Saturday, May 25, 2019

It feels great cruising (no, not that!) into that thing we all call OBLIVION with the kinda high-energy, no-holds-barred music that we like playing the SOUNDTRACK TO OUR OTHERWISE MISERABLE EXISTENCES! And hey, I got a whole lotta these sounds as you will see below. Much to your derision I did have a pretty good time of it spinnin' the platters that I will talk about this week, and for that matter I gotta say that life in general has been rather enjoyable what with the bevy of total eruption kultur in the form of music, reading matter and tee-vee visual/aural stimulation that's been fortifying my ever-budding existence. It ain't like the way I used to feel entering into any record shop or department store bin (or flea market or garage sale for that matter) back when I was but a youngster discoverin' the eternal magic of these sounds for the first time, but if I try I can eke out a few orgones of happiness that remind me of those past thrill chills. Now only if I was still in that adolescent pimple pudge of a body that I got stuck with, belt-waist pustules and all---boy will the effect be just perfect!
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If any of ya get those weird off-brand kinda cable tee-vee outlets yer way, you might wanna try to feast your eyes upon the GETTIT one. Not that you're exactly the kinda guy who's in the market for a Shark vacuum cleaner or wanna get rid of that crepey skin, but during their "off hours" 'r whatever they're called Gettit has been airing some old tee-vee shows worthy of yer attention if not adulation. Just recently I got the opportunity to catch (via block airing!) the earliest episodes of THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES which does clear up a few things about who's who and what's what (when I was a kid I had the idea that Jed and Granny were married and that Jethro and Ellie May were brother and sister!), plus just this past Sunday morning I tuned in to find a few episode of THE LUCY SHOW which really brought back them old feelings, 'specially the ones where I have that imminent fear of the science test I have to take the next day but why bother studying because I'm gonna fail the thing anyway!

Gettit's also airing PETTICOAT JUNCTION which never was my idea of tippy top sixties tee-vee sitcom fun, but it's sure better'n anything that's on these days! Besides what can you say about the first Amerigan tee-vee series with IMPLIED female nudity which is why all ya young boys got them "funny feelings" when ya saw them gals pop up from that water tower!!!! Hubba hubba, but that's ALL yer gonna get...this 'un's even more wholesome than the Osmond Family Christmas Special followed up by the best of STAND UP AND CHEER! Still, PETTICOAT JUNCTION is worthy of a good re-visit because hey, maybe those cornball memories we had were kinda misplaced considerin' alla the hot competition that was goin' on in boob toob land back when the cathode ruled the airwaves!
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Meanwhile, there is no truth to the rumor that
Fran Lebowitz will play Shemp Howard in the new
THREE STOOGES revival.

The record (re)-release situation ain't that bad what with all of the recent dig ups to be found with relative ease such as the Les Rallizes Denudes double header reviewed below. Unfortunately, even though there are plenty of fresh releases out there that any healthy rockist type would need in there collections, something (mainly guts) is keeping me from buying many of these tempting platters. Not that I wouldn't want to hear something like, say, the Electric Funeral Cee-Dee that has just been unleashed upon us, but at this point in time paying an exorbitant about of moolah for a platter that might only satisfy one in part instead of en toto ain't anything that I'm looking forward to during these oft money scrunched days. Dollars to doughnuts I'm probably not gonna live long enough to really saturate myself into said release the way I should, especially since I already have thousands of recordings in my collection that I'm still trying to saturate myself into so why clutter up the situation even more!

Here in 2019 it's kinda like it was a good fortysome years back when I would prowl the record bins at flea markets wondering whether I should part with fifty cents for that JUMP album because of the presence of future Stooge Scott Thurston and figuring out that I better keep the dough in case I can find something I KNOW I'm gonna like a few aisles down. And of course I never did, and of course I ended up kicking myself for passing on Jump inna first place. But man, after years of buying recordings which mostly moil away in the collection I have become skittish regarding parting with my hard-begged as of late. And like, how many years does this soul have on the planet to enjoy all of the worthy music to be had and to its fullest? Sheesh, I better get on that health kick and add a few decades to my life lest I end up on one of those life support machines at the local rest home that smells so bad even the cats wouldn't pee there!

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And in a week just brimmin' fulla surprises the biggest one just hadda be the latest Brad Kohler package which, besides coming with a nice li'l letter, contained two Cee-Dee-Are burns ("on loan"---right!) of not only the relatively recent (pre-Sleazy Pete Christopherson croak) live re-do of THE SECOND ANNUAL REPORT but a rather hotcha pre-manipulated original recording of the group's 1981 Los Angeles gig which I recall had at least one NY ROCKER (or was it TAKE IT!?) crit spewing forth reams of WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT unto Red Crayola comparisons until he was blue in the ol' moosh. That's a good enough tip (considerin' this was reviewed in the pre-Velvets/Crayola as chic stepping stones on that eternal road to amerindie nerdo music) as the show holds up plenty well almost four decades after the fact like all the hot, energetic and downright caustic sounds of the Golden Age of Pure Skronk does. The live re-do of SECOND holds up rather snat-ly as I wouldn't have expected such a blatant tribute as this would, though the sound quality is too perfect for me to enjoy next to the total mud of the original. Still, it's enough to form that big lump in the ol' gullet, but that's not do to your emotional situation as it is to the fact that this music is powerful enough to create a tumor in your very throat!
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Feeding Tube, Bill, Paul and my own financial situation are responsible for the following. You might find something worthy of scrutiny within the following words...


Les Rallizes Denudes + Be-THERE'S NO HEAVEN LIKE HELL 2-LP set (Alternative Fox Records)

Given the dearth of Les Rallizes Denudes recordings these past umpteen years a new entry into the canon like this is most welcome. On this 1975 double-set we get Denudes leader Mizutani stretching out on his guitar with "Be", a synthesiser player of some renown,  the latter making some mighty sitar-like wails on his machine which Mizutani so effortlessly plays around. It makes for some great, almost-Krauty music that can remind ya of everything from those Neu! rehearsals to some Family Dog tribal gathering circa late-1966. By LP #2 a bass guitarist and drummer pop into the mix playing rather nonchalantly along with the pair adding a beat that coulda been created by yer kid brother and his friend circa age twelve, but the primal nature only adds to the carnage of it all. For having to wait so long, it was sure worth it!

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Lydia Lunch-"Frankie Teardrop"/Suicide-"Frankie Teardrop, The Detective, Meets the Space Alien" 10-inch 33 rpm single (Blast First Petite, England)

Tried in vain to get hold of this back when Blast First was celebratin' Alan Vega's big seventy, and frankly I am surprised that this particular entry in the Suicide 10-inch record series was still available at a relatively inexpensive price!  Side "a"'s got Lydia Lunch's version of the infamous Suicide showstopper which fits the bill as far as these tribute kinda things go, but the real deal with this efforts's on the flip which contains a 1976 "demo" for an early version of "Frankie" which has Our Hero as a private shamus paid to pull a hit on an alien by the CIA and at a race track at that! The music riffs over and over like the more familiar version while Vega builds up the tension with his abstract tale of impending violence and a space trip I'm sure Frankie'll never forget! As you'd expect this 13-minute epic makes me want moremoreMORE which I hope comes once all those old tapes are polished  up and made presentable for people like us who don't CARE what kinda condition this music is in!

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Various Artists-SELECTIONS FROM ARLINGTON RECORDS (BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA) CD-r burn

Here's a country-unto-rock 'n roll platter that had me swinging more'n John Holmes during one of his less excited moments. Dunno why this Arlington label ain't remembered a whole lot more fondly, but they sure had a hotcha roster filled with acts that were more'n apt to take the Western Swing and gussy it up for teenage consumption. Some mighty good acts here like David Hiser singin' the Union Blues on "On Strike" while Chuck Wesley sounds kinda like Henry Aldrich in the middle of a Peter Abelard imitation, post operation that is. Best of all is Sue Golden who sounds like she's but a mere six or so singin' it up like she was a grown woman of at least ten! All you budding Roman Polanskis please take notice!
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The Velvet Underground-"Heroin"/"Femme Fatale" 45 rpm single (bootleg)

Nice clear, thick vinyl unfortunately does not house any rare 1967 Velvet Underground sides but the same 1972 Bataclan tracks that have been floating around the tape trading and bootleg circuits for many a year. As if yer expectin' something new and exciting to come outta the Velvet Underground trashcan this late in the game despite the loads of music that has been discovered and has been promised to us for eons on end? Yeah, I guess that I am OBVIOUSLY that stoopid!
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SPIRAL WAVE NOMADS LP (Feeding Tube Records)

For about a minute into plunking the needle down on the vinyl I had the strange suspicion this was gonna sound like one of those old Jerry Garcia solo albums where every member of the Marin County Mafia got to do their own little part no matter how humble it may be (well, not really...) but hey, this outta nowhere effort is a whole lot better'n that. Not quite the sappy lovey dovey hippoid effort one might take it to be even though the overdubs of guitars and sitar give this a rather lush sound...in fact it's movingly INTENSE and really envelops you into whatever universe this music is destined to go. Think of psychedelia from the second era when Amon Duul II were recording those double albums filled with maddening mantras and you'll get the drift. So good that the sitar sounds don't even recall those episodes of DRAGNET when Friday and Gannon would bust in on some tripping hippies who thought they were hallucinating the whole sordid affair.
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Small Faces-RARITIES CD-r burn (originally on Line Records, Germany)

I remember when that Small Faces album on Pride hit the local bins back inna seventies and was wond'rin exactly what these Small Faces hadda do with the Faces who were currently tearin' up the charts with hits like "Stay With Me" etc. Ah memories...but anyway I'm sure that had I plucked down my hard-begged to get hold of that album I woulda been bored by what exactly transpired within the grooves thinking one thing (hard, unbridled rock) and hearing something not exactly up my rather expansive alley.

All these years later I get the same impression that I woulda had back then...good single sides in an English take on Amerigan soul music. But far from going over any hurdles to get to that ultimate high that can be found not only in the original soul sides, but in many other English acts that could take the basics and build on 'em in their own provincial ways. This goes from A to B and back when an act like, say, the Troggs could start with A and head right for Z and then stop at any letter of the alphabet they care to with relative elan. Not bad, but it could have been done a whole lot smarmier.
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Various Artists-TEMPORARY BLUE FOREVER ON A STRING CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

A nice selection of Bill booty to keep da blooze away. Besides the obvious tips of the hats to humor (the Muolo-Savliate Showband medley of mid-sixties English-bred hits bein' just one of 'em!) this has got some mighty fine musical mulch to mosey about. Besides a couple of free jazz rarities from Joe McPhee and Cooper-Moore (the former who I have heard of, the latter not) Bill put on a good piece of late-sixties British psych pop worthy of those PICCADILLY SUNSHINE tracks I reviewed last week (Spectrum), some fairly good home-produced teen pop from the Responsible Teenagers and a whole lotta Indian-styled moom pitcher soundtrack guaranteed to help you digest your curry. And the thing ends with a rare pre-hit Romantics track that you'd probably have to pay big bux for these days if you want it in its original form. Thanks to Bill I saved A LOTTA MONEY and if he could only help out with the grocery bills life would be a whole lot more sweet around here than it is!
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My eighth-grade teacher told me (in front of the entire class too!) that I would never amount to anything in my oh-so miserable life! So far she's been right, but if you would be the kinda guy willing to (and I do hope so), why dontcha buy some of these BLACK TO COMM back issues not just so's you could prove the ol' biddy wrong, but so's you can make me a richer kinda guy! If she's alive and finds out, boy will she just die!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! WHEN G-MEN STEP IN STARRING DON TERRY, JACQUELINE WELLS AND ROBERT PAIGE (Columbia, 1938)

A pretty good hour crank out from the usually reliable Columbia Studios. Fred Farth is running a highly profitable phone racket operation that's really drawin' in the bucks, but things suddenly take a strange turn when baby brother Bruce comes back after graduatin' stool only he ain't a lawyer like was planned, but a G-Man tryin' to put exactly these kinda phonus balonus operations outta biz fer good! Farth (Don Terry) isn't sweatin' it up too much considerin' how the guy has the brains to keep the rackets goin' and placate his still inna-dark brother, but when situations arise and Bruce gets a few more hints (and evidence scammed from trashbins) things obviously come to a tension-packing head.

Can't complain a bit as this type of moom pitcher satisfies me here in the dawn of the boring twenties (or thereabouts in case I decide to post this 'un a li'l earlier) as it did my grandparents when it was aired onna local UHF station some Sunday afternoon in 1963. Like in most Columbia pix the acting and looks is low-budget cool (about the same as big budget cool a la Warner Brothers which was better'n big budget a la MGM) with a quick get-to-it plot and storyline that doesn't let you down. The gal portion of this 'un ain't much inna way of deviating from the action (the usual bit---she's unaware that Fred is using her to seek out new dummies so you're not supposed to hate her) so you don't have to worry about any of those slobberin' scenes that usually detract from wild crime dramas such as this.

And it 's got a good cast too from DON WINSLOW OF THE NAVY star Don Terry as the rackets head and Robert Paige as the snooperoo brother while I gotta say that Julie Bishop/Jacqueline Wells is just one of those everyday pretties that could slip into any of these thirties B-flicks w/o causing much of an outta-the-way uproar. If you're a real anal retentive type watch out for future tee-vee faves Paul Fix from THE RIFLEMAN as Fred's oft-abused partner who turns on the guy as well as NAKED CITY's own Horace McMahon, and if you don't blink you'll even find THREE STOOGES regulars Bud Jamison and Vernon Dent somewhere inna mix!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW BY BILL SHUTE! THE FIGHTING PILOT (1935), starring Richard Talmadge


Richard Talmadge’s name is beloved by fans of 1920’s and 1930’s low-budget indie action films. An ace stuntman (who’d doubled Douglas Fairbanks, among others) and later successful second-unit director on major studio films, Talmadge (real name Sylvester Ricardo Metzetti, he was born in Germany of Italian-Swiss background) entered show business as a member of an acrobatic trio, The Metzetti Brothers, with his two brothers, Otto and Victor, who often found their way into his films. His jaw-dropping acrobatic and daredevil abilities were just what was needed in the world of stunt work in films in the 1920’s, and Talmadge made a name for himself while still a stuntman. He parlayed that into a series of low-budget silent films beginning in 1923, such as LET’S GO and THE PRINCE OF PEP (both of which are available online), which he also had a hand in producing. He was very much like the later stars of straight-to-video action films in the 1980’s and 1990’s in that his films were fast-moving, unpretentious vehicles for his incredibly dangerous stunts, all shot in such a way that it was ALWAYS clear that it was Talmadge himself doing the stunt and there was no fakery. The films were built around a series of death-defying feats, and Talmadge always delivered the goods. He was a bubbly, likeable screen presence with endless enthusiasm, and based on reports I’ve read in the trades, he was quite popular among exhibitors and neighborhood and small-town audiences, in the kind of theaters that featured low-budget indie product. Talmadge knew what his audience wanted and delivered it….with a smile and usually a refreshing dose of humor.

When sound came around, Talmadge’s thick accent (I once made a copy—back in the VHS days—of Talmadge’s 1934 serial, PIRATE TREASURE for Chris, and he wrote me back saying that he really enjoyed it, but wondered “what language is Richard Talmadge speaking?”) became a bit of an issue, but he seemed to understand what his gifts were (death-defying feats, like a cross between Houdini and Evel Knievel) and how to best market those gifts, so he moved into the lowest rung of the indie feature world and began producing a series of action-filled features putting him in one setting or another but built around a series of amazing physical stunts. His boyish enthusiasm and charming screen persona made the accent a non-issue (in fact, it may have helped him project a kind of “humble but enthusiastic immigrant made good” image). Speaking of accents, I’ve always wondered if Talmadge learned his English from a New Yorker, as he’s got a kind of German-Italian spin on a Brooklyn accent. It’s certainly unique!

After that 1934 serial for Universal (one of his few starring roles for a major company), Talmadge’s final round of starring vehicles came in the 1935-1936 season for Bernard B. Ray and Harry Webb’s RELIABLE PICTURES (also known as AJAX PICTURES, best-known for their fine group of Jack Perrin films). The series of six films consisted of THE FIGHTING PILOT, NOW OR NEVER, THE LIVE WIRE, NEVER TOO LATE, STEP ON IT, and my own personal favorite, THE SPEED REPORTER.

THE FIGHTING PILOT (I have it on a Grapevine DVD double-bill with ON YOUR GUARD from 1933, but it’s available for free online in a very good quality print) has all of the best qualities of a Talmadge film, so if you were going to see only one of his films, this would be a good choice. There is an experimental airplane being designed by the firm Talmadge works for. Sleazy heel Robert Frazer (well-known to fans of 30’s indie films….Frazer goes back to the 1910’s, where he starred in silent films, and then with the coming of sound, he was a supporting player, with an old-fashioned stage actor’s delivery….nice to see him smoking a cigarette and playing a gangster here for a change) is trying to get the plans for the plane and sell them to a competitor. The nice thing about a film like this is that you can take its one-hour running time and cut it up into segments, which is surely what the producers did and then informed the screenwriters. You get three minutes of conspiring among the crooks; you get two or three minutes from Talmadge’s comic sidekick, who is no doubt channeling an old vaudeville routine; you get two to three minutes of Talmadge talking with his girlfriend, played by BTC favorite Gertrude Messinger, who’d been in Hal Roach’s BOYFRIENDS shorts in the early sound days and who was a charming and spunky leading lady on poverty row in the early to mid 1930’s; you get a fistfight that kills two or three minutes; you have Talmadge doing a dangerous stunt for three or four minutes; you have a few minutes of aviation footage. Etc. Etc. Then you repeat and alternate those elements, have the bad guys defeated at the end, have a happy ending, keep it all family-friendly but fast moving, and you’ve killed 60 minutes and you can put it in the can and get it out to exhibitors on the States Rights circuit in the mid-1930’s.

This is exactly the kind of entertainment that bread-and-butter audiences in the midst of the 1930’s Depression wanted and needed….and that BTC readers still want and need today. It delivers the goods, crams as much action into an hour as you’d get in a 12-chapter serial, has humor and romance, and has death-defying stunts by one of the greats, Richard Talmadge.

Talmadge’s career lasted well into the late 1960’s, and once his starring career ended in 1936, he stayed behind the camera working as a stunt director and/or second-unit director on such A-product as HOW THE WEST WAS WON, NORTH TO ALASKA, CIRCUS WORLD, THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD, and CASINO ROYALE. However, he also was involved with (as director or second-unit director) some of the most bottom-of-the-barrel product imaginable, such as the 1950 Spade Cooley vehicle BORDER OUTLAWS (mine is the only review of that on the IMDB—check it out), the 16mm feature JEEPP HERDERS from 1946, the 1953 sci-fi feature PROJECT MOONBASE (which used some of the same sets as CATWOMEN OF THE MOON), and the 1956 Johnny Carpenter (as John Forbes) western I KILLED WILD BILL HICKOK (which you can see for free online). During his heyday as a leading man in low-budget 20’s and 30’s action films focusing on his amazing prowess as an acrobat and stuntman, however, Richard Talmadge was the master—add to that his comfortable and amiable and enthusiastic screen presence, and his ability to know exactly the kind of projects to properly highlight his gifts (and cover-up his deficiencies) and to make them quickly and inexpensively so they would turn a profit and more of them could be produced. He is still working his magic today for anyone who’ll take the time to watch THE FIGHTING PILOT or THE SPEED REPORTER.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

I know, your second beats my life or something equally as hackneyed as that. True 'nuff, but at least I spent my life (well, a good portion of it!) burrowing into the tastier portions of existence whether it be music, books, visual stimulation or just plain suburban slob fun. And lo these many years later I'm continuing on that (hopefully) eternal quest to HEAR it all, READ it all and SEE it all which is gonna be a pretty Herculean task considering all of the music, books, mags, tee-vee shows and moom pitchers worthy of mine senses out there to enjoy, but I'm gonna give it a good 'nuff try anyway. And I somehow get the same strange feelin' that YOU TOO are in on that life journey to ABSORB IT ALL if only because you had the good enough sense to tune into this very blog. For that I would commend you, only even I gotta admit that something like that does come off a little bit cornballus.
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Not being a guy who takes life too lightly I have been doing them usual things in order to stimulate my rockist (sub)consciousness. Por ejemplo, I've been capturing various Yves Adrien writings (including one of his "I Sing the Music Electrique" columns) that have been turned into English via the internet translating system that usually brings forth high-larious results. An' y'know what...these things read just as high energy gonzoid rock writing in automatic French to English form complete with the expected gaffes and unintentional (?) spelling errors as they would had they been written in the English language. Ten pages that sum up everything that was so important and vital in my (dunno about your) rock 'n roll are to be had and boy am I glad about it.  I guess rock 'n roll really was that Universal Youth Language so many people told us it was after all even if for the most part most kids I knew loathed it in its purest, most unadulterated form!

While we're on the subject of purloined internet rarities, I finally got to read Nick Kent's legendary (or so I've been told) piece on Nick Drake, the latter a guy who I still can't really cozy up to perhaps because he's such a downer that I feel like doubling up on the Celexa every time I give the guy a listen! Of course Kent's writing abilities make me wanna go out and buy Drake's entire recorded output for yet another coagulation just like his pieces on everyone from such disparate acts as Ian Dury to even good ol' Joni Mitchell do, which may say more about my own weaknesses as it does his writing abilities but so what! I mean, did you even care about Rod Stewart until you read that book by Lester Bangs now, didja? (Well not me, since I thought even then that Bangs was just tryin' to latch onto some easy money and given his financial straits who could blame 'im?)

Also managed to find the Alain Pacadis interview with William Burroughs. Woosh, talk about when two junkie fags meet---it sure is a humbling experience!

As far as extra-musicular activities go, gotta admit that I actually pulled out the debut Magma set for another appreciation, undoubtedly due to the Adrien article/interview I culled from the internet. When I first heard the thing I dismissed it as a slightly offbeat imitation of Chicago, but now I can fully understand this as being the first step in a Kobian Odyssey that improved with time. Yeah at times it can be duller'n the King Family with a few Lawrence Welk audiences, but when Christian Vander and band get into those European classical modes they sure transcend the usual jazz rock into something a whole lot more...otherworldly to be quaint about it. I gotta find the INEDITS platter in my collection for yet another appreciation one-a-these-days...
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Did have a nice go of it reviewin' the following flotsam. Thanks again go to the likes of Bill Shute, Paul McGarry, P.D. Fadensonnen and Feeding Tube Records (who sent me a lovely package tho I only managed to get to the Cee-Dee offerings this week) for the items. After going through the following bevy o' beauts all I gotta say is that you as well as I can piss on about how much we all hate 2019, but as long as you have a good set of ears there's really nothing for us to piss on about, y'know?


id m theft able-2 AUTOHARPS, A SNOWMOBILE, SOME SNOWPLOWS, A PREMATURE SNOWBLOWER CD (Feeding Tube Records)

Here's one of those aleatorical kinda musical efforts that comes off about as well as anyone into those kinda things would expect 'em to. Some guy called id m theft able (!) placed two autoharps on an old card table during all that bad weather we were having last January and recorded the sound of freezing rain plinking and plunking the strings while snowplows would occasionally roar by. This goes on for about an hour and the results make more musical sense outta natural situations than listening to wind chimes I'll tell ya. Kinda comes off like those old Joe Jones Tone Deaf Music Company efforts only without Yoko Ono wailing along. If this id m guy had been around in the late sixties, you can bet that there would have been a good article on him in SOURCE magazine (sorta like the guy who created musical scores by shooting buckshot right into the staff paper) even if the actual music'd never make the ten inch records that they used to slip into 'em.
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Jesus Vio-DUTCH SCIENCE CD (Feeding Tube Records)

Might be a bit too melodically saturated with too bright an outlook (see Violent Femmes review below) for my general tastes, but I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with Jesus Vio's general approach to the rock 'n roll idiom. In fact I thought that "Eye to Eye" was a relatively moving track with its references to various mid-seventies neo-folk styles, and if anyone out there's deserving of a future in the music biz it's gotta be Vio. Maybe if you look upon DUTCH SCIENCE as a post-post-Meat Puppets when they got more into a West Coast groove you'll get it as well. Mild, and not offensive like most of those ameralterna types could have gotten o'er the years.
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Bijou-REDESCENDS SUR TERRE CD (Last Call Records, France)

For being an album recorded by seventies punk rock survivors rather late in the game (2006) I gotta say this really ain't that bad. Sure it does show the usual wear and tear that these kinda groups could experience once they, along with the music, sorta slipped outside their own particular era, but Bijou still had the same hot rock and pop approach they did back in the days when there sure was a lot more of this breed of high energy sound than the dudes at the local FM station woulda dared to have believed. Pretty good rock 'n roll (in the punk pre "punque" style) that only make me yearn for a collection of Bijou tracks from their earlier days back when words like Open Market and Skydog sent thrill chills through the spines of more'n a few heavy duty rock-starved patrons out there!
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Kraftwerk-LIVE AND LOUD RADIO CD-r burn

The last in the P.D. Fadensonnen burns features a Kraftwerk live session featuring the AUTOBAHN band romping through everything from "Ruckzuck" to some RALF UND FLORIAN faves all in FM glory. Nothing here is as caustic as the Kraftwerk of 1970, but you might be able to eke some funtime thrills outta the electric pinball sounds not to mention the Tic-Tacs splattering across the floor as Lester Bangs once put it. The perfect music to listen to in between morning calisthenics and other KdF-approved activities for you pure-race minded types out there.
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The Violent Femmes-ADD IT UP  (1981-1993) CD-r burn

Rilly, these guys don't sound as "twee" as I remembered, but that's only because many other acts out there in alternative to music land eventually outdid these guys in the tweedom department. Not bad at all if you have a stronger opinion of the late-seventies Modern Lovers than I (sometimes) tend to, but seventy-three minutes of this stuff is guaranteed to prepare you for a stay in the re-education camp of your choice.
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WINGLESS ANGELS CD-r burn (originally on Mindless Records)

Primitive down-homey reggae music (most all of it variations of "Kumbaya" an' I mean it!) sung as a chorale with minimal instrumental backing. Lotsa famous people were involved so it can't be as up-from-the-roots as you would like it to be, but the general approach and stripped down island melodies make this rather appealing to the nerve endings even for reggae poo-poo'ers like myself. I'll bet this coulda gotten the phony intellectual kidz all hot and bothered just like they were when the MUSIC OF BULGARIA album made its way through more'n a few college dorms back inna mid-sixties.
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Various Artists-PICCADILLY SUNSHINE, PART 19 CD-r burn

There must have been TONS of these foppy English psychedelic pop records comin' out back inna late-sixties, and this nice selection proves that the form wasn't as goopy as those Tintin singles woulda led us to believe. This is a good mix of neo-nostalgia and pseudo-Beatles music with an overall lilt that reminds me of similar efforts by the Troggs, Peter and Gordon, and Andy Ellison, all guaranteed to get those iron-haired gals in Junior High all weepy to the point where they'd wet all over their pressed leaf collections. Look for a pre-SAHB Alex Harvey in the mix as well as an English act that dared call itself the Chocolate Watchband!
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Various Artists-GREEN ROADRUNNER ODORS CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Loadsa old radio ads on this 'un which is always a good thing for me. Funny enough, during the big thirties/forties nostalgia boom of the 1970/71 Silent Majority season I woulda hadda pay lotsa dough to hear these commercials and old radio shows and nowadays I can get 'em all for free! The music ain't nothing to up snoot at either what with some act called Odor Baby performing this avant garde electronic sound that reminds me that mosquito season is upon us. The rest of this seems to be filled up with more'n the usual Amerigan garage band vibrations of the past from neat organ-based instrumentals (the Roadrunners) to the Sires' one-note low fidelity grind. The Merseybeats do a good Beatles via Dr. Feelgood and the Interns on "Mr. Moonlight" while Al Green strays far from his deep laidback style on "Hotwire". Hey, if Bill didn't bring these things to my attention would any of you guys know about it at all???
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If you can't get enough BLOG TO COMM (despite a good fifteen years of continuous blogging) then maybe you can help fulfill your wildest fantasies by picking up some BLACK TO COMM back issues which are guaranteed to straighten you out faster than Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. Got more'n enough here to help you in that battle against the terminal jive which seems to be winning more and more as time creeps on.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

BOOK REVIEW! LOU REED - ROCK 'N' ROLL ANIMAL (Babylon Books, 1978)



Not quite a book but beyond being a mere fanzine, this late-seventies addition to the Lou Reed library sure reads a whole lot smoother and rock 'n roll-er than all of those precious beyond belief tomes from the recent past that reduced the entire aura to mere mulch.

With a cover swiped from the mid-seventies bootleg of the same name and a wide variety of opines and other scattered thoughts sprinkled about, LOU REED - ROCK 'N' ROLL ANIMAL really captures just about everything that I continue to enjoy and hold dear to my purely rockist heart. Things like the utterly unique ideas and ideals that the early Velvet Underground helped birth, not forgetting Lou on his lonesome re-defining the seventies into something thankfully not as whole grain as the likes of John Denver or your parents for that matter would have wanted. Things that helped steer more'n a few unsuspecting tadpoles away from a brazenly frightening existence into the realm of the O-Mind which, for a short time, held sway with way more people than the forces that be would have dared imagine.

When I was a mere turdling it was either the most twisted, crazed rock 'n roller bound for the local institution of someone's choice or, for that matter, the suburban slob wannabe cloistered in his ranch house, who gave more'n a few figs about Lou Reed, the Velvets and all of the Warhol/Bangs/BACK DOOR MAN accouterments that went along with the entire down 'n durty shebang. That's what I like about this book. It captures that period in rock when the sound finally regained some of the lost grit that the late-sixties seemed to woosh away with more'n a few hippie airs---that period in time when the mere mention of the Velvet Underground in whatever context could send thrill chills up the spin of more'n a few CREEM reading teenbos snuggled up with whatever artyfact of THE FIRST GREAT HIGH ENERGY ERA IN ROCK they could scrounge up via a trip of the flea market. In other words, the real stars of the age.

Good reading throughout. Of course the instigators of the whole shebang just hafta put in their two cents worth of editorializing in (editorializing which thankfully wasn't as sickening sweet virtuous as it can get these days!) while some new (and OK---suspiciously fraudulent) facts or bits of myth-making for that matter are to be found if you look hard enough. As with these under-the-counterculture efforts, you also get some pretty great illustrations (and of course some then-recent ads) copped from various sources that fit in swell despite me having seen 'em over and over for years on end, and when was the last time you saw a Lou Reed comic made up from various visions of his lyrics anyway???

Released by Babylon Books o'er in England (they also put out similar Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa efforts as well as a bootleg guide), a ltd. ed. artyfact like this is mighty hard to come by this late in the rock 'n roll game. Or whatever pithy remnants of it may remain. But rest assured, when you do find it (like when you discover some hotcha fanzine or under-represented group of the same musical stratum) you'll manage to squeeze more energy and excitement outta the mere words and attitude than you could outta most everything written about a now-diseased musical trend by people who have about as much grip on the sound as your great-great-grandparents did. Come to think of it, they might have related to it a whole lot more'n the putrid likes of Ann Powers have feigned it lo these many years. If the mere thought of a rock hall of fame (and the ritual de-balling of the form that has taken place since day one) is enough to make you puke your guts out this book sure will be the remedy to a whole load of ailments!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Sheesh, its hard to get through my bean that yet another whole stinkin' week has gone by! But thanks be that it's the weekend and I do have a brief respite from that harsh reality we call everyday work and toil. I plan on takin' it easy, just sittin' around watchin' old tee-vee shows while reading my vast array of old rock rags and comics while listening to that BIG THROB that someone out there called rock 'n roll oh so long ago. Dunno about you...you're probably gonna be doin' something "exciting" like go bike riding or boating or jogging or a variety of things that just tire me out by merely thinkin' about 'em. Sheesh, when I was a growin' up sorta suburban slob just hangin' 'round the house in my stockin' feet was my way of unwindin' after putting five days in at stool, and even at my advanced age I realize that I was doin' the right thing 'stead of playin' sports or being active like some old biddy out there told us to! I mean, here I am up and about havin' fun with my music and boob tube, and that spiritual Miss Grundy's been dead and gone for thirty years awlready so you tell me who was actually RIGHT all these years!
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I've been committing a lotta Suicide lately...that's Suicide with a big "S" as in Alan Vega and Martin Rev. Well, at least I'm committing the seventies variation on the form before those two got washed away by the new decade just like all of our other once-faves, but man when Revega were on a roll boy were they deliverin' on the high-energy that people like me just loved and craved in the face of the late-seventies sappy pop we were all force fed! Talk about total eruption post-WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT infernal carnage, the kind that none of the attempts at being the "new" Velvet Underground (even Yo La Tengo at their screechiest!) could handle no matter how hard those plunkers tried their best at chiming out the riffs to "Sweet Jane" while forgetting about all that beautiful sheet sound the Velvets branded into the under-the-counterculture psyche.

The Blast First box set of '77/'78 recordings is currently carving its initials on my brain...gotta say that I find the New York-area performances extremely satisfying in the way they churn sound into something that, as with the Electric Eels, Seeds and of course Velvet Underground themselves, actually becomes three-dimensional art as pure CARNAGE in your mind! Even that weird guy who moans along with Suicide (he appears on a 1981 Peppermint Lounge Suicide tape I got, not to mention the Johnny Thunders/Wayne Kramer Gang War live Max's Kansas City EP!) adds plenty to the overall terror to be enjoyed! Can't wait for that projected blast of earlier (and reportedly even more feral!) sounds to be unleashed on us never-to-be-satisfied aficionados!
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Wish I could spurt out more to beef this post up to larger expectations, but you certainly don't wanna know about all of the gritty details of my existence such as which state my latest booger looked like 'r anything like that (for your information it was Maryland). Here are the platters up for perusal and they are a dandy bunch if I do say so myself. The surprise of the week just hasta be the Hozac seven-inchers which start the proceedings off, tho the rest certainly ain't no slouches either. My thanks go to not only Hozac but Bill Shute, Paul McGarry, P.D. Fadesonnen and even myself for deciding to part with a precious few pence for the Living Dead effort. And before I forget make sure you get your preorder in to Smog Veil for the Peter Laughner box set which should be finally making its appearance within a relatively short time which is much better'n the X # of years since the thing's been announced.



The Anemic Boyfriends-"Fake I.D."/"Bad Girl in Love" 45 rpm single; Matt Gimmick-DETROIT RENAISSANCE '79 33 rpm single (both available via Hozac Records)

The folk at Hozac really outdid themselves in this very recent attempt to bring the energy and promise of the late-seventies underground into the stark nullitude of the present day.

The Anemic Boyfriends should be notched a few points for being an all-gal group with a name like that, but this misleading moniker will be excused if only for the fact that these Alaskan missies really deliver on the hard punk crunch! This particular effort  reminds me of what I was hoping the Runaways woulda sounded like after reading about 'em in CIRCUS---girlish and brutal but not so El Lay decadent! Straightforward crunchy rock 'n roll that puts that Riot Grrrrruel to utter shame and we need more of it!

The Gimmick EP's a reissue of that famous Stooges tribute record (immortalized via the first KILLED BY DEATH album) featuring two then-unreleased Iggy classics along with some newies that capture the influence of those Detroit hard rockers pretty much in the same way the Dead Boys and all those Australian acts of the day from Radio Birdman to the Dum Dum Boys (wait, they were from New Zealand and as we all know the Aussies and New Zealanders loathe each other with a passion!) did. It's amazing just how much Gimmick sings like Iggy and the group does have a fairly good handle on the entire over-the-top attitude those early emulators oozed outta just about every pore. Pretty above and beyond the call of duty effort you got here Hozac!
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The Living Dead-LIVE AT THE SPEAKEASY, LONDON, 17TH FEBRUARY 1978 CD-r burn

Johnny Thunders and most of the Only Ones get together to do the Heartbreakers thing in front of a breathing audience. Sheesh, with two junkies like Thunders and Peter Perrett on the same stage I wonder what kinda clientele was hangin' about in the wings! But hey, the show is a whole lot more together than many of these Thunders productions and at least to my virgin ears akin to the better Heartbreakers efforts that have been floating about lo these many eons. Special guest appearance by Patti Palladin of Snatch on "Give Him a Great Big Kiss" and "Daddy Rolling Stone". Unfortunately Perrett gets to shine on only one Only Ones song but who said this was gonna be some sorta democracy or something as equally inane as that?
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Kraftwerk-MITTERNACE 1975/CROYDON UK Cd-r burn

AUTOBAHN-period 'werk that, if you listing to it long enough, will turn you into one of those printed components Kraftwerk uses to make music such as this. Vehr fahn fahn fahn on der electronic sounds that remind me of something that Stockhausen woulda whipped up in order to have a hit record in the late-fifties, all reducing you to atomistic stature as you bop through the various beeps and buzzes that are resplendent in these guys' collected works. Back when these guys were hitting it big with "Autobahn" back '75 way I had the impression that this would be ALL we'd be hearing as for as music goes at this point in time, but the mechanical revolution still has a long way to gesticulate before we humans are TOTALLY conquered! Or so I would think, you cyborg you.
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Cement Trampoline-GLAD TO BE ALIVE CD-r burn (originally on Imagine Records)

's funny, but here in the dusk of the 'teens this eighties-era post-power pop breed of new wave doesn't sound as goopy as it back back in them days. Cement Trampoline not only write a buncha good pop songs with the proper amount of tension, but they perform 'em w/o the more cloying aspects that befell many of these groups in the transition from punky seventies to gnu wave eighties. If you still hold your Shoes albums tenderly to your bosom you might want to give this obscurity a try.
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Greg Oblivian and the Tip Tops-HEAD SHOP CD-r burn (originally on Sympathy For the Record Industry Records)

Nice mix and match of everything from spiffy straight ahead neo-country rock to neo-Beatles popism. At times it kinda reminds me of mid-seventies Dylan or better yet Elliot Murphy without the ranch house decadence. Better'n usual fifties paens toom all capped off with a track called "Self-Indulgent Asshole" which starts off like a pretty decent Suicide tribute until Oblivian's vocals make ya think he's tryin' to live up to the title.
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Various Artists-MODEL T BOOGIE CD-r burn (originally on Black Rhythm Records)

To be way repetitious about this, it's the kinda blooze that'll send all those fans of the more "modern" aspects of the music crying all the way back to the comfort of their Van Halen albums. Lack of liner notes has got me stymied (or even buckwheated) about these tracks, but if you're the kinda guy who finds these acoustic country sounds rather stirring as in the way you felt when you first heard the Velvet Underground you'll enjoy these prob'ly just-postwar efforts immensely. Norton Records is sellin' both this and volume two, and if you order from 'em DON'T mention that BLOG TO COMM sent you because they might just DOUBLE the price!
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Various Artists-MR. CHANG'S TAXI TWIST CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

And the (shoulda been) hits just keep on a' comin'! Sure the Imperials ain't thee Imperials of Little Anthony fame while Jack Wilson ain't "Jackie", but these tracks mighta had a chance on the top 40 had only enough strongarm threats were made to timid deejays. Lotsa twist here for those of you who miss the sight of Jackie O shakin' her frail frame at the Peppermint Lounge (this even might put Eddie Haskell's collection of twist records to shame!) plus if you like rockabilly with that late-seventies sorta "authenticity" to it there's always the Moonlighters. I thought that the primitive approach of Los Flecos was particularly appealing to my own sense of stripped down rock 'n roll appreciation. Like most of these Bill burns, I feel a little fuller after I'm done listenin' to 'em, and I don't mean inna belly!
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Yes, we have no bananas, but we got tons of BLACK TO COMM back issues to keep you busier than a cushion scrubber at a nudist colony.  Some fine reading is to be found (along with hotcha pictures!) in these mags, and as I've said many a time no self-respecting rockist reader would be without the ENTIRE BOUND AND GAGGED COLLECTION in their library. However, since nobody who reads this blog has any self-respect perhaps I am wasting my precious breath, no matter how dog-smelly it may be.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

BOOK REVIEW! ETERNAL TROUBADOUR : THE IMPROBABLE LIFE OF TINY TIM BY JUSTIN MARTELL (Outline Press, 2016)

There have been a few Tiny Tim bios on the market o'er the years, read this review if you want my impressions of an earlier Tim tome that just happens to grace my bookshelf. But as far as deep down get into the nitty gritty no holds barred tell everything you can biographies go this relatively recent effort's got the rest of 'em beat all hollow! And like, after you're done with this 'un you either feel like you've known the guy ever since he was born, or want to take a bath in pure Pinesol. Most likely both.

ETERNAL TROUBADOUR doesn't have the jambus-packtus pix that I would have liked in a Tim book, but it'll still send you for a loop what with author Martell leaving nada in the way of juicy and extremely scandalous information regarding Our Hero out. And I do mean nada whether it be about the Tim that we not only saw on tee-vee and heard on the radio but the guy behind the scenes when the cameras weren't on and his handlers might have been busy doin' something else. Not that any of us had our doubts that maybe there was something a bit screw-loosey about the guy, but as far as psychological dysfunctions and general inter-cranial craziness goes Mr. Khaury himself must've been the all time celebrity crackup champeen what with all of the uncontrollable spurting and hygiene fixations that Martell oh-so boldly details throughout this read.

Lots of historical background pops up here not to mention heretofore unknown facts that seem to clash with previous Tim efforts, especially regarding those early days of "bitter struggle" when the shaggy-haired one wasn't exactly gettin' pelted with tulip petals by the neighborhood kids. The Khaury family household sitchy-ayshion come into view giving us insight into a place and time when Tiny's folks didn't even have a bedroom door and the Boho-esque Mr. and Missus would respectively flaunt their sausage and lunchmeat in front of young Herbert which really must've done something to affect (or is it addle?) the young kid's brain. The entire (and before this book alluded to) Bobby Gonzales affair with all of those massage sessions that probably led to bigger things  is also tossed at us, as are the various postmarks on that road to DA BIG TIME that could only happen to a star-crossed guy such as Tim. The ups and downfalls, LAUGH IN, the Miss Vicky tee-vee marriage on THE TONIGHT SHOW, those bigtime temptations and that struggle to keep in the spotlight despite an ever-flagging career are all detailed rather swell-like, and with a whole lotta minutiae missing from all those SCREEN LIFE articles added in for good measure. It all goes down in your head so easily to the point where, unless you're a member of that Older Generation that loathed Tim or a plain ol' turd, ya gotta be rootin' for Tim all the way no matter what bad business move or pratfall may befall him! Calling this 'un hefty reading throughout is, to be trite 'n all about it, an understatement.

Heck, even some big hefty hunks from Tim's very own diary are reproduced, detailing the inner turmoil between Jesus and Satan that dwelled in the guy's soul for most all his life as he struggled with those s-xual throb thrills that usual mow most of us more normil types over. These diary passages are pretty eye-opening as well, especially with the various snideities Tim included regarding bosses and other enemies that are sooo cutting it makes me wish I had written one of my own throughout my life just so's future generations will know just how evil the people I grew up with were. And reading this book has me coagulatin' in my brain that all along maybe Tim was, despite the frequent showers, makeup, Depends undergarments and other "oddities",  the only truly straight person on this planet with everyone else (including US!) the bad guys!

Somehow I can osmose to that rather well---after all, he was perhaps one of the more (relatively) stable and talented figures of the day especially when compared with all those decadent carousers and talent-less hacks passing themselves off as spokesmen for that rather putrid generation that deserves to die off at an accelerated rate if only for being so self-conscious!

There's just too much in here for me to relate without even becoming more long-winded'n usual! If you still think that Tiny Tim was yet another late-sixties campy sideshow freak after reading this well, you'll still be right. But along with the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Yoko Ono and Wild Man Fisher he was a freak you could really sink yer clams into. Check the remaindered rack at one of those cheap flea market bookshops and who knows, maybe you can find at a price cheaper'n it woulda cost you to buy a Tiny Tim album at the local record shop 'round 1974 way! 

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

LP REVIEW BY BILL SHUTE! Ray Draper-A TUBA JAZZ (Jubilee Records, 1958)


The tuba has a long history in jazz, though it was missing in action for a few decades in the 1930’s and 1940’s and early 1950’s. In the 1920’s, many jazz bands and “hot dance” bands with a jazz element had a “brass bass,” not a stand up acoustic bass, and that role was played by a tuba. Even a sophisticate like Duke Ellington had a tuba in his 20’s bands. By 1927-28, the tuba was on its way out, and by 1929 bands with a tuba sounded a bit antiquated (it’s the same with banjos, which were widely used in 20’s jazz, they were out by the late 20’s and replaced by guitars).

Tuba virtuoso Ray Draper recorded three albums as a leader in the 1957-1958 period, and two of them featured John Coltrane, which is why they’ve stayed in print (although usually under Coltrane’s name, not Draper’s) ever since. One was for Prestige’s “New Jazz” subsidiary, called THE RAY DRAPER QUINTET FEATURING JOHN COLTRANE. Coltrane played on five of the six tracks on that album, and of course, those tracks later appeared on Prestige albums under Coltrane’s name, such as THE BELIEVER. Draper and Coltrane also recorded an album for Jubilee in 1958, with very much the same line-up (different pianist) as the New Jazz album, which was called A TUBA JAZZ, and that too has been in print in one form or another ever since its issue, due to Coltrane’s presence.
In the 70’s, when I was a broke teenager, the material from the Jubilee album became part of a two-LP set TRANE TRACKS on the infamous TRIP label (“a division of Springboard International,” the back cover proudly stated). We’ve provided a pic of that album AND the rare 8-track variant of it---if you’ve got that 8-track, congratulations! As I remember that Trip album, which had the two LP’s stuffed into one sleeve, the personnel listing was dodgy. I had no way of knowing back then that some of the material on the album was actually from a group led by Lee Morgan (and supposedly one side of the two-LP set did not even contain Coltrane—typical for Trip Records). I just knew that the tracks with no tuba were not from the Draper sessions. Good old Trip/Springboard Records—who can forget their Hendrix albums of pre-fame R&B jams never intended for release, pre-fame Allman Brothers material from the “Allman Joys” days, the Sonny Boy Williamson with the Yardbirds album, etc.
called

Many years later, I discovered that the actual original album from which the TRANE TRACKS material came from was a 1958 LP on Jubilee called A TUBA JAZZ, credited to bandleader Ray Draper. It’s very interesting and satisfying as an album, and when placed alongside Coltrane’s Prestige material of the day, it offers quite a contrast. First of all, there are not a lot of jazz tuba players out there. Howard Johnson comes to mind, but few others. And Draper himself did not have a long and prolific career. He made three albums as a leader in the late 1950’s, while still in his late teens, and then made a jazz-rock album for Epic in the late 60’s credited to Red Beans and Rice. He appeared as a sideman on albums by Archie Shepp and Brother Jack McDuff and Sonny Criss and Dr. John, but health and lifestyle issues plagued him, and sadly he was murdered while being robbed in 1982 at the age of 42. Who knows what unique roads he could have explored could he have recorded more and had more opportunities…

As for this album (and the other one with Coltrane), Draper was only 17 or 18 at the time he recorded it and was viewed as something of a young prodigy. The tuba is not a particularly agile instrument, so when the material is the kind of post-bop or hard-bop (or whatever it’s called) that was the jazz mainstream in 1958, during the statement of the song’s theme at the beginning and end of each piece, Coltrane (on tenor sax throughout) is the one who pretty much handles the melody, while Draper’s tuba offers the kind of blurred smears of sound I associate with New Orleans tailgate trombone players such as Kid Ory at their most primitive and non-mainstream. It’s kind of percussive in its effect and provides counterpoint to the lead instrument. The two Sonny Rollins pieces here, particularly “Oleo,” are very much bebop in their construction, and to hear Draper maneuver his way through the statement of theme on those rapid-fire pieces is like seeing The Incredible Hulk, blindfolded, working his way across a minefield….and succeeding. Coltrane always appreciated a challenge, and during his Prestige period (and while this was not recorded for Prestige, it IS during his Prestige period), he no doubt especially appreciated when he was given a unique situation to work in…..like that odd session recorded for a 16 rpm release (called BARITONES AND FRENCH HORNS) where he was teamed with two baritone saxophonists, or the sessions with Mal Waldron, with MW’s quirky and unique compositional style (it makes sense that he and Steve Lacy were perfect duet partners) and non-traditional sense of rhythm. So Trane’s playing here is always fascinating in that he’s teamed with a non-traditional player and has to compensate for what his partner can and can’t do. I probably listened to these tracks hundreds of times back then on my cheap Trip-label LP, and I always found new and interesting elements in them. I still do today.

As Jubilee and Roulette later found themselves both owned by the EMI group of labels (nowadays under the Universal Music banner, I think), these tracks—along with Coltrane tracks from material recorded for Roulette—found themselves on an album called LIKE SONNY, under EMI’s Roulette Jazz subsidiary. Also, an exact reissue of the original Jubilee A TUBA JAZZ album can be found on the Spanish FRESH SOUND label, on both LP and CD. You can score a like-new CD of the LIKE SONNY album for four or five dollars used. You may even find a copy of the old TRANE TRACKS album out there in the wild at some junk store or flea market—it’s not particularly a desirable collectible, but with it you can recreate the joy I had, listening to it late at night as a teenager in the family basement, where the stereo was.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

I kinda feel like Zoonie the Lazoon going "WELCOME HOME", but here is yet another weak-end edition of BLOG TO COMM for all you readers to chew your doodles on. Not that special mind ya, though I did come across a few interesting spinners that might even get you heading for your favorite internet outlet in search of some fine music that'll keep you from beating the wife at least for a good hour. You'll be happy, your wife will be happy (for a short while) and who knows, maybe the kids won't grow up to be fags!
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Undoubtedly the BIG HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK (even bigger'n picking a booger outta my nose that was shaped exactly like the state of Vermont!) was finally getting to see the shoulda-be infamous anti-rock 'n roll episode of HAZEL! Some of you avid tee-vee watchers might remember it, the one where perennial aw-shucks son (or, in the final season, aw-shucks nephew) Bobby Buntrock dons accordion and leads his own rock 'n roll combo called The Leapin' Lizards, playin' some of that stock tee-vee rock music of the day that really got the parents frothin'! Now I know that a whole lotta wags out there in rock as a precocious form of youthful desire land are usually downright offended by these mid-sixties rock putdowns whether they be via MAD (one reader was shocked at the reference of "Jerry Lee Lummox" in a late-fifties issue!) or your favorite sitcom riffin' on the mop top phenomenon but hey, I dig 'em all!  True, we're gettin' one of our favorite things in life ribbed once again, but in the process there's even more rock 'n roll on the screen for us to enjoy so who's losin'! And besides, if you couldn't get a laff outta either this episode of HAZEL, the Mosquitoes on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND or even "Hullabadig A-Go-Go" in MAD then nothing would outside of a major disaster could! When all's said and done, it can't be denied that mid-aged depression/World War II-raised tee-vee writers and producers probably did have a better handle as to what rock 'n roll and teen culture encompassed more'n Jerry Garcia or Grace Slick ever did, an' ya know it's true! For an episode of HAZEL (not exactly one of the big tee-vee raves of the early/mid-sixties) these guys sure gave us a good 'un to sink our Medulla Oblagottem's into!
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Other'n that nada really special is happening 'round here. The tee-vee situation is iffy, what with JLTV re-running the same handfulla JACK BENNY PROGRAMs repeatedly to the point of how can they get away with it! Sheesh fellas, the one where Don Wilson feigns breaking his leg so his son Harlow could take his place for the night is a funny one true, but with all the other programs from that show's seventeen-year run can'tcha get some other classics on, like the one where Jack attempts to fake breaking his own leg after reading all the free publicity Jackie Gleason got when he broke his on live tee-vee, only to fail miserably until he actually does break it when nobody's around! And then again what's with the same SOUPY SALES 'un's being repeated as well? Cantcha get hold of those ABC-era ones from the very late fifties and early-sixties? I thought those would be in the PD by now! Ameriga is waiting for these and more, ya know...
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And now, here's what you haven't been waiting for, but you got it anyway...and thanks to the usual (Feeding Tube, Bill Shute, Paul McGarry...) for their contributions to the revolution. Keep those cards and letters (and especially Cee-Dee-Ares!) comin' in!


Donkey No No-FIRST TAPE LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Yeah, with a name like Donkey No No I was reminded about this li'l film I caught at one of those onscure hidden roadside attractions you find along various routes in the more rural portions of the state, which does prove that when yer onna road a guy can get lonely! But all funnin' aside I gotta say I enjoyed this interesting effort that keeps with the Feeding Tube tradition of free noise at any cost, as long as it costs you the money to buy one. Kinda sounds like a museum of late-19th century Appalachian instruments exploding the way the various acoustic instruments spurt and blend into a rather nice (and cohesive) style. Actual attempts (and they succeed!) at song structures and various other niceties that might put a smile on your Mammy Yokum of a mother's face. Heck, it might make as much sense listening to this while reading LI'L ABNER comics as it would Spiro Agnew!
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Kraftwerk-FORUM * LEVERKUSEN * 1974 2-CD-r set 

Naw, this ain't the legendary show where, Ralf und Florian perform selections from their first three albums before being joined by two electric guitarists who help out on a particularly punky version of "Autobahn" that sounds NOTHING like the original! But it is a good enough show that features the group's earlier tracks all done up the way they did 'em before going international, featuring the use of such decidedly non-Kraftwerkian instruments as vibraphone and piano. Due to these additions the resulting soundspew is a bit different than the Kraftwerk style we've known for ages. For an audience tape the sound is quite good as is the overall performance, but I still would like to hear that legendary "Autobahn" one of these days!
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Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers-MAX'S KANSAS CITY, NEW YORK, 3rd DECEMBER 1981 CD-r burn

By this time Max's was on its last legs, and from the sound of it you woulda thought that Johnny Thunders was too! Still, despite the expected looseness and audience members taking bets as to which member of the Heartbreakers was gonna topple over first this is a pretty together (well, comparatively or something like that!) set. Sound quality is good 'nuff for those of you who actually would care, while more'n a few of you will have fun listening to the out-of-it Thunders in the ozone yet sturdy enough to handle his guitar in a rather exemplary for the music fashion. Yeah---1981 really was the last year, and don't let any moderne-day "rock critic" tell ya different.
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The Masters Apprentices-NICKELODEON CD-r burn (originally on Regal Zonophone Records, Australia)

These ain't the "Wars of Hands of Time" guys nohow...by '70 the Masters had gone full hog into the hard and heavy sound that was overtaking more'n a few rockminds at the time. Not bad even if the memories of those early psychedelic wonders continues to linger in my rockist memory banks. Some moments of inspiration do seep through the heavy duty mung, though if you were one of those strict early-eighties retro-fanzine rah-rah-ers who thought 1966 was THE LAST YEAR FOR IT ALL you probably have given up reading this review after the numerals "'70" appeared (and in many ways who could blame ya?).
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King Coleman-IT'S DANCE TIME CD-r burn (originally on Norton Records)

When I was younger I really gotta admit that I enjoyed those King Coleman albums, especially IN THE COURT OF THE COLEMAN KING and LARKS TONGUES IN ASPIC. Oh wait, that's something else. This Coleman guy delivers on the mid/late-fifties sorta hard r/b (at times with the James Brown band's backing) that delivers on the hard-edged side of a music that (in the hands of geeks) could get rather turdly. Best hard growl passing as vocalese heard in awhile.  If ya wanna know where the Northwest rock guys got it from, look no further than here.
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Jess Lankford and C.L.Weldon-HOUSTON'S NATURAL GAS CD-r burn (originally on Crazy Cajun Records)

Sheesh! Yet another one of those locally produced platters that, contrary to what one would expect from a grassroots non-commercial effort put out on one's lonesome, sounds totally lackluster and nothing more'n some cheap attempt at the big time neo-country meets 1974 hard rock snoozerama blahs. I hoped this woulda come pretty close to a Southern rock effort worth its weight in smegma but it sure don't. Whoever put this platter on the web for perusal probably paid way too much for it---sheesh, I could see the big bux this 'un musta cost goin' towards some truly wild effort that would brighten many a record collection. C'mon Bill, you can do better'n THIS!!!
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Alex Chilton and Tav Falco-LIVE DOWN SOUTH VOL. 2, THE SKUNK CLUB AUSTIN TEXAS 1979 Cd-r burn

It may sound to you like a romp through those old nuggets if you duggits, but there's still more spirit and downright ram-bunk-shuh! in these toonz than there was in the entire late-seventies AOR FM playlist which might not be sayin' anything new, but... Typical audience cassette quality only HELPS OUT with the overall fun sleaze as Chilton tackles everyone from Johnny Mathis to Cream (with a few Swingin' Medallions/Tommy James stops in-between) with Falco and backing band helping out tremendously. True this 'un goes from tippy top to what were they thinking?, but for a fun document of what just hadda've been a fun night this 'un works out swell!
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Various Artists-DUCKWALK MISSISSIPPI TIME MACHINE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

And to close out this week's reekathon the standard, and expected, review of a Bill Shute mix-disque that more often than not contains music that you just haven't et yet. As usual the expected gems and soo-prizes galore pop up such as with the likes of Bobbie Gentry gettin' into some Deep South fried soul if you can believe it to the Amboy Dukes, Terry Knight and Grand Funk Railroad doin' things you've heard before but you always seem to want to hear 'em again. The particular ear-perkuppers this time go to Judi and the Pets' driven late-sixties femme vocal with sturdy backing pop surprises, Ronnie Matsler's cha-cho organ rendition of the theme from 2001 (backed with a creepy I'm dead but still coagulating in my brain tale), John Bult's C&W weeper built around a similar dead but alert saga, and the Merry Meds of '69 doin' some sorta double-entendre durty rock 'n roll that might get me laughin' my pitted keester off if I could only understand what the guy is singin'.
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I sometimes get the feeling that you readers are not interested in poorly-written, irrelevant rock 'n roll-related writings because very few of you are champing at the bit to purchase these back issues of BLACK TO COMM that I've been pushin' on ya since who knows when. Well, OK---BE THAT WAY if yer so set in yer ways that you think that Ann Powers started rock writing or something as equally cretinous as that.