Not much to blab about this weekend. It's a combination of the lack of time, moolah, and downright ambition that's got me, coupled by a huge dose of fatigue which has been multiplied by this fruit and yogurt diet that I've been torturing myself with as of late. (Hey, wanna know what I've had for dinner for the past ten months? I can rattle it off like that!) Although things are looking brighter on the horizon (once I send for some pertinent yummies to help me make it through my post-midlife crisis) right now I must admit that it really took a whole lot of effort and struggle to even crank this measly post out. Doing this 'un I gotta admit that I feel exactly the way I did back when I was a young stool boy and I hadda do that book report on HIROSHIMA and struggled through the entire thing in two hours or so (because my sister said I could!) only to write down that a big bomb was dropped and a lotta people died and I didn't care because they were the bad guys anyway. And maybe it was better because they all died in such excruciatingly horrific ways being bad people and all and I still wonder why I only got a "C" on it! I hope I fare better with you readers, but somehow I think this 'un's gonna get me sent back a year at The Greg Shaw Memorial Rock as a Way of Life fandom writing institute.
Of course the lack of totally brain-fried music coming my way ain't helping any. I know I shouldn't expect much to get me all hot and bothered here in the post-rock age but sheesh, I'm still hoping that something out there will enter into my life and give me the same sorta teenage tingles I used to get when I was a high school pusbag thumbing through the bins at any local record shop just wishing I could take about 3/4ths of the available wares home with me! It takes a lotta gumption to 'fess up to the fact that those days will never come back (it's a miracle that rock 'n roll lasted as long as it had through so many anti-r/r forces from disco music to SPIN magazine) but hey, at least I can fantasize...
Again, thanks to Bill Shute and Paul McGarry for the following burns. If it weren't for them not only wouldn't there be a post, but I'd probably be out a few hundred bucks trying to track down and write about a wide range of recordings you probably wouldn't think about buying in a millyun years!
Massive (28 track) collection of rockabilly legend and onetime Sun Records act Hobock, a historical trip back to the earlier days of a musical form that hasn't had this much swing in it since the day Bobby Sherman replaced Ricky Nelson in the hearts of many a pinup princess nationwide. Hotcha newies mingle with familiar faves (dig the particularly potent take on Charlie Rich's "Lonely Weekend" not to mention a totally out-of-character cover of "Wipeout"!) that benefit from that low-budget studio feel...these remind you of what any major act would call "demos" but this be THE REAL THING! Mix up some Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee, a tad Holly (and even a smidgen Jonathan Richman circa I JONATHAN!) and you'll get an idea of what Hobock sounded like. Naturally that ain't anything like experiencing the guy firsthand so like, find that download and find it now!
***STERLING BLYTHE SINGS CD-R burn (originally on Crown Records)
Country music a good ten years before the long hair and beard crowd and thirty before it merely became standard ol' AM glop with a choice fiddle, steel guitar whir and standard southern accent thrown in. Some typical attempts at "crossover" can be detected, though there's still enough paens to the downhome style to be discerned. If you went wild for Marty Robbins you might find Blythe quite tasty, though typically snobbish anti-country urbanites will probably do best to stick with their K.D. Laing.
***The Easybeats-THE SHAME JUST DRAINED CD-R (originally on Repertoire Records, Germany)
Australian faves' 1977 odds 'n sods collection with additional beef-up courtesy Repertoire. Like most mid-sixties groups on the ascent there's the flash of power-pop as well as the usual commercial aspects tossed in which usually dilute the energy, but in all the resultant spew is way more'n just passable. Still, there's nothing here as attention-grabbing or as earth-shattering as "Friday on my Mind" which might dissuade some of you pickier readers from considering the undoubtedly available download wandering about on the web. The additional trackage courtesy Repertoire are a boon, especially with the three Coca-Cola commercials that tops this off in a particularly heart-warming way.
Living proof that modern "garage band" acts don't have to smoke turd. 'n yeah, enough rockcrit hyperbole about acts like the Woggles has been spilled on the ground more'n Onan, but for once it's sure grand seeing it used on these long-standing practitioners of the high energy brigades 'stead of the usual hype o' the week. Takes the general mode of early-eighties six-oh crankout and magnifies it a few times to the point where it undoubtedly surpasses most mid-eighties wimpifiers of the form. Even topples some late-nineties brave tries a la the Mooney Suzuki and Star Spangles. Boy am I drowning in a frothing wall of bromides, but as usual I could give a stroonad.
***Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet-SAVVY SHOW STOPPERS CD-R (originally on Cargo Records)
Sounds like something Lindsay Hutton would have been dedicating one of his hand-printed pages to back during the late-eighties days of THE NEXT BIG THING and like, who could blame him? As for me, these moderne-day attempts at various sixties accomplishments did tend to wear thin, but I can handle Shadowy's tributes to early-sixties instrumental madness even if the production and general sound just calls out late-eighties. Nice attempt as reaping the fruits of the past for a (then)-modern clientele, though in many ways this does come off like hipster music's answer to THAT SEVENTIES SHOW, ifyaknowaddamean...
***Various Artists-MAD ABOUT THE ENDS AND ODDS CD-R (compiled by Bill Shute)
More "thrift store" selections and some good 'uns too...Jimmy Reed starts this off with two pretty sharp blooze instrumentals (with "Odds and Ends" being particularly eerie what with that plucked violin) before traipsing off into various avenues of old timey strangities. One winner for sure's Marvin Rainwater backed by Link Wray and the Raymen on "Boo Hoo" while the Lee Dawson Syndicate's "Last Chicken in the Shop"'s a rather driving instrumental that woulda sounded good on any suburban hi-fi component in the early-sixties (or afterwards). But why did Bill hafta stick that English pooftah (a redundancy if Archie Bunker is to be believed) Noel Coward right in the middle of things? Talk about ruining the mood of the thing in one fanabla-esque swoop!
Hey , this doesn't sound half bad. Or whole bad for that matter. As you might know a good portion of these eighties/nineties garage bands might have been a lot better'n what else there might have been out there in notice me land, but frankly I never felt any of 'em could stand up to the teenage dunce thud of the original generation of groups. But the Oblivians, although as modern as any other group trying to ape mid-seventies suburban slobdom, have a good pounce in their sound and you can believe they're the 1966 deal if you squint your ears a bit. Or even 1976 if you believe that the punks of those days were merely ripping off the punks of yesteryear and peddling it as if created out of whole (or at least ripped) cloth.
***Various Artists-FEELING HIGH-THE PSYCHEDELIC SOUNDS OF MEMPHIS CD-R burn (originally on Big Beat)
Didn't know so much psych came outta The South, but it did and it just wasn't Little Phil and the Nightshadows either! And hey, most of this is pretty solid late-sixties thud which doesn't sound all incest and pepperminty either. Groups like the Goatdancers laid down a pretty tough organ-dominated thud w/o any of the "spiritual" trappings of hippie mysticism and even the various Beatles covers don't come off all sunshine oracular either. Yeah it kinda drags in spots, but it sure beats the heck outta some of the gunk that was making its way to the radio at the time. Biggest surprise...three tracks by the Knowbody Else, an act that later went by the moniker of Black Oak Arkansas! Two of 'em 're from an early single if I do recall perhaps incorrectly, while "Flying Horse of Louisiana"'s taken from a live gig (not to mention a Black Oak sampler from '93) and man is it a dark and deep force of drive that perhaps makes alla that R. Meltzer blab about BOA being the closest anyone's come to the Velvet Underground on record seem for real! A live album of the entire show is needed, and the sooner the you know the rest of the score...