AS A NEW DAWN AT BLOG TO COMM APPROACHES...
Hey! Since Sunday is the Lord's Day and He sez that it's OK to goof off even if you do so every other one, I thought I'd do myself a favor and peck out a traditional weekend posting on Saturday evening rather'n the usual Sunday afternoon and throw a whole buncha monkey wrenches into your schedules rather'n mine! True, Sunday PM is usually the most gulcherally-barren time in a person's life when there isn't anything worthwhile to do other'n a coupla weblog posts or stare at the ceiling (oh how I miss the Golden Age of flea markets and garage sales when boffo fifties/sixties gulcher was being tossed off to starved kiddies like myself and at ultra-bargain prices t' boot!), but I figure why should I do tomorrow what I can do tonight and sorta loosen things up for the more important things in life, like digging through my 25+ year collection of fanzines for worthwhile reading material while listing to some heavy duty rockism-approved sounds to back the high energy wordage up! So feel lucky that you're getting your little tidbit of much-needed blogism slightly earlier'n usual even if I'm sure this early post'll throw your entire body clock off worse'n the time change that'll come late October.
And I'm sure you've noticed the striking new layout on this here blog which (as the title of this particular posting will attest to) certainly ushers in a new era of blogging here at BTC!!! So far the votes re. this new blog look are two for and one against, the "yays" seemingly liking the new artzy style while the sole "nay" sez that the blog now looks totally sissy/yuppie which makes me oooh so mad! If I see whoever wrote that nasty thing, you can be sure I'll hit him with my purse! All kidding aside, the reasons I changed the look of my blog are manyfold...first off I wanted to get rid of that weird computer garble that was seemingly permantly stuck at the bottom of each page, secondly I wanted easier access to old (and still needy!) blogposts (as well as the option to link up BLOG TO COMM-approved sites and other sundries on the lefthand column, something which may happen as soon as I get into the swing o' things) and thirdly, I wanted a blog where it was easier for even the stoopidest nimnul to post a comment as well as for people to see how many fellow fans 'n enemies have commented on certain posts just like the rest of those classy blogs out there in notice me land. And believe-it-or-not, but I heartily urge you to comment away to your heart's content if you so desire, and although blogmeister me has to approve every comment that comes my way feel assured that I will let just about any remark that comes my way through, with the proud knowledge that on my own turf I am guaranteed the LAST WORD/LAUGH! So as they used to say, comment away, numbskulls! Let me know what YOU (lower-caste peon you may be) think of this NEW look here at BLOG TO COMM and don't be ashamed to let your opinions be known...after all, I already think you're a doof anyway!!!!
All kidding aside, let's move onto the meatier portion of the blog, mainly the music! And frankly there's not much to report on here because like I said awhile back I've been pinching the pennies as of late and haven't been dragging in the hard-to-find treasures that I usually wax rhapsodic about on this webpage. However, knowing that you readers have tuned in not to hear any of my lame excuses as to why there haven't been any nice yet pricey items winging their way to my door but to read about ROCK & ROLL I decided to pull a few turds outta the toilet and comment on a couple of older items I've had in my collection for quite some time yet probably have not written about on this blog or even the pages of my own desirable fanzine for that matter. But whatever, I'm sure reading about these goodies is a lot more fantastic that staring at a blank screen, although I'm sure a few nogoodniks out there would think otherwise...
Anyway, first on the itinerary are a buncha Cee-Dees that were burnt for me by a Mr. JB of Los Angeles California. I previously remarked to Mr. B that the reason I haven't written about the items he sent me earlier last summer was because the disques in question were having a difficult if impossible time playing on my computer (main form of Cee-Dee playing these days because I can listen whilst browsing!). I also informed Mr. B that if I were to give his wares a good listenin' to I would have to play 'em in the automobile and take a nice long spin at that to allow me enough time, and so, using the patented Stigliano beanie, I did just that and took an extended car trip to Lima Ohio and back, and boy did I give those disques a good in-depth aural scouring in the meanwhile even if I wasted a good three quarters of a tank especially in these OPEC-saturated times.
Anyway, the disques in question were that of Milk 'n Cookies, the legendary yet oft-ignored New York pop rock band whose sole album has been recently re-released on Cee-Dee and reviewed by yours truly here (scroll down as they say) in case you're interested. These recordings were made at some live shows that took place at the famed (and soon to expire) beer dive CBGB during late-'75/early-'76, right around the time when underground rock (read: local/garage/punk/street/original music) was coming into its own, thus sparking a rising tide of new, rough-hewn groups who were making an incredible indent/racket with obvious ties to the mid-sixties who somehow got ignored and reviled by the public at large proving you can fool all the people all the time! Believe-you-me, with all of the high-energy talent and post-Velvet Underground drone that was oozing forth from not only New York City but other burghs in the country and world at the time you woulda thought that newspapers and television stations would've been rushing to cover the clatter and deliver it straight to the front porches of Mr. and Mrs. Ameriga but...unfortunately the people in charge at the time were too far stuck in the peace and love wet dream of the sixties (you know, BILLY JACK rather than Warhol) to pay attention, and some of you wonder why I'm such a crank about this chicanery badmouthing willing accomplices like Anastasia Pantsios every chance I can get! Well, you would too if you were reading the PLAIN DEALER FRIDAY MAGAZINE and hadda put up with Pantsios' tepid appreciation of the dull Cleveland mainstream whilst lying/distorting the truth about the underground pow'r that was going on at the time!
Back to my story...I really gotta say that I enjoy these platters because frankly, Milk 'n Cookies actually sound better here than they do on their album! Of course that same live aura that has made plenty of recordings from clubs such as CBGB and Max's Kansas City back in those portable cassette days pops up here...maybe it's the raw urgency of the thing or just the "typically teenage" yet firmly underground performances, but I sure get the high energy thrill of it all filtered down through my car speakers when I play this the same way I still get chills and excitement when I play a lotta these tapes that I have clinging in my collection...even those early three-piece Talking Heads tapes I have sound boffo even though we all know what a buncha artistes they turned out to be! New York thirtysome years ago was a place to be, and it was all because of groups like Milk 'n Cookies who knew how to do what they were doing (mainly, post-glam pop with the right touch of punk) in a world that on one hand was begging for a new hook, yet on the other was too self-saturated and vain to accept rock & roll in its purest, most primal state. Maybe someday someone will release these tapes along with a whole slew of other mid-seventies New York rarities, but you know that when they do all this stuff will have passed on to the public domain and have little relevance to anything other than a buncha old guys drooling over some recently-discovered tape at the old rockism home. Now I know how all those Big Band maniacs feel getting hold of rare recordings of sixty-plus-year-old Glenn Miller airchecks thinking that it might as well have happened a zillion years ago as far as most people care!
Not much else to blab about music-wise. Still listening to a lotta the older stuff that has been written about over and over again on the blog and in the fanzine, and of course the DICK TRACY mags that I've dug out last post have gotten me back into a comic strip frame of mind and searching out even more thirties-vintage TRACY goodies. In the meanwhile, I came across a few of those late-thirties reprint books (which started popping out in the early-eighties and were plentifold when the Warren Beatty movie came out in '90), mostly a buncha direct reprints of the early TRACY comic books which were a good source of contemporary strips even if they were slightly edited (mostly panels indirectly related to the story) and omit the Sunday strips en toto which can make the stories difficult to follow at times...still, edited TRACY is better than no TRACY and even if, as I've said, these late-thirties sagas merely point to the strip's tension-packed height in the forties, they sure do a good job at it meaning...rather than seeing somebody get shot through the head once every other week you see it once every other month, but anyway it's nice to see that Tracy at least had good aim that early in the game!
Hey, since I couldn't download the Milk 'n Cookies pic I wanted to (and didn't want this post to be wordage only given its boffo new look), I thought I'd present for your edification a pic I was given and make a little contest ("competition" for you overseas readers) out of it! Here's a snap taken from the McKinley Junior High yearbook circa. 1964. Whoever can identify VON LMO in this photo and is the first to do so gets a special prize (hint: it's something I have in stock and try selling to you unaware readers with blatant come ons and links even although nobody out there seems to ever take the bait!). Anyway, get to it you budding Sherlocks out there, and see if you can not only strengthen your own egos, but help me unload a fanzine or two in the process! (Not that you need many clues, since if you "click" the pic you'll get a larger version of it with a readable legend as well! C'mon...even HELEN KELLER could figure this one out!!!)
Saturday, September 30, 2006
AS A NEW DAWN AT BLOG TO COMM APPROACHES...
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Sorry that I've neglected a midweek posting a li'l sooner, but y'see I was having way too much fun celebratin' as I'm sure y'all will unnerstan'. All kiddin' aside, here's a high six yer way detailin' some of the gulcherally significant things that are making my life a little more worthwhile and who knows, maybe they will brighten up yours too if you'll only get yer nose plumb outta the sphincters of way too many navel-gazing arbitors of the new kultur amerindie blogschpielers out there, that is.
1) James Finn Quartet-GREAT SPIRIT CD (Not Two)
OK, once you get'cher eyes offa the picture of the purty gal on this particular post, just stick your orbs back into their sockets and mosey your way down to the review of this under-looked tenor saxist's presumably only release and maybe you'll know why I've been returning to this neo-avant (to coin a phrase) Cee-Dee time and time again. Really grand post-Coltrane sputter with a great backing band keeping a tradition while not falling into a rut, but you can read alla that in the original review, savvy?
2) Les Rallizes Denudes-GREAT WHITE WONDER 4-CD set (Univive)
Mysterious (yet silver-pressed for a change) box set of some Denudes rarities (probably op by the time you read this) ranging from the heavily-productive years of '69 until '77 which certainly were hot shot times for this still can't-believe-they-ever-existed Japanese underground rock band. Quality is good in that portable recorder way that somehow exemplifies the group's primal characteristics (I find '80s/'90s Denudes tapes to be rather disturbing in their clarity as well as audience clatter), and you got me as to why Univive would name this questionable-legality release after the first ever rock bootleg unless they want to draw some truly hidden meaning outta their particular choice of words, but I'd still get it even if they called the thing DROPPING THE BOMB ON AGONY SHORTHAND!
3) DICK TRACY-THE PURPLE CROSS GANG PARTS ONE AND TWO (9/21/36 to 3/7/37) by Chester Gould (softcover books published by Pacific Comics Club, 2002)
Not having read any DICK TRACY reprints since getting my hands on the bone-chilling Flattop Jr. collection a few years back, it sure was a nice change of diapers finding these two recently-reproed TRACY volumes lolling about on the shelves. Being a guy who has become a classic on/off Chester Gould-era TRACY fan o'er the years (heck, I'll even glom the oft-loathed Moon Maid/tough on crime strips which almost everyone out there considered dullsville!) it's always good to get back into the TRACY groove once in awhile whether it be latching onto some relative newies like these or scouring my vast assortment of DICK TRACY MONTHLIES/WEEKLIES that I have stored in a plastic box somewhere in the abode. And these two books are no turdburgers either...although done a few years before the TRACY Golden Age (roughly the forties until the early-sixties, the days of the ultra-grotesque villians and nerve-shattering climaxes coupled with an extreme violence that seems totally verboten in today's wee-wee saturated society) they still deliver the thrill-chill goodies with a bared-wire intensity, in many ways foreshadowing the total madness and hardcore gore that would envelop the strip within a few short years. (And if I'm correct, weren't those the years when women's groups and ministers were taking up collections to have Gould committed with his near-nauseating depictions of burnt corpses and dead bodies lying in pools of blood???)
These stories also show that, as the rumor went, Chester Gould was making up the storylines/plot devices as he was goin' along (!) since the continuity seems a little, er, wobbly unless there was something printed beyond this particular saga that tied all the loose ends up (which I doubt). Por Ejemplo...the rich kid who is captured at the beginning of the story and blabs to Tracy about the criminal Secret Society known as the Purple Cross Gang (no, not another of Lou Rone's old bands!) is convienently forgotten afterwards (I believe he pops back into the picture a short time later, but I'll hafta do some research on that), while a member of the gang who wants to go straight for the sake of his little girl is not pursued by Tracy (who suddenly has a strange metanoia uncharacteristic of the man, perhaps softened by the CHRISTMAS CAROLS he was hearing while tailing the guy!) only to get nabbed later on when Tracy suddenly reverts to his old self in due time. It is strange, because Gould had been building up this particular character in such a sympathetic light that even YOU the unsuspecting reader feel a bit shaken up when Tracy captures the man and starts taunting him with electric chair jibes!
4) CAN'T BUY A THRILL #3 fanzine (Winter 1976-1977 issue edited and published by Russell Desmond)
I've got almost all of my CAN'T BUY A THRILL fanzines packed up in boxes meaning I can't just latch onto a copy with any relative ease when I need to do some mid-seventies rock reference work or just plain ol' read something while settling down during the evening hours. However, I am able to dish out my copy of issue #3 mainly because it was printed on oversize paper and thusly doesn't fit fair and square with the earlier normally proportioned ones. And it's a good thing too because CAN'T BUY A THRILL #3 is a classic slice of just about everything that was RIGHT with not only seventies fanzinedom, but seventies rock-related writing as well with this great intellecto-punk style that even """""I""""" couldn't recreate though I've been seemingly trying for a million years. This ish not only features a rundown of the best and worst of '76 (I still get a kick outta the reference to "Peter Tampon" [Frampton] this far down the line!) but plenty of cool rockism refs and reviews of the latest rock rabble from the Flamin' Groovies, Jonathan Richman, the Ramones and Jefferson Starship (even Artful Dodger get a writeup where they're compared to Big Star!) on down through Danish import Gasolin and loads of other magazine/TV/movie stuff which shows ya that even punk-intellectuals can kick up their feet in front of the boob tube 'n enjoy themselves. Of course there's a lotta that really snide, vulgar and rude seventies fanzine craftsmanship evident here that would make more'n few "enlightened" moderne-day pantywaists cry "racist" but I personally happen to know that Desmond ain't one and you know that his detractors (as well as mine) wouldn't even cross the street to help a member of a minority who was hit by a car so don't you go actin' all HIGH AND MIGHTY!!!! I haven't heard from Desmond ever since the big hurricane hit his home of New Orleans last year, though frankly I must admit that I'm kinda scared to discover the truth...call me chicken, but SOMEDAY I'll get the gumption up to write him a note to see how he's doin'. Until then, if you wanna know more about Desmond and his brainkiddie why don't you scarf up a copy of BLACK TO COMM #24 'n read the entire unexpurgated saga fer yerself!
5) HELP! MAGAZINE (May and September 1965 issues)
These popped up while I was searching through boxes so's I could gather up alls my oversized comic magazines into one place and in the process figured why not take a nice long break and read the things 'stead of doing hard work especially on my day off! Lurching towards the end of Harvey Kurtzman's longest-running editorial position, these later HELP!s continue on their usual witty post-MAD ways despite the absense of once-regulars Bill Elder and Jack Davis. Naturally there's a heavy reliance not only on fumettis but loads of comic art contributed by the future underground standbys who warped their minds on the original MAD a good thirteen years earlier. Heck, even R. Crumb can be seen lurking around in a fumetti saga featuring a Greg Prevost lookalike who goes to a wild party in search of shakes and gets delivered a funnier punchline than the usual boy with long hair gets mistaken for girl jokes being spouted at the time! Oddly enough, John Cleese appears in May's "Christopher's Punctured Romance" as a frazzled adman who becomes enamored by his daughter's "Barbee" doll (the fact that Terry Gilliam was HELP!'s art director at the time and contributing biting satire along the lines of "Buster, Have You Ever Stomped a Nigra?" [a KKK manual spoof that perhaps only THE REALIST coulda gotten away with at the time] of course hasn't gone unnoticed), and if anything you could say that HELP! throughout its entire run was not only the missing link between MAD and NATIONAL LAMPOON as many have surmised, but the spiritual father to both WITZEND and ARCADE with its combination outrage and homage to early comic greats all mooshed together into one nice read for beyond the toilet!
(And how could I forget mentioning Steve Allen's high-larious "Question Man" article, the "Question Man" being one of Allen's old TONIGHT SHOW characters later blatently ripped off by Johnny Carson as "The Great Carnac"! [Some real belly laughs are apparent here such as these gems---"Answer": "Daisy Mae"; "Question": "Do you think Daisy will?" or especially "Answer": "A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou"; "Question": "What's on a cannibal's menu?"---REAL GUFFAW MATERIAL, DONTCHA THINK???] Now I gotta admit that I'm not nor have ever been a big fan of Allen, but these "Question Man" gags got me laughin' harder'n anything that Comedy Central would dare to air 'n y'know why??? They're funny! Now how about that!)
6) JUSTIN RAIMONDO'S LATEST COLUMN
This former High Six winner delivers another salvo that wows me to no end as Raimondo sometimes does, and although my site ain't exactly a politically-oriented blog (nor am I a political person) I was somehow overcome by it enough to be moved to something after reading the man's particular views which amazingly enough mirror my own, so he must be smart, right?
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 3:17 PM
Sunday, September 24, 2006
After shooting my load with the past two posts all I gotta say is that I honestly don't have that much to lay down for you eager beaver BLOG TO COMM followers this Sunday morn. I've been pinching the pennies a little tighter'n usual so I must confess that I don't have any real new offerings to write about in a vain attempt to somehow validify my life to people I don't even know, and I don't think you're actually champing at the bit to read over and over again about some of the oldies but moldies that have been getting spun here at the BLOG TO COMM HQ in the interim, right? (However, at least one of my current faveraves will be sneaking its way into the following postschpiel, dontcha worry!) And not only that, but I never received my copy of STRAW DOGS (a film that has been on my gotta watch list for quite some time) from some shifty ebay dealer and thus have initiated an inquiry into the matter, which is why you won't be seeing a review of that famed explosion of violent frenzy for quite some time. (Though I might just dish out for the Criterion edition of this still-controversial film, at least after I get back some of the moolah spent on producing a load of fanzines back during the days of my misspent youth, that is.)
I will say this, and that is that one thing that has been lighting a fire underneath my buttocks as of this past week has been the Rock's Back Pages site that Lindsay Hutton hipped us all to a short while back. Hutton ain't no mutton, and being a fellow who's starved for the finer things in life (mainly high-energy rockscribe ideasplurt from the fanzine Golden Age as well as classy rockist brainiac musings from the general Golden Age of Rock Criticism, both of which incidentally coincided) I actually dished out fifty smackers for a year's subscription to the site and have not winced yet. Whatcha get here's a load of pertinent (to the BLOG TO COMM mindset) rock writing to choose from and while there's a lot missing (mainly rare fanzine quips and quibbles) and plenty of dross (too much moderne-day wisenheimering you can read for free elsehwere, if you wanted to) you still get enough of the good gunch from classic NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS ranting and ravings (Mick Farren on Hawkwind's '74 US tour, early Roxy Music rah-rahs) to some "how'd I miss that???" obscurities from the likes of Lenny Kaye's review of the first Stooges disque in FUSION and all of those rare Metal Mike Saunders pieces I've been yearning to read for EONS only I hadda go'n pay big bucks for old SHAKIN' STREET GAZETTEs before finding this site! But it's nice to have access to Rock's Back Pages anyway and y'know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna copy all of the articles and reviews that fit in with my own horse-blindered appreciation of what rock & roll music is (mainly writeups of albums and groups utilizing a lotsa Velvet Underground comparisons laid down by longtime BLOG TO COMM approved faves amongst others) and put 'em in a big binder which I will title A HEAPING LOAD OF REVIEWS WITH NEAT INSIDE REFERENCES TO THE VELVET UNDERGROUND AND OTHER THINGS THAT AFFIX THEMSELVES TO MY HORSE-BLINDERED VIEW OF WHAT ROCK & ROLL IS SUPPOSED TO BE ALL ABOUT and I'll stick it on the shelf next to TWENTY MINUTE FANDANGOS AND FOREVER CHANGES, THE ROCK REVOLUTION and all those other rockism reads that soothe my senses after being inundated with too many moderne-type blogblurts dealing with "crucial" and "relevant" eighties underground music I long-ditched. But then again, aligning yourself with a total Trotskyite comsymp like Christopher Hitchens (not forgetting that li'l Dutch shite Theo Van Gogh) will do "something" to a fellow's so-called "libertarian" (more like "neocon") outlook on life and music as well as other things, eh Jay? At least you know my head's on straight with my frequent namedropping of the REAL mavericks of today like Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis (rip), Paul Craig Roberts, Justin Raimondo and CHRONICLES magazine...COMRADE!!!
Anyway,the recent arrival of Rock's Back Pages into my life has inadvertently caused me to do at least one surprisingly change-of-rut thing in my life, and that is to re-reevaluate none other than the fourth Amon Duul II album entitled CARNIVAL IN BABYLON (check out this blog...there's a review of it here somewhere...). Being a fellow who pretty much ditched that disque in favor of the following WOLF CITY (which I thought had more of a teutonic putsch to it), I've decided to give the platter yet another turn after reading a review of WOLF CITY by Wayne Robins (a critic whom I could take or leave...he's OK but not gonzoid or anything) in the pages of a '73 issue of CREEM I don't even own (!) and y'know, amidst all of the slick seventies references to kraut porno chainthrills that you would've expected in CREEM at the time came an assessment of the band and the album which, although unfavorable to WOLF CITY, was more or less positive to its predecessor calling it "punk rock Stravinsky." Since such out-there terminologies always seemed to strike me in a positive, rockism-assuring way (especially when spouted from a pre-punk point-of-view as opposed to in a pUnQUe cheapo commercial fashion) I naturally started digging my copy from out and under and y'know what? CARNIVAL IN BABYLON really is a fine and dandy punk rock of an early-seventies variety album that, despite the obvious references to '67 San Francisco pre-noodle, still ranks as a pretty good platter that would've snuggled nicely asides your Stooges and NUGGETS albums, given you were into punkism record collecting at the time! It, as do all the early Amon Duul II records, comes highly recommended for those of you looking for a little switch from the standard grind of things (but just a "little" switch, remember!).
Maybe when something lights a bigger fire in my shorts I'll pop off another post your way. Until then, how about playing one of the great platters mentioned in the previous post of 100 ALBUMS THAT JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE NEVER HEARD OF with none other than me in mind! It would be fitting!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 11:51 AM
Friday, September 22, 2006
THIS LIST OF 100 TOP ALBUMS ACTUALLY PUT HAIR ON MY CHEST (and it can do the same for you, Ann Powers!)
OK, ignore the adolescent glee found in the above, for this here's a list (an idea I swiped from an internet rival of mine whom I loathe in order to one up him which isn't hard to do) consisting of the 100 bestest albums (rock 'n otherwise w/an emphasis on the former) that truly made me the beloved blogger of reknown that I am and shall remain despite the efforts of a few sanctimonious pudges out there. Really, each and every one of these albums (all from the age of vinyl with only one-non-LP release [a cassette-only affair from '86, still within the confines of the plastic age albeit a bit late]) are recordings that had me jumping up and down with umbridled joy when I'd obsessively spin them repeatedly night after night for weeks on end, and in sharing my faves with you I can only hope that YOU TOO will become the lunatic I was and make a fool of yourselves in your fart-encrusted bedrooms considering how you want to emulate me to the fullest! Argue and bicker if you will (you know where to comment!), but this is definitely the best (and most impartial!) listing of albums that have created the BLOG TO COMM o-mind-geared gulcher that we all revel in, and any complaints to the contrary would be pure blasphemy, dontcha think (but go ahead, comment and be prepared to be shot down!). The labels listed below do not necessarily indicate the US version of these discs but of the items in question which are wallowing in the serenity of my collection (perhaps).
1) THE VELVET UNDERGROUND AND NICO (Verve)
2) Pink Floyd-THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN (British version) (EMI/Columbia)
3) THE STOOGES (Electra)
4) Various Artists-NUGGETS (Sire)
5) Brian Sands-REHEATED CHOCOLATE TANGOES (Bizart)
6) Various Artists-NO NEW YORK (Antilles)
7) The Stooges-FUNHOUSE (Electra)
8) Von Lmo-FUTURE LANGUAGE (Strazar)
9) YOKO ONO/PLASTIC ONO BAND (Apple)
10) Albert Ayler-BELLS (ESP-Disk)
11) The Deviants-PTOOFF! (Sire)
12) SUICIDE (Red Star)
13) THE NEW YORK DOLLS (Mercury)
14) Eno-HERE COME THE WARM JETS (Island)
15) The Pink Fairies-WHAT A BUNCH OF SWEETIES (Polydor)
16) Amon Duul II-PHALLUS DEI (Liberty)
17) T. Rex-ELECTRIC WARRIOR (Reprise)
18) The Stooges-RAW POWER (Columbia)
19) Hawkwind-DOREMI FASOL LATIDO (United Artists)
20) Various Artists-LIVE AT CBGB'S (Atlantic)
21) Pere Ubu-THE MODERN DANCE (Blank)
22) DUST (Kama Sutra)
23) MX-80 Sound-OUT OF THE TUNNEL (Ralph)
24) THE RAMONES (Sire)
25) Hackamore Brick-ONE KISS LEADS TO ANOTHER (Kama Sutra)
26) The Velvet Underground-WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT (Verve)
27) Patti Smith-HORSES (Arista)
28) Robert Calvert-CAPTAIN LOCKHEED AND THE STARFIGHTERS (United Artists)
29) THE FABULOUS WAILERS (Golden Crest)
30) Iggy and the Stooges-METALLIC KO (Skydog)
31) The Flamin' Groovies-SHAKE SOME ACTION (Sire)
32) Amon Duul-PARADIESWARTS DUUL (Ohr)
33) Big Brother and the Holding Company-CHEAP THRILLS (Columbia)
34) THE DICTATORS GO GIRL CRAZY (Epic)
35) The Droogs-KINGDOM DAY (PVC)
36) PEBBLES VOLUME 3: THE ACID GALLERY (BFD)
37) Cecil Taylor-NEFERTITI, THE BEAUTIFUL ONE HAS COME (Arista/Freedom)
38) PETER LAUGHNER (Coolie)
39) WILDFLOWERS VOLUMES 1 THROUGH FIVE (Douglas) (OK, this should count as five entries but they work as such a cohesive whole, and for cohesive holes as well!)
40) Black Sabbath-PARANOID (Vertigo)
41) Alice Cooper-KILLER (Warner Brothers)
42) The Thirteenth Floor Elevators-EASTER EVERYWHERE (Drop Out)
43) ROXY MUSIC (Reprise)
44) MC5-KICK OUT THE JAMS (Electra)
45) THE FUGS FIRST ALBUM (ESP-Disk)
46) Simply Saucer-CYBORGS REVISITED (Mole)
47) THE MODERN LOVERS (Berzerkley)
48) Tony Williams Lifetime-EMERGENCY (Verve)
49) Lou Reed-METAL MACHINE MUSIC (RCA)
50) Stan Freberg-A CHILD'S GARDEN OF FREBERG (Capitol)
51) Can-MONSTER MOVIE (Spoon)
52) Various Artists-BACK FROM THE GRAVE VOLUME ONE (Crypt)
53) The Mothers of Invention-WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH (Bizarre/Reprise)
54) The Velvet Underground-LOADED (Cotillion)
55) O-TYPE (Quadruped)
56) Alice Cooper-LOVE IT TO DEATH (Straight/Warner Brothers)
57) INTRODUCING THE SONICS (a.k.a. ORIGINAL NORTHWEST PUNK) (Jerden/First American)
58) Kim Fowley-ANIMAL GOD OF THE STREETS (Skydog)
59) The Flamin' Groovies-TEENAGE HEAD (Kama Sutra)
60) John Fahey-BREAKDOWNS, DEATH CHANTS AND MILITARY WALTZES (Takoma)
61) Sparks-PROPAGANDA (Island)
62) The Dictators-BLOODBROTHERS (Asylum)
63) John Coltrane-ASCENSION (Impulse)
64) The Velvet Underground-SWEET SISTER RAY (no label)
65) The Who-WHO'S ZOO (TMOQ)
66) John Cale/Terry Riley-CHURCH OF ANTHRAX (CBS)
67) The Byrds-FIFTH DIMENSION (Columbia)
68) FAIRPORT CONVENTION (Polydor)
69) THE SIDEWINDERS (RCA)
70) Brian Eno-DISCREET MUSIC (Obscure)
71) MX-80 Sound-CROWD CONTROL (Ralph)
72) Zappa/Beefheart-CONFIDENTIAL (Wizardo)
73) Kevin Ayers-JOY OF A TOY (Harvest)
74) Patti Smith Group-RADIO ETHIOPIA (Arista)
75) The Red Crayola-THE PARABLE OF ARABLE LAND (Radar)
76) Bob Dylan-ROYAL ALBERT HALL (TMOQ)
77) Be-Bop Deluxe-FUTURAMA (Harvest)
78) The Zantees-OUT FOR KICKS (Bomp)
79) Hawkwind-SPACE RITUAL (United Artists)
80) Unholy Modal Rounders/Michael Hurley etc.-HAVE MOICY! (Rounder)
81) The Plastic People of the Universe-EGON BONDY'S HAPPY HEARTS CLUB BANNED (Bozi Myln)
82) Amon Duul-DISASTER (BASF)
83) David Bowie-LOW (RCA)
84) NEU! (Germanofon)
85) MAX'S KANSAS CITY VOLUME ONE (Ram)
86) Link Wray-MISSING LINKS VOLUMES ONE THROUGH FOUR (Norton)
87) The Styrenes-GIRL CRAZY (Mustard)
88) SADISTIC MIKA BAND (US version) (Harvest)
89) Chrome-HALF MACHINE LIP MOVES (Siren)
90) Red Krayola-GOD BLESS THE RED KRAYOLA AND ALL WHO SAIL WITH IT (Radar)
91) MOBY GRAPE (Date)
92) Sun Ra-IT'S AFTER THE END OF THE WORLD (MPS/BASF)
93) Various Artists-SUBTERANNEAN MODERN (side two only) (Ralph)
94) John Lennon and Yoko Ono-UNFINISHED MUSIC NUMBER TWO-LIFE WITH THE LIONS (Zapple)
95) MONTAGE (Laurie)
96) THE RASPBERRIES (Capitol)
97) Sonny Sharrock-MONKEY-POCKIE-BOO (Affinity)
98) Tyrannosaurus Rex-A BEGINNING (A&M)
99) Sparks-KIMONO MY HOUSE (Island)
100) Kraftwerk-AUTOBAHN (Vertigo)
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 4:39 PM
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The Industrial Jazz Group-HARD CORE CD (Ugly Rug)
Y'know, I wouldn't be taking the imminent demise of CBGB so hard if I hadn't been in touch with their three performing stages thanks to the miracle of cybercasting. But no, I hadda go upscale in the world and more or less re-acquaint myself with the vast array of musical styles (some good, most sucky) that are traipsing around the alternative muzak world, and whaddya know but I got HOOKED. So, thinking of a future where there's no CBGB and thus nothing to tune into on some lonesome evening when even the records ain't curing the blahs seems pretty bleak indeed. Sure most of the time there was nothing to choose from other'n some alternative mewl or folkie whine, but when the energy was being brandished about the whole place seemed to be on the brink of total eruption!
However, as I've said, perhaps my favorite CBGB moments o'er the past half-decade of tuning in have been the live avant garde jazz shows that were going down at the CBGB Lounge on Sunday/Wednesday nights. True they had a number of less 'n appealing acts there but then again the aforementioned eruption was more'n likely to have happened during one of the many great avant-jazz sets featuring the legendary alongsides the nobodies, and since I couldn't name for you a truly duff act to have played the Freestyle Series (now taking place at Jimmy's Restaurant) off the top of my thinned-out head that must PROVE that the entire shebang had a whole lot more good going for it than bad! Anyway, I only have to thank Dee Pop for his hard work and effort getting all of those great bands and long-ignored acts onto the stage of the lounge, not only helping out a lotta deserving avant meisters but adding fuel to my own mad musical obsessions in the process!
Anyway, I remember when this El Lay-based jazz act was front and center for the CBGB Lounge stage sometime before Hilly Kristel asked Pop to vacate the premises in a vain attempt to drum up public support for the place with a lotta high-profile shows. Personally I don't see how anything can be more high profile than brain-searing avant jazz, but I guess Hilly knew what he was doing. Anyway, I believe I decided not to tune in the Industrial Jazz Group after I read on the web somewhere that they seemed to owe a lot to the Zappa UNCLE MEAT sound which I gotta say ain't lighting my fire even when done by various krautrock jazzsters, and judging from their debut CD I don't think I missed that much given this band's meshing of mid-fifties West Coast cool jazzster roots with tads of avant sprinkle here/there and of course the large freak quotient that might have satisfied me in my mid-teens but seems like old hat unless old hands like Captain Beefheart are doing the mangling. Maybe I'm mis-judging them (I have done that on ultra-rare occasions) and I gotta say that there is a lotta merit to the Industrial Jazz Group sound, but like Bill Shute once told me ages back, "Why would anybody want to listen to Jim Morrison after they've heard Kim Fowley?" And after hearing a whole slew of modern day avant music that has been documented at the Freestyle Series I dunno why anyone would wanna listen to this! Oh well, it'll probably soak in one of these days. Ask me in a year.
MORE ON McGUIRE: having the luxury of my own internet weblog has guaranteed me at least one thing, and that is that more people have the potential to come in contact with my works via the web than they do through the printed matter, which of course is fine and dandy in its own form and transcends the computer screen on many an occasion, but the plain unmitigated FACT that there's now a bigger potential for me to find out about obscure bands that I've longed to know about for years or perhaps get in touch with former fanzine moguls surely sends thrills down my spine. That's why I was certainly buzzed when I got a little missive from a fellow who, having tuned into my Wayne McGuire post (a writeup that I must admit I'm very PROUD of), actually 'fesses up to that fact that he actually knew the guy and has allowed me to print (anonymously) his personal recollections which you can easily enough read below. Anyway, thanks must go to the email-writer who has helped clear up at least a little bit of the mystery surrounding McGuire although many questions do remain...like what did Wayne look like, and what books and magazines did he read and what records laid about in his collection as well as many more pertinent points that'll surely hit the grey matter as time rolls by. Anyway, read on for some interesting revelatory facts:
i 1st met him working at the Paperback Booksmith warehouse in the late 60s. he was interesting (altho no one could quite figure out what he was talking about with his "life cell" stuff), but difficult & often belligerent. i sort of like to make a project of penetrating the defences (or whatever) of such people, so we became friends. i used to visit him & Catherine in Somerville. btw, Kit is/was smarter than Wayne; he always tacitly accepted what she said (which wasnt much though). she was a fascinating woman in many ways, and she was his rock. she had a great influence on me. and he toughened me up with his sporadic attempts to destabilize my opinions; to make me see that i hadn't really thought them out (he failed). i have to say that he could really be very nice most of the time, but seemed to have a demon at other times. i enjoyed knowing him and considered him a friend.
misc facts: he went to Colby college in Maine and got straight A's, then transferred to Harvard. i lost touch after that, but i think he decided Harvard wasnt worth it. and he had started writing music reviews and fooling around w/ Macintoshs... we went to V Underground concert in the Boston Tea Party (??), and we visited Lou Reed back stage. Lou stared intently at me, which i think was his intent to hit on me. i'm not of that persuasion, and in any case for me it was a study of people who thought they were at the very center of things (an illusion).
i have no idea what happened to him after that.
Try back this weekend for a fresh update.
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 6:48 PM
Sunday, September 17, 2006
MAY THE REUNION BE PRESERVED!
The big punk rock reunion gigs started popping up sometime in the nineties, but at this point in the rock/roll spectrum they certainly seem to be going on full steam ahead! My guess as to the reason why this happens to be is that with the hip baby boom punkers starting to get into their bald chrome dome/potbellied crises, and with all of that upper-mid class moolahroolla they've got from their white collar jobs just waiting to be spent, and with their recent divorces and yearnings for a simpler, more copasetic time in life there's nothing better for 'em to do than to rush back whole hog into their past lives and re-live those thrilling days of yesteryear when there really was such a thing as an "International Youth Culture" that sorta spoke the massive drone language beyond borders and otherwise impenetrable barriers.
And you know it's true, like when Nick Nicholas of Clone records resurrected the Bizarros after his split from wifey (ditto Jymn Parrett's brief return to the fanzine front a decade back after he and longtime partner/DENIM DELINQUENT cohabitist Dee Daack parted company), or the Stooges and Rocket From the Tombs touring and recording even though they shoulda been doing such things back when they didn't hafta dye their hair (or had hair for that matter!), or even the renewed interest in loads of groups and various rockism idiosyncrasies that only I thought was pretty much a part and parcel of my own life sphere...y'know, back when I was yammering on about a whole slew of decade-old "first wave" underground snappers in the pages of my own BLACK TO COMM (then PHFUDD!) fanzine while the rest of my self-published compatriates were more or less enthralled by the latest Homestead/SST promotion package to fling their way. (Not that I wasn't going ga-ga over the reams of freebies from these and other labels that were heading to my doorstep with some regularity twenny years back, but I sure got the message that in no way did DC3 or Live Skull replace Mirrors or the MC5 in the panthenon of high-energy mindsear.) So yeah, it's no big revelation to point out to you the plain simple fact that the revival of the punk rock revival is in full gear, and don't blink because it sure seems a lot more palatable than the nineties homophilia revival which is bound to take you by storm sometime in the next few weeks.
Of course, one of the reasons for this revival frenzy going on is the imminent demise of CBGB which has more than a few old timey scenewatchers muttering "end of an era" with slung breasts and broken hearts. And given that the countdown to the noted beerdive's last-ever hoot is taking place as we speak you KNOW that there's gonna be a whole lotta bands both near and far cramming the stages of the various CB-run outlets in order to bid their fond adieus. Both Flipper and the Dead Kennedys are planning to represent the eighties portion of the punk equation with performances next week, but last Friday night was pretty much seventies salutations all the way.
Didn't get to catch the entire evening (actually, I hadda get up extra-early the next day and wasn't looking forward to the prospect of negative-four hours sleep that night!) but I did get to catch most of the reason I was tuning in, mainly the enticing reunion of none other'n THE PLANETS that was going down at the club which, come to think of it, is also going down as well. In case you don't know who these Planets are (or have them confused with the English early-eighties band with the same moniker or perhaps some other heavenly bodies of note) you can read all about 'em in BLACK TO COMM #22 which is still available from me, especially if you click the highlighted title which will take you to a post with the answer to ALL your questions (howzat for yet another not-so-subtle hint???). It promised to be a biggie of a night in itself, not only with the Planets performing but Bill Popp and the Tapes (survivors from the last days of Max's Kansas City who surprisingly enough never did split up!), the Boyfriends (ex-Poppees, with some guy from the Records sitting in somewhere!) and the Heat (Planets singer Tally Tallifarro's late-seventies punk band whom you can read about in the aforementioned article) also tearing up the torn-beyond-belief awlready stage, and I only wish that I coulda been front and center for this gig live 'n in the flesh 'n all, but the way things are I guess I'll just hafta put up with being stuck on the fringe of Sharon Pee-Yay gulcher with shoddy cybercast quality that at least connects with all of those swinging people over New York City way.
Actually, the computer was acting pretty nice and fine when unbilled opening act the Tender Mercies were doing their late-seventies power pop thingie, but when it was time for the Planets to hit the stage I hadda keep re-upping the live stream thus catching their set in nice little pieces. But I got to admit that it was boffo to see Binky Phillips (who now has short hair which I guess was dyed for the occasion and kinda stocky-lookin' as well, sorta reminding me of a drive-time talk dee-jay) back on the CBGB stage after years of absence (at least since his fine late-eighties power trio that had me jumping up and down despite his ex-label Caroline's natural lethargy). However, other'n he and lead singer Talliafarro appearing that night there were no other original Planets (mainly, bassist Tony Jones and drummer Steve Korff) to be found. Some guy named Jim Wiseman played the bass while the "School of Rock"'s Desmond Sullivan filled in on rhythm guitar and helping Talliafarro out on vocals was a Phil Solomon who looked like a refugee from some eighties tattoo-punk band and certainly not in tune with the Planets' more metallic oomph-rock (but he was, which proves Bo Diddley's old dictum that you can't judge a man by looking at his tattoos!). Oh, and on drums was none other than Ritchie Teeter of the late-seventies Dictators which at least was a pleasant surprise...glad to see him breaking out of the cover band trap he was in a decade ago!
Talliafarro himself was a surprise as well, getting a special introduction from the band (kinda like the one Ruby Lynn Reyner got when I caught a cybercast of her about four years back!) comin' up on stage complete with dreadlocks hanging all the way down his back. (Somehow I expected him to have avoided the music/hip and cool scene all these years, perhaps becoming an accountant or somethin'!) However, the biggest surprise itself was the music...NONE of the Planets' classic odes to Lois Lane, nor their UFO-esque version of Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody" or even that great summer-y Sidewinders-esque "Wish That It Were True" ended up getting performed once and for all (or maybe they saved all that after my computer conked out for good). Starting off with "Shadow Box" (which I believe is a cover...sounds a lot like the Dolls' "Chatterbox" and I know I've heard it somewhere...) and going all the way down through such "chestnuts" as "Sonic Reducer", "Search and Destroy", "Bad Girl" and even a revved-up "Train 'kept a Rollin", the Planets surely had the audience (which included former scenester/New York Dolls Peter Jordan) in the palm of their hands, but I was hoping for something a little more closer to those days of olde when the Planets could probably draw only about ten or so friends and acquaintances before the WORD got out. Still, it was powerful, high energy and fun watching Talliafarro and Solomon trading off choruses of some of our fave standbys and seemingly having about as much fun as I was jumping up and down in my playpen!
And if you want to see a snap of what Phillips looked like back when the Planets were a front-and-center hard-edged entity on the scene, just click here and you'll be satisfied!
Just who was that bloke who was disturbing my self-absorption by calling me up last Thursday night anyway? Well, it wasn't Chuck Eddy just to tell me how much he loved me, it was EDGAR BREAU of all people! Yes, the infamous Canadian primitive/primate gave me a ring, and boy did he have a good reason for doing so...mainly to break to me the news that yeah, SIMPLY SAUCER IS INDEED REFORMING!!!! and in fact have played their first of many reunion gigs by the time you read this!!! The details are sketchy (as was my mind), but I guess that former Saucer rhythm guitarist Steve Parks caught Edgar performing solo in Montreal (where I assume Parks is now residing...you can never tell about these things!) and well, one thing led to another and all, and anyway with longtime Saucer/Breau crony Kevin Christoff in the fold as well as a new drum-basher the Saucer is indeed alive and kicking, not only performing their old hits but some new numbuhs as well! And Mr. Breau even told me that they're thinking of getting a new electronics player in order to re-create that original space-y Saucer sound! Not Ping Romany, who I guess is way outta the scene and living the Newfie life somewhere, but no matter who will be minding the synths I certainly think that the addition of electronics to the Saucer sound will be the best thing to happen to avant rock since Eno discovered tape recorders! And Edgar is really excited about performing and all, tellin' me that although he's in his fifties now he feels just the way he did as a busting-out young man playing these songs live for unappreciative audiences who shoulda known better!
And what REALLY gets me all hot 'n bothered about the Breau call is that the man actually had the gentlemanly courtesy to ask ME (certainly a peon next to the massive might of Mr. B...in fact a mere flea in the world of his existence) how I was doing!!! I mean, it really jazzed me when Edgar really seemed concerned enough to find out how my life was going which was great considering how 99.44% of you Pee-Yews out there could care less if I got hit by a bus fulla rock critics on the way to a REO Speedwagon reunion! It really does my heart good to know that sometimes, some of the big people out there are looking out for the mere amoebas in life like myself. And some say chivalry is dead! Lemmee tell you, Edgar's call and his concern for my well being really made my day (but not night...I was so excited I couldn't get to sleep!) and I would say that it was perhaps one of the highlights of the year, at least next to Lou Rone's telephone calls but at least he calls on the weekends when I stay up late anyway!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 1:09 PM
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Machine Gun-MACHINE GUN, OPEN FIRE CDs (Muworks)
Do any of you ever get into one of those certain jags in life, the kind where there's something in music or culture or whatever which captivates your imagination and permeates every waking moment of your life to the point where nothing else seems to matter (from food to human relationships etc.)one bit? Y'know, those mad obsessions that begin when you happen to hear a certain record or see a movie or even glance upon a certain person or object for that matter and all of a sudden your mind is triggered into fulfilling some sort of desire or thirst whether it be wanting to know EVERYTHING about a certain band, or television show, or actress or even long-gone pop art stylistic changes for that matter, and this particular quest for knowledge and just WANTING TO KNOW slips through even into your by-now feverish dreams to the point where music and image are portrayed even more vividly than they could ever hope to be in real life. Yeah, I know that some of you more "mentally capable" readers out there would think that only a lamebrained dunce such as myself could lose control of his cranial capacities to the point of letting his obsessive/compulsiveness get the better of him, but lemme tell you, it's those very same compulsions that got me outta whatever life ruts there have been in order to seek and find, and ultimately DO SOMETHING outside of just be a passive bystander in this thing we call life. Heck, if it weren't for such all-enveloping musical obsessions as the ones I've had towards garage band music (late-fifties onwards) or first-wave Cleveland underground rock or Velvets experimentation and application thereof (all of which intermingle I might add), there probably wouldn't have ever been a BLACK TO COMM fanzine let along me as an influential and highly sought after (hah!) rock chronologist such as I, which I'll bet makes you wish that someone would have pumped the seretonin straight into my grey room in order to SPARE you from my self-absorbed, half-cocked ravings, eh?
My latest musical trip happens NOT to be garage dorkism or unapologetic Velvets devotion but the great seventies/eighties rock/free jazz crux that certainly was a rare bird even during those days when we (as ears-wide-open listeners) should have known all about it! Well. it does have more of a spiritual crunch as far as my fantasies go these days, at least to the point where I've been digging deep into my collection to play certain trackage created by people who in fact helped the seemingly to some netherworlds of no wave mania and loft jazz intertwine to the point where I don't see how anyone could question the Marzette Watts LP on ESP as being a true punk rock classic, or at least Pharoah Sanders' TAUHID. And yeah, I know that may sound ridiculous to some, but just take a look at the past twennysome years of avant-punk jazz drainage and don't tell me that Sonny Sharrock wasn't more of a punk rocker than Dave Lang will ever be!
But Machine Gun were perhaps as perfect a mooshing of free jazz strategies on punk rock terrain as you can get, even more so then their spiritual forebearers Material (the '79/'80 band when people like Sharrock and Billy Bang were considered front-and-center members), Last Exit, Phillip Wilson's Magic, Luther Thomas' Dazz not forgetting such other well-meaning aggregates from the Contortions and Red Transistor down through the Stooges' FUNHOUSE and beyond. After all, take some avant-leaning jazz guys (one a former Lionel Hampton sideman/arranger!) and have some of the best outta work free jazz legends of the sixties/seventies play along, and who could doubt that some of the best non-tuxedo'd jazz to be heard in a long time will not flow forth! Machine Gun was perhaps the best rock/avant jazz hybrid heard in a long time (and certainly in the late-eighties when a dolt like me sure needed it!) at least until Earth People and Noisetet but then again who knows how many obscurities I've missed who were also treading the same waters anyway only to be ignored by folks like myself who never knew about 'em in the first place, or by the wide array of "'zine" publishers who were more concerned with wiping (or doing something else to, as in "lick lick!") Gerard Cosloy's and Patrick Amory's sphincters than with propagating the wild world of fire music.
Got two of the three Machine Gun offerings that've been unleashed to an alternative-brainwashed public that was more concerned with the precious panderings of whatever the "big" labels were churning out than the Big Beat (which is why Machine Gun were probably about as popular as...BLACK TO COMM during those supposedly brave, indie-minded days!), and I "may" have reviewed Cee-Dee #2 OPEN FIRE before in the mages of my erstwhile publication but I can't remember. And frankly I'm not going to go combing through hundreds of pages of mummified musical rants to see exactly what I did or did not write about this one because that was all then and this is then too but we'll speak as if it's NOW. Anyhoo, for fans of late-seventies loft jazz and no wave wonders wishing the two would crossbreed, Machine Gun is probably the answer to your wildest dreams with Tom Chapin (no relation I think to the Harry guy or mebbee so for all I know!), the former Hampton arranger on saxophone and flute, guitarist Robert Musso stretching out some decidedly non-Al DeMeola lines as well as thumping on one of those multi-range six-string bass guitars that add all those wild thunks and thuds like Lasswell used to do in Last Exit, Jair-Rohm Parker-Wells on regular four-string bass, Bill Bryant on drums and John Richey manning not only the tape decks but doing some spoken-word interjections that I personally think are the weakest link in the band (the recitations, at least) but it's not like I'm gonna lead a campaign to have him tarred and feathered!
One of the more exciting things about Machine Gun (named after the infamous Peter Brotzmann album that had free ears turning Europewards back in the late-sixties) are their SPECIAL GUESTS who've turned up on both of these disques, each recorded in live settings but not really live albums per se. Both of these platters contain the appearance of the great Sonny Sharrock (the group's spiritual big daddy, and it even says so in the booklet notes to OPEN FIRE!) whose presence on angular guitar certainly locks in on the overall Machine Gun sound in a way that I've imagined the four-piece mid-'80 Material did when they were still basically a progressive garage band. Also turning up, at least on the self-titled debut is none other than Karl Berger, the famous European multi-instrumentalist of ESP-disk fame pictured on the right who coincidentally has played with Sharrock before at least on the Watts album and who, in his seventies, is still active on the New York jazz scene and has even been caught vibraphoning it up with the Earth People at the CBGB Gallery at this late stage in the game which is a lot hipper'n sitting on a folding chair in some Florida resthome reading SENIOR CITIZENS NEWS AND VIEWS dontcha think? The weird thing about Berger's Machine Gun appearances is that the instrument he's playing on these live from CBGB tracks isn't his standard modes of melody namely the vibraphone or piano, but a melodica! Yeah, one of those keyboards you blow into at the end (as I used to say about 'em at age seven...seems that at every birthday party I went to at that age SOMEBODY was getting a melodica as a present!) that sounds like a sick one-note accordion! Well, having a living legend like Berger playing a melodica (and contributing some vocal) on a live sesh such as this is about as mythical/mystical as Pharoah Sanders playing tambourine and nothing but on that Arista/Freedom Dave Burrell album, and maybe Berger's presence on these numbers does add a certain, addled charm!
But what does it matter anyway as Machine Gun blurs the boundaries like the best music does with its no wave bleat intermingled with free jazz sputum all blanketed in a mad Burroughsian tape cutup worthy of the Bob James ESP disc. Total eruption music that doesn't dare fall into the usual fusion gimmicks or harken back to overused free jazz ripoff #320, in fact sounding good enough that you KNOW it coulda stood the test of time, or at least coulda withstood both the artiest and punkiest of New York's roughest audiences alike!
Debut CD is shorter but still sweet, with some classic avant moves and even a good Ornette Coleman riff-rip that's done up just differently enough to avoid lawsuit. OPEN FIRE is longer and perhaps even more strained/tense, and although both Sharrock and Berger sat it out for the third one I'm still gonna try to pick it up one of these years.
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 1:48 PM
Sunday, September 10, 2006
MOOM PITCHER REVIEW: DELIVERANCE (directed by John Boorman, 1972)
The passing mention of this film in regards to how your humble blogschpieler wouldn't mind seeing none other than "fellow" blogfuhrer Jay Hinman acting out the Ned Beatty role with the hillbillies not far from the rump of the matter (all laid down somewhere in the vast reaches of my previous post) had me hot on the heels of searching out my own personal copy of DELIVERANCE if only to get a better unnerstandin' of what the whole hubbub about that pig ridin' scene was about (amongst other things, of course!). I may've seen the film on tee-vee way back when but you know what the nets used to do to these features bowderizin' 'em for general consumption (at least when they had a thing about not offending mid-amerigan sensibilities, that is). In the tee-vee version, the hillbilly merely insults Beatty makin' him roll around in the dirt in his undies...which sorta makes about as much sense as Dustin Hoffman merely teaching the bad guys a "lesson" by slappin' 'em silly in the tube take of STRAW DOGS (a future BLOG TO COMM subject matter) or Gary Grimes and Jennifer O'Neill "dancing" in SUMMER OF '42. And I dunno about you, but I sure miss those days of yore when you could easily turn on the set and not expect a load of UNCENSORED crud comin' your way that only seems to exist to devour, nay, DEMOLISH the everyday nowhere bloke who turns on the box for a little escapism from the inadequecies of everyday life, y'know?
Anyway, even I can remember just how much DELIVERANCE was making a hugeoid impact on the collective psyches of movie-going Ameriga back when it came out smack-dab inna middle of perhaps the second greatest film era (at least since the talkies) during the early seventies (I'd argue that this second Golden Age lasted at least until STAR WARS mucked up the cinematic clime a few years later, but that's another arguement!). "Dueling Banjos" was being played all over the place and the opening scene where Ronnie Cox gets out-played by some halfwit mountain boy was even spoofed on BIG CHUCK AND HOULIHAN and probably THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW for all I know, and hey, I recall hearing about the aforementioned mountain man run-in during those tender teenage years (and from my cousin in fact!), first of all being told that it was co-star Burt Reynolds himself who got the reaming, and second being led to believe that the scene was a lot more graphic than it actually was thinkin' that there was blood spurting out from Beatty's hole and up-close penetration shots'n all that disgusting stuff that must prove I'm a homophobe since I will admit this scene, and the way it was portrayed 'n not relayed to me third-hand, does make me cringe just thinkin' about it!
(Speaking of homo-bashing even of the slightest incidental kind, while combing the web looking for background info regarding DELIVERANCE I came acoss this writeup where the on-line reviewer chides the film for its outdated and downright evil anti-gay stance! REALLY!!!! I mean, whoever wrote the review was totally apopleptic about how "homosexuality" [as opposed to rape!] was portrayed in the moom as if DELIVERANCE was some sorta great anti-homosexual screed making me wonder just how said "critic" would have written the scene himself...with Beatty, all filled with hetero guilt, willingly giving himself to the humiliating hillbilly??? I mean, here a guy is being RAPED, and some pink-leaning lavender-loving self-professed film scholar is cutting the thing down because he perceives it as being derougatory towards homos! Maybe he sees the hillbilly as a gay man [which is probably not the case, this more or less being a revenge rape in the purest prison sense] but I gotta say that if a reviewer feels that somehow DELIVERANCE is making an anti-gay/sodomy statement with this scene then he's obviously been attending too many sensitivity seminars or perhaps teaches quite a few of 'em himself! The mind boggles, not only at how deviancy in all forms has been made to come off as a mere "choice" in life, but how people who end up as victims because of such deviancy are somehow made to look like the evil ones!)
But enough bunghole bungling...once you get down to it DELIVERANCE is a good enough draw-you-in saga that could have something to do with some ideals regarding certain masculinity "myths" that people have tried to tear down for a few decades awlready, or it's a mere update on those old Jack London stories I've been told to read when I was a kid so's I wouldn't end up looking like a complete doofus. But whatever it is it sure fits in swell with the aforementioned early/mid-seventies Golden Age of cinema gone gonz. Four suburban Atlanta professional types (played by Reynolds who was then at the height of his popularity, self-confessed Jew-beater Jon Voight, Beatty [who kinda does looke more like Dave Lang than D. Boon does making the rape scene more meaningful] in his first film role and nada character actor Ronny Cox) hit the wild country 'stead of the golf course for the weekend in search of hunting and canoeing whilst wandering right into the land of nature gone awry and telephone-pole family trees in the process. Admittedly the story does get a little slow when you see the guys camping out and acting manly for each other, but the trek into unknown dangers helps kick up the heart-pace to the point where even you (jaded "seen-it-all-before" filmgoer) can get a little queasy watching Beatty's hershey highway get trafficjammed, or the city guys seemingly getting beaten to smithereens while rushing the rapids as a canoe gets crunched in half and the guys kinda reconsider the last-minute plea of Voight that maybe hitting the links again this weekend wouldn't've been such a bad idea after all!
Not being a fella who's much of a "fan" of recent cinematic excursions (in fact, being a guy who hasn't even set foot in a theater in almost two decades), I can easily say that at least films such as DELIVERANCE as well as much of the seventies fare I have seen have a certain dark edge that has sorely been lacking in a lotta pop culture for quite some time. Maybe it was this era (which spawned a load of top-notch high-intensity filmfare) that was the final Hollywood swan-song before the whole industry toppled into hackdom and ultimately self-conscious political priggishness, and if so maybe it's time for a real film revival, not one of empty self-consciousness, endless remakes and pallid, self-generated controversy, but one of HIGH ENERGY and nerve-twisting intensity. Heck, that's another reactionary movement I can get myself tuned into!
IN OTHER NEWS: just got hold of a promo package from Gulcher featuring two li'l items I'm sure you'll all wanna know about. Mykal Xul's GIZMOS MY WAY is a great tribute to the infamous Kenne Highland et. al. gonzo rock crit band of the seventies that, despite the advent of thirty years of "technology" and "people knowing better" still retains the great mid-seventies punk drive that made the Gizmos household names, at least in households with subscriptions to HUSTLER magazine. Now, none of the songs that made the Gizmos famous are here...in a surprise move this 'un consists of nothin' but unreleased Gizmo wares that might have been done by the Afrika Korps or maybe even Slickee Boys somewhere down the line but you can't deny that the spirit of Kenne and Krew has leeched itself onto Xul's brain (and it has...just take a look at the guy's face!) giving this disque a suburban garage sprawl so real that you can just see the bikes piled up inna corner as Xul and band start to play. The surprise hit of the late summer season, even if it only clocks in at a half-hour!
Also on Gulcher comes 12 Cent Donkey's WHERE THERE ARE NO ROADS. With a name like 12 Cent Donkey I kinda figured that none other'n Eddie Flowers had a hand in their signin' (I figured that because these avant/noise/ambient/experimental outings on Gulcher tend to reflect what I perceive as Flowers' current musical tastes which veer towards the weird!) and since ol' Alabammy himself was responsible for the cover graphics I'm pretty positive that the man had more'n a "little" imput into this thing. Whaddeva, WHERE THERE ARE NO ROADS is a "peculiar" release, sorta like bedroom rock with hefty Eno-era MUSIC FOR COMAS sound mixed with an Art Ensemble (Malachi Favors-styled zither plucking) feel and some acoustic Amon Duul I folkiedoms actually clinging onto your psyche with relative ease! Kinda reminds me of the groove I was into during the late-seventies when things like Obscure Records and John Cage seemed to mean as much to me as the Standells and heck even Patti Smith did, and a few years later I thought I was nuts for listening to this avantspew in the first place when I coulda been devoting myself 100% to the rock & roll big beat! Maybe I was right or wrong...who knows, but 12 Cent Donkey sure dredge up the memories!
I was speaking of Eno earlier, and perhaps because I wanted to give a listen to his later "rock" albums again I got hold of the now outta-print ENOBOX in order to do a little re-educatin'. I dunno about you, but I still find NO NEW YORK Eno's last bright moment, right around the same time he was also getting into the proto-new age gunk he's best known for as well as the popwave productions that seemed like the right thing to do when he was working with Television in '75, but oh-so-pretentious when working with U2 and Talking Heads a half-decade later. It was obvious even in the mid-seventies when he was still popular as a rock icon that Eno's rock star era was starting to come to a close which is probably why his last two rock disques ANOTHER GREEN WORLD and BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE still don't hold up as well as HERE COME THE WARM JETS and TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN (BY STRATEGY) continue to. (By the way, both of those albums are compiled on disque #1 but are edited down for some odd reason so even if you get the box set, don't throw away yer originals!) And surprisingly enough, even when Eno's doing his Velvet Underground/punk thing (like on "King's Lead Hat" or while working with Snatch) he just seems like he's paving the way for eighties dance art and the tiresome David Byrne collaborations that appear on disque three. Stick with the originals, though this might be worth picking up if only for the rare gem "Seven Deadly Finns."
ALSO HEARD: Peter Brotzmann's MACHINE GUN CD (FMP), Freedomland's YIA YIA'S SONG CD-R (Rent Control), Tangerine Dream's ELECTRONIC MEDITATION CD (Castle Communications) and lots of Doodles as well. And, believe it or not, but I have changed my mind w/regards to a previously tossed off disque, mainly O-Type's WESTERN CLASSICS CD which sounds more like up-to-date MX-80-isms the more I listen to it and might just become an all-time top-spin here at the offices one of these days. Bruce Anderson/Dale Sophiea fans might want to give the new Family Vineyard box set consisting of all of their work for the label as well as an unreleased DVD a looksee even if you do have all the original disques like I do. (Which is not an indication that I will or won't buy this box set considering the tight reins I have to put on my pocketbook these days, but I must admit that this po' boy does find the idea of an Anderson/Sophiea box set mighty tasty indeed!)
ATTEMPTED TO HEAR Lenny Kaye at the CB's 313 Gallery last Friday night. Sheesh, with the club's days winding down to a precious few you would at least hoped someone would've left the sound on (it had been on for the previous act, some folk-rockers who called themselves the Ric Flairs) but for some reason it was cut for Kaye's solo electric guitar set and considering how many more opportunities I will have left to tune into these cybercasts you can bet I was madder than Ken Shimamoto at a World War II Bataan Death March Survivors reunion. And yeah, I had high hopes that maybe Kaye and Richard Robinson would have resurrected Man Ray for at least one gig, but even the prospects of a solo Kaye gig was too much to hope for to begin with...I would've at least hoped for sound, but I got to see Kaye in a striped shirt, worn jeans and red hair (!) and believe-you-me that was worth tuning in for. I only hope that no snafus doth occur while I try to catch a rare PLANETS reunion next Friday hopefully transpiring on the main CBGB stage!
Before I split, just wanted to share a few You Tube things wit' cha! The first one's an early Otto Von Ruggins video from '81 (the number in question's taken from the MUSICAL VIEWERS EP he did with Robert Crash) while the second is Lou Rone and Triple Cross from '89 or so, Lou's last live appearance on a stage as I hear! Watch up, and if you're lucky maybe I'll do a little mid-week posting for a change!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 12:04 PM
Sunday, September 03, 2006
UGLY THINGS #24 (not a fanzine anymore)
Back when I was a gulcher-absorbing tee-vee addicted suburban kiddie perhaps not that different than you, our fambly had a dog we called Sam. He was a dalmatian who, although particularly handsome and perhaps even show-worthy despite a large black blotch of spots that ran together on his chest (a pedigree no-no) was either way doltish or sly beyond belief depending on the situation. (Sam never did seem to have complete control of his nether-regions even in his spring chicken days [meaning: the days he'd attack and eat chickens in the spring] to the point of urinating all over the place when over-excited or because he didn't like the way my cousin smelled or something like that, though he was crafty enough to know how to snitch tasty food from the kitchen counter and turn the portable heater on full blast, something which us kids were being blamed for during those cold winter months until the dog was caught in the act nudging the dial with his front right paw!).
Anyway, Sam had a reputation for being a particularly vicious pooch, and not only towards people outside the usual family circle but within the household as well. Take f'rinstance the various times we'd give Sam a leather smoky-flavored chew-stick to chomp on...now these leather sticks were meant for your dog to teethe, perhaps ridding himself of deeply-held frustrations in the process and eventually discarding within a period of time, but in Sam's case he would take the entire stick, hold it between his front paws and mercilessly chew on the dang thing until he had totally eaten it! It would take hours upon end, but Sam would devour the piece of leather slowly but surely putting every bit of his mind and energy to obliterating the tasty piece of cowhide pretty much in the same fashion his ancestors would devour a dried out carcass in the blazing sun.
And one thing was sure, and that was you didn't dare disturb Sam during his hours-long chew-stick sessions or you would be in for an intense growling that sounded life-threatening and evil beyond belief, like a screech from a hound of Hell greeting you on the banks of the River Styx (howzat for a fine example of my stellar eighth-grade-level descriptive writing!). Once for some long-forgotten reason my mother instructed me to take the stick away from Sam, and I'm sure that I barely escaped his deep-seated rage with all fingers intact (and without the stick, mind you)! Another time on Christmas day when Sam was chomping away at one of his gifts, I mistakenly bumped into his hind leg whilst he was squatting in front of the tee-vee and once again incurred his feral wrath! Let's face it, there were some days when you just didn't mess around with Sam, and chew-stick days were but just one!
(For those of you who might think that I'm a typical fanzoonie coward having lowered myself to the beast I should let you know that Sam didn't always go away unpunished. A day or two later when Sam would be in a better, chew-stick-less mood, I would coax him over to wherever I happened to be standing with high-pitched googly sounds and then, right when Sam wouldn't expect it, put the mutt into a hammerlock hold learned from tee-vee wrestling and deliver to him a succession of noogies, nose-punches/fingernail scrapes, lip-twists, full-blast ear growls and whisker pulls in order to teach him a lesson for having dared attack me, or passing gas while the family was watching the tube and other not-so-minor infractions. Yes, no bad deed went unturned in the Stigliano household which is probably one of the reason that Sam wouldn't even go near me for weeks on end at a time given the well-deserved whallopings that would surely be in store for him!)
Four paragraphs later you're probably wondering what all of this has to do with the latest issue of UGLY THINGS anyways. Well, let's just say that what the chew-stick was to Sam an issue of UGLY THINGS is to me! Yes, with the decline and fall of the seventies/early-eighties fanzine generation (forget all about the ninetes other'n one lone issue of KICKS and of course the leading light of that decade, namely BLACK TO COMM, the rest of which was a pathetic excuse for high-energy reading material despite the loads of hype surrounding a pre-internet "'zine explosion") there just ain't as much buzzing going about on the printed page as there used to be. And face it Frank, with once-honored reads such as the aforementioned KICKS and BOMP having bit the dust long ago, let's just say that bowel-moving time just ain't what it used to be back when those two mighty publications were alive and thunderin'! And not being the kinda guy who likes to hold bowels in for a long time, it sure is a relief to get hold of these new UGLY THINGS lest I turn into the living embodiement of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "Constipation Blues"!!!
No Misunderstood saga continuation this time (and I wanted to hear about Rick Brown's rash!), but izza nice one as well and once I get over all the jealousy of not being able to crank out a magazine like this myself (I never did get the adspace or backers or general huzzuh that eddytor Mike Stax did---it must've been his nifty hair that did it!) its easy to get into the meat and potatoes of the thing or in this case a chicken fried steak with mashed tots 'n gravy served up to you by none other'n Guy Wilkerson himself! And don't think that I was able to read through the entire kahuna despite my Sam-like devotion to the mag...heck, I'm still sifting through the past seven issues of UGLY THINGS and even a six-trip Chinese Buffet toidy session ain't enough time to absorb (maybe I should think of another term...after all, UT ain't no two-ply version of MOST rock reading material one sees these days!) one paragraph, let alone article in a typical issue of this grand mag.
So, what's innit??? Plenty within the 208 sparkling pages and that don't even include the four-color glossy cover with all those ads for the likes of Norton and Sundazed (a label I've long hated because they never put me on their promo list...not true, I'm only saying that to piss off Jay Hinman) including a load of rock sagas on groups past (Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band, an interview conducted by onetime BLACK TO COMM contributor [not quite!] Phil Milstein) and paster (San Diego faves the Bush, the Mustangs of "That's for Sure" fame) plus other fine flotsam such as part uno of a fantab history of the Rubber City Rebels (and I guess a CD filled with nothing but pre-Rebels metallic thud courtesy Bold Chicken is now available via the Smog Veil label!) and other big steaming hunks of loads more that'll keep your head spinning and have jealous fanzine wonks sending Stax packages of cookies with untraceable poisons in 'em...believe me, this mag is THAT good!
And like I said, I haven't devoured this chew-stick to the utmost, but I saw what I saw and I liked it too...more interesting parts include the bits on Dean Kohler (any relation to Brad?) and his South Vietnamese band the Electrical Banana (the one that covered the Velvet Underground's "There She Goes Again" live in the jungles of the war-ravaged nation fully documented on ALIENS, PSYCHOS AND WILD THINGS), The Move, the Phantom Brothers (interviewed by none other'n Fearless Leader himself, probably because he LOOKS the way Olgerd Wokock did in 1965!) and the proverbial MORE. One big surprise within these pages was the in-depth and heart-tugging piece on the recent Sire-era Flamin' Groovies reissues (with plenty of eye-opening quotes from the likes of Greg Shaw and Don Waller via BACK DOOR MAN fanzine, the latter name dropped only to bug the living daylights outta Hinman again, y'know) that was written by a fellow from Australia (portal to Hell as Don Howland once said) named David Laing. Yes, I too was about to fling my copy into the garbage disposal when I saw that moniker emblazoned across the page until I realized that although this was a Dave Laing and a Dave Laing from Australia to boot, it wasn't a Dave Lang (note spelling) and in fact this particular Laing used to write me letters, send me Dog Meat albums (since that twas his label!) and tell me what a good sport I used to be before he unceremoniously cut me off just like every other terwilliger did when my own fanzine began a more, uh, erratic publishing schedule. But whatever you do, if you see this man, please, DON'T aim for the base of the heart!
Loads more goodies here (imagine a classic issue of BOMP multiplied ten-fold) including that perv Swede (another BTC wagon-jumper) named Johan Kugelberg writing about what he calls the all-time best issue of any fanzine, in this case WHO PUT THE BOMP #8 if solely for the Lester Bangs Troggs epic which still sends tingles of thrills down the spine of at least one Swede out there. (Personally I think Mr. K is slightly off the mark since the best-ever no-bout-a-doubt-it single issue of any fanzine would just have to be the TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE one with the unspeakable act being performed onna cover where Nick Tosches' review of the Mellow Fellows' SNORTIN' and R. Evan Circiel's take on Crazy Horse's ROCK & ROLL MUSIC TO THE WORLD appear side by side...or maybe CRETINOUS CONTENTIONS #2 or the DENIM DELINQUENT with the closeup of Iggy's face onna cover and blurry nude snaps inside would beat out that particular BOMP out, but not that it matters.) The little bit on the recording of Blue Cheer's VINCEBUS ERUPTUM got my juicy juices flowing which kills me because Stax was ragging on them in an early issue of his then-fanzine, but what really got me all hot and bothered like Sam on those days where he'd break outta the place to roam the neighborhood environs amongst other things is the RECORD (er, Cee-Dee) REVIEW SECTION where people like me get to see what new goodies're out there or better yet what old garb redone for the 21st century has been (re)issued before we can spring it onto boobs like you as if we've discovered this stuff ourselves outta whole wheat bread! And believe it or not, but there are loads of recently-released sixties/seventies wares out there these days that I know that I and probably you will want to hear down the line even if we can't afford it all, but who says that we can't at least drool over the tasty reviews (which are getting better as of late) just as much as we're salivatin' over the prospect of more sixties rant the way Sam would leave strings of drool all over the furniture. One big soo-prize here's a review of a Scatman Crothers disque written by guess-who-but Bill Shute who I guess is making his grand-re-entrance to the Real World after living under a rock for the past umpteen years! Of course, I don't see him flinging any much-needed scribing my way even though sales of BLACK TO COMM had plummeted since his abrupt departure from the masthead...wassamatter, too good for me these days???, but at least the guy is still ALIVE and maybe that's all that counts right now.
In all, UGLY THINGS is a mighty good 'un once I get beyond my usual fits of envy and oneupmanship, and if there are any flaws in the thing I'd have to go through it with a fine-tooth hair-clogged comb to find any. Well, there is ONE huge pimple of a fox pas right smack dab in the center of the opening schpiel that (naturally) got my goat, the one where Stax responds to noted turdbiter Hinman's assessment of how UGLY THINGS writes only about bands that are "footnotes" in the pantheon of what we know as rock & roll! (Y'know, as if Hinman's faves such as the Wooden Gyps or whatever they're called and Franz Ferd'nand are exactly burning up the charts, but then again the Yardbirds were nothing but peons next to the Flesheaters, right Jayzey?). Anyway, in rightfully retorting these bogus trumped-up charges (something of what Hinman is noted for doing as I should know FIRST HAND) Stax has the unmitigated gall to say that even though he has better tastes than Hinman (true, but so did Sam!), he "respects" his opinions which drives me nuts and reminds me of that whole seventies-era living-free and smiling on your brother no matter how evil he may be morality I was hoping the punks would've buried for GOOD! Mike, why cantcha just say that you too would like to see Jay get the hillbilly treatment straight outta DELIVERANCE and quit this so-called delusional mutual respect jive? Yeah, I know you got the last word in with the little jibe at Jay's tastes, but if you think that's enough you're sorely mistaken. Heck, even Sam woulda pissed on the guy, and rightfully so!
In other news...not much happening on the front as I try to battle off excessive work strain and a general collapse waiting to happen. (All of which is affecting my writing capabilities and general enthusiasm as I'm sure you can easily tell.) Anyway, I keep reading about people my age who are starting to drop off thanks to heart attacks wondering when my number will be called up, and given that the work grind, the home grind and the exercise grind aren't doing me any good (even with a daily gym workout my weight remains stable though now my armpits tend to smell like a week-dead rabbit someone found in the tool-shed on a stifling summer day...how I wish mine smelled like McDonalds hamburgers just like everyone else's!) who knows when that'll be, perhaps more sooner than later but given the range of classic fanzines I must read and music I definitely should head I hope it's as late as possible. You readers are free to pray...any way you want. Some may say that it's my paranoia at work, others the large amts. of caffeine ingested daily, but when I lay awake in bed waiting to drop off and suddenly some searing pain hits me in the chest I dunno whether it's the fried eggplant I had at the restaurant attempting to be digested into slow-burning number two or the big 'un waiting to go off. Whatever, I must admit that I do feel the frazzle of life coming upon me, and while I cannot live the sorta existence that I know I was made out for (mainly that of a decadent millionaire in the J. Paul Getty III vein but with both ears intact), I guess I'll have to do what I am doing until something better, like death, comes along!
In other other news...I've been working my way through a series of DVD-Rs I've received as of late, one (Jean-Michel Basquiet's DOWNTOWN '81) which was reviewed last post in case you're interested. The Ornette Coleman sampler I have is engrossing enough although doesn't play smoothly on my computer (I have no proper DVD-player at this time and would love for Santa Claus to send one my way...I'm willing to wait three-plus months too along with a much-needed turntable and stereo-system!), but from what I can make out Ornette and Company are worth the money if only for the black & white footage of the 1974 band with James Blood Ulmer (which unfortunately keeps stopping and re-starting on my player making for a worse viewing experience akin to settling down for a real good and equally fidgety cybercast from one of the soon-doomed CBGB clubs). Fortunately my other DVD-Rs from the same Canadian salesman with good taste have given me nil problems...the Peter Brotzmann disques are magnif showing the ultra-bellowing kraut in fine form whether playing with fellow Germans or the jazz-punk supergroup Last Exit (sorta like seventies fusion for WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT fans) or with historic jazz percussionist Milford Graves and arco bassist William Parker live at CB's 313 Gallery a few Easters back. Even more eye opening are the two volumes of UNDER THE UNDERGROUND that appear on one shiny pancake...I think the original tape from whence this DVD-R is culled originated in Japan but whatever, this sampler is made up of live in En Why See (mostly at Max's Kansas City) performances from a variety of underground/punk/whatever types ranging from no wave (Contortions, Von Lmo) to punky (Heartbreakers) to rockabilly (Buzz & the Flyers) and gnu wave (the Model Citizens, who I must admit I couldn't stand to watch and who seem to have gotten all the cliches one could find in late-seventies underground rock and milked them for all it was worth). Surprisingly interesting were the pre-mohawk Plasmatics when they wore their no wave influences on their sleeves (much to the dismay of Von Lmo, who actually confronted Wendy O'Williams head on one evening!), Von Lmo and band doing "Flying Saucers '88 (which I saw before!), the Contortions right after Adele Bertei and George Scott left doing "I Can't Stand Myself" (sounding very thin as most live tapes of the time do, but still a nice slice of lower Manhattan art), the Heartbreakers surprisingly lucid enough and finally the Mikki Zone (ex-Fast) Zoo with Mikki playing some interesting arty guitar lines with pencils of all things kinda coming off like a punk Jimi Hendrix!
Got some more interesting things to gab about from a recent Gulcher package to some long-festering Cee-Dees and even a moom pitcher or two (and I must thank Lou Rone for sending me not one but TWO DVD-Rs of his band Triple Cross playing various New York hotspots in the eighties, but neither of 'em play on my box...the thought was nice anyway, Lou!), but that'll all have to wait until another go 'round. So ta-ta for now, and don't forget getting hold of your own chew-sticks in order to occupy your time!
(One this is the last, trust me! closing note: perhaps you've noticed that the "enetations" comment box that used to be smack dab at the bottom of each and every BLOG TO COMM page has finally been eradicated. Good riddance I say...given my inability to find my way around a template I was never able to stick a comment box before or after each post where they should be, and besides that [or perhaps because of that] that "comments page" had become nothing but a place for spammers to plug their wares anyway [along with anonymous nay-wayers which is fine with me...I always need a good laugh!]. Obtaining a blogger-approved comment section which can be accessed by simply clicking on the pound sign after every post helped out plenty and made the enetations page obsolete, though for some strange reason I kept the enetations one perhaps because I didn't want to mess up the template. Well, after much thought and trial/error I did a little finagling here and there and voila the stupid comment box that I never could correctly place where it should've been was finally gone, only to be replaced by a stupider mass of computer nonsense I can't quite eliminate[+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Add things to your sidebar here. Use the format: Link Text+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-->] that makes about as much sense as some of the reviews I was writing while under the influence of extremely strong painkillers! Notes to the people at blogger have been to no avail [they probably think I've cried wolf once too often], so until I do get rid of this mess please excuse the eyesore.)
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 11:51 AM