Saturday, August 22, 2015

Rare video time here. Nobody out there (well, two who shall now and forever remain nameless) has commented on my ongoing interest in the long-gone and all but forgotten Boston-area rock group Orchestra Luna, and I'm sure many of you who might espy the clips featured below might wanna join in on the pile on once they get an eye/earfulla the group going through what might seem some rather twee/fru-fru musical moments complete with choreographed moves and high school theatrics. But sheesh, I have, will, and will continue to stick up for this group because not only did they have what I would call a real "cool" moniker but they created some still interesting/entertaining even forty-plus years later mid-seventies-styled deca-pop not quite in the same vein but vaguely similar to Roxy/Sparks/Deaf School/Jet etc's concurrent efforts (mebbe mixed with some Manhattan Transfer but since they were also of the Max's Kansas City/Club 82 generation maybe I'll cut 'em some slack this time!).  And although many would disagree, OL were one of the better second/third-string acts that were fortunate enough to pop up right smack dab inna middle of the great mid-seventies underground upheaval that manifested itself all across the globe. Guess that li'l fact also dumps a few more loads of credentials upon their corpse and not only that but this bunch were more than adept musically as some of the definitely searing instrumental passages to be found will certainly attest to:

Orchestra Luna (Live @ CBGB's) FISHBOWL 1975 from Rick Berlin on Vimeo.

BOY SCOUT CAMP from Rick Berlin on Vimeo.

And so what if a good portion of the males in the band probably woulda made good candidates for the front of any three-dollar bill of your choice! Gotta say that it's sure swell that some of these Metropolis Videos shot at CBGB are finally being made available to the public, and if we cross our tootsies maybe the ones done up of the Marbles and Joe and Blake will finally hit surface for all to see. Don't care about the ones done up by the Ramones or Blondie that much...I mean we've been inundated by their visages for years already and like, maybe something rare and outta the ordinary is more in line with what we gotta get into our craniums before it all goes down...

But if you'd really like to know about it, I'm more in the mood right now for something like this:

Kinda sums up my own current opinions re. life and humanity, and you know it's true!

And before I really get in trouble by spouting off what I REALLY think about the human race in general, here's just a bitta what I have been listening to these past VII...

Long John Hunter-OOH WEE PRETTY BABY! CD (Norton)

Fer me the mere mention of "da blooze" conjures up images of late-seventies white college boys listening to other late-seventies college boys playing old Howlin' Wolf songs filtered through stacks of Marshalls as well as stacks of white British blues platters for that matter. That's why it's always tops hearing this sorta sound as it was originally meant to be. Hardass r&b here thanks to the guy who just about single-handedly influenced the late-fifties Western Texas rock 'n roll era with his Juarez-based act that sounds to me (in no way a humongous fan) a whole lot more energetic than even jaded I would have guessed. Miriam Linna's liner notes would get her an "A+" if I were here English teach, and the interview conducted by John Morthland really did surprise me because I thought that Hunter was a guy who had sorta vanished into the nada of deepest Mexico ne'er to be heard from again!
The Kinks-HAVING A RHYTHM & BLUES SESSION WITH THE KINKS CD-r burn (courtesy Bill Shute)

Dunno the exact whys/wherefores of this 'un and most if not all is available on other Kinkslegs founds within the vast reaches of my collection, but (again) it's nice to hear these old broadcast recordings even though the quality sounds like they were taped right off the same cheapo portable you got for Christmas 1964...y'know, the same one that your mom used to record opera crap offa whenever Beverly Whatzername would pop up on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. BBC, SHINDIG, Swedish tee-vee etc...when Jymn Parret dies and goes to his final reward this is probably all he's gonna be hearing, in between the Stooges, Beefheart, Mott, Seeds...
Various Artists-THUNDER; BORDER TOWN ROCK N' ROLL 1958-1962 CD (Norton)

Definite stars of this fourth volume in Norton's El Paso Rock series are Bob Taylor and the Counts, the same band that not only featured future Bobby Fuller member Jim Reese but the presence of group leader
Taylor, a guy who was wearing his hair long and greasy long before the Beatles or even Che Guevara for that matter. Too bad there's no photographic evidence in the package to prove it, but I take the word of Billy and Miriam to heart and until some snaps do make their way to mine eyes I will not disagree faithful pooch that I am. The Counts do perfect late-fifties instrumental rock ("Taylor's Rock") as well as some down home Elvis-styled pounders that come off rather creepy in some strange inexplicable way, and a full album of their material would be a rather tasty experience so start digging into your drawers guys! The rest might be too country/rockabilly/late-fifties instrumental jive for your tastes, but then again you like listening to Beyonce so why should I expect you to think otherwise?
Silverhead-SHOW ME EVERYTHING CD (Captain Trip, Japan)

Mostly audience recordings taken from a Japanese show that sound about a "C" rating if you go by those tape lists that were floating around back inna early-eighties. Nothing unlistenable mind ya, but kinda straining onna ears. Still it does relay some of the definitely non-laidback energy that Michael Des Barres' old group were able to unleash on an audience. and if you miss the post-Stones excitement of many a rock act that sorta got lost inna shuffle of way too many releases back in those rather funzie days of yore then well hey, you might cherish this one about as much as you do your membership in Europe's Only Iggy Pop Fan Club.

By the way, I oughta tell ya that I was stuck in someone's car enduring a rather nervously keyed-up ride, and since the radio in the car has Sirius innit I spun it to channel 21 and the "Underground Garage". Fortunately that well-draped turd Little Steven Van Zant was nowhere to be found, but Des Barres was so I settled down and listened to his show 'stead of the all-Grateful Dead marathon. Turns out that Des Barres was a halfway decent host with his stories and insight, but really this "Underground Garage" station has little if anything to do with garage band rock or ideals! All I got were rare b-sides, familiar singles of the sixties and seventies that had NADA to do with any sorta garage band "aesthetic" I was hoping for (I mean...Aretha Franklin???) and while I was hoping that rare tapes of some 1969 group down the street's rehearsals would pop up all I got was the same old Beach Boys and Easybeats that, while good enough for my ears, could be heard on the "sixties" channel. Sheesh, what a waste of time as well as a hot opportunity to really deliver the punk goods even if it is forty years too late, and if I had only known that the Nostalgia Channel was playing FIBBER McGEE AND MOLLY at the exact same time...
Various Artists-A PERFUMED GARDEN. VOL. 3 (courtesy Bill Shute)

Sheesh, I didn't even know there was a third volume of this. If you liked the British psychedelic pop of the first two this one will also sate (didn't know there were so many of these groups wallowing around in Britain at the time) what with the likes of T. S. McPhee's Groundhogs and Herbal Mixture laying down some pretty intense psych workouts as well as fave raves from groups with names like Shyster and Reign. Heck, even the track by Andwella's Dream was flowery erotic pop rock and I was sworn off them ever since Lester Bangs peed all over 'em for name alone (they got it in a dream, and if I followed Andwella's advice my ne'er to be rock group would probably be named Prolapsed Hinman!).
Johndavid Bartlett-FALLING THROUGH THE UNIVERSE CD (Snapper, England)

It's really too dang bad that Bartlett's Mayo Thompson-produced MOTHER'S MILK album on International Artists is lost and gone forever in classic darling Clementine fashion, and although this smattering of numbers both old and recently-recreated doesn't make up for it the thing is still swell. Acoustic run throughs of old 13th Floor Elevators numbers and basic folk rock hankerings, the results coming off like the spirit of Roky infiltrating the corpse of Tim Buckley with Syd Barrett wafting through somewhere. Not all of this sparks (in fact, parts come off typical seventies post-hippoid mature enough to have earned Bartlett a spot on AUSTIN CITY LIMITS) but overall it's a grand slice of late-sixties Texas underground music that fits into the whole equation just as much as that psychedelic poster you've been starin' at these past ten hours...
Crawlspace-BLINK ONCE FOR YES CD (Gulcher)

This one marks the grande return to classic rock structures for the revised version of this legendary group and the end results are rather akin to those early Crawlspace offerings that got our heads spinning (because they were so superior to the usual self-pitying mush) way back inna late-eighties. Featuring the roaring lead guitar of one Grady Runyan of Monoshock fame which is one good reason you saw Eddie Flowers praising him and his band up and down the page in the latest BULL TONGUE REVIEW. Sounds like the Lollipop Shoppe with a hernia complete with great Mumbles-styled vocals and for something I would assume was recorded half-serious like it sure does measure up as a high energy affair of the highest order!
Iggy Pop-PSYCHOPHONIC MEDICINE 2-CD-r burn set (originally on Cleopatra)

Alternative versions and mixes etc. from the early/mid-eighties sound fair enough in that sorta lost decade way, while the live numbers sorta typify the sameness that Iggy's career was during those rather turgid times. Nothing to rave about especially after all of the archival Stooges recordings that have pleasured my ears for quite a long time. Sheesh, Iggy's entire Stooges to solo career move was kinda like if Houdini had quit doing those death-defying stunts he was best known for and settled back on wowing the rubes with nothing but old timey card tricks such as that all-time fave, 52 Card Pickup!
Various Artists-FAR-OUT RAIDERS SEARCHING FOR JONES CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

And finally (as if you didn't expect it) the obligatory Bill burn of the week, and it's a fairly good one if I do say so mineself. Not as hotcha tippy top as the past few were, but then again I think this is an old one that sorta got buried under the collection before Bill began slipping old ads and other fun suburban slob tracks into the mix. It's also got a hefty mix of Amerigan garage, some hipster soul, a good English folk-rocky acetate from Angel Pavement and some weird things that I never would have expected from Bill. There's even some female soul courtesy "Diane & Carol & The Whatcha Ma Callits" (sounds like a dudster 1972-era drive in moom pitcher feature!). Biggest slurprise of the batch's gotta be Pepe Fernandez 'n Orchestra's "Having Fun" which is a typical latin/soul platter that probably won't be of interest to you, but the pure fact that Fernandez co-wrote this one with a certain "L. Reed" is bound to arouse some interest. Oh yeah, and the Thor of "You're My Cream" who close this out ain't the famed blond-haired heavy metal guy but a late-sixties-styled pop group that might have gotten a writeup in an old issue of THE ROCK MARKETPLACE had this only gotten out.

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