Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ah yes, I sure could tell that it was a confusing week what with the kind of dreams I've been having as of late (I won't even tell you about the one where my mother received an electric guitar as a present!). The strangest so far featured not only my cyster (who frequently haunts me at night as if the daytime wasn't enough) but none other than former MOLE editor and guy who hasn't even been in any part of my life for a good few years, who else but former Hamiltonian and current Bruce Mowat who most definitely was the man who popped up in the ether that passes for my subconscious mind! (And yes, I'd recognize that dimpled chin of his anywhere, stubble or not!)

All I can recall is that my cyst 'n I were in Canada somewhere, and she wanted to do something "fun" with me and a "friend" of mine, so who do I meet up with but Mr. Mowat who just magically appears out of nowhere. Turns out that the "fun" we're supposed to have is nothing other than watching some instructional video having to do with mental hygiene complete with Walt Disney-styled animation in what looks like a hotel conference room, and if you don't think I as well as special guest Bruce weren't bored gourdless you must be even crazier than Chuck Eddy the time he told me he knew more about me that I did myself!

But Bruce was nice about it and didn't throw a fit that he was being forced to endure such a dullsville time of it. But then again he appeared sober in my dream so maybe that's why he put on his best behavior. Only goes to show you what the downside of melatonin can be, so let this be a warning to you!
But as you will be able to tell once you do a little glancing downward I have been busy this week, trying to make sense of a good portion of the new musical listening experiences I have been inundated with while trying to avoid not only work but my manly doodies around the abode. The recent Forced Exposure order helped keep me out of mischief a bit as did Bill Shute's "Happy Birthday, Bozo" package (well, he didn't exactly say that!) , but even these wondrous offering aren't enough to lift me outta my current state of fanabladom (well, can you think of a better word to describe my weltschmerz?).

Y'know, the older I get the more things woosh by faster than a homo at a boy scout footrace, and with the seasons rushing with an uncanny pace to the point where I have this annual dream that for some reason summer has been postponed and we're going straight into winter again all I can say is...sheesh, how I'd like to have one of those summers like I had when I was a true suburban slob where all I lived for was Kool Ade, early-sixties vintage comic books, old tee-vee reruns and maybe a good "severe thunderstorm/tornado warning" interrupting my fave tee-vee show if only to add a little fun tension into my life! Things like these sure put the punch into what otherwise could have been a drab summer vacation filled with "educational" trips to various forts and historical sites etc.

Well, if I squint my eyes maybe some of the old kiddoid magic of summers past could come rushing back. And maybe if I squint my ears hard enough some of the following platters could sound just as good as all of those Electric Eels and Velvet Underground classics I continue to live and breathe for!

John Deen and the Trakk-BEAT 69 CD-r burn (originally on Europa Records)

English (Scot?) expat to Germany John Deen and band do the quickie crankout album game on this budget release, and do it pretty snazz as well. As usual there's nothing earth shattering here, but if yer game for some of that "ya gets whats ya pays for" late-sixties pop rock with a growl-y imitation black vocalist you'll go for this faster than you can say "Tom Jones"!

(Do you remember the big to-dos about when black guys would buy records by people they thought were black but were white and vice versa, only when they found out that the singer of the song was not of the race they thought they'd get totally mad pee-yoed and quit buying said artist's wares? Happened to Frankie Laine!)

The playing is standard by-the-numbers cheezoid chord organ and tame guitar line soul rock, though there are some interesting moves to be heard amid the late-sixties overused melody moves. Betcha it was a big seller in the supermarkets of Germany.
Andy Mackay and the Metaphors- LONDON! PARIS! NEW YORK! ROME! CD (The Metaphors, England)

Yeah, I know that about .0000000001% of you readers actually care about what Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson of Roxy Music are doing these days (when they're not on one of those money-grubbing Roxy tours that is), but for some strange reason I certainly do! That's why I grabbed a copy of this 2011-vintage Cee-Dee featuring the two's side-project the Metaphors, a group that does artistic covers of various pop hits past and maybe even some originals, but if you're looking for carbon copy dupes you've come to the wrong place!

Yeah it's subdued and sounds like something that would have been hyped in a 1983 issue of NME, but I kinda like the early-eighties chill of it. Sounds like a more rockified version of Harold Budd's PAVILION OF DREAMS at times due to the harp player, or soundtrack music for something I would have been sure to ignore at the theatre, or just plain dull art rock for that matter. But it does keep up that Roxy Music stiff upper lip schmoozy cocktails 'n little weenies image we've had of the whole bunch for years on end so maybe that's one good thing to say about it.

Surprisingly enough it does dredge up some good seventies import bin memories when the group tears into their version of "New York New York" that almost has a Canterbury jazz rock approach yet retains that Roxy tux 'n tails satin feel. I get the idea that, had this come out in 1975 it woulda found its way onto the Antilles record label like snap!
Ken Little-SOLO CD-r burn (originally on Dharma)

When I hear this one I keep thinking about the early-seventies music scene. Not exactly of what I would happen to hear on the radio at the time, but of all of those hours pouring through the racks of the local record stores looking at all of those album covers marveling at the neat artwork (I was especially fond of the ones that mimicked various thirties/forties/fifties design modes) knowing that in no way would I ever be able to afford any of 'em on the depression-era wages I was subsiding on.

SOLO looks just like the kind of album I would have spotted in the bins at the time...of course the cover doesn't stick in my mind like the one with the hippies on the cover with their eyes, noses and mouths airbrushed out, but I'm sure that I did come across this album while pouring through the racks. Of course the cover wasn't fancy or retro like Family's BANDSTAND not to mention Gentle Giant's OCTOPUS, but it does look typical 1973 wha' th' 'ey to me, and who knows...maybe it does to you.

And come to think of it, so does the music which wafts between early-seventies progressive and singer-songwriter introspection. Nothing really up my wide and expansive alley, though I'll bet it was the flea market find of 1979 for some misguided artsy rock type out there.

If you want to know just exactly what the low end of early progressive FM rock sounded like just give this one a listen. And if you aren't waiting in the bushes at the station ready to knock the living daylights outta the dee-jay who played this then you just ain't got any life in ya!
Heads of Our Times-THE SUBTLE ART OF SELF-DESTRUCTION CD-r burn (originally on Audio-Fidelity)

I dunno what exactly was goin' through Bill S's mind when he burned this one for me! Canadian in origin, Heads of Our Times were an exploito early-seventies horn rock act with psychedelic overtones and underground nudges, and I get the feeling that even the most stranded Newfie trudging ten miles in the snow to the nearest record shop wouldn't pick this one up on a bet!

Supermarket rack hokum with the right bits of BST/Chicago horn blurps and a dash of sitar to Indiafy it all. Something that I'm sure would have sounded great in the elevators of San Francisco right around the time that whole scene morphed from heavy to hack. Well, if you got any Hai-Karate or neck kerchiefs for Christmas from your Aunt Madge back 1970 way, this album would go along swell with 'em.
Frank Wright Quartet-BLUES FOR ALBERT AYLER CD (ESP-Disk')

I know, who woulda thought that the ESP label would once again be resurrected to teach alla those light jazz fans out there what music is! And while I'm at it, who would have thought that their current day items would be well-documented and sound as pristine clear as anyone could imagine? If you like the cheap cover art and comparatively iffy sound of the originals, man will you be disappointed by these new releases!

Wright's ESP albums were definite high marks in the post-new thing sweepstakes and this recently discovered platter (recorded at Rashied Ali's Alley) adds to the Wright mythos so to speak. Wright channels the spirit of main influence Ayler on these tracks rather snat-like, and if I must say so the addition of James Blood Ulmer (a good five years before his entry into the NEW YORK ROCKER "can black men play the punks" annals of new music miscegenation) into the ranks was perfect as well. He doesn't play as strangulated as Sonny Sharrock did, but he sure cuts Al DeMeola to the quick! Benny Wilson and Ali fill out the rhythm and they sure sound as if they could rule any loft in New York City that they wanted!

There are six (count 'em!) parts to this Ayler trib and all are full on. They don't sound exactly like Ayler true, but then again who wants imitations? The mid-seventies drive of this thing really does point the way for the avant jazz direction of the next few years, or at least until it ALL went under around the time even DOWN BEAT quit feigning interest. A must-have for you long-time freedom lovers, and if there are any newies out there who want to dampen their tootsies you couldn't find a better pond than this!

Naw this ain't the same Foundation Maeght Night recordings that have been floating around for years, but an earlier show which is totally new to mine ears (even if the thing first saw the light of day a good two years back!). No Call Cobbs on this one, but Mary Parks/Maria doesn't sound as annoying as many of you readers have complained to me she was, and the rhythm section of Steve Tintweiss and Alan Blairman do their best to play in and around the tenor's honks, squeals and of course reminiscences of jazz themes gone by. Full of fire and vibrations and all of those other hyperbolic rockcrit thesaurus words, it's hard to believe that a good four months from this show Ayler would be found doing the dead man's float in the East River under circumstances that make Bobby Fuller's own exit seem open and shut in comparison.
THE ABSTRACTS CD-r burn (originally on Pompeii)

A totally unknown until now entity, and thankfully with GOOD REASON!!!! At least the New Colony Six had some sexy vibes in their pop glop. These guys just reek patented 1970 rock moves filtered through some hippie rock schmooze just to make it look "daring" enough complete with a chromakeyed out cover photo guaranteed to get the exact same Aunt Madge from three reviews up to snatch this one up for yet another birthday present. Won't she ever learn???  Well, at least it ain't as bad as it was gonna get a good four years later when the lady actually wraps up a mood cock ring she found at some under-the-counter emporium thinking that it would be the most wonderful thing to place on your prize rooster.

Although this was originally pressed up on vinyl (presumably in the early-nineties) this is a "legit" CD-r burn of an illegit release in the first place, so it would be more accurate to review the thing here rather'n in some "Bootleg Braggadocio" column due definitely more later than sooner.

Basically a collection of all of those rare Bowie numbers that have been cluttering up the bootlegs of the seventies onwards, this one has (besides a photo of the man during his Lauren Bacall days) not only his original version of "Waiting For The Man" that was recorded long before most other groups attempted it but Bowie's very own Velvet Underground tribute "Little Toy Soldier" with all of its "Venus In Furs" references. The rest ain't bad even if it wasn't slapped together during the MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD period (Bowie's best if you must know, and you probably didn't), but considering some of the poopies that have been laid in the name of rock 'n roll even this flitzy stuff sounds good in a late-sixties pop way. And who would have ever thought we would have devolved to the point where pixie-period Bowie actually sounds good next to the drek heard these past thirtysome years?
Various Artists-TIDEWATER RHUMBA PHILOSOPHER CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

It's hard to believe, but Bill's topped his tippy top with this collection of webfinds that really bring back the Saturday night is FUN night ethos in me (that's when I listened to this 'un, and although it ain't as fun as going to a department store and buying a fifties-vintage MAD paperback like I was wont to do Saturdays past it's good enough for me!).

I wonder who the dog and cat who are respectively woofing and mewing here are, but I get the feeling that they're Bill's own brood who want out before they do something to the carpet that's gonna get 'em whoomped! But all kidding aside Pete Fountain doing "Louie Louie" is almost as cornball as the Sandpipers' version, while Southwest FOB do some passable cheezy psychedelia that I'm surprised ROLLING STONE accepted an ad for given how snooty they were about this sorta stuff. And the Fi-Dels did some good loco soul but with that name you;d think they were Cuban gorillas or something like that!

What I like about this 'un is the comedy angle. Eddie Lawrence (one of Don Fellman's fact he does a great impression of the guy) does his "Old Philosopher" routine that actually got him into MAD magazine, and for those of you who know about the Paul Frees knockoff on FRACTURED FLICKERS the original may come as a surprise. Roger Price is yet another one of those fifties-bred jokesters who typified the whole MAD/HUMBUG/HELP! style of pre-shame funnydom, and his jazz history (including a weird understanding of the avant garde!) and aural droodles are a whole lot funnier'n ol' Penis Nose Maher and Joy Behind combined! And of course the Christmas ad for a mobile home, although not intentionally funny, will get you laughing your butt off even if all it did was bring back fun memories of old time X-mases past and all the presents that went along with 'em!

The rest varies...the incidental music from "Music For All Kinds of Fun" was enjoyable considering this was used on the old ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET show and as we all know this kinda music is good by itself as well as while watching the antics of some of our favorite people. (Hey Bill, if you go to the YOWP blog you can download all of that old music from the early Hanna-Barbara cartoons which would really fit in well with my everyday experiences!) The Robert Parker and Frank Foster tracks were kinda go-through-your-head-like-aural-prunes, and the Plymouth Latin Orchestra sounded like something your long-gone Uncle Edsel would listened to before clicking on the tee-vee for Lawrence Welk back inna fifties. And whoever this Lee person is mewling to a bass guitar well, if you're gonna be performing at the local talent show I better make sure I got the rotten fruit concession!

And it all ends with these comical sound effect "boinnnnngggggs...still trying to think of a good was to use them in real life, like when some knockout of a lady walks by or something along those lines.

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