Thursday, November 21, 2019

FANZINE REVIEW! OWN THE WHOLE WORLD #19 (ubgun12@yahoo.com)

It hasn't been that long since #18 came out making me wonder if editor Bob Forward has a lotta free time on his hands. Still I can't argue about  getting another fanzine in the mail considering the dearth of rockist-related reading that is available, so when it comes plop time in the bathroom you know which mag I'm gonna pull out to read, right?

The latest OTWW sinks to even crudzineier levels than past efforts. Actually that's a pretty good recommendation right there given just how slick to the point of nausea I'm sure some of these rock reads have come to be as of late (just guessing, but I would assume that most would be worse than the offal I read for free onna web). It's sure good reading something pasted and patched like OTWW because if there's anything out there that needs to match the cheap music its cheap publishing! After all, TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE was vastly superior to ROLLING STONE and I get the idea that TWG ran on a budget of ten dollars at the max!

The innards ain't bad either, what with Craig Bell giving us his take on his own history, an autobiography that even throws in a mistake or two for alla you anal retentive types to write in and complain about. Yeah we once again see the same photos of Mirrors and Rocket From The Tombs we've seen over and over again for the past umpteen years, but who sez that OTWW ain't followin' a proud fanzine tradition in doing just that?

Lessee---what else is there? Howzbout a piece on Susan Oliver that probably woulda been more fitting for an issue of VULCHER only I think that effort has deep-sixed for all eternity. I'm not that hotcha a fan of Oliver but I do like old tee-vee shows and she appeared on a good share of those herself! Also boffo are the two pages of Eddie Flowers reviews followed by some Bob Fay guy giving us a track-by-track appreciation of THE CAN SOUNDTRACKS!. Fay is top notch true, but as far as Flowers goes it's sure grand reading things written in the HERE AND NOW that were written by a guy who was around in the THEN AND THERE which retains that old sense of gonz that's been poo-poo'd by the POWERS THAT BE ever since Lester Bangs did his own era's end almost thirty years back. None of that college kid crit golly gosh gee shit here I'll tell ya!

Andrew Russ also clocks in with a whole load of live reviews including a Devo tribute of sorts as well as various Cle-area live writeups that, while not making me wish I was there front and center, seemed like fun enough events for Russ to document for all eternity. And there's some weirdo thingie on some cassette culture-type electronic collagey thing I'll read about next time I hit the throne.

It's a pretty good 'nuff effort true, but unfortunately OTWW #19 is marred by a few glaring and downright disgusting inclusions that might even make the more squeamish amongst us stay awake worrying all night. Forward's review of a Phoenix Donald Trump appearance reads so alternative rock snob above it all that if he only added a few more caustic commentaries regarding the local yokels and tossed in a few hints o' neo-Fascist bubbling under it coulda appeared in THE VILLAGE VOICE. It's a given that even with his cowtowing to various special interests out there Trump just might be THE real life Rex Grainge or at least a viable MEL LYMAN who actually will "tear down the world"...your world that is. The perfect antidote to the dictatorship of the cosmopolitan that's gotten even more snobbish and unbearable once their power was thankfully usurped by a man I never woulda thought coulda pulled it off inna first place. David Duke????
How right on and Sweet Polly Purebread can ya get there Bob?

Also in the disgusto realm is a positive mention of Jay Hinman's latest 'zine endeavor and given just how hard that man had tried (and succeeded to an extent) to derail my own fanzine efforts I would have thought a person who I had considered a "friend" wouldn't have trotted over to the other side so fast. You must remember that it was Hinman who directed a whole number of screeds against me for various moderne day "sins" such as racism (dunno how that enters into things though I do hold more of an affinity for John Derbyshire's views on race than I would any of Hinman's philosophical idols), sexism (as if the image of what the female gender aspired to in the earlier part of the 20th century was worse than it was once the gals lost their seats when they stood up for their rights) and homophobia (coprophagia raised to a new exulted height---and like many of you readers out there probably don't believe if it ain't procreative it's a doorway to a world even you will fear). He also thinks my musical tastes suck which is yet another reason the guy should be suicided immediately...anyone who would dismiss the likes of Von Lmo and the Plastic People of the Universe should not be allowed to go anywhere near typeset. The smug social consciousness that has sneaked its way into OTWW certainly is unpleasant considering what we really could use these days is a whole lot less "virtue" and a whole lot more lynchings! (And don't go writin' in about the racism alleged or not about that li'l statement....most of the lynchings that took place in the western US were of white people and besides, I really don't have much love for a murderer who was dragged outta his cell and subjected to the neck stretch!)

But hey, I know that Bob and Jayze are man enough to take my solid constructive criticism to heart. If I were you I'd go get yerself a copy of OTWW #19 and at least see what the fanzine idiom on life support looks and reads like long after most of you readers ceased to care.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


BOOK REVIEW BY BILL SHUTE! CHARLIE CHAN SUNDAY COMIC STRIPS, BOOK ONE (Pulp Tales Press)

The great newspaper comics artist-writer Alfred Andriola, best known today for his later Kerry Drake comic strip, wrote and drew a Charlie Chan newspaper strip in the late 30’s and early 40’s. The B&W daily strip and the separate color Sunday strip had different continuities and ran from 1938-1942. You can find many samples of these strips online, and they’ve had sections published in collector paperback books over the years. Some recent exciting news for fans of Andriola’s Chan strip is that the Library of American Comics (LOAC, who do the wonderful horizontal, large-sized reprints of one year of a daily strip, one day’s strips to each page) is bringing out the first year of Chan’s B&W strip, from October 1938 to November 1939, in a hardcover volume which should be out by the time you read this. That should re-ignite interest in both Andriola’s work and the Chan strip. What I’m covering today, though, is a book from 2015 that contains the first 72 color Sunday strips, starting from the beginning in late October 1938. Pulp Tales Press promised to deliver the complete Sundays in three volumes, but so far, this is the only one to appear. I’ve been trotting it out every year or so to re-read since getting it, and recently I’ve been re-reading it to get ready for the LOAC volume (I do have most of those daily strips elsewhere, but the quality will be so much better and the size much larger in the LOAC edition, it will be like encountering the strips for the first time---I’m sorry I missed the Pacific Comics Club over-sized reprints of the Chan dailies back in the 80’s, which I saw briefly then but could not afford) and thought I’d mention its existence to the newspaper comics fans and Chan fans among the BTC readership.

Although the Chan name would be familiar to almost anyone in 1938, the specifics of his character would not necessarily be known since not everyone saw his Fox movies or read the novels of Chan creator Earl Derr Biggers, so the initial Sunday entries are complete-unto-themselves and introduce the police inspector for the Honolulu Police who is of Chinese background, showing his family, his methods of crime detection, etc. Only after a few weeks of that, to get readers used to Chan and his environment, do we get multi-week story arcs, and those tend to last for a few months each. That allows for plots involving multiple characters/suspects, changes in setting, multiple subplots, etc. and gives the strip more of the feel of a movie, or more accurately, a movie serial. In one of the early Sunday entries, as the readers are being introduced to the character’s methods, we see him solve a theft ON ONE PAGE in one Sunday strip! Thank goodness that technique was not continued! It would be like those “Five Minute Mysteries” radio shows I’ve sent Chris over the years, which he’s reviewed here.

Instead of sons Tommy or Jimmy Chan assisting him on these cases, Charlie has an assistant from the police force here, one Kirk Barrow, an athletic blond who would no doubt have been played by some former-male-model heart-throb had this been a film, and Kirk is assisted by Gina Lane, formerly of a Hollywood film crew that was filming in Hawaii in the first multi-week Chan color Sunday adventure, and who fell for Kirk and decided to stay in Hawaii. Charlie managed to get her a position on the force! The cases involve kidnapping, theft, piracy, crooks posing as missionaries, crooked phony-rebels who are terrorizing their home area, and of course, some murders. “Murder, Chan specialty” I can hear Sidney Toler saying in one of the Monogram Chan films.

Alfred Andriola apprenticed with Milton Caniff on Terry and The Pirates, and with Kerry Drake he became a fine craftsman with his art (and his storytelling). As this book is taken from photocopies of actual yellowing Sunday strips, and not syndicate proofs, and since there is none of the “re-coloring” and “digital enhancement” we see in so many of the reprints of both comic strips and comic books in the last 25 years, and because of the crude color-newsprint reproduction in the 1930’s, a purist might turn his nose up at the reproduction of the art here, but you don’t need a Criterion edition of a PRC or Monogram film, so I’m happy with the quality. Pulp Tales Press clearly put some effort into making sharp and crisp copies of what would have been a bit blurred in the original medium. I’m sure the LOAC edition of the B&W dailies will show every detail of Andriola’s action-packed, vibrant art, so I’m looking forward to that book. Until then, though, this color collection of brisk and mystery-filled Sunday continuities is the perfect company on a lazy evening…like tonight, as it’s 101 degrees here in South Texas in August----and with the humidity, it’s easy to imagine myself in Hawaii with Inspector Chan! This is actually my FOURTH or fifth reading of this book, so that in itself tells you how much I like this collection. Just Google the publisher and title, and YOU, my friend, can order the book directly from its maker, and if they sell a few more, maybe they’ll finally bring out the second and third volumes of this series. I’m ready for them!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

With the weather gettin' colder and the nights longer no longer do I have an excuse not to stay indoors and indulge myself in the finer things in life like music and eyeball stimulation of a moving or static variety. Yes, there's nothing like keeping holed up in one's house doin' nothin' but reading old comics, watching tee-vee and eating the kinda foods that used to be special treats when you were younger, but now you are an old turd and nobody has to tell you that Cheetos are unhealthy and all that rot unless Don Fellman happens to call. I spent a good portion of Sunday as well as a few evening afterwards just soaking myself into music (see my playlist below) while reading some of the finer fanzines that have graced our earth like CAN'T BUY A THRILL and that special surprise OUT THERE (Paul Morley wasn't as much a creep as people make him out to be even if he was part of that nauseating "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" scam). With the days getting darker and the outdoor work load lighter, I sure hope that I have more'n just a few days where I can just settle back and appreciate the past fiftysome years of musical and published mayhem in my own down pat sorta style that is more or less akin to your long-gone bachelor Unca Ferd with the easy chair reclining away in his stocking feet watching BONANZA back 1963 way. Way to go, Ferd!
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Hey, are any of you readers participating in "No Nut", or "No Fap" November, that Coomer pledge to abstain from any really naughty action that takes place in that region below the belly and above the knees for the entire month? Well, in my case it's been "No Nut Life", but then again I feel that many of you regular tuner-inners of this blog might have less of control and are pretty lonely guys and well, there are times in one's existence when even those honeydew melons at the supermarket can look pretty excitng. If you are up front and center in this internet-wide campaign to stamp out self abuse I do commend you, but somehow I have the feeling that all of your water bills are gonna be goin' sky high once December 1st rolls around...
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What may come as a surprise to you as of late is the amount of PSYCHIC MAYHEM that has been occurring during my hours both waking and not. Mostly not, like right before I finally drop off into the deep arms of Morpheus who I hope isn't queer...dunno why, but images both weird and just plain peculiar seem to pop into my mind for no special, or explainable reason for that matter. For example it may be the face of an old man or a quaint young lady of 1930's vintage drawn in a classic magazine style, or perhaps a cartoon-esque character like a little girl I never even heard of who might have had her own comic strip back in the fifties. Clear images of people I've never seen before and hopefully never will again just appear and ya know I'm gonna lose my brain if by some chance I would happen to SEE said person at the store the following day! What's even weirder is when words suddenly start spelling out in my mind, nice and clear as if something from another world is trying to somehow communicate with me. The only real problem is NONE of these words make any sense...like "IBLUM" or "mentrublcat". I still don't know what the various numerals that also appear during those less consciously on-guard hours mean, probably the number of goof offs I'm gonna make the following day. Could I have some strange Uri Geller-type powers I don't even know about? Once I can control these strange powers all I gotta say is...watch out vermin!
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HERE'S WHAT ELSE (BESIDES THE OFFAL MENTIONED BELOW) THAT I WAS LISTENING TO WHILE PUTTING THIS PARTICULAR ENTRY TOGETHER: BLACK PEARL CD (Wounded Bird Records)-A way better representation of just what the late-sixties really hadda offer us than that item reviewed elsewhere in which Black Pearl is mentioned; David Crosby-IF I COULD ONLY REMEMBER MY NAME CD (Atlantic Records)-For Eddie Flowers. Not as wasted as I originally felt, but ooooh those harmonies!; Michael Nyman-DECAY MUSIC CD (EMI Records England)-Avgarde music always seems to go down the smoothest on Sunday afternoons---well it beats football!; The Magic Tramps-KICKING UP MOONLIGHT DUST CD (Moonlight Dust Records)-Wouldn't mind hearing what an actual album circa. 1971 woulda sounded like---wasn't Emerson at one time signed to Paramount Records???; Mahogany Brain-SMOOTH SICK LIGHTS CD (Fractal Records)-Because I always listen to it; Fripp & Eno-(NO PUSSYFOOTING) CD (Editions EG Records)-Self-indulgent? If it is, this kinda self indulgence sure sounded better back inna mid-seventies!;  The Gizmos-RAW FIRST TAKES 1977 CD-r (Slippytown Records)-For those of you who remember 1976 as being a whole lot more than Peter Frampton and disco; The Beatles-BACK-TRACK CD (bootleg)-Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time; SURPRIEZE CD-r burn-Not the WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT explosion that I would have liked, but weirded out "freak" "loner" "music" "done" "up" "by" "someone" "even" "more" "whacked" "out" "than" "you!"; I think I filled up at least two inches (depending on your browser) trying to beef this post up to a more respectable size so I'll just stop everything right here and NOW!
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Not that hotcha a week for new and really inspirational musics to overtake me and my rather susceptible aural/cranial complex. But new stuff I did hear and as usual I will relate to you my own personal opinions on the stuff in my own hopefully snark and pithy ways why I don't give a hoot about any of it. Awww cuh-monh, you might be able to decipher something positive outta the following mess...


The Doors-APOCALYPSE NOW CD-r burn

As time crept on the Doors meant less and less to me, not that they ever were a top-echelon act in my rather "blinkered" mind. Chalk it up to their image as some hotcha revolutionary youth revolt force that made music which was over-produced as well as overwrought and somehow appealed to Young Ameriga's worst values and instincts. The fact that the creepy kids with pinwheel eyes loved 'em didn't help. The other fact is that the Doors didn't deliver on the total eruption jamz like some of their outer reaches compatriots also figures in mightily. After all, when compared to another vocals/guitar/keyboards/drums aggregation such as the Seeds who by all reports produced the best live show in the El Lay area during the '66/'67 season what were the Doors but a poorly executed hip poetry aggregation whose only real claim to fame was that they had the hip Elektra machine crankin' behind 'em thus guaranteeing mucho teenage buckskins a'headed their way!

This live in Stockholm gig just seems to reiterate all my bigotries surrounding not only the Doors but the hip teen cult that surrounded them. Next to the NUGGETS bands the Doors are total pretension, while even next to the late-sixties hard edged punk rockers who copped some of the Doors' musical and vocal ideas they seem rather restrained. A cooker like IT'S ALL MEAT not to mention efforts from the Stooges to Black Pearl definitely do put all of those preachy Jim Morrison poses and the band's too self-conscious ("oooh, let's throw in a Coltrane motif here and some neo-Shankar modal whooziz there") in the shade. Why listen to something that goes part of the way like this when you can hear it all in full tilt Neanderthal mode elsewhere? Jim Morrison does not satisfy the way Sky Saxon did even during the latter's mind-clogged latter days

The freakout segment entitled "Wake Up" did show some signs of rock as twisted expression. And I never really was one that thought "Light My Fire" was that bad of a frequent radio spin even if it was such a professionally bland tune that Jose Feliciano could turn it into bossa nova. (And believe you me, many Doors songs were already bossa nova enough that nobody hadda turn 'em into that!)  But as "decent" as these particular tracks may be they're not quite passionate enough to really get me plugged into the entire Doors "aura".

The above ramble's enough to get anyone tossed outta the rough and tumble book of rock criticism proper, but since I never was a "rock critic" or "proper" for that matter its like I could care one whit. I do kinda care that late-sixties rock 'n roll with all its promise and potential got waylaid by sounds like this. If you wonder where my general disdain for hippiedom and its fruits came from you really don't have to look that hard.
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Various Artists-STARRY EYED - THE RECORDS TRIBUTE CD-r burn (originally on Zero Hour Records)

Listening to over an hour of relatively recent (well, at least ca. 2013) groups paying tribute to these late-seventies power pop legends just might be too twee for me to live through. That's why I stopped midway thinkin' that I just HAD ENOUGH of it to at least crank out a decent review. However, considering how advanced this relatively commercial music was in the face of all that horrid (and it just got WORSE) dribble like Yacht Rock and Disco that was passing for rock ('n roll) and teenage International Music during the same period in time, this might as well be the Stooges. When I think about 1979 musical jamz it's usually the likes of Pere Ubu that tickle my fancy, but this 'un does revive some of those hidden feelings of what this kind of music might have led to. And it was that HARD STUFF if you can believe it!
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Various Artists-RICH SOUNDS OF THE SIXTIES VOLUME ONE CD-r burn (originally on Forum Records)

Yet another collection of rarer than braincells in a modern-day MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL reader's head (are those washed up ex-hippies still around?) sixties garage band rama lama fa-fa-fa. But unfortunately this 'un ain't as overdrive as I would have liked---although all of these tracks found here are from the Northwest there's little here to differentiate these guys from thousands others who were trying to cash in on the Big Time back when the cashin' in seemed good. Not that these guys were so L7 that even Ernie Douglas seemed cool in comparison, but if yer expectin' the overall drive of the hard rock acts that made Seattle etc. so powerful in the sixties you might be disappointed. The highlight, at least for me, just hadda be Atilla and the Huns' "Mojo Cools" which was nothing but a strange re-write of the Sonics' "Witch" and an ever stranger one than that high-larious version that ended up on one of those recent BACK FROM THE GRAVE exhumations.
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'LECTRIC WOODS CD-r burn (originally on Apt Records)

E-Z sludge created especially for the wannabe Silent Majority hipster ca. 1969 who wants to dab his wee-wee-wee piggy into the cesspool of hipster jamz. The hits of the day are reduced to even sappier levels if that is imaginable. Kinda like the aural equivalent of having warm tapioca pudding poured all over your head.
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Various Artists-SOME OF OUR BEST FRIENDS ARE CD-r burn (originally on Warner Brothers Records)

Another one of those Warner Brothers samplers that I don't recall ever seeing in used bins unlike those "loss leaders" that were scattered about all over the place. And for a collection of '68-era Warners artists I gotta say that this platter didn't bore me at all even if many of the artists present aren't exactly what anyone would call BLOG TO COMM-worthy. Most of it is folkie dribble but it ain't gnawin' at me like it might have at one time (probably because I had my nerve endings removed by a Nurse With Would album a good twentysome years back), and for once I could actually enjoy listening to ferret face Joni Mitchell head straight into Eric Andersen while Tiny Tim, Arlo Guthrie and David Blue play on in their own special way. Even the Grateful Dead's "Born Cross Eyed" fit in snug 'n tight and whoever it was that decided to pair the Fugs' "Crystal Liason" and the (new) Electric Prunes' "Kyrie Eleison" back to back shoulda been given a raise. Jimi fans'll explode in joy over "If Six Was Nine" even if Don Fellman would rather shove sharp pencils in his ears. Even if ya ain't one of those down on the farm front porch hippie types you might get some pleasure out of it. Not much, but some.
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Various Artists-FROM ARC RECORDS (ONT. CANADA) UPDATE 1 CD-r burn

Some of these label-specific samplers really don't cut it thematically or aesthetically for that matter, and this one is amongst 'em. However, these single sides taken from Arc Records in Canada do have a teenage fun streak to 'em that makes the thing hold together a whole lot more than some of these other similarly minded efforts. From early sixties vocal group to mid-sixties teen pop, these platters were primed for the transistor radio set, only for some sad reason they never really went anywhere other'n someone's basement. A good bunch if I do say so. Even has a really cheezy mid-sixties comedy horror since from Brian and Gary and the Chain Rattlers that's so cheap that I don't even think Fellman knows about it.
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Various Artists-MUSTANG SAVAGE STREET SHADOW CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Haw---just got this 'un inna mail today so I don't have to dig through my Bill Shute box in my bedroom to find one of these samplers of his to write up this week! Fairly good 'un what with the Snakefinger stuff from his Ralph Record days coming off way better'n that one live cassette he put out around 1989 or so---ewwww!---while the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet instrumental sides were rather digestible even if they had that oh-so-MODERNE production that comes off way too clean for me. The South Asian tracks from the Mustangs and Arun Amin and Amin's Aspirations (same crew?) will put you in the mood for some tandoori chicken the next time you hit your favorite Indian restaurant. Coulda done without Lainie Kazan or those ever-popular piano wimps Ferrante & Teicher even if these blokes weren't totally "offensive" to my rather skewered musical tastes (and they had the smarts to cop the prepared piano gimmick from John Cage!), but given that every second in my life is precious I like to utilize them in the best way possible!
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Time for the ol' pitch...back issues of BLACK TO COMM are still available for those of you stupid enough to have missed out on 'em the first time. Betcha that got your guilt and shame glands all riled up to the point where you'll just have to buy 'em all now, right? Sheesh, don't any of you people out there have a conscience other'n for protecting slutty teenage gals from those embryos that somehow seem to magically attach themselves to the inner linings of uteri?

Thursday, November 14, 2019

BOOK REVIEW! BRIDE OF LUCKY LUKE --- A LUCKY LUKE ADVENTURE #59 by Morris and Vidal (Cinebook, 1985)

Actually the title is misleading because the cute li'l gal onna cover does not marry Lucky Luke, but I'll let this rather glaring error pass like a kidney stone just this once.

What I won't let pass is the fact that Morris and his new partner Vidal (Goscinny having 86'd a few years earlier) have decided to get rid of Luke's perennial cigarette hangin' from his lips, replacing it with a blade of grass which I would assume sends some sorta message to the lumpen Gallic kiddies who eat LUCKY LUKE up with a passion! 'n really, after all these years of living in a dictatorship of the health nut do we need to cowtow to the forces that be who have been ruining our lives for nigh on fiftysome years with their school marmish scoldings regarding everything we desire to cram into our mouths and down out gullets? Just like we don't need to extend tongue up the posteriors of these Old Scolds who see infractions upon their desire to create "The New Eunuch" and wrongs to be righted whenever they open their peepers!

You all know just how puked to the guts I am about all of these alleged "evils" that has been overlooked in the entire history of humankind ever since Adam did a number two in the Garden of Eden's potato patch that all of a sudden have to not only be "corrected" but amended for in yet another public display of "We Are All Responsible" sackcloth and ashes. Just dig this crazy example of "virtue signalling" in perhaps its vilest form:
First published in 1985, La Fiancee de Lucky Luke will no doubt ruffle many feathers among today's readers. While it could be argued that the casual sexism of some of the jokes is a reflection of Lucky Luke's times, it is more accurately a reflection of French and Belgian societies in the 80s. There is nothing here that is militantly misogynistic, but we urge you to remember that a comic is a work that is anchored in its own time, and to view that aspect as a sign of how far we've gone on the road to equality - and how far we still have to go.
Sheeee-yit! Like ya can't even guffaw at the sight of a buncha pretty missies shrieking over the sight of a mouse anymore, and if you can't laff at that what else can ya laff at other'n gimps and harelips? Yes, "how far we have to go" before ya can't laff at ANYTHING, and the only things I find worth chortlin' over these sad 'n sorry days is a humor of a crass and tasteless variety given how grim and ultra-Victorian (in a strangely libertine way) life has become as of late.

But keeping all that aside I gotta say that I enjoyed this fairly late entry into the LUCKY LUKE canon. As usual the French/Belgian turn on the Old West does come up withe some pretty interesting takes on eggs-ackley what them olde tymey dayze was kinda/sorta like. Nothing as off-kiltered as that one Buddy Holly show on the BBC which originally had Buddy ordering some egg 'n chips in a Texas diner until the Amerigan actor playing Buddy pointed this little snag out, but just enough that you don't really notice it like you did that US Army general on SUPERCAR who said "shedjule" 'stead of "skedjule". Eh, I'm sure alla those Europeons who were bombarded with tee-vee reruns of these moom pitchers to the point where they actually created their own homespun efforts swallowed this stuff up like nice 'n WHOLE, and really, once you get down to it this representation of the Western genre is way more accurate than that gay version of THE RAWHIDE KID a few decades back..

In this saga Luke is hired to haul some mailorder brides to the small town of Purgatory which has been pretty female-less for some time. Luke, along with his horse sidekick "Jolly Jumper" (sheesh!) manage to get the entire brood hauled over with the help of an extremely homo hairdresser/escort, and not only does he finish this Herculean task but he roots out an escaped convict dressed as one of the gals along the way and while intermingling with some Indians sells 'em a whole buncha bonnets and dresses to wear.

However, when the wagon train finally gets to Purgatory it seems as if Jenny O'Sullivan (she the one who keeps cooking the Irish Stew that gives credence to the tale of an army moving on its puke or something like that) is outta luck since her fiancee is in jail for tearing apart the local saloon in celebration. Luke has to take care of her until the drunk gets out which leads to a whole load of funzy gags what with O'Sullivan's natural prissiness getting the better of Our Hero.

It's at this point where the infamous Daltons once again enter into the LUCKY LUKE saga when they kidnap Jenny who manages to do the old RANSOM OF RED CHIEF gag on 'em making things so miserable to the point where they're just beggin' to get back into stir what with the housework and the stew sorta crampin' the idea of freedom. And who sez that men who are dragged by the noses by females of any sort are "free"?

If you can go for the Smurf/Asterix-like European style this might appeal to you. Fans of old cowboy comics probably already know about these and have gulped LUCKY LUKE down by the load. And (how I just love repeating my grievances regarding moderne-day living!) considering the slop that's being passed off on us these days a book like BRIDE OF LUCKY LUKE really does make for a free time fun reading that not only gives you a good story and better'n your local college newspaper comic art, but acts as a reminder of what comics generally were like before they had to "grow up" to the point of being so pseudo-intellectual that only a college freshman with a Sartre book he never got beyond page four with could derive any pleasure outta it.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

It's sure tough being a suburban slob punk rock fanzine collectin' comic book readin' Dr. Pepper guzzlin' underwear skiddin' sorta guy in the kinda world we have today. But try I must, and I gotta say that I am succeedin' if only because I refuse to expose my precious juices to the offal that one calls MODERN DAY LIVING!!! And it does help when you keep the tee-vee set fixed on old moom pitchers and re-re-reruns of those old shows you've seen ever since you were an embryo but they still have more appeal than alla those rump wranglers and shrub scouts you see around ever did! Hey, who sez that the BLOG TO COMM PHILOSOPHY was piddle next to what Hugh Hefner was pumping out with his mixed up Nietzscheisms a good sixtysome years back!
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On the emotional roller coaster of life let's just say that I've evened out. A few weeks back I was way up onna peak thinking about all the good stuff that makes life for me so enjoyable, then I took the plunge and got upset over alla the nasty stuff that is ruining existence for myself if not you. (Hey, I get the idea that most of you tuner-inners enjoy the miasma and dystopian existence we all find ourselves in.) Right now I'm just hangin' on tryin' to get by. Doin' a fairly good job at it as well, much to your derision I surmise.

OF COURSE a healthy influx of great sound stimulation coupled with exciting reading material helped stave off what coulda been another trip to the bouncy room. Always being on the lookout for good rockist writeups and such I actually spent last Saturday AM scouring the internet for some rare Giovanni Dadomo material which I printed up and stapled into my own personal fanzine for late-night reading enjoyment. I know that many of you really couldn't stand this writer cum musician cum drug addict (in fact, Dadomo is the main reason as to why Lindsay Hutton hates dagos!) but I find his various contributions to a number of English publications to be every bit as attuned to the BLOG TO COMM sense of music as that cathartic liberating yet totally foul expression of uptightness! In fact, I would even go out on a limb and say that Dadomo was as good as everyone from Jonh Ingham to Charles Shaar Murray to Nick Kent and the rest of the smart set that was cranking rockscribe fodder in Olde England during the seventies.

Dadomo's various pieces from a 1971 Syd Barrett interview (back before everybody seemed to really care!) to a smattering of writeups on everybody from the Doctors of Madness to Frank Zappa still have the kind of hits-you-STRAIGHT ON vigor that I like in my rockist writings which are in mighty short supply these days. Along with my boxes of old fanzines and such cluttering up my closet (my shoes lie under my bed...I know my priorities) and some hotcha sounds on the little cheapo boom box at chairside (ya think I can AFFORD the megahuge stereo system I've wanted for well over forty years????) I'm sure to be in rockism heaven when I get my jammies on and settle back for some pre-beddy bye reading as the night wiles away!

And as far as that music listening goes I've decided to pull out some Swell Maps for a change. To be more specific the Alive Records releases from quite awhile back. I have a love/hate/indifference relationship with this act...when I first spun the budget Rough Trade double set of rare home recordings and Peel material (WHATEVER HAPPENS NEXT, which for some reason has never been reissued as far as I can tell which is a shame since it captures the group at their rawest) I thought these guys were the logical extension of what the Red Crayola were doing with the Familiar Ugly way back when (a thought that John Platt also hit upon in his COMSTOCK LODE fanzine). However their first album proper just didn't measure up to any special standards at least on my part. By that time it was 1983 (hadda wait until it was cheap, like I used to do with most all my purchases) and the mode of the music was changing into something that didn't appeal to my inner musical gyroscope that tries to keep me on balance. I hit upon their recordings on and off ever since, liking them immensely at one time then having a seething hatred after I would read Jay Hinman write something good about 'em thus ruining the aura for quite a spell. Tonight I'm gonna give 'em another go at it hoping that any of the negativity from past experiences has vanished for good, though I'm not positive that it has. We'll see.

But excited I am as I would have hoped what with the Dadomo material that I picked up for FREE (Rock's Back Pages costs an arm and a leg to acquire and if I ever do re-enlist with them I'm gonna make sure that I do a whole LOT of copying before my subscription runs out) and the Swell Maps to listen to. Might even be inspired to pick up that collection of Snivelling Shits recordings featuring Dadomo even if I thought that Arthur Comics track "Isgodaman?" was kinda off punk kilter not as bad as X-Ray Spex but still kinda eh! Your recommendations, as usual, will be ignored.

When the Dadomo ran out I went back to my fanzine boxes which really did help uplift me in a way that would have made Penelope Playtex proud. For reasons that may seem odd only to you I really do get a spiritual kick reading hard-edged rock screeding whether it be from The Masters or some unknown dodo with a typewriter circa. 1976, and while pouring through these mags I got a charge that really helped electroshock me into feeling like that step up the evolutionary ladder like whatever does come after homo sapiens...like HETERO SUPERIOR???? Reading old issues of PANACHE back when they were sticking pix of Stooges-era Iggy on their cover and actually reviewing Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt albums (which shows they had a whole lotta cheek which the world sure needed more of) really does give me the inner glow that a zillion kreeshna kreeshes could never do! And given how these fanzine guys (at least those with less of a budget than a BACK DOOR MAN or even CAN'T BUY A THRILL) could deliver on a printed version of what OUR ROCK HEROES were doing musically really does amaze me to no end. What's even more mind-expolding is that after reading a whole load of these under-the-underground wonders I don't feel as if my own excursions into crudzine publishing were as crude or as hackneyed as I sometimes remember them to be. Let's just say that fanzines like the ones that used to come out way back when RULE but just try gettin' a few into the palm of yer hands these days!

PS-Played the two Swell Maps platters and found both of them to be exactly what the Doctor Strange ordered. The aforementioned fanzine hype does stand up what with these guys' immersion in sixties rock glory (Velvets, Crayola, Beefheart, Can, Syd...) and then-current punkitude folding together into a style that could appeal to both the old fanzine guard and the snots who were just getting into the stuff via import catalogs. Well, at least I can say it about MOST of this soundstew...the closing instrumental tracks from SWEEP THE DESERT sounded like totally hackneyed early-eighties post-music lost in a clash of middling ideas. IN OTHER WORDS Swell Maps satisfies the softie in me that's wanting to tighten up a whole lot the same way the more driven musics of the sixties and seventies have. Y'know, with their hypnotic repeato-riffs and abilities to take utter noise and make into something that stands as a testament to what rock 'n roll used to mean to more people than the usual "classic rock" snob types would dare admit. After listening to this group I kinda wonder where we went wrong in that trip down life's lonely highway to the point where it doesn't even exist the way we used to know it anymore.
***
Oh boy, it's review time! Big thanks to Bill, Paul and Guerssen for the raw materials, and an even BIGGER
thanks to me for having my brain discern the sounds concealed within and translating their meaning into words even someone like you could understand!

Lucifer Was-UNDERGROUND AND BEYOND CD (Guerssen Records, Spain)

An early-seventies Norwegian group reunited over a quarter century later to record material written and performed way back when, and the really amazing thing is that after all these years these guys didn't miss a beat! Guitar, bass, drums and two flautists, Lucifer Was do draw various Tullian references what with the flutes and early-seventies hard rock moves but most often they recall a late-sixties just-post psychedelic group heading into early heavy metal territory. The results spew is at least 1970 Vertigo-worthy which makes me wonder how that label could have missed out on a goldmine like this. If only this came out way back when...I'd love to have known what Metal Mike Saunders woulda thought of the thing in the pages of some old PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE!
***
Eddie Cochran-SESSION MAN CD-r burn (originally on NMC Records)

A variety of musical modes to make the walls of the city shake turn up on this collection of Cochran's sesh work, from straight ahead country twang to gal pop complete with the patented "ooh ooh" backup. Not surprisingly some of it actually sounds like an Eddie Cochran record "proper"! In order to lure in even more buyers this 'un closes out with some songs by Eddie himself including what I believe is a broadcast version of "C'Mon Everybody" and various outtakes that should please more'n a few devotees of late-fifties rock sproutings everywhere. This stuff is probably too "old" for some of you readers and maybe it was for me at one point in time, but now I'd have to say that it sure beats a whole lotta stuffing outta Anastasia Pantsios' Top Ten of Harmonic Hippieness!
***
THE YANKEES CD-r burn (originally on Bear Family Records, Germany)

Haw! A buncha Germans dress up like Civil War soldiers and do the rock 'n roll thing for the locals who somehow connect the Union Army with early and mid sixties-rock motifs! Of course it works even if that European sterility manages to seep through. Lotsa covers intermingle with cutesy originals sung both in der mater tongue as well as English and it all goes down so perfect that even Himmler would smile. Here I must refrain form further Third Reich references a la "You vill listen und you vill LIKE it!" Sorry, that 'un just slipped out.
***
Various Artists-SELECTIONS FROM ACADEMY RECORDS CD-r burn

Bill slapped this sampling of late-fifties rarities together and for a slap together it holds both thematically and sonicly speaking. The material here fits exactly what one would think of when coming across a local label (in this case from Illinois) with a rock 'n roll (or at least some sort of early youth market) bent...vocal groups and neo-rockabilly rule the roost while Lennie Lacour sounds as if he's trying to take on the who rock 'n roll shebang HIS way and doing a fairly good job at it if I do say so myself. If you think I'm going crazy this following turdbit might prove you right...when I was listening to Denni Alan's "Sixth Solid Baby" and "Turn-A-Bout Date" I thought he was actually singing "Steak Salad Baby" and "Tuna Boat Date"! Kinda reminds me of "She's a Muscular Boy", "Take a Bike Ride Sir" and "Blinded By The Light, She Tore Up Her Douchebag in the Middle of the Night"!
***
Various Artists-ROVIN DELTA RAMROD REIGN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Hmmm, a pretty glued together well selection of mostly mid-Amerigan local releases with a few surprises like the Rockin' Berries and a smattering of old radio ads stuck here/there. The local releases range from early-sixties teenage basement rock (Valas Craig and the High Counts) to mid-sixties teen club floor-fillers (the Rockin' Ramrods) and even a late-sixties heavy blooze rock take that ain't too Boone's Farmed out (the Triad). Even other goodies manage to take this stubborn fanabla by surprise like the News' "Blue Shoes", which  reminds me of a track that woulda ended up on PRETTIES FOR YOU!  It ain't as cohesive as your everyday runna da mill standard PEBBLES compilation, but if you'd like hearing these real obscurities at least once I'd get Bill to burn you a copy! However I do believe his Cee Dee fryer as conked out for all eternity so tough turds to you.
***
Just a reminder to those who might care, back issues of BLACK TO COMM are still available and at prices lower than those you will find tryin' to search these out on ebay. Believe me, you will find some good reading in these pages. Of course you will have to do some sifting...

Thursday, November 07, 2019

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! THE GREAT GANG WAR (1969) STARRING WAYDE PRESTON AND GEORGE EASTMAN!

Yet another one of the many DIRTY DOZEN re-make/remodels that moom pitcher goers were subjected to from the late-sixties until the mid-seventies! Now THE GREAT GANG WAR ain't anything that special as far as these cinematic excursions into a fun trashy time go, but this Italian/Spanish effort really knew how to take a successful idea and milk a few lactational spirals outta it for yer benefit.

Former COLT .45 star Wayde Preston's definitely this film's Lee Marvin, a guy who gets thrown into the outdoor jail cell at a redneck prison and breaks out with exactly the four specific guys he needs, who just happen to be there (what a coincidence!), for an important mission taking out a bootlegging operation hidden inside a Mexican monastery. Italian big name George Eastman plays the stereotypical wired Irishman, this one who hates Negroes, especially the one played by Archie Savage. Savage does it in that typical laid back cool style that makes you think he's so philosophical and flower-picking gentle on one hand before he bashes in a whole buncha local toughs at a diner the next. You got the Telly Savalas and Jim Brown roles right there, but as far as the college professor and the randy Italian go well...I haven't seen THE DIRTY DOZEN in a few years so I can't pinpoint who played their roles in that 'un right now.

But wha' th' hey, for THE GREAT GANG WAR has a good enough pulse and throb to it that should keep you palpitating throughout its 90 minute run. Nothing pedal-flooring intense, but it still will keep your mind off the bladder and the snikky-snax as you soak in the various goings on whether they be in the prison or the obligatory for every late-sixties film whorehouse scene. Don't worry about anything being overtly naughty in here since the gals (including the hooker who joins up with the men for their daring mission) are duly covered up enough even in the peek-a-boo scene where you can tell she's buck nekkid but that's only because you see here from the side and within a narrow range. It won't getcha horny or anything, but I get the idea that if this was on tee-vee and your mom was in the room you'd be sent to bed while she gets to watch the rest of it!

If any of you reg'lar BLOG TO COMM readers are suffering from a bout of the blahs or just plain ennui and want a moom pitcher to sorta slip into your miasma, this might be some good backdrop for an even more blanded out Sunday afternoon than the one I've suffering through right now. Even if you ain't in blahsville you might get a little tingling of a jolt. Whatever, if this happens to pop up on some low-wattage/budget tee-vee station (do they still have any?) I'd give it a look-see if I wuz you.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

DEE-VEE-DEE REVIEW BY BILL SHUTE! LIPPY THE LION AND HARDY HAR HAR: THE COMPLETE SERIES (Warner Archives)


The Warner Archive is now, eventually, getting around to releasing some of the most obscure of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon shows owned by Warner/Turner, and this gem from H-B’s early 60’s golden age is well worth owning, now that all 52 of the five-minute cartoons from the 1962-63 syndicated run are collected in their own attractively priced 2-DVD set.

These play a lot like comedy shorts, with a duo of outcasts with quirky personalities rambling around, basically going from place to place like hobos, and finding some sort of problem getting in their way, enough to kill the five minutes of the cartoon. Had Lippy and Hardy been humans, they might have had their own shorts at Educational in the 30’s or Columbia in the 40’s, but they are animated animals, so their natural home is at Hanna-Barbera. However, the interplay between the two here is really A LOT like a comedy short, which is of course high praise here at BTC.

Lippy is a kind of blowhard with a twist of WC Fields to his delivery (voiced by Daws Butler). Animation reference websites (whose knowledge is more encyclopedic than mine) state that Butler based the voice on comedian Joe E. Brown and that the voice is pretty much the same of Peter Potamus (who ran at H-B from 1964-66, so Lippy was first----the Warner Archives put out Peter’s collected works on DVD in 2016). He’s very much a nice guy….lion….and has the same kind of caring one sees between Laurel and Hardy. In fact, if you imagine Lippy as Oliver Hardy and Hardy Har Har as Stan Laurel, you may get a general idea of what’s going on here.

Hardy is a worry-wart, who finds the worst interpretation of everything that happens, is paralyzed by fear, and never wants to try anything new or different. He’s voiced by the great Mel Blanc (you’ll also hear Blanc doing other minor characters in these shorts), who is perfect for the hemming and hawing and cynical mumbling the character does non-stop. The irony here is that hyenas are supposed to be laughing all the time—but this is an over-worrying, depressed hyena! Thankfully, Lippy is able to keep him going and encourage him.

I’ve been watching these 52 shorts randomly, but to focus on the first three here, you can see the basic format. In the first one, they are adrift at sea and run into a pirate. In the second one, they are riding the rails on a train and get thrown off by the railroad security heavy (nowhere near as brutal, though, as Ernest Borgnine as Shack in the classic EMPEROR OF THE NORTH, this being a kid’s cartoon) while dreaming of eating some watermelon (Lippy tells Hardy to be happy by thinking of something fun to eat, and mentions watermelon), which they do eventually get. In the third one, they are rambling around the countryside and encounter a mad scientist (the music at one points references the theme song of the Alfred Hitchcock TV show!).

Five minutes is the perfect length for these. A four-year-old could keep attention that long, and for those of us who are older but four-year-olds at heart, the shorts are fast-moving, no scene is played out very long, and there isn’t the kind of “second act” you find in longer cartoons or in two-reel comedy shorts. You can pop this into your player, watch any two of the boatload of cartoons contained here, put a smile on your face, and go on to whatever else you need to do, and you’ve only spent TEN minutes.

Cartoons, like comedy shorts, often provide me with the kind of absurdist “head cleaner” (to use the language of cassette or VHS tapes) I need during a long day or a stressful period. It’s like pushing my own personal re-set button. Hanna-Barbera were at the height of their powers in the early 60’s. Virtually every set of animal cartoon characters they created during this period is now considered a classic which has held up very well over the decades, and one certainly can’t say that about later periods of H-B animation (though they always continued to have at least some worthwhile projects in any era). If you have a taste for this sort of thing, you should definitely score a copy of this fine 2-DVD set, with all 52 (!!!) of the pair’s comedy adventures.

Saturday, November 02, 2019

Last week I was watching PRIVATE BUCKAROOS, that World War II quickie filled with musical interludes both patriotic and not courtesy of Harry James, Dick Haymes and the Andrew Sisters (who rose to fame with the original BUCK PRIVATES starring Abbott and Costello and, as they say, why argue with success?) along with comedic asides featuring the likes of Shemp Howard and Huntz Hall to make it more palatable to people like myself. While suffering through one of the aforementioned numbers which was so hackneyed and cloying in its efforts to stir up the rabble against the Germans and Japanese I remarked that after seeing something like this I kinda wish we had lost. My World War II vet dad actually chuckled which I and maybe even you can take in a variety of ways.

Maybe I ain't as chipper as I should be. In fact, maybe at this point in time I should be tossed into a chipper. What really irks me is just how low blow things have gotten in life these days to the point where yes, I truly am a total alien on a planet where I was once a first class citizen, or at least felt like one. There are tons of people who I can blame my status in this caste system on, and of course none of the fault lays with me other'n I hadda take the advice of people who really didn't know better but somehow convinced me they did!

But still it does bug me...I mean, like Don Fellman, I never was the kinda guy who turned hippoid or imbibed in a whole load of extracurricular chemical fantasias, and here I am the one who's picked on constantly and held up as some sorta (insert cute and cloying liberal cliche here) by people who think they are living the ultimate in being that fabled total human when all they are are delusional automatons who are merely living from orgasm to orgasm and do things not out of devotion, but to make themselves feel all the more better.

Yeah I know times HAVE to change and we all must go with that flow (yeah right!), but I keep thinkin' about how great things were at the time I was born and just how much they've deteriorated into a dystopia of weird sexual/socio/religioso head gratification that I have and will continue to find quite appalling. I think of the world I inhabited in my early youth and the one I'm in today, and although we now have cures for many ailments and the tee-vees don't have tubes that blow out right inna middle of PETER PAN anymore I'll that THAT over THIS in a heartbeat! Things were way more fun, the broadcast medium really catered to the fun-loving wild side of our lives and people tended to be people and not "menacing strangers" as H.L. Mencken once put it. I know that of all you readers only JD King will agree with me and SO WHAT, but folk really were better off during the earlier years of my reign and that includes alla those minorities who at least had a more stable world to exist in, at least in the USA where our more altruistic and therefore destructive sides used to be kept in check.

But when the smoke clears one can only see just how dismal those who were supposed to be protected are, if not worse. If there are any children around these days I've yet to see them. Most are just born adults just waiting to grow to full size, Entertainment has been stodgy and overbearing on all levels for the last forty years while people overall seem to have become bigger grumps than the teachers I had growing up. And as far as my existence on this plane goes well, let me leave it to a person who I would say is way more better' n I...





But don't fret any...I'll try to put on my best smile. Like I was told ever since I was a mere turdler, always have a smile on your face and show the world you're a happy person even if you do have a bursting artery and are at death's door.

One happy consolation is that according to "Mylife" my online reputation profile stands at a measly "1.3". Well, I am proud given all of the effort I put into obtaining such a low rating!
***
After reading the above a good six days later all I gotta say is boy, was I ennui'd out! Forget I ever wrote that slop. I'd delete the whole thing but sheesh, I gotta pad this week's entry out SOMEHOW!!!
***
Here's another Nick Tosches piece that I gotta admit tops a whole lotta "best of" lists as far as rock 'n roll writing went...his critique of the concert for Bangladesh entitled "The Heartbeats Never Did Any Benefits" from FUSION which was a surprisingly sly take on the whole George Harrison Bangladesh brouhaha that took place during that "relevant" year we called 1971. A total feel-good read, especially when you think of just what George Harrison used to look like back inna seventies...woof!
***
Gather 'round for the gruel. Got some goodies here that might even inspire you into buying a few of the wares mentioned this week. Gotta thank the usual suspects like Bill, Paul and Feeding Tube for the freebees which doesn't mean these things are guaranteed good reviews but hey, why should I upset the apple cart and get rid of this cash cow anyway? Rekkids are few and far between these days, and whatever I can scam you bet I'm gonna scam good!


Abronia-THE WHOLE OF EACH EYE LP (Feeding Tube Records)

I'm surprised that there are still a whole buncha these neo-psychedelic rock acts wallowing about even this far down the line. The slow and moody music that Abronia makes is rather difficult to describe, although these people do come rather close to the GREAT JAPANESE PSYCHEDELIC UPHEAVAL OF THE EARLY TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (and yes, I still spin my copy of THE NIGHT GALLERY on scant occasion). The music ebbs and flows more than it relies on riffages or discernible melodies for that matter. The resultant sludge of sound is rather appealing, perhaps because it relates to how my nervous system has been reacting lately especially after a lifetime of everything I hadda go through all these miserable years.
***

Mickey and Ludella-BEDLAM A GO-GO CD-r burn (originally on Vinyl Japan Records)

These garage band revivalists might be good enough to eke out a few stirrings of past accomplishments and at times even get the original pounce down pat, but I find very few of 'em good enough for a second listening. Mickey and Ludella are included in this category even if they do have the same chops and outlook that got more'n a few acts with names like Death By Ugha-Bugha airplay on Little Steven's Sirius XM radio channel. Maybe a little does go a long way. Still this does work well on your rockism nerve nodes what with the intentionally lo-fi sound and well-performed material both original and cover which comes off as more than just a homage to an era in time that fizzed out a whole lot more sooner'n any of us really hoped it would.
***
Miss Ludella Black-SHE'S OUT THERE CD-r burn (originally on Damaged Goods Records)

Here's Ludella on her own and in better clarity doing more of that sixties unto the new century sound and comin' off even sweller'n she did with Mickey. She kinda reminds me of the early solo Cher without the neo-Spectre production and with a nicer set of lungs to deliver these olde tymey teenage pop songs with. Those of you who like those Miriam Linna platters of the past few years will also enjoy Miss Black's approach to past glories for a new world that couldn't give a whit. And whaddaya know, the thing actually swings, rocks, moves you and other things rock intellectuals used to hate back inna eighties!
***
The Crickets-STILL IN STYLE CD-r burn (originally on Bear Family Records, Germany)

Heard 'em all before but YOU (and I) NEED TO HEAR 'EM AGAIN! A perfect slice of just what the early-sixties could aspire to despite what those rock snobs who think the whole shebang died twixt the "Day the Music Died" and the appearance of the Beatles on Ed Sullygum have told us for years. It's a shame that the Crickets didn't do way better what with these tracks' straight-ahead throb pace---it's also too bad that the only thing Sonny Curtis is really remembered for these days is that appealing to every starry-eyed student teacher you ever knew theme to THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW.
***
Sky "Sunlight" Saxon and Fire Wall-WORLD FANTASTIC CD-r burn (originally on Skyclad Records)

Even though the guy had been spending the previous sixteen years in such a wasted state even the Manson Family woulda been shocked, Sky Saxon could still sing swell and rock out with the best of 'em as this 1988 effort proves.

Yeah his voice sounds like it had dropped a good octave and his overall hippie looks really do put a damper on the entire proceedings, but on this platter Sky still comes on strong and I ain't talkin' 'bout BO while his backing band is copasetic without coming off sycophantic.

Good enough that it even features yet another plagiarizing of the old "Pushin' Too Hard: riff. Heck, it even has a cover of Roky Erickson's "Don't Slander Me" custom made for those of you who saw some sorta psychedelic battle of the cozmik brain fry being held between these two chemically sustained beings.

Sounds a whole lot better'n I remembered it to back when it came out oh-so-long ago, but then again back then I had a mad on about a whole lotta things and some of these things I still have a mad on about so don't bug me Gertrude!
***
Various Artists-EAST OF THE BLUE-EYED SITAR SUN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Sheesh, I dunno if I'm exactly inna mood for a side of Frank Sinatra's worst, but then again listening to the Chairman handle the twist craze and a duet with Dagmar and some dogs inna background sure beats the heck outta that phony Arbogast and Ross top forty radio spoof that's about as funny as the Coraopolis PA sewer system. Of course nothing could be worse than Garry Moore, a man who I gotta say I hate with more of a passion than I hate most people out there in Everydayland.  At least the Shadooks' version of "My Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes To The Bathroom" or something like that sure had a boffo 1963-styled rock 'n roll instrumental sound to it in an era of general feh, while the Stinson Brothers deliver that straightforward rockaroll that seemed oh-so-tasty despite the nostalgia craze of the seventies which ruined a whole lotta the appreciation I could have for this music inna first place. ('n for an additional laff howzbout a sitar-laden version of "My Favorite Things"!) In all a good platter for sickoid fun 'n jamz but sheesh, how I hate Garry Moore---gimme Durward Kirby ANYDAY!
***
Just a little reminder that BLACK TO COMM back issues are still available with the mere click of the highlighted link, and with a few bucks tossed my way as well. If really interested, leave me a message below with pertinent contact info etc. (I will not make anything confidential public knowledge!) and maybe we can work out a deal. There's some might good readin' to be found inside those mags as well as a lotta mistakes, long-refuted "facts" and other things that might upset your tiny little stomach, but I think you're human enough to handle it all, aren't you???

Thursday, October 31, 2019

BOOK REVIEW! ALL GATES OPEN - THE STORY OF CAN BY ROB YOUNG & IRMIN SCHMIDT! (Faber & Faber, 2018)

I must keep this 'un short lest I go on for paragraph after paragraph filled with the standard repeato-riff bornados that filled up my crudzine to the point of incomprehension. But sheesh, if we ever needed a book about what was perhaps thee complete krautrock/garage band effort of the ages, Can that is, this 'un it! A hands down winner that thankfully retains the drive, dirt and energy of the group transferring it into print making for one mighty sensory overload especially when listened to in conjunction with THE CAN BOX.

Sure the Pascal Bussy effort of a couple decades back was also extremely informative, well-written and remains an important book in any true blue BLOG TO COMM reader's personal library. However this recent inclusion into the Can-on is just what every drooling rock 'n roll manic has been dreaming of for a longer time than I perhaps even knew this group existed. Really, who out there in reader-land wouldn't want this hefty 550 + page tome for the times? I mean, ALL GATES OPEN contains a whole load of detailed Can history complete with all of the minutiae you've always wanted to know about this legendary German act and the behind-the-behind-the-scenes goings on and whatnot about all of those Can mysteries that have been bugging you for ages. After all you get all of the important Can historical milestones from the exits of both Malcolm Mooney and Damo Suzuki  explained in a whole lot more detail than had previously been let onto, while the inter-group hassles and stories behind the creation of those Can songs that have been wowzing you for years are fleshed out in a whole lot more detail than anyone had previously been let onto. An' lemme tell you, you don't have to be a frustrated anal-retentive like myself to appreciate and absorb like a sponge all of the new Canformation you will be soaking into your mind once you get this. But it sure helps!

Can keyboardist Irmin Schmidt had a big hand in this 'un working with some Rob Young guy who thankfully doesn't muck things up too much inserting his own private opinions and various extraneous sundries into a saga that reads just fine on its lonesome. The resultant wordblare really is fascinating not only because of that aforementioned bits and pieces added into what we already knew about was these German punk rock pioneers, but even the more personal and private matters that woulda embarrassed a whole load of celebrities way back when HOLLYWOOD BABYLON was considered the ultimo in scandal sheet tattling tend to surprise and perhaps even shock. True it ain't exactly that you might really care about guitarist Michael Karoli's toe dabbling in heroin usage or even Schmidt's marital infidelities but I only find it more and more crucial to the whole Can outlook giving (at least) me an insight into the whole maddening system that created and allowed such an act to grow. This also includes Mooney's resultant crack up and even the truth behind the time David Niven saw 'em in Berlin which is quite a different story than the one told in THE CAN BOOK. Added flavoring to a recipe that already tasted pretty swell inna beginning. But that's just me...you might disagree vehemently and I get the feeling you will.

Ya actually get two books, the first 'un being the Can biography proper and the last being a collection of Schmidt musings and dialogues with various Can-anites ranging from SPECTATOR rock scribe and longtime supporter Duncan Fallowell (when are we gonna get a collection of his rock writings?) to the infamous Nick Kent who legend has it has Can to blame for his longtime opiate addiction but that was so long ago he probably forgot all about it. This section makes for some enveloping and in-depth reading as the banter is banted around, though for the life of me I gotta say that I now have an even lower opinion of Mark E. Smith even if he does come up with all of the cool rock credentials (being a Can fan so early in the game being one) for which I should like the guy for his tastes alone. Maybe he was as big a jerk as Bill Shute believes...from this dialogue I would believe it.

Picwize this does have quite a few good snaps of things like Mooney in action and various group poses in and around their hometown Cologne. I wish there were more snaps to accompany this bot at least we do get this collection of early pre-Can Schmidt snaps taken not only when he was a symphony conducter but as a teenager! And y'know what, when he was a good eighteen he looked a whole lot like Orson Bean with a necktie 'stead of a bow!

May I say this just might be the ULTIMO Can book which any upfront fan should beg, borrow or steal if only not from me? Really dredges up the memories and feelings of just what this music must have meant for many a drooling rockist maniac in those not-so-barren seventies, the kind who fought out the blandness with groups such as these to the point where the Can influence sure could be felt not in those early Siouxsie bootlegs and Mirrors rehearsal tapes but with many a classic slab of under-the-counterculture musings. And for one thing, this book sure makes me wanna re-live a good portion of my youthdom at least to the point where I could go back in time and snatch up those copies of MONSTER MOVIE and SOON OVER BABALUMA at the local shopping mall record shop import bins back '75 way. If I only had I mighta evolved into the total human being a whole lot sooner, y'know?

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Ain't it GREAT to be an up n' runnin' mammal these days! After being BOMBARDED with a load of goodies I've been busier with this project than a sweeper upper at a horse laxative research firm, and for once my free time has been put to good use analyzing and putting to type a whole load of items that really do fit in with the whys and wherefores of BLOG TO COMM as it stands in the vast annals of what we call history. Yup. I'd be lying if I didn't say that lotsa good stuff has happened since we last met and I really do wanna get to alla the fine items that I've received since our last meeting of musically-inclined chymes a good two weeks back (last week don't count cuz it was nothin' but fanzines we wuz discussin'!). I know you couldn't care less, but did you ever?
NOW we know where Patti Smith and
Lenny Kaye got all their ideas!


The recent passing of Nick Tosches ain't hittin' me as hard as I'm sure many of you would have thought it would. Gotta say that there are a number of reasons as to why, one being that the guy wasn't as gonzoid out-there as his pal Richard Meltzer was and unlike the former "R" didn't end up in a punk reshoveling like Vom or frontman in a Smegma, preferring to stick to the books and occasional magazine contribution. Maybe it's just because I tend to remember Tosches more for some pretty pallid rock writing in the eighties, such as this one piece he did on heavy metal in PENTHOUSE (which was just an excuse to fill up a few pages with various hair metal-era group action poses) that out-hacked even the kinda music dribble one could read in a local college free paper. Fortunately his earlier works do redeem him somewhat, such as with his various contributions to THE NEW HAVEN ROCK PRESS not to mention a few interesting pieces for ROLLING STONE (which you can find in those paperback collections of record reviews and such along with some choice efforts from the likes of Lester Bangs, Mike Saunders, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye and even Meltzer himself before he was unceremoniously fired for making Jackson Browne look like a punk rocker). And like, he did manage to put out at least one issue of ZOOT, a fanzine that sure stood against the hippie hosannas that were cluttering up the youth kultur at the time.

Just so's I don't sound too down on the guy I will admit that I find a couple of pieces he did that stood out, one being a review of Albert Goldman's FREAK SHOW which still sends me way into guffaw-land (and is it wicked!---totally overboard rayciss bad taste guaranteed to get his body dug up and trashed once the thing really gets out!) and his Screamin' Jay Hawkins article in CREEM that perhaps stands as the best thing the guy ever did lay down to type. High kudos also go to his review of the debut Patti Smith single which also graced CREEM's pages back when that rag was the standard setter for what a rock 'n roll publication shoulda been! Good credentials there but eh, I still don't miss him as much as I do Bangs or Meltzer (wait, I think he's still among the living, or at least I hope he is!).
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As usual, a big heapin' hunkin' thanks goes to Bill Shute, Paul McGarry, Feeding Tube and Hurst for their support and donations to the cause, not to mention me and the fruits of my labor (hah!) being transformed into loads of musical and reading material that will get me through the blahs that we call modern day living! Yes, lotsa good reviews and stuff and things and jive like that are up and attem as far as future posts go, and what it all boils down to meat 'n potatoes wise is that when you got an occupied with high energy music and total oblivion reading Chris on your hands, you got a pretty fun time a'headin' your way as far as these posts go!


Andrew DH Abbott-DEAD IN CHELLOW GREEN LP (Cardinal Fuzz/Feeding Tube Records, available here)

Haw, with a label with the name Cardinal Fuzz I was wond'rin whether the Cardinal was any relation to Lt. Sonny Fuzz of BEETLE BAILEY fame! All funnin' aside this is a great album from this talented English multi-instrumentalist who mostly concentrates on an acoustic guitar of a steel-string variety. Between surprisingly melodic thumb piano and other sundry percussion interludes that ain't just yer standard plunking around, Abbott presents some mighty good solo guitar that kinda reminds me of John Fahey circa. REQUIA even if I kinda get the idea that today's college-age students wouldn't care to ball to it a-tall. That's their loss, for DEAD IN CHELLOW GREEN consists of some pretty good acoustic excursions that stir more'n chyme in one's carcass. Moving, intricate and intellectual without becoming snobby, this nicely packaged effort even comes with an accompanying booklet that would probably best not be read to the kids at beddytime.
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HURST MUSIC #10 cassette, JUNK RAGA cassette (available here)

On these cassette only releases Andrew Hurst proves that what he can do with Fadensonnon he can also do by his lonesome. Both of these tapes feature highly powerful (in their sonic displacement of the air around it) music that goes from straightforward rock to soundslabs on HURST MUSIC while JUNK RAGA seems to be comprised of various tape loops patched together to make a music that can get into a certain rock groove that satisfies sorta like some of those Smegma efforts that still seem really exciting a good fortysome years later. It's sure great knowing that people are delving into the more Meltzerian side of sound as abstract readymades this late in the game. A big hunkin' thanks to Hurst himself who sent these things to me unsolicited and gratis which really helps in these penny pinching times.
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Stiff Little Fingers-NO GOING BACK CD-r burn (originally on Pledge Music Records)

Never was that humongous a fan of these guys' late-seventies recordings perhaps because they were just punks and not stretching the boundaries punks or reviving the forgotten energy of the sixties punks like many of my faves were. But this '14 or whenever it came out platter ain't all that bad. Nothing that I'm turning cartwheels over true, but its straightforward approach not only simmers up many an old forgotten rock 'n roll move but proves to those naysayers that these punk rockers had a whole lot more onna ball than those coked out cretins that used to (and still do) rule the radio band ever did. Old timers should get a smile or two outta it and even a decaying corpse like myself ain't gonna put the thing down due to some inner drive to be controversial!
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The Bad Brains-I & I SURVIVED (DUB) CD-r burn

I gotta admit that I liked the Brains' late-eighties I & I SURVIVE SST platter back when it came out and would probably still ooze some rockist principles outta it even this late down the line, but this reggae dub effort bearing a very similar moniker isn't exactly something that perks my lobes any. But then again not being of the same heights of exulted reggae worshiping as many of you readers might have something to do with it. A mere sidestep from the usual, but not a sidestep enough to make me care to hear anything similar to this for at least another century.
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Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds-CHASING YESTERDAY DELUXE EDITION CD-r burn (originally on Kobalt Records)

In which Gallagher proves that what he could do bad with Oasis he could do worse on his lonesome. Hey Paul, next time you send me something like this could you do me one big favor and make sure that the length of the album does not exceed twenty ten five minutes? Listening to this particular platter filled with the slickest and sappiest of new neo-rock musings has renewed my belief in Purgatory.
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Various Artists-SOUL CARGO VOLUME EIGHT CD-r burn (originally on Bar/Marginal Records, Belgium)

Sorta like a PEBBLES of soul music with some familiar names such as Barbara McNair and Gil Scot-Heron intermingling with a buncha people whose step up the soul ladder had 'em stumbling even before they could even get a small mention in JET. Some of these woulda gotten limited airplay on the local small AM stations had they only gotten out more, and judging from the variety of grooves these sides get into it's too bad that they flopped given their comparable worthiness compared to many of the big hitters out there. Wait---Alvin Cash's "Twine Time" did hit it sorta big, right? Whatever, for those of you who never could get enough mid-sixties tinny transistor AM radio soul here's your chance to indulge...
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Various Artists-BILBO DENTURES BOURBON CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Loads of laffs here, from a side of a Leonard Nimoy thinks he can sing album to yet another side from some flaming homo who talks so fast I can't understand a word its saying through that lisp. The soul stirrers do work wonders and that record that comes with your new pair of dentures really does speak loads to those who have their chatterers inna glass by their bed. What can I say other'n you've wasted your time a whole lot worse before, and if you're town between having to lissen to this and pop the polyps on your rectum well...this might be just a little more fun!
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Just a reminder that there still are loads more than even I can stand back issues of BLACK TO COMM just waitin' to be picked up and absorbed by many of you who make it a point to read this blog each and every entry. And then some! Anyway, you better get 'em before they're all gone, and while I'm at it if there are any outta print issues you'd like to see I can always run off copies from the original masters THAT'S what kind of a kind and compassionate fanzinemonger I am and shall remain! Of course you'll have to pay a huge hunkerin' load for something like that but hey, it ain't like I'm made outta money because if I were would I be putting these pithy please at the end of most of these entries?!?!?!