Wednesday, December 02, 2015

MAGAZINE REVIEW! UGLY THINGS #40 (you know where to get it!)

As they used to say when I was a kid, oh wow! Whenever a new issue of UGLY THINGS hits the BLOG TO COMM offices you just know that said occasion is one of happiness and joy. And today is no different because the latest (#40) is out and boy do I feel happier than an Italian in a field of dandelions (but not on the highway, in case you remember that joke goin' 'round back in the late-sixties)!

As you know, I've been reviewing this mag here on this blog ever since this blog was created (and elsewhere even before), and it's so great seeing the high standards that UGLY THINGS has been known for ever since its cut and paste if humble beginnings continue to roll on. The plethora of knowledge that just oozes from each and every ish like sweat on a hunka hot cheese continues to stymie me, and even after all of these years you really don't know what kinda fun 'n thrills you'll encounter once you open this particular periodical up! I'll tell ya, you're bound to discover more from a mag such as this than you did when you picked up that copy of WHERE DO I COME FROM, MOMMY? the folks gave you in order to avert those embarrassing questions.

It's THAT unpredictable, exciting and a totally wowzer prop up to the psyches of addled suburban slobs like myself who try their darndest to live a 1960s ranch house fun 'n jamz existence in a 2015 dictatorship of the hippie world. And you know, that ain't as easy as I sure'd like it to be!

Can't say that I've read EVERY word comma and period of this, but I've read enough. And as soon as I put this review to print I'm gonna read even MORE because there's just too much of this mag to go through in not only one or two but TWENNY-FIVE toilet bowl sittings. Unless you wanna break the bank at Golden Corral I suggest you read and digest UGLY THINGS the same way you eat and digest your everyday grub, 'n while you're at it be careful not to get any on the magazine.

I always go to the continuing saga of Cyril Jordan (written in his own hand, er, keyboard) first. The Flamin' Groovie's reminiscences of dayze gone by continues to thrill me the same way picking up that copy of TEENAGE HEAD (despite being warned NOT to!) for $1.99 back '78 way sure did, and living vicariously through all of his actions meeting up with Kim Fowley or Lenny Kaye and seeing so-n-so in action really does something tingle-like to this fellow's spine! I know I know, I live such a cloistered life 'n all but sheesh, if you were a guy who dug records and discovering new acts and browsing the record racks wondering if the music inside looked as hot as the album covers did I'm sure you too can understand my purely simple yet firmly entrenched attitudes.

Another biggie for me this go 'round was the Psychotic Pineapple story which might surprise you because I never did get to hear that platter of theirs which was constantly being hawked in TROUSER PRESS and other sympatico pubs. (Depression-era wages, y'know.) The sagas on the various UGLY THINGS standbys, the sixties garage bands devolving unto punk, also had me jumping up and down like Roman Polanski on a Camp Fire Girl! I mean, whoever (other'n UT matermind Mike Stax) thought that groups like the Human Expression or Turquoise would ever get their say amid all of the empty hot air passing as online rock screeding these sad 'n sorry days? Not Anastasia Pantsios that's for sure!

Also striking was the article on this guy called Joe Doll who was spinnin' the AM hits along with the one oldie per hour and (now get this!) album tracks from the likes of the Golden Dawn and Silver Apples on AM radio in Ann Arbor back inna late-sixties! Back when I was growing up I thought it peculiar when the local Youngstown AM Top 40 would spin Pink Floyd's "Several Species" or T. Rex's "Telegram Sam" next to the current hits, but this particular piece really makes me wish that there was something more'n the usual grog to listen to growing up in the tri-county area!

Other hotchas include Greg Prevost's interview with Rolling Stones studio engineer David Hassinger, the Human Expression (of "Love at Psychedelic Velocity" fame), the Wrecking Crew piece regarding the recently released documentary, and the piece on Romanian Iron Curtain rockers Phoenix who are not to be confused with the post-Rotomagus band of the same name whose album I'd sure like to lend ears to!

No guesses as to what's my fave RAVE-est piece in this 'un is, and for all of you Karen Quinlans out there it's the interview with none other than drummer Stu Boy King of DICTATORS fame! It's about time somebody got his side of the whole Dics saga and now we have it...and man it's pretty hot and good enough to zone me back to all of that rockmag reading when these guys were being propped up to take the scepter away from the fingers of an ever-flagging Iggy as heirs to the ROCK 'N ROLL FANABLAS OF THE WORLD throne. The interview's also accompanied by a plethora of classy reprints of then-contemporary reviews and other pieces on the Dics done up by the likes of everyone from Lester Bangs and VARIETY's Fred Kirby to Peter Laughner, some which I haven't seen in years bringing back them rather fond memories (like the one in CIRCUS that I recall reading at the stands of the National Record Mart at the Eastwood Mall...I actually mentioned the piece to my cyster's then-boyfriend which brought up the fact that Ross the Boss slept with his guitar with boyfriend replying "I hope it's an acoustic!"). However, don't you really think they shoulda run not only Trixie A. Balm's praise of GO GIRL CRAZY from CREEM here but Bangs' pre-LP article on 'em that appeared in NIX ON PIX??? Talk about sins of omission! Also, that snap of Stu posing with his post-Dics aggro Uncle Son that popped up in the PUNK mag "Mutant Monster Beach Party" ish woulda been fine as well, though thankfully they did spare us Dave Moosh's catty GGC putdown in STONE if only for the sake of good taste.

Oh yeah, there's also the expected ton (well---half a ton considering the drop in releases these days) of book, record and Dee-Vee-Dee reviews for you to pour through. Like you could afford any or all of it!

In all, a happy time was had. And more happy times are coming too since starting in 2016 UGLY THINGS is gonna be published three times a year and that's Earth years not Plutonian. So if you're in the market for a pacemaker better get it now because your heart just ain't gonna stand it!

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