Saturday, December 13, 2014

Since Christmastime is just around the corner I'll bet you're all getting hot 'n tingly for the yuletide season what with alla them presents and parties and holiday cheer that's gonna be hurled right at'cha, right??? Yeah, I didn't think so. Let's face it, as soon as the World War II generation that gave us everything from hotcha tee-vee to sleek cars and a general easy-going life gave way to the spoiled brat hippies who've been ruling things since the eighties, nothing is what is used to be. I remember when kids were kids and kids tee-vee was a funtime experience what with the loads of cartoons and funny sitcoms that used to be pumped at ya. And Christmas was a good one-anna-half weeks off from school where you'd get presents and go to parties galore where you got to break your cousins' toys* and get into big fights. No more. Ditto the fun toys they used to have and the mere concept of acting like the suburban slob you and I were born to be. All out the window. The hippies were supposed to be liberating, but all they turned out to be were iron-fisted dictators who sure knew more about us peons than we ever did. And with them went all the fun and joy there was in being a ranch house guy who might have been materialistic, but that materialism was limited to records and tee-vee and Studebakers and not Oprah that's for sure!

And as I told Don Fellman, there aren't any children anymore. They're just mini adults who are being programmed into being sluts and layabouts and bleedhearts at an early age. I get the feeling that none of 'em would be caught dead watching SUPERCAR, though if Brad Kohler's story about his sis's kids getting into the old LITTLE RASCALS comedy where Joe Cobb and Chubby are tearing each other's shorts off is true perhaps there is some hope. But I doubt it.
Enough of the wallowing in misery act and onto the part you've been waiting for---the reviews! Got some goodies this time which have certainly lit up my hemorrhoids as I know they will yours, so let's just say these closing days of the year 2014 ain't as dullsville as I thought they were gonna be. Seems as if there are a number of issues coming out (all of the old school/style natch!) that are worth sticking around for, so if anybody out there is planning on killing me at least wait until after I get to spin some of these. And who knows, what with the promised Magic Tramps platter and other seventies dig-ups that are bound to make their way to your favorite internet shop there's all the more reason one should stick around and enjoy all of those long-forbidden sounds to permeate your ape-like mentalities. So save up those pennies and eat your vegetables because maybe the next few years ain't gonna be as morbid as Phillip Dick used to hint around at!

DMZ-RADIO DEMOS/Lyres-LIVE AT CANTONE'S 1982 CD (Munster, Spain)

The third (but not necessarily last) in my series of DMZ reviews, this 'un's got what I think is the entire WTBS broadcast from the days when David Robinson hadn't yet sullied his credibility by joining the Cars while the rest consists of a post-DMZ Lyres gig at Boston's Cantone's club that came out in part on a Crypt LP ages ago.The DMZ tracks are as killer as all get out what with their hard-rockin' approach that I delved into in my previous weekend posts, and although the Lyres were more sixties-oriented in a garage band revival sorta way their songs don't have the worn out feeling of the group's later platters (A PROMISE IS A PROMISE come to mind). These live rompers just go to show you just how exciting these guys coulda been, especially when stacked up against alla that eighties rock that was supposed to "speak to you" but came out sounding like Chico Marx. Might be worth your while to snatch this up at the next ebay "buy it now" offer you see.
The Unrelated Segments-THE STORY OF MY LIFE 2-LP set (Guerrson, Spain)

These Detroit high energy rockers have been due for a honorable retrospect for quite some time, and this one does 'em up just fine. The boffo original singles we've heard for ages appear on the first side of this double header, while the rest is filled up with ne'er before released tracks not only by the Segments but by singer Ron Stults' later-on act Lost Nation, and boy are these the proverbial killer dillers in a CREEM magazine sorta way! Kinda makes me wonder why nobody there thought of mentioning them at all, but since they were ignoring a whole lotta local talent I guess that was par for the course.

No need to tell you how great the familiar material is, but the rest is really up to Detroit snuff to the point that people never did stop talking about all of the energy that was coming outta that state. Side four's collection of backing tracks and demos does fill out the legend quite a bit, but the Lost Nations material is surprisingly hard even by local standards. This is "heavy metal" in the classic sense long before a buncha poofs took the original notion and added a whole lotta phony debbil signs to it---pure hard scronk that resembles the MC5 and various other local practitioners of the form (also be sure to catch that "Communication Breakdown" riff swipe), and even the trendy synthesizer doesn't detract from the overall fun and jamz.

Stults's typically teenage whining vocals fit in swell giving it all that snotty adolescent feeling that made these records relate to you as a suburban slob NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC-sneaking ranch house jerk, and one spin of this'll connect you to your teenbo roots faster'n you can say "GILLIGAN'S ISLAND reruns!" One of the better exhumations and re-creations I've heard as of late...definitely worth the megabucks that various online dealers are offering for it!
Philip  Glass-SYMPHONY No. 4 "HEROES" CD (Orange Mountain Music)

Yeah maybe I shoulda spent the dough on the LOW symphony...after all that one was one of my favorite late-high school dayze listening experiences right around the time I thought that it all came outta the same font of inspiration. But SYMPHONY No. 4 ain't that bad at all. Can't recognize any of the melodies from the original HEROES album and sometimes this does sound like your typical TCM soundtrack for a "silent" film that some college creep thought should be "updated", but listening to this did give me some hallowed kultural feelings that reminded me of things that never did happen in my life! Don't worry, if you haven't been in on this blog (or in on any of my other scribblings) since day one you'll never make sense outta it. (Available via Forced Exposure.)
Magma-RIAH SAHILTAAHK CD (Jazz Village)

A might be good enough for you Magma unearthing from their mid-seventies big label days when they even rated a mention in NEWSWEEK, this 'un's got that hotcha euro cum free jazz sound that got me interested in a whole lotta that continental screeding way back in those dark and dank mid-seventies. Kinda funko-commercial at times, but if you squint your ears this fits in with that molten lava sounding group that seemed like one of the more mind-blasting concepts in what was being called "progressive" rock. Only twennysome minutes long, so if you wonder where the rest of it is there ain't none!

These ain't the original surviving Schwitters tapes (like the one Eno used on his BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE platter) but recent recordings made by Sprechbohrer, a krautese ensemble featuring two males and one femme performing Schwitters' unique vocal-cum-singsong creations, most in German but some en Inglese. And unique they are, and in fact these are musical enough that I could listen to this while reading the latest UGLY THINGS and the spreckense seemed to fit in excruciatingly well.

Interesting parts (no track listing given and even the liners are kinda sparse), the song where the trio keep saying "Rocket To Bee-Bee", the one which sounds something like Tommy Dorsey's "Rag Mop" trying to get started, the moments where various future rock 'n roll syllables are spouted and the one where one of the gentlemen does a rather good impression of Gruber from 'ALLO 'ALLO. Nice historical document especially for people who think alla that weirdo art began with the beatniks or something like that.
Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart-PROVIDENCE COLLEGE, RHODE ISLAND, APRIL 26th 1975 2-CD set (Keyhole)

If you thought (like me) that the Zappa/Beefheart/Mothers BONGO FURY was the best thing ol' stinkeroo did during the reign of the third Mothers of Invention lineup you'll probably go for this faster'n a starving homo for a turd. I sure did, though when I got this double disque set it wasn't like I was that enthralled. The recording, while clear enough, is too vocal heavy with one having to strain to hear the instruments while there frankly ain't enough Beefheart on this 'un to satiate his diehard fans. However I figure "wha' th' hey..." both of these guys are deader'n Shemp and releases like this only exist to heighten the original experience for alla them Bizarre freaks who were snatching these platters up way back when and sure wanted even more'n what the bootleg market was willing to offer.

But still PROVIDENCE COLLEGE has its many moments, from Beefheart vocalizing the ZOOT ALLURES numbuh "The Torture Never Stops" as well as a boffo encore of that all time real fave "Willie the Pimp". Zappa may get too overbearing at times (as he was wont to do) but even the fusion numbers don't get to you the way alla them Return to Forever diddies that drove your FM band nutty way back when did. And even with the off-balance sound and slow moments where Zappa once again talks down to all of us this one does retain that smelly gym socks and mildew feeling you've come to expect from the Bizarre/Discreet line. A bonafeed sleeper, and I certainly don't mean you're gonna sleep through it!
OUBA LP (Out-Sider/Guerrson, Spain)

A late sixties free-form jam album performed by a buncha Montreal hippoids (including future power pop legend Michel Pagliaro) sure sounded like a must-buy to me, but after listening to this 'un I must admit that I wish I had passed. Without the gnarled intensity of a Can or Soft Machine, this music just comes off like a buncha potheads getting together having fun inna basement. Some charm to it, but it's mostly late-sixties neo-fusionoid music that reminds me of something you woulda heard in a "now" film of the day. If you're nostalgic for THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR you might want to look into it.

These nearing the end of Sun Ra's orbit recordings laid down in Milan might not be the ones to agitate the nodes of those brought up on Ra's ESP and various sixties/seventies releases, but for a career swan song they represent an artist's final output far better'n some of the things other beings had released before their big dive into the eternal cesspool.

Yeah a whole lot of the edgy feeling of those HELIOCENTRIC WORLDS and SOLAR MYTH APPROACH platters might seem lost and gone forever in classic "My Darling Clementine" fashion, but in many ways Ra was returning to his roots on these albums and frankly there's nothin' wrong with that! Not only returning to the roots of his early Fletcher Henderson Big Band days, but that of the mid-fifties Arkestra when the new thing was just being born and developed much to the ire of way too many a bopster who needed more'n a little nudge to make his way into the new world of freedom that was popping up on the horizon.

Three Arkestra outings appear in this box, all in varying forms of intensity and entertainment value with forties themes getting jammed into interstellar overdrive and perhaps some of the most off key vocalizing I've heard from the Sun Ra camp ever! Even more interesting is disque #4 which is actually a Billy Bang sesh featuring Ra on piano...its entitled A TRIBUTE TO STUFF SMITH (not Snuffy Smith as some wags would probably put it) where Bang and band including Andrew Cyrille and bassist John Ore explore some of the long-forgotten classics in their own new thing style. Actually invigorating though you can tell just how much Ra was suffering from his maladies with one listen. Perhaps his single-handed playing minimizes things a bit, but the overall results make for a rather intense slow burn session that should sate fans of both Ra and Bang.

A worthy addition to any BLOG TO COMM freedom lover's Ra collection that better get the gal of your dreams inna mood more'n your etchings every could!
Various Artists-SILVER SANTA STAIRS IN REVERSE CD-r (A Bill Shute megaloperation)

The elf sipping away on a Genesee featured on the cover really got me into the holiday mood, so I figured why not slap this 'un on and try to osmose more of that jeer and not-so-goodwill that I always come across this time of the year! A really boffo one this turned out to be too, what with the act called Dawn (who OBVIOUSLY never heard of "Tony Orlando and...") opening and closing this 'un with some weird avant punk cum pop that I just can't categorize other'n it sounds like the GOOD stuff that used to come out during the early-eighties days of amerindie, You do remember, the time when the chaff was really beginning to make its way into the form and buying a platter by a new group became a rather risky situation.. (Can't find a blamed thing on 'em via the web which must make 'em a really under-the-NEW YORK ROCKER-ground act...where'd you get this 'un Bill?)

Zeitgeist also surprised me on "Set Sail for the Sun" which is a Stockhausen composition realized for a new music ensemble and released on Finnedar. the short-lived WEA-backed avant garde label of the late-seventies whose releases are now going for much in the bucks department. (I got two of 'em and no, I'm not gonna part with either!)

The rest is boff too from the punk rock Christmas ditties to the early-sixties pop of Patty York, and even the infamous George Hamilton IV turns up (so do Yo La Whatzername as well!). But its the Dawn and Zeitgeist numbers that made the biggest impression on my brain, and the more of that sorta swill in my pigpen the better I always say. (Did I mention the Marc Bolan Christmas message? That'll get your season in gear especially if you [like me] still have your head and listening parameters set in 1972!)
*like the time I got my cous' new bendable Barbie doll and tried to make her spread eagle snapping her leg off! She cried like there was no tomorrow and I hadda spend a couple bucks outta my gift money to buy her a new one! Years later I brought this up to her and she started laughing, having forgotten the traumatic experience, saying that I must've been a sicko for wanting to get a peek at Barbie's beaver or something like that! Goes to show you who the real victim was as far as innocent childhood toy-breaking sagas go now, eh???

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