Sunday, December 06, 2015

Well, I know that some of ya wanted to see a recent photo of myself so like man...HERE IT IS! Yeah, the receding hairline doesn't do me justice and I must admit that I photograph fatter'n I really am and maybe I shoulda put a smile on my face, but be glad to know that the photographer had an age-spot screen on his camera and I did manage to pop out all of those icky blackheads that gather on my nose...well, all except that big honker on my right nostril. And rilly, that strand of drool hanging from my lip? I kinda look like I'm in the tenth hour of a starvation diet dreaming of the three-course meal everyone else is eating in the other room! Mebbee I should use this as my profile pic 'stead of the Creative Construction Company cover painting that's adorned this blog for almost a good decade or so! As usual, your votes won't matter.

Here's wishing you a happy Pearl Harbor Day. Go out and get bombed!
Tryin' to get in gear for the Christmas season now that we're only like three weeks away from the Big Day. Most if not all of the presents will be mailed out to various friends and fambly in about a week or so, and those who are receiving their goodies via the internet have (undoubtedly) mistakenly sent their special goodies to spam. Be careful guys, that ain't no million dollar viagra account from a Ugandan bank I'm sendin' ya! As for me, I've been passing time (and gas---hey my bedroom didn't get fart encrusted because of my pet Enchilada!) by reading old books including Charles Shaar Murray's SHOTS FROM THE HIP which believe-it-or-naught was the first book I ever writ up on this blog (holds up though the Jerking Working Class Socialist opines overcome the clear writing much if not most of the time) as well as a slew of old ARCHIE digests that my cyster picked up for me at some junk shop that are good for the older reprints only (the new stuff's strictly for prepube gals to read at slumber parties---when they're not using vibrators that is). And of course I'm digesting a whole batch of new books and mags that you'll be reading about on BLOG TO COMM as the weeks progress, so don't touch that knob, slob...keep tuned to BLOG TO COMM same fanabla-time, same fanabla-station!

Sven-Ake Johansson-KONZERT FUR 12 TRAKTOREN picture-disc LP (Trost, Austria)

I guess if someone could write a concerto for a choir of gas-laden bowels one could be written for a dozen tractors. And that's just what longtime Swedish free jazz maverick Johansson did on this recording which featured him conducting a slew of those popular farm machines with the big wheels on the back as if they were tubas or perky children singing "Kumbaya". The resultant roar does conjure up images of what John Cage might've cooked up had he took a job pitchin' hay to make ends meet what with engines roaring and idling making for some of the best music heard since my last trip to the ironworks. Side two's a mesmerizing drone similar to the "blank" side of Ayler's BELLS so you know where Johansson's personal tastes in music lie. The lost episode of GREEN ACRES nobody wants to remember? Well, I can imagine Mr. Drucker conducting all of the tractors in Hooterville during some country concert while Mr. Douglas grimaces on in disbelief.
Mirage-OUT OF LUCK, OUT OF MONEY CD-r burn (originally on Stallion Records)

Many of these locally-produced seventies albums that I've heard over the years are nothing but eighties flea market fodder, and OUT OF LUCK, OUT OF MONEY is no exception. But that doesn't mean that there still ain't a lick of goodness and hard-to-find entertainment value lurking within. Yes, between the riffs stolen/approximated from everyone from the Jefferson Starship to the Steve Miller Band there's a halfway-there album lurking about, though frankly it ain't anything that I'd particularly like to cuddle up to on these chilly evenings we've been experiencing as of late. Back to the bars guys and who knows, maybe they'll let you perform at least one cut from this 'un in between the top forty covers.

Live AM radio broadcasts from Birdland ca. early-sixties don't really do justice to the Mingus legacy, but I find these recordings of boffo bootleg-level performances better'n well...nothing. Moving at times, feh at others but still a good enough encapsulation of the whole Mingus mystique and legend that really coulda gone off the deep end at times. If you're partial to the Atlantic albums that Mingus was cranking out at the time (and kinda shuddered at some of those recordings he did was doing right around the end) this might be a good 'un to pick least after hearing all of the crucial ones. BTW, didja know that (according to their website) Mingus attended the release party that was held for the Hampton Grease Band's MUSIC TO EAT double-duty album, even though it was only for the free food?
Zenith Effluveum-ALMOST MADE IT IN THE USA CD-r burn (originally of Separate Records)

A whole lotta the progressive rock that I've heard o'er the past fortysome years might have sounded pretty boffo, innovative and just as good as Mantovani had at first, but after awhile a good portion certainly had me thinkin' BOY WAS I DUPED! Of course there were exceptions to the rule like the German "expressionist" groups, Roxy Music, Savage Rose etc. but then again those acts coulda easily been categorized into the same niche where such stellar musical mavericks as the Velvet Underground and even the Stooges reside. Rochester's Zenith Effluveum fall into the latter category with this 1978 platter sounding closer to the freakier side of the import bin (Canterbury and kraut via French RIO with a few sidesteps into Roxy and King Crimson) along with old standbys like Cap'n Beefheart hanging by handily enough. The results aren't quite staggering but will perk your earlobes more'n Sam's because this sure ain't the kind of prog rock that soothed your willing AOR fan into a somber slumber with visions of dragonslayers and cleavage-laden maidens in danger the way Yes sure did! Features 2/3rds of Distorted Levels and no, contrary to rumor Greg Prevost was not a member of the group!
The Ventures-IN SPACE CD-r burn (originally on Dolton)

It probably will seem surprising to you but I've actually enjoyed the variety of Ventures albums I've picked up at flea markets over the past few decades, and this particular item is, as the old cliche goes, no different. Sure this early-'64 entry can tend to get prune juice on you with its inability to match up with the original hit versions, but as far as cheap-o imitations go these really can't be beat as far as your budget-level fun and games suburban slob ranch house living goes.

OK the TWILIGHT ZONE theme sounds nothing like the original (other'n having the same "Out of Limits" opening guitar line, only played correctly) and their version of "Penetration" lacks the backbone that made the hit so potent, but at least we do get a version of fellow labelmates the Frantics' "Werewolf" and some rather driving guitar-based instrumentals complete with a haunting keyboard that sounds similar to all of those chord organs that were cluttering up the bottoms of Christmas Trees from about 1962 until at least the end of the decade.

Re-live your Christmas childhood pasts with OUT OF LIMITS and scour the flea markets/antique shops for a cheap console, aluminum Christmas tree, all the toys you wanted then but didn't get and don't forget the colon ashes for brother Michelangelo! It's sixties X-mas all over, and if you have kids boy will they THANK you for bring back that REAL spirit of the holidays that's been so long gone that even YOU probably can't even remember when it was thee main event o' the year!
Various Artists-THE MEN WITH THE DEADLY DREAMS CD-r burn (originally on White Stains Tapes, England)

Like many a folk who thought small is beautiful, I was a big fan of the cassette player for many a year. When the underground hubbubbers decided that cassette-only album and releases were the hotcha thing 'round 1981 way I felt that mankind had advanced a step or three! Instead of going through the process of recording their own album and dishing out big bux to have it pressed, groups could now record an album on a cassette recorder in their garage, make dubs, and thus have an album on tape available for the ten friends who wanted it and at minimal charge t'boot!

Of course there were tons of quickie nobodies releasing their nothing wares on tape, but then again there were tons of vital recordings (the English anarcho-punks were good at this) that put out a slew of rare and vital mutterings on a variety of releases that represent the entire genre more than some of their vinyl releases had.

This particular release features the more out-there of early-eighties atonal screech done up by the same artists who were spinning Stockhausen and AMM when they shoulda been listening to King Crimson but don't you dare tell them that! Most of it is whatcha'd call post-Cabaret Voltaire, but there are some interesting tape splices and experiments to contend with. Self-indulgent at times but so what, THE MEN WITH THE DEADLY DREAMS ain't no cheap flash. It can get pretty nerve-wracking if you're not accustomed to this brand of soundswill, but if you can and have been latching onto the artists involved (everyone from Eyeless in Gaza and Rema Rema to Cabaret Voltaire's own Richard H. Kirk) ever since them BIG DAYS you might just wanna search for an available and free download.
HERE COME THE HARDY BOYS CD-r burn (originally on RCA)

Considering that I had been conscripted for home 'n garden duties on Saturday mornings by this time in my life I can't say that I was that familiar with the ABC-TV animated Hardy Boys series. And frankly I wasn't familiar with the two albums that were released during the series' run as well, so giving a listen to this particular release was just as good as if I were to prowl through the budget records that you used to find at RADIO SHACK in 1976 and played all of the early-seventies pop refuse on one of their cheezy stereo systems right inna store. Bubblegum rock was starting to lose its flavor and stretchability once the flashoid sixties began clocking their way into the socially aware seventies, and this particular platter with its slick production and puppy love lyrics just wasn't gonna cut it with a good portion of the female audience it was aimed at! Sheesh, could you have seen your cyster spinning this one on her portable player in her bedroom as her girlfriends and she talked about the bulges seen during the boys' gym class? Me neither!
Henry Jacobs-THE WIDE WEIRD WORLD OF SHORTY PETTERSTEIN CD-r burn (originally on World Pacific)

It's too hipster bop for me, but if yer the kinda guy who goes hog wild for fifties shoo-bee-doo-bop humor the way them San Fran beach types dug it you might groove-y doove to it more'n I ever could. Pacifica Radio personality Jacobs plays studio on these late-fifties skits that seem to predate a whole load of future comedy platters both good and bad doin' that beatno thing, and if you like obscure skits (chock fulla studio phasing) that sound like Monty Python twisted through old Jack Kerouac scratchies BINGO!!! However its on the side of fifties satire that doesn't gag me the way Kurtzman or Kovacs could, so just see me givin' this 'un another spin! For espresso schleps only.
Cherokee Mist-ANTHEM OF THE MOON CD-r burn (originally on Euphoria)

Given the group's name and album title I thought this was some late-sixties self-produced hippie platter done up by a buncha Marin County holdups cloistered in their log cabin somewhere. ANTHEM OF THE MOON, surprisingly enough, was recorded in the late-nineties, though I must admit that the sound and vibe of this is firmly entrenched in the hard and heavy late-sixties which should satisfy the more lysergic amongst us.

Side one ain't that hotcha and in fact is kinda like a rambling jam that starts cooking in spots yet doesn't reach the expected heights leaving you kinda hungerin' for more. The flip fares somewhere better beginning with a Hawkwind riff that soon turns into yet another hard 'n heavy post-Hendrix workout that really ain't that bad. Then again it ain't as hard-hitting as similar offerings that were going on in the English underground (Deviants, Pink Fairies, the aforementioned Hawkwind...) but if you can download it on-line like Bill did you might just have a handy copy ready for your next Coke and aspirin trip.
Pezband-THIRTY SECONDS OVER SCHAUMBURG CD-r burn (originally on PVC Records)

Yuh, Pezband never did become the late-seventies answer to the Raspberries like Greg Shaw thought they shoulda, but they really did give it a good go even if PVC records didn't quite have the same push power as Capitol. On this '78 live slice which packs all of the power of a hot FM broadcast most stations woulda been afraid to air, Pezband sound a whole lot harder'n sweater'n I remembered these guys to have been on their studio efforts. Nothing wimpoid here brudda...quite energetic in a late-seventies Cle pop vein a la the Andy Gerome Band and other acts that unfortunately fell into the abyss of a late-seventies world that couldn't see beyond their SGT. PEPPER'S soundtrack albums. Brings back a whole lotta memories of what coulda been had the Big Beat only manifested itself in in the brains of teenage Ameriga like I (and presumably you) sure hoped it would.
Various Artists-GOLDEN MARTINIS COW DISGUSTED CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill didn't leave any info on this one so I guess I'll have to wing this collection of downright weirdities. The ol' scratchy 78 of some guy singing comedy numbers was mildly entertaining, as were those Japanese pop rockers featuring some teenage-sounding gals singing about Gold Beetles and Yokohama first in their native tongue and then in English. The vintage ads not to mention the theme from THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN were pretty nostalgic for this guy who still can't get enough of 1962 and gets way too much of 2015, and believe it or not but for the life of me I can't remember anything else about this 'un which shows you just what kind of a sieve-like head I have! Odd enough cover on this one, featuring the famed visage of that up and coming movie personality...SONNY TUFTS?!?!?!?!?

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