Is this post going to read like a rambling, disjointed mess of words? I have the feeling that it will, since right now I feel like a rambling, disjointed mess of a man! So please, whatever you do, expect a WHOLE LOTTA REHASH with this weekend roundup! Sometimes the words do flow endlessly and perhaps even gracefully from my fingertips onto the screen with unbelievable ease, but the last few days I've been feeling pretty run through a Cuisinart choppy. Some may say it's a lack of Vitamin B, but it's more like a lack of truly brain-stimulating aural/visual thrills to get my hotcha juices a'flowin'. Y'know, like the way when the mere sight of a Thirteenth Floor Elevators album was enough to send me into pangs of unbridled joy and life-reaffirming ginchiness. I'm afraid that nowadays it'll take a lot more'n that to get my gears into full overdrive which I must admit makes me feel lower 'n Anastasia Pantsios' tits. (Did I used that anal-o-gee before? If I did it's good enough to toss out again.) Sheesh, where's the next Rocket From The Tombs exhumation comin' out to uplift my spirits like a psychic living bra?
Until then I'll manage to get by (sheesh, I don't wanna end up sounding like Lindsay Hutton...he seems to be having a bad enough time of it himself!) but like I said last week, man do I need something in my system to get my spirits rising and this blog into full hell-bent overdrive! Of course expecting something like that to catch us all by surprise ain't gonna be the same as it was back when music seemed like an exciting, maddening form of expression that could make any suppressed cube of a teen feel like Lou Reed! I still have hope that my high energy rockist lifestyle can survive on the gas fumes of reissues, exhumations and information overdrive (via the computer natch!) to keep me running at least another what, three or four years. Until then it's gonna be get what I can and as often as I can even though everybody'll think I'm the modern-day equiv. of those Golden Age of Radio buffs who used to sparkle up my childhood looking so outta place in the face of early-seventies "relevance"!
***ANOTHER SMALL PACKAGE OF VALUE WILL ARRIVE SHORTLY: Got this 'un from Paul McGarry, a whole buncha Cee-Dee-Ares which he burned offa the internet with a note attached sayin' that this was my Christmas present, and, like get this, what what was he gonna get from me in return! Man, I didn't even know we were exchanging gifts and besides, what do you give to the man who has
Anyway I've been spinnin' a few of the burns he sent me and thought it's be nice to mention exactly what I have heard complete with a few lines (or more) of comment. Nothing elaborate but something funny enough to make this particular post look a little livelier than the last few months have been. Thought it'd be a nice enough way to show my natural wit and smartitude while filling you eager beavers in on what's making me all hot and bothered here in blogland. So as they say in Italy, here 'a goes...
The Saints-HOPE AND ANCHOR Nov 26, 1977- Sounds like one of those rock groups who a lotta people (critics and otherwise) that I hate love the dickens outta. Maybe for that reason I should hate the thing but I don't. The obv. Ramones riff rips don't settle well with me but I find it pleasing enough as an occasional tidbit.
The Sonics-Sept. 8 2008 Oslo Norway- If you get the wrinkles on these guys and placed them end to end, they'd reach all the way to the moon and back again. This actually is a well-performed set by the reformed Northwest group (with almost all the original members in tow) that doesn't make me cringe in fear of either retro-schmalz or "we invented punk rock" paeans to the new muzik crowd. Hard to look at, delightful to hear.*
The Rendezvous Band-LIVE AT THE MAGIC STICK Sept. 11 1999- Since I haven't been paying attention I didn't even know that the old Sonics Rendevous Band (no relation to the Sonics mentioned above) had reformed with Radio Birdman's Deniz Tek taking the late Fred Smith of MC5 fame's place. But they have and at least this bit of documentation survives for those of you who doubt the entire affair ever happened. Detroit hard rock not as good as the late-sixties stuff that spawned a whole load of translucent imitators, but pleasing enough.
LOS MOCKERS (EMI)- Well, I suppose a Uruguayan Rolling Stones was a much better idea than a Uruguayan Peter and Gordon! Great Stones ripoff right down to the twang voice trying in vain to hide the Spanish accent, and they even had the preying mantis look down pretty good too!
The Theolonious Monk Quartet Featuring John Coltrane-"LIVE AT THE FIVE SPOT" DISCOVERY (Blue Note)-A load of shapes of things to come while still being firmly stuck in a late-fifties bopdom which in many ways LOATHED the sound of what was about to happen right under their very noses. A pleasant enough set worth a few spins even if it doesn't move like the music this stuff eventually evolved into.
Sheb Wooley-COUNTRY BOOGIE, WILD AND WOOLEY (Bear Family)- Eh, he shoulda jus' stuck to yellin' at Clint Eastwood on RAWHIDE an' forgot about the singin'! (Actually I like it fer what it is, but I thought I'd give it a bad review just to be snide kinda like when Craig Bell gave the Sadistic Mika Band one in CREEM in order to impress Lester Bangs!)
The Treniers-THEY ROCK, THEY ROLL, THEY SWING (Sony)- The guys at UGLY THINGS like 'em, so in order to look just as hip I will go on record saying that yes, I too like 'em! Hope that puts all of those brainy intellectual rockcrit types who rush to thesaurus.com to find new and innovative wordage in a valiant attempt to buffer their credentials (heck, some of 'em even listen to the music they review!) to shame!!!!!
Buffalo-DEAD FOREVER (Vertigo Australia)- Wonder why Vertigo signed these guys since they already had Black Sabbath under contract! After all, Buffalo were nothing but a mere knockoff in the hard crunch department. Perhaps the label lapped 'em up because Buffalo were from another country, another hemisphere, or better yet they were afraid to let such a good carbon copy end up elsewhere. Early-seventies gloom and doom so deep into the mire and depression of the day that you kinda wonder if they offed themselves by '74 at the very latest.
The Feelies AKA Foggy Notion-MAY 13 1982 @ Maxwell's, Hoboken, New Jersey- The Feelies doing an entire set of faithfully rendered Velvets numbers. Not offensive like most Velvet homage has become but after all's said and done all I gotta say is "SO #^$*@ WHAT!"
OK, enough of the bitter vileness, here are za reviews!
***Anthony Braxton-THIS TIME CD(Sunspots Italy)
Sure didn't take me long to get the Cee-Dee repro of the second Anthony Braxton BYG Actuel disc! Nice cover on this one too with none other than Leroy Jenkins the featured star perhaps proving that this album was not so much an album with Braxton as leader but a Creative Construction Company collective endeavor. Waddeva, it's yet another one of those great AACM groupthink effort not unlike the Art Ensemble of Chicago recordings that were being laid down at a variety of French studios around the same time, only with one solo saxophone effort and a spoken word track that perhaps points to Braxton as being the "real" brains behind the album.
***Scratch and Company-THE UPSETTERS CHAPTER 1; Upsetters-BLACKBOARD JUNGLE DUB CDs (Get On Down)
You already know what I think about reggae. Not that I loathe it. Just can't stand the stuff. However, I have nothing against the people who perform or listen to it (well, almost nothing) and if I was one of those guys who managed an under-the-underground rock & roll club in New York mid/late-seventies I would have booked reggae acts onto the same stage that Kongress and Manster would undoubtedly have played. But as far as being a deep-in-the-heart-of-Trenchtown fan and follower, ferget it!
So Brad Kohler comes around as sez that yeah, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, maybe Toots and Third World and a few others did have a tinge o' hippie sentiment that "perhaps" was preventing me from enjoying the genre, but then again I wasn't starting in the right place which was the stuff that came out on the small labels which was way gnarlier'n the major label approved National Record Mart fodder. Kohler went so far as to recommend the Lee Perry and the Upsetters material not only because of the echo-y production but for the weirdo "sampling" (pardon my French) of squeaky doors and babies crying that would suit me fine. And since I had thirty dollars on me that wasn't doing anything else I figured that maybe including a couple of their disques in the upcoming FORCED EXPOSURE order wasn't exactly that bad of an idea...
And maybe it wasn't because I found these platters, to put it mildly, amusing. Nothing earth-shattering (and foo-give me if I think that Rastafarianism was just another one of those trendy new seventies religions everybody talked about but very few had the brains to see as the scam it most certainly is) with loads of "dub" that never hit me even when the Pop Group was doing it. What I liked about these were the instrumental numbuhs that kinda sounded like either early-sixties near-hits that woulda sounded marvy mixed in with the girl groups and surf/hot rod rockers, or perhaps something that Barry Gray might have slipped into an ITC production even with them herky jerky rhythms! I guess imbibing in chemical stimulation would have altered my perceptions of these greatly, but can I help if I'm totally out of Ny-Quil?
Yet another massive stew o' free splat from the Smegma soundscapaders who just continue to crank the bleat out like it was runny fecal matter flowing from my hiney during a bout with the flu. Here they're once again joined by Wolf Eyes who thankfully don't get in the way o' the total sound 'r anything, and to add to the overall joy Buster Hudson himself R. Meltzer is up front (or at least buried in the mix) speaking his inspired free verse coming up with what just might be some bonafeed gems if one could only hear 'em.
There really ain't that much here to differentiate this and other recent Smegma releases. It's got that noisy yet beautiful like an autumn fungus free sound with tape loops, percussion, squeaky toys and other things going all hawg wild while Meltzer speak-sings on a wide variety of subjects (which I am assuming re. above paragraph) as the sound builds and clanks in your cranial cavity (i.e. empty skull) until once again it all morphs into this great Velvet Underground-sounding "Sister Ray" riff which has you thinking 1971 basement rock groove more'n 21st century chasm. If you're wondering why Smegma rank so highly in my mind as perhaps thee only band that matters, a record like this is a good indication as of where I base my own perhaps not-so-peculiar musical compass.
Sheesh, no wonder this 'un (in its Amerigan incarnation on the short-lived Import Records label) used to show up in flea market bins well into the nineties! Yeah, I can imagine all of those mellowed out jeeters who were stoked on DARK SIDE OF THE MOON buying this because it was made by Pink Floyd's very own Roger Waters along with English "eccentric" (well, at least that's what I think they call 'em) Ron Geesin and you could "get high" to it especially in quad! Well, if you ask me all of the ragweed marijuana in the world coupled with copious amounts of cheap wine ain't gonna make this mess sound good nohow! Maybe if they threw a li'l Coke 'n aspirin in...
Is this the first, or second of the post-Electra Love albums that came out on Blue Thumb over here and Harvest over there? I can't recall not being as much of a Love aficionado as many people seem to think I am for some strange reason or another. (Click here to read my review of OUT THERE, the group's other effort for this fine pair of labels.) But hey, it's sure a pleasure giving a listen to just about anything Arthur Lee has laid down and buying his platters once every so often is a whole lot better'n having 'em forced into my brain the same way the Leader acquired every bit of known knowledge extant back in the pages of some old HULK comic and keeled over because of it. And Lee (Arthur, not Stan) and company do well here, not as well as when they were romping around in the 1966 El Lay post-Byrds scene but fine enough for me even with that special guest guitarist making a nuisance of himself wailing all over the place! Its what ya'd expect of the folk rock scene a good six years after, that is without the fringe jacket David Crosby Canyon mope of it all.
*A funny aside, Don Waller once mentioned how the reformed Sonics were playing in El Lay awhile back and in no way could the infamous BACK DOOR MAN scribe drag Mark Shipper, the man who not only edited the notorious FLASH fanzine which exposed the whole sixties punk mystique to a large audience but reissued the group's better Etiquette material on a compilation entitled EXPLOSIVES back in the mid-seventies, to that particular gig nohow! This could be just as bad as my purposefully missing out on the one-off Mirrors reunion in Cle a couple of Junes back, though of course I had an excuse...it was a long, hard day and I most certainly did not want to trek all the way to Cleveland only to get beaten up by an irate Jamie Klimek and Paul Marotta! I dunno what got into Shipper considering his role in making the Sonics the legends they most certainly have become thanks to his efforts, but I thought it was an interesting enough story that should be passed around!