STRAIGHT OFF THE PRESSES...
...and into your ears come these two new splatters from Norton records (see link at left for quick and easy access to their web-page) that are SO hot and SO great that I just hadda scoop all those other internet imbeciles by being the first on the blog, er, block to tell you all about these two brand spanking new disques before you hear it from some creep. So here they are, the latest from the fine folks at Norton that are bound to capture your imagination and save your soul...unless you're one of those intellectual "post-rock" theoreticians so "above it all" that I've read about somewhere before.
First up on the blogging chop's the latest offering from one Mary Weiss, whom I'm sure you'll better know as the blond frontgal for the infamous Shangri Las. And who out there reading this thing wouldn't remember these rough 'n tough missies who turned teen angst into a pure art form with a whole passel of hotcha singles back during the mid-sixties Golden Age of Emote! A lot has gone down the line since those comparatively innocent days not only with phony Shangri Las taking to the stages of many a supper club but an actual one-off reunion at CBGB thanks to the timeless efforts of ex-Sidewinder Andy Paley but whaddeva, Weiss is back for an all-new romp going under the title DANGEROUS GAME and it's all courtesy of Norton in specific...and Billy Miller in particular? I mean, he was the one who was writing about his unmanageable hots for Weiss inna pages of KICKS with such fine detail that I woulda assumed better half Miriam Linna had been tossing a few frying pans his way during the recording of this album (which, by the way, he produced)! Anyway, I gotta admit that a Weiss Cee-Dee at this late stage is a pretty mind-boggling experience. Or maybe we ain't as old as we think we are, but coming across a disc like this in the post-blitz coldness of the late oh-ohs is a pretty big surprise for this jaded rockism maniac!
Dunno how old Mary is, but she sure looks nice and well-preserved for an old folk, and surprisingly enough her pipes are still smooth-sounding and typically gal group seductive forty-plus years on. Perhaps a bit more mature than before but she ain't no kid so whaddya expect, and it's sure wunnerful hearing Weiss singing some pretty pleasing to the lobes reshaped sixties pop that still has the power to swoon you even in these coarse times when most people out there are seemingly so "beyond it all" that all they can care about are the private lives of rappers and dead models with big bazooms who never did humanity a lick of good, unlike Weiss and her Shangri Las, I might add.
Maybe DANGEROUS GAME is a 100% success because this disque comes off more like some imaginary late-seventies recording that we shoulda heard back then custom made for the new breed of punk revivalists who were coming outta the woodwork (it does have the '78 Sire new-pop feel, perhaps courtesy backing band Reigning Sound), and for that alone (plus the fact that this woulda been top dribble material for the likes of Greg Shaw and Gary Sperrazza to praise to the rafters during the great "Power Pop" hype of the day) maybe it should earn a premature award for BEST OF '07! Well, we'll see. But listening to this 'un sure takes me back to my single-digit days when I'd be pestering Jillery to read me a story while something like "Heaven Only Knows" (a true melter as you know already) played on the transistor!
Also included in the fine Norton package was an outta-nowhere wowzer, mainly BUSY BODY!!! which is a beyond-spiffy collection of ne'er before heard live material courtesy of one of the bestest punk rock screamers of all time, the Sonics! A lot has happened to these guys image-wise ever since they hung up their guitar straps (and leader Andy Parypa sold the Sonics name to a series of pretenders who dragged it through the mud for a good many years) way back when, mainly their deification as one of the first true punk rock groups who were lucky enough to get their names dropped by everyone from Ray Davies and Brooce Springsteen to Johnny Lydon as the years rolled on. Of course Gerry Roslie and company can't eat accolades like this, but maybe with this new live disc on the boards they can get enough lucre together for a coupla trips to the local Chinese buffet 'n stave off hunger for a good few weeks at the least.
Anyway these tapes were taken from live-on-the-radio recordings made at a couple local nightspots in '64 , and although the fidelity is flat and the vocals buried they still sound hot enough to keep your adrenalin rushing for the entire spin (added volume helps)! At this time the Sonics, like a good portion of the Washington/Oregon garage bands of the day, were still heavily into their Wailers trip with the hefty r&b groove taken into even stranger suburban white knotty pine vistas which somewhere down the line would create an entire industry of maladjusted teenage anger. Besides the raveups on classic '59-vintage Wailers numbers a whole bunch of r&b standards of the day get the special Sonics treatment, and as you'd expect the disque ends with their then-top selling ode to Vee-Dee "The Witch" which sounds about as wound up as you'd expect a teenage punk band playing for a buncha rowdy delinquents at some cheap dive in 1964 to be! As far as hefty Northwest rock goes you can't get any heftier and for a classic slab of punk Amerigana this might fill the bill at least until the next archival dig, so whaddya waiting for, a personal engraved invitation from Chuck Eddy telling all his VILLAGE VOICE sycophants the OBVIOUS????
Both of these discs are available via Norton and RIGHT NOW, LIKE THIS VERY MOMENT (I even checked their website to see if this was so, and man are you in luck!), and for a cynical and downright curmudgeonly rockism-bred blogger I gotta say that Mary Weiss reduced me to a bowlfulla simpering jelly while the Sonics revived me into a hairy and braying MAMMAL once again. And for that maybe BOTH OF 'EM should get the Academy Award for "Best Performance By Musical Acts That Kinda Came Outta Nowhere To Surprise Us All." Or something like that...I'm no stickler.
POSTSCRIPT: I just remembered this, but didn't the Sonics once back the Shangri Las during a Seattle live show sometime during the Golden Age? ( There's a snap in a not-so-recent Cee-Dee reissue on Etiquette to prove it!) So there just might be some integral connection between the two platters in question making them all the more IMPORTANT, dontcha think???
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
STRAIGHT OFF THE PRESSES...