Saturday, October 01, 2011

Much to the dismay of the various assortment of BLOG TO COMM-haters out there,  I managed to whip this weekender up in no time flat which I hope satiates whatever rockism-oriented cravings you might have had since my last posting way back on Wednesday. It's a purty nice edition too with some interesting finds and whatnot that, although perhaps not quite as tingling to you as it should be, really got me all hot and bothered just like I woulda gotten during my mid/late-teens discovering the inner workings of the Big Beat for the first time. And yeah, those days are long gone and maybe I should start to act "grown up" like way too many Margarets in my life have told me ever since I was three, but gosh-it-all if hearing some great high energy rocker careen through the hidden maze of my brain ain't enough to reaffirm my mere existence in this sick, sad world of ours. And maybe if you tried it for once in your life you'd feel the same way too. I mean, don't surrender to yourself, surrender to Sky Saxon!

Perhaps thee biggest rockist-related realization that I made this week was the surprise discovery of a long-abandoned yet still up-'n-running Myspace Page devoted to a group that I've been trying to find more and more about for the past five or so years, none other than these New York obscuros who were (and perhaps are) going under the mystical name of (S. C.) Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe. Well, it sure did help in googling the group's correct name (I believe that I was typing in "Calabash" or "Calabah" 'stead of the proper word) but hey, after discovering this group via a live as it happened cybercast from the CB's 313 Gallery way back in the mid oh-oh's I must say that I was more than a little impressed with what I saw and heard and it sure pains me that a simple mistake such as a misspelling has kept me from knowing more about this boffo act for years on end! If only my memory had been a little bit sharper maybe you woulda been readin' 'bout 'em in a 2005 post 'stead of in the here and now, but as the ancient sage used to say "better late than sterile"!

 After writing this interesting batch off as yet one of a million great high energy rock groups who didn't even make it to first base (in most cases, a second gig) it's sure great to know that not only is there some documented info on the Syringe out there, but that their Myspace page also has about a half hour of music available that I'm just gonna hafta download onto a platter for my own enjoyment, if only I can figure out how... And yeah, the group does have a CD out on the spiffily-titled Urinopolis label, but you try findin' a copy because heaven knows I can't! At least my own private press'll keep me sated until the obscure object of desire does make its way into my paws which I personally hope will be a whole lot sooner'n the length of time it took for me to finally get to hear Rocket From The Tombs' rendition of "Sonic Reducer"!

About all I can tell you about this act with what little concrete info is out there is that this shebang (who strangely enough were probably too loud for CBGB's more acoustically-attuned "sister" club, though I know that they did hit the big stage at least once in their career) was/is fronted by a Steven Kleiner, who besides being the front and center-man in the Syringe did put in some time as the drummer in a heavy metalloid group called Angel Rot in the early-nineties. (Kleiner was also doing some drum work in a group concurrent with his Syringe whose name escapes me at the moment.) Other'n that I could find nada, nyet and nothing else about Kleiner or his Syringe. And while you're at it, forget readin' 'bout 'em in any of the precocious and oh-so-cultured blogs or high-fallutin' newspaper arts and leisure sections because this act certainly does not have anything to do with the ideas goin' 'round 'bout what this post-post-post rock stuff is supposed to entail here in the beyond-decadent year of 2011. Really, to the tastemongers and elitist scum who set the tastes as to what teenage Ameriga is supposed to like and listen to Kleiner's Kalabah Syringe have about as much to do with music today as what Jan Garber had to do with 1970. Maybe that is true to a certain extent, but as far as us real rock 'n roll keepers of the ever-flickerin' flame...

I mean, when I first gave these tracks a go I wondered...just what WAS  sound comin' forth from my speakers anyway???  With the heavy early-seventies influx I first was thinkin' STICKY FINGERS period Rolling Stones with a nice dash of LOVE IT TO DEATH Alice and the Flamin' Groovies when they were prancin' about on the Kama Sutra label. That still holds, but then I started conjurin' up mental images of things even more outer-worldly, like perhaps Von Lmo meets the Groovies during their SHAKE SOME ACTION days (maybe that's because of the suits), or better yet one of those hotcha En Why See groups from the mid-seventies that never did get their fair share because they just didn't fit in with the preconceived notions of what New York Rock was supposed to be about. Judging from the amount of coverage Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe got/gets, I can tell that nothing's really changed in the past thirty-six or so years.

Whatever it is, it's amazing...hard rock (not quite heavy metal though I could see some 1974 rockcrit wannabe tossing that term around) with a definitely high intensity edge to it and a lyrical quality (especially on "White Cadillac") that makes the Stones' "Stray Cat Blues" sound like high school courtship! If you thought that every last vestige of what the best of seventies rock (on a mainstream and underground level) had long been banished well, I think Kleiner and his Syringe are bound to put a nice smirk on your face!

For a refreshing change from the same old Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe is one group that really helped convince me that perhaps the kinda gnarl that I go for is still being made somewhere out there, even if it ain't as up-front as it was in the late-seventies when you could pick up a healthy does of nihilism at your local National Record Mart. If anybody out there knows where I can latch on to their Cee-Dee (even CD Baby doesn't carry it, and I thought they carried all of these obscurities!), please notify me c/o this blog as soon as possible!
Well, enough of this Public Service Announcement. Here're but a few of the niceties that I managed to give a spin to this week. Other'n the review of the latest issue of DAGGER which begins this shindig, all of these items emanate from the recent CD Baby and Forced Exposure orders that I'm trying to space out in order to avoid the usual musical overdose. Whatever, I know there's something amongst these treats to please you because frankly, why else would you be reading this?
DAGGER #44 (a 'zine published by Tim Hinely...see link on left)

I could say that reading the latest issue of DAGGER stirs up enough printed matter ennui in my soul to make me want to get another issue of my own rag out into the public's paws once again. I could say that, but I would be lying. Frankly, I don't think that the ol' BLACK TO COMM "fanzine" (an obscure term dating from the early-forties denoting comparatively primitive publications made by fans of a certain sub-strata to express and promote various opinions and viewpoints not found in mainstream periodicals devoted to the same subject matter, if such reads exist in the first place) will ever see the light of day, most likely because here in the electronic age I can make  anything that I so deem publishworthy instantly available with the mere flick of a mouse and, if not satisfied, strike it from the record with just as little effort. No messy glue mock ups or worries over what the printer's gonna do with my oft-icky originals, and not only that but I can save the moolah that would go into a mag and use it for more beneficial things like food, clothing and maybe a record or two. I guess Mr. Hinely feels differently than I do, but then again it's his dime he's spending, not mine!

But hey, I really am starting to like DAGGER a whole lot more than I usually do, perhaps because it's one of the last of a dying breed (that I can anyone who's read this blog knows they still come out once in a blue ball!) and somehow sitting back in an easy chair and reading something like this is a whole lot more comfier'n sitting at a computer and typing/scrolling away. Latest ish is a wowzer, complete with an interview Hinely did with Babylon Dance Band/Antietam frontlady Tara Key (where she comes off like an everyday reg'lar rock fan...maybe I shouldn't've pissed all over her platters back then even if it seemed the proper thing to do!) and David Rick from Phantom Tollbooth. I guess Hinely has a thing for the eighties the same way I have one for the seventies. The piece on favorite old time record shops was boss, reminding me of the fun I used to have pouring through bins even if the only thing I could afford were cutouts and maybe a single. Too bad, because all of those records I would have loved to have owned'd cost me upwards of a few bank accounts these days but whatever, it's always nice to give DAGGER an eyeballing even if reading the reviews only tends to make me wonder...when exactly did I stop having that hankering for what was once called underground rock, and could it REALLY have been over a quarter-century ago???
Larry Young-GROOVE STREET LP (Prestige)

The first of the Young LPs I got via my last Forced Exposure order, this 'un one of if not thee first Young album recorded for Prestige way back when the budding organist was but a mere 21 years of age. Great early-sixties vibe to it with a heavy r-n-b bent that coulda gotten this slapped in at least two sections of your local record shop. Even at this early age Young was a pretty good master of the jazz/blues organ mode and not only that but he really had the keen sense to balance himself between stoic jazz standards and all out organ romps (like the title track) which coulda hit the local charts with a little editing and perhaps a lotta push. And it all ends with a tribute to John Coltrane which just goes to show you that at one time that great saxman had been fermenting a rather huge following, and not amongst goony hippie dorks who grew into latte-sipping Euclids still mourning the loss of their local Borders!
Bill Popp & The Tapes-25X30 CD ( or you can try CD Baby like I did)

Speaking of obscure New York groups (like I usually am), Bill Popp and the Tapes were but one of about a quadrillion of 'em trying to make themselves known in the burgh during the GA of underground hankerin's and beyond! But while many of these outta-nowhere group seemed to go by the wayside within the span of a few gigs, Popp managed to keep his Tapes going for nigh on thirty-plus years which must be a record for such a group that never was able to latch onto a big label deal or get alla the hotcha panting local rock critics to get their noses outta Madonna's hiney to take notice!

I gotta admit, for a guy who is definitely not that big a fan of many of the new wave power pop groups who have been inundating us for quite some time, I liked Popp and his Tapes a whole lot. They're nothing that I would want to listen to on a steady basis staunch high energy snob that I am, but I find the music digestible enough in small, single-like doses. Popp's a pretty good composer too, and these numbuhs do show signs of a pop talent who shoulda gone somewhere but, like most of these under-the-covers acts, got lost in the shuffle. But hey at least Popp stuck it out while others keeled over in their tracks, and if you still thumb through your old power pop issue of BOMP! you might just get enough ennui-filled nostalgic pangs giving this sleeper a spin.
Pinataland-SONGS FOR THE FORGOTTEN FUTURE VOL. 2 CD ( or try CD Baby like I did)

Yet another disque I purchased if only because I remember these guys getting billed on a lotta CB's 313 Gallery gigs throughout the early oh-ohs. I even remember that an album of theirs at that time was available free for download, but since I was only using a cheap-o hand-me-down laptop at the time I couldn't take advantage of this particular offer. It's not that I really wanted to though...for some reason Pinataland didn't quite seem like the type of act that would flibben my fibula the way some of the other groups on the scene woulda. But it ain't like the name was exactly escapin' the back of my cranium like way too many interesting treats on the En Why scene had lo these many years.

I was feelin' no pain whilst puttin' in my most recent CD Baby order, so I figured maybe it was time to give Pinataland the ol' get go and guess what? They're actually a fair li'l group that some of you would think would offend me but don't. Not surprisingly, they ain't anything that I would wanna rah rah from the bleachers about and in fact I find most of their tuneage and lyrics have a lotta that modern'n post-amerindie emote all goo'd over it, but Pinataland (and leader David Weschler) do such a nice enough job with the serious, inward and perhaps depressing singer/songwriter idiom that this platter makes for a once-in-awhile diversion. Not only that, but amongst the special guest players is one Curtis Eller, whose Curtis Eller's American Circus was one of those post-Holy Modal Rounder type of acts that was playin' the Gallery with an alarming regularity during the early oughts, and their own release is one that fans of the form would do wise in picking up, if only it were available somewhere!
Well, I know you were expecting more, but we can't all be as prolific as Mike Stax!


J. D. King said...

No comment.

Christopher said...

Spiro Agnew lives!