Sunday, November 09, 2014

Gawrsh, another week gone, and the way time's been flying around here it sure seems like autumn out there. Wait, is is autumn out there...sheesh, where has all of that summertime weather I've been waiting for gone anyway! Well, enough of alla them gosh crimonies and welcome to this weekend's BLOG TO COMM post. As you can see there's nothing that much (again) to blab about and, given that the era in rock that served us well is forever gone (only to be replaced by a monster that stands 180 against the throbbing genius of the BIG BEAT), it's a miracle that I've been able to scrape up at least this much to write about. But like that chef who was able to whip up a tasty dish of Chicken Marengo with just a few ingredients at hand I think I did "fairly" swell with the few shards of new material that managed to make their way to my ears. Maybe not, for somehow I get the idea that if Napoleon would have read this blog I would have been drawn and quartered post haste!

I must admit that I am greeting the arrival of the winter season with a whole lot more anticipation than I have been these past few decades. The thought of being snowed in for a good month with nothing better to do than devote more time to listening to oft-ignored records and pouring through boxes in search of long-forgotten fanzines really does settle well with my ever-impending approachment towards my second childhood (or at least second adolescence) which would suit me just fine. At least when I was a turdler life was a fun adventure and even when I was older and had to endure the terrors of school and social congress those weekends and holidays with nothing but my transistor radio and my comic books to protect me were way more beneficial'n anything else I could conjure up in my mind. I'll tell ya, when I'm old enough to retire I'm gonna do NOTHING but stay home all day and read comics, listen to music, play with my toys, watch old tee-vee shows and hide from the mailman just like I used to do when I was only three and knew better. And somehow, I feel that I would be serving mankind in a more beneficial way doing this than would I volunteer for hospital poop pickup and meals on wheels work like alla them other retirees do.
So anyhow, here it is for worse or even worser. The listening (and reviewing) situation may brighten up in the future what with a number of hotcha items that are up for sale via FORCED EXPOSURE as well as via ebay (plus I've discovered a whole buncha platters that are posted on youtube that I wouldn't mind some enterprising computer whiz to download for me), but those goodies'll have to wait until I can get a large load of scratch up. And since I've pretty much given up on anything current (which to me translates into just about anything that sounds as if it were recorded after 1981) you can just bet that the kicks will be getting harder to find once I mutate into an even grouchier caga'n the one I am at this very nanosecond. But hunker in the bunker I will, because I get the feeling that someday, somehow, I will get to hear each and every one of those obscure ne'er released groups that I've read about via obscure mentions and strange asides (like, who in heck was that Mexican rock group who sent an audition tape to CBGB in early 1976?) and frankly, I ain't leaving this mortal coil until I do and that's a promise!

Awww g'wan, read the blasted things willya???

Achim Reichel & Machines-ECHO/A.R.IV. 2-CD set (New Amos Records, Germany)

Even though it's been a good two or so decades since I began to seriously listen to the vast array of krautrock with a post-Stoogian mindset meant for the music, its more'n obvious that I'm still feeling myself out (no, not THAT!) when it comes to discovering some of even the more noteworthy acts who were wallowing around in that particular genre back during the Golden Age of import bins. And to be upfront and natural about it, the works of Achim Reichal are definitely among the wads of krautscapading that I haven't been paying much attention to lo these many years. True I  gave the former Rattler's boffo THE GREAT JOURNEY the royal BLOG TO COMM treatment o'er a year ago, but other'n that it wasn't like I was bustin' down the barn door attempting to give any more of Reichel's works a proper ear-ticklin'. Until now that is.

Y'see, sometimes (actually, ALL of the time!) I really do get hard up for a fresh solid straight ahead rock 'n roll spin and this collection has not one but two of Reichel's old works found in one nice li'l package! Yes, this truly is a moderne-day equivalent of those twofa's they used to have where you could snatch up once-outta print platters by your faves at special budget prices custom made to fit your depression-era wage laden pocket book. Only the prices on these things sure ain't as budget as they were inna olden days that's for sure!

ECHO is a quandary in many a way, with lush 'n rather proggy instrumental passages morphing into some rather hot repeato-riff neo-punk manifested in the best krautrockian way one could imagine. The overall results are a give 'n take what with the rather dry experimental sounds turning you off before the flashier drones send you off into pure early-seventies metallic scronk. However, if you've been able to sit through your cyst-er's reams of Moody Blues albums spinnin' on the turntable before you were able to get to it with your Iggy I think you can handle this 'un hands down. And if you're one of those early-seventies survivors who brazenly stood against the tide of timid with your unapologetic stance re. the Velvet Underground and various seventies/eighties permutations you'll undoubtedly find much to enjoy with ECHO. As the old saying goes, you can do worse, and you have!

Don't get the wrench shown on the cover of A.R. IV. confused with that of Can's INNER SPACE because unlike that pitiful later-on edition to the once-snat Can line of albums this one ain't that bad at all. Of course you have to put up with a lotta experimental whackadoody voices and classical music interspliced with the usual kraut-talk but after that's all over there's some more hot krautrocking that sorta reminds me of the likes of Can and Amon Duul II romping through various late-sixties punk motifs. (It may remind you of some English faerie prog landscape a la Yes, but if it does I'm not going to take away your no prize because to an extent I agree with you!)

But after it starts to sink into your mind like a greasy ball o' dago dough in your stomach you'll discover that A.R.IV. can be pretty driving. Driving like an early-seventies Can splurge through the realm of interstellar rock, and although I doubt there'd be anything on this 'un that'd convert the typical "classic rock/AOR" schmuck to the cause of pure unadultered rockism it might suit the typical BTC reader to the infamous "T". Well, at least in small doses so don't go off buying this under the impression that the latest variation on WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT has been finally unearthed. But if you thought the best moments of Can, Amon Duul II and their spiritual brethren were their interstellar forays into free form enveloping jams you'll definitely cling to this like undigested bran to my sphincter.

An overall not bad set of two early-seventies kraut-unto-underground platters that, while perhaps steeped a little too much into the progressive miasma of the day, still can deliver on some high energy jamz worthy of the better German expressionist rock one can imagine. One you might not wanna pass up, but if you do I think I understand.
The Human Condition-LIVE AT THE COLLEGIATE THEATRE 13th SEPTEMBER 1981/LIVE IN EUROPE NOVEMBER 1981 2 CD-r burn (originally on THC)

I know I'm not supposed to like this on purely aesthetic principles, but I find these two live recordings to be slightly inspirational. And although I'm not supposed to like the members of this band on purely aesthetic principles as well I can't find any fault on the part of the ex PiL people and cohorts who were present on these instrumental live jamz that not only hearken back to the group's earlier roots, but set the stage for a whole slew of interesting eighties romps along the lines of Mark Hanley's excellent Room 101. The use of various riffage copped from everyone from Pere Ubu to Pink Floyd makes for an interesting springboard into free form jamming and I should admit as to just how inspiring this comes off next to some of the cruddo musings that were beginning to infiltrate the entire "vague rubric" (© 1985 Robert Christgau) of new unto gnu wave music, but danged if I'm never EVER gonna listen to this again. I mean, with a shoebox fulla Electric Eels Cee-Dees inna closet would YOU???
The Fall-C.R.E.E.P. SHOW CD-r burn (taken from bootleg)

Never having been a Fall fanatic like way too many of you were out and about during the HOTCHA UNDERGROUND I HEARD IT BEFORE YOU! bandwagon jump of the eighties, I must admit that I do find Mark Smith and cohorts' antics pleasurable "once in awhile" to be corny about it. The one-chord thump and grind does wonders for a fanabla like me who doesn't mind his music doused with the proper amount of "minimalism" at least until it starts sounding like an art project, and the band delivers that great and beautiful eternal drone like nothing since the days of back when the Stooges were first learning how to handle their instruments and failing miserably at it. I've been told that these Fall live album releases (legit or not) are rather hit and miss, but this one hits it on all quarters and even a few nickels and if you dig it up and download it for your pleasure that's your good luck!
WALTER WINCHELL BROADCASTS (via the internet I s'pose)

Bill sent me a whole slab o' these Winchell programs but only now (after over a year) have I started to dig into 'em, undoubtedly because there's hardly been anything else to dig into this week. Good stuff they are with the famed crusading commentator's rat-a-tat reporting and hard-edged commentaries that would give even Perry White a headache. Sound quality ain't that hotcha, but the fast pace and down-to-earth drive of these is enough to show you just how much the concept of news broadcasts has changed o'er the years. Face it, next to guys like Winchell all of those people you see on the news today like Brian Williams and Scott Pelly really come off looking like sissies, though I must admit that even next to me they look like sissies as well!
Various Artists-SOUR DIAMOND TAILFEATHER HEAVER CD-r (a Bill Shute Production)

Nice but not as tippy top as last week's entry. Two Danny and the Juniors demos really don't toggle this guy's switch (still suffering from the dreaded malady of seventies nostalgia overhype) while I'm still nauseated even thinking about Steve Allen even though he's been gone for x-teen years, but the various takes/rewrites of "This Diamond Ring" actually make me wanna forget what a jerk Gary Lewis is supposed to be while the Homer and Jethro take on "Battle of New Orleans" had me smilin' and guffawin' more'n any George Carlin routine you'd dare to conjure. Even the Allman Joys (one of ROLLING STONE's favorite garage bands---no foolin'!) ain't as disgusto to your punk attitude as they normally would be, while the Jerry Landis/Paul Simon produced and recorded tracks that close the disque out evoke more early-sixties proto-singer/songwriter pop fun than they do anything you'd expect from a guy who has to team up with longtime partner/adversary Art Garfunkel because otherwise nobody would go see him perform. A whole lot better'n what you can dig up on Sirius XM I'll tell ya!

1 comment:

Bill S. said...

I also have five dvd-r volumes of the late 50s WALTER WINCHELL FILES tv show. Not sure if I've ever sent one of those to you. They are dramatizations "from Winchell's private case files" and are not only narrated/hosted by Winchell, but he acts in a number of them, playing his public persona, the hard-hitting urban reporter who still walks the streets and has not forgotten his roots. The only problem is that, as the grey-market video dealers would say, quality is 6/10. I can throw one or two of those into your Christmas package....if I can find them, that is!