Saturday, March 24, 2007

CEE-DEE REVIEWS (and other musical expressions for uncompromising gormandizers)

Nada much happening (as usual), or at least nothing that would concern you, so without further adoo-doo...

The Star Spangles-DIRTY BOMB CD (Tic, available via CD Baby)

I was wonderin' what happened to this rather bright foursome ever since their debut LP, er, cee-dee hit the boards thanks to the surprisingly good grace of Capitol Records ("Home of the Beatles" as Nat King Cole learned to his disgust!) a coupla years back. Well, according to the hypesheet it looks as if EMI in general and Capitol in particular ain't selling these hotcakes as fast as they'd like and thus are in the process of doing a little bitta downsizing themselves! Rumor has it that it was either ax the Star Spangles or Jerry Vale and guess who got ingloriously excised from the company's rosters??? Well, it ain't ol' Jer I'll tell ya that!

But whatever, the second album by these outta nowhere galoots is finally available and it's a pretty good 'un too...not as good as their debut splatter but so what! It's still a bigger treat than listening to one of those waxed-up zombies you see on AMERICAN IDOL with that sorta Fab Four meets the Heartbreakers sound tossed about with that eighties/nineties thingie to it that doesn't quite sound on the ultra-pura (I just made that term up...snazzy eh?) but it sure goes down smoother'n most of the outta nowhere garbanzos you come across today who made the entire idea of recording in your garage and putting your mewlings to public scrutiny a total travesty!

Tommy Volume is still in the band as is Ian Wilson, but the other two fled for safer havens probably due to the trauma of having EMI ignore their rather noble efforts. Anyway, they're not pictured anywhere on the album or the promo snap and they've been replaced anyway which might lead one to think that there is some animosity either on their or the still-remaining Spangles' part, or better yet both. I dunno, but it sure looks like the Spangles are still a working entity, and to make things even more tasty they actually got famed somethingorother Ian McLaglen and MX-80 saxophonist Rich Stim to do some session work oh this! Sounds great, eh? I wonder how Volume and Wilson managed to pull a stunning trick such as that off!

Frankly, the really best part of the entire enchilada (at least for this blogger) is not the music (which is nice enough, but perhaps a one-spin only affair for at least the rest of the decade) but Richard Meltzer's fantastic promo notes which shows that the guy can still run rings around dweebus dolts one-third this octogenarian's age! Not only do these great notes (which explain the mystery of the departed Spangles with Valentine splitting for the likes of the Angry Samoans and bassist Pud Resnifoff dying after a television set fell on him) are what someone like myself would call hi-larious and after a good thirty-plus years of reading him I gotta admit that I still groove to the way Meltzer can mix up past references (ie. his fabled INTERNATIONAL SOUP MUSEUM which not only features in its "Late Great Wing" such longtime favorite flavors as "Prenatal Tabby" and "Tiparillo 'n' Bloodworm" but that infamous tummy-tickler Nebraska Style Clam Chowder ["made not with a tomato or dairy stock but --how genius-- turpentine"] all of which should be rather tasty as part of a healthy lunch or dinner accompanied by a sarsap of your choice!!!) which he does in the segment on the consciousness-razing movement known as GARAGE ROCKERS FOR STATEHOOD whose common goal is to make Vermont the 49th state! Along with the Spangles in tow (considering how TWO count-'em Spangles have hailed from that state-to-be, most notable Wilson from Rutland and Volume from Onan, a suburb of Burlington) we can also expect such other well-known garage bands the likes of Prostitusion (no sic), Aquafish, the Ratsqueezers, Taming Power the Great and more to take to the cause so that Vermonters can enjoy the same rights and privileges as normal Amerigans like you and me. What's really funny about this whole screed on Meltzer's part is that one of these bands, the Ratsqueezers, were FOR REAL and in fact on one of Meltzer's old KPFK HEPCATS FROM HELL radio shows (with Eddie Flowers, Rich Coffee and Coffee's girlfriend as guests) Meltzer played a track from a reel-to-reel by these 'squeezers whom he met at a Stooges concert and whose arms Meltzer autographed! The un-named track sounded really spiffy, like early-seventies punk rock with a sorta Peter Laughner plays Crazy Horse verve to it with Stooge-influx to make it all the more a fine period-piece. How do I know? Well, at one time I was planning on BOOTLEGGING the track myself as part of an elpee of early/mid-seventies punk rarities that were moiling away in my collection and needed to become a part of yours. Naturally my good sense prevailed and the project was hodgepodged into the disque that came with each and every copy of my own dear BLACK TO COMM #22 (totally LEGAL mind ya!) which is my gain but our loss in case you didn't know!

George Brigman-RAGS IN SKULL CD (Bona Fide)

Scary cover, eh? Well, if you ask me the entire recording is pretty scary! Good scary mind you...not that goblins and ghosts stuff that used to give you so many nightmares back in the single-digit days. Anyway, this is Brigman's latest where the once missing-in-action guitar hero on Pee-YAY notoriety explores more of that Groundhogs-derived great white heavy metal blues warpage coming off like the long-forgotten early-eighties flea market find you passed on, though Rick Noll was smart enough to snatch up for mere pennies at that! Tasteful guitar playing that sounds good but not overly-self conscious. Think Zappa after taking a bath or Glenn Phillips without the soft introspection and maybe you'll get the drift. Kinda reminds me of one of those "new album of the week" plays your local free-form/pre-"classic" rock stations used to spin Saturday nights with budget-conscious listeners taping away, never to be heard on that station again!

The Screamin' Mee-Mees and Hot Scott Fischer-WARP SESSIONS 1972/1973 2-CD set (Gulcher)

Y'know, I'm kinda surprised that the two Slippytown CD-Rs of this material have finally made it out on silver platters for your dining and dancing pleasure because, like it took Eddie Flowers a good three years for him to sell the original presses of these classic freakout rock sides featuring noted garage band the Screamin' Mee-Mees making a racket with famed "gonzo" rock scribe Hot Scott Fischer (of classic-CREEM, PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE, BLACK TO COMM and EUROCK fame) helping out. As far as I was concerned, it was only a testimonial to the sad state of current rockism affairs where such wild improv rock that people woulda gobbled up only a decade or two back (during the Golden Age of Gotta Hear EVERYTHING Underground!) would nary make a ripple in these here jaded Oh-Ohs! Well, let's just say you now have a second chance to hear these early-seventies spazzmodial sides with the duo of Cole and Ashline cranking away on the cheapest instruments imaginable as special guest artist Fischer helps out on vocals and various string-driven things and if you were me you woulda bought it the first chance you got but thank goodniz for small favors.

Low-fidelity and low-mentality playing permeate on this one, where you can hear some of the best bleed-through and distortion to hit the boards in a pretty long time. Makes Mike Rep sound like Mantovani! And oh those liner notes! I wish I could have printed something like that (wait...I did!!!).

PUNK #20 (a magazine ya dummy!)


Keeping up with not only the times but with the primal punk past, the latest issue of PUNK's got not only loads of punkism past, but the present as well. This current ish features a bounty of such goodies as a Ron Asheton interview (not as good as the first one I ran back in the late-eighties but fine nonetheless), rare Iggy photos from Max's, loads on Sid and Nancy (once again shedding new light on what might or might not have happened...like the George Reeves saga, you be the judge!) and stuff on a new punk band called the Rats who sound a lot more promising than a lotta the flybynight nobodies you've seen and heard for the past few decades! And this stuff alone makes PUNK a top winner in the reading dept. for 2007, especially since no new issue of BLACK TO COMM is ready to see the light of day at this time!

One big negative regarding this issue just has to be the Jayne County interview! Now, I gotta admit that I like County's music at least some of the time, but man does she come off like a shrill old-time lefty in this one! I mean, not only is County interviewed by some flaming (and now dead) sycophant who still seems to buy into that old MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL hippie line (not that there's anything wrong with being a fan of your interview subject, but there IS something evil in the entire communist/hippie credo that I thought the seventies punks stood squarely against!) but even at this late date County shameless trots out all the old ultra-leftoid propaganda you've heard directed at yourself over and over again to the point of nausea making you wonder what year this is anyway! (But wait, aren't the late-oh-ohs becoming the early-seventies all over again???) Now I've been told that PUNK editor John Holmstrom's a staunch right winger (even more'n me on a few ishes), but why he'd publish in his once-staunchly anti-PC pages a County interview is beyond me since I was under the impression he hated the glammier aspects of punk proper and the likes of Jayne County in particular (Holmstron being firmly ensconsed in the Dictators mode of things). And you just gotta wonder what someone the intelligent caliber of pal J. D. King would think about Holmstrom's seemingly 180-degree turnaround anyway??? Was it just Holmstrom playing up to a dying contributor's wishes, or someone's idea as how to go about "broadening" PUNK's scope, or (shudder!) maybe the guy, in an attempt to be "liked" by the vast majority of thumbscrew leftist freaks out there in musicland, actually did an Arianna Huffington/David Brock and went lefty for the sake of making nicey-nice with the new Stalins who rule our entertainment and publication industries! I most certainly hope it was not the latter, because when the mode of political matters once again swings back to the right boy is Holmstrom gonna look silly! Oh well, it was a change in direction, but heading towards the nearest bathhouse is not quite the direction I wanna go in!

1 comment:

abi rhodes said...

The Screamin' Mee-Mees and Hot Scott Fischer-WARP SESSIONS 1972/1973 2-CD set
My Review for your interest

If you put all your kitchen utensils down the lavatory and took a giant electric whisk, plunged it in, switched on and dangled a microphone nearby, you might just get a noise akin to the first track [inappropriately (or amusingly) entitled 'Just Fine'] of The Warp Sessions 1972. Captain Beefheart - Listen & Weep! This pretty much sets the tone for the whole disc. It's difficult listening unless you're a) profoundly deaf, b) an advanced psychotic or c) the Devil's Offspring. But hey, who cares - it's the perfect record to annoy the old folks with on Christmas morning or better still, Christmas afternoon after too much turkey and far too many sherries. The second disc - Warp Sessions 1973 - is far more singalong and represents a distinct musical advancement in the band's genesis. Nonetheless, you wouldn't choose to play it on a daily basis - just keep it for entertaining people you wish to torture slightly less than you would employ the first disc for.
As usual Gulcher are to be congratulated on daring to issue challenging music which certainly stretches the listener's imagination and stimulates the production of neuro-connections. Seriously this album is strictly for open minded musos who want to expand their horizons without having to resort to dangerous drugs.