Sunday, October 23, 2011

In the interest of deviating from the abnormal just to spice up this one-track blog,  I definitely should gab on about something other'n music, old television programs, DVD-R's that Bill Shute sent me or some other form of ancient gulcheral wonderment that usually makes up the bulk of my writing (and usually only appeals to me and nobody else on this Earth). For a change of pace, howzbout a li'l bitta "current events" like perhaps my own personal take on the current "Occupy Wall Street" movement that I guess is beginning to take the world by storm if the glowing tweets from a variety of obviously wealth-based news sources can be trusted. I certainly do have mixed feelings about these protests...I mean, it's sure interesting to see that such a movement like an Occupy Wall Street can spread like wildfire without the intercession of a Comintern these days, and it does warm the cockles of my heart to see that there are more'n Tea Party activists out there acting concerned about the bailout of the banks and what way too many news programs call "crony capitalism" (which surprisingly seems to go against much of the thrust of these protesters' whole credo...I mean, if the unwashed hoards out there want free college educations then why can't Big Biz ask for more moolah for themselves?), but I do get the creeps when I see the throngs of what seem like leftover eighties rabble still ranting and raving about Ronald Reagan (who I guess is to the left what Roosevelt was to the right for the past eighty years, and we know how far that got 'em!) and how he's still gonna blow up the entire world, all the while chanting what I thought were long-discarded neo-Marxist heartbleeds being pampheted by the local chapter of the "Even more Revolutionary Than That Other Revolutionary Communist Party" staked out on your local campus! I mean really...it was bad enough having to live through the student turmoil of the early-seventies once to have to suffer through the entire shebang all over again!

But hey, once you get down to brass tacks one can only go so far mouthing pieties about "the people" and what everyday working folk go through when for all intent purposes the average Amerigan guy who works for a living is the spiritual successor to those construction workers who bashed the living daylights outta the hippies who were taking dumps on the stars 'n stripes in protest of the Kent State killings! Certainly takes the romance outta any revolutions you care to dish us, dontcha think?

Of course I could add that how could any of these protesters know about work when obviously none of 'em are at work or are too busy sticking up those stoopid "I am the 99%" pix that we're supposed to feel sorry over), but I assume that they're terminally unemployed because of the rich bankers and traders whom they're taking out their anger and angst on while acting so peaceful that police actually pepperspray 'em (yeah, I don't buy that line about this being exactly a "peaceful" protest myself, though I gotta say that this generation is showing more imagination by releasing bowels upon police cars 'stead of Ol' Glory!).

Okay, so the vast majority (if not all) of 'em look like people who would not only hate the music and tee-vee shows (and civilization which spawned such wonders) that I wax on about, not to mention me on a personal basis...let's keep looks outta this and concentrate on the message. What is it, I might ask...well, that's not exactly hard to discern but from what I gathered from some of the people I've seen interviewed on the boob tube their goals can be pretty lofty. Some of the demands being spouted would be rather murderous to the economy and society in general (quick, somebody drop cartoon pamphlets of THE ROAD TO SERFDOM, or at least Steve Ditko's THE AVENGING WORLD via plane!) while others are about as loony as the banter that spaced out health food chick on FERNWOOD TONIGHT used to spout. Most of it's angry kid rant which (when channeled through seventies-vintage punk rock) could be exhilarating, but forgive me if this time 'round it just sounds like spoiled brat generation take two with the new spawn just trying to out-gross their already disgusting hippoid parents in the revulsion department. Can't have any sympathy with screaming pampered scions of DAILY WORKER/VILLAGE VOICE-lapping comrades who think that shouting down your opponents is the true way to justice 'n equality, though you folk really are giving me a laugh the way you echo everything the guy with the microphone says in some spiritual sense of united personhood.

Naturally the only real sound commentaries on OWS that I've come across as of late have emanated from the alternative right. Jim Goad (as usual) had a good (and judging from the combox comments, rather incendiary) piece on it on the TAKI'S TOP DRAWER site, while this commentary from Thomas Fleming of CHRONICLES notoriety done on the DAILY MAIL website perhaps sums up my own personal opinions more'n anything I would dare commit to pixel. Sometimes I think that letting such articulates as these spout off what I believe in is way better'n having someone as inarticulate in the realm of debating as I am (did I ever tell you about how somebody once thought I should try out for the debating team in high school, an even more boring waste of time than the evening I was dragged to a Model U.N. gathering?) do the blithering.  But whaddeva, in the long run I thought that those days were gone forever...y'know, the era of the angry anti-capitalist rant and raver who always dreamed of that working man's utopia, then either went to said utopia and returned a neo-conservative (a guy who left the religion, sort of), or stayed there and became one of the most glowing apologists for a regime that would make their visions of evil capitalism look like heaven on earth! In other words...hysteria does repeat itself, and one can wonder just how long it will be before the spiritual successors of the "no pasaran!" brigades get frustrated enough to head for the local cemetery to dig up corpses and affix them in sexual positions. Your guess is as good as mine.

As for me...well tomorrow morn I'm gonna get dressed and go to work for about eight hours (if not more) then go home, and maybe do more work. I guess that also makes me a filthy capitalist, but I am saving my earnings for future use like perhaps a weekly trip to the local restaurant of my choice during my retirement years as well as towards whatever comic strip collections or musical archival digs might be in store in twenty year's time when the stuff I crave'll really be hitting the reissue circuit. And hey, perhaps some of those stock investments of mine might help pay for a few added luxuries like a stereo system for my aging platter collection, or maybe even a new microwave for the kitchen or an extra stock up of toilet paper so I don't have to rush out to the store so often during the cold winter months. Yeah, I know that I ain't "hip" because of this, and neither are the people around me who also sweat through the eight-plus grind, but at least we have some sense of security even if we hardly ain't earning what we most definitely should. But then again, as the famed home builder Jimmy Carter once said, who said life was fair?

Don't take it all too seriously...at least the protesters who snuck in with Ron Paul t-shirts and "End the Fed/Bailouts/War" posters were right up my rather expansive alley. But the rest well...maybe if you just got rid of that whole hippie stench permeating your entire movement then yeah, I could take y'all a li'l more seriously. But until then, maybe if you just went home, took a bath or at least wiped, then returned to Occupied Territory smelling nice 'n dainty 'n with mind more focused and replenished I wouldn't be having this strange flashbacks of early-seventies mock-revolutionary  self-righteousness that reminds me of Gloria Stivic more'n anything!
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On to udder noose...the recent "passing" of Moamar Howevahyaspellit should also be noted in these pages, at least in a weak attempt at looking like a sophisticated bumbler 'stead of the inept one I always come off as. Not that I ever liked the guy, but I thought he had neat hair that coulda earned him a spot in The Three Stooges had one been available. Actually, the only reason I'm bringing this up is because when I first saw the death photo of him that has been splattered across the globe as of late, I actually thought he slightly resembled the original Frankenstein Monster (played by Charles Ogle) from the Edison Studios' 1910 production of the famed Gothic thriller! Really I did, and although the following two snaps would  never would make any of those ol' SEPARATED AT BIRTH tomes you used to see at the local mall book shops I sure thought there was a strange resemblance for whatever reason you'd care to dream up at this time! Sheesh, Che Guevara looked a lot happier in his death snaps! Not even a li'l smile like Sharon Tate managed to put up!






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Well, I guess it's time to switch to a much cheerier mode'n get on over to the record reviews! Not much this go 'round (with regards to both items for display and bandwith to display my own personal opines), though what I have received and glugged down has been quite pleasing as you will eventually find out. I will admit that it sure is heartening to see that the year is going out on a better note'n it came in on, what with the recordings listed below not forgetting a bevy of recent releases that I hope to get my paws on once the **ahem** "financial situation" clears up around here---who knows, maybe autumn will be thee rockin'-sockinest time of the year this go 'round making up for the depressing way that 2011 burst outta the starting gate! So please  dear readers, keep the economy a 'rollin' and get out and do some serious purchasing (you can buy some back issues of my own fabled fanzine for starters) so's I can enrich my collection a whole lot more'n I'm able to do at this financially miserable time!
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 Larry Young-LAWRENCE OF NEWARK LP (Perception)

The last in my weeks-long series of Young reviews, this '73 sesh benefits from the likes of James "Blood" Ulmer on guitar as well as a rather decent  middle eastern motif that doesn't make you think hezbollah one bit. Might be too conga-drummy for my tastes, but Young's Hammond makes enough good swirls to suggest the shifting sands of the Sahara and the electronic piano highlights help the entire friggin' situation along, giving the entire affair that classy sophistacado jazz feel that made you feel like puttin' on a suit and ti. As far as these early-seventies neo-fusion efforts go, this 'un sure beats Return to Forever and all of those similar-minded efforts all hollow, as if I had to tell you such an obvious fact of like like this straight out!

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Gary Wilson-FORGOTTEN LOVERS LP (Feeding Tube, 90 King St., Northampton, MA 01060)

Like I said, for a year that seemed to be rather sparse in the archival digs dept. things sure seem to be picking up at a rapid pace now that we're careening straight into 2012 and hopefuly better finds in the high energy reish/new gunch department. First there was the Jack Ruby disque reviewed last week giving me palpitations of joy, and now this particular piece of vinylized wonder, a collection of rarities by the original king of outsider electronic lounge jazz schmooze Gary Wilson, has adorned my collection like nothing before it or since! This outta left fielder has made its way onto my not-so-sanctified turntable thanks to the gracious efforts of one Byron Coley (who tipped the Feeding Tube label off re. my address---thanks to all parties involved!), and those of you who have gone for Wilson's previous platters will definitely spill plenty seed regarding these bizarrities that were mostly (if not all...actual liner notes woulda helped this thing!) recorded during his golden age in the seventies back when men were men and indie records seemed to have an instantly more satiable air 'n regular mainstream offal!

Some tracks originate from Wilson's ultra-rare debut album that I've never seen offered for sale anywhere outside of an old New Music Distribution Services catalog (not that I was looking closely enough to notice), while others were more or less left in the trash can until now but they all will thrill ya if you go for Wilson's keen sense of nutty twistos on the entire Michael Franks oeuvre. Now I gotta admit that maybe some of this did remind me too much of incidental music for a 1975-vintage ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK or at least a local public affairs program of the same time-strata, but once you get the image of past and future stars for that net climbing up and down the ladder of success while being inter-twined in some Aaron Spelling production you'll even enjoy these nuggets in a strange, nostalgic fashion. I sure did even though listening to some of the instrumentals on this gave me the willies about rather difficult chemistry tests ever-encroaching upon my "phase two" sense of intellect!

But all jesting aside, FORGOTTEN LOVERS is a true winner from one guy who seemed to have more of a sense of what late-seventies electronic musings were about than Tomita and Rick Wakeman combined. Not only that, but while a good portion of electronic sounds from those days have more or less fizzled worse'n  Reddy Kilowatt  suffering a case of erectile dysfunction, Wilson's jazz-bop musings sure hold up swell and go to remind me about the better moments from them days that never did seem to "date" and sound foolish once 1980 clocked in. A definite keeper that you'll probably ignore, but then again I never could judge the inferior intellects of some of you supposedly staunch BTC supporters!
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The Happy Jawbone Family Band-OK MIDNIGHT, YOU WIN LP (Feeding Tube, see above for address)

Wow, what a surprise! When I first plunked the needle down on this outta-nowhere platter I thought I was hearing a remake of "Joy of a Toy Continued", then after about halfway through side one I kinda got the feeling that this indeed was a remake of the entire Kevin Ayers debut merged with the New Zealand appeal/squeal of the Tall Dwarfs. By side two all of that still remained, although a dash of Eno circa TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN was also reverberating in my mind.  Never thought an album like this could still be made, but the Happy Jawbones fortunately proved me wrong!
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David Roter Method-FIND SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL CD (Unknown Tongue)

A long time ago there was this certain "fellow" who used (operative word) to write for BLACK TO COMM who happened to meet up with another "fellow" who most certainly did not write for said publication on a New York subway train, and amidst a wide variety of subject matter (including how fellow #2 no doubt about it hates and will continue to hate until his last dying breath my rotten dago guts) none other than the subject of the then-latest David Roter Method, and come to think of it the only David Roter Method album in existence at the time, BAMBO came up. Considering what a dolt he could have been most if not all of the time, it's no surprise that #2 thought this particular platter was a horrid slab of "commercial" mainstream rock whose chords unfortunately have tainted his precious amerindie-attuned eardrums and stirrup, and he made his opinions regarding this album known to former friend #1 in no uncertain terms. Naturally, I disagreed with the assessment of this particular pudenda's pronouncements then, and a good quarter-century or so after I must admit that I have not changed my opines one iota even if it would cause me to turn in my membership card to the "Rough And Tumble Eighties Rockscribes Stupid Enough To Continue On This Dumb Path Club", not that I ever go to the meetings 'r anything.

But mainstream rock paens aside (and there are many here from Brooce to those latterday BOC albums Roter contributed lyrics to) I gotta admit that I really enjoy listening to David Roter and his Method. Even with the slick production and the AOR leanings I can appreciate the guy's crazed sense of humor and unique insight that seems rather barren in the wide fields of nada that makes up the entire "Classic Rock" spectrum. Roter is a rock humorist, a rarity in a genre that can get rather grueling at times, and his rattlings about late-20th-century En Why See living (and mid-20th-century confused kid-dom) will really make you wanna sit down and do a li'l chucklin' yourself. And it'll also make you wonder just what the guy was up to during his early folk troubadour days which were talked about all across the Stonybrook plain long before he ever committed a note to plastic (as far as I can tell...still harbor hope that maybe there's some extremely limited single or even album out there waiting to be rediscovered).

Yeah, some of this might bring back too many memories of eighties dystopian mewls from the dankest of playlists, but at least I can certainly enjoy a number such as "I Think I Slept With Jackie Kennedy", which might also be the exact same 1979 single a-side Roter did for Unknown Tongue and is a high-larious bruiser in its own right. I also felt sympatico with "Middle Age Boy" because, revealing snot that I am, I thought Roter was scraping up my own current-day feelings and blabbing 'em out for the world to hear!!! And of course how could anybody not enjoy a song with a title like "It Was Only a Hand Job Irene", co-written with none other than Roter's old friend and companion R. Meltzer hisself!

The Method themselves should be mentioned even if their sounds might not be as undergroundy as you would like but still excellent in its own way (think second Dictators album), especially when you consider some of the dross that has been passing as rock et roll these past five decades. None other'n Andy Shernoff (co-composer of not only the title track but "Human Timebomb") and Scott Kempner of Dictators fame turn up, as does former Blue Oyster Cult drummer Al Bouchard, a man who certainly tried hard enough promoting Roter on his own Cellsum label in the nineties. Also present is a Tommy Mandel whose main claim to fame is being a former Bryan Adams keyboardist, but since I think he was in some hot late-seventies En Why See-era groups as well I wouldn't come down on him too hard!

Well, I thought it was a nice enough package. You may beg to differ, but then again like I've said many a time I've given up second guessing you lamebrains loooong ago so don't bother me with your hipper 'n thou preenings...and I'm gonna be too busy listening to David Roter to care about any of you terminal snoozers to give a toss anymore!
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YET ANOTHER ROCK 'N' ROLL DREAM I THOUGHT I'D BLAB ON ABOUT UNDER THE DELUSION YOU'D CARE ONE WHIT ABOUT IT (which is why I snuck it at the end of the post so's you can skip over it if you like!): dunno why I had such vivid dreams last night, but amidst some doozies including watching "cut down" clips from what was supposed to be either  TO TELL THE TRUTH or a MATCH GAME '74-styled celebrity game show featuring (in one segment) Dwight Eisenhower and the Rev. Billy Graham amongst other elderly-looking statesmen types (all wearing what looked like Supreme Court/choir robes!) and (in the other) one of the pinheads from FREAKS as a panelist (different episode) getting emotional and crying into cohort Clarabell the Clown's fluffy collar when another panelist croons to him/her a romantic ballad, I encountered a dream sequence where I happened to not only be visiting Paris (!) but was present at a recording session for none other than the Patti Smith Group's RADIO ETHIOPIA album where, in between takes, Patti and group break into this rather foreboding musical numbuh  into which Patti injects her own rendition of  (and using a rather amateurish French accent no less!) the Maurice Chevalier chestnut "Every Little Breeze Seems to Whisper Louise"! The song was an obvious goof and fizzled out after the third line where Smith forgets the lyrics and hums the melody, but like the Electric Eels' goof of Mott the Hoople's "Violence" this 'un sure woulda made a good bootleg outtake or at least something to be added on to a reissue like Arista did with "Chicklets" on the very same platter! (And if you think that was weird, howzbout the one I had where I was watching a video of Paul Revere and the Raiders ramming through this obviously Detroit heavy metal-inspired number that clearly had ideas lifted from the Stooges!)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Talking about BOC related acts,and David Roter Method,what's your opinion about Brain Surgeons cds and especially the one dedicated to the great lost Helen Wheels and her terrific songs?I think also Tommy Mandel came from Miamis(still searching their cd compilation)before going to Stardom as a session musician and Bryan Adams protegee... Nick

Christopher said...

Nick, I actually reviewed one of the Brain Surgeons awhile back and got grief for giving it thumb zup! Still find these post-BOC/Dics-styled acts rather worthy if you must know. And thanks for reminding me where Mandel came from. I do have that Cee Dee collection, and naturally a review of the thing can be found on this blog with a li'l searching...

Anonymous said...

hi there

can't wait to listen to that gary wilson lp...never head his music but could sound like peter gordon ?

i shoud receive the jack ruby cd in a few days...the 7" "bad teeth" is out now on a french label...Nice picture sleeve !

Memoire neuve records is planning to release two platters of SOGGY consisisting of unreleased tracks and live material

bye

thierry

Anonymous said...

Thanks Christopher...Looking some old vinyls found one of some Ravioli Alley,a mini lp of hard looking lads on the sleeve,remembering only that i bought it(in a bin full of 80s so called heavy metal crap)only for the detail of Richard Sohl guesting in two songs!The sound is confused-somewhere between macho power rock and somewhat new wavey pop(but not exactly)adding some synthesizer for its own good..Maybe they had a type of connection with NY underground rock and the known clubs.Can you add something? Nick

Christopher said...

Ain't familiar with that 'un...anybody out there willing to clue us all in???

Anonymous said...

Ravioli Alley''The Crime'',Ducom label 1984.Cover showing the members of the group being arrested, laying on a taxi,as a scene of a movie on tv.Real obscurity.