Sunday, January 24, 2016

Well, howd'ja like this year so far? Uh yeah, me too. But at least there's one thingie for you to look forward to during these frigid days and that's tuning into BLOG TO COMM twice a week, maybe even more if you're lucky! And to that I say "sorry to hear that" since you certainly do not have that much of life if you have to rely on ME to provide you with those life-affirming jollies you most certainly need to get by in these rather slow-moving times! And since I can't think of a single thing else to say let's cut this opening schpiel to the quick and get onto the reason you cruise the internet for this blog every so often...the reviews (with material provided by PAUL McGARRY [bold enough for you Paul???], P.D. Fadensonnen and Bill Shute)!

Various Artists-GOODBYE NASHVILLE, HELLO CAMDEN TOWN---A PUB ROCK ANTHOLOGY 2 Cd-r set (originally on Castle Communications)

Unlike a whole lotta you rock 'n roll aficionados out there I never was whatcha'd call a big fan and follower of the English "pub rock" scene of the seventies. Naw I ain't no Chris Welch type mad at any and every movement in pop music that dare take one iota of attention away from the progressive rock scene that MELODY MAKER banked their buckskins on, but for some reason or another the entire brouhaha that was transpiring over there (and getting scant coverage over here) seemed to me like more post-hippoid attempts at recreating a past that didn't quite have any vim, vigor or verve to begin with inna first place. Well after giving this double set a listen to all I can say is...sheesh, just how wrong can a fellow as perfect and as devoted to my musical self-IMPORTANCE as myself be????

Yeah, GOODBYE NASHVILLE does have its share of howshallIsay leftover late-sixties West Coast laidback cops true, but the likes of Brinsley Schwarz or Unicorn (are they the same bunch David Gilmour produced?) doing the CSNY harmonies doesn't exactly ruin this neat set. That's because this 'un gathers up a good cross-section of the various kinds of acts that were barnstorming the various pubs 'n social halls across ol' Blighty during the mid-seventies making for a fine settle down session that's entertaining as well as educational. 

You get it all, from hard-driving country rock (Country Fever's take on Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried"'s probably even better'n Arlo Guthrie's or the Grateful Dead's had I only heard their versions!) while Ian Dury's pre-Blockheads Kilburn and the High Roads do give us an inkling as to what people like Nick Kent and Chrissie Hynde saw in 'em inna first place. The punk rock of Dr. Feelgood, Eddie and the Hot Rods and Mick Farren also adds a particular tinge of late-seventies immediacy to the proceedings and hey, with a name like Mickey Jupp you kinda get the notion that had this collection come out '79 way it woulda been on a pre-new-unto-gnu wave Stiff Records it's that tuned into the pub undergroundness of it all!

And surprises do Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers were pretty driving what with a pre-Ralph Snakefinger on board playing some particularly hotcha guitar licks and hey, that is the same Fabulous Poodles who were being touted as new wave casher-in-ons but a few years later doing some admittedly decent post-folk rock, eh? Maybe we weren't that stoopid following what we thought were new and exciting vistas in rock 'n roll music that seemed to phony by the time 1982 rolled around to the point where we kinda felt EMBARRASSED by it all, eh?
Christian Brazier Quartet with Sunny Murray-PEREGRINATIONS CD-r burn (originally on Bleu Regard, France)

I think it's just peachy the way some of these established people on the jazz scene lend their talents out to a buncha up-'n-comers thus boosting these newbies' credo a li'l bit more in the world of scronk. That's just what famed outside-the-beat drummer Sunny Murray did with this French jazz aggregation who I must admit I never heard of before and most likely probably will never hear from after I file this 'un away for an indefinite period of time. Bassist Brazier and band are pretty in-groove with the early-sixties new thing on this particular spinner---nothing outerworldly or anything along those lines but kinda good like those outta-the-way acts you used to see at the CBGB Lounge during the freestyle series were. Of course Murray is prime in a particular way that made things like Cecil Taylor's NEFERTITI album so enticing...when the jazz world finally loses him boy, will he be ignored like all of the greats he's that good! For the serious aficionado of the form, one worth a snatch up.
Ramleh-HOLE IN THE HEART CD-r burn (originally on Broken Flag, England)

Dunno how much you like or hate the "power electronics" genre but I gotta admit that it sometimes does flibben the ol' jib in my neck of the psyche. Ramleh don't quite make me wanna toss the confetti and toot the ol' party horn in abject joy, but their atonal blares of pure white screech might just be the resensifying thing to get your life back onna right track. Guitars and electronics merged into a new form that's so potent it woulda given Lou Reed nightmares. Kinda reminiscent of Faust's later material, this sorta sound never did seem to go out of style even though back then we kinda thought it would all be plowed over by the usual tastemongering suspects.

Christopher-WHAT'CHA GONNA DO? CD-r burn of Scenesof reissue (originally on Chris-Tee Records)

Sheesh, with a name like CHRISTOPHER I thought these guys were gonna sound like a bunch of fags! Turns out that this group (or South Carolina origin) were pretty hotcha in that white teenbo take on black 'n blues. It's perfect for those of you who like electronic Yardbirds right before they combusticated (copyright 1969 Julius Sumner Miller) themselves into Led Zeppelin, or for any low down white male type who really goes for the urban blues sound but doesn't have the wherewithal to be black about it. As for me I can appreciate the work and effort put into a home-made relic of late-sixties DIY-isms like this but (of course!) will be searching for some old Nico album one this one clicks off the laser launch pad.
Derek Bailey & Evan Parker-THE LONDON CONCERT CD-r burn (originally on Incus)

If you've read this far you know what to expect to the point where I wonder if I should even bother writing about it. Old timey improv fans'll eat it up what with the sparse atonal clank of Bailey's guitar supported by the muffled croaks of Parker's saxophones. Like a good portion of this English sixties/seventies experimental stew it's not for everyone, but those of you who were weaned on the under-the-underground experimental nature of the New Music Distribution Service and still hold onto your old catalogs as if they were beauteous relics from a distant past will have probably heard this by now.
Cowboys International-THE ORIGINAL SIN CD-r burn (originally on Virgin)

A little of this new wave stuff could go a long way, and a lotta it just makes me wonder what exactly it was that made this sorta stew that much different than some of the soul-less smirk it was all supposed to replace. Sheesh, this kinda music reminds me of the stuff that was battling it out with Blondie and the Psychedelic Furs for your hard-begged, and after a few spins you knew that it sure didn't have the sway that the Stooges or just about any 197X fanzine front cover aggregation oozed from every syphilitic pore could muster up sans heavy duty effort. So dumbed down that even Jann Wenner could undoubtedly appreciate the subtle nuances and forward-looking intention of it all. Feh!
Marty Gold-MOOG PLAYS THE BEATLES CD-r burn (originally on Avco Embassy)

Just what the Beatles fan who couldn't get enough of their real albums needed! An entire platter of Beatles covers done up synthesizer style thus cashing in on two big trends of the day at once! It's about as cornballus as you can imagine but you can just see the bell-bottom and iron-haired gals of the day getting down to the glurps and bleebles almost as if this were the real deal Beatle blast! Naturally mom 'n dad will join in on the merriment thinking those longhairs were good musical craftsmen after all, at least until the see the unexpurgated and uncensored cover that cashes in on that other late-sixties trend, mainly nudity. A perennial used bin find which has now made its sorry way into my own abode.
Various Artists-SELECTIONS FROM AMP 3 RECORDS (NY) CD-r burn

Rather'n close out this post with a writeup of one of those mix 'n match collections that Bill always slips my way I thought I'd scribble on about this Shute specialty, a gathering of single sides that originally appeared on the AMP 3 label. Yeah I know nada about 'em either, but I guess they were operating in '57-'58 and they specialized in those early rock 'n roll sounds that I will admit are hit/miss in my particular book o' rock esoterica. A nice portion of these sides are a bit dippy for my tastes but some bubble over the good enough line like when the Don Clairs ramble through the rather spiffy "I Lost My Job" single or the Miamians employ their best Elvis Presley imitation on "Call Me a Coward". Nothing spectacular to these ears true, and if you're of the mind that anything recorded pre-'64 is old fogy hoo-hah you won't care for it one bit, but for those who wanna hear what the misses in a world of top 40 hits sounded like in those early days you can't do better 'n track these flops down.

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