Saturday, April 05, 2014

Yeah I know---who reads this blog anyway? Well, there's at least one person who does and that's none other than Paul McGarry. He's the reason why I am going to use the preamble to the following reviews (written for purely cathartic purposes---like I said, who reads...) to communicate directly with the ol' fanabla in a fashion that is way more secure than if I gave him a ring or wrote him a letter via post (his wife has been known to open his parcels). Why I am writing this particular introductory paragraph detailing our forthcoming plan I do not know because hey, you guys don't read it anyway.

Anyway Paul, when you come down to the tri-county area we'll meet in the parking lot at the Corral drive-in restaurant on Route 18. If you want to get a milkshake fine with me, but from there we will head off (in your car natch) for the First National Bank at the plaza where you will loot the teller's drawers while I help myself to free coffee. While bee-lining for the Big Town (New Castle) we can knock over a few gas stations on the way while you pump up...after all, that's a pretty long drive from Waterdown to this area. If you're interested in nookie I know where we can pick up some Amish gals or if we don't, I know where they keep the sheep.

Of course you may want to head for some Indian cuisine first. If so there's a good buffet in Niles Ohio and we can take our trail of terror west if you wish. However, considering some of the Mediterranean talent that's already operating in the Youngstown-Warren area ifyaknowaddamean it might be wiser to stick closer to home. If you do decide to head west I can always point out some of the highlights of the area such as the remains of the old Jungle Inn where Dean Martin used to man the blackjack table, or better yet the Bus Eubanks School of Announcing (or was it School of Broadcasting?).

If you don't feel like knocking over any banks maybe we can go to Linesville and feed the carp.

Then again if you're feeling tired and just want to stay home and sack out for a few more hours I'll understand. I'll be pissed, but I will understand.

Olivier Messiaen-COMPLETE ORGAN WORKS performed by Olivier Latry six-CD set (Deutsche Grammophon)

After hearing "Apparition de l'eglise eternalle" (or was it "La nativite du seigneur"?) on the local classical station this past Christmas Eve I figured that I needed to get more Olivier Messiaen into my life. Being an astuter person than you might have given me credit for I took myself up on the offer and bought this collection consisting of each and every one of his organ compositions. I just hadda...the howling freakout organ that was being presented that day was just so overpowering that I immediately flashed back to a late-seventies Memorial Day weekend play of some baroque organ program that was airing on yet another Ohio college station thinking about just how in-place a whole lotta the wail being heard that evening would have fit in if stuck between various krautrock and avant rock offerings. And this was before I even knew about Richard Meltzer's HEPCATS FROM HELL radio show where such a concept might have actually been fleshed out, though I get the impression without the krautrock considering that I don't know what Meltzer thought of the stuff one way or the other.

Spooky yet sensuous enough organ music recorded on the famous Notre Dame pipe machine that, while definitely in the avant garde realm, does retain a strong connection to the entire history of church music that I've been exposed to o'er the past few centuries. Maybe just a step or two removed from FESTIVAL OF FRENCH ORGAN MUSIC and just as repressive in the same way most great music (rock 'n roll or otherwise) is. Best of all, it has a deeply spiritual, ethereal effect on me that even Klaus Schultze never would have been able to pull off.

And it's mostly if not all religious as well, and just as in-tune with earlier sacred sounds from John Dunstable on. Vibrant to the point where a good portion of anti-Christian art from the previous seven or so decades just looks like amateurish fluff in comparison. It's also good for washing the residue off your soul after a folk mass, so if you're ever roped into attending one of those monstrosities just slap one of these platters on (I personally recommend "Livre d'orgue") and get that "Kumbaya" out of your system once and for all!
Toy-JOIN THE DOTS CD-r burn (originally on Heavenly Recordings)

At first I wonder why my ol' partner in crime Paul McGarry stuck me with this one, especially when you consider that I really don't go for any of this new rock 'n roll clatter that just doesn't have the Burroughsian grope of that old rock 'n roll clatter. But despite my misgivings I actually will go out on a limb and say that Toy are pretty----------------------decent. The group with the funny name are a new English "psychedelic" aggregate but they have little in common with either the Blighty psych groups of the late-sixties variety or the early-eighties acts that were springing up in the just post-new-as- gnu wave era (see A SPLASH OF COLOUR)...they sorta remind me of Ultravox with a tad bit of Kraftwerk and other kraut masters thrown in for good measure. Driving pop rock with a few interesting avant garde touches that don't bog the proceedings down or come off so sweetly precocious. Nothing that I would call overly essential, but a surprising change from the usual pace and something worth listening to from an up-and-going rock music concern as well.

Jerry Colonna-MUSIC? FOR SCREAMING!!! CD-r burn (originally on Decca)

Sheesh! I'm surrounded by wopadagos on a daily basis and now I hafta go 'n listen to 'em during my free time! All funnin' aside, the BOB HOPE sidekick screams and bellows through a whole buncha nice jazzers as well as barbershop quartet smoothies (all with himself quadrutracked!) on this 1954 outing that might put a smile on your Uncle Fafoof's face but for me has the same lasting impact of any comedy album once the needle lifts. That is...nada, unless you were one of those high school creeps who used to cum buckets with each and every re-spin of George Carlin's FM & AM. Play this one for people who think Eyetalians are supposed to be good singers and watch them dump their Perry Como albums but good!
CHUBBY CHECKER'S PSYCHEDELIC ALBUM CD-r burn (originally on Underground Masters, the Cee-Dee reissue that is)

Well it ain't exactly called that---the correct title is just CHUBBY CHECKER. But it seems that everybody who comes in contact with this 'un calls it by the aforementioned so hey, why should I buck  the trend no matter how inaccurate I may be (and like, what else is new?). And frankly this ain't as bad an album as I thought it would be...mid-energy psychedelic rock recorded in Holland in the early seventies with just the right touch of relevance and enough heaviness that woulda made your mama (who thought Chubby was such a "nice" boy) shake her head in disbelief. If you like those Curtis Knight albums with Jimi Hendrix you'll like this...there's even a tribute to Jimi himself along with an ode to Jesus so you know just who are bigtime in Chubby's life! And to top it off there's even a drug-sotted pro-pot ditty that kinda cancels the holiness of the Christ thing out much to the glee of all of you heathens out there no doubt.
Eddie Noack-PSYCHO, THE K-ARK AND ALLSTAR RECORDINGS, 1962-1969 CD-r burn (originally on Bear Family, Germany)

Didn't some mid-eighties Australian "garage band" act do a cover of this particular song entitled "Psycho" and we all thought that it was the Sonics fave? Whatever, here is the "hit" (more or less) version that was done up by Texas tunecroaker Noack, something which'll really make you really wonder just how such a sickoid song coulda made it into the nice 'n wholesome (well, that's what everybody thought back then!) world of country 'n western music without Noack comin' in for a bit of a lynching himself. If you like your backwoods downhome music sick, this is the one for you. Also contains a good twenty-three other songs for all of you snobbish Northern phony intellectual types out there to listen to in order to assuage your feelings about what you think of Southerners, kidding yourselves into believing you really like them when all you do is up your snouts at 'em like you do at Northern ethnics and other members of the real world who hold down jobs and just ain't as decadent as you obviously strive to be!  
Sun Ra and his Astro-Infinity Arkestra-OTHER STRANGE WORLDS CD-r burn (originally on Roaratorio)

Magnif '67 sesh recorded with a stripped down Arkestra live in Ra's own apartment showcasing the group mainstays fiddling around with stringed instruments they know practically nada about. The results are brilliant in their exploratory way in the same fashion of a slow-burn Art Ensemble of Chicago workout, part addled yet with a strange drive that seems to protrude from every plunk and strum. Not anybody could have his band work out on junk shop mandolins and busted autoharps and get such engaging and downright entertaining music outta it, but Ra managed to with flying colors. Another one I can scratch off my next Forced Exposure order thanks to Bob Forward, so blame him guys, not me!
 Various Artists-FINK ALONG WITH MAD CD-r burn (originally on Big Top)

Sure am glad that I didn't get to hear any of those beyond-the-realm-of-corn MAD albums that came out during the sixties, because if I did I probably would have been turned off to the entire MAD oeuvre faster than you can say "potrzebie"! Teenage pop circa '63 (as envisioned by middle-aged schmoozers) complete with lyrics that come off just as cubeoid as some of the material that was getting printed in the magazine not only then (the early sixties) but for years afterwards. One wonders if this wasn't produced by Dave's that New York middle class suburban square. Maybe if Big Top coulda wrangled their big guns like Del Shannon and Johnny and the Hurricanes to lend a hand... Partially redeemed by the presence of Alfred E's stellar vocal appearance on "It's a Gas" as well as a revival of the all-time fave (via Mogen David) "Nose Job".
Karlheinz Stockhausen-MUSIK IM BAUCH CD-r (originally on Douche Grammaphone)

I must admit that I haven't been paying that close attention to Stockhausen even before his infamous remarks about the destruction of the World Trade Center being "the greatest work of art that is possible in the whole cosmos" (sheesh, what about Hiroshima?),  but dang if Bill Shute didn't send this by-now rarity my way so it's like I gotta. The title track (performed by "Les Percussions de Strasbourg") mixes live performers with music boxes especially programmed for this piece, and it surprisingly reminds me more of John Cage's aleatory work than anything I have heard by Stockhausen. Also coming to mind is Michael Nyman's "Bell Set" off of DECAY MUSIC, something which might ring a ding with the rest of the suburban turds who first latched onto the concept of "new music" after Eno said it was hip.

"Tierkreis" is nothing but weird music box cantatas named after the signs of the zodiac, sounding like the kind of lullabies that I'm sure J. Neo Marvin got more than his share of during his own mid-day naptime ventures. It's that twisted, and would be bound to make a mental moosh outta you had you had these played to you at a young and impressionable age. And although you might think that this sorta concept is "nothing new", back when it was being created it most certainly was so quit acting like the pretend cultural avatar you most truly are!
Various Artists-ONE-SIDED CUMULOUS CAKESHOP KITTENS CD-r burn (contributed by Bill Shute)

If I didn't say this one shot farther off course than that Malaysian jetliner I'd be lying more than Ginger Lynn. Goodie effort with plenty of better 'n the last ten years of comps garage band rock (the Bad Boys, Allusions, Hangmen and the all gal Butterflies), a li'l country (Jimmy Dean), bizarro avant garde (Simon Mathewson) and even a couple of those "song poems" that Bill sure wish he coulda sent his bux in for if only to hear "There Once Was a Man From Albuquerque" set to music. Some node-jarring music doth appear (such as by Montreal's Alcrete), while I sure got a good 'n hearty laff outta Uncle Clyde's open letter to some Soviet serf named Ivan which kinda comes off so conciliatory that you'd kinda think the authorities woulda dragged Clyde away for being such a pinko! Well, at least I woulda hoped so after giving a listen to this cornballus recitation guaranteed to melt the heart of your average gravestone-rubbing forever teenage beatnik cousin!


Jon the Obscure said...

I, for one, am a faithful reader. I will finally start commenting to reflect that! You are one of my favorites scribes, bar none.

Bill S. said...

It was the School of Announcing, if memory serves.

I hope Paul will also get the guided tour of Youngstown, which Brad and I will never forget.

Oh, if you and Paul go to The Corral Drive-In, please remember NOT TO order that "large cone." I felt like I was in a real-life Lloyd Hamilton comedy short (for Educational Pictures, of course) as you tried to deal with that three-foot-tall pillar of soft-serve sitting on top of a tiny cone. The "small" should do...

Ni Hao said...

Actually, the official name was "Sharon Broadcast Training." (Quite creative, hey?)

Ralph Caldwell
Former instructor and PD of "The Alternative at 102.9"