Saturday, February 08, 2020

I really haven't had the chance this past year to go down inna basement where I keep my records in order to to dig out and hopefully enjoy all those rarities that I haven't played in a long time...if ever. Nor have I had a chance to go through all of those more "current" Cee-Dee-Ares that Bill Shute and Paul McGarry among(st) others have sent. But I have played a few recordings throughout 2019 that I would classify as being too big name and perhaps even downright "common" for the reg'lar blog posts, and as I have done these past few years I've decided to collect 'em all into one nice li'l package, send 'em off a few weeks after the carnage of the holidays has calmed down, and more or less take a week off (hah!) while you enjoy my opines regarding some spinners that I might have blabbed about many-a-time but only get to spin on those rare occasions when I do have more'n a few minutes of free time on my hands if not brain.


Remember when you thought that Dury, like labelmates Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe, was part of the bestest newest breed of rock sound to pop up on the Suburban Slob music appreciation meter in quite some time? Remember your utter disgust at the direction all three went into once the eighties started floppin' about and all of a sudden they, and a good portion of what was passing as the cutting edge of the previous few years, fell out of favor rather fast-like? Well, the eighties were a rather suckable decade considering that even our past godz like Lou and Iggy weren't exactly popping on all cylinders either, but give this package a listen and you'll remember what was so good about Dury before you remember just why these songs just didn't hit it once the stronger stuff began hitting your system. You might be surprised at their innovative and downright catchy nature, especially in lieu of what was bound to happen next...
JF Murphy and Free Flowing Salt-ALMOST HOME LP (MGM Records); JF MURPHY AND SALT LP (Elektra Records)

Got these for purely hysterectical reasons if only because these guys were the opening act for the Stooges during the latter's Max's Kansas City stay. Nothing Stoogian here whatsover what with Murphy's Irish singer-songwriter inclinations which are drowned out by a group that sure plays swell enough yet fails to break into any really deep and satisfying rock 'n roll moments. I was expecting a whole lot more from 'em if only on legend alone, but really what would ya expect from a group that was catering to the early-seventies college crowd with alla the bell bottoms, ironed hair and general mind-numbed musical appreciation that bunch was well know for?

Don't you think it is a whole lot better listening to classic down-home groove 'n get into it music on vinyl rather than Cee-Dee? While I'm at it, don't you kinda hate all that retro praise and thanksgiving that these olde tymey trailblazers get from the same sorta offal who woulda poo-poo'd at 'em back when these guys were young and upstarting in the music game? And FINALLY, don't you think that perhaps """""I""""" am one of those come-latelies who probably woulda been part of the nabobs o' negativity had I only knew about Chenier (or had been conscious enough, or alive for that matter) when he was playing his accordion-based rock 'n roll music way back in the good ol' days? Sheesh, yer probably right 'n don't let anybody tell ya different!


What was once consider the most extreme of this sonic stretching bunch now sounds rather driving and even positive in a life reasserting way. Remake/remodels of previous rock 'n roll triumphs you thought went out with the Stooges churn on in electronic splendor with the sonic escapades of Genesis P. et. al. soaring on in ways that woulda made John Cage wish he became a plumber. Play this one for yer avant garde dilettante art class friends and don't be surprised if you lose 'em fast!
Biff Rose-THE THORN IN MRS. ROSE'S SIDE LP (Tetragrammaton Records)

Not fantastico but pleasant enough singer/songwriter slop. If only because it goes down a whole lot smoother 'n the treacly and self-conscious Melanie and James Taylor poop that drenched the early-seventies. In other words, this might just pop your cylinders unless you're one of those unfortunate souls still stuck in that Quinlanesque youth miasma copped straight outta LUCAS TANNER. Rose manages to pull it all off with typical late-sixties commercial production and budding wimpmanship true, but for once the overall results really ain't that offensive on the lobes. If Elton John only had a sense of humor and was as straight as a 2 by 4 he coulda put out an album that sounded as good as this.
Magma-1.001 DEGREES CENTIGRADES CD (Seventh Records)

Following up on my current Magma neo-infatuation with their second platter, where we find Christian Vander and the rest still heavily into the jazz mode of the debut yet thankfully not as Chicago-y what with the Stravinsky influences firmly set in place. I really prefer the gothic fusion spew of Köhntarkösz, but this is a nice pathway to things that were to get even better. Found my copy of INEDITS which will get another look-see more later than sooner. Next stop...Mëkanïk  Dëstruktïẁ  Kömmandöh.
Love-DA CAPO LP (Elektra)

Maybe it ain't so funny that my first taste of Love didn't quite tingle my nerve-endings like ya know they shoulda! After all, there were many times in the past (as well as the present) when my third ear needed the wax cleaned outta it. But here at the dawn of a new decade ya gotta say that DA CAPO really does stand for everything that rock 'n roll NEEDS to stand for even tho the thing's dad blamed over fifty years old. Sure "Revelations" can't hold a candle to "Up In Her Room" but there's more to life than that, I think. Like the jazzy touches and harpsichord sashays, not to mention the boffo leadership of Arthur Lee through the whole deranged essence of it all.
THE GRATEFUL DEAD CD-r burn (originally on Rhino/WEA)

Hey, its a new version of the Dead's debut for alla you people who missed out on the first few thousand previous pressings. Keeping my usually anti-hippoid mindset outta it I must say that it comes across a whole lot better than the later efforts of theirs that I've heard, although it sure sounds tame next to various studio and live bootleg endeavors that capture 'em when they're really cooking, man. Bonus trax including a live "Viola Lee Blues" that goes on for nigh of twenty minutes (and it actually works out swell!) might be one way to get you staunchly non-San Fran types to actually dish out for a flesh and blood copy.
The Ventures-WALK DON'T RUN LP (Rumble Records)

I've seen many a Ventures album in the flea market bins of my youth, but I never saw this debut featuring the group's premier hit unless it happened to be stuck to the back of some Goodyear giveaway Christmas disc. Well here it is finally in my abode and I gotta say that this was about as much of a standard Ventures album as I could imagine. Talk about milking the same pattern for years on end an' gettin' away with it! There's nothing here that could be considered "over-the-top" as far as early-sixties instrumentalisms go, but WALK DON'T RUN does present some fairly good takes on the hits both by the Ventures and others done up like you would have expected a 1960 instrumental rock band to have. A nice slice of just what the early-sixties meant to a slew of suburban slobs who not only had music like these to enjoy but loads of fine tee-vee programming, fun food and a general disposition that'll all but been BANNED these sad 'n sorry days! Play this on some hot summer afternoon and you'll just want to get on your bike and head for the corner store to get some pop 'n chips I'll tell ya!
Christopher Milk-SOME PEOPLE WILL DRINK ANYTHING LP (Reprise Records)

I've been waiting to hear this one (on/off) for over thirty years, but now that I have I must admit that I have encountered the same creeping pangs of disappointment that just about every reviewer of this platter has documented o'er the decades. The EP was such a concise distillation of early-seventies artsy pop in the post-Beatles/Move/pre-Sparks mode --- this album flops about with the listenable tracks overshadowed by the missed opportunities and weak stabs at humor (see "The Locomotion"). Mogen David and the Winos did this type of retrosplash a whole lot better and w/o the major label backing t' boot. Sandy Robertson, a chap whose opines I usually cherish, likes this a whole lot even comparing 'em to the sainted Dictators, but then again he likes Helen Reddy so I really dunno...
M. Bulteau-RINCURES CD (Fractal Records, France)

Pulled outta the pile for that once-in-a-decade (if lucky) play. The former Mahogany Brain leader sounds much older and morose as Jean-Francois Pauvros and Ernie Brooks provide electronic musical backing. Reminds me of that especially atonal early Patti Smith sampling of poetry with music that really turned my head when it was made available in the early-nineties. If you're expecting the out-of-time sound of Mahogany Brain you will be disappointed but as far as a sequel to it all well, Bulteau does fare a whole lot better'n what former world savers like Lou Reed and Iggy Pop ended up doing once they began to grow old and drugs bolstered their egos beyond repair.
Suicide-ATTEMPTED : LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY 1980 CD (Sympathy For The Record Industry Records)

Suicide's final stand at Max's actually comes off way more gnarled than I remembered what with the overdrive chug, the radical "Frankie Teardrop" rewrite and a whole lotta local thugs joining in with Alan Vega on vocals. There actually is an air of underlying hostility here that separates this from those Suicide live shows which just don't click, and with the thankfully plentiful recordings out there this 'un stands out not only for the power it exudes but as a testimonial to a rock shrine with less than two years to live. Funny moment: when someone calls out for Von Lmo and Vega replies "Please"...the funny part being that Von Lmo wasn't even on the bill that night!
The Beach Boys-LOST AND FOUND LP (Sundazed Records)

How many time and how many reissues did you see these early Beach Boys tracks popping up in all sorts of bins during your growing up days? Well, ya gotta credit Sundazed for getting hold of the masters and finding a few outtakes and such to come up with a package that really gives these embryonic efforts the treatment they deserve! If I were you I'd keep alla those "X" label reissues of the seventies and Kenny and the Cadets "Barbie" singles that you've treasured for many a year, but if you wanna hear these classic sides all in one neat li'l package coupled with informative non-fannish liner notes you couldn't do worse that snatch this 'un up. And I know you HAVE done worse, so don't make the same mistake twice!
Dredd Foole and the Din-EAT MY DUST, CLEANSE MY SOUL CD-r burn (originally on Homestead Records)

I've been spinnin' plenty eighties-era Foole as of late and I've spilled enough seed about 'em in a recent "Singles Going Stroonad" column that might or might not have seen the light of day by this time this New Year effort pops up way later than it should have. But that won't get inna way of me raving about Dan Ireton and his efforts to keep the true spirit of underground seventies rock alive, at least to the best of his abilities which is really saying something!

This early effort fits in with the rest of the early Din sound and feel rather tightly. Although this was recorded live in the studio EAT MY DUST, CLEANSE MY SOUL reportedly does not capture the total energy of what the Din were able to create, but it does hit some hard-edged mid-seventies references that keep reminding me (on the thinnest of tangents I will admit) of Richard Nolan's Third Rail, a subject that also comes up in that aforementioned singles column. Dredd Foole's vocals remind me of the early atonal bellowing of Crocus Behemoth which is fitting considering the kind of late-sixties metallic rehash both the Din and early Pere Ubu were dabbling in, plus the band roars on like just about any (pick ten) early homages to the rock cataclysm 1969-1970 you could care to come up with all trash-compacted into a fierce roar that gave the mid-eighties a reason to crawl on.

It was stuff like Dredd Foole that helped make the classic seventies under-the-underground linger on long after most of its practitioners had softened up and if it weren't for them well, I guess you do have your Lou Miami records to console you, you sweet thing you! I do hope that some musical entrepreneur reading this gets the idea and reissues a whole slew of early Dredd Foole, and at least does it while those who would appreciate his rock 'n roll approach still have ears to appreciate it with!
The Grateful Dead-WAKE OF THE FLOOD CD-r burn (Rhino/WEA Records)

It's a good thing Bill Shute isn't doing this review. He has a really great story about somethingorother that happened in his life/kinda sorta that revolves around this album. Really woulda made one of those good extended neoautobiographical stories that Bill so loves to tell us. Well Bill, I ain't lettin' ya steal any thunder (or even a piddling Spring rainfall) from me THIS time!

Maybe I have been way too harsh on the entire Dead reason for existence these past fortysome years, but at least I do admit when some things like that multi-overdubbed and reshaped "Dark Star" set or those garage band-y 1965 demos actually sound way decent to me. However this early-seventies effort is one reason why I loathed what these guys had stood for and continue to for that matter, with music that you have to wait for to get "started" and it never does, just wallowing around in the air before dissipating like a fart in a strong gust of wind.

It's like you're halfway through "Weather Report Suite" f'rexample and you're wondering just what the purpose and meaning regarding the song's entire reason and excuse for existence is. Perhaps the recent relaxations of various marijuana laws will help alter my outlook regarding the Dead, but did you see how much those candies are goin' for these days?

I can stomach the Dead when they would do a ten-minute version of "Good Lovin'" or "Dancing in the Streets" back 1967 way. I can even sit back and read an old issue of ZIGZAG when I spin some '68 doodle that goes from song to song back to the original song showin' off some free jazz influences somewhere in the mix. But really, something like WAKE OF THE FLOOD just shows how dissipated and lacking in spirit a group that coulda broken on to the other side a la the Velvet Underground or Seeds could get once the drugs and the press hype really got to 'em. The fact that this group could have spawned such a huge international following and set the course for musical development for a longer than expected time really does stand to show just how sad a state "official" rock history had become to the point it could never be repaired. As I said once before "forget it, your last chance was OVER forty years ago!"
Wotta way to end a year---the Dead---sheesh!


MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Why would you torture yourself with those JF Murphy records?

As for the great Dredd Foole & the din, try to check out the 12" he did with sidelong versions of Frankie Teardrop and Ghose Rider.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Ghost, goddamnit.

Anonymous said...

lol biff rose? who dat? lol more losers lol