Saturday, July 12, 2014

Not really in the mood to blab on in my usual diarrhea mouth fashion about the usual things I usually open up these review-laden posts with. Life has become too nauseating to complain about the realities of mere existence without coming off even crankier than I tend to be. Even the prospect of doing something entertaining and fun in life, like watching an old television show or dining out once in awhile, doesn't have the same slam bang thrill it once did to the point where I still fondly remember the times I was ever served a salad with croutons on it and thought it was the wildest thing to happen to vegetables since gooey sauce! But then again, I think I gave up living a good decade or so and now merely exist, and frankly I find that a whole lot better'n the alternative I sure wish more'n a few people out there were now experiencing, ifyagetmydrift...

Maybe I should talk about something HAPPIER such as...well, I did want to bring up the fact that the final Ramone, none other'n Tommy, has died making the original act totally kaputsky. But I'm sure you all knew that (btw I thought it was funny that AOL used Marky's snap on their front page come-on, a mistake I'm sure they fixed once the comments started pouring in!). Charlie Haden also died though I never could get worked up over that, not only because he was a hardcore leftoid who came off as such a pussy in some DOWN BEAT interviews to the point of nausea, but because he had spent some time at Synanon where I'm sure he was involved in a whole slew of nefarious mindscrewing practices as well as raising snakes and stuffing them in mail boxes! I always preferred David Izenzon's playing with Ornette anyway. Well, gotta say that two more influential musicians have gone to their bigtime reward, and you know that when two oldtimes pass on a whole slew of talentless subsputum are gonna rise in their place and pollute the world with even more tepid art as the years roll by.

So, on that happy note...

Amon Duul II-MADE IN GERMANY CD (Revisited Records, Germany)

After finding HIJACK a bit of a disappointment upon listening to it a good thirty-eight years back, I must admit that I did have some trepidation regarding any prospective purchase of this followup by krautrock biggies Amon Duul II a good thirty-nine years after reading a rather interesting review of it in CREEM. Well, maybe I shouldn't have waited that long before snatching it up because MADE IN GERMANY is rather/fairly/iffy good despite the usual mid-seventies pratfalls and attempts to be hip 'n updated. Surprisingly potent poppy music that was still too good for the AM dial (or too good for the FM as well) mixed with the residue of the late-sixties psychedelic afterbirth, and it's even a concept album about German history that'll make you wanna goosestep your way into the Poland of your own imagination! Maybe it does drag in spots, but it's still a good play for the Roxy Music/Eno crowd who had that Teutonic streak in their mid-seventies listening habits. Biggest surprise, the whacked-out Top 40 dee-jay interview with famed kraut drummer A. Hitler, and I believe that any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is merely coincidental!

Given that this 'un was unleashed on the public back 1960 way, it's pretty surprising hearing just how advanced Taylor and his band were next to the schmoozy tux 'n tails sounds that were grabbing the jazz world at the same time this monster was unleashed! Extremely high energy and intense outing here with Taylor sounding as fresh and as atonal as ever backed by original bassist Buell Nedlinger and drummer Denis (here "Dennis") Charles and, on two tracks only, Archie Shepp making an early recorded appearance. Really, there ain't much more I can say that you longtime Taylor aficionados don't already know, but this is a wild killer of a platter that you really do need to hear especially if you've only heard about this "new thing" recently and wanna give it a try.

And in case you wonder YES, I still am steamed over the shabby treatment that Taylor got in that Ken Burns Jazz documentary series where, thanks to Branford Marsalis, he is the ONLY participant in that rather wretched television spectacular who was allowed to have something negative said about him while many lesser "talents" in the world of jazz got away scott free!
Sun Ra-CONTINUATION 2-CD-r burn set (originally on Saturn)

Boy do these Sun Ra rarities just keep gettin' pumped out at a rate that not even the most serious Ra enthusiast could afford to keep up with! And yeah, this is another one of those once rare beyond your wildest dreams albums that you probably sent away for and never got, and it's just too bad that these Saturn disques didn't get the push they so needed back then because, as you've already expected, CONTINUATION's a pretty out-there affair that rivals all those Ra platters that got you hot and heavy back when cutout bins were just brimmin' full of 'em.

If you too were weaned on the likes of the HELIOCENTRIC WORLDS albums as well as various mid-sixties releases on Impulse and smaller jazz labels you'll know what kind of hot flash to expect, though you will probably be surprised to find out that these sides were laid down in 1963 thus predating the whole freak scene by a good two or so years.

However there's one thing on my mind  that I really wanna know, and that is what were those freaky tracks Bob tagged on after the second Ra disque anyway, the ones with some woman singing over what sounded like a bunch of stringed instruments being strummed almost randomly (the very last cut right after those two I don't particularly wanna know about given how it sounds so typical of standard underground art rock affairs as heard by this man o'er the past twenty or so years!).
The Zombies-LIVE AT THE BBC CD-r burn (originally on Repertoire, England)

Not being as avid a Zombie fan as Don Fellman, I certainly welcomed the addition of this collection of Kenny Everett SATURDAY CLUB tracks courtesy of Paul McGarry into my abode. The familiar tunes sound unique enough what with Rod Argent using an organ 'stead of electric piano on "She's Not There" (!), while the r 'n b covers and tracks not known by me were moving enough in that mid-sixties English rock way. Good enough that I almost flashed back to those kiddoid days when you couldn't escape the Big Beat no matter what show you watched other'n LAMP UNTO MY TOOTSIES. The banter between Everett and the group recounting their impressions of Ameriga and touring add a nice time capsule bit of background to it all (good thing they didn't discuss the Philippines after Chris White's remarks about the girly action there!). In all, a grand bit of rock 'n roll timewarp giving us yet another slim taste of what top forty rock was like twixt early-sixties innovation and late-sixties pop glop.
SKIN DEEP sound-discs from 1929 lost feature CD-r

Unlike the Sophie Tucker HONKY TONK disque reviewed awhile back, this 'un merely features musical fragments from a lost 1929 Vitaphone feature starring Monte Blue and Betty Compson and is totally bereft of dialogue so I can't tell you what this was all about. Judging from the surviving scratchy soundtrack this was probably a jazz-age melodrama a little too late for FILMS OF THE GATSBY ERA yet too early for those thirties Warner Brothers moom pitchers that sure socked this adolescent pudgeball on the lookout for the best in tee-vee thrills. Actually, this sounds a little advanced next to some of the early talkie features I've seen which tried to go as far as they could by hamming up the sound effects and laying low on the musical interludes. If they ever do find the film this might be the one to cure your 3:00 AM insomnia.
The Split Squad-NOW HERE THIS CD-r burn (CD Baby)

Heh, this is pretty good modern-day pop rock reminiscent of the sorta new wave that enlightened an entire generation of rock fanatics to dump their Ted Nugent albums. Or something like that, those days were soooo long ago. And really, this group does have a good reason for sounding like the best and brightest of the late-seventies "new thing" in pop because each and every member had put in a good deal of time playing in the likes of the Plimsouls, Fleshtones, Blondie and a variety of other acts that made Van Halen fans sneer with their usual indignant elitism fully intact. Nothing that I would care to buy for myself given my penchant for making the Abe Lincolns on my pennies wince (Paul McGarry sent me this 'un gratis), but it's all pretty good rock 'n roll (in the classic, purest sense) that sure sounds better'n most of the quap that I've heard that passes as "rock" o'er the past forty or so years.
Vibracathedral Orchestra-THE QUEEN OF GUESS CD (Revolver USA)

As you know, many of these newfangled musical acts rock or not, experimental or not, precociously self-conscious or not, don't really jive with my own personal ideas of what high energy music (or at least a music that is in the raw stages of transformation) is supposed to be all about. Yeah, that  sounds rather phony-intellectual to me too, but I know you get the drift. As I've said many a times it seems as if few things these days (or these past three or so decades) really affects me like similar-minded efforts did back when I was a stoopid kid, and yeah I know that times change and the mode of the music usually does along with 'em but for me there was that certain spark, charm and grace that lent itself to a whole load of musical efforts in the sixties and seventies (fifties too!) that just seemed to get washed away once rock matured to the point it should be receiving Social Security payments. And y'know, hardly anybody out there these days can convince me that they would even want to be the new Velvet Underground, or new Mirrors or even new Syd Barrett for that matter, and given how lifeless and soulless the world has become once it jettisoned spirit for chic gratification why would anyone out there WANT to be any one of 'em?

Anyway these Vibracathedral guys've been touted as being part of some new vanguard of Next Generation musical wisdom for quite some time, and as usual the mere hype had turned my stomach more'n Sherwood's head on THE BARNEY BEAN SHOW. But, brave soul always on the lookout for a new hook to sink my teeth into, I purchased this particular platter (I do have another one lost in the collection and maybe a vinyl offering once reviewed somewhere as well!) and thought it was pretty snat in its own experimental rock way. Shades of a lotta things here from Lamonte Young to Controlled Bleeding can be discerned, and I must have a whole lotta Harmonia on the mind because I can even hear echoes of them via their debut play as well! Not bad at all, even if there seems to be this dinge of postmodern stringency that keeps this from being on par with the groups that the Vibracathedral people obviously draw more'n a little inspiration from.
Various Artists-LAUGHING GHOSTS ON THE BLUE RIVER CD-r burn (courtesy the hard work and mindful diligence of Bill Shute)

Bus Eubanks would be really proud of Bill for this collection of early 78 sides by some of the snappier stars of the twenties jazz age available via the click of a mouse. Pretty hotcha selection here too with only one pre-jazzer here (Billy Murray's 1904 creeper "The Ghost That Never Walked"), and even that one fits in with the crackles and clicks yer gonna get (and enjoy) with this hot sesh. All the biggies are here and they really know how to send you to the Malt Shop in your mind with such wonders as "Toot Toot Tootsie", "Laugh Clown Laugh" (a real tear-jerker) and even the French Vichy lover Maurice Chevalier doing one of the two versions of "Sweeping the Clouds Away" that pop up (there are lotsa diff. takes from diff. artists here, including  not only Al Jolson's but Sophie Tucker's versions of "Blue River"). Goes well with yer old silent moom pitchers that don't have soundtracks, and as Dudley Dooright once said "that's real toe-tapping music!" Who am I to argue?


Bill S. said...

Getting the Bus Eubanks posthumous seal of approval makes it all worthwhile!

Anonymous said...

Branford came across like such a douchebag in that clip. What a prick.