Saturday, October 08, 2016

Congratulate me! Here it is October of the year 2016 AD CE, and I've survived well over thirty-six years of a definite lack of HIGH ENERGY ROCK 'N ROLL JAMZ being pumped into my system on a regular basis (talkin' 'bout music fostered by a definitely Bangsian/Meltzerian-derived power source in case ya didn't know)! While I'm at it give me my fairly earned kudos for surviving forty-one years since the last decent television season dared to show its cathodes into my tee-vee room (1975-1976 unless you count 1980-1981 if only for MATINEE AT THE BIJOU) and a whopping FORTY-NINE YEARS since the last great age of teenage trash radio dared to broadcast the likes of the Seeds and Shadows of Knight until Bill Drake or someone made it verboten. I've also survived a good number of other gulcheral catastrophes that make me feel older 'n Methuselah just thinkin' about 'em, but I won't bore you with them gross details. Les' just say that it's 2016 and at least we now have...uh...wait don't tell me...something good to look forward to. And that my dear friend's my bi-weekly editions of BLOG TO COMM!

Got nice lovely batch o' posies for you to pick at here, and once again thanks for Bill and Paul for the bottomless cup o' freebees I hadda chose from. Them and Weasel Walter of course. Ya gotta give 'em credit for keeping me goin' because hey, if I wasn't typing my tripe out who knows what I'd be doin' with these hands of mine!


Don't wanna show my igorance of the entire jass idiom here,  but once again I will. Surprisingly pow'rful free players (Flaherty, Swell, Yeh, Weasel Walter) working out on an extended romp that recalls at various times Ornette's FREE JAZZ as well as some of the earlier AACM moments from Art Ensemble of Chicago to the Creative Construction Company. The fanablas involved are some of the better players around (well, for a guy not following the current free scene I can't VOUCH for it, but they sure sound good!) and as you'd probably know if you've read this far down this is a pretty tough sesh that should recall some of the free bleats of yore that were popular enough that even DOWN BEAT couldn't ignore 'em any longer. Might just be worth the entertainment set-aside portion of your government check that's gonna hit the ol' mailbox during the beginning of the month.
Weasel Walter-CURSES CD (ugEXPLODE)

Ninety-nine mini-tracks, all made to mix and match as you please or listen to as they play, featuring an electronic and percussion soundscape that can sound irritating 'n atonal an' alla those things your music teacher warned you about but sure sounds swell while lazing away the hours. I dunno if you can call it an avant garde classical work in the same way you can John Cage's various chance operations (I'm not too well versed into the making of CURSES to even know if it was composed in the same aleatory fashion as say, "Variations IV") but Walter's notes on the recording do have a brainy component to 'em what with his talk of him "trying to achieve a sort of microcosmic drama with limited materials and processes"...whew! Whatever the case may be, I get the feeling that this 'un sounds a billion times better'n some of the dilettantish sounds passing themselves off as avant garde these days most certainly do!
IANCU DUMITRESCU/DAVID PRESCOTT CD-r burn (originally on Generations Unlimited)

And while we're on the subject of avant garde...I must 'fess up to the fact that really haven't paid that much attention to the moderne-day classical sounds that were coming out from the eighties on at tall. If it weren't for items like the above Weasel Walter album and a number of Bill burns I probably wouldn't know anything about what had been happening since the days I sorta dropped my avant interests for more rocking horizons. Perhaps I felt that the entire music genre had run its course and was infected by the kneejerk and already metastasized political/social snobbery of the era, but then again I guess I just wanted to spend more time listening to Sky Saxon and less Pauline  Oliveros.

Of course even if I were paying attention I doubt that I'd've heard of this particular spinner featuring the works of two up-and-comers in the avant classical realm. Both Dumitrescu and Prescott work with electronics that sound like smooth feedback drones and in many ways this sounds similar to various other feedback recordings of the past such as the Figures of Light's recreation of their own feedbacking guitar concert which is a classic in itself. It's mostly stuff ya've heard before and if you have a low threshold for atonal drone ons you probably won't like it. But for me I figure the more noise the better so hey, this one does get an atta boy which I hope won't ruin whatever prim and proper images these guys must keep up to survive in the art world these austerely pious days.
The Raymond Brake-PILES OF DIRTY WINTERS CD-r burn (originally on Simple Machines Records)

Sad to say, but a whole lotta the more art-rocky aspects of late-eighties underground rock, a groove which I certainly found the time to give praise to, really didn't capture my entire imagination the way various sixties and seventies variations on the form did. Not that these acts were horrid mind you, but at least for me a little of this neo-emo guitar rock just went a whole long way within my listening parameters and it just didn't stick to my ribs the way a good meal of mid-sixties garage band favorites most certainly could. Not that I'm giving the Raymond Brake any hard knocks...after all they don't offend me and at times come up with interesting melodies that fit in with the guitar shards...but these guys really ain't the kinda bunch I usually feel like rah-rahing over they way I do all sortsa acts you'd wish I'd just shut up about. For 1987-on introspects only.
Boston Rats-THIS AIN'T ROCK N' ROLL CD-r burn (originally on Brainfeeder)

Psychobilly lives on, and although I ain't exactly whatcha'd call a big fan 'n follower of the form it ain't that bad to give this stuff a listen to at least once in a blue movie. Done up in that tough 'n rumble sorta English rock way that's been around since at least the Stranglers, the sound's definitely post-Groovies hard neo-pub and the vocals about as thug as you can get. Mix that up with a pretty boffo repertoire (including a cover of the Other Half drug rock classic "Mr. Pharmacist") and ya got an album that really does hold itself together and captured my sagging attention that's for sure. Who thought that anything of worth would come outta whatever there is left of that thing that usedta get called "punkabilly"...certainly not me!
SEVEN DAYS TO BETTER BOWLING CD-r burn (originally on Audio Dynamics)

When I was a kid I always thought bowling woulda been a real fun game to play, but the folks never took me. It took a while for me to realize the reason for was because of those machines they had inna men's room, that's why! However, if I ever do wanna take the sport up I might be able to be a reg'lar bowling whiz by listening to this platter. Brought to you by the same people who had you quit smoking in a week's time, the same nasal voice that told you to relax your toes, arches, ankles, calves, thighs allaway uppa torso has you doin' the same schtick here only its for the benefit of improving your game 'stead of kicking the habit. But do ya really think that one's game would be greatly improved by listening to a subdued voice tell you to release alla yer tension and play it cool as a cucumber? If you do maybe I can sell ya a copy of SEVEN DAYS TO BETTER WIPING done up by the Audio Dynamics label! "Relax your left cheek....relax your right cheek..."
Jimmy Oliver and his Soul-Twisters -HITS AU GO GO CD-r burn (originally on Sue Records)

Well, at least this ain't the same kinda twisto cash-in music that Ray Anthony inundated us with last week! But it still is cash-in time here what with the Soul-Twisting people here taking the big hits of the day and playin' 'em in their own cheezy way. I guess if you like Kim Fowley's BORN TO BE WILD album you'd like this, though I gotta say that the lack of up-front vocals on these means you can sing along in your own faverave adolescent way while these tracks roll on just like you usedta do when listening to that instrumental version of "Ruby Tuesday" that popped up on various Rolling Stones bootlegs! If only you hadda copy of this 'un back 1966 way on that day off from school when you and Farts Flanagan went and wrecked up the house because there was nothing else to do!
Alvino Rey and his Orchestra-PING PONG! CD-r burn (originally on Capitol Records)

When I was a kid I wanted to murder the entire King Family, that's how much I hated those squeaky clean cut types to no end! At the age of five I certainly knew what cornball of the rottenest 'stead of the most funzy variety meant, and when it came to that the entire King brood was a prime example of just how hokum television could have aspired to even in an age of high energy fun and jamz. I even hated Alvino Rey who actually played an electric guitar 'n all which I thought was a cool looking musical instrument (still do!) but suffered the same fate if only due to extroverted wholesomeness by association. Nowadays I dunno...after all this album of Rey 'n band doing the usual standards for the stick inna muds of the day ain't that bad. Of course it ain't that stimulating either but it sure lacks the saccharine sweetness of a dozen King Family specials with a few STAND UP AND CHEERs tossed in. I particularly liked the part where Rey set off a wall of feedback during a rather powerful version of "I Heard Her Call My Name" and...just kidding about that!!!
The Fleshtones-THE BAND DRINKS FREE CD-r burn (originally on Yep Roc)

Hokay, the groups does sound a tad tireder'n they have on previous engagements but they still can pump out the good ol' straight ahead rock 'n roll even if they sounded a whole lot more jumpin' jack a good forty years back! Still has a tad o' the slickoid production that marred a few Fleshtones sessions (at least not to the point of pukedom) and there ain't enough all-out rockers like I kinda hoped there woulda been. But otherwise THE BAND DRINKS FREE's a definite 2016 GODSEND from a long-lived band that's survived despite all the odds, and if you liked their other bazillion platters you'll probably like this one as well. While we're on the subject can anyone tell me if there are any very early live recordings by these guys floatin' around on the Cee-Dee-Are lists out there???
Various Artists-FLASH COCKROACH LINE LOCO CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Rather'n dig down into the deepest reaches of my Bill burn files I decided to pluck this particular platter from the most recent Care Package sent my way courtesy My Fearless Leader. 'n as usual it's a boffo selection too featuring everything from foreign language rock 'n rollers to sassy pre-lib gal singers, not to mention a few clunkers inna batch that really didn't grab onto my hammer 'n stirrups the way I'm sure Bill hoped they would. Personal faves include Larry Young doing some of that soul-styled jazz organ he played in between gigs with Miles and Lifetime, Vess L. Ossman's "Silver Heels" (a nice twenties-ish 78 r.p.m. that really fit in well with  the collection of OUT OUR WAY comics I've been reading. Especially heart-warming was the recording of the "Great Stalacpipe Organ" at Luray Caverns in Virginia which brought back some old memories of a kiddie trip that I sure wish I remembered a whole lot more of! Nice and cornballus in its own gosh darn way, sorta like that Abraham Lincoln recreation which got cut off before it really could go anywhere.

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