Thursday, November 20, 2014

BOOK REVIEW! FUTURE DAYS---KRAUTROCK AND THE BUILDING OF MODERN GERMANY by David Stubbs (Faber and Faber, 2013)

As the age-old question goes, "do we really need another book on krautrock (or as I like to call it 'German Expressionist Rock')???" If you're anything even remotely like me then you'll know in your heart of hards that the answer is most definitely YES!!! Just like we need more books on the Cleveland underground rock scene circa. 1972-1980 not to mention a few on those British groups from the late-sixties and early-seventies who took their musical cues from the Velvet Underground and Stooges. Hey, we need ALL the books we can on each and every style and genre of rock et roll that used to tingle our hammers and stirrups during that era's height and one more book on the subject is, at least for me, one more reason to stay in every night and cuddle up with such a read while some classic Can or Amon Duul I, II or III for that matter careens on the bedside boom box!

As it stands FUTURE DAYS isn't a particularly revealing read---most of the knowledge presented has been chopped away from a variety of previous krautreads not to mention the author's exhaustive collection of ancient British weeklies and ZIGZAGs cluttering up his own boudoir. Maybe I am being pickier'n I am with my nostrils because hey, once all is written and digested I gotta admit that FUTURE DAYS is dang fine enough for me!

If you like your rock kraut-y and still harbor fun memories of careening record shop import bins wishing you could dish out a good twelve smackers for one of the German imports that would often be displayed in conjunction with head supplies (really, as I once saw in a West Covina CA plaza disc emporium!) then this'll surely warm the cockles of your heart, amongst other things.

Slim onna pix but heavy on the facts, FUTURE DAYS at least gives the non-German fan a glimpse into the German music scene and the reasons as to why these bands (which actually were not that popular in Germany even if they were underground faves amongst the British heads and proto-punks) even existed in the first place being cast about due to post-war conditions and a searing sense of self-loathing. Of course all of the biggies from Can, Kraftwerk and the Amon Duuls on down are here, and although you oldtimers are probably gonna be sick to your stomachs reading these stories for the umpteenth time I will admit that author Stubbs does manage to add in a li'l more insight into the German Expressionist saga than has been spewed forth in earlier tomes. The German experience and the bubbling teenbo dissent that helped create the climate for this musical genre is delved into (with the author perhaps discerning more than is actually there!) while more information than has previously been distributed regarding the inner workings of these bands (por ejemplo the Amon Duul commune saga with all of its disturbing neo-Mansonish inner workings is presented in way more than passing) is also disseminated whether you want to know about the time Chris Karrer was forced to screw a femme Duulite or not. So if you think FUTURE DAYS is nothing but a quickie rehash cash in custom made for blobs like us who'll read just about anything plopped in front of us you are sadly mistaken.

Maybe it ain't as flippant as Julian Cope's infamous  KRAUTROCKSAMPLERschpiel nor as vivid as the various oversized collections that have popped up o'er the years, but FUTURE DAYS wasn't that bad a read even if most of this was remedial rockism reading to resensify my sense of high energy. Now if only someone'll write a concise history of the Cleveland seventies underground rock scene and early Velvets/Stooges inroads into late-sixties English rock, but I ain't holding your breath.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Yeah, another short 'un this week. Sheesh, despite the best efforts of the likes of Bill Shute, Paul McGarry, P.D. Fadensonnen and Bob Forward to enlighten me with burns of new and not-so items I really can't muster up the same rah-rah energy to crank out a halfway decent post the way I might have even a good two years back. I hope I ain't suffering from the same burnout that wasted many a once-vital writer out there in notice-me land, even if I must say that my best days as a scribe are a good what...fortysome years behind me (I mean, you should have read that short story I did for fifth grade English Composition having to do with a Venusian and a sheep dog with an extremely cold nose!).

But given the week I've been through it's amazing that I have been able to crank out even this much bile. Yeah, a real toughie. A week I would wish on my worst enemy that's how bad it was. Oh well, maybe there will be MORE weeks like the one I've been through to wish on those who have dared defile the name of BLOG TO COMM lo these many years, and somehow I have the sneaking suspicion that there will be!

But until that glorious day arrives, enjoy these precious pearls and get all of the goosebumps you can just thinking about all of the angst, stomach acid and gnash that went into the creation of this particular post. You'll be glad you did!


Roy Orbison-EARLY DEMOS AND SUN OVERDUBS CD-r burn (originally on HMC Records)

Here's an interesting batch of early Roy Orbison numbers that show the genesis of the famed Orbison style that wowed many a transistor radios throughout the early 'n mid-sixties.

The very early tracks where Roy rams through a buncha early Elvis numbers might not exactly get the top notch rating in an old issue of STEREO REVIEW but the energy and party-like ambiance really does lend a certain fun feeling of old fun times long gone. The Sun-era demos may or may not have been done with the String Kings (ain't got no liner notes!), but they sure pack that late-fifties wallop that really put the electricity into funtime teenage living way back when.

Thoroughly enjoyable, and if any of you readers were wondering what Orbison was up to in the days before "Southbound Jericho Parkway" here's your chance (if you can find it that is, and I'm sure a good search engine will help out just fine!).
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Jeremy Gluck-I KNEW BUFFALO BILL CD-r burn (originally on Diesel Motors)

Noted fanzine regular and Barracuda Gluck does pretty snat on this solo outing where he's backed by various Swell Maps, a Birthday Partier and Jeffrey Pierce of Gun Club fame.

To be honest about it I thought about half of this was singer/songwriter snooze, not as bad as James and Joni and the rest of the SoCal sleepers but still a bit too introspective for my personal tastes. However when he starts cooking Gluck does pretty fine himself even if the ghost of eighties post-inspiration tends to seep into the mix at times (really, 1987 was not an inspirational year for ANYTHING and I should know!).

It's probably worth the trouble of finding, at least for all of you longtime Barracudas and DENIM DELINQUENT fans because frankly you could have done much worse and as the old saying goes you probably have.
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Isis-LIVE SELECTIONS 2001-2005 CD (www.sgn105.com)

This ain't the feminist horn band of the seventies, but a newer act I gagged on about a month or two back re. the current Islamic army traipsing through the Arab world. And believe-you-moi, from what I can tell these guys have little if anything in common with the other Isis recording act other'n they both use(d) guitars and drums---this Isis is what is called a "post metal" band which probably means something to highbrow rock critics and nobody else, and while they sound quite similar to the slew of ______core/metal acts that were cluttering up the mid-to-late eighties they just might appeal to your own sense of sludge.

If you will, the spiritual successors to the whole Slayer/Metallica cum Flipper grind it out, good enough at just the right nanosecond in your stress-laden world even if I'll probably listen to it once ever four or so millennium.
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The Astronauts-RARITIES CD (Bear Family, Germany)

(Speaking of recording acts with the exact same name existing decades apart) this ain't the English anarchist band who released some great platters back in the eighties but the surf one who ended up being RCA's brave if vainglorious attempt to crack into the Beach Boys market during the early-sixties! And although you won't believe it, for a buncha landlocked surf types they almost did as good a job of surf rock as the Trashmen did from an even more landlocked locale.

And it's a nice collection of tracks too starting with the group's debut self-produced single up through their maybe not-so-stellar height during the surf era ending with a bunch of garage band-y Brit Invasion pop 'n blooze numbers that, while rather solid by any suburban slob's standards o' excellence, just didn't cut it against the Gerry and the Pacemakers and Rolling Stones tracks these were obviously influenced by. I mean, even back then kidz were picky about what they would cram in their ears which in many ways is a durn shame.

The surf material whether instrumental or vocal shines as some of the better trackage to make its way outta the I-don't-care-what-you-say-but-it-was-HOPPING early sixties. They're filled with strong guitar lines, rugged melodies and a sturdy performance that really stands tall against some of the squeakier acts of the day. The mid-sixties numbers should put more'n a smile on the face of many a NUGGETSphile even if they will probably give those breastfed from the nipples of Jann Wenner a serious headache, which is a good thing considering just how much rockers like us hadda suffer thanks to the efforts of that horrid rump-wranglin' tastemaker who actually pushed the idea (along with Jon Landau) that James Taylor and his sibs were no doubt about it the first family of rock!

So good that even the numbers with strings sound boffo enough to bring back alla them fond memories of getting beaten up in the boy's room at the local drive in when you were but a mere kid.
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Khun Narin-KHUN NARIN'S ELECTRIC PHIN BAND CD-r burn (originally on Innovative Leisure)

Every so often some ethnically-oriented recording or another comes around to get all of the more phony-intellectual than thou types all excited, and from what I can tell you, given my lofty status as a well-respected somethingorother, this is the latest one. True it ain't no MUSIC OF BULGARIA but this Khun Narin and his Electric Phin Band put out a wild excursion into a world music I can enjoy and the sounds they create just might sate the high energy pangs and desires crumpled up in your psyche like some old smelly skidmarked underwear nestled in the corner of your room. Although hailing from Thailand the Phins have more of an Indian sound and feeling about 'em that'll bring back fond memories of alla them raga rock records you used to spin while pretending to be high, and if you're the kinda BLOG TO COMM reader who still stands by your Seventh Sons and Malachi albums you'll probably fall for this 'un head o'er heels. Made for fantastic lay back 'n read old comics listening this very weekend, and if you have a copy I know it will do the same thing for you!
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THE LEGENDARY EDDIE COCHRAN CD-r burn (originally on United Artists, England)

Do you have the two-LP Eddie Cochran LEGENDARY MASTERS SERIES set like I do? Like I hadda ask, but if you're in the market for more Cochran material to shatter your soothed nerves this 'un just might do the trick.

Dunno if it came out inna U.S. of Whoa but you might be able to snatch up this import of umport if you scour the auction lists close enough. It really would be worth your while to do it unless you're just another lazy computer guy who'll download and burn this with the flick of a wrist.

Alt. takes, sideman work not to mention an interview done shortly before Cochran's own unfortunate demise pop up, and other'n a repeat of the corny yet cool "Fourth Man Theme" there are no dupes with the LEGENDARY MASTERS set unless you wanna count the original version of "Skinny Jim", which you just might!
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Ivy Pete and his Limbomaniacs-LIMBO PARTY CD-r burn (originally on Somerset)

This looks like one of those albums that I'd find while thumbing through Farts Flanagan's parents' record collection stashed in their parlor console when nobody was around, only to chased out of the place by Ma Flanagan when she discovered what a mess I left.

I could make a joke about Bill Shute's brain being in limbo for him sending me this supermarket crankout that was probably snuggled right next to the very same budget MARY POPPINS rec my mother bought us when I was but a budding suburban slob, but I won't. But sheesh, this is nothing but cheapoid limbo crankout music that went right from the budget bins of the sixties to the flea market stacks of the seventies and eighties, and only the boffoest of limbo lovers will like these Island ditties even if they're too chubboid to do the actual bend over backwards like the pretty gal pictured on the cover does.

Hmmm, I must admit that it would have been funny to see Ma Flanagan position her flabby body in the strange contortion that slim miss seems to do with ease! But given her bursitis (and the fact that she's now 95 years old) I won't ask her if she still can.
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Various Artists-BLUE BUMBLE AZTEC GYPSY SANDALS CD-r burn (via Bill Shute)

Another boffo mix 'n match courtesy one of the few human beings on this earth who will even talk to me! Hodgepodge of various six-oh stylings from the likes of United Travel Service's socially conscious suburban teenage psych (two sides!), the Warm Sounds and the Bumble Bees to the outta-nowhere gospel/soul of Margie Hendrix and Syl Johnson. The Mad Hatters' earnest yet hilarious version of "Blowin' In The Wind" done up garage punk style is a must to hear, while the infamous Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs' take on "Dancing in the Streets" might be effete, but is still driving enough to keep you from throwing your copy out the window. Personal fave has to be the Davie Allan/Arrows track but I guess that's just because maybe I'm still stuck in the boffo era of Metro Music catalogs at least in spirit. I do tend to get that way sometimes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BOOK REVIEW! TUMBLEWEEDS #5 by Tom K. Ryan (Fawcett, 1972)
I still dunno what got into me that day I bought this paperback at the now long-gone Strouss' downtown Youngstown Ohio store! I mean, at the time of this 'un's release I certainly was NOT 
whatcha'd call a fan of the looser post-PEANUTS-era comic strips like BC, THE WIZARD OF ID and ANIMAL CRACKERS. Not by a long shot---my tastes ran towards the firmer, more traditional comics like ARCHIE, NANCY and PRISCILLA'S POP not to mention a good portion of those strips that were seeing their final days around the time the new crop of comic crap was beginning to replace 'em on the funny page. Comics like TUMBLEWEEDS just seemed too modern and snide for my twennysome years behind the times and proud of it sense of comic strip elegance, and frankly the last thing this fifties barbershop kid stuck inna hippydippy world wanted to read was a strip like this 'un!

But bought it I did instead of the usual Marvel, DC and Archie Comics tossout that I was wont to get while probing the Mezzanine at that once-viable store, and let's just say that after enduring the snarky sagas and dryer'n an Arab's anus humor to be found in this book I quickly shoved it to the back of the paperback rack in my own personal newsstand of a bedroom book shelf. While all of the other paperbacks there had become dog-eared and creased due to constant reading TUMBLEWEEDS #5 remained almost as glossy and brand-spanking new as the day it was bought, and despite a few age spots and a slightly dinged corner it holds up a whole lot sweller'n some of the paperbacks you'll find cluttering up the flea market tables of many a retiree out to make a few bux on some gunky ol' weekend.

But as we all know times change, and so do old fanablas like myself whose tastes mutate and glop all over the place to the point where maybe I can enjoy some of the dry gags 'n subtle guffaws that TUMBLEWEEDS was best known for (at least amongst the small batch of fanz who kept this strip going for nigh on twenny-two years).

Not being that much of a fan of western strips other'n the recurring panels in OUT OUR WAY as well as some old CASEY RUGGLES book I chanced upon, I gotta admit that TUMBLEWEEDS creator Tom K. Ryan did a fair job of taking the ol' western theme and updating it for the new era of BC/WIZARD OF ID styled strips. Nothing earth-shattering, but good enough especially when stacked up against the positively staid and unfunny strips one sees these days. The dialogue tends to get quite wordy and sometimes the gags are more groans than guffaws, but I can still appreciate some of the catch-you-off guard humor that pops up on scant occasion. 'n although the artwork ain't as eye-popping suburban slob friendly as the Bob Montana-era ARCHIE or Bushmiller delineated NANCY comics most certainly were, they sure beat the feminized cutesy-pie plop permeating the funny pages of today which I still say is a leading cause as to why newspapers are dying off.

Good enough that even the lameass gags revolving around Tumbleweeds' horse Epic ain't as hopeless as I originally thought they were, while the Poohawk Indians portrayed are high-larious to the point where I get the idea that even the most Marxist of First Nations types might get a laugh outta the way they interact and throw some good zingers (verbally as well as visually) at the whiteys. Some of the takes on various western cliches might wear thin, but then again ya gotta admit that when the comics in this collection were drawn (1969) those western satires were still a bit (at the least) fresher'n they were when TUMBLEWEEDS finally packed it up in 1987.

True it ain't a classic in the way I like my comic strips, but at least TUMBLEWEEDS had its own charm, some nice artwork and a strange subtle nature that sorta petered out when the mid-sixties minimalist comics gave way to the comparative snoozers seen today.  'n hey, I would say that I was slightly inspired by these comics even to the point where I just might pick up this nineties collection of selected strips that the local Thrift Shops just can't give away, and hey can you tell me of a better way for me to squander away my fifty cents???

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Gawrsh, another week gone, and the way time's been flying around here it sure seems like autumn out there. Wait, is is autumn out there...sheesh, where has all of that summertime weather I've been waiting for gone anyway! Well, enough of alla them gosh crimonies and welcome to this weekend's BLOG TO COMM post. As you can see there's nothing that much (again) to blab about and, given that the era in rock that served us well is forever gone (only to be replaced by a monster that stands 180 against the throbbing genius of the BIG BEAT), it's a miracle that I've been able to scrape up at least this much to write about. But like that chef who was able to whip up a tasty dish of Chicken Marengo with just a few ingredients at hand I think I did "fairly" swell with the few shards of new material that managed to make their way to my ears. Maybe not, for somehow I get the idea that if Napoleon would have read this blog I would have been drawn and quartered post haste!

I must admit that I am greeting the arrival of the winter season with a whole lot more anticipation than I have been these past few decades. The thought of being snowed in for a good month with nothing better to do than devote more time to listening to oft-ignored records and pouring through boxes in search of long-forgotten fanzines really does settle well with my ever-impending approachment towards my second childhood (or at least second adolescence) which would suit me just fine. At least when I was a turdler life was a fun adventure and even when I was older and had to endure the terrors of school and social congress those weekends and holidays with nothing but my transistor radio and my comic books to protect me were way more beneficial'n anything else I could conjure up in my mind. I'll tell ya, when I'm old enough to retire I'm gonna do NOTHING but stay home all day and read comics, listen to music, play with my toys, watch old tee-vee shows and hide from the mailman just like I used to do when I was only three and knew better. And somehow, I feel that I would be serving mankind in a more beneficial way doing this than would I volunteer for hospital poop pickup and meals on wheels work like alla them other retirees do.
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So anyhow, here it is for worse or even worser. The listening (and reviewing) situation may brighten up in the future what with a number of hotcha items that are up for sale via FORCED EXPOSURE as well as via ebay (plus I've discovered a whole buncha platters that are posted on youtube that I wouldn't mind some enterprising computer whiz to download for me), but those goodies'll have to wait until I can get a large load of scratch up. And since I've pretty much given up on anything current (which to me translates into just about anything that sounds as if it were recorded after 1981) you can just bet that the kicks will be getting harder to find once I mutate into an even grouchier caga'n the one I am at this very nanosecond. But hunker in the bunker I will, because I get the feeling that someday, somehow, I will get to hear each and every one of those obscure ne'er released groups that I've read about via obscure mentions and strange asides (like, who in heck was that Mexican rock group who sent an audition tape to CBGB in early 1976?) and frankly, I ain't leaving this mortal coil until I do and that's a promise!

Awww g'wan, read the blasted things willya???


Achim Reichel & Machines-ECHO/A.R.IV. 2-CD set (New Amos Records, Germany)

Even though it's been a good two or so decades since I began to seriously listen to the vast array of krautrock with a post-Stoogian mindset meant for the music, its more'n obvious that I'm still feeling myself out (no, not THAT!) when it comes to discovering some of even the more noteworthy acts who were wallowing around in that particular genre back during the Golden Age of import bins. And to be upfront and natural about it, the works of Achim Reichal are definitely among the wads of krautscapading that I haven't been paying much attention to lo these many years. True I  gave the former Rattler's boffo THE GREAT JOURNEY the royal BLOG TO COMM treatment o'er a year ago, but other'n that it wasn't like I was bustin' down the barn door attempting to give any more of Reichel's works a proper ear-ticklin'. Until now that is.

Y'see, sometimes (actually, ALL of the time!) I really do get hard up for a fresh solid straight ahead rock 'n roll spin and this collection has not one but two of Reichel's old works found in one nice li'l package! Yes, this truly is a moderne-day equivalent of those twofa's they used to have where you could snatch up once-outta print platters by your faves at special budget prices custom made to fit your depression-era wage laden pocket book. Only the prices on these things sure ain't as budget as they were inna olden days that's for sure!

ECHO is a quandary in many a way, with lush 'n rather proggy instrumental passages morphing into some rather hot repeato-riff neo-punk manifested in the best krautrockian way one could imagine. The overall results are a give 'n take what with the rather dry experimental sounds turning you off before the flashier drones send you off into pure early-seventies metallic scronk. However, if you've been able to sit through your cyst-er's reams of Moody Blues albums spinnin' on the turntable before you were able to get to it with your Iggy I think you can handle this 'un hands down. And if you're one of those early-seventies survivors who brazenly stood against the tide of timid with your unapologetic stance re. the Velvet Underground and various seventies/eighties permutations you'll undoubtedly find much to enjoy with ECHO. As the old saying goes, you can do worse, and you have!

Don't get the wrench shown on the cover of A.R. IV. confused with that of Can's INNER SPACE because unlike that pitiful later-on edition to the once-snat Can line of albums this one ain't that bad at all. Of course you have to put up with a lotta experimental whackadoody voices and classical music interspliced with the usual kraut-talk but after that's all over there's some more hot krautrocking that sorta reminds me of the likes of Can and Amon Duul II romping through various late-sixties punk motifs. (It may remind you of some English faerie prog landscape a la Yes, but if it does I'm not going to take away your no prize because to an extent I agree with you!)

But after it starts to sink into your mind like a greasy ball o' dago dough in your stomach you'll discover that A.R.IV. can be pretty driving. Driving like an early-seventies Can splurge through the realm of interstellar rock, and although I doubt there'd be anything on this 'un that'd convert the typical "classic rock/AOR" schmuck to the cause of pure unadultered rockism it might suit the typical BTC reader to the infamous "T". Well, at least in small doses so don't go off buying this under the impression that the latest variation on WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT has been finally unearthed. But if you thought the best moments of Can, Amon Duul II and their spiritual brethren were their interstellar forays into free form enveloping jams you'll definitely cling to this like undigested bran to my sphincter.

An overall not bad set of two early-seventies kraut-unto-underground platters that, while perhaps steeped a little too much into the progressive miasma of the day, still can deliver on some high energy jamz worthy of the better German expressionist rock one can imagine. One you might not wanna pass up, but if you do I think I understand.
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The Human Condition-LIVE AT THE COLLEGIATE THEATRE 13th SEPTEMBER 1981/LIVE IN EUROPE NOVEMBER 1981 2 CD-r burn (originally on THC)

I know I'm not supposed to like this on purely aesthetic principles, but I find these two live recordings to be slightly inspirational. And although I'm not supposed to like the members of this band on purely aesthetic principles as well I can't find any fault on the part of the ex PiL people and cohorts who were present on these instrumental live jamz that not only hearken back to the group's earlier roots, but set the stage for a whole slew of interesting eighties romps along the lines of Mark Hanley's excellent Room 101. The use of various riffage copped from everyone from Pere Ubu to Pink Floyd makes for an interesting springboard into free form jamming and I should admit as to just how inspiring this comes off next to some of the cruddo musings that were beginning to infiltrate the entire "vague rubric" (© 1985 Robert Christgau) of new unto gnu wave music, but danged if I'm never EVER gonna listen to this again. I mean, with a shoebox fulla Electric Eels Cee-Dees inna closet would YOU???
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The Fall-C.R.E.E.P. SHOW CD-r burn (taken from bootleg)

Never having been a Fall fanatic like way too many of you were out and about during the HOTCHA UNDERGROUND I HEARD IT BEFORE YOU! bandwagon jump of the eighties, I must admit that I do find Mark Smith and cohorts' antics pleasurable "once in awhile" to be corny about it. The one-chord thump and grind does wonders for a fanabla like me who doesn't mind his music doused with the proper amount of "minimalism" at least until it starts sounding like an art project, and the band delivers that great and beautiful eternal drone like nothing since the days of back when the Stooges were first learning how to handle their instruments and failing miserably at it. I've been told that these Fall live album releases (legit or not) are rather hit and miss, but this one hits it on all quarters and even a few nickels and if you dig it up and download it for your pleasure that's your good luck!
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WALTER WINCHELL BROADCASTS (via the internet I s'pose)

Bill sent me a whole slab o' these Winchell programs but only now (after over a year) have I started to dig into 'em, undoubtedly because there's hardly been anything else to dig into this week. Good stuff they are with the famed crusading commentator's rat-a-tat reporting and hard-edged commentaries that would give even Perry White a headache. Sound quality ain't that hotcha, but the fast pace and down-to-earth drive of these is enough to show you just how much the concept of news broadcasts has changed o'er the years. Face it, next to guys like Winchell all of those people you see on the news today like Brian Williams and Scott Pelly really come off looking like sissies, though I must admit that even next to me they look like sissies as well!
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Various Artists-SOUR DIAMOND TAILFEATHER HEAVER CD-r (a Bill Shute Production)

Nice but not as tippy top as last week's entry. Two Danny and the Juniors demos really don't toggle this guy's switch (still suffering from the dreaded malady of seventies nostalgia overhype) while I'm still nauseated even thinking about Steve Allen even though he's been gone for x-teen years, but the various takes/rewrites of "This Diamond Ring" actually make me wanna forget what a jerk Gary Lewis is supposed to be while the Homer and Jethro take on "Battle of New Orleans" had me smilin' and guffawin' more'n any George Carlin routine you'd dare to conjure. Even the Allman Joys (one of ROLLING STONE's favorite garage bands---no foolin'!) ain't as disgusto to your punk attitude as they normally would be, while the Jerry Landis/Paul Simon produced and recorded tracks that close the disque out evoke more early-sixties proto-singer/songwriter pop fun than they do anything you'd expect from a guy who has to team up with longtime partner/adversary Art Garfunkel because otherwise nobody would go see him perform. A whole lot better'n what you can dig up on Sirius XM I'll tell ya!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

MOOM PITCHER TRIPLE FEATURE!!! THE EL PASO KID, DAYS OF BUFFALO BILL and ALIAS BILLY THE KID starring Sunset Carson (available via. Gozillaflix.com)

Although Marxist critics have disagreed, the aesthetic nuances found in these films are highly redolent of the expressionistic cinematic ideologies of certain individualistic voices immeasurably enhanced by some of the subtleties obviously influenced by the work of Renoir (see Chauncey Heidelsmith's excellent summary in FILM BETWEEN 1942 and 1943, page 946).

But what are we to make of the striking symbolism regarding the feminist motif to be found? Such a melange of totally unrelated actions most exquisitely cross-cut could not have been conceived at the time, though from the perspective of many an anthropologist the searing indictment of bourgeois habits may have been a bit contrived. The nihilistic urges of the director notwithstanding, such elaborations have been seen as mere excess by theatregoers and Northeastern scholars alike. Still, the vividly fluent if calculated value (perhaps grossly distorted by the director's wavering attention to historical analogies) might have seemed to be just plainly generic. The smoldering lack of pathos in the supporting characters perhaps lend credence to this hypothesis.

However, as film critic Wesley Petersen recalled offhand ("Film in Fractions", EAST VILLAGE SOCKET, May 24 1961, page 19), some of the wanton destruction seen might just be a clever ruse to exact revenge on various adversarial viewers who were dismayed at previous metaphoric implications. This may be an idea that would have been bandied about by various young upstarts trying to exert their way into the Hollywood machinery, but the ornateness of the romantic allegories again may only be an exploitation of the microcosm/macrocosm devices found in the later work of such directors as Welles.

I personally scoff at the idea that the films presented were based on the works of the French novelist Delarue (the vivid singularity does remind one of du Breck), even if a certain luxurious air to the interior scenes is vaguely Altman-esque in composition. Some interludes might offend certain sensitivities, though many polled outside a recent viewing in Soho have spoken highly of the heightened predesign filtered through an engaging burlesque of film conventions.

Further, fascinating variations on past tensions do create controlled havoc in various film adaptations, albeit even in the most baroque setting such innocence and dedication may seem merely hypothetical as the film scholar Flaubert once stated. Speaking in theatrical terms, such ideals are highly reminiscent of various uncanny fallacies in the conclusions of many post-postmodern commentators who somehow confuse the abject symbolism of the interior scenes with a neo-archaic plot development long-discarded by most serious aesthetes. Or, as the noted cinematographer Vincent Berliner once said in the course of a heated argument with director Alexander Bishnikov, "So ya think you can do better ya pussy?"

If your sentiments tend to shy away from spatial relationships monitored through pre-Cultural Revolution cinema, you might harbor reservations regarding the definitely anti-Spenglerian understanding found throughout. However, those who have ridiculed the contemplative nature of the universal components of... (to be continued)

Saturday, November 01, 2014

As some of you wide awake readers might have guessed by now, obsessions have ruled a major portion of my sad 'n sorry life. When I was a kid I was all agog over dinosaurs 'n Matchbox cars (soon to spread out to all of the major manufacturers from Lonestar to Corgi) to comic strips and then books, and eventually rock and related music even if it only meant listening to some of the AM dial and shuffling through department store record bins never even dreaming that I'd ever own any of the wares that were being pushed on grade stool kids during those more action-packed days. Surprisingly enough a whole lotta these youthful free time wasters never did exit my system like so much caga, for I must admit that even in my advanced age I continue to enjoy a whole lotta the same kultural kravings that helped make me a straight "C" student during my formative years.

And I am proud to say that comics of the strip and book variety continue to be as important to me as they were back when I was first buying issues of WHERE CREATURES ROAM hot off the press liking the pre-FANTASTIC FOUR Jack Kirby art in 'em even more'n I did the stuff he was doing in MISTER MIRACLE not to mention JIMMY OLSEN. By the time comics began morphing into something more'n just teenage fun 'n jamz I knew enough to bail out and sell the entire collection off, but who could deny that there certainly were more'n a few moments in my life when I had just as much of a passion for an early Steve Ditko-drawn SPIDER-MAN saga that I later would for some heretofore unknown early-seventies Velvet Underground-emulation! 'n true, I eventually "grew outta it" and certain medications can help the compulsive behavior trends but dagnabbit if I still can appreciate digging into the slew of comics I've snatched up o'er the past quarter century enjoying 'em all as much as I did back when I was in eighth grade 'n awaited the weekend just so I could devote more hours to my favorite pastime. And it sure wasn't pubic hair weaving I'll tell you that (mainly because at that time I didn't have any!).

Now that even the comic reprint biz seems to be going down the tubes it's sure nice getting some of those four colored 'n hard covered DC and Marvel collections at depression-era prices! Well, not exactly that cheap but I sure do enjoy reading alla those long-loathed 'n forgotten stories that I coulda only dreamed
about reading back when I was swallowing alla them stories my dad usedta tell me about those Golden Age heroes he really went nuts over. True some of those sagas just ain't as juicy as I thought they would be (hadda struggle through some of them early DC stories because quite a few of them heroes were just too goody two shoes for even my galvanized stomach to handle, even to the point where I felt like rooting for the Jap-a-Nazis!) but when a certain series clicks in the right suburban slob way settling back with one of these books is perhaps thee best way to spend an afternoon next to being marooned in yer room with a stack of old CREEM and GULCHER magazines to keep you occupied.

My current comic book obsession lies within the realm of the aptly-named Quality Comics line, and before being gobbled up by the DC monolith in the mid-fifties this company certainly churned out more'n a few good heroes who unfortunately ain't getting the reprint treatment like ya know they oughta. I guess with the lagging interest in these early good guys there just won't be any of Quality's own SPIRIT ripoffs liks MOUTHPIECE, 711 or MIDNIGHT stories for me to peruse in my advanced age, but at least the Quality biggies have gotten somewhat of a red carpet treatment which certainly does this guy's free time much good. But then again, if the entire run of both THE SPIRIT and PLASTIC MAN were to be ignored by the comic publishers at hand all I could say is just how STOOPID can yez guys be treating your past as if it were something to be loathed (like today's simp-ified PC-metastasized characters represent a zenith in ranch house fun 'n jamz) while you drool all over some latterday SPIDER-MAN saga as the height of komik kulture???

Although the reams of SPIRIT imitators that Quality cranked out (hey, they knew a good trend when they saw it!) aren't going to get reprinted other'n in some anthology or on-line blog at least the original masked guy in a suit has been given his just dues. And yeah, the LAST thing I want to read in MY comic books are "comics that virtually sang and danced, laughed and cried. and that could fly..." (didn't know Anna Quindlen wrote dust jacket come ons for DC), I can still appreciate these stories even if they aren't the ones particularly drawn by cartoonist graphic novelist Will Eisner. Even though they all seem somewhat attuned to the more "sophisticated" comics dabbler no matter who's doing the art, a spiritual tardo such as myself can like 'em just as much as some enlightened hippie fanboy, and that's even without sacrificing any of my own mid-Amerigan sense of values and morality (remember that word?) like one has to do when reading just about anything passing itself off as post-postmodern entertainment these sorry days.

A quickie assessment: earliest stories are the best (I hate to say this, but there seems to be a sense of doom to the series even when Eisner dragged in Wally Wood to add some of his EC space style to a space epic) while later on sidekick Sammy just doesn't cut it the same way the oft-ridiculed Ebony White had (though I thought it nice when Ebony made a few guest appearances during the final days). The brief run of SPIRIT dailies were rather enticing almost in a DICK TRACY sorta way while the various sixties/seventies revivals came off just like that (the special one regarding the mid-sixties Lindsey/Buckley NYC mayoral race was mildly entertaining, even showing a now-grown Ebony who looked more like a young Al Roker!). And most surprising of all, the early-seventies "underground" version courtesy Kitchen Sink was not pornographic at all...always thought it woulda been a huge t&a bash because of the "Adults Only" come on but ironically it was mostly palatable material with a slight "hip" edge, but you can let the kids read it w/o worrying about their moral caliber being reduced to that of yours.

Like with THE SPIRIT, too much has awlready been spurted regarding PLASTIC MAN and although it took some time for Plas creator Jack Cole to be considered as much of a craftsman, storyteller and comic legend as Eisner why did DC have to pull the plug on THE PLASTIC MAN ARCHIVES after only eight volumes??? Just when everything is getting really hot the folk at National have to drop the series, and I really don't know who to blame, the company or the lazy comic ass readers who are probably more content with their STEROID MAN and BODY-MOLDED POLYETHYLENE BABE titles than the hot 'n cookin' stuff.. But at least they were able to crank eight of these out and like, every word 'n panel of 'em is what ya'd call "indispensable". Violent, funny, sarcastic, downright snat and with stories like these its no wonder that even Harvey Kurtzman called these stories an inspiration for the old MAD comic book. And hey, did the Kinks ever write a song about you (unless you wanna count "Ape Man")???

When you have books like these handy who needs things like human companionship and other outdated modes of self-serving niceties anyway? Gimme a cold and rainy autumn day and some SPIRIT and PLASTIC MAN along with some Savage Rose on the bedside boom box and I'll be happier'n a math teacher in a room full abacuses. Well, it's a whole lot better'n being so altruistic that you actually believe that going through the motions of voting reallty changes things, and Ayn Rand was right at least some of the time dontcha think (just ask Ditko)???
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Another week, another half-there ho-hummer of a post. As you will see, I hadda rely on a coupla old collection finds to pad this 'un out to a respectable length, and then again I don't think that the overall quality of this 'un (along with those I've popped out these past few months) are anywhere near the peak perfection that would have been found even a good year back. But then again all I gotta say is "so %$#@*& what", because once ya get down to it I'm not writing this blog for you, but for ME.


Al Caiola-TUFF GUITAR CD-r burn (originally on United Artists)

Lez jus' say I've heard tuffer. The MAGNIFICENT SEVEN stringster comes off even  gloppier on these covers of various mid-sixties faves than he had before, and when you get down to it you kinda wonder exactly who was this album recorded for anyway? It's too wild for your Aunt Flabby, and even your pop who's man enough for alla them tee-vee westerns will think this is more hippie jiz for the teenage peace 'n love crowd. In other words, a perfect one for the perennial 1965 pimplefarm nerdo high school freshman with the pocket protector, and I do mean you!
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 Amon Duul II-LEMMINGMANIA CD (Captain Trip, Japan)

Cee-Dee reissue of one of those Euro-only single side collections that you used to see cluttering up the import bins back in 1975. Only I must admit that I don't recall having seen LEMMINGMANIA in any bins I've been able to peruse at least until my 1977 venture into the record shops of Southern California and even then I didn't buy the thing. Good faves from the group's early days intermingled with a few non-LP b-sides that later on ended up as "bonus tracks" on a number of reissues, and even if you have the originals this makes for a good sampler for those times in your life when German Expressionism sure means a whole lot more to you than the gunk that came out in its wake ever did!
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Curtis Eller's American Circus-1890 CD (curtiseller.com)

Back when I used to watch the CBGB cybercasts with a voracious appetite trying to discover new and exciting groups attuned to my own strange sense of rockist elegance, I must say that I really enjoyed the sounds being coaxed forth from my speakers that were being made by quite a variety of acts nobody seemed to have heard about before and nobody would undoubtedly hear from since. And nowhere was this phenom more present than via CBGB's "sister" stage next door at CB's 313 Gallery. Acts like Lucky, Third Stone Collective, Kleiner's Kalabah Syringe and many more played there more often 'n not and what I had heard from these acts was rather encouraging what with their definitely stripped down style and approach that in many ways evoked the CBGB of 1974-1975 more than many of the current acts that were playing there could ever hope to.

Unfortunately most of these outfits never did record or if they did their releases got lost in a wash of amerindie alternative schmooze, but the ones who did sure put out some rather neet-oh recordings that still sound exciting and against-the-grain as much today as they did when I first got to hear 'em. And Curtis Eller's American Circus is no exception. Eller's a classic singer/songwriter (even if you wanna dig up the oft-loathed Joni Mitchell def. of the term) whose modus opporandi comes off just as much Holy Modal Rounders as it does the eighties breed of "anti-folk" practitioners who were taking up mucho alternative rock press space back inna late-eighties. Quite rustic in fact, yet with a whole lotta that urban broken tooth yodel that somehow reminds me of some novel about a displaced hillbilly fighting his way through a depression-era Bowery comin' up against local street toughs and five o'clock shadowed gangsters alike. Would make a good movie if it hasn't been done awlready.

If you like acoustic banjo pluck with some accordion tossed in you'll probably go for this in a big way. And even you anti-rootster types might find it a tad enjoyable although I will admit it does get kinda hard washing alla that Boone's Farm Apple Wine hippie commune imagery usually associated with latterday acoustic folk jamz outta your system.
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Fats and the Chessmen-LET'S DO THE TWIST CD-r burn (originally on Somerset Records)

Once again we hit the cheapo side of hi-fi frolicking with this '63 twist cash in available at all respectable supermarkets nationwide. A beautiful rip off it is too not only with the eye-catching yet suspicious candy-stripe cover but with the music which boasts a rather good Chubby Checker impersonator and a hot enough backing band. And hey, once you get alla those cash-in ideas outta your sophisticado mind you might just like this crank out just a tad bit. Of course it ain't anything I would call "earth shattering" and listening to a half-hour of "twist" themed music just doesn't evoke the better memories of the early-sixties the way a good LEAVE IT TO BEAVER rerun does, but for a crankout it ain't that bad and if you find a copy at the local St. Vincent's maybe it would be worth snatching up along with alla those Hello Kitty tossoffs your wannabe daughter of a son keeps begging you to buy.
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Various Artists-STRAWBERRY BOHEMIAN SAKI MADNESS CD-r burn (via. Bill Shute)

Nice-o sampler courtesy Mr. You-Know-Who, with TWO Pigmeat Markham sides (LAUGH IN lost a real talent when they let him go!), a rare Hasil Adkins track, some low-fi/budget soul ravers and some early garage finds from the likes of Jimmy McConville and the Dawnells (who do one of the more anemic versions of "Little Egypt" I've heard but wha' th' hey!). My personal fave of all these tippy toppers just HAS to be the infamous Jim Backus single side entitled "Delicious", a boff bit of fifties sophisto humor gone haywire and although it ain't as kneeslapping as "The Dirty Old Man" I still crack up listening to the future Thurston Howell III and his galpal laughing it up and making all those funny wisecracks you'll never get outta any of them dyke comics ya see all over the place in a millyun years! Somebody shoulda chained Robin Williams to a chair and made him listen to this over and over until he realized what real comedy is!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

As I've often said, "imitations iz a stoned groove!" And I mean it too. ESPECIALLY whether or not I be talking about some cheap knockoff of a hit moom pitcher, tee-vee show, rock 'n roll ideal, automobile design or even food product because not only are the imitations cheaper 'n a $1.98 whore, but sometimes they take on a life all their own even though their "creators" never woulda thunk it in a millyun years!

True, you can plunk down the full price for a box of Frosted Flakes or Twinkies, but for the same taste (sometimes even better!) and a whole lot less outta your wallet you can get the store brand version at the local supermarket! And not only that but you can feel satisfied that the illegal aliens who were shoveling this counterfeit Cap'n Crunch into boxes aren't making as much as some unionized oaf sitting on his butt all day, thus keeping the cost and prices down for many a penny pinching mongrel who can't give two whits about the poor 'n downtrodden! Yes, cheapness transcends all sorts of decency boundaries, but then again look at alla moolah you'll be able to spend on all of the important things in life...like even more cheapo imitations!

Naturally, nowhere is the pleasure of zilch-dimensional crank outs better felt'n in the world of comics! It could be comic strips or better yet comic books, because at least in the book world the inferior copy ain't as prevalent as the strip because it ain't playin' on the same page! But as anyone who has read BINKY can tell ya it sure helps if a comic book is hidden away onna newsstand just waitin' for some nearsighted twelve-year-old pimplepuss gal to snatch it up thinking she's getting the latest issue of one of the Archie line of teenbo thrills, only to have her get home 'n she's still stupid enough to think that this is Archie only it ain't Archie but so what because it kinda looks like Archie even if the stories are about as coherent as your three-year-old nephew stringing a line of non sequiters worthy of your average street bum! I'll tell ya, it really does my heart good to know that such conniving tricksters are out there preying upon the pre-teen future fag hags of this land of ours!

That's undoubtedly why I really got a huge sickoid laugh outta the entire 1969-70 run of Marvel's PETER THE LITTLE PEST comics that I scarfed up a good five or so months back. Y'see, I actually paid good moolah for these if only because they were a stinkoid copy of the rill thing! Always on the lookout for a good ripoff, I figure that I couldn't do better'n snatch these fifties Atlas-era DENNIS THE MENACE swipes (originally wrangling under the names DEXTER THE DEMON and MELVIN THE MONSTER*) that were birthed from the fevered if cribbing imagination of Stan Lee** along with onetime Atlas mainstay Joe Maneely doing the art, and once again I was right onna moolah happier'n that gal who sent away for a breast enlarger and got a photo of a man's hand.

Like a distant fuzzy UHF station airing that series you've wanted to see for years or a liquid Jello that just didn't make it, these comics really underscore the basis of a half-there, derailed suburban slob upbringing done on the cheap end of the stick, and as you would have guessed by now BOY CAN I RELATE TO THESE BLATANT IMITATIONS EVEN THOUGH MY BETTER SENSE SHOULD HAVE ME THROWIN' 'EM ALL INNA INCINERATOR!!!

Originally appearing during those late-fifties days when Atlas seemed to be pumping out more titles per month than even DC, PETER is everything DENNIS THE MENACE was, only less. And I like it that way. You get the same befuddled midclass parents who never ever*** wallop their kid even after he's caught sodomizing the automobile exhaust, and of course what DENNIS swipe would be complete without the dopey white dog and of course the nice fifties suburban setting! And although the Wilsons next door seem to be MIA (perhaps due to an episode that couldn't get past the Comics Code Authority because they got offed in a most gruesome if hilarious fashion) there are various demi-Joeys and Margarets to fill in the kiddie roster so desperately needed for quickie crankouts such as these.

But you certainly don't get the USDA meaty stuff and as you'd expect there's more'n a little paprika missing in the mix, just like BINKY was nothing but ARCHIE without the vermouth and you know it's true!

Of course that's the bee-you-tee of these cheap knockoffs which always came off as if the artists and writers just grabbed the superficial aspects of the item at hand and ran hog wild forgetting such things as the production, the dimension and the color that made the original such a boffo hit! 'n really, who needs stuff like that when you can just grab a whole load of bux with something that took half the time to create and'll fool just about any nutley out there who sees the Marvel logo onna front and thinks he's getting something of the same artistic and aesthetic quality as the latest X-MEN.

The jokes to be found in these sagas were obviously taken straight outta the same MINSTREL SHOW FAVORITES handbook that Lee probably got from some mid-fifties Johnson Smith ad that popped up in one of his own titles, while the art is clearly Hank Ketchum reduced a few notches keeping his basic SATURDAY EVENING POST style but looking more BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS in the long run.
 Of course taking all of the bad things about PETER and cramming 'em together adds up to the over funzie joy which I gotta admit suited a kiddoid such as myself who could tell an original from the imitation, but it sure didn't matter because it was a corny copy of the real thing but that somehow seemed appealing to me!

But man is this Peter a jackoff par excellence! A downright 'tardo if you ask me...I mean, where at least Dennis the Menace had a kinda/sorta redeeming quality about him even when he was zinging rocks at Margaret's hiney with his slingshot Peter comes off like such a pustule you'd hope somebody would disembowel him and throw his remains in a ditch! In fact may I say that he'd even a little irritating? The kid's disregard for anything on a moral plane has me thinkin' he just might be a DENNIS for the Nietzsche crowd but still there's hardly anything here that'll warm you up to this cretin who makes your average Irish kid as depicted by Thomas Nast look human.


To push the DENNIS connection up your colon even further these titles are filled with imitation daily panels right down to the amorphous shapes and senseless if happy childhood violence. Like in the Archie Comics SHRIMPY series of blatant PEANUTS imitations, the look might be there (at least if you squint your eyes a bit) but the soul and the feeling were certainly left ruminating somewhere outside with the rest of the garbage! Ya kinda get the feeling that maybe Lee was taunting Hank Ketchum with a "just try t'come 'n get me!" razz, but then again would it be worth getting raked over the copyright coals for something as zilchoid as this???

If ya can't get enough PETER (or PETEY as his title was known by the final ish of this short-lived revival) there's also the presence of "Little Pixie". She's even more vile'n Peter and once again totally without any shard of decency or values for that matter. You'll most certainly wanna bash that li'l tart's mug in whenever these stories make their way to your eye, maybe because she comes way too close to comfort to alla 'em girls you went to grade school with and I ain't kidding!

So displeasing is she that I get the feeling that when/if she grew up Pixie woulda turned out to have been Andrea Dworkin or any one of those uppity women's libber types who you see blabbin' it up incoherently whenever a microphone is shoved into their roly-poly pusses yet cry sniffles and boo-hoos when men beat 'em up (hey dames, yez s'posed to be "equal")! Real displeasing is she, though somehow I get the feeling that the youth of this world would be much better served by reading the likes of Peter and Pixie 'stead of the goony get-along characters they're being inundated with these days. After all, wouldn't you rather have your kid set fire to the school or smash out his bedroom windows instead of take a bullet for a gay politician?

Of course the real life punchline to this sordid saga came a good decade after PETER's brief revival. Y'see, in the early eighties with Marvel riding the crest of comic book popularity and branching out into various media areas unheard of even a few years earlier, the rights to the original DENNIS THE MENACE deal were acquired by the company and Dennis was a bonafeed member of the noted stable for a little over a year! I'm sure that the comic fan base was hoping that maybe the famed comic character would have crossed over into the Marvel Universe, not as an Avenger or anything along those lines but maybe doing a cameo in one of the hero titles (the closest thing we got to Dennis acknowledging his Marvel ties was when he went to Margaret's costume party dressed as Spider-Man), but I would have been satisfied if he met up with Peter and the two slugged it out for comic strip brat supremacy. And speaking of brats, I gotta see just how much Archie's own Ketchum steal PAT THE BRAT figures into all this...
_________________________________________________________________
*Look closely and you'll see where all of the "Peter"s were written in by a letterer who was still aping the Hank Ketchum style yet not quite in the same way the original Ketchum imitator had!

**Lee of course was also noted for his boffo NANCY swipe LITTLE LIZZIE, the beyond-belief ARCHIE carbon copy GEORGIE as well as the too close for caga HOMER THE HAPPY GHOST way back before he finally hit comic paydirt with THE FANTASTIC FOUR.

***I gotta admit that I like it better THIS way!:


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Yeah, as you can (and will) plainly see I've had yet another one-a-them snoozeroonies of a week here. Really, I must state repeatedly until you're blue in the face that if it weren't for the care packages that Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and a few other fiends out there send on scant occasion I dunno where I'd be music-wise. Not that there's much being created out there that makes me wanna run to the record shop with my hard-begged just anxious to buy the place out like I woulda loved to back when I was an impatient yet earnest enough teenbo, but then again has ANYTHING let alone rock 'n roll been the same since the early-eighties at the very latest????

For those of you who do care in that deep down 'n sensitive Phil Donahue sorta way I've been spinning a whole lotta old and well-traveled material o'er the past week. My tastes these days tend to run towards what I  (and Jymn Parrett) would call the metal electricity of the late-sixties punk rockers. Dunno if Jymn's and my definitions match up 100% sympatico (Jymn used that term to describe the ever-popular big time favorite IT'S ALL MEAT), but for me it can entail anything from the more obvious faves such as the Stooges and Thirteenth Floor Elevators to the early krautscapading of both Amon Duuls and Can along with various English "People's Rock" bands I get the feeling most of the people have never heard of let alone heard. Whatever you may care to conjure up in your pretty little mind that's pretty much where my musical parameters lie nowadays, and if you know of any interesting platters that I should be on the lookout for which fall within the bounds I've set for this week's dining and dancing pleasure please let me know (or keep 'em to yourself if you wanna be a big turd about it!).
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Speaking of Jymn Parrett, if you're in the mood for something a little more exciting than foreskin cleaning you might want to check out the updated DENIM DELINQUENT site for some fresh material that's bound to take the starch outta your skivvies! New layout, new features and (now get this) a whole lotta tweeted photos etc.of your and my rock (and not so) fave raves, most of which I've never had the opportunity to see before! It'd do you good to check this 'un out and while you're at it write Jymn Parrett an email or letter telling him to hurry up with that DD compilation that might be a lost cause after all but who knows??? It's stuff like this site which revitalizes my faith in mankind and maybe even ladykind for that matter and the more people who stop in the better I always say!
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HAVING A LACK OF ROCK 'N ROLL RELATED DREAMS THESE PAST FEW MONTHS, I really made up for the dearth this past Monday night! It started off rather non-rock-y actually, what with me meeting up with this gal I knew from high stool (kinda cute Eyetalian who would actually talk to me sometimes non-condescendingly at that) who was having an all-girl party which looked as if it was going to take place at my aunt's house! However, when I go into the basement (which was at my place!), I discover that the mid-seventies version of the Rolling Stones are having their own party in the knotty pine recreation room! Mick Jagger asks me if I could procure one of the female partygoers on the main floor to come down so the Stones could cut the soles of her feet up with sharp razors (!), and although I find it a rather strange request and shudder at the mere thought of it I do thusly.

Upstairs the girls just giggle and say "no thanks" which I relay to Jagger and Company, at which point they get violent and, as a way to relieve burning hostile anxieties brewing inside them, begin to attack me with fists, a variety of sharp knives and other weapons meant to do my flabby body a whole lotta harm!

Of the group, Jagger and Richards were the most violent, waiting to corner and gouge me with a voracious fury while Ron Wood was running a close second brandishing a particularly lethal-looking (and dirty) hunting knife that matched the bloodlust look on his mug. Strangely enough Bill Wyman was missing but get this, Charlie Watts was short and pudgy and looked more like Ian Stewart than the tall ape-like creature who has manned the Stones drum chair for all these years.

In case you'd like to know I fared well in my defense, grabbing handy items to ward the group off at every turn even when trapped between some old pieces of furniture or cobwebby basement corner. One thing I had to my advantage in surviving this onslaught is that sometimes the Stones would turn against each other, like when Jagger came after me only to be intercepted by Richards going after Mick before he would go after me...I knew there was bad blood between the two but this was ridiculous! And hey, since I arised that morn hearty and sound you could say that I won this battle with a buncha decadent rockstars whose idea of entertainment far exceeds anything you or I would dare conjure up!
***
And after a dream like that you now know why I like to drown myself in the sweet and soothing sounds of pure unadulterated cacophony! And here is but a smidgen of this week's share!


Neu!-'72 LIVE IN DUSSELDORF CD-r burn (originally on Captain Trip, Japan)

I'm really surprised that Bill sent me a burn of this necessary (if oft dismissed) Neu! release! The guy really shoulda known by now that I would have had this 'un in my collection and have reviewed said spinner in a number of places o'er the years, and if I must say it I must...Bill, I am disappointed in your lack of knowledge regarding my at times over ram-bunk-shuh krautrockain faith! Tsk!

But at least his li'l gift has given me a reason to play this 'un again and like, it ain't like I'm frothing at the mouth pissed about it. Not exactly "live", these rehearsal tapes feature the Neu!-cleus of Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger with onetime Kraftwerk bassist Eberhard Kranemann working out something that I assume was akin to the group's early live shows, and as far as transposing those motorific Dusseldorf sounds to something that could be performed in front of an audience goes I personally think the act succeeded und midt flying colors as vell. Noisy, careening guitar and a steady beat goes to show you that Neu! had just as much of a heavy duty respect for the Stooges as Kraftwerk did, and that's no bunk junk either, punk!
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The Mekons-THE MEKONS STORY 1977-1982 CD (Buried Treasure Records, available via CD Baby)

Unlike many of you serioso punque aficionados I never was that much of a Mekons/Three Johns fan even though my inner sense tells me that maybe I should have been. Perhaps it was that knock of 'em in the pages of KICKS that soured any interest in 'em, but then again I was getting burned by a whole load of very late-seventies English imports and maybe I didn't wanna get stuck with yet another one for the local Record Exchange, and heaven knows they already were brimming full of the latest wares on the Fast Product label!

Sorry to disappoint alla ya, but I can dig this 'un in small doses sorta like I can dig those Messthetics samplers. Of course with those you don't always get to heard those group's sluggier moments like you do here. I'll bet its a good 'un for the diehard post-punk snoots amongst us, but if yer tastes do stretch into rockier terrain you'll probably stash this 'un in a box with the rest of your less favorite spins until you read the next Lester Bangs/Mekons mention on some long-forsaken website...I know I sure will!
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Gerald Mohr in THE ADVENTURES OF PHILIP MARLOWE CD-r burn

More old radio drama courtesy B.S. himself, and they're even better'n the ones they play on Sirius XM because you get to hear all of the original ads! Mohr does it about as good as all those other Marlowes you've heard and seen, and listening to this tough guy celebrate his testosterone-riddled lifestyle beating up (and getting beaten) while fighting against the odds really does help restore my faith in a planet that has become pussified beyond belief.

Episode #1...Marlowe gets involved with the mean and violent son of this lovable-yet-dumb-foreigner who's running around with a local tough (of course I'm talking about the son running around with the badski, and fifth grade English class be damned!) while in #2 he 's hired by this milquetoast sexagenarian whose loving wife has split the premises but after awhile we all get the idea that something's really fishy and I do mean tuna! A better way to spend yer evenings'n watching CSI, and it has more bang per buck while yer at it!
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THE SPOTNICKS CD-r burn (originally on President, France)

Gotta admit that as far as early sixties rock 'n roll group pangs may go, the Spotnicks are up there with Johnny and the Hurricanes, the Fendermen, the Rock-A-Teens, String-A-Longs and a whole slew of acts that epitomized the better aspects of teenage music frolics between the late-fifties and the arrival of the English Invasion only a few years later. After that well, you know what happened (the Spotnicks even grew their hair long 'n started covering Gordon Lightfoot!), and it wasn't exactly a pretty sight! But on this album the original group's in their prime doing that Euro-tinged instrumental rock that coulda had that weird dank Olde Worlde dinginess to it but in this case the sterility works! Boffo covers of everything from "Take Five" to "Telstar" done up like you'd think a buncha Swedes in spacesuits would do 'em, and of course the top notch "Orange Blossom Special" gets stuck inna mix for alla you who missed out on it the first time around!
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Various Artists-BEAUTIFUL DEUCES WITHOUT PITY CD-r (this week's entry into the Bill Shute Conceptual Thrift Store vaults)

Snappy selection of hard-to-find goodies on this 'un ranging from the very first Mitch Ryder single (sure hadda long way t'go!) to a track by a Mr. Bear who I somehow don't think is Bob Richert of GULCHER fame to some rare bloozey jazz from Martha Davis and Spouse as well as one of a billion Peter and the Wolves that were roaming the forests of mid-six-oh local rock group realm. Bill even found it in his heart to slip on more of those Rodd Keith song-poem selections, but the man really outdid himself presenting a total of SIX versions of "Town Without Pity " done up by a buncha obscuros as well as the likes of Brian Setzer and James Chance.  It would be a fun thing if somebody was able to do the "plunderphonics" treatment with alla these, but don't hold my breath! Closing out the side is Booker Ervin doin' some of that bop unto free playing that might sound quaint to you but sure sounds total shape of jazz to come to these lobes!
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Various Artists-WATERMELON RUBBERBAND WARRANT CD-r burn (see above)

Given the lack of fresh newies this go'round I figure hey, why not another Bill Shute burn even if I was planning on saving 'em for one-a-post if only to look not too beholden to the man. A good 'un too, starting off with some tasty enough soul from an Eddie Bo before some Mideastern gal does the local tabouli restaurant schtick with the wild music and gun shots to boot. Might come in hand when the jihad finally makes its way to your front door more sooner than later!

Australia's Ash are fairly good early-seventies hard rock but no Coloured Balls nohow! And yeah, it's always good hearing people like Jackie Vernon and Eddie Lawrence especially in these days when their kinda humor has gone down the turdly tunnel at the expense of a buncha scolds.

The rest is quite up t' notch, what with Chuck Carbo doing a pretty upbeat funkster and Smoke (who I assume are the Kim Fowley-produced band) cranking out some mildly pleasant late-sixties hard rock gunch. Art Neville and Wazir Afzal reprise the funk and Mideast motifs respectively while THAT Jim Henson does fine in his tribute to Spike Jones and a whole slew of fifties music-related comedy capers. And Wax Museum close it all out with more standard seventies hard rockism that ain't anything special, but stack it up against the current top ten and whoa!!!

A good 'un here Bill...dint get bored one iota and it kept me poppin' on all cylinders while it was at it. Almost makes up for the dearth of new and fresh rockscapading that's probably ne'er to make it to my ears!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA starring Ken Scott and Merry Anders! (Lippert, 1964)

Yikes! Bill sends me yet another mad heist flick in the tradition of DAYTON'S DEVILS which makes me wonder...does Bill want me to get involved with some sorta devious criminal plan to do a li'l robbin' himself, and this is his way of getting me interested? Can't believe it, unless Bill has his eye on the ATM machine around the corner and he wants me to yell "Chickee The Cop!" while he picks at it with a hairpin!

Of course that wouldn't make an exciting moving unless I did a nude scene in it 'r somethin', but I will say that RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA is a really good pull off that unbelievable heist kinda flick that kept me wide 'n awake, or was it the ten bottles of Dr. Pepper I just downed?

In this 'un, terminally unemployed skin-diver Bill Harper (failed leading man Ken Scott) works out what seems like the most perfect-o plan to rob a Catalina Island bank and get away with it by scuba-ing his way under a ferryboat and attaching loot to the the bottom of said ship which thus takes said moolah straight to land. Seems simple enough, but then again Harper's got quite a Herculean task ahead of him...first he reels a reluctant old friend into the scheme and along the way this cornpone-y Texan type who would be more in place on GREEN ACRES somehow wiggles his way into the plot. So does Harper's horny kid brother who just happens to have his eyes fixated on Harper's wife's nookie, and of course along the way the four of 'em are at each other's throats to the point where you think that the whole thing's gonna fall apart before it even starts but...

Well, let's just say that they at least proceed with their dastardly plans, and the way they work up to it really does keep my mind from wandering about like these mooms sometimes tend to do. In fact I was downright enthralled by the boffo early-sixties look 'n feel as well as the wobbly if strong enough plot, not to mention that MONDO CANE-inspired music that weaves in and out of the entire production.

The only thing that really bugged me about RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA was the fact that the juicy actual crime pull off part just goes by too fanabla fast for me. No teasing, fake outs or outright surprises are in store for you like they are in DAYTON'S DEVILS and yeah, ya already know that the bad boys are gonna get caught and the heisted loot splattered across the sea, but at least they shoulda strung everything out a whole lot more'n they actually did because if you blink you'll miss it. I almost did, even though I watched the last few minutes at least five times to let what actually happened digest in my brain.

But fortunately this is not the turkey film the dolts at the imdb make it out to be, and I gotta admit that even with the huge gaping holes in the plot and the whys and wherefores that'll pop into any conscious viewer's bean it's a fun one for sure. And if you doubt me just remember, it was only a few years from fun movies like this to Marlo Thomas in JENNY and YOU tell me which one was the real turdburger!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

As you can tell by the lack of meat being presented, this was a particularly Quinlan-esque week. Blame it on everything...the lack of new spinners to make their way to my door, the lack of new spinners that I'd actually wanna dish out a hefty amt. of moolah for, and (most of all) the lack of any real impetus or desire to crank out anything of which you'd particularly wanna call "special" this go 'round. Heck, if it weren't for the contributions of Paul McGarry and Bill Shute to the music kitty there wouldn't be hardly anything to this week's post, so if you gotta blame anyone, blame THEM...

But before you do, howzbout lending your eyeballs to these rather turdly reviews of a buncha platters that just might inspire you in some positive way, but knowing the kinda readers I have that would seem rather unlikely...


ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK; DEADBEAT AT DAWN CD (Asmodeus Productions, available through CD Baby)

The music really doesn't hold up that well w/o the full-on visuals creasing yr cones, but if you liked that particularly gruesome bloodbath of a film you just might like this ltd. ed. soundtrack album just as much. True it's got some pretty turdbally electronic casio crap that brings back most of the reasons as to why I loathe the eighties (and beyond), but then again a little bit of DEADBEAT's pulsating prance does suit me more than fine. And who knows, it just might be the soundtrack for your own carnage that's been cooking up in that diseased brain of yours. Decapitate some noggins and bite off a few fingers while this one spins in yr mind....
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Mystic Braves-DESERT ISLAND CD-r burn (originally on Lollipop)

Well, I must admit that had I the choice this 'un'd not be one of my top pix for a "desert island disc", but it's hokay in itself. I must admit that these "sixties revivalist" types who made up a hefty part and parcel of eighties underground rock just ain't as excitement-inducing as they were thirty years back, but these Braves still put up a good psychedelic poppy sound on this brand spanking new release. Rather 1966 El Lay in feel, complete with a swirling Doors-y organ and cheesy/fun guitar lines. A few tracks here coulda made it onto PEBBLES VOL. 5 had this been around back then and who knows, if you still have your Keith Relf wig and pointy-toe shoes (as well as a three-piece suit you can still fit in) this just might be your album of the year!
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The Ugly Beats-BRAND NEW DAY CD-r burn (originally on Get Hip)

I often wonder whatever happened to the old UGLY BEAT fanzine! That not-so-periodical read was one of my faves, but I suspect that it got washed away into the ocean of good rockism intentions by the wave of CONFLICT imitators that had come out in the meanwhile. It does seem fitting that this new "retro" garage band has named themselves after this mag o' yore, since these guys present the same sort of mid-sixties tough garage pop with a quick dash of psych that UGLY BEAT used to rave to the roof, or at least to the saddle staples.

If you think that the AM radio '66/'67 cusp produced more than a few shards of brilliant teenage tinny transistor trackage, you'll probably like these guys even more'n me! But sheesh, that name of theirs only makes me wonder when this fanzine's gonna get back into gear...hey, I did send 'em plenty moolah for a twenny-year subscription and like, I only got two issues outta it!
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Twin Peaks-WILD ONION CD-r burn (originally on Grand Jury)

Yeah this is one of those nice one-time-only spinners just like the two items mentioned directly above, but that doesn't mean that it's a turdburger or anything of that icky caliber. In fact like the above, WILD ONION is a pretty good platter although the music being made on it ain't exactly the sorta stuff that makes me wanna run out and kiss the first bow wow I see. It's for those rock et roll fans who like the post-eighties revival garage/six-oh style around the time it began shedding its seventies punk underground feel for something a li'l more sleek. Not bad really with a tad of Beatles here, Stones there and even some Sparks and Roxy Music musings scattered throughout making for one of those listening experiences that doesn't sound 2014 at all...and THANK GOODNIZ FOR THAT!!!
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THE EMPTY HEARTS CD-r burn (originally on 429 Records)

An' YEAH, this is even yet another one-time-only effort from yet another retro-retro group, one who I can find little if NADA fault with even though there's some sorta strange sameness that keeps me from wanting to clasp this platter to mine boobies and lactate all over it. Good stuff for those of you who still hold on to your old UGLY BEAT 'zines with an impassioned fervor as if 1985 was still up and about, and I can't criticize 'em in any way/shape/form for the music they've laid down on this four-inch slab o' aluminum 'n plastic. And although I've "heard it all before" I don't mind hearing it again, at least for once in my strooned-out life!
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John Hicks-HELLS BELLS CD-r burn (originally on Strata East)

Surprisingly fluid piano trio led by the once out and about Hicks that ain't the usual avant garde crunch I go for but so what. A bit in the free mode but closer to the late-fifties bop/avant realm using the best of both styles. The results are a whole lot more exciting'n listening to that guy Billy Joel was singin' about in "Piano Man", and if you're the kind who liked those early Sun Ra albums before he started to really reach out for interstellar strata you just might enjoy this obscure effort as well. (But knowing you readers it's like I ain't gonna bet on it!)
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Various Artists-DIAMOND CARTOON BUBBLES CD-r burn (this week's Bill Shute offer upper!)

Well, """""I""""" found it a whole lot more in tune with my sense of scuzz'n I did last week's Bill Shute pick! Not only does this 'un have a coupla beer ads for you boozers out there but Dave Diamond (of PEBBLES VOLUME 3 fame!) shows up via an on-air poetry rap while the UC Trojan Marching Band blast out Free's "All Right Now" during halftime which really fits in with the autumn season we're now wallowing in up here in the Northern Hemisphere. Song poetess Erica Laine merely talks over a poesy submission rather'n sing it (as if she could!) while Dick Elliot and the Cartoon Cowboys do funny animation-style voices on the novelty winner "Ouch Ouch Ouch"!

For real har-dee-har-hars try the Two Petes with their "Bee Gees Medley" (sounds like something ya woulda heard on a CBGB audition night in 1989 right before the big hook came out'n dragged 'em off the stage) while Grasshopper's "Witch's Blood in a Sauce" is one example of modern avant garde music that doesn't make me wanna blow up the local university's "school of music"! And it's all topped off by a selection from a Telly Savalas radio interview where the famed Greek detective not only gives us a li'l background on just how he got into the singing biz but spins a track from his new platter which is bound to bring a tear to an eye of alla those old FM radio hi-fi nuts who still mourn the passing of Nelson Riddle. A real keeper you got here, Bill (as if I've thrown away anything you've sent my way, even the other CD-rs and DVD's that wouldn't play)!
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In closing (and to pad this rather midge-y post out a bit), here's a rarity that's bound to curl your straighties, a rare appearance by none other than that mad magician himself Geofrey C/Krozier with the Indian Medicine Magik Show on Australian black 'n white tee-vee in 1970! Heavy Metal didgeridoo, and I do mean it!