Saturday, February 09, 2013

I'll bet all of you readers in the New England area and all points north DIGGING OUT after that big snow storm that hit yesterday, right? Unfortunately, we denizens of the tri-county area got nary a flake if only because we were located just on the perimeter of not-so-little Nemo's path, and I say "unfortunately" because hey, I sure coulda used a few days off from work with nothing to do but burrow through boxes of old magazines and long-ignored cassette tapes, even if that ain't as fun as when you were a kid 'n you could spend the entire snow day either sledding (or better yet having your big cyst-er pull you around the house on said sled since there's nary a slop in sight!) or watching game shows like any normal pimplefarm would. But lazyass me'll take a snow day anyday even if my years of kiddie fun are loooong behind me! Oh well, we still have to contend with winter here in the Northern Hemisphere for at least another month-and-a-half so maybe there will be some more deadly weather advisories posted which will guarantee a whole lotta loungeabout time for myself and maybe others! No doubt about it, what we all could use in the here and now are some more excuses to just goof off and do junk, as Beaver and Wally might say.
I suppose the best way to start off (in all seriousness, natch!) this week's borefest would be with a nice and heartfelt mention of the recent passing of someone who really meant more to us (as suburban slob junkfood-eating UHF-TV watching comics reading ne'er do wells) than most of those other sixties Big Names combined, mainly Troggs lead vocalist and BLOG TO COMM role model in his own right Reginald Maurice Balls, better known as Reg Presley! And man is his death something that really does make this fanabla feel older than Methuselah, especially when you consider how circa age 20 I was wearing a Troggs "badge" on my windbreaker while my compatriots would proudly sport their AOR faves on their probably imitation leather jackets! In the middle of the rustbelt during the 70s/80s cusp I gotta admit that donning a Troggs button was about as revolutionary (and as shocking) as driving down the street in a 1963 Studebaker Lark, something that might have seemed klutzy and downright old-fogeyish to all of the "cool" ones true, but an act which decade later would undoubtly be considered downright "hip" and even "avant garde" to the same people who once upped nose at our tastes and ourselves for that matter. But we knew better now, didn't we?

More than any of the Beatles or Stones or any of those hippie-press favorites who always used to make me feel creepy, Presley was one mofo of a singer who pretty much captured the whole gnarly aspects and attitudes regarding what this thing called "punk rock" used to mean. Or at least what it used to mean being a punk in a 1966 as remembered by 1972 rock fandom types kinda way somewhere between the death of the original punk rock era and the late-seventies onslaught. Through the good times and bad Presley and his Troggs stood out as total professionals albeit in an exciting, primitive way, and even with the bad career moves and twists of fate that might have clobbered other groups these Andoverites managed to survive long into the new century more or less intact. In many ways the Troggs, like Roky and the Elevators or Mayo and the Crayola or Lou and the Velvets, never really left us at least in spirit, because you always knew that there were people out there who remembered it all with a certain pride, and all these years later considered this music to have been as timeless and as current as any vibrant, speed-breaking music could be. And they knew better now, didn't they?

Only a stroon of the highest order would deny that the ice-breaking hit "Wild Thing" was boffo enough to the point where if The Troggs did nothing else their place in punk rock history would have been cemented, but how many of us reg'lar readers know that the guys really were eclectic enough in their own corny and commercial yet underground trailblazing kinda way. True, their forays into bubblegum might not have been as snappy as the stuff that was coming out on Buddah, and covering "Little Green Apples" wasn't exactly a smart way to endear yourselves to the budding psychedelic scene, but when The Troggs were pumping on all cylinders from their early tough guy tracks to their psych pop and later on heavy metal excursions they definitely were an aggregate to contend with (and if you don't think "Come Now" and "Feels Like a Woman" wreck most lame excuses for metal both then and now boy are you messed up!). Contend with enough that echoes of their earlier trailblazing work could be heard in the likes of early Black Sabbath as well as the Stooge, and even Mirrors knew enough to include obscurity "Too Much of a Good Thing" in their live set along with "Feels Like a Woman" and could you think of any other act then or now who would have had the intelligence to do that?

Y'know, I am surprised that the death of Presley hasn't issued forth all of the garment-rending angst and rheumy reminiscences that the passing of lesser light have over the years. True, Presley obviously wasn't as flashy as Mick Jagger or Roger Daltrey, but then again would you have seen ANY of the Troggs soaking up the sun at San Tropez or starring in Ken Russell films? Naw, if anything Presley and his crew seemed more like the kind of British louts you've heard about for ages, content with downing loads of fish and chips and hanging around throwing darts at the local "public house" as they call 'em over there 'stead of jetting all over the world and posing for pics while promoting various chic causes involving Third World types who like to stick discs in their lips. Nothing that would exactly make the pages of PEOPLE let alone ROLLING STONE. And y'know, I believe that Reg and crew were all the better for not acting like the schlubs that all of those big name stars did much to their (and perhaps even our---after all, it was out moolah that made 'em big inna first place!) embarrassment!

And so, another spokesman for our generation (whatever that was!) is gone, and to you Reg we raise a nice plastic tumbler of Great Shakes in your memory. And while I'm at it I might as well pull out all of my Troggs platters and play 'em end-to-end while indulging in some Long John Silvers and maybe a comic book or three while lazing about the abode. After all, what better way to pay tribute to a guy who really knew how to bring out the baser instincts in us all with his transcendent music?
How have you been celebrating "Black History Month" anyway? For me, I've been pouring through the batch of John Coltrane Cee-Dee-Are burns that Bill Shute felt gracious enough to send my way a week or so ago! Not being that familiar (if at all) with Coltrane's Prestige sides, it's been rather ear-opening giving these pre-Atlantic and Impulse albums a go even if most of 'em were with Coltrane as a sideman yet issued as if he were fronting the entire affair, sorta like that Paul Bley recording that came out as an Ornette Coleman album back in the late-seventies that had Coleman suing the Inner City label into deleting the LP from their catalog. Those of you who discovered Coltrane after Grace Slick said that ASCENSION was his "acid trip" may be disappointed in these more boppish recordings, but for me the man does good in the company of a variety of late-fifties up 'n comers (including the recently departed Donald Byrd) and when Cecil Taylor gets into the mix boy, are you in for a fine late-evening pre-beddy bye sesh! Some real rarities too, including tracks from one of those rare 16 rpm albums that Prestige used to put out that're now going for beaucoup on the internet market! Maybe Eddie Flowers was right when he said in a review of a Coltrane album in PRIMO TIMES that jazz had no future...after stuff like this how could it?
This week has been one of the more lackadaisical in recent memories, with me spending my evening free hours (in between cranking out copy for this post and others) doing naught but sitting in my comfy bedside chair, feet usually placed strictly upon bed,  listening to music while trying to read something I've read repeatedly these past few weeks or so trying to eke even more beneficial stimulation outta the entire sordid experience. Sometimes I don't even read but stare at a pic of, say, Li'l Abner reacting to something-or-other, while closely studying the fine pen drawing and remarking just how detailed the art in Al Capp's monstrously successful strip was at least until the quality took a nose spin sometime in the early-seventies. (The artwork was considerably looser at least beginning in the mid-fifties, but still palatable enough for a conny-sewer such as I.) Sometime the boxes of fanzines stashed in my closet where my shoes should be...I know my priorities...offers some respite from the bangs and whangs of workaday living, but still I shudder at the dearth of visual stimulation to accompany my aural delights. TRANSLATION: I sure can use a hefty heaping amt. of hotcha reading to keep me well and happy during these long winter nights, so if anybody has any rare scribblings (by the likes of Bangs, Meltzer, Saunders, Farren, you know the score...) they would love to copy for me or even some rare musical doody that would fit in with this blog's very existence, please notify me via comment box below (naw, I will keep ever scrap of correspondence personal 'n confidential) and maybe we can work up a trade or something either involving moolah or better yet, old issues of that rotten rock mag I used to do that I can't even give away to starving Eskimos...waddeva, lemme know if yer interested and maybe we can take your little sister along for the ride and dicker!
Hey, any of you kids wanna be in a fanzine??? I'm only askin' because I got a note from none other than "THEE" oft-name dropped Eddie Flowers (he of Gizmos, Crawlspace and the most shameless self-promoter since Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman or even Andy Warhol) stating in no uncertain terms that the one-time wunderkind of rock fanzines is starting up a rag of his own which is going to be entitled MOUSETRAP! Mr. Flowers is on the lookout for some hotcha material to publish within its pages, so a casting call has been put out for one and all aspiring scribes to get in touch with the guy and tell him what you can offer to the cause! Yes, a good thirtysome years after the original Golden Age of Rock Fanzines had plummeted into a vast market crowded with subpar sputum, one of the ORIGINATORS of the form is back in business with an idea which (if it does come to fruition) might just be the ultimate expression in rock fandom to hit the underground ever since the final issue of my infamous if vastly unpopular crudzine swan-dived into a well-deserved obscurity a good decade or so ago.

I'm planning on sending something in which I know will fit in with MOUSETRAP's overall reason-for-existence, and I have the feeling that you just might want to send something as well! (Actually I was thinking about sending the Stephen Painter interview which saw the light of day on this blog last Saturday only I ran the idea by Steve and he preferred it come out post haste so there went that brilliant idea!)  If you have an idea, or maybe even a chapter from that Great Amerigan Fanabla you've had hidden in your closet for the past ten years why not send it to Eddie and see if he'll salute it? He can be reached at and I know he'll be interested in whatever you have to spare, no matter how hideous and unprofessional it may be. After all, he asked me to contribute so you know his standards ain't as lofty as one may think!
Here are some of the "newies" that I've spun this week, most of which were freebees sent to me by Bill Shute as well as Stephen Painter just because they wanted to know what I thought of 'em! Wow, talk about devoted fans, and to show my appreciation well, I reviewed 'em! Can ya ask for anything more really? Anyway settle back and find out whether or not you want to spend the last bux outta your welfare check on a disque after I give it the good ol' third degree or whether it should go towards something like food or booze, and while yer at it THANK ME!!!!. willya?

Them-TIME OUT, TIME IN FOR... CD-R Burn (originally on Rev Ola)

Wouldja believe that I actually had this Cee-Dee-Are in my collection for a good ten or so (even fifteen!) years before I decided to give it a spin? It was just one of those things that fell between the cracks, me seeing it one day and then losing it the next, but on this hazy Friday afternoon I decided to finally play it and I'm sure you know why...  Because I'm bored silly, that's why!

Rev Ola did a good job reissuing this final and post-Van Morrison Them spin along with a buncha rare 45 sides that one could only hear for years via various sixties garage band collections, and although I really don't wanna get into how much the commercial psychedoodle must have sounded high-larious (complete with the patented sitar twangs) when this came out '68 way I gotta say that the resultant spew was pleasurable enough in its own over-produced pop way. Somehow I could see this 'un selling for a nice 59 pennies in a Montgomery Wards record department a good two years later, only to hit the heights of collectors prices by the time I was on the search for a copy which always seemed the case! Some jazzy moves here, and Association "bob bob bob ba's" there, and naturally it did mean more to you as a rockin' suburban turdburger slob than San Francisco ever did but just try tellin' that to your local "classic rock" aficionado!
Fadensonnen-PD2 2-CD set (See link-up on left if you want to latch onto a copy for yourself)

Yet another one from PD hisself, two platters filled with nothing but solo electric guitar screech that's guaranteed to make all of those snooty "classic rock" types say "my six-year-old brother can play that!" to which you would respond "well, why don't he!" Frankly I am not sure if any first grade type could perform on an electric guitar the way Mr. F does, but if he could then boy will we have some hotcha primary school talent shows to look forward to!

Echoes of Glenn Branca, Arto Lindsay, Rudolph Grey, Lydia Lunch, Von Lmo (need I mention any more late-seventies En Why See underground ax-grinders?) can be heard, and if you are one who still holds your Lust/Unlust singles proudly to your boobies you might appreciate this if even in the slightest. Pure (or even impure if you like) sound like this has always been a cathartic experience in my life and it just might do the trick for you better'n est, and I'd hurry up if I were you because only 100 of these things were pressed up!
IGNATZ CD-R burn (originally on K-RAA-K)

I was going to make a Krazy Kat joke regarding the artist who made this obscurity, but since this Belgian guy actually took his name from the infamous brick-tossing mouse of comic strip infamy I guess it would fall flat on its face. Still, since the guy sings as if he were a mouse doing a Bob Dylan imitation the resemblance is uncanny. Musically this comes off like a collage of various ethno styles and sixties avant garde ideas mooshed together like a nice Denver Omelette Sandwich w/a few dill pickle slices tossed in for good measure, ranging from Greek baccala stylings to Alan Sondheim outtakes and John Fahey backed by Pink Floyd electronics excursions into who knows what kinda universe. Calm enough for those late-night introspective moments, but paranoia is guaranteed to set in deep.
Keiji Haino-21ST CENTURY HARD-Y-FUIDE-Y MAN CD-R burn (originally on PSF, Japan)

Japanese legend Haino cranking out a Hurdy Gurdy sound which actually comes closer to some early Lamonte Young experiments than anything you'd see an Eyetalian with a monkey crankin' for coin inna park. Dark drones invading the sanctuary of your fart-encrusted bedroom, putting the last thirty or so years of  experimental electronic improv in perspective w/o you busting the bank account. Not only that, but Haino actually does a li'l singing on the 26-minute final track, and it ain't any of that "Donna E Marmalade" stuff either!
Ashtray Navigations-EXPLODING FLOOR MARTIN DENNY CD-R burn (originally on 8mm)

One of those acts that I've read about for ages awlready but (as far as I can remember) never did get the opportunity to hear. Maybe not (I think I have one of their singles around somewhere...), but waddevva let's just say this is like a first lissen for this group, and I must add that I was mighty impressed with what had transpired between my stirrups. Sorta reminds me of a stripped-down Controlled Bleeding, or maybe Nurse With Wound if they weren't such a buncha sex perverts...pretty hot "noise" music that actually sounds invigorating if you can believe that you jaded fanabla you!
Various Artists-THE STORY OF OAK RECORDS CD (Wooden Hill, England)

Bought this 'un strictly for the presence of the Velvet Frogs' Process Church-saturated "Jehovah" (their two other extant acetates can be found on the PSYCHEDELIC SCHLEMIELS VOLUME FOUR
set which might still be easy enough to snatch up), but the rest of it ain't exactly tossaway material. Nothing spectacular here true, but for being a selection of early English psychedelia and garage band freakbeat done up by a mostly unknown flock of stillborns this is a worthy once-in-awhile spin. If you were one of those guys who flipped over the well-known British Invasion groups then wanted to know about the second-string (then third-string) groups, I guess these acts were whatcha'd call nth stringers. But oh what a string it was!
Willie Lane-GUITAR ARMY OF ONE CD-R burn (originally on Cord-Art)

I dunno if people can sue for having their various stylings and ideas "appropriated," but if they can Loren Connors could really clean up taking this Willie Lane guy to court! Slow, stirring and downright moving electric guitar overlay seeps into your psyche and boy, when your guard's down will you feel the impact! If you found yourself in many an introverted moment being swooned by Connors' many electric guitar excursions you'll be sure to get a kick outta this. Only problem is, only 350 were pressed so better search now before the searching gets rough!

That Bill Shute never ceases to amaze! Here are more of those "song-poem" records featuring  twelve of those "your poems set to music" wonders that have been making quite a hipster ruckus ever since John Trubee sent his "Blind Man's Penis" in to have it set to music and created a New Youth Snob sensation! Some pretty weird wonders here, including Gene Marshall's "United Nations" not forgetting "Song of the Burmese Land" can just imagine the look on your Uncle Ernie or Aunt Matilda's face when, after paying the upwards of three digits bux to have their song "published," they spin the finished product in drooling anticipation and utter "that's not how I thought they were gonna sing it...I was gypped!!!" That is, unless these efforts were all by Bill himself  written as a budding poet trying to break into the biz the easy way!

As an extra bonus Bill slapped on a track by some limey lounge act going by the name of The Fat Doormen who do a pretty cornballus version of "I Hear You Knocking" complete with "knock-knock" jokes I can't make out through them thick accents they got over there! Sounds like something that would be a hit at those Holiday Camps that I understand are still up and running, and if any of you English readers were forced to spend any of your away-from school time holed up in one of these camps and were more or less forced to endure one of these cheezy moosical acts against your will well, think about it this way. You coulda been made to go to the Indian Burial Mounds like I was!
Various Artists-THE GOLDEN ROAD VOLUME 2 CD-R burn (originally on Psychic Sound)

Coulda sworn I reviewed this 'un once before...must be experiencing one of those bad David Crosby/Stephen Stills/Graham Nash type album titles again. Thankfully nothing on this collection of folk rock rarities sinks to the levels that those hasbeens did back in the days of whole wheat peace 'n love hucksterisms if only because this contains nothing but hotcha pre-reek rock from back inna mid-sixties when just about EVERYTHING rockist related sounded pretty good! GOLDEN ROAD's a nice mix of familiar garage rock acts (Woolies, Rovin' Kind...), soon-to-be-famous types (Keith Allison) and the usual peacecreep suspects doing some credible post-Dylan/Sonny & Cher/Association/Byrds rips that make you feel peaceful in that pre-Eagles way, and the best thing about it is there's nary a hippie in sight! Maybe in a year or two, but right now it's still '65-'66 which is certainly fine by my own sense of values.

Highlights include the Patriots' '"I'll Be There" with that keen Sonny Bono whine (probably sung by a woman!), Jimmy Satan's "Eve of Destruction"-inspired "What's It All About" and the aforementioned Keith Allison spinner which is entitled "Look At Me" (kinda reminds me of something I woulda liked if I knew enough to like it if I were only around to like things like this song back when these songs were around to be liked). The rest fits into the mid-sixties snarl enough too, so it ain't like you're gonna be sufferin' through any BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN suburban hippoid emote here one bit!
Home Body-IN REAL LIFE CD (Feeding Tube )

First pick outta the latest Feeding Tube Records batch is this strangitie which I gotta admit sounds more like eighties "new wave" (y'know, long after that term morphed from Ramones and Pere Ubu to Madonna and Missing Persons) than anything else the Feeding Tube label, usually know for its "avant" inclinations, is best known for. Female pop vocals are backed by casiotone electronic beats and blurbles making for a listening experience that seems to hearken back to the days of Max Headroom and MTV (wait, that's still around albeit in a vastly different form, innit?) which naturally does not settle well with a 100% red blooded rockist like myself. Hopefully an aberration.
See you mid-week? Sure hope so! Next weekend? If I survive!

1 comment:

PD said...

Hey Chris,

Thanks for the kind words as always.

Also, do you have an original copy of the Velvets - end of cole ave. first night 2 cd set - that cd reissue I bought on keyhole has some digital flubs on the recording, but i didnt know if they were there in the first place.

Stay Warm,