Saturday, December 29, 2018

Hi guy. Now that I've gotten my inner Chuck McCann outta the way lemme say that I had a nice enough (considering the fact that everything I have grown to love and cherish in this life, especially loads of toys is LONG GONE) Christmas. Personally I woulda had more fun if I celebrated it like the Japanese and got some Kentucky Fried Chicken, but I ain't complainin', at least that much.

I spent my holiday rather spiffy-like considering that I just can't get enough pure unadulterated and uninterrupted goof off time into my system these days. But I did make the best in order to keep my sanity straight and have a good thing that I did knowing that the nights were growing shorter and the jamz were dwindling down to a precious few was take Bill Shute's advice (more or less) and purchase the ENTIRE THIRTEEN ISSUE RUN of none other than the Marvel DENNIS THE MENACE comic books! It sure is kinda strange seeing Dennis being produced under the Marvel banner, but considering how Marvel went from that wildly chance-taking and exciting yet campy enough for the snobbier kids company of the sixties/early-seventies to the megamonster it turned into after Stan Lee went from being Editor-in-Chief to demigod what else would I have expected in between all that STAR WARS and ROM gunk they were tossing at us!

But sheesh, could you think of a better way to spend your cold winter nights'n snuggled up besides your own personal boom box listening to your own personal beyond-the-outre albums while reading old comics like these??? (Well of course you can, but we're talking about something that ain't "statutory" ifyaknowaddamean...) 'n really, nothing would make me feel happier than coming home from the Salt Mines some freezing winter's day and settling down with a stack of DENNIS THE MENACEs while playing Mahogany Brain, secure in the knowledge that a big snowstorm is about to hit the area and I won't have to go to work the next day just like when we wuz kidz 'n they closed school for a well-deserved if nature-caused break from those evil teachers and students I hadda contend with! In fact I kinda wish I could be snowed in for a good week or two (with enough handy snax to keep me alive) just so's I could spend even MORE time playing records and pouring through my massive collection of old comics, books, music and other remnants of a long-gone, but much better (hah!) time.

Some of the sagas that pop up in these titles ain't that menace-y---no Mr. Wilson skulls are to be seen, while others downplay the violent nature entirely what with Margaret trying to educate Dennis or Joey about something and failing miserably. But when the story does get going it gets going good enough to make these comics just as fun as those early-seventies Marvel reprints of fifties-era kid comics like LITTLE LIZZIE not to mention Stan Lee's own PETER THE LITTLE PEST swipe which outdoes DENNIS on all levels of typical tot-like terror imaginable! C'mon, you gonna sit in front of the boob tube for another viewing of CSI when you could be reading these???
Interesting turdbit of information that I thought I would pass on to you readers before I forget. Anyhoo, you've heard me rambling on about the French group Dagon, the crazed proto-somethingorother French early-seventies rock 'n roll groupthat was so legendary (even if their only recorded output was a four minute excerpt of an organ-based instrumental on the French underground rock box set entitled 30 YEARS OF MUSICAL INSURRECTION IN FRANCE) that the likes of Yves Adrien called them "the French Velvet Underground" way back during his I SING THE MUSIC ELECTRIC days. Well, after some serious internet digging and a look into the precious few shards of print items I have on them, I discovered that one of their members (along with French underground rock mainstay Patrick Vian) was none other than, now get this, J. D. Martignon of Midnight Records ripoff fame! Sheeeeesh!!!!! Still wanna hear more Dagon tho...maybe I will be able to forgive the guy for being such a Gallic Geek for at least part of his life!
Good 'nuff batch this week if I do say so myself (where have I heard that before???).  Gotta thank the usual culprits like Bill, Paul, and Feeding Tube for their wondrous donations as well as the unusual culprit Bob Forward since I found some of the wares he sent under stacks of long-forgotten flotsam wasting away in my bedroom! Big hefty thanks goes to PD Fadensonnen for this recent X-mas package which really made my December 25th a happier day'n usual! Take that Brad!!!!


Sheesh, what is this? Sounds kinda like some of those Art Ensemble of Chicago (pre Moye) workouts only with less of a jazz influence (until [of course!] the jazz influence makes its mark known thanks to some strong Roscoe Mitchell-esque saxophone) while a woman's voice can be heard in the background and darn if I can tell know what she's singing! She reminds me of that one chick on the first Mahogany Brain album, not only because MB is my current over-play fave this week but there's that strange sense that what she's singing is supposed to be urgent but in no way can I discern if this is true due to the lack of clarity. (Kinda like that previous sentence!!!) That's some interesting Joseph Jarman clarinet in there as well...don't tell me this wasn't recorded with those Arista/Freedom sessions in mind!

That was just platter #1...the second one has flute (can't discern if its Mitchell or Jarmanesque) and more circular-breathing horn marathons that, like the real deal, sorta encircle your mind and sucks you in like music did back when you were young and didn't know any better. Well, I'll tell ya one thing and that is that Crazy Dobermans are a whole lot more soul-reaffirming than PETER AND THE WOLF ever was!

Both slabs are of the totally anarchistic, crazed soundscapading variety. I'll be you could find yourselves copies without much internet effort.
Dire Wolves-PARADISIACAL MIND LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Well whaddaya know! Hippoids do good on this new Feeding Tube release not only with a cover that reminds me of late-sixties ESP-Disk at their most psychowhatsis, but a sound that doesn't come off like no back porch jug band get-together nohow! It's kinda nice and dreamy but not karmik...maybe something like PHALLUS DEI-era Amon Duul II without the Zappafied inserts or even some of those more outta the way German records of the early-seventies like Emtidi's SAAT without the folk references. I'm sure there are even some Amerigan acts of the day I could name drop as well. Nice instrumental repeato riff music to sink your spirit into while female voices coo above it all---not as bad as that may sound either!
Black Unity Trio-AL-FATIHAH CD-r burn (originally on (Salaam Records)

I know that there are more than a good share of self-released freedom jazz albums out there that one can shake a stick at, but here's a platter that I've never heard of so it must be a lulu! The Black Unity Trio play like Archie Shepp in a studio even cheaper than the ones he recorded those BYG albums in, coming up with an effort that equals the best of the NMDS catalog only this one woulda been sold out by the time you decided to order it. Dunno who this Yusef Mumin guy is (he being the definitely post-Coltranesque alto saxophonist) but the fact that he never did reach the upper echelons of avant jazz hosannas proves something about life that I'm afraid has to be proved before I check outta the mortal spring we call life.
EARLY KRAFTWERK LIVE '70/'71 four CD-r set burn

If someone woulda told me in 1975 that I woulda spent the Christmas of 2018 listening to Kraftwerk I probably woulda believed 'im. If he said 1980 I woulda said no way Charlie but here I actually am in Christmas 2018 and like, my 1975 inclinations were totally right after all!

Three of the four disques in this burn courtesy Mr. Fadensonnen himself I have not heard. The fourth, the Bremen FM show, has been goin' 'round for a long time but so what because it remains perhaps the best early Kraftwerk recording extant. Totally powerful hard rock guitar gunch with the band  kicking out guitar-laden jams the way I like it. If these guys were trying for "The New Velvet Underground" title that more'n a few fans of the day were anxious in discovering for their very own I'd say they had a good shot at it, at least as good as Mahogany Brain, Mirrors, the Dolls, the Modern Lovers and early Siouxsie not forgetting a few thou other bands who somehow put that old canard about the Velvets never having been the popular or influential act that gonzo rockscribes have claimed they were in the first place (and believe me, I've heard it many times first-hand) to its proper rest.

One disc has the Hutter/Schneider line-up with Dinger, the other three are Schneider and Neu, all surpassing previous hopes that these guys were worth every bit of attention being laid upon 'em by Lester Bangs. In all, four shows in their entirety that you really can wrap your prehensile brain around and ooze into as the music was meant to be rock 'n roll that just happens to be played by a buncha Teutonic geniuses but better they perform such guttural sounds as this than build concentration camps.

But in all earnestness, I sure would like to hear that early version of "Autobahn" that was mentioned in some old issue of EUROCK, the one which was described as sounding nada like the famed hit of yore and in fact some strange if welcome collaboration between Karlheinz Stockhausen and the Stooges! I might have mentioned this before. It all seems so hazy...
THE GURUS ARE HEAR! CD-r burn (originally on Sundazed Records)

These guys never did make it to actual LOOK, WE GOT AN ALBUM OUT! status, but that doesn't mean they're feh-like 'r anything. It just means that they were yet another group with not-quite fleshed out ideas and a shallow usage of mideast hip kitsch in the right places that got 'em noticed inna first place. Pop rock which coulda risen to some cheap though fun NUGGETS styled outta the way charmer but mostly it's just something that we never shoulda missed even if it never really affected us like the Seeds or Stooges did.
Various Artists-SHAZAM! AND OTHER INSTRUMENTALS WRITTEN BY LEE HAZLEWOOD CD-r burn (originally on Ace Records, England)

's sure good to give these early Hazelwood productions a go on this lonesome Sunday morn when such music seems to have such a profound effect on the brain snapping. Might be a little too slick for some of you instrumental fans who like it down 'n Link Wray dirty, but I can sure appreciate the powerful guitar driven tracks that sure made the soundtrack for more'n a few baby-boomer-era teenage thrills. Personal faves include Duane Eddy's "Shazam!" which got my ten-year-old rock appreciation a'poppin' when I first heard it via the Dick Clark motion picture vehicle BECAUSE THEY'RE YOUNG plus various Astronauts/Challengers/Ventures efforts that sure make me wish I was born a good ten-fifteen years earlier than I was so's I coulda gotten in on the action first hand like!
Various Artists-READY JAN-JAN DUDE ENCHANTER CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Anudder one of those can go anywhere (and maybe even do anything!) Bill Burns which present a nice slice of down home somethingorother to help pass the time away. It won't make you kill your neighbor (drat!) but it still will put a smirk on your face what with such hotcha instrumentals as Grant Green's "Jan Jan" not to mention the mooshy tit-squeezer "Enchanted Love". I personally went nuts for the Dude Ranchers' country rockin' instrumentals which, with a little rigging here and there, coulda been hotcha late-fifties rock 'n roll chart entries. One quibble---why does utter lounge schmooze like Ike Quebec's "Me 'n' You" hafta be stuck inna mix and ruin the mood anyway???
Oh, did I ever tell you that there are many unsold old issues of BLACK TO COMM still available? Didn't think so. Go do your doody in keeping Western Civilization capsized.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris

Concerning DAGON , Gilles Yepremian said in an interview last year : " Yes, a live k7 exists, a gig in Nantes, which i have recorded if my memory serves well. The song from "30 ans..." comes from there. I know that when Fille qui mousse was released, serge Vincendet from monster melodies rds met Dominique Lentin(jean pierre's brother) and offered him to release an album. Sadly, Dominique didn't find this recording."

I hope that my translation is not too bad. That interview comes from the book "Agitation frite" by Philippe Robert. The book consists of interviews/pictures by many french undeground musicians/activists From late 60's till now. 3 volumes exist. There's a lot of information on Mahogany brain too. It's a goldmine .

Always a pleasure to read your blog.
A l'année prochaine