Saturday, July 04, 2020

Happy July 4th! Hope you're celebrating indie-pendence in your own special and hopefully moral way, and not by tearing down statues of everyone but Nicholai Lenin like I know a few reg'lar readers probably are right at this very moment. As for me well, I got called in to do some of that dreaded work so I guess the real fun and jamz hotdog eating and goofing off will have to wait until tomorrow! Oh well, at least then I'll have a whole day to hole up in my room reading old fanzines and listening to music at least until GUNSMOKE comes on at six!
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Hey, I got my own entry on Wikipedia! Now I really am famous!!!:

Christopher Stigliano is an American far-right extremist, white supremacist blogger and former teenager who is known for his promotion of conspiracy theories, scientific racism, punk rock, old sit-coms, eugenics and white supremacist views. Stiggy describes himself as an anarcho-capitalist. The SPLC and the ADL say that is code-speech for neo-Nazi. 
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Anyway, time to face the music.Hope you dig this round of records, some of 'em actually contributed to the cause by the likes of Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and Bob Forward. Good stuff here if I do say so myself.


Original Cast Soundtrack-LES IDOLES LP (CBS Records, France)
Jean-Pierre Kalafon-MY FRIEND MON AMI EP (Pop Suprette Records, France)

Given just how much of a GENUINE KULTURAL ICON that Jean-Pierre Kalfon was (or maybe still is...although UGLY THINGS has listed him as dead 'n gone I can't find any real deal evidence on-line), it's a shame that so little of his musical output has been released. Of course the man is far more renowned for his acting abilities and reputation as a French Brando having appeared in a variety of genres (and even an Amerigan effort, the Walt Disney production of CONDORMAN which the Disney corporation would prefer to forget) while his musical endeavors have generally been more of an avocation, but from what little I can discern Kalfon was a fairly well known entity even in the world of French rock 'n roll belters. Maybe his fame should spread beyond the Gallic world as should way too many Frenchmen's efforts which were not only limited, not only by the language barrier, but by the cruel rumor being spread that the French just could not play rock 'n roll.

It's too bad that the only Kalfon that any English-speaking rock 'n roll fan might know about is via his track with Kalfon Rock Chaud entitled "Camion", the one that appeared on the SKYDOG COMMANDOS album way back '77 way. "Camion" was a number that once again proves the falsehoods about the French that have been spread around, coming off like the prime-era New York Dolls doing their version of "High School Confidential" in a fashion that might have even struck Jerry Lee Lewis dumbfounded. Kinda wonder why the group didn't record any more because this track proved just how important to the French musical mindset Kalfon was and well, I'm sure you would have loved coming across an album of the Rock Chaud in some mid-eighties flea market bin about as much as I would have, eh?

I raved bigtime about the film LES IDOLES about a month or so back and, despite the usual lack of pocket money to buy such things, actually got hold of the soundtrack to the thing that's how desirable it was for this depression-waged kiddo. The moom pitcher was a wild enough representation of 1968 hard pop yet commercial enough musique, but could the thing translate itself well into the vinyl medium?

Sure does, at least most of the time. The dialogue sans visuals is meaningless to a furriner like myself but the music still rocks as much even without the flashy avgarde images adding a dimension you never could get outta "rock videos".  Kalfon's vocal talents, along with femme lead Bulle Olgier's and equally legendary French actor Pierre Clementi's (Kalfon and Clementi did put together a band a few years later, the results of which I would love t' hear) really add a punk rock roar to the platter which doesn't make it as desirable as Iggy, but way better'n the reams of soundtrack platters that are cluttering up yer grandparent's haunt that are destined to turn up at the next garage sale and just try givin' 'em away! LES IDOLES is an album deserving of a re-release, perhaps with the usual outtakes and aural esoterica that such a product most deservedly needs especially in these rock-starved times. And as for backing band Les Rollsticks well, too bad they didn't continue out on their own because they could have delivered upon us an album that would have really struck that eternal chord in all of us!

A few years earlier Kalfon recorded an EP for CBS that unfortunately went nowhere in the craniums of the collective French teenage mindset. Only now, a good fifty-five years later, is MY FRIEND MON AMI being given a reissue by the fine folk at Pop Suprette, a label which I hope continues on a French rock reissue series if this spinner is any indication of the rest of the mid-sixties scene o'er there. And I dunno about you but I rate Kalfon even higher'n Ronnie Bird and some of the other early punk types as Kalfon sings ever so slightly off key in his gritty voice while fuzz guitar and the whole orchestral shebang tries to turn this into a big pop production that the grownups could enjoy along with the kiddoids. It brings back mid-sixties turdler memories for me and just might for you with its continental flair matched with vocals that would have been more at home singing along with the Seeds. A darn good surprise and pretty hard to find even in its reissued state so you better start looking and rather pronto at that!

A guy like Kalfon really oughta be the subject of an in-depth rock 'n roll examination worthy of UGLY THINGS stature. I unnerstan' there's an autobio of his out there somewhere albeit in his mother tongue, but as far as something in English goes I'm afraid we are out of luck...well, at least we are right now here in the middle of that beautiful sixties/seventies punk history dying right in front of our very eyes. Maybe one of you French readers close to the Skydog taproot of things can whip something up for our entertainment and educational benefit, hunh?
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Randy Holden-POPULATION II CD (RidingEasy Records)

Well whaddaya know! The classic Randy Holden POPULATION II platter is once again available for all of us nimnuls who passed on the earlier reissues (not to mention the original release!) oh so long ago. Fans of Blue Cheer will naturally go for the hard riffage and general heavy metal pounce that is present here, and even fans of the general caveman thunk of the true spirit of 1970 will remember why the hard sounds of the era (as exemplified by Holden and Co.) were the perfect antidote to all of that Cat Stevens meowing that was making that guy richer'n any of our rock 'n roll heroes will ever be! Sounds loud no matter what volume you play it at...if you really need to check out the quality of your hearing aids this is the spinner to do it with!
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Einstuerzende Neubauten-FUENF AUF DER NACH OBEN OFFENEN RICHTERSKALA CD (www.neubauten.org)

A purchase inspired by the Howard Wuelfing writeups available on Rocksbackpages, and a fairly good one that took me a few listens to get into but I managed to slip into that Meltzerian "Universe" like a pro. The massive noise cacophony that was expected really did not materialize, leaving the listener (mainly me!) drawing up all sorts of comparisons between the likes of Suicide and Nurse With Wound with a few thousand points in-between. Not only that but their version of "Morning Dew" even beats the one that turned up on some old Texas HIGHS IN THE MID-SIXTIES album! Fits in swell with the hard-hammering sounds that seem to soothe me into a restful condition more than even the Hawkwind, Amon Duul II and Can that seem to be heading towards the top of my own personal playlist.
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The Dream Syndicate-THE UNIVERSE INSIDE CD-r burn (originally on ANTI Records)

Never having been a humongous fan of the Dream Syndicate I must say that I was surprised by the fine jazz-cum-psychedelic drone play that for once didn't get my BS detectin' radar up the way it did when this group was taking up precious fanzine space in the mid-eighties. However there still seems to be that typically amerindie rock sterility to this that plagued many otherwise interesting groups that were mingling around in the anti-mainstream way back when. It all added up to being yet another reason I felt so inhibited by that music that was supposed to save us all from the clutches of Van Halen but missed by a wide margin. I don't expect any future spins of THE UNIVERSE INSIDE to reverse my initial impressions.
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ANDREW KLIMEK WCSB PART THREE/DOUG GILLARD WCSB PARTS ONE AND TWO/TIM SKI WCSB PART ONE CD-r burns

Klimek's part's just the tail end of the Mark P interview while Gillard seems to like interspersing things being broadcast on the mainstream station while his recs are playing (or was someone goofin' off with the radio dial?). Eh, the guy is a great programmer what with the likes of Patti Smith, early Who and Killing Joke getting some much desired airplay for once, even if it is on a low wattage college radio station. Of course there's still a whole lotta typical college radio "amerindie" stuff here that drives me just as bonkers as it did back then, but I've come to expect things like that to the point where I can actually "brush it off" like I do the myriad assortment of insults that lesser minds continually toss my way. As far as Tim Ski goes...your playlist is a little too typical FM college kid at least for this sport! Buy some Stooges albums and come back when they've attached themselves to your inner psyche but whatever, don't give up!
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Various Artists-SPANISH TURTLE BLINDMAN CORNBREAD CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Eh, a nice way to wind up a week what with all of the Soul Jazz Bill thought would stimulate my stirrups. They have. Some latin-tinged tracks and downright bloozy efforts appear, and even the Herbie Hancock pre-jazz funk track "Cantelupe Island" (which some of you will remember from the Daily Flash live Cee-Dee) appears. 'n whatever you do, don't confuse the Sugarman 3 with Spaceman 3 (the former are the good 'un's!). Hey, it's that swell of a keeper that I'd listen to it over and over even if Bill had stuck a 78 of some yodeling cowboy smack inna middle of it!
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Feeling down in the mouth, sick, depressed and looking for that guiding light to rescue from the tediums of the day? Well then, you really do need some BLACK TO COMM back issues  in your life! Click on the highlighted link where total inspiration awaits, amongst other things.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

BOOK REVIEW! STARSHIP TROOPERS BY ROBERT A. HEINLEIN (Ace Books, 1959)

Yeah I know, you wouldn't think I'd be caught dead reading juvenile literature along the lines of a fifties science fiction novel such as this. Well, I've done way worse in my travels towards the goal of being a Complete Human Being and hey, once you think about it what the heck is wrong with reading a book like STARSHIP TROOPERS, one which really shakes you to the core and makes you glad that you're a thriving, breathing MAMMAL just like Lester Bangs said the Dolls would make you. Well, gotta admit that both the Dolls and Heinlein know how to do their job shaking one to the quick and pretty durn well at that.

STARSHIP TROOPERS follows the exploits of one Juan "Johnny" Rico, a teenage Filipino who, against his parents' wishes tho that don't matter because it's legal for him to do so, joins the army in their battle against a foreign power of intelligent spiders, or to put it in more scientific terms "Arachnoids". They're a particularly fierce species who, besides attempting to conquer what is known of the extraterrestrial regions, show no mercy in their attempt to take over the human areas. Those who have survived battle with them sometimes have visual reminders of their efforts in the guise of missing limbs, a testimonial to their outright lack of any moral code which would figure because, for all intent purposes, they are but huge insects with an urge to destroy in their quest for it all.

The job ain't a cushy one but Rico leaps forward into his new profession with total abandon befitting a fresh outta high stool Filipino kid in his quest for a life of duty and a higher satisfaction. Along the way he (and perhaps you even at your stage in life) learns a few new thing as he transforms from Archie Andrews into Flash Gordon in a battle that is not gonna be won overnight but ya gotta start somewhere.

STARSHIP TROOPERS ain't some giddy World War II moom pitcher portraying conflict in some rather gosh-oh-gee terms. It can get pretty gnarly in its depiction of exactly what yer gonna be up against once you're eyeball to eyeball with the enemy, or in this case eyeball to eyeballs. None of that sappy sweet cloying entertainment bein' shoveled at'cha here...this is THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE for the Space Age and a pretty engrossing read that you just knew was gonna be made into a film that captured none of the novel's impact (and no, I haven't checked it out on Rotten Tomatoes and probably never will as if that really matters).

As we experience Rico emerging into a soldier worth his weight in body armor we get more than a loadfulla author Robert Heinlein's own personal views as the just exactly WHAT IS WRONG WITH NOT ONLY THIS WORLD, BUT WITH YOU!!!! The lack of a cohesive moral bond that keeps humanity on the straight and narrow seems to be one and going soft and flabby just ripenin' up for the enemy's the other. A long flashback to a high school class (spurred on by a fellow cadet's murder of an infant) has Rico reminiscing about his teacher's pro capital punishment argument, while another classroom lecture discusses juvenile delinquency in terms definitely not presented in a variety of Hollywood films for years to come. Some might think that Heinlein's advocating for a "fascist" state which limits rights to only the people who are willing to fight for them to the bloody end but once again I feel like commenting that if indeed Heinlein is fascist thenl gimme a square jaw and call me Benito! No wonder many wags tend to lump Heinlein in with Ayn Rand as concentration camp-rallying nabobs out to destroy the current political system as it stands and has stood for the past fiftysome if not longer years.

I will say for certain that Heinlein is a much better writer than Rand and that the naysayers who claim to be so worried about the supposed loss of liberties have been the first to be extremely cavalier in destroying many of the liberties that get in the way of their own rampages to create "The New Human". And now that I have read STARSHIP TROOPERS I've gotta say that each and every anti-Heinlein bleat from the more precious than thou set is pure hooey...the social/political questions that are addressed here, if not having been proven true over the past few decades, will be eventually.

Heck, STARSHIP TROOPERS is first and foremost a great teenbo novel that sure woulda instilled some interesting life mission views and values in me had I read it (and had been open minded enough about it) when I was developing into my own manhood looooong ago. The Sci-Fi is as fresh as a fanzine of the day and the overall tone of being a youth who turns into a man is something that I think should have been pushed on the last three or so generations that have resulted in the limpwrists and soy boys so common among us these days. But eh, I'm sure that the school librarians and moral overseers are more concerned with the nickname that was given to the Arachnoid enemy....mainly "bugs". Oh man, is that racist or what??? Sheesh, you can't even offend lobsters these sad 'n sorry days!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW BY BILL SHUTE! DAMNED PISTOLS OF DALLAS (Spain, 1964), STARRING FRED BEIR!



DAMNED PISTOLS OF DALLAS is one of those Euro-westerns that came rather early in the cycle (this was released only weeks after FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, so its makers had their film completed before they could even have seen DOLLARS) and had no discernible Sergio Leone influence. Thus, it was a Euro attempt at doing a 1950’s or early 60’s American B-western, without the elements one expects from the post-Leone, post-Sergio Corbucci Euro-westerns. There are no twanging echoed guitars, whistling, or trumpets blaring during the theme song----it sounds more like a sing-along you’d find in a dancehall floorshow in 1890’s Central City, Colorado, but a bit “off,” the way a song-poem record is a bit “off”. Of course, even without the music, ten seconds into this, you know it’s not American-made, the same way that you know within 10 seconds of hearing some French or German 60’s rock and roll single that the band is not from Iowa. However, since the film is dubbed in English, there are not European accents to give its origins away. It’s more the sets, the pacing, the overall ramshackle feel, the staging of the fights, the dialogue, the costumes, the grungy look to pretty much everything, and the strange mixture of more violence and brutality that you’d find in an American B-western of the 50’s and cartoonish elements that seem rooted in a Hanna-Barbera Quick Draw McGraw episode. Judge this film by either the standards of some late 50’s Audie Murphy or Rory Calhoun formula western at Universal, or judge it by the standards of some Django or Sartana film, and you’d find it wanting….a lot….but take it on its own terms (like, say, a 60’s record by the German band “The Lords”), and it will take you into its own unique world, with a kind of western play-acting based on film and pulp-novel clichés, but in the second half jumping the tracks a few times into unexpected territory, with twists and turns and a satisfying climax.

Imported American star FRED BEIR (see pic from this film, with cowboy hat) has always been a favorite of mine. Though he’s known primarily for television roles (a number of TV stars other than Clint Eastwood were used as leading players in European genre films, some before Eastwood….such as Don Megowan and Lang Jeffries…others like Beir and Ty Hardin, around the same time), Beir starred in two European films in the mid-60’s that I consider classics: the Eurospy romp MMM 83, whose soundtrack I have memorized, and the surreal ASSASSINATION, with Henry Silva. He also made a second western in Spain the same year with the same director and the same female co-star as DAMNED PISTOLS, TRES DOLLARES DE PLOMO. The actor then returned to the US to star in a western from Fox’s B-unit, FORT COURAGEOUS. Beir could be compared with a Doug McClure or a James Franciscus, and at certain angles I’m reminded of a shorter Lex Barker (who was 6’ 3”) in his non-Winnetou westerns (such as WHO KILLED JOHNNY R). Beir’s got sandy hair with a slight wave, he’s got a charm and warmth and self-deprecating quality that’s appealing, and he must have been a quick study and a reliable worker with all the TV guest shots (100+) he had over the years.

Some BTC readers may remember his colorful but brief (he’s the murder victim) appearance on the 70’s ELLERY QUEEN TV series with Jim Hutton, an episode called “The Adventure of the Hardhearted Huckster” where Beir played a workaholic tobacco company executive who mercilessly abuses his advertising agency people, playing them against each other, and making arbitrary decisions they are expected to click their heels and agree to. The supporting cast in that was amazing, with Carolyn Jones, Juliet Mills (whose character attempts suicide), Eddie Bracken, Herb Edelman as an ex-alcoholic “serious writer” who is on the wagon doing hack-work writing advertising copy, and Bob Crane at his funniest as a butt-kissing yes-man who does an about-face every 30 seconds, agreeing with whatever changes Beir dictates (see pic where Fred’s got a moustache). It’s the episode where the solution hinges on exactly when Beir’s character ate his lunch alone in his office.

The plot in DAMNED PISTOLS involves Beir, playing Clay Stone, son of a banker, returning to his home town, where his father was just murdered, having to pick up things after his father’s death and to find his father’s killer, but finding himself in the situation where he must free the killer who is about to be executed and return him to his criminal gang in order to free a hostage who will be murdered if the killer is hanged. Stone then has the law after him for breaking out a criminal, and when he returns the hostage to the town (something they are not at all appreciative of, being downright abusive to the lady who was just freed, laughing at her when she shows the welts from her torture!), he then must go back and re-capture the killer, taking on the entire gang. There is one shocking and unexpected scene about 2/3 through that will jolt even the most jaded viewer (no spoilers here!), even though the film has a “happy ending” to some extent. The version I saw ran about 90 minutes. It starts in high gear and works its way through a number of moods including humor (the shocking scene referred to above mirrors a humorous scene a few minutes before). Co-star Evi Mirandi will remind many of Brigitte Bardot, or more accurately, her sister Mijanou. It’s also interesting to see many Spanish western regulars, such as Angel
Alvarez, in roles against their usual type. I also think that Fred Beir is dubbing his own voice, which is always a plus and not that common when the imported leading man is not really a “star” whose voice would be recognized.

The print of this I viewed would, in record grading terms, be described as VG+ for the most part, except for a 10 minute sequence in the final third taken from a damaged video tape with Greek subtitles, which I’d label Fair quality. I understand that the film is available on one of those Mill Creek multi-pack cheapo DVD sets, although from the screen shots I’ve seen online, it looks like a different and inferior print was used by Mill Creek (mine has French credits and that one has Spanish credits, for instance). Spanish-speakers can find a copy of the film on You Tube, “Las Malditas Pistolas de Dallas”—the color on that version is a bit more washed out, but it’s better than nothing. Films like DAMNED DOLLARS OF DALLAS remind us how much variety there was among Eurowesterns, and I found it a pleasant way to kill 90 minutes while stuck in the house in virus-lockdown mode. Now I’m on the hunt to find Fred Beir’s other 1964 Spanish western, TRES DOLLARES DE PLOMO.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

And so have I, Whit. In fact I kinda get the feeling that I'm one of the "whittiest" people in the under-the-counterculture rock blogging world and the last person I wanna see get offed is me!
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Welp, ya can't say that I didn't have fun this week, what with all of the EXTREME GULCHERAL LEARNING that has been crammed into my gourd these past few days! To be up and front about it, I sure did have a busier (yet fun filled) time not only listening to, enjoying and writing about the following items but by doing a whole lotta extracurricular reading that woulda gotten me an "A+" had this been fourth grade! Hadda forego making my way through the THIMBLE THEATER Sea Hag/Alice the Goon storyline (a real wowzer in the Popeye canon) in order to read a couple of extremely famous novels that I've only decided to approach in these later years of my life (reviews forthcoming), not to mention continue copying, reading and absorbing the various writings via Rocksbackpages I've been intensely glomming in order to keep myself totally bloated on that Golden Age of  Rock Screed Writing style ya just can't get any more. Y'know, the stuff which I know that more'n a few of us could use especially since the last forty years of "mainstream" rock criticism has been, for the most part, hypesheet cut 'n paste. That is, if "mainstream" rock criticism has even existed in the last twenty years. In all it's a lotta reading and writing that kinda reminds me of English classes during my High Stool days, though writing about a load of great records sure beats doing a term paper on "the manual retraction of koala foreskins".

The Mick Farren pieces were fine even with his occasional lapses into late-sixties rabblerouse, while I also felt that the relative pittance of Howard Wuelfing articles available were just what this jaded fanabla needed to keep on keeping on. You might think that I would hate Wuelfing because it has been mentioned to me that he thought that I wasn't such a good rockscribe because I really didn't listen to and relay what the music within those grooves had to say (or was it Ray Farrell?), but really I do not care. I don't care mainly because he was RIGHT about that. But then again it was sure hard to judge a 1988 indie album using the same intellectual/critical acumen that would have gone into an appreciation of say...Hackamore Brick or the Stooges a good fifteen years earlier. By that sorry time rock 'n roll was really hung out to dry (in fact it might have been mule skin for all it was worth) so like, why blame me for being more perceptive than the usual Big City rockscribe?
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Here's an interesting link (note- link has been discontinued until correct one can be found---see coments section for more information) that I sure hope a few of you more "progressive" readers (one in particular) will read. But of course, you can always deny it by "considering the source"! I mean, what else can ya do in these extremely enlightened times anyway?
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Anyhoo...the reviews. Bill, Paul and Bob are the ones to be blamed for the freebees, so kick them instead of me. I have enough heel marks on my buttocks as it stands already.

Sandy Bull-FANTASIAS FOR GUITAR AND BANJO LP (Alternative Fox Records)

If you never did find the original don't worry, because some label called Alternative Fox decided to reissue the debut album by legendary folk junkie Sandy Bull after years of it languishing in many a GOLDMINE auction list. And yes indeedy, this is an album that you really should have in your collection even if you HATE these more sensitive'n you'll ever be folk types because well...it's way different than the usual early-sixties hi-hoot spew. Let's just say that you'd never see Bull on some college campus being interviewed by Jack Linkletter for HOOTENANNY!

Actually what makes Bull so brash is the way he not only plays in a for-wont-of-a-better-term "folk" idiom but mixes country, blue and rock 'n roll into the sound making for a music that doofoid big-city critics would later call "World". However, way back during them phony intellectual sixties Bull was playing a hybrid that was so outside what everyone else was doing that he naturally got stuck in the same bins with Dylan and the rest of the world-saving bleats. Almost as bad as when the Flamin' Groovies got slipped into the "alternative music" section next to such similar acts as X and Frankie Goes To Hollywood because well...most of those record shop clerks were so STOOPID they didn't know any better.

Bee-youtiful trackage here from the side long "Blend" with Ornette drummer Billy Higgins adding a neo-mid-eastern beat jag to classical re-do's and updates to old Southern hoots all ending with a wild version of the old Ray Charles raver "I Got a Woman" entitled "Gospel Tune", the first documented recording of a folkie actually picking up an electric guitar and man does it work out the way you wanted it to!

The three other albums on Vanguard are worth finding too, so if you have some old beatno relative with a stash of platters rotting away somewhere look through 'em and steal whatever you can!
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HERE'S BRENDA LEE LP (Vocalion Records)

An' all I can think about while hearing this pubescent pouter singin' these classics is...how many big biz guys got to sample this commodity when she was young 'n fresh anyway??? Just how much was li'l Brenda passed around by alla those producers and executives while she was on the way to the big time? Sheesh, I can't stop thinking about all of her smilin' for promotional shots with those horrid memories of denture breath creepin' up her snatch! In fact it's even come to the point I can't even watch LEAVE IT TO BEAVER without wonderin' if li'l Benjy hadda withstand the might of some huge industry phallus rammin' up his "secret underwater cave". Sheesh, alla this metooism has gotten to me to the point of utter horror. Anyway, the gal sings pretty hokay even if I couldn't give one whit about the standard top pop material she happens to be belting out here.
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Red Dark Sweet-REAL WORLD PHANTASY CLE 8/30/86/Frank Kogan/RDS CD-r burn

The Phantasy portion of the Cee-Dee is unlike the rest of the Red Dark Sweet offerings heard recently as in that this version of the group features what sounds like a free form AACM-inspired jazz ensemble playing while old yodel records are inserted here and there. A total surprise if you were looking for the Red Dark Sweet featuring Charlotte Pressler on organ and Andrew Klimek on guitar. Frank Kogan's material fits in with the old Red Dark Sweet oeuvre as it features standard solo repeato-riff guitar (and bass guitar) playing mostly accompanying the typical twistoid lyrics that the man has become somewhat known for. The final Red Dark Sweet bit tends to confuse people like myself even more...but then again was this batch ever consistent with their approaches to the post-rock splatter of things in the first place? In all, just what any Cle-rock fan bred on seventies trauma would not only know, but love.
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Various Artists-BALLROOM BEAT VOL. 2 --- TRY ME OUT CD-r burn (originally on Psychic Circle Records)

Since I'm not as familiar with the gritty underbelly of mid-sixties English beat groups as many of you readers are I will say this came as a pleasant surprise. Twenty rare single sides from a whole buncha Beatles-era bands who knew that if you swiped a riff or chording from the Fab Ones you just might come up with a chart topper yourself. An' they all have that snappy pounce that all the Liverpool biggies had, only it obviously didn't do any of these groups good since these platter sold about as well as saltpeter in San Francisco. Mostly obscuros here, tho a non-Fenman Bern Elliot track shows up there and hey, do you think that the League of Gentlemen who turn up here are the same League that a pre-King Crimson Robert Fripp led before reviving that name for his post Frippertronics act 'round 1980 way? Just might be.
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Allman Joy-EARLY ALLMAN FEATURING DUANE AND GREG ALLMAN LP (Dial Records)

I remember back inna mid-eighties when ROLLING STOOL magazine was syndicating a rock history thingamajig to various "AOR" stations, a concept which I knew woulda sucked off the bat and obviously did since their episode on the "garage band era" featured acts along the line of Rush, Todd Rundgren and the Allman Brothers! Groups that obviously come to mind when anyone with a head on as tight as mine thinks about garage bands, eh? Now I can see Todd being included in the program if only due to his tenure with the Nazz and I once read an article by Anastasia Pantsios where the First Lady of Rock as Sixties Hippie Justification for all that Back Patting Going On called Rush a typical garage band (I can sure sleep soundly at night knowing that rock history is firmly in the hands of such erudite and capable people like her), but the Allman Brothers, a group who I have always associated with the more boring moments of mainstream Dixiefied rock? Sheee-yucks!

Well, maybe not since the very hotcha and downright reliable Giovanni Dadomo mentioned the pre-Allman Brothers group called Allman Joy's 1966 "Gotta Get Away" single as being a boffo garage rocker in his "A to Z's of Punk" piece that appeared in some '76 ish of SOUNDS. Trusty guy that wop-a-dago, and that's why I got this album if not only for yet another trip into sixties downhome trash music but for a little change from the usual changes I've been going through these past few years.

Turns out "Gotta Get Away" which starts off this collection of early singles and demo sides is a fairly good teenage rocker, not as flash as any of those "base" groups that ROLLING STONE would not touch with a ten foot pole but entertaining enough. Unfortunately the rest of EARLY ALLMAN tends to flop about with the better moments sounding like bargain basement Paul Revere and the Raiders circa. 1967 and the others just failing miserably as if you'd really wanna hear these bro's do their version of "Old Man River" and a pretty low-key "Spoonful". Not exactly my idea of a high energy rock 'n roll time, but I get the feeling that the folk at ROLLING STONE, Anastasia Pantsios and maybe even Rush themselves would approve.
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Frederick Fennel/Eastman Wind Ensemble-SOUND OFF = MARCHES BY JOHN PHILIP SOUSA LP (Mercury Records)

Back durin' the mid-seventies I remember a whole lotta record burnin' goin' on due to the supposedly occult sexual beats that developed in the deepest darkest reaches of Biloxi Mississippi. Beats that, coupled with the overt sexualis lyrics and naughty album covers, did send a whole lotta mid-Amerigan parents righteously marching into their kids bedrooms to snatch Frank Zappa albums and smash them to little pieces. Not to mention, getting off the subject slightly, irately call up the local PBS station which resulted in them moving MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS to a later time slot. But when asked what kind of music Young Ameriga should be listening to I recall one smart fellow mentioning that John Philip Sousa marches would be just the nicest, dandiest thing to cool off those hot randy kids and turn 'em into the meek and milquetoast beings that parents really could suppress like it should be!

WHOZE THAT GUY KIDDIN' ANYWAY????? After listening to this album I have come to believe that march music is the real inhibition-tossing sex stirrer that could ruin one's soul. The twenties may have had the saxophone and the fifties Elvis swivvilin' his hips but both have NOTHING on the "oompah" sounds that could get unaware teenbos hotter'n you-know-what faster than you can say Grover Cleveland! Those Sousaphone sounds may as well represent the pea-soup-like bubblin' goin' on in the nether-regions while the steady beat is extremely close to the carnal act itself. If you listen to these marches while watching those Victorian gals bare all for those Muybridge photo sessions (all put together for your enjoyment on youtube...just keep telling yourself that it's historical and art and you won't feel so guilty) you'll get an idea of just how swinging the 1880s coulda been!

Best part of it is you can easily get away with listening to this since most folk will just think you're another cube who might as well be a white supremacist since listening to march music and white nationalism go hand in hand, especially if someone on Twitter says so! But eh, I'll get over it the same way I got over people thinking I was the evilest person ever for saying I enjoyed 14th Century English and French religious compositions. And come to think of it, this album contains the infamous "Liberty Bell March" which Python used as the theme to their much admired television series which I get the feeling will be censored heavily itself as the days roll on, for all the wrong reasons of course.
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Andrew Klimek-WCSB (MID-80's) PARTS ONE AND TWO CD-r burns

Yes, the former and future X-Whatever-X singer and guitarist actually did a dee-jaying gig on Cleveland State University radio back 'round 1986 way, and thankfully these recordings are around to remind us of just how boffo those local college radio shows coulda been. The first disque begins with an editorial by some whiny feminist (sheesh, they had whiny feminists even then!) and then gets into a whole array of sounds both good (Velvet Underground galore!) and not so (the Feelies) with loads of newer than ever new music 'n jazz thrown in to keep you listeners on your tootsies.

A lotta the stuff that Andrew got from the old New Music Distribution Service really doesn't jangle my joints but it was nice to give such obscurities by the likes of John Zorn and Elliot Sharp a listen at least once, and the overall effect was akin to had I actually turned on the radio, kicked up feet and enjoyed the proceedings as they happened a good 35 years back. Interspersing Allan Kaprow and a variety of tracks (sometimes on top of each other!) was a brilliant idea! Sure would love to hear the Charlotte Pressler shows she did for the very same station around the very same time (hint hint!).
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Various Artists-SILVER INNERSPACE LOVEBELLS CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill gets all bellbottoms and pukka on this collection, a "mixtape" for people who might have a little bit too mixed up in their heads already! I can just see Bill slippin' on his Nehru Jacket and ploppin' on a whole buncha love beads as everything from "The Farm" and the Chambers Brothers to Terry Reid do their doody while Bill swings and sways away! And don't laff because I know I'd be doin' the exact same thing and my girth probably makes Bill look like Twiggy in comparison! Thankfully the likes of doo wopper Eddie Delmar and a funkified Chuck Berry arrive in time before anyone can throw their sacroiliac out.

Oh yeah, you get more of that late-eighties more amerindie than thou music from the Silver Jews tryin' to milk Lou Reed for even more than he was worth not to mention one of those Sonic Youth tracks recorded a bit after I stopped listening. So if you're keen on these thirty-plus-year-old phenomenons well, you're in luck!
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When history is recorded and everything has been said about the state of the fanzine art in the late-twentieth to early twenty-first centuries one thing can be certain. And that is everyone will then know that I will never have been able to sell all of the BACK ISSUES OF BLACK TO COMM that lie unmolested just waiting for eager rock 'n roll fans to latch up with unrestrained abandon. Let's prove history wrong for once, eh?

Thursday, June 25, 2020

BOOK REVIEW! STUDEBAKER CARS BY JAMES H. MOLONEY (Motorbooks International, 1994)

Like old television programs, family furniture and strange communicable diseases, certain things can flash me back to my earliest memories within an instant. The same goes for automobiles...I can pretty much lay out my entire life and the changes it went through by looking at the cars that I have come in contact with and admired from afar long before I was even able to drive one of these things. And by that time eh, the magic was lost.

And when I was a mere turdler, I used to get this impression that moving vehicles had their own strange aura about 'em, as if they were just as much of living entities and as part of the family situation as the dog. Now, I used to think that in the hierarchy of life there were humans, then dogs, and then all sorts of smaller creatures but cars figured in the equation somehow. Exactly how I couldn't explain, though I thought that things like that would clearly be explained once I got into second grade.

As for Studebakers well...these things were special to me. The Lark was a cool little thing---I have two Tootsietoy convertibles that are gravely in need of restoring while the Avanti was a slick rarity that always had me turnin' my pre-stool head and I really liked the '63-66 Wagonaires because they had different taillights than the sedan version. That was something that really got me goin' somehow...station wagons with different taillights. All these years later I think it was a misplaced understanding of sexuality transposed to automobiles on my part, like men were sedans and convertibles and women were station wagons or something like that, only in real life women have different headlights.

When the Studebaker disappeared so did a little of me. Life was becoming too difficult with school and all and I was struggling along missing the old days of which Studebakers seemed a grand part of. As I grew older and older I saw less and less of them which I couldn't comprehend because well, I thought when a car was made it was here for all eternity. By the early-seventies rusted out Champ pickups could be espied on rare occasion while others from the marque were nowhere to be found. Sheesh did I feel old, and I was but a mere sixth-grader!

At least there are books on the subject matter that remind me of those way better'n now times when Studebakers ruled the parking lots and were brazenly featured on MR. ED. This hardcover is but one and it's a boon to those who really go for this historical automobile which thumbed its nose at the Big Three until it just couldn't. And considering how many of the smaller auto companies in the US petered out long before Studebaker's own '66 demise, maybe that's saying something that should be SHOUTED FROM THE HIGHEST AUTOMOBILE PARTS SHOP!

Lotsa great photos of all the Studebaker cars are to be found. None of the trucks mind you (woulda liked to have seen at least a few Champs) but the title clearly says CARS and besides there are plenty of sedans and wagons pictured giving your eyeballs a good pleasin'. The older models that I was not familiar with are a surprise---I gotta say that they look just as sleek and savvy as many of those French designs that were comin' out inna thirties which some might feel strange since like, Studebakers did have this reputation for being lower-class 'n all. Cars that really woulda looked sleek drivin' down your street if you were some sorta depression-era kid on the lookout for some interesting thrills.

Of course for me its the fifties and sixties Studes that I like to gaze upon with the same passion I give to hula gals in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.. Why not, since it is those Larks and Avantis and Hawks that I used to see all the time looking so energized with their European styling and overall portrayal of just what a snassy automobile that I wish I was old enough to drive should look like. Yeah, these cars also remind me of HAPPIER times which is a personal part of it you would have no connection to but dang, when I think of Studebakers I also think of HUCKELBERRY HOUND and weeknight tee-vee viewing with the rest of the fambly not to mention just how every day was an adventure in itself, things that eventually flew to the wayside once I got old and other people had ideas on how I should live and well, that didn't turn out so hot as I eventually discovered!

Yeah this book coulda used more, like a pic of the various Eyetalian Studebaker designs which were rather unique in themselves. But why should I quibble given how STUDEBAKER CARS captures a big hunka everyday Amerigan history of how we used to live and how some of us who are old enough to remember why things were better then are right about those days after all. I mean, there is a big difference between driving a Studebaker and driving a Tesla, and if you think the former is somehow subpar and reflective of an irrelevant past well, I'm surprised you've read down even this far.

By the way...this is not mentioned in the book but there was an idea being bantered about to import Toyotas and slip the Studebaker badge on 'em which I kinda think woulda been slightly interesting. Almost as cool as that early attempt in 1960 to sell the Facel Vega Excellence as Packards which also didn't go far, but just imagine if...

Saturday, June 20, 2020

So we bleat again. Got a nice packed (and not with fudge you thilly thing!) post this week, one which I hope'll inspire at least ONE  of you readers to empty out your wallet so's you can absorb some of the sonic musings that I'm touting as true saviors of a rather staid lifestyle. Had fun listening to the entire mess too so it wasn't like I was groveling through it all as if I were doing a high stool termpaper on the presidency of Thomas Dewey...it might read like one but eh, I can't hit on all of the spark plugs all of the time!
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PUBLIK CERVIX ANNOUNCEMENT-I know how many of you readers  long for rare long-gone issues of my crudzine. Well, here's an opportunity that don't come up too often, so hurry up before it's way too late!
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Naturally I've been pouring through the relevant Rock's Back Pages printouts I mentioned last week with a voracity that would put most seventies rockread fans to shame. (And why not considerin' alla the money I hadda spend to get a three month subscription which pales next to the money I woulda hadda spend then for subscriptions but eh!)  Having fun at it too. The Charles Shaar Murray pieces are of course boff even if ya don't give a hoot about a lot of his subject matter...he writes so good that you actually will find yourself enjoying his David Crosby history despite the fact that the guy for all intent purposes was useless even when he was finishing up his days in the Byrds writing gunk like "Triad". However, you'll LAUGH when he tries to interview Paul Kantner, Grace Slick and David Frieberg in an Eyetalian restaurant and all Gracie cares about is eating her lasagna with Paul and David only slightly more comatose! His infamous mention of the Clash as a garage band that should have been practicing while the engine was running is not to be found but still, Murray does have that patented neo-Bangsian ability to find punk rock in places where you never thought it would have existed which I find a gift only a few people have ever been blessed with. And if that makes you wanna search out those old Edgar Winter's White Trash albums for yet another dimension to a sound you thought Iggy and the Stooges had a monopoly on well then go ahead...I am (once I get some moolah back by selling loads of back issues of my failed crudzine...see come-on at end of post)!

Jane Suck's writings are also of a great value that I'm sure very few were putting on her SOUNDS contributions at the time, though even at this stage you kinda get the impression that this rather innocent yet streetsavvy dame is slowly but surely morphing into your standard flannel shirt bulldyke right before your very eyes. And as far as Paul Morley goes well, for some STUPID reason I stapled his efforts on the wrong side of the page so it reads backwards, something which I do hope is not an OMEN! Will give you a report after I remove the staples and do the job right.

The big surprise just has to be the various Chrissie Hynd(e) reviews---I've already mentioned how much I enjoyed her previous from the brain and heart rock rantings, and even though I have already read her reviews of acts such as Magma and Eno a few years back and thought them tops I gotta say that her other contributions to the mag, her Tim Buckley, Velvet Underground, Gram Parsons and David Cassidy pieces, were so pleasing to the rock psyche that I wish she had stuck with writing and used music as a sideline like her former boyfriend Nick Kent did. Unfortunately her Mose Allison article has yet to be archived, but maybe someday soon.

BIG SURPRISE...her more-recent (2004) ode to the sixties and why they were the top teen times (even during the later years when things got a little rancid) was something that had me wishing I was old enough to absorb all of the great negative energy of those days, a time when I was more concerned with KRAZY KAT than I was anything passing for music on the radio. If you can believe it, Hynde was actually listening to "Sister Ray" and Captain Beefheart on WMMS which really stymies me considering what turdburgers that station turned out to be when the $$$ were dangled in front of Kid Leo's eyes! And she, like most of us regular readers, understood to her heart of hearts that those shaggy groups on WERE THE ACTION IS might as well have been heralds from another dimension or zone for that matter presenting us suburban slobs with THE TRUE SECRET OF LIFE. Well, it is a whole lot better that people like her and me (of course!) bestow special tantric powers upon the likes of the Seeds than Charles Manson discerning occult messages in THE WHITE ALBUM!

Yeah, some of that piece might get slightly into hippydippy loveydove hate your parents they were so evil and be a slut regardless of the consequences prattle, but overall it packed a pretty strong punch to this paunch. Tune in next week for more rockscreeding revelations.
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Just heard about the passing of Skydog label head and Open Market manager Marc Zermati, a surprise in that I thought he woulda died years earlier if all of those drug exploit stories I heard were true. Somehow I get the impression that Marc read my recent bootleg article which mentioned some of his old wares and that set him into motion for his meeting with destiny, but I do get that way sometimes as if my mere thoughts no matter how offhand can actually affect reality. Well, not all the time because if that was so there'd be a few extra corpses layin' around in California and Melbourne, ifyaknowaddamean... Still, another biggie in the BLOG TO COMM annals has passed on and I get the feelin' a whole lot more'll be headin' out to the roarin' flames as time lingers on so whatever you do, BE GOOD!
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Anyway/Anyhow/Anywhere, here's another batter down the hatches set of reviews I think you'll like, and if you can get as much spiritual fulfillment out of these as I am reading those old Murray and Hynde pieces you must be even more starry-eyed than I am! Thanks to Bill, Paul and Bob too for the gibs---you will be rewarded for your kindness, though I do get the feeling that it will be in a not-so-positive way...
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I'll betcha're won'drin' just what has gotten me on this Steve Lacy kick as of late. I mean, although I have sung the praises of his myriad assortment of spinners it was never like I was one to rabidly champion his various efforts spanning an assortment of jazz styles over the course of fiftysome years. If you wanna know, what happened to me was that I was triggered...not triggered like that chimp who tore off some woman's face and chomped her hand off after she picked up his Tickle Me Elmo doll, but something mighty darn close!

What got me goin' was the very same CBGB handbill from January 1990 that you see directly to your left (click ir to enlarge, dummy!), one which besides listing a myriad assortment as they say of interesting acts obscure and obscurer, features the listings for the next door CB's 313 Gallery which was known to host music that was somewhat quieter than the air raid that was goin' on at the more familiar club. Anyway, if you look at the bottom of the bill hard enough you'll see a gig listing for Sunday February the second which features an interesting line-up for a satellite multi-platform gig celebrating the poetic work of one Janos Gat. Dunno who this guy is even after I googled his name but I thought that the idea of a multimedia show from various worldwide hotspots seemed like a fine idea to me, especially when the CB's portion of the bill featured not only the infamous Defunkt but Arkestra regs John Gilmore and Marshall Allen plus "Setev" Lacy proving that whoever hired the typesetter should be commended for hiring a dyslexic person thus giving him a decent living wage.

Dunno how this particular event turned out---I kinda get the feeling it flopped with not only technical but personal glitches---but the mention of Lacy sure echoed something loud in my cavernous cranium and next thing you knew I was on the search of whatever recordings of his I thought would sate my atonal cravings for the free stuff. Plus that recent batch of CODAs I procured sure helped out what with their heavy duty coverage of the man at a time I'm sure he coulda used more'n just a little help!

Bought a few items in the interim, the first a ten-Cee-Dee collection of all the Black Saint/Soul Note Lacy albums as latched onto a few items of some notoriety. And in case you can't guess, I'm gonna give you my impressions regarding each and every one of these new items thrust into my otherwise snoozeville life.


The first of the Black Saint box is TRICKLES, which I'm sure is something many of you old Lacy fans will find rollin' down your leg once you remember just how difficult it was to get hold of these Black Saint albums when they were first up and about and now you can get hold of the entire set for a relatively cheap price! Trombonist Roswell Rudd, a guy whose FLEXIBLE FLYER album on Arista/Freedom is the only rec on that label I deemed to pawn off, actually plays swell enough that I perhaps regret that earlier trade-in (for a post-punk loser I'll bet!) even if he ain't as expressive and angular as he is here. Bassist Kent Carter and drummer Beaver Harris round out the quartet and "compliment" (yeeesh!) the horns without getting all over the sesh. I'm not Gary Giddins so I ain't gonna comment on any of that intricate jazz brouhaha about timbre and interplay and other gunk that sorta masks the fact that the music drives and scrapes at your nervous system like the best music could. Well, do you want me to compare music like this to "flamingos" 'r somethin'? Maybe long-extinct prehistoric birds of Herculean size and strength fighting for the last egg in some dinosaur nest.
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REVENUE came out on Soul Note and, unlike the first entry into the Black Saint canon features a recording done in Lacy's long time home Italy albeit none of the players seem to be of local heritage. In fact, I must admit that I'm not familiar with most of his sidemen here (other'n fellow soprano player Steve Potts who turns up on quite a few Lacy efforts)  but they sure do sound swell and are in-groove with Lacy's general free play nature which can take ya on some really inspiring (and inspired) tangents  A pretty good encapsulation of one of the final remnants of the early new thing that sure must have seemed "antiquated" (to some but not quite to me) when this 1993 sesh was laid down.
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TROUBLES is the second album on Black Saint proper and it sure is a pretty nervy album that appeals to the inner turmoil that's been raging in my body since I was at least two. Good band backing him up as well including wife Irene Aebi who sings on the interestingly-enough titled "Wasted". The entire group does some fine chanting themselves on the title track, and that twisted angular feeling I love hearing in the best jazz of the sixties/seventies is sure in full bloom on this '79 release that like I said earlier was not only a rarity but pretty pricey if one happened to makes its way into some high quality record shop. Kinda makes me glad that I was too cheap to even attempt to buy a lotta these efforts way back when not that a whole lotta stuff is not only inexpensive, but free if you can get it offa Youtube or Soundcloud!
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REGENERATION ain't exactly a Steve Lacy album per se, but a collaboration twixt he and Rudd, pianist Misha Mengelberg, bassist Kent Carter and drummer Han Bennink where the whole bunch of 'em play tribute to Herbie Nichols and Thelonius Monk a side apiece. And yeah, although both of these jazz legends ain't exactly whatcha'd call part of the sixties free explosion the way Lacy etc. were, their honorers handle their material certainly with a rather avgarde approach reminding me of various mid-fifties early branching outs from the hard bop idiom. The original cover is reproduced to a "t" here, though the printing on the reverse is so small I can't make out very much of what Nat Hentoff wrote about this particular effort! On Soul Note this time for those of you who are keeping track.
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Haw! Another joint effort tribute, this time to Herbie Nichols on his lonesome! Joining Lacy once again is Mengelberg and Bennink, along with Arjen Gortner on the bass violin and sprouting new jazz up 'n comer George Lewis who at this was being touted heavily even in the pages of the normally staid DOWN BEAT. Yet another Soul Note release, this one doesn't differ too much from the recordings presented on the previous offering, though I could wax eloquent about Lewis' trombone playing as well as the general freshness of the ensemble who branch well into the early avgarde feeling when the stretchin' out is worked on. Nice cover repro too, but again the liner notes are way too small to make out, so small that they even make some of the efforts re my own crudzine come off like the READER'S DIGEST large print version!!!
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Sheesh! I was hopin' that the cover of the Soul Note DUTCH MASTERS release woulda had the entire ensemble (besides Lacy, Mengelberg, Lewis and Bennink Cellist Ernst Reyseger) posed like the pic one would see on a box of cigars but no such luck. Still its what one would have expected from Lacy after the previous five albums for these labels, what with its strong Monk influence coupled with the same free approach that Lacy picked up on when part of the Cecil Taylor Unit (dunno if they were called that so early inna game, but...), all done up in that angular way that recalls not only seventies free jazz approaches but with that feeling ya got when listening to those Eric Dolphy albums where he seemed to be right on the brink of a tenser-than-ever breakthrough. Special commendation goes to Mengelberg's playing which doesn't seem to know whether or not to veer towards Taylor or Burton Greene but heads toward Mengelberg which I guess is suitable enough.
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Lacy seems to be the solid set leader of THE CONDOR (again, on Soul Note), a mid-eighties effort once again featuring wife Aebi and vocals and violin (good but not as tangent-bound as Leroy Jenkins or Billy Bang) and some hot playing that thankfully once again dredges up all of those great mid-seventies new thing experiments. This even kinda makes ya remember why you liked the jazz avgarde back when you were a teenbo takin' a BIG CHANCE buyin' some jazz album on the recommendation of R. Meltzer with those depression wages forever eatin' at your NEED to KNOW MORE about the gaping wide universe. Aebi sings swell too adding to the underlying bared-wire intensity of it all. Noted pianist Bobby Few even appears raising the property value many times over and as far as these Eyetalian releases go this might be the best of the batch---so far, that is.
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THE CRY is a double Cee-Dee set taken from a live jazzfest show in '88 with a rather different line-up of instruments that you would usually associate with a Lacy ensemble (accordion, harpsichord) as well as wife Aebi's vocals which are taken from the writings of some Bangladeshi feminist type who has a hefty price on her head. Heck, I do need the money and if she happens to wander into my neighborhood I might be tempted to off her, but chances are that she won't and anyway her real contribution to this album is small because frankly I can't understand a word Aebi is singing.

Despite occasional lapses into staidness (much like this post---yawn) THE CRY does hit upon some moments that approach avgarde total eruption. Even a few sidesteps into Sun Ra (thanks to the harpsichord?) cum downright funkitude show up making this one of those tantric excursions into a sound beyond music. Might be worth a try if you are feeling rather experimental yourself. This one came out on Soul Note, again if your anus happens to get really tight about such things.
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Also on Soul note is Lacy's final effort for that label credited to the Steve Lacy Octet and entitled VESPERS, something which doesn't exactly come to mind when listening to this rather good flashback into the mid/late-sixties late-Coltrane period New Jazz feel that is more representative of the work that Archie Shepp was beginning to make his mark with at the time. The playing seems even more expressive than on some of the other Black Saint/Soul Note efforts and the sound has a nice gloss to it that reminds me of those early-sixties Impluse and Blue Note efforts which really does stir a li'l somethin' in me, like making me wanna kick myself for passin' up alla those used jazz records I used to come across in shops because finances were so limited! In all a rather pleasing to the avgarde spirit of Lacy effort to end his tenure at this label which, like I probably have mentioned before, was all but obtainable unless you were a rabid Italian record buyer or knew which shops to go to (complete with a Trust Fund to match).
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After all that you might want to latch onto STAMPS on HatHut, a particularly high-charged live '77/'78 double set featuring the standard late-seventies quintet more/less (Aebi, Potts, Kent Carter, Oliver Johnson) playing particularly ferocious approaching previous Shepp/Coltrane/Coleman levels of high pressure music that really will affect you especially if your main musical forte is high energy rock. Sound is great, playing is perfect and this really compliments the above Black Saint/Soul Note efforts which I also get the feeling will not be leaving your laser launching pad any time soon.
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Lacy's SAXOPHONE SPECIAL (on Emanem but get yers offa Youtube because a real life copy is EXPENSIVE) is more or less what I wished the mostly-eighties vintage Lacy albums reviewed in the box set section were like. Gnarly and nerve-shredding, these live shows present Lacy and band THE WAY I LIKE 'EM TO BE HEARD, with a lotta free play and grit with added dimension (and downright gnarly-ness) added to the session thanks to the likes of some of the more advanced minds in seventies like Derek Bailey sitting in. The saxophone quartet (all sopranos!) should perk the lobes of those of ya who were part and parcel for the BIG ANTHONY BRAXTON PUSH AS THE NEWER-THAN-NEW-JAZZ-THING-OF-THE-MID/LATE-SEVENTIES movement, while Michel Waisvisz's synthesizer playing tops Richard Teitelbaum's if you ask me.

lotslotslotslotslots more Lacy out there for any serious fan of the new thing to peruse, and even I have a few vinyl examples inna collection that are due for a reappraisal one of these days when I get some extraextra time on my hands. An expansive catalog the man has, and quite a bit is readily available if you too wanna take the plunge into some way more expansive than your standard tux 'n bowtie impression of the music that, when in the right hands, is as tantric and as SHOCKING as that cold frozen moment look at the end of the fork as any of your rock 'n roll favorites. Pretty heady and cathartic even, and once I get it all digested into my brain and fully comprehend the sounds at hand all I gotta say is...I still wonder how that gig with Gilmore and Allen at the CB's 313 Gallery turned out, tho I get the maybe not-so-strange feeling that if the event actually did take place it wasn't grade-z turdsville after all!
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Peter Green-THE END OF THE GAME CD-r burn (originally on Reprise Records)

Sheesh, I mention an old Fleetwood Mac bootleg ONCE and wouldn't you know it but that would spur Bob Forward into sending me a dub of the thing. To which I say good choice of burns ya got there, Bob!

Of course it ain't like I was never aware of this particular spinner, as Lou Rone was once raving on and on about how great the thing was. Of course he seemed to be equally excited about the photo on the back cover which I don't consider anything to be arousal-like, but to each his own I say!

But even if blooze chooze ain't your brand of moccasins THE END OF THE GAME is a spiffy platter, a strange rambling amorphous jam (or sets of jams) edited down to FM-radio length for that laid back dee-jay to play when number one starts a'callin'. It might even SURPRISE a few of you adamantly anti-Fleetwood Mac listeners with its decidedly free rock approach which borders on a free jazz tempo and even some cacophony that might get some wag out there to call this a punk rock masterpiece. Go ahead, makes more sense'n some of those patented crybaby rants bein' called exactly that!

For late-night head-straightening out or just an average good listen, and if you walk away wanting to search out those old Mac platters don't blame me if they sound nothin' like this.
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The Cosmic Dropouts-GROOVY THINGS CD-r burn (originally on Skyclad Records)

Y'all know exactly how much I've come to tire of these rote-a-garage bands that had been comin' out o'er the past thirtysome years or so, but the Cosmic Dropouts deliver on some hotcha hard-riff beats to the point where I gotta separate these guys from the hoards that have been making themselves a name despite their relatively light-fluff style. Closer to the DMZ/Lyres style of sixties revision with none of that phony op art go go stuff to mess things up. Pretty nice listening to without having to adjust your listening parameters, really.
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The Barracudas-WAIT FOR EVERYTHING CD-r burn (originally on Shake Records)

Sounds like the Barracudas grow up and get professional album. But that's grow up in the right way. These are the guys who had those fluke English hits a good twelve or so years earlier and those singles were a surprise...total teenage NUGGETS fun in an era where everything hadda be cut and shaped to a conformity that still makes me uneasy to think of. By 1992 their sound had become way more polished and dare-I-say "commercial", yet it still has enough of a rock 'n roll backbone so that you won't puke listening to it. You may even tap toe or wave an index finger like the big kids usedta do when I was a mere first-grader. Not bad a-tall.
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Red Dark Sweet-JB'S 5/24/85 (PT. 2)/JB'S DOWN 6/28/85 CD-r burn

Somehow Red Dark Sweet sounds like the only early-eighties-bred under-the-underground NYC post no wave art rock/Loisada (if I spelled that right) band that...sounds rock 'n roll to me! Sheesh, at certain parts it's like they coulda been of the late-sixties/early-seventies local Hackamore Brick teenage combo stoked on the fumes of a truly freeform FM radio (see Chrissie Hynde blurb above) and cheap wine kinda act I sure wish were playin' down my block! Again the specter of "Kandy Korn" pops up as well as some funny asides like Charlotte Pressler hawking various records to audience members for prices that we'd all kill for these days. Only we had it all then so it didn't seem like that much of a bargain. If alla this was edited down and sharpened up I think it'd make one of those boffo albums that woulda adorned my collection for years on end...and even get fondly played when it happens to turn up in the stack.
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Various Artists-AMBITION SANDALWOOD CLEO RIDER CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill starts out moody and gets funky with Syl Johnson and down home with some digestible folk and even a batch of radio ads (Byrds, Four Wheels, Tokens, Tiny Tim, Canned Heat) tossed into the mix! Since I haven't played any Jesus and Marychain in a good few decades Bill put some on here to remind me, and while he was at it he decided to also remind me about the Flaming Lips, another act that sorta got bushwhacked over time. Blues, schmooze (from New Castle's own Four Friends) and I even dug the Companions' novelty rocker "I Want a Yul Brynner Haircut" which goes to show you what kind of flippant mood I'm in today!
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BACK ISSUES DEPARTMENT! I know that some of you are getting tired of me consistently hawking these old BLACK TO COMMs that are popping up around the ol' abode whether I want to find a copy or not. Maybe if some of you actually BOUGHT some I wouldn't have to keep badgering you. Take a hint, willya?