Sunday, October 27, 2013

Certain readers have written in noting a strain on my being that's persisted since at least the early days of Autumn. For those of you who have noticed all I can do is congratulate you on being such observant people! Really, the past month or so has induced a giant mass of pressure being pounced upon my being, not because of any personal demons I've been struggling with (face it, those demons have won long ago!), but because the thought of me having to rake up and dispose of all these leaves that have been falling off the trees this if they were gonna jump into the trash bag 'n dispose of themselves without any personal prodding on my behalf...not to mention cleaning the gutters is just too maddening to shake outta my obviously overworked and overwrought mind! And of course the mere idea of me going up and down that rickety latter to scrape who-knows-what outta the gutters (I have the feeling that the neighborhood cats 'n squirrels like to use 'em as a latrine) really does a number on me...enough to be giving me weirder dreams'n the one I had last night even (it was one of my recurring GILLIGAN'S ISLAND dreams dealing with a brief mid-eighties revival of the series with the original cast, only for some strange reason Richard Deacon was one of 'em! Stranger'n the one I had a good seven or so years back where the Professor was wearing a "hip" ponytail while dressed in judge's robes!). I know you all have had those falling dreams where you are pushed off a ledge or fall out of a tree only to suddenly wake up in a cold sweat, but not every night like I do during gutter cleaning season!

Well, impending backbreaking work and strange dreams dealing with untied ends from childhood kultural significance aside, here are this week's reviews!


Will strangeties never cease? I mean, here's an entire Cee-Dee consisting of nothing but tracks recorded by a bunch of English school kids which were pressed on to records from the late-fifties until the early-eighties, and it ain't like these kids were necessarily being led on by their over-rambunctious stage mothers or teachers either! Naw, these tracks were not only performed by kids but in many cases were written by kids for school projects, and I must admit they sure did a boffo job above and beyond the call of just putting forth enough to get a good grade. Well, it sure beats cutting open a dead frog!

Some of it might seem out of place...after all, the Nick Nack Kids are pretty much household names in households that still bellow out "This Old Man"...but the all-gal choirs, avant garde soundscapes and a Scarlatti piano piece do prove that grade schoolers like these ain't as stoopid as teachers and parents tend to make 'em out to be. Some of this is amazingly serious while a don't drink and drive project is light hearted kidstuff that kinda misses the intended target. After all, how many ten-year-olds are boozing it up and jumping into the family car anyway? But whatever, this sorta comes off as the aural counterpart to those artwork by children studies where some seven-year-old's art is compared to ancient works or Picasso for that matter. Only this ain't as stodgy or as clinical in its approach (though the booklet notes should have been more thorough---many a gap and omission leaves me hungerin' for more background information!).

Kinda makes me wish that the songs that my cousin and I created at age seven were preserved for future generations and collections such as this. We really created some doozies, like our spoof of the classic "Let The Sun Shine In" entitled "Let the Moonshine In" which really rattled my aunt who thought we were ruining a nice wholesome song, not to mention that all-time classic "Pick My Nose in the Middle of February"! Yeah, I know that stuff like that would never make it outta the back porch and onto a record let alone Cee-Dee years later but hey, what can you expect from a buncha suburban slobs anyway? It ain't like we were creative like all those English fags now, were we?
Bill Barron-THE TENOR STYLINGS OF... CD-r burn (originally on Savoy)

Wish that I had one of those encyclopedia kinda jazz minds like Gary Giddins or Bill Shute so I can rattle off to you more about this jazz saxophonist, but since I don't I hadda do my googlin' just like everyone else. Turns out that Barron's a guy who had previously played with Cecil Taylor and would later end up on Ted Curson's TEARS FOR DOLPHY, an album that I never really quite wrapped my Eustachian tubes around. Nothing quite awe-inspiring on this '61 sesh either, though Barron and band (also including not only Curson but Coltrane bassist Jimmy Garrison) know how to keep things moving while doing the post-bop drive. Might even suit you well even if you don't feel as nerve-beaten as I have these last few days!
Various Artists-KEEP OFF THE GHOUL-TIDE! (pudgy pickings from the virtual thrift store) CD-r (compiled by Bill Shute)

Another Bill Shute sampler of stuff you're never gonna hear on drive time radio (unless I was program director!), that's for sure! Mostly unfamaliar, at least one bell-ringing name (Positively 13 O'Clock of "Psychotic Reaction" on PEBBLES Volume 1 fame) appears...oh wait, so do the Kasenetz-Katz Super Cirkus doing "To You With Love" which just hadda've stymied all of the kids who bought the "I'm in Love With You" single and, as usual, wanted to get their money's worth outta it by spinning the flip!

Also on board is more country twang courtesy Ruth Dalton with Wayne Johnston's Boys, black gospel by the Angelic Gospel Choir for those of you who go for things like this, locally-produced soul from Cleveland's Soul Notes and various garage band gurgles that sound so neighborhood you kinda get the idea that they were recorded next door! (As far as "answer records" go the Imposters' "Wipe In" has gotta be the cheeziest of 'em all!) Especially strange is a side off an album by a Korean singing group called "Bunny Girls" who do their sixties pop schtick in their own native tongue...they may not be the Korean answer to Japan's Peanuts but man, if you're gonna riot in their neighborhood I'll betcha they've got pretty good aim so out!
The Dirtbombs-OOEY GOOEY CHEWY KA-BLOOEY! CD-r burn (originally on In The Red)

Personally I like mine Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy, but this will do. A surprisingly crafted tribute to late-sixties SoCal sunshine pop with a few sidetracks into Box Tops mid-South twang. Not quite the bubblegum bonanza that leader Mick Collins says it is, but considering the lack of any sorta smart pop criteria being pumped out in this age of eternal Patti Page glop recycled as _________________ (fill in the blank with whatever female "belter" you have the most loathing for) this does come off fresher'n your gal's rag after a heavy dousing of lye. I get the feeling that Brian Wilson's gonna be wantin' to do some heavy boppin' on this group's collective heads after he hears "We Come In the Sunshine," but its best to let the courts decide.

Various Artists-THE BYG DEAL CD-r burn (originally on Finders Keepers)

One via Thomas Gilmore, this time a sampler of the BYG (with and without Actuel) label's rock wares that was released obviously to cash in on the collector's cult surrounding the legendary French label. Y'know, the one that was best known not only for a slew of late-seventies bargain bin entries at your fave shopping mall emporium but poor pressings and a notorious ripping off of the artist. Mostly hippie stuff here, though you don't have to feel self-conscious listening to Daevid Allen and Gong or AME Son because they certainly don't reek patchouli like some of the entries do. Oddly enough, this contains a cover of the Standells hit "Dirty Water" as performed by some English cats (oooh, am """""I""""" in the groove!) called Freedom you probably will hate, but since they probably hate you everything's even. Dock ten pts. for including the Art Ensemble of Chicago's "Rock On!" (a boffo inclusion mind you), and fading it out right when Roscoe Mitchell's toughass sax solo gets into gear!
THE OFFSET: SPECTACLE CD-r burn (sent by Tom Gilmore)

Not too sure about this one...was it originally a vinyl album released by the Spectator K label, or did this one come out as a Cee-Dee somewhere? Whatever it was, I went into it cold not knowing a thing about 'em. Thought the low-fi drone the Offset: Spectacle people put forth was interesting enough what with the references to a whole slew of acts both well-known and well-loved from early Pavement to Tyrannosaurus Rex, and what's more the singer was not elocutioning in the Queen's English...sounded something more like French to me!

Turns out that this group wasn't Gallic in the slightest but Chinese, and the Offset: Spectacle are an act that has made their home in none other than Peking of all places! Yes, the sorry spectacle (whether offset or not) of self-produced non-commercial rock 'n roll has made its way deep into the heart of Maoland, but thankfully a whole lot was lost in the translation because this act is mighty entertaining w/o harboring the self-conscious narcissism of many similar acts who had been paraded out as the next hotcha wowzer save-the-world band over the past three or so decades. A pretty decent outing from this outta-nowhere act, and frankly I hope they stay in China with their mad drone music and unique under-the-garage stylings---after all, I'd hate to hear what they'd sound like AFTER being exposed to Western alternative/amerindie values, and so would you!
THE KIOSK III CD-r (David Keay, available via

Latest addition/edition from this boffo bedroom act that seems to be improving with each and every release. On this one the specter of krautitude seems to be growing with a few references to Neu! here and Faust there, and for some maybe not-so-surprising reason I can hear quite a bit of Slapp Happy in the mix! Even some very early Fairport Convention back when they were doing a better job of being the Jefferson Airplane than the 'plane themselves were. A pretty pleasant slice of home-made music that reminds me of the good ol' days of sub-garage antics---before it became just another cheap ploy for people to wanna swap their cassettes of musical jagoffs for my crudzine as if it were an honest and legal barter. (And don't worry, I used to attempt to do the exact same thing with people of a much greater stature than I was or shall ever hope to be!)
Left Lane Cruiser-ROCK THEM BACK TO HELL CD-r (originally on Alive)

Paul McGarry doesn't care for this one, but he thought he should send me a burn of it anyway. Thanks a lot Paul, now how about sending me some more things you don't like, such as MANTOVANI'S GREATEST HITS or even a few of those collections of THE WORLD'S BEST LOVED MELODIES that they used to sell on weekend tee-vee in order to shame loads of doof families into getting some culture into their homes!

All kidding aside this ain't bad. Nothing I think I'll be spinning again any time soon, but good enough hard-country thunk rock that owes about as much to early heavy metal moves as it does rockabilly. Maybe even Z.Z. Top (or even choice-era Black Oak Arkansas) meets the Cramps? Could be! Whatever, a fair enough screecher that delivers quite a lot more than many of the competition that's roaming out there in new and refreshing land.

The Hammersmith Gorillas-MESSAGE TO THE WORLD CD (Damaged Goods England)

Gotta say that I own a whole load of Jesse Hector-related booty whether it be in disc, disque or tape format. Also gotta admit that I ain't been spinnin' as much Jesse Hector-related material as perhaps I should, but now that winter's almost upon us maybe I will have some more time to spare in a few months time. A good 'un here finally digitized, showing the trio in tippy top form cranking out material both classic ("Foxy Lady") and new with that patented hard thrust that evokes everything from T. Rex and Slade to the late-fifties experimenters. Not bad, though wha' th' %*#& is it with those oscillating intros and outros???
Hooo boy have I got a hot one for you comin' up this you can't stand waitin' for it, eh? Well tough turds, because yer gonna hafta wait for the thing just like everyone else...what makes you think YOU'RE so special anyway???

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