Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'll bet you were wondering what I was doing to occupy myself during my ever-dwindling free time this past week, other than performing mirco-blackhead popping surgery on my nostrils and losing my ever-loving battle with finger fungus that is. Well oh snarky one, I have been putting my free time to good use ever since I got in touch with this neet blog that gives us fanzine-crazed fanatics what we've wanted for years, mainly access to a whole slew of self-produced reads that we normally would have to bid upwards to $68.43 a bop to get our li'l ol' hand on. Yeah you have to supply the paper, the printer and the patience to get the paper outta the machine w/o crinkling, but otherwise ESSENTIAL EPHEMERA's a site that has a few of the 70s/80s English fanzines you've missed out on the first time available up and available for download, and on demand too in case you're one of those impatient women's libber types who I read about inna newspapers alla time.

There are quite a few goodies that I got hold of via this sight, like the first issue of NEGATIVE REACTION (more on that title in a future FANZINE FANABLA)  as well as the first two issues of VOICE OF BUDDHA (the second with a Mayo Thompson interview that'll have you thinking twice about his claims of being a political conservative) as well as Jonh Ingham's Clash paen LONDON'S BURNING which obviously set the stage for just about every other English punkzine that wasn't influenced by the NME's gunslingers to come out for the next ten years. If you wanna save a few pennies and fix yourself up with some really boffo night-time reading look no further'n this site, though if your copies don't seem as readable as the originals (which many times were nearly impossible to eyeball what with the lousy print jobs and other glitches I certainly can tell you about) don't say you didn't get what you paid for!

In other news, the BIG event of the week was undoubtedly  the arrival of my latest Forced Exposure order which maybe ain't that much to crow about in your neck o' the woods but around here's about as important a happening as gran'ma getting a new tractor in some old Soviet feature film! At least its stuff like this that keeps me off the streets and out of trouble, and besides that the thrill 'n anticipation of gettin' a boxfulla platters shipped to my doorstop really does bring up them ol' single-digit memories of sending away the boxtops for some outta-this-world offer and waiting a good three weeks in agony for the "cheap plastic junk" automobile model or Disneykins for that matter to arrive (still got Looie and the remnants of Goofy and the Ringmaster moiling about in a corrugated cardboard container somewhere inna basement!). The contents of my entire order can be read below but please, don't thank me----thank all of the labels who had the foresight and wherewithal to release these platters thus saving us all from a future of having to listen to all of those Violent Femmes albums again trying to convince ourselves that they really are every bit as good as the Velvet Underground and Modern Lovers were no matter how much those inner instincts tell us otherwise.

And with that note, onto the same old...

Jack Ruby-HIT AND RUN 2-CD set (St Cecilia Knows, available via Forced Exposure )

They LIE! This package is being touted as containing "the collected recordings" of the infamous in their own obscurity no wave group Jack Ruby when I know for a fact that there is one glaring OMISSION!!!! There's a cover of Hawkwind's boffoid "Brainstorm" flopping about out there somewhere, but is it on this double-disque collection? Not at all boobala, and if you don't think that makes me a rather upset li'l anal retentive you certainly don't know your blogschpielers! Maybe it's on that new Feeding Tube collection, but until I know for sure I ain't gettin' that 'un nosireebob! (Last minute note---it ain't!)

If you have the ugEXPLODE collection great, but HIT AND RUN does have more and besides, there's an additional disque here which has some rather out-of-kilter sound experiments that I will admit sound akin to the kids in the knotty pine basement goofing around with daddy's stereo system circa 1965, but it should appeal to the John Cage if not the Karlheinz Stockhausen in us all. But no matter how you slice and dice it, Jack Ruby were a fantastic act that certainly jumped a whole buncha guns with their soundcapading and hey, if you like the entire concept of seventies underground rock of a garage or however you wanna put it punkism strata than this should be yet another one custom made for your already expanded alley. Comes in a top notch, high quality package which not only includes a larger'n usual book cum history, but a poster of the front cover which'll look especially revolutionary next to your Che 'n Mao (you can just tell that I have a good portion of my readers out there pegged just right!).
Sun Ra and his Band from Outer Space-SPACE AURA 10-inch 45 rpm EP/mini-album (Art Yard England, available through Forced Exposure)

Even though there ain't any revealing moments on this segment of a 1966 Ra 'n Co. 66 live recording, it still makes for yet another tangy excursion into the realm of Great Black Music as it was flowering back in the days when even STEREO REVIEW couldn't ignore its existence. Ra on piano and clavioline and the rest of the familiar faces on the usual soundmakers doing their best to make Leonard Feather's existence a little less pleasant. If your first taste of Ra was the HELIOCENTRIC WORLDS series and you flipped head over teenage heels for the thing this'll zone you right back to the original thrust of it all.
Orchid Spangiafora-FLEE PAST'S APE ELF 2-LP set (Feeding Tube, Forced Exposure should have it because that's where I got my copy!)

Reissue of four legendary and oft talked about fantastical late-seventies sides of edited aural mayhem that sounds like a sold week of 1977 television programming chopped up and stir-fried in the Chinese restaurant of your mind. Also features some rather bizarroid electronic mangle that is highly reminiscent of the soundtrack to at least five PBS public affairs programs of the day as performed through the robot on LOST IN SPACE's sphincter. Incredibly amazing artyfact of where the new electronic/smash-up sound of the day was heading----imagine Smegma without the squeak bats not to mention the Space Negroes and some Residential goo and you'll only be halfway there with this "wondrous melage" as the fru frus might call it.

Comes with a nice li'l booklet of information which not only features group confederate Byron Coley's take on the whole Orchid Spangiafora saga, but a slew of honest-to-gosh fan mail including one from the king of cut ups hisself William Burroughs! A boffo package that no true fan of cranial confusion would dare be without, no matter how much plasma 'n worn out tit mags you'll have to sell in order to afford it!
Herbie Nichols-THE COMPLETE BLUE NOTE RECORDINGS -CD-r burn set (originally on Blue Note)

Bill always sends me these bop-era jazz platters perhaps in order to shame me into listening to something that ain't of a free/avant garde vein. This triple set's but one of 'em, and it's a bouncy thing if there ever was one. Pianist Nichols' complete Blue Note output recorded with the likes of either Art Blakey or Max Roach on the traps, two guys who certainly became humongous names inna canon of DOWN BEAT derived jazz saintliness while Nichols remained a passing paragraph for far too long. Beatific bop not that different from what Theolonius was laying down around the same time, and definitely a direction pointer at the way things would eventually turn in that wide wonderful world of jazz. Song title of the century (this or any other you can think of): "Cro-Magnon Nights".
THE FANTASTIC DEE-JAYS CD (Guerrson Spain, available via Forced Exposure)

It sure is a blast listening to this mid-sixties Pittsburgh-area (Glassport to be precise) platter via a source that doesn't sound like it just barely survived a night lodged in Patrick Amory's rectum, but howcum Guerrson didn't slam on alla them single sides like they shoulda (and Eva Records did)? Nonetheless, this remains a boffo slab of teenage suburban slob rock that not only has the covers down pat (Golliwogs, Beatles, Stones...) but a whole mess of originals that match if not surpass the more familiar trackage. Yeah, a few of these songs like "Mr. Sad" hearken back to the soft schlubby sounds of the early-sixties (w/o the redeeming doofnuess that might have saved a Bobby Vee or Fabian track), but once you sweat your way through those its smooth sailing ahead!
Edward Graham Lewis-ALL OVER CD (Editions Mego, and of course you can get it from Forced Exposure)

Back when I was an inexperienced lad (as opposed to being an inexperienced old turd) I must admit that I did harbor an interest in the works of groups such as Wire (as well as their spinoff Dome) even though the word of mouth blab regarding them did make me feel a tad wary of parting with any precious pukka shells for their platters. By the time I was able to afford to buy enough Wire albums to keep Colin Newman in touch with his spiritual adviser for ages, the spell of the whole Rough Trade/"post-punk" breed of art rock had long worn off in favor of six-oh garage band reissues and various industrial noise bleat as anyone who tuned into an early issue of my crudzine would be able to tell you. But now that we're heading into the middle portion of the 'teens and this breed of music seems almost "quaint" in its own spacial if "dated" way well---maybe it's time to give some of these acts yet another go at it, which is one reason I added this recent offering from Wire's very own Edward Graham Lewis to my recent order (and no, I'm not going to tell you the other reasons for doing so you inquisitive little buttslobberers you!).

Not bad at all really---kinda like those Eno-era Bowie tracks in spots with a definite early eighties pre-new unto gnu wave snoot appeal to it. In fact, these electro-drones really fit in swell with the batch of them early-eighties fanzines mentioned in the opening schpiel so you know they're locked in a time that we can all agree on were the best/worst of times in classic Dickensian fashion. Perhaps a tad arty, but the numbers on ALL OVER really do conjure up more'n a few of the interesting repeato-riff electro drone sounds that filled up quite a few Rough Trade orders in the early-eighties. Y'know, I thought I eschewed it all a good thirtysome years back I gotta say that this is..........uniquely adequate.

This week's dive into the long forgotten grooveyard of platters long stashed just happens to be an old 'n unfortunately forgotten one consisting of nada but crazeoid instrumental splatters recorded during the golden age of teenbo hard-edged punkoid gnarlism! More wah-wah toneism straight from the goshest parts of the mid-Amerigan knottiest pine basements than you can stand, and then right at the point where it all reaches a fever pitch---mom comes in with a glass of iced tea for everyone! Some of the sitar musings might not be suitable for more impressionable minds while the likes of 1001 Strings are about as garage band as the Jan Garber Orchestra, but I can take it with more'n enough grains of salt. Just imagine the whole thing as a NUGGETS for the Marcel Marceau crowd and it'll go down just fine!
Various Artists-WALTER'S FEELGOOD WOBBLE TRAIN CD-r burn (and "you-know-who" is responsible for me getting it!)

Interesting concentration on a late-sixties garage-pop sorta thing, what with the likes of Urban, the Chants and Barons putting out this smooth pop that almost reminds me of Hackamore Brick in that late-sixties/early-seventies sorta punk rock way. Jimmy Driftwood breaks up the pop-psych with his country jive while the sitar-laden numbers by the Punjabs and the Love Sitars (doing "Paint It Black"???) kinda make me wanna hit the Tiger Shop at Sears for one of them Carnaby Street hats with the big buckles! But in all this is a rather solid selection of late-sixties obscurities that mighta even worked sweller had they all been collected on some long-playing album and sold for $50 a pop via Midnight Records (ech!). English prog thumpers would most certainly be interested in the inclusion of an instrumental by "Beautiful", who just happen to be the Soft Machine once again under the production of the legendary Kim Fowley.

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