Saturday, January 11, 2020

Given this is the post-Christmas slack period it's not like I have that much exciting to say about any personal doings or going ons regarding my life. That is, unless you wanna hear about all the fifty-per-cent off bargains I got on Christmas candy which should last me until...Valentine's Day at least. So let's just get on and into the reviews of which I gotta say I have a nice and proud batch to give the anal probe so to speak.

But before we do...RIP BUCK HENRY, whose recent passing might just get me enough off my butt to go 'n watch not only THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH but TAKING OFF, a flicker which is sure to be even more of a verifiable counterculture laff parade than KEEP OFF MY GRASS ever was! Thanks go to Bill, Paul, P.D. and Feeding Tube who really know how to keep a guy occupied during his ever-dwindling free time!


Like you won't believe this 'un where the famed Gizmoid does his hey beat mon thingie to some of the weirdest sonic backing and that's even talkin' Feeding Tube standards! Channeling his inner Rod McKuen to amazing effect, Flowers rip snorts through beatnik lore and Mississippi mud with a Southern drawl that would give Jayne County a hard-on if she still had a phallus (dunno what she'd get now) while percussive and electronic sounds properly accompany the degrading tales that Flowers spews.

The music (and I use the term tightly) reminds me of everything from some old John Cage "Imaginary Landscape" to "The Nothing Man" off the Deviants' PTOOFF! album as percussion is definitely in the forefront and some sort of appropriate screeching intrudes just when the time is right. Guitars? Casiotones? Cassiopeia? I dunno but the end results definitely do make this one of THE records to watch out for at the dawn of this new decade.

Interesting wood knots onna cover, eh? Either that or SOME STRETCH MARKS YOU GOT THERE EDDIE! Yeah it fooled me too but don't be a fool and not snatch this 'un up, for this is the best recording by a rockscribe who is still relevant inna present day (at least to me) release since Feeding Tube's Meltzer reish a few years back. OK, if you're not buyin' that howzbout buyin' the fact that this is exactly what an unreleased International Artists album circa. 1968, produced by Mayo Thompson no less, would sound like! The real MEAT MUSIC SAMPLER? I dunno.
Archie Shepp-A SEA OF FACES LP (Black Saint/Goodfellas Records, Italy)

I sure can remember the days when not only were these European-only free jazz records all but impossible to find at the local record supermarket, but when the only place one could even find out that they even existed inna first place was via Gary Giddins' VILLAGE VOICE reviews. Thankfully times have changed and now we can all get hold of such wonders as this 1975 session courtesy one of the greatest avant garde horn players to ever grace a European low-rent studio.

Side one features the side-long "Hypnosis", a deep groove free splat that reminds me of those BYG recordings more than it does the fairly commercial Impulse platters he was doin' just around the same time. It's one you can really sink your psyche into as the group cranks out this riff that Shepp plays over swell and you can just listen to it by its lonesome or do some reading or house works any ol' way on your inner nervous system.

The flip begins with one of those "Back To Africa" kinda chants and clunks that Shepp seemed to perfect at least around the time of MAGIC OF JU JU, and the rest of this side drives more into his roots accompanied by the spry vocals of Bunny Foy, who I suspect is no relation at all to either Eddie or the Seven Little Foys. It still retains the heavy percussive retrostylings that Shepp is well known for and like, I know many of you will grumble at the price of this limited edition release but face it, this ain't 1985 no mo' with alla them jazz purists dumpin' their platters at the used shop in exchange for Cee-Dee updates (dummies!).
The Aliens-NYC CD-r burn

Back inna mid-seventies there were class-a "underground" rock groups that were gettin' a whole lotta positive press wherever you looked. Bands like Talking Heads, Ramones, Pere Ubu, Blondie, the Gizmos etc. and so forth. Then there were the groups that were definitely "B"-level who mighta gotten some press and/or released a few things but never really got the much-needed notoriety  like the Planets, TV Toy and Styrene Money. And then there were all the "C" bands who nobody seemed to care about and very little is remembered except for those with access to Fred Kirby's VARIETY reviews or old issues of THE AQUARIAN. Tons of bands in that category of which the Aliens are but just one, but wha' th' hey?

Only real Alien spotting I can recall is in the AQUARIAN ish with Geofrey Krozier on the cover and a long Kongress article inside which mentions the time when, after Von Lmo busted his leg drop-kicking someone who was sitting on his car, the Aliens' drummer was drafted as a quick fill in. Said drummer had a previous encounter with Lmo when auditioning for some proposed group...the audition was to have consisted of him jumping from a tall ladder into his drum set with an ax.

Nothing as frighteningly bizarroid can be heard on these rather solid-sounding numbers, but the Aliens sure did know how to crank out a hard enough rock that I'm sure coulda propelled them out of the club scene and into the---well, opening for a major act tour of the Northeast but that would be better'n nothing!

Not quite heavy metal but still gutzy in that Aerosmith tough guy pose sorta way with a music that owes part to the earlier arena rock types with enough Stones to solidify the sound and enough New York Dolls to give it that fresh and brash approach that really helped separate the newer breed of hard rock groups from the stodgier ones that were more popular for some strange reason or another. In other words this is PUNK ROCK the way it used to be defined way back when, a time when that hallowed term was being used to describe everyone from AC/DC and the Stooges to Little Bob Story and Talking Heads and people had no idea what was gonna happen once the jaded mid-seventies got even  jadier once that decade began to creep its way down the road to Decadentsville.

Overall NYC is a rather exciting album that doesn't even need to sound better'n these demos because it's all out front and hits your seventies rock sensibilities hard enough to the point where old issues of ROCK SCENE will suddenly appear right before your very eyes. Should be easily enough of a download to find, and if I were you I'd spend my time seeking out something like this 'stead of some of the newer than new under-the-underground efforts being touted as hotcha baloney which usually end up rotting away on the shelves anyway.
The Modern Lovers-STONEHENGE SET 2 71/72? CD-r burn

More of the same from last week, and if you (like everyone else) was so flabbergasted from all of those reports of what Richman and crew were doin' that even made the pages of ROLLING STONE (tho I dread reading what fem hag Ellen Willis wrote about 'em in the pages of THE NEW YORKER!) you can hear up front just why these guys were making such big waves in the under-the-underground music scene at the time! In an age of ironed hair and general dyspepsia the Lovers came off like the REAL rock 'n roll salvation that the world would take a good five or so years to catch up to, and this set really drives the point across! So good that even "Pablo Picasso" sounds driving enough without the presence of John Cale's piano chording away a la "The Protege"!
Iggy and the Stooges-THE STOOGES REHEARSALS 1973 DISC TWO CD-r burn

Ah, the sounds of a true rock 'n roll implosion. The gettin' together and workin' 'em out for the RAW POWER tour continues with more of those tracks that filled many a bootleg back in the late-eighties along with the infamous JESUS LOVES THE STOOGES EP and those duos where Iggy, presumably James Williamson and a beat box romp through their version of what the blooze are supposed to be like! It's been goin' 'round for quite some time and has been packaged and re-packaged more'n the Velvet Underground, but it sure sounds fantastico every time I lay ears to it!
Tommy Stuart-WHAT MAKES MARY GO ROUND CD-r burn (originally on Crazy Cajun Records)

Sounds rather mid-South-ish to me, and perhaps a bit like some of the things Alex Chilton might have been whipping up in between the Box Tops and Big Star. If it weren't for an overabundance of cover material I mighta called Tommy Stuart a singer-songwriter in the true spirit of it all. A Southern Elliot Murphy even if that it quite far off the mark. Not bad really, although a more straight-ahead approach and some powerful original material mighta made this one that'll get more'n a cursory spin around these parts.
Various Artists-ZERO-ZERO GREYHOUND CHERRY PIE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Lotsa the same sorta stuff ya find on these other Bill burns---the country and blooze and sorta weirdities that mighta been strange back in 1966 but sound so quaint now (such as the Definitive Rock Chorale's "Variations on a Theme Celled Hanky Panky"), the soul. The promo record regarding the new Greyhound Bus Line logo which is gonna make it as ear-ringing as "Winston Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should" was funny because I can't for the life of me remember that one! The ad for Stoney's Beer was particularly striking as it pretty much condones cheating on your wife! And the Abdo-Men, besides having one of the punnier names in rock (well, way better'n the "Diffi Cult") play some good low-keyed mid-sixties rock here that did catch me by surprise. Made up for the more cornball stuff that sometimes gets slapped onto these things, though that's a surprising thing for me to say because hey, I like cornball!
Do any of you readers know how many back issues of BLACK TO COMM I've been able to sell last year? Well, I could count the number of copies on the fingers on my right hand, and that includes if I was Jerry Garcia so you know that ain't very many! Believe-you-me, fanzines such as the one I cranked out back in the dark days of the eighties, nineties and oughts were a rarity even during the hallowed fanzine onslaught of the nineties (of which I saw little if any interest in my works, so fooey on all that!) but if you missed out on all the fun well, now you have another chance to see what all the hubbub was about. Just click on the above link and be surprised if your life doesn't turn for the better. With all the money I'll be getting, I know mine will!


Anonymous said...

lol more stuff no one ever even heard of lol who is archie sheep? lol

Anonymous said...

wait what? lol you mentioned the talking heads? lol finally someone good someone we've heard of lol but you only mentioned them lol how about an actual article? wait cannot do that lol someone might actually read it lol that wouldn't be "cool" lol

Anonymous said...

(((Gary Giddins)))

(((Village Vice)))

JD King said...

I saw The Modern Lovers as a semi-acoustic trio, twice, two days in a row, a Saturday and a Sunday, in 1986. First was at a wedding reception in NYC, no stage. They commenced with "Volaré. The next day was a kiddie matinée at Maxwell's in Hoboken. For that show they included "Louie, Louie."