Continuing on the fine tradition of noting the various fiftieth anniversaries of importance in our suburban slob upbringing existences (the JFK assassination and the Beatles arrival in the US of Whoa amongst 'em) I thought I'd mention (or better yet, "bring up" [..........gurgle..........] another one that's almost upon us (and no, I don't mean the rather boffo 1964-1965 tee-vee season which gave us a few notable hits along with some rather expressive flops) but that of my entrance into---society so to speak. 'n no, I don't mean the "social whirl" of martinis and snack crackers at the Jonesies at eight, but that dark day in human history (at least for me) otherwise known as my first day of (shudder!) school.
Before I entered into Kindergarten that sunny if breezy day in very early September 1965, life was like, fun. In fact it was a daily adventure just as exciting as any episode of LASSIE that might have being airing at the time. Sure, turdler me had to contend with frightening nightmares usually having to do with the skeleton falling out of the photo of my dead grandfather that was hanging in grandmother's basement and butterflies eating me alive, not to mention the fact that my folks coulda been a whole lot less strict with me given their penchant to swing first and ask questions at the same time. But otherwise I was living through the kinda existence that I sure wish never woulda ended. Wake up, snap on the tee-vee and watch the morning cartoons, get dressed in time for the LITTLE RASCALS short or old TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK that always ended the cartoon hour (or maybe the Lowell Thomas station freebee having something to do with the United States Air Force) before playing with my toys while the tee-vee kept me company, or going shopping with mom or maybe even getting some toy outta a department store visit if luck would strike. Then it was more tee-vee and more playing with my toys until suppertime, and then even MORE tee-vee only with my dad reading the paper in the same room until it was time for bed. I could even get a snack of soda pop and Fritos to help me make my way through that episode of THE DEFENDERS that some wizenheimer put on! I mean, that's the kinda life I wish I could live now especially if the same sorta hotcha programs that were airing then (even THE DEFENDERS!) were still being shown giving a guy a good reason to stay up past seven o'clock!
Naturally that all would come to an end with my entrance into school, and what a depressing lifestyle rearrangement it was---BOOM like a lead curtain slamming me right on my tender five-year-old noggin! Or better yet a psychological dumping of the kid in the deep fat fryer and seeing if he comes up batter-fried fish or KFC!
The first thing that got to me was having to socialize with kids the same age I was---not that something like that wasn't exactly new to me albeit it seemed as if each and every attempt at playing with others usually ended up with said brat taking advantage of me and but good! (I remember one overcast autumn evening when my father and I were visiting a neighbor who happened to work with my dad'n I was more or less relegated into playing in the back yard sandbox with said neighbor's kid---dear little "Kevin" for no reason other'n I grabbed his dump truck threw a fistfulla sand in my face thus causing the folks to rush me home in order to squirt a few bottles of Murine into my eyes! When I heard years later that the very same kid had died [story has it either via AIDS or an accident] you can bet I felt justified to the max!!!) Now I hadda spend six hours in a room with a good twentysome more of these monsters, and you can bet that the experiences that I hadda endure with these monsters was nada like the fun 'n games ya used to see on DING DONG SCHOOL that's for sure!
Now I will remember that my kiddiegarden teacher Mrs. Carter was in fact quite a nice lady. She kinda looked like a cross between Rose Marie and that lady who used to hawk Cool Whip on tee-vee (she even popped up in a commercial with Bill Cosby who was pushing "pudding in a cloud" in the late-seventies!). Mrs. Carter used to wear a rubber band around her wrist and for some reason I thought that she had a removable hand she could take off and put back on for whatever reason she needed (grownups are funny about things like that!). I even asked my mother to ask her if in fact this was true, that's how interested I was in her hand! I also remember asking her if she was related to Sgt. Carter of GOMER PYLE USMC fame and she told me to move it, knucklehead which was especially fitting of her!
But still I hadda get up early three days a week and miss my morning cartoons and that was bad, and what was worse was a whole year later when I actually had to enter first grade, get up early FIVE days a week and endure even more snooty, pushy classmates (cunts all) as well as teachers who I believe were hired on the basis of how much they hated children. Now that was bad (and how I used to sit in class thinking about which LITTLE RASCALS short I'd already seen a hundred times was being aired right at that very moment). And what's worse is that the same pattern pretty much engulfed my entire living patters for my entire formative years.
'n yeah, I will admit that I used to get all giddy and excited over going back to school (a giddiness which did not last long mind you), but years later I think that was only because of my parents' pushing the school agenda just like tee-vee pushed the new fall season and the auto manufacturers hyped their new models (all around the same time which did lend a certain excitement to life in general!). It took me a long time to realize that I was being "had" but hey, when you're a kid you have no right to think, and shut up is your only option so like why bother even living???
Back to those "formative years"....here in my aged state I get the strong feeling that them days woulda been put to better use had I just stayed home and got my education sitting like a lump in front of the television set (as if you remember everything you learned about mathematics, grammar and citizenship from that harridan you had as a teach all them years ago!) 'stead of being dragged to school during the weekdays. And Greg Prevost was RIGHT...after all, what good is the stuff being taught to you in third grade when you have to go out and fend for yourself in that megalomonster that we all call reality?
So now you know why I am the antisocial, mankind-hating person that I proudly proclaim myself to be these days. But I always wasn't like that, and if you want to see just what kind of a fun, everyday go-for-a-walk and watch tee-vee normal kid I was just hop in your own Wayback Machine and set if for a good fifty years or so back. And if you wanna see what a bitter, hate-filled loathsome wretch could be, just tune it back forty-nine!
***On to other subjects at hands or fritzes for that matter. After that all-too-potent edi-TOO-real I just dished out let me welcome you to this latest in hopefully a long line of BLOG TO COMM posts which I get the "funny" feeling you'll dig to the utmost. Just happ'd to get some really find wowzers o'er the past few days (some courtesy Bill Shute, others P.D. Fadensonnen, one thanks to Paul McGarry and a few I even paid for myself!) and I know that this week (and maybe even next!) will be pretty potent as far as delivering on the high energy goods to all of you rockism-deprived readers just drooling for that latest tip for a trip to your nearest record emporium! (Which may be thousands of miles away but hey, you always got FEET!) Surprisingly enough, it seems as if the reissue/exhumation market has been perking up a tad as we speak, and with some of these new releases making their way to your turntables and laser launching pads we might just have enough good jamz to kick out at least until...the next batch of hardcore rock 'n roll recordings make their way out of the dresser drawers and into the streets!
***One more thingie---there are some things I'd really like to know and know a whole lot more sooner 'n later. Is it true that some cop in Ferguson Missouri really shot an English progressive rock group? And what's all this talk about an all-woman seventies horn-rock act of questionable sexuality (or was it a recent post-metal band) wreaking havoc in the Middle East?
Lessee...did I use this one?..."sounds like the last minute of Jimi Hendrix's existence as he choked to death on his machine head"??? I think maybe I did...howzbout "WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT rammed through Chrome's sphincter and these are the sloppy seconds"???? Even worse..."Controlled Bleeding making the soundtrack to a new Conelrad alert"! A li'l better if I do say so myself, and if you're bound to disagree why don't YOU come up with your own corny and oft-used rockcrit comparisons that just about every fanzine snob dished out in order to hide the fact that they didn't exactly comprehend the sounds at hand (unlike I) back during those tired and retread eighties!
Maybe it ain't so coincidental that I namedropped Chrome in the above review for in the same package the above offering arrived in I also received this li'l representation of the recently-reconstructed band as they stand here in the mid-teens. I might have had more o' that legendary "trepidation" I often blab about when I plunked this 'un down on the laser launching pad...after all I never thought that the eighties/nineties works of the Damon Edge/Helios Creed team were as potent as those late-seventies disques...but this one rocks just as good as if ol' Edge was still alive and inflicting his demonic influence on the solar mess. Hot flare in the Siren tradition as the old faves are given new reworkings and sound just as feral as they did back when only a few of us fanablas were in on the massive push courtesy BOMP! and a handfulla worthy fanzines. I guess the mere existence of these recordings prove that Von Lmo was right all along (as if you didn't know that already).
***Schizophrenic Records, Canada)
It's about time these 2011 recordings (done up at the aptly named Ghetto Studios in Detroit MI) were pressed up because if there's anything we really need here in 2014 it's SIMPLY SAUCER!!!! Of course we also need Rocket From the Tombs, Mirrors, Ex-Blank-X, Von Lmo, Stuart's Hammer and Figures of Light...and come to think of it we got 'em all as well. We even got the Magic Tramps as you can see from the review above!
Let's face it, there's nothing more rock 'n rolling than a buncha sixty-plus guys reliving teenbo treble tantrums now that it's fortysome years later and all of a sudden the music these guys were SHUNNED for playing is in fact the hippenest thing around! Even more satisfying is know that all of those cubeoid Pantsios types who once upped crustoid nostrils at these "primitive" acts are now comin' off as if these acts were the bee's knees all along and that they were in on the whole underground rock shebang from the get go! Yeah I hate bandwagon jumpers too but at least acts like Simply Saucer are now getting a whole lot more press 'n who knows what else than they were way back when, and why should they or their bankbooks for that matter argue?
Great re-dos of a buncha Saucer classics both familiar and not, and although singer Edgar Breau's voice sounds pretty rough and ragged these days it still fits the music like swell. And the music sure is potent enough to stir those teenage underground throb thrills up just like it was 1979 and you just got the latest BOMP! catalog in your crustoid mitts.
Not as "electronic" even in a sixties Velvet Underground sense as I thought it was gonna be, but still powerful enough with its Television ca. 1975 filtered through 1976 Gizmos with maybe a tad touch of Chad 'n Jeremy to Anglo it up a bit! Definitely one that was worth the wait and I know that it does seem out of place here in the truly cyborg teens but hey, it sure beats the heck outta listening to 2014's answers to Ann Murray and the Sasoul Orchestra and believe-you-me there are plenty of those around to make this rock 'n roll feel all the more potent!
Gotta hand it to Plunderphonics creator Oswald...only he could take a snoozy noodling track like "Dark Star" and turn it into something that's actually worth sitting through and enjoying as an actual form of creative musical expression 'stead of as an enhancer to some addled mystical experience which can only be experienced once the guy sitting next to you passes a li'l something your way ifyaknowaddamean...
Taking over a hundred different recordings of the extendo Dead number and overlaying, mixing, matching, adding extraneous tracks and who knows what else, Oswald managed to create a (believe it or not!) engrossing extended (over three platters!) version of the aforementioned jam track which spanned a good portion of the Dead's career. And heck if I get my headband out and turn freak brother on you, but (if you can believe it) GRAYFOLDED takes the comparatively staid music of the Grateful ones to an even further out level that never did get captured on their recordings, some of which I've had the (mis?)pleasure of hearing these past few decades. And thankfully the resultant stew ain't on a level of boring hippie grooveed hackdom either but something that hearkens back to early San Francisco accomplishment just before Jerry Garcia began believing all of that press hype about how much of a "spokesman for a generation" he was.
At times it sounds as if a dozen Deads are playing at once, and the music goes off into the usual tangents but for once you don't mind as the currents cross-connect and your mind seems about as overloaded taking it all in a whole lot more'n the doof tripping outta his mind inna audience's was. Surprisingly avant garde enough to somehow recall not only the Dead-not-in-name-only album SEASTONES (which I thought was a pile of turd upon first listen back '78 way but just might be due for a li'l re-eval if I can latch onto a cheap copy somewhere), but the likes of some admitted Dead influences as Sun Ra or maybe even that mythical old kraut himself Karlheinz Stockhausen.
For a respected rock aficionado whose loathing of the Dead is known far and wide, I must admit that this project might bring out just what it was that made the Dead during their space rockiest so appealing to millions of malnourished hippies doing weird dances o' ecstasy in public parks. Not that I feel like doing those Gumby routines any day soon, but if you're game to some of the more atonal heavy duty avant garde rock (no "roll") that made their way outta of the seventies soundswill you might just find this enticing enough to latch onto.
Hmmmmm, more good 'n recent poppy rock 'n punk that doesn't sound as retread as I thought it would have given the track record of many a similar-minded bunch of re-creationists. Nothing that I'm gonna spin on a daily basis, but fairly interesting trash-compactor mooshing of poppy Beatles ideals and late-seventies power chord fanzine rah. And dare I say it, but it gives me great hope that the future of this country is in the hands of such fine, upstanding gentlemen as the Safes who are leading the youth away from the evil and decadent sounds of Justin Timberlake, Kate Perry and that notoriously amoral fiend Sam Smith! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...
I wouldn't call this 'un spectacular but it is a must for the rabid Roxy Music kinda fan who spent more'n a few hours thumbing through import and bootleg bins in the tri-state area. Sound quality is fab for what I can detect is an audience recording, and although the selection of songs leaves a bit to be desired (not enough tracks from the then-current COUNTRY LIFE alb and only two from the Eno days and they ain't "Virginia Plain" or "Remake/Remodel" either!), the sophisti-deca feeling that made Roxy one of the more talked about groups of the day still seeps through like syphilitic pus outta Iggy's main vein. Ferry and company cook up that jaded art sound in a fashion that would make any teenage ball o' confusion wanna don a tux 'n tie, and although it may be hard for you to believe it but this was the music that was to be heard outta the suburban slob bedrooms of many a sad and lonely boy back in them days! I should know because well...given my lack of $$$ I used to station myself outside of a whole load of 'em in order to hear these forbidden sounds, at least until someone turned the garden hose on me.
I guess this 'un'll be interesting enough for the collector snob types and hardcore DC 5 fans alike since it only came out in Canada and thus was probably not readily enough available at your local Zayre's. Mike Saunders and the rest of the rabid Dave Clark fans'll probably cherish a flesh 'n vinyl copy of this in their collections but frankly I find it, like all of the platters I've heard by these British Invasion heavies, rather roller-coasty with a few bright spots overcome by the band's generally lower energy output. But hey, if you want your bedroom to sound just like your older sis's did a good fifty years back just spin ON STAGE (which ain't even a live album making me wonder how they get away with such blatant misrepresentation???) and get a buncha young adolescent females to jump up and down and giggle a whole lot on your bed. And don't come crying to me when the cops bust down your door!
Lotsa fun stuff here from two "song poems" to some gal group sounds (the Date with Soul as well as the Flirtations' snappy hit "Nothing But a Heartache") and the usual early-sixties trackage that really sends me back to my pre-memory days which I only wish I could remember. Bill even remains true to form by fitting a couple of country and western numbers that were country even when country wasn't stodgy enough to admit the likes of Barbara Mandrell to its ranks. Even the foreign legion in the form of Lebanon's Sea-Ders and Turkey's Maut Isiklar are represented, as is Forest of Harvest Records fame who sound true enough to their post-Barrett style to rate a seek out for one of the group's LP for that famed "progressive" label! And it's all topped off by a Vox Wah-Wah Pedal demonstration that I kinda get the idea was heard by every garage band kiddoid rockstar wannabe back in the sainted days of the mid-sixties!