Sunday, January 04, 2015


Well, back to that imaginary small outta-the-way record shop of your mind where you'll find yourself pouring through the bootleg bins just marveling at all of those albums you never knew existed but were glad they did. Y'know, the ones that looked oh-so enticing to your mid-teenbo sense of rockism elegance to the point where you were conjuring up all sortsa strange ways to raise that $4.99 to get that Roxy Music BETTER THAN FOOD album that you so desired! Of course that was well before you were  thinking about how you were gonna hide it from your parents what with that insert cover (the one with the bald young gals on the cover ifyaknowaddamean) that I must admit I haven't seen since that halcyon day in 1976 when I was wondering what to do with my last few well-begged bucks at White Wing Records in Niles Ohio, but as well all know those are the perils of growing up right!

Yeah, just TRY buying a bootleg for that small an amount of moolah these days, but even if you'll have to scratch up ten times the dough to buy that still-desirable platter in the here and now at least rest assured that yeah, there still are vinyl bootleg albums coming out along with the standard Cee-Dee  types which sure would look nice in the collection even a good forty years afterwards! And not only that but alla these sure woulda looked snazz in any self-respecting record collection of the mid-seventies which only makes me wish all the more that they came out back then instead of now when r/r for all practical purposes is nothing but old fogey music!

Enough self pity---here's a smattering of honest to goodness vinyl boots, most of the new variety and one or two not-so, that I have come across as of the past few months. And y'know what, I gotta admit that I woulda dug each and every one of these if they had come out during the seventies, but they didn't which I guess as usual is our tough turds. However, they're more or less available in the here and now even if you might now have to pay collector's prices but eh, as long as you can embezzle or at least snatch money outta mommy's purse you're in for a good rock 'n roll treat with these!

So, sans further blab on here are just some of the illegal entries that made the previous year one of my favorites as far as sneaky under-the-kultur shenanagans in the rock et roll world go...

A few Bootleg Braggadocios ago I reviewed two Mothers of Invention platters that had appeared on the never-before-heard-of Mr. Natural label, both of high quality not only with regards to pressing but with full color cover inserts and colored vinyl for you late-seventies collectors geeks as well! Turns out that there was at least another Mr. Natural release out and about, this one featuring the early-seventies Mothers of the Flo and Eddie variety and frankly I gotta admit that this one is a real lollapallooza in itself! Heck, it's so good that it might just appeal to all of those people who hated the second version of the band and as I can recall there were many of you scoffers and downright loathers out there not only then, but now.

You'll marvel at the selection of rarities that pop up on UGLY NOISES, including an early version of "Lonesome Cowboy Burt" sung by Howard Kaylan, some live trackage from the Fillmore in '70, a late-'71 appearance on DICK CAVETT, a radio ad for the 200 MOTELS album which reminds me of that fifteen-minute "Tin Huey Story" broadcast on WKSU, and even some tee-vee and radio clips including an interview with an obviously distraught Zappa conducted right after the group lost all of their equipment in that fire at Montreaux. Some amazingly good reworkings of old favorites appear as well even though I did cringe when Zappa broke into the old "standby" "It Can't Happen Here" in that off-key "oh am I so above you all in my fifties bopster hipdom" sorta way I'll tell ya! But hey, if you thought Zappa's Bizarre-era material was the bad taste best and shuddered at his rather in-Discreet fusion sounds, you'll like this even more'n "Billy the Mountain" and "B'wana Dik" combined!

Now for a trip back to the Golden Age of Seventies Bootlegs complete with the battered covers and easily-lost insert sleeves, here be a pretty lethal Roxy Music outing called ABSINTHE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDLE that came out via The Amazing Korneyfone Record Label some time in the mid-seventies. Some of this ended up on the legit VIVA ROXY MUSIC set but personally I find ABSINTHE a lot more energetic and spontaneous while VIVA did come off like a budget quickie to shill the rubes with. Even though this was recorded during the Eddie Jobson-period (which I have no bones against, and his scorching violin solos are one reason for it) it's still a pounding, pulsating outing that proves why so many people were affected by the Roxy mystique at a time when it was either that or vegetation music recorded by folk singers who never did seem to have their nuts on tight enough. Which I guess was one reason James Taylor used to look extremely nervous when Euell Gibbons was lurking about.

In typical Korneyfone fashion each side is padded out with then-current b-sides for alla us US fans who couldn't find or afford the import singles that weren't available at our local National Record Marts and to that I say "bully!" (The thoughtfulness of TAKRL certainly was a public service the comparatively lazy Amerigan record companies never would have extended to us peons!). I gotta admit that it's always a blast to hear that dark kraut-y drone "The Pride and the Pain" again, while I will admit that even """""I""""" have never heard "Hula Kula" or the new version of "Remake/Remodel" that Roxy blessed us with during their primo years. They really appealed to my long-lost import sense of musical wonderment making me feel like a booger-infested mid-teenbo lard factory once more, and that's really saying somethin'!

Like their other Roxy boots (CHAMPAGNE AND NOVOCAINE as well as FOOL PROOF), ABSINTHE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDLE captures Roxy Music at the prime of their pulsating, Velvets-driven madness and that unfortunately was a period that Bryan Ferry never could recapture what with all of those Roxy reunions and solo shows ever since the eighties. Good enough that you might wanna don that big raincoat and head out for the nearest record shop to do a little stealin', only to be shaken into reality when you discover that said store closed in 1981!
Unlike many of you reg'lar readers, I was never whatcha'd call a big fan of the Buzzcocks...I mean true they were miles ahead of the Lindas (both McC and Ronstadt) and Barry/Robin/Maurice and Nugent and just about anything else that was on AM/FM 18-34-year-old radio during them days, but even with their punkish demeanor and short 'n sweet songs I believed that they were miles behind that Pere Ubu/Contortions/Electric Eels-styled hard energy sub-slum bared knuckle intensity that made life so pleasing in all of its bared-wire misery! When I think about what a typical Buzzcocks fan was to have looked like, I imagine some flat-chested co-ed art major who dressed immaculately most of the time in something outta Judy Jetson's closet whose latest effort included a juxtaposition of dead guppies and used tampons swiped from Richard Meltzer's boudoir. Heavy on the makeup too...wonder how far she got with her art career though I kinda get the feeling she's now a housewife in Orlando Fla.

But still, I appreciate it. Performance and "importance" of the selected material is soo-perb. Love how these 'leggers framed that opening segment of "Boredom" between two snippets of a recording hyping a Big Bands sampler, and although the live stuff ain't what anyone'd call crystal clear quality it'll more'n suit the rabid punkophile in your life with its pop urgency and middling-level drive. Features the group with and without Howard Devoto, and even if you threw away all of your old issues of TROUSER PRESS ages ago you'll still find this 'un a reminder of happier, more rockism-oriented times before MTV ruined it all for good! On the Edible records label, but don't you try it.
Now as far as some fresher (I thimk) vinyl bootleg brouhaha goes well... Lemme start with this---some loudmouths have been blabbing about the new Velvet Underground CHELSEA GIRLS soundtrack (on one-sided color plastic a la the Agents of Misfortune and Sun Ra platters reviewed in these pages recently) as being the first ever vinylization of this rather important track taken from the infamous Warhol moom pitcher of the same name. Wrong again bustards, for those glorious descending neo-Asian chords have appeared on an early Velvets double-set which is wallowing in the confines of my rather expansive collection somewhere. However, if you want it on plastic and you can't find the original it's now available if only for a very limited time, and yeah it does rank up there as some of the better abstract expressionism sound to come from this electronic (in the truest sense) rock group the way the music creeps around and envelops you like the best late-sixties music always did. I only wish some genius out there could erase the distracting dialogue and extraneous sound and beef up the Velvets so we can experience this in its purest, most unadulterated sense, but maybe that will come in the future once FBI sound improvement techniques become available to the public.
Also on the recently-released circuit's this wonder! Just when you thought the early Pink Floyd archives have been exhausted here comes this new platter going under the maybe not-so-enticing title of THE SYD BARRETT TAPES! Really sounds droolsville now, don't it? IME Records is the label that put this one out, and they really did a spiffy job what with the high-quality cover, imitation EMI labels and blue vinyl disc that make this package the beat-all of anything the early-eighties major labels would have cooked up reissue-wise.

However, is this one really worth the load of money you'd have to dump down for it, what with the same alternate mixes of "Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Candy and a Currant Bun" amongst many others that have popped up of Floyd bootlegs these past twennysome years? BUT WAIT, there's a bitta instrumental trackage on side two that I haven't heard before, and what's this with an early version of "Interstellar Overdrive" from September of '66 not only of pristine sound but one totally different from the take heard on that oft-circulated CBC interview (which closes this platter out)??? This "Overdrive"'s quite faster and way more frenetic than any of the versions I've lent ear to, and along with the old standbys this makes THE SYD BARRETT TAPES one for not only the recent inductees into the Pink Floyd fanclub but old fanablas like ourselves who've been in on the Syd Barrett game for a longer time'n any of us would dare admit.
Another recent press up and a fair one at that, Kraftwerk's KARUSELL DER JUGEND (on red vinyl in case you're keeping track) presents a heretofore unknown 1970 gig recorded around the time the group's first album had hit the German record racks. Quality ain't crystal clear but suitable enough, although I must admit under pain of bowel gas that the performance sounds just the same as the rest of those early Kraftwerk recordings that have been flying about. In fact, next to the B-13 release of that 1971 radio broadcast from Bremen this doesn't quite measure up to the punkoid possibilities of the band. However the improv that closes the proceedings did show a few sparks of genius so maybe I shouldn't be such a complainer. There's a video of this floating about so if you wanna download it for free, seek and ye shall find.
Of course one of the bigger surprises on the bootleg front as of late has been the appearance of this bauble, a fairly new at this time but old by the time this post hits the screens Stooges boot entitled IGUANA DE BANDA...ETIQUETA NEGRA DE LUGO which has come out on the more obscure than thou Boca Del Ray label. Advance hoopla had more'n a few Stooges fans salivatin' over the inclusion of ne'er before heard trackage from the RAW POWER days, and although I was a little skeptical myself I decided to take the plunge considering there was nothing better to do with my last twennysome bucks. Well, I must report that I'm glad I plunked down the potatoes for this 'un because like, it's really good and I mean good like back in the late-eighties when all of that other rare RAW POWER-period Stooges material was finally making its way to Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch and like you never thought you were gonna be hearin' this stuff in the first place and boy did you piss your pants in front of everyone once you did spin it!

Gotta say that I was a bit disappointed after listening to the first two tracks which sounded like straight rips from the official el-pee. However I then noted something different, like a radically vibrant mix of "Penetration" with the backup vocals way in front and no electric piano, a strange instrumental with sax I believe was listed as "Search and Destroy" on the cover but is an entirely different iguana, an all new "Death Trip" and (now get this), the legendary Stooge track that was supposedly performed live at their '72 London gig and never heard again called "Hombre de Negro". That 'un's a wild herky jerk reminiscent of "Gimme Some Skin" only longer and even gnarlier than the original. A really interesting reminiscent tune, if only because it reminds me of back when people like Iggy and Patti Smith could get away using racial epithets and get away with it because people were so much cooler at the time.

Dunno how these rarities slipped by for so long, but better now'n when they finally get the proper "legitimate label" release sometime after you've all gone deaf! So until then why dontcha go to where your old time fave record shop that sold bootlegs like these was and stare at it for a few minutes or so thinking about alla the fun you used to have there! Sure it's now a plumber's supply outpost and passersbys will look at you as if you're retarded, but you'll sure enjoy yourself once those high energy memories just start rushin' in now, wontcha?

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