WEAKENED POST, AND I MEAN IT!
I'm usually not the kinda guy who goes 'round crying "woe is me" unless I have a pretty durn good reason to, but you just gotta hand it to your faithful BLOG TO COMM-ster for getting this typical bigtime Saturday/Sunday post out despite more than a few brickbats and monkey wrenches being tossed in said COMM-ster's way. First off I gotta admit that although I may seem upbeat and healthier than a pack of wild Melbournians on the hunt for pommy bastards to screw I've just come up from under the weight of a head cold which really wasn't that bad, but the dang cold hadda go'n settle in my ear canals thus creating some humongous pressure in my head akin to having Moe Howard put it in a printing press and clamping down HARD! I can still hear somewhat, but my head feels like both of my ears are stuffed with gritty wax and no matter how hard I jab a wooden stick cotton applicator down the tube I cannot get any relief whatsoever. Maybe if I punctured my ear drums with a sharp pencil or somethin' the pressure would subside? I think I'll try lighting some M-80s and sticking 'em in my ears...it may not work, but man what a sound!
Adding more to the frustration that I am experiencing is the hassle I'm having with my Cee-Dee-Are burner! Now that I got the hang of burning discs from files taken off of various downloaded sources I attempted to burn me as they say some interesting recordings not only for my own personal pleasure but as review fodder for this very blog. Now, I was able to successfully burn one particular disque (after a good two or so weeks of trying to get the mp3 downloaded into my library and then onto the "Roxio Easy CD Creator" [hah!]), but a whole slew of other interesting recordings that I had downloaded for some reason will not burn onto the blank disques I have been using, and this is even after I had been told via the pop up window that these discs are finalized and ready for play! Some discs do play, but will end up sounding like screech and flutter after anywhere from forty minutes into the thing until (on one disc) about ten seconds! Others actually make it through all of the usual steps avoiding the occasional buffering and "write to CD" problems only to eject with some error a good 99% towards completion! Of course these pop ups are of no use because all they mention after the right royal mishap is that the reason for said screwup is either in the tape or through the downloaded file...never the fault of the actual system you're using to make the disque! Anyhoo you can imagine the inner tension and pressure building up because of all of the work and energy I have been putting into making for myself some nice bedside listening experiences for my evening reading sessions being all for naught. So if your maybe not-so-humble blogster doesn't seem like his congenial (or congenital) self this week now you know why. And please, have pity on me boo hoo sniff blubber!
And to add even more woe to my already over-woed life I can't locate my copy of UGLY THINGS #27 so's I can re-reference the boffo Johan Kugelberg article on those proto-punk "junk shop" glam rock singles that came outta Merrie Olde to nada acclaim at least until a good thirtysome years later! Y'see, I just can't get enough of those outta-nowhere obscurities that appeared on the GLITTERBEST compilation and I need to know which numbuhs posted on the fantastico PUREPOP site are worthy of burning to disque for my own personal enjoyment (current fave is Grudge's "When Christine Comes Around" which I like almost as much as Spunky Spider's "You Won't Come" and Stud Leather's "Cut Loose", tracks that prove that English punk rock wasn't exactly a cunning ploy birthed from the fevered mind of Malcolm McLaren). But where oh where izzat ish of UGLY THINGS moiling away at anyway??? Sheesh, with bad luck such as this it's no wonder I'm a pithy blogschpieler hated by all and loved by none!
Enuff of that sickening self-pity so put away that tiny little record player spinning "My Heart Bleeds For You"...here're just a few li'l tidbits I've been listening to o'er the past few days that you might or might not wanna know about but who cares because 'tis my blog! It's up to you, and at this point in the game I don't mind if you skip this 100% vitamin-packed post for something with a little more stuffing, like DETAILED NAUSEA or the like. At least I can see that it's ALL going down the tubes, this blog included, and frankly if anyone thinks that blogging or even anything remotely resembling a music fandom will exist a good ten or (hopefully) twenny years from now I'd certainly tell 'em what orifice they can probe during their next contortionist lesson. But until those fateful days arrive why not check out Lou Rone on Radio Basile and get something of value for next to no money at all!
***Pharoah Sanders-IZIPHO ZAM (MY GIFTS) CD (Charly UK)
Hey, note that from now on I'm gonna revert to putting the name of the artist in small-case letters and the title of said artist's work totally upper-case, just so's the look of my writeups have some sorta sartorial elegance this blog is sorely lacking. Now that I got this bitta fluff outta the way let's, as Ben Fong-Torres used to say, get down to brass tacks. Here's a disc that has been highly sought after for quite some time (heck, even Mike Stax had it on his want list a few years back!) and it sure is good to hear this album without all of the scuffs and scratches that my tape of this just oozed with back in the days when these rarities just weren't getting reissued and we hadda make do with whatever do there was out there. Now, I gotta admit that I really never was that big of a Pharoah Sanders fan, if only because I believe his spirituality got the best of him much of the time. Well, at least it did to the point where his albums became more inner-light minded and you could hardly say that anything he had done since the late-sixties (with the exception of his appearance on Sonny Sharrock's ASK THE AGES) was really worth the bother especially next to such feral masters as Roscoe Mitchell or Frank Lowe, guys who seemed to take the original Ornette/Coleman/Ayler inspiration and go runnin' with it over the wall and into all eternity. I know admitting something like this would be bound to get me on Wayne McGuire's hit list, but sheesh, after being burned by all of those horrid eighties-era Sanders albums that I latched onto (one which actually featured the vocal "talents" of Bobby McFerrin), I really learned to be wary of the guy especially seeing just how far he had fallen since the glory days of TAUHID, a miraculous high energy masterpiece that tanks amongst the best late-sixties ear-shredders one can find!
'69's IZIPHO ZAM does come slightly close to TAUHID's sheer emotional overflow and Sharrock thankfully appears once again to give Sanders the additional push needed to break on through to pure energy, plus despite the unexpected setbacks (like an over-reliance on the more poppier aspects of Sanders' r&b background and the dreaded yodeling vocalist Leon Thomas) this one does cut the mustard 'stead of the cheese. It ain't no TAUHID true but then how often could anyone come up with that twice in one lifetime? This reish (which actually came out in '98 and has been making itself real scarce) is worth the time needed to track it down, but I wouldn't let it get in the way of such other important searches, like for the Stud Leather or Grudge singles I most certainly need!
***Dewey Redman-UNRELEASED BLUE NOTE OR STRATA EAST/DOLPHY SERIES SESSION CD-R
Wanna hear a funny story? Back inna late seventies Bill Shute, who was then a Thirteenth Floor Elevators-looking college student down Colorado way, went to see the popular collegiate hipster jazz pianist Keith Jarrett and his group featuring noted Ornette sidekick and leader in his own right Dewey Redman in its ranks. Arriving backstage with a copy of Redman's BYG album TARIK, Shute asked Redman to autograph it at which point Redman snatched the album from the bewildered one's hands, smashed the album to pieces while swearing up a storm something about not being paid for that 'un and how nobody should be hearing the thing onandonandon... I'm sure Bill could fill us in with the grubby details, but believe it or not he remains a fan of Redman and even burned an unreleased album recorded at En Why See's Record Plant on December 19th of 1969 for me which only proves that Dr. B is made of stronger stuff because if that happened to me I'd still be smarting!
Dunno how Redman would react if Bill gave him a copy of this Cee-Dee-Are to autograph. Who knows, because the guy's now dead so your Redman albums are safe for now (unless son Joshua decides to carry on the "tradition") but it sure is a good cooker of a session just like TARIK, with Redman and band getting into a post-Ornette mode complete with the musette and a strange outerworldly mideast groove at times that I'm surprised didn't have Mr. Coleman himself coming over to punch Redman's lights out for sounding so eerily close! Bill downloaded the copy he made for me off the internet, and maybe if we bribe him with some Eddie Constantine DVDs and coupons for Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips he'll let you all know where you can find it so's you can fry up a copy for yourself!
***MEERCAZ CD (Gulcher)
I reviewed this guy's debut single here (scroll down, as they say) and a good year-anna-half later this Meercaz fellow re-appears in my abode in the form of a Cee-Dee released on the Gulcher label! If you happened to miss out on that 45 rpm obscurity don't worry because it reappears on this disque, along with eight other goodies that should sate you BLOG TO COMM readers who never did get enough of the more hard-edged eighties underground home-produced rock & roll, which MEERCAZ and Meercaz revel in.
As I originally wrote, there seems to be the same spirit in Meercaz's music as there was in such long-forgotten self-produced vintage eighties-era singles as the one Spike Kagan did (which I will have to dig out and re-play/review one of these days) and many more. It was the stuff that was pretty much birthed from the seventies underground but got buried under the weight of eighties Amerindie music and hardcore. Hardly anyone seemed to pay attention to it back then and the same unfortunately probably holds true for Meercaz and hundreds of similar-minded people who are so obscure that even I wouldn't know how to find 'em even in today's myspace mad world. (BTW, you can find Meercaz's very own myspace page here.) But I dunno, this is hard-edged rock music, not exactly e-z listening schmooze and it packs a wallop that'll remind you of all of your fave late-eighties wonders who made their own records, got bigtime contracts then proved themselves to be the schmucks they really were with a load of substandard sputum.
This Meercaz/Mozzley M. guy does know how to play not only guitar but keyboards and bass and he does a pretty ample job presenting this music in thankfully less-than-tasteful stylings. And this is one of those outta-nowhere offerings that does hold up, surprises and harkens back to the days when underground rock was a whole lot more adventurous than it is now even if it is just as obscure despite the technological networking. If you need a more definite assertive prod to decide whether or not to buy lemme just say...yeah, you'll like it.
The Bachs-OUT OF THE BACHS LP (Void)
I wasn't that anxious to give this 'un a listen to which is why I've waited a good four months or so after receiving it to give it a spin. I dunno, but when one record seems to have such a hold and sway over even a slight portion of the "underground" listening audience you KNOW that alla these little lites will start flashing on and off in my mind goin' BEWARE OF THE HYPE! That's definitely why I haven't ordered the Death CD so far, but jaded ol' me's just gotta hold off on snatching up everything that these blogster critic wannabes or mail order mavens toss out at us eager beaver buyers ready to latch onto anything just like those food-crazy carp that people toss stale bread to up in Linesville.
But hey, sometimes these shady mail order people and gullible blogschpieler types can be RIGHT, and they certainly were when they heaped praise upon this recent exhumation of a Chicago-area garage band album that seemed to have slid under everybody's radarscope or at least until now. The Bachs were a pretty good group at that (considering they recorded only original material and snattily well!) who really did fit in to that late-sixties post-Byrds/Grape style of garage-psychedelia Thankfully these guys didn't blow their minds entirely because amidst the good West Coast cops OUT OF THE BACHS certainly retains a healthy suburban outlook which separates it from the more hippydippy practitioners of the form. If you wonder what the '65-'66 folk rock cusp shoulda sounded like a good two years later here's your chance.
Digitally-minded readers would want to know that a Cee-Dee version has only recently been released (about a good ten seconds after I purchased this!) complete with the come-on additional tracks to help ease us out of even more long green! I think I'll stick with my vinyl copy for now...after all, come to think of it I just might buy not only that aforementioned Death CD but the JT4 album which is also on Drag City, and whaddaya think I'm made outta anyway...money?????
BOOTLEG(S) OF THE WEEK!: The Flamin' Groovies-NO CANDY (ZAP) and HOME TO ROOST (BRR)-Now that the weather is getting warmer and the sun shinier I feel it safe to once again take a trip down into the basement and mingle with my vinyl friends (who have given me more hours of downright happiness and pleasure than any of my real flesh and bone ones ever have!). And since I just "happened to get hold of" a load of those great (once) clandestine bootleg albums that sure zone me back to the days of those long-gone outta-the-way budget record shops, I thought I'd make it a PROJECT to review for you each and every weekend a bootleg album (or Cee-Dee if the moment arrives) perhaps to reminisce about record buying adventures past or to further document a portion of a seventies/eighties-era piece of rockism that really hasn't been discussed to the utmost. Naturally I'm only doing this mostly to help pad out these weekend posts and make 'em look a lot meatier than they have the past few weeks so don't say I have an ulterior motive doin' this!
Here are a couple oddities from the now-distant and much-missed (in some respects) seventies, Flamin' Groovies bootlegs that weren't put out by Skydog Records! Really, one would gander that only a Skydog or some other small specialty bootleg company would have dealt with a group the cult status of the Groovies, but it looks as if the big timers in the underground biz took a shine to our San Franciscan heroes as well. The first offering up for today, NO CANDY, was released by the "Ze Anonym Plattenspieler" label who I guess fell for the SHAKE SOME ACTION album a lot harder than the rest of the music buying populace. I mean, why else would they issue this live recording from August of 1976 featuring our heroes in the middle of a grueling tour kicking out the jams for a rather rabid and appreciative audience when they could have used the vinyl cranking out yet another nth-generation Beatles platter? Sound quality is good enough mid-seventies cassette job about as clear as many of the similar items that were cluttering up the bootleg bins back in the day, while the performance is, er, action-packed as well with the Groovies at the outset of their "power pop" period bridging the energy of the pre-hippie sixties with the budding new underground that somehow caught everyone by surprise during those hard-thrust times. Funny, but I don't recall seeing this one in any of the bootleg bins or catalogs of the day. My guess is that this was so desired that it actually sold out before I could get to the store.
As for HOME TO ROOST, it's a collection of easily enough and perhaps not-so Groovies tracks including their Skydog sides as well as a few things from the United Artists singles, the Bomp release and outtakes that I'm sure got more than a few Flamin' Groovies fans hopped up at the time. If you ain't got 'em and want it all in one place this would be a good one to latch onto, and ol' sentimental softie I should admit that HOME TO ROOST easily zoned me back a few decades to the days when I wasn't so jaded like these alternative squirts are now and stuff like this had a mighty impact on my general well being. Hate to sound so POSITIVE and all, but HOME TO ROOST was a pretty refreshing reminder of just how fun it used to be when you could pick up Flamin' Groovies albums for mere pennies in the cut out rack of your choice. Considering just how well the Groovies sold that was an easy enough task in itself!
***BLOG TO COMM COMMENDS THE PRESIDENT FOR CLASSIC OFFENSIVENESS ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY! In closing, let me step out of character for one moment and get a little political because y'see, I absolutely must give Our Leader Barack Obama his dues and commend him for a recent action that proves that despite his college professor demeanor and general "nice negro you'd see on early-sixties television" looks he still can be just one of the slobs like us if he just wants to! Yes, Prez Obama's recent remarks about his bowling being akin to the athletics found at the Special Olympics only goes to show that the man has a great sense of BLOG TO COMM-approved bad taste humor in him, and if anything his recent actions puts him in the same ranks as such social commentators as the seventies-era NATIONAL LAMPOON and Richard Meltzer, who got some heat for his own Special Olympics comments in the pages of CREEM quite awhile back! And it's for that we salute you, Barack Obama! Just keep it up, and maybe I'll think of you in terms greater than you being a grownup version of the kid with the polka dot tie from DAVEY AND GOLIATH!