Saturday, September 24, 2016


I just loved my romp through the box of cassettes I uncovered about a month back, enough that I decided to do yet another one these tape-only review sections given how those cassette-y throb thrills of the past just came rushin' back! Yes, there are plenty of these cassettes in my collection that have been ignored for a longer time than I can imagine, and I gotta admit that yankin' 'em outta the box and givin' 'em a play has been a most cathartic (and money saving!) experience that really has brightened up my otherwise feh existence! And after this one more, more and even MORE cassette cagas are bound to come your way! Consider yourselves lucky you rockers because this very post (and blog) exists if only to prove to you unbelievers that the Golden Age of Rock Fandom is not dead!!!


Actually this one is a relative newie that somehow got lost in that infamous shuffle that happens around here all the time. Thankfully there seems NO END to the rash of free jazz/experimental/avant whatziz recordings that have been made o'er the past few decades, and these guys must certainly be given their dues for making some mighty unattached by any sorta credo we know sounds. Sultan and band (which at one time had James "Blood" Ulmer and maybe some other notables in its ranks) cook up some rather high-flying and downright inspirational music on these recordings that go from AACM atonal to Afro percussion in the best Art Ensemble of Chicago sorta way. And even though I get the feeling that NOBODY who played on these platters would last more than a year if they were plunked right inna middle of Deepest Darkest I really do like the feral atmosphere a good portion of these recordings exude.
PLAYETTE (Sirius Music)

If 1975's CHINABOISE was a harbinger of the local neo-Velvets uprising to be found in more-enlightened-than-thou Amerigan music land of the late-seventies then 1983's PLAYETTE mighta been the proud coda. Let's face it,  underground rock (what used to get called "new wave" as opposed to punk rock until both terms were co-opted outta existence) did seem kinda outta-place during the eighties, a watered down version of its once vital self that was beginning to look like more of an embarrassment than anything. At least this MX-80/Angel Corpus-Christi spinoff captured just what is was that made suburban slob rock neophytes like myself feel oh-so-PROUD following a musical trend that had roots dating back to those late-fifties cheap parlor recordings by teenage rock aficionados yet was so crucial to the modern sense of sound deconstruction. Sirius Music was supposed to have released a whole slew of MX-80 material on tape including the Chinaboise project as well as the non-Rich Stim-manned MX-80 going under the name the C-Minus Humans. Whatever happened to that 'un?

A C-60 with one side live at the Pirate's Cove and the other singles and outtakes. Only one channel is present for the live one yet the power and energy of the group remains steady with Jamie Klimek doing a whole load of old  faves mixed in with recent compositions, and not only that but he slips a Pere Ubu reference in that just might be a sly putdown---I dunno. The flip has a load of unreleased gunch as well as faves like the true blue version of  "Radial Arm Saw" that never did get reissued proper-like. Hopefully tracks like the jazzy "Overload" and "Girls Girls Girls" will get the royal treatment one of these days, but as usual I ain't throwin' a temper tantrum until they do.

C-46 filled with goodies beginning with a smattering of Mirrors and Rocket From The Tombs tracks we've heard for years, followed by a cut from the Adele Bertei-edition of Peter and the Wolves we haven't (and why it ain't been released by this time I certainly do not know!). Neptune's Car, the Pere Ubu spinoff, sound totally in tune with the early-eighties switch from new wave as underground thunder monster to neo-funk riffage, but if you enjoyed those other neo-Ubu bands from the day you'll probably enjoy this as well. Still a firm reminder of what the Cleveland underground was pumping out until all of the come-latelies and shock-effect tyrants decided to get in on the game and it just wasn't the same anymore.
Charles Tyler-SAGA OF THE OUTLAWS (Nessa)/Frank Wright-CENTER OF THE WORLD (Creative Worlds)

Tyler's "Polyphonic Sonic Tale of the Old & New West" sire doesn't sound like the aural equivalent of tacky furniture with wagon wheels and steer horns proudly emblazoned. What it is is a fantastic set recorded at the Studio Rivbea fest that gave us the WILDFLOWERS albums, and why this particular piece didn't appear anywhere there I do not know. Tyler once again shows why he's one of the better mid-seventies free players to have made the transition into the mid-seventies overdrive before it all seemed to tumble into oblivion. Frank Wright was yet another player who went from the ESP-disk groove into a world of self-released magnificence, and this sesh with longtime partners Bobby Few and Alan Silva's still got that mid-sixties blare that did translate well into the seventies to the point where even DOWN BEAT felt it proper to give this music ample coverage much to the dismay of Leonard Feather. If you can find 'em and stick 'em somewhere in your collection then, more power to ya.

Can't make out the exact date on the Huey stuff though I originally was under the impression that this was recorded at the same show that gave us the finale of the original Pere Ubu with Peter Laughner and Tim Wright. A pretty good if truncated show with better'n expected sound quality featuring Huey somewhere between their Canturbury/kraut/punk phase and the more new-unto-gnu wave they eventually evolved into before clocking out. Biggest surprise: "Train Kept a' Rollin", unfortunately cut in its prime. If you were a big fan of the Clone Records releases this edition of the band will most likely be up your rather expansive alley.

The Electric Eels tracks have been issued (well, I believe most of 'em have) on a variety of albums and the like, though on this original recorded as it happened session you get to hear the between song guitar scronks and the like. Nothing as outrageous as the time the group broke into Mott the Hoople's "Violence" but still as spontaneously satisfying as if you were in that very room getting into an argument with everyone involved.

Omowura and band recorded this album for EMI Nigeria, and somehow I get the idea that EMI wouldn't exactly cozy up to the idea of any international release considering the specific audience for such items that I kinda doubt would exist in Greenland. Heavily percussive call and response vocals do get into a rather hypnotic groove, though the only thing I could think about after hearing this was when my next meal of missionary is going to be.

The Tusques recording here is actually that of INTERCOMMUNAL MUSIC which I reviewed for these very pixels a good ten or so years back, so dig that one up if you care to know what I thought about it then. As for today I feel the same way I did then about this ecstatic session featuring the likes of Sunny Murray and Alan Silva amongst others doing the expat game with the same push that we expected (and got) from a good load of those BYG albums.

Filling out the sides are a number of eighties hard/grind/metal/applecore tracks that, while certainly a great portion of what the eighties underground rock scene typified, still remind me of just why I had those strong longings for various seventies under-the-radio forms around the time 1985 was creeping into my psyche

Boy/Dirt/Car-GHOSTSHIRT (Artweather Communications)

Packaged in a mini burlap sack with inserts (actually little xeroxed papers), this infamous group (once mentioned in an Ann Landers column!) did the industrial music thing about as good as all of the competitors on the OPTION/SOUND CHOICE bandwagon could. Some electric instrumentation from the Die Kreuzen people give this a rock 'n roll bent at times, but mostly this just churns away with some surprisingly quiet moments that lull you into a sense of somethingorother which kinda gets me staring at the ceiling for hours on end. Still looking for the rest of these Boy/Dirt/Car tapes which are hidden in various nooks and crannies, and if I do fine 'em you can betcha they just might end up in a future CASSETTE CAGA column!

A ho' maid job complete with a xerox cover featuring a load of then (and now) rare Australian single/Eee-Pee sides that some of us were known to have craved for in their original vinyl form. The Radio Birdman and related groups have that definite Detroit-cum-Doors sound that sure sounded great in light of what was happening in "rock music" at the time (y'know, those days when a photo of an overweight Rob Tyner in the pages of CREEM was cause for celebration) while the Psycho Surgeons and Lipstick Killers bring back the sixties sound from around the time that it was still kinda fresh and not fodder for ROLLING STONE issue stuffing. When I was starting my illustrious journalistic career it was high energy rock 'n roll like this which made up my entire reason for being, so if it weren't for these guys who knows...I'd probably be writing about the posies at some flower show!

Here's one Eddie Flowers sent me a good THIRTY years ago, and it holds up today just as well as it did way back when I was younger than that now.

The Stalk Forrest Group Elektra album has been given its proper release dues long after the fact, but back then the only way you could hear it was on tape and let's just say the whole thing holds up a good forty-seven or so years later what with that psychedelic drive that seems to have been forgotten once the group went heavy metal. If you've read that Meltzer blurb that appears in the DENIM DELINQUENT book you'll understand this even more. Patti Smith on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE continues to thrill me long after first seeing this live as it happened, and although Russell Desmond might disagree I found this appearance epiphanal! Well, at least for a mid-teen pimplefarm who was just starting to buy records it sure was, and back then I was a guy who really hadda count my pennies so you can bet I was more'n careful as to where my money went! And closing out side one that famed soopergroup the Afrika Korps doing the six-oh revival thing a good five years beforehand and a good deal better'n some of the acts doing the same riffage a good decade later.

On the flip of the tape is part of the HEPCATS FROM HELL radio show when Meltzer had on as his guest famed "performance artist" Chris Burden who brought his automatic weapons along and really yuks it up doing this tough guy maniac act. Unfortunately the tape cuts right before Burden fires one of his weapons out the window which really woulda been a hoot to hear. Closing out the tape is a segment of the infamous CALL ME BURROUGHS album that sure beats those audio books written for misguided teenage gals too lazy to read the real thing. In all, a great selection of boffo o-mind drool we could sure use a lot more of these rather subdued days.
Twink-WMSE 10/17/88-Ron Asheton-WBCN '88

Side "A" features the famed ex-Pink Fairies/Tomorrow/Pretty Things/Iggy audition drummer during his late-eighties comeback days getting interviewed by a number of local entities about his associations with everyone from Syd Barrett to the Deviants. Interspersed are a whole slew of tracks you've heard and probably haven't heard before but hey, it's always boffo to hear 'em again if you've heard 'em already! The Stooges' own Ron Asheton gets the interview treatment on the flip talking about the early days of the Detroit high energy movement making a fellow like me want to hear even more than what is available (especially the Seventh Seal and like, when is their album coming out???). This 'un ended up on one of those Stooges platters that came out during the late-eighties Stoogerush but it's nice hearing it again uncut and with that live 1971 version of "What 'cha Gonna Do". Closing out the thingie's the Imperial Dogs single which we all know and love these days, but just try latching onto these things back when it REALLY hurt not having 'em!

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