PREDICTIONS FOR 2008!
Well, not rilly! I just thought that the above title was grabby enough for you readers to latch onto this blog and give it a reading or three! (And besides, it is a lot more tasteful'n the eye-catching title that I had ORIGINALLY thunk up, even though I never was exactly an arbiter of good taste!!!) Anyway, welcome to 2008 which is a hard-enough reality to cram down one's cranium, and hope the new one for you will be filled with joy and happiness, but only if you're a true believer BLOG TO COMM fanatic who lives, breathes and molts rock & roll and generally fun Amerigan gulcher. All the rest of you can go find solace in your boxfulla Peter Pauper publications for all I care!
Sad to say, but I really don't get as many readers as this blog deserves which is a shame considering how a lotta these snootier and shall-I-say "lesser" weblogs (usually written by people with webbed toes) get tons of readers and comments and general accolades while I (like my main hero Eddie Haskell) have to run around making noise like a brass band to get anyone to notice what's going on with this on-target and def. high energy blog! Y'know, this blog that's now into its fourth year if you can believe that and continues to runs rings around the competition with its no-holds-barred gonzo style that ought to remind one of the GREAT ROCK & ROLL WRITING OF THE SEVENTIES that seems to be poo-poo'd by way too many snarks out there in rock as ART-land! Yeah, the gonzo style is "out of date" especially in a world that's filled with general rock writing as pure hack (see: Chuck Eddy, Anastasia Pantsios, the late Jay Hinman...), but then again so are addled teens making records in their garages and obsessive Velvet Underground maniacs so what else is new??? Not that it hasn't been fun writing about all of my favorite moozikal acts and boss tee-vee shows not forgetting the old moom pitchers and whatnot that have graced my eyeballs ever since I decided to put my innermost thoughts to pixel for all the world to see (and before that to print in the pages of my very own hallowed fanzine, but shee-YUCKS you'd think there'd be MORE hard-rockin' high-energy rock & roll madmen out there who're just HUNGERIN' for some of the raw meat deal I'm dishin' out in reg'lar intervals! And if there are, then there should be a lot more of these people writin' in with pertinent info on groups of yore I need personal info, recordings and pix on because frankly, if it weren't for me, how many of you pongos out there would know who Umela Hmota were inna first place!
Enuff self-pity (which I gotta admit is a concept I most truly love, being the personalist sorta fellow that I am!)...anyway once again welcome to 2008 which is even farther away from the whole big balla wax/entire enchilada that was once known as rock & roll crazed living than 2007 was! And yeah, I don't have any really great hopes for this 'un just like I haven't had much for the past quarter-century for that matter. And if there's one prediction for '08 that I know will come true, its that music is going to be tame, people docile and all of the hard work that William Burroughs and Chris Burden did to save us from being dumb automatons has certainly gone down the ol' crapper along with alla that innovation and teenage-wasteland-ideal that the seventies held for us! And some people hate the seventies...well, stick yer head up outta the anus of disco doldrums and take a big fresh breath of underground rock and maybe you'll see things a little bit differently, eh?
Enough. Here are just a few things that have passed my way since the new one clocked in that I thought you might wanna know more 'bout. Maybe not, but then again if you're not one of those fellow human beings copasetic with the usually on-target and error-free opines oft spouted on this blog may I suggest something more in line with your particular line o' thought, like The Rene Guyon Society Handjobber or Penis Enlargement Made Easy, and if you really want something you can sink your teeth into come over to my place and visit my unflushed commode. It would be a fitting meeting of minds, right?
***Original Soundtrack-ROCK FOLLIES CD (Virgin UK)
Speaking of the seventies, wasn't tee-vee just peachy-keen back then? I've often mentioned in my writings about the roller-coaster ride that overcame the boob-tube during its more-or-less most potent years (which at least judging from my own personal taste ideals would be roughly 1957 to 1979), but contrary to what a whole lotta seventies-haters and the usual naysayers would have you believe seventies television was a pretty good excuse for plopping yourself down in front of your very own boob tube and catching a good eight hours of straight viewing per day! I mean, look at the good stuff that was being pumped out on the network level (with strange variations I shall admit), plus syndication and reruns of fifties and sixties classics were still plentiful and hey, who just didn't get a good education in film history by watching the late show on a variety of stations both VHF network classy and UHF indie low-rent! Let's face it, television was a really FUN medium before the intellectuals and nannies in this world of ours got hold of it and tried to reform us all!
And although you may find this hard to believe, but even the PBS/educational stations were pretty watchable at the time, and I'm not just saying this because sometimes they'd slip a little bitta nudity into the mix!!! I'm talkin' 'bout things like when these usually "cultured" stations would do things like run old silent movies as well as 1930s vintage talkies that even the cheaper indie stations amongst us wouldn't dare run, not to mention all of those great British imports like MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS which often showed that aforementioned bitta titty thus getting alla us mid-teen boys uproariously excited beyond belief! Not to mention the occasional NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC special...hubba hubba!!!Yeah, if it weren't for edjamacational tee-vee how would any of us backwoods kiddoids get our kicks anyways...really!
Of course, for being smartsos and all sometimes PBS really were stupid enough to miss the boat right while it was at dock. Like, if alla the sudden PYTHON were big stuff with all the hipsters here inna states, why did they pass on showing us RUTLAND WEEKEND TELEVISION which woulda really filled the bill on Saturday PM tee-vee (before waiting for the original SNL to come on @ 11:30) 'stead of NO HONESTLY. And how about ROCK FOLLIES, the six-part Thames Television series about the rise and fall of a British girl group which not only seemed custom-made for the seventies but was busting up the ratings over in ol' Blighty anyways? Well, I guess that one did run inna U. S. of Hunh? back inna year of our Ford 1976, but only on a select number of PBS stations and (of course) none of the ones in the immediate area or even outside it for that matter. I should know, because Lou Rone told me he used to watch it and really liked the thing, making me all the more jealous because back then I really coulda used some ROCK FOLLIES in my television-viewing regimen being that this show was in the right place at the right time and only a doof would wanna miss out on it!
And even thirtysome years later ROCK FOLLIES and its spinoff ROCK FOLLIES '77 remain beyond the airwaves of curious rocksters who, at least over here, can't even get to see 'em on DVD because our players ain't "compatable"! As if anything in my life was, but personal problems aside I gotta say that I sure wouldn't mind seeing this program in any way shape or form even thirty-two years later because it sure looks like an entertaining winner, and a whole lot better than seventeen continuous years of ARE YOU BEING SERVED? reruns. And really, who amongst us wouldn't mind seeing this show which kinda looks like it coulda been the English version of the Stilettos story, and equally twisted to boot!
From what I could gather, the ROCK FOLLIES saga is fairly basic having to do with three young lasses (one of them, Julie Covington, later going on to fame with her typically British/staid rendition of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" while another, Rula Lenska of TAKE A LETTER MR. JONES "fame", is probably best known to 'mercun women over 40 for her shampoo commercials) who meet at some audition and decide to form a singing trio called the Little Ladies, of course get into the predictable entanglements with agents, managers and other creeps who eventually turn the trio into a forties nostalgia act playing to aged buggers far from the rock & roll limelight! Or at least that's the gist I got...really, all I have to do is go by this CD I got outta curiousity that, if anything, reminds me of the import bins of 1976 which were just brimming with this disc if only for the role that Andy Mackay of Roxy Music fame had in putting this thing together, and I'm sure that back in the mid-seventies there were way too many trust fund kiddies who'd buy anything with a Roxy handle attached to it, right???
But really, this sounds little if anything like Roxy Music. It does "come off" nice in a 1976 sorta way, kinda decadent and all like a girl group that would have come out of the Roxy cadre, but not really enough to make me highly recommend this. Maybe "lowly" recommend it because I do find certain tracks like "Biba Nova" and "Sugar Mountain" not forgetting the title track just right as far as my mid-seventies fixes go. But I was kinda wond'rin where all of the hard rockers that I was expecting here were? A Patti Smith spoof/homage would have been great (and timely) but really I couldn't expect even British tee-vee to be that hip! So we have to put up with some nice if commercial songs that range from straight British pop to the nostalgic schmooze (not just the moody "Glenn Miller's Plane Is Missing" but the Andrew Sisters puton "War Brides"). Maybe if they hired Eno to write the music this would have the punky Velvet Underground feeling that I really would've liked to have encountered!!!
A nice diversion that probably would be better understood if encountered on all fronts, but until then at least there are these neat youtube clips of some of the musical numbers from ROCK FOLLIES which (as usual) makes one hunger for more...I dunno if you would actually have a hankerin' for some of these proto-rock video numbers but I'm sure that in the context of a serio-comedy they would have their fullest impact. Still, they sure come off a lot smoother than most of the self-absorbed rockstar shenanigans one saw on MTV these past umpteen years and for that we should all be thankful! Anyway, enjoy 'em if you wish to, and congradulate me on being able to make this blog look a lot bigger than it is by posting these four linkups thus stretching the thing into the realm of Godzillatude!
***Reddy Teddy/Matthew MacKenzie-TEDDY BOY 2-CD set (Not Lame)
Like most other collectors of seventies punk/underground under-the-counter music, I've heard of Reddy Teddy, enough so that I actually have three copies of their album (two found at flea markets!) and one of their 1974 early indie-produced single "Goo Goo Eyes"/"Novelty Shoes". But even though I consider their seven-incher an all-time self-issued classic up there with similar like-minded endeavors I gotta admit that I've only played their album maybe twice in the twenty or so years I've owned the thing! It just doesn't quite zap me the way the single does, and in fact their longplayer sounds about as professionally pop as a whole lotta similar-minded punk/pop offerings that have come out of the seventies which sure used to move the folks at CREEM magazine, but for me all I could muster up was a faint "eh!"
This two-disque offering of Reddy Teddy and Teddy-leader Matthew MacKenzie demos pretty much has the same effect on me...yeah, it's "good" 'nuff especially in the face of a lotta the horrid AM slop-pop and FM self-centered sounds of the time, but really that's all it does have going for it. And without that much-needed whiz that made a lotta seventies platters so skull-imbedding this is merely an occasional reference. Too bad, but then again I've found a lotta seventies pop rock, even the king Raspberries, at times kinda staid in their own pop-conscious way so it shouldn't be like I'm singling these Tedsters out. Lez just say that if you're the kinda guy who hankers for the whole Greg Shaw-approved power pop movement of the late-seventies and spent your last pennies of Pezband cutouts, you'll probably be more than in the mood for this. But for those of you late-seventies lurkers who took more of what BACK DOOR MAN had to say as opposed to BALLROOM BLITZ then you might wanna do a little passing, at least until the next lean period comes upon us (as if these days ain't pretty lean themselves, but why should I complain anyway?).
***Chemicals Made From Dirt-IKE CD-R (Homework )
If Ike were alive to hear this, he'd roll over in his grave and die!
With a name like Chemicals Made From Dirt you know that such a moniker's bound to stick out on a variety of club listings that one would have found in the back pages of THE VILLAGE VOICE back in the late-seventies. And true I oft wondered what such a group that would call itself just that would sound like given how curious I can get to the point of dishing ou $15 for a Jango Edwards album that nobody else on the face of this earth would give two hilla beans about! Of course I figured that a group such as Chemicals Made From Dirt would have had a heavy (what they used to call) "art-damaged" approach, perhaps something like Pere Ubu with a dash of no wave and other art rock approaches tossed in for good measure, and when I heard their flexi disc that the old OP magazine gave away with one of their alphabetized issues back in the early-eighties I figured it was nothing but more interesting underground rock really not that different from a lotta things going on across the continent around the same nanosecond. Naturally around the time '81 hit the calendar my tastes were veering way into hardcore punk, sixties reissues and various late-sixties British psychedelic rock aggros and frankly, a lotta the new wave that I had been following for a few years was just plain starting to bore me. If I were interested in hearing anything that was happening at CBGB at that time (around 1982) it would have been the avant garde jazz that was starting to get precious stage time there as well as the reunions of famed mid-seventies wonders the Planets and Manster, who actually managed to record an unreleased el-pee produced by Genya Raven for her short-lived Polish label at the time and stuff like that seemed a lot more exciting than whatever a group with the name like Chemicals Made From Dirt were doing at that same nanosecond if you ask me, and ask me nice-like or be prepared to swallow your teeth!
But what does an entire Cee-Dee of this stuff sound like? Well, I gotta say that from a good quarter-century I can see the good and the rot a lot clearer, and listening to this disc featuring a whopping twenny-five tracks only makes me wonder how long the swing has been missing from the music! Oh, IKE does have its good moments and at times I was marvelling at the unique attempts at creating late-seventes drone rock that always had the ability to make my ears at least perk up if even a tad. But any group that would worship at the altar of Devo instead of early Pere Ubu, Television and the Electric Eels is bound to make more than a few false moves. And Chemicals Made From Dirt naturally do make 'em, in fact ending the thing with their own early rap crossover entitled "Rapula" which I'll bet Debbie Harry wish she thought of first. (They even sent a copy of it to Grandmaster Flash who, for some odd reason, didn't reply.)
This one is a keeper for sure, but as far as what my ideas of where New York rock shoulda stood in the early-eighties, well... If you're big on that early-eighties lower Manhattan arty thing this does come in handy, but for me I think I'll just keep on looking for other long-gone bright spots in underground rockitude and save Chemicals Made From Dirt for those more angular moments.
***The Velvet Underground-ILLUMINATIONS OF ATONALITY; THE VELVET UNDERGROUND PRESENT THE CHIC MYSTIQUE OF NOTHING SONGS CD-Rs (no label bootlegs)
You can bet that I'm a sucker for any new Velvets bootleg that might wander my way, and on a hunch (naturally!) I decided to pick these two up in the vague hopes that perhaps there's some rare material included that's even eluded an obsessive/compulsive like myself lo these many years! Of course (once again) I was wrong, but let's just say that my buying boo-boo has at least given me an opportunity to give 'em a mention on this blog thus fulfilling my sworn duty to keep you abreast of whatever I think you should be abreasting of!
Despite the title, ILLUMINATIONS OF ATONALITY ain't really that noisy a disque even though it does have two WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT remixes and that strange backwards track off the '87 "black" album reissue of 1966. But then again it has a live version of "The Gift" from the '93 reunion and how many times do you play your legitimate Cee-Dees of those gigs anyway? THE VELVET UNDERGROUND PRESENT THE CHIC MYSTIQUE OF NOTHING SONGS does include the January '66 "Chic Mystique" live track from the Psychiatrists Convention plus the NET Warhol track and Columbus Ohio "Nothing Song" plus that fantastic "Train 'round the Bend"/"Oh Sweet Nuthin'" from Philadelphia '70, but that latter coupling sounded better on a wider array of bootlegs boths vinyl and disque. If you never got the CAUGHT BETWEEN THE TWISTED STARS 4-CD bootleg package or any of the ULTRA RARE TRACKS series, these will help fill in the cracks, but little else.
***THE NATIONAL LAMPOON VERY LARGE BOOK OF COMICAL FUNNIES
The seventies were a time of heavy-handed, bad-taste humor that used to offend people all across the boards, and looking back in those days when brotherhood and teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony were just covers for forcing a lotta people to do what they didn't wanna it's sure surprising to relive a lotta the nyuk-nyuks that were going down at the time and find out just how disturbing and downright degrading this stuff could get! Yes, I really would find it hard to picture anything as cutting, ascerbic and especialy "Politically Incorrect" (and I ain't talkin' Bill "Penis Nose" Maher either!) as MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS or even the early SNL these days, and hey, even this big-time liberal tee-vee producer Norman Lear was getting into the offensive-to-his-own-kind game with FERNWOOD/AMERICA TONIGHT with Martin Mull and Fred Willard diving head first into such tasteless television trauma as "Dial-A-Jew" and "Yankee Doodle Gook". Personally as the Holy Modal Rounders didn't say, I've always found bad taste like this timeless especially after being forced to march side-by-side and in perfect unison with others whether I wanted to or not! And the reason this sorta humor continues to work is because you KNOW it ain't being aimed at the various ethnic groups who might be the "target" of such barbs, but the uptight sick white liberals who feel its their sworn duty to make people "come together" so we can all throw frisbees in peace during the harmonic convergence. It's sure nice to see the real villians in life, the smarmy and geeky do-gooders get their sensibilities bruised for once because frankly, if anyone deserved it it was those smug and self-congratulatory lefties and social planners 'stead of all us everyday peons these same people (who've loathed us for ages!) were trying to "uplift" more'n a playtex padded bra!
The old NATIONAL LAMPOON empire was part of this seventies comical cavalcade of stuff, and considering how these people even tried to out-do the already-boundary-pushing likes of PYTHON and even their spawn SNL (even doing spoofs of these shows in their mag!) you could say they were leaders in the offense, and they probably were way too offensive in their zeal to deliver the yuks throughout the already yukked-out seventies! And when it came to comics they really knew how to make a mid-teen kid reading this stuff at the stands stifle the huge guffaws, or stifle a few pukes ready to come up all over the mag in question because sometimes these guys could get sick in their quest for the ultimate bad taste puton! But read this stuff I did, and maybe it did contribute to my sense of sarcasm, and maybe NATLAMP was overstepping a lotta boundaries that shoulda remained off-limits, but looking back at it all I gotta say is...boy have we wussed out or what!
Being that this takeoff on comic strip/book histories was once read by yer's troolee at a local shopping mall and seemed so interesting (even better'n when MAD'd do their various comic strip spoofs with either Bill Elder or Wally Wood doing the mimic job to a "t") I just hadda pick the thing up thirtysome years later in order to see if my distant memories were as far off as I thought they were. And I was right...VERY LARGE BOOK OF COMICAL FUNNIES is just as skewered as I remembered it to be with all sortsa comics from varying angles being pounded, plummetted and generally humiliated into a perhaps well-deserved oblivion. And yeah, there are a lotta really questionable entries here and more lousy taste'n anyone can shake a stick at, but at least when the material is just mildly offensive it can be offensive to the RIGHT kinda people who like I said need a lot more cattle prodding than they've received o'er the years!
But the just plain bad-taste stuff is good...I really liked the NANCY spoof ("Tootsie Titz") even if the jokes were quite stale (it was the idea that counted, at least in this case) although I found "Feckless Pheobe" a lot more up my alley, especially that comic where she strangles to death this cat that clawed her inna face and then swings the dead carcass at the rich old lady owner who's offering a reward for her lost feline ("DEAD OR ALIVE?" sez our heroine as she splatters blood all over the dame!). The Katzenjammer Kids spoof, besides being done in perfect Rudolph Dirks ca. 1916 fashion, also features enough tastelessness to call out the "PC" Police in a vain attempt to once again get us to "all get along" in perfect Rodney King fashion. And let's not forget the CAPTAIN EASY and BAZOOKA JOE burlesques which have enough "racism" in them (or shall I say deft spoofing of racism which'll still "offend" the way-too-serious types as it should) to kill Dave Lang at twenty paces! In fact, any of you readers wanna chip in and SEND the mypoic one a copy so he'll finally croak and we won't have to put up with any of his sickening mewlings that have no importance outside his own sad existence??? I'll start wid' a dollah!
And it gets better, like in the section on EC comics where those shock endings are yukked up with artwork that amazingly imitates the originals of Wood, Orlando, Williamson, Ingels etc.! And really, who else would even conceive of taking on one of those freebie comic books that Bob's Big Boy used to give away? And how about European graphic novels and underground comics getting the ribbing as well...yes, once you avoid the obvious attacks on your own sacred cows and get to the spearings of the cows of those you loathe, this can be a pretty exhilarating experience!
***GLX SPTZL GLAAH! #1 (Autumn, 1977); THE HOLLYWOOD ECLECTERN #19 (1996)
Let's just say that my fanzine fixation (and a need for a fanzine fix!) is so intense at this point that until I get my grubbies on some classic seventies rockzine reads I'll have to sate my desires with these kiddie comic book-related wares I've picked up o'er the past few. GLX SPTZL GLAAH! was a late-seventies fanzine dedicated solely to Sheldon Mayer, DC's infamous "kiddie artist" whose probably best known for his long-lived SUGAR & SPIKE (two toddlers who gab in their own special gibberish language hence the title o' this thing!) as well as the Golden Age great Scribbly, probably best known to me for spawning the original Red Tornado (DC's first superhero poke and a good 'un at that!). 's kinda strange to see someone like Mayer be the subject of his own rag, but I guess that if Carl Barks and Steve Ditko could rate their own titles so could Mayer, who was a big name in the comic histoire whether anyone would wanna admit it or not (and I would!), Naturally a 'zine like this would have a limited appeal solely to the strictest of Mayer's fanbase, but as far as delivering a good overall aura of what the man was doing from the late-thirties up through '77 this certainly's a pretty good labor o' lust to the point where an interview with Patsy from THE THREE MOUSKETEERS appears (!), and although it ain't anything downright scabrous like the Sluggo one in PUNK #1 it's still pleasant in that comic fanzine fashion!
Jetting forth a good nineteen-or-so years we get THE HOLLYWOOD ECLECTERN which believe-it-or-leave-it is a fanzine dedicated to none other than Little Lulu. Now I gotta admit that I ain't a humongoud fan of Lulu or her chief artist John Stanley like others in the comic book world may be, but on occasion I'll stumble across my various Lulu reprints that I've collected o'er the past thirtysome and read 'em up for ol' times sake. And as far as these nineties-vintage fanzines go THE HOLLYWOOD ECLECTERN seems to be typical of the bunch, lacking a lotta the down-home warmth and feel that one would get back in the seventies pouring through TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE or CRETINOUS CONTENTIONS, but it's still cool enough. Mostly reprints of classic strips and newspaper articles, ads, Lulu fandom at the San Diego Comics Convention rundown, letters and that sorta thing, THE HOLLYWOOD ECLECTERN comes off more like a newsletter than a fanzine, but it'll suit the closet Lulu fans amongst ya! Best part...the cover was xeroxed on some notebook paper giving THE HOLLYWOOD ECLECTERN a great schooldays nostalgic feeling that really sends you back...to detention!
So in summation...both of these are well-done fanzines and certainly of the same high-quality one would find in the bigger names of their respective times, but really if I don't get any more SPOONFULs or HYPERIONs my way I think I'm gonna flip out a lot sooner'n any of you longtime readers would've hoped! And I do mean it!!!
***ARTHUR TREACHER'S ORIGINAL FISH AND CHIPS
Sometimes you don't realize just what's going on under your very own nostrils, like things that may be alive and kicking in your own community that just ain't happening elsewhere. And you just know that there are people over there who may be envying what you have over here, and you don't give two whiffs about it! Like Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips...I gotta admit that I haven't been patronizing this once-national chain like I should be even though our area has like one of the few remaining restaurants right here on our main strip amidst the used car dealerships and auto garages that clutter up the roadside. Oh yeah, I remember when I was a kid just barely into the double-digits when the first Arthur Treachers opened in Youngstown on the main strip (actually this was more in Boardman but I'm not gonna be picky) and the entire family just hadda go there given that none of us ever had any "authentic" Fish & Chips straight outta some Charles Dickens novel! Well, that Arthur Treacher's is now long-gone but the one that opened up in Sharon about a year later is still in operation, and although I've been patronizing Long John Silver's more often than not I thought why not give the original a go, if only to refresh myself as to just what I've been missing by ignoring this place which oddly enough has stayed in biz while all of the other outlets in the area deep-sixed ages ago!
Well, one thing I missed was the extra-long service. Naturally the memories of waiting a good fifteen-minutes if not longer for my grub came back to me long after I digested my repast, but let's just say that promptness is not part of the Arthur Treacher's credo! But hey, you have to wait if you wanna get a good meal anywhere else, and there certainly is a lot more to going to a fast food joint to get your meal than just gettin' and goin', right?
There's the actual food, and hey I really liked what I bolted down once I got the triangular pieces of batter-fried fish into my quivvering mouth! True I am a fan of greasy fried food, but Treacher's fish was certainly not heavy on the oil and in fact quite light, a switch from chief competitor Long John Silver's at-times lubricated offerings that really get me going especially when I'm in a pimple-popping mood. Of course you don't get those little booger-y bits of batter lining up the bottom of your box like you do at Silver's, but then again (like at Silver's) you do get two hush puppies which is more or less a Southern rather'n English treat although the ones I got today coulda used a little more fryin bein' kinda raw even if in the slightest.
And the fries, or "chips" as they're known in the land of green teeth...I always liked those thick-cut potatoes especially in light of the thin ones oft seen at fast food joints, so having some of these was a refreshing change from the ordinary. But what did they coat the potatoes with, because there was some sorta grit on the things that might have been cornmeal or seasonings that seemed strange. But the 'taters still tasted swell and in concert with the tasty yet not overpowering fish made for a nice meal that I'll probably be remembering until I head back to China Wok for another massive takeout surprise. The next best thing to takin' a boat to Merrie for your own authentic fish and chips dinner although I dunno how "authentic" this dish can be without those little onions that usually dot the English variety. Perhaps someone will come up with their own chain selling the stuff wrapped up in old newspapers just like they do over there, and if the Amerigan lifespan suddenly drops to age sixty then you'll know what's to blame!