AS THAT PERE UBU BOOTLEG ONCE SAID, "DON'T EXPECT ART", OR MUCH ELSE OUTTA THIS POST FOR THAT MATTER!
Yes, I can become just about as jaded and as unresponsive to the whims of life as just about any of you readers out there. Personally I blame this current onset of miasma on the combination of lethargy, inertia, the autumn season (if you like it so much come over here and rake up all my leaves!) and a general lack of new high energy music in my life. Of course you can add to that working the usual 12-hour days at the salt mines as Fred Rutherford would put it, but if I hadda plunk down my money as to what's causing my current fit o' down in the dumpsterisms I'd say that my need for more heavy duty rock to be injected into my bloodstream is what is keeping me oh so low these days...that and the fact that no matter how hard I whimper and moan 1975 will never return! Judging from those old TV GUIDEs that I've been readin' in the basement I sure did miss a lot during those oft-loathed mid-seventies and chee, if I hadda re-live my life you know I would be doin' a whole lotta things differently than I had...mainly watch more tee-vee! Now if only I was able to drag in those distant UHF stations...
So pardon the rather subdued and tired tone of this post. I know that I coulda just skipped over it this week and put something up later on when I felt perkier than Mary Tyler Moore and Sandy Duncan trying to out-saccharine each other but I didn't want to deny YOU, the faithful BLOG TO COMM reader, out of any funtime weekend reading activities. So when you're pouring over my opines thinking of just how well and succinctly I wrote up these reviews just consider the conditions and personal trauma I went through to get this post out your way, and then you can have a good laugh at my expense like you all tend to do.
I'll bet some of you noticed that I linked up a few new weblogs on the left-hand corner of this page, and to that all I gotta say is look how observant you are! And yes, they are some doozies as well which is why I felt they should have the honor of getting the "seal of approval" via my very own blog, a seal that I believe means a whole lot more than receiving a blogger award from some monolithic entity that more or less seems to be self-appointed in its blog duties! So yeah, I guess there is more to this box of coils they call a computer than scarfing up free snaps of Bardot's bare butt, as fun as that may be!
I didn't know that Bill Shute was up and blogging but it turns out that the longtime music aficionado is doing just that under the KENDRA STEINER EDITIONS masthead (more or less). It's a neet reet 'n petite affair that really tingles my timbales to say the least, one which thankfully brings the Shutester back into the public eye after being away from the heart-of-the-matter for longer than I can imagine! KENDRA STEINER EDITION's a varied and downright interesting blog too that pretty much reflects what Bill happens to dig at the time, sorta like some seventies "genzine" which covered a whole lotta bases, and what makes this 'un way better than, say, DETAILED DOUCHEBAG is a relatively recent post that consists of nothing but Bill's reaction to the HOUND BLOG Lester Bangs "special" that I know got me thinkin' "Best Post of the Year!!!" And man, does the good doctor do a superduper of a commentary on the fabled rock "critic" which we sure can use a lot more of these days. Bill's opines are what one would call a lollapalooza (no, not that), and if you miss his old INNER MYSTIQUE fanzine you might like this one even if Bill is certainly one of the more under-the-radar survivors of the eighties underground press scene these days! Now, I'll be the first one to admit that even with his interesting tastes and natural writing abilities Bill is far from perfect, but then again he can't be me (who can?)...
Noted raconteur Jon Behar also has his own (promised for years) weblog together which is entitled WAITAKERE WALKS. Behar's now in New Zealand but this blog don't show it...the thing reads more Southern California 1976 than anything and it's jam-packed with Behar's own peculiar (I don't think he would be offended if I described them as so) tastes in music, film and whatnot. Wanna download some pre-Cars Cap'n Swing? Here's the place to do just that!
And last but most certainly least of these new additions is the KENNER'S GIVE-A-SHOW BLOG which presents for you a great hefty hunkin' portion of those old slides that used to wow the bejabbers outta us when we were kids (unless you're some hippie child of the eighties type or hate-the-world communist, then get lost!). The guy who puts this one out is whatcha'd call a serious collector and fan of the old kiddie show projector, and for our benefit he's posted hundreds of various Give-A-Show slides for all of those who have missed out on these things the first time around! And boy, did I learn plenty, like f'rinstance that they kept making these Give-A-Shows well into the late-seventies which is a time I thought such early-sixties fun would have been long dead, and didja know that there was even an English version via the Chad Valley brand which not surprisingly enough produced a few unique slides for the local market (some of which you can see on the blog!) featuring such decidedly British fare as DR. WHO and...POPEYE?!?!?!? In all this blog sure brought back some good memories, though for me the only way to view the Give-A-Show projector presentation is not via Youtube, but to lie on the floor with all of the drapes closed and use the ceiling as a screen! Of course this was before we'd all walk around the room to "Washington Square" before playing "studio wrestling" using the cushions from the old couch as the mat and getting a watered-down Kool Ade treat. And if you think I wouldn't give a million bazillion dollars to re-live just one classic pre-school day of joy like this you are sadly mistaken!
Oh, and while I have you on the line I know I should mention that the latest issue of Tim Hinely's DAGGER (see link at left) is now available at your favorite news stand, and this one (#42) has the Mummies (!!!) on the cover as well as a load of reading material on the inside featuring people who I've never heard of and probably never will listen to as long as I live! But I must admit that I sure do enjoy reading about these acts, their Cee-Dees and their Dee-Vee-Dees if only to educate myself as to what is hotcha and attention-grabbing out there in the underground. I know that you might feel exactly the same way too, but then again it was frightening (to say the least) to find out from these pages that Thomas Dolby is not only still performing but has a live disque out...sheesh, like I really needed to know that the eighties continue to live on when I thought it was for all practical purposes dead and buried!
And, as you have expected all these paragraphs later, here are da revooz!
***Vinny Golia/Damon Smith/Weasel Walter-GROßES MESSER CD (UgEXPLODE)
Back in the mid-seventies, if you woulda told some DOWN BEAT L7 type that the future of free jazz would depend totally on the hard work and unbridled devotion of a buncha PUNKS, said square would probably call you a definitely nowheresville cat who didn't know which way you were boppin'. Thirty-five years down the line you would have been hailed as prophetic natch. Of course the MC5 and Stooges and no wave (not forgetting Lester Bangs raving about the whole mix all the way) were proof positive enough that free jazz and underground punk (at least of the avant kind) had more than a few similarities but let's face it...today free jazz is punk rock and really I couldn't think of a better mixed-marriage in all my life unless you count John and Yoko.
GROßES MESSER is the latest UgEXPLODE label offering featuring punkoid drummer Weasel Walter banging it out with saxist Vinny Golie and bassist Damon Smith, and the resulting bash and crash had me swooning back to...to the last UgEXPLODE release natch not to mention a whole batch of interesting free jazz of the past decade sphere as handled by guys you woulda thunk were punks (Freedomland comes naturally to mind). Hot playing not quite AACM-ish, but then again it sure seems post-Ornette and ESP. Maybe it's hovering in its own hive of new free blare in the trad of a few hundred self-released wonders of the past twenty years with Golia's massive sax screech and Walter's good enough to be Sunny Murray percussion which has me thinking back to all of those records I didn't get when the old New Music Distribution Service catalog would wing its way to my door. And yeah I know to you that all of these free jazz albums "sound the same" and if you have a nice one-D approach to the new thing maybe they do, but what s sound to sound alike to if you ask me and it wouldn't hurt to pick this up just to add to the IMPACT, ifyaknowaddamean...
***Deep Purple-SINGLES A'S & B'S LP (Harvest England)
Here's one that I'll bet woulda gone over well with the 8-track gang back in the seventies! Deep Purple's early English singles complete with non-LP b-sides and special edits and all that fun stuff. Only really big 'un here's "Hush" which was a surprise outta nowhere hit in '69...the rest were flopsters in the USA so I dunno how well the marijuana and pimples crowd would have taken to this as opposed to some more domestic produce. I think it would have served their purposes (getting stoned after work in the supermarket parking lot) just as well.
Actually I found some of this Harvest Heritage budget album (budget for them, not for us!) rather entertaining even if typically pop mawkish such as that instrumental track on side one not forgetting their own version of "Hallelujah", not to be confused with either Handel's or Can's. However a good portion of SINGLES A'S & B'S seems to wander somewhere in between heavy metal and progressive with lotsa commercial appeal tossed in, and though I don't feel any great animosity towards these songs it's not like I'm going to play 'em again, at least in this lifetime. (In the lifetime I become a lab rat I expect this music to be pumped into my cage for what might seem an eternity.) By the way, I wonder where "Kentucky Woman" and "Flight of the Rat" are, or perhaps they didn't make it out as singles in England methinks???
***The Dave Edmunds and Love Sculpture-SINGLES A'S & B'S LP (Harvest England)
Here's another Harvest Heritage budget disc that came out right at the tippy-tip end of the great import bin craze, a 1980 sampling of EMI-era Dave Edmunds material undoubtedly conceived to cash in on his new-found fame as a member of Rockpile with Nick Lowe. For a change it's a complete enough package too with twenty tracks and all of the goodies Edmunds did single-wise at EMI from his Love Sculpture and Human Beans days (such as that West Coast psych classic "Morning Dew") to solo Dave hitting the US charts with "I Hear You Knocking" and even some very early trackage under the Rockpile name proper! I'm sure that the gnu wavers that latched onto this because of Edmunds' sudden bolt into the upper-echelons of the hipster ranks were probably confused by the mix of fifties New Orleans, sixties UK psych and general hard rock that Edmunds produced at EMI, but those of us who have been on the train a little longer would naturally understand the development and nurturing of the artist's talents. Or something like that. Remember, I ain't poppin' on all cylinders like I usually am but I was comatose enough to enjoy this forgotten slab to the hilt!