Saturday, June 10, 2017

As usual, there ain't nothin' really new or specta-colossal to report on life-wise. Just doin' the same ol'  but if you really care to know, I'm continuing to prowl through boxes of old BTC and related flotsam that have been slumbering away in old apple boxes for way too long a time, sorting out the junk as well as wasting time reading the long-ignored fanzines and whatnot I would happen to come across. Dunno what exactly has motivated me into digging into these boxes other than I'm on the search for those aforementioned old fanzines (and other long-stored books) for night time reading purposes, and of course in the process I've been (re)discovering a whole load of items that I've forgotten about makin' me feel just as much of a kid as I was when I was four and I would peek under the divan and locate some Dinky Toy that I haven't seen for nigh on one week. And yeah, it's been fun finding old notes, fliers, books etc...stuff discovered just in the nick of time because I have been goin' crazy for some fresh reading material and like, money has once again become whatcha'd call a downright obscurity.

You won't believe the old letters, mags, empty envelopes and other worthless item's I've found...even came across a whole batch of old ARCHIE comic strip clippings I bought about fifteen years back, and thanks to my sieve-like mind it was like reading all new comics making for a much better evening experience than watching Anderson Cooper flex his sphincter with a hand grip! As I've said many a time the ARCHIE strip during the original Bob Montana days was an excursion into truly witty har hars featuring catch-you-off-guard badgags and such done up in a way that actually made 'em funny (or at least good groaners), and next to the comic book ARCHIE these shine forth even brighter without the sappy humanist sentiment those comic book sagas have been known to gush forth. And sheesh, who woulda thought that Montana had his pulse on the wrist of experimental sonic-affecting concepts in late sixties rock (as discussed by R. Meltzer in THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK not to mention Lester Bangs' "A Reasonable Guide to Horrible Noise" article no less!) as the following strip reveals:

I just hope that IDW continues on their seemingly lacking efforts to reprint the entire Montana-era ARCHIE strips (dailies preferred, Sundays DEMANDED!) because during these days when STONE SOUP is considered a "funny" strip we need more Archie and Jughead not to mention Betty and Veronica done up in the way nature intended (mainly for them to be drawn by Montana and no one else---one look at 'em and you'll know why kids who jacked off to these two went blind!).
Hey, just found out that longtime rockscribe and BTC interview subject Cole Springer has passed on late last week at the age of 66. A fan of the highest rock 'n roll order, Springer's various writings on the subject could be found in such esteemed reads as FUTURE, PUNK and even the pre-snooze TROUSER PRESS.All is worthy enough (at least in my humble rockfan anti-bigshot city rock critic ways) to be read, digested and packed proudly and firmly right inside your brain (just read the aforementioned interview in case you do have any doubts). Sorry to see this guy go because know...there are more deserving people out there in rockscribe land who deserve the fate the guy hadda face, ifyaknowaddamean. But all good cheer aside a mutual someoneorother told me that the interview I did with Springer meant a lot to him, and if you don't think I feel validated in what I've been doing not only on this blog but in print these last thirtysome years you obviously got a few loose rocks in the cabesa! So long Cole.
Nice buncha platters this time...and I do mean it ('cept for one or two...maybe even three)! Thanks be to the usual suspects like Bill Shute and Paul McGarry, who sent me a real whoppin' load just a few days ago.

John Cage/Kenneth Patchen-THE CITY WEARS A SLOUCH HAT CD (Cortical Foundation)

John Cage teams up with local legend (born in Niles Ohio, married in Sharon PA) Kenneth Patchen for this radio drama which I'll betcha got one of your long-gone relatives madder'n a wet bed when this popped up on the CBS radio network back 1942 way. The Cage ensemble does an extremely good job creating the "backdrop" for this spaced out drama which was to Lux Theatre what THE WILD BOYS was to Jack Armstrong, and despite the wimped-out all-men-are-one (hah!) ending I thought it was a rather encompassing free flow drama that was trying something new and different on a coast-to-coast basis. They must have been a whole lot more free form back then than anyone would have thought.

Also comes with different realizations of "Credo in US" (I like the version that came out on a single awhile back much better) and "Imaginary Landscape" which doesn't sound much like the versions I've previously heard with the whoops and whups but hey, these are to be interpreted in different ways and if mine came out like "Beans at Midnight" well, that's all the better!
TAMALPAIS EXCHANGE CD-r (originally on Atlantic Records

Time to put on the leather fringe jacket, head on down to the nearest front porch in Marin County and get in tune with the Tamalpais Exchange, a bunch of groovy cats who really deliver on those sweet harmonies they got from Crosby Stills Nash and Young. Or was that the Dead via CSNY? Or was that the local Salvation Army Choir??? Whatever, if you're big on nature and smiling on your brother you'll just wanna mosey on over to the local People's Record Shop (they take donations only!) and find yourself a copy of this li'l classic that'll sure do a freak dance in your head. Sheesh I've done so many of these hippoid record putdowns these past thirtysome years to the point where you should know by now to steer clear of things like this...why do I hafta keep tellin' ya??????
Blackfoot Gypsies-TO THE TOP CD-r burn (originally on Plowboy)

For a second I thought the cover read Belfast Gypsies and that this version of Them had actually gone out and made another album. No such luck...these guys are one of those new kinda sorta folkie country rock things that are quite the rage in certain circles and if you really wanna know I thought their entire musical makeup was something that just doesn't settle well with my own ideals and values regarding guys with electric guitars who get in front of audiences and expect us to ooze our ways into their universe. Paul M says he was only able to get through four songs...I sat it out for the duration and probably could have faked a review just hearing the same four Paul did ain't like I wanna cheat any of you readers now, right???

Gotta be redundant once again because what else can I say about this band that manages to keep pumping out the high energy over-the-top rock year after year with no dips or dives in quality or total eruption output! Recorded during a time when the generation of rock the Fleshtones were birthed in was dying a slow, ignominious (even embarrassing!) death these guys kept the spirit of mid-seventies teenage punk rock alive as is evident by this stellar performance. Taken from an FM broadcast (so you know it sounds clear---as if that mattered!) the 'tones roll through a whole buncha originals and on-target covers (Sonics, Chamber Brothers) proving that if they still had parties the way they did back in the mid-sixties these guys woulda been the ultimate party band. Might actually make me wanna dish out some pennies to get the ROMAN GODS platter which never did make its way to my turntable (or laser launch pad) lo these many years later.
The Five Emprees- LITTLE MISS SAD CD-r burn (originally on Freeport Records)

There must've been hundreds of band like the Five Emprees back in the mid-sixties, but just how many of 'em gotta chance to put an album out? Of course these five are kinda cornballus in their own matching suits and short hair sorta way, but at least this group was able to put out a full-length spinner that I would call rather entertaining and easy going on the psyche. Contains good enough covers of recent hits mixed with originals that couldn't cut a fart but still do better than a lotta the efforts that were heaping forth back in those flowering of rock days. You probably know what's in store if you have some of those lighter side of sixties garage band collections that were available via Norton a good two decades or so back, but if you've ever gone to your proctologist and wondered what the heck he was up to back 1965 way this platter just give you a nice li'l indication...
Bachman Turner Overdrive-TAKIN' CARE OF THE HIGHWAY CD-r burn (originally on Smokin')

Here's none other than BTO live at the height of their fame back when they were still packin' a wild punch on your ever-petering out AM dial. You'll probably disagree (as if I care) but BTO were one of the better mid-seventies hitsters to ever peddle single sides to unwary pre-teen gals, and frankly I can't figure out how someone who really digs Wayne County's "Max's Kansas City" couldn't love "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" with that mutated "Sweet Jane" riff. Good sound quality and a pretty roaring (though at times admittedly leaden) performance is what's in store, though why is there an alternate studio version of the aforementioned hit closing out the sesh 'stead of a live 'un? And it all ends with a half-hour interview (via phone) with Randy Bachman which ain't boring at all and you might even learn something about BTO that you never really cared to know about before! Might be worth a search if you're not totally phobic about the mid-seventies AM radio scene.
The Sidewinders-WITCHDOCTOR CD-r burn (originally on RCA Records)

I always thought it was strange that RCA would have signed two bands called the Sidewinders even if it were over fifteen years apart. But other'n the name there's hardly any similarity between the two...the original Sidewinders were a neat Boston-oriented combo that mixed sixties rock and early-seventies teen decadence in a way that recalled the Yardbirds and the Velvet Underground not to mention the entire history of Boston rock that it seemed only the folk at KICKS could remember all them years later. Whereas the original Sidewinders were on the forefront of seventies hot underground ideals the ones reviewed today are definitely the ass end, the sound of a rock movement that had evolved into a different kinda animal which was so tired out that it even gave good ideas in rock such as drone a bad name. Sure it's got some moments of vigor here and there but so did Sammy Davis Jr. For late-eighties over emote rock fans only.
The Black Angels-DEATH SONG CD-r (originally on PTKF Records)

Y'know, maybe I am rather hard on these neo-Velvet Underground types that have been popping up all over the fruity plain these past three or even more decades. Ya gotta admit that despite the total mangling of the Velvet legacy and their emphasis on the band's less conceptual moments (or their total mishandling of the Velvets' more conceptual moments for that matter) many of these bands are at least worth a one-time spin before being carted off to the Cee-Dee drop off shop of your choice. Well, this was the Black Angels' one-timer for me and frankly I'm glad I got that one over with!
Left End-SPOILED ROTTEN CD-r burn (originally on Polydor Records)

These local (Youngstown Ohio) boys have gotten their share of jabs over the years, but even a cursory listen to Left End's early singles on the Red label would show ya that they weren't the total lunkheads that the more effete than thou crowd made 'em out to be. In fact their SPOILED ROTTEN album from '74 proves that they were a good enough hard rock group who were playing that heavy metal in the then-current definition of the term and doing a rather good if slightly askew job of it. Credit is due for their good enough Alice Cooper stylings even if they do lapse a little too far into Humble Pie territory for my tastes. Coulda been a total killer had Dennis De Menass and group gone full tilt screech but hey, this does rank high in light of alla that John Denver whole bran music that was cloggin' the airwaves at the time.
Various Artists-THIRD WAYNE REUNION ORBIT CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Starts off OK with a poppy local single release that ain't bad (though ain't spectacular mind ya) before the Electric Hand Band do their hippie goodtime shuffle (at least the Flamin' Groovies grew outta that phase in which they didn't sound too bad to begin with). And then there's this solo guitar thing that sounds just like Derek Bailey which is so close to the original I'm surprised he hasn't sued!

The Illusions are good neo-hard funk that sounds better'n most of that SOUL TRAIN jiz that got the big time push even with an extended drum solo. There's also some more electronics and a Leslie Gore soundalike without the Quincy Jones production feel (and who knows, this gal might be straight!), and Barry Goldberg's take on the Rockets is good even if a tad hippoid overdone.

The rest varies from bizarre avant popsy things to cornballus polka music and it might not quite settle well into your orb but it does Bill's and that's all that matters. I mean, go live your own mix-Cee Dee if you're that much against it!

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