Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hey it's VALENTINE'S DAY, and I don't mean that short lived ABC series I can recall my mom tuning into back when I was but a mere turdler! For me Valentine's Day will always be associated with loads of fun memories, not necessarily for the mooshy cards and such but for all of the candy one'd receive and consume which naturally made the lovey-dovey aspects of the day more palatable for a suburban slob like me. Come to think of it, I sure miss that cheap VD candy you couldn't get away from back then...y'know, the little hearts with all of those old 1920s sayings like "Oh You Kid" on 'em that tasted like candy cigarettes! I believe that candy such as those small hearts really gave off a better aura of what love (in the true BLOG TO COMM sense) means' n anything having to do with hook up quickie sex and what's your perversion-styled romance these sad 'n sorry days! Ditto a big box of chocolate-covered caramels which were more appealing to the kids than than they were to the moms who got 'em, and thank goodness for that! And if you disagree why don't you go and propose marriage to your personal buttplug anyway because you really are not a fun human being by any stretch of the imagination.

Otherwise things are kinda snoozeville around here as they tend to be anymore. Of course we're in the middle of the Winter Blahs, but if you get into your mind that we're only a month or so away from the SPRING Blahs maybe things won't seem so bad. Actually with the arrival of some fresh goodies inna abode (via the usual suspects as well as Guerrsen and Feeding Tube!) the week hasn't been that dumperoo. Of course it would have been better had some of those archival digs I've wanted to hear for so long had materialized---sheesh, I keep talking about the wake for the seventies I hold each and every day and without more of those long-hidden platters failing to make their way to my psyche how can I keep it up??? But until those Man Ray and C.O.M.E.T albums actually come to fruition I guess it's PARADIESWARTS DUUL each and every night in order to get my USDA required dosage of the Velvet Underground via a contemporary aggregation taking a lot of their avant energy band and you know I ain't kiddin'!
Before we get to the reviews here's thee RIDDLE OF THE WEEK! (courtesy Gavin McInnes) Q:What's the German word for brassiere? A: DasShouldStopEmFromFloppin! Well..."""""I""""" thought it was funny!

ROCKET ROBERT CD (Guerrsen, Spain)

Yeesh! ANOTHER one of those synthesizer albums that flash me back to mid-seventies tee-vee either of a PBS AVIATION WEATHER/CAPTIONED ABC NEWS vintage or some local commercial spot plugging the upcoming wresting card copped on some cold winter night.

Actually Rocket Robert's platter came out in 1982, about five years after synthesizer music lost some of its tee-vee popularity, but it's still evocative of the days when such toys still reeked of gimmickry and novelty at least for highly susceptible to trends sorta guys like my 12-year-old self. And believe it or not but the tracks found here are highly evocative of those early Richard Pinhas platters done up during the pre- and early Heldon days, so if you (like me) still have nostalgic pangs for the wide wonderful world of synthesized music enough to have done a term paper on it (like I have mentioned many a time) then you might just wanna snap this once-rare platter up. And if you start craving copies of solo Rick Wakeman LPs as a result don't come crying to me!
Burnt Envelope-ALIEN NATION: COLLECTED SINGLES THUS FAR LP (Feeding Tube, available via Forced Exposure)

I don't believe it...a moderne-day underground rock 'n roll act that actually uses the same early punkian and garage roots as all of my bonafeed faves and not only that but SOUNDS AS GOOD AS THE REAL THING!!!!!!!!!! (of which it is). Dunno where these Burnt Envelope types have been all my life, but if they really did release all of these tracks as singles and indeed are an up and functional concern, then how in the world did I miss out on 'em other'n via gross stupidity (don't answer that)??? Lo-Fi under-the-underground rock that has more'n a few souls phlegming up hoary hosannas of "Electric Eels" which for once is true, or at least BE sure comes off more like 'em 'n some of the acts who have been compared to that classic Cleveland group these past thirtysome years. I happen to hear Mott the Hoople on a few tracks which might thrill some as it does me, a piddling fan of the group, and to be honest about it their cover of the Doors' "Touch Me"'s something that I sure would have loved to have played for some of those nouveau Doors fans back inna eighties if only to see the look on their faces! One of those outta-nowhere surprises that has me kicking the cat in pure addled joy, and believe-you-me very little music recorded after 1979 can make me do that!
Steve Reich-FOUR ORGANS/PHASE PATTERNS CD (Superior Viaduct, available via Forced Exposure)

It's too bad that Steve Reich never had any rock cred like Terry Riley and Philip Glass or else he might have been signed to the Columbia (and not necessarily "Masterworks") label  and have recorded soundtracks for movies people only hear about on SNEAK PREVIEWS-type shows but never actually go and see. This reissue of his Shandar album via Superior Viaduct might rectify things, but given how late in the post-music world we are I kinda doubt it. Still it's a fine slice of new thing minimalism what with "Four Organs" featuring Reich and crew (consisting of not only Glass but a number of longtime Glass Ensemble members) playing portable organs while one keeps time on maracas. It kinda sounds like an old Sun Ra number trying to get started, while "Phase Patters" features the same four organs doing more patterned Glassian repeato riff music that should appeal to a wide variety of sound seekers who have the same zeal for such music even after four-plus decades after first combing through those library copies (as if any of us could afford 'em!) of SOURCE. After your wear your old Cluster albums down to a nib try giving this one a chance.
Kim Fowley and Metabolismns-SOUNDS OF AN EMPTY ROOM CD-r burn

Not being that familiar with Fowley's post-70s career I really didn't know what to expect, but this hotel room recording done up with an acoustic act presumably of German extraction isn't what I thought it was gonna be. Actually it's better, what with an older and lower register Fowley philosophizing to the strum of acoustic guitars and having conversations with some frau who responds mostly in her mother tongue doin' the old routine more or less in a newer genre so to speak. Considering that I thought this was gonna be some electronic screech-de-force (perhaps because I was confusing Metabolismns with Metabolist) you could say that I was mildly surprised. Dunno where you can find it, but I get the idea that it's available for download somewhere out there.
The Black Box Revelation-HIGHWAY CRUISER CD-r burn (originally on Bana Kin)

Surprisingly good new kinda group that sounds as if they coulda held their own up against all of those bargain bin finds of the mid/late-seventies. For being a duo they really put out a good full sound more akin to a quartet and besides that their original material ain't as tepid or as non-there as some of the new "garage" sounds that have been coming out as of late. In fact, I get the feeling that if you were to file this one along with your Flamin' Groovies and Hackamore Brick albums it would fit in rather snugly. And I'm sure either group wouldn't mind as well. Go on, try it!
THE CHICO HAMILTON TRIO CD-r burn (originally on Fresh Sounds, Spain)

This brand o' jazz usually ain't my cup of pee, but given the day I put in at work Chico Hamilton and crew really helped soothe my oft bruised psyche better'n Vaseline Intensive Care. Unique in it's a guitar/bass/drums trio which I didn't think were that common in jass at the time, and the chamber-ness of it all reminds of those Jimmy Guiffre trio sessions that also had guitarist Jim Hall (who handles the last four numbers on here...the lesser-known yet still beyond capable Howard Roberts doing the rest) adding his special touch. And for being a drummer Hamilton definitely leads his bandmates the same way Mani Neumaier led Guru Guru to the point where you'd just about swear that his drum set was actually playing a whole slew of melodies unheard of on a set of traps. If Cecil Taylor considered his piano 88 tuned drums then Hamilton was pretty much doing it vicey-versey! Good choice in sending me this one Bill!

MORE electronic gurgle! Heavy doody industrial sounds that remind me of a Josef Mengele wet dream, the Grey Wolves really relay the early-eighties miasma of what're we gonna do after punk better'n a wide variety of similar-bended sounds. Not only that but its all done up in that low-fidelity tape fashion that really stood out against the oncoming onslaught of Cee-Dees. True this is dated due to the Ronald Reagan sound clip (sheesh, if there were no such thing as fair use the prez coulda sued for a bundle back then!) but the mix of cheap electronic instruments, malfunctioning household appliances and grumbly vocalizing just might be the thing to snap you back into that self-pitying rut you just got yourself outta!
Various Artists-UNTITLED CD-r burn (originally on Requiem Productions cassettes)

Even MORE electronic gurgle! Sometimes it sounds like annoying thud, at others like Univac going through the pains of computer card withdrawal, and at yet others an episode of some Scandanavian religious program after William Burroughs got hold of it with a pair of scissors. Then again there are some close approximations of what passes for rock music here, though its just more of that bedroom-level beat box and guitar stuff that always seemed to have been created by extremely lonely guys who spend more time in their fart-encrusted bedrooms than even I.

If you're looking for a good approximation as to what was going on in the "cassette culture" of the eighties this might very well be your best best. However if you're in the mood for some nerve-smoothers forget this one. But then again I get the idea this is just the perfect thing to slap onna ol' Victrola after coming home from a hard day at the re-education camp and you might think the exact same way too.
Various Artists-ORIGINAL PEACOCK RAINBOW SCANDALS CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill seeps back to the twenties on this collection of soundie rarities. The tracks for moom pitchers undoubtedly reduced to dust really do settle well with a guy like myself who spent a good portion of his 14-16 years glued to the tee-vee and pouring through cinema history books, and I appreciated the 1929 earliness of it all what with those flapper jazz paradiddles and all. Especially creepy was the bit of dialogue from one film (I believe Mae Murray in PEACOCK ALLEY) where some rather irritating house dick kicks a guy out of his hotel room even though the woman who he's with really is his wife! The old 78s were unbelievable what with none other than Ramon Navarro (the same guy immortalized in Kenneth Anger's HOLLYWOOD BABYLON) doing this sprightly number with lotsa vocal gyrations and Phil Harris long before Jack Benny took him on as the bandleader. Whitey Kaufman's Original Pennsylvania Serenaders doing "Paddlin' Madeline Home" (I'm sure a whole lotta ya woulda rather paddled her on the butt!) also struck a chord and that's not because they're from Brad Kohler's home state either! If there is still a Dudley Dooright stirring inside you, this disque is the one to click!


Anonymous said...

Since I can't figure out where to put this on I'll post here. For anyone who didn't read the Mutts comic last Wednesday (Feb 10, 2016) here's a link (and then click on Feb 10). You have until the 23rd.

Unknown said...

Hey again. Here's the full info on the new Gizmos EP. Send me your email--I lost that long ago in my recent chaotic life. By the way, I'll make sure Bob R. gets you a vinyl copy when it hits the street in a couple weeks, but I wanted you to hear this stuff now.

The Gizmos
(Gulcher 008)

The original Gizmos are back with their first new EP since 1978! It was recorded at Magnetic South in the Gizmos' original home base of Bloomington, Indiana. Kenne Highland, Eddie Flowers, Ted Niemiec, and Rich Coffee were joined by new members Craig Bell (Rocket From The Tombs!), Kelsey Simpson, and Sam Murphy (all three also play in the Indianapolis band Deezen). It was recorded by Magnetic South co-owner John Dawson (who also plays in Thee Open Sex).

Kenne and Eddie have two new originals: "Red-Headed Stepchild" and "Disaster In Dayton." They both have a kinda Stones/Dolls vibe, with "Stepchild" also steeped in Detroit aggression. "Disaster In Dayton" adds some Skynyrd/Faces honky tonk to a bit of Bowie/Ronson riffage, and tells a true-life story in the Gizmos tradition.

Ted brings two new slices of Giz-pop. "Around" has a kinda folk-rock/60s vibe, but the band is rockin' hard. "Open" leans towards a more psych vibe, with Ted's vocal adding a bit of Bauhaus to the mix and the guitars soundin' like a very concise 1967 Quicksilver Messenger Service.

The title track, "21st Century Gizmos Fans," comes from Rich Coffee, with Eddie and Ted each adding a verse as well. It has a kinda wham-bam-glam sound, and the lyrics are in the self-referential Gizmos mode. There's some Chuck Berry in there too!

Five new songs! Four original Gizmos! Three new Gizmos! Wacky cover art! Old-fashioned vinyl! The Gizmos are back!

Christopher Stigliano said...

Best news of the year so far.