Saturday, January 26, 2013

So I guess this is the "special" posting that I promised you this weekend! Well sorry Charlie, but the one I originally had planned''ll have to wait until next week or the week after that or probably later in the spring if things tend to continue goin' the way they have so far this year. Anyway here are a bunch of new ('cept for the Omega!) recordings that I never heard before in my life, and if reading these writeups gives you just as much happiness and pleasure that I had writin' 'em boy are you living a sheltered life!

THE FABULOUS BEATS GO COUNTRY STYLE! CD-R (originally on Design Records)

I'm sure most of you readers remember THE BIG BEATLE CASH-IN OF 1964, right? That's back when a whole load of companies, inspired by previous Davy Crockett success no doubt, decided to ride the tail of the massive Beatle musical putsch of the day by issuing a whole line of products with Beatle photos, autographs, mop tops and whatnot in order to promote their putrid wares. Many of 'em were legit, but who could deny that a good portion of the "Beat" produce that was coming out was just another cheap, un-licensed way to cash in on the success of others without having to pay big bux for the rights! Like if somebody wanted to sell Beatle tampons without getting the official OK from NEMS, all they hadda do was put four shaggy mop top images on the package and maybe a guitar and a few musical notes and ta-DAAH!, ya got "BIG BEAT TAMPONS" up and running at the local drug store of your choice just right for the bobbysoxer in your life who just washed her snatch and can't do a thing with it.

Naturally Beatle album ripoffs were par for the course back then, what with all of those fly-by-night imitations you saw clogging up the flea market stacks a good decade or so later. Of course these knockoffs were about as far from the real thing as you could get, as were all of those knock-off albums of the day like the Mary Poppins one my mother got at the supermarket dang cheap because the actual soundtrack was going for a whopping $3.50 elsewhere. It's also as obvious as the pimple bruises on my face that more'n a few Aunt Petunias out there bought those imitation Beatle platters for their ninny nieces and nephews under the impression that these were the real thing which must have disappointed more'n a few brats Christmas Day 1964 who were opening that square flat gift expecting an actual Beatle platter only ending up with an item along the lines of THE FABULOUS BEATS GO COUNTRY STYLE! Well, before any of those un-appreciative blobs decided to WHOMP! Aunt Petunia one for making such an obvious mistake ("Well, they had long hair and were holding guitars on the cover so I thought it was a Beatles album!" "Chris, how could you!") maybe they should have given this 'un a spin first because hey, under alla them layers of teenage exploito quick buckness this is actually a hot record that I would have proudly displayed along with my actual Beatle albums back then, that is if I had any actual Beatles albums back then!

As the "liners" (taken off some Facebook page) state, "...this 1964 budget-label release features some unknown American garage band (billed here as THE FABULOUS BEATS) doing a set of country songs in an uptempo Merseybeat style! Of course, the Beatles covered country and rockabilly songs (particularly on their 62-63 BBC sessions), and there was a circa 63-64 Liverpool band called Sonny Webb & The Cascades who did a great job with country songs in the Mersey vein, so there's some precedent for this. It's endearingly one-take and the band sounds like they are having fun, which is infectious..." Yeah, I know that printing such an expansive quote is just the easy way for me to use hefty portions of somebody else's opinions w/o being called on the carpet for plagiarism, but whoever wrote the above is right on the moolah...the Fabulous Beats are just as good as the real thing, and maybe some ways they're a whole lot better'n that fat Lennon ever was!

And when I say as good as the ril dil I mean that the Fabulous Beats probably coulda held their own in Liverpool '62-'64 albeit with a more swinging name. And they're just as good as the Poppees, Marbles, Flamin' Groovies circa SHAKE SOME ACTION or maybe even that local touring version of Beatlemania that had Lennon frothing even though they did pay tribute to him on-stage the night he died. And the fact that the Fab Beats were doing Mersey-styled takes on country and western hits only goes to show you the versatility of the act, not to mention that this was undoubtedly of Nashville origin.

Vocals sound rather 'merkun to me and certainly not of the bad imitation limey voxes we've been hearing local yokels who were trying to sound like limeys do for quite some time. The playing is not too slickoid (if slickoid at all) but just right. Of course the performance is up to mid-sixties standards and straightforward enough with believable renditions of everything from "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes" to "Release Me," all done upin the same way that I'm sure any self-respecting Beat act from the day woulda done 'em to beef up their live set.

The frequent "yeah yeah yeah" toss ins do date it ('natch!), but they add a certain proper rock time frame that at least will zone you back to a period in your lift that was a whole lot more fun and exciting than most of the ones you've had since the demise of rock as that high energy resensifier some time in the eighties if not earlier.

And it's snazz enough that you kinda get the feeling that any mid-aged daddy who woulda walked into the room while this was playing back '64 way woulda muttered in disapproval, but deep down inside you can tell that the old fanabla woulda been enjoying it even if he wouldn't dare tell his progeny in a millyun-billyun years!

After all this retro-rave I'm sure you're all just champing at the bit to give the Fabulous Beats a spin. Well, if you have a fit enough computer as well as the capacity to "burn" blank Cee-Dee disques NOW YOU CAN!!! Just click here and you'll be taken to a page where you can find this budget rack release that might have cost ya a mere forty-nine pennies at the Woolworths of your choice back '64 way but can be downloaded for free (I think) here in the teens! Of course with the cost of internet services rising not forgetting that trek to the local "entertainment center" for blank disques plus the frustration in downloading these things the cost just might top the ol' forty-nine pennies, and in modern moolah as well! But I guess that's just why we have friends to mooch offa now, right?
Red Noise-SARCELLES-LOCHERES CD-R burn (originally on Futura, France)

In my Mahogany Brain writeup appearing in the final issue of my fabled
crudzine, I pondered whether or not that this act would have played the backdrop for the '68 Parisian rioters the same way the MC5 actually made their way to Chicago to fan the flames of dissent and revolt at the Democratic convention that very same year. Turns out that, although Mahogany Brain weren't rabbling any rousers during the '68 incivilities, their future label mates Red Noise were, in fact making their performance debut right on the front lines taunting the police just like any good sons of middle-class bourgeoisie filled with self-righteous political zeal woulda whilst going after the lower-class sons of hard-workers who were cops only because they needed a job!

Yeah, the obv. Zappa ref on the cover would be a big tipoff of the kind of music you'd expect to hear between the grooves, but Red Noise were moving and shaking between a whole load of influences including (acc. to ROCK ET FOLK) the Plastic Ono Band, MC5, Velvet Underground, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Albert Ayler and Frank Wright! Sounds like a recipe for a pretty solid dose of high energy jamz, and once you get over the snatches of body function humor, fifties rock cliche (the spoofing of said item, not the music itself) and overused cutup this does live up to late-sixties/early-seventies excursion that'll hold your attention for a way longer time'n all of the announcements off the WOODSTOCK album combined with every Joni Mitchell bleat recorded from 1967 until today combined!

Side one plays with your sense of decency (as well as nerves) even though more'n a few moments feature what I would call listenable-enough licks that are akin to an UNCLE MEAT outtake. However, the side long jam on the flip's more to my liking with a jazz bent closer to what all of those expat Amerigan players holed up in Paris were doing with a steady "Sister Ray"-inspired rock drive complete with organ folded into the batter ever-so-lightly. This one's worth the listen even if you don't go for the obscure English-language references to urinating and being knee-deep in excrement that pop up elsewhere on this disc. And for those that do, well it ain't like I'm surprised!

Red Noise split apart shortly after their sole release here, with leader Patrick Vian gaining some fame as a solo artist while the more Marxist members ended up forming Komintern, an act which actually ended up recording an album for Harvest Records of all labels. Something tells me that neither Vian nor Komintern's extant output lives up to the more fire music-inspired moments of SCARCELLES-LOCHERES, and as usual none of you readers more "in the know" would care to part with one braincell of your vast memory banks and fill me in as to whether or not I should splurge for their platters! Figures!!!
ARCHAIA CD (Soliel Zeuhl, France)

Here's a rather obscure outing from yet another even more obscure French act which reminds me of the Rock In Opposition groups that accrued an eentsy weentsy bit of MELODY MAKER publicity around the time this was originally released back '77 way. Maybe they ain't as "in opposition" as Art Zoyd or Etron Fou Lelouban were, but there still is plenty of that Gallic electronic buzz and  minor-key doom-laden chording to contend with. And even though this in no way tingles my nerve nodes the way many continental clankings from the same nanosecond did, I do enjoy the moody droning synth-buzz and mystico-chanting that permeates this rather engrossing if progressive platter. There's a new vinyl edition of this 'un out now, though since it doesn't contain the bonus live tracks buy only if you are desperate enough!
OMEGA LP (Passport)

Lotsa talk about this long-lived (fifty years!) Hungarian group had me goin' back to this particular piece of work, their sole US album released in the wake of the Euro Rock mania that was created by a few well-placed articles in NEWSWEEK and ROCK SCENE back in the mid-seventies. Displaying typical for the day prog/pop moves, Omega and OMEGA really don't echo as much of a refreshing import rock attitude as they do taking the worst aspects of  English and Amerigan rock moves and driving them into the ground. Halfway-conceived ideas drenched in mellotron wash and moog boogie. Shoulda put a little bit more paprika into the recipe eh, Omega?
The New Creation-TROUBLED CD-R (originally on Alpha-Omega Records, Canada)

This Christian teenage album's been the talk of the self-produced early-seventies outta nowhere album crowd for quite some time, so it's pretty nice finally getting to hear a download which I guess should be easy enough for YOU to find on the web. If you like very-early seventies stripped down folk rock with femme vocals, a hippie Christian outlook, beginner's rhythm guitar and a general primitive basement rock feeling you'll probably enjoy TROUBLED immensely. Just beware of the opening "collage" track which packs more relevant youth concerns and observations in it than an average episode of ROOM 222.
Michael Barrett/Mike Griffin-BIRTUAL SEME-ALABAK CD-R (Kendra Steiner Editions, see blog link on left for address)

Other'n this being a meeting of minds between Belltone Suicide and Parashi (I thought I reviewed their previous KSE releases, but I was wrong) I can't tell you a thing about this background-wise. I also can't relay who played what and how the entire kaboodle was processed so to speak. Other'n that, I can tell you that this Barrett/Griffin recording is in the beyond-ken KSE style of atonal musique-concrete that you always imagined those early Pierre Henry albums to sound like only you never got the opportunity to hear any in the first place so stuff like this had to do.If I had an all-night radio show where I could play anything I wanted w/o fear of being held down while people farted in my face, I think I would spin a track or two of this just around 4:55 AM before segueing into an Anthony Braxton solo contrabass clarinet cut. And I do get the feeling that you would too.
Dave "Baby" Cortez-HAPPY ORGANS, WILD GUITARS AND PIANO SHUFFLES CD-R burn (originally on Ace/Clock, England)

Whenever my younger 'n me cousin would thumb through my record collection, he'd giggle uncontrollably whenever he'd pull the INSTRUMENTAL GOLDEN GOODIES volume out the stack 'n espy Dave "Baby" Cortez's "The Happy Organ" proudly emblazoned on the front cover. Gee, I wonder what got the kid snickerin' like that because "The Happy Organ" sure was a boffo v. late-fifties instrumental as was Cortez's "The Whistling Organ" which also appeared. I dunno if my cousin made note of the title of that one for if he did, I'm pretty sure the har hars woulda been long-runnin' for this high school dirtyboy!

I wonder if my cousin'd go for this recent collection of Cortez classics, but for his information both "Happy" and "Whistling" appear here along with a whole slew of trackage I must admit I am not familiar with. Most of it fits into the '59/'60 breed of hotcha top 40s instrumental musings, the kind that seemed custom made for one of those teenage dance party teens would hold in their living rooms where somebody would eventually bust a lamp.  The moods range from exuberant to bloozy, and as a surprise there's even a vocal number which ain't anything special but at least you'll finally get to hear what Cortez sounds like when he opens his mouth.

If you (like me) have pangs of misery over the fact that it's been almost fifty years since rock 'n roll and funtime TV/comics/social gulcher have been replaced political/social piousness, then this is this the platter for you! I don't see a return to this breed of bonzotude returning anytime soon but maybe if you play this 'un before watching some old LEAVE IT TO BEAVER episodes whilst or whilst not playing a hotcha game of MONOPOLY with yer best friend (squint your mind a bit while you're at it), some of them ol' feelings'll just might come gushing back!
Various Artists-LE BEAT BESPOKE 5 CD-R burn (originally on Circle Records, England)

Bill Shute's been enamored by this recent ('12) volume of English beat rock enough to list it in his best of the year list, and it's not hard to figure out why. The selection of these Carnaby weirdies is refreshing enough to make ya wanna dig out your "psychedelic special" issue of GORILLA BEAT for an additional perusal. The obscurities appearing therein guarantee that none of this has appeared elsewhere, a boon here in these budget-conscious times when our collections are being taken up with too many space-wasting repeats. Or maybe Bill's just excited over the nekkid broad that appears on the cover just like any other reg'lar BLOG TO COMM reader who's been caught with the goods (mainly an old NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and jar of Vaseline) o'er the years?

Bill might've thought it good 'nuff to make his "top ten" but I frankly have quite the opposite opinion. Not that LE BEAT BESPOKE's a roarin' turdburger of a platter, but the music heard within these...grooves?...ain't exactly the kind of music I like spendin' my ever-dwindlin' free time to. This is mostly adult contemp pop as opposed to rock with nada of the garage/beat/freak swing that I prefer in these retrohashes, and in fact I could say that there's such a standard slosh to these tracks that I coulda easily seen my one uncle who dug the bejabbers outta Dean Martin, Horst Jankowski and Bert Kamepfert  givin' these spins the thumbs up! As for me, I think I'll just play my scratchy old copy of "Hound Dog" on his cheap portable stereo while doing strange interpretive dances that seemed perfect (to an eleven-year-old) for accompanying the wild sounds heard within those grooves.
Alan Freed Rock 'n' Roll Big Band-A STOMPIN' GOOD TIME CD-R burn (originally on Ace England)

Not as whackoid as you'd think, this collection of hotcha r&b players gathered together by famed deejay Freed really do lay down some wild grooves that fit in with the instrumental mania of the v. late fifties. Players include Sam "The Man" Taylor, "Big" Al Sears, Freddie Mitchell and "King Curtis" Ousley, a guy who (or so I was told) met his end shortly after he called into Jay Diamond's talk show in New York City and said that Miles Davis was a pimp who mistreated his stable (draw your own conclusions). Really good dance-floor grooves on this hour-plus spin that captures a huge hunka fifties rockist spirit, though it sure woulda been better if Freed just shut up and let the guys do their speakin' for themselves via their wailin' gear!
Ghadalia Tazartes-DIASPORAS CD-R burn (originally on Cobalt)

Here's the first Stephen Painter (Dark Sunny Land) burn to makes its way into my boom box, an effort by French "nomad" Ghadalia Tazartes that originally came out way back in '77 and was promptly forgotten by the same noise maniacs whom you thought would've eaten this tape-patchwork up like pasta fazool. Not being familiar with Tazartes (thus having to do a lotta googlin' in order to make this review sound a little less than 'tardoid), I found out that he was part of that seventies French trend that gave us a whole wild bunch of sounds both of a rock, jazz and "Musique Concrete" style, only in Tazartes' case its ethno-oriented tape loops and a standard music catalog all mooshed together that makes up his modus opporandi or whatever it's called. Mesmerizing at one point, frightening at others, Tazartes seems fascinated by the middle-eastern chants and drones of his upbringing and uses them to rather startling ends giving YOU (the listener) a real roller coaster of a listening experience that leads you into la-la land at one point then wakes you up with a bizarro bleat the next. It might remind you of a thousand bedroom experiments that got the "cassette culture" treatment during the derailed eighties, but remember this was done before your garden variety self-conscious college kid even had the inkling or inclination to dabble in such areas some say we should not dabble in (and judging from some of those eighties efforts, maybe they were right!). More of Painter's produce in future posts.
Various Artists-BONEHEAD CRUNCHERS VOL. 3, BIG BOOBS BOOGIE LP (Belter, Germany)

And finally for today this limited (300 only!) collection of English early/mid-seventies punk rock rarities guaranteed to have you donning your old platforms and doing the pogo! Or (in my case) settling down in front of the television set with a bowl of fried to a crackly crunch Chee-Tos and pretending that the New York Dolls are on DON KIRSHNER'S ROCK CONCERT. Fans of Robin Wills' Purepop blog (see link up on left) will undoubtedly love this album featuring nothing but a punk of an English nature recorded back when the only people over there who even cared about this music were Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent, though I have the feeling that most of the  people who this album is aimed at have already downloaded these tracks from that very same blog! I also get the feeling that the people who compiled this album also downloaded these tracks from Purepop, but in this day and age wouldn't that be expected?

In all a grand slab of punkitude that not only features some of the classics of early-seventies British punkitude (Stud Leather, Castle Farm and of course the same Slowload who gave us the album's subtitle) but a couple of heretofore unknown aggregates like Mississippi, Incredible Hog and Sleaz Band who do a more'n apt job the way they take various popular boogie and pop forms and twist 'em into something that might have been way too stark for the standard stompers of the day. And yeah, although side two tends to fizzle out in spots this is still a great 'un for the true punk rock aficionado, sorta like an early-seventies answer to PEBBLES or BLOODSTAINS ACROSS... for that matter. And, unlike what I might have speculated about LE BEAT BESPOKE above, the showing of tits on the cover ain't the reason I'm rating this hard pop pounder so high in the annals of punk-related collections, and you should know better'n to even let the thought enter into your fertilized minds!
More whacked out reviews for youse to peruse next time? Unless I do get that special soo-prize in I wouldn't doubt it one bit, nitwit!


Anonymous said...

It´s actually Robin Wills who put the Bonecrusher comps together.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Didn't know it was an inside job!