Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BULL TONGUE REVIEW No. 1 (available easily enough via Forced Exposure)

When was the last time you settled back with a nice bouncy rock 'n roll read that seemed to sear every asset of your rockist psyche just like a good ish of (classic 1971-1976 period) CREEM or some up-'n-coming fanzine of the past did? Yeah, you can find loads of inspirational rockscreeding on the web if you singe your search engines hard enough, but other'n UGLY THINGS there really ain't that much of a higher-than-thou energy to be found on the printed page these days, and the reams of rather doodyesque publications just hemorrhaging their way into the underground eye with a dynamite velocity only stands to prove one thing---that the Golden Age of rock writing, fanzines, and general fun and jamz is long gone, deader'n Lester Bangs and Pete Laughner combined and if those days ever come back I'll be more surprised'n the time I found that toy rocket in Farts Flanagan's mother's dresser drawer and got yelled at like mad because we wore down the batteries trying to get it to blast off.

But there are some exceptions, and BULL TONGUE REVIEW is but one juicy example. I never read any of the Byron Coley/Thurston Moore Bull Tongue columns in ARTHUR (in fact, I never even read ARTHUR!) but from what I heard their column was the best part of the blasted thing, so consider this debut issue of BTR ARTHUR without the bad stuff, or "Bull Tongue" without ARTHUR or something like that. Yes, it's finally time to settle back for some of the better rock in hand reading to be found in the mid-teens which as you know is a time when we thought we'd be doing something better'n alla this if we had only been asked if we would back when we first started off on our rock 'n roll fantasies way back in our budding suburban slob days.

Coley and Moore open the festivities so-to-speak with their opines regarding a few of their current favorite things setting the stage for the upcoming games with natural aplomb (amongst other things). Coley's views are mostly (operative word) etapoint...can argue with at least one glaring huzzah of his...and his hearty and heart-felt recommendations are mostly whatcha'd call mandatory osmosing for us 2015 kiddoids stuck in the 1980 rock 'n roll frame of mind. Por ejemplo (and I do mean a good 'un)---Coley's review of the heretofore unknown Adele Bertei book on Laughner and her association with him in PETER AND THE WOLVES makes this missive sound like a real winner even if I know that the late Pat Laughner would do some ethereal upchucking regarding Bertei's assessment of her son. Although Bertei reportedly has nothing but glowing praise for Laughner and how he bought her a guitar and all that, according to Pat the gal easn't exactly what'cha'd call "nice" towards Pete once the chips were really beginning to fall. Oh yeah, at first Bertei came off like some young and streetwise waif who actually was fond of Mr.s L enough to the point where she actually shoplifted a poinsettia to give to Pat during Orthodox (faith of the family) Christmas, though the fact that she was the one who got Peter kicked outta his own band (he performing his last ever gig  with 'em only when Bertei got sick and Laughner was called back to duty) still rankled the World's Forgotten Mom for years after everything had been said and done and there was no way to return to any sorta past solace or closure as the fru frus call it for that matter. Maybe that's one reason I view whatever I have heard about Adele B's unquestioning love for Laughner with suspect, especially considering how she sorta nudged on something that Johnny Thunders encouraged in the guy ifyaknowaddamean...

But still praise be that Coley is here to clue us cloistered workadays about things that we wouldn't mind spending our shekels on, like the Red Krayola double-LP collection of single sides (and I didn't even know that they had enough singles to spread across two longplaying platters!) or the plain fact that Half Japanese is still up and functioning considering that I gave 'em up for dead years ago!

Moore's contrib's inspiring as well if not quite as geared toward my sorta kultural tastes. But I've expected that and it ain't like I loathe him for anything (after all, he is the one who gave me Rudolph Grey's phone number and without that Don Fellman never would have gotten in touch with me!). A long dissertation on a new Cookie Mueller bio takes up the first part of his portion of the program (interesting enough even though I never had any positive feelings towards B.B. Steele himself) which is followed by a slew of mentions of recordings that might just tickle your fancy as much as they did Moore's, but then again I'd have to take an additional job as a tester at the dildo factory if I wanted to be able to afford 'em all. Whatever, it's amazing that all of this tasty material is out and about and available for whoever can dole out the dough for it, and if you seek hard enough maybe some of this'll pop up in areas where you'd least expect it!

The rest of BULL TONGUE's taken up by a vast array of reviews, writeups and whatnot by a bevy of names past and present that were mostly known via the pages of Coley's former stomping ground FORCED EXPOSURE. Maybe not, but it's sure heartening to know that such people as Joe Carducci (reviewing old Francis Ford silent films) and Ira Kaplan (reviewing the men's room at a San Francisco Jack In The Box) are still up and functioning. The reviews are of whatever is flibbin' the jib of the write-ee in question, and some of the resultant prose can be anything from enlightening (Chris D's film reviews) to high-larious (Donna Lethal's essay on "You Tube Tutorials") and almost all (even the review of WE ARE THE LEVITTS???) are worthy of your eyeballs even if the subject matter might not. Really, I am humbled to having have read these contributions regarding everything from Big John Atkinson (yeah, 'tardoid me don't know who he is either) to the memorial service for Peter Gutteridge (ditto), and sheesh even Richard Meltzer himself has presented us with what must be his first music review in a gadzillion years (and it's a mofo of a writeup too)!

So what else can I say? BULL TONGUE REVIEW's worth the EXTREMELY HIGH PRICE you'll have to pay for such decidedly non-mainstream self-produced printed matter these days and if you dare scoff well...think of how much you could have spent buying all of those DENIM DELINQUENTs back inna mid-seventies compared to how much you'll have to pay for 'em all today... In case you haven't noticed, now's definitely the time to raid mommy's purse while she's having one of her mid-afternoon siestas, and while you're at it yank out an extra few $$$ for the Bergerette CD (I know I will!). 

1 comment:

Donna Lethal said...

Glad you thought my reviews were high-larious (I'm being serious!) - more to come next issue, which is worth the $!