Saturday, August 08, 2020

FANZINE FANABLAS MAY COME AND GO, BUT ROCKIST READING WILL MAKE YOU GROW!

Yeah, you try comin' up with a better 'un!

Anywah---you all know just how apedooky I get over the entire rock 'n roll fanzine genre, especially those from the prime GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK FANDOM years when rock wasn't just a way of life, but something to MURDER for! Read on and YOU TOO might get the ol' fanzine bug cravings for real-life no-scmooze-allowed writing and but BAD! If I have inspired at least one of you to drag out your box of fanzines and start reading away I will consider this post to have met its intended goal. And if I have inspired A WHOLE BUNCHA YA to drag out your box of fanzines and sell 'em to me at greatly reduced prices I will consider this post to be a HUMONGOUS success!!!!

First on today's itinerary's this surprisingly spry entry into the annals of rock fandom. I've spoken highly of  Nancy Foster and her various opinions that have appeared not only in her own fanzines but the likes of NEW ORDER, FFANZEEN, TEENAGE RAMPAGE and PENTHOUSE, so when I come across a publication like this debut issue of NEW AGE you KNOW that I am in fanzine heaven!

And what a surprise this 'un is...all of the other Foster fanzines I have were typical mimeo/xeroxed affairs laid out like the mags of old, owning a whole lot in layout (and general fannish content) to the likes of the original WHO PUT THE BOMP! and COWABUNGA. But this one? Well, it sure is professionally printed on slick paper and typeset, sorta comin' off like that boff ish of Paul Morley's old OUT THERE yet with customary fanzine dimensions. I guess this process was way too expensive to continue with which is why those later-on mags were cranked out in the old fashioned way. But to tell the truth I like NEW AGE any ol' way I can handle it in my grubby chubby paws!

Kinda thin tho, and there are no record reviews to gnaw on which does reduce the intensity content somewhat. But as far as rock 'n roll power expected from a publication such as this (and often missing due to lack of spirit more than money) goes I can't complain. In this debut ish Foster concentrates on interviewing her fave teenage hunk rockers from Starz and Rex (whose lead singer and future SOLID GOLD host Rex Smith reveals that he was a member of that mid-seventies CBGB band Tricks...nothing of his time in Cross is mentioned giving me the idea that maybe he wasn't quite happy in that act!) plus Foster gives more'n ample space to Boston Velvets wannabes #1001 Fox Pass in a rather nice little summation of their place in the local scene. Even the Billy Squier interview digs a bit into the Sidewinders days making me wonder what that unrecorded/unreleased Casablanca platter woulda sounded like---sheesh, considering how Mick Jagger was rah-rahing for them at Max's Kansas City you'd think some sorta document woulda survived. Who knows, if I ever hit the lottery maybe I'll find out if those Piper recs were as good as more than just a few souls out there have made 'em out to be!

And if you liked Nancy's poetry in NEW ORDER you might just like the stuff that gets printed here! Of course it ain't as good as "Milk, Milk, Lemonade" but it will do. Coulda used a few more pages and some additional gristle to keep me well and happy, but as it is NEW AGE was a pretty good effort and why should I be so complainin' anyway???
***
I still marvel at just how professional and successful in every way/shape/form most of these seventies/eighties-era European (especially French) fanzines devoted to the BIG BEAT were. One wonders where the people who made these efforts got alla the money to produce such high-gloss work especially when I'm sure a lotta that money just hadda've gone towards buying records and other related sundries. There must have been some pretty big bank-rolling going on at the time, perhaps due to a rich pere who wanted to keep the decadent youth happy or some sideline business that brought in a whole lotta loot as if ya never saw THE FRENCH CONNECTION before!

I reviewed a few issues of FEELING in earlier "Fanablas" and if you'll recall I gushed over these mags even more'n Vesuvius. The compact size coupled with the rare photos and the general encapsulation of all that was RIGHT about the late-seventies rock 'n roll scene had me flashing back to everything I sure wished I could get in a mag at the time! And although French ain't exactly my first, second or even third language I can sure get a whole lotta the gist of what's bein' said a whole lot more'n Basil Fawlty did thinking those guests of his were volunteering to go out and get meat.

The big under-the-radar yet still  known to your standard teenbo geek of the day groups are all here which is good enough even if some of 'em went straight past my radar, while J.D. Martignon once again gives us not only a New York scene report but writes a number of album reviews for the fans back home. Although history (and a few disgruntled musicians) have pointed out just how rotten the man was well, if I only knew of his rich rock history maybe I could have put the fact that he cheated the groups on his label as well as those contributing wares to his record store on the back-burner so-to-speak. He musta hadda lotta good stories to tell and like, perhaps I coulda gotten a few outta him despite his rather deceiving nature... But I doubt it.
***
A lotta these fanzines devoted to a certain group or sub-species related to it sometimes do come off comparatively staid, and that can be said about many of the ones that sprouted up back in the eighties and nineties. Oh yeah, there were some rather boffo fanzines like UNCLE HARRY'S CITY KIDS and various Hawkwind-related efforts that captured the spirit of the groups in question, but for the most part a lotta these artist-oriented rags can get rather term-paper-y, and that's even if yer a high school sophomore writing one at three AM so you can meet tomorrow's 9:00 deadline AND IT SURE READS LIKE IT TOO!!!

Unfortunately this Captain Beefheart-related fanzine from the nineties entitled APOCALYPSO is one mag that really doesn't capture the real spirit of the man called Van Vliet. While the stories found within these pages are informative and add some more dimension to the entire Captain Beefheart mystique, the results can be rather arid and totally non Beefheartian reading like just about any TIME or NEWSWEEK article trying to capture the essence of an artist's meaning, flopping about like a heart patient post op while the nurses are at their stations trying to look busy. It's not that this issue of APOCALYPSO is dire by any stretch of the imagination, but I gotta say that I was hoping that the same sorta bop that made Captain Beefheart such a household word (in my house at least) woulda transferred to this particular publication with a huge my human gets me blues THUD!
***
I used to get really bugged back inna eighties/nineties when certain fanzine reviewers would tag my own effort entitled BLACK TO COMM as being not only a "xeroxed" mag (which it hadn't been since issue #4) but as a "reprint" 'zine as well. It was almost as if the reviewer believed that entire contents of my pride 'n joy were filled with nothing but old if relevant to the matter articles lifted from other rags sans the usual insight and spirit that could only come from the writings of inspired individuals such as...well, myself. After all, if BLACK TO COMM was a "reprint" 'zine what did that make such stellar efforts as ROLLING ROCK or KICKS which had their share of old articles boosting up their pages! 

However, after giving issue #16 of my efforts an eyeballin', the one with the Laughner/Reed interview from ZEPPELIN and a huge Laughner obit amongst other items, maybe I can see the point these "critics" were making. Eh, there was way more original text true, but I'm sure some stupid neophytes would have mistaken it for a quickie xerox cash-in job. Given the cranial depth of some of the rock critics out there what else should I have expected!

I haven't been that much of a Cleveland under-the-underground scene fan since at least 1982 when the groups and people that had made that particular era so exciting had either died, moved to New York due to a lack of interest on the home front, or dissipated into day jobs and a general frustration that the music they had loved and had cherished had mutated into something beyond its original sound and intent. It sure was a bleak time in rock 'n roll music and quite a downer especially considering all of the excitement and adrenaline rushing that was goin' on throughout the seventies. As Jim Marshall said, even the likes of Iggy and Lou were making turdsville records (well, I did like ZOMBIE BIRDHOUSE but I sure got the gist of what Marshall was aimin' at!), and a lot of the fun and spirit that went into those acts' sixties and seventies output had sure gone by the wayside to the point where looking forward to goin' out and seein' a rock 'n roll group just wasn't the same as if was a whole long time earlier.

But as usual I digress. Back to the whole "reprint fanzine" brouhahaha...HEY DADDYO is one fanzine that I never bothered snatching up because well, I never even knew the thing EXISTED until now! But I got a copy and well, I thought the thing was pretty good because even if it is a "reprint fanzine" it presents a good hunka Cleveland rock history that is just too real, too exciting to be encased in that museum they have up there which I hope goes bankrupt and closes down real soon given how all it is good for is reducing the feral and primal drive of the music to giddy commercial radio/AOR throb thrills. 

A good portion of CLE #3-A shows up here, and if you don't have the original this is good enough. Old ads from SCENE and the like also appear, and although the eighties stuff thrills me about as much as nude glossies of Anastasia Pantsios its there for the taking and take all you want because you ain't gonna be gettin' it anywhere else. 


Of course it's the old material that grabs me by the pleasure points in my brain, and also the clarification of past historical analyses which have turned out not to be as true as we had originally thought. And the rarities, like this pic of Crocus Behemoth taking on pizza eating champeen Mushmouth Mariano Machetti at the House of Bud are worth the price of admission. Funny, I always remember it as Crocus taking him on live on THE HOULIHAN AND BIG CHUCK SHOW in '74, not '72 which can only show you just how much of my past memories are perhaps as false as that guy who thought he was real but discovered that he was actually an android when he peeled back his wrist and saw a buncha flashing little lights and wires on THE TWILIGHT ZONE!
***
Hokay, I think it might be a fanzine. It might just be a standard rock mag you see on the mag racks too. That is, if you happened to be around a newsstand somewhere in Japan, for that is where ROCKMAGAZINE definitely emanated from.

It's all in Japanese and it also has the front cover on the back and you read it right from left, if you can read it at all. It kinda reminds me of some of the other Japanese magazines I have around the abode, but we won't get into that quite just yet!

It sure reads like it could be a fanzine, a high class one in the French fanzine tradition I've mentioned above and in other FANZINE FANABLAS.  There's a definite push towards informing the Japanese reader about rock 'n roll in not only their own land but those big scenes elsewhere, with pieces on the mid-seventies biggies from the whole Velvet Underground/Island Records cadre of the day (ACNE etc.) plus a big article on Patti Smith and of course reviews on most of the hotcha biggies of the day that we Amerigans mostly hadda experience through the import bins.

There are also some comics done up in that distinct Japanese style, the first dealing with Led Zeppelin which sure looks pretty funny and another about a rock keyboardist which turns into a homo romance thing you more prudish types (as well as mentally healthy specimens) will certainly want to avoid. But the thing is thick with lotsa pix so even if you can't read the native tongue you can enjoy it sorta the way like when you were four pouring through your dad's HUSTLER not knowing what those letters and things meant, but the pics sure were fun to look at!
***
The older the English punk rock fanzine is the better, if only because during the early days of the Anglo take on the p-rock form it wasn't inhabited by the same kinda socially-conscious and humorless activist types who coulda cared less about the music as they could the message. Which as we all know is about as rancid and as stifling as the armpit odors that emanate from these world saving reformers who are nothing but the uplifters of an old D.W. Griffith film only with a radical consciousness and way too many body piercings for comfort.

That's why I really like this second issue of UP + COMING from March/April 1977. It's thankfully free of the staid and stilted pose that would overcome many a group to the point where the music really took a back seat to the cause of the week. Y'know, back when there was a marked excitement over new (and old) ideas and the promise of rock 'n roll as something beyond the usual ROLLING STONE fun 'n jamz that seem to be remembered with fondness by way too many people who have been brainwashed by way too many a listening to Jackson Browne to notice what zomboids they were, are, and shall remain.

Hate fighting all them ol' battles and issues again, but I gotta give ya some background as to where all this ANGST I have for those who ruined rock 'n roll and other vital forms of pure adrenaline is comin' from. UP + COMIN', like a whole slew of fine reads of the day, fought the big battle w/o getting into the Marxist mutations that would follow making the eighties an even BIGGER drek than it coulda been. The lineup's pretty pubbed out here from the Count Bishops and Rock Island Line not to mention a great live review of the Hammersmith Gorillas, on a bill with French heavy metallics Shakin' Street to boot which just mighta made this one of those all-time rock gigs that people still talk about in hushed tones! THIS is what English punk rock used to be about, at least before it was taken over by the hippie contingent who sure did their best to ruin the entire concept with their take on the whole love and peace scam which punk rock was originally a healthy REACTION to! Of course that didn't take long to change as any perusal of a 1982 Small Wonder catalog could tall ya!
***
Now I've seen my share of crudzines throughout my rock 'n rol l fandom days. Now I've produced my share of crudzines as well, but never have I seen a crudzine as cruddy as FANZINE FOR DOZENS Of course I like it! Not only because of its downright lower than low budget and IQ, but due to the fact that this thing was created, produced and executed by none other than Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, the two who were also the brains behind Yo La Tengo who are/were a group that released a number of fine and spiffy recordings that I'll have to dig up and re-listen to one of these days. Five one-sided pages with what I believe is a Peter Holsapple poem about Elvis Presley, A V-Effect Q 'n A session, a word jumble and other bits 'n feces that should bore the more sophisticated amongst you readers but hey, if you can be bored by this you might just be bored by any classic Warhol film and if so you do have my pity. Sure coulda used some of Kaplan's rock 'n roll articles to bouef the thing up but as it stands, it stands.
***
Recently I've been pouring through boxes of items I've gathered up in over forty years of collecting, separating the wheat from the chaff and keeping the chaff so to speak. I'm putting all the wheat, the more socially-conscious and neo-decadent eighties and nineties-era fanzines that I've received one underhanded way or another, up for sale one of these days when I get back on ebay (maybe if they lowered their rates it would help!) and keeping the good ol' chaff, those mags that might not have spoken for any particular generation of subculture or (shudder!) "community", but they sure spoke plenty to ME!

And this particular fanzine (masquerading as a "literary" magazine and doin' a good job of it!) really did speak a whole load to me! In fact, every time I've managed to pluck it out from the myriad assortment of SST hypesheets and xeroxes I've had a ball giving this the once over. VERSION was Bob Moore's boo-boo, and as far as these home-produced items go boy did it absorb a whole lotta good things about what these magazines meant and continue to mean all these years later. It looks and smells like an old fanzine from the early-sixties yet it came out inna mid-eighties and it has the spirit that you woulda got had you plucked some sci-fi fanzine publisher from outta his 1962 dorm and stuck him inna eighties and told him to SWITCH GEARS! And y'know, I'm sure that if the bespectacled sci-fi-er was to stop with the Bradbury and begin with Black Flag he woulda done just as great a job 'zine wise as Moore did with this particular effort (I'm still looking for an earlier issue with a huge playlist that reads like a must-hear for not only myself but for any throbbing BLOG TO COMM reader...I fear it got inadvertently thrown out).

The opening schpiel sets the mood, reminding me of those same rushed yet pumped up feelings I had creating and laying out twenny-five issues of my own crudzine either in the kitchen or my fart-encrusted bedroom, getting way more deep-down satisfaction outta it than had I spent all the money poured into BTC at the Tokyo Health Spa. Moore has a pretty hotcha sense of not only music and art (tho why no record reviews???) and his contributors add more'n a little class to the thing even if I woulda preferred Chris D. writing about records as opposed to laying down poetry. But hey, VERSION was a poetry cum music endeavor so why should I complain even if my idea of artistic expression is "Milk, Milk, Lemonade"???

The Meltzer piece regarding his flip into the forties was bril as were the reviews of Meltzer's then-extant bibliography. And yes, there is a piece on the then-hailed under-the-underground musical acts like the Sun City Girls and Borbetomagus which, as you would have guessed, gives VERSION even more of those airs of this NOT being some fru-fru arts and leisure publication for the hoity-toity types (ie. ALTERNATIVE ROCK MUSICIANS) to read while acting oh-so heartfelt and world-saving yet coming off like the load of bores that they are. More box searching is definitely in order.
***
AND FINALLY...the Toronto-based PANIC BUTTON is but one of the many items listed on my satire fanzine checklist that I can afford, mostly because there weren't any future underground cartoonists involved with this that would warrant PANIC BUTTON to cost an arm and a leg! Thankfully this ish (#6) didn't cost me an arm or leg but a few mere toes, and as far as these post-Kurtzman kinda mags go it does its job pretty much in the fashion that I would have expected. I mean, what else would you have thunk a buncha young upstarts doin' their own mag without the prying eyes of elders pouncing on their every word and utterance woulda come up with...THE BOBBSEY TWINS DISCOVER EACH OTHER?

In other words, this mag reeks of the same College Boy smartass humor that's plagued many a fanzine from the same strata with the usual paens to sex, hip kultur, beat writings and all of those things the bring up memories of Wally Wood's phony intellectual existentialist in one of those old MAD primers.

Some of this is smart stuff from the HELP!-inspired fumetti to the snide cartoons which, while mostly standard early-sixties fanzine fodder, do retain some sort of humor if only of a PG-13, snotty sense so common during those halcyon days of pre-lovenpeace. Other parts come off too "I'm so ABOVE you all" smug to the point whee you might feel like hiding your face from humanity after you're done reading. I guess if you were a fanzine editor or contributor way back when you hadda have a sort of smugness about you, a fairly healthy one at that which would eventually evolve into the whole Frank Zappa/R. Crumb/MONTY PYTHON/early SNL brand of satire once these fanzines type of guys eventually made their impression on the real world.

Still I found much to like in this PANIC BUTTON including this poem courtesy Lawrence Ferlinginsberg...
BLOW MY SNORKEL


Blow my snorkel
dip my wick
Pull my cork'll
Pat my hip

Gregory Jack and Al
scratching out poetic pap
that amounts to crap
but at least its dirty.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

BOOK REVIEW! THE COMPLETE CAPTAIN FIGHT (Gawandaland Comics)

COMICS ARE YOUR BEST ENTERTAINMENT VALUE??? 

Well sure, if you can get the right kinda comics at the right kinda price and have a whole afternoon to just soak yerself into the entire universe of the books at hand. Sheesh, I remember way back inna seventies when my idea of an adventurous fun time woulda been to go haunt a few flea markets and garage sales, amass a good number of comic books cheap, and spend the ride home readin' everything from MILLIE THE MODEL (boy did dad razz me about those even if for all intent purposes the late-sixties Stan Goldberg version was nothing more than a slightly-revamped ARCHIE) to some DC or Marvel effort long before those companies lost their initial spark and became way too self-conscious of themselves to matter. Yes, for less than a buck I had a whole slew of comics that I could read and re-read to my li'l ol' heart's content, and although mother was wary of me buying used comic books because who knows what leaky bathrooms they might have been (and other stories I told Brad Kohler ages back!) I sure didn't care as long as I got those adolescent thrills outta 'em that I just couldn't get with the Bobsey Twins!

Of course your money wasn't exactly invested wisely if ya happened to buy a real dudster of a deal which I had quite a few times. It could be disappointing to spend that last dime on something that seemed promising but once you read it was about as fulfilling as jacking off to nude pictures of Rachel Levine. And even if a comic was an oldie from the "Golden" or "Silver" age that didn't guarantee it being a bonafeed winner as quite a few efforts would attest to, Fiction House's CAPTAIN FIGHT bein' just one of 'em.

Now from what I know Fiction House wasn't exactly a lower-rung comic book company. Sure they weren't as good as anything National or Quality were cranking out at the time but they weren't bargain basement either. But that doesn't mean even they coulda slipped up at times like they did with this series, a seafaring and swashbuckling throwback to eighteenth century England and the main character, a handsome goodski who does his best fighting pirates and thwarting nefarious plans by ne'er do well dukes with plots telegraphed so far in advance that I'm sure even Karen Quinlan coulda gotten 'em.

Seeing pix of a swordfight ain't the same as watching a film of one, and the usual comic book fixin's like a young sidekick (Rusty, who originally was trying to kill Captain Fight under the delusion that the guy killed Rusty's own pop!) don't really add anything special to the saga. Even the occasional gals with the big suckems and cleavage galore don't create any real throb thrills like ya thought they would for many a hungry pre-teen nationwide. I mean, this was the eighteenth century an' you can just imagine what these ladies smelled like, especially during one of those "Calendar Days"!

Collections like this 'un make it so OBVIOUS that even the early classic comic book era came up with more'n a few clunkers. And yeah, CAPTAIN FIGHT was more or less filler but even the usual in-between material would have kept my attention held longer. A blatant swipe of a popular comic strip or competing book hero woulda done me much better'n this comparatively dismal effort! Oh well, there are hundreds more PD comic heroes to discover...it's just that CAPTAIN FIGHT was not the one who could dredge up any pre-pube fun 'n jamz entertainment no matter how much plot or curvaceous femmes were packed into it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

RECORD REVIEW BY BRAD KOHLER! THE POP GROUP-"Y" DELUXE EDITION (Mute Records)

In the late 70's and early 80's it seemed as if Brit post-punk and related errata like Pere Ubu's DUB HOUSING along with releases by Debris and MX-80 Sound were going to zoom us all into new constellations of sonic adventure. Little did we know that by the mid-80's that adventure would prove to be about as exciting as a grade school field trip to a cardboard factory.

The Pop Group were pushing and pulling in multiple directions, and inevitably the center wouldn't hold. Their reach sometimes exceeded their grasp, but their charged hybrid of punk, funk, jazz and noise was a breathtaking force on their early 45's ("She is Beyond Good and Evil" and its flipside are included in the set in 12" 45 form for maximum intensity).

This deluxe reissue (a hunnert clams but containing a wealth of bonus material, including the very same poster I had on my bedroom wall forty years ago!) includes a live in-concert LP, the original release and an alternate version of the LP compiled from various song takes and mixes. It's an interesting listen that actually improves the original LP in spots.

Reggae producer Dennis Bovell was an inspired choice to helm the board. Injecting dub textures and a general sense of chaotic abandon. His absence would be felt on the thin sounding and rushed followup FOR HOW LONG DO WE TOLERATE MASS MURDER? though the band was disintegrating at that point anyway.

Songs like "We Are Time" still sound as fresh and genre busting in the here and now as they did then, landing with the force of a megaton bomb. Too bad the future was cheap hype and Homestead label bands that had the force of a squirt gun.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

I just don't know. Here I am older than your grandpappy's tijuana bible collection snuggled under his mattress yet I sure feel as young and spry as I did back when I was a teenbo discoverin' that wild, unabashed and downright HIDEOUS (in a life-reaffirming way) thing called music as a means of existence that was unfolding before my very ears. The good memories of those sometimes dour days that is, like the excitement I got wading through the "BUY ONE GET ONE FOR A PENNY" cutout cassette section at Musicland on the search for that elusive whatchamacallit that usually turned out to be rather feh (one reason I sold my tape of Miles Davis' ON THE CORNER...just didn't jibe with me!) but occasionally brought surprises and thrills (like the AMM/MEV split tape on Mainstream). And now I'm at a stage in my existence that has a li'l voice in my head tellin' me not to buy too much more rock 'n roll gunk because hey, how much longer do I have on this planet of ours I tend to feel a tad cautious of where my funds are goin'. But despite all that I still have that affection and downright LOVE for the same kinda sounds that got me all hot and bothered back when money was really scarce and that pittance of mine hadda go a long long long long long lllloooonnnngggg way.

Thankfully I now have a lot more grub to throw away on junk like this and although the music that rearranged my in a downright life re-affirming way is all but buried it still rings in me the same way it did when I first spun such classics as "Gloria" and "You're Gonna Miss Me" thinking that little if anything could top this breed of sound as expression! I know I know....eventually I'll get OVER it but for now well, I'm gettin' an even bigger thrill thumbing through my old albums thinkin' about all the joy and pleasure they've given me over the years. And who knows, maybe you can too! Just call me up and I'll let you thumb through my albums all you want!
***
I'll betcha that yer won'drin' just how well I'm doin' in my quest to copy the best of the articles on ROCKSBACKPAGES for current and future reading pleasure, eh? Of course you don't but I'll tell ya anyway. After copying what I thought were the best snips 'n snaps from the big name good guys on the rock screeding front I began searching for pieces that I thought I might enjoy and found quite a few. Didja know that Greg Shaw actually reviewed the Velvet Underground's LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY platter for THE BERKELEY BARB? But I am far from done...after copying down a whole slew of finery I think will suit me well during the upcoming long winter nights whaddaya know but I remembered I didn't copy any articles by or about Lenny Kaye! This I promptly began runnin' off a few paper reams of articles dealing with one guy I sure wish I looked like back when I was in High Stool bringing back more'n a few fashionable memories inna process! Will keep ya posted regarding future endeavors.
***
WHAT DO YOU THINK? DEPARTMENT: A couple of people, for reasons that might not seem vague at all, wrote in requesting that I ban Debbie Downer and the entire lol 'n ((())) crowd from posting in the comment section. Perhaps these definitely anti-Downer types do have somewhat of a valid point in wanting me to do so given that DD etc. really don't contribute much to the entire BLOG TO COMM cause, but as I wrote in the Mission Statement anyone is allowed to post as long as they don't get into major pissoff areas as the likes of Mister Self Righteous himself MoeLarryandJesus has done quite a few times o'er the past few years. Now MLJ is welcome as long as he doesn't "get to me" with his mostly asinine whining especially when I'm in a rather bad mood (which can hit me with the drop of a hat), and I think that Debbie is way less bothersome even if she and her various cohorts (all one 'n the same) get into the same tired ol' rut lol 'n all. I do as well, but who am I to cast any stones as The Good Book ('n I don't mean STUDIES IN EROTIC ART!) says. So, do you think Debbie 'n Co. should get the coathanger or be free to pepper up a comment section that needs a li'l more spice? Lemme know...as usual your recommendations will be totally ignored.
***
RIP PETER GREEN OF FLEETWOOD MAC, whose demise might have been brought on after reading my review of THE END OF THE GAME  (the one with the pussy showin' off her pussy onna back cover) last June 20th. For people who remember Fleetwood Mac as something other'n that group with those two broads singing wispy country rock I'm sure his passing means more'n just a wee bit.
***
Free items (noted by the designation "CD-r burn") courtesy of Bill Shute and Paul McGarry. The rest I dished out for myself.


Robert Calvert-CAPTAIN LOCKHEED AND THE STARFIGHTERS CD (Atomhenge/Cherry Red Records, England)

Last week's Alan Davey writeup had me searchin' out my collection for the original Starfighters effort, turning up nada after sifting through boxes of disques I doubt I'll ever listen to again. I took my loss as a hint from higher up to get hold of the 2009 deluxe edition with not only the addition of an all-new extended "Right Stuff" but the "Ejection"/"Catch a Falling Starfighter" single which I am ashamed to admit has never passed my ears if only due to depression-era wages. The enclosed booklet with notes from Nik Turner was also a nice carrot danglin' in front of this mule's eyes. Sheesh, what else can I say other'n this is my fave rave "concept album" (not counting KNOCKERS UP) and the new stuff is different/unique enough to dissuade you from thinking that you've just dumped more moolah on material you've already had in the ol' collection for years.
***
The Suburban Studs-SLAM LP (Pogo Records, England)

These guys got dumped on a whole lot even if they were part of the early English punk rock moo-ment! Y'know, the one that gave us alla those groups the same critics who hated 'em young whippersnappers back in '76 now revere with a holiness usually reserved for Van Morrison reissues. Dunno why this is because the Suburban Studs weren't anything awful even if their repertoire might have leaned towards the more superficial aspects of punk as in "punque" at least some of the time. Sorta like X-Ray Spex who might have been goin' outta their way annoying, but perhaps that can be the reason to like it all the more.

Not bad at all straightforward rock 'n roll that might not stand so well besides some of the more memorable punk groups comin' outta England at the time, but when stacked up against some of the minor Raw Records acts or even those Downliners Sect knockoffs they sounds pretty on-target to me.
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999-BISH! BASH! BOSH! Cd-r burn (originally on Cleopatra Records)

And while we're talkin' 'bout English punks of the past howzbout this strange item that slipped into my collection while nobody was lookin'! Yeah, a new album from '77 punksters 99 and boy is it a good 'un. Now I was never enthralled by those kinda bands back then because my interests leaned more towards the Amerigan acts that added a li'l gnarl to the rock 'n roll canon, but this recording is pretty good considerin' just how lousy it coulda been with the right amount of meddling. Sounds just as young and as fresh as the stuff 999 and other acts were doin' way back when and altho these guys have achieved geezerhood quite awhile back they sound way younger'n whatever it is that's supposed to pass for youth these days is supposed to sound like! I get the feelin' that at least 55% of the reg'lar readers who tune in here will like it. The other 45% can go pound salt if they like...hey it's their ears that they're wastin'!
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Iggy Pop-HEROIN HATES YOU CD-r burn (originally on Other Peoples Music Records)

By this time (1979) Iggy was headin' straight for the glue factory along with all of those other sixties saviors who sobered up and turned for the worse because of it. But I still like HEROIN HATES YOU even if the thing lacks the zip zoom and spark that made earlier Iggy boots like SUCK ON THIS total winners. Iggy still comes off as cool as he did inna mid-seventies when everyone thought he was a total loser and even with the at times patented performance and general slickness the original Iggy intent comes through loud 'n clear. Most of you can probably get more than your share of throb thrills outta what with the freeform synthesizer solo at the end of "Funtime" (sorta like an electronic "LA Blues" to cap off the decade) as well as the great Iggy insults and general El Lay sleeze which reeks throughout.
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Sonic Boom-ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL CD-r burn (originally on Car Park Records)

This brand newie from former (?) Spaceman 3 member Boom sure takes all the influences and LAYS 'EM ON THE LINE! Izzat a cop from the Silver Apples, or Emtidi, or an Eno outtake, or ALL of 'em? And sheesh, talk about a DIRECT steal from Suicide's "Girl" on "Tawkin Techno" which I hope gets Boom sued but good! Then it's back to izzat Faust, or Tuxedomoon (or any breed of eighties electronic rock bleep that managed to stir the souls of many a trust-fund kiddie with a superiority complex) or... With ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL stuck in the pile who needs alla them other records anyway?
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Dimitri Tiomkin and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, narration by Gary Merrill-RHAPSODY OF STEEL CD-r burn

Lovely orchestral music on the first side. Kinda reminds me of something that the fambly would have spinning on the stereo turntable inna rec room or whatever it was supposed to be some winter evening when mom was doing the ironing, dad was in his workshop and cyster was teasing the bejabbers outta me. Considering this was probably some sorta freebee given out by US Steel it just very well might have ended up in the short stack of albums acquired o'er the years. The flip has Gary Merrill givin' us the lowdown on the birth and growth of steel from its humble beginnings to the industry that's been known to soil many a window in the Pittsburgh area and it reminds me of something we woulda hadda listen to in fourth grade. Sheesh, them bad memories are hard to shake!
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Various Artists-ROYAL PLUM BLASSIE SASSOON CD-r burn (I mean, who else but BILL SHUTE would come up with a title like that!)

As if Bill ever sent a dud my way. Maybe a few dum dum bullets, but never a dud. Another good 'un here what with the likes of Fred Blassie remindin' us of what manhood used to be like to a High School band doin' "Beat It" with about as much verve as Karen Quinlan farting. Surprises galore (old durty moom pitcher radio ad, a really cornballus Elvis "song poem", Chet Baker tryin' to cash in on the Herb Alpert bandwagon doin' Chad 'n Jeremy...) make this one a keepie, as if I an ever gonna discard any of these burns Bill sent me inna first place. Lemme tell ya, you haven't lived until you heard Maxwell Plumm doin' "Helen Wheels". That is, haven't lived heavily sedated in a nursing home but that's beside the point.
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One of these days yer gonna wish that you could have owned these rare back issues of BLACK TO COMM and you won't be able to get any! That is, unless you happen to find out which landfill they've all been dumped into. Beat the rush and get hold of yours TODAY!