A SORROW-FILLED, DEEPLY DEJECTED EDITION OF COMM-A-RAMA
Yes I am sadder than Elton John on the day the sailors leave port, for just this very afternoon (while doing a little reconnaissance checking out the enemy) I discovered something that, although I prefer not to know, I must for the sake of not only myself but for all humanity. Remember a few months back when none other than Jay Whatshisface, that Hinman guy who engaged in a load of slander and half-truths directed against not only myself but my highly-underrated BLACK TO COMM fanzine said he was going to deep-six his second attempt at a music blog which was titled "Detailed Twang" because it just took up too much of ol' whitecollar's time and energy, thus relieving me of some of the inner-mounting pressure of having such a loathsome "competitor" even if only a tad bit? Well, as some of you may know it didn't take long for the "man" to create a movie review blog called "Celluloid Hut" which deals with that I would call the artsy-fartsiest of the uppercrust arthouse flicks (with a few slummers tossed in of course) which I guess would be more suited to the blogster's "talents". Nothing of my concern true; after all I shall never fear that Jay would review a good Bowery Boys flick on this particularly tiffany-esque blog even though the idea of him writing not only about microbrewery beer and hoity-toity moom pitchers still doesn't do my guts any good!
However, in the sage words of Bob Dylan "now is the time for your tears" because (get this!) contrary to his word, Jay actually went and reactivated his allegedly dead 'n buried "Detailed Twang" blog and is (shudder!) once again writing about all of his favorite "post-punk" amerindie/whatever alternative muzik drivel, polluting the blogosphere with his oh-so-precocious ramblings regarding quaff that a good portion of us knew enough to trample over whilst heading for those great sixties garage band and seventies proto-punk platters that remain near and dear to each and every one of our pea-pickin' hearts! It is a frightening experience akin to that legend where when one villain is slain THREE pop up to give us even more of a hassle! Only this ain't some myth straight outta JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS but for real and that's enough to scare a full grown rockism-inspired blogger such as myself!
I know I shouldn't react like this...after all, in the wild and wooly world of rockism people like Hinman are what one would call a flea-bite on the pockmarked derma of ineffectual rock criticism. But sheesh, after the number that not only Jay but his spiritual butt buddy Dave Lang did on me a few years back (and with the lack of any decent justice or at least apologies being emitted from their stodgy stiff upper lipped beings) you can bet that I am still thirsting for some fresh hides on my den wall! I get that way sometimes even though justice delayed or justice denied for that matter is par for the course as far as my life goes, but that doesn't mean that I can't still LUST for a bitta that elusive justice with a nice hunka revenge tossed in for good measure!
And so here we are, with Jay's three to my one blog 'n who knows what inanities this faux-libertarian (who rah-rahs for none other than Benito Guiliani while the real libertarian/traditional conservative candidate RON PAUL continues to dodge the slings and arrows of the posthippie libertineians at REASON) will be spouting off about a wide range of musical philosophy (or myself for that matter!) as the weeks roll on. It certainly is cause for distress in the hearts of any true BLOG TO COMMer out there in internetland, and you can bet that there will be many a sleepless night here at headquarters as I toss and turn beneath my Beaver Cleaver "dooner" recently won on ebay thinking of ways to "off" this evil man of such vile repute. I got it, how about a nail bomb disguised as a package from Chuck Warner! He'll be sure to fall for that 'un and who knows, perhaps that yank of the string'll be enough for those flying shards to permeate not only Jay but some of his visiting San Franciscan alternative stage door Johnnies who come over to listen to those rare eighties offerings the guy made his name with writing 'em up in his own inimitiable style during that long hard climb up the shaky ladder to rock criticism heaven. Now wouldn't that be just ducky!
But until that eventful day I just guess my heart will have to bear the sorrowful knowledge that Mr. Jay once again is out there dumping his printed toxins into the well of civilized blogpatter and there's nada I can do about it. Now I know how Dick Tracy felt when he hadda let the Mumbles Quintet free due to lack of evidence, and frankly unlike Tracy I don't think that the evil guy's gonna come to justice in this particular saga! But despite my the heavy weight upon my fragile and deeply sensitive self I will soldier on and give you another brief-yet-pow-r-toch-esque "Comm-A-Rama" just oozing with pertinent info regarding some of my recent Cee-Dee acquisitions. It's the least I can do for you, the face-front fan of this tried and true weblog, right?
Todd Rundgren-SOMETHING/ANYTHING 2-CD set (Bearsville/Rhino)
The votes are in, or shall I say that the "vote" is in for only one person dared let his opinion as to whether or not I should've purchased this double-disque set be known (my interest was piqued after reading Fred Whitlock's "Todd Rundgren is a Punk" article in SPOONFUL #2 natch!). Said voter said "go for it!" and so I did, although other than for the boss pop single "I Saw the Light" I actually found very little on this two record set that tickled my fancy, or anything else for that matter. The cheap-sounding Woody's Truckstop tapes starting off side four (using archaic elpee lingo) were of course fun enough for mid-sixties necromancers like myself and I kinda liked some of the more power-poppish moments that were scattered about (even the Wolfman Jack tribute!), but SOMETHING/ANYTHING seems to bypass the promised punk for a more early-seventies SoCal appeal that doesn't do my system any good. In fact SOMETHING/ANYTHING comes off like typical 1972 Warner Brothers cool-teen hipster fodder from the laid-back Los Angeles industry-rock feel to the "aren't I so clever?" instrumental whiz of a Frank Zappa album, and if I wanted to hear that I woulda gone for their albums 'stead of this! A few more spins might have SOMETHING/ANYTHING growing on me, but really didn't Brian Eno and Brian Sands for that matter do this troubled multi-instrumentalist rock genius trip a lot better?
Saucers-WHAT WE DID CD (Grand Theft Audio, try Bomp!)
Any act following on the heels of Mirrors and Rocket From The Tomb's bound to come off like an episode of SHIRLEY TEMPLE THEATER after a few hours of TWILIGHT ZONE, but despite the anticipation of letdown I must say that these Saucers were an excellent late-seventies bunch that took the best that the early-seventies proto-punk era hadda offer (Cle first wave "demonic intensity", Roxy/Eno, Sparks...) and made sure it didn't become obsolete in the anything-goes latter portion of that decade. From Craig Bell's Cle re-dos ("Frustration", "Muckraker", "Annie" and the excell-o "Slow Down") to Malcolm Marsden's pure pop for someoneorother you can't go wrong with this Golden Age of Underground Rock collection that'll bring back tingly memories of just how great it was hearing all this long-gone energy the first time 'round. And if you think I didn't buy it because of the presence of one Seth Tiven (future Dumptruck/ex-NEW HAVEN ROCK PRESS scribbler) and all of the psychic vibrations emanating from my earlier writeup on his brother then you'd be wrong as usual!
Television Personalities-DON'T CRY BABY....IT'S ONLY A MOVIE CD (Damaged Goods)
I know I'm treading upon Hinman territory writing about post-seventies alternafashion music such as this, but since I was "in" on the whole Rough Trade revolution whilst it was happening exploring the depths of Swell Maps and Raincoats discs while Jay was still questioning the existence of Santa Claus I feel that I have every RIGHT to pontificate on the TV Personalities since it's just as much MY music, if not more, than his. But still, Hin' may have the last laugh on this 'un because DON'T CRY BABY sounds like one of those TV Personalities albums I just hated back in the nineties but I'll admit sounds pretty nice, if sparse here in the late oh-ohs. From the covers of Richman and Harrison (!) to Treacy's own sloparound on old Velvets/Barrett riffage this does make for a once-in-awhiler that's just as tender-yet-snide as all those great TVP/Times singles I spent the very early-eighties snatching up because they were a lot easier to find than the real things (John's Children, Creation...)!
***Robbie Basho-VENUS IN CANCER CD (Tompkin's Square)
Argh! More late-sixties nudity on elpee covers! At least this ain't one of those strategic hide-the-goodies sleeves that way too many chickenhearts dished out at the time, but come on, just what hath John Lennon wrought when he'n Yoko dared to be The Bare Hair Bunch anyways! Nuttin' but a whole load of copycats jumping in on the nude trend of the day (and at least Yoko looked a lot better'n the twiggy they got to post on this 'un!), but I ain't interested in "poozle pushing product" as Lester Bangs once said but the magnif sounds found herein! And as far as Robbie Basho goes this is some pretty enveloping music that this long-gone stringbender's put out for our listening pleasure. Pretty much like his earlier outings on Takoma with that rich eastern-tuned guitar playing that sounded so full it coulda been an entire band, not to mention Basho's patented vocalese which comes off like a western take on Indian raga-moan. Works wonders especially during those late-night kick-uppa-feet times when you wanna forget the stress and strain o' the day. A must for thost of you who, like me, began following Basho only after we first heard Edgar Breau's recommendations, but frankly I'll still trample over Basho and even John Fahey platters to get to my NEW "world music" guitar fave, mainly Sandy Bull!