Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hi snookums. I'm stayin' up extra late tonight because the automatic sump pump in the basement is broken and I have to check on the rising rain water every few hours in order to utilize the not-so-automatic floor pump when flood levels appear imminent. In between slogging through an all-night shift that reminds me of my old night watchman job of yore I thought I'd do my usual finishing up touches and fine tunings on this weekend's megapost, even if I otherwise would prefer enjoying a NyQuil-induced dream that usually involves situations so abstract even Sidney Peterson would have rejected them as plausible film scenarios. So if the writing seems a bit woozy in spots and lacks the viscosity demanded of such an important blog as this'll know that things are going just as they have been these past ten or so years so be grateful and SHUT THE HELL UP. (But don't worry, I get the feeling that I'll be doing more'n my share of "scrubbing" once I get my standard ten hours of sleep in and discover what a turdbomb of a post I unleashed upon you while fighting off the arms o' Morpheus.)
Well, I always did wanna know exactly what kind of a "libertarian" I am, so I went to this site (which I discovered via the EX-ARMY LIBERTARIAN NATIONALIST blog) to find out! The results of this rather interesting quiz can be found directly below, and to be honest and truthful like I always am I must admit they don't surprise me one bit, even though I am glad to know that I am most definitely not the kind of libertarian Jay Hinman puts himself forth as. Heck, I should have guessed the results right off the bat since for years I've been fancying myself an "anarchist," and a real down-to-earth-and-not-a-pretend-anarchist-who's-really-a-communist like many of you readers have been for quite some time! Yeah, I know that you can probably take as much stock in a test like this as you could some "What Kind of Sex Animal Are You?" quiz found in an old issue of COSMOPOLITAN, but I wouldn't doubt that there's at least a shred of truth in what is brought out. Maybe a tiny shred but something I can latch onto with muddled glee. Maybe I can quibble with the results a bit even if I don't even consider myself a total believer in free markets as they stand these days, but like I said it's just a test, and for the second of these political quizzes that I took on-line I must say that I did get a better result'n the one where I tried to discover whether or not I was a fascist (they told me to get lost, and you can bet I felt disappointed!):

You Scored as Anarcho-capitalist 
Anarcho-capitalists are libertarians who oppose the state entirely and propose to have a free market in the provision of security and arbitration. The term anarcho-capitalism derives from Murray Rothbard to describe a stateless society based on the principles of laissez-faire or the philosophy in support of such a proposition. Anarcho-capitalists may tend to still associate more with the political right and make use of the political process, unless they are agorists or left-libertarians at the same time.
"Small L" libertarian

Libertarian socialist

So readers, what do you stand as if my own fabian socialist-sniffing Geiger Counter wasn't clicking away like a pair of amphetamine-riddled castanets!
Well here they be, this weekend's big batch o' reviews! Not as big a batch as you would have hoped for, but given how the past week did progress at a particularly slow if not dirge-like pace I guess I should be glad that I made it outta the thing alive! All but the first writeup are from Cee-Dee burns that were sent to me by readers both grateful and not, and considering how I'm running out of opportunities to purchase the kind of platters that I think I would enjoy here in the 'teens (that combined with the lack of produce I'd like to pick for my sound salads---boy I am getting woozy!) I'm more than thankful for these unsolicited handouts! So w/o further a-doo-doo, here's this week's list of tracks to twist (or something like that):


I bought this one for purely teenage throbdom reasons that would have absolutely positively nothing to do with any smart set type who tunes into this blog. Y'see, when I was but a mere pimplefarm I used to prowl through department store record racks and look at the album covers just dreaming that I could own the whole lot of 'em (well, I wasn't too keen on the Don Ho ones), and unlike many of the people I went to school with I sure did remember the Kinks! Back when the original British Invasion was plowing everything in its path into the mulch the Kinks sounded, looked and snarled better'n the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined! Not only that, but the occasional Kinks "oldie" being spun on the just-recovering from the '69/'70 doldrums AM dial sure came off better in light of a whole load of the goop that was being spun, and come to think of it they sure fit in with the good trackage being played during that brief resurgence as well. Not only that but, unlike many of the mop top faves of a good eight/nine years back the Kinks were still together and putting out albums...sheesh, one would have thought they woulda combusticated ages ago when the music scene began to take a turn for the teenybop/hippydippy worse.

Do you think that I still have the same teen tingles over getting a copy of this 'un in the here and now that I would have had if I had latched onto one back when it first hit the racks? Well, not quite, though I will say that my general nerves and emotion nodes have been deadened over time just like my tastebuds have after having eaten too much Szechuan. Repeated spins of VINCEBUS ERUPTUM can do that to you, but I was still able to muster up a little bit of teenage oompah over this '73 platter. The feeling did come back a bit, like the one that I got after originally looking at the cover way back when getting the impression that the Kinks had turned into a fourteen-piece band and actually allowed gurls into their ranks. Hmmm, the Kinks certainly were entering into the seventies with that all-inclusive mindset that was so in vogue with the folks who were running ROLLING STONE, that's for sure!

As far as the music to be heard goes, well I really gotta say that I have more mixed emotions over this 'un 'n the time I was tempting Sam with treats during one of his barking rampages and he didn't know whether to be angry or gluttonous. It is clear that the specter of cockier seventies rock modes had unfortunately clutched its way into Ray and Dave's style while that old fuddy duddy English Music Hall bounce that might have sounded great on "Sunny Afternoon" just comes off tiresome and worn. (Speaking of "Sunny Afternoon," "Sitting in the Midday Sun" might just be a middling yet pleasant enough sequel.) However when they get into a more hot pop flash mode custom-made for the early-seventies AM pop rebirth the Kinks are cooking pretty good to the point where I even dig their fifties nostalgia paen "One of the Survivors," a number which'll make anyone forget the gassy "Cricket" in a flash.

Dock a buncha points for this being a concept album and the first of who knows how many parts, but at least the Kinks came out smelling better despite all the amputations. True they weren't the Kinks of yore, but they sure weren't as embarrassing to the feeling and movement of teenage sounds as James Taylor mewling in his heroin-induced stupor while straight-as-an-arrow gals were thinking he was singing directly to them.

But then again, had I heard this one back when it came out I get the feeling that, given my ever-budding and distorted teenage tastes, I would have written the Kinks off for good for being such brassy old timer music shucks or somethin'! Shows what sort of a stupid Special Education mongrel I could have been and in many ways do remain. Maybe if they wore shrunken heads around their waists and carved each other up with Bowie knives...
Walter Brennan-HE'S YOUR UNCLE, NOT YOUR DAD CD-r burn (originally on Key Records)

Yes, tee-vee's Amos McCoy (best not to mention THE TYCOON in his presence!) lays it all out on the table as what was wrong with Ameriga in the mid-sixties, and it was even recorded "live" in the same studio the Seeds probably recorded their live album in, if you get my drift! Bill probably lifted this one from WFMU's "Beware of the Blog" (which is where I lifted the snazz cover on the left!), and although the guy who writes for them is so obviously full of snark sanctimony given his pithy if lofty East Coast liberal-cum-radical putdown of this platter (why, this man actually has friends who participated in ACT UP's trashing of St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1989 which was such a success bringing attention to the fact that anal penetration and rimming are such healthy practices which should be protected by the bludgeoning club of the law!) I take quite a different approach to the genius and down-to-earth common sense that Walter Brennan puts forth on these two sides.

On this outing for the "Key" label, Brennan tackles just about everything from the de-evaluated dollar to foreign aid and civil unrest and although the message he tosses out won't jibe with people who still think that fifty years of gimmedom has benefited the poor or that the average mid-Amerigan is nothing but a glorified pack mule I find Brennan's whole approach a whole lot more refreshing than I would listening to any alternate Great Society type with their newspapers or broadcast forums telling me just what a rat I am for being able to merely scratch out a living and coming off so suburban!

True Brennan's patriotic appeal just doesn't make it with this anarcho-capitalist type (and thankfully he doesn't get into his anti-Jewish rap---after all Brennan himself said that Irving Pincus and Sheldon Leonard were the only two decent Jews in Hollywood and the rest...feh!), but the Academy Award winner who's lucky his statuettes haven't been taken back sure comes off like a glass of clear water after being forced to drink the Koolade that then-contemporaries like, say, Bill Moyers have been glugging down our throats for years! And although Brennan's old time right wing savvy has been surpassed by the likes of Jim Goad, Gavin McInnes and even that neoconnish Kathy Shaidle it's sure great listening to some still pertinent commentary that doesn't grate or come off so paternalistic like just about every shard of controversial tee-vee these past fortysome years has.

As I've been sayin' all along, it's speak-to-you, not AT you, and that really makes a difference if you're interested in getting a passel of disinterested parties to even lend ear to you in the first place. Not only that, but Brennan's sure a master of elocution, cornballus-if-funny jokes and just about everything that would have made him a real hoot at any smoker you could imagine. If you don't think this 'un makes me wanna snatch up the entire run of THE GUNS OF WILL SONNET on DVD I dunno what will!
Ray Martin and his Orchestra-UP-UP AND AWAY CD-r burn (originally on RCA Camden)

Bill Shute sez "want to feel like you are in the middle of a 1968 Dean Martin variety show...or a 1968 John Davidson special (and who doesn't)? This album TAKES YOU THERE." It mighta took Bill there, but all it did for me was dredge up memories of my pre-double digit days when one of my biggest concerns was how to spend the eighteen cents I had in my pocket without feeling too guilty because my dad said I should put it in the bank. Cheezoid renditions of the day's hits straight outta the Ding-a-Ling Sisters songbook done up to sound nice and mod even though you know your folk woulda hated them hippie sounds, true blue Guy Lombardo fans they who used to blanch when his band would do equally hokum covers of contemporary hits on New Year's Eve. The aural equivalent of those psychedelic neckerchiefs Oliver used to wear.
SHIZUKA CD-r burn with bonus live track (originally on PSF. Japan)

After getting burned on some not-up-to-snuff Japanese underground platters o'er the past few years I was kinda wary of this 'un. Thankfully this '94 effort featuring the warbling and guitar playing of the one named Shizuka is highly in collusion with the post-Rallizes underground mindset that made the past decade a li'l more bearable than it was. A strange mixture of slow, introspective music that reminds me of Pink Floyd's "Green is the Colour," with occasional girly-girl sing-songy vocals punctuated by sonic blasts of feedback-laden guitar that seems right out of the Mizutani Takashi school of broken eardrums. Speaking of Mizutani, the additional bonus track Fadensonnen burned on to this for me is a live track from '95 sporting the presence of the soon to be MIA Rallizes guitarist and as many a people would say, it's gosharootie!
Phil Yost-FOG-HAT RAMBLE CD-r burn (originally on Takoma)

Mildly engaging one-man jazz/folk sorta tossout that evokes everything from Sandy Bull to even one-time label-mate John Fahey. Obvious hip influence glomming abounds with a load of Ornette here and Lacy there done up in a proper boho way which, thankfully, doesn't reek either of hippie pretension nor whiz kid showoff. And with Yost's real-life albums (be on the lookout for BENT CITY after you snatch this one) costing an arm and a leg via the usual sources it's best you keep on the lookout for a free download somewhere here onna web, or better yet get a friend to do it for you like Bill Shute did it for me!
Endless Boogie-7/4/2013 KNOCKDOWN CENTER CD-r burn (submitted by P. D. Fadensonnen)

As you may know I am extremely wary of some of these newfangled psychedelic hard punk rock 'n roll groups making their presence known, but Endless Boogie is one that pretty much kept me entertained throughout this disque's bevy of extended jamz. Kinda funny/strange/GRANDE that there'd be a group cranking out these Hawkwind-styled drones and chords here in the mid-teens but there is, and these guys crank it out like it was 1969 and there were was nothing to look forward to in the coming years except late-night UHF TV! Even has some Stoogian input that wags used to call "Acid Rock" because they didn't know any better. Stuff like this keeps me from pulling the trigger on my boss, and not only I but boss should be really happy about it.
Various Artists-BLUE ARABIAN BARNYARD OASIS CD-r burn (thanks be to Bill Shute)

This collection of thrift store tracks I never saw in any thrift store I stepped foot in has a more Golden Age of Instrumentals feeling to it, not only because of the inclusion of the Wailers' boffo '59 tit-squeezer "Driftwood" but some mighty powerful tracks courtesy such forgotten acts going under such now-dated yet power-packed names as the Vaqueros, the Fatimas,and the Sound Breakers. And hey, I'm sure a good portion of 'em could give Bill Justis a run for the guitar twangy moolah had these records only made it outta the closet like they shoulda! Of course Bill put on some of that old-timey country and western wang-a-doodle (such as Jim & Edith Young's "Hill Billy Moon"), but since nobody's around to call me a hick for playing it I'll listen to it all without fear of embarrassment, ultra-sophisticado image I have and must retain. As an added bonus, Bill even put an end to this 'un with a couple of country tracks taken from an ancient (78 rpm) Peter Pan Record, so let's just say that it's the next best thing to crawling through a flea market without having to put up with an antique ice cream cone adhering to the sole of your sneaker!
Well, I made it through this weekend perhaps not with flying coloreds, but satisfactorily enough if I do say so myself. Back to the ol' sump for me, and remember to tune in mid-week for some asinine review of somethingorother... 


diskojoe said...

I got a kick out of your "cruel but fair" review of Preservation Act 1. Yes, there was a Preservation Act 2. It was a 2-album set that came out in 1974 & involved the conflict between Mr. Flash, the greedy powerholder that was introduced in Act 1 & Mr. Black, a do-gooder reformer type. Frankly, the songs themselves are rather weak compared to Ray's best, but the story itself is interesting since it seem to anticipate today's politcal situation.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Yeah I certainly do remember the ACT II with the billboard cover, though I couldn't remember if acts 3, 4, 5 or 6 ever made it out either under the PRESERVATION name or in some other clandestine form.

diskojoe said...

Nope, it was just Acts 1 & 2, although Schoolboys In Disgrace is a "prequel" since it's about Mr. Flash's schooldays.

I also forgot to mention that Preservation Acts 1 & 2 was actually performed on stage by something called the Boston Rock Opera on two occasions in the 90s
I actually saw one of the performances & the story made a bit more sense performed live.

Anonymous said...

Preservation Album (1973 & 1974)

It is a wonderful conceptual play a great beauty but underestimated. It is the most ambitious project davies Ray, why is the Bible of The Kinks !!!
Melodies all beautiful, elegant, metal instruments, strings, female vocals and varied to be a great play. Worst of all is that the conceptual albumnes usually have very bad review. GREAT WORK