Ain't done one of these in awhile, but the clock on the wall (as well as a lack of any original ideas in my bean) sez it's time for me to crank out yet another rundown of the top six kulturally-exciting things that are tingling my tootsies this very week. I know that you vicariously-living types will want to read all about my own current faves and why not, for these kinda posts are a good way to spout off about old items cluttering up the collection especially in times like these when money is short and new, exciting and brain-stimulating music, reading, art and whatnot is even shorter! So settle back and once again immerse yourself into the inner workings of a superior life form who you'll never be able to comprehend, me being so far outside the ken of normal human comprehension that I even frighten myself sometimes!
***The Velvet Underground-PRESENT THE CHIC MYSTIQUE OF NOTHING SONGS CD-R (no label)
Still not sure "exactly" why I latched onto this particular burn since the material here can be found elsewhere in my collection and easily enough at that, but nevertheless this one is programmed the way I like it with a hefty concentration on the early EPI-days when the Velvets seemed like one of the most alien concepts happening in the already whacked-out world of mid-sixties rock & roll. "The Nothing Song" from Columbus 11/66 starts things off on the right foot followed by the snatches of "Venus In Furs"/"Heroin" from that NET Warhol show, well-circulated natch but I sure remember when stuff like this was Holy Grail material. In turn that's followed by that great extended instrumental (also '66!) that Jonas Mekas used for the soundtrack of his "Diaries, Notes and Sketches" film all closed out by the drummer-less "Train 'Round The Bend"/"Oh Sweet Nuthin'" from Philadelphia '70 which does have a Cale-period essence to it especially during the latter where Reed adjusts his guitar feedback to sound like a droning electric viola (well, that's what some guy in WHAT GOES ON said and who am I to argue!). Rilly, this is a recording I would have killed you for had it only been circulating in 1979!
***OVEN-BAKED OMELET CASSEROLE! (recipe)
Although the doc told me that I have to shed a few tons and lower my cholesterol that doesn't mean that I gotta stop eatin' totally! And yeah, after awhile the broiled salmon patties and raw spinach salads w/o dressing do tend to get to you, and that's exactly why I "created" this low-cal (don't ask me how many!) dish that saved me from the doldrums of belly-emptying, comparatively tasteless eating! Since I like omelets (at least if they're light 'n fluffy...no rubbery eggs for this oeuve gobbler!) especially when they're loaded with tons of shredded cheese, vegetables, meat and salsa or hot sauce on top I decided to create this tasty meal which not only can be eaten whether breakfast, lunch or supper (dinner even!) w/o you looking like a loonybin but tastes dee-lish as well! Here's what you need:
two cartons of no-cholesterol egg substitute, garden vegetable or Southwestern flavors preferredHokay, first get the veggies and sautee 'em in a little water until they're nice and tender. Olive oil should be OK as well though I haven't tried it. Dump in the chopped celery first since it's hard and takes the longest time to soften up, then the onions and peppers, and finally the mushrooms which will give off a lotta water as they cook so don't add too much liquid to begin with unless the mess is starting to scortch. Add a lotta salt (everybody tells me that I have to worry about my sodium intake but since everything seems to taste blah anymore I like to pour it on!) and let cool when all done. Keep a lid on the pan to keep all of the natural veg flavor locked in! While the veggies are cooling off, pour the egg substitute in a nice-sized mixing bowl. then stir in the cheese. Waste not want not I always say, so rinse out the cartons with a little water and pour that into the cheese/egg substitute mix as well. Add more salt if you feel brave, or even some chili powder/mix if you wanna give it a South of the Border tang. If the veggies are cooled off dump them into the mix and stir gently (or else you're gunk up the entire kitchen), then dump in the flour and stir it so there are no lumps present. Pour into the Pammed baking dish and slap into the oven. Bake until it looks done or at least you can stick a sharp knife or toothpick into the center and it comes out clean. When done, take out of over and let cool for awhile until it's at a temperature desirable to your gullet.
one bag of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, swiss cheese or maybe some of both, the tangier the better!
two green or red bell peppers, or one of each
one medium onion chopped up, or some leeks or scallions in you wanna be fancy
two cartons of button mushrooms, portabellos or maybe some sheepshead if desired
some celery (as much as you have/desire) chopped up; about a cup should do
a tablespoon or so of flour
salt and other creative spices thought up right inside your own head
one 12/12 baking dish with non-stick spray liberally applied
one oven preheated to 350 degrees, maybe more or less depending if you're in a hurry or not
Great grub here, and thankfully there's always some left over which means the next day when it's time to chow down you can always cut out a hunk and re-heat it which does save on the worries of knowing where your next meal is coming from. And hey, like I said you can be adventurous if you like. Those not watching the waist or cholesterol intake might wanna use real eggs, or perhaps add some white wine 'stead of water to the mix, or experiment a little with the veggies (cooked spinach or some other greens would be nice and hearts of artichokes would really up the property value quite a bit) or cheese (Roquefort or Gorgonzola'd add a nice sharpness while Edam a pleasing tang and who could forget New York Extra Sharp Cheddar or even some of those soft cheeses you still have left over from Christmas 1972). Got any leftovers like sausage, ham or roast beef? Slice that up and stir it in for a twist on the ol' Yorkshire Pudding treat! And hey, if you really want to save the $$$ why not find your own mushrooms!!! I understand that in Melbourne Victoria Australia and surrounding areas not to mention near the chic-est microbreweries of San Francisco there are TONS of 'shrooms just popping up all over the place. The redder the better, so why not create for yourself a taste-treat that you'll never forget, eh???
***The Baloney Heads/The Andy Gerome Band-WMMS-FM broadcast 11/80
I forget the exact date this one aired but with the mere flick of your instant 1958-1990 adjust-the-dial calendar you can find out for yourself because this one hit the airwaves on the Sunday right after Thanksgiving in the year of '80 and at ten in the evening making it pretty much the spiritual successor to that Rocket From The Tombs broadcast which began the series of Saturday Night local talent almost six years earlier. And this particular program does have quite a connection with that Rocket broadcast considering that both of the groups featured that night had tangential connections to the "first wave" of Cleveland underground rockers, the Baloney Heads having former Electric Eels (and Styrene Money Band) drummer Danny Foland in their fold while the Andy Gerome Band featured half of the infamous group Milk, Alan Globekar on lead guitar and David Alexy on drums making them an act that should have been reckoned with at least by more serious Cleveland pop aficionados.
I remember tuning into this program on that rainy Sunday sitting in the Ford van (since I could not pick up WMMS on any houshold radio of ours) listening to the Heads through the poor reception before giving up to return to the warm confines of the house and TRAPPER JOHN MD on the boob tube. Thankfully my cousin was taping the show for me at that very same second and wonder of wonders that is the exact same source I'm using to relay to you this particular writeup! And what a show it was...in case you aren't aware the Baloney Heads were a pretty high-larious comedy rock group that were able to get some local hubbub thanks to their singer Reddy Killowat being pal-sy enough with some of the bigwigs on the scene to get his band on the radio twice (the other time on prog rock competitor M-105) as well as pictured in the local SCENE free weekly magazine, something which you never would have seen of Harlan and the Whips let alone the Styrene Money guys themselves (which is probably just one reason they skedaddled for NYC given the conspiracy of silence that plagued them in their hometown)! The Baloney Heads were also fortunate enough to have released their own single which showcased their particular brand of "funny punk" to the point where not only was their platter spun on the MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL radio show but it would cost you a pretty penny to lay hands upon a copy these three-some decades later.
On this particular program the Heads were captured in the studio cranking out a representative amount of numbers showing off their snide comedy rock skills. English punk gets the razz in the opener which even quotes the Ramones' "We're a Happy Family" while the likes of Eddie Cochran get the "treatment" with a cover of "Nervous Breakdown" amongst other fun frolics that were so freshly original that I'm surprised that such a stodgy station as 'MMS, who were banking their moolah on the worst aspects of commercial AM/FM dross and hippydippy late-sixties memories, would even consent to broadcast these guys! It all ends with this strange ode to the blue collar working guy in Cleveland (complete with sharp barbs aimed at the management, the union and the football pool as well as a censored line mooshed up kinda like when the Stones sang "Satisfaction" on SHINDIG) ending in a Devo parody about future robot technology in 1993 with android-esque workers "pushing buttons by mental telepathy"! In a "scene" where the powers that be really looked down on new innovative and high energy rock & roll and pushed "safe" new wave dross like the Adults (Anastasia Pantsios' faves!), the presence of the Baloney Heads really made for a refreshing change from the bottom feeder scrapings. Someone should release this stuff since the time for a Baloney Heads album was...like thirty years ago??? (And while I'm at it, are there any tapes of spinoff group Spike Savage and the Barking Pumpkins floating around? There was an 'MMS broadcast of some studio stuff a few months later or so, plus I believe they also released a single which has eluded my grasp for so long!)
As for the Andy Gerome Band, these guys were clearly in the Raspberries/Circus vein of Cleveland power pop which would figure since both Globekar and rhythm guitarist Mick Sabol were in Circus at one time or another, Globekar even performing on and co-writing their late-seventies single that's wallowing somewhere in the collection and begging for a re-evaluation. The Gerome Band did accrue a sort of local popularity in Cleveland, at least to the point of being able to play out rather frequently as well as releasing a single which actually got a few spins on Youngstown's rather sickly imitation 'MMS station (the original being pretty sickly to begin with) much to my surprise considering what a good recording it was. Both sides of that single were performed on this live at the Agora broadcast and are strong enough to evoke early-seventies Raspberries comparisons (especially set opener "I Just Want to Hold You" which has a "Go All The Way" set of dynamics) even if the flip "Only One More Song" is a power-pop-ized reggae number sounding like Eric Carmen in dreads (nothing wrong with that, and in fact it sounds like a neat enough kulture klash to have worked up!). Globekar's "Red Light District" which appeared on his solo album for Brian Sands' Bizart label a few years down the road also pops up (more late-seventies prostitute chic?) as does this great emotion-laden closer "Tell Me You Love Me" which ends with some fantastic lead lines courtesy the ex-Milkman that might wanna make you cry given the emotional dynamism of Globekar's might. His playing is in fact what made the Gerome Band so great...not to deter from Gerome's perfect-for-the-form vocalizing one bit but that guitar still sends shivers to the point where I better wear a sweater next time I listen to this lest I catch my death a cold!
's funny, but at the time this stuff was being broadcast I was under the impression that rock & roll as delivered by both the Heads and Gerome Band was going to be part of the wave of the eighties...that the realm of underground, punk, power pop and just good high energy music was going to overtake the entire decade to the point where groups like the Baloney Heads and Andy Gerome Band were gonna make it along with all of those Max's Kansas City bands and other innovative gunch across the globe and the likes of Pantsios and Kid Leo would be looking for work more suitable to their talents (like scrubbing toilets) in no time flat. Little did I realize that the eighties would be the era of squeaky-cleanness with bright-eyed and bushy-tailed floppy haired kids listening to Madonna, light metal bands and other paragons of putrid monotony ruling the airwaves! I've always had a bad track record with predictions which continues to bother me since nothing I wish would have happened (in art, society, life...) ever did transpire to the point where I might as well be living in some strange futuristic MADISON AVENUE RUN AMOK world that itself was being predicted in the fifties. Maybe if I only change my own predictions then things would be different (in a positive, more BTC-friendly way)...howz this; rock & roll will be totally forgotten within the year (if it hasn't been already)...the pipeline of hot proto-punk exhumations will dry up for good in a very short while...DAVE LANG AND JAY HINMAN WILL LIVE LONG, PROSPEROUS AND HAPPY LIVES!!! Hey, this getting to be fun!
***SNOOPER AND BLABBER CARTOONS! (Hanna Barbara, early-sixties)
Y'know, I had no knowledge of who Snooper and Blabber were until very recently when I began tuning into the Boomerang Cartoon Network via our roof-top satellite dish. Unfortunately by the time I was old enough to truly understand and enjoy animated cartoons and discern their composition and general make-up the early Hanna Barbaras had pretty much been banished from the local tee-vee screens, and when they did make a grand return via the Sunday morning 10-11 AM slot on channel 21 (once home to Popeye and the Warner Brothers cartoons) for some odd reason Snooper, along with Quick Draw McGraw and Augie Doggie, weren't being aired amongst the Yogis, Huckleberry Hounds, Snagglepusses and Yakkey Doodles which did bug me quite a bit. I sure would have loved to have given those a gander after all those years, and who knows, perhaps you would have too.
But hey, given that my early-sixties television cravings are getting more cravier as the years progress I have to rely more and more on cartoons like Super-Snooper and Blabbermouse to get my fill. At this point in time even I am getting tired of the same ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW reruns being tossed at me over and over again and frankly, I'll get my Kennedy-era jollies just about any way that I can even if they are via animation that were being created for toddlers who never could comprehend all of the social/cultural nuances that this entertainment was exuding. And hey, this series about a cat and mouse detective team does hold up pretty well not only as yet another HB supporting slot 'toon, but as a funny commentary on the private eye shows of the day which as usual the parents could get just as much of a chuckle outta as the kiddies!
Daws Butler voices both Snooper and Blabber and even does Ed Gardner of DUFFY'S TAVERN fame for the former and rather snattily complete with all malapropisms intact. Seeing the pair romp through some pretty wacky (and at times below-average..I ain't above telling you when anybody but myself is having an off day) PI tales does make for good enough PM time-wasting even if both characters really weren't strong enough to be headlining material the same way Yogi and Huck were. And my personal fave of the batch seen just has to be the one where the duo babysit the child of an eerie Mad Scientist and his wife voiced Peter Lorre and Talulah Bankhead-style a good five or so years before the entire MUNSTERS/ADDAMS trend had Ameriga horror/humor crazy! This must have been inspired by the original hubbub that the Universal Horror Films being syndicated into television had on the collective minds of young boys on the hunt for funtime tee-vee thrills, right?
A load of knowitall scum love to deride me because my affectation (as Snooper would say) for early-sixties fun and crunch. Tough turds is my reply. Heck, personally I'd rather live in 1962 than 2010 anyday...sure the tee-vee sets were bound to blow a few tubes once in awhile and reception wasn't always that hot unless you ran your aerial all the way up to the clouds (the antenna getting blown over more often than not), but at least you got to drive around in cool cars like Studebaker Larks and the food was a lot tastier than the chi-chi grub that's being forced down our gullets these days. And hey we didn't have to put up with all of those sickos marching around for
***Alice Cooper-PRETTIES FOR YOU/EASY ACTION CD (Retro Germany)
You know that the early Alice Cooper band had something good going for 'em because ROLLING STONE really hated their guts. Their debut platter for Frank Zappa and Herb Cohen's tax writeoff label Straight was savaged by none other than Lester Bangs, a guy who also tried to derail the MC5's chugga-chug career yet ended up loving them almost as much as he did Alice and within a few short month's timespan as well! But that didn't deter the lovey-doveys at STONE; elpee #2 EASY ACTION fared an even worse fate getting consigned to the "Condemned" portion of the review section which is usually where the lowest of the lowliest dregs were set up for ridicule, some which were so bad even I would probably hate 'em as well.
Of course all that changed once LOVE IT TO DEATH made hefty inroads into the budding metallic mindset of many a disaffected suburbanite and "Eighteen" finally introduced Stooges aesthetics to the AM dial. But before that woah!!!!, Alice Cooper was just another member of late-sixties hard rock hell along with all of those other primitive hasbeens like the Chocolate Watchband and Seeds, groups which the upper-echelon effetes at STONE never did take seriously so why should they bother with these El Lay via Arizona wannabes who were more suited for playing teen dances than ruining the sanctity of these faux Dharma Bums anyway?
Dunno how legit this two-on-one collection of pre-fame Alice is but considering how hard it is to get these albums in any format (correction: EASY ACTION has been made available on vinyl once again and can be purchased via Forced Exposure) I consider myself lucky enough to own the durn thang. PRETTIES FOR YOU (with the durty cover that got kiddoes in school yapping up and down way back when) might be too "angular" (?) for some of you but the influence of not only Zappa but Moby Grape and the better aspects of cheap West Coast psychedelia can be heard throughout. In many ways this is the equal to some of those other late-garage band-era psychedelic crank outs that also seemed to come and go (right into the record bin at the grocery store) within the blink of an eye. ACTION begins to point the way towards hit-era Alice with a stronger guitar sound that comes off Detroit in spirit even if the Cooper group was still marooned in El Lay at the time. But it's so metallic good in its own way that I don't even mind if the group tackles some definitely West Coast softies along the lines of "Shoe Salesman" and "Beautiful Flyaway" one iota! After all, the atonal blare of "Wake Up And Die, Goodbye" more than makes up for the martooni schmoozers!
This one's a boffo way to find out (along with the wide array of live Toronto '69 albums being issued on the grey market) what the Coop was up to before all of those rock crits and chic hippie mag types who loathed 'em all did a 180 and claimed they liked the group all along!
***SERENA WILLIAM BURROUGHS (person)
This guy, out of the goodness of his heart, sent me not only about a dozen CD-R burns of seventies hard funk music but a buncha fliers, a fanzine he did a few years back plus a copy of one of those later-on issues of CLE! All of which will be digested and writ about in the upcoming years if not months, weeks or even days. Sheesh, I feel so gosh-it-all HUMBLE getting these items sent my way...I only with that I could reciprocate in some way like, send the guy some back issues of my own oft-loathed fanzine???? Naw, why should I let him suffer like that?
***SPECIAL NOTE TO STEVE M. OF INDIANAPOLIS (FORMERLY OF BLOOMINGTON) INDIANA: still waiting to hear back from you...leave another message w/pertinent info via the comment box and I will respond faster than potrzebie!
***AND FINALLY; RIP Mitch Miller, the man who popularized the phrase "Sing Along With the Man Who Can't Bust Our Music!"