Sunday, January 08, 2017

YEAH YEAH YEAH...welcome to 2017, a year which I can just tell by the way the pimples on my nose are pulsating in sheer terror is not gonna be good for anyone. Especially me, as the case will undoubtedly be. True, some of us might have our hopes and longing that maybe these days will FINALLY be the promised ones we've been awaiting lo these many years, but personally I think they're just gonna be fraught with more than our due share of woes, anxiety, dread and just plain sadness that exceeds the past four or five of 'em crammed together! Now I've been wrong about many of the premonitions I've had about my life that I've held since I was a kid (like fer the life of my I never thought I was gonna make it past age 42!) so this might be just another case of me getting them psychosomatic jitters that I'm sure have plagued many a suburban slob these past few eons.

Who'm I foolin'---some of my premonitions have come true (such as the ones about my impending baldness and going full headshine, terminal loneliness, lack of financial success, failure to overtake the rockscreeding market as the voice of journalistic fan writing...) that who knows, maybe this time my dreads and woes regarding the new year will materialize and in a whole lot worse way than I can ever dream! Hey, won't you readers out there just love for that to happen now cuz I know how much you all hate me for bein' so forthright and upfront when it comes to dealing with the sad concept of REALITY (mostly yours) 'n all! But for me I'm just gonna count off the days like those death cell inmates would right up until the BIG DAY (sometimes with rabid glee-filled anticipation!).

But yeah, this is turning out to be a rather chungered year if I do say so myself, and we're only like one week into the thing! (Note: "chungered" was a term I used to hear bantered about that more or less meant beat, whipped, tired, worn out etc. just in case you are feeling inquisitive.) Sheesh, I can't even muster myself to wish cancer upon anybody at this point, but I know that as soon as the ol' juices get flowing I most certainly will. Check future posts for any cancer-wishing updates.
A ROCK 'N ROLL DREAM I COULD REALLY SINK MY SUBCONSCIOUS INTO!!!: Haven't had many of these for awhile, though for some reason the cold weather seems to bring 'em on like potrzebie! In this one I am in attendance at a reunion gig of the original MOTHERS OF INVENTION (talking the 1966-1969-era group), and for some reason I am the one who is "introducing" the band, albeit seated in the audience of what looks like your typical high school gym. The Mothers are on-stage looking pretty much like they did way back in the sixties albeit Jimmy Carl Black now has hair down to his ass and Elliot Ingber looks nothing like the guy on the first album nor the frizzy haired freak of later times...really skinny with dyed hair belying his real age not to mention his real looks which were kinda all-out friz despite him having short hair and looking rather clean cut in comparison with the rest of the Mothers on the FREAK OUT cover.

Anyway I am introducing the band from my seat in the audience..."Jimmy Carl Black, the Indian of the group" while he raises his arms, hands in fists, in acknowledgement..."Don Preston on synthesizer" etc. and so forth, and when I get to Ingber I go "Elliot Ingber, the guy who played all of that great lead guitar on FREAK OUT..." which I guess did not settle well with Monsieur Zappa especially when a chuckle arose from the audience. Oh yeah, Motorhead Sherwood was there too without his beard and shorter hair a la his appearance in 200 MOTELS looking as young as he did back then.
Well, I did manage to get some dare-I-say (no, I better not) top notch reviews in this week. Nothing that actually came from the fruits of my hard work 'n labor true (hey, this is the post Christmas money crunch!) but sufficient enough considering that these platters did arrive courtesy of ace BLOG TO COMM boosters Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and of course the ever-impressive P. D. FADENSONNEN, one of the few reasons I haven't considered cryogenics as of late.  As usual, a big thanks to all three of ya and, as Gleason used to say, "...and away we go!"

The Linda Sharrock Network-LIVE AT THE BAB-ILO CD-r burn

Although I have and continue to give Sonny's work its due spin time I must admit that I really know practically nada about one-time partner Linda's recordings outside of her stint with her famed guitar-playing ex. So yeah, this recording from last August was pretty eye opening, and rather hotcha in how it recalls the better moments of seventies free play in a world that might have even feigned interest then but couldn't care less now. The performance (by a whole buncha musicians I never knew about before) is pretty good in that mid-seventies all-over-the-place JCOA style and, in keeping with the jazz avant garde's penchant for weirdities, has an accordion wheezing through the proceedings giving this perhaps a touch of the AACM/BAG freakishness that always went along well with performances such as this. Sharrock's voice, unfortunately, has not stood the test of time dropping at least one octave and showing a rather limited range compared with those screeches on MONKEY-POCKIE-BOO. Well, as Eddie Flowers said about another free-splat singer of the sixties onward at least she's still alive...
Savoy Brown-SEATTLE CENTER TALKING 1972 CD-r burn

A little of these English blues bands can go a longer way'n any of us would have thought possible, but like Ten Years After Savoy Brown could retain a tad bitta that rawness which we all like (or at least should) in our musical set up. Without the studio glossing the sound over, this live FM broadcast from Seattle can actually get a definitely anti-boogie boy like me up and movin' more'n a Kaopectate Kocktail! Not only that but Kim Simmonds and whoever it is with him playin' (the ever-changing band is introduced about halfway through) can kick out some jams without the audience even beggin' 'em! Probably the only way someone like you'd wanna give these oft-loathed guys a listen to...raw and alive even if it ain't recorded at Merlin's Magic Box!
Graham Day and the Forefathers-GOOD THINGS CD-r burn (originally on Own Up Records)

As you know a lotta these "new" revival or whatever you call 'em bands are good, but none of them are good enough to make me want to spin their wares any more than I hafta! These kinda acts might have all of the vim 'n vigor of the original sixties groups but frankly there is something lost in the translation from baby boomer-era fun 'n jamz to the dejection and miasma that makes up today's world. Graham Day and the Forefathers are different---these guys actually have a lotta the power and might of the mid-sixties wonders not to mention the early-seventies stamina of acts like the Raspberries and Badfinger who tried their bestest to keep up the cause in the face of Roberta Flack. Great originals that plow over you kinda reminding me of the Droogs in their eighties heyday...I wonder though, will this one get another spin here at the BTC orifices? Time will tell the tale.
The Master's Apprentices-UNDECIDED EP CD-r burn (originally on Ascot, Australia)

Nice li'l slice of down under psych pop from one of the originators (if not the first) of the form.The Apprentices ain't quite into their neo-Barrettian style here, but as far as just-post British Invasion rock went these Antipodean astounders sound just about as good as at least the third-tiered English groups who also didn't get quite the adulation the big names obviously wallowed in. But as far as mid/late-sixties Australian rock 'n roll went the Apprentices were definitely the tops, and if you're not gonna miss this be sure not to miss their other output which I'm sure has been duly reissued over these past few years!
Okkervil River-DOWN THE RIVER OF GOLDEN DREAMS CD-r burn (originally on Jagjaruwar Records)

Nice neo-Big Star-influenced band only without the high energy rockers that groups like Star also excelled in, not that you're going to notice given how these retro acts tend to forget that all out rock 'n roll punch. Good in teeny doses but as you'd expect sometimes the music and vocals get more'n a tad twee on ya which never did suit me fine. Sheesh, I wonder where Paul finds these platters to send me...I get the feeling that he does this just to see how much deep introspective reflective acoustic guitar strumming whole grain goodness I can get into my musical digestive system, figuring that I'm bound to kill myself on a strict diet of Stooges. It's nice of him to think of me this way what with my health problems and all, but sheesh, I hope you slipped a few examples of high cholesterol hard rock in that package as well!!!!
Neko Case and her Boyfriends-FURNACE ROOM LULLABYE CD-r burn (originally on Bloodshot Records)

Oh no! Yet another one of those "I'm my own woman" types doin' the singer/songwriter thing with a ton of that country rock twang tossed in for good fringe leather measure. Dunno what possessed McGarry to send this one to me other'n he sure didn't want to give this a listen himself! If Case had been around in the mid-to-late-seventies you could bet that ROLLING STONE would have given her ample space regarding her new digs in Laurel Canyon and maybe sport a pic or two featuring her 'n some member of the Eagles contingent chumming it up onna town. Gotta think up some witticisms to help fill this review out so that the cover pic featured on the left won't stick out at the bottom, but given what kind of computer you're reading this one maybe even that won't matter.
Evan Johns & the H-Bombs-HOWLIN' THROUGH THE NIGHT CD-r burn (originally on Alternative Tentacles)

Like many of these McGarry offerings this return to roots rockism platter is good enough in the usual small doses. I can take ten or so minutes of an act like the H-Bombs and enjoy what I've been hearing, but an entire album's worth really doesn't appeal to me. But still Johns and the Bombs play that retro rock shined up for modern tastes thing pretty good even if these guys might have "updated" the sound a little too much, and way too much for guys like myself who like these songs the way they were cooked up in 1959. Pick play of the litter..."Radiation".
WALT BENTON AND THE DIPLOMATS CD-r burn (originally on Bison Bop)

If you miss those nineties-vintage Norton releases which introduced you to the likes of the Rockin' R's and Jack Starr you'll probably go nutzo for this Bison Bop release. These Diplomats never really made an impression on the snob rock historians of the seventies onward, but they did pretty good with them early-rockabilly ravers (and some country twang even!) that have been laid down on these sides. Benton fronts the act swell enough even though his vocal presence doesn't match the likes of the big names, and the group plays on at pace that, while not over-the-top, comes off as good as a whole slew of those southern rockabilly acts tryin' to catch up on the Gene Vincent bandwagon sure did. Overall not bad. Nothing here would end up on a BACK FROM THE GRAVE album true, but you'll take it over Lady Caga anyday!
The Orange Humble Band-ASSORTED CREAMS CD-r burn (originally on Half a Cow Records)

I picked this 'un outta the box of McGarry burns if only because the cover reminded me of those weird pseudo-nostalgic neo-pop art symbolic sleeves that were all the rage of the 1972-1974 album cover season. Fortunately the music is way better'n a good portion of the platters which were housed in those old covers, for the Orange Humble Band sound more early-seventies in a power pop teenage vein than they do hippydippydom on the verge of collapse (or at least we hoped it was). Sure these guys do sound kinda twee in part, but at least they gave it the ol' post-mop top rah rah go which is more than I could say about a whole bunch of their compadres in the new pop realm. Perhaps it's a bit too long (fifteen tracks) to handle in one sitting, but then again who says you have to???

David Wertman-KARA SUITE CD-r burn (originally on Mustevic Sound Records)

It's sure nice hearing this longtime New Music Distribution Service back of the bin fave again, and the thing even stirs ya up 'n inspires ya a good forty years after it was recorded. Bassist Wertman leads a really good aggregation including Charles Tyler and Ken Simon on saxes that not only recalls the Loft Scene that was goin' on at the time but the remnants of the great seventies blowout that was convening at the CBGB Gallery a good twennysome-plus years later! The whole thing swings, broods, rock 'n rolls even, and I for one am glad that I snatched this 'un up back when it was available at a cheap enough price, even though I did pass on those BAG Luther Thomas albums that I kinda thought would be around forever so like mebbee next time, y'know? Boy was I (and shall ever remain) a stoop!
Various Artists-DETERMINATION MARK BOSS CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Here's one that's been cuddled up in the Bill Burn Box that I picked outta random and it's a pretty snazzy one clocking in at about forty minutes. Lotsa good cheap middle-Amerigan garage band rock here that's good enough that it coulda appeared on one of those BACK FROM THE GRAVE or SCUM OF THE EARTH volumes and fit in perfectly. My favorite of this bunch just has to be Attila and the Huns' whacked out take on the Sonics classic "The Witch" with new lyrics, this time entitled "Mojo Cools". Also hot on the list is Robin and the Batmen's version of "Louie Louie" where you can actually hear the lyrics. Tracks by the Pastels (not the English outfit) and Lost Children also fit the primitive garage band mode. For a slight change the likes of Johnny Guitar Watson and Lanin's Southern Serenaders appear, the first one doing some of that blues guitar that actually got him friendly with Frank Zappa while the others do some twenties jazz that makes me wanna watch a silent comedy real bad! Good collection that made my day about .00005% better than had I not heard it!

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