(Not to be confused with JAPANORAMA, which I discovered was a British tee-vee series about modern-day Japan kultur long after I used that name as the title for a post dealing solely with alla them Nipponese underground rock goodies we should all know about! No offense to the Bee-Bee-See, and if anyone from there should happen to read this blog...please don't sue! You won't get much anyways!)I normally don't cowtow to the whims and fancies of my readers figuring that I've got my own soapbox to straddle and everyone else can go screw, but for the sake of putting on airs of catering to my clientele today's post features nothing but record/Cee-Dee reviews that are short, concise, and perhaps not so sweet but compact they are! Y'see, as of late, like within the past few weeks or so I've received two actual complaints from ershwhile (I assume) readers who've told me that my writeups of everything from recorded material to foodstuffs are way too long, with too many self-referential zigs one way and an overabundance of autobiographical mush zags the other if you can swallow that!!! And believe-it-or-don't, but although I usually take such "constructive criticism" and flush it down the commode with the rest of the critiques that come my way I figured that maybe this time these people do have a point! Or, as one reader said, it's true that Bangs and Meltzer were skilled and crafty enough to ramble on and on when dealing with everything from the Troggs to David Roter and came out on top with their resultant spews, but that doesn't mean I'm capable of pulling off the exact same sense of bleached-out deca-smarm in my own scribblings!
And besides, I've always wanted to do my own CREEM-styled "Rock-A-Rama"-styled post with nada but quickie reviews that tell all that should be told about various recordings in a short paragraph if not less (hence the title of this post!), and if two people are champing at the bit to see me tone it down so to speak what better way than to do it whilst cranking out this week's rundown on a variety of recordings that are both old and new to my ears!
Here are a just a few of the items listened to this past week or so, delivered to you sans the autobiographical spew and the self-referential nada and I hope you like them MORE than I liked writing about these things! Sheesh, was this a hard task or what...writing up a buncha reviews w/o telling you about all the things I did on July 10 1977 or dragging in at least ten previous writeups to make my point, no matter how weak or ineffectual it may be! And yes, it was painful because frankly, writing a long review is like playing a great extended solo on a tenor sax, creating a high you just can't get from any under-the-counter medication or buckloads of booze you may gulp down! For me, typing a wide swath of cutting critiques is akin to Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane performing "Impressions" or even Sonny Sharrock treating his guitar as if it were a hydraulic pump, but since I guess I'm writing for "you" as much as I am for memeME!!! perhaps I better listen to the hoi polloi and take their assumedly sage advice, even if it's only this once! So, in 250 words or less...
***AMOS 'N' ANDY-THE BEST LOVED SHOWS, 1946-1953 3-LP set (Murray Hill)
Tune in next time when we'll hear Dave Lang say "Ewwwww, that's racist!"
***The Broom Dusters-SOUND FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE TOKYO UNDERGROUND LP (Siwa, available through Volcanic Tongue)
Extreme-o listening "document" from short-lived late-nineties Tokyo underground band that's spawned a few "important" people onto bigger and better things. Reminds me of a varied assortment of mid-seventies Velvet Underground explorations (Japan's own 3/3 come to mind) seen mutating into late-seventies no wave fruitation. Not quite Denudian, but goes down a lot smoother than some of the current psychonoise practitioners coming outta the Sun Rised Land I've been hearing as of late.
***Floh de Cologne-LUCKY STREIK CD (Ohr, Germany)
This Fugs-derived agit-krautrock might come off nifty enough for redski Europeons raised on the whole anti-dosh mentality that's been bred into them since birth, but for capitalist-conscious reactionaries like me all this rigid non-swinging rock makes me wanna do is go read Ayn Rand. Thanks a lot, guys!
***Guru Guru-UFO CD (ZYX/Ohr, Germany)
After years of listening to muddy-yet-promising live disques of this group (in lieu of their legit albums) all I gotta say is that nothing by Guru Guru could ever top their vinyl debut which is so outre-psych that it def. ranks up there with Les Rallizes Denudes and the Deviants for manic late-sixties-styled uberpunk. So addled yet well-in-control (I think!) that all it makes me wanna do is go read Steve Ditko. And when I say "thanks, guys" I am NOT being sarcastic!!!
***MONTAGE CD (Sundazed)
Post-Left Banke triumph from Michael Brown that only seemed to be remembered by subscribers to THE ROCK MARKETPLACE, at least until this 2001 reissue hit the bins. Great encapsulation of where '68 pop should've been had the mid-sixties not evolved into sordid pap. Coulda been a strong contender against Tommy James if Laurie only had a sense of business acumen they lost long beforehand. For the entire story as you didn't hear it, click here.
***Ornette Coleman-FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS; ORNETTE LIVE AT PRINCE STREET LP (Flying Dutchman)
Obscure (and, as Forced Exposure would say, "grey area") reish of early-seventies disc featuring Ornette and band live in some low-rent storefront playing to a bunch of white college students who don't seem one bit nervous about being in some run-down neighborhood listening to Ornette in such shambles! Hot flash playing and general free jamz make this yet another one of those must-have snatchups before its (once again) too late! It even begins with an audience singalong...now how can ya beat that!
***Richard Lloyd-REAL TIME CD (Celluloid)
This live at CBGB offering's pretty much like Television without the UHF, but a little fine-tuning'll prove that Lloyd's seventies-bred take on what would later be known as alternative rock does have its bearable moments. Still, to compare the mid-eighties version to the mid-seventies original's like comparing PERFECT STRANGERS and WHEN THINGS WERE ROTTEN duking it out in an all-out battle for yucks supremacy.
***The Velvet Underground-MORE BERMUDA THAN PIZZA LP (Shelter, bootleg)
Given the abundance of post-breakup live tracks, extracurricular activity recordings and the general overall cheapness that went into these "Shelter" label wares, one must wonder if in fact these Shelter people are the same ones who were pumping out loads of that Leon Russell/J. J. Cale hippy/country swill before punk rock buried them all in their proper crypt! (Hint: their logos are almost identical!) It would seem like the ultimate act of getback given the quality of this and other Shelter offerings...and could you think of sweeter revenge than gypping a generation fulla buck-laden punques with this obvious ripoff material???
Various Artists-NEW MUSIC FOR ELECTRONIC & RECORDED MEDIA (WOMEN IN ELECTRONIC MUSIC 1977) CD (New World)
I had originally come up with a totally pithy review of this '77 electronic music sampler something along the lines of "I guess this proves that wimmen can screw up electronic music just as bad as men can!" but guess what??? NEW MUSIC... is a really nifty sampler of various avant garde works composed by females (dunno if they're ladies!!!) that really puts the topper on all of those John Cage and Christian Wolff spins you've been hearing ever since you first wondered about tha squealy sound on ELP's "Lucky Man"! From early explorations (Johanna M. Beyer, 1938) to moderne punk rock (Megan Roberts, ex-Novak, 1977) you get a pretty good kitten caboodle here that's just as good as the usual electronic shimmer that's been bandied about for years already! Even the flat-chested Laurie Anderson in her pre-Warner Brothers days comes off not only listenable, but engaging! OK, you can call the paramedics now.
***So, how do you like these quickie reviews anyways? To tell the truth I find 'em a refreshing change sorta like I did when I was two wearin' the same diaper for three days straight! If you wanna see more, lemme know or if not, do the same. It won't make any difference...like I told you earlier, it's not like I'd ever lissen t' any of ya inna first place so why should I start now? But hey, I am a li'l curious!