As Can's SOUNDTRACKS album was more or less a "filler" disc and not really their "second" full-length offering per se (that honor would go to the all-time classic TAGO MAGO which was just around the corner anyway), this is not exactly the "next" BLOG TO COMM post, the proper one of which should appear sometime within the next few days. Consider it more or less a posting of some loose end reviews and bits on whatever I happened to be engrossed with at the time, and perhaps some interesting fodder for future biographers to pour through, a footnote to a footnote if you will. You are free to comment on the musings herein (please "press" the "#" icon below to be taken to where your critiques etc. can be aired), but it ain't like this 'un's anything to get all pee-pants about if you know what I mean...
Bobby Beausoliel-disc two of the LUCIFER RISING soundtrack CD that came out last year, burned for me by Brad Kohler!
Brad told me that he was reading the Kenneth Anger biography that came out about ten years back entitled ANGER that he borrowed from some guy and almost lost the tip of his finger during the period in time he was giving this 'un an eyeballing making ol' Brad stop right then and there because that book just hadda've had some strange, mystical powers that no-doubt-about-it caused some potentially evil hoodoo to be laid upon Our Hero for sure! I know what Brad means...when I first played the CD edition of Brian Jones' PIPES OF PAN AT JOJOUKA some ten years ago I coulda sworn that the pagan rhythms contained therein did some damage not to me (since I'm damaged beyond repair already), but a relative of mine which made me feel spooky whenever I'd give that platter a whirl ever since! However, I gotta say that even with all the spookiness abounding I've experienced no bad vibes while watching the Anger filmage I've reviewed here, plus I've listened to the Jimmy Page recording of the original LUCIFER RISING soundtrack as well as the Bobby Beausoliel version that's often bootlegged as being Page's very own without any ill effects, so all I gotta say is (given what I know)...who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men???
Anyway, Kohler had some co-worker "burn" the second disc from that recent (and already deleted) LUCIFER RISING soundtrack since I already had the first disc on some Led Zep bootleg in my collection and even though that wasn't Page doing it like I said the thing still sounded like Pink Floyd during their post-Barrett/pre-DARK SIDE OF THE MOON brain-foggiest to me anyway so why bother getting another copy to clutter my already brimful collection? Anyway, the co-worker who burned the thing played a bitta it to see if it turned out OK and when Kolher asked her what she thought of it, she deadpanned "It was interesting." Oh well, another friend down the drain for Brad, but his loss is my gain I guess because this is still interesting enough (in the ol' "jab the electrodes" fashion) for me to write about it on this blog rather'n toss it aside for some future upheaval when the going really gets rough!
There's an Orkustra (Beausoliel in San Fran '67) LP out now and I assume that these "excerpts" included herein are from the same live shows that one can now hear in its entirety on that disque, if one wants to do such a thing as that. Anyway, I must admit to the shock of too many people who think they have me pinned down that I actually like these all too-brief numbers (which were discovered in the attic of ex-member David La Flamme, who would later end up in sissified Frisco snoozers It's a Beautiful Day) which have that sorta smartsy-set jazz-rock "progressive" sound that usually doesn't make that much of a mark with me. However, to its credit Orkustra doesn't come off all high-falutin' statement-making proggy like too many of their compats would in a year's time, in fact reminding me more of some other intelligent design musicality that had been going on from Musica Orbis in the seventies on down the line. The Magick Powerhouse of Oz (which I believe was a large [11-piece?] ensemble formed under the heavy influence of Kenneth Anger hisself...lack of the obligatory "enclosed booklet" has got me straining the braincells tryin' to rememeber them old CREAM PUFF WAR sagas) are also engaging, playing akin to what rock & roll mighta sounded like in ancient Egypt complete with a bass clarinet probably tooted by Beausoliel and loads of other interesting exotica mixed in with the tough psychedelic tuneage that flows from raging excitement to slow-burn brain-twist with ease. Its mideast/mystical qualities woulda meshed fine with the Babylonian sequences from INTOLERANCE (well, it woulda come off better'n all that gooshy muzak that's been tacked onto silent filmage this far down the line!). Good enough, but after all that we're "treated" to a live in prison performance of the LUCIFER RISING soundtrack by Beausoliel and his Freedom Orchestra from a whole decade later, '78 in fact. I kinda wonder what the "captive audience" (hee!) who sat through this thought about the progressive strains more akin to the laser light shows kids usedta get high to, but I guess it was a diversion from the usual prison fun and games and who knows, maybe attendance did count towards an early parole! Well, it's a lot better'n sitting in the chapel and singing a buncha hymns while pretending to be pious just so you can gobble up all the brownie points in the world!
Idiophonic-DEVIL'S SPOUT CD-R (Rent Control)
Hey, I'll betcha yer all SICK of me telling yez how much I miss all of that great (and OK, some not-so great) avant garde "Freestyle Music" that Dee Pop had been presenting at the CBGB Lounge these past three years, or at least until last September when the series was abruptly axed due to Hilly Kristel's ongoing problems with his greedy landlord which has culminated in CBGB's eventual eviction from their old 315 Bowery location this upcoming October. Too bad, and although Kristal has his problems I still think it woulda been really keen had he let Pop continue with this truly epochal series at the Lounge, perhaps even letting all the best freeform avant garde bands play there New Year's Eve as part of a big bang celebration of sorts! It would all be kinda like a final days extravaganza more or less that, along with all of the punk, pop, experimental etc. acts that play the place, would have made the closing days of the Fillmore look like Ding Dong School in comparison! But that's only wishful thinking, and although the series is continuing at some place I haven't heard of until now called Jimmy's Restaurant there's no cybercasting available like there was at CB's, and no sound system for that matter either!
But anyway, I'm sure gonna miss the vast array of aggregates that played those Freesytle nights (to the point where I actually just bought CDs recorded by two series regulars, the Gold Sparkle Trio and Paraphrase on ebay last night, perhaps as some sorta strange homage!), including these guise whom I reviewed in the pages of BLACK TO COMM #25, but don't hold it against them. In fact, I picked this CD-R up long ago after catching a cybercast (or at least part of one) featuring this trio of electronic sampling, woodwinds and drums, and although I wish I could own a copy of the magnificent livespew I did glom, at least I got this document which is probably the only thing we're ever going to hear from Idiophonic at least for a long time. And for a guy who has hated "sampling" and all sortsa modern electronic gimmickry I gotta say how much I enjoy what Peter Kay can do with one of them newfangled things, making it sound like some old moog on one track and a tinkling piano on another and it all makes me flash back to the daring seventies rather than the art-obsessed boring post-avant garde a lotta this stuff eventually developed into. Jeremy Stark is fine (kinda post-Lacy on soprano sax and AACM-ish [albeit a white AACM, if you get my drift] on bass clarinet) while Paul Corio sure knows how to play around the beat more'n Sunny Murray even! You can still get this one if you search hard enough, and I dunno about you but it was this sorta squall that (to me) represented the fire and drive of New York Underground Music just as much as, and definitely even MORE than a lotta the fluffy koochie-koo that was being passed off (and accepted) as "new" and "daring" from the eighties onwards. Well, at least I don't think this review will come off as DATED as a lotta VILLAGE VOICE puffpiece prose on a whole slew of eighties performance quap does fifteen years after Karen Finley crammed her last yam!
Various Artists-NO NEW YORK CD (Antilles Japan)
Still Eno's (and maybe New York's) last moment in the sun, a culmination of everything good about the seventies avant garage taken to its logical conclusion long before the eighties turned the desire into mush and too many suburban bedroom bands sprang forth from this foam like Venus rising only to pollute the air with more pretension than I ever could stand. And not only that but Bradley Field, Nancy Arlen and Ikue Ile were just as much the "new" Maureen Tucker as Scott Asheton ever was!
MINDROT (the animated film quarterly) fanzine #15, August 20, 1979
I've come across fanzines dealing with just about every popular gulcher subject extant over my many years of collecting, but never have I seen one devoted to animated cartoons and nothing but! Well, MINDROT is the first and perhaps only one that I will, and for a nice digest-sized fanzine they do a pretty hep job getting down the nitty-gritty dirt of cartoons whether they be of a Saturday Morning variety or the old classic stuff. This ish in question features articles on the way-too neglected Columbia cartoon studios including such beyond-obscure legends as THE FOX AND THE CROW series (probably better known for their whacked-out National/DC comic books than for the actual films...and can any of you actually claim to have seen one of these anywhere?) as well as the KRAZY KATs which probably had even less to do with the actual strip as the POPEYEs had to do with THIMBLE THEATER (and I have seen some of those Krazy Kats which are sure to arouse the ire of the strip fans for sure!). However, there's nothing here on the ol' LI'L ABNER series that the famed Fleischer Brothers (or at least Dave) did for Columbia in the forties (and those I used to watch on the daily AM cartoon show during my preschool dayze), but gosh-it-all if I must say that this effort to document a hideously-forgotten part of animation histoire is a pretty admirable thing, almost as good as interviewing members of seventies proto-punk bands or releasing compact discs with your own fanzines on a shoestring budget to boot!
Interesting aside, the following issue of MINDROT was to have had an article on this guy John Wilson who did those terrible animated 'toons for the old SONNY AND CHER show...really! You may remember (if not, sorry I brought it up!) how Cher would sing a song like Melanie's "Brand New Key" (which I didn't know was dirty until Don Fellman recently told me so...but it ain't like I was thinking about that hippie atrocity for all them years!) or worse yet Coven's "One Tin Soldier" from BILLY JERK which really got my neck red back in those brazenly relevant early seventies when all the girls would swoon to this slice of preachy mush. Those cartoons were a double dose...along with a heart-rendering hippoid ballad only made worse (if possible) by Cher's calculated upscale musical stylings you'd get a sanctimonious-beyond-belief cartoon to watch it to..and people wonder why McGovern lost given the guy was the epitome of "cool" hip political savvy personified! I wouldn't mind reading that aforementioned article, though I have a strange feeling that it wouldn't touch ANY of the arguments I've just made which would figure!
Really nothing else to gab about here...just rattling off about a few faves I thought you dear fans might want to osmose to, but while I'm at it, here's a word especially aimed at all of my dear Aussie fans, and I know there are some! I do hope you Australians are braving the summer heat down there as well as the riots set off by unrestricted immigration from the Middle East which I do know is keeping some of you'ins from going along with your normal lifestyles, but such is the price to pay for your, or at least your government's white guilt. So remember, play it safe and stay away from the beaches (and nativity scenes) for now, unless your name's Dave Lang, then let's see how far your liberal we-are-all-one thoughts'll getcha while getting your throat slashed! Until then, toodles!
Thursday, December 22, 2005