Saturday, August 30, 2008

UGLY THINGS #27 (even still not a fanzine anymore!)

Back when I was a younger and much more cavalier than I am today man I used to rattle certain females who were giving me a hard time by saying "I guess it's that time of the month again!" Then these wimmer (who would all be oh so "deeply offended" at my scabrous remark) eventually hit the "change o' life" aka menopause and since they're acting crabby all the time I can't use that once-accurate retort (to their general behavior) anymore!!! Well, nowadays I know it's that time of the year when the new UGLY THINGS hits the mailbox, and lemme tell you that having a newie of this 'un in my clams sure is a lot more pleasant than being locked up with one of the femme persuasion while she's going through her lunar yelps and moans!

Yeah, you probably are thinking that this is going to be one of my standard UGLY THINGS reviews where I go on and on about the contents of the latest issue and my various opinions regarding said innards. Well, as usual you are right!, because what better way is there to get the fence-sitting rock fan who doesn't know better or perhaps even some casual stroller to this site who doesn't know his Pretty Things from his Private Things to latch onto an issue of this CRUCIAL, LIFE-SAVING MAGAZINE!!! And as you'd expect, the fine folks behind UGLY THINGS spare nada in their attempts to bring to you not only some of the best writing to be seen in print these days (music-related or not) but some of the most in-depth articles on people you never heard about, or if you have you never thought they had that much of a story to begin with!

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS JUICY, 216-PAGE INFO-PACKED ISSUE OF UGLY THINGS: For one thing, the overall writing sure has improved, and if this were a kinder world the people who write for UT would be making their opinions known in a whole slew fulla "mainstream", "above ground" publications but they won't because what editors are looking for today are boring, sycophantic, go-with-the-flow superficialists whose main claim to fame is using their analingual skills as a substitute for clear, concise reporting. Hot features can be found all over this ish as well, like the Who/Small Faces one that I'm surprised hasn't earned author Andy Neill a free plot at the Rock Writers United Cemetery and Classic Auto Show campgrounds. Of course all of the features here are what I would call boffo, and whether it be the piece on the Spats (of "Gator Tails and Monkey Ribs" fame), the history of Koala (a band I've yet to hear even though they did feature a future Sir Lord Baltimore and Magic Tramp) or one of the many articles I've yet to eat up and digest because there's just dad-blamed too much of it, who could deny that this ish of UGLY THINGS is perhaps even better than the previous ones if that can be fathomed. Or at least it's on its own exalted plateau as an example of what rock & roll really is about, and it ain't about the embarrassment it has become these days, sweetie, as a neat comparative study would easily show you!

The reason I haven't really "gotten into" (man!) all of the articles this ish yet is because I always like to read the various recording, book and Dee-Vee-Dee reviews first in order to see what hotcha material that's missed my notice has been released as of the past few months. The recorded music segment naturally is my fave, and not only do the various "critics" give their all with regards to telling you what is and ain't good about whatever disque may be at hand, but the writing seems to have improved to the point where certain contributors whose material I have pretty much poo-poo'd the past few rounds are actually showing themselves to be good and even insightful writers. Even that "unnamed" gal who I criticized last time for being too much of a hippoid did a good review of a Love reissue, a statement that I don't think will earn me any gooshy goosh response from the mysterious "Jeff" nor would I want any, but facts are facts! It looks like I'm going to be salting away plenty of money to grab up all of the books, records and other flotsam that has been plugged in this issue, and I have the sneaking suspicion that you will be too! Oh wait, I'm still trying to get hold of much needed items reviewed three issues back, so maybe sometime in 2019???

WHAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT UGLY THINGS #27!: Not enough gratuitous mentions of the Velvet Underground. No nude photos of Gillian Hills.

Les Rallizes De'nudes-NAKED DIZA STAR 3-CD set (Univive Japan, probably sold out by now)

Really, do I need every Rallizes Denudes (or, as the cover says, "De'nudes") release that's coming outta the vaults every so many months, and for sky-high prices at that? On the surface, the answer is nope which is why I haven't been snatching up the various eighties/nineties-period Denudes releases that have been making their way to many an online Cee-Dee emporium. That just wasn't Mizutani and company's prime era even though they finally got somewhat of an audience that should be affored to an underground band of their caliber long beforehand. But even when we're gabbin' 'bout Les Rallizes Denudes at their mid-seventies height of atonal bliss is it worth dishing out the yen for just about every shard of recorded music that is currently being made available? The answer to this just might be no as well. I mean, how many takes of set closer "The Last One" do you need in your collection anyway since they all sound the same, albeit with Mizutani dishing out some unique soundcapading passing as lead guitar on each different one?

Gentle readers, I'm afraid this just might be the last Denudes set I'll be purchasing in quite awhile, unless someone uncovers more of the group's late-sixties high energy psychedelic recordings and commits them to silver complete with a Certificate of Authenticity issued by the Japanese Red Army. Not that there ain't some bright spots on this one (especially on disc #3, oddly enough recorded in the early-eighties long after the band's apex) but little that can't be found on many of the groups' other releases legit and not can be heard here. For the ultra-serious collector (or which I never claimed to be) who has to have everything in every format, and frankly showing gals my Les Rallizes Denudes collection ain't quite as boss as whipping my etching out as Bill Shute found out thirtysome years back trying to get gals all hot and bothered with METALLIC KO!


Woody said...

"showing gals my Les Rallizes Denudes collection ain't quite as boss as whipping my etching out"

I always liked asking girls is they wanted to check out my obelisk.

Christopher said...

Y'know, I too have a copy of that early-sixties Lenny Kaye fanzine in my collection! Maybe I should whip that one out sometimes!

diskojoe said...

Hey, I saw your review of the Rough Guide to the VU in the latest issue of Ugly Things, so it isn't as if you're weren't doing your bit. Anyway, another great Ugly Things, the only music mag that I ever buy nowadays.