Saturday, October 03, 2020

The Chinese Gongo epidemic has really messed up my sense of where I "am" and what I should be doing while I'm stuck in this mess we tend to call "existence". Shee-yucks, it's already October (a fun if work-riddled time in that effort to clean out the yard and generally winterize things) and I still feel as if I am in spring when this whole mess started, almost if I had entered into that land where time stood still and they called it Coraopolis PA. Well, given the lack of work (and moolah) and the excuse to stay home and goof off (and for me "goofing off" includes creating this very blog that gives you yet another reason to keep on goin' a few days) maybe I could use yet another shutdown to goof off even more thus creating these awe-inspiring and informative posts which sure read swell compared with whatever else you're able to snatch up for free onna internet!
Much to the derision of many of you out there I have gotten over that weird funk I had been experiencing earlier last week, enough so that I have ordered a whole slew of comic book/strip-related books from such sources as Gawananaland meaning that you reg'lar readers  sure have a lot of fun writeups to look forward to in the upcoming weeks! Some pretty good doozies are bound to appear among 'em as well, and although I gotta pre-warn ya that the quality of some of these Gwandanaland efforts (which the publisher admits were taken from microfiche and even some on-line sources,  perhaps ebay listings judging from the blurredness of it all) leave mucho to be desired it's sure a thrill reading some of these classic stories no matter how fuzzed out they turned out to be. Yeah I know, a few of the pages in these books kinda come off as if somehow your eyeballs and Stevie Wonder's have been switcheroo'd, but otherwise where else are you gonna find the complete DR OCCULT or MOON GIRL collections if DC and EC respectively are not willing to reprint 'em themselves? Will tip you off as to which is what 'n all that as the weeks progress, though in order to be varied 'n all I'll probably do a book review one week and a decidedly non-comic related post the next just to prove that I'm not as one-track comic simpleton minded as some of you tend to believe.
Otherwise in an unusually placid week...caught the first part of a pretty hotcha biker flick on TCM entitled JC, a moom pitcher that I gotta give kudos to if only for it being an early-seventies motorcycle gang epic cum socially meaningful relevancy effort that for once didn't even come near making me wanna puke my guts out! It's about this Deep South racially mixed motorcycle "club" that goes to gang leader "JC" ('n you can guess that that's supposed to stand for!) small Alabama hometown where the locals, especially the typical redneck sheriff played by Slim Pickens, doesn't take too lightly of 'em. It works if only because the bikers are real bad boy types who lack that saccharine youth culture sanctimony seen so often in these generation gap flicks and the locals are mean mothers who you might wanna cheer for anyway because they are so nasty! Best of all the lead character, while far from being any sorta Christ figure straight outta JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL, seems like a cool enough guy who talks straight without a whole lotta that airy blab that you got outta Billy Jack. The only thing about this 'un that got my goat was this folk-singin' biker who pops up every so often spewing the usual James Taylor mewl. Gotta find out how this 'un ends one of these days.
I assume that a few of you readers would want me to comment on the recent passing of both Helen Reddy and Mac Davis, two AM songsters who sure took up a lotta precious airtime in the seventies that should have been given to musical acts of a more thrilling nature. Well here is my "comment"...they're dead.
Hain't had many rock-related dreams lately but I did have a doozy Wednesday night where I'm a youth back in High Stool in some next-to-last period of the day class and one of the class rowdies who happens to be a young John Byner (!) is giving us all grief! Next thing I know this period's over and my father is at school to tell me that he and mother won't be home that night because they have to go look at some antiques. All through this I'm trying to find my gym bag and head off to the lockers to change and Dad's keeping me otherwise occupied with him telling me of his own plans unwittingly making me late. The skies are darkening already as if some strange storm is coming and then I can't find my locker and... 's funny how these dreams often mimic real life now, don't they??? Yeah it ain't as good as a Brad Kohler dream but then again, what is?
If you're the kinda guy who likes to take my word face value, I gotta admit that the following batch of reviews is a fairly good 'un---perhaps not the best but up there with at least the final issue of TOO FUN TOO HUGE if you want me to be snarky about it. Thanks goes to Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and of course myself for being such a spendthrift buying records that you know I won't be playing in a good fifty years, if only because in fifty years """""I""""" won't be playing either!

15 Kinder and Peter Brotzmann, Fred van Hove, Han Bennick-FREE JAZZ UND KINDER LP (Tochnit Aleph Records, Germany)

A reissue of an early-seventies double-7-inch single set recording taken from a jazz workshop where three of the more outer-rimmed new jazz creators and a buncha kids aged 8 to 11 made this particular effort which I gotta say is weird, though much better'n had these brats been taken to an arts and crafts exhibition of turkey hands. And hey, FREE JAZZ UND KINDER is one platter which I gotta say rates with MACHINE GUN and a variety of similar Teutonic traipses as far as bared-wire intensity goes which is pretty wild considering how most of the partakers on this sesh were probably still stuck in the kindergarten mode of music, ifyaknowaddamean!

I kinda wonder what these junge really thought about this music and whether they comprehended the entire concept of free sound, but considerin' how Europeens seem to progress quicker 'n their Amerigan counterparts (after all, they're the kinda "progressive" sorta kids who watch porn movies when they're still in utero!) I'll bet they got "into" this just as much if not even more'n some college kid neophyte who just discovered John Coltrane and thus boosted his own phony-intellectual scoreboard up a good five points. But when all is said and done and the piano's all gutted, one thing can be said and that is KIDS REALLY KNOW HOW TO MAKE A RACKET WHETHER IT'S INNA NAME OF MUSIC OR JUST BECAUSE THEY WANNA GOOF AROUND, EH?????
The Grateful Dead-BLUES FOR ALLAH CD-r burn (originally on Rhino/WEA Records)

Paul is continuing on his quest to turn me into a Deadhead, and given the sudden appearance of a number of blackheads on my dome maybe his plan is working!

Actually I gotta say I found BLUES FOR ALLAH slightly more digestible than the MARS HOTEL effort reviewed a coupla weeks back but it still irritates me to no end from the mock thirties nostalgia moves in "Crazy Fingers" to yet more of those "when is this song gonna get into gear?" efforts (not to forget the "when is this song going to end? ones) which lump about in your mind. Actually the two instrumental tracks have some oomph to 'em with "King Solomon's Marbles" coming off like a halfway decent effort at seventies fusion without the positive sweetness and light of a Return to Forever while Bob Weir's acoustic interlude "Sage & Spirit" could have, with some acid of the battery kind thrown upon it, ended up on a latterday Captain Beefheart album.

And hey, I gotta say that I thought the way the music went into this offbeat tangle of jams on the "Blues For Allah/Sand Castles & Glass Camels"/"Unusual Occurrences in the Desert" had a tad of mindzap worthy of one of the better renditions of "Dark Star" heard not only on a variety of late-sixties boots but on that triple disc set which took a whole slew of "Dark Star" performances and overlaid and edited 'em into a pretty weird mess of sound even I could discern some aural tingles! An' at times it even touches on areas previously tred on Tim Buckley's STARSAILOR tho not going nearly as far as that masterpiece ventured.

Listening to BLUES FOR ALLAH (even the bonus instrumental jam tracks which are here only for historical prestige 'n while you can say they're "not bad" that's about ALL you can say!) is submitting yourself to yet another one of those Dead platters that waffles about with some instrumental moves that might come to fruition yet most of the time don't while other ones sprout up and also get mowed down before your interest in piqued. Maybe Paul shoulda sent me some Yellow Sunshine to drop while spinning this because then I would be hearing all kinds of amazing musical epiphanies that would make me surrender to my real self, man!
Golden Earrings-SINGLES 1965-1967 CD-r burn (originally on BK Music Records)

Hey, them "Radar Love" guys were pretty good even way back inna mid-sixties! Well, almost everybody was good back then, but anyway these early single sides from Holland's contribution to early-seventies FM rock really do swing in an early-Who/neo-Mersey sorta way albeit they do lack the slam-crash that act coulda whipped up when the feeling was right. Most of the time the Earrings play rather straightforward and inoffensive pop, that kind that was good enough for that iron haired cyster of yours to clandestinely listen to on the transistor while she was supposed to be studying. Dunno how much that one album of theirs with the nekkid gal onna cover holds up these days, but these old singles still do in their own toned down pop yet fun sorta way.
Various Artists-WE WERE LIVING IN CINCINNATI CD-r burn (originally on Hozac Records)

Sheesh, I guess that Cleveland and Akron weren't the only hotbeds of under-the-underground musical activities back inna seventies!

This Hozac Records collection of Cincinnati punk and new wave is but one indication of that, and although these punk and new wave tracks often translate into "punque" and "gnu" wave at least their inherent doofitude does make for some rather funtime listening material. Personal faves include the Customs who don't substitute trendiness for effort, Bitter Blood Street Theater who play a surprisingly spry manic rock which belied their weirdo Medieval attire, and the By Products of America doin' a brittle avant punk rock that woulda been more in place in late-seventies Cleveland than it probably did in Cincinnati but better there than nowhere.

By the way, did I ever tell you that I sent an early issue of my own crudzine to By Products member Nolan Benz requesting a copy of his latest BPA tape in trade and heard nada back? Sheesh, talk about my pariahness in a music scene that I continue to encounter lo these many years later!
TOMMY STUART AND HIS BAND OF FRIENDS CD-r burn (originally on Crazy Cajun Records)

It's yet another whatcha'd expect effort that woulda come outta the Louisiana swamprock mid-seventies or so scene, a rather tedious affair that is sparked up a bit when some innocuous yet slightly-pleasing funk sounds permeate the ether. Quite cornballus especially when compared with some of the acts that were oozing outta the South during the same stratum, tho I find it hard to fathom that Stuart and his band woulda been anywhere as raucous as either the Allman Brothers Band or their roadies. Otherwise it's a nice try, but an effort ya can't even enjoy in a light, toss-off manner the same way you do with your cyster's old twist records.
Various Artists-JUST ANOTHER MIDNIGHT FAKEOUT CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Some good stuff, some crud. But its good enough crud since the mere stoopidity of the Frankie Sardo single ("Fakeout"/"Class Room") amid other precious turds is stoopid in an affect you in a suburban slob kinda way fun way o' ignorance as opposed to Donny and Marie stoopid. Some hot flash does occur from the likes of Sonny Flaherty and Mark V's pop psychedelia while Bill shoulda already knowed that he put Just Luv's "Valley of Hate" on an earlier burn. Or am I listening to the same burn and forgot all about it? In the sage words of Vinnie Barbarino, "I'm so confused!" Whatever, Just Luv's ability to take the terror of war and carnage and transfer it to fuzztone lead glory sure puts the Doors' various attempts at antiwar fun 'n jollies to shame! Personal fave...the Four Fifths' tribute to the Byrds which, if recorded a decade later, woulda sounded just like a tribute to SHAKE SOME ACTION an' I mean it!
You would think that there were enough people on this planet who would just rush out to get hold of all of the BLACK TO COMM back issues that are available! An' I do mean it considerin' alla those poor souls who are tryin' to better their musical existences in the face of that rock critic generation that gave us such big names as Jessica Hopper and Ann Powers. Never let a woman do a man's job (unless that woman is Miriam Linna, Vivien Goldman, Jane Suck or Lauren Agnelli among a few more good ones), and never be caught without a complete collection of BLACK TO COMM lest you be banished to the realms of total jiveass duncitude forever! 


debs said...

the dead are cool

Alvin Bishop said...

Keep 'em comin', Chris!

I've got my vinyl copy of Leftoverture by Kansas blaring away this morning, a fine slab of vintage prog! Primo stuff! America's answer to Yes!


Chevy Chase said...

Jerry Garcia is still dead.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

"America's answer to Yes" deals with a question I never asked.

Alvin Bishop said...


You are welcome!


Alvin Bishop said...


As good as it gets! Jazz, good jazz! Joni, Jaco, Pat, Mike, Lyle! Primo!

You are welcome!


Alvin Bishop said...

For whate'er 'tis worth department: My Top 10 Pazz & Jop Bands:

1) Zombies

2) Weather Report

3) Oregon

4) Television

5) Chicago

6) Ten Years After

7) Kensington Market

8) Kansas

9) Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band

10) Tin Huey

PS: Speaking of Pazz & Jop: Is Robert "The Dean" Christgau still alive? I'll have to search... Used to read his columns with a fervor.


bob f. said...

the Dead really toured/utilized BLUES FOR ALLAH trax for a long time. Rolling Stones milked A BIGGER BANG for quite a number of years, too. I like both albums. BLUES FOR ALLAH choked the cut-out bins back in Akron back in the daze. Release was originally on Grateful Dead records. Correction: Tin Huey, i believe, was from Canterbury. peace.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

The Dean died in 1989. Coincidentally, his son Chuck Eddy used to be married to BTC scribe/honcho Chris Stigliano!

They broke up over Chuck's refusal to merge record collections.

Chevy Chase said...

Heather Heyer is still dead.

Patti "Rock n' Roll N-word" Smith said...

Lydia Lunch - aka Hideous Hunch - has referred to me as a barefoot hippy. That is BS! I am an artist, an American artist, like Jackson Pollack, and a Moslem, an American Moslem, man! I may be a smelly old hag but at least I'm not a fat smelly old slob like Lydia Lunch! And I won the National Book Award for a book I didn't even write! Top that, Top Cat!

Alvin Bishop said...

MoeLarry: Thanks for the update. (Chuckle.)


Charles Hodgson said...

I saw Lydia Lunch give a spoken word thing a couple of years ago (Fire Engines were playing the same show, and were fucking great), which basically amounted to her insulting the audience relentlessly for not being as fearless an artist as she is. Not as interesting as that may sound. In fact, deeply boring. She is so far up her own fat arse these days she may as well have been auditioning for a part in 'Society'.
We moved to the bar (luckily in a separate room) and left her (mostly young female) acolytes to bask in her self-proclaimed genius.
ML&J would doubtless have savoured the old hag in a sadomasochistic sense, and may even have enjoyed a hard pegging gangbang backstage afterwards that would have tore him a new one.

HHH said...

I'm not too up on all of today's "rock music," but I am pleased as punch to name a few of my favorites:

The James Brown Flamers

The Tommy James & His Shondells

The Real McCoys

I tried giving Autosalvage a try, but I'm afraid they are too "far out" for me and the Mrs. We like something we can pat our feet to. Frankly, we prefer Benny Goodman to "rock music." Please to note: Benny broke the music biz "color barrier" when he hired a Negro.

Gary Field said...

I am reading about this children's mystery train they built in Colon, Nebraska that approximates a colonoscopy. Complete with styrofoam cysts and paper mache polyps...Apparently tickets to ride it cost $8.00 and have to be renewed every five years.