George Harrison-ELECTRONIC SOUND CD (Zapple Japan)
Boy you can tell it's been a slow week when I have to pull this moldy chestnut outta the fire! Anyway, I first heard about this particular solo Beatle toss-out back when I was in high school and just immersing myself in electronic music...I loved the stuff and the idea behind it whether it be Kraftwerk's chugga-chug or some synthesizer usage on a then-current top 40 hit or even the abstract-y music they would play on the PBS rebroadcast of ABC's WORLD NEWS TONIGHT with captions back in those pre-decoder days, and I guess to my thick-skulled teenage dome the whole concept of electronic sound and all of that budding avant garde seemed like the gosharootiest best thing that could be happening in the otherwise humdrum seventies. I read all the books I could about electronic music and people like John Cage and David Rosenboom and his electronic brainwave music, and believe-you-me the whole thing sounded pretty exciting to some guy who felt as if he was kept in a small dark closet (of the mind) for a good portion of his existence. So finding out that none other than George Harrison had done an electronic music album really got my juices flowing. As you can see, I had a pretty sheltered childhood.
Luckily enough only a few short months after first espying a dago import copy going for a whopping fifteen buckskins at the local record shop Apple began clearing out all of their album and tape backlog at budget prices so viola, I got hold of a cassette copy of ELECTRONIC SOUND (actually two in case the first one jammed) at the bargain sum of $1.99 each one record-hunting Friday night! After anxiously arriving with the tape into my fart-encrusted bedroom I slapped the thing onto my chairside mono portable player and...proceeded to listen to the entire album with awe even though all that came outta the speaker were various electro bumps and groans but I ate the thing up with all of that "emperor's new clothes" feeling since, if it was put out by a Beatle it must've had some artistic meaning, eh?
And besides, ELECTRONIC SOUND didn't sound any worse than that Nonesuch Xenakis album that drove my father to fits of anger whilst I was doing that infamous electronic music term paper...y'know, the one Jillery goofed up with such typos as "Sien Ra" 'stead of "Sun Ra" and all that. But still, it wasn't like I was listening to ELECTRONIC SOUND on a nightly basis the same way I would listen to such teenage favorites as LIVE AT THE ROXY AND ELSEWHERE and RADIO ETHIOPIA in order to help me ease into late night slumber...and I kid you not!
So that was then...as for now where does that leave me and my opinion of this obvious throwaway el-pee? Well, I gotta say that I sure kinda liked the thing whilst it was spinning away on my boom box whilst thumbing through the Coley/Moore NO WAVE book for the umpteenth time this week. Natch it was merely "background music" for an infinitely more entertaining reading experience, but hey, anyone with two ears and a sense of music values can tell you that ELECTRONIC SOUND really is nothing but a bigtime rock star with time to spare playing around with the new technology for the day and presenting his musings as something for the rock avant garde market to chew up, little as they will. (It should also be noted that a good hunk of this disc was actually recorded by Paul Krause of Beaver and... fame, who at first insisted his name be taken off the cover and then raised a big stink when he found out his moog demonstration was presented as actual Harrison electronic music!)
Well, the liner notes did state that "There are a lot of people around, making a lot of noise; here's some more." Honesty in advertising if you ask me, and even though I do like the thing in its own jeepers way I can't deny that statement. As most BLOG TO COMM readers know, I do like junk and trash and smarm and whatever ya got, just as long as it somehow fits into my own preconceptions and ideals about what is good and bad and on what levels it's valid or isn't. And yeah, I can listen to ELECTRONIC SOUND on the same level that I like to listen to fifties MOR and even some iffy early-eighties gnu wave trash and besides, I still think that Mick Jagger did the rockstar jacking off on synthesizer bit a lot better with his soundtrack to INVOCATION OF MY DEMON BROTHER, and even he didn't have the balls to release that on record!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
DVD REVIEW: IGGY AND THE STOOGES-ESCAPED MANIACS 2-DVD SET (MVD Visual/Charly)
OK, I know that a great many of you regular BLOG TO COMM readers didn't give one whit about the recent Stooges reunion and subsequent albums, but sure as I'm sitting here I thought the entire concept of these ozobs existing in the here and now to be pretty entrancing, ifyaknowaddamean! Sure it woulda been better for alla us if Iggy and his mates got back together in the eighties when we all coulda used a little more high energy in our mainlines, and seeing a buncha sixtysome guys trying to relive twentysome glories might not go down well with some of the more, er, skeptical members of the rock "community", but look at it this way...as Linus used to say in the mid-fifties-era (and best in my humble opinion) PEANUTS, "five-hundred years from now, who'll know the difference?"
Believe it or not, but the concert footage is actually unoffensive to my fragile rockism tastes. Of course I could have done without all of those colored light effects that remind me of those color wheels that would spin upon an aluminium Christmas Tree (the Stooges being a proudly monochromatic band) plus having audience members dancing about on-stage whilst Iggy shows off a good six inches of his crack seems like a play for the modern rock consciousness, but otherwise I found the overall energy levels exuded by the entire band (even bassist Mike Watt, who despite his excellent contributions to the Minutemen kinda seemed way too mystico for my tastes) pretty durn high. And we're talking about a buncha guys who Mitch Miller thought were gonna all croak back when he had lunch with 'em in '73 so you could say that this Stooges show (filmed at the Lockerse Freestern in waffleland) was a much better success'n, say, the Velvet Underground reunion 'n obligatory vid from '93 which merely rehashed the known material and gave us one lousy new track for our troubles. And for the most part it's a non-asshole audience (didn't see any lighters held up in blind homage, a good sign) and an overall what I woulda hoped for performance, and if you like you can even re-watch the thing via the "director's cut" which has a few interesting tidbits here 'n there.
The second disque features an Iggy/Stooges documentary and although I try to avoid these things like the plague (I think a few viewings of POV on PBS in the late-eighties turned me off to those didactic paeans to communist glories past and a new gay world faster than you can say "Jerry Falwell's revenge") I did find the presentation pretty interesting, at least until they got into the solo Iggy period which can (on a good day) range between "fairly interesting" to "rock bottom" within the short span of a few albums and image changes. Some interesting shards are turned over and the various seventies tee-vee clips from DINAH etc. are not to be missed, but nothing that really flips my lid that much is to be found. Much better are the added bonus interviews with Iggy and the Asheton brothers where they get to talk about their days of youthful rage looking pretty good for the retirees they are even if Ron looks tubbier than tubby enough yer's troolee! Dunno about you, but I got enough enjoyment outta this and who knows, you might too!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 12:40 PM
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
DVD REVIEW...THE JOHNNY CARSON SHOW 2 DVD SET (Shout)
I was going to review this 'un (a b-day gift courtesy of none other than BILL SHUTE!!!!) along with another DVD set I received a few weeks back (the second volume of Kino's Avant Garde Films collection) but since that one's such a struggle to get through I thought I'd give this Carson set its just dues and wait until whenever I finally finish the Kino collection before I give it a good what for. And what a collection this is, for these two disques do not contain any clips from the infamous 30-year Carson reign on THE TONIGHT SHOW that you very well may have been conceived to (unless you're Dave Lang, in which case you should settle for THE MORNING FARM REPORT), but come directly from the long-fabled (and presumably long-lost) 1955-56 prime-time Carson series on CBS which few people talk about, even fewer remember, and probably hardly anyone alive would have claimed to have viewed back in those classic tee-vee goodie days.
But whadevva, the two disques here sure give a good sampling of just what Carson was up to a good ten years before he pretty much achieved superstardon on late-night tee-vee by telling off color jokes with lots of beaver references. With Carson playing his good-natured midwestern WASP self to the hilt, THE JOHNNY CARSON SHOW pretty much comes off like a good half hour version of The Mighty Carson Art Players which is fine if you (like me) would stay up for the Floyd R. Turbo Editorial Reply and forgo listening to George Carlin pretend he's being "relevant". The curtain may seem similar albeit not in that garish multi-colored remnant of early color tee-vee days (I did like the one with all of the CBS "eye" logos lined up nice and neat), and come to think of it there are many bits and pieces in this series pointing towards the Carson we all knew and snoozed to. Y'know, the deft spoofing of mid-Amerigan living to the funny monologues on a variety of current events and subjects that Carson seemed to raise to an art form back in the sixties. And, with a little fine tuning, a few of the skits here would have placed on THE TONIGHT SHOW 20/30 years down the line with ease, such as the in the one where Carson presents all of the new and exotic pets one can latch onto these days as well as the psychic bit which kinda foreshadows Karnac, which in itself was a swipe of Steve Allen's Answer Man.
And Carson sure knew how to swipe from the biggies even then. You may know all about Carson stealing his Aunt Blabby routine from Jonathan Winters (who at first didn't seem to mind but later on let his hidden anger be known) while the whole Carson/Doc Severinson display was a direct swipe from Jackie Gleason and Ray Bloch (later on Sammy Spear). And you probably knew that "The Mighty Carson Art Players" name if not concept itself was a direct riff on Fred Allen. But even at this early stage in the game you can see Carson "borrowing" mannerisms from Jack Benny, which I guess proves that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...
And seventies tee-vee maniacs will want to take note that such future television stars such as Jack Albertson and Jamie Farr can be spotted, as can Werner Klemperer in a pretty funny trojan horse spoof. And true, I can see just why THE JOHNNY CARSON SHOW didn't make it outta the first season alive, but like in a lotta things the fifties doth wrought the reverberations into the next decade sure rang loud and clear!
Oh, and for once I decided to eye the feature bonuses and they're neat as well. Since they always seem to cut the commercials from these legitimate copyrighted releases it was grand seeing Carson hawking Jello even if they weren't actually part and parcel of the program as I would have liked (hmmm, another Benny swipe...y'see, Benny got his start hawking Jello too!). An episode from Carson's '56 afternoon program on CBS was interesting if too panel discussion-y, while the 1958 WHO DO YOU TRUST on ABC (which was pretty much a YOU BET YOUR LIFE imitation!) was a fine example of just what could happen on afternoon game shows at the time, with a contestant getting locked in an isolation booth while workmen get him out as the show progressed! Heck, there's even a short clip from the time Carson guest-hosted THE TONIGHT SHOW in '59 while Jack Paar was on vacation! Talk about eerie shades of things to come within a few short years!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 7:19 AM
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Datetenryu-1971 CD (Gyunne, Japan)
"Progressive punk" might seem like an oxymoron of the most moronic kind, but once you get down to the brass tacks nitty gritty of it all the concept really ain't as strange as one might think. Take the genre of "krautrock" (at its best) f'rinstance, a perfect example of what happens when you mix up late-sixties Amerigan garage band concepts with Karlheinz Stockhausen (and don't tell me that there weren't a whole buncha late-sixties U. S. of Ayers who were tossing about their Stooges with King Crimson coming up with some rather smart sounds of their own!), and hey, once you get past the Blondies and Talking Heads in En Why See you'd notice that groups like Kongress (late-sixties punk meets krautrock) and even the Shirts at least on the LIVE AT CBGB'S album sounded more like some sixties punksters who discovered early-FM free form radio and decided to do a little mix and match of their own! Yeah I know that progressive is pretty much a dirty word in rock music and considering the many early/mid-seventies turdbombs progrock left us it sure deserves the image that it has, but at least with some good end results in the offering why should I complain, or at least complain that loud?
Now it ain't like I'm gonna run straight to the hip Cee-Dee supermarket and buy up a whole slew of progressive rock discs like Chuck Eddy did during his I'M GONNA PISS OFF ALL THE SQUARE PUNKS AND CHAMPION CORPORATE MAINSTREAM ROCK days when he was caught proudly sporting a copy of TALES FROM THE TOPOGRAPHIC OCEAN, but the next time I hear that people like Chuck Dukowski were spinnin' some Yes with their Sabbath and Stooges back in the shoulda-known-better-by-now seventies maybe I won't do as much flinching as I would have even a good ten years back!
Which brings us to Datetenryu. This Japanese group, probably best known for giving the world bassist Hiroshi Nar (he also of Les Rallizes Denudes, Zuno Keisatsu and Jokers fame amongst others), exemplifies the concept of progpunk almost as well as all of those krautsters and Amerigan punks into the German Expressionism game put togedder! And sheesh, what else could I say about a group that perhaps even goes further than all those Europeons in mixing and matching their musical influences, for Datetenryu actually remind me of the perfect cross between the early-seventies pomp progressive rock of Emerson Lake and Palmer and the mid-sixties Amerigan thud of ? and the Mysterians! Yes, if you can imagine the sweeping parlor trick keyboard stylings of Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman being played on a cheap portable organ (interspersed with some crunchy cheeze chording) while the rest of the band seems straight outta suburban garage 1966 then you'll get an idea, albeit slight, of what Datetenryu have in store for you on this not-so-easy-to-find archival digup.
And whatever Datetenryu do, it sure ain't anything that Manticore records would have been willing to sign up during those great days of import bin hunting! Thankfully the portable organ sound helps the proceedings, and without the use of 1001 keyboards powered by the sun there thankfully are no sylvan images of damsels in distress or fairy British fantasy gunk being conjured up here! In fact, Nar's screaming vocals also sound closer to the 1966 mid-Amerigan throat scrape than they do to the sweet dulcet tones of Jon Anderson's castrati and that certainly is a plus in my book of rock & roll being written soon.
The only group that I think comes close to what Datetenryu are up to here is Ainigma, whose DILUVIUM album seemed to straddle a similar English prog meets Amerigan punk style. Interesting true, and admittedly nothing I will be spinning on a nightly basis the same way I'll play a recently-unearthed Denudes live side ad infinitum (to coin a cliche), but still something like 1971 with Nar's over-the-top screaming vocals and those arpeggios and classical swipes that come off as clunky as anything on BACK FROM THE GRAVE have me wondering what else might be in store in the world of undiscovered Japanese underground rock. And did I tell you that Datetenryu even have their own Kyu Sakamoto moment which seems to be about as par for the course as any Japanese protopunk aggregate that might come to mind???
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 9:02 AM
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
SINGLES GOING STROONADIER EVERY DAY!
On a lark I decided to pick a few seven inchers outta the collection at random and write 'em up for this mid-week crisis review (the crisis being that there ain't any new records comin' out that I exactly feel like giving the time of day to...of course that all may change when the Figures of Light CD finally sees the light of day next week!). Anyway, here are just a few goodies I chanced upon as of the past two days that you may have an affectation for or could care less about for all I know, but then again this is my blog and what I say goes!!! Howzat for spewin' venom outta my frothing mouth Jeffy???
***Alice Cooper-"No More Mister Nice Guy"/"Raped and Freezin'" (Warner Brothers Germany)
I sure do remember when "Mr. Nice Guy" was ridin' high on the AM charts sometime around when I was getting tired of comic books and looking for a new thrill in life. By that time I had pretty much written Alice off as just another freak jive turkey who was trying to look weird while displaying none of the shock tactics that even the cover of Rare Earth's WILLIE REMEMBERS could convey, and this single really didn't do that much for my adolescent sense of outrage (which admittedly was practically nil at the time). So thirty-five years later how does it fare? Well, "Mr Nice Guy" sure sounds a lot keener'n all the other offal that was crowdin' up the AM airwaves like Tony Orlando and Dawn, Vicki Carr and Helen Reddy (stuff girls liked, y'know!) so maybe I shouldn't've been that picky with my listening preferences. Flip "Raped and Freezin'" sounds a lot better though with a title like that I doubt it'd be gettin' much airplay. A real finger-popper that does tend to veer solidly into Rolling Stones/Velvet Underground territory just like Ken Highland said it did in his HYPERION review way back in the day. Strangest thing occured to me while listening to this though...how could Alice have made it so big with rock & roll this good anyway?
***Slade-"Gudbuy 't Jane"/"I Won't Let it 'appen Again" (Polydor Germany)
Part of the same batch of Kraut records (and my copy of UMMAGUMMA) that I bought at an old General Store turned antique shop way out in the boonies a long time ago. I guess the proprietors were selling off the collection of some returning army vet and GUESS WHO was the beneficiary of not only a whole buncha glam-era singles but old copies of CREEM and FUSION (the fanzine issue) that once belonged to our boy in uniform? It wasn't Posonby Britt, that's for sure! Anyway, in anticipation of the copy of SLADE PARADER that I hope will be winging its way to my door soon comes this boffo single, a surprise since I used to think that Slade were instant douse despite all of the rockcrit hype that surrounded these English thug rockers. Well, despite the heavy media putsch this is a cooker of a record with a good enough English thunk on the a-side that I'm surprised wasn't a hit over here, but then again there was a lotta xenophobia being played out in the radio stations of the United States back then which is why T. Rex sadly never did make it big after "Get It On". I prefer the flipster a lot more, a driving song that has enough of the light metal touches that made glam rock such a pleasing antidote to the same early-seventies pop-sludge miasma I mentioned in the previous writeup.
***Distorted Levels-"Hey Mister", "Red Swirls"/Tar Babies-"Rejected at the High School Dance" (Bona Fide)
This one's been bandied about on another blog about a year back, but I thought that maybe you'd want to hear about these archival dig-ups from someone other than a rank amateur. Back in '77-'79 Greg Prevost was editing the great FUTURE fanzine (a rag I sure would like to write up in an up-'n-coming BTC if only Mr. Prevost would get back in touch with me and fill in a few details!) and playing in a number of groups with a whole buncha weird names like The Creatures From The Black Lagoon at poolside parties. House ads in FUTURE promised all sorts of albums and EPs from either Greg's groups or Greg solo, but the only thing to make it out during the days of FUTURE was the Distorted Levels single, a verifiable garage release if there ever was one. It took no time for Greg to disown the thing refusing to talk about it in pretty much the same fashion David Thomas clammed up about Rocket From The Tombs until he needed that punk dinero, but time had softened our former fanzine editor to the point where he eventually allowed Rick Noll's Bona Fide label to re-release this rarity back in the nineties.
Not only that, but Prevost gave Mr. Noll permission to release a heretofore unknown track by another forgotten Prevost group called the Tar Babies but first the Levels. Anyone who's heard this single knows what a winner it is, with Prevost doing his best to sound like Iggy meets Gerry Roslie while FUTURE contributors Carl Mack and Michael Ferrara create general garage backing on guitar/bass and drums respectively. Not as primitive as the Screamin' Mee Mees but a whole lot more wild than what a good portion of the "new wave" of the day was aping at. Flipside's "Rejected at the High School Dance" shows off more of a New York Ramones/Heartbreakers style, a shocker considering how Prevost was putting down da brudders in an early issue of his mag but then again I wasn't that interested in the Ramonsian way of thinking when their album first came out either! (Actually, everyone I knew told me not to go near the thing and frankly I complied, sheepish follower of trends I used to be!) I'm gonna hafta dig out my Mean Red Spiders (yet anudder pre-Chesterfield Kings Prevost band) and give a listen to their take of "Rejected" again just to do a side-hy-side comparison.
***The Lightning Raiders-"Psychedelic Musik"/"Views" (Arista England)
This is the group that Duncan Sanderson was in after the Pink Fairies went kablooey for good. Sounds great, right? Well yeah, but then again I just found out that Sanderson ain't even on this single and that the reason anybody even remembers it today is because Steve Jones and Paul Cook play on it instead. So score one for Sex Pistols fans and as for all you Deviants/Pink Fairies fanatics...well better luck next time.
***Kevin Dunn-"Nadine"/"Oktyabrina" (dB)
Here's a blast from the past that I haven't laid eyes upon in nigh over twenny-five years! Well, maybe I did give the li'l bugger a spin in the interim, but merely for cheap amusement. Anyway, this 'un was a solo single done up by Fans guitarist Kevin Dunn
right before rock media attention was being focused on the Georgia underground rock scenes of Athens and Atlanta, and at the time (1980) I latched onto this I thought it was a nice slice of electronic avant-new wave not that dissimilar to a lotta similar-minded underground throb thrills coming outta amerindie USA. Twenny-eight years later I find both sides of this project (even that at-times prog-flooey "Oktyabrina") better'n I originally dared, this time reminding me a lot more of a nifty Amerigan take on early Roxy Music or better yet early solo Eno with a hefty slice of Amerigan underground garage (thanks to the buzzing fuzz of Dunn's guitar lead) tossed in. A retro surprise outta nowhere, and maybe I should seek out Dunn's solo album from a year or so later even if some would dare call me candypants for doing so? I am brave enough.
***Styrene Money-"Radial Arm Saw"/"Just Walking" (Mustard)
Don't look for this 'un on your Homestead Styrenes collection, because for some odd reason strikingly different alternate takes of both sides werer used in its stead. Dunno why, but I guess that only boosts the value of my single all the more in case I have to sell the thing at some future date for colostomy bag money! All funnin' aside, I must say that I prefer the original takes of both to the more familiar (to you) CD version..."Radial Arm Saw" is a spright li'l jazz-tinged number that can sound AM -0- and avant simultaneously, and I'm sure it would have appealed even to the Steely Dan fan if slipped into an FM cokefest playlist. The instrumental flip has saxophone courtesy Jack Lefton and, after a brooding opening, sounds like Dixieland jazz sorta taken into an English prog/Canterbury direction with energy to spare. You shoulda seen the Styrene Dancers work up a sweat to it. Oddly enough, this 'un brought back fond memories of a period that was perhaps one of the darkest times I faced in my then-short life, yet (because of the music that was being churned out of garages worldwide) one of the best.
***The Flamin' Groovies-"You Tore Me Down"/"Him or Me" (Bomp!)
The very first Bomp! single which, for whatever reasons there may be, has the exact same version of "You Tore Me Down" that appears on the group's comeback effort SHAKE SOME ACTION from a whole year later. Dunno why this was chosen as the a-side since it's my least favorite track on that great album. It's just too slow and depressing for me, though it's not like I'm going on a campaign to have it banned from the next reissue of the thing. I much prefer the flip take on the Raiders' hit which, in the hands of the Groovies sounds a lot like the early San Francisco bands before the Ralph Gleason got to their heads. Kinda Vejtables/Mojo Men like, sorta like that Hot Knives stuff that was coming out just around the same time. Brings back memories of the ennui-laden summer of '78, and don't ask why!
***Before I forget, there's a new issue of DAGGER out, and I just got my issue! Of course I really can't relate to a lotta the groups mentioned in the thing (me being such an old behind-the-times fogey and all!) but I can spot a lotta interesting shards and factlets that do pass my fancy, and I'm sure you might find the magazine a nice lay-back-and-read if yuo're interested in a lotta the new stuff coming outta the underground this late in the game. Want a copy? Click on the link in the left column and buy one, dummy!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 2:13 PM
Sunday, July 13, 2008
BLACK TO COMM BACK ISSUE UPDATE!
I haven't posted one of these back issue come ons in over two years, and then again I haven't had any orders sent to me in two years either! Maybe this new 'un (spurred on by a dream I had last night where I found a boxfulla the now-o.p. issue #15 in my closet!) will light some fires under some rather acne'd buttocks out there. In a vain attempt to get you interested, let me just say that if you like the wild and irreverant post-gonzo tone of BLOG TO COMM, you'll sure as shootin' dig these still-available issues of the fanzine that got the ball rolling well over two decades back! All prices are postpaid in the United States, but if you're outside the country please write first and I'll try to whip up some postage deal for you. If you're willing to barter, lemme know what you have in the way of something I would enjoy. Paypal can be worked out as well. And while you're at it, please note the new address: Christopher Stigliano, 701 North Hermitage Rd., Suite 23, Hermitage, PA 16148 USA.
********************************************************************BLACK TO COMM #14-Early 1989. Featuring part one of the Ron Asheton interview, a nice though could be much better given all the information discovered since piece on the Deviants, an article on Peter Laughner's Cinderella Backstreet, the Seeds and Charlemagne Palestine. $6.00
BLACK TO COMM #16-From summer 1989. This one has the Rudolph Grey interview, some reprints of Peter Laughner things I copped out of old issues of ZEPPELIN and elsewhere, more Electric Eels lyrics with a pic, Laughing Hyenas and of course tributes to the recently departed Lucille Ball and Jim Backus. The first, cruddy version can be had for $3.50, though the better take will cost an extra buck ($4.50 in case you can't add). I also have some "damaged" in a basement flood but still readable (they may either be wrinkled a bit and/or have rusty staples) I'll part with for a mere two dollah!
BLACK TO COMM #17-Early '90. The first of the "big" issues has a cover story/interview with Scott Morgan and Gary Rasmussen from the old Scott Morgan band, also inside's an interview with Borbetomagus' Donald Miller as well as one with Maureen Tucker, not to mention pieces on Fish Karma (who I liked until hearing his overly-preachy kiss kiss moosh anti-gun song entitled "God Bless The NRA"), the Dogs (from Detroit, not the French ones or the Flamin' Groovies for that matter!), Rocket From the Tombs (with loads of old photos and the like, some never seen before or since!), the top 25 of heavy metal, METAL MACHINE MUSIC, a piece on the then-new proto-punk reissues and archival digs of the day and the usual reviews and news. $7.00.
BLACK TO COMM #21-From November '94. A VON LMO cover story and interview grace this ish, as do interviews with Metal Mike Saunders, Brian McMahon (Electric Eels) and rockabilly star Ronnie Dawson, plus you can read much-desired items on the Trashmen, Velvet Underground and Hawkwind like I knew you would! Not to mention a piece on the infamous TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE fanzine! $8.00.
BLACK TO COMM #24- From spring 2001. This issue's cover feature's a nice interview with Doug Snyder of DAILY DANCE/Sick Dick and the Volkswagens fame, plus there are interviews with the Dogs (Detroit) and Greg Shaw, a piece on the old CAN'T BUY A THRILL fanzine and the usual feature-length reviews and the like. $9.00.
BLACK TO COMM #25-The latest (December 2003), 162 pages brimming with such goodies as a New York City Scene history (featuring interviews with Max's Kansas City's Peter Crowley and Ruby Lynn Reyner from Ruby and the Rednecks plus pieces on coverboys the New York Dolls and VARIETY scene-booster Fred Kirby), an interview with J. D. King (Coachmen, comix) plus one with guitarist Lou Rone, who would probably be best known to you as leader of the early CBGB-era band Cross as well as one-time guitarist for both Kongress and VON LMO, the Screamin' Mee-Mees, CRETINOUS CONTENTIONS, Simply Saucer rare photos, family tree and gigography, rare fanzines of the Golden Age (and more), tons of book and record reviews (which make up the bulk of this ish!), plus a CD with live Simply Saucer 1975, the Coachmen, The Battleship, Ethel with David Nelson Byers and Ruby and the Rednecks. $12.00
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 2:12 PM
Saturday, July 12, 2008
CANDY REVIEW! BRACHS' "SODA POPPERS"
In the tradition of Mark Jenkins' "Sugar Sugar" candy column that popped up in the pages of his fanzine HYPERION comes this writeup of a new confection that's hit my taste buds within the past two weeks. And what a treat they are, given that the candy du jour's patterned after a variety of name brand soft drinks that I've known and guzzled for years, and considering how candy and soda pop are two of my favorite foodstuffs the combination of the two is one of the bestest things to hit the grocers since those over-priced yet scrumptious pop-flavored bottled egg creams that came and went just this past spring.
The concept of soda-flavored candies and gum ain't exactly new, and I understand that Coca-Cola candy and gum were pretty popular items during the earlier part of the previous century. Lucky dogs those old-timers were for being able to get hold of such yummies, for things along the line of Coke-flavored candy seemed all but gone 'round the time I first became conscious of the sweet things to eat! I do remember seeing what I guess was a chewy (or "gummy") Coca-Cola candy being sold by the pound in department stores as a kid; they were pretty much the size and texture of the Swedish Fish that were being sold in the bin directly next to it, but no matter how hard me or Jillery pleaded for some of these presumably tasty chewies my mom always turned us down saying that "we wouldn't like it". (The same excuse she gave me for not buying any Fizzies no matter how hard I pleaded.) Instead she insisted on buying her fave, that whippy confection which had nuts in it which I guess was better'n nothing, but as sure as Sam smells it ain't chewy candy that looks like flattened-out Coca-Cola bottles! (And the Hairbo brand of gummy cola bottles that I first discovered in the eighties miss the mark by a long shot, tasting more like the glass than the actual soda inside!)
But man, at least I've lived long enough to see this new treat courtesy of the usually staid Brachs candy company! And these Soda Poppers sure are good, better than those bottlecap candies that purported to be pop-flavored that came out when I was in adolescence or any of the current soda-flavored candies that may be available on the market at this time. Whatcha get per package are a mix of four fabulous flavors that I guess are based on the actual patented soda brand such as A&W Root Beer, 7 Up, Orange Crush and Dr. Pepper shrunken down into a nice li'l candy pop can, and what's best about it is that the insides of these hard candies are actually soft and chewy, meaning if you like to bite down on these candies with all your strength or suck on 'em for a while you'll get to the tasty soft core which comes off like a concentrated soda pop syrup that'll send you into sugar bliss in no time flat!
Being critical 'n all, I must say that the A&W Root Beer really doesn't live up to its promise, but then again it's always been hard to transfer root beer into candies as years of root beer barrels will tell you. Seems that whoever concocts these things tends to rely too much on the licorice base of root beer and neglects to add the other essentials to the overall taste like wintergreen, vanilla and sassafrass amongst others. The 7 Up variety's fine enough yet has to capture the kid bliss I used to get drinking the stuff from a bottle back in those pre-diet soda days. (If you must know, I have been double whammied by both sides of the family when it comes to the baldness and ugliness genes and guess what...diabetes is next on the list which means I better keep an eye on my sugar intake now or there will be no time for Soda Poppers in the not-so-distant future!) As for Orange Crush, I've always liked orange-flavored candies and it sure is nice having this line of pop available in candy form, but frankly I'd rather get my orange thrills through a Tootsie Pop where a better variety of taste is coupled with that chocolate-center making for a pretty darn good combination.
Thus my fave o' the bunch just hasta be the Dr. Pepper, not only because I like the unique flavor of that particular drink which is one of my all-time fave raves, but because (of all the available flavors) the taste of the candy comes the closest to the actual drink. And if we can't have Coca-Cola candy, Dr. Pepper is probably the next best thing to sate our soda sweet teeth! And, keeping with my kiddie perspectives on candy enjoyment, what I like to do with a package of Soda Poppers is the segregate the flavors, eat all the A&W's first since they're my least fave, then gobble up all of the Orange Crushes and 7 Ups, then save my fave Dr. Pepper for last! Even better, if I buy multiple packages I'll save all of the Dr. Peppers for one big flavor orgy, usually in concert with a number of classic old rock mag/fanzines or comic books just like I would do with my Good 'n Fruities during my early double-digit days! It's because of things like this that my mother says I live the life of a playboy!
Great idea you have there Brachs, and keep it up! May I suggest some other soda flavors like Fresca, Mountain Dew or better yet Moxie? Who knows, maybe if Soda Poppers take off the era of pop-flavored candies will be reborn, and if you keep coming out with these sweet treats who knows how many corners off the sides of my molars I'll be crackin' off. Buy a few packages today and pay a visit to your dentist tomorrow!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 1:55 PM
Thursday, July 10, 2008
BOOK REVIEW!...NO WAVE (POST PUNK. UNDERGROUND. NEW YORK. 1976-1980.) by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley (Abrams, 2008)
Would you buy a book (new or used) from these guys? Especially the bozo on the left, with his thinning hair, furrowed brow, craggy depraved face and paunchy Irish boozehound looks which remind you of the president of your local chapter of the Carroll O'Connor fan club? Well, don't let seedy looks deceive you, because if I were you I'd buy, beg, borrow (but not steal) the tumultuous tome that both of these unhealthy specimens dished up for you! You see, their book on the oft-discussed yet under-documented subject of late-seventies no wave rock & roll is perhaps "thee" biblio of the year (though the TRUMP and HUMBUG collections to arrive this September sure do look tasty!), and in a year which has produced a number of mighty fine reads it ain't exactly some fluffy "lifetime achievement" award that I am bestowing upon this inspirational document! No, this no wave book is perhaps about as definitive a history on the subject as you can find, and with such old hands as Coley and Moore dishing it out what else would you expect, Simon Reynolds rattling off about implied Marxist leanings in English post-punk music for nigh on five-hundred pages?
And in a year which has not only given us another nice handy-dandy no wave overview plus a much-needed Teenage Jesus/Beirut Slump CD , can our poor li'l ol' hearts stand this pretty much definitive history of the original no wave thrust of it all? Considering just how all-encompassing and detailed this book is and how it sucks you and and spews you out making you want to know even more what else really can be said? Coley and Moore's NO WAVE thankfully avoids all the no wave cliches that even I have set to type and it's more'n obvious that this particular no wave histoire's gonna be different than the vast array of articles that tried to put a particular time in New York underground rock into a supposedly "proper" perspective usually failing in whole or in part probably because it was so hard to get all of the facts, fiction, photos and (especially) recordings together in one place!
But Coley and Moore managed to get just about everything together ('cept the recordings...I was hoping a Cee-Dee of no wave rarities would have accompanied this book wishful thinker that I am!) and they did a pretty hotcha job doing so as well. Published in an easily frayable, guaranteed to dogear hardbound cover, NO WAVE is perhaps (at this time) the ONLY hard-edged source as to what that whole "avant garde" scene was really about not only with its recounting of the entire NO NEW YORK axis with but pertinent and heretofore unknown information on all of those no wave obscurities that you wanted to lend an ear to ever since you saw that two-page photo spread in the May '78 NEW YORK ROCKER. (And yeah, thurty years is a long time to wait but just digging into this book's enough to zoom me back to those days when I was spending an inordinate amount of time scouring and scrounging for any shard of underground lift wherever I could find the darn thing!) And what's really great about NO WAVE is that Coley and Moore knew enough where to start and when to stop at the right place, meaning we don't have to read the umpteenth rehashing of how the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and Yoko Ono got the no wave ball rollin' as well as about the groups that appeared directly in the wake of no wave even if they were worthy of even a little smidgen of time and space! I mean, sure groups like Live Skull, Borbetomagus and Moore's own Sonic Youth had their "moments" if not more, but gee weren't the eighties really downer times on just about every level you can imagine?
Anyone who thinks that Mssrs. Coley and Moore are not going to show their own preferences and prejudices are plain and simple screwy, but I figure that hey, it's their book and they can do whatever they want in it. So whatever you do, don't buy this for any Walter Steding coverage (he ain't even mentioned, probably because he was more or less part of the upscale Blondie/Chris Stein crowd), plus while Suicide get their dues as sorta springboarding the no wave movement (while not actually being part of it even if Alan Vega was a Blue Human for a gig) don't expect to read anything about Kongress other'n the fact that Von Lmo played drums with them. Between you and me, Coley thinks that Kongress were kinda "progressive" and yeah I can concur with the man on this point, only I believe they were more of a progressive band in the same Teutonic fashion that came off like late-sixties American punk rock meets Stockhausen! I guess Coley never heard a certain tape capturing the 1974/75 version of the group when it consisted of only Lmo and Otto von Ruggins creating a terrifying wail while opening for Television at CBGB in '74 (not mentioned in any TV gigography I can find so I guess they were unbilled), but hey, why should I complain when this book is really that perfect! (And y'know, maybe it is!)
And with all of the rare snaps ond previously unknown (at least to me and a few billion outsiders) factoids why should anyone complain? I mean, where else are you going to see such rare pix of groups like the Gynecologists and Theoretical Girls in action, not to mention those glorious shots of the Contortions at Artists Space where James Chance is beating up on Robert Christgau (and how long have we been waiting to see that wussy get pounced?) Yes, NO WAVE is a treat for the eyeballs for sure with all of those fliers and long-mothballed snaps that I sure could've used at the time, but what really makes the book a winner's the huge lumps of heretofore unknown info on the no wavers that I must admit puts all previous attempts to relay the experience to Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch in the proverbial shade.
Considering the previous hush-hush mysteries surrounding no wave (much of it filled with conjecture, half-backed myth-making and downright misinformation) you could say that NO WAVE clears up a lotta past fuzziness even if it does create new questions in the process. (Questions like, just what did groups like the Gynecologists, Daily Life and especially the legendary Jack Ruby sound like???, questions I hope will be answered by the vast number of releases by these groups and more that should be coming out in NO WAVE's wake.) But those questions sure make my erotic impulses for all things seventies avant-punk even stronger! The shard of information on the long-desired Terminal (which makes this group out to be perhaps the ultimate noiserock no wave expression extant) just had me crawling more than a few walls in anticipation of anything this group might have laid down to live or rehearsal tape! (Though I thought it was Elodie Lauten, not this Anne DeLeon character, who was Terminal's leader/frontwoman! Perhaps these French gals are one 'n the same but until we get some concrete information I will remain in the dark!) Gee Coley/Moore, what are you trying to do...send me into cardiac convulsions knowing that I have nil chance ever to hear this long-desired booty?
Maybe I should also mention that the only Lmo snap inna book has his face hidden by a welder's mask (and surprisingly there's nada about his solo days which were the stuff of legend during the very late Max's Kansas City strata), plus a few groups didn't even make the footnote section for whatever reasons (I'm thinking Made in USA for one) and of course there are the seemingly mandatory for these kind of offerings minute mistakes for anal retentives like myself to write in about, but why should I quibble given the outright pow'r and energy each and every sweaty page of this tome for our times exudes. NO WAVE is about as close to the taproot as we're probably gonna get as far as getting to the bottom of just what no wave meant as an obsessive (at least for me) flash in the late-seventies and unless we're talking some major all-out studious college disseratation (of course when we're all dead and gone) some time in the distant future I can't think of anything topping this outright classic!
Oh yeah, and before I go I thought I should clarify one teeny-weensy thing that probably would fly right past you but sure caught my eye. On page 144 in the "acknowledgements" section my very name is listed amongst a bevy of the greats who were there (I wasn't) as if to say that my role in the creation of this book was big if not Herculean enough to warrant a mentionm Although I should feel honored or something to that effect to have my name listed in such a book as this I really deserve none of the credit. In fact, the only thing I did to help in the production of NO WAVE was to forward the aforementioned picture of Von Lmo chainsawing his guitar to Lou Rone so's he could identify the drummer playing away to Lmo's destructive act. (The guy turned out to be Teddy Chapogis who later on would be involved with a few of Lou's eighties-era heavy metalloid bands). That's all I did, nada more and rilly, if anyone's moniker should be appearing amongst the movers and shakers in this 'un it's Rone's since he was there and knew the guys in Mars and Red Transistor for that matter and hung out at all the clubs back during one of the more fertile times in rock music history. If I were you, I'd white my name out oh-so-carefully and replace it with Mr. Rone's, just to make things a little more righteous out there in the world of high energy rockism!
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 6:19 PM
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Love-OUT HERE 2-LP set (Harvest, England)
Hokay, I'm not exactly the biggest fan of this megacult group to have roamed the face of this earth...in fact, I could say that at one time during my record collecting years I found Love an act that I could take or leave 'n without very much thought at that! Yeah, I remember being told by quite a few people "in-the-know" out there just how fantastic these guys were (usually in the context of their Elektrafied associations and influence on the Doors, something which wasn't exactly gonna win me over to anything!), but with a name like "Love" ('n especially during the thankfully anti-love days of the late-seventies/early-eighties) it wasn't like I was on the lookout for any millennial brotherhood visions in my music nosiree! Got more than enough of that in grade school music class when we were forced to sing "Kumbaya" whilst holding hands with the kid next to you who was gonna beat you up in the schoolyard right after the final bell! I mean, if you wanna go 'round listening to Los Angeles folk-rocky Joni Mitchell madrigals dedicated to ugly gal angst with the patter of Little Feat backing go ahead, but please don't be so offended when I refuse to acknowledge your existence anymore!
Oh WAIT...y'mean with a name like Love we're talkin' late-sixties garage band high energy that shoulda been front 'n center on NUGGETS? Hmmmm, now ya poppin' my cylinders! A band that was in fact named after original member and future Kenneth Anger superstar/Mansonoid Bobby "Cupid" Beausoliel? A group that, according to Big Brother and the Holding Company's Peter Albin would have been upfront with their fans if they went by the moniker of "Hate"? Maybe I shoulda chucked my preconceptions out the door way back when even if I didn't think "Stephanie Knows Who" was that bright of a song in the first place!
Naturally once I got over my fear, I began to put a little Love in my heart and listen to them with sixties punk ears firmly in place. Not that I spent a lotta my time searching the ever-elusive Love platters out, but a tape here and a borrow there was perfectly alright with me and my depression wages. True, to this day I've yet to give LOVE 4 SAIL and even all-time blockbuster FOREVER CHANGES a listen, but picking up on a Love album every so often is good enough, keeping my tootsies moist as some might say not to mention giving me something to look forward to whenever I do get into the mood for some West Coast-y extravaganza that isn't gonna be an early-seventies Grace Slick solo project!
So here's the first post-Elektra Love album, the two-disc OUT HERE that came out on the Blue Thumb imprint in the United States but (along with a few other Blue Thumb offerings) ended up on the snat progressive Harvest over there. I made pretty darn sure that my copy of this would be of the Harvest variety for a good number of reasons, the most prominent being that I'd prefer listening to "Arthurly" and his new variation of Love in the context of Syd Barrett, Wire and Kevin Ayers rather than Hugh Masakela. And you know what, it kinda works even if for the most part OUT HERE has about as much to do with the patented "Harvest sound" as the rest of those Blue Thumb albums that got released on Harvest over in blighty back during the early years of that venerated label. Heck, the psychedelic cover (seen above) was about as Harvest-y as you can get, looking a lot like Pink Floyd's MEDDLE a good three years beforehand! (And, of course, you do remember how "My Little Red Book" was swiped by Floyd on their "Interstellar Overdrive"...don't tell me what goes around doesn't come around once more!)
I wouldn't exactly call OUT HERE an "even" album and there are a few bumps, bruises and potholes to be found throughout. The obligatory "anti-war" song "Discharged" misfires just about as much as most of these teenage relevancy numbers that thankfully were made obsolete by 1972 when youth rebellion suddenly turned into youth sarcasm. Too bad Arthurly didn't take a cue from English labelmates the Edgar Broughton Band and do a good war spoof a la "American Soldier Boy". And that drum solo on the twelve-minute (not "thee") "Doggone" shoulda been edited out no questions asked even if it does tend to tickle the stirrup with its twangy plunks!!! And while I'm at it, the country music "goof" entitled "Car Lights on in the Daytime Blues" definitely shoulda been left outta the package...that sorta hick schtick was done a lot better by the Parliament/Funkadelic axis since at least their country music numbers were done with honest-to-deep-south homage in mind and not as some bland jibe at the hillbillies that listened to those primitive hog yallers at least until they unfortunately decided to go upscale a bit.
Maybe if this two-record set was cut down to one OUT HERE woulda been a total winner. But it is good enough, in fact an under-the-counterculture sleeper if there ever was one to come out of the very-late days of the sixties. The new band plays it pretty good West Coast-styled, in fact better West Coast than most of the mellow out that was happening there and really, who else in 1969 was playing garage rock & roll this exciting other'n the Velvets and a buncha Detroit bands who never could get out of their burgh? Folk rock must have been a memory to its practitioners by this time, but Arthurly and band pull it off as if the spirit of '65 was still in their hearts and David Crosby hadn't yet turned into the embarrassing walrus that he would eventually become. Of course with the "progressive" rock modernizations of the previous three years tossed in (not to mention better derivations on funk and soul than one would expect) there is a slight eclectic sense of keeping up with the Garcias here, but that doesn't mean OUT HERE is going to bear all the burdens of a rock scene gone sour and bloated beyond all repair (read, San Francisco 1969)! No, the psychedelia here does not disappoint, and in fact reminds me of some of the more energetic moments of early/mid-seventies psych rock that was coming out of England at a time when it seemed as if nobody told such groups as Hawkwind and Man that the "movement" was over long ago. Thank goodness.
In all, I wasn't bored a tad bit even if the gag tracks mentioned above were more or less filler for a still-powerful outing. I'll say one thing, and that is that OUT HERE will probably speed up my interest in the next unheard Love album by at least a good five years, and considering what a procrastinator I can be that's a good sign!
***A BRIEF WORD OF EGGSPLANATION!: You may notice a big change on my sidebar (look over to the left, dummy!) that's taken place over the past week or so. And in case you're oblivious to things such as that (as Jillery sez of me) let me clue you in...the "Blog Roll", that is, the special section I had created to list some of my favorite weblogs that are currently zooming their way to you via telephone line, is missing, and not only that but the new weekly poll addition to the very same sidebar is seemingly forever stuck on the premier question regarding the rights of zombies to marry which in case you couldn't realize is not what this blogmeister has intended one iota! (And if anyone can tell me just where I got the idea for that particular question, a free back issue of BLACK TO COMM may come your way sooner than you think!) I dunno exactly how I got myself into the predicament of not only losing the Blog Roll but not being able to post another silly poll question but it all started last Sunday when I was trying to add a new blog to the roll, and for some unknown reason I not only lost the entire thang but my "layout page" is somehow missing the "add page element" option which would allow me to create a new one! Not only that, but the layout page is cut off at the bottom end thus not allowing me to add any additional funny poll question for you to get a guffaw outta! Oh woe is me, and the worst part about it is that nobody at blogger is willing to give me any help (it seems as if they've discontinued their email help since my note o' desperation was returned "Mailer Daemon"...methinks I may have pestered them in the past to the point of anger)!
As soon as I'm ready, willing and most obviously able I will do my darndest to create a new Blog Roll as well as zoom some funny poll question your way. Until then bear with me, though if you reg'lar BLOG TO COMM readers have any neat suggestions as to what I can do (other'n shove my head up my ass as I know a lotta ya'd say!) please feel free to send me your bright ideas via the comment box. Until then, settle for a sidebar that really ain't as stunning as the kind you see on Lindsay Whatzizname's THE NEXT BIG THING 'site", but then again we can't all be computer whizzes like he, see?
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 8:22 PM
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Teenage Jesus and the Jerks/Beirut Slump-SHUT UP AND BLEED CD
Lydia Lunch-VIDEO HYSTERIE: 1978-2006 DVD
(both available through Atavistic)
It looks as if 2008 is shipping up to be "thee" year to be no wave nostalgic, not only with two books out on the subject but this little batch o' booty that arrived at mine door just the other day. The small package of worth that came to me (and shortly at that!) consisted of a Cee-Dee and Dee-Vee-Dee featuring none other than the queen of that whole anti-movement Lydia Lunch, in this case caught in rare and at-times previously unissued performances of both an audio and visual variety. And you can bet your bottom guitar-slide that this thing'll have reg'lar readers of BLOG TO COMM scrambootching for their long-buried issues of THE NEW YORK ROCKER in order to re-read/re-live vicariously all of that neat decadent seventies rockism once they filter out the B-52s and Police worship found in that rag, natch!
SHUT UP AND BLEED will induce nostalgic memories of underground catalog scrounging past and sticking needles up one's rectum with a smattering of both previously and non releases from the early days of the no wave back before everyone and their uncle wanted to get in on the game. Having passed on the Cee-Dee reissue of Lunch's 1987 retrospective entitled HYSTERIE (since I already have that on good ol' vinola) I found this newie to be a particular boon to my digitized collection not only with the classic Foetusized NO NEW YORK tracks but the by-now valuable singles, the Beirut Slump material also taken offa HYSTERIE, and joybell of joybells a whole load of that previously-unreleased material (some even featuring previously-unreleased tunes!) taken from not only some choice Max's Kansas City gig but the Teenage Jesus appearance at the same Artists Space no wave showcase that got one Brian Eno all hot and bothered enough to do that NO NEW YORK sampler thus spreading the message to places located near burning tire pits like Sharon. And for not being a fan of Teenage Jesus (perhaps because of the name, and somebody better clobber Ms. Lunch for starting, whether inadvertently or not, the spate of lame alternative groups with the words "Jesus" and "Christ" in their monikers if only for the sake of decency!) I found myself humming along with and tapping toes to such bound to be new favorites as "Popularity is so Boring" which surprisingly enough is a good sign especially for a jaded ol' pooperoo like me. Of course knowing that tapes of the band's Artists Space performance exist is cause to celebrate in the best ways a no waver could (though I will forego the dominatrix!) leading me to ponder if the rest of that series is due for a release hopefully more sooner than later. After all, fellows like me have been waiting to give groups like Terminal, Daily Life and the Gynecologists a lissen for nigh on three decades awlready, and in this late stage of the game dontcha think that the mysteries behind these groups should be cleared up once and for all? Atavistic, are you listening UP???
If you still can't get enough of this Lunchified late-seventies no wave you might wanna try VIDEO HYSTERIE, a collection of a whole number of Lunch performances spanning a good twenny-eight years through various phases in this woman's (for wont of a better word) "career". Personally I go big for the early stuff that made it onto this DVD (and with a pretty snazzy audio/video quality considering the time and place these were recorded!), especially the '78 Max's Kansas City gig where (after a quickie video of various newsreel atrocities and other acts of random death) we get to see the band as they appeared at that fabled dive during the height of the no wave movement/moment. And for a guy who has always wanted to study Lunch's slide guitar playing and chording the same way mid-sixties punks wanted to eyeball Roger McGuinn's left hand during the"Eight Miles High" solo, a dream has been fulfilled. The Eight-Eyed Spy show from Hurrahs wasn't as hotcha (Hurrahs being a "rock disco" that not only got the cream of the major new wave giggage in NYC at the time but cut into the same audience both CBGB and Max's were counting on to help boost their own sagging fortunes), but I found it historical enough for my own tastes even if the sight of guys playing late-seventies underground rock music with short hair and a 1962 sartorial elegance seems to make me wanna cringe this far down the line. As for the rest...well, most is from Lunch's "womanist" period so if you like the idea of feminism without the MS. magazine-approved sixties-hippie-folkie mentality you'll probably eat this up faster than I ever could. As for me, I feel that Lunch trying to be William Burroughs and Brion Gysin (with Lunch's talk of religion as a virus way-too-similar to Burrough's own credo of language as the exact same thing) rather faint in comparison; in fact it kinda reminds me of that old MAD magazine "License to Bore" that was given to Hugh Hefner, who while trying to come off like Friedrich Nietzsche ended up sounding like Donald Duck! I guess people'll need something to really feel smug and superior to in a hundred years the same way I get on my moral high horse after reading about the eugenicists of the early-twentieth century who not so surprisingly gave way (and credence) to the Nazis who fleshed out their dreams to the utmost. But I get that way sometimes.
Posted by Christopher Stigliano at 7:20 PM