Saturday, May 16, 2015

Well, after going through the entire run of SUPERCAR a month or so back I finally made it through the second Lew Grade-distributed Supermarionation series FIREBALL XL-5 with flying coloreds as Archie Bunker would have put it. Of course it's nice seeing this 'un again (and as with SUPERCAR my head just didn't retain most all of the episodes that I originally espied way back when I was a kid, or when I first got this Dee-Vee-Dee set for that matter*), but I gotta admit that I just didn't get the same zing watching these again that I did with SUPERCAR. My only explanation for this is that while SUPERCAR reminds me of my earliest and undoubtedly happiest times on this planet when I was a mere three and just about EVERYTHING that life offered had a fun turdler feeling to it, FIREBALL reminds me of my more "coming of age" days when I was getting all primed up for Kindergarten not to mention a good chunk of my life being devoted to being socialized and turning into something I just didn't want to be even if everyone around me told me I should be Dilton Doiley instead of Dennis the Menace (which come to think of it, followed FIREBALL Saturday mornings on NBC which is where I first knew the show even existed!). Sure it's still a fantab series which really brightened up the already fantastic 1963-64 tee-vee season (a year which brought us a number of true wowzers along with the expected turdballs), but when I see this I am reminded about alla that school talk that was going on and whether or not I was mature enough to mingle with other children or whether I shoulda been held back until I wised up a little. If the latter was the case, I get the feeling that I'd be entering those hallowed halls a good five years from now!

I gotta admit to getting a real rush watching the incredibly sexy Doctor Venus, something I didn't get when I was four because the only girls I knew smelled like a sweat/urine mixture. Dunno if it's because of her boffo coiffure which really reflects that early-sixties feminine pulchritude or her rather massive for a marionette mams but now that I'm an old fanabla I gotta say that this puppet's the most! Makes me wonder if she was created anatomically correct, and if the good doctor and Steve Zodiac were doing a little hiding from Zoonie who'd blurt out "welcome home" during those most intimate beach house moments. Don't worry, if I were fourteen and watching FIREBALL for the first time I'd be saying the exact same things!

Is the next stop STINGRAY??? No way Gertrude---while SUPERCAR and FIREBALL were filmed in glorious black 'n white STINGRAY was shot in color which for me really distinguishes between early-sixties cool and late-sixties puton hipsterism. Not that the late-sixties were bereft of fine programming, but when it comes to suburban slob junk food fun 'n jamz it's b&w UHF perennial reruns all the way!!!
I must admit that for some maybe not to strange reasons I am rather dismayed that there is an ongoing campaign to remove Andrew Jackson from the United States twenny dollar bill. True Jackson by those oft stringent MODERN standards ain't exactly the kinda guy who would win the brotherhood award these days what with him being a slave owner (and as far as I can tell an unrepentant one unlike those pre-Civil War southerners who changed their minds about the peculiar institution, freed their slaves [and even gave the elderly ones pensions] yet still get grilled over the coals), and his "repatriating" the Cherokees and other Indian tribes to the west of the Mississippi doesn't exactly bode too well with many, but then again I see few enlightened types (some do true) castigating Abraham Lincoln for holding opinions regarding black people that made even most Southerners during those years wince, and when was the last time you've heard garments being torn over EVANGELINE and the expulsion of the Acadians? Heart bleeding can get rather selective these days, or so I've noticed.

Yeah Jackson just wasn't as much of a 21st-century putz as the rest of us but I gotta admit that I kinda like the guy in many ways that wouldn't phase your typically muddled minds. Perhaps because, once you get down to it, he could have been the over-the-top SOB that I always wished I was. After all here was a mid-southern hillbilly kid who fought in the Amerigan Revolution when a mere eleven, got captured with his brother, got scarred by an officer for refusing to shine said officer's boots, contracted smallpox and survived while his brother died, became a fierce soldier whose body contained more arrowheads and musket balls (including one lodged in his lung which gave him great discomfort throughout the rest of his life) than one would think a body could stand, captured Florida without the president even knowing, had two English soldiers hung just for being English (!), killed a guy in a duel over some remarks regarding his recently departed wife and basically got all of his friends and supporters comfy jobs in the government when he became president! Yeah, just TRY getting away with something like what Jackson would do these days---somehow I get the feeling that these people who want Jackson removed from the twenny buckskin bill ain't really upset over the Trail of Tears---maybe they're just mad because the guy had balls which are something that most men have checked in at the diversity institute upon entrance these sad 'n sorry times.

And what's worse about this whole rigmarole is that the people who want Jackson 86'd want his replaced with some meaningful woman wombyn, and you know what THAT means! Harriet Tubman won some online poll which I guess is a whole lot better'n Margaret Sanger or Lizzy Borden for that matter (I actually like the fact that Tubman would threaten to shoot any runaway slave who would dare chicken out on her) but sheesh, doesn't it all reek of politically/socially pious pose custom made for the new breed of even newer than new feminist stinkpens with more hair on their left armpits than I have on my entire sub-neck (forget above) body? Howz'bout a woman lady all of us true BLOG TO COMM believers can relate to in both a historical and gulcheral way? If they're gonna put some vag on the twenny dollar bill it better be VERA VAGUE and nobody else but her, unnerstan'?
Well after all that, here they (the record reviews) come! Again, big thanks to Paul McGarry and Bill Shute for this meager smattering of platters, because if it weren't for them there's be nothing for me to write about at all! Not that there ain't any good platters to be spinnin' these days---it's just that I ain't got the time, inclination or (for that matter) moolah to know about it let alone hear it all. So better me be spongin' off the likes of these two (and more!) than digging deep into my collection for that old Homestead promo I more or less "neglected" a good quarter-century-plus years back (even though most all of those 'cept the Stampfel and Flesheaters 'uns went directly to the used record shop---gee it was sure nice the way those indie labels went out of their way to support me financially back in those currency-starved times!).

Muck and the Mires-DIAL M FOR MUCK CD-r burn (originally on Dirty Water)

This is yet another one of those Cee-Dee-Ares that Paul McGarry sent me, and although I probably won't be spinning much it's pretty durn good to say the least. Its hard rock with some power pop asides yet it ain't giddy like some of that stuff could get at times. Kinda driving even, and although it isn't anything that I'm gonna quite get all sis-boom-bah about I find this a good enough rock 'n roll effort that puts a whole load of the stinkeroos passing as the form for the past fiftysome years to dread shame. Features one track produced by the late Kim Fowley in case you want to shed a tear over the dispatch of one of the greater names in the music biz ne'er to grace us with his sour sarcasm again!
Steve Flato-EXHAUST SYSTEM CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions

Mighty hot stuff here from Flato, the latest in a long line of under-the-radar experimentalists who pepper up the KSE roster with their decidedly non-Tom Laxian fare. Not your standard college kid jagginov (if that were so Bill would probably wanna release some of my 1978 weirdo cassette experiments obv. influenced by Cage mixing AM radio sounds and fizzing Brioschi), Flato presents for us four tracks of beauteous drone and such created in "just intonation" for various woodwinds, cello, bass and sine waves that recall a whole passel o' recordings, not only that "serious" avant garde stuff to munch stale doritos by but SEASTONES (and with less the moolah and hippie cred than that one took to record!) as well as the Figures of Light's FEEDBACK CONCERT recreation of their live show that did just that! Intriguing and downright relaxing even, EXHAUST SYSTEM sure sounds better'n whatever's come outta yours these past umpteen years.
Dwight Twilley-ALWAYS CD-r burn (originally on Big Oak)

Never did go for the whole Dwight Twilley power pop rampage whether it be the reams of positive press both major and fanzine level nor the AMERICAN BANDSTAND appearance for that matter. Nothing really grasped me the way the Flamin' Groovies or Modern Lovers press of the time made me wanna search out their various wares. Needless to say numbers like "I'm On Fire" didn't quite zone me the way they did Greg Shaw and all of those "It's ALL Coming Back!" people you used to read about in magazines but never did see in real life, and it remained that way for me for quite a longer time than any of us could have imagined..

I didn't know that Twilley is still around, and this release from late last year is, shall I say, rather surprising. Surprising in that I haven't heard seventies pop riffs like this since some self-produced stuff that YOUR FLESH used to send me thinking I'd loathe it (I didn't), and it doesn't sound like that El Lay studio slick crankathon I thought it would. In fact it's so good that it reminds me of some rare seventies-era flea market find from the early-eighties I picked up because I thought it might have had a garage band twang to it. No "twang" here, but the Beatles cum Badfinger via Raspberries approach sure sounds boffo once you realize that the Beatles were drug-sotted occultists and Badfinger chronically-depressed fizouts while the Raspberries went from bright promise to Eric Carmen's neo-Elton John solo career within the span of three years. A who woulda thunk it surprise.
The New Christs-INCANTATION CD-r burn (originally on Impedance)

I haven't spun anything by this group ever since I heard that album with the dayglo Virgin Mary pic onna cover and wrote 'em off as beyond their prime. Keeping that in mind this was in fact a re-introduction to the group that in fact helped inspire me to do a fanzine way back when if only to rah-rah acts like this. Turns out that the New Christs in 2014 most certainly weren't the same group that was bustin' forth with all of those hot post-Birdman rockers a good thirty years back. In fact this one reminds me of just why I began tiring of these Australian acts around the time 1990 began clocking in and the drive that was once there just seemed to go flatter'n Olive Oyl's chest (I was gonna say "Sally Fielding's chest" but nobody knows who she is. Hi Sally!). Once you get over the fact that this is all ex-Radio Birdman it's really nothing but more of that tiresome post-seventies rock burnout that just keeps fizzling on. A total shame, and I do mean it!
Various Artists-GREMMIE FRESCA CHRISTMAS WINDOWS CD-r burn (courtesy of Bill Shute)

Some of it may be quite fru-fru (like the tracks by the post Devoto Buzzcocks who I found good then horrible then great) but the hunk of commercials by everyone from the Box Tops to Frank Zappa/Linda Whazername with the Parkinson's ("Remington Electric Razor") are just what I needed to make it through this morning. The glam track from Buster was a nice li'l change of pace, while Mei-Chan's rockabilly sure came off better'n the Shanghai Holiday Inn Lounge musings I thought it was going to be!

Not only that but there's a good heaping hefty helping of surf rock here including some tracks by the Californian act going by the name the Tornados, and after all these years I finally get to hear whet the non-"Telstar" act sounded like! Might be a good one to reconstruct if you wanna do a little bitta internet searching and downloading yourself!
*however I can distinctly remember the Granatoid tanks episode from back when it was originally aired, not necessarily because of those weird robots who were laying destruction to everything in their path but because of the strange Mellotron-like instrument that Professor Matic was playing!

No comments: