Saturday, October 19, 2013

Eh, not much to say right now. Don't feel like talking, being sociable, or even breathing for that matter. Here's what's been spinning on my various 'tables this past week, and if you don't like it why don't you go write a letter to your mother or this point in time I could hardly give a whit what any of you think (and judging from the amt. of feedback I get via the blog, the feeling is most certainly mutual!).

Kim Gordon and Bill Nace-BODY/HEAD CD-r (originally on Matador)

Like, what the fuh? I mean, me actually reviewing a release on the Matador label which is run by that adolescent tough boy poseur (copyright 1977) grand master of self-important assholism Gerard "Go back across the room and stick Eddie Flowers' dick back in your mouth" Cosloy himself? The guy who pretty much single-handedly caused a huge drop off in sales of my saintly fanzine with his incessant rantings against myself-financed, hand cranked pride and joy??? You'd think I'd take to reviewing a Matador release with about the same sense of objectivity as Chuck Eddy would review a release by Sister Ray, but since I got this one free via Bob Forward (to whom I give a big "thank you," I think) I figure hey, why not? And besides, at this point in time I am that hard up.

Really nothing that special here. Music that's been done a good twenty-plus years ago by other remnants of the New York Lower East Side cadre. Perhaps they didn't do it as good as Nace and Gordon do here though, but at least it's in the same vernacular. Moody drone that's enveloping enough, but lacks the proper warmth and drive that made previous drones oh-so-enticing.

But hey, these modern-day experimental types are totally devoid of any humanity or feeling don'tcha know...I think it had something to do with eight years of Reagan and four years of Bush I, then eight years of Bush II later on. Well, if you were some young radical type writing about rock music for your blog you'd probably come up with the same excuse now, wouldn't you??? (And oh, am I trying to be copasetic with all of you Marcusians out there who love to troll blogs such as mine!)

To be honest about it, I can't say that I've been that much of a fan and follower of the entire Sonic Youth cadre since the very late-eighties. The lack of money, access and a serious reaction against the entire miasma that had settled upon what we used to call "underground rock" sorta had me steering clear of these post-no wave styled acts for quite some time. Well, at least Miss Gordon hasn't gone new age, which I somehow would have thought the next logical evolutionary move given some of the other offal to have come out of the New York under-the-underground.

Your take may differ, but for me BODY/HEAD represents the sounds of the once-bright hope of past accomplishment stuck in neutral not going anywhere and merely existing if only to exist as a musical artifact. Certainly a labor of love, even if some might be tempted to say self indulgence. I wouldn't, but then again I wouldn't exactly say that this has the same verve and style that drew me to Sonic Youth back when they had just released their debut on Neutral which sounded like yet another one of those intelligent and brilliant flashes of early Velvet Underground energies wrapped up for an era in rock that seemed rather precarious. And hey, if a certain label head would just happen to see this particular writeup and once again feign self-pitying rage (as we'd all expect) well hey, look at the bright side...maybe Patrick Amory is across the room, and you know what to do now don't you sweetie!
Barrance Whitfield and the Savages-DIG THY SAVAGE SOULD CD-r burn (originally on Bloodshot)

Uh like, this is more like it! I gotta admit that I was one bozo who had ignored Mr. Whitfield back during his eighties rise to "fame" perhaps because there were too many other things that were begging for my money out there, but who could deny that this guy was one of the few real-life people singing the blues in an era where the genre seemed to get slicked up thanks to the likes of Robert Cray and a whole buncha white guys who thought they were pursuing the down-and-out lifestyle. Whitfield sings tough and gruff the way you'd expect a blues man to belt it out, and the Savages mix just the right amount of garage band energy and hard urban blues to make this a record that (maybe) could unite the hardened r 'n' b  and rock & roll fans! Though I kinda doubt it...I mean, why would they WANT to unite in the first place? It's kinda surprising to hear such a hard blare here in the 'teens long after the original spirit had died...give it a listen before it too gets buried under the weight of way too many Miley Cyrus disques.
Various Artists-SWEET CRAWLIN' REBEL CATERPILLARS CD-r burn (tossed my way via Bill Shute)

Remember Captain Beefheart's "Best Batch Yet"? Well, the latest round of Cee-Dee-Ares that Bill Shute sent me were the worst batch yet, since none of 'em would play on my chairside entertainment system w/o emitting a loud chirpy squeaky echo-y sound that makes each 'n every one of 'em all but listenable! And sheesh, it seemed as if Bill had sent yet another set of goodies that I woulda enjoyed too. Well, worse things have happened to once I was on the Atlantic Records alternative music promo list!

This slightly older collection does spin fine enough, all the way through in fact w/o skipping or just stopping as if it were a deer caught in your headlights on some late-autumn midnight road. It's got some way-too familiar trackage true (Max Frost, Blues Magoos, Seeds...) but some neat surprises as well, like an early Buckinghams track that sounds just the right balance of pop and garage band without the overbearing horns that cluttered up their hits! Bill also slapped on a toon by one of a thousand groups from the sixties calling themselves the Invaders, Hasil Adkins taken straight from 8-track (!), and for a change of pace, a lounge-y version of "Sweet Caroline" that sounds as if it was recorded live at the "Ripple Room" in the Moonlight Lounge right before the mob burned it to the ground. Good stack of singles you got here Bill, and next time make sure the heads are clean on your machine next time!
Various Artists-MICHIGAN MELTDOWN VOLUME 2 LP (Coney Dog)

And I thought volume one was a wild ride...lemme tell you in this case the sequel tops the original hands down. Here's more of that MC5-driven Detroit rock style via a slew of extremely obscure self-produced single sides which really bring all of that hype about the area being one force field of musical scronk home, y'know???

If you're a humongous fan of self-produced, garage-recorded, poorly-pressed singles man, this is the platter for you! Twelve rarities pop up here, and if they ain't trying to mimic the avant rock of the MC5 they're going for the Stooges sense of aural overload. Or maybe even something of their own for that matter, but whatever it is these groups really do create that high-energy style that had doofuses like me scouring THE MUSIC INDEX trying to find any reference to these groups and more as if the publications of the day were exactly gonna be brimming full with detailed minutiae on the Up or even Carnal Kitchen!

Fave raves (at least for me) include Attack's "Dream" (mildly MC5 riddled), TNS's "Time's Up" (heavily Stoogified), Canada's "Money is Love Heredity" (I'll bet they didn't even know they were influenced by the Velvet Underground!), the Mixed Generation's "Unhooked Generation" (Freda Payne taken to the logically correct Detroit-rock extreme) and Spaced's double sider! And hey, I don't even know who what or where these obviously punk rockin' locals with names like Ape and Chuckles who appeared in this band were comin' about a group trying to create their own genre of rock 'n roll right before your very ears, succeeding, then losing it for a good forty or so years!
The Sadies-INTERNAL SOUNDS CD-r burn (originally on Yep Records)

Not much I can really say about these Canadian alt-country rockers other'n they can put up a halfway-decent moderne-psychedelic sound even if fully ingrained in the "patented" indie style and that their more twango numbers do emit an air of Elliot Murphy around the time of NIGHT LIGHTS which really is a good feat. Other'n that all I can say is that, although the Sadies are a group with musical talent and an ability to craft some slightly appealing numbers, they seem to tread the same waters of post-eighties Long Ryders psych rock compete with western ride-'em-cowboy sensibilities. If I ever do happen to spin this one again it'll probably be out of either extreme boredom or the fact that I forgot I had spun it in the first place and decided to repeat myself as usual (it has been done.) My moolah's gonna be on the to plunk down a dime for a bet???
Clifford Thornton-FREEDOM AND UNITY CD-r burn (originally on Atavistic)

Bill sent a fanabla of a good one here (which didn't even sport any defects unlike the platters promulgating his last package), a '67 sesh from valve trombonist Thornton and his "New Art Ensemble." Somehow I don't get the feeling that Roscoe Mitchell would have been one to sue over the name of Thornton's aggregation, and after a spin or two I'm sure the erstwhile AEC multi-instrumentalist found someone who most definitely was more than just a "kindred spirit".

Fantastic down vibe on this session, very similar to the boffo Marzette Watts ESP platter probably because of not only Thornton's but Karl Berger's presence on that 'un as well as this. It's even gnarlier if you can imagine which is saying something about a release featuring the guitar maulingness of Sonny Sharrock. Fantastic players too, most of whom other'n Jimmy Garrison are unknowns not only now, but then (one guy sports the moniker of Tyrone Crabb, one of the best nom-de-trues to pass my eyes since Dick Hyman). The reissue also has two bonus tracks meaning that you're getting a better and cheaper bargain downloading this 'un rather'n dishing out the bucks for an original. Be thrifty for once, willya?
Doubt I'll be in a better mood for next week's extravaganza, but I will give it a try. Until then, as Adam Clayton Powell used to say, "keep the faith---and better hold onto the cash too while you're at it."


diskojoe said...

Thanks for your great review of the new Barrence Whitfield album. I was the one who did the interview of him which appeared in Ugly Things several yrs. ago. He's currently in France & Spain touring like a madman & there's been plenty of great reviews including yours.

Anonymous said...

hello there

do you know a band called HOT ICE hailing from new york circa 74/75.

Try the site

There's a nice picture of them. And you can even hear a song.

I thought it might interest you .

They were playing prog rock. But the picture's band is cool

Christopher Stigliano said...

Thanks for the info...this just might answer at least one or two questions regarding prog rock on p-rock turf that I have.