Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BOOK REVIEW! GET LOST by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito (Hermes Press, 2008)

I kinda wonder why, when the market was being flooded with MAD imitations left 'n right, Bill Gaines decided to sue THIS particular pub for gross swipearooning? Maybe it was because GET LOST was put out by a very small publisher target (in fact owned and operated by the team of Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, later of DC/METAL MEN fame) that didn't have the same get-up-and-go as Atlas and all the others who were doing their own MAD knockoffs of varying quality? Maybe it was because, although most of these MADmitations were on the mark (or at least the ones I've seen) GET LOST was even markier??? My guess is the latter, because although GET LOST doesn't have the same snarl and pounce of the original it sure was a boffo effort unlike some of those MAD mag crankouts which made me wince more'n anything they were originally intended to do.

For those of you who care GET LOST's three issues are reprinted in this neet softcover effort which has been out for awhile (now remaindered), and if you are a fan of comic book satire done up fifties-style I'll betcha you have this one by now already. And if you couldn't have guessed by the tone of this writeup the comics presented herein are kinda funny which is something you never thought you'd hear from a guy like me who thinks that watching thalidomide babies doing the Australian Crawl's a hoot.

The art (all done up by the Andru/Esposito team either under their own name or various nom-de-pnooms) is up there with the Elder/Wood/Davis/Severin style of MAD with none of that quickie slapdash look which proliferated some of the zilch-grade titles back then. And in keeping with the grand art of SWIPING the covers evoke the old Harvey Kurtzman look of the early MADs as well which I guess was enough to get Bill Gaines boiling mad and suing the two for a serious case of copyright infringement.

If you wanted to know what MAD woulda done with various gulcheral items of the day like HONDO, Mike Hammer and SHANE (not to mention EC's very own horror stories) then you'll get an idea with this particular collection of hardly-ever noticed satire! (Now both MAD 'n GET LOST tackled Flash Gordon [and Robin Hood come t'think of it] and although the former did what I would call a much better job of it at least the latter's "FOUR-FLUSH GORDON" was a pretty knee-slapping slab of comic book satire. Not as good as HUMBUG's "Flyashi Gordonovich" but good enough.)

So sport, if you were one who would constantly check out the various news agencies every few weeks throughout 1972/3/4 for the latest Ballantine reprinting of the original MAD paperbacks (which were o.p. right when I was first getting on a serious EC jag much to my dismay, and when they got back in print with those original covers you could bet that I was a happy pooper!) this is yet another one to sate your inner prepubescent ranch house self. For a fun afternoon go at suburban slob living snuggle up with this in your own room whether it be encrusted or not, and if it's nice 'n sunny outside try not to feel too guilty when your mom yells at you to go out 'n get some exercise and you bellow back what else but...GET LOST!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nice seein' all three of you reg'lar BLOG TO COMM readers back here again! Hope your week was as much fun and as resensifying as mine most certainly was...had a mahvelous time just actin' my lazy suburban slob self spendin' my ever-dwindlin' free time inna bedroom reading various comic collections both old and new (some of the latter to be reviewed on this very blog) while listening to sounds also both old and new that were mostly sent my way courtesy of the likes of Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and P.D. Fadensonnen. Of course yet another heaping big thanks to them for hey, it's their gratitude and largess (as opposed to my large ass) that keeps this blog floatin'. And because of their generosity I didn't even have to burrow deep into my record and Cee-Dee (not to mention cassette) collection ONCE this year which is something that I must admit I hated to even think of doing during those cold winter months because like, I keep my platters inna basement and boy can that place get chilly!
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I guess you want me to drop a few words here regarding the recent passing of the human being formerly known as Prince. Well, what else could I say (or would you expect me to say) but glad to see him go! A big FIE ON THEE is all you'll get from me for being one of many who helped ruin the concept of rock 'n roll as that bare-wired intense form of teenbo communication making it just more product to be sold like melons at Cash Market. Not to mention the fact that this guy pretty much took once-crazed rock abstractions (a la Marc Bolan poetry and fun glitz) and coochified it for a new numb eighties musical vocabulary that really brought out the rock 'n roll rebel in me! Thinking back to those eighties days of MTV and the horrid music that creation spawned all I can say is (to be my usual trite self about it) Prince's death came about thirty years too late and the sooner his memory along with the rest of the offal that decade produced (Mad Donna, Cyndi Clopper, Bruce Springding...) decays along with his fetid corpse the better! It sure in nice channeling the feeling and spirit of those early issues of my crudzine the way I just did I'll tell ya!
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Y'know, I really hate to see the candidacy of Bernie Sanders whirlpool into the nada that, face it, we all knew it would become eventually but hoped would drag on for a much longer time than it has. Not that I agree with a good portion of Mr. Sanders' sociopolitical ideals and general whooziz but sheesh, the guy seemed like the kinda undermench who could actually make the Democratic machine pop a few fuses that need a good poppin' especially these days. And besides that he sure comes off a whole lot more honest and upfront than the entire chuggin' on Clinton dynasty which is so corrupt that even extra-marital hanky panky comes off dour in their image! But (to be non-serious for once), I gotta admit that all of those "Bernie" signs that have popped up on lawns across the tri-county area do nothing but get me thinking of the "Fun Girls" from THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW who used to give Andy and Barney/"Bernie" so much trouble every time they sped their way into Mayberry!

Well, at least Sanders sez he's gonna stick it out until the convention and who knows, maybe Hillary will have a major menopausal fit in the meantime rendering her totally incapacitated to continue on let alone take office. Highly unlikely though...I mean look at all of the incapacitated presidents we've had for the last two-hundred years which only goes to prove to ya that even with his skull blown to bits JFK might have continued on as a competent prez for at least until the end of his term!
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Dunno about you (and frankly don't care), but this li'l spoof had me laughing all the way from Bizoo and back!:


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Before we get to them meaty potatoes, here's a little bitta rock 'n roll history oft-mentioned, oft-cut up and re-used in documentaries but rarely if ever seen in its entirety. Yes, the infamous CBS EVENING NEWS "human interest" capper on "The Making of an Underground Film", featuring the likes of Jonas Mekas, Ron Rice, Stan Brackhage, Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick and the Velvet Underground originally broadcast on December 31, 1965! And knowing you, you were probably watching cartoons on the other station to which I say...eh, that's good too!



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Now that we've gotten the socially redeeming portion of this post outta the way, on with the reviews!


Lobby Loyde-COMPENDIUM DISC 1; EARLY GROUPS/EARLY BALLS CD-r burn

The first of the Fadensonnen Loyde collections, this 'un covers the early days of this Australian legend's bitter struggles with not only the Purple Hearts EP but a slew of Wild Cherries and Coloured Balls to contend with. Gotta say that these inital Loyde trackings weren't as all-out high energy as I thought they would be what with those Detroit rock comparisons (though most of it came close enough to mid-sixties English rock specifications). but the Coloured Balls had enough early heavy metal thrust that makes me wish, had this only gotten out of Australia, that they had some cheerleaders in the rock fanzine mafia of the seventies here in the US of Whoa. Some pretty resensifyin' stuff goin' on in these grooves like the instrumental rave fave "G.O.D." and even a cover of "Song For Jeffrey" from the first Jethro Tull album (which I understand some of the Electric Eels swear by, so it's got to be good!) if you can believe that!
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Bryan Ferry-AVONMORE CD-r burn (originally on Sony)

Yeah, it sure is a long way from "Remake/Remodel" to this, but then again what else could anybody who's been in on the Bryan Ferry game these past few decades expect?

Gotta admit that I'm one chappie who hasn't been following the Ferry/Roxy route the same way I'm sure some of you readers have, but given how the guy still holds onto that Bogart image even this late inna game was it like I was really missing out on anything?

Lush electronic Euro-pop that conjures up images of dinner jackets, lit cigarettes dangling from jaded lips and gals in luxurious evening dresses and spiffy bouffant 'dos. Even includes a particularly luxurious version of the Judy Collins late-seventies AM schmoozer "Send in the Clowns" (ain't as good as the one Jerry Lewis sang on the SONNY AND CHER show but hey, I ain't complainin'!).

But why oh why do I have the sudden craving for pork chops and apple sauce after givin' this 'un a listen, schweetheart?
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LES BAXTER'S TEEN DRUMS CD-r burn (originally on Capitol)

Long before Amon Duul I got into the act teenagers were bangin' on congas, tambourines and whatever they could get their acne'd hands on. On this particular platter they (or at least I assume the well-scrubbed specimens on the cover) are boppin' the bongos to none other than hi-fi nut hero Les Baxter's grown-up-oriented sounds that once again brings out the workaday schmoe circa 1961 lazing about inna den feeling that I sure wish was prevalent here in the jaded 'teens. It's too bad that the entire genre hadda evaporate along with the listening audience who just ain't around anymore, but I will say that it was stuff like this that really knew how to put the hair on your chest, and I don't mean you wimmen either!
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Clancy-SERIOUSLY SPEAKING CD-r burn (originally on Warner Brothers)

Considering the presence of the legendary Ernie Graham in Clancy's lineup I was thinkin' this to be one of those mildly pleasing mid-seventies pub rock platters that continue to wow 'n amaze even forty years down the pike. Well, once in awhile I don't quite sniff 'em out like with this 'un, and frankly I thought Clancy was such a snoozeroonie that I was kinda living under the delusion that Warners had somehow got this 'un mixed up with some unreleased Doobie Brothers demos. A muscular boy as Peter Noone woulda said, unless you're still missing the Laurel Canyon coke 'n karma mindset that somehow hoodwinked an entire generation of people who should have engaged in retroactive eugenics smack dab off the highest cliff their spiritual advisers could point 'em at.
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Surprieze-ZEER OUDE KLANKEN EN HEEL NEUWE GELIUDEN CD-r burn

As far as freakazoid out-there early-seventies mainland Euro platters go ZEER OUDE KLANKEN EN HEEL NEUWE GELIUDEN isn't quite the messterpiece that those Futura albums let alone Amon Duul I were, but this Dutch treat is pretty good in itself. Three-string electric guitar and whacked out singer (accompanied by, at various times, flute, violin, drums and bagpipes) evoke the spirit of early-seventies Beefheart on a spree of blues, rock and downright punkian concerns that should dig into the souls of various people who were spinning fringe music throughout the eighties. There must have been hundreds of acts like this sprouting up across the globe at this time yet only a few have had the pleasure of putting their sounds to wax. So like, you know what to do now already, right?
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Various Artists-MIRIAM LINNA'S RECORD COLLECTION CD-r burn (originally on Gyro)

These recent compilations built upon a certain theme (such as Kris Needs' various DIRTY WATER collections) have been interesting if only to collect certain tracks in a variety of thematic ways, but this one really does take the cake! And it's one with lots of gooey icing and a flower or two to really get the blood sugar level up! Yes, none other than rock 'n roll sweetheart Miriam Linna is the theme of this 'un which I guess is a gathering of personal fave rave numbers, and all I gotta say is WHAT A SOO-PRIZE!

At one time I thought Miriam's record collection would have contained nothing but old garageabilly stompers recorded in Aunt Mabel's living room back '59 way, but this disque contains nada but luxurious pop/rock musings dating from '63 (Bobby Darin's surprisingly downbeat and slow burn "Not For Me") to '90 (the Klick, whoever they may be!) which seems to be Miriam's big thing these days considering the tone and demeanor of her two solo albums. And although none of these numbers were hits as far as I know they all have a nice mid-sixties (even the Ramones track!) pop lilt to 'em that conjures up carpool trips to and from school more'n anything. As far as these gatherings go it did fit in swell with my own afternoon day off lollygagging which had me fantasizing that I was eight again and trying to cool my heels between lunchtime and the afternoon cartoons. Thanks a lot Miriam!
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The James Gang-YER ALBUM CD-r burn (originally on Bluesway ABC)

It may be yer album, but it sure ain't mine! Not that I particularly wanted to tinkle sprinkle on this particular offering, but the whiteboy bloozy approach and mere presence of Joe Walsh is enough to make me yearn for the sweeter strains of Throbbing Gristle. Although not as pungent as they would get within a few years, the denim and fringe of the whole seventies/eighties AM gunch that ruined life for more people'n myself can be strongly detected. And not only that, but the little orchestral touches between the tracks (part of the avant garde dabbling that was so popular at the time) only makes the knife-twisting a little more painful. And to think that there were people buying albums like this when the Stooges' first platter came out!
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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HOLLYWOOD BRATS CD-r burn (originally on Sonet, Sweden)

As far as New York Dolls ripoffs go the Hollywood Brats were about as good as the Magic Tramps or the Frenchies or even alla those other groups that had "Brats" in their moniker. As far as Rolling Stones ripoffs go they were about as good as the seventies version of that act could get which is always open to discussion. Nothing spectacular here (no real moves to transcend the usual straight ahead rock doldrums are made) but it sure feels good on the ears after being inundated with the usual sounds ya get to hear these days whether you want to or not. While I'm at it, when is that new Magic Tramps collection gonna finally make its way to our doors anyway??? 've been waiting for a longer time than any of you could imagine.
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Various Artists-NO MORE MYSTIFY TODDY CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

A bizzarity here, but a good bizzarity at that. Mostly sixties-era garage band thunpers, althoughthe ranch house mood is distracted by the appearance of Red Foley's pro-booze fave "Hot Toddy" right smack inna middle of it all and while it does disrupt the proceedings somewhat it's still a wowzer to make your way through. The garagier portion of the proceedings are snat too, what with a variety of tracks by the Stonemen (who do a song called 6X9 which I think is a lumber term) and the Petrified Forest, a bunch who really knew how to plagiarize the Rolling Stones just as much as every other group trying to write an original song way back when. And although the Rumblers' "It's a Gas" ain't the Alfred E. Neuman hit I thought it would be I must admit that I found disque opener "No More" by Kri-Babe (on the "Boo Hoo" label) extremely great what with the singer who I assume is Kri himself sniffin' and blubberin' his way through this tale of lost gal woe. I dunno about you but I sure coulda used an entire platter full of his wah-wahing and I'm sure you could too. Crypt Records, why you sleeping onna job?!?!?!?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hey Pittsburgh guys, this is the gal you've
been whangin' the waddler to all these years!
IF THERE'S A BUSTLE IN YOUR HEDGE ROW CALL AN EXTERMINATOR!!! TOP TEN ANNOYING CLASSIC ROCK SONGS by BRAD KOHLER!!!!!!!!!

I was lucky enough to avoid the dreaded "classic" rock radio station in Pittsburgh for many years. However, now I work ("work????"---Maynard G. Krebs) a job where I am forced to listen. Except for a sprinkling of bands that didn't exist when I graduated high school in 1979, the format and playlist, fossilized like a dinosaur turd in the radio wave equivalent of primordial ooze, is the same. Even afternoon host Michelle, with her sexy voice remains. For decades she has titillated teens calling in stammering requests for Zep. I don't know if anyone under the age of thirty (forty?) listens to WDVE but if you're picturing Michelle as some kind of divine mash-up of Loni Anderson (google her kids) and Tawny Kitain (sp?), I have to burst your lust bubble. At this point in time Michelle must be wearing support hose and a shawl. If you still want to fantasize about a particular act she would perform on you, remember that her teeth will be in a glass while she's doing it.

1) LIFE'S BEEN GOOD TO ME SO FAR or whatever the title is. No rock song should have a part in it that sounds like it was written for a tuba. You know the part I'm sure, as everyone has been forced to listen to these songs so long its like the audio version of Chinese Water Torture. I tried suing the artists, record label et al for suffering and emotional distress, but the statute of limitations had run out. Anyway, this song has a riff so constipated that every time I hear it I have to drink prune juice to get my bowels to move. (Michelle honey - don't play this song - it's what's blocking you up down there. And don't leave your seven day pill container lying around. The interns might substitute your estrogen with Oxycontin for a cheap laugh,) Then there's the written-for-tuba part, then Joe Walsh tells us about his rock star life in a whiny voice. Insufferable.

2) SUITE JUDY BLUE EYES or whatever the title is. When I was a teenage this song was played without fail on Sunday morning as we made our way to church. (My father had forsworn the elevator music station as a looming mid-life crisis gathered like some titanic emotional snowball plowing downhill.) This song is the worst kind of hippie excess AND REMINDS ME OF BEING IN SCRATCHY CHURCH PANTS! On a side note, we also heard Desmond Dekker doing "Israelites" every Sunday. Could 'DVE have actually played it? One of the coolest songs ever heard on the radio.

3) WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS/BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. When I was in high school kids would say things like "I don't like Kiss for the music so much, but their show is great" or "I'm not too into Queen except for the guitar. Brian May is so great" or "Hey Kohler, what's that fag music you're listening to?" Which brings us to...

4) BENNY AND THE JETS. Is it just me or does this song last ten minutes? Ten minutes, and fully half of it is "BE - BE - BE - BENNY...BE - BE - BE - BENNY". (Kinda sounds like Shemp-ed.) Listen to the piano about three quarters of the way through. I swear Elton John gets bored with the song. Or maybe he saw Bernie Taupin sniffing up a mountain of cocaine through the studio glass and got distracted.

5) NEW KID IN TOWN. Is this the Eagles or a solo thing from one of them? Who cares. Sure "Hotel California" would have been an easy target and this song got played quite a bit less comparatively, but how high do you have to be to think this toss off that would barely be considered for a B-side in any sane world is worthy of release? (See "mountains of cocaine" reference in #4.) I  always expect someone to start yodeling in this.

6) THE DOORS SONG WHERE MORRISON DOES THAT BIT ABOUT "YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD THROUGH PRAYER". I will thank the Doors for writing the song "LA Woman" which inspired Iggy to steal the middle portion and write the blistering "Head On"/"Head On Curb" for the Stooges.

7) SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN. This version by Bruce Springsteen (who by the way my friend Sean points out is for some reason called "The Boss" even though he's supposed to embody the whole blue collar working class ethos, and who the hell likes their boss???) ruins Christmas every year. Well, that and the fact that I don't still have the Creepy Crawlers assembly kid I got as a single digit kid (I do, though ran outta that plastic goo stuff 'round '69!-ed.).

8) DUST IN THE WIND. Mainly because this was Moon High School Class of 1979's class song. Could my fellow students get any more depressing? Hello, we're eighteen years old and have our whole lives ahead of us. Sure, I might be reduced to typing up a rant about classic rock songs that will  end up on a blog in 2016, but I didn't know that then. The future was bright and the rest of my pubic hair had just sprouted (the day after my final gym class).

9) OPEN THE DOOR (AND LET 'EM IN) or whatever it's called. I'm sorry Sean, I know this is tantamount to heresy to put anything by a member of the Beatles on this list, and I kinda like the angle that McCartney is asking someone to answer the door because he's too stoned to get up, but this is the kind of song my father would play "mouth saxophone" to. Also it seems like it's a half hour long and indulges Macca's insidious tin pan alley prevarications. Shut the door.

10) RENEGADE. You know what's funny? This stupid song has been adopted by Pittsburgh Steelers fans as a paen to firing up the defensive team and the crowd at games. If the Steelers need a critical stop on defense, you can be sure that this song will be heard over the sound system. Now, what would you fire up a bunch of 200 plus pound steroid cases on the field with? A heavy metal riff denser than the largest black hole in the universe, right? Or, given that most of the players are African American, some hellacious rap song? No, you use this pansy song where the beginning is basically "cooed" and then breaks into a jaunty riff that sounds like men in liederhosen should be dancing to it. Unbelievable.

Well, that's it. Time to comb out my mullet and jump into my muscle car. The cracks in the foundation of the once mighty classic rock station are beginning to show, what with the aging of their audience and the competition from the internet/satellite radio outlets. Gone are the days when my friends and I could take an x-acto knife, transform "WDVE ROCKS" bumper stickers into "WDVE SUCKS" and infuriate other motorists so much they would try to run us off the road. Hell, the station even gives away a thousand bucks for listening and knowing the code word and back in their heyday they could have demanded listeners send THEM a thousand bucks and my high school would have taken up a collection. Howza 'bout sending your own suggestions for all time crappy classic rock songs care of this station, and the next time YOU have to suffer through the Doobie Brothers, take solace in the fact that when "God Save the Queen" was #1 in the Brit charts, even though the powers that be left a blank space instead of printing the offending band name/song "Hotel California" got sloppy seconds.

Oh yeah, I must add BLINDED BY THE LIGHT as 10.B) not so much for the line that sounds like "wrapped up like a douche" but for the line about "little Curly Wirly drove by in his Hurdy Birdie" or some ridiculous crap. And it was written by "The Boss". A grown man should never say "Curly Wirly! (I dunno---after all this guy believes in his soul of souls that its entirely proper for hairy forty-year-old men who think they're women to poop in restroom stalls next to eight-year-old girls!-ed.).

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BOOK REVIEW! PLAYGROUND; GROWING UP IN THE NEW YORK UNDERGROUND BY PAUL ZONE WITH JAKE AUSTIN (Glitterati, 2014)

Gotta 'fess up front that the Fast never were my idea of a top notch En Why See rock 'n roll outfit, but unlike a horde of music aficionados I do enjoy their recordings a whole lot more than is socially acceptable. Yeah they weren't exactly a knock-down-drag-out buncha guys like the Dictators or Von Lmo, but they did produce some great Anglo-derived early punk rock that does hold up to much of the glam slam music that was being produced in England during the seventies. And with that in mind I snatched this not-so-recent book up if only to re-live more of those seventies record-browsing days when albums like THE VELVET UNDERGROUND LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY, THE HEARTBREAKERS LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY and of course MAX'S KANSAS CITY VOLUMES ONE AND TWO (notice a pattern?) were popping up in the record bins and boy did I wish that I could have enough moolah to take 'em all home 'n give 'em all a nice big listenin'!

It's a picture book that former Fast member Paul Zone (the one with the sailor fixation) put out, filled with really rare and historically pertinent snaps of bands we used to read about alla time in ROCK SCENE but were too chicken to run away to New York City to actually go see. Featuring photos of the big-time local acts (well, at least big-time to us kids striking poses in the bedroom mirrors of our suburban squats) a book like this really does help reinforce all of those memories of heavy-duty rock 'n roll thrills that were being promised to us from the far away grit and fun that was happenin' at the time. And boy does it got the hotcha snaps that have remained hidden so far, not only with plenty of Fast live shots and loads of nifty fliers (hey, it's THEIR book!), but those of close and personal friends and allies ranging from the likes of Blondie, Lance Loud and the Ramones not forgetting various not-quite-over-the-"made it"-line acts like the Planets and Krayola (not the Red ones, but the all-gal punks) who we might have read plenty about but never got to hear much to our dismay I gather.

Amazingly obscure snaps of a pre-beat box Suicide (back when Alan Vega was spray painted in gold wearing that blond ladies wig and Martin Rev was bangin' on a bass drum), and even Wayne County un-tranned can be found, and although this era of rock 'n roll is one that continues to stimulate my stirrups I'm kinda glad that it didn't come out way back when because frankly, I don't think my poor li'l heart coulda stood it!

And for you big time if it ain't on the radio it can't be any good!" rock fans a few major movers can be found here such as Marc Bolan and Ray Davies not forgetting Sparks and Kiss, which somehow I see as a big incentive for all of you to dig into your pile of oft-neglected albums to give KISS ALIVE your first spin in thirty years!

The text that precedes the snaps is extremely informative to an anal retentive seventies rock fan such as myself though can get bogged down a bit (I mean, the "Man 2 Man" post-Fast disco days don't really send chills up and down my aching spine), but as usual you can "bleeb" over that stuff to get to the goodies you've been waiting for! And like, I've been waiting for this kinda book for eons already, and if you're still clutching onto your old fanzines and self-produced singles four decades later like I am let's just say that you just can't find a better resensifyer for your sagged out system! Now if I could only turn on the tee-vee and watch an old episode of DRAGNET on the local station would my seventies longings be quenched, at least for a tiny while.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Frankly I'm kinda tired (spring fever has set in), so no big opening pep talk regarding my personal life or politix or kultur in general to pad this thing out a bit. Aren't you glad???

The David Roter Band-"I Think I Slept With Jackie Kennedy Last Night"/"He's a Rabbi" 45 rpm record (Unknown Tongue)

Big surprise of the week's this particular spinner dating back '79 way, the first (that I know of) platter by the legendary yet way underdocumented En Why area minstrel David Roter. Oft talked about yet hardly ever heard, Roter was a man who was constantly mentioned (some may say hyped) by minds as bright as R. Meltzer and Bobby Abrams in books (THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK) and magazines (FUSION) for nigh on twelve years before this blink 'n you'll miss single was unleashed on whatever public there was who'd wanna pick up such an obscurity as this inna first place!

The plug side was so good that Roter re-did it on one of his later releases, but here "I Think I Slept With Jackie Kennedy" is even better, perhaps because it ain't as lush as the version that ended up on FIND SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL Cee-Dee even if it lacks the post-mortem appreciation of it all. And if YOU TOO, like David, had those hotcha sex fantasies regarding our First Lady back when you were hitting the pubesprout portion of your life well...you just might go for this 'un too.

The "Sweet Jane" riffs sound stronger and Roter's in top form the way he belts out that passionate tale of a pick up that might very well have been none other'n the former Mrs. Onassis. or at least Lee Radziwhatshername. On the flip Roter mangles "He's a Rebel" in this tale of a gal who falls for the rabbi who teaches at her yeshiva and of course the yuks are on full blast to the point where some of you GUILTIER types'll think you're anti-Semitic for daring to chortle even in the least! As the old saying goes you don't have to be Jewish, but it sure helps!

Two strong sides from this tres original (and long deceased) BOC/Dictators buddy who's due for a big retrodoc of his material because hey, the way his name was referenced throughout the seventies I'd sure like to know what it was really all about! Maybe someday we'll all finally get to lend ear to his legendary and unreleased gems like "I'm a Doper (And Not Ashamed)" as well as that all-time classic "Jame (no sic) Brown".
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Yoshi Wada-OFF THE WALL CD (EM, Japan)

Fluxiod Wada does really good with this collection of drone pieces that wallow somewhere between Philip Glass and Tony Conrad all done up with bagpipes, an affected pipe organ and maybe some tympani and other boom booms tossed in. The results sound like a gathering of the clans under the influence of Redi Whip fumes and personally I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate Robert Burns' birthday than spinning this particular rouser (like, I wouldn't eat haggis on a bet!). Like Glass the sounds move and the rhythm gives this (in part) a particularly rock 'n roll drone-y kinda feeling that might even appeal to some of your less universally-minded brethren. But I kinda doubt it.
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Nirvana Sitar and String Group-SITAR AND STRINGS CD-r burn (originally on Mr. G Records)

There must have been a zillion of these sitar platters cooked up ever since George Harrison raised Ravi Chancre's stock a few thousandfold, but this one really is a specialty amongst cheap cash-ins. The hits of the day played by...who knows...Mr. G himself backed by a full-blown orchestra adding all of the syrupy sloppiness we've come to know from the 101 Strings to the familiar twangs and gleeps of the sitar. Nothing to up nose at really, though after a spin of this I was so bogged down in karmic slop that I kinda felt like one of those hippies on an episode of DRAGNET who are so out of their skulls that they don't even notice when Friday and Gannon unexpectedly bust in
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The Bevis Frond-EXAMPLE 22 Cd-r burn (originally on Woronzow, England)

Didn't even know that the Bevis Frond were still together. Shows how current and uppa-date with this thing called the underground I am! Still despite my own stupidity with regards to these once-popular-in-my-mind acts I gotta say that I am surprised by this.Yeah it is a little Hendrix-y heavy at times which might not suit some of you readers but I like this post-psychedelic stew that sounds like what the music that was oft heard on seventies FM AOR-styled rock shoulda, if it had a little more tension to it. Some Floydian flourishes here and there, maybe a tad of...Robin Trower???...but still together enough in a way that's more fitting of an English outdoor free festival ca. 1971 than the Royal Albert Hall. Might not be a bad 'un if you're craving something in the old "heavy" genre and your Hydra albums are nowhere to be found.
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Zachary Thaks-IT'S THE END CD-r burn (originally on Big Beat, England)

I know that you, me and everybody but Helen Keller's heard these classic track before, or at least heard 'em via various sixties garage band rock compilations and that Moxie LP from the early-eighties, but it's always nice hearing 'em again. This selection of everything-plus really goes to show you just how varied the Thaks were, from the orchestrated (and perhaps gloppy but so what) "Mirror of Yesterday" to the straight ahead Brit Invasion pounce of the Kinks' "I Need You" and da blooze ("Weekday Blues") not forgetting the Texas influences that you woulda expected all along ("Bad Girl" and "My Door" being just a few). Yeah this ain't nowhere as cozmik as the 13th Floor Elevators or as avant garde as the Red Krayola (plus "Everybody Wants to be Somebody" reminds me of laid back Dead of all things!), but it's sure a testament to what sixties rock could be during those days when it was the most strident form of teenage expression yet not the overwrought self-pitying mess it became in only a few year's time.
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Various Artists-STRANGE WORLDS; SIXTIES GARAGE BAND TREASURES CD-r burn

Like a few of these garage band collections STRANGE WORLDS's got more than its share of softer suburban slob trackage that really doesn't measure up to the big guns of mid-six-oh rockism. Don't expect anything the caliber of the Seeds or Sonics here, but do expect some nice teenage moaners o'er the lack of proper pudendum that seems to be at the heart of many of these self-produced sides. Not bad at all even if it falls quite short of them BACK FROM THE GRAVE propensities that I seems to judge all garage band collections by. Fave of the batch: the Sabers' "Skinny Minny" which ain't the song ya think it is, but you'll love it all the same.
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LOBBY LOYDE PLAYS WITH GEORGE GUITAR CD-r burn (originally on Infinity Records)

This 'un might be a tad slick for some of you BLOG TO COMM grungemeisters, but I find LOBBY LOYDE PLAYS WITH GEORGE GUITAR to be hey, rather exhilarating in spots. Of course in other spots I think it comes off typical early-seventies professional and "hey look Ma, I can play da blooze!" but this does deliver on those early-seventies high-energy jamz. Y'know, the same kinda jamz that some of us still crave even though it's forty-plus years later and we're supposed to have gone beyond alla that primitive thud and wail. Not bad for a once-in-awhile guitar-laden experience...one that doesn't rot on ya that is.
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Various Artists-INCENSE AND OLDIES CD-r burn (originally on Buddah)

Wow what a neet idea! The cream of the Buddah (and other labels) classic hits on a budget platter, each track prefaced with this deep soothing voice spouting pseudo-meaningful prose related somewhat to the numbers we're about to listen to. You can just see the gals in Junior High just getting all frothy over the deep spiritual meaning of it all the way Mr. Smoothie intellectualizes in his own hippoid way well-loved trackage like "Chapel of Love" and "Give Him a Great Big Kiss"...one spin'll get the gals turning into bowls of wiggly gelatin at which point you finally get your way with 'em----isn't that neat?!?! Great selection too from Tommy James and the Tradewinds to the Jelly Beans and Ad Libs...if sixties straight-ahead pop w/o the ROLLING STONE-bred journalistic highbrow approach is your musical meat I'm sure there is some aging relative's record collection you can snatch this outta!
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Various Artists-SWEET LITTLE LEAPYEAR PIECES CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Another shortie from Bill featuring a whole slewwa obscurities that you've probably never heard of before and probably never will heard about again, sorta like this very blog in fact. The song-poems are entertaining in their own crank-out suburban slob way, while the obscure country and rock material give off the same sorta amateur hour nerve-jangle even this far down the line as they must have back in the early-sixties when these sides were being laid down. In all, the aural equivalent of an antiques mall table filled with cheap gadgetry of an era long gone or better yet a look through your Aunt Mabel's attic seeing all of the stuff you used to see when you were but a mere turdler, only its a half-century later and like you still wonder why she never unloaded this stuff at a garage sale like just about everyone else on this planet of ours woulda!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

BOOKS REVIEW! THE COMPLETE PEANUTS 1971-1974  BOX SET by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics, 2009)

Garsh, I'm suckered. Being marooned in my smelly boudoir throughout the winter months with nothing but those old PEANUTS (and MAD) books to read has really brought out the latent 12-year-old in me (good thing it didn't bring out the latent 14-year-old, because I can't find my old NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC hula girl and Japanese pearl diver issues). So hey, what else could I do but dish out some more hard-to-come-by cash for yet another box set of old PEANUTS strips which I never thought I would want to read again in a millyun/billyun years!

Sure I could be reading 'em all for FREE in the newspaper, only in these books they ain't squashed down or distorted because someone's trying to fit a whole buncha comics (both old 'n new...seems that a lotta strips are mere reruns these days!) into a partial page given the high costs of putting out a daily periodical that hardly anyone seems to read anymore! Like, they look better here as if that matters to anyone these sorry and cheapazoid days!

Those seventies-era paperback collections I brought up in the Schulz book reminded me that the seventies era of PEANUTS strips really wasn't as cloyingly bad as I remembered it to be (I might have been off a decade or two considering how horrid it eventually became at some point in the strip's run).  I could say that, after the original PEANUTS putsch of the mid-late sixties had ground down to a mild roar it had, at least in my pwn suburban slob mind, improved quite a bit what with some of the better storylines to have appeared ever in PEANUTS. Take the one about the Charlie Brown testimonial dinner or the "Ha Ha, Herman" game and the legendary "Mr. Sack" poppin' into the ol' routine...talk about humor that does fit into the seventies definition of the term only without the bad taste and (cuttingly) offensive humor that the decade of NATIONAL LAMPOON and SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE was known for!

The gags were even dryer'n they were even a few years earlier, and frankly a whole lotta the cuteness that I tended to associate with the later (read: post-megafame) comics has been replaced by a nice snarly attitude that I can certainly work myself into. No more of that "happiness is a warm puppy" crap here I'll tell ya!

Maybe if I had gotten hold of the missing reprints in my collection from the mid-sixties on I'd remember those quite differently than I do, but then again alla of those PEANUTS books, dolls, posters, banners, TV specials etc. do tend to cloud my mind with some of the sappier aspects of sixties sensitive happiness cutedom that never did settle well with my esophagus (at least to the point where I got older and I suddenly had the same attitude towards PEANUTS that Charlie Brown had towards Davy Crockett---y'know, "WHEN WILL IT ALL END?"!!!).

The introduction of "Rerun" Van Pelt really doesn't do much for me considering how much I thought his existence was about as big a mistake as Faron's (a feeling that was originally felt by Schulz himself until he managed to use the young'un for some pre-school-styled roles that the others had outgrown), though I gotta say that none other'n the bespectacled and nerdy Marcie was a character that really helped boost the strip quite a bit. In fact it may be surprising to you but this particular PEANUT ain't as one-D as I always thought she was and that she did add a certain somethingorother to the proceedings what with her comparatively straightforward if at times not-always-"there" thinking that none of the other characters really seem to possess.

And hey, in no way do I now even remotely consider (after years of utter shock over the alleged fact) that Marcie 'n Peppermint Patty'r a buncha dykes like everyone and their fanabla friends have been sayin' for a longer time'n any of us could imagine. True, sometimes PP hugs Marcie in a fit of joy 'r something along those innocent lines but I see nothing Sapphic with anything regarding their "relationship" and neither should you, unless yer the kinda guy who still reads a whole lotta things into Laurel and Hardy. However, I gotta wonder about Snoopy and Woodstock who come off a whole lot more LGBTQWXYZ'n anything else onna comic page I care to know about. The way Snoopy hugs that bird and the way the two have spats 'n all before making up (complete w/li'l hearts a-flyin') has 'em comin' off like the yer idealized Hollywood homo marriage to the point where I could see George Takei making a guest appearance in their swirling hot tub! Yeah back then we were so innocent to know about such things but now...sheesh!  Ferget PP and Marcie...these two are the ultimate comic strip homos and don't let nobody else tell you different!

Given how the NANCY and ARCHIE compilation series have seem to have come to a standstill this one does help sate the early-seventies comic strip turdball in me. Might dish out for a few more, unless those aforementioned series just happen to continue whilst I'm not looking. Hey, I know where my priorities lie.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

BOOK REVIEW BY BRAD KOHLER!!! WHEN THE MOVIES WERE YOUNG by Mrs. D.W. Griffith (Dover 1970...originally published in 1925)

That would be the FIRST Mrs. D.W. Griffith, Linda Arvidson, who parted with (but was not divorced from) the legendary director sometime during the early Biograph period (Lillian Gish, who arrived in 1912, said that Arvidson was gone a year or more before). For Arvidson to still be referring to herself as Mrs. Griffith in 1925 when this book was first published would seem to infer a melodrama concerning her ex and his subsequent squeeze that would have itself have made for a juicy movie plot.

The fact that Arvidson disappeared so early begs to question as to how she knows so much backstory concerning the Biograph day to day machinations up and until BIRTH OF A NATION, where the book concludes.

Whatever the case, this is an entertaining read, full of tales of winging productions on the fly, recollection of personalities like a young Mack Sennett, and the general fun and chaos of birthing a brand new medium.

The earliest cinema was pretty much tut-tutted by actors who aspired to Broadway plays, and appearing in "one-reelers" was considered a form of slumming that could damage one's name. Of course Griffith was mainly responsible for the seismic change to come, though it's ironic that he downplayed "star power" as a selling point even though he was responsible for many of the early faces which the public was keen to part with a nickel to see.

Given the 1925 publishing date there is nothing more spicy than salary squabbles, some extras setting up between-shoot crap games, or the Gish sisters hiking their skirts up to nearly knee level once beyond the protective eye of their mother but hey, this is a family blog. If you can get past the fact that the only "silent" film most people in 2016 could name would be JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK, then proceed on...
"All this will be told of in books reposing on dusty library shelves. Possibly a name alone will be left to whisper to posterity of their endeavor, or tinned celluloid reels shown maybe on special occasions, only to be greeted by roars of laughter - even scenes of tender death bed partings - so old fashioned will the technique be.

But David Wark Griffith's record may yet perhaps shine with the steady bright light of his courage, of his patient laboring day by day, of his consecration to his work; and of his faithful love for his calling, once thought so lowly."

Saturday, April 09, 2016

I hate to keep talking about the weather'n all (actually I don't...I just don't wanna end up lookin' all bowtie square'n all), but did any of you Northeastern Ohio/Western Pennsylvania types take a good look out the window Saturday morning? Talk about a tragic return to sad 'n sorry winter weather smack dab sorta inna middle of April! Sheesh, here I go putting away the sled and galoshes and what do we get but a big winter blowout (notice how I didn't make any references to certain BLOG TO COMM adversaries such as "calm down, so-and-so"??? Keeping true to my New Year's Resolution this late in the game 'n I'm proud!) that's just about as bad or even worse'n the actual winter we experienced here in the Tri-County area. Of course I've noticed, thanks to good ol' fashioned EXPERIENCE, that spring snow storms like this usually mean we're gonna have a hot 'n nasty summer on our hands, and if that's so let's get settled down for some wild heat, severe thunderstorms and maybe even a twister or two! Sheesh, if I only still watched reg'lar tee-vee I could get all scared over those weather warning interruptions the same way I did when I was four, only now I thankfully have more control over my beneath-the-bellybutton regions that I did way back when so no damp underwear to make fun of me over now, CYSTER!!!!
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But otherwise I guess I should be proud of myself that I managed to trudge through another winter fairly intact. No major diseases were contracted (even the dread Chinese Gongo) leaving me fitter than even a fiddle played by Ornette Coleman throughout the not as bitterly cold months as we've had. But you didn't come here to read my rattle about the weather and kissing diseases now did you? Naw, yer here for DA MOOZIC and with that here da reviews be! Thanks for Bill, Fadensonnen, Paul, and nobody else for the burnt offerings which have made this week a...well, a week!


The Gizmos-21st CENTURY GIZMOS FANS CAN'T BE WRONG 7-inch 33 rpm EP (Gulcher)

As the title track suggests, who would have thunk back in '76 that there were not only BE a twenty-first century, but if there was one there'd be an up-and-functioning Gizmos in it! Continuing on the grand 7-inch 33 rpm EP tradition of the original (and not-so) Gizmos comes this classic a good forty years after the fact which not only features most of the creme of the original act (Highland/Flowers/Niemec/Coffee) but two new guys (gal?) and the infamous bassist known to one and all as Darwin Layne.

Of course it's all FANTABULOUS, almost as if the original Gizmos never left us in the lurch and neither did the kind of hard-edged rock 'n roll they played for that matter! And although all of the lyrics are nice 'n cleen you can still dance to it as much as you did "Mean Screen" back when you were young and nobody was home to yell at you if you took your clothes off to do such a thing (admit it, you usedta do stuff like that!).

Not a fault can be found with this extended platter which sounds like it could have been outtakes from that famed '76 session but one thing does kinda stick in my anus like a half-digested peanut...y'see, I thought "21st Century Gizmos Fans" was gonna be a swipe from the King Crimson number "21st Century Schizoid Man", nothing I would have expected to be part of the Gizmos overall musical outlook mind you but it woulda been fun anyway.
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Snakefinger-BOARDING HOUSE, SAN FRANCISCO 9/11/79 CD-r burn

It may be heresy to you (but so what!), but I never was a big fan 'n follower of Snakefinger even during those early Ralph Records big underground putsch days when his name seemed to be on everyone's lips, or at least some bodily orifice. In fact I recall loathing a late-eighties live tape of his that some mag or another saddled me with, but I surely ain't gonna let past impressions dampen any critical assessments of this particular audience-quality recording.

Overall this is whatcha'd call "fair" although it does bring up various aspects of 70s/80s cusp underground rock that didn't quite settle with me like it might have with you. But then again I might be confusing the musician with his audience which always can be a damning affair. If you were one of the more serious Residents/Ralph fans of those sensory overload days you'll undoubtedly enjoy hearing those album and single tracks done live, but when it comes to Ralphist Glories Past its MX-80 Sound for me and nothing else, baby.
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Young Canadians a.k.a. the K-Tels-UNKNOWN RADIO SHOW VANCOUVER, BC 1979 Cd-r burn

NeverneverNEVER heard these guys before so you could say that it was a virginal experience for my well-traveled ears. And considering how my ears have been poked by some of the vilest music imaginable o'er these past thirtysome I gotta say that this particular sit down went rather swimmingly if I do say so myself.

Given that I haven't been cozying up to punk as pUnk the way I did only a good two or so decades back, I actually was able to get into its, uh, universe (as R. Meltzer would put it) and even though the Young 'uns can be considered derivative and heard before many a time and everything else that snooty rock critics have been damning this music with I certainly had a jolly time with the whole thing.

Punk trio drive-throughs that are about two years away from hardcore and three beyond punk as we knew about it via CREEM...loads of tough guy originals and a slew of classic oldies covers that don't sound ridiculous in the least. A nice surprise for a guy like me even though I was spending those days going on a rather different musical trajectory despite keeping allegiance to anything that was the anti-Christopher Cross, y'know.
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The Hi-Risers-LOST WEEKEND CD-r burn (originally on Spinout)

So maybe you ain't as hot on sixties-revival rock now as you were a good thirtysome years back when it all seemed so...so fresh inna face of the usual AM/FM blandies of the day. Well, neither am I, though I will admit that this 2004 recording is pretty tough stuff even though it does come a few decades after the fact. If you like those surf-y kinda groups like the Barracudas who mixed a little bitta garage band slam into their sound then the Hi-Risers will be way up your expanded alley, what with their spunky originals that really do recall some of those great pre-Sunshine surf hits along with some of the punk snarl that was coming outta the El Lay area at the time. I usually don't toss the confetti over these kinda groups but this one is pretty stimulating, even for a jaded fanabla like myself.
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Hugo Montenegro-ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK ALBUM---LADY IN CEMENT CD-r burn (originally on 20th Century Fox Records)

Another 'un for the stereo nut dad in the knotty pine rec room. I guess without the moom pitcher to actually look at a good bunch of these soundtrack elpees ain't exactly that thrilling (especially if you were one of those suburban slob kids who was inundated with MARY POPPINS back '64 way because your mom loved it so), and this 'un ain't any different. I mean, without the presence of Dan Blocker or Raquel Welch's suckems to look at where's the joy in a platter like this? Good enough to ease you outta those everyday blooze if you're the kinda workaday guy who likes to come home from work 'n slap the slippers on while fantasizing about being Ozzie Nelson...and who in their right mind isn't?
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Eno and the Winkies-A YEAR WITH A COLLAPSED LUNG - 1974 CD-r burn

As most of us can remember Eno was real hot patooties back in the mid-seventies what with all of those album appearances as well as magazine articles out the legendary wazoo. And if a teenaged turdball such as myself knew who he was (even though for some strange reason I had originally harbored the impression that he was a member of the original Velvet Underground), then just about everyone outside the AV Club did as well. And a lot sooner than I would have expected too.

Most of the infamous Peel sessions Eno did with the Winkies start off the thing, but you'll probably be more interested in the live tape of one of the very few Eno/Winkies shows that was recorded at some place called King's Hall in Derby which I guess is the city where the famed hat came from. Sound quality is definitely 1967 General Electric portable cassette machine, but the spirit shines through as Eno take his band through not only the standard WARM JETS songbook but a few interesting covers not only including the Peel Sesh fave "Fever" but the Who's "I'm a Boy", "What Goes On" (done with the same drive and fervor of the 1969 LIVE take that was fresh in most of our memories) and the Neil Sedaka (and Rockin' Vickers) showstopper "I Go Ape"! Too bad nobody at Island thought of doing a professional recording of these gigs because like, they do hit the high Roxy strata of English rock energy more than those MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS platters ever did!
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FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH CD-r burn

Sheesh, I only thought that the Monkees and nobody else but were on Colgems...turns out this teenage pop bunch originating from Fredericksburg Texas made it onto the label as well. And really, if there was a group custom-made for Colgems other'n the Monkees it was Fountain of Youth! Teenage, poppy, good looking and snugly fit into the late-sixties gal heart throb market, the Fountains had a whole lot goin' for 'em even if they sadly didn't really go anywhere making me wonder who at Colgems dared SLIP UP!

A bright mix of bubblegum, late-garage band-era chords and AM sunshine pop that really does excite even with (because of?) the slick production guaranteed to get alla the iron-haired gals to listen up. In fact this is so good I wish that Meltzer had given 'em ample space in THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK and that at least half of these tracks had somehow charted in '68 'stead of Dionne Warwick. Gals, if your teenybop bedroom still has a poster with a unicorn and a rainbow, you need Fountain of Youth on your li'l portable player an' like, right now! Boys, if you wanna check and see if yer gals' bedrooms have not only that unicorn and rainbow poster but the Fountain of Youth on the portable player...lucky YOU!!!
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Various Artists-BAMALAMA TEENAGE PINKO CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Dunno who this Benjamin Booker guy is, though he sure seems to be one HONEST continuations of the blues idiom if these two tracks can be trusted. Turns out he has his own website as well a a debut album, so maybe he will go places even though they're places you'd probably be too chicken to go to. The various country swing stuff did settle fine with me and listening to Lonnie Mae cookin' up a hotcha early-sixties gal screamer with the aid of future Rascal Gene Cornish was something that made my day but for exactly what reason I do not know.

The Little Richard swipe from "Big John Greer" did me fine as did the post Van Them track, but the biggest surprise was the Charades single which I guess tackled some pertinent political questions as early as '66, the surprise being they sound more like 1970 country-rock era Byrds than they do mid-sixties bonafeed country types! And hey, are ex-Swamp Rat Bob Hocko's Galactus (here represented by two middling sides of a single) the same Galactus that was spotted on various spring '76 NYC club listings, one in which they actually opened for the Shirts? I'd like to know if only for the sake of personal obsessive historical concerns though frankly, with a name like Galactus there must have been dozens of 'em roamin' the club scenes back then.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

DOUBLE DEE-VEE-DEE SET REVIEW! THE VITAPHONE COMEDY COLLECTION VOLUME TWO---SHEMP HOWARD (1933-1937) (Warner Brothers Archives)

Well, it just hadda happen. And I'm glad it did. Now that is, instead of XXX years from now when they'll be laying me in my grave and right at that moment this collection would be released and all of my afterbearers would remark "if Chris had only held out for a few more weeks he woulda been able to see this---what a saphead!" 

I get the feelin' something like that is gonna happen, like right after I croak all of those Rocket From The Tombs live shows and rehearsals not to mention tons of obscure sixties/seventies tapes I've wanted to hear for eons are suddenly in circulation which certainly won't do me any good. Of course some of these items might make it into the collectors realm while I'm still barely alive, only I got the sneakin' suspicion that I'm gonna be DEAF which of course ain't gonna do me justice either! But thaz just my luck, like when right after I lost interest in superheroes in the seventies all of a sudden the entire genre gets reinvigorated via tee-vee and moom pitchers and by then I couldn't care less!

This 'un's got almost alla the Shemp Howard Vitaphone shorts (the first few that ain't here pop up on Vitaphone's first volume of comedy classics which features the likes of Fatty Arbuckle and the infamous Gus Shy working with or without the greasy-haired one) and it's a real wowwowWOW-zer of a collection too! Considering how rare some of these subject are not having been shown on tee-vee as far as I can tell these are guaranteed to knock out the average Three Stooges and short subject fan more'n a slap inna face from Moe ever could!

Of course the mere presence of Shemp either as a supporting player, a co-star or headliner for that matter is what puts the pack into this package! I mean, even when up against old comedy hands like George Givot, Roscoe Ames and Charles Kemper Shemp really spices up even their own well-developed humor, and not only that but Our Hero delivers on the action-packed hoo-hahs just like he did when he manned the third Stooge chair.

Heck, as manager Knobby Walsh Shemp even saved the rather plain JOE PALOOKA series from being yet another cheap comic strip cash-in, and if you ask me (and why not since I know infinitesimally more than you) the guy could probably take any role in a moom or what have ya and liven up the proceedings manyfold. I'll bet he woulda even been a smash had he appeared in CALIGULA or SALO, but thankfully he'd never take roles in films like that (I hope!).

Twenny-one shorts here and all, no matter how big or little Shemp's input is, are worth the time and temperature to see. Personal fave; "Dizzy and Daffy" where baseball's Dean Brothers (no actors they) are pitched up against Shemp's wit and humor with Shemp doin' a whole buncha fuh-knee pitcher gags that had me rollin' on the ground...and I hate sports (as my lazyass suburban slob self is wont to do)!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Well, """""I""""" made it through April Fools Day intact---howzbout YOU??? Nothing dreadful happened to me this year...managed to miss the hidden turdbombs that were planted in the laundry basket, plus I caught that suspicious bar of soap placed in the bathtub long before I was to insert it up my nether regions in order to get a nice and clean scrub in that hard to reach area (of course I also use a bottle washer!). However, I did con my Aunt Flabby into believing that Unca Ferd was in the emergency room suffering from acute fartitis and boy did she look silly once she got there only to discover that he was hanging out at the corner tavern all the time! I think she took it all as the joke it was s'posed to be, but somehow I get the feeling that the only thing I'll be gettin' from her come birthday time's a bottle of Holy Water. Boy, when we go all out to make the best of a day, we sure do make the best of it!
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I guess given how this blog is up 'n supportive of all of that classic Suburban Slob UHF tee-vee kinda entertainment that most of you innerlektual snobs like to up nose at I should mention something about the passing of Patty Duke. Well, even though I never really cozied up to her probably because she looked like too many of those old teenage gals of the day I thought were so Plain Jane, maybe I should say a few good things about the recently departed star despite her not-so-hotcha features.

Unfortunately I don't remember THE PATTY DUKE SHOW that much even though I was front and center for many an episode during the show's first run and can remember various lines sputtered by not only Patty but her cultured "cousin" Cathy (not to mention the series' own British Invasion cash-in which had Cathy actually knowing the new mop topped singing sensation from her days in Blighty), but from what I do remember it was rather fun 'n mindless teenbo stuff custom made for the baby boomer type yet to discover his own disgusting peace 'n love side. Not as ranch house realistic as LEAVE IT TO BEAVER remains, but frankly how would you have rather spent your post-school days, watching PATTY DUKE reruns or some slobberin' fifties feature on the other channel?

True her post-sitcom career has been rather snoozeville...I mean, wasn't VALLEY OF THE DOLLS nothing but total soap opera and who could forget a slew of tee-vee pilots (one with ex-hubby Gomez Addams which had the two taking a bath together on-screen!) and dullsville tee-vee movies that still pop up on those women's kinda cable networks inna afternoon. But then again I'm sure you're still chortling at Duke's 1970 Emmy Awards appearance where she accepted her award with a totally spaced out and incoherent speech (everyone thought she was high but it was that dreaded chemical imbalance we all know and love) looking into the audience making a total fool of herself! Yeah, only a fanabla such as I would bring up a career low like this in an obituary, but frankly it's this kinda quirky behavior that draws me closer towards a celeb's freakier side! And with Patty Duke you couldn't get any freakier when it came to her post-teenage bipolar career which could get kinda sleazy at times! (If only Ross and Richard could tell all they know!)



Though really, maybe Patty should be remembered for going public with her personal demons unlike so many actors and actresses who covered up it all up until it was way too late and THE NATIONAL BLABBER had 'em plastered all over the front page shocking generations of check out old ladies who couldn't resist those headlines. I mean, that would almost be akin to me coming clean about some of my own not quite-so out inna open problems like painful rectal itch and flaky balls, but considering the "family magazine" status of this blog you know I would never bring up anything as disgusting and disturbing as that, right?
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But other'n those warm 'n toasty old tee-vee memories well like, here's what you've been waiting for this week. I tried to be brief, but if I do run off at the typewriter just blame it on my own emotional shortcomings! Thanks to Bill, P.D., Paul and the rest of the charitable out there (not to mention me and my own moolah, of which I dreadfully parted with some in a brief moment of mental incompetence...).


The Styrenes-CLE 76-79 UNRELEASED three 7-inch EP set (My Mind's Eye)

I mean like---here's thee release I've been waiting for for a good portion of my musical listening and enjoying life, and although I sure coulda used this one back when these songs were being laid down to tape it's sure great to get to hear 'em all in the ever-lovin' present! Believe it or not but this package contains not one or two but three eee-pees fulla classic and uncirculated Styrenes tuneage straight outta the fertile and way underdocumented late-seventies Cleveland underground, featuring tuneage that we may have heard many-a-time before but not exactly in this way/shape/form!

Sound quality's typical late-seventies low-grade which definitely adds to the proceedings, and the performance is killer enough that you too will go back in time and reminisce about the days when seventies underground consciouness really meant something as in the re-molding of sixties accomplishment for a new and perhaps even more expressive decade. Everything from the Velvets to Left Banke and Troggs can be discerned, and if you think that I'm lying when I tell you I could just feel an early Mothers of Invention vibe here you'd be wrong again as usual! And, in the best rock 'n roll drool off fashion, this set leaves you wanting moremoreMORE, making me wish this was a SIX platter affair 'stead of only three!

And it even comes with a neet booklet detailing the history of the band in Paul Marotta and Jamie Klimek's own words and like, if you don't get bowled over the rare photos and heretofore unknown info presented then may I call you Bruno Bornino?
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Klimperi & Eric Chabert Sing John B. Cornaway-DEALINGS LP (Bruit Direct Disques, France)

Crazy sounds here, man. Reminds me of a freaked Red Crayola trying to play Kevin Ayers with a French Wild Man Fisher, courtesy of vocal coach Syd Barrett, singing some rather whacked out lyrics that don't seem to make any sense to your dad at all! The home-made instruments give this 'un a kinda junkyard feeling yet it does sound like music from an Armenian restaurant and it's still together enough to ooze more'n just a tad of enjoyment outta the thing. Believe-you-me, if this 'un was some long-forgotten release on the original Obscure Label you still wouldn't be flinging out hefty collectors prices for the thing...sheesh, I thought you guys were a lot smarter'n that!
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Sun Ra-DISCIPLINE 27-11 LP (Saturn)

Those two Ra spins I laid my opines down about last week really got me into lookin' into my platter collection for other Saturnine specialties, and lo 'n behold but didn't this record I forgot I even owned (even though I bought it last December!) jump right outta the pile! Yet another rarity from the once-impossible to obtain (unless you were really in the know) Saturn Research Laboratories, DISCIPLINE 27-11's got that early-seventies Ra swing down pat and I don't mean Nixon as in that old DEEP THROAT joke that was goin' 'round back inna seventies!

Three tracks here, the first being a standard big band arrangement flyin' all over the place and the other two being vocal workouts that sound as if they do have somewhat of a commercial potential. Well, at least commercial enough to the point where they coulda been outside FM hits on some of the stranger stations that were up and about. And that goes especially for the side-long title track where Ra, June Tyson and a number of the Arkestra cadre get into these long and somewhat funny philosophical discussions while a stripped-down band plays in the background.

Could be the party record of the year, especially if you happen to be holding the party on Skylab!

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Spacecraft-PARADOXE CD (Spalax, France)

Here are some early/mid-seventies recordings from one-a-them French-type groups that sorta fit in with the whole experimental electronic soundscreeding that was going on really big o'er there at the time. The duo of Ivan Coaquette on guitars and former Red Noise/MEV clinger-onner John Livengood on various keyboards electronic or not might start out with a Yes-like glop of total mass refrain goo on "Lumiere de Lune", but the rest of these tracks are hard electronic musings that'll have you recalling Harmonia and other continental acts from the same time period in your obviously European-saturated mind. The combination of the soaring guitar lines of Coaquette and the screeching synths of Livengood can get out-of-bounds when they want to, and if you're still of the mind that all of that mid-seventies electronic stuff is just progressive rock without the tinkerbells then you're really in for a surprise! A neat once-in-awhile spinner that ought to make it to your own personal NWW-styled list.
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Milford Graves-BABI MUSIC CD-r burn (originally on IPS)

Never was able to get hold of the original (always outta stock @ the NMDS) so thanks to the graciousness of one P.D. Fadensonnen I was able to finally hear this legendary platter which does rank up there with the best of the mid-seventies self-produced platters that were comin' outta the jazz underground back then. Taken from one of those old WBAI-FM "Free Music Store" broadcasts, Graves hits and bangs a whole slew of wild percussives on his freaked out set while Hugh Glover and Arthur Doyle do their best to break the lease what with their totally atonal bleating which has to be some of the best since the glory days of Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman. Graves' vocal pants and whoos might not exactly endear him to your typical light jazz fan, but it does contribute to the general anarchy that ensues on this half-hour platter. And to think that people were ignoring this sonic mastery then, just like they do now!
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The Kinks-LIVE AT COBO HALL/ANOTHER ONE FOR THE ROAD CD-r burn

Taken from some sorta Euro bootleg that undoubtedly came out during the early-nineties glory days of boot Cee-Dees, this 'un captures the Davies boys'n co. during a part in their career that settled well with Bill's digestive system but not mine. After all, by this time in the rock et roll game the Kinks were teetering between British Invasion mop top mania and bonafeed fanzine cult status, and all of the sudden they were on Arista and HUGE as if they were indeed the Stones with all of the commercial rectal clench those over-the-hills were milking the moolah outta equally staid listeners with. Personally I found the entire proceeding captured here rather snoozarama compared with some of the live tapes (even from a good five or so years earlier) my ears have had the pleasure of listening to. I can see the likes of Edgar Breau and others comin' after me for my decidedly anti-Kinks vision but hey, that's the price you have to pay for being the kinda iconoclast I've been these past thirtysome years!!!
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Mundell Lowe-TV ACTION JAZZ CD-r burn (originally on Camden)

Tee-vee jollies galore can be found on this collection of various popular early-sixties themes done up nice 'n spiffy West Coast-like that's custom-made for the hi-fi nut in your life who's got one of those high-falutin' stereo systems in his knotty pine rec room. They don't sound anything like the actual themes, but they're sure great listenin' to after one of those hard days at the salt mines and besides, you can just feel the vibes of LONG LOST AMERIGAN MANHOOD resonating in each and every one of these rip roarin' cool jazz jaunts that'll take you back to better times'n these. Sure wish they woulda done up the theme to CHECKMATE here but hey, this is Camden records so don't expect one of those 100% quality jobs!
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Wilburn Burchette-OPENS THE SEVEN GATES OF TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS CD-r burn (originally on Fifth Dimension)

From all reports this Burchette guy was a hippydippy occult creep of the creepiest order, but man does this record sound like everything in the world you wished a hippydippy occultist would come up with even though if he did he wouldn't be hippydippy anymore! Even with the gnu agey song titles and complete inner peace through looking at the inserts packaging this platter moves ya more'n prunes, what with the "affected" electric guitar and occasional electronics coming off like the perfect cross between your sixties folk guitar faves (Fahey, Basho, Bull...) and the wafting sounds that were being uttered on alla those Loren Connors platters that got the critical hoo-hahs but never did register with anyone outside of your own little clique. Well, if ya just gotta open up them seven gates of transcendental consciousness which might lead to a better job or even some nookie can ya think of a better way'n this outerworldly platter?
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The Ruts-LIVE AT THE MARQUEE CD-r burn (originally on Caroline)

Given that my appreciation of late-seventies English punk rock hasn't been as strong lately as it should be (and by "lately" I mean like since 1993), maybe I ain't the best candidate to review a recently exhumed Ruts live gig. Still I find the performance energetic, the songs pleasantly monochromatic and the overall results a whole lot better'n 99% of the competition for the big bucks of youth music aficionados world-wide. Nothing that I'd want to subsist on for the next twenny years of my life true, but as far as these punk types go ya gotta admit this has got a whole lot more slam bang pow energy'n anything that the music which was being made for strange men to exchange bodily fluids with to listen to that was so popular at the time could come up with!
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A. J. Kaufmann-STONED GYPSY WANDERER CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions)

Here's a completely different from the usual fun and jamz Kendra Steiner Editions release, an addition to the catalog that is in fact perhaps the most difficult of the entire run of KSE spinners to categorize. I mean, just what (let alone who) is this A. J. Kaufmann guy supposed to be anyhoo. He might just be a singer-songwriter in the classic Jon Landau sense, but not exactly the timid young minstrel of the Laurel Canyon set though I do detect a tad bitta Donovan. A bigger bit of Syd Barrett might also be discerned, not to mention some Tim Buckley or Mij or even some Brian Sands as if any of you will buy a copy of his REHEATED CHOCOLATE TANGOES or FIXATION recordings no matter how much I plug 'em here and elsewhere. The lyrics are mystical beyond belief, the performance ranks with the best late-sixties productions one could have found on Warners, and Kaufmann himself is a world class talent who recalls a whole buncha past while presenting it in the here and now. And the best thing about it is it hardly if ever gets twee!
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Various Artists-CELLOPHANE CAVEMAN WATERMELON SWEATER CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

I really like the garage band vibe on this 'un what with the infamous Lyrics "So What"/"They Can't Hurt Me" single and the Sopwith Camel (well, they come about as close to the garage band idiom on "Cellophane Woman" here as they ever did) and Cap'n Beefheart. Buffalo Springfield do pretty good as well (never thought I'd say that considering that all-time doof Stephen Stills remains a burr-like irritant in my rock 'n roll cowboy boots) as do Don and the Goodtimes and other old tyme faves in the BLOG TO COMM pantheon of somethingorother. BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE BUNCH!-the flipster to the Associated Soul Group's 45, mainly "Wild Times" which is much better known to me from the infamous INNER SOUNDS OF THE ID album! Bill even tossed on a couple "song poems" for good measure and I wonder if Greg Prevost is aware of the Cavemen (who open and close this classic) who hail(ed) from none other'n his home stomping ground Rochester New York!