Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Little Feat-MAX'S KANSAS CITY - APRIL 15, 1973 bootleg CD (SC)

Does the fact that I've actually plunked down a good hour (or four) of wages to snatch this obscurity up prove that the high-throb musical world which you and I crave has rolled to a standstill these past few months if not years? Really, if I have to stoop to buying platters by seventies backburner SoCal singer/songwriter types right outta the Laurel Canyon crevice I guess that the overall musical situation (esp. on the archival level) has tapered off to practically nada...I mean, why else would I want to latch onto a Little Feat album other'n out of early-seventies masochistic boredom coupled with a nice bout of ennui anyway? Believe me, I'm trying to figure all of this out myself as well!

But hey, I must admit that I did have a slight interest in the entire Little Feat oeuvre dating back to my Zappa/Beefheart days, especially after discovering the Lowell George/Mothers connection (and the fact that it was George himself singing those "whoops" on the classic "Didja Get Any Onya?") not forgetting that fellow ex-Mother Roy Estrada was the original bassist for this aggregate which, shall I say,was something that really mattered to me at the time considering how I used to think that I kinda looked like Estrada! To compound all that, none other than WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH artist Neon Park painted a hefty portion of the Little Feat album covers which had my own teenage failure interests quite piqued to the point where their rep as a buncha Laurel Canyon fringies seemed to take a backseat to the potential bizarre-ness of it all! And hey, when I was sixteen I sure had my freak rock priorities down pat, at least compared with various other social skills and functions at which I failed abysmally!

Of course George also having been the replacement for Dick Dodd in the Standells helped (although how a guitarist could replace a drummer has always been rather confusing to me), and when somebody or other at CREEM once referred to Little Feat as being a punk rock band partially based on this piece of information you can bet my Uncle Martin antennae perked up NUGGETS-influenced goombah that I am. So like, why shouldn't I throw a little more caution to the wind and take a gamble on a platter (rec'd at the famed watering hole for the Next Generation, Max's Kansas City) that I have the feeling ain't gonna be one of those instant-zone ins that hits ya upon impact. Maybe a slow soaker-in at the best, though how long this'll take to permeate my hide remains to be seen.

And if this 'un is indeed a soaker-inner I have the feeling that it's gonna have to take more than ten, maybe twenty listens for it to ooze through the rhino hide of my psyche because for the life of me all I can get outta this is typical seventies So-Cal schmooze, the same kind that used to bristle me when I would open the pages of a ROLLING STONE (yes, I used to do that) on the hunt for something a little more...er...feral and all I'd get would be cookie cutter minutia on the likes of George and the whole lunatic fringe jacket mentality that the deadened minds at STONE (and elsewhere ie. the ENTIRE MAHONING COUNTY ROCK MINDSET [sic]) thought was the perfect antidote to all of the primitivist crank that was birthed from the rectum of Lou Reed. Dunno if it's Sam Clayton's congas that make Little Feat sound like total Music Industry jive but really, contrary to what that CREEM writer said I would think this is about as far away from the concept of punk rock or Max's glam and decadence as was humanly possible. And although I was too preoccupied with real life (and comic books) to notice at the time but the battle lines were already drawn, and lemme tell you Little Feat weren't on the same side as the Dolls or any of the other acts that seemed to continue on the same path of manic intensity created in the fifties and progressing down through the years despite the efforts of groups such as Feat to turn us ALL into socially conscious androids. (Not that Little Feat was exactly a group mired in the same sociopolitical sphere as David Crosby...really, I gotta stop this guilt by association no matter how thick the regional pomposity may be.)

Really, I am a pretty big fan and follower of Nick Kent but the guy did go off on tangents championing music that I thought any decent human being woulda laughed off the face of the earth ages back. SoCal singer/songwriters being amongst 'em. As I once said at least he wasn't as obnoxiously pompous about his picks and chooses as Chuck Eddy was which is why I think Kent is the tops and Eddy the pits, but anyway whenever I read Kent giving the raves to the likes of Feat and of course Joni Mitchell I still get the feeling that he's just trying to rib people like myself for whatever occult reason out there that might tickle his fancy. And considering that Kent was present at one of the gigs Feat played at Max's (who knows, he might very well be in the audience this very recording!) all I gotta say is sometimes it's sure hard to suss your favorite writers' tastes out! And it's sure hard to suss out how anyone could take a song with a title like "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" and make it sound like typical beardo rehash of old Chuck Berry riffs that sounds like something kids would've snorted coke and fornicated to 'stead of dancing their asses off like they shoulda.
***
Perhaps the most striking thing about this entire brouhaha is not the music but the cover shot which you can plainly see above. And whoever the enterprising souls at SC records who put this li'l package out are, they sure knew how to CUT COSTS! Y'see, instead of trying to obtain some live snaps from the show or other fannish esoterica to decorate this release, these enterprising bootleggers just decided to take the pic from the front cover of the MAX'S KANSAS CITY 1976 platter and use that instead! At least the back snap is of the infamous back room at Max's taken sometime before the creeps and freaksters were headed there for a night of debauchery, but seeing the familiar front photo being utilized this way is enough to make even a seen-it-all-before kinda guy like myself emit at least a few chuckles for reasons that are probably not that obvious to even myself!

1 comment:

django said...

I've never understood the Little Feat cult. They used to get a lot of airplay on KFML-FM in Denver back in the day, so I heard all their releases OFTEN. I revisited their work a few years ago when they were having another "revival," but I still don't get it. Nothing "wrong" with their work, it just sits there for me, and I'm not getting the "organic groove" that some seem to hear/feel.
Maybe it's me...

BILL S.