Saturday, April 30, 2016

Much to your dismay I gotta admit that I've been having a swinging time of it this week! And no, I don't mean from the highest oak tree 'r anything like that but gee...all of a sudden things seem to be looking upupUP!!! as far as musical and general kultural jollies are concerned. Naw, life ain't like it was way back when going to the record shop was like entering into King Twat's tomb trying to scarf up all the illicit goodies you can find, but with the upswing in hotcha musical listening (of both an old and new variety) as well as the arrival of new reads (and the promise of even more!) you could say that, for the first time in months, suburban slob living has been worth it! And being the slobbiest of slobs how could I not enjoy the current under-the-underground musical carnival that is taking place right before my very ears!

Anyhoo here's just a brief sampling of what has passed before mine ears these last seven or so days, and if you don't think I've had a fun time diggin' through these tasty morsels of sound you certainly have another think comin'! And if you have as much fun reading the following that I had writing it, boy do I pity your obviously cloistered lifestyle!

Simply Saucer-SAUCERLAND 2-LP set (Logan Hardware/Galactic Archives)

It's gonna be a real toughie writing about this 'un objectively and impartial-like considering how I've been a fan and follower of this band since at least...well...1987 when Bruce Mowat told me that my head was up my ass for not knowing who Simply Saucer were. (Actually I did, but it wasn't like I was in the mood to dish out collectors prices for a long-op single that I might or might not go crazy over.) Since then not only have Simply Saucer been featured on the cover of my oft-ignored crudzine, but leader of the pack Edgar Breau has also popped up there on his lonesome and thankfully the man not only consented to be interviewed for the aforementioned crud but has contributed some pieces to boot. (Though to this day I regret turning down his offer to write an article on none other than Fred Chopin!)

Call me crazy too, but I consider Breau a close enough friend as you can get via emails and once-in-awhile phone calls and sheesh, I feel really grand having been in his orbit like I have even if it is only of a plutonian realm because like, the man is that great!

Anyhoo here's this new double LP set of live Saucer recordings and dare I say that it's a pretty top offering. In fact given how double LP live albums were all the rage during the days Saucer were originally up and running it's entirely plausible that, had this 'un miraculously made it out back in that long-gone decade, it would have ranked up there with THE VELVET UNDERGROUND LIVE '69 as one of the primo double-dippin' platter offerings extant! It's that good an artyfact of those seventies under-the-underground years and had I only been able to hear these tracks back inna days of ROCK SCENE teenage post-Velvets hype maybe I wouldn't have been so anxious to try out those Sha Na Na albums!

The sound quality is beautiful audience cassette technology circa the wonder days of BUILT IN MICS and seems evenly divided between the early electronic whirl ca. Ping Romany and the later guitar-driven thing years, but each and every track roars in that powerful (and unfortunately forgotten) hard-drone drive we all know and love. You remember, that teenage guitar drive that was so common amongst the in-the-know branch of teenage rockism but got forgotten by the same kinda kids once punk transmorphed into new wave into new music into altrock so and so and so. A movement so well-exposed that even the more hidebound hippie rags hadda acknowledge it existed, but thankfully it was documented well enough so that dorks like us could hear a good portion of what had transpired a good forty years later and it still comes off as out there as it did when Breau etc. were playing to the same buncha indifferents in Canadian hostels across the province!

Said it before (and will say it again) but this is that Velvet Underground spawn filtered through other VU/Stooges ideals (Can/Faust/Suicide...) done up as only teenaged Ontarioites could muster! Complete with an electronic zeal that doesn't surprise ya that Simply Saucer wiped Pere Ubu offa stage back '78 way which might have been a Herculean task but it got done! Total eruption music that you don't have to adjust your parameters to enjoy (you certainly hadda do that with much of the rock heard throughout the eighties and since) and it's all capped with a solo Breau singing the SS story with a guitar that woulda made John Fahey stand up and take notice!
Lydia Lunch Retrovirus-LIVE IN ZURICH CD (Widowspeak)

The goth rises to the top on this particularly potent offering from Miss Lunch and cohorts recorded on their European tour. Dark guitar scrapes and sub-Maureen Tucker thuds accompany the wailings of the longtime under-the-underground social butterfly who I gotta admit does revive the better moments of pre-gush thud-dom better'n most of her colleagues who are either too zoned out or six feet under to care. Made for a fine recoup from yet another root canal (third time on same tooth!) which only makes me wish they had this 'un spinnin' in the operatory 'stead of the moderne-day vintage Sirius station that aggravated me more'n alla the pokin' and probin' that was goin' on in my tooth (which I gotta admit was kinda fun!).

Red Square-RARE AND LOST 70s RECORDINGS CD (Mental Experience/Galactic Archive, available via Guerssen Records)

Like many of these English experimental jazz-cum-classical recordings, there's a certain dare-I-say "professional" if not cultured nature to Red Square's overall approach to the concept of fire music that might not settle well with some of you more hardcore free jazz fans. Not bad at all even if these mid/late-seventies recordings do show a certain restraint that was ne'er to be found in many of the AACM and BAG platters of the same stratum. But don't let that scare you off for Red Square's overall performance which'll remind you of a whole slew of recent rambunctiousness from Rudolph Grey to those Japanese noise ensembles with names I can't pronounce and there's always room for that in my cranium. Dunno about yours, but if you're game I do say go for it!

Hair Police-CERTAINTY OF SWARMS CD-r burn (originally on No Fun Productions/Darla)

Here's one Bob Forward sent me ages ago but somehow got buried under a ton of all the other Cee-Dee-Are burns that have made their way to my humble hovel! And for being one-a-them "modern" things I gotta admit that Hair Police are pretty wild...not that parts of this can get overwrought in the industrial chungachurn department but overall it's a nice bitta hard blare that can cleanse the cranial palate once in awhile. If you think that the reformed Faust is the template for all soundscapading that has transpired in the underground rock world since then man, is this the stirrup stirrer-upper for you!

The third of the Fadensonnen Loyde pics has our guitar hero live in the declining metal year of 1973 (or so sez Mike Saunders, and who am I to argue with an icon?) taking the genre on a journey that would make various HM fluffweights from Ted Nugent to Dee Snider run home to the comfort of mom's boobies had they only got a chance to hear this! Starts off kinda bloozy, but that's OK when the power starts surging all over your mind spilling off into your nerve endings. The infamous Coloured Balls showstopper "G.O.D." in all its atonal glory is definitely worth the price of admission. Too bad these guys hadda stay stuck in Melbourne when there was definitely an audience waiting for 'em in the civilized world!


It's quite a surprise that I never really followed these guys' careers closely like I did with a whole slew of Detroit high energy types (especially since the Mutants dated back far enough into the early-seventies to qualify as bonafeed MC5/Stooges brethren). Sure would like to hear some of those tapes from those early days when they were wrestlin' under the "Motor City Mutants" tag, but this '96 live reunion Cee-Dee'll keep me warm and snuggly until that material happens to pop up onna auction list sometime soon.

Not quite Stooges or MC-5-esque let alone close to the sonic rampage of various seventies Detroit emulators a la Rocket From The Tombs or Umela Hmota 2/3 for that matter, but it sure has that late-seventies sorta underground Midwest local tough sound to it that seemed to peter out once 1981 and new unto gnu wave ceded to the fashion of the day. But then again didn't just about everything good and worthy about life kinda fizz out around then making me more of an old tee-vee and music maniac than I had ever been before??? In fact I must admit these Mutants can be downright melodic...hope they didn't have to turn in their White Panther membership cards because of it.
Ernesto Diaz-Infante-TUNNELS CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions, see blogroll on left for more information)

Acoustic twelve-string strumming on this forty-three minute offering from Diaz-Infante, recorded next door to the Jefferson Airplane studio which is a shame because who knows, if he recorded at their studio maybe Jorma could have picked up a few pointers. Relaxing waves of sound emanate from Diaz-Infante's guitbox and the monochromatic droning of it all sure did make good background for my usual evening readathons. Kinda like if John Fahey copped a few ideas from Lamonte Young and Terry Riley while pissing off his new age fanbase in the process. Yet another out-there surprise from KSE and one that's going to sell faster'n kielbasa in Parma Ohio so you know what to do!
Various Artists-REDBRICK DANDELION SEEDS IN LIMBO CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Yes, t'is another winner from the Bill Shute collection, or whatever it is where he gets these sorta obscuros that he slaps on disque for me from. It's got the expected funtime rarities as well, from some neo-familiar finds (Just Luv's "Valley of Hate" and the Factory's "Try a Little Sunshine" being amongst 'em) to a batch of not-so-easies that I haven't been able to spot on any of the rare garage band singles collections that I happen to own. There're some jazzbo things here (including two rather blatant "Take Five" swipes!) and English-styled whimsy psychedelia but what I REALLY wanna know is---is that "Phantom" who sings on a coupla olde tymey country tracks with a bunch called "The Mystery Riders" the SAME Phantom of "Love Me" rockabilly hiccup fame? Well, it ain't like I thought it was the infamous masked crimefighter you see in the funny pages now, y'know!


Charles Hodgson said...

Hey Chris, Any ideas where'd I get the Simply Saucer 2lp? (No copies even on Discogs - who also list it as a 2014 release - mysterious!)
Fanks, Charles

Christopher Stigliano said...

It seems that most of the mailorder places who would stock this either haven't or have sold out. I got mine directly from Steven Krakow (aka Sir Plastic Crimewave) so maybe if you google him he can help you out.

Charles Hodgson said...

Copies still available here. Ordered! Excited!

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to the label/store for the Simply Saucer....