Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A COUPLE CEE-DEE'S ATCHA!


OK, OK, OK, I've been slack with this blog. No-one's paying to read this thing though they should (given my highly regarded reputation as a reknown rockscribe [NOT critic] of value and worth), and though I know that a lot of people out "there" are paying attention if only for my on-target and caustic opinions (not to mention a few well aimed daggers at various evil objects of derision) even though they wouldn't admit it in a million years, I haven't felt any great need to attend to it for the last week or so. Maybe it was an overload of work, a lack of any interest in discussing music and the overwhelming feeling of being part of the dreaded "blog-nerd" set which kept me away, but mostly it was just my own personal "eh!"...like why should "I" bust my britches for you peons out there anyway given the amt. of scorn and abuse some of you of lesser minds like to dish out at moi??? (Pardon me, but I get that way sometimes.) Hey, nobody was asking me when I was going to update the thing so why should I do something special for people who don't appreciate me even though they SHOULD with every ounce of their bodily fluids?! People, compliments will get you everywhere in life, so why don't you try some! Then again, there are a small minority of you out there who have nothing better to do than see me shoot my mouth off, upset folks and watch the fireworks display. That's fine. I've been doing that, by accident or design, since I first entered the fanzine-dork biz "for real" some 25 years ago. These people like to see the shots fired as long as they're not in the way, but like they said about Wayne McGuire and his machine gun-like anti-countercultural writings, "duck." But anyway, I'm in a good way right now and guess what, I'm more than in the mood for causing trouble! So batten down the hatches Gertrude 'cause this is gonna be one big recto riff!

Before I forget, this month marks THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE BLOG TO COMM WEBLOG!!!! Another good chance to congratulate me for a whole year of wonderful (and free) opines from the pen (er, keyboard) of yer's truly, and I gotta admit that I've had a bitta fun not only cranking 'em out but getting 'em to you immediate-like rather'n have you wait a good two years between issues of BLACK TO COMM like I used to do back in the Stone Age. Of course, we all know why this weblog is in existence in the first place, and in a perverse way we can all thank one David Lang and another Jay Hinman for their help in getting BLOG TO COMM up and rolling. That Jay Hinman in such a funny guy...way back in February Hinman actually posted some wild opinions on this very blog about how I would still be posting my ire about his "little" review of BLACK TO COMM (which he admits not having even read in the past umpteen years...an exaggeration of which I'm sure Hinman will get the gist of). Well, as usual, Jay is right again!!!... "COMPLAINCOMPLAINCOMPLAINCOMPLAINCOMPLAINCOMPLAINCOMPLAIN!!!" Whew, what a petty and hypocritical person I am!

Speaking of Jayzeywayzey, did you catch his little dig at your humble blogmeister in his latest post? Yes, if you can believe it, that li'l ol' reference to "crybaby reactionaries" bemoaning the "death" of the fanzine was aimed at none other than me, though once again in his attempts to slamdunk/oneup me and the blog Mr. H gets it all wrong as per the norm. (Read this earlier post of mine to see what all the bucky ruckus is about, at least from my "correct" point-of-view.) Y'see, the Agonized One once again fails to give you all the (important word) FACTS when trying to slyly put his adversary in the trashcan...it's not like I have been ignoring the growth of internet and blogs and in fact I have been CHAMPIONING it just like I championed fanzine growth back when it was the ONLY real way to go about discussing music that I thought was making the biggest noise on the planet only everyone seemed to be ignoring it ON PURPOSE. And it's not like I've been totally bemoaning the "fading of the fanzine" either...the only thing fanzine-wize that I bemoan is the fading of the "GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK FANZINES" which not-so-surprisingly coincided with the "GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK CRITICISM" (and I mean REAL criticism and not that ROLLING STONE jive that's been permeating the scene for nigh upon three decades). You know about the era I'm talking about Jay, the one that spawned them fanzines I've done about seven articles apiece on!!! (I hope you still have your sense of humor intact...seems like you've lost it about fifty posts back!) Face it, the mags you hold dear and near to your heart, even FORCED EXPOSURE and personal fave FLESH AND BONES (both of which I contributed a few pithy throwaways I may or may not be proud of years back) really couldn't hold a candle to any of the seventies fanzines I'm pretty sure you have never read or never would care to read for that matter. But then again, since these are the reads that influenced BTC (both the mag and the blog) I sincerely doubt you would find anything of value intrinsic or otherwise in 'em. So hey, you can stick with whatever chiczine you may come across and write it up all you want, I don't care because it means nothing to me, but if you are intent upon characterizing me as a "crybaby reactionary" (I don't mind the "reactionary" part, that's what the best libertarians are, but crybaby?), please get your FACTS STRAIGHT!!!

OH DRAT! GUESS WHAT I JUST DID!!! Fell into one of Jay's traps, that's what. Y'see, his little mention was nothing more than attempt to bait me, impale me upon his hook and reel the quarry in like a 200-pound tuna! And I gobbled it up hook line and paragraph too...how ashamed I am since after all these years I should have known better than to tangle with this well-bred and highly-educated trickster of the sneakiest kind! Well, I hope I look good stuffed and mounted upon your mantelpiece Jay!

Enough fun, now down to the reviews! Believe-it-or-not, but I've been getting a load of promo items in and perhaps more than a feller like myself can handle at a single sitting. Anyway, I have a lotta platters to give you the lowdown on, and as I've said I have been lax in my dutires, so rather' review the whole batch at once and die either of rockism-inspired bliss or torture, lemme review these double doses for today and do the rest later on after they've congealed and fermented in my silo long enough for me to toss some tasty tidbits your way next go 'round.

Various Artists-GODFATHERS OF LA PUNK (Siamese Dog, available through Bomp)

THE BAD NEWS...all that punk rock you and I "grew up" with is now well-entrenched in the MUSIC OF EVERLASTING INFINITE HISTORICAL VALUE wing of collective Amerigan/world psyche along with big band music, fifties rockabilly and early-sixties surf toonz which means it's time for goofy people with horn-rimmed glasses to study the stuff just like it was a bug under a microscope. THE GOOD NEWS...now that seventies punk rock is a past phenom to be looked back upon in hallowed tones of honor that means MORE and MORE "archival digs" will result in a flurry of compilations and upheavals none of us would have expected even twenty years back. This is but one of them...I guess the label in question is really called "Siamese Dog" but I remember when it was "Siamese" and they released this Stooges single (credited to "Iggy Pop and James Williamson") taken from the RAW POWER sessions or something like that which had more'n a few 1977 punkers throbbing in anarchic ecstasy after repeated spins of METALLIC KO. Little did I know that there were more than a few records on this obscure label which, along with such competitors as Dangerhouse, Gulcher, Ork and Back Door Man (oops! sorry Jay!!!) documented the budding Amerigan underground scene at a time when it really needed documenting in the face of media blah. This disque does a good job of collecting the Siamese Dog label's wares all in one neat place, not only with the Iggy stuff (including the alt. take of "I Got a Right" as well as the rarity "Rock Action") but with tracks courtesy the great Controllers (who got a nice review in the latest issue of my own crybaby reactionary fanzine!) as well as the Weasels who I originally assumed were just another buncha bandwagon punks but who in reality were a pretty hefty punk/metallic merger who actually had Van Halen opening their shows (and maybe VH coulda been this good had they forsaken the Los Angeles slicksterdom for Detroit high energy!) and other worthies of varying rockist degrees. Biggest surprise: The Attitude and their cover of "Hound Dog," featuring none other than Little Richard on the ivories! And I thought the guy was a no-talent bore after seeing him schmooze up to Phil Donahue on the telly!

The David-ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER LIFETIME (Jamie)

This long-time favorite has been reished vinylly and digitally both legally and not o'er the years, and although there has been a lotta hooey dished upon this four-year-old CD take (mostly in the pages of UGLY THINGS) I gotta say that I dunno what the fuss is about. Sure there are some noticeable differences on tracks such as the wunderbizarro "Mirrors of Wood," but otherwise Jamie's take of ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER LIFETIME sounds just as good as my original VMC elpee, sans the occasional and non-annoying pops and crackles of course. No matter how you got it, this disque continues to amaze long after the pyschedelic revolution petered out into hippie images of the Old West...from the Seeds-ish take of "I'm Not Alone" (not forgetting the "Pushing Too Hard" riff swipe stuck into "Sweet December") to the Left Banke-inspired pop tracks plus the artistic use of MOR signposts on "So Much More" and "Now to You," ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER LIFETIME's great SoCal blonde beach garage rock cum pop with a pretty smart attitude for a buncha high school kids to have come up with! Greg Shaw said that Talking Heads would be making albums that sounded like this by the early eighties, and although "Love Goes to a Building on Fire" came close but no cigar, all I gotta say is "WHATTA LAUGH!" Or better yet..."wishful thinking!!!"

As usual, the additional tracks are just that and nothing special, though I sure wish the single sides the David did for 20th Century would've been included. But as I've told you faithful ones for years, don't expect everything especially in these halfway-there times!

11 comments:

tim ellison said...

The David is a great band name.

Christopher said...

True, though for some strange reason I've always preferred "The Christopher." Just as I'm sure you're a fan of the Buoy's 1971 chart topper.

Anonymous said...

Little Richard a no-talent bore? You obviously never heard his Specialty stuff nor his stuff for Okeh in the mid 60s. Don't judge him by the remakes of his work that he did for Modern.

BTW was the Buoys' "Timothy" the same song as the one by that name on the first UFO album?

Michael

Christopher said...
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Christopher said...
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Christopher said...
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Christopher said...

I had a mad-on about Little Richard after seeing him on PHIL DONAHUE in the mid-eighties which spilled over into a review I did of BACK FROM THE GRAVE volume four with the Bunker Hill/Link Wray track. I got grief for that fox pass and deservedly so, but after seeing Penniman not only cuddle up to ol' Phil and take questions from a lotta zilch-dimensional women in the audience not to mention perform some then-current schmalzy ballad you could say that I really didn't feel any great affinity for the man! But, as I've said time and time again, I get that way sometimes.

As for "Timothy," the Buoys version and UFO's were totally different songs. I actually like the Buoys' (and recall seeing them perform it on television as a lad) even with Rupert Holmes' involvement and not only for the cannibalistic nature but because it is halfway rocking/engaging and with a little more grit the Buoys might have been a surprise early seventies power-pop/rock/bubblegum act. I haven't heard the rest of their output but wouldn't mind latching onto a cheap reissue or flea market find. (By the way, it was none other than MY SISTER who told me about this song when it was riding the charts...seems that she was intrigued by the subject matter and she just hadda tell me all about it like it was something out of the paranormal!)UFO's song of the same name is equally fine if only that at the time (first three albums) these guys back when Mick Bolton played guitar sounded like the Stooges backing Robert Plant w/o the Janis influence!

Jack Dee said...

interesting rant. i'd love to get my paws on some of those OLD OLD fanzines. forced exposure, byron coley and his lot can jump a cliff for all i care. i hate new england hipsters almost more than i hate life itself. hardy har. i mean, i really hear you chris. its not like the hip dudes don't know some good shit, its just that they shun the whole world that so much of american garbage rock came from. don't know quite what point i'm trying to make, but i like reading your blog, keep it up.

Anonymous said...

If that Little Richard TV appearance was from the mid 80s he was probably doing something off of LIFETIME FRIEND, which is actually a pretty good album of contemporary black gospel but I don't think it's your style. Regardless it's not like what he was doing in the late 50s and early 60s (or the mid 60s stuff he did for Okeh)

The Sparks album that Rupert Holmes produced was decent to good - it wasn't as good as what they had been doing before that but it still was extremely listenable and had some great songs on it. So it's not like everything he was involved with was awful. (Somehow though I don't think you'd be a Sparks fan)

Christopher said...

Gotta admit to having a liking for the early Island-period Sparks which appeals to me on a mid-seventies import bin level (plus they had their own interesting quirkiness that sounded a lot better than other things going on at the time). Oddly enough, I don't really go for the Bearsville-period band that the punks in NYC tended to like and be influenced by. I also never heard their INTRODUCING SPARKS album with various NYC scenemongers like Sal Maida of Milk 'n Cookies/Kongress/Velveteen and Jeff Salen of Tuff Darts backing them. (The Mael Brothers actually went club-hopping in order to pick their backing group!) Anyone out there care to tell me whether or not this one's worth the effort to find?

As for Rupert Holmes, he also produced the Orchestra Luna album which was made before they became the darlings of the CBGB circuit, but it still has some nice mid-seventies proto-new wave moves to it at least when it ain't trying to ape the sensitive college rock/Billy Joel/Tom Waits cum Roxy Music (whatta combination!) style of the times. It would have been nice if they recorded for Sire when offered a contract during Sire's big new wave/punk talent search in 1977, but they turned that label down because they thought they could do better!

Philippe Mogane said...

Dear Blog To Comm.,

This is your 2nd review of the "Godfathers of L A Punk" compilation from Siamese Records (founded circa April 1977 by Philippe Mogane and James Williamson -see: http://siamesedogsrecords.com/about.htm, for more info.)
Now part of SIAMESE DOGS RECORDS: http://siamesedogsrecords.com.
And I thank you for your knowledgeable attention.

Although your first review was more caustic/hinging on cynical, I am elated to read how well you did your home work. And how, pulling out your famed demoniac magnifying glass, you gave a scrutinizing eye at the content of the Siamese Records crusade.

The reason I chose that roster is to show to all that, despite American ugliness whose evil politic has branded the World today, there is another America: The People's America where human beings, from all nations and races, have thrown in the cauldron their cultures and hearts. Through much pains and sorrows.

You have to go back in time to view a world without internet and quasi lack of information to realize that our combat rock was musical commitment in the pursuit of Human Truth.

"I Got A Right", for the Kids all over the world - "Street Queen", against Bi/Homo/Trans bashing which was at his paroxysm in the 70's - "Neutron Bomb", against the Reagan Imperialism - "Beat Her With A Rake", to open the dialogue on the subject of violence against Women - "Hound Dog", with Little Richard, the King of R 'n R, as an homage to Afro Americans for their immense contributions to the Americana Culture – “Electric Church” or How To Start Your Own Little Church - "I Am A President", released on Reagan's coronation, as a warning for what was to come.

And it is in continuation of our work that I thought our powerful music issued from sadness, anger and suffering had to be released again for the young ones.

The combat is still on and that’s why the compilation's subtitle is: "It's Time To Wake Up Again, America!!!"