Well, at least BLOG TO COMM kept on pumping full blast, and a lot of the credit must go to the likes of Bill Shute and Brad Kohler for their much-needed contributions! Their reviews and reminiscences not only raised the intellectual consciousness of this blog many fold, but helped to make my own opines look even stupider! A big thank you to your two, and all I gotta say is KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!
And at least the kultural scene wasn't so bad what with a nice slew of music, books, video and whatnot making the times more bearable as I snuggle in my spiritual bunker also known as my bedroom. And so, here's my BEST OF for a year that I really coulda enjoyed, only somehow I knew better not to!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR!: Fadensonnen's GUTTER WANDERER. Of course, Gregg Turner's CHARTBUSTERZ is a definite late-year contender but as far as a spinner that kept me active goes this 'un was pretty hard-energy overdrive soul-cleansing. Not only that but it sure looks swell stacked up inna collection---I'm sure the flea market whichever gets my platters after I'm gone will look all the more better with this one innit!
SINGLE OF THE YEAR!: So What's "Why Can't I See You Tonight"/"I Can See But You Don't Know" (Just Add Water). So good in sound, approach and presentation that I actually thought it was a long-lost single from mid-Ameriga 1976! Maybe if you're not as dense as I am you will find out the same thing too, or something like that!***
LIVE ALBUM (or in this case Cee-Dee) OF THE YEAR!: Hawkwind's THE TEXT OF FESTIVAL which ain't exactly a spring chicken but sheesh, this was perhaps the only live platter I played repeatedly throughout 2016!***
***JAZZ RELEASE OF THE YEAR!: Alfred 23 Harth's BERLIN ENSEMBLE (Kendra Steiner Editions)! This one reminds me of thejazz rush I got throughout the eighties snatching up various freeform classics either via the New Music Distribution Society or a variety of Cle. Hts. used record shops.
***COMPILATION OF THE YEAR!: Burnt Offering's ALIEN NATION. Proof that there still is life out there in DIY music land that doesn't fall into the traps that have eaten way too many an act these past few decades!
***EP OF THE YEAR!: The Styrenes 76-79 UNRELEASED 3-platter set (My Mind's Eye)...close second, 21-st CENTURY GIZMOS FANS CAN'T BE WRONG (Gulcher) Yes, the mid-seventies roar still has some cred even here a good forty years later as this collection from Cle shining lights the Styrenes as well as the reformed Gizmos prove to one and all.
***BOOK OF THE YEAR (ROCK 'N ROLL DIVISION)!: DENIM DELINQUENT. Proof that there was life before the Sex Pistols came to rescue us from the dismal display of bad Doobie Brothers albums, or something like that, or nothing like that for that matter. If you still think that CREEM's snide approach tops ROLLING STONE's journalist snob appeal this is the book for you! Only hope that BACK DOOR MAN and HYPE(RION) get the same treatment, and soon!
***BOOK OF THE YEAR (SECULAR DIVISION)!: ELLA CINDERS! With the lack of any new ARCHIE newspaper collections I gotta look at somebody of the sexy female persuasion in a swimsuit! Great comics with the kinda bad gag humor I so desire, done up in such detailed art that you woulda thunk they hired Michelangelo Da Vinci to draw these! And in this day of ugly well...it's nice look at females the way nature really intended 'em to look (and that's with shaved pits, legs and shapely in case you're too stupid to know).
***REISSUE OF THE YEAR!: Ngozi Family's DAY OF JUDGEMENT which only shows ya that maybe Zambia was the new Detroit, or London, or New York City, or something like that. Yet another rock 'n roll scene to be discovered, unless there was a hot burning underground rock movement happening in Sri Lanka around the same time.
***ARCHIVAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR!: Zoom's SWEET DESPERATION---ferget that, make it SAUCERLAND! I was hoping that a lot more would have made it outta the vaults of hard-edged glory ca. 1964-1981 but these two classics will do. And they're both of Canadian origin, which somehow doesn't surprise me one bit!
***FANZINE OF THE YEAR!: VULCHER! The grand return of the seventies fanzine mafia in a great slick read that brings back everything I liked about the seventies only it's 40 years later and surprisingly the lava of creative construction is still flowing. Can't wait for #2...coming soon!
MOOM PITCHER OF THE YEAR! CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE. Didn't have much time to watch the ol' Dee-Vee-Dee player like I would have hoped, but this one managed to help break the boredom once in awhile.***
PLEASANT SURPRISE OF THE YEAR!: Hackamore Brick's SNAILS IN ASTORIA . Close enough second...Robert Bensick's FRENCH PICTURES IN LONDON.***
***POST OF THE YEAR!: Definitely this one.
DEATH OF THE YEAR!:: Who else's but BILLY MILLER and DON WALLER, two titans of the fanzine world who never did get the rock respect that lesser brains like Parke Puterbaugh have but hey, what else would you expect from people who still have their heads up hippie anus so far they can't pull it out no matter how hard they try. As if they would.***
BLOG OF THE YEAR!: J.D. KING ILLUSTRATIONS. where there's nuttin' to read but the pictures sure look good just like they did when you were thumbin' through older bro's PENTHOUSE hidden under the mattress when you were but three years old.***
***Hey, this post is kinda skimpy for bein' a "weak end" one 'n all, so howzbout a few reviews to beef it up???
How'd this outta-nowhere slip by my free jazz radarscope anyhow? Cecil Taylor alumnus and future Zappa via Ponty player Neidlinger leads this trio featuring none other than Charles Gayle a good quarter century before he became the big under-the-underground free jazz find then blew it all by releasing some of his street sermons backed by his own piano playing that turned just about every precious soul in feelgood land off for good! Drummer Bergamo plays fine enough not quite Sunny Murray but pretty good for one of these guys how stayed on the sideline so to speak and never did go anywhere. Neidlinger is great as leader and plays his bass as Ron Asheton played his (as a lead instrument!) but it's Gayle all the way here with his neo-Ayleresque play that seems more in place a good decade later during the days of the collective groups like Air rather than as leader plus band ifyaknowaddamean... Try and pick it up...I dare you!
My cyster went to high stool with some guy who had the last name Garvey (and his cyster was one big stuck up snob...I hope she gets a bad case of the runs and dies!) but I don't think he had anything to do with this Marcus guy. Well, from what I do know about "thee" Marcus Garvey it would figure that rastafazool Burning Spear would be a big fan of him and sing a lot about the guy's Afrocentrism'n all. Since I never could ooze myself directly into reggae it's all goin' over my head like Algy's Bra, but if you're the kinda guy who goes for those Caribbean oom-chukka rhythms and thick accented singing well the, who's stoppin' ya???
Here's what the famed Memphis label was up to before Big Star put their name on the hipper'n you'll ever be cool stuff for suburban geeks to look into list. Nothing that I would call outwardly spectacular true, but as far as early-sixties mid-South local releases go the blend of neo-rockabilly and blue crank does work out rather neet. From Freddie Caddell and the Twirls' big beat bouncer to the Ole Miss Down Beats' bloozey haller you can somehow see how it would be a short step from this to Alex Chilton within the span of a good fifteen or so years.
I think McGarry mixed up the Cee-Dee-Ares here, for these VIP's songs don't quite correlate with the group listings on the cover. That is, "Louie Louie" and the John Denver buckraker "Country Roads" are nowhere to be found on this spin! Maybe this is a different VIP's album, but whatever it is the sounds are slightly pleasing power poppy rock that sounds OK at least some of the time and at reduced doses. In other words a li'l bit goes a long way, and if I ever listen to this again that'll be the same day I decide to join the Chuck Eddy Fan Club or something equally ridiculous!
***An' with that HAPPY NUDE YEAR...now go get lost willya?