to this a whole lot more than he would Beethoven's Second Movement Because He Didn't Pay the Rent.
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Henry Cowell-THE PIANO MUSIC OF HENRY COWELL CD-r burn (originally on Folkways)

Wouldja believe I've never heard anything by Cowell before (or at least I don't recall having)? Of course you would, considering how you all think I'm a turd-huffin' backwoods inbred who just ain't as INSPIRED as you all think you is. But better late'n never I say, and this '63 release (on the usually broken tooth hillbilly Folkways label) is a pretty snazzy introduction to this early avant gardist's piano music. Yeah some of it is a bit outside the sphere of usual BLOG TO COMM concerns (sheesh, some may even think it sounds line gnu age on a testosterone high) but when the chording get atonal and Cowell HIMSELF begins plucking the inner strings just like you used to do as a turdler (only nobody slaps Cowell's hands for doing so) there's some rather other-worldly sounds comin' outta that piece of furniture that yer momma made you practice a good hour a day on. Best track: "The Banshee", a 1925 composition that features a whole load of string strumming and other manipulations that shows just how much John Cage was inspired by (or should that be "swiped from") Cowell! (Thanks be to Bill Shute for da edjakashin!)
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Birds of Maya-VOL. 1 CD-r burn (originally on Holy Mountain)

Even MORE heavy riffage than the Black Sabbath they emulate could have dared produce! Enough wah-wah to keel over just about every teenage 1969 combo extant! Enough distortion to make Blue Cheer sound like Windham Hill and turn Jimi Hendrix white!!! It's hard to believe that Philadelphia could have produced a fine and hearty act like this but it has, and its got the power to wither at least ten Pantsios (give or take a few Christgaus) with one mighty BLAST!
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Various Artists-GUIDE DOGS AND BARTENDERS CD-r (A Bill Shute Barbershop Production)

This 'un doesn't quite spark the way previous funzy-packed Bill burns have, but then again can even each and every one of these BLOG TO COMM posts be gems (near all of 'em are, I say!)??? Lotsa downhome middle-Amerigan tracks from the likes ot Rex Zarion, Bob Sigveland as well as Sanford Clark appear, though the ones that really piqued my pucker (sounds durty, do'nit???) were the Cryan Shames (of NUGGETS fame) doin' some late-sixties psych excursion as well as Link Wray's "Black Widow" which ain't exactly new to mine ears but hey, better to hear it here than ne'er hear it at all! Also of interest are these early Ronnie Hawkins sides for those of you who want to hear what he was doing before he met up with John Lennon, Karl Denver for those of you who want to hear what he was doing before he met up with the Deviants, and this blind guy playing accordion and singing about his guide dog at the Beaulah Sea-View Inn in Yachats, Oregon and no, I didn't make that up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BOOK REVIEW! LOVERS OF CINEMA, THE FIRST AMERICAN AVANT GARDE 1919-1945, edited by Ian-Christopher Horak (The University of Wisconsin Press, 1995)

Ever since I first discovered the concept and ideas behind the avant-garde (soon to be "underground") film via some tee-vee comedy skit where a skeptical Alan King was pitted against Paul Lynde as an Andy Warhol knockoff, I must admit that I've had the compulsion to wanna know more and more about them silly things. And rilly, if I had this book in the palm of my hands 'stead of something else back when I was a mid-teen mutant I might have been driven to the local art house (too young to drive myself) if only to see some of these self-produced wonders which certainly woulda had a bigger effect of me then than they do a good thirtysome years later.

Then again this book, being a collection of writings regarding the first era of the US of Whoa film avant garde (roughly early twennies to World War II), is about as erratic as you'd expect from such a compilation. Sure it's really info packed with little turdlets of history that I never knew of (such as the existence of an actual film studio that was to specialize in expressionist films 'n nothing else!), but it's also packed with loads of filmic insight here and cinematic gloss there to the point where you'd think that everybody connected with this book down to the gofer at the publishing house stilll drools uncontrollable strings o' sputum every they see Charlie Chaplin do that li'l dance with the forks and rolls in THE GOLD RUSH.

For those who've poured over Parker Tyler's UNDERGROUND FILM book and sat through a halfway-decent film history class which decided to deviate from the norm, you just might appreciate it at least a li'l smidgen more. Like I said, this book does fill in some of the gaps and mentions quite a few filmmakers who may have been wooshed over in previous books, and the interesting info that does pop up comes as a surprise especially considering some of the respect and ADMIRATION these movies, usually made by relative nobodies working on budgets about as skimpy as the Kuchar Brothers', were getting. Even to this day I can't imagine a film like Watson and Webber's LOT IN SODOM finding any sort of showing outside of a few film clubs, at least without the legion of old ladies picketing some screening because of the bare butts and flagrant fairies to be found therein.

Leaves you wanting to know more too such as what was the deal with Christopher Young whose OBJECT LESSON remains one of those early experimental films that seem ripped from your turdler years sense of addled wonder, and when will the films of Francis Lee be made available if they aren't already. But if you can still ooze early wonderment thrills from seeing SCORPIO RISING or some Warhol flick inna college basement a zillion years back you might have a reason to settle back 'n enjoy this 'un.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Yeah I will admit it...this winter is getting me more twisted inna guts what with alla the snow we're havin' as of late (actually, the past two months!) but considering how I can get uptight 'n bothered even during the sunniest days of summer maybe I shouldn't complain.

Then again, if there was something worthwhile to gab about  in this opening schpiel maybe I wouldn't have to stoop so low as to bring up such a mundane subject as the weather! Well, maybe I could mention the recent passing of Leslie Gore if I wanted to be current events up to date 'n all about it, but given the fact that all of those rumors Don Fellman told me about her were finally found out to be true I'm sure you once-adolescent boys back 1963 way would be mighty disappointed to discover that the only man she ever kissed really was her daddy! Sometimes its best not to know about the more disgusting things in life though, y'know???

Whaddeva, here are a buncha FRESHER'N YER MOMMY'S RAG things I gotta listen to this week which I believe fit in snug-like as far as BLOG TO COMM ass-thetics go, and if you don't particularly care for this batch o' bile may I suggest a variety of hot and moist orifices that you'd most be comfortable snuggling your more-cultured-than-thou face into?


Henry Grimes/Roberto Pettinato/Tyshawn Sorey/Dave Burrell-PURITY CD-r burn (originally on Sony)

It's amazing to me that such a powerful, life-reaffirming release such as this could have been recorded and released during the definitely post-everything year of 2011 but it has, and perhaps it sounds as good as it does because two old hands (Dave Burrell and Henry Grimes) are part of this rather on-edge band. The newer players (reedist Pettinato and drummer Sorey) aren't slouches either, and it's sure great hearing the ghosts of the original free era crash into newer loftier form making for a sound and attitude that you thought would have been BANNED a good thirtysome years back! Coltrane cum Ayler lines collide with Taylor piano sprees, and Grimes' bass playing is even freer than on the stuff he did during his ESP days if you can imagine that. A verifiable ear-opener for those of you who still sniffle uncontrollable tears of despair due to the demise of Dee Pop's Freestyle Series oh so long ago.
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Figures of Light-THE NEBRASKA SESSIONS CD (available via CD Baby)

Gee, more new Figures of Light recordings for our rockist regurgitation! These particular tracks were recorded in '07 and consist of the first Figures tracks laid down since the original group capitulated, and although we've heard them numbuhs before and they don't sound much different than the ones that came out on those Norton albums I kinda like the idea of these Figures of Light releases popping up onto the under-the-counterculture landscape faster'n herpes chancres on Madonna's lips. Another one to plop on the pile of teenage mid-Amerigan slop that always seemed to fit in with the Cheetos and MR ED reruns more'n Lady Caga ever could.
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Hot Poop-DOES THEIR OWN STUFF! CD (Radioactive)

I had a chance to buy an original copy of this back inna eighties and for a pretty durn good price too. I passed. Well, back then I was extremely careful with how much cash I was tossin' around considering that I was not only supporting a modest lifestyle but a failing crudzine at the same time. Greg Shaw's rather iffy review of it in an old issue of BOMP! might have also colored my purchasing direction, and considering how I hung on every word and punctuation mark of the guy what else would you have expected me t' do...plop down the same amt. of spare change for Venus and the Razorblades???

But gosh it all, this Radioactive reish is boss enough to make me regret my twenny-plus-year-old rejection. Not the hippoid Zappa jagoff I had expected it to be, HOT POOP DOES THEIR OWN STUFF! is one of those bril amalgamations of everything right with sixties rock combined into a nice fun package that really does fit in with the rest of your sixties/seventies gems. Echoes of everyone from the early Flamin' Groovies to ? and the Mysterians, Yoko Ono, the Fugs and a whole slew of olde tyme faves can be heard here, and although the insert is slim on info (no track listings even!) you can tell by the mere sub-basement rock feeling (and the fact that one of their tres-Rivieras sounding numbers is titled "Dance to the War") that this is a radical rock album that's certainly NOT made for the Billy Jack peace 'n love crowd who STILL blubber over the People's Park fiasco!

A mighty good 'un that, despite the overt hippoid mentality portrayed onna cover, ain't gonna be one of those love generation relics that your fresh outta college third grade teacher used to spin in order to boost your single-digit consciousness. This is the gritty, dunce-y and downright teenagiest (in the best Golden Age of Baby Boomerism way possible) platter I've heard in a few years and if you don't like it you'll probably be in the majority. But then again what else is old out there anyway?
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The James Marshall Human Arts Ensemble-AUTONOMOUS OBLAST CD (Freedonia Music, available via CD Baby)

I wish that the blab about this recently-unearthed Human Arts Ensemble Cee-Dee had gotten out a whole lot sooner'n it did...this thing's been wallowing around in the Cee-Dee ether since 2008! But it was worth the wait even though this isn't exactly one of the more top notch Human Arts Ensemble platters extant...kinda same-y if you ask me. Or maybe its the diarrhea in me talkin', but then again I'll take a talk from my Number Two over that of most rockbloggers anyday!

Not exactly a Human Arts Ensemble release...after all, where is Charles "Bobo" Shaw who I always took as the main constant and leader of the aggregate...but it's free enough for me. Luther Thomas along with Marshall squonks some good saxophone and the band really builds up to an amazing crescendo when they all start  wailing away on a bunch of tin flutes, but next to the funkified might of FUNKY DONKEY or any of those Arista/Circle platters this doesn't quite sate the way a good seventies post-new thing free play should. More listens are definitely in order...will keep you updated a la Lester Bangs slamming then praising to the rafters everyone from the MC5 to Amon Duul!
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Various Artists-EARLY INDIANA PUNK & NEW WAVE 2-CD-r burn set (originally on Time Change)

O'er the years I have come to the agreement along with Crocus Behemoth (see BACK DOOR MAN interview) that punk rock as a viable form of energy distilled into sound pretty much peaked with the Stooges (though I would toss Rocket From The Tombs, the Electric Eels and quite a few mid-seventies post-Stooge aggros into the equation) so maybe a collection of various Indiana-era punk and new unto gnu wave acts wouldn't appeal to me like you thought it would. And in some ways the groups gathered on these two platters don't jive with me the same way any Bangsian-bred mid-seventies rock credo you can come up with does. But a good portion of this does register with my rather discerning sense of rockism, if only slightly. Too many swipes rather than emulations here true, but considering what else there was on the listening frontier these tracks rock out a whole lot more'n the local FM station blasting REO and Journey as if they were making some great rockin' statements to the sopored out amongst us in youth identification land. Best bands, the Gizmos and MX-80 Sound as if you didn't know.
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The Laughing Dogs-LIVE AT CBGB'S CD (available via CD Baby)

Yes, one of those groups that nobody liked has released this boffo collection of various live tracks recorded where else but at CBGB. One show's from '77 and the other's an '84 reunion gig, and the band ain't that bad at all. The Dogs perform some rather goody mid/late-70s AM pop rock here (the kind that was in such short supply once disco began overrunning things worse'n Hitler in Poland), and as with many of the group's fellow LIVE AT CBGB's compats you could easily have seen them get a hit or two with a little more expert production and perhaps a few choice appearances on MIKE DOUGLAS. The stabs at humor (THREE STOOGES, WIZARD OF OZ) might seem rather high school-level duncitude to some, but I really liked the part where the Dogs starts riffing on JOHN LENNON/PLASTIC ONO BAND to rather sarcastic effect, and that's complete with Janov-inspired yells and gurgles!
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Cracker-FROM BERKELEY TO BAKERSFIELD CD-r burn (originally on 429 Records)

A few surprisingly seventies retro-pop tracks are smothered by bad neo-oldish cum new country, alternative singer-songwriter schmooze and a way too modern approach that doesn't quite satisfy this oft jaded turd. If this in fact is the end result of the Bakersfield sound I could easily see the spirit of Buck Owens coming back to do some britches burtin' hee-hawin' mulekicks on this Cracker guy's bum. When you get down to it this ain't nothin' but a systematic symptomatic excuse for the continuation of old modes well into an era that in no ways deserves anything the beauty of the oft-loathed past presented ages back. Paul, what's gotten into ya anyway (and don't say Seagrams!).
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Various Artists-GREGOR AND HIS EASY PEACEPIPE DREAMS CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Hmmmm, lotsa furrin stuff here. Stuff like the Bounties, Los Dukes, the Medussas, Los Polares and Okay Temiz. Sheesh, with records like this I kinda felt like I was walking around Youngstown's St. Elizabeth's Hospital listening to what alla the doctors there play in between cutting open the guts of octogenarian pensioners. Some of it is good enough mid/late-sixties rock I will admit, but most of it has that same continental reserve that you could find in just about any episode of GUTEN TAG.

Of course there is at least one Anglo-ish bit here for those of you wanting something closer to home, and let me tell you you haven't LIVED until you've heard Anthony Newley singing "Within You Without You"! Almost as heart-wrenching as Twiggy's rendition of "In My Life" or any Olivia Newton-John Beatletune you can think of! Other'n that you'll be transported to the faraway sixties European/Middle Eastern pleasure spot of your mind, and you don't have to worry about anybody withing the proximity of your nostrils not having bathed for nigh on three weeks!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Every winter I find myself settling back with a Dee-Vee-Dee set of some old television series nobody's seemed to have talked about in years, taking it all in just like I used to do during my high school days when shows like these first hit my psychic whooziz. Y'know, back during my sheltered youf when the icy weather certainly gave me a good excuse to goof off indoors and what better way to do that'n to hunker down in front of the set to watch some sixties tee-vee rerun that still registered with my ape-like brain lo those many years later.

This winter the series I decided to tackle was none other than THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW also known as SGT. BILKO, a program which I gotta admit I've been waiting a very long time to take on considering that I've always had this life-long craving for pre-hippoid entertainment and that BILKO...well...seemed to ka-CHINGA! somehow within me even though I was one who was not front and center for years of reruns like many of you undoubtedly were. That's because for whatever reasons NOBODY (not even those distant independent stations who would be most likely to air such a series as this) would run the show probably because they thought they could hook more viewers broadcasting THREE'S COMPANY incessantly.

And they were right at least moolah-wise, but in the long run dontcha think I was the one who lost out like big time???

I sure coulda used more BILKO when I was fifteen than I could MAUDE or whatever else the powers that be were shilling us rubes with. Yeah I knew who Phil Silvers was...I mean what GILLIGAN'S ISLAND fan didn't know of Harold Hekuba...but to me he was mostly a guest star on other people's programs and maybe he wasn't that funny at all to begin with. Just try watching him on the 1965 SALUTE TO STAN LAUREL special and if you don't come away thinking that he was saluting himself more'n the subject at hand you've certainly got your head screwed on wrong. But digging the atmosphere, humor and general karmik wooziz of those old shows well...I certainly wanted to be standing at attention for BILKO just as much as I wanted to be plopped in front of the boob tube for DOBIE GILLIS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE and a whole slew of "real" Golden Age of Tee-Vee (for me roughly 1957-1967 and none of that PLAYHOUSE 90 snivel for me!), and if that made me a pariah amongst my peers who were too busy getting bonged up while appreciating the innate intricacies of the morning farm report well---so be it!

Sheesh, I even remember back inna early eighties when WOR-TV 9 (at the time available in the area via cable television) was running BILKO during their eleven o' clock evening slot and me, at the time, was toiling away on a midnight shift as a security guard patrolling a junk yard that only a nutzoid would wanna invade. I can still recall with unbridled disgust those icy nights wishing like anything that I had some REAL LIFE daytime job with moolah and benefits and all those fun things  if only so's I could stay home, watch cable tee-vee and experience BILKO like I'm sure a whole load of like-minded suburban slobs were doing at that very same moment.

Well, flash forward thirtysome years later and whaddaya know...not only is BILKO available to me but sheesh, I now own a copy of the entire series which is something my frostbit younger self never would have imagined in a millyun years! (But then again, if my younger self could see what a wretch he would become throughout the years he might have decided to stay frostbit in that still-operating junkyard of miserable memories.)  'n yeah, it's nice finally having seen the show's entire run, but picky me still wishes that I had experienced it back when I was a young and impressionable teen because sheesh, something is missing from the overall effect when you're watching something low-fi class as this on a home entertainment system instead of some UHF station complete with ads for roll-a-sage chairs and Friday Night Wrestling bills interrupting the ethereal feeling of fifties bliss.

's overall a good series. Maybe not as groundbreaking or as earth-destroying as some may lead you to believe---heck it ain't even as good as THE HONEYMOONERS but it's still a whole lot more top-notch'n N.C.I.S. MERCER COUNTY. And yeah, as you'd expect there perhaps are a few dudster, or at least not sparking on all cylinders episodes to be found, but most of 'em are what'cha'd call good enough plop yerself down in front of the set 'n don't bother me watchable! And of course next to ANYTHING that's been churned out from the bowels of moderne day execrable entertainment a show like this is total triumph but I assume some of you readers will believe that's a given!

No need to tell you just how smartzoid an idea it was to slap Silvers into an army sitcom working with and against the perfect ensemble cast devised at that time or any other I can think of. An ensemble of people who seemed more like you 'n me 'stead of those puke-inducing pre-packaged army types you used to see in World War II moom pitchers who were so squeaky clean Amerigan you were hopin' the Nazis'd win. Not to mention the boffo mid/late-fifties ambiance of the thing which always worked wonders even with series that didn't exactly tingle the senses. What's even more surprising about THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW is that it busts a whole buncha current day misconceptions (actually, outright LIES) about fifties tee-vee in general and like, it's about TIME they were all busted like teenage zits onto the bathroom mirror.

I'm sure you all have read articles about just how WASP and segregated television was---y'know, along with the rest of the same fifties that is so loathed these enlightened times. F'rexample, I still recall this one newspaper piece from about twenty years back where some Jewish woman was downright distraught that there were no Jews on television during that by-now infamous decade (and what does that make Molly Goldberg---Ilse Koch???). Well on BILKO there were outright Jews front and center like Private Duane Doberman, the idol of EVERY ranch house bloatbelly who epitomized the layabout lives that those with strict fathers could only dream of. Of course I'm not talking about Jewish actors but actual Jewish characters, and although the likes of Joe E. Ross' Ritzig and Bilko himself were "suspect", Doberman was the real deal and hey, his character was such a standout that actor Maurice Gosfield actually got secondary billing unlike the rest of the platoon! (And how about such barracks buddies as Fleischman and Fender...they weren't exactly Proper Bostonian types y'know!) That's saying something positive about kosher tee-vee inna fifties, and if I wanted to pursue the matter any more I could bring up none other than Judy Hennsler on LEAVE IT TO BEAVER!

As far as black people go who could ignore the plain unadulterated FACT that one of Colonel Hall's secretaries was of the African persuasion, not to mention that the equally negro Frederick O'Neal, star of Larry Buchanan's racial taboo-breaking FREE, WHITE AND 21, plays a fellow sergeant and friend of Bilko!  And y'know what---I most certainly do get the feeling that the uberlib types you see these days who like to espy Nazis and Klansmen under the bed would be utterly shocked that none of these characters were doin' the ol' shuffle and jive lick whitey's hand act they believe to have been so prevalent back in them days before their enlightened selves revolutionized the world for all time! (This proven FACT does make me suspicious of  Whoopie Goldberg's rather disingenuous claims about Lt. Uhura on STAR TREK being the first non-maid black woman she saw on a non-variety show...guess ol' Whoop never tuned into either BILKO, THE OUTER LIMITS, TWILIGHT ZONE, NAKED CITY, THE DEFENDERS or a few more programs that were slipping blacks token or not into their casts!) I dunno if there was any backlash from showing such high-profile black people on BILKO, but then again I guess that Ameriga was used to seeing blacks in the army and at work and living about so why should whites care one iota if they're on tee-vee? (And I didn't even mention the platoon's single black, who ironically enough mugged Silvers himself years later before saying that he was good, but the rest were "pigs"!)

Also interesting to note are all of the soon-to-be big names to be seen in minor roles, from Tom Poston, Al Lewis, Fred Gwynne, Dick Van Dyke, Orson Bean, Peggy Cass and others who would clutter up the pre-prime time schedules of the seventies in various revivals of fifties panel game shows. And of course there's the presence of George Kennedy in a recurring role as an MP, the story of which Silvers would constantly repeat on afternoon and late-evening talk shows for years to come.

The extra-added bonuses are sometimes good and usually iffy....more of the original ads would have been nice and less of Phil Silvers' daughters (or at least the one who played Jenny Piccolo on HAPPY DAYS) talking about their own pet projects would have been welcome. The entire hour-long 1959 BILKO special should have been here even though the fragment shown doesn't really convey much in the way of hefty ha-has (it was a "musical", so I have my doubts it would have been a real belly-shaker). Surprisingly enough, the one episode of Silver's '63-'64 THE NEW PHIL SILVER SHOW wasn't bad at all unlike what most people who have tuned into this long-forgotten series may say. True Silvers doesn't come off as the right kinda talent who would be best suited for yet another convoluted family sitcom (in this case he being a bachelor living with his widowed sister and her two offspring) but he pulls it off with typical suave style even if the script handed him wasn't exactly anything suitable for those of us who still roll on the floor while watching MY LIVING DOLL. Other added funzies like Silvers on THE LUCY SHOW only make me wonder when that reet series is gonna get the Dee-Vee-Dee treatment...I mean if anything typified post-homework pre-prime time television jollies during my high school days it was that series which still jolts me back to the calming evenings of my mid-teen years more'n a handy ad for ladies undergarments ever could!

If BILKO pops up on one of those satellite stations I sure wish I could snatch up definitely give it a watch. If not maybe you can dig up a complete run somewhere and it sure would be worth the time and effort, if only to wash away fortysome years of relevant grit from your soul. And you most certainly need that, you postmodern eunuch you!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Hope yer all having a happy Valentine's Day chomping down loads of chocolates and trying to get yer gals drunk so's their romantic emotions'll start bubblin' up like farts in a bathtub. As for me naah! Its just another Saturday for me here doin' the usual same-old, though I did manage to get a chocolate heart outta the deal which is more'n I can say about last year or any other year in memory since kindergarten!

Anyway, you can all feel happy that while I'm cloistered inside protecting myself from alla this sub zero weather we're having at least I'm cooking up a whole batch of writeups and other blogposts for you to enjoy whether it be this upcoming week, next month or the next millennium if I just happen to last that long. But for now here's what's been being spun 'round here at the BLOG TO COMM headquarters, and as you'd probably guess I didn't pay for a one of the items reviewed here, thrifty me!



The Jellybricks-YOUNGSTOWN TUNE UP CD-r burn (originally on Primitive)

Gosh ding it! Here I thought that Youngstown Ohio had finally produced the high energy pop rock group that it was threatening to do ever since the early-seventies (Blue Ash excepted), only these guys turn out to be from none other'n Harrisburg Pee-Yay which I'm sure you'll admit is quite a way off the beaten path! Well, the Jellybricks do got that Cleveland power pop credo down (something which few local bands if any were able to muster up) and they sound as cool as any eighties group trying to retro seventies hard popsters who were homesick for various mid-sixties accomplishments which means we're getting this FOURTH GENERATION at the least, but it's still good enough to get me nostalgic for those mid-eighties nostalgic feelings I had about seventies nostalgia over the sixties. One big point agin' 'em...they don't look like what they sound like...not a beatle boot or soupbowl haircut in sight! In fact they look just like you 'n me, and I for one am mighty pee-yoed about it!
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JOSEFUS....PLUS CD-r burn (originally on Akarma, Italy)

I never bothered to pick up any of the Josefus reissues that were popping up throughout the eighties if only because of Billy Miller's dire warning in the pages of KICKS magazine ("Only a dead man could enjoy DEAD MAN"), but I got this 'un for free so like maybe it is time to face the music. So face it I did, and frankly I thought this late-sixties Texas hard rock group to have been rather......staid. Standard proto-metal hardness typical of the time that is better'n a whole lot of the hippie mewls of the day but that really ain't saying much. Predicts the advent of Sopor Nation even more'n Cat Stevens!
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J. Rider-NO LONGER ANONYMOUS CD-r burn (originally on Machu Picchu)

It's really amazing that although most outta nowhere rock groups back in the seventies couldn't afford to release their own wares these guys were able to release not one but TWO longplayers, both of which have been reissued on disque for a new generation of seventies maniacs who didn't get enough local rock hijinx the first time around. Anonymous's INSIDE THE SHADOW was the first and this un, recorded under the new moniker of J. Rider was the second and boy, did these ozobs come up with yet another hotcha slice of self-produced mid-Amerigan rockism we sure coulda used a whole lot more of back then!

Anon./Ryder used to get tagged with the "progressive" label but I can't find anything remotely aerie faerie ELP meets Peter Gabriel floating around the stage with this music. It's more or less straight ahead pop rock with tinges of West Coast late-sixties psych and an intensity that wouldn't have sounded outta place on the stages of the mid-seventies New York City clubs (even if J. Rider would have been buried under the prevalent underground rock hype that drew attention to those hallowed haunts for a few months way back when). Good playing, singing (harmonies even!) and production, and despite all that J. Rider still come off boss enough that I wonder why Hilly didn't offer 'em a spot on a CBGB bill with the rest of those acts he booked that didn't fit into anybody's notion of what New York Rock was supposed to sound like!

Quite a nice change from the usual, and as you'd expect this makes me yearn to hear more forgotten seventies local rock that the world might be ready for even this late inna game (but I doubt it). Only goes to show that there was more good rock 'n roll being made in one's backyard'n any of us realized back in those rather fringe-jacket-y days.
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Devo-MIRACLE WITNESS HOUR CD-r burn (originally on Futurismo)

Kinda surprised that this long-circulated Devo show rec'd at the once famous biker hangout called the Eagle Street Saloon back '77 way is now out 'n about as a legit release. Surprised since I was under the impression that this tape wasn't exactly one of the crystal clear pristine variety---this 'un sounds pretty professional if you ask me! It's a historical performance too---one that captures the group right before they headed to En Why See for some choice gigs which brought them a whole lot more fame'n if they just stuck around the NE Ohio area and moiled in their own obscurity. And yeah you can hear the roots of all of that new unto gnu wave crud that ruined the eighties for more'n a few fans and followers of seventies fancies like myself, but back then just about anything was pleasant compared to the standard AM/FM drek that was being pushed on us unsuspecting kids and this stuff is no different. Listen with your stuck up pretensions on hold and who knows, maybe you'll be trekking to the nearest used record store for a Lene Lovich album!
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The Thing and Thurston Moore-LIVE CD-r burn (originally on The Thing Records)

Not the best live improv rock cum jazz recording I've heard, but pretty snat in itself. Living legend Moore teams up with this Skandie free-play act for some rather entertaining sounds that teeter between avant rock and even newer thing jazz, and fortunately this don't come off sounding like some kid jagoff that doesn't have the proper swerve and zing to it like it shoulda. Kinda heavy on the nerves in fact, and although it probably won't ever become one of those incessant pre-beddy bye spinners that ease me into snoozeville it ain't like its something you're gonna wanna dump inna trash after first listen. A surprise outta nowhere that might even grow on me more'n those li'l dark Fritos-like skin spots my mother used to tell me were fly bites!
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The Baron Four-OUT OF THE WILD COMES... CD-r burn (originally on Soundflat)

I was really surprised to find out this bunch are furriners f'rcryinoutloud! Y'see, the Baron Four's got the mid-six-oh Amerigan teenage PEBBLES meets BOULDERS meets BACK FROM THE GRAVE sound down flat to the point where you woulda thunk the whole batch of 'em were weaned on nothing but greecee drive in food and late-afternoon rerun tee-vee! But whoever they are, these Barons really capture that Beatles-era big beat feeling fantastico-like to the point where even Lou Reed doing his Roughnecks bit sounds a bit suspect. If this had been around fifty years ago your big cyst-er woulda been pissing pants and screaming uncontrollably at the mere mention of their name I'll tell ya! (And whatever you do, don't let the Linda Ronstadt cover steer you clear...the Barons turn that slab of mid-seventies cocaine claptrap into their own and in no way will you have any cravings to wear turquoise or support flaky political causes after hearing the thing!)
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The J.B.'s-THESE ARE THE J.B.'S CD-r burn (originally on King Records)

Paul McGarry's paper sleeve sez that this was a King Records release dating back 1970 way, but online sources are sayin' a rather different story 'bout how this is actually a long-lost album that only saw the light of day recently. Whatever the case may be all I gotta say is if indeed this has come out in recent memory then the funk world was in for a good fortysome years of desperate loss! Hot driving instrumental that'll get you pumped up and living your entire existence inside its groove, and what's best about it is that you don't even have to feel like a condescending new waver listening to it like the rest of those Rock Lobster bopstering types you used to see throughout the early eighties!
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Various Artists-WOBBLE WOBBLE KANGAROO CD-r burn (BSM)

Spriy selection here that ranges from the bril to the dil. Among the former are the various c&w entries into early-seventies patri-oatism  (Charlie Stewart's "GI Joe" and Bob Hafner and the Homesteaders' "The Day George Wallace Was Shot"), Dube Y Su Conjunto's early-sixties sud o' the border rocker, the Antwinettes' gal grouper "Kill It" and the (Motor City) Mutants' typically high energy "Boss Man". (Howlin' Wolf's "Coon on the Moon" should fit in here if only for the politically incorrect title to a song that is anything but.) The latter includes Brian Wilson's ultradud attempt at quickie cash-in late eighties rap and Ella Fitzgerald singing "Savoy Truffle" which ain't as bad as Louis Armstrong croaking "Bridge Over Troubled Water" but it'll do as far as watching the once-mighty grovel. Nat Kendrick's soul instrumentals, Pet Clark singing in French and Dr. Sadistic's  early-eighties gnu wave astuteness sorta wallow in between---hokay but it ain't like I'd care to take my clothes off and dance to 'em much to the dismay of the old lady with the binoculars who lives across the way. After all, she's gotta call the cops about someone...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

BOOK REVIEW! COMIC STRIP SHOWCASE 1 FEATURING THE LONE RANGER (Arcadia Publications, 1990)

Not having grown up reading any western strips on a reg'lar basis it ain't like I have a great affinity for any of 'em, y'know? But the few I have had whatcha'd call surpassed my admittedly limited expectations. Case in point CASEY RUGGLES, not to mention the on/off western situation comedy/drama that could be found intermittently in the twenties-to-forties OUT OUR WAY. As far as THE LONE RANGER went though, I must admit that I had my druthers about it...after all the masked stroon had been front and center in a whole passel of media for years awlready, and whether or not he could do as well in the comics as he did in the moom pitchers, radio and of course tee-vee was open to debate in the vast chasms of my mind. But get this (free!) I did a long time ago, and having discovered it in a pile of bookage in my room I figured that the subject of a LONE RANGER reprint collection as a mid-week musing would do this blog up rather fine, and maybe for once I am right!

The artwork ain't anything to rah rah over. In fact original RANGER sketcher Ed Kressy ain't what you'd call an able hand at this, showing all of the stiffness and by-the-pattern foibles of bad thirties/forties comic art that NATIONAL LAMPOON used to mimic to a good "T" back in the seventies. Replacement Charles Flanders was a marked improvement though (again) his stick to the rules style makes his renditions look like wannabe imitations of comic bignames such as Roy Crane and Alex Raymond. Well at least he gets a huzzah for striving...

Sagas are pretty hotcha though. As good as the tee-vee version that you've all hangovered through during the seventies and eighties, with the pair of the Lone Ranger and faithful Indian companion Tonto being in the right place at the right time beating the bad boys against all odds complete with the standard cliff-hanging that used to get kiddoids like me all inna bundle to the point of involuntary bladder drainage. Mighty exciting stuff, and if I were to gander a guess this sorta downright intensity has been banished from the comic pages for good because hey---it ain't like kids are supposed to experience tension and drama unless it works towards that common goal of brotherly whatziz I keep hearing about! And you know that's too bad...

Might be worth a remaindered book scouring to find if you're that interested. As for me I will say it beat TANK McNAMARA and FUNKY WINKERBEAN all hollow, but then again you can say that about a good episode of FESTER AND CARBUNKLE!

Saturday, February 07, 2015

If I were the kind of person who felt ashamed or guilty about things I would apologize. But I won't (after all it was none other'n John Wayne himself who once said "Don't apologize, its' a sign of weakness" and I'm no 98 pounder that's for sure!). And really, I don't feel that guilty or ashamed about it because maybe hey, I am that kind of self-centered, shameless person inna first place! What I'm talking about right now it the lack of "specialty" BLOG TO COMM posts where I'd either conduct some crack Mike Wallace-styled interview with a person of renown or not or better yet pay homage to one of those fanzines of the past that you might never have heard of but I sure dood! Well, at least something special along them lines, but right now I ain't in the mood for any of that nohow! All I wanna do is just write up the various new offerings that have come my way either via my own sweat and toil or the kind offerings of those few who DO take BLOG TO COMM seriously enough to burn a few items and toss 'em my direction. Nothing else, though maybe by the time the weather breaks I might get into that old springtimey mood and conjure something special up for this blog, that is after I overcome my usual bouts of spring fever.

So until I get the strength and urge to do something outta the ordinaire you're stuck with these  relatively short 'n pithy writeups. Thanks to the likes of Bill Shute, Paul McGarry,  Tom Gilmore and PD Fadensonnen for the copies they dared run off for me and given my usual sluggishness in going through all this mess I get the feeling that their given goods are gonna last me for a whole lot longer time'n any of 'em planned and that's a given FACT!


Various Artists-BACK FROM THE GRAVE VOLUME 9 CD-r burn (originally on Crypt)

Well golly, I didn't know... Know that there were still enough of those rare (and kick out the jamz-y) garage band singles that would qualify to appear in a series of such a raw sub-Pantsiosesque quality rock 'n roll as this! But after all these years a new edition of BACK FROM THE GRAVE has appeared, and although maybe I should hate it for mere guilt by association purposes I find these mid-sixties splatters to be of the most stellar top-notch in low-fi thud to have been heard by these ears in at least three months. No liners with my burn so I can't give you any of the whys' 'n wherefores (though I do know that compiler Tim Warren might be the owner of the ONLY copies of these self-produced rarities!), but they're as raw and primal as you'd expect to the point where even the Seeds come off like Mantovani in comparison.

Personal faves...the Why-Nots' "Tambourine" (wonder how many lessens their tambourine player had?), the Classics' "I'm Hurtin'" (the one with the singer who sounds like a ten-year-old Ernie Douglas doing his Jagger impression), the Gentlemen's "It's a Cryin' Shame " (NOT the version that pops up on PEBBLES, a better one in fact!) and this strutter done up by some unknown act who better get their brains together if only to grab onto the royalties most certainly due them from Warren! The rest is fine too (I particularly like the screeching guitar lines on Knoll Allen and the Noble Savages' "Animal" if you'd care to know).and if I were some nimnul 1984 rock critic geek I'd even mention how much the Donshires' "Sad and Blue" owes its entire rhythm/drone makeup to the Velvet Underground! But I won't...gotta spare you readers some bad rockcrit hyperbole b.s., eh?

Word has it that #10 is amongst the living as well, and if you wanna snatch that 'un up and this 'un as well why not just go here and be prepared to depart with some hard acted for at the welfare office moolah.
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Jean-Marc Foussat, Sylvain Guerineau, Joe McPhee-QUOD CD-r burn (originally on Fou, France)

Free jazz lives, if only in France (well, sometimes it seems that way!). Yes, the land where a bevy of Amerigan expats got swindled a good fortysome years back is still at it, and although I don't know if longtime free played Joe McPhee got his just dues for appearing on this disque you can say that the tradition of heavy duty Gallic gagas over new thing twings is still going on strong. McPhee on soprano sax, Sylvain Guerineau on tenor, and Jean-Marc Foussat on synthesizer and voice, this has the same inward intensity moves of the CBGB Lounge Freeform Series coupled with mid-seventies neo-Braxtonian modes that just might renew your faith. In  exactly what I don't know, but I sure felt better spinning this than I did suffering through Wynton Marsalis' classy ass posturings that's for sure!
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David Bowie-CHANGES CD (Lobster bootleg, Italy)

Yeah it's the same Santa Monica '72 show that was so popular in Bowie legend that it eventually came out legal-like, but since I prefer the illegal in my major rockstar musical musings I thought I'd snatch this up considering my equally bootleg double set of this is marooned somewhere in my LP collection and it's gonna take a heckuva lotta time to dredge it outta the pile. And true, we all used to gag over Bowie back inna late-seventies and eighties and even beyond, but this brew of late-sixties English snarl glopped over with glitter and faux Lou/Iggy moves sure sounds better'n alla that "serious" eighties amerindie gunk that was supposed to've been the right way all along! Goes well with old copies of CRETINOUS CONTENTIONS and ROCK ON (the one with Kenne Highland's Bowie articles, the same one in fact!) I'll tell ya!
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The Blood Drained Cows-13 CD (Triple X)

Former Vom/Samoan Gregg Turner teams up with former Rokyite Billy Angel for this 90s under-the-radar rocker and y'know what? The results aren't as past-your-time iffy as I thought they would be. Turner's modus whateverendi is similar to that of his final days as a Samoan, and although I didn't think that Angel was as striking as he was on those Cold Sun tracks he still fills out the sound rather well with his autoharp. Maybe it ain't as all-out exciting as FUNHOUSE or a passel of out-there All Amerigan (or All-Canadian, All-European etc.) albums of the past were, but next to the competition these Cows take all of the mid-90s awards you can toss at 'em, and that ain't bunk!
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Phantom of the Black Hills-MOONSHINE BRIGHT CD-r burn (originally on Rocket Blade)

Surprisingly decent country-rock-a-punk-a-billy from this growling man of mystery. These honkified efforts usually come off total phonus balonus if you ask me, but this Phantom guy is able to pull off alla the stops to present a downhome sorta country and western platter with more'n enough freak element in it to give Peter Stampfel a hardon on his death bed. Total growl and moan here---best of the batch cut #2 "Hellbetties Risin'".
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The Globe Unity Orchestra-BERLIN 1966 & DONAUESCHIGEN 1967 (UNRELEASED) CD-r burn (courtesy P. D. Fadensonnen)

If these tracks are indeedy unreleased all I gotta say is...why??? Boffo performance from Von Schlippenbach and company on these early attempts at a big band free jazz (rivals Sun Ra wandering around in the Black Forest of his mind) that surprisingly enough continues to resensify me a good thirtysome plus years after I first fell head over corrective heels for this new thing. Some amazing playing here---wish I knew exactly who was performing on these sides but I'll leave that to future internet doodling and keep spinning this 'un continuously. (Although Anthony Braxton can be espied four from the left in the cover photo these were recorded before he set foot in the olde countrie so I highly suspect that he ain't anywhere to be found here...only goes to show you can't judge a burnt Cee-Dee by looking at its cover and that's a fact!)
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Various Artists-CHICKEN RHYTHM WILLIE MINER CD-r burn (Bill Shute Kultural Exchange Program)

Bill really struck good ol' sludge with this 'un which tackles a whole load of styles and modes and doesn't let down one bit. The infamous Bob Crewe starts off with some old fifties vocal pop foray and from there its on to everything from late-sixties hippydippy 7 Up music to a fifties r&b screamer and even some late-seventies punk rock from the likes of Wire and the Misfits that you've heard before but wha' th' 'ey! There's even some strange avant garde music here courtesy of Old Shapes (an aggro that may have a future in my collection) to Slackwaves as well as such heartwarming classics as Amos from AMOS 'N' ANDY explaining the Lord's Prayer to Arbadella which ain't as good as the tee-vee version but why be picky! Yeah I could beech that the Savoy Dictators ain't as good as the rock 'n roll band of a rather similar name (not to forget that "Sir Lancelot" singing about that great melting pot goo o' Amerigans is just more Get Along Gang fodder) but then again those radio weather spots, commercials and whatnots from the past just send me right into the back seat of my childhood during the days when the radio was always on and we were trekking to one drive in hamburger joint or another to load up on the fast food of our choice. You know...MAN AT HIS BEST!!!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN (or SCREAMERS if you so prefer) starring Barbara Bach and Joseph Cotten (1979)

Here's one of those flicks that you just know Fatty 'n Baldy at SNEAK PREVIEWS woulda given the "Dog of the Week" award to, and seeing how the reincarnated Abbot and Costello were sometimes apt to bestow such awards upon quite a few funtime flickers let's just say that I was definitely more than THANKFUL to the pair for this portion of their program for hey, if it weren't for them lambasting a whole slew of low-grade fun flickers out there how else would I know which moom pitchers to go out and see!

This eyetalian job starring the second Mrs. Ringo Starr and a faded Hollywood bigname is definitely one of the few pieces of cinematic excursions of the past thirtysome years that really could be called the spiritual (if not actual celluloid) successor to all of those forties/fifties Saturday afternoon matinee flicks that drew in all of the kiddoids. Y'know, the ones like Eddie Haskell who were probably telling their parents they were going to see PINOCCHIO instead of fun trash like this (or was it VOODOO RIVER and BLOOD CURSE???).

The remnants of a prison ship whacked out by a storm are washed upon the beach of a mysterious uncharted island which, upon further examination, seems even creepier than the one Dr. Boris Balinkoff took the castaways to. Wherever this place is, voodoo rituals are being held while graves have been emptied and this weirdo twosome are giving the surviving ship's doctor more'n a bit of the creeps with their rather chillsome demeanor. Oh yeah, forgot to tell you about these gill creatures who look like every other gill creature wandering around a whole slew of backlots since the fifties! But whatever, it's sure grand that they got this last chance to act before the anti fun 'n games crowd banished 'em all to trash cinema ha ha land once the entire eighties PLAN 9 trash cinema chortle got into full swing only a few meager years later.

Can't find a fault with this, since it kept me glued to the Naugahyde and I didn't even feel like letting the disque roll when I hadda get up and take a leak. Nothing better'n a good 'n unpretentious sci-fi horror film with loads of mystery and strange plot twists where you have to suspend your sense of belief even more'n when you watch the tee-vee news, and even if I can't stand Barbara Bach I must say that it wasn't like I was waiting for her character to take that ever-promised dive into the eternal mung. This is grand on all levels from watching as a visual work of art to just having some weekend afternoon fun when its raining out, and hey if I were Siskel and Ebert I'd give ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN all the dogs in the world!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Wow, that's some weather we're havin'! OK, enough with the gosh-all crimonies and let's get down to bid'ness with this batch of smoothies, some donated thanks to the largesse of Tom Gilmore, P.D. Fadensonnen, Paul McGarry and Bill Shute so you know where my allegiances lie! Sorry there couldn't be even more platters to write up about and all but hey, here we are in the middle of winter and like, maybe I'd rather be roasting weenies in front of the fire'n listening to music if you can believe that (and given my voracious appetite maybe you better!)


Joe McPhee Quartet/Ernie Bostic Quartet-LIVE AT VASSAR APRIL 30, 1970 2-CD-r burn (originally on Corbett Vs. Dempsey, burn courtesy of Tom Gilmore)

Two top notch platters here featuring some of the admittedly (and unfortunately) lesser-knowns in six-oh jazz histoire, but as far as I'm concerned both really do hit the proper heights needed to make sounds of an interesting if not out-there nature that people like myself (and I assume you) have flocked to ever since we read about the direct connection between the new thing of jazz and your rockist favorites. Nothing over-the-hill running and screaming like Roscoe Mitchell here, but still quite entertaining for those more introverted late-night fret-a-thons that people like myself tend to get when the antidepressants wear down.

McPhee is lucky that he didn't get sued by Pharoah Sanders, what with his emulation if not imitation of the latter's Impulse-era Coltrane exultation which do work swell here. Piano's a bit too McCoy Tyner-esque and the bassist quite Garrisonish, but maybe that's what makes this so entertaining to begin with. The blooze chooze is apparent as well for those of you who like your old mixed with your new to a certain extent. If your thang's the "new wave of jazz" right before the abstractions really began pushing the sound into extraterrestrial realms you will enjoy this portion of the program.

Bostic's set begins dreamy, almost gnu age the way Harold Budd redid mid-sixties free modes with Marion Brown on side one of THE PAVILION OF DREAMS only not as fruity.  Quite invigorating in fact! Somehow I'm reminded of the SAAT album by Emtidi, but any connections between the two are what the geniuses would call "tenuous". The rest is rather raucous bloozy jazz quartet with a Hammond organ firmily esconced and loads of vibes which may alienate someone out there who's reading this, but not me.

In all this is some rather good if comparatively restrained free sound that you might want to part with the lucre to latch onto. Maybe not, but I get the feeling that you won't be finding it at any run down flea market in a good ten or so years the way you woulda found Sanders et. al.at your favorite 1977 outta-the-way greasy corn dog emporium right next to the stack of old NATIONAL LAMPOONs. But wha' th' hey... someday it just may happen!
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X_____X-LIVE @ CAKE SHOP, NYC 12-4-2014 CD-r burn (courtesy of P. D. Fadensonnen)

Is this the fabled "X-Mommy-X" that Andrew Klimyk was supposed to have formed with an already-settled John Morton when the former finally made the trek to En Why See in the very late seventies? It would be nice to think so. And it's sure nice to know that Klimyk and Morton are up and about with their old Cle group here inna mid-teens when frankly, rock 'n roll as a useful form of mid-Amerigan outrage is pretty much a dead and buried affair. All the old single sides and the leftover Electric Eels numbers are performed with typical disasto aplomb, and I gotta admit that given Morton's volatile nature in full view and the general art punk approach to the entire affair this coulda been a classic '77 recording that had only seen the light of day now! Like they used to say about the Heartbreakers, see 'em while they're still alive.
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Don Cherry-LIVE IN STOCKHOLM '69/'71 CD-r burn (courtesy of Tom Gilmore)

Dunno if any of this Cee-Dee has been released or not, but it's a good 'un. Even for a turd like me who (admittedly) thinks that a lot of the Cherry albums I've heard really ain't whatcha'd call the bee's knees in avant garde jazz (too multi-worldy for my tastes). The performance is a whole lot freer and less burundi'n some of those more ECM-ish offerings of his, and whoever the sidemen are they certainly are compatico with the direction that jazz was moving in right before the new thing era seemed to topple over some unforeseen cliff. If I weren't so lazy I'd do a little googlin' to see who plays on this, but it's so late and like I really could use the sleep...
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Various Artists-THE BROOKLYN BEAT LIVE AT CBGB'S CD (Comm 3)

I wrote about the Brooklyn Beat tape here and only recently had I found out that a Cee-Dee featuring many of the same Brooklyn-area bands (with some Shirts connections) was out and about. It's good too, as good as the tape was which would figure since many of the same bands there appear here. It's mostly in that eighties new unto gnu wave style, but since the recording, production and performances are so low budget these groups actually come out sounding non-pretentious and interesting. Interesting enough that you won't mind the pseudo-rap influences and eighties MTV pop moves that sometimes sneak into the mix. A fun diversion.
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MC5-SPORTATOREUM HOLLYWOOD FL 1971 CD-r burn (courtesy of P. D. Fadensonnen)

An up-'n-about HIGH TIME-era Five captured live proving that although they'd fallen from grace and are on the verge of getting their jams kicked off Atlantic they can still KICK OUT THE JAMS with the best of 'em. Typical audience cassette job doesn't deter from the fact that the Five are still firing on all pistons and can stand as a viable alternative too alla that Peace Train jive that was permeating the teenbo mindset during those very conflicting years. I wonder if the Alice Cooper portion of this particular night out was also preserved for posterity...'d love to hear that!
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Denney and the Jets-MEXICAN COKE CD-r burn (originally on Fanfare/Burger)

Hmmm, another one of those new retro/sorta/pseudo/rockabilly things that reminds me of early-seventies Rolling Stones meets early-seventies Flamin' Groovies. Not bad at all---in fact this would probably come off even nicer if it was released on some cheaply-pressed vinyl and I discovered it wallowing in a 99-cent bin I chanced upon at some Biloxi drug store on some 1976 cross country record buying trip. It sure is nice knowing that somebody out there is still cutting rock 'n roll records even if the only people who'd listen to this stuff are long-in-on-the-rock-game unrepentant seventies flea market and cut out schnooks like ourselves who still insist that the Velvets and the Stooges were the REAL Beatles and Stones and don't let any Pantsios out there tell you different!
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The Frank Lowe Orchestra-LOWE & BEHOLD CD-r burn (originally on Musicwerks)

What can I say? An ALL STAR LINEUP! Typically brilliant HOT FLASH PLAYING! Seasoned veterans (Lowe, Philip Wilson, Billy Bang, Joseph Bowie) intermingled with up-and-coming names (John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne!) and the resultant she-bang is one you won't particularly forget unless you're a'cast in the throes of long-term memory loss. Maybe it ain't as full-blast as those releases Lowe had been tossing at us even a good two or so years earlier'n this '77 side but it's sure pleasing to hear especially after being marooned in an elevator with Chuck Mangione being piped in constantly! Definitely worth the time and effort to seek out and download.
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Bergerette-BEGUILED CD (available via CD Baby)

Not since THE INNOCENCE has Richard Meltzer steered me in such a right direction as the one he tilted me at via the first issue of BULL TONGUE REVIEW! Considering that I've been tingling my toes in the font of pre-enlightenment (hah!) musics as of late this particular platter comes in handy, what with these misses sweetly tackling a slew of 13th/16th century chorale music that takes on such a melancholy and mortal air that they make just about every bit of goth to creep outta the rectums of 2000's teendom look positively staid. Tales of intense love as a deathly pyre to gals tending to their sheep seeing an actual angel appear (not to mention those of woe and unrequited somethingorother) permeate, you too might wanna take a trip back in tyme if only to experience these moving chaisons first hand because they're that hotcha! Something tells me that Bergerette and John Dunstable woulda made some dandy double billing way back when.
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Various Artists-RINGSIDE TRANE CARAVAN CHECK CD-r burn (via Bill Shute)

Nice slap 'n dash from late-sixties psychedelic wannabe scuzz (Flower Power's "Stop Check It!") to English gal group wannabe Spectorian elegance (the Orchids) and El Lay jazz (Plas Johnson) with the usual six-oh garage goodies thrown in for good measure. Some of this has been heard by these ears before (Zarla's "I Hate Work" is a BONEHEAD CRUNCHER inclusion but worth another listen if only for the Sabbath/Purps blatant swipes that abound) but some hasn't (like Last Exit's "The Fire Drum" which at first I thought was thee famed punk jazz group given the opening drum solo but turned out to be a proggy psych act so fool me once and I'll know better!) so let's just say that this was a listening experience par-excellence! Weirdie of the batch, Cee-Dee closer "Lord of the Ringside" by Clown, a '72 release which sounds more '68 proving that while psychedelia might have turned into visions of the Old West inna USA it was still rip roaring lysergic over in Blighty!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

BOOK REVIEW! TINY TIM---TIPTOE THROUGH A LIFETIME by Lowell Tarling (Generation Books, 2013)

Being on a longer (and stranger) than usual Tiny Tim jag, I figured that it would be best to part with some hard-begged to get hold of this biography of the World's Forgotten Eunuch. It was done up by some Australian guy unknown outside of his prison/colony who got to know Mr. Tim more'n any of us ever would and y'know what, this Lowell Tarling does a pretty good job capturing the madcap manner of the one called Khaury, As usual I'm left begging for loads more since frankly, a whole lot was left outta this admittedly pretty swell read but why complain since there's a Tiny Tim bio out and it ain't gonna cost you an arm and a bottle of skin conditioner like you thought it would.

Yeah you could say that Mr. Tarling spent too much time talking about his personal relationship with Our Hero and his various tours of the Antipodes and he neglected to remind us of the things we already knew about, but at least on the second count I wouldn't mind being reminded about  a whole lot of these things again. A whole lot more than I wish was left of the floor which did ruin this book a spell like, why no mentions of Tim's 1963 appearances with the equally New York underground-bred entertainer Moondog that transpired during the month of April which produced a boffo pic of the two along with the manager of the club they were performing at (still on the hunt for that 'un). The MERV GRIFFIN appearance where Tim got booed during the height of antiwar angst because he was wearing a hardhat and singing patriotic World War I songs (even earning the ire of Dick Shawn) would be considered mandatory Tim histoire but that's left out as well.  Or how about his performances at Max's Kansas City during the spring of '76 where former Stiletto Rosie Ross was the scheduled opening act, or for that matter his appearance on Al Goldstein's cable show where Tim's moral and sexdrive storm fronts probably did a huge colliding of tornado intensity? Leaving information like that outta a bio is akin to if someone would write one about me and leave out the infamous skidmarked underwear incident!

And of course the lack of rare photos (wouldn't mind seeing some of Mr. Tim with his long locks during the fifties) and other showbiz paraphernalia woulda helped termendously. Those little bits as well as a complete discography are what really woulda made this a Tiny Tim book to reckon with, but we have this and maybe I shouldn't be the crybaby complainer as I tend to be given my lofty rank as an arbiter of what should and should not penetrate into your sacred realms.

But hey, Trilling certainly captures the whole nutzoid genius of Tim who, while seemingly going through life half-corked went further with his career than the rest of those mad geniuses who just starved in garrets only to be remembered as trailblazers long after their need for pilfered hamburgers expired for good. After all. Tim was the boho who didn't even know he was who was wearing his hair long even before Che Guevara, Chet Helms, and the rest of those guys who claimed they had long hair before the Beatles let their locks grow. The guy who was puritanical to the extreme  (making my own reactions to various 80s-on sexspurtations seem bawdy in comparison) yet acted in Jack Smith's NORMAL LOVE and admitted in public that he wished he could have been as well-endowed as John Holmes. The one who, had the late-sixties glitz and decadence scene not happ'd, probably would have spent the rest of his days haunting the same clubs he began in over and over until even that novelty wore off. And hey, a guy who was more like me than you'll ever know considering how he too used to scarf up comic books and that two of his three favorite comic strips were DICK TRACY and NANCY (the third, MUTT AND JEFF, never ran around here though if it had I get the feeling that I would have liked it a whole lot more'n any of you woulda!).

But he was Tiny Tim with a hit record and plenty of sixties/seventies television appearances that at least kept him in the national spotlight, and even after his fall from grace he was on the go somewhat even if it meant HOWARD STERN and JENNY JONES appearances...anything that at least got him out to his adoring public or whatever it was that was jelling in Tim's definitely 30s/40s-bred imagination.Yeah he was a freak and a relic that serious minds (read, yr parents) couldn't handle but in many ways that's what made up a good portion of the "charm" that got an equally once-uncaring self-respecting turd like myself to finally sit up and take notice.

But wha' the hey...what I'd  really like to see is something like an oversized softcover book entitled TINY TIM'S MUSICAL MEMORIES SCRAPBOOK, some real old-timey collection covering Tim's entire lifetime musical or not with all of the rare photos and hypesheets and printed memorabilia done up in a style that woulda appealed to your old sixty-year-old aunt back 1971 way only she woulda preferred one about Guy Lombardo 'stead of some long haired hippie type no matter how flag-waving he was. I think Tim woulda liked to have seen a book such as this as well and perhaps its not too late for someone to sneak a project like this out on an unsuspecting public, at least while those of us who grew up with this guy on tee-vee and did funzy impressions of him complete with soggy mops on our heads are still alive and thumping. It would make a boffo flea market find in the year 2040, and somehow I'm stubborn enough to stick around that long if only to pay the sum of a good fifty-cents from some unsuspecting ten-year-old gal who'll undoubtedly be selling the thing along with the usual stacks of cook books I hadda sift through in order to get this prized possession! Money consciousness transcends all time, and don't you just know it!