Saturday, June 22, 2013

Remember that old MAD magazine chestnut entitled "You Know You're Getting Old When..."? I don't, but I sure remember the NATIONAL LAMPOON spoof of it that ended on the typically tasteless note "You know you're getting old when you realize (or was it forgot?) you haven't jacked off since last Tuesday." Yeah, as a mid-teen magazine rack romper I was taken aback by it too, but that's only because my bad taste gauge hadn't been fully honed yet. I mean, nowadays life is bad taste enough that this George Woodbridge-inspired drawing of some midclass cleancut engaging in self abuse while looking at Miss June doesn't even register a blip of shock, which only goes to show ya just how far we've grown as a people since the days when Paul Simon was singing about he 'n Julio engaging in sodomy down by the schoolyard and everybody thought otherwise, prudish Amerigans they be.

But now that I'm older, certainly not that much wiser and just bursting with bad taste all I gotta say is that I know I'm getting old because I can no longer care one whit what season I am existing in whether it be a muggier'n a sweaty Swede's armpit summer day or as cold enough to make your nipples wanna jump off you and run for cover winter! A shame, since I used to have my own moods, tastes, methods of relaxation and general living by the seasons. Y'know, swim inna summer, shovel snow inna winter and just goof off as much as you can no matter what time of the year it may be!

Not anymore, since life has become such a blur and so frazzled that it all seems as if that warm summer weather I was experiencing last year had just wooshed into a cold enough for me winter which eventually returned to the hazy days within the span of a few months. And it just keeps coming and going at such a rapid pace that I hardly notice it all, then I discover all of these weird chip-chop ham blotches on my face...

The funny thing about the time of year or the weather is that whenever I do experience it my mind usually goes back. Like take an overcast cold autumn day...when I experience one somehow I am reminded of some mid-teenage day when, out of boredom, I was plopped in front of the television some weekday early evening around six-thirty watching SESAME STREET of all things thinking back to when I was about four and the weather was exactly like this on some equally fall evening when my dad and I went for a walk or something. Yes, whatever it is, it seems that my mind just can't help but thinking of those early pre-school days when life didn't only seem, but WAS a whole lot more interesting than it eventually turned out. Dunno if this is because everything from television to radio to toys to food seemed a whole lot more attuned to my suburban slob living when I was a mere turdler or because I was at least crafty enough to have someone other than myself wipe my butt after taking a dump.

But at this point,'s like I've stopped living about a good decade back only I keep on going like some sorta EC zombie or that gal on THE TWILIGHT ZONE who doesn't know she's dead but comes to the sad realization she is a good twentysome minutes into the program. I think I inadvertently (?) offed myself, at least "spiritually," when I came to the conclusion that no, my life goals ain't gonna come to a positive fruition and rock 'n roll is the new old fogey music (the modern-day equiv.of aged whites in firehouses playing Dixieland) and that no matter how hard I hoped, NOBODY could make a tee-vee show as good as NAKED CITY or ABBOT AND COSTELLO this far down the decadent line. And those little concessions to the suburban slob mindset like the reactivated Fizzies line ain't exactly gonna help me out any!

So from now on it's pretty much a case of raw survival, nothing as grueling as those Jack London novels my sister used to read when she was getting into the double-digits but pretty crucial in modern day terms. Play the old faves as often as I can while searching out the shards of any interesting music that might make itself available. Scam as many old tee-vee DVDs as I can afford and watch 'em while pretending it's 1962 and this stuff is still fresh in the mid-Amerigan mind, and best of all trying to steer clear of anyone and anything that is detrimental to my own gulcheral survival. And yeah, that might be about as "living in the past" 'n archaic as all of those old maids from my grandparents' era who never married because their beaus got killed in the War Between the States and dressed, acted and lived as if it were still 1863, but in many ways don't you think those ladies had it right, in their own logical and attuned to their small town living way? I sure do!
Enough of that scatter-thought rambling "Edi-Too-REAL" as we used to's this week's grand selection of items that have graced my lobes in the past few weeks. Gotta say that it was a good selection too, with the FIGURES OF LIGHT platter poised to win some sort of award once December 31's "Best of '13" rolls around (though knowing me I'll probably forget all about it until it's too late as I tend to do thus getting a lotta loyal fans raving mad!), while the freebees courtesy Bill Shute, Robert Forward and P.D. Fadensonnen certainly did help break up the monotony!  Thanks a whole load guys, and as they say keep those cards and letters (and packages filled with pertinent booty) comin' in!!! Until then, munch on this musical cornucopia of oldies, newies and old newies that are new but of old items which, as you know, is exactly the way I like 'em!


A few years back when the FIGURES OF LIGHT SMASH HITS album came out (right on the heels of a good Norton hype I might add), I was more'n jazzed over the smart mix of classic seventies material intermingled with all-new under-the-underground recordings that this album presented to us unreconstructed proto-punk fans. However, I was kinda bummed that the entirety of the groups's infamous "TV smashing" live show wasn't included in the set (only the cosmiclytical "TV Smashing Finale" popped up), especially after reading Billy Miller's own quip about how that tape made WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT sound like Mrs. Miller, and not Billy's mother for that matter!

Well, I guess that Billy and Miriam got the psychic hints I was blastin' at 'em because, even with all of the woes they've been suffering as of late, they managed to get the entire show out. If anything, this package is what you could call a "legitimate" bootleg live album in the tradition of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY, and it comes on weirdo blue with white streaks colored vinyl too which reminds me of the way my urine looked a few weeks back during my bladder infection only that was red not blue. And what better way to remember my bladder woes than a record like this which, one could say is the aural equivalent of a painful piss only in a good way!

Talk about total disasto! The show sounds like it was thought up on the spot though it sure made for good mad early-seventies ROCK THEATRE what with not only the smashing of a spinning turntable during the show's opening moments (that is, after the introductory sine wave) but the hasty performance of various originals and covers with little if any attempt to stay together. The Figures slosh through their set like a buncha kids runnin' home from school on a February afternoon doin' hotcha covers of everything from "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" to the Velvet Underground and Troggs, and I ain't even mentioning the original material which is more or less based on the "It's Lame" 1966 chord-progression songbook complete with a forward by Sky Saxon! And let me tell you, music like this reinforces me twice as much in these post-rock 'n roll times when we have to suck it up and admit that, unlike what Greg Shaw was telling us for years, it ain't comin' back!

Of course the sound is bad, probably taken offa some reel-to-reel in the audience complete with the same kinda gymnasium ambiance that has you smellin' sweatsocks all over. The vocals are buried in the cheap amp blare so you'll have to strain your ears to hear 'em to the point where you'll be dishing out bucks for a hearing aid in no time. In fact, this 'un kinda sounds like what people were saying METALLIC KO sounded like back when that 'un first crept up into the high school under-the-consciousness scene oh so long ago, but like that album you don't mind the "shortcomings" because the performance is so teenage anger and violence that you immediately form a bond with the power and energy inherent within.

It really shines through to the point where I could see some of you more ambitious BLOG TO COMM readers spinning this 'un and KO in rapid succession with a few Flamin' Groovies Skydog sides and maybe even a choice late-sixties Rolling Stones live boot into the mix while groovin' on a typical seventies trash-aesthetics kick. And in no way could I blame you for that!

Only 300 were pressed up, so if I were you I'd hurry and snatch one up at least until Norton decides to release this on disque like they did with the Figures' DROP DEAD platter. Definitely one of the big surprises of 2013 even though the entire fanabla was recorded a good forty-three years back (which makes me long are we going to have to wait until various late-sixties/early-seventies punk classics from the likes of the Seventh Seal, Man Ray and R Mutt are finally going to grace our ears? Considering the promise these and many more unrecorded bands held for us via years of rumor and hearsay all I gotta say is "OPEN SESAME, vaults!").
Twink-THINK PINK CD (Sunbeam)

The former Tomorrow/Pretty Thing/Pink Fairies/Rings/wannabe Iggy drummer's solo album from '69 certainly does stand as a closing testament to the original era of English psychedelia, and it's sure grand that Sunbeam reissued this 'un on CD so's I don't have to rely on my thin-sounding mid-eighties pirate copy anymore. THINK PINK remains a wild excursion through the rougher side of psych, one of those period pieces so-t'-say that might have sounded quaint only a few years later but naturally outlives all of that gooey and sappy Dame Elton John muck that evidently "replaced" sounds like this as if anybody could stand sitting through MADFAG ACROSS THE WATER here in 2013 let along 1991.

The additional tracks Sunbeam stuck on in order to lure those of you who already have this 'un sure do sweeten the pot what with a whole buncha alternate takes, including two of "Fluid" only w/o the orgasmic femme vocals), two of the classic pop-psych masterpiece 10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box" and this really off-the-wall bitta fairy mimsy called "Good Wizard Meets Naughty Wizard" which had me gnome boppin' in a way that would have made Steve Peregrine Took (who played a major role on this album, no bout a doubt it) glad he wasn't around to see me.

Interesting note...according to the booklet notes, the one who was once called John Alder and later Twink now goes under the moniker "Mohammed Abdullah John Alder" and even wears a beard and skullcap to drive the point home! Sheesh, reading about this kinda makes me want to forgo sending in that donation to the EDL like I had planned on, though something within my beanie tells me that my donation just might pay off in beaucoup dividends as time creeps on...
Fadensonnen-PD3 CD (available here)

If you thought you couldn't stand it anymore, try standing it again. The latest in a long line of Fadensonnen efforts (all highly recommended), PD3 continues on Mr. F's a-/anti-tonal path with a twenty-two-plus minute guitar track entitled "Brutal/Minimal" that reminds me of Donald Miller's semi-similar experiments on one hand and Henry Flynt on the other with a mono-buzz warble that would give LaMonte Young a heart fib. The eight-minute "Greenpoint (or "Greenpernt" as they say on THE BULLWINKLE SHOW) Nights" sounds closer to Young's early-sixties soprano lines with a few elements taken from some of the more jazz-oriented Ohr Records acts you can think of offhand. Gotta say that both of 'em helped round out the post-workday ennui I was feeling while staring out the window at the overcast storminess of it all. Fadensonnen's one of a handfulla modern-day creatives who deserve your moral and (especially) financial support, and releases like this will definitely help boost his legend and hopefully his pocketbook in the upcoming months.
Michael Gregory Jackson-CLARITY CD (ESP/ZYX, Germany)

Dunno why this 'un came out on the ESP imprint because it was originally released on Jackson's personal label which you could only obtain through the pages of the old New Music Distribution Services catalog. But whatever, ESP found it fine enough to release as part of their historical line of artist-guided produce, and I can't complain. Jackson's guitar playing ain't left-field in the Sonny Sharrock mode (think John McLaughlin circa MY GOALS BEYOND) but it holds up and you don't even mind when he starts slipping into mid-seventies commercial aspects that coulda gotten him some fringe FM play had this only gotten around. Oliver Lake, David Murray and Leo Smith help out (no bass or drums!) giving this a nice chamber feeling with loads of AACM/BAG input...might not be your bag o' jazz but I find it palatable in occasional doses.


One of the better Bill burns here featuring some old timey country music and hotcha rockabilly that's bound to get Ron Weiser blabbing on about THAT JUICY, SLAPPIN', RACE-MIXING, WILD, INSANE, FINGER-POPPIN' MUSIC faster'n you can say Jerry Lee. Found it all pretty hotcha (esp. Jimmy Stayton's "You're Gonna Treat Me Right" which really gave Eddie and Gene a good run for the rental car money) even though I still wonder what Edna McGriff and her stogoid "Lay Down Your Arms" was doing in this mix. (Historians will probably salivate over some 1907-vintage recordings from the Victor Orchestra that remind me of early sound film experiments what with the sound effects.) And it's all sandwiched in by single sides from Billy Costello (the original voice of Popeye before coming to loggerheads with studio bosses) and Betty Boop/Olive herself Mae Questel doing their familiar voices on some snappy old-timey numbers. The next best thing to getting up early Saturday morning 'n watching them old 'toons in your saggy pajamas!
Various Artists-HUCKLEBUCKIN' BONGO PART CD-R (compiled by Bill Shute)

Good set here with the familiar ("Blues Theme," "What Made Milwaukee Famous") and obscurities mixed up to the point where you can't even tell 'em apart! I coulda done without some of the cheezy cover versions by the likes of the Bugs ("Twist and Shout") or the Chellows ("Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind," "Somebody to Love") but I guess Bill stuck 'em on since I liked that all-chintzoid covers platter he cooked up for me awhile back. But other'n that there's some rare Chubby Checker and Lemon Pipers not to mention the original version of Abbot 'n Costello's "Who's On First" routine which ain't as good as watching 'em on the tube alongside Mike the Cop but it's better'n the Andrew Sisters.

Various Artists-INZANE STUDIO PODCASTS CD-R (sent in by Bob Forward)

Nobody has asked me why I don't, but if they did I'd say that I don't podcast because not only would nobody wanna listen, but because podcasts don't have the same hard-edged drive and entertainment value that you could get just sittin' around and controllin' what goes into your ears. I mean, it ain't like a 1967 John Peel radio broadcast or Richard Meltzer "Hepcats From Hell" show where the excitement of old and new rock or whatever music you can claim as part of your own musical makeup is being presented for you to share in the energy of it all. But I gotta admit I was able to dredge up at least a thimblefulla entertainment value outta these strangities.

The first part features various synth music rarities sandwiched between some of the most weirdoid patter I've heard in ages...what was presented wasn't exactly announced so I'm in the dark as to what I heard but it was OK if yer nostalgic for seventies-styled electronic music sounds played on keyboards with a whole lotta buttons on 'em. The second part of the show was called "Christian Vision" and featured nothing but religious hippie folk/freak musings, some straight from the commune and others of perhaps slight interest. Closing out the show was "Stare Case" whatever that was, but it was the topper for me sounding like prime Smegma in need of a Meltzer voiceover.

Dunno about you, but I think I'll hold off on taking podcasts seriously until they have one presenting nothing but home made tapes of ranch house kiddoids playing radio that were made from the fifties onward...after all once you get down to it ain't that what the spirit of these podcasts really are, only since these tapes were being made by suburban pimplefarms with little purpose in life it really does mean a whole lot more to those who grew up under the influence of acting our natural jackoff selves!
Well, that's it until the midweek mini-post and next weekend's blowout. Hope you have a thrilling time of it all, and don't forget that if you want more of what's in store on this blog you can always buy multiple copies of readily available of my late lamented fanzine BLACK TO COMM by going to the highlighted link. I will admit that prices overseas have gone up tremendously so if you're rich and live outside the US you may have to kick up the scratch...otherwise I'll try to ship these to you the cheapest way so it ain't such a strain on your pocketbook. If you want any or all of these rags just drop me a line via the comment box (your comment will not be printed!) and we can work something out (I hope!). Paypal or checks can be used, though frankly I prefer the good ol' hard cash which fits inside my wallet oh-so-snuggily!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

michael gregory jackson's "clarity" is one of my favorite albums. even my mother loved it, and she wasn't a "jazzbo" by any means or really into "new age" either. (some critics have referred to "clarity" as "proto-new age.") i borrowd a copy from the local library. i wish i could get a copy now........