Sunday, June 17, 2018

Hiya and a happy FATHER'S DAY to all of you absentee daddies who ran out on the wife and kids in that eternal quest for TOTAL FREEDOM. True you deadbeats ain't gonna get your usual necktie as a gift nor that trip to the local all-you-can-eat buffet with the rubbery chicken pieces, but at least you don't have to be worried by getting any food poisoning from the breakfast your brats made for you which spilled all over the sheets in that feeble "breakfast in bed" attempt that only proves that the best of intentions can lead to the stickiest of situations, or something like that. Have fun, especially when you think about all of the agony your wife is going through with the kids and their various travails while you're out there living high off the hog!
For me, these past seven days were a week that was filled with thrills, chills and spills that make most other weeks seem Quindenesque in comparison, but the biggest thrill just HADDA be the arrival of a package from none other than the always forward-thinking Bob Forward (how do you think he GOT his last name?) who sent me a whole slew of cassette tapes that really did hit the ol' proverbial spot. Not only that but these tapes contain some what I would call ESSENTIAL listening experiences that really do take the edge off what I would call the trammels of real life, making for some purty fine pre-beddy bye listening that makes me forget just what a turdpile real life could be once in awhile usually thanks to people like YOU!
The Bernie and the Invisibles I thought this was the exact same Jim Clinefelter-dubbed 'un that I reviewed way back when but I might be wrong considering just how much I don't remember some of the between-song banter and other intricacies that are to be found herein. I sure wish Bernie had gotten his just dues back then...after all he was (and perhaps remains) the perfect outta nowhere mad genius outside-the-outsider whose abilities and talents sure outshine a plethora of big-deal DIY musicians from that time and ours. Once again, may I say that the man is the perfect combination Daniel Johnston/Wild Man Fisher/ Magic Michael/David Peel (really!) and if only that Drome single had come out back when it shoulda would the history of rock 'n roll sure be a whole lot different than it has been, and for the better at that! (And that goes double for Harlan and the Whips!)

Flipping the thing over and we get the Cramps live in Clevo 1978 doing a pretty hotcha show that I'm surprised some enterprising bootleggers haven't pressed up for mass consumption a long time ago! Now I personally think that some of those later-on Cramps recordings really don't hit the target as far as whatever target they're supposed to hit goes, but these early tapes really do settle in well with my own sense of rockist being. I gotta say, and for the billionth time in case you're counting, that as far as these under-the-counterculture seventies outta-nowhere rock 'n roll groups go the Cramps certainly deserved what they got fame-wise and although they should have been just a little more famous well, I guess ya gotta be satisfied with what ya got and leave it at that!

Another tape had one side of My Dad is Dead, an act that perhaps hasn't settled well in my musical being given that whoever that guy's name was had more of a late-eighties underground bent to him (by that time the spirit was LOST) and besides the whole underground chic aspect of this does not settle well with my spiritual being. However, the beat box guitar distorto sound comes off a whole lot better when recorded cheaply in a dank club and the general mess does appeal to some lost sort of neo-decadent spec still surviving in my brain even after all these years. The added mumbling that follows does confuse...I mean, was that Patti Smith and Captain Beefheart I really heard talking about Anita Bryant???

The flip's got the fab CRUMMY FAGS live here, and boy do they cut a swath with their re-jumble of various late-sixties to late-seventies underground moves done up a good ten years after many people thought it was all dead and buried. These guys should put their stuff out for today's audience to teach them a two or thing, in a satin-bound cover with extensive liner notes from Bob Forward t'boot an' I mean it!

Bestest surprise of the batch was this recording by some outta the sphere kinda act I never heard about before called Mom!  Cool name, cool eighties approach to rock 'n roll in an era which shunned it with a maddening intensity, and best of all it retains some good late-sixties punk moves at a time when hardly anyone around could care one whit! And what's more these guys even presented their half-decayed sound in front of a live audience for this cassette is indeed entitled LIVE AT THE SLOW CLOB (do I gotta put a "sic" here?) which ya gotta think was soon to be the Stand Still club after this trio got their way with the rather sparse audience.

I usually don't go head over heels over these eighties-bred "primitive" rock types but Mom really sates this mate as far as straight on stripped down to nada bared-knuckle music goes. There must have been thousands of these kinda bands wallowing around the world back inna mid-eighties, and although I'm sure 99.999...% of 'em really missed the target and but good these guys took what they had and did well within their supposed "limitations". A bright and sunny future should have been theirs, but I guess Mom got just as washed out over it all as the rest of us and so what else is new???

So once again thanks for the package, and yeah, maybe I do have more'n a few ideas for your next issue of OWN THE WHOLE WORLD in case you still want me to contribute. And I get the idea that after this post the answer's a strong and resounding NO!
Just heard (via who else but Robert Forward!) about the passing of former Cramps and Electric Eels drummer Nick Knox, a guy who I thought was ready to shuffle off to Buffalo (or some other equally desolate valley) ages back but hung around this long enough in the game. Not quite era's end, but another one of those signposts on my own drive down the highway of life that's probably about as startling to me as it was for my parents to find out that one of their old-tyme entertainment faves had passed on way back in the scurrilous seventies. I ain't gonna cry about it, but it is kinda sad to find out he's no mo' and so it goes...
And with that here are the recorded music reviews. Nice batch this week thanks to not only my own efforts but Bill Shute's and Paul McGarry's contributions without whom this blog would consist of a whole lot less. Things are looking up as far as obtaining recordings that fit into my own sphere of musical retention, and if this post doesn't inspire you to go out and find just about any shard of total eruption top quality music to resensify your own mental squalor then man, I don't know WHAT out there can!

Endless Boogie-VIBE KILLER CD (No Quarter Records)

I've been an on-the-fringe fan and follower of Paul Major ever since I not only discovered his Sound Effects mail order catalog (sorta like a fanzine where you can BUY the records he's talkin' about!) but the fact that he was the leader of Sorcerers, one of the more legendary unrecorded bands on the late-seventies New York under-the-underground rock scene. And after finding out that the famed collector was still active in music I decided to find out exactly where this guy's musical spirit was located so-to-speak given how his fave records seemed to span all sorts of styles and genres like the great ones' usually do.

Started with this '17 release from Major's new act Endless Boogie and let me tell you it's a wowzer of the highest class. Far from being a off-tangent get down effort a la Foghat and various seventies budget bin stuffers, Endless Boogie is a dark, driving conglomeration that will remind you of a variety of past faves that you'll be unable to "put your finger on" while listening to this, but it's so good you'll wish this had come out back in the eighties when you really needed more rock 'n roll to keep your sanity above water in the face of all that bad hair metal and glitz wave.

The title track actually has a hard Velvet Underground riff/drive while Major's singing reminds you a bit of Froggy from ANDY'S GANG after a brain injury raised it an octave. Other tracks have down and dirty early Stooges tentacles that really wrap you into this platter's "universe" as the hypnotic beat "relaxes" you into areas unreached since the days of freely available street drugs. Or so you think. Pretty heady stuff especially considering that Major's been at it his whole "adult" life and shows no sign of slowing down. This one just has to be the ultimate sleeper of recent memory and a recording that most BLOG TO COMM readers will probably poo-poo, but you really need it.

Expect more on Major in a future post but until then howzbout trying to latch onto this and convince yourself that maybe it didn't all die out around the time Max's Kansas City closed its doors and Lester Bangs decided to become a part of an "era's end" in his own particular way.
Touch-STREET SUITE CD (Gear Fab Records)

I kinda had the sneakin' suspicion that the whole MC5/revolutionary groove dug deeper than Detroit, and this Illinois act proves just that. For a 1969 self-produced album these guys do pretty good when they don't occasionally fall into the hippie trip, and even a version of the KICK OUT THE JAMS stone groover "Motor City Is Burning" appears here. Unfortunately the entire disque does not reflect well on the group, what with the additional tracks which veer off into socially hippoid areas I'd prefer not to go into and some later-on recordings (including two where David Surkamp of Pavlov's Dog was a member) which reflect the post-radical haze that befell many an act in the early-seventies. A mixed bag which doesn't quite get you to wanna off the man like these radicals sure wanted you to.
Emil Richards & the Microtonal Blues Band-JOURNEY TO BLISS CD-r burn (originally on ABC-Impulse Records)

Cheezy psychedelic cash-in platter (on the usually bop ABC-Impulse label) that is made listenable by percussionist extraordinaire Richards' vast arsenal of rare and downright exotic instruments (or so DOWN BEAT said in a 1977 feature on him!). The elusive clink-a-clank merged with the usual psychedelic trappings of the day actually do make this a once in a lifetime gotta hear, at least for those who claim to be into the whole mystico sixties cheap beat trip. The hokey poetry recitations courtesy Richards ain't so bad after all and hey, maybe I can forgive him for putting on the cheap-o hipster airs seen on the cover because this was the perfect dose of exotic freakout that I needed injected into my cyst-em this very day!
Slim Gaillard-SEARCHING FOR YOU, LOST SINGLES OF McVOUTY 1958-1974 CD-r burn (originally on Sunset Boulevard Records)

This 'un consists of latterday rompers and re-cuts that seem to be part and parcel to many a groundbreaker's career. They might get ya mad like that Mercury-era Chuck Berry album with the fifties-styled cover did, but I could eke a few pleasurable moments outta things like I sure did on the "modernized" versions of "Flat Foot Floogie" and "Cement Mixer Putti-Putti" (a song that's probably more recognizable to me due to a mention in a Vera Vague two-reeler!). Despite the out of time aspects of these they sure hold up a lot more than many of the then-current caga that was making its way to the airwaves. While I'm thinking of it, are those Troggs re-cuts done for some cheap label in the early-seventies worth the time and money to pick up???
Lou Reed-OLD WALDORF, SAN FRANCISCO, 3/22/1978 CD-r burn 

Only goes to show you that what Lou could do with a straight-ahead guitar/bass/drums band in 1968 could definitely be ruined by a professional technosavvy one a good ten years later. Boring beyond belief. Even has the colored girls that go "doo-dah-doo" at just the right times. It wasn't until Robert Quine joined the fold that Reed got back into some sort of swing, but as far as this period in time goes Lou definitely was channeling his inner Bobby Darin to stellar effect.
Various Artists-MENDOCINO TERRORIST GLITTER CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

It's a jumble, but a nice jumble. The Angus Maclise track from the ASPEN flexi-disc was spirit moving enough to listen to once again (even if I do think most of his output bordered closer to hippydippy if only due to the mystic nature of it all) while I was surprised by the Robert Ashley one---kinda got into electronic krauty-grooves if you must know which shows you that if he had gotten a band together it might have given Faust (and maybe the Stooges) a run for the moolah. Andy Rose's "Classroom Cutie" was a good enough early-sixties sorta teenage ponytailed gal schmoozer and the international punk tracks boffo despite the words "international" and "punk" being put in such close proximity which always conjures memories of the old MAXIMUM ROCK 'N ROLL magazine for some maybe not-so-odd reasons.

Biggest surprise...the Walter Brennan Christmas reminiscence which, while out of season, always seems to bring out some old REAL McCOYS stirrings inside me while the Swagmen doing Sir Douglas really was a cheap imitation (and so what!) I can wrap my stirrups around. Of course what's really surprising about this package is the Arts and Language track (with the Red Krayola) that doesn't sound like the usual highbrow dissertations of various neo-Marxist polemics and all that rot but some early-seventies English smart pop of all things. In fact this coulda been some Harvest Records effort had it only gotten out and about back then! A surprisingly good selection of tracks from Bill, who of course hadda slip the obscure country twanger into the mix if only to "educate" the perennial suburban slob basking away in my soul.
Of course BLACK TO COMM back issues are still available, and if you would like to own your own precious copies (and for a much cheaper price than is what's going on the black market) why don't you just click the above highlighted link and be in store for a bargain you just can't find anymore! In other words why pay an exorbitant price from some utter stranger for these when you can pay a less exorbitant price for 'em from me and perhaps even get a heartfelt note of thanks along with it all?


JD King said...

By that stage, Reed was channeling his inner Jerry Lewis.

PS: "Channeling his inner.."? Sheesh! How new-age can ya get? Next stop for the Hermitage Hermit rock-crit: The Aquarian or The Village Vice [sic].


Anonymous said...

Hi.greetings from philly. I do not have internet access when on the road as i do not have a smart phone but i do manage to borrow one each week to read btc, the only worthwhile thing on the internet.if there are statues here in honor of chubby checker or fabian or dave appell or dee dee sharp or frank virtue, or charlie gracie,
as there ought to be, i have not found them yet. Bill s.