AS WILLIAM BURROUGHS ONCE SAID, "A PARANOID IS SOMEONE WITH ALL THE FACTS!"
And if that's the case I'm the most aware person in the galaxy, or at least I do get the feeling that Random Insect Death is but a moment's notice! (Thanx be to Brad Kohler for the timely quote.) Quite a change from the way I was feeling last week at this time. Therefore this particular post ain't gonna be as char-broiled as previous ones, a major disappointment on your part true but sometimes even Superman has to cool his heels a bit. Besides, after those eye-openers from the past two weekends were you expecting yet another topper to tingle your frazzled nerve-endings? I thought so. Glutton!
Superdude-POTHEAD PUNK CD (Superdude)
Over the past few years I gotta admit to having a passing interest in some of those outta-nowhere sixties/seventie vintage New York City rockin' outsider types who somehow seemed to weather the storm and continued on their own perhaps-uncharted courses long after you'd have thought their shelf lives would've worn out for good. First there was David Peel who dealt us two very good slabs of street-trash before John Lennon boosted his stock a few points in the early seventies; later on there was "quirky" folksinger David Roter who hung around the Stoneybrook/Meltzer/Dictators axis before finally recording a number of albums (plus a single) on the Unknown Tongue label, none of which featured his original folk stylings. I'm sure we could add a few more people to the list like perhaps Von Lmo and Sandy Bull as well as Ruby Lynn Reyner if you wanna get female about it. And of course, as if you haven't figured it out by now, there's this Superdude guy who has been performing his maybe not-so-particular brand of underground rock funzies for an audience that I guess has been appreciative enough or why else would this relatively new (2007) Cee-Dee exist in the first place?
From what else I can discern Superdude has been around much longer than the seedy late-seventies, even being a part of the 1968-vintage Andy Warhol Family as you can easily enough find out from his myspace bio (just click the highlighted link above for this and more to-the-core-of-it-all information). This must make him either a pretty "with-it" sexagenarian or a guy who hasn't given two whits about the growth and development of music over the past three decades to which I say it's all the better! Y'see, POTHEAD PUNK's what anyone in on the under-the sheets lower Manhattan game'd call pure late-seventies/early-eighties cusp New York Rock, or at least something from the remnants of that era that seemed so outta place on one hand yet around 1985 you wanted more and more of it!
Beware, the vast majority of BLOG TO COMM readers will writhe in agony upon hearing this album since it will not settle well with nervous systems honed by repeated exposure to Lexicon Devil CD releases. However, to people like myself who find that intellectual residue and class/social/Marcusian consciousnesses in rock to be totally irrelevant with regards to what the music meant will love it the same was we go for such other peripheral punkisms as, say, Luther Thomas's YO MAMMA. Fake punk, fake rap, fake jazz...these were what the last days of En Why See's first punk generation was all about and if you don't still shed a tear over the demise of the original Max's or the cancellation of GLENN O'BRIEN'S TV PARTY you just wouldn't understand.
Typical cheap New York exploito sound here...in fact I woulda thought this to be some early-eighties release that, like FUTURE LANGUAGE, got lost in the shuffle of various Clash and B-52 albums. Only it came out years later which makes the references to early-eighties new wave, reggae and rap seem even more "dated" but I like it perhaps because it does recall past outta-the-way musical movements done in what seems like a pretty flybynight way. It adds to the "charm" and surprisingly enough, most of the time this sounds a lot more interesting than the "real" dabblers in the form who by the early eighties began releasing some pretty duff albums!
Most of POTHEAD PUNK does come off like quickie new wave crank out, kinda like a budget disc which some cigar-chomping manager woulda dumped on an already oversaturated market during the very early eighties. If they still sold albums in supermarkets back then you might have found this one snuggled somewhere in the bins. It also wouldn't be hard to imagine Superdude gigging amidst the budding hardcore, leftover glam and fifties revivalists who were playing at Max's during their final days and, come to think of it, I think he did mingle with a number of the seventies leftover crowd (like Another Pretty Face) there until the bitter end.
Good cross-section ya got there Superdude. In fact, "Superman" is even typical early-eighties pre hiphop-generation rap back when the Sugarhill Gang were getting hefty NEW YORK ROCKER space after all of those innerlectual clubhoppers began snuggling up to that particular style. "Step to the Music" maybe not-so-surprisingly sounds a whole lot like Von Lmo's "Nobody Plays With Rose" with its spoken vocals (and don't you note a similarity between his and Lmo's very hotcha shades? Could it be a coincidence by any chance???). And if "African Herbsman" wasn't about that pungent illegal substance then I'd wonder just why Superdude won the marijuana music awards for 2006 because this reggae raver ain't exactly your typical "having tea with Mary Jane" snicker snicker hide hide! The rest ranges from 1981 new wave the kind that was used to plug dish soap to cranky pseudo-punk and it's so wonderfully disposable that even that hipster nerk on SQUARE PEGS woulda puked over it with a vengeance!
Sure brings back a lotta memories of the leap twixt the underground seventies and the thud eighties, many of the same sentiments which can be found in a whole load of recent reviews on my part that you can easily sort out for yourself. But with all of the utter ridiculousness of these numbers Superdude does earn a strange place in my collection reserved for the crazier amongst us. Too bad his association with Warhol wasn't played on like Peel's was with Lennon or Roter's was with Meltzer or else we'd've been reading more about this guy in CREEM.
***STEPSON LP (ABC)
Naturally I was hoping for another under-the-radar punk masterpiece outta this especially after reading that rave-on article UGLY THINGS dared publish in their latest. However, despite all of the promise and hope that I had for these guys being at least a more palatable for the massholes Stooges knock off I found STEPSON to be pretty mid-energy light metal. Not bad, but not exactly the hard-edged offering that I was expecting. Think of a less cocksure Jukin' Bone or maybe One Dog Night without the teenybop (Chuck Negron is thanked on the cover if there's any doubt) and you might have a good idea of where Stepson were coming from. But if you were expecting the epiphany of RAW POWER ferget it!...frankly the Imperial Dogs coulda whipped 'em w/one ball tied behind their backs in a 1974 punk rock battle of the bands, and that's with Jymn Parrett refereeing the thing as well!
***The Jimi Hendrix Experience-SMASHING AMPS LP (Dragonfly bootleg)
Not sure exactly what the source of this 'un is...HOT WACKS is vague and besides they don't even mention this version on the Dragonfly label adding up to even more mystery across the boards! (And yeah, I know that I can just dial up my favorite search engine and find out for myself, but I'll leave that up to you if you really so desire because I'm too lazy.) The sound is at least AM-radio quality excellent, much better than the "VG" that WACKS gives the TMOQ version while the performance is on-par with an instrumental "Sunshine of Your Love" starting side one off and a raging climax of the national anthem closing out the proceedings. Where the smashed amps come in I don't know...perhaps right at the finale but given how Hendrix played his guitar who could tell? In between ain't that bad either. Only real beef is that "Wild Thing" and "Waiting For That Train", both listed on the insert sleeve, are nowhere to be found. I hope Don Fellman doesn't read this or he'll never talk to me again (y'see, he hates Hendrix and for more reasons than Jimi's vulgar stage routine)!