Saturday, February 20, 2016

Well yeah, the previous post wasn't that funny (if at all), but it really wasn't supposed to be. At least in a har-har knee-slappin' sorta way that you've comes to expect from a blog such as this. It was just a li'l exercise so t' speak, just me ponderin' about what some of those albums that I've actually come across in my dreams dating back as far as my high stool days (usually discovered via outta-the-way flea markets that don't exist in real life or those outta-the-way record shops nobody sees anymore) would have sounded like had I actually spun the things while wrapped up in the arms of Morpheus. To be honest and more up-front than Jayne Mansfield about it that piece was something that would appeal to me and me only, unless you're one of those gifted kinda guys who are able to slip right inside my consciousness like some critters out there think they can, so whatever you do please don't read that much into it. Also be glad that I didn't review the Neil Diamond CHRISTMAS AND THE BEADS OF SWEAT album or any of a large variety of Mothers of Invention knockoffs that I have come across for years on end (those of which I sure wouldn't mind hearing as long as they're from the original MOI days and Zappa keeps his mouth shut for a long enough time!).
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And speaking of dreams, HEY BRAD KOHLER, HERE'S ONE FOR YOU AND YOU ONLY! You're the only guy who thinks that my crazy rock 'n roll snoozers are worth the time 'n temperature to annotate for generations present and future, so everyone else skedaddle so I can relay my LATEST (like, last night!) dream to Brad and Brad only! I'm in some strange-looking abode which is decorated mid-sixties suburban ranch house style (the mood's akin to a typical fambly party) and flick on the tee-vee to see a DROOPY cartoon comin' on. Only instead of the famed jowly dog what do I see but a mop top rock group doing the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things" on a typically tee-vee stage. The music isn't quite in sync, but the band is jumping all around with  one of the guitarists who looks sorta like Jeff Beck playing his ax backwards kinda like Hendrix only around his lumbar region while agitatedly fretting with the right hand near the pickups and strumming with the left 'un along the neck!

The camera then pans left to show the rest of the act including an overweight (about 300 pounds) member of the group, blonde with long hair kinda resembling a young Terry Southern if he was as fat and as hairy as he was when he was older (maybe John Candy-esque would be a better comparison), snarling at the camera and blowing a giant bass saxophone which I now find out was the origin of all of those wild sounds on the record, not the feedback as I thought all these years! I also notice behind the group a horn section of about five playing extremely shiny instruments, including this weird tuba that kinda resembled a flower stem neck-wise!

Afterwards the group is shown leaving the studio acting all cocky and all, and the overweight member flashes the camera (at least above the waist) exposing his oversized pecs for all to see! I dunno who these guys really were, but I get the feeling Greg Shaw missed out mentioning them in his British rock rundown in BOMP!
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I had a pretty swingin' week as you can see from the ultra-boffo writeups to be found below. Nothing life-reaffirming here true, but they were good enough to get me through six straight days of work 'n degradation so's I guess I came out on top after all! Anyhoo, if ya wanna osmose some of the positive vibrations that have been jangling my nodes these past seven, just read on, MacDuff, read on!

Captain Beefheart-PLASTIC FACTORY CD (Go Faster Records, available via Forced Exposure)

It's always grand getting hold of these new 'n old Beefheart platters, especially after giving a listen to some of the dross that's been passing as good ol' high energy offensive to the precious snowflake types ROCK AND ROLL these past few eons.

This 'un's no exception---sure you've heard the Avalon Ballroom tapes for years on end but they've been spiffied up a bit in case you're interested and besides, there are a whole slewfulla new beings out there who probably haven't heart it yet at all! The live bits that follow seem to vary soundwise (as if we rilly care!) but deliver on all of that old Captain Beefheart punch we've been really big on for a longer time'n any of us can imagine. I detect a few repeats from other compilations legit or not, but at this point in time I'm glad to get my Beef any way I can!

Believe-you-me, if you still get those same throb thrills (like I do) listening to this sorta racket these days that you got way back when you first heard it back when rock 'n roll (as that International Youth Language) was alive and happening, then you really are a rockist BOOSTER who thankfully never gave up on the game when the going got mooshy! And to top it all off there's a BBC interview-cum-chitchat conducted by primo Beefheart buddy John Peel who gets the usually groggy-sounding Van Vliet to open up about as much as anyone really could!

A top play here at the BLOG TO COMM orifices, and maybe it will be in your neck of the torso as well.
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Orchestra Luna-LIVE @ CBGB's-1975 CD-r burn

I gotta say that I really do enjoy a whole load of those under-the-counter variety of musical acts that were popping up 'n about the landscape of the mid-seventies, even if they weren't exactly of the whole new wave "save the world" garden variety that eventually got all of the fame 'n notoriety that might or might not have deserved. Perhaps this is due to the plain ol' fact that many of these outta nowhere acts WEREN'T trying to be some sorta altruistic new and improved brand of rock 'n roll out to eradicate the previous ten years of hippoid excess like most of us thought all along! Naw, these young upstarts wanted to be just LIKE those big wheels of the day that a huge hunkerin' portion of the punks claimed to have loathed, only these groups just didn't have the chops or professional whiz to come off as studied as John McLaughlin, Steve Howe or Freddie Mercury so whatever they were able to do they did as a primal punk THUD that made their attempts at cranking out a set of music all the more entertaining.

Well, at least entertaining enough to these longtime jaded ears which is one reason why I still hold my copies of LIVE AT CBGB's near and dear to my heart even if I seem to be one of only a handfulla fanablas out there who will swear allegiance to Manster even this late in the underground rock game.

As I will for Orchestra Luna. I've written about their sole LP on Epic twice or thrice, first in the sixth issue of my crudzine where I was most confused by the overly orchestrated music as well as the more treacly aspects of some of the material which was so comfy cutesy overbearing that I doubt even Billy Joel would have wanted to perform it. However some of the numbers to be found therein were rather satisfying as in hotcha pop (even of an AM radio variety) way that woulda brightened up the speakers of many a transistor had this act made it out of their burgh (in this case Boston) a few years earlier. Well, that and if they got hold of a producer who coulda turn 'em into a nice cheezy li'l singles group 'stead of a confusing if tasty mishmosh that was trying for the Roxy Music, Sparks, Tom Waits, Queen, Manhattan Transfer, Vikki Carr or Rupert Holmes (who actually did produce it!) market.

By the time this live shoot for Metropolis Video took place in October of 1975 the original Orchestra Luna were on their last legs and would eventually break up only to reform around group leader Richard Kinscherf and vocalists Peter Barrett and Liz Gallagher. The new version of the group, from what I've heard of them via a now-gone on-line sampler of their work, were a decidedly slicker act complete with a synthesizer and dual guitars who coulda produced a heck of an album that might have been able to bring together the nerdy import bin crowds and even the hardcore rockers, but when Sire came a' knockin' during the big new wave signing of 1977 Luna turned 'em down thinkin' they could do better'n THAT!!! Unfortunately they couldn't meaning there would be one less bargain bin surprise for suburban slobs like myself to pick up once 1979 rolled around!

Recorded at one of the few places that would give Orchestra Luna a chance (mainly CBGB, thanks to Hilly Kristal who counted himself amongst being one of the group's biggest cheerleaders), this particular afternoon-only gig played to an audience consisting of the CBGB staff does approximate what not only an Orchestra Luna production was like back then but what the spirit and sound of many an act to play that hallowed stage was undoubtedly akin to. For a group who just released a major label platter the entire gig reeks that nice 'n down home amateur hour audition night feeling, and its for the better since thankfully all of the primitive glory that was so appealing to these CBGB bands back in the mid-seventies shines forth, and without all of the studio glop and additional strings of the album the sound is sparse and more in tune with my own suburban slob ideals of what this particular breed o' music should be like!

Two tracks from that platter do show up, specifically "Boy Scouts" as well as "Love Is Not Enough" (complete with a muffed up piano intro) and the pair definitely sound better in this raw mileau, but the new tracks really did make for a particularly chahming time. Standouts include "Joey" (a Kinscherf solo spot that really does evoke those thirties tin can alley Jolson stylings without making you sick...it has to do with a presumably true story about the time Kinscherf escaped from a reform school age 14, swiped a car and met up with a guy who perhaps had too much of an interest in our hero) as well as "Pasttime", a spot for guitarist Randy Roos, drummer Don Mulvaney and bassist Scott Chambers to stretch out and do their Mahavishnu thingie only they fortunately sounds better'n that description would imply to a few of you punques. Even their rendition of the Irv Berlin classic "Cheek to Cheek" sounds down to home honest enough to appeal to both the old time fans and their kids who were snarfing this thirties kultur up via Bryan Ferry and the Mael Brothers as much as they were because of alla those late night moom pitchers on tee vee.

For me the standout number from this gig's "Helen of Troy", one of those all-out production numbers sorta like "Doris Dreams" and "Heart" where the props 'n dialogue are trotted out almost as if Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were putting on a show in the barn so's some kid could get an operation only this 'un ain't as syrupy if it is a tad quirky...in fact "Helen" is actually kinda engrossing to this reviewer what with the ensemble going from rhumba to Broadway tuneage (no, don't gag) before it all tumbles into this weird waltz-time dreamy segue that had me thinking the Velvets ca. CHELSEA GIRLS soundtrack because of its rather dolorous demeanor. And not only that but it even works swell without the visuals!

Of course if you do want to see the on-stage antics the entire set has popped up online. I posted a few trax earlier onna blog last summer and well, if you'd like to possess the entire kaboodle you now have the opportunity to burn one for your own personal collection. If your tastes are whetted by this writeup maybe a quick trip to youtube might be in order, and don't forget to clean yer lenses lest you get a skipper on your hands!
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UFO-EARLY FLIGHT LP (Cleopatra)

It's about TIME some of those Larry Wallis-era UFO recordings made their way out to the populace, and if this is the cream of the crud well, some mighty good cruddy cream it sure is! If you think that the primal thud sound of guitarist Mick Bolton on the original group's albums (which gave me the impression of what the Stooges would have sounded like had a non-Janis inspired Robert Plant sang with 'em) would be gone by this time  have no fear, since Wallis provides the same ample slab of cro-magnon aesthetics to the group's sound as Bolton did making these faves from the early day sound as critical as they did on such classics as LANDED JAPAN. Hints of Wallis's future forays into Pink Fairies territory can be discerned, and although the sound quality here (taken from a French as well as English gig) is pretty much TAKRL when you hear this you're gonna think this 'un's thee utmost in what that hoary old term known as Heavy Metal was all about! Well, at least before dumbass kids began taking these rock 'n roll terms on prima facie evidence thus ruining concepts and styles beyond repair.
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HANNA-BARBERA PRESENTS JAMES BOMB STARRING SUPER SNOOPER AND BLABBERMOUSE CD-r burn (originally on HBR Records)

Y'know, I don't recall having seen any Super Snooper cartoons during my young turdler days. Same goes with Yakkey Doodle which I didn't even know about until the late-seventies...I think the reason for this is because back when Snooper 'n Blabber were bein' run during those juicy and tender years I was too busy watching BARNEY BEAN on the other station. And when the first-era Hanna-Barbera cartoons did make it to the same station as Barney during my kiddiegarden days I actually recall our teacher telling us kids that we should let our parents watch the evening news instead of the cartoons because there's a lot of heavy, bad, and downright ikky things goin' on that they should know about and that we, by proxy I guess, should feel terrible about even though we were only five years old and from all reports extant should have been having a good time.

Fair enough but sheesh, couldn't the folks just have watched the earlier ABC news (which was only fifteen minutes and thus better for us all) than the half-hour CBS or NBC broadcasts so's they could have had their fill of the World Scene and us ranch house kiddies the H-B cartoons which immediately followed? Yeah, logic like that just didn't make its way through the hard heads of my teachers who were always trying to pull these guilt games on us stupid turdlers which sadly enough sometimes worked on our under-developed brains!

But back to Super Snooper...although there hadn't been any of his cartoons produced in about three years by this time, the famed cat detective and his mouse sidekick made a comeback on this long-player which was an obvious cash-in on the then-current secret agent craze that seemed just too sexy for a whole slab o' parents out ther (and believe me, I should know!). On this spinner Snooper is mistaken by arch badboys Gold Pinky and Dr. Oh No for none other'n famous Secret Agent James Bomb and is tricked into delivering the dreaded B Bomb to Washington DC where it would blow the entire city to smithereens. Things change when the real James Bomb makes an unscheduled appearance in his flying Rolls Royce and I better stop right where I am because I just know you're dialing up ebay in order to latch on to such a powerful, tension-packed platter as this now, eh?

Of course Daws Butler is fantastic doing his Ed Gardner impression (he of DUFFY'S TAVERN fame which is from whence the voice of Snooper came---like you knew...) and his other 'uns including none other'n LBJ (or was it Huckleberry Hound?) are as top notch as anyone who's lived through sixties-seventies tee-vee cartoons will remember 'em to be. Longtime Hanna-Barbera voice regular Don Messick ain't bad either bringing to mind even more television greatness that didn't seem so bad even when his whole schtick seemed to go out of style. And who can forget those wild musical interludes including a whacked out piss-take of "Goldfinger"???
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King Mud-VICTORY MOTEL SESSIONS CD-r burn (originally on Alive/Natural Sound)

Hey it's pretty good...hardcore rock 'n roll that doesn't sound like every bad influence from the eighties on has been tacked onto every good influence from the seventies and before. Kinda heavy metal in the old pre-Goldilocks fashion but something that'll definitely scare off the stoner box boy crowd if they'd ever get a whiff of this. Given that it's on Alive Records and thus has this post-post-post Detroit Rock splat to it I gotta say that it ranks up there with a good portion of their back catalog,. Although I'm supposed to hate this kinda music if only on principle I gotta hand it to King Mud for releasing an album in the year of 2016 that doesn't make me wanna run for the nearest vomitorium.
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Death House-ATTRITION CD-r burn (originally on Attrition Tapes)

Oboy, more early-eighties cassette culture! Of course this ain't any of the kinda cassette culture that gave us those DIY punk rock thingies that ended up on one of those HOMEWORK disques that I oughta dig out for an additional spin but it'll do. Whining and wheezing electronics that are played in exactly the way you would expect your typical brooding eighties-vintage English sorta kids to play 'em, with lots of weird drones and hisses that sound like the wind blowing through the barren trees o' winter. I do hate to bring up the K(C)luster comparisons like I do but those of you who lapped up their platters with a hefty side dosage of early Cabaret Voltaire might be able to relate to this. And remember, when you do slash your wrists after hearing this it's DOWN THE RIVER, NOT ACROSS IT!
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The Red Krayola-SINGLES CD (Drag City)

Not having spun my Red Krayola singles in quite some time it's sure nifty getting to listen to not only those again but a whole slew of items I missed out on the first time because well...I didn't think that the latterday Krayola was just as jazzed as the original. Good stuff here too dating as far back as an instrumental b-side to an unreleased solo Mayo Thompson single as well as the infamous Saddlesore release that (along with CORKY'S DEBT TO HIS FATHER) was actually advertised in ROLLING STONE, and that's not forgetting a whole slewwa Krayola mk. II/III/IV/V... sides that sure dredge up those old memories of combing through Rough Trade and Systematic catalogs wondering what the records being pushed therein actually sounded like!

To be honest some of those eighties-vintage Krayola sides just don't jibe with me but I find the Rough Trade-era 'uns to be top notch enough that I might even dish out some moolah for KANGAROO one of these days. Especially interesting is a live if unreleased rendition of the "Wives In Orbit"/"Yik Yak" single done up two years before the more famous Radar release made its way into the collections of many a turdburger's collection! Of course I could have used that familiar Radar Records release as well as the flexi-only remake of "Hurricane Fighter Plane" on this, but at this point in time can I afford to be picky???

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Taste-WHAT'S GOING ON (live at the Isle of Wight festival 1970) CD-r burn (originally on Eagle Rock)

A not so exciting group performing a not so exciting live album at a not so exciting rock festival unless you wanna count Tiny Tim's exuberant set that had the crowd in tears. You may think it a boss example of late-sixties underground English rock 'n all but next to the Pink Fairies 'n Stackwaddy these guys are just boring noodlers showin' off all of those patented hotcha bloozey guitar licks guaranteed to get the stoner crowd all agog. Its been done better by a whole buncha then-contemporary English acts from Killing Floor to Edgar Broughton, and come to think of it just about any whiteguy blues act of the era coulda put Taste to downright shame and undoubtedly have. Only those kinda bands were struggling just to keep their nostrils above the waterline while Taste had that big label backing and were playing to thousands of hippies who were probably more concerned that the guy next to 'em'd pass the pipe their way. I guess that if people can become nostalgic for underage boys in creepy restroom stalls they can become nostalgia for bad English blooze takes like this as well!

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Various Artists-KSE 10TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions)

Sheesh, I wish I had enough of a brain to figure out if these tracks were from previous Kendra Steiner Editions platters or created brand spanking new for the esteemed label's big tenth anniversary celebration. Whatever the sounds to be found here are a real wunderslurp of atonal scronkdom that helps to remind you about what the real purpose of life is! From intense guitar noodling to sine wave buzz, muffled threats and overt free jazz blast there's something for everyone here...provided that everyone cut their teeth on old scratchy John Cage and Anthony Braxton albums culled from who knows where. PICKS OF THE LITTER: Alfred 23 Harth and Massimo Magee who really know how to turn Dr. Sax's invention into something I'm sure he never woulda conceived his creation could do no matter how long he lived!
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Various Artists-YODELIN' KLINKER CRYING BEACH CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill starts this one off with some gooey gal-group type things though they ain't exactly girl group as in Alan Betrock but more or less post-McGuire Sisters/pre-Chantels sorta girls singing neo-rock 'n roll or something like that. Nice for a diversion from the same old (or even same new), but nothing I'd wanna be marooned in a harem of female specimens who look like your mother with. Porky & the Travelers' "Yodlin' Hobo" is also a nice for a one spin sorta experience (cheap country lite I guess)  though Marty Roberts & His Nightriders were pretty funny what with him not only doin' a not-so-sly Elvis impression on "Baby" but a good ugly woman putdown on "Your Feet's Too Big"! Tracks by Ben Morris & the Imperials and the Savoys continue on the cheap crank out fifties tradition of the rest, though some of you might be interested in hearing Johnny Winter as Guitar Slim doing some of those early blues that I think the infamous Roy Ames had a thing or two to do with. Pretty boss set just perfect for fightin' off the winter stir crazies, or summer ones for that matter.

4 comments:

Bill S. said...

Hey, I LOVED the last post. I once had a dream where I heard an entire non-existent Kim Fowley album (probably recorded between the Imperial and Capitol periods), all new songs with brilliant Fowley lyrics and delivery. When I woke up that next morning, how I wish technology had gotten to the point where we could download what's in our brains. But then, for about 1000 other reasons, I was glad we WERE NOT at that point yet. So I totally "got" that idea of the dream albums. I bet many of your readers have had such dreams....

Bill S. said...

Oh, thanks for the kind comments on the KSE 10th Anniversary album. All the tracks were newly recorded in August-November 2015 especially for this release, so it's ALL NEW and exclusive to this release. Now you all have no excuse NOT the buy this gem!

Ewan Exall said...

Hey Chris hope you're well. What back issues are you currently offering for sale ?

Christopher Stigliano said...

Send me an email (will not print) and I'll let you know.