Sunday, March 27, 2016

Given it's that time o' year again (sorta like Christmas for the candy set) I thought I'd stick a suitable picture of pulchritude on the left as a nice li'l Easter gift, especially for alla ya old horny male readers (if you're a horny female [hah!] reader who'd go for this kinda photo I don't even wanna know ya!). Hope you all like it given the sanctity of the season, so don't go 'round sayin' I ain't no RELIGIOUS person!

Anyway I hope you got your nice li'l share of candy this go 'round even though as far as I can tell Easter sure ain't the chocolate egg 'n jelly bean holiday that it used to be back when the world was just caterin' to alla us Suburban Slob kids with the buyin' power! Well, it was our parents who had the buyin' power but who do you think it was throwing tantrums and holding breath until they BOUGHT alla them goodies for us anyway???
And even though we are right smack dab inna middle of the Easter Season today (March 27th) also holds a special day on my own calendar especially this particular year. Y'see, today of all days is the 40th anniversary of me (after quite some time of thought re. the subject, such as "what if the PARENTS find out???") purchasing my very first Velvet Underground record! That's right---forty years ago at about 3:30 in the afternoon I made my way to White Wing Records in Niles Ohio and picked up none other than the ever-boffo  LOADED album (if only because it was so rare that it hardly ever popped up on the shelves in the first place---passed on LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY even though I had ditto reasons for buying that also hard-to-finder!) which, as you can surely guess, was a pivotal moment in my suburban slob rockist upbringing! I didn't listen to it until a few days later (on my cousin's Zayres-purchased portable stereo...ours was busted as usual), and although some other details of this primo listening session are a bit hazy I do remember said cousin remarking that she thought album opener "Who Loves The Sun" sounded just like the Beatles! Which, of course, it sure did even though Lou Reed would turn on the Fab Four with a strong vengeance once the seventies got into gear!

Come to think of it, I can also recall my initial impressions of "Sweet Jane" following immediately after "Sun", not only marveling at that sparkling introduction but thinking about just how different it was from the Mott the Hoople version which was one of the things that helped ease me into wanting to hear the Velvets in the first place. In case any future biographers or film-makers would care to know, that March 27th was a nice and sunny day with a high of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Surprisingly enough I don't remember what I ate for supper although memories of fish and chips are somehow popping up 'n about in my mind.
As you can plainly see I've been keeping extremely busy with the laser launching pad as well as the good ol' fashioned turntable this week. Then again with the quality of everything else that's passing for life these days what else would you expect me to do? Anyhow, I do have a nice slab of high energy items to relay to you on this, the most diabetic of days, and I just KNOW you will appreciate reading my opinions on a whole slewwa spins that hardly anyone else onna planet'll even acknowledge exist let alone play. So whatcha waiting on and EDJAMCATE YOURSELF for once in your prune-pitted butt lives!

CIRCLES CD; Circles-MORE CIRCLES CD (both on Mental Experience, available via Guerssen Records, Spain)

I always knew that there were thousands of hotcha under-the-kultur recordings out 'n about that were either unreleased or never made it out farther'n the block which they were recorded on. These two spinners prove my point 1000% if not more. Circles were a German group that specialized in the krautrock of a more motorik/Kraftwerkian nature, only instead of coming outta early-seventies Germany they were up and about a whole decade later long after you woulda thought this stuff gave way to Motor Boys 3 and similar acts. Their sound is closer to the seventies mode, and with groups such like Kraftwerk, Neu, Cluster, Harmonia and even La Dusseldorf as touchstones you can just guess what these guys sound like

And if your guess is good and you're still a fan of the early electronic sounds that came outta Germany in the era of Baader-Meinhoff you'll undoubtedly wanna get hold of both of 'em. Even some late-seventies electronic monstrosities can be discerned, so if you spent your early-eighties import bin hunting sessions looking for the likes of DAF and Der Plan you won't be disappointed one iota. As for me I certainly like Circles' garage-take on the past decade or so of Teutonic accomplishment and if you don't think these two'll be snuggled up comfortably between the rest of my kraut spins you'll be sadly mistaken, as usual.
Werewheels-LIVE, RAW AND PSYCHO IN JAPAN CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions, see blogroll on left for more info)

It's amazing what one will find under the bed these days, and I'm not talking about centipedes either! I knew that I had some of these Kendra Steiner Editions limited edition releases floating around somewhere, and pray tell but I found a couple of 'em in with a whole buncha burns that I just haven't had the time to get to yet!

This 'un's the first, a live platter featuring a group composed of (led by?) none other than Sir Plastic Crimewave, a man who I have been impressed with via past releases even though I just ain't as hubba hubba over his recordings like I have say, Fadensonnen (no slur to SPC). But hubba hubba I got over this 'un recorded live in Japan (complete with good ol' bootleg sound quality) where SPC is joined not only by fellow Werewheel Dawn Aquarius but famed Japanese psychedelic kingpin Kawabata Makoto playing some pretty hotcha sounds that waft somewhere between late-sixties Amerigan punk rock and late-seventies English experimental torture. Neato versions of everything from Faust's "Krautrock" as well as Twink's "10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box" (here called "100,000 Boards in a Boxcar World"?!?!) and it all has the same fun appeal that the originals had only it's in the here and now that this was made and I thought the past had been dead and buried for a longer time than I can imagine!

Definitely one to look for if you're a fan of not only Sir Plastic Crimewave but the entire history of trash psychedelia attuned to the low-fi O-mind. Hurry up too, because these disques ain't gonna be stickin' around for too long!
The Killer Kane Band-"Mr. Cool"/"Don't Need You"; "Long Haired Woman" 33 rpm 7-inch EP (Hozac)

I'm sure most of you come-latelies (like me) only have these particular trax via that French quickie compilation SONS OF THE DOLLS, but if you want to hear these power-packed high energy tracks in a slightly better quality (as if that mattered!) then pick this new reissue up courtesy of the always on the get-go Hozac label!

It's incredible to think that Killer Kane from the Dolls was not only able to pick himself up like this right around the time those big hopes were going the 86 route, but actually put together a hard rock act that took the best aspects of Alice, the Dolls and other heavy faves and mooshed 'em into a group like this. Not only that but he actually got his old friend and future hair metal geek Blackie Goozeman/Lawless to front the thing which is kinda strange given how Mr. L was one of the more gut-wrenching musicians to come outta that sorry decade (even if he did have some stellar credentials). And even with him in the act these guys could do no wrong with their hard-rock that was so etapoint they went over the heads of alla them Laurel Canyon youth who were still trying to figure out which types of antidepressants weren't working on Joni Mitchell!

Not "really" punk as it was being touted at the time nor exactly heavy metal, the Killer Kane Band were wallowing in the same El Lay cesspool of provocative primitive soundscapading as the Imperial Dogs and New Order. Y'know, that tough longhair screamfest sound that seemed to owe about as much to Aerosmith as it did the wonder BACK DOOR MAN was really big on these guys to the point of downright froth! For those of you who think that the hard rock (and OK, heavy metal) genre sorta petered out around the time HOUSES OF THE HOLY hit the FM waves pick this slab of  under-the-curb-its-so-low rock for a li'l bitta re-education.
Prix-HISTORIX CD (Hozac)

I know that most of you he-man types who read this blog have a great aversion to anything remotely associated with the whole seventies (and beyond) "power pop" genre, but dang if this collection of tracks by the infamous Jon Tiven-helmed Big Star refiguration ain't whatcha'd call a downright boffo spin. Gathering the remnants of that infamous group (a band that Tiven was championing for quite some time what with his review of #1 RECORD in...I believe but may be wrong...FUSION???) up in mid-seventies Memphis along with budding somethingorother Tommy Hoehn, Prix continued on that whole mid-South pop rock extravaganza that I guess some people thought was gonna click but as you'd expect didn't. And it's shame too since this kinda extrapolation on various mid-sixties accomplishments for a mid-seventies audience mighta clicked onna charts at least the same ways other popsters with  attitude did around the same time. Kinda twangy, kinda hard...if you were one of those rarities who actually followed Big Star when they were up and about (I sure wasn't!) then you know where your next on-line order is goin', eh? (HINT---click on link directly above!)
Various Artists-LIVE @ CBGB CD-r burn

No, this ain't my umpteenth review of the 1976 double-LP set that came out on Atlantic but a collection of youtube and elsewhere-related trackage that I had the infamous P. D. Fadensonnen burn on a platter for my own personal use. Starting off the set are a couple of songs from Kitty Brazelton's late-eighties group Hide the Babies, a heavy metal act that specialized in a more commercial version of the style albeit with a particularly pop-tinged if driving sound, better melodies and of course Brazelton's singing talents which you just couldn't hear in most if not all of the competition. And the t&a playup most common amongst female-led HM practitioners is absent thank goodniz, strange considering how Brazelton once worked in a topless bar in order to bring the bux in. If the Wilson sisters from Heart spent more time listening to the better early-seventies metal acts 'stead of overdosing on Queen they might have been as good as this.

Following is a clip from the Aliens recorded at CBGB in '76. I don't know much about these particular Aliens but I do recall reading in the Kongress article that was printed in THE AQUARIAN about how their drummer was briefly called in to play for 'em after Von Lmo broke his leg drop-kicking somebody who was sitting on his car. The guy said that he remembered auditioning for one of Lmo's groups and was told to jump from a tall ladder into his drum set with an ax in hand! Judging from the sounds that can be heard here (mid-seventies all-out hard rock blare) maybe he was doin' that to his kit this very same night!

After that comes the infamous Pentagram, the long-lived Washington DC heavy metal monsters who never did hit it big despite all of the press and support that they were afforded throughout the seventies and beyond. Too bad these guys never did make the big time because Pentagram were one act who sure coulda taught those sissy HM guys a thing or two but hey, if you wanna hear what every stoned out pimplefarm of a boxboy missed out on back in those rather downed out times give these low-fidelity tracks a go. Then maybe you'll be glad you didn't ditch their mid-eighties long-playing epic (like I did!).

Closing out the set's a tape from the Suicide live show recorded during their big "reunion" (not counting the ones from '83, '84 or '85) that eventually gave us a whole slew of albums that measure up to the Suicide legend as much as solo-era Iggy Pop (see review below) measures up to his oh-my-and-a-boo-hoo '69 youth. Surprisingly the band cranks out a pretty high-energy set here (thankfully sans the Barry Manilow mooshers of those later spinners) with a sound that's particularly raw like those seventies live tapes most certainly were. In fact the keyboard sounds like a twangy guitar giving the act yet another dimension and if these guys wanna make some dough selling their old live shows to various labels maybe this 'un'd be something that would sell bazillions 'stead of some of those platters the duo have pawned off on us!
Sun Ra & his Solar Arkestra-ART FORMS OF DIMENSIONS TOMORROW CD-r burn (originally on Saturn)

's sure swell that these Saturn albums have been dribblin' out ever since Sun Ra died a good twentysome years back and the spell on anyone ever hearin' 'em was broken, and this particular beaut is up there with the rest of the Ra rousers that I've had the pleasure of hearing. Ranging from outerworldly to big band hotcha, ART FORMS brings back all of those great Ra memories you got via those once-unobtainable BYG and ESP albums. Y'know, the ones that mixed percussive workouts with ethereal keyboard stylings that had you tryin' to mimic 'em on the family grand. Feel lucky that you are alive and kicking even this far away from the original high energy taproot of it all, for in no way were you gonna be able to hear anything like this back when Ra and company were taking alla them dollar bills stuffed into envelopes and pocketing it leaving a whole lotta fans in the lurch!
Sun Ra Arkestra-SOME BLUES BUT NOT THE KIND THAT'S BLUE CD-r burn (originally on El Saturn/Atavistic)

Sheesh, yet another Sun Ra spinner! But a good one as usual where Ra's rootsy big band origins get mixed with the more familiar outerworldly space crazed music that the Arkestra had been making jazz waves with for quite some time. Chock fulla some pretty enticing ('n at times small group-y) renditions of old tymey faves done up that special Ra way, BLUES isn't what I would call your standard Sun Ran album! And if you thought that the jazz avant garde was the only way to hear these souped up old reliables you gotta admit that even Ra can take a turdburger like "My Favorite Things" and make it sound worth the time to listen to (and you know I never did cozy up to Coltrane's take which is something I've pouted about on this very blog!). Also featuring stellar takes on such longtime fave raves as "Tenderly" (best known to me. and maybe to you, as part of the incidental music used on THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW), "That Old Black Magic" and the ever popular Eden Ahbez-penned proto-hippie paen "Nature Boy".

I'm tempted to say that the poster for this 'un was much better'n the actual film, but hey how can I judge a moom just on the basis of its surviving soundtrack? Given that the discs sound as if they were used for shuffleboard pucks it ain't like I could make out everything that was being said, but amidst the musical numbers and all this does sound like it woulda been perfect for the early talkie audience to swoon to. Charlie Rogers has a voice like a whining teenager, though Nancy Carroll does seem to be charming enough as was wont those horny early moom pitcher actresses. The "don't reveal the ending" climax kinda makes me wish the celluloid was preserved, because somehow or other I get the idea this woulda made for a fantastic episode of the much-lauded OLD MOVIES THE GOLDEN ERA series that ran on channel 25 in Cleveland during the mid-seventies.
The Kudzu Band-CHITLIN' CIRCUIT CD-r burn (originally on De Vine)

Other'n early Black Oak Arkansas and the Hampton Grease Band I gotta say that I really haven't cottoned up to the whole Southern Rock genre that was making a whole lotta waves back inna seventies. Naw it ain't one of those snobbish Northern nose uppings regarding the entire Dixie mindset 'n all of those horrid race riots that were taking place in such Deep South cities as Detroit and just didn't excite me. Now I know that a whole load of hotcha inna know rock scribes that I have and still admire have sung the praises of everyone from the Allman Brothers and Wet Willie to Lynryd Sknyryd, but I for one never was able to get into the rock 'n roll mindset of the Confederacy 197X-style, and I doubt that I really ever will.

Dunno if the Kudzu Band really fall into the Southern Rock genre but since they were from Georgia and this came out in '76 I kinda get the feeling that they do. And if so I gotta admit that these guys put out a fairly good album that doesn't just get into the usual country-ish sound that the Allmans etc. milked their Capricorn Records contracts on. At times the band veers into straight-ahead commercial-type mid-seventies rock and even a bitta prog slop, but overall your senses ain't as offended over this as they would be in some other similar rockquest. Might be worth a free download but as far as buying an original for umpteen-plus bucks well---your dinero would be put to better use buying a new motor for your burnt out acc-u-jack or something like that, y'know.

ANOTHER private press Southern Rock album! Didn't know that so many of these have come out back inna seventies but hey, that's probably because I ain't from the South! ASHHOLLOW are from somewhere suid of the Pixie/Dixie line, and their album is about as good as the Kudzu guys' as in it is performed OK enough and doesn't really offend you in those ways that early-seventies rock of the more enlightened hippoid variety most certainly can. Hokay enough even with a little Allmans this and a lotta Grateful Dead that seeping into their sound. Again, nothing that I'd prefer listening to even on a sporadic basis, but if there is a Purgatory and I hadda spend a few eons with this 'un playin' well...I think I could handle that with at least a little Black Oak stuck inna mix.
Iggy Pop-POST POP DEPRESSION CD-r burn (originally on Loma Vista)

If you happen to be bummed out over David Bowie's recent 86-ing have no fear, for Iggy Pop is continuing on Bowie's entire electro-late-seventies-on dance rock schtick to the point where you kinda wonder what his videos for this foray'd look like. Sure Iggy in 2016 has about as much relevance to us as Bing Crosby did right around the time he last passed gas (though both Der Bingle and Ig duetted with Bowie during that fateful year of '77 which should say something, even though I don't know exactly what) but even in old age and with that new booming baritone of his Iggy can pull through some of the time. Not like he did during his oh my and a boo hoo days of glory, but if you like those solo platters that had somewhat of a mystic cocaine-addled aura to 'em you might go for this too. And maybe even with a clearer mind'n the one I used writing this review up after trying to make total sense outta the thing.
Cosmic Hoffmann-SHIVA CONNECTION CD-r burn

Wow, a recent (actually from 2000 but recent enough when you're talkin' my language!) release by an act that sure does their darndest trying to ape the old German electronic krautrock thing the way many have attempted by few (other'n Circles and a few fellow travelers) have succeeded. Closer to the overall synthesizer/mellotron glop of Tangerine Dream as opposed to the primitive drive of Amon Duul or Can, Hoffmann create more of those interstellar soundscapes that your fourteen-year-old pimplefarm side can just slip right into after a rough day of gym class and sex education. Nothing tragically eighties new age about this, more in the seventies avant garde style that gave us such platters as CYBORG and even the first Harmonia album. Be the star of your bong set with this li'l slice of lysergic lollapallooza guaranteed to get you the first hit!
Various Artists-CLEANSE MY UMBRELLA DOWN SOUTH  Cd-r burn (Bill Shute)

Short 'n sweet one here. Amidst a whole slew of seventies-vintage radio commercials (including the infamous Rodney Allen Rippy "Take Life a Little Easier" 'un which I never did hear because Jackoff Box drive ins aren't onna East Coast) comes two song poem sides and an old 78 the kind Bill Shute'd kill old ladies at a St. Vincent DePaul for. The song poems range from late-sixties white sorta funk to country, the latter sporting some great non-rhyming/non-meter prose on "Tomorrow I May Make the Headlines" which must've been written by Dean Corll or at least a close admirer. The 78 from Jay C. Flippen and his Gang is better'n usual late-twenties-styled pop that has a bit of the ol' shoo-bee-doo-ba in it. In all, a better way to spend twenty minutes'n listening to "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vinci" that's for sure!

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