Sunday, March 22, 2015

Well, here we are at the start of another week, and as I would suspect it's probably not gonna be that much different from any of the other weeks we've been experiencing these past three or so decades. No skin off my apple really, because I gotta admit that I kinda enjoy the nada-ness of everyday life (except for the work part natch!) especially when it comes to settling back to watch an old episode of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN or eating some dried squid snack I got while visiting an Asian grocery store in Pittsburgh. That's what I call high-living, and if you don't think so you can always go out and save the world, usually ruining it in the process as most do-gooders have these past hundred-some years. I'll just stay indoors and do my suburban slob duty which is a whole lot more CONSTRUCTIVE'n anything you peace corpse types would dare come up with I'll betcha! Now if I can only get some other ranch house ravers like myself together so maybe we could join a club where all we do is sit around, gobble greasy teenage fast foods, read old comic books, talk about all the fun we shoulda had inna old days and watch a surprise tee-vee fave that nobody might not set the world on fire but think of the thrills we'll have accusing each other of cheating during a game of MONOPOLY!!!
Anyway here are the reviews, a good batch if I do say so myself...all newies to mine ears and only two of 'em are gimmes which does make me kinda proud knowin' that I'm not the mooch that I sometimes make myself out to be. Personally I think I did a fantab job of it myself so if you hear some steady rhythm that's not a drum machine pounding's just me patting myself on the back!

Roxy Music-THREE AND NINE CD bootleg (Virtuoso, Japan)

Hoohah! Remember when you were a teenbo boy and you not only hadda worry about sneaking your copy of COUNTRY LIFE into your record collection but into the bathroom when Mother Nature was tellin' ya it was rock clockin' time? Well here's a new Roxy Music Cee-Dee that'll bring back alla those horny memories not only with a front cover featuring more bare flesh for your thigh sighin' thrills, but other outtakes scattered about that'll really have you relivin' those strange days of yore when you hadda check the palms of your mitts to see if they needed a trim!

THREE AND NINE's a fantastico artyfact of mid-seventies Roxy that was recorded around the time us Amerigan nimnuls were just beginning to catch on despite the futile efforts of Greg Shaw and Alan Niestor. Live in Paris during November of '74 you can tell that Roxy are in fine form what with their promoting their latest effort to a typically appreciative Roxy crowd, and if you're one who thinks that they hit their post-Eno height on COUNTRY LIFE (like I do!) you'll appreciate this 'un all the more.

True the songs sound just like they do on the album and when they don't (like during Eddie Jobson's rather pedestrian violin solo on "If There Is Something ") you might be yawning more'n you should, but THREE AND NINE captures everything that was hotcha and exciting about Roxy Music when they were pumping out rather sexoid art rock that seemed to gather fans from most of the rock spectrum, even factions you'd never thought would agree on anything ever!

One good thing about SIX AND NINE's the sound quality which, although not soundboard by any stretch of the imagination, is rather crisp making me wonder if technology has somehow found a way to make those cruddy live shows of yore sound as good as any late-fifties hi-fi effort you can come up with. If so, please direct me to the nearest studio because I have more'n a few cassettes hangin' around that certainly could use a major sound beefup, and maybe some sorta release if there happens to be a market for live 8-Balls recordings.
Bolder Damn-MOURNING LP (Guersson Spain, available via Forced Exposure)

Being in a particularly ravenous early-seventies hard rock mood I bought this 'un with the impression that Ft. Lauderdale's Bolder Damn would be a true Third Generation thunderer in the tradition of Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath. All I got was mid-energy musings that reminded me of Grand Funk Railroad more'n anything rabid. Like the Funksters it ain't bad, but after listening to the vast array of various heavy competitors who were able to get their recordings out during the seventies Bolder Damn just don't measure up with their comparatively commercial (and thus watered down) approach. Don't get me wrong because this is a good album that does contain a few snatches of hard rock hysteria, but after listening to Cooper, Sabs, the Stooges and Dust it's just leftovers.
Populare Mechanik-KOLLEKTION 03: POPULARE MECHANIK COMPILED BY HOLGER HILLER CD (Bureau B, available via Forced Exposure)

Populare Mechanik were Ton Steine Scherben founding member Wolfgang Seidel's early-eighties new wave band, and if you're of the thought that the one-time German radical was going all Rock Lobster Armagideon Time over us think again! Seidel not only borrows from the early electronic krautrock of Conrad Schnitzler's freeform Zodiac Club work of the late-sixties but various experiments of the new wave era both obtuse and not, making for a platter that you kinda get the feeling woulda gotten mucho space in OP's cassette culture column had this stuff only gotten out more than it had. Some of it is entertaining even to my jaded ears (sorta like cubist jazz) while other moments had me bored silly, but I get the feeling that this is one that'll really grown on me more'n those skin blebs the docs won't remove from my eyelids. One thing I'll say...if you were expecting the proto-punk neo-amateur approach of the first TSS album you'll be in for quite a short-skidding surprise!
Derek Rogers-DEPTH/DETAIL OF PROCESSING CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions)

This guy's been absent from the KSE imprint for quite some time so it's sure nice giving a listen to Derek Rogers' electronic scronk again (sure he has dozens of these things out but like, I prefer mine FREE!). Mesmerizing washing machine drone gives way to a tide of static and even a bit of mid-seventies Obscure Records chance operations sparseness, and there's even one track ("An Illusion, Albeit") that kinda sounds defective to these ears though in all probability it ain't. In all, quite engrossing, enveloping and perhaps even forward-looking. If you're a big fan of those reincarnated Faust recordings this will certainly light up your gaseous exhaust.
Ed Blackwell-THE COMPLETE REMASTERED RECORDINGS ON BLACK SAINT & SOUL NOTE 8-CD set (Black Saint/Soul Note Italy, available via Forced Exposure)

The guy mighta been real hot stuff back when he was whoopin' it up with Ornette, but on these Black Saint platters Blackwell ain't really anything that would connect with me in that visceral, primal fashion. Even when performing with old hands like Karl Berger or David Murray as a leader or sideman, these albums just drip of same-old in a frighteningly staid way. Heck, I even gotta admit that the Old and New Dreams Ornette without Ornette stuff comes off stale which is something I never dreamed would have happened in a millyun years even if these reunion attempts are usually bust from the get-go. There's much better Blackwell to be heard, and unfortunately it ain't here!
Various Artists-EVERYWHERE CHAINSAW SOUND CD (Feed The Mind, available via Forced Exposure)

Here's a reish (also available on plastic) that came out in the early eighties during the height of the underground six-oh reissue hubbub, and if you missed it the first time around don't feel too bad because I did as well! Of course, being a limited edition release and all it wasn't like you were gonna find EVERYWHERE CHAINSAW SOUND at your local cutout bin, but for those of us unlucky enough to miss out on it the first time here's another chance to snatch up a copy of an album that you probably would have appreciated a whole lot more back then but this is now and like, it ain't gonna hurt you to listen to the thing.

The original package was a sparse affair, but this reissue does the entire thing up much better with actual liner notes you can read while your personal favorite punk rockers spin away. The sound is rather mid-fi as if this was recorded off the original album, and to that I saw great! Because like hey, this is the way most suburban slobs heard the originals on their ranch house consoles and what makes you think you're better'n any of them anyhow?

Hot selection here...the PEBBLES well hadn't run dry by this time so there were still a whole slew of un-comped platters that were years away from reissue begging to be unleashed on a new punk rock generation. Names familiar to us reg'lars from the Electric Prunes (coming on pretty strong in one of their last gasps before Axlerod fired the whole lot of 'em!) to the Spokesmen (of "Dawn of Correction" fame), the Music Explosion and even Link Wray and the Raymen doing their Beatles swipe show up, as do various PEBBLES leftovers and a few comparatively obscuros who sound mighty powerful in this stew. It all makes for a pleasant oleo that holds up much stronger than many of those later on collections which, although far superior to the eighties drek that was being pushed at the time, still seemed like bottom of the barrel scrapings compared with the rush you got spinning those early PEBBLES and BOULDERS incessantly during the seventies-eighties cusp.

But man, it's always boffo playing those raw and alive singles by going nowhere acts with names like Ken and the Fourth Dimension and the Original Dukes who seemed to understand the all-important zeitgeist of the mid-sixties rock explosion even more'n the Beatles. Hard rush one/two-chord rock like this always has a special place in my collection, and although many wonks consider the mid-sixties the big stepping stone to even greater accomplishment in the latter portion of that decade I find what eventually happened pure denouement. Few late-sixties groups retained the energy, snot and downright onslaught of these early punk rockers and if you too wanna WEEP over what we had (music as pure adrenaline rush) and lost (acoustic front porch jams) then just give this 'un a spin and THINK DEEPLY.
Various Artists-BIG CAT CAROLINA CRUISE CD-r burn (Bill)

Except for a few country and gospel diversions this 'un lays down a hefty early-sixties vibe that'll make you wanna hunker down for an evening of REAL McCOYS and McHALE'S NAVY-type programming before slipping into your Doctor Denton's for a nice slumber in your WAGON TRAIN bed. The non-teenage rock 'n roll stuff's boss from a swingin' holy roller via Freddie Branch to a truck-drivin ode to greenies from Danny Edwards, but the far off the charts singles here really made a wowzing impression on my still stuck in turdler psychological mode. From Ricki and the Alternates' "Angel Baby" swipe to Jack and the Jumpin' Jacks/Contrasts' 1961 popsters, this 'un is proof that even the less rock 'n rollin' music to come outta the pre-Beatles sixties was a whole lot more down-to-earth 'n kicking than what most snob rock revisionists would want you to believe. And for ya fudgie types there's even a single by a pre-fame Lou Christie here so don't say yer being ignored, you thilly things you!

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