Sunday, June 15, 2014

Well, if you wanted a weekend post featuring writeups of all of the new recordings I got hold of these past seven days, you GOT one...


As you all know I'm always willing to give a listen to some of these old En Why See acts that would frequent the clubs and go practically nadaswhere despite all of their hard efforts. In fact the more atypical of what these local acts were "supposed" to sound like the better in my book, and to this day I'd sure like to give a listen to some of those real obscure acts that used to play CBGB if only because they were usually so "outside" the loop, so they must've been good if you dare to use my own sense of twisted rockism logic!

Daina and the Tribe figure into this somehow, with an act that featured a belly dancing singer backed by what you would call a standard rock backing (at times consisting of flutist Jeremy Steig) who produced a music that wasn't quite in tune with the underground flavor of the day yet wasn't gonna hit the WNEW playlist any day soon. Daina has a smooth enough voice while the music backing is slightly jazzy yet straightforward enough in a non-offending way that came off rather exhilarating in the ennui-riddled early-eighties when these numbers were recorded. And the way I look at it, if Essra Mohawk could get a gig at CBGB there's no reason why Daina couldn't have as well!
Stu Gilliam-AT THE BASIN STREET WEST CD-r burn (originally on Fax)

Pretty funny stuff from this Gilliam guy who delivers the laffs w/o stooping to the standard cheapshot vulgar obscenity that these days permeates the work of many a standup both black 'n white. Yeah there are a whole slew of hells'n'damns and even a few double entendres that Gilliam had the good sense not to deliver through with, but next to those pious and preachy types who always pop up on Comedy Central thinking they've just as much a right to defame and shame as Bill Moyers the man comes off quite refreshing! Gilliam undoubtedly gets a "G" rating in my book and who knows, he might even in yours despite the occasional lapses into subject matter that future "funnymen" took to their most disgusting if obvious conclusions.

I forget if I'm supposed to HATE Dexter Gordon for his incessant DOWN BEAT hype not to mention that Clint Eastwood-produced film he was in (gotta think of my gnarlier than thou credentials, y'know), but I'll just let my worse nature get the better of me and say that I enjoyed these early bop sides that the famed tenor saxophonist recorded with Wardell Gray. Nice li'l tenor sax battle they got goin' on here that does't bore and in fact sounds like the natural precursor to the even newer thing that was gonna hit the jazz world in a few years. Downright exciting if you ask me, and it was all given to you by the same guy who unleashed the Seeds on the world a good thirteen years later!
Sweet Madness-MADE IN SPOKANE 1978-1981 CD-r burn (originally on Light in the Attic)

Didn't think I was gonna like this, but Sweet Madness actually transcend the usual gnu wave-y pratfalls that plagued many a band in the past with this collection that owes just as much to Sparks and Roxy Music as it does to Devo (who themselves owed a lot to Sparks and Roxy Music!). Recorded back when even the straightest of new wave was considered evil by the brain-dead scions of Pantsiosism, Sweet Madness do have that quirky irritability at times, but seem built of stronger stuff'n most of the electronic nerdoids of the day and could even produce some strains that might have been considered "progressive" in the best Roxy sense. Quite imaginative in fact. If you shy away from the giddier music of the late-seventies you'll probably want to skip this one, but even an old fanabla like I will admit that this is a cut above a whole lotta squall that was being passed off as speaking for your generation back in those rather overload days.
Various Artist-SIN ALLEY VOL. 4 CD-r burn (originally on Crypt)

Thanks to Paul McGarry I again get to hear this classic slab of late-fifties/early-sixties rockabilly musings that never did get that much circulation outside of the KICKS magazine cadre. Great sleazy self-produced low-fi rock 'n roll that seems catered to the kind of kids who (unitentionally) made parenthood a priority when they were but fifteen years old. If you're a bastard born between the years 1957 and 1964 there's a good chance you were conceived to the music on this platter. Additional trackage added to the Cee-Dee version a def. boon, and I think it was boffo of the compilers to pair up Jackie Morningstar's "Rockin' in the Graveyard" with Tarantula Ghoul & Her Gravediggers' "Graveyard Rock" next to each other, which was also done with the two remarkably different tracks (well, not really) called "Werewolf" done by Garry Warren and Carl Bonafede respectively.
DADDY-O PRESENTS MJT + 3 CD-r burn (originally on Argo)

The presence of AACM stalwart Muhal Richard Abrams might get you believin' that this is gonna be one of those free-form sound-squalls that came off so adventurous and cathartic back when you first got an earfull of the likes of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Anthony Braxton during your young and impressionable years, but when this was recorded that stuff was about a good decade away. Naw, on this '57 album Abrams and band swing in that hard-bop style that sorta predated, and eventually was washed away by, the new thing in jazz that seemed to have caught everyone by surprise. BLOG TO COMM sticklers for the atonal and antisocial in their style will probably upchuck noses at it, but if you like the early sounds that Sun Ra and his guys were cranking out at just about the same time I can't see why you'd not want to give this one the occasional run through. Another introspective moody moment piece for those long, paranoiac nights.
Various Artists-UNEASY BEATNIK FORMICA WINDMILLS CD-r burn (thanks be to Bill Shute)

Some strangities here true from a 1964 World's Fair souvenir record to a cover of Charlie Daniels' "Uneasy Rider" done by a fellow named Jack Daniels (not to mention a funny exercise disc from a JD Feelgood), but the bulk of this 'un's nothing but sixties cheezoid music for the Silent Majority crowd to talk about hippies 'n blacks to! Nothing the likes of my father or mother woulda gone for, but the kinda stuff that reminds me of what I woulda been hearing on some family vacation while we were checking into a Butte Montana Holiday Inn, the kind where they had that room with a tinted black glass door that said "Adults Only" and I'd wonder what nefarious happenings were going on in there to the point where I was taking a li'l extra time with my evening shower, ifyaknowaddamean...

Some of it is standard cornballus like Cara Stewart's song-poems while things like Michael Hill's "Beatnik Boogie" sound pretty much like what my pop'd imagine what beatnik music was supposed to sound like. Of course the Doyle and Leilani moosh-together of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" and Dee Clark's "Raindrops" comes off like it coulda been performed live at the Honolulu Holiday Inn right around the moment Wo Fat was there on the hunt for a little nookie to relieve some of that underhanded subterfuge tension. And yeah, the furrin' stuff on this is potent enough to send you straight to the ethnic shop of your choice in Pittsburgh's Strip District wonderin' whether or not you wanna look at the fish heads at Wholey's or check out the excitement at one of the Asian or Italian supermarkets. I will say that this 'un does go down swell with a plato spaghetti and best about it is you don't have to smell your grandmother's garlic aroma!

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