Saturday, May 30, 2009


Gonna be upfront 'n say that this ain't gonna be yer typical weekend post since I am "chungered" as they say. Tired on all (mental/physical/spiritual) fronts and feeling pretty isolated from the rest of the world...a good thing mind you but I'd feel better about it if I didn't have an overall demeanor akin to Dresden after the bombing. Chalk it up to a variety of things I won't bore you with...well, some of the things that I am interested in as of this week I was going to write about in this opening to "pad it out" and attempt to come off sophisticado and all, but I thought I'd save my planned musings for the "High Six" post I'll deliver the middle of next week. And, as the title of this very post states, ya better be thankful I was able to deliver these measly reviews if anything at all, and you are gracious for that, aren't you?

The Hollywood Squaretet-NICE TETS CD (Roulade)

Here's the second installment of the H-wood Squaretet saga (read my review of their first here) featuring Mssrs. Todd Homer and gang engaging in even more free jazz merriment aided this time by the guitar of Joe Baiza, a name that rings a bell somewhere but I just can't put my finger on it, or up it for that matter. Resultant spew remind me of a mad-way jam between Mahogany Brain, Albert Ayler and Richard Meltzer with or without Smegma, and even though a tad bit of the latterday SST sound might creep in (which might suit "some" bloggers out there in Antipodesville but not me) I can't say that I didn't get maximum enjoyment outta hearing drummer/vocalist Larry Copcar snarl and bark his post-beat poesy to this soundscapade. I'll betcha that CD Baby already carries it so give 'em a try. (A SPECIAL NOTE TO THOSE OF YOU ON THE PROMO GRAVY TRAIN!: whatever you do don't toss out but read the enclosed promo sheet! It was written by none other than longtime fanzine personality Eddie Flowers and you know how little he puts pen to foolscap these days! It's always a joy to lay eyeballs upon his various rockist grumblings and the more of these hypesheets the better I say, especially given the absolute dearth of high energy readings to be found on the web, not only on this blog but elsewhere!)

THE MIAMIS CD (available from CD Baby)

'bout time but thankfully this nice bitta seventies New York rock finally made it out to a public that's probably even less sussed than it was thirty years back. I never considered the Miamis to have been whatcha'd call upper-echelon New York rockers even if their track on the LIVE AT CBGB'S album was a nice enough example of what mid-seventies AM pop-rock would have been like if only more of it were allowed on the radio, but back then if I had only five bucks in my hand and I hadda choose between buying a Miamis record and a Manster one...well, I guess Manster would be five dollars richer! However if I hadda choose between the Miamis and one of the more bloated narcissistic dinorockers of the day...

Well, even then I dunno who I'd choose, but in the here and now these Miami tracks sound a whole lot better at least to mine ears than their "We Deliver" did back then and they might come off nice enough to yours too. Like I said, imagine the more arousing aspects of mid-seventies pop, the stuff that didn't sound that bad blasting from AM radios of the day amidst the proto-disco and Vikki Carr schmooze that used to make my dad pretty happy thinking that the "kids" are listening to this and not that!!! (I remember Freddy Fender and Linda Ronstadt getting heavy kudos in this department.) I'm talking everything from the Sweet to even a surprise outta nowhere like Pilot, only with more Amerigan influx in the Wynbrandt Brothers' genetic makeup. Add some outta-place for the time harmony vocals and a rather smart pop ideal and you got something that was pretty pop, kinda punky and even (shudder!) "commercial"!!!! Hokay, sometimes the results aren't as good as I'd've liked 'em to be, kinda coming too too pop sweet like that other CBGB veteran group the Movies (who had an album on Arista early '76 after being signed right off the stage) but mostly this is smartly written/produced/performed local pop/rock that sure would've sounded swell enough on AM if only the listening public were more attuned to it and not Meco. Nothing to get overly excited about, but rockist enough even for my limited musical scope.
BOOTLEG OF THE WEEK!: The Yardbirds-ANYONE CAN PLAY (Creative Artistry)

I must admit that I was kinda worried when I saw the labels for this sporting a variety of well-known Grateful Dead titles, but rest assured that ANYONE CAN PLAY is nothing but prime Yardbirds featuring a variety of talented guitarists with all fingers intact. A wide-ranging affair as well, covering pretty much these moptops' entire career from the 1963 Clapton blooze boom to their four-piece Jimmy Page days which most "classic rock" stoolboys will remember fondly for being the group that "led" to those Zep guys and nothing but. SQ ranges from surprisingly good on the Swedish radio tracks (which can be beard in their entirety on the just try'n find it BROKEN WINGS double set on Tobe Milo) to typical recorded off the BBC in a Belgian barn muddled, that is if things like that really mattered to ya. Even with classic Yardbirdisms available to you with a mere keystroke ANYONE CAN PLAY does fine for people like me who still have deep sentimental pangs regarding mid-seventies record shops, and the wonders that could be found not only in the reg'lar but the import, bootleg and budget bins as well!


planckzoo said...

Joe Baiza, was in Saccharine Trust, so your SST mention is very accurate. He has also done a bunch of other playing as well.

Christopher said...

Having more than one Saccharine Trust album in my collection I knew about Baiza...was just being sarcastic as usual.