Sunday, July 01, 2018

Now that we've trudged through half of a whole year you're probably expectin' me to laze back and take it easy now that the weather outside is far from frightful, eh? Well, no way noodnik! Even though there are plenty of outdoors-y type things for me to do I'd prefer to stay RIGHT HERE in front of the keyboard and peck out a whole slew of things relating to (and not) the subject of music (especially rock et roll) because (naturally) that's where my spiritual soul STILL lies even thirty years after I shoulda known better!

But hey, if music (especially the stuff created during the spurt of rockist imagination 1964-1981) as well as old tee-vee shows, comix, moom pitchers etc. still tingle my nerve endings even this far after the fact why not pester you readers with my opines and otherworldly views which you just ain't gonna find in any issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY that hits the stands! Well, whatever it is that I do here it sure beats Parke Puterbaugh that's for sure (not to mention Robert "Whatever Happened to HIM???" Christgau).
Before we go any further with this week's fun and jamz I would like to take this time to apologize for a BLOG TO COMM post from October 14, 1798 in which the indigenous people of New Guinea were defamed in a particularly cruel and uncalled for fashion ("Those Un-Bearable Blackamoors of the Isles"). Although the piece was reflective of the ideals and customs of the times I now understand just how some if not all of the views expressed therein would just plumb be considered offensive to those of New Guinean descent. Since I would like for all good people to feel inclusive and welcome and all that warm and toasty stuff let me take this opportunity to say that I am truly sorry for my uncalled for past callousness in calling the residents of that beautiful region "rock apes" amongst other non-niceties. Just don't go asking for any monetary compensation because frankly, I ain't got it.
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM WEASEL WALTER!---"So, I am playing drums in the new Von Lmo band. We had a great rehearsal last night and thought you might like to hear it. On July 7th we are playing the entire RED RESISTOR album at a venue in Coney Island. Maybe you could say something about it on your blog? (You just said it, WW!) We are playing FUTURE LANGUAGE in Tompkins Square Park on Sept 9th also."

Surprise of the week! A partially-filled 1976 CREEM magazine reader's poll
blank  sent to our orifices courtesy none other than Brad Kohler! Interesting to say the least what with the expected likes of commercial heavy metal and prog crunching into the oncoming punk rock onslaught, not to mention
the inclusion of Crystal THC as  "Drug of the Year" and David Bowie and Iggy Pop being the :Couple of the Year" for that matter! And of course Lester Bangs just hasta turn up as being the rockcrit with the mostest! After reading this all I gotta wonder is...where did we go wrong/right/whatever???
Maybe it's now time for me to shut up and get to the writeups, so shut up I MUST.

Wire-PINK FLAG 2-CD set with book, CHAIRS MISSING 3-CD set with book, 154 3-CD set with book (Pink Flag Records, all three available via the Forced Exposure links highlighted above)

Now c'mon, doesn't it surprise you too? Y'know, alla those  seventies albums, the same ones you never could find at your record store which were treated like dirt by everyone you knew,  now being given the royal treatment what with the fancy books they come in and the detailed notes to be found therein. And that's not mentioning the additional music to be heard, stuff which you thought was tossed into the trashbin ages back but lo and behold here it is all shined up and polished for your listening enjoyment! I never thought I would have lived so long, and sometimes I think that maybe I DID die and go to Heaven where the eternal drone plays and the angels certainly ain't strummin' no harps that's for sure!

And so Wire's own Pink Flag label has done their Harvest-era albums up fine with these packages. Yes, all three of their early albums have been re-released in deluxe hard-cover books not only with the added single only sides, outtakes and flotsam you'd expect from such a high-minded project as this, but the rare snaps and reading to be found within those hardbound covers ain't anything to be sneezed at either! It's so heart-cockle warming to see these things done up right and presented in something other'n a stark cover, especially since these platters still remain as important to the whole rock 'n roll ramalama as all of those other save-the-world faves of ours that are getting their just dies fortysome years after the fact! It's gonna be a futile task to review these in depth like alla those high-falutin' rock critics you see nowadays who like to examine albums as if they were archaeologists studying the skidmarks from the underwear of King Tut trying to discern what kind of paleo-prehistoric diet of honey and hummingbird wings he digested, so let me approach these packages in my own peculiar was so-to-speak.

So (being as to-the-point as I can get)---PINK FLAG...hard-edged avant garde punk rock that not only has one of the better "Sister Ray" rips heard since Phil Manzanara's "Miss Shapiro" ("Strange") but a total eruption that could have fooled a few experts into thinking these were WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT outtakes (no foolin'!). CHAIRS MISSING shows a :maturation that for once ain't anything to be feared...some more structure and a more of a nod to the punkier aspects of mid-seventies England (thinkin' Eno's "Third Uncle") mixed in with a whole slew of Syd Barrett appreciation that never really did leave the hearts and minds of listeners over there even though Nick Kent hadda prod Harvest into re-releasing Syd's solo platters. 154...even more of a descent into the dank with the more frightening side of Kevin Ayers ( foolin'!) steeped into what Can were doing at their most demonic. Like similar efforts by Pere Ubu, Throbbing Gristle and other members of the new underground flying straight into the heart of oblivion, one of those records that really signed one off of the seventies and signaled the beginning of something that was perhaps way lacking in the bared-wire intensity that readers of this blog usually tend to crave. But sure as shootin' we didn't know any of that yet.

I ain't even mentioning the usual b-sides, EP tracks, outtakes and demos that show up. That stuff'll really thrill those fans out there who have an anus the size of a peanut and us more controlled folk should like it as well. Let's just say there's a whole lot in these books/CDs for true rock 'n roll fans to pour through, and if you wanted to know more than there is to know about Wire and hear as much as these guys are humanly able to put out well...don't say I didn't tell ya!
Various Artists-RAW DEAL - THE RAW RECORDS COMPILATION CD-r burn (originally on Raw Records, England)

(I thought I reviewed this 'un for the blog once...) Longtime fave here once again brought to my attention by who else but Bill Shute! A collection of various cling-ons from the Raw Record label, this one exposed for many the under-the-underground punk rock groups of late-seventies England that somehow missed getting the kind of notoriety that the Sex Pistols and Clash did. Considering how rough and tumble the Raw Records label was that really was a more dissonant type of music they were dishing out for a "music listening world" where Nick Gilder was just a little too hard-edged and strong for their liking.

No Creation, Troggs or Downliners Sect here but that's no problem when it comes to high energy music that woulda made Detroit blush. The Users show up, once again making me feel down inna dumps that they didn't get the notoriety that was so deserved of them what with their MC5-styled onslaught passing as sound, chords and singing. The various other obscuros do pretty snat as well from the Acme Sewage Company to the Sick Things who were not related to any other Sick Things that might have been up and about at the time, and even the pre-Dexy's Midnight Runners Killjoys show up with one of those punkmitations that were going around, but somehow it still fits in with the rest of the barrage so sweetly...

Listen to this 1977 punk rock, then compare it to the stuff coming out in 1981, then 1985, then 1995... Worst case for the evolution theory that's ever come before my ears if I do say so myself!
The Bang! Bros.-HARD ROCKS VOL. 21 LP (Feeding Tube Records, available via Forced Exposure)

If you (like me) were one of those guys who were just FASCINATED by the idea of sound being used for musical purposes (or not) other than in certain toned manners designed to please the ears of people who liked certain variances in their ideals of patterned sound... If you (like me) spent a good portion of your late-teen times combing through the local library for examples of "New Music" to take home only that meant a smattering of Cage, Xenakis and Stockhausen scratchathons and nothing else... If you (like me) still have a hankerin' for aleatory music and are catching up on years of neglect now that it is easier to find various sound explorations along this line thanks to the miracle of internet well...boy will an album like this come in mighty handy!
Various Artists-THE BEST OF AFRS JUBILEE VOLUME 16, NO. 365 AND 363 CD-r burn (originally on RST Records, Austria)

Not really my cup of java at this point in time, but it sure beats the heck outta that whining bitch I happened to come upon while changing channels yesterday. Postwar radio for the guys stationed overseas, and while nothing on this really spins my top I also gotta say that none of it would make me wanna do the AWOL bit either. This is more in the Bill Shute vein ifyaknowaddamean...Count Basie, Billy Eckstine...sheesh Bill, I wish I coulda introduced you to my uncle because you two woulda had a LOTTA things to talk about!
Kustom Kings-KUSTOM CITY USA CD-r burn (originally on Smash Records)

There must have been a few thou of these hot rod/surf/skateboard cash-in albums during the mid-sixties but this one is pretty on-target. A collection of various SoCal recording hotshots (including future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston) reach the same heights of pure pre-social consciousness teen living on the album which comes pretty close to Beach Boys territory at times but pulls back just when you think a lawsuit is coming. A cover of the Rip Chords classic "Hey Little Cobra" pops up which doesn't surprise me since the original was co-produced by Johnston. Music from the world I thought I was going to inherit when I hit my teenage years only, as Al Sharpton would have said, something went very very wrong.
Various Artists-FIRST EVERYTHING WINTER PHANTOM CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Good 'un here featuring nothing but boff jazz/blooze instrumentals that remind you of what these things used to sound like long before the metastasization of schmooze into the form. The Ed Blackwell/Dewey Redman tracks show a bit of the new thing into bop sound while Bud Shank and Bob Cooper are firmly entrenches in the fifties pre-avant explosion. Duke Pearson does well enough himself especially on "The Phantom" and Ramsey Lewis is....well, Ramsey Lewis ifyaknowaddamean... Pick of the litter (at least for me) was the World Saxophone Quartet's "My First Winter" which oozed neo-Third Stream without the bad stuff feelings outta me with an opening that actually reminded me of some late-forties San Kenton number whose title escapes me at the moment. Heck, Ray Charles even closes out the thing and does well, even though his "Rock House" is not the song Elvis used to do!
Hey, do I have to keep pushing the fact that I have plenty of BLACK TO COMM back issues for sale, or do I have to bust your skull open? Mercy me, I do hope if is the former, if only for your sake!

1 comment:

JD King said...

As the 1960s "progressed" from surf music to a half-million drug addicts sitting in the mud listening to 20 minute drum solos, let's just say something went terribly awry. I blame FDR.