Tuesday, June 12, 2007

CAFFEINE JAG POST TIME!

Five cans of Dr. Pepper inna row'll do it to ya.

Bob Dylan-ROYAL ALBERT HALL GWW 1966 (TMOQ)

Readers of the latest but not necessarily greatest issue of my fanzine might remember lending eyeballs to a blurb somewhere in my over-rambunctious opening schpiel about how an essay-length review of both the original Bob Dylan ROYAL ALBERT HALL bootleg disc (which was making hefty inroads into general rock consciousnesses beck during the days of its early-seventies release) and the Columbia legit release of the same material come thirty years too late was scheduled to appear in said rag, but that along with such other promising pieces as "Shemp Howard, the Man and the Myth" and "A Listener's Guide to Content Providers (complete with prequisite earplugs)" were jettisoned into some great black abyss (or some box inna basement) due to space limitations ne'er to be heard from again. There really ain't that much to compare twixt the two...the boot vinyl take's got the legal variety beat all hollow not only with the great analog just-like-when-you-wuz-a-kid sound (not as flat as gypster Clinton Heylin makes it out in his own bootleg histoire) but with the way that classic mid-sixties (a time when very little rock & roll was intolerable) aural excitement is teleported to your pleasure principle a good fortysome years after the fact. And keep in mind that Robbie Robertson and company had only been a good year away from BOULDERS garage band immortality as the Canadian Squires before they got this gig backing one of the brighter stars of '65 before they all fell inna mud! But sheesh, in '65 who woulda realized it?

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The Real Kids-FOGGY NOTION ten-inch EP (Norton)

Yeah yeah, I know I already reviewed this 'un here but that was way before I actually listened to the dad-blamed thing! I sure did a pretty good job a la my main man Meltzer in pecking out so much drivel just by osmosing to the grand Velvet Underground homage cover (Norton being the best inna world w/regards to reshaping past accomplishment for present tastes sans coming off like pretentioso alternative rock hanger onners), but now that I actually found my copy while in the possession of a workable turntable (said disque re-discovered while looking for the legendary Bob Vivants rec, also a ten-incher that I can't locate nohow!) I figured...wha' th' hey...

'n it is every bit as wondrous as one could imagine, especially to one like myself who found an extra-special charm in these seventies post-Velvets groups during the final days of my teenage years when my VU-meter was perhaps even more inna red than it is lo these jaded years later. As you know, Boston, like Cleveland and New York, was a rabid center of Velvet Underground mania and like you also know that burgh, just likes its brothers in Velvetdom, had pumped out more'n its share of Velvets-inspired groupings long before such a move became the bastion of halfway-there youth who were able to only take on superficial aspects of the quest without offering the listener anything in the way of deepness or vitality. And I dunno about you, but sometimes even meek and mild me gets all blood-boiled over hearing those great old drones, repeato-riffs and heavy-duty art moves getting reduced to mere toothpaste by the likes of people who never really understood the true o-mind drive behind every note the Velvets laid down and at a time when it seemed that only the most sainted and aware amongst us knew what the entire vision was truly about. That's pretty much why I'll never let down as far as ridiculing and debasing the likes of people like J. Neo Marvin who never did nor never will understand what that holy trip really meant either on an urban level or for the throngs of suburban goofs like myself who just LONGED for Max's Kansas City, a trip which is certainly more VIBRANT than plagiarizing various musical moves setting it all to a too-easy beat with asinine lyrics reflecting equally idiotic lifestyles as well!

But hey, these Real Kids, like Mirrors and Simply Saucer as well as a load of long-gone garage greats yet to be categorized and numbered like extinct insects, knew all about the sights, sounds, attitude, sweat and pow'r. And what the likes of John Felice and company knew is readily evident on these 1974 sides...maybe by this time more and more people were finally beginning to understand exactly what Lou Reed and gang were doing eight years earlier because it was then that rock magazines other'n CREEM and a myriad asst. of fanzines were beginning to mention them again and groups like the Real Kids (then just "the Kids") were playing their songs and understanding their works with that deep feeling that very few today can comprehend. But even with the sparse audience response that great high-energy feeling I loved so much seeps through all these years later. Believe-you-me, I felt like that same teenager once again listening to the group tackle this material, complete with all of that wide-eyed, jaw-dropping awe that made me wish in my heart of hearts that I only had that talent, that imagination and swing to be able to pull my own band off that could rise to such rockism heights with seemingly relative ease.

Really good sound here too that's surprisingly a lot clearer than the cruddy cassette quality of the time which most-of-the-time reduced said proceedings to mud. Not that a muddy low-fidelity aura wouldn't hurt here, since the a-side's got Felice and band doing three Velvets covers (!) in that patented Modern Lovers/Mirrors seventies proto-everything crank but it ain't like this 'un sounds Cee-Dee crystalline clear so maybe I should be thankful for what we did get! And as far as Felice's introductions to the tuneage goes, I thought it was extremely funny when the guy introduced "There She Goes Again" as one of those songs Lou Reed wrote before he put makeup and sunglasses on...reminds me of a Tin Huey live tape I have from a year earlier where Harvey Gold prefaces a Velvets number saying that when Lou was in the band he was "great" and that now he's merely "good" which cracks me up even today because we all know what he is THIRTY-FIVE YEARS LATER!!! The spiritedness of these numbers reverberate even in the cyborg cold of 2007 (and have such a powerful presence to them that makes all of those current VU cover-takes seen on Youtube sound like utter nonsense) but what really got my synapses snapped was the flipster which presents none other than a six-plus minute take on the Modern Lovers ultimate statement "Fly Into the Mystery" complete with a rather dare-I-say touching intro from Felice telling the seemingly unaroused audience of how important the Lovers were to Boston. Which natch is followed by a dare-I-say moving (and keeping with the theme of the disc Velvet-y) rendition which I (under penalty of death) will admit I do prefer to the more-famous Modern Lovers take found on a variety of disques legal and not, but really I must also confess to you loyal readers that I think, nay, believe that the acoustic version found on ROCK & ROLL WITH THE MODERN LOVERS from a few years later tops 'em all. Maybe it's because that, when I first heard it, I had envisioned that the line about the boy who lost his girlfriend referred to her dying...the way Richman sings it to the sparse backing sounds so dolorous how could my underdeveloped mind think otherwise?

FOGGY NOTION's a masterful, important disc bound to get hefty spins here at BLOG TO COMM central and really, when I do find the Bon Vivants rec I wonder how its post-Velvets applications will hold up next to this 'un. It will be fun to find out, and while we're at it I hope Norton doesn't stop with the adoration here. Hey Miriam, how about getting back in touch with your old friend Joe Viglione and sweet-talk him into letting you release his Astrals stuff, that being his mid-seventies Boston-area group with a number of future Boston-area underground names like Fred Pineau (Bonjour Aviators) and John Hovorka (Turbines) that also did the Velvets spree before it became the hip fad to wreck, and for that they all deserve hefty royalties, eh?
***
And while I'm on my George Kuchar kick (see y'day's post) here's another classic via Youtube...WILD NIGHT IN EL RENO (1977):

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I take it you must have been the recipient of rejection by this J Neo Marvin person you keep mentioning. Did you have a crush on him or something?

Where can I find this person's work so I can see if you are taking something personally or this J Neo Marvin deserves to be mentioned over and over in your comments....

Maybe he is really great and you are a bit jealous? Last time you threatened his life. Doesn't that kind of language get one into trouble?

I question your ethics sir.

Christopher said...

FOR THE UNINITIATED: J. Neo Marvin was the leader of a San Francisco-area "rock & roll group" called X-Tal and is currently (?) heading up an "act" entited Content Providers, a moniker which I believe reflects the depth and vision of his entire musical "career". Both bands alledgedly claim a devotion to the sound and attitude of one Velvet Underground although the recorded evidence (at least of X-tal, who also [once again alledgedly] fall sway to the island beat of reggae music hence the name---these X-tals should not be confused with the Cleveland area reggae band of the same name) lends one to believe that their Velvets influences, like many of the post-seventies underground rock generation, runs very thin. Like most current-day aficionados, much has been lost in the translation even though Angel Corpus-Christi, a gal who at least knows her Velvets peas and potatoes, appeared on their long-playing platter but I won't fault her. As I said in my post J. Neo Marvin and what I at least remember regarding his various "musical" traipses are very weak, watered-down takes on the once-mighty vistas of Velvet Underground-influenced music which only adds insult to injury with regards to the lack of concrete success the Velvet Underground found during the mid-to-late sixties, but to their legend at least as it was continued for the following ten or so years by a variety of local bands who took the the Velvets' oeuvre into various directions which reflected the multi-faceted talents of that bunch. In comparison, Marvin and his minions are a particularly slack, superficial variant on the form.

Mr. Marvin, still smarting from my scathing review of his X-tal release from an ancient issue of YOUR FLESH, felt it fit and proper to comment negatively regarding my own "rock writing career" a few years back when Jay Hinman (a twat in his own league, but we'll leave that subject for another day) decided to attack both my writing abilities and my fanzine on his blog. I had totally forgotten who both Mr. Marvin and his group were at the time, and unfortunately this bitter experience dredged up a lotta bad memories of having to sit through his rather pallid, nauseous longplayer hence the current usage of him and his "talents" as a whipping boy for the blasphemy of all of the weak, pencil-thin droning that has gone on in the "name" of the Velvet Underground ever since their music hit the lobes of the anal-oriented generation of which Marvin is a proud and certified member.

As far as "crushes" go, I guess you haven't been reading either my blog or my fanzine for long or otherwise you would know just how much I consider (nay...BELIEVE!) same-sex attraction to be a gross sin again God and good taste although I truly care not one whit as to what people do in these enlightening times just as long as they stay in the closets and don't ask me to join in or feign camaraderie. Leave that brotherhood crap and rainbow coalition pose to the more doltish of our society, or at least those hags on THE VIEW. When it comes to "cultural" matters I'll stick with Sam Francis.

If you really want to discover the music of Mr. Marvin, may I suggest CD Baby. It's your money, and whether you put it to use buying up his wares or on a vibrating butt-plug is totally up to you. Considering the beneficial aspects of both endeavors (and the tone of your own post) I think either route would be best suited for a chap such as you. There's also a marvin website which you can google...c'mon, eager minds such as yours are just waiting to intertwine, or better yet you can contact him via his Myspace page and set out for that secret rendevous in the park at three am!

As far as "threatening his life" goes, I guess you haven't read such articles as Patrick Amory's "Death to Stigliano" in his TOO FUN TOO HUGE fanzoonie back in the latter days of the eighties? There have been other rather threatening remarks directed at myself in the pages of various publications o'er the years and all I gotta say in response to thise rather ill-advised (ill-advised for being directed at ME is...just try! As far as I know none of the fellows who have directed these comments at me have been arrested or served time for their statements, nor have they even been chastized in the least by my fellow "writers" leading me to believe that they agree with the prospects of my demise just as much as the authors of these pieces. It sure is a tough world out there. Anyway, if you wanna talk about ethics how about clamping down on the likes of Amory, Gerard Cosloy, Jimmy Johnson, Dave Lang, Jay Hinman and dear Mr. Marvin first?

Anonymous said...

E. Power Biggs' recording of Bach's "Toccata and Fugue" is quite great.

Christopher said...

Anon, you must be referring to my post with the FESTIVAL OF FRENCH ORGAN MUSIC review. Actually right now I'm interested in hearing some of the medieval composers performed as they would've sounded back in the day, people like Adam de la Halle (see Can's "De La Halle" on the UNOPENED bootleg), John Dunstable and various others in that 14th century timescope whose names I have forgotten. Also, I wouldn't mind lending ear to some of the earliest keyboard pieces (performed on ancient harpsichords and the like) from this same era not to mention a water organ...it would be great to be pointed towards recordings of some of these early gems which in many ways sound contemporary to a lot of the avant garde classical of the twentieth century, at least to my untrained (the best!) ears!