Thursday, September 28, 2006


Sorry that I've neglected a midweek posting a li'l sooner, but y'see I was having way too much fun celebratin' as I'm sure y'all will unnerstan'. All kiddin' aside, here's a high six yer way detailin' some of the gulcherally significant things that are making my life a little more worthwhile and who knows, maybe they will brighten up yours too if you'll only get yer nose plumb outta the sphincters of way too many navel-gazing arbitors of the new kultur amerindie blogschpielers out there, that is.

1) James Finn Quartet-GREAT SPIRIT CD (Not Two)

OK, once you get'cher eyes offa the picture of the purty gal on this particular post, just stick your orbs back into their sockets and mosey your way down to the review of this under-looked tenor saxist's presumably only release and maybe you'll know why I've been returning to this neo-avant (to coin a phrase) Cee-Dee time and time again. Really grand post-Coltrane sputter with a great backing band keeping a tradition while not falling into a rut, but you can read alla that in the original review, savvy?

2) Les Rallizes Denudes-GREAT WHITE WONDER 4-CD set (Univive)

Mysterious (yet silver-pressed for a change) box set of some Denudes rarities (probably op by the time you read this) ranging from the heavily-productive years of '69 until '77 which certainly were hot shot times for this still can't-believe-they-ever-existed Japanese underground rock band. Quality is good in that portable recorder way that somehow exemplifies the group's primal characteristics (I find '80s/'90s Denudes tapes to be rather disturbing in their clarity as well as audience clatter), and you got me as to why Univive would name this questionable-legality release after the first ever rock bootleg unless they want to draw some truly hidden meaning outta their particular choice of words, but I'd still get it even if they called the thing DROPPING THE BOMB ON AGONY SHORTHAND!

3) DICK TRACY-THE PURPLE CROSS GANG PARTS ONE AND TWO (9/21/36 to 3/7/37) by Chester Gould (softcover books published by Pacific Comics Club, 2002)

Not having read any DICK TRACY reprints since getting my hands on the bone-chilling Flattop Jr. collection a few years back, it sure was a nice change of diapers finding these two recently-reproed TRACY volumes lolling about on the shelves. Being a guy who has become a classic on/off Chester Gould-era TRACY fan o'er the years (heck, I'll even glom the oft-loathed Moon Maid/tough on crime strips which almost everyone out there considered dullsville!) it's always good to get back into the TRACY groove once in awhile whether it be latching onto some relative newies like these or scouring my vast assortment of DICK TRACY MONTHLIES/WEEKLIES that I have stored in a plastic box somewhere in the abode. And these two books are no turdburgers either...although done a few years before the TRACY Golden Age (roughly the forties until the early-sixties, the days of the ultra-grotesque villians and nerve-shattering climaxes coupled with an extreme violence that seems totally verboten in today's wee-wee saturated society) they still deliver the thrill-chill goodies with a bared-wire intensity, in many ways foreshadowing the total madness and hardcore gore that would envelop the strip within a few short years. (And if I'm correct, weren't those the years when women's groups and ministers were taking up collections to have Gould committed with his near-nauseating depictions of burnt corpses and dead bodies lying in pools of blood???)

These stories also show that, as the rumor went, Chester Gould was making up the storylines/plot devices as he was goin' along (!) since the continuity seems a little, er, wobbly unless there was something printed beyond this particular saga that tied all the loose ends up (which I doubt). Por Ejemplo...the rich kid who is captured at the beginning of the story and blabs to Tracy about the criminal Secret Society known as the Purple Cross Gang (no, not another of Lou Rone's old bands!) is convienently forgotten afterwards (I believe he pops back into the picture a short time later, but I'll hafta do some research on that), while a member of the gang who wants to go straight for the sake of his little girl is not pursued by Tracy (who suddenly has a strange metanoia uncharacteristic of the man, perhaps softened by the CHRISTMAS CAROLS he was hearing while tailing the guy!) only to get nabbed later on when Tracy suddenly reverts to his old self in due time. It is strange, because Gould had been building up this particular character in such a sympathetic light that even YOU the unsuspecting reader feel a bit shaken up when Tracy captures the man and starts taunting him with electric chair jibes!

4) CAN'T BUY A THRILL #3 fanzine (Winter 1976-1977 issue edited and published by Russell Desmond)

I've got almost all of my CAN'T BUY A THRILL fanzines packed up in boxes meaning I can't just latch onto a copy with any relative ease when I need to do some mid-seventies rock reference work or just plain ol' read something while settling down during the evening hours. However, I am able to dish out my copy of issue #3 mainly because it was printed on oversize paper and thusly doesn't fit fair and square with the earlier normally proportioned ones. And it's a good thing too because CAN'T BUY A THRILL #3 is a classic slice of just about everything that was RIGHT with not only seventies fanzinedom, but seventies rock-related writing as well with this great intellecto-punk style that even """""I""""" couldn't recreate though I've been seemingly trying for a million years. This ish not only features a rundown of the best and worst of '76 (I still get a kick outta the reference to "Peter Tampon" [Frampton] this far down the line!) but plenty of cool rockism refs and reviews of the latest rock rabble from the Flamin' Groovies, Jonathan Richman, the Ramones and Jefferson Starship (even Artful Dodger get a writeup where they're compared to Big Star!) on down through Danish import Gasolin and loads of other magazine/TV/movie stuff which shows ya that even punk-intellectuals can kick up their feet in front of the boob tube 'n enjoy themselves. Of course there's a lotta that really snide, vulgar and rude seventies fanzine craftsmanship evident here that would make more'n few "enlightened" moderne-day pantywaists cry "racist" but I personally happen to know that Desmond ain't one and you know that his detractors (as well as mine) wouldn't even cross the street to help a member of a minority who was hit by a car so don't you go actin' all HIGH AND MIGHTY!!!! I haven't heard from Desmond ever since the big hurricane hit his home of New Orleans last year, though frankly I must admit that I'm kinda scared to discover the me chicken, but SOMEDAY I'll get the gumption up to write him a note to see how he's doin'. Until then, if you wanna know more about Desmond and his brainkiddie why don't you scarf up a copy of BLACK TO COMM #24 'n read the entire unexpurgated saga fer yerself!

5) HELP! MAGAZINE (May and September 1965 issues)

These popped up while I was searching through boxes so's I could gather up alls my oversized comic magazines into one place and in the process figured why not take a nice long break and read the things 'stead of doing hard work especially on my day off! Lurching towards the end of Harvey Kurtzman's longest-running editorial position, these later HELP!s continue on their usual witty post-MAD ways despite the absense of once-regulars Bill Elder and Jack Davis. Naturally there's a heavy reliance not only on fumettis but loads of comic art contributed by the future underground standbys who warped their minds on the original MAD a good thirteen years earlier. Heck, even R. Crumb can be seen lurking around in a fumetti saga featuring a Greg Prevost lookalike who goes to a wild party in search of shakes and gets delivered a funnier punchline than the usual boy with long hair gets mistaken for girl jokes being spouted at the time! Oddly enough, John Cleese appears in May's "Christopher's Punctured Romance" as a frazzled adman who becomes enamored by his daughter's "Barbee" doll (the fact that Terry Gilliam was HELP!'s art director at the time and contributing biting satire along the lines of "Buster, Have You Ever Stomped a Nigra?" [a KKK manual spoof that perhaps only THE REALIST coulda gotten away with at the time] of course hasn't gone unnoticed), and if anything you could say that HELP! throughout its entire run was not only the missing link between MAD and NATIONAL LAMPOON as many have surmised, but the spiritual father to both WITZEND and ARCADE with its combination outrage and homage to early comic greats all mooshed together into one nice read for beyond the toilet!

(And how could I forget mentioning Steve Allen's high-larious "Question Man" article, the "Question Man" being one of Allen's old TONIGHT SHOW characters later blatently ripped off by Johnny Carson as "The Great Carnac"! [Some real belly laughs are apparent here such as these gems---"Answer": "Daisy Mae"; "Question": "Do you think Daisy will?" or especially "Answer": "A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou"; "Question": "What's on a cannibal's menu?"---REAL GUFFAW MATERIAL, DONTCHA THINK???] Now I gotta admit that I'm not nor have ever been a big fan of Allen, but these "Question Man" gags got me laughin' harder'n anything that Comedy Central would dare to air 'n y'know why??? They're funny! Now how about that!)


This former High Six winner delivers another salvo that wows me to no end as Raimondo sometimes does, and although my site ain't exactly a politically-oriented blog (nor am I a political person) I was somehow overcome by it enough to be moved to something after reading the man's particular views which amazingly enough mirror my own, so he must be smart, right?


Tim said...

looks great!

Jeff said...

Nice new layout. It looks professional and yuppie. You might even poach a Salon or Villgae Voice reader!