The Rolling Stones-BEGGARS BANQUET CD (Abkco)
Yeahyeahyeah, this 'un might be an oldie but moldie in your collection but (please have pity on me, poor ignerant blogschpieler that I am) this is the first ever harmonic convergence I've had with this "legendary" (and first if you also count SOME GIRLS ten whopping years later) golly gee wasn't that previous album a wrong turn let's go back to the ROCK & ROLL!!! platter and lemme tell you I'm givin' this one the thorough fine-tooth combing that you did well over 35+ years back so if you wanna call me an even more retrograde Johnny-come-latelier feel free to do so. You won't hurt my already bruised inner child one bit. In fact, I flushed my inner child outta my system long ago. It was conflicting with the outer one.
So, like what is so special 'bout this great "back to the roots" disque anyway? True it starts off with the Kenneth Anger-inspired "Sympathy For The Devil" which I'll admit is a snappy enough opening track, but frankly I still think (along with PEBBLES VOLUME 2 liner note writer "A. Seltzer") that the Satans asked the exact same question, mainly "Kan Yew Gess Mah Nayme???" a whole lot better on "Makin' Deals" (which set the pace for that particular PEBBLES volume much better'n "Sympathy" does here). 'n yeah, the hard-blues re-customed for confused white teenage boys on most of the album does kinda fit in with a late-sixties miasma of sorts, the same one that the Stooges so eloquently (!) exploited on their debut a year later. There's also a nice air of sublime intensity here that might have made the Stones the premier punk band of the late-sixties had only the Stooges failed to get off the ground and y'know, if you keep all of those images of Jagger as the preening prancer of the seventies outta it (along with all those records everybody seemed to like but nobody exactly knew why) it DOES digest a lot smoother than one would expect.
Frequent BLOG TO COMM readers will more or less be interested in BEGGARS BANQUET for the inclusion of "Stray Cat Blues," a number than has grown in notoriety over the past three decades ever since Jagger, in a fit of "I'm still hip, trust me!" mentioned in a ROLLING STONE interview that this statutory rape sonata was a direct Velvet Underground cop (at a time [late-seventies] when the Velvets' stock certainly was growing as far as a cult group's could before flopping over into the mindless hero worship of today). This brief aside did have some reverberations across the Rolling Stone fanbase, at least to the point where in a recent book explaining the story behind every Rolling Stone song, the early Velvets are prominently pictured above "Stray Cats'" glowing appraisal of said influence. I gotta admit that I've always liked the song ever since I heard it on an old bootleg (perhaps GET YOUR LEEDS LUNGS OUT), but really, next to such then-contemporary garagemeisters as the Flamin' Groovies or even the Stooges who also tended to slap-dab the Velvets with whatever function of the blues they cared to use at that particular moment, this 'un really ain't that special in the light of a lotta bozos who did more with the drone and got less moolah outta it. Er, it's still worth picking up cheap just like you should try to cop that Ten Years After album with the hot air balloons onna cover just to hear 'em riff the Stooges complete with the dog barks!
Friday, March 31, 2006
The Rolling Stones-BEGGARS BANQUET CD (Abkco)
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Bern Nix/Sabir Mateen/Jeffrey Shurdut-THE DREAM OF A RIDICULOUS MAN CD-R
Luther Thomas/Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut/Nick Gianni/Mike Fortune-THE RAP CD-R
(both of these "No" label items [and more] are available from Mtnwad Jazz ebay store)
Didja ever hear that old expression "when it rains it pours"??? Well, that sure applies to me, and not only when I get into trouble but when (believe-it-or-not) good things happen to me as well. I mean, this week not only did I get a package from Mike Stax of UGLY THINGS fame which contained, besides the latest issue of his magazine which I told him not to send me last year because my own publication is, shall we say, on hiatus, but a number of Cee-Dees on his very own custom label (y'know, just like what Frank Zappa and the Jefferson Airplane had in the early-seventies only there ain't no major label backing him up!) which was certainly nice of the follicled one, but really, do I really come off that PATHETIC as to warrant such a bountiful parcel as this? (You may answer this question yourself, albeit silently.) Also arriving in the mail was a nice package filled with Cee-Dee-Arrs of live recordings by such current Japanese psychedelic wonders as LSD March and Up-Tight which, as you know, may also tickle my already swelled fancy (but then again maybe not considering how I felt some of the latter group's more recent recordings have been somewhat lacking with less reliance on their idols Les Rallizes Denudes' late-sixties crunch and more on a modern-day sense of...alternative rock hand wringing????). And to top all this good luck off, I just received these two avant garde jazz disques that were recently released on Jeffrey Shurdut's "No" label, all of them featuring multi-instrumentalist Shurdut performing with a number of bona-fide (calm down Noll, I'm not talking about you!) free-play legends including former Ornette Coleman/Contortions guitarist Bern Nix, hotshot moderne-day saxist Sabir Mateen and longtime BAG fave Luther Thomas.
You may have seen my review of another Thomas "No" label offering earlier (scroll down!), and these (s)platters are pretty much like that one complete with flimsy color xeroxed covers and usually sparse information onna back. Except for the Nix/Mateen/Shurdut one, which has a rather long flowery description of the music encountered therein which (as usual) seem to be more or less a lotta big words crammed together esoterically in an attempt to try justifying the noise to a buncha eggheads or something like that (see your Red Crayola albums for more of the same!). But whaddeva, both Cee-Dee-Arrs are pretty hotcha in their own way that despite the admitted practice-space-as-recording-studio sound and low-budget packaging you feel as if you're getting a pretty good deal, kinda like a moon rock of avant garde jazz that nobody else in the world knows about and it's all your nice little SECRET.
I'd been looking forward to hearing the one featuring Bern Nix and Sabir Mateen in a setting I thought would pretty much exemplify that whole under-the-fusion hub-bub that was Loft Jazz back inna seventies, and with Shurdut traipsing around on everything from piano and violin to trumpet, percussion and arrangement how could I go wrong anyway? And on this 39-plus minute burnt offering they do pretty well although I must 'fess up to the fact that I really found it awkward listening to the trio go from mass improvisation of the highest form to solos that seemed totally at odds with what was just heard, and if you're expecting Nix to be shredding some hot r&b-influenced or Sonny Sharrock-inspired noise-blasts to jolt you outta your everyday reality think again because the playing here is strict jazz guitar gone slightly abstract (and distorted...his guitar has a sound that reminds me of that part in Stan Freberg's "Rock Around Stephen Foster" where Freberg gives the guitarist a Howdy Doody badge to use as a pick for that fuzzy feeling!). Nothing wrong with that...just warning you NOISEMONGERS out there, that's all! Still, I really must say that I enjoy this one to the proverbial max, given how the playing works out whether as a mass of total energy or as gnarly solo spurt. Mateen's playing is kinda like Ornette at one moment and then you hear snatches of Jarman the next so maybe there is more blend to the entire kadiddle than I had given this one credit for. But the improv sections are enveloping (see, I can use descriptive words of this caliber too!), reminiscent of those great Alan Silva albums of the late-sixties that were so inspirational even when there seemed to be a bit of the Eastern Spell seeping into it all.
People who've read my fanzine already know of my undying fandom for Thomas, a man who not only played on some pretty crazed BAG/Human Arts Ensemble albums back in the seventies but spent some time afterwards trying to be the BLACK James Chance at Max's Kansas City not to mention put out a whole slewwa wild disques in varying formats for CIMP and other just-try-and-find-'em labels. On this relative newie ("8 26 05" is written in felt pen on the back cover...dunno if this refers to the date of the session or when it was issued) Thomas and band play two numbers, one a relative shortie and the other the long one where the band gets into this jazzy almost funky groove with Thomas waiting a bit before he gets to bring his guttural alto into the act. The man also gets to bleat out some wild Yoko-styled yodeling and there's this point where he's barking out orders to the band and tells 'em to play free, then all of a sudden you get this massive wall of atonal beauty atcha that really tells the tale (and'll jolt you out of your complacency as well)! I dunno exactly what sort of, er, clientele reads this blog or if it differs from the folk who've been reading my rag for the past dos decades, but its stuff like this that made up the crowning point of my existence and certainly not the comparatively limp amerindie slop or European way-too-introspective rants that "others" lap up with relative glee this day, that's for sure!
Before I forget...now this is totally unrelated to the above, but I thought you should know that former Von Lmo guitarist and master musician in his own right Lou Rone has his own website which I'm sure you'll want to check out between combing the web for new mp3 blogs and barnyard hijinx. Give Lou a try, he's got some pretty good pics old and new on this one and you might be spending your evenings a little bit better hitting his page rather'n the usual been-there-done-that alternative music sources which seem to be all the rage!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 8:25 AM
Monday, March 27, 2006
TEN REALLY BOPPING SINGLES/ALBUMS IN WHICH A MELLOTRON IS USED
Merely playing a li'l game w/myself to see if I can actually think of ten whole (or in part) really entertaining and high-range single or album tracks (or entire albums in general!) in which a Mellotron is utilized, and yeah, it's gonna be tough thinking up ten recordings which use this infamous and pretty silly once you get down to it "electronic instrument" (or better yet deluxe tape-player), but I think I can pull it off. If you have any tunes or elpees you'd like to add to the list, feel free to do just that though remember, MOODY BLUES ALBUMS DON'T COUNT (in case you hafta be told)!
1) The Beatles-"Tomorrow Never Knows"-alright, a Mellotron tape loop was used on that one but I'd say it still counts...howzbout you???
2) Alice Cooper-KILLER-on "Desperado" and maybe elsewhere???
3) The Deviants-"Child of the Sky" from PTOOFF!-and yeah, I thought that was a real flute too!
4) Budgie-the last cut on side one of their self-titled debut album.
5) Sonny and Linda Sharrock-PARADISE-OK, not their best showcasing what seems like a move towards Return to Forever-ish fusion, but Sharrock's mediocre beats most mainstream jazzters' best, if I must get cliched about it.
6) Peter Laughner-"White Light/White Heat" from the "Cinderella Backstreet" single.
7) The Pretty Things-"Talking About the Good Times" 45 (available on a Norton 10-inch EP certainly worth getting!)
8) The Flamin' Groovies-the few tracks Cyril Jordan actually plays one on the NOW album which not exactly their tippy-top moment but see #5...
9) Roxy Music circa their first two albums (particularly on "If There is Something" and "For Your Pleasure" not forgetting the obvious ["Ladytron"]).
10) Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band-DOC AT THE RADAR STATION (a retrogarde fave esp. considering how Mellotrons had become pretty much extinct by the time this 1980 masterpiece came out!)
(Interesting aside, the unreleased John Cale-produced take of the Modern Lovers' "Girlfren" supposedly has some overdubbed Mellotron parts. And of course who could forget Big Star!)
NEXT POST: the ten best tracks using a stylophone!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 6:44 PM
Sunday, March 26, 2006
TYPICAL SUNDAY AFTERNOON POST
Before I commence with the usual fun an' games I believe it should be my duty to comment on a previous posting which has unexpectedly developed into somewhat of a controversy, or at least as much of a controversy as one can come up with doing a blog these days. On March 21st of this year, I published a picture of a man alleged to be none other than one David Lang of the infamous manwithoutballs blog a.k.a. Lexicon Douchebag family of Cee-Dees and whatnot which was taken from this person's own myspace.com "page" so to speak. Along with this "alleged" picture of the blogger in question (we'll get to that later) I printed a simple request that anyone seeing this person pictured (presumably the author in question) do the best thing for humanity and shoot the evil perpetraitor at the base of the heart (in order to inflict as much agony upon the victim thus preparing him for a rather crisp afterlife) and well, it turns out that my "request" at first elicited two very similar responses (posted within a few minutes of each other!) by an anonymous person as well as a blogger named "Dave"...whether this be thee Dave (as in Lang, he's too tiny to be a "Long") or not I do not know, but whoever this reader was he actually wrote in saying that the person who was pictured on that particular myspace thingie was in fact the long-late Minuteman guitarist D. Boon and NOT the infamous Langster whom we all know and love/hate depending on your own viscosity! Well, that certainly was a surprise to me (like I said, I actually own FOUR Minutemen recordings and the fellow pictured on the cover of those and the one on the myspace page didn't look alike one iota to me...well, maybe two or three iotas but I would never think that Mr. Boon and the man pictured were one 'n the same'r anything like that!), and in fact if this person pictured on the posting is in fact D. Boon then all I gotta say is Dave Lang has pulled off one of the biggest (and cruelest) hoaxes upon the world of rock & roll fandom since that episode recounted in TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE where someone (I believe it was Larry Willette) entered the Bobby Vinton Lookalike Contest using a picture of the young Ozzie Nelson! But really dear readers, can we trust a man who would go to the lengths and extremes of posting a picture of a long gone alternative rock hero and passing it off as his own personage? I mean, will wonders (and blatant dishonesty) ever cease??? I think that such actions speak reams (no, not that...calm down Dave!) about what type of person we're dealing with here, and if any lesson is to be learned from this debacle...please tell me what it is!!!!
And now the without further ado part...
Steve Peregrine Took's Shagrat-LONE STAR CD (Captain Trip Japan, available through Slippytown)
Infamous (at least to those studying late-sixties UK psychedelic trends) band formed by a freshly booted from Tyrannosaurus Rex Steve Took along with future Pink Fairy Larry Wallis, Shagrat were one of those presumably lost footnotes to a footnote (that being the entire late-sixties underground Ladbrook Grove scene) that one would come across while persuing some Peter Frame Family Tree and perhaps nothing else outside an old issue of ZIGZAG. Well, the nineties made sure that a lotta these heretofore unknown sidesteps get the royal treatment (much to the benefit of anal-retentive types like myself who want to hear and read every scrap of archival proto-punk gunch whether it be available or not!) and thankfully most of these Shagrat demos had been released on good ol' vynola during those days of obsessive collecting which at least gave me something to write about at the time rather'n the usual fly-by-night nth-generation punk/alternative quap YOUR FLESH was wingin' my way. But since my ol' trusty turntable and boom box to play it through are presumably shot for all time I have to rely on these Cee-Dee reissues in order to get my proper post-psychedelic jolt, and better I spin these Cee-Dees than go into musicleptic shock!
The first four tracks on this 'un were taken from a '71 acoustic session with Took on an acoustic guitar, Wallis on bass and a Dave Bidwell on tambourine sounding a lot hotter than the usual acoustic music that was making a big wave on the introspection scene at the time. The mood here is more late-sixties than early-seventies kinda sounding like a stripped down, acoustic Hawkwind at least until they get to "Beautiful Deceiver" with its heavy joss-stick (as opposed to Joss Hutton) period Tyrannosaurus Rex groove. The final tracks are lifted from that now-collectible Shagrat 12-incher featuring a '70 heavy version on the band with Wallis on lead, Took on rhythm and Tim Taylor and Phil Lenoir filling out the bass and drums and this bunch comes very close to all that hard and searing high energy music that Richard Robinson was predicting was gonna take over the world in the seventies only the exact opposite happened. You could call it metallic flange or leftover Deviantisms if you like, but I must say that it does fit in with the high energy stylings of the Detroit bands and Hawkwind and all those other groups that fortunately bucked the full-fiber trend of the day making a racket that could relate to pimple-infested teenage pudges and not the iron-haired gals who used to make gravestone rubbings. The sound quality here takes a bit of a downswing (especially on the closing track "Steel Abortion" which is so gnarly-sounding being taken from an acetate that there's a skip inna thing that they coulda edited out but didn't!) but...really, did extraneous things like that ever matter to you???
(Ronald) Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society-STREET PRIEST CD (Moers Music, Germany)
While thinking about the inevitable demise of CBGB, my mind began wandering back to the days when there were a lotta bands playing at that rather open-booking policy club that sorta piqued my interest either due to their name, their members or perhaps some advance publicity. And although you, I and even the bandmembers' mothers know that a lotta these acts deserved the big hook the used to drag those bombing old timey vaudeville acts offa the stage there were more'n a few acts loitering around the club that sure made an impact on my listening parameters, as well as a few more that I'm sure would've pleasured my ears if only some recordings saw the light of day. Fortunately there were a few groupings playing CBGB at the time who did manage to release a few recordings of worth, and although a lotta these items will probably slip through my fingers somehow or other I did manage to catch a few goodies which will sate my lust for hard-edged music including this '81 wonder from Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, a group whom I remember had a pretty long run as headliners on the CBGB stage during those post-original punk generation days when hardcore groups, avant-jazz and white funk seemed to be fighting it out with the new wave and popsters for stage time at that venerated beerjoint.
You gotta remember, this was at a time when James Blood Ulmer had made a big splash at CB's with his post-Ornette harmelodic guitar act which got him not only a cover story in THE NEW YORK ROCKER but a recording contract with Columbia (who re-mixed the original Mayo Thompson-produced Rough Trade album he just made...any of you readers care to comment on the differences and worths of either of these editions?). Thanks to James Chance and his Contortions, mixing punk with free jazz and funk (and even a li'l of the dread disco) was beginning to make a mighty splash in En Why See...pretty soon you were seeing people like Byard Lancaster and Sonny Sharrock playing with Material at CBGB, plus Luther Thomas, Phillip Wilson, Nick Lowe, Billy Bang and others whose names will come to mind in about a year began playing the big Hew York watering holes and better still fitting in. (This mad mixing of avant jazz and underground rock continued on for quite awhile, manifesting itself in the Freestyle Series that was happening at the CBGB Lounge for the past coupla years.) Which I guess is where Ronald Shannon Jackson fits in...former compatriot of Ulmer in the Ornette Coleman band, Jackson led the Decoding Society through pretty much the same terrain (or I suppose he did, me being rather ignorant of much of Coleman's recorded output especially regarding the Prime Time era which I will admit I am ashamed of) but whatever, all of the Decoding Society albums I've lent ear to (about five, but who's counting) have been pretty decent affairs mixing a hard funk-style with avant garde jazz and rock leanings (thanks to the guitar of Vernon Reid, later to make a huge splash in other realms) in a way that really appealed to me and on about three different levels as well! Yes, there's the avant-jazz Decoding Society which suits my ESP-bred late-sixties tension-packed being, as well as the hard-funky side of the group, plus the underground rock elements all rolled up into one nice gooey ball that satisfies me more than a lotta that new amerindie pretentious and precocious slopscapading that's supposed to appeal to me as a bopping young sensitive, or a former bopping young sensitive as well...I mean, who knows, or cares???
Jackson provides fine free-drumming in the great Sunny Murray trad for his group, which on this recording DOESN'T feature tenor saxist Byard Lancaster (a fave, true) but the double horns of Zane Massey and Lee Roxie do pretty fine as they are, while the double electric basses of Reverend Bruce Johnson and Melvin Gibbs add a more than solid backing to the proceedings. And Vernon Reid's guitar plays just the right amt. of angular lines...nothing Sharrockesque or no wave-ish at all, but it all fits in fine with the updating on mid/late-sixties avant playing, a form that really didn't need any updating being futuristic as it were, but it was nice of them to give it a successful try.
I dunno exactly what has happened to Jackson (not being the fine follower of jazz news like I was in my high school days when mom bought me a subscription to DOWN BEAT!) or most of the players on this disc. I hope he hasn't become one of those jazz musicians who sorta slipped through the cracks and is busing tables in some jazz club where Al DeMeola Jr. is trying out his latest patented jazz lick #1000 for a roomfulla tuxedo'd L7's. Whatever, we at least have STREET PRIEST (and a slewwa other platters with Jackson as leader or sideman) which seems fitting enough for me. At least the guy can go home from his job at nights and sleep, even if it is in a fleabag hovel somewhere.
The Modern Lovers-PRECISE MODERN LOVERS ORDER CD (Rounder); SONGS OF REMEMBRANCE CD (Punk Vault bootleg)
My continual pouring through the Jonathan Richman biography has naturally got me flinging myself through alla my available Modern Lovers recordings extant including these two handy-dandy wonders that fortunately don't have any Playboy bunny logos to get me into hot water! The first of these items kinda slipped by the listening gnu wave public when it was finally released in 1994, and I'll admit that at the time I wasn't that keen on hearing it myself, but twelve years later it probably sounds much better to me because enough time has gone by to wash away all those early-eighties images of Jonathan as some sorta David Byrne Jr. that way too many new wave buddies had of him at the time. A rather hefty live disque here, maybe not a top-ten contender but early-seventies pre-Velvets milkingly-swell as it is with all of the well-known tracks and a professional sound to boot. And speaking of boots, the Punk Vault one is also worth the Sherlocking you'll have to do for it with a number of rarities ("I'm Dropping My Friends" is a fine Troggs-ish pop rip worthy of Mirrors) sprinkled amidst the familiar territory. A mix of studio, live (including New Year's Eve opening for the New York Dolls along with Ruby and the Rednecks and the Magic Tramps at the Mercer Arts Center!) and of course some pre-band solo rehearsal things that don't seem to fulfill the images of a really loud and raucous Richman as revealed in his bio turn up, but I like 'em anyway because they kill both "independent" of though rock music and their sycophantic blogger apologists with one felt swoop!
THE MUSIC ENSEMBLE CD (Roaratorio, PO Box 300574, Minneaoplis, MN 55403)
I may have reviewed this one on this blog earlier, like a year-and-a-half ago or something. If so, just mull that one over. If not...great live mid-seventies loft jazz recordings (one from a gig in a Catholic school gym of all places!) with violinist Billy Bang sounding like a more emotive Leroy Jenkins, trumpeter Malik Baraka (soon to self-expire due to an overactive jazz life), Roger Baird on drums, percussion and flute and the dynamic duo of Daniel Carter and William Parker getting their bass and hornage together almost three decades before Freedomland. A fine nervebender, especially after you've worn out your copies of WILDFLOWERS and want more.
John Fahey-THE YELLOW PRINCESS CD (Vanguard)
Yeah, it's hard to enjoy John Fahey knowing that a certain enemy does as well, but if I just kick said blogster outta my mind and insert Edgar Breau in his place everything works out fine. Lotsa reworkings and familiar themes true, but its still Fahey at his best with the right touch of avant garde music ("The Singing Bridge of Memphis Tennessee") and even Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes from Spirit are helping out! This is one that got buried under the weight of having to put the latest issue of BLACK TO COMM out before it became totally antiquated which is why you hadda wait so long to see my opinion of this classic. Yes, I can humble myself too!
Robbie Basho-THE VOICE OF THE EAGLE CD (Vanguard)
Another one that got buried under the weight of my latest. Anyhoo, Robbie Basho, a guy whom Edgar Breau and Wayne McGuire turned me onto, can get into the new age hippydippy groove just as much as even Fahey could at times (I mean, weren't Basho's last vinyl outings released on Windham Hill of all labels, albeit he did grumble about being underpromoted in the light of Michael Hedgehog and William Wasp!), but at least when unbound he could produce a strong folky music that seemed to be of its own special ethnic heritage, and its own personal style come to think of it. This special Vanguard 50th anniversary release (Vanguard celebrating the big five-o, not the album!) packaged in a gatefold mini-LP sleeve just like the Fahey Cee-Dee above has Basho singing about the American Indian and his spirituality amongst other things with his strong voice and indecipherable tongue at times using "Black" Indian modal tunings and even a certain Mr. Ramnad V. Ragavan on a mrdangam ("South Indian log drum")...I mean, when I was a kid I'd get American Indians and Indian Indians mixed up sometimes, but this guy does it on his album! Get past the embarassments of your kindergarten days and evoke the spirits of Ameriga past with this exemplary (aren't they all?) sixties-period Basho platter.
CLOSING MOOT POINT: I was going to review the Doc Possum show that was being cybercast at the CB's 313 Gallery at noon today but the technical difficulties were so great that I had to just plain give up and abandon all hope of getting an eyefulla this "kid rock" group which is too bad, because this group's musical downloads sounded pretty neat plus the ten or so seconds that I was able to eyeball of the group in concert were rather nice, showing a rockin' kids-oriented quartet that seemed to enjoy what they were doing, which is more than I could say about myself and my attempts to watch the gig w/o any buffering or shutoffs hampering my afternoon delight. I know this really doesn't mean a hilla beans afterwards, but I want you BLOG TO COMM readers to know that I am no slacker and I do give it the good ol' college try when trying to deliver the goods to YOU without any thought of compensation wahtsoever, unless you'd like to buy a fanzine 'r somethin' like that.
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 12:25 PM
Thursday, March 23, 2006
The Byrds-FIFTH DIMENSION CD (Columbia Legacy)
Ya wanna know why the Byrds've never been tops in pops as far as my listening parameters go? Well, I can give you about FIVE (count 'em!) good reasons. 1) They come off like a buncha fruits. 2) They come off like a buncha pretentious fruits (just get an eyefulla of any of their mid-sixties tee-vee appearances where they stand there and sing as if they had just come down from Mount Olympus to share their totally ethereal being with us hot polloi...sheesh, only Simon and Garfunkel were more self-centered!). 3) I thought Roger McGuinn's granny glass shades were not only ridiculous, but totally impractical. 4) They were the spiritual forefathers of a lotta bad seventies moosh...scratch a Joni, Melanie, James or even Carol and you'll see a Byrd in there somewhere and 5) David Crosby (need I say more???).
It's funny what early impressions can be like, and believe-you-me I felt like the Byrds were a buncha sissies for a long time sitting on horseback mouthing "Mr. Tambourine Man" while soaking up all of that decadent El Lay party scenestering that eventually gave us Charles Manson who, with a little bitta luck, woulda been riding the same wave of seventies songstering megahits as Cat Stevens and Steve Stills if only... But as Aesop's son once said, "Time wounds all heels" and this heel sure has had a change of heart regarding these Byrds...and keeping all of the negativity out of it and all the bad memories and the rest of that laid back jimmyjive guess what! The Byrds were just as GREAT as all those twelve-string whole-grain banana bread types have always said they were!
OK, I gotta say that it doesn't hurt the eyes so much watching old videos of David Crosby pre-facial hair and slimmer than expected, and McGuinn does have that mid-sixties swank look with his grannies (a prop true, but just as much one as Mark Lindsey's ponytail). And frankly, focusing my listening parameters within a boss '66 Velvet Underground scope makes this sound all the more worthwhile...not only does "Eight Miles High" still sound incredibly detached/cool this far down the line but I can even groove on the ersatzness of "Captain Soul" more than I could have even a decade back. And as far as "2-4-2 Foxtrot" goes...well, it doesn't seem that much of a shock knowing that the Silver Apples were only two years away! Just keep Crosby Stills and Gnash outta your mind's eye and you too will appreciate the Byrds' take on "Hey Joe" seeing just how much the Swamp Rats owed to THAT one as they did to the Sonics! Every track a gem...even the country twang goof (see "Act Naturally") doesn't sink like a particularly heavy tyrd plus when they're getting into their inward-turned groove you don't wanna puke because THIS IS 1966 and introspection was still a virtue before a lotta phony hucksters cluttered up the love and peace vision with a particularly frightening air.
I gotta admit that I didn't get a total buzz (or even a partial one come to think of it) outta the TURN TURN TURN album (only other "proper" Byrds album I have not counting a "Greatest Hits" package and the BYRDS ON THE WYNG bootleg) but FIFTH DIMENSION certainly fills the bill, making me want to discover more of the group's mid-period wares before they began tossing out lead doughnuts the likes of "America's Great National Pastime." Well, maybe not THAT much (I mean, there's gotta me some wild new Von Lmo recordings to dive into!), but until something of a dark underground sneer does come along I'll probably be paying more attention to the Byrds than I had before. And if I can only keep images of David Crosby and the lousy in-name-only Byrds of the early-seventies outta the picture maybe I can zoom into the rest with relative ease, dontcha think?
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 8:01 PM
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Television-TORN CURTAIN 2-CD-R set (Hand Made bootleg, country of origin unknown)
I should 'fess up to the fact that Tom Verlaine and his Television boys haven't been getting as many spins around the ol' BTC offices as they should, so it was a fine enough treat getting my snot-encrusted mitts on this relatively new CD-R boot set that captures one of TV's hot early-'76 gigs recorded at their home away from home CBGB. The sound is exceptional especially considering the quality of hand-held cassette players at the time (I originally thought this was taken from a soundboard recording, it's that snat!) and despite the CD-R form's usual setbacks I managed to play both of these disques through sans any of the major technoglitches that usually befall this not-quite-perfected mode of aural reproduction. And (of course) the major benefits of owning this classic slice of bootleg history comes from the performances within, showing Television somewhere between their early primitive sixties garage-band roots (which have only been recently captured on a variety of boot wares) and the group that released the classic (and proficient) MARQUEE MOON album almost two years after the initial hub-bub grew around this critically-acclaimed new group, acclaimed only because the rock critics in En Why had nothing better to do but rather they rally around a band like Television than some tacky and tasteful musical aggregate! The striking guitar solo on "Marquee Moon" is still not fully (or even halfway) developed like it would be on the album yet the band's starting to sound a lot clearer, fine-tuned and perhaps even more art-focused (if you can believe that!) than they had on the early demos and live tapes. And with more of the early numbers getting jettisoned in favor of trackage with more complex, jazzier arrangements even I in some ways (if punk had never developed into punque) could have seen Television evolving into a smart New York jazz-rock unit with a heavier emphasis on Albert Ayler and John Coltrane than would have been expected from just about anyone. Now THAT would have been something interesting to look forward to, at least with regards to these guys spawing a thousand horrid "amerindie" groups who keep telling us over and over again how soul-less they are in today's mechanistic age (yawn...) but anyway if yer one of those obsessive/compulsive types like me who get vicarious thrills through listening to Velvet Underground music evolutionary developments in the instrumentation on "Heroin" this will probably send tingles through your cajoobies.
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 5:48 PM
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Sunday, March 19, 2006
VARIOUS ARTISTS-WILDFLOWERS VOLS. 1 to 3 CDs (Douglas)
No snaps on this post folks...the blogger system's encountering some kinda messup so's all the illustrated stuff I wanted to write about today'll hafta wait until probably the next go 'round. But as for the un-illustrated stuff...well, it looks like you eager beavers who tune into my blog because you want the high-energy truth, the WHOLE high-energy truth and NOTHING BUT... are more or less "in luck", dontcha think?
My seemingly-eternal avant-jazz cravings have had me diggin' into the ol' archives as of late pulling out such classic wonders as the MARZETTE WATTS album on ESP, THE FREE FORM IMPROVISATION ENSEMBLE (with Burton Greene and Alan Silva) cee-dee on Cadence, and this three-disque (scaled down from five LPs) set on Douglas (recently reissued on Knitting Factory if I'm not mistaken) that I remembered caused a big hubbub in the avant garde world but none elsewhere way back when it was originally unleashed on a Chick Corea-bred audience back in the best/worst of times days of 1977. At that time there was a vital free jazz scene still brewing and fermenting in New York City and elsewhere...it was more or less post-late-sixties AACM and even post-post mid-sixties "new thing" in some ways, but whatever it was it was still very fresh, controversial and best of all nerve-twisting difficult to the point where it would have alienated a lotta people had they only had the opportunity to hear some of this new drool! The standard bowtie and tux club-schlupping "light jazz" types naturally couldn't hack it, and frankly I don't even see how the usual white intellectual college students of the day handled the Anthony Braxtons and Art Ensembles they were gobbling up faster than vitamin "Q"...but then again even Richard Meltzer thought that Braxton was nothing more'n 1977's answer to Dave Brubeck and considering some of the people I knew who liked Braxton maybe he did have a point.
Unfortunately this "loft jazz" era seemed to wane in the eighties (though a few good albums I never did get to hear evidently came outta that decade even if most of the goodies that "The New Music Distribution Service" was selling were firmly entrenched in the seventies) but lemme tell you that, like all good things, YOU CAN'T KEEP A GOOD NOISY AVANT GARDE MOVEMENT DOWN! After all, it was sure nice to get an earful (and eyeful) of the new (and old) breed of avant jazz that was being presented on the various CBGB stages over the past few years, and it was also wild to actually own some of the recordings made by this even-newer avant generation that Rent Control and Jeffrey Shurdut's No label have been putting out. But still, these new avant jazzters whether they be survivors or punks in jazz clothing owe more than a lot to those old trailblazers, and in many ways these WILDFLOWERS disques seem like the perfect bridge twixt the pioneers and those who take those already-distorted forms and go over the wall taking the music into realms I'm sure woulda made Buddy Bolden wanna do a little population control with his straight razor had he gotten an earfulla some of the caustic-yet-brilliant soundscapadings that can be made by a variety of these new frontiersmen nowadays!
Too many highlights to delve into here but I'll just relay a few of my faves: Sunny Murray's Untouchable Factor's take of Byard Lancaster's "Over The Rainbow" (which was originally done on Lancaster's IT'S NOT UP TO US, and it's no surprise that Lancaster himself's in the band) sounds like something I'm sure Judy Garland heard while taking her final breath and yeah, I said that in my original review of the thing long ago but that line was so good I thought I'd use it again, while Air's "USO Dance" is a manic hard-edged free-romp taken through the usual twisted turns that seem part and parcel to this who free-crawling loft scene which is no wonder all of those jazz snoots at THE VILLAGE VOICE were up-front-and-center for this trio, at least until the next latest fancy seemed to pass their jaded eyes. And I gotta admit that I think I like Marion Brown more than I had originally admitted...at least his solo screech "And Then They Danced" seems more bred from the darker realms of his mind than the recordings for Impulse would seem to indicate.
Then there's volume #2...the track that strikes me the most on this one is Abdullah's "Blue Phase." No, this is not the infamous bedroom/early-heavy metal styled group I have previously raved about, but trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah playing with a top-notch backing group including tenor saxophonist Charles Brackeen (later to be frequently seen at Dee Pop's CBGB Lounge Freestyle Series) and a guitarist who goes by the name Mashujaa, one of those players who I guess will be ever forgotten despite playing one pretty good free solo on his axe that should've earned him a little pat on the back somewhere! Leo Smith's New Delta Ahkri lived up to the promise as well, bringing back that wild AACM-styled scronk with all those changing time signatures, free-splat and just plain ol' psychosis which always helped sort these things out. Andrew Cyrille's Maono were also bee-youtiful in this new intensity groove thing playing in that totally free way, propelled by Cyrille's even-post-Murray drumming (I hear he used to ignite pyrotechnics under his cymbals which would lend credence to his volatile style). Believe me, this one is fulla some good and engaging music (I mean...Julius Hemphill!) that even the more conventional piano-led tracks by Randy Weston and Dave Burrell seem great in their company!
The last volume seems to be an even hotter cap that one might expect on things, not only with Jimmy Lyons playing a more avant than post-bop styling on "Push Pull" but with the extended romps from Sunny Murray and Roscoe Mitchell which originally each took up a side on the original final volume of this set which did for free jazz what GOLDEN GOODIES did for pre-Beatles rock & roll and PEBBLES for mid-sixties garage bands. It's fantastic to hear these artists playing in such extended circumstances, especially Mitchell (a man who along with his Art Ensemble partner Joseph Jarman epitomized just exactly how far this avant garde thing could be taken to [and further] back in the late-sixties) performing what I would call a pretty demonic three-note sax line reminiscent of a musette charming a particularly psychotic cobra while Don Moye and Jerome Cooper make a valiant attempt to lay down a wall of percussion. Back when I was first starting to "get into" free jazz (well, it was in the seventies when everyone else was "getting into" macrame and downers) stuff like this used to really open my eyes...I mean, I thought Frank Zappa was the tip tops as far as what you could do with music turning it upside down and inverting the whole thing goes, but after giving acts like the Creative Construction Company and Revolutionary Ensemble a spin (and hey, I remember when their records were proudly displayed in the "new release" rack against the wall at various shopping mall emporiums alongside the new rock releases, so there must've been some commercial hub-bub going on for 'em at the time, eh?) I knew that there was more to experimental music than UNCLE MEAT. Anyway, WILDFLOWERS (and the array of recordings these artists have, and will continue to make) still "speaks" to me after all these years and too much water under the bridge later, and yeah I can recommend this stuff to the hilt and I know you won't pay no mind but maybe you should consider trying for the true energy-expounding, brain-searing creativity 'n just thrust your anti-BTC opines aside for once...
Pretty good review, especially for a guy suffering through a pounding sinus headache, eh? Next time I'll take some Day-Quil!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 12:28 PM
Thursday, March 16, 2006
BOOK REVIEW: THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT JONATHAN by Tim Mitchell (Peter Owen Publishers, 1999)
Ah memories. I remember back in 1976, three whole whopping (gulp!) decades ago when all of a sudden there was this major hub-bub in the rock press going on about some recently-released album featuring a buncha then five-year-old recordings done by a previously-unheard-of (well, at least by me) group called the Modern Lovers. It was like you couldn't escape a mention of these guys just like you couldn't pick up a rag without seeing some comment regarding the Dictators a year earlier, and I gotta admit that for a kid who was just "discovering" rock & roll and listening to loads of quap both good and bad, these Modern Lover guys appealed to me in a totally wholesome way. Not only were the Lovers being hyped as a "teenage Velvet Underground" (and hey, wasn't I a teenbo, and a Velvets-listening one at that?) but their guitarist had short hair (amidst a group that had typical seventies boxboy shag 'dos) and since I was one guy who also had short hair (under threat of parental pain) I could certainly identify with that Beaver Cleaver lookalike more than I could the hot shot stars out there who had the same wild and uninhibited coiffures that I certainly envied! I even recall bringing up this "new" band I heard about in the same kitchen where I was told the supposed fact about George "Superman" Reeves shooting himself in the head and my straight-laced aunt retorted that any band with a name like that was probably "dirty"! Yeah, and this lady let her daughter listen to that Cat Stevens album (BUDDHA AND THE CHOCOLATE BOX) with that disgusting, nauseating and intellectual sexually-oriented number that opened the thing and she's worried about a band with a name like the Modern Lovers?
To make a shaggy dog story even shaggier, I didn't get the album despite really wanting to because it was distributed by Playboy Records, and I thought if my father saw that Playboy bunny logo (albeit small) on the back cover he'd whip the tarnation outta me! Too bad I didn't see those offers for $4.99 cassette tapes that you could get by sending away directly to the record label which were placed in various magazines (cassettes being smaller and thus less-deadly as far as authoritarian bedroom searches go) or else I wouldn't have hadda wait two years to get the thing after just plain ol' GRT reissued it! But then again, money was a scarcity during those days of rock rage, which is why I hadda get a lotta the necessities second hand in the eighties, a time they were sorely needed anyway so why should I complain!
Anyway, this bio of head short-hair Jonathan Richman's now about six years old, so having to wait for the thing that long is akin to me having to wait to buy my faverave albums once they hit the cutout and flea market racks just like I hadda do back when all of this excitement was going down and I felt like I was the only one within a fifty-mile radius who know what it was all about. And hey, it's pleasant enough, but then again Jonathan Richman himself seemed the perfect blend of happy-go-luckiness on one hand and intense brooding on the other and who am I to question why? I mean, all these geniuses are massive contradictions and even Shane Williams said I was one as well (though that doesn't make me a genius), and if anything the Richman who would gleefully take kid drawings eagerly presented to him by Bill Shute's own progeny and then snap "SO WHAT!" at some guy who comes up to him just to say "I'm from Boston too!" does have a strange appeal that I can relate to rather well. That is, unless I was the fellow Bostonian!
Nothing really new here, that is if you've read all of the articles on Jonathan printed in a variety of new wave-oriented pubs like TROUSER PRESS and THE NEW YORK ROCKER for the past three decades, but the little bits 'n pieces I didn't know about sure made for some engrossing pre-bedtime reading. Jonathan's Velvet Underground epiphany (and his days as a groupie for the band) make up the best part of this book, containing lots more detail regarding those pre-Modern Lovers days when Jonathan would wander around Boston yelling at anyone within earshot that he wasn't a hippie. (I particularly liked the information on Richman's early performances and the segment where he was rehearsing full-blast in the basement of his apartment and some un-named member of the Blues Magoos stopped in thinking he was an entire rock group!) And although the book kinda slips for me after the breakup of the original Lovers (the subsequent ones never quite tingled me) there's still enough vim, vigor and verve here to keep you from plunking your copy next to all those unsold college biology texts collecting cobwebs in the bookcase. An engrossing and downright useful tome for the times, at least as far as fitting in part of the puzzle as to exactly what kind of impact the Velvet Underground made on bands world-wide from the sixties until it became "too easy" sometime in the early eighties.
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 12:33 PM
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
TUESDAY, MARCH 14TH --- $10:
7:00 DEE POP'S 50th BIRTHDAY BASH!
THE ANNABEL CHONGS
DON FIORINO & ANDY HAAS
MIKE "IQ" JONES
NORA & TRIBAL SOUNDZ
CB's 313 Gallery
Gotta admit that I didn't see the entire show (started knocking off during the Bush Tetras set even though it was at the shank of the evening [10:30] because I was whipped from a hard day at the salt mines) and a number of technical glitches were hampering the affairs a bit (actually a LOT, but who's complainin'?), though what I was able to decipher outta the buffering and shutoffs was more than fine entertainment even for a jaded putz like myself. And for a guy who was celebrating the big Five-Oh last night, Pop looks fitter than a fiddle especially for one who has probably lived TEN lives to my one though really, what kinda birthday celebration was this given that Pop himself was sitting in on the drums throughout most of the sets this evening! I mean, dontcha think the old feller shoulda just kicked up his feet and enjoyed more of that delicious chocolate cake with white icing that the cybercast camera was lingering over between sets??? Maybe playing his ass off was the only way Pop wanted it, and if so let us congratulate this oldster for having more energy and innovation'n a classroom fulla lazybone kiddie who can't wait to come home after school just so's they can plop right smack dab in front of the computer!
The festivities started off with what looked to be yet anudder all-gal (although I didn't catch the drummer, who mighta been Pop himself!) punk band (albeit dressed snazzily with sixties ironed hair the kind Miriam Linna used to wear and might still) who did an ample job of recreating late-seventies popunk hysteria and better than way too many others out there in musicland. And hey, I'm not gonna say anything bad about 'em, for they sorta sounded more Max's Kansas City than CBGB, or at least as far as 1979 booking values went and that does make for a nice once-in-awhile change of pace.
Then there was this guy who followed these missies who not only created a lotta interesting electronic noize with his gizmos but even got a buncha kidz (who were running around playing tag earlier inna evening) to contribute some soon-to-be-electronicized vocalese to the goings on! After that came the Annabelle Chongs, a band who's had some advance publicity because Pop plays drums for 'em (along with a dozen other aggregates out there!) and they performed an interesting pseudo-Velvets rock not that different from a thousand others though they were fortunate enough to sound a lot more engaging than other Velvets wannabes out there even though I don't think I'd buy any records of theirs anyway (if they had any, that is). Maybe I would, but its like there wasn't any really soul-throbbing new (or old) exciting avenues created by their music, not that rock & roll necessarily has to do that, but right now I'm looking for that new hook.
Mia Theadoratus and her harp, accompanied by Pop on drums and a female vocalist followed proving that maybe they could be just the hook I'm looking for, making this wonderful middle-easternesque sound that reminded me of a rough workout for a group that could have immense inward-turned energy potentials. Mia...take a hint and use your harp/talents to form a band in the early-Velvet Underground fashion without all the cheap emotions utilized by alternative musicians these days and with the deep soul and artistic vision espoused by everyone from Wayne McGuire to Bobby Abrams. THEN you'll have an aggregate that can wipe all those modern-day lamesters off the map so's maybe we can get back to ROCKIN' (with that deep, edge-sound vibrating quality) again and for good! And remember, when you do put this group together...think 1966!
After Mia's as-expected brief set came fellow Hanuman Ensemble members Don Fiorino and Andy Haas (also 2/3rds of the Tertiary Trio) playing a wild avant-jazz once again with Dee on tubs. Haas performed on what looked (and sounded) like a curved soprano saxophone while Fiorino seemed to alternate between a banjo and laptop steel guitar and both were making some of the most angular sounds to come out of that evening, or the gallery stage in quite some time as well. Then this guy who sang while accompanying himself on bass guitar showed up...interesting enough (kinda sparse minimalism very much in vogue w/early eighties sound-to-silence space) but with the computer clicking off every three or so minutes by this time I can't say that it was easy enough to judge his act. After that...the Bush Tetras. I gotta admit that I never liked these bozos ever since I heard their recordings back in the dawn of the eighties (when my tastes were beginning to shy away from the tame, art-funk direction NYC rock was moving towards, edging closer and closer to the hard-edged musics that certain punk and even heavy metal on punk turf groups were heading in the time), but last night they sounded pretty on-target with a more heavy and hard funk/punk riffage that reminded me of stuff like Adele Bertei's Bloods which didn't thrill me that much back then either, but maybe there was a lotta water under the bridge since then and just about ANYTHING from that era sounds swell in retrospect, or at least loads better'n the Journey and REO Speedwagon that dolts like Chuck Eddy were trying to push on us as being the real All-American whole wheat for the massholes!
Got tommy tuckered out during the Tetras' set so I missed out on Freedom Land (formerly Freedomland I surmise, name changed perhaps due to the current flicker???) who were the main reason I tuned in last night!!!! Hey Dee, if you guys make a return appearance on one of the CBGB stages, how about going on earlier before lights out???
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 3:01 PM
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Jay Hinman, er, Gatsby-THE MOST WASTED BOY ALIVE LP (Arista)
AT FIFTEEN, he had already spent a million dollars.
AT SIXTEEN, he slept with Liz.
AT SEVENTEEN, it was Helmut.
AT EIGHTEEN, Jay Gatsby is the most wasted boy alive.
How many of you BLOG TO COMM readers remember the above ad that ran in one of those flaking issues of CREEM magazine way back in the halcyon days of 1974? (You didn't have to be there, just as long as you obtained an issue sometimes afterwards like me.) Remember, you'd turn one page and there'd be the same pic of some hotshot longhair everyday seventies kinda kid blowing a kiss atcha with the above captions presented smack dab on the lower right part of the rag...another ish had the same guy posing in orgasmic ecstasy with the by-line (or is that bi-line) "There's no excuse for a boy like Jay Gatsby" once again hyping some album that, judging from the reviews or better yet lack of them must have been yet another attempt to cash in on the then-hot post-Bowie decadence craze that was dying down by the time this clunker was released. Y'know, yet another David Werner or perhaps even Jobriath to get slam-dunked into a market already oversaturated with glammy glitzsters and heavy metal muscle rock amidst the whole wheat folkies and get-stoned-and-it'll-be-funny comedy albums so it's no wonder that this guy sank further (right straight past the cut out bins and into the Atlantic Ocean it would seem) than all those other discs that were vying for your money back in the best/worst of times we now call the mid-seventies.
If there is anything about this Gatsby whatchamacallit it's from a then-contemporary CREEM writeup, a mini-writeup at that in their "Rock-A-Rama" section courtesy of none other than famed Rocket From the Tombster/rock writer Peter Laughner who reviewed this guy's platter, and not too favorably at that (scroll down and read it for yourself). Besides mentioning Gatsby's premier disc for the ESP label (!) we also get a taste of Laughner's typically acidic wit which certainly fit in well not only with CREEM but the entire glorious pre-wimp out/PC-beyond belief rock press and youth gulcher of the time. I mean, the solitary line about the disc hanging limp when removed from the cardboard is pure genius in itself, and could wipe out 99.999% of this "Oh, I'm so-touchy-feely here in the age of Bush and if only we could express our angst better just so's the whole world could see our disgust and submit to our every demand..." modern school of rockscribing with one felt swoop, if only given the needed chance.
But, as collective blogland is muttering at this very instant...what is the music all about? Well, unfortunately I can't vouch for the ESP album which never was reissued (rights having reverted to the estate of Jay Gatsby upon his passing away from infectious hepatitis sometime in the late-seventies) and commands big smackers on ebay whenever it turns up, which is rarely) but thanks to a to-be-named-at-a-future-date reader of this blog I have obtained a rare CD-R of THE MOST WASTED BOY ALIVE, a classic in itself which will give you even more wham/bam/thank you ma'am glam thrills than the NATIONAL LAMPOON production of "Sipping Double Pernods in Berlin with Sweet Jane" ever will...
Don't be taken aback by the presence of the London Festival Orchestra slapping even more schmalz 'n glissandos than they did on DAYS OF FUTURE PISSED...the band backing up Mr. Gatsby on this art deco production is even ginchier than was originally thought. Naturally aliases hadda be used for copyright purposes (and to limit the "so-and-so courtesy of Electra Records" hosannas), but who would doubt that it wasn't Keith Moon bashing the skins on this plastic wonder (rumored to be the actual first Arista signing, not counting all the Bell leftovers that is) and that guitar playing sounds strangely akin to that of some toothless British rockstar with the shaggy mop look, doing a little moonlighting from his erstwhile glimmer twin in case you still can't connect the dots...
After the syrupy opening courtesy the Fest Orch (which serves the same purpose of setting the stage for this forgotten wowzer as "The Overture from Tommy" and "Titanic Overture" offa PRETTIES FOR YOU for that matter) comes Gatsby himself in tux 'n tails and walking cane (at least figuratively, this being a record and you can't see anything) doing the Leo Sayer "Looka me I'm a new ambisexual singer in thirties kitch clothes" songndance giving the listener an introduction to his special sway and style. Gatsby sounds something like a mix of Bowie with a dash of Steve Harley, yet it's all Amerigan because that's where the boy is from and heaven forbid he try to latch onto the limey tongue in order to impress a few leftover Anglophiles. (One reason I believe the usually friendly TROUSER PRESS ignored this potential fave.) And those lyrics! Take this little bit torn straight from the opening number "Boygirl Clone From Outer Space":
Shot into the sky as the planet screamed
Rocket into space had the atmosphere reamed
Landed on the Earth cockpit opened real wide
Outside I stepped in fullblown lavender pride
(copyright 1974 Firbank Music)
Yes, on this opener (that is, after the string slop is over) Gatsby gives you an idea of what's in store for all the sexually-confused pimple-infested twelve-year-olds who bought this overlooked monstrosity complete with a Superman reference filtered through a gay pride veil that shoulda made Gatsby the hit of the baths! (And that Buck Dharma-esque guitar wailing certainly helps this raver to be the best glam/metal statement heard since THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD.) But that's not all you get on this mix of many moods boogiefest...the strings play tastefully on "White-Suburban-Upper-Middle-Class-Episcopalian-Democrat-Professional-Country-Club-Monday-Night-Bridge-Party Blues" which even gives Elliot Murphy a run for the Long Island Culture Shock money. Just dig this couplet (set to a snappy Roxy Music slimer of a beat): "Mom and the relatives playing their ol' Mah Jong/I don't need complacency...gimmee 'BANG A GONG'!!!!!" (once again, copyright 1974 Firbank Music). Snappy growing up is hard to do lyrics straight from the Mott the Hoople school of bend over!, and stacked up against the mellow musings of Joni and Cat it's not hard to see why the collective mood of the youth brigades went from the folk fairies of 1971 to the decadent sleaze of 1974 (and it is hotly rumored that Cat, upon hearing this album, decided to make the trek from introspective wheeze to facing Mecca on a daily basis!)
Some of THE MOST WASTED BOY ALIVE does schmooze on a bit, and like Laughner said the orchestral excesses can drag the proceedings down. But then again, they probably wanted to appeal to the progressive rock crowd as much as the deca-glamsters which would account for the, er, expertise in crafting such an art rock statement. However, at least "Mutant Spew" (the single "A" side, though I dunno what the "B" was because it seems that all copies of this rarity are mono/stereo promos) does help to capture the spirit of what made the seventies great with a hard-rocking attitude that I'm sure would have made great fodder for the hot fanzine writers on the boards like Kenne Highland and Eddie Flowers. Some might detect a load of Stooges-influence on this track but I doubt it (Stoogeophilia and umbrellas-in-fancy-punch mentalities simply do not collide)...still "Mutant Spew" really puts the icing on the cake(d makeup) with the strings adding the right amount of push needed (sorta like what David Bowie wanted to do on "Gimme Danger") as Gatsby screams in anguish his tale about the Klingons circling Uranus just so's they can make Gatsby their personal interstellar lovething. Sorta like the Roddy McDowell episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE if that gay Kuchar Brother wrote it.
But still, once all's said and done and we've played THE MOST WASTED BOY ALIVE for the umpteenth time the truth sinks in. Jay Gatsby never spent a million nor did he sleep with Liz or Helmut and in real life he was just another kid who was stuck in front of a microphone and told to sing. Nobody great...maybe to the seventies what Arch Hall Jr. was to the sixties. But still, we should honor him just for that if for anything.
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 5:15 PM
JUSTICE: THIS IS WHAT WE DO TO TRAITORS
For a good laugh, just take a looksee at this article featuring a guy who said a lotta downright ugly things about me on the agonyamerindie.com blog way back when. It's nice to get an eyefulla what some of these alternative jerkoffs look like as well as read about their pathetic "if anybody really cares" efforts these days, and I know some of you detractors out there may say the same thing about me 'n my faverave musical acts, but I'll stomp the ground for VON LMO or Les Rallizes Denudes over the Dead C anyday without feeling the pangs of unwantedness! Oh well, I guess anybody who would want to schmooze up to a total collegeboy (in spirit) as Jay Hinman would have the looks of Charles Nelson Reilly, which makes a fellow like me sleep even more comfortably as the weeks wear on. NEXT POST: the life and loves of J. Neo Marvin.
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 11:22 AM
Friday, March 10, 2006
VICARIOUSNESS PART WHATEVER
Hiya, and how are you Western Pee-Yayers enjoying this warm weather we're having right now? Too bad it has to be dreary and overcast, but it's sure nice to wear sweatshorts around the house for the first time this year! Spring's only a few weeks away and it looks as if we're already getting a taste of May weather...now's all we need is a big thunderstorm to shake things up a bit. And with the trees still bare it's great looking out my bedroom window being able to see the wide panorama of lightning striking...beautiful especially if you're fantasizing that your enemies are the ones that are getting the pounding! Brings back memories of the old days when Sam would go nuts and knock everybody over at the sound of an extra-loud thunderclap!
Enough nostalgia...here's a buncha old/new/borrowed/blue items that have been occupying my time as of late. And (believe it or not) I know that you will find some worth (visceral or not) in this flotsam of featured goodies that'll enrich your low-budgeted lifestyle or my name isn't Dave Lang!
The Stranglers-THE EARLY YEARS CD (Newspeak England)
It'll probably come to no surprise to you that I never considered the Stranglers one of yer "upper echelon" (if there is such a thing) British late-seventies punk rock groups. It's not necessarily because they were a good half-generation older than the rest of the British punks who were so youth-conscious to the point of unmitigated ageism, nor was it the fact that they were more than a little too sex-mad for my decidedly non-prurient tastes (and they must've been even more libido-loving than Frank Zappa himself...after all, why else would they want to romp around with Cherry Vanilla in the pages of some "men's magazine"???)...maybe my disliking of the Stranglers could be summed up the same way Russell Desmond did in the pages of CAN'T BUY A THRILL #4 when he said that any punk group that would replace the Velvet Underground with the Doors as far as a basis went certainly was lacking more than a little SOMETHING...
Still I picked this one up perhaps for the same reason I just purchased such never-thrilled-me items as Siouxie and the Banshees' THE SCREAM...and that's in order to reassess my sense of punkism over a quarter-century down the line. And what a better way to do that than pick up this platter of pre-United Artists (or A&M inna US of Whoa)-era material that features the Stranglers in that nifty proto-punk setting that I seem to prefer more to the actual anarchy of it all. After all, there are a good portion of tracks here dating from the classic days of rumbling-under ('74/'75), and better to listen to this stuff in the context of Rocket From The Tombs rather than Devo.
Actually the '76 demos that start this disque off have a nice garage-y feel to 'em that does owe as much to a British sense of Velvetisms as opposed to the Doors-worship that soured the group for me, at least a bit (yes, there was a time when I was just as upfront and CENTER a fan of Jim Morrison and company as many of you blogsters out there...well, not that much). The October '76 live tracks that follow are closer to the Stranglers we all know thus no huge revelation here (plus the obvious audience-quality cassette sound makes this more or less for the diehards), although the '74 demos that follow are surprisingly well-crafted pop (such as on "Strange Little Girl" who remind me of some late-sixties pop-rock act whose name escapes me)...though the Doors-cum-Iggy blooze of the closing live track from '74, "Queen of the Streets" doesn't even deliver halfway. I'll take Celia and the Mutations over this anyday!
The Velvet Underground-OSTRICH/HILLTOP CD (Colosseum bootleg, probably of Italian heritage)
As with just about everything else going on within my musical parameters, I'm re-evaluating my opinions regarding the Doug Yule-period Velvet Underground. And yeah, I was one fellow who followed the usual partyline rant going on since day one (or at least the early-seventies) regarding just how much John Cale was the "real" leader of the Velvets whose lack of presence in the band's latterdays turned them from the bestest, ultimate rock/art statement into just a pretty good dance band. Well, I certainly still DO feel that the Velvets lost more'n a little of their beautiful spiritual soul when Cale departed from their ranks, but to say that the Doug Yule days weren't without their heights of total avant-punk bliss would be misconstrued. After re-reading and re-re-reading ALL YESTERDAY'S PARTIES (a book which has come to be for me what THE BIBLE is to Lucas McCain or THE RENE GUYON SOCIETY HANDBOOK is to Dave Lang) and Lou Reed's fantastic 10/69 interview reprinted therein (where he gets into a spaced discussion of the Velvets and their place within an avant-rock confine almost worthy of John Cale talking about changing weather with music three years earlier) or better yet the reviews of the group's Max's Kansas City residency which compare the 1970 model to the 1966 one with an even-more streamlined approach (not forgetting that great 5/70 Philly tape where Lou creates that beautiful feedback-loop sound on "Oh Sweet Nothin'", a song that had me crawling the walls and ready to slit my throat while a senior in high school and I even told one of my teachers and he looked at me like I was nuts)...all I gotta say is that although John Cale may have left the Velvet Underground the Velvet Underground never left him no matter how many disgruntled artrockers out there may think otherwise! (And not-so-oddly enough, Peter Laughner himself thought that the Yule period band was much better'n the original model, and only the beret and stale Doritos types liked the original Cale-period group because of the snazzy Warhol connection!)
Anyway, OSTRICH/HILLTOP is one of those Cee-Dee bootlegs I'm not supposed to like because someone else who is an enemy of me and my work gave it a glowing review awhile back. Well, I'll guess I'll have to swallow my pride the way said enemy swallows brown lumpy stuff because this is a dang-hot bootleg that I gotta admit satiates me as much as their classy Cale-period recordings, not to mention current spin-fave LOADED. In fact, this one thrills me even more than the official Quine tape set (which other'n the new material is beginning to leave me cold perhaps because modern applications of even ancient Velvetisms don't have the same appeal in an official context) with the newer arrangements of old faves not to mention the classic long "Sister Ray" capper where it really does sound like the instruments were wrecked at the end like Reed alluded to in that aforementioned interview. And not only that, but there's a bit of '66 Velvets snuck on at the end in order to make the beret and stale Doritos crowd happy as well!
Funkadelic-LIVE CD (Westbound)
I was spurred on to digging this recent classic out (which I reviewed in BLACK TO COMM #25) after reading a Funkadelic mention by Eddie Flowers on his site (which has recently been updated so's you can read a lotta new reviews regarding his faveraves which is fun even if he's writing about communist folkie turdburgers like Patrick Sky!) where the venerable fanzine trailblazer tells us about how some boss '69 Funkadelic television appearance that has popped up on YouTube (thanks to Tim Ellison for hipping me to this interesting though technically-flawed site) has recently been withdrawn to his (and my) chagrin. That mere mention (plus the neat pic Flowers posted of a Mohawked George Clinton taken from this cybercast) had me digging this boss live side out faster than you can say Process Church (or, in Clinton's case, should that be Processed Church???), and you can just THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS that I react to such spur-of-the-moment mentions with elegant ease.
I won't be a sissy and refer to the writeup of this disque I had previously done in order to just merely rehash that and tell you lumpen proles just how right I was upon first review. However, I do remember saying that it would take some time before ANYBODY could come out and say that this is an all-time classic live album. Well, three years after the publication of my latest masterpiece I can truly say (without any fear of reprisals) that FUNKADELIC LIVE definitely is up there in the TOP TEN LIVE ALBUMS OF ALL TIME category, perhaps ranking with or even surpassing the Seeds' own live offering which had placed along with METALLIC KO and SWEET SISTER RAY as live albums par excellence go. The music on FUNKADELIC LIVE is a great even flow through all sortsa hard funk personified filtered through the hot late-sixties apocalyptic white music of the Velvets and Stooges with an almost-unbearable intensity amidst the great wah guitar of Eddie Hazel and Bernie Worrell's classical keyboard work, not to mention Clinton's frightening front and center personification of the head preacher at the Church of the Final Judgement (or at least the head editor for that destruction issue of their mag that even had Ed Sanders heading for the nearest vomitorium). Magnificent high-energy strut that really would have turned heads and even stomachs had it been issued (as originally planned) way back in '69 rather than in '96!
Time-BEFORE THERE WAS... CD (Shadoks, try Forced Exposure or Volcanic Tongue)
There really are a lotta mysteries to life. Like, who was that nerk who got in line at the first local airing of the Jerry Lewis Muscular Distrophy Telethon with a buncha kids and started telling Barney Bean that he didn't have any money to donate but he felt that there was so much energy and drive out there that this disease was BOUND TO BE BEATEN SOON before leaving the podium and not without getting a dirty look from the famed kids show host! And who was it that snuck into the principal's office when nobody was there and started doing cha-cha-cha's over the intercom before slyly sneaking away??? But best, who was that living doll who posed for ash-can artist Robert Henri's infamous painting entitled "Figure in Motion" (see left), a pic that got a teenaged ME all hot and bothered upon first eyeballing back in my sophomoric high school days (and no, I'm not going to make any jokes about becoming a hardmore!) and the gal ain't even Japanese! And that's gotta say something considering my appreciation of women who wanna be women!
But the biggest mystery of them all's just gotta be...where does Shadoks Music dig up all these groups? Now, I'm not a big fan of ALL their tasty wares...only the ones that I've purchased that were plugged as having heavy early-Velvet Underground influences (which, as we know from the above review, stretches well into even later-Velvet Underground myth-making!) and that's exactly why I purchased this '67 upstate New York rarity that features electronic brainwave music pioneer David Rosenboom on drums, he a guy I knew about way back when...early 1975 in fact when I was doing a term paper on electronic music which earned me a dismal grade because Jillery typed up a whole slewwa words and names wrong (like "Sien Ra" instead of "Sun Ra"...and do you think I'll ever forgive her for that???).
Anyway, the Velvets influence isn't exactly that strong here...the use of harpsichord and lute would suggest a more classical rock approach (only on the piano-driven "At Shadow's Eye" do Time come close to a first-LP-era Velvets piano-as-percussion mode) but its still pretty grand for people like myself who still swoon to the Michael Brown/Left Banke style of artistic pose. Even the use of dulcimer doesn't turn this one into fag rock (even though Robert Somma classified Danny and the Juniors as such...what about Little Richard???), and although the energy coulda been tuned up a little I found this one about as good an approximation of what the Velvets had accomplished as far as influences go during their lifetime as much as on the other Velvets-hyped Shadoks releases (Parameter and Circulation), and I only hope that more mysteries are uncovered (and deepened) with future upheavals that are hopefully just around the corner.
The James Finn Quartet-GREAT SPIRIT CD (Not Two)
This was the act I nodded out on a few weeks back when I tuned in to see the Hanuman Sextet play their particularly unique brand of nova music at the CB's 313 Gallery, and in order to do penance for such a stupid thing (shoulda taken the Ny-Quil an hour later) I bought this CD. Good thing I try to make amends for such indiscretions, for (contrary to advance hype) this is NOT another whacko thinking he's John Coltrane playing the tenor sax through some hippydippy rose-colored reed, but strong-enough hard-nosed high-energy avant jazz not as hard as such post-Coltrane screamers as early Frank Lowe but pretty tasty in itself. It's hard for me to describe Finn's playing to anyone offhand and he doesn't engage in much (if any) free scronk, but it is angular enough for my tastes/pleasure, in fact more or less inward-turned intense which means although it ain't as searing as Roscoe Mitchell, there's enough power and suppression here to hit you hard just like an all-out basher like Mitchell does. Piano/string bass/drums back Finn well...pianist Deanna Wilkowski reminds me of Paul Bley while drummer Leon Lee Dorsey is free enough in the classic Elvin Jones (not quite Rashied Ali) style. If you've even claimed an affinity for the still-new thing you'll like this. If not I guess you are one of those nimnuls who'd trample over copies of BLACK TO COMM to get to back issues of SWELLSVILLE anyday!
BEETLE BAILEY ON PARADE (Tempo Books, 1972), BEETLE BAILEY-OPERATION GOOD TIMES (Charter, 1984)
I still like to pick up paperback collections of old comic strip faves once in awhile, even if I'm not too keen on said strip nowadays (and frankly, I find myself picking up a newspaper let alone reading the comics section with a frightening irregularity these days). Anyway, here are a coupla books I snatched up at the local antique mall out of curiousity if anything...BEETLE BAILEY ON PARADE collects some classic early-seventies strips including the introduction of Lt. Flap, the black combat officer whose debut during the height of tensed up race relations actually caused a lotta controversy including STARS AND STRIPES dropping the comic for the second time in their history. After 35 years the Flap strips run about 50/50, with a lotta good gags poking fun at race relations still hitting hard albeit there are a few dudsters that mighta seemed funny back then but are strictly grade-z yawnsville these days (like the one where allegedly-retarded soldier Zero deflates Flap's afro). OPERATION GOOD TIMES features various early-eighties strips, many of which have curvateous Miss Buxley (do any of you remember the proto-Miss Buxley who popped up in the early-sixties, albeit she was more or less a cutesy Mary Tyler Moore type without the overt sexuality) upfront and center (no, I don't mean that!) along with General Halftrack's abounding lust for her. Naturally these strips were done long before BEETLE creator Mort Walker succumbed to feminist demands to drop this funny (and admittedly risque) running gag and although there's nothing hot here like the stuff Walker would later sneak into the strip these comics are va-va-voom enough that they still have me rising to the occasion (no, I don't mean that either!). But seriously, all I gotta say is that if Walker really wanted to create more controversy in his strip he woulda had Flap going after Buxley! Well, that's what Don Fellman said, and I know that's his opinion but frankly I think that would be a little too much for the funnies, even these days!!!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 1:56 PM
Monday, March 06, 2006
UNCLE BOB WITH BILLY FICCA, CB's 313 Gallery 3/5/06
There have always been these strange, some may say "quirky" gigs that have been happening at CBGB and its various stages (not to mention Max's Kansas City during their heyday) ever since the beginning of time (or at least 1974), and even though it's far past the date when such stellar pairings as Blondie opening for Screamin' Jay Hawkins at CB's or Sleepy LaBeef doing the honors for the Cramps at Max's sends thrill chills down the spine at least Hilly's surviving (for now) club still seems to come up with some strange and enticing billing that harkens back to the days of old when Bobby "Boris" Pickett would somehow end up paired with Information, or singer/songwriter Buzzy Lindhart would pop up amidst a more hardcore/altie array of bands including the Lubricated Goat! And frankly, I still get a little tingling feeling when I see these really incongruous billings and interesting slap-dashes pop up once in awhile...kinda flashes me back to the days of the Fillmore when you'd get some jazz or soul act stuck smack dab inna middle of your typical FM hotstuff "The Man Can't Bust Our Music" type acts!
So that's why I tuned in to see Uncle Bob with Billy Ficca last night. And I tuned in amidst a haze as well...y'see, I thought Uncle Bob was gonna be one of those quirky new unnerground rock and roll-y acts that somehow got veteran drummer Ficca into the band in order to boost attendance or something. Since Ficca seems to want to play with just about anybody (and always has...even when he was in Television he did a series of gigs May '75 at CBGB with future cabaret pianist Vanessa Vickers sandwiched in between hard rock power trio Trilogy and David Patrick Kelley and Toivo, Kelley to later star in famed teen gangwar epic THE WARRIORS which had gang fights breaking out right inna theater during its '79 run!), I figured that maybe this setting was more or less Vickers revisited three decades later. And since I wasn't around to get an eyefulla that one (or smart enough to try to get a tape of it) at least I can pride myself on catching this thing before everything goes down the proverbial CBGB toilet, so to speak.
Anyway, to my surprise Uncle Bob wasn't some new group but an actual guy who I guess is Unca B hisself, playing an acoustic guitar backed by a still fit-looking Ficca on bongo drums! Bob looks like one of your typical hipster New Yorker types or something (or nothing)...sings kinda gruff and really was nothing that much different than a lotta the (anti) folksingers who have been playing En Why See for the past twenty years. Nice enough stuff...not anything "for the ages" but then again is music necessarily supposed to be, or is any popular culture for that matter? (I mean, there are a lotta now-forgotten TV shows and rock groups and comic strips that still pack a wallop as far as my personal tastes go, and though they may not "make it" within your parameters they sure feel snugly at home with mine!) Ficca's bongo playing did add a bitta beatno mystique to the proceedings, though for some reason I kept thinking about that bad Percy Dovetonsils updating that Bobby Darin used to do on his show...he being this hippie poet reciting rehash beat verse to a bongo-playing freakazoid! Boy, how such little things as Billy Ficca playing bongo drums bring back the long-hidden tee-vee memories!
Good point: the cover of Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man" which somehow "made it" on an acoustic guitar and bongos level. Bad point: the anti-Bush song. Not that I'm any great fan of the guy though I gotta still say I love him like a big teddy bear (he being the closest to Calvin Coolidge, another fave teddy bear, as we're likely to see in quite some time), but when I hear smug left-leaning humorless young hipster anti-trade tyrants rant against him I can't help but wanna hug and kiss the big galoot perhaps outta spite if anything! Maybe these people should start doing pro-Bush songs...then I could see the whole sickening scene for what it is, and for what its disturbing potential may be.
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 8:04 PM
Sunday, March 05, 2006
BLACK TO COMM BACK ISSUE UPDATE!
Hey, ya wanna know why I keep slapping the front cover of my latest issue (#25) at the beginning of each 'n every one of these periodic back issue postings where I hawk my wares to an unsuspecting blog populace? Well you should. The question is...can any of you should-be-smart-enough BLOG TO COMM readers TAKE A HINT????? Well, I certainly hope so!!! Succumb to your curiousity or taste for the wilder things in rockism and buy a bunch, wontcha???
A few minor changes are in order...issues #11 and 12 are now officially out-of-print, and a couple more of the older ones are heading that way so if you're thinking about ordering some of these mags and keep putting it off because you need the money to refurbish your antique butt plug lemme just say that, in the sage words of Snuffy Smith "time's a'wastin'!" Anyway, right now I'd like to concentrate on moving some of the more recent issues which I believe are the best of the batch although you wouldn't know that given how a few unmitigated rectal rockets out there on the web feel its their sworn duty to badmouth both me and the magazine...well, thankfully TWO can play at that game but until there here's a rundown of what I do have available so browze on and hopefully you'll find something here to your liking more sooner than later...
Anyway, all mags postpaid inna USA...outside please get in touch and ask for rates. And don't forget to make out all payments to "Christopher Stigliano" and send it to 714 Shady Ave., Sharon PA 16146-3149 USA!
BLACK TO COMM #14-The first issue with the new and improved name features part one of the Ron Asheton interview, a nice though could be much better given all the information discovered since piece on the Deviants, an article on Peter Laughner's Cinderella Backstreet and the Seeds. Oh, there's also a piece on Charlemagne Palestine written by someone or other who shall remain nameless forever, and it can all be yours for $5.00 a pop!
BLACK TO COMM #16-This one has the Rudolph Grey interview, some reprints of Peter Laughner things I copped out of old issues of ZEPPELIN and elsewhere, more Electric Eels lyrics with a pic, Laughing Hyenas and of course tributes to the recently departed Lucille Ball and Jim Backus. The first, cruddy version can be had for $2.50, though the better take will cost an extra buck ($3.50 in case you can't add). I also have some "damaged" in a basement flood but still readable (they may either be wrinkled a bit and/or have rusty staples) I'll part with for a mere buck!
BLACK TO COMM #17-The first of the "big" issues has a cover story/interview with Scott Morgan and Gary Rasmussen from the old Scott Morgan band, also inside's an interview with Borbetomagus' Donald Miller as well as one with Maureen Tucker, not to mention pieces on Fish Karma (who I liked until hearing his overly-preachy kiss kiss moosh anti-gun song entitled "God Bless The NRA"), the Dogs (from Detroit, not the French ones or the Flamin' Groovies for that matter!), Rocket From the Tombs (with loads of old photos and the like, some never seen before or since!), the top 25 of heavy metal, METAL MACHINE MUSIC, a piece on the then-new proto-punk reissues and archival digs of the day and the usual reviews and news. Buy a copy for $7.00.
BLACK TO COMM #19-Just found a few of these niceties with my Miriam Linna interview plus one done with Jeff Clayton of Antiseen, not to mention the Pink Fairies, Czech Underground Rock (Plastic People of the Universe, Umela Hmota...), Lester Bangs (unpublished photos too!), NUGGETS, the Shangs, a history of proto-punk fanzines, lotsa old TV stuff and of course the regular departments. This is the first ish to really dig into a lotta the anti-youth fascism mentality so popular in rock circles these days, so sissies beware!!! Since this is getting rare you can have one of these soon-to-be collector's items for $8.00 each if you can believe it! A real steal deal!!!!
BLACK TO COMM #20-This has a Mick Farren (Deviants) interview, a talk with Roky Erickson (!), a Craig Moore (the Gonn!) interview, the Seeds, Richard Meltzer, a retrospective on the DENIM DELINQUENT fanzine, the New York Dolls, an old Adny Shernoff (Dictators) interview done by Greg Prevost in 1978, a Harriet Nelson obituary, loads on old TV shows and the like and of course the usual stuff that makes Dave Lang a hot and bothered honorary marsupial. GUESS WHAT! No more left!
BLACK TO COMM #21-A VON LMO cover story and interview grace this ish, as do interviews with Metal Mike Saunders, Brian McMahon (Electric Eels) and rockabilly star Ronnie Dawson, plus you can read much-desired items on the Trashmen, Velvet Underground and Hawkwind like I knew you would! Not to mention a piece on the infamous TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE fanzine! And all you'll have to do to get it is seperate yourself from $8.00 and send it all to me!!!
BLACK TO COMM #22-The printers (and myself to a degree) messed this one up but it became one of my biggest sellers anyway! Cover story features Alice Cooper, and there's also things on Steve Mackay (Stooges), Umela Hmota in Josef Vondruska's own translated words, a lengthy BACK DOOR MAN history, Jymn Parrett telling us his version of the DENIM DELINQUENT story, the Planets (NYC version), the Sidewinders (Boston version), a warped krautrock history entitled "Krautrock: The Final Solution to the Aryan Question!" and the usual gunk. Plus this one comes with a CD with a hand-decorated by memeME cover numbered and all, featuring Carnal Kitchen (Steve Mackay pre-Stooges!), Umela Hmota, Umela Hmota 3, Dom (post-UH), Rockin' Blewz (early Metal Mike Saunders!), Backsnider (Mike Snider's old band), Milk (early-seventies Cleveland proto-punk glam), Moving Parts and more! If you want it, I have some, but not as many as before so in order to make up for past losses...$15.00 EACH!
BLACK TO COMM #24-This issue's cover feature's a nice interview with Doug Snyder of not only Sick Dick and the Volkswagens fame (the NYC no wave band from the late-seventies lower-Manhattan ka-BOOM!, not the nineties group with the same moniker!) but the Doug Snyder/Bob Thompson DAILY DANCE album which has achieved legendary status long ago, plus there's an interview with the Dogs (Detroit) and Greg Shaw, a piece on the old CAN'T BUY A THRILL fanzine and the usual feature-length reviews and the like. $9.00 gets you one!
BLACK TO COMM #25-The latest, 162 pages brimming with such goodies as a New York City Scene history (featuring interviews with Max's Kansas City's Peter Crowley and Ruby Lynn Reyner from Ruby and the Rednecks plus pieces on coverboys the New York Dolls and VARIETY scene-booster Fred Kirby), an interview with J. D. King (Coachmen, comix) plus one with guitarist Lou Rone, who would probably be best known to you as leader of the early CBGB-era band Cross as well as one-time guitarist for both Kongress and VON LMO, the Screamin' Mee-Mees, CRETINOUS CONTENTIONS, Simply Saucer rare photos, family tree and gigography, rare fanzines of the Golden Age (and more), tons of book and record reviews (which make up the bulk of this ish!), plus a CD with live Simply Saucer 1975, the Coachmen, The Battleship, Ethel with David Nelson Byers and Ruby and the Rednecks. I think it's the best issue so far and if you wanna find out for yourself, send me $10.00 if you order this one with any assortment of other issues, but if you buy it on your lonesome send me an additional $2.00...outside the immediate area add more!!!!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 2:13 PM