Saturday, August 13, 2016

Nice week I had there (dunno about you), and no I won't bore you with a buncha off-the-top-of-my-shiny-head ramblings about everything from the current kulturkampf to politics or foodsies and whatnot. No, I'll just bore you with these reviews! Haw, fooled you there for a minute, didn't I?

As usual, thanks to Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and nobody else.

Birge Gorge-AVANT TOUTE LP (Souffle Continu France, available via Forced Exposure)

These mid-seventies electronic albums really do hit a certain atonal chord with me, perhaps because it was around the time them albums such as this one were recorded I was doing that term paper on the exact same subject (though not necessarily limited to the mid-seventies) with that famed misspelling I have still not forgive my cyster for typing. And I gotta say that these French electronic albums do have a certain swerve to 'em I like even if the specter of progressive snootism does tend to permeate, if only a tad bit but permeate nonetheless. Birge Gorge are different---well, kinda/sorta---but that difference is what counts. Total abandon music here with seventies analog synth crashing up again avant garde free guitar making for some pretty exciting works that sound like European rock/jazz/classical modes taken to their perhaps illogical extreme. Cathartic sounds here that you kinda wish Eno woulda gotten Island to sign up at the time considering just what a spokesman he was for continental clatter such as this.

Souffle Continu is one label you should get out and support for your French under-the-underground jollies with not only platters by Heldon to their name but Mahongany Brain's and Red Noise's Futura-era offerings as well. And if anyone from the label just happens to read this...howzbout some Dagon while yer at it!
Baba Yaga-COLLAGE CD-r burn (originally on Alemania, Germany)

Ingo Werner of My Solid Ground fame is part (actually one-half) of this obscure krautrock group, but don't expect COLLAGE to sound like a strange mating of Pink Floyd and 1971 Stooges. This project from Baba Yaga is a strange one to digest in your brain, at first sounding like an electronic storm before turning into Indian sitar twangs then piano workouts on similar themes before settling into Soft Machine territory. At first I thought it was George Harrison wondering whether to record WONDERWALL MUSIC or ELECTRONIC SOUND then doing both simultaneously, but subsequently I found this to be a strange throwback to that Eastern Consciousness hype which was still going strong at the time (1974) done up with a load of interesting twists and turns added in. Not bad even if at times it comes off like the kinda music some nefarious cultmeister would haved pushed on his brain-dead disciples in order to induce karmik konsciousness.
THE GODZ CD-r burn (originally on Millennium Records)

Sounding better than I remember from way back in the not-so good ol' days, the Godz play a form of tough guy pose rock on this debut platter that at times surpasses the cock rock style from whence the entire genre they sprang built its rep on. In part this does pull through on the metal meter, though the haughty lead vocal routine was done better by David Johansen during his old Dolls days while the band itself's mid-level hard rock charge pales next to say, Von Lmo. Thankfully the final results ain't as gag-inducing as a good portion of that horrid late-seventies metal which was fighting it out with the Godz for precious AOR time. IMPORTANT NOTE!-it is my duty as a rock scriber to tell you that these Godz are not the same Godz who recorded a number of freaky psychedelic excursions for ESP-disk in the late-sixties, a fact which I get the idea from after reading just about every review of this album I've read must be mentioned lest confusion reign re. the less knowledgeable amongst us.
Lionel Barrymore-RIP VAN WINKLE CD-r burn (originally on MGM)

I know that Barrymore should be on my perennial hate list for acting in that moom pitcher slopper IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, but then again so was Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and I sure haven't stopped watching his stuff even if he was an out of control hothead! Ahhh, this kiddie record narrated by the great  actor really does dredge up them afternoon nap time memories what with the orchestral backing and the neat story about the nice if lackadaisical Van Winkle meeting up with a buncha gnomes inna mountains and taking a twenty year nap for his troubles. Listening to records like this sure would do the kids of today a whole lot of good (as long as they're fortified with loads of LITTLE RASCALS and THREE STOOGES shorts) and who knows, if this nefarious plan works the suburban slob generation from whence I sprang might just rise again!
Tennessee Ernie Ford-ROCK CITY BOOGIE CD-r burn (originally on Proper Records)

Bless my little ol' peen-pickin' heart, but these Tennessee Ernie Ford recordings from his early days of fame (before he got on I LOVE LUCY and had a variety of tee-vee shows all culminating in HEE HAW appearances) do get the ol' juices flowin' like I knew they would. The country world would eventually turn its collective back on Ernie's swing country stompers but at one time these sides represented just what country music meant, at least to those rural royals who were buyin' this stuff up no matter how much they were being scorned by the upper crust snooties out there.

Did I ever tell you that we used to tune into Ford's ABC daily show when I was a mere turdler with me specifically remembering the time when Charley Weaver was a guest and the two duetted on the old classic "Shine On Harvest Moon"? Well, this was the first time I heard the song and I was really puzzled by the part which went "January, February, June or July"!  I wondered where the missing "March, April and May" were and from then on when anyone would sing this song in my presence I demanded they include the missing months! Anal retentiveness must start at an early age, y'know.
HOOTCH CD-r burn

The mid-seventies were a rather late for psychedelia to be flourishing unless you were Hawkwind or the Pink Fairies and could deliver on transmuting the original thrust into contemporary realms, and these Wisconsians do manage to succeed on only a few tracks like the spidery "Arabian Style". But they really flop on the funk ("African Boogie") and sometimes the psych noodling meanders more than inspires or whatever it is that psychedelic music is supposed to do. And that's with or without the additional stimulants I'll bet a few of you reg'lar readers habitually indulge in. Low budget studio sound helps out tremendously, but otherwise the only trip I got outta this one was when I stumbled on the throw rug tryin' to get to the box to change disques, impatient me!
Jonathan Richman-ISHKODE! ISHKODE! CD-r burn (originally on Blue Arrow)

Hokay, so I don't pay as close attention to Jonathan Richman as anyone should (or so I'm told), but this 'un (his latest) does dredge up many a buried seventies memory of why I went for Velvet Underground and Patti Smith albums at a time when my interests most certainly lied elsewhere. Speaking of Velvets, ISHKODE! X2 is perhaps the closest he's come to them since his paen to his precursors on the I JONATHAN platter of yore, while the music lends to an early VU intensity filtered through third LP acoustics (and on recent listen I find that oft-neglected spinner every bit the gruff intense offering its predecessor was) that reminds me more of early wonderment than latterday disappointment. At times the early-sixties vibe has me wishing I heard this during my younger days, and if "Mother I Give You My Soul" isn't one of the loneliest album closers since "Elegy to Lenny Bruce" then I don't know what is! Even the accordion on "Longtemps" had me thinking a whole lot more'n 'ALLO 'ALLO. Fits in more with my idea of rock 'n roll as vision-driven energy than all of the final years of AM/FM rock as a universal pimplefarm stoner mentality music put together!
Various Artists-HIGH-HEEL SHARKSKIN SWITCHBLADE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Standard yeah, good definitely collection that starts off with some of that great clunky '59/'60 instrumental rock that I really like (I sure wanna know more about the Monzels of "Sharkskin" fame) before Bill gets his opportunity to slip in some of that country obscurity stuff that he most certainly loves. The Maros are kinda pedestrian if passable romping through "Johnny B. Goode" and "High Heeled Sneakers", and if you like those late-sixties Grateful Dead versions of these songs you'll probably like them too. Dunno what to make of Loos Foos and the Fiberglass Cornflake but they ain't as cornballus as their name what with "Bless Me Father" (a rock 'n roll confession!) and "I Think I Got You" (both organ-dominated garage band unto psych pop), while Vigor Fisher sounds like yet another one of those early-sixties Johnny Rivers wannabes who fell flat on their faces like you thought they woulda (no fault of their own of course!). A good slice of something, and if you can identify exactly what it is a good slice OF you get your choice of whatever available back issue of my crudzine you want! Just kidding!!!!!


Bill S. said...

and speaking of the great Charley Weaver, you'll be getting a compilation with something from "Chuck" (as Peter Marshall would sometimes call him on the Hollywood Squares) in the package I just sent you this morning...

Christopher Stigliano said...

Just as long as he doesn't sing "Shine On Harvest Moon"! BTW if I had heard the Oliver Hardy version where he sings "January, April, June or July" at that age I would have had a total freakout!

Anonymous said...


Speaking of french underground . Monster Melodies records is releasing a JACQUES DUDON Lp in a few days . It's called "erosion distillée" , session recorded in 1969 taken from an acetate . And i hope too that one day we'll see some DAGON tracks released.

Tim Ellison said...

I've been meaning to get a copy of Ishkode! Ishkode! for a while. Glad to read your review!

Christopher Stigliano said...

And I'm glad to see that you're still amongst the living! Though I do turn into your blog whenever you post a new entry.

Anonymous said...

probably, you'll like this musical blog "Beyond the coda"

& bravo for your amazing blog to comm!