Saturday, November 03, 2018

Pretty good week there, wasn't it? At least it was for me, for I had the opportunity to lend ear to a whole lotta nice and life-reaffirming sounds that have kept me away from the loonybin inch-by-inch!  I must say that the influx of such sounds really do help me retain my mental stability (hah!) especially in these definitely anti-Chris days, and couple that with a hefty enough barrage of visual pleasure (which you will be hearin' about in future posts) and who but Karen Quinlan would dare think that things are perkin' up to the point where I FIND NO REASON TO DO ANY PREMATURE EXIT-ING AS LONG AS THE GOOD STUFF IS BEING PIPED INTO MY VARIOUS BODILY FUNCTIONS! And I ain't jivin' you one single bit!

Perhaps thee highlight of the week was the arrival of some BRIAN SANDS Cee-Dee-Are burns courtesy of his ex-pal Doris including one with all of the man's plastic vinyl output and another with the infamous (yet rarely heard) WKSU-FM "Industrial Wasteland" interview program complete with some live as it happened music that really thrilled my gills I'll tell ya! Given just how much of a NATURAL TALENT Brian was and just how he was suppressed by a local iron gripped rock media that sacrificed talent for big bux hackdom sure serves to show you why I have nothing but unbridled CONTEMPT for the likes of Anastasia Pantsios and WMMS-FM, people who would have been more'n glad to have served the Sands cause in the early and mid-seventies yet forsook the true cause of rock 'n roll when that big dollar sign was dangled in front of their snouts. It's sure great knowing that a man like Sands (and plenty more undocumented rock 'n roll genius) was hanging around the Cleveland area even if the Powers That Be were more than content to push some of the lowliest excuses for rock 'n roll down the throats of sopor-addled kids who sure as heck didn't know any better (and they sure as you-know-what smells didn't that's for sure, or don't you remember the late-seventies!).

Although I have almost all of the Sands discography in my mitts it was great listening to those great records of his again (not that I haven't been these past thirtysome years).  It seems as if FIXATION (despite that cover!) comes off even more potent here in the 'teens than it did when it was released. Perhaps the strange downer (if still "cool" enough for me) mood that permeated the colored wax is now way more in tune with my own unbalanced nature. Whatever, it sounds like the ultimate early/mid-seventies post-Beatle-pop/Zappa/Sparks/Bonzo/Marc/Fowley/(dare-I-say) early Bowie groove that was sure in short supply back when this 1980 effort was released. Perhaps this was just as much a "tombstone" to the 1964-1981 era of rock extrapolations as the closing of Max's Kansas City and the death of Lester Bangs were---well at least in my own scheme of rock categorization it MIGHT AS WELL BE!!!!

As for REHEATED CHOCOLATE TANGOS well, what else can I blab about a platter that remains on my top ten el-pees of all time list? Sounds just as fresh and as life-reaffirming now as it did when it came out, and how anyone could get away dismissing this one as being "a weird juxtaposition of sounds" is way beyond me! If you remember the sixties, this is a more than adequate compilation of everything that was RIGHT about those years and if you're still in the tie-dye and trips mode you probably don't even REMEMBER those years at all!

The Act One single that Brian sang on entitled "The Masquerade is Over" was new to me. Brian himself said I'd hate it and now that I've heard it well---it ain't as bad as I woulda been led to believe. Commercial true, but it has a rather good lead vocal on an otherwise mid-eighties slop pop backing that doesn't offend ya the same way things like Foreigner and Journey did. By the way, for all these years I thought Sands was gonna be singing the Harptones classic but boy was I wrong! Flipside is an instrumental in case you wanna karaoke this 'un yourself!

If you (like me) are really in the mood for more Sands after the above paragraph, then maybe you wouldn't mind stopping in at his Facebook tribute page where you can not only read more about this much-loved character but see some rare pictures and even video from the "Life of Brian" show that was held recently at Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom. I only hope more comes outta this gigantic effort courtesy Doris and others who knew and loved the guy, and who knows maybe those experimental films and rare Moses/Mouse/Milk/Brian and the Juniors/Confusions recordings will be made available for us rock starved peons out here in internetland! I mean, if anything dontcha wanna hear just how Moses performed "Instant Karma" or Milk handled that all-time wowzer "Memo From Turner"???? I sure do! Keep tuned for future merriment!
Despite inner qualms to the contrary, maybe I should get soapbox-y at this time as to just what I BELIEVE (not "feel", not "think") regarding  the recent loss or de-platforming as it should be called of the alternative to Twit-ter social media effort GAB. Thanks to that loonybin who shot up a Pittsburgh-area synagogue last week (a guy who just happened to have his own page like many others who haven't done any shooting up that I am aware of), the entire GAB operation has gone kaput ,at least for the moment, and I for one has gotta say that I am a tad bothered by this stifling event (not enough to lose sleep, but bugged nonetheless). I guess the real reason that I am "bothered" about it is because all those people I've seen crying about First Amendment rights and free speech until they were ready to pass out these past fortysome years (the same people who used to argue that books could NOT be banned from libraries and that included MEIN KAMPF as well as THE JOYS OF SEX) are all of a sudden either silent or actually cheering on the censors (I'm not using that term in its correct usage as only government can censor while everyone else "edits"), as if these moral guardians really were that steadfastly in favor of people outside their own sphere speaking their minds in the first place.

(By the way, do they still hold "Banned Book Week" at the library which for the most part is just another excuse for the enlightened lumpen to beat their chest over the silencing of minds they usually agree with? Maybe we should get a "Banned Internet Site/Blog Week" of our own just so's we can join in the garment rending in our own special way!)

Maybe not-so-strangely enough, the only GAB sites I've ever glommed have been "Westbrook Pegler"'s, not the journalist of yore I would surmise, as well as a few trad. Catholic ones he linked up that looked interesting. A small sampling true, but from what I could tell each and every one of 'em was nowhere in the frothing hate category that the snoots in charge tend to categorize GAB users as being complicit in! Maybe I just wasn't looking in the right place but still, I find it hard to believe that there was enough pressure placed to wipe out an entire "mix 'n mingle" as I like to say outlet because of one mere if deadly crank, especially when there are so many other cranks out there who not only get their highly vaunted platforms, but are encouraged and even applauded by the same kinda people who have been giving the people behind GAB so much trouble as of late. Like everything else, that tragedy was just a handy excuse.

Sheesh, the views I saw being expressed via the GAB sites that I've read were nothing out of what I used to see on a whole slew of the usual everyday social gathering outposts, at least until the political balance began tilting in another direction and like if the organizers don't like the way the game is played I guess they can take their ball and go home pouting all the way, ifyaknowaddamean...

Its not that I'm frightened to the core of my Yankee Doody being by the concept of sayin' what you want despite those dreaded consequences (this ain't no fifties-era anti-McCarthy "dangerous times we're living in" mope yer readin'!), but I sure find things a little bit creepy when various people/organizations are being dropped by Facebook and GAB is ridden outta internet-land on a rail because they just don't conform to some seemingly arbitrary speech standard that the Big Tech guys just happen to favor (and you know which side they're in favor of, eh?). And I ain't just talking about various right-leaning efforts which seem to attract the ire of the socially aware uplifters but a few others that ain't exactly part and parcel of the alt-right/lite camp! Y'know, things like those cop watchdog ones etc. so forth that SHOULD attract people from all over the mindsphere that have lost their presence because well, we gotta be nice and pleasant here in the age o' Trump even if the Nation of Islam can still retain THEIR presence on the web.

The way things are going (I feel like some elderly relative of mine back in the late-sixties!) it's gonna be like there will be NUTHIN' on the computer these days 'cept nice and pleasant musings about a world where we can all toss frisbees in the park and sing in perfect harmony on a hill like in that Coca-Cola commercial. And who in their right mind would sacrifice things like opinions and attitude for something as painfully transparent and slave-loving (in the true spirit) as THAT???

To tell the truth I get "offended" by a whole lotta things I read which attack my mere existence onna internet, and most if not all of it tends to come from those mainstream "respected" sources who not only have the platform but the moolah muscle to back it up. But I suck it up and if I particularly feel like it I'll comment on things in my own way, as I'm sure most people who share or don't some of my worldview also do. An' really, do you see people of my so-called "ilk" out there calling for various hardcore left wing voices because they got their maybe not-so-precious spirits bruised? (Maybe so, but if there are any I ain't been readin' 'bout it much as of late. And I gotta admit that those who wish to make these tech companies utilities are not exactly headin' in the right direction either.) At least when I think of the concept of free expression, I don't see any sort of one way street set up where the young 'n enlightened can blab all they want while the old stodgy types like myself just have to sit 'n take it!

And so as it stands, the big guys wearing their even newer morality on their shoulders have succeeded in silencing a whole load of sites and people who I sure enjoyed eyeballin' o'er the past few years, and I get the feeling that they ain't onna stop with the likes of Alex Jones or Gavin McInnes either. I could be one of those sixties-era types who when confronted with the cold reality of life can only mutter about the next big outrage to hit society but I've been through too many my whole life to fall into that sap trap. At least there are a few brave souls calling the tech biggies out for the hypocrites they really are, and after they are silenced well, maybe a few more'll pop up in their place. Who knows? And maybe given how we've had that encroaching tide of "speech codes" and socially pious Big Motherisms gag us slowly over the years, maybe that should read "who cares?" As John Derbyshire once wrote, we are doomed only it's on the installment plan and like, just how can you fight starry-eyed Stalinism anyway???
If you think the above if nothing but one big ramble well, you shoulda seen what it was like BEFORE I struggled through about twenty re-writes on the thing! I think I'll leave it as it stands...after all, I may be downright illiterate but I sure got more etapoint things to say than the entire staff of TOO FUN TOO HUGE ever did an' that's no idle prattle from a blog that has probably given you more than your share! Anyway, if you're disgruntled by all that just read these reviews...boy will you REALLY be disgruntled then!

Willie Lane-KNOWN QUANTITY LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Feeding Tube Records has gotta be one of the better (if not best!) current day vinyl output label dedicated to creating sounds that you just haven't et yet! Or at least a label responsible for releasing beautiful shards of sonically smart sounds that oughta get out into the world a whole lot more'n they have! This platter from guitarist Willie Lane is just one example of the kinda smart ware that Feeding Tube excels in. KNOWN QUANTITY is the name, a reissue of a previously really limited edition pressing which features Lane's acoustic guitar playing that teeters in between Robbie Basho and Sandy Bull and gets your inner spirit into places that Coke and aspirin never could! Great, inward-turned intensity played (dare-I-say) beautiful guitar playing here, and it sure is done up a whole lot more directly than some of the more heralded acoustic stringbenders who had been getting alla that Windham Hill popularity these past few decades. Something tells me that if this record had been released in the mid/late-sixties it woulda been the soundtrack for a whole lotta inter-dorm oompah ifyaknowaddamean...
Various Artists-INCANTATIONS FOR TAPE LP and CD (Sound Miracle Recordings, available here)

I bought this one on a total lark and y'know pennies were spent rather tastily for once. As a collection of electronic music this succeeds what with a mix of the serious doritos and stale berets kinda sounds that were being cranked out since the forties (or even earlier as the cover suggests) as well as some interesting pop-oriented items, the most familiar of the batch being a track by Joe Meek's Blue Men. Lack of liner notes does make finding out a whole lot more about these composers and their wares rather  frustrating, but I'm sure a good internet search'll turn up the stories behind these very intriguing platters which sound extremely clear despite the expected feh-quality sound sources. Comes on transluscent grey vinyl as well as with an enclosed Cee-Dee copy, in case you wanna drive around with it playin' inna car and impress all the gals like Lester Bangs usedta do with METAL MACHINE MUSIC (or something like that).

Blood Quartet-UNTIL MY DARNKESS GOES LP (Feeding Tube Records)

's funny, but I never really cozied up to Don King, the trumpet-laden aggregation which some would say was Marc Cunningham's post-Mars claim to fame, but this effort done in the here and now with his Spanish group Blood Quartet, really moves me. Well, not to the point of addled ga-ga's, but it's still a fine jazz (as in Cunningham's solid trumpet lines) unto rock (fair enough avant musings with a rhythmic drive) music that really does get all of that bad eighties New York City kitchi-kitch politico-smarm usually associated with this kind of music outta my mind. Iberian references mix with late-seventies under-the-underground styles, drones and a mostly-instrumental ('cept for the drummer's weird whine-y wail) sound to create a music I never thought would have been possible. To make this even better there is a track named after (and undoubtedly dedicated to) the ULTIMATE self-generating musical genius know to one and all as "Jandek" and I dunno about you, but things like that make me feel all the happier inside!
Vector Command-SYSTEMS LP (Hozac Records)

Along with KSE and Feeding Tube, Hozac Records ranks as one top notch record label that seems a whole lot more plugged into my cranial capacities than most! The reason why is that they're devoted to the gnarlier edge of fun Amerigan punk rock concerns...the kinda punk rock they had before it was called new wave that eventually devolved into a tame kitten that could easily be stomped on by the big feet in the industry. The mere fact that they even released this forgotten gem by the post-Crime duo Vector Command is but one reason why Hozac is so "cooooooool", this electronic blur ain't some college boy dorm musical jagoff at all but exciting and at times driving pulse drone that fits in with the better portion of the new-unto-gnu wave music that soured things for more'n a few suburban slob chubs like myself. Straight-ahead rock 'n rollers will undoubtedly hate it, but given that maybe I have been known to veer from the paths set forth by the likes of Billy Miller perhaps I can admit to snuggling up to this at least during those more atonal moments in my life.
The Hot Doggers-SURFIN' USA CD-r burn (originally on Epic Records)

It's kinda strange, at least to this dim bulb, that a big label like Epic woulda released a quickie cash in album like this 'stead of an actual flesh and blood surf/instrumental platter by a real life act that coulda grown and grown into something that woulda been a whole lot more PROFITABLE for that particular company. Well, the Hot Doggers were about as fake as fanabla but at least these bozos, under the tutelage of Terry Melcher, put out a "there" exploitation surf platter that ranks with all of those ones you coulda found at the supermarket. Only this 'un would set you back a good three bucks 'stead of the ninety-nine cents that woulda got you one of those cheezoid imitations.

To fill out this particular Cee-Dee-Are, two of Melcher's single sides as "Terry Day" prove to be nothing other than just more celebrity children flopperoos, the kind that have plagued us for ages at least to the point where celebrities began hiding their children in dark closets. Don't believe what you've heard, these singles were probably the real reason Manson went after him!
Various Artists-MAGIC HOLLYWOOD ASCENSION BLUES CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Strange. Amidst the rather tasty seventies-era rock 'n roll gems (Third World War, Sharon Tandy, Kim Fowley as Lance Romance) are tracks by Louisianan country guy Bill Nettles who, although pretty tip top in his pre-Mandrell country style, sure breaks up the decadent mood the other records deliver bigtime on! Oh well, I like this guy when he and his Dixie Boys are romping through the blues to the point where they need to be force fed Citalopram. But the rock stuff really is fitting in with my own sense of seventies rockist supremacy what with Third World War's "Ascension Day" (which I do believe is that rare single-only take), Tandy's hard-rock drive and Fowley doing the Runaways fave a few years prior to the hit version! The Waldos (see last week's reviews) are also fine extrapolating on the Dolls/Heartbreakers sound without sounding like parody and even the Open Mind cap this off with a psychedelic gem which starts off like an old Hawkwind song! Good batch of bare-wired music there, and even Nettles fits in in his own downhome primal way!
Sheesh, you people DISAPPOINT me! Here I am sellin' all of those ginchy groovy BLACK TO COMM back issues and like are any of you out there rushing your orders in to fill up your very own rockism-barren brains with something other than Dave Lang? Sometimes you people SURPRISE me...for shame!


MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Gab is back, so all the Sieg Heil jackoffs who can’t go a day without screaming about Jews or whining about how women won’t give guys with swastika tattoos a chance have their home back. It wasn’t a matter of censorship, really, just the free market in action. Businesses dint want to get that Hitler stank all over them by dealing with crazy filth. Pure capitalism, and that’s that.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Yea, that right for some to offend me but me not to offend them can get rather confusing these days.