THE BEST OF T. REX CD (A&M)
Title's a misnomer since everything on here's actually from the Tyrannosaurus Rex hippy dayze of acoustic guitars and slapping bongoes, long before a streamlined name and electric warrior metallic crunch made Marc Bolan a proto-punk supreme. (Besides, none of the big hits appear here making me wonder whether or not this platter was some quickie toss out to anxious Brit teens released during the early days of T. Rex superstardom, and at a budget price too!) Still, even at this early date you can hear the echoes of future glories from the revamped fifties riffs to those patented way-outta-kilter lyrics (which certainly didn't come off as pretentious as Prince's, though some of Marc Bolan's later ones could come mighty close...however, I can see how such early definers of punkism like Brian Sands and Joey Ramone could've fallen for Prince in the first place given the precedence Bolan had set!). The early attempts at electric music like on the single side "King of the Rumbling Spires" (which reminded me of early Slade for some maybe not-so-odd reason---Mike Snider heard the Troggs here!) and "Elemental Child" from A BEARD OF STARS are probably the closest we'll get to hearing what that original 1967 Tyrannosaurus Rex (back when Marc was Boland) sounded like before the finance company reposessed their instruments and the quintet shrank to a duo, but even with their amplified might perhaps it's not that much of a mystery as to why Bolan would have thought these early electric endeavors a bit premature. Although I do prefer the early electric tries to the acoustic janglings (which got hefty beddy-bye play in my abode during the summer of 1975 and still cut a mean path!), they do have a tad bit of a shaky presence about them. Note to Michael Weldon...has anybody ever caught the "Papa Oo Mow Mow" ending to the song "Find a Little Wood"??? (Since I'm missing PSYCHOTRONIC #1, I'll never know!!!!)
The Tornados-THE EP COLLECTION CD (See For Miles UK)
Better collection of the Tornados' best than the cheapie CD flying around the budget bins. The Tornados were certainly a mystery group in more ways than one; students of rock & roll trends in the United States are surprised to find them a "British Invasion" act predating the Beatles by over a year while others look at their music as some strange time-warp; electronic rock from 1962 retaining the instrumental credo of the day with futuristic space-y effects and a clavioline long before the Beatles dared use one. For me they were the perfect group for a perfect time. Music that truly reflected not only the space race craze but the spirit of the early-sixties, the final days before middle-America (and middle-Earth?) would be strangled to death by the same Forces of Evil that we have to contend with even to this day. Rock & roll's answer to TWILIGHT ZONE/OUTER LIMITS/SUPERCAR and FIREBALL XL-5 intensity, the early Marvel Comics era and the whole mad teenage mindset that seemed to shine brightly before airplane glue stunted these punks' mental capabilities to the point where they'd actually prefer having David Crosby as a role model over Iggy Pop!
Nice selection...29 numbers here ranging from their corniest (and still wowzer) covers of old themes for rockism mentalities to the best outer space sounds well up until their mid-sixties capitulation when the mop tops forced the revamped band (only original member left being Clem Cattini, once pegged for the Led Zep drum chair!) into doing tepid vocal takes on fifties chestnuts that deserved to be left roasting on an open fire! A (dare I say) necessary historical overview of a band that seems to get the short end of the stick when it comes to rock history ("oldies" books seem to poo-poo their contribution to the scene while everyone else seem too hip to care), and really, what kind of justice is there in this world of ours when bands like the Tornados are given persona non gratis status while utter phonus balonuses like Grace Slick are still considered "relevant" by the "old" hands at the Rock & Roll (Inc.) Hall of Fame????
RIP Robert Quine...just found out that Robert Quine has died (yesterday in fact!), a suicide too which makes things even worse since I've always considered suicide the ultimate defeat (I mean, if things are bad enough for you why dontcha just go and off the people you despise? Milk the state and let the authorities get rid of you, it's much cheaper!!!). Anyway, considering Quine's contribution to the rock & roll world with his blazing guitar making not only Richard Hell and the Voidoids but early-eighties Lou Reed so tasty, this is a major loss indeed even though Quine's later work seemed to woosh right by me (I mean...Matthew Sweet?????). With the recent passing of Lizzy Mercier Descloux and now Quine, it's almost as if those great, high-energy days when punk music had finally broken out of the garages and into the psyches of Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch are all the more distant and a faded dream that was perhaps too good to have come true in the first place.
OTHER NEWS---big hefty heaping thanks to Bob "the Bear" Richert for those old BEYOND OUR CONTROLs and GULCHER #2 which I might write about in a future post. Anyone else with old seventies proto-punk fanzines willing to donate copies to the BLACK TO COMM READING LIBRARY AND TOILET feel free to contact me.
CAUGHT ON THE CBGB.COM CYBERCAST, SUNDAY 6/6/04; STORM WITH DANIEL CARTER---like I said in an earlier post it seems to me that the best music coming out of the famed club these days is the avant garde jazz music being showcased on Sunday evenings, even if it is coming from the CBGB Lounge next door. Storm is one of the newer aggregates taking to the stage...featuring long-time avant scenester Daniel Carter on woodwinds and trumpet along with two Europeans whose names I forgot (and since all info regarding these guys was taken off the CBGB website I can't retrieve any info on 'em!), Storm was being touted on the site as an Ornette Coleman/Sonny Sharrock/Karlheinz Stockhausen merger which whetted my appetite, though I felt they were more or less a re-channeled version of the Arthur Doyle-period Blue Humans which is fine even if the guitarist didn't quite reach the same levels of sonic earblast that Rudolph Grey and Sonny Sharrock made their monikers with. Obviously a group that deserves more exposure, and perhaps this show was recorded for future enjoyment? One could only hope so!
ONE FINAL NOTE---have you ever read this blog and wanted to comment on something I wrote so bad that you could wet your pants? Well, now you can---leave a comment, that is! (And I guess you could wet your pants if you really wanted to as well.) All you have to do is click the pound sign below (right where it tells you who posted this piece of drivel and when!) which takes you to the new page which features this post and nothing else! At the bottom of the page there's a place for you to make your opinions known, so feel free to say what you wanna say whether it be "GOOD JOB" or "GREAT JOB," but remember, you're on MY turf now!
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
THE BEST OF T. REX CD (A&M)