Sunday, June 26, 2022

TEE-VEE SERIES REVIEW! MEDIC  STARRING RICHARD BOONE (NBC 1954-1956, RERUNS IN SYNDICATION)

I'm back, but only for a shorter' n short time considering the plethora of doodies I have to be performing at this point in life. However I've got just about enough minutes to clue you in on this rather boffo if oft-forgotten television series which I gotta say, after espying a few Youtube'd episodes, really shines out as far as to what the "Golden Age" of Tee-Vee could come up with. And that's especially AMAZING considering how "backwards" and "Neanderthal-like" not only people but the entertainment they tuned into could be back during those oh-so unenlightened times --- y'know, back when toothless backwoods types were shooting motorcycle enthusiasts from their pickups while the rest of us were keeping trans-children from attending drag queen story hours in Deep South diners, or something like that.

If you think I'm being especially grumpy about it you are for once right. Just thinking about the short shrift that fifties television, and more specifically the fifties has gotten thanks to the phony intellectuals of the past few decades does tend to irritate worse than an undigested peanut in the rectum. It=f anything it takes me back a good twenty years to that major pile on I hadda endure that was instigated by a certain fellow named David Lang (and perpetrated by a rather disgusting specimen who goes by the moniker Jay Hinman, both of whom I hope are suffering untold physical and emotional trauma as I peck this 'un out), a slam against my very existence which resulted in a barrage of ill-minded critiques that were directed at my rather spotless character for reasons not only of revenge but hipster underground cred. Anyway, amongst a slew of virtue signals and righteousness masturbating that went on in these assaults there was one particularly putrid piece of sputum aimed at me which continues to stick in my craw 'n that 'un came from a certain individual whose identity escapes me at this moment. This misguided soul, probably stoked on repeated campfire chantings of "Kumbaya:" for all I know, actually had the audacity to claim that my devotion to pre-"relevance" 'n "right on" television that was prevalent from the fifties until the mid-sixties was bred from my inherent hatred of everything from blacks 'n faggots to womyn 'n other definitely anti-WASP-y forces that were bound to overturn that evil patriarchy that has been ruining our very existences ever since Adam told Eve to go take a douche! Yeah right, as if the concept of QUALITY was totally alien to this particular nimnul's mind.

Ah yeah, I still fondly recall that episode of THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET where good natured Ozzie and Thorny firebomb the abode of the Negro family that moved into the neighborhood not to mention that LEAVE IT TO BEAVER where Wally, Eddie and Lumpy give that rather effeminate newcomer to Mayfield High what-for in the locker room after said sissy showed his appreciation for the builds of these fine specimens of budding manhood with a ten-hut one doesn't usually see during fall in. Sheesh, if only said commentator had WATCHED some classic fifties tee-vee to see that when people of African heritage were presented (mostly in dramas but also in AMOS 'N ANDY come to think of it) it was always in the the best possible light such as in that one RACKET SQUAD where a kindly black woman rats on a day care scam where some slimy WHITES were mistreating children or even that episode of MR. ED where former Lightnin' Nick "Nick O'Demus" Stewart played a letter carrier totally straight without one hint of slo' mo' retardation in sight. As for women well, they weren't as nauseatingly ascerbic then as they are now and we got enough fagitude with Liberace anyway But eh, you just can't let REALITY get in the way of these walking memes so hell-bent on creating lies to serve their own purpose to the point where they actually start believing the lies themselves!

Which more or less brings us to MEDIC. A pretty much forgotten series that ran on NBC in the mid-fifties, I gotta admit that I wouldn't've have even known about this series had I not read a classic Harvey Kurtzman/Will Elder MAD spoof that still resonates a good fifty years after my first laying eyes upon it. Back then MEDIC seemed like the kinda Tee-Vee series I coulda wrapped my pre-pube mind around but, alas, this series seemed destined to just rot away in old and forgotten television series limbo being aired only on one of those small Los Angeles UHF stations that nobody even in the local area could pick up until even those old syndication reels began to crack up into nothingness leaving a whole lotta tru blu viewers stranded in the current state of television pukeitude.

Tis way too bad, since MEDIC remains a show that not only holds up in its own special way but delivers on that hard and realistic true-to-life style that DRAGNET excelled in. Excelled in even to the point where I will even go out on a limb to say that MEDIC was indeed the doctor show equivalent of Jack Webb 'n company's infamous police drama even to the point where the names have been changed to protect the innocent, or at least the infirmed.

A pre-HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL/HEC RAMSEY Richard Boone plays Dr. Konrad Styner, a physician who pretty much hosts, and at times even appears in these dramas which at least gives him more air time than Dick Tracy had in those early-sixties UPA cartoons where he divvied out alla the dirty work to those then not-so-offensive ethnic characters we all loved anyway. At the opening of each episode Styner is seen setting up the drama to unfold with an "object in point" and a "case in point" usually leading up to a sometimes grisly subject at hand in which the lumpen idjits tuned in get to not only engross themselves in a good enough drama but might even learn a thing or two without getting too bowled over in the process.

Unlike the tiresome preachiness that has infested entertainment for a longer time than one can imagine MEDIC presents its case in a straightforward way that lets you make up your bean rather'n force-feed a whole load of sociopolitical relevancy to the point of nausea only matched by any episode of THE BOLD ONES you unfortunately might chance upon even this late in the television game.

'n these are good shows too, well acted by some of your favorite fifties/sixties tee-vee regulars (Charles Bronson, Claude Akins, John Larch...) and filled with a whole load of real life accuracy to the point where not only does one get some real-deal operation footage that's almost as grossout as Lyndon Johnson's gallbladder removal but actual doctors and nurses seen acting out their true-to-life roles as healers of the sick and comforters of the aged with the eye of an eagle, the heart of a lion and the hand of a woman (something which I'm sure a few of the dykeoids seen theses days will find offensive, and who can argue with a linebacker wearing a use my proper pronouns or I'll brain ya sweatshirt anyway!).

The characters found therein are portrayed to such a point where by golly you can even feel loads of empathy 'n sorrow for them 'n their afflictions. Real life sorrow too like in the one where this cleft palate seven-year-old (older bro played by doomed wonderboy Bobby Driscoll) is razzed by a buncha kids as said razzers' father stands by and says nothing (reminds me of this one kid at the local swimming pool who used to belittle me for my own girth yellin' "SHAKE THAT BLUBBER, SHAKE!" at yers truly while his mother smiled on smugly---years later the two approached me when the kid was now running for public office and boy did they get what for!). Sometimes a historical drama is re-enacted as with the one where Robert Vaughn plays a soldier trying valiantly to save the life of Abe Lincoln or the one about the noted physician who experimented with cocaine and got pretty strung out as a result. But whatever, only a cold cyborg of modern personhood would not have some pity for the deaf cellist or the woman who was struggling through that change o' life that I'm sure many of you readers and to endure thanks to an aging mother or cyster (as I have!).

Speaking of menopause some of you readers'll be surprised at the sexually-related material that pops up in these MEDICs. Remember alla those self-righteous and smug better-than-thous who used to rub their weenies and tacos over how repressed things were inna fifties because you couldn't use the work "pregnant" on I LOVE LUCY? Well you coulda used it on DRAGNET where the subject of knocked up teenagers would often come up (not to mention sexually molested youngsters) and you definitely coulda mentioned these feminine-like things on MEDIC along with periods and other tick-tock-time related sundries which used to be considered no-no subject matters in polite company. But then again who's polite these days where more'n a few Libs of Tic Toc types go out of their way to remind lugs like me as to just how evil we are lest we find the true road to enlightenment that has been bestowed upon us by alla those spiritual role models you just can't escape no matter how hard you try!

Even more astonishing is the downright fact that THERE ARE NO HAPPY ENDINGS PROMISED, OR GIVEN FOR THAT MATTER. Take the one about this rather emotinally stunted asthmatic of a seven-year-old boy whose only friend is his teddy bear. The doc sez that in order to survive the kid has to cut out a lotta food along the lines of milk and meringue as well as have his bear specially cleaned, but when put into the care of a babysitter while the folk are away he gets lemon pie and a glass of milk, is given his old doll back and ends up dying! Sheesh, you woulda thought that mother woulda told the lady in charge what the kid could or couldn't eat!!! If this happened today you could just see the lawsuits flyin' all over the place!

For those of you who think that fifties television (and the fifties in general) were that vast wasteland of conformist goop and other falsities which teachers and other objects of scorn have crammed into your skull ever since that decade came to a merry end may I recommend a nice dosage of MEDIC? Most of them are up and about for free viewing via Youtube...just click the highlighted link in the title and be taken to a sphere that the last twentysome years of "realistic" and "provocative" doctor programs never could aspire to.

Friday, May 20, 2022

BOOK REVIEW! SUSPENSE AND SPACE WORLDS (Gwandanaland Comics)

The late fifties weren't exactly the tippy toppiest times for what would eventually become Marvel Comics, but even a curmudgeonly fanabla such as I's gotta admit that it was an interesting period in comicdom for any funnies historian to study. Well, it is if only to see the teeny tiniest of roots that would blossom into a doggone comic book phenom only a few short years later. An' it sure is a good thing that the minds at Marvel failed to renew the copyright on these early issues of TALES OF SUSPENSE so's we penny conscious peons can give an eye to PD reprints of these pre-hero sagas, especially without having to line the coffers of those megawoke moguls any more'n we have to (same goes for DC and especially Archie!).

But to be downright honest 'n up front about it these stories ain't that hot next to what the early-sixties post Atlas/pre-Marvel monsters 'n heroes titles had in store. In fact a whole slew of 'em just seem leaden and just plain douse with nothing around to flicker my pilot light. Sure Jack Kirby was back in the bullpen after bolstering DC with the likes of Challengers of the Unknown, but stories like "Invasion From Outer Space" really don't cut the comic book mustard the way those Fin Fang Fooms and Groons sure did with the likes of me reading those early-seventies reprints. Besides, Christopher Rule just ain't the kinda inker for The King the way Dick Ayers would eventually be and hey, the stories do get kinda over-read-y with so much dialogue you think that the characters were gonna get squeezed in their panels just like Narda was in the "Manduck the Magician" spoof way back during the comic book days of MAD.

Still there is that nascent proto-Marvel spirit raging through these sagas even if you (like me) never really did cozy up to some of the early Marvel staff (never really did go for Don Heck but wha' th' hey...). The Steve Ditko stories are (natch!) pleasing enough to look at despite the heavy duty dialogue, and a tale like "Prisoner of the Satellites" foreshadows alla them outer-worldly Doc Strange dimensional efforts what with the hapless hero being an unwilling nucleus in an oversized atom.

Again, there is much here that just ain't flibbin' my jib, what with the artwork from such Marvel second-stringers as Joe Sinnott coming off so downright snoozeville and even a worthy like Al Williamson not putting his best efforts into it without the folk at EC looking over his shoulder.  But eh, even these flubs make for great Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kids reading and like, every molecule on these pages beats anything any of the major comic book conglomerations have sloshed out at us these past fortysome years.

As a "bonus" Gwandanaland slapped on a pre-code one ish effort from the Atlas days entitled SPACE WORLD, a title which proves that even without the Comics Code in effect there coulda been some rather stodgy reads being churned out for the comic book reading class. These imitation Flash 'n Buck efforts aren't anything to cock-a-doodle-do about and when placed side by side with a lotta the competition well...you can just see the depths that comic book cheapness (sans the redeeming trash value) easily coulda slipped into. But so what...I mean hey, ya gotta admit that some of these doofus adlos didn't know shit from PATSY WALKER inna first place!

Friday, May 13, 2022

BOOKS REVIEW! THIS COLLECTION NEEDS HELP! VOLUMES ONE AND TWO (Gwandanaland)

Yeh, they coulda printed the entire run in a number of volumes and in chronological order at that, but I guess even a smattering of HELP! is a heap better'n none at all. Still it woulda been grand to read some of the rarities that have slipped through my collection as well as those old classics like John Cleese in "Christopher's Punctured Romance" not forgetting the classic Tom Poston/Sylvia Miles "Baby It's Occult Outside." Well, at least some of the goodies that I seem to go for like the legendary "Goodman Goes Playboy" as well as Jean Shepard in "The Oldest Story" (which perhaps is the oldest considering how the plot had been done by everyone from Charlie Chase to Joe McDoakes) do pop up.  But still, it sure woulda been swell to see such classics as "Buster Have You Ever Stomped a Nigra" (by Terry Gilliam making for an ever stranger American humor/MONTY PYTHON connection than one coulda ever imagined) in print for a generation of stodgy purselips who wouldn't know snarky humor if it came up and bit 'em on their posteriors that always seem to get slammed by the doors they exited no matter how many times we've told 'em to watch 'em on their way out.

So eh, these reprints do skip hop and jump about but at least we got a good gooey portion of pre-pious humor that, as one observer put it, was kinda/sorta like the midway mark between MAD and NATIONAL LAMPOON. Lotsa precedents here as well as holdovers from the fifties style of gut-chuckling (I mean, where do you think the 'pooners got their ideas for alla them "Photo Funnies" anyway?) that should sate whoever out there still has a real sense of offensive humor not seen in ages.

Still, I gotta say that, even with the tons of talent behind the mag it does flounder here and there. Frankly a lotta the fumettis, especially the later ones without the big names to bolster 'em up kinda fall flat while the load of text was something that I not only passed on then, but now. Even the Jack Davis boxing critique as well as Kurtzman's cartoon commentary on REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT lack the bellyshakes that coulda been yanked out had they not tried to be so adult about it. It's when Kurtzman and company stick to their comical roots that HELP! does its best such as in the aforementioned Goodman Beaver story (an ARCHIE satire worthy of anything that the Kurtzman/Bill Elder team coulda whipped up during the fifties)  or in the plethora of movie stills with rather guffawing word balloons added that, although quite humorous in its day, would be considered racist if presented to the current batch of prissies who are nothing more'n those uplifters outta an old DW Griffith Biograph reel updated with plenny o' tattoos and body modifications.

Eh, go get 'em. If you spent your teenbo years pouring through volumes of fifties-era MAD reprints in between your usual comic book scarfing you're bound to squeeze a whole lotta that once-cutting edge but now pretty reactionary style of guffaw inducement outta these volumes. Y'know, that humor that would get more'n its share of self-righteous condemnation from the usual gang of idiots otherwise known as the chattering class (or Antifa, take your pick). But I do tend to repeat myself, so sorry Charlie.

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Well, here I iz, at least for the time being. Yes it's been a long time between chats and I've been extremely busy during this past half year or so which has seen my free time dwindle into nothingness, but thankfully I've been able to scrounge up a few piddly hours here/there to crank this grande return post out for the few of you who really do seem to care. So here's the first real BLOG TO COMM entry in quite some time, and given how the internet has been starved for some really in-depth rockscreeding as of late I'm sure you all should be, howshallIsay, rather grateful that I haven't decided to stay away from my doodies for an even longer amount of time than I would have liked.

Now don't go expecting me to crank out posts with the same go-gettum that I have o'er the past two decades since there still is quite a lot for a guy like me to do out there in the real world, but at least be thankful that I'm here doin' this pubelick service in order to teach you ignoramuses as to what real rock fandom writing (NOT "rock criticism" or any derivation thereof) is s'posed to be all about.

To be more'n honest about it I don't really care if you like this or not. I gave up on trying to persuade you peons as to the not-so-finer points of what a firm discussion of music (in the old and long-forgotten gonz fashion) should be like. But man I gotta say that it sure feels great to once again get in front of the keyboard and spew my true feelings regarding everything from sound and the visuals to the art of what is possible (aka politics) as I see fit. And given how pent up I've been this past half-year of not writing a darn thing with respects to that once wild and wooly sound also called rock 'n roll well, it sure is a great relief to get back into gear and once again try to do my darndest to yes, offend alla you readers out there WHO SURE NEED (and deserve) TO BE OFFENDED! As you can tell, I've also been reading a whole load of old NATIONAL LAMPOONs in the interim and I get the feeling that those guys had a handle on what public discourse was s'posed to be about, or at least had a way better handle on it than the precious petunias and their altruistic world-saving yammer that seems to be all in vogue these past few years.

As for a brief encapsulation of some current political thought: well right now I'm siding with Putin since the people who are all agog over the Ukraine (at least the ones I seem to be aware of) are a bunch of hippie pacifist types who deserve to be punished under some yoke of totalitarianism that I hope cracks their spine, while I must admit that it is a hoot seeing prez Biden looking more and more like a total asshole as time passes on. Hey, you guys are the one who wanted him in orafice and of course you deserve all you've cheated for!

Speaking of hoots, I'm sure doin' the ol' knee slaps whenever I encounter the progressive snoots out there defend things along the lines of the so-called "Don't Say Gay" legislation and getting everything wrong about it in their feeble attempts to try and convince me there is even such a thing as a trans child inna first place. If you want a real good hoo-haw just read some of the items regarding this and other pertinent subjects like Elon Musk presented on "The Left Can't Meme" which is listed on the siteroll left of this entry. The one (with regards to the whole Florida/Disney flap which proves that a company that once excelled in cheesy family friendly fun can morph into cheesy woke progressivism) that really made me laugh was this Twitter entry where some airhead argues that alla those Bugs Bunny scenes where he appears as a female in order to bushwhack Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam are in fact early examples of "grooming", the exact same kind that Gov. Ron DeSantis and his followers are bent of keeping outta the local schools fercrinoutloud! I guess this all proves that some seventy-year-old cartoon in which Bugs dons a dress and makeup is the same (physically and morally) as a buncha drag queens reading sappy sagas about young 'n confused turdlers. Sheesh, who do these people think they are anyway, Parker Tyler? Wait until these open-minded world yammerers discover CHARLEY'S AUNT

I also discovered something extremely important with regards to some of the political cartoons (which somehow gets wrapped up in the "meme" category which is open to mucho debate) and that is when some big city paper leftist in the old self-righteous Herblock/Oliphant mode (are they any others, at least printed in what is left of the modern day newspaper?) either quotes scripture to suit his own purposes as Antonio proclaimed about the devil in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE or presents Jesus Christ as an advocate of whatever "acceptable" deviant behavior is currently in vogue these days that the sanctimonious hypocrisy meters (and said artist's glee that he used the spiritual leader of his enemies against them!) are just bound to be in the red! As if these people just discovered that oft-loathed religion called Christianity 'r sumthin'! But sheesh, for the life of me I can't see any of these Hornseyesque scribblers even remotely knowing a shard of what Christianity entails other than the fact that just about any biblical quote they can come up with can be taken out of context to fit into any chic belief that just happens to pass their one-dimensional minds. 

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So what else has been up during my lost weekend which turned into a good half-year anyway? Not much because frankly there ain't that many rekkids both old and new that I'd care to listen to let alone waste my money buying. Thankfully there have been some interesting platters sent my way courtesy of the likes of Paul McGarry and PD Fadensonnen, a few of which tickled my hammers and stirrups in ways that can throw even an old fanabla like me way off guard. The internet itself has been a source of some surprises, the best of them all being a youtube entry featuring a rare Milk recording of the infamous "Boy Can I Dance Good" (live at the Willoughby Ohio YMCA!) which was later done up and remade/remodeled by none other than the infamous Pagans. Nice pic they slapped on this one as well, what with photos taken from Milk's appearance at a local outdoor rock festival where they surely must have been the highlight of the program! (Interesting aside---my cyster thinks that Milk sound like Glass Harp of all groups and who knows, you may agree!) For those of you who have the same sorta passion for the entire Brian Sands oeuvre as I do here tis, 'n try to keep your eyeballs inna sockets when espying Sands' classic (not a repro!) Gibson Flying V!:

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OK, here are the writeups of some tasty (and maybe not-so) items that have passed right through my head these past few days (if not months). Old new, but none are borrowed and blue thank goodness. You might be able to get some information if not entertainment from these writeups but frankly, at this point in time I could care less what you people think given your inexcusable lapses in what I would call common good taste and the ability to appreciate music in its rawer, more feral fashion. I mean, our last chance was more than forty years back and like, anything even resembling an attempt to reclaim the glorious banner of rock 'n roll is nothing but a futile exercise. A fun exercise true, but futile.


Aaron Dilloway and Lucrecia Dalt-LUCY & AARON CD-r burn 

One of the things I didn't miss during the past six months of virtual drudgery and thinking of others rather than one's self (yech!) was a good portion of the new experimental noise music that has come my way o'er the past few decades. Not that I don't care for this brew, but a little sure does go quite a long way and maybe in a direction that I don't feel quite comfortable with given just how repetitious these new experimental recordings can be. 'n I'm afraid that this not-so-recent effort from former Wolf Eyes Dilloway with compat Lucrecia Dalt falls into the same vat of noise music as alla those bedroom experimenters that have been cranking out their own soundswill these past fortysome years. For specific tastes only of which you might find specific enough for your personal sense of nervegrind.

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The Hitmen-LIVE RADIO BROADCAST, AUSTRALIA, 1981, STUDIO 221 CD-r burn

Johnny Kannis and company doing pretty fine keeping the Australian high energy scene goin' strong. Sound quality ain't exactly tippy-top but the performance is as all-out as get-out as Chris Masuak roars on like nothing since Wayne Kramer while alla the post-Radio Birdman hard drive will remind you of just how much fun these Australian groups were, at least until the rote rot set in. If you went for the album then go for this, it even (if you can believe it) has a fantastico cover of "Don't Fear The Reaper" which is without cowbell for that matter! It's that good, and perhaps one of the best FM broadcasts since Rocket From the Tombs and that's really saying something!

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Arthur Doyle-THE SONGWRITER CD (Ecstatic Peace! Records)

Solo effort that rarely gets a spin here. Wonder why, cuz Doyle's sax scronk mixed with various mumblings makes for a good "out" effort that might just figure in swell with a good portion of you readers who dumped loads of cash on items the New Music Distribution Service was selling before they went outta biz and ripped a whole lotta people off. I know that a whole lotta you are gonna dismiss this as mere jagoff custom made for those who think that music began with John Cage 'r something as whacked as that, but I find it as up and atcha as a good portion of those AACM rarities that seemed to come and go faster than toilet paper during a diarrhea epidemic.

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The Revelators-WE TOLD YOU NOT TO CROSS US CD (Crypt Records)

Y'know, I didn't think much about a lotta them "new"  Crypt Records releases that came out in the late-90s. Oh they were good 'n way better'n the usual slop, but somehow they just didn't have the same vim and verve of the original sixties rock squawk let alone anything that came in its torrid wake. Shows you just how off-kilter I can get, because here in the darkness of the twenties the Revelators sure sound hot and exciting the way I like my hard-edged rock 'n roll. Not bad at all high energy knock you on your pitted butt music that has that sixties beat but doesn't get all cutesy kitsch on ya with enough real metallic shards to splinter a few ear drums out there in hard rock land. You better like it

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Metal Mike, Allison & Julia-SURF CITY OR BUST CD (Triple X Records)

Post hardcore Metal Mike Saunders doing that hard pop rock which kinda put a whole load of fanablas off way back when, but it sure sounds better'n the usual musings of the day at least in retrospect. The Rockin' Blewz sesh with brother Kevin has that basement-level pre-Beatles suburban slob appeal to it that will probably inspire you to build your own knotty pine rec room. So exhilarating, especially when compared with the dreck that passed for rock 'n roll since at least 1978 when our last chance was up 'n runnin' and you all BLEW IT.

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Various Artists-STICKBALL TEDDYBEAR POOPOO CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Some pretty interesting rarities here from ex-Gene Vincent sideman Scotty McKay plus the usual asst. of outta nowhere tuneage that shoulda made it but didn't because --- well, maybe they were too GOOD for the world. The usual smattering of strangities from obscure c&w to local rock appear, some of it pretty high-larious in its own way (like the excerpts from some high stool project or something like that from the Lighter Shades where the local hits are ruined with even more right on aplomb than a folk mass! Maybe Bill was in a hippie mood since Brewer and Shipley also pop up here!). And hey, this is probably the only place you're gonna hear Lionel Hampton these days, unless you have video of some old Republican National Convention that is!

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Can I get any subtler? Back issues of BLACK TO COMM are still available so now's the time to fill up those cracks in your collection. Or you can use them to fill up the cracks in your house, it ain't like I really care whatcha do with 'em at this point in time!

Friday, December 31, 2021

I gotta admit that for living in a post-rock 'n roll-oriented world I managed to get through 2021 musically well. Of course I know that rock 'n roll for all practical purposes has meant very little (despite all of the lip service given it) since the advent of hippie anti-mentalities in the late-sixties and really nothing since the valiant attempt to overthrow the "Classic Rock"/stoner boxboy arena rock mentality fizzled out for good sometime in the early-eighties, but for an old fanabla like me at least the malady lingers on. And true, I am to 2021what those old Fire House Dixieland types of groups were to the aging clientele of, say, 1980, but at least I, like those old guys pumpin' away on their tubas, still have some sense of dignity that defies trends and shucks of the week. Too bad there ain't some cheapo television series for PBS to air inna mornings showing the old rockers in their rest homes banging away like there were for fans of the old jass beat a good thirtysome years back.

An' yeah, I gotta face up to the fact that the more we drift away from those "days of the underground" the more I feel lost, alienated and generally out of touch with everything from my duty as a human being to reality for that matter. Pretty much like any broken down old man who was born in a world of relative ease and happiness and ended up in a sewer of a life that was not of his own making.

'n really --- why should we really care as much about music, an idiom which has let us down for most of our lifetimes what with the pallid sputum that once roared mightily just being nothing but a huge embarrassment to anyone who championed the cause hack when it was relatively younger, and fresh for that matter.

Anyhow, here's my best of list for the year, one which I am glad to see in the rear view mirror as I trudge along in life, even though I get the feeling that 2022 is going to make '21 look like a mere walk in the park.

ALBUM(S) OF THE YEAR!-Sex Tide-OHIO (Feeding Tube), Greg "Stackhouse" Prevost's SONGS FOR THESE TIMES (Mean Disposition)

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ALBUM REISSUE OF THE YEAR!-Remko Scha's GUITAR MURAL 1 FEATURING THE MACHINES two-LP set (Black Truffle Records), which proves that Lester Bangs was right when he said the machines were taking over.

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RE-ISHED SINGLE OF THE YEAR!-Ethix's "Bad Trip"/"Skins"(Mary Jane Records), a real wild trip into that part of the sixties that didn't quite jibe with "Kumbaya".

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FOLKIE RELEASE OF THE YEAR!-Myrian Gendron's MA DELYRE (Feeding Tube Records)

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CEE-DEE OF THE YEAR!-Edgar Breau's SHADOWS OF ECSTASY  which shows you that maybe thirty years ain't that long of a wait after all.

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CEE-DEE REISSUE OF THE YEAR!-Tim Buckley's STARSAILOR. This album'll cost you more today than it woulda had you got it in the 49 cent bin in 1972, but then again were you alive in '72? I was but do you think I even had 49 cents back then? For that matter do you think I even KNEW that STARSAILOR even existed? Do you think I would even have been allowed to play this in the house back then?????

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CEE-DEE-ARE ALBUM BURN OF THE YEAR!-KABALAH FUCKEN SYRINGE---actually from 2019 and actually recorded much earlier, but boy has the concept of time mutated as of late!

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MOOM PITCHER OF THE YEAR!-SHOCK CORRIDOR...really woulda liked to  have seen this 'un and THE SADIST battle it out for best pic of '63 at the Oscars!

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BOOK OF THE YEAR!-PUNKZINES a good 'nuff traipse into rockscreeding past which undoubtedly has nothing to do with rockscreeding present, or future for that matter.

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THE "HE'S NOT SO BAD AFTER ALL" AWARD GOES TO---MILO  YIANNOPOULOS!

***

ROCK 'N ROLL DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR!-Johannis and his Pale Boys

***

SO LONG TO A GOOD THING!-THE COMPLETE DICK TRACY VOL. 29, a  fine wrap up to one of the best comic strips to have hit the boards.

***

TELEVISION PROGRAM OF THE YEAR!-a tossup between the RAWHIDE and WAGON TRAIN reruns that have popped up on fetv and insp as of late.

***

HOPE OF THE YEAR!-Eric Zemmour. Here's hoping that he and Marine will bury the hatchet and team up to make France the place it was before Focault, Sartre, Genet and the rest of those degenerates ruined its name seemingly for good!

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DEATH OF THE YEAR!-Mike Nesmith.

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RELIEF OF THE YEAR!-the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. Kinda makes me wish I was still steadily blogging so I could rub a few readers who were so anxious to see him spend his remaining days in prison noses in it.


Might re-start this blog up plenty soon, though at this time I don't see any reason why I should. After all, what is there out in soundsville these days that is worth any true hard-edged rock 'n roller's attention anyway?

Saturday, November 06, 2021

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

It is my perhaps not-so-sad duty to inform you that BLOG TO COMM will be going on a perhaps extended (who knows?) hiatus dur to some rather pressing personal happenings in my life, not to mention the fact that both the quality of the blog has been sagging as of late perhaps due to a lack of stimulating sounds and reading to give the brain that necessary cranial massage. As soon as things get back together I should be resuming BLOG TO COMM, but as it stands in the here and now I will be taking a welcome holiday away from alla the rat race things like this can dump into my existence. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! LOONEY TUNES #167 (Dell Comics, September 1955 issue)


Here's one I gotta admit I would have snatched outta any flea market pile during my avid comic book collecting days, not necessarily because I am a great fan of the various Looney Tune and Merrie Melodies characters as portrayed on the printed page, but because this book came out smack dab inna middle of that quite sainted decade we all know and love as the fifties. When I was approaching adolescence I thought the fifties were a great time, not because of any of the nostalgic drivel that was beginning to make its way into the media back then, but due to the fact that back when people knew better there weren't any creeps and general sickos lurking around to soil the purity of the mid-Ameigan experience.  Not only that but the television programs that were hitting the rerun circuit sure came off way more entertaining and downright suburban ranch house smooth than the just pre-disco offal that one tended to be inundated with during those best/worst of times.

Nice li'l snat mag ya got there Chris, and although in NO WAY do the stories here capture the mad anarchy that you found in the animated cartoons they're still good enough to capture your attention. 'n yeah, alla the front line WB cartoon characters are here from Bugs and Daffy and Sylvester and Tweetie to Elmer and Porky getting into the usual Dell-approved mischief that made a whole load of parents heave a big sigh of relief at the idea that there kids weren't getting gored out by a buncha EC-styled mishaps. Kinda makes ya wonder how the folk of them times woulda reacted to GENDER QUEER : A MEMOIR but I wouldn't want any of them to die of sexual liberation shock.

One item did catch my attention and that was the "Mary Jane and Sniffles" tale, the series of which I had only heard about via various comics-related reading o'er the years. Sniffles was of course that little mouse of the classic early/mid-forties Warners era who did this rambling talkschpiel swiped from Florence Lake's character in the Edgar Kennedy comedies, and he (it?) was a rather entertaining character whose various cartoons (especially the Christmas one where he fights to stay awake in order to see Santa) still resonate in my slobbish being. By the mid-fifties the Sniffles shorts were long gone but the character did live on in the books, this time teamed up with a blond girl who not only is friends with the mouse but has some super powers allowing her to shrink to his size. Now that I've finally read one of these stories all I gotta say is that, well, I read one! Awww, actually they do have somewhat of a charm to 'em that is sorely missing in today's cyborg world.

Yeah, this is a nice book that'll keep ya busy for some time. And if you can find a copy with all sorts of weird stains, torn pages and a nice funky smell to it you might just be gettin' yourself a bargain next time you go to the flea market!

Saturday, October 30, 2021

FANZINE RUN DOWN, OR RUN DOWN FANZINES YOU TAKE YOUR PICK

I wonder if anyone else out there in this thing we call the world has the same passions and emotions regarding not only the concept of sound pattered in certain ways to induce happiness but the truly free press (ie the rock fanzine circuit or what's left of it) that I do. Sheesh, I gotta admit that I still can be overcome by feelings of joy and happiness when I encounter not only the kind of music that strikes deep into my core of belief but a rock prose that can match that euphoria, conjuring up everything and anything for that matter that I have extracted from these sounds for years on end. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who can still exude pangs of pleasure when encountering a seventies-vintage fanzine done up in that Meltzer/Bangs/Saunders style of expression along with those sounds that seemed birthed from various opiate-riddled mid-sixties experiments that --- thankfully --- went totally awry.

The annals of fanzinedom are filled with many brave attempts, some successful while others rather dudsville, to combine frequency and quality with some succeeding but most flopping about. The comic and sci-fi fanzine world are filled with many stellar examples of product that came out with a startling frequency and top notch reproductions...THE ROCKET'S BLAST/COMICOLLECTOR being but one example but as far as music goes it seems as if a regularly-produced fanzine with a comparatively professional look and a longer-than-usual lifespan is quite hard to find.

I can point to one good example of a music fanzine that came out on a bi-weekly schedule and actually was able to exist for a few years, and that was JAZZ INFORMATION which, besides having such polar opposites as Ralph J. Gleason and Ralph de Toleando on its board, produced slick issues with a cover scheme swiped from LIFE before eventually collapsing under the pressure of such a Herculean task. Unfortunately the rock 'n roll world did not have such equal unless you could the early ROLLING STONE as being a fanzine (as John Sinclair once wrote in GUITAR ARMY) or the newsprint issues of CREEM (as Nick Kent did in a a Detroit area roundup in NME). I dunno if  LITTLE SANDY REVIEW counts as a rock fanzine??? Maybe. 

Oh yeah, some subsputum species out there will definitely want to point to MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL or FLIPSIDE as examples of rock fanzines that were able to make a reg'lar go at keeping a schedule whilst keeping uppa-date re. the music as it stood in the here and now, but we're talking rock 'n roll here, not some eighties derivative that basically became nothing more than hippie schmooze Mark Two!

I will give SLASH, SEARCH AND DESTROY and THE NEW YORK ROCKER their dues as far as fanzines that made good on their promise to keep the train movin' without derailing much (other'n when the music faded away as was with the ROCKER's case) while over in France ROCK NEWS INTERNATIONAL and PARAPLUIE (which was referred to as a fanzine in UGLY THINGS and who am I to complain?) were able to come out with the same accuracy as Mussolini got the trains to run, but other'n that what was there?

FLASH actually was planned to come out  on a monthly schedule starting with the April 1973 issue and if so that would have been a grand boon to the entire rock gonzoism movement that had been sprouting up around the same time. But other'n that what was there other'n the ill-fated SHAKIN' STREET GAZETTE and its spiritual offspring  entitled FOXTROT?

OK, who's the
wizenheimer who
messed up my
cover???
That was the effort of various ex-SSGers including Bernie Kugel as well as editor Phil Bashe, and I'm sure some of you heard about how the mag collapsed because of the inner tension between Kugel and Bashe over the concept of rock gonzoism a la CREEM versus the more journalistic (and perhaps stuffy) ROLLING STONE approach favored by Bashe. But while it lasted (throughout most of '76) this fanzine came out on a monthly basis, a tabloid on newsprint making for some mighty interesting reading, once you filter out the journalism and get to the gonz that is.

The creme de la whatever it was that was good about mid-seventies rock appears within these cracklin' pages with a good amount of press being devoted to the fresh up 'n comers along with the snoozers of the day, and once you get done filterin' everything. Kugel's writing is up with the other stalwarts of the rock fanzine strata and of course it's sure fun reading about the up and comers of the day written as it was happenin' rather'n n-generations down the line like ya get on this blog!

Kugel's scribblings on the likes of the CBGB scene really does send ya back while even things like the infamous Gary Sperrazza reviewing a live Peter Frampton show sure makes more sense than the same material would in the hand of some college paper flittery gal getting all pant gooey over the mere fact that she's within a good thousand feet away from her idol! 

And hey, Kugel's various fanzine histories are quite reminiscent to my various attempts to keep the memories alive to the point where I sure wish that I was still in touch with the guy so's I could beg for some photocopies of the rarities that I'm sure remain in his collection lo these many years later. Unless those were the ones he loaned to that college professor in order to clue him in on the more outre examples of rock pressitude and the guy actually THREW THEM OUT because he found them worthless next to the way more nobler musical visage of the likes of...what other'n ROLLING STONE! I hear the prof felt guilty about his actions and gave Kugel an "A" anyway.

Anyway here's one for you to look out for if you, like me, really miss that hard-driven seventies Golden Age of Rock Screeding style and loathe the current touchy feely style of rock "criticism" that's being written by college co-eds who should be out looking for husbands rather'n crank out alla that putrid prose about how some old Velvet Underground or Patti Smith record relates to the gal's sister's best friend who was living with a biker who eventually went to junior college and got arrested but she eventually made good of herself while the two would spin MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDINGS AND FOOD while talking about their innermost feelings and...hey, am """""I""""" still awake?
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I never knew that Paul Welsh, the guy who gave us all of those issues of the essential fanzine PENETRATION with loads of hot info on the kinda groups that MELODY MAKER used to snivel at, was also involved with an earlier publication goin' under the title PURPLE SMOKE. It's a pretty nice fanzine too dating back 72/73 way, a lo-fi xerox affair from the look of it up to snuff with that under-the-counterculture mindset we all know and love as well.

You could say that PURPLE SMOKE was more of a personalist fanzine than PENETRATION, having those everyday sorta vibes you'd see in a whole buncha eighties/nineties fanzines where some girl would spend pages talking about her personal life and how her latest no-good boyfriend dumped her and how she's on the rag so she can't do any world saving right now, only Welsh thankfully has a tighter head on him and better taste in overall funtime gulcher as well.

These two mags in my possession feature everything from sagas on Marc Bolan and Warhol to encounters with Jesus Freaks after attending a performance of GODSPELL and heck there's even a moom pitcher review of the infamous INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES...  amidst an appreciation of Marvel Comics, a recipe for something called "Monday Pie" that sounds rather dee-lish as well as shots of shameless hussies showing off their suckems. What more do you spiritual thirteen-year-olds want in a fanzine now, anyway?
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A more recent fanzine, and one of a quite different nature is CROHINGA WELL, a Belgian publication printed in the English language which tends to concentrate of the more aerie faeire aspects of music. If you're a rough 'n tumble rock 'n roller don't let that get to you, for there's plenty of high energy thrills to read about in these mags from a detailed Hawkwind history (serialized into umpteen parts!) to tons of reviews of platters which even YOU (not necessarily me) might consider buying! I found a few interesting surprises from a review of Von Lmo who is described as sounding like what the Velvet Underground woulda had they stuck around (!) to a li'l bit on Third World War, a band that I'm starting to appreciate despite years of finding them rather iffy-like.

Speaking of which, the TWW ref reminds me of a time inna late-eighties when Al Simones of Purple Panda records was trying to sell me an original copy of that group's debut and I passed after hearing about a minute, a poor choice on my part I wish I could have rectified but hey, that was long ago and moolah was scarce! (Ditto for his attempts to sell the Edgar Broughton Band's second LP, the US pressing even, and the Hot Poop album...boy how I wish I was a trust fund millionaire kiddie back then!)

And speaking of Simones, one of his longplayers gets the shaft in these pages if only because of the price tag placed upon it which the writers felt was abhorrent...sheesh, what kinda reason is that to dismiss a record that might have been of some worthwhile value as if it costs mere pennies to put these things out. I say that the price of any object should be commensurate with the hard work, toil and intrinsic value of the item at hand and like, who were they to judge.

Oh well...you might get a kick outta these mags which are worth a little effort to track down.
***
Here's an English "punkzine" from '77 entitled CONFIDENTIAL, which only goes to show ya that the blokes who put this effort out were unaware of the muckraking mag that got itself into much hot water back in the fifties! Or maybe they did know about it but just didn't care, which I would think is probably the case as if anyone really does care one way or the other.

Actually this CONFIDENTIAL is a fairly good read, nothing spectacular or as all-encompassing as such rivals like WHITE STUFF were but still good enough what with an appreciation of the likes of the Ramones, New York Dolls and offshoots, the usual English suspect and the various up 'n comers who sounded rather dreadful once 1980 rolled around. The writers shoulda spent more time reading the various weakly paper hotshots in order to pick up a few pointers on style 'n taste. Biggest complaint --- the promised piece on Third World War mentioned onna cover appears nowhere!
***
While we're on the subject of English "punk rock" fanzines mebbee I should mention this particular issue of KINGDOM COME. It's a good one too more in the tradition of the early/mid-seventies punk advent efforts what with just enough Slade and Blue Oyster Cult mixed in with the newies, and it pretty much reads like one too. None of that cheapo everything that's old is hippy music no future waah! junk here. Writing is fine to and encompassing of a a whole lotta things that were good during them days from the reams of reissues to those new acts that sounded so enticing even if I could never afford any of their records but eh, I eventually did so nothing that much was lost other'n a few years.

Writing is good and it sure brought back memories reading alla those reviews of old Radar label acts (and it was kinda funny reading that review which praised Radar for giving new acts like THE GOOD RATS a chance!), and seeing writeups of everything from DATAPANIK IN THE YEAR ZERO to that Flamin' Groovies 12-incher that I lusted after but never did snatch up sure makes me wanna thumb through my record collection in order to stie them embers of seventies record funzies up to the point where I'm on the hunt for old Seeds albums at some flea market! Only problem with this ish is that it's shrunk down and printed two to a side page-wize a la the earlier NEXT BIG THINGs and JUNGLELANDs making toilet-time enjoyment most difficult.

***

I'm always game for the throngs of mostly small-statured hawkwind fanzines that have been fluttering about over the past few decades, and the ones that feature off/on frontman Robert Calvert really tend to tug at my own personal rockist tendencies. This special Calvert ish courtesy the longstanding HAWKFRIENDZ mag is but the latest in my collection of various Calvert-oriented mags and as usual it's a goodie. Yeah almost all of it consists of the usual fodder copped from the English "weaklies" and fliers but otherwise for a guy who never could get hold of alla that quap this does make for fine and BRAND NEW TO MY BRAIN reading material. Contains a rare interview from BEAT magazine and the text of a play featuring a meeting between Jimi Hendrix and Noel Coward. Enchanting.

***

I've bleated a few times about how I've bemoaned the existence of a Velvet Underground fanzine being created if not during, but shortly after the band became a facet of Steve Sesenik's definitely Reed-less vision. Too bad Constantine Radoulovich, the guy who would have been the most likely to put this concept to fruition, did a quick bail-out from Velvets fandom. Well, at least we got Phil Milstein's excellent WHAT GOES ON which certainly exuded that seventies fanzine spirit (the ones edited by MC Kostek seem quite professional and don't quite feel as fanzine-y comfy as the earlier ones...still a boffo read tho) and later on this lesser known effort courtesy Sal Mercuri simply entitled THE VELVET UNDERGROUND a ndi t was a pretty good cooker of a fanzine as well.

Kinda slick what with the gloss that surrounds the thing but still good in that fannish way where you get the idea that the people who are writing for this are fans of the old gnarly fashion and not the newer ones of limp milksopdom. Nice articles, nice repros of rare pix and although many of you might think it's old hat fandom I find the entire effort pretty cool in that teenage all this music hitting ya from all directions sorta way that made record buying such a fun prospect way back when.

Now, I don't like alla the reprinted articles by then-recent (1996) "rock critics" who ooze none of the excitement and tension of the Olde Tymey Greats. Sheesh, after reading some Big City Newspaper crit's rehashing of things rehashed for ages I just gotta grab some Mick Farren or Richard Meltzer in order to cleanse my system. Otherwise I find this read pretty good even if for a dude like me it's all old wawa under the bridge. But it's the ginchiness that counts.

The mag works especially when Mercuri does what none of the sycophantic types would dare do and critiques his subject matter in the most cutting ways, as he does when digging not only into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame but the then-surviving ex-Velvets for their attitudes doin' a strange about face regarding that mausoleum up there in Cleveland. You might think its more nada about even more nada, but I think it's fantastic and one reason I can heartily recommend you searching out these fanzines whenever you can.

By the way, didja know that there was another fanzine called THE VELVET UNDERGROUND only this one was dedicated to famed cocaine queen Stevie Nicks? When doin' your shopping details, don't be fooled by cheap imitations!  

***

I've written about FAT ANGEL before and while this particular ZIGZAG spinoff didn't always flibben my jib it wasn't like I loathed the effort given the care and consideration that was given to the nova music acts along with the usual West Coast mutations that editor Andy Childs seemed to bank his bucks on. This very early issue from 1971 is rather good in that Childs' tastes are even more widespread 'n the average longhair record buyer of the day would have dared to dream. 

This issue is more in the old fanzine tradition with typewriter print and amateur art, and although the likes of the English underground groups of the time are held in high esteem there's just enough space devoted to the underground precursors to get one's salivary glands working overtime. From reviews of HIGH TIME to the latest on the Pink Fairies, there's enough in FAT ANGEL to make more'n a few of you reg'lar readers perk up amid the reviews of ELP and Jethro Tull. I liked the Brinsley Schwarz article even though for the most part I'm supposed to hate that band (not that they're big faves 'round here, but they sure do come off fresh when compared to some of the bin stuffers that permeated the record shops of the seventies) like some have told me to for ages.

***

It might seem rather strange to some of you that there were people way back when who were publishing various fanzines simultaneously which someone like myself would  find not only time, but MONEY consuming. And hey, sometimes these fanzines were given out for FREE which really boggles the mind of a guy who hadda sell records and cash in aluminum cans found on the street in order to get enough scratch together to put one of my own crudzines out! What's even more amazing is that many of these multiple fanzine publishers went on to bigger 'n better things such as Lenny Kaye and today's star Greg Shaw, a guy who put out perhaps hundreds of various Sci-Fi, Tolkien and music magazines during the course of his youth, KARNIS BOTTLE'S METANOIA being just one but one of the more famed of the titles that he cranked out on his homebound duplicator which really does amount to what I would call a hefty backlog of high quality reading!

METANOIA was a boffo mag t'boot, a genzine in that this was a mag that might have had a Sci Fi look 'n feel to it but covered a wide range of personal subject matter. Hey, don't let the William Rostler artwork fool ya, METANOIA was as much of a rock fanzine as it was of any of the other fan substratas of the day and a pretty hotcha one at that what with Greg writing about everything from the recent bootleg albums comin' out to the neighbors and television programs affecting his life.

Once you get down to it, this fanzine really makes more like a face-to-face chat with a guy ya wanna play Monopoly with while MR. ED plays on the television just like inna old days. It gets pretty high-larious at time, especially when Shaw talks about some Eyetalian neighbor who actually put the moves on wife #1 Suzy!

The likes of John Ingham and boffo underground cartoonist and fanzine regular Jay Kinney pop up here and there along with letters from some of the bigger names in fandom like Dick Lupoff, and the mingling of such talents along with the general spirit mixed with the kick up yer feet 'n havesome fun feeling to these get down and talk TO ya's make METANOIA a whole lot more down home 'n THE PRARIE HOME COMPANION ever was!

You can read some of these pages in the various BOMP! collections that are easily enough obtainable via their site (see link on the left) and I have heard that there are plans to have these collected on their lonesome! Yet another one that might be worth holding your bowels in for because when it does come out boy, will it be toilet time for you!
***
Here's one that just might not be a fanzoonie in the strictest sense but eh, it's an interesting addition to the rock mag collection here at the BTC orifice. It's Japanese too, a nice printed up package calling itself ROCKADOM and like the other Japanese seventies rock mags seen around here it sure reads pretty rock worthy! Not only that but the thing came out in late-'76 when punk rock was just starting to wrap its testicles around more and more unwary teenbo specimens making the oncoming excitement so thrilling in retrospect. 

The Damned pop up on the cover and the innards mostly consists of features etc. on punk rock, both of the sixties and seventies varieties which I know should make not only you Seeds fans happy but the spiky haired contingent as well!

Wish I could read it, because ROCKADOM sure comes off like a wowzer publication what with alla the snaps presented and the loads of reviews etc. Plus I kinda wonder how "gonzoese" reads in Japanese and I get the feeling that there were plenty of Far East variants on the likes of Meltzer and Adrien over them ways. Whatever it sure looks great and you might find a few things out even though I kinda get the idea that whoever put this 'un together got hold of a few issues of ROCK SCENE, THE VILLAGE VOICE and NME and sorta winged their way through it trying so hard to decipher those weird western letters'n all. Either that or there actually was a group called "Audition Showcase" that played CBGB every Monday night for years, and I never knew that the Shangri-Las' or Denmark's Gasolin' were punks but I learn something new everyday. Run this through one of those Japanese to English translators you find online and get even more laughs outta it than you could Anastasia Pantsios!
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AND
 FINALLY...
with all of the Kirk/Spock, MAN FROM U*N*C*L*EBLAKE'S 7, STARSKY AND HUTCH and WILD WILD WEST amateur fiction that has exploded o'er the fanzine scene these past thirtysome years, it just hadda happen! After years of speculation by many-a-confused adolescent boy in home ec, the first Pyle/Carter slash fanzine, none other than CALL OF DUTY has arrived in the boudoirs of many a Candy Striper so confused about his status in the bathhouse hierarchy! Authoress Tocklas B. Mills details the close and personal relationship between the hardened Marine Corps sergeant Vince Carter and buck (naked) private Gomer Pyle as the two explore their most innermost thoughts and desires whether it be behind the obstacle course or in confinement at the Hanoi Hilton for that matter. You too will thrill (amongst other things) to the passionate displays as they strive for endurance and withstand the cruel tortures of the Viet Cong. Don't miss the harrowing tale of survival "Last Gulp", the dilemma of "I Like Him, But I Don't Love Him" or the surprise ménage a trois in "Duke Walks In". Some wonky fan poetry appears in the form of "From the balls of Montezuma to the sores of Tripoli/We will sate our roaring urges on the land and on the sea". Word has it that Mills is working on some new fan fiction dealing with the Friday/Gannon relationship in the sixties DRAGNETs entitled HANDCUFFS ARE FOREVER.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! BUCK RYAN BATTLES IMPERIAL FORCES 1944 BY JACK MONK AND DON FREEMAN (Golden Age Reprints, 2018)

Other'n ANDY CAPP I know just about nada about English comic strips. So this collection of BUCK RYAN comics was a nice slice of comical education for me. Too bad I gotta say that I really didn't cozy up to this for a number of reasons on which I will exemplify on further down the ol' page.

Don't get me wrong, I like adventure comics and this World War II 'un with Ryan fighting the Big 'Un in the South Pacific sure seemed like the kinda comic romp that a fellow like myself really could go for. However, the end results come off more like some quickie cash in on the whole TERRY AND THE PIRATES genre that one would have seen distributed by one of those picayune syndicates that seemed to handle the dross. Artwork isn't anything to crow about (has more of an early-thirties fine pen look that at times reminds me of the early SUPERMAN) while the sagas presented just don't have that gut-gripping nervewrack that a fanabla such as I prefers in his classic comic strip reading. Creators Monk and Freeman shoulda studied up on some of the more successful comics of the day before setting out to do a contemporary comic that was bound to capture the imaginations of many a thrillseeker back during those hyper times.

Oddly enough, BUCK RYAN actually continued into the early-sixties and was revived a little over five years ago so I guess there were fans out there. But count me out because I find this strip rather sedate to the point where FERD'NAND came off amphetamine-fueled in comparison. Is it me, or is it the English?   

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Be thankful. Amid all of the hassles and anxiety-riddled goings on in these quarters (drat that real life!) you should be thankful that you've got another BLOG TO COMM post to enjoy this presumably pallid weekend. Between the usual madness that I have to endure I was able to crank out this particular missive which I think you might be able to ooze some information, or perhaps even some enjoyment outta. Thanks again to Paul and Bill, not to mention Peter Crowley for the Max's offering. When I find Fellini's Basement, it's in the mail for ya bud!


Various Artists-MAX'S SKANSAS CITY CD (Jungle Records, European Union)

As many of you know, I never was whatcha'd call a follower of the Caribbean musical genres that have captured the imaginations of many of secluded suburban hipster wannabes. However, it's not like I can't appreciate these traipses into the ska realm despite some rather iffy records by the likes of acts such as the Selector as well as a few others that were actually able to get some major label hype back inna early eighties. Here's a collection of various Max's-related ska efforts, some which have appeared elsewhere over and over while others sound new to my ears. You're probably familiar with the likes of the Terrorists and the Offs, while Roland Alphonso adds a strong sense of authenticity to the entire shebang which would figure since he was one of the innovators and not a clinger on. Now if the folk at Jungle could do a Max's comp featuring some of those obscuro regulars who never did get their chance to shine in the sun!
***
Ducks Deluxe-ALL TOO MUCH CD-r burn (originally on Skydog Records, France)

Heh, it's English thud blues from the mid-seventies and can anything really go wrong with that? I mean, what else would you expect from this infamous pub group that was so important in its own sphere of fans that they even accrued a number of serious admirers over this way! I believe these are the Skydog tracks from the seventies with a few newies added to make the thing   LP-length. I kinda go for it in my own mid-seventies import bin conscious way and if you remember combing through the racks seein' alla those wild covers that were different from the US versions you just might too.
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RORY GALLAGHER CD-r burn (originally on Capo Records)

Not exactly one of the best platters of '71, but it sure beats alla that TAPESTRY gunk for sheer rawness. A must for those English (or in this case, Irish) seventies blues types that's exciting enough to keep you from exerting your punque pride, and it comes with a boffo straight ahead rocker ("I Fall Apart") complete with those descending power chords that were all the rage at the time. You can hear where Peter Laughner got a lot of his own prowess from. Cee-Dee reissue contains two bonus efforts including a straight-ahead blues romper and a Muddy Waters backwoods slider that I'm sure Laughner once played in the middle of some desolate night.

***
The Untamed Youth-LIVE FROM THE FABULOUS LAS VEGAS STRIP CD-r burn (originally on Estrus Records)

I heard a lot of the Youth during their Norton days, so this later-on effort really did fill me in on what I've been missing since. Which is not much, and that is great enough for me! Y'see, while other groups have "evolved" and "mutated" into creatures that just don't figure in well with my personal sense of musical appreciation the Youth remain youth and seem quite satisfied snuggled inside of their mid-sixties suburban ranch house frame of mind. Listening to this, it's almost like the Beatles never did set foot on these shores which, in some weird perverse kinda/sorta way, is fine by me!

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Certain General-SIGNALS FROM THE SOURCE CD (CBGB Records)

Heh, sounds better'n when I first heard it. Maybe that's because the angular new wave sound doesn't seem to irritate as much as it did after massive overload in the eighties back when it looked as if everybody was putting out duff albums including those acts which we had come to love and admire. Features some intriguing Mideastern raga ("Hello My God") while the rest seems to fit into the latterday New York underground neo-Television style snugger than a boy scout in his scoutmaster's sleeping bag. If you miss the 1981 brand of underground rock that went out of style once Pere Ubu got cheerful this platter should come in real handy.

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The dB's-PARIS AVENUE CD-r burn (originally on Monkey Hill Records)

There was a time when I woulda thrown a huge hissy fit if you shoved the dB's in front of my chin, but nowadays I find 'em a nice 'n refreshing change from the usual ruckus that passes for entertainment these sad 'n sorry days. Their post-Chiltonesque mid-South pop, albeit toned down from the original source a bit, still has enough of a spark to keep my attention from drifting off into thinking about alla the jerks who've given me grief o'er the years. This '94 release definitely was out of place for the time, but considering some of the offal being pushed it sure comes off like the kinda platter that I might have given a fair review of had I snatched it up way back when. Not bad, really.

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Various Artists-GEMINI JEMIMA ANTIQUE HASH CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

A nicety from Bill starting off with a radio ad featuring the now-canceled Aunt Jemima before getting into some hotcha garage band rarities not to mention the usual bits of country and other esoterica that always seem to pop up on these burns. If you're on a diet it best not be in your best interest to hear Johnny Cash singing about "Houston Hash" lest you start runnin' for the fridge in a mad and crazed dash. Good thing Bill also stuck a Bromo Seltzer ad on. And it all ends with the Gemini Five trying to make us think this single was actually recorded in front of a live audience.

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It's that time of the year...wha' th' heck, EVERYTIME is that time of year to pick up copies of BLACK TO COMM for the best in rockism reading that'll put a whole lot more'n whatever it has been that you've been reading right into your tiny little brain. C'mon, pick up a passel and find a better way to spend your evenings 'stead of spinning your Content Providers platters incessantly.