BEST BATCH YET?
Noddy noddy noddy...finally got some fresh wares to write about for you adoring fans this week, though frankly (to be honest about it in typical fanzine fashion), I must confess that feel like a total langhole reviewin' these goodies so fast-like! Y'see, I usually like to let the recordings received at my palace moil serenely in my scalp after givin' 'em a good listen or ten before transposing my thoughts to type just so's I can be fair about 'em, but since these discs arrived only a good two days ago and in fact I've been busier than a hairdresser in San Francisco the whole time it's not like I had a chance to let the musical nuances and artistic quirks to be found therein totally reach into the inner sanctum of my well-seasoned mind. Deadlines are deadlines and who knows, I may be doing a few 180's with some of these as time goes by, but this is where I stand on these Cee-Dees in the here and now so let me keep standing on 'em until I keel over!
Disposable God Squad-LET THE MAD RUMPUS BEGIN CD (Mad Entropic Carnival)
Will wonders ever cease in this crazy blogged out world of ours? Back in the early-nineties I was ranting and raving over a tape I got containing some demos by a group called the Disposable God Squad...now, I must admit that I knew the group existed because I had seen the Disposable God Squad name sprinkled about various CBGB listings prior to getting the tape, but I shrugged 'em off as being another batch of hardcore rundowns given their rather outre handle. Howevah, these demos, produced by none other than "thee" Kramer (then hip u-ground blitz-connection) proved otherwise...these guys weren't anything near or remotely like hardcore punk at all! In fact the Disposable God Squad were more or less top hot underground pop-rock really not that far removed from the mid-seventies En Why See bands the likes of the Marbles and Planets which really was saying something (good) especially in those alternative-rocked out times when the LAST thing the hipster rock fans out there wanted to be in touch with were mid-seventies New York "pre-punk" club stylings! And I must admit that the D.S.G. with their energetic and artsy approach to what was once known as "power pop" were certainly a surprise to these ears, especially during a time when the hip fanzine underground publicity machines and press certainly didn't want to know about anything that was not British experimental or hardcore or outside of the little cliques that had sprung up since the great punk rock divide of the early-eighties got even wider!
So imagine my surprise all these years later when I discovered that the D.G.S. weren't just a one-tape wonder but actually had a Cee-Dee to their name (via some Dutch East India Trading Company umbrella label meaning I dunno how much the guys got out of this one!) a short time after I got hold of their demos. And true the band got jettisoned to where all lower-case quick-flashes with no critical or label backing seem to get wooshed once LET THE MAD RUMPUS BEGIN sunk like a stone (and who could blame it for sinking given all of the daff reviews hearkening to amerindie-this and alternative-that I'm sure a slew of dim bulbs dreamed up), but at least LET THE MAD RUMPUS BEGIN was tossed out to an unsuspecting public which at least gave me the chance to hear 'em long after the fact, but better now'n never as Yoko Ono once said!
There is a "tad" of what might have been called alternative cliche both then and now popping up on LET THE MAD RUMPUS BEGIN, but at least it's buried under the smart mood-pop that the D.S.G. whip up with seeming ease. Thankfully amidst the "modern" moves that can bring the proceedings down there are some late-sixites pop ref. points saving this disque from becoming another standard snoozer, complete with a touch of the Flamin' Groovies when they were stuck between their Detroit-inspired and Beatleboot periods which certainly does light a fire under my pitted butt! And it's all kinda soaked in that grand V****T U*********D style of riff and sway that the Groovies themselves dabbled in at the time which (I dunno about you but it) takes me back to my late-seventies days of bargain bin hunting when SHAKE SOME ACTION sorta became the soundtrack for my lost summer of '78 which still resonates in my lazed out beanie even this far down the line! And yeah, after a couple listens which have pretty much taken up my entire weekend "free time" I've come to the conclusion that LET THE MAD RUMPUS BEGIN just ain't as kinetic as the demos and maybe five or so songs shoulda been axed and developed a bit, but I'm glad that these guys made the thing and didn't do a total fade like too many NYC bands who deserved more but didn't get it because they weren't falling into the pre-conceived rockcrit notions of the day. And it's a cheap one to boot, and if they still had bargain bins this one would be an all time stuffer alongsides all those Groovies, Ramones and Dead Boy discs you used to find there without any effort. Geddit!
Zi:Lie-Ya-DENKOUSEKKA CD (Captain Trip Japan, available through Slippytown)
Japanese hard rock that like thee Hypnotics and way too many other retro-rock bands tries way too hard to emulate the late-sixties Detroit sound with mensa/mensa results. Sheesh, remember when bands like Radio Birdman brought the White Panther sound back with a smart vengeance? Ditto Rocket From the Tombs, Umela Hmota 3 and about twenty others I'll remember in about a minute. Seems like the revolution died around the time all those Australian bands began fizzling into watered rehash along with their imitators in Europe and the U.S. of Whoa...and yeah, we got the originals to enjoy this far down the line but rilly I was hoping the radiation woulda soaked in a little longer...
MX-80-WE'RE AN AMERICAN BAND (Family Vineyard)
Not quite as up to Ralph-standards but neat enough "recent" (2005) offering from these longtime faverave art rock heavy metallers. Boffo cover of the Grand Funk hit mixed along with more of that dada juju sound propelled by Bruce Anderson's stinging gtr lines and Dale Sophiea's sampler, with the great deadpan droll of Rich Stim covering it like no one since...Frank Zappa??? I mean, Buster Keaton couldn't've done a better job!
Andy Colquhoun-PICK UP THE PHONE AMERICA! CD (Captain Trip Japan)
I've been a fan of Andy Colquhoun ever since I heard him on the great Deviants reunion EP back in '78 and later on Mick Farren's VAMPIRES STOLE MY LUNCH MONEY album. His early band the Rockets (who should be given their own Captain Trip CD...HINT!!!!!) were one of the first English punk rock bands straddling the proto and punk-proper regimens back when Joe Strummer was still deciding whether he wanted to be a Flamin' Groovie or Stooge, while Warsaw Pakt were classic Deviants/Fairies-styled pub rock that sorta got wooshed under the ever-growing punk bludgeon of the day. And of course his involvement with the latterday Pink Fairies as well as their various offshoots in the eighties and nineties is something to behold especially for blokes like myself who have been in on the trip for quite a longer amount of time than one can imagine. And while way too many people of his standing have either vamoosed from music entirely or hadda settle on "selling out" to pay the rent, Colquhoun has stayed in the game all these years hopping around from one project to the other though I kinda wonder how the guy makes ends meet himself because it ain't like any of his records are BURNING UP THE CHARTS ifyaknowwaddamean...
For the last few years Colquhoun has been living in Ameriga, specifically the El Lay area and it sure shows with this 2001 release entitled PICK UP THE PHONE AMERICA, and believe-you-me this disque is one of the classier slabs of tinfoil I've had the pleasure of hearing in quite a while or at least the past hour. With help from various Deviants/Pink Fairies friends (though mostly done on his lonesome just like Lou Rone), Colquhoun really osmoses the whole Amerigan concept of trash sleaze esp. w/the title track (rec'd at the height of telemarketer frenzy) as well as on the spiffy instrumentals (inc. a 'verby "Riders on the Storm") which reach back all the way to early-sixties surf instrumentalism remade for the post-decadent here and now. I have the feeling that Colquhoun was front and center for a number of Dick Dale shows as well, or at least I would get that impression after hearing the influence of the local hero permeating this 'un a few times! And it's so smooth and deeply satisfying that even a usually nonplussed person such as I will rant and rave about Colquhoun's great John Lennon trib which actually got stuck on a E! HOLLYWOOD STORY episode regarding the Beatle of yore, and I never thought I would say it but this 'un sure puts all those sappy Lennon homages filled with their peacenlove vibes to total shame! Hopefully the SoCal tinge will stay stuck to Colquhoun for quite some time because I could use another one of these, even if I have to wait another forty years when PICK UP THE PHONE AMERICA! finally turns a profit!
WORST HAPPENING OF THE YEAR, THIS OR ANY...CHICAGO LIVE AT THE CHEVROLET CENTRE, YOUNGSTOWN OHIO! I didn't wanna, but Jillery got some free tickets and all of her other victims, er, "choices" backed out! And for a fellow who is against the draft you can bet that I felt enslaved when I more or less hadda go with her to see what was left of this "infamous" horn band last Friday night at downtown Youngstown's Chevy Centre, a venue more or less suited for basketball, hockey games or the Ice Capades along with hasbeens milking the baby boomer dollars for all they're worth. And to be honest about it, I would have rather gone to see the Ice Capades than this atrocity! Never having been a fan of these guys (even at a time when I would have been more susceptible to having been one in my early teens when it all sorta ran together!) I hadda endure a good 90 mins. of everything from their shuck jazz-rock to a tiresome drum solo (complete with syncopated Christmas tree lights all over the trap set blinkin' away) and of course all of the big hits which elicited all of the expected crowd responses climaxing with their huge chartbuster "25 or 6 to 4"...fortunately I was spared the Watergate-era political kitsch of "America Needs You Harry Truman," but I was kinda hoping that just maybe I along with the rest of the all-ages audience who seemed to not know any better woulda been subjected to that feedback screech which closed out the first album. An evening that will prepare me for countless eons in purgatory, or at least a chance appearance at the Hinman family reunion.
Yeah, this post wasn't as in-depth as I would have wanted (believe me, I like doing those ultra-long and windbaggy posts which I have to correct time and time again for misspellings and awkward passages that unfortunately make it to the publication stage!), but hopefully I'll be back soon with a neat writeup on some printed materials that I've skimmed o'er the last few weeks which should prove to be absolutely marvelous. Keep your eyes peeled (though please don't go the UN CHIEN ANDALOU route!) later on, like say about Wednesday???
Saturday, December 09, 2006
BEST BATCH YET?