Sunday, May 25, 2014

AND if you thought last week's post was thinner than a book on Frenchmen who don't mind if you mangle their mother tongue, wait 'til you see THIS one! Well, it is what I would call "hokay" given that I got hold of some pretty spicy slabs to write about this week, but then again I'd sure like to unleash something a li'l meatier on you, like one of my top notch interviews with somebody who only means something to me and his mother alone, or maybe one of my specials regarding rare fanzines, bootlegs, television series and other forgotten forms of long-gone fun 'n jamz. I will admit that I do have some funtime fanablaisms in the works, but they're still in whatcha'd call the "gestation" stage and at this point in time who knows whether they're gonna make it to fruition or get the partial-birth treatment! Keep your fingers and any other pertinent digits crossed for some neet surprises down the line, but for now it's gonna be rekkid reviews and rekkid reviews ONLY!!!

Armand Schaubroeck Steals-GOD MADE THE BLUES TO KILL ME 10-inch 33 rpm single + CD (Mirror Records)

Gee, I didn't know what to expect. I mean, although I really dig those early/mid-sixties singles Schaubroeck did I gotta 'fess up to the fact that I really never could make my way through those seventies albums of his (or at least the one I latched onto) with any ease, especially that one where he goes to prison 'n all. But this thing is incredible especially when you consider it was recorded by a septuagenarian who still sounds like he's a horny sixteen year old hoping to score on the basis of this very disque!

Both sides are the same (albeit with different mixes if that matters to you) but boy what sides they are, with Schaubroeck rattling off this Vietnam odyssey filtered through frayed nerve sixties conscious that makes "American Pie" sound like MAD magazine, and to a hard whiteguy blues riff at that! The best thing about it is that for once this doesn't sound like it was being cranked by the usual leather-fringed droopy mustached types you usually hear doin' the blues these days.

Pretty downright intense crank that'll get more'n the hair on your neck standin' on end, and a solid driver that (both musically and lyrically) maybe goes to show ya that there still is some mighty intense bluesy music being made today if you only know where to snoop it all out. Even comes with a Cee Dee of the exact same rattle in case you're one of them modern snob types who hates vinyl.
Various Artists-PUNK 45 (SICK ON YOU! ONE WAY SPIT!) CD (Soul Jazz England)

Even though they're mostly money wasters, I gotta admit that I really like these punk collections that have been coming out faster'n a scab outbreak on a lint-headed mid-South inbred these past few years. Sure ya already have most if not all of the material available on 'em in one form or another (and had it for YEARS), but these platters are programmed just right for a nightly spin to go along with your inspirational readings of  RICHIE RICH, and no matter how many times I give these once-obscuros a spin I gotta admit they sound just as fresh and as life-reaffirming as the time I first gave 'em a whirl back when I was younger, and therefore more apt to be taken in by just about anything that passed by my suburban slob fun 'n games detector.

This volume of Soul Jazz's recent punk-era 45 collections is no exception. Concentrating on the "proto punk" years (meaning the days when those acts that were getting corralled into the p-rock genre long before the hippoids at ROLLING STONE were forced to notice 'n act like they were in on the game all along), ONE WAY SPIT's got some of the choicest trackage of the era available within 77 minutes of run time. From the opening track on the wowzer Debris album to the Electric Eels, Mirrors, George Brigman (!), Jack Ruby (!!!) and other Amerigan under-the-counterculture wonders, just about every reason for your being swooned and swayed by the oncoming high energy bandwagon of the seventies can be found on this mere shiny pancake of a compact disque!

There are even some English (and other) faves to be found like the Count Bishops and 101'ers, and yeah the Hollywood Brats, Death and Hammersmith Gorillas inclusions have appeared on a whole lotta other punk rock outings but hey, if the song's good I don't care even if the space coulda been used to promulgate the punk credo of some other mid-seventies worthies like Umela Hmota or Stud Leather who could use the notoriety and the $$$ for that matter.

Noted fru fru Jon Savage did the booklet notes and they read about as good as you would expect from just about any ex-eighties UK weekly writer, and even if the info divulged ain't exactly hot off the press it ain't like you're gonna be throwing the booklet away any day soon. So what'll it be tonight, PUNK 45 or turning on the tee-vee to watch Ellen Degeneris pretend she can dance???
Rockpile-LIVE AT ROCKPALAST CD-r burn (originally on Repertoire, Germany)

Sheesh, do I remember when the whole Dave Edmunds/Nick Lowe circuit of post-pub rockabloozy was considered too far out for the typical AM/FM-bred teenage boxboy/burnout/"rock music" fans of the late-seventies to handle! Fuh-knee, because at the time the likes of Nick Lowe 'n Elvis Costello were shocking the hippie sensibilities out there I was more or less wont to spend my evening hours spinning everything from the likes of Pere Ubu's THE MODERN DANCE to Xenakis' ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC MUSIC, sounds that you'd think woulda made the entire Stiff Records catalog sound rather radio-dolt friendly in comparison! But whatever, listening to these rather smooth yet toe-tappin' tracks by the old Rockpile band does bring back memories of the old me vs. them battles as to what was rockism proper, and we all know who won out in the long run, right? THEM, because hey---did anything even remotely high-energy either of a rock, jazz or avant garde mentality ever make it either in the commercial or aesthetic sense here in the Pantsios-riddled North Coast area, even in the slightest? Ya gotta remember, back when the Styrene Money Band hadda walk home after one of their under-attended gigs doofs like the Wild Horses were getting alla the choice gigs and hefty coverage in the local music press. And thirtysome years later we know whose music holds up much better now, don't we?????

So give a listen to what the smarter goombahs were listening to while everyone else was phoning into WMMS to hear the umpteenth playing of "Almost Cut My Hair". Smooth and commercial true, yet gnarly enough to get the usual laid backs all in a huff about that wicked punk stuff. Familiar stuff like Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts" and "I Knew the Bride" intermingle with oldies and rehashes, and when you think back as to what there was out there that was supposed to speak for you as a member of the Now Generation maybe it wasn't as staid as you eventually kidded yourself that it was, at least until the whole era fizzled out into MTV gush a few years later.
The Soda Pop Kids-TEEN BOP DREAM CD-r burn (originally on Full Breach Kicks)

Hey, a moderne-day group that sounds like one of the many New York Dolls knockoffs that were bopping about back inna mid-to-late seventies! Only the Soda Pop Kids sound less decadent than the Frenchies, and straighter than Wayne County, and healthier than the Magic Tramps, and more hygienic than the Hollywood Brats and Teenage Lust combined! If someone were to tell me that this one got played at Rodney's English Disco on a regular rotation I'd believe it! Tough guy lead vocals a la Johansen backed by tough glam rock pout pounce in the best Sweet/Slade tradition (not to mention some darn good girly background vocals straight outta the Shangri Las school of pouty emote) and the fact that this was born and bred in the twenty-first century certainly does give me some hope for the future of this dreary thing we call a planet. And the strangest thing of all is that I don't think Kim Fowley had a thing to do with it at all!
Craig Leon-NOMMOS CD-r burn (originally on Takoma, then Superior Viaduct records)

Bizarro platter from famous new wave producer Leon, here sounding like the missing link between Suicide and Philip Glass or better yet the mid-seventies synthesizer sounds that were suddenly beginning to invade the sanctity of our living rooms after Walter (now Wendy) Carlos popularized electronics via SWITCHED ON BACH. It's a surprise that John Fahey's Takoma label would have released this '81 platter given just how un-Faheyesque it may be, but I'm sure stranger things have happened considering the alleged mental instability of the famed guitarist.

Actually the strangest thing that happened to me while listening to this 'un was that, during the non-beat-box dominated tracks that start NOMMOS off, I was reminded as to how I'd spend these ennui-laden nights watching none other than AVIATION WEATHER and the CAPTIONED ABC NEWS on late-night PBS soaking up the electronic sounds that would play during the commercial breaks on the latter, wondering whether or not to check out the late movie on channel 17 (usually some mid-thirties British import) or hit the hay feeling extremely passed over by life as well as by my benefactors who really didn't know any better even though I do think they tried. But maybe it was the diet Shasta that did it. Whatever, thanks for the warm 'n fuzzy memories Craig!
Deniz Tek-DETROIT CD-r (originally on Citadel, Australia)

Yeah it ain't as good as them mid-eighties Tek-related singles (which gave me about as much hope for a rockism future as those mid-seventies singles did!), but the man sure can pump out the rock 'n roll a whole lot harder'n most anyone else these days. A bit commercial in spots, but still evocative of past triumphs enough to make me realize exactly why more'n a few turdburgers were scraping up hard-begged for an Au Go Go order back when those Detroit by the way of Sydney platters were capturing the imaginations of more'n a few rock fans who were kinda upset that the 1964-1981 underground seasons hadda end on such a sour note as they did! And if you can come up with a better run on sentence filled with such a heartbreaking panache as that please email it to me immediately!
Various Artists-SUNSHINE, SHADOW AND SEAWEED Cd-r burn (compiled by Bill Shute)

It's definitely old acetates at home week here at BLOG TO COMM, what with Bill sending me this disque of mostly unreleased rarities of an easily worn down status not to mention some other items that just might have stayed stuck in the pre-release mode'n never made it to the direct-to-garage sale market. Some of the things here are whatcha'd call fairly recognizable among serious collectors of the form (ain't Jimmy Campbell the same guy who had a pregnant clown on the cover of his oft-espied Vertigo album entitled HALF BAKED?) while acts like Schibbinz and Five Steps Beyond display a nice late-sixties sorta Beatle-pop that shoulda gotten out to a wider array of listeners than their family and friends! The Elite Boys were good enough white soul, while the Orange Seaweed sound like something you'd've known that yer typical Britophile would have upped toffee nose at for the upcoming Yes album, or something like that...they're that good!

The rest is palatable enough for this lazy Sunday afternoon 'n all, but Bill, I'm surprised at you! No honky tonk deep fried Southern hillbilly twang to be heard at all! Whazzamaddawitchaboy?


Anonymous said...

You did know Dave Edmunds & Rockpile did the original version of "Queen of Hearts" and that Juice Newton was covering them, didn't you?

Christopher Stigliano said...

No I didn't...memories of those years are rather hazy, as is my general mental construction...