Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sheesh do I have a bunch of pikers for readers! I really mean I go offering up hotcha and must-have issues of my long-gone fanzine this past Thursday and what do I GET??? None other than one measly order, and that's from somebody who's big on the BLOG TO COMM totem pole anyway and thus is entitled to all the free mags he can scarf up!!! Yes, out of bazillions of rabid rockist fans who tune into BLOG TO COMM on a regular basis, just one fellow out there is interested enough in reading this legendary if obscure fanzine and articles/reviews/whatnot on THE ONLY BANDS THAT MATTERED! That means that the rest of you are either a bunch of cheap tightwads who make the Scots look like spendthrifts or are just too stoopid to know when an opportunity like this is biting you on the pitted buttocks! My guess is the latter, which translates into plain ol' Amerigan BUY THESE MAGAZINES UP AS FAST AS YOU MOST CERTAINLY CAN BECAUSE IT WILL BE FOR THE BETTER, not only for you but for me because you can use the edjamacation and I surely need the filthy lucre!

After that rather grim Public Service Announcement maybe it's time to switch gears and gab about something a little more spirit-benefiting and uplifting and all that hard sell. So howzbout this current event to tell Miss Landers about in civics class, mainly the fact that I got a nice surprise in the mail today and no it wasn't the latest issue of  COMMUNIST ATROCITY MONTHLY either! Y'see, none other than Bob Forward (boy do my fans love me!), who out of the goodness of his heart, sent me tapes of some items I mentioned on this blog just a short week or so ago which is something that is surely cause for celebration here at BLOG TO COMM central! I mean, with no prying or asking or anything like that, the former Akronite who now lives in Arizona for some odd reason (I mean, why move from Akron?) sends a total of two cassettes to me GRATIS like, sorta as if I'm an important enough man on the food chain of rockism to hear let alone appreciate these rather obscure items that I'm sure even you would like to give a listen to one of these hours. Of course if I were that important (which I am) Bob would have pressed these recordings on Compost Disques considering how it's all but impossible for those to jam and get erased, but maybe next time when the man sends me something out of the goodness of his heart he won't make such an OBVIOUS flub which anybody less gracious than myself would definitely lower the boom on him for.

Anyhoo, thanks to Mr. Forward's kind heart I once again get to hear some classic Akron Ohio underground rock sides which have eluded me for nigh on maybe five or six months or whenever it was that I broke into that box of cassettes moldering in the basement. First tape in the bag consisted of the Tin Huey special that ran on the WKSU-FM (now a stodgy NPR station) Industrial Wasteland program back on April 6th of 1978...I remember when this was broadcast (I believe for the second time that October) and sure wanted to hear it like all fanabla, but at least I got to hear it much later and even with the cuts and questionable edits it's still a pretty good show too. No interviews or anything of that nature, but it has this group who were "influenced by Gong, the Soft Machine, a lot of Henry Cow's work and the driving sounds of Hawkwind" playing at JB's in Kent during "Tin Huey Appreciation Day" as well as a fifteen-minute "Tin Huey Story" (recorded especially for the program) which features a rather hippoid historical narrative regarding the subject at hand right before the title track from the infamous Clone EP is presented. At this point in rockism history it's clearly obvious that the Hueys were situated somewhere right between their more jazzy prog rock days and the drive into a new wave style which might have sounded OK at the time but by 1981 seemed about as giddy as all get out!

Not only that but another Huey appearance on WKSU recorded at the Kent Rathskellar  pops up directly after, and that thankfully still has the pre-gnu wave-y sound and feel to it. In turn this is followed by a Chi-Pig live gig recorded off of the WMMS-FM "Homegrown" show which sounds pretty straightforward in its approach and appeal and, once again, is not as pre-packaged as this style of music would eventually get. Nice music if you can only get the image of a sycophantic Anastasia Pantsios schmoozing up to the group because they had a ratio of two gals to one guy and Pantsios of course was dung deep into that whole "women in rock" schtick that made her feel superior as a creature or something like that to the rest of us protruders (read, males!).

The other tape features Tin Huey live at the Townhouse in Kent Ohio way back '73 way, a time when the only ones who were paying attention did so because of a hot piece Peter Laughner wrote for ZEPPELIN or one of those local reads that was trying to hone in on the New Rock Journalism usually failing miserably in the process. Recorded before the fling into a more jazz/fusion honed underground rock (which is documented on a live at the Mistake opening for Pere Ubu 5/5/76 tape I have in the abode somewhere...) the Hueys are clearly punk mad what with the abundance of Velvet Underground and Stooges covers that I gotta say sound almost as good as those early Bowie versions and the Stooges themselves! The cover of an Amon Duul II track off YETI helps, and come to think of it the originals do have a nice import bin feel, and we're talking the more expensive albums that came out of that continental portion of real estate too! A definitely French underground sound can be discerned making the Hueys a rather Euro bunch when it came to presenting their underground credentials, and unlike you I happen to think the French made fine music even if I can't understand a word they're singing.

A hefty tip of the dunce cap to Mr. Forward who I must say knows how to fulfill my wildest moozikal fantasies, if only he'd use Cee-Dee-Ares instead of cassette tapes which can jam and always get stashed in the basement anyway, though we do know his heart (if not head) is in the right place.
Yeah I know, I know, enough preliminaries and onto what you hungry freak daddies have been waiting for lo these many days...da revooze!

The Yardbirds-GLIMPSES 5-CD box set (Easy Action England)

If this had come out as a "sanctioned" mega-box set collection of the Yardbirds chock fulla television, radio, live and elsewhere recordings back '76 way, it surely would have "broken the hearts" (to use a common HuffPo cliche) of many a frail soul. Here in 2013 GLIMPSES more or less comes off like a 1971 box set of albums featuring a hot World War II-era Golden Age of Radio transcription that really wowed the folks back then but three decades later was not much more than a reminder of happier and more youthful times. You never would have imagined a now easy to espy set such as this in the sixties or seventies, but you can't deny that in the here and now its the same thing that a Stan Kenton broadcast was to your hi-fi nut of a father who didn't give a whit about music after the forties. And looking at what has transpired, who can blame him for his supposedly "horse-blindered" views?

But sheesh, a hungrin' rompified kiddoid such as myself is more'n  hot over these five platters filled with (seventy-plus minutes each!) Yardbird trackage that happens to be pretty extant as far as covering the group's history goes! It's (mostly) all here from Clap on down, all done up in that anglified bloozy way that was just bound to go psychedelic once the electronic possibilities of the electric guitar were advanced upon to the point where just about any jerk with a wah wah and box could be the next Lou Reed!.

Now don't go throwin' out your old Yardbirds bootlegs (I mean, there's no "Happening Ten Years Time Ago" from MILTON BERLE here but you do get to hear Lloyd Thaxton acting like a nut!), but for serious Yardbird fans this might be the last word. It even includes the BBC sesh with "Dazed and Confused" that still sounds a bit muddy but better'n the way you've heard it the past thirtysome years. So round, so firm, so fully packed that the only thing that would "break my heart" about this set would be not having it in my collection!
Kraftwerk-CONCERT CLASSICS CD (Concert Classics, a division of RME Inc., PO Box 681786, Frankly TN 37068-1788)

Kraftwerk during their blockbuster "Autobahn" days when we all thought they were going to capture the hearts of Ameriga with their electronic weaponry...or else. Journey back to the era of record shops and import bins with such classics as "Kometemelodie," "Morgenspraziepgang" and of course their biggie done with the etapoint perfection these krauts are known for. Mostly a snooze, though it can percolate in spots. Save up for the early live recordings with various Neu! members and electric guitars keeping tabs on the avantness first, and then give this a spin. Nice cover pic taken from Kraftwerk's fabled appearance on that German panel show WHAT'S MY RACIAL IDENTITY (or was it I'VE GOT A SUBHUMAN, the game show where the loser really loses!)???
Creme Soda-TRICKY ZINGERS CD (Radioactive Records)

Yeah, I read Greg Shaw's review of this album in BOMP! just like you did and it sure piqued my attention, but after hearing the "I'm Chewin' Gum" single on some mid-eighties garage band sampler I really didn't have that much of a desire to latch onto that $25 pirate that Midnight Records was sellin', Nothing really special 'bout that single that differentiated the thing from a few hundred other self-produced home made snoozers that were not only coming out "then-then" (1975), but "then-now" (1984). Anyhow, after some serious thought (and a count of spare change) I decided that maybe it was time to give these guys another try since hey, I do know that first impressions aren't always the best and there have been quite a few things that I thought iffy at first but learned to love as said item grew on your like those weird paisley-like lesions on AIDS patients.

TRICKY ZINGERS (and Creme Soda) is just as fantastically out-of-place yet saying about as much as you could about the seventies as Mirrors, Milk and all of those other acts that just happened to be in the wrong place and the wrong time, or even at the right time but it still didn't matter. Like the aforementioned groups, Creme Soda really knew how to take the best the past (and "then-then") had to offer and refurbish it into snat rock & roll that nobody in their right mind would admit stood the test of time, but we knew better that's for sure. From the punkabilly of "I'm Chewin' Gum" which puts all of those eighties/nineties attempts complete with mock EC covers to shame to the imitation Iggy on "Numero Uno" and the Yardbirds' "Nazz Are Blue" (via Chocolate Watchband which is even better!), TRICKY ZINGERS can't be beat for pure rockist inclinations during a time when rock had been metastasized by glitz to the point where you knew it never would recover. And it didn't, much to the joy of way too many wonks who have kept "classic rock" radio stations afloat for a longer time than any of us could imagine.

It's pop, guttural, avant garde, punk and psychedelia, sometimes all at once, and one thing TRICKY ZINGERS really has goin' for it is that it retains the primitive nature that we love in rock (from early garage rockabilly recordings up through late-seventies punk addledness) complete with a low-fidelity that certainly does add a certain beauty to it all. Overall this does come off like the kind of album that would had been common if only those early-seventies Stooges, Flamin' Groovies and Hackamore Brick albums got out more...good straight-ahead rock with sidesteps into all of your favorite genres without latching on to one particular one at the expense of another, making for an out-of-time affair that thankfully did not conjure up images of demons and the standard concept album shenanigans so common at the time.

Maybe it ain't the most perfect self-produced mid-seventies platter ("When the Sun Shines" meanders off into boogie jamz while "Daydream" coulda been a CSN&Y outtake), but it's good enough for me! And if that ain't enough of a selling point maybe the liner notes Greg Shaw most graciously contributed to this will sway your opinion if only a tad???
Iggy and the Stooges-WILD LOVE CD (Bomp!)

Don't know if the Stooges name-drop in Shaw's Creme Soda liner notes inspired me to pick this long-ignored spin outta the pile, but considering just how much of a Stooges rah-raher Shaw was (not to mention his role in getting more than a few Stooges rarities out into the public arena) I wouldn't doubt that there was a subconscious desire to play this 'un if only because of the Stooges ref. Let's leave that 'un to alla ya armchair psychoanalysts (y'know, the kind who have been telling ME for years
what I really think and feel as if I've been spending the past 50 + in an addled fog) to decide my true inner desires...I really don't care because I'm too busy listening to this particular platter to give a hoot as to what some addled worldsaver with too much time on his hands cares or thinks about me anymore!

Any way you put it WILD LOVE's a fantastic filler in your own late-period Stooges collection even if some of the more shall we say tightassed among us somehow believed that Shaw was milking the Stooge fandom bandwagon for all it was worth at the time. It not only has some of those Detroit pre-tour rehearsal tapes when future Blue Gene Tyranny Bob Sheff was handling the piano dooties, but a whole batch of those Iggy/James Williamson romps through some old blooze chooze and Dylan's "Hollis Brown" which were always good for the creeps. Same sesh that some enterprising guys added bass and drums to for a Cleopatra release later on, but hot enough any way I can take it though I just know you will beg to differ. (Too bad only a fragment of their take on "Venus In Furs" survives because the folk at Cleopatra really coulda done a fantastico moosh up on that!)

I have the feeling this 'un and the rest of the Bomp! Iguana Archives releases can be had at remarkably low prices these days. The whole buncha 'em are what I'd call crucial, along with alla them Skydog and Fan Club platters that have been coming out ever since that big '77 drive to put Iggy on the map, and if you can't download 'em or snatch 'em off somebody ya know then I'm sure a trip to your favorite ebay store would be the best thing to do. And really, what better way can you think of reliving those great guttural days of the seventies than listening to the atonal drive of the Stooges, and getting out of your mind once and for all the squeaky-clean visage of not only the followup eighties, but Iggy's own ginchy solo career throughout the icky decade as well!
Daevid Allen/Gilli Smyth/Gong-MAGICK BROTHER CD (Spalax, France)

Here's one I like to check back on every so often, the first Gong album as it originally looked back when Daevid Allen and company were operating under the aegis of BYG who certainly milked this guy for all he was worth! Gotta say that I like it enough...not that it's a top spin around here at BLOG TO COMM central but I gotta admire Allen for continuing on the psychedelic bandwagon a good two or so years after some fanabla at NEWSWEEK or somethin' informed the populace that it was as daid as a doornail. Fans of Syd Barrett and his various imitators will undoubtedly lap the Allen oeuvre right down to the bone, and even a hard-to-please like myself will admit that Allen's songcraft is good enough to the point where when I begin to start thinkin' Donovan, these gnomes of good taste living in my brain quickly and efficiently banish that thought deep into the reaches of my hopefully never to be retrieved memories. Y'know, along with all of those childhood traumas and humiliations which I will probably  remember all the way to my deathbed, resulting in the look of utter horror I undoubtedly will have plastered all across my face.
Various Artists_FADING YELLOW VOLUME 13 CD-R burn (sent in by Bill Shute, natch!)

Not being what'cha'd call a fan of late-sixties/early-seventies top 40 styled pop it wasn't like I was cherishin' the thought of spinnin' this particular platter, but actually this collection of "popsike" rarities is pretty good in spots. If you have a soft spot in your heart (or even head for that matter) for 1969/70 teenage gal popgoo this'll throw you for a loop, comin' off like recently-unearthed Left Banke at its best and Bobby Sherman rejects at their worst. Mostly obscuros, though none other'n Bread do show up in the mix not sounding as sappy as they did on "Diary" and "Make It With You" but perhaps just as popsy as "You Showed Me" and "Guitar Man" which gotta account for something. A nice diversion, worth perhaps a once in a lifetime spin.
Don't expect anything new or especially unusual these next few posts, as if there has been anything new or especially unusual for this blog's entire run!

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