Saturday, March 29, 2014

So like, uh, what have I been doin' these past seven or so earthspins anyway? What else but (once again) trying to get over the miasma of  having to live in a post-gulcheral 21st-century environment by resensifying myself with hotcha rockism-oriented reading material to accompany my evening musical listening excursions, THAT'S what! For me that means scraping up every shard of pertinent rock 'n roll-oriented reading material that had yet to graze my eyes and print it up for those pre-beddy bye hours when I'm just too tired to gaze at a computer screen but too mentally (and physically) active to actually go 'n hit the hay. Y'know, slip some late-sixties/early-seventies musical offering that has something to say as far as what a wretched fanabla I might be while reading some still-pertinent words written five decades back that seem to contain all of the meaning and knowledge I need to get through life, and if you can think of a better way to spend your evening hours other'n watching GILLIGAN'S ISLAND reruns then hop to it! And leave me alone while you're at it because frankly, I'd rather be spinning PARADIESWARTS DUUL while reading Nick Kent or some other worthy rockscribe that MATTERS!
Speaking of Kent, I've discovered a whole load of his classic NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS scribblings that I do not have to pay ROCK'S BACK PAGES' steep costs for (a nice site they may be but man, music is for THE PEOPLE and this writing should be free to all at least if you want to use hippie terminology to back up your pallid argument). I just did a little googling and came up with some classic writeups that I didn't have to spend a dime for (other'n for toner and electricity) including a pretty funny putdown of Pink Floyd circa. WISH YOU WERE HERE as well as some choice words pointed at Lou Reed and Iggy that were uttered a good eight or so years back when everyone else was singing their hosannas to high heaven because---well, they were Lou Reed and Iggy Pop.

And while I'm at it, Kent's old galpal Chrissie Hynd(e) did a good job herself not only with that by-now famous Eno article where he discusses the pornography of the world but a review of the Velvets' 1969 LIVE album that's almost as good as the one her former Ohio buddy Peter Laughner did for the short-lived underground rag ZEPPELIN. Y'know, I really wish that Hynd(e) would have given up her musical endeavors and stuck to rock screeding on a permanent least we wouldn't have been inundated with her band's rather fallow musings for lo these many years.

Like just about everything else connected with that once-driving and nerve-rattling world known as rock 'n roll, it's sure life-reaffirming to read these thirty-plus-year-old opines which sure make more sense'n anything that's been written since, including my own pissy prattle for a world long-dead if I must say so myself.  And as the years drag on and those high energy sounds seem more and more a relic of a time when music like this mattered on a first-hand basis, you know that the scribblings of Kent, Hynde, Bangs, Murray and so forth reverberate a whole lot more in our heart of rockist hearts now more than ever. Maybe it's time I crack out the check book and pay for another year of ROCK'S BACK PAGES because hey, I need Nick Kent TODAY a whole lot more'n ROCK'S BACK PAGES need the pittance I will have to pay ransom to get hold of their captive articles!
I know I shoulda mentioned them when they first hit the blogosphere, but some of these stories might have been flying even lower 'n that Malaysian plane to the point where they even zoomed past me! So in order to at least fulfill some sort of imaginary duty that I might have to you, the perhaps not-so-discerning BLOG TO COMM reader, here are a couple of obituaries that I thought I'd better pass your way lest I end up looking like a total stroon...

The passing of Scott Asheton, or "Rock Action" of Iggy and the Stooges fame did catch me off guard, because head-buried-in-the-sand me didn't even know the infamous drummer for the band had suffered a stroke a few years back marking his exit from the revamped group in the first place. But yeah, I will say that Asheton's death was a big one in the world of true rock 'n roll (and yeah, we can bicker about what that means to me as a pure rock fanatic and you as a dabbler at a future date), a bigger loss than that of such other pounders as John Bonham (a mere piddler in comparison) and Jeff Porcaro, a guy who certainly gets the kudos from mainstream rock-bred dolts but not ME! Keith Moon came really close, but gets notched a few points for having a big prog rock gong in his early-seventies set up. Ditto Mani Neumaier of Guru Guru fame, although both he and Asheton were obviously listening to the new thing drummers from Sunny Murray and Milford Graves on which reverberated in their playing. And allow me to stick my neck on the guillotine one more time, but I still think that Asheton coulda played drums on a whole slew of free jazz sessions and sound just in place as Don Moye, and the fact that he didn't might have been one of the greatest losses in the avant garde jazz world since Eric Dolphy died strictly because he didn't take drugs or drink booze unlike his more inebriated fellow musicians.

Although just about every "classic rock" aficionado would definitely up snoot at Asheton's stylings, those of us on that sainted "lower" plane have always reveled in the fact that Asheton's entire approach seemed like he gathered all of his knowledge regarding the drums by listening to Elvin Jones and replicating what he heard while behind the traps. A wild and primitive sound to match the subhuman antics going on from the rest of the band, and at a time when critics were writhing in pain over the rise of heavy metal and all of the base sludge that music in its better form was infesting across the amber waves of grain, the Stooges were taking that basic groan and making it sound even lower to the point where the music had gone from one chord to none. It was a strange sideshow music, a real ass-rape to the phony peace and love generation antics that were getting all of the accolades and money-go-round support, and although things wouldn't really flower until a few years later you can't deny it was the Stooges who helped edge this new decadence along. And of course Asheton's drum prowess was a huge banging oil can vibrant thud component to it all.

Whatever, another great in the true world of rock 'n roll has died, and like I really do feel like my own folks did back when their old timey faves were dropping like flies throughout the sixties and seventies. Rest on Scott, and say hiya to the other Stoogesmen who beat you to the punch.
While I'm at it, would this really be a blog that didn't know its duty (or should that be "doody") by neglecting to mention the recent passing of actress Mary Grace Canfield? I mean, who could forget that face which was proudly splattered across television screens throughout the sixties? Yes, none other than Ralph Monroe herself has gone to that big workshop in the sky (and as Brad Kohler said, "Now the Douglas's closet will never be finished!") and of course I couldn't be any sadder. I mean, this was one lady who really got around on tee-vee back then, and not only that but she appeared in a whole load of top-notch high-energy comedies from THE HATHAWAYS (the one where Jack Weston and Peggy Cass lived it up with the Marquis DeChimps in a boffo early-sixties Screen Gems Production that somehow foreshadowed BEWITCHED on a whole slew of levels) to THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW not forgetting more'n a few sitcoms (and even serious shows) that used to light the pre-prime time syndication cathodes until they got replaced with snoozeville entertainment news programs. Heck, as I mentioned she even turned up as Miss Grundy on that strange (because it had little to do with the actual comic) ARCHIE pilot, and if I could think of any actress other than Canfield to play the eternally spinster teacher it would have to be...Minerva Urecal but I don't even know if she was still alive at the time.

Brad thinks that Canfield's finest moment was that ANDY GRIFFITH episode where she plays Gomer Pyle's blind date and he runs off after gettin' a good eyefulla her, but that's only because he forgot to buy her a corsage like Andy and Barney did for their gals and the two of 'em end up partying it up in the living room anyway while Andy, Barney, Helen and Thelma Lou spend their evening thinking that Gomer was being nothing but a turdburger. Of course that's before Gomer espies Opie skinny-dipping across the way with the moonlight reflecting on his buttocks and highlighting them in a rather resonating way, accentuating his smooth mounds and cleavage and...oh that Brad really does have an active imagination because none of that really happened! In actuality right after the date Gomer did his usual Saturday night rounds at the Mount Pilot Greyhound bus station and YMCA acting extra friendly to the lonely boys striking out for fame and fortune in the big city...I mean, what did you think???
And now here's something I hope you really like! Gotta say that I've been pretty busy writin' up the revooze this week, and as you can see I've been inundated with a wide variety of boffo wares this go 'round that I will admit put a smile on my face and a song in my heart which is something that hasn't quite hit me in quite some time! Anywah, I get the same sneakin' feeling you'll be cozyin' up to these writeups as well given the plethora of hotcha information that's being spewed forth from my mental loins, and hey, if you even get aroused by my scribbles enough to latch onto one or more of these disques (some which still may be available!) I will be quite surprised. Y'see, I don't think anybody really reads this blog!

Simply Saucer-"Bulletproof Nothing"/"Bulletproof Nothing" (live) 45 rpm single (The Mammoth Cave Recording Company, Canada)

Big surprise of the week's this nice little single that reminds me of all of those other small-label self-produced singles I've been getting sent for a longer time'n I can imagine, if only because this 'un's a much better effort'n most of that ilk! Yes, it's a "new" one from perennial faves Simply Saucer, the fantastico "Bulletproof Nothing" done twice with the a-side being the familiar track from the always boffo CYBORGS REVISITED album while the flipster's a live take that sounds as if it could have been taken from the portable tape recorder of Imants Krumins himself. If I have to tell you how great and essential this is, you definitely must be a troll. One of the best pairs since Dolly Parton as they used to say, and a definite must for those of you (like me) who still seem stuck in a seventies underground rock whirl if only because just about everything else that came in its wake is but mere putty next to the original thrust of it all.
THE CHILD SEDUCERS, written by John Steinbacher and narrated by John Carradine CD-r burn (dunno what label it was originally on ???)

Do you (like me) think we've been screwed up beyond redemption what with all of the rampant decadence and libertine behavior permeating even our own tri-state area (which I'll admit has always been filled with its share of  uppercrust WASP-y social reformer types and their fellow buttlappers)? If so, just give a listen to this 'un and tell me that the sickness hasn't been lingering on for quite along time before Ameriga had become a haven for bringing out the worst in man. John Carradine narrates John Steinbacher's etapoint text regarding the steady slope we've been sliding down for quite a long time, and given that these bizarre occurrences and factual displays of depravity were going on in our schools (and entertainment industry) even as early as the late-sixties it's a wonder that not only the nation, but the entire planet itself, hasn't spun outta control right into the sun if only to purify itself. I can't argue with anything that's been revealed on this platter, but considering how narrator Carradine had just finished filming his part in MYRA BRECKENRIDGE when he recorded this 'un don't you think he's being just a little more than hypocritical on his part???

Well, I must admit that I love it the way he reacts after mentioning a magazine article from some pervo-sexo rag entitled "Does Penis Size Matter?"!!!! UGH! indeed!
MASTER PLAN INC. CD-r burn (originally on Jazzman)

Mid-seventies funk ain't exactly the thing that lights my pilot, but I gotta admit that the self-produced music made by this Chicago outfit is slightly engaging. Maybe its because these songs aren't glopped over with major label gloss that didn't always work out that well. Perhaps its due to the fact that some of these compositions are actually fine jazz-soul hybrids that don't sound like they're aimed at the same teenyboppers who voted "Kung Fu Fighting" the #1 song of all time on CKLW back '74 way. Maybe it's because there ain't a trace of disco beat to be digested. But mostly it's because none other than Paul McGarry sent me this 'un and if he likes it it gotta be good? Yes, I am not ashamed at taking the easy way out by resting on the laurels of someone whose tastes I really do admire!
Silvio Gualda-PERCUSSION CD-r burn (originally on Erato, France)

Not so surprised that this 'un slipped past my feelers, but better now'n 2100. Gualda leads a rather bang up ensemble through two sides of Moderne music that's not as plutonian as Xenakis yet strong enough to get your pop flipping out worse'n the time you accidentally played "Our Bizarre Relationship" in front of Aunt Prudy at the confirmation party. Maurice Constant's "14 Stations" reminds me of a percussion backing for an AACM album (the tubular bells coming off veddy similar to Anthony Braxton's CCC work) while Stockhausen's "Zyklus" is so sparse you kinda think John Cage would have been suing. I plan on getting the recently-released Max Neuhaus version once I get some scratch together...dunno if these two "realizations" are anything that can be compared side-by-side but by gum, I sure am up to the job if I do say so myself!
Matching Mole-BBC 1972 cassette tape dub (originally on B13)

Nope, dint buy this one, though I will say I was tempted. But hey, it ain't like I can have everything that I want, and for that matter I don't think I'll get everything that I need despite what Mick Jagger might think. But at least I got a dub of this thanks to Robert Forward via cassette tape with Leroy Jenkins' FOR PLAYERS ONLY on the flip. Nice to see you thinking about me Bob, but I already bought the latter with my hard-begged a short while ago a review of the actual vinyl which can be read almost directly below give or take a few writeups. But yeah, it's the thought that counts, and I gotta admit that it's grand to see that SOME people think only nice and precious thoughts about your humble reviewer while others certainly have the mental daggers forever aimed at a good and virtuous person such as I. But as we all know, that's the price ya pay for TELLING THE TRUTH!!!!!!

Robert Wyatt's post-Soft Machine effort doing the live thingie on the BBC with a future This Heater as well as some other Canterbury types whose other efforts escape me. Pretty hot in that early-seventies Soft Machine sorta way---jazzy yet nowhere near creating those knights in shining armor fending off dragons images that acts like Return to Forever and the Mahavishnus made a whole wad of dough with. In the reserved English avant jazz style that came up with more than a few import bin winners back in those days, and good enough that I might even comb through a few hundred boxes of cassettes to find my copy of LITTLE RED RECORD which I haven't spun in quite awhile and always considered a fairly feh effort in itself.
Smegma/Blood Stereo-GUFF VOUT MULCH LP (Nashazphone, available via Forced Exposure)

Yet another amazing Smegma collaboration, this time with English beret and stale doritos eaters Blood Stereo making a pleasant racket that doesn't sound that different from the past thousand Smegma releases. But that doesn't matter a bit like you thought I thought it would. Pre-recorded bits of everything from old 78s and teach your parrot to whistle instruction discs intermingle with neo-free horns and patented tee-vee sitcom quips. Extremely engaging even if it doesn't exactly hit you over the head, and if you're patient enough you'll even get to hear some nice neo-Velvet Underground riff drone on side two, and I mean that in a positive, pre-Velvet cult of alternative drivel sorta way!

Reconstructive facial surgery is definitely not in Blood Stereo's health package.
Leroy Jenkins/the Jazz Composers Orchestra-FOR PLAYERS ONLY LP (JCOA)

The writeup of NO ANSWER a few weeks back prodded me to get this by-now forgotten platter from '75 featuring noted AACM violinist Leroy Jenkins leading the Jazz Composer's Orchestra through two sides of free form brilliance that sorta represents where jazz was during those uneasy times between sixties freeform radicalism and late-seventies loft. Basically the Revolutionary Ensemble plus fifteen more musicians, Jenkins leads not only his fellow ensemble mates Sirone and Jerome Cooper but the likes of Anthony Braxton, Dewey Redman, Charles "Bobo" Shaw and Dave Holland among other worthies through some aural terrain that's surprisingly moving and engaging, not necessarily free metahonk splat but intricate and dare-I-say enveloping textures that can actually get you nice and relaxed while you still enjoy the form of it all. Definitely a must for AACM freaks as well as people like myself who sorta went head first into the new jazz via purchases of everything from the Creative Construction Company and Art Ensemble of Chicago with my hard begged money on the basis of some backpage CREEM magazine reviews and nothin' but!
Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds-HAUNTED HEAD CD-r burn (originally on In The Red)

Surprisingly wow-wee effort from Mr. Powers, the same guy who played for the Cramps, Gun Club, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds as well as a number of other groups I'm too tired to google at the time. If you (like me) thought the whole "garage band" idiom (whether it be revival/primitive rock/Anastasia Pantsios' asinine usage of the term to describe early Rush) was a dead and buried affair prepare to re-think your position after hearing this behemoth! A rehashing of old hoary riffage and ideals that don't sound like the latest bit of rockcrit fodder. Mature and maybe even erudite, yet retaining the boffo sub-schlub levels of punkitude that had me happily hopping through all sorts of bins for a good twenty years of my flea market existence. And I ain't just sayin' that because the leader of this group's a follower of this here blog!
Various Artists-FRIED DENNY SUMMERTIME FOCUS CD-r burn (via Bill Shute)

Some famous artists (Booker T., Jimi Hendrix, Blue Cheer) mingle with the likes of Denny McLain at the organ on this new platter of strangeities culled from all over the web. A nice mix of soul, blues (and yeah, I do mean Jimi whom I should loathe for technical reasons only) and hard rock (Crazy Elephant, an act that I think could have developed into an underground contender with a little putsch), with the likes of Rodney and the Blazers, Lord Rockington's XI and Eddie Miller and his Oklahomans (doing the original version of Engelbert Humperdink's "Release Me"!) scattered about. Also included are both sides of the DENNY McLAIN AT THE ORGAN platter where the hits of the late sixties are played on the Hammond for your own personal pleasure. Dunno about you, but when I heard this 'un all I could think about was hitting the Rockshore Lounge on Route 87 for one of their Friday night all-you-can-guzzle seafood 1967, that is!
See you mid-week? So like I even have to tell ya???

No comments: