Saturday, December 08, 2018

I know that quite a few of you reg'lar readers might not have the cognitive abilities to do so, but if any of you are able maybe you'll see from this exhaustive and (admittedly) blow-hardy post that I've been...shall I say... keeping busy! Yeah, there sure was a lotsa records and gunk to write up this week, and as usual lots of things for motormouth me to say because well...why not? And, as you might have guessed, I sure had a lotta fun DOIN' it up even if the odds of anywhere from 10-20 people reading this schpiel might be chancing it a li'l too high, but so what---I gotta say that this is about as FUN as those kiddie science projects which ended up blasting the entire school to smithereens, and what healthy minded brat wouldn't go for THAT especially if the principal was locked in the basement!!!
One thing that I've been up to as of late has been doin' a bit of DAYDREAMING, and not the kind you think I'm doing ifyaknowaddamean... It helps with the reviews, it helps me sleep at night (hmmmmmm...maybe it is the kind you think I'm doing!) and sometimes boy do I come up with a whole load of whoppin' good ideas that I wish I could turn into COLD HARD CASH if I only had the ability to flesh 'em into actual moolah-making product. Like f'rinstance, I recently was thinking about that horrid nineties-era tee-vee series called THE WONDER YEARS and just how unreal it was in its portrayal of baby-boomer kids and the world around them in the, when I was a good ten years old NOBODY I knew would consider kissing a gal let alone onna lips, and we weren't as sexually savvy and know-it-all about life as those teleplay writers made us sixties-bred and buttered kids out to be. After all, Hollywood is a long way from the real world.

I have a better idea, a highlariously FUNNY (remember that word?) take on those days...title unknown at presstime...but the results would obviously be quite outrageous and despite the overdone plots still way closer to the suburban slob aspects of growing up the way I and people around me did. An ASUNDER YEARS so to speak featuring these under-the-audio/visual club types doing over-the-top stoopid things just like WE used to do and you actually get to see their parents WALLOP 'em just like in real life!

One proposed episode had these doofy kids meeting in the woods behind the drive in theater one Friday night to see some hot "adults only" kinda flick. and although they remembered to bring the binoculars they forgot the Vaseline and get chased out by that fat redneck whose land they were on! But it doesn't matter anyway because all the good stuff was matted out. Another one has the guys being invited over to a friend's house so they can have some fun beating up and tossing this girl they hate down the stairs in a sly variation on the old Sylvia Likens story! All played for laffs, of course, sorta like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER filtered through Charles Addams or better yet Charles Rodrigues! Boy, I could sure think up a lotta gags for that 'un! I might think up a few more proposals but sheesh, if I could only get this one going it's sure gonna be Emmy time, dontcha think? Oh, I keep forgetting---I'm not a lesbian!
And like, what else have I been doody dooin' these past few weeks you might (but probably won't) ask? Well, for one thing I've been undergoing one major, Herculean task that I've been trying to avoid like Melbournites and that's ORGANIZING MY RECORD COLLECTION SO IT HAS SOME SEMBLANCE OF ORDER TO IT! Well, the organizing part is what I'd call rather minimal so far where I'm segregating my twelve-inch platters into nine count 'em categories; bootlegs, albums that would have popped up in the import bins until the late-seventies, krautrock, classic-era Zappa and related (this one does cross-over with the import bin category making for some confusion), sixties (and early-seventies) garage band collections, classical avant garde, freedom (and related) jazz, records I will be playing shortly and those I probably never will play again or at least won't be playing as often as---say---SWEET SISTER RAY. I've been having fun doing this not only finding old tyme favorites that deserve another go at it but even a few platters I haven't played yet, so expect a whole bunch of surprise reviews to pepper up this blog as the months progress, unless I lose these platters in the shuffle again...

Naturally I do tend to throw myself into fun projects like this, and boy does the re-discovery of these friends of mine as I've called 'em then and now dredge up the ol' memories. Like man, do I flash back forty-plus years when I pull out, say, that copy of Tim Buckley's LORCA which I had been looking for endlessly until chancing about a copy in the dollar rack at a Cleveland record shop, or remember the heavy sadness and loss of hope in life (and, as it turns out, I WAS RIGHT!) when coming across another fave that was purchased during one of MANY less-than-happy times in my existence. Some of these reminiscences do bring back a tear or two, but then again all I have to do is take a swig of NyQuil and everything is mellow down fine.

But sheesh, all I gotta say is that if you hadda same kinda life to lead like I did I'll bet you so-called stalwarts wouldn't have been able to make it through kindergarten ALIVE! Now I know what Eddie Haskell meant when he said that you'd think differently (about life, music, the core of your very being) if you'd been pushed around as much as he was! And now I really know why Eddie Haskell was perhaps the only real, true to life character to make his way to the cathode connection ever! Wish me luck...I might find yet another wowzer that I never had the energy to open up back when I picked it up at some warehouse flea market a good few decades back!
Wanna talk about something a little more timely, and somewhat controversial? Well, although it's already a few weeks old howzbout the fact that ALL OF A SUDDEN viewers have noticed that Franklin, the black kid from the ol' PEANUTS gang, sits to one side at the Thanksgiving table while the rest hover across the way during the infamous A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING tee-vee special! Not only that, but Franklin has to suffer the indignity of sitting on a foldaway chair while the rest ('cept for Marcie on the folding chair) are seated on nice sturdy hardwood dining room table chairs! Sheesh, I caught on to the very same things that many observers seemingly just discovered back when this one first hit the tube '73 way! Come to think of it so did everyone else watching along with me catch this what is now called a "microaggression" and of course we were sayin' to each other stuff like "Well, looks like Franklin's sitting by himself...I wonder why?" snicker snortle playing dumb and all. Well, you know why...the same reason the Cabin Kids hadda sleep in their own room at the orphanage in that one Educational Pictures short of theirs. And howzbout the time the Little Rascals were on that train and Stymie hadda sleep with Petey? (Personally I thought Stymie got lucky---I mean, I always wanted Sam to sleep with me because we all loved our dogs so much and wanted to be with them all the time!) Or better yet that one black cowhand in OF MICE AND MEN who had his own shack with a "nice view of the dungheap!" Sheesh, you have to knock people over the head sometimes before the ol' reality sets into 'em!

It's strange that what I caught immediately is like all of a sudden a hot topic which goes to show ya that even in this age of flash and instant information at our fingertips it takes some people forty-five years to notice the obvious. Maybe Franklin's seating was accepted as a "given" for all these years, but nowadays NOTHING goes by the self-appointed moral guardians meaning that it's ALL gonna go down (all the good stuff we grew up with, that is!) more sooner than later. But hey, howcum nobody says anything about Franklin slapping Charlie Brown "five" and Charlie Brown looking on in total befuddlement? Now, that's more racially divisive than where Franklin got seated if ya ask moi!

And while we're at it. howcum the sudden controversy (via the who else but HUFFINGTON POST) o'er the RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER special, one which I remember seeing as it debuted that wintery 1964 Sunday evening (my dad was tutoring this college kid and we had him for roasted wieners and beans cooked up in the basement rec room before us kidz trodded upstairs to watch the thing. I even remember that tall elf with the glasses hawking various Norelco electric razors during the commercial breaks, something that was cut out of every other viewing as far as I can recall!). Sheesh, it seems as if nothing old and mid-twentieth century and ranch house living is exempt from the scrutiny of the powers that be who have taken over the old nosy reform league type roles dictating what is and isn't good for us because well, they naturally know better because they're better looking! Well, what other explanation do you have as to why these lofty ones are so eager to tell the rest of us what to do! What's next...segregated rock 'n roll groups???
Enough. Here are the writeups of recordings you've been drooling away like a boxer puppy for. Thanks again goes to Bill Shute, Feeding Tube Records and Whatshisname McGarry for the freebees which really helped because hey, I didn't have to pay for any one of 'em this time around! Really helps out on the ol' pocketbook, especially during this time of year when people expect me to dish out money for them so they can have an excuse to like me, or something like that.

Takiji Naka/Tim Olive-QUINCE CD-r (Kendra Steiner Editions, see link on left for more information)

Having completed undergoing some experimental pile surgery this afternoon I found this release to have been the perfect soundtrack for what went on in my nether regions. Electronic drones compete with in-between the beat throbs for a good half hour of experimental music you might be able to enter into, mentally that is. As with these new under-the-counter sound collage offerings this is a bit hard for a neophyte like me to describe, but anyone who has been in on the New Music game since finding some old Max Neuhaus platter at the used record shop and playing it to bits should be able to appreciate the efforts of KSE star Olive and co-inspirationist Naka with more'n just mere aplomb!
Arkm Foam-BLOODROOT SPITBALL LP (Feeding Tube Records, available here)

There have been tape manipulators (or as I like to say, "tape mangipulators") around at least since John Cage produced "Williams Mix" if not earlier, but this guy has got 'em all beat! Well, not really but this Arkm Foam person does do some interesting things with the old ferrous oxide coated thin slip of plastic that many similar-minded yet feeble attempts (including my own 1978 excursion using radio and the sounds of Brioschi bubbling in a glass!) failed miserably at. It definitely rates as more'n just plain ol' "interesting", especially on side two when Foam ventures onto the streets of Boston and mixes his sounds in with the natural goings on including sirens and a crying baby! One of these days you're gonna wonder why you didn't think of this yourself!
CLIMAX LANDERS LP (Feeding Tube Records)

When I saw the cover of this 'un I thought it was gonna be yet another one of those goofy neo-Velvets type of groups who seem to have taken most of their cues from late-seventies Talking Heads and the Feelies and other eighties pop takes rather than WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT. Wrong again, for Climax Landers are a fairly good variation on the old three guys/one gal precocious and forward looking kinda rock acts we've been inundated with for the past four decades only done up with some interesting lyrical and musical moves that keep my attention going, at least for a short spell. Songs about Muslims tend to make my ears perk up does this poem the group's singer recites on side two, and although the specter of "twee" might wanna slip into your own personal psyche, it certainly doesn't want to slip into mine.
Meade "Lux" Lewis-ALTERNATE TAKES, LIVE PERFORMANCES, SOUNDIES ETC. CD-r burn (originally on Document Records)

This album (well, two album set) honed down to a single disque sure reminds me of that Red Allen Merritt Record Society double-header I reviewed a few months back. That is, this set takes various radio broadcasts, film appearances, fragments and outtakes and slaps 'em together sorta like one of those old bootlegs you and I used to treasure back inna seventies. I'm sure the album cover neatly denotes where all of these tracks came from and so forth just like all of these nice packages should. And, in between the radio announcments and listening to James Stewart trying to order a martini or at least trying to find a guy named Martini there's some really toe-tapping boogie woogie blues piano here that proves that those "nostalgic" kinda days we all were bombarded with during the early-seventies weren't all Kay Kyser!
Southern Culture on the Skids-ZOMBIFIED CD-r burn (originally on Cortex Records)

Like most of these punkabilly platters, ZOMBIFIED is good for one spin before slipping your copy back into the collection next to Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers. However, that one spin you'll give this 'un will be a more'n joyous occasion around your stereo system if only for Southern Culture's snat usage of various hotcha late-fifties forms that don't sound THAT bad updated for modern geek consumption. Even if you go for those tuffer late-eighties-and-on updates like the Mummies you'll probably love this particular effort to no end, at least before you forget all about it like I tend to do.

Prob'ly a Bomp! issue of some sort, but whatever the origin of this specie is well, it's a good 'un. Frankly I tried avoiding a good portion of the late-seventies under-the-counterculture days going for the "punk rock" (whether that be in an early-seventies CREEM mode or not) bands that came off what I would call "giddy", and these gals were no exception. Nowadays I find their style of pop to be rather smooth going and easy on the nerves, even at a time when for all practical purposes I want something that snizzles the nodes just like Pere Ubu was wont to do so long ago. Straightforward punky pop sound that were considered extremely verboten by the FM AOR dolts...even this life-reaffirming stew...which only goes to show ya just how far into the ol' colon the radio listening fans in the Youngstown Ohio area were willing to stick their heads deep into back when this stuff was guaranteed to save us ALL!
The Astronauts-COMPETITION COUPE CD-r burn (originally on RCA Records)

When the Astronauts were imitating the vocal harmonies bein' done up by the big guns on the surf set they did come off kinda Johnny Come Lately, but when they stuck to their instrumental and definitely non-Beach Boys styled sounds they weren't bad at all! These totally forgotten guys (well, you ask somebody who the Astronauts were and they'l probably answer you with "Neil Armstrong" or "Tony Nelson" if not "Tom (yech!) Hank") sure do swell as RCA's attempt to get in on the whole surf/hot rod game, and perhaps it isn't too bad they never did go as far as they shoulda because well...maybe someone inna eighties woulda done a gloppy TV movie about 'em if they did and you know how bad that woulda been!
Jesse Malin-NEW YORK BEFORE THE WAR CD-r burn (originally on One Little Indian Records)

Malin's been around for ages, and just for that maybe he should be given some testimonial dinner complete with a slice of vein-y roast beef!  Anyway, this 2015 platter shows Malin in more of an introspective singer/songwriter mood than as a rocker, kinda sounding something like what I would've expected James Taylor to come up with had his connection been a few hours late. No, it's not that bad but it is kind of a downer with all of those slow songs that are bound to put a frown on even Mr. Roger's face. You might like it and I might love some of Malin's other efforts, but boy did I wish I coulda checked into McLean Hospital for a few months after giving this one a listen!
The Cute Lepers-SMART ACCESSORIES CD-r burn (originally on Damaged Goods Records)

Nothin' cute about this '09 hodgepodge of every pop punk riff and move that I've been hearing these past fortysome years that got me more Quinlan'd out than Sominex! Mebbe a few moments wander into late-seventies expressionism that sounded so fresh next to BT Express, but for the most part this just reeks of the same ol' pampered upper-middle class school kid sounds that made me think hey, maybe Chuck Eddy was right after all! (Just kidding!!!!)
Dinah Lee-THE VIKING RECORDINGS 1964-1967 CD-r burn

For being a talented kinda gal in New Zealand making local versions of international hits for the local population, Dinah Lee did a better job of it than I would have expected from a mere female. Still slick and girl-y, but her vocalese isn't anything that would make you sick and if you had heard it onna radio way back when you wouldn't've turned it off just like I wouldn't've unless I was on the search for a fave like "Simon Says"! I understand that she was pretty popular over there, but given how most people couldn't even spot New Zealand on a map it's no wonder why she never gained any fame (that I know of ) north of the equator. I might be presumptuous, but people like you just might lap this up!
Various Artists-HUNDRED-DOLLAR SNOWFALL CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Izzat Bill Shute on the cover? Hope not (and I don't think so, even though he is a "wise-cracker"), but whoever it is ought to be ashamed! Laid back instrumentals meet weirdo commercial rock and soul talkovers in yet another one of those incongruous Bill-burns. A track from the Sally Starr space album shows up giving us at least some interesting kiddie-fun styled entertainment while I dunno wha' th' heck that "Million Dollar Weekend" thing is supposed to be what with the sexy coo-ing and all. At least the easy listening numbers had me flashed back to a 1960s where I'm some old hi-fi nut in his knotty pine rec room listening to the local FM station with headphones on and doors locked so the nervy wife doesn't go interrupt my pleasure to have me do the dishes or something equally un-hi-fi nut like!
Remember those little ads in MAD magazine for glossy Alfred E. Neuman snaps? Remember how year after year they hadda think up new, funny and interesting little blurbs in order to get those dumbfounded readers to buy a few? And remember just how long those ads ran givin' ya the impression that selling Alfred E. Neuman glossies was not as easy as it seemed? Well, here at BLACK TO COMM headquarters I sure know what a struggle it can be getting rid of all my available back issues, that's fo' sure! Not to mention think up clever come-ons just so's you'll buy a bunch. C'mon, think of all the hard effort I have to put in week after week in order to coax you guys into getting hold of these fantastic fanzines and at least pick up a few....pleeeeze?

1 comment:

Jay Dobis said...

I just saw your review of Ugly Things #49. For cool Turkish Psych:
HAVA NARGHILE (released in 2001 on Bacchus Archives) is the best initiation into this stuff (and I put the comp together. Some but not all is on YT). More stuff: Erkin Koray - Elektronik Türküler/Üç Hürel/Bariş Manço – Ben Bilirim/Molğollar live at Fitaş on YT and 2 different CDs called Anadolu Pop/Selda (Bağcan) (best female psych. For a few years now she’s been backed by the great Israeli band Boom Pam. There’s a live album from a few years ago. And her ‘70s stuff is still in print on her Turkish label)/Ersen/Edip Akbayram/Uzelli Psychedelic Anadolu (CD comp released a year or so ago. A ‘70s-‘80s label in Germany for Turks)/Love Peace and Poetry (comp)/Cem Karaca/Grup Bunalim/Baba Zula (current band led by co-leader of ZeN, a band I managed in the ‘90s. ZeN’s best album was recorded live at Bakırköy mental hospital)Replikas (their 3rd album “Avaz” is an amazing psych album. They also released an album of covers of great Turk rock from the ‘70s that was released in the U.S. on Dionysus Records: “Biz Burada Yok Iken.”/ Orhan Seyfi Çelik released a great album in the ‘80s called “Turkish Delight.” (I got my copy from Jello Biafra)/Mavi Işıklar (great ‘60s beat)/The Ringo Jets (current band. Their song “Spring of War” is about the Gezi Park protest in 2013. Also listen to “Children of the Revolution,” “Trippin’/ “Heart Full of Soul”/ two current Euro bands doing this stuff: Altın Gun and Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek/ Napalm Victims – ah uh oh (‘70s Turkish punk)/ Fikret Kızılok & Tehlikeli Madde (Fikret also put a folk masterpiece “Zaman Zaman” that is unlike anything else I’m mentioning/ V.A.: Turkish Ladies 60s 70s (recent release)/ Zaher Dilek – Süpürgesi yoncadan/ Kamuran Akkor ‘70s pop icon (collection released a few years ago/
Okay Temiz – the most famous Turkish jazz musician (live album with Don Cherry and recorded with some great musicians in the ‘70s in Scandinavia, particularly SEVDA and ORIRNTAL WIND.
For traditional Turk (saz players): Arif Sağ (some killer stuff from ‘70s)/Neşet Ertaş/Ali Akber Çiçek/
Much of these guys have been re-released in recent years or can be heard on Youtube.