IN THE SAGE WORDS OF BETTE MIDLER, A COUPLE BIG ONES ATCHA! ('n yeh I know it's a variation on an old gag but they can't all be gems like Dave Lang's latest!)
Still not much happening here at BTC central, but that's not gonna stop me from shirking my bi-weekly doody to give you the best posts that blogdom has ever had the fortune of seeing in a good X years o' the form! Of course that means I gotta hit some of the old faithfuls in my collection for pertinant blogfodder, hopefully something I haven't reviewed before or at least on this blog, and considering how many Cee-Dees I have spun in the past few days solely for blog purposes only to realize that in fact they have been written up in these "pages" has been quite surprising to say the least. That's why there are only two "newies" this time (and believe-you-me, I hadda be quite certain they haven't made it to this blog thus a good hour or so of pre-publication research!), but as you can guess I put my heart, soul and maybe even a few glands into this post so don't go complainin' that I just don't care about you precious readers anymore. An' besides it ain't like I was ever made outta moolah, not unlike some of the white collar bloggers who take up way too much blogspace to matter, so if you've come here expecting the latest mp3 of whatever down-the-hatch new alternative hype there may be out there in alternativeland you've certainly come to the wrong place!
And unfortunately (for you) I haven't even had the time to venture into my rekkid collection down inna basement to refresh myself with some long-forgotten goodies! There certainly are a buncha worthwhile wares down there that need to be writ up for the express purposes of giving you a clear, concise and maybe even mediocre post, but once I get the time and have the ability I most certainly will take that long trek downstairs and maybe even play that enticing Lookies single that Rich Noll sent my way all those months ago! But until I do (go downstairs that is, as well as receive a few bulging orders I have on reserve one of these days!) here are them two disques in question, oldies but sureies, that I hope will enlighten you in some occult way or else the entire purpose of this blog will have been for naught.
But before we do, just take a gander at the drawing that I've posted on the right, an actual gift to me from none other than Jillery herself! Y'see, last Tuesday was the thirteenth anniversary of my "break-day", the day when Jillery actually went and broke my arm and boy is she still upset about it. (Mainly because she was aiming for the neck, but we can't all be perfect!) Anyway, in honor of the occasion Jillery actually went and bought me this original Barney Bean drawing seen on the right, a nice cartoon-y pic of a guy that was made using the initials "J. Z." which belonged to some lucky birthday kiddie who sent his name in to channel 33 way back in the day just so's Bean (a. k. a. Bill Harris, longtime WYTV announcer/station manager) could make this drawing for him onna air! (Those of you who have issue 17 of my own mag can see the drawing that he did with Jillery's initials way back in '65, albeit the drawing she received was done on cheap drawing paper unlike this new acquisition and probably was done off-camera since nobody can recall seeing any shows where he would have draw the thing for her!) Anyway, I am proud that this framed piece of artwork is now hanging in my very bedroom, and muchas gracias to Jillery for shattering my humerus (and believe me, at the time is wasn't humorous one bit!) or else I never woulda gotten hold of this classic sixties tee-vee memorabilia!
And now the no further ado part...
Television & Patti Smith-EARLY GIG '75 CD (Element of Crime bootleg)
From what I understand there's now a 2-CD boot featuring both groups' entire sets from the legendary April '75 CBGB run, but since I got this one already I thought I'd hold off on dishing out any more exorbitant import prices at least until the next great money purge. And it's a shame that nobody thought of releasing any of these recordings a lot earlier, like when both TV and Smith were pretty much hot fanzine fodder because this disque's got it all from the VELVET UNDERGROUND LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY ambience (with the geekoid college kids talking into the mic telling us all from a good thirtysome years how this is gonna make a swell bootleg just like Jim Carroll woulda done!) to the early documentation of both groups long before they released any major label fodder for the cutout bins! Television's just starting to get their grip on a more "serious" form of soundscapading (compare these tracks to those Richard Hell-era tapes from a year earlier just to see how much they've honed up) while Patti's still drummerless and kinda teetering between a basement-level band and cabaret, but either way I'm sure even the dullest of the VILLAGE VOICE-reading flybynights in the audience coulda seen that something indeed was in the air that night. A release that's custom-made for those of you who still fondly read the old Wayne County advice columns in ROCK SCENE...and follow his crazy suggestions t'boot!
***Sonny Sharrock-GUITAR CD (Enemy)
If I'm not mistaken ain't this the one that sorta jumpstarted Sharrock's recording career after a few years of "wha' 'app'd"? You woulda thought that this venerable avant garde guitarist woulda been done good by eighties whiz kid Bill Laswell a lot sooner, especially since Sharrock was playing front and center in Laswell's own Material for a good five or so years prior (and speaking of live tapes, where are all of those CBGB gigs Sharrock did either with Material or on his lonesome rotting away at?). Still, for a guy like myself who had just gotten hold of the Affinity reissue of Sharrock's claim-to-destruction MONKEY POCKIE BOO and sure missed the raw aggressive edge of underground rock after five years of general namby-pambyisms a disc like GUITAR really did give this feller somethingorother to live for, especially in the face of way more post-hardcore drek than a sane person could handle!
Nothing but guitar overlapped and overdubbed, with general melodies taken not only from jazz but r&b and rock proper coming off kinda like Eddie Hazel's guitar solo on "Maggot Brain" isolated and used against itself. (Hey I dunno what that exactly means either, but it sure reads cool enough in a faux-rockcrit way to me!) And considering that some of the latterday Sharrock recordings I've heard can be less violent than one would hope for (with the exception of the brill ASK THE AGES natch!) this is perhaps thee quintessential Sharrock release from the latter portion of his career that's gonna be yapped about for years on end long after Al DeMeola breaks his last string. A downright classic that makes me glad I was doing stories on the guy in my fanzine whilst the rest of the "underground" was more content with re-copying Homestead and Matador press releases in order to curry favor with the Big Boss.