Wednesday, November 18, 2009

JUST ANOTHER MID-WEEK TIDE OVER BEFORE THE BIG 'UN

Kinda slow here, though some more irons in the fire might produce a few posts of worth as the months progress (while other irons have more or less cooled down despite the best efforts to keep 'em warm 'n toasty, for which I am not proud). I did manage to fight the sluggishness enough to wade through the el-pee collection and find the following reliables that I've unfortunately ignored o'er the past decade, so you can say this mid-week "update" isn't an entire waste.

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Various Artists-ULTRA VIOLET'S HOT PARTS LP (Kama Sutra)

The only reason I dug this soundtrack album from an Ultra Violet-narrated collection of stag films outta the heap was because some writer for THE ROCK MARKETPLACE, maybe Alan Betrock but perhaps Joseph Fleury, deemed the Steve Martin-warbled "Love Songs in the Night" track to have an early Velvet Underground sound and appeal to it. Velvet-dropping along these lines especially when written BEFORE the mad rush to Velvets homage and the obvious dilution of the form still manages to get my interest up. Or at least it sure does more than reading about every tinhorn "alternative" amerindie folksqueak act with acoustic guitars and well-scrubbed cheeks tagging themselves with a Velvets influence in order to pass themselves off as something along the lines of "new" and "innovative". Considering how much of a classic-FM rock dump this area is maybe claiming an affection for the VU would be considered a daring act, but then again so would be giving oneself a testicle probe so what do these local yokels know anyway?

Naturally these two Left Banke reunion tries succeed aesthetically enough and yeah, I could say that "Love Songs..." sure comes off about as much a decent Velvets derivation as perhaps the Styrene Money Band had. Well, at least it would have made a great addition to the BEFORE THERE WAS...TIME album with very little change. The rest of this album ranges from the Left Banke-ish pop of Montage to the Donovan-esque folkie rock blahs of Bert Sommers, who didn't have any Jeff Beck to prop him up which is why be typically falls flat...sheesh, he was better with Kaptain Kool and the Kongs! I did get a kick outta the brash retro nostalgia of Allan Nichols' "Bad Lady" which actually made me ponder just exactly what sordid actions were happening on the screen during this particular number! Guess I'll have to put on my raincoat, get my plastic bag and head on over to the Foster Theater to find out!
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The Who-ODDS AND SODS LP (Track)

Here's a teenaged fave of mine, the first ever Who album possessed by me in fact, and although here in the age o' flab it sounds not quite the total eruption of energy it once had but it's fine enough. True the horns on "Postcard" are quite obtrusive and even "Little Billy" tends to grate with its moralistic anti-tobacco jive but otherwise this is the Who at their non-hit/FM playlist best covering the years '64-'72 before they became too big of a rock commodity irritant. It's no WHO'S ZOO or other under-the-counter product produced with love and care by fans, but it captures an important part of the Who's career and for the longest time was an easy bargain bin/flea market catch and who could go wrong with that???
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Dark Carnival-THE GREATEST SHOW IN DETROIT LP (Revenge, France)

Yet another one that got pushed way to the back which is a shame because even though this is a long-after-the-fact celebration of Detroit Rock from during a time when High Energy seemed to be replaced by High Crime Rates, THE GREATEST SHOW IN DETROIT sure brings back a lotta that hard-edged Michigan music of the seventies. Recorded when you woulda thought the ginchiness of the eighties would have had that entire scene dead and buried, THE GREATEST SHOW IN DETROIT gathers up some of the hard hitters of the classic '67-'73 seasons as if it was still "back in the day" and this music wasn't being consigned to the back pages of hippie-scribed rock "history" books quite yet. Hard and haunting, with Niagara singing in top form and various ex-Stooges, Mutants and Motor City Bad Boy types helping out, it all goes by with a manic amphetamine pace that keeps you breathless from the pre-recorded circus music opening to the last feedback blurt. Considering what else was going on during the early-nineties when this first appeared I'm surprised I haven't been spinning this one a whole lot more often! Punkitude at its best, kinda like the way CREEM woulda wanted it before the dangling dollar signs turned that mag into yet another major label mouthpiece!

2 comments:

Bill said...

Wow, I'd never heard of "Ultra Violet's Hot Parts" nor have I ever seen that album before. Like a lot of that kind of thing (projects by ex-Warhol people), the story behind the work might be more interesting than the work itself.

Anonymous said...

What makes "Little Billy" rather ironic is that all the members of the Who were smokers (Daltrey and Townshend still might be)