Sunday, June 05, 2016

Hiya fellow troupers. Now, how do you want me to kick off this weekend's BLOG TO COMM anyhoo? Howzbout some timely talk of the weather and how nicey-nice it is now that summer has finally arrived in the Tri-State area, or maybe some down homey recollections of what I was doing when I was a turdler or Suburban Slob this time o' the year way back when life really mattered to eternal underachievers such as myself? Howzbout something piston-popping about my personal life like say, my associations with my cyster or even the results of my starvation diet which only makes me wanna eat more and more as the days roll on? C'mon, don't make me laugh!
According to Lindsay Hutton at THE NEXT BIG THING it's sayonara time for none other than Gary Sperrazza, the former editor of the famed fanzine (which was actually funded by the students at the University of Buffalo New York who probably didn't want their money going to a project such as this!) THE SHAKIN' STREET GAZETTE! Not only was Sperrazza the main guy behind this interesting magazine (sort of a CREEM for the local college crowd) but o'er the years a contributor to BOMP!, TROUSER PRESS and even the early-eighties era THE NEW YORK ROCKER where he not only wrote up reviews of fanzines but demo tapes in his "Crib Death" column as well! From all accounts a tough cookie, my association with Sperrazza amounted to him ordering a copy of my crudzine which he hopefully received, along with a nice fannish appreciation of his own works and deeds that I wrote considering how much I like SSG. Considering I never heard back from the guy I assume he thought the mag was a pile of printed turd-dom, but eh, I got to rub shoulders (kinda sorta) with one of the fanzine greats of the seventies if only via a cheapo order. If you have your own Sperrazza stories in which you'd like to part with well, keep 'em to yourself!
AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT OF DEATH R.I.P. TO FAMED PUGILIST MUHAMMAD ALI, a guy who was to his sport what Lester Bangs was to rock writing and Brad Kohler is to unpacking melon crates no-bout-a-doubt-it! What else can I, or anyone for that matter, say about Ali 'cept maybe rattle off some (here comes that word again!) "personal" recollections that perhaps mean nothing whether inside or outside this blog. I gotta admit that back when he was making great hay over resisting the draft and no longer wanting to go under his "slave name" of Cassius Clay Ali seemed like yet another hippie-type antisocial troublemaker to this pre-pube suburban slob, though nowadays I gotta admit that his stance was a brave move in the face of not only government dominance re. human beings as disposable fodder but that of gainful employment (in this case a boxing career), and he should be commended for resisting even if that did put him in the same camp with a lotta cowards sporting "War Is Immoral" (unless it's a war they sure want fought and come to think of it lower class rural kids are expendable!) placards.

Of course Ali's braggadocio was way overboard (and who can forget his frequent sparring with none other'n Howard Cosell which at times I thought would end with a swift jab to Cosell's sagging jowls!) but in many ways I gotta say that even that was a put on which Ali gleefully played to the hilt! After all, Ali actually appeared in a comedy skit on THE HOULIHAN AND BIG CHUCK SHOW playing on his egotistical reputation in a BEN CRAZY segment where he is being psychoanalyzed by Chuck Shadowski's usually inept doctor character...


However I will admit it sad how Ali ended up in life all battered, mentally scrambled and suffering from Parkinsons Disease, perhaps due to that rabid whomping he got from Ken Norton (or was it Larry Holmes?). Sheesh, at least Maxie Rosenbloom could function well enough as an actor long after his boxing career went under, but Ali really seemed incapacitated to the point where he was little more than an animated vegetable. For years Ali came off like nothing more than a propped up sick man with a fluttering mind who shouldn't have been exposed to the public the way he most certainly was, embarrassing everyone who would catch a glimpse of him on the news or some segment of a sports program.

Worst point in Ali's declining years was when, after the 9-11 disaster, he made a rambling comment about how he was a Muslim and how this attack was a bad thing and he was ashamed of it all though not all Muslims are like the ones who committed these acts, and that living dildo Peter Jennings gave this solemn nodding approval of it all that was just as bad as the one he gave after Rodney King uttered that "Can't we all just get along?" comment, all emotional and heart-touched over that bit of solemn and socially relevant philosophizing! Well now that they're both in the afterlife maybe Ali can slug Jennings a good one and knock some sense into him no matter how late or useless such a smackdown could be!
WELL, I DID GIVE IT A GOOD TRY, but as you can tell from last week's review of the S to S release I broke my New Year's Resolution and said something nasty about one of my betters, namely former HIT PARADER editor and all around mersh metal maven Andy Secher. Really, I oh-so-strived to try to be nice and copasetic and everything along those lines this year but sadly I did slip, stumble and fall by stooping to badmouthing someone and thus ruining the happyfun atmosphere that BLOG TO COMM has been known for at least since 2016 clocked in. But then again, could anyone really refer to Secher as being a "better" given his own tunnel vision takes on heavy metal (of the sappy low energy variety natch!) as the grand soundtrack for the lives of many a disaffected dunce who has his bongs and his pimplecream to protect him? You tell me, or better yet send Secher some hard-edged metallic thunder to see if his tough guy pose can protect him from that!
Dunno about you, but I found this 'un pretty fuh-knee!

Maybe I better get off the ol' soapbox and get to the reviews---after all, it's been a week since you got any of these, right? Once again, thanks to Bill Shute and Paul McGarry but not to P.D. Fadensonnen or Bob Forward since I didn't get to any of their grub this go 'round (busy week 'n all, y'know). Maybe next time, eh?


I said it before and I'll say it again, but Bus Eubanks would really have been proud of this WWI-era collection of songs rendered (and not as in fat!) by none other than M. J. O'Donnell, that Columbia signing whose topical tuneage predated that label's other major signing Bob Dylan by a good forty-four years. Of course topicality 1917 and 1961 are two widely different animals in my book but still, O'Donnell really managed to capture the zeitgeist of the times with these jaunty tunes sung in his tenor-y nasal voice that perhaps was the real precursor to Dylan's broken tooth hillbilly wheeze. Lotsa Irish references to perk up the local En Why See buying market can be found, along with more heart-melting ballads of love and it's all backed by a spry bunch of musicians whose other records have undoubtedly backed many a videotape of old D. W. Griffith shorts. Even includes early versions of those Tin Can Alley chestnuts "For Me And My Gal" and "Keep An Eye on the Girlie You Love"! As Dudley Doo-Right would have said, "THAT'S REAL TOE-TAPPING MUSIC!!!"

It's been like thirtysome years since I last gave these new wavers a go, and although I remember loving "Traffic Cop Stop" or whatever that track was called I thought the rest of their output was shall I say watered down British quirk music. The tracks on this shiny beast remind me of just how "quirky" these guys could be, but in no way is it a total douse. Like Devo and the rest of the electronic avant pop aficionados who lost favor as soon as the eighties clocked in there's a massive debt to Roxy and Sparks to be heard, and frankly none of the tracks to be found are in any way offensive to my own hard-boiled musical DNA which must prove that I'm gettting soft and not only around the gut. Still, it's like this thing ain't gonna make me wanna go out and buy and XTC recordings, ifyaknowaddamean...
The Sonics-LIVE AT EASY STREET CD-r burn (originally on RevVox)

Yeah, it would figure that with all of the clamor and hubbub surrounding the reunited more or less Sonics that there eventually would be a live album comin' out. Well commsters, here it is and it's pretty good what with all of the big numbers gettin' done up with the same energy and raw edged gusto that they were performed with a good half-century-plus back. It's sure good hearing these songs being performed in the here and now even if rock 'n roll has about as much potency as a Mah Jong tournament, though I gotta admit that alla these special guest singers like Eddie Vedder and Calvin Johnson, no matter how much you or even I may like 'em or not, kinda detract from the bared-wire intensity of it all. Well, it's still grand hearing the Sonics these days and I'll take 'em any way I most possibly can!
Various Artists-BEAT MIT TEMPO VOL. 2 CD-r burn (originally on Bear Family, Germany)

Haw, a collection of German covers of British and Amerigan hits (sung mostly in the English tongue, with a li'l German tossed in) collected on one shiny pancake for people who just can't get enough of the mid-sixties beat sounds and will even settle for some also-ran versions (some of which are kinda good!). Overall this kinda reminds me of those bogus greatest hits collections where the biggies of the day were performed by a buncha studio schmoozers goin' under names like "Barry Winslow" and "Tammy and the Turds" as if any straight-thinking fanabla would think these to be the actual hitmakers. Better watch it, or your Aunt Mabel might just snatch this 'un up for you for Christmas under the impression that these are the real deal hits, just like she used to do some fiftysome years back!
Honey-LOVE IS HARD CD-r burn (originally on Wharf Cat)

Hmmm, some of these new post-post-whatever heavy metal groups can shatter the nerves just like inna good ol' days! Seems that Honey are from the "Brooklyn" area of Cleveland (or is it the "Cleveland" area of Brooklyn?) which might account for something, but since the halcyon days of Rocket From The Tombs there really hasn't been anything this knock-out hard coming outta the burgh! Until now, that is. Strangulated vocals, massive guitar attack riffing...sheesh, this is everything that generations of ditzes said they liked in their metal music yet we always knew they were too chicken to listen to the REAL DEAL! Actually worth the trouble to track down, a bonafeed winner that never lets up in an era where music has been renown for doing just that!
John Coltrane-STARDUST SESSION CD-r burn (originally on Prestige)

This is the period of Coltrane's career that a lotta you readers think is nothing but bowtie and tux snooty club music that sounds just as pallid as most of the jazz being made today. Maybe in some ways you readers are right! After all, there's none of the fire music that Impulse-era (or even Atlantic-era) Coltrane is known for to be found on this session, but in many ways you can hear the roots of those bigger things to come within these standards. Even if you hate numbers like "Stardust" and "I'll Get By", Coltrane and band fling a lotta zing into these familiar tunes making them sound a whole lot livelier than the versions your folks thought were so wholesome back during their teenbo days. Not that bad despite the absence of the eternal howl that Coltrane would put to great use in only a few short years.

Capping off the week's this Bill-Burn (which I guess is better'n "Bill-Bored") which has a strange late-sixties Amerigan garage band tint to it. Sure jazz blueser Grant Green starts the thing off, but it's with his version of the Steppenwolf punk classic "Sookie Sookie" which really does fit his particular style and swerve if you ask moi. The rest varies twixt hotcha sixties instrumental rock (Zorba and the Greeks' "Shockwave") to standard teenage weepers like the Bitter Sweets' "She Treats Me Bad" (don't worry, you can always console yourselves with a towel and copy of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC) and something by an act called Girl-Guided Missiles which might be seventies/eighties punk proper but sure sounds good in this gumbo. Some soul-y stuff pops in and the likes of Jimmy Chandler and Sonny Woy show just how hard it was for solo acts of their caliber to break into the charts even though they were almost as good as the real mid-sixties solo singer hitmakers were. But eh, overall I was impressed.

1 comment:

Bill S. said...

The man in the top picture of this week's Virtual Thrift Store album is someone who was a big hero in my childhood, Boston children's TV host REX TRAILER. He was kind of a Roy Rogers type (country music was always big in Boston, believe it or not) who had a daily kiddie show, as I remember it, called BOOMTOWN (Rex was originally from Fort Worth and had worked in rodeos etc. until a chance meeting with Gabby Hayes led him into Western-themed children's entertainment). I never did get to attend one of his telecasts in person (although I DID get to attend a show of Boston's version of BOZO and also saw "Miss Jean" on the local Boston version of ROMPER ROOM. I remember that Bozo gave us all Hoodsies (does that mean anything outside of Boston?) and let me play with one of those Vroom racing cars on a string)--actually, I don't remember if Rex had a live audience for his shows as Bozo and Miss Jean did. Rex Trailer has a Wikipedia page that tells his fascinating history, and there's even a Bill Haley connection! We need more entertainers like Rex Trailer today!