Various Artists-HIGH ENERGY ROCK FOR LOW ENERGY TIMES CD-r
P. D. sent this 'un my way, perhaps because he could tell that I need quite a bit of resensifying after some of the dog tired posts I've been putting in as of late (see opening paragraph). Well, if this in fact is so then all I gotta say is Mr. Fadensonnen really produced one kicker of a platter here that helps me to remember just why I used to pick pennies up off the sidewalk in the first place. The music that's to be heard here is probably familiar to most of you reg'lar readers, but even if it is I gotta admit that it's sure great hearing it all in one blob 'stead of spread across dozens of platters just like it's grand to listen to those "Roots of Punk" type collections that have been springing up these past ten or so years and at collector's prices as well.
The music to be heard here is what I would call heavy metal in the old 1972 CREEM style, which in some ways is the same punk rock that CREEM was blabbin' about around the same time. Hard rockers from the likes of the MC5 (and spinoff Ascension), Crushed Butler, High Rise, DMZ, Coloured Balls and Sir Lord Baltimore appear, and even though we've all heard these tracks before all I gotta say is SO WHAT! Even the new to me stuff from Birds of Maya and Highway Robbery sounds enticing enough to the point where I might do some internet diddlin' as soon as I get this review typed, but given my inbred laziness don't count on it. Too bad Fadensonnen isn't one of those big-time underground legends that alla us geeks look up to with reverent eyeballs affixed (at least not yet) or else we'd be buying this one complete with detained liner notes and snazzy pix on ebay for a good twenny bucks!
DMZ-LIVE AT THE RAT CD (Bomp!)
The presence of DMZ on the above disque (as well as me coming across an old ad for a '76 performance where they were billed as "Boston's Newest Heavy Metal Band") got me into digging this old hoary chestnut (to be quaint about it) outta the collection and into my ears. And really, DMZ were heavy metal in the best CREEM/DENIM DELINQUENT/BACK DOOR MAN sense, hard-hitting high energy rock with an overdriven mania conduit for the best decadent aspects of teenbo living extant, at least until the glitzy fru fru and shrunken head aspects got into the mix sometime in the mid-seventies.
Taken from a live '76 show as well as a '83 reunion gig, I gotta say that the band is pumping on all cylinders (see above quaintness comment) even if I have heard tapes that were more raw 'n alive before (a '77 NYC show wallowing around somewhere in my closet's the proverbial screecher). Still I ain't gonna complain what with the hot mix of mid-sixties Northwest rock, late-sixties Detroit and general teenage Ameriga that somehow got lost in the shuffle of Classic FM and disco doldrums. But it was there, and a whole lot more'n what most industry moguls woulda dared admit way back in those bubbling under bared wire intensity days.
Good enough that I'm gonna hafta do some more collection surfing for not only the Bomp! singles but DMZ's infamous Flo and Eddie-produced Sire album that nobody ever seemed to like. Well it sure beats all of those other "hip" pastimes that permeate the behavioral cycles of way too many wonks out there in amerindie musicland, like publicly showing your undying appreciation for your favorite uberlib cause or combing the Matador Records self-hype blog, that's for sure!
A pluck out from the collection that I thought I'd pay some attention to given the large span of time I've ignored the thing. Anyhow, this 'un's a special release cooked up especially for the group's mid-nineties Australian tour complete with seven tracks taken from each of Dead Moon's albums up until then, and for a nice representation/introduction to the band I gotta say that this 'un does showcase this trio's neo-metallic approach rather swell. Kinda down home drag-out garage blooze HM that sounds down and dirty the way rock 'n roll hadn't since the hippies got in charge of things. It's also good for a cheapo like myself who never did get around to hearing these platters in their original forms, though as far as inspiring me to trek down all of the originals well...maybe when the inheritance from that Great Uncle I never knew rolls in...
It may not be Musica Orbis, but Kitty Brazelton's nineties aggregation is just as mix 'n match of a variety of seventies pop forms with avant garde inclinations and some toe tappers tossed in that'll make you wonder why she hadda get a job in a topless bar to make ends meet. Might be a bit professional for your own tastes, but I find it about as true to the whole rock as the real experimental music thing as all of those late-seventies no wavers who used to play in art galleries. Get the Musica Orbis album (widely available via ebay) first then let Dadadah fill in all of the holes in your musical consciousness.
Would you believe that I actually forgot that I owned this second volume in the Plastic People series of chronological recordings that Globus released way back in the late nineties? So in actuality this was like a brand-spanking new listening experience for me and I'm sure glad that I played the thing today rather'n forty years from now when the only listening I'll be doing is to a buncha angels strumming on harps. Either that or the earthworms wigglin' their way through my cranium.
Very Eastern Bloc...maybe even krautrock-esque what with the over-the-head Zappa influence and the surprising free jazz sax intermingling with the death dirge violin. What really makes it tick (and separates it from similar Zappa-cum-prepunk units like Tin Huey) is the hopelessness that envelops the sound. Ya gotta suffer if ya wanna make good music (or at least some introspective rock critic I hate said that), and given that the countries that were under Soviet control weren't exactly fun places to picnic really added a tension and sorrow that you just didn't hear around here even from the really repressed types (mainly us suburban slobs)! No wonder the Czech underground took to the freak element of Zappa, Beefheart and the Fugs like no one else...in some strange way these acts gave hope to a nationfulla lost teens who certainly weren't satisfied with the government-approved teen pablum and craved a whole lot more in their international youth language of a music!
Live and elsewhere material recorded during the group's EGON BONDY period. Sound quality is good enough for tapes that you thought would have been destroyed by the secret police, liner notes are in Czech so I can't read them, and one final thing---anybody who hates the Plastic People's got his head either buried way deep inside his ass or well into his collection of eighties post-funtime rock platters smug in his "so above it all" complacency, and you all know who I'm talkin' about dont'cha!
***Gang of Four-A GIFT CD (V2)
I know what you're thinking....some gift! But hey, considering that I ain't heard Gang of Four in over thirty years and forgot what they sounded like this promo Cee-Dee I found inna collection sure came in handy. And actually, these guys (at least on this platter---can't judge about their other post-ENTERTAINMENT output) weren't "that" bad. They weren't that good if you want to stretch a point but I could enjoy the first elpee's "Damaged Goods" about as much as I can some MESSTHETICS contemporary, although the "mixed" material wasn't as attention grabbing as it would have been had this still been 1980 and my underground tastes were still fluttering around a bit. As I would have thought, it sounds like something that might have been boffo at one time in my life but a few years later all I hadda say was...wha???
As with BLACK ARK Arista decided to pass on this 'un when they were getting the Freedom catalog out inna mid-seventies. Which is a durn shame since this 'un's yet another free jazz killer that needed to have gotten out into the used record bins of the late-seventies just like all those other Arista/Freedom albums I once picked up for a song. Fantab backing (Frank Lowe and Rashied Ali amongst 'em) and exemplary performance from Howard who proves that he was one of the few heirs to the Albert Ayler sphere of interstellar insanity around. And speaking of Ayler, you never heard a tribute to his overall being as you did on "Dedication" which posts most of the other Ayler homages I've heard to shame! (By the way, if you're worried about the presence of Earl Freeman's fuzz bass after reading a few on-line reviews don't worry...it doesn't get in the way at all. In fact, I gotta 'fess up to the fact that I can't even hear it so quit your fretting!).
***Various Artists-WALK LIKE THE STARRY-EYED WOLFMAN CD-r burn (so what if it's redundant...nearly everything on this blog is!) (courtesy Bill Shute)
This selection actually perked mine ears up to the point where I felt like giving Bill Shute a ring-a-ding to tell him just how much his Cee-Dee worked wonders with my life. Of course considering how cheap I am I decided not to, but if I did call him it would have been thing right thing to do. Highlights (for me, maybe not for Bill or for you for that matter) include the 13th Floor Elevators single cut of "Slip Inside This House", the obscure Sensation doing some rather decent mid/late-seventies pop that woulda beat the usual schmoozer music of the day all hollow, the strange duet between a chap named Jackie Edwards and Millie Small of "My Boy Lollipop" fame and Charles Gayle singeing your free jazz nervefrazzles for a good eight or so minutes. Nervous Norvous is always good for a spin while the Paul Horn jazzy hipster track made me wanna sneak into a 1969-vintage adults only film for some not-so strange reason. As for the inclusion of Divine screeching "Walk Like a Man" well Bill...I never knew...