SINGLES GOING STROONAD'!
And the first person who can (more or less) translate the above bitta wopadago slang into standard Amerigan wins a special NO PRIZE, or at least an available back issue of BLACK TO COMM of his choice! Anyway, here are a buncha singles both old and new that I've dug outta my vast collection ever since the grand return of vinyl into my bloodstream a mere few weeks back.
Henry Flynt and Nova'billy-"I Was a Creep (Soul Mash)"/"Left Ear (Greensboro Senior High Song)" (Locust)
Locust has been pushing this as one of those "LIMITED (to all we can sell) EDITION ALL TIME RARITIES WHICH YOU'LL NEVER SEE FOR SALE AGAIN!!!" kinda affairs, but since it is still to be found for sale in the Locust catalog (er, Locust webpage) I guess the thing ain't as rare as they'd like you to believe! Anyhow, only to stupidest of anti-BLOG TO COMM cretins would dare pass this slab of classic rawk-a-roll up featuring Flynt and his avant-country band Novabilly whooping it up during their only live performance at the Anthology Film Archives sometime '75 that has thankfully been preserved and's finally available albeit a good thirtysome years after its effect on the masses would have been its most potent. Not quite the atonal mush that I imagined, Nova'billy actually hearken forth to a more astute early-eighties underground sound that flittered around at the local watering holes around the time the original generation of hot clash sorta imploded into a variety of diametrically-opposed opposites 'n the whole mess seemed like a strange throwback to the manic tirades of only a few years prior. Somehow thoughts of Theoretical Girls during Jeffrey Lohn's more cerebral moments appear in my punished mind.
An aside, Flynt invited none other than Robert Christgau to review this gig, but the "Dean" was unavailable to attend in lieu of a Phoebe Snow soiree and so we'll never get to know his opinions as to what transpired. Such missed opportunities!
***The King Khan & BBQ Show-"Flight 505"/The Flakes-"Stupid Girl" (Norton)
The U-Turns-THE DEATH OF GARAGE ROCK EP ("7 and 7 Is", "Dedicated Follower of Fashion"/"Get Off My Cloud", "I'm Down" (Norton)
Norton always sends me this stuff to review, and to that I say "bully" in the finest Teddy Roosevelt fashion! I mean, if it weren't for Norton I probably would lose all touch with rock & roll (or at least rock & roll as it stands as that greasy uninhibited form of 1956-1967 teenage expression I was so denied during my own years of teenage lack-thereof!). And yeah, these two rather newies are just what the Doc (Rock) ordered with the Rolling Stones single series continuing to romp forward as two of the new brand of garage band creeps do the old brand proud with some tracks taken off AFTERMATH or so I guess...wouldn't know because y'see, when I was a kid the entire concept of buying Rolling Stones records was frowned upon (even that cheapie JAMMING WITH THE EDWARD which I could afford!), being told that if I do in fact fill the coffers of the likes of the Stones I am only encouraging their hideously evil drug abuse, no matter how indirect it may be! I've often thought of this o'er the years and maybe the elders did have a point, especially when kids could be contributing to their own drug usage with all the dough that would otherwise have gone to buying Rolling Stones records!
Of course the King Kahn and Flake trips are totally todaysville, so if you wanna take a blast back into the past lemme just direct you to this Eee-Pee of recently-discovered classic garage band hootch courtesy the U-Turns. And talk about U-turns into the realm of utter garage band incomprehensibility! Remember how alla us aficionados of the form used to either laugh out loud or solemnly bow our heads upon the arrival of some classic sixties punk discovery or its seventies counterpart in low-fidelity sublime? Even today doofs (amongst whose numbers I shall admit I am part of) get all gaga over Mike Rep singles like the "Daddy Was a Schizo" 'un of a few years back that was put out by some Swedish rectal probe and not only hold hat to heart at the general tape-hiss crank of it all but let jaw hang agape as the 8-track recording clicks from program to program! And although on one hand it may look like cheap elitist schmoozing that's so easy to mock the same way rich college kids loathe the same lumpen proles their Marxist beliefs should have them honor, on the other it sure sounds like what I always wanted my REAL rock & roll to be not only as a backdrop for suburban lifestyles but as a pure testimonial regarding your own set of (anti)-aesthetics.
Cheapo rock haters...mock on, but let the rest of us marvel at this blitzoid mess in hushed tones of silence. And I dunno just who these U-Turns are, but all I gotta say is that next to the originals these miss-takes kinda remind me of something one-step ahead of the jam session my two younger cousins (ages ten and twelve at the time) had on electric guitar and drums during a Christmas party in our abode back '75's way. That was a wowzer hoot, and so are these U-Turns that, as the "Liner Notes Hall of Fame"-bound back cover sez, "make the Green Fuz sound like Green Day" and that's no lie. Thank goodniz that Norton Records are continuing their fine tradition (started by Hasil Adkins and Jack Starr) of bedroom/basement crankout music that's so realistic you can just see the knotty pine on the rec room walls, not to mention the ping-pong table set slightly to the side.
***Crimson Sweet-"Wired for the Last Move"/"Basement Star" (Slow Gold, PO Box 20506, Tompkins Square Station, NYC 10009)
These guys (and gal) are, according to their own hypesheet, a "DIY arena rock band" which might seem like the most moronic of oxymorons one might come across, but on this clear-vinyl release Crimson Sweet come off like the best of the hard rock (with a slight bitta pop) New York punk rock one woulda found punching it out for stage-time during those hallowed late-seventies. Not that it's "meaning of life" or anything, but I sure woulda liked seeing Crimson Sweet on a Max's bill snuggled between acts like the Heartbreakers, Arthur's Dilemma and who knows who else. Sweet probably woulda blew 'em all off the stage anyways! If this indeed is "stadium rock" as a MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL scribe tagged it, then call me Chuck Eddy and slam this review smack dab on the first page of the VILLAGE VOICE music section (after adding a number of references to a variety of "social injustices" and tired antiwar rants in order to make the entire thing more "relevant").
***The Heat-"Instant Love/"High School Sweater" (Hot Stuff)
After the big combustion that shattered the classic mid-seventies version of the Planets, former lead singer Tally Taliafarrow formed this all-new multi-racial bunch who were reputed to have been a lot more punk'n the Planets' confessed "classic rock" sound I guess. And only a good decade after I coulda stood listening to this in preparation for that Planets article which appeared in BLACK TO COMM #22 does their lone single land in my lap, a poppier than I'd've expected affair which I will admit is nice enough for that once-per-bluemoon spin. Not anywhere near as good as the Taliafarrow-period Planets recordings I have heard (yet better than the post-Taliafarrow grouping which I at times thought came close to those patented Peter Frampton hard rock moves), the Heat do it typically teenage pop clean with odes to high school sweaters and young love, real wholesome OZZIE AND HARRIET stuff in the face of jaded decadence. Haw! If you like the wide array of post-Dolls rock that was pretty much omnipresent during those late-seventies days you'll love this but beware...although this is Taliafarrow's group he is not, like I had believed at first, the lead vocalist (that honor going to a chap names Dwytt Dayan) but the band's guitarist!
***Screamin' Jay Hawkins (and the Chicken Hawks with the Teddy McRae Orchestra-"I Hear Voices"/"Just Don't Care" (Enrica)
I guess that although 1962 was a boss year for tee-vee, comic books and even clever rock & roll hits (despite what all the naysayers would have you believe), it wasn't that good a year for Screamin' Jay Hawkins. By that time Our Hero had found himself not only on what we shall call "the skids" (and judging from the personal tales related to me tenth-hand I am being kind!) but recording this "I Put a Spell on You" re-do for a small label, one of but many Hawkins would be recording for as the years rolled on and obscurity wasn't only knocking at the door, but had barged right in and was watching tee-vee on Hawkins' very own set while eating a ham sandwich. As usual, this disc no matter how "derivative" it may be, is utter brilliance which you know will go undetected on way too many rockism radar screens at least until a massive exhumation of Hawkins is made available for one and all. If you so desire, call it a "just passing time" disc, at least until Hawkins' grand comeback try in the late-sixties. But as far as "passing time" goes, can you think of a better way??? And for a good rundown on the Screamin' Jay Hawkins saga, get hold of the Nick Tosches' (written at the guy's height, not his eighties quap used to pad out pix of heavy metal gonkoids!) article for CREEM from some long-forgotten 1973 issue, the one with the "Rock's Deca-Sexual Elite" cover w/snaps of Alice, David, Iggy, Elvis etc. adorning the front in a bizarre "Wheel of Fortune" motif.