YOUR WEEKLY PLEADER! (thaz it for this round of jokes)
I must admit that I am proud that I at least got this much out. Lotsa things are getting to me right now...the summer heat, lack of good junk food, lack of money to buy records, lack of good television... The list can, and will go on. Right now I feel like I am re-living that infamous summer of '78 which was pretty much one big vast wasteland of nada where I would drag myself outta bed around nine in the morning and plop myself in front of the tee-vee to watch the 15-minute edition of ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS that channel 21 would be showing, being way too groggy to even get up and change the station when TELEVIEW, a public affairs talk show, would come on right after. Of course I was up all hours of the night, or at least until one or two, watching the late movie or seeing if I could draw in distant stations during a tornado warning. Now tell me, do kids have fun like that today?
But manage to get a post out I did, and if you prefer to leave it rather than take it I understand. Right now I'm working on how I'm going to spend the rest of the day, whether it be in front on the tee-vee on the comfy chair on in my room on an equally comfy one as well. Decisions decisions...
And yes, I know that news of the following should definitely have been "stop the presses" material, but I didn't feel like being the first guy on the web to pass on information (along with my personal autobiographical hooey such as the kind you've just read) in order to beat everyone else to the punch. I figured that talking about it in this weekend post after all the dust has settled would be fine enough after everyone else had their say in the matters at hand, and as you all know I must have the last word no matter what!!!
Naturally the world is mourning the loss of three big names this week, that of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, but hearing of the passing of Sky Saxon sent me into a bigger sense of "wha' th'" than the deep-sixing of those other tabloid names that I gotta admit had little to do with anything I might have agreed with or believed in over the past thirtysome years. Hokay, I shall admit that McMahon was one of the few surviving legends of what I would call classic sixties-styled tee-vee, first as the announcer for ABC's long-lived afternoon quiz show WHO DO YOU TRUST and of course THE TONIGHT SHOW both times sidekicking it up with Johnny Carson (and thus his greatness would have to do with him being in the right place at the right time), but frankly Fawcett left me cold especially with her presentation of the most sterile aspects of late-seventies sexuality (if they didn't have the air conditioner on when they took that photo shoot who would've noticed???) and Jackson...well, the death of BO Plenty meant a lot more to me than his! But Sky Saxon...I mean, talk about legends and cutting to the core! As the leader of the Seeds Saxon certainly was the "Prince of the Punks" as the various Seeds albums will attest to no matter how roller coaster they may be, plus Sky the man was pretty strange and totally unto himself which makes him all the more pertinent, especially in my book. True his various comebacks throughout the seventies and eighties would leave many a strident hippie-hater in total froth-mode (tho I must admit to not having heard the recent Seeds reunion album), but even with the stories about him that we all read in BOMP's special punk issue as well as his becoming a downright annoyance at Greg Shaw's Cavern Club in the mid-eighties I figured that he already put in his hitch with the Seeds, so I can overlook his latterday eccentricities a lot more than I could say, David Crosby's. I mean, rambling on about saving all the dogs in the world is one thing, being the donor for a Melissa Ethridge turkey baster baby is another.
The cruelest thing about it all is that Sky had to die right when any coverage of his passing would be pushed way to the back of the burner (as if the vast majority of Mr. & Mrs. Front Porch would have cared anyway even if I do think Sky was an infinitely better performer than the vastly-overrated Jackson was). And some people I knew were so shaken by the death of Farrah Fawcett and actually were upset that the unfortunate new was pretty much wiped out by that of some teenybopper hasbeen who slept in an oxygen tent with boys. Well, how do you think I feel...sheesh, Sky and his records pretty much played the soundtrack throughout a good portion of the late-seventies and early-eighties (and beyond) with that hip snarl and teenage attitude that I wish I had. Plus he didn't have to spend millions of dollars on plastic surgery to look like a freak, y'know.
And with those last words on the subject to end all last words, here are a coupla reviews for your perusal.
***Hackamore Brick-LONG WAY HOME CD (available via www.hackamorebrick.com or try their myspace page listen in the left-hand corner)
The re-emergence of Tommy Moonlight and Chick Newman working under the Hackamore Brick guise last year was surprising enough, but the in-depth interview with them via UGLY THINGS this year as well as this brand-spanking new Cee-Dee release were even more of an unexpected treat especially for those of us who were wondering exactly what was goin' on with the former members of that obscure group ever since they (supposedly) hung up their guitar straps. Unfortunately LONG WAY HOME has little if any of the original Zombies organ/dual keyboard sound and vision of ONE KISS LEADS TO ANOTHER that I certainly would have loved to have heard, nor were there any flat-out rockers to get our blood vessels popping before the ballads came on to cool us down a bit. Most of these ballads are nice, mind you, but I would have preferred something a bit more rock et roll mixed in. I guess I shouldn't complain because the "are" back, but after this long a wait I sure would have liked to have heard something a little more up-tempo! And yeah, I know you can't go home again, but how about next door?
***Majutsu no Niwa-AT THE END OF SUMMER CD (There Music Japan, available thru Volcanic Tongue)
Ahhhh, this is more like it, with heavy Velvets refs unobscured by post-modern technical and societal hooey. Japanese underground rock that sounds as if the sainted spirit of Les Rallizes Denudes continues to hover about like an electric moth (copyright 1974 Patti Smith). Beautiful feedback drenched, late-sixties rooted rock & roll that seems to hop from Denudes to Stooges to early Velvets in one massive swoop w/o clinging to some of the less attractive shortcuts in rock that many of the newer post-Rallizes Japanese groups seem to have been taking to. I know I've heard one of the tracks here before...maybe it's from one of the TOKYO FLASHBACKs??? I am told that the leader of this group was one a member of Overhang Party whom I must admit I haven't spun as much as I should, but this true spiritual successor in that long Velvets bared-nerve line is making me dig out the sole Overhang release in my possession to play again and again as the summer months progress. You believe me, don't you? If not, I hate to admit that I have a buncha assholes for readers...drat!
***BOOTLEG OF THE WEEK!: The Ramones-TEENAGE LOBOTOMY 2-LP set (The Amazing Korneyphone Record Label)
Here's an early-nineties vintage boot released back when two of the major seventies-era bootleg labels, Trade Mark of Quality and The Amazing Korneyphone Record Label, somehow combined forces and put out a number of two-LP sets using a similar cover scheme. However, unlike the original labels that seemed to rely on fresh and high-quality source material, this live '86 gig sounds about as clear as one of those standard cassette tapes that could be found at any English flea market the day after said show was laid down. Buzzy and warbly, but I guess someone out there would call it "a good documentation". Strict fans can still squeeze enjoyment out of this but the rest of us would do better to stick with the official IT'S ALIVE package or AT YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY. I must admit to you that I did think that Korneyphone's sticking the remaining few minutes of the show on side four without padding the thing out to normal LP-side length was kinda fun, in a cheap sixties sorta way.