Saturday, March 01, 2014

Who would have thought that In The Year Of Our Lord the Common Era 2014 I would, in the privacy of my own living room at that, be enjoying GILLIGAN'S ISLAND reruns during the prime time hours and while dressed in naught but my jammies! Yes, if anything has given me a reason to survive in a day and age which has hardly anything goin' for it, these classic episodes of what just has to be one of the top tee-vee series of the mid-sixties that keeps me going. I'm sure glad about it because frankly, it's getting really hard to get all hot and bothered over the umpteeth showing of CASABLANCA on TCM and that's no lie!

Sure I hate the way these programs have been butchered in order to cram more ad space, and I've yet to see the infamous Jap sailor who doesn't know the war is over ones (or that one where the Skipper is mistakenly hypnotized into thinking the rest of the castaways are Imperial Army bucktooths), but otherwise the airing of these boffo programs does a whole lot to resensify my spirits in a time when they certainly are sagging lower'n a non-trussed weightlifter's babymakers. I can't think of a thing wrong with these, from the chemistry between the actors to the ingenious and imaginative plot twists that the writers had to come up with in order to keep things moving, and I gotta say that it's really difficult for me to understand how all of the snobs and sophisticates coulda poo-poo'd this 'un while praising to the rafters pure drek from PAUL SANDS IN FRIENDS AND LOVERS to the rather unfunny Charlie Chaplin, who once you get down to it was nothing but haughty intellectual fodder at least when he wasn't out screwing ten-year-old girls.

Whaddeva, I still find it extremely  heart cockle-warming (in that goofy suburban slob sorta way) knowing that I spent my budding kiddoid tootsietoys and enema years watching GILLIGAN first run while fifty years later I'm watching the same episodes here in my declining years---and without a tootsietoy or enema in sight! While settling down to view these after a long day in a world I really want nothing to do with, its easy for me to start thinking back about just how boffo those days were at least until the social planners (all of those crud teachers I had included!) and crybaby minority types started blaming everybody but themselves for their woes, and how topsy turvy things have become to the point where its more'n obvious the insane are running the asylum and the good guys are on the run. And also what a bunch of turds the kids of the baby boom and "Generation X" years were, they being inundated with the best tee-vee, radio, music and comics money could buy yet denying the same enjoyment to their kids, preferring to cram politically/socially prim and proper entertainment down the their throats as if it were castor oil. And the stupid shits lap it all up instead of rightfully revolting like they ought to!

Oh well, at least I have GILLIGAN'S ISLAND to enjoy at least until someone comes over to the abode and performs a premature euthanasia move on my not-so-comatose bod. Like I know you all would LOVE to.
Got quite a few gooey newies to blab about this go 'round, and as usual thanks goes to Bill Shute, Paul McGarry, Bob Forward and the rest of the gang for all of these moolah-saving burns. And (to your surprise I would assume), some of these items were even purchased via my own hard-begged money which is really saying something in these cash-strapped times when I have to count the pennies a lot closer than I had to when times were fair. Given that I expect the next few weeks to be particularly dry with regards to any particular purchases on my part (tax time y'know), these gifts really do help get the blog up and moving more'n a nice tasty bowl of high fiber cereal, and the best part about it is that I'm not gonna be up 'n farting around like Sam would after I'd give him a plate fulla leftover baked beans 'n prunes to down!

Vom-LIVE AT SURF CITY seven-inch 33 rpm EP (Rerun Records)

Biggo surprise of the week's this recent reissue (second time!) of the infamous El Lay punk rock release from the infamous Vom! Oft longed for and oft beyond the reach of your standard National Record Mart hanger-outer, one can only feel thoughts of joy that this classic slice of 1977 hard-edged rock 'n roll is once again available for a generation who really couldn't give a whit. The sounds remain the same, sorta cranked up and melodic metal grooves that could easily enough qualify as punk in a 1971 CREEM magazine sorta way, while warbler Mr. Vom shows us that he was one of the most overlooked frontmen to grace a stage (Darby Crash was a sissy!) of any Los Angeles (Henry Rollins still wears diapers!!!) club back in those days of the wild rock frontier (Chris D listens to Ambrosia!). And that's no lie.
Tuli Kupferberg-NO DEPOSIT, NO RETURN LP (ESP-disk)

If Tuli's your favorite Fug'n this once-and-forever obscurity (rating a quickie reissue via Shimmy Disc in the late-eighties) is the one for you. Without the confines of the other Fugs or the music that goes along with them, Tule recites some of his favorite personal ads and other back-page antics to Gary Elton's clever found sound and collages making for a funny record that you can listen to over and over again. Tuli's New York voice fits in swell whether he's reading a come on for some probably long-outlawed "sap glove" or a penis enlarger, and the accompanying grunts, groans, 78s and patriotic music add to the hilarity making for a pretty nice "sit yourself down" that doesn't grow thin with the passing of time.

If you (like me) first read about this 'un via the back cover of FUGS FOUR ROUNDERS SCORE and felt frustrated because despite the alleged availability none of the local stores could track down a copy for you---well, maybe you shouldn't let little things like this get to you like they do to me!

I bought these on the good authority of Edgar Breau's own personal recommendation (not "personal" as in face to face but after reading an interview of his), and I gotta say that a mention in an ages-old issue of EUROCK didn't hurt much either. So then, why exactly do these Dutch fusion/jazzers sound flatter 'n your first grade teacher's chest? Not what I was expecting in the slightest, though I will say that when these guys lay off the hokum fifties parodies that even sounded warbled when Zappa was doin' 'em (and lay off the Zappa schtick which also sounded warbled when Zappa was doin' 'em as well!) they do come off as a passable continental take on the Soft Machine/Canterbury school of Miles ripoff. There's even a smattering of solo Kevin Ayers to be found on PUDDING that adds a touch of needed whimsy. But if I were to choose between Supersister and Simply Saucer I'd definitely take the latter. At least I'd be getting my USDA (or would that be CDA?) daily requirement of hot drone, and Breau's sense of humor never was as lame as Zappa's or a good portion of the mainland longhairs who followed his every breath and move as if it were some secret message from the freakazoid beyond.
A Touch of the Sun-MILK TEETH CD-r burn (originally on Bead Records)

Clarinetist Simon Mayo and guitarist Peter Cusack (he of Fred Frith/GUITAR SOLOS fame) were A Touch of the Sun, and if you want me to go for the obvious joke I could say that it sure sounds like these two were out inna sun a li'l too long before recording an album like this! Har-har-har-dee-har-har!!!! Considering Cusack's credentials and the fact that Mayo comes off a wee bit like ol' Lol Coxhill did it sure is a mystery why this 'un didn't end up on Caroline Records like you all thought it should. Not exactly a head-spinner by any stretch of the imagination, but it does rev up my curiosity regarding some of those other "difficult" mid-seventies English excursions into free jazz and avant garde improv. Might make me even wanna cough up the big bucks in order to obtain a copy of  FLEAS IN CUSTARD, a platter that was getting loads of underground huzzuhs to the point where the cubes at MELODY MAKER were picking up on the vibes!
Glenn Branca-THE ASCENSION - THE SEQUEL CD-r burn (originally on Systems Neutralizer)

Dint know that Glenn Branca was back inna music game but I guess he obviously is as this platter would no doubt suggest. And as these recent recordings lend me to believe, Branca hasn't changed or adapted much since those days when he was such a bad boy of lower Manhattan hijinx that he could actually get away with presenting a swastika-shaped musical score whilst getting the prissies out there in sensitive artist land all twisted up! Heavy duty guitar clang chords presented by the standard four-guitar lineup a la the original ASCENSION band, and its actually "conducted" by Glenn Branca which kinda makes me laugh since the vision of the man up on a podium directing what would look like a typical rock 'n roll band reminds me of something that woulda popped up in a by-now ancient issue of MAD magazine!
Michael Mantler with Jack Bruce, Carla Bley, Don Cherry-NO ANSWER CD-r  burn (originally on Watt)

I sure did harbor an interest in these Watt/JCOA albums back when they were being churned out in the seventies, but I never did pick any up for my own personal pleasure. Depression-era wages, y'know. And when I finally did latch onto a copy of ESCALATOR OVER THE HILL via some long-forgotten flea market I only managed to make it through side one before total nausea managed to overcome me. But still I trudge on hoping to some day finally hear the Leroy Jenkins FOR PLAYERS ONLY big band blowout as well as maybe even the Clifford Thornton entry. But as far as these Watt efforts go, somehow I get the impression that they're just more avant garde for the progressive rock fan of the late-seventies. Not that such an endeavor would be without some redeeming merit, but why listen to one of these albums when the same 45 minutes could be put to better use listening to the same Stooges album you've been incessantly spinning for the past three or four decades???

NO ANSWER ain't that far off from what I was imagining that alla these Wattsterpieces were gonna sound like. Moody, brooding, intellectual and slow paced, not too far off from the same swamp Robert Wyatt was treading (oops!) on ROCK BOTTOM. (Come to think of it, Wyatt was a frequent Carly Bley pal with a few platters to prove it, and who could forget their handling of John Cage classics via the Obscure Records label?)  Jack Bruce has a strange enough voice, so it does fit the Samuel Beckett modern prose 'n pout rather well, while the piano of Bley is fitting enough even if it is about as caucasian as most of the material I've heard by her has been. And without a guide, I'm sad to say that I can't tell my Mike Mantler from my Don Cherry, but since both have been up there top notch movers and shakers in this new thing that's still getting the notice it's not like I'm rooting for one against the other.

Not bad for the closet cases among us, but not exactly one of the better adrenalin pumpers that one could have purchased via the old NMDS catalog. As for me, I'm gonna do some searchin' and see if I can find a nice used copy of FOR PLAYERS that one'll sizzle more than what's left of my ever-bald pate!
Christmas-HERITAGE CD-r burn (originally on Daffodil Records)

I hope Bruce Mowat doesn't read this. He told me that this Canadian act was about as exciting as a turd sandwich without the bread, and here I am twennysome years after his exclamation listening this very same group! And you know what, Mowat was right! Far from being the psychedelic garage band thumper I thought they would be, Christmas were more of a demi-progressive neo-pop act that lacked the kind of spark, imagination, whit and energy that made a good late-sixties romper. If you're looking for some really hot late-sixties Canadian thrills try the Churls or better yet It's All Meat and leave Christmas to the indiscriminate collector types. Ho Ho Hum.
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK-ORGY OF THE DEAD CD-r burn (originally on Strangelove Records)

It's been so long since the day that frizzy-haired Molly Ringwold lookalike at the video shop was actually trying to talk me out of renting this feature saying "It's not what you think it is!" that I've actually forgotten all of the subtle nuances of this neato feature. Reminiscent of not only those old Beatles bootlegs where A HARD DAY'S NIGHT and HELP! were spread over two platters of audience hiss (not to mention none other than PLAN 9 getting the same soundtrack treatment), you get the entire sound sans visuals from this classic Edward D. Wood-scribed dive into the cinematic mung. Great if you want to enjoy the superb music to be found herein (courtesy Jaime Mendoza-Nova) without having to look at any of those sinful suckems.
Sun Ra-HORIZON CD-r burn (originally on Saturn)

Spiffy enough for me (and maybe for you) live Sun Ra outing that's as engrossing as well as the same, as well as different than all of the other live Sun Ra albums you have heard over the years. Recorded live in Egypt in 1981, even at this later'n usual date Ra proves that he was the king of free jazz loonybinisms as he steers his Arkestra through a variety of familiar terrain as well as interplanetary electronic flash that even makes Hawkwind look like rejects from TOM CORBETT'S SPACE PATROL. Believe-you-me, they're never gonna catch up to Sun Ra no matter how many eons this planet has left to spin!
Kluster-VULCANO, ADMIRA CDs (Important Records, PO Box 1281, Newburyport, MA 01950 USA)

I originally pushed these platters to the back of the box thinking I got gypped by some post Kluster Conrad Schnitzler project, but Bill clued me in that indeed these were actual recordings by an actual Kluster, without Rodelius and Mobeius who had gone off with their own act Cluster.

If you like your klustersounds with either a "k" or a "c" you'll like these slabs of 1971-vintage krautscapades that, like whatever variant of the group you happen to enjoy, has that heady mix of Stockhausen-derived avant garde music mixed in with krautrock proper (meaning, you can hear actual rock 'n roll instruments in here if you listen closely enough). Might tend to make you wanna snooze in spots, but can get rather invigorating once the action begins to cook up. And better yet, unlike a Grateful Dead noodle-on which might take hours to reach true karmik fruition, the sparks to tend to fly a whole lot sooner and you don't even have to take a swig outta that strange bottle the guy next to you passed your way to help speed up the proceedings!

Of course if you wanna try for a cheap substitute you could try spinning a Stockhausen album like MICROPHONIE with a Stooges album simultaneously (I recommend FUN HOUSE) to get a good idea of where Kluster were coming from. Did I ever tell you about the time when I was fifteen and I was playing MICROPHONIE in the rec room and my dad came in yellin' at me even louder'n the time I was playing Xenakis???
Various Artists-TOODY'S TOO POOPED TO POPEYE CD-r burn (courtesy Bill Shute)

Must be old tee-vee star record tie-in week over at Bill's place, and he couldn't've picked two sicker specimens! Joe E. Ross starts things off with his tender recitation of "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and we all know what a sexo-pervo he was! Adding fuel to the flaming fire's Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle singing some snappy novelty songs that might have hit the C&W charts with a little push, at least capturing the Jimmy Dean crowd with such heart-string tuggers as "Old Blue". However knowing what we all know by now about him it's kinda hard for me to enjoy these the same way I woulda back when I was but a mere lad...I mean, do you know where that mouth he's singing these songs through has been????

Other hot efforts include Kenny Ball singing the Beatles' "Your Mother Should Know" as a straight-ahead campy cash-in, Art Blakey, the Mar-Keys and Jazz Crusaders proving some moving sixties jazz and r/b instrumental drive, Fisher and Marks doing a double whammy horror/Beatles novelty trick, and a quartet named Paul, George, John and Ringo not fooling anyone one bit with their own attempt to get some Beatle toss off cash (they actually remind me of the Three Stooges!). Of course Bill also snuck on a country side as well as a Scott Joplin piano roll and early Negro vocal quartet amid the standard fare, and of course it all fits in as Bill knew it would all along!
Like John Holmes I'll be keepin' 'em comin', and on a regular basis too! So long!

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