Saturday, May 28, 2016

Things are continuing to look upper than up here at BLOG TO COMM central what with the arrival of the boffo S to S release (praise be to Guerssen!) and other fine items that the likes of Bill Shute and Paul McGarry, both of who have been more supportive than Maidenform, sent my way. And since there really ain't much else that I can blab on about regarding my various weekly endeavors (unless you wanna know which old comic books I dug outta the collection to read or how many rolls of toilet paper I went through) let's get on with the show!

S TO S CD (Sommer, available through Guerssen)

Hmmm, some late-seventies heavy metal that (believe-you-me!) not only comes off typical of the late-seventies metallic mindset complete with hard chording and whining singer but sounds good despite it all as well! Considering just what a dump late-seventies metal was S to S (the group as well as the album) is a pretty hefty accomplishment what with the guitar blare actually sounding like an interstellar air raid siren 'stead of those pyrotechnical clean lines that Eddie Van Halen was wowing dimwitted rock critics with. The vocalist sounds like he got his 'nad stuck in a vice which does help out the proceedings quite a bit. Best thing about it is that all of those flash metaphors and similes and other niceties that Andy Secher used when describing WASP and RATT back inna eighties could easily be conjured up here, and a whole lot more accurately at that! I'll bet that if Secher heard this particular platter he'd either keel over or run to the security of mom's boobies for some much-needed comfort. My bet's on the former but I certainly wouldn't rule the latter out!
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Archie and the Bunkers meet the Cleveland Steamers- "Hung Up On You" one-sided 45 rpm single (Dome/Smog Veil)

I really dunno just how you can get hold this mail only recording that I guess is one of those "limited edition" platters obtainable only on certain days between the hours of two and four inna morning when there's a full moon, but it's worth getting even if you can hear the thing on youtube like everyone else. I dunno exactly where the Bunkers begin and the Steamers end (or something like that) on this 'un but it's a good rouser, a mid-sixties styled local band crankout a la the Fleshtones only with some sultry femme voice singing the title over and over. Sounds good enough to have been an actual late-sixties recording by some long-forgotten act who is only now getting the exhumation hosannas, only this was recorded in the here and now which really does knock me for a loop-de-loop! Now if I can only turn on the tee-vee and get an eyefulla HONEY WEST...
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The Warner Brothers Orchestra Conducted by Carl Brant-TOP TV THEMES OF '64 CD-r burn (originally on Warner Brothers)

Well if I can't see any of these long-ignored if boffo television series again at least I can listen to some fairly accurate cover versions of their theme songs! And considering how the 1963-64 tee-vee season was the first I can clearly remember being hyped in my own turdler world this spinner really does bring back those pre-school gosh-it-all days more'n even an old Veg-O-Matic commercial. PETTICOAT JUNCTION, PATTY DUKE and MY FAVORITE MARTIAN all make the cut as do themes from a buncha programs I sure wish I could get a peek at these days like ARREST AND TRIAL and BREAKING POINT. If these shows are as good as their theme songs were then they might have been the crowning pinnacle of television then or now. If you were a suburban slob car-playing underwear-skidding scab-picking kinda fanabla during those funtime days then well, this 'un'll really bring back the memories!
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NEW ORIGINAL TV THEMES CD-r burn (originally on Wyncote)

What...more tee-vee theme songs??? Well if the Warner Brothers ones were phonier'n all heck then these themes done up by the budget Wyncote label are even phonier than phony! But they're cool enough, 'specially if you had folk like I did who were pinching pennies beyond belief and couldn't stand to part with the $3.98 list to pick up the real deal and hadda settle for supermarket bin busters like this! Oddly enough out of all of the series presented here THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. was the only one we were front and center for* but hey, it was sure fun listening to these songs (and songs "inspired" by them shows) which reminded me of a funner time that was to be had watching the boob tube before the intellectual snobs took it over.
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Bill Riley-HARMONICA AND THE BLUES CD-r burn (originally on Crown)

Yes this is the "Flying Saucers Rock 'n Roll" guy doing some rather convincing harmonica blooze that sounds so good in its cracklin' glory that you can just feel the history of the album this recording was taken from starting with its early-sixties snatch up at some bargain store to late-seventies flea market dump and who knows what beyond that. The cheapness that was Crown Records only helps the overall bloozey effect and even though it runs a good 23 minutes and no more I sure got a whole lot more jam-packed excitement outta this'n I did through four sides of CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY. Naw I never listened to that and plan on never doing so, but you wouldn't think it was cool if I mentioned ESCALATOR OVER THE HILL like I originally planned on doing.
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Various Artists-SONGS THE NEW YORK DOLLS TAUGHT US CD-r burn (originally on Chaputa Records)

Uh, shouldn't that be SONGS WE TAUGHT THE NEW YORK DOLLS??? Whadevva, here are the original versions of a bunch of tunes covered either by the Dolls proper or one of them spinoffs, and as far as these compilations of tracks we've had for years packaged under a certain "theme" goes well, I don't think anybody can do better'n this! All of them old time favorites by everyone from Bo Diddley to the Shangri-Las and Muddy Waters appear, and as the old tee-vee ad said you'd have to pay millions to get these in their original forms so save some bucks and get this 'un! I hope there's a similar set comin' our way entitled SONGS WE TAUGHT THE ELECTRIC EELS because I can really go for something as out-there as that! (The Lawson's "Big O" commercial, "Dead Man's Curve", "Strychnine", the theme from THE FLINTSTONES...)
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Modern Art Studio-MAS MANIA CD-r EP

Speaking of the Electric Eels, did you know that these guys used to make up the original Cool Marriage Counselors, the same act that backed Dave E for a number of gigs before breaking out on their own??? Guess not, but anyway the Modern Art Studio continued on that madcap crazy Dave E-styled sound that one would have thought could only come out of Cleveland and as far as the yuks go they really could deliver on 'em with gusto! Sound's pretty basement level which helps, and the material is art damaged as they used to say yet still sturdy enough to come off more than some pretentious art project. Highlight: the rocked out version of Barry Sadler's "Ballad of the Green Berets" which is something we all coulda used back when the original was tearing up the airwave!
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The Miamis-WE DELIVER CD-r burn (originally on Omnivore)

There was another Miamis collection issued a few years back but this 'un's better even with the various repeats which ain't that bad in themselves. The live tracks from CBGB containing a whole slew of new numbers (including a rather touching tribute to the then recently-deceased Groucho Marx, Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley...what, no Marc Bolan?) show a pretty hot urgency that almost equals that of the Flamin' Groovies, and on the whole this bunch prove that they could have been one of those late-seventies outta nowhere pop rock top ten acts that were short in supply but managed to hit on rare occasion. Pretty exhilarating in fact and hey, if these recordings had only gotten out in the seventies maybe our youths would have been justified a bit more than they unfortunately were.
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Various Artists-EMERGENCE DU REFUS - VOLUME 2 CD-r burn

More than a few budding musicians put their aural moseyings to tape (and actually tried to sell 'em!) back in the eighties, and that even goes for experimental electronic types like the ones who end up on this mid-eighties offering! It's just more of that synthesizer blurp and bleep stuff that a whole slew of people were doing back then (and probably now for that matter to which I say "SHAME ON YOU!"), and if you go for industrial clank and clurn well then go for it! Personally I've lost a lotta my tolerance for this kinda sonic expression so it didn't really do me much good, though it you woulda pointed this one my way a good three decades back well, I might have sung a complete different (atonal) tune about this than I am now!
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Various Artists-PIANETI DI LANA 3 CD-r burn (originally on Technological Feeling, Italy)

Now that we're on the subject of home made electronic woozerie this is more like it. It's sure nicey-nice to give a listen to something that is supposed to be experimental or avant garde that ain't just a pile of jackhammers blaring away in your ear canals, or the precocious posturings of whatever precious example of college boy geld-dom there may be out there as well. And when you get deep down into these tracks you can discern a whole lotta ideas that everyone from John Cage ca. "Imaginary Landcape # Whatever" to Nurse With Wound had been trotting out for quite awhile. Something nice to bounce about in the caverns that pass for the interior of your cranium instead of the usual candy floss sounds you've probably been inundating yourself with these past umpteen years.
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Various Artists-READY JAN-JAN DUDE ENCHANTER CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Short if sweet collection. Maybe a bit too much late-fifties/early-sixties doo wop on the schedule but I don't really mind that much. I wonder if the Searchers of "I'm Ready" (a nice re-cap of late-fifties post-Hollyisms) is "thee" British Invasion wonders, while Grant Green's "Jan Jan"'s up and moving r 'n b instrumental organ grind that kept my psyche stable for a good seven or so minutes. Eddie Zack's "Kaw-liga" was about as cheapo country knockoff as you could imagine (and I personally can't imagine why the guy would wanna release it since everybody was out there buying the hit version to be bothered with this!) and Ike Quebec's "Me 'n You" was more or less standard jazz guitar that would put your typical Sonny Sharrock fan to sleep (I think Wes Montgomery was OK, especially the way he used the wart on his thumb as a pick!). Dude Ranchers did me good as well esp. with their "Boogie Woogie Guitar" and hey, were the Bel-Aires a Kim Fowley production---judging from "Space Walk" I kinda get that idea!

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*I tried watching TARZAN but the shift from Africa to India and lack of Jane, Cheetah or Boy did nada for me and hey, only Johnny Weissmuller or Elmo Lincoln can play Tarzan in my book 'n no one else! As for GREEN HORNET well, it just didn't have the same verve as BATMAN so that one got ignored 'round here as well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

BOOK REVIEW! THE MIDNIGHT COLLECTION - PT 2 FROM THE PAGES OF SMASH COMICS (Classic Comics Library)

Shee-yucks, but I gotta admit that I am beginning to prefer Midnight over the Spirit and if that seems like comic book BLASPHEMY to you well, so what? Now those SPIRIT comics, whether Will Eisner did 'em or not, were pretty overwhelming what with their "noir"-ish (oooh, how chic!) stories and above par Golden Age artwork, but MIDNIGHT had that crazed edge that really appeals to the anti-intellectual turdburger comic fan in me---and this is from a guy who thought that a lot of that fine-lined art of the seventies was perhaps a little too classy for anyone's tastes. And yeah I know that comic snobs like Art Spiegelman have waxed heavy praise of MIDNIGHT creator Jack Cole's style 'n swerve, but after I wash that fact outta my system and handle these comics like any true-to-form suburban slob kid woulda done at the time it's more'n OBVIOUS that these do look and read all the more smoother ifyaknowaddamean...

By the time these MIDNIGHTs hit the corner stand Paul Gustavson had taken over the series, and although this particular fanabla was a good enough GA-era artist I miss Cole's crazy vision and weirded out style. Still the stories remain top notch excitement, much better'n the Timely material of the same stratum and come to think of it even classier'n much of the DC output of the time what with Quality's tendency to create heroes and stories that seemed to go beyond the usual Golden Age patterns into rather hilarious realms that I never did see elsewhere.

Only real beef I have with MIDNIGHT at this time is the introduction of the phony sleuth Sniffer Snoop and his polar bear cub pet Hotfoot, both who really do nothing but get in the way of the comic's entire ebb and flow. Dunno why these two were slapped into an otherwise well oiled comic (I mean, Gabby the talking monkey and Doc Wackey were enough sidekick material), but they were and unfortunately the two stayed with the series until the very end which I don't think helped out any (though it didn't hinder it...well that much). But hey, with the good sagas and better than expected art it ain't like I'm cryin' any big tears but the two do drag on the proceedings almost as bad as your testicles did on the sidewalk after lifting that heavy birdbath all by yourself.

Again these were taken directly from old issues of SMASH comics, none of which you would say were in VG+ condition or better. If you're a stickler for pristine reproductions forget it, for these pages are chock fulla not only less-than-stellar art reproduction (as if most of these printers took that much care with the originals in the first place) but age spots and booger stain that really do conjure up that kiddoid feeling of collecting these ever-decaying originals long ago. I'll bet that your mother discouraged you from buying used comics because who knows where the originals might have been, or as my mother once said... (I can already hear Brad Kohler laughing his head off of something I told him I would NEVER print on a blog such as mine in a millyun years!)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

It's HAPPY CAMPER TIME here at BTC central and you wanna know why??? Well not only does it have to do with the recent rash of FUNTIME READING that has bit the domicile as of late (including the tres-boffo DENIM DELINQUENT book and MIDNIGHT comic collections) but a load of fine listening that you're gonna be reading about in just a few minute minutes (that reads "mi-noot minutes" in case you didn't get that RATS REAGAN joke in some cartoon I drew age elevem which I printed in a crusty old issue of BLACK TO COMM). Yes, when it comes to my ever-dwindling free time these days it's nothing but being holed up in my bedroom reading some top notch rock 'n roll or old tyme comic excitement while some hotcha sounds blare from my bedside boom box (one of those small cheap types that peter out every three or so years), and you can bet that when I settle down and relax in this particular fashion I am in SUBURBAN SLOB HEAVEN and nothing inna world can pry me away from my comfy chair...other'n the urge to go to the kitchen and get some peanuts to eat 'r sumpin' like that.

Not only that but just yesterday I received the new DICK TRACY volume which should occupy my evening hours rather swell, so let's just hope for tons of rain and stuff in the next few days just so's I don't end up feeling guilty and decide to do some outdoor work to soothe my aching conscience.

But in between real life and fun time there's BLOGGING TIME to contend with, and that's just what I've done if only to get some personal satisfaction into my life. Yes, other guys my age might piddle around making rocking chairs for the kids in their workshops or join golfing and bowling leagues or maybe even donate their energies to various socially meaningful endeavors like volunteering as crosswalk guards or driving for Meals on Wheels that just might get their name dropped on page two of the second section of your local newspaper, but I spend mine in a HIGHLY MORE SIGNIFICANT WAY and I'm sure you agree with me en toto!

Before we go any farther, a sad sendoff to Alan Young of MR. ED etc. fame who just passed away a few days back. Really, who amongst us still don't relish those fantab episodes of what was definitely the first sixties fantasy series and a show that still holds up in 2016 more than ROSEANNE did a mere nanosecond after it ceased to exist! Sheesh, with all of these childhood heroes dying like this who can I look up to as a tee-vee role model as the years dwindle down to a precious few...Noh-vember...Dee-cember...

And with that, enter into my universe where maybe you'll learn about something you'll never care about no matter how long you live!


Barry Gray-CAPTAIN SCARLET SOUNDTRACK CD-r burn

As far as I can recall, CAPTAIN SCARLET wasn't aired in any of the tee-vee markets around here so it wasn't like I have any strong kiddoid feeling about the thing like I do SUPERCAR or FIREBALL XL-5. But since this program was a Gerry Anderson production and Siouxie felt it kitsch cute enough to perform the theme song during her earliest and most potent Bansheeing days you can bet that I am front and center for this incidental music from the series! Barry Gray did a lot of good soundtrack work on a variety of Lew Grade IBC series and he's no different here, creating all sorts of mood-setting music that sound good on their lonesome as well as while watching all of the supermarionation that was goin' on on-screen. Fit in well with a Sunday afternoon of Golden Age comic book readin' I'll tell ya, and if only I could get music like this to play the actual soundtrack to my very being boy would life be more exciting!
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Billy C. Farlow-BILLY C AND THE SUNSHINE * THE LOST SEVENTIES TAPES 2-CD set (SPV, Germany)

Billy C and the Sunshine were one of the early Grande Ballroom bands back during the high energy Detroit Rock days, and that's but one reason why I've been interested in giving a listen to 'em all these years. Disque one of this 2007 collection of old and older material features the original Sunshine who were led by Alabama transplant Billy C Farlow, a guy who really did an eye-bugging job emulating the Chicago blues sound which makes up the basis for most of the Sunshine's repertoire even though he looked like your typical late-sixties suburban slob kinda kid. It's nothing that lights me the way that the Detroit big guns did but it's still commendable, especially the deep urban groove of disque closer "Watch My .38" which eventually ended up on the first album by Farlow's newer group Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.

Disque #2's mostly if not all live material done by Farlow post-Cody inna mid-seventies and it's kinda slick-like country blues rock that could have made an indent on the charts had Farlow only gotten out a little more. I'll have to admit that some of it does come off rather pederstrian to my raw ear canals, but a nice hunk of this had me jumping up and down just like I did when I was five years old and did interpretive dances to the top 40 blaring from some neighbor's radio.

Overall a nice general overview of a good portion of Farlow's musical career, and the Sunshine material is definitely worth a listen to for a historical perspective re. the late-sixties Detroit goings on.

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Mr. Stress Blues Band-LIVE AT THE BRICK COTTAGE 1972-1973 CD (Smog Veil)

Sheesh, more of da blooze! Well at least it's the Mr. Stress Blues Band we're talkin' here and not one of those chintzy blues aggregates that have been popping up in dingy dives across the U.S. of Whoa these past four or so decades. A Cleveland-area institution as Jane Scott might have once said, Stress and band had been wowing the scungier amongst us since the late-seventies and although he has been whatcha'd call a loco legend for quite some time it's like most folk I know are aware of him more from what they've read or heard worda mouth rather'n by actually givin' the guy and band a listen.

Well, that's all changed now for Smog Veil has issued a collection of rarities from Stress's long-running Brick Cottage residency, and what I assume is the best of the surviving tapes is now available for even the more neophyte bluesers around. Lotsa familiar tuneage here for the blues crowd to go gaga over all done up in a pretty convincing way that (according to the booklet notes) even had black patrons at Stress gigs complimenting the man for his accuracy! And that only goes to prove one thing, which is back inna late-sixties black people still cared about the blues because since then it was almost like they ditched the music with a vengeance if only because it just dredges up too many bad memories or something like that. I know how that is...I get the same feeling with algebra.

Speaking of the enclosed booket which always seem to accompany these things it's fantab, not only with the detailed Stress band history that's expected of a project such as this but tons of rare illustrations including a couple snapped when Peter Laughner was a front and center member of the band! The stories to be found herein really do make for a nice slice of Cleveland musical history you just couldn't osmose from listening to WMMS-FM then or now for that matter, and the list of people in the credit due section really comes off as a who's who of gruff underbelly of the scene as it stood in the early/mid-seventies. I noticed that Charlie Weiner's moniker was mentioned in said list which makes me wonder if Smog Veil might have an early Rocket From The Tombs platter planned for the very near future...I could only hope 'n pray so given how like, time is runnin' out.
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LOBBY LOYDE COMPENDIUM DISC 6-OBSECRATION CD-r burn

Creeping commercialism does hamper the energy levels quite a bit (why couldn't distorted, high powered blatant NOISE be commercial for once in my life?) but Loyde still saves the day with his overdrive guitar playing and metallic nature making this something more than just another mid-seventies progressive rock excursion for pimplefarm pubescents. Nothing that I'll be spinning again in quite some time, but not really that bad considering the time and place, or something like that!
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Controlled Bleeding-DEATH IN THE CAMEROON CD-r burn (originally on cassette)

What more can I say other'n Controlled Bleeding were perhaps "thee" ultimo in eighties-era atonal (and perhaps amoral) soundscapading extant and that most if not all (even those "softer" tracks) really hold up even this far down the line when we all shoulda known better or something like that. Heavy duty electronic gurgl that reflects various past accomplishments (krautrock comes to mind although Paul Lemos vehemently denied any connection which I can empathize with) and you might be surprised but this particular and ultra-rare effort does hold up to repeated spins here at BLOG TO COMM central. Beyond beautiful surges of aural energy that reflect a certain point in rock history where maybe these out-there experiments didn't sound so college boy holed up in his dorm narcissistic after all!
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Various Artists-HEY JUNE CD-r burn (originally on Imperial, Netherlands)

Sheesh, how am I gonna fill up this review so it'll be long enough to support the nifty picture of the cover that appears directly to the left. Howzbout this...as I've said before these European progressive rock samplers really don't light a fire under my psyche and this particular entry is pretty much on par with my past experiences in the realm. Unless you go for Jethro Tull-inspired breath-y flute playing and the usual classical influences up the ol' chute you ain't gonna like this, and besides that it seems as if all of these Dutch progressive acts have this certain taint of ultra-clean professionalism to 'em that is sterile beyond belief! The only act on this 'un that I could derive any decent enjoyment out of was by the jazzed up Ritmo Naturel who got into a nice neo-funk jazz groove that wouldn't have been outta place on a say...Roland Kirk album. But still this track wasn't enough to make me wanna seek out any of the group's other recordings which I'm sure are easily enough downloadable at this time. Hmmmm, I did a pretty good job padding this one out...congratulate me for once in your pallid life, willya?
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The Bats-A SHABBY LITTLE HUT CD-r burn (originally on CBS South Africa)

This South African band really does hit all of the proper British Invasion hot buttons to the point where I gotta admit that they actually came up with a pretty good platter here! Lotsa Liverpool ideas of course with a bit of London pop and the usual English touches. Vocals sound rather Americanized for this kind of music, but the Bats still manage to get a whole lotta energy out that's really up there with the Beatles and Dave Clark Five not to mention some of the lesser names that you probably think cubesville (but I kinda like) such as the ever-popular Chad and Jeremy. Too bad these guys were stuck in South Africa because if they had only hailed from Merrie Olde they could have been as big as...the Undertakers???
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Blackwater Park-DIRT BOX CD-r burn (originally on Long Hair)

Dunno why Paul McGarry (a man who I thought should know better) sent this hippydippy bitta early-seventies hard rock sans basic punk surge my way because this German group's overall sound is so mediocre that I hadda listen to DISCREET MUSIC in order to get some raw power back into my system. We've all heard it before and hated it every time, and why I hadda be inundated with more of that decidedly anti-life, anti-energy music that I've been trying to steer clear of for many a year I'll NEVER know. Paul, this platter, this group is SO TERRIBLE that I want you to return alla them Christmas presents I got you...I mean it, and like RIGHT NOW!!!! Snarl......................
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Various Artists-WALKER BURNER ZU-BRIGADE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Not bad a-tall. 

Al Allen's "Egghead" fits in with the late-fifties instrumental scheme about as good as Johnny and the Hurricanes did while Wee Willie Walker's souled up take of "Ticket to Ride" sounds better'n most Beatle cover toonz of the time (assuming this was recorded while the Beatles were still up 'n mop top). City Zu're kinda mid-energy late-sixties local yokel rock while Derby Hatville sound mellow but still sturdy. As for the Hand Grenades I can't tell if they're late-sixties local garage band or late-seventies local punk rock but either way they do have this nice kinetic sound that woulda done either genre (that is, if in fact they were two different ones) proud. 

As for Lee Austin. he's even more low-budget soul doing a song where he actually talks his way through the first half of a pre-recorded track before finally getting into the number. The Evil I were on one of those early PEBBLES-type series and they still sound up there even if their singer is trying to ape Jim Morrison to the point where you think he ended up in one of those early-eighties Doors cover bands that were so popular back then. In contrast the Glass Family do the late-sixties psych pop sound different-like making a nice wall of rumble in the meanwhile. As for the Space Monkey Death Sequence well...experimental bedroom electronics can only go so far and like, maybe I do have a low threshold for this sorta sound, at least after awhile. At least Group Axis' take of "No Fade Away" rescued me from whatever dada-inspired ennui the previous track gave, and that's even with the wimpy singing!

Nova Local (I think they're from Rochester New York) drive with their garage folk rocker "Games" while former Gene Vincent sideman Scotty McKay shows that he really fit into the mid-sixties groove with "All Around The World" which might as well have been the 13th Floor Elevators what with the tin foil reverb of the guitars and all! 

A great way to spend a good fortysome minutes. And you were probably doing something disgusting during the exact same amount of time, right?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

BOOK REVIEW! DENIM DELINQUENT 1971-1976 by Jymn Parrett etc. (Hozac Books, 2016)

There usedta be this canard goin' 'round the enlightened rock circles of the seventies that went something like "the early parts of the fifties, sixties and seventies really produced some lame kinda music but man, the later half really made up for it with some super-duper sounds!" Those who touted this kinda/sorta fact would always point out (to boost their case natch!) the post-Big Band crooners, sexy gal singers and soft strains dominating the early days of the fifties while the latter portion was just overflowing with crazy rockabilly and instrumental rave up music. As far as the sixties went these same folk will bring up the teenage idol boy singers and other manufactured types keeping us all in bondage until the Beatles came to save us from all that inanity, and then the seventies with the singer songwriters and teenybopper acts gently numbing our minds until the punks swooped into rescue us at the last minute!

By the eighties well...the whole trip became too convoluted and watered down and for all intent purposes rock 'n roll had HAD IT even to the point where snazzy big city rockcrit types who were always on the lookout for something to boost their credo quit scouring the underbelly of rock and merely resorted to re-hashing press clippings of da biggies. A sad end, but after disco and FM AOR doing its best to kill off the species what else would you expect?

After years of pondering all this, I personally have come to the conclusion that the entire early decade bad/latter decade good theorem really was nothing but pure hooey concocted by a buncha hippie types who somehow wanted to make themselves feel better (y'know, they being members of that brave and proud generation who saved us all what with their selfless deeds like walking nude in pubic and living in communes 'stead of ranch houses)! After all, you can't argue that there was plenty of hot rock being made in the early sixties and early seventies that is perched at the top of at least my music listening pile (and some of it actually made it to the top of the charts!) while the latter portions of those years sure did have their aural turds to contend with unless you still have a soft spot in your heart for disco and pop schmooze in the "Afternoon Delight"/"Chevy Van" vein. Face it, there was always good and brain-digging rock 'n roll (and other) music being made throughout those good and bad years but as usual, you had to know where to look for it even if it might not have been on your radio dial or teenybop sister's turntable.

And what I've said about rock 'n roll music can most certainly pertain to rock 'n roll writing. Well, kinda sorta again...I mean, thse so called dreg years of 1970-1975 might not have been as flash as the mid-sixties were, but you'd never know that by picking up a good rock 'n roll mag or fanzine and reading all of the praise that was being heaped upon not only the stars of yesteryear but the hard rock heroes of the day. I swear that if a buncha aliens landed on earth in 100,000 AD CE and found no recorded history left other'n a batch of old fanzines that survived the dreaded shockwave war of the 99th century via my closet (artifacts protected by a pile of old sweatclothes) they'd come to the conclusion that the music of those days was dominated by the likes of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed and that the Eagles, Joni and the real big moolahmaking names of the day were nothing but strange abberations the less thought about the better!

So what does this all have to do with DENIM DELINQUENT? Actually plenty, for it was this mag along with a slew of other upstart fanzines of the day (off the top of my head FLASH, JAMZNEW HAVEN ROCK PRESS, HYPERION, TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE, CAN'T BUY A THRILL, NIX ON PIX and BACK DOOR MAN) that set the stage for the high energy rock press that scurried around in the underground for at least a good six or so years. Like in CREEM magazine (perhaps the major anti-hippoid mentality rag on the stand them days), there seemed to be a loopy and snotty fun 'n jamz attitude present in DENIM DELINQUENT that the elder generation of youth seemed to up their snouts at, as if the likes of Iggy, Sky Saxon and even Black Sabbath could ever compete with the "First Family of Rock" Taylors and the rest of the downer 'lude generation acts that Jann Wenner was hyping on a narcissistic laid back populace during those rather sorry times. And if you ask me, back in 1971 we all could have used a whole lot more DENIM DELINQUENT and a whole lot less ROLLING STONE ifyaknowaddamean...

But then again DENIM DELINQUENT wasn't written for the ROLLING STONE kinda reader who equated George McGovern or Richard Nixon for that matter with Mick Jagger in terms of sociopolitical relevance, but for an audience that nobody seemed to be catering to at the time...mainly (as the mag always said) "little goofs"! Yeah, suburban slobs like you and me or better yet the "Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kids" who were looked down upon by the more sophisticated than thou gang because they were so 1950s old fashioned or something like that. Thankfully that entire reg'lar kid everyday rock 'n fun atty-tood roars on in each and every page of this collection of everything (and more) this "roxine" gave us, and for that we should all be glad that our newsprint originals (of at least the first two issues) won't have to be dragged out to risk crumbling even more because the entire seven-ish-plus run of DD (and even more!) can be found here and in pretty spiffy quality as well!

Well as far as "quality" goes maybe I could complain that the editors didn't try looking for a better photo of Beaver Cleaver's wedding (issue #5) complete with an appearance by not only Wally but Eddie, but why nitpick? After all, this book is just bursting with rock 'n roll energy to the point where you too will be searching out heretofore unknown albums and groups based on Jymn etc.'s opines and like, if a rag can motivate you to get up and movin' and rockin' even at the last stage in the game then well, said magazine certainly did its duty now dontcha think?

Like I said, the first two issues were done up in newsprint style, but even though they all have probably yellowed worse than that issue of PAT THE BRAT you left on the patio all summer they're pretty fantab considering they were early tries, and the information popped out on acts ranging from the Kinks (in brilliant neo-Meltzer-speak too!) to Alice Cooper and the MC5 is not only pertinent but gets into a "dimension" that mirrors the late-teen rock mindset of the day just as much as Iggy did. The interviews are pretty impressive especially considering they were being conducted by a buncha "amateurs", not only the one done with local fifties revivalists Bolt Upright and the Erections (how many groups with BEVERLY HILLBILLIES-derived names can you think up?---Dash Riprock for one) but the one done with none other'n Monty Python's own Michael Palin who seems to be the only Pythonite that anyone could really talk to without being verbally sodomized. The Seeds overview in #2 is especially invigorating especially when you considering just how looked down upon Sky Saxon and Co. were throughout the years, and the Canadian Content (in this case Pagliaro and Charlebois, the latter who I have been interested in hearing for some time though money always does have a say in these things) is something that always perked this mag up considering its er...local pride!

It's sure great to see issue #3 reproed here, especially since the one I have was really messed up to the point where a few pages were downright unreadable! Despite the mimeo reproduction the writing (and even layout) stands firm, complete with a New York Dolls cover story, Jymn's impressions of his European trip (mainly watching English rock shows on tee-vee!) and more Canadiana we can all enjoy, especially the page-long writeup of the Haunted's classic single "125" which we've first heard and love via PEBBLES a good eight or so years after this magazine hit the mailboxes. And of course there's the usual Mott the Hoople appreciation that seems to have been included due to some strange international law of the day requiring fanzines to include at least one article on Ian Hunter and band per issue!

The El Lay (actually heavy metal bulwark La Verne California) issues of DENIM DELINQUENT took quite an upswing in quality (offset printing a la the early issues of BACK DOOR MAN which they resembled in more ways than one) and the writing and Jymn's art even seemed to improve with the move. Maybe it was the warm weather or the decadent atmosphere but the mag really improved with the trip. The Iggy and Ron Asheton interviews (issues 4 and 5 respectively) were high-larious (especially the Iggy one since it was pretty obvious he was high which only brought out more of his...Iggyness!) while the rock colouring pages were a neat idea especially for those of us who were still stuck in kiddieland even though our hormones seemed to be telling us otherwise! Again the reviews were top notch and talk-to-you revelations as to where your hard-earned should go, while the articles (even Dee Daack's piece on Paul McCartney) were fannish yet intelligent, the bootleg coverage hotcha especially for a aficionado of the form like myself, and for one thing it was sure nice to see MIKE NESMITH getting some coverage for once especially since a lotta snoots seemed to think of him as a washed up ex-Monkee for years on end!

And for Stooge watchers, the re-appearance of all of the Iggy material that made up a good portion of #5 is most certainly worth your while, even if the nude photos of him taken at the Whisky were too dark and blurry!

By #6 it was back to Canada (this time Toronto) and an issue with Gene Simmons on the cover. Nice article too even if you think that Kiss weren't exactly the heavy metal saviors you were hoping for but eh, it's all fine and dandy reading. Also popping up are the Sensational Alex Harvey Band getting some space right before their fall into nada as well as the reformed Blue Cheer and Rush, a band I never really did cozy up to but I will say it's sure more fun reading about 'em here than it is listening to 'em! Not only that but the Good Rats and Keith Richard (!!!) for that matter also make appearances, and you can bet that Parrett's art was improving by leaps and bounds by this time. Tops of this ish for me is the Lester Bangs review of Lou Reed's SALLY CAN'T DANCE which was one of those over-the-top pieces that Bangs would send to fanzines because CREEM wouldn't publish anything like this in a millyun years. Prepare to be offended---you deserve it! (And this issue should be noted for being the first in which future Barracuda Jeremy Gluck contributed, this time on the new Iggy Pop Fan Club outta San Francisco!)

The supplement to #6 (which was mentioned in #5 which only adds to the confusion) made for a nice compliment to the actual issue what with an Eno cover story appreciation as well as Tom Bingham's review of the infamous Benny Bell "Shaving Cream" single that doubled up on the ol' double entendres making them quadruple entendres more or less.

Considering that the original mag was done up digest size the enlarged print seen in the book certainly does not strain on the eyeballs, and as usual you will find this one a good guide as to find out whether or not those bargain bin albums of the past are worth your while to get (I got the Churls based on Parrett's writeup, and maybe you should too!).

The final DENIM DELINQUENT was also a digest sized affair, and it sure continued riding the seventies zeitgeist what with the cover story on the Kinks ca. SLEEPWALKER, more Kiss, Pagliaro, Iggy and even a Japanese Aerosmith q&a reprint. There's also a bit on Thundermug, a Canadian act who made some rock mag waves back inna mid-seventies even though by the time this issue came out I think they were for all purposes dead and buried! My favorite article of the ish just has to be the anti-Patti Smith one where Parrett rails on about how, after her Toronto appearance where they waited for her hours in the pouring rain, she just hadda slip into her detached decadent star pose and takes the gifts that Parrett and his pal Mark Jones made for her (a bone necklace and Flamin' Groovies t-shirt) without even acknowledging the givers' existence before slithering into her limo! I really woulda liked to have seen the interview with Patti that Jymn was threatening to print in the upcoming issue which reportedly made her out to be a rather pompous entity, but alas the mag was going down the proverbial fanzine tubes at this time even though something that resembled a cover for #8 (featuring live snaps of the Clash and Ted Nugent!) survive somewhere...

The additional prozine articles Parrett wrote on the Sex Pistols and Cheap Trick to Blue Oyster Cult and (of course) Pagliaro fill out the book making for a nice cap which makes me wonder...how come DENIM DELINQUENT hadda terminate so soon and right when we really needed it? And why oh why didn't Parrett become a great rock scriber in the Lester Bangs/Richard Meltzer tradition, especially since we sure could have used his opines to guide us through many a year of soggy releases! But hey, at least we got this book to read, and its energy's gonna be lighting up many a dark night huddled in my boudoir while the boombox spin and I try to make even more sense outta a life that really doesn't mean much, other'n listening to hotcha sounds and reading high energy opines such as the ones you'll find within these pages that is.

A definite "get it" (see link above, and hurry), you little goof!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

UH, LIKE MORE REVIEWS BY BRAD KOHLER!!!

Su Tissue-SALON DE MUSIQUE (1982)

Raise your hand if you remember the Suburban Lawns. Now rotate your arm in a circle for some needed cardiovascular exercise, because you are OLD. I owned their first 45 "Gidget Goes to Hell" (not as bad as it sounds from the title) b/w "My Boyfriend". Or was it "He's My Boyfriend"? Can't say for sure because I got a handsome offer to sell it and I pulled the trigger. The flip ripped off the riff from Bowie's "Panic in Detroit" and had Su Tissue's burbling, Betty Boop-ish vocals coasting over the top. Hey, it was o.k. you know?

I heard, but never bought, the next release by the band, a song called "My Janitor". I believe Chris even reviewed it in an ancient issue of PFUDD, back when he was still jazzed about Metallica. The best thing about it was it sounded like Su was singing "Oh my genitals..." as the chorus. It seemed as if the band were becoming yet another anonymous gloopy hair caught in the drain basin known as "gnu wave" (copyright 1981 Bill Shute). I wouldn't have been surprised if the next move for Su was to dress in a day-glo Wilma Flintstone ensemble while singing with a fishbowl over her head. One Cyndi Lauper was plenty.

But there the trail went cold. Su Tissue, who had graced the cover of SLASH magazine on the strength of a sole 45, disappeared. Yes, and we all thought SLASH was a STAR MAKER

When I received a burn of SALON DE MUSIQUE I expected the worst, but this is a 180 degree turn from the cutseyrama road the Suburban Lawns seemed ready to hightail down. The backbone of the three tracks is a hypnotic piano riff that Paul Marotta of the Styrenes might have come up with had he been trying to impress some chick by writing a score for a modern dance troupe. There is a dash of guitar here, a pinch of sax there, and oddly Su's wordless vocals appear only on the final track.

Not that this is a wowzer of a release, but given that Su seemed poised to sing about houses made of cellophane wrapped cheese substitute while being backed by a synth line that the Cars would have rejected as too wimpy, it was a nice surprise. And proof that not EVERYONE took a dive into the mire that was the early 80's.

The person that burned this told me Su is a tax consultant or something along those lines now. Well, I say here's to you Su Tissue, faded SLASH cover gal, in your sensible pumps and prim business outfit. If this was indeed the last we hear from you well, plenty of artists have gone out on a worse note, and may the I.R.S. never appear at your door.
***
Ground Zero-LIVING IN TANDEM (Bung records and tapes)

Pittsburgh punk. Too dark xeroxed sleeve. I didn't even bother to put it on, to hear it for the first time in thirty-odd years. Short hardcore songs. I remember that the only long(er) track sounded like they were trying very earnestly to be the Clash.

The reason I paused when I saw it in the "G" section of the milk crate was the cover photo. The band are pictured playing live outside somewhere, with a bus in the background. Back when this record came out bands could get a permit and play a spot called Market Square, a little spot in downtown Pittsburgh.  There were head shops and other seedy spots, and winos would sit on benches and look at the crazy kids jumping around on a makeshift stage with their friends all dressed in black and leather in the sun. Now they've chased away the street element and stopped buses from going through. There are upscale eateries and the like, and of course no more bands setting up equipment, still fuzzy headed from too much cheap beer the night before. It's not like it was some Golden Age or anything, but it was different and...well, if you're young and have time on your hands and figuring out there is just not something right about the bill of goods you're being sold all down the line...it doesn't matter what time or place you're in, or if buses run through it.

By the way, the Five were the best local band of that era, even though their two 45s (like a lot of bands) don't really do them justice. And they wasted one of those sides doing a cover of "Angel of the Morning" when they had so many great originals they could've waxed. Bands did that kind of thing then. Forget the posthumous LP and try to find a tape of them at CBGB's where the singer keeps baiting the crowd about New Yorkers putting gerbils up their rectums.
***
FOXES (MGM)

A Casablanca Filmworks and Record Production, which means it was probably a tax write off to cover cocaine deals. Jodie Foster is totally unconvincing as a teenager or a real person. Scott Baio calls someone a "turkey" and has a thing for Cherie Currie. Little did he know he'd have to settle for Erin Moran. The band Angel appear. They were the coolest because their logo read the same upside down or right side up or forwards or backwards or something. Randy Quaid and his performing chin is cast as a nice guy even though he deflowers a sixteen-year-old. Much screen time is give to a wall hanging f eaturing the LP covers for the Kiss solo releases. There is a sign on the wall of a concert hall that says something to the effect of "This is not a sanctuary for pot smoking".  The cool thing is, you know no one took it seriously and no one did a thing. Now people act like we've progressed because you won't get busted for having a minimal amount on your person but the important battle is seen as allowing transgendered people (one-percent of the population, if that) to use the bathroom they want. Hey, I've seen turds in urinals at concerts, try and shock me. I fell asleep before the end, I think Reagan waved a magic wand and made all the Quaaludes in the world vanish but maybe I was dreaming.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Nice seeing you here again! As you can tell by the length of this post I've been busier than a janitor at a school for the transgendered (c'mon, you get it!) writing up a whole slew of items I've actually had the unmitigated PLEASURE of hearing this week! Given the usual doldrums that typify what passes for rock 'n roll (or any other come to think of it) music these days I gotta say that it pretty much was a joy to give most of these spinners a thorough listen...really made these past seven a real toe tappin' time 'round here if you get my drift and for once I kinda feel about as happy as I did back when I was fifteen, rambunctious, eager to listen to all sorts of sounds and was able to scrape up a few bucks to actually go into a record store wishing I had a few more bucks scraped up so I could actually buy an album!

Once again thanks to Bill Shute, Bob Forward, Paul McGarry, P.D. Fadensonnen, Weasel Walter, the guys from HACKAMORE BRICK and my employer for not firing me. And although I could fill up reams of space blabbing about everything from the current world situation to my recent eating experiences I'll just stick to the music this time, so as I've said many-a-time without further ado...


Robert Bensick Band-FRENCH PICTURES IN LONDON LP (Smog Veil)

I had my doubts. After all, this Bensick guy was one of those oft-touted Cleveland talents who used to get loads of praise in the pages of THE PLAIN DEALER usually at the expense of the likes of say...John Morton, Jamie Klimek or even Bernie and his Invisibles which really used to gall me to no end! Well, Bensick certainly didn't get as much press as Michael Stanley (pardon me while I puke!) but he sure got enough from the same media types who sure wished that the entire Cle underground Velvetspew would "go away" by acting as if it didn't even exist, only to go 'round claimin' that they were always fans and followers of it a good fortysome years after the fact because now it's a really cool 'n hepcat thing to do so!

But hey this album, recorded summer '75 by Bensick and band (which included a good portion of the Plaza scene who eventually became the backbone of the whole Pere Ubu cadre more/less) isn't the work of some industry hack trying to make it really big in the music biz. FRENCH PICTURES IN LONDON in fact is nothing but a snide li'l artyfact that sure brings up a whole lotta good memories of the seventies 'stead of all the horrid ones which continue to permeate my mind. Bensick might sound a little too fey vocalwize for my stomach, but his multi-instrumental talents really carry the platter and the material is pretty professional (yet not techwhiz like say, Todd Rundgren could get at times) especially for some under-the-counter kinda guy who got knocked off A&M for no good reason. The various players Ubu or not also do the platter good, not exactly sounding like the Ubu that would close out the seventies with a rather frightening vision but fine enough at least by patented BLOG TO COMM standards.

Musically this does get into some intellectual proggy territory at times, but mostly comes off hotcha jazz rock without its irritating side having you reaching for the ipecac. Imagine an early if less pretentious take of Steely Dan mixed with Gary Wilson's YOU THINK YOU REALLY KNOW ME with some Roxy Music moves tossed in and maybe you'll get an idea of how FRENCH PICTURES comes off with regards to seventies aesthetics.

Another winner from Smog Veil, complete with packaging that'll stun your corneas (wait'll you read the book as well, complete with one ne'er before seen by these peepers live photo of a BTC fave!) which'll certainly go with the stunned ears the platter will most certainly give. If you (like me) are still holding that wake for the seventies in the privacy of your own farted up bedroom this'll be a great one to spin in between the salty pretzels and warm/flat Dr. Pepper.
***
Weasel Walter Large Ensemble Featuring Henry Kaiser-IGNEITY: AFTER THE FALL OF CIVILIZATION CD (ugEXPLODE, available via CD Baby)

WW leads (and I do mean "lead" as in the way jazz drummers a la Sunny Murray etc.drove their ensembles as if their sticks were cracking whips could) an eleven-piece band that blares and shapes itself into a myriad of beyond-free playing. Reminds me a whole lot of Rudolph Grey's oft-circulated but never issued "Flaming Angels" even if IGNEITY kinda makes that one sound like incidental music for THE DONNA REED SHOW. If you think that Ornette's FREE JAZZ was the unmitigated beginning of the enlarged out-sound ensemble then this might very well be the end all. Massive reduction here, not for the squeamish or fans of that music that seems to be passing for "jazz" these days (y'know, the kind that requires you to wear a bowtie whether you're going to a club or not!).
***
Hackamore Brick-SNAILS IN ASTORIA CD (HBM 1001---try CD Baby)

Well there ain't any "Zip Gun Woman" on it but doggone it if SNAILS IN ASTORIA isn't a platter that kinda suckers you into its pleasantness. With a definitely mid-seventies pop sound that tries to evoke past AM successes, the duo of Chick Newman and Tommy Moonlight present for us some pretty sucker-you-in numbers that evoke the more folk rock-y side of what was going on in underground New York! And they sure do work the way you wish a whole lotta "soft rockers" of the day would. Imagine if all of those hit-making acts of the day you hate (say---Orleans or even that much loathed Jim Croce) were actually clever, took their moves from the poppier British Invasion acts and had some interesting chord changes in their compositions (and weren't overproduced to the point of schmaltz) and you might get the idea of what this sounds like. But better you pick up a copy for yourself...it won't hurt and sheesh, you might even think higher of me for it!
***
Reverend Raymond Branch-THE RAINBOW GOSPEL HOUR...ON THE AIR! CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions, check blogroll for more info)

For a change of pace, KSE sets aside the avant garde for this bitta weirdness courtesy of some nice ol' kinda guy called Reverend Branch and his weekly radio show THE RAINBOW GOSPEL HOUR. Originally broadcast on KTYM-AM April 18, 2010 smack dab inna middle of the night, the Good Rev. moans and groans through a whole buncha hymns backed by either some newfangled synth-type contraption or some pre-recorded disques sounding like the modern-day version of those pump organ tent crusades that used to pepper up the place. And that's not including TWO ads he does for his good friend Brother Louie, the tax specialist!

After sitting through this 'un I certainly got the impression that Reverend Branch was either trying to hook some souls who are either coming down from an all-night drug trip or who were holed up in their urban cramped quarters afraid to leave the premises until it got light out. There is an ethereal atmosphere to Branch's songs that gave me an eerie feeling of things that seem so vivid but only existed in my more feverish night time dreams. The overall effect kinda reminds me of the time I had my first tooth abcess back June 1983 way and I was wallowing in agony throughout the night and all that I could pick up onna tee-vee was the snowy religious station outta Canton. And believe-you-me, that only added to the overall miserable feeling that was pounding away in my jaw! If you want to osmose my misery, play this on the next humid summer night around three inna morn while biting on a piece of aluminum foil!
***
Various Artists-STRANGE WORLDS 3, CAPTAIN SALTY BRINGS SOME WEIRD & WACKO MID-SIXTIES GARAGE BOOT CD-r burn (originally on Captain Salty)

Slapped this 'un on the laser launcher thinkin' it was gonna be one of those bottom of the barrel sixties garage band dredgers, the kind we've been hearing these past thirtysome years (and paying good money for under the impression that they were every bit the NUGGETS/PEBBLES wowzers that turned heads way back when). Turns out I was WRONG (something that I rarely am) because hey, this STRANGE WORLDS thingie really does cook enough mid-sixties feeling to make me wanna hop in the car, head for the corner grocer and cop a can of Borden brand milkshake. From the cheezarama opening cover of "Get Offo (sic) My Cloud" by Dave Stan and Robin (mostly instrumental with a weird teenage chant for the chorus that sounds like it was being handled by the entire female class from MR. NOVAK) to an ode to Superman sung by some Tony Harris, STRANGE WORLDS 3 gives you a pretty good idea of just where mid-Amerigan teenage minds were bubblin' about in the middle portion of the sixties.

Gotta admit that the Neutrons' version of "Don't Be Cruel" kinda sounded too lambchop sideburns and medallion pendant for my tastes but hey, better this than listening to Joan Baez moan sad songs about people who undoubtedly wouldn't be allowed to be even within ten miles of her.
***
LOBBY LOYDE COMPENDIUM DISC 5--BEYOND MORGIA: THE LABYRINTHS OF KLIMSTER CD-r burn

#5 in the series, this one taken from a '76 session that didn't even get the official release until a good three decades later. Can't see why because THE LABYRINTHS OF KLIMSTER just reeks of mid-seventies concept album progressivism to the point where I thought maybe I should "diss" this 'un on the mere basis of its title! But even with the typical synthesizer droning I gotta admit that this really ain't that bum of an effort even if a good part reminded me of the usual SHUT UP AND PLAY YOUR GUITAR flash that had everything but spirit goin' for it. Still a whole lot more better'n the usual guitar god up 'n down the scales look how fast I can play jive which suckered in more'n a few pimplefarms back in the seventies, and today as well come to think of it.
***
Various Artists-WAY IN TO THE 70's CD-r burn (originally on Polydor Europe)

These budget progressive rock compilation albums were once as common as skin tag burn marks on my face, and other'n a few early-seventies Harvest entries and maybe a Vertigo or two w/Black Sabbath on 'em all I gotta say to the entire concept  of  'em is fooey! The usual generic toss-together for the cheap-o hippies who couldn't afford buying these albums separately, with only the fusion burn of Tony Williams' Lifetime daring to sate my savage soul. At least slabs like this make all of the good moments in seventies rock 'n roll sound better which might mean that if you need an incentive to make your punk rock records come off even livelier well then, by all means give this 'un a try!
***
Rusalnaia-THE GIRLS (or is is The Girls-RUSALNAIA???) CD-r burn

Sure wasn't in the mood for any female folk singing when I slapped this 'un into the machine, but dang didn't the downer folk groove just latch onto me like aural Quaaludes or whatever seventies ref you find handy lo these many years later. Great if you think Nico's a little too stimulating or just can't locate any ether. Only trouble with this 'un is that the thing started sticking by the time track #5 popped up so I didn't get to enjoy this leap back into olde English Folke Ballades in its entirety. And call me a liar, but I really do get the feeling that I woulda enjoyed this one alla way through!
***
THE WINKIES CD-r burn (originally on Chrysalis, England)

Without Eno at the helm I gotta admit that the Winkies sound like...well, they sound like Eno just ain't at the helm if you get mah drift! Nothing bad here mind you, but dang if there just ain't some element of creative spark missing from the entire proceedings that makes what could have been a unique listening experience rather mediocre. Kind of a snooze in fact even if I gotta admit that Philip Rambow and company do tend to drive on a steady course that doesn't really offend my own listening parameters.

Then again they don't "excite" said parameters either. And whatever you do, don't get me started on the cover photo because hey, I'm still trying to keep to my New Years resolution about not saying anything nasty about my "betters", and if there ever was an opportunity to do so it would most certainly be through this very snap!
***
ELLERY QUEEN'S MINUTE MYSTERIES CD-r burn

Can you match wits with the great detective and solve these baffling crimes? Of course not! Talk about convoluted crime solving based on little shards heretofore unknown facts that only .000001% of the population knows! But then again, that's why Ellery Queen's a detective and you're not! Still, you'll have a ton of fun trying to guess why the service station attendant was guilty of arson or how Lopez the gambler managed to make his suicide look like a mob bumpoff even if your conclusions are gonna be about as far off the beaten track of logic as mine were!

A fun change of pace from the usual stuff but hey, while I'm at it I gotta take issue with the cover blurb onna left which states that this program was syndicated to radio stations "circa 1965-1967" if only because well...the Gulf Oil Corp. logo on the ad repro'd on said cover is the old orange disc one which was replaced by the current Gulf logo around 1963 way! So then it is more than obvious that these Ellery Queen radio shows date from an earlier time though I don't doubt that they were still making the radio rounds into the early eighties like the cover sez! The best thing about this li'l fact is that I figured out that the blurb was bogus in way less than a minute! Y'see, I can be a dick too...a private dick that is!
***
Anton Ignorant-LA CASA DE SAL 2-CD-r burn set

Originally on cassette, this double-duty whopper's probably a good enough intro and outro to this Spanish musician's entire musical makeup. Sorta borders between dada chopshop and bedroom cassette lonely boy electronic blurp. At times symphonic, at others a whole lotta sonic gargle that Nurse With Wound sure wish they should have come up with, and even others something like John Cage writing a piece for ol' Jimi himself! That's only disque #1---on the other 'un the sound of waves crash and gulls crow as a voice speaks intermittently and what sounds like a zither plays harp-like tones. It's almost like the soundtrack for some forgotten early-sixties art film! A nice diversion, that is if you like nice diversions like this!
***
Various Artists-PERPETUAL CROSSTOWN SCORPIO CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Good gunk here, what with a nice array of rare mid/late-sixties wowzers that (believe it!) are new to mine ears like the Crosstown Bus (weren't they part of the Detroit high energy scene?) and K. Lawson and Four More, whoever they was. These garage band-y rarities aren't even bottom of the barrel scrapers but downright worthies that woulda lit up those early PEBBLES and BOULDERS platters had these somehow gotten out a whole lot earlier'n now.

Now I was a bit surprised that David Santo's "Rising of Scorpio" wasn't about the movie while I couldn't make out much if not all of what George Jessel was saying about Al Jolson, but call me cornball and send me to Nantucket but I actually liked the Columbia Orchestra's "Musical Snapshots" which I think woulda accompanied an old silent moom pitcher a whole lot better'n those slicked up sounds that one hears on TCM.

In all a fine way to spend one's quite time but one final query...what is that strange bongo drum track that pops up between "Won't Come Down" and "50 BC Man" anyhow...sure ain't listed on the cover!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

HIGH ENERGY MAGAZINE REVIEW! BULL TONGUE REVIEW #5 (geddit through Forced Exposure)

Once again what is perhaps the LAST bastion of seventies/eighties rock 'n roll civilization gathers in the pages of BULL TONGUE REVIEW to fill you in on what's left of that once-bountiful and downright beautiful underground rock scene that moved more'n a few bowels back in the good ol' days. Yeah for all intent purposes the entire rock 'n roll ideal (which was much different than rock 'n roll as a crass if pedigreed mirror of 80s/90s slickness) is deader'n Zeppo, but at least the wake's still in full swing what with the vast array of musics, sounds, moom pitchers and other post-postmodern quap extant there is to tingle anybody's tastebuds in these days when I truly felt that tastebuds would have been  most certainly have been made ILLEGAL!!!

Judging from Byron Coley and Thurston Moore's opening pep talk mebbe there really ain't that much onna high energy level to blab about in the here and now, or at least the pair haven't written about anything that I would care to part the hard-begged with. Not even the Ilitch reissues of a coupla albums whose original forms have been tempting me for over thirty years (which goes to show you what kind of a procrastinator I can be) can make me part with the filthy lucre (even though I certainly dug Thierry Muller's Lucy single!) but then again that just might be my own personal stodginess!

But hey, it ain't the faults of Misters Coley and Moore that the hipper-than-whatever music scene is pretty turdsville at this time, and I gotta commend them for finding the things that are spinning and making 'em known to fanablas like us who have relied on their words for more'n a short period of time.

Of course there's the rest of the mag to contend with, and contend with it I most certainly did! True I can complain from here to Ypsilanti and back that some of the contributors are people who I wouldn't defecate on even if they haven't had their three square meals a day, but then again there is plenty of bright, enlightening funny and even downright life-reaffirming material that will get your spirit up and popping more'n any episode of LOOK UP AND LIVE will.

John Sinclair's masterful obit of ex-Carnal Kitchen and Stooges saxophonist Steve Mackay is something that'll really get you **there** (punch breadbasket with inner fist gently) and'll also make you wanna force him to release all of those Grande Ballroom etc. Stooges, MC5, Seventh Seal and Billy C and the Sunshine tapes he has holed up in his closet. Former NEW YORK ROCKER head honcho Andy Schwartz's review of blooze greats Otis Rush and Albert King are good enough that I'm gonna forgive him for some really bad early-eighties editorial moves that helped turn me off his mag with a mild vengeance (well, they still had Coley, Billy Miller and even Miriam Linna!). And ex-Samoan Gregg Turner writing about an open mic night at somediveorother had me rolling in the aisle (between my bed and comfy chair) and glad that...well, I wasn't there to catch this new and rising talent brave enough to make their appearances so...public???

Heck, even the writeups of Ornette Coleman's funeral and the tons of mini rock-a-rama-like offerings (by the likes of Eddie Flowers and Ira Kaplan amongst others!) overcomes any of the stench one might catch from a few of the other additions which, although may be good enough for publication, do have an air of total echness to 'em (after all, if you found out that Chairman Mao wrote a great article on Wire would you admit it??? Wait, don't answer that 'un!)

It's sure relaxing on the ol' psyche reading something up front 'n real that ain't a buncha crybaby boobie snivel, and you sure ain't gonna find any of that in these pages no how no-sir-ree! With the arrival of the latest UGLY THINGS just a few weeks away and some other publications percolatin' down the line it looks like my (and your) toilet reading time ain't gonna be bogged down by the same old BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS that just happens to be stuck in the bathroom mag rack! Happy bowel movings to you with BULL TONGUE REVIEW and please, don't forget to wipe!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Hello again from the vast wasteland (or considering my girth, the vast waistland...must get my cornball jokes in!) of BLOG TO COMM! It's always good to see your happy smiling faces each and every weekend, and (as usual) boy are you in for an ever-hotcha treat! Nothing extra-super-duper special true (let's face it, I just don't have the same vim, vigor or verve that I did back when it seemed as if rock 'n roll was still a vital youth interest that continued to have some shard of potency) but considering what else there may be out there in rock blogger land (mostly rehashed ROLLING STONE-styled journalistic snob appeal paens) be lucky I'm around to dish this grog out like so much bread to the carp at the spillway.

Hope you're enjoying this Mother's Day, which I plan to celebrate by spinning some old Mothers of Invention albums in honor of the occasion. Like Easter, Mother's Day has a special meaning for me that dates back to my stoolboy days because although this holiday wasn't exactly custom made for rough 'n perhaps not-so-tumble boys, at least its arrival signaled the plain fact that SUMMER VACATION WAS ON THE HORIZON and thus us ranch house kids would undoubtedly be OVERJOYED looking forward to three months of nothing but FUN 'N JAMZ!!!! Of course in my advanced age all I have to look forward to is more work and additional outdoor not-so-recreational activities like weeding and mowing the yard, but those kiddoid feelings still resonate even this far down the suburban slob line which must prove I still have some sense left in me.

Anyhoo got some nice 'uns for you to discover and hopefully get hold of...once again thanks be to Bill, P.D. and Guerssen, but not Paul McGarry! (Didn't get to any of his this week, but just wait until next time!)


Brian Ruryk-ACTUAL SIZE---DEGRESS AGAIN CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions, see blogroll for more information)

KSE scores another victory with this new release that has me flopping my lobes from left to right and back again. Dunno exactly what Ruryk's gameplan is (probably because I'm too lazoid to check out anything on him via duckduckgo right now...it's been a loooooong day) but the sounds he creates really do span a whole lotta avant garde styles, at some times with a guitar (?) sound that makes Derek Bailey sound like Carlos Montoya and at others like some long lost recording of John Cage's "Variations Kazillion" where pipe cleaners are inserted into tonearm cartridges which are then inserted into Merce Cunningham's gaper 'n wiggled around. If you happen to get hold of this, make sure you have your beret and stale doritos handy because you're gonna be in for some of the craziest sounds to come outta the new music scene since Yoko Ono accidentally backed into an overheated stove.
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MACARTHUR CD (Out-Sider Spain, available via Guerssen Records)

Even though I am whatcha'd call an avowed hater of what has been goin' 'round under the "progressive rock" tag throughout the late-seventies, I gotta admit that some of the genre's more punkier moments via krautrock or French expressionism are just as satisfying as spinning a classic Velvets or Stooges platter. Then again a whole load of the prog rock tag's nothing but the usual half-baked trips trying to take Stravinsky and baroque ideals and cramming them into as much pretentious bad-trip comedown as ya can! For MacArthur, there's a balance between these two seemingly polar opposites, with a load of middle Amerigan takes on the genre (Kansas, Styx) that I will admit quite bore me on the front side and some interesting if you stretch your parameters a bit guitar interplay battling it out with the standard prog keyboard lineup on the flip. Nothing crucial to your being and certainly not for the everyworkaday BLOG TO COMM reader, but if your tastes do slip into the standard seventies synth trips boy have you got a platter bong away to while dreaming about battling dragons and damsels with cleavage bigger'n the Grand Tetons!
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A FLEETING GLANCE CD-r burn (originally on Aquila Social Club, England)

And speaking about prog rock, there really must have been tons of these home-produced progressive rock albums coming outta not only the USA but England during the glory daze of syph-phonic music. This is but one of 'em, a weirdo hodgepodge of poetry, twenties jazz, instrumental goosh and just plain creepy spoken word. It's all incongruous and lacking in any single vision (I mean, any album that has a Jose Feliciano-styled rendition of "Light My Fire" and the old jass standard "Tiger Rag" certainly ain't aiming for any proggy concept cohesiveness) but at least side one's closer "Fly To The Moon" starts off like any good late-sixties English psychedelic single and ends in a massive roar of..."Interstellar Overdrive"!!! If your older brother's still tripping on those mid-seventies Tangerine Dream and Moody Blues albums slip this one in between 'em and see if he doesn't do a double take in between pages of his favorite Tolkien 'zine!
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LOBBY LOYDE COMPENDIUM DISC 4---COLOURED BALLS LIVE 12/22/1974

Heh! On the same day as the infamous Extermination Music Night gig at the Viking Saloon in Cleveland (but not at the same time, this being halfway around the world) comes this particular gig from Lobby Loyde's old Coloured Balls band! It's a pretty hotcha show too even if the sound quality is typical seventies hand-held cassette. Thankfully the concept of high energy rock 'n roll was still up and about at the time, for the Coloureds really drive through their numbers like they were being chased through town by a buncha starving aborigines with the guys wearing hamburgers strapped to their butts! Only beef I've got with this is the heavy duty renditions of them old rock 'n roll favorites (mainly "Johnny B. Goode" and "Whole Lotta Shakin'") which kinda remind me of a whole lotta "guitar hero" types who kinda took the fun and mystique of the fifties and wrenched all the life outta it by overdriving the originals complete with effects and a blue collar worker kinda tough guy atty-tood!

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Sandy Nelson-ROCK 'N' ROLL REVIVAL CD-r burn (originally on Liberty)

Sandy "Teen Beat" Nelson gets in on the rock 'n roll revival bandwagon with this crank-out of late-fifties faves that must have seemed quite "special" in that old innocent way when these were re-done a good decade later. However I gotta say that the resultant redos of these all-time greats just don't measure up and in fact sound like they coulda been incidental music for either one of those cheap AMERICAN GRAFFITI knock-offs that were hitting the drive-in circuit or an episode of HAPPY DAYS for that matter. It's kinda funny that the same fifties nostalgia revival that spawned CRUISING WITH RUBEN AND THE JETS also resulted in this particular offering, but I guess with all of the cheezy teenybopper junk and heavy rock that was climbing up the charts during them days even Patti Page woulda sounded like a fresh alternative!
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Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney-CHIPS OF WISDOM CD-r burn (originally on Aamco)

Sermonette-level philosophizing complete with syrupy strings courtesy of famed (and once television-omnipresent) ventriloquist Paul Winchell and #1 dummy Jerry Mahoney. I guess the recitations of these introspective and moralistic sagas wouldn't really have worked if Knucklehead Smif was seated on Winch's lap, but gawrsh if I wasn't suckered in by not only the appearance of these old time tee-vee favorites but the homey and even touching fables being tossed at us without the goosh of modern-day humanistic values. If this was one of those kiddie platters that my mother used to spin for me during my afternoon naptime sessions I'm sure I'd have longtime warm and fuzzy feelings about this being part of my favorite years in life as long as I have one! But then again if it was a kiddie fave and I had picked it up for a nostalgic spin during my misguided adolescence I'd probably think it was a load of hooey! Well, it happened to me with TALES OF THE RIVERBANK so why not this particular album???
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Various Artists-MUDDY SHUFFLE IMPROPER VACUUM CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

I think Bill coulda done well enough by leaving the Shadows off this, but otherwise I ain't gonna complain (well, much!). Lotsa late-sixties bright pop that somehow didn't make it big like it shoulda appears, while the Committed fare about as well as some those nth string English punk rock bands could without coming off too lower class yob. Muddy Wires did a fair enough cassette culture kinda electronic murmur tho, the Standells perhaps a but too obvious but so what, and ZZ Hill sure sounded a whole lot more commercial than I ever thought he woulda. And yeah, I get the joke behind the use of that Bozo cartoon at the bottom of the sleeve (enlarge for detail)...after all if Wayne Cochran's hair wasn't "cotton candy" then I don't know what it was!