Thursday, May 27, 2004


With all of the talk about "hypocrisy" going around (usually bantered by useless pipsqueaks in order to prove to themselves their own {a}moral superiority) one thing should be kept in mind, and that is being a "reactionary" is not being hypocritical. Edgar Breau once said that all true revolutions were, or perhaps are, reactionary, and the only real hypocrisy I see nowadays is from these high-minded individuals who see those trying to restore the best, most worthy aspects of past knowledge as beyond-redemption traitors to civilization while molly-coddling and/or implicitly supporting the lowest, stupidest, most evil traits making up this oft hyped "New Culture" I've heard championed so much over the years. Somewhere Bob Guccione Jr. smiles...Reading G. K. Chesterton's ORTHODOXY in bits and pieces while listening to THE MARBLE INDEX is about as thick an experience as reading Sartre while listening to the Swans, and about twenty times more beneficial...Best musical experience I've had the past year, any of Les Rallizes Denudes' ever-increasing volumes of illegitimate CDR's packaged in innumerable box sets. This group had it all, from the mad flash that encapsulated all of the better ballroom bands of 1967 San Francisco to the avant garde garage attitude and pulse of the early-Velvet Underground, presented sans the prefabricated superficiality that has plagued too many groups trying to tread upon such sacred ground these days. And sure, the uninitiated may think their songs all sound alike, but as a wiser person once said about the Stooges, their "monotony is a perfect manifestation of genius" while the competition (in the wiser person's opinion, none other than Creedance Clearwater Revival, but I will lump much of the music being played in "the tradition" {hah!} here) "is mere artlessness, to no important effect."

Personal to Mr. TE-REM always seemed to me like pure Velvet redux, not to mention their distilling of a variety of past accomplishment into a sound and package aimed at the usual pseudo-intellectual types who were probably best put to use as those ersatz beatniks you see in old movies. Their whole reason for being seemed like the ultimate end-point in the development and eventual fall of sixties/seventies underground rock history; mainly the better aspects of VU/Byrds/Roky/New York/Bomp! punkability and unique ideas combined, only stripped of all testosterone and molded into an image guaranteed to appeal to the weakest and laziest aspects of postmodern postyouth. But since you've paid much more attention than I would ever dare to I'll take your word for it...My vote for best artist of the twentieth century goes to Wyndham Lewis, who will be seen in the future as a true innovator and perhaps the conscious of the anti-left avant garde despite a few wrong turns here and there. It's a shame that this master is more or less ignored by progressive-looking tastemakers who waste their (and our) time extolling the virtues of relative mountebacks who have been blurring the border between art and shuck for years.

Chesterton once made a remark about the best thing about birth control being that the modernists would become extinct due to it, or something of that nature. All I can say is the best thing about it is that a good portion of the useless bloggers out there will also become extinct, although what they do doesn't even require birth control, if you know what I mean...I wrote a long review of the Birdland CD about three weeks ago but deleted it as the album was over ten years old and I didn't particularly care for how the writeup turned out. I will say that Birdland were probably one of the last of the British weekly-hyped fly-by-night acts that were worth their salt, complete with a look that reminded me of the Paley Brothers times two!

In my Consumer Guide to Rock Critics, Mike Saunders gets an A as do Tim Ellison and Lindsay Hutton. Tim Hinely gets a B, so do Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent. I'd love to grade Byron Coley but I haven't read a word of his in ages. As for those getting "C" or lower, you know who they are already!

Hey, want to have fun and put some excitement into this year's presidential election? Well all of you old time TV fans, look at it THIS way, who do you want for president, Jed Clampett or Herman Munster (a better description of the new JFK than Lurch!)??? Well, it was a better choice than in 2000 when we had to choose between Clampett and Himey the Robot!

Was going to write about some early Art Ensemble of Chicago CDs I had received but a coupla pukes beat me to it...As far as free jazz goes, the best place to hear it these days is on the CBGB.COM cybercast of their Sunday evening freestyle series taking place in their lounge. Really, I could care less about the reams of faceless hard rock/alternative/watered-down punk that is happening in the club proper anymore, and while the quieter, more singer/songwriter acts that appear at the CB's 313 Gallery actually seem to be of some interest to me (if only to see something unique and noteworthy like David Peel shouting "God Bless Amerika!" during a September 11 2003 benefit), most of the music there seems more or less new age Joni Mitchell. The free jazz series going on at the CBGB Lounge is no-doubt-about-it in gear not only with my own avant inclinations but with the spirit of the seventies loft jazz movement which yielded five LPs worth of the WILDFLOWERS set on Douglas and a variety of mind-blowing albums to come out of the late seventies jazz scene. In the coming weeks Joseph Jarman is to make a rare appearance (not as leader but that doesn't matter since I thought he gave up jazz for philosophy long ago!) as is Burton Greene. I already caught such great and now-historical appearances by the likes of Sunny Murray and Jackalope (with John Abercrombie), not to mention many of the current (and underappreciated) freedom players reviewed in the latest BLACK TO COMM. I know that the more people tuning into these shows lessens the chance of me even connecting, and many times the picture won't even come on or if it does stops and starts giving an effect similar to LE JETTY, but amidst these technicalities and audio gaffes one gets the same sense of wonder akin to listening to 78s via crystal set in 1920.

History may prove to us all that the post-World War II, pre-hippie era (1946-1967) was probably to our time what the renaissance was to fifteenth-century Italy, but considering the people who write history I pretty much doubt it...Back in the old days when the TV networks really wanted to annoy us, they'd air films of polluted lakes with dead, floating fish on their evening newscasts and gross out a lot of dinner-indulging viewers. Nowadays to get the same effect they run video of lesbian brides lip-locking! Complete with sob stories about how Fred and Marty can't adopt. With such brilliant programming like this who needs Atkins anyway???

1 comment:

Scotty D said...

Well, well, a blogger with a sense of humor, a writing style, original thinking, and a true appreciation of the absolute greatness of R. Meltzer. I'm in man, and I'll post a link to yer blog on mine.Gotta know more about your nitcrit Consumer Guide, though--lay it on me @